Have you ever over eaten? Ever taken just one bite too many, shifting from pleasantly full into belly button popping agony? I remember one particular dinner at Sizzler when we were kids and we thought it would be a fun game to see who could collect the most empty plates of food. I stacked up seven before I bowed out and then spent the night moaning in pain.
Miss L is a greedy guts. I love that she loves her food but she has yet to develop a cut off mechanism when she is full, which makes me the food police. At about three months old she once got so milk drunk that she woke herself (and her Mumma) up in a puddle of vomit.
Now, at six months old, she is experimenting with real food and has yet to meet a solid she doesn’t like. Especially toast. My toast in particular. Last week I gave her a whole piece cut into three little soldiers and left her on the floor to do her thing. Next minute, she had one soldier in each hand and the last stuffed into her mouth, grinning around the crust! While I was busy laughing and taking photos for her 18th, Miss L decided she would swallow the chunk in her mouth and promptly choked. Luckily we have over active gag reflexes in our family and the toast in question came flying out to land in a soggy lump on the carpet, but it sobered me up pretty quickly. Until she is ready and able, I am the guardian of food safety. I am her cut off point.
The funny thing about having a heart event is that you look mostly fine afterwards. For the most part, you feel mostly fine as well. Unlike a torn leg muscle, a broken heart doesn’t really hurt and it doesn’t really tell you when you’re overdoing it. When I was still in CCU I set my heart monitor off and sent the nurses running multiple times for things like brushing my teeth, combing tangles out of my hair and getting stuck on the loo. Ok, so I told the nurses I was just coughing but I wanted to say, ‘You try having post pregnancy constipation with a heart condition that prevents you from pushing!’
Since I’ve been home I’ve set my heart racing from grating carrots, carrying the groceries, walking up the 40 odd steps to my sister’s house, sweeping the floor and pushing my niece and nephew on the swings. Each seemingly innocent activity saw me flat on the floor counting my pulse and feeling like I was some crazy crossfitter on an exercise binge.
The latest of these was a few weeks ago when, under the illusion I had more energy than I thought, I decided to take Miss L in her pouch for a walk to the beach I grew up at. I just didn’t count on having to walk all the way home again. In fact, I looked so buggered on the way back that a very kind surfer stopped and offered me a ride, which I kindly declined. I was supposed to be getting exercise after all. Oh the joys of a banged up heart!
All jokes aside it made me realise that, just like Miss L, my body doesn’t know its cut off point yet. Until it does, I need to be vigilant and a little over protective. Most of all, I need to be kind to myself.