Physical or Mental Chronic Illness Stressors

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As I started to think about the question I realized that I would probably say both. The physical side of my chronic illnesses mean that I’m experience Pain, Dizziness, Nausea, Vomiting, Itching, Coughing, Digestive problems, Falling, Fainting, Heart racing, vision problems, reactions to medications, or something else.

Mental

The mental side of my chronic illnesses is the heaviest side. If you had an old-time balance scale, you could picture it in your mind (or even) write down columns of mental vs physical. I may be having a 8 pain day, but if I’m at peace it’s easier to deal with it.

Many times my mental side is so bad, that I can’t function with my family. Getting alone with a sound machine can help me heal from the emotion that is got ahold of me. I tend to always have general anxiety, but when things overwhelm me I may get depressed.

My depression has never been serious. I just feel down and don’t want to do anything. Thankfully it usually only lasts one day. I try to comfort myself with my favorite gown and robe and cuddle on the sofa. Then, I usually find a movie on tv that suits my mood.

These days of mental suffering are very similar each time, so I haven’t had to wonder what’s going on with my head. When I have a bad emotional or mental day, I know that I won’t be able to get anything done. That’s why we keep a frozen pizza in the freezer, because I may not feel like cooking.

Brain fog seems to come from physical pain. When my brain fog is very bad, I have learned some things the hard way. That involves anything with money or keeping up with my calendar/schedule. I’ve paid a bill online twice or bills were late. Don’t you hate overdraft fees? I’ve shown up for a doctor’s appointment and come on the day before my appointment.

These brain fog problems are very real and it affects my self-worth. I was always a young woman with a good memory and kept up with my entire family. Now, I’m sure that there have been plenty of laughs or judgement when I do something stupid.

Physical

When we use the words, Chronic Illness, we first think is that the person is disabled or has a disease/condition. It’s common to think of a health condition that we have heard of. Maybe a friend, cousin, or neighbor has recently been diagnosed with cancer or diabetes. People usually can’t relate to diseases unless they have experienced them at some time.

My physical symptoms include:

Pain, Muscle soreness, Dry eyes, Dry mouth, Swollen eyes, Bloating, Subluxations in knees and ankles, Coughing, Nausea, Vomiting, Tachacardia,

Itching, Allergic reactions, Anaphylaxis, Balance off, Falling, Tremor, Myoclonus (jerking), Skin rash 5 months of having lesions all over arms, legs,

and back.

I’m sure there are some that I left out, but these have been recent problems. When you live with chronic illnesses you face a hard choice. When one disease is affecting me….. I can’t try to treat another ache. Many of my symptoms occur in more than one of my diseases. It’s hard to know what treatment will be good for any of them. This year I’ve added some awful problems. My severe allergic reaction to a new medication could have killed me. After two days, I finally went to the ER. I was covered with whelps and felt sick all over. I had never felt so horrible until that day.

This year I also started having some scary symptoms. My left hand started shaking. It didn’t happen every day, but was random. The doctor said it was Essential Tremor. The last problem was Essential Myoclonus. I basically have body and limbs randomly jerking. This looks and feels very creepy. The hard jerks actually hurt. The doctor will be watching this to see how it progresses. This could turn into Parkinson’s or another movement disorder.

I wanted to share some examples to show how I experience mental and physical stressors. Everyone with a chronic illness/es will have unique feelings of pain and sickness. If you evaluate your own personal examples of physical or mental stressors, it would be good to share with your GP. They are good for referring patients to treatments that they don’t offer.

This could include: physical or occupational therapy, eye exam, home treatments (heating pad, ice pack, creams), specialist that could diagnose a new disease, try antidepressant medication, or counseling.

Do you suffer more from Physical or Mental issues? You may feel like they’re pretty equal. I feel like that a lot, because bad pain for a few days will create depressed feelings. It might be good to write down the symptoms that bother you the most. You could take this with you to your regular appointment. Of course, often I need to see the doctor between appointments. They are always happy to listen.

Disclaimer: I’m not a medical expert. This post contains only my experiences and opinions and is not meant to be taken as medical advice. If you have a medical condition, please consult your personal physician.

@2023, Lisa Ehrman

1 thought on “Physical or Mental Chronic Illness Stressors”

  1. I have done some fasting. I have to be careful, because I am a Diabetic. Biblically, the Bible records Jesus fasting, etc. Our colon never really empties without taking action like this! Also wether we are mentally or physically challenged, we can get sick or stay sick from either one! They both have some thing to do with the other!! Thank you for sharing!!

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