Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Little Things

The old saying says "don't sweat the little things". Well, I unfortunately don't have that choice. The littlest thing can bring everything crashing down.

I have had an absolutely miserable week, to the point that I couldn't even talk about it. All I could think or do was swear and try to keep myself from getting completely suicidal. I am hoping - knock on wood - that I am finally pulling out of it.

It started with one small thing: My second shot of Xolair, the new medication we are trying to control the chronic hives and other inflammation - was delayed a week because of the July Fourth holiday. The Xolair was definitely working; there was drastic improvement. But that fifth week brought the hives and the GI tract inflammation back in full force. With it, of course, came all the anxiety and hallucinations and everything else that comes with my being miserable and not able to eat or sleep well.

And then came the second little thing: I was so exhausted that I slept until almost 1 p.m. a couple of days after getting the injections. This meant that my midday medications, which are taken at different times depending on when I get out of bed and take my morning meds, would be taken at the same time as my afternoon anxiety medications, which are always taken at the same time. Well, you can guess what happened - I took the anxiety meds but not the others. Since my midday meds include Tylenol and Tramadol, this meant that by bedtime I was in major amounts of pain and couldn't figure out why. My nighttime meds, which also have Tylenol and Tramadol, hardly made a dent in the pain and the stress on my body had me vomiting and breaking out in major hives. I had to take extra Tramadol at about 2 a.m. - something I try to avoid at all cost - and I hardly slept, just dozed on and off. This made the next day even worse because I was beyond exhausted and any attempt at taking a nap was interrupted by major itching, muscle spasms, or vomiting.

Well, I'll just say that it has taken days for things to finally get almost manageable. I am still waiting for the Xolair to get back into my system enough to take the hives down again. They are waning, but I still smell like a mix of Benedryl cream and hydrocortisone lotion. The pain is down enough that I can at least function and the depression is manageable again. I even convinced myself to get the paints out today and I worked on a project I've been wanting to get done.

But the takeaway from this is that my life is just miserable. I hate saying that, let alone putting it in words, but it really is. My physical and mental illnesses work together to keep me from getting anywhere. More old saying: Nothing lasts forever, things will get better, etc. Bullshit. When you have a chronic illness or a mix of chronic illnesses, things really do last forever. Yes, they can try to stabilize things, but it just takes a little thing to throw all the progress in the trash. I am right back to screaming at the heavens and asking why the fuck I was given all of this. It is really hard to not be suicidal when you just can't see an end to the pain, the confusion, the stress, the paranoia, the depression, the anxiety ... the whole fucking mess.

I am holding on. It helps to paint again, to put that color on a canvas and make them swirl and dance together. I have a painting on my computer desktop that a friend - I don't remember who - posted on Facebook. It says "I'm going to make everything around me more beautiful - that will be my life." I am clinging to that. I am looking at a streak of green paint on my wrist that somehow escaped the hand washing and it almost makes me smile. And that almost is better than nothing.

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