Tag Archives: #health

“I don’t want my pain and struggle to make me a victim. I want my battle to make me someone else’s hero”

I’m on the one month Netflix trial and I’ve binge watched everything that caught my attention. One of the best things I saw it was the documentary about Lady Gaga called “Five Foot Two”. I can’t call myself a fan of this singer, I only like some of her songs and think she’s a charismatic performer. But I really loved this Netflix documentary and I want to thank Lady Gaga for shining spotlight on chronic pain, hoping that it will raise awareness about this problem. Invisible illness is not invisible to the sufferer and the only thing worse than pain is not being believed by family, friends or even doctors, who think it’s stress, or all in your head or that you’re faking it looking for attention.

Lady Gaga reveals that she’s fighting pain that stems from a broken hip suffered on the 2013 tour. There’s a part of the documentary that shows her on the couch in tears, because her right side of the body is in a spasms and that her face hurts.

She reveals that when she feel the adrenaline from her fans, she can go, even if it doesn’t mean she’s not in pain. She shows the drugs she takes to control pain , the treatments she gets to ease it, the doctors she visits to find a permanent solution and it’s an incredible discovery for those who, like me, are used to see her full of energy, singing and dancing on a stage.

Honestly, chronic pain and invisible illness can be as limiting as any other disability and the fact that others can’t see them, doesn’t make them disappear. They’re fucking real!

So if you have Netflix, I really recommend “Gaga: five foot two” even if you’re not a fan of Lady Gaga. It also shows many her aspects of celebrities’ life as if that sometimes being reach and popular means also being alone, because bringing along a relationship may be hard for the lack of privacy.

Due to her pain, Lady Gaga had to postpone her Johanne tour and I read online a lot of encouraging and supportive messages from other celebrities and from her fans. Good for her: these are things that help, along to the right meds. I loved how she pointed out that she’s lucky because she has the money to get the right and the best cures, unfortunately many of the treatments that help with chronic pain are meant to be paid by the patient.

I wish I had the financial possibility to cure myself, I wish I had more support and not only from my friends and above all I wish I had half of Lady Gaga’s spirit and energy to face chronic pain and what it brings.

If I continue to define myself by what I can’t do any more or by what others do, I will destroy my self.

TRACK OF THE DAY: The Cure- Lady Gaga

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“When it rains, look for rainbows;when it’s dark, look for stars”

Many negative things happened. Climate disasters and war threatens, my city affected by a flood that caused nine deaths and an incalculable amount of damages and, of course, personal problems. I’m at one point that even the sudden death of both the heathen and the wash machine, become the stick that broke the back of the camel, where the camel is my depressed self.

Let’s be honest: popular, inspiring quotes, like the one I wrote as a title, are useful until one point. If something bad happens, it’s perfectly fine to acknowledge that it’s a negative thing and to feel sad about it. No shame if you can’t see the bright side every time.

It is also said that attitude is everything and that’s could be true in some ways (I’m witnessing the amazing recover of a friend of mine who defeated tongue cancer and despite a long and complex surgery, she’s back to her normal life). Sometimes a positive attitude, looking for the good in every situation, being a fighter, is not enough, because there are things that are out of our control. I’m learning not to stress over them too much, but it’s very hard.

And here it comes my personal contribution to this topic: if it’s true that it isn’t the load that’s going to break us down, but it’s how we carry that load that is most important, I want to add that it’s even more important WHO helps you to carry that load.

Surround yourself by people who believe what you say, who are able to put themselves in your shoes, who are supportive without being too indulgent, who can give you a shook without being rude. As I said many times, I’m lucky to have it all. My lovely precious friend from the other side of the pond, proposed me a different kind of the gad game: every day I must send him a picture or telling him something that made me happy or just made me smile. Some days it’s hard, but so far I’ve always completed my task even if the tentation to use JD screens is often there. Is it a fault that he plays a bigger part of my happiness?

TRACK OF THE DAY: Shake it out – Florence + The Machine

 

“What doesn’t kill you makes you wish you were dead” BMTH

So, another negative thing happened to me, one of those I couldn’t predict or control and the first inevitable question has been: “Why do bad things keep happening to me?” and after venting with my irreplaceable friends, I tried to react. Nothing is working at the moment, here’s how I debunked every possible solution given to this question.

