All in a Blur

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This past few days have been a bit of a blur.

We have the news that my partner needs Major surgery imminently and has priority listing, we are waiting for a bed. His pre-op date has arrived within the week, it is soon.

It is almost like an altered state when I am outside looking in, except that it is happening around me. Lives going on, days going by, time passing elsewhere.

Waiting as though for something to happen. I feel dread, but know not what for. Just a sense of uncertainty on the air.

Perhaps some great change is out there and coming my way which will lift me out of this feeling. I am trying to remain positive so that whatever this is won’t bring me down.

The other day I had the first of my two long awaited appointments for different things. The hospital are going to do tests and scans, they really do want to get to the bottom of things.

A little fear creeps in, you know the nagging thought I hope that it’s not another hereditary thing. A bit like Hypertension but worse. No-one to my knowledge had Endometriosis in the family and Thankfully the line stops here from me. So far so good, my sister is Ok in that respect.

But this is not that, this is some old complaint, that hasn’t gone away,  over a period of time it has reared it’s head with new worrying symptoms. It could be related to the Endometriosis, which is the explanation I have given it until now. I talked frankly to my mother, about my beloved Grandmother and found out why she had to have a colostomy when she was young. Stage 3 Bowel Cancer with 8 weeks to live when they finally found out and operated. We worked out, she was in her 30’s. Younger than I am and she survived for about another 30 years. So there is hope. But I am scared suddenly and so is he.

The letter turned up the very next day, I had to book a SeHCAT Scan. The hospital don’t usually send thing first class post, he remarked.  That seems quick when I have waited six months to see the consultant and had symptoms for much longer. I called to book and have one in 2 weeks time. It comes under the “nuclear medicine” category. You have to take a pill, have one lot of scans and then return a week later for more.

There is pain that radiates through my nether regions daily at the moment and the Dog is extra cuddly, he is comforting me night and day should I worry?

I wake this morning, “what if I have the thing that I have been dreading?” Not the IBS which I have been living with for years but something else. Ever the practical one, the only thoughts going through my head being how would he cope with every day if I couldn’t do things? I will have to sort the loft out, he can’t get into the loft. If we had to move then he wouldn’t be able to empty it if I’m not able to. If I was really ill, we would have to rely upon others going up there. It’s odd the things that go through your head. It’s been a strange week, filled with both pain and uncertainty.

via Daily Prompt: Blur Image: Morguefile

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When it’s alright on the outside.

This is the inspiration beind this particular post. This picture came from Facebook as so many do but in particular advertising awareness for Crohn’s & Colitis.

It got me thinking about just how many people I might know who are dealing with an invisible illness. The ones where it does not show, people who we are sure they are alright because they don’t look ill. It occurred to me how  almost everyone we know fights a battle of some sort.

It could be cancer, mental health, abuse, addictions, or a physical illness or disability. It could be anything at all.

It is very easy to not think about what other people might be going through and just react to a comment, a look or an emotion but in a judgemental world that we are living in, just take a moment to think about it before your own assumptions take over. Some fight it all alone whilst others can have a whole network of support. Some simply cannot cope and will shut down hoping for the storm to pass. Some will talk about it whilst others will not everyone is different.

Respect those differences but if you know someone who has is coping with an illness invisible or not, just a small gesture to show that you are thinking of them, or that you care can mean the world when it all gets too much.

I know we have just had the season of goodwill and you might be feeling that New Year warm fuzzy feeling but can we extend that around the rest of the year and it might just start to make a difference in our lives. I’m not asking for world peace, after all who am I to ask?

How Many Do We Get?

A leading question and forgive me for a moment if I’m going to go deep…

I am talking about how many chances to make a new life? Something better than before, or at least different. I am sometimes likened to a cat by those who know me, but I wonder whether I have the nine lives people so often speak of. I don’t know how many chances I have had. I have never thought to count them before or even how many I may have already used up and I’m not going to start now.  For whatever the answer is, I am grateful.

What I do know is that throughout our life we are given so many opportunities to make it different. Some we may miss. It may be that we simply don’t see them at the time. Or that they come out of nowhere and we reach out and life as we know it changes completely.

