Bloody Fingers Crossed

So I already told you that I was quite sick over my birthday week (yes, I celebrate for a week. Especially milestone birthdays like the big 3-0. Hey, in today’s busy times, not everyone can organize their schedules around just one day. So I say celebrate with an array of people all week 😉 Cheers!) Anyways, I was starting to feel better, although I did notice that the *NeilMed, which is like the super-soaker of netty pots, was no longer helping me break up the mucous in my sinuses. But I kept ignoring it. Until today when I woke up with those beautiful, dark circles under my eyes that us females just adore, so much, and an extremely swollen and throbbing finger.

You see, this past Saturday, I wasn’t being present and instead of focusing on the AmEx credit card I had in between my fingers, I was day-dreaming about an outdoor run on the beautiful, painfully late spring day, and cut right through the card and into my left index finger. (If it isn’t obvious yet, you’ll soon start to see, I’M HEADY!) Blood started spouting everywhere. As I put pressure on my finger and silently cursed myself, I noticed that my “fatty tissue” was sticking out of the wound. (Of course I didn’t use those words when I ran downstairs to show my Dad, choking back tears and proclaiming that I could see “my guts!!”<– actual words I used.) And no, I wasn’t crying because of the pain. I was crying because now ANOTHER thing was wrong with me. Sigh.

I kept getting nauseous every time I checked to see if it had stopped bleeding while my parents and brother laughed at me… But apparently not because I was being dramatic. Nope. Apparently it was because of my “overly descriptive” word use. Whatever. Amongst the chaos of my spouting, bloody finger and my father yelling at me to “use my damn head next time I’m using a ‘weapon'” (a weapon Dad? Really??), my mother was stifling laughter and finally managed to ask me “if-I-was-writing”, end air quotes. Yes Mom, I started my blog. Now do you think I should go get stitches or not?!?

I decided to take my Dad’s advice and just wrap it and put a butterfly bandaid on it…. which we didn’t have. So I, instead, wrapped it tightly and headed to the nearest ShopRite. Yeah well I THEN probably should’ve headed to the nearest urgent care when the ShopRite attendant helping me asked me why my finger was turning blue. Hmmmmmm….

Why am I avoiding the urgent care so desperately? Well one, I had a bad experience with urgent cares in California cuz THEY SUCK MY MAJOR BUTTHOLE AND DO NOTHING FOR YOU! But two, I had my best friend’s from back when we were just two itty-bitty, and might I add adorable! 😉 two-year-olds birthday party in a few hours and I was determined to not cancel my attendance at another social gathering. So I grabbed the butterfly bandaids and some extra wound closures and headed out. Thanks Mister ShopRite man!

Yeah this wasn’t my brightest of plans. Not because my finger was bleeding and swelling more by the minute (though that will come later), more so because my-choking back tears caused me to be one heaping ball of emotions ready to pop in any ear that would listen. (Word to the wise, God created tears for a reason. When you need to cry, CRY ALMIGHTY, CRY!! One of my besties says her Mom always says whenever you are upset it’s usually because you are one, or sometimes all, of three things: hungry, tired or need a hug… I needed a hug FO SHO’!) The next thing I know, I’m telling everyone I speak with the honest truth about why I moved back to Jersey!! On my drive home, I began to wonder if people really appreciate my honest, wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve mentality, or if they are really thinking  “HELP! Save me from this weirdo!” I also realized that I felt the need to explain to people why I was doing what I am doing… why I’m not working, why I left sunny California for “cold, dreary” New Jersey, why I’m not currently dating, yadda, yadda and the list goes on. But I am realizing that I don’t need to explain anything to anyone. The only person I need approval from is myself. In the game of life, not everyone is going to approve of everything you do. That’s what makes things so interesting. My Mom, whom I think is one of the wisest human beings and souls, reminded me recently, that people need to earn the knowledge of your story. If it’s not someone you trust or love, you don’t have to explain shit to them. So instead of cursing myself later for not taking myself to the doctor, I worked on commending myself for all of the other great things I got out of that evening… for I was a little wiser at the end of it and was happy to have caught up with a former bestie 😉

