My uphill climb back to health and the morons who didn’t help get me there…

Health.  A thing we take for granted until something goes wrong.  I have never had any major health issues up until April of this year.  I was sitting at work one day, minding my own business, when all of a sudden, I had tunnel vision.  I got dizzy and disoriented and short of breath.  I stood up and walked toward another cubicle in my office, trying to find the first occupied desk to cry out for help.  My chest and body were hot and tingly.  I just KNEW at 36 I was having a heart attack.  At any moment, I was going to drop to the floor.  But that didn’t happen.  Instead, my coworker called an ambulance.  It may have taken all of 5 minutes for it to arrive but seemed like 5 years.  I was outside in the spring air, trying to breathe but felt as if the outside was drowning me.  I kept begging my friend to make sure I didn’t die, and insisting how bad I did not want that to happen.  I went away in the ambulance, and when I did, had no idea how much that day would change me, and how long a road I’d have until I figured out this puzzle that was my new normal, health-wise.

As it turns out, this was my first panic attack.  I had about 50 more of those between April and September of 2017.  A few resulted in middle-of-the-night ambulance rides.  A couple were daytime ones.  So, so many were me driving myself to the ER in a panicked state, praying the entire way that this wasn’t a heart attack.  Each and every time, you just KNOW it is.  In retrospect, you look back and realize that you could have talked yourself down and been okay without running up thousands at the ER, but in that moment, you don’t care.  You just want someone to save your life.

In May, I saw a new nurse practitioner who we will call K.  K was newly out of medical school, eager to figure me out.  I had all of the confidence in the world that she would do just that.  For a smart girl, that was the most naive hope I’ve ever had in my life.  You see, up until this year, I had little to no experience with the medical profession.  Other than the birth of my children, I’ve had minimal contact with doctors of any sort.  I never had regular check-ups or annual paps.  Who needs Western medicine?  Nobody.  That’s still the stance I take today to an extent, with the exception of the doctor I see now.  Anyway, upon first visit, K starts asking me symptom questions, and simultaneously types away on what I assume to be WebMD or the like.  She proudly pronounces “This sounds like low iron and ferritin!  Let’s get some bloodwork!”  So I go get stuck and approximately 5 days later she calls and tells me to get on some high iron supplements.  Great.  So I just assume that once I get on these, and my iron stores replenish, I’ll be good to go.  Oh the pattern of naivete I’ve developed here…

So I’m on the iron.  I do see SOME improvement, but not enough for me to have faith that low iron was my only culprit.  I go back to K.  I tell her I’ve been Googling and really believe this is hormone related angst due to Epstein Barr reactivation.  Yeah, I had self-diagnosed.  Yeah, doctors hate this.  Her response was “95% of the population is a carrier for Epstein Barr.  It does no good to test you.”  She reluctantly tests my hormones, but since they’re in range and she hasn’t been trained to look at ratio, not lab ranges, she brushes me off as a clear case of panic disorder and urges me to get on some antianxiety/antidepressant meds.  I begin to question my own sanity, but deep down I KNOW my body and know in my gut that she’s wrong.  My doubt is enough to try the Buspar she prescribed.  Hello, side effects, namely insomnia.  Needless to say, I stopped after a week.  Back to K I go!

At this visit, K says “Let’s try Zoloft.  It’s an old drug.  Very safe.  Many people have success on it.”  BLAH.  Fine.  At this point, I’m so fed up with panic attacks and sleepless nights that I’m willing to eat fingernails if there’s some scientific study that says they reduce anxiety.  Yeah… So 2 days into Zoloft, I am having back to back to back surges of panic.  I am up for 48 hours straight with zero relief.  In fact, I’m way worse than when I went in.  Day 3 I develop a rash on my stomach at which point I stop the Zoloft and pray to God I’ve not done any permanent damage to my neurons and electrons.  Geez.

