Category Archives: Chronic illness

Boredom, the new disease


So I have ME/CF (I refuse to put the ‘S’ at the end for it is NOT a syndrome) and Fibromyalgia and am taking all sorts of medication, but the worst (after the symptoms, and the symptoms the drugs cause) is the boredom.

I, like most others with a chronic illness, still think and feel the same now as I did before my diagnosis. Yet I have zero (mostly negative) energy to do anything. Which leaves me with thoughts and feelings I cannot act upon for lack of energy.

Meaning I’m bedbound yet crave to do all the things I have always done, but even going to the local cafe by myself is impossible as I have no way to get there. No car (can’t afford a second one) and I can’t walk that far.

So what to do all day? Reading sometimes brings on a dizziness attack, walking to the living room leaves me breathless so the rest of the house is pretty much out of bounds.

And I hate daytime TV.

Last year I wrote a book on my phone, one hundred thousand words by thumbpressing, but do I have the energy to go to my computer, turn it into an ebook and upload it to Amazon after finding out how to do that? Nope.

I have no money so I can’t online shop and get excited about a delivery. The only mail I receive are bills.

So what to do? Damn good question.

Lyme disease, in Australia?


The Australian Government strictly states that Lyme disease does not exist here.

This is despite over a hundred doctors recently gathering from around the country to discuss this insidious disease and the fact it does exist here and the Government needs to change its stance.

For now, if a GP notes on a patient record ‘Lyme Disease’ they are taken to task and given hell. Treatment is non considered as it doesn’t exist.

Yet I check the symptoms and damn, they’re pretty darn close!

I recently went on a drug, when all others had failed over the last two-and-a-half years, that treats diseases like Lyme and have noticed a small improvement. No more than 4-5% but at least something.

Note for the Australian Government – denying something exists does not make it so. But then they believe this on so many levels, why any different for a disease making thousands of people’s lives miserable? Better for them to be miserable and lose their jobs and futures than admit an error, surely.

An expert in this field was told my symptoms and his response was immediately, “So what bit him?” But no it doesn’t exist!

So now I’m being treated for something that bit me, although we don’t know what, or even if, because tests for Lyme Disease are so inconclusive here as to be useless.

Just like the Australian Government.

Why I don’t believe the major companies mobile phone sales figures


How can anyone justify spending around $1,500AUD ($900US plus the Australia tax) for a phone? When so called ‘experts’ are saying the latest Google Chromebook, a laptop, is too expensive at the same price, how can they then recommend the latest iPhone, Huawei or Pixel handset?

Because writing about mobile phones is sexy and if you are popular enough they probably send you a free one to review.

Unfortunately I’m in the category of ‘sanity’ and not sexy so no free phones for me. I also wonder at people who bemoan the shortcomings of a $500 laptop yet apparently spend three times that much on something smaller, slower and with fewer functions.

That is why the sales figures quoted (20 million Huawei phones sold in three months) I say are unbelievable, and plain wrong.

Can people really be that stupid? I still have the same phone I purchased three years ago. Yes I would like a new one but I’m also not a rich idiot with $1,500 to throw away for something that does essentially the same thing, only slightly faster.

Look at me, I spend $1,500 a year to not make phone calls. There are around 60 million (estimated total handset sales) of these people every three months? I sincerely doubt it.

It is like buying lobster that tastes like chicken. Why not just buy chicken? Everyone is happy and you have one less mortgage.

The sales figures must be for those buying a phone for the first time, you say? But in a saturated market again the figures are way too high.

Maybe they shipped 20 million handsets to stores, but I bet half will be sent back when they don’t sell.

Please, tell me the world isn’t that crazy that they would buy them!??

Boredom – the real kind


I wrote a short post not long ago titled “What to do all day?”, a veiled reference to my complete and utter boredom.

I did my best to sugarcoat it, to look at it from other points of view and consider the fortunate aspects. But not today.

Today I am just well enough to stay in bed (as per every other bloody day) and watch TV. I hate watching TV.

I do not even have enough energy to continue the final drafting (my seventh or eighth, or maybe the twentieth, I think) of my book. The book I started writing over a year ago to help keep the boredom away. I’ve managed two hundred words or less a day, about ten minutes. The excitement is almost too much for my medication.

Damn, everything is so circular when you are chronically ill. I could easily cure my boredom by walking to the computer room, turning it on and playing a game, yet my illness has left me with not enough energy to get there. For weeks now.

So I sit here and wonder what the hell to do. I honestly have serious thoughts such as, I wonder what it would be like if I cut off my big toe? I mean, would I really miss it? It certainly would keep me occupied for a while!

I could also go to the living room where my poor suffering wife helped me to acquire a games machine. I also have a DVD player and a couple of hundred movies.

But I have no energy to leave the bedroom, and the chronic pain of my Fibromyalgia forbids it. Circular, you see?

Boredom is insidious. I used to never be bored, I always could rely on my brain to keep me occupied. Right now my brain is spinning slightly and too tired to produce any thoughts worthy of consideration. I mean, just take a look at this post!

So there you are. Completely bored out of my brain and no energy to even think my way out of it.

The specialists didn’t tell me about this part of the process, only that it would probably last for the rest of my days.

Great, at least I have something to look forward to!

