Chronicles of Life with Multiple Sclerosis
I feel like there is such a fine line between helping and hurting with those posters or posts that compare mental illnesses to physical illnesses.
It just kinda turns out that a lot of my friends have chronic illnesses, mental and physical and sometimes both.
I just feel like there’s a lot of erasure going on in those posts.
A friend of mine has cancer, he was fired for going to the hospital and missing a day of work.
Another friend has lupus. And she’d get shit on at work by her coworkers for complaining about her RA, or fatigue.
Physical illnesses can be just as invisible as mental illnesses.
First off please no hate mail. I have serious, life threatening physical and mental disorders that keep me from not only working, but having friends, doing anything physical, and even caring for myself. I don’t need your hate on top of it.
So, I’ve had this blog for about a month now but haven’t really shared my history. So here it goes, I’ve been overweight most of my life. My highest weight in high school was probably 280 pounds. I always had severe asthma that has kept me from exercising and made me miss a lot of school. I also had ‘emotional problems’ that caused me to have rapid mood swings and cut myself. I graduated in 2007. I had a steady job in my family’s restaurant (which didn’t help the weight issue) and everything was going well. I was still being hospitalized about 6 times a year due to asthma though. Everything was going pretty good for a few years. I ever went on a mission trip to Africa in 2008; and everything seemed fine.
In June of 2009 I had respiratory failure and almost had to be put on life support. It was scary as hell.(I have had respiratory failure 3 more times since then) I spent 2 weeks in the hospital being stabilized. After getting out of the hospital I was experiencing severe pain all over my body, it felt like someone was driving a blade between my bone and my muscle. It would bring me to my knees anywhere I was. I was also experiencing memory problems and concentration issues. I was so fatigued I would have to sleep 14+ hours.. Despite all this I was determined it would go away and was just a complication from my respiratory failure. I began college in 2009 and was doing well in that aspect of my life.
I got sick with pneumonia and a severe sinus infection (both common due to my asthma) in January of 2010 and missed so much school that they kicked me out. By this time I was weighing 300 pounds, and so sick in general that there were frequent days I only got out of bed for food. This latest hospitalization actually did something good for me in that it got me insurance. Now I was able to go to the doctor and find out what the hell was wrong with me. I spent most of 2010 in doctors offices and ended up with the diagnoses of: Chronic Severe Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder, Fibromyalgia (which they origionally though was Cancer, then later Multiple Sclerosis), Migraines, and Hypothyroidism.
Between being so sick, loosing my job, being so overweight and loosing being able to go to school I got depressed. I attempted suicide on January 9th 2011 and then again in March of 2011. Both times were prescription drug overdoses and both times were very near successful. In all this I got 2 new diagnosis’s: Borderline personality disorder and Bipolar disorder. Both were present in my teens but went away in my late teens and early twenties. They came back with a vengence and still control my life.
So if you’ve read all that then thank you. It was cathartic to explain how my life has gone so far. In light of all this I am filing for disability. I simply cannot work. That being the case I am still trying to improve my life the best I can. The few things I do have control over are what goes in my mouth, and what I do with my body. Yes, I may spent every day and night taking prescription pain pills and laying on a heating pad and not getting out of bed due to pain. But if I have any energy in me I will fight to eat right and exercise. I will not let my diseases win. I’ve spent too long fat, sick, and miserable. If I can, I want to change that. Yes I’ll still be sick, and yes I will still hurt, and have to take over 15 fucking medications a day. But I will be in control of what I do with my body.
No hate mail from this end. Just respect and good thoughts. Disability paperwork is almost as painful as being chronically ill heh. if you get through you deserve a medal and a fucking red carpet not just that monthly stipend imho. I did it and it was miserable.
I really need to get my shit together. Yes, a lot has been going on. Yes, I need to be kind to myself. But sometimes you have one of those moments where you stop and look at yourself as though you’re watching a movie, or looking through a window, and realize that you’re really letting things get away from you. I had one of those today. I’ve been letting bad habits get out of control, I’ve been letting myself get depressed and overwhelmed, I’ve been feeling the physical and emotional aches more than i’ve been trying to overcome them. I do not believe in the whole “pull yourself up from the bootstraps” philosophy. I know better than to pretend its ever that easy. I also know, however, that too much time without trying to take control back and trying to motivate myself is like sticking one foot in the undertow and then sitting down and taking a rest. just not good. This is part blog part pep talk. The truth is I’m exhausted in every sense of the word and I know thats how I got here. All the struggling with paper work for SSI and an incident with my healthcare that I’ll talk about later because it was horribly scary and infuriating, over-drafting all my accounts and searching for things I can sell or jobs I can do that won’t leave me unable to move for weeks, finally getting food stamps, and just generally dealing with being in my early 30s and not accomplishing half of what I expected I would and worked the entirety of my life for academically or personally. We all struggle with the expectations of others and those we’ve placed on ourselves. Getting older can be rough in that sense, and being alone in the process is exceptionally difficult. I’ve always felt, however, in my better days, that there is a balance between feeling these things, letting yourself feel them, mourn some things etc, and falling into the cycle of self destructive behavior. I dunno what my point is. The increasing symptoms are rough and all the psychological effects of the aforementioned things compound that. I guess I’m just thinking this moment has pointed out to me that I may be letting myself fall into self comfort instead of proactivity… if that makes any sense. Today I saw that happening and I’m hoping it will kick me into gear.. getting back to some sort of fight, productivity, something. Get back into some sort of balance between dealing with the physical and emotional realities and forcing myself to do things despite them all on a more regular basis.
The funny thing is, as I was writing this, I got exceptionally tired and almost couldn’t finish (you can probably tell by the way this goes from semi coherent to wtf is that chic saying??). I’m not sure I actually did finish or that an ending is appropriate for a word vomit of this sort. Anyway, this might all be a pile of BS and tomorrow I’ll wake up lack any of the mental motivation I am talking about above. But, until then…I think I can I think I can..