Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sick-Cycle Carousel

You go through many cycles with chronic illness. Flares. Remissions. Good days, bad days, round and round and round.

I knew posting about things being good was a bit of a risk. There’s always part of me that thinks The Universe is going to go “Oh, you thought things were going to stay good? Haha, nope! Here’s a flare.” And that did kind of happen a little bit after I posted about how well things were going.

A couple of days after writing this post, I had my monthly blood test and my labs were out. Considering my labs are usually normal even when I’m badly flaring, it was a bit worrying. Since then, most of the things that had got better stayed better (Yay!)... but some other new symptoms popped up*. And so the cycle goes round and round and round.

Another cycle that will be familiar to many others with chronic illness is the grief cycle.

I’ve been struggling quite a bit with dropping things lately. I’m not entirely sure what’s causing it – my guess would be a combination of pins and needles, tremors and raynaud’s. Whatever it is, I’m decidedly more fumbly that I used to be. And my poor dishes have not been faring particularly well! Last count, 1 glass, 2 bowls, 1 mug, 1 dinner plate and 1 side plate have fallen victim to my hands. Plus a few other things are now either chipped, or have learned to bounce. Even when the crockery itself doesn’t break, just having the contents go everywhere can be annoying enough. I really wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry when I dropped an entire glass of almond milk into an open drawer. Don’t be fooled by the almond part – after a couple of days, it smells just as bad as normal milk!  

So, after being upset about this for a while, I got this pretty awesome drink bottle (or three of these drink bottles to be more accurate.) And on the day I bought these, I was really happy, as I now had a solution to this problem. But then I had to grieve for a while, because finding a solution made me think again about the fact that there was a problem in the first place.

Similarly, I’ve been avoiding ordering drinks in cafes, or having anything other than water out of my bottle at other people’s houses, due to not wanting to make a mess or break other people’s stuff. I was thinking about this today, and I realised I could easily ask cafĂ© staff or friends to put drinks in a mug or paper takeaway cup. I might get a few awkward questions as to why, but with Molly-Stick around I get awkward questions anyway.  It’s not a perfect solution, as even with the handle I do sometimes drop mugs, and takeaway cups are hardly environmentally friendly, but it’s a solution none the less. And so again, I had to grieve about the fact that I had a problem that needed a solution.

Remembering that it is a cycle does help. Bad days suck, but good days are part of the cycle too. And the cycle of grief, it is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster to be upset by both the problem, and the solution to the problem, but I’m kind of an emotional person. If I wasn’t getting upset about that, I’d probably be crying watching Shortland Street, or something equally ridiculous (by the way, totally cried watching Shortland Street last night.)

There’ll be good days, and there’ll be bad days, and I’ll cry about stupid things. But sometimes I’ll laugh about stupid things too. With the almond milk, I settled on laughing.

Thanks for reading
Little Miss Autoimmune

*I will post properly about this at some point, but still a bit too close to it to talk properly about it yet.

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