I’ve spoken about this before. How falling down flat on my face with a Crohn’s flare makes parenting a difficult task. The biggest annoyance is my life stopping still, with me bedridden. The next annoyance is me on medication that makes me not only forgetful and clumsy, but has given rise to some anger issues that seemed mostly repressed in my everyday life. The medication under scrutiny is Prednisolone, it’s a steroid. It’s what’s given to those of us who suffer from many debilitating ailments such as Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Asthma, allergies, Lupus and more, as a bit of a quick fix. This medication stops those (usually helpful) substances that induce inflammation. Think of the above mentioned autoimmune diseases as having gone slightly crazy, your immune system’s gone a little trigger happy, attacking parts of itself in a paranoid state. Your immune system thinks it’s helping, but it ain’t. The steroids just high-five it to the face.
Although I love how Pred gets me back on my feet quickly and its powers to reduce nausea is nothing short of miraculous, it really does leave me with some unwanted side effects. The anger, the anxiety. I’m not a stranger to it, I just forgot how much it affected me. My husband, apparently, was ready for it. He was waiting for it.
My ears are more sensitive to noise, which is a shame because it’s not exactly a health spa around here. My patience is on the blurry side…well yeah alright, let’s just go with I have none. My loved ones words are misconstrued in my head. I can’t sleep properly and I’m easily teary. Sounds like being pregnant doesn’t it? All this head case stuff to right a wrong in my guts. It’s like walking an emotional tightrope. Hold it together, fall off, fix it, breathe, do it all again.
I hate it when I yell at Miss Mimi for silly things, but I have certainly spent most of my day doing just that. Exasperated by the squealing and the energy that only a young child can muster, everything got to me. I yelled. She cried. I felt small.
Tonight I stomped around my child’s room, packing things away and picking up clothes. I stopped near Miss Mimi’s book shelf and stood up straight. I looked at her books. All those stories that make her happy and scared, excited and brave, just waiting for her. Dropping the pile of dirty clothes I asked her if she would like to hop into my bed with me and we could read as many stories as she liked. I almost burst into tears when she ran around the room, with wide eyes filled with excitement shouting “Yay! Yay! Yay!” Anything for a bit of attention from her beast of a mother. We snuggled in bed under the covers, her head on my shoulder and we read Sing a Song of Bottoms. We read Koala Lou, Tough Boris and Night Noises, diehard fans of Mem Fox. We spoke about how Koala Lou was so brave entering the Bush Olympics and Miss Mimi made me say over and over again “Miss Mimi Moo, I DO love you!” just like Koala Lou’s Mummy said to her. We spoke about what she would do with her day tomorrow and what we enjoyed about our day today. She fell asleep in my arms and I smiled. I sighed with relief that at the end of our day, especially at the end of a day that has been far from perfect, our ‘thing’ that pulls us back together is a something I love more than anything else. Reading to my baby girl. Those adventures and that magic that pours off each page, is a another page closer to the welcomed warmth and comfort that we missed over the long struggles of our day.
After carrying my sleeping child to her bed and kissing her softly, I closed the door quietly and snuck back up to my bed where I read a few chapters of my book. All these years later, my childhood love of reading still provides me with a safe haven, an escape from reality for awhile. It’s a comfort that I am so proud to pass down to my child. It’s a luxury I can afford to give freely.