Category Archives: Fibromyalgia

Silent Suffering, All Alone…

Does the grief ever really go away? The one you feel from all that you’ve lost?

The shame, the humiliation, the degradation, the demeaning secret truth of the life you have to… exist with… it just never seems to become “OK”.

To lose so many of the general functions you were used to your body doing for you, that you took for granted… does that ever really become something that’s really “OK”? You lose so much… I’ve lost so much… It’s not OK. Not even close.

It’s hard to know that the people around you just do not understand what you have to deal with… whilst at the same time so relived about that too. But then… they do and say things without understanding the impact on you, or the extent you have to push yourself to meet their expectations, or their level. What I mean is that they just think “popping out” is just something you can just do. Just like that. Or walking just anywhere they want is just fine, etc. When you live with a chronic illness, when you’re living in a wheelchair, when you sometimes can barely breathe because it hurts so much or your just too exhausted to manage it, it’s not that simple. Not even close. Getting out of bed is nothing to them, but to you, that’s every spoon you have and then some. Then they expect you to do even more.

I run on zero spoons. I do as much as I can on it, from going out for the day, to trying to do something normal like reading or reading, to attempting to make some food (which also requires at least one other person, too), but when they’re then a little tired from it they want “a little lie down”… as if they’ve done so much more than you have, expecting you then to do things for them… that really grates on me, and they do it because, quite frankly, you’re so damn used to it and they’re not. You live with the mind-killing exhaustion of chronic fatigue, so you therefore must be more used to it and are OK… Right? I’m not sure what this logic is, but it’s rather mean – and frankly, either ignorant or naive.

It’s not nice when just getting out of bed was utterly exhausting, then spending your day in your wheels, and your (frankly) grown-up Huggies, having no say over when you go or how, and just about able to stop yourself crying from pain or exhaustion or paraesthesia symptoms, or all the above.

It’s horrid when everybody leaves you behind for their “normal” lives, and look on with distain when you turn up in their lives… You’re supposed to deal with it, but Heaven forbid they do for a day or a few hours. What’s worse, is they make their jusgments without knowing the true extent or details… and they really don’t want to, either. What’s worse than the reality of seeing you is acknowledging the true reality of what you have to deal with. And they don’t want to know that… you know, in case it upsets them. Poor, poor them.

It’s hard so see everyone else in your life get on with being “OK” and you struggle to simply go to the bathroom. As your very basic functions, ones that you don’t even remember living without before, fail terribly and leave you stranded back in those days once again… How can you even look them in the eye with your head held high? Siting in grown-up Huggies pull-ups, or giant-tabbed Pampers, knowing they might not even do the job properly, how in hell are you supposed to have any self-esteem left?

I can barely feel anything from the chest, the lower rib cage, down (including not being able to feel the diaphragm), and thus I’ve been left with less and less control over things – first the legs, then a little bit of the pelvic floor, to having no concept of most of my abdomen, or lower abdomen, and my pelvic floor is barely even a memory anymore. Today, a really bad thing happened in this area and it was extraordinarily humiliating, and overwhelmingly shocking – to be faced with the reality of how far my body has slipped from my own grasp has left me reeling and unable to comprehend where I am (figuratively) in my own self, my life, my entire existence.

I’m hurting inside, but again, there’s no one there who really understands what’s going on… and once again I am alone. How do you even explain? It’s horrifying to you, so what does it evoke in other people? If you’re ashamed, what will they think? You can only imagine they would be horrified. Like you are.

I do not know how to deal with feelings. I don’t like feelings. They’re messy, unquantifiable, horrible, uncomfortable, and usually I can’t even cry (which I don’t like anyway because it makes your face soggy). Right now, I have a lot, and I don’t know what to do with them, how to process them, how to manage to get the hell rid of them, to be honest. I think there’s guilt, maybe shame… There’s definitely sad. Loss. Grief. Reeling and shock. But they all get so very overwhelming, and then I get very confused and upset.

In the last few days, maybe a week or so now (I lose track of the days), my hands have started playing up, and started not working properly. The paraesthesia in them is astounding and so painful. I can’t move them they’re so numb (imagine someone tied your wrists so tight it cut off the blood flow and you have them tied up like that all day). They can spasm so badly they curl up on themselves so tightly, they leave deep nail marks in your palms. They can never open out properly, they’re in a permentant “claw”. It prevents me from being able to do even the simplest thing, and also can prevent me from playing games, or even following a conversation because the sensation (or pain) is so bad there is no more room in my brain for anything else. It makes writing [typing] so hard sometimes that if I manage at all, every word has a spelling mistake at best and is gibberish at worst. It’s emotionally painful to endure, to be honest.

