Chronic Illness Q&A

1. What have you been diagnosed with?
Fibromyalgia, CFS, Heart Failure, Arthritis, Schizoaffective Disorder, Depression Anxiety Disorder.

2. What do you tend to do at night when you can't sleep?
I sit in the dark and listen to music with my headphones on.

3. Worst experience/side effect of a medication you've taken?
The one medication makes me hungry every waking moment. It’s caused me to double in size since I started it.

4. How has your condition impacted your mental health?
It’s taken a toll on me depression wise and made my anxiety way worse.

5. Describe your social life.
I really don’t have much of a social life. Most of it is going for coffee with the same 3 friends once a week. Other than that I stay home all the time alone.

6. What is the hardest thing to do when your illness is in a flare?
For Fibro, it’s anything. In a bad flair it’s hard to even get to the bathroom. Same with Arthritis, it’s very hard to move around. For all of my ailments, the ability to concentrate is impaired in a flair.

7. Do you have any worries for the future?
I am deeply worried about needing to be in a care home. I’ve seen what they are like and even the good one Mom was in, I’d rather be dead than in that situation. Honestly, the total lack of privacy and the need to depend on others for literally everything is hell on earth to me.

8. Favorite comfort food?
Ketchup potato chips.

9. Lessons I've learned from being sick.
How to be patient. I’ve had to be. I rely on others for transportation and that means I have to wait until they can give me a ride a lot of the time. This can be days in rare cases.

10. Three things that I miss that have been taken away from me due to my health?
Being able to work at a job, the ability to ride a bike, and physical stamina.

11. How old were you when you first noticed your symptoms?
I was in my 30s when I first realized I was depressed and had anxiety. As well it was about the same time for the Fibro. It took many years however to be diagnosed with Fibro. For the other mental illness, it was in my 40s when I went off the deep end and ended up locked up in the mental ward, then it still took about 3 years to get diagnosed properly. Arthritis was in my 40’s when it started to get bad and I noticed it. Heart failure I was 49 when I was diagnosed. I had no idea I’d had a heart attack before that.


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