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My January Health Update Living With Chronic Illness

angela milnes

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My January Health Update Living With Chronic Illness

It’s been a while since I shared a more personal post here on The Inspiration Edit. I’ve been sick, unwell and busy all at once and as much as I wanted to just write and let it all out, I’ve had some kind of invisible barrier stopping me and I have no idea why.

There is so much to be grateful for and excited about this year and I am excited. I’m hoping my chronic illness is going to improve.

In fact I wanted to share this update on my health and let you know how things are going.

So here goes:

Chronic Illness January Health Update

As you may know I’ve got ongoing health issues with several chronic illness conditions. From Adrenal Insufficiency to severe anaemia and of course my ongoing dental problems which are a work in progress. It’s been a little hectic! I tell you!

So….my Iron levels were so low at the end of 2018. I was unable to stand and walk for very long and had to go back to using the wheelchair.

I saw the haematologist and was called in for an urgent iron infusion. My last Iron Infusion was on New Years Eve and the nurse said I should begin to notice a big difference around March or April.

I’m doing all I can to increase my Iron levels but it can be difficult. My stomach does not absorb folate or vitamin B12 very well. Luckily I have B12 injections every 3 months and my dose of extra folate has been increased. I’m taking supplements and trying my best.

This week I go to the GP for a blood test to see how my levels are so I am looking forward to seeing progress!

chronic illness

Dental Treatment: The saga continues!

My teeth had become a real nightmare in 2018. What was once a very healthy mouth suddenly became unhealthy.

It’s got a lot to do with my steroid medication for Adrenal Insufficiency. Steroids make you weak immune wise and my teeth have suffered as a result.

Also, my Vitamin D levels were so low that my parathyroid took a huge hit and this lead to losing calcium from my teeth.

The result was, crumbling teeth and a need for many fillings.

I had such a stressful time trying to get treatment via the NHS in 2018. My dentist could not assess or treat me from February through to August and then after an assessment in August the treatment had to wait until December.

It was terrible having to wait for so long and in the meantime I’ve had  around 12 emergency appointments and actually lost several teeth.

I simply could not afford to go private and ended up having two teeth extracted last month.

Tooth extraction was crazy. I got a dry socket. I don’t heal well due to my life dependent steroid medication and for a whole month I’ve suffered chronic tooth pain.

My gums are so sore and little bits of tooth fragment have been pushing through from time to time. It’s been a painful experience, almost as bad, if not worse than the actual tooth ache I have suffered from through 2018.

Good News – A New Dentist! 

The good news is, I changed Dentists and they were able to see me much sooner. They started my dental work in December and I had three fillings.

The dentist however did the wrong tooth! I have no idea how she managed that but, she did and a tooth which was supposed to be getting further root canal treatment ended up having just a filling and then the tooth cracked in two and had to be removed a week later. I was not impressed! 

Finally at the start of January I was accepted into the Dentist of my choice after a 6 month wait. This new dentist did a full assessment within a week and I needed a further 3 fillings, one more root canal and a mouth guard.

It’s funny how the old dentist said my treatment was complete yet another dentist could see clearly that it was not! It just goes to show that the quality of treatment really varies depending on where you go. 

So I had two fillings done this week. I have one more to go and then we can finally start work on the final naughty tooth and try to save it with root canal treatment.

The gap in my mouth where two teeth were removed is slowly healing. It’s taking literally months but eventually I will get two false teeth for that space. My body takes so long to heal. I fell down two months ago cutting my knee and that is still healing! 

Grinding My Teeth

Apparently I grind my teeth in my sleep so I had impressions done this week and will be using a mouth guard once it is made! I’ll be sure to share this experience when it happens. 

So yes I am getting closer to having a healthy mouth once again. It’s just taken a long time and a lot of pain and suffering.

Once my teeth are sorted I will be able to just maintain the best I can with my trusty electric toothbrush and medical grade toothpaste.

