But I have to cope, don’t I? It might be all the control I have.

I feel as though I can barely cope, at the moment. This is not a search for pity, though; more an attempt at catharsis and bearing witness by personal account – personal being something I normally avoid, here…

Last week I was hastily dispatched to my ‘local’ A&E with a suspected stroke, where a tired, pressured and rushing assortment of wonderful medical staff showed a high level of concern. Turns out it’s Bell’s Palsy, which is surely a relief, relatively speaking, though it didn’t seem to much diminish their concern and care for me.

Actually, Bell’s may not be life and death but, on top of my long-term underlying health condition, its subsequently increasing list of secondary problems, on top of the fatigue and chronic pain.. having a paralysed left side of my face and the high dose of steroid treatment they advised is exacerbating existing problems and adding many more. I am having to fight harder, with every minute, not to feel utterly and irrevocably miserable. I want to curl up and sleep until I’m better. But better hasn’t ever really shown itself and I’m not getting younger. Plus, I have never been very good at curling up. Likely more animal instinct for movement than a quality of good character, however…

Stress and vulnerability to more stress plus decreasing personal resources to cope with a rapid sequence of challenging physical, mental and emotional trauma is taking its toll. And I’m not even in the high stakes band of disability. It’s not a competition, I know but my heart breaks for them and my awe knows no bounds.

I am, though, in a greatly weakened state, after more than a decade of coping with the consequences of my physical condition; with getting by, far too much, on bloody-mindedness and adrenaline – and then with negotiating the Con DWP’s hoops. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve blamed myself for not being capable; for being more burden than use, to both loved ones and Society. How many times I’ve pushed myself beyond a safe, manageable pace, as if I still needed testing!

When I got home, from the hospital, a mere six hours later, my PIP appointment was on the kitchen mat.

At the doctor’s check-up, yesterday (for the Bell’s), my GP – he’s not mine, of course: a personal family doctor is the stuff of my childhood – well he was equally concerned with the stress and vulnerability and poorliness I was displaying. He asked me if I wanted to try antidepressants. Really, Reader, apart from the fact that they and other useless drugs were once prescribed to me for the purpose of physical pain relief, with quite disastrous consequences, the last thing I want to do is give the PIP assessor an excuse to herd me into a new category of tickboxes, with a whole other set of nasty and arbitrary assumptions, hoops and conditions attached. I’m just too frightened and suspicious, now… I tell the doctor that I may or may not be clinically depressed but that I’ve never sought diagnosis (neither has such been offered) because, all things considered and, when I am not so generally overwhelmed by feeling low and rather extra poorly, my natural state of mental and emotional well-being are probably as good as can reasonably be expected; that my responses to my personal life conditions are surely normal/natural and that any depression is more of a secondary complication, just as are the teeth I have literally killed by clenching as a constant brace against pain. “Yes,” he said, “all things considered”.

But I have to cope, don’t I? Keep carrying on. It might be all the control I have.

15 thoughts on “But I have to cope, don’t I? It might be all the control I have.

  1. I’ve “Liked” your post Juli, as a fleeting digital way of sending something akin to a hug.

    Thanks for sharing btw, And i bet you only stopped tweeting for half an hour and blogging for a bit longer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bless you, thank you. Digital hugs are a wonderful thing. I am afraid to stop trying to do the few remaining things I can both do reasonably well and still enjoy. I wonder, though, how often that is to my detriment as much as it is my saving outlet. xx


  2. I feel for you Juli, it’s not nice being in pain 24/7 I know all about that but I count myself lucky as I am retired and get a state pension the DWP are leaving me alone for the moment as I just missed the cut off point age 65 by 3 months for just being transferred straight over to PIP without all this jumping through hoops, just my luck. I read on the DWP website that I can be contacted any time after 13 July 2015 to claim PIP and we all know how that is going.
    Anyway please don’t let them grind you down, you are a fighter.

    Sending virtual (((HUGS)))

    Hilary xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Juli lovely, true empathy; your final comment re depression becoming a secondary effect of chronic pain is the topic of my latest piece (as yet unpublished). This is no way of any use to you other than to share understanding, but you know that anyway. If I can help at all DM me – I mean it xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Jayne, darling, thank you for reaching out. That you understand so well and that you would make yourself personally available to me is a great comfort.

      I look forward to reading your piece on depression as a secondary. I think it is a most important health issue that is not given the attention it deserves and yet must surely affect thousands of people.

      I have been shown much kindness since writing this post and, though I really am in a bit of a state, my spirit is hugely lifted.

      Thank you, so so much. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Spirit shots | juxtaposed

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