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Archive for March 5th, 2012

I saw the Ears, Nose, and Throat expert (ENT) on Tuesday and had a CT scan performed. The ENT found no issues with my sinuses at all. He said that 90% of reported sinus issues do not originate in the sinuses. He doesn’t doubt there is something “wrong,” but it is not sinus-related. His speculation is migraines.

I was beyond frustrated because I just want to feel better, and it’s hard to know how to feel better when you don’t know what’s wrong with you. I went through this with my infertility. I was told over and over again that there is no medical explanation for why I haven’t eventually gotten pregnant through numerous medical procedures. Nevertheless, 16 years have passed without me ever getting pregnant. (Trust me – pregnancy is the LAST thing on my mind these days.)

I took a step back and thought about what could be causing the sinus pain and headaches. I started noticing just how much stomach acid I have churning. I suspect some of the pain is coming from reflux, which has been an ongoing issue for me. When I first started therapy, I lost my voice a few times. It took a while for me to recognize that reflux was kicking up my stomach acids and tearing up my vocal chords.

I don’t see reflux as a cause, though – it’s a symptom of stress. Yes, I have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but my stress goes well beyond that. I starting thinking about the last 15 months of my life, some of which I have shared and some that I haven’t. Just on the list I have shared includes …

  • Breakup up 9-year friendship
  • Cold/sinus infection (Jan through Feb 2012)
  • Emotional meltdown over summer – never determined exact cause
  • Issues with special needs child
  • Sinus infection that went into vertigo (Dec 2010 through Feb 2011)
  • Stressful, low-paying (was promised more than I was paid), part-time job that I have since quit

I haven’t shared about issues I have been dealing with that involve supporting others in my offline life since those issues are not mine to share. The big picture is that three people I am close to are dealing with lots of anxiety related to economic issues. I also have two people I am close to dealing with health issues. Being strong for others eventually takes its toll.

I think the bottom line is that I am just plain worn out. I have been running on empty for so long that I don’t even remember what it feels like not to be running on empty. I am not quite sure how to get out of this hellish place. I have prayed, cried, tried to take time for myself, etc., but at the end of the day, I am still trying to be a rock for too many people with too little time to recharge my own batteries.

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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