The Forgetful Nature of Illness


karrie
#1
Now, today is one of those days for me. One of those days when I'm absolutely stunned at the ability of a body to forget just what being sick is like. And it's not like I've been struck with a transient cold... this is a flare up of a chronic illness. A constant thing. And yet it seems to come as a surprise every time a new symptom pops up. The brain fog today is horrific. It's like trying to do everything while on sleeping pills. Fuzzy and slow, easily confused, easily flustered.

At what point in your life would your body have an accurate memory of previous illnesses? Why does it always come as a bit of a surprise? And why does it always feel like the worst you've had to deal with? "This is the worst cold ever!"
 
Nuggler
#2
Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

When I start to sneeze. All day. For about 2 or 3 days.

And I get grouchy, and touchy, and just generally pissed at the world.

I know........

I'm getting........

a cold.........

or flu.

Happens every time.

Last time I got REALLY sick, I had just got the flu shot........................bad mistake...........not allergic to eggs, but nobody said dick about feathers...............OMG.........one solid week of 102F.......sick isk diiiedhsk just so sickkkkkkkkkkkukeleft :

Yep, my bod remembers.

AAAAAAAAAAAAACHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOO
 
darkbeaver
#3
Hang in there Karrie, I know it's not much help, later on I'll perform some long distance voodoo for you. But while you're waiting get plenty of rest and drink lots of real fruit juice and curl up beside the woodstove in a rocker.
 
karrie
#4
lol... that all sounds great for a cold. Unfortunately, I don't have a cold. I have brain fog from my fibromyalgia. Blech. But, curling up and resting still sounds like a good idea to me. lol.
 
Kreskin
#5
If I eat too much sugar I feel like I'm going into a coma, yet I keep eating the stuff.

Hope you feel better soon Karrie.
 
Zan
#6
aw Karrie

I hope this episode passes soon...
 
triedit
#7
I feel for you Karrie. Try to cut back on gluten and aspartame and caffeine if possible. All those make it worse. At least that's what my naturopath says. Stay out from flourescent lights as that will make it worse too. This is a good time for a steak and baked potato. Get that protein up!

And yes, rest couldn't hurt! But who has that luxury?
 
Sal
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

At what point in your life would your body have an accurate memory of previous illnesses?

I think never. Seriously.

I seldom get ill but this year, twice. That is so unusual for me that people commented. But both times I thought I was dying. I never remember being that ill. That weak. That miserable.

Now to be fair, I am getting older too but that is not really an excuse as reality tells me when I am well, that my body has always been that way. Fully able to cope... or done.... totally done as in "I would rather die of thirst than walk 20 feet to the kitchen because I will not make it back to bed.
Quote:

Why does it always come as a bit of a surprise?

I think because it feels like betrayal. The body has weakened although the mind fights it.


Quote:

And why does it always feel like the worst you've had to deal with?

Because it is. The mind has a way of numbing out to the past horror. There isn't a worse suffering there is only now.

You'll get through it. And sometimes, I know this sounds weird, but for me, sometimes the best thing to do is to seek the pain. Seek the fog. And dig around in it explore it instead of fighting it. Sometimes that way I can grab it and wrap it up and not feel so overwhelmed.

Sending good thoughts your way.
 
karrie
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by trieditView Post

I feel for you Karrie. Try to cut back on gluten and aspartame and caffeine if possible. All those make it worse. At least that's what my naturopath says. Stay out from flourescent lights as that will make it worse too. This is a good time for a steak and baked potato. Get that protein up!

And yes, rest couldn't hurt! But who has that luxury?

You know what, aspartame makes my fibro flare up so much worse that it's one of those things where I just can't understand how it doesn't make others as sick as me.

Caffeine definitely wasn't the issue today, and neither was gluten. Lack of protein might be an issue though.
 
karrie
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by SalView Post

I think never. Seriously.

I seldom get ill but this year, twice. That is so unusual for me that people commented. But both times I thought I was dying. I never remember being that ill. That weak. That miserable.

Now to be fair, I am getting older too but that is not really an excuse as reality tells me when I am well, that my body has always been that way. Fully able to cope... or done.... totally done as in "I would rather die of thirst than walk 20 feet to the kitchen because I will not make it back to bed.
I think because it feels like betrayal. The body has weakened although the mind fights it.

The mind has a way of numbing out to the past horror. There isn't a worse suffering there is only now.

You'll get through it. And sometimes, I know this sounds weird, but for me, sometimes the best thing to do is to seek the pain. Seek the fog. And dig around in it explore it instead of fighting it. Sometimes that way I can grab it and wrap it up and not feel so overwhelmed.

Sending good thoughts your way.

Exactly!

