Today’s been a right odd day… and the funny thing is, that those around me probably haven’t even realised that I wasn’t on form. That’s the thing about this – you can’t always SEE it.
I woke up today, and yesterday for that matter, feeling shit. Really shit. I don’t really want to labour on about HOW FUCKING ILL I AM because it’s dull, and while I’m all for raising awareness I also think there’s a lot to be said for just getting on with it when you can and not exhausting your friends and family’s sympathy banks everyday. It does you no favours to be honest 100% of the time. When people ask how you are it’s part of the unwritten rules of being polite, but 9 times out of 10 they either feel obliged to ask, or want an answer that allows them to move on to the thing they want to talk about pretty quickly. If you hit them with a blow by blow account of your drama then you prevent them from telling you about Joan and her husband who have turned to swinging in an attempt to save their marriage. I dunno about you, but I’d rather find out what Joan’s playing at than discuss my bone pain, or sores, or brain fog. HAS SHE BOUGHT A PAMPAS GRASS? IS THAT REALLY A THING?
So anyway, my stock standard answer is “plodding along”. It covers it. I am not swinging from the curtains, I am not at deaths door – I’m doing the do for today thanks. Today “plodding along” looking like this because even though I have M.E. I’m a Mum and sometimes there’s nothing for it but letting your toddler climb all over you and fart in your face. Even if it hurts. And smells.
See Christiaan went back to work today after having more that a week off with Eli and our normal Tuesday routine kicked into play, morning at my Mum and Dads, back home, lunch time for sprog, nap time and then we had a cracking wee visit from one of “the girls” and her wombfruit who were passing by on their way to visit family further North in Scotland. On the face of it, I think I looked, and presented myself as someone who was fit and able today – and that, my friends, is a massive fuck you to the universe and to M.E. in general. I don’t think I look how I feel in this picture either – my mock sarcastic chuffing face is just that; mock sarcasm. Just like you’d see any other mum do. I had my “everything’s fine” face on.
I have more faces that a Royal Flush to be fair, I used different ones at different points through the day and only when Eli is in bed and Christiaan and I have done everything we need to for the day do I let it drop… it’s some sight.
There’s always a price to pay for pretending though. You’ll be familiar with the term “pay back” but having M.E. brings you into a whole new world of pay back. When you do anything that involves mental or physical strain you pay…. with interest. It might be straight away, an hour later or it might be the next day and it’s a wee bit like getting a loan from one of those telly adds, you borrow £100 and you need to pay back £1000000, your shoes and your grandmother’s kidney. So I am in pay back mode now, it’s 6.23pm and if I make it past 8 I’ll have won a watch (Google it).
It’s also the first day back on the fat club regime for over a week and a half – I celebrated by having a fudge doughnut so clearly I’m all over this losing weight thing. I’m not a massive eater even before I was ill, I just cant really be arsed with it. I enjoy cooking, I LOVE cooking for other people but I eat my meals quickly so they’re out of the way. Today for instance I’ve gone through the day on a sliced of wholemeal toast, half a dozen mushrooms and two boiled eggs (and that bastard doughnut). If Christiaan was off work I’d have had some sort of lunch but its just easier not to. Now, before you all get on your soap box with your “NEITHER WONDER YOU’VE NO ENERGY IF YOU DON’T EAT” carry on, sit down and pipe down – I normally have more, I normally eat well, I can tell you it makes no bastard difference.
I’ve got dinner cooking so I’ll have something in my system for the next lot of painkillers but fuck me, the lure of a bag of cheese and onion crisps on two slices of thick white bread and butter is STRONG. I’d rather eat that than a proper meal any day of the week – it’s probably one of the reasons I have more chins than you but I’d rather blame my metabolism thanks very much.
So tomorrow….. well Eli is in nursery and I have work. I’m going to get out another one of my faces: the professional, switched on, and competent one. Maybe. If I can get my words out and be able to compute what I’m supposed to be doing. My commute to work consists of walking from the front room to my office, which I also share with a 3ft Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy and an assortment of battery operated kids toys that like to shit me up by announcing random facts through the day. There’s is nothing creepier than a maniacal woman shouting “the puppy likes to go for a ride” behind you when you’re in the middle of a conference call – it does not do my confused brain any favours, especially when I think someone on the call has said it…. it’s an interesting process of elimination asking your call participants what the puppy’s name is before realising it was a bastard fucking VTech butting in. If it’s not toys interfering, it’s cats. Just when I’m talking about serious shit they decide that now is the time they should fight or sing the song of their people. Loudly. Preferably with a toy in their mouth so they sound like they’re going through a mincer.
Now I’m generally plugged into my laptop by my headset, which has a mic. It’s not wireless and I cannot get up and try and get the cats out the room; I have to channel my inner Kate Bush. Swaying arms and thrashing legs only go so far though, they tend to dish me up a helping of fuck you and get on about their singing. I resort to chucking stuff from my desk at them until they piss off. Then I need to sit down because I’ve buggered myself and my heads spinning. If I’m lucky I’ve remembered to pull the chair closer, if not then I’m on my arse on the floor while Iggle Piggle and that pink hussy judge me from up high.
Fuck my life – wish me luck.