I'll address the medical first since it's easiest. About two years ago, I started having seizures and massive memory loss. I was unable to even go to work for weeks at a time because I could hardly function. The seizures (grand mal) became more and more frequent and my doctors frantically scrabbled for a reason. I had CAT scans, blood panels, MRIs....with no resolution. It wasn't until the MRI company accidentally scanned the wrong area of my brain that they found the reason for the issues...they discovered AVM lesions in a deep area of my brain. Thankfully, they were small, but surgery would have had a poor outcome and carried a large risk of death. The neurologist thought chemotherapy would be successful, so I underwent a short course in Medford. Thankfully, it was mild enough that I only lost a small bit of my hair; but the mouth sores, constant vomiting, fatigue, and serious dehydration took a huge toll on me. It was about six months before I felt better again, and my memory improved greatly. The seizures got somewhat better, but I was still experiencing grand mals. As a result, I went through several different seizure drugs, and I'm still on a trial with my current medication. While controlled, I still have absence seizures and occasional eyelid seizures. My body is on the road to recovery from the illness and the chemo, however slowly. Unfortunately, I lost a lot during my battle....my job, many friends, and my longtime relationship. I came to realize that they weren't worth keeping if they were that easy to lose.
As far as the mental issues, well....they are more complicated. My actual diagnosis is:
- Cyclothymic Disorder
- Severe Anxiety
- Agoraphobia with Panic Disorder
All three are treatable, and I take medication in addition to the therapy I participate in weekly (well, when I get the scheduling down anyway). So far, the agoraphobia has been the easiest to treat, although I still have issues in crowded situations. By no means am I unable to leave my house, I want that to be clear....however, my home is my "safe" zone and it's nearly impossible to allow people inside. I hope to have overcome that with EMDR when I'm finished with that therapy. The other two issues are controlled with medication and can be cured with EMDR as well.
I have been in therapy before, but never found resolution. The therapy I participate in now is much more aggressive and targeted to an actual diagnosis. My hopes are high for success.
What does this mean? What kind of person am I? Easy to answer. I'm a person with a life-long illness that can eventually become more serious. I have a treatment plan in place, and intend to fight with everything I have to stay healthy and well. I am also a person who has mental illness that is managed and being treated.
Most importantly, I am a loving mother to my daughter. I am a person who is blessed with friends who love her, despite experiencing issues with my disorders. I am a woman who loves the man in her life completely and will do everything in her power to ensure he will be happy. I strive to protect those I love from experiencing the negative side effects of the above issues. I am caring, nurturing, and loving. My joy in life is giving others happiness. I am not a whole person, obviously, but eventually I will be.
I hope that gives you all some perspective. Life is worth living, no matter what obstacles we encounter. My life from this point on will be spent finding happiness. I'm so lucky to have it within my grasp.