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Old 04-22-2019, 07:14 AM #1
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Default the psych drama of being old and sick

Hi everyone,
With mixed feelings of irony, frustration, rage, impotence, compassion, patience, giving up, encouraging myself...
I'm having a bad reaction to coming off oral steroids for asthma.
Yes, I need to talk to my doctor about this but it's Easter and he's taking 3 weeks holiday.
Meanwhile... I've been totally totally exhausted. Doing everyday things, and overcoming everyday obstacles such as a public transport system what wasn't running for 5 days - is a mind-numbing challenge.

Plus I've had no appetite but know that it's abusive to my body to come out of illness and eat junk food. Preparing food, cleaning the kitchen up afterwards, even eating the food - takes about an hour of motivational chat with myself beforehand.

Since I can't do much short-term about the physical situation, I'm trying to use this time of feebleness to evaluate my psychological compulsions. For instance, I get angry that I have a huge to do list and am not doing it - so I'm trying to adapt by setting myself short tasks rather than giving up entirely. Today's early morning task was scrubbing clean the frying pan... and then wash... and then clean kitchen implements and surfaces.

I'm trying to use this as downtime to sit with my emotions about things, sigh!

I've also printed out some online stuff about additional meds useful for acute asthma to discuss with my GP when he condescends to start working again.

Does anyone else experience an extreme inner conflict between being driven and task-focused as a personality and being physically ill. Dealing badly with this conflict means "forcing" myself to do stuff and then collapsing afterwards. Dealing badly with this conflict also means anxiety and raging against the body-self that isn't under control.

I really want to learn to reflect on my reactivity in many dimensions of my life. It's not useful in relating to myself or in relating to other people. What I want and need is some more stable state of inner being, and I've been there sometimes but sickness throws me right out of it.

Saidso
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Old 04-22-2019, 02:02 PM #2
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Personally I just feel exhausted all the time. I don't know why. I just do. Chalk it up to old age? I have a routine of household chores I typically follow each day. Sometimes, accomplishing it feels little short of climbing a mountain. But I just make myself keep going. My penchant for passive suicidal thinking spikes during these periods. In my case I don't know as there is anything I can do about any of it. The chores have to be done. And I'm not going to get any younger. So I just keep doing what I know I have to do...
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:12 AM #3
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Default Re: the psych drama of being old and sick

Thanks very much Skeezyks, and I'm sorry that you feel exhausted most of the time.
It's demoraling: I feel like there are two "me's" = the brain me which has a list of stuff to do, and the body me which just waaaants to lie down all the time. To make it worse our local bus service has been diverted for the past two weeks, which means walking two miles to supermarket and back, to doctor and any other professional.
I've forced myself to ask for a call back from doctor today. I'm supposed to consult them when suffering acute asthma but since they are never available and since I don't acknowledge asthma is acute until I'm totally unable to speak, let alone deal with authoritarian doctors' receptionists.... Since all that, I keep meds to hand, consult pharmacy and take my own treatment decisions within the range of what doctors have explained to me.

Since I'm supposed to consult them, I'm doing so albeit after the event.
A friend tells me that it might be two weeks before I feel normal level of energy again.

I'm moving house soon, so the task list is more intimidating than usual.
I find it hard not to get tangled up in emotional/ mental reactions when I'm unwell but not actually hors de combat. So I entirely understand your suicidal thoughts. I keep trying to let go into accepting what is - and I exercise about one quarter of my usual amount but I do exercise. I am eating fairly ok (veggie stews that I don't need supermarket shopping ingredients to make) although not as healthy as I would wish.

I never felt this awful after an asthma attack before.

I don't expect to have the energy of a 20 year old but I don't expect to feel this bad!

Keep monitoring everything!