I want to tell you about one such time in my life. It was 8 years ago (Oh how time flies) this week, just days before my Birthday.

I had prayed so long for the moment, hell I’d even begged for it. The operation which I was sure would change my adult life from the one that had been plagued thus far with pain and illness. Once they had found out that the cause of all this misery was Endometriosis, an incurable condition and I had met the specialist, then he could set about sorting me out finally. I was overflowing with hope of what would come to me in my new life after they agreed to give me a full hysterectomy. The pressure in the past that I’d felt, to provide children to complete my existence was suddenly removed and I could finally move on from it. By just announcing “I can’t have children”, instead of the wistful ” I don’t have children…. yet.” Somehow the weight was instantly lifted and it was just accepted by others as well as myself. It was also possible that since my pain and symptoms were cyclical and my menstrual cycle outweighed the rest of the month, this surgery just might put an end to it in one fell swoop. It was a drastic approach, but I had tried everything else that was suggested and it hadn’t worked, I was by then absolutely desperate.

Of course I had the last minute doubts before the operation because it was so final. But, the pro’s definitely outweighed con’s in my mind as I thought about the opportunity to actually start living and be able to follow some of my dreams without being held back by my condition at last. My partner was a tower of strength and supported my decision all the way, he wasn’t going anywhere he said, we were in this together.

There were moments in the past where I had gone after a dream and encouraged by my partner had gone far and achieved things that I had not thought possible.

I awoke from the operation euphoric. Full of hope for what might come next in our lives, after the three months recovery time at home I would need. Thankful for being given the chance at starting my adult life over again. I was now going to be able to go out there and actually begin to live it! I was also extremely grateful that this time I had understanding bosses who had agreed the time off on full pay that I would need. It was such a huge relief that we did not have that particular stress hanging over us through that.

I healed really quickly on the outside and felt invincible and ready to take on the world. My partner held on tightly to the reigns for a while to stop me doing something that would set my recovery back and I started straight away on HRT patches so that I wouldn’t go into a menopausal state with immediate effect. I didn’t want to go through that on top of it all and since I was young I wanted something that would protect me from the brittle bones often suffered post menopause for as long as possible. I am still using them.

So how do I feel 8 years on from this?  Did my new life begin? Was it as awesome as I thought it would become back then?

Well, yes I got a new life compared to the old one. It started to be like most lives, it’s been a pretty mixed bag.  Not always awesome, it has been filled with ups and downs, we have been sick and healthy, jobs have come and gone. I have lost people and loved ones along the way. I have fought for what I believed in, I have tried to remain strong even when I did not think it were possible.  I have often felt as though I am at rock bottom but I have had my loved ones beside me along the way but most of all it is not over yet.  There is no “fat lady” singing yet.

I have gone sometimes off at tangents over the past few years, not really knowing where it would lead but I want the other chances which might be open to me.  A life can be long or short, we have no way of knowing which of those we will have.  As mine continues I will look for the opportunities in the hope that they present themselves as often as possible. I hope I will find them, at the corner of every street, on every day that I am lucky to wake up and to breathe and in every person I am lucky enough to meet. Yes, I do see those things as blessings, sometimes in disguise, but experience is gained from every encounter.

I haven’t yet worked out for my purpose is for this world, I feel as though somehow I am being led to help others.  I am not sure of the direction but I am certain that I have a place and I belong here and I want to make a difference, somewhere to someone.

 

A Familiar Pain

As I read posts here and there about women going through the endless quest for a child, I cannot help but feel their pain and the suffering they are going through. All those memories suddenly returning of being hopeful that this was the month when my period would not appear early and the tightness in my abdomen and swollen stomach would mean something other than an Endometriosis flare up. My heart goes out to these ladies every time that I read of their torture. There have been two such posts that have popped up on my news feed this week. I hope that those ladies do get their wish and are able to bring precious souls to the universe. I know that if they are lucky enough to do so that they will shower such love upon their miracle babies and praise the IVF treatments they put themselves through to get that longed for baby.

