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Tag: invisible illness

Pituitary Tumors and Mental Health

Pituitary Tumors and Mental Health

Pituitary tumors are not uncommon. In fact, up to 1/4 of brain tumors are pituitary tumors. These tumors are almost always benign, but can cause a wide range of symptoms depending on whether they are functioning (secrete hormones) or nonfunctioning (don’t secrete hormones). Symptoms depend on which hormone is being oversecreted and/or what structure(s) the tumor is pressing on, such as the optic nerve or pituitary stalk. Simple blood tests can be indicative of hormone oversecretion. Imaging, specifically MRI, can…

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The Year After Brain Surgery

The Year After Brain Surgery

A year ago today, a tumor was removed from my head. The four-hour brain surgery itself was uneventful. I woke up pretty crabby afterwards. But when you go into the OR feeling fine and wake up with the world’s worst headache and sore throat and you can’t breathe through your nose or smell anything? Not to mention the constant run of blood and gunk draining out of your nose and down your throat, enough to make you unpleasantly sick. That’s enough…

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Passing Time With A Chronic Illness

Passing Time With A Chronic Illness

When you have a chronic illness (or two, or three) sometimes you find yourself with some down time. Not necessarily because you chose this, but because your body decided for you. This is when it helps to have a hobby (or two, or three) to occupy yourself with. Ah, the flare. Every chronic illness has these days. You may find yourself holed up in the bathroom, flat on your back in bed, or huddled under a blanket on the couch. Flares…

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Six Things I Wish I’d Known About Endometriosis

Six Things I Wish I’d Known About Endometriosis

If you’ve followed my blog for any period of time, you’re likely familiar with the fact that I have endometriosis. To be honest, of all my chronic illnesses, it’s the one I feel most passionate about. Despite being a very common condition, it’s not one for which education is exactly stellar. It’s a disease most people have never heard of. When a diagnosis of endometriosis is given to a woman, most of the time she has no idea what it is…

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Backsliding: POTS Edition

Backsliding: POTS Edition

Backsliding. A fairly common problem among certain chronic illnesses. This phenomenon occurs so often in the world of POTS that when it happens I can barely contain myself. I am completely over this month. I just want to take it and throw it in the trash, after stomping on it a few times. Thank goodness there’s only a week left. The Potassium Around the beginning of the month, I started on potassium supplementation. Why?

With Water and Fortitude

With Water and Fortitude

Water and fortitude. That’s how you choke down potassium chloride tablets. Seriously, these things are huge. Alas, another medication has been added to my daily arsenal, although hopefully only temporarily. And a different new medication has been added full time for now. I finally got those 15 tubes of blood drawn and, as I knew would happen, my potassium is low, because me. And because it’s a side effect of the Florinef that I was fully expecting, even after only two weeks…

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Abandoning the Dream

Abandoning the Dream

Seven years ago, I graduated from pharmacy school with my doctor of pharmacy degree. Seven years ago, I moved to a new city as a newlywed, fresh back from our honeymoon. And seven years ago today, June 14th, I started my career as a pediatric pharmacist. My dream job. And now I wonder…was there even a point? We started off as children. Teenagers right out of high school dedicating ourselves to a highly esteemed profession, one which consistently ranks very high among the…

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Is My Illness My Fault?

Is My Illness My Fault?

For me, 2016 was the year of the surgeries and bizarre diagnoses. Three surgeries, to be exact, spanning over a period of four months. Once the surgeries were over, I thought that once I had an adequate recovery period, I would be back to normal. I’d be able to return to work, from which I’d had to take an extended leave of absence, and I could put the entire year behind me as a gargantuan fluke. But it was not…

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Fighting Back With Love

Fighting Back With Love

Recently, I wrote a post that ended up being quite popular within the dysautonomia community. It’s actually been the most popular post I’ve written this year. I honestly have no idea why; I have read it over and over again and can’t seem to find what is so remarkable about it. When I asked my husband, even he said there was nothing profound about it. (Thanks, honey; I can always count on you to be honest. 😊) But whatever it…

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When Your Depression Is Invalidated

When Your Depression Is Invalidated

One of the worst feelings you can experience as a chronically ill person is invalidation. It’s not necessarily that others don’t believe you (although that is also a tremendous problem and a discussion for another time), but that they either don’t see or don’t understand how much your illness(es) impact your daily life. Especially when mental health plays a role in your battles. And what makes it even more frustrating? When that invalidation comes from healthcare professionals. When, to their…

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