It’s as if my body and mind are taking turns with who gets to be angry at me. For a long time, it has been my mind, and it has been irrepressible – and it’s still there, hovering, threatening to break down again, but for now it is the lesser of two evils. Last night, my first night of being twenty-four (fresh start, new ‘year’, you know) I came the closest that I have ever come to calling an ambulance because of the pain. I spent much of the night writhing, crying, hoping like hell that this wave would pass and that I would finally be able to sit up and take some painkillers and anti-nausea meds and hope that they would help.

They did, eventually, but I suspect I only got about four hours of solid sleep last night as a result. My fingers hovered over the 1, I cried and cried and told myself that I didn’t need to, all that they would do is give me fluids and maybe some slightly stronger pain meds. I tried calling Healthline a couple of times, to see what the nurses there had to say, but the waiting time was more than I could handle, and the terrible hold music was making me feel worse. My head throbbed, my whole body was shaking, and my abdomen basically felt as though someone was doing exploratory surgery without any kind of anaesthetic.

Then I woke up in the morning, and went to my work placement, like nothing was wrong at all.

When I had my surgery last year, I went into it knowing that it was necessary, that it was probably ultimately going to save my life. But I also thought that I would see a longer term remission than I have had – if you could even call it that. But last night was the most pain that I have been in since I was in hospital after surgery. Happy birthday, me. I gave up a month of last year to recover from that surgery. I need to have another operation, I know that… I just can’t figure out when I’m going to have the chance to take that amount of time out from my life again without throwing away everything that I’ve managed to piece together. It’s a fragile network, and I feel like I am probably forgoing my own mental and physical health to maintain it.

I try to stay upright.

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