K is out of her office having a baby, at which point the ER urges me to see the person in the same office as her.  We will call her S.  I didn’t know it at the time, but S is K’s aunt.  Anyway, I go see S, and start all over telling her my symptoms.  S believes I either have rheumatoid arthritis, or multiple sclerosis.  Well, that escalated quickly.  I go from low iron to a possible debilitating autoimmune disease.  That makes sense.  S orders me to take Gabapentin, and 2 other drugs that I can’t remember the names of.  It doesn’t matter, because I refused all 3.  She also ordered an MRI to check for brain lesions, which I accepted because I wanted to know.  Fast forward: The MRI is normal.  No MS or RA to speak of.  I go to my follow up with S, and she asks me why I never picked up the meds she sent to the pharmacy.  I tell her because I don’t believe they will help, that I believe this is hormonal, or due to EBV.  I ask her to do a simple blood test for EBV, and also one for Lyme, just in case.  Her reaction, verbatim, is “If you don’t take the anxiety and pain meds I’ve precribed you, there’s nothing else I can do for you.”  Yes folks, this is the caring medical profession who is supposed to take care of us.  UGH.  It’s no shock that when K came back to work, she “fired” me as a patient.  Don’t worry, I left a wonderful review on their Facebook page.

Speaking of Facebook, I got so desperate, I asked for doctor recommendations on there one day, as I was so sick of doctors throwing unnecessary meds at me.  By this time, I had been through MANY ER docs, an endocrinologist, a gastroenterologist, a cardiologist, you name it, trying to unravel this ball of yarn.  I took the first recommendation and ran with it.  Man was that the BEST decision of my life.

So I go to this new doctor (we will call her L), and I beg her, plead with her, not to treat me like an anxiety/panic case like all the docs before her.  She looks at me and says “I am going to treat you like you’ve never seen a doctor before me.  We will start from scratch.”  She orders the Epstein Barr test, she orders the lyme test, she orders the hormone testing, literally EVERYTHING I asked her.  Guess what?  No lyme, but I was positive for chronic active Epstein Barr.  I was positive for PCOS.  I was positive for estrogen dominance.  I was positive for hypothyroidism.  She put me on thyroid meds, she put me on hormones, and you know what happened?  No more panic attacks.  No more anxiety.  It wasn’t immediate, but it was fast enough for me.  Thank God for this woman.  Thank God she listened.  Thank God I Googled and didn’t give up, and knew what to ask for.  Thank God I was my own advocate and didn’t just blindly trust the first doctor that claimed I had anxiety and panic disorder.  I didn’t.

There is so much I’ve left out here.  So many events in between.  So much money spent on supplements and programs, trying to use trial and error as a means to an end.  What I take away from this whole experience is the following:

LISTEN to your body.  Don’t trust doctors if you feel they’re leading you in the wrong direction.  They are human.  They are fallible.  Only you know what’s going on inside of you.  I knew I had never had a panic attack and didn’t see a logical reason why they’d just start all of a sudden.  This thing has changed me permanently.  I had to take FMLA from my job.  My old boss there URGED me to take it because “that’s what it’s there for.”  After I took it, she got mad, alienated herself from me unless she absolutely had to have contact, and acted like a total bitch when I went back to work.  I quit that job shortly after.  I refused to work somewhere where I was blamed for having health issues.  Whether she came right out and blamed and shamed me with her words is beside the point.  She didn’t have to verbalize it; her actions were damning.  I knew I wasn’t meant to be there anymore with people like that.  Life is too short to put up with suck ass doctors, suck ass coworkers, suck ass people in general.  I hope to pour out my woes in blogs to come, and I also hope to write about my improvement and my triumphs to give others hope, no matter what they’re battling.  This is me jumping back into the game after being MIA for 9 months due to negligent, out-for-profit doctors.  So much for the Hippocratic Oath.  I don’t think it states that docs won’t be money hungry morons, although it should, because that’s what most are.  Onward and upward!  God bless!



Definition of insanity, right here!

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten. Duh. This seems like an easy concept to not only grasp, but to put into action. Change. Just do it. After all, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Why is it so hard to recognize our own faults, yet we stay in the same old rut we’re always in?

