I hate 2020

I hate 2020 with a passion not just for Covid-19 and not being able to see anyone but I also hate it because it has been a year of non stop health problems. It is driving me insane and I am starting to feel that “normal people” / “well people” or even people that don’t know me that well are thinking that I am either a) exaggerating the impact on me or b) I’m attention seeking. I rarely say much on social media about my health due to this. I am probably more honest on Instagram than I am anywhere. But a few times i have mentioned health issues on my own account on Facebook and now I am left doubting myself, worrying that people will think awful things about me. Believe me if I wanted attention there are a million and one other ways I could get it, being sick wouldn’t be the one I would use!

So this year I am struggling with Migraines, Menopause ( I am just 4 months away from officially being in it although technically I could have been in it at any point in the last 5 years, with the pill stopping my period I can only properly count from last December), bowel adhesion’s, ptosis and now my absolute favourite my CSF leak is back. I’ve had two good, well reasonable years with minimal symptoms. My symptoms when they have shown up have been in the evening with a dull headache and light sensitivity. Suddenly out of the blue last Thursday, my head started hurting and when you have had a spinal fluid leak you know that headache there is no confusion, the pain is like nothing else.

To describe a CSF leak headache is difficult, purely because there is really nothing else in the world that feels like it other than a post lumbar puncture headache or meningitis. I am extremely lucky at the moment that it is mild, strong enough to have me lying flat but not hugging the toilet bowl waiting for death. I was on my embroidery machine when I lent forward as I moved back my brain felt like it had been slammed between two bricks . Then my eyes were struggling to cope with the LED lights on the machine. I finished up as quickly as I could and then lay down on the sofa. Slowly over the space of an hour the pain eased. Although that was a good thing, it also chilled me to the bone as only a CSF leak headache eases so quickly on lying down. So my worst fears had been confirmed.

When Jay got home from work I spoke to him about it. He replied with “well don’t panic just yet you get days where it plays up more than ever”. Whilst he was right , this was different, this was stronger than it has been before. I could hardly blame him for trying to be optimistic maybe I would have been had I not already suffered two migraines that week and forgotten to write a blog post. It hadn’t been a good week and now it was getting worse. I replied that yes he was probably right and maybe a good nights sleep would help. I really hoped that it would be but I knew in my heart that it wouldn’t.

On waking up on Friday morning, I didn’t get the electric shock like feeling like I would back in 2016 when it was at it worst. I managed several hours upright before the pain started. I am afraid I pushed it and stayed up longer than I should have done. I did exactly the same on Saturday, staying upright and not resting like I should have done. I don’t know why I did it. Probably I was in denial and I was determined I wasn’t going to let a “little” thing like a leak get the better of me. There were things I wanted to do, I refused to go back to the dark place I was in, during 2016. 

However health problems don’t work that way, when things are bad you can’t pretend they aren’t happening. There is no distracting yourself from the pain when you have a CSF leak as the longer you try to ignore it the worse it gets and it wont stop until you lie down. If you push it too far eve lying down won’t stop it. From Friday I had increased my salt intake upping my salt tablets back to 10 a day, I had also increased my caffeine intake. Both caffeine and salt increase CSF production.

With the Menopause involved this time increasing caffeine has the added bonus of triggering hot flushes. The more caffeine I consume the worse the hot flushes are getting. Which is just fucking fantastic as caffeine is the only thing that helps quite quickly. So I spend the whole time stripping off due to getting overheated and then no sooner has the flush started I am then freezing cold. Hormones have a lot to answer for.

By Sunday I had completely blown it, my head felt like it was in a vice my eyeballs felt like they had been set on fire every time I looked at my phone, used my laptop or watched the TV. I ended up spending all day lying down either in bed or on the sofa. But as like in 2016 and 2018 ( my first re-occurrence of the leak), my back due to EDS wouldn’t let me do more than 12 hours flat. I felt so down about the pain being so bad and I really felt like maybe I had been an idiot fighting against it for three days . 

Thankfully 24 hours of lying flat has got it to a better place but I am still having to lie down much more than I want to. I managed 4 hours upright on Monday and 3 hours on Tuesday before lying down.  I was much more careful on Tuesday ( today) as dog training is re-starting . With it being held in the evening which is my worst time for the head pain, I am having to rest a lot to ensure that I don’t end up having to battle through the pain whilst there. 

To add a little variety into the mix at 6.50am I woke up in agony with bowel adhesion pain. I keep getting bouts of it out of no where. I ended up having to wake Jay up so he could get me a drink and a hot water bottle as I couldn’t move without making the pain worse. I took some Buscopan, Oramorph and thought there would be no way I would get back to sleep and then the next thing I knew it was 9am and Dembe was snuggled up beside me. I can’t work out what the hell is going on with this year. It is exhausting me with all the plot twists. If my life was a TV drama most people would be complaining it was unbelievable, no one is that unlucky….I’ve also lost my hospital consultant as the health authority he works for has decided that he is not allowed to see patients outside his catchment area. The hospital I used to go to before him, has no PoTs clinic at all as the consultant has retired. So basically if you are outside Plymouth you have been thrown ti the wolves.

But apparently my health needs no consultant input, as I am such an easy patient to manage! I hate 2020!

