Disability Stories – My Mother-in-Law

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Let me preface this by saying I know my Mother-in-law isn’t truly evil. She just doesn’t think things through before expressing herself some  all the time. My husband had a fairly revelatory discussion with her the other day (Sunday, actually, beginning at 8:30) where we discovered she often thinks she’s being funny! Imagine!

My Mother-in-law is older than I think of most moms, in that she’s in her mid eighties. Her husband is nine years younger, and quite a hunk! Portends well for my husband’s aging process! Not only is my Father-in-law handsome, he is sweet as spun sugar. 💙

Now my Mother-in-law, I do believe, generally has the best of intentions, generally. I first met her after the breakup of our mutual relationships and when now-husband and I had just finished the ‘should we or shouldn’t we?’ dance. I think everyone knew this relationship was significant.  She served dinner on warmed plates, so fancy. She was trying so hard. It was sweet. It was my first trip to the Danforth. On Logan Avenue. Gorgeous neighbourhood. I’ve lived in Toronto twenty-five years, I’ve been on the east side maybe fifty times. Anyway, they were lovely. She ran around before I arrived removing photos of his ex-girlfriend. It had only been three or four months. They had been living together. They bought a house. (Oh, that really makes me sound like a home wrecker, but on reflection I do believe we were set up. It took me years to realize).

Things went well. July of 1999 husband and I moved into the top two floors of a house off of St Clair West near Oakwood. At this point I was dealing with just Endometriosis…except my thyroid started acting up shortly after we moved in together. I went from 190 lbs to 220 lbs in 5 weeks. Then another 20 lbs came on over the summer. By October of 1999 I was 240 lbs. Thyroid medication was the only thing that stopped the gain. We have no idea what happened.

Prior to this, my now-husband had drifted away from his family. Because of me being such a lovey-dovey nosy person who doesn’t know when to leave well enough alone, I declared this ‘strange’ (I was 29 and stupid) and encouraged him to get in touch with his perfectly lovely seeming family! His ex-girlfriend was much like my ex-husband. Very artistic, loves to be centre of attention, not really good with details. Which means both of our houses looked like trash heaps unless he at his or I at mine did something about it.

This is the scenario when I, a former go-getter have my first child, which was actually a fairly traumatic birth, involving a c-section, yanking, tugging, more yanking, THE DOCTOR GETTING ON THE TABLE AND STRADDLING ME, and finally her birth. Still no idea about my EDS diagnosis at the time. After this, I have a year off, nine months of which is pretty good, and the pain returns with a vengeance. (Things are hazy about this time, two young kids, pain, migraines, under medicated). I got my daughter into daycare and tried to go back to work, but I couldn’t.  I had my daughter in daycare in February, and by October I was pregnant. It was the only time I felt okay. He was born in June of 04. I had to put him into daycare as soon as I could. He was too active and my pain returned too quickly. Yet as soon as she heard about my pregnancy, my sister-in-law asked me “why would you get pregnant again when you can’t look after the baby you have?” I was gobsmacked. I muttered something like accidents happen, although he was no accident whatsoever. I assume she was referring to our decision to keep our daughter in daycare while I was not working. Not that it’s anyone’s business, but she really enjoyed daycare, and it was good for her. Plus, what’s wrong with her Dad? Is he a potato all of a sudden?

After both kids were here, both c-sections (where I actually got online V-bac counselling from Michelle Duggar, who was on baby 7?, hand to God!)  I was in a lot of pain. Here is where my Mother-in-law comes to my rescue? No…here is where my Mother-in-law sees I am not working. Probably assumes I have no income.* Sees I am slacking off on my household chores (My husband has this terrible habit when he is talking on the phone of saying “I’m doing the laundry” even if it is I who was doing the laundry.) And starts encouraging my husband to take the children and find a new wife. He is certainly young and good-looking enough, she assures him. (Why would he tell me this? My husband has Aspergers, it probably didn’t even occur to him I would see this as anything but ridiculous. He is incredibly sensitive, and has grown so much, 15 years ago he was a bit green, and we had babies).

To complicate things, husband decided to take our co-sleeping sprogs to sleep in the other room so I could deal with this chronic pain that was cropping up. Only he didn’t say that. He just left. I was sure it was because I was revolting. Or, he had the children he really wanted. He could go off happily now. My DNA is so Oooh speshul.  Haha! I was so crazy partly,

I had been prescribed opioids by my GP for pain. Whee! No not Whee! Like high. Actually, I was joking with a friend who has something… that lung thing… we’d be ‘lucky’ enough to be roofed at a club, I can see it. Picture it: *Hmmm, I’m actually not feeling too bad right now!* Lol! Back to the story: Hydrocodone, I think? Anyway, it was fine, I took my dose just fine, every four hours on the dot. HOWEVER patients with EDS tend to metabolize medication faster than the general population, and I am one of them. I am done with a 4 hour medication at 3 hours. Cold medication, pain medication, everything. So for almost a year, I found out fairly recently, I was spending that hour essentially going through withdrawal, how many times a day? That must have been the worst time of my life. No, I honestly can’t think of a worse time. Should there be an equation for this? My time with my ex was awful but it was extended, this was concentrated awful.

I know my husband stuck up for me to his mother, but she just wasn’t having it. I think it bothered me so much because I sort of agreed with her. Things got so much better when I got to a proper pain clinic and on to long-acting pain medication. Then life started turning around. We had a housekeeper for ages, but he could only do so much. Our kids have Autism, our daughter needs to see everything, she spreads her stuff all over the living room.

Hmmm. This was supposed to be about my Mother-in-law, and I guess it was, but it was a bit more winding than intended. 😄

I will have to follow-up with part 2, with some quips.

 

Have a good day, Zebras 😘

 

 

*My in laws’ 50th was last year, and my husband and I paid for the party, and his brother and wife bought them something amazing or something, they have exceptional taste, anyway, remember now, my husband and I have been married – it’s our 16th anniversary in October. Because my husband and I work for banks, we have TONS of accounts. Also because I’m stuck in bed, my husband has a private account his cheque goes into, then he transfers it to wherever, I don’t follow how it works. But he needed an account and couldn’t wait for me to feel well enough to get to the bank. Well, when he paid or reimbursed his Dad for party expenses, he wrote a cheque on his private account, not thinking of the optics. Well, he’s received two or three thank you cards and gifts, but they don’t mention me or the kids. I don’t know if I should bring my bank statements showing my pension and my disability payments, leave them lying around? Nah, they’d probably match up the account numbers. Ouch.

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