How to Juggle Motherhood and Chronic Illness | Ep. 8

Believe it or not moms, we get sick too! Mom guilt will have us thinking we did something wrong because we are sick or we are less than because we can’t get everything done. I used to believe that moms don’t get sick days, however, today I am challenging that thought pattern.

Episode 8

Show Notes

You are human and your health matters. You don’t have to be a superhero! It’s bad enough with the common cold or flu, but find out what to do when illness occurs and you are no longer the mom you used to be.

Today, I am peeling back the layers and getting real with you about a health challenge I recently experienced. This is the first time I’ve told this story outside of close friends and family (as you can probably tell since I get a little emotional re-living the experience), but you know I believe in sharing stories so that I can help uplift and encourage someone else. 

What do you do when you get sick? On today’s show, I discuss how to navigate mom life when experience a health challenge. 

In this episode, I discuss:

  1. How quickly life can change
  2. How to navigate a health challenge
  3. How to sit back and let your family take care of you
  4. How done is better than perfect.

In this episode, you learn:

  1. Your family will survive even when you are sick
  2. Your family is more than capable of handling duties and tasks in and outside of the home
  3. Sometimes you have to adjust to a new normal
  4. To cherish and enjoy all the moments with your family

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode. Take a screenshot and tag me @LaWannMoses or @iam_morethanamother in your Instagram stories.

Don’t forget to leave a 5 star rating and review on Apple podcasts. The giveaway is happening soon!

I’m looking for podcast guests! If you are a mom (biological, step-mom, bonus mom, like-a-mom, or raising kids that think of you as mom) and you have a story to share and advice to offer, I would love to speak with you about collaboration opportunities. Please email me at hello@lawannmoses.com. I can’t wait to talk to you soon. 

Episode 8 Transcript

LaWann Moses 

Welcome back to the more than a mother show. This is your host LaWann Moses and I’m excited to be here with you again. I hope everything is going well for you and that you are enjoying all the content so far. I would love to hear from you hear your thoughts on everything you’ve been thinking, everything that’s been going on and just how you feel about the more than a mother podcast so far. So I advise you to just leave review. Find me on social media at LaWann Moses Is are at I am underscore more than a mother. And just leave me your thoughts on how you feel about the podcast so far. Today, I’m going a little deep. I’m going a little personal. This episode is going to be different than what you’ve heard so far. But I just like to operate in a spirit of transparency. And when a message drops on my heart, I just feel the need to share it. So today I want to talk about what happens when mom gets sick. Now, I’m not talking about the common cold, not talking about the flu, not talking about allergies or anything like that. But what happens when mom comes down with a serious illness? And how does this contribute to mom guilt and the lows that us mothers carry?

So at the end of October after I’d come back from doing the conference, I started to experience dizzy spells. Now these spells were happening while I was driving in the car, standing out in the store, just anywhere I was going, I was having these feelings where I just felt dizzy and like I was going to faint. And this went on for about a week and they just got increasingly worse. So the day before Halloween, I went to my doctor, and she ran a series of tests to try and figure out what was going on. I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t having full blown vertigo spells where the room was spinning, but I just kept having this feeling of dizziness. She did her testing and just different things, looked at my ears, did all kinds of balance tests, the tests they do for your logical exams and all those type of things, but she just couldn’t find anything. So the final diagnosis at that time she thought it might have been something wrong with my inner ear so she gave me some medicine and put me out of work. For two days, what I didn’t know is that when she wrote me out at work for those two days, that that would lead me down a journey to where I was out of work for a few months. 

The next day on Halloween while I was home, I was having these headaches, and I was feeling tired. So I decided to take a nap. I lay down to take a nap. And when I got out to go get my daughter from the bus stop, my whole left side felt numb. I just could not feel it. couldn’t quite figure out what was going on. But I just figured I had slept wrong, it was a nerve, and that once I got up moving around, everything would be okay. I didn’t really think about anything being wrong until I went to go down the steps. And when I went to go down the steps, I noticed that my left leg was not coming with me as I was walking. So I had to grab onto the rail so that I would not fall. So as I held on to the rail and walk down the steps, I realized that each I was moving, my left side seems to be delayed. But again, still not thinking anything of it. I got into the car drove up to my daughter’s bus stop, and I had plans to go to the store. But I just wasn’t feeling right. So I came back to the house. And when I went to come back into the house, we have little steps out in front of our house. And I want to run up those two steps. And I had to put my hands down to brace myself because I fell. And I noticed when I was trying to get up the steps, I kept trying to bring my left foot up, and it kept hitting into the steps repeatedly, over and over again, a few times I’ve tried. And then finally my daughter was like, Mom, what is wrong with you? And I was like, I don’t know, but something is wrong. I have to figure it out. So I mainly went upstairs, got my husband, x him to take me to the emergency room because something just wasn’t right for my parents and let them know what was going on.

