The ChronicBabe blogging group is getting together to begin our own blog carnival, and our first submission is intended to introduce ourselves and our illness(es). Now that I have a couple months of blogging under my belt, I think re-introducing myself would be a good exercise (and give me a chance to possibly update my “About” page at the same time). While I planned to participate a while ago, I am only just getting to writing. Let me tell you why:
I am a 35- year old IT professional living in the southeastern United States with my wonderful husband and two aggravating (but adorable) cats. Exactly three years ago, I was diagnosed with acquired hypothyroidism. I had been showing symptoms for some time (weight gain, exhaustion, hair loss, the works), but it was actually a screen to determine why my cholesterol was so high that they managed to catch it by chance.
It’s been one thing after another ever since.
My various illnesses and conditions are a bit like a 3D jigsaw puzzle- so many of them overlap and stack, and share similar symptoms and signs, that it’s a constant guessing game of “what is causing what now?” I have had anemia my entire life, so there is always the question of “Am I exhausted because my iron is too low? Is my thyroid acting up again? I am starting an RA flare? Or did I just overdo it and need to rest?”
For the most part, I am a fully functional adult. I work a full-time job and manage to maintain some semblance of a social life. But, to be perfectly honest, my conditions have been getting the better of me recently, and as much as I hate to admit it, being sick pretty much defines me right now. I would like to say otherwise, but almost everything I enjoy doing is currently limited or off-limits due to illness.
This realisation is, to say the least, a bummer.
So, who am I in spite of my illness? Well, I’m a pretty deliriously happy married person. Sometimes the “sickness” part of “in sickness and in health” puts a damper on things, but overall life is pretty awesome in that regard. I’m a decent hostess- we like to have friends over to play games and watch movies (I can sit on the couch real well!). I like to take walks when the Florida weather cooperates (in other words, the three weeks out of the year that it isn’t Too Hot). I like to take pictures, and look at other people’s pictures. I enjoy crafting, and am currently looking for accessible projects that don’t require too much up-front investment in materials. I like to travel, although this has mostly been put on hold since we are house-hunting, which is almost a full-time occupation in and of itself. I like to idolize my cats, and they allow my worship. I e-mail. A lot. (Which is good since I’m not very reliable on the phone.) I love to do puzzles, and the cats love to hide the pieces from me and then watch as I crawl around under the furniture looking for them. I like to cook (when I have the energy) and I love to bake (when I can afford the calories). I am slowly (so very slowly) learning how to focus on the fun things I can do instead of bemoaning the things I enjoy that aren’t in my reach right now.
Oh. And I blog. But I think you’ve guessed that by now.
As for my illnesses, I’m not sure that I’ve ever done a full roll-call and I’m rather resistant to starting one now. The list of categories on the side of this page gives you a fair overview. Even the simplest conditions can be mind-bogglingly complicated, and unfortunately I am not exempt from that proscription. Case in point: today I went to get my eyes checked because, in rare cases, one of my primary medications can cause macular degeneration.
Yeah- that’s not fun.
Luckily, everything looks good, and they’re probably going to take me off the medication anyway, since it doesn’t seem able to keep up with my inflammation.
Yeah, not so good there, either.
And that’s pretty much it in a nutshell. Illness keeps finding new and interesting ways to complicate my life, and I keep doing the best I can to make the most of it. Along the way I try to find the humour where I can, share the useful things I learn, and generally use the written word to keep myself sane.
Hence this blog.