Southport Stressing

Getting ready to go to Southport now. It’s been … Close to unbearable. Bladder spasms are frequent – they already shoved my catheter out last night and had to call the nurses in 😞

Feeling the overwhelming tidal wave of panicking nausea as the reality of my “life”, or what fragments remain of it, hits me once again. It makes me want to scream and cry inside, and again I wonder… how on god’s earth am I supposed to cope with all this… 😞🙁🤯

The theory is that I’m going to my niece’s First Birthday party for my sister. The reality is I had no choice: With everyone else at home going, I have no choice but to go along too, staying 4 nights in a Travel Lodge in Southport (they have… acceptable… Accessible Rooms… Very basic, not too great for wheelchairs — and instead of a nice king size bed like in all other rooms, it has two children’s, cabin bed- sized beds pushed together… 😡😤). They also take dogs, so it has to be with them… And I miss my Premier Inns now… 😔

Buddy the dog is ready to leave …! 😁

I basically am forced into coming for that time because my mother is going there, visiting my sister and her little family, for that long. And without her being here, there is no one then to help me with certain things you definitely don’t want your father doing…! Thus… I have to go, too.

It’s not even about whether or not I even want to go to my niece’s party. Well, what ASD person wants to go to an echoey town hall filled with screaming or crying kids and a whole load of “adults” playing with them…? He crowd, the noise, smell of foods, the echoes… Nope. But… It’s not my choice. Either way. Even if it’s nice to attend your first niece’s birthday party.

I didn’t want to go away (to anywhere); I’ve spent the last month or so travelling a load and staying away. Even living out of a suitcase at home because what was the point of unpacking to leave again…? I’m beyond-dead-inside exhausted, and there are Roman remains buried out there that feel more alive and with it than I do.

I’m in immense pain, a hair’s breadth away from a major meltdown, and barely keeping it together. Hence this little rant now…

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Keep Going…

Has anyone ever been through this before?! It’s not on the Internet if it is… or very well hidden! My catheter issues are exhausting me and causing even more pain than I already have… but without it, I can cope even less.

That point was proven yesterday, and part of the day before. And today, I’m really suffering for it.

Twice in 24 hours! I can’t believe it came out within just 8 hours… and I thought it coming out 24-72 hours was unnecessarily awful…! It’s caused unbearable pain, in me, who usually can’t really feel anything. I had no choice but to agree with them that the bladder and urethra required some time for R&R… even it it was just for a day, or a night.

After agreeing to leave the catheter out for as long as I could bare it, for at least 24 hours if possible, I did it. I tried and fought and it was horrible. Emotionally, physically, psychologically, it completely messed me up – which was something I did not require during a massive Fibro Flare-Up. Now I’m broken into even more pieces and too exhausted to barely move  – and don’t get me started on the fibro pain and even less moving parts than normal.

I lasted until 5pm yesterday, which is over 24 hours. It was a struggle, and… disgustingHumiliatingExhausting. Shaming. When you’re struggling to manage to change your own paper Grown Up Huggies Pull-Ups every 2-3 hours (if you’re lucky), struggling to move from a Fibro-Flare-Up, when there is no one to help you, when you’re stitting in your own ick because you just can’t move and are unable to – too exhausted to – change, and you don’t sleep. At all. Except for a short catnap between about 8:30 ad 9:30am… if that counts at all…

Eventually, I caved. I had to have it put back in. But it wasn’t happy from the start. As usual. By 1:00pm, it was already seriously trying to wiggle its way out. It’s pressing against… something, I don’t really know, I presume it’s something like the pelvic floor area, maybe?… and it’s setting off this pain like electric shocks and strange body-wide pins and needles and tingles – especially when the bladder spasms and pushes out more water.

At 5:15pm it was pressing so hard it wouldn’t take much more of a hard Release flood to take it out. It was at the 24 hour mark, so it seems inevitable. I don’t win, either way. I need that Suprapubic Catheter ASAP. Except the Urology Department doesn’t seem to be taking much notice of it.

It’s in Retention-Release, despite also slightly draining as well. During the Release, it leaks (bypassing), and creates an immense amount of that pain mentioned just before. It’s so overwhelming I can hardly breathe and makes my eyes really water badly, as well as making me feel quite lightheaded and disorientated. It’s not nice at all.

