A normal day for me has taken on a new meaning. It’s every changing and ever evolving. In my 20’s I was so active. I was married at 22, then a stay at home mom to a wonderful little boy for 3 1/2 years before heading back to work. For 14 years I worked more than 40 hours a week running a dance school. I taught all levels of students from beginner to the most advanced. I was up and active, out of the house constantly. As a studio we traveled multiple times a year to different states to compete in dance competitions all the way up to the national level. I was a guru of handling pressure.
After 14 years I opened my own dance school. Everything in my life seemed to be going great! Of course with owning your own business there does come a certain amount of pressure but I was great at handling pressure, most people would say it was one of my fortes. The studio was going well and my students were placing nationally within their first year and only kept improving.
Then everything started to change. I started getting sick (really sick) 4-5 times a year. I would be out of work for at least a week. I went on the way on and off antibiotics and steroids, I would pull muscles coughing to the point where they would give me pain pills as well. My family physician just blamed it on the fact that I smoked and was around children every day and sent me on my way. The last 3 years before I finally gave my business up I was on antibiotics more than off them and would spend 21 days on steroids, 7 days off and then back on again. I was hospitalized a few times for breathing issues and low blood oxygen levels and I was finally sent to a pulmonologist. Even with the pulmonologist I wasn’t having much luck. Of course I was depressed, short tempered, and had personality changes from the steroids. (at least that’s what we blamed it on) Lots of tests later and the pulmo’s suggestion of the addition of and ENT, a lot started to come clear. There were multiple issues: infection in throat, infection in my upper sinus that was hardened and close to the brain, and COPD. So surgery first, then finding the medications that would help the COPD the most, and then trying to find the triggers.
Well, all the rugs in my house had to be removed and my home is as clean as a hospital on a daily basis now. As the pulmo says the more I keep myself in a bubble the less I will get sick. I thought with doing all of that and the surgery behind me I was on the road to recovery and returning back to a somewhat normal life. Boy was I wrong. While I was still recovering from surgery I tried to make a visit to my work because I wanted to see “my kids” so badly. It did not go well. One of my teachers, who I trained, now decided she knew more than I did, a few parents were really starting trouble behind my back and with everything else I came home to an empty house and it felt like something snapped. That is when I made the first attempt I talked about in my earlier blog and the decision was made that between my regular health issues and the mental snap I closed my business and ave stepped out of the world for the last year and half.
What my family and I were blaming the steroids for with my personality changes were the start of my bipolar and manic depression. The steroids were easily masking the problem so no one was really able to tell the problems I was heading for. Left to my own devices for as long as I was it is somewhat of a miracle I am still here. And my struggle is still far from over. One day at time, congratulating myself for the good days and when I have bad days trying to work through it.