  • Even in the worst, there’s some good waiting for you. I tried to list down what’s good and what’s wrong in my life, I tried to ignore that the negative list is way longer and easier to be filled, but honestly, the glad game didn’t work. Because bad things are still there, unsolved, no matter how many things I’m grateful for are written in the other column.
  • Write down your history, analyse it, once you find the wrong patterns, you can begin to change your life. I could write an entire book, the problem still is: I have health problems who lead me to mental illness and don’t allow to have a proper job in order to earn the money I need to cure myself and get rid of an abusive relationship. The picture i very clear, how can I change the colour palette? Next.
  • Bad things happen to everyone. That’s the polite version of the sentence “others have it worse”. Given that it would be sadistic to feel better thinking about to those who are having a worse time, it doesn’t change the fact I’m in pain. Or doesn’t solve my problems, it may only help me to develop a positive attitude or to be more concerned about others.
  • You are responsible of everything that it’s showing up in your life, flip your way of thinking and it’s going to get better. This is bullshit, well, mostly. It could work when you’re griefing for the end of a relationship, or because what happens depends on your bad habits. You’re entitled to change your life and a positive mindset will be surely helpful. But this doesn’t work when you’re given to diseases, no way. I could face them better, but I won’t heal. I could be the best fighter and I can assure you I’m not sitting down here all day being a cry baby, but things only get worse.

There are things that can’t be changed, only faced, but I’m tired of fighting, really. Why me? And don’t tell me that life (or God, it depends on your belief) is giving me burdens I can bear, because I’m not that strong, really.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Nobody can save me – Linkin Park

“We don’t know how strong we are until being strong is the only choice we have”

Breast cancer is a devastating experience for a woman, she faces death and of course her first desire is to beat that monster. She also sees her body changing, she may lose her hair or go through a mastectomy and when the fight is over, her wish is to return quickly to her old life, to set a “new normal”. The thing I’ve often heard from cancer survivors is that they wanted to feel a whole again, but how is it possible when the scars remind them of what happened? Moreover, many of them got their nipples removed, so when they look at themselves in the mirror, they see a sort of alien.

Many hospitals offer a rudimentary tattoo and nipple re-pigmentation, but women should know that there are better options and that they come from those tattoo artists who practice a 3D technique. This makes inked nipples looking very realistic which, of course, helps women to regain self esteem.

Unfortunately many artists ask an incredible amount of money for that, something like an average price between 400 and 800$ per nipple (these are American prices, but here in Europe they aren’t cheaper at all). It’s a madness: why do you have to further charge a woman who got through a hard time of her life? There are several associations that help financially women, but I think it’s humiliating anyway.

Now here it comes the good news: there’s an American artist named Mark Corliss who do that for free, who tattoes  stunning realistic 3D nipples getting back nothing but gratitude. This is amazing! It all started while he was covering with tattoed flowers some surgery scars and the costumer asked him to ink her nipples. He later found out how much other artist asked for that kind of work and decided to do that for free.

Other parlours should follow his example, I don’t say they all should do that for free, but definitely at a reduced rate.

Mark said: “The world needs some good right now, so I think it’s a good time to spread the word”, so, please, help him to share this, so it can go viral.

Mark Corliss works in Cape Cod Massachusetts. Visit his Instagram profile here https://www.instagram.com/mark_corliss_tattoo/ or at http://www.spiltmilktattoo.com for more info.

Please tell me if there are other artists who give cancer survivors 3D nipple tattoes without asking them money: I’ll be happy to add them to this post. Thank you.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Don’t Stop Believing – Journey

 

“Medicines and surgery may cure, but only reading and writing poetry can heal” J. Arroyo

When I started this blog, I promised myself I would never vomit in it any complaint about my miserable life. I’m not a lame person or an attention seeker, but chronic illness made me fragile and living with a selfish person who doesn’t support me and rolls his eyes or complains about medical expenses or accuses me of faking diseases, doesn’t help at all. I’m lucky I have wonderful friends to lean on, but sometimes, like today, they’re not enough, so I have to use the healing power of writing.

