The Biggest Reality Check of All…

Someone I haven’t spoken to in a while over text sent me a quite innocent message yesterday, with Are you still alivewritten on it. A running joke when catching up after a while. It meant nothing, had no other significant meaning. They didn’t know it was not so this time.

This time, it wasn’t so funny. This time I really meant it when I wrote back, Yeh, just about

It was a literal answer… and one I was decidedly uncomfortable with. Especially when I didn’t tell them that, or why.

How do you answer someone else… Yourself… When the rest of the answer to that question is I could have died…?

I was desperately ill and point-blank refusing treatment and, well, in all honesty and reality, getting close to dying. Literally screaming myself hoarse in agony, until I was lost consciousness from the pain, for hours every day for a month, not realising my body was being attacked by a silent killer, tearing up my insides and leaving me barely conscious on a daily basis. But I still refused any help or medial treatment. The scars, the terror, the shame of the way I had been treated by medical “professionals” in the past meant I was too traumatised, especially in my current state, to go anywhere near them.

What an utterly terrifying thought… and nauseating right now, with 30/20 hindsight. I did it to myself. Unwittingly. But I still did it. And I quite possibly came a bit to close to maybe not making it. I became unreasonable, delirious, the agony too indescribable apart from being able to say it felt like actual torture.

Eventually, it seemed something in my brain snapped and I somehow, for some reason, decided to finally allow my parents to seek emergency treatment for me. I must have finally realised somewhere inside my subconscious my money was up and it was now or never, the last chance saloon. I don’t know because I don’t remember anything of that day except coming to around 5:30pm in a strange place, in a strange bed, somewhere that I only recognised as “a hospital”. Which or where I hadn’t a clue. My mother had to fill me in on the rest.

I was told I was dragged, barely conscious, downstairs and to the car, then taken to the out-of-hours GP service located in the main general hospital on Saturday 27th January.  The time on my discharge note shows it as being logged in to see them just after 12pm. They rushed me in to the Surgical Assessment Unit and ran tests, put me in x-ray and gave me a CT scan. They pushed fluids for severe dehydration and vast amounts of strong painkillers to stop me screaming. I was apparently there for five hours before I became coherent enough to come around, the pain subsided much, but still quite agonising – although nowhere near what it had been – and I had to be told what happened to me and why there were lines in my arm and why I was in a hospital. And especially the question, Which hospital?

After negative scans and intensive blood tests, it turned out I had blood poisoning and a “horrendous” [their words] UTI (urine infection). Specifically, I had contracted Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. And I’d probably had it for weeks, if not months. The entire time I’d been feeling very ill all the way to the point where I’d spent an entire month screaming myself into unconsciousness from the mind-exploding incomprehensible agony I was enduring.

I ended up being hooked up to some kick-ass antibiotics for 3 weeks before I was getting better. But us took 6 weeks before I was given the all-clear to finally go home with clean and clear blood with zero infections left in it. Even when the ococcus infections had been dimming down, I still got 2 other infections on top of it, and one of them remains an actual mystery to this day, but it was so bad I got a temperature higher than I’d even had with the blood infection – hitting 40.7˚C at its worst. They couldn’t find the actual cause (and they looked a lot) so they dumped me right back on the antibiotics (I’d just got rid of that damn cannula the day before, too!) for another week and a half or so.

So, I spent 6 weeks in hospital trying to recover from my stupidity. For the first couple of weeks I felt it acutely that it was a fight, a real battle, to get on top of this thing (or things) and get rid of it. Once I started to get the upper hand, it was a slow but assured ascent to the top of the mountain of recovery. A couple of minor setbacks is expected, and otherwise it was a fairly smooth ride, if not long. Very, very long…!

I was very lucky the people there were really good and helped me with my little Aspie quirks, and were quite happy to help and make it as easy as possible for me. I also  got a lot out of it that wasn’t just my life, or recovery too. I got actually got my life back in a different sense. Whilst I was there, I got more than I ever expected, and although the way I got there was, frankly, terrifying, I clearly needed to go there to get everything I got from it.

Institutionalisation, at certain points of extreme chaos, apparently suits me. It allows me to reset, obtain new and better habits, in a safe environment of regiment and set patterns. Whilst at hospital, their set mealtimes reset my non-functional non-eating habits that for a long time had kept blowing between starvation and binge-eating. Even stopped me being completely terrified of food after realising there were bland and basic things that could be eaten without feeling overwhelmed and shaking. I learned that some medication didn’t outrightly hate me and worked well – and for the first time in 4 years I had adequate pain control that did not require a distillery. It was such a relief. Even anti-nausea medication given alleviated the horrible nausea from the pain and allowed me to eat easier. Even Oramorph for when the pain momentarily got out of control again. Not one single side effect – just what it was made for, for a change.

I actually got people to arrange referrals for me to help with the fibromyalgia, as well as a few followups regarding what I had been through. This was the first time I’d ever received adequate assistance, support and referrals for my condition… and that was probably because this was the first time that medical professionals had spent 24/7 over 6 weeks to see what I was going through. I even had a wonderful OT (Occupational Therapist) organise my being able to see my dog downstairs whilst I was stuck there, and I ended up managing it twice, which was wonderful.

