Anxiety, Body image, Challenging, Chronic health condition, Depression, Doctors, Exhausted, Family, Friends, Gastroparesis, Panic Attack, Self confidence, Social Anxiety, Tired

I’m struggling and I’m scared…

I’m not really sure what to write in this post because I’m not really sure how I’m feeling about everything… I think the main struggles I’m going through at the moment is my health and trying to create a life around my health. So lets talk about my health.

I got three blood tests done and they all came back positive for Systemic Scleroderma (I’ll just call it scleroderma). Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease that changes the amount of collagen that you make; it gives you too much collagen causing very painful skin, muscle and joint problems and it can also affect your organs causing stuff like kidney failure and lung disease. There are many different types of scleroderma and the one I tested positive for is the systemic one which means it attacks my organs along with my skin (side note: I could have another type of systemic scleroderma that doesn’t affect your skin at all but I’m not sure yet if I even have it). I have an appointment with a rheumatologist in October to get checked out more and to get more tests done to see if I for sure have it, so right now it’s a waiting game. I’ve also been having so much more abdomen/bowel/pelvic pain lately and I can’t find a cause for it. I got a colonoscopy, ¬†gastroscopy and a CT scan done and all of those tests came back normal so I have no idea what’s causing the daily double-over pain I’m getting. I honestly can’t tell you how bad the pain is and how hard it is to handle on a daily basis. I’m also booked in to see a gynaecologist in October because I’m starting to wonder if maybe all my pain isn’t actually in my bowel but on the outside with something like endometriosis. I’ve always had severely painful and heavy periods but I’ve always swept that under the rug but maybe it’s time I start looking out of the box because I can’t handle to be in so much pain anymore. I’m also not sleeping well and if I don’t have something to help me sleep then I will literally not sleep all night. My psychiatrist gave me two medications to try and one of them I was allergic to and the other one doesn’t help me at all so once to twice a week I’m taking seroquel so I can finally get some sleep because me and not sleeping don’t mix well together.¬†

In my title I also wrote that I was scared and it’s true, I am scared. I’m scared because I don’t know what’s wrong with me and what’s causing all this pain and why my bloods are abnormal. I’m scared because I don’t know how to help the pain and because I have no idea what’s going to happen to me. I don’t know how to create a future when I don’t know what’s wrong with me and also when I’m so tired and in so much pain. How am I meant to do anything when I have a hard time getting off the couch? I just don’t know what to do. I do know that I want to finish VCE through online schooling again but then all the ‘buts’ come and I psych myself out of calling the person I need to call. A major thing a part from the pain and fatigue that’s stopping me from calling them is the fact that my brain fog is so bad lately that I’m having a really hard time reading and putting a sentence together. I’ll proof-read this post but I’m sure you’ll find so many mistakes reading it and that’s because I just don’t see them. And also, what if I completely suck and can’t even pass year 11 and 12, I mean I passed year 10 by a millimetre. ¬†

I have other stuff going on that I don’t want to talk about but it’s stressing me out and causing a major panic attack.¬†

I’m just having a really hard time with where my health is at and trying to remember and remind myself that I can still have a future even if I do have scleroderma or endometriosis and that I can make a life around the pain. I need to work on reminding myself that I am worthy of a happy and fulfilled life and not a life full of pain and loneliness because that’s another thing, I am so freaking lonely. I have my mum and I know that I’m lucky because some people don’t even have one person and she’s my best friend who I can go to with anything but sometime it’s not enough… I need someone else to hang out with me and to be my friend. I need some more support.¬†

I also saw a dietician the other month and a part from telling me that she was concerned about my pain and that I needed to get that checked out, she said that she couldn’t do anything to help me to lose weight because I’m eating right and doing what I can but it’s really hard with my stomach and it’s condition because it doesn’t digest properly, I have no metabolism and what I can eat isn’t that great. I can have some veggies and salad but too many and I feel so sick and have such a bad stomach ache. It was hard to hear that she couldn’t do anything to help me lose weight because that’s still a big problem I’m trying to deal with.¬†

I don’t think there’s anything else I want to talk about…. I just thought I’d sit down and try to write out some of my feelings and worries…¬†

Keep safe,
Maddy xoxo 

 

Featured image: https://www.channelweb.co.uk/crn-uk/news/3026573/why-are-outsourcers-like-capita-and-bt-struggling

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Anxiety, Body image, Challenging, Chronic health condition, Depression, Doctors, Exhausted, Family, Gastroparesis, Grief, New housemate, Panic Attack, Siblings, Social Anxiety, Tired

Life Update

It is the 4th of March and in 4 days the 12 weeks of hell will start. It’s the 12 weeks of hell because on the 8th of March my brother was diagnosed with his brain tumour and then on the 30th of April it would’ve been his 10th birthday and then on the 31st of May it is the 5 year anniversary of his death and then on the 5th of June it is the 5 year anniversary of when we buried him and said goodbye. From the day he got diagnosed to the day he died it is exactly 12 weeks… So I’ve got that to look forward to! <— Insert very heavy sarcasm.

