Spirited Mama

YOU have got to take in the BAD to experience the GOOD

Category: Health

Kids get sick

Kids get sick at the most inopportune times in OUR lives. It will either be in the wee hours of the morning, or at school, or weekends, or on holiday, etc. Isn’t is just incredible how kids make a miraculous recovery whilst you are sitting in the Paediatric waiting area? Please tell me it is NOT just my kids who do this. They are happy and playing when we are at the doctor but limp fish and half dead when you have them at home…

Maz, from Caffeineandfairydust, wrote a post earlier this year that resonated with me.

To The Mom Sending Her Sick Kids To School…And Everyone Else

I know some parents have NO alternative but to send their sick kids to school but dammit it aint fair on the rest who are trying to keep their kids in good health. I empathise with both parents, the parent sending the sick kid to school as well as the parent trying to keep their kid healthy. With Dudie we used to rotate who would stay home so that we don’t exhaust one parent’s leave only. And also not to piss of the employer that one parent is staying out of work all the time.

I remember spending more time than I would have liked at the Emergency Room with Dudie. And thankfully now that he is 7 years old I think we’ve only had two ER visits in a long time.

Troll is in daycare. Fortunately, it’s only half day. But that still makes him susceptible to the germs around him for the few hours that he is there. Thank goodness we have a policy at work in OUR department, Family comes First.

Last month whilst I was on study leave, I dropped Troll at 07:35 only to pick him up again at 10:20. They called to say that he had a fever. With the long weekend coming up, I didn’t want to take any chances and end up at ER for the weekend. I took him to the paed and thankfully it was only a secondary infection but it was enough to warrant an antibiotic…

SO that is how Thursday started. And so we went through our long weekend nursing Troll, who woke hourly every night without fail. This was as exhausting as it was painful. Troll has an excellent night time routine. He cluster feeds from 4pm, then it’s bath time at 7pm and bedtime by 7:30PM. Then he will sleep for 7-9 hours straight. Imagine after such an incredible routine you now suddenly have to wake every hour during the night. Do you see why it was painful? By Sunday Dude and I were walking zombies. We would take turns and just pass Troll from one to the other.

Thankfully Troll got better and by Monday night he was back to his normal routine. I did say “Thank you JESUS” aloud a few times. In fact, I say “Thank you JESUS” every night when I swaddle Troll after his bath, put him in his bed and switch the lights off and just walk out the room. 9 out of 10 times he will be asleep within 2-5 minutes. If not, he normally just needs to be burped again and put down.

Our kids got sick, both Dudie and Troll. Then as luck would have it, when they were fully recovered the parents were sick. For the entire month of June, it is like we were playing musical chairs with someone always being sick. Everyone one got better, except me… I’ve been nursing “something” all this time. It’s not quite enough to get a doctor’s appointment but it is also not going unnoticed… I’m gatvol of feeling like this. Then last week I was better, in fact I was doing great. BUT that something was lying dormant, just waiting for me to let my guard down.

As soon as my exams were done and I could finally just sleep like a “normal” person BAM! I was sick AGAIN! And then Murphy seems to be in my red zone, Troll is sick too… Oh My Lawd…I can’t. I just can’t. For my own sanity, on Saturday I co-slept with Troll. We both got some much needed rest. In fact, we only woke up at 8:51 on Sunday morning.

I do think that Troll will need some meds, so guess where we are this morning. Yep, the paediatrician’s waiting room. I must add that I do love this doctor. He is so gentle with ALL the kids and so very thorough. And just in case Mom isn’t feeling ok, he will happily give mom a quick check and prescription too. It’s a win win situation.

What I would like to know is:

  1. Do you send your sick kid(s) to school?
  2. How do you feel about parents sending sick kid(s) to school?

I have been on both ends of the stick. I was the parent dropping a sick kid and I am now the parent getting pissed off seeing sick kids at school. I know what it feels like to drop a sick child. We live in a different province than our families. So we don’t have the support that most of my family has, who lives within close proximity to the family. We, i.e. Dude and I, have to do everything, be everyone etc…I also know what I feel like walking into Troll’s class and I see snotty faces. I cringe and immediately wipe their faces. Yep, I wipe the other kids’ faces. Whilst cuddling Troll, I quietly tell myself to calm the fuck down because perhaps those parents had NO ALTERNATIVE.

