Sleep…

Why is it that when we get less sleep than we should we are so unproductive the next day? I honestly turn into blobby mummy on those days and to be honest with you, those days are way too often now. These past few nights I have had a lot less sleep, waking up at odd hours to go to the loo, then can’t get to sleep. The worst one this week was waking around 1am and not being able to sleep until sometime after 5pm… argh!! How am I supposed to function the next day? Well I do, but I suffer for a few days afterwards. I have been taking melatonin to try and sleep lately, as well as I take magnesium supplements to stop my muscles from twitching at night… The joys of MS I guess.

I’m still co-sleeping with my nearly-three year old. I’m having a hard time encouraging him back to his own bed lately. He enjoys it and some nights I do too, but I really don’t enjoy it when he has a restless night, because that means I have one too. I had to laugh at another ladies blog the other day. She was commenting on how many sleep wear out there mention things like “I love sleeping in” or “Hit the snooze button”. When you are a mum, sleep is a precious commodity and not something to be treated as a joke. Seriously, how many mums out there get enough sleep?! I’m still chuckling because I suffer from chronic sleep deprivation. I mean like since 2014 I have had a hard time sleeping all night. I’m in a constant state of sleepiness – I just have my “I’m not so bad that I can’t drive” vs “I’m that bad I can’t drive”. I’ve had to cancel appointments due to lack of sleep, and my social life has suffered because of it too!

How many other mum’s with MS and without MS understand this?

Jamberry 264

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Time, parenting and M.S.

I want to talk about time. Time is such a precious thing nowadays and we seem to have such little of it free. We are so busy doing things that we often lose track of it, or have that much to do, we end up wasting it! I’m talking about time from my perspective. Quite often you look at the day and think where has the last hour gone?! Often you look back on the day and wonder where the time went as you didn’t achieve half as much as you thought you would. Me, I often look back at the week and wonder where the blazes it went!! Parents, more commonly mums, will appreciate that children are HUGE time wasters! By the time you get up, get breakfast, shower, dress the kids and yourself, half the morning seems to have sped by! Especially if you have a toddler who procrastinates and takes a whole hour to eat breakfast. Or if he refuses to get dressed, or hop in the car, or put his shoes on… so on and so on. That’s mine.

Time becomes more important when you have multiple sclerosis. Because time = energy. Energy is usually limited, so the morning routine can cause an energy depletion that needs rest to restore. Then after the morning routine, you have to go to Playgroup or drive to daycare or drive 45 minutes to do some shopping. Saying that, if I use my energy up in the morning, the afternoons are a wash out for me. It really, really sucks when you are limited to half days and have an active toddler wanting your attention most of the day. We sometimes go for walks in the afternoon but more often than not, I rest on the couch while we watch TV quietly or he gets some iPad time. I like the spoon theory. I may have talked about this on another blog I once started… But it goes like this: You get a limited amount of spoons each day (say 12 spoons). These spoons represent energy. Once you get up, eat, shower and dress, as well as your kids if you have them, 4 spoons are used. That’s 1/3 of your daily allowance. By the time you go to playgroup, have a play in the park and walk home to make lunch, another 4 spoons are gone! So if your night time routine is busy, you really need to conserve those last spoons to make dinner, give kids a bath, do the dishes, read books (which I often yawn through) and by the time the little one/s go to bed you are ready to go too. If you had a really busy day, say like driving to an appointment or shopping, all your spoons are gone by the time you get home. Then you start borrowing from the next day. That is why I have what I call my MS days. There are times when I can’t do much at all after a busy day. My sister recently got married and it was an incredibly busy three days for me. I didn’t have to do much, but it wiped me out. I was recovering the whole of the following week. I’m not exaggerating here, I seriously felt like I’d been hit by a truck.

I have had Occupational Therapy sessions to help me manage my time better, but often that goes out the window. I love the tips like prepare dinner early or get a slow cooker happening to save a bit in the evenings. Another is to space out the housework – don’t do it all on one day or in one hit. I do that often (spacing it out, I mean) and I find I’m doing the house all week, which is frustrating. But then I try the one hit and I feel satisfied about having a clean house, but I wipe myself out for the next day. Naps help when you can get them, but I find if I have an hour nap, I feel guilty that some of the day has gone and I could have been doing something else. BUT napping does help replenish some of those spoons! If you have some time saving ideas I’d love to hear from you!

I often wonder where time goes. My son is about to turn three. Oh my goodness!! Three! I’m now spending time planning a party, and he has informed me that he wants a Mouse Cake (Mickey Mouse in particular), more on that in a later blog instalment.  I spend too much time on social media at the moment (yes, I think I’m slightly addicted) and have been searching Pinterest and the like for ideas. I love planning things like parties! We may have to hire a hall locally because our kitchen is due to be renovated soon. Fun times ahead! I really can’t wait for the kitchen to be done, so exciting!!  I’m going to have to take before and after photos of the renovation, but I’m digressing.

