The calm before the storm.
Morning. I wake from what feels like a 15 minute nights sleep. I look around and allow my eyes to focus on the new day. I grab my phone from the side of my bed to check the time and see what I have planned for the day ahead... Lie I check to see if I need to get up now... I do! I lie listening to what’s installed for me.. My kids, running around like loonies, no care in the world, laughing and screaming at each other, arguing about what to watch on TV. My world! They come into the room one by one, “morning mam”, “morning mamma”, “I’m starving, can I have breakfast, plleeeaaasseee”, “are you getting up now mam”?... Ah yes, am I getting up? Yes?!.....
I put my glasses onto a barely lifted head on pillow and breathe. And the briefest of moments, as I’m lying there face down on my bed, lying still, I feel a sense of calm and relief. No Pain!
Time to get up.
I lift my chest up, arms shaking as they take the full weight of me, lower body feeling so heavy like I have been filled with sand, then there it is, with a wonderful sounding crack that makes my hubby squirm each time he hears it, ah my friend, my daily companion, my pain. My pain, surrounding me like a needle filled hug jabbing two hot pokers into the side of my hips. How I have missed you. Another crunch from my pelvis as I try to role onto my back, looking like a turtle stuck on his shell. I rock back an forth relying on my weight to tip me over. I look hilarious!
OK great, part 1 is over.
Next stage, let’s get this sexy body moving! The exercises begin. Bend one knee, bend the other knee, stretch, tense, release blah blah blah blah blah but don’t forget YOUR PELVIC FLOOR WOMAN!!! Otherwise you will never be able to move properly and your sex life will be over!! Squeeze God damn you SQUEEZE! Each movement taking every bit of energy you have not to cry, gasping for breath when your old friend ‘cuddles’you.. And Relax. Phew! Knackered.
Final stage, get out of bed. Hilarious.
I sit up, well I should say, I push myself up into a seated positions, cos let’s face is my core has disappeared after having 3 kids and cake. I help my legs move on to the edge of the bed and drop. Wooohooo I’m half way there. Let’s go, I can do this! I grip the bed and try to stand. Wow shaking like a dog as my husband would say. I try to line up my hips and legs while they take my weight, fall back onto bed.
Take 2, not bad, not bad I manage to stand for a few moments before falling back again into the seated position.
Take 3, you can do this! Great I am standing up. Let’s get this body moving. Swivel the hips(ignore the pain, ignore the pain), line them up straight then put your right foot in, your right foot out, in out, in out and I fell back again. HUBBY!!!!
Yes, the best part, looking completly useless in front of your husband as you try to get out of bed, wedded bliss. He takes my arms and wraps them around his neck and let’s me lift myself again, I stand holding onto him and him supporting me like he does everyday. We just stand like this for a few moments, quiet and still just to allow my body to get stable. He walks backwards as I walk forwards, like a little 2 step dance as I try and get this body of mine to move. The sense of uselessness and feeling like a massive burden try’s to overwhelm me again, but not today, I won’t let it. I need to look strong even when every part of me isn’t.
Then my nine year old walks in. Great. The words you dread everyday, “you OK mammy”? I will tell you now, I have never felt so ashamed and a failure as a mum when you see the look of worry and concern in the face of your daughter watching her daddy helping mammy to get out of bed and walk in the morning.
“Of course baby, I am fine, just a having a cuddle with Dad” ‘yeah yeah mam’ is the look she gives me at that point. "OK ok, I’m just a bit sore today but will be fine in a minute."
In a minute, in a minute. Yeah. The thing is, that minute will never come (well not soon anyway) . I have arthritis. I am a 37 year old with chronic pain caused osteoarthritis in both hips which will need replacing.
This is my morning routine, my current life, my reality.