Sunday, October 20, 2013

Calgon, Take Me Away

I am the victim of a war.

It is a war between my brain and my body.  Right now, my body is winning.

First of all, I'm not getting any younger here, although I refuse to accept that.  However, while I am not getting any younger, it means I am getting older.  As such, I have older-person (i.e. adult) responsibilities.   I have two kids who depend on me.  I need to be there for them, to be their mom.  To provide unconditional love and support, guidance and reassurance.  To give them a moral and ethical foundation that will make them decent human beings some day.  Kids these days are busy.  We don't even do that many activities in the grand scheme, but there is so much running.  I am out of the house every single day doing something or other that pertains to the kids.  It is tiring, but I know these times will be gone before I know it.  I am trying to find the joy and satisfaction in running Mom's Taxi Service.

I have a husband that needs me to support him in various ways.  Sometimes he realizes it, but sometimes he doesn't.

I have a job that is very draining on me right now.  It is emotionally depleting my reserves.  It is also physically demanding, with more work than I can physically, mentally and logistically handle.  I am defeated.

I am trying to begin a second career as a writer.  This takes so much energy and focus.  I want this to succeed.  I don't seem to have the time or energy to focus how I would like to.

In other words, I'm completely and totally burnt out.

And my body is going on strike.

About four years ago, I got the flu.  It was the typical flu, with the exception of the fact that it was in June.  After that, every time I got run down and a little sick, I end up getting very sick.  So, the little cold that I've been fighting turns into something so much more.  I get terrible, excruciating joint pain.  My ankles, knees, hips, elbows and hands are most affected.  Then, I spike a fever.  Like 103 fever.  The fatigue is crushing.  I get really, really sick and miserable.  I can barely get out of bed.  After my flu bout, I had about six episodes like that in a little over a year. I went to the doctor.  He listened, and we discussed possible options.  He felt it was most likely Epstein-Barr, and there is no way to treat it.  That test came back negative.  As did the one for Lyme Disease.

Blood test after blood test.  When I was sick, my blood work was very off.  I got sent to Rheumatologist.  I had, of course, researched what this could possibly be.  I felt certain that it was something auto-immune, as it always occurred with being sick and run down.  I was prepared for her to tell me it was Rheumatoid arthritis, or even Stills Disease (Adult-onset Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis).  I was not prepared for the Rheumatologist to tell me that she thought I had a malignancy (either lymphoma or multiple myeloma) or a severe form of vasculitis.  I was sent to an Oncologist. Based on my blood work, he ruled out cancer, but everyone has been left scratching their heads.

My primary and I have come to the conclusion that I do have some sort of auto-immune disease.  When my immune system is actively fighting an infection, whether it be a cold, a sinus infection or a bladder infection, if I am run down and do not have enough reserves, my body goes into hyperdrive and begins attacking everything, even my own joints.

Since figuring this out, I have avoided an episode by listening to my body.  I've had to at times leave work undone, and decline activities.  And this is what is going on right now.  I have a cold.  I have a terrible amount of stress from work.  And we're crazy busy.  This morning, I was supposed to take Jake to perform community service on the farm for the Northeast Regional Food Bank.  He didn't really want to go, but I feel it is important for him to help others who are not nearly as fortunate as we are.  But after being in pain all day yesterday, I just knew that 90 minutes of manual labor in the cold was probably not the best idea.

Thankfully, my husband stepped in and took Jake.  While I still need to go grocery shopping and work on Halloween costumes, I was able to come home from church (did I mention that we had to get up early to go to 7:30 mass to be able to do the Scouting project?) and rest.  Even with coffee at breakfast, I still came home and went back to sleep for a little while.  I had to force myself to rest, even though I know I have tons of stuff to do.

There is where the war is.  My brain won't slow down.  It wants to keep going and going and going.  Any my body is saying STOP!!!  I don't want to stop.  My life won't let me stop.

I just wish it could slow down.

Okay, rest and whining time over.  Time for some ibuprofen and then I'll get back to sewing.  I'll do the groceries later on in the day.  Thanks for listening.


  1. Hi Kathryn,

    I don't really know what to say to make you feel any better, as only you know just how much pain you are in. Suffice to say that I am thinking of you and hoping that you get back on your feet very soon.

    Stress is a terrible thing, it is the main cause of most illnesses and diseases from what I can see. I tend to let stress get the better of me, knowing I will always suffer in so many different ways ... and I do!

    I am sure that the children really appreciate the time you have taken with their Halloween costumes and husbands do value the work we do around the place I'm sure, they just don't like to show it!

    Take Care and I will let you know when your guest post goes live, at the end of this week.


  2. Yvonne,
    Thank you for your kind words. This is not the worst I have felt, but I guess I just got a bit dejected with it coming back. I was having a hectic enough week without this rearing its ugly head again.

    Making Halloween costumes for and with the kids is something that I truly enjoy, as do they. My daughter was so excited today to come home from being out and see her costume. I don't want to give up something as special as that because I have to work or because I'm sick. I was very bummed that I did not get to go with my son this morning, even more so when my husband reported that he did a "really great" job.

    I've been staying ahead of the stress for so very long, but it finally over took me and my body. I'm just going to hope that this week will get better and pace myself until then.

    Can't wait to see the blog, and, as always, thank you for your very kind support.