health · Lifestyle

Yes my brain is normal, at least according to medical science!

Hey everyone! Now that I got everyone caught up and we are in real time, I will share a bit of information about my continued journey through my illness, seeking answers and a plan to move forward.

So I have had an MRI and EEG, all normal! According to my neurologist, I have a beautiful brain……why thank you kind sir! So now I wait for an evaluation on my mental state, here is where things will get tricky I imagine. As I said before in my post about trauma, it is assumed that I suffer from feuge state, I can totally see this as an option based on what I have read. I completely am aware of my unique sense of self and that I can be a chameleon if need be. It has been that way all my life, a way to cope with my surroundings and situations I found myself in, and others I put myself in. Adaptability is a virtue I am happy to have. No shame in that! It is not fake, it is survival.

Being fake is pretending, in full knowledge of ones actions, to be someone you know you are not.

Be real, even in your mental illness! Own who you are and what has happened to you and give it the attention it deserves, then let it GO! Not forget, just put away, so it does not continue to ruin the true you! No one ever got help by being ignorant, so wake up and help yourself. Hopefully you have an amazing support system, like I do, and will not be alone in your journey. Even if it’s just one person standing by your side, it is more than some people receive.

I continue to be open to the findings and will deal with them in an adult way, fits are for babies! However, I am finding it increasingly hard to deal with educated individuals who see themselves as above me in knowing my own body. Exhausting I tell ya! I still have bad days, really bad ones! My mantra is always the same, this too shall pass! Love you guys!

Jennifer Steen

health · Lifestyle · Uncategorized

Trauma.

The pain of today
Remembered tomorrow
The sins of yesterday
Cleared away
How do we cope with the memories
I dare not say
For all of us are different
We handle in our own way ~ Jennifer Steen

It has taken me days to write this, I have written and then erased and cried until I am blue in the face.

This was originally going to be about my recent neurology appointment and where I possibly go from here but over the last few days, something else has taken over my mind and my soul is telling me to share it so here we go. Yes it does have something to do with said appointment. Here we go…..

Ok so we all know what trauma is correct?

trauma – a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury.

Regardless of its source, trauma contains three common elements:

• It was unexpected.

• The person was unprepared.

• There was nothing the person could do to stop it from
happening.

Simply put, traumatic events are beyond a person’s control.

It is not the event that determines whether something is traumatic to someone, but the individual’s experience of the event and the meaning they make of it. (Definition and explanation above was provided by a third party site, (MTIECI).

To be in such a dark place
Is scarier than anything I have ever faced
To feel the enemy but not able to see it
The weight of the grief
With no end in sight ~Jennifer Steen

Now did I know I had suffered traumas in my past? Yes, I have been working through them. I have talked to counselors, gone to therapy groups, and really worked to create a safe environment for myself. I began to write nearly two years ago and that has been an amazing therapeutic tool for me. So why am I here, writing about something I seem to have faced? Well it’s because I am not facing the current trauma that is my everyday life.

Please do not get things twisted, I have an amazing life and I cherish every damn day as if its my last. And there it is, the aha moment I could not see until it was pointed out to me. Can you imagine having the mindset that you might not have tomorrow because you are sick today? To have experienced medical emergencies so scary that you wondered if you would survive it? Your life flashes before you, all the things you have done and have yet to do, the things you left unsaid. How in the world could that not leave a mark, an imprint on someone’s psyche? It does, and each of us handle this in different ways! No one person is the same in their journey, even if we take it together.

Each of us is designed to deal with traumas, milestones, and life in general in a multitude of ways. The key is finding your own way. And know that it will take time and effort to work through, it is a marathon not a sprint!

I have been experiences some strange symptoms in the last year and my endocrinologist was so worried and by his own admission, stumped as to why, that he sent me to a neurologist for a second opinion. What an experience that was! Ok so my brain is quote “beautiful and healthy” docs own words. Yay! So what is the problem then? Why am I having significant memory lapses? Why can I not remember conversations or questions that were just asked? Why when I walk, do I just run into walls for no apparant reason? Why can I be in a conversation and go completely blank? Like I can not even answer basic questions. Why am I in a constant state of emotional upheaval? TRAUMA. Not long ago trauma but current trauma. He suspects I am suffering from fugue state or Dissociative fugue which has been linked to severe stress, which might be the result of traumatic events — such as war, abuse, accidents, disasters, or extreme violence — that the person has experienced or witnessed.

