Tuesday, 17 June 2014

My health woes....bit of a rant & not book related for once!

Hi all

This has been purely a book blog since I started in Feb and my intention is to keep it so. However, I hope you will indulge me in going off topic for once whilst I talk about my illness as I feel the need to offload and reflect.

Anyone who knew me a year ago would not recognise the person I am today, me included.  I don't know what happened to the old me. The person who worked 40+ hours a week, volunteered in my spare time for a bereavement charity, went to watch football, went out eating and to the cinema at least once a week, and was generally always on the go. I miss that person.

This illness has taken so much away from me. I am ashamed of the person I have become. I have become a recluse,  lost contact with my friends, become unable to work, lost my independence, put on weight and lost my pride and love of life. I have forgotten what it feels like to be 'normal', to feel happy, and to truly laugh.

In August last year I got a cold that just wouldn't clear up. I felt exhausted all the time and started doing something I never did, come home from work, take my dinner upstairs and went to bed. By the start of Sept, whilst still working I had stopped going to football and didn't even have the energy to go out with my Father in Law for his birthday dinner. I went back to the GP and they sent me for blood tests. I struggled through my daughters birthday and had a week off at the end of September.

By October I simply couldn't carry on. I took antibiotics (just in case the Doc told me) and that was it. Slowly between then an Christmas I simply shut down. I remember going into the office and the noises hurt my ears, I couldn't see properly, I felt so exhausted I thought I was going to pass out, and every part of me hurt with indescribable pain. Work have been great and I started working from home. This was ok for a bit, but even that proved impossible. I was sick every morning, constantly dizzy and feeling like even sitting up I was going to pass out. I ended up a recluse in my bed. Ironically with all my tiredness i was only able to sleep for 2 - 4 hours a night. On Christmas Day I spent 4 hours out of bed, and that killed me for days to come.

My typical day by the new year was to

Wake up and feel totally spaced out. I couldn't focus, my body hurt and I had no energy.
Struggle for up to half an hour to get to the toilet
Lie in bed all day watching tv
By 4pm I couldn't bear the light and noise so would often just lie in silence and dark for a while
Eat dinner with a struggle as I didn't have the energy to lift a fork
Spend the evening in bed with no light on, using sunglasses to help me face the light to get to the bathroom
Unable to have a phone conversation as the noise was unbearable
Double / triple vision
Constant unbearable ringing in my ears

I am ashamed to admit it but I often went well over a week without being able to have a wash or wash my hair. I just didn't have the energy, and if I did, that would wipe me out for a couple of days after.

This continued up until the start of April. Not even able to sit in a room and spend time with my daughter. My poor boyfriend spending his time here lying often in a dark room with a tv for company, and me being totally dependent on my mum for everything. I couldn't even get downstairs to get a drink myself.

By March I was beyond despair. I had heard of the lightning process and so contacted a practitioner and signed up. From 1 - 3 April I did something I didn't believe was possible, I attended the sessions. That meant 3 days out of the house, concentrating and learning. It was tough but I did it. Even leaving the session each day and going over to the coffee shop for a short stop.

April became a small turning point. That same week my boyfriends father became seriously ill and was in hospital. I hadn't seen him for 6 months but on the Saturday I went to the hospital and stayed with him for 45 minutes. Ok, so I got a cab there and back, but to be able to to do it felt like a massive achievement and to me, caring about him as much as I do, he was worth the effort. Sadly he passed away that night but where that would have knocked me for six, I was able to go to the family home and spend the day there.

I realised that:

My double vision had gone
The ringing in my ears had gotten better
I had the energy to be out of bed
I went for a couple of walks
I was able to start bathing more
I managed to get to the funeral

May wasn't as positive. Whilst the double vision and ringing in the ears were still gone, I was on strong medication and spent most of May in bed dirty and smelly. However, I have only realised that I no longer needed to switch lights off in the evening.

We are now into June and almost a year has passed. This time last year I was in Ireland at my cousins wedding, then out all the time in the UK. I miss that person and I want her back. I am willing to fight and do everything I can to get her back.

Since the start of June I have done the following:

Had a bath every day
Washed my hair every other day
I have been able to go downstairs every day
For the last 11 days I have been able to sit out in the garden for a few hours at a time
Last week I went to the supermarket and shopped. I felt so weak but I did it
I have been able to start cleaning my hell hole of a room a bit a day
I have cooked for myself 4 times in the last week
I went for walks (not far admittedly) 3 times last week
I am able to sit in my living room without the noises and colours being too much. I even managed to have the tv on in there
I am sleeping sometimes up to 6 hours a night
I can make a cup of tea for myself
I can sit with the light on in the evening
I don't have double vision or ears ringing
I can go up and downstairs regularly

These things may seem simple and stupid to you all, but to me they are glimpses of hope. I don't expect people to understand as they are things that we do everyday and take for granted, but to me they are massive. Perhaps I am being deluded and that they aren't really improvements. But yesterday I even started putting together a bookcase, there is noway I could have even contemplated it a week ago.

I am hoping and praying that these are signs that I am healing and recovery will happen. I don't want to be dependent on my Mum and to be a burden to everyone. I understand their anger and frustration but it is nothing to how I feel, believe me. I just wear my mask well. I don't want to be ashamed of how I look with no hair coloured, overweight and lifeless. I want to be happy and a nice person to be around.

I am truly sorry to those I love who had to witness my demise and I promise I am doing everything I can to get better and make it up to you. I want to make you proud of me.

Thank goodness for books and twitter is all I can say ;-)

I am sorry for the outburst. I just needed to get it off my chest....normal book service shall now be resumed ;-)


  1. I should add that I know I have been a misery and have driven people away. I am not looking for pity or sympathy at all. I have been a bitch at times. I guess this is just me explaining how things feel to live with this every day

  2. All you can do is take each day at a time. Think how much you have achieved in the past week, and work on that, helping you get stronger. but most of all believe in yourself and before you know it you;ll be at a football match... stay strong.x

  3. I hope you'll feel a bit better every day. I wish you all the best and hopefully luck will come your way again. Take care!

  4. Hopefully you'll start to feel a little bit better every day. Hang in there! And take good care. I'll keep my fingers crossed that luck will head your way again.

  5. Thank you for your lovely comments xx