Nov 132012

Guess who forgot not eating for a day and a half would also cause pain? Yeah. After a really restless night, I had some food this morning- cheese and ham and crackers. And it was fine, no pain. Yay! Also had a couple of Liquorice Allsorts and a tiny bag of mini jazzles (white chocolate discs with hundreds and thousands on them).

I was feeling a bit better so I went into the living room, and played some World of Warcraft. Did Tillers, August Celestials and Shado-Pan dailies. Also did the first half of LFR (looking for raid) which went well and was fun. No wipes, unlike Johan’s attempt on his Monk about half an hour later 😛

Had some macaroni cheese (one of my favourite foods) for lunch then was going to start on Klaxxi dailies, when the pain started again. It feels just like gallstone pain- just under my right rib, radiating outwards up towards my shoulder, and towards the centre of my tummy. I’d already had 2 tramadol (being on computer gives more pain than lying in bed, but it’s worth it) so it was just heating penguins. Heat helps, but not as much as I really need. It’s not as bad as the worst of the relapse pain, but it’s still really intense and very much not fun.

What I eat doesn’t matter. I’ve been fine with chocolate and it’s been set off with the same chocolate. I’ve had it for just eating an apple. I’ve had it from rice and chicken. I’ve had it from yoghurt. It seems to be luck whether I get it or not after eating, and most times I’m not lucky. It was the same when I had gallstones when I was 18, and I lost a lot of weight before getting my gallbladder removed (when I went to A+E with the pain the doctors asked Sammie’s granddad if I was anorexic).

I need to eat, as not eating equals death and I don’t want that. I’m not in relapse, so I get hungry and eventually it hurts quite badly itself. Tomorrow I’m going to try grazing to see if that works better (I can’t tonight as the pain is still really bad, though not quite as bad as it was when it first started). I also need to find out when my own GP is available so that I can talk to her, both about the short term and long term eating issues, as I’ve not been eating properly for over a year now and I need help to not lose weight and maybe start putting some back on again.

Anyway, none of that was what I was wanting to blog about today. I was wanting to write about acceptance.

Acceptance can be hard for me, especially with ME. I have a lot of limitations imposed by the illness, and it’s so tempting to ignore them and push through and do ALL THE THINGS!!!1! but then I get payback and maybe a relapse. I’m fiercely independent so asking and accepting help from other people is really difficult. Then there’s having to accept help from people I don’t know very well (or at all at times) which is even harder.

There are things I have accepted. I accepted using the wheelchair as I realised it enabled me to do more. I’ve accepted that sometimes I can’t talk, and that typing is an okay, if slow, substitute. I’ve accepted that I need to take painkillers to manage the pain, and that doing so actually means I have a better quality of life, rather than just saving them for when it gets really bad. I’ve accepted that I do need help in most areas of daily living, and that needing that help doesn’t make me less of an adult or a person.

I’m struggling to accept I have severe ME. When I say that to Johan he tells me to use logic. When I’m in relapse it’s easy, as at that point I’m obviously severely ill, and feel it. It’s during the slightly better times that it’s hard to accept that how ill I am puts me in that category. I’m unable to walk, but earlier this year I was able to go out in my wheelchair to Newcastle and the MetroCentre, and I went to the prom. I’m only bed bound most of the time, not all of it. I’m able to play World of Warcraft. I can watch ponies. Sometimes I can even manage a fork or spoon. These feel like really massive things to me, but then I go look at the criteria and I’m almost at the bottom. There just seems to be a giant gulf between what I can do normally and what I can do during a relapse (which is pretty much nothing other than breathe sometimes).

I feel very lucky that I’m able to do so much, even if to other people it doesn’t seem that much at all. It’s hard to accept I’m as disabled as I am. I have accepted that I’m probably looking at years to get better rather than months, but I’m struggling to accept that I’ve not really started the getting better yet as even this year I’ve declined further, though at a slower rate than before.

It took a while for me to accept I was autistic, and that some of the things I’d originally put down to being stupid or lazy were actually caused by how my brain works. It’s gotten easier over the last few years, and now I’m trying to help Johan to accept the same things about himself. Things like struggling to tidy up being caused by executive functioning problems, taking certain things literally that weren’t intended that way and the reactions I got from that, even down to accepting that flapping was okay to do (I used to grab my hand if I caught myself doing it). Interface helped quite a lot with that, as did talking to other autistic adults.

I’ve accepted that it’s okay to be me. That one was probably the most important, and it’s taken me a long time to get to that point. I used to believe that I wasn’t good enough, I was too lazy, too stupid, too attention seeking, that I must be a liar because other people couldn’t see what I was experiencing. I now know that none of that is true- I may have times where I’m bit of all of them (though I try and keep lying to a minimum and most of it is white lies or lying by omission for what I feel are good reasons) but overall I’m not a bad person. I have my faults and I want to work on them, and I’ll never be perfect, but that’s okay.

I’ve also accepted that people genuinely like and even love me. When I was depressed I believed I was completely unlike-able (and evil, and ) and that people were only pretending to like me, or that I was deceiving them and that if they knew the real me they would hate me. Depression is evil as it changes the way you perceive the world so that you can see no good, like the glass shards in The Snow Queen. After I recovered it took a while for me to see and understand how it had lied to me, and learn that it wasn’t true. I still get moments where I’ll have those thoughts and beliefs, but they’re now short lived and easy to deal with, unlike when I was depressed.

I still have a lot of work to do on acceptance, but I’ve already come a long way from where I was a few years ago. Discovering I am autistic and recovering from depression (which are linked) helped a lot. Johan and my friends did a lot too, often by just being there for me and being themselves. I have some amazing friends and family, and that makes me feel very happy and lucky.

 Posted by at 10:02 pm

  3 Responses to “Acceptance”

  1. My support worker and I were talking about this only the other day. I was feeling a bit awkward about having her to help, as I don’t feel anywhere near as disabled as the people she has supported in the past. She had a client with AS, schizoaffective disorder, and diabetes who is funded for only a couple more hours than I am, and I mentioned that I felt awkward receiving her help when there are people with more complex needs like that. She surprised me by saying that if anything she views me as more disabled than he is, and that she often worries at the thought of me going round the city crossing roads by myself. I think outsiders may give different weight to problems that you perceive as minor (or, conversely, see things that you find big as trivial).

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