Yes, lemons. When I was first getting diagnosis after diagnosis of these conditions that would ultimately limit or take from me my life, it was like getting sucker punched over and over again. When you already deal with depression and anxiety, those kinds of blows are even heavier. I felt as though I was drowning in all the bad that was being thrown at me when I stumbled across a little lemon keychain. My roommate, who was with me at the time, saw how enamored I was with this little lemon and bought it for me. Then, lemons started showing up everywhere. I guess they were just “in” suddenly. The moment of clarity was when I found a pillow (at rue 21, if you’re curious) that said “I was served lemons, but I made lemonade”. A spunky twist on a cliched sentiment, but it clicked for me. I began asking for lemons. They became my happy totem. I became a little lemon addict. So when it came time to name the blog, naturally lemons had to be invited to the party.
My first instinct, when random and weird illnesses were being hurled my way, was to google like I had never googled before. It was in that fevered internet binge that I discovered the brilliant Christine Miserandino and the genius that is “The Spoon Theory”. For those who aren’t familiar with it, you can read it in her words here, and you really should. In fact, just spend a good long time on her blog in general, as she is a fantastic writer and all around really cool person.
~So…what’s wrong with you?
I rattled off all the names of what’s wrong with me in the “About” section, but to some, that just looks like a bunch of big words and, even to those who are in the medical field, I have to explain them sometimes. So here’s the simplified version of it all:
-Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS): A condition where my body does not produce collagen properly, making it obscenely easy for my joints to move out of place. This is currently classified as a “Rare condition”, but the likelihood is that it probably isn’t rare, just woefully under-researched and largely undiagnosed. TL;DR, my skeleton does not like to stay skeleton shaped and it’s kind of a mess.
-Dysautonomia: This one I need to break down a little more because two of my conditions technically fall under this label, but it basically means dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. You’ll figure out, over time, that my autonomic nervous system is kind of an asshole, really.
-Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS): my autonomic nervous system doesn’t regulate my blood flow, which causes my blood pressure to drop and my heart rate to skyrocket if I change positions “too quickly” (read: anytime it generally feels like it). I pass out or get incredibly dizzy or my heart to get all tachy on me and go a little haywire. Generally,
-Autonomic Neuropathy: My autonomic nervous system is damaged and doesn’t do its job right in pretty much every way it can get it wrong. Over time, it will lose functions necessary for my continued comfort and, at some point, for me to continue living. Kind of a downer, but I don’t play by the rules, so we’ll see how it goes.