But I’m sure you are still wondering what became of my finger. And if you’re not I’ll tell you anyways… Well, despite my repetitive, anti-septic and liquid bandage use, I awoke to an extremely swollen finger and texted my other bestie (what can I say, I’m popular). Now this bestie is one of the smartest humans I’ve ever known, a nurse and a God-send! (Seriously though. Bless her kind, patient soul for always answering my constant texts about my health and doctor visits.) So with her advice, I finally headed to the urgent care. The doctor looked at my finger and scolded me for not getting stitches and asked me if I had a cold. YES!! Yes I DO! How’d you know? Why do you ask?? Well, apparently my finger was swollen because of the infection that I am still fighting in my sinuses.

IMG_4546

Another thing I am learning, throughout my health journey, is that when you have a virus, yes it is a virus and must be fought on its own. However! If it doesn’t go away in a couple of weeks, that infection is now running throughout your entire body and you need an antibiotic. Now I am by no means promoting antibiotics. I am all for building your immune system and letting your body heal and fight infections on it’s own. Candida is a growing problem and the culprit of it is usually from the over-use of antibiotics. HOWEVER, I have also learned throughout my journey (and will probably always be my achilles heel in life) that balance is key!! The best way to achieve this, when dealing with health, I’ve found (and everyone is different) is through the combo of Eastern and Western medicine. So… when he decided I needed a tetanus shot and a strong prescription of amoxicillan 825-125mg, I said come to me papa! He also recommended the next time I cut myself and can see my fatty tissue, to make sure I get stitched. Bowing my head shamefully, “Yes doc.” (Another tid bit of info I want to share, if you are an adult and had your tetanus shots when you were younger, great! However, it does not mean you are out of the dark. After your childhood doses, you must keep yourself up-to-date with a tetanus shot every ten years after that. Especially if you work with knives or some other type of harmful metals… and that’s on the safe side. Some doctors say five.)

So now here I am, back in bed with a prescription of amoxicillan that makes me woozy if I don’t take it on a full stomach, and high hopes that I’ll be better before the weekend. (I’m making another attempt to celebrate my birthday with my girlfriends and hoping that it won’t be ruined, once again, by my immune system… Fingers crossed!)

On the positive, however, I got my period this past Sunday! I know what you’re thinking, nice little Easter Sunday treat! Yep, right in the bathroom of brunch at The Olde Mill Inn. (If you haven’t been to the Olde Mille Inn in Basking Ridge, NJ, you should check it out. Gorgeous, country-club type of restaurant and hotel that I thought was pretty funny for me to get my irregular period at. They say timing is everything?! Maybe James Franco’s gorgeous headshot, hanging on their wall of celebrities that have visited the inn, stirred up my reproductive organs. Oh hey, Jamesey heyyyyyy!!!) Anyways, any other female my age would have been mortified, but I just stuffed some TP in my underwear (it’s a light flow so don’t judge me) and headed over to the waffle bar before bouncing up the stairs to my family’s table and announcing to my Mom and sister my big news.

Although I thought I was quiet, clearly my excitement could not be contained. My seven-year-old nephew all of a sudden started chanting “Caroline’s going to be moody. Caroline’s going to be moody, Caroline’s going to…” you get the point. How does he know this kind of stuff? Well, with mucho thanks to my twenty-seven-year-old brother, whom might as well be a seven-years-old but of course! I didn’t care though, I had a period AND I was eating gluten and sugar again… sounds like a great Easter to me 0:)

