Why Blogging Has Been So Light Recently

…And by recently I mean the better part of a year now.

I’ve mentioned on here several times recently that I have health problems, but I thought it was probably worth explaining exactly what’s been up with me for the last year, and why firstly my writing has been of a lower standard than usual and secondly there’s been less of it.

Partly that’s because I’ve been doing stuff for venues other than this blog — I’ve done a lot of posts for Mindless Ones and I’m writing a novel that I can’t talk about here yet. But it’s also because last year I became extremely ill with work-related stress — my blood pressure rose to quite extraordinarily high levels, and I had a whole host of secondary problems.

Work have been very good about altering my job to reduce my stress levels, and earlier this year I had a few extended periods of sick leave to try to reduce the stress, and for a few months I’ve not really felt stressed in myself. But over the last few weeks the symptoms (which never really went away) have been coming back, to the point where right now I’ve got a horribly painful headache that I’m pretty sure is blood-pressure related, I can’t walk more than twenty yards or so without my back seizing up, I didn’t get to sleep til 4:30 AM last night, and I’ve been mildly paranoid. And so on.

This has two big effects for this blog. Firstly, I can’t concentrate as much as normal, so a three thousand word post which I’d normally dash off in a couple of hours may now take a week of ten-minute bursts of activity. That also means I basically can’t get involved in comment threads right now — my concentration isn’t up to it. The second is that I’m not discussing anything likely to make me more stressed, so political posts have been minimal for the last few months.

This will NOT last forever. One way or another I have to get myself healthier, and as soon as I *can* concentrate on writing I will do — writing is what I do. But in the meantime, bear with this blog being a little lighter than it was up until late last year, and bear with the occasional strange post written when I can’t really think straight through the pain of a headache. I’d hoped not to have to do a post like this — I’d hoped I’d have got better long ago — but I don’t know how much longer it’ll be before my old self is back.

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4 Responses to Why Blogging Has Been So Light Recently

  1. Just speaking from my experience: proper medication can make (should make) a world of difference with blood pressure, esp. if nothing you’ve done seems to make a difference (caffeine, diet, exercise). Also: if you have high blood pressure, it’ll be high even in the absence of obvious stress. One way to tell for sure what’s going on is with a stress test.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      Thanks. However, I managed to get the blood pressure down before by supplementing with magnesium and taking some time off from work. I can’t take any more time off right now, but I’m increasing my magnesium dosage and that seems to be helping.
      The other problem is that I have a bad reaction to beta blockers, which are the standard medication to lower blood pressure — they give me extremely bad asthma.
      Basically, though, I’m having enough stress-related symptoms to know that this is just my body still reacting to being overworked for so long — I worked an average sixty hours a week between early 2004 and late 2011, often in very-high-pressure situations, and my body just stopped coping, and it’s just taking a long time to get itself back into a decent state. So long as I don’t push myself too hard, and don’t have any major stresses, I should be OK.

  2. This may not be anything you don’t already know but for the sake of argument – I’ve had a few periods of massive and crippling stress, although only one so severe as you describe (long time ago, work related, took three months off, but packing the job in a few years after worked better) but got told I had the sort of blood pressure likely to kill me in the Winter of 2010, was put on meds that I managed for a week before the not sleeping at all and wanting to kill myself got a bit much, so just stopped taking them (very irresponsible according to my doctor) – the thing was that I felt fine prior to said meds… anyway, as I’d been cycling for a while I upped my regime a bit, doing an hour a day whether I needed it or not. This seemed to sort me out and my blood pressure is now fine. I realise this may not be a whole lot of use but there you are. Cycling.

    I’ll STFU now.

    However you manage it, hope you feel better soon.

  3. Liz W says:

    Sorry to hear this. I hope you feel better soon.

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