Tag Archives: health

Happy Pills – My Update

http://www.sickoflupus.co.uk

Hello!

Let’s just jump in!

So it’s been a good few months since I took my first ever ‘happy pills’ or as everyone else knows them, antidepressants. For those who are interested, I’m on Citalopram. I’ve never seen any shame in taking antidepressants, I’ve seen them help so many people. 

I wrote a blog about why I started taking them (see blog archive) due to how hopeless I felt. I was rushed onto them after finding myself in a truly awful situation. I could see how my emotions and my behaviour was breaking my mother’s heart and I knew I had to do something.

My GP warned that things would get worse before they got better but actually, I saw a change pretty quickly. I took my tablet at the same time everyday and this routine in itself made me feel better. It could have been a placebo effect for all I knew but I was feeling better so I didn’t care. 

After a few days, it occurred to me that I hadn’t cried. Only I know how I am behind closed doors and it was normal for me to cry most days. 

Being on Citalopram has come with a few issues however. I’ve needed a ECG because apparently it can impact the heart. I’ve also had to stop taking ibuprofen completely because the interaction between the tablet, ibuprofen and hydroxychloroquine can potentially cause a stomach bleed.  

I found this quote on good ol Pinterest and it’s such a brilliant description of how life can feel when you’re, well, medicated! 

Because I’m not having therapy alongside the medication, I know that I’m basically masking unresolved issues. I don’t feel sad like I used to, I do feel vacant though. It’s a very bizarre feeling to get used to. 

The tablets mean im nolonger ruminating about things I cannot change. This is such a weight off my shoulders. Before, I would literally go over and over the same worries and fears, stress myself out, cry and repeat EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.

Here’s another image I found on Pinterest:

  Now, I don’t know if this quote is about antidepressants or addiction.  I can relate in some ways but I also feel that for me, I’m not trying to numb the pain, I’m trying to cope with it.

Physical pain vs emotional pain is such a complex subject. I’ve had the most severe physical pain any person could go through – countless times! but the feeling of heartbreak is in a totally different league. When you’re able to remove the giant burden of emotional pain, you’re left more able to manage the physical side of your illness.

I’ve found that citalopram has given me back some control. It’s also lessened my anxiety. I feel I’m able to process things a bit better, I feel stronger and more able to cope. However, it still feels like ‘Botox for the brain’, meaning I sometimes feel like I’m not responding to situations as I should. I also worry that I’ll be reliant on them forever.

As it stands, there is no cure for Lupus. I’ll most likey have this forever. They told me over 11 years ago that I had Lupus and I’m STILL coming to terms with it. I don’t think you can ever really receive news like that and go forward with clairity and acceptance. As long as you’re living a life that causes you sickness, aches, rashes, fatigue weakness, but most of all pain, there may be a time when you need more help than a friend, relative or doctor can offer. This is where I am. I’ve decided to continue with the pills for the foreseeable future and I consider it just another part of my daily medication. 

Thankyou so much for reading. I know depression is still quite a taboo subject  but it happens. If you’re finding life abnormally hard, please speak to someone. The GP is a good place to start. Lupus UK is also a great resource for everything Lupus!

The first part of this series is called “The Thing None Talks About” and can be found in the blog archives. 

XOXO

http://www.sickoflupus.co.uk

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11 Things You Need To Know About Lupus

http://www.sickoflupus.co.uk

Hi all, 

Here’s a list with a difference. If you have Lupus, chances are you know all the signs, symptoms and statistics.

I was just sat thinking about the things you don’t see on the medical sites and in the medical books. What are those other things that also occur when you have Lupus? 

1. When people say that they “suffer with Lupus” – suffer isn’t just a verb.

Suffering can take many forms; in my experience, the suffering is physical and emotional. I ‘suffer’ with chest pains, joint pains, widespread body aches, sickness, dizziness, headaches, psychosis, fatigue, depression…

I ‘suffer’ emotionally knowing that I will most likely have this forever. 

2. You rarely just have Lupus and Lupus alone.

For me, its fibromyalgia and depression. For others, there are overlapping conditions like sjogren ’s syndrome, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis or Raynaud’s disease. 

