Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Guest Blogger Jamie Crawford Tells Her Tale

Hello! Some days I feel like I am 70 other days I feel 4 but I am only 31. If I could remember my name I would tell you, oh wait it is….ummm…oh yeah…Jamie. I am a Wifie to the most amazing man, Bonus Mommie to three incredible children and three precious grandchildren. The last time I checked I lived in Peoria, Arizona. I am sure you know what I mean in just trying to remember your name let alone your date of birth or which house is yours especially on the days when your fibro fog is so intense you do not remember what you did an hour ago. I hope I can finish this blog post before I forget what I was doing.

So what is wrong with me? Well, I landed myself in the hospital for 22 days in 2010 due to spinal meningitis. Now two years later I have fibromyalgia, multiple scoliosis, restless leg syndrome, chronic headaches and migraines, anemia, insomnia, Hashimoto’s thyroid condition, and a few other issues on the side. They do not know where I got the spinal meningitis nor do they know why I have had these issues as a result. As of recent, I spent five days in the hospital that resulted in two units of blood, two bags of iron, vitamins, antibiotics, and fluids. Now, they do not know why I am losing blood nor what could be causing the iron deficiency. Regardless of how I got here I am here and learning each day to fight my fight.

I commonly get asked if I work or better yet why do I not work because I do not look sick. I have not returned to work since I was hospitalized in 2010. I am officially “retired”. I am lucky enough to be a Mommie and Wifie who does not have to work full-time. I do own Kelly Kreative which a marketing and public relations company and recently started Kreative Girl Designs which a kreative design company focusing in jewelry, hair bows, and tutus. I also write regularly and am looking at expanding some of my work even more. I am simply not able to work time in the capacity I was prior to getting sick. I go through more days of “sick” than not. Most people do not understand what it is like to go from working full time plus living the life that I thought I wanted to suddenly have it all end in the blink of one eye. However, looking forward I absolutely love my life (minus not feeling good) and am so thankful to be where I am now.

In looking at my medical issues, they have impacted my life in so many ways. As many of you know battling with the same conditions I do that each day is different. I have my great days and I have my days I would rather go to sleep for a long time. I have stopped four wheeling, riding quads, and even working out. I do yoga as much as I can because I have noticed a positive effect when my restless leg syndrome is really bad. I do push myself to keep up on household chores like grocery shopping, cooking dinner, and laundry. We do still like to travel just accept that I will need a nap or five and a few extra days to recover from the trip. We do not always make plans but rather go day by day, one so I do not disappoint others and to allow myself to heal rather than be upset if I cannot do something. I am very blessed with a Hubs who understands my fight and is supportive. Life has changed a lot from my wild days.

Medical care is a completely different story. When I “retired” I lost my health insurance. In Arizona, I do not qualify for state health insurance because I do not have a biological dependent child. So, I have gone two years without health insurance. So, my medical treatment is my usual pain management appointment to show that I am disabled and the cheapest medication. I am not treated differently because of my conditions but rather less quality treatment because I cannot afford the good stuff. Luckily that has changed. I now have health insurance and my medicare is starting in March. I am slowly adding in new treatment based on all my conditions and what is most important at that time. I have an incredible pain management doctor, Dr. Abram Burgher. In addition to my pain management I also see an awesome doctor, Dr. James Tuggle. He focuses in the utilization of vitamins and minerals to assist in my daily living. He is actually the one who figured out I was losing blood. I have been seeing him for years for vitamin therapy via injection. He has done a lot of work with me on hormones, vitamin deficiencies, and “non-traditional” treatments. It has made a huge difference in my life. Finding a great team of doctors really makes a big difference.

Although my battle is young compared to most I would say to those of you who struggle to keep focused on the good things. Make sure you develop a supportive network so when you have your bad days you have someone to lean on through those moments. Take the time to find doctors who understand your struggles and are willing to listen to you. Yes, there are doctors who listen to you and treat you as needed not just based on paper. If you get a bad feeling from a doctor do not continue your appointment or do not go back to them. (Ask my Hubs, I walked out of one doctor’s office because she refused to listen.) Be willing to read, learn about your battles, treatments, ideas, research, medication, therapy, and so on. I go to the doctor with a list of ideas or questions. I question everything. Remember that you are not alone. This is a true fight. If you need someone to talk, reach out to someone special (or me). Also, push yourself. I know you push yourself every day. Find something to push yourself on or for because it helps give you purpose.

I hope you laughed while jumping on board my mind for a while. I am always around to ask questions to or to talk to. I will be thinking about you!

Jamie Crawford
Google talk - missjamiekelly@gmail.com