Stress and Chronic Illness


Photo by nikko macaspac on Unsplash. [Image Description: Choppy waves in the middle of the ocean with an arm poking straight out of the water.]

I never really feel stressed. Usually I laugh things off or try to focus more on solutions rather than problems, if I can. So it takes a lot for me to get stressed out. Well, you guys…

I am stressed.

Every year my family gathers for a Christmas Eve party and then a New Year’s Eve party. Since getting sick, I’ve never been able to attend both in one year and there were even a few years where I could not go to either. If you’re chronically ill, you know how hard it is to travel, even if the destination is “only” an hour away. There’s the motion sickness issue, the blood pooling issue, the dizziness issue, the fatigue issue, the heart rate issue, the joint pain issue, and, hell, even gastroparesis wants a piece of me when I’m in a moving vehicle for an extended period of time. If I’m having an okay health day, I’ll push through it and go where I need to go, but if I’m already feeling like crap… Well, better luck next time.

Last year I was able to go for Christmas Eve, but not New Year’s Eve. This year I’m hoping to do better. Everything was looking good for me to be able to attend both until one of my doctors called to tell us the lubricant injections for my knees have finally been approved by my insurance company. Normally, this would be good news! Except we have to start right away and they have to be administered every week for five weeks at my rheumatologist’s office (an hour and forty minutes away). By the time this is posted, I’ll have gone for my first injection yesterday, which means my fifth and final injection will be the first week of January.

When you factor in all of the showering, traveling, the other doctor appointments, and the holidays… Pray for me, y’all, I’m going to need all the help I can get.

So what does stress do to my chronic illnesses? Here’s an example. Gastroparesis only let me eat half of my dinner tonight after not ingesting anything but my medication and half of a bottle of chocolate flavoured Breakfast Essentials all day. If I took one more bite, I was definitely not going to be able to keep it down. There’s much more, including the fact that I thought today was going to be the day that I finally full-on passed out, but we’d be here forever.

Chronic illnesses aside, I also have this blog and an Etsy shop to run during the busiest shopping season of the year. And people wonder why I laugh when they ask if I’m seeing anyone. Spoons don’t grow on trees! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about being busy. Okay, maybe a little… I like being busy and feeling like I’m actually moving forward instead of backward. The stress, however, I could definitely do without and I think my flaring chronic illnesses would agree with me.

But, yeah. Yay holidays and all of that stuff.



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