Since late last year, I’ve been getting treatment for an auto-immune disorder, a disease which effects my endocrine system. I’ve seen a major difference in my struggles with brain fog and fatigue.

After I first got my diagnosis and had a few weeks of treatment, I felt even worse. I wrote a number of posts on life hacks I’ve used with varying degrees of success in my art career, assuming the twilight awareness I experienced would be the way I would have to live forever.

However, I’ve had little difficulty with brain fog over the last 60-90 days. With few exceptions, my brain is clear. I can now recall strings of numbers, dates and other important information in a way I have not been able to for almost twelve years. I don’t have to repeatedly check my plane ticket when I travel, I don’t forget where I put things. I can remember storylines and professional obligations.

I don’t get upset like I used to.

Almost all of my anxiety issues have completely disappeared. Nerves which kept me on edge nearly every day and made working on my art almost impossible have completely evaporated. Except for normal issues with “Holy cow, look at my work load,” I am chill again.

Edema is way down. Facial swelling was particularly annoying and disfiguring. I’m back down to size 6 clothing, almost a size 4.

Energy is up and down. Some days I feel as if I was never ill, and other days I feel completely wiped out. I still get dizziness and vertigo on occasion. I understand this is a normal rollercoaster event while the doc tries to figure out optimum levels for my medication. This could take another six months, and I’ll require semi-annual tweaks forever, unless someone finds a cure.

Interesting how people tried to pathologize the way I was feeling, living in almost constant pain, when all I needed was a $10 a month thyroid supplement. Thanks to those assholes who declared that I was “neurotic”. Yes, Heidi, I mean you.
My migraines are still with me, but not as severe. I’ve only had two major migraines this year. I used to get them weekly. I still get migraines about 3 times a month, but they are nothing like the ones I used to experience: one Maxalt knocks them right out. I might not feel well for a couple of days and need some rest, but otherwise, I just push on.

I feel like I am being let out of jail.

I am grateful for the many wonderful people who have discussed their issues with me. It is nice to know I am not alone, and also to know what I can expect in future. The brain fog has been bad, but the personality changes haven’t been fun, either. My family commented on how mellow I seem now. It was nice to hear.

Over the years, I’ve become accustomed to taking everything slowly. While I still have to be mindful, I need to adjust my lifestyle, get used to a faster pace again, and challenge myself more. I’ve been so down for so long, I forgot what it felt like to feel up.

For now I have to concentrate on getting a bunch of very late assignments back on track.

I feel pretty lucky, and hope anyone out there who is experiencing the same symptoms I did will talk to their doctor about possible endocrine dysfunction. Graves Disease, Hashimoto’s Disease, etc. If your thyroid reading is normal but in the upper half of the normal range, you could be sick and feel terrible and your doctor won’t do a thing. My doctor made no effort to look further even when my thyroid reading was less than 1/2 % below danger zone. Until it suddenly went sky high, no effort was made to investigate further. I’m sure most people have absolutely no idea what their readings are or what to look for when they see them. I sure didn’t. I don’t think my doctor is a bad person, but when you’ve got a disease none of their other patients are likely to have, they simply may not know what to look for.

I look forward to drawing all day again. To travel. To exercise. To reading books and remembering what I read. To getting back to my French lessons.

Thank you to everyone for your support and patience.

For all of you out there also experiencing chronic illness, most sincere hopes for a full and happy recovery.

In other totally unrelated good news our weird rural internet, which has been costing me HUNDREDS of dollars per month (yes, I mean up to $350 a month for internet) has finally been upgraded, and we now get double the bandwidth. We used to get unlimited bandwidth after midnight, and that had me staying up until 2 AM most days trying to upload work or watch a video. I shouldn’t have to do that anymore, and I am thrilled at the prospect of saving up to $250 a month on ridiculous overage charges.

That’ll help me pay these medical bills, for sure.

Oh, and I’ll just plug my Patreon here. It’s pretty dandy, if I do say so myself.