The rest of these issues are however my fault (sort of) and its come to a point where I feel like it IS having an effect on how I perform my job and I feel like everyone deserves an explanation. Sometimes life just throws these things at you that you never expected and you would never have expected it to have such a profound impact on your life. About 8 yrs ago I had a lot of trouble with my back being I am and was in my 30s and was overweight I thought it was probably just age. It became so bad that for almost a year I didn’t move much off the couch. I went to many drs,had a lot of xrays, no one seemed to take me seriously probably just figured I was looking to get pain killers and wrote me off. Finally an orthopedic specialist had ordered some xrays and listened to all my symptoms, after my xrays came back showing my sacrum and lower lumbar vertebrae were fused (naturally) into one solid piece he said that not only was he almost certain I had ankylosing spondylitis he also thought perhaps it was rheumatoid arthritis possibly just presenting in a slightly different way than usual. I preceded to a rheumatologist who never examined me simply said “you cant have ankylosing spondylitis as you are not biologically a man and only men can get that.” He completely ignored all my other symptoms told me “it wasn’t possible to be in pain because there is nothing wrong.” And that was it. For the last 7+ yrs ive lived with chronic low back pain, hip pain, stiffness in my hands and feet. I lost a lot of weight, took up running, a regular yoga practice even decided to get my yoga teacher certification. During my teacher training I started getting terrible pain in the balls of my feet and just assumed it was all the “yoga” it never went away, only got worse and then the same pain struck both hands, my fingers and then came the fatigue…not like “oh I didn’t get enough sleep” more like “I just got out of bed 2 hrs ago and I feel like every ounce of energy has been drained from my body” debilitating pain and fatigue. Typing is sometimes not possible, opening cans, caps, bottles, jars, stirring; writing and sometimes even walking are like insurmountable tasks for me. I’m sure how you can probably see how this is having a negative effect on my work and im very much a type A personality and a very detail orientated perfectionist so its hard for me to accept that I “cant” physically do something. I also have 5 children at home a dog and 3 cats and all the normal cleaning up after, caring for and dealing with that entails.
I had to first work on getting insurance so I could even begin the process again of trying to get a diagnosis. I did that but even with insurance medical care isn’t free, it costs a lot of money out of pocket and this business is my livelihood. Its hard to make money when you physically cant do your job sometimes. Since things tend to happen in threes shortly after getting insurance and making dr appointments a tooth decided to break off (yep all the way down to the gum line) I don’t have dental insurance so having that taken out and then having an implant put in costs nearly 4 thousand dollars all out of pocket :( im not done…remember I said threes lol. Right before all this happened we took out a nice home equity loan to do some much needed home renovation!!! A couple rooms of our house are getting all new solid hardwood floors! Yay (sort of) so they come to remove all the gross bazillion yr old carpet and discover that not just one small section of the subfloor needs replaced the whole thing needs replaced or completely sealed. We can either hire another contractor to get a building permit and tear it down to the joists or we can seal it ourselves. Building permits could take months and while I wasn’t at all wanting to “paint” a floor myself itll take up less time and I don’t have much time! I currently have no furniture in my living room, no kitchen table, pretty much no kitchen and this isn’t going away until mid april :( I WORK FROM MY KITCHEN!!!! So essentially there are things I cannot make right now even if I wanted to :(
Don’t worry im not quitting, im not even giving up, this business is my heart and soul. Ive put all of my blood, sweat and tears into it and someone will need to pry it from my cold dead hands :) I probably wont have an official diagnosis for whats happening to my body for quite sometime but my new rheumatologist who isn’t an asshole seems to think that there may be 2 things happening to me. He thinks I have some early onset osteoarthritis (im 38 so yeah that’s real early, anything under 55 is early) likely caused by hypermobility of the joints (possibly from ehlers danlos syndrome) and rheumatoid arthritis. Neither of these diagnosis is good, theres no good or even safe means of treating it. The drugs carry the possibility of causing certain types of cancer, some are poision, all essentially kill your immune system. Since RA is an auto immune disease your immune system attacks and destroys your joints. Its not a gradual thing that happens over the course of a lifetime and then beomes really painful when your like 75 oh no, RA can happen to anyone, even children and its painful and its fast and its not curable so if they don’t