A Sh*tty Week

 You know when you have one of those weeks when it feels like your body is going through a checklist of every condition you have and providing you with all those symptoms? No – lucky you! Yes- you have my sympathy. I have just been through one of the toughest weeks I have had in a long time, it has been relentless the onslaught of health issues. It feels never ending and I have no idea why this week has been like this.

I don’t like to make a big thing of it on social media. Most of my friends also have chronic illnesses and are dealing with their own shit. They don’t need to hear me moaning about mine. There are two people are am truthful about how I am actually feeling on a day to day level, Mr Myasthenia Kid and my best Cyber mate Beverley B. Beverley and I speak daily via WhatsApp we have been really good friends for about 18 months and “friends” for nearly 3 years. Beverley started following me on Instagram just after I lost Mollie and Frankie. We would chat every few days and we just hit it off. She left Instagram so we started chatting on WhatsApp. She is hilarious and always makes me shriek with laughter. Mr Myasthenia Kid and Beverley B are what get me through weeks like this.

I first thought something was amiss last Sunday, we went to visit a friend only to discover we had a puncture in our rear tyre. Mr Myasthenia Kid and our friend attempted to change the tyre but the wheel nuts were too tight to get off. I suddenly remembered we have cover with Green Flag and called them out. By the time we got home, an hour later than planned, it was like someone had taken my batteries out. I was so tired I couldn’t think straight let alone string a coherent sentence together. If I call it fatigue that really doesn’t do it justice. I took my blood pressure boosting medications just in case I had low blood pressure as that make me tired but they didn’t halt the fatigue. By 1700 I was in bed, I really couldn’t handle attempting to sit upright etc. 

Monday

I had my hairdresser come and sort my hair out. I took a photo of myself the other week cuddling Dembe and all I could see were the grey hairs framing my face. I then realised I was long overdue my hair being done as it was last cut and highlighted on 26th July! Whoops. I knew I would be tired after having that done so deliberately ensured that I had no plans at all for the remainder of the day. It was a netflix and crochet afternoon. By 1900 I was shattered again but not as bad as Sunday. The main symptom today was period pains with no period accompanied with terrible hot flushes. The hot flushes were the kind where your bra and knickers are soaked and you feel so manky you need to go and have a shower and change. Which when you have a limited amount of energy to start with is no fun.

Tuesday

 Knackered again. Today it was back spasms. Every time I lifted my arms I would get an electric shock which would cause me to take a sharp intake of breath. My coccyx was also sore all day and I have absolutely no clue why. I just couldn’t get comfortable lying or sitting.I stayed up until 7.30pm as Mr Myasthenia Kid was working the night shift and I knew it would be hours before he would leave for work. However by 19.30 I was so uncomfortable I couldn’t stay up any longer.

Wednesday 

The first day of the week where I have felt relatively ok. I slept with Jay out of the house but I did keep waking with any sort of noise . It wasn’t my usual level of sleep. As I was feeling ok I decided I would work on my wall hanging that I have been making for the last month or so. During the afternoon I noticed every time I stood up my head hurt. Which when this happens I always freak out as it can be the sign of a CSF ( cerebral spinal fluid leak ) leak. I have had two previous spontaneous leaks and I really don’t want to have it happen again. I decide not to dwell on it and use the fact both Dembe and Jay are in bed asleep to crack on with something I enjoy. By the time I finish my neck and back are screaming. I end up getting two hot water bottles one for my lower back and one for my neck. This helps it ease a bit. What I can’t get over is how utterly exhausted I am…..again. The fatigue this week has been utterly overwhelming. I am in the position where stringing a sentence together or holding onto my train of thought is difficult. Jay is knackered too after the nightshift, we end up going up to bed at 18.45. Jay is asleep soon after, I am awake until around 10pm.

Thursday 

I wake up and from that minute on-wards for the next few hours I have diarrhoea. I ended up taking 6 Imodium to stop it as it is exhausting constantly having to get to the bathroom in a hurry. My stomach is cramping really badly. I have a conference video call with Facebook this afternoon and I am wondering if I will be able to a) cancel without too much fuss or b) attempt to get through it. I am a coward and seeing that two other people have pulled out already I decide to put on a brave face and attend the call.  I have so much makeup on trying to look like I am not a corpse it is crazy. I have drunk 4 cups of peppermint tea in an attempt to soothe my angry bowels. Thank god the imodium has worked. However the last 30 minutes of the video conference are sheer agony. Out of nowhere my bowel adhesion pain starts to kick off. It was so bad I was envisioning that I would faint during the video call. I keep praying that whoever is running the meeting will call time before I collapse. I can barely breathe the pain is so intense. It is like a hot knife has been plunged into my abdomen and is being dragged through my entrails. The call ends and I get upstairs as quickly as I can to take every single pain killer available. If I can’t get on top of the pain I am going to have to call an ambulance. I am not being melodramatic, I am on an 8.5 out of 10 on my pain scale. 10 for me is passing out with pain and this is getting close. I message Mr Myasthenia Kid, telling him I am in a bad way. I don’t want to stress him out but I also don’t want it to be a surprise if I tell him I need him home now. Then as quickly as it came on, the pain lessens and disappears over the space of an hour. I am yet again left exhausted, too fucked to do anything. I’m in bed by 1800.

