Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Punch From My Past

Last week kicked my ass. It didn't just kick my ass, it drug it through the mucky sludge of some of my worst PTSD triggers. If getting the flu weren't awful enough, I also started back to work after a four year hiatus. So while I'm lying on the sofa writhing with feverish aches, my inner adult is screaming at me to get myself together. The last thing I wanted was to go back to work on the same note I left. SICK. Like all my other ailments, this flu didn't give a rats woo-ha about my obligations or expectations. It invaded my body to do a job and damn it, it was gonna accomplish that task. My health-nut self knows sending my husband out for fresh vegeatable juice instead of Theraflu is the only reason my misery didn't linger more than a few days. 

By the time Tuesday rolled around I was able to eat, stand without passing out and even leave the house for a little while. I still felt like crap but really, what's new? Except I felt like I was re-living the scariest experience of my life. Four years ago I ignored a raging, splitting headache that had been cracking my skull open for a few days. I mean really, what's new? Like a good girl I got up to go to work and for the 75 millionth time, ignored the way I felt in order to fulfill my obligations. Then another lightening bolt struck my head. It hurt so bad all I could do was scream and claw my face off. Somehow I was able to call my friend to take me to the ER. Two feverish days of medical tests later, the Dean of Neurology confirmed I'd had two strokes. Shortly after I quit my job. 

So last week I sat here stressing and freaking out. Once again I was ignoring the way I felt in order to go to work. How had four years of fantastic progress deposited me back in this awful predicament? I know I could use a couple more months of recoup after that hellacious move, but as a retail gal I can't afford to miss Christmas. So just in case I forgot how awful my past was, how far I've come, or what a true gift being able to return to my job is, I got smacked into a PTSD meltdown of despair, fear and uncertainty. Luckily, after nine years of this crap survival is deeply ingrained inside my every action. Not only did I make it through work, I enjoyed myself immensely. And it only took me another week to feel human again.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

The Flu, Please!

Last night I laid here sicker than sick. So sick all I could do was moan in agony as every single nerve fiber in my body ached. Throbbed. Shot with jolts of an electrical firestorm. The other signs of flu were present, too. I couldn't stand up for more than a minute without passing out. Eating food seemed like the most disguising thing in the entire world, after existing, that is. I was nauseous and bloated and even vomited a little, but not profusely. These symptoms hit me so hard and fast I couldn't tell if I had the good old-fashioned flu, or was it just Fibromyalgia being mean? Or was I dying? I mean I sure felt like it, and every time I turn on the television the news tells me Ebola is on its way to a friendly neighborhood market near me... 

My dear medically traumatized husband, who has been to hell and back with my many maladies, wanted to take me to the ER. I barely had the strength to protest, but informed him if I wasn't already dying of Ebola, a trip to the ER would surely reverse that prognosis. Not only did he think the woman gasping and grunting in agony was going to expel her dying breath, the New York Giants lost too, so he really had nothing going for him last night. Then he got sick. Did we actually have food poisoning? About the only thing I could rule out at this point was Fibromyalgia, because he doesn't have it. 

So we're a sorry lot over here. Having to take the dogs out to pee, and sit on the sidewalk because I was too weak to stand up while they did their business, made me especially compassionate to single parents. How on earth does a person take care of a child by themselves when they are this sick? Since I'm actually sitting up, and can focus both my blurry vision and thoughts enough to write this blog, I guess I can rule out Ebola. I mean I'm not getting sicker, so that's gotta be a good sign, right?

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Reassessing Immunity

Four months after a cataclysmic relocation my life is finally stabilizing. Unfortunately, my immune system is still stuck. When I was dodging calamity like hail-balls I understood it, even if I got tantrum-angry over my rekindled suffering for the better part of a few months. But despite my dedicated efforts to maintain the progress I made in managing my Fibro in Phoenix, something's different. A friend with Fibro reminded me this is just how the disease works. Sometimes it takes over. Miss Make My Own Reality over here balked at my friend's perspective, then pondered her experienced words. 

After bucking against her wisdom I remembered why Werner Erhard's est philosophy helped me so much last year. Accepting reality for sanity's sake began my soaring ascent into the most wonderfully managed Fibromyalgia I've experienced in nine years. When I was stuck in the mire these last few months I kept putting a time limit on how long I would allow it to take to get my health back. My dear husband reminded me the only reason I got there at all was because I stopped expecting my chronic illness to behave, and started walking towards the general concept of health, not illness abatement.   

So I'm walking again. Since the root of my Fibromyalgia is a tumultuous tango between an evasive virus and suppressed immune system, I've upped my immune boosters, lysine, and gone back on anti-viral medication. In Arizona I used to buy bagged baby kale from Costco. In California Costco sells a kale, chard and spinach blend. But it's mostly spinach. So I've started juicing with big stalks of flowery kale from the regular grocery. I've also started juicing fresh every other day, not the lazy every three day cycle I'd fallen into. If positive thinking, determination and lots of pep talks factor in, these important changes are working already. 

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