It’s hanging in there but not my much. One big Release is probably all it will take now…  😦

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Also I’ve had enough about the OT and social worker. I cannot get anywhere with them, and they won’t talk to me (despite my dad and I leaving messages with them since last week), and thus I have put in a complaint against them with Conwy Services. I’ve also had to call what they call single point of access to request a referral to a new OT. My fourth one now.

This is also along with the fact one of the district nurses thought it was perfectly OK to go and call the incontinence nurse to ask about getting me medication for bladder spasms, and then take that request to the GP all without informing me or getting my consent. I’m hopping mad about it, and she’s not even in today… Naturally. I wouldn’t have even known about it if the GP surgery hadn’t call me to tell me my prescription was ready. So, confused, I obviously ask, What prescription? And apparently it had all been done and dusted for me without my knowledge, my input, my consent. I don’t even know what it is. Or if I have sensitivity or allergies to it, or whether it will conflict with my von Willebrand’s.

Now I have to wait until tomorrow to see what this is all about, and, frankly, expect an apology from them. I’m a very tired and grumpy Lel right now… you really don’t want to get on my sulky side… It’s not pretty, and I will say what I think!


Catheter Conundrum…

This catheter situation is starting to get a little beyond out of hand. Yesterday, it came out twice. Within 8 hours of the first one being inserted, it was out. And I thought 16 hours was being ridiculous…

In the early hours of the morning, the night staff from the District Nurse office came to reinsert it. Fortunately the people there are lovely. And patient. I have to call them out so frequently (or go to their clinic, if I am able to) it’s beyond a joke – it stays in for 24-72 hours mostly.

img_0887The one that first came out yesterday had been in for 5 days… I don’t know what the secret was. But strangely enough, I had no sensation of it coming out (there’s usually a sensation of a stun gun that has a very sharp pointy end stabbing me and shocking me). The one that replaced it was in for 8 hours… so go figure. I barely felt that come out, but there was a bladder spasm at the time, and I vaguely felt it being shoved out.

To put into context, they’re supposed to stay in generally 8-12 weeks.

It comes out with the balloon intact. A filled 10ml balloon at least 3-4cm [or about 1.5″] in diameter. I can’t even tell you how teeny a urethra is, but it gets shoved out of it. Sometimes it feels like my body is trying to lay an egg… Every time this happens, that is what happens – and yet no one has done a bladder scan or checked how much damage is being done to the bladder and urethra by this constantly occurring. I imagine it’s a lot.

The worst pain comes with bladder spasms and what I term “Retention-Release“. This means the bladder goes into retention until the spasm that causes it is unable to keep the pressure on the full bladder. Then, when it cannot keep it up anymore, it releases… all at once, and causes horrible pain. Now, though, it’s through the roof. And if I can feel it, and it’s unbearable, then it must be bad.

This morning the bladder has been going into Retention-Release badly. There was less than 100ml in my night bag (attached to leg bad, which was empty). It wasn’t until 11:25am that it overfilled and released (after coffee, a diuretic). And it hurt.

It released about 300ml at once. It was agonising. It feels like… a stun gun with a very sharp and pointy end both stabbing you and electrocuting you at the same time. It’s like that constantly right now, but when it released, it’s unbearable. If I already didn’t know what utter agony was, I’d be screaming. But I do, so I don’t.

My urethra now feels like it’s being tasered to death. It is well over a 10 in agony. And as someone used to living with agony 24/7 for five years, I can tell you it is horrific if it affects me that badly that I care and feel the pain.

I cannot sit on it. I literally cannot stand, so that’s out. A little bit of being raised on my kneed on all-fours like a baby helps a tiny bit, but it’s not like I can keep myself balanced there forever, it’s not like my legs can keep me up… So I’m stuck with it.

I feel dizzy and sick (as in seriously nauseated) by the agony. Lying down doesn’t help either. I’m stuck with it, and I probably will pass out from it. And I’m home alone with no one to help me.