I feel like I’ve been left to rot by the system. Everyone has been less than useless. I’ve just been left to my own devices, and I’m floundering in trying to help myself. The diagnosticians throw me to general services (pain clinic, psych, physio, etc) and discharge me to make their targets look good. Those other services have nothing to  offer except inefficiency and long waiting lists you stay on just to see how inefficinent they are. It’s certainly not to be helped by them.

I’m lost, broken and alone, still trying to find something of myself in all this, wondering if I can ever rise to get the better of it, so I am what is driving me, not this.

 


My ASD: Mistakes. Are. Bad… Very. Bad.

I’m not even sure why they even exist… but these physiotherapists are just such a waste of time. She screwed up again – and I pretty much had a meltdown about it, also causing a big set of severe Fibro spasm attacks. Hoorah

After going to so much trouble to get the right date this week so my mother was here with me, the damn physio wrote in the wrong date anyway into the diary when she got back, and after waiting and waiting and waiting, I only find this out after I call when she’s an hour late. So that’s two ruined days because of her, which has just sent an already troubling and difficult week into a horrible tailspin.

It is clear that no matter what acts or policies that are in place, nobody cares about how they treat you when you have ASD. It’s OK for them – they’re not the ones who have to deal with the meltdown (or at least severe anxiety attack) that is the result of this god-awful thoughtlessness. After trying to deal with it all afternoon, I had an anxiety attack and mini-meltdown later on in the evening, after that panic built and built and built. It in turn ended up in a series of severe spasm attacks that were horrific and painful. But she didn’t have to care about that, did she? No. She could be ignorant of it, never know about it, never need to care about it. It doesn’t affect her. So why should she care, right?

Apparently, that’s how they all think. It’s certainly how they all behave… And it’s just horrible. To the point of being traumatising.

20160920_173759000_iOSWhen appointments are made, stick to them. Don’t be late. Call if you’re going to be late. Isn’t that “NT” politeness anyway? Well, it’s vital in my world. I’ve already had PIP mess me around. I’ve already been thrown into hell with the isobars down at 1000mb level, unable to even breathe sometimes it’s so painful. I’ve already had a hell of a morning, starting with 3-4 hours of going through the motions of trying to get up – yes, that’s how hard it is. And I’ve had to get up super-early so there’s enough time to do all this and regain an equilibrium before the appointment…

And then after all of my efforts I find the physio didn’t even try to get this right. After we brought out the calander and showed her all the dates my mother was available. She still couldn’t get it right. The emotional turmoil of this, of all my efforts for nothing, that the fact she could make such a mistake that cost me so much… It’s just too much to bare.

There’s also the other point that I cannot even begin to cope with changes… as well as the horrifying realisation that she probably didn’t get the message I left with their reception to cancel the appointment she wrote up, and that she might come tomorrow anyway. When she wasn’t supposed to. When I told her not to… And then I have to cope with that thought, with that change, with that intrusion, because she wasn’t supposed to come tomorrow… It’s horrifying to think that she thinks it’s OK to put me though such a thing, just because she can’t concentrate long enough to put the correct date down. It seems so unfair. It’s not like they don’t know I have ASD… They just don’t care, or have a clue about it. Or care to have a clue about it.

Proving legislation and policy  is a complete and utter waste of time.

Tomorrow, either I’m going to be home alone when she comes, or my father remains here with me instead of attending his weekly visit to see his elderly mother. I don’t understand emotion generally, but I know that uncomfortable feeling of guilt. And that last option makes me feel a lot of that. The former terrifies the bejeezus out of me – I have no intention of being there alone with her. I’ll either say nothing, or say precisely what’s on my mind… which I’ve learnt that NTs do not want to hear. Apparently they’re allergic to the truth. The polite fluff they engage in is still beyond me, even though I generally attempt to emulate it. Probably quite badly, but hey… at least I try. Which is more that can be said for the other way – not many NTs [professionals] try to understand ASD-Land at all.

Like the physiotherapist. And PIP.

GrumpyBearI am “ranting”, but it’s so very horrible. “NT” people never seem to understand this – although some at least accept it. I’m terrified of tomorrow (and that’s actually an understatement), and the fact the isobars are still on the floor are not helping. It’s going to be a long morning, at the end of which, I have to call the receptionist back tomorrow to verify the appointment has been cancelled and the physio is not coming. She was supposed to call about it (the physio, that is) and reschedule, and she never did. With that evidence I can only conclude she thinks she’s still coming here. It seems that if she has a mobile phone, neither her receptionist nor myself have the details of it to contact her directly when she’s out.

