1 year on

1 year on, my heart is still shattered that we lost you. but you will always be in our hearts, and your spirit lives on, Clover baby. you are loved, and will always be loved by your humans and Poppy meimei.

be happy and joyful ok? play fetch, eat treats, and bark feistily. we’ll meet you on the other side when the time comes. i’ll be looking forward to see you, baby.

i miss you so much 😥😥😥

Advertisements

grasping at straws

i am sorry i haven’t written in the longest time. it has been a trying time, but i guess for very different reasons.

i just spent my 28th birthday a few days ago. in the state i am in right now, it was reminiscent of my 2lst birthday (when i had to spend it going through those awful currents).

with every single day that i am living and breathing, i wish that i am better in my journey to recovery. and more and more, with each day, i hope i get closer to living a full life. in my journey to recovery, i understand that it is really just a journey. but living a fuller life, i have achieved nothing.

it is usually on hindsight that i find out that things i have been doing (or seeking) to cope are just my frantic efforts to fill the bottomless void in me. and it’s always just as i start to feel that perhaps i am starting to cope, that i realise it’s all so futile.

like right now, i am writing at a psychology conference. it’s always been my dream to have my paper (it’s my honours dissertation in this case) presented at an academic conference. and today i finally did so. i was even privileged to chair a session. yet at the end of it, i still felt empty. i questioned myself why i even bothered doing this. it’ll look good on my CV, but so what? in the end I still feel like a blank, bottomless void.

i spent the past 6 months working a job which i do not enjoy. i’ve had 3 crises and thus 3 emergency room visits and 30 odd stitches in all. i’ve been frenetically trying to avoid triggers and anxiety. i am still trying to cope with chronic pain. and i have never ceased to wonder if i would be better off someplace else than this earth.

i feel like i am drowning on dry land, and no one can see nor hear me. i feel like this effort to just exist is draining. and funny thing is, everyone gets fooled just because i put on a face of make up and a bold lip. somehow a groomed appearance confers the notion of wellness, even to my mental health team.

it’s been 8 years. i have loved, but i’ve lost much more. and i feel like i never really did recover anything in these 8 years. i am pretty convinced that all i have been doing, is grasping at straws.

and i don’t want to do this anymore.

(the photo is of my newest tattoo which i got for my birthday. it is an ode to Clover, our doggie who passed away last July. she is the one on the left, while Poppy our 8 year old toy poodle is on the right. i miss Clover so fucking much.)

First Class!

so i have just officially graduated!!!

i just got my Confirmation of Award through my email. because of how they released our results, in just 1 week my emotions were on a rollercoaster ride. last week they released our provisional grades without our honours classification. i almost cried (on the inside, cos’ i saw it whilst at work) because it looked so bad. i tried to take comfort at the fact that i had an A for my dissertation, which carried a 40% weightage for our whole course. but it still got to me. within a few days, which actually saw me rechecking my grades obsessively, they released my honours classification. it was simply put as 1. i could only breathe when my lecturer confirmed that it was indeed…

FIRST CLASS HONOURS.

my heart fluttered, and though this was what i wanted, i didn’t think it was possible. it took some time for it to sink in, as i questioned myself about how this could happen. the 9 months was extremely tumultuous, seeing that there were many crises, emergency room visits, stitches, surgeries, hospital admissions etc. i wasn’t at my best, and yet…

it can only be the grace of God. really. thank you Papa God!!!

no looking back now, Steph. fix your gaze on God and on the way forward!

MTX again, with triamcinolone at the side

about 1.5 weeks after my discharge, and a little over a week after i finished pred, i finally saw my rheumy with so much mixed emotions. please understand that we’ve not dealt with a flare of this magnitude in 3-4 years. if anything i was deathly afraid she’d look at my inflammatory markers, and forget to look at and listen to me as a person.

despite so much morning stiffness and disease activity (shoulders, wrists, MCPs, hips, knees, feet/toes), my ESR came up at a laughable 19 and CRP at 14. years with my rheumy has taught me that the fear of her sweeping my symptoms under the carpet was all too real. i could only tell her how it has all been affecting me in a different manner. and this time, because of how our patient-practitioner relationship matured over the years, she listened. offered the choices of either more pred, or going back on methotrexate. added the option to get an intramuscular triamcinolone injection. i know she’s holding back with pred, and i would too. in the end i went with the IM triamcinolone jab and MTX 12.5mg.

let’s see how things go. triamcinolone has a half-life of 18-36 hours, so i’m hoping it won’t wear off soon. and hopefully with only 12.5mg of MTX, my liver will be ok.

so just last week, in my first week of work (yay?), my RA flared up. i haven’t had such a bad flare in years, and aside from the marked morning stiffness which rang alarm bells, joints which have not flared in the last few years flared up to say hi. my walking cane came into good use again. after the concurrent first 4 days of work and flares and Arcoxia 120mg not working, i raised the white flag. i brought myself to the emergency room at night.

i had my reservations due to my experiences with going in for pain previously for pain, for very fortunately, all was fine and the doctors were very kind. they admitted me (first time for my RA), and when i tried to say no, they persuaded me to, on the account that i even have walking difficulties already. so it was a 24 hour stay. very brief. we just needed my rheumy to see me in the ward and decide the course of prednisolone for me. my inflammatory markers were very underwhelming, and i had to keep explaining to all the doctors examining me that i am seronegative, and my hands are largely spares. So yes, no sky high ESR and CRP, no classic RA hands. i think the only thing that was grossly swollen was my popliteal bursa.

was given 30mg of pred in the emergency room, which helped some. then rheumy decided on just 5mg for 5 days, and an appointment to see her a week thereafter. i just finished the course of pred, but RA is still making me very miserable. i am reminded how i came to be on pred for one long year when i got first diagnosed. these flares just won’t go away.

tired, and just trying to be okay as the inflammation gnaws away at my joints. sigh. you’ll be okay, steph.

eighteen

2017 passed me by like a nightmare i couldn’t wake up from. it has been excruciatingly painful.

i can’t remember the details of much (due to amnesia), but i know that i struggled a lot with physical and psychic pain. i never stopped trying to crawl out of the depths of unending darkness, because of the obligations i had to my family and to school. but i kept falling. i was in the emergency room so often- poked and prodded, cut up and stitched up, sent into surgery, and nights spent alone in the hospital… consequently, i too submitted to ECT even more, just to quell the dysphoria which haunted me perpetually. i’m not proud of it, and i know for all of these that i go through, i am ashamed of myself and by all others. but this is the best i can do to extend my existence.

but in the midst of the pain in 2017, i witnessed the great and unfailing faithfulness of God, and His perfect love for me, His child so sinful and sorrowful.

in 2018, may i learn to be little, to trust You with a child-like faith, to submit to Your divine will, and to love You with all that You have made me to be (and so much more).