I got very scared today: I was walking, no worries, no pressure, heading to the supermarket, then I felt a massive chest pain. I tried not to panic since at its worst, hiatus hernia pain can mimic that of a heart attack, but when my left arm went numb, I seriously started worrying. I rushed home (one of my biggest fears is to die alone in the street) and did yoga breathing exercises, chat with all the people I found online, because having also a panic attack was the last thing I needed. I drank an hot chamomile and stayed quiet until the symptoms kinda went away. In the meanwhile my mind had explored all the worst sceneries and dug out all my deepest fears. I don’t fear death, I just don’t want to leave things undone, I was looking around the room and thinking about the book to be given back to the library, to my unfinished fan-fiction, to all the things that I and only I, know, all the friends that would see me disappear without a clue, just because we don’t hang out in real life. These sorts of stupid little things. I texted a friend I called “Annoying pervert” yesterday, because I didn’t want that the last text of mine to him was that joking offence. And then I started thinking that I should tell more to my significant ones that I love them, at least my best friend has the task to tell JD how much I loved him in case I die suddenly, but the others?

I still feel crap, but better, so I decided to write this nonsense post to exorcise my fears and because I’ve always believed that writing sessions have a positive effect on my mind and, why not, on my stupid sick body.

Sorry for the rant. All the love xx.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Avalanche – Bring me the Horizon

 

 

“Please mind the gap between your life and your dreams”

I know that the story behind the tube announcement would be more interesting than what I’m going to post, but it’s a bad health day, so my mood goes along with my pain.

(but in case you’re interested in the story of Mrs.Margaret McCollum who goes to Embankment station just to hear the voice of her deceased husband who recorded the Mind the gap message in 1965, here’s the video: https://vimeo.com/103459634).

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When we talk about dreams and desires, the most often heard sentences are “stop wishing, start acting” or “you’re not a tree: if you don’t like where you are, move” as if any dream we are chasing would be easy to be fulfilled just by working for it. That’s wise and sensible, but quite utopian.

What if your body is fighting against you, so you can’t get a proper work and earn the money you need to move to another country? What if you’re too old for the person you like? There’s no time machine, I’m sorry. And no, good will, a positive attitude, an optimistic view aren’t enough against objective difficulties. There are obstacles that can’t be overcame, no matter how hard you work for your dream. And this frustration and sense of impotence goes along with depression in a never ending cycle.

I will be very glad to fulfil all my wishes, I just need an healthier body. While waiting I must pay attention to the gap between what I dream and my life, I don’t want to get crushed.

TRACK OF THE DAY: To wish impossible Things – The Cure

 

“Even for me life had its gleams of sunshine” Charlotte Brontë

I was listening to the so relatable “Till the sun comes up” by Gavin James and I started reflecting on the lines “take me out of the water, out of the rain” asking myself if one day my cries for help and my attempts to escape from depression, will be successful. I have hope, but it’s as thin as tissue paper.

I’ve always been depressed, since I was twelve, when I understood that what was cool for my family about me, it wasn’t that cool for the others, that my tastes about music, clothes, sports and habits made me “the weird one” “the childish one” and even if I’ve always been proud of my being one of a kind, I developed a deep insecurity and the constant feeling of being out of place. And the worse happened when I realised that not only I would never marry Johnny Depp or become a writer, but that the guy I was madly in love with, only saw me as a friend.

Some people call it life, some people cope with deception better than others, but I wasn’t that strong, so depression triggered a lot of wrong choices that I’m still paying for. Since the only person I loved rejected me, I ended with the worst man I could choose for myself and spent my life to make things right. I tried to commit three times: at sixteen, at twenty and at twenty-two, but I never had the courage for it, so through the years I’ve been trying to kill myself in a more subtle way: by refusing food, but that’s a story that deserves its own post.

But suddenly, I found happiness who came in the most unexpected disguise and at the most unexpected time. I must admit that it was a sort of deep, bright, complete happiness that only changed my mood, my inner self and helped me to build self acceptance; it didn’t change the reality I’m living in (I’m trapped in a life I can’t escape from, unless I won a lot of money and gain a healthy body).

Chronic pain and invisible illness ruined everything again for they caused tremendous changes in my lifestyle, limiting my individual mobility and independence. The quality of my life got worse, I wake up hoping to get to the end of the day with the least pain or troubles possible. The worst thing is the lack of emotional support from the people I’m living with, who think I’m faking it, that it’s all in my head, who call me: useless, lazy, burden…

Pain, emotional violence, lack of my own money, made me fragile, I’m often depressed, but I have my magic medicine and the hope that the sun will be up for me… someday.

 TRACK OF THE DAY: ‘Till the Sun comes up”- Gavin James