This time last year, I was an overworked mother of two. I was the YES person. YES to being the P&F Chairperson. YES to any client possible. YES to everyone but me. The pressures of life and struggles with self worth, my personal desire to create a thriving business to impact the health and fitness of mothers with the knowledge that I have accumulated over the years of study and research had me in an over drive state. But standing strong was what I always did and putting on a brave front was my habit. Not asking for help was my way of life. But where did that take me?
This time last year, after months of battling with my son’s Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP), a disorder causing inflammation and bleeding in the small blood vessels, we were looking forward to a break from all of it and to just be on holiday with my family in Singapore but it turned out to be something very different. A revelation.
This time last year, after a flight from Perth to Singapore, the bottom half of my legs were swelling and I had a blood rash that was all to familiar to me. it progressively got worse and the pain intensified even though I was wishing hard that it wasn’t what I thought it was and it will just go away after spending a day with my nieces.
This time last year, I took myself to a GP and he cleared me for DVT but I mentioned Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) and after a dipstick test showed a positive result for blood in the urine, he sent me to the emergency room at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore. At this point, I felt like my legs were exploding. My tummy was hurting and nausea lingered. I was still wishing it will go away in a couple of days.
This time last year, it was a long wait at the emergency department, my kids were with hubby and my parents. I sat alone and waited to be called. Dad came to sit with me shortly after he parked the car. It was nice to have Dad with me, something I don’t often experience, since living away from home for over 14 years. Having Dad next to me just made things really calm. The wait although long, was quite interesting, seeing the action that occurs in Singapore during the night. Drunk people, people coming in handcuffed to the gurney, old people who had fallen, foreign workers injured at work. It does trigger a moment to think about life, different people in the world and their lives. Finally by 2 am that night, I was admitted into a bed in a ward. And that was the start of 8 days of healing, self discovery and reassessment of life.
So it turns out…
Adults can get Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) too. And usually more severe than children. The condition is usually self-limiting, and resolves itself but the effects of the internal organs can get dangerous. I am grateful I caught it early and got medical help. The condition is an autoimmune dysfunction, where the immune system thinks that the cells in the capillaries of the body are foreign and attacks it. Thus the blood rash, blood in my kidneys, blood in my gut. HSP isn’t a contagious disease but it certainly had some genetic component to it. We believe it was a virus that trigger the reaction in me and my son. Then, fear overcame me, what if my little girl develops this too? Pretty sure we all shared the virus at some point but luckily she never present any symptoms.
I was given high dose IV steroid medication and was not allow food or water for several days because of the bleeding in my guts. We had to let it heal. A couple of days into the forced staycation, we tried to reintroduce water but it made me nausea so we had to stop. They give me fluids through the IV to sustain me, but the lack of eating in the country famous for its food just made me sad. And what made me even more sad was that I was going to, for the first time ever in my motherhood journey, part with my children and be in a different country from them. I was and still am a babywearing mumma who had never ever left the side of my children, never had a night without them but in this situation, I had to part with them. Due to logistical reasons, hubby had to take the kids home with him because it was becoming clear that there was no definite date for my release from hospital.
Suddenly, I had a lot of time to think. And thoughts were not distracted by the constant chattering of my children and the relentless demands of the little humans I created. When the children and hubby are not with you, suddenly you have a lot of time on your hands to think about how you got yourself in this place.. sick and stuck in a hospital bed, supposedly the only way to get me to stop being in GO mode.
Have I forgotten to look after me too, as I brought new lives into the world? Yes.
Have I been running close to the brink of break down, stressed to the maximum as I to learn to set up a business while looking after an acutely sick child and other home duties? Yes.
Have I been a fraud, advocating self-care to other mothers but working myself to the point of collapse? Yes.
This time last year, I began to ponder what my body was trying to tell me, and whether my body had been sending me signals and sign to look after me too? The answer to this question was also Yes.
To be continued…
Finding moments of Me in Motherhood..
This Time Last Year… is the first part of a blog series, of my personal journey of self-healing and self-discovery, finally learning about the truth and importance of real self-care for mothers and finding out who I truly am. This significant event in my life that happened last year has clearly defined myself to me and helped me to develop my way of coaching our mothers to a healthier, more active way of life. Stay tune to the next part of my story. –>