Wow ok, this one was out of left field lol my first thought was “yeah I am crazy, that is nothing new”. That is just me trying to lighten up a very serious issue. I am having an EEG done next wednesday to make certain that there are no underlying issues that have been missed. I am also being sent to see a psychotherapist, and I am ok with that. There is no shame in knowing that I can not do this by myself. Having spent the last six months with a diagnosis of a rare kidney disease and significant adrenal insufficiency after a year and a half of fearing the unknown, I have not had time to properly deal with that and all the other outside issues currently on my plate. I have depression and ptsd and I need more help. I spend a great deal of time alone and do not talk in person about what is going on outside my close friends and family, and sometimes not even then do I open up completely. I do not need to be an open book to the world, I need to be an open book to myself!

I am still at war from within. I am a mom trying to raise my kids with their own set of traumas. I am a wife trying to not put everything on my husbands shoulders, because he has enough on his plate. I am the friend trying to be there for my people and still feeling as if I am not enough. I tried to step away and give us all time but that was not recieved well. I was accused of being mean and uncaring of others issues. Let me tell you something, I have a tremendous amount of empathy and never want anyone to suffer. But if you continue to deny your problems and do not take appropriate actions to mend them, I can not help you! If you can not see how much I am struggling and need support, then stay away!

I will never compare my trauma to others, it is a slap in the face to those people. I continue to see others rate their trauma above others and you are wrong in doing so! So stop! We have all experienced levels of trauma and some continuous amounts of trauma and they manifest in a multitude of ways. I encourage those who are currently in this situation to seek help! Be open and honest with yourself and your doctors!

Please be gentle and understanding to yourself and those around you! Look hard within yourself, the answers are there! Same goes for the ones witnessing this first hand with someone they know. There will be some you have to walk away from because they refuse help, that is ok! Your decision likely is not based on how much you love them, everyone deserves love even when they are lost. When you see someone legit trying to get better, be there cheerleader! Encourage them!

Thanks for reading, feel free to share or comment! I would love to connect with you all!

Jennifer Steen

Lifestyle

You are worthy, so own it!

Never let anyone make you feel bad for knowing your own worth! Be your own champion and cheer yourself on, in the good times and the bad. You will never find the validation you seek, if you do not value yourself first. Simple as that!

Let your thoughts flow and do not be ashamed of them, own them! These negative and positive thoughts, give them the voice they are seeking. We speak to be heard, to communicate. These thoughts become art, they become our haven to understanding ourselves and the world around us. They inspire and save lives!

I now decide what I am willing to sacrifice for happiness. I however will never lose myself again, for anything or anybody. Until we start accepting ourselves and others, we will forever be giving up and giving in. ~Jennifer Steen Sept. 12, 2018

We are souls reaching out to connect with something bigger than us. A way to cope and learn to grow in the safety of ourselves and our tribe. Continue to look inward often and put yourself first! Yes you! Then your job, your kids, significant other, etc. Some people are not going to agree with me on that and it’s ok, I get it, truly. It is not self serving at all, its preservation.

*sigh* I realized today that while I am making progress in my journey. I am still stuck putting other things first, instead of me. Everyday life and challenges become overwhelming and complicated. I feel guilt and sadness in my self imposed isolation from what I struggle to face. The pain, the unknown, It is not designed to be easy, we must find the clues in the labyrinth of our minds. You will undoubtedly take wrong turns but there is a way back, even if it’s from the way you came. They are not called second chances for nothing!

So I think that wraps my late night thoughts and ramblings. It is my go to form of therapy to write and it is my gift. I am proud of that gift and honor it! I hope you all do the same, it will change the world, I promise! Thank you for reading!