I am not afraid to admit that I grew up in a less-than-desirable household. My parents verbally and physically abused each other until I was 9, when they had both finally had enough to divorce. Then, when I was 13, they decided to try again at a relationship with one another, and of course, the abuse began again. I was sometimes verbally abused in the way of my mother calling me fat (AFTER she fed me fried food or fast food or what-have-you). Very twisted behavior. Needless to say I didn’t have any self-esteem growing up, and I’m just now gradually starting to have a little. This was the example that was set forth before me. These were the role models I had. I never really had any idea of what a loving, normal relationship looked like. My mind and emotions were formed around dysfunction. This was just normal. At 18, literally like 2 weeks after I turned 18, I tucked tail and RAN. I moved in with my boyfriend at the time, and proceeded to attempt to play house, and genuinely thought I could have a better relationship than my parents. I thought surely this was easy. This set me off on a series of lots of different boyfriends from the age of 18 up until now. That’s 16 years of attempting and failing at having a long-lasting, stable relationship. I’m 34, and I’ve never been married. Aside from one person, I’ve been the one to end all these relationships when I had finally had enough. My method of dealing with anyone has been to just leave them and close that door for good. I’ve burned more bridges than a pyromaniac. I can look back on all these unions and see where I was at fault. I can see where I acted just like my mother. Nagging, yelling, belittling, cussing, fronting like I didn’t care, when in reality I cared so much. I went from wanting to marry these people one day, to cheating on them and wishing they’d leave me the next. This doesn’t mean my significant others didn’t also have their flaws. This doesn’t mean they didn’t make mistakes. At that time, though, all I could see was their shortcomings. Each and every time, when the relationship was over, then and only then did I step back and see all the ways I messed up and all the ways I could have been a better mate. In reality, with one relationship in particular, I had an almost perfect partner and was blind. All I was focusing on was what he could do better, and how he could improve.

So now, here I am, at 34. I started yet another relationship almost 2 years ago. We are in counseling to learn to communicate better. It seems that maybe we’ve both had the same checkered, dysfunctional past. I am trying, this time, to stay and face my demons head on, because my love for this man far outweighs the desire to call it quits. I can only change me. I can only change the way I respond to him. I can choose grace, forgiveness, and love over revenge, malice, and harm, and I will. After all, if you know better, you should do better, and I definitely know better!


This is my most favorite quote from one of my most favorite movies. I can relate. Sometimes I feel like jumping off the back of my “ship”. I’m not talking actual suicide of course, but this quote sums up how I feel a lot of the time. At home. At work. At Kroger. I feel like I have to repeat myself a lot, with no change. The problem with repeating yourself is that people get pissed, yet they don’t want to take one second to stop and hear what you’re trying to tell them. If they’d pause for 30 seconds, listen, and say “Maybe she has a point.” this skipping record would stop. Unfortunately, this is one of the hardest things for anyone to do, especially in the middle of an argument, or a game of Wii, or anything that causes tunnel vision.

People just don’t get it. The world is void of empathy, sympathy, grace, and understanding. The world is void of people caring about other people. Genuinely giving a shit what happens to another being of flesh and blood. The human race is comprised of people that are for themselves. It’s dog eat dog. Why have we all become this way? I’m pretty sure I’m right in the middle of this selfish bunch. Do I listen to people? NO. Do I care what anyone tries to say to me? Not half the time. From the moment I get up in the morning, it’s eat, get the kids ready (which is really chaotic, and I lose my cool a LOT), work, home, bed, repeat. I see beggars on the corners occasionally. I see cars broken down on the side of the road. I could pay for the person in line behind me at Starbucks. I could give so much more of myself than I do. I could concede to lose an argument. I could be the bigger person. But, like every other prideful, selfish human on the planet, I count the cost of doing those things. I think of the hassle, or the repercussions, or whatever may result if I take the time to just CARE for another one of God’s people. The conclusion is that I suck, and so does everyone else. The End.


An apple a day is what I should have been doing all along.

I don’t do doctors. I could have stage 4 brain cancer and would never know it, because I avoid conventional medicine at all costs. Yes, I take the occasional Midol, Advil, or what have you, but to be a regular? Not me.

For three years now, I’ve woken up nauseated about 37% of the 1,095 days in that time span. I have what many would call a “nervous stomach”. It has been way worse than ever lately. So today, I broke down and saw a doctor for a “wellness” visit. I can’t recall having one of those since my mandatory 6th grade physical. The prognosis wasn’t great. Probably ulcer caused from H. Pylori bacteria that I was treated for 6 years ago. SIX YEARS. To add insult to ulcerated injury, she says I’m probably still carrying around the bacteria because only 50% of the people treated for H. Pylori actually rid themselves of it the first time.

