Chronic Illness: The Munchausen Effect

This is a fantastic post, highlighting something I have been struggling with a lot recently. Especially this past week…
Over the course of Sunday/Monday night I kept waking up and couldn’t sleep for a long time. Then, at one point, I was laying on my back with my arms crossed over my chest and started shaking uncontrollably- I was conscious during this but couldn’t voluntarily move or stop the shaking.
The shaking lasted a few seconds, stopped for a few seconds, and that repeated about 3 times total; I was able to move one leg during the break sessions but not my arms or anything else.
After that all stopped, I started having hallucinations. They started with an auditory hallucination, where when I turned my head to the right I could hear very loud music, but it stopped if I turned my head to the left. Then I had one hallucination that involved Mr.Liar waking up and saying something to me (I can’t remember much of the details on this one, but I do remember a feeling of anxiety) and I only realized it wasn’t real when I noticed the night stand wasn’t the same as what we actually have next to our bed. The last one I remember was of the dog coming into the room, barking once, and whining–all of which is very unusual for him to do; he only does it is he is feeling very sick and needs to go out immediately. I realized this wasn’t actually happening when Mr. Liar didn’t wake up/get up because he would immediately do that if the dog was really there.
Now, three days before hand my psychiatrist had started me on Wellbutrin XL, hoping it would help with my brain fog and fatigue. So my first though was that this was a drug reaction. And yet I still took my prescribed dose when I got out of bed that morning. I knew I really shouldn’t have, and when I called all my doctors to inform them of the situation they said to stop taking it immediately, but I have to admit, I was kind of hoping I would have a similar reaction at work that day… somewhere were someone else would actually see it, and immediately take me into medical facilities. Just a bit of back up to reinforce that I didn’t just imagine the whole thing, That it actually did happen…
At the same time, it was a horrible experience, and I am incredibly glad it didn’t happen again, but I have been struggling with this “Munchausen Effect” feeling all week (and honestly before that, but this week really brought it front-and-center to my attention.)

Thank you T for writing this and articulating the feeling so well.

Chronically Chaos

We live in a world today where chronic illness runs amok in many of our lives. For a lot of us, getting properly diagnosed and treated is an attainable goal. But for a few of us, the diagnosis eludes doctors, or worse, we are labeled with extreme prejudice by burned out doctors, and either way a proper and effective treatment plan is out of reach. So we go from doctor to doctor, have test after test, and still we get nowhere.

You start to appreciate those few doctors who really tried to help but came up empty handed, and you resent the ones who blew you off with crude remarks like, “it’s probably just a fibro flare or CFS.” Their tone nothing short of apathy or boredom. They might as well tell you that your health, well being and immense suffering is no big deal. Once it has been suggested…

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No One Talks About the Fear

This is a wonderfully written piece about the unpredictable nature of chronic illnesses and chronic pain; it provides an elegant theory for chronic pain suffers’ actions and moods- one that I know I have experienced, but could never have articulated so well.

Then Everything Changed

The other day was a stunningly beautiful sunny day with a light breeze.  Exactly what you imagine when you think of the perfect day to be outside doing, well, anything.  I, however, sat looking out the window from my physical therapists office.  You know, like you do.  My physical therapist noticed me looking and said, “What a beautiful day.  Doesn’t it make you want to go for a walk?  You know, that is something you can do and it’s very good for your overall health.”  I produced my best fake smile and mumbled the appropriate agreement, but it really ruffled my feathers and I couldn’t figure out why.  People make these comments all.the.time.  Why was this one nagging at me?  Turns out, this was a good question.

Who wouldn’t want to take a walk?

Healthy people don’t understand that chronic illness and pain is not linear.  This means that the…

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Seven reasons why Endo-Fatigue causes so much trauma to its sufferers

Thankfully, my fatigue has been better since my surgery, but I know these feelings so well. Survivingendometriosis articulates the drain of fatigue beautifully.

survivingendometriosis

Have you recently been tired? Have you recently been endo-tired? If yes, you’re very likely to know the difference. Explaining how you feel to the rest of the world is a different matter altogether.

“It can’t be endometriosis that’s making you feel so tired. Are you sure you don’t have cancer or something?”

“I’m too busy to ‘rest’ like you do.”

“I admit you’re not well, but stop ‘revelling’ in it.”

Renunciation and attack are common reactions. Onlookers simply refuse to believe that a person can be so excessively tired because of endometriosis, so they come up with alternative explanations: You’re lazy. You’re feigning it. You’re exaggerating it. You’re just feeling sorry for yourself. You don’t want to face up to your life. There must be something else wrong with you.

My experience has been that most people, including me, the sufferer, are, initially at any rate, unaware of this…

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Endometriosis UK information day – October 2013

What a fantastic write up by Michelle B at ENDOhope from the UK information day. While it does have some UK specific references, the majority of it is useful regardless where you live. I thought the link to the study on how endometriosis affects couples was particularly interesting.

Endohope

I attended my second Endometriosis UK information day a little while ago in Coventry, and despite arriving late, I did my best to write up a detailed account of the day and an overview of the information discussed at all of the seminars and discussion groups.

Endometriosis UK is the leading endometriosis charity in this country (and the host to these information days), and they normally hold one information day a year explaining their work and progress, as well as providing tons of information from consultants, pain specialists, GPs and nurses. I was pleased to see that this year they’re continuing their work to invite nurses and other healthcare professionals to the day to better their understanding of endometriosis and its impact on women.

If you’re interested, I also attended the last the same information day last year, and wrote up an account of that day too. Some…

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