~Jennifer Steen ☮💙🕉

health · Lifestyle · Uncategorized

The Sickness Part 4

March 2, 2018

I’m so very scared
A silent foe lies in wait
Within my soul
I slowly die inside
Wrought with agony and pain
Scared for tomorrow
Will I make it to that day?
Or just fade away……
Absolutely no way!
I continue to fight and vibe on my way
When we face our shadows
They all fall away
And we are like the stars shining so brightly, nothing can ever take that away
Now I feel hope and resilience
In the face of my fate ~Jennifer Steen

10 days was all it took. From ER to truly the sickest I had ever been up until this point. It started with a headache that never went away……to save considerable time I am going to list the symptoms that followed, I wrote this list while in the waiting room at BSA
*Nausea
*excessive underarm sweating and dark spots
*headache-everywhere
*dizziness and light headed which led to numerous black outs and a nasty concussion
*foggy memory and forgetfulness
*neck stiffness, swollen throat
*deep painful all over body ache(like a full blown flu)
*tingling hands and feet
*on and off fever
*extreme fatigue
*trouble falling asleep
*sensitive to meds
*frequent urination
*heart racing feeling with sweating and chills
*rapid weight loss
*depression
*skin changes on my face and legs, large red patches that burn when exposed to sun or lotion

Six weeks. That is how long I lived like this. In a blur, a realistic soul sucking abyss.

“Yet out of darkness was this gift, of vibes and rythmes. Of sight you can not see and words which you can not hear. Touch that you can not feel yet moments that came alive”. ~Jenn

So you can see while reliving the memories, I have gained perspective on the situation. Makes it tolerable to endure when something hopeful and optimistic can come from it.

They ended up telling me what I already suspected, it was an endocrine issue and there was nothing they could do, they tried giving me morphine but I had a horrible reaction to it and thus solidifying that I would no longer take prescription meds to handle my pain. My body was shutting down slowly and it was only a matter of time, I knew if I did not figure out what was wrong that I would not make it at the rate I was going. It was time for a change and to get down to the bottom of what was happening and why.

I was referred to an endocrinologist and that is where I started to get some answers. He originally thought I had Addison’s disease but turns out I have something even more rare. Hyporeninemic Hypoaldosteronism, meaning my kidneys do not make enough of an enzymes called renin which decreases the aldosterone in my adreanal glands. This disease is seen in people with chronic kidney failure and end stage cancer, I have neither. Leave it to me to be difficult huh? I have had numerous scans and tests and so far nothing else has came up. I take a steroid twice a day and it has helped thank goodness! Hoping after my neurologist visit, I can find a functional medicine doctor to run more extensive tests. I have chronic kidney stones and rashes that pop up and then go away. I tested negative for lupus. So far no thyroid disease put I do have a goiter on my right thyroid gland. I have also been experiencing slurred speech, balance and memory issues, and stomach problems. I am still fatigued and sick often but it is getting better with proper rest, food, and a positive mindset!

I will be coming back and updating as I get information and of course I will share how I am feeling from time to time. The support and love for me and my family has been a blessing to us and we will never forget it, thank you all so much!!

Jennifer Steen

family · Lifestyle · Uncategorized

Just figure it out already!

Early last year I thought I had everything figured out, finally lol, but reality gave me a huge wake up call. I in fact had only begun to scratch the surface of understanding. Facing my past, how it affects my present, and ultimately my future. In a race to make my dreams a reality, I quickly lost sight of the big picture. I became unfocused, scared, and depressed. My family almost feel apart and I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. I failed, plain and simple, and that was what bothered me the most. I failed my children, my friends, my family, and myself.

I often ask myself what was the purpose of this? Why was this happening to me? Was it for clarity, punishment, karma, etc. At this point, I still do not have all the answers but my best answer is I had to learn a lesson, a hard one. One that tested everything I thought I knew about the world, the people in it, and most importantly myself. I can only do so much at a time, I can not save everyone, and my place in this world is in the present. Do I have more to give? Yes! Is the future important? Yes! Do I have to be successful to matter? Depends on ones definition of success, for me, it is getting out of bed each day and facing the challenges presented to me.

My chronic pain, my anxiety, when is the next time I will pass out and give myself a concussion for reasons still unknown and will my kids be there to see it again. When will I find the strength to do what needs to be done to find the purest form of myself, the happy medium I desperately want and need? Well truthfully it has to come from within, this I know, and understand.

