Yup, screwed it is. I’m 36 weeks pregnant, my hips decided to stop staying in place on a near permanent basis and I have a very bad cold/chest infection. Nothing is ever simple when you pile one thing on top of another. EDS has its gamut of issues, add to it being very pregnant and complicated becomes interesting, add to that a fever, cough, sore throat, sneezing, wheezing, vomiting and bad things start to happen.
I’m still rather grateful that it’s bad and not very bad. The last few days have not been pleasant, but sitting/lying in front of the computer last night with a throw up bowl in front of me, coughing my lungs, no wait, my ribs out, it could be much worse; it’s been much worse, I’m still okay, just irritable and in pain and tired of the snowball effect. I sneeze and dislocate my shoulder, Rem’s response, I thought it’d be your jaw. Well darn, me too. I wish I wasn’t home by myself; shoulders are difficult to relocate alone and other joints tend to dislocate in the process and so I fix my right shoulder by dislocating my left wrist, fix my left wrist by dislocating my right thumb (that’s already a mess in a permanent home made splint at the moment) and round we go. Before I’m done, I cough and yup, two ribs are no longer where they should be. Scoot forward in the chair and my hips object violently to having any strain applied. Wonderful.
Ironically, all of this, I can live with. Joints are easy, they’re predictable and they’re painful to try and maintain, but body pain I can handle. It’s the head cold that really gets to me. I feel foggy, I can’t think, the fever erodes my brain cells just a little bit and I can’t breathe properly. Throat and head are the two intolerable things. I struggle to swallow, breathe, talk and sleep without choking or my airways slowly collapsing. My head hurts, that dull pounding of pressure building up in blocked sinuses and it’s annoyingly compounded by the splitting headaches I get when throwing up. Pressure can cause some really horribly high levels of pain.
Exhaustion feels like a massive understatement. I’m tired enough that my muscles are shaky and I can’t hold anything without spilling. Dehydration makes muscles cramp up, causes dizziness, lower my blood pressure even more and trigger sudden episodes of visual snow; my temperature goes up, my pulse goes up and I just want to crawl deep under the covers and sleep the time away. Lying down is problematic, however, so is sitting up, walking, moving, turning over. It gets a little frustrating after a few days. Despite the discomfort, I’m still quite content. No extreme breathing problems, no tricky dislocations that won’t reduce, no serious complications, this is all pretty normal and standard for having a cold added to the usual mix.
It makes me think back to when I was a child. I always had the greatest respect for people who kept going to work when they had a cold, how on earth do they manage? I couldn’t make it out of bed, let alone get dressed and spend a whole day at work. Pre-diagnosis, it never occurred to me that what I was experiencing was not the norm, I just thought I was being a baby and needed to try harder. Even after I was diagnosed, it took a long time to realize that having a chronic illness affects and complicates everything else. A chest infection looks a little different when you add asthma into the mix.
It’s a wet, wintry day, the kind I really like and listening to the rain fall outside wrapped up in a warm blanket with the heating on inside is not that horrible a way to spend the day. It’s weekend and I can curl up in my pajamas and doze off during the times when I feel a little better. It’s the unpredictability and chain effect that makes life so frustrating. I had plans, I have appointments, I have to do lists ranging from get my passport renewed to finish the Halo Reach Legendary co-op campaign, but I’m stuck, in bed the vast majority of time and when I can get up, I’m stuck in my chair with a bowl in front of me throwing up and shaking too badly to hold a controller, never mind pushing any buttons. I don’t particularly care for depressing so I shelve the to do lists, sip on a glass of diluted peach and grape juice and think of all the pleasant things I want to be doing when I feel better. Some things you can’t predict, can’t control, can’t avoid and can’t plan for, but attitude is never ever one of them.