It's been a while.
I've been battling severe insomnia for almost a year, and with it, a terrible feeling of not being able to get enough air, a feeling usually described as air hunger. I've been through a lot of ups and downs and finally feel up to being online again, at least in some limited extent.
I've joined instagram as melanienilles_author to share pictures from my life there instead of on Facebook, but I feel that the time has finally come to deactivate my FB account. I've noticed that my personal profile is not much more than a stressor in my life, but I can't have that without the author page. It's too hard to be able to separate seeing one from the other. With a chronic illness, one of the first steps to feeling better is reducing stress. I have enough in my life without feeling left out.
This type of illness makes one feel alone and FB really creates even more of a vacuum, despite the friends who might gather there. I've tried, but I feel outcast and the best way to feel better is to eliminate that altogether. I'm sorry to those friends who only gather on FB and nowhere else. I hope you stop by other online places.
It's also hard being sick for so long because you feel like others think you're a hypochondriac. That's not the case at all, but I've even wondered about myself sometimes. However, I've now found a local, holistic MD (besides the NP I have been seeing at another independent clinic) who has been able to confirm with laboratory testing that I'm not going out of my mind and that this is all a real medical ordeal. I had hoped he would have a different perspective than other doctors and I have so far not been disappointed.
Since this began almost a year and a half ago, I finally am feeling vindicated in my suffering. While we still don't have a complete answer, this new doctor, and his associates that work with him, (like the NP I've been seeing) acknowledge the issues of Hashimoto's and the complexities of MTHFR that I've been dealing with; and he has taken it a step further, by suggesting there may be an underlying infection behind all this. Hallelujah! I feel that I might finally find an answer to the question of "What the h*** is happening to me?!"
I am still not sleeping well, but have found that just a couple of supplements can make a difference and help me reduce the dose of sleeping meds I need--I don't like relying on medications. I've healed my gut too well--I get sufficient amounts of most nutrients from my diet. However, I keep dairy out for fear of the wrath of acne; tested negative for intolerances, but I get acne breakouts according to the amount of dairy I consume. It took a while, but I discovered a calcium/magnesium/D3/phosphorous supplement that is sublime for calming my mind and making up for those deficiencies. The others are a low level vitamin E and a low dose of SAM-e. I've tried just about everything else, but I can no longer tolerate B supplements--they're like caffeine in the tiniest amounts and I don't flush them out easily. I don't seem to need much of what I do take, but maybe that's because I am petite and the RDA is based on some "average" that is far above my size. Who knows.
Anyway, I've struggled and been through hell, but I've found some peace and am still learning how to keep peace in my world. I still have insomnia, aches that move around, air hunger, and other issues, but I haven't given up.
In fact, I've been able to improve enough from my lowest point that I have finished writing the first draft of Nemesis. That story has been a lifeline, although a thorny one, through all this. In a way, because it was so difficult to write, feeling like I had to finish is what kept me hanging on and not giving up on at least finding some relief for my symptoms. But recently, after finding those supplements I listed above, the creativity came back and the last part of the story wrote itself better than I ever imagined it could. I'm very happy with it.
I can't wait to share it with you! Because I wasn't sure of how things would go with my health, I had moved the release date back to March of next year. However, if the editing goes well, I'll be able to release it sooner. You've waited long enough, but I really want to make this the cream of the crop. Starfire Angels fans who have stuck it out will be largely fulfilled with this, as it will close up a lot of storylines from the series's more beloved characters.
I don't know what I'll move onto next; but it feels good to wrap up one series, especially in such a satisfying way. My future writing depends on what the new doctor does for me. It would be nice if my creativity would blossom again like it did when I wrote Starfire Angels. My goal in getting better is to find that intense spark again.