The Relapse

When I relapse, I wear a lot of baseball hats - to hide the gross.
One of the things I've learned with having dysautonomia is that just when you're starting to feel great (and you're filled with false hope), you relapse. It's like a big crane dragging you down, plunging you into a pool of water and you don't know how you're going to come out of it. Plus, the brain fog.

Sounds shitty, right?

It is.

A lot of "what's wrong with me" is classified as a heart problem but this relapse has more to do with gastric issues than my heart. My form of dysautonomia causes my entire nervous system to go haywire and about 70% of your nervous system is in your abdomen. You do the math.

I could feel this one coming on. Monday, while sitting at work, my arms and shoulders felt really heavy. After dinner, my stomach started cramping. If you've ever had a cramp in your leg, imagine that cramp in your abdomen. Over and over and over. That feeling continues today. If you think it's painful, it is - in case you were wondering.

To keep this under the TMI radar, let's just say I haven't been able to keep food down in two days. And I look like I'm 5 months pregnant. So I have that going for me. I can't eat AND I look like I hate a gingerbread house.

Relapses, for me, usually only last a few days but there are psychological effects, too. For one, I hope I don't get fired. That is at the forefront of my mind. I'm working remotely and I hate not being in the office. And I'm constantly fearful that I won't keep my job. It happens to A LOT of people with invisible illnesses.

Another psychological effect is feeling "less than". I feel like I'm less than a good mother when I have a relapse. Yesterday I had my oldest home with me (his body broke out in hives and he was sent home from school). Imagine having the worst stomach flu of your life. Now imagine having to work while you feel sick AND you have a moody, itchy, and irritable 3 year old at home with you. That was my day Tuesday. I don't mind the working part but I felt like an awful mother when I had to tell him that I needed to stay on the couch so I didn't throw up on our carpet. It's a wonderful feeling, right?

Feeling "less than" can be the difference between being bed ridden and getting up to do work. The longer I feel like this, the more likely I am to dive into a depressive state, which makes climbing out of a relapse that much harder. So, for now, I'll sit upright, try not to lose my breakfast, and finish writing my metadata.


  1. I'm so sorry you are not feeling well. You are in my prayers.


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