Tagged Chronic illness

Coming around

It seems fake. I mean, whose legs aren’t restless? Is there anyone who can sit or lay comfortably in one position without needing to shift? Everyone needs to move from time to time. But, it turns out that Restless Leg Syndrome is a just a terrible name for a real disorder. I think it falls under the same name-fail as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  So, RLS is an actual condition and I have it. It started slowly and developed as a branch off of my Autonomic Small Fiber Neuropathy symptoms. I want to discuss what RLS truly feels like. The commercials…

Slogging through hygiene

It’s the more unspoken part of dealing with chronic illness. If being able to get out of bed or going to a doctor’s appointment is a big win, taking care of your daily hygiene needs makes up all the tiny victories in between. It seems so simple. Just take a few minutes to clean yourself and your surroundings. All you need to do is brush your teeth, shower, shave, wash your hair, moisturize, trim your nails, change your clothes, etc. But, simplicity rarely exists in our realities. Surviving the microseconds is where we live. When everything hurts, maintaining the squishy…

Achoo!

Dealing with chronic disease forces you to expect the unexpected. New symptoms and weird manifestations of the disorders pop up all the time. Occasionally, a non-related medical issue will present and you have to figure out if it is truly a new symptom or a manifestation stemming from a previous condition. As you know, all those aches and pains that encapsulate chronic diseases show up in wildly diverse ways.  One of my daily symptoms is nausea. It can be severe or mild, but it is always there. Because of this, when I’m coming down with the flu or even food…

Opioids and Judgy McJudgerson

Take a deep breath. This is going to be one of the most polarizing issues that we discuss here. It’s also going to be a long post. However, no matter how long the column is it won’t be long or detailed enough. Pain and pain management is a very complicated discussion. It is intensely personal and biased, even when science is discussed.   My position is different from most people. The way I think about pain has changed over time. It can probably be split into three categories: before illness, start of illness, and chronic sufferer.  BEFORE: I was anti-pain medication.…

Like. Lust. Love

Developing and maintaining a romantic relationship isn’t easy on the best of days. We all carry baggage and have expectations that we place on the other person. Even if someone’s situation is “perfect”, they will bring trauma and scars from their past, often subconsciously.  When it comes to handling romance with bent and broken bodies, the obstacles can feel unbeatable. But, they aren’t. Let’s start with dating. The word alone can cause a flood of anxiety. It’s a world where possible partners take a quick look at a picture, then swipe either approval or dismissal, before personalities are even brought up.…

Air travel

I use to travel, a lot. Multiple times a year, different countries, long trips and short trips, all of which I did with relative ease. I started traveling at a very young age, the simplicity and near-comfort that I felt with the entire airport routine (regardless of my location) has been a part of my identity for most of my life. From being the one who knew all the tips and tricks for getting through different airports quickly to feeling elation at landing in every new city, I reveled in the energy and unexpected adventures of frequent travel.  With my…

Hospital PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is not exclusively a wartime condition. There are innumerable events that can cause the disorder. Personality traits and emotional leanings also contribute to the likelihood of developing PTSD. For centuries, trauma was treated as a momentary cut instead of a deep scar. Today, we realize that lifelong mental distress can be caused by even a single traumatic event.  It may seem counterintuitive to claim that medical spaces and hospitals in particular can cause PTSD. Unfortunately, it is true. The process of recovering from a hospital visit is lengthy and multifaceted. Being out of control, having your…

When I just can’t

It isn’t very often that I am absolutely and completely useless. I can usually pull myself together enough to do a chore or work on something creative. In fact, the act of completing a small goal helps bolster self-worth and a positive mental state. However, today was an empty day. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally drained of function. With chronic illnesses, there is a lot of recovery time for simple tasks. I’ve written about it before and it will continue to be a theme in my posts because it’s important to acknowledge the difference between recovery and laziness. There…

Intimacy for the broken

In a vast library of films, I have yet to see an honest depiction of chronic illness and relationships. There are moments that pop up in television series and informative singular tales in documentaries, but they all lack the truth and complexities of navigating intimacy while dealing with a daily disease.  I use a broad classification of relationships. This term includes acquaintances, friends, lovers, partners, spouses, and family. It fits anyone with whom I have shared a connection or meaningful moments in time. Over the years, it has become clear just how important my health is when dealing with all…

Not theirs to break

Lately, there has been a lot of buzz about treating pain with pain. From studies about the psychology of pain to stories about BDSM as a coping mechanism for living with disease, these articles are written by non sufferers and seem lacking in patient perspectives.  The concept of treating pain with pain is almost instinctual. For instance, we tend to soothe a sore muscle with rubbing, smacking a bug bite that won’t stop itching, or using the distractive method of pinching your arm when your foot hurts. These techniques absolutely work, temporarily. They overload the nervous system and your brain…