I have not been feeling well for over two weeks now. While it may not be a big deal to some, when you are self employed, being sick can be a really bad thing. This is the first time since I left my safe, secure job to take a chance on myself that I have been sick to the point it affected my work life multiple days. As I was looking at my stats today on my site, the number of visitors to my page was down considerably, sadly, that is not the only area affected.
Let’s talk about what’s been going on first. I’ve been nauseous almost every day. It wasn’t the simple, “Ugh, I have a stomach ache” nauseous, but the first ten days of it was “Ugh, every time I move I feel like I’m going to throw up” nauseous. In addition to that, I have been tired. So tired I was taking two hour naps, waking up, then ready to nap again a few hours later. Every time I opened up my laptop, I would start to fall asleep. Not easy to sit and write when you couldn’t stay awake! As long as I was up and moving, I could stay awake, but when I would sit down, I would start yawning, start drifting. In addition to these two big ones, I would get headaches, off and on, but I had an eye exam and checked my blood pressure, so no evident reason for them. I didn’t run a fever, so I knew it wasn’t the flu. At first, I just figured I had picked up a virus and didn’t give it a lot of thought.
I was drained but tried to hide it from everyone. I hate saying I don’t feel well. I have a past of weird illnesses. The running joke with family and friends was that, if I was going to get sick with a common illness, it was going to affect me a different way, not a “common” way. I had the Epstein Barr Virus so bad, my doctor was considering sending it in to the Mayo clinic because my numbers just wouldn’t go down. Even when I had appendicitis, I had to go through two surgeries, not one until they figured out what was going on. It is NEVER normal with me so I try not to think about it. I have been doing well, I’ve gone a few years without anything weird happening, so I didn’t want to think it was happening again. Those I did tell asked the most common question for a female when she says nauseous and tired; Was I pregnant? I said no, I couldn’t be, I chalked it up to just a bug. By the third person asking me, I won’t lie, I began to wonder, could I be? Everything based on dates, times, etc, said no, there is no way I was. I use Glow app on my phone, not to get pregnant, but because my OBGYN had asked me to track some things about a year and a half ago on a paper chart. I kept forgetting to fill it out and looked for an app that would let me track it. It worked. I kept it up. As a sexually active female, it was also good because it tells the woman when she’s ovulating. As I was not trying to get pregnant, it’s good to know when not to have sex. I double checked the ovulation dates to when I was with someone and they didn’t line up so I was pretty sure that’s not the problem.
As the days moved to a week of feeling horrible, I began to second guess everything. I started doing research. WebMd is not your friend when you’re trying to figure out what is wrong with you and your symptoms match fifty different things; ok, maybe not fifty, but there were a lot of options. Stress, umm, yes, I’m stressed, thyroid, possibly, except I matched some symptoms of hypo and some of hyper, pregnancy (I had about 4 symptoms so I had to consider it, even though I knew it wasn’t probable), the list went on and on for possibilities. I was still convinced it was just a virus. I finally broke down and took a pregnancy test at a friend’s prodding. It came back negative. Phew! No longer a thought, until I read about dates and realized I probably tested too early. No, I put pregnancy out of my mind and focused on trying to figure out what it was.
In the midst of all of this, I damaged some relationships. I was tired. I was mentally and physically exhausted and trying to hide it from almost everyone. Stress was starting to creep in. I have, in my past, allowed stress to cause me to lash out to some people I care about. I had improved in this over the years, but, sometimes, when I feel attacked, I attack back. It’s not healthy, I try to minimize it as much as I can, but, sadly, it happened. I felt attacked by someone I genuinely cared about and I lashed back. They didn’t know what was happening. It didn’t get better. As more days passed, I was getting worse. The nauseousness was coming on more. I was getting the dry heaves when I tried to eat. My back would hurt when I walked. I felt out of breath. I felt so out of character. I just wanted the feeling to pass.
Then I had a good day, I was only sick half the day. I was so happy. I had a small get together at my house planned the next day, so I kept it. I knew we would be drinking. One of my friends convinced me to take another test just to make sure since I was going to be drinking. All was good, let the drinking commence. Later in the day, I started spotting. Thank goodness! My period was starting so that ruled out pregnancy. I felt even better about drinking. I’ve never been one for getting the pain / affects of PMS but I thought, hey, maybe that’s what I had been experiencing. For the most part that day, I stayed moving, so I didn’t get sleepy. I only had a few moments of nauseousness, which I later chalked up to the alcohol consumption, because I noticed it more when I slowed down my drinking late in the day. For the most part, I was convinced I was getting better. It was short lived. Within a day, everything was back.
The period was short lived as well. All I did was spot for a few days. It never became more than that. Now I have that to be concerned about too!
Sadly, my emotions / feelings got the best of me and I severed a relationship I honestly don’t believe I would have severed had I been feeling better. I realized I was not getting better, so I decided it was time to go to the doctor. There is a doctor I like with a walk in clinic. He’s affordable and had helped me in the past. I drive to the office only to discover they were closed for a week. I decide to go to another walk in clinic. I looked up what services they offer and headed in. Luckily there was no wait and I was seen immediately. After talking to them about what was going on, I was told she didn’t think she could help me because I would probably need some tests they couldn’t do. She rattled off a list of things it could possibly be, including the onset of early menopause. Wait, what? That had NEVER crossed my mind and I wasn’t ready to think about that. Ugh! This was becoming a nightmare. She gave me a list of places she recommended going to and sent me on my way. I was frustrated and decided to wait a few days, see if it got better. I looked up early menopause and after reading a few things, I honestly don’t think that is what it is, but it’s now in my head, so I have to think about it.
Strangely, the nauseousness seemed to be coming less, but the dry heaves started happening more. I couldn’t explain it. I feel like I am constantly holding my breath to keep from getting sick. I woke up Monday (April 6th) with the decision to get this resolved, whatever it is! I decided it was time to do whatever I could to try to feel better. I had walked 5000 steps by 1pm. I had spent time with the dogs. I ran to Sam’s Club to get Zipper’s medicine and visited briefly with different associates there. I was going to stay awake. I was going to feel better. I was back drinking just water and filled my water carafe and managed to drink at least 64 ounces throughout the day.
For some reason, I thought the doctor I had wanted to see the previous week was back in on the 6th so I ran back to the office. Seeing the “closed” sign still up, I called and heard the message saying they were back in on the 9th, not the 6th. Because I had decided to try to control the day and feel better, I chose to wait. Maybe just having a different attitude would help since my attempt at finding some answers seemed to keep getting pushed away. I even fired up the grill to make some dinner. Pork steak, scalloped potatoes in the over. Sadly, as they were cooking, I was in the bathroom with dry heaves. The second time in the same day. By 8pm, I was so tired, I could barely hold my eyes open. I had told someone they could stop by anytime after 7pm because they needed my help with something. I gave up. By 8:30pm, I laid on the couch waiting for him to arrive. I sent him a text telling him to call first because I was laying down. I woke up at 4am! So much for just laying down while I waited.
Nothing is resolved. Here it is, Tuesday morning and as I type this, I have my water carafe next to me. My stomach hurts. I’m drained at 10am but forcing myself to write. I’m back focusing on social media. I’m back working. I’m forcing myself to do what I need to do in spite of how I’m feeling. I’ll go to the doctor on the 9th and try to get some answers. I know there are some things I won’t be able to fix. I won’t be able to go back and change time. What I can do is focus on the fact I am self employed and I don’t have time to be sick. Just saying it out loud seems to make it believable. Let’s see what happens next!