I Took a Month off from Blogging and This Is What Happened

NOTE: I wrote this on the 5th of February. My most recent doctor appointment (IV saline) was actually on Valentine’s Day, February 14th.


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Photo by Ivan Jevtic on Unsplash. [Image Description: The top of a red rose in full bloom, with blurred out greenery in the background.]

My most recent doctor appointment was about a month ago, give or take a couple of days. It’s the longest break I’ve had from seeing one medical professional or another in… God, I can’t even remember. For the first time in a long time, I do not feel like a patient. Sure, the lovely mix of symptoms from dehydration and changing weather has wreaked havoc on my body these past few weeks, but beyond all of that is a human being.

A human being who is close to fixing her sleep schedule. A human being who is using the laughably limited amount of energy she has to write instead of wasting away in waiting rooms and hospital gowns. A human being who is trying her hand at light exercising (very light – I’m not trying to die), with hopes of rebuilding her dancer’s legs. With hopes of preventing another fall down the stairs when she decides to resume wearing heels. A human being who actually feels like a human being!

Obviously, when I say write, I’m not referring to my blog. Though I have thought about blogging every single day of my unexpected break, the words never came. So, I turned to fiction, reuniting with a long lost love.

One of my goals in life is to be a published author. It’s been on the list for as long as my foggy brain will allow me to remember. Am I saying any of my current projects will result in a novel? Realistically, not any time soon. Although I have dozens of fictional characters vying for my attention, they are in no way ready to embark on the adventures I’ve begun planning for them. I have beginnings and endings in mind, but no middles. Which has always been my problem with fiction.

Fun fact: I’ve never finished a draft of a novel. The age-old tale of a perfectionist abandoning their stories because they don’t deem them worthy of public consumption. I’m working on it!

Anyway, all of this is to say I am grateful for these last few weeks because they’ve allowed me to simply…be. I’ve had a lot of time to think, to journal, to analyze my goals and the steps I need to be taking to fulfill them. I have an evergrowing list of dreams and I intend to chase after as many as humanly possible.

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Learn from My Mistakes, Dear Readers

Red latte with leafy coffee art in a white ceramic mug. The flatlay is decorated with pinecones, red apples, and Christmas tree branches.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash. [Image Description: Red latte with leafy coffee art in a white ceramic mug. The flatlay is decorated with pinecones, red apples, and Christmas tree branches.]

As I’m typing this, it’s 11:37 P.M. on Christmas Eve Eve. Before we begin, can I just ask… When did Christmas Eve Eve become a thing?

In true ChronicallyDannie fashion, I am waiting until the last possible second to jump into a shower because I feel absolutely awful and the process of showering is only going to make things worse. You know, overexerting myself the day before Christmas Eve was not my plan… It was supposed to be low key, where I’d refill my medication organizer and make holiday cards whilst reclined in bed, all while watching cheesy one-star Christmas movies. In fact, I had it in my head that I was going to use this whole weekend to rest, so I’d feel as well as I could for the holidays.

Alas, here I am: stiff, in pain, and exhausted because I stood for ages while I helped wrap gifts. Why didn’t I sit down while wrapping presents, you ask? I have no earthly idea. It didn’t occur to me to sit down. I, with orthostatic hypotension and a knack for pooling blood in my feet, did not even consider sitting down! Believe me, I am as perplexed as you are…

Don’t worry, I did not faint. I suppose we have my medication to thank for that. Though I most certainly felt how hard my body was working to keep me conscious once I finally did rest… Hence the stiffness, pain, and exhaustion.

Learn from my mistakes, dear readers.

Needless to say, I’ll be paying for this tomorrow, when I’m at my cousin’s house but not really at my cousin’s house because my brain will still be at home, in my bed, sound asleep. The brain fog will be strong with this one. Despite all of this, I’m looking forward to spending time with my family. My health hasn’t allowed me to see them as often as I’d like, so when I am able to push myself to go out, it’s everything. If there’s one thing chronic illness has taught me, it’s to be present during every moment I’m able to spend with the people I love, friends and family alike.

Alright, on that sappy note, I better go jump carefully climb into the shower before my body quits on me for the night…

I sincerely hope you did not make the same mistake I did by not taking the time to rest before the holidays kick into overdrive. If you’re in the same boat as me, please take comfort in knowing that you are not alone and, if you should need a reminder of that, my various inboxes will be open!

