Leslie Rott of Getting Closer to Myself is hosting this month’s Patients for a Moment blog carnival. It’s been a while since I participated in one of these, but my writing inspiration has been dry as of late, so I’m hoping this will give me a jump-start.
Leslie’s question is: What’s your Achilles heel when it comes to illness? We all have that one thing that pushes us over the edge, as far as chronic illness is concerned. What is the one thing, no matter how seemingly minor or severe, that really gets to you? And what do you do about it?
I feel that I have two. One is something that completely wrecks me emotionally. The other makes managing my health enormously harder.
From early in my illness, before my first diagnosis, the event that really frightened me and helped me realise that something was Really Wrong was when my hair started falling out. With my ups and downs of medications, treatments, and illnesses, few things knock me more for a loop emotionally and psychologically than losing my hair.
Hypothyroidism makes it fall out. My medication to treat my thyroid makes it fall out. Stress makes it fall out. Chemo makes it fall out.
You can see how this is a bit of a concern for me.
With so many factors impacting my hair, I keep a close eye on my hairbrush and clothes, as it’s often the first sign that something is off. This has made me just a bit paranoid about it. I have tried both shorter and longer hair for the thin times, special shampoos, making sure I get enough omega oils, etc. I’m at the mercy of my body and my hair shows it.
There’s not much I can really do about it, except not let it bother me too much. I don’t think that I’m overly obsessed with my appearance, but hair loss triggers something deep in my psyche.
My other Achilles heel is one that affects just about everyone with a chronic condition: sleep.
I’ve written before about my struggles with insomnia and my success with melatonin. While it’s not a 100% fix, it has gone a long way to helping me regulate my sleep.
That said, bad nights happen, and they always seem to bring friends. My mini-vacation last week was interrupted by some poor sleep, which kept me from accomplishing everything I hoped to do. A couple days over the weekend on top of that and I’m dragging today.
A few nights of poor sleep wrecks my mood, I’m more likely to eat comfort foods, and I ache more than usual (which is saying something).
Again, there is little that I can other than what I already do to manage my insomnia- it’s mostly a waiting game. I’m contemplating taking another day off sometime soon just to rest and recoup. *sigh*
So, what are the things that throw you off the tracks?