Chronic illness and fatigue

If you suffer with chronic illness , you’ll know that owning an alarm clock is a waste of money . You’ll hear it going off , but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll wake up . 

You’ll also be very familiar with the snide remarks / “jokes” people make .

“I wish I had time to take a nap” .

“Everyone gets tired , you just have to push through it” .

Having chronic illnesses almost always means you don’t have a good , if any , sleep pattern . 

The usual 8 hours sleep everyone gets seems like heaven and you always hope that one day , you will get that glorious , golden 8 hours , of uninterrupted sleep for yourself . 

The thing is , no one truly understands it until they go through it themselves . I didn’t .  I’m 28 and 11 years ago I was your ‘normal’ , every day person who could get up and go . Party all night and work all day . Get a few hours sleep and I was raring to go again ! I never understood how people could be so slow or always sleeping or never go out . I loved life and nothing could hold me back . 

Then , I had my accident and life spiralled . I then started to understand why people couldn’t do things .

Normal everyday life is a chore . 

For me , I suffer with broken discs in my lower spine , hip and knee problems . (Along with so much more) . So from the minute I get up , I’m struggling . 

Getting dressed used to take minutes , now it’s 30 minutes or more . 

Bending , hurts . 

Getting up , hurts . 

Sitting down , hurts . 

I feel like I’m stuck in a 90 year olds body . 

The struggle is real – as they say . 

By the time I get downstairs I’m ready to go back to bed .

Making coffee is a chore but it’s so needed . Caffeine is about the only thing my body runs on these days . 

My normal routine …. I say routine , it’s more than likely that I …. Get up around 11am . Dressed and downstairs by 12pm . I have coffee by 12:15pm and then I sit down . I’ll try and get stuff done but every 15 minutes I need to sit . 

Come 5:30pm I . Am . Dropping . I normally go for a nap for a minimum of an hour and a half . It takes me between 30 and 45 minutes to settle and drop off . Then I’ll be waking up every 20 – 30 minutes . It takes around 10 minutes for me to drop back off to sleep . So I never get a full rest . This is why I can’t ‘power nap’ .

Then after my nap I’m normally awake until 4/5 am . I’ll sleep until 8am , waking every 20 – 30 minutes . Then I’ll be awake for an hour (8-9am) Then I usually nod off again until 11am . Always waking every 20-30 minutes . This is if I’m lucky to get sleep . Some nights , I’m awake all night . It all depends on the pain and if I can lie down etc . 

And I know I’m not the only one who suffers like this . My father is exactly the same as me . So I know I’m not alone when I say , it really is tough . 

So to have the usual sly remarks made , it’s no surprise when people get short with you .  

When you are basically called lazy . Oh how I wish it was true . Physical and mental exhaustion is no joke . 

Or when you’re told it’s just a bad day . Or you’ll get over it …. Please , show us how ? Teach us how chronic pain can be cured with a flick of a switch . 

And when people make fun of you . Now this is where people can get really petty . When they see you struggling and just think it’s hilarious and that you’re doing it for attention . I would absolutely love to watch you walk in our shoes for just one day . 

So please , be kind people . It takes zero effort to just be nice to someone . To try and understand it . I mean , you wouldn’t like someone to make a joke about your bad day would you ? So why would you do it to others ? 

Think before you judge . 

Chronic illness is tough . I have tried a lot of medication to help me , none of which have . It can take years to find the right thing , so far for me it’s taken 10 years , and I’m still trying . 

I’m now looking into natural pain relief and foods that help . 

Seasonal affective disorder 

Seasonal affective disorder aka SAD .
A lesser known depression , or so I have found in my experience.

I personally don’t suffer from SAD but I do know a few people who do .

SAD doesn’t just mean you’re just sad in certain seasons . It genuinely means you get depressed as the darker seasons come in .

This is due to the change in weather .
SAD comes around when there is less sunlight .

Symptoms of SAD can include:

A persistent low mood

A loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities

Irritability

Feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness

Feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the daysleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning

Craving carbohydrates and gaining weight

Here’s a few little facts I have found about SAD and what causes it .

