I hate my body. (Boring, stupid, non-funny, not worth reading.)

I just had to type this out SOMEWHERE, although I feel horribly guilty for airing my unhappiness about this. There are countless people with far worse diseases than I, and mine probably won’t even kill me. Having nobody to say even minor complaints about too is a bit tiresome, however, so I need a little grumpy jabber time.

My hypothyroidism annoys me. I’m already taking 150mcg of thyroid medicine, and still may not be high enough (although thankfully now I don’t crave salt all the time and sweat for hardly any reason). My mother, while she tried to get me tested for it when I started showing symptoms around age 9 or 10, the physician refused to test me for it despite having symptoms and a very strong family history of it. Going to another doctor to request a test apparently never crossed her mind. So I ended up untested and untreated for several years, during which my weight ballooned. I had been formerly somewhat underweight, then was fairly overweight in the span of a few years. No problem, I’d think. If I was more normal. I eat little, and hate salty, greasy, fatty or sugary foods, and rarely eat a lot of carbohydrates (I like potatoes a little too much though). I limit my calories as much as I can, too. The weight doesn’t leave though.

I have some horrible myriad of joint disorders. I have some extent of arthritis, so my grip can be fairly poor, and my joints can seize up and ache very very badly for hours. I have a ‘growing pains’ knee thing, where during growth spurts, a tendon gets terribly sore and makes even walking killer. (I had to wear a full-leg brace for a few years due to it. Talk about messing up your childhood, that thing made me lose all of my friends along with making me a bully target. Plus it was a huge foam and metal thing, and living where we were in southeast Texas, well, I was overheated most of the time. But it did teach me how to go up and down stairs without bending my knees, at least.) I have a chronic problem with achilles tendonitis, apparently, and a bone shard in my ankle that works itself loose (at least, so the bone doctor told me) every few years when I trip and hurt my ankle really bad.

Of course that’s not all. I can’t remember the name of it since it’s been several years since it was directly brought up, but I have some thing, possibly ANA-related, where the little cushions between the joints wears down excessively. I know that’s a common sports problem. But that manages to give me nasty pains sometimes, it seems, plus I’m not sure that there’s even a fix for it short of surgically implanting fake ones. And since this is in many (or all?) of my joints…well, that sounds kinda expensive. But again, I haven’t particularly remembered this for several years, so I don’t quite remember much other than that it will cause me major pain in the years to come, particularly if I am overly active.

Well, crap. All of the home exercise things I’ve tried have failed quite badly. Normally within 2 weeks of starting up a program, I put out my back, partially dislocate my hip, do whatever to my knees that makes them wobbly and liable to suddenly being unable to support myself so I fall down. I’ve gotten the most success out of an exercise bike, but even taking it very easily, I suffer some stupid injury that prevents me from continuing for a week or so. And apparently eating healthily and taking thyroid medicine to keep my metabolism going isn’t helping enough.

I’ve got some small (amazingly, considering my family history) mental disorders, like little phobias, and Tourette’s. I like the Tourette’s though…so no complaints. No major depression, just the normal tiny few-hour, once-every-few-months depression everybody gets…no psychoses, no social ineptness, no learning disabilities, which are all so amazingly common in my family history. Guess I needed some positive aspects. Heck, I’m thankful that I don’t have schizophrenia, sleep apnea, or diabetes, or any heart or cholesterol problems, which are again rampant in my family history.

Ah, but that anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA) thing. I loathe you. I really really hate having fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. I hate having to look forward to lupus, and wondering if I already have it. I hate fearing getting rheumatoid arthritis, assuming I don’t have it already, and particularly getting a severe case like you see in medical textbooks. I hate anything else that is likely to pop up in my future. I hate having such a suppressed immune system that when I go out to a mall or airport or crowded anywhere, that a few days later I’ll be quite sick. Sicker than most folk get for a generic cold, and where it lasts twice as long as normal. I need to get my blood tested for this junk, I’ve needed it for a few years, but there are no rheumatologists anywhere within a 2 hour drive of here that takes our insurance. This isn’t the boonies, this is Salt Lake City for Ted Koppel’s sake. So I don’t even know how bad what I have is anymore. Or what I have. I might even be considered to have lupus if the couple patches of scaly, thick skin I have is indicative on top of everything else wrong.

