As I am writing this, to the left of me is the beautiful ocean water of Rhode Island and to the right of me are my clothes that I laid out to run the Ocean Road 10k, a race that would never happen for me…
Let me start from the beginning.
I’m not sure where the beginning is really, but there was a moment in the days leading up to the Rhode Island trip that struck me as possibly being the beginning, even if I didn’t know it.
Last Wednesday, my son was home with me. I had run to an event in the middle of the day, and my mom was gracious enough to watch him while I attended. I returned home, got him, went to the school, got his brother and came home.
We all proceeded to do homework, it was a easier than normal homework session which I was grateful for because homework in my house is a bit of a beast sometimes. Once we completed the homework, I started to knock of all the things on my to-do list. The list was extra long–two trips to plan and pack for and so much more.
My eldest child turned to me and said “Wow Mommy”
I said “Wow what?”
“Wow, I feel so sad for you.”
This obviously stopped me in my tracks. I didn’t understand why if at all he would feel sad FOR me.
“Why do you feel sad for me?”
“You have to do so much every single day. You are always working, cooking, cleaning, doing homework with us, packing, making lunches, grocery shopping so many things, every single day”
This made me pause because he is very sensitive to me, my feelings, my energy. Always has been. So when he says something like this I know he is aware of my stress–when I look back at it, I was moving around a LOT. I was multitasking. I was cooking stew chicken and rice for hubby. I was cleaning up the living room. I was throwing random things into a bag. I was making lunches and snacks. I was doing a lot, and even though I was doing it quietly, he noticed and felt sad about it.
I told him that it was okay and that I was okay–being an adult means you have to juggle things like cleaning and cooking and working. I reassured him that I was okay, gave him a big hug and thanked him for being so caring. Made a note to self to stop being so busy.
The Friday morning of my trip to Rhode Island, I woke up with a headache that was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. I quickly checked with Dr. Google and he let me know that I was possibly suffering from a migraine. I laid in bed until the very last minute. Left with a lot of extra time to spare because the pain I was in would not allow me to run for anyone’s train. Took the quiet car on the Amtrak. Arrived to Rhode Island and ran to the nearest Rite-Aid to get migraine meds. They gave me sweet relief. I thought I was ok. Cleared to get back to the weekend.
Friday night however, would be full of uncontrollable shivering, cold sweats, migraines, nausea–you name it. I had a host of activities planned for me, but a little break in the middle of the day so I scheduled myself to go to Urgent Care, even if just prevent another night like the last.
The doctor took one look at my tonsils and said “Holy Guacamole”. I knew it had to be bad because it felt like I was swallowing 100 mini razors every time I tried to unsuccessfully eat or drink something. The doc gave me antibiotics and told me to rest. Get LOTS OF REST. You know whats crazy? That mere statement felt offensive to me. What is this thing you call rest? Do you know my life? The concept of rest makes me feel uncomfortable, it’s simply not the way I’m wired.
I was devastated. I contemplated walking the race. I fought against myself all evening.
Run the race girl, it’s fine. It will be fine. You can recover when you get home.
But the doctor said, it might be strep.
But does the doctor know you? How you have pushed through so much more? How staying still feels like an absolute punishment?
It’s probably not a good idea to run in 50 degree weather…
You don’t ever back down. Ever.
I let the Angel win.
I heard Josh’s voice again, his concern, his sadness. I heard his plea and wish for me to be able to slow down. I’ll thank him when I get home, but I’ll tell him this story again when he becomes an adult so that he knows how his simple caring made me put myself first.