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Life with Multiple Diagnoses

An Afternoon that Changed Everything: Life with Multiple Diagnoses

One afternoon in March 2015, my whole life changed forever. An insignificant event, where an appointment was pushed back by two hours, triggered a reaction that I immediately knew was not normal. My entire range of emotions cycled through in the span of an hour, and that hour was the result of years of pressure that I had pushed aside, believing that stress wasn't physically dangerous (or so I thought).

For over 5 years, I had been living a life filled with pressure and tough experiences that I hadn't handled because I didn't feel like I had the "time" to take a break. If I'm realistic, I've probably always lived a pressured life, as from childhood, I've felt that I HAD to please others and neglect all my own needs. My cognitive function deteriorated to the point where a family member had to take over my CPR number and "take charge" of my life.

After a visit to my own doctor and four hours in the reception at the psychiatric emergency ward, I went home, thinking I could handle the situation myself. However, my head had suffered neurological damage, and the following time was tough. When describing it to others, I often say I got stressed, but my real diagnosis is a stress reaction that can be a bit harder to understand.

Everything in my everyday life suddenly became different and new. All daily routines took more time because I had forgotten simple things like making a sandwich or what to do to take a shower. The routines I could still manage had to be done differently and much slower. Since I couldn't remember my routines anymore, many things had to be relearned.

It was almost impossible to function, and I had to plan the entire outing in advance to make it as short and easy as possible so that I wouldn't be exhausted from impressions when I got home.

It took months for my head to learn what to remember before leaving the house and how to make the dishes I had made without thinking about it for over 25 years.

Sometimes it came back in brief glimpses of a few hours, and then I rushed around, taking advantage of it before it disappeared again.

If I was invited out, the energy often returned, but it ALWAYS disappeared when I got home, and my body collapsed for days or weeks afterward because it took a lot to get ready to go out and process all the impressions that come from being at gatherings with friends and family.

... This is the best way I can describe how my body reacted to a severe stress reaction on March 9, 2015, and it will never completely disappear from my body. However, over the past 8 years, I have worked VERY hard on my own needs, organizing tasks, and received a pension in March 2023 that has provided a life that I am still trying to find balance in. My brain has a chronically high level of ambition that no longer matches my resources, so some days I am balanced and sometimes I overdo it, but my ultimate goal is to be happy, and you can still be happy even if you look like oatmeal in the face and go to bed at 8 p.m. There is always a new day tomorrow.

You can rarely see from my pictures or my smile that my brain is working overtime to handle everyday life, but when I'm not visible on social media, I unwind for many hours ALL alone or with people who are VERY close. SO close that I don't have to spend energy reading their faces, and their energy is "known" in my system where I can be MYSELF in all shades.

In messenger conversations and Facebook comments, you won't notice that I can "seem" energized, but I have to prepare for days if we were to meet in everyday life.

In addition to my psyche, I also have my diabetes, which EVERY day requires that I take my medicine, maintain my training, avoid carbohydrates, and 50 other things that most people with fewer diagnoses (or none) don't have to juggle every day... all year... for the rest of their lives. I have to take 15-20 diabetes-related actions every day.

It can be extremely challenging when the brain has such significant challenges with memory, and lists don't help. Lists don't help if you don't know where they are. Lists pose significant risks for feeling defeated if you rarely manage to do everything.

I celebrate the good days because they ARE my victories and ultimately lead me back to an easier life. On the other days, I forgive myself because I have to start each day with a "clean slate" so I have a chance to achieve my goals ❤️

It's been 8 years now, and it has cost some relationships, but it has also changed some for the better and stronger. Forgetfulness and memory loss may seem like indifference to others. Cancellations due to being saturated with impressions may seem like a lack of interest. I understand that WELL, but choosing oneself is not choosing others OUT when the selection of others' needs costs me a blow to physical health. Any mental imbalance sends my blood sugar skyrocketing, so initially, you might think that big parties are "worth it."

Over time/years, however, I have chosen to receive anger and disappointment because I know that I best preserve the relationship by investing in a long life.

Today, I have a daily life where I still have many resources I can draw on, but they work best when I can do it at my own pace and when it suits ME.

I still have days when I lose the feeling of hunger or satiety, but I have learned that it will come back.

Over 82% with diabetes have more than 1 diagnosis, and sometimes diabetes is the quietest one... and therefore the hardest to give enough attention to. Over 30% have, like me, also a psychological one.

(My total number is 2 physical and 2 psychological) - I will write about them in a later blog.

... I write all this to create knowledge and understanding that a life with diabetes and other diagnoses can be difficult to handle due to the many daily extra tasks. It's OK if you feel that your life with diabetes is filled with many extra tasks. It's OK if you feel that your life with diabetes and other diagnoses is hard.

You just mustn't give up because there are ways out of almost everything, and NO ONE expects you to handle life perfectly. The goal is to find a version of happiness in life, in all the versions we are assigned.

Mine became easier when I asked for help!

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