By the time I left, I really was ready to go home. As in I was clear of any and all infections, everything had been put into place, and I was going home with support and medication that was going to make my life easier to live with. It may not have been the best way to end up getting help, but somehow having a serious illness had managed to bring the never-ending freefall of Hell I had been spinning in, and send me in a completely new direction.

Yes.. Life Is Strange…

 

 

 

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Tenth Circle Of Hell…

 

 

This may sound too personal, but I don’t really have “normal people/NT tact”… Skip if find “inappropriate” or whatever… But lets face it, we’re all built with the same things at the end of the day (generally).

***

I don’t know why I hope it’s not going to get any worse. It’s as if as soon as I do, it does just that.

There’s no sleep. There’s virtually no rest. I’m so exhausted, yet doing nothing – just breathing is enough to make me feel as if I’ve just run up an entire mountain.

First I lost control of my legs. Then I needed a catheter. Now… it’s peristalsis. Yes, that’s… gross. But it’s scary – I mean, who wants to find out that now those muscles are starting to fail too? I’m struggling – spent the last few days… a week?… I don’t know… in hell where it wouldn’t work and I was in agony. Even the smallest attempt at my body to even try either causes my bladder to contract instead (who the hell knows how that happens – and it’s beyond excrutiating)… and if the mixed signals end up in the right place, even that hurts because any muscle contractions below my sternum is agony in paraesthesia, because of how my Fibro has decided to confuse itself and make me semi-numb from the sternum down.

The exhaustion I already had was killing me. This now… This has really pushed me beyond my limits. I always have to push them, find new ones. Raise (or lower, depending on your perspective) the bar of what my limits are. It seems that wherever I turn, I get punched in the gut, disappointed, not helped, fed to the wolves.

Apparently the CFS clinic the GP put me through to won’t see me because they don’t deal with you if you have a pre-existing condition causing it… despite CFS and Fibro being well-referred to as “Sister-Conditions”, and there is no “Fibromyalgia Clinic” – otherwise I’d bloody well already be there, wouldn’t I? And the most infuriating part? They didn’t eve bother to contact me – they just told the GP instead. Cowards.

I even contacted a neurological physiotherapy company (private) to see if they would at least try to help me, and they just basically said they were unable to help me – despite my basically having the same symptomology as other conditions they willingly treat. I wrote them back and put a flea in their ear, to which they replied they would be willing to put me on their waiting list… Wow, lucky me.

It really does feel that wherever I turn, I’m getting shoved back, ignored, refused. No matter what I do or where I turn… just nothing.

The GP came to see me the other day at home. Out of the blue, without the warning promised. I didn’t fare well… and I’m not sure how well it went. It’s still hard to portray how hard it is to exist in this… situation. I barely made it to her downstairs, and I paid dearly for it after in pain. She claimed she wanted to help. Well, at least someone has said it. Meant or not, who knows. Or meant, but unable to be acted upon. Nothing matters except the results, at the end of the day.

I’m existing in Survival Mode. It’s somewhere I haven’t been since I was a child, and I don’t very much like it. But it is familiar… and there is something comforting about that. It doesn’t does me much good, but it does help me get through this God-Forsaken Hell I am currently living in. It stops me going stir-crazy with distress, wondering how I fell so far so fast. How I’m so far away from everyone and everything I love(d). How lost and bleak I am, that my existence is. How I no longer live or have a life. How I’m nothing more than a walking wheeling/crawling nothing. Nope… I’m not thinking about that. I can’t – or I won’t survive. Who would? I did this when I was a child because that was also a Hell, a crucible I was forced to run for nearly two decades.

Now… Now I just have to do it again. If a child can do it, so can I now.

 

 


In The End… Goodbye, Good Riddance, to 2017…

It’s New Year’s Eve. The end of 2017… And I’m definitely glad to see it go. This last year has been the year from Hell itself.

It started with agony that could not be compared. With my starting to lose the ability to walk at all. With my losing the ability to crawl up the stairs. With my losing the last few threads of what was left of me.

2017 was the year I stopped being able to walk. To use my legs. It was the year I had to get a stair lift. The year I had to get a “real” and “proper” active wheelchair – something that caused a lot of pain, difficulty, complications, and tears. The year I found out I had been suffering an elusive condition for the last 19 years and it had impacted greatly upon my Fibromyalgia – something no one had ever heard of, called Hemiplegic Migraine… and I found that out on what should have been my late grandfather’s birthday.

This was the year my best friend left for South America, and was no longer here. This was the year I went completely numb and unable to feel anything touching my skin or pain from the outside. This was the year I could no longer stand for a shower or get into the bath. The year where gaming became more and more elusive because my hands and focus no longer worked properly. The year Fatigue came to over-run and ruin my life. The year PIP decided to decieve and scheme and refuse to even acknowledge the difficulties I have by outrightly lying about me in their reports. The year I was betrayed by my own therapist, just the third time we had met, and after waiting over a year on the waiting list to see her in the first place.

