The Hardest Time of Year
Spring usually brings on a hospitalization
After 14 years of living with this illness, I know that I am usually most affected in the spring time, usually leading to a hospitalization with a long set of tests and procedures that are done while I am inpatient.
This year was far from normal, if there is such a thing. I was hospitalized for maybe all but a few days in spring and when I finally left, I found myself in the ER multiple times dealing with complications from obstructions and episodes of being impacted.. all at the same time.
The medications made me manic
I was miserable. On top of everything else, I was on the highest dose of IV steroids my GI could put me on and I soon became manic. Over the course of a week being inpatient, there came a point that I did not sleep for 6 days or nights. I was constantly walking around my hospital wing burning nearly 5000 calories a day. I would get up, take a lap, become exhausted and sit in my hospital chair in my room. But my mind just didn’t want to rest. And I soon found out that if I didn’t rest soon, there could be serious consequences.
I also live with PTSD, unrelated to my medical situation. There have been things that have majorly impacted my mental health that I am still trying to deal with, but my PTSD diagnosis came officially this spring, after many, many years of going untreated even though I knew it was there.
I am lucky to have a great team of support
So a month of living in the hospital, not being able to ambulate, having a PICC line for months, not being able to drive more than 5 miles because of frequent bathroom and vomiting stops and not being able to work - how in the heck did i get through it?
Luckily, I had some amazing people look out for me. My care team came together to discuss medication options to deal with my PTSD and developed a short and long-term care plan for my new diagnoses (Gastroparesis was also added to my list of extraordinary things). I’ll be honest: it was tough to stay even close to positive, but I knew that if I needed to, I could enter a mental health facility if I needed to if things got that bad. And they did, but I’ve been lucky enough to receive outpatient trauma counseling in addition to a whole slew of new practices.
I always expect this, but this was the hardest year
Flares come every year for me; I expect them and usually know what to expect of them. This year was an exception. It was the hardest year heath-wise that I’ve gone through. And if I could get through the last year, I can get through anything.
Who is your support? How do you get through your most difficult times?
Do you have a diagnosis story to share?