Shingles, magic tricks, and motherhood…

focus on the good

This will not be my best work.  It may not even be coherent.  I’m hopped up on pain meds and we (as in narcotics and I) do not get along.  I generally have avoided them — ignoring them after having surgery, twice, on my legs and even after having my wisdom teeth removed — but this kind of pain is just an entirely different kind, so I’m partaking — and finding we are STILL not friends — but the nausea, room spinning, fainting and vomiting of participating feel better than the searing agony of my nerves frying inside — so you win some, you lose some and you make the best of it.

Ahhh, shingles, something new and different for this momma.  Just as summer begins.  A curse caused by the chicken pox virus lying dormant and being reawakened by stress and too little sleep (also known as the end of the school year) and attacking and frying specific nerve regions within your body (hence the blisters on the outside).  It is something that science fiction horror is made of.  When I have tried to sleep and managed to drift off a time or two, I’ve had nightmares of tiny creatures birthing from these painful fluid filled pods all over my skin and I wake up in a sweat to find — yes, oh yes, they are still there.  This is real.  I’m a little alien.  Being an alien is quite uncomfortable.

Meds are supposed to help with sleep, but the layout of my little puss pockets (one must laugh–or shudder–then laugh again) gives me one tiny little sliver of my side to lay on — they cover half my back, an entire side and continue to roll on over to my tummy.  Sleeping involves careful strategy of pillows, no one can move or cause me to move.  I sleep with a husband who climbs Mount Everest every night (otherwise known as RLS — restless leg syndrome) — so this does not happen.  My babies can not hug me, bump into me, or give me kisses — unless they bend over — and DO NOT FALL on top of their mommy.  No snuggles, no cuddles, no mommy lovies.  I am, on all accounts, a smidge depressed.

I get no sympathy from the peanut gallery that is my husband.  He won’t even LOOK at the darn things (trust — I’ve taken pictures over these past few days of their progression — he will see, one day — one day ).  So odd and crazy what our bodies can manifest and do.  My youngest was CERTAIN it was the case of a psychotic mosquito with ADHD that nom, nom, nommed his mother “betause he was starvin'” — but then later revisited that theory to make room for the possibility of fire ants or perhaps, a scorpion.  He would at least entertain a visual of his mother’s Star Trekish appearance (and even helped me take said photos).  Love you, G.  You are scared of nothing.

I miss yoga, a clean house, getting out of bed, and completing the general tasks of life.  I’ll get to that again soon.  Stumbling to the kitchen to get myself water, vitamins, ibuprofen and the occasional pain pill reminds me of how much I am needed as my family room and kitchen have become a plethora of Legos, wrappers, art projects, books, pillows, and other conglomerations of family living without mom — just kind of getting by.  And I don’t care about the mess.  They’re doing a great job.  And I miss them.

G leans over and gives me the most gentlest of kisses and whispers, “Hey momma, what’s dat behind yourah ear?” and pulls out all sorts of things — pennies, Lego star troopers, cookies, candy — quite fantastic, his magic skills.  He knows how to make me smile.  No wonder my head and ears have been spinning.  I’ve got lots of stuff in there.  His hand and finger tricks are also quite dizzying and mystifying in this state.  I’m pretty sure he’s on the road to greatness with these tricks — or at least will be able to entertain at pool parties.  I miss that too.  The pool.

Max will sit and read with me.  And talk and talk and talk.  Shingles don’t keep me from listening.  Nope–can still do that.  I’m still a mushy mess too.  As we’re sitting on the bed, he looks at me and says, “Mom, do I talk too much?” I panic thinking I’m not appearing to look interested or loving enough and answer with an, “Of course not, honey. Why do you say that?”  And he answers, “Well, you’re like the only one who ever really listens to me.  I mean really listens to me.  You don’t interrupt me or make fun of me and you always ask me questions about what I’m talking about and never tell me what I’m saying is stupid.”  Ahhhhhh, got all teary (but honestly, I may have spaced off for a minute there when he was going into ornate detail about the helmets and uniforms he was designing for his third imaginary football team he was creating).  So, some good moments have come from this.  Always look for the good — there is always something to be thankful for.  I keep reminding myself of this.

And I will be SO thankful when this is all over and I can feel like a mommy again — I can play with my kids, do things with my kids, and be physically present.  That will be nice.  I’ve tried to watch TV to pass the time — I hear a lot of people have shows and things and enjoy this past time, as my husband encourages me to do it frequently (he thinks it gives you an edge to connecting with society) — but nothing is ever on — or I’m terribly picky.  However, I found this Kardashians show that made me feel MUCH better about my predicament.  Those people have excruciatingly painful lives.

So over this and ready to fast forward till the day when my old normal is back — with a few scars to show “oh yeah, that funness happened.”  But smiling, and just going with it, and catching up on my reading and pinning like a mad woman on Pinterest and getting all crazy social on Facebook.  I’m sick of this bed, but most likely will want to crawl back in it once the gravity of the mess of my house hits me off meds.  I am so hugely (is that a word?) thankful that this all happened after school and at the onset of summer vacation.  I can only imagine the stress of attempting to get back to work with this pain and what all that would look and feel like for this mommy.  For that, I am also so immensely (that is a word) grateful.

G has made me a decadently fabulous ring out of football beads that I MUST wear “all da time” and “nevvah take off tause I lub you”. Also, an incredibly ornate homemade “pop up” book.   Max is checking in every few minutes with an “I love you, Mom.  Do you need anything?”  And in all this yuck, I’m reminded what incredible boys I have, what amazing blessings are in my life that is so rich in love, and how I can’t wait to get back IN it — instead of just being a casual observer.  Every day will get better.  It’s hard for me to imagine this body back to normal with what I see it covered in now.  But it will happen.  I will sleep.  Pain will leave.  Nerves will heal inside and blisters will be gone.  We rebound.  It’s the way of things.  In the meantime, I can’t WAIT to find what other magical objects come out of my ears.  I’m really hoping for a piece of candy.

And thanks to my beautiful mother, who heard I was hungry for meat and potatoes, and brought over Shepard’s Pie, and all kinds of gelato and ice cream  and strawberries — so this family would have something to eat this week.  I appreciate it so very, very much.  The boys do too.  And all the best to my step dad, who had surgery today on his hand — and is in recovery for the next few hours.  We have been thinking of you and praying for you!  When this mommy is all healed up and you are up for company, we will come and visit — using our quiet voices.  G may even be able to pull something out of your hand.

Time for another round of ibuprofen and some anti-itch cream — it’s really more of a constant burning — like a flame on your skin — than an “itch”, but no such cream exists.  You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit, right?  It cools.  It helps some.  And G will tell me I smell like summer.

There is even joy and treasure in pain.  And there is always–always–something to be thankful for.


The alien chick