I love my children so much but caring for them full time has made me ill.
I have tablets for under active thyroid but much more seriously I am now dependent on steroids because my adrenal glands don’t work anymore.
Ten years of stress has taken its toll on my body.
I have piled on weight and other than the school walk I take the car. I miss meals then order take away because by the time I have dealt with yet another meltdown I have no energy left to cook.
Worry keeps me awake at night and anxiety controls me by day.
Once again, I have an infection. My body is weary and I seem to go from one thing to another with no recovery time between.
This time it is more eye drops, more tablets and ongoing appointments. I am unsure if I even have time to use drops four times a day when both my children need me 24/7.
As usual I often forget and the infection continues to get worse.
Then three weeks ago today I found myself sat back in the optician’s room as she examined my eyes and it happened: I cried!
I am sick and tired of being sick and tired as a special needs mum!
I stood on the scales and wanted to hibernate for the rest of my life!
To my horror I weighed two stone MORE than I did when 9 months pregnant with twins! I am so ashamed and actually can’t remember the last time I so much as made it to the hairdressers for myself or bought myself new clothes.
The reality is that I have devoted everything to the needs of my two children and in doing so destroyed myself.
I wiped my tears away and apologised to the optician.
I have had enough of infections, lack of sleep, neglecting myself and bad habits.
That afternoon I googled the opening times of my local swimming pool.
I had taken my children before but never actually swam since I was 15 (currently in my forties!).
I wasn’t sure my costume would even fit but something needed to change.
That evening after my children went to bed I didn’t sit on the couch with tea and chocolate instead I drove to the swimming pool.
I was shaking as I went in and really unsure if I would even remember how to swim! It was a huge effort to get that costume on.
The cubicles were smaller than I remembered (I only used the family ones as had only ever come with my children) and the lockers fiddly to work but I was proud that I had got there at least.
Swimming was a massive effort.
By the time I had done 12 lengths I was exhausted so got out and came home. I washed and dried my costume and the next day decided to try again.
The second time was easier and I managed a few more lengths.
Suddenly I was forming a habit and decided to buy a monthly swim membership to make sure I kept going.
The chocolate is still sitting where it was three weeks ago.
I am slowly making healthier meal choices and adjusting my lifestyle.
The weight of the world was not just on my shoulders but on my hips, bottom and thighs too!
Ten years of hospital outpatient appointments for my children, fighting the system for the slightest thing, watching my child have seizures, holding my crying daughter when anxiety gripped her entire body and filling in forms all about my children’s struggles have taken its toll.
Three weeks of swimming won’t suddenly change that that.
It took a long time to get this way and it will take time to change things.
But for the first time in years I have went three weeks without an infection.
Three weeks where I have slept better and eaten healthier have lifted my mood and my mind.
I swapped the fizzy juice for water and the chocolate for lengths of the pool.
I was sick and tired of being sick and tired as a full-time carer so I took the caring onto myself for once and I feel much better.
My children’s needs are still very high but I am in a better position to help them now.
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