I knew they were a waste of time, but since the initial attempt at contact was a farce. It’s not ending, either. It still is. I can’t see any reason to continue with this – it’s one extra burden I can do without, given there’s no payoff from it. I’m already ahead of her game, and so far she can offer nothing better. So I’m wondering why I’m spending the effort of enduring hours of pain and torment to get up in time for her to come, when she’s not actually even coming in the end, because she couldn’t do one simple thing right – write an appointment in her diary on the correct day. And repeating it all again in case she turns up tomorrow. It’s harrowing.

I really am honestly scared of facing tomorrow. I hope I get some sleep… It’s “only” 1:49am as I write this now. And there’s a long night ahead…

 

A Question of Sanity

 


Physi-Oh… Lordy…No…

The isobars are on the floor again (1000mb tomorrow, and I’m feeling it…).

img_0896I’m wearing arthritic gloves just to type this. My hands are aching horribly (well, they’re crackling, buzzing and being mini-shocked, like their on that electic ball at the science museum, and “clawing”, but “aching” could be shorthand for it).

My legs are even weaker and buzzing and my back in on another planet of wrong – and my abdomen is in constant spasm.

So, in other words, it’s a normal day for crappy air-pressure day. Naturally.

However, what I had hoped for – when that damn physiotherapist finally turned up – was that I would be able to be taught how to help deal with it. To have massaging exercises, or movements, or just help to deal with these day.

You know what I did get? A frickin’ printout that I could (just about) manage 3 of from it. On a really good day. That were already incorporated into my usual practice on my (fun!) DVDs. They could have just saved her time (and damn salary) and just emailed it to me.

stupid-people-shut-upShe poked a couple of times at my leg, asked me to move whatever I could. Then promptly ignored everything I told her and gave me the most basic printout I think she could find, made for people who could move things. It was for stiff and weakened people, maybe older, maybe who have been a little bedridden. It was not suitable for what I had, which was something for perhapse lower-body paralysis or stroke or MS (which is everything that this emulates, and often all at once…). They clearly have nothing specific to Fibromyalgia or Hemiplegic Migraine. It seems they may not even have something for the others either, which is strange and confusing – and entirely unhelpful.

The worst thing is, if they had come when they were supposed to, six months ago, these may have actually been relevant… a little. But now, that ship really sailed. Off into the distance, beyond the horizon, and far, far away…

I’ve done more for myself – found actually appropriate exercise DVDs and a great YouTube yoga video – all of which are both helpful and fun, all from my chair, with some on the floor. I found better stretchy bands than they were going to give me. I have hand weights. I wanted help going further, going forward, with better things, more intensive things. But… no. Just stuff I’d already covered, if I could do it. God only knows what help people with even more debilitating conditions or paralysis get from these people, they just don’t seem to have a bloody clue.

I don’t know whether it’s severely OCD “Heath & Safety” rules that I don’t know about, or whether they’re just idiots, but they’re really not helpful. Just next time, don’t bother me and email the damn printouts instead…

About the only thing I got that was useful was that she confirmed that it was not safe for me to even attempt to walk (and oh, I am so not making that mistake again now…!) – which will be handy if the PIP thing gets awkward again (but I’m fairly sure there will be no lying this time, at least). Otherwise, I’m not sure what use they are to me…

Carry Me

 

 


Sunrays Through The Clouds…

PIP Day.

It went pretty well, to be honest… which has shocked me no end. I felt confident going in, the day was lovely, isobars were right up at 1025mb, temperature around 23ºC, I got there early… Everything executed astoundingly well. We got a little lost, because it’s in a weird place by the Menai Bridge, to get to Anglesey, but Google Maps sorted that one out.. 😉

We actually went in right away after we got there. We were early, and it looked like the assesseor was ready to go hom early. So we were able to go on in about 20 minutes sooner, which was great.

The woman I saw was really nice; a real nurse. She was sympathetic to my situation and could see what was going on – and seemed shocked that I didn’t have everything set up already, given this has been going on so long. She was also shocked when I pointed out it had taken six months for PIP to get around to seeing me after seeing my application. All in all, she seemed on “my side”, which was of course a huge difference to the previous idiot I saw, when I first got PIP.

