Sunday, May 23, 2004

sick.

i am feeling a tiny little bit better, healthwise, at least compared to yesterday.
yesterday was awful; i felt progressively worse during the day and got pretty scared when i couldn't speak at all by nighttime. it happened as i was calling dirk, i just couldn't get words out, all i could do was cough and hoarsely whisper. dirk didn't even recognize my voice. duh. can't blame him.
so today is better, and that's good. slept a little bit better (albeit not much), can speak a little, can think a little, the headache and facial pain are bearable, the muscle and joint pain, too.

depending on how i'll feel tomorrow, i might still go to the docs in the morning, just to check. the self-diagnosis is that of a simple common cold that has turned into sinusitis and laryngitis; the latter could be to blame for that muscle and joint pain, i guess.
it's awful, and i never really had that before. so yeah. i still look like shit, too, swollen face and neck and huge bags under my eyes. there's a lecture i should go to at 2pm tomorrow, i'll see whether i can manage: considering the short 10 minute walk to the bakery this morning left me needing a nap afterwards, i am not so sure. i'll see how it goes.

i just hate being sick. i hate it so much, and the last few months have had so much sickness and so many disease scares, i've had enough for a few years.

in late november, after a few weeks of very intense work, i had sudden hearing loss in my left ear.
it happened after a week that consisted of an exam, a 3 day ip seminar where i held a presentation (and hardly slept, because of socialising, preparation for that presentation and attending a 5am morning vesper mass) and a day of 15 hours of market research work at a noisy, busy airport. that same day, my grandma died, news that weren't surprising, but pretty bad nonetheless. when i arrived back home that night, i was totally wiped out, cried for a while, while dirk tried to comfort me, and feel into bed.
i woke up at about 3am, with an awful, awful noise in my ear, that wouldn't go away. i felt like i was under water, one side of me at least. no matter how many times i tried to "un-pop" my ear, it just wouldn't change at all. the noise in my head totally stressed me out, i started to get totally irrational and scared. the noise and the balance problems were totally frightening.
unfortunately, i didn't know that those psychological symptoms are part of sudden hearing loss. - i might have been able to relax a little, if i had know.
i went to the er early that morning, where they couldn't do much but tell me to go to the ent later that day, which i did. hearing tests showed massive hearing loss. i also had tinnitus in that ear. with swift treatment (basically blood-thinning meds) and silence and relaxing and sleeping, my hearing returned over the course of a few days. the tinnitus stayed though; even though it has gotten a lot better in recent weeks. just now, with this cold, it has made a return.

it was an awful experience. it didn't help, that the cause of that kind of hearing loss is not quite understood: some think it's a circulation issue; others reckon an electrolyte balance inside the ear is to blame, in some cases it's noise. the main belief is, that it's caused by stress and personality structure. obsessive-compulsives are quite prone to it. uhm, yeah, stress. obesessiveness. yeah.
interestingly enough, phil collins had sudden hearing loss, too, and still has tinnitus as well.

another possible cause for sudden hearing loss is acoustic neuroma, a tumor on the hearing nerve. it's pretty rare, but apparently pretty frequent in cases of hearing loss at my age. yeah, a brain tumor. that kinda scared me. a whole lot, actually. after several hours worth of tests, that was ruled out though. quite a relief.

after that whole hearing loss drama, i had a massive bout of flu that knocked me out over christmas.
then came an intense allergic reaction, and tests showed that i am allergic to a wide variety of metals, sheep wool (!), molds of various kinds, foods (including sea food, milk etc.) and a whole lot more. yeah.
after that, after changing my bcp prescription, i had awful full-body-itching, which i though to be a side effect, while my gyno thought it to be the onset of acute intermittent porphyria, a chronic liver disease. yeah. more scary shit. a gastroenterologist sorted me out though, and my liver is fine. then, in march, the good old tension headache made a dramatic little return. muscle relexants and a few low doses of elavil did the trick though, and i talked my doc into giving me a prescription for 6 session with a physiotherapist, and those have helped tremendously. still have 3 to go, and they are such fun. it seems that my first vertebrae is to blame, so the physio (young, pretty and muscular) searches out the muscles supporting my head, presses certain spots for a while (which hurts, hurts, hurts), but afterwards, i feel better. pretty amazing.
evan's new partner is a physiotherapist, too; i can understand how he chose an apparently less intellectually interesting (his words, not mine) relationship with someone with those manual skills over an ldr with me. surely nice to have someone with those skills nearby at all times. i'd like that, too. he.

so yeah, in general, i think my body has been telling me, in pretty dramatic ways, that something simply isn't right in my life and that i need to change something.
like my obsessiveness, my stress levels, the way i approach life. so hard to make those changes though.

if i get so run down with the little things i have to deal with in my life, how am i supposed to handle a full-time job/kids/the real world?
kinda scary. the doc told me, after the hearing loss, that if i didn't change life now, i'd quite likely keep having trouble for the rest of my life. he compared the hearing loss to the ulcers other people get when stressed, or the ibs, or whatever else.

i know working out helps with my stress, but i get so stressed out about doing the "perfect" amount of exercise, that it stresses me, too. i know yoga helps me with stress, but the whole cult-drama surrounding ralf has turned me off his classes, totally. yoga practice by myself is good too, but i get upset if i don't do it "perfectly", i.e. get up before 6am each and every morning to do a full sivananda session before uni, including pranayama and meditation.
i know this isn't a sane or healthy or yogic approach at all. i should take it as it comes, and be glad with it, but i can't.
same with eating and stayin hydrated. good eating helps me stay energised, but during the week, i find it hard to find the energy to cook good meals, even though it's important to plan those a little as a new vegan. i've gained some weight with the bcp change, too, which has made me all obsessed with weight again. it's like a vicious circle.

i know i should tackle it all one little baby step at a time, but it seems overwhelming to get my health and life into a bit of an order. i should probably simply quit wanting to do everything perfectly. easier said than done.
gah.

at least i've had a healthy meal today. and yesterday, too. all almost completely vegan as well (apart from some milk in the frozen spinach i used for my pasta). that's something. and i resisted the aspirin & pseudoephedrine so far. little miracle symptom masker that it is, i really didn't feel like feeling all high today (pseudoephedrine does that to me, i'm super sensitive to it), just to totally crash tomorrow, when it's time for uni again, and when a whole week of work, and a weekend of work and travel is ahead of me. and i slept okay. and i got some fresh air. and i marvelled at the plants on my balcony. and i relaxed, watching crossroads, and loving it, all its inconsistencies and shallowness included.

overall, considering the sick-ness, i guess it was as good as it could be, alone at home and all. good on me.
can't wait for the man to come home though: life is simply better when he is around.
a lot better. how good i still have three more days to regain health and beauty before he returns.  Posted by Hello