I have gone and done a thing again. I wrote another post for The Mighty about why I find it difficult to open up about my chronic health issues. I’d been meaning to put my writing out into the world again for quite a while, and half past one this morning seemed like the perfect time to stir my thoughts up until words flowed from my fingertips. I was a bit of an idiot and (regretfully) forgot to link my blog to the piece of writing I did, so I won’t see any increased blog traffic from this; but I guess I do this more for the experience (plus the minuscule boost in my self esteem when people react positively to something I produced) and to allow my thoughts to reach a wider audience. I’m not really sure what substance there is to what I wrote, but my mind decided it was worth writing about and the editing team decided it was worth publishing so hopefully it isn’t the utter trash that I now fear it may have been (most things seem like a great idea when considered at 1am).
It was sparked by the difficulties I have encountered recently in trying to open up to people about my health issues and inform them, and the past experiences and though processes which limit my confidence in talking about these issues. I thought it might be something others could relate to, so I took another leap of faith with my writing and just went for it.
My health is increasingly becoming something that there is a need for me to talk about, and I really don’t want to at the minute. People’s reactions aren’t too helpful lately, and my confidence about many areas of myself are at a rather impressive low. I’m terrified about bringing them up with any members of university staff, but am starting to develop a high level of anxiety about how the uni will react if I become unwell. I tried to deal with that by arranging to meet with my disability advisor next week, so I hope that calms my nerves a little.
I’ve spent most of the last two days asleep. I didn’t get out of bed until past 16:30 yesterday, and I spent most of that time asleep. This is usually my body’s lousy attempt at a warning sign before it plunges me into the sort of situations that I don’t like to end up in, but I am carrying on as normal because… I love the normality that I currently have. I don’t want to miss any university and I don’t want to spend any time away from people, especially not being shut in a hospital tethered to IVs.
Today I had no lectures, but I did have a three hour lab in which we were divided into groups of five and had to connect one of our group to a twelve lead ECG (which actually has ten leads but hey). It was weird for me to see so many people hooked up to machines and the novelty they all felt towards the experience. To me, it took a little but of getting used to. It reminded me of being in the back of ambulances or laying in resus or… Just hospital appointments. After my brain stopped replaying these memories on loop, I settled in to conversation with HK Uni Friend and WR Rugby friend, sat down, and held my head in an attempt to stop the spinning that seemed to originate there. I didn’t feel well. I tried to vaguely say this, and the other people in my group (who don’t understand that when I say unwell, I mean I’m about to hit the floor) were outraged at the idea that I was going to be a pathetic wimp and leave when I didn’t even look that unwell. I couldn’t be bothered to argue, to tell them that I was very clearly in the early stages of acidosis and my heart rate was almost too fast to count, so I stayed instead of going home to grab the injection that my body was crying out for. WR Uni Friend came back to mine afterwards and didn’t freak out when I injected in front of her (which is rare because people usually F R E A K!). She left her coursework at mine so it wouldn’t get spoiled and we headed to the pub for some dinner. We sat and talked for about two hours, and she told me to go and see uni dad, at least just to let him know I’m alive and ok. She suggested that I go to the hospital, and said if I ever change my mind she’ll go with me. I don’t think she realises how awesome the last part was.
I felt considerably better about everything as the injection kicked in and we talked away, and even had an idea for a much bigger writing project which may or may not come into existence, because I always have the best intentions and the boldest plans and it is very rare that anything ever grows from them. It was so nice to just chill with another human though – living alone is super lonely and I often crave human company.
I messaged my next door neighbour about the puppy sitting I agreed to do for them next Saturday, and we ended up messaging away for a while. She said that she was looking forward to seeing me and I felt ALL the feels. I also felt all the feels in the early hours of this morning, when I found a picture I’d taken of the photo of me and my uncle which sits on my bedside table back in Kent, and posted it on social media telling my steely but surprisingly soppy uncle that I loved him more than I’d probably ever admitted and was both proud and lucky to call him my uncle (today is his 50th birthday and he lives in Hong Kong so I haven’t seen him for a year, which meant that being soppy was entirely necessary. I am feeling the importance of family at the moment, and trying to find one in which I feel I belong).
So today has been pretty awesome. Almost as awesome as my recent discovery that there is a place right by the tube station that serves an entire pizza for £1.50 (I went there two nights running, it’s such good pizza!). We’ll ignore the fact that I ended up in the start of a medical emergency, and we’ll also ignore all the things I refuse to acknowledge about my health right now. Instead, I’ll look forward to tomorrow’s lectures, and continue to dread the weekend (because there are no lectures at the weekend, and I love uni a little bit too much to know it is shut for two days).
Anyway, if you’re interested in checking out the (potentially awful but hopefully possibly not) article/ post that I wrote for The Mighty, you can do so here. Writing somewhere so public is a huge deal for me even though it really shouldn’t be because I can hide behind a screen. My writing has been really off lately, so don’t hold out much hope if you do read it, but thanks for reading (at least this blog post) this far if you did.
Sometimes good stuff comes from/during difficult times, and today reminded me of that. I still know I’m going to end up in hospital in the near future. I still don’t know how to face that reality… And so I’m still not.
I also still know that there’s no way but through.