When feeling sick to the stomach just won’t go away…

I remember the feeling as if it were yesterday, the day Geordie was diagnosed. Even the voice of the lady who called me from the Children’s Hospital is still clear in my mind, though I’ve not seen her for years now – a sweet gentle voice, trying to make small talk about the summer time weather. I could dictate the conversation to you now if you asked, a conversation I had play over on repeat in my mind the subsequent days following on from that phone call that changed our lives forever.

That sick to the stomach feeling that happens when we receive bad news is hard to replicate. It’s like stress on a whole new plane. Stress of the highest kind reserved for emergencies. It doesn’t feel like work pressure or conjuring up every part that you have inside you to hustle; I liken that to more-so the taste of adrenaline and my blood pumping through my veins, the type you can feel pulsating.

But the type of stress I associate with heartache feels like your gut has been ripped out and replaced with a big black slab of fear.

I hadn’t met this feeling again until last week and I have to say, I’m quite thankful because frankly that feeling, it sucks. I forgot just how horrible it felt to live in a state of fear – it takes over your every thought, makes you mute, absent and nauseous. In the lead up to me leaving Australia for the U.S. last Thursday, I had myself back in this state of being. I know I said to others, I was re-experiencing that feeling and it took me back to those early days of Geordie’s diagnosis. A place I just don’t choose to live my life from.

By the time I got on the plane to leave, I was really digging deep and my brain was in overdrive. I’d have visuals of sweet Livvi coming down the school steps with a big smile on her face to meet me. Or see Geordie running around being his nuisance self, telling me for the seventeenth time that he didn’t fancy going to kinder today. Watching it play out and, all I could think about was how much I would miss them and why was I doing this? I was trying to talk myself out of going.  In fact, I’d conjured up an elaborate plan to stop me from getting on that plane.

I’d find myself curious, wondering if mothers shouldn’t leave their children for the sake of their own ambition; maybe that part of my life was something I had to let go of. I felt like I was being judged. I felt like I was selfish to even entertain the thought of leaving my precious babies and amazing husband behind. Even though a 6-day turnaround to the U.S. isn’t anybody’s version of a holiday – even for a mum who wanted peace and quiet, the idea of that now seemed horrible.

Of course, I went and I survived. In fact, I had the time of my life and the anxiety and depression dissipated the minute my feet hit the ground running. There was zero time for the pity party. It was time to hustle.

And it was all gone.

Those feelings, as my prayers were answered, were all taken and I was free to go and get the things done I had wanted so badly for years now.

Not only did I meet amazing people, connect with idols and make some solid new friends, my entire almost five years of living with a child with Cystic Fibrosis clicked in, in the most incredible way possible. It was a most profound moment, when JJ Virgin was on stage sharing about the trauma and emotions associated with her son’s horrific accident. The same accident that saw him in a coma and eventually lead to months of rehabilitation.

It was as if she was sharing my story, even though a different journey. I’ve shared that here before if you’re unfamiliar. I’ve spent a lot of energy keeping Geordie and his story rather separate from the work I do. I use my experience around his diagnosis to help others, but not in detail. What I realised in that moment was that Geordie’s story isn’t a separate category of my life. My life is my life.

For all the times when others have asked me when I will share his journey more and for all the times I have resisted, I could write a book in itself. And you know what – it’s not such a crazy idea. I realised in this moment that my story alongside Geordie was all part of inspiring and helping lead others to great health. All it took for me was to have that 1% as JJ referred to it, that 1% of hope that propelled our family to greatness on every level. Why I’ve been holding back on this, I’m unsure. But I do believe that we learn all that we need in time and that I find a little comfort in knowing that, it just wasn’t time yet.

At least until now.

For every person who has asked when I’m writing Geordie’s story, for everybody who has said I should make a documentary and for every little fiber in my being that has resisted, I’m here to give thanks for all of it, helping to keep it on my radar. I’m very excited about the endless possibilities that will come from being able to share his story and journey. And maybe that may take time too – maybe it won’t be a best seller in the next 2 years or even 5, but the prying open of my heart to this has happened now. I’m excited.