Paraesthesia is no joke – it is my pain, my agony, what causes screaming both inside and out. It’s the same intensity and agony as if you had been crushed and fallen several stories from a building and survived. But if you did that, you’d get Fentanyl, Ketamine, some serious Morphine. What do I get? Tramadol, and if I’m lucky some soft-crap Oramorph (just 10mg).

The formally-empty night bag now [at 11:48am] has over 600ml in it.

Come 12:17pm and it starts again. It floods. It comes out. I’m vibrating from shaking.

I’ve had to agree to keep the catheter out as long as possible now, up to 24 hours, or more, if possible. I’m not seeing it… But I agreed to try. Doing it though… Well, I’m not so sure about that. My bladder is still in Retention-Release. It’s very painful when it does release (all at once). I’m not going to be drinking much now. How can I, if the consequence is, effectively, wetting myself? In a grown-up nappy, sitting on a incontenence may for babies? And nappies that I have to change ever couple of hours?

The only reason I’m even agreeing to this is because my current Fibro Flare Up is so bad I cannot move or go anywhere anyway – otherwise I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere because of this, and I find that unacceptable.

I’m highly anxious. This makes me feel…Gross. Ashamed. Like I’m a baby again. Or a puppy that is still learning… I can’t stop it, I can’t change it, and I can’t help myself… There is nothing I can do about it. It looks like I might not even be able to be catheterised anymore, if this is what it’s going to do. I’m at a loss as to what I can do, and the professionals are at a loss as to why. All waiting for Urology to come and fix it. Except they aren’t listening, or making it quicker.

But that’s my life now… All about the waiting… and, thus, the suffering…

 


Does Nothing Ever Change…?