At that time was decided maybe I should call 911. So I called 911. They responded. And first thoughts that everyone’s having was that I was in the middle of a stroke, or the beginning of a stroke. My left side was numb, but yet I was still able to talk. My face wasn’t drooping. No other symptoms were going on. But my blood pressure was elevated. And so they decided to take me over to the emergency room. When I went to the emergency room, the doctors there again brought me in, they were letting them know paramedics let them know what was going on. And they again started to run some of the same similar tests with my leg, but I just felt like as I was going through these tests that they do, my left side, especially my left leg felt weaker and it like it was getting worse. And I was still sitting, talking. There was still No other obvious signs, but I think the doctors noticed the weakness that was becoming on my left side. So after about a few minutes into it, that they had some conversation amongst themselves, and it was finally decided, Okay, we’re going to call it that’s what I remember hearing them say, we’re going to go ahead and call it.

So the attending physician automatically just warned me Okay, we’re about to call this a stroke alert because we don’t know what’s going on. But a whole lot of people are going to rush in here and they’re going to start doing a whole lot of things to you. I need you to stay calm, don’t panic, but this is the best way to get you an elevated level of care. And literally, as soon as they said stroke alert room a people came rushing from everywhere. There were nurses, just different doctors and neurologists, doing tests people pricking me hooking me up two different things. And I can remember all this so vividly, but I still just did not feel like that. myself. And they were actually did I have any other type of medical history that anything else going on anything else that could be wrong with me besides the stroke? Because they still weren’t quite sure what was going on? And I said no. But then I remember when the neurologist was doing his test, he covered up my left eye. And when he covered up my left eye, it brought back to my memory that a few years ago, two years ago to be exact, I had a problem with my right eye where I lost vision over the course of a few days, and I was without vision, like legally blind in my right eye for the course of a couple months, and at that time, I was diagnosed with optic neuritis. So when I brought that out that I was diagnosed with optic neuritis two years ago, immediately bought to the neurologists that this could Multiple Sclerosis. So went from a toss up between a stroke or multiple sclerosis. So I was rushed to a CAT scan. And all these tests were performed on me. And I was just told I was going to be admitted to the hospital. What I didn’t know was being admitted to the hospital that day would lead to a five day long hospital stay.

I was admitted to the hospital. And that night after my family at friends and left, I was laying there and I started having these jerks on my left hand side. My whole left hand side just started jumping. And they had me hooked up to a heart monitor. So at first I was thinking something was wrong with my heart. Or something was just going on just felt the I thought they were palpitations. But then, once my limbs started jerking, I realized something else was wrong. I push the button to call for the nurse.

I let her know what I was experiencing. And she told me just to calm down, I was hooked up to the heart monitor, I was fine. But once she left the room, it got progressively worse to wear. My left arm was jerking. And it was just I couldn’t stop it from jerking. So I remember pushing the button and screaming for help. I started to shake uncontrollably and I cannot do anything about it. And I just remember kind of like experiences out of body moments where I’m trying to get out and I just could not move. And I heard all the nurses running and they’re like, it seems like she’s having some type of seizure. I remember hearing them say that. And they were just trying to calm me down and I was there by myself. And I just remember saying that I needed my husband and I needed my mom. I just kept telling I needed somebody there with me. So they were trying to get my husband On the phone, they were trying to call my mom, they didn’t have my mom’s phone number. 