Parenting does take up most of your day. I don’t know how working mums do it! I know someone else looks after their kids during the day, but energy wise I couldn’t do it! I know there are mums out there with MS and kudos to you ladies! I’m so glad I don’t have to work, because I think I’d be sleeping the hours I’m home if I did. I only have one toddler, and he takes up a lot of my time and energy. Wiping hands, changing nappies, playing with toys, opening doors, brushing teeth, washing hands/faces etc etc. AND I wouldn’t have it any other way! I’m here for him and he’s here for me, we are best friends and have fun together! Yes, sometimes I get grumpy and yell, but he is generally a good kid and I’m finding I’m getting less cranky with him as he gets older. I hate myself for losing my patience with him, as I’m often fatigued and tired on top of that. Unfortunately that’s something I have to learn to deal with better. Again, that’s another blog entry. (should I be writing these things down?) I think the answer to that is … YES. Until next time………….

 

I’m back!

I must be honest with myself! The new year started and I was off and running. Then life took over and I quit, like I do with so many things! BUT saying that I really want this blogging thing to work, so needless to say I’m back! (Not in the Arnie sense, but in the sense that I haven’t forgotten all the promises I made to myself back in January. What has happened in those two months that I went awol? Not much, and so much… I can’t believe a whole school term has nearly gone by! I’ll start with the not so happy things so when I finish this, I will feel a bit better about missing two months of blogging…

Summer is not MS friendly. I have pretty much been a tired hermit hiding inside under my air-con, and the fatigue has been terrible! It’s not just tired, it’s waking up tired, forcing yourself to shower in the morning every day kinda tired… I have had enough of this heat, and it only seems to be abating now. Nearly a whole month into Autumn (or Fall depending where you are from). I haven’t exercised, I have just pretty much spent the last 2 months inside, not doing much at all. Not helpful for losing weight. At least my nails looked great! 😉 Sad news, my veggie patch has died, the fruit fly took over with the tomatoes, so I left the rest to them. To be honest we’d rather use the valuable water on the fruit trees. They seem to be doing okay at the moment, so little wonder. Monday’s have been my saviour, with the little guy going to family day care. I don’t think I would have made it this far into the year without it! I’m looking forward to more temperate weather and Autumn/Spring are my favourite times of the year.

I may have mentioned earlier, if I haven’t forgive me, but my husband is a truck driver. He owns a prime mover and trailers that move either grains, fertilizer or hay for local farmers. The last harvest went for over 3 months for him! I hardly see him and I miss him. It didn’t finish until end of January, so we were both hanging out for a family holiday! He is now doing grapes for local growers and the stress is not doing both of us any good. We have decided he won’t do it next year because he has been sitting at home waiting for a call to say go, and because he owns his truck he isn’t earning anything. It is soooo frustrating! Another holiday will be needed after this! I have been losing sleep worrying over it and worried that it will go over the time I need him to take my to see the neurologist for my regular visit. I had an MRI at the new hospital a few weeks ago, and even though I hate having them done, and hate waiting for results, I look forward to a night away. The specialist is 2 1/2 hours away and my appointment is at 10am. It’s a bit early to get a toddler ready in the morning…

I have spent the last month prepping for volunteering for the local library agency as well. They have air conditioners, so I thought it won’t be so bad. Yesterday was my first day, and we worked 2-up until we get used to being on our own there. It’s a beautiful old original building in town that used to be the library (see photo below), so it’s fate that the library agency has returned books to  it’s heart. It was only for 3 hours, and it was extremely quiet. The weather was windy, hot and humid, so I understand why we were quiet. Plus the locals may not all know we are there yet. I enjoyed my first day volunteering, I was working with a retired nun who is so community minded and a lovely lady so the time went very quickly indeed! I even borrowed a book, Blogging for Dummies. I thought I might need it and it has given me the swift kick up the bum I needed to get back into it.

So that is pretty much my last few months, my sister got married, which was a very casual affair as she has 3 kids – 2 in high school. I’m looking forward to starting this again, and talking about things that are near and dear to my heart. I have been working my home business doing nail wraps, and I have since joined a company called SeneGence which make this amazing lip stick/gloss that doesn’t come off for about 18 hours!! I will be doing a few articles on these in the future, and providing tips and suggestions for using these products. I promise I won’t inundate this blog with posts of nails and lipstick 😉 I will try to keep to my original plan and post every Monday sometime when my son is in care 😉

Finishing this with a few images, one is of the library where I’m volunteering some time, the next is of my son with his beloved chickens (the chook was okay), then of the great powder explosion of 2017, then my motivation for returning to writing.

 

Seize the day!

