I am on my own again this morning as Adam has gone out for the day to spend it with his mother who lives thirty miles away. She mover there a few years ago wanting to be away from the city before she reached retirement age. Now retired it means her visits into Glasgow have reduced and to see each other takes a bit more planning than when she lived just down the road or drove into the city daily. I used to always think that I too would want to move into the country in the later years of my life, although I am very much a city person I did love having the ability to roam the countryside foraging and simply enjoying something I used to love. I used to walk everywhere as I never learned to drive, I simply couldn’t see any reason to drive, it wasn’t going to be any use to me so why waste time and money learning to. Even when Teressa was little and we lived in the village of Rhu, our home was 5 to 6 miles from the nearest shop and we still walked everywhere. Once she was at playschool I had a couple of hours to myself each day and more often than not I filled those hours just walking, often having to run, to be there in time to collect her as I had walked further than I thought.
My MS was mild in those years and only in the relapse remitting form, but when I had a relapse I knew about it. I didn’t know what was wrong and I accepted finally after being told so over and over that I was fine. It wasn’t surprising really that I in those years suffered badly from depression, I just couldn’t understand what was wrong with me and slowly came to the conclusion that everyone felt as I did, everyone would have times when their entire body was in pain, when they were so tired that just living took more energy than they had, I decided that I was just weak and unable to manage it as others did. Not surprisingly I suffered frequently from bouts of depression. I was so convinced with all these conclusions that when a flare started I would go to the doctor looking for anti-depressants, they helped, so my conclusion was reinforced, I was of a depressive nature. Now I know that anti-depressants are great at controlling chronic pain, I thought it was the other way that the anti-depressants helped with my depression and with that improved my pain reduced, totally back to front. I have written before about my attempts to commit suicide, all now clear with the knowledge of my illness were mixed into not understanding what was happening to me. Not once since I have been diagnosed have I had one single bout of depression, not even a mild one. I often wonder how many people that are out there who are being treated for depression are actually ill, as MS and Fibro are far from the only condition that can cause it.
I can’t explain fully why I haven’t really suffered from depression since my diagnosis, I think it is mainly because I felt so bad over all those years, believing it was me, I was clearly mildly mad, I somehow invented pain and tiredness, to then find out that it wasn’t all in my head, but was actually real, was then and is to this very minute something that makes me smile and feel relief. I don’t think I can truly explain what it is like to be told and told and told again that there is nothing wrong, you are imagining it and to then be told they were all wrong and I was right, well it was like being given a new life, a very different on but all the same a new one.
Something I have noticed more and more when reading other peoples blogs, who like me have a chronic illness is that we all seem to have a collection of them not just one, not just illnesses but other tags that also have been applied. MS is the most debilitating of my collection, followed by Fibromyalgia, but I also have Chronic Vasovagal, Irritable Bowel syndrome, Osteoarthritis, Oedema, Asthma, Chronic Bronchitis, Macular degeneration, Eczema, Optical Migraine, and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, I have probably missed something, I normally do. That list doesn’t include the added things that MS has done like double incontinence, these are all separate conditions unlinked to each other. I am far away, from alone with a list, I don’t understand why, but it seems to be the way it works, gang attacks that as time goes by invites other friends to join in. I expect when I eventually get an appointment at the hospital I will be coming home with yet another tag, well why not they say the more the merrier.