slow it down with drugs it will cause severe deformity and chronic pain. This illness, whatever it is has taken a lot from me including my dignity at times when I cant even unbutton my own jeans and wipe my own ass. Im not telling you this to make you feel bad or have pity on me or to tell you to take your business elsewhere, im telling you this because I need your help now more than ever! Not only is this business my livelihood, sometimes its my source of sanity, stability and security and I don’t want to lose that. With mounting medical bills I also cant afford to lose it. So im asking you to please be understanding during this insanely difficult time and know that even though my best isn’t very good right now sometimes its literally all I physically can do. Im going to try and attempt to edit all our shipping info to reflect a more accurate time frame considering the carrier situation and my health so instead of daily we might drop it down to 3 days a week, instead of relisting items nightly we may have to do it only Sunday night. One of the most difficult things for me to do currently is type and or write, answering emails was getting out of hand before my hands went to shit lol we get A LOT of emails every single day! Most of the emails we get are actually answered on our FAQ or “Shop policies” page. So please please please check the FAQ page before you send an email! our shipping schedule will be there, restocking times, how to track your package, what to do if your package is missing, and many many others that we literally get asked several times a day. It saves me so much typing and my hands will thank you :) I love what I do, I really do. I love making things that I love, I love sharing those things with you. It gets harder for me to actually make things every day so every little bit of energy I can save or use of my hands is that much more energy I can put into actually making things.
What can I say? Shit happens you know? Im sure that getting a difinative diagnosis and finding the right treatment plan will help me to become a little more adept at working with my new body and new limitations. However right here right now things aren’t so good as far as my physical condition goes but im alive so there is more right than there is wrong and ill take that! It’s a big adjustment for me and im sure it will be an adjustment for you and I am sorry that I have to ask you to bear with me but that is what im doing. It has come to 2 options and they are 1) Give up or 2) Modify I chose to modify because giving up is not in my nature! So Theres the story of my life since about august of 2016 :) One final thing, I know its easy to disassociate when using the internet and forget that a very real person might be on the other side especially when we are dealing with business people because we are so used to large corporations running the world that we seldom think of a person sitting in their living room with their dog on their lap when we think of business communication but that’s all I am. I am one woman. One woman answers all the email, builds and maintains the websites, formulates all the products, makes them, bottles them, prints their labels, puts the lables on the bottles, packages all the orders for shipping, ships all the orders, prints all the postage all of those things are done by one woman and that’s me lol. So please try to always remember there is a real person on the other end of the internet with a real life and maybe real problems and just try to always be compassionate to everyone when you communicate, im not saying to never complain lol just remember that you are talking to a human being and that human beings are not perfect sometimes we are off our game, sometimes we are hurting, sometimes we need help. Your compassion, kindness etc can go a very long way :) We aren’t given any promised amount of time on this earth and our whole lifetime is like the blink of an eye in the grand scheme of things so make every moment matter, ask yourself who do you want to be right now? Do you want to be the grouchy grumpface? making everyone who comes in contact with youu feel a little crappier? Or do you want to be freaking happy? We are all connected and the choices you make effect more than just you, do you want a positive effect or a negative one? Me personally I want to get through this life happy and relatively sane lol so im choosing to put this out there regardless of how personal it may be because I want you to be happy, and if you think I just don’t care and am slacking off you cant be happy about that. That isn’t the image I want to portray. I care, I love this life, this business, the customers I also call friends and my actions effect you since my actions have been sub par I felt everyone deserved an honest explaination so that we can all be happy, stay positive and have a fighting chance at getting back to where we were when this hit :) Have a blessed day thank you for caring and NAMASTE my friends :)
Remember to spread joy today!! NOTHING is permanent!! STOP RUSHING!!! Slow down!!! Whether you're typing a complaint to amazon or picking up your lottery winnings slow the hell down! and be present in this moment whatever this moment holds!!!!