Category Archives: Isolation

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.

 


Independent Struggles

Second day of stumbling around, attempting to survive on my own under these… unpleasant circumstances. You would think it would be better. Easier.

Yeh… It’s really not.

It’s been worse. Now I’m sitting here, in my chair in the lounge, watching Andy Murray, alone and cold, unable to reach the damned radiator and turn it on (there’s a table I can’t move in the way), wrapped up in my mother’s fluffy dressing gown, I’m regretting being alive…

I’m certainly regretting being ill.

It’s been a nightmare day, and it’s not even over yet… Althouth it feels like it’s been about a week already. I’m in turmoil and frankly traumatised as to how much of the downhill slope I’ve actually gone. This morning, as always, I woke up confused, disorientated, with the only conscious thought emerging of that I was supposed to eat my meds… which were not where they were supposed to be. I was distressed and in pain, barely able to move and yet still attempting to find the medication.

Then the dog starts going bananas because the postman is at the door and the bastard just won’t leave the package and go  so the dog with shut up.

Both of my legs were dead (I could manage some twitches with my left, though… score!) and I couldn’t barely even feel them. I couldn’t get up and the dog wouldn’t listen to me. I was distraught and confused, becoming more and more panicked as I tried to make the noise stop so I might at least find my meds.

My father finally made the dog stop. I finally found my meds. I struggled to take my tea and coffee left for me. My back was burning so much I could barely breathe through it, my hands were numb, and I just about managed to get myself up onto my elbow for the few seconds it took to drink each one. Such a fun start to the day…

I lay there, so upset at the fact it was so difficult to do such simple things as get up and drink tea/coffee, anguished at the confusion and disturbed perception of where I was and even who I was… I was also in a rediculous amount of pain in my back. For company, for something for my mind, I somehow managed to get the TV on, playing live shows over TVPlayer on Amazon Fire TV Stick. It helped. After about an hour or so, I realised I had to go to the bathroom – so at that point I was forced to do something about that.

Unable to really move my legs, I dragged myself up to sitting. I pushed my stuffed baby penguin and favourite little pillow into my canvas tote, added my phone and iPad, then proceeded to put it back around my neck and carry it, dragging myself along to the stairlift, and finally into my chair. I had to take a half-glass of wine to dull some of the pain/paraesthesia in my back, and I had another downstairs – I coulnd’t put oils on; I tried (numb hands and small bottles I can barely hold anyway do not mix, especially when sliding with oils).

At least I made it to the bathroom after that, anyway. That’s definitely something very important!

I managed to place myself in the living room. Watched On Demand TV and helped dog with his paralysing fear of overhead RAF planes going around, until 12pm when the tennis started and the dog was happy again.

So here I sit. Many, many, many hours later. Hands are funny – buzzing, numb-ish, tense, a little spasmy and cramping, with some electric shock-like pain. My back, upper legs and torso are all kinds of not OK, from the beginning of real spasms, to buzzing, to cramping, prickles, and burning. My lower legs and feet don’t really feel like they exist and are freezing to the touch (despite being wrapped in a fluffy dressing gown). I am unable to get dressed on my own, and I realise I left my big cardigan upstairs (not realising I would need it). So I remain cold. Borderline frozen. Just hoping I don’t actually die of hypothermia on contract frostbite whilst I’m down here…

I managed to not throw my food on the floor again, at least. It’s a start… But this day is just so hard… It makes me feel terrible that I just really can’t manage for myself. I’m glad I don’t have to do this tomorrow (my mam is off work), I would not be able to cope. I’m not coping now. My head aches, my muscles and bones ache. The isobars are all the way up, pretty much, so clearly having help makes a huge deal as well..  Even putting things out for me doesn’t really work – it’s not exactly being “independent”, is it?

The fatigue is overwhelming. Not having the correct “care” is hurting me and having a direct impact on my welfare: You know, you just don’t realise what a big impact that makes on you until it’s no longer there anymore! The “new” version of Fibro Flareup is hitting me again… and funnily enough, I don’t really appreciate that, either… Seriously, is this day really not over yet??

 

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What Am I…?


