Sometimes it feels like another day another health problem.
I’ve had health issues since I was born but the list just gets longer and more complex every single year. Cerebral palsy, nerve damage, volkmanns, epilepsy, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, chrons disease, and recurring kidney stones. Let’s not forget the barrage of injuries and operations I’ve had to have over the years: 11 broken bones, appendicitis, shoulder decompression. Pulled tendons, hamstrings and slipped discs in my lower back.
Oh yeah. Bulimia and depression.
And now there’s a bunion which already affects my walking and, in reality, is only going to get worse the older I get.
For the past two months I’ve had this problem with my right ankle. It just hurts all the time, particularly when walking, and the worst thing is that I have no accident or injury to attribute it to. I seem to have woken up one day with a dodgy foot. Combined with my lower back problems and the bunion on my left foot, walking just hurts and I ache all the time.
The other day I saw my consultant for a check-up on my bunion and I mentioned my ankle. He thinks I have trapped or inflamed nerves and I’m having a scan today. He wanted to give me a brace but my ankles were too small for any he had in stock (lol, tiny feet). He’s a great consultant, he always takes me seriously and doesn’t dismiss the fact my bunion isn’t the worst he’s ever seen. He even discussed the option of having surgery while it isn’t severe so that we get me back to normal as opposed to slowly deteriorating over the next 20-30 years. The surgery recovery is insane though and terrifies my ED recovery.
I didn’t realise that my ankle problems would trigger me. Growing up, I always shrugged off my health conditions. They were all I knew and I accepted that. It was difficult when people joked I was the broken girl with a new problem every other day but I got on with it. Therapists would comment on how difficult it must be to deal with so many health problems but I was adamant it didn’t affect my mental health.
(Little did I know).
But I’m starting to realise and accept just how much my medical history hurts me. So many days where I wish I was “normal”. So many opportunities not lived to the fullest because of a condition. And it makes me feel damaged. And feeling damaged makes me feel unworthy. Like why would anyone want someone so broken?
I envy those who don’t experience what I do. I wish my legs didn’t hurt every single day. I wish my back was healed. I wish I didn’t have seizures that limit my freedoms such as driving. I wish I didn’t get scared about being too far from a toilet in case I have a Chrons flare.
Sometimes I feel like being upset by this isn’t valid but you know what, it takes a toll, and I’m willing to accept that now.
So although my bunion and ankle are relatively minor, I’m letting myself be upset. I’m giving me permission to be sad and cry it all out. Because there’s no point dismissing the fact that, sometimes…My. Life. Absolutely. Sucks.
But not always.
A big part of my recovery has been allowing myself to be upset. To not always push on with a strong face, smiling as if nothing is wrong in my head. That my feelings and emotions are valid.
That my existence is valid.