Not just a bump on a log

When I was a young mother of four children under five, I was struck down with glandular fever that lasted for a full six months.

As you can imagine, with an illness lasting that long, I was often alone to manage as my then husband had to work and my mother lived far away. It was a long and difficult time that made me feel like I was just a bump on a log.

This wasn't true in fact because out of necessity, I found ways to run my household and look after my children unassisted and mostly from my bed. But not being able to get up for more than thirty minutes at a time without collapsing from fatigue made me feel useless.

In the morning no matter how exhausted I felt, I rose and got my oldest child off to school with my neighbour picking him up and dropping him off. I bathed my youngest babies and dressed and fed them then put a load of washing on. I took something out of the freezer for dinner. Then I staggered back to bed, a perspiring mess!

My four year old daughter lifted her siblings up onto the bed where I read stories to them, often falling to sleep with the book over my face and finding the children in the lounge room watching cartoons.

Sometime later, I arose again to change nappies and give them a snack or a bottle. I would put that finished load of washing into the dryer and set it going to dry. I would organise some play activities and would lie on the couch watching my little ones building a house with lego blocks. Then I would fall asleep again, drenched in sweat.

I was told to rest in order to kick the glandular fever, but as any chronically ill mother will tell you, that usually means that she does her home duties in her dressing gown or house coat. Her version of rest.

My husband would cook tea, following my instructions on what to cook and sometimes even how to cook it. If I felt well enough, I would bath our school age child to save his father the chore and then I would take a quick shower. It left me even more exhausted, but with glandular fever, one is bathed in sweat all the time and it is necessary to shower daily even when tired.

Finally the fever left me, but over the years I was troubled with Sheurmann's disease, a disease which ate the discs in my back and would have caused severe scoliosis, if not for enforced bed rest after a two week ordeal in hospital in traction, many times over the years. 

I learned to plan my grocery shop, organise payment of my bills, delegate household chores, help with homework, listen to school readers,  and be there for my growing children all from my bed. It was easy to think of myself as useless like a bump on a log, but in actual fact, I was anything but. 

Chronic illness can take away many things from us, but don't let it take away your confidence in being mistress of your home. You will find that running your household from your bed is in fact possible, and proves that we are no bumps on logs.

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 John 1:2


  1. Wow Glenys, I thought 4 under 9 was a chore! I can't imagine 4 under 5!!! And then this illness on top of that... This is my first time to your blog. I enjoyed reading your story. Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

    1. It was a really difficult time especially after illness came to visit. And stayed. Thanks for taking tea with me today! Blessings, Glenys

  2. It is amazing what we are able to accomplish, some of it is willpower but mostly grace under fire.

    1. Absolutely grace under fire, with a smattering of willpower! Looking back, I feel tired just thinking about it! :) thanks for having tea with me today, Rebecca! Blessings, Glenys


Thank you for visiting with me today. I love to hear from you. I may not always be able to reply right away, but I will respond to every comment you leave. Blessings and comfort, Glenys