Sunday, 8 June 2008

Paranoid android

Its a beautiful weekend, the sun has been shining, Euro 2008 has started, England have won the cricket convincingly... can i enjoy it? No. Because I have spent the whole weekend rapidly descending a spiral of paranoia. And for once it's not UC related. Well, I say that, but i wonder if the underlying reasons are actually to do with living with a chronic disease.

At best, I would say that UC has made me a more reflective and conservative person. In many ways I am a far healthier person. Healthier that is, except for my colon, joints and... the fact I'm increasingly becoming a mentalist. I'm guessing that I would be typical of most chronic illness sufferers in that I am much more introspective than I ever used to be. I pretty much consider the consequences of every thing I do and, especially, eat. I literally cannot do anything on a whim or impulse any more. Virtually every decision I make is preceeded by the thought: "mmm, how will that affect the UC?". And I can talk myself out of anything on those grounds. I spend all day every day weighing up the relative importance of every twinge in my stomach and every bump or lump on my limbs. I have to constantly fight with myself to prevent my becoming utterly superstitious and reading portents and omens in everything. For instance, I can rarely bring myself to admit out loud that I'm feeling OK, and things are quite settled... that would be tempting fate. And, of course, I have to salute every bloody magpie that I pass. See, MENTAL!

So, it is with this crazy attitude that I have struggled through a weekend in which I have developed a cold. I'm afraid I am beyond the stereotypical man-flu archetype. Oh no, sir, no simple influenza for me. I had a particularly nasty bout of pneumonia in february and was hospitalized for a week (HA! as if i dont see enough of that place as it is) - it was horrible. I thought I was going to die. But I didn't. In fact I very much got better (another 6 week spell off work, but it must made a change for them to write pneumonia instead of UC on the paperwork. Incidently, 'hilarious' rumours spread among the kids at school like wildfire: cancer, AIDS... amputation!?). However, as a sniffle developed into a cold, and then moved down on to my chest, it has been terrifyingly easy for me to convince myself that IT'S BACK - I'M GOING TO DIIIIIEEEEE OF PNEUMONIA. God, I have spent hours breathing deeply to pinpoint any chest pain. I have tried repeatedly to take my own temperature - without a thermometer - "Oh Christ, I feel really hot..." yes, it's hot and sunny out today, you idiot. And most grotesquely I have developed a disgracful new habit of ejecting anything I cough up to inspect it for anything nasty (this has to be an extension of religiously examining poo). I don't even know what I'm looking for. Somebody heeeeellppp me...


aliwalidoodah said...

A few weeks ago I started to assume that bad things happening to other people were somehow my fault. Because I've had such rotten luck with my health my steroid-saturated-UC-mushy brain decided that my luck was somehow rubbing off on other people simply because I knew them. Now that's mentalist.

Maria said...

It sounds to me like UC and ill health is taking over your mind. You have no positive or optimistic thoughts which will not help your wellbeing. I am sure that the added stress of being a teacher doesn't help. Have you tried yoga? I think you need to try to find a way to plenty of relaxation. Perhaps once your mind relaxes a little your body may also destress. I know it's easier said than done but it's just a thought and you did scream for HELP.