Noise – some I can handle more than others


If my wife takes me to a cafe, for my one outing a week (two if I’m lucky), I find I can handle noise far better than I can from a large family gathering…?

I finally worked out why this is. At a family gathering I feel obligated to join in conversations, smile, be animated to a certain extent and be aware all the time of what is around me. I also need to answer the question “How are you? Any better?” which although well meaning and asked out of genuine concern, requires a response every time. Basically my condition has remained unchanged for two and a half years and I wish they would actually read this blog to keep up on how I feel. Far easier for all concerned.

At a family gathering, of all the most important people in the world to me and whom I love dearly, I feel the need to be polite, to appear well, to put on an act for them. This drains me so much it takes days to recover from.

At a cafe it’s just my wife I need to listen to and converse with. Far less concentration required and if I start to slouch she knows my energy is gone, hurries up and gets me out of there. So if it is noisy it is extraneous noise and doesn’t apply to me and can therefore be immediately ignored. With family I feel I have to be aware of what is going on around me or I will appear rude. My problem I know but it is the way I feel.

Also at a family gathering you cannot, or at least I can’t, leave mid-sentence or without saying goodbye to everyone. I would feel incredibly rude and yet for my well-being this is exactly what I should do.

All this boils down to me not being able to be as I need to with family because I love them so much and know they love me in return. They would understand, I am certain, if I suddenly got up and left or just shut down and retreated from all conversations, but I cannot bring myself to do this, so suffer in silence.

My own fault, but there it is and I cannot change it.

So when I say no to going to a large family get together yet enter a noisy coffee shop do not judge me. You know not what I am suffering, or more accurately making myself suffer.

But then who doesn’t put on a face for family and want to show them how much they mean to you, that their support is everything to you and keeps you going through the dark days?

And so I can stand noise in a coffee shop for maybe twenty to thirty minutes but not go to see a large family group as it immediately drains me for days.

Thanks illness, another fine mess you have gotten me into!

At least my guilt is happy, as it is very well fed.

No more than 500 steps for 2.5 years


For myself, and many of my fellow chronic illness sufferers, not being able to walk more than five hundred steps in a day is normal.

For me I have not done so, without serious repercussions, for the last two and a half years now.

Think about that for a moment.

How many steps is it from your bed to the bathroom and back? To the kitchen? How many trips a day does this allow you?

Yes a shower counts as well, as does walking to the living room to watch television or (if we’re extremely lucky) going outside to sit in the sun.

It is like permanently wearing a restrictive bracelet. If we walk more than 500 steps our pain from the Fibromyalgia expands exponentially. Our dizziness, skin sensitivity, headaches, body pain etc etc etc from ME/CFS increase as well.

It is like being in jail, except an inmate is allowed to walk further in a day.

So, very little exercise. In fact no exercise at all or our symptoms explode, no matter what some old fashioned idiot ‘professionals’ might think. We lump them together with those that say everything we suffer is ‘all in our mind’.

How we wish they could experience our lives for just a week, even a day!

So the next time you think it is a long walk to the shops, or around your garden, think of us who would give anything to do what you are doing, without our pain.

Trying to survive the night


I am not sure if it is my ME, Fibromyalgia or CFS (or something else) but almost every morning now I wake up with a pounding migraine.

For example, until this morning I woke up with what I thought was the worst headache I’ve ever had, again, five nights in a row. In my teens I had migraines that were usually over one eye and pierced through me like a hot poker, but now my entire head pounds with the same intensity.

It usually takes ten hours or so to get rid of them, which is exhausting and quite debilitating. So my routine for the previous five nights was wake up between 1am and 4am with this whole head pounding migraine, try to get to the fridge for the packs of frozen beans (or wake up my poor suffering wife to get them for me), take a rizatriptan and a valium and remain awake and wait for the headache to go. If I fall back asleep the headache returns to its full-on state. No, I have no idea why.

Sometimes the first dose of tablets kills it, but more often than not it reduces it by perhaps fifty percent leaving me with the choice of another dose or cope.

The rizatriptan only comes in four tablets per script so I am reluctant to take more than one, but sometimes the pain dictates that I have no choice.

I can try to take another valium but although this will help my headache it almost always will put me to sleep as well. When I sleep with the remains of a headache I always wake up with it worse again, most often the migraine has returned. So a bit of Catch 22 there, just for fun.

Last night I woke at 12.30am with the beginnings of a headache, my queue to stay awake until it goes. With CFS staying awake is incredibly counterintuitive but unless I want my headache to become worse, I must. So I stayed awake fighting the headache until about 3am. I then woke at 5am and the beginnings of one was still there so I took a valium. Then the fight to stay awake began, which this time I managed to win until 7.30am when my headache finally went. I was then able to sleep until 9.30am.

All up 5-6 hours sleep, not enough for a normal person let alone one with CFS who fights to stay awake all day.

However it is far better than normal, when I often fail to stay awake and fall asleep for several hours and wake up with a migraine. The frozen beans then come into play as does more medication.

When my chronic illness first began I would have two or three of these headaches per week. Now I am lucky to have one or two mornings without one.

So every night when I go to bed it is with severe trepidation as I know what sort of night I am going to have. The only unknown is how bad will the headache be and can I stop it from becoming a migraine that makes me want to chop my head off.

How did you sleep? Personally I’d prefer to never sleep again.