It feels like it has been a long time since I knew what it meant to be “me”.

What am I now? Not much, it seems.

Curiosity is lost. I have no desire to read or learn – because I just can no retain any information anymore. I feel exhausted just picking up my Kindle, magazines, or iPad for anything other than fooling around with it. I shouldn’t – and quite frankly, I’m not even sure why.

I am immobile and housebound. Under a required house-arrest because the off-the-rack wheelchair makes me so ill it’s insanity itself to even attempt to sit in it anymore.

My strange neuropathic paraesthesia / (numbed?) Fibromyalgia /  Hemiplegic Migraine thing going on, that no one can actually explain, keeps me prisoner in its claws – I can’t walk, sometimes barely crawl, my fingers don’t work very often, and I can feel so terrible (paraesthesia, spasms, feeling like I’ve been filled with cement, brain-fogged, unable to eat or move) that I simply can do nothing but stare at the TV. Not really watch it, just stare at it.

I am badly overweight and struggling to even move, let alone try to be any kind of active. I do try – a lot. But the windows of opportunities are so sporadic, they don’t really count. So I don’t get to do the things I love(d)much anymore – Pilates, Yoga, dancing. I do them as much as I can when I can, and it’s literally quite the relief to be able to do at least something, no matter what it is. Another part of my past that I can touch occasionally, and feel something that brings great comfort and familiarity. There aren’t many of those left now.

I have so little control over limbs and key muscles. There’s no diaphragm, no pelvic floor, very little use of my right leg at the best of times, and on occasion my right arm too. I can barely feel my tummy except in one space in the very centre. I can’t sing, have to use Gown-up Huggies (or lady-pants, as Tena likes to call them), and I am a slave to the weather and air pressure (check your isobars if you feel really rubbish – I just stop working once it dips below 1020mb, and I fall apart and can black out in 1015mb or less).

Dignity is gone. I quite often have to crawl, or worse, be reduced to attempting to “commando crawl” because my arms and legs dont work properly. I need help to clean myself, shower, brush my hair, change, go to the bathroom on bad days. And the Grown-Up Huggies don’t help, either.

I lost the ability to drive. I can no longer cook. I have a robot I was so excited to make sitting around in parts. I have courses I wanted to learn that have sat around gathering dust, after only managing a small handful of them before falling too ill to carry on. I can no longer go horse riding. The list of books and magazines that keep going unread hurt me deeply. I feel like I live in loss and missed opportunity, and it’s quite frankly heartbreaking.

My memory has gone, particularly STM (Short-Term Memory). The long term memory went a long time ago, and has never really returned. There are people, places, things, occurrences that I have no idea about. Today I forgot how a General Election worked when you went to vote. I’ve been voting since I was 18… I hate to count how many polling stations I’ve been to in the subsequent near two decades hence. I should have known it, but I did not. People tell me things and have conversations with me, and I have no idea ten seconds later that it even occurred, let alone what was said. I’ve given up being disturbed by that – it happens too often now… it’s another unfortunate “new norm”.

The small things can really get you. I feel really put out I can’t now go to the cinema, because I can’t use my chair – I’ve spent ages looking forward to seeing the new Wonder Woman movie for months, and now I can no longer go. I feel awful I cannot cook my own food. I can’t even make my own tea, and the hot water dispenser is actually in my room (because once upon I time I actually could).

My ability to play games is sporadic, and I don’t enjoy it half as much as I should, could or would without this rediculous situation that I find myself in. The same goes with conversing with my friends, almost entirely losing my ability to actually speak to anyone – because it’s contra-indicating my ASD something rotten. I can’t fixate on anything but fear anxiety now – so there is no room for my usual crazy obsession about Mass Effect and Dragon Age. This might break my heart more than anything else.

I keep asking myself “What can I do?”… But there doesn’t seem much on an answer. I can sit… sort of. That causes problems in and of itself. I can stare at the TV… which I hate. Sometimes I can hold a conversation. On rarer occasions it might even be intelligent. I sit here thinking… and I struggle to think of anything more. That does not make me feel very good at all…

 

 

I’m waiting – constantly waiting – for it to “get better”. It doesn’t get better. It never get better.

