On Motherhood & Sanity

Monday, November 1, 2010

I’ve used up all my sick days, so I’m calling in dead….

I know I haven’t talked about my health before, but there have been some mentions here and there. References to my getting amoebas “again” and things like this. Bottom line is, if some people have the constitution of an Ox, I have the constitution of a disorganized antique china ware store ran by an old lady; move something and you are likely to end up paying for it.

Most people that have known me for some time are bewildered by the fact that I do development work because, lets face it, the image we have in our head is of a person roughing it in some far flung disease ridden place. And yeah, that would be me, with my huge black back pack which always includes antihistamines (I’m allergic to most things), my inhaler, (yeah, also asthmatic and have a chronic rhinitis), pain relievers (I get regular stomach pains which until recently I put down to period pains), and some foodstuff because I have a tendency to get hypoglycemic and faint.

I also get car sick, which is not a disease, but pretty uncool when you are on the road.

I’m the sort of person that wont wash her hair if it’s too cold because I know it might lead to my being bed bound.

You probably think I’m exaggerating. In the last twenty four months I’ve had whooping cough (yes, that still exists), parasites and currently an ulcer. January I was in Egypt vomiting; March in Uganda doing hundreds of kilometers a day on no food because of parasites; in May I had a UTI; June I had both ears leaking puss in Colombia; September I developed an ulcer in Brazil. Apparently even diseases take August off, but there are still two months to go, and I’m leaving out the small stuff, like colds and tooth ache (at one point I thought I would need a root canal, but alas, it was not so).

On top of that I have no energy, and there is such a thing as inherent energy level, I can see it in my children, both toddlers, both manic, but still, one takes after her father, the other one is normal. Seriously, even my mom can usually out do me. I wake up tired and pretty much stay like that for the rest of the day.

I claim that I’m an old soul.

So yeah, I’m not the most obvious person to be stuck in the bush hours away from the nearest hospital. I’ve had to be medically evacuated at least once, and have visited many a dodgy clinics. Ironically though, the closest I’ve been to death was in NY, where the hospital lab made an error and left me bleeding internally overnight.

I’ve seen just about every specialist there is. Had pneumonia, and been biopsied twice. In my frustration and despair I’ve learned to do Reiki and am currently seeing a world renown homeopath. It can’t hurt.

Why am I telling you all this? I suppose for a couple of reasons: one is that this damn ulcer has ruined the first of the six weeks I had set aside for finishing my book, and I’m mighty pissed off. Incidentally, it flared up when I was on holidays in Spain, which meant I could not eat any of my favorite things. (I am currently in fear of food and only consume white, bland things).

Secondly, because a dear friend who has recently left the development sector to start a business on holistic healing in Bali (and yes, I want to be her too), was taking the piss and making me wonder if it’s just me, or if there is something that I am doing wrong. If maybe I am no cut out for this job, if only for biological reasons, or if in the long run it’s just going to be too high a price to pay.

And lastly, because as I laid in absolute agony last night tossing and turning in my bed, unable to take some milk (which helps) or pain killers given that I was scheduled to have an endoscopy this morning, I thought again what always comes to mind when I am sick: what would this feel like if I didn’t have the means to see a doctor? If I didn’t know that I was getting all these tests, that I can buy pain killers and antibiotics and kill this. What would it mean to bear this pain knowing there is no cure, not because there isn’t one, but because I can’t afford it. Or even worse, what would it mean if I had to watch a loved one go through that. God forbid, to watch my own child.

And that is probably why I wont stop doing what I do. Because even if I got unlucky on the constitution roulette, I know that I’ve been blessed on every other front.

PS on my next post I promise to tone down the alleluia and tune up the humour...


Anonymous said...

want to be my first guest blogger? :)

And I think you shoudl keep doing what you do, but just come to my retreat and learn how to do it better :)

Love you heaps!!!

Soli said...

bravo!! you are the healthiest "sick" person I've met... even when you are suffering ulcer pains you take it with a pinch of humour and positive thinking will always make you a happy person even if you are alergic to air...