07 January 2016

Healing



I am lucky to be blessed with good health, the last few months would have you thinking otherwise, but despite being diagnosed with Crohns in the '90s it has been in remission for some time.  I have long held the belief that if your mental health is good then your physical health will be too.  I am not for one minute suggesting that the two are always interrelated but they definitely have an effect on each other.

December was a hard month for me, I know I have mentioned it here often in the past weeks but writing and talking about it has helped me immensely.  When we left hospital on the 9 December Alice was much improved, she was smiling and talking again two things that she had virtually stopped doing whilst she was very ill.  I was coughing and sneezing a little, very tired and mighty glad to be going home, I thought that both of us would continue to improve with plenty of rest at home.  Alice did, but not me.  A week later I was feeling much worse, I had had a few days of feeling better in the meantime, I hardly moved from my bed, my head felt like it was stuffed with cotton wool and I was utterly exhausted.

I knew that there was nothing that the Doctors could do for me,  I was pretty sure I didn't have an infection so rather than calling them I called a dear friend of mine who is a great listener and a trained homeopath, within twenty four hours of her advice I felt like a completely different person.  The fog had lifted, the ache had gone from my ears and head, within twenty fours hours my sore throat had abated and a few days later my cough too.  I felt completely relaxed.

What I now realise is that it was all down to tension and stress.  Alice was seriously ill when I took her into hospital, she had had me by her side the whole time.  I went into hospital well, but worried, I came home ill, I had had no one by my side.  I thought I had come to terms with it, but I hadn't at all.  Physically I wasn't particularly ill mentally I was, because the physical symptoms were the obvious ones I had concentrated on them. I hadn't even realised how tense I was until it was gone.  My fitful sleeping wasn't allowing me to properly rest something I knew I desperately needed.

It is always hard to be ill when you have people who are dependant on you, it may make them realise how much you are the glue that holds it all together but it is not an advisable way to help them find that out.  I have long realised that it is just as important that I look after myself and make time for me to be able to do my 'glueing' to the best of my abilities, I have had a reminder of just how important that is.  So next time you are ill if you have dependants don't feel guilty or that you are failing, make sure they are cared for by others so you can get properly better, easier said than done I know, but so important.

40 comments:

  1. It is hard being mama bear, taking care of everyone else, and still being sure to take care of ourselves. I am glad you are feeling better, finally. I too got hit before the holidays, and know that it was directly related to the stress in my life. It plays a big role in our health and well being, and remembering to take the time we need to care for ourselves before we get sick is so important.

    Hope 2016 is treating you well so far my friend. xo

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    1. I am sorry to hear that you have been unwell too. You are right it is better if we can look after ourselves in such a way that we don't get sick. Here's to a Happy healthy 2016.

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  2. I am so behind on reading your blog (and I promise to catch up) but I just had to stop here first and say how happy I am that you are feeling better and that I know EXACTLY how you feel. Last time I was sick with the kiddos, my husband laid me down one night, grabbed his pillow and blanket and left the room. I followed him and saw he was getting set up on the couch : He had decided I was sleeping, alone, with my door shut and the fan on high for white noise. I was taking my sleeping herbs and some melatonine and I was going to sleep... Did wonders... Never be afraid to ask for that time to heal. xoxo

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    1. How wonderful! I was lucky that my husband happened to have time booked off work when I was ill, he sent me to bed for the day and sorted the food out and looked out for the children. Thank you for your kind words Yanic.

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  3. Fatigue (mental and physical) will feck up your immune system and make you more susceptible for viruses and a whole lot of other ailments.
    It is no wonder that you were unwell after all the stress. When you knew all was well with Alice, your body and mind needed to recharge.

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    1. You are right that is what happened, I can normally fend off coughs and colds that are doing the rounds!

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  4. It's true that learning to take care of ourselves means that we then have something to give in looking after our families and friends. If we are not well we have nothing left to give. Take care and I am so glad that both you and Alice are now well again. Just remember to "take a little quiet time for yourself each day" I can't remember who said that but it is a quote on a pretty card I have kept to remind myself!

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    1. I like that idea, I am going to do that, a little quiet time for myself each day. Thank you for your kind words.

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  5. Yes caring for yourself is important but extremely difficult as I well know! Hence my heakth is chronically bad as a result :-). So pleased to read that you are all much improved xx

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    1. I was thinking of you as I wrote this. Perhaps Marion's wise words of a little quiet time for yourself each day would ease things a little?

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    2. Thank you dear friend, sending love your way xx

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  6. I definitely think you're right, the mind can be responsible for all sorts of things. I'm sure that keeping a positive outlook when I was suffering from cancer helped me beat it. As you say, it's especially important to take the time to look after yourself when others are relying on you as you're the cog which could stop the whole machine turning.

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    1. I cannot begin to imagine how you must have felt Jo, to stay positive must have been very difficult even if you knew it was the right thing to do. The machine definitely stopped turning here for a while!

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  7. I am glad you had that friend who had that advice to get you back on the road to healthy. I think as mothers we throw ourselves into the thick of it and put our physical health last.