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Old 04-23-2019, 01:18 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeezyks View Post
Personally I just feel exhausted all the time. I don't know why. I just do. Chalk it up to old age? I have a routine of household chores I typically follow each day. Sometimes, accomplishing it feels little short of climbing a mountain. But I just make myself keep going. My penchant for passive suicidal thinking spikes during these periods. In my case I don't know as there is anything I can do about any of it. The chores have to be done. And I'm not going to get any younger. So I just keep doing what I know I have to do...
I called my doctor and she immediately suggested sending in a blood test because this doesn't seem to be a logical result of asthma nor the meds. I wonder if your doctor would be helpful? Know they often are not.
Encouraging thoughts your way!
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:38 PM #5
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Default Re: the psych drama of being old and sick

saidso, I am often wanting to do different things (like I did when I was younger), but physically I just can't, so I understand. I hope your doc can help with the asthma issue, though,
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Old 04-27-2019, 06:27 AM #6
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Default Re: the psych drama of being old and sick

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeezyks View Post
Personally I just feel exhausted all the time. I don't know why. I just do. Chalk it up to old age? I have a routine of household chores I typically follow each day. Sometimes, accomplishing it feels little short of climbing a mountain. But I just make myself keep going. My penchant for passive suicidal thinking spikes during these periods. In my case I don't know as there is anything I can do about any of it. The chores have to be done. And I'm not going to get any younger. So I just keep doing what I know I have to do...
Skeezyks:

I'm sorry that you are feeling this way. I am feeling the same way. I am a 64-year-old female and by myself. I am trying to keep up with the housework, yard work (yes, I still mow and trim hedges), but after 38 years of being in the same house with the same annoying neighbors, I'm tired of it. After a knee injury 6 weeks ago which is slowly getting better, those passive suicidal thoughts have invaded my brain as well. Sometimes, I wonder why I have to keep going and doing the same things that I have always done. My kids and grandchild live far away. The rest of my family and close friends have passed on. No one cares. No one visits or calls. Does any of it really matter at all? Do I matter?
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:45 AM #7
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Hi, well I'm on my third week of this virus thing. The doc inspected my lungs and throat and confirms that it's a virus. She said that the exhaustion may last from 4 to 6 weeks. I don't have a respiratory infection but we should do a fasting blood test to make sure. Viruses used to be better in 9 days, not?


The worst is that I get two-three days free of symptoms then the streaming nose and exhaustion come back. I am furious with the woman who infected me, mainly because she was joking that she went on to stay with another friend and he got very sick indeed 2 days after her visit. My fury is based on the fact that I ask visitors to be careful of infecting me because with my asthma condition, cold viruses can escalate fast into emergency situations. I'm angry that she wasn't being careful about washing up properly and sneezing into handkerchief. I'm angry that I did so much work to host her visit and I'm left with a disaster situation... because moving house means a lot of travelling and focused negotiations. This has gone on so much longer than I expected and when the symptoms hit again I started crying. I have a lot on my shoulders.

Plus today I was in a street market and my purse was stolen. I am usually very careful but I'm pushing myself to eat healthy through this exhaustion and I realise now that someone distracted me intentionally. Only money - no credit cards, but it added to my rage at feeling so overwhelmed with exhaustion.

I don't remember feeling this long term exhausted since I was in my late twenties - then it was due to stress, suppressed PTSD and bad diet.

I'm posting here because - breathe! - I am angry, panicked, and at my wits end. To make matters worse our local bus service to the supermarket has been on diversion not going through my neighbourhood for two weeks so I have to walk two/ three miles to do every darn thing. Carrying shopping.

I'm also angry because this last visitor "forgot" to give me back my house keys, even though I reminded her. Why am I always the "responsible adult" even when I'm very sick? Whinge!

I know this is whingeing and that I'm lucky to still be in relative good health at my age. I do seem to be someone who shoulders responsibility. So far the removal plans are going ok, but I still have so much to organise. It's a long distance move, and I've lived in my current home for two decades.

I need to keep a track on the psych drama of all this - because illness NEVER happened in my growing up family. The only time I was off school sick was when I collapsed with peritonitis and had to be forcibly revived in the emergency room. Later as an adult I got to take two days off work with high temperature but never more than that. Prolonged illness always freaks my coping strategies, and that's without having to organise building works in my new distant home and house clearance in the old one.

Plus having my freaking purse stolen the one moment that because of illness I am less vigilant!

Help!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't find the sane place inside me, so I'm off to buy some ginger and apple juice to replace my usual tea and coffee drinks.
Saidso
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remember: the nut shell against human predators and my own fear!
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