I was beginning to think I’d outgrown new years’ resolutions. I see other people talking about their resolutions and scoff. I won’t be making new year resolutions, I tell myself smugly. I’m going to be just as awesome next year as I have been this year.
In 2016, however, I do have one resolution. It’s a big one, and it’s not something that can be solved with a gym membership or a pledge to keep my house tidy.
I’m going to come to terms with my chronic illness.
(Yeah, that’s me praying backwards. It’s a backwards Namaskar, and a classic sign of hypermobile joints).
On every job application I put in this year, I will include my hypermobility/EDS in the “long-term illness/disability” section, to avoid any more situations where I’m having to take time off due to injuries, and work are asking “Why didn’t you tell us about this sooner?”.
I’ve been referred for physio, and this year I will stick at it. I will do the exercises regularly, and I won’t just stop going as soon as I think it’s going moderately well.
I will pace myself. I will use braces and supports and tubigrips and crutches when I need to, rather than refusing to ask for or accept help for fear of looking weak.
I won’t beat myself up every time SB sits in a W-shape, or her knees bend backwards, or I see that characteristic blue-grey colour in her sclera that confirmed for me that she’s inherited these joints.
Not everything will change. I’ll probably still have moments where I stop in the middle of a busy street and cannot walk another step because my hip is about to subluxate (sorry anyone who was in town today and witnessed my near-breakdown). I’ll still have days where I can’t get out of bed. I’ll still whine on Facebook and Twitter, I’ll still end up at the doctors far more than a healthy person would.
I’ll still have hypermobile joints. I’ll still have EDS. I’ll still be a spoonie.
But I will accept that, and work with my body, rather than against it. I’ll be a positive role model to SB, showing her how to cope with hypermobility, teaching her how to handle a chronic illness.
2016 will be the year that I really accept that my control over what happens to my body is limited. I could end up in a wheelchair before I’m 40. I could need a knee replacement in the next 15 years. I could dislocate and subluxate many, many joints in my body over the next twelve months, with various GP, out of hours and A&E visits required.
Just because my control is limited, doesn’t mean there’s nothing I can do. 2016 will be the year I stop letting my body rule my life, and I start changing my lifestyle to rule my body instead.
I know this isn’t strictly a parenting post, but I’ve been wanting to write a post about the impact of a genetic condition on parenting for a while. It’s taken several attempts (and then finally, this stream of consciousness pouring out of my mind on a Monday evening), but here it is.