Looking at 2017 (and this whole blog)

Let’s just say I’m not the most consistent writer. I mean I haven’t had more than what, 10 posts a year since starting this in 2015? Actually, that might be something to look at…

Screenshot-2017-12-30 Stats ‹ The Sleepy Equestrian — WordPress com
that exponential growth tho

I thought, why stop at 2017 when you can just review the whole shebang? ALL of the years! So, here’s a summary thus far in Trying to Be a Blogger…

2015: 6 posts.

Overall, a roller-coaster of a year. I was diagnosed with type 1 narcolepsy near the beginning of it, survived being an RA in the largest residence hall in the Big 10 conference (although any information on dormitories beyond “the fanciest” is basically impossible to track down…), decided not to pursue Occupational Therapy/grad school, accepted my dream internship for spring 2016, and lost my second most-influential riding instructor (RIP NN </3). I started this right before the fall semester thinking I’d write a horse blog, but I wasn’t riding enough for that to be a thing. There was also tweaking of meds after being back in school to combat an increase in my cataplexy, but it ended up making it worse. In spite of that, my last semester on my college campus was the least stressful/most enjoyed of my college career.

2016: 14 posts. 

I had such high hopes for this year, and it turned into… not that. Not even a little bit close. As I struggled through my internship, my health continued to deteriorate working 40 hours a week with anywhere from a 1 – 2 hour round commute each day. Weekends I was either spending recovering or going to one of my school’s basketball games (and then recovering). I had a new neurologist who admitted I knew more about my condition than he did, but then dismissed my complaints, refusing to start me on a medication known to dramatically help people with narcolepsy because “you don’t want to get up in the middle of the night – that’s so inconvenient!” And then he told me my problem was depression – not a sleep disorder, so that was great.

I met a guy, had some great dates, anddd then he went poof without a word. I nearly didn’t graduate because I was having such a hard time completing the assignments I had in conjunction with my internship. I started going to therapy to try and cope with this – ended up digging up childhood shit, as you do. DID graduate (hallelujah), moved back home with mother, and then drove three hours when the opportunity to get back with my old neurologist came up. Started medication rejected by other neurologist, thought I was doing great and promptly continued job searching. Was not actually doing great… my sleepiness during the day, ability to concentrate, nor my cataplexy were improving. My cycles were ALL kinds of messed up, but once we finally figured out there was an interaction between another medication and my birth control pill in October, thanks to a no-nonsense OB, I finally started improving. But by this point, my father (who’s health insurance I was on) had been laid off from the once-grocery-store-giant that was run into the ground by it’s owner. From the second week of November until the beginning of December I was on the phone every day trying to get my insurance in order, but alas, I still ended up without my meds for a while.

Unfortunately, I was not without my meds during the election, so I didn’t avoid that shit show – but I was in some of the aftermath so at least that was blurred a bit. Once the meds were back,  I honestly had no clue looking forward to 2017. I just wanted a job as a recreational therapist, to move out, get back to horseback riding, and then add in some political activism once I was stable.

2017: 21 posts.

Phew, a lot going on here. But I can say the end message did finally start clicking after the first quarter of the year. Before I got there though, I decided I was going to be The Rec Therapy Blogger. Not long after that post, which I actually shared in some professional groups on facebook and with family and friends (still my most read post to date), I got hired as a rec therapist. Call this hindsight bias, but I remember after doing the interview that everything seemed perfect except for how I felt. It wasn’t wrong, or uncomfortable, just off. I got hired, I was excited, I was finally starting. I had one more post in January and then I went silent as I tried to keep up with my 40 hours for two weeks.

Long story short, my narcolepsy symptoms were quickly resurfacing, my requests for accommodations didn’t jive with them, and I was terminated by April. And then I lost my insurance again… went without my med for another week (not as bad this time, still shitty). I was (still am) feeling pretty disillusioned with my field, so threw myself into finding just about anything else. I was back in therapy, this time not an hour away, and it ended up being my therapist who tipped me off to a local health foods store that was hiring someone part-time.

It was also around that time that I found out a girl I had rode with when we were both 10, was taking over the lease on the stable where I had my first riding lessons.

I’m not going to pretend things were fabulous – I’m still wishy washy about my posts from July and August. But I was finally getting a paycheck – I was RIDING AGAIN !! Even though I was angsty in my writing, I was doing cautiously better in real life. Cue me deciding once again that this will be a horse blog. It’s what I always come back to, both in writing and in life. Damn expensive creatures that I can’t imagine life without. Although instead of keeping track of my lessons as they happen, I’ve been throwing up posts from high school. I think it’s because I don’t believe I can make the minutiae of a lesson on a horse whose not mine interesting, especially sans media.

Health related: Come September I started having this pain in my lower back. The first time it happened I was at work and almost doubled over trying to breathe. And then it was gone for over 24 hours before waking me in the middle of the night with the same thing. Gone for another two days, and the third it happened yet again with no regular pattern.  So begins the x-rays, bloodwork, a CT scan to rule out my gallbladder, appendix, lady parts, muscles… Finally an ultrasound confirms there’s something off with my kidney. In October I added another specialist to my repertoire, and after another two tests and a follow-up in November we learn… my right kidney’s swollen. By this point I’ve not had the sharp pain for several weeks, but from time to time I’ve had a few other mild symptoms.

It’s one of those things (of course it is), that it might not be anything, but it might also end up causing bigger problems later if I do nothing. So lucky me gets to have a procedure of the put-you-under variety here in a couple weeks to ring in the new year.

Not health related!

While not something to celebrate necessarily, I did get pictures of me riding the same day I had my first fall in over eight years and will mention that all but one of those were taken *after* my tumble. Thankfully I remembered my tuck-n-roll, and while I had an initial panic about my stupid kidney, I just had to endure a sore shoulder for about a week.

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admittedly going to miss watching the sunrise from my bedroom window

Andddd… I’m moving out! A goal almost two years in the making, it’s thanks to my best riding friend M and her roommates all having to complete their masters internship in their hometowns that I’ll finally be out from under my mother’s roof. It won’t be until after my surgery in January, but I took a couple things over on Friday and it’s sorta kinda starting to feel like it’s actually going to happen.

At the beginning of this year I wrote in my little agenda, and the first blog tagged in this post, that I was planning on making this the ‘year of me’ and overall I feel I’ve accomplished that. I’ve learned to prioritize myself and set boundaries (still a work in progress, but definitely better than January). I was reminded several times that I can’t show up at my best if I don’t. I started riding again after over a year hiatus and have now held a job for over six months, pushed myself to try a few new things and learned a whole lot about my own values, likes and dislikes. I think I’m going to look back at 2017 as a year that started off really shitty, but has basically been on an uphill trajectory since.

2018: ? posts.

As for 2018, I’ll have to see if I get around to putting anything together in terms of expectations or goals. Earlier this month while cleaning I randomly found this fortune from some long-ago cookie and liked it enough to take a picture before throwing it away (probably my luck with it). It coincides with several things both in, and going on in, my life, so perhaps I’ll try to explain that out into the void.

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