I do not have an IVF journey to share instead I tried everything that the Drs suggested just to try and be pain free and it wore me out. My partner had not expressed a wish for more children so when I was told that we would be eligible for one course on the NHS at a time when I could not have felt so ill equipped to deal with a pregnancy we had a big talk. He could see that I was ill and he told me that from his point of view he had everything he wanted, he did not need a child to be the icing on the cake. He was happy with me so I wasn’t under any pressure to bear children. I thought that when the Doctors told me at 17 that I wouldn’t have children had really done a number on me and I hoped that one day I would just prove them wrong. Alas it wasn’t to be. So as for IVF I would give up my chance and not pursue that route. It felt as though I would be trying to force nature and perhaps someone else would give their child better chances that I could not. You had to both want it so badly that you would go through everything to get there. I thought that I would have made a good parent, others told me that I would. I loved children and in the early adult years was everybody’s babysitter, a nanny and honorary Auntie to so many. There were a few occasions when I thought that I might be pregnant again. Periods were late, just by a few weeks which never normally happened, but then Mother Nature would play her cruel trick once again and I would be left quietly devastated.

I settled into the life we had and the pain of a condition along with multiple surgeries over the years and prayed a lot. That if it were right we would be blessed with a child and if not, then the pain would go away. Over time I asked about more permanent solutions since my symptoms were clearly cyclical and getting worse I was finally given the green light on a hysterectomy having fought to have one for several years. I was told that they didn’t want to do it as I was too young and had no children. They said it would be irreversible and force a medical menopause. I argued that having been told I would never bear children at 17 what were they waiting for, why prolong it any longer? I could have had a life and been pain free before now! Finally someone listened to me. A week before my 35th birthday I was scheduled for a hysterectomy and I thought that my Endo problems would be over. In my mind it really was a case of New Year New Me! The one thing that wasn’t explained was that even that could not heal the condition as it is incurable. Yes it could slow it down ease some of the symptoms but it could come back, as I would find out.

I was in surgery for several hours, they cut me about a lot and as my partner paced the hospital in the snow smoking and worrying about me, as they stopped the haemorrhaging he was glad that I had made it through. As I healed I felt that my life was truly about to begin. Full of hope, ambition and excitement for what might happen next. A healthy and happy future together pain free.

For a few years, I championed the work of the surgeon. I happily recommend him now to other ladies who need to see a specialist for the condition since he is the only Dr I have met who understands it. He had after all enabled my life to start given us me back. There was an Endometriosis support group at the hospital and I used to go there after the operation. I even did a talk and told my story there once. My partner was so proud of me. Prior to the surgery I had often had thoughts that I shouldn’t be here anymore, Endometriosis can do that to a girl,  it was usually when my hormones fluctuated uncontrollably. But then I thought that some people might miss me and they shouldn’t have to. My hormones had a lot to answer for!  It was a huge step to be able to speak there in public at that group and when people came up to me and told me that I inspired them it made the stage fright worthwhile.

I threw myself into my work, getting on with our lives together and for some time felt no pain. I went on HRT within 24 hours of the operation and have remained on this since. Opting for patches rather than tablets due to suffering with irritable bowel for all these years I did not wish to lose the benefit of the HRT. About 2 years went by I think before I started to get those familiar dragging pains back again and I remember asking how it were possible that you could get the same pain when you no longer had the equipment. No-one seemed to be able to give me a straight answer and by then I had been signed off as healthy by the gynaecologist. I also received a letter saying that I was no longer required for smear test screening since I no longer had my ovaries. (Yes they actually wrote that! ) I began to research how on earth I could be getting Endo pain again when I’d had a hysterectomy. In my naïveté I had assumed that that was it and I would be cured. I got on the hysterectomy association website again and checked the forums and to my horror my fears were confirmed. There is no cure! 

In all the appointments after a diagnosis which on average takes seven years, I did not ask. I merely accepted it when I was told by the consultant that “There is no sign of Endometriosis” after the operation at the time that sentence had me doubting my sanity more than I ever had before. I asked my partner had I imagined it all these years and gone through all that uneccessarily? Had the other Doctors got it wrong then? No, he reassured me that it simply meant that he had removed all traces that he could find at the time. So after that I was discharged from his clinic.