The challenge is wading through the years of social conditioning and releasing the bindings to people and situations that only serve to drag me down. It is a battle of wills and personally I am fighting things only I can see and hear, which makes it all the more challenging. I am not going to give up though! I am prepared this time for when I falter, it is lesson I must learn for a higher purpose. I have already won half the battle because I am still here! All the pain and tears are my battle scars and the laughter and smiles are the balm that heals them!

I am the bearer of anxiety
The one that holds the key
To the peace I need
Finding the lock is the journey
I must walk across the fields of loneliness and fear
Searching for salvation
Amongst the barriers that stand in my way
Fighting an invisible force
I can feel but never touch

~Jennifer Steen

✌🏼🖤

family · Lifestyle · Uncategorized

Hard days and wondering nights

So it seems I have had a little bit of writers block. Maybe? Or I am just taking things at my pace for once….not sure yet but such is how my mind works. Never knowing between my head and my heart. They both hurt, so they are limping along the way.

Things have been hard. Like really hard. I am still sick more often than not. I am bone tired and bewildered. I truly feel like Alice in Wonderland but with a mountain of responsibilities and so many different paths to travel all at the same time. How in the heck am I going to stay true to who I am and what I need? That is not selfish! The best thing we can do for others is to do for ourselves first. So we can be present and aware. Even through the pain and suffering, setbacks, mishaps…….. perhaps 🤷‍♀️

In the Wonderland of my mind
Like Alice
Seeking absolution
The White Rabbit
Leading me into the abyss
Falling down a black hole
Fighting my way out
The potion
Transforming me
My favorite caterpillar
Wasting the memories away
The Mad Hatter
The craziness within
The Red Queen
The darkness within
The White Queen
The light that shines within
We are all but a memory now
In Wonderland
~Jennifer Steen

I am desperately trying to live in both realities. I dreamed of this while in Florida last January. Being pulled into two different dimensions and everyone vying for me on each side. I have previously kept a dream journal, I do not remember mine much anymore, so it has not been used in some time. Here is that entry-

New years eve- kept astral projecting and could not control it. I would be in a location(cabin full of people) and then go into a trance but my mind would be somewhere else. I would come back and everyone just acted like it was no biggie or annoying. People drinking, deer killing themselves by hitting large doors and fences walling off a compound. Terry was there and kept an eye on me, Josh seemed annoyed, and everyone else just acted weird. When I was in the other realm everyone ignored me and always a conflict going on. Had 3 dreams separately but each one picked up where the other stopped

Hope you enjoyed that journey into my dream lol that is the first time I have ever shared one publicly. Feel special, because YOU ARE!! Anyways, I do not take that a good or bad thing just unusual.

Physically I am suffering, mentally is a 50/50. My brain is sound but the nerves may not be, we will see soon. Emotionally scarred but intellegant enough to know the difference between innocence and intent. I do not need to be coddled, just treat me as me. With care and with caution, especially of you think I am still the old me.

These hard days and nights, give me fright, I can not lie. My days are filled with coping and being as present as possible. Taking pictures, writing, trying to potty train a stubborn three year old 🤣 keeping up with two teenagers and an endless supply of fresh drama 🤦‍♀️

At night I lay awake, meditating my worries away. Saving some for another day, a day where I feel well and able to face the day. It is a coping mechanism you see, it works for me. It seems not so much for others I see. I am very sorry, I mean no harm. I just do not have time for bullshit and empty words are just not for me. I love you all really, just give me some time or simply help and you will see. No expectation leads to no disappointment in only some cases. Expect greatness and watch it come to be. Do not however expect from others. Take what you are given and be grateful, most do not turn away to hurt you. Even so, do no harm. They are on another path, let them go until if and when it is time to meet again. Not everyone is good for each other, we change like the tides 🌊 that brings me to my love of the ocean, I miss you dear friend! I am trying so hard to get closer to you, at this point even the mountains would do, I live them just as much as I love you! ⛰

Hmmmm looks like no more writers block for me…..thank you all for reading my ramblings and inner feelings. Yeah shit is super hard right know but I will always find the silver sea shells in the white sand 🏝💋

☮Juju🕉