Hibernating 

It has been a while since I last posted. I didn’t mean to take a hiatus, but in the face of a few different factors I have taken time off from this space. Overwhelmed with the demands of adulting lately, I kind of began to see my blog as just one more creature who needed something from me. Since the humans and animals under my care actually depend on me for their mortal survival, this was one thing I could ignore.

Look SesameEllis dot com
Recently I was speaking with someone who is beginning a journey of sharing online in conjunction with marketing her new business and it got me thinking about why I started sharing my stories and what the writing and photography involved meant to me. “How was it so easy for me to share so openly?”, she asked. The truth is multifaceted, but comes down to these top two things; I share to feel less alone and I share so that someone who is searching and identifies with my experience feels less alone. This is my connection to a wider world. Visual storytelling has been my lifeline through the isolation of post natal depression and new motherhood right on through the changing landscape of photography as a profession. I guess I started just to see if anyone out there could actually hear me when I was silently losing my mind in the newborn days of 2004, but I continue because people not only heard me, but needed to be heard too.

I'm 120% tired
In the last couple of years a business grew up around blogs and demanded statistics beyond the emotion. Numbers killed the heart of blogging for me, but not the underlying need to share experiences. When numbers or math is involved in my life, I find other things to do… like napping. It has been the same since childhood.

Oh how I have napped over the last few years though. No, actually sleeping during the day not poetically unconscious to life. For the last year or two, I have been utterly exhausted. Despite getting into bed at 8 or 8:30 every night and sleeping until my alarm went off at 7am, I woke up tired. Working from home some days meant a guilt ridden nap simply because I couldn’t function without it. Even after three coffees. But we are moms. Moms get tired. The internet is filled with memes about how tired we are.

So I attributed it all to the twins not sleeping well and coming for me to comfort them nearly nightly for eight years plus the emotional fatigue of navigating the transition to high school with a tween girl. Bigger kid, bigger problems. I feel like the patron saint for all things lost, broken or hurt.

Except for when it came to me because each month (like clockwork still, I mean, where is menopause when you need it?) I was in pain. Lunches still got made, homework found and I tried to keep smiling. Then I started missing out on fun things like a friend’s 40th and other gatherings as I was pinned to the couch under a useless heating pad and a giant black cloud.

I finally took one of my lunch hour nap sessions and got to the GP. Guess what? All that sleeping and exhaustion? Apparently not normal. None of it. Many tests and one absolutely amazing specialist later and I am close to having the answers. My iron and vitamin D levels were both abysmal which makes sense in light of the monthly massacre. But there was another test that said something might be going on in my womb. They have found endometrial hyperplasia which carries a higher cancer risk than normal. And this is why I am sharing. I know I am not alone and there might be someone out there searching the web tonight to see if they are “crazy” to go to the doctor for painful periods and being tired.

Tomorrow I am heading into the hospital to have surgery. Fingers crossed that they rule out cancer, fix my energy levels with an iron infusion and figure out a simple reason for my pain. Like mental health issues, nobody wants to talk about “lady problems.” I might as well. It just might be what someone needs to hear.

I’m back and ready to stop hibernating! I’ve got a half marathon to train for.

10 comments
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  • Patricia - Dear Rachel, here’s wishing you all the best for your surgery and a quick recovery. I found about your work ten years ago on Flickr, while my youngest daughter was fighting a nephroblastoma at the tender age of 18 months. You inspired me to go get a dSLR, learn photography and document the lives of my children “beyond snapshots”. Sending happy thoughts and caring wishes on your way from Germany, warmly, PatriciaMay 21, 2017 – 11:48 pmReplyCancel

    • sesame - Thank you so much.May 22, 2017 – 7:55 amReplyCancel

  • Jen - Rachel — I can totally relate to the tiredness. For the past few years I’ve had to go in bi-annually for IV iron infusions. It really helps, in fact I’m going in on Tuesday for another one and can hardly wait to get “pumped” up. Good luck with the surgery!May 22, 2017 – 10:56 amReplyCancel

    • sesame - I’m hoping for this to be my only one as the surgery should fix the underlying cause! Hope your infusion gets you going again!May 24, 2017 – 8:55 amReplyCancel

  • se7en - Oh you poor poor thing, hope you are feeling so much better really soon. Hope your surgery goes well… sending love.May 23, 2017 – 5:14 amReplyCancel

  • Gabbie Smith - Hi Rach,

    Iron deficiency was the answer to my fatigue. Weekly shots in the butt brought me back to life, but it’s not the only answer.
    More and more lately, I find myself stopping to smell the roses – a necessity if going to see old age. Being a little more what us mums would consider selfish, time to ourselves, is a gift we need to give ourselves. Because we deserve it.

    Take care of yourself. If I was in Melbourne, I’d be over with chicken soup. But since I’m not, please accept this virtual hug.

    Love,
    Gab xMay 23, 2017 – 7:57 amReplyCancel

    • sesame - Thank you so much.May 24, 2017 – 8:54 amReplyCancel

  • suzanne - Best of luck, and love your stories and images. Wonderful and so on point to how I have been feeling. Thank you for sharing your journey.May 24, 2017 – 2:09 amReplyCancel

    • sesame - Thank you so much. Take good care of you!May 24, 2017 – 8:56 amReplyCancel

  • Bree - I missed this post before, so I’m already glad to know cancer was ruled out, but I still wanted to comment and thank you for sharing. I’m so glad you’re so close to answers and hope your energy springs back soon!June 2, 2017 – 2:23 amReplyCancel

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