3. People with Lupus can often be registered disabled.

When Lupus affects your mobility, you can apply for a Blue Badge. In the UK atleast, if you qualify for Blue Badge, you have the parking rights as any other person with a disability. Many people don’t know that the Blue Badge is for disability and long term sick – not just for wheelchair users.

4. Lupus can be scary as f**k

Pain can come on suddenly causing stress and panic. Lots of us regularly end up in hospital for all kinds of pain and again, a hospital atmosphere can be scary at the best of times.

Knowing that you lack control over your health may be one of the scariest things ever. It’s something I absolutely took for granted before my diagnosis. I often sit and think about how many medical professionals look after my health and I’ve put 100% of my trust in them. However, knowing that someone has your life in their hands is scary.


5. Don’t expect all medical professionals to know about your illness.

Don’t assume that the doctor you see in A&E will even know what a lupus is. I’ve experienced this atleast 3 times. Your GP may also lack knowledge about your condition. My nurse specialist explained to me that in most GP surgeries, there may only be 2 patients with Lupus out of several hundred. There are also hundreds of autoimmune related illnesses so bear that in mind also.


6. Living with Lupus means living with Lupus. 

I’m still finding my feet with this illness and I’ve been living with my diagnosis since 2004. Illness is a lifestyle (for me anyway) By that I mean I’m always balancing my illness with everything else going on in my life. I know that Lupus will always be a part of me and brings a range of barriers and restrictions. For example, I’ve accepted that pain is a way of life for me now, so is fatigue, so is depression, so is medication and so forth. 


7. The Lupus community is bigger than you think.

Being ill can be very lonely; even if you’re lucky enough to have a great support system of family and friends.

We created Sick of Lupus to unite Lupies all over the world. (The phrase Lupies was not created by us!)

Social media is an amazing tool allowing us to network and support eachother. I’ve seen so many profiles on Instagram, groups on Facebook and pages on Twitter that show how strong we are as community. We’re amazing at sharing information, advice and stories as well as forming friendships based on a very special common ground. 

8. Fatigue can be absolutely debilitating. 

I can’t verbalise just how severe fatigue can be. The word ‘tired’ just isn’t enough to describe how it feels to have fatigue. It’s like having flu, jet lag and being dosed up on sleeping pills at the same time. All day, everyday. 

9. Pain becomes a way of life

There’s no escaping it, pain will be a part of your life. It can take many forms but unfortunately, it will always be there. It’s important to get help in managing pain if you’re struggling. There are lots of resources available to you that you may not know about. I had 13 sessions of treatment at pain clinic as well as attending Lupus education programmes. 

You can also try alternative therapies, mediation and graded exercise. If you’re dealing with emotional pain, it’s equally important to seek help. (There’s a blog in the SOL archive about depression if you want to take a read)

10. Despite everything, Lupus can be totally invisible to others

This can be a blessing and a curse. The butterfly rash is arguably the most identifiable Lupus symptom but not everyone has this. I don’t think I’ve ever had any visible symptoms, even during my most severe flares. On one instance, whilst waiting for test results at hospital, the doctor said, “Do you mind waiting out in the reception area? You look fine to me” – 2 hours later, they told me I had pneumonia. 

11. All of the above can make you stronger.

When you consider all that you have to deal with, you can see how living with chronic illness can strengthen your character. Lupus is always with you and can be completely unpredictable. It can stop you in your tracks, ruin special plans, affect relationships, force you to settle, cause endless tears – but after all of this, you pick yourself and start again. 

I think illness forces you to see things from a clearer perspective – from a place of gratitude. You feel grateful for the days that you have little to no pain, for the days that you’re able to get out of bed.

I feel more empathetic towards other people and I feel more informed about invisible disabilities. If I wasn’t going through this, would I care about things like this? 

I’ve heard people say that what doesn’t kill you make you stronger; for now, I think this sums things up perfectly.

Thanks so much for reading. 

XOXO

http://www.sickoflupus.co.uk