(As a refresher, I’ve been dealing with an irregular period for five years now so I felt like I was fourteen again getting that magical, crimson surprise in my underwear that morning. I started birth control when I was fifteen. Only a year after I got my period. I know, I know, I was young. And that’s a whole other story that some day I might dive into with you. But for now, just know I was young and my body, I guess, got used to those hormones… since I stayed on BC for ten years. When I stopped it, my period stopped with it. And around a year-and-a-half ago I started getting a period here and there, but nothing was ever consistent. My gyno sent me to a nutritionist, whom said it’s probably because I have slightly polycystic ovaries… which, in her opinion, meant my blood sugars were unstable. I needed to eat a no gluten, no sugar diet in order to stabilize my blood sugars and get my period back. (Now, my brother AND my sister are Type I Diabetics so glucose issues run in my family. So I believed her and took to the diet.) Do you know how hard that was?! The no gluten thing, no problem! But no sugar?? Sugar. is. in. EVERYTHING! Everything. Fruit has sugar in it for crying out loud! And I couldn’t have any of it. This diet worked for a little bit. But then, the periods stopped. What the F??! Well guess what? I’m eating sugar and gluten and my period’s back in action MO FO’S!! (Shit, I hope I just didn’t jinx myself cuz it was kind of light :/ Eek oh well, fingers crossed.) So now that I know they aren’t the culprits of my amenorrhea, I intend to start treating myself to sandwiches, pastas, bagels and glutenous (see what I did there ;P ) desserts. After all, I am from and currently residing in Jersey! Holla, holla!!… But I will always be a healthy eater. In fact, I made the most delicious black bean, stevia brownies for Easter and my Mom got Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and Oreo creme brownies from the bakery. I tried all of them and I still think mine win. Sugar is great but it’s just too sweet for me now… sometimes. Hehe 😉

Screenshot 2015-04-11 15.47.10

I’m having my endocrine blood panel and immunoglobulin blood work done in a few days so I’m eager to see what is found… until then, just going to try to rest, eat well and kick this cold and infection to the curb and think positively. Mind over matter, I’ve found, is definitely helpful. Oh and I’m going to try to stay away from my nephew’s kisses. He’s kind of obsessed with kissing me and call me a germ-o-phobe but he is a walking disease carrier. I love the little lamb to death and call me selfish, but I have to take concern for my health and well-being these days. Which I think I’m deserving of. I’ll write in a few days to tell y’all how the panel went. Wish me luck and keep your fingers crossed for me!!

*I just heard a recent study that the netty pot isn’t the “safest” and “healthiest” thing for you. Apparently if not cleaned properly, it can do more harm than good and cause further infections and mold in your sinus cavities. So if you do like the product and it works for you, by all means, keep using it! Just make sure you clean it thoroughly. I’ve gone so far as bleaching it and thoroughly rinsing it in between uses. However, after giving it more thought, I’ve decided to stop using it and just let my body run it’s natural course of getting rid of the mucous. Colonics, after all, are a similar concept when you think about it, and they definitely did not help me. But make your own judgements: every body is different. Good luck!!

IMG_4074

Allow Me to Introduce Myself

Who am I? That’s something that I have been ultimately forced to think a lot about ever since my immune system took a turn for the worst. Am I an actor? Yes. But I’m more than just an actor. Am I a writer? Yes. But I’m more than just a writer. Am I blonde-haired, green-eyed and thin? I like to think so… although my weight is something I’ve been struggling with, as I’m sure I will vent about in later posts. I am female, after all. Am I extremely heady? An over-thinker? An over-achiever, work-aholic, kind of corny, ray of sunshine, self-deprecating, health-finatic, foody that’s scared of growing up but ultimately wants the fairy-tale ending and starts each day with chakra meditations and ends each craving just one bite of chocolate? Yes! (And it’s never just one, let’s be ser (serious) here. Btdubbs (btw), I abrev (abreviate) a lot. Try to stay with me.) I am all of those things. You might say I’m an indecisive mess. I used to agree with that statement. But now… I think I’m just me.

Oh. And I’m also one of the many people today suffering from an auto-immune disease. On the positive, it has forced me to look at my life in all aspects (hence my descriptive introduction before). On the negative, I don’t feel so hot. And no one has a clear diagnosis for me yet.

