Straight back into flare up.

Went back to college last Tuesday after two weeks off for Easter. I had a good Easter, got out of flare up after about a month of high pain, and had relatively low pain whilst I was off college. However going back to college last Tuesday has sent me straight back into flare up. High pain Tuesday night, high pain after college on Wednesday and all evening, spent all of Thursday in bed with high pain. Friday I had a bit of a POTS episode and had a massive seizure in the bathroom, which resulted in me being in bed all day again Friday, because my blood pressure and heart rate weren’t playing ball and my pain was bad also. Saturday was also spent in bed with high pain. Sunday I managed to go to work but as soon as I got home I needed to be in bed, and today I’m in bed with high pain.

I have a mock psychology exam tomorrow at college, but because the pain has been so high and I have had to be in bed with it pretty much for the past 5 days I haven’t been able to study for it. We know what the questions are but for the life of me I can’t remember any of the information, definitions, studies or evaluation. It takes me a long time going over something to be able to remember it properly and I just haven’t been able to do any of that. I’ve emailed my teacher giving her a heads up that my pain has been bad and I have been bed bound the past 5 days and therefore haven’t been able to study, so if I took the exam the likelihood is that I would fail it. I’ve decided not to go into college tomorrow for the exam, because I know what I am like, I will sit there looking at the exam paper, not knowing the answers to the questions so I would stress and stress myself out and get overwhelmed and anxious and possibly have a bit of a breakdown, which is not good for my already bad pain. Therefore the best decision for me and my health is to not put myself in that situation. My teacher emailed back saying that it’s okay if I don’t feel well enough to come in tomorrow and that if I feel able to I can take it on Friday with the other class. So hopefully I may be able to get a bit of studying in before Friday and take the mock exam then.

Though I am really annoyed, I have practically only just got out of a flare up, only to go back into one less than two weeks later. Not a happy bunny!


Two years ago.

Two years ago tomorrow I came back to England from Dubai. I was incredibly suicidal and yet again it wasn’t safe for me to be in Dubai where mental health care is lacking and suicide is illegal. Having only just got away with it in September 2012 when I overdosed and ended up in intensive care. I didn’t want to come back to England, actually I loathed the idea. I wasn’t expecting to stay longer than a few weeks, so when I was told by the mental health people I started seeing here that it would take way longer than that, I was distraught. Dubai was my home and I hated England.
The mental health team were useless anyway and didn’t help so eventually I got rid of them and found a private psychologist who specialised in treating people with chronic pain. I hit the jackpot and she was/is great. She has helped me immensely with being accepting of my condition and learning to live a good and happy life despite pain. Taking every day as it comes, and incorporating mindfulness and pain management techniques into my life, which help a lot.

I never thought any of this would be possible for me, for me to be in pain but to be okay, to be happy. It is highly likely I will be in pain for the rest of my life, but that’s okay because I can cope, I can be happy and I can live a full life despite chronic pain. I still have bad days, bad pain days, flare ups which last weeks/months, days where I’m in a bad mood because of it. But that comes with the territory of chronic pain and not every day is bad.

After dropping out of school back in September 2012 after my overdose I never thought I would be back in education ever again. But I am, I’m at college and I’m doing well at college and hope to go to university after I finish my course in a years time.

I’ve come so far over the past two years, there has been many ups and downs and it has been an incredibly hard journey over the past five years since I got sick to get to this place. However I hope that maybe I am a better person for it. For what I’ve achieved and how far I’ve come.

None of this would have been possible for me if I hadn’t moved back, if I didn’t have the support from the people I do, my family, my school counsellor and my psychologist who support me every step of the way. In order to move back we had to split my family up, my mum lives in England with me and my Dad and sister in Dubai, it’s been hard on my parents and it’s been hard on my sister not having my mum there with her all the time. I feel bad about it but I can’t appreciate what they have done for me enough. I would never have got to this place without moving back and I can’t thank them all enough.

I am the never ending headache, but I have accepted that.
I may always be the never ending headache, but I can live my life as best as possible despite it.
I can have NDPH and be okay, I know that now.

Forever proving myself wrong.

Just over a year ago now I was hording medication to kill myself with, I was ready to end it all again, to end the pain and suffering and to just not be here anymore. It was around this time last year that something changed in me, all the work I had done with my psychologist finally made sense and I wanted to get better emotionally. So I threw away all the medication and decided to try and turn my miserable life around into a life of acceptance and peace despite pain; though it has been a bumpy road that has had many ups and downs.