Friday I thought after the week I had the universe may take it easy on me. Who am I kidding? The universe hasn’t finished with me yet. I wake up with a migraine, I take sumatriptan and 3 alka seltzer. I am really out of it and spend the morning lying on the sofa. Doing little bits and pieces on Facebook to put a Guide together for new members on the group I help admin. I am getting fed up with constant exhaustion not just fatigue . The migraine goes, well it recedes enough for me to be able to spend an hour or so on my embroidery machine faffing around. However I have now been left with vertigo. I have to be really careful not to turn my head too quickly or I fall over. Not just stagger but fall over end, up on your arse, fall over catch my drift? Half way through doing the piece that I am working on I am wondering if this was such a good idea. The problem is now I have started I can’t stop. If I do it will cause issues with the design and it may not line up properly again when I start again. Which means 30 minutes worth of work will be for nothing. I have never been able to accept that there will be days even weeks sometimes when I can’t do the things I want to. So I push myself well beyond what I should. I end the day with a resurgence of my migraine, more sumatriptan and alka seltzer. I do go to sleep early.

Saturday

I wake up at 4am, I try really hard for almost two hours to get back to sleep but I can’t. I am still fucking exhausted but no amount of sleep relieves the fatigue. Within minutes of being upright it is obvious that yesterday’s migraine is back for an encore. Why it won’t just fuck off and leave me alone I have no idea. At least the vertigo has gone. At 06.30 I go back to bed, I take my usual cocktail sumatriptan and 3 alka seltzer – I feel like I should have shares in both. I still don’t get back to sleep. I lie listening to a podcast about the Salem Witch Trials, it is interesting but I would much rather be asleep. At 08.30 I give up and get up. I feel drunk due to the tiredness. My head is hurting but it is at bad headache level rather than migraine ferocity. I have got to the point where I really want this week to fuck off and do one. Is it too much to ask for a break? I can guarantee that most social media acquaintances think I have had a good health week because I have produced a few bits of sewing this week. What they don’t see is the other 99% of the time when I am having my arse kicked by multiple conditions . Being able to produce those few pieces of creativity is what keeps me going when a week is as shit as this one has been. Today will be mainly spent lying on the sofa wishing I was able to actually do the things I want to today.

So fingers crossed for a better week eh?

PS I forgot to mention the numerous episodes of pre-syncope throughout the week!

Stress, migraines and other sh*t!

I have had a good few days over the last week with no headaches turning into migraines until this morning. Every night though I still wake up and have to change my pillows several time to make my neck and back of my head comfortable. More often than not I end up sleeping without any pillows. Something I haven’t done since I was 18-19 when I had neck issues then. The problem is with being that flat I then quite often wake up with back pain between my shoulder blades. If I prop myself up I end up with back pain in my lower back. If I could just find the one sleeping position that allowed me to sleep through the night without any pain waking me up that would be fantastic.

I can’t really complain though after the years of insomnia I suffered from around 2008 until 2016 when I was given Melatonin. Back in the bad old days I would only sleep between 2 -4 hours a night for two nights then on the 3rd night get no sleep at all. On the 4th night I would sleep 12 hours and then feel absolutely terrible, almost like I was drunk without the fun part. I did absolutely everything I could to get to sleep, lavender sprays, lavender sachets in my pillows, not using the TV or phone in my room, all without any success. This cycle of so little sleep had a very bad effect on my mental health and my pain levels. Everything felt heightened, my pain could be off the scale frequently and my emotions were all over the place.

This 4 day sleep cycle would just repeat over and over. I would occasionally get six hours sleep which would be a treat. The most frustrating times were when I would drop off to sleep and then two hours later wake up and that would be it for the night. I existed on cigarettes and mugs of tea. Usually one of the dogs would keep me company and they would swap over so that they all did a few hours each. Even now if I get up in the night I am accompanied by Dembe. He will either sleep right beside me, like he is doing now as I write this blog post or he will sleep on the sofa opposite to the one I am on, so he can watch my every move.

Dembe the Labrador is curled up on the sofa, the MG Kids leg is in frame along with her Chromebook, which is open on her lap.

I cleared this morning’ migraine quite quickly with a dose of Sumatriptan. However due to the stormy weather ( we have a weather alert for heavy rain and thunderstorms until this evening ) the top of my head feel’s like it is in a vice and being squeezed so hard my eyes feel like they are going to pop from the sockets. For as long as I can remember I have had headaches when the weather is stormy. I feel a bit cheated though as friends over an hour away have had massive thunder storms. Mr Myasthenia Kid’s mum rang us to check we were ok as where she lives they have had torrential rain and copious amounts of lightening. We have had a few showers and currently the sun is shining. It is very humid so I haven’t bothered sorting out my hair. It will stay straight for 30 seconds and then frizz. There is no point wasting any energy on it.

