A surfeit of inspiration

This is true, and quite a good reminder, but…

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the vast amount of advice, inspirational blogs and memes, books and websites. I own a load of self help books, mostly about pain management, acceptance, mindfulness, meditation etc. But some days, in spite of acting on it all, I just need to kick back, sit with my emotions and play Snoopy Pop on my phone.

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Still, mustn’t grumble!

I think I am officially depressed. It’s a bugger, and it’s very hard to do anything about it when you lack the motivation to do much more than get out of bed, go downstairs (still in pyjamas) and watch mindless telly. All day sometimes.

What I really want is to find a purpose. (Sideline – predictive text said what I really want is to find a llama!?!) Work provided that previously – being a support worker, a midwife, even a home help. Now…that’s gone. And physically I’m limited. And old. MS has made me very introspective, self-absorbed and even lower in self esteem than before. I obsess about what friends and family can do…make music, grow beautiful gardens, create, travel, have passionate interests. And all the while, the fucking inner critic is muttering in my ear ‘you’re useless, you don’t deserve to be happy, you might as well do everyone a favour and drop dead right now. You pathetic, self-pitying lump.’

Well, that’s cheerful, isn’t it? But it’s helped a bit, just to get it into words. Watch this space. I intend to explore ways out of this mental shit hole.

It’s not just about the pain

The last appointment I had with my physio I was feeling awful. I could hardly walk, I was pissed off and weepy. She said what was clear to her was that my mood was very low (no shit, Sherlock). She did her best to persuade me that taking Pregabalin might help with the pain and then I would find it easier to move/walk/exercise, which would mean my muscles would get stronger, and my mood would improve.

I have a fear of these sort of drugs – Pregabalin, Gabapentin, Amitriptyline – which are meant to relieve neuropathic pain. The side effects are horrible. I have tried Amitriptyline and Gabapentin and hated them – they made me feel very strange, dozy, heavy and unpleasantly sedated. Pregabalin is meant to be ‘cleaner’, whatever that means. But it can be addictive and also cause weight gain, sometimes lots of it, and this lot:

headaches
feeling sleepy
dizziness
diarrhoea
mood changes
feeling sick
swollen hands, arms, legs and feet
blurred vision

Of course, I might not have any of the side effects if I did take it, and it might indeed alleviate the pain. But I’m simply too scared.

I told the physio that I’d give the Pregabalin a whirl, but when I got home I just couldn’t face it.

I’ve made my own plan to handle the pain: CBD oil, ginger, and turmeric. More MS exercises. Mindfulness.

But it really isn’t just about the pain, which I put up with for fifteen years before the diagnosis. Learning that I have an incurable, progressive disease, waking up every morning knowing that it won’t ever get any better; not being able to do a load of things – walking, gardening, hoovering, cleaning – that I was taking for granted before; all this drags me down and contributes to my low mood.
I do stuff to counteract it, and a lot of the time I’m ok, but I do have dark days. Just ask Kim.

Oh well, I’ll have to own up to the physio that I didn’t keep my word. Oops.

What went well

Also known as a gratitude diary. It’s a good idea – when I remember to do it! I lead such an exciting life.

30/12

Sleeping in fresh sheets
Made veg soup early
Kim made me biscuits
31/12
Did a doodle and put in blog
In the end, NYE was rather pleasant! Bubbly, Mock the Week, Nile Rodgers and Chic.
Had a really late night – 2am – and then slept quite well.
1/1
Woke up in a very happy mood – no idea why!
No hangover. 😃
Had a nice bath
2/1
Went for a little walk with Kim and rollator, first in ages 😊
Another blog post.
3/1
Shit day, v. low, but…
Watched Spectre & enjoyed it…
With a big bowl of popcorn
Kim made egg (double yolk!) & chips
4/1
Apart from preparing dinner in advance, I can’t remember anything – cog fog strikes again.
5/1
Took down the Christmas tree and cards – rather sad but at least I got it done!
Had a dram of posh whisky to bid farewell to the festive season.
Had a go on the pedaller.
9/1
Sorted papers! Kim’s burning tons of stuff in the garden.
Started mindfulness meditation again – Vidyamala’s body scan.
Exercised 😃
11/1
Walked round Tesco unaided!!! Brilliant!
Christmas cactus flowering well.
12/1
Body in bits today (MS payback for yesterday) but…
Had croissants for breakfast
Bought a swish new kettle half price
Looking forward to Whitechapel tonight
W/B 22/1
Michelle sorted out my Kindle Fire
Made a great veggie shepherd’s pie
Did Pilates, MS society exercises and walked round Tesco again.

Twelfth night

Our tree and cards will be staying up until the last minute, which I understand is this Friday, the 5th. I don’t want to say goodbye to Christmas yet, and as we still have lots of booze and nibbles left, why not extend the holiday season? I’ve been free from vertigo since Christmas Eve, and apart from the usual MS crap (pain, balance, mobility and bladder) and not getting out much, I’ve been having a blast.

New Year’s Eve was fine in the end, Kim went down the road to a little neighbourhood soiree for a couple of hours, while I chose to stay home with the animals and Poirot on a loop, then we toasted 2018 with a glass or two of Freixenet and didn’t get to bed till gone two! Wonderful.

I was in bed by 9.30 last night though. Sadly I’ve turned into a lightweight –  late nights without repercussions are a thing of the past. Old age (any age over 35, that is) tends to have that effect, youngsters be warned!

Any New Year resolutions? No. I don’t like being disappointed.