A month and a bit ago I got some blood test results back that weren’t too great at all. One of my markers was a low positive for Scleroderma which is a very serious and horrible disease. I went to a rheumatologist and he tested my bloods again and they came back as completely negative which is great! I really didn’t need another health problem. I also went and saw my gastroenterologist and I have to get another colonoscopy in a week to check for stuff like Ulcerative Colitis because my bowels haven’t been too happy with me lately. He also gave me some new pain relief that should hopefully actually work. I’m nervous about the bowel prep because my stomach can’t handle that much liquid and it’s so sensitive and the bowel prep is some nasty sh*t. I’ll do my best but I’m really not looking forward to it at all.

I’ve started a new diet to try and help my lose the weight I need to lose and that’s the 5:2 diet. For two days a week I only eat 500 calories and then the other five days I eat healthily and my normal calorie limit. ¬†I’m also trying to walk on the treadmill every day or take my dog to the dog park and walk around that a few times.

I’m looking into maybe doing year 11 through Distance Education to get my brain doing something and to get a sense of achievement and accomplishment at the end of the day so I don’t feel like I’ve achieved nothing. I have to call the co-ordinator back and ask her a few questions on whether or not they can accomodate all my issues.

I’m still seeing my psychiatrist, psychologist and social worker. My psychiatrist’s fix to all my issues is to go catch a train and get me using public transport. Yes, it would open up more ‘opportunities’ for me to do, but at the same time, what exactly can I go do with my mental health issues and physical health issues? Even if I can push past my anxiety and catch a train or bus, my fatigue and stomach pain is too bad for me to actually do anything. So I really don’t see how pushing myself to catch a train is going to help. Also, when I do push my anxiety, fatigue and stomach pain to catch a train, I’m going to end up pushing myself too much and then take 20 steps back and be bed ridden for a week.

I had to stop my sleeping medication because it was making me so hungry and I was putting on weight which doesn’t help my mental health at all so now I’m not sleeping much and the sleep that I do get is poor and full of nightmares and tossing and turning. Lack of sleep also make my mental health crapper and I don’t have the same resilience to my life and therefore I have to fight even harder to stay out of the depression hole with no energy to spare. It’s exhausting not sleeping.¬†

Things with the housemate are still sh*t, awful and a major stress. He’ll be moving out very soon fingers crossed!¬†

Basically nothing has really improved at all and I’m still struggling and trying to do my best!¬†

Keep safe everyone,
Maddy xoxo 

Twitter: @DMWAAG
Email: depressedmesswithanxietyandgrief@outlook.com

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Image: http://www.beautybabbles.com/2014/09/a-little-life-update.html

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Anxiety, Body image, Challenging, Chronic health condition, Depression, Fat shaming, Gastroparesis, Generalised Anxiety, Heat, Mother and daughter, Panic Attack, Self confidence, Social Anxiety, Summer, Vegan

Summer sucks, bring back winter.

Summer. You either love it or you hate it, and for me, I despise it. I hate everything about summer from the heat to the bushfires to seeing perfect skinny people walking around showing their perfect bodies in shorts and bathers while I’m over here in my black maxi skirt and top trying not to go up in flames from overheating like a car engine.

Not only does summer make my self hatred and lack of confidence go down even more, it makes all my health conditions 10x worse. My chronic fatigue gets worse, my POTS gets worse but the main thing summer does would have to be the fact that my anxiety and depression plummets even more.
Winter is good because everyone is bundled up in jackets and scarves and you fit in, but in summer people try to wear as little clothes as they can without being arrested for public indecency. For someone with no confidence and self esteem and who finally gets the courage to go outside, it is so hard to see so many people showing off their bodies and walking around like they don’t have a care in the world. I on the other hand, spend an hour trying and retrying all my clothes on to see what I feel looks even remotely ok on me and even then I’m still hating on myself and just want to hide. I hate my arms so much that when it’s 35degrees outside I’m still wearing a light jacket-y/shawl thing so my arms aren’t showing. The other problem is that I only like to wear black maxi skirts so when I have to walk anywhere the inner part of my thighs start to chafe and then I’m stuck with a horrible burning and stingy feeling every time I take a step.
Another problem I have when trying to find clothes for me to wear is that because I’m so bloated all the time from the Gastroparesis I look pregnant and so I can only wear loose fitting tops and if I do find a dress that I don’t hate and doesn’t highlight my muffin top, I have to suck my tummy in the whole time I’m out and that sh*t is painful after a little bit!

So between the struggles of trying to find something to wear and the inflamed self hatred I have from seeing skinny people out in their shorts, I end up staying indoors most of summer! That gets expensive though because then you have to have the air-conditioner on all the time and those bloody rising electricity and gas prices… annoying much?!

I have a hard enough time regulating my internal thermostat when it’s not boiling hot, but when summer hits I basically shut down; I overheat and feel like I’m going to pass out alot and I can never get cool. My hot flushes get worse and the pounding heart I get thanks to the POTS also gets worse too. Oh and sleeping! My god that’s an even bigger nightmare every night. I toss and turn and then I get Restless Leg Syndrome so I have to stand up and try to walk around my house until the pain of that goes away but then when I lie back down it comes back again. I end up sweating and panting because my two fans just aren’t enough to get me cool so I have to get up and go to the lounge room and sit under the aircon for a little bit until I’m cooler and then try to get some sleep. Oh and if I had to go outside that day and walk around, I also have to be mindful of the chafing I experienced so I can’t sit or lie down with my legs closed so that makes trying to sleep that little bit harder.

