dying

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The beauty of dying #Relationships #FamilyAndFriends #dying #Death #Hope #Faith #Christianity #MentalHealth

I am at a palliative care unit with a lady from church. I don’t think she will see another day out. It is such a privilege to be with someone when their life journey is ending. Trivial things don’t matter and what does matter is crystal clear.

The nurses are amazing and so gentle. It’s time for this dear warrior to relax into the arms of Jesus. No more pain. No disappointment. She has run her race with dignity.

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Heart Failure

I think I am entering into the endgame at this point. Heart failure seems like the most likely cause. Tomorrow is my youngest‘s ninth birthday, so I need to make sure I hold on a few more days. It sucks that it’s the holidays right now, and no matter what I am going to pass close to special days for people. I just hope that they can remember the good and not have it be something that reduces their enjoyment. That would be very sad because I absolutely love the holidays! I am excited to celebrate his birthday with him tomorrow.

Health Update
youtu.be/nb1X_Hir7nI

#Abunchofrarediseases
#AddisonsDisease #PosturalOrthostaticTachycardiaSyndrome #EhlersDanlosSyndrome
#PTSD #FunctionalNeurologicalDisorder #Migraine #Asthma #CeliacDisease #MitochondrialDisease #MastCellActivationDisorder #Trauma
#RaynaudsDisease #MentalHealth #Depression #Anxiety
#ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #Disability #DistractMe #dying
#Chronicpainwarrior

Health Update

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Finding the Joy!

The night before last, I had a very rough night, I was in so much pain. I literally woke up mewling like an injured cat. Yesterday, despite the pain, I decided to go out with a friend and had such an amazing day! I saw the sunset from the top of the Calgary Tower (a 620ft high rotating tower) and then we went to see the large Christmas tree outside. Right now, much of my support system is isolated with Covid, and I am unable to see most of my family or friends (including my new wife, son, parents…), except virtually, and I’m so grateful for those who have stepped up to help out. Thank goodness for my people, my pets, good books, and good food! Life is always more good than bad, and even in the hard times there’s much joy to be found!
#Abunchofrarediseases
#AddisonsDisease #PosturalOrthostaticTachycardiaSyndrome #EhlersDanlosSyndrome
#PTSD #FunctionalNeurologicalDisorder #Migraine #Asthma
#CeliacDisease #MitochondrialDisease #Trauma #RaynaudsDisease #MentalHealth #Depression #Anxiety #ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #Disability #DistractMe #dying

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Why I know I am Dying

People have been asking exactly what is going on medically and how I know I am dying… so here goes a bit of an explanation. I am extremely complex, as such no one can say exactly what I will die of or when. Unfortunately, it’s not like cancer where there are many cases that can be drawn from to predict outcomes more easily. I don’t list all my medical conditions, hence the …, but if you want to know more I am an open book.

Factor 1, endocrine: most of my endocrine system is shut down; I produce few hormones. I don’t make the key ones like Cortisol, testosterone, ACTH, estrogen, etc., this means my body cannot regulate itself. (When an average person experiences physical or emotional stress their body produces more cortisol, mine cannot do this and if cortisol is not produced the body goes in to shut down and eventually coma and death). This puts me at high risk for dying from adrenal crisis. This is most likely what I will pass from.

Factor 2, genetic: I also have genetic conditions (mitochondrial, Ehler’s Danlos, Carnatine deficiency…). Your mitochondria are the building blocks, so I have bad building blocks to start with. Ehler’s Danlos effects your connective tissue, so basically I am built with bad glue that no longer holds me together and carnitine is your energy, so my body is losing fuel.

Factor 3: autoimmune conditions (Premature ovarian insufficiency, Raynauds, celiac…). My premature ovarian insufficiency caused my endocrine system to start shutting down and conditions like Raynaud’s and Celiac disease put extra stress on my body causing other conditions to worsen.

