30 June 2012

The Real Reason Why I Haven't Been Around - My Health

In the ER for 7 hrs at SF General makes ya take photos

Folks - it's time to get real. So, gather round & pop a squat - it's "Real Talk" time.

I've been pretty sick since mid December 2011. Without going into gruesome detail, I've been depleted of some needed nutrients and have been exhausted for it. I thought this problem would just sort itself out, so I continued to ignore it.

In fact, I decided the best way to ignore the problem was to keep myself busy... so I started taking on more work. I started setting huge goals for myself (speaking, teaching, consulting, gallery work), gathering a work force (2 interns and looking to start wholesaling with a sales rep) and get married!

Now, beloved audience: what do you think happened as a result of all of this new stress on me & my system?

I totally prevailed!... for a while. Until my body rebelled against the late nights (sometimes all nighters) and started shutting me down.

Soon I was just falling asleep while I was working. I felt weak all of the time. My hair even fell out, dudes. And as the month went on, it only got worse.

So I ignored it some more...

Oh balls...
... and it got pretty horrible.

For someone who takes great pride is working very hard, meeting as many deadlines as possible & taking care of the people around me, I sure wasn't doin' myself any favours.

Despite the pain & lethargy, I decided to keep my condition under wraps - 'cept to a couple of my homies that needed to be in the know. These homies could tell something was up. I wasn't my normal "Steph-like" self. They begged me to go to a doctor & take care of myself.

Instead, I put it off cos of anxiety. I could come up with a million reasons why I didn't need help. I was a DIY Crafter. I could fannegle my way outta some health issue.

Well, no - I couldn't. More often than not, I was so exhausted from trying to get things done & just feel normal that I ended up going to bed... for most of the day. Eventually this ended up affecting my business & personal relationships in a big way. Deadlines whooshed past, people didn't talk to me anymore (cos I was sleeping & hurting) and I just shut myself out of the world.

Something had to be done. So I went to the hospital.

After a million tests, they came up with a simple solution (which I thought of months before but was too chicken to go through with) and sent me on my way. I'm glad to say that "our" solution is working well enough to get some of the health issues under control.

I'm still tired, I'm still achey and I'm still stressed from all the deadlines about to whoosh past me next week. :(

What my face looks like when I look at my To Do List
And while, yeah, stuff isn't gonna change overnight and we don't completely know what's wrong with me yet, I took the first step to getting back to getting back to you guys... getting back to being myself.

I'm excited to get this shit under control, dudes. And I'm really stoked that I will be able to be normal for my nerd wedding (which I might need your opinion on)... but in the meantime, I've just gotta take it a day at a time.

So that's the real reason why I haven't been around: I put myself last on the "To Do List" for too long.

I'll try to be better about that, guys. It may take practise, but we'll get there.

Thanks so much for being patient while waiting for me to get back to you all. It means a lot to me that y'all still give a hoot about this nerd.

xo, Steph


  1. Take care of yourself. We can't do it all (this coming for a fellow obsessive over worker). Our ambition sometimes ends up trapping us in a world of hurt (both physical and psychological). I wish you a strong recovery and that you have a wonderful wedding. You are awesome and if you have to take a break from some things it doesn't mean you won't come back with a vengeance later! xo - Jamie

    1. Aww, Jamie! That was such a sweet note, dude. I actually teared up a bit... I know that's kinda lame, but it's totally true.

      You know how people that try to do everything else end up thinking of all the scenarios for the outcome? I usually dwell on the worst outcome. Which made me not wanna get help.

      So hearing that you can take a break from a fellow biz lady really makes me feel good... I'm not wording this as amazingly as I could, but I think you get it. :D

      Thank you.

  2. Ditto to the above comment! This is someone with no pituitary gland and therefore an inactive thyroid. I take medicine and I'm just as ambitious as anyone else, but I have to remind myself to be content in any situation, and when you learn to do that, you truly feel free!

    1. Thank you for sharing this, Suzanna! I've been told that my thyroid is running a bit low, so we need more tests. Hearing that you've been able to overcome struggles with the right attitude really puts this is perspective. :D *hugs*

  3. Glad to hear that you're taking care of yourself. Sending some well wishes and calming thoughts your way!

    1. Thanks, Kat. Those calming thoughts and well wishes are being put to good use already. :D

  4. Oh Steph.... so glad you are learning to re-prioritize- there is no "nerdjerk" without you...., so best to start now before it's too late.
    Although you are not specific about your problem- which I totally respect, I want to share 2 things that have changed my life- acupuncture every week and seeing a nutritionist. I go to a community acupuncture place in Berkeley that is sliding scale, so for me, it's $15 a visit. I can't tell you how helpful this has been for managing my stress levels. 2ndly, I signed up to see a nutritionist- eating differently has changed EVERYTHING. And I never would have been able to do it on my own. I highly recommend the support and guidance of Beth Warshaw- available in SF too I think..... http://baynutritionconsulting.com/ seriously. I haven’t eaten any sugar (except fruit) in like, 6 weeks, and better than that- I DON'T WANT TO! I would have previously thought this impossible.
    Anyway, I wish you much love and a quick road to recovery

    1. Angel, you lovely human being! *hugs* What great advice!

      Someone told me that I shouldn't share anything I didn't feel comfortable talking about in public on the internets... so I think that's why I was a bit vague. Also the fact that I don't know what's happened, even after a series of tests... so *Shrugs*

      At least now stuff is under control. :D I would love to get some acupuncture. I'm trying to make a few changes in my diet (cutting back on refined sugars as well) just to see how it'll affect my overall well being. It's good to know that these resources exist. Hopefully I'll be able to use em soon.

      Thank you for everything. :D

  5. Oh man, Steph, what a bummer. It sucks that it took a serious illness to give you a break, but I'm glad you're finally able to rest and let your poor body recover. Make sure to treat yourself kindly even after you heal. We want your hugs, humor and creativity around for a long time to come!

    1. Awwww, dude *hugs* I'm doing better at listening to your advice about taking it a bit more easy (though I still run around at late hours, I sleep during the day). I can't wait to get back to rocking out, but I know that ain't gonna happen til I get better first.

      Thanks for being so sweet to this night owl. :)


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