Nathan Wayne Carr

Type of Porphyria

Hereditary Coproporphyria (HCP)

How Porphyria can get one feeling low

Nathan Wayne Carr

Recently, I posted on Facebook how I have been dealing with my mental state. I just need to reach out to my Porphyria family. For the past few months, I have not been answering my telephone or keeping medical appointments. Friends have been calling and the power on the cell has been off. I have been feeling overwhelmed, seems as if I only have enough energy to deal with me. My doctor asked me to see psychologist months ago, but I never went to the appointment. I told myself I could handle it. I definitely needed a Prozac adjustment. I am trying hard to climb out of this space, I keep a lot to myself about how I feel, but I can share with you all easily. I need to be true to myself.

When I was asked to write this article regarding depression and anxiety, my mind went back over twenty years ago, when I finally received a diagnosis. I was given information to contact the American Porphyria Foundation, and I was happily waiting to receive the information packet. When it arrived, I was set and ready to read the Porphyria booklet from cover to cover. I started reading, but every time I got to the symptoms section I kept closing the book. I kept getting stuck on “mental afflictions”, but thought they do not apply to me.

It is morning, and I am awake. I feel as though I arise into a world that is not my own. A world formed from the elements of the earth that my body cannot withstand: the sun, UVA and UVB rays, weeds, trees, mold, grass and a variety of foods. I was once meeting with a doctor and he told me I was in denial of my condition, which was true at the time. I just wanted it to be a bad dream, and I would awake lying on the beach soaking up the sun.

But this is my reality and I too have to except it. I was in a dark place. I felt as though I was in a hole unable to crawl out. I have the support of many wonderful friends and family members that are concerned about me, but, during those times of depression I shut off mostly everyone. I didn’t answer my telephone nor returned calls to those who cared.

I had to find a way to pull myself up out of the self-pity I was wallowing in. I was so tired of the pain, nausea, no appetite, weight loss and the constant medical bills that kept pouring in. One day, with the help of friends, I pulled through. I had to remind myself that this too shall pass. I have been here before and made it. I was focusing on what maybe yet to come and not on what was taking place in the moment; that I am surrounded by a loving family and friends who love me as I am and concerned about my well-being. And that God has always been my rock, provider and protector. I am learning to be content.

I also had to make a decision to take better care of myself by keeping my medical appointments that were regularly scheduled. Yes, I do get tired of going to the doctors. I recently joined the YMCA so that I can strengthen my body and clear my mind. At times, workouts can be painful especially during times of muscle weakness or mild crisis. But with a new determination I arise. I thank God for my parents, sisters, daughters, granddaughters and friends that are understanding and encourage me to take better care of myself regardless of my situation.

I have made an appointment with a psychologist. This time I do plan on building a relationship with this individual to help me cope with these issues and find things to do that I enjoy. I do not know why I feel so selfish when I have to make decisions for myself and my well-being regardless of how others feel. I do think that the medical issues I had last year changed me and my body.

I am satisfied with seeing my new psychologist, being able to speak freely about how I feel and to help me cope with daily living. We know that living with Porphyria is very painful and difficult to carry out everything we have planned. I have just learned to expect the unexpected and that I have to be prepared for any changes in my life. From what I have gone through in the past reminds me that I can cope with the future. I am making it one day at a time.

I had to remove some individuals from my life that just could not understand my illness or caused me stress and it made me feel better. I am spending time concentrating on myself, eating more, walking daily, spending time in the gym and surrounding myself with friends and family that make me laugh and do not try to fix me.

I love myself just the way I am. I was beautifully made by the hands of God. He knew me while I was in my mother’s womb. So he was aware of my situation and is prepared to help me through it.