The truth hurts

When you have a chronic illness, you spend a great deal of time alone, thinking. This can bring great clarity to life. I no longer just see the news stories and shake my head and move on with my day. I have time to closely examine things. Im seeing things I had never noticed before.

Its that way across the board. I see and hear things, places and people in my life that I have never noticed before. Honestly I cannot say whether it is the time on my hands or the clarity that comes with facing your own mortality. But the clarity brings growth and that growth can sometimes be very painful. The truth really does hurt sometimes.

When you are more able to easily identify pettiness it can save you a great deal time and effort. However, when you are also able to more readily recognize hypocrisy and bad behavior, it isnt quite as noble to ignore it. At some point you realize that conflict must be addressed and stands must taken.

What happened was …

Last June (2013)  I became very ill.

Between June to September I was sick on my stomach EVERYDAY. Nothing I ate stated down or in for very long and I was constantly nauseous. CONSTANTLY. Let’s stop to think back on the worst stomach flu or maybe food poisoning you’d ever experienced. Now try to appreciate what it would feel like to be that sick Every. Single. Day.

I was exhausted all the time, even when sleeping upwards of 16 hours a day. My hair started to break off near the root, leaving me with very itchy patches of stubble here and there on my scalp. Oh, and I also started dropping weight like crazy.

Being a female, I’ve been dieting since I was ten years old. I’ve done fad diets like Atkins, South Beach, 30/15, cabbage soup, I’ve done the calories in vs. calories out, I’ve lost 80pounds and gained it back. I beat my head into the wall trying to figure out why no matter how much I worked out and how little I ate or carbs v. protein, after having kids, the weight just wouldn’t go away. I figured out through testing that it was due to polycystic ovary syndrome and I guess that made it ok in my mind that the struggle existed, well at least it made sense. I promised to keep up the exercise in order to be healthy. I stopped being worried about the number on the scale. So, go figure that once I arrived at that point, my health went in the shitter.

For the first time in my life I was dropping weight without trying. People started to notice and tell me how awesome it was but I couldn’t agree. Having put health over scale, I knew there was nothing awesome going on. It was bad and I was scared. This tells you how absolutely shallow people can be. I am embarrassed that I had ever fallen into the thought pattern myself. Seriously, people, there are WAY bigger things going on in life and world than our weight. It’s superficial.

Anyway, I ended up having to go see a gastrointestinal specialist. I found out that I had this disorder called gastroparesis which is quite literally what it sounds like paralysis of the GI tract. The doctor said that he had additional concerns (because already losing most of your vision and having a stomach that doesn’t work wasn’t enough) because he believed that it may be autoimmune in nature.

Then I was sent to see a rheumatologist at the Cleveland Clinic. The way she reviewed my paperwork and gave me the once over made me uneasy. It was like a stereotypical therapist on TV who says “mmhmm” and makes notes after everything you say and you’re sure something you’ve said has revealed some deep down personality you know nothing about. I felt very vulnerable. The hospital gown didn’t help.
She runs blood work and says she will call me with the results.

Turns out…I have an autoimmune disease called scleroderma. I won’t go into the details because frankly they tend to send me into some sort of post traumatic stress. Basically it means that your body attacks the tissue in your body, producing too much collagen causing the tissue to harden. Not just your skin, but any tissue, like the tissue that is a part of your vital organs. Since It seems that I already have internal involvement….well, it is likely I will develop “complications”.

And that’s the explanation for my hiatus here. Now that it’s all out on of the table I will try to carry on.