And I remember after that episode, I picked up the phone and I was trying to text my mom and I could not focus on my phone at all. It was so hard for me to see the button to try and push something and I just remember texting my mom that I need you. But by that time, the hospital nurses they had gotten contact with my husband and he was on his way. So he arrived there and I explained to him what was going on. And probably within 10 minutes or so of him being there. My left side side started jerking yet. And I remember telling him it’s happening again. And he was sitting there holding China’s call my arm down, just calmed me down. And I just remember screaming, get help. It’s happening again. And my left side started shaking uncontrollably. And I remember the nurses coming in saying, Oh, she’s having another seizure. And just they were just saying, come back around, come back around. I just remember hearing them say that. So apparently that while of that second time giving me which I found out after the fact, that given me some type of medicine to stop seizures, and I was able to calm down and things are fine. So that was all on the first night. So like I said, This led to a five day hospitalization where I was poked, prodded, blood was taken from me, everything was just going over. They were trying to figure out what, what was happening. All kinds of tests, everything coming back negative, nothing coming back conclusive. 

And at the end, when they released me from the hospital, they still didn’t really know what was going on. I had a cane to help with my mobility. And I had regained some strength by the end by that fifth day, but I still needed that change to help me get around. The doctors were leaning towards a multiple sclerosis diagnosis, but they still didn’t have enough conclusive evidence. They had done a spinal tap. They had just done all type of things taking the fluid and all. And lots of the fluid had to be set to different labs so that they could just do more extensive testing.

So while of being out of work for a couple months, I saw a neurologist about a month later, right before Thanksgiving. He did wind up confirming that yes, my diagnosis was multiple sclerosis. As you can imagine, this really set my family through. And I say what happens when mom gets sick because overnight, things changed drastically for my family. I went from supermom doing everything to mom who just couldn’t do anything at all except sit there and let others take care of me. Now that’s not such a bad deal when you think about it, moms. But when you’re used to doing everything, we’re used to Going and being independent and doing things, it can play a huge part and just suck on you psychologically. And then even to just watch everyone step up, and everyone has to do things like you just feel so hopeless and so helpless.

But then eventually you realize it’s okay. So those first few nights when I was home after I came home, I was having migraines like crazy, and I really cannot do anything. Everyone had to wait on me and I was just so concerned because how could I be this sick? How could this happen to me? I’m the one that’s doing everything, taking care of the household, but yet now here I am. I can’t do anything. So how do we deal with this as mothers when we get sick? How do we deal with the guilt guilt that goes through our minds? How do we deal with the guilt that plays in Our minds. We realize that our family Yes, they’re capable of doing things. But it’s just not the same when, cuz mom’s not doing it. But I tell you today that it’s okay. One thing I’ve learned during this time, and as I’m still on my journey to recovery and getting treatment is that it’s okay. Other people are capable of doing things. Moms, we don’t have to do it all. Even though we try to. We’re not superheroes. We try to be superheroes but not meant to be superheroes. If that was the case, then we would have been created as our favorite superhero. But yet we try so hard to be supermom. 

But moms I want to encourage you today to just stop. Stop trying to be supermom stop trying to do it all. Realize that you have a family. You have kids. You have a household Everyone that can pitch in and do their part. Yes, it may not get done the way that you would do it. But the important part is that it gets done. And I will say one of the hardest parts for me was sitting back just watching. I tell you that that my family ate fast food, probably for the first few weeks because my husband had to work his usual schedule while helping with the kids so he would get off work at night and have to get up bright and early in the morning and drop do bus drop off his school drop off. So he was running on little sleep. Then when the kids would get home, he would have to rush off to go to work. So literally my family ate fast food for a month. And guess what? Everybody survived. It may not be the stellar diet. It may not have been the best diet but guess what they ate. Everybody’s still living and everyone is fine. I say all that to say, take the pressure off yourself moms realize that life happens realize that things happen. So everything’s not always going to go smoothly. But guess what? It’s okay. And that is my message for you today. That it is okay. Things change, things happen, but it’s okay.

And I want to encourage you today when life gets in the way, when something happens when plans change, when something throws off, whatever you had scheduled, look in the mirror and tell yourself, hey, it’s okay. It’s easy to say it’s okay. But it’s a lot harder to put it into practice. Because guess what? Here comes that good old mom guilt knocking on your door. What may be letting, letting you know that you shouldn’t be in this situation. You should be doing something You should be fixing it, but it’s okay. So a few things I want to leave with you is one, your family can and your family will survive. If something happens and you get sick, take that time to rest. take that time to recover and take care of yourself. I’m sure it’s harder when your kids are younger.