Talk Soon,

Danielle

The Gifts of Remicade | Dear Diary #7

Previously. Welcome to Dear Diary, a series where I talk about the little things going on in my life that don’t necessarily warrant their own individual posts. Please, feel free to do the same in the comments! So… What’s new?

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash. [Image Description: Bokeh photography of an open book near a yellow ceramic mug.]

Personal

When I went searching for my previous Dear Diary, I caught a glimpse at the date (April 20th) and almost choked on my own saliva. Has it really been eight months?! On a semi-related subject, does anyone else feel like 2018 has been dragging on forever? No? Just me? Fair enough.

In my last Dear Diary update, I mentioned my bedroom resembling something out of the movie Twister. Well, nothing’s changed, except for the fact that I moved my bed over a couple of inches so I’d no longer have to bang into the corner of the frame every single time I entered the room. It’s the little things in this chronically klutzy life of mine.

All of my holiday shopping is done, thankfully! How are you at gift giving? Because I’m positively terrible at it. I never know what to give anyone and of course when I ask what they want I’m always met with nothings and I don’t knows. This year was no different. Though, I do have to give my mom some credit for at least telling me to get her a candle. How I managed to make picking out a candle scent a two-hour process, I couldn’t even begin to explain. World’s best gift giver over here, I’m tellin’ ya!

Health

There were two or three good health days over the past couple of months, which is new and unusual for me?? I’d actually forgotten what having real energy felt like. I was tired, but not fatigued. Doing one simple chore around the house didn’t leave me bedridden the rest of the day, as it typically would. It was an incredibly bizarre experience, to say the least.

Oh, and I finally started those Remicade infusions that my rheumatologists and I have been discussing for a solid year now… I was certain it was too early to have had any positive results, but a follow-up visit with my rheumatologist proved me wrong! The psoriasis on my scalp is gone. I’ve had issues with my scalp for most of my life, but it was one of the many things we put on the back burner once all of my other health issues arose. I laugh when I think about how we finally found out what was going on with my scalp last summer at an unrelated dermatology consult, only to have it cleared up a few months later with Remicade! With psoriasis clearing up and experiencing those few precious fatigue-free days, I feel hopeful about the future of my health, for the first time in a long time.

For anyone curious, we’re hoping the infusions will help with psoriatic arthritis and the damage in my SI joint. The place where I get them is down by my rheumatologist’s office, so it’s a hike, but once we hit farmland we’re pretty much in a Hallmark movie, A.K.A. my happy place.

Music

  1. Move – Milo Greene
  2. Better Life – P!nk
  3. Might Not Like Me – Brynn Elliott
  4. Let’s Fall in Love for the Night – FINNEAS
  5. What a Feeling – One Direction
  6. Benzos and Cigarettes – Rad Horror

Blog Updates:
– Updated About page.
– New Twitter handle: @ChronicallyDan
– New Instagram handles.
— Personal: @ChronicallyDannie
— Shop: @ChronicallyDannieCo

Mindfulness and Social Media

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Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash. [Image Description: A blurred, lit up sign spelling out focus in all caps.]

As someone who was accused of faking my very real symptoms frequently throughout my childhood, you could imagine why I’ve been so vocal in the past regarding my illnesses and how they affect me. I was used to nobody believing me and I overcorrected.

This will come as no surprise: I’m an oversharer when it comes to my health. I will tell you anything you want to know if you ask. I think I do this because I’m trying to explain myself, or prove that I am, in fact, chronically ill. But who exactly am I trying to prove it to?

Anyone close to me knows that I’m sick. My doctors certainly get it because they remind me of how complicated my case is to treat every chance they’re given. So, again, who exactly am I trying to prove it to? Strangers? If they don’t get it after one conversation with me, then they never will, or never wanted to in the first place. Who’s left? Myself?

Myself.

All of those years of constantly being told by school officials, doctors, friends, and even family that you’re faking your symptoms for attention… It’s bound to mess with your head. The best part is, I didn’t even realize it was affecting me on that kind of level. It wasn’t until I really sat down with myself and analyzed how I used social media that I found the source of the issue.

