What happens when mom just can’t do it anymore? Life begins to crumble, that’s what happens.
5 weeks ago, I suffered a back injury in the stupidest possible way… I bent down to tie my screaming toddler’s shoe. We were 4 hours into a 20-hour road trip. In hindsight, we should of turned around and headed back home – but we had no idea what the future of this little back incident held – so we completed the vacation (read: the worse road trip ever). Slowly I got to the point of minimal pain after 3 weeks of suffering. The diagnosis was sciatica pain. And for 10 brief days, I had my life back.
And then like a blaze of glory (minus the glory), the back pain was back and worse than ever now. I am completing 5 weeks since the initial injury and can barely walk. I can’t go more than 4 hours without pain medicine. The chiropractor has pretty much said he’s done and all he can do and has sent me for an MRI to determine if I should have surgery. A few nights ago, I have to make a trip to the ER for pain relief and the Morphine couldn’t knock it out.
Sciatica Pain is the Worse
I have given birth naturally to 3 kids and I have to say during my worse moments dealing with this sciatica, it was worse than child birth. The pain went on longer than labor and there was no baby. At least with child birth you get a child!
All of this is hell, but the real hell dwells inside of me.
As a mom, here I am day in and day out in agonizing pain. My kids need me. My husband needs me. And at this point I am stuck helping how I can in my office rolling chair, and that’s when I can sit. The sciatica pain juggles itself between my lower left back, straight down my left leg landing in my foot. The best way I can describe it – is back labor, minus the baby. My leg feels like it’s on fire. Sometimes I can sit or lay in a position okay, but other times it’s absolute hell as the pain hurts no matter if I stand, sit or lay down. It hurts me to cry in front of my kids. The toddlers, 2 and 4-years-old have no idea why mommy is crying, even when I try to explain to them that I am in pain and that I am not mad or sad at them. My daughter cries with me and so does my 9-year-old son. It’s not a pretty sight and I try to hide my tears whenever possible.
Asking for Help
Have I mentioned I have a huge problem with asking for help? I know I do. I’m a I CAN DO IT MYSELF kind-of-gal, but now I can’t do much of anything so help is what I have to ask for. My 11-year-old is doing most of the work during the day, and my husband takes on all duties at night. At 11, she can now cook a meal and do dishes. My 9-year-old is king of trash duty, as well as puppy clean-up. These are chores I’ve been trying to have them help me with for months, but now out of necessity all hands are on deck. My husband, how I love him. His servant heart and giving spirit is more than I deserve.
<insert picture of my filthy house here>
While my husband, daughter and son are keeping the house standing up – the house itself is a disaster. Before we left for vacation 5 weeks ago, I put my foot down and demanded that we have all laundry caught up and that the house was clean. Therefore we could return to a sane environment with clean clothes (plus packing while folding laundry is easiest for us.) As we were washing the 12th and final load of clothes, our washer flooded the laundry room. So we were out of a washer for several weeks, now laundry has stacked back up.
The toddlers don’t understand the concept of keeping a clean home, or picking up after themselves. As I look up from my computer now, I see Frito’s everywhere. There’s a bag in the corner of the room, ripped apart and now empty. While the dogs have done a lot of the clean-up – there are bits of chips everywhere. It’s that time of year that the flies swarm in. So in addition to the chips, we have flies swarming. The toys from the upstairs playroom have made it downstairs into the family room. And the big dump truck that the boys use for dirt collecting outside is now in the foyer.
I can’t pick any of it up. I can ask for the kids help, but shortly after picking it up – it will be replaced with another something. This is my life right now, and I am trying to accept it.
I have listened and read a lot of Brene Brown in the last few years and the shame I feel with this issue is overwhelming. I have never thought of walking as a privilege. I have experienced odd looks as I had to use a wheel chair. As I hobble from place to place, I get stares of what is wrong with her to empathy. I refuse to use the scooter, but if things don’t get better by next week’s shopping trip I am not going to have a choice. The stares I get when I am walking awkwardly to pick up my child. It’s the shame that is making life difficult for me to function outside of these walls. I know, I need to get over that.
The medication is killing my brain cells. I have never been someone to take medicine regularly, with this sciatica issue – I have no choice. The meds are making me loopy. I can’t focus or concentrate. I have dozed off twice just writing this. I know I am behind on client work, which I hate more than anything – but I can’t get my head together to do it. I don’t like letting clients down and plus, it’s our livelihood. I am just thankful that I am not in a corporate environment at the moment with this issue and that the work I have is done from home.
Prayer & Grace
I have a huge network that is praying for this issue to resolve. I am living on an ice pack (hello, my butt is frozen), walking when I can and resting when I should. I am being a good tracker of my pills . I have watched every YouTube video on sciatica issues. From yoga poses to exercises, I have tried what I can – but I am still in pain. Surgery isn’t something I want to put on my radar and while it may sound stubborn, I just can’t get the testimonials of people trying to recover or having more issues with the surgery itself than the actual sciatica pain. So now, I just pray. I ask for forgiveness often, mostly from my husband because I know I am driving him up a wall. I cry a lot. Right now I am suppose to be at a conference with Ford at their headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan – but I am sitting on the couch – surrounded by a toddler who is mad at a game on his iPad, Frito’s at my feet and 2 dogs that want to go outside and play.
Mom Just Can’t Do It
I love these kids more than anything, but truth is this mom just can’t do it anymore until this pain goes away.
Not until I am healed. Not until I am better. Mom life will not continue until I am well. Until then, it’s a lot of prayer and grace that I am asking for. I want this to go away. I want to never forget how precious the gift of walking is. I want to chase my babies at the playground and swim with them at the pool. I am tired of being confined to this couch and bed. I just need answers and I have to accept that those answers might not be what I want to hear.
Funny: Here’s the thing. I need to learn to blog more about my life. If I did, I would know when the last time I was severely down and out was. Like that 1 time I was like a turtle stuck on it’s back – yeah that’s me AGAIN – but this time it’s been weeks of issues.