But realize that you have a support system you have help for a reason. They can get by. It may not get done the way you want it to, but they will survive until you are feeling better. Number two, your family is more than capable of handling all the tasks that you carry. doing the dishes laundry, cleaning up. Yes, they may not fold the clothes the same way you do. They may not put dishes away the same way that you do. They may not cook the food the same way that you do, or they may eat fast food for a few weeks. But it’s okay. Mom, it is Oh, okay. As long as it’s getting done as long as everyone is cared for, it is okay.

Getting sick. Having an illness, having a health challenge is out of your control. So do not feel guilty because you need to take the time to take care of you. Do not feel guilty because you need to recover and do not feel guilty for having your family step in and do things that you usually do. Also want to let you know that sometimes you’re gonna have to learn to adjust to a new normal. Now I am doing a whole lot better right now. And I am so thankful for that. I am feeling like myself. 95% of the time, but there are still those days that I wake up, where I just am not feeling well. Each day with multiple sclerosis is different. Some days I feel like I can conquer the world and I am lajuan before she was sick, but other times, I just feel I can’t do anything. And I have given myself permission to do nothing. I want to be here for my family in the long run, I’m sure as you do. So if you need to give yourself permission to do nothing, in order to take care of yourself, then I encourage you to do so. This may be your new normal, you may have to adjust to this. You may never get back to how things were before the health challenge occur. But you can adjust and you can do things differently. So you may not be able to run play skip hop don’t do everything. That you used to do all the time. But take it day by day, step by step. And everyone will soon learn to adjust to a new normal. No, it’s not easy at first, because I did a whole lot in my household. But through this health challenge, I realized that I wasn’t giving my family enough credit for the things that they could do. I felt like I had to do it all because I wanted it done a certain way. And it needed to be done a certain way. But I learned that as long as it gets done, like I said, it’s okay. So learn to adjust to your new normal, take some of the pressure off of yourself and release yourself from that guilt that you feel because things are now different.

Lastly, I want to encourage you to cherish the moments cherish the time that you have, for we’ve noticed over the past few weeks just that brevity of life. So even health challenges may come your way or something else may come your way. Start to cherish each moment that you have together. Because in the blink of an eye, things could change. So cherish the moments you have with your kids cherish the moments you have with your family. And just kick that mom guilt to the curb. We’ve been talking about it long enough. And it’s time to say bye, girl. Bye mom guilt, no time for you here. I got this. So look yourself in the mirror and say it’s okay. I’ve got this. I hope I share my story with you all and give you a little behind the scenes that it helped encourage you along the way. This is just the beginning of my Multiple Sclerosis journey. 

And I’m just encouraged just to bring light to this invisible illness. I’m reminded every day That this is what Multiple Sclerosis looks like. Yes, I look healthy. Yes, I look good. But on the inside, I don’t always feel so good. So it just brings, it brings me to a reminder that invisible illnesses do exist. So just because someone looks good, doesn’t mean that they are good. health challenges will come. Things will change. But just rely on your support system, rely on your family and let them help you through your illness through your health challenge through when you get sick. It’s not your fault. You’re not wrong. There’s nothing you could do about it. Mom, you’re not a superhero. So yes, a health challenge can come. Yes, you can get sick. And there’s no magical powder, no magical formula that can fix it. Just take the time to take care of it. yourself, let your family pitch in and help and just cherish these moments on your road to recovery.

Thanks for tuning in. I look forward to speaking with you all soon. If you enjoyed this episode, please don’t forget to leave us a review, leave a five star rating so that we can get the more than a mother podcast to as many mothers to as many women that need to hear these messages as possible. If you’re a mom that is fighting a health challenge, fighting an illness, and you would love to share your story and share some tips with the audience on how you make it through and what your experience has been. I would love to have you as a guest on my podcast. 

Please look in the show notes for the details on how you can become a part of the more than a mother show. love to have you as a guess I would love to feature your story. I would love to allow you to share your message with a mother that may desperately need to hear it. Remember, Mom, it’s okay. It’s all right. You’re not a superhero. But you’ve got this. 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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