Friday, October 6, 2017

So. It's been a while....

It's been over a year since my last post.  I've contemplated what to write many times, but just haven't been able to begin.  I am blogging from my phone and already quit twice because sheesh I am going to have to relearn how to do this too? 
My battle with mental health has taken a great deal of energy, and my physical health hasn't been stable either.  In October of last year I was referred to an internist to finally get to the bottom of the fatigue, pain, and digestive problems I've been coping with for years. Since that time I've seen a gynecologist, gastroenterologist, general surgeon, and psychiatrist. I developed anemia which was unresponsive to treatment with prescription supplements.  I had uterine ablation, and weeks of IV iron treatments. Multiple biopsies and hospital visits , coupled with exhaustion to the point I could barely walk around the house. I have celiac disease. 
So the treatment is a gluten-free diet. Unfortunately, the symptoms were dismissed for so long (19 years) that as a result of long term damage to my small intestines, I have multiple complications associated with celiac.  It affects your pancreas (hello, resistant to treatment diabetes), your spleen (constantly sick), your reproductive system (endometriosis-like symptoms), your gallbladder  (still being evaluated for gallbladder disease), skin conditions  (chronic boils and infections), osteoporosis, and ultimately your brain (balance and memory issues).
I also have bipolar disorder, was recently also diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, and have been struggling with depression and suicide.

I haven't been able to make cards. I've found an outlet in canvas, and I'm grateful for the tiny steps back to creating. The anxiety and depression have made me afraid to do most things, and the physical toll of recovery is overwhelming.  I miss my friends, but I'm unable to reach out. I miss going to the market, but I'm terrified to interact with groups of people. Even going to the grocery store is something that requires preparation and advance planning.  Going  for more than a few hours means bringing a bag with insulin, needles, blood testing equipment, and enough guaranteed gluten-free food to keep my sugar from dropping too low....and trust that the gluten-free food I order hasn't been cross contaminated. Even crumbs in the butter are enough to induce nasty gastro consequences. 
My sense of self is badly battered. I'm unable to remember things from day to day (sometimes even less than that). I can no longer focus well enough to read a book. I can read,  but more than a few chapters and I get confused and lose track. I lose my train of thought while speaking.  Words and art have been my life long solace, and I am struggling to regain those skills.
There's no shame in mental illness.  Intellectually I know that. The social struggle of explaining why I've become a hermit is daunting.  Sharing this is something I feel might help me continue to recover.  I joke that, for someone who continually wishes for her own death, I'm awfully conscientious about my diet and medications. I want to feel better.  I don't want to die, not truly. What I want is to feel comfortable in my own head. And maybe,  maybe,  telling all of you that I've spent so much time actively fighting to not kill myself will help.


Donna said...

I love you sooooooo very fucking much sistah!
I love this post for a few different reasons
Firstly, you are brave and courageous to blog so honestly about your struggles, I wish I had your strength there
Most of us try to hide it and fake it through life (I am ONLY speaking for myself here)
I also love that you are creating
And creating what is in your heart
Fight that fight sister, fight hard, fight strong, keep fucking fighting, every day, every hour every minute

Dotty Jo said...

Everything Donna said! You are awesome, Jessi, Jo x

Chris Dring said...

As Donna said, my Evil Doublemint Twin, I LOVE YOU SOOOOO FUCKING MUCH!! I'm sitting here crying from reading this incredible post. Sad tears for all that you have gone through, and still battle through. I so wish that I could reach through the computer, wave a wand, and magically make all your health issues go away. Happy tears because you are still here with us, and you've found comfort in crafting again. Your canvases are absolutely stunning and raw and speak volumes. I'm sending you so much cyber love right now and hope that you get it asap! Keep fighting. Never stop fighting. Love you Jessi!

Deena said...

You are doing it. :). Baby steps my girl. You will overcome these obstacles. Don't let them beat you down.

Barbara Godden said...

Not much I can add, baby steps and you know you have us "sisters" to talk to. Your canvases are awesome. Hugs from me my friend.

Jen W. said...

You are amazing, Jessi. I'm sorry you've been struggling but so admire your brave and honest words. Your canvases are incredible - they take my breath away.

Andrea W said...

Your canvas creations are beautiful and I'm glad you've found a way to express your creativity. Health issues are no fun especially when you don't know what's causing the issues. Now that you have your diagnosis hopefully the struggle is more manageable. Thinking happy thoughts for you! Hugs from Oklahoma, USA.

Carol L said...

I just dropped your name a couple days ago with a card I made bearing one of your beautiful crocheted medallions, and here is a post from you! I'm so sorry to learn of your struggles for so long and for being misdiagnosed for much too long as well. I think you're very brave to face it head on, say it, and deal with it the best way you know how. Create on canvas and express yourself any way you can! Keep fighting girl!! {HUGS}

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Mimi said...

Hi, Jessi. I just am now seeing this and my heart goes out to you. Don't know you, hardly-- I joined SOS as you were bowing out to focus on your kids. But I do know celiac's well (husband diagnosed years after onset-- super fun... ) and I do know mental illness. Your post was admirable in it's frankness-- you are brave and I hope addressing some of the physical health issues (I know: once you find something that works!!!) will positively affect the mental ones... at least that has been my experience. Hang in there!!! Keep on craftin'!!! said...


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