Pain is a huge part of ageing with cerebral palsy. Whilst its omnipresence is unavoidable, the levels of pain I wake up with every day are unpredictable and draining.
The impact on my emotional wellbeing is getting larger every day.
Yesterday I woke up with very painful tension in my neck and shoulders. Movement was too hard and I was reduced to slumping on the sofa.
Kev climbed in behind me and began to massage the tension. I cried out in pain.
When she was younger and Squidge’s saw that, she pushed Kev away, shouting “No Daddy!”
Yesterday however, Squidge saw and heard my pain and climbed into my lap. She wrapped her arms around my neck. “Ohhh!” she sang empathetically.
But I struggled to hold her as Kev continued apply the necessary pressure to my stubborn muscles.
“Oww!” I whimpered, unable to hold it in.
Squidge pressed her hand tenderly to my face, stroking my cheek as she asked: “You OK Mummy?”
My heart swelled as she worked so gently to distract and soothe me. I didn’t want her to think that her daddy was hurting me so encouraged her to climb into Kev’s lap and feel the tension for herself.
She knew what the solid lump was as soon as Kev helped her feel it with her little hands. “Mummy ow!”
“Yes baby. And Daddy is helping take the ow away for Mummy. It is Mummy’s medicine but Mummy is not very brave, so Mummy say ow.”
“Do you want to help Daddy give Mummy her medicine?”
“Yes.” she said, hands poised in the same position as Kev’s and bless her, she started pushing gently on the lumps.
Kev’s pressure increased, needing to use his elbows. So Squidge climbed down.
“Ow!” I cried out loudly.
But Squidge frowned, telling me sternly: “No Mummy. No ow. Mummy’s medicine not ow.”
We laughed together. Our wonderful girl had listened so well. She knows that medicines exist to make us better. Therefore, we have already taught her it is useless to give into pain.
I like that. Our parenting means thst she already knows that pain is there to be pushed through.
We’re not going to be defeated. Mummy must take her medicine.