When I first started this journey, it was what I thought was just one little old diagnosis.
It was a rather long, twisted and bumpy ride full of lots of stops and well…. just complete breakdowns, to be completely honest, before the destination was reached.
First, there was Dysautonomia and PoTS. Then hEDS and MALS. Then Chiari Malformation, Chronic Kidney Disease, CRPS, Psoriatiac Arthritis. And the list goes on.
As many of you know, I had my brain surgery last year and it was a success. It stopped most of my Chiari symptoms. However, I then began a new journey.
After about six months, I was able to stop many of the medications I had been taking for the previous multiple years. As that happened, it was apparent I was suffering a multitude of TBI symptoms. Plus my bi-polar had come back in full force for the first time in three years.
It was all too much at once and it seemed almost unbearable. You see the myriad of pain pills, muscle relaxers and seizure medications had just been keeping me numb. Then all of a sudden loud noises, crowds and just trying to focus made me want to scream.
Hypersensitivity to stimulation often occurs after TBI because your brain is scrambling to reorganize and stabilize itself. As a result, even just a little bit of stimulation may overwhelm the brain. Add bi-polar to that and you have an extra hypersensitive person whose practically afraid to leave the house.
Fortunately, I have a great psychiatrist, therapist and pcp, who referred me to neuro rehab. I am also still working with my psychiatrist on the proper dosage of medication for my bi-polar.
For some time now, I’ve felt very passionate about Mental Health and Mental Health Awareness, all while being quiet about my own.
1 in 5 American adults has a mental illness, and the time has come for people to no longer speak of these incredibly real and very serious diseases in hushed whispers or by telling those that suffer to ‘just get over it’. We must encourage them to get the treatment they need and remind them that they are never, ever alone.
Bipolar disorder can bestow the highest highs and the lowest lows. But if we can all learn to just speak up and lean on each other, we can get one another through the lows. I know I wish I had spoke up sooner.