The main theory is that a lack of sunlight might stop a part of the brain called the hypothalamus working properly, which may affect the:

Production of melatonin – melatonin is a hormone that makes you feel sleepy; in people with SAD, the body may produce it in higher than normal levels

Production of serotonin – serotonin is a hormone that affects your mood, appetite and sleep; a lack of sunlight may lead to lower serotonin levels, which is linked to feelings of depression

Body’s internal clock (circadian rhythm) –your body uses sunlight to time various important functions, such as when you wake up, so lower light levels during the winter may disrupt your body clock and lead to symptoms of SAD

It’s also possible that some people are more vulnerable to SAD as a result of their genes, as some cases appear to run in families.

So how can you treat SAD ?
There are many ways .

The main treatments are:

Lifestyle measures, including getting as much natural sunlight as possible, exercising regularly and managing your stress levels

Light therapy – where a special lamp called a light box is used to simulate exposure to sunlight

Talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or counselling , antidepressant medication, such asselective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

Studies have also shown that upping your intake of vitamin D and Omega 3 can help you and SAD .

So salmon is highly recommended for Omega 3 🙂

Other foods like Berries are also recommended . They help prevent the release of cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal gland.
When stressed, cortisol heads towards your hippocampus, a major portion of the brain that stores memories, provides emotional responses, and navigation. 

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Folic Acid
Vitamin B12
Dark chocolate
Turkey
And Bananas are also recommended as a way to help SAD.

Although SAD is seasonal , it should still be treated like any other depression , when it comes to others .

Just because people don’t suffer with it for 12 months a year , does not mean that they don’t have depression , or that they don’t understand it .

I found it interesting reading up on SAD and learning a little about it .
I now know a little more about my friends illnesses .

I thought I would blog as I went along 🙂
I hope this is somewhat helpful to others too .

Thanks for reading !!

Cutting ties & moving forward.

Happy New Year everyone 🙂
I hope 2016 treats you well .

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I wanted to write this blog as it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while .
I went through a lot in 2015 . The ups and the major downs.  It was a long roller coaster ride of emotions .
But one thing that has taken a while to click with me, is the loss of friends .

We all go through life meeting new people. We all lose someone in some way shape or form , but I’m not on about the ‘normal’ loss of friends through losing contact or just life getting in the way.  I’m on about losing someone who you considered to be a friend .
The fake friend.
Someone who you put your life on hold for , to meet up with.
Someone who you threw your problems aside for and tried to help them when they were at breaking point .
(But who wouldn’t do this for you .)

And then when their life starts to pick back up, they kick you to the curb .

It feels awful .
The feeling of being used .
No one deserves that .
I don’t understand how people can put someone through it .

Oh my life is hell , they’ll understand

– When you become good enough for them. –

Now my life is back on track, I don’t need that ‘negative’ friend who has helped me through it all, I’ll just kick them to the curb and move on with my life” .

– The part where they become too good for you and you become the negative one . Because they are on the slight “up” that life has given them . –

I’ve been thinking about it a lot . As I do over think things, that’s the whole thing about anxiety .
As much as it magnifies every emotion , it can , every once in a while , make you see things clearly .

I gave my time .
I gave up hours of my days .
I would drop everything for this friend .
I would push my problems aside and I would listen to them go on and on about theirs .
They would cry,  get angry and really vent .
They needed someone and I was willing to be that someone .
To be the shoulder .
I truly believed that they wanted to be friends .
That they were a nice person .
When really , they just saw me for the soft person that I am .
For the person who will do anything to see others happy .

As soon as I had done my work . They got their life back on track , for now. They have a job again , and I feel like they now think they’re better than me. 

I had tried to make contact with this person . But there was always some excuse .
I asked them if everything was ok between us .

They lied .

I then saw them when out and about and they ignored me but acknowledged my friend .

Then in passing conversation between said friends , they dropped the news in about a job .

And it all clicked .

Whilst they think they’re being clever . They’re actually showing their true self .

I was good enough when no one else would listen to them , but the minute they get a part of their life back , boom . I’m not good enough .

