Gates of Mordor

11am: the art of mess
It's 5.30 am and given my "regular" routine for the last three weeks, that's sleeping in.

I went to bed at 11 pm last night, woke up at one am to feed Livvy and have slept a total of five hours. Wow. For the last month that I've been on steroids (Prednisolone), I've been on a crazy energy drive, which includes me waking up at three am. I cannot sleep unless I'm literally asleep on my feet and once awake, I can't go back to sleep. Apparently insomnia and mania (I am a maniac?!) are both side effects of using the steroids. I've also developed something called 'mooning' of the face; a rather cute, non-Harry Potter term that means I have a huge, bloaty face. Not cute. In another couple of weeks the steroids stop and after that... I am absolutely terrified. Apparently there are side effects to stopping them as well, including fatigue, aches, depression... I have two little children to look after, I can't afford depression.

I've had constant diarhhoea since January 2012. It got really, really bad in the last three months of my pregnancy with Livvy. After her birth in September 2012, I lost 14 kilos in three months. Honestly though, even if the process was inconvenient at most times and painful (try arse on fire) at others, I'm kind of happy about losing weight. All through the pregnancy, my general practitioner (GP) had been confused about what was wrong with me. Everything from hormonal changes, to a resistant bug to food intolerance was suggested. After the baby was born, I was put on a restrictive diet to rule out allergies. From September to January this year I didn't eating anything that had lactose, fructose or gluten -- that's nothing with milk, fruits or any bread.

Nothing seemed to help, the diarrhoea kept on, and I weighed 44 kilos. I finally had a colonoscopy and gastrocopy in late Jan 2013 -- just before a two-week holiday in Phuket, it was bloody brilliant -- and have since been diagnosed with Crohn's disease. My small intestine, ignored for the last 33 years has suddenly become the centre of my existence. A little to the right perhaps. There's no diarrhoea though, I'm back to eating three raw, Habanero chillies with my meals and I now weigh 46.5 kg.

Given the increased energy,  I've also been trying to keep my house clean. Trying, which on most days means one room is clean while the others are potty. I hereby confess that I'm a terrible housekeeper. Oh I can cook, sew, knit, write a book, do workshops and teach people stuff, play with my daughters, bake like a, er, maniac BUT nothing of that matters because my house is mostly a mess. Mostly means 28 out of 30 days. The two days it is clean, it's usually in the process of getting messy. I HATE cleaning. Not the process itself but the whole impermanence* of it. How it does not bloody stay clean. How you have to do it again and again and fuckingagain. Constantly. It's like fighting orcs at the Gates of Mordor knowing Frodo's already been eaten by a Nazghul and you cannot win. All my friends' houses, each and everybloodyoneofthem, are organised. I have cupboards and boxes and storage solutions and still most of my stuff sort of lies around. I don't even know how it gets there in the first place.

Yesterday a friend came over -- a self-confessed cleaning Nazi -- and shared her 'tip'. You clean as you go. Ugh. I hate that phrase more than I hate cleaning because Partner says it to me all the time. Look, I try. I try to put away stuff while I am baking but if the bloody recipe says whip egg whites and quickly mix baking soda and instantly put it in the baking dish... I am not going to stop to wash the bloody KitchenAid because my egg whites will go FLAT. Cake disaster. Why doesn't anyone get that? Partner says if I can't clean I should not bake (one of us needs a shrink me thinks). Or knit because the wool lies around. Or sew because the machine stays on the table. Or cut magazines with Mia because there's confetti all over the floor. Or make "tunnels" in the lounge room because then the carpet is half on the couch and half on the upturned table. 

If I clean-as-you-go, then I am only, constantly cleaning. Where's the bloody going? I'll never get anything else done. I will get totally, completely depressed. And everyone will think it's the steroids.

{*Apparently impermanence is a Buddhist doctrine that means "...all of conditioned existence, without exception, is in a constant state of flux." Couldn't have said it better really.}

PS: Ok. I will try. To clean. But I will still bake, sew, knit and (try to) write. Today I am going to:
a. Put out a big bag of clothing for donation -- that's getting rid of clutter.
b. Clean up the dining/play room and move extra toys to the upstairs room -- more declutter.
c. Plan a menu for the week and stick to it.
d. Finish sewing buttons on Mia's new dress she'll wear this weekend for a huge family event.
e. Finish joining side seams of Livvy's new jumper for same event on d.
f. Alter my dress for same event.
g. Go into the city to do some house chores.
h. Make dinner.
i. Plan out stuff for Easter egg hunt at my place next week.
Remember that I have to also feed and clean and play with the girls WHILE I fuckingcleanasIgo.

Check: 6.34am. Things done so far. Not on the list. Now the girls have woken up. Off we go.


Anonymous said...

Hey darling - I'm really sorry to hear about your illness - not quite the same, but I've battled with IBS for years and at least know the arse-pain-on-fire feeling.

You will get there - at one of our antenatal classes, they did an exercise around priorities - and for most people, housework was right down the bottom. So don't stress, don't beat yourself over it - you have two beautiful babies and your health to think about.

Would love to catch up sometime as well and gain some wisdom from you. Baby is due in 2 weeks and I'm slightly freaking out.

Jhoomur Bose said...

TWO WEEKS!!!! But you *just* got pregnant like the other day. Freaking out too. OK, not helping. Calm down glorious you. What can I do to help? Anything around the house? Can I make you any casserolles/curries that you can keep in the fridge for when bubby comes? OMG. I;ve got like a whole box of newborn nappies. Partner bought the wrong size. I also have a Medela swing electric breast pump, an Avent hand pump and some breast pads (unused). Do you want???

Sree said...

I recently gifted a friend cleaning service seeing that place messy for months. Well...only cuz i knew she was trying to clean but failed every time. Made me think later on if that was a good idea at all and if people take it well or feel insulted.
Oh..now to clean my own home. It's a mess... but i have improved...say 20/30 against your 28/30 :D

Espèra said...

No milk, fruit or bread?! What did you get by on? Soup?
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE soup. And I think I could survive just on soup for a very long time (not forever, cuz you know, there Are other things that I love just as much).

I've been having a hard time keeping my hostel room clean too. Most of my friends have such clean rooms, but me? Despite having THREE chairs in my room (they were there from the start), I can never find enough space to keep everything organized. One chair doubles up as a bedside table, one holds all the bags, and one holds all clothes that I take off.
I dislike having to always fold clothes and put them away when I know that I'll wear them again soon.

Crohn's Disease sounds terrible. Good to know you're almost over with it. *hug*

DewdropDream said...

I hope you get well real soon!

Also, don't stress about cleaning. Dude you "cook, sew, knit, write a book, do workshops and teach people stuff, play with my daughters, bake ..." and you're complaining because you can't fit in ONE more thing to do?

Also, you SEW?! I'm dipping a toe in sewing waters just now. Still figuring things out. I'm wayyyy too much of a beginner to exchange notes but it'd be nice to talk to a real live person about this sometime (meaning you), you sound like a real pro!

And, hello, long time! :)

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