Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Mommy Camp

A little over a year ago, I experienced symptoms of fatigue. I found my symptoms hard to describe. I was desperately tired. I experienced head rushes and dizziness. Occasionally, I would have a headache or other muscular pain. I was not sleeping well, but even a night of sleep did not seem to solve it. I cut down my caffeine. I took iron supplements. I drank plenty of water. I tried to eat better: even more vegetables than I would have eaten anyway, even more than I ate to impress my children.

I told my husband about it. He suggested all of the above. I followed his advice too. Finally, he suggested that I see a doctor. I made an appointment.

I am not a hypochondriac. The last time I recall going to the doctor for something other than having a baby or my annual, I ended up in surgery a few weeks later.

I was fortunate to get an appointment quickly, but I was not able to arrange a babysitter as quickly as my appointment. I arrived at the doctor’s office with a four year old, a two year old, and a 6 month old baby. He asked questions. I explained. I kept my children at bay (they are exceptionally patient children). The doctor seemed a little annoyed with the interruptions, but perhaps that was my own attitude forced upon him. He ran all of the appropriate tests. I left several blood samples for proof.

The tests came back with the verdict. The same verdict he left me with on the day of my visit: you are the mother of three small children.

“You are the mother of three small children”??

THAT is a diagnosis?

That, in fact, was my diagnosis. I was the picture of health, but the picture was not a pretty one. The picture was a very exhausted mother. This cost me nearly $400 to discover (insurance doesn’t cover exhaustion).

This summer, I was experiencing similar symptoms. By the first week of August, we had been camping in South Dakota, Ohio, and Niagara Falls. We had been biking, hiking, visiting and playing in the slip-n-slide. We had just returned from the annual Pig Roast, which involved having the kids up past 10pm and traveling for a full day each way. I spent a whopping $200 for camp for one of my kids. The rest of the time, all of the time, my three children and I were running around, or packing, or planning to run around. My son’s sixth birthday (a camp out) was a few days away. My children had “Mommy Camp” all summer. I was more than a little tired. I was exhausted.

This time, I didn’t see a doctor.

I thought about putting all three of my kids in a camp. I couldn’t justify the money. I don’t have family who will take them. I could have put them in the day care for an hour at the gym, but an hour was just not going to do it. No, they don’t watch television either.

I talked to my husband again.

“Let’s take a weekend, and go somewhere as a couple,” I suggested. “We never do anything ourselves.”

We thought about it. There is no one who can take the kids for a weekend. I thought some more. Jay sometimes takes the kids to a museum or something for a few hours so I can clean the house. I can’t be in the house without doing a project, playing with my kids, or cleaning it (yeah, I have to sometimes). I suggested that I visit my best friend from college in San Francisco.

The next day, I called Kay. I asked her if she would mind a visit. She was thrilled. I told her I wasn’t sure if I was actually coming. I explained that it was a lot to ask. I do not need to visit her, really. I just want to. I shouldn’t be so decadent. I will let her know.

The day after that, Jay called me from work.

“I’ve got it all arranged. September 12th through 15th. Are the dates okay? Should I buy the ticket?”

“Oh, my, really? Buy it!”

“Shouldn’t you call Kay?”

It is a crazy gift. It’s completely irrational. It cost $400.

I am going to "Mommy Camp."


scatterbrain said...

"Mommy Camp" sounds much better than a tonic or meds. Kind and thoughtful Jay.

Not wanting to alarm you, but should your symptoms persist or increase, think about looking at this:- http://www.meassociation.org.uk/content/view/90/83/

With ME/CFS there are actually no tests that can diagnose it. You can be the judge if you think it needs looking into.

Just want to help - tell me to shut up if you want and I'll slink off back to my own site.

Badass Geek said...

I just found out that my insurance doesn't cover stupidity. I'm screwed!

OHmommy said...

By yourself?

You are going to SF by yourself? Am I reading correctly? Wow. That is awesome.

You sneaky girl. Is that why you can't practice tennis on that Friday? Can't you be honest with me and spill the beans? Silly friend. You must be so excited.

enthalpymama said...

I LOVE this, three completely different reactions to a single post. You are all awesome.

Ohmommy - Yes, that is why I can't play tennis on Friday. I was going to tell you, but somehow we got off the subject. I'm a little too good at keeping secrets sometimes. That is also why we can't play Monday (smile). I'll be gone for four days!!!!!! Can you believe that??

Meg said...

This sounds amazing! Unfortunately, most of my friends also have kids so I would still be around kids even if I could get away.

enthalpymama said...

Meg - Kay has a two year old. But, someone else's two year old is much different than three of your own (The truth is I'm excited to see her with a baby). But, she is also excited about leaving her little one with her husband and having some 'girl time.' Can't wait!!

Rachel said...

Love that idea! Sometimes you have to arrange for a girls weekend; husband takes the kids and mommy relaxes. I have done 2 thus far since being a mom (2 in 9 years I need one NOW) and it's sooooo worth it; when we are a wife and a mother sometimes we forget ourself; our own being...it helps to get away. Have fun! thanks for stopping by my blog. I love yours...I'm gonna add you to my roll so I can visit often!