The Endo pain comes and goes, in times of stress it flares up along with the irritable bowel and my stomach swells making me look as though I’m pregnant, sometimes adding several dress sizes to my body overnight. It causes pain in the strangest of places and I have no idea whether it requires further surgery. After all, I wonder what else could they take away? Sometimes it is a chronic pain which doubles me up making me shake. Leaving me wanting me to hide away all I want to do is curl up and sleep for days. Other times I get by with rest and painkillers and there are times it stops me doing things that I would love to do. It has had a devastating effect on my sex life. I am not alone, so many other Endometriosis sufferers go through this. Far from giving me the freedom to enjoy sex more which I had hoped for, the hysterectomy was like flicking a switch on my libido plunging it into darkness  where I often can’t find the switch to turn it back on again. It’s devastating when two people who have always found each other the best thing since sliced bread with great chemistry are suddenly just not being turned on so much. We both felt cheated by this since no-one had forewarned either of us. Over the years since then our relationship has shifted and Thankfully we are strong enough to handle the ups and downs and can still light each other’s fires even though it may not be as often as before.

He told me years ago that if we did not have children of our own then we would raise puppies. Our second one since then has joined our family taking the place of the first one who left a gaping hole when we lost him earlier this year. For me that loss was like the miscarriage of my youth all over again. Having your baby suddenly gone can tear you apart as well as open up old scars. It took a while but we needed that unconditional love back in our lives so we lavish so much love upon the new puppy and he is happy here.

Whatever your circumstances. There are some wonderful support groups, on Facebook and other forums now. When I first went through this before my illness was diagnosed I was reliant upon libraries and a disinterested GP who was happy to palm me off, as is so often the case. I knew absolutely no-one else who had these symptoms so felt that there was no one to ask. Most of all you need to know that you are not alone. As a statistic one in 10 women suffer with Endometriosis but it is natural to doubt your own mind when your body is doing unexplained things to you. If you have chronic abdominal pain, or just that something is out of the ordinary with your body and it worries you then please ask your GP. Do your research via these forums and get a second or even third opinion. The social network is a good place to start but you do need to get it checked out by a professional.

If you are UK based and diagnosed or think you may be living with this condition then please take a look at the attached links Endometriosis.Org – Facts

Should you wish to connect with others in the UK please go to Endometriosis U.K. But other groups and locations are available worldwide.  Endometriosis Sisters Support Group – Facebook is  a place where you will find so many people who will inspire, encourage and advise you, based on their own experiences of dealing with this condition. You will also find lots of research articles via Bloomin Uterus Blog

You do not have to face this alone.

 

La Bleu Chevaux

The Daily Post – EmbarrassingPhoto0112We walked out of the Hospital together, after another one of those appointments, which I used to dread. One where it would be suggested that I would try another drug or tablet, which may ease the symptoms of my Endometriosis. Often leaving me reeling from the reactions to it, I would always try their suggestions, for fear that if did not, then my Doctor or the Hospital, might refuse to offer any treatment at all and I might just miss out on the one thing that worked, if they ever found it.

I knew so little about it back then, completely uninformed with a condition that no-one spoke of. I didn’t know anyone who had it who I could ask and this was before the days of the internet, where you could look up so easily and find other people in the same boat, so you just trusted the Dr‘s, after all they must know, (Right?) and got on with it.

