Sick, sick, sick.
Tired, tired, tired.
After three weeks of 100% attendance, I had yesterday off work. Just could not go. I know I don't need to explain this to anyone from the madosphere. Anxiety, depression, anger, self-injury, self-inflicted post-binge comedown...we've experienced it all, eh?? And there are any number of reasons to go back to bed and pull the covers up over our heads rather than get up and go to work. Sigh. I'm just so damnably SICK of being sick, physically and mentally. I'm completely over it. I sometimes look at people I know who have strong work ethics, positive attitudes and iron-clad constitutions and I just want to kill them!! Jealousy is overwhelming. I want to be really well, not just a little bit, copingly well. I want to have true energy, not fake caffiene-induced bursts of effort.
All this whinging does nothing, so I shall stop it. I went to see my doctor on Monday after work and he showed me the results of the blood tests, which aren't good. Not only am I in all likelihood suffering from a lupus flare, I am also extremely anaemic and possibly bleeding internally (therefore causing the anaemia) from an ulcer or bowel polyp. Polyp is such a funny little word. Anyway, I have to have a gastroscopy and colonoscopy, but can't get bookings for them until late July (and that's in the private health system). So I just have to wait, and take massive amounts of vitamins and minerals in the meantime hoping to raise my iron levels. I will see my rheumatologist Dr Paul sometime in the next couple of months to update him on this latest information and see if he has any insight. A couple of other areas of the blood count were abnormal too, in ways that can represent a lupus flare.
In some ways, lupus reminds me of Borderline Personality Disorder. It tucks itself away, hidden somewhere deep inside so that you think you have it licked. Then when you relax, pat yourself on the back and congratulations for a job well done then BAM! It comes back full force, and makes a total fool of you. I can fight it, and strategise against it (immunosuppressant, anti-psychotic, NSAID, anti-depressant, mind/body medicine, DBT, CBT, therapy, meditation, rest, blah blah) but in the end, it never, ever, ever goes away. Not permanently. Not for any length of time. Just long enough so that you take your eye off it for a second, and thus give it chance to take over again. I'm just so damn tired of having to be VIGILANT.
Yesterday's "mental health day" off work was made marginally better by the arrival of a fantastic parcel of zines I bought from Sarah at This Lunatic Express. I think most of my followers also check in over there, but for anyone who doesn't know Sarah, she's a great writer and has experienced a lot. Her zines cover all aspects of her eating disorder, BPD, bipolar, anxiety, hospitalisations and more. Reading them made me admire her even more, she is brave and honest and I need a kick up the ass for feeling so sorry for myself when people like Sarah have a lot more to deal with than me. Get her zines, people. Read them. She rocks.
This morning I got up and showered and dressed, then laid back down in bed. "I can't go today, honey" I said to Neil. He hugged me and said "You need to go to work, babe. You need to try, even if you come home during the day if you feel bad." I didn't know whether to slit his throat or hug him back. "Otherwise, it just gets too easy to say "I can't" and no longer try," he continued. Hating him, loving him, knowing he was right, I got up and went to work. He's right. For me, it does get easier the longer I avoid things. And I need to work. Financially I just can't afford to go back to the way things were unless it's completely 100% unavoidable. Today it wasn't 100%. Tomorrow, who knows...
(Title from Darren Hanlon's song "People Who Wave At Trains". I like to wave at trains, by the way. Not local, public transport trains, but definitely long distance holiday-maker trains. When I travelled across the US on Amtrak trains I loved waving out the window to the little kids who waved to me. Good times.)