Yes, it’s annoying to have a sick child but then again if need be, I can always take Troll home or to my office. I do think that it builds their immunity to catch a few germs here and there but within reason of course. I am fortunate to work in an environment that is “family” and “kid” friendly. Well just in my department, not in the Institution as a whole.

Not everyone is fortunate enough to have an alternative, whatever it may be. So for now, I smile as Troll looks like he has made a miraculous recovery in the Paediatrician’s room but will most likely be limp by bedtime tonight. Both Troll and I are fine for most of the day but as soon as dusk starts setting in, we become “sick”… what is this sorcery?

I’m pretty sure we can debate the topic about whether or not to send sick kids to school until kingdom come…I think we all just need to chill out and cut one another some slack! I see the mom, who is pregnant and battling to hawl her kid from car to classroom all whilst huffing and puffing and looking a little under the weather herself. I see the parent, who is embarrassed to drop the “sick” kid too. I also see the parent who is fuming because someone at school is sick.

Happy Monday! I feel like crap! I need to go nurse my Troll.

Spirited Mama

 

 

Comfortable in my own skin

Once upon a time, I was the skinny girl. In fact all throughout my schooling. BUT I’ve always loved food. There is WAY too much good food in this world to NOT try it.

I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted, I even had cake for breakfast on most days, until my metabolism kicked my ass and slowed down tremendously. Now that extra piece of chocolate shows up on my hips/thighs/tummy and/or ass. But I am comfortable in my skin. I like who I am even though those dressing room mirrors are very unflattering. My Dude loves my muffin grip. Me not so much but it is a part of me and I do love myself.

Why do we say we need to accept people as they are but we can’t accept ourselves? Is this struggle greater for women that men? Actually, I’d be quite interested in a male point of view. Dude is so proud of his “Dad” physique. He says I took years to get into his shape.

At this stage I am in between sizes😁 Well that’s how I term it. So I don’t have a standard size. One particular cut might be smaller/bigger. I can never just take a size without fitting the item first… I mean come on ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL. I buy what fits me. My body. It reminds me of when I bought my wedding dress 10 years ago. I bought an imported dress but it was too big in some places and needed to be altered. The resident tailor in this Boutique store almost had a heart attack as I was drinking a Coca Cola and eating a BarOne…all whilst she was taking my measurements. Her exact words, “What are you doing? You should be drinking water and eating vegetables!” I responded “Excuse me! This dress will fit me NOT the other way round“.

That statement of hers always reminds me to laugh out loud, literally😂. And to NOT take life so seriously. My kids don’t care whether I’m skinny or not. They care that I spend time with them. My husband doesn’t want a skinny wife. He wants a happy wife. And reminds me ALL the time that he loves me and he loves my body just the way it is. Oh, and did I mention that I grew 2 babies with this body?

Back to the point. Kids are so hard on themselves about what the perfect body image is or should. Why? Aren’t we preaching that we are supposed to love ourselves just the way we are? Believe me, I am my WORST CRITIC. I too was in a space of “I need to look a certain way and I’d be happier/enjoy life more/etc”. Blah blah blah. Thankfully, as I get wiser, I seem to care less and less about what I see on TV/Magazines/Instagram/Twitter etc. I do love seeing the “real” people, you know the #nofilter images, no editing. I have nothing against anyone for living a healthy lifestyle and keeping fit. When people ask me if I go to the gym, I aptly respond with I lift 8kgs daily. But it’s not in a gym, it’s at home when lifting Troll. What gets to me is when you are pushed to the point where you feel:

“I must eat this or that”

“I must be on a diet”

“I must go to gym”

“I must lose weight”

The pressure for some is just too much. Some people are just not strong enough to BE THEMSELVES. Some people are blessed with great genes…others not so much. I see the craze about #wellness trending all the time. But what is YOUR wellness? My #wellness is being the best I can be, in whatever shape or form that suits ME. And another thing “who are these people judging you anyway?” What merit do they have? Do they live YOUR life?

Being a wife/mom/employee/etc takes up ALL my time. I’m just happy at the end of the day to sit down and eat my chocolate in peace… Let me be. I’m a fuller version of myself right now🤘

GO LIVE YOUR LIFE. Whichever way you see fit. In the end, only YOU will be answerable for your life anyway.

