Over the Easter holiday, I went skiing for the third time. Well, technically it is probably my fifth or sixth time, but I do not remember the few times I went skiing as a kid. From what people have told me, I used to really enjoy it and like most children, I did not appreciate the risks yet and so I was going down the ski slope super quickly, often not even knowing how to stop, so I would just throw myself onto the ground once I made it to the end of the path. But as an adult, it is a lot harder to learn how to ski because you, or at least me, are afraid of falling, being hit by someone else, etc. I can tell that I am making some progress, but it is also crazy to see little kids go down the slopes really fast (and also really well), while you as an adult struggle so much to learn. But despite it being hard, it is also a lot of fun. I am not much of a sports person and I was really afraid of the cold, but I actually enjoy learning it. And if you are someone who is always cold like me: trust me, those warm skiing clothes actually keep you warm - the only thing that actually gets a little cold is your nose, so consider bringing a scarf.
Being on this vacation reminded me a lot of my first time skiing (that I actually remember), which was last October. While I enjoyed the skiing part, it was not a great time for me overall. I was struggling a lot with my physical health and I was crying almost every day because I was in a lot of pain and I was put on medication, which did not help me, but instead worsened the whole situation. It took a few more months for me to get better and the whole medical disaster only ended in late February/early March of this year. I was actually told that I would have to get surgery to fix what was wrong with me, but that turned out not to be true and luckily, I got out of the whole surgery thing. Long story short, I had a doctor who overlooked a few things they should not have overlooked and who made mistakes that a medical professional should, at least in my opinion, not have made in this case. But I am with a different doctor now and I can tell how much my quality of life has returned.
My new semester started this week and I finally went to my lectures without feeling terrible. Last semester, I sat in quite a few lectures with my FFP2 mask as high up as possible to prevent people from seeing that I was crying due to the pain I was feeling. And there were also many mornings, where I was feeling so bad, that I ended up not being able to go to my lectures at all. Having had that experience makes me appreciate my situation now so much more. Of course, being in my final semester of my master's degree is stressful and my master's thesis is a lot of work, but I am so glad I am able to do it without this extra burden of my health.
But I have also noticed, that the past few months have definitely had an impact on me, even now that the physical side of this ordeal is over. As someone with multiple chronicle illnesses, I have seen quite a few doctors in my life and I honestly used to have a pretty positive attitude towards doctors. I trusted people in that white coat, because I knew they studied medicine and definitely know more about all these things than I do. And I have come across bad doctors before, but some mistakes are human in my opinion and when there was something which was really off (like some doctor trying to tell me how great a sect was, lol), I just went to a different doctor and it never affected my health to such an extent that it really damaged my trust in the profession. But this time was different - on the one hand, the whole thing dragged out for a long time, and on the other hand, the impact on my health was severe since I was in the worst pain I have ever experienced and I had very little quality of life during that time.
I went to see my rheumatologist this week and he is a doctor I have had for a few years and who is really compassionate towards his patients, but also super knowledgeable and always happy to answer any questions and explain the treatments to you. But despite all that, I was really scared of going, because the past few months made me really afraid of doctors in general. Some of that blind trust, which I used to give to pretty much anyone wearing a white coat and a name tag with a "Dr." in front of it, is now gone. I think it is healthy to ask some questions, but it is also important to trust healthcare professionals. And I feel like I am currently not really able to do the latter. I hope that this will come back, since I also do not like this feeling of fear and mistrust, but I guess that will take a while.
Processing everything I experienced during the past few months will also take some time. I have intentionally left it vague what exactly went down, because I also do not want to trigger anyone. But I guess it can be summarised as a really tough time and I would describe my mental state during that time as worse than it was when I was diagnosed as clinically depressed. It did, however, improve a lot faster than when I was actually mentally ill, since it was growing out of the physical illness and its associated pain.
I guess what I am trying to tell you is that these things can leave a longer impact than just the time while you are actually sick. If there is anyone reading this blog who works in healthcare, please keep this in mind. I understand that people in the profession are often overworked and that is not their fault, but please give patients a reason to keep trusting you and do not destroy that trust.
Ok, let's end this post on a positive note. I have a ton more pictures from my holiday and I have attached some to the end of this post. I hope you like them!
Lots of Love,