when it hurts inside and out

it was a novel way to start 2013, i tell you.

i welcomed the new year with an admission initiated by my rheumy on new year’s eve. we had discovered that my haemoglobin(Hb) level had dropped significantly, so with that she wanted me to be admitted for 2 pints of packed cell transfusion. we had also discovered my iron stores were completely depleted, and so i had to receive an iron sucrose infusion. at the same time, very unfortunately, we found that i had transaminitis AGAIN. my liver enzymes were raised, although not drastically. so my DMARDs (methotrexate[MTX] and sulfasalazine[SSZ]) has to be stopped. this is happening when i am actually smelling a remission coming after the dose increase of both DMARDs in October. sigh. such disappointment time and yet again.

after i got discharged on the 2nd day of 2013, i had an appointment to see my psychiatrist. my psychiatrist, plus 2 other psychiatrists who have been on my team, decided unanimously that i should be admitted. and why is that so? because they felt that i was already tipped over the edge, and was in no condition to go back to work. it was largely also because of work and my direct supervisor- stigmatisation, expectations that could never be met, being bullied at the bottom of the  hierarchy and more. understandably, i could still work fine, but i’d be doing so in a very poor psychological state,, and would still be admitted sooner or later. so there i went into the hospital again, and i’ve been here since. it has been a real roller coaster ride though, despite this admission’s indication to be for rest. i had deteriorated very quickly in just a matter of days, but i got back on my feet again, somehow.

while this is a brand new year with a ‘good’ start for me in terms of receiving news that i am a confirmed and full-fledged staff nurse, i am resigned . resigned to the fact that i will continue to be in physical and mental pain. resigned to the fact that i am still in the process of trying to recover and that i am never really getting there yet.. resigned to the fact that this coming year will not be any more easier than the past years. resigned to the fact that i may lose my life if we are not careful enough. resigned to the fact that it will be an eternal struggle for me to stay free from self-harm.  resigned to the fact that i may have to give up my life’s only purpose- nursing- just to retain my sanity. resigned to the fact that my weight will continue to yo-yo. resigned to the fact that life’s just like that, that the world is fallen, with humans being so cruel.

my team always tells me to never give up, and frequently encourages me to keep trudging on. they celebrate with me when i do good. they sigh with me when i fall. all these, despite the fact that i have never been in remission (in both RA and my mental illnesses). i always wonder if they would ever know what it feels like to have had RA for their whole lives with excruciating pain in their joints and having to work at the same time, to be depressed, bulimic and suicidal, while bleeding and cutting most times, all at the same time.  i wonder if they know what it feels like to feel constant rejection, disapproval, hopeless, helpless, trapped, hurt and be in excruciating pain. and i wonder if they know what it feels like to be at at the end of the road, like there is no more light at the end of the tunnel, fallen so far till rock bottom, battered up so badly, and be on their knees begging for God to take their pain away, or to even take them away because it is simply unbearable.

and i wonder if they know stigmatisation, and if they themselves have been guilty of it.


it indeed is a novel way of celebrating the new year. so much pain, love, laughter, tears, questions, prayers, struggles and all. everything that i’ve said, is something to think hard about.

started a project to aid in my recovery. more of it coming soon!


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