Find Joy. Seek Truth. Be Kind.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

If Mama ain't happy...

... Ain't nobody happy.

You've heart that one, right?

Is it true at your house?

It's true at our house too.  Not in the "Mama's pissed and she's after your butt" way, but in the literal, if I'm not well, no one else is either way.

It seems absolutely impossible for my family to be happy and cheerful if I'm sick.

Ah, that seems kinda sweet, doesn't it?
NO.  It's not.
It's damned irritating, and sometimes totally dysfunctional, especially when Mom is truly very ill and needs everyone else to step up while she's down.

I noticed this before my diagnosis.  If I was low, the kids were low, and nothing got done.  If I was sick, you could bet the mortgage that at least one kid would spend the day complaining and asking "Do I have a fever?"  Before my diagnosis I chalked it up to my skewed perception when I was low or sick.  The family wasn't really taking on my symptoms, it just seemed like it to me because my view point was skewed while I was low or sick.  I was over sensitive.

But this last year I've had lots of opportunity to test the theory that every person in this house takes their physical and emotional cues from me and every single time it's tested, I'm right.  On the weeks I get chemo, suddenly everyone else feels a little off, queasy, tired, out of sorts.   What ever my physical or emotional malaise is, it is mirrored in my family.

When I don't do house work, it just doesn't get done, even if I lay on the couch and try to micromanage from there.  It just doesn't happen.  When I'm well and can pop up and say "Time to clean" the same micromanaging works just fine.  "Hot Dog - pick up all the nerf darts.  LegoKid put all the legos away.  Bit Boy, you vacuum."  If I'm on my feet and smiling, this all gets done with a minimal amount of griping.  If I'm down, it's like I'm speaking a different language.  If I'm too tired to do laundry, very little laundry gets done.  Yet, if I am well enough to start it and ask for help, suddenly - Boom - lots of hands helping and it's done.

The cure for this is  - what?  I know.  Don't get sick. Especially, don't get a life threatening illness that requires medical treatment that is also life threatening.  Stay cheerful no matter how you feel physically.  Don't let them see you sweat.

Uh.  No.  I can't do that.  Damn.  I wish I could.  But thems the breaks.  I'm going to be in, and recovering from, cancer treatment for a while yet.  I can't help but feel bad and tired sometimes.
I've talked with them about it, but only FireLord is really mature enough to see the pattern.  Even seeing the pattern isn't enough to change things.  So we'll just have to all muddle through together.  Hopefully at some point soonish I'll be getting stronger and be able to be more consistent in my energy and health.  Until then, well, don't look to closely at the dust bunnies, eh?


Shawn Walter said...

Yeah, no amount of telling them, "suck it up, buttercup" makes them actually do the things rather than complaining about doing the things. I'm sorry.

Sue VanHattum said...

You are a star, April. I am sending you love. And I wish I could send you a housekeeper.