I'm having a hard time parenting well lately. In May I chose to have minor surgery on my tear duct to correct an intermittent watery eye. The surgery was more aggressive than I thought it would be and it radically overcorrected the situation, and now I'm left with a dry eye that is uncomfortable on a daily basis. I have eye pain in windy conditions (any wind, be it from outdoors or fan or furnace vent). I wake every morning with an eye so dry it's hard to open. I can't wear my contacts, which I miss terribly. I would give anything to go back to the way it was. But now I will have scar tissue and a notch on my eyelid forever.I'm so angry at myself for having the surgery done. The worst part of it is that I'm not enjoying my children as much as I had in the past. I am a SAHM and LOVE it, but now all I do is worry about my eye and wish for the sake of my kids that I hadn't had it done. Today I've probably started crying at least 10 times. I know this is not the end of the world. There are people who have it WAY worse than me. But they didn't bring it on themselves. How can I stop being angry at myself and start being happy with my kids again? Meanwhile I'm wasting time being sad, when my kids are only getting older, and they will only be little for such a short time.Sigh,Zuzu
First, here's a hug.Second, I'm so sorry. I had a very similar reaction some of the time when I had a herniated disc in my back. Third, I don't know what to say or how to help. But I will say that my daughter and I have been through some very hard times together. A small story.When she was about 18 months old, there was a moment when a whole bunch of things hit me all at once. It was a terrible time in my life, and though I'd been told to keep things as calm as I could for DD, I ended up sitting on the kitchen floor sobbing. She did everything she could to comfort me. Patting my head, giving me a tissue, bringing me some Cheerios. When none of that worked, she grabbed my hand and pulled and pulled until I stood up, and led me to my brother, who was staying at the house at the time, saying, "Nonny. Hep. Nonny. Hep. Nonny hep."Nonny is her name for my brother, and "Hep" was the best she could do for "Help." My brother, being the person he is, said, "What's the matter with YOU?" And rather than explain it all, I just asked if he would play with DD for a while until I calmed down. Then I went and cried until I couldn't cry anymore, got a glass of water, and went back to being Mama as well as I could be.So, what I'm trying to say is, life is sad and hard sometimes. A lot of times, in fact. Kids learn that one way or another, and the best thing you can do now is to be clear that there's nothing they did wrong, that your eye is really hurting you and it makes you tired and scared, and that you are still Mom and you still love them, and they are still allowed to be kids. One other thing. You said the surgery was in May. Now it's September, so three months or so. Please take the time to talk to a sympathetic medical professional. Major life changes happen, and they can usually point you in good directions to get some help with coping. A nurse-practitioner may be more helpful than a doctor, depending on the specialty you're in, as they seem to have more "whole person" training than many doctors do. But either way, you deserve to have some help with this situation.And last thing, promise. Don't give up! Not yet, anyway. I know you regret the surgery, but that doesn't mean there is no hope at all. Again, that sympathetic medical professional who can look at the whole person may be able to give you some ideas that a specialist could not.ThyPeace, suffers from entirely too many ailments these days.
I know this is not the end of the world. There are people who have it WAY worse than me. But they didn't bring it on themselves. How can I stop being angry at myself and start being happy with my kids again? Meanwhile I'm wasting time being sad, when my kids are only getting older, and they will only be little for such a short time. (((((((Zuzu)))))))You didn't bring this on yourself. You did want to have a situation corrected, and if it had worked properly, you'd have been in a different place than you are now. But that doesn't mean you were wrong to have it done. First, you need to figure out how to mitigate your condition. Maybe wearing wraparound sunglasses/glasses in windy conditions might help? Or a hat of some sort to help block wind? (My mother suffers from exactly the same condition, by the way - tear duct surgery and now a dry eye, exacerbated by the wind). Second, you probably need to talk to someone. When I get stressed, I get angry as well. My job provides HUGE amounts of stress, and managing to keep the anger from leaking over to my kids is not easy. Sometimes, I end up apologizing to them. A lot. I am fortunate that I can push my job away to a certain degree or for a period of time (Phone = OFF) but your eye is something you take with you. So you may need to either talk to someone to lift some of the burden or to figure out the options available to help your condition. Also, talking to your KIDS is not the worst thing. Over time, I have had to figure out age-appropriate ways to say to my kids: "I'm sorry I was yelling/aggravated/short-tempered/mean/upset today. I am sad because (work stinks/whatever) and I am not acting nicely. It's not your fault and I'm sorry. Can you help me figure out how to feel happier?" Depending on what was wrong, sometimes MY KIDS have come up with the best ways to mitigate my problems. They become my allies and we end up with all kinds of inside jokes that become shortcuts to helping me cheer up and get back on track when my stress gets out of control again. It's amazing how resilient - and imaginative - they are at helping YOU, and they feel good when they see Mommy smiling and know THEY helped "fix" that. I know, you're the Mommy, you should be strong and protect them from all that, since it's not their fault. They're also your family, and they love you. And they are kids, and they like to help others. They can help you. GSF
You can always second-guess decisions. Had you known that the surgery would have not been successful, and indeed, would have caused you more problems, OF COURSE, you would have rejected having the surgery.You thought that your surgery would have provided you a better life - and therefore, would have provided a better life for your children (i.e. the happier the mom is, the better it is for your children).You cannot predict the future. You cannot beat yourself up for going for this surgery.You said that people have it worse than you. Yup! There is pretty much ALWAYS someone that has it worse than you. You had elective surgery that you thought would better your life and your health. This is NOT a case where "they didn't bring it on themselves."Please don't be angry at yourself! You can legitimately be angry at the situation, but you did what you felt was best.I'm so sorry that you have pain and restrictions, but please don't make it worse on yourself by beating yourself up!Jennifer
GSF- Thank you for your kind reply. Is there any way I could email with your mom? Part of my problem is that NO one I know has gone through this. Even on a large dry eye online discussion board, there was only one member who had the specific situation I'm in, and she either wouldn't or couldn't PM me to discuss it. I really want to know what (if any) fixes there are available. For instance, most people with dry eye can use what's called a punctal plug. But, I can't because the doc snipped my puncta (tear drain holes) so big that even the biggest size plug would just fall out. My kids are only 5 and 3. I don't want them to grow up only remembering Sad Mom, or Mom with eye issues.
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