It was a sunny day, my boyfriend (who would later become my partner) had come to meet me from the Hospital that day, he wanted to cheer me up. At the time, we travelled by bus, walked a lot and he usually had a car. He suggested that we go for a short walk together and although I was sore from all the prodding and poking, I reluctantly agreed. I needed some air, after being cooped up in there and always needed to clear my head. As we walked along the road, we got talking about cars and when I thought I would learn to drive. It was something that I had wanted to do since getting my provisional licence at seventeen, but kept running out of money as I was due to take the test. But it was still very firmly on my wish list. As we walked arm in arm, he pointed out a pretty Blue Citroen 2 CV, also known as a ‘deux cheveaux’ which was parked in a row of cars, you didn’t see many of those around any more. “What do you think of those?” he said “Oh I’ve never liked those very much, although the pull back roof is nice, I prefer Mini’s” I had always loved the Classic Mini with it’s cute curves and smile. We paused to look at the 2CV. “Oh, that’s a shame he said, I’d better take it back then” I stopped dead in my tracks and quite literally fell about laughing. “You are joking, why on earth would you buy something like that?” I said, “You’d look ridiculous driving it” I feel that I should explain myself at this point, it was a little outspoken of me, but imagining my 15 stone hunk of a man, behind the wheel of this little Citroen made me laugh. I must have been a bit dazed from the hospital, since we clearly were just not on the same level. “No Silly, I wasn’t thinking of it for me, it’s for you” Suddenly I fell in with an almighty splash and regretted hastily voicing my thoughts, ALL CHANGE! HE HAD BOUGHT ME A CAR….
“Thank You, Thank, You, Please don’t take it back” I said. “But you said you didn’t like them” ” Yes, but I’d love THIS one after all, It’s a present!” He has on many occasions shed light on the fact that I can be fickle, sometimes it drives him nuts, but he has got used to it now.

It was not the first car that had been bought for me to use. At seventeen, one had been purchased for me , which needed a whole load of work sat in a friends garden and rotted away since I couldn’t drive it to get it fixed up and was eventually scrapped. A few years later, another boyfriend thought that he would buy the perfect car for me, he put it in his garden along with the other vehicles that he had amassed there over the years and that would be incentive for me to learn to drive, if I passed my test then I would be able to drive it, maybe. Except that he was a control freak and his particular brand of control meant that was never going to happen.

On this particular day, he told me to clamber in and find something to tie my hair back with, the roof was pulled back and we folded the windows open. I was to learn that they had to be properly secured otherwise, they would bang shut if you went over a bump and could trap fingers. But in we got and took the car on it’s maiden voyage. I sat inside, noticed the funny gear change, up on the dashboard known as an umbrella gear stick, since it has a handle just like an old fashioned umbrella handle. “How do you drive one like that?”, I asked. “I will show you, it all” he said. “If you can use this gear change, then you can drive anything” We drove down to the beach, took it round the country roads and it turned out to be fun. “We’ll have to sort out insurance and L Plates then you can drive it.” He didn’t need to ask me twice, I think I did that the very same evening.

And so our adventures began. We covered thousands of miles in that little French Blue, Citroen 2CV. Had lots of fun and I learned to drive, we headed off to Brighton on the coast for regular weekends, on one occasion we broke down, the starter motor packed up and a friendly driver, gave us his wrench to get it started, you had to tap the side of it and then it would fire up. We did this until my next payday when I bought a new starter motor and my Dad fitted it for me, under sufferance. On one occasion when we drove back from Brighton, a lorry driver attempted to run us off the road, at that point my boyfriend decided that when we could we would change the car for something with a little bit more power, since he never wanted that to happen to me when I was out on my own. It was an unpleasant episode. In the time I had it, I only ever had to replace the starter and a couple of spark plugs. If I recall, it only had two, due to it’s very small engine. We kept the car for about 2 years, unfortunately, we bid it a fond farewell after the heels I was wearing went through the floor and I couldn’t find anyone anywhere who wanted to weld it. I was choked to wave goodbye to it, but it would not get through an MOT without the welding.
I saw the car some time later, it had been bought by some rich man for his Au Pair, welded and treated to a new roof to give it a new lease of life, I was pleased to see that it wasn’t scrapped and dismantled after all. I would have loved to have kept it, they are worth a small fortune as a modern classic car these days and have quite a following. They are full of character and are so basic in their design, but are so useful since they sit so high and can travel over awkward terrain with ease. Previous advertising campaigns for the car in their heyday, showed it being driven through a ploughed field with a box of eggs on the front seat, arriving unbroken at the other side. A whole box of Eggs! Well that alone should be enough reason to get one. Ours was able to be parked off road in a field or roadside for an impromptu picnic and life was all the better for it. Ah those were the days…

Unfortunately those were also the days before I had a camera, so I don’t have a photo of the original one.  This, photo is one I came across recently which brought the happy memories flooding back and prompted this post.

