When Health Conditions Collide

I was just reading the blog of another bipolar “victim” who described getting through a rough day of Christmas Mall shopping! I do my best to stay out of them as much as possible from American Thanksgiving until January!

My biggest challenge is that my health challenges can either work together to keep my life in check or if even one gets out of hand, can put me on the roller coaster from hell. There is no special order that this can happen, but for ease of writing and reading, I will pick a starting point.

This time of year really ramps up my chronic pain. The colder/damper weather effects my fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. These aches cause me to be less active which increases the chronic pain. It also affects my moods which make me grumpy, sad and anxious.

My OCD kicks into high gear this time of year. I always need everything to be in order in my house or it will effect my stress levels. Higher stress levels increase pain which saps the energy required to keep things neat and tidy. Once the place is a mess (which happens often), I have trouble doing much about it. Of course my obsessive side just can’t cope!

The lack of bright sunny days brings out my depression. I try to take extra vitamin D but this doesn’t always completely elevate my moods or, will do so and then the other factors will kick in to escalate me into a mild manic state. I don’t often go into full manic mood anymore which is a mixed blessing. I sometimes would love that energy to get me through everything.

Oh yes, sleep, the final frontier. Pain keeps me from lying down until I fall asleep. My body just doesn’t get comfortable, so I get up and play silly computer games until I am worn out and fall asleep when my head hits the pillow. Usually at this point I am taking more pain meds so they will help get me into the mood to fall asleep. I seem to not get to sleep until after 2 am no matter what time I start the process. Or, if I am asleep, I will wake up around 1 am and have to get out of bed for the next hour. Just lying there and doing breathing exercises, counting sheep or whatever other sleep method that comes to mind does not cut it – it is my body rebelling to being horizontal that keeps me awake. My lift chair is a good alternative, but if my moods are out of sync it doesn’t work either.

Back to the OCD. During these times I want to keep up with daily routine such as the dishes, proper personal hygiene (daily showers, brushing teeth), cleaning the house, shopping, etc. However, when pain and/or moods are at their worst, I just sit there dazed and confused. Then my mind starts punishing myself for not being able to keep everything in the order it should be so my world can keep revolving smoothly in one direction. The obsessive compulsive side just can’t accept a half done job so nothing gets done.

These collisions also make it difficult for me to ask for and/or accept help. Again, this just upsets things even worse. If I do have someone help and they want me to just go rest I am on the defensive. If I don’t get help the next hill or corner on the roller coaster just gets a little scarier.

Right now I have about 15 things I really think are priorities for the day. My pain level is about a nine and my energy level is almost on empty. I think I am in for a bumpy ride!

8 Replies to “When Health Conditions Collide”

  1. I understand what you are saying that OCD might help, but mine is not “a little bit” and it is more like the other health issues (mostly the constant pain and the mood swings of bipolar), make OCD unbearable at times. I want, no make that need something to be a certain way and it just doesn’t happen! And I hear you about stretches and rountines. However I must admit I have let excuses get in my way of my 3 days a week at the pool. Just walking in the water for 20 minutes to half an hour is so good for me on every level! I will check out that stepper!

    And God bless you as well. I value your comments.

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  2. I’m sorry you’re having a crappy time lovely, I have an arthritic condition in my spine and hip that gets worse in the cold and it all seems to compound with the bad weather and general blah of winter. It’s a cluster fluff. I hope you manage to find the small positives amongst the big negatives and shine your light right on them, focus on anything good that you can 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much. I do keep a positive outlook. As in an earlier post, I choose to be happy. Today I put out some candy cane lights in front of the house and a few other decorations. These things sooth me. I love lights – my hubby put a couple of strings (one colour and one white) in my craft studio/office and they have stayed up all year. So I literally shine a light on the positives LOL. My hands are almost unuseable at the moment, but I am going to sit back with a cup of tea and watch a movie.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I do my best to find the positives and there are a lot. I know people see my life as one challenge after another – I see it as one opportunity after another. My next post really delves into where all of that resolve came from.

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