I’ve spoken about how my mental health has been tested when it comes to the management surrounding Little Red’s health issues. (If you’re a new reader, hello and welcome. You can read more about my daughter’s medical journey by clicking here). For a while now I’ve been aware of how my body is reacting to it all too. Maybe because I’m feeling less emotionally fragile, the stability has allowed me to see the wood through the trees.
As I’ve said before, my job is the manager of the family. I organise food, meals, daycare, finances and anything else that needs doing. Of course LR’s medical stuff comes under my role too, partly because it just makes sense to have one person as the main contact. It’s not that there is HEAPS to do to the point I’m inundated with phone calls and appointments, but it’s enough for me to be in contact with people at least once a week and keep my diary on hand at all times. Don’t get me wrong, I do delegate. Hubby and I are very much a team and we find we work well together. Mostly, I cope pretty well mentally. Coping physically? I’m starting to notice, maybe not so much.
The other day I missed a call from Little Red’s spinal specialist rooms. The voicemail asked for me to call back in regards to her appointment that was supposed to be in a weeks time. As I listened to the message my tummy seemed to instantly bloat and go in knots. I asked Hubby to do it and we were met with awful news. An immediate family member of the doctor had unexpectedly passed away and so he naturally needed to reschedule for the next few weeks.
Our first reaction was an obvious feeling of sadness for the guy and his loved ones. There was no anger or frustration on our part, just sympathy. Then we started discussing our existing plans and how they would need to change, including what we would need to do on the new day since the appointment time is different.
For the most part I felt fine. After all, a change of appointment isn’t really a big thing in the grand scheme of things. But the nausea and anxiety still came long before I could work out why.
CALLING THE HOSPITAL
Needing to call the local hospital about the (recently undertaken) Bayley’s Test report for our NDIS application filled me with dread for days. DAYS, people. I didn’t expect good news or to be treated with any kind of courtesy. In fact, I expected to be told they had no record of the test and that Little Red would be put on the waiting list to re-take it, such is my confidence in their competence.
Anyway, after talking to several people and being transferred left, right and centre, I was eventually on hold for so long that the call ended. OR someone just put the phone down on me. By the end of it all I was close to tears and felt pretty nauseous.
I’m inclined to think my reaction was not actually because of my Post Natal Depression or really anything to do with my mental state in general. It’s simply dealing with unpleasantness time and time again. I knew it wouldn’t be an easy task to contact them and ask a simple question.
Seeing I was struggling what with the a twin hanging onto each leg, Hubby took the job on. It took him all afternoon of repeated calls to reach the correct department and speak to someone in the know.
Another thing we’ve noticed is my habitual compulsion to constantly clean, sort and throw things out. Hubby described it like I was expecting another baby, because it is exactly like nesting. I think the actual reason is that I’m trying to get as prepared as possible (much like an expectant mum) for LR’s spinal surgery. I don’t want to have to think about our home being in complete disarray while we have all of the big medical stuff going on. I’m also assuming I won’t have the time to really do anything around the house afterward since my time will probably be focused on her rehabilitation. I need to be able to do just do the bare minimum so we’re not living in a pig sty. That means organisation and everything having a place to be shoved into at the of the day!
It’s no secret that mess stresses me out too. As part of my own self-care I like to make sure the house is relatively tidy and that the kitchen and bathroom remain clean. I vacuum daily, sometimes twice, because I just feel better about everything come bedtime. It’s obviously just all a coping strategy and something I can have a bit of control over. Rest assured it’s not got to the obsessive point though! Also, thankfully, our house is on the small side so even though it gets completely TRASHED during the day, it doesn’t take long to put it back in order.
It’d be silly of me to ignore how it all keeps me insanely busy. I think sometimes our mind protects us from worry. But you’ll still feel it, somewhere and somehow.