So, this is a little different from my normal posts. In some respects, there’s little point to it. In all honesty, it’s just a short rant about my current health, designed to do nothing more than give me a chance to vent a little.
The current situation
Right now, I’m hurting. Currently, my joints have two settings. On a good day, that means they’re very stiff. It slows me down a lot, and it’s frustrating, but it could be worse. As long as I have the time and space to stretch and switch up my position, I can get on with things.
The problem is, the other setting is ‘pain’. My joints hurt. In particular my ankles, knees, ad lower back. I sometimes joke that, on days like these, going upstairs is an adventure. The thing is, it’s not entirely false. Sometimes, I really do have to stop part way up to try loosening myself up before finishing the trek. So, you can imagine what normal tasks like walking to the shops and back, carrying shopping up our ridiculous hill are like.
On the bad days, I get some bonus things too. Holding things is hit and miss. If you give me a mug of tea on a bad day, then I can wrap my hands around it just fine. If you give me a pencil on the same day though, I will drop it. Smaller items are becoming a problem for me.
Most nights, sleep is hard. The stiffness makes it hard to get comfortable, and when I do sleep, it’s not particularly deep. There have been days that I wake up just as tired as I was when I went to bed, and then have to spend a good amount of time stretching before I can get up.
My memory is failing too. More and more, I’ll decide I need to do something, walk out to the kitchen to do it, and find that I’ve forgotten it already. I’ll go shopping and only buy half the stuff I needed, entirely because I forget to check the shopping list. Or, in some instances, forget the item as soon as I’ve read it.
That, combined with a bunch of other problems we’re experiencing here, has left my mental health a bit fragile. I’ve hit an emotional rock bottom twice in my life, and I don’t want to go back there. I’m better at catching myself when I start to fall now. It’s hard though. And the frustration with it all can leave me a little short-tempered at times, which really isn’t fair on those around me.
In short. Times are hard.
How I used to be
I’m pretty sure everyone can see why that’s all a little tough to deal with. I want to mention how I used to be though because I feel like that’s adding to the frustrations.
During my early school years, I did what a lot of kids did. I played football every day at break and lunchtime. If we weren’t playing tag, of course. I also played Sunday League football. That meant doing a couple of hours training with a team every Saturday, then a match every Sunday.
When I hit high school, I continued the trend of break time sports. After a final year with the Sunday League, I switched things up a bit. I played for the school hockey team, which equated to training every week plus regular matches. I also started my wrestling journey.
At the time, that saw me doing a five-hour training session every Sunday. During this, we’d learn pro wrestling, but also do amateur stuff, which wasa mix of BJJ grappling and Sambo (the artial art they use in the Russian Military). I added Karate to the mix for a brief spell to improve my striking game.
When I left high school, the weekday games stopped and were replaced by a day job. I still did the wrestling though, including both the training and working regular shows. I also helped out with the heavy lifting in the office if they needed things like desks moved.
Eventually, a combination of injuries and a change in the general attitude of new trainees pushed me towards retirement from wrestling. I couldn’t stand still though. So, I took up Kung Fu and Tai’Chi. I did that for a number of years until a change in work hours meant I couldn’t get to the school anymore.
With all that activity, adjusting to a world where I struggle to walk up a hill is rough. I don’t really know how to deal with it, especially as it seemed to come up quite quickly.
What’s wrong with me?
Good question. I went to the Doctor and explained everything, including my own suspicions as to what was happening. He sent me for blood tests. Like, a double-figure number of blood tests. They ruled out everything other than what I thought it may be: Fibromyalgia.
I won’t give the full rundown of the condition. You can see that on the NHS site if you’re interested. The symptoms fit though. And on top of that, several members of my immediate family have it, so I recognize a lot of it. The main thing to note though is that there’s no cure. I can do things to alleviate the symptoms, but I’m essentially stuck with it, and it will get worse as times go on.
This is where things get odd.
The Doctor wouldn’t send me for a full diagnosis. His reasoning was that he was pretty sure it was fibromyalgia, but as there was no cure, he was reluctant to send me for diagnosis. At the time, I was so tired that it seemed to make sense to me. Like, almost a month later, it really hit home that it was a crappy way to do things.
So, I went to another Doctor, who agreed that it was stupid. He filled out the forms for me and put them through the system. I got a call yesterday to give me my appointment for the full test. I need that, because if I can get the diagnosis, then I can get some help, right? Here’s the problem: the next open appointment is in April next year. Which means I’m stuck calling in every day in the hopes that someone has canceled their appointment. Which sucks.
How much this affects me varies from day to day. Good days are variable. At best, I’m slow-moving but generally dealing with things. At worst, I’m the same but absolutely miserable. The bad days, I’m not functioning so well. I can do things, but not everything. And my mood is erratic. It’s not good.
In the real world, I’m just keeping on as best I can. Believe me, there’s a lot going on right now, so I can’t let myself slip too far. That’s a motivator. In terms of the site, I’m far slower than I’d like. I fall behind for days on end, then scramble to catch up when I can. Running this thing is, in a way, a help though. It keeps me busy and gives me things I can concentrate on. That’s a good thing.
I may just be slow in posting. And writing. And commenting and responding to people. But hey, I’m still here.
Well, that’s about it. Like I said, there wasn’t much of a point to this other than to vent a little. I think it’s probably good for my mental health to do so once in a while. it was a bloody miserable post though. I’ll try to balance that out in a week or so with a more positive one.
Cheers for reading everyone.
9 thoughts on “Personal Vent: Health”
So sorry to hear about this, Matt. Someone very close to me has Fibromyalgia, and it seems like one of the worst things ever. Keeping you in my prayers!
Thank you. Seeing how it affects others as well, it’s certainly not something I’m thrilled about having. The trick is going to be finding coping mechanisms, I think.
That definitely sucks. Having finally gotten an actual diagnosis earlier this year for a problem they’ve been trying to track down for nearly two years (and gone through about a zillion blood tests in the process) I can definitely sympathise and I hope you do get to see someone before April because while it might not change things, certainty around what is wrong can sometimes be very reassuring.
That’s my thinking. If it is what we think it is, at least I’ll know and can look into what can be done to lessen it. If it’s not, then they might be able to tell me what else it could be.
Two years is a terrible amount of time to wait for certainty over a condition though. That must have awful to have to go through.
Hopefully you get in soon and yeah, hopefully you can then find a treatment that does at least help deal with the symptoms even if there’s no cure.
Sorry to hear, but glad you are getting closer to an actual diagnosis. Hope you get an appointment before April. Make sure to prioritize your health, though. Love your posts but your health is more important.
Thank you. I’m certainly trying to. It’s just hard to know what to do sometimes.
Ouch! I’m very sorry to hear about all this. I’m sending lots of good vibes over the internet. I hope at least getting a diagnosis will help ease your struggles. I’m being jerked around by my healthcare system right now too. It sucks.
You got this!
Thank you. The real shame is our local NHS gets far more criticism than it deserves sometimes, but this particular service really does have a ridiculous wait time.