Stress: How it affects everything

It has been an extremely stressful week for me.  With my hip flare up, my son being sick, bad news from my doctor and drama at work.  It couldn’t come at a worse time, my PMDD has kicked in full gear and is about to go into the worst stages in a couple days.

It’s amazing to me how stress affects my body.  It seems like stress really affects my autoimmune disease and depression.  I’m in horrible pain all over my body and my brain just feels drained to no end. I feel like when I get out of my routine, everything just seems so much harder.  Every day this week has been out of my comfort zone of routine.

I’m so glad its the weekend and I can spend time with my son and my boyfriend.  Hopefully next week will be better and I’ll have my routine back.

Any ways, everyone have a good weekend

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Morning Pains: Living with Autoimmune Disease

Dreading the morning is something I have been dealing with for a long time now. I wake up every morning with horrible stiffness and pain all over my body.   My autoimmune issues started a little over 3 years ago.  Changed my life drastically.  Contributed to my divorce, losing my home and caused conflict at work.

It all started with a disease called Erythema Nodosum.  Painful lesions all over my body, joint pain and fever.  After two biopsies, 12 different medications and Methotrexate,,,which is basically low dose chemo, my Erythema Nodosum went into remission….So I thought.  The lesions went away but the joint pain and stiffness remained and has been continuing to get worse.

My specialists are still perplexed and still can’t seem to figure out what exactly is going on.  After countless MRI’s and testing….still not a concrete label for my disease.  I was starting to think this was all in my head. Hoping  my antidepressants would help me with the pain….they failed.  I even tried Vicodin to get me through….that was a mistake.  I have never been so addicted to a drug in my life.  It didn’t really help with pain any way, it just made me not care about it.

Finally yesterday they found degeneration in my hip, which is where most of my pain resides.  Never thought I would feel happy that they found something wrong….but it beats feeling crazy all the time.  They want to put me on Humira, which I’m sure will have crazy side effects but its got to be better then Methotrexate injections.

Now that I am single mother and have been going through this on my own.  I think I have just become accustomed to the loneliness.  It has been a long painful road.  I hide my pain best I can from my son and I do everything in my power to make sure he has fun normal life.  It becomes so tiring to pretend all the time though.  Work is probably the most challenging.  Some supervisors understand, while others just want me gone because they don’t want to deal with it.  I do quite well not missing work considering but constant doctor appointments and dealing with flare ups can be frustrating.  I’m trying my best though, I don’t want to give up and go on disability.  Its impossible to survive in San Diego as a single parent as it is.

To carry this pain on top of my Depression and PMDD…I’m surprised I have made it this far.  My son keeps going though.  His light gets me through each day.

My dating life has been a disaster through all this.  I think some guys just can’t handle someone going through what I do.  Luckily I recently met someone who is very supportive and accepting of my disabilities.  I hope this is a positive change in my life.  I don’t feel so alone anymore and its nice to have the encouragement of a partner.

Any ways, this is my second blog…I’m so new to this.  Thank you for reading

Introducing Myself

Let me start by introducing myself.  My name is Amanda.  I have never blogged before.  So here it goes….

I am a single mother to one beautiful 4 year old son.  I have been divorced now for almost two years. I’m not going to lie, it has been a struggle, but a learning experience as well.  I have to say being a single mother living with mental illness and autoimmune disease can be quite challenging.  Balancing my life and making sure my son is not affected by my disabilities can be draining at times but more than worth it.

I suffer from PMDD and Depression.  I have been battling mental illness all my life.  It runs in my family as well.  I have been on numerous medications but it never really goes away.  Keep waiting for that magic pill but haven’t found it yet.  PMDD has to do with my menstrual cycle.  I get PMS but…its PMS from the depths of hell.  It affects my depression greatly, and I seem to only get two weeks a month relief.  As soon as my Estrogen starts to drop, its like the world isn’t such a wonderful place anymore.  Luckily I am a very patient person, and when it comes to work, I am a pro actress at hiding my mental illness.  There are some days I hide in the bathroom to calm myself down from a panic attack for 5 min.  It’s pretty sad when a bathroom stall becomes your safe zone.

I have come a long way in my mental illness though.  A few years ago,  I couldn’t drive…scared me to death.  I depended on my husband for everything.  I couldn’t even go to the store with out having a panic attack.  If someone knocked on the door at home, I would never answer it and I sure as hell never answered my phone.  I would have panic attacks and curl up in the closet or the shower.  I would sit on the couch and stare at the wall and dwell on everything for hours.  I seemed to only feel comfortable around people if I was drinking.  Once I had my son, I knew that I had to change and get help.  I knew that I couldn’t put him through what my Mother put me through as a child.  She suffers from PMDD and OCD.  She has never sought treatment.  Seeing my mother battle mental illness was very traumatizing as a child. It triggered my first self mutilation as 4 years old.  No child should feel the need to hurt themselves to try and get their mothers attention.

Overall my stability has improved tremendously.  I have had a stable job for 14 years now.  I can drive any where and do fun activities with my son.  I have my own place and pay my bills on time.  Most importantly I can get out of the house with out dripping in sweat from panic.  I used to always be against medication but it has really helped me.  I have been judged for being on it because some people just consider it a crutch.  If I wasn’t on medication, I couldn’t function or be a good mother to my son.  He is way more important to me than going by what other people think.

Any ways that is all for now.  I have much more to share about my life and thank you to anyone that has read this.