I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell

In medicine, comorbidity is either the presence of one or more disorders (or diseases) in addition to a primary disease or disorder, or the effect of such additional disorders or diseases.

- Wikipedia

After yesterday’s small fatigue breakdown – which hasn’t improved – I experienced a massive knock-on effect, with various symptoms adding to the already soul-destroying feeling caused by a fibro-flare. Comorbidity is undoubtedly the worst aspect of chronic ilness for me; not only do you have the pain and fatigue from fibro to cope with, but you’re also faced with stomach upsets, nausea, stomach cramps and, in my case, worsening of eczema and skin conditions. None of these symptoms are particularly linked to fibromyalgia on their own, but a flare-up also causes other conditions to rise to the fore; the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome get worse and depression naturally sneaks in. My diagnoses are so broad that anything could be causing me to feel unwell, and I never quite know what to blame.

In truth, I cannot remember the last time I was ‘well’ – healthy is simply a word in the dictionary to me – and I confess to being sick and tired of this illness which has dogged me for most of my life. Society still seems to look down upon illness as a weakness, and it’s difficult to feel hope for the future when so many around me are unwilling to accept that sometimes, some people are just always sick. They take health for granted, assuming that because they’re healthy and fit, everyone else must be too. The permanently unwell are treated like underdogs, hardly worth a look-in because they simply don’t do anything useful for society.

Over the years, my health – or lack of – has been the subject of many a discussion. People have hidden behind their keyboards, picking my symptoms and and experiences apart, and sometimes downright refusing to believe that I could have a permanent sore throat and always feel like I’ve got a bad cold. I’ve been called a liar and a benefit cheat by complete strangers; people who have never met me yet believe they know more about my illness than I do, and who look down on me as though this is all my fault. As though I chose to live my life this way.

I have said many times before that I’m sick of always being sick, but I’ve never meant it as much as I do today. In my teens, the health worries didn’t seem so bad; the future stretched out forever and I believed I had an eternity to improve. Adulthood seemed like a magical place where sickness never happens, but, of course, I eventually learned that becoming an adult doesn’t magically take away all your problems. Now, three years away from thirty, I realise that this is impacting hugely on my future, and the uncertainty of my prospects is weighing down on me.

Today’s symptoms are fairly nondescript; sneezing, a runny rose, the ever-present diarrhoea, headaches, swollen glands. The lack of specifics are what’s so disheartening; it’s not any real illness, it’s just a load of symptoms thrown together. Add fatigue and pain to the mix, and I feel utterly flattened.

If all this had a name, I’m sure I’d feel more positive. As it stands, I just carry around the dubious title of ‘always sick’, which helps nothing.

 

 

32 Comments

  1. Someone recently said to me that; I use the word suffer a lot, it was true I did, I do, doh!
    I suffer with this, I suffer with that etc…

    They said I should change my perspective to “I live with”…

    I feel you’re having a similar issue in that by always being ill you always expect to be, therefore always are.

    I am not saying you’re not ill, far from it, but when your stuck in a cycle of illness it is hard to just be happy because your to busy worrying about being ill, instead of just being happy.

    Spend the day doing nothing but fun things, music, cooking, reading anything fun to take your mind of the sickness, watch comedy thats really good.

    I hope that makes sense, try and set your self a goal and say I will be healthier tomorrow than I was today every night before bed, worth try right?

    Try the things I suggest you never know.

    We can’t always change how our illness makes us feel, but we can change how we feel about our illness.

    Sorry if any of that was a touch to personal on a first date!

    Loving kindness, Namaste, Stu!

  2. No ones believes people like us. The pain, being sick or any of it. They just assume we are just being complainers about any and every little thing that comes along that they believ they experience themselves and thats definatly NOT true. I also am 3 years from 30 and with each year it seems things come more into perspective unlike when we were younger. I know you don’t want to be like this good lady. But contrary to popular belief, you ARE telling the truth and i believe you. I just wish more people around you would believe you.

  3. There is a reason that I live my life with the idea my mother taught me, that we not judge others because we may not really understand their situation and challenges. This is it. It’s unfair to judge others with less than 100% of the information, though we all do it (yes, I’m guilty some times, but I try). I’ve never met a person who wanted to be sick all the time, to live with chronic illness/pain. I know that it isn’t worth any benefits you get, having watched my mother cope with and live her life through chronic back problems, because the cost to you on many other levels is so much higher.

    Not having a name or a handle on it would be the hardest part for me, certainly, because I think it makes it harder to hope for improvement without that. As always, though, I’m hoping you do feel better soon. I’ll send healthy thoughts and hope they work. :)

  4. It is dishearting when you feel that you have to prove to people that you are really sick all the time. Alone with Fibro, I suffer from PCOS, IBS, BHMS, with the addition of those wonderful things that come from having IBS. It was hard at first for me to come to terms with the idea that not everyone would get it. Thankfully the people that mean the most to do, and for everyone else, I have learned that it’s there problem if they don’t understand my pain.

    Do know that I understand your pain and there is a host of people that share in your frustration. Although I am not part of the group stated above, I have found and connected with a huge community of people like us on Facebook from everywhere around the world. It was help for me to know that I was not alone, and it was even better to not have to explain myself because they get it. I am sending a gentle hug your way and hope that you feel as well as you can soon.

  5. I believe you — all of you. I apologize on behalf of all of my peers who don’t. I know it isn’t my place to speak for them, but since no apology or understanding is coming from them, I hope this is the next best thing.

  6. If all this had a name, I’m sure I’d feel more positive. As it stands, I just carry around the dubious title of ‘always sick’, which helps nothing.

    maybe because each of us is indeed unique and to some degree will always be somewhat in isolation from others we cannot be fitted into slots, catagories made up by others. Maybe the name must come from you? Maybe the onlyh expert of you is you? wishing you well on the journey

  7. It is indeed difficult to feel positive when feeling this ill all the time. It’s an awful experience to have long term health problems and I can relate to what you are saying. I think it’s fine to express how crap it is. Why should you try and pretend it is anything other than total misery? Get it out of your system and hopefully it won’t drag you down as much. I think being honest is really important.

  8. Here’s the thing: the bottom line is that it doesnt matter what anyone else thinks. Really–who cares what that guy/lady/kid thinks? What matters is how you are feeling, how you are living. My frustration with the disease eased when I figured out how to live my life doing what I can do now, as the person I am, rather than as the person I was. And to hell with everyone else and their perspectives.

    Live for you. They’re just background noise.

  9. Pingback: Comorbidity « iamsickandtiredofbeingsickandtired

  10. I hope the worst of it will pass soon. I’ve had a horrible cold all week which of course felt like the flu, but since it dwindled down I’ve felt a little more up beat. Just remember there are better days to come, and you aren’t alone when you are feeling so bad.
    When I’m in a bad flare I like to read the forums at Healingwell.com they are a nice community and pretty upbeat. They also have an okay bipolar forum that often references bpd. Anyway, just thought I’d share what sometimes helps me when I’m feeling beaten badly. Gentle hugs, sweet girl.

  11. Isn’t co-morbidity just a lovely word? Makes you feel soooo much better just hearing it. Not.
    Agree with your post. I’m tired because my sleep is disrupted by seizures but I’m tired because all the medication makes me tired, this worsens my depression, depression someways means I sleep others not sleep. I was asked by my consultant once which of my anti convulsants I thought was working the best (taking 4 at the time). Shoulder shrug. How can I tell! Take care xxx

  12. Pingback: ‘Sick’… Is Driving Me Crazy | Infinite Sadness… or what?

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