And this is why I can’t have nice things…

Ten years ago, I had glandular fever. I went from teaching every night of the week, full-time uni, dancing five days, pilates, a lovely boyfriend… to nothing. Three weeks in bed and then walking around gingerly and sleeping sixteen hours of every twenty-four. When I went back to class I’d lost so much tone that I promptly threw a hip out of joint and have suffered with the damn thing ever since. Obsessively attending osteopathy appointments for several years pre-child helped a lot, and in the last couple of years, acrobatic challenges have been replaced by more walking and ‘basic’ exercise.

Yesterday I freaking GOT OUT OF MY CAR and the pain was unbearable. It actually felt like the top of my femur just punched into the top of my hip socket. This is what happened (for all the well-meaning “Did you knock it?” Uh, NO. “Did you fall over? ” Um, I think I would bloody have remembered FALLING OVER. “Well, WHAT HAPPENED?”): I opened my car door, I slid out the right leg, put my foot on the ground, stood up and wanted to die.

Then, because it was 6pm and I had promised to meet my husband at the restaurant at 6.30 and my child was yelling at me from the backseat, I walked around the car and got her out. It wasn’t sooo bad once moving, so we strolled in a leisurely fashion to the bookshop to kill time, then back to our dinner. After sitting for forty-five minutes, it was hell. I limped back to the car and dropped husband and child at local park where they played for thirty minutes while I sat in the car.

After a night of resting and (mostly) sleeping, still hell. Usually I rack up 8-10K steps without really trying. Well, today I’ve spent about twenty minutes total on my feet, in a tortured limp-shuffle-drag fashion, and I am SO grateful for my husband. He’s cooked, entertained the small one, even now taken her out for an after-dinner stroll … and I have sat on my backside the entire day.

I guess what I’m saying is thank goodness I usually have my health. Thank goodness I can function and keep up with my child. This is my wake-up call to maintain my own health, to ask for help, to make and keep an appointment that started to feel like luxury but was really a preventative measure. I’ve had twelve hours to do not much more than realise how I’ve marginalised needs but considering them wants – well, a body that functions is probably high on the priority list.

To all my friends dealing with ongoing health issues – my hat is off to you. Chronic pain is exhausting and stressful. It brings out the worst in me and I cannot imagine compromising every day with that battle. Really when I started typing in this white box, I just wanted to vent that my hip f#cking hurt and I hate my car, and WHY could I not have a more structurally sound skeleton, but hey, I actually have it SO good. Be kind to yourselves, parents. Take those “maintenance” appointments and make yourself a priority.


Author: Chelsea

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