Tagged mental health

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…

Life saving distractions

You aren’t lazy. Nothing about coping with chronic illness and pain equates to slothfulness. Each moment that you decide to stay in the fight is brave and exhausting. Every second that you don’t give over to the ease of eternal sleep shows enormous strength and fortitude. You are amazing and your struggle is acknowledged by the millions of us who gear up to face each day. It is difficult to find distractions from pain and other loud symptoms. I often have to use multiple techniques at once. This might look like someone with an attention problem to an outsider. If…

I’m just girl – Diagnosing Part 3

I just assumed that every person became light headed when they stood for an extended period of time. Standing up quickly or being overly active would always leave me with a spinning room and short light show. It was something I naturally compensated for through the years. I figured that everyone lived with these daily sensations. After all, the human body is a weird machine.  No one in my family has much trust in modern medicine. From religious reasons to superstitious avoidance and general unease with the practice, I wasn’t brought up with doctor visits. The occasional trip for stiches…

Response required yesterday to a letter received today

We try, desperately, to meet and match deadlines set by the world. But, from work to leisure, time works differently for the broken. Our bodies’ needs outweigh our desires to keep up with a “normal” pace of life. On the truly terrible days, I can’t function. I can’t leave my bed. Every micro-movement, even just laying still, causes agony that doubles down on the internal pain radiating from my nerves, muscles, and joints. Hell-level migraine days see me curled into a ball crying, vomiting, and losing my will to live. There are moments where my stomach refuses even water and…

The good stuff

So many terrible things happen when you have a chronic illness. There are hours, sometimes even weeks and months, which go by before a calm spell hits. At that time, with the chaos of survival temporarily quieted, we have a chance to appreciate the lessons we learned during the bad days. Those small servings of good stuff can help us find reasons to push through and keep fighting.  The primary lesson learned from dealing with a chronic illness is patience. It is inevitable. You can only push yourself so hard when your body is broken. Developing patience with yourself is…

Medical desperation

There are so many people with chronic and mysterious symptoms that the western world has developed show-and-tell entertainment around being sick. There are television shows, corporate websites, online series, and major news segments dedicated to showcasing all of our complications. Why do we engage with industries that make a profit off of our pain? Simple. We are desperate. With hundreds of thousands, even millions of people looking for cures to their long-term ailments, the appeal of sharing your problem with the world and getting a solution quickly is overwhelming. Maybe there is a doctor out there who is interested in…

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…

I’m just a girl – Diagnosing part 1

I was 18 years old and living in the American south. It was a new adventure after moving to the U.S just a few years prior. Being eighteen and still adjusting to a new culture, my life was a combination of amazing and incredibly stressful. It was a time before social media. The Internet was not a daily thing, a much simpler time in that regard. That lack of access came with its benefits but also left a lot of us lacking easy access to quality information.   About a year into my southern life, I began not feeling well. It…

It’s all in your head

Over these last few months, there have been a number of news and medical publications making the claim that past trauma is the cause of difficult and uncontrollable physical pain. This isn’t a new idea nor is it a conclusive proclamation of why all pain manifests. Of course, it is catchier for journalists to summarize the story using biased language instead of explaining the actual study breakdown in full.  There is no definitive proof that historical trauma causes intractable pain and pain disorders. There is no way to accurately measure pain. This makes studying pain and its root causes very…