I can’t be given a good tight hug. I can’t be poked in the ribs (or have my chihuahua jump on my ribs) or I feel like they’ve been broken, and will be an unbearable pain for 5 to 10 minutes. I don’t like being constantly drowsy, always just slightly too cold or too warm, and often not having the energy to do fun things. I make my father angry that I’m so massively imperfect. I make my mother extremely depressed because I’m so often in pain or very sick, and that the longer I’m alive, the worse everything will get, and because of the thyroid/weight problem and the diseases that I’ll never have more than a fairly close friend because who would want “someone full of diseases that can’t be cured and will only get worse”. I can’t complain about any this to my mom; if I even mention it, she starts sobbing and saying how awful she is, even if I laugh it off. I’m already having a tough time with college, as with the few classes I’ve taken where I go sit in a classroom, I’ve ended up having to skip many days due to getting sick from other people there, or having those run-over-by-a-tractor days where it’s all I can do to get out of bed. (I had to self-teach myself almost all of my high school stuff, with tutors for math and foreign language, from being absent for months. My rheumatologist then was all for it, even.) If I’m having this much trouble with a twice a week, three hour class, I can only imagine how unable I’d be to do a lot of normal jobs. So now I’m having to try to figure out a way to run a small self-business perhaps so I can actually earn money. Ugh. So stressful.

I mean, come on…I haven’t even reached my 21st birthday yet, and I’ve had most of these diseases diagnosed between 8 and 12. I’ve spent a good long time learning about this stuff (although this post is fuzzy because I’m extremely tired and unhappy right now, having probably made my best friend hate me), and I know the various things I’m likely to get as I get older. Jeez, why couldn’t I have gotten fibromyalgia at the normal mid-40s age, rather than diagnosed at 12 after a good year or so of suffering? Why can’t I have more things that are treatable with medication, instead of surgery or “tough luck, live with it”? Can’t I have something not awful coming up for me?

I won’t give you a hug, because I’m not there, and it would hurt. It’s not my style anyway.

I won’t give you an e-hug, because I hate those - they ain’t my style either.

I won’t try any bullshit empathy, because I would be insincere - I don’t have your conditions and don’t know what it’s like.

I will, however, say that you seem pretty cool. :slight_smile:

I have friends like you, Toaster, and folk I know with stuff similar to what you’re going through. I tell ya what – what you’ve written there is not “boring, stupid, and not worth reading” at all. It’s interesting, and so are you. My hat’s off to you for making it this far, with all you have to contend with. Best wishes to sorting out that future path of yours.

On a purely separated viewpoint, whatever you call it – impersonal? The stuff I have is pretty neat. So many things flow into one another, apparently why they occur is a bit unknown, thus there’s no real treatment. And just the whole thing with how your antibodies can freak out and try to kill what they’re supposed to protect is amazing.

Just in case others see this, I’ll head it off at the pass: I really don’t think I have depression. Today’s little ‘fit’ lasted all of oh, three hours. The last time I felt like this was several months ago, again lasting just a few hours, and I can’t even specifically remember another time back. I’m majoring in psychology, so I’ve learned to adapt my behavior to bypass unhappy feelings when they weren’t really necessary, like a dying pet or moral outrage. Just comparing myself with the psychology texts I’ve read, and my uber-depressed mom, I really am quite a cheerful person. And yes, I’ve seen a few psychiatrists who have given me the same assessment. (Except the first one I saw. And for the several sessions I had with her, she constantly insulted me, and when I brought in my parents to prove that she was being a jerk, she insulted THEM. She said my diseases weren’t real even when I gave her my rheumatologist’s note about it. Yeesh.) And yes, I had several months of sessions with the other two, each a few years apart. In fact one said something to the effect that I was ‘abnormally happy’ for all the then-recent diagnoses. So, this was extremely odd for me to get upset like this, and in fact halfway through my OP I was feeling mostly fine. If I do have any depression, I guess it’s pretty benign. I never really feel overwhelmed, as I know I have support from my parents for well, everything. (And yes, if I experience this too often at any point in my life, I’ll see psychiatrists. I’ve got zero qualms with seeing them.)

