On Sunday I ran race 10 of my 2016 5k challenges for Raindrops to Rainbows. It was the start of the Tees Trail winter series which is where my challenges began. This was a challenge that I was ready for. After weeks of struggling to make time around monkeys and getting back to work, I needed to run. I needed to be free of the pushchair and in the company of other runners. I was almost there. Until the monkey train derailed dramatically.
The signs were all there
The weekend had started like they all do these days. Having dashed through another working week. Clambering over obstacles and dodging monkey made missiles, to drag ourselves into Friday night and a carefully prepared gin and tonic. To be honest the signs were there already that something really bad was coming.
On Thursday night Little Miss had appeared beside me with an open tube of craft glue in her mouth. I had no idea where it had come from, having carefully removed them from the monkeys craft box when she started crawling. It was only small but also half full. Having no idea where it came from I equally had no idea if she had ingested any!
A quick Google of “Craft glue ingested” and two night time vomiting episodes later, we concluded she probably had. By the way, pva glue is as toxic as play doh. It will upset their tummy but it is perfectly safe apparently. Best just to monitor them than rush to A&E.
Then on Friday night, Mr LMR decided to put some WWF wrestling on for the monkeys. Within 20 minutes the house was in uproar and Middle Monkey had received a flying kick in the eye from Top Monkey, lashing out from the top of the sofa. I then turned it off and reprimanded all three of them, (Top, Middle and Mr) before applying an ice pack and putting on something calming.
I think you should come and look at this.
The Saturday started well. Top got the star player medal at football and, they ate lunch without arguement. An issue arose about what to do that afternoon, because the weather was nice and, Mr LMR and I couldn’t face swimming. If only we had gone swimming. We decided to head to Tees Barrage to check out the new Air Trail. There was no availability but the monkeys could ride their scooters round the barrage and often the canoes are out on the rapids to watch.
On the way there I started feeling a bit queasy, so said I was nipping to the loo when we got there. Catching them up a mere 5 minutes later by the Anchor near the Air Trail, Top was crying and Mr LMR said “I think you should see this!” He then presented to me what looked like a banana arm. He had apparently been using the anchor as a slide, lost his balance and fallen off.
Long story short. Off I went to A&E with Top where he was assessed, X rayed and in a cast within 30 minutes. I love our NHS. Some concerns were raised about possible surgery which thankfully was decided against at that stage. Home we went with advice on wiggling fingers and lots of pain relief. At this point the race was still on and needed more than ever.
If you race tomorrow you’re a fool
Fast forward a few more hours. Monkeys in bed and finally sitting down to eat, the queasiness worse than ever. Soon this became actual vomiting. Little Miss may not have ingested any glue but instead she had brought a nasty bug home from nursery. My chances of running began to slide away from me.
To add to the vomiting, which thankfully didn’t last long, Top had an awful night’s sleep. Up every hour in pain. It took a huge effort to get him to finally take a dose of calpol. Sadly in my enthusiasm to go and retrieve it from the kitchen cupboard, my empty stomach, dehydrated state and exhaustion caused me to black out slightly. I had to do a controlled fall/sit down on the bathroom floor, after which Mr LMR declared “if you run in the morning you are a fool”.
I did run the race. Which I agree probably was foolish and I would not recommend it. The reasons I did however are as follows. 1) by 3am I began feeling better so I went downstairs, ate half a crumpet and began rehydrating. Later I drank a pint of water with rehydration powder and ate a bowl of porridge and banana. 2) I had terrible indigestion when I woke up, which is always helped by physical exercise, and finally. 3) I felt awful and exhausted but if I stayed at home I would have to deal with the monkeys. There would be no restbite. No laying in bed recovering. In my mind there was no choice.
Luckily I was running with Rachael and my sister. We agreed to run/walk and they agreed to stay with me to drag me through it. The sun was shining and the good company made me feel infinitely better. Although, I did question how sensible I was being taking on the challenge. I took a bottle of rehydration water and in hindsight probably should have had another banana. But hey ho we did it, and we did it together.
Little did I know
Unfortunately for Mr LMR in my absence he was struck down with the bug too. Taking the sensible decision to pack up the Monkey mobile and decamp to his mother’s house. Still annoyed that I had chosen to run. However it left the house free and quiet for me to take a bath and have a nap. Bliss.
I will admit that I felt awful a short while after the race but my rest helped. I carefully rehydrated over the day and ate at regular intervals rebuilding my strength. It was lucky that I did, as on his return Mr LMR took to his sick bed and I had to keep going. Top’s refusal of medicine also resulted in a return to A&E after the pain became too much and he could no longer move his fingers. We just dealt with everything as it came our way.
It was just one of those eventful monkey weekends. Since returning to work everything has moved up a gear. Our lives feel like we’re running in the grand national on repeat. Fighting to stay on top of our horse amongst the chaos. But this weekend our horse fell, and not without injury.
It was one of those times when life throws you a reminder to slow down, stop the monkey show and focus on the here and now. Some things are more important than work, batch cooking a weeks worth of dinners, conquering laundry mountain or having a pile of perfectly ironed school uniforms.
It is at times like these when you must remember to take a minute to apply your oxygen mask first. Without looking after yourself you cannot effectively help them. You need to be able to make quick decisions and be strong. This means feeding yourself, physically and mentally. Reaching out for support for both you and them. Taking time out, if you can, to pause and recharge.
I am still running for Raindrops to Rainbows with the remainder of my races this year. If you want to donate to this amazing organisation helping mothers and their families suffering with Post Natal Depression, please go to their Gofundme Page. I am continuing with the Tees Trails Winter Series until the end of my 2016 challenges. Please leave me a message on the gofundme page if you are supporting my efforts. I already have a number of cash donations which I continue to collect. If you know me please feel free to pass these on personally if you prefer.
Now I’m off to bed to continue to recharge my batteries and remember how lovely it was to have a bath.