Stress Rash

The photo shown above is my remaining “stress rash” FOUR HOURS after it arrived!!!  “Stress rash” is my unofficial, layman’s term for what happens to my skin right before, during, and/or after periods of intense anxiety, stress, sadness, or pretty much any extreme emotional reaction.  

It normally affects my chest, ears, and neck the most, but may also be visible on my legs or even my arms, in more severe cases.  

It usually starts to fade away shortly after the situation which caused it has ended.  However, there are rare circumstances which are so devastating that the physical effects may linger long after the causative situation has ended.  I suppose that could signify a greater possibility of long term ramifications from the rash’s origin.  That is my current theory.

Does anyone else experience this annoying and embarrassing physical manifestation of emotions?  I HATE it SO much because it makes it VERY difficult or impossible to hide negative emotions during some of the very situations when it would be best, or more appropriate, to repress such feelings.

This is just one of the endless examples of how our emotions can manifest in physical ways.  I’m sure that it’s not necessary to elaborate on the effect that the events surrounding the arrival of today’s stress rash have had on my pain levels.  To be honest, I would be thrilled to experience the rash alone, without excruciating pain flare ups and an inability to eat.  😢

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How much stress can a person endure before they start to break; physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically?

With every blessing or moment of progress and hope, it seems as though another pending disaster is on the horizon.

I have thrown myself into exercise lately because it is something I can control. A part of my life that I can reclaim and when I do it, I feel good, in many ways. It has been helping.

Despite that positive change, there are so many things that I cannot control and that is becoming obvious at this moment.

I’ve gone from feeling feeling strong, despite my pain, to feel feeling helpless and scared, once again.

I’m turning to Yoga and Qigong in an attempt to help. Hopefully they can eventually provide an outlet for my anguish so I can meditate through the destruction and ease this feeling of impending doom.

Maybe I will go to Unity Church tomorrow, where I take the Qigong classes. There are some crises and burdens that are to heavy to bear on our own. Sometimes I believe that only that only a higher power can help lift the heavy weight and help us carry it or help carry us when we can no longer carry ourselves.

Stress levels may affect Endo

This is very true. I’m in the middle of a stress induced pain flare-up right now.

I was blessed with an almost cruel but wonderful lower pain level last week as I felt much better, physically and mentally, than I have in years. I had almost forgotten what it was like to feel even semi-normal but as quickly as it arrived, in a flash, it was gone. I would’ve almost preferred that it not happen because it was a painful reminder of the life I have lost.

This week has been very stressful, with a worsening of my husband’s condition, additional doctor appointments and an expensive skin biopsy for me, and all of the stress that comes along with it.

Each day, my pain and fatigue levels have increased and they came to a peak today, which required me to call in sick from work, which will inevitably have a domino effect of more stress caused by the guilt that I feel when I have to use sick leave which I can’t afford to lose along with the back-log of work that will be waiting for me when I return on Monday. It is a never-ending vicious cycle that wreaks havoc on my body and mind.

I’m going to try to mitigate and interrupt the cycle with a massage at the local massage school this weekend and maybe even a cheap hair trim and eye brow wax at the local beauty school. I’m jokingly calling it a white trash spa day. LOL! No offense to anyone who takes advantage of similar price reductions. When chronic illness destroys your finances, as it has ours, student services are a blessing and the only way that I can afford any “me time” or be pampered at all. Hopefully I will feel a little better by tomorrow so I can enjoy the day and avoid cancelling at the last minute. Such is life with an invisible illness. Living day by day, hour by hour, and minute by minute becomes normal.

💖 Wishing you all a low pain level day 💖

Bloomin' Uterus

StressSymptomsSo after a particularly stressful day at the office, I decided to do some writing and soul searching and (of course) research.  In all of the books and articles I’ve read, there has been a comment or chapter stating that stress may worsen Endometriosis.  But why?

How Stress Affects the Body:

Stress may trigger adrenal stress hormones, which may alter heart rates and blood flow.  It may also impair our white blood cell count, which can lower the body’s chances of fighting infection, reduce inflammation or even prevent/limit scarring. Gals with Endo know that inflammation and scarring are two critical components of a painful Endo day.  Stress may also cause or exacerbate problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.

Science!