I wish I had the confidence to wear whatever I wanted whether it be a cute dress or a skirt that goes above my knees or a cute singlet top without worrying about how I look but I just can’t do it. I become even more aware of how I look and have a harder time with my anxiety and depression and all those unhelpful negative thoughts I get. I am constantly trying to cover up my stomach with the little jacket/shawl thing I’m wearing so no one can see my love handles or that my bloating is really bad that day and I can’t suck my stomach in at all so I end up looking 7 months pregnant (this is not an exaggeration btw, I genuinely end up looking heavily pregnant sometimes because of the bloating associated with the Gastroparesis. On a ‘normal’ day I look around 4-5 months pregnant and I can kinda suck my stomach in.) ¬†I end up fidgeting more and have to make sure that my arms are covered and I am so in my head that if I’m spending quality time with Mum, I’m not really there with her because I can’t relax and enjoy myself.
I end up feeling like a sweaty, pregnant looking beached whale. 

Summer sucks all around for me and I don’t know if I’ll ever enjoy it…¬†

Keep cool to the people experiencing summer at the moment and to the people in winter right now, I’m super jealous.¬†

Maddy xoxo 

Twitter: @DMWAAG
Email: depressedmesswithanxietyandgrief@outlook.com

 

Featured image: https://me.me/i/i-feel-like-the-wicked-witch-in-this-heat-im-18479222

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Anxiety, Body image, Challenging, Chronic health condition, Depression, Exhausted, Friends, Generalised Anxiety, Panic Attack, Social Anxiety, Tired

Anxiety Anxiety Anxiety Anxiety Anxiety Anxiety Anxiety Anxiety!!!

I’ve talked before about my depression, health conditions and I’ve mentioned my anxiety before but I haven’t dedicated a blog post to what is a big part of my life and that is, you guessed it, anxiety! *Insert clapping*

Anxiety is a tricky thing as it’s different for everyone who gets it and the symptoms that people experience with anxiety will also be different. Sure, anxiety sufferers might experience SIMILAR symptoms but they will never be EXACTLY the same. There are two main types of anxiety that I’m aware of and they are generalised (you get anxious about everything and anything) and social (you get anxious about going outside, seeing people, talking to people ect) anxiety.¬†I have both generalised and social anxiety.

I can’t tell you which is worse as they are both incredibly bad and somedays one will be worse than the other and then other days they’re both at the same level of anxiousness. My anxiety has definitely gotten worse over the years and now I have a hard time leaving the house just to take the rubbish down. When I’m sleeping I have anxious dreams because of my PTSD and when I’m awake I’m sometimes shaking with anxiety doing absolutely nothing, so basically I am just one big ball of anxiety.

I’ll talk about my social anxiety first:
There’s a big difference between being nervous about going somewhere new and being anxious¬†about going somewhere new. Being nervous is normal and a useful human emotion but being anxious takes it past the level of being useful and a good human emotion to being a draining and fearful experience where there is no need at all to be fearful and to act and feel like you’re being chased by a lion about to be eaten!
I’d like people to stop using the term ‘anxiety’ so loosely and about everything when in fact, they are just NERVOUS and or excited NOT anxious.

A lot of my social anxiety revolves around how I think I look because of my weight which makes going out anywhere incredibly hard. I have a hard time going out and eating because I feel like everyone will be looking at me and judging me for eating. I can’t stand crowded places with too many people and loud noises and I have a very hard time talking to people like shop assistants when I’m out. ¬†I have a constant monologue of unhelpful thoughts running through my head the whole time I’m out and some of them are: “That person is looking at you because you’re fat” and “People are looking at you because you’re fat and eating” and “People are looking at your acne and that’s all they’re seeing.” As you can see, those thoughts aren’t nice or helpful and yet no matter how hard I try I can never stop them while I’m out. I’m always fidgeting and looking like I’m going to hurl and I know these thought aren’t rational but in a society where it’s openly known that you’re judged on the way you look, it’s hard not to have those thoughts and it’s even harder when you have no self confidence at all.

My social anxiety really inhibits me from doing a lot of things like going out with my Mum and spending time with her or going out and trying to find some friends. Social anxiety is not fun at all and I hate it, I hate everything about it because we know that it’s not rational to be so scared of seeing and talking to people that you want to cry, throw up and run away (all at the same time I might add) and yet you can’t stop feeling like that. Pushing past all those anxious feelings is really freaking exhausting which is why after I come home after going out anywhere I have to have a nap¬†ūüėā¬†Not only is pushing past those anxious feelings to actually go somewhere exhausting but consciously challenging all those anxious and unhelpful thoughts is exhausting as well, it almost feels like a full time job…

And as I right this blog post about anxiety I am starting to get anxiety… how effed up is that?!¬†ūüôĄ

Now I will talk about my generalised anxiety:
Having generalised anxiety means that I am¬†anxious nearly all the time and¬†usually about nothing. I could be sitting on the couch watching TV and feel like I¬†can’t breathe and my heart is racing and yet there’s no reason for me to feel¬†anxious at all. Even when I’m sleeping my dreams are anxiety inducing and so I¬†wake up with anxiety. I always feel like I am in that fight or flight state and that I can never properly relax, I am¬†always on edge and¬†always ready to go go go (even¬†though I have no energy).

