I am going to blog about my health again, or the lack thereof. Please do feel free to abandon me until such time as normal service is resumed. If I don’t write this out of my head though, I am afraid I will explode.
I keep reminding myself that I just have to hang on now until Monday. Monday is not very far away at all. Monday is totally achievable. I have a private appointment so they cannot cancel me (except in extremis), nor can they put me to the back of the queue. Monday is solid. It is an island in a sea of uncertainty.
This week has kind of encapsulated in microcosm the entire reason why I want all my innards ripping out and an Ikea shelving unit putting in its place. My rational brain tells me that this is a good thing. Everything I am experiencing confirms my diagnosis and thought processes and makes it easier for me to deal with those people who might think I am exaggerating/wrong/stupid. My irrational brain is just slumped in a corner, forking biscuits into her mouth and weeping through the crumbs.
In a ‘normal’ hormonal cycle ( I realise that normal is a stupid word, because everyone is different, but humour me), there is a reasonable order to the things that happen in one twenty eight day cycle. A person can, should they be so inclined, plan for this; i.e. more drugs in handbag on this day, spare pants and no white linen trousers on that day etc. This, with small variations, will repeat indefinitely until pregnancy or menopause suspends play.
My hormonal cycle eschews routine with a firm hand. My hormonal cycle tramples all over the flower beds, draws moustaches all over your favourite pictures, vomits in your waste paper baskets and stabs all your friends because they looked at you funny once in 1973. AND YOU WEREN’T EVEN BORN THEN.
This week, physical symptoms have included hot flushes, which at one point were so frequent they just joined together in a rolling sea of sweat. I have also had a vomiting migraine which anti emetics failed to touch and which made me feel like someone had stuck a screwdriver in my ear and was oscillating it – for twelve hours.
I’ve had dizzy spells, palpitations, itching and breathlessness. These are minor symptoms, and as long as I can sit down for a minute or two, manageable. Obviously the itching bit doesn’t care whether I sit down or not, but it’s a more stable platform to scratch from.
I have also had regular headaches, because, well, why not? These are almost daily. Migraines are for best, although seem to be cropping up as a weekly feature right now.
I seem to have developed intermittent insomnia. There are days when I cannot sleep until three or four in the morning. Then there are days when I cannot stay awake. I am also having nightmares. I woke myself up last night by shouting in panic. I woke myself up the night before because my hands hurt. I had weals in my palms where I had been digging my fingernails into my flesh.
I have, and this is certainly too much information, developed a mild case of piles. I have no idea if this is related to the withdrawal or just adding insult to injury. I fucking hate them anyway.
In the early hours of this morning I was woken by hideous cramps. They lasted for an hour. They tore right across my lower belly into my hip bones. Despite feeling exactly like period cramps at their worst, I did not bleed. I did however, spend that hour on the toilet, shivering, shaking and shitting. This morning I have woken up to nausea, belly ache and another bloody headache.
I am exhausted by my physical body, and reminded of everything I do not miss about what my life with periods was like. I have to say, for the sake of clarity, that I did not get all these symptoms every month I bled. Apart from anything else that would have been far too organised. No. It was always a lovely guessing game of what might happen, when.
Now it’s as if my body has missed all this and has just decided to cycle through the various horrors on a day by day basis. Some days are manageable. Some days are not. Some days I am fine. Most days I am not. The good news is that my joint pain is better, which confirms it was the drugs and not me just adding another fascinating symptom to my own, personal medical dictionary.
All the physical stuff however horrible it is, and bits of it are really horrible, is nothing compared to the mental turmoil I am currently undergoing. I am on a permanent see-saw with the moods, only they are mostly dark to darker. I can be jolly. I can be upbeat. I can be positive, but it is all hard work. It all sits on a bedrock of anxiety, sadness and sometimes anguish.
I have to exercise enormous self control at all times just to appear reasonably functional, and sometimes, particularly when the physical stuff is giving me a pounding, I can’t. Then I just cry.
I seem to spend a lot of my time either leaking from the eyes or attempting not to leak from the eyes.
When the hormones were absent I knew that the teary episodes were not real. I could laugh about them. Sometimes at the same time as the actual crying. Now though, the teary episodes feel really real, even though my rational brain keeps telling me that they aren’t. It just doesn’t make any difference, because there’s different levels of knowing and just because I understand it isn’t real, I don’t really ‘know’ it isn’t real.
It’s that depression thing of knowing that what you’re depressed about is not real, and that somehow making it worse, because there isn’t any way to fix it, or anything to explain it, and you get all those fucking idiots telling you that you just need to cheer up or asking you what you’ve got to be sad about. And you know that if you knew that then you wouldn’t be depressed in the first place. If that makes any sense at all?
So today I am eating toast, which is about all my physical body can tolerate, and I am doing what I can, where I can to be normal. When I can’t be normal I am talking about how I feel, because it takes the pressure off my poor, exhausted mind for a bit. Saying it all out loud makes me see where I am being truly ridiculous instead of just mildly ridiculous, or not ridiculous at all.
And I am counting the days until Monday.