Article by Wendy McCance
2014 was a busy year. By the middle of the summer, I was so busy writing for clients that I barely had a chance to breathe. It was an incredible time. I had worked hard to build my freelance writing business and it had taken off quickly. I felt a great sense of accomplishment and was thrilled thinking about what the future would hold for me.
By September the rug was pulled out from underneath me. I had finally reached my limit and was exhausted. My job suffered as I cut back on clients. My blog suffered as I had less time and energy to write. My health suffered from worry and lack of sleep. Friends and family had a difficult time understanding what was going on when we would cancel plans. You see, I have a child who has been sick for almost two years now. We have been to several hospitals and visited many specialists. The main symptom has been fatigue. The fatigue was so bad that my child would fall asleep at unusual times in odd places and in weird positions. Once asleep, waking my child was extremely difficult. There were many times that my child didn’t have the energy to be in a social environment so plans got cancelled. It was difficult to explain when we had no diagnosis just some unusual symptoms.
Several medications were attempted and possible diagnoses were thrown around. So much school was missed that there was a real fear of a grade being repeated. Then, by some miracle, a recent trip to the pediatrician resulted in some of the answers we were looking for. My child was bloated in the face and it looked like they had gained a lot of weight. This is the same kid who was underweight for almost a year. The sudden weight gain was noted along with an incredibly low blood pressure reading. A decision was made by the pediatrician for my child to get another blood test.
A week later, we had a partial diagnosis. My child had severe hypothyroidism. A visit to the pediatric endocrinologist resulted in something new to look into. The specialist felt that there was a strong chance that there would also be a diagnosis of narcolepsy. After almost two years of testing, we were finally getting some answers. Why prior tests didn’t show thyroid problems, I can’t tell you. I was just relieved to have a path laid out and a plan for what would come next.
For several months, my own health has been up and down. Stress has caused several flare ups from my fibromyalgia making daily responsibilities quite a challenge. For many months I stopped prospecting for new business. I had a few monthly clients that I have kept, but I felt I wasn’t in a position to work full-time. There was just too many days that I was needed at home by my family so work was put on the back burner.
Thankfully I have been in a position to adjust my schedule accordingly. I don’t have to worry about losing my job because I need to adjust my schedule. Being my own boss has been a relief because of the flexibility. At the same time, cutting back on work meant cutting back on an income. The pressure of getting by on less has been a tremendous struggle and has only added to the stress I have been facing.
Life is hard. Juggling work, family, health and keeping a sane mind has been a challenge. There are still so many worries about my child’s future. School is still a struggle as my child’s body gets used to taking a medication to regulate their thyroid. It will be a few months before the medication is regulated and we have a definite diagnosis of if there is also a problem with narcolepsy. It’s scary knowing that even though a diagnosis was given, there is still something else going on that the pediatric endocrinologist sees but isn’t able to diagnose themself.
I worry about school and what will happen next. Will my child be able to graduate with their class? Will they be held back a year? Has all of the missed school damaged their interactions with their friends and classmates? Only time will tell, but the process has been painful. You never think about these things when you have a family. In your mind, everything is easy and fun. It’s a storybook life you envision. Same goes for having your own business. You see the struggles of operating a business and getting the clients, but you don’t count on outside issues pulling you back from what you are trying to create. Who would have guessed it would be family issues that would put a hold on my career? I would have bet on a lack of clients, but that wasn’t the case.
My hope is that I will be back running full steam by the middle of the summer. I am hopeful that my daughter will be feeling much better by then and that my own health issues will have calmed down. Who knows what will happen next, but at least there is hope because a diagnosis was finally made.
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