Tag Archives: disability

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…
  

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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


 


Combating The Cold…

After spending perhaps about two and a half months downstairs, I really want to go back up… but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be an option just yet.
It’s a Catch-22 situation – it’s so cold down here I need to go upstairs, back to my tent and my computer, but I can’t get upstairs because the cold is searing my entire everything and turning into solid spasms of rock-hard stiffness and making me ill… and then because it’s so cold I need to go upstairs, but I can’t…. and so on, and on, and on… So, obviously I’m stuck and getting nowhere fast.
However, there may finally be a solution to this… Today, I had a brainwave and thought that if I’m that cold, then I should get something made to keep me warm – a really puffy
and special sleeping bag created for literally freezing weather.
Ayacucha Sirius 300 Sleeping BagThe Ayacucho Sirius 300 is a really warm and cozy bag, capable of keeping you warm and toasty in temperatures down to -6ºC. So that should be warm and puffy enough for down in the living room! It also means I don’t have to have the fire on, or hurt myself trying to keep it going. This bag is immediately keeping inside my bones and joins warm and happy. It’s not just superficial warmth, and goes really deep like the fire does, and just sitting on it, on the open inside, is making a huge difference. On a basic camping mat, just keeping it up off the floor, it’s really great. And amazingly really warms my bones so they don’t hurt so much anymore.
It’s pretty great –  and it might make absolutely all the difference in the world tomorrow morning when I wake up. This morning I couldn’t even move on my own and I was in agony. I’ve been in hell all day, in a hell of a lot of pain, and even in a spasm – but when the bag was put around me during the spasm it really helped stop it from escalating, which it was doing quite badly until then.
I’m not comfortable right now, to be honest… I’m having a flareup with a hot flush (although I tested my core temp with a thermometer and it shows as being just 35.8ºC, which looks so strange, given how very feverish I feel!), I am having really strong palpitations (probably quite tachycardic), I’m quite discomforted in my own self, in quite a bit of pain, agitated, pretty bad sweating (I really hate that bit the most), and my face and teeth really hurt… basically, I’m not well, and probably because I overdid it today.
I went out for the sleeping bag and stuff, and then tonight I finally went for a shower (it’s impossibly hard to have showers with this much exhaustion and fatigue), with the idea (if the sleeping bag idea works) of dying my hair tomorrow. I’ve got 4-5 inches of badgering (that’s what I call the regrowth because with the white/grey and dark brown hair I have naturally now looks like a badger), and the hope is that the sleeping bag warmth will allow me to get up and do so. I’ve been waiting to do this for so long, it would be nice to finally get this done.
It’s been a hell of a couple of months… I do hope this is the start of something at least a teeny bit better.
Ayacucha Sirius 300 Sleeping Bag
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