Sunday, September 20, 2015

"Never Fully Charged"

It's been over 8 months since my last blog post. I know that's sounds awful but I haven't been well and for the first time in a long time I have learned to pick and chose where I put my energy and a blog post (for me) takes a lot of work.

Today I had an epiphany while chatting with my colleague Ann Marie. I was sharing with her my disappointment in the way I have been feeling and work output and she texted "Never fully charged! Hard to start a year on a low low battery." She's so right. I don't realize that I will never be 100% all the time ever again and I need to come to terms with that.
This summer was awesome. Lennie and I took holidays and did some wonderful adventures to Vermont, Boston, Bermuda, and Calumet. We had his brother and family visit, friends in from Germany, and did many projects around the house.

We even adopted 2 kittens that we have be waiting to do for a long time.

For the first time in a long time I felt good and even did some runs at the track and then...I started to feel I had the flu. I know what that means, I know when I am not well.

A flu that wouldn't go away. A flu that caused terrible headaches. A flu that caused a rash. Then I found a bubble on my side that we thought it was poison ivy or prickly heat rash. But, the headaches, chills, and sweats continued and I thought maybe I had the chicken pox and I couldn't take it any more so I took myself to the ER.

They quickly took me in, did blood work, got me on an IV and put me in isolation. Many teams came thru and looked at me and said lots of "oohs" and "ahas" and then referred me to infectious diseases. They attended and quickly said that I had something called Disseminated Zoster virus. It's Shingles but in 7 different parts of my body. I needed to be hospitalized, put on antiviral, kept away from others who may or may not of had chicken pox and that I was really sick.

I knew it. I knew I was in bad shape. The pain was unbearable and they quickly got me numerous pain and sleep meds. I don't remember much after that till about 4 days later where I woke up on the 6th floor at Vic. Hospital in an isolation room. The body pain was better, I still had a wicked headache and sores all over my body including my face and eye. Teams came thru and talked to me, an eye specialist came and did tests, IVs continued and I slept.

In 2007 when I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease we made the decision that I would take immune suppressors to fight that disease BUT it would make me more susceptible to viruses. Well, here it is, a tough virus to deal with. Also, complicating this fight was the stupid thyroid cancer that always squeezes its way into every problem and certainly doesn't help the cause with its medication and ridiculous aftermath.

Lennie and my parents visited but it was difficult because you had to dress in protective stuff.

Of course I started to panic because the list of things I wanted to get done at school before the kids arrived started to add up. New staff room, bulletin boards, calls to families, and meetings needed to be accomplished. Plus we had a new VP joining our team and I wanted to do a good job creating a trusting, respectful relationship as an admin partnership.

After several more days I started to get very upset because I didn't feel I was getting any better, my care was getting mismanaged due to an unbelievably busy floor at Vic, and I was lonely in this room 24 hours a day. I begged to go home and after some difficult conversations with many Dr teams they let my mom bring me home promising to stay away from others and wear a protective mask for a while.

They gave me another 7 days of oral antiviral meds and I came home to be looked after by the kitties.

So now here I am 2 weeks into the school year and "never fully charged" from this summer has been tough! Unfortunately, part of the hospital plan was to remove me from my methotrexate that I take for my Crohn's disease because it is an immune suppressor which would have counteracted the antiviral so of course, 3 weeks off that has caused all my auto immune stuff to flare up.

It feels like my body doesn't know what to fight - you know when you have too many apps open on your devices and it makes you feel like it is not functioning as well as it should? Well, my body is trying to decide where to put its energy. Crohn's, arthritis, shingles, school, psoriasis, thyroid, doctorate, vertigo?

What I have realized today is that I will never be fully charged because of the numerous functions my body is trying to manage. I have already made huge sacrifices to conserve my body's battery energy to work full time and do my doctorate but, I am going to have to make even more.

I am happy that I was able to do a blog, that must be a good sign. I am also 8 months from finishing the doctorate which takes a lot of energy. I am also back on the methotrexate which should kick in soon and handle all the autoimmune symptoms well.

So I just need to relax, take a day at a time, ask for help from others, be patience and recognize my "new normal" of  being "never fully charged" will be ok.

What do you do to re charge your batteries?  Is that important to you? Anyone else feeling the "too many apps open" squeeze?