Living with Chronic Illness – Gray Days

Living with Chronic Illness Gray Days

Life with Chronic Illness is hard, really hard, and if you get some respite, it hits back with vengeance.

Living with Chronic Illness Gray Days
Living with Chronic Illness Gray Days

Last week I had a heavy cold and I am still recovering from it. Today I will go to the doctor, for the second time in the last 10 days to see what can he do about this persistent cough I have since I returned from the USA over a month and a half ago. It has become steadily worse. There is something else I will have to fix too. My mood.

Since returning to Ireland I have been feeling down. I did not realize it until two days ago when I was talking with my partner. Last week I began to feel as if my relationship had taken a downturn, and I could not figure out why. I have filled the pages in my journal with ideas, reasons, and causes, but none of them really were conclusive.

But when we both agreed I was feeling low, everything started to piece together. I found the common thread uniting my malaise. This is what I think has happened.


When I was in the USA, I tried cannabis containing THC, THCa and CBDa. It was very effective in ensuring my pain didn’t worsen, and my mobility improved. What I didn’t realize is it also reduced, or dampened, the impact of these on me mentally. When I returned to Ireland the old me, or the old ‘normal’ returned, like a tsunami. Head pain, eye pain, headaches, spasticity, leg pain all returned with a vengeance of a once suppressed monster.

Its return put my head into a place of darkness. Although the levels of discomfort are probably the same as before the holiday, they feel worse, because of their absence. My brain had forgotten, and this was an all new experience, and it is awful.


Over the years I have become a master of the re-boot of my life. Especially when I have a bad day or days. After wallowing in self pity, I find something new to focus on, and this pulls me back from the abyss. This time it isn’t working. Projects in my role as a PPI in the university don’t help, and even my latest brain wave, you will hear more about this in the next two weeks, isn’t working. 

I have tried retail therapy, buying gifts for Christmas, and even buying socks and shirts of Merino wool, or replacing my old Apple Watch for a new one with fall detection, for myself. This isn’t working. Nothing is working.

How am I now?

I am so tired; the pain is overwhelming, and this fog around me is becoming more dense every day. Digging myself into a void, despite trying to cling desperately to the walls, walls I cannot find anymore. Frantically I want to rid myself of this, and I don’t know how. Maybe the doctor will have some idea, or when I see my psychologist in two-and-a-half weeks. Maybe.


I shared on Twitter last week I have a prescription for Sativex, and I hope to get it sometime this week. Maybe this will help by dampening the pain. It is unknown. My fear is it will not, and I will whirl around looking for solace still. 

Chronic Illness is horrible, and I cannot escape from it, and now I am getting worse. The Progressive in Secondary Progressive MS is asserting itself. There is nothing available to stop it, no magic pill, no therapy, nothing.

I know this is a dark post, but it is how I feel for the last month and a half. Trying to put a brave face on it is hard, and I find myself wanting to stay inside more, hiding from having to go back on the stage of life in public. Acting well needs me to be a committed actor, and I cannot find inspiration to walk the boards. 

A life changing trip? Cannabis Previous post A life changing trip? San Francisco – Part 3
Day 1 Using Sativex Next post My Sativex Diary

5 thoughts on “Living with Chronic Illness – Gray Days

  1. Oh Robert, I am so sorry that you have been feeling so awful, it sounds like you are back to earth with a definite bump after your holiday. I definitely go through times like this. I know that it is not for everyone but I take a low dose anti-depressant every day and I think that helps to keep me on an even-ish keel. Thinking of you and hoping that this time passes quickly and that you are back to your old self soon. Take the time you need, in the meantime, however, and know that we are all here for you xx

    1. Thanks Jen. It has been tough and unfortunately my partner has taken the bulk of the negativity.

      I was with the doctor yesterday and I am on a heavy dose of antibiotics and steroids to clear my cough and laryngitis. Once this is fixed he said he would talk about me feeling down. Hmm…

      I’ll be with my psychologist in about 2 weeks and I’ll see what he suggests. Plus a school friend recommended hypnosis. It worked well for him. Maybe…
      Anyway thank you Jen, I appreciate the solidarity.

      1. Hi Robert.
        I am 55 years of age and have had a mess since the early 90s. I have been diagnosed with secondary progressive since 2009 I’ve been wheelchair-bound for 12 years. I’ve tried a lot of DMDs but none have worked and I currently only take medication to control my spasticity.

        I found that cannabis helped the spasticity but I had mental dissociation, that lasted for 3 to 4 days thereafter and interfered with my work, so I gave it a miss. I then had a baclofen pump installed and it is a great help but this is not why I am writing to you.

        I have suffered from anxiety for some years and was prescribed Lexapro by my GP. All was great until I stopped and my anxiety returned with a vengeance. I went back on the Lexapro and life is once again okay. It’s only one tablet every day and it genuinely keeps me alive.

        As with all things MS, there is no standard cure and what works for one person may have no effect on another but it is worth discussing with your medical care team.
        Best wishes
        (One who can’t really help but who understands!)

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