It occurs to me I speak openly about the mental health side of my ill health but rarely the physical.
My physical issues are very real and prominent and no less damaging than what my mental state can sometimes be.
Maybe it’s the fact people are forever telling me not to focus on such negativity or that I sometimes feel ashamed of being physically disabled at my age. Whatever the reason, my physical issues are firmly rooted in the driving seat some days.
Just lately I have had an increase in seizure activity, joint pain, neck and shoulder pain, loss of sensation in the left limbs, breathing difficulties, dizziness, fainting fits and tics. All this alongside my flashbacks, dissociative states and panic attacks.
The two may be in a dance of sorts. Coming together to jive out the stress of moving home and the reemergence of long suppressed and sorrowful memories. Or perhaps the two are in a coincidental parallel meeting, not realising one party had booked the room already and now they raise voices over the top of one another in attempt to own the room.
I’m still not entirely convinced FND is the right diagnosis. So much so, that we are paying for private tests, once we are settled in the new house. I have zero faith in a medical system that allowed my abuse and then helped slowly feed my auntie to the reaper.
I have done my research. To diagnose this disorder, all other avenues must be examined and exhausted. I was diagnosed after a ten minute chat with a doctor who’d never met me before; at the time having only one active symptom.
No brain scans or blood tests outside the vitamins and thyroid were conducted. Just some limb collapsing and joint tapping, was all the NHS submitted me too.
I recall in the letter I later received, a waffling about my past and a single sentence in the middle, quite alone and seemingly a bullseye point that he wanted to make, ‘I noticed she had some old scars on her arms.’ Thank you DR, for that outstanding observation, you deserve a Nobel prize!
He was basing his whole assumption on the fact I clearly had a difficult time with mental health. Once again that label, stitched on and defining, has led me to be a swipe worthy fly among medical professionals, because you know, mentally ill people of my age don’t get real sicknesses, right? For example Lymes disease or MS are impossibilities, right…wrong! People my age are observably becoming more prone to fatal illnesses like brain tumours, uterine cancers, STDs and diabetes, to name but a few.
I am often disregarded or belittled as a result of being labelled with a mental illness. This has been happening since around age 15 when a GP first laid the label on me. It was a nice a simple depression at the time but two years later, after the birth of my son, it escalated to bipolar and spun out from there in a dramatic roller coaster of label smashing and diagnosis damning, by diploma happy slapdash doctors.
It is a label you cannot scrape off. I often feel as stuck to it as it is to me. The worst thing about that label? It doesn’t even say ‘mentally ill.’ Instead it reads ‘disregard.’