I can’t manage my health when life gets in the way

I haven’t blogged in what feels like a very long time. It’s been a weird month and sharing it here as it was unfolding felt too difficult, so I waited for things to calm down and now – here I am.

March began with a killer flare. If I didn’t know any better, I’d have thought I was dying. Pain was high, energy was low and I wanted to curl up and sleep for a really long time. I wrote multiple blog posts in my head sharing details of the burning pain in my fingers and knees, waking from sharp pain in my back and trying but failing to cope with migraine after migraine. I worked all day and I pushed through the pain, but my face was pale and my eyes were dark. My clothes hurt, my skin tingled and everything felt like too much effort.

Healthy Living
Image via Healthy Living

A couple of weeks later my dad had a quadruple heart bypass. I watch a lot of hospital dramas (shoutout to Greys, obvs) but I don’t know much about actual surgery. I soon learnt about breaking chest bones, four blocked arteries, and surgeons who were surprised my dad was still walking and breathing. I learnt about taking veins from legs and putting them in his heart (how amazing is that, by the way) and I learnt about the months of physical and emptional recovery. He’s a trooper and is doing incredibly well, and, as I sat by his hospital bed and tried to relieve the emotional pain my mum was experiencing, my flare was far from my mind. The pain didn’t stop but, hell, my dad just had heart surgery so I had to buck up.

But the pain just kept on coming. I went back to the doctors and – with the help of a motivating speech from my osteopath – asked for a series of blood tests with the purpose of re-checking for rheumatoid arthritis. The results came back abormal so they sent them away for further tests and, in the four days that went by whilst I waited for conclusive results, I found myself hoping the results would come back positive. If I got diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis I would have a condition people have heard of, I would have medication that treated the cause, I would have a treatment plan and a doctor that gives a shit. I was on the train when my GP called me. She said, “Just to let you know the results are negative. I know in some ways that might be disappointing but it’s a good thing. Okay, bye.” I’m not paraphrasing; that was it.

I made peace with the undiagnosis (okay, I didn’t, but I’m trying) and carried on looking after my mum and dad. I decided the best way to distract my mum from all the stress was to recommend Greys Anatomy – genius right?! No. Not my smartest move. Someone dies of a heart bypass in the first episode.

Then, at the end of March, I got a virus. A virus that meant I couldn’t talk for four days. FOUR DAYS. Who’s got time for that?! I took four days off sick which I almost never do and watched TV whilst my body slowly recovered from… everything.

Image via Science Mag

So that’s why I haven’t blogged in a month. Because when life happens and things are busy, it’s hard to blog. It’s hard to do yoga or eat healthily or do all the things I know I need to do to manage my pain. Instead I put all my effort in to managing my life, and my pain gets pushed to one side.

Managing chronic pain is a full time job, and I don’t always have time to do it properly. I know I should, I know that it needs prioritising but sometimes there are other things that feel even more important. When my pain isn’t my top priority I know it will get worse, but I also know it won’t kill me. Sometimes it just has to wait.





12 comments on “I can’t manage my health when life gets in the way

  1. Patti Parham

    I truly feel your pain. This last month has been the longest most painfully fatigued I have ever been in my life. I am 61 and struggling with fibro and migraines since my mid thirties. When no one could tell me what was wrong I felt like I was crazy, but still in pain. I self medicated in many inappropriate ways just to survive. I finally found a doctor 5 yrs ago who has almost stopped my chronic migraines with Botox. He listens and offers meds that help and don’t help, if you know what I mean. He wants me to go into a pain management clinic for 4 weeks but insurance won’t pay and the 50 mile round trip 5 days a week for the month seems overwhelming.Sorry for my oversharing, but thank you for sharing your story! I have learned most of what I know and use from you and others willing to share their experiences. Stay strong and keep blogging

    • Thank you so much Patti. Oversharing is exactly what we do here so no need to apologise for that. I hope that April gets easier for you, and thanks so much for commenting. x

  2. Iโ€™m sorry to hear of this incredibly difficult time for you ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I hope the pain gives you a breather soon, and I wish your dad and your family the very best. You are in my thoughts x

  3. Great post sorry you’ve been going through an especially tough time.

  4. Iโ€™m sorry youโ€™ve been going through this. Just know youโ€™re not alone, and although letting your pain โ€œwaitโ€ wonโ€™t kill you, you deserve to care for yourself. Taking time off can be frustrating since we are all always so โ€œgo go goโ€ but putting your health first should never be a second thought. You deserve it ๐Ÿ’• stay strong!

  5. 100% with you. Life just happens and you have to be there no matter how much pain you have or how wiped out you are. And then you get colds or flu because youโ€™re run down and then youโ€™re knocked out for a week and work doesnโ€™t win for once.
    I hope your dad recovers well and you get a chance to breathe and regroup. Good luck ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

  6. Really like your post. I can empathize with your experience, and appreciate you expressing it here for everyone. Wish for you to feel much better soon. I also know these kinds of pain. They shake up life.

  7. Terrific blog post. I really empathize and send wishes for you to feel well soon.

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