Adulting is hard, we know this, but having to do proper adulting is something else!!
It all started when my darling husband developed man flu after getting drowning wet working on some animal enclosure or something zooie outside in the rain all day. He had a high temperature that night, but I didn’t take much notice to be honest as he went to work the next day, under duress I must add. But he went to work. He had an important meeting with some big wigs.
I started to have a bit of sympathy when he came home from work early that afternoon. Anyway, man flu was well and truly in the Morphew house. No proper adulting so far. It kicked in about 9 pm on the Friday night, when he was in so much pain from a headache he couldn’t even text me to ask for stuff anymore. He just groaned from upstairs.
I was scared!
I honestly didn’t know what to do with him. So what did I do, call my mum of course, she’s a proper adult. “Ring doctors out of hours,” she said.
“Yes,” I said, “I’ll do that,” knowing full well that I couldn’t. Straight on the phone to my auntie, who was on her way over anyway. “I need you, please come and ring doctors out of hours for me!” And of course she was racing over ready to do that. In the end I did call them myself because I am a grown up and I can do these things.
Anyway to cut this long story short, the lady on the phone, after talking to Tim, told me in a lovely calm voice that once she had terminated the phone call to me she was going to be calling an ambulance. “Now, don’t panic, it is going to arrive quite quickly.” She was so lovely and calm, but I automatically went into melt down!!
“What the **** do I do now???”
“Do I pack a bag?”
“Do I move the car???” and a million other things going around my head.
Kids, sort the kids… “MUUUUMMMM please come over and sit with the kids there is an ambulance coming for Tim.”
Then my auntie, my wonderful auntie walks through the door to find a shaking, sobbing wreck. I cannot remember what she said as she held me by the arms, but it was something along the lines of, “You’ve got this,” and I heard the immediate click of the kettle being put on.
The ambulance arrived
Then we were interrupted by the vision of the blue flashing lights of the first response team, one of which happens to be our neighbour. They did all the initial checks, and probably more importantly they put us all at ease and diffused the panic with a bit of banter. The ambulance took a while to arrive but it got here. I felt like a right kid riding in the back of the ambulance, like I wasn’t supposed to be there. Not feeling like a proper grown up at all.
I don’t think any of the doctors, nurses, people taking next of kin details really believed this child was Tim’s wife. I just didn’t know what to do with myself, whether I should stand in the room with the paramedics when they came to the house, offer the first response team tea while we were waiting, go with Tim to get his CT scan and X-rays. There is just no handbook for these things. You’d think with Tim’s track record I would have had to do this before, but despite the number of times he has been to A&E he’s never been in an ambulance or been that ill.
The proper adulting kicked in
After many tests and talking to various people, the doctors mostly decided that he had Viral Meningitis, after he had a lumbar puncture at stupid o’clock in the morning. I was at home at this point. My fabulous dad came to get Tim from the hospital at 3 am. We just had to wait for further tests to arrive to confirm the diagnosis.
This was when the proper adulting kicked in. I had to make the phone calls, phone calls to his mum, phone calls to his work, be the person that brings in his changes of clothes and towels like my Nan and Mum have done for other family members. Fielding all the phone calls, I was providing the snacks, I knew the visiting times, I relayed information to people, like I said, I was being a proper adult.
I was in fight mode
And you know what… it is bloody exhausting. I was in fight mode for at least 3 days. Going back and for to hospital, making sure the boys were cared for, making sure the house was clean for the in-laws to arrive, being upright and functioning!
And apart from that, there was the obvious worry, the panic, the unknown, the shock that probably took the most out of me. I suppose it was the shock that triggered the fight response and kept me going until a week later, when the in-laws went home and Tim was feeling a bit better.
That was when the crash came. I was expecting it this time. I knew there was going to be a crash after the storm. But I still had to be the carer and sort the boys and Tim. I couldn’t give up quite yet. I never had that blanket day that I assumed would come, that day when I would become a jellyfish and be unable to function. Actually, I just took care of myself while doing the other things, and it worked!
I went to counselling, I went to yoga, I did some creative projects, I went to see friends and I rested. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who was around me at that time. Everyone was amazing. From family who were here to have the boys and give me food, to friends sending messages of support and help. To those who reminded me to rest, to those who took me out of the house, to those who brought cake, and to those who let me nap!! I say thank you.
With love, From Lala xx