I had my two remaining wisdom teeth out this last week. The procedure went well and I was with it after the sedation within an hour. But it’s left me feeling a bit out of sorts. It’s hard to put my finger on.
I am experiencing dizziness again quite a lot ever since the sedation. Whilst I’ve had dizziness before it hasn’t been a huge day to day symptom this last month or more. So either the sedation, or the “trauma” of the teeth being removed has made me very fatigued, or the sedation itself has had some kind of long lasting effect on my system.
But it’s more than dizziness. It’s an almost bereft feeling. Very odd considering how keen I have been to get these teeth out of my mouth for the last year. But I think that feeling if passing.
Of course it’s also been a mask to hide behind and to stop me thinking about the major change happening in my life as from tomorrow.
Growler has a new job, in an office, 9am-5pm, 5 days a week. It’s good news. He’s excited about the job itself, it’s a year contract of good, steady money and security in times where a lot of companies are wobbling over budgets and freelancers are having to work extra hard to secure work. The organisation has their office locally, in our city, just 15 minutes walk from our house. It’s ideal and it’s a job he’s really looking forward to doing. I think the work, the security and the structure will be really good for him. I’m so proud of him and so excited for him.
The excitement is mixed with some trepidation about how my own 9-5 is going to work out.
I’ve spoken before about the fine balancing act of positivity/hope and practical/realism. I’ve had 2 family members being super positive and suggesting the structure might be good for me too. That it might give me the incentive I need. Growler says this is out of well wishing and positiveness on their parts but I can’t help but feeling a sting that anyone should think what I need is motivation. That if I am forced to get up and make my own lunch that will help me to get better. This just suggest they don’t really understand the reality of my illness. But I shan’t dwell on that for now because I am trying to think positive too in the face of major changes to my life and care.
My fear for myself and spending the majority of the day for the majority of the week alone and without practical support is only matched by my fear of how Growler is going to manage balancing a full time job with caring and looking after the house. It’s unknown territory for both of us. I get the sense from my parents and his that their most worried about him, but that might be because no-one wants to press me on how I am going to cope.
So my breadwinner is off to win regular bread and together we’ll muddle through a new way of living with ME/CFS. I am incredibly fortunate not only to have a supportive breadwinner but to have had the luxury of having him here, on hand nearly every day for over a year and a half. I love hanging out with Growler. Having him around every day has been a joy and helped normalise my world within these 4 walls of the house. I have to think of this as a foundation for what lies ahead and try not to dwell on the upset of losing it.
It might mean I blog more. Being alone a lot of the time. It’s certainly going to present me challenges both in my day to day living tasks and in my marriage. What I want is to be the supportive spouse and send Growler off to his new employer with no worries except focusing on a new job. But I can’t seem to set aside my own overwhelming sense of fear and loss of what the future holds. Of being scared that all the tiny extra’s of effort, all the things I forget when left to my own devices (how much is too much, when to drink, when to eat, how to keep perspective) will gradually wear my health away and leave me useless. Leave me being more a burden. Yet the fear and the worry is self feeding – because worrying about it makes me feel ill!
I can see how from the outside this could all seem like low self esteem, depression maybe, being dependent on my husband for every little thing. That now with the “incentive” it will make me better. But truth is I AM dependent on my husband for a lot of things. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong, or bad for my self esteem, it means I am chronically and severely ill. I don’t rely on my husband to make me cups of herbal tea and bring them to me in bed because I can, because I am lazy, because I choose not to do it myself. It’s because to make the tea myself means a whole complex set of weighing up of efforts over reward that usually means no herbal tea for me. Because it’s not just about a teabag in a cup – it’s about moving out of bed, moving dowstairs to the kitchen .. the stairs being a huge effort this is minimised to once up, once down a day if possible so the move to make a cup of tea means first getting dressed, getting washed perhaps, gathering what I need with me (medication, phone and so on), resting inbetween these things, resting once down stairs, then maybe thinking about how to get water in the kettle … and so on.
If it were as simple as relying on my husband just because I can – I can promise you I’d be choosing to make my own tea.
So it seems a part of the pain and fear is the perception of the outside world. Perception that I am more capable than I show – do I have to make myself more ill to prove to them I’m not? Perception that with the right kind of motivation I’ll find I can do more – will they recognise the things I have to not do in order to do the essentials myself? And really what they THINK doesn’t really matter. All that matters is living my life the best way I can. Finding the compromises that work the best for me, for me and my husband. Finding ways to be happy and to not wreck what level of function I do have. Finding ways to keep my sanity, my perspective, my sense of self. And trying to balance self care with not making myself worse. Balancing my own happiness with my husbands. Trying to balance security and regular income and my husbands job satisfaction with the challenges of being a person with ME on their own 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Trying to drag myself away from the fear and to get on with the living.
My head is stuffed full of things – but there doesn’t seem to be much sense coming out. I’m not sure I wrote the blog post I wanted to, because now even I’m confused about what I want to say. But that’s part of what I’m saying. I’m a mixed up with thoughts and mixed up because ME makes my thinking cluttered and fuzzy and whizz around in a circle even once a conclusion has been reached. I expect more rambling blog posts will follow.