Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Physio and other developments

I have needed a bit of breathing room lately.

Aside from the usual stresses of mental health issues, school, and work, I've been dealing with some physical health issues.

I've started physio to strengthen my back muscles in an effort to stabilize my joints, and it has shown me just how out of shape I am. Eep. I also have to concentrate on walking normally, rather than subluxing my hips, knees, and ankles as I walk, and that's taking a great deal of strength that I didn't foresee.

However, it's going well so far, and I'm exhausted at night (and during the day, but what else is new?) and am sleeping better. I awake before my alarm does, feeling almost refreshed, and ready to start the day. Sure, I need a nap in the afternoon, but it's a relief to feel.. relieved.. so I'm not complaining. Being physically sore is trying, especially since I haven't noticed the benefits of physio yet. I have faith that it's a good step for me though - especially while I have health coverage. Heh.

The chiropractic treatments are also going well. I'm definitely noticing improvement in my gait and posture, and my headaches are becoming less severe. My shoulders, especially my wonky left one, are still causing enough pain to warrant ice when they're inflamed and heat when they're a mess of knots and trigger points. I had inflammation in my neck at the start of my chiropractic treatment program, but as the muscles in my neck strengthened to support my head in its new healthy position, the pain lessened, thankfully. There were a few days in which the maximum dosage allowed of of anti-inflammatories couldn't keep me from crying in pain. But, as I said, that has passed, so hurrah. I have two more treatments before I get my next assessment and a report on my progress with the chiropractic treatments so far.

I also had a rather awful run-in with an ableist professor. She abused her position as a senior tutor with access to academic records and said some terrible things to me in a meeting that was not in any way constructive. It would have driven me to the psychiatric crisis centre in the hospital if I hadn't already been on the way to the mental health outpatient clinic, so.. lucky for me? Sigh. I feel betrayed by my academic department, my university, and even, a little bit, by the people who thought she would be just and encouraged me to meet with her. I'm so angered by the situation that I don't want to recount it, and, besides that, I don't feel that it's appropriate to go into details in such a public forum. It will be dealt with through the proper academic channels, to be sure. For now, my energy will be put to better use working on assignments and getting healthy.

I have a doctor's appointment with my general practitioner on Friday. I'll introduce him to the idea of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, and share the physiotherapist's opinions with him. I am definitely hypermobile and exhibit all of the symptoms of hypermobility syndrome, but it has not yet been determined if it's in fact EDS hypermobility type or not. My stretchy skin, digestive problems, and family history suggests that EDS should be considered in the differential diagnosis. I'll have to visit a rheumatologist to get an informed medical opinion on the matter, and genetic testing and a skin biopsy could also be useful. It could show a deformity in my collagen cells, and it could narrow down the potential EDS diagnosis to a specific type.

So, that's the plan for this week.

And on the horizon: moving plans, new housecat, and a DJ gig at a cupcake contest.

Yep. You read correctly. It'll be delicious.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011

When Panic Attacks.

The flu sneaked up on me on Friday and took me out with one fell swoop.

I've been going about my daily business, mostly. I went to work on Saturday for my first solo shift, I went out for dinner with my partner (after a much-needed nap, though), I prepared for a presentation, and I executed a radio show. Hurrah. The rest of the time, though, I took turns finally being able to sleep when tired, or being worried about not being able to keep myself awake. I couldn't worry enough to keep myself awake, though, so the sleeping and enjoying won (along with the awful aches and pains, fever, cough, and sinus stuff).

Monday, I went to my 9am lecture and a seminar that scared me as much as the idea of surgery without anesthetic.* I prepared some more for my evening presentation. I alerted my prof in advance to my flu-like condition, and she, reasonably, requested documentation.

Therein lies the problem. Doctors at my university do not provide documentation for the flu or the common cold, yet they also advise students to stay at home rather than attend classes or, higher power forbid, visit the health clinic. Grrreat. So, upon being called on for documentation that I am unable to get, I had a panic attack. I am inclined to say that it was one of the worst I've had, but they all feel like the worst attack ever, such is their nature, so I will just say that it was awful.

I concluded that I was the stupidest, slackest, and smarmiest student that ever existed, trying to weasel my way out of a presentation when I was obviously in the best health of my life. People probably present on Jane Austen when they have cancer, or sepsis, or are in early labour, and here I was trying to fake my way out of it. I should not only get a zero on the presentation, but I should be docked even more marks for behaving so unethically, and I definitely deserve to fail that Austen class and all of my other classes and not graduate even in my sixth year of working my ass off through this stupid illness that causes me to believe such unreasonable things as these.

My body determined that the painful state I had worked myself into must surely be death, or something close to it, and told my heart to race, my palms to sweat, my throat to narrow and go dry, and my diaphragm to jerk in a hiccuping-fashion while I sobbed and choked and pleaded with body to give up.

My mother phoned me and talked me through it, getting me to dress, wash my face, cross the street, walk into the academic building, and even to look into the classroom. However, I couldn't get any closer than that. I couldn't walk in, apologize for my tardiness and appearance, and present. I sunk to the floor of the hallway and tried to stifle my sobs as people walked by. I tried to hide, but I couldn't convince my legs to move, and a sobbing sick woman with a cell phone is not all that inconspicuous in a quiet academic building.

So, now I'm picking up the pieces.

I'm unable to get documentation for the flu, since I can't even get my GP on the phone (and he's in another city, and I didn't visit him on the day in question to prove I have a common illness that won't excuse me from class anyway). However, I can get documentation that I'm a crybaby freak who is undergoing treatment for numerous conditions that render her into a inconsolable mess when she should be able to walk into a room and shoot the shit.


I'm tired again. And I need to do housework. And nap. And do homework. And get over this stupid flu.

Whine, whine, whine. Sigh.

I'll try to post some photos of my cute dog next time. She's adorable and worth visiting.

*Interesting: I have had a scope done in which the anesthetic didn't work properly, or, perhaps, quickly enough. Who am I to know which is true? All I know: the nurses said I shouldn't be in any pain at all. One alerted the doctor because I had been trying to hide the pain behind clenched teeth, and she apologized three times for the pain, baffled that I was feeling anything more than slight discomfort.
Monday, March 7, 2011

Flu Panic

I do need to post. I do.

I need to work through what happened - and didn't happen - today. That is important to process. I need to be able to find my triggers and what I could have done to overcome them, and how to work around the biggest problems.

But, as I try to introduce The Day That Panic Won, I freeze up, just like I did today.

I'm even getting the tunnel vision right now, and the headache is hovering around, looking for the proper place to land.

I'm too exhausted and sore from being all infected with the flu to go over this right now. I'm sorry.

I need some space and I need to process it.

And right now, I really need to sleep now that the Ativan hangover is here. Pleasant.

Thank you to all of those that helped me out today. I cannot explain how very blessed I am to have such kind and generous people in my life.

Thank you.

So, to sleep now. Debrief later. Maybe a game plan in between. Exhale.

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