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am ME. I am UNIQUE.

I don’t want to fit in. I want to STAND out.

Spirited Mama

 

Calories and my fitness Apps

I never have to worry about calories….

Because I never get the full calorie intake for anything anyway. I.KID.YOU.NOT. Someone always wants what I’m having. A consumable can lie in the cupboard heck even on the table in plain sight and NO one will take it…until I do. Then everyone wants it/some of it.

Also, my family controls my portion size for me so there is no need to worry about over eating when they are around. The problem I face is when I am alone…I love to indulge.

Dudie throws me the “sharing is caring” card. Dude throws me the “I always share with you” card. Troll, aka the baby, is just being himself. If he could eat my boob he probably would… #breastfeedingmom

I must admit, I think I bounced back to my pre preggy body much quicker with Troll than with Dudie, 7 years ago. I guess it’s because now I have to juggle 2 kids, a husband, my job and of course Dudie’s schedule. I know it’s terrible but there are days where I only realise when I am on the verge of chewing my own hand that I haven’t had a proper meal for the day.

Somedays I remember to make a shake and drink it during the school run so that I at least have something. Problem is sometimes I forget to drink it too. Recently, I made a conscious effort to drink more water again. Somehow I got to busy to do that too.

My body is signalling me that it needs fuels but my mind is already planning the next to do list. Even though I am through with the current to do list. Life is busy but sometimes I think I just want to be so in control of my life that I forget to stop and take some time out.

My fitness apps are going bonkers with results of “do you want to adjust your fitness goals?, you did not meet your target number f daily steps, you have many inactive periods (granted this is because I don’t always have the damn phone with me)”. BUT it commends me for waking up on time! That’s a plus right? Even though it shows my sleep records are very poor. Somedays I want to crawl into bed at 9am and just sleep but hey life has to happen in between. There’s being mom & wife, running a house, creating a home, etc. We all do it. And somehow we survive.

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I need my #momcation

I think I need to take a time out. To reflect. To analyse. To gain perspective. To breathe. I know where my priorities lie but I also need to prioritise MYSELF. I need to show myself some self love.

Exciting times lie ahead.

Spirited Mama

The entire family admitted to hospital in the same week…

Ok so Troll, aka new baby, is not so new anymore. He is 4months old already. The pregnancy was not all smooth sailing as it was with Dudie. It was challenging and even more so for my spirited household. Cos you know, the wheels on the bus fall off when Mom aint around. Kudos to Dude who did his absolute best whilst I was in and out of hospital.

Here’s the background…throughout most of my pregnancy I noticed that my feet were swollen ALL the time. Whenever I went for the checkup, the gynaecologist always found traces of protein in my urine. I should mention that I am high risk for DVT too, but that is another story. Somewhere after 30weeks my Dr wanted more frequent check ups to monitor me. And it just so happened that we went on a roadtrip the week before my scheduled checkup. Well when we came home, I was admitted to hospital for observation. I can’t even remember the diagnosis. We had a lovely holiday period at home over Christmas but then I noticed that my left leg had been doubling in size…I went for a checkup and did the 24hour urine sample test. Well they rushed the results and I was admitted to hospital again. Diagnosis…Preeclampsia. Whoa! I was nervous and a little freaked out. I was not even 33 weeks and my Dr advised that Troll might have to be delivered soon. They started with steroid shots to boost his little lungs. Holy crap those shots burn like crazy. I was constantly being monitored. Me being me, I negotiated with the Dr. She said we will deliver at 35 weeks. I said no we can wait until 37 weeks. And during all this time, I had to stay in hospital whilst Dudie started Grade 2. What a hellavu long hospital stay that was. (Did you know you get a long stay menu in hospital? Best you ask for that menu cos the food is sooo much better.) And to top it all my condition remained stable whilst in hospital until I reached 36weeks. Dr was ready to deliver Troll but I knew I had to trust my gut. I just wasn’t ready. He wasn’t ready. After much persuasion from my side the Dr agreed to wait until 37 weeks. Well folks, I was in such good shape after those negotiations that I got a weekend pass to go home.

