I’m Tired of Making Lemonade

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Losing a pregnancy and chronic illness

This is not the positive, happy Dizzy Cook posts you are used to. Sometimes it’s just hard to find a positive view to certain situations. Sometimes these situations are just gritty and grimy and there’s no way around it. I debated whether to share this, but I know that my openness and honesty have helped others get through similar situations with their health. I suppose this is the silver lining to those hard situations.  

Two years ago was the most difficult health issue that I had ever faced. There’s no fear that can compare to the thought that you have a brain tumor at the age of 30. That you might never be able to drive, walk, work, or have fun ever again. When you find out that your MRI is clear and you don’t have MS or a brain tumor, it somehow does not come with an overwhelming sense of relief. Instead you face more questions and wonder if any doctor will ever figure it out, or if you’ll just keep spending tons of money for people to hand you antidepressants and tell you that you’re stressed. 

But I was one of the lucky ones. I eventually found the right ENT and neurologist. The ones that saw through all the confusing episodes of me being stressed out at work, recovering from a long trip to Asia, and buying a new home. They asked the questions no one else did, like if my parents ever experienced Migraine attacks before (they had, but they never once mentioned it to me). They worked with me to create a plan I was comfortable with, understanding that I wanted to have children in the future. 

The road to recovery was not an easy one. There were moments I doubted everything – my medications, my supplements, this crazy diet. But I stuck with it out of hope. That’s all I had was hope that one day I would feel normal again. You always take “normal” for granted until one day you’re not normal. 

Two years later I finally have 100% days, and my bad days aren’t anything near to what they were. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel that I couldn’t see for so long. I lost my job to this illness. I lost my ability to just go out to a restaurant and not have to worry about the lights or the noise. But I gained this site, which feels like what I should have been doing all along. I gained new friends who message me to share their updates on how they’re feeling – their highs and their lows. Some of you have become so close to me that it feels like we’ve been friends forever, even if we’ve never actually met. 

But today I am angry and frustrated. After a year of what felt like a living hell, I didn’t think there was anything worse that I could possibly go through with my health. I was wrong. You see, after almost a year of trying, I finally got a positive pregnancy test. Four of them actually, because I couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing. It’s difficult to describe the feeling I had. I wanted to throw up and dance around all at the same time. I was terrified and elated. As my body began to change in weird ways, my excitement grew. 

It’s difficult to imagine that it can all go away. I never quite understood how heartbreaking and defeating this feeling would be. Even though you are told this situation is very common, I felt like I deserved a break. Just one break. Hadn’t I already been through enough with my health? 

When I was trying to get pregnant and it was taking longer, I felt like I was surrounded by thousands of friends on Facebook that could have kids. This is exactly how I felt with Vestibular Migraine, watching everyone else enjoy their Saturday nights out having fun while I laid in bed wondering when or if this would all go away. How could they be so lucky? The ones that never went though an illness like I had, that kept their careers, and are so fortunate to not have to struggle with fertility. They’ll be spending Christmas eve with their new babies and I’ll be in the doctors office, yet again. 

I know social media can be a double edged sword and not everything is as perfect as it seems. I am not the only one that this has happened to and I won’t be the last. But that somehow doesn’t make it any easier. Maybe one day I’ll understand why this didn’t work out. Or why I ended up with a chronic illness. Or maybe there’s no reason behind any of this at all. One can only learn so many lessons before you’re just tired.

Somehow, and I have no idea how, I am still hopeful. So I sit and wait for that second light at the end of the tunnel.

Alicia was diagnosed with Chronic Vestibular Migraine in 2016 and has been able to successfully manage her symptoms through medication, supplements, lifestyle changes, and the Heal Your Headache Diet by Dr. David Buchholz from Johns Hopkins. She's the owner of The Dizzy Cook.

12 comments

  1. Farrel

    I have no idea what you’re feeling firsthand, so I won’t pretend to, but my heart hurts because yours does. I’m so sorry, Ally. I love you and I’m praying for comfort and strength for you as you navigate this grief, and I ask Him for that hope in you to remain unwavering. Thank you for bravely sharing your truth – I know it will touch and help so many.

    Reply

    1. Alicia

      Farrel, you are such a light. I know you have the in with the big man upstairs, so I really appreciate your kind words and prayers. Thank you.

      Reply

  2. Dana McGuinn

    I’m so, so sorry Alicia. Allow yourself to grieve your loss. Be selfish right now and extra kind to yourself. If you don’t feel like answering messages, texts, or comments right now, don’t. People should be understanding during this time and if they’re not, they’re probably not worth your energy. My grandmother always said, “Tough times don’t last; tough people do” and girlfriend, you are tough. Take it day by day, and you’ll get through this. Sending lots of love and support ❤️

    Reply

    1. Alicia

      Dana, I love your grandma’s saying. That’s like something my grandma would tell me too. I so appreciate your love and support – thank you.

      Reply

  3. Aimee

    I am so sorry. It’s comforting that this is common, but also infuriating because how could anyone else understand the devastation? It’s almost insulting. My SIL had health problems and then lost a pregnancy. I remember her crying to me saying her body was broken and didn’t work and how unfair it was. And I told her that in this instance, this IS her body working as it was intended. It’s cold comfort I know. But your body worked to protect you this time exactly as it was designed to. I am so sorry again.

    Reply

    1. Alicia

      Aimee, thank you so much. I know this is what my doctor was trying to convey. After we went through some of the options, I realized the situation could have been even worse. Logically I know it’s what’s best, but emotionally it’s difficult to digest. I wish the best for your SIL too.

      Reply

  4. Toye

    My heart goes out to you! I cannot imagine what feelings you are going through right now. I understand the scared because I’ve been there too. I know the agony of losing a child like that because again, I’ve been there too! But, we all are different and see and handle things differently, as well as feel things differently. From what I’ve gathered from your post, you are a strong woman, who is beautiful and caring. Take the time to work through this that YOU need and remember you are loved and cared for by so many!

    Reply

  5. Karen Mizrach

    Your message brought back my memories of losing a pregnancy. It is an overwhelming sadness and frustration. Just know you have no control over it. You did nothing wrong. And your strength will help you through this; another life challenge. And, there is no connection with the dizziness condition. I’m so sorry for your loss and hope the days ahead will bring some peace in your heart. You’ve brought all of us so much hope, I’m glad you reached out to us.

    Reply

    1. Alicia

      I’m sorry for your loss too. This is what I continue to remind myself. I’m lucky to have a great OB that tried to get this into my head too when I saw her. It helps to keep hearing it. Thanks, Karen.

      Reply

  6. Jill Fremont

    Alicia,
    I have just found your blog. I’m so very sorry for your loss. I too lost a precious little one and no words can describe the disappointment. Please take extra good care of yourself. Sending warm thoughts your way.

    Reply

    1. Alicia

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Jill. I’m sorry for your loss as well. It seems so unfair, doesn’t it? I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

      Reply

  7. The Benefits Of Practicing Gratitude - Migraine Strong

    […] year has been one of my hardest since being diagnosed with vestibular migraine. Last Christmas we lost our first child after trying for a year. Then this year, I had two more losses. The last […]

    Reply

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