I’ve been to hell and back. I think maybe I’m still there… but at least my life isn’t on the line anymore.
27th January I got taken into hospital, half-conscious, and apparently in a bad way. They found streptococus and staphylococcus in my blood, along with a “horrendous” UTI and a bowel infection. I’m not quite sure how much longer I would have been saveable for.
Luckily, I’ll never have to find out. They saved me. It took 6 weeks of being under their care, during which I also contracted more UTIs and a mystery infection that sent my temperature to 40.9˚C. I hate to think how much Tazoan [sic?]they actually pumped into me, but I’m almost convinced my blood is now mainly made up of that and coffee now…
Sheldon–What Fresh Hell
It is completely disingenuous now to wondering it if was the right call… And, after all, I’m not in as much extreme pain as I was – is was about 1000/10 by then. Now it’s down to 9.9 or 10/10 … so there is a big difference.
However… To what end does it really matter, when you’re half-dead anyway? A brainless zombie who is still in the utmost of pain, lost in the system, broken beyond repair, not even the ghost or shadow of a shell of what I once was?
I have a catheter because I can no longer control my bladder – or feel it. And it doesn’t even want to stay in. I cannot walk or dress or wash myself. I can no longer drive, or shop, or go out, do chores, tidy up. I have no control over my environment because I can barely move.
I have difficulty eating, moving, functioning. I have zero quality of life.
No one would ever keep a dog or a cat in this state. The humane thing would be to let it go. And yet, because I am human, there is no humanity given. Instead, I must just somehow “put up with” being tortured every second of every minute of every hour of every day… for years. Five, to be exact. Well, it will be in a few short months.
Nothing ever changes. Fine – yes, I have painkillers now that make it a little better. But now the new storms have hit (Thank you, Storm Hector…), again. I’ve been rendered completely buggered once again. There is no mercy here. Just tragedy and trauma everywhere you look around. Unable to ever comprehend, never being able to correlate, just whathas happened here to me. How far I’ve fallen. How much has been lost… destroyed… 
Being eaten away, drained of everything I am, by a condition no one seems to know anything about. By one that took away everything I worked my entire life to achieve. That took away everything that I was. Who I was. What I was.
 High Pain DayI fought my way to the Summit of the mountain I climbed, and in one fell swoop I was thrown off, plummeting to the bottom of the deepest mine beneath, crushed, broken… and no one heeded my screams nor saved me on my way down. Now, I am a nothing… and I was so close to being a something… something I really wanted to be.
I was about to achieve what I had wanted my entire life – I was about to join a career-making opportunity, based on skill alone… despite not having a single official qualification for IT, and based entirely on my own brain and ability. Just a brush away from a proper salary, a permeant contract, a proper job. With one of the most incredible NHS hospitals in the country.
All gone because of something no one wanted to stop.
That plummet, bouncing, crashing, falling, spinning, all the way down past the ground level I began at, straight past it and crashing – broken into too many fragments to ever count – onto the bottom of its deepest mine… Looking all the way up… Wondering how in all Gods’ name did I get down there, and how in all Hell on Earth I was even going to attempt to get up, let alone get all the way back up there…
Holding On
Now it’s nearly Five Years hence. It’s been a living nightmare. A waking Hell. Walking the darkest horrors and enduring torturous months and years that Satan himself would balk at.
And I am genuinely wondering why I am here… How I came to be here… How was I ever supposed to be OK with the trauma of being left and ignored for all those years, until I was broken beyond repair. Listened to only because I came close to very nearly not being here from blood poisoning… and only then given a little help. Where were they when I needed it, before I got here? 
Before I was left crushed to dust with nowhere to go, unable to move or walk or even go to the bathroom… Before I needed a wheelchair and my parents to even begin to do anything?
I can’t have a shower unless it’s at a Premier Inn – who have amazingly easy to use img_0904shower wet rooms, and cute, comfortable bathtubs too. I went over 2 months without a proper shower – barely struggled, badly and horribly had one just after leaving the hospital. I only had one when I went to the Blackburn Premier Inn a couple of weeks ago. And I had my properfirst shower since I left hospital on 8th March. And I actually felt happy and relaxed after a shower for the very first time in a very long time.
Funnily enough, I can’t say anything like that about home. It’s not suitable for use. Yes, I’ve told them. I’m not holding my breath that they’re going to actually do anything about it…
That’s the world I live in… From being fully in control of my life, of my existence, of my choices, of everything… I am now at the Mercy of everyone. If I want to wash, if I want to change my Tena incontenence pants, if my catheter comes out, if I want to eat, if I want coffee, if I want to get dressed, if I need medication, if I need something from downstairs – or even from the other side of the room, if I want to use my own goddamned shower… You get the picture. For pretty much anything.
And the most insulting thing? I get paid to be ill. That’s what Disability welfare – stupid PIP and ESA – is … and it is pittance. It’s not even enough to be classed as pocket money. That’s your job now. To be unequivocally unable to do anything. And getting a tiny amount of finances to supposedly help you whilst you walk through the shadows of the Valley of Death alone, frightened, and without hope you’ll ever, ever leave again.
And the Government has the freaking impudence to think that not only can they put a price on that, that the price they choose is nothing compared to what you really need…
Somehow they think it’s enough… And if they think that, they’re either insane or delusional. Certainly certifiably stupid and ignorant.
Back to whence I came… Back to being trapped as a prisoner in my own body. Back to being imprisoned in my room. Back to not being able to wash properly. Back to struggling with agonising and debilitating pain that refuses to allow you to actually even move. Or even breathe.
Storm’s Calling… And Hell Is On Fire Once Again…
  

 


The Past Collides With The Present…

 

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Today, I found an old (former?) friend on Facebook (…where else?!). I haven’t seen her since she left for Australia with her family when we were 12 years old. I happened to be looking through old photos and wondered if she was on there. And she was. And I saw her as she was now… 25 years later.

Married. Three boys. High School Graduate. Still close to her family. Her sister shared the same (birth) name as I did, and she was also mentioned on there – married also. Looking almost exactly the same as she had done, just older. I recognised her picture… That smile was always so bright and infectious, it was instantly recognisable, if nothing else.

My instinct was to say Hi. Naturally. Since she would never be able to find me on Facebook (I deliberately ensured that no one from my previous life could find me first), I thought it would be nice to get in contact, because before she left we were the best of friends and fellow Beatlemaniacs. In the pictures we looked like we were having a great time. But after that initial thought… another feeling came over me.

My reaction to finding her wasn’t quite what I was expecting at all.  I ended up with that now-familiar shockwave I get when I realise that what “normal” people with their average lives take for granted, I never can. When I see what other people my own age are doing… in glaring comparison to mine. And I was left feeling… Sad. Inadequate. Pathetic. Lost. Forsaken. Broken. Pointless. A Nothing; A No-One.