Frankly, I’m going to blame being sick with a nasty cold, my mother reminding me of my physical problems (and her crying over them), crazy imbalanced hormones, and a stupid thing I did earlier today with overwhelming me.

Oh, another thing to head off: I was a dork with the whole job thing. I feel pretty secure in that field. I’ve been made aware of, as I forgot, various Social Security disability aid things, which I may use as backup if my Glorious Plan fails. Basically, I believe I can at least supplement myself with a low-physical-labor, mostly self-employed job that I’ve been studying for for years, and I’m working to a major in it, as well as supremely enjoying it. But it’s always lovely to have backup.

[Babble alert]
I’m hoping to be an ethologist, particularly for pets, possibly even exotics. This could, if I had the physical abilities for it, turn into a zoo job even, but I’d say I do enjoy the domesticated animals instead. Less chance of them ripping your face off, you know. Basically, thanks to the baby boomers, family pets are very very common, and are treated as members of the family and are cherished thoroughly. (I’m all for this. My evil chihuahua is my little buddy.) These animals sometimes develop behavioral problems, and most people are at a loss as to explain them, let alone fix them. Kinda like the horse whisperer. Such as, if your cat attacks your ankles and you want it to stop, or your dog freaks out at your new boyfriend, and it’s not from a physical problem, I can generally know why, and know how to fix it in a way understandable to the animal, preferably without any psychotic medications. You just drive out to other folks’ homes, or have them come to you, watch the animal misbehave or have it described, then explain why and show how to fix it, then check back in later to see if it worked, and if not, find a new way of fixing it. It’s second nature to me with dogs, and I’m pretty good with cats, and fair with other critters now. I’m trying to study up on the behavior of non-dogs now. After all, I’d need to help out ferrets, rodents, birds, and possibly livestock.
[/Babble alert]

So I’m not as bad off as I may have sounded. I’m typically in minor/ignorable pain, it rarely gets nasty. But I try to keep myself at the limits of my abilities (except on weekends of course), and I certainly am not going to give in and put myself on disability pay without even trying to live a semi-normal life.

I guess I can put out a tiny question: what is it like to have the joint pads wear down, say from sports? Does it feel harder to move your limbs? Just painful? How does it limit your mobility if at all? That’s one topic I’ve never really found a good answer to, and know no friends or relatives that have experienced it to share.

I would love an “Ask the guy with Tourette’s” thread. You say you like having it, and I’ve heard that from a lot of people. That would be fascinating to me.

Remember, just because someone may be worse off than you are, doesn’t mean you aren’t hurting too.

You just said so eloquently what I’ve been trying to figure out the past year. Thank you for voicing what I’ve been feeling for so long.

Totally. I was in Physical therapy for a relatively minor thing – tenditis in both elbows – at a major research hospital so when I would go to PT I would see people with WAY worse problems than me.

But my pain hurt me, and my treatment wasn’t progressing, and every day at work was making it worse. One day I had a meltdown at PT in front of God and everyone, just wailing how I was never going to get better. Then I double-wailed on how I was the biggest wussy and lame-ass in the world, complaining when so many people had worse issues and would give their left nut to have only my problems.

The PT said to me exactly what FilmGeek said earlier. You are entitled to experience your own pain, even if others have it worse.

As far as suggestions, just in case you want some (LOL), is there any way for you to move out or get a little breathing room from your mom? She seems like she’s really dragging you down. You might also participate in IRL or online supprt groups for joint problems. Have you seen anyone (like an occupational therapist) to help you with your hands? I used to see people with rheumatoid arthitis getting these parraffin treatments on their hands, they said it worked wonders. Also, for excercise, have you tried swimming? Many communities have “deep water aerobics” that are virtually zero impact (and its really hard to trip and fall dow) and beneficial to people with a lot of physical problems that make it hard to excercise. My community even has classes in a heated therapeutic pool! (I live in a midewestern city of 100,000) And they are very affordable.

Best of luck to you, you sound like an interesting person to me – and domestic animal behavior can be a very good & profitable field!