Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I was not feeling very good yesterday. Actually, I'm still not feeling very good today, but that's not what I'm writing about. Maybe it was just the combination of spring allergies, 50-some-odd-years, the lunar cycle, and the storm front moving into our area. At any rate, all of my joints hurt...knees, shoulders, elbows, hips...and my back had me gritting my teeth and taking deep breaths. My innards felt like they had been stirred with a baseball bat, and congestion significantly reduced my oxygen-intake ability.

I felt achy, lethargic, and muddle-headed all day long. By late afternoon, I had already taken all the Tylenol and ibuprofen allowed for a 24-hour period, to no affect, and that lovely diet was brewing up a case of stomach irritation. (Now why did I think it was a good idea to fix spaghetti for supper?! Urp!) By dinnertime, I was just kind of hoping to hang on until an early bedtime without going crazy and either snapping someone's head off or falling apart in a fit of tears.

One thing I've learned about living with persistent low-grade (or not-so-low-grade) pain is that people often assume you are angry or depressed about something. At least that's the case with me. Maybe it's because when you're riding the swells of discomfort inside, trying to avoid a wipeout, you're less engaged with what's going on outside. Less talkative, less attentive, less-easily humored or entertained.

Anyway, dinnertime turned into an exercise in what I like to call "putting stones on the table." Martha was disappointed that I hadn't checked her chemistry homework earlier. Steve let slip a snarky comment after a frustrating day of work. Tom was bored. Ben felt like his day had been unproductive. Emily was down-in-the-mouth. No major problems, just several negative, downer kind of comments and attitudes. And me, there I sat doing my Lamaze breathing, wishing I could think about something else besides how exhausted I felt and the pain in my back.

So I decided to go for a walk. Walking back on the farm usually improves my mood, and often loosens up my joints when they are sore. I walked all the way back to the Three Sisters, very s-l-o-w-l-y because I was so tired and really did feel bad. By the time I trudged back up the driveway to the house, the sun was well below the horizon and a strong wind was pushing a storm front into our area. I stayed outside on the porch as long as I could, enjoying the night air and the fireworks in the western sky. Eventually, I did go back inside, where I took a Benadryl (these work like sleeping pills on me) and crashed into bed. Slept so well that I barely remember Steve telling me to get into the bathroom because of a tornado. Aaaaaah!

All this tedium to say - Can someone please tell me the proper protocol for being the Mom when you just don't feel good? This job really doesn't have vacation or sick days as part of the benefits package. I can't take a holiday, but if I idle down to a minimum maintenance level, everyone assumes I'm mad or depressed and starts developing cruddy moods and attitudes of their own. Which usually makes me feel worse. So, not only do I feel bad...I feel bad for feeling bad. How stupid is that!

Okay, all you Moms out there - I need your input.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. - 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

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