She talked to me, listened to me, took my 14 page “dossier” of every detail I could think of that I’ve recorded and updated as things have become worse. What I didn’t remember, couldn’t say, or couldn’t portray properly, was all in there, so they had all the information they required right there, so they didn’t have to remember everything. Hopefully, it came in useful.

I was amazed it seemed so easy. That she made is so easy – she was lovely, affable, friendly, talkative, and your typical nice nurse, really. I was very lucky to get her, really. She made it easy to talk to her, was familiar with the neurologist who diagnosed me, and seemed very well-versed on my Asperger’s. I’m not used to that!

I hope I will at least receive a fair assessment this time. She seemed to understand the situation, at least. All I want is for their official paperwork to reflect what I have to go through, and not undermine it. She said she would get the report sent out by the end of the day today. There’s a chance I could get a PIP rate that reflects my circumstances, rather than one that undermines it. If they’re as fast as she is, then I will hopefully get the upgraded PIP level sooner, too.

… Yeh, OK, probably not, but you never know…!

 


Reflex Runaway…

Coped with today by running away to Liverpool for the day.

How else does anyone cope with what happened?? I was in a tizz, all over the place, unable to cope, or even process, what just happened when that guy called to tell me the appointment had been cancelled and rescheduled… So my mother took me to Liverpool.

It’s a comfort zone for me – the closest I can get to feeling like I’m “home” without actually going all the way to London… I’m a City Mouse, and speciafically a London Mouse. I am lost without it. going to Liverpool is the closest I can get to it, and because its almost as familiar and comforting to me as London is, and has been a place of great comfort since I was a youngster, it was a sensible place to abscond to today.

img_0877This was the first time I had been out on a rather long excursion with my new chariot. She’s called Firefly, by the way… After the ship on the show of the same name. It did not start off well , but when we did finally manage to make it to the L1, it went Ok – until we had to leave, of course…

Liverpool city centre and the L1 is pretty wheelchair/ mobility friendly, and it was so easy to wheel around there in my new chair. I mainly went to Superdrug (I desperately need to dye my hair and needed hair dye…!), where I got some great lipstick shades from Maybeline, and to Lush to get my favourite healing foundation, Jackie Oates, and the most amazing shower gel, It’s Raining Men.

After a few minutes of looking at phones for my mother at Carphone Warhouse, we then head back to the L1 to meet with my sister. She’s not feeling too clever, at around five months pregnant and it’s maybe 20ºc outside… So she’s feeling the weight and size of the little Kitten inside her, bless her. We end up going to Pizza Express and eating there. I had gluten free vegan pizza (including artichokes, asparagus, red onion, and vegan cheese – it was so nice!) and a small glass of wine to help with the buzzing in my hands.

The weather was glorious, it was nice there, my sister was there, I was eating food in a restaurant that wasn’t going to half-kill me, and finally something good was happening on this day…!

Now all of that was a nice time. Then it all went weird again when we went back to the car and my mother attempted to pay. The machines wouldn’t work, and it took ages to get it sorted.  By this time it was 19:43 on my phone, and the place closed at 8:00pm.

Then when we got out we ended up going to wrong way, and eventually went back home via Speke (and John Lennon airport, where I saw no planes! 😲🙄) and Runcorn. On the journey, mam selected a way home I wasn’t comfortable with, so I got very aggitated, because of the state I was in, and I couldn’t stop being tizzy about the PIP appointment. It was now once again hanging over my head at a time it was supposed to have been over with and aggravating just about everything.

By the time I got home, I was in quite an aggitated state. After a couple of big panic attacks, and readjusting to being home, I decided to do my dance DVD to burn the anxiety of. Smile and Sway is a pretty fun DVD and it’s good for burning off steam whilst enjoying some good dancing, and interesting, fun moves. I felt better after doing this, and that was when I finally managed to get upstairs in a better mood, ready for tomorrow.

img_0879The physio is coming tomorrow (again). Apparently, they’re supposed to have some kind of “plan”… I don’t know what kind, or what I’ll be expected to do. Hopefully, I’ll also have a shower, so on Friday I can dye my hair (whilst watching the Wimbledon Men’s Finals as it’s brewing….!) – but we’ll have to see. What I do hope is there’s going to be something I can do to my legs, which just can’t move on their own, so they’re missing out on so much – it’s not like they can yoga and dance like the could do. And they miss it.

Hopefully, I’ll be up for it and be able to make the most of whatever she says I should to.

So, overall, it turned out pretty OK in the end… But it certainly wasn’t an easy one – and I’m so glad it’s over with now!