I’ve just spent the afternoon in bed. I slept part of the time, rested the rest of the time, read a book, surfed the net and ate chocolate and quavers.

‘Why?’ I hear some of you say. ‘Lazy so and so’ the rest of you add.

My skin’s sore. Skin? I hear the questioning tone in your voices. Yes skin. I’ve had eczema since I was 2 weeks old. Over the years it waxes and wanes but today…it’s itchy and sore and making me feel exhausted and lethargic. It’s a symptom I’ve felt on many occaisions over the years and unless you’ve had eczema, no one can understand how unpleasant a condition it is and how far reaching the symptoms. Eczema is not just skin deep.

So the fact I feel low today, unmotivated to cook, not particularly hungry, tired, lethargic and sore is that my depression speaking. No I think it’s a  symptom of my eczema but it’s a chicken and egg situation. The symptoms of depression – tiredness, stress, anxiety- exacerbate my eczema. My eczema then produces  ‘depression like’ symptoms and the the cycle continues.

It’s so unfair but eczema is not the only chronic condition to effect a persons feeling of mental wellbeing. I remember a mental health professional once telling me that if a person doesn’t already have a mental health condition, then having a chronic physical condition will eventually cause mental distress.

The expert patient programme is a course designed to enable patients with chronic conditions to manage their condition better. It covers advice on the common difficulties faced by people with chronic conditions – pain, fatigue. stress, depression and advices on helpful behaviours – exercise, diet, relaxation, partnering with the medical professionals.

So in reflection, was spending the day in bed helpful? Well I feel a bit less itchy and I’ve not scratched as much as if I’d been doing other things. Only time will tell – if i have a sleepless night then perhaps it has been counterproductive. But for just 1 day…well that’s not just being lazy, it’s self nurturng.

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