Thanks for the good thoughts Sal. Sometimes just acknowledging it and talking, clawing my way up, is the best path it seems. What sucks is the amount of time it seems to take to realize that THAT'S why I'm feeling ****ty. lol. "Oh, right.... that chronic illness I've had for years... it's that again! Duh"
 
Dexter Sinister
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

At what point in your life would your body have an accurate memory of previous illnesses?

I think Sal's got it right: never. Every illness feels like the worst one ever when you're enduring it, but once it's passed it doesn't seem so bad. It's like childbirth. No woman I've ever talked to about that has an accurate memory of what it was like; if they did, no woman would do it more than once. I was present at the birth of both my children, and I have never seen such amazing stamina and exertion in my life. I've played football, two and a half hours of hard physical exertion, but it's a walk in the park compared to childbirth. And my wife had what the medical staff described as "easy labours." No question in my mind which is the weaker sex. Hint: it's not women. My wife's memories of the events have almost nothing to do with reality. She was, uh... somewhat preoccupied. The mind seems to draw a veil across such things. I'm not suggesting pregnancy is an illness, but I think the same kind of effect occurs in memory with serious illness too.

I don't know much about fibromyalgia, except that it can be pretty nasty sometimes. I know only one other person with it and it hasn't affected anyone close to me, so I've never researched it. The brief bit of looking around I did before posting this suggests the medical profession doesn't really know much about it either. I like triedit's advice though, which essentially amounts to avoiding artificial things: processed foods, fake sweeteners, fluorescent lights, anything you would not encounter in what might be called the 'state of nature.' Our technology has put so much crap into our environment that our bodies didn't evolve to cope with...well, it can't be good for us.

I can't pretend I understand how you feel, but I do wish you well. And you're still a hot babe, fibromyalgia or no...
 
karrie
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by Dexter SinisterView Post

I think Sal's got it right: never.... I'm not suggesting pregnancy is an illness, but I think the same kind of effect occurs in memory with serious illness too.

I don't know much about fibromyalgia, ... I like triedit's advice though, ... Our technology has put so much crap into our environment that our bodies didn't evolve to cope with...well, it can't be good for us.

I can't pretend I understand how you feel, but I do wish you well. And you're still a hot babe, fibromyalgia or no...

The birth comparison is a very good one. It's your whole world when it's happening, and then you shrug it off and carry on.

As for the fibromyalgia, well, I've heard more theories on it than you can shake a stick at. And I've seen almost every degree of the illness you could imagine, from people completely disabled by it, to people who just have the odd rough week with a flare up. I'm lucky to be on the more minor end of things normally. When it first started I was too weak and tired to even pick up my own kids. I've managed to get a good handle on it though. The theory that scares me the most is the 'coal mine canary' theory. It's upsetting to think that we're just the tip of the ice berg.
 
Dexter Sinister
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

The theory that scares me the most is the 'coal mine canary' theory..

Yeah, that one worries me too. When I was a kid in school I don't recall anybody having potentially fatal allergies to mundane stuff like peanut butter, but these days you can't even take a peanut butter sandwich to school. Seems to me there's a lot more allergies around these days than there were 50 years ago, and asthma, and ADHD... I don't think we have a clue what we're doing to ourselves and our environment.
 
karrie
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by Dexter SinisterView Post

Yeah, that one worries me too. When I was a kid in school I don't recall anybody having potentially fatal allergies to mundane stuff like peanut butter, but these days you can't even take a peanut butter sandwich to school. Seems to me there's a lot more allergies around these days than there were 50 years ago, and asthma, and ADHD... I don't think we have a clue what we're doing to ourselves and our environment.

My daughter can't even take multigrain breads to school because someone in her class has a deadly allergy to flax and sesame seeds. My daughter is 7, and collapses around twice a month, sometimes more, from migraines. It's just way more odd maladies than we're used to. And the umbrella argument of 'not enough exercise' or bad diet just doesn't cover some of the stuff I see becoming more and more prevalent.
 
Vereya
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

At what point in your life would your body have an accurate memory of previous illnesses? Why does it always come as a bit of a surprise? And why does it always feel like the worst you've had to deal with? "This is the worst cold ever!"

We never have accurate memories of feeling sick. It is simply because being healthy is the norm for our bodies. I mean, if you take the human body as a matrix, the norm and the standard is perfect health. A human body is a very carefully balanced system, where each part has its own specific function. Your body is healthy as long as every part of it fullfills its function. And that's what we are all supposed to be - perfectly healthy, because initially we are all made by one perfect standard. Thus all the illnesses are deviations from the norm, so to say. And the body forgets them the minute it is back to normal.

I am really sorry you are feeling unwell, Karrie! Hope you get well soon. And right now just give yourself a holiday - forget all the chores and spend a couple of days resting.
 