End of my tether

It seems to be one thing after another at the moment and if you are bored reading it you can imagine how tedious I am finding living with it? The week after my unhappy hump day went reasonably well. I only needed two days on the diazepam and then it was taken as and when needed. I was bobbing along quite nicely until 4.20am Tuesday morning when I woke up with that familiar sinus pain like I had been smacked with a shovel and a distinct lack of balance that let me know Tuesday was just going to be awful. I had a migraine and this one was going to be an utter bastard.


I fished out my neck collar, took what pain medications I could and propped myself up on my pillows hoping that I had done enough to limit the attack to a few hours. However it wouldn’t have mattered what I had done yesterday this migraine was going to rate number 2 on the worst migraines ever – number one having taken place in either February or March and left me with amnesia. I didn’t drink or eat for well over 16 hours because even the thought of drinking made me want to puke and although my stomach was burning, I just couldn’t eat as I again felt so nauseous at the prospect of eating that I just had to ignore the rumbling stomach and hope that I wasn’t sick from being hungry.


I don’t remember a lot of yesterday, I remember at around 9am shouting help because Jay hadn’t twigged that anything was wrong and hadn’t bothered to check on me . He thought I was having a long over due lie on. I couldn’t roll over to grab my phone and I couldn’t think what to shout to get his attention. I was also having diarrhoea at this point (not in bed thank goodness but had resulted in 6 trips to the bathroom where I had stumbled clinging onto the safety rail) which was really fun when any smell good or bad was making me wretch and of course my shit smelt of roses and rainbows LOL! My head also felt like an axe was attempting to cleave it in half every time my head left the pillow. Help indeed was needed, but what could be provided was limited. Hot water bottles and a basin were brought to me. Thankfully I wasn’t sick but Oh how I wanted to be. 


Without being melodramatic the pain was so bad yesterday there were points I wanted to go to sleep and just not wake up. I have been through the agony of a CSF leak and although that was awful there was always some relief at some point. There was nothing yesterday the pain was just unrelenting, the light was too bright but my face was too sore to wear sunglasses. I was sweating and then I was freezing cold. I wondered if I had contracted meningitis. I did actually consider calling 999 for an ambulance but I couldn’t bear the prospect of being poked and prodded, expected to answer questions and be in a noisy environment. You know you are poorly when you don’t want to move and you don’t care that you should be calling for help.


At some point during the morning I heard them talking about oxygen on the radio ( I’m very lucky that I don’t need complete silence during an attack just a darkened room) and I remembered oxygen always helps me when I have a migraine. Another plaintive Help was shouted and Jay sprang into action set up my oxygen machine and got me hooked up to it. He also got me a bottle of water because the orange squash he had given me was turning my stomach and after each mouthful I wanted to bring it back up and more. The oxygen did help it lowered the pain level to an 8/10 instead of the 10/10 it had been since 4.20am


I spent the majority of the day in bed. At 1pm I got up because my back was killing me. That was a dreadful mistake after an hour I went back to bed and straight to sleep despite the pain. I got up again at 4pm and managed to have a drink, then I was so thirsty I couldn’t stop drinking and then I was ravenous with the post migraine munchies. I could have eaten my body weight in whatever food you brought me. I was despite sleeping all day fucking shattered. I went back to bed again at 6pm tried watching some tv but having jolted awake three times in 30 minutes gave up and slept solidly until 1am…..and was then awake for the rest of the night. I managed to get an hour of sleep between 7-8am this morning.


Today is brought to you by the letter C – for Coffee. I feel like I am floating I am so tired. I have managed to sort myself out and have a shower with Jays help. Honestly I was honking after sweating so much yesterday. My autonomic nervous system was going mental. I feel like I have taken too many pain killers as my head is floating and my face feels like it is sticking out 3 inches further than it is. I am going to put a letter together for my gp telling them I can’t go on like this. Just thinking about the fact I will have yet another migraine next month is making me cry. I have been tracking them on my phone and they happen at least once a month and always between the 18th -22nd of the month. It isn’t fair on me for these to continue to happen and it isn’t fair on Jay as he can’t take one day off a month to look after me as I am so ill I can’t do anything for myself. 

People also seem to be under the impression that you have the migraine and then like magic you are back to normal again, in reality it can take me several days after a severe attack to feel like I am functioning anywhere near normal, so it’s not just one day a month I am losing but 3 or 4 depending on the severity.


From what I have briefly read up during the early hours of this morning around 40% of women find their migraines worsen during peri-menopause and menopause. Even in the absence of menses there is still a very slight hormone fluctuation which can be enough to trigger a migraine. Which would be my case. I stopped my contraceptive pill in December as I wanted to see if the menopause fairy had joined me and it has now been over 5 months and there has been no period. Yet my migraines will always occur since stopping the pill between the 18th – 22nd of the month without fail. Occasionally like this month I will get two migraines, I had one last Tuesday, so exactly a week apart. I am at the end of my tether with it. All I want to do is cry but whats the point? It won’t change anything. I need specialist input now so I am going to write to my gp as due to Covid-19 I don’t want to go to the surgery unless I have to and ask if they ever did contact neurology like the doctor said she would and if they had suggested some medication as continuing on like this isn’t an option. I’m at the end of my tether with it.