Wednesday, 11 January 2017

The New Normal

On my blog I often write lots about being a parent. The ups, the downs and the somewhere in betweens. I don't often write much about me as a person. But as I've been struggling with something I thought I would just jot it down and get it out there. Shouting into the black void of the internet always helps. Especially if someone shouts back. Recently a lot of you will know that I had a tough few months. Which resulted in spinal surgery just before Christmas. And I've kind of been getting along with things, focusing on small people's birthdays, a very manic festive season and just general life. But I am starting 2017 as a new person. I have a new normal.

My new normal is a fancy walk. After the surgery my right foot has a 50% deficit in its strength. There has been a bit of damage to both of my gluts. Which means? I am rocking a whole new walk. It's slow. My legs seem to move fast but old ladies whizz pass me. There is the odd glare on the school run and I can't get to where I want to get like I did before. This is accompanied by a wonderful little limp. Not like a cool street gangster one. More like I am wearing a boot made of concrete. Or that one foot is constantly stuck in thick toffee.

Mommy Blogger
YES BACK ON THE SCHOOL RUN! Day 1...make up on

One side of my right leg is totally numb. As is the foot. It makes shaving a rather dangerous sport and I have thought "is this the time to get a full Gary Barlow face calf tattoo?". Which is a funny thing to think as often funny is easier for me to express than sad or a bit fed up. I would rather joke and be jovial. But my new normal is not brilliant. You expect a new year to lose shed loads of weight or take up a new hobby. I've been told I can not play tennis or run. As I will just...well...fall over. Which is a shame as I was sure to win Wimbledon this year.

Soon I will return to work once all the measures have been put into place to house my new normal. Exceptions need to be made. And I don't like that. I don't want to be a pain. I don't want to be the teacher on the fire drill who can't quite keep up with her class. Or the lady who has to ask for help lifting textbooks. To be honest? I quite liked the old normal. The one that could pick up her six year old who is all long arms and legs. Or the one that could do a dead fast walk to Poundland before the school run. The new normal is slow, clumpy, heavy and a bit weak.

Mummy Blogger
YES BACK ON THE SCHOOL RUN! Day 2...not a scrap and trainers shoved back on

But I have to remember between the old normal and the new normal were those months when nothing was normal. No school runs, no bath times, no jumping in the car to buy more stationery from Homesense. Not sleeping in the same bed as my husband. Not wearing underwear (OK so that bit was fun). Not being able to go to the loo properly because of drugs. Then never being able to get off it when I stopped them. The new normal is much better than that. After 12 months the new normal will seem old*. My limp will just be part of me. I will get the timings right with my slow walking and all the kids will know that "Miss just walks slow". I also reckon that this time next year BeyoncΓ© will have adopted 'the limp'. It will be the hot new dance craze. That along with Gary Barlow Face Calf tattoos. You heard it here first!

*The feeling may come back which would be amazing. I am doing physio twice a day and will be working on my core strength. I am also aware in the scheme of life a little limp is nothing and that I am very lucky.

19 comments:

  1. Oh I'm sorry to read you are struggling with this. It must be really hard to accept. I hope the feeling does come back but you seem to have the right attitude. I'd love to see the Barlow tattoo �� Hugs to you!!

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  2. Emma I think you have just dealt with this so amazingly well. You have not given up, you have carried on with a smile on your face. You're an inspiration.
    I say go gangsta with the walk and start a new trend for mums on da skool run. Loves ya x

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  3. I totally hear you, I am an obese mom of three, lost a bit of weight on Slimming World and decided to give boot camp a try!!!! BIG MISTAKE!!! In my right foot alone I had, a fallen arch, Achilles tendinopathy, plantars faciitus and a permanent sprain!!! AGONY!!!

    With physio, and a lot of drugs, 2 years later, I've gained all the weight I'd lost and am left with the plantars faciitus and Achilles tendonopathy. The podiatrist gives me a regular steroid injection into it, but it HURTS constantly, all because I tried to get fitter!!!! ������

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  4. Just remember that even though the outside may be a bit dented these days, you are still the same beautiful person on the inside. Stay strong and embrace the gangsta walk xx

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  5. I developed ME (now known more logically as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) 27 years ago when I was 21. I still miss my old 'normal' where I didn't need to try and second guess when my body would next let me down. That said, my long term normal hasn't actually stopped me from doing lots of things that most people see as achievements - marriage, kids (now adults), work, home ownership etc. I just have to do it at a different pace to the rest of the world and along the way have learnt that asking for help now and then doesn't cause the world to end, have made some lovely friends and am able to provide help, love, support and laughter to those I love.
    So I wish you all the best as you adjust to your new normal and I think you will be fine (grumpy and fed up some days but overall fine). Why? Because you're already facing up to the changes and looking for the positives. That's a great place to start xx

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  6. Totally understand where you're coming from but look at you rocking the mum uniform (converse and skinnies) and being able to get around so soon after spinal surgery. That's a huge deal!! I think you're doing amazingly and you're managing to keep us lot entertained while you're at it, looks to me as though you're smashing the heck out of this recovery lark. Keep on with the positivity and I say totally go with the gangsta walk! X

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  7. Hi, I've had exactly the same surgery as you about 20 years ago. You will gradually return to normal. I still have a slight limp, and a slightly withered right leg but over the years I have managed to build up strength and have skied and run a 10k so there is hope for the future! It is the brunt of many jokes! You can be on such a high after surgery as your pain is gone and your body can move again, but reality can soon hit that your body has been through so much...the original injury and the surgery. Just take it one day at a time and keep positive.

