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Dreary Mondays and The Daisy Award

As Mondays go, it’s been a pretty dreary day. Grey clouds in the sky, a cold wind in the air, and fatigue upon fatigue dragging my body down into the floor. After a weekend spent lying in bed while S works on his programming and struggling up and down the stairs for smokes, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m having my first fibro-flare since beginning the treatment with Lyrica. It’s a strange feeling; none of the usual muscle spasms  but all the extreme tiredness and confusion. My thighs and upper arms don’t ache, but they still feel like they’re filled with lead. It’s just not hot lead anymore.

I don’t know what I thought. I just didn’t expect to still have flares, I suppose; I know Lyrica only helps with muscle pains and spasms, but for some reason the idea of a flare never entered my mind. It’s incredibly difficult staying awake; I got up with S this morning to see him off to work and didn’t sleep well last night, so it’s very tempting to close my eyes and fall asleep for a little while. Sometimes it seems like my abnormal sleeping habits will never right themselves.

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The lovely Quiet Borderline has kindly nominated me for The Daisy Award. The rules for this award are much the same as usual:

* Thank the person who nominated you.

* Tell your readers 7 unusual things about yourself.

* Nominate some worthy bloggers.

What is a quiet borderline?

It’s potentially less common, but equally insidious, maybe moreso, because it can be trickier to diagnose someone who displays characteristics of a Quiet Borderline. Why’s that? Because they are much more likely to Act In, then Act Out. They are not known for raging openly, where other people can see them, so it’s more difficult to recognize that there’s a problem. It’s very typical for only those people that are very close, often intimately involved, with this person to know that there is a problem that needs to be helped with. This is something that I identify with very well. To the outside world anyone you ask would tell you I am the pinnacle of pulled together. They don’t know what goes on inside.

Which ultimately is not that different from what you would consider a classic Borderline presentation. By which I mean that all those underlying reasons for a BPD diagnosis are essentially the same in those that are “quiet” and those that are acting out. The main difference is how it presents and manifests… how a person expresses their symptoms.
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The Quiet Borderline is a blogger I much admire. I hesitated to use the word “blogger”, because it doesn’t sum up the depth and detail in her words. Above all else, she’s a writer; and one I highly recommend reading if you want to know the ins and outs of BPD. Her tenacity in dealing with often horrible situations is to be respected, and it’s an honor to be nominated by somebody like her.
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Seven unusual things
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1. Like The Quiet Borderline, I have mangled toenails. Both nails on my big toes were removed in my early teens, and I hide the skin where it never grew back by covering it in nail varnish. You will never see me without varnish on my toenails; it’s almost an obsession. I can still remember the nurse squeezing my hand as a needle was pushed right through my toe. I think I broke her fingers.
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2. I’m incredibly blasé about needles, otherwise. Blood tests have never been an issue for me, and as a child I used to love watching the blood go up the cannula into the little vial. Heck, I still do that.
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3. Although I knit a lot, I rarely finish a project. To date I’ve made six hats and six scarves, despite spending hours knitting like a fiend. Like most other things in life, I’m dogged by paranoia that whatever I touch ends up ruined. If a stitch drops or I accidentally purl instead of knit, I won’t go back and fix it even though I know how. It’s failed by then.
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4. I have a great weakness for Nero’s hazelnut mochas. Not really unusual, but heck. It’s a fact.
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5. Considering I often sleep until the afternoon, I absolutely adore the morning. Especially when the sun is just rising on a warm day; it makes me blissfully happy. I’ll throw open my curtains and open the window, even if I’ve been up all night staring at the laptop screen and smoking like a chimney, red-eyed and coughing. Even if I go to sleep straight afterwards, I have to see the sunrise if I have a chance. It’s always peaceful. I love the world before it wakes up.
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6. I often buy books based purely on the cover art.
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7. When I’m stressed, I spend money. It’s a release of sorts, almost similar to self-harm. In fact, I’ll often buy things I don’t need rather than cut myself. It’s not quite as effective, but holds off the urge for a while. I’ve never been in proper debt, but I do owe my mother quite a bit of money. I keep borrowing to pay for hair products and make-up; you see, when everything goes wrong I try to patch things up with the false illusion of beauty. If I’m pretty, life can surely never be harsh. I need to spend that money because that lipstick may just be the answer to everything.
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Nominations
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I don’t really know what The Daisy Award means, so my nominations are bloggers who have inspired me – in their own ways – to keep writing and sharing.
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37 Comments

Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Every day life

 

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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

Posted by on April 9, 2012 in Every day life

 

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