May 1st marks the start of an awareness month practically tailor made for me – asthma & allergies, arthritis, mental health, and fibromyalgia.
My asthma is, honestly, getting worse. When I eat or laugh or sneeze, I have a hard time getting my breath back to normal… which is probably a sign that I need to use my inhaler more. My allergies always pick up this time of year, though tend to affect my asthma more than causing problems on their own.
My arthritis is steady. I’ve come a long way in two years, thanks to my daily injection and other medications. When the weather is rainy and humidity is high, though, I’m reminded of my limitations – especially at night, when pain relief just won’t come. My hands, neck, hips, and knees are furious.
Mentally, I’m in a good place. Depression and anxiety are staying at bay for the most part, thanks to all the things I’m doing. My PTSD is another story, but that’s alright. With April being my birthday month and May being the month I cut contact with Mother (and having Mother’s Day in it), I know this won’t be an easy time of year.
My fibromyalgia is doing okay right now. I have had fewer skin-aggravating symptoms like allodynia, which is that thing when normal sensations like clothing on your skin or holding hands can feel excruciatingly painful. Today, that’s a thing that’s started and is spreading. I’ll push through cause I have some errands to run, but I’ll be glad when I’m home and can get naked as quickly as possible. I wanted to shower today, but I don’t know that I’ll be able to – the water feels like daggers on allodynia-affected skin.
I always feel conflicted when people say things like “don’t let your disease define you.” My conditions all do – they’ve defined my life from a very young age. They’ve also given me a level of appreciation and compassion that isn’t always a thing for abled people. I’ve gotten to do amazing things, meet the best people, and enact some real change – things that I don’t know I’d be interested in if I was okay.