Its ok to cry

I hate crying. In fact Im not sure anyone would say they like to cry. It is an emotion relating to sadness and distress so one we never want to experience if possible (There is the odd occasion that laughter renders us crying in which case it’s not so bad).

I am not much of a crier and it takes a lot to make me cry. Giving up my job really left me pretty low but I didnt ever cry about it. I was upset and close to tears but never actually cried. I am the same in clinic appointments I get upset but never shed a tear.

The few last weeks I have found really tough. I have cried a lot which is when I realised just how tough I was finding dealing with my health just now. The first time I cried was with my physio when she said that the feeling probably wouldn’t come back in my leg but the work we did would help my knee to compensate and it would learn to feel what my foot is not. Things like walking will be easier as my knee learns to recognise the impact when walking etc. I just couldn’t help but cry.

My leg has been the cause for me crying more in the recent weeks than anything else has. I was speaking to my mum briefly about stuff and she has been helping me apply for ESA too. I almost ended up in tears and after she left I ended up in a lot of tears. For years I have dealt with my asthma and it has upset me but not left me in the turmoil that my leg has. I know more about asthma that most of the professionals do, what I don’t know about asthma is probably not worth knowing, but my leg I have no clue what is going on and no one can give me an answer about what is wrong with it or how long it will go on for. All anyone has said is that the feeling most likely will not come back as there has been no improvement in sensation so far.

I am trying to stay positive about it and also trying to learn to adapt and be as independent as possible. I don’t want to sit and wait for this one day to suddenly get better which would be great but if it doesn’t get better then at least I am able to be ok for myself and make the most out of my physio sessions.

What I wish I could do is to let my emotions out more. I felt a sense of relief after crying and letting it all out. I always thought this blog was my way of coping and making sense of everything that goes on with my health. I have some posts which I write that are kept secret which I want to be just for me so I can get it out but not for the public. The posts are not really constructive and more a jumble of my thoughts- or a more jumbled version of my thoughts.

Particularly in the UK we like to have that stiff upper lip and not show our emotions but this is not good for us. We need to show emotion otherwise we eat ourself up inside. It is not weakness so shed a tear. Particularly when we are living with chronic illness that in turn causes other conditions it is hard work. Life without illness is hard work, illness just adds to that work and it is work we cant leave in the office. It comes with us everyday, every night there is no relenting.

It is ok to cry wether it is publicly or privately you are not weak for crying. It can be cathartic and actually help unload some of the stress we feel which in turn can potentially mean our conditions can become easier to manage especially if stress if a trigger to cause conditions to flare up.


Emotions and detachment

This evening I feel totally drained and really emotional but the feeling is strange it is almost a detachment from what I should feel. I can’t really describe it. I think it perhaps is a coping mechanism I have when dealing with a certain situation I don’t like and don’t have a choice to avoid.

What am I talking about?

An asthma attack. Previously I have written about how my method of coping with life threatening asthma attacks is to not remember what happens. Until today I never thought of the implications that this has. By not only blocking out my own memories of the attack I also block out my own memories of my parents worry and looks on their faces and how they feel knowing their daughter can’t breathe and could be heading to intensive care if it doesn’t get turned around.

Today I met 2 inspirational people who in the face of a very tragic situation are trying to make a positive. Their daughter died of an asthma attack. She was a similar age to me- just a year younger. At her funeral they were shocked at how many people didnt know how bad asthma could be and they have pledged to raise money for asthma research to help find that cure that everyone with asthma hopes for but no one knows where to find it. I was in awe meeting them as I had no idea how they could be so strong in such sad circumstances.

Listening to her mum talk made me think of my parents and what they must go through if they have to take me to hospital or when they are sitting in hospital with me. I have never even thought about how they feel when seeing me not able to breathe. I block it all out so I don’t remember any of it. I am scared to ask them if they are scared or worried about what may or may not happen. Part of me wants to know but then i am scared. I know I can’t stop having asthma attacks but the thought that those who protect you fear for you makes me upset. It is like inflicting pain but the last thing you wanted to do was cause it.

Hearing Lydia’s parents experience made me grateful that I am here but at the same time it has highlighted the very reality of asthma particularly when they talked about how she was fine and looked fine but the next minute they could be calling an ambulance. This is what it feels like for me when I have an attack. I never knew others had attacks like that. It feels when reading about attacks that everyone’s are different but for the first time there is someone whose family described their attacks the same as mine. It has made me want to be more vigilant with my asthma control. I am already doing my utmost but I still have days where I do things I shouldn’t such as a few weeks back playing goalie at lacrosse or going into work when I really should have stayed at home.

I have lost too many friends to asthma and this is another family who has lost a daughter and mother because of asthma. I want to help in any way I can to raise the profile of asthma and how serious it can be a even friends who I have known for 20 years don’t know how serious asthma can be and they should. I don’t want to use shock tactics but asthma does kill and its the reality. So…..