Chronic pain is debilitating. Pain medications help. But they have side effects.
My girls were only 2 & 3 years old when I had my second back surgery that failed and left me with permanent nerve damage that effects my lower back and left leg.
One of the medications that I started taking to help with the nerve pain was an antidepressant. I refused for six months but eventually gave in as the pain wasn’t being managed enough by the Lyrica I had been on for about twelve months but then. It was the best thing at the time as it also helped my high highs and low lows of moods that I had but didn’t realise how bad until after I started taking it.
Unfortunately though … this means I almost can not cry … like ever. And sometimes you need a good cry. And I miss that.
The week had ended very up and down for me pain wise, mostly down. And after a day of the girls and hubby being home and me with frustrating pain, I was snapping and yelling at everyone. Well to be honest, mainly my girls as Ty knows to just leave me alone when I am like this.
By the time I got Chelsea into bed while Olivia was having something to eat before bed I was snapping at every single thing. And it ended with Chelsea in tears. Then myself in tears. And honestly, I couldn’t believe it and I couldn’t stop it either.
How my 7 year old reacted
Poor Chelsea was already upset … but seeing me upset made her more upset (she can come across as tough and a know it all but she has the softest heart and feels big). She got me tissues as I got her tissues and she helped wipe my eyes over and over. I apologised for my behaviour and she kept telling me it was ok. I told her it was not ok and explained why I was so cranky and snappy and we had a lot of hugs and she then gave me some suggestions to help me when I feel like this (some very similar to ones I have told her)… bless her – she has been listening to me!
During this time, Chelsea was quite taken aback as she realised this was the second time she has seen me cry, reminding me the first time was when my nana passed away. I had to explain again that some of my pain tablets make it hard for mummy to cry. I struggle with this because her older sister, Olivia used to think that nothing upset me and that she was so different from me and it took me a long time to reassure her that it wasn’t because I didn’t get sad or didn’t want to cry but that I couldn’t – using the side effects excuse from my various pain medications as I wasn’t ready to discuss antidepressants with my daughter who was then only 6 years old.
A constant struggle
I often struggle with the fact I find it almost impossible to cry for many reasons, but one is the fact that I don’t want my girls thinking that I don’t think anything is sad or that I don’t get sad. All emotions are normal and healthy and I feel sometimes that I am not doing them any favours by not appearing sad to them.
My dad tells me I worry too much and think way too much … he’s probably right … but I can’t help it, it’s who I am.
Please tell me I am not the only mum (or parent) out there going through this. Or something similar…