You have to know that stomach issues have plagued me all of my life. I think it’s a solid byproduct of being anxious by nature. I’m a worrier. Since I can remember, I’ve worried about everything. This has caused constant “butterflies” in my stomach for 30 years. These are not your average, run-of-the-mill Monarchs with beautiful, flowy, carefree wings. These motherfuckers are vicious. They have spiky wings and red, sharp, fiery tails. They flutter to kill. After they shred my stomach, they never fail to find a way through and out the other side. This has been my life for all of my life.

So the doctor’s strict orders for the next 30 days were as follows:

No caffeine. No chocolate. No carbonated beverages. No tomato-based ANYTHING.

This translates to the following:

No coffee, no tea, no sanity. No PMS relief. No afternoon pick-me-up from the RC machine at work. No pizza. No happiness.

But do I want to get well, or do I want to suffer for the rest of my days?

The answer is I want to get better. My actions don’t really relay that too well, because when I got back to work from this trip to the doc, I had Olive Garden and sweet tea waiting for me. Now my cubicle smells like a retirement home cafeteria, my belly is full, and I have to start fresh at supper. Like most things in my life, this is one where I’ll never learn.

Do unto others…

Why can’t the Golden Rule actually BE a rule? A law? Like if you get busted doing something awful, you have to take a polygraph that asks “Would you put up with that if someone did it to you?” And if you lie, you have to do 10 Random Acts of Kindness as restitution. Like buy me Starbucks every day for 10 days. Shit like that.

People just treat other people horribly. I don’t watch the news, I try not to hear the news, and I don’t deliberately read the news for this reason. Most people are nosey and want to know what’s going on in the world, but I’m happy inside my little bubble of naivety. While I’m not an ignorant person, being ignorant to all the murders, car wrecks, home invasions, child abuse, and morons truly IS bliss. I accidentally see the occasional murder story posted on Facebook or something, and that’s enough to have me in a cloud of depression for an entire day. Imagine if I actually read the paper or watched at 10pm like a normal person. I’d then need a concoction of anti-depressants and uppers and a couple downers to counteract the uppers. Then I’d be like everyone else. I’d be a depressed, numb, insensitive, doped up mess like a lot of people on this planet. I think mind altering prescription drugs are more normal now than 2.5 kids, a dog, and a picket fence. I don’t know the percentage but I’d be willing to bet like 8 out of 10 people take SOMETHING to regulate mood.

Maybe, just maybe, these mind-numbing drugs are why people walk around without a care, and why they treat people like shit. Maybe, just maybe, if we relied on exercise and good ole sunshine to lighten our moods and our loads, we could feel again. We could care, and care enough to treat everyone as we want to be treated. Happiness isn’t made in a lab dish. Get outside, run, play, smile, swim, and treat others with kindness and respect!

I hope this starts a ripple of goodness for all who read it. Albeit a little random, I feel it’s a relevant message. Now, stop reading and go do some good!

Summer is inevitable, and so is my displeasure.

I’ve hated summer. I hate summer. I will hate summer again, God willing. I burn easily. Then I freckle more. Then I have scary, unwanted moles on my body. If we didn’t need the sun to live, I’d wish it banished from the universe. It’s May 8th, and the high today is 87. That shouldn’t be allowed. It’s still spring. If spring is this hot, will I sizzle on the sidewalk like an egg when summer ACTUALLY arrives?

If I was a bear, summer would be when I decided to hibernate. I would relish the fall, winter, and spring, and sleep away the unbearable heat. In fact, in summer, I become a bear. I’m grouchy. I growl. I grumble.

Until I see the first fall leaf change from green to crimson, such is my life. It always has been and always will be.

I suppose I could embrace the waterparks, popsicles, and booty shorts, but I don’t think I can get to that point since I’ve had this attitude about summer for all of my 34 years. Any of you people that bask in the blazing heat and love it, you need a padded cell. Seriously.

In the beginning, there was red hair, and it was good.

I came into this world a kicking and screaming at 4 pounds 15 ounces on April 13th, 1981. I was early. I was small. The doctor cut my neck trying to get me out before I died from strangulation by my own umbilical cord. You could say my life was tumult from the start.

I started this blog today in hopes that this would be cathartic. I started it also in hopes that someone could relate and not feel so bad about their lives or situations. I started it to make people laugh. I started it because there are very few REAL things left in this world, especially people.

I promise to be real. I promise to be funny. I promise this blog will be worth reading. Happy Tuesday!