why taking care of ourselves as parents should be a priority

I don’t like doctors. I don’t like hospitals. Not because I’ve had a bad experience, I just don’t like a fuss being made over me, especially when it’s something silly like a twisted ankle, or a cold. The husband is the same.

And this is wrong.

4 weeks ago, he started feeling unwell. 4 freaking weeks. He didn’t say a word to me; he just carried on with life as he does. He deals with another medical issue on a daily basis (which he has since 2014, but that’s only when he was diagnosed) and so didn’t think too much of it. He went to our GP yesterday morning, and after failing a number of the neurological tests that the GP performed, he outlined his concerns to the husband, and arranged an appointment with a neurosurgeon at our local hospital for 2 weeks time and to also have an MRI scan. For our GP to be concerned, that concerns me. He is a very chilled doctor, very rarely showing any signs of stress or worry, and has an extremely calming effect. But I could hear the doctor’s worry in the husband’s voice when he phoned me after the appointment; it wasn’t good. Just before 16h00 the husband phoned me; the specialist’s rooms had phoned him, and the doctor wanted to see him in casualty immediately. I almost threw up on the spot. I excused myself from work, phoned my mom, fetched her and raced home. There the husband was waiting calmly, showered and dressed and ready to go. I asked him where his overnight bag was and he looked at me quizzically, and I told him; there is a almost 99% guarantee that you’re being admitted. He very grumpily went and packed his bag, and off we went.

You know it’s pretty serious, that when you walk into casualty, announce who you are and that you’ve been told to see Dr So and So, and you immediately get whisked off to triage. I have never been seen so quickly in casualty before, and I’ve been there a few times with Morgan-Lee. Apparently, the staff were all waiting for us. Again, the need to throw up was strong. They didn’t even bother with the casualty doctor; the specialist neurosurgeon and neurologist came through about 20-30mins after we arrived, assessed Lee and his symptoms, and promptly admitted him into hospital. Strict bed rest. Like only allowed out of bed to go to the bathroom. This, for a man who is active for like 18 hours in a day, can never sit still, is always busy with something, and even when he sleeps he’s active. He complained that he could rest at home, but we both know that he wouldn’t. He just cannot help himself. There was also an issue with beds, so the specialist said that he really would prefer him to be admitted then and there, to avoid any bed issues today. We eventually got up to the ward, I went and got his bag from the car, went and got him some supper from McDonald’s, and then left. It was a lonely, long (in a sense) 25min drive home, my mind racing, tears silently rolling down my cheeks, Eminem blasting in the background.

And the scariest moment of last night? Standing outside before heading into casualty whilst he finished off his cigarette and he looked at me, took a breath and said:

I’m pretty scared hey.

For this man to admit that, I can’t even explain it. This is a man who faces every challenge in his life with a positive outlook, with the belief that it is just another bump in the road. I turn to him when I’m scared, when I feel like the world is crushing me and I can’t breath. He is my strength, my rock, my foundation, and now I’m his. To hear the break in his voice, his eyes flickering, my heart dropped. I just grabbed him in a huge hug and told him that whatever this is, no matter how big or small, we’ll fight it together.

Why is it that when our children are sick, even if it’s just something like a runny nose or a dry cough, that we do whatever we can, will go out of our way to make them feel better, to take away their pain and discomfort. Why do we not do the same for ourselves? I remember being pregnant with Morgan-Lee and going through to see our GP for something and telling our GP and I didn’t really care about myself, as long as the baby was ok. He looked me in the eyes and told me:

My first concern is you. If you aren’t healthy, how can you expect your baby to be healthy?

Last April, in the last week of my maternity leave, I had my appendix and right Fallopian tube removed due to an abscess that had formed about 10 days earlier. I had started complaining of the pain on the previous Thursday or so, and even then I played it down. If it wasn’t for my mother who accompanied me to a visit to the GP for a checkup on the twins mentioning to the doctor that I had a nasty pain in my side, I wouldn’t have said anything, and it then could have been a lot worse, as the infection would have spread, and the risk of sepsis a real threat. A week after mentioning the pain, I had the surgery. I suffered for 10 days in excruciating pain before I did anything about it. But let any one of my kids be unwell, and I jump into action, not stopping until I know they’re ok.

We have a duty not only to our children, but also to ourselves to ensure that we stay healthy. It’s fantastic to have healthy children who are full of life, but if we are their parents do not take care of ourselves, there is a possibility that our beautiful, healthy children might not grow up with us, as we just might not be there.

So, the point of this post? Whilst I sit here at work, my mind racing at what today will bring, at what the MRI will show, I ask that you take your health as seriously as you do your children.

You don’t know when it just might save your life.

G

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4 thoughts on “why taking care of ourselves as parents should be a priority

  1. Prayers for your husband quick recovery and overall health and well-being. You’re so right, and I believe it is also very important to our children, emotionally, to know that their parents are healthy and they don’t need to worry about us.

    Liked by 1 person

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