I have a secret to share with you.
I was brought up to be terrified of illness.
As a child I had a heart condition that meant many trips to specialists, talks of surgery and antibiotics for a cold, I think I spent a good two years of my life in doctors surgeries.
This makes sense as I was three months premature – so my mother was terrified. The fact that she had a whopping great personality disorder on the top probably didn’t help her much.
But there you go. Add to that food poisoning that almost killed me over three weeks, and first hit with rampant diahorrea on an 2 hour long train trip, and no suburban trains do not have toilets.
In addition when bub 2 was 6 months old, the whole house was stricken with a ‘virus’ which was a vomiting, baby having blue lips, rushing to children’s hospital only to be told ‘just virus’ and go home, upon which i passed out and I was rushed to hospital, without said bub who I was breast feeding, and had to beg for a breast pump for a week. Also bub 2 made very sudden transition to always in mums arms or sling, to bottle and dad.
This resulted in 10 week stay in post natal depression ward – which, hey was a lovely rest, and helped me re-bond with bub, in fact it was lovely just him and me, me draping mosquito net over him in some odd bonding excercise to the music of Enya… put it this way – we didn’t need more bonding, so for bub 2 and I rocking out to channel v in the lounge was much more fun and theraputic…but ahem, back on topic…
So all of this has led me to a severe illness phobia – something that no amount of counselling, prescription drugs, reiki, deep soothing breaths, meditation, alcohol* and running away has cured.
So whenever a gastro bug strikes our house, like this week, or even just a nasty temperature inducing cold, I freak. Totally and utterly, constantly alert for any sign of vomit, hand gel applied liberally, demestos on all serfaces including the food we eat (well only sometimes) type freak.
And I just can’t get round it.
Yet the other night as I curled round the toilet for the umpteenth time (ranked I believe #5 on The NDM vomit scale) I realised something.
My child could have dengue fever, could have leprosy, could have something that makes your nose run forever, and if they were in hospital I would be there 24/7. So maybe I don’t suck quite as much as a mum, maybe it all got a bit mixed up in there with my past history and all, and maybe, just maybe, i’m just terrified of the lack of control, the inability to make things better and the fact that I might lose one of the two best and brightest children I have been so mistakenly blessed with that makes me so scared?
In hospital its controlled. In hospital a doctor/nurse or orderly is just there to help my little one feel better, to live.
Because I can’t always do that.
And it terrifies me.
* not literally , that’d be irresponsible, wouldn’t it, maybe, just a bit, or ….not???