It's been three weeks now since we had to say goodbye forever to our beloved cat Oscar. My grief has not really manifested itself how I expected. Instead of bawling my eyes out at the slightest thing; two food bowls, not three; an empty space on the sofa etc. I've simply got on with my life. At least that's what I thought.
However, two things in my life changed, both of which affected my health badly until I recognised the cause. The first was most easily identifiable. I kept myself busy to the point of exhaustion by going out the house. I know my limits. Going out, be it into town, (and Crook isn't big!) or a little further a field, I can usually manage twice a week but anymore is just too much. It was only when I physically had to stop from pain and exhaustion that I looked at why I had put myself through all that. I didn't want to be in a house without Oscar.
The second, more difficult to identify form of my grief came in the form of my epilepsy. I started to have mychlonic jerks.These are muscle spasms sometimes accompanied by a brief loss of consciousness, and often strong enough to knock me off my feet. The odd thing about these was that I was having them at exactly the same time every day, ever since we lost Oscar. At first we thought they were being caused by new painkillers interacting with other tablets. It made sense. I was taking them at the same time of day as I was having the jerks.However that theory went to pot when I came off the tablets and the jerks continued. It was then that I sat down and took stock of what was going on. I was having the jerks when I would normally be giving Oscar his first dose of medication and sitting with him for a while. We had missed the biggest trigger of all for my epilepsy: Stress. I sat down with Michael and told him what I thought. He seemed a little sceptical at first but had to admit that the timing and everything fitted but we couldn't think of a solution. However it seemed we didn't have to. The following day I didn't have any jerks. Or the next. Or the next. Or the next. Or the next....... It seems that identifying and acknowledging my grief has helped to stop it from translating itself into a bad thing that could potentially be harmful to my health.
- It would probably be better for someone else to describe me cos I'm not very good at this bit, but I'll do my best! I'm currently studying for an English Literature and Language Degree with the Open University. It's hard work but good fun and I've made lots of online friends. I was diagnosed with ME in 2009 which made study extremely difficult, but with the help of an excellent tutor and great learning support team at the OU, I managed to complete the year. Since then I have carried on and learnt to cope , managing my studies around the ME. I have a WONDERFUL husband who looks after me and three beautiful cats who I couldn't live without!