She had a husband… I had Fibromyalgia. She had three boys… I had what felt like a hundred pills a day to take. She looked like she was doing well… I had a wheelchair and a catheter that refused to stay put. She was living a good life… I was barely alive and broken into too many pieces to even count. She lived in Australia… I lived with my elderly(ish) parents (and don’t tell them I said that!) who have to care for every damned need I have, despite my being the very wrong side of 30 (and I used to think saying “the wrong side of 20” was a tragedy…).

What on earth was I ever supposed to say to her?

All I could ever offer was the possible bad news (or unfortunate news, at least) that her former [best] friend was a wheelchair-reliant, mobility-impaired Fibromyalgia sufferer, who could no longer do anything, nor remember much of anything, and lived in constant and consistent agony. Was I only to simply talk about what I used to do – what I once was?  I had no conversation, nothing to offer, and what use could there possibly be from bothering her with a G’d Day from me?

And no, it’s not about falling for some “perfection” boloney that most people put on there (there is surprisingly little about her life on here, except some recent pictures of her boys, who look adorable anyhow), and then putting my life up against them. I don’t do that anyway. It’s about the fact that what other people have, and take for granted, was never mine to enjoy, or have. There is almost no one I know, if anyone, that is in the same situation as me. Immobile, in agony, with a life lost at age 32, now living with and being taken care of by my parents for almost everything,  as if I’m some kind of overgrown toddler (sort of, I’m not exactly that much taller than a child!).

Every small thing brings home what I’m not. How broken I am. What has been lost. What nothing has been left behind. I hate the self-pity… But after nearly five damned years of this, I still yet have no idea how to process all of this. Because there is no How or answer to Why… It’s something that exploded from nowhere and no one can ever explain it. Leaving me struggling to do the most basic of things, and dignity be damned! I haven’t had any of that for a while now…

This woman is a memory of what could have been, what may have been. When I knew her I was a young child with endless possibilities. Before the serious bullying (it turned out that it was she who was inadvertently keeping me safe from this, as it started up almost the moment she was gone…) that destroyed my childhood and teenage years, as well as the first half of my 20s. Before umpteen illnesses and allergies – not to mention the Fibro. Before I was killed inside and a zombified vampire of a soul returned to attempt to survive and cope with whatever little that was left of me.

She left just before the shit hit the fan… so the (rather spotty and sporadic) memories, the seemingly unending amount pictures of her or the two of us, the girl that I had been and that I was back then, all are shadows long lost to the older, destroyed woman I am now. Seeing me then, with her, innocent and ignorant of the hell that was to come for the next Quarter-Decade of life, was a shock. I don’t remember those times – I don’t remember most of my entire life – so I have no recollection of who I was before. But in those pictures I was introduced to her. This person I was. Alongside my friend. I was smiling. Having fun. Clearly being silly and enjoying it. Being Beatlemaniacs together. Being in the first year of high school together (before that school played its part in pulling me apart). It was a relationship full of fun, hope, and playfulness. Without a single clue as to what was going to come next…

And thusly, contacting her would achieve nothing but encouraging the Ghost of Life-Once-Was to haunt me again. They’re haunting me enough as it is. This woman isn’t really the same person who was my friend. She’s no longer CE but Mrs. H, a mother, whatever else she has become. The only thing that is still the same is that infectious smile, and her kind and sparkling eyes.

I do not remember the past, so it must be best to let sleeping dogs lie. I was long traumatised by everything that happened to me, and probably the best thing is that I have forgotten. Retrograde Amnesia happens in PTSD for a reason, after all – and I’ll kind-of thank Pregablin for deleting the rest. I may not have much Short or Long Term Memory, but although that is annoying and unfortunate at times, it’s a good thing most of the time, and it’s best not to go rooting around what’s there in my mind.

Therefore, Mrs. H, née CE, I think it still best you still don’t know where I am or how to contact me. I ensured my old name is not linked to my online footprint or profiles for good reason. My past should stay where it is. In the pictures. In memories. In the past.