Being ill takes on a new dimension at bath time. Previously, this was a joyous occasion, the culmination of a day hard-played and hard-lived, as evidenced by the sticky little hands and grubby face. Now it’s a time for planning, and conserving, and scheming. Should we bathe before we go out to play? She needs it but then afterwards it’s a sure bet and well, doing it twice in one day just isn’t doable now. It’s little things like this that make being a sick mama so hard.
Eating. Wow, that’s another one. She likes to eat masha’Allah. She has a healthy appetite for healthy food. I am very blessed and grateful for that but planning, shopping, cooking, cleaning… it’s all like a marathon for me. I can do one at a time but add another level and it all goes pear-shaped. So one day we do the shopping. I’ve only been twice I think since I was “released” J and it wears me out. Come home and well, the groceries must be put away, at least the perishables. The other things, the crackers and bottled goods, those can patiently wait their turn on the kitchen floor, beside the magnet that dropped off the fridge yesterday and the timid little dust bunny hiding under the cabinet’s edge.
Next day, if it’s not a treatment day, it’s all gold. Well, in my new world, within my newly defined capabilities that is. I can do some things. Today for example… oh watch out world, I’ve been unleashed! I made scrambled eggs and toasted a bagel for Little Miss. I vacuumed after instructing her in the fine art of small object removal from the carpet. I eventually made my way into the hallway and re-arranged the closet to better house our shoes.
Now, don’t let this fool you, it exhausted me. I would prefer to pretend, with all my super-human powers, that it was nothing, a lark if you will. But it wasn’t. It made me tired deep inside. I now understand the term “bone-tired”.
What’s worse, in my estimation, is that now Aaminah understands it too. She knows all about my “treatment” (wow, that sounds like a euphemism for mental illness or an STD!) and what function our kidneys should play in keeping us healthy. I love that she is so smart and inquisitive masha’Allah but I hate the reasons for it. She knows I’m tired, she can’t hug me on my right side for fear of hurting my vascular access, we can’t play on dialysis days, she can’t she can’t she can’t…. it’s a litany that’s impossible to escape, at least for the time being.
Please do not take this as a great big complaint. Rather, it’s for me to step back, assess my situation, say wow, yeah, you’re doing pretty great if you brush your teeth today! Or alternatively, laugh at myself and say, “Get over it!”. Again, as I’ve said before, it’s my blog and I’ll whinge if I wanna.
Being a sick mama means confronting reality. It means accepting our own limitations but even more difficult, accepting them in light of our responsibilities to our children. I am very limited alhamdulillah in what I can do now. I can accept it (somewhat) for myself but when it comes to what Aaminah or my boys want or need, and I know I cannot fulfill it, wow, that’s infinitely harder. I have to drag myself to the toilet to make instinja for her. Her room is still not re-arranged from having gotten our belongings post-move as I was working 7 days a week and then went straight to being deathly ill. Kinda put a kink in my plans, ya know.
Anyway, being sick is hard and being a sick mama is much much harder. May Allah swt grant my children patience and put love and caring in their hearts for me and also please give them forgiveness to overlook my shortcomings and failings, amin.
Ma salaama ya’ll…