I want to start this by talking a little about guilt. We all experience it at sometime or another. Mum’s feel guilt all the time. Today for instance. I felt guilt when I dropped my 2 1/2 year old son off at family day care this morning. He likes going, don’t get me wrong, but he flips the guilt switch on me even before we go, and once we arrive he clings onto me like a baby Koala. I leave feeling guilty. On top of my mum guilt, today is my 42nd birthday. I feel guilty because I should be spending it with my son and hubby. Instead I’m enjoying me time, but feeling guilty for doing so! To be 100% honest with you, I had a funeral to attend today, but couldn’t make it due to the extreme heat outside (40 degrees Celsius). Guilt about not being able to attend. Argh! It never ends. Is all this guilt normal? I don’t know, but what I do know is that it’s normal for me.

Turning 42 and the prospect of having a funeral to go to today makes one contemplate life. The lady that passed had MS too. She was only 52. 10 years older than I am… She was not the usual case of MS, she was pretty severe and for as long as I knew her (5 years) she had been in a wheelchair. Her husband cared for her and the last two years of her life was a living hell by the sounds of it. I hadn’t seen her in the last two years, so when I heard about her death I was in shock. She had been quite frail when I knew her, and I met her through a friend who has MS too. I met with her MS friends early on when I was diagnosed, we’d meet for lunch and they’d catch up with each other and I usually sat and listened. I enjoyed being a part of this little group though. It was lovely to hear about the plans they all had for the future and things they had done in the past. We’d chat about progressions in MS research we’d heard and shared diet tips. I was in my MS diet full swing by the time we last met… I feel bad that I couldn’t make it to her funeral.

Getting back to the contemplation part, I have decided to make the most of life. To not wait for opportunities to arrive, to not keep something for a special occasion, to never give up. My life’s motto now will be Carpe Diem! Seize the day! (Thanks to my Year 11 Literature teacher for showing us Dead Poets Society).  I know a lot of people have this motto, I’m not going to be selfish, I will just make the most of my life and make it worth living. I’m currently doing my vision board and will have to add Seize the Day to it! I need to remain positive to have a positive outlook to life!

Today is day 1 of my new life! My current lifestyle as of today, is healthier, fitter, more aware, less angry, less guilty (I had to add that one in) and more of what I enjoy! For some reason being a mum doesn’t mean you have to give up everything you like doing! You need to find a way to do things the things you love – find the time, do it with your child, do it while they are playing, do it once they are asleep, just do it whenever, wherever you can!!

Welcome to my Blog

This is my first entry! I’m nervous and excited to be sharing my life with you!

Hi! My name is Honnie and if you have already read my About Me page, you may already think you know a bit more about me. If you have, well done! “What is this blog about?” I hear you ask… well, it’s about me!! The title of my blog is Looking After Mum and that’s what I intend to do. One of my favourite sayings is that you can’t look after anyone with an empty cup, so this is about how I intend to use this year to fill up my cup a bit in order to be there for those I love. To give you a bit of a background into my life, I live in in a small Australian town with my gorgeous husband and equally (if not more) gorgeous son. If you are a numbers person, I’m 42 next week, my husband is 45 in May and my son is 3 in June. Yes, I like to count my chickens before they hatch… We are currently trying working on another little one to add to the clan, but we fear we may have missed that boat!

I started my University course for speech pathology when I was 30. I lost 30kgs, was working full time as a speechie and met a man who I felt might be the one. My life was starting to look great!  6 months after we started dating, I had a health scare where my speech went ‘funny’ and I couldn’t formulate proper sentences. After a few scans and an MRI, I was admitted to hospital for 8 days. It was a scary moment in my life. Being trained in how to read scans and which parts of the brain effects what functions, I was devastated to see that the whole language/speech center of the brain was under a white cloud of lesions. I had a hard talk with my then boyfriend about the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and what that meant for our future. I gave him so many chances to change his mind and run. I had my second relapse six months after the first, the week before we had planned to go to Brisbane for a holiday (by car!). I had foot drop this time and the fatigue was debilitating, but we still went. I took a walking stick to help me get around Seaworld, and I slowly got better over the fortnight. We survived the holiday! We were married in the middle of 2013, and I fell pregnant shortly after our honeymoon. I gave birth to my beautiful son, who was 2 weeks late, 9lb3oz and delivered by c-section after a 30 hour labor.  My husband and I have tried to remain positive about my diagnosis, not knowing what the future holds, and he is my best supporter and advocate.

This year I’m hoping to improve my health, lose 30kgs (again) and take back control of my life.  I’m looking to pursue new endeavors this year, one being nail art and another being beauty/skin care and I want to get back into painting and/or photography ! I also want to spend more time with my son, who goes to family day care once a week. Monday will be my blogging days. I am currently looking into essential oils, whole food diets and other alternative therapies to help improve my health. Fingers crossed I find a perfect result for myself and I can feel confident in going off my Disease Modifying Drugs and feel normal again!

I’m hoping to meet new people and make new connections through my blogging. So say “hi” if you are reading this – and please don’t be shy and introduce yourself! I’m really new to blogging and don’t know fully how this works, so I hope I don’t frustrate myself and you along the way…

Over and out (or however is normal to sign off a blog) 😀 :p