5 Tips For Reaching a Diagnosis

Experiencing bodily discomfort can be scary, especially if it’s new. At first, you may have no clue what to do. You start out talking to family and friends. Eventually, you consider a doctor. The first visit is more confusing and angering than you expected. Aren’t doctors supposed to be like vending machines? You get the sniffles, you go in and out comes an antibiotic or nasal spray? Why is this so complicated?

That’s because the journey to a diagnosis is a long, hard one. If you’re reading this I can guess you’ve been on WebMD self-diagnosing yourself with everything from leprosy to cancer. You may have even come across fibromyalgia by this point, and you might want  to ask your doctor to test you for that. Don’t do that. Fibromyalgia is a diagnosis of exclusion, to be explored in later blog posts, as this is a somewhat controversial statement depending on where you live. It’s basically what you end up with after about a year of tests for everything but fibromyalgia. But there is a way to streamline your diagnosis journey.

For example, I have a severe form of fibromyalgia. It developed over a series of 3 years. There is, honestly, no use in me railing against the medical neglect I received that led to the lack of catching it before it progressed so far. Who knows what might have happened if doctors had seen the tan, fit, blonde pretty twentysomething with a mental health record’s complaints as valid back in 2016? I may have ended up just as severe as I am now. What I do want to do is give you a short regimen for gathering data should you find yourself in a similar predicament.

  1. Know what pain is.

I honestly didn’t know what pain felt like. As a small child, if I fell down and scraped my knee, my mother did not come over, pick me up, and kiss my booboos. Even when I developed endometriosis at age 14 I thought I was just sick to my stomach, light headed, and bleeding like crazy. I could describe what was going on poetically: “Something is clamping on me,” “this burns,” but I never thought of it as pain, because I was taught to ignore, belittle, and never admit pain from a young age. If you can describe what you feel in metaphors, think about people in movies or books experiencing similar situations and if they were described as being painful. If painful doesn’t work for you, think of “this hurts!” Answer “yes” when the doctor asks you if you are in pain if you can pass the metaphor, movie, or hurt test.

2. Keep a log of symptoms.

Buy a little pocket journal. When you get up every morning, write the date. Whenever you experience a symptom – nausea, vomiting, tingling, bowel movements – write the time and the symptom next to it under the date. Repeat. The point of the log is both for you to show the doctor and for you to learn patterns.

3. Exercise

Track your exercise in your symptom journal. Do you feel dizzy or lightheaded? How long are you able to exercise? What type of exercise are you doing? Even if you’ve never exercised before in your life, do this anyway. It will give you a more accurate depiction of your endurance. You can even start off just walking at your local mall or around your neighborhood.

4. Food

Log what you eat, when you eat, in your symptom journal. Your symptom journal should be written chronologically.

5. Clothing

When you write your date in your journal, record what clothes you are wearing and when. Make sure you write down the fabric type of the clothing. This can be found on the tags inside your clothes. This can help you see if there is a pattern between what you’re wearing and whether that triggers a symptom. Numbers 2, 3, and 4 are good things to do post-diagnosis as well.

This 5 step list is great for any diagnosis journey, no matter what the diagnosis may be. Remember to be patient and kind to yourself, because most diagnoses take quite some time. It’s okay, many people have been there before, and get off of WebMD!

5 Weird Things Newlyweds Do

Bear and I only cohabited for 2 months before the wedding (although I pushed for longer) so the good ol’ moving in together strangeness is upon us, besides being married is just weird. Here’s just some of the weird things we’ve done as newlyweds.

1.Fighting Over Pizza

As newlyweds, you will fight. Wedded bliss isn’t exactly a thing where you’re fight free, but one of the sillier, harmless fights is whether or not to order pizza, what gets put on it, et cetera.

2.Random Classy Twerking

You two will just twerk on each other. (It’s classy twerking because you’re married and it’s done in the privacy of your own home.) Whether one of you is in an office chair working at home, cooking in the kitchen, or doing your makeup. Twerking of this kind can be dangerous, and neither of you will exercise caution. Just speak up if you are cooking, putting on mascara, or on a conference call.

3. Never Leaving Each Other Alone

Want some spare time to make a phone call? Need to see your friends? Is your spouse looking over your shoulder as you write this?

Yeah, it be like that.

But would you have it any other way?

4. Getting Frisky In the Kitchen… With the Windows Open

You wake up, make coffee. Wait for him to get up so you can have breakfast together, and well… he is excited to see you. Very excited to see you. So you oblige him a little, and eventually you realize your large windows were open.

5. Incorporating Your Dog Into Your Married Unit

My fur child, Pupper Princess.

Now, I never officially made Bear Pupper Princess’ Doggy Daddy. I know some girls who make their boyfriends their pet’s dad after a year or so, but I wasn’t comfortable with that. What if she got confused? What if there was a custody battle?

I’ve had my dog for 8 years now. Bear keeps introducing Pupper Princess as our dog. It’s been hard to accept that she is, in fact, an “us” doggo instead of just “mine” now.


Being a newlywed couple comes with many emotions. Anger, lust, adventure, fun, awkwardness… and weirdness, as explored by this post. I assume cohabiters can relate to this as well. Hang on for the roller coaster ride! I hear it gets better!

List of all the ways I’ve been loved TODAY

When a person comes around to recognize their blessings, they need to record them. It’s like taking photographs of favorite destinations, making a collage, and displaying it teenager-style like your soul anthem on your bedroom wall. There, your memories wait for you each time you go to sleep.

I’ve been suffering on multiple fronts lately and I want to acknowledge the ways people have loved me TODAY, even if it was part of their job description:

  • The librarian who showed me Convenience Store Woman, recommended it to me, and had a conversation about it with me after she noted how much I read in a short amount of time. Thank you for your book love that is a part of your job description but still needed.
  • Sayaka Murata, for writing Convenience Store Woman, so that I could find it today and laugh my ass off when I asked the librarian for the happiest book in the library
  • Bear, for buying me books, queso, and enchiladas. Money can’t buy you love but they can buy you comfort. Thank you for loving me in this dimension today.
  • Bear, who shows genuine love and concern by answering all of my phone calls at work despite our current living situation, who truly does care, and won’t let me forget it. Thank you for loving me genuinely and unconditionally.
  • Bear’s friend, who was asked by Bear to check up on me, and did even though she didn’t have to. Thank you for being a friend of Bear and consequently, of mine, even if you may have gotten more than you bargained for.
  • My friends, for periodically checking on me, texting and calling throughout my day.
  • Random person on roll20 who noticed my distress at being unable to dungeon my dragons, thanks for reaching out to a freaked out person going through a DBT skills breakdown.
  • Mom, for driving me to DBT and the library because the doctors say I can’t drive right now.
  • Mom and dad, for driving me to meet Bear tonight for our date.
  • Dad, for trying to fix the record player so I could experience vinyl and not rely on digital technology to listen to music.
  • Indoor plumbing, for giving me a hot shower and a soaking bath. You do you man!
  • Me, for taking time out of my day to try to learn some new ukulele songs, devote time to music when I haven’t in years, and feed my brain. Learning to love you too boo.

Feel free to share ways that you felt loved TODAY in the comments! I would love to feel the love, and I’m sure you would too!