I managed to get pass the 37 week mark and again negotiated with my Dr to just wait until 38 weeks, unless of course it is an emergency… Dudie had a swimming gala the Monday from 11am. I reschuled my doctor’s appointment for 9am so that I would make it to the gala on time. Dude decided he needed to take me to the doctor himself and he even packed my hospital bag in the car 😳 I was not impressed with him because I was going to watch Dudie swim that day. That morning the Doctor politely informed me, after doing a stretch and sweep, that she is admitting me immediately and should Troll not make his appearance, she will induce labour on Tuesday morning. It is an understatement to say that neither the doctor nor Dude was impressed when I said that I was going to the gala and would check in at the hospital that afternoon. The doctor almost gave herself whiplash as I answered ” I will be back at 5pm” 😂. Dude was like hell no. I will bring her as soon as the gala is done. Let’s just say there is no point in arguing with me once I have made up my mind.

That settled it and off we went to the gala. Sadly, we missed Dudie’s first race which he won by the way. But my golly, I was so proud with tears streaming down my face, to see my 7year old compete and win all his races. He looked so small in comparison with the other kids. Dudie was so happy that we came. The headmaster alerted my husband that should we need to leave in case I go into labour we should just go. Dude announced to the headmaster, “oh don’t worry I’m taking her to the hospital after the gala. This baby is coming today or tomorrow”. The look on the headmaster’s face was priceless😂 And I’m pretty sure he, his staff and a few parents were freaking out on our behalf.

So Dudie got first prize in all his races. Now wasn’t that worth going for? To share that moment with him. Dude gave me the look “I think it’s time to go” but I went off to chat to Dudie’s new teacher and then found his previous teacher and chatted etc, etc, etc. When I got back to the car, my family were pacing up and down anxiously waiting for me so that we could leave. My husband was calmly sitting and waiting and just said I told them you will come when you are ready. (Oh forgot to mention that some family came to visit all the way from Cape Town and was hoping to still be around for the birth. But they were flying back to Cape Town that very Monday as well)

We came home. We had a late lunch. Everyone was gobbling their food except me😂 I was so not in a hurry to leave. Bags were loaded and off we set for the hospital. Take note, Dude still had to drive the family to the airport and make it back to Pretoria in peak hour traffic. Thankfully, we had my Great Aunt visiting, so Dudie, Great Aunt and I were dropped at the hospital. In the parking lot. Like a proper drop and go🤣🤣🤣. My Aunt and her daughters said their goodbyes and told Troll to please wait for Daddy before he came.

We got to the labour ward and the Nurse jumped off her chair telling me how panicked she was because they have been waiting for me all day. My dr called them in the morning and they had prepped my room and everything. Well here I was and I was ready to get the show on the road. Dude made it back to the hospital in record time but I knew nothing would happen that night. I told Dude, Great Aunt and Dudie to go home and relax. The hospital will call should Troll decide to come.

That Monday evening, Troll and I had a discussion. I was sick and tired of the to and fro from hospital. And I really didn’t want an emergency c-section. So I asked Troll to work with me. I was ready to meet him.

Tuesday

I woke up at 5am and had a lovely warm shower. The nurse was on point and at 6am my labour was induced. Dude arrived just before 7am. Dudie was happy as a pig in mud as he got the day off from school, just waiting for Dad to fetch him at home to come meet his baby brother. Well, things progressed very slowly. Albeit that I informed the hospital staff and my dr that when it’s happening it will be quick, seems no one really believed me. I walked and walked and walked and walked right up until 30minutes before Troll was born. I wasn’t in pain but I could feel my contractions. The nurse asked what pain relief I was going to use and I politely said “nothing”. She did a double take and asked me if I knew what an induction was and how it progresses. I said yes, Dudie was also induced and I birthed that 3.4kg monkey drug free. All. Natural. She smiled and said just remember you are allowed to change your mind.