Factor 4: medications; I take over 100 mg of steroids a day and those have caused my liver to stop functioning properly; I have steroid induced myopathy (my muscles are wasting away), they caused my Ehlers Danlos to speed up, which has caused my tendons/joints to break down faster, they have also caused bone issues so I fracture very easily. There are also several other side effects from other medication that I have taken, such as gastrointestinal issues that put a great deal of stress on my body.

Factor 5: other medical conditions. My bleeding disorder makes it so I bruise/bleed very easily and puts me at risk for internal bleeding. Add to that my Asthma, Mast Cell Activation Disorder (masts cell allergic reactions daily, risk of anaphylaxis…), osteoarthritis (increased pain levels and decreased physical function) and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (This is a condition that impacts my entire body; from digestion, to breathing, to heart rate, to temperature regulation; it is a dysregulation of the entire orthostatic system).

My body is a spicy disaster. I have been holding myself together through sheer willpower and stubbornness basically. Lol. Those of you that know me, know that for the past almost 5 years, since my diagnosis I have been pushing very hard to find a unifying diagnosis, basically this is a diagnosis that can tie everything together. As far as we can tell, this doesn’t exist. I was just dealt a shitty hand of multiple medical issues that don’t play nicely together. I have managed my conditions by being my own advocate, doing extensive research and setting my life up to be as optimal as possible. Using exercise, diet and any other tool I could to find the optimal functioning for my body. Unfortunately, my body just reached a point where no matter how much medication, good food, daily exercise and positive attitude I have it is just tired and breaking down. Some people have asked how I know I am dying if doctors can’t predict an exact cause or date. First, I must say that gaslighting, questioning what someone knows about their own body and medical conditions is not cool, even when it comes from a place of care and concern. Second, I am a very well educated person who understands medical research very well and uses empirical evidence like scans, bloodwork, X-rays, the visual signs such as twisted bones/bruising, etc. to make decisions and draw conclusions. I listen to my medical professionals and care team. I also draw off of those people in my personal support team and their observations (some of whom have medical training). I do not say I am dying lightly and it is not “giving up”, it is knowing I am at the end and instead of spending that time fighting the inevitable I choose to spend my time finding joy and peace. Life is always more good than bad and I am going to find my bliss to the very end! Much love.

Chris

#Abunchofrarediseases
#AddisonsDisease #PosturalOrthostaticTachycardiaSyndrome #EhlersDanlosSyndrome
#PTSD #FunctionalNeurologicalDisorder #Migraine
#Asthma #CeliacDisease #MitochondrialDisease #MastCellActivationDisorder #Trauma
#RaynaudsPhenomenon #Depression #Anxiety #ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #Disability #DistractMe #dying

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The realities of Dying

I post a lot about the positives and those are very important, but I think it is also valuable for me to share some of the struggles as well, as that is a part of this journey. I have carefully cut out all supplements and 3 prescription medications, working towards a medication re-set. These pictures show how my body is breaking down; my skin tears and my vessels in my eyes burst, I just have to brush my skin against something for bruising/petechiae or cuts to occur and pain levels are very high. I have doubled my Tylenol arthritis. I am exhausted all the time. My heart and lungs are struggling and I have been going into shock if I try to do too much physically. That said, I am so grateful for all the people, pets and tools I have to make this easier. I am going to be in pain regardless of what I am doing, or where I am, and life is still overwhelmingly more good than bad, so I am enjoying all of the adventures that I am going on, big and small. They may not look the same as they would five years ago, or even five weeks ago, but they are amazing and life is still so good.

#Abunchofrarediseases
#AddisonsDisease #PosturalOrthostaticTachycardiaSyndrome #EhlersDanlosSyndrome
#PTSD #FunctionalNeurologicalDisorder #Migraine
#Asthma
#CeliacDisease #MitochondrialDisease #MastCellActivationDisorder #Trauma
#raynauds #MentalHealth #Depression #Anxiety #ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #Disability #dying #RareDisease
#Chronicpainwarrior #FunctionalNeurologicalDisorder #grateful

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