I have been quiet busy in the past few weeks and to make things worse, I am flaring and my neck pain is back. Winter is wonderful for those of us with rheumatoid arthritis and/or fibromyalgia. I was lucky because I scored with both conditions. I am busy dealing with all the things that life throws which includes physical therapy once a week, wrestling three times week (for my 11 year old) and a continuing work-life balance. Since Friday, as a result of a flare, I have done of a lot of sleeping but no matter how much sleep I have gotten, I am still extremely tired. I was trying to keep myself awake I drove into work this morning and as I try to function throughout the day.
I have had to minimize some of my duties at my advocacy sites as a result of this flare but the company that manages the sites understands. I am glad someone does because my legal job really doesn’t. I inquired about FMLA intermittent leave for chronic illness. I only inquired about how it works and how it applies to RA. The response I received was that I didn’t qualify until I worked there for a year except I already knew that. My inquiry was merely to find out what to do before that time comes. Anyway, there is not much I can do about people’s lack of understanding.
To make a long story short, busy has become my middle name. Well, it has always been my middle name but lately it is spelled in capital letters. Sometimes, life can be so confusing between having to do all I do, trying to make ends meet, and trying to be a parent to my children. This past weekend with the flare, I was near tears just trying to get through the flare and trying to continue to be everything I am supposed to be.
Also this past weekend, my parenting was tested in a way that meant I either understood my child’s anxieties or I told him that he had to keep going despite those anxieties. I ended up leaving the choice up to him hoping that he would not be discouraged the next time around. I also realized that sometimes parents have to step back and let their children fail rather than to take charge of a situation. I had the choice to make my son do something that was leaving him stressed and I had a choice not to. In the end, I let it be his decision because either way, I was the one stressed watching him agonize over the choice. In a way, I was relieved I didn’t make the choice for him.
As they get older, not only do we have to stop making their choices for them, we also have to let them fail. They have to fall in order to get up on their own again. Watching them fail and watching them learn some pretty hard lessons really sucks from a parenting standpoint. I figure I can only urge him to succeed. I cannot succeed for him nor can I make it easier for him to achieve his goals. He has to fail in order to succeed and watching him fail hurts me more than it hurts him. It is the first time it really hit me hard that I cannot protect him from life’s lessons.
Meanwhile, my third year old’s lesson was not to color himself green. With the flare-up, I was constantly falling asleep. I wanted to go to bed early last night so I put my three old to bed as well. About a half hour to an hour later, my 11 year old wakes me up complaining that his brother destroyed his markers. Apparently, his brother had colored himself green and when I asked him why he painted himself green, he told “I wanted to be yellow but the yellow didn’t work.” Needless to say, he needed a bath/scrub to get clean. At least they were washable. Thank you Crayola. Note to self: You have children; get over your flare ups fast.