It’s been seven months since I wrote my last blog post (sounds like I am starting off my Confession in church). My last blog post celebrated my two years being debt free. I discussed new discoveries of being debt free – the new perspectives that come from being two years out. But while I was publicly celebrating this milestone, I was personally dealing with private demons that needed to be addressed.
Over the years I had struggled with bouts of depression but it was usually short-lived and I was able to get through it with therapy sessions. However, I realized that there was a significant amount of depression and anxiety that I had been dealing with in an overwhelming way and it finally came to a head earlier this year. Panic attacks. Not wanting to leave the house. Less hopeful and inspired. It was paralyzing. In May, I reached out to my primary doctor who put me on medication.
I can’t tell you what a difference the medication meant for me. The first dose was a complete 180 change for me. The doctor told me that my poor brain had been starved for serotonin (the feel-good chemical your brain produces). It was like a magic wand for my mental health. I felt like I had the frame of mind to get back to Every Single Dollar and re-emerge after this short hiatus.
However, I was still having other physical symptoms that didn’t go away with taking my new meds – namely major fatigue and joint pain. My observant doctor noticed at my annual physical that some of my lab work had changed from the previous year and ordered additional tests. Less than a week later, I was sitting in an endocrinologist’s office learning of my new diagnosis: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. In a nutshell, it’s an autoimmune disease where my body produces antibodies that attack my thyroid. There were finally answers for my fatigue, joint pain, and brain fog – here I had been beating myself up for being “lazy” and having no energy when in fact, it was tied to a medical reason.
The antibodies will eventually destroy my thyroid and I will be on thyroid medication for the rest of my life to replace the hormones that my body will no longer produce. Also, it’s key that I keep the antibodies to a minimum to slow down their attack of my thyroid and so they don’t attack other major tissue groups in my body. This will require me to make many changes in my diet and lifestyle as well as taking a myriad of supplements to keep inflammation in my body at bay.
I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t overwhelmed at receiving all of this information. In fact, I cried as I left the endocrinologist’s office with this new diagnosis. Fortunately, I have the information, tools, and resources to manage my chronic illness. It’s just giving myself a lot of grace and time to make the necessary changes in my life to manage my new normal. Having supportive family and friends as well as finding online support groups has been amazing to help me so far along this journey.
So why am I sharing this all with you? First, I wanted you to know that Every Single Dollar is still going to be here for you. I am looking forward to getting back to serving my clients and readers to better their financial lives. Second, I wanted to tell my story about dealing with chronic illness. There are many of us out there dealing with invisible illness – you are not alone. Third, I will definitely be sharing my experiences when it comes to money and chronic illness in future content – how to plan your spending and how to plan for future medical costs and everything that comes in between.
I am excited to be back working on personal finance. I will be using the rest of 2017 to plan out Every Single Dollar’s “re-launch” and learning how to manage my workload with my energy level. It’s going to be an exciting 2018 and I am looking forward to serving you with great financial information and perspective so that you can achieve the dreams and goals you have for yourself.
Thank you again for supporting Every Single Dollar over the past few years! It is your love and support that have kept me going this past year and I can’t wait to get started serving you all again!