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Day 28: Name 5 things you have achieved despite your illness.

1. I may be taking a break from school now, but I've been able to take a few classes despite feeling horrible.
 
2. Traveled to a few new places, including New Mexico and Yellowstone. Yes, I've had to do a lot of pacing and felt bad for a good amount of the time, but I'm grateful for the experiences I've had at those places.
 
3. A professor wanted to keep my essay as an example for future students once. 
 
4. I've gotten some letters from a few honor societies even though I've only taken a few classes (probably the reason I got high grades). It's weird because they started sending me them a little while after I started my break from school.
 
5. Pretty sure I've won some rollerblade and foot races when I was little, and I remember having a lot of joint pain back then (though it was periodic).
cathugger: An orange-and-white cat facing to the left. The front of this face is fading into shadows. (Default)
Here we go again. I’ll try to make this one shorter.

This is probably something I’ve talked (and possibly complained) about before. Ever since--or a few days to a week after--I started the SIBO antibiotics, my face broke out worse than it has before. It started on my forehead and spread downward to the space on/around my nose. My compulsions and uncontrollable drive to constantly “tend to” my skin (not going to go into what that consisted of) only made things worse. I guess it works as a representation of how your body and mind can work together to hurt you.

My mom seemed to think that it was from my autoimmune urticaria, but I wasn’t so sure. I suspected a yeast infection for a while because it seemed like something that could be caused by the antibiotics.
Read more... )
Today, I thought I’d Google the description of some of the skin changes... not thinking I would find anything important. I quickly came across several articles about a protein called keratin that can continuously clog pores. It’s produced by a part of the immune system called keratinocytes, also known as basal cells (!). Basal cells, along with mast cells, can be “activated” by autoimmune urticaria (based on one source that I can’t seem to find anymore.. ugh). Keratin is created as a wall between the internal and external environment: It keeps needed things like fluids in while trying to keep anything the body finds threatening out. So maybe my mom was right about this...but don’t take any of this too seriously because I can’t find where I’ve read much of this information anymore, and my memory isn’t that trustworthy.

There’s a lot that I’ve already forgotten, but at least I have some possibilities written somewhere.

Originally posted on Tumblr. 
cathugger: An orange-and-white cat facing to the left. The front of this face is fading into shadows. (Default)
Day #27: What's the most helpful advice you have had?

I know I say this a lot, but this one won't be easy to answer either. If tried to come up with the most helpful advice I've received, I would probably spend way too much time thinking and still not come up with an answer.

Some generally helpful advice I've heard is to figure out what you have the energy for, trust it, and accept it. Respect your body/mind for what it can do, and appreciate it for how hard it fights. Give yourself a break. Or two breaks. Or two hundred. Work on accepting your limitations, and don't try to stop yourself from grieving your old expectations if that's what you need to do. If you have a hard time doing something, let someone help you. Remember that it may not be hard at all for them. You're doing great.

Okay, that's not really one piece of advice. I just named helpful tips and reminders I've heard off the top of my head... but I think they all really have helped me.

The Spider

Nov. 15th, 2016 08:31 pm
cathugger: An orange-and-white cat facing to the left. The front of this face is fading into shadows. (Default)
As I may have said before, I’ve been getting a lot of quick hypnagogic hallucinations in the middle of the night. They started happening after I heard someone talking about how there are commonly spiders in people’s beds. I’ve never been that scared of spiders (actually, I loved them when I was little), but soon after that, I started waking up in the middle of the night to seeing and occasionally feeling a spider on me or in my bed. Luckily, there’s a futon in my room at the moment, so I’d just go back to sleep on that.

Eventually I got to the point where I could tell myself that it probably wasn’t real soon after it occurred. I’m sure it’s messing with my sleep, but I can’t help but laugh at it for some reason. I find me waking up and freaking out about “seeing” a spider in my bed over and over again very amusing.

Anyway, last night things escalated to a whole new level. Usually I’d wake up to a spider that instantly ran under the covers and vanished from sight. That made it easier to tell myself that it wasn’t real. Last night, the same thing happened, but the tickling feeling of a spider crawling on me was much more obvious (though I’m pretty sure I felt it on both sides of my body far away from where he spider hid, which stopped making sense after I snapped out of it). Then a spider web was floating, getting closer and closer to my face. At the time, I was awake enough to tell myself that it wasn’t real. It just hovered over my face for so long and eventually started tickling it. At that point, I got up and switched to the futon to get as far away from it as possible. It might’ve disappeared when I looked back at my bed. It’s hard to remember.

The next day, when I wasn’t stuck with that in-dream reasoning, I realized that it was pretty much impossible that a spider web could float and hover in that way. Another reason to laugh at it.

I just wonder why it’s always spider-related. Pretty sure I don’t think about spiders much–at least not consciously. I don’t think my normal dreams are about them either. It’s interesting.

Originally posted
on Tumblr. 
cathugger: An orange-and-white cat facing to the left. The front of this face is fading into shadows. (Default)
Looks like it's Mindful Monday. At the very least, I'm hoping to do the mindfulness exercise 7 Cups is giving me today. And since I seem to be doing better mentally, I might try to focus on the moment and keep myself from zoning out like I normally do. I'm not going to aim to be more engaged for the entire day; instead, I'll congratulate myself for returning my awareness to the here and now throughout the day. Even if I only remember to do it once, it's a step up from not doing it at all.
cathugger: An orange-and-white cat facing to the left. The front of this face is fading into shadows. (Default)
Day 26: What impact has this had on your friends, family, partner, parents, etc.?

This one is kind of difficult because I've been sick for most/all of the time people have known me. Also not quite sure how I'm going to organize this, so that's been keeping me from writing it. I'll probably just organize it by relationship type.

Friends - I don't think I have many friends who are close enough to be affected by my illnesses. I feel a lot of guilt or embarrassment when bringing them up, and people often don't know what to say or how to react. It probably affects them in one way or another, but I would have a hard time knowing how because it's not something anyone would bring up. They have expressed some confusion over some things I have to do to take care of my health, though (such as consuming high salt or doing physical therapy). I think my mental illnesses have affected them more than anything; they never really understood me suddenly avoiding them for long periods, and they probably don't get the constant loss of memories. I don't know what they think/feel about any of that to be honest.

Family - It definitely seems like my illnesses have been affecting my family because they have to spend more time around them than anyone else (especially since I'm still living with my parents). I think it's gotten to the point of exhausting my mom, who has to take care of her own medical issues on top of helping me with mine. It's hard to tell what my dad and brother are thinking, but I'm sure it affects them one way or another, especially since it makes my mom more stressed and costs my family a lot more money.

Partner - Sadly, I think my illnesses affect my partner a lot. We often can't do as much as we (or at least I) would like to do because I often lack the energy and/or don't want to feel sicker. He also ends up taking care of me a lot, which I'm sure takes up a lot of time and energy. And because of the highly suspected BPD (by a myself and later a psychologist), things can get really chaotic, and I personally can get (or almost get) emotionally abusive. Thankfully, he has learned to not take it seriously and talk me down, but I'm sure it all takes an emotional toll on him. Really hoping to get a lot of this stuff under control before long...

That's it I guess. Didn't think this would get that long. Hopefully, some day, this will all have less of an effect on others.

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cathugger: An orange-and-white cat facing to the left. The front of this face is fading into shadows. (Default)
Ashley

June 2017

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