I’ll then look into teeth whitening in the future as it’s something I’d like to do eventually.

Hospital Appointments:

I’ve had so many hospital appointments recently it’s been burning me out. They are an evil necessity but one I really don’t enjoy. I do spend more time at hospital or at appointments than anywhere else. (Except my bed of course)

Hospital drains me especially when travelling to Manchester, Preston or Liverpool, it’s not a quick journey.

My Haematology appointments are up to date and my GP can monitor my blood levels until my next appointment in May!

I cancelled my Adrenal Insufficiency appointment in January and rescheduled for February. It was just too much and the reality is the Endocrine Nurse is really not much use!

She simply reviews and checks how I am doing and I would just have to say, due to low iron, chronic pain and other health issues I’ve been doing a lot of stress dosing and have gained weight.

Human Growth Hormone Deficiency

I would then be advised to try and eat healthy, (which I am doing) minus the Kipling Bakewell tarts… which the family binged on last week…. and my Human Growth Hormone levels would be checked!

I’m managing the human growth hormone deficiency well with daily injections so that one condition is under control.

I guess the only issue with my Adrenal Insufficiency is that I have pain every time I insert a cannula into my tummy. I could do with numbing cream as I’ve become extra sensitive to the needles and they hurt when I put the cannula into my skin.

I’d love the NHS to also help fund my medication but that is not going to happen any time soon. I applied three times and appealed and wrote to the Minster of Health but sadly the NHS will not budge on that for now.

I have to pay for my own life saving treatment! It’s unfair but we are finding a way to survive and I am managing the condition the best I can with the daily dramas Adrenal Insufficiency brings!

Reactive Hypoglycemia

This has to be the most challenging of all my conditions at the moment.

I can get unwell suddenly after eating certain foods and it’s something I am still figuring out.

When I eat a food my body can’t handle, I go dizzy, sick and nauseous and literally can’t function. 

My head will hurt, I will feel so so unwell and of course that impacts on my cortisol levels and Adrenal insufficiency resulting in serious low cortisol symptoms. 

I simply have to cut certain foods out and keep figuring out a diet my body can cope with. 

Weight Issues And Nutrition:

Well my final issue is my weight and obesity.

Yes I’ve gained a lot of weight back since my Iron levels plummeted and I’ve been on lots of extra steroids to manage my Adrenal Insufficiency, reactive hypoglycemia and ongoing tooth pain.

I’ve regained about two stone. NOT GOOD!

The dietician is not going to be pleased but my focus has been on getting through, sleeping, resting and coping.

I am trying but health issues have made it difficult.

One huge change we made was how we cook!

We now use an Instant Pot almost every day to cook homemade meals from scratch which are healthy and full of nutrition.

It’s helping me to get the foods I need into my body but I still continue to gain weight. I’m just putting in more than my body uses and being bed bound a lot does not help! 

Losing weight the past 6 months has not been a priority when I could not walk around or do anything. I simply needed to try and get through!

I am going to keep trying though and am excited to be doing meal planning and prepping freezer meals which will help me to eat the best food for my body!

I’ll keep trying and keep doing my best! In the meantime I have plenty of appointments and tests in February and need to just get through it all and do lots of resting.

I am working hard on being the best mum I can be and living with my health conditions alongside running a successful blog. I stopped working with brands in November for a few months so I can just get through easier.

We are still reviewing items but no paid work at the moment. It’s given me time to focus on me and make a better plan for 2019.

So that’s my January update. Yes it’s a long one but I wanted to get it all out and so I have.

Angela

2 Comments

  1. Good gosh, Angela. You have been through it!! It’s so frustrating and stressful to have to petition continually to try and get your medical needs met and to spend energy on seemingly useless medical appointments 😭. You are my hugs and prayers. I stay updated on IG as well. I’m glad you are sharing your journey with us. I love seeing how well you look despite how poorly you feel. Your hair is amazing. Your cortisol levels have not hurt that. 😉

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