…train my cat to make dinner!

I woke up this morning in tears…feeling very low and lonely.  I’m still trying to fight off this episode of cellulitis, nothing I do seems to be helping long-term.  I’m frustrated with my GP surgery, every doctor I see (when you can see them that is – last time it was a telephone triage appointment) seems to be unable to understand 2-3 separate problems can connect to make one big problem and the solution isn’t always the standard you would have for each initial problem.  They understand cellulitis, as a condition, but not in conjunction with lipoedema; in fact, I can’t even get them to acknowledge lipoedema, they always correct me with lymphoedema (‘cos I’m fat and have large legs) and if I repeat lipoedema, they give me that look as if I’m a simpleton. No GP has ever looked it up, or taken any interest in lipoedema.  After all, how could a lay-person who suffers from a condition, no more than a doctor who has studied general medicine for years.

All I can say is I’m totally, and utterly, disappointed and frustrated by most medical professionals (except specialist nurses; they are under-rated and under-valued).  I’m not sure if it is particular to Birmingham (‘cos this place is a shit-heap), or because the NHS is being squeezed into oblivion by the Tory government, but things have certainly changed.  There is no ‘care’ in healthcare these days.  If your condition doesn’t fall into a neat little box you’ve got no hope.  All they want to do is foist their drugs, lotions or potions on you; as long as we keep profiting  the pharmaceutical companies (and their shareholders) it seems people’s lives, health and, in particular, their mental health do not matter.  I suppose this is why the internet to some extent is a life-saver.  Although it is difficult wading through the diatribe, eventually you come across some good advice, humour, support etc.  The difficulty is everyone has an idea and when you want a quick solution it can be very frustrating.

Over the past few years (prior to diagnosis) I invested in solutions to my problems by buying stuff (chi-machine, rebounder, vibration plate) or consuming strange concoctions (apple cider vinegar, gelatine, bullet-proof coffee).  All of which I am unable to determine has helped or hindered my progress, I have always been looking for a quick fix (2-3 weeks) to see or feel an overall improvement, if nothing definitive I’d go back to the drawing board (internet) and start again.  This is why I’m frustrated with healthcare provision at present, it places the onus on the patient to investigate their condition and to find solutions unless of course you are willing to take prescribed medication.  The problem I have with just taking medication, is it deals with the symptoms, but fails to acknowledge the underlying  cause.  The way the NHS is being run, because it is so tight on time, prioritises medication over any other solution and this working model is repeated over and over, so if you have a reaction to one medication they often prescribe another to deal with that symptom and if the same thing happens another medication, and another – ad infinitum.  We are encouraged to be drug addicts, but not happy-clappy drug addicts, ‘cos the pharmaceutical companies, its shareholders and the government don’t want you to feel happy in a natural way ‘cos they can’t make money off.  They want you feeding off their drugs, keeping you in just the right amount of pain and misery, so as to be able to offer you more – all the while slowly destroying your internal organs.

All I want is a meaningful discussion, not limited to ten minutes, to discuss my concerns, my fears and possible solutions – I want a more holistic approach to my  healthcare, but I’m afraid I think it more likely I can train my cat to make dinner!

I am just well-upholstered…

My euphoria, sans Pain Management appointment, was short-lived.  I’ve had a sore leg for a few days/weeks (I’d scratched it on the shower screen a few weeks ago) which hasn’t got any better.  I suspect cellulitis, as well as a particularly annoying varicose vein, so I attended the walk-in centre at the hospital after work.  The lady I saw was again, very good; she was patient and took time with me.  She checked my heart beat, lungs etc.  but when it came to the blood pressure my heart sank, I always have problems getting my blood pressure checked because of the lipoedema in my arms.  It is excruciatingly painful.  Despite my best efforts to pronounce lipoedema, (I think most health care professionals only hear lymphoedema), and explain I am better with a wrist monitor, she proceeded to use a small cuff on my forearm.  I thought, maybe it wouldn’t be as bad here as in my upper arm, WRONG, it was excruciating, I’m sure she looked at me like I was over-reacting, or over-acting.  I let her continue despite the pain until a reading was reached; 160/105mmHg.  Too high, she said.  (That’s because I was being tortured, anyone’s blood pressure is bound to rise under those conditions).  I checked later on and there is a distinct bruise, on my arm, where this torture had occurred.  I’m not really complaining, I think overall she did a splendid job, in comparison to other healthcare professionals I’ve come across.  Lo and behold, my own diagnosis was right, I have got cellulitis and she has given me antibiotics (Flucloxicillin) for a week, she also said I should go to my GP about my varicose veins.  

This goes some way to explaining why I’ve been feeling generally quite low and run-down, I thought is was mainly due to having a busy week and not being able to rest as much as I’d like.   Hopefully, the antibiotics will kick in quickly and I’ll start to feel better, I’ve booked next week off work and although I’m hoping to rest and recuperate a little,  I am also hoping to get a few things done around the house.  I need to feel a bit more on top of my game for that as housework is already a struggle when you are living with lipoedema, fibromyalgia and are a buxom beauty (trying out positive affirmation to help my mood).

