Where is the balance between showing and sharing your illnesses to your kids, and/or not?
I am going on 8 weeks with this SKIN & SCALP THING.
Makes me feel all itchy-witchy-b*tchy.
No. It’s not lice. (Eww!)
No. It’s not bed bugs. (Double eww!)
No. It’s not scabies. (Gross. Don’t even!)
No. I haven’t changed laundry detergents, soaps, or lotions.
No. I don’t take any medications except Synthroid for my hypothryroidism.
Let’s get that all out up front.
I won’t bore you with the details of my itchy/hives-y/rashy skin.
How it started, or the progression, or the eternal list of creams and meds I’ve tried or AM still trying. I will spare you that.
I will say–I have had 17 appointments in these past weeks.
Attempts to diagnose, rule out causes, follow up, and prescribe, and treat. Including acupuncture.
I’ve had my blood drawn 5 times. Some of this I advocated for because no one was being aggressive about figuring this out. Gotta fight for yourself. (And I must must thank my dear friend, Jenn, who I’ve texted almost daily, who’s a PA/expert in asthma and allergy in Oregon. A thousand hugs to you Jenn!)
I’ve been to the pharmacy weekly. When I walk into Rite-Aid, as the sliding doors part ways, I hear everyone who works there exclaim, in sing-song-unison, “Hello Jessica! You’re back again?!?” (Not really. I’m lying.)
I don’t have time for this. ANY time. There is no margin for 17 appointments. I keep telling myself this and any one close to me so “lucky” to hear me vent.
I don’t get sick.
I don’t get sick-sick.
I don’t go to doctors often.
My medical history is soooo boring: appendectomy at age 17, headaches, menstrual cramps, colds, laryngitis, hypothyroidism (that has hardly been symptomatic or problematic at all).
I’m healthy. So healthy. (I’M ETERNALLY GRATEFUL!)
So what the heck?
I’m a busy mom of three, keeping all the plates spinning high, while still advocating mommy-breaks and creative outlets. I’m no mommy martyr doing everything for everyone else, with no time for self. But I don’t have time for this.
And this itchy skin and scalp thing is so frustrating, and crazy-making. I feel very preoccupied with it. I could handle pain everyday much better. I think. And it could be so much worse. Yes, I think of that all the time.
Where am I going with this? I could go in many directions, but since this is a MOM-BLOG, here…
Where is the balance between showing my kids how miserable I’m feeling (especially past 2-3 weeks) and keeping up strong, capable, undaunted appearances?
I’m a big believer in transparency with kids—to an extent. I don’t try to be perfect mom, (ok, maybe in my head), or project perfection and calm in all circumstances. As in: never showing upset emotions, never bickering with Chris, never complaining when I have a migraine or tough day.
How do I show humanness but not let them feel like I am not their pillar of strength mom? I want them to always feel and know that I am solid, stable, HERE, always for THEM. Which I am.
In this itchy-skin-don’t-know-what’s-wrong-with-my-body-season, I’ve tried to be open, but shielding them from the fact of 17 appointments, and seeing specialists to rule out serious (?) causes. And if it were found to be skin cancer, or liver disease (I don’t think so), what then? I don’t think I’d share that.
I don’t want them to be worried.
I don’t want them to be burdened.
And sweet Ryan would be relentless with questions. Of course. 🙂
They are ages, 15, 12, and 10. If they were in their 20’s or 30’s, I’d be open. Very open. I don’t believe in parents shielding their health issues or crises. But don’t get me started. Or I may just go find my soap box in my closet and step up. Watch out!
I invite you to chime in here, family, friends, and dear blog-followers I adore.
-What do you do when you are sick, seriously sick, depressed, or anxious?
-What do you share with your kids?
-What do you shield your kids from?
And can we all just collectively say IT SUCKS when the mom is sick, but her job never ends????? Vent over.
Because it could be so much worse.
And for many mamas, their reality is incomprehensibly hard. Hard. Hard sh*t.
Let’s keep perspective and practice gratitude.
We fight on. Always. We are brave TOGETHER.