Continuously feeling¬†anxious for no reason is hard work. I can sit¬†somewhere quietly and do my breathing exercises or distract myself but I still¬†can’t seem to quit being anxious. Being anxious has become part of¬†who I am now and I hate it. I don’t like¬†feeling anxious all the time about nothing and¬†never being able to relax, I want to be able to sit¬†down and give my body a rest.
I get anxious about making plans for the day, taking the rubbish out, Mum going anywhere and sometimes I get anxious just looking outside my window…

Nearly everything causes me to have anxiety and therefore continuously makes my body react like there’s danger and release that adrenaline and cortisol that your body produces when it’s in danger and yet, there is no danger for me at all. My body and mind are always on high alert and can never get a proper rest unless I take my anti-anxiety medication. I’m not against medication at all but I don’t want to take my anti-anxiety medication everyday just so I can get through the day without having all the feelings of anxiety and the starting symptoms of a panic attack, I want to be able to get and work through my anxiety myself but everything I try just doesn’t work. I have worked with many counsellors and psychologists to try and help me with my anxiety and apart from them all giving me the same techniques to use, they just don’t work.¬†

My anxiety also makes all my other health conditions worse. When my anxiety is worse it makes my depression worse which then makes my health conditions worse which then makes my anxiety worse and it’s a cycle that I can’t get out of.¬†

Here’s a little chart I made:

anxiety chart screenshot.png

Living with anxiety is a daily struggle that I have been dealing with for nearly 5 years now and you’d think that I’d get use to it by now but I haven’t, I’m still surprised over the level of my anxiety sometimes and how I can have anxiety for no apparent reason. I will continue to fight it and maybe one day I won’t have it anymore but for now, It’s making my life 1000000x harder and its just another thing that I have to deal with.

Keep safe everyone and know that you are not alone with your anxiety.
Maddy xoxo

Follow my new twitter account: https://twitter.com/DMWAAG

Email: depressedmesswithanxietyandgrief@outlook.com

 

(Featured image: https://www.jmrocketreporter.org/arts-entertainment-2/staff-columns/2017/05/18/stress/)

 

 

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Body image, Fat shaming, Feminism

Fat Shaming Women ūüė†

200w_d

Lets talk about fat shaming women shall we? It infuriates me that in 2017 we are still naming and shaming people who are ‘fat’. I hate that word so much and everything that it stands for. Being ‘fat’ isn’t a bad thing at all.

There’s a stigma attached to being ‘fat’ and that is: that all ‘fat’ people are lazy and unhealthy. This is just NOT true!!! Why is it that to be classified as desirable and beautiful in today’s society we all have to be slim, toned with no imperfections with our body. We’re not allowed to have stretch marks or body hair and we all have to be under 60kgs. This just isn’t possible unless someones invents a robot and duplicates it and kills all us ‘fat’ and imperfect women.
It is scientifically proven that some people in their DNA are built to be curvy and not stick thin, but that doesn’t matter to most people; they look at us ‘fat’ people and imagine in their head everything they would do to us to make us thin and what society says we should be. They’re also probably making a meal plan to whip us into shape. I know for a fact that my body is naturally curvy and not straight up and down.¬†

I’ve always been overweight I even wrote a blog post about it (https://depresssedmesswithanxietyandgrief.wordpress.com/2016/01/29/always-always-always-the-fat-friend/). I’ve also always been bullied and ridiculed and judged because of my weight and what the number on the scale said. Even the teachers at school would make a face when they would write my weight down after I got weighed during P.E class. ¬†
There is absolutely no reason that being overweight and not under 60kg should affect us or anybody else out there. We should be able to look the way we look and be confident and happy about it and not go out and feel like everyone is looking at you and judging you because of the size that you are. 

I honestly don’t think I’d care how I looked if I didn’t grow up with society’s words in my head that ‘fat’ is unhealthy and no good and skinny is great and what you need to be. I don’t need to be anything except me and yet I feel as though I can’t do that because everywhere I look someone is telling me different and that what I look like isn’t ok.¬†

There is nothing wrong with being different. Why would we all want to be and look the same? That would be so boring. 
I wish we could all grow up in a world where being overweight is ok and being skinny is ok and just being yourself is ok. 

In the olden days if you were ‘fat’ it was good! It meant that you were wealthy and of the upper class and if you were skinny you were poor and of the lower class because you couldn’t afford to eat.¬†

Being a female in today’s society is hard enough without the added pressure and judgment of being not the ideal weight. We are looked down upon my men as being less than them and being overweight just adds more fuel to their ‘I’m better than all women’ fire. ¬†If a man is overweight he is no where near as judged like a woman being over weight is judged. And isn’t it ironic that a lot of the men judging us and discriminating against us because of our weight are over weight themselves?¬†

It’s so wrong that we still feel the need for a man’s approval of how we act, look, talk and behave. We are the only people who need to seek approval of ourselves, no one else has that right.¬†

We need to start telling future women that being ‘fat’ and overweight is ok and there’s nothing to be ashamed of if you are. Future women should be able to go out into the world feeling confident about themselves and not like they have to hide and try to blend into the crowds.¬†

I wish everyday that when I woke up and looked in the mirror I was happy about what I saw and not disgusted.
When I look in the mirror all I see are my stretch marks and flabby bits and my big thighs and my flabby arms. I don’t see anything past that.¬†

