Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Pros and Cons of My Health

I have more things wrong with me than I can keep track of. It's not all bad, though, and in some things are half great and half awful. There's almost definitely stuff I'm missing, but this is what I came up with over a few days.

The Good Stuff

1. My metabolism is ridiculously fast.
I can eat a full meal to the point of being very full, then be hungry again two hours later. I can essentially eat whatever I want and never gain a pound.

2. I'm bipolar.
The manic half of bipolar disorder leads to days of hyper, productive euphoria and good moods.

3. I look nice.
I have reasonably clear skin and a decent figure. I'm more comfortable with my body than most people ever will be.

4. I have excellent hearing.
It can be a little selective at times, but I can hear really slight sounds and make out conversations from very far away.

5. I metabolize sugar faster than most people.
This allows me to take in massive amounts of pixie sticks and not turn diabetic.

6. I have a high tolerance for pain.
Mostly because I live with it every day.

7. I have perfect blood pressure.
This amazes me. Everything else wrong, and my BP is right where it should be on the dot.

8. I'm a fast runner.
I'm short, so my tiny little legs don't let me keep up with everyone as well as I'd like, but I can run pretty fast if I need to.

9. I heal insanely fast.
I'm hard to cut open. If I do get a cut, it has to be really deep before I bleed even the tiniest amount. I almost never bruise. I don't callus. I heal so fast that I rarely scar, and my scars fade a lot over time. My broken finger healed like, two weeks ahead of schedule, much to the happiness of my doctor. 

The Bad Stuff 

1. My metabolism is ridiculously fast.
It's speeding up. I lost a bunch of weight a couple years ago. I was at 105 at my heaviest, I think, which was essentially a perfect weight for little 5-foot-tall me. I dropped down to 92 over the course of about 3 months, and no one knew why. I had no change in diet or anything. It just sort of happened when all my other issues happened. I've gotten back up to 95, and now, even though I eat constantly, I can't gain any more. I'm always hungry. I eat more than my boyfriend does, and he's gaining weight. There's not really much I can do about it.

2. I'm bipolar.
The depressive aspect of bipolar disorder comes with being miserable, snapping at everyone, feeling tired, being sad, and just generally being really unhappy with everything. There are also a whole ton of negative things that are symptoms, most of which I have (though whether they're from the bipolar or something else I don't know), such as chronic pain, mood swings, etc.

3. I have frequent headaches.
Sometimes they come on by themselves. Others, they're triggered. I get headaches really easily. Too much noise will give me one. So will frequently switching songs without hearing them fully. I think it's because it breaks the flow that my mind expects, but that's just a theory. I don't like loud noises; having the TV too loud is actually quite painful. Sounds I dislike, like whistling, can give me one. Interestingly enough, I've done entire works of art in Sharpie and had no issues.

4. My joints all ache.
I have arthritis in my hands. My left index finger, which I broke a few years ago, just started having severe pain. My right wrist was starting to develop carpal tunnel once, but I was able to reverse it. My knees ache a lot.

5. I have to crack my joints to keep them from causing excruciating pain.
I can crack a whole ton of things. It's how I start my morning so I can move. As time passes, my joints get very stiff and sore as pressure builds up. Cracking joints relieves the pressure, loosens them up, and lets me continue working. My back is the best example of this. My spine sort of contracts, and if I don't crack it, it feels like the bones are grating, and the slightest movement sends a sharp pain down my back as if I've been stabbed. It hurts enough that I can't move for a second after it happens. Cracking it makes it all better. It sucks, especially, since I know lots of people don't like the sound, but I really do need to do it. 

6. I have slight scoliosis.
It's a condition where your spine is curved. In my case, it's likely from heavy backpacks in my early school years. It's minor, but it makes my back a little sore sometimes depending on how I sit.

7. I probably have asthma.
At the very least, I have really weak lungs. Moderate exertion makes my lungs burn and ache, and it takes over an hour before the pain goes away. I spent most of my childhood years in a trailer we heated with kerosene heaters. I suspect the oily smoke didn't help my lung development much.

8. I have a very weak immune system.
I get sick easily. I get very high fevers, and there have been several times when I've spent a week being really, really sick.

9. I frequently get dizzy.
Seeing lights burst in my vision, dark spots, and sometimes my vision just going black all happen all to frequently. It happens a lot when I do too much physical activity, but sometimes I'll just be sitting at my computer doing nothing.

10. I cant handle heat.
My body runs at 95 degrees. It pretty much stops functioning in temperatures above 95, and slows down drastically above 85. I get nauseous to the point where I barely eat, I get dizzy, I black out, and I can't breathe. Last year, my boyfriend and I went to a big camping/concert/party weekend. The last day there, we were packing up the tent in the sun, and it was probably about 92 degrees. I hadn't eaten much for breakfast because our stove ran out of propane. I blacked out, almost threw up, and ended up sitting on the bumper in the shade soaking myself with water while he did most of the work. My heart rate was way up, and so was my breathing. I don't know if that was heat stroke point, but if it wasn't, it was pretty damn close.

11. I have terrible balance.
I'm lucky I can stand up without tipping over, and I do tip a lot. My ex used to say I'd better never end up in a situation where I needed to take a sobriety test, because I would fail miserably when totally sober. I can walk in high heels and sprint through the woods no problem, though.

12. I'm slightly lactose intolerant.
It's really minor, so it's not a huge deal, but it makes me a little picky about how much of what kind of milk I'm willing to drink. Too much makes me queasy.

13. My eyesight is awful.
I inherited bad eyesight on, like, all sides of my family. Things get blurry about 10 inches from my face, if that.

14. I sweat a lot.
Maybe it's because of my metabolism. I really don't know. It sucks, though. Even when I'm cold, I sweat.

15. I can't eat a lot.
I have a small stomach. On top of that, when I eat a lot, my heart rate speeds up and I get really tired while I digest stuff. I feel sort of sick and dizzy for about an hour.

16. I have a high tolerance for medication.
That means not much works for me, which isn't very good.

17. I have a few specific aches and pains that keep coming back.
I sometimes get a sharp pain in my left leg (right where it meets the hip) that forces me to walk with a really slight limp. I get it every now and then, and it goes away pretty quickly. My right ankle bothers me sometimes. My jaw hurts sometimes because I grind my teeth at night.

18. I get tons of bug bites.
My boyfriend and I have pretty substantial evidence that bugs go for the sweeter blood, and because of my naturally high blood sugar, I'm always the first choice. He used to be the only one in his family to ever get bitten. When I'm around, I get all the bites and he doesn't get any.

19. I can't tread water.
I mean, I can, but only for about 30 seconds. I'm not very buoyant, and my legs are sort of weak.

20. Being startled is very painful for me.
Adrenaline makes my heart beat faster and my chest ache. It really hurts, and it takes a while for that to calm down and go away. I don't appreciate being scared.

21. My heart rate can go past 200 when sitting still.
It fluctuates rapidly. It's anything but slow and steady.

22. I have frequent chest pains.
Doctors have looked and found nothing. Of course.

23. I can't stay on a regular sleep schedule.
I'm all over the place. Being bipolar doesn't help any, especially when I can stay up for 26 hours before feeling tired, be awake for 8 hours and need sleep, or be unable to stay asleep for more than 6 hours.

24. Sometimes my hands shake horribly.
Other times they're perfectly steady. 

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