Hydrocephalus: Be kind and take care of yourself first!

Hydrocephalus: Be kind and take care of yourself first!

I never truly understood this saying. In fact, I suck at taking care of myself. This I know…

It’s weird, I almost feel like I’m being selfish when I don’t respond to someone else’s request for help i.e. I can’t say NO. But, knowing myself, I can say with certainty that it’s not the same as being a selfish person. I think most people around me tend to “take advantage” of my inherent nature to help, support or be their go-to person. I’m so used to taking care of everyone else and their needs first, that I neglect my own.

Something I desperately want to change…

This morning was the first time I didn’t wake up with a headache in the last 8 days. It doesn’t mean I’ve fully recovered from whatever has been causing me to feel unwell because I’m still dealing with nausea, dizziness and lack of appetite. A couple of days before that, it was numbness across my entire right side: Head, face, arm and leg!

Feeling sick and symptomatic, brings some challenges of its own. This week especially, I’ve had to prioritise where I spent most of my efforts, anything else that wasn’t afforded my time, was just too bad. Work trumped in this regard as it’s the one positive thing in my life right now and crucial to me being able to provide for my family financially.

ETV failure or not, who knows?

When I feel like this (as I have many times before), life carries on around me, and it’s almost as if I’m stuck in a slow-motion movie. No matter how hard I try to keep up, I physically and mentally am not able to. I do the best I can, for me, like force eating despite having no appetite, to keep up some form of strength. Even if it’s just once a day. I almost feel as if every day I’ve been giving too much and fighting against the physical issues, like working despite feeling unwell.

Your body has a way to make you listen when you push it too hard.

So, I took a sick day when the headache turned into confusion, left me unable to focus on the job at hand and had me crying when I couldn’t remember where I had put my wallet. The reason why this hit me so hard was because it was a build-up, which reached its peak, and not just me being hormonal or somewhat of a drama queen.

My memory issues can sometimes feel extremely debilitating and overwhelming.

I thought taking a day off might be good enough to just recover, I was wrong as my body needed more. Following strict instructions from my manager/colleague, I took another day off and done absolutely nothing as the pain in my head throbbed all day. I felt guilty for taking time off, dumb…I know. But sick days and leave are like gold to me simply because I never know when I’ll need it the most e.g. in the event of surgery.

Sometimes we need that push from others to be a bit kinder to ourselves, they are the Angels sent to look after us when we ourselves fail to do so…

If you find yourself feeling this way, why not give yourself some TLC? It doesn’t have to cost anything, might make you feel better AND, you don’t have to leave the house!

Today I said, screw the house and all the chores. I’ll do what I can, when I’m able and at my own pace. I owe it to myself!

For example: The house needs a clean but…as I felt a bit weak this morning, I decided to take care of, and love myself first instead. I had a shower, shaved my legs, washed my hair and gave it a trim. My energy levels waned halfway through as the dizziness threw me into a spin. I figured if I was going to do all I wanted to today, I’ll need to rest in-between. Even if that meant just laying at a 45-degree angle on my bed until my head stops spinning long enough, then so be it. (This seemed to help). Being a mother, you tend to put your family first, despite how you feel. (At least I do). My son needed to be dropped off at his cricket game and my daughter needed to go to the Dentist, so off we went. I pushed whatever I was feeling aside. Coming back home, my daughter and I decided to do a Shrek marathon…I made it halfway through the first movie and fell asleep. The kitchen was cleaned after taking an afternoon nap, no harm done.

To my family, it looks like I sleep a lot but when you’re dealing with conditions of the brain, resting is a necessary part of the process. (Something most people don’t understand). You tire more easily and in order to recover your strength, you simply need your rest!

If you walked into my house today, please don’t judge. I simply didn’t have the energy to do some simple household chores. I’ve been trying to weather the storm of an incurable condition. Enduring symptoms too many medical professionals have ignored in the past. So please be kind…

People who battle conditions and diseases unseen by the naked eye, are not lazy. I can’t speak for everyone (as they may be affected in different ways) but, I will defend those who need it and say: They’re doing the best they can, given their circumstances.

You try to fit in and do your part. Being a burden to someone else isn’t part of the plan but sometimes you don’t have a choice. Some have responsibilities with no support at all, yet life just keeps handing them lemons. Far be it from anyone to judge or voice an opinion, especially if it’s negative, which doesn’t do anyone any good.

So, be kind…because you never know when life’s lemons are handed down your way.

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