What is the one thing that most women fail miserably at? Yep, looking after themselves. We tend to put everything else first above ourselves.
Funnily enough, I was reading an article just about this very subject the other day. A mother of 4 young children was finally driving herself to the emergency department after having let herself go for far too long and not putting herself first.
Why would you let it go so far? Too much to do? Too many important things to do? No one else can do it like you? Whatever the reason, it’s not good enough. And I have learnt that lesson the hard way.
The view from my Hospital window
As I sit now and look at the view out of my hospital room window, feeling no better than a wet rag, and a feeling of total uncertainty of what will happen next, life certainly hit me with a huge whack of reality.
How the hell did I end up here, feeling like this? I mean what happened, I only had the flu. OK, I had it for almost two weeks and was not improving one iota until my partner finally persuaded me to go to the doctor. But it was just the flu. You know, achy, painful limbs, high temps, persistent cough, shivery cold – the flu.
But somehow along the way the flu turned into a bad case of pneumonia. And after deciding again to try treatment at home (I will never learn) ended up in the Emergency Department a day later, barely able to catch my breath and admitted to hospital.
Well done to me!
Being a good patient
I would like to say I am a good patient. But I am not. Apparently, I slip into my ”sooky la la mode” quite a bit (as my partner calls it). Not pretty I can assure you. Lots of feeling sorry for myself and tears.
Did I mention that I hate needles? Anyway, it’s “Suck it up Princess” time, I think. I vow never to let myself get this sick again. I mean the look from the doctor was enough to scare me to death and the question “Why didn’t you come in sooner?” resonated through the room.
Yes, appropriately reprimanded. Never, ever again will I do this to myself.
So with all my being stoic (haha that’s funny) and “I will be better tomorrow” bluster I have now had to cancel tours, send my son to his father and put everything on hold indefinitely. And as awful as that prospect was, guess what? The world didn’t fall apart.
Everything is still going and will still be there to pick up again when I’m ready. Never, ever again will I do this to myself.
Why did I? I thought I knew best. I didn’t. I wasn’t going to waste my time sitting at the doctor’s surgery (haha look where I am now). And I could still manage to get some things done at home (or at least tell everyone else what to do – geez they loved that!) And now I am here, with long days and nights stretched in front of me.
But you know it is also very humbling spending time in a hospital. As bad as I am feeling there is so much worse going on around me. So many people are suffering so much worse than me, and at times it’s just heartbreaking.
And to top it all off, I am so very grateful for my beautiful partner. There are times I struggle with being in a partnership (not something I usually admit out loud).
I enjoyed being independent with only myself to rely on and vowed I would never be reliant on somebody else again. I sometimes feel it’s a weakness to rely on someone else for things, but then I am reminded that our wonderful partnership is a two-way street and together is even better.
But through all this I have discovered I cannot do it alone. I just can’t. And having someone by my side that I trust implicitly, who will take care of me without me having to think about it has been extraordinary.
And of course, I have someone to hold my hand on those sooky la la days. And let me tell you there have been a few.
Lessons I learnt from having the flu
Well onwards and upwards – time to heal, learn my lessons and move on. So what have I learnt and what should everyone remember –
- Look after yourself first. It’s not selfish it’s just common sense that if you don’t want everything to fall apart because you are not around not to let it get to that.
- It’s OK to rely on others. Build a support network – family, friends, colleagues. It doesn’t matter, but there are times in life when you will need to call on them, and that’s alright – it doesn’t mean you are failing or weak.
- Put processes in place so that things around you can still move forward. Make your life more streamlined so that others can pick up when needed and you’re not the only one who knows how to do it.
- And go to the doctor when you should. Don’t be like me and leave it. I was so ill by the time I went it was ridiculous. Trust me stubbornness is not your friend.
So look after yourself, stay healthy and live life to the fullest.