You know what I’ve come to understand? I don’t have to prove myself to anybody. If someone doesn’t believe me, it should not be my problem. I no longer feel the need to recite my entire medical history in order to prove I am who I say I am.

Once I came to that conclusion, it felt as if an enormous weight had lifted off of my chest. Of course, I’m not perfect, so I still have work to do… Being mindful about what I post on social media in the future? That’s a good start.

Review: “Furyborn” by Claire Legrand (Empirium, #1)

Disclaimers: I was given a free ARC of Furyborn through Netgalley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. Possible spoilers ahead.


Title: Furyborn (Empirium, #1)Furyborn (Empirium, #1) by Claire Legrand
Author:
Claire Legrand
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Release date: May 22, 2018
Average rating: 3.87/5 stars
My rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads Description:
When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire’s heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.”

My Thoughts:
The thing I loved the most about Furyborn was definitely the in-depth look we get at the world they live in. The story is told through the points of view of the Sun and Blood Queens, one queen in the past and the other in the future. Finding out how the pieces fit together and why Rielle and Eliana were connected was the driving force that kept me reading on.

That being said, up until about halfway through the book, I was far less interested in Rielle’s story than Eliana’s. Rielle was a bore up until the trials kicked into high gear. I understood why I was supposed to care about her, but as hard as I tried to like her personality, I just couldn’t get behind it. I didn’t feel for her heartbreaks or revel in her wins.

Eliana’s icy, badass attitude, on the other hand, was much more my speed and why I still very much enjoyed Furyborn enough to grant it four stars! Harken’s fate brought me to tears. Simon’s big reveal had me covering my mouth with the palm of my hand to keep from audibly gasping and scaring my sleeping dog awake.

All things considered, I don’t regret sticking it out until the end. Rielle’s storyline did catch my attention eventually and Eliana’s knife skills are just too good to miss. I could definitely be persuaded to read the sequel. Four out of five stars for Furyborn.

 

5 Tips to Beat Brain Fog

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Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash. [Image Description: A silhouette of a person kicking the air on a beach at sunset.]

If you’re reading this, then I’m sure you know just how frustrating brain fog is. There isn’t a day that goes by where it doesn’t affect me. I forget words, lose my train of thought, put the milk in the pantry and the cereal box in the fridge, “lose” something only to find I was holding it the entire time, and don’t even get me started on throwing away perfectly good silverware…

With over ten years of experience under my belt, I’ve come up with five ways to kick brain fog to the curb. Or at least hold it off until your next shower, when you can’t seem to remember if you washed your legs, so you wash them again, just to be safe.

1. Autopilot.

Routines are essential. For me, brain fog is worst when I first wake up, so I tend to run on autopilot until I take my medication. The goal here is for your body to be so used to your routine that you don’t even have to think about it.

2. Write! It! Down!

NEVER make the mistake of believing you’re going to remember to do something later. You know full and well that never works in your favor. If you’re unable to complete the task immediately, make a note for yourself. And not just on a random scrap of paper that you’ll lose as soon as you put down!

3. When in doubt, plan it out.

Use a bullet journal, planner, apps, or diary to keep track of things. Whether that means appointments, to-do lists, medication reminders, questions for your medical team, or random ideas that you say you’re going to remember later but never do. I use a variation of the habit tracker in my bullet journal to log my symptoms when my medication regimen changes, and then I review it before my next doctor appointment. I swear, I’d be lost without that notebook!

4. Memory tricks.

Lost your train of thought? Can’t remember what a round dish is called? (It’s a bowl, Danielle. A bowl.) Spaced out and didn’t hear what your friend just said to you? Rewind your thought process and retrace your steps. Find synonyms for the word you were aiming to use. Context clues. Mnemonic devices. Utilize all of those little tricks your teachers taught you in school.

5. If all else fails, take a nap.

dog sleep

[GIF Description: Yellow lab puppy laying with its head raised. It turns onto its side, curls into a ball and falls asleep. One of its floppy ears covers its eye.]

The Update to End All Updates

 

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Photo by Elijah M. Henderson on Unsplash. [Image Description: A curving road in the middle of a forest with autumnal leaves.]