I have spent the past 4 years trying to lose weight and become skinny. Some ‘fat’ women are totally confident in their body and I think that that’s amazing and I applaud them but for me personally I can’t stand my body. In the past year and a half I have lost 16kgs and that’s great but it’s not even half way. Deep down I don’t feel like I’m meant to be ‘fat’ and overweight, I feel like I should be slim. I also have a health conditions that makes me gain weight but most of the time I forget about that and just hate on myself instead of being kind to myself and loving myself.¬†

A lot of my social anxiety comes from my weight and how I think I am perceived by other people when I’m out. I’m now at the point that when I go out with mum to eat I am acutely aware of all the people around me and wondering of they’re judging me on what I eat and looking to see how much I am eating. I can never relax and just be me.¬†

Can we also talk about how sh** the BMI scale is?! Ugh!!!

We all need to learn how to love ourselves and be able to look in the mirror and say “I am beautiful and I am worthy of love and I love myself.”

I really do hope that one day society can see ‘fat’ and overweight women as equals and as humans who deserve the same respect and treatment as skinny people.¬†

There’s this lady on Instagram who is all about body positivity you should go check her out:¬†https://www.instagram.com/bodyposipanda/?hl=en

Also check out Clementine Ford, she’s all about feminism and is great:¬†https://www.instagram.com/clementine_ford/?hl=en

Keep safe,
Maddy xoxo 

Feel free to follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/Its_me_MaddyO

 

 

 

 

 

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Body image, Chronic health condition, Depression, Doctors, Gastroparesis, gluten free, Misdiagnosing, Uncategorized, Vegan

Misdiagnosing

Misdiagnosing a patient isn’t something a doctor wants to do but sadly it happens. Doctors are only human after all; even if they do act like they’re better than everyone and everything.¬†

I myself have been misdiagnosed a couple of times in the 3 years it’s taken me to finally get an accurate diagnosis. My chronic fatigue was easily diagnosed but diagnosing my gastroparesis hasn’t gone well at all!¬†

3 years ago I started getting really bad stomach aches and would alternate between diarrhoea and then constipation with a lot of blood in my stool. I was also bloated and looked pregnant (I still do but the doesn’t matter at the moment). Anyway, mum and I went to the emergency room at the Royal Childrens Hospital 4 times because of my double over stomach pains and the blood in my stool and every time they would do a blood test and then send me home. They never did anything more than take my bloods and get me to talk to a doctor. They referred me to one of their gastroenterologists and got me to talk to a social worker. They really weren’t any help at all. Well, I saw the gastroenterologist and he put me on the waiting list for a colonoscopy and endoscopy; that was meant to happen in April and I finally got in in November (even though I was on the category 2 list). I got the scopes done and the gastroenterologist told me that nothing was wrong and to come back in a couple of months.
Of course mum and I weren’t happy with that so we got a referral from my GP to see a paediatrician and to see if he could help. We went and saw the paediatrician and he straight away diagnosed me with the chronic fatigue which was great because now I had an answer to that and also to my heart problems but we originally went there for the stomach issues so we told him all about it and what had happened. I think it’s important that I also tell you that I was in the psych ward at this time. Anyway, so he basically told me that I was obese and needed to lose weight and then all my stomach issues would go away. He also made me get an X-ray which he told me was normal but when I went to my new gastroenterologist he told me that it WASN’T normal and that I needed to fix the issue ASAP. So after telling me that I was obese, grabbing my fat, telling me there was nothing was wrong with me and making me get an X-ray and then saying it was fine when it wasn’t he sent me on my merry way and told me to come back in a year or never if I didn’t need to see him.

I mentioned before that I was in the psych ward and that I thought that that was important to mention because what doctor who knows that you’re in the psychiatric unit at the hospital and knows that you have problems with your weight tells you that you’re obese and that you need to lose all the weight and then you’ll be fine? I was obviously in the psych unit because I wasn’t doing well and I had told him that part of the reason I was in there was because of my weight gain. Safe to say that I never went back to him!¬†

After that failure with the paediatrician¬†mum and I went back to my GP to get another referral to see a different gastroenterologist (Lets call him Bob) ¬†because nothing with my stomach had improved and it was actually getting worse and not better. So off we went to see another gastroenterologist; this time it was privately and hella expensive. Bob thought I had ulcerative colitis at first and put me on steroids and another medication he also booked me into hospital for another colonoscopy and MRI. I ended up staying in hospital for a week while we tried to figure out what was wrong with me. I had the colonoscopy done and once again nothing showed up and nothing showed up on my MRI either. I was so frustrated when nothing showed up, I didn’t want ulcerative colitis but I also didn’t want to not have an answer. I was tired of seeing doctors and getting told there was nothing wrong with me when I KNEW there was something wrong with me. I got discharged from hospital and went back to see Bob. He told me that he didn’t know what was wrong with me and then sent me home and told me that I had to do a bowel flush out every month. If you’ve ever had to do a bowel flush out to get ready for a colonoscopy or just because like me, then you know how disgusting it is. I mixed it with apple juice and now I can’t drink apple juice, I also used a certain glass for the flush out liquid and now I can’t even drink from that glass because it reminds me of the flush out and how disgusting is. Yuuuck.
So I did that and it didn’t help with the symptoms at all so I went back and he told me to try this medication which I did and it didn’t help at all; it made me feel really sick. Sent me back home. I went back to Bob a few months later and he said that I should do a gastric emptying study. So I did that test and… FINALLY an answer! My stomach empties 1.5 to 2 hours slower than the normal stomach. I asked him if it was gastropareis as I had been doing my research and he said yes. So there you go, after 3 years I finally got diagnosed with a rare and horrible disease called gastroparesis. Bob hasn’t told me anything about it so I’ve had to learn what I can on the internet and through Facebook groups. He also said that I need to see a pelvic physio who I’ve been seeing and has given my exercises to help me relax my pelvic floor and to help my bowel motions come out a bit easer and for other stuff…¬†

