Status Update: Unexpected Health Issues and Corresponding with Experts

Slowly but surely, this blog is shaping into something that more closely resembles what I had in mind when I first set out to start writing it. It may not be the prettiest-looking blog out there right now, and the formatting of the posts may still be uneven, and navigation through the blog may not be entirely intuitive yet, but hopefully the content I aim to provide here will make up for in usefulness what the blog itself lacks in aesthetics.

I spent a lot of time this week sprucing up the blog rather than writing posts, but there were a couple of good reasons for that. First of all, as I stated in my “Author’s Pledge,” I want to present the most accurate, up-to-date, and applicable advice and information that I can, so that my readers can come here and get information that is valuable and trustworthy. To that end, I have been sending out emails like mad to any and all mental health professionals whose names come up in my searches, asking for volunteers to lend me their expertise so that I can share it with you. So far, I have managed to establish connections with the following experts: Dr. Douglas Romero of the Centro de Mejoramiento Personal (Center for Personal Improvement) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, winner of the Most Compassionate Doctor award; as-yet-unnamed members of a team of clinicians from the Menninger Clinic in Houston, Texas, a psychiatric hospital whose inpatient program approaches the treatment of mental illness from a holistic (whole-body) standpoint; and Susan Lindau, a licensed counselor from Los Angeles who specializes in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. (Several hospital and university PR people responded to the query I submitted through a database for journalists, offering to put me in touch with their clients, but I guess they must have changed their minds after they saw how basic my blog is.) Sending out emails and waiting for replies took up about a third of my time this week, in addition to the third taken up by trying to make my blog look halfway presentable so it won’t scare off any more potential contributors.

The remaining third of my time, in case you were wondering, was spent in doctor’s offices. I went to the OB-GYN for my yearly exam on Monday, which is humiliating and awful under the best circumstances but was made even awful-er by the discovery of a lump in my left breast. Tuesday and today I went to the chiropractor to work on straightening out the pronounced curvature in my spine I’ve had since childhood. Wednesday I went to the neurologist so I could get recent medical documentation about my stroke in case I need to apply for disability benefits in a few years. Tomorrow I will be waking up at 5:30 so I can get cleaned up and head over to the hospital to have a blood panel drawn and get an MRI; after that I’ll probably head home and try to get something done before heading back to the hospital at 1:00 to have an ultrasound that will tell me whether or not I need to be worried about the lump.

I’m not going to try to write anything tomorrow; my plan is to organize my home office to make it easier for me to access my resources and research materials and to map out a new (official) editorial calendar so that I can hopefully do a better job of staying on track with my blog posts. I’ve come a loooooooong way since I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder, when I would play World of Warcraft for 15 hours every day while due dates and deadlines whizzed past and dirty dishes piled up in the sink. I look forward to sharing with you the tips and tricks that helped me become someone who manages to keep most of her promises and actually show up for appointments, but for now I’ve got to employ those tricks successfully to help me get through this week!

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