That time I worked myself right into the ER
Well, let’s be real, it was more than once
If you know anything about me, it’s that I’m a workaholic and I’m Type A and for fun I’ll tell you I’m an ESTJ-T, known as “The Executive.” So I truly have the personality that screams heart attack before 35.
So with that in mind, let us proceed.
As a Type A and ESTJ-T, I am ALWAYS doing something. I started a business for freedom but all that freedom did was give me more space to do more things. I cannot even relax when I’m at my pool, keep this in mind, it will come into play later.
Let me also tell you, I get my personality from my mama. She is the same exact way.
Let’s get down to business, I mean story time.
When I was 16, I did all the things a not normal 16-year-old did. I was never allowed to party like my friends did. One time I got drunk and my mom laughed at me while I died at cheerleading practice at 8 AM the next day.
So I was a cheerleader. Okay, normal activity. Except, I also coached alongside my mama for two other teams. Okay, so three teams at once. I also worked. Had a boyfriend. Took AP classes. Babysat when I had the time.
Schedule became a little less normal.
My junior year, in January, I told my mom, I had this headache that was going to kill me. She let me stay home. I proceeded to hide in my room, under the blankets and had my blackout curtains making my room darker than midnight.
The next day, I told her I was not feeling well still so I stayed home.
That night my boyfriend calls and tells my mom he thinks something is seriously wrong. If you know me at all, people would describe me as “extra peppy” so for me to be so sick and just overall “blah” is not my norm and something is off.
But we waited a few more days. And then the light sensitivity became so bad I was like a vampire. Just call me Bella Swan I guess.
My mom took me to a local emergency room where they loaded me with Benadryl and sent me home. Cool, guys thanks.
My mom also made an appointment at DuPont Children’s Hospital because that’s where my neurologist is. *Fun Fact* I was born late and have a scar on my brain.
Well, after my local ER trip, I felt okay. Why? Because they had basically rendered me an unconscious human. The next morning however, it was like Satan himself was taking over.
This migraine was back with a vengeance.
Well, good thing we were going to the neurologist soon because I thought my brain was exploding. So off to the doctor we go and he says to me, “I have good news and bad news. Good news is I can cure this. Bad news is you have to go over to our ER.” So my mom and I head to the ER. Naturally, they put the girl with a migraine in the room next to the construction. A few hours goes by and the ER doc comes in and says, “I have good news and I have bad news. Good news is, we’re going to solve this issue. Bad news is, we’re preparing a room for you because you aren’t going home.” Well, upstairs we head.
This song and dance of ER trips and hospital stays lasted six weeks. Bless my mother. They brought in the Jefferson Head Clinic people to try to solve my issue.
Ready for the issue?
I’m a stressed out nutcase who does too much. After all the tests, that was the conclusion. The treatment plan? Learn to relax.
Well, if you read above about the ESTJ-T you know my weakness and if you didn’t, allow me to share.
Difficult to Relax — This need for respect fosters a need to maintain their dignity, which can make it difficult to cut loose and relax for risk of looking the fool, even in good fun.
Ah, that’s me. The one who struggles to freaking relax. I got so stressed about needing to relax, I honestly made it worse. They basically needed to drug me to get me to function like a proper human who can enjoy life.
I’ve continued on this pattern for over a decade now. Where I overwork, migraine creeps in, my vision gets blurry, I visit the ER, and then I come home.
The first bad one I had since my teens was when I was at my first job. I ended up taking a full week off because the meds they gave me to stop this migraine knocked me out for days. Just pure sleep.
When I was married though, I’ll be honest they got worse. As I said before, these migraines are stress induced. As we saw before, my marriage was slightly stressful.
Well, at one point in our marriage we took in his teenage cousin. Things were stressful already due to our situation but she needed help.
The focus was on ensuring she had a bright future. I met counselors. Had her enrolled in school within a few days of her moving in. Got her involved in all kinds of activities. The works. But while my ex dealt with his issues, I focused on him and her.
I worked like a lunatic. Two jobs while running a business. I was finishing a second MA. Battling a torn rotator cuff. And managing their schedules.
Well, in creeps my migraine. I ignored it. I let it get to a point where it was the worst pain I have ever felt.
I called a friend and told her I was stressed to my max. I couldn’t handle my life. I let things get so out of control. Even when I was practicing “self-care” I was working. I was watching webinars in my bath tub. I was reading articles while cooking dinner. I was taking business meetings at rugby practices.
I drove myself to the ER and when I failed an eye-exam with my glasses I knew it was bad. When I was able to tell the doctor how they should treat my migraines, I knew it was bad.
They put me on bedrest for three weeks. Three weeks I couldn’t lift my head without getting dizzy. I was sleeping 15+ hours a day. Unable to truly function.
So this is why I work for myself. This is why I force myself to turn off my phone. This is why I force myself to hit the pool daily. This is why I answer when my nieces need to FaceTime their Aunt Love. This is why I take naps in the middle of the day. This is why I write. This is why I structured my business in a way I do. This is why I hold strict business hours.
While my clients may not always understand why I am unavailable, I know the reason.
I know that if I don’t stop and really enjoy life, I’ll just continue working until I kill myself.