Vereya
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by Dexter SinisterView Post

I was present at the birth of both my children, and I have never seen such amazing stamina and exertion in my life. I've played football, two and a half hours of hard physical exertion, but it's a walk in the park compared to childbirth. And my wife had what the medical staff described as "easy labours." No question in my mind which is the weaker sex. Hint: it's not women. My wife's memories of the events have almost nothing to do with reality. She was, uh... somewhat preoccupied. The mind seems to draw a veil across such things.

This reminds me. A couple of months ago I read a book by one doctor Rick Strassman. It was called "DMT: The Spirit Molecule, A Doctor's Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences". I had to translate the whole of it into Russian, in fact. And in that book Strassman explains a little what happens during childbirth. Our bodies constantly produce a small amount of DMT, a psychedelic substance. Ordinarily this amount is so insignificant, as not to be felt at all. But during childbirth the level of DMT in both the mother and the child increase very considerably, as to enable them to cope with the stress of the process.
 
Nuggler
#17
Hang in there, Karrie, we're rootin fer ya.

Not much help, eh?, sorry.

Wife of a friend has your malady, and just has to go with the flow when a bout hits her. Hope your's passes quickly.

Allabest;

Nugg.
 
karrie
#18
thanks for the well wishes guys. It wasn't really meant to be a pity party. I try not to throw those too often. More of a "geez, how could I forget this when the last bout was only a month ago!?" I'm still pretty darn lucky compared to most ill people.
 
AmberEyes
#19
I know what it's like Karrie I've got severe fibromyalgia as well (diagnosed just over a year ago) and it isn't easy, especially with school. I can't take the stairs anymore... and sometimes I find it difficult to walk. My right wrist (the one I write with) is useless. It's hard isn't it, not knowing what exactly the problem is, and not knowing what will make it better? Everyday I'm reminded of it, of the illness my mother and I share, of the illness countless of others share. My body is starting to reject the pain killers... I'm allergic to ibuprofen and naproxin now, so I'm resorting to natural pain killers - chamomile and rosemary are minor, but help when taken on a daily basis. I eat healthy - no junk food, they only irritate the flare ups - and a lot of swimming (exercise that doesn't put much pressure on my joints). I've gained a lot of weight since I started having problems - I can't do as much walking or hiking as I used to, and my dream of being a pilot was stripped away... hence why I'm now at school, slowly killing myself it seems....

But I know that it will pass with the stress. When the summer comes, my body will recover for a few months and I can focus on work and other less stressful activities.

I think it's crucial that all fibro patients find a method of stress reduction and natural living. I have no doubt that it's a backlash against the crap we put in our bodies and surround ourselves with. I don't know where you live, but my mother was forced to move to an island off the coast here (southern BC) with few people and lots of trees, simply so she was away from the stress of a city. Eat organic, go to a farmers market if you can, find a method of non-weight bearing exercise. I'm sure you've heard it all before! But it never hurts to hear somebody else sympathize. You're never alone in this.
 
karrie
#20
Geez Amber, I can't even imagine. I haven't even been able to focus on my correspondence courses, which don't require going anywhere. I don't know what I'd do if I had to go out to class all the time.
 
AmberEyes
#21
Have you ever seen those rolling backpacks? They're great, they don't require much strength, hehe. My boyfriend was kind enough to spend massive amounts of money for a good one. A good thing though is that for people with disabilities (and yes, fibro is one) there are extensions on everything... from assignments to final exams. It's hard, but it's worth it.
 
karrie
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by AmberEyesView Post

Have you ever seen those rolling backpacks? They're great, they don't require much strength, hehe. My boyfriend was kind enough to spend massive amounts of money for a good one. A good thing though is that for people with disabilities (and yes, fibro is one) there are extensions on everything... from assignments to final exams. It's hard, but it's worth it.

Yeah, even through the disabilities office of the correspondence university I attend I get all sorts of special considerations. I honestly didn't think I'd need them. But apparently I'm not as 'on my game' as I might have thought.

And yeah, I've seen those backpacks... I invested in one for my hubby because even he (who can work all day like a pack mule), ends up with a sore back from lugging around books and laptops for work. If i started school out I'd definitely need one.
 
triedit
#23
I teach part time and often have to use one of those "wheelies". It did help me alot to get wheelchair parking access as well. It's funny on a good day though. People glare at me like Ive no "right" to use the spot or use one of the motorized shopping carts. That's one of the biggest difficulties of having fibro--you can't see it.

