So there’s this embarrassing thing where I’m not even 40, but I get sick all the time. I love everything medieval except things related to hygiene, but even if I somehow managed to live long enough to take my first steps and hold my first sword/bow/shovel/hammer I would trip over a piece of moldy cheese and stab myself with sword/shoot with bow/hit with shovel or hammer, because that’s how I roll. While stabbing self with sword I would also be sweating, coughing, having diarrhea and being covered in huge red spots. And you couldn’t visit my grave, because my young, disease-ridden body would be burnt somewhere far, far away from the village of my birth. (Have you noticed how nobody in Game of Thrones or Vikings seems to ever get a cold? They either break all their bones and heal miraculously within a few weeks, or contract A Mysterious Illness and die. The only characters that don’t have perfect vision are very old men and if somebody doesn’t have blindingly white teeth, they are a not very intelligent villain. Because medieval dentistry was like super well developed and it is a well known fact that Ragnar Lothbrok invented Listerine.)
I am really good at inventing new stuff to torment my doctors. I got a thing I call non-hernia, which has all symptoms of hernia except that bit where it actually isn’t one, as confirmed by ultrasound. I developed tardive dyskinesia from medication that is supposed to present very low risk of tardive dyskinesia. I got hallucinations from using lithium. It also gave me every side effect in the leaflet plus a few extras, while not working for what it’s supposed to help with. A few years ago my jaw made knocking sounds while I was chewing. No, I don’t mean the chewing sound. It sounded like you were gently knocking on the table with your knuckles. Tap, tap, tap every time I chewed. My mother told me to immediately stop and because I didn’t know how, she sent me to a doctor. I was told to take aspirin and sleep with a scarf on my head. I did that and eventually my jaw stopped knocking. I have to admit I am glad my mom has no idea what YouTube or Twitter are, because I would be SO famous by now.
I broke a tooth while eating bread. This reminds me that as a teenager I broke my ankle while walking down a completely flat straight road with absolutely nothing on it. There’s also the anxiety attacks, debilitating depression and the fact that had Gods not invented contact lenses I wouldn’t be able to tell a lemon from a canary which would end very badly both for the canary and my tea. I get food poisoning on average once every three weeks, which is good for my waistline but not so much for my social life so long as I refuse to wear diapers. So the moment I am writing this I am seeing a GP, psychiatrist, psychologist, neurologist, posture therapist, pain specialist and I think I forgot one or two, but I could probably remember if I weren’t too lazy to stand up and look at my pill boxes. And the absolute peak of my life was when I called a nurse to get my blood test results and she said “oh, you are an exceptionally healthy person! I mean except for the bit where you get sick all the time”.
(This is why all my doctors have BMWs and I ride a seven-year old bicycle, by the way.)
In August 2015 I was in process of preparing to sell my house, and a part of the sale involved getting rid of all unnecessary shit. Like furniture, because I moved into Husby’s and he already had enough of that. So I sold a kitchen counter top from IKEA and the buyer asked that we don’t take it apart. We can lift it. So I had one very strong friend with me, they came with three, we lifted the thing, moved it towards the car, then the guy next to me dropped his corner and I felt the weight pull me down. My back sort of got warm and I thought “shit, not again,” because I had two back injuries in the years before and it hurt like a whole week before being resolved.
Since August 2015 I had:
- undergone treatment with my GP, who diagnosed me with stretched muscle and gave me painkillers.
- moved over to orthopedist, who diagnosed me with stretched muscle and gave me painkillers.
- seen a sports physio, who diagnosed me with slipped disc and did manipulation on me that showed me there are whole new levels of pain I haven’t experienced yet.
- seen another sports physio, who figured out a part of my spine has moved and blocked the left side of my pelvis, then by another manipulation fixed that PRAISED BE GODS.
- gone back to orthopedist who said “well, there is really no point in doing MRI because even if we know what and where hurts there really isn’t anything we can do”. HE SENT ME A BILL FOR THIS.
- consumed more painkillers.
- seen a pain specialist, who found out I had a cracked joint that kept triggering a nerve for no reason and burnt through two nerves. She also gave me anesthesia, which first gave me a wave of the warm & fuzzies, then moved on to give me mania of the not-nice-at-all sort. Still. It also helped a bit.
- seen what Dutch call mensendieck – a posture therapist, who gave me 26 exercises to do. They take an hour per day. And they help. Husby keeps asking me if he can take pictures. I keep saying no, but close the door just in case because you can never trust this man and had I not known he’s allergic to technology I’d have to scan the room for hidden, remote-operated cameras every time I am about to do the ballerina one, the yoga one, the other yoga one and the balancing on an inflatable ball one.
After 16 months of this I have ALMOST recovered. I’ve also eaten a truckload of painkillers all by myself. As I am typing I am in withdrawal from a painkiller which is supposed to have no withdrawal, but obviously this would make both my doctor’s and my own life way too simple. The symptoms are basically flu and had I not known that this would happen (I quit before for about two weeks, then decided that since my Higher Power isn’t that one who loves it when I am in pain, I’ll go back on the painkillers) I would be convinced I do have flu. But I had no flu in the last 15 months, only a few colds, three teeth to be fixed, blurry vision caused by seroquel (gone now), tardive dyskinesia caused by seroquel (not gone now), the non-hernia, obviously the back problem and cracking skin on my toes which probably sounds funny but seriously is not at all. Yes. Cracking skin on my toes, the old person disease, as I thought when I was a kid. When it started happening to me I did some mental calculations, which is very difficult for a trained mathematician (long story) and realised I am the age that my mother was when I thought she had the old person disease. This did not make me feel any better. Neither did my ultra-ultra-rapid cycling bipolar, which was now aided by chronic pain. What I did not have is an STD, because somehow I managed to live 39 years in debauchery without ever having brought one home. So yay me I guess.
Here is the list of illnesses Husby acquired and bravely battled in the same time:
- Two colds that lasted half a day each
This was the list of illnesses Husby acquired and bravely battled in the same time.
I eat healthy, do sports (when my back and non-hernia let me), go to bed early, don’t smoke, don’t drink and avoid drugs. Because of bipolar I also consume somewhere between 6 and 15 pills a day, depending on how desperate my shrink is feeling at the given period. Supplement this with painkillers (between 1 and 3 pills per day, depending on dosage), vitamin E which might work with tardive dyskinesia (it doesn’t), sports multivitamin (I have no clue if it does anything but it was free), BCAAs and probably something else which I don’t even notice I am taking anymore. On the other hand, Husby refuses to take paracetamol when he has a headache, because he likes to suffer like the good Calvinist Dutch boy that he is. (He’ll tell you he’s not religious, but offer him a paracetamol and watch him squirm and scream “the power of my Lord and Saviour is with me, go away with your satanic concoctions, thou servant of Devil”.) He won’t even take the free multivitamin, despite the fact that the first word Dutch babies learn is “gratis” (second is “aanbieding” which means promo price, and third is “korting”, which means discount). Because it might help with something and then he would suffer less.
Except he probably has a point. Because I take the multivitamin, break teeth on bread, ruin my back and then I get withdrawal from a non-addictive *dark laughter* painkiller and keep on forgetting to get a… a… pedicure to aid my cracked toe skin. He doesn’t take ANY pills and spends most of his waking time running around a squash court.
I just realised multivitamin is responsible for all the bad things that ever happened in my life and I’ll be back after I found out what exactly a class lawsuit is.