Except for this: I have scoliosis. I was diagnosed when I was fifteen years old and had to wear a back brace called the “Charleston Brace”. For those of you that don’t know what that is, it’s basically a big, hard plastic casting of your torso that you belt tightly around you, bending you in the opposite direction that your spine is curving in. On the positive, kids can be mean and thankfully I only had to wear it at night. But trust me, every time I brought that thing to my “girls night” sleepovers, I was teased. I can still here: “I can’t believe you are actually bringing that thing!” (Here’s another thing about me: I have amazing self-discipline.) On the negative, does the way I described it sound at all comfortable? And after three years of uncomfortable nights (which often I a-woke to finding that uncomfortable thing lying on the floor), I am STILL having spine problems… fifteen years later.

Yep, I turned Thirty last week. And it was the most miserable birthday I’ve ever experienced. Not because I turned Thirty (and trust me, that took a little while to accept). But because after finally getting to a place where I was accepting of where I am in my life and with my health right now, and just decided on spending my birthday with a simple day at the mall with my Mom and Grandmother and having dinner with the rest of my family at Cheesecake Factory (I’m a foody and often stray from chain restaurants, but even I succomb to the temptations of the Cheesecake factory. I even decided I would splurge on my “sugar free gluten free” diet! That’s HUGE! For me.( Well, it all went to shit when I woke up that morning with a prickling, scratchy throat and chronic diarrhea. (Yes, to all the men out there, like it or not, females poop too. And therefore we also experience the runs just like you do. Get over it or earmuffs. ) So my birthday was miserable because I spent the day at the urgent care and the rest of it back and forth from couch to bathroom. The highlight was my splurge on take out and FroYo which my mother coerced me into in fear that I might have a nervous breakdown if my serotonin levels weren’t elevated STAT. My nephew’s birthday was a few days later and THAT had to be canceled, along with my dinner and drinks with three of my best girlfriends from high school and their hubbies which I was sooooo looking forward too! I was even excited to be the seventh wheel!! Thanks virus. Thanks for ruining my life!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Basically, it’s a long story… but before all of this birthday mishap, I moved 3,000 miles back across the country to my parents home in good ol’ New Jersey. Now where I grew up, it is beautiful! Lots of trees and greenery, horse farms and deer running in between yards… after all, they call it the Garden State for a reason. But it’s hard moving back to the dirty dirty (it’s obviously not dirty but I like to pretend I’m gangster from time to time. And if you’re from Jersey, you can use the it’s pseudonyms. If you’re not, fair warning for a fist pump to yo’ face!) Anyways, it’s especially hard moving back here after you’ve been living in sunny, warm Los Angeles, California for the past five years. (I have a place in my heart for both of these states always.) But the move was necessary.

Basically I spent the past year and a-half trudging through my life. I am an actor and a hard-worker. So I was working and booking gigs, but not enough (YET!) to pay all the bills. So I worked on the side as a cocktail waitress in the famous Skybar on Sunset Blvd. Yes, it is beautiful but if Skybar isn’t the epitome of “looks can be deceiving” then I don’t know what is. Screenshot 2015-04-02 19.13.41Eight hours on your feet, running from Euro-tourist, to Long Island chugging Persian, just to have your manager yelling at you for neglecting “Table 3”, whom, once you finally squeeze through the 500 hundred drunkards partying on the pool deck, either yells at you for not “knowing who they are” or just stares at you, open-mouthed, drooling over your frigidly, shaking body dressed in either a bathing suit top and sarong (by day) or skimpy, black jumpsuit (by night). (Side note, men, I won’t even go into how rude it is to look at a female like they are a piece of meat REGARDLESS of what they are wearing… but I will say ANY person that has to ask you if you “know who they are” is usually the lowest person on that industry that they are a part of’s totem pole… or just simply not worth knowing.)

