Saturday, November 23, 2019

A Long Overdue Update

Hello, friends! As the title of my blogpost implies, this is a long overdue update from me. I'm sure many of you have noticed that I've been pretty quiet lately. A handful of people are aware of the reason for me not being around as much as I used to be. I decided it was time--way past time--to share my story with everyone.

I'm not someone who really likes to talk about my struggles, particularly health related. It just feels like I'm being a big bummer downer  if I unload that stuff on anyone. Which is why I tend to either downplay what's going on, or even joke about it. I won't do that this time, though. For a couple of reasons. Number one: I owe you guys the unvarnished, vulnerable me for this one. No sugarcoating the situation. Number two: this post might actually help others. I hope it does.

Some necessary background first. About two years ago, I noticed that my inflammation issues were getting progressively worse. Additionally, I was exhausted all of the time and would lose my focus constantly. Fibro runs in my family, so I figured it could be that, along with chronic fatigue. Then the 90 minute hot flashes arrived. I'd get them several times a day. Okay, maybe it's perimenopause. (Sorry, yes, this post is likely to get TMI. We're all adults here. <~~~I know, who thought those words would ever come out of my mouth? UGH!) Anyway, I figured I had my culprit. Or culprits, as the case might be. And it might very well have been the case to a degree, but it didn't occur to me then that there could be something else behind it all. Stirring the shitpot, so to speak.

My symptoms continued, the constant brain fog increasingly getting worse. There would be weeks when I'd be sitting at my computer and be forced to re-read what I'd just typed a second ago. I was in the middle of one of these unfocused spells when I was hit with what I can only describe as a red-hot drill bit being forced into my temples and my brain. A severe hot flash hit me at the same time, only this time it was accompanied with a strange pressure in my head and a tremor throughout my body that wouldn't stop. Terrified out of my mind by what was happening, I crawled to the bathroom, on the verge of either passing out or puking. All I knew was something was very wrong with me. As soon as I could get the energy to make it to the phone, I would call for an ambulance. I include this part because anyone who knows me knows that I'm a real stubborn jackass and it takes a lot to convince me to even see a doctor. The fact that I was even considering a trip to ER was very terrifying for me.

Almost the instant I was inside the bathroom, the sensations in my head lessened and the tremors stopped completely. I didn't trust myself to move, so I continued to lay on the floor until I felt well enough to go for my cellphone. The moment I touched my phone, the sensations returned. Only this time I could literally feel an electrical sensation pass from my phone, travel through my arm, and jab right into my eardrum, intensifying that red-hot drill bit in my brain. I pulled my hand away from my phone, and the sensation eased off again. I wouldn't say I had a lightbulb moment right then, but I did think it was odd and more than a slight coincidence that I sometimes felt sick if I spent more than an hour on my cellphone. Right then I started thinking about what else I spent a lot of time on. Way more than my cellphone. Something I had been using right up until the red hot drill bit made an appearance. My laptop. The same device I was always so brain fogged around.

Despite the signs my body had been giving me for years, I'd never once considered that I might have a sensitivity to electronic devices. To be honest, while I didn't scoff at people who claimed EMF radiation was a potential health hazard, I did think maybe they were making a mountain out of a mole hill. I can absolutely say now that isn't the case. Not for me, anyway. And I suspect it's the same for many others out there who are electro-sensitive. Many who might not even realize it. That brings me back to my primary reason for sharing my story. If you notice something doesn't feel right in your body when you're around certain devices, PAY ATTENTION. That migraine or brain fog once in a while might not be linked to a sensitivity, but if it's happening all of the time it could definitely be a link.

It's took me another six months and then some to recover and heal from the toxic overload I'd unknowingly exposed myself to. I'm not cured by any means, though. I'm what is termed EHS. I have a hyper sensitivity to EMFs, wifi being the worse for me. A lot of folks out there would like you to believe this isn't a real thing. I get why. Until something like this happens to you, it's easy to think it's mumbo jumbo. I wish with every ounce of my being that it was mumbo jumbo.

Living with EHS is not easy. Sometimes it feels like a living hell. Short of bunking in a cave, I'm always going to have some exposure to EMFs. The toughest part for me is the toll it can take on me on an emotional level. The chronic fatigue and brain fog have improved since making some necessary lifestyle changes. No more wireless computing. Everything is hardwired now. But even with that my tolerance can be limited. I don't get to chat with my friends--with you guys--as much as I would like. I'm able to write half the words I used to in a sitting, if I'm lucky. And believe me, coming up with those words was tough enough without adding the EHS into the mix. My book deadlines have suffered massively. Which only makes me feel worse. I know I've let many of you down. If you have a pre-ordered book you're waiting on I deeply apologize for making you wait. I hate doing that to you, more than you could ever know. All I can say is I'm doing what I can every day to get them closer to done. I will not sacrifice quality and put out a subpar book that doesn't have my heart and love in it. You guys deserve the best from me and that's a promise I will always honor.  My goal is still to have Double Dirty released before or shortly after the new year. I love the crazy, wonderful ride Andie and her wild Sullivan boys are taking me on. I hope you love it too! And for all of my dear, amazing friends and loved ones who've pulled me out of some pretty ugly funks this whole trying time--I love and appreciate you all so much. I truly don't know what I'd do without you.

So, now that I've bummed y'all out with my big bummer self, I'm going to sign off on this epically long post and get my butt in chair writing something other than epically long bummer downer posts.

Lots of love and hugs,



SHould said...

Hugs girl, I know how hard you are working and I am patiently waiting your next book. Take your time. I know how hard it can be when illness get's in the way. You are my hero and the reason I decided to go into writing. You will always be my favorite redneck and know that I will always be there for you. Massive hugs and know you can count on me for anything. XXOO!

Jodi Redford said...

Thank you so much, Sandra. Your support and friendship mean the world to me. Big hugs!

Calyssa Storm said...

Sending positive thoughts and prayers from Pontiac, MI. The most important thing is your health. You're such an amazing writer that I'd gladly wait as long as I have to in order to read the stories you create. Your fans love you and understand.

Jodi Redford said...

Oh man, thank you so much, Calyssa. Lots of love and appreciation, my friend. Big hugs!