January 20th, 2013

Tiger monkey

Just a passenger in the meat sack

I'm feeling fortunate that I'm now at a stage where my illness has pretty much leveled out in terms of the effect it's having on my skin. I will swell up and break into rashes, but usually only when a stress event kicks off adrenaline and thus tells my histamines GO OUT THERE AND FIGHT! It's really lame and I'm also incredibly sensitive to stress right now (have been since this thing started in November, but when I say "sensitive" I mean I can also physically feel the histamine generators shooting off), but it's a relief that if I do have a day with no stress, I am pretty much guaranteed that the next day will be a "full energy" day for me, meaning I can get about an hour's physical activity (say the walk to and from the tube and to and from a venue) without becoming so exhausted that I'm incoherent, as happened earlier this week. Thus I am actively seeking to prune all stressors from my life (other than work), and when I prune I mean "napalm" because the effect on me is just intolerable and I really, really need to make things be nice and quiet so my immune system can get back to level and shut the fuck off until it's actually needed again.

There are a couple of things that suck, though. One is that I still have very little energy even on "good" days. The other is that my skin is frequently prickling or heating up or just feeling like little ants are running around, like I might shiver or something but I know I'm not cold. Or I can feel my feet swelling up (and hurting in my shoes) like they were tonight, and I know it's not because I've been standing in the cold. This depresses me because it feels like my body is letting me know that it's really running the show now and me, as a conscious entity, is really just a passenger in the meat sack, and it will do whatever it fucking pleases, as it pleases.

The feeling that I'm in the total control of a merciless master is really disheartening. Add to this the hypersensitivity to emotion and the reality is that I'm really not in control of my body or my mind these days - when I'm feeling stressed, I feel like I'm being chased by demons with whips and the urge to escape it (to run in the direction it wants me to go by hurting me) is unavoidable, even in the face of exhaustion. It's amazing what your own body's chemicals will do to you. I look forward to at some point resuming the pretense that I'm running this show; but in the meantime, there will be little going out, no exercise, more movies and books, and a concentrated effort to reduce the scope of my life to the size that I can survive until this thing gives up.

It was another life

It's sad looking in my wallet and seeing the phone number for my swimming coach, a pre-paid card for six Pilates lessons at the YMCA, and the business card for the Italian woman I met while kayaking last summer. It all seems like a long time ago that I could do these things.

It's a snowy January Sunday in London. I finally seem to have got the radiator in the living room to put out a little heat. I've made some plans for plays and puppet shows and dance stuff for some future weeks, on Fridays and Saturdays when I think I can manage them best, and I will remain hopeful that by the end of February I'll be seeing some substantial improvement in my health, and I might be able to resume getting exercise then.

Fuerzabruta review

Friday was a success insofar as I got to spend a wonderful dinner chatting with some nice people about theater while eating tasty Greek food. However, I spent the earlier part of the evening parting with 40 pounds for a show I considered utterly vapid: Fuerzabruta. I guess people like loud theater involving seminaked chicks and water tanks, but I've seen better and paid less. Oh well, on Saturday Merrily We Roll Along utterly made me a believer in musical theater again and for less than I'd paid for the former. Both are sold out but only one is worth hitting the refresh button a few times a day to see if returns come up - hurray for snow days discouraging people from traveling into London for shows!

Otherwise I tried really hard to take it easy this weekend and planned activities that only involved tube journeys and then sitting - none of the activities my roommie invited me to do with her mom were really possible because I didn't think I could manage more than an hour of walking on top of my walking back and forth from the tube. But I did make it out of the house, including to a games afternoon today, so I did better than just sitting at home. With luck, my stress levels will start to drop, my immune system will re-regulate, and by the end of February this whole period of time will have become just a painful memory.