In 2008, news reports state a study was conducted on seven female rats.  A team of investigators concluded that…

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Working with an Invisible Illness & Chronic Pain

If someone asked me what my greatest challenge was, with regard to living with an invisible illness and chronic pain, I wouldn’t even have to think twice before I answered “working.”  The reasons are likely obvious to anyone who has a chronic illness and/or lives with chronic pain and those reasons are MANY.

We never know how we are going to feel from one minute to the next, let alone one day to the next.  For me, something ALWAYS hurts.  Not just a little annoying pain, but severe, debilitating pain.  Luckily my brain seems to process primarily one pathway of pain signals at a time.  This means that the most severe source of pain is what I feel at any given moment.  Sometimes that is facial pain due to Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia or Atypical Facial Pain (the doctors keep switching back and forth between these diagnoses) and TMJ/TMD, which feels like someone has placed a needle into my upper right teeth without ever taking it out.  That pain radiates into my cheek, temple, head, and neck.  Sometimes it starts in my neck and radiates outward from there.  My other source of chronic, invisible pain is in the abdominal region due to Endometriosis, PCOS, Endosalpingiosis, and abdominal adhesions.  I usually just refer to it all as “Endo” for the sake of simplicity.  This is often the most debilitating pain of all because it is peritoneal quality pain, which has a tendency to affect a large portion of the body (stomach, abdomen, pelvis, lower back, and upper legs/thighs).  Sometimes it is only a dull ache (my facial pain is usually more severe during those times), but other times it causes severe stabbing, cramping, ripping, crushing, and tearing pain which can bring me to my knees, cause nausea, severe GI symptoms, make it hard to breathe, and even cause me to pass out.  Many compare Endo flare-ups to acute appendicitis or even labor contractions.  It leaves the body in a constant state of inflammation and causes my abdomen to swell to the point of looking pregnant at times.  All of this also causes a debilitating fatigue, which research has shown often reaches a level experienced by those with end-stage cancer.  When that happens, it feels like my arms, legs, and other body parts are carrying around 100 pound weights (which is more than my total body weight).  These are just some of the physical symptoms.  The psychological and emotional symptoms are another monster all their own.  Imagine trying to concentrate on work, completing complex or even mundane daily tasks, dealing with co-workers, attending meetings, managing stress, and meeting deadlines while feeling this way.  Sound tough?  It is.  This is the best way that I know how to describe it but even these words don’t do it justice.  Continue reading

Depression & Our Anniversary

I know the title of this blog post may seem strange.  There is really no connection between the two words except that they are both present and on my mind.

Today is our 6th wedding anniversary.  Billy and I have been together for 11 years now and our love is strong.  We have been through challenges that would be hard to imagine and many that no one knows about except for us.  Things that would test and destroy the most solid relationship but somehow our love has always pulled us through and prevailed.  I am so thankful for my husband and the unconditional love that we share.

This should be a joyous day but I cried all the way to work.  Yesterday and the day before, I cried all the way home.  Last night I sat and cried on the couch but I don’t think Billy noticed.  He has his own overwhelming struggles to deal with and I tried not to make it obvious.  Throughout my years of participation in online chronic pain, Trigeminal Neuralgia/Facial Pain, Endometriosis, and PCOS support groups, I have read and been acclimated to the very real link between chronic pain and depression.  I knew it could happen and the likelihood that it would is very high.  I have watched my husband struggle with it for years, even before the wreck and his botched surgery, but so much more afterwards.  It has been ripping him apart for what seems like forever and it appears to finally be taking hold of me.  Continue reading

Social Media Hiatus

A little over a week ago, I made the decision to take a break from social media.  Yes, I am now officially on hiatus from Facebook and Twitter.  I may share my blog posts there but for now, I am sticking with my decision not to log on, check messages, etc. until further notice.  Any comments on my blog posts will not be visible to me unless they are posted directly through WordPress.

A break from social media may sound like no big deal to some people but for me it has been huge.  Since chronic pain moved in (uninvited) and decided to take up residence in my life, my contact with the outside world has diminished.  I have never been a social creature, so that consequence of chronic pain isn’t all that devastating for me.  However, when my life started to change, I found myself turning to social media for support, social interaction, education, and raising awareness for Endometriosis, chronic pain, and a few issues that go along with it.  That part has been great and I have met some wonderful people along the way.  Continue reading