I had mastitis starting yesterday. I've been working on weaning my littlest (she's only 19 months but I'm feeling quite emphatically DONE after nursing pretty much straight for the last 6 plus years... except for a few relaxing 6 month stretches of not nursing but being pregnant, instead) and I think somewhere in these last few weeks of trying to majorly decrease the demand of the ol' milk supply my boobies got confused about how much milk was actually needed, resulting in awful soreness and flu-like symptoms and total weariness. It was actually a pretty great experience because Matt was home from work and I really got to take my bed and actually really really really REST. It was a dream come true. I think mastitis is a message from your body that you've been over nurturing others and under nurturing yourself... at least I read that somewhere, once, and it sounds good. But it just royally sucks when you're a mama of really little kids and you just CAN'T. I would love to figure out a solution for this problem. The other two times I have had mastitis I went into such a total tizzy. It was very interesting. I am very lucky to be hale and hearty almost all of the time, and I have a lot of preventive stuff that I do and also little home-cures that I do when I feel the familiar onset of cold or flu, that almost always knocks it out... so I am very fortunate to feel kind of empowered about my health. But the times when I got mastitis I definitely had a huge feeling of powerlessness. I didn't know how to treat it on my own, and as I said I (though I may not have known it at the time) was probably overnurturing and felt like who in the world was going to nurture ME, or, forget the nurturing, just fracking let me and my poor boobies take a nap. I ended up pulling some strings and managing to get myself an acupuncture appointment with Genevieve Sprinkle, and I totally burst into tears on the table. She's such a smart strong caring woman... just makes you feel like she's the big mama who knows just what to do. Which really helps when you're feeling like a scared sad vulnerable little two year old.
I would love for there to be some kind of support set up for moms... moms who just never or hardly ever get sick days. A sick day where you could just stay in bed, or could get a chance to go to a doctor or acupuncturist or whatever without wrangling a toddler... or even just a sick day that you could call in because you just knew you needed some extra rest. I know so very many of us are chronically tired (which is a sad enough state as it is) but sometimes you are just really dragging and I think sometimes if we can recognize this rather than trying to power through we can actually sidestep illness. Like your body is saying, "Hey, slow down, I'm tired here" but then you ignore it so it says, "OK, we really need to just stop" and gets sick. I really think we should all be able to take to our beds once in awhile and have it be totally acceptable. It's utterly silly that we think this is pure decadent shameful laziness, especially when so many of us do so much so much of the time.
So anyway, about the support... I would love for their to be some support set up for moms. I don't know quite what it would be or what it would look like... but moms of all people really do need time to rest and recuperate and be well. And what a fine example we'd be setting for the next generation.
And by the way, I'm proud to say that I licked mastitis on my own this time (ew did I just say licked? That can't be right.) I woke up around 3 am last night sick as can be. I googled (oh the google!) home remedies for mastitis and discovered that a few different sources advised chopping 3-4 cloves of garlic into small bits and swallowing them whole with water, like little pills. 3-4 (preferably 5-6) per day. I took 3-4 right then and there (how brilliant to find a nice home remedy that you can take right away at 3 in the morning, and not have to wait to go buy a tincture or mysterious herb later in the day) and when I woke up I downed a few more. By mid morning I found myself miraculously cured. Hooray! Now to thoroughly wean... ergh. Not easy with such a milk-lovin', opinionated, sassy little lady. Though I think with all the extra rest we've had this week me and my boobies are up to the task.