amber rahim

Chronic illness: the parts we don't talk about

3 important lessons for happiness in 2014


Happy New Year everyone!  A sincere and heartfelt wish for good health to you all.

I did not expect to write a “new years” themed post but life is full of surprises.

It wasn’t a good start to the year.  By last Thursday (only the 2nd day of the year) it had already become too much for me.

Normally I don’t like to stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve.  I’m tired most of the time anyway and it just takes me too long to recover these days.  Plus, there’s something about having to stay up that I rebel against.

I stayed up this year as we were with family (it was a lovely evening) but by Thursday morning I was still recovering.  My daughter woke up around 9am feeling ill.  With terrible stomach pains, she was crying and throwing up.  As I tried to comfort her my mind ran through all the things it could be:

  • Stomach bug
  • Bleeding ulcers
  • All that Piri Piri sauce she ate yesterday
  • Bleeding ulcers!
  • Gastritis …. and bleeding ulcers!!!

I have a bit of a paranoia about bleeding ulcers.  You see, she is on a combination of meds that can cause ulcers.  She has already had severe gastritis because of her meds (age 6 months) and she is on an NSAID that is only for short term use (read weeks) because it causes ulcers and she has been on it for 6 years.  Yikes!

It’s a calculated and managed risk.  It saved her life in the early months, kept her out of hospital in the first couple of years and allows her to have a good quality of life now.

However, it is a ticking bomb that may or may not go off.  If she gets an ulcer she won’t be able to take this or any other NSAID for the rest of her life.  Muscle pain and need Ibuprofen?  No can do.  Quality of life?  Seriously affected.

So while all this is going on in my crazy, tired head, and I am trying to comfort her, my poor little girl is crying and asking for Dad (who was temporarily unavailable).

Brimming with frustration and impatience I just wanted to tell her to “stop it, just be quiet”.  (Well, I wanted to shout it actually and there were quite a few exclamations marks in my head too).

I took a breath, explained that her dad would be back in 2 minutes and that I needed to go to the toilet.  Then I left the room.

I stayed in the bathroom for a long time, much longer than necessary.  I put myself in timeout.  Her dad was brilliant with her; kind, patient, loving.  Just what she needed. I am so grateful to him because last Thursday I just couldn’t do it.

So these are my 3 important lessons for happiness in 2014

  1. It’s good to share the load.
  2. It’s better to walk away than say something you would regret
  3. Accept that Mummy time is never at a civilised time of the day (like 9am on a Thursday).  Kids want their mums at stupid o’clock times like 4am on Friday morning.  That’s when they want you to sit with them and hold their hand.  So I did.

4 thoughts on “3 important lessons for happiness in 2014

  1. thank you for sharing this heart warming post. Hugs to you and pat in the back! You are doing well mommy! 🙂

  2. i can’t say that the story you were telling, had happened to me, but the 3 important lessons for happiness that you have mentioned, are lovely. I need to do that. Thanks Amber to share this story and share your thoughts…you are doing just fine..

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