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…

World Mental Health Day

If you read the title of today's post, you probably guessed that today is World Mental Health Day! So, let's talk a bit about mental health.
Sounds scary, right? Well, it shouldn't be. 
Raise your hand if you've ever said or heard someone say "that person is mental!" or "because s/he's crazy." Well, you can act like a loon but it's pretty hard to be "mental". We need to start using our words a little bit more cautiously and with better intention. 
Really, though, we need to do less talking and more acting on mental health issues because the concept of mental health encompasses a wide range of disorders, diseases, and conditions. According to the WHO (as in the World Health Organization, not the band) things like stress and anxiety can lead to mental illnesses if left untreated. 
THAT is a scary thought. 
So, what constitutes something under the "Mental Health" bucket? Well, it's a long laundry list and I'll do my …

The October Slide

I find it fitting that October is Dysautonomia Awareness Month because it's the same timeframe as the season changing over. For most people, the change from summer to autumn is beautiful. For many in the chronic community, it wreaks havoc on our bodies.

Ever heard of the October Slide?

No, it's not the latest dance craze (which I cannot keep up with these days), it's what we call our health challenges during seasonal changes. It's a fairly well-documented occurrence. When diagnosed with POTS or other forms of dysautonomia, many physicians warn patients that this is something to be on the lookout for when the seasons change. It's also talked about to death within our community but we also like to share those stories of change with you, dear readers. Sadly, the October Slide continues into the November Drag.

So, what exactly is the October Slide? In short, it's when your daily symptoms worsen due to seasonal change. Our bodies are more susceptible to barometric ch…

Dysautonomia Awareness Month

If you're an avid follower of this blog, you'll know that I have dysautonomia and it's likely not going away any time soon. Some days are better than others and some days all I want to do is stay in bed and sleep because my body tells me that's what I need. I almost never get to do that, though.

Well, October is Dysautonomia Awareness Month - it's also Breast Cancer Awareness month. Both diseases are wretched but one gets more coverage and publicity than the other. So, this month, I'd like to give you - dear reader - some insight into how you can help people you love who probably feel a lot like me. Today, we're going to talk about ways to help in some very blunt language that I will not apologize for.

Ways to HelpSince dysautonomia patients are awful at telling people what we need (mostly because we often don't know), just show up. Tell us you're coming to hang out. Be present with us.Offer to babysit or bring in dinner - while we may have some die…

Less Pressure-Filled Mother's Day

I hate mother's day. There. I wrote it out. Now you know. Do you know why I hate mother's day?? Because my mom isn't around for me to celebrate her. I also hate it because none of my grandmothers are around for it, either. And I hate it because it's filled with false expectations.

Growing up, I don't actually remember what we did for mother's day - I may have blocked it out. But after my parent's divorce, my mom and I would go to Greektown in Detroit for the art fair as well as the food. That's when I really started remembering mother's day.

When my parents remarried my amazing step-parents, mother's day took on a new twist: morning brunch with mom's family; and bbq dinner with my stepmom and family. As much as you might think I hated that - I actually really liked it. I really enjoyed getting the family together to honor our matriarchs.

As I got older, people in the family made it seem like mother's day was a chore. The last decent mot…

What is Brain Fog?

It's been a hot minute since our last touch-base - my apologies friends! Let's just say life is moving at the speed of light and I'm just trying to keep up.

I'm always trying to keep up.

Last week, my hubby was out of town for work and dysautonomia reared it's lovely head in the WORST possible way. I had a major flare-up.

My flares, for those of you not super familiar, can include:

migraines that last for days super nausealack of appetiteheart rate stuck in "exercise" modebrain fog Those are just some of the issues I dealt with last week. But I want to focus on one BIG one that's still plaguing me and I get a lot of questions about it:  Brain Fog
Brain fog can also be caused brain fatigue and it's essentially an episode of mental confusion. It can strike without warning and causes confusion, lack of focus, and poor memory recall. It can be caused by: lack of sleepmenopausestressside effects of medicationnutritional deficienciesdiabetesneurological c…

The Power of Moms

Last night, I posted something rather vague on Facebook. For the last few weeks, my world is very upside down and erratic! So, my post last night was a reflection of that. Everyone has their own version of what hell is - and I don't mean after-life hell, I mean hell on earth. For me, hell on earth is knowing there's an issue with one of my kids and have absolutely no clue as to how to help my child.

Let me backtrack.

If you're a reader of the blog, you know our oldest has Sensory Processing Disorder. His development is behind and when something developmental is going on, he regresses in one way or another. Lately, as he's finding his own voice, he's refusing to listen in class and also refusing to participate in activities at school.

I can understand how hard it is to live in his body. Working in an open office environment is enough to send my system into overdrive. But truly imagine what it's like to live in his body.

Closer your eyes and imagine someone'…

When Stress Feels Personal

I am no stranger to handling stress. My life is full of stressors. But, right now, that stress feels different. It feels personal and it's affecting my health.

According to the Mayo Clinic, stress can affect your thoughts, your body, your emotions, and your behavior. Some symptoms of how your body reacts to stress are:

headachemuscle tensionchest painfatiguechanges in sex drive (YIKES!)changes to your digestive systemsleep pattern changes That's putting it mildly. 
Back in 2016, I started a journey toward alternative health and taking back some of my life. One of the most interesting things the doctors' notice was my stress levels were off the charts and it was because of work. They urged me to find a new job because it would be better for my health. 
Afterall, I work in advertising...where only the strong survive
But I am strong and I stuck with my job. I was recently promoted. Little did I know my promotion came with its own bag of stressors - like having to prove myse…