The Beginning

The Beginning of Being Sick

Welcome to my blog! I'm not sure if anyone will read this but I'd like to say "hi" to anyone who comes across this. I started this blog because I needed an outlet. I used to do A LOT of writing. A lot. And I stopped once I moved back to the USA. Why? I didn't have a lot to say. But now I do.

Last year, after a rough bout of the Norovirus, I started feeling sick. My symptoms were (and still are):

nauseadizzinessfainting spellslack of appetitejoint pain...and a lot more

It was scary. I was told I had everything from a bad gallbladder to labrynthitis. Some doctors told me it was in my head. Others told me they had no idea what was wrong. I was also told it was anxiety.

Then, one day, my mom died. She had lung cancer and her time just ran out. It was rather sudden but as she was living her last days, my symptoms got worse. My dad came in for moral support and happened to see a site called - it's a site that crowd sources medical issues. This site sav…

My Daily Life is a Roller Coaster

Have you seen this video? You should. Go ahead. I'll wait.

The video shows a young woman, like me, going through her daily life and talking about it as the roller coast it is.

Some days are great. Some days are not. And the days that just suck don't just suck - they are horrific.

Last week and this weekend I started breaking out in hives for no reason. The doctors think I have Mast Cell Activation Disorder (MCAD) where my body has a histemic reaction for no particular reason - resulting in hives, red spots, and rashes (in my case); in extreme cases it causes anaphylaxis.

Sounds fun, right? By the time I got into work yesterday I couldn't stop itching and scratched the shit out of my shoulder.

When I got home, I had little energy left to do much except take a bath and go to bed. Then I could barely sleep.

Are we having fun yet?

On good days, I can play with my kids, clean the house, cook as much food as I want to, and even meditate. On bad days, I will struggle to get out …

When Germs Appear

That pretty much sums it up right now. Fuck. I'm sick. Granted, I caught a cold. It's not as bad as the man flu but it sucks.

When you have dysautonomia and you catch a bug, it's vile. No, worse than vile. What's worse than vile. Horrid? I'm not sure but it really sucks.

Here's what happens: your body goes berserk. Seriously, it has no idea what to do. So I get more severe headaches, nausea, bloating, stiff muscles and joints, and the normal leaky nose. Coughing gets worse and your breathing becomes labored. Sounds fun, right?!?

It's not.

Right now I'm just waiting to see if this morning's eggs make a second appearance.

So, when germs appear in other people, we prefer those people stay home when they can. I'm lucky, I work at a place where people can stay home and work remotely. Do they? No! And it's fucking annoying.

At the office, my desk drawers look like a mix of what you'd find at Whole Foods and CVS. I have four different kinds of…

Grieving with Dysautonomia

When a loved one dies, it's natural to grieve and grief comes in many forms. It's different for all people.

Two years ago, I lost my mom. Two years ago, last, we buried here. Yesterday was her Yahrtzeit (Jewish anniversary of her death). The hurt is still there. The grief is still there but it gets shoved away so I can resume normal everyday activities.

Until the anniversary comes. Then the grief is like an open wound that won't heal.

When my mom got sick, I was just starting my journey with this disorder. By the time she died, I had no idea what it was but it was consuming my every day life. When she was in the hospital, I would get hit with waves of nausea - like normal. But the day she died, I had a migraine that wouldn't quit, nausea that was so debilitating I still have no idea how I was present that day, and the overall "icky" sick feeling that dysautonomia brings. The grief was there and it was manifesting itself into the WORST symptoms I've ever …

Visiting Urgent Care with Dysautonomia

Think back to the last time you went to urgent care (or Terem for my Israeli friends/family). It was probably a fairly easy visit. You probably explained your symptoms, told the doctor how awful you felt, maybe some tests were run to figure out what's going on, and then you were probably sent along your merry way.

When I go to urgent care, it's never really an easy visit.

First, I have to explain that I have an auto-immune disease that messes with the lining of my bladder. Then there's the ulcers in my bladder...and also the ones in my stomach. Next comes explaining dysautonomia. I usually get a blank stare from the doctor or NP and then I get to explain how all of it works and ties together.

Case-in-point: last week I went to urgent care for a UTI and a kidney infection. I explained that sometimes, with Interstitial Cystitis (the auto-immune disease that messes with my bladder lining), it mimics a bladder infection but I didn't think it was the case this time. And my…

The November Drag

About a year ago, I publicly told anyone with Internet access how I was diagnosed with dysautonomia. Then I started this blog. I update it every once in a while. It's usually just a place for me to vent and for people, like me, to feel more normal. When I first started researching this disorder, I was stumped for information - I couldn't find any first-person accounts on how people lived with this stupid disorder.

Fast forward a year, now I'm part of a community of people who share their stories. I'm also able to reflect on how I felt a year ago. One thing that sticks out is that I always feel like shit in November. Always. Fall used to be my favorite time of year. Bring on the pumpkin spice lattes! Now it brings on pain, too many work from home days, and nausea. SO MUCH NAUSEA.

I call it the November Drag. This month drags on. This time it's even worse because I'm being weaned off of a lot of my medicine so my symptoms now include:

daily headachesa throbbing u…

Making Peace with Myself and Where I Am

A friend of mine from college has always been around when I need her. We're not the best of friends but when we need each other, we are there for each other. When she knew I was moving back to Israel, she went to bat for me and tried to get me a job. When she was moving back to the US, I gave her access to my remote job site. We vent to each other on FB. Recently she created a community where women can help each other. She became a life coach and she helps women, like me, reach their potential, and she deserves every penny she earns. She's amazing!

So why am I telling you this? Because I feel a little broken. I'm overworked, tired, and a little spun out of control lately. I work too much, don't take enough time off, and I don't take care of myself. I came really far this year - in my health, in my learnings in my career, in knowing my own potential - but I've taken a few steps back in understanding my own worth, too.

This is where my friend comes in.

I asked f…

Seasonal Changes and the Effects on Chronic Illnesses

October is a crapshoot when it comes to how warm or cold it will be in Michigan. One year it was 30 degrees. This year it was 80 on some days and 50 on other days. Mother Nature, can you make up your fucking mind already??? I'm really not a fan of your menopausal mood swings and neither is my body, ok? Thanks.

When the season changes, my body freaks out. No. Seriously. This is the time of year that scares me the most. Last year I started going down hill around this time of year. I'm petrified that it's going to happen again. I just want to be normal and I know that's not going to happen but let me break this down for you...

When the barometric pressure goes wonky, my body goes crazy. My face gets flushed, my ears go red, my skin feels like it's on fire, but my hands and feet feel cold. My hands and feet ALSO feel like they have pins and needles going through them and they go numb.

Sounds like fun, right? I'm not done.

I get a little dizzy sometimes and I feel …