Friends, Can You Help Me?

I’ll try to keep this short and sweet so as to not burden anyone.

I need help from you, my faithful readers.

The brain fog caused by one of my medical conditions, POTS, a form of dysautonomia, has made it monumentally difficult for me to think. It’s like…my thoughts won’t connect, or certain parts of my brain won’t talk to each other. I can almost feel this void in the middle of my head, like a bridge is out over a river. I can feel an idea, or a sentence starting somewhere, but then it doesn’t get to where it needs to go, and it never materializes. I feel as though I’m stuck with all of these thoughts bouncing around in my head, but they won’t come out or even come to fruition.

I’m not using this as an excuse for my less than stellar writing as of late or for my general lack of writing altogether. I just can’t come up with anything that I think would be worth anyone’s while to read. So I’ve stopped writing. Or I’ll write something and immediately trash it because it’s not of a high enough standard for me to release to all of you.

So here’s where I need your help.

  1. If you have anything about any of our specific disease states (and this is being cross-posted, so this means endometriosis, adenomyosis, POTS and dysautonomia, that stupid brain tumor, celiac disease, depression, social anxiety, infertility, etc) that you would like to see a blog post written about, please comment and let me know! I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to get a post out of it, but I’ll give it a good college try.
  2. Is there anything regarding myself you’d be more interested in knowing about? I will answer questions about almost anything, while maintaining privacy where appropriate.
  3. My blog does better the more followers I have. So instead of having to scroll through Facebook and hope to stumble across one of my posts, I invite you to go to the About page of my blog, scroll down to where it says “Follow Blog By E-mail,” and sign up! You will receive an e-mail only when I post, and no spam! If you happen to have a WordPress account, you can sign up using that too.
  4. If you have a blog and want to share, feel free to comment and leave a link so we know about each other’s blogs! It’s best to encourage and inspire each other, not to mention providing support to each other because of what we’re going through.

I really just need a spark to light the fuse in my brain somewhere. I’ve been trying and trying and can’t get through this brain fog. It’s made me want to quit blogging, and I’m very close to doing just that because I can’t deliver quality blog posts to you, my dear readers, anymore. For that, I am sorry.

If you can do anything to help me out, don’t hesitate to suggest an idea. You all are what makes this blog possible and meaningful, not me. That’s why I need your help to get me off the floor and get my brain working again.

I don’t want to quit blogging. But if I just stay like this and don’t move forward soon, I’ll have no choice. Please help me to not let that happen.

I love you all.

💛ribbonrx

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 most trusted professions in the United States.

IMG_1317
Freshman roommate babies! (October 2004)

Continue reading “Abandoning the Dream”

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 is, I’m still grateful for the 843 hits, plus the 70 Facebook shares thus far. (That’s a lot for my blog, ok?) To those who found it worthy of reading and/or sharing, thank you so much! I hope the post was helpful to you in your own fight, or friend’s or family member’s fight, with dysautonomia.

It was encouraging to me to write because as I reminisced, I realized that I have made some decent progress since I was diagnosed in January as I’ve teased out what works and what doesn’t regarding symptom management. Things are a bit challenging at the moment because my cardiologist has been on unexpected medical leave since April (starting two days before my appointment where we were going to start Florinef) and I don’t see a POTS neurologist until July (after having waited seven months for the appointment), so right now everything is on hold and nobody is managing my POTS at all. So I likely could have made even more progress by now had things gone differently, but I’m just being patient and trying to do my best in the meantime.

But that particular post unfortunately brought up another issue that coincides all too often with posting things of a medical nature on social media: people who feel they have the right to judge you for how you’re handling your illness. Continue reading “Fighting Back With Love”

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 eyes, you “don’t look sick” enough or you don’t have “enough” chronic illnesses or you’re “too young” (no matter how thick your medical chart) to warrant feeling depressed.

I have struggled with depression for a year and a half now, starting when infertility problems really came to the forefront of my life. But those issues were usurped by far more serious problems. Continue reading “When Your Depression Is Invalidated”

She Told Me I Was Beautiful

And now she’s dead.

Back up.

This post contains discussions of untimely death and suicide. Please stay safe and steer clear if these subjects may be triggering for you.

One of the interesting things about having chronic illness(es) is how your friendships change. In many unfortunate cases, people who were once your friends fade into the background. Sometimes it’s because they’re uncomfortable being around someone who is ill. Or maybe they don’t like the new version of this person they knew for so long. Or they could simply just not believe there’s anything wrong with this person because, like it or not, many chronic illnesses are invisible illnesses.