Two days ago the rash came back, so I know Ive got about three more days before the big WHAM hits me. Ive been managing stress pretty well overall, but we've had some vehicle issues and although they are easily resolved, it makes me stressed. We're buying a new care after the first of the year, and can't decide which one. Plus the old one is in the shop so we've got a rental--or will when I pick it up in a few minutes (waiting for the ride there) so the "issues" are resolved but I still find it stressful.

Here in Toronto we have a para-transit system. It offers door to door service for the price of a subway token for those who qualify for the service. I use it often. Every time I do, there's someone who is worse off than me, or so it seems, but I still find sometimes Im envious of those in a wheelchair or with a walker. Im waaaay to stubborn to allow myself those "luxuries" just yet because most days I don't really need it. But there are some days when I'd love to go do touristy things and I just can't without a chair. I can still do a flight of stairs (thanks to physio after the car wreck) and manage to be on my feet for half an hour or so at a time. But that still requires narcotic pain killers.

The brain fog is the worst part. Words just seem to disappear out of my head in the middle of a conversation. Part of that is probably menopause, but the fibro has had me doing it for several years now. As a researcher, author, and lecturer that brain fog is a serious disability.

I still havent given up my dream of going back to work full time some day. I love retail sales and I love office work. I have degrees in business and accounting that could be put to use. But until I reach that point I'll just keep doing what I can. I am looking at a couple of online programs through the University of Toronto...I just have to put the financial aspect in order--see if there are any grants and stuff.

One day at a time. It's all we can do, ladies. Be proud of everything, even getting dressed for the day. I know how much of a challenge even that can be.
 
karrie
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by trieditView Post

Im waaaay to stubborn to allow myself those "luxuries" just yet because most days I don't really need it. But there are some days when I'd love to go do touristy things and I just can't without a chair. I can still do a flight of stairs (thanks to physio after the car wreck) and manage to be on my feet for half an hour or so at a time. But that still requires narcotic pain killers.

The brain fog is the worst part. Words just seem to disappear out of my head in the middle of a conversation. Part of that is probably menopause, but the fibro has had me doing it for several years now. As a researcher, author, and lecturer that brain fog is a serious disability.


One day at a time. It's all we can do, ladies. Be proud of everything, even getting dressed for the day. I know how much of a challenge even that can be.

I know what you mean about the touristy stuff. We're going away to the Mediterranean next summer, and I can't imagine how I'll put in a full day of touring. Thankfully my mom is insisting we go for three weeks, to get the most bang for our buck, so being slow will still allow us a fair amount of time to see stuff.

I was so bad one year that we even canceled a road trip to Vancouver because there was just no way I could drive all that way and go camping, touring, and have it be anything near an enjoyable trip for my kids.

And the brain fog, well... I'm nowhere near menopause, and my poor husband gets so upset over how dumb I can be some days tried.... simple words like tea towel will simply vanish from my brain.

You're right though... the little things are worth being proud of when they're so tough. lol.
 
Sal
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

And the brain fog, well... I'm nowhere near menopause, and my poor husband gets so upset over how dumb I can be some days tried.... simple words like tea towel will simply vanish from my brain.

Excuse me? Excuuuuuuuuuse me what the hell was that su....... damn, what were we talking about? School? No travelling, that was it right?
 
karrie
#26
lol. oh, you get it too Sal?
 
Sal
#27
Soooorry, with all the screwing around I didn't ask how you were...so how are ya and how long will it last.

One of my employees has Crohns and one of her side effects is fibromyalgia. When she's good, no symptoms at all........ last week she got into the bathtub and couldn't get out as the pain to bend her knees was too severe. No one was home. She had to drag herself over the side of the tub and edge her way up.

She wasn't even late for work. WOW! Talk about coping skills.
 
Sal
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

lol. oh, you get it too Sal?

Just wait till you start to age you little poop! lol
 
karrie
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by SalView Post

Soooorry, with all the screwing around I didn't ask how you were...so how are ya and how long will it last.

One of my employees has Crohns and one of her side effects is fibromyalgia. When she's good, no symptoms at all........ last week she got into the bathtub and couldn't get out as the pain to bend her knees was too severe. No one was home. She had to drag herself over the side of the tub and edge her way up.

She wasn't even late for work. WOW! Talk about coping skills.

I've been stuck in the tub before. Horrid feeling, being helpless and trapped. Being naked definitely doesn't help the helpless feeling.

As for how I am... I was foggy all day, but it seems to be lifting a bit. I've gotten some stuff accomplished despite the fog and that always helps. I've been painting a window mural for the kids for Christmas, and it's looking good, so I'm really chipper about that. I'll take some pics once it's done.
 
karrie
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by SalView Post

Just wait till you start to age you little poop! lol

At 85 my great grandmother had more energy and wits about her than I do. lol. I feel I've aged enough thanks.
 

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