For some reason, so far it’s only become worse. I really wish it would stop doing that.

Right now, it’s just existing in limbo, waiting to see if a new, proper, chair might allow me to have some semblance of an existence, in being that I get some respite from my incarceration here, get some perspective in going some places where I can take myself along. There’s always hope, and I really do hope to god this time I get some respite from all this by being able to “walk” myself about, to go for a “walk”, to make it to places that I can’t go now. Certainly couldn’t go in that other chair.

I’m trying to do good in waiting for it. Trying to get stronger arms and core. It’s not going too well, because despite it being June, no one told the weather, and the isobars and temperatures are through the floor – and we’re being bombarded by gales, rain, and storms. Fun. So far, for the last two weeks, the isobars haven’t risen above maybe 1010 or 1015mb. Next Tuesday (it’s very early Friday morning right now) it threatens to get to at least 1021mb. Hopefully, this time, it’s telling the truth. The last time, it most certainly was not!

If this weather doesn’t improve neither will I. I will still do as much as I can, but it won’t be the same, because the extent it makes me feel utterly terrible to the point of passing out can render it impossible to do anything. It seems so rediculous to be enslaved by something so rediculous, but there it is.

I hope I shall get some sleep sometime tonight – it’s 4:06am and I feel too wired to be able to sleep. I don’t even know why – if I did, that at least would be a start! I guess as an Aspie, that kind of thing is probably always going to elude me, but I do try my best to work it out. I could be anxious – it’s general election night. Or it could come from the fact that mornings can be harrowing after disturbing dreams/nightmares and being awoken badly in the morning – frankly the last two days have been extremely traumatising (no, I’m not kidding nor over-playing it… more like the opposite), and I do not have it in me to even begin to deal with a third day of such things.

Of course, I might not be anxious. It might be from a lack of being able to expel energy, thus never feeling tired. It’s hard to expel energy when you can’t move. It might be from the “pain” – and by that I mean feeling the intense sensations of Paraesthesia, which may as well be pain. It hurts, I suppose, but in a very different way to before, or what I’ve ever been used to before. So I just call it “pain” because it’s a shorthand that other people can easily understand, more metaphorical than literal.

I think the problem is I honestly don’t know if it’s all of them, any of them, or none of them. I wish I did, so I could do something about it. As it stands, I have no idea how to help myself, which is really annoying.

 

 


Alone Without Precedent

The more I am in this situation, the more it eludes and confounds me. It doesn’t help that it thus far has no definitive name. What really doesn’t help is the psychological aspect.

I checked around the Internet… There seems to be really little on ASD/ Autism/ Asperger Syndrome with neurological or physical chronic illnesses. There seems to be no precedent, nothing out there from other people  who are or have been in a similar situation. There’s one or the other – but not both together.

I feel I am wondering out in the wilderness with no way of knowing which way to go, or where I am even going. There is so little help… Nothing but Waiting Lists, and then some. Lots and lots of them – Neurology, Occupational Therapy, Psychological Services… and then there’s more to come for diagnostics, physiotherapy, treatment, more appointments… A never-ending carousel of waiting. With no one to help in the meantime. Without a clue as to what might be wrong with you or why you’re suddenly like… this.

All I know is that it’s no longer Fibromyalgia. Last time I checked that required pain. Mine is all gone, replaced by horrible other things instead. No longer hyper-sensitive to cold, no longer in that pain I was in, no longer able to feel… well, almost anything. I’ve never hit my “funny bone” before and barely noticed. The dog can walk or bounce on me, chew [gently] on my arm and play with it. I don’t notice bumping into things, or people accidentally knocking into me, or things falling on me, or even touching my own arm or leg. I’ve been told there’s a terrible rash on my back and neck as a response to using oils – and I would be none the wiser if they hadn’t told me. I can’t feel it and it doesn’t even bother me. But when I touch it, it feels pretty rotten, I must admit…

img_0886Today my fingers went really numb… like someone had tied super-tight string at the bottom of each one; that feeling of the blood flow being cut off – and yet there was nothing on my hands at all. Not even gloves. I have also had a very hard time with extreme Fatigue (and I do presume I have a cold, to be honest), argued with gathering a Shard on Dragon Age: Inquisition, and my back and legs (especially my legs) have been quite “buzzing” and/or tingling (varying through the day). This morning I couldn’t even move or feel my own self to even try.

