You know, when I was given the amazing opportunity to write for WeAre1Voice, via my dear but also dreadfully neglected friend Miz Mercy, I had no idea that I would have to actually come back after months of silence in an entire new year just to keep up with the bare minimum that is ever asked of me here, if at all. I truly regret my silence, negligence, and all around jerkery, with a long, meandering, un-planned post just for you.
So, my last post was on December 27, just before the new year. I was trying my best to be as positive as possible when it seemed like my dog Nim was likely to die at any second. Despite my silence here, I did make some videos about Nim, my struggles with her, as well as some current events and topics I won’t rehash here, in case you’ve already seen the vids. if you haven’t, you didn’t miss much.
I have cut off my hair again. In fact, it began as summer was ending, first with a few snips, then more, then I bought an entire self-haircut kit (of course geared to men) and ended up not only going super short, but TOO short; I was almost bald in the back once I got Terry’s help to fix my hack-job. Since the first bad cut, it’s gotten easier to learn how to cut my own hair. It’s also, to be vain, great therapy as well as money-saving. I’ve always been obsessed with my hair; it’s one of the few things I can control. Now, it’s 100% under my control, and if I fuck up, at least I didn’t waste money like I used to.
Onto other things, I was in the ER twice earlier this month due to new, unbearable pain in my right (and sometimes left) sides. The first visit I was doped up and ultrasounded (?), then CT-scanned, only to get the diagnosis of “nothing is wrong that we can see. If in a few days you still hurt, come back.” This turned out to be the case, indeed, as it only got worse. However, the second visit, while faster, only gave me more questions than answers, as even with an X-ray, there was still nothing.
This was when my depression decided to kick in full force, and I started to seriously contemplate suicide. This is never an easy topic to discuss, especially since it’s a weakness of myself that I loathe and wish I never had. I actually love to live. I love the beauty of the world and the rare beauty of its peoples. But when it comes to myself, when all I see in myself is a 30-year-old recluse with a partner who deserves better and a family probably tired of my shit (these are my thoughts during suicidal episodes, not the truth of things), I contemplate seriously about dying. However, I’m also incredibly lucky: I have a partner who loves me so much he wept, a mother who holds me when I sob from pain, an eldest sister who listens and distracts me, and an almost-cousin who knows my pains all too well from her similar ones. I’m incredibly lucky that I not only have people who love me, but who also make sure I know they love me.
I’m well aware of how rare that is. And I really try not to take it for granted. Hence why I’m writing here, too. This used to be a daily or at least weekly method in order to make a log of my health in a way of therapy, and also help people in a similar trouble. And I’ve failed terribly at my one thing I could do to help others.
As you can see, I didn’t do it. I didn’t even get anything to even start it, save gnawing on my cuticles, which I’ve done since being a kid. Instead, I got angry. I’m very active on Google+, and I started using that anger and pain to armchair-activist my way into the world. I know that’s a loaded phrase, but in my case I know it’s true – for now. All I can do at the moment in my current state of weakness is BE an armchair-activist. In fact, most people only have that because of how ill they are. I actually don’t think armchair-activism is a bad thing, nor should it be treated as something dismissive, though perhaps I’m biased. And I’m also getting off-topic.
After a long talk with my family doctor and much crying, she pulled strings and got me two appointments: one with a local and experienced GI and one with a surgeon (the appendectomy clip bothers me for some reason; I don’t like that it’s there and I’m sure it’s part of the problem, as you’ll soon see why).
Due to a lucky cancellation, I was actually able to see the GI yesterday, months in advance. I went in fully expecting another dismissal, another “learn to live with it”. That’s not what I got. I was asked the usual history questions, underwent the usual poking exam. And that’s when it got interesting.
He poked my sides, where my ribs are. And it hurt. This is not new to ME; I’ve always noticed that pain in my sides, with my ribs; I always assumed it was the same with everyone, since ribs can be quite delicate. Was I ever wrong.
It’s a condition usually common in women like me, overweight and big-breasted. He called it musculo-skeletal pain, so when I looked it up last night I found the exact name: costochondritis. It’s curable, but it’s going to take at the very least a year, because it involves losing at least 10kg, getting supple and fit, correcting my posture, keeping my underwire bra use at a bare minimum (the wires dig in and cause the ribs to concave even more) and, ironically enough, GO BACK ON PAIN MEDICATION.
He was one of the most honest doctors I’ve ever met. “Some people with pain like yours require pain medications. It’s just the way it is. And until you’ve gotten on top of this, it’s going to be the main cure. There’s nothing wrong with it.”
I cried. Hard. To know that there’s a name, it’s curable, I’m not in danger of exploding organs, and that I wasn’t wrong, I wasn’t wrong at all about the pain meds being the answer until I got fit. I was relieved, angry, and happy, all in one go.
Also, I have IBS-A, not C. It means depending on the day and the food, it can clog me up or rush right through me. That was surprising to learn, too.
So there’s my health update. I just hope my family doctor finally understands and prescribes me the pain meds I need. I like her and don’t want to have to change doctors, you know?
Terry and I have been slightly strained by this, but only on my side. I’ve had to see him weep because of my pain, and that also makes me want to die. Causing the man I love to weep for me is the most painful thing I’ve ever had to see. I don’t blame him or anything like that. I just can’t stand to make someone cry, especially those I’ve loved. It should be needless to say that I’ve offered him an open door and he can leave me any time, no questions asked, should this illness get too much to control. And I mean it. I would miss him, my heart would break, but if it meant he was happy, I would be okay. The thing is, it’s not what he wants. For him, according to him, being away from me, being apart while I’m in that pain, is far more painful than anything else. His inability to cure me makes him weep. He even admitted to wanting to fly me to some country just to get my gallbladder removed and to see if it helps.
I want to marry this man so desperately, but what I have never realised until recently is that, in all but legality, we’re already married. For us, it really is in sick and in health. I love him so much,
I think that’s a good update for today, save one more thing: writing. I’m going to try to write here daily from now on, even if it’s one line or a line of cussing. I think it’s important to not only document my life, but to also write. Additionally, I plan on brushing off the dust of my sister page to this one, my writing one, and post a few stories. They’d be unpolished first drafts, but at least they’d be a taste of how I write, which is something!
I’m going to try to stay positive. Life is too short for the alternative.