3 S.R. Johannes: Am I a Head Case?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Am I a Head Case?

Marketing Muse
Don't get stressed out about marketing. It's not worth it. It should just be something fun you do to get ready for the day that your book is picked up and put on the shelf. Have fun with it!

I am a Head Case!

I've thought long and hard, wondering if I should post this post. It seems a bit depressing for my taste, but I think I need to post it for me.

As some of you know, I have been having chronic vertigo for the last several months (4 to be exact). I had a slight inner ear infection last Oct/Nov. After that, my head hasn't quite been the same. To sum it up - I feel like I'm trying to walk on a rocking boat. And I feel that way often.

How does it feel? Go spin in a circle 5 times fast and try to walk. That's me. I have had weeks where I felt great and then all of a sudden a wave will hit me and I'll be down for the count for a couple days.

To be honest, as positive as I have tried to be, it's been a very scary and frustrating time. The fear comes in more around my kids than anything. For those who have kids, you will totally get this. I get panicky at the thought of not being here for them. Not that I am going anywhere, but this illness has brought up a "possibility" that I'd never really thought about before. And if I think about it too long - which i try not to do - I realize if anything were to happen to me - my kids - at their ages (5 and 20 months) - would not remember me. :(

Now I don't want you to worry because in Jan, I was officially diagnosed with a vestibular disorder and started therapy. Did you know that vertigo is the 2nd most common complaint to back pain? I blogged about it here (off my rocker post). Since the therapy, I've had longer periods of time where I feel better. I would say, I at about 80-20. Whereas before I was 20/80. So the improvement is a positive sign. I just am not totally "me" yet. especially with my kids, my patience is thin and Im not as fun.

But last week, I finally succumbed to the idea of having the MRI and it is scheduled for tomorrow. Just to double check my ears and head, to be sure everything is ok and all is where it is supposed to be. I wonder if you really can "lose your mind".

Now I know the chance of me having brain cancer or some kind of brain tumor is very slim (like under 5% at my age - don't think I did not look! twice!).

But I am still very scared about tomorrow.

  • What will they find?
  • What is an MRI like?
  • What if something is really wrong with me?
  • What if nothing is wrong with me? Then, where do I go from here?
  • Will I always feel this way ?
  • Will I ever remember what it is like to feel normal again?
My hubby said I was up all night, yelling in my sleep. I remember having bad dream, dreams of being chased. But this was also after I found out a blogger buddy of mine had been diagnosed with cancer so I think it was all mixed inside. The fear is real.

I am trying so hard to be positive and just focus on being healthy and being positive. I am excited to finally be reassured that NOTHING is seriously wrong with me. And come up with a therapy plan to continue until this annoying vertigo thing is gone. And I know my life could be worse and that I am so lucky in everything I have.

Blah Blah Blah .....

But when I hear of other cancer stories of young ladies in their 30s, I have admit, the thought bursts into my mind.

And do you know what I realize immediately?

What is really important.

My kids. My family. My friends. My health.

All of this publishing stuff and writing stuff and marketing stuff and bailout stuff is NOT important. It is not worth stressing over. Because as long as I have my health and am with my family who is also safe and healthy, I am exactly where I want to be.

All this other stuff is extra. Like whipped cream on your ice cream. Not essential but adds a little somethin' somethin! But it is not critical to my happiness.

It is the time I am here with my kids and my hubby and my family and my friends that is most important. And it is what I do FOR OTHERS - what I give back - with the time I have here on this earth that truley defines me.

I know that I am probably fine. That I am being neurotic and probably subconsciously figuring out how to use these emotions in a story of mine.

But after the last 4 months, after feeling so bad so often....the emotionaly side kicks in.

I am scared.

So, I could use some extra good thoughts tonight. Positive Ones.

And you? Go hug your kids, significant others, family, and friends.

Go outside and take a deep breath.

And, love/take care of that body of yours because it is the only one you have. We take our bodies for granted.

Our life is precious.

Oh yeah, don't forget to hug yourself.

You deserve it.

(PS Send an extra thought to blogger buddy Bridget Zinn.)

(PSS Right when Ifinished this, an advertising email popped up in my box that said, "Imagine your fear away." Crazy right?
So that is what I am off to do. Thanks for the sounding board! ;)


Unknown said...

Hugs and prayers and good thoughts heading your way!

Sherrie Petersen said...

I'll be thinking of you tomorrow as you get your MRI. And thanks for the reminder -- appreciate your family and don't sweat the other stuff. Best wishes!

Carrie Harris said...

Hopefully it doesn't creep you out to receive virtual hugs from people you barely know, because I'm sending you one. It's funny; I wouldn't wish a serious illness on everyone, but the one bright side is that it keeps us from taking things for granted. I appreciate your pointing that out.