Right now I have to manage on the – rather genius and amazing – essential oil recipes for neuropathy and then for fatigue/brain focus, Devil’s Claw, Magnesium Oil (amazing), Neurozan vitamins, and coffee. Occasionally there’s minimal Co-Codramol (8mg/500mg) – almost always when I have a cold or infection – and Boots Botanics Ylang Ylang & Manderin “Aromatic Rollerball”. That’s on top of maxed-out Pregabalin pills. But without a definitive diagnosis, we’re all just pissing in the wind, guessing and hoping for the best.

I feel alone. Lonely. Because it really does seem I’m all by myself with this. Yes, peopleimg_9891 have neuropathic chronic illnesses, and yes, people have ASD. I am yet to find someone else out there who has experienced this and at least attempted to navigate this.

With the NHS in turmoil, and Social Care drastically underfunded, I’ve pretty much relegated myself to the Raggydoll pile. I just now wish to be the best I can be, especially psychologically. It’s a big ask, but it’s all I can focus on – and the only thing I can control now. There is just nothing left in my life I have any control over, and I have no idea. I am in the middle of it and I don’t understand any of this – so it’s hardly like you can expect anyone else to… But I do wish that at least I did. And this new numbness twist? That just hurts my head.

I am just lost, and I do not like that at all.


Dead inside….

I just got the news from Walton [hospital] that they have downgraded my GPs referral from “Urgent” to “Routine“.

What the damn hell is routine about being disabled so much you can’t even go to the bathroom on your own sometimes??

It’s a minimum of 20 weeks to be seen – that’s four months from February. So June or July if I’m lucky. That’s because of the lovely 18 week waiting rule in NHS England, and the lack of neurologists in Wales.

This is not damned well Routine. It’s life-destroying. It’s taken everything away from me, and what – do I now just give in and finally complete one of my suicide attempts and succeed this time? Because it looks like I’m never going to get anywhere with these people, and I refuse to live my life like this. This is not a life. It’s barely an existence. It’s barely anything. It’s not right.

This is ridiculous… I don’t understand why they can’t see this is unnecessary suffering? Ignored in London and now ignored here… Have I no hope of ever being taken seriously in my life?

I don’t even understand why I have to contact two hospitals (I had to call Bangor about it as well, who were bemused at the downgrade) and then ask my GP to send a “letter of Expedition“… when she’s already marked the original as “Urgent“. Coming in last because I’m Welsh or because I’m an Aspie? Hmmm??? As always, is that what they’re thinking again? “Crazy girl”? They should be treating me with more care because I’m an Aspie, not like this. There’s nothing to help me nor protect me. Nowhere I can go for help because there isn’t anywhere.

I’ve emailed something called NAS Denbighshire and Conwy Branch – and lord knows if they’ll be of any help.

This is not just a marathon, this is walking through the Fires of Hell once again. I’ve been through the 9 Circles of Hell and here comes another one. How many are there really?

I’m almost pretty much ready to give in. I don’t know how much more of this I can take. I’m sick and tired of other people fuelling this depression I have inside me, unwilling to accept that without their prejudice and unkindness, I am a perfectly OK person who just wants to get on with things. I’m not looking for attention… I’ve been bloody avoiding for decades – am terrified of medical and healthcare professionals, and unable to trust them as fas as I can see them.

I am devastated. Crushed. And dying inside…. again. But what more can possibly done? Believe me, if I had a few grand stuffed down the back of the sofa I’d suck it up and take myself off back to London, to The London Clinic, and get my answer there and then. No more 4-6 months waiting lists.

I’m just dead inside. I’m just… numb.

There’s nothing left in me now. I’m just to sit here and rot, it seems, because there is no one anywhere that can seem to help me, and that includes myself. I can’t even seem help myself.

For the first time in my life… I can’t seem to help myself.