I’ve been trying to decide whether I should publish this all day. I still don’t know if it’s wise, but what the hell.
Last Friday, I had a very good day, didn’t feel too ill, pain bearable, nausea minimal – I could get to like that.
Saturday I felt appalling, so desperately ill and hideously nauseous that I came within an ace of killing myself – and no, that’s not hyperbole. I just wanted it to stop, I didn’t care how. If it hadn’t begun to let up about then, I wouldn’t be here bitching about it now.
And it was, I’m sure, also the fact that I managed to externalise it (on Twitter), and get some perspective, that hauled me back from the brink, and I apologise to anyone whom I worried/scared at the time.
Looking back at Friday night reminded me that I’d pigged out on carbs (I’ve not got to sleep before 03.30 for weeks, up again at 06.00), and carbs help me sleep), and I’d also added some innocuous supplements (just B6 and zinc**), to my early morning meds.
I knew the carbs would give me a hangover. What I also knew, but had forgotten, was that adding supplements to my morning meds rendered something in the mix toxic. No idea what, but the result is horrendous nausea. I’ve been taking the same combination for 20-odd years with no ill-effects, but lately it’s been making me so very ill I stopped the supplements – until Friday night, putting my meds up for the following morning, when I forgot. Added to the carb hangover, and higher than normal levels of pain that day, I was done for. Almost literally.
**Part of the buggeration of ME is a susceptibility to mouth ulcers, and zinc helps considerably with that; B6 is to counter the deficiency, caused by some of my COPD meds, which triggers depression if not treated with oral B6.
Disabling bouts of nausea are nothing new of course (though my heart condition adds its own nausea to the mix now), they’re part of the ME package for many people (FMS and migraine sufferers too, I think), and by the time the eighties ended, I’d exhausted the entire anti-emetic pharmacopoeia – nothing worked for more than a few days. Until I cottoned on to ginger.
Ginger is very good for nausea but the wine, because I don’t actually like it, is the only form I can guarantee being there when I need it. Crystallised ginger is excellent, but I love the stuff and it gets eaten as fast as I buy it, likewise pickled (aka sushi), ginger. Ginger’s not a cure, but it does make the difference between wanting to do anything to end the nausea when it’s intolerable and, with bad grace, being able to put up with it. Most of the time, anyway, but not Saturday.
I know a lot of people will think, “Oh, we all feel sick at times,” but the thing about such extreme, disabling, nausea, unlike pain, is that you simply can’t learn to live with it – every time it flares up is a fresh insight into the uttermost depths of Hell and, I’m sorry, but if you haven’t experienced it at first hand, you can have absolutely no understanding of how soul-destroying it really is.
Imagine, if you will, being devastatingly seasick on top of your worst-ever hangover, while also in the throes of a severe bout of flu, and imagine that going on and on, with no end in sight, during every waking moment, and even haunting your sleep too – and you won’t even come close – but that’s the daily reality of life with ME (or FMS and migraine), for far too many people, including your humble scribe, in addition to the pain and exhaustion and all the rest of the crapola.
It’s no wonder that people enduring such suffering feel suicidal; the miracle is that so many manage not to take that final step.
For those of you still unable to comprehend the fact that life can become too horrendous to tolerate any longer, I offer you a couple of posts I wrote on the subject – do, please, read the comments too.
One final word – this is not a suicide note – I don’t want anyone getting the wrong idea. I’m simply trying to explain what’s happening here, and in particular, last Saturday.