Screenshot 2015-04-02 19.14.01

So, needless to say, I was getting very limited sleep due to me running from audition to audition, writing daily in coffee shops and carrying carafes of cranberry juice and bottles of Grey Goose nightly. I had absolutely no energy. I started suffering from chronic fatigue, probably because my adrenal glands were shot, and hadn’t had a period in over five years (earmuffs again for the guys reading this). Basically, I was on birth control pills for ten years prior to moving to California. Then when I moved there, I decide to save myself some money and rid my body of extra hormones and stopped taking them… but when they stopped, so did my menstrual flow. I’m a petite female (currently 5’4 1/2 and 120 lbs on a good day), but when I moved to California I dropped a lot of weight. (I was around 112-115 lbs prior to moving and dropped down to as low as 108 lbs.) Now that’s not terrible, but I was severely unhealthy. I was going through a crisis in my family at the same time and used it, and my busy schedule, as an excuse to not eat. In my defense, I barely had time to think about food let alone eat it… but I know now that that is not an excuse. Hey, you live to learn, right? Now, in the past year, I started putting weight back on. Which I was okay with… until the water retention set in. Some days I would swell up so badly that I could barely walk! I would go to urgent care centers and they would take my blood pressure, which would be extremely low (because my BP is on the lower side already, on the regular), but ultimately they would tell me I was fine and send me home.

I also would complain about the pressure in my head and sinuses. I had a heart beat in my head that was so bad, I couldn’t sleep at night. And my neck hurt. For an entire year I did not sleep on a pillow! Until one night I forced myself to struggle through my pain and fatigue and go on a date. I know what you’re thinking but for those of you struggling with pain, fatigue, illnesses, etc., I strongly urge you to get yourself out and laugh a little. Laughter is really great medicine and you never know who you will meet that is dealing with similar circumstances. I cannot tell you how many people I have met in the past couple of months that have changed my life just because I went out and opened my mouth honestly when asked how I was feeling. People appreciate honesty and vulnerability. It makes others feel human.

Anyways, nothing ended up coming of the date, because in all honesty, a relationship was the last thing on my agenda, BUT I am SO happy I did. This guy’s side job (and I say side job because most people in LA have a “side job” and an aspirational job. He was aspiring to be a comedian.)… Anyways, his side job was physical therapy. Long story short, he gave me a little bit of a head/neck massage in his car when he dropped me off that evening, and he recommended I try out the Chiroflow pillow. This pillow is a Godsend!! Seriously! I highly recommend it to people dealing with head, neck and sleeping issues in general. It has a pack on the bottom-side that you fill with water that makes the pillow feel like you are sleeping on a cloud. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked it, but I gave it some time and allowed myself to get used to it and for it to form to my body, and now, I don’t go anywhere without it!

However, unfortunately the headaches did not stop. I had a gynecologist check-up this past September and my Gyno detected slightly polycistic ovaries. She basically told me I needed to start getting my period ASAP or I am at risk for ovarian cancer. So, she sent me to see a nutritionist whom recommended a no sugar, no gluten diet. Now I’m a pretty healthy eater so I didn’t think this would be that hard for me. So at first, I just eliminated the complex carbs and sugar. But that did not work. So then I went as far as not eating any fruit or starchy vegetables. At all. Except maybe once a week would have a piece of grapefruit. Well guess what? That’s when the flow started again. So I kept up with this diet for a few months and felt pretty good but would get constipated. And at first, when I did somewhat go, a mucuos would come out with my stool. (To this day no one has an explanation for me as to what that was. Some say it was candida, others say it was my mucuosal lining in my intestines. But whatever it was, it stopped. Thank goodness!)