Having said that, I'm sending mucho good vibes that your MRI will turn out to be nothing but an interesting experience where you sit with your head in a big clunky box for a while... and don't find anything wrong.

I'll be thinking about you.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Shelli, this is a very powerful post. The thing I can relate to the most is fearing not being there for the kids. Mine are much older and they need me less intensely as they did when they were little--but they do need their parents. It is interesting how Motherhood changes our priorities. I am sending lots of positive energy your way!

Anonymous said...

Regarding the vertigo. I get motion sick so easily, I've been known to get ill/dizzy while standing on a dock. It is a horrible feeling! I'm guessing your vertigo is somewhat similar. My heart goes out to ya...

Anonymous said...

I do that yelling in my sleep from bad dreams thing too. Sometimes I even act them out. Once I was fighting off an attacker (usually I'm just running!) and in my dream I kicked the guy with all my might. Turns out I did it in real life too because I woke up the sound of my hubby cursing in shock, pain and surprise. When I realized what I had done, I tried to soothe him. And my foot hurt like the dickens!

Anonymous said...

Another thought: it doesn't seem "neurotic" to me to worry about these things. It would be more neurotic to pretend nothing was wrong and not take care of yourself in the way you're doing. I too think you are fine but it is the responsible, adult thing take the tests. You are modeling taking care of yourself for your children.

Corey Schwartz said...

I am sending good thoughts your way! I had a scary mammogram last year, so i know how easy it is to let your mind imagine the worst. i was literally figuring out which of my single friends my husband could marry so my kids would have a good mom! Lots of hugs!

Magdalena Scott said...

Praying for you, Shelli. I'm glad you posted this. Let us know how it goes.

Kelly Polark said...

Oh, Shelli, that is scary. You've been through a lot. Tomorrow I think you will feel better and relieved after getting some answers. Good thoughts and prayers to you!

Kelly H-Y said...

You are so right about everything ... the fears ... and realizing what's important! Goodness ... four months of that is no fun at all ... I'm glad it's improving, but I'll also be thinking of you and sending up a prayer that all goes well tomorrow. Hopefully, the MRI will confirm that all is well so you can put those fears aside, and more easily focus on getting healthy!

Heidi Willis said...

1. You will be fine.

2. An MRI is like having five minutes of quiet all to yourself.

3. If something is really wrong with you, you will find out you are made of much tougher stuff than you thought you were, and people you didn't even know cared about you will suddenly come out of the woodworks. And you will get help. And then you will be fine, only better.

4.If nothing is wrong, you will eventually continue to get better, or it will be a great conversation piece, inspiration for new books, and something that will enable you to relate to people you never knew you had anything in common with, and be a strength for them.

5. No.

I'm so sorry you are having such a rough time of it. I've had vertigo a few times and it is sickening and scary, and frustrating!

The positive is that it is helping you get life into perspective. What really matters. And you are totally right... getting published, marketing, the economy - they seem important, but in the end, the most important things are family and you.

I'm glad you're getting the MRI. I hope it gives you some peace of mind and some better dreams.

CJ Omololu said...

All so true - I'll be thinking of you, so update us when you can. I just know you're going to be fine and be back here marketing in no time.

Casey Something said...

I think it's great to share and get your fears out, Shelli!

You and Bridget will definitely be in my thoughts.

Suzanne Young said...

I understand, Shelli. Two months ago I went in for a MRI. The MRI itself wasn't too bad, just really quiet and a bit boring. It took a week to get the results back.

I swear, the minute I heard that I was clear, I immediately started to feel better. Fear can be paralyzing sometimes. But I love your message here.

This kind of stuff truly puts life in persepective. And I haven't sweated the small stuff since.

And my love to Bridgett!!

Anonymous said...

Looking at your post again reminds me of when I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes years and years ago. I now wear an insulin pump (I call it my bionic pancreas). But nothing broke my heart more than when my then 10-year old son was also diagnosed with it (Type 1 is not related to diet and exercise--the body basically attacks and kills it's own pancreatic cells...nice, huh?). I would've taken a bullet for my son to prevent that from happening, but...not meant to be.So, your "Life is precious line?" Totally feeling it...

Tabitha said...

I've never had an MRI, but I have had a CT scan. I imagine the feeling would be similar - bizzare and claustrophobic, even if you're not enclosed. Then again, I had a pretty major concussion at the time, so my brain might have blown things way out of proportion. :)

But I can tell you how it feels afterward, which is more important than how it feels at the time. And, trust me, you'll feel better. Even if it's bad news, at least you'll know and can make a plan to deal with it. And, if it's good news, then you can make a plan to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.

