Wednesday, 30 January 2019

The Chronic Illness Diaries: Flaring, Freezing, And Ruined Plans

Book with glasses and flowers on white background

I realised I haven't written a 'day in my life' type post in quite a while so want to make it a much more frequent thing because living with multiple chronic illnesses means my days are never the same and I want to bring more awareness to it. 

I went up north to visit family for a few weeks around my birthday. The drive there always knackers me, it takes just over three hours but we have multiple stops for Ted, and so I can stretch my legs. As much as the journey destroys me, I've got used to it as I've done it so many times now.

After a few days chilling in my parents house, spending my days lounging around in my pyjamas, hanging out with my niece and nephew, and arranging to meet up with friends, my brother invited Ian and I to his house for tea. He only lives around the corner and I couldn't be bothered getting dressed so stayed in my pjs. His house is lovely; it's super cosy, comfortable, and lovely and warm. I snuggled down on the sofa, chatting to my brother and his fiancee and waited patiently for the delicious curry they were cooking. 

We had a really lovely evening but because it was a weeknight and my nephew was with me, we left around 8:30 so he could go to bed for school the next day. My car was parked a few steps outside my brothers house and I had grossly underestimated how cold it was. I had a big thick coat and scarf on with thin, jersey bottoms and trainers.

Off we went back to my parents house and as soon as I got in bed to watch Netflix, I felt my legs start to ache. It wasn't too bad to begin with and I wasn't due any medication for another two hours so I just lay there, uncomfortable and trying to focus on something other than pain. 

Ian and I watched an episode of Supernatural (because I've only recently got into it and I'm obsessed) and the pain got worse and worse. At around 11pm, I had to go into my parents room and wake my Pops up to make me a hot water bottle. The cold that I had been outside in for less than ten seconds had taken up residence in my knees and the searing agony I was feeling was too much to handle. I think because I'd gone from inside the warmth of my brothers house into the bitter frost of outside, it got me. I had all my medication and hoped the heat of the water bottle would help.

It didn't. The combination of meds and heat didn't take the edge off at all and I began to get really annoyed with myself for not covering up properly when I went outside. As the night went on, my pain got worse, so much so that I was in tears, and I'm not one to cry from pain. Every movement hurt, I felt like I was being stabbed in the legs and they started to become stiff. I wanted to try and retain mobility so tried to bend my knees to help with the stiffness but it only resulted in me feeling worse and close to screaming so I admitted defeat and stayed as still as I could.

I was exhausted. Pain is tiring. It takes everything out of you and I hadn't felt this bad in a while but I couldn't sleep. I was shattered, I wanted to sleep but I was in far too much pain to be able to. At points I did drift off and was awoken by any slight movement and Ian said I was crying in my sleep.

Altogether, I probably slept for about an hour. I felt a little better the next day but I was still in a lot of pain and had a loss of movement.

I had so many plans for the next few days; I had content to shoot and people to meet up with but it all got cancelled. I stayed in bed, resting and recovering. I gave myself a hard time for not being able to work and missing out on plans but my health is more important and I need to give myself a break more.

Luckily the day before my birthday my pain levels got back to 'normal' chronic pain levels and I could enjoy my weekend with family and friends.

I need to consider my dodgy body more often and how the slightest thing can affect it and set me back for days, if not weeks or months. Being outside in the freezing cold had a massive impact on me and it was an absolutely horrible time. My body suffered, all for ten seconds outside getting in and out of my car. It's almost laughable at how such a small thing can be so substantial. Luckily I can look back and laugh at the cause now but I have certainly learnt to wrap up even if I'm just going to the car, and I certainly didn't find it funny when I was laid up in bed crying.

Take care of your body, especially if it's a fragile cage like mine.

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