Family Time with My Siblings

This week has been an interesting one, I have seen both of my siblings, part of my family and I am feeling loved, I hope that they do too.

I went out with my sister on Thursday for several hours, just the two of us in her car, she is a new driver and wanted to get some practice in now that she has a car. We drove to the shops and both she and I had places in mind that we wanted to see although she did not have the address for hers, we went in that direction. Stopping at the shop for some car supplies, we munched on donuts in the car park of a store before setting off. They were the best donuts I have had in years, light and fluffy with just the right amount of jam. They melted as they hit your mouth and were really enjoyable, leaving the obligatory slightly sticky fingers. A clean up and we set off on our little road trip. I loved the afternoon and evening we spent together, it was just lovely to be ourselves, with no one else around, driving through the countryside along country roads, in the sunshine, the car full of fresh air talking about all sorts of things. My partner called to make sure all was going well and asked us how Thelma and Louise were doing today, it made us both laugh. I loved that we could be totally natural, no-one to judge us, no-one to interrupt us either. We arrived back in the evening tired and happy and enjoyed a meal together.

Over dinner she gave me a wonderful compliment, she said to my partner that she has always seen me as always demure and ladylike and seemed to be able to remain calm, she admired me for that. I told her that I had made a conscious effort to be that way, it didn’t come naturally to me. But there is fire within, we discussed that too, that I am not one to be pushed. I will only allow it so far, she said that she had only ever seen me lose my temper twice. (I didn’t ask for details) I am not proud of letting rip, it takes a lot for me to do that. My sister although like me in many ways, is much more fiery, she will say whatever comes into her head and blow the consequences, it has such an effect that she often has no recollection of it afterwards, the steam and the words have gone. Often they leave their mark elsewhere, but once they are out in her mind they are gone. As she set off later that night, we agreed, as we often do, that we should spend more time together and hope to see each other next week as well.

I saw my brother yesterday, it was the first time we had actually met up in about a year. We had so much to catch up on, despite regularly speaking on the phone, it is wonderful to hug him and talk with him. He is working abroad these days and returns for short trips in between his contracts. I was physically ill and couldn’t see him last year when he arrived back, so yesterday we started early and he arrived in the afternoon, staying for lunch and dinner with us. It was great to share some stories, hear about his travels and that he is enjoying getting out and about with his camera he showed me some great photos he’d taken, he wants to do more of this, I suggested Instagram as he goes.

One conversation with my brother yesterday I mentioned to him that I am writing a blog and a book. He asked what it is about. I told him many things, It contains photographs, memories, stories and so far has covered many subjects, such as Invisible Illnesses, He looked as though he did not know what I meant, I explained, Depression, PTSD, Endometriosis. He seemed a little shocked, I told him of my plans to publish a book of poems this year. I have the poems, people are reading my blog and poetry and I have a twitter account now, as of last week with followers there too. Thank you to all of the above on and also being joined by my 50th follower, athling2001 on the blog, another personal milestone for me this week.

He asked me what my own plans were, I told him that although I do not currently have a paid job, I have been writing for some months. That it started out as a recovery thing for me, but I used to write years ago, poems and things and felt the need to be creative once again. I tried to draw, and paint, and make things, but writing seems to have taken off in a big way for me and comes naturally, he had been speaking to a lady we both know, who is currently writing children‘s stories, she apparently told him of her night writing and the times when there is nothing, but then it can return in floods. He laughed, I told him yes, it is real. It has given me the opportunity to express myself. The REAL me. I found myself explaining to him that for so long, I had been stifled by people around me, who expected me to be a certain way. I was facing an inner battle, yes, there were times when I wanted to shout at people and tell them that they were behaving badly, but I didn’t. I held it all in for years and suddenly, I couldn’t anymore. I admire the people I know who can just shout about it straight away and it’s over. I am not one of those people.
I carefully consider the possible repercussions of my words and actions, over think things and then think better of saying things, wise after the event. I should have said…. If I were to do it over again I would do/say etc, you get the gist.

