Fight and Fear

Illness has been consuming me recently and as such, it is what I feel like writing about. Part of me feels as though my body has let me down and has left me in this state of half life. Spending most of my time inside hiding from asthma triggers, pain triggers, anxiety triggers. All these things I can medicate away to some extent but the subsequent drug withdrawals and the expectant look of concern and disapproval on my dr’s face will if I take a higher dose of steroids than absolutely necessary, makes me hesitate. Stops me. The drugs are a Band-Aid, one that rubs and itches and won’t come off even if you soak it. If you try to take it off too fast the pain is unbearable and you quickly put it back on.

It is circular. The asthma makes me take the steroids which then my body becomes dependant upon and then if I don’t take enough, I can’t fight the inflammation in my lungs and my asthma symptoms return.

I was recently told that I now cannot live without taking corticosteroids in some form. Not because of my asthma, but because the prednisone has changed my body, that I no longer produces the cortisol that is necessary for survival. That if I stop taking the drugs that replace it, I will die. It feels terrifying to be so dependant on these little white tablets. To know that if for some reason I can’t injest them, then I will need to inject the cortisol in order to ward off death. I am scared. To know that a severe virus or infection, an injury, an operation, or a stressful life event can send my body into a crisis because it isn’t producing the cortisol that it would usually produce upon such an occassions is terrifying.

I look at my body and know it is broken. Not just in pain, or with inflamed airways. But fundamentally and probably irreperably broken. I think about what would happen if I stopped my meds (to my friends reading this, stop stressing, I will keep taking them!!!) I wonder how long it would take for me to pass out. What it would be like. Of course I have no intention of finding out. I just hope that I am never in that situation. That I am never stupid or unlucky enough to find myself in that situation. I love my life, I have fought hard for it, and will continue to do so.

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Note to Self (to be read during future anxiety attacks)

Do NOT make decisions during an anxiety attack.

Do NOT believe what your mind tells you during an anxiety attack

Take the following steps:
1. Take hydrocortisone
2. Eat food
3. Wait until you feel better

YOU WILL FEEL BETTER
YOU WILL BE ABLE TO THINK AGAIN
YOU WILL BE ABLE TO WRITE AGAIN
THIS WILL NOT LAST FOREVER!!!

AI mornings

After a broken sleep, I wake up at around 5am every morning with hypoglycemia. My body is screaming at me for food and cortisol. So I comply.

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A sliced apple, berry muesli and low fat unsweetened yogurt, coffee, and my drug cocktail. What you see above are two asthma inhalers, my Hydrocortisone tablet, my SSRI’s and a calcium supplement. The things that keep me alive and functionaing relatively well, on a good day. The calcium is because long term steroid use can lead to osteoporosis, my last bone density test showed me to be at the very low end of normal so I’m taking precautions. Already my teeth are crumbling, I have two crowns in the front and a lovely hole where one cracked almost in half and had to be removed.

Back to mornings. I don’t really mind the early hour because it is the best time of day, I listen to ABC classic fm, watch the sunrise from my recliner, and read lesbian fiction, usually mushy romantic stuff. Mornings are for relaxing, I avoid the news until at least 7am, watch briefly but usually decide that it is just too much to cope with and turn off the tv. I read Crikey most afternoon and that gives me a smart, well written lefty perspective on any important news.

This morning I think I might go back to bed. Some morning I am really wired and pace up and down our apartment while reading, but today I am reducing my Hydrocortisone by 5mg and I am not feeling the usual “buzz” that it gives me. My wrists are also hurting, hmmm… maybe I shouldn’t reduse today. I think I might go back to bed. My girlfriend is asleep and our bed looks very inviting. It’s cold and too windy to go walking. I just want to snuggle up with her under the blankets and hopefully get some sleep… If I can get my brain to relax.

What even is this blog??

This blog started out as a rant, a rant from a sick person in pain about all the stupid shit around her in the media and our culture. Then it went on a bit of a Marxist tangent, and then took a turn towards a bit of a queer politics.

It has been a while since I have written because I have been ill. Diagnosed with Adrenal Insufficiency (from now on known on this blog as AI) and trying to get my medication levels sorted has been a bit of nightmare. Part of said nightmare has been extreme anxiety (a symptom of AI), leaving me unable to even think about writing without having a panic attack. 3 weeks after upping my SSRI’s and I am feeling a bit better. However, I am having to force myself to write this post. I want to write, I need to keep writing, I don’t want to lose it as a skill, I want to improve, and the only way to do so, is to KEEP WRITING!!!

However, at this point I don’t really have much to say other than #worldisfukt. It is fucked up in so many many ways and it just seems as though it will never be unfucked.  We like to kid ourselves though, we ignore the stats, we ignore what is right in front of us, we ignore the suffering we see because it is just too fucking much to deal with and we have no easy solutions. We pick the easy fights. By we, I mean the privileged middle class feminists who spend their time fighting for diversity on the catwalk, women on boards, same-sex marriage or one of the many number of pet projects that don’t really make a difference. Okay, so they aren’t me, not anymore, but they are my peers. We are distracted by the representation of equality, rather than addressing the fact that the system is fundamentally fucked. We are ignoring the fact that even the very notion of equality under a capitalist system is a fucking joke, and that we need to try to think beyond the ideology, beyond this all pervasive idea that capitalism is the natural order. It isn’t, it is a creation, and we must think beyond it if we are to have any hope at all of living in a world in which people are not enslaved, are not dying of curable diseases, are not literally starving to death.

Okay, that got a bit serious, it isn’t what this blog post was supposed to be about. It is supposed to be about me!!! so rant over. For now, I don’t want to be thinking about how fucked up the world is, I need to relax. So, I will try to focus on something else, probably myself and my own life challenges. Which are rather insignificant the scheme of things, but they are mine, so they are important to me.

I think this blog will turn into a bit of a journal, I’ll try to keep in mind that people may be reading it and try not to too boring and self-involved. But it’s a blog, what are they for if not indulging one’s own inner dialogues and getting all the thoughts out of one’s head. I am going  to try to write something most days. We shall see…

In the meantime, here is picture of the view from the balcony of our apartment in Gosford, NSW, Australia. It is here that, weather permitting, I do most of my reading and writing and thinking, and drinking of coffee, and sipping of wine, and eating of cheese and crackers… you get the idea.

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