Bob put me on a new medications and it has really helped. I can now eat most meals without getting double over stomach aches and horrible nausea. The medication doesn’t work all the time so I still get the stomach aches and nausea but it’s not every meal I eat. I’m still bloated all the time and look pregnant which really gets me down. I pretend with mum to have maternity shoots and pose in funny positions because it’s easier to laugh about the way I look than to remember and think about the fact that I’m 18 and look pregnant even though I’m not and that I will always look pregnant and be bloated. Since Iv’e lost weight the bloating has become a bit smaller so I’m hoping that the more weight I lose the smaller the bloating will get. But that’s another thing, gastroparesis can cause either weight loss or weight gain and I suffer from the weight gain aspect of it so it is so ridiculously hard to lose the weight that I’ve gained. It takes me months just to lose 500 grams and that’s with walking every day. I also eat pretty well. I’m vegan and gluten free and I don’t eat much junk food at all. It’s so discouraging and annoying to try so hard and to not see results.¬†

Since Bob hasn’t told me anything about gastroparesis and I’ve had to google it, I’ve come across some scary facts about it. I never knew it was such a serious illness! People die from it and it’s scary. I’m not saying that I’m going to die from it but I am worried that I will get worse and I’ll end up with a feeding tube in hospital not being able to eat or drink… Gastroparesis is scary and I’m scared.¬†

So, here I am! Finally got my stomach issues diagnosed along with my chronic fatigue. Now I just have to get my fibromyalgia verifed and diagnosed. 

Keep safe,
Maddy xoxo 

Follow me on twitter if you’d like xx

PS- I got a puppy! Her name is Asher and I’m going to train her to be a therapy dog and get her certified so she can go everywhere with me and support me out there in the scary anxiety inducing world!¬†

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Abuse, Body image, Chronic health condition, Death, Depression, Exhausted, Family, Grief, Step-father, Tired

What happens after (Part 1)

What happens after you have a horrible step-father, your brother dies, you’re kicked out of your home, you get a plethora of health conditions, you become incredibly depressed, you become suicidal and you have such bad anxiety that some days you can’t even look out the windows or leave the house because of how anxious you feel? What happens after all that? Well, it changes you in ways you didn’t know even existed and you learn to live with everything as sad as it sounds. How I’ve felt for the past 4 years has become my normal and that’s so depressing because my new normal is sh**! The only good thing I still have is my mum, that’s all. One person keeping me here on earth.¬†

I think I’ll talk about each issue separately starting with Michael:

A week after Chase died I was forced back to school by my horrible step-father, he went to work and my poor mum was left at home to deal with the silence and horrendous memories of the house alone. We were all forced to go back to normal by Michael (horrible¬†step-father) but how were we meant to go bak to normal when our normal had changed so drastically and completely in 12 weeks? I don’t understand how he was able to get up and go to work so soon after! Like what?! Who does that?¬†Michael also thought that two weeks after we buried my brother he would talk to me about how I’ve put on a little bit of weight and how I need to loose that and be more active outside. Yeah thanks Michael, that really helped. Psychotic asshole.¬†

¬†Michael was what you didn’t want in a father or step-father. He was angry, mean, cruel, hurtful, cold, selfish, fake, narcissistic, jealous, abusive and the biggest asshole to walk this planet. He was so mean and cruel to me for no reason. He used to tell me that I was fat and lazy and that I will end up smoking bongs on the couch doing noting with my life. After dinner when I would wash the dishes he would just sit in his spot at the head of the table and glare at me for no reason. I could feel him staring at me and judging me and sending his hate towards me while I was cleaning the pots and pans. He used to also lock me outside after I got home from school because he wanted me to spend more time outside and my mum couldn’t do anything because if she spoke up he would punish the rest of us and not give us money for food or firewood for the heater or water for the water tank and then mum, my brothers and I would all have to suffer at the hands of his anger. Mum stood up for me when he really crossed the line but in the end I learnt how to keep out of his way and stay away from him. When he wasn’t home after I would come home from school that was when mum and I caught up but as soon as I heard his truck or car come up the driveway I would run up to my room and not come back down until dinner time.¬†
I didn’t have much of a social life because all of my friend were scared and didn’t¬†like Michael, they didn’t want to come over and talk or see him and I don’t blame them, I didn’t want to be there either. I would often think¬†about running away but then where would I go? And leave mum there alone? I don’t think so plus I had no where to go.¬†