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    1. We definitely do Karen! I am glad of my friend too, I am not good at asking for help but I am so glad I did on this occasion.

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  8. So sorry to hear you have Crohns, my son also has it. Glad to hear yours is in remission but looking after yourself is very important, something we all seem to forget when our family needs us. Take care xx

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    1. I manage my Crohn's through my diet. The last flare up I had was in 2004, I haven't taken any medication to manage it since then, I was told by every consultant I saw that it was nothing to do with what I ate and I just couldn't believe what they were telling me. The foods I exclude keep the symptoms at bay. Thank you for your kind words.

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  9. So glad that Alice is so much better and that you are recovering from all that stress - I'm not surprised that you felt bad. Here's to a stress-free 2016. xx

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  10. I'm a great believer in the link between mental/emotional health and physical health. I also believe that stress is THE biggest and most dangerous contributor to our health...the physiology of stress is a wicked thing.

    Having said that, I'm the world's worst at taking care of myself -- I let my own care-taking fall aside to care for other people. Your post is a firm reminder to me that I need to address this. Surprisingly, I'm not as invincible as I was when I was in my twenties....;)

    Glad you're feeling better. xo

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    1. No we are not invicible as we were in our twenties, esecially as I have the added extra of caring for young children! I hope you have a stres free 2016.

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  11. I'm sorry to hear that you also became very sick. I think your advice and wisdom are spot-on; we all need to be mindful of self-care, especially when we have young children. I know that I don't take care of myself enough. Sometimes I don't feel I even have the choice. But I do feel the effects and they can last. Back in the summer when my son had surgery, I really lost touch with my own self-care. I have this thing where I develop a groove across my fingernails when I experience serious stress or illness, and it happened due to his surgery. They're still growing out, but I can see and feel them on my nails and they remind me not to let myself go so much ever again, if I can help it.

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    1. You are right that sometimes it feels like we don't have the choice. We were not meant to bring up children in such isolation, if we were in a community it would be so much easier.

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  12. I'm so sorry for all you've been through the last couple of moths. Sounds like quite an ordeal. Sometimes we go into survival mode to cope at the time of great stress, especially if we are the caregiver and everything rests on our shoulders. It's only later we begin to process everything properly. I hope that this new year will bring much healing and peace :)

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    1. I was definitely in survival mode, I was struggling to come out of it. Thank you for your kind words.

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  13. I think that makes perfect sense; when you're holding onto tension and stress you're not going to be able to relax enough to let your body heal. And after all that turmoil I think you needed some healing time - I'm glad you're starting the new year feeling better x

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    1. I did need healing time but I was struggling to get it! Thank you for your lovely words.

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  14. I am so sorry you had to go through all this, but you are so right - our mental health can do wonders! You are absolutely right to say that no matter how many people depend on you, it's essential to make time for yourself and heal properly, the world won't fall apart! Bets wishes to you!!

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    1. The world won't fall apart I need to remember that. Sometimes it is best to let things slide and only do what is absolutely necessary until we are well. Thank you for that reminder.

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  15. I'm glad you're feeling better. We moms take a lot on ourselves and have a hard time asking for help. What a good friend to do a little care-taking of you! And that photo! What an amazing view and field (moor?). Gorgeous! Lots of good wishes for good health for you and your family in the coming year!

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    1. I definitely have a hard time asking for help, I was so lucky to have such wonderful support from many friends whilst I was ill, it was so easy to ask and everyone wanted to help, it was very humbling.

      The photo is taken on what we call here a fell which is an open hill top it is covered in coarse grass, rushes where it is wet and is very peaty soil. It is looking towards a valley and further hills/fells beyond we are surrounded by this type of countryside where I live.

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  16. I'm so glad you're feeling better, you're so right, we need to take care of ourselves before we can care for others - it's like in the airline safety talk where they tell you to put on your own oxygen mask before you help anyone else x

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    1. I am usually fairly good at taking care of myself but this was a little more extreme! It is like the airline talk!

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  17. I am glad you are feeling better. I was very ill last fall/winter with all kinds of infections...bi-lateral pneumonia, two or three runs with strep throat, and a very serious flu which knocked me into bed for 2 weeks and started everything off. The only thing I could do is rest...it completely disrupted my life. Make sure you take it easy while you continue to heal. Give yourself plenty of time.

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    1. I am sorry to hear you were so ill that sounds really horrible. It does disprupt your life doesn't it, you know that all the things you normally to as that all important cog aren't happening and will be waiting for you when you are better.

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  18. I am so glad that you are on the road to recovery. xxx

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  19. i hear you about the tension and stress...it does more damage to our bodies than some of the nastiest colds and flues. I'm so glad you had someone to help you recover. Here's to a healthy 2016 !!!xoxo

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    1. I do hope that 2016 is a healthier year!

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  20. You're so right about the importance of looking after ourselves so we can take care of those dependent on us. I was unwell a few times last year but the worse was over Easter when I had a nasty ear infection. The pain and vertigo kept me in bed for days and I had to let others take care of me instead of the other way around. It wasn't easy but it was the only way for me to get better..Here's to a healthier 2016 for us all! X

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