Rarely do I write posts that are just about me. I’m usually one to share with you how you can better yourself. So thank you for reading.

It doesn’t feel right for me not to share though, a few tips that I tapped into in the lead up to this travel. Hopefully for that next mama who has to travel and leave babies behind or that daddy who is jumping on yet another plane to provide for his family – this is for you.

These are the things I found super useful in my journey this time around.

Rescue Remedy

I’m not endorsed by Bach, but boy this stuff was a saviour! One note of advice – take it as indicated. It really helped me pull myself together to get my sorry butt onto that early morning flight.

Magnesium and other key vitamins

As I shared last week, in times of stress our bodies churn through the essentials like B’s and magnesium. You might like to read a little more on my suggestions here.

Making an effort

Sounds silly I know but when I look like crap, I feel even more like crap. I actually fixed myself as if I was going to score an award for best dressed on the VA1 flight to Los Angeles. No jokes! This helps with my mindset. It doesn’t help so much when you cry off your makeup – but nothing that can’t be reapplied. Same goes for my favorite –hair!

A Rom-Com Novel

THIS was also a Godsend. Upon arrival to the airport, I made a direct line immediately to the bookstore and purchased a romantic comedy read. What got me – the review. It said “Riotous…. thoroughly enjoyable and laugh-out-loud hilarious.” It didn’t let me down. Immersing myself in that helped take my mind of what was really happening. The book, ‘The Love Shack’ was so flipping funny in parts I was crying out loud for minutes on end with tears of laughter flowing down my face! What a gift.

These were just a few things that got me through – of course a few others, like a tipple of red didn’t hurt when I finally got on the plane! Plenty of water and chatting with others around me helped immensely too.

Now I’m back, I’m pumped and I’m ready!

Look out world, here we come!



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  • August 23, 2016 By Keri Kreiger 8:00 am

    There is SUCH healing in this Nat. Thank you so much for sharing your big heart. Xx

    • August 23, 2016 By Nat Kringoudis 6:13 pm

      You are such a beautiful inspiration and support. Thank you xo

  • August 23, 2016 By Nicolle 4:37 pm

    Nat, this is by far your best post ever! Thank you so much for sharing <3 Can't wait to see where this journey takes you!!

    • August 23, 2016 By Nat Kringoudis 6:13 pm

      Oh my well thank you!! That is so very kind of you. I wrote it on the plane on my way home from the US! <3

  • August 24, 2016 By Sally 9:53 am

    Love the rawness of this Nat. Thanks for sharing this gift of courage and openness with us. I hope you feel a little free-er! I’ll definitely be using those tips next time I’m leaving my babies for a work trip too x

  • August 26, 2016 By Denise L 10:05 am

    Oh my goodness! This is/was so me this week! I’m currently in LA for my brother’s wedding. I made myself sick the week leading up to flying out on my VA1 flight to LA too! I left my son & husband at home & was feeling so bad about leaving them for the week & also terrified of flying. It’s the first time I’ve been away without them. I didn’t sleep at all the night before the flight. I also thought of all sorts of excuses not to get on that flight! This week in LA has flown by though & I’ve been so busy with family stuff that I haven’t had a chance to let any anxiety get to me. I also stocked up on magnesium, rescue remedy, anxiostat spray from my naturopath, & lots of water (acupuncture leading up to the trip was also good!).I’m flying home in 2 days. Hopefully the flight home is just as calm & uneventful. Thanks so much for sharing. It makes me feel better knowing that I’m not the only one who freaks out about things like this. xo

    • September 3, 2016 By Nat Kringoudis 7:16 am

      I’m glad you survived!!! Look at what we do to ourselves… I hope you had a lovely time. Sounds like you did!

  • September 12, 2016 By Lana 1:54 pm

    I love this article so much! I still remember our first conversation with diagnosis and every so often get that desperate feeling back. I hate to have it but at times fear overwhelms you. Thank you for sharing!

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