Michael started being mean to me at around the age of 10 as I was getting my own thoughts and feelings towards people and individuating into my own person. He didn’t like that I started seeing him as he was and not as the perfect do no wrong step-father I always thought he was. When I turned a little older that’s when the real glaring, judgement and negative comments would come.
When he and mum were fighting he would all of a sudden be nice to me and pay an interest in my stuff but that would only last until mum sucked up and apologise to him. Once they were back together and ‘all good’ again he would go back to not paying any interest in me and my school stuff and ignore my reports that I would want to show him because I got A’s and I was proud of that.¬†

Michael thought he knew everything about everything when in fact he knew very little. I understand that because he was raised by not very warm and loving parents and he grew up the hard way moulds him into who he is today but I don’t understand why he then has to teach his kids and treat his kids how he was treated. He never loved me, he saw me as a nuisance and a road block in the way of what he really wanted which was mum. When we used to go out as ‘one big happy family’ Michael would literally push me out of the way if I was walking next to mum because he wanted to walk next to her instead; how petty is that? I’m just a kid wanting to walk next to her mum and Michael the big bully has to come and push me out of the way. In the end it got very hard not to show my hatred towards him, it got harder everyday not to snap and tell him how much I hated him but in reality that would never happen because I was scared of him. He was a big, tall, angry, scary and a violent man. I never stood a chance.¬†

I don’t and never will blame or resent mum for staying with Michael for so long. I understand that she had no money of her own and no place to go or support, she also had Dusty (my other brother) and Chase to think about. We were stuck. All of us were abused by Michael and it has affected me in so many ways. Nearly every night I have a nightmare with Michael in it, if I hear a car that sounds like his I get anxiety and have to stop from having a panic attack and now I have such bad self esteem and body issues because of him and what he used to say to me that I loathe myself. I can’t look in the mirror without hating what I see. He used to also call me lazy all the time so now when I’m too tired to do anything because of my chronic fatigue instead of understanding that I have an illness and I’m unwell I just think of myself as lazy which means mum spends a lot of time reassuring me and reminding me that I’m not lazy and that I’m unwell with a medical condition and valid reasons for sitting on the couch watching TV.¬†

I often watch movies where the girl has the perfect dad who loves and cares for her and so wish that I could have what she has. I know that a lot of girls don’t have a dad like that but I still can’t help but wish that I had a dad who would do anything for them and who builds them up instead of smashing them down. Michael was a horrid man and I will always have to go through life with the damage that he’s caused to me and my body; mental and physical. I never want to see Michael or talk to him again, he contributed to my brokenness. One day I might be able to forgive him but that’s not right now.
I try, I really do but it’s so hard when I still think and am reminded about everything he did. It also doesn’t help that when Dusty comes over he’s a¬†constant reminder by the way he acts and what he says, he’s exactly like Michael. Dusty has no respect for me and thinks I’m fat and lazy just like Michael does.¬†

Getting kicked out of home with nothing but a few boxes of my clothes:

It was a Thursday night and mum and Michael had been fighting for quite a while. Mum had cooked us all dinner but Michael wasn’t home; he came home after dinner had been served and we had cleaned up. Dusty was still eating his though and he wanted some more cheese but we didn’t have any as we had used it for our dinner. Michael went and warmed up his dinner and Dusty asked for some more cheese, Michael went to the fridge to get some out but as there wasn’t any left he started slamming things and yelling at mum about there not being any cheese. Mum went down to her room and Michael sat down to eat his dinner a few minutes later Micahel got up and stormed down the hallway to their room where mum was. He slammed the door and started yelling at her. Mum started yelling out that Michael was hurting her and to let her go and to stop touching her, I eventually went down do their room (I had NEVER interrupted their fights before, I usually go to my room) and opened the bedroom door and screamed at Michael to let her go. He had mum by the wrists and was screaming angry words and threats right in her face.¬†He looked like a mad man and when I walked in. He let her go and told mum that she needs to get out of the house and that he’ll give her 6 hours to move out tomorrow (so Friday) after he had physically assaulted mum and told her to get us out he turned around and yelled at me right in my face to get the hell out of his way; he didn’t say it in exactly those words though. I honestly thought he was going to physically hurt me too. After had he had finished yelling at us and being physical with mum he went down and ate his dinner. Yes that’s right, after all that anger and getting physical with mum and went back to the dinner table and ate his dinner like nothing had happened, what a psycho. Who does that? Who can physically assault his wife and demand that she moves out of ‘his house’ and then go and eat dinner like nothing had happened in the past half an hour? A psychopath that’s who. After he finished dinner he went outside and got the boxes from storage and gave them to mum and told her to pack up her sh** and then he left again. Mum and I started to pack Chase’s room first, taking the most sentimental stuff like his clothes and toys and a few of his funeral programmes. After Chase’s room I went up and threw all of my clothes into boxes not taking notice of what I took and what I left. I left so many of my things behind, I literally only took my clothes. On Friday I took the day off school and mum and I moved our boxes to mum’s little investment house in the town over. The house was incredibly small with only one bedroom, no heater, no water, no gas, no firewood and no cooling; not that we needed cooling as it was the middle of winter! Mum and I had managed to move all our clothes and stuff within the 6 hours that Michael gave us to move out.

