At the beginning of the year I got tickets for Eli and myself to go see Hamilton. And then for my birthday Eli surprised me with tickets for Les Miserables for the matinee on the same day!
Hamilton is their fave show and they know every single word and Les Mis is my go to show, I think I’ve seen the film 30 times but I haven’t ever been to the West End and so yesterday was such a treat.
I have been worried about this day since June and my last surgery, since then I’m in pain every day, I’m taking pain killers all the time and my stomach is agony. Also the fatigue has stepped up (probably because I struggle to sleep much at night). And I have been panicking about whether I would be able to make it.
What if I had to let my kid down yet again? What if I couldn’t make it or even worse what if I came and then was too ill to get out to the show? What if I embarrassed them by leaking in the theatre or falling asleep because I’m necking codiene? What if I was the reason they didn’t get to see the thing they’ve been most excited for?!
Mum guilt and panic stepped in and I spent so long worrying, planning on who I could ask to step in my place and take Eli so they didn’t miss out. But I managed to pull myself together and away we went!
Les Miserables is the longest running show in the world and though I’ve seen the film tons of times, seeing it on stage was a whole other experience!! It was amazing, so beautiful and the actors were incredible, we went to the matinee show and I cried, laughed and had the best time! Eli really enjoyed it too and I was so grateful that they’d bought me the tickets, what a brilliant child I have!
Next we headed across London to the Victoria Palace for our second show of the day, Hamilton. And oh my gosh, it was ridiculously amazing! As its Eli’s favourite, they were so excited and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a brilliant story and again the cast were just wonderful!
One of the things people don’t understand about chronic illness is the amount of balancing and planning that life takes. Getting the balance of pain medication right so that I wasn’t in so much pain that I couldn’t concentrate but not so much medication that I’d be dozy and sleepy. Figuring out what I could eat and drink so that my bag wouldn’t be filling so I’d have to leave the theatre but making sure I didn’t get dehydrated.
Packing a bag for the day that had everything for an ostomy bag change and a change of clothes if I had a leak was tough as I didn’t want a heavy bag I couldn’t carry and also I knew my bags would be checked at the theatre.
The other thing is being aware that a day out like this would completely exhaust me for days afterwards. It’s been a week since we went but I’m still recovering and have had to work from bed all week. One days fun equals a week of exhaustion, pain and fatigue.
But sometimes you have to accept this in order to do the things that make you happy. And I couldn’t have been happier to spend the day with one of my amazing kids. Anyone with more than one child knows that it’s hard to get one on one time with your kids and so having a full day doing something we both love was so special. Eli isn’t having the easiest time but they are such brilliant company and hanging out with such a wonderful, kind, clever, cool and awesome person made the weekend so special!
West End shows aren’t cheap as we all know and I feel very privileged to have been able to go to two shows, but it was such a fantastic experience and I’m so glad we did it. We have already started saving for our next show next year!
If you’d like to know more about accessible theatre, check out Life of Pippa, a brilliant blog you can find here.
✌🏽 & ❤️