No, this won’t be a post on the issues I have with the look of my body, but the problems I have with my insides.
When I was young I used to fake being ill a lot. To be honest I have no idea why – maybe in a desperate attempt to get my parents attention? Anyway my parents way of “punishing” me for this was to act like it was real, take me to the doctor and give me antibiotics. For years I was constantly on one antibiotic or another.Today I have almost no immune system. If anyone even looks like they will be sick, I get sicker. I have had gastro at least six times this year. I get the flu really badly each year. I even ended up with the chickenpox a few years ago when only one of my daughters caught it. I am constantly ill. It drives friends of mine insane as at least 1 in 2 dates get cancelled.
Next up we have random digestive issues. I can eat something fine once and the next time I can get severe indigestion from it. The last three days have seen me so bloated I look about six months pregnant. My stomach muscles are even actually aching from being stretched. I have had reflux, gas issues and randomly alternating diarrhoea and constipation.
Following the stomach issues is my inability to sleep properly. What I thought was a mild manic period (a period of 7-10 days when I sleep no more than 5-10 minutes at a time and have no ability to concentrate) turned into almost two months of not being able to sleep. The other problem I have is once I crash (after not sleeping for long periods) it is often early in the day, which then sets me up for back to front sleeping habits. I woke up this morning at 3:30am – the latest I have slept in a week. The sleeping issues also mean that I often have to cancel playdates and things I had planned as I am susceptible to migraines when I have had no sleep.
Migraines! Urg!!! I first remember my migraine symptoms as early as ten years old. It was after one of my mothers attempts to cook me in the sun. I had been in the sun all day, with almost no protection from the heat and little to no fluids. Mum was convinced it was sunstroke (and for all I know it was). I lost my vision, threw up and couldn’t speak. I had these periods occasionally even when I hadn’t been in the sun. Then at sixteen I went on the pill. I had no interest in boys and wasn’t even remotely sexually active BUT I did have horrific periods and so the doctor recommended the pill. A little while after starting on the pill I started feeling really weird while I was out shopping. I got in a taxi and by then I couldn’t form words properly – luckily the taxi driver knew me and took me home. I then proceeded to try to pay an $8 fare with 2x $50 bills (I lived on my own at the time was my food and bill money for the next fortnight) thankfully he gave me the correct change. I then remember trying desperately to get into my flat. I literally could not remember how to put a key in the door. My friend (who lived upstairs) found me crying (and vomiting) trying to fit my mobile phone into the keyhole. It was then she called the ambulance. I couldn’t feel one side of my body, my speech was garbled and I couldn’t see any more. It was that day I was informed what I had was a migraine. Apparently you can get stroke like symptoms during a severe migraine. This continued weekly until a doctor finally asked me if I was on the pill. He then connected the recent (and repeated) migraines to the pill and suggested I stop immediately. Thankfully they stopped being so frequent – but I still get them. They absolutely terrify me. Not being able to feel my limbs really freaks me out. Even after all these years. I have only learnt to use one word during a migraine and the concentration it takes to speak it is enormous…its his name. He is the only one who knows how to help. Basically I need as close to complete silence as possible (every little noise is painful), complete dark (light is also very painful), pain killers (if we have them) and then a lot of sleep. More recently I discovered a study that shows taking naprogesic (period pain meds) can help stop a migraine from developing, or at least lessen the severity. Thankfully my own testing has proved positive in this area. But I just never know when it might strike. Which often means I refuse to go out if I think there is any chance of it happening.
With all this stuff to worry about nothing is all that enjoyable. I used to love love love food! Now I worry that anything I eat could make me sick. I get nervous going out by myself in case I get a migraine. I get super stressed when I have something planned. I get so worried that I won’t be able to sleep, that I often can’t sleep because all I can think about is my inability to sleep!
As I have gotten older (and all these things seemed to have gotten worse) I have been thinking I need to try to do more about these stupid broken body issues. For years I have suspected I have either a mild food allergy or intolerance to wheat – but because I love bread and pasta so much have avoided being tested. I saw a neurologist once about the migraines and he wanted to do a few dietary tests – that again I avoided for fear of giving up my beloved cheese. I know having a solid, unchanging sleep routine would help (where I got to bed at xxx time and get up at xxx time regardless of how much I have slept). As would avoiding using my laptop in bed. All these things I have avoided because I deemed them as too hard. But surely it would be a hell of a lot nicer than feeling as shit as I do all the time.