The hardest part of getting kicked out¬†was leaving Chase’s room and everything in there. Chase’s room was where I could go and cry and miss him without the judgment of Michael. Living in that little house was incredibly hard when there was 3 people living in a one bedroom house. Dusty and I slept on mattresses that were given to us by friends on the floor in the bedroom meanwhile mum slept on a mattress in the lounge room.¬†
There was no privacy at that house and no place where I could go and break down and let out all the feelings I had abut what had happened and Michael. We got through it though and after mum borrowed quite a lot of money off one of her friends we were able to get out of that tiny house and move into a normal size house where I had my own bedroom and bathroom and mum had her own bedroom and bathroom. Plus it had heating and cooling which was great! My anxiety was just starting out but it wasn’t that bad that I couldn’t go to school or leave the house. My depression also wasn’t bad either, it was¬†a year¬†after Chase had died so I was still in the numb, processing stage and hadn’t completely gotten the fact that my brother had died.

Health conditions (Gastroparesis, chronic fatigue syndrome, pelvic floor dysfunction):

My health conditions mostly started after we moved into the normal house. That’s when the extreme bloating, pain, fatigue and other yucky symptoms started to happen. It’s also when my anxiety became severe and so did my depression and I ended up leaving¬†my¬†mainstream school and enrolling into Distance Education. I’ll talk about my anxiety and depression more in part 2 of ‘What happens after’¬†but for now I’ll talk about all the stomach issues and fatigue.¬†

After I had left my school and started Distance Education I’d wake up every day looking 7 months pregnant and in a lot of pain. I would also sleep for 15 hours a day and be fatigued for the rest of the hours I was awake. I made trips to the emergency room quite a few times because of my bloating and pain and also because I would have blood in my poo (TMI I know, but that’s part of my life and this is a blog about my life so…) which isn’t normal. I would always get sent home from the hospital and told that I was fine and to take over the counter pain relief; it didn’t help with all the other symptoms, it helped with the pain a little but but that’s it. I got referred to see a gastroenterologist at the Royal Children’s Hospital and he booked me in for a colonoscopy and endoscopy. As I had thought they didn’t find anything and he told me to go home and to come back in a few months. Well, I wasn’t happy with that so I went and saw a paediatrician who told me I have chronic fatigue syndrome and associated POTS but my bowel issues and bloating was because I was overweight and that I just had to lose the weight and I’d be fine. Yeah thanks. Mum and I were relieved that we finally had an answer as to why I was so tired all the time and got exhausted walking from my bedroom to the lounge room, but as my stomach issues persisted and I still had pain, bloating and blood in my poo we went and got a referral from my GP to go see a different gastroenterologist privately. My new gastroenterologist has been great up until now as there’s not much more he can do for me unfortunately.¬†

When I went in for my first appointment he took me very seriously and listened to everything I had to say and told me that he thinks that I have Ulcerative Colitis, he put me on steroids and booked me into hospital to have another colonoscopy done and to get an MRI. Well, I went on the steroids and got the unfortunate side effects from them (extreme hunger, mood swings, moon face ect) and then went into hospital for what turned out to be a week long stay. I had to do a 3 day flush out which meant I couldn’t eat anything solid for three days and had to take a number of disgusting laxatives. If you’re reading this and you’ve had to have a colonoscopy before then you know what I mean when I say the actual flushout stuff¬†is the most disgusting thing in this world. Anyway, I did the colonoscopy and they didn’t find anything (typical) so I was taken off the steroids and then had to have an MRI done of my whole digestive system; that was super uncomfortable as I had to lay on my stomach for an hour. Once again they didn’t find anything abnormal and I was told I just have sever IBS and I was sent home and to get another follow up appointment with my gastroenterologist. We went back to him and he told me because I’m so constipated I have to do a flush out once EVERY MONTH! Nooooo¬†ūüė©ūüė∑ So I continued doing that and as nothing was improving, I was still bloated, in pain and constipated¬†he¬†told me that I needed to go get a gastric emptying study done (http://www.medicinenet.com/gastric_emptying_study/article.htm). So I went and did that and FINALLY something came back abnormal and we got some answers. It turns out I have something called Gastroparesis. This pretty much means that my stomach is a little bit paralysed and doesn’t empty food as quickly as a normal stomach does. I can’t tell you how relieved I was that I finally had some answers! So the end diagnosis¬†with my stomach is sever IBS and Gastroparesis. My gastroenterologist has put me on a medication called Motilium which has really helped; I can now eat without getting a severe stomach ache and severe nausea which is nice. I still get pain, I’m still bloated and I still get constipated but now I know why.¬†
The cause of my constipation isn’t just from my gastroparesis and IBS though, it turns out I also have Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. The problem with my pelvic floor is that it’s always tight and doesn’t relax and let go. You know when you do your kegel exercises and you can squeeze in and then relax again, well my pelvic floor doesn’t relax when I let go.¬†This¬†means that it’s hard for my poo to come out and it also means I can rarely use a tampon when I get my period. I have exercises I do but otherwise there’s not much else I can do at the moment.¬†
I’ve talked about my Chronic Fatigue before so I won’t go into that again…¬†https://depresssedmesswithanxietyandgrief.wordpress.com/2016/07/28/living-life-in-the-slooooooow-lane/

Alright peeps, this is a really long post so I’ll leave it here and I’ll upload part 2 next week. Stay safe.¬†

Maddy xoxo 

PS- Go check out a singer called Agnes Obel if you don’t know her already. She has some beautiful songs.¬†

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