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I have struggled with memory loss significantly over the past couple of years. My life, 3 years ago, was extremely overwhelming; my lack of sleep, anxiety, and diet left me feeling like a scatterbrain. I was stressed by actions of those who surrounded me, I had just started my Master’s program at work, and my health was suffering significantly. Each morning when I got out of bed, I felt more tired than when I was climbing into bed the previous night. I really felt like I was going crazy. I have always been able to count on myself to remember things naturally prior to this but more and more my memory was letting me down. I would go to the store for a particular item, get home and realize I bought a number of things but forgot the actual item that I drove to the store to get. At times, I would even get confused while navigating familiar routes. I felt positive that I was in the early stages of Alzheimer Disease.
During this time I was self-employed (and worrying about my bills a lot) and the last thing I wanted to do was incur medical expenses so the doctor was not an option for me. I kept trying to crawl into bed earlier but it didn’t seem to help me; I was still just as tired each morning. A few months later I started physically shaking sporadically and, these tremors were the straw that broke the camel’s back for me, I decided it didn’t matter the cost, my health was more important than any bills. I started a seeing the doctor regularly and underwent many tests. My doctor diagnosed me initially with mono and she continued to test me for many other ailments in an attempt to find the cause of my tremors. About 1 year later I was also diagnosed with Sleep Apnea. During this time I also honed in on my diet and supplements in order to address any potential deficiencies.
Eventually a neurologist determined that my tremors were not a precursor to any illness but something that many people suffer. If they get worse or impact my life negatively I can get medicine for them but I still believe they are tied to my diet. It seems like when I suffer blood level spikes, I get the shakes. If I’m eating right and taking supplements, my tremors seem to subside.
I can’t express how horrific it is to not feel right and, of course, to think the worse of the situation; I thought I was dying, stricken with some horrific disease like Alzheimer or cancer. It was a tough road to travel but I’m grateful I trudged down it, perhaps reluctantly but I got there. I’m still trying to figure out how to sleep in an Apnea mask but I’m getting better. My memory isn’t as sharp as my young adult years but it isn’t doing so badly as I embrace my mid-forties.
The message in my article is that silent suffering and self-diagnosing worst-case scenarios only add to our problems. It is when we are able to face our fears we then can shed light on the darkness and find our way to a healthier future.
What are you suffering today? Are you facing it or hiding from it?