Chronic fatigue is a condition that is so debilitating particularly when you are juggling all the various tasks of motherhood. Lisa shares her story of living with chronic fatigue with us and we wish her well as she moves towards a positive future.g
What is the striking story you have to share?
I’m not sure if it’s striking, but two years ago when my second child was nine months I was diagnosed with PND. However after feeling extremely tired both physically and emotionally and nothing seeming to help I was eventually referred and diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue. At the time my children were two and one year old, my dad had recently been diagnosed with cancer and life was pretty hard going.
What were the joys that this experience brought your way?
Whilst I wouldn’t say there have been joys from the experience, it has shown me how important my family are and how amazing my husband is. It has also taught me strength to not let what others think about me upset me as much as it used to.
What challenges did this situation bring your way?
Trying to get through each day was a challenge at the time, and still can be. I need to constantly rest, try not to overdo things and take time to relax each day – try telling two young children that! Simple things like cooking their tea can tire me out completely and if I overdo it I am wiped out for days afterwards. I’ve had to rely on family a lot for support and increase the children’s hours at nursery so I could have days to rest.
It has been very tough and the guilt that I am missing my children growing up and not being there for them is immense, regularly bringing me to tears. People struggle to understand and I have felt judged on many an occasion.
How do you ensure you get time to yourself and what do you do with that time?
Because life can be tough living with chronic fatigue and whilst I am resting my husband is looking after the children and rarely gets a break himself, as a couple we now have an agreement that every three to four months we have a short break away to ourselves. It gives us chance to take some time out away from home and recuperate, meaning we are more able to handle life at home once we return.
Have you ever rediscovered or reinvented yourself? How?
I think by going through this I have had to rediscover myself. There is so much I can’t do now – even going for a walk with the children on a weekend, which we used to do regularly, I can’t do now. It makes me strive to get well and do those things once more, but also appreciate what I can do and what I have. I already have goals in my mind that I want to accomplish once I’m better and able to, and I am determined to get there.
Describe at least one physical feature you have that you consider to be beautiful
My eyes – I inherited my big, brown eyes from my granddad and I have always been proud of them. I also love that both the children have inherited them, and they get so many comments on how beautiful they are.
What makes you stand out?
I don’t think I do stand out. I’ve fought for years trying to do so, but over time, and probably with age, I’ve begun to accept who I am and appreciate how much I have. I don’t need to stand out to be liked or loved, plenty of people think I’m pretty great already.
Is it important to you to support other mums?
Yes definitely. There is so much competition between mums and I just don’t get it. I do what I do with my children in my way, and I’m doing the best job I can. Just like any mum out there is. I really don’t understand or feel the need to judge any other mum who is just doing the same thing. At the end of the day if children are healthy and happy, that’s all that matters.
Which mum inspires you?
My mum is incredible. Whilst not only supporting my dad through his cancer, she has supported me through my own illness whilst living over an hour away from me. She stays at my house regularly, helps with the children and my housework and lets me rest, and then returns home to do it all over again. I couldn’t have gotten through the last eighteen months without her.
Huge thanks to Lisa for sharing her story. You can find out much more about this wonderful woman by visiting the Hollybobbs blog.
Are you living with chronic fatigue?