This will sound completely bonkers but I am quite a private person, despite the blog and talking about all manner of things. There are things I keep private because they involve other people or because I just don’t want the sympathy vote. Sometimes I am still processing stuff in my head and just don’t have the energy to deal with the questions that writing about an issue will cause. Things are really stressful here at the moment, we never seem to get a minute to catch our breath. But we keep going like everyone else does because the world doesn’t stop just because you are having a shit time.

There are several issues going on but the one that is worrying me most at the moment is Dembe ( and this was probably the source of the migraine this morning). On and off for a few months poor Dems has had an intermittent limp. Not an obvious one, one that unless you knew what you were looking for you wouldn’t know it was happening. We had him at the vet’s last month to be checked out and the vet couldn’t observe it in him, isn’t that always the way. He was put on some medication a it was hoped that perhaps it was a soft tissue injury that needed some rest and some anti inflammatory medication would help. Within a few days he was doing so much better and no more limping. As a precaution we cut his walks with the dog walkers right down to the bare minimum, ensured he didn’t do anything too physical. Sadly on last Thursday the limp came back, I still had pain medication so I gave that to him. The limp settled and then on Monday was back again.

I rang the vets on Monday evening and got Dembe booked in for an appointment the following day. Mr Myasthenia Kid took him to the appointment as they only allow one of you into the building at the moment due to Covid. This time the vet could see the limp and she gave Dembe a full check over. Since this limp started there has been no swelling, no heat coming off any of the joints in his leg and for the majority of the time his limp is very subtle. You actually have to watch his head as he is walking towards you, every few paces his head bobs down, that’s how subtle it is. It is so intermittent that we and his dog walkers have been unable to catch it on video. So the next step is x-rays of both his front legs. The vet has checked his back legs and his hips are sound. Hip Dysplasia is a massive issue within the Labrador breed and we ensured both his mum and dad had low hip and elbow scores. We also stuck to the rules about not allowing stairs until he was old enough and also we stuck to the exercise rule of 5 minutes exercise per month old. However sadly Labrador’s are also prone to elbow Dysplasia and no matter all the precautions you take with your pups sometimes shit happens and this could be one of those times. I am not too concerned as he is insured, so they will pick up the tab. It is the fact that he maybe in pain, that he has to go to the vets and stay there when he has only ever been left for 30 minutes with someone else in his life since he was 8 weeks old ( other than his dog walks).

Those of you who have followed my blogs will know about our first dog Travis who passed away shortly before his 3rd birthday. As a teenager we also lost a family dog when she went into be spayed as she was allergic to the anaesthetic a situation that was just tragic. For some reason with Dembe I have always wrapped him in cotton wool and my fear about him having to be sedated for the x-rays really has me on edge. Plus the fact that he is coming up for his third birthday has me freaked out. I know he isn’t sick like Travis was but I am just paranoid about it. If you want to read more about the dogs we have had please use these links http://themyastheniakid.com/2014/10/30/the-dogs-in-my-life-part-one/ and http://themyastheniakid.com/2015/08/06/the-dogs-in-my-life-part-two/ . I need to write part three to cover Willow, Frankie and Mollies passing within 55 weeks of each other but even though it is several years on it is still just too raw.

I was much more chilled with the other dogs, than I am with Dembe. I have gone back to being like a brand new dog owner and going to the vet about everything! I did feel when we brought Dembe home I had completely lost my confidence and I was always terrified I was going to hurt him ( accidentally obviously).

So until the X-rays come back from the orthopedic specialist we will be none the wiser as to whether he has Elbow Dysplasia or a soft tissue injury or anything in between. If it is Elbow Dysplasia depending on how bad the joint is the treatment could be conservative, treating it when it flares up, reducing his weight a little etc or it could mean an elbow replacement. The thought of which terrifies me as the recovery period is 12 weeks of crate rest which he will go bonkers, quickly followed by myself and probably Jay. So for the moment all professional dog walks have been cancelled. He is allowed 25 minutes off the lead a day and then small lead walks as he point blank refuses to go to the toilet in the garden. He has had his pain medication increased and hopefully that is helping him. The vet constantly reassured my husband that she felt whatever the issue was it has been caught early so the damage shouldn’t be too great.

Dembe is fine in himself, loving, affectionate, eating and drinking fine. He keeps wanting to zoomies in the house so I am having to think up games we can play that doesn’t involve too much food and too much movement! He is pretty chilled most of the time and is quite happy to snooze. I just thank our lucky stars that he is no longer a puppy as he would be manic with the need to burn off energy.

So the migraine this morning was not unexpected as that seems to be my default setting when stressed and at least they have reduced in number since my whinge post.