Breakdown and Break Through

I’m having a rough day. I could feel irritability on the horizon for the past couple of days. Sometimes you feel it’s slow rise within similar to the need to pass an uncomfortable burp, or like a lingering headache that won’t get better-or worse. Just this dull annoyance floating behind your right eye.

I’m wanting to be alone more often, I don’t feel like expressing my feelings. Even my favourite video game was frustrating me for no real reason at all. Today on the way to the new clinic in North York, I got lost. Luckily we left early enough, but I simply entered East instead of West on google maps and unleashed tears and attitude when I realized my critical mistake. Everyone’s been wonderful, and there has been no lapse in support whatsoever. I’m just irritable.

If you’re easily annoyed by whining I’d skip this next bit-but I need to get this off my chest.

I am so overwhelmed and frustrated with food. I’m frustrated that the things I want to eat make me feel very uncomfortable, and I’m frustrated that the things I can eat comfortably are feeling extremly unsatisfactory. I would do unexplainable things for a crunchy and fresh salad. I’d happily eat stalks of raw celery instead of mushy overcooked foods. 

I feel like I’m getting zero nutrients. In the mornings I usually opt for a smoothie because it’s easy to add greens in there with a choice of protein powder and fruit. That isn’t a problem because I’m not even really a breakfast person normally. All the food I eat throughout the day feels like empty food. When I push to eat something a little more difficult I usually end up spending the next day really uncomfortable. All of the vegetables I eat are sooooo over cooked. We made beans the other night, which I made sure not to cook to a mushy paste, and I had a strangely hard time swallowing. They felt dry? I guess without the ability to break them down properly that sort of makes sense. I don’t know. I ended up mushing them into a paste with a spoon.

I’m fed up. I hate that even the simplest of foods are a challenge to me. I’m losing my creativity and feeding myself feels like this epic mountain climb, not even worth the trek. I’m not able to enjoy my guilty pleasure foods which allow for a pep up in spirit here and there. These days it’s jello, or the occasional scoop of ice cream.

Thinking about dinner tonight turned my irritability bubble to an ugly angry cry. Finally. I could feel this cry brewing within me for a few days, and when I stubbornly opted to eat nothing for dinner, my own hanger pushed me over the edge and I let out a big cry. It was cleansing, and I didn’t lose control of it. It actually felt really good.

Shortly after I was able to calmly make myself a little serving of soup which I added spinach too, and the vivid green floating around in the bowl made me feel a little better. It was a real and raw day, and as I lay here reflecting on how it unfolded, I know these days are bound to come around. I forgive myself for loosing my cool today. For the most part, I’ve been proud of my ability to remain level headed. I’m human, and its natural to loose control when the pressure is rising. Yet, now that it’s over I’m glad I didn’t suppress it and I feel a sense of calm. Sometimes all it takes is getting lost in an unfamiliar neighbourhood or the pure unadulterated reins of hanger.



Definition of hangry:
irritable or angry because of hunger.

1 of 50,000

It is a loose estimate, but that is the most updated number representative of the amount of people affected with OI in North America. 50,000 out of 366,600,964.

Over the past few posts we’ve veered away from my more immediate situation, mostly because it’s been a terrible phase of limbo with not much to report. My infection, which I’ve since learnt has a name; Peri-Implantitis *google at your own risk-super gross* isn’t any better. I brought myself to a walk in clinic as a last resort in between appointments because I knew something wasn’t right. My sinuses started aching, my glands all down my neck were starting to swell, and every time I moved my mouth my ears would hurt.

Pretty funny experience with the walk in Doctor. He did his best. He did the “Mhmm, Mhmm, Ah, Yes, Mhmm” when I tried to quickly explain why I was there asking for antibiotics. He kept asking me “what tooth was infected?” and after repeatedly reminding him there were no teeth-he insisted he take a look “for curiosity’s sake”. Very timidly he said, “Ah yes, that looks very infected and tender” and I shortly left with a prescription for Amoxicillin.