This time last year I applied to go to college and to my surprise I got in to do an Access Course to get me qualifications to get into university on. After dropping out of school in 2012 after my overdose I never thought I would be able to go back to education, I never thought I would get anywhere in life. I thought I was doomed to spend the rest of my life in bed living off my parents due to pain and depression. I had a lot of anxiety surrounding going back to education, about whether I would be able to do it, would I be able to cope with studying and the pain. In September I started my course full time (4 days a week for 1 year), I found it to be too much to handle so made the sensible decision to drop to doing it part time (2 days a week for 2 years), which has suited me much better at the minute.
I doubt myself a lot, the problem is I don’t believe in myself, I don’t believe I can achieve anything. For years my life was a string of what I saw as failures, for example, I was unable to complete my A levels 3 times and I ended up dropping out of school. Those being my two biggest issues, so my fear of going back to education when I hadn’t had much luck or success with it in the past I think were pretty valid. I also didn’t believe that my brain worked properly anymore, I didn’t believe I could learn because of the pain, I felt stupid and didn’t believe I would be able to achieve good grades in going back to education. I still struggle with this despite proving myself wrong at every turn.
As it turns out I have got the highest grade there is on nearly all of the assignments I have done, and the one where I got the second highest grade I only just narrowly missed out on the highest one. I didn’t expect to get grades as good as that, I doubted myself and didn’t believe in myself and my abilities, every assignment I expected to fail, so you can imagine my surprise when it turns out not only did I pass but I got the highest grades possible in the majority of them.

I have proven myself wrong in that I have been able to cope with college and that I have been able to achieve high grades despite never thinking I could do this with the pain.
My old GP in Dubai who is a lovely woman and I am actually on a first name basis with, once said that I am not an ‘average joe’ that I am incredibly insightful, intelligent and mature and that I have a hell of a lot to offer the world, that I have something special that a lot of people don’t have, and she said she hoped that I could one day show the world what I am about. Part of me is inclined not to believe the words she once said to me, but that’s because I doubt myself so much and have a lack of a belief in myself. People tell me all the time that I’m strong, that I’m special, that they are proud of me, that they have great hopes for my future, however I tend not to believe them. Everyone else seems to believe in me, so why can’t I believe in myself.

I need to start having more faith in myself and my abilities because I am capable of achieving things despite pain, and it has become clear that I am forever proving myself wrong. I have come so far since this time last year when I never thought that any of this would be possible for me.

This flare up is getting to me.

Feeling a bit down and fed up, still in flare up pretty sure I’ve been in it the majority of March as I haven’t had many good days; well actually I’ve only had a couple, my birthday included in that. Sometimes it takes me a while to figure out I’m actually in flare up, sure I know the pain is bad and that I’m having consecutive bad days but it’s almost like if I don’t admit I’m in flare up maybe I won’t be. Probably doesn’t really make much sense, but somehow in my head it does! Thursday was the worst day, possibly one of my worst ever pain days. Since then it hasn’t been quite as bad, but not good either. When I go into flare up for a while I feel okay and able to cope, it’s only after quite a few bad days that I start to feel down, fed up again and wonder how the hell I’m going to get through more days like this.

College has been particularly difficult the past few weeks, so much so several times I’ve had to leave the lesson early and go home, or I barely manage it through the lesson and end up back in bed as soon as I’ve got home. I haven’t been able to do any work outside of college either, all my spare time recently has had to be spent mostly in bed. Taekwondo training has also taken a back burner as I haven’t felt up to going, and know if I push myself to go it will only make things worse.
Yesterday I had my psychology lesson and we were learning about depression, which was fine because I really don’t have a problem with talking about depression and such. However what does get to me is ignorant people’s opinions on the topic. Apparently according to this extremely annoying person in my class no one with depression has any empathy. This really got on my nerves, I have so much empathy yet I’ve had depression for 5 years, some of the most empathetic people I know suffer from depression. I told her I disagreed with her and that she was wrong, she insisted that she wasn’t which made me so incredibly angry that people with depression were being portrayed as having no empathy which is not true in the slightest, so I got up and left the room before I really lashed out and said something I may have regretted. Shortly after my friend came out to see if I was okay, so I had a chat with her and then shortly after we went back into the lesson, tried to put it behind me and got on with the lesson as best I could with the pain being bad.

Yesterday after getting home and waking up from a very long, deep and much needed nap I had an email waiting for me in my inbox from my law teacher with my assignment results that I had been waiting for for ages. To my complete surprise and delight I got a distinction in the research plan assignment and also a distinction in the research report assignment! Completely thrilled and definitely worth the wait. I have one more assignment in law and then that subject is done, and then I have an exam in psychology to do in June and then I’m done for the year. Bit concerned about the exam as I don’t believe I am very good in exams anymore, however I have been known to prove myself wrong so you never know! Two weeks off for Easter now, got lots of work to do and I’m hoping this flare up will calm down so I can do it, if not well I’m not sure what I will do, but at least I might have a chance to recover from this horrendous flare up without having the pressure of having to go to college for lessons.

Also booked a trip to Dubai in May, when I’m off college for a week. In hindsight it’s just before my exam so maybe not the best idea but I want to go, and I will take all my exam prep with me and do work out there so it should be okay. It also means I get to pick my sister up on her last ever day of school and see her off to her last ever prom. Oh wait, I mustn’t forget to mention I will also get to see my Dad which is always nice as well! It’s always nice to spend a bit of time in Dubai with my Dad and sister, so looking forward to that in May.

I hope this flare up dies down soon, not sure how I’m going to continue coping as the pain is so awful all of the time at the minute, really takes it’s toll, feel very down the past week ish.