[10/23: Wow, I meant to post this a week ago, but evidently failed to. So I’ve back-dated it and here it is.]
A few weeks ago, I went back to DC for a wedding, and had an amazing time talking with my mom and dad about parenthood. I asked them to articulate something that had changed when they became parents, and what surprised them about newborns (remember, my parents did these things separately). Regarding newborns, my mom said that she was always afraid that we’d slip down the drain when she was giving us a bath. Regarding parenthood, my father vividly recalled walking with Bill and having the thought hit him: what if we both get sick at the same time? This is something that’s been scaring me facing single parenthood, and was brought home this week through a bad bout of pain.
I’ve dealt with chronic pain since early puberty. It goes through phases of location and intensity, but generally I can deal. I’d been having a period of left shoulder/neck pain for a while, and Tuesday it got more and more and more intense, especially as I struggled to try on a soft structured carrier at Baby Carrier Speed Dating. Woke up in such distress at 2 am that I called in to work and drove myself to the ER for stronger drugs (funny stories for in person telling there), and I’ve spent most of the last four days in a valium- and codeine-induced sleep.
And my neck still isn’t better. I mean, I’ve pushed myself more than I should have (hosting a bbq and all), but I need to go back to work unmedicated tomorrow, and while I have range of motion back, I’ve still got more pain than on average. I couldn’t really pick up my friends’ two-year-old on Friday night, and that was with the pain drugs. If this had happened two months from now, and there’s no saying it won’t again, I don’t know what I could do. I’m grateful to the friends and housemates who kept me fed and and medicated and entertained, but it’s a totally different ask for an infant, and I need the practice asking for help.