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Posted on 2016.03.20 at 03:44
The last 5 months, in a large nutshell:

You know that feeling when you're totally exhausted after a really long day (or maybe first thing in the morning after a rough night, before you've had a chance to get coffee), and you just can't handle anything? It's hard to think, hard to move. Just totally wiped. All you want from people is to be left alone because the tiniest request for attention is overwhelming.

Now imagine that several times worse.

Now imagine that, on top of that, you've got a condition where all your nerves are hypersensitive. To the point that a friendly pat on the back can leave a stinging ache that lingers for several minutes. So that moving through the world is a constant question of "is doing this worth the pain it will cause?" And your brain is so exhausted from all the constant noise that it's hard to think, and everyday noises and interactions can easily become overwhelming.

Now remember that when you get really tired in the way I described at the beginning, your nerves become hypersensitive and it's really hard to concentrate or hold a train of thought, and little things can easily become overwhelming. Now imagine that problem amplifying the chronic hypersensitivity you're already dealing with as a baseline.

Put that all together.

Exhausted. Overwhelmed. So woozy you can hardly sit up for hours at a time. Beyond hypersensitive. So tired you can hardly find the strength to breathe. There are times when you can feel the strain of your rib muscles just to keep going. Trying to muster the concentration to put words together, remember what you're trying to say, endure the pain and fatigue of pushing your ribs to take a deep breath, and coordinating the muscles of your voice box all at the same time is like running a juggler's marathon. You can't read a book because it's too hard to sustain focus to follow the plot. You can't watch half of what's on TV because it takes more concentration than you have to spare. You sit in the living room with the door closed, and the sound of someone gently clattering dishes halfway across the kitchen is like thunder. Just the weight of having someone physically in the same room becomes oppressive.

Then some doctor says, "Oh, it's a flare-up. If you could only get moving, you'd be fine." Except that it feels nothing like a flare-up, and you've never had one that lasted a week, let alone four months. But there's nothing else on the table, so you roll with it. He gives you a steroid. Now you've got chest pains. Your blood sugar is soaring. (That causes extra wooziness. Also, your brain is trying race because you've got a sugar rush, except it can't because it's too exhausted to handle anything.) And now you can't sleep because the blood sugar spikes and chest pains keep waking you up.

You can't think. You can't move. You can't breathe. Literally everything is overwhelming, and most of it is painful. You struggle to find something that will just let you zone out until you can try to sleep again.

You lie there, trapped, as your mind falls apart from sleep deprivation. You want to scream from the depths of your soul from the existential horror of watching your very self shrink and hollow and crumble, but you're too worn out to breathe. So you bury yourself in whatever you can tolerate, and try not to think. Which mostly works, except when you get too woozy to even watch cartoons.

But you're so experienced at putting this stuff into words and slowly typing out coherent sentences even when your head is spinning and you can hardly see straight that people have trouble believing you.

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