For the past two years, the goal of ChronicallyDannie has been to tell my story in order to spread awareness about the realities of living with chronic illness. While spreading awareness about my under diagnosed illnesses is still very much important to me, I’ve recently come to the realization that my blog is not meeting that goal. Most of my readers are chronically ill themselves, or family/friends that are already being kept up to date in person. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but I did feel I needed to step back from my blog to figure out my next steps!

First, I made a list of the things that are important to me and what I want my future to include:

  • Writing. Not really a shocker to those that know me. Writing has, and will always be, my strongest passion.
  • Growing my jewelry business. My second strongest passion.
  • Spreading awareness of my chronic illnesses. (Obviously!)
  • Offering any help or guidance I can from my experience of growing up undiagnosed.

The last bullet point is in bold because it’s where I want to dedicate more of my time moving forward. School system being uncooperative, or even toxic? Friends starting to think you’re a flake? Doctors not taking you seriously (or addressing the adult in the room like you’re not even there)? You’ve come to the right place!

I will also be documenting my rocky experience of going from pediatric to adult medical care. It’s a very slow process for me, but I’m working with my mom to help me be more independent (i.e. handling my own medical calls, keeping track of medication refills, and eventually insurance approval issues). I have a good medication refill system going, knock on wood…

Next, I did a little brain dump in my journal about this blog and the content I’ve been posting to see what brought me the most joy (A.K.A. channeling my inner Emily Gilmore).

What really stuck out in my mind during this process were the detailed play-by-plays of my doctor appointments. Not only were they starting to feel like a chore to write, I just don’t think I feel comfortable putting all of that information publicly out into the world anymore. If there’s one thing that two years of blogging has taught me, it’s that I’d rather reserve some things for my private journal. Now, this doesn’t mean my health updates are over! I still plan on posting them, but in a more summarized format rather than a step-by-step narration. I think this change will benefit all of us.

That being said, I don’t regret being as open as I have been on this blog. Everything I’ve posted in the past is exactly what I needed at the time. I’ve learned not to hit publish while angry, but otherwise I have no regrets.

At the beginning of ChronicallyDannie, though I don’t think I was aware of it at the time, I was in a lonely state of mind. Not depressed, just struggling to connect. Cut to two years later… I’m twenty-two years old, I’ve found doctors I trust, I started a business, I’m a published writer, I’m learning to branch out of my painfully shy shell, and I have the best friends I could ever ask for. Things have certainly changed for me and I am incredibly thankful to be where I’m at in my life right now. My physical health is still in the shitter, but I’ll take my wins where I can get ’em!

All of this is to say that my content is changing. Hopefully for the better. My “why?” is clearer, I’m more inspired to write than I have been in a long time, and it feels good. Thanks to all 60+ of you for following me for as long as you have. Oh, and I promise to try to be better at answering your comments and messages in a timely fashion.

(Emphasis on try.)

And That’s What You Missed

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Photo by Wang Xi on Unsplash. [Image Description: Vibrant red and orange autumn leaves attached to thin branches against a blurred background with more trees.]

Hello, my name is Danielle and I accidentally disappeared from my blog! If you don’t follow me on Instagram or Twitter, here’s what you missed:

♥ The usual monthly IV saline appointments to help me battle dehydration.

♥ I turned 22 years old in August! I don’t think I’ve talked about that on my blog yet. Oops?

♥ Went for a nuclear salivary flow scan for Sjogren’s Syndrome testing.
– As per usual, they couldn’t find a vein to inject the tracers, and, when they finally did, the vein blew. Thankfully the rest of the experience went smoothly.

♥ Had a lip biopsy for Sjogren’s Syndrome testing.
– In true hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) fashion, the dissolvable stitches didn’t stay in my mouth long enough to fully dissolve!
– It’s fine, though. At my follow-up appointment last month, my surgeon said it was “healing beautifully”.

♥ Had a skin biopsy to confirm a small fiber neuropathy diagnosis.
– Unfortunately, I don’t think the dermatologist I went to did the biopsy on the correct body part. He was more preoccupied with leaving a visible scar if I were to wear a bathing suit than the actual reason for the biopsy. I’m going to discuss my hypothesis with the doctor that ordered the test during my next appointment.
– The test results of the biopsy showed inflammation, but otherwise nothing of importance. If my suspicions are correct, it makes sense that it came back negative because it was taken from the wrong body part. We’ll see.