As a result of this, many individuals with chronic illness develop online friendships with others who are ill; people like themselves who understand exactly what they’re going through. Although not all of these friendships are with people who are ill. I have found new friends who are like-minded in faith and love of literature who I care for just as much.

But in the world of cyberspace, these friendships can result in heartache more often than you might think.

Continue reading “She Told Me I Was Beautiful”

2016, In the Style of Personal Journals: February

Way behind in publishing this, but I still want to continue this series.

Last year was a rough year for me due to all the medical problems I had. I poured out my heart and soul into my personal journals, which were my lifeline keeping me somewhat grounded. To give you an idea of what it was really like to go through all that I did, the rest of this entry is only direct quotes from my journals. I plan to do this every month this year. If you want to read January first to set the stage, you can find it here.

Welcome to the inside of my head and heart. Be warned, this is honest and raw.

Trigger warning: depression, discussion of death

February 3, 2016: “Basically, I can’t think of any convincing reason to stay alive…Maybe, if I’m lucky, I have a brain tumor. Although the chances of that are basically zero. I’m sure these headaches are just due to significant stress…Although I’m not saying that I don’t still want to die. It would be the most excellent release from everything I’m going through.” Continue reading “2016, In the Style of Personal Journals: February”

Nocturnal Musings #18: A New Me?

I haven’t done one of these in awhile. My last one was in December, I believe. Even in two short months, my life has changed a great deal. Not for the better, unfortunately. And since I’m having some painsomnia along with my general refusal to sleep at night for the most part anymore, I guess I may as well talk about it to some more sympathetic ears than I’ve been getting the past few days.

I lost my job last week. I understand why, but that doesn’t make it any easier to bear. My FMLA ran out last June, after which point my job was unprotected; they could have gotten rid of me then. Instead, they gave me as much time as they could for me to get well enough to return to work, which I failed to do twice, once in October, and again in January, when I was diagnosed with POTS. (Here’s a bit of what a day in my life looks like now thanks to POTS, except I pretty much stay in bed now.)

img_1916
My life now. Not as nearly as enjoyable as it looks. (The smile was for my mom.) I would give almost anything to be able to get up and do things for more than 5 minutes!

But anyway, now it’s prime recruiting season at the hospital and I’m not naive enough to think they would keep me any longer. They’d rather replace me with a new residency graduate who has some clinical knowledge, but has absolutely no idea how to actually be a pharmacist.

Although I don’t feel quite as bad sometimes when I think about what a literal revolving door my specific tiny department within an enormous department is. And it is a tiny department, with something like a dozen pharmacists total for a 24/7 operation. But since 2010, the year I started working there, I’m 99% certain, if my list is correct, that I am the 20th pharmacist to leave. In seven years.

img_1910Yet my emotions are still very raw. I keep crying periodically. Ok fine, I cry a lot. I want to scream and throw things and then go to bed and never wake up. I’m back in what I call my depression hole; I have periods where I just won’t talk and will only communicate via head movements or shrugs because I feel if I open my mouth to speak, I’ll fall apart. I took the picture on the right immediately after I found out so I’ll always remember how much it hurt.

So now the big question is, what do I do with myself now? Honestly, if I ever get well, I don’t know that I have the intention of reapplying in the future or to ever practice pharmacy again. What a waste of six years of education. I was never a good pharmacist in my opinion anyway.

But David and I had a heart to heart Friday night between us and God. We came to the conclusion that I’m basically going to start my life all over again. I’ve been through so much in the past year (or even really the past four years starting with my celiac disease diagnosis, then the endometriosis…) Between all my diagnoses, my surgeries, trying to get better on a deadline when my body wasn’t ready, being stressed out by that, getting worse, and so on, it’s finally time to take my foot off the accelerator. I’m setting intentional goals that I (hope) I am capable of and can work towards.design

  • Not thinking about work or a return date or ever going back there ever again.
  • Do my cardiac rehab to the best of my ability in an effort to improve my POTS, and therefore my quality of life.
  • Do things I want to do that will make me happy.
    • Writing
    • Reading
    • Blogging
    • Studying the Word
    • Listening to music
  • Take baby steps towards normalizing my life.
  • David will encourage me and I will encourage him.
  • Focus a bit on getting the house cleaned up.

So, really, living my life the way I  want to, with as little stress as possible to maybe help promote faster healing. No deadlines.

A new me.

I started life over again in 2004 when I started pharmacy school, leaving behind my old life of dance and musical theater.

I started life over again in 2010 when I graduated from pharmacy school, got married, moved, passed my boards, and started my career.

And I’m starting my life over again in 2017 when my health is in shambles and my pharmacy career is over.

We’ll see where the road takes me. But after all I’ve been through, I can only hope it’ll be to a happier place.

💛ribbonrx