I’ve been on this round of antibiotics for 6 days, 3 times daily, and there truly isn’t any improvement. Oh, and while we’re counting-this is day 29 without teeth. *said with irritability*

It’s frustrating to feel like I’m doing everything I can to possibly speed up the process, and yet see zero improvement. Waiting for CT results, waiting for the surgeon to call me so we can put a plan together. So much waiting. I feel like time is standing still, and I am just so anxious and eager to know what’s ahead.

Sometimes when I’m panicking my fiancé reminds me that I have a tendency to hyper focus on the probable worst case scenario. It is valued feedback, and he’s right. I’m definitely trying to manifest more positively. However, he knows, and I know, that when you’ve been faced with worst case scenarios frequently in your life, you sorta just begin to expect them around every corner. So, that’s where I’m at right now. Positively trying to manifest good news, while also preparing for the worst? That sounds like an oxymoron.

I can’t stop thinking about what within me has changed, and how I got to this place of responsibly utilizing some of my coping skills right in the moment of action. Is this Emily unintentionally prioritizing mental health practises? Oh how I believed this day would never come. I cannot believe how good it has felt to share this so authentically. The response to the this blog is the fuel I didn’t know I needed to nurse the flame of healing within myself. OI has been largely suppressed within me. Fear maybe? Lack of self worth? Ignorance providing bliss? All of the above? Probably.

I remember this summer during a socially distanced hangout with my closest friends, we (naturally) got into one of our very not-so-casual conversations about life and deep personal reflection. They both identify as true perfectionists through and through, and I remember feeling so baffled by the fact that I did not feel this within myself in the slightest. It was that moment with two of my safest people; did I verbalize a thought I had always been too fearful to let outside of the safety of my mind. 

For me, there’s always been this grim timer running in the back of my mind on how much liveable life remains for me. It’s quite dark, but it’s the truth. I’ve felt this immense sense of urgency to live as much life as possible in the healthy years that remain for me. I’ve saved pennies to backpack through Europe, and driven across the United States with a punk band on tour. I left an unfulfilling and toxic work environment to go back to school at 27 to pursue my true creative love-makeup artistry. All of these seemingly impulsive, or irresponsible decisions to some, have been fundamental in prioritizing my mental health and living with a silent disability.

I want to ensure that no matter where I am in life, I can always rely on the fact that I did what felt right, and listened to my soul speak. Who’s to say that my timer will in fact run out before most? There truly is no gaurentee. What matters is that I know I can say confidently that I’ve loved deeply, forgiven quickly, and learnt from some huge mistakes made along the way. I have travelled outside of my comfort zone only to find growth and beauty there. I’ve seen parts of the world that have imprinted on me like no other. I’ve lived authentically, and shown kindness back to a world that at times, has been cruel to me. For these reasons, I thank OI. I’m not sure if I would have pushed so hard to prioritize my happiness, had I never feared a inevitabile deadline of losing it all.  

A Mushy Message

A bit of an uptick from my previous post, but I truly am floored. This blog has existed in different capacities for years. Many moons ago I was writing regularly on a Tumblr page that was never shared. For years journaling has been a much-loved tool of mine, so I always knew this day would come. It took a while to mull over the rough cuts with friends-but the isolation of 2020 ended up being the final motivator. The response from sharing this Blog has been nothing short of a dream come true.

It’s not easy airing out your personal dirty laundry. I dreaded the idea that people would view me as a Negative Nancy or big baby whining about personal woes during a global pandemic. As much as this Blog intends to reach a community of OIers-I love the feedback I have been receiving about the themes being discussed here feeling truly universal. Any dread or doubt I was having about this being misunderstood-has been completely eradicated.

Thank you a thousand times over to those of you who have reached out, shared your feedback, and sent over genuine warm words. I have never felt more well-received and proud of the work I’ve been doing here. Talks with OIers from all over North America, old friends, new friends, and family. You have all just continued to assure me that this is right. To utilize this very specific life experience as a tool of sharing and connecting.

This warm and fuzzy assurance has torn deep down into my icy cold heart, and amongst the tidal wave of life right now I am thankful for the opportunity to feel motivated and committed to something. It’s so healing to feel the dread of shame lift away, and know that owning this disease, and my life experience with it is nothing to be ashamed of.

Thank You.