♥ Saw my rheumatologist to discuss all of my test results and any lingering concerns about my upcoming Remicade infusions.
– Nothing conclusively shows that I have Sjogren’s Syndrome, so, you know, I don’t have it. But I do experience dry mouth and dry eyes, so he recommended eye drops and prescribed me something for dry mouth that’s been working wonders.
– Overall relieved to have Sjogren’s ruled out. However, I can’t deny that a small part of me is disappointed. A Sjogren’s diagnosis would have meant I’d have more options for treatment. Not to mention I still don’t have a name for the collection of symptoms my mom and I have been trying to get to the bottom of from the very beginning of this chronic illness journey.
– My doctor patiently answered all of our questions about Remicade side effects and I feel more confident than ever going into this! Still worried about how my shitty veins will hold up, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
– I also got a steroid shot in each knee because I’m due for my next round of weekly lubricant injections. Admittedly, it’s not great for my hypermobility, but it helps with my arthritic symptoms in my knees and the weather’s getting colder, so I made a choice.

♥ Other Miscellaneous Things:
– Happy Dysautonomia Awareness Month!
– My mom and I have been “normal people sick”, so we haven’t scheduled my first Remicade infusion just yet. I went from having the flu from the flu shot I got that day, to catching whatever my mom and my brother had, to a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) flare. Still very much in a CFS flare. It’s been a fun few weeks.
Furyborn book review coming soon.
Summer 2018 Playlist coming soon.

And that’s what you missed on Glee ChronicallyDannie dot WordPress dot com.

Review: “Nyxia Unleashed” by Scott Reintgen (The Nyxia Triad #2)

Disclaimers: I was given a free ARC of Nyxia Unleashed through Netgalley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. Spoilers ahead!


Nyxia unleashed

Title: Nyxia Unleashed (The Nyxia Triad #2)
Author: Scott Reintgen
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi
Release date: July 17, 2018
Average rating: 4.33/5 stars
My rating: 5/5 stars
Read my review of book 1 here.

Goodreads Description:
Getting to Eden brought Emmett and his crewmates one step closer to their promised fortune. But surviving Eden may be the biggest reward of all.

Emmett Atwater thought Babel’s game sounded easy. Get points. Get paid. Go home. But it didn’t take long for him to learn that Babel’s competition was full of broken promises, none darker or more damaging than the last one.

Now Emmett and the rest of the Genesis survivors must rally and forge their own path through a new world. Their mission from Babel is simple: extract nyxia, the most valuable material in the universe, and play nice with the indigenous Adamite population.

But Emmett and the others quickly realize they are caught between two powerful forces—Babel and the Adamites—with clashing desires. Will the Genesis team make it out alive before it’s too late?

My Thoughts:
I rarely prefer a sequel over the first book in a series, but Nyxia Unleashed deserves every one of those five stars. This book exceeded all of my expectations! I found myself craving the next installment in the series before I even reached the end. I particularly enjoyed learning more about the Imago’s culture and history, as well as their motives for agreeing to Babel’s deal in the first place. Neither side is innocent, which gives Genesis 11 and 12 a difficult choice to make. The only question left is…did they make the right one?

Nyxia Uprising, the third and final book in the series, is set to release on April 16th of next year.

Do I recommend this book? Yes.
Will I be reading the rest of this series? Yes!

Tuesday’s Story: A Cardiology Appointment

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Photo by Seth Macey on Unsplash. [Image description: A woman holding an analog clock. The background is blank and her face is covered by her dark hair blowing against her face.]

A couple of Tuesdays ago, my mom and I made the hour-and-fifteen-minute drive down to my cardiologist’s office, who also treats dysautonomia. It was our first in-person discussion since the Northera incident so there was a lot of ground to cover. But we’ll get to that in a moment. If you’ve been a reader of my blog over the past year, you know full and well that these appointments don’t always go as planned. Tuesday’s story starts in the waiting room.

First of all, I picked the chair directly under the air vent. Why? Because I’d been standing in line for far too long behind a guy who was waiting for something. I don’t remember what he was waiting for, but I do remember it wasn’t necessary for him to be smack dab in the middle of the front desk area. All I needed was to fill in my name on the check-in sheet, which he was blocking. Thankfully I had Egbert the Quad Cane with me, but I was feeling the effects of the long drive, so what I really needed was a seat.