P.S. – I just looked up buxom out of interest in the dictionary/thesaurus and was quite tickled by the synonym “well-upholstered”, I may just use this expression in future in place of fat, which has become such a derogatory term.  From this day forward, I shall proclaim loudly, “I am not fat… I am just well-upholstered”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throw-back…

Exhausted.  Achy.  Feeling bloated.  Lethargic.  I could sleep for a week.

This week so far can be summed up, thus!

I’ve struggled, big time, this week.  It’s not been too hot, but I feel worn down by the heat somehow.  By the time I finished work today I was almost screaming out in pain.  Not the type of pain that is instant and excruciating, but the kind of pain that wears you down ‘cos its been around for weeks, gnawing at your psyche.  Its difficult to explain.  From the outside I’m a big, fat, lumbering old fart.  Nobody should have any sympathy for me, its all my own fault.  I’m fat because I eat too much (not true); I’m sure that’s what other people think.  That’s what one half of my own being thinks.  The other half doesn’t think, its too busy working to keep up the pretence.  The pretence that I’m alright.  The pretence that I’m coping, still able to function as a normal human being.  The pretence at being happy, content.  Somewhere in the middle of these two halves is a molecule of love, respect, compassion, sympathy, empathy … all the things I give to others relatively easily, but which I find difficult to give to myself.  I feel unworthy.

I don’t know if I understand love, respect, compassion etc. or should I say I’ve never felt love, respect, compassion etc. from anyone else.  I hear the words, but I don’t feel them, I don’t feel the emotion behind the words coming from anyone.  Is that normal?  Are they just words? Is that why I don’t know how to do it for myself.  Growing up I thought love was being given something you wanted, whether it was food, clothes or stuff; something other than the mundane.  Dinner was just dinner, but when I got my favourite meal (cauliflower cheese) it was given with love; I’d get cauliflower cheese on my birthday, but other than then it was a meal hardly ever had.  Take clothes, of course I had clothes when I was wee, but they were everyday clothes, hard-wearing and boring.  There were no pretty clothes; perhaps one item for best, but otherwise they had a purpose, to cover your ruddy body; not to be loved or to make you feel good.  Clothes were utility.  And stuff, I got stuff I needed for school, the occasional treat, but I never got the stuff I actually wanted; perhaps once, I did get a cassette recorder (see photo) one Christmas, which would get confiscated when I was naughty. I remember it being confiscated a few times, but I can’t think of anything I did, at that age (probably around 11 years), that was so naughty.  I ruddy loved that cassette recorder.  I think this was when I started to love things more than people…when I realised things didn’t let you down the same way people do.

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I don’t know if, how I am, how I think of myself and how I treat myself are a throw-back from my childhood, or as a result of an overactive, under-stimulated, depressive mind.  All I know is I feel sad, empty, lonely, angry, resentful and achy most of the time; I think living with Lipoedema and Fibromyalgia just adds to this ‘cos when I feel run down, from trying to function properly, my internal voice seems to ramp up its constant criticism of everything and everyone.  I wish I could find a way to switch it off.  I am hoping that by writing these things down it will help, but even then my little critical voice inside is still chirping away…

 

…scum of the earth.

For those who don’t know meine dunkleheit is german for ‘my darkness’.  The title is a little ambiguous; perhaps relating to my dark innermost thoughts but also giving a wee nod to my little dark friend Izzi (whom I affectionately call Der Kleine Dunkle).  She is by no means my only little friend (she’s just the youngest) she has three siblings; Remi, Mili and Popi (you’ll read more about them later).

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Izzi

Izzi is just over two years old and she’s a rescue cat.  We rescued her from the South Birmingham Cat’s Protection homing centre on 26 April 2015.  She is a very strange wee cat; very independent and determined.  She loves being outside and recently due to the long warm and sunny days we have hardly seen her save for a few minutes each day when she comes in for food.  She seems a very happy and contented wee cat.

I wish I was as happy and contented as wee Izzi… this week has been particularly difficult because it has been so hot; a British heatwave no less.  These heatwaves generally last 3-5 days but what makes them so unbearable is how quickly the temperature rises from around 15° shooting up to 28° almost overnight.  Also, in the Midlands (because we are land locked) there is no air, not the slightest breeze and the air feels heavy, like treacle.  Its hard to breathe, especially at night.  The slightest movement has me sweating profusely.  I seem to sweat out of my head therefore my hair always looks frizzy.  To be honest, I’m not so bothered about how I look its how I feel, exhausted,  swollen, achy and damp.  Also, I am quite overweight and have lipoedema and fibromyalgia; two conditions which do not tolerate the heat well.  More about that in subsequent posts…

The news this week has focused on the Grenfell Tower disaster and the aftermath of the general election.  I have read so much about both I feel sort of numb.  The Grenfell fire was horrifying, but not nearly as horrifying as all the ‘hearts and flowers’ bollocks that has been going on since.  It never ceases to amaze me how charitable and kind people appear to be after an event.  Before this fire, nobody seemed to gave a shit.  They still voted for the ridiculous policies of the Tories, but now everybody and his dog sees the logic of the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn, and are preaching his policies as if they agreed with him all along.  People change their opinions and standpoint only when they are scared other people will think badly of them or they want to somehow further their own agenda/popularity or appease their own conscience.  Fucking Simon Cowell and all the other human detritus with their ‘song for Grenfell’ – it makes me puke.  They have to attach themselves to other people’s suffering for good press because they are the scum of the earth.