Over the last few days I’ve experienced something I’m not used to. I’ve been tired.
Sorry to be really annoying, but I genuinely don’t get tired normally. I get a bit stressed and overwhelmed by the demands of being a mum, but that’s not the same thing as being tired. Every day I go to bed about 12 and get up at 6 and I am absolutely fine with that.
But in recent days all that has changed. At times, particularly in the middle of the night, the tiredness has been overwhelming and I’ve mistaken it for feeling ill – for the start of the nasty virus I’ve been so desperate to avoid. But for some years now I’ve had a remarkable ability not to get ill
It started in the early hours of Christmas Eve morning when I woke and thought I should check on my poorly son. I took his temperature, which was high, then he woke panicking and demanding water. He was wheezing and hot. He downed a glass and a half of water, took his Calprofen and went back to bed. I didn’t dare leave him, so I sat with him until his temperature and breathing were under control.
I felt so weak and wobbly, I tried lying on the floor, I tried sitting up, but I knew I couldn’t leave him. He couldn’t get back to sleep, so I read to him in the dark. I didn’t want to read anything that would scare him, so Beast Quest and Harry Potter were out, I didn’t want to read anything that was funny and involved too much dramatics on my part, so Mr Gum was out. He asked for Roald Dahl. That is REALLY flipping scary – with the Enormous Crocodile who wants to eat children. I sat with him for an hour, then lay awake worrying for another hour and woke up another couple of times in the night. Worrying.
On Christmas Eve night I felt like I shouldn’t go to sleep at all. I was so WORRIED. I had two poorly boys who would need checking and medicine in the night and the whole Christmas Eve elf mission
left me more stressed than ever. At one point during the mission, my younger son even came out to go to the toilet. We were finished at 12.15, the kids were getting up at 6, I’d have to get up to them during the night, which would make me feel even more tired. Really there was no point in going to sleep (although I did).
So I’ve fallen into a pattern of late-night wandering to check on all my patients. I take all their temperatures and give them water and medicine if needed. And then I lie awake worrying. I fall asleep for two hours when I go to bed, then I wake up and lie awake for an hour because I’m so pleased with myself that I’ve had two hours sleep.
I check on my boys, then I go back to bed and panic that I haven’t checked my girl. What if she’s fallen ill in the night? But the tiredness is so overwhelming, it feels like I’m tied down to the bed. My mind wants to get out, but my body just won’t let me.
On Boxing Day night I had something extra to keep me awake. I was expecting a phone call in the middle of the night to say my sister had had her baby. I woke just after 1 to check on my boys, then I lay awake until 2.30 wondering when the phone would ring. It rang at 4am and I threw myself down the stairs.
I’d got a NIECE! Born at 2.30 in the morning. I was so happy to have a new baby in the family, but even happier that it was a little girl. With two brothers and two boy cousins, my daughter was desperate to have another girl in the family. Everyone else had expected a boy, but I’d had a little inkling all the way along that it might be a girl.
It took me a while to get back to sleep. I slept for 20 minutes and then I was awake. My new niece’s name dancing in foot high, sparkling letters through my mind. I’d got a niece! It was all I could think of. I was so happy and so tired. And then I remembered that I’d got two poorly boys and a poorly husband and started worrying.
Then I got up. And I felt weak and wobbly. And TIRED.