After scribbling in my name, I located my mom and sat in the first open seat I found beside her. Directly underneath the vent. At first it was nice because it was in the high 80’s outside, and cool air helped with the dizziness that came from standing for so long. Until it wasn’t so nice anymore and I was painfully reminded of last summer, at the Lady GaGa concert, where I froze and my joints locked up and I was in the worst joint pain I’d ever been in… This waiting room wasn’t nearly as triggering as the concert was to my sensory issues, but hoooh boy was I cold!

Nearly four hours of waiting later, we finally got into an exam room. By that time, my mom and I were exhausted, starving, and in pain. Our brains were foggy, my blood was pooling, our stomachs were empty, and my mom was convinced the Mona Lisa painting on the wall in the exam room was tracking her with her painted-on eyeballs. The appointment hasn’t even officially started, mind you.

Waiting for us in the exam room was a young doctor, I’m assuming fresh out of medical school. Let’s call him Carl. Carl sits down at the desk and starts flipping through my very thick file, trying to familiarize himself with my case. Immediately, alarms are going off in my head… Where is my doctor? Who is this guy? Does he even know anything about POTS? Did we just sit in a waiting room for four hours to be seen by a guy who is not my regular doctor and can’t even help me?! Deep breaths, Danielle!

Carl was very nice, and even knew a bit about dysautonomia already, which was incredibly refreshing. He was interested in my complicated case, trying to come up with solutions and asking questions about what has helped and what hasn’t. The usual increase of salt and fluids came up, to which I brought up gastroparesis, and he seemed to understand why that would make increasing my water intake difficult. Every time I mentioned another medical condition, he would sigh, defeated, and it made me giggle because it made me think of my case as extra credit at the end of a test. I give Carl a lot of credit for trying as hard as he did to help me because my undiagnosed years were full of much more experienced doctors who gave up far too easily.

It restored my hope in the future of medicine.

At one point, Carl left the room because he was locked out of my electronic file. My mom and I looked at each other and burst into laughter. Not at Carl, of course, but at the predicament we were in. Did we really travel over an hour just to wait four additional hours in a waiting room and not see my regular doctor? And poor Carl, who had no idea what he was getting into when he sat down to flip through my file that day!

It turns out my mom and I were wrong. My doctor was indeed in the office! Later on, after Carl gave in and we got to talking about TV shows and books instead of my case, my doctor burst into the room with the nurse practitioner by his side. Let the chaos begin!

We discussed Northera and the events that led to me switching back to Midodrine. He upped my Midodrine to 10mg from 5mg and increased Propranolol to twice a day instead of once. I’m now on a handful of supplements, as well, like L-carnitine, beet root exract, CoQ10, and Foltanx RF. Prior to that appointment, he had me taking alpha lipoic acid.

He also prescribed Zoloft. My mom and I were a little apprehensive about it because the rheumatologist he referred me to misdiagnosed me with depression and tried to give me the same drug. When my mom hinted at her concerns, he assured us he’s giving me a lower dose to help with something else, not as an antidepressant. He went into detail with his explanation of what the lower dose of Zoloft would actually be doing for me, but my brain said, “See ya!” around hour two in the waiting room… I’m just hoping future doctors don’t see Zoloft on my medication list and write off whatever I might be experiencing. Maybe it seems like a ridiculous thing to be worried about, but it happened far too often when I was a kid and back then I wasn’t even on any drugs that could be used as antidepressants. Only time will tell.

I think that about covers it! We had to go back to the waiting room for a few minutes until they were ready to do my Ansar Test, where we discovered they’d ordered pizza. My mom and I were so grateful because very few things were open in their town at 9 o’clock at night, so we had no idea what we would’ve ended up eating otherwise. After my Ansar Test, we made our next appointment for September and then headed home. There were still people in the waiting room when we were leaving!

My friends are always shocked when I tell them I’m still in the waiting room, or just leaving the office at 9:45 P.M. when my appointment was scheduled for 4 o’clock. Half of my life has been spent in waiting rooms. Hell, I’ll be in a waiting room on my birthday for a dermatology consult. This is just life with chronic illness.