2017: The Year Of My (Seemingly) Endless Sick

Late last year, I had a lot of fresh plans for my website in addition to my regular writing schedule:

At least one review per month.

Streaming once a week.

More community interaction.

But before January was over, I became terribly ill.

At first I thought it would let up in a reasonable amount of time, but I quickly realized that wasn’t to be.

Over the course of the next eight months (yes, you read that right, eight months), I only went outside to visit the doctor and to see specialists (and, if I could manage, to take the pup out for restroom breaks). I saw my doctor over a dozen times. She did literally over two dozen tests. I was so sick, she thought there was a possibility I could have HIV. I told her I thought that was highly unlikely (no transfusions and I’ve been in a committed relationship for over a decade), but she ran the test anyway.

The test came back negative, as I’d thought it would, but we were never able to figure out what I had.

She sent me to specialists and nothing came of those avenues. More tests were run, and various medications were tried in hopes they would work, but nothing did.

I was in a lot of pain and very uncomfortable. I was nauseous for weeks on end and had to force myself to eat.

And let me just tell you: forcing yourself to eat when it feels like you are about to herf all over the place is not a good time.

I was terribly weak. I could barely cross the room without getting winded and I could only stand for a few minutes at a time. I would be lucky to get a shower twice a week; it was exhausting to stand up that long or to even take a bath.

I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t play games. For months I didn’t play anything. It was hard to even watch anything. All I could really do was listen to things. I would lay on the couch, or in bed, and listen to any number of things, and that was my life.

Eventually, in late August, I started to feel better. It was kind of like a miracle, and even saying I felt better is relative: I’ve had severe chronic migraines for over 20 years. They are so severe, both my neurologist as well as my primary care doctor consider me disabled. I don’t accept disability, but it says something that both of them consider me as such. Out of 30 days in a month, I am lucky to have two or three days without a migraine.

At one point, years ago, my neurologist sat me down, sighed, and said we had literally tried everything. He said he felt bad because, until something new was approved for use, I was SOL.

It was disheartening.

Over the past two decades, I’ve seen so many doctors and specialists, I’ve tried everything and given each treatment a fair shake (some were awful, others merely useless) of at least six months, but nothing has ultimately helped.

It’s disheartening.

I try to keep a decent attitude about it, and I try to carry on as best I can, but sometimes, I will admit, it gets to me.

This year, having the eight month sick on top of my chronic illness really got to me. I somehow found a way to keep writing on my schedule and I’m terribly proud of that. Some of those days, I could barely sit up, and looking at the computer was beyond uncomfortable. But I had to do it.

My partner was (and is) so supportive, and I’m terribly fortunate. Anything I needed, he made sure I had.

Even the pup was being extraordinarily kind to me; he must have sensed how bad the situation was. Usually, he wants to go outside to use the restroom during the day at least twice, if not three times. During those eight months, most days he would wait until my partner got home so I didn’t have to take him out at all. The times we did wind up going outside, he would walk super slow next to me like a little old man.

I am very fortunate. And I mean that sincerely.

Last week, I got sick again. And I didn’t take it very well.

I can barely make plans because I have no idea how I will feel at any given time, and that’s depressing. My birthday is next month (a depressing topic in and of itself), and I can’t plan a thing because I have no idea what my sad system will be up to.

I am seeing the inklings of feeling better, but I’m wary to even say that. I’m hoping this was a bump in the road, and I’m kind of hoping next year is the inverse of this year and that I get to be abundantly healthy. Heck, if we are talking about my hopes, I hope I am healthy forever after this.

I see my doctor regularly and I always follow her advice and instructions (I am fortunate to have an excellent doctor who I trust). Again, I’m fortunate. We have talked about that I need to lose weight, and I’d very much like to be at least well enough to get regular exercise. I’m certain I could eat more carefully, but I’m very much looking forward to going back to the gym to make some real progress. I had thought this would be the year of progress, but that all fell apart.

I know it can be done, and I’m looking forward to doing it. I want to be healthy so desperately.

So, my friends, thank you for being here and being patient on those rare days when I am unsure what to write because I don’t feel well. I’ve never missed a day, and I take that seriously. I somehow managed to add Thursdays to my schedule, and I’m grateful for that, too.

And I am super grateful to each and every one of you who comes here to read the words I write. I can’t even tell you how much that means to me.

Be well, friends.

12 replies »

    • It’s hard to cheers today when I am feeling miserable and have for a while now. I’m hanging in there, but I’m not feeling especially cheers-y. But I will try. Cheers.

      Thank you. Very much.

      Like

  1. Certainly, I appreciate that you’ve continue to write and foster this little gaming community even while ill! Chronic conditions are the worst as at some point it just becomes “what is.” I hope that you still feel the fight to push forward. Thank you for maintaining this space and I hope that you’re feeling even marginally better this weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Megan, thank you. That means a lot to me. I really do try. Thank you for being here and contributing with your thoughts. It really does mean a lot to me.

      You have nailed it there. It definitely has become just the way of things. I still hold out hope things will improve and perhaps a treatment in development will work for me one day. I definitely feel that fight to push onward.

      I hope that, too. Thank you.

      Like

  2. It’s always a pleasure to read your work Rebekah and I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to keep your schedule. I hope that your health continues to improve and I look forward to when you’re well enough to put all your plans into motion. Thank you for all that you do.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. i dont know what to say other than i hope someone finally figures out what it is that ails you so you can go on with being the awesome person that you are. Knowing this now, i shall prepare a care-package Netherlands style for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, thank you Peter. I hope my doctor can pin some of this down, too. She has been amazing and tried so many things. I’m so thankful for her.

      Aww! That’s very kind of you! Thank you!

      Like

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