This was the year I learned you can lose your life without ever having to actually die.

I started 2017 with the ability to shuffle with walking aids and go for a shower… And I am ending it without the ability to walk or properly move my legs, wearing a catheter, permenently in a wheelchair, unable to go to the shower or get into the bath, barely able to leave my room, struggling to move and sometimes even breathe.

2017 was the year I think I truly died inside.

It started with hardship and loss. Went on to destroy what was left of me and my body. Ended with trauma and being near-bedridden.

On the bright side, I also ended up getting 2 graphic card upgrades and end the year with the GTX 1070 8GB OC. I was also introduced to several amazing games – in 4K High/Ultra, too – and got a Lenovo YogaBook – which is terribly fun to have.

And I got to see The Last Jedi… So at last one good thing happened.

 

 

~ Happy New Year ~

 

 

~ 2018 ~

 

 

 


Beginning Of the End (of the year…)

Already yet another Fibro/Fatigue flare-up… and just before Yulemas (as in Yule / Christmas). And just when I want to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi, too…

More fever, more pain, more exhaustion: I’ve been up all night for days, I’ve barely slept in nearly a week. Needless to say it is not going well. It’s a good thing I have my new mattress and catheter… I know exactly how much worse it would have been if I didn’t have those.

The worst feeling is that I still cannot reconcile how much absolute control this/these condition(s) have over me, how it dictates my personality, how the pain and exhaustion prevent me from even leaving my room or sometimes even my bed. During a flare-up I can do virtually nothing, and it seems that no matter what precautions I attempt, they’ll turn up whether I like it or not.

So you might not be surprised to know I would rather Yulemas disappear and I couldn’t care less about it this year. I can barely muster the energy to even want to see The Last Jedi  and I’ve been so excited about this for two years. My friend and I were supposed to go to  Christmas thing at Lyme Park too, and after a whole load of flare-ups, one after another, after another, that now is too off the table, amongst many other things. It better not take Star Wars away from me…

There’s so much I had plans to do, now it’s Yulemas, nearly the end of 2017, and I’ve  achieved precisely nothing from this year (unless you could finally finishing PC edition of Dragon Age II…). Instead of achievements, it’s been yet another year of loss. Even losing my best friend to a year or two travelling around South America (although, bless her, she still makes sure she’s there for me if I need her).

The weather has destroyed so much of my health (whatever flimsy amount of it there was), everything from severe storms and torrential rains, to terrifyingly low isobars and bloody snow. Plans have been destroyed. I lost the remainder of my mobility this year.

It’s been quite the Annus Horribilis.

And I doubt it’s going to get any better in its final week.

 

 


New Accessories…

So, I got a catheter. It’s been three days so far – well, two and a half really – it was put late Monday afternoon and its technically 4:30am Thursday morning. The struggle to get to and from the bathroom was getting ridiculous, and the final straw was when I passed out for six hours straight in there when I tried to go, last week – then ending up with a complete memory block for the entire day: All I know about it s whatever I have been told.

My mother called up the next day and told them it couldn’t wait any longer, so they put me on the list for this past Monday.

It was scary, and uncomfortable…  but ironically, the worst bit was having the numbing gel put on – my paraesthesia did not like that at all… The procedure itself was over with before I realised – and I suspect it would be easier to have it without the Lidocaine. The procedure must be done every three months, so the best way needs to be figured out, if I must endure it four times per year.

It’s more than worth it, however. Already, there is a difference with nausea and bloating pain levels, other pain levels, and I’ve been able to play games and physically relax a little because the agony and exhaustion of going to the bathroom has been eliminated. I’ve not had half as much alcohol because there’s less paraesthesia pain due to less movement and exhaustion. After being quite badly dehydrated for years, forced into ignoring thirst and almost never drinking, puffy with water retention and with very dry and cracked lips, I’ve been drinking all the juice and water I can, and taking holistic water retention tablets, which are great and work a treat (and arguably too well, since I have to drain the bag an awful lot!). I feel amazingly better, lighter (like someone took away some of the cement living inside me) and I no longer feel bloated and pregnant with quadruplets. I can even straighten my back a little again.

Turns out long-term dehydration and water-retention isn’t very good for you at all…

Also – well, later on today, I suppose – I’ll be receiving a new Hypnos mattress (the same as they have in the Premier Inn rooms that have been helping deal with a lot of my pain), which will hopefully allow me to bring my pain levels down enough to make it more manageable (i.e. under 10) and thus allow me to take a break from the rather icky grape juice and Courvoisier. I hope it might help with the Fatigue, too, even if its just a little. It should be coming sometime between 11am and 3pm, and the room has to be organised so the mattress can get in (it’s pretty big).

I would like to hope it’s the advent of starting to regain some control over this, even for a short while. Historically, that just never happens – it all goes horribly wrong right after… so, I’m just going to just have to see how this one plays
out…

I Need Coffee