At about 14h30 I could feel I was leaking amniotic fluid and the nurse then proceeded to break my waters for me. Holy crap!!! The contractions hit me like a bus in a head on collision. I could barely breathe. It was that intense. I went from 4cm dialtion to full dialtion in 30minutes. As the nurse stepped out of the room to get paperwork, I told Dude to call her as Troll was coming and I needed to push. She promptly turned back and said he is crowning. Just hold him in a little 😳😳😳😱🤔uhm, how do you suppose I hold this baby in my womb when everyone has been wanting him to be born. He is ready whether you like it or not. And he is on his way. The dr came running and made it just in time as my BODY birthed this boy by itself. I didn’t do anthing. I just went with it. My body knew exactly what to do. And thank goodness I was intune with myself.

The nurse announced Troll weighed 4.04kg. Both the dr and I checked the scale just to be sure. (We discussed his weight and estimated that he would be 3.5 or 3.7 kg. Definitely NOT 4kg.) But there he was my chubby Troll. Finally here to meet us. We were so happy and relieved that both mom and baby were in good health. The other nursing staff came rushing into my room to see what the fuss was about. They couldn’t believe that just 30minutes ago I was walking the passages and chatting to them and here lies my 4kg Troll, whom I had birthed drug free. What a story I have to tell Troll when he is older.

Dudie came to visit his baby brother later that afternoon. He was and still is such a proud big brother. He waited for his baby brother his whole life, his words. When it was time to say goodbye, tears were shed but I noticed he did not seem to be quite himself. Anyway, I put it down to not wanting to leave mom and baby.

On Wednesday morning 3am, I get a text from Dude saying Dudie is vomiting and he is bringing him to the ER. I said they should come to my room once they know what’s happening. Well they had Dudie on an IV and did blood tests. Around 8am, they showed up in my room. Dudie was sent home with medication and needed to rest. Dude sent me a text during the day saying Dudie is fine and they will visit in the late afternoon. They will pick up my last supplies from Baby City, as I didn’t get around to doing that before I was admitted again. At 4pm, I started to worry as they were on their way but just not showing up in my room. As I picked up my phone, I saw Dude’s text, “Dudie being admitted now. Got sick in the hospital parking lot”. Well here I was in the maternity ward, with a day old baby, and my 7year old was being admitted in ER. Thankfully, the paediatric ward is right next to the maternity ward. I fed Troll and wheeled him over to the nursery. The staff was asking questions about Dudie, as they became close with him during my extended hospital stay. They were expecting him. They were shocked when I said “well I’m off to the paediatric ward to go see Dudie now as he was admitted”.

Dudie had some bug that was dehydrating him at a rapid rate. They were doing all kinds of tests but it seems the hospital was just full of sick kids. I walked between the maternity ward and paediatric ward the entire evening until Dude got back from home with supplies for Dudie and himself. So I was in the maternity ward with Troll and Dude was in the Paediatic ward with Dudie. The entire Spirited family was in the hospital.

On Thursday, Troll and I were given the go ahead to be discharged. I visited Dudie and said goodbye as I was’t sure how long he would stay but promised to come visit in between. That Thursday evening, Dude sends me a text ” Hey, I wasn’t feeling well and am now admitted too. On an IV. Must have gotten the bug from Dudie”. Wtf. My entire family admitted to hospital in the same week. I was going to have a ball explaining this to the medical aid cos someone is bound to screw up the records.

Thank goodness, their hospital stays were short and they responded rapidly to treatment. They came home on Friday evening. The Spirited family reunited. As we know, it’s always darkest before we see the light. And believe me, my Dude and  I can attest to the fact that we always have the most amazing trials and tests before we live a happier life…Have you experienced this? Is this a way of making us more grateful for what we have/are receiving? I think so. Somehow, through all our tribulations we have kept our faith alive.

For us, living in a different province with NO family support, we have found a way to manage our lives effectively and to the best of our ability. We know that WE have to count on ourselves to make our lives work. It is hard at times but yet so rewarding too. Just thinking of all our family drama, I am a little thankful that we are a long way away from it all. Yes, we miss out on family gatherings but we have some really awesome friends. These friends are our family. We have formed a family unit with them. We support one another and love one another and fight just like any other family. You’d be surprised finding out that we are in fact not related…

So that is how my entire family was admitted to hospital in the same week. When I was consolidating the medical bills, because you know the Medical Aids ALWAYS short pay the damn accounts, the consultant was in shock because she had 4 different accounts. One for each one of us for the same hospital. For the same week. It was a first for her. I am so glad we could help educate her…

 

Spirited Mama

 

P.S. The labour and maternity ward was full the entire time that I was there…thankfully, Troll was healthy and didn’t need NICU. I feel for the moms who gave birth and had to be transferred to a different hospital because there just wasn’t enough beds available… In fact, the hospital was full everytime I was admitted.

