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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Mid-life Alteration

I've never been shy about sharing my feelings regarding publishing and the many ups-and-downs, but today, I'm getting personal. I'm going to be 40 in June, and I'm at that age where I'm hearing the "over the hill" jokes and the humorous mid-life crisis stories. And sure, they make me laugh, but I've never envisioned myself as the type of person who would have a mid-life crisis. Nor had I ever truly felt my age--until about 6 months ago.

I started feeling bad. Really bad. Downright crappy, if I'm being honest. I was tired all the time, no matter how much I slept. I was having hot flashes and mood swings and I ached everywhere all the time and I had no energy, and I wasn't sleeping well. Of course, I immediately assumed menopause....because, well, I'm going to be 40. Yes, that's super early but not unheard of.


So, I do the grown-up thing and make a visit to my lady doctor. Good news! I'm not menopausal. Yay, right? YES!!! But I still didn't have any answers as to why I was feeling so horrible all the time. My doctor suggested possible thyroid issues and encouraged me to visit my primary doctor to get some blood work done.

Like a good patient, I followed her advice. My doctor tested me for thyroid issues and vitamin deficiencies. Good news! All of my blood work came back normal. Yay, right?? Yes, in the grand scheme of things, that was good news. Real honesty, here...I cried when I got the results. Not because I was happy, exactly, but because I still didn't have any answers about why I'm feeling like I was hit repeatedly by a Mack truck. If it wasn't menopause, and it wasn't thyroid or some vitamin deficiency, then what the heck was wrong with me?!?!

Once again, I trudge back to the doctor's office. I do a full depression screening. A heart test. A bazillion and one questions, and finally, I get an answer.

Fibromyalgia. 

It's taken me a couple weeks to come to terms with this. While it's not life threatening, there is no cure, and it is absolutely life altering. So, at almost 40 years old, I'm having to take a step back and re-evaluate so many aspects of my life--mostly my diet and limits, both physically and mentally.

I am on medication, and it has helped tremendously. I've also started on the Keto diet, and I'm recommitting to going to the gym more regularly, because a good diet and regular exercise are the best defense against this disease.

Now, you're probably wondering why I'm bothering to share all this with you?


Because for anyone who knows me, you know I don't say "no" easily. I'm always willing to help or get involved, and I'm forever taking on more than I can handle. Not to mention the pressure I put on myself to write all the words all the time. But I've had to face the fact that I just cannot do this anymore. Moving forward, I will be much more selective about what I commit myself to, how many editing jobs I take, and the writing deadlines I set for myself.

So, to those who have messaged me and I've been curt--I'M SORRY. Please don't take it personally. When I'm not my normal chatty self, it's because I'm either busy with family or work stuff, or I'm having a bad health day. And to everyone who's messaged me to check in and ask if I'm okay--THANK YOU!