I find myself making fewer plans and flying by the seat of my pants a lot lately. No matter how much I plan ahead, no matter how careful I am to give my body the rest it needs, plans just don’t seem to work out. Two months ago I planned a trip for my daughter and I to spend Mothers Day with my mother and my son. I have been looking forward to spending time with them and getting to see my son and daughter in-law’s new house. I should know better than to plan anything ahead of time by now. Things always seem to work better when I just go with the flow or seize the moment. One week before I was to leave and after a month of listening to my body and being extra careful as to not exert myself I was excited and admittedly a little nervous when nothing drastic had caused our plans to change. The count down began…… That evening my daughter and I came down with head colds and sore throats. A few days later I still held onto the hope that we would be better by the end of the week. No such luck. We were supposed to leave tomorrow. My daughter has improved, but is still not up to par. Thanks to my crappy immune system I am worse and have been diagnosed with walking pneumonia. Between coughing so hard that I end up vomiting and the soreness of my rib cage, I am not up for traveling. Not everyone is as accepting as I am of the ways my body dictates what I do or where I go. I made the calls to inform family that I have to cancel my trip this morning. Only one went well. The others badgered me and tried their hardest to guilt me into changing my mind. However I am proud of myself for not caving into their demands. I know from past experiences that when I am this sick I need to say no. The last time I tried to appease others while I was sick, I ended up in the hospital. I won’t make that mistake again.
The one call that went well has become my mother’s day gift. When I my son answered my call, the first thing he said was, “Mom you sound like crap”. Then after being told that I had to cancel my trip, he said “No worries, we’ll just hook up another time when your feeling better and we can Skype during the BBQ”. His flexibility and acceptance of my health problems are the best gifts I could ever receive. His response really shouldn’t have surprised me, because he, his sister and my husband are the only people who have never purposely made me feel guilty when I have had to cancel or reschedule anything. Any guilt was all my own. His words were a breath of fresh air after dealing with the prior calls. They also made me wonder why everyone else couldn’t be as understanding. Then I realized why my son, daughter, and husband were the only ones who “get” me. It’s because they live/lived with me. They have seen me at my best and worst, they know how quickly my pain level can change. They have watched me laugh and cry. No one else has ever truly witnessed what my daily life is really like. They only see a few hours or days here and there when I have pushed myself to be as “normal” as possible. Another factor is that none of these people live with anyone who suffers from a chronic condition. My condition is one reason my son works in a field that helps people achieve pain relief. I truly believe that living with someone who is in constant pain is the only way to understand. I am thankful that I ended my list of calls with my son, because his words have taken the sting out of the other comments. There are some gifts money can’t buy. Having children who are compassionate towards people who live in pain is one of those priceless gifts.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you beautiful Spoonie mommas!!
The Disabled Diva