Either way, you'll be out of uncertainty, which is what's driving you so crazy. :)

I'm sending you lots of good thoughts tonight, and crossing my fingers that all is well. :)

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

Thx beth and solvang!

carrie - are you lkidding I feel like Ive known you for years strange huh> PS I never turn down a virtual hug :)

a - wish you had a blog so I could reciprocate your crazy commenting speed.
corey - youre funny - so i am not the only crazee one - good to know ;)

Magdalena - thx for visiting me :) I am usually much peppier I promise!

kelly and Kelly HY - thx for well wishes!

cynjay and casey - thx :)

suzanne - scary i did not know that! thx for relating.

heidi - u should be a shrink - i feel much better thx :)

King of my Throne said...

Shelli, I have had the vertigo thing with a stomach virus and that lasted for only two days. The computer or TV screen messed with my head felt as through I would throw up! AND THAT WAS FOR JUST 2 DAYS!!!
Truly sorry that your experiencing this.

Heidi Willis said...

A. - I also have type 1, and a ten year old son(and two daughters). I am constantly watching for the signs, wondering if it will rear it's ugly head there too.

I wear a pump, and now a CGM. My finished book that I am shopping is about a diabetic girl. The research going on is amazing. I'm convinced a cure is not far away.

Kimbra Kasch said...

I've got my fingers X'd for you. I'll be thinking of you. Keep us posted.

King of my Throne said...

Please remember most people do "GO THERE" when they get scary news. I am a BIG believer in prayer and affirmative prayer. However, when I was given the scary news that I had an ovarian cyst that needed testing I FREEEAKKKED OUT! How will my kids make it without me...Made my husband promise he will marry again & told him what to look for in his next wife, who would be the mother to my kids?
I cried at every movie or commercial. You are having the normal fears! They feel very real but remind yourself this is not your reality!
What helped…Calling a sister and she said” NO, NO you don't!” Hearing that helped! She is my BIG sis and it helped to hear her faith when mine lacked.
Call your family or your close friends. The strong ones will come running to help you!

Will look up an affirmative prayer for you and say it tonight before I go to bed!
Abundant blessings and health are sent to you.

Dorothy said...

Shelli, I've loved reading your blog since I discovered it a month ago. I don't blame you for being scared. You're entitled. I've had vertigo and it's no fun, but I'm sure they'll find a way to cure you. The MRI is insurance you want to take out. You know how it is with insurance: it costs a lot and then you don't need it.

I'll be thinking positive thoughts and sending up prayers that the MRI will show no problems. At least none that can't be fixed PDQ. I know I won't be the only one waiting for the results.

So glad you shared your feelings!

Warm wishes, Dorothy

Vivian Mahoney said...

Wishing you courage and strength. The good thing is you're going to have more answers on what you need to do to get yourself better, so you can enjoy spending time with your family and friends for a long, long time.

I know this is hard, but the one piece of advice I can offer you from personal experience, no matter what, is to stay cool and calm as much as possible when you're talking to your doctor. It'll help you focus on the questions you need answered and you will get much more information.


holly cupala said...

Shelli, I'm sending hugs and prayers that all will be well. This is a good reminder of what is precious.

Carrie Harris said...

I know exactly what you mean. :) There's no substitute for face-to-face communication, but I still consider my blogger buddies to be true friends, and I'm always happy to add more to the bunch.

Wow, I'm sappy today.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear that you're feeling better and look forward to the ALL CLEAR from the MRI peeps. :)

Stephanie J. Blake said...

Hope everything works out. And I hope you start to feel better.

Tina Anderson said...

I am sure everything will be alright. Whenever I get bogged down with "what ifs" my husband (the accountant) says that worry is "interest paid on debt yet due." I try to think of that and he is mostly right. But I completely understand what you mean. You just scoop up those precious kidos and alternately squeeze and tickle until the three of you are rolling around in the floor in peals of laughter. Normal will be back soon.

Robyn Campbell said...

Shelli, my son was born with Sturge-Weber Syndrome a brain disorder. He is 23 and still lives with us. We love him and he is doing so much better than they ever predicted(PRAISE BE TO GOD!). I tell you that to tell you this, he had an MRI on Tuesday and we heard the results on Wednesday, everything looked the same as his last one. He has been having dizziness too. He has been on meclizine for months and months. So now we look for other reasons for his dizziness but I wanted you to know we are connected in this way. Though I'd rather it be me than him. I will being praying for you and it will be all great news. Please be still during the MRI so that they don't have to do it over like they did my Christopher. Take care, girl!! :)

Unknown said...

I just read this for the first time. I knew that you were worried about this but I didn't know you were this scared.

I hope you are in a better place now. I am not quite sure if you got some results back yet. I have been reading so much about you and your life lately that it is all a blur. I am going to go back to the GA post and see if I can get some real info.