So to help with the constipation, a friend recommended I try a colonic. (I was in  LA after all.) So I did. I do NOT recommend this for anyone. It is the most uncomfortable, unnatural thing to ever put your body through…. and I put mine through it THRICE! Yep. Maybe more, but I’m gonna say three times for now. Now the last time I tried one, my  body swelled up like an umpa-lumpa and my mind felt like I was under water. I went to work that night and could barely talk to customers. My legs were so swollen that it hurt to bend them and walk up and down stairs. My one girlfriend felt my calf and said she was nervous it was going to pop! I started crying. Now I’m giving you the short version of all of my health issues to bring you up to speed, but I had been dealing with attacks like these for a very, very long time by then. Days of feeling chronic fatigue, sinusitis, congestion, extreme headaches, constipation and water retention/swelling… so by that night, I had had it!

My manager allowed me to leave and my roomate picked me up and took me to the Emergency Room. I was nervous I was coming down with Diabetes because I’ve had low blood sugar attacks before and I felt that way… plus both my older sister and younger brother are Type II Diabetics. Well I layed in a hospital bed until 3:00am before someone came to see me… and that was only to put me on a guirney and wheel me into the hallway where I spent the remainder of my visit. My body was so exhausted I could barely keep my eyes open and I just kept peeing out water all night long. They eventually did some bloodwork and the only thing they found was that my sodium, chloride and potassium levels were low. No Diabetes. Then I went home at 7:00am. I spent $200 on a copay and later was slapped with a $1200 emergency room bill for a guirney and a hallway. Thanks Cedars Sinai! My roomate was exhausted that night and left me so I had to take an Uber to the Skybar’s employee parking garage. So needless to say, it was an expensive day of no solutions. I got home and went to bed, only to awake to a note from my roomate asking for a $10 reimbursement for her parking fee at the hospital the night prior. Thanks for the consideration, roomie. I was depressed and a mess. My Mom recommended I come home but I didn’t want to yet. I was determined to figure this out and get back to me life.

So my roomate and I ended up having a talk and we patched things up. Something that I learned from all of this that I want to share with other people battling diseases and chronic pain is to be patient with your friends, families and significant others. What you are going through is hard, but remember that the people that surround you are going through it too and some are stronger than others. If some people need to keep their distance at times, try to respect that. They have lives too and dealing with someone that is sick all the time is emotionally draining for them as well. For those of you out there that are dealing with someone that is chronically ill, try to remember how they feel. Often times they are more scared than they are ill. The mind is a very powerful thing and so is fear. It is at the basis of all things. So I recommend communication. Communicate your frustrations and feelings with each other. I guarantee you will be able to work it out. Compromise with each other. All relationships, whether they be friendships, roomates, lovers, family members, they all need compromise in order to survive. Life is a constant game of give and take. You will not grow unless you play. And you’ll be happy to know that my relationship with my roomate grew so much after that and she is now one of my dearest friends 🙂

So after that, I ended up meeting with an endocrinologist, rheumatologist, infectious disease doctor and scoliosis doctor. They all ran tests and nothing came back. Except that my potassium, chloride and sodium levels were low and my ANA was positive. The rheumatologist, however, was not alarmed by this and just said to come back in a few months because something might be “brewing”. Something might be brewing?! Well lets catch it before it’s brewed woman!!

I even tried alternative medicine… an accupuncturist helped me immensely by cupping me. If anyone has ever been cupped, you’ll know how much this can help someone battling with chronic congestion but you’ll also know what this looks like! (For those of you that don’t see below.) I looked like an octopus attacked me on my chest and back! Haha! But I was feeling better so I didn’t care.

IMG_4058

I saw a Chinese medicine man that said my issues are cuz of my scoliosis and water retention. He recommended eating daikon root to help with the water. It did… a little. But I was tired of small solutions and baby steps. My rheumatolist recommended a spiritual healer. (Again, reminder. I was in LA.) So guess what? I went. And he helped! … a little. To be honest, I’m happy I went though. Because $250 later, I had a relationship with God again that I really lacked. But he didn’t cure me of my ailments. He actually told me I have TMM (Too Much Mind). Now this I agree with LOL. I think A LOT!! But I highly doubt I have all these symptoms from thinking too much. Could my mind be making them worse? Yes, of course! So I started practicing meditation more religiously, journaling and praying more, and they all really helped me cope, but I still was not feeling better. My primary care doctor said she thought it was stress and problems with my scoliosis so I started physical therapy. That helped… once again, a little.