They only got their idea of said job , from me . Which is what I find amusing .

I’m better than her now , because I have the job she said would be perfect for me and pointed me in the right direction

But instead of a thank you , I just get tossed aside .

The best part to it all ?

They don’t realise that with depression , it’ll always come back .

The paranoir , the sleepless nights , Panic attacks , feeling ill , feeling unwanted , unloved . Etc .
It isn’t a once in a life time thing that just goes over night . Depression is always there . It just hides until you let your guard down , and then it jumps right back on .

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2015 taught me a lot of hard lessons . The main one is having to let go .

So this blog , is me letting go .
It’s the final goodbye to a toxic relationship .
I may be unfit to work because of health issues , but that doesn’t give anyone the right to treat me like an underdog .
It doesn’t make you a better person because you can get up pain free every day . It doesn’t change who you are .
And nothing gives you the right to treat someone this way .

I know I’m not the only one who has gone through this .
So my advice to you is , cut them off .
Don’t let them get to you. 
They used you and yes it sucks .
They took your nice nature and used it to their advantage .
But that doesn’t make you a bad person , it makes them the bad person .
So instead of just dwelling on it , say your final goodbye , in what ever way you feel appropriate,  and cut all ties .

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I feel good after venting all of this 🙂
Now I can move on to the next chapter of my life .
I hope you can too 🙂

Absent

You may have noticed , over the past 2-3 weeks I haven’t been as active as I would have liked to have been .
This is because of some very sad circumstances .

Since October 2014 , my Fiancé’s Gran has been battling Leukemia . It has been very tough on the whole family . But Gran did amazingly .
She came in to remission at the end of April . She started to pick up and was looking as beautiful as ever .
Gran got her smile back and was slowly getting her strength back too .
Then , out of no where Gran just wouldn’t wake up . Her body was shutting down and she was rushed into hospital . It all happened so fast !

Rob , my fiancé , got a phone call on the Monday saying to go in and say his Goodbye’s because she didn’t have much time left 😦
But little did we know she was fighting it even though she was sleeping .
Gran managed to open her eyes twice in one week . She was strong to the end .

Rob was there one night when Gran opened her eyes and personally , I think it was nice , for her to see her loved ones all together one last time . It’s a lovely image to have .
Gran sadly passed away a few days later in hospital . It was peaceful and she wasn’t in any pain . But it is heartbreaking .
The funeral was a week ago yesterday and it was such a lovely send off .

Gran used to teach dance classes . She had 5 in total and over 50 people in each . Both herself and Gramps would dance the night away with all of their friends ! They were utterly amazing !

On birthdays they both would get around 200 cards EACH from friends and family .
So you can just about imagine how many people showed up to pay their respects . Not everyone could fit in the Crematorium .

But I have to say , Gran would have been proud of her family . The flowers were perfect , the music was perfect and well pretty much everything was perfect !
I could picture Gran dancing away in front of us when the music was playing  .
The end song was called “Fox Trot” and it was also the name of her favourite dance .

During the funeral , Rob stood up and gave such a wonderful speech . It made me both proud and emotional .
All the wonderful memories he has to keep . The funny silly memories as a child and the memories he made with her as an adult .
He was very emotional as you can imagine , but he stood up there so proud to be called her Grandson . So proud to have known such a wonderful woman .
Rob has also written a song , which he read out as a poem .
(We will be putting these online for download but also selling them at future gigs , to raise money for Leukemia Research .)

Everyone said how well he made his speech . How proud they were of him and how proud Gran would be .
We all said , we don’t know how he could do it . It takes some doing .
I know personally , I wouldn’t have been able to .

VERY proud of him indeed .

The past week has also been rough . Up and down all the time . Like a yo-yo of emotions . Everyone can’t quite get to grips with it all .

One thing I can say though . Gran is my Hero !!
She was strong all the way through . Fought so hard . And although the cancer may have won in the end , she is a Hero in my eyes . I am privileged to have known Gran for the last 5 years . If I end up being half the woman she was , I would be a very happy lady .  

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