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  8. It's always hard when you have the feeling that your body is ganging up on you. I had a cardiac arrest when my son was 8 months old. I was, thank God, in the right place at the right time and my life was saved. However, I have to have a pacemaker and defibrillator for the rest of my life. This means surgery every 7 years or so to get the battery changed. In addition my left leg was somehow damaged during the arrest and subsequent 5 days of sedation in hospital that my Achilles is shorter so walking uphill is a challenge and I also have nerve damage that I don't have 100% feeling in my left foot. And ON TOP of that... I have anxiety when out and about now. I always feel like I need to run to the safety of my home. Which is stupid because my life was spared only because I was out and about. Anyway... we all have our 'new normals'. And although it's hard to accept and may take many years, you eventually don't feel the numbness in your leg and the way you walk is your walk. And you take those steps because it means you are still here, still present, still able to take your kids to school and still hug them. And that's an awesome kind of normal. You got this!

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  9. You no what your new normal will soon seem normal! and when times get a little tough and you feel down you have us lot ready to come a cheer you up to and ok not getting to homesense and paperchase daily is a bit crap but hey that's what the internet is for. just think of it that you are keeping the delivery drivers in a job! Yes gary barlow tattoo please and yes nanna dance #nannalimpcraze

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  10. Isn't it funny that so often we feel the need to insert the '*i know I'm lucky' disclaimer. You're going through something really hard. It's ok not to feel ok. Life is shit sometimes...full stop. I have so much respect for you for putting your feelings out there. If it doesn't sound too patronising, your experience will add a new depth to your character as you find the strength to adjust and persevere with recovery (whatever that means physically or emotionally) but also to your children's experience of the broad range of 'normal' that exists in this world. I also hope that you show your daughter this blog one day if you haven't already done so. To let her know that it's ok to talk about difficult times rather than just sharing the funny, fantastic parts of our life. It's all part of the human condition. I'll be thinking of you and quietly admiring you from afar. Best wishes xx

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  11. I applaud your bravery and understand (a bit) - I have tinnitus, hearing loss, a bit of OCD and enough anxiety to stun a rhino. Plus the doctor's surgery announced the results of my latest blood test with "yes you're menopausal". Bring on the new normal. I'm thinking about what tattoo would be most appropriate x

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  12. I'm sorry to hear what you are going through Emma xx I wish you all the best and hope that things improve with time. Lots of Love, Alicia xx

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  13. Sorry Emma, nerve damage is a sod to deal with. I had shingles 2 years ago and it knocked me out that at 45 I couldn't walk and that no-one could tell me if it was ever going to be the same again. Normal. I have realised that because all of my children have children, aarghhhh, I still follow your page cos I remember that I had 3 under 4 when I was 25. So I forward your blog to my kids. I am not stalking you. After this time I have realised that this neuralgia is the new normal. And it F%3King hurts. Especially at night and 1st thing in the morning. But, the little one's get you through it. My grandchildren mean the world to me, even when they try to wrap my head in a cat when I'm sleeping on the sofa. (the cat had done a brilliant job by itself,..)
    After writing war and peace, take pain relief but PLEASE try to avoid a drug called Gabapentin. They put the dose higher and higher but it is used in America to treat alcoholics who are in the prison system. Please check out alternatives. I don't think your Friday night gin needs detox. Good luck hun. Janine xx

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  14. Life can be an amazingly massive poo face at times. It chucks curve balls, it gives then taketh away.... and it is sometimes just down right inappropriate in its dealing of crappy hands. But you know what, if you think about some crap days you've had...you know you got through them. So you'll do it again. And again. And most importantly, some of the best days of your life haven't even happened yet...xxx

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  15. Life can deal you a real shitty hand sometimes, I can't say I "know how you feel" because I haven't experienced what you have but I have to adapt to a very slow and rather strange walk and using a crutch named Colin, original I know πŸ˜‰ I also have had to start using a wheelchair and am putting off getting my own wheels and I bloody hate it, I know I am lucky compared to some but I used to run a ward of 25 patients and run up and down saving lives, now I can't put my own clothes on and other things we won't go in to, so I completely understand the feeling of being plucked out of your own life and dropped into another one that you really don't like, it's crap and I honestly don't know where this is going other than to say, if you need a chat (we can moan together about our dodgy walks) I'm here my lovely, good luck with the physio, I really hope you get the feeling and strength back, mostly so when my mum watches wimbledon I can say "ooooh look it's Emma" when you're lifting the trophy πŸ˜‰ lots of love my darling, keep fighting and keep smiling xxx πŸ’•

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  16. That all sounds a bit crap, but you've come so far from being stuck and unable to move. I know I would hate it, but you're doing so well and, like you say, soon the new normal will just become 'normal' and everyone will know that you're just a bit slower. Good luck with going back to work!

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  17. I am so sorry for your pain. I live with chronic pain in my neck and I can totally understand adapting to a new normal. We went to a trampoline park with the girls and I watched on the sidelines and admired the fun. I hope that your pain will subside and you get the strength back, and I hope you soak in all the love and support that surrounds you. Take good care brummy mummy!

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  18. Sending lots of love, transitioning to anything new you didn't choose yourself is going to be hard and I hope you do manage some feeling back over time xx

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  19. Oh Em, this is awful :( I know that you wouldn't mention it if it was just 'a little bit of an inconvenience'. Feel for you it must be really debilitating. Do you think things might get better over time? Well done for trying to stay positive in the face of adversity. xx

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