Tuesday night I got up on stage and talked about my experiences of PND following Evelyn’s birth.
The days leading up to the talk were filled with hyperbole, used as a coping tool to cover my nervousness. “I MIGHT DIE” is an adequate description of how I felt, right up until I stepped onto stage and everything was okay again, despite the bright lights and the audience staring at me.
Things are bothering me at the moment – a combination of busyness and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, the discussion of disability, my inability to do things I want to do in favour of having to take care of my health so I can continue to operate a small business, but in the wake of Tuesday’s talk and remembering just how rotten my PND was at the time, everything feels like sunshine and smooth sailing.
However, disability is a tricky thing to manage when there’s little consistency to my particular brand of bendy/broken. Good pain control helps immeasurably, but there’s exhaustion and joints which refuse to stay in place on a regular basis.
And I do identify as a disabled woman, despite my ability to hide how broken my collagen is with braces and smiles, good painkillers and carefully managed activity.
Wednesday, the organisers of the Mental As forum called us, the speakers, to make sure we were all okay. And I am okay. I was on my way to bump into the Pop Up Shop, where my soap will be available for sale for two weeks, so I was stressed, of course, but I’d moved on to the next big thing. Speaking on stage didn’t kill me, I didn’t pass out or throw up, so it’s all good.
I’m alternating times in The Pop Up Shop with Mum (Kim Foale Ceramics) – who will likely do the bulk of the sitting, while I spin in circles at home, trying to manage the Christmas rush (which is a lot of fun), with stock levels and wholesale orders (also fun, and I love doing them).
It’s the last few days of school holidays, which is a beautiful beautiful thing. I’m going to be sitting in the shop during Salamanca Market on Saturday, which is also a beautiful thing.
Having my own business is the only way I could work. Being able to structure my work days around naps, paperwork while laying on the couch, and small children, is a good thing. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s all a juggling act. That I can’t actually do more than I am without paying the price down the track.
Right now that price is some tiredness and a bit of breakthrough pain, plus a lot of nausea.
Down the track that price tends to be catastrophic body shutdowns as I lay in bed and shake and tremble and try not to throw up.
I’m juggling, structuring my days nicely, and taking time out to lay down with cups of tea and my book.
So far, it’s working okay.