Finally a neurosurgeon said to me “Well if your having head and neck pain, lets see what’s going on in your neck.” Brilliant!! So we did an MRI of my neck and found a herniated disc in my C5 and 6. He prescribed Gabapentin and said we’d see if that helps. It did… for a bit. (Side note, I have never had a hot doctor before and he was my first! Hubba hubba! Ladies, if you ever need a neurosurgeon and are in LA, go to Dr. Frank Acosta at USC Keck. He’s sweet, smart and such a cutie! I’m sure he’s taken though- cuz all the good ones always are- but at least you’ll have a more enjoyable doctor visit 😉 wink wink).

Anyways, after that I decided to move back to New Jersey to be with my family while I continue my medical excursion. Since I’ve been back, I’ve met with some pretty amazing doctors and one not so good one. I am working with Dr. Errico in New York City on quelling my pain in my neck and arms before tackling surgery on my scoliosis and Dr. Nunez in Morristown, NJ to figure out what is going on with my endocrine system. I have bloodwork ordered for next week and am hoping to find some answers. He thinks it could be a cortisol problem which would explain the swelling, water retention and amenorrhea. However, if my bloodwork comes back and there is nothing out of the ordinary, it is time to tackle working with a psychiatrist. I’ve worked with psychologists for years now but never a psychiatrist. I used to find shame in thinking that my mind could possibly be causing physical issues with me, but I’ve finally gotten to a place of accepting that. If that’s the case, let’s tackle it! I’m ready to get better and move on with my life… book another acting gig, maybe meet my future husband… who knows?! The world is my oyster 🙂 … or so I’m retraining my brain to think that way. For those of you struggling with illnesses and chronic pain, stay positive. Try to retrain your brain to be thankful for things that you DO have. And be open to talking with professionals about it. It helps, I swear!! I had a great talk with my grandmother yesterday that really helped me with this outlook. Sigh, Grandma’s are just so great, aren’t they?! And so wise.

I also am having an EMG test done in two weeks. Basically the physiatrist I met with is not entirely convinced that my pain in my arms and neck are from my herniated disc so he wants to run more tests. I have more pain on my left side then I do on my right, and my herniated disc is prominent on the right side so this does not make sense to a lot of doctors. I’ve asked if it could possibly be from the syringomelia in my thoracic spine (which is a small cyst or sack of fluid in your spinal cord) but the physiatrist didn’t think so because it is in the thoracic spine and only 2.5 mm.

Either way, I feel good that we are on the right track. And I am SO THANKFUL to be here with my family’s support while I go through all of this. I do miss Los Angeles, my friends, acting and the warm weather!! Sigh. But I am thankful to be here. Everything happens for a reason and I believe that my health brought me back east to figure that reason out. I do want to go back to LA once I’m healthy, but I’m also keeping my options open while I’m here. I actually self-submitted for a project in New York a few weeks ago and got a callback! Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it to the callback this past weekend because of how sick I was… but I took it as a sign to keep my eye on the prize. And the prize is building my immunity, getting myself healthy and straight (my back that is, hehe) so that I can go on auditions in the future, book projects and become the star that I already am! And also to enjoy my life. This experience has also made me realize how important it is to have fun and enjoy my friendships. I used to have a lot of it. (Fun, that is.) I was quite the little party animal in high school and college and when I moved to LA I lost that. Alcoholism runs in my family and I think I started fearing that I would lose my drive and get out of control. I constantly told myself, “I’ve had my fun. I need to stay focused.” But then I went in the total opposite direction with my work-aholic tendencies and became unhealthy. The key to life is balance. After all, what is a life worth living if you can’t enjoy it?

IMG_4074