16 February 2012

thoughts from :: being sick.

the last few months have been full of not feeling like myself. lots of doctors appointments and prescriptions and struggling to get through days that feel lethargic and unending. lots of wondering and worrying and fighting off an internal hypochondriac convincing me that I have some sort of chronic and serious illness. I was sure I had melanoma after accidentally watching very informative PSA. okay, maybe more frightening than informative.

last week it all came to a head and among many things, I got to experience my first ride in an ambulance. and my first time entertaining eight large paramedics. all of them were men, and according to kim at least one or two of them were attractive. and although I do not know how to get there (as I was preoccupied in the back of an ambulance), I can assure you that the closest hospital is less than t five minutes from my house. on a related note, shout out of thanks to those very nice men from the firetruck and ambulance that showed up at my house. and to the friendly doctors and nurses and virginia medical center. thanks for making sure I was not dying.

this week it's been all about the cleanup. back to the doctor who doesn't seem to think much is wrong. she's not concerned so I guess I shouldn't be either? back to more tests and the crook of my arm turning black and blue from hypodermic needles coming and going. back to finding dark shadows of bruises that remind me that if I start feeling like I'm going to pass out I probably should not go looking for water and lose consciousness against the open door of my refrigerator. yes, that happened. I cracked an egg on the way down and woke up with my head banging against bottles of salad dressing and jars of strawberry jam. I mean it is a little bit funny when you think about it.

so the emergency room doctor could not figure out what was wrong. and my normal doctor cannot figure out what is wrong. and I would be more worried about this if I did not know what was wrong. but I do know what's wrong. the common theme in all of these consultations and diagnoses (or lack thereof) has been one word: stress.

ah, stress. the most underrated and, in this crazy place I live, probably the most common cause of illness. when questioned about why this part of my body is failing or that part is hurting, general practitioners and specialists alike have nonchalantly noted that stress can be a factor. and their casual mention sets off a huge red flag because it's making me realize that I live inside a huge bubble of stress. not in the way that I am depressed and living in a dark cloud of anxiety. more in the way that I can't even tell anymore. I barely notice it. I live happily consumed by stress, not really realizing it's out of the ordinary. not realizing that the constant clenching of my jaw and constant dull ache in my stomach are not things I should be experiencing. I am blind to it except in the most extreme cases. I am happy and excited about life. and stress is my normal. but if there's one thing that's emerged out of all this doctor drama it's this simple formula: stress + inadequate release of this stress = carrie feels crappy.

but here's the great thing. if the formula for the problem is simple, the solution should be simple too right? try to like my job more. rest intentionally and well. stop letting the chaos that is my life permeate my physical well being. be. less. stressed. seems easy right? sometimes.


Becca Dressler said...

Yikes!!! I had no idea stress could do that. Tim's been worried about my stress too, but my ultimate moments of stress build up are really bad head aches/migraines...nothing close to passing out!!! Maybe you should get a pet--a small dog or cat by chance? While Copper is a bit crazy and cost us over $500 this month because of his destructive nature, it's all worth it because he calms me down and brings me back to my child-like side. I can't wait to write you a letter this weekend!!! I love you Carrie. You're always in my thoughts and prayers.

Mel said...

Hi Car! I just came across your blog today and saw this post!. I want you to know that I love you and I'm here for you. I have also experienced some physical problems due to stress (a bad bout with shingles a few years is one of them). If there is anything that I can do to help please let me know!

For me, taking a few things off my plate really helped, so does working out. Also, a coffee date with a good friend makes a BIG diff.

Love you girlie! Let's chat soon!