Last year I stopped holding it all in. A counsellor helped me realise that it doesn’t solve things, to keep them put away. I was urged to find an outlet, give myself some me-time on a regular basis and find out what I needed and make sure that I got some of it. It was an eye-opener, just taking permission to do something for me, for no-one else time alone now and then and I have guarded it ever since. Now I have an outlet, I WRITE. I am not carrying all this emotional baggage around with me, I have room in my head, to think, to plan, to have a future. I may not be rich, I may not have a successful job at the moment, but I did, so I could again. But for the time being I am Happy! I am Grateful for the things I have learned, for the people who have put their faith in me, for allowing myself to be ME again. I might be a new me, but it is exhilarating to find the nice bits, bring them out and cherish them within the new person that I am still becoming. I explained to my brother that writing is quite cathartic, the release it gives is wonderful. He looked quite concerned, as though I may have rambled a bit, I think it took him by surprise. I don’t know if he understood, perhaps he never will.

Deliriously Deluded Ramblings Vol 2

Jolted awake from her sleep, by the bitter taste rising in her throat. She had no idea of it’s sudden cause. The taste acrid, it burned inside her throat. She was certain that she saw something in the darkness, laying on the edge of the mattress. It looked like a furry caterpillar, or some strange sort of plant life and she watched as it moved away and disappeared. Had she dreamt it, she searched on the floor, but it had gone. Her breath was awful, had she swallowed something in the night, an insect perhaps? It felt as though something had died in her mouth and she felt the soreness within her throat. Had the infection from her ears travelled there? The thunderclap in her ears just a week before had left her dizzy and disorientated as though her head was under water, she was not able to hear properly.

Looking at the clock she was wide awake. Three hours had passed since she had hit the sheets, exhausted and craving sleep. Was it a reaction to the stress? Acidic plasma filled her mouth, she hauled herself to the bathroom resisting the urge to be sick. Minutes later her tongue sore from scrubbing with the toothbrush as she tried in vain to rid her mouth of the bitterness she inspected her mouth for signs, the now familiar white lumps had appeared again at the back of the throat. she hoped that she would not suffer with another outbreak of ulcers to join them, but feared that it may already be too late. In recent years, they had become her body’s first deep distress signal. Her mouth swollen and sore, her lips feeling as they were on fire…
The past month has been rather dark at times. Don’t get me wrong, it is not all doom and gloom, I have had moments of Happiness thrown into the mix and clarity at times, but I have been suffering with a physical illness which really took a hold of me, causing infections, delirium and fever to ravage the body and manifest in so many ways. It has rather taken me out the way of my path to Happiness, which I had decided to journey onto and up until then I had felt that I was doing quite well.

It always catches me out on how illness can affect the brain as well as the body. I should be prepared for it by now, after years of illness with Endometriosis caused havoc upon my brain and eroded the person that I was going to be, there was so much that needed to heal. It is logical that when the mind or body is under stress, then it has to come out somewhere. But I often feel that they are seemingly unconnected it can cause your worst feelings to come up to the surface, fear, loathing, depression etc and memories you had buried from the past all racing to the fore.

Once the illness is gone, you start to rebuild what you know and try and return to your normal self. Sometimes it is easy, other times difficult, at the moment, the feeling of what I have been going through for almost a month now is still fresh and raw in my mind and I am not yet over it. I guess I am trying to rush the process, having felt that I should be much better by now, my creative juices have dried several times during this, although there have been spurts of writing, it has not exactly been the flow which I had experienced prior.

It changes you though, you feel things are never quite the same again, when you have experienced the ravages of the fever demons tormenting your mind and body and starving you of sleep when you are wracked with pain. Whatever the hell this was, I certainly don’t want it back. I will be glad when it is over and wave it goodbye. It’s a proven fact that people are getting more sick, it can‘t always be avoided I know, but it knocks you for six when it hits. I also make a mental note to stay well away from anyone who is unwell and boost my natural vitamin intake wherever possible.