Self-Care: Something Has To Give

Recently I felt the need to back off from writing new blog posts for a little while, it has seemed like a long time, but actually it has only been about 10 days. That seems to have been enough time for the mushy brain which I have developed of late to re-solidify and start firing on the majority of cylinders again.

The main reason I stepped away was because things have come to light recently which seem to imply that we have been misled about events which occurred with our children prior to us ever meeting them. While this made me exceptionally angry at those involved, it is totally unprovable because it is purely based on the word of people there at the time, so would come down to one person’s word against another’s.

When I look at the ‘facts’ that we were told then, and apply the facts that I know now, I can say with certainty that the right course of action was taken, however it seems that it was by luck rather than by design. So, although knowing we were being misled wouldn’t have changed anything, it doesn’t exactly build a trusting relationship with those who misled us in the first place.

After coming to the conclusion that nothing would be different even if the real facts had been presented at the time I have let it go, but I will not forget it as we somehow need to tell our children the truth about their past when questions are raised.

I think this became a tipping point because I have also been in desperate need of some self-care. Since the beginning of the year I have been suffering from the worst migraines I have had for a very long time, and they were occurring on a weekly basis. As I am used to suffering migraines, although none as bad or as regular as the ones I have been getting, I just sort of ignored them and did my best to cope.

Then my children started to notice. In the mornings before I went to work, or at the weekends, I was regularly being asked “Do you have a headache today Dad?” by my Eldest. Even my Youngest started to ask, although probably just copying his brother. At one point at bedtime my Eldest picked out two books, a bit too young for his age, and said “I’ve picked short stories for you to read me so you don’t get a headache”. He was clearly worrying about me and I didn’t want that. It was starting to affect them as well as me.

Things got worse. I had a bit of chest pain, it lasted the whole day, coupled with a tingling sensation in my face and left side, and I panicked. My anxiety level peaked at that point, which made things much worse. The following day I got another migraine, the tingling didn’t go. This was at the weekend so I thought I’d suffer it until Monday when I finally booked a GP appointment.

I didn’t want to describe my symptoms to the receptionist because I knew what it sounded like, so I got my lovely husband to phone up for me, and the inevitable response he got was “if it gets any worse call an ambulance”, precisely the reason I didn’t want to speak to them. I actually wasn’t feeling too bad that day, although my anxiety level was huge because I was so worried about what might be wrong.

The GP was very patient with me. My heart was checked, my blood pressure, my reflexes, everything to rule out either heart problems or stroke. Thankfully all was fine other than a very slightly raised diastolic pressure, which the GP indicated was a sign of stress, and something to do with my reflexes which may indicate a trapped nerve. Combined together they go someway to explaining my symptoms.

I told the doctor about our life, about adopting children, me being the main earner of the family so that our children can have a parent at home with them as much as possible to give them the stability they need. He commented on how I was holding myself (scrunched up, shoulders forward) and showed me some exercises to help relax my shoulders. He also told me I needed to find some more time for myself, to try to reduce my stress and anxiety. Always easier said than done.Self-care-advice-graphic

My anxiety and stress physically manifests itself in tension of my shoulders, it always has. It has just never been an issue beyond causing a bit of shoulder pain before. This time it has caused other issues and has increased my migraines.

Since the doctor has told me my heart is fine, my anxiety levels have dropped, it was actually almost instant after his reassurance, and many of the symptoms have lessened or gone. Mind over matter indeed!

The first thing I decided to do was book a massage for my shoulders, which has helped in the past, and has definitely helped this time. So, I have made it a regular thing.

I have let things creep up on me, lots of little things added to my stress. I don’t consciously feel particularly anxious, and I actually like my life the way it is, so there is very little I want to change about it. My sources of anxiety are mostly sub-conscious and imagined, I worry far too much about the little things. To be honest I always think my husband has a far more stressful life than I do as he is at home with the boys every day, but I guess stress is subjective and he seems to be far better at coping with things which drive me up the wall!

I have reduced some of the freelance software developing I do, which I always undercharge for anyway so makes little difference financially. That’s the only thing which I could think of to change.

As ever my husband has been extremely supportive and patient. Hopefully with the conscious knowledge of the things which are causing me to worry, I can stop it developing into anything more serious. Hopefully I will be able to remain healthy for my children.

Self-care isn’t just about me, it’s about them. Being ill makes my children worry, and that is the last thing I want for them. I need to look after myself better, so that I can look after them better.





  1. oh my, this post sent a chill down my spine. I’m so glad you have realised that you need to look after yourself and de-stress, please do this. I was just like you, having similar symptoms, migraines, tingling, then my auto-immune system decided to play up and now I’m stuck in a wheelchair. I really believe that if I had taken more care of myself, physically and mentally then maybe it wouldn’t have happened. So, please, listen to your own advice and take care of yourself. x

  2. It’s so important to take some time out to look after ourselves. After all, how can we look after others, if we’re not looking after ourselves too. I’m glad you went to the doctor and that they were patient with you. Thanks for linking up to #ThatFridayLinky

  3. Hugely important to take of ourselves and have time to us great post Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

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