When CANCER happens…MY FAMILY FIGHTS BACK!

So in my family we have been dealt a low blow this past Sunday.

Here’s a rough breakdown of the lead up to this past Sunday

2014 – My mom’s younger sister, aged 44 at the time, was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. Almost immediately had a mastectomy and chemotherapy followed by radiation therapy. In 2015 she was cancer free and we had a huge family celebration in her honour.

2016 – My mom’s youngest sister, also aged 44 at time of diagnosis, is diagnosed with breast cancer. Almost immediately,May 2016, had a double mastectomy. She is cancer free and will not be having chemotherapy nor radiation therapy. Last Sunday, the family had a huge celebration in her honour. Unfortunately, we missed it as we live in Gauteng and had already decided and booked flights to Cape Town for 5 August. I was sad that I missed it but something was knawing at me that we should just stick to our original dates and go to Cape Town as planned on 5 Aug.

So earlier this year I had a mammogram and sonars to check if there is anything to be concerned about… Well there are some minor issues but it’ll be monitored very closely. The doctor suggested that someone in our family should do the genetic test for CANCER. Well let’s just say that if the test results are positive and we have the cancer gene well then it’s a matter of When and not IF you get cancer. Let me just say that medical aids DO NOT cover the test and its about R10 000….So the youngest sister was waiting for confirmation from her medical aid to see if they were willing to assist with any sort of payment for this test… WE WAIT patiently.

Back to the past weekend, my Gran aka MAMMA (I literally feel as though she is my “real” mother. Dude says that I am like her 7th child) has been on/off sick with flu then apparently gall stones. On Saturday we see my Gran and we were shocked to see that she did not look well. She had lost weight and she was just not looking like her old self. She laughed and joked with us for a few hours and eventually we left. On Sunday, we get the call that she is not well and will be taken to Casualties. So most of the family treks to the hospital to go see Mamma. (Bear in mind that we have a very very  very big family. Security was taken aback that we ALL came to see the same person). We arrive to find her smiling smiling and all happy and bubbly in casualties. They do some tests and inform us that her liver is enlarged and is pushing against her lungs, which is causing difficulty breathing. Later, they discover a huge mass in her left breast and now suspect breast cancer. They run some more tests and think that it may have spread to the lungs… They have been doing tests ALL the time. We wait to hear the final results and what the way forward would be.

On Monday we visited Mamma in hospital and spend as much time as possible with her, given that we only had limited time and were  only allowed in one at a time. I got a brief period to tell her that I love her. The hardest part was saying goodbye as we had to come back to Pretoria on Monday evening. I told her that once we have more clarity on this  situation I will fly back to come see her.

Mamma is our go to person. She is the MATRIARCH of this family! She is So incredibly strong for all of us. She is happy and bubbly but I worry that none of us are there after visiting hours. None of us really sees what she is enduring. None of us knows what she is going through for as long as what I have been on this earth Mamma has always been smiling. (Hou altyd die blink kant bo – roughly translated into always keeping a brave and happy face) never letting it show if anything gets to her or gets her down.

I have been crying ALOT and as I sit here now I just can’t help myself… I have prayed and given this situation to GOD. As much as I want Mamma to make a full recovery, I don’t want her to go through any unnecessary trauma of surgeries etc…My biggest fear is her quality of life after surgery(ies)… I have seen what CANCER can do and it’s not what I want for Mamma. Mamma is the type of person who will be here the one day and gone the next. And everyone that knows her will know that that is how she wants to be remembered. All I want is for HER to make her OWN decision as to what she wants to do. This past weekend I saw that my family might not accept Mamma’s decision…and I worry that they will bully her into something that she did not want. It’s the hardest decision to just let go and let GOD be because we all want more time with a loved one but like I said it kills me to think of what quality of life she might have afterwards… Nothing has been finalised and no decisions have been made as yet.

I pray for my MAMMA…

Spirited Mama

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This was a random image I found on Pinterest…

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