The diagnosis that broke me


As you may know, I’ve got a laundry list of issues. I am only 28 years old. This means that I’ve been in pain for 24 years. I’ve been depressed for 18+ years. Anxious for 25 years. Add a big ole etcetera in there because this could drag on. But I’ve always dealt with it. Not in an inspiring, healthy way I’ll admit, but I’ve survived.

Then came the winter of 2015. I was 25 years old, and I went to see an orthopedic doctor for the first time, looking for some help for my scoliosis and my pain problems. My doctor was awesome. She was a total sweetheart, very gentle and caring, and listened to everything I had to say. I got some X-rays done and she had a lot to say.  I took off my shirt so she could see my back better, and she twisted me around, poking and prodding, showing me different areas where my spine was doing things that it shouldn’t. She pointed to the X-ray, showing me where vertebrae were twisted in opposite directions, explained each area that looked different than my first(and only) X-rays from when I was a child. She asked if I had trouble breathing, and when I confirmed, explained that it’s because my entire ribcage is malformed. One side is caved in, and my lungs can’t fully expand. This entire time I’m thinking things like, ‘ok this makes sense.’ ‘Nothing I didn’t know already.’ ‘Ok this is bad but I already knew it was bad.’

One thing stuck out to me though. While she was fussing over the things that looked obviously bad, she casually mentioned that I had arthritis forming in my top curve. ARTHRITIS. The talk of spinal fusions and breathing problems quietly slipped out of my head, as this ugly word, this old persons word, just settled in the back of my mind to nag at me. When I left the office, I just sat in my car and cried. I already knew something was different. Something was bad. But arthritis? No way. I’m too young for this. I immediately mentally berated myself for thinking those words, I’m too young for this, because it’s what I’ve heard my whole life. “Your back can’t hurt, you’re too young!”

But I couldn’t help it. I was too young! It’s not fair that at such a young age, I would be dealing with a disease that old people struggle with. And look at an old persons face when they mention their arthritis. You can see the pain in their eyes. I just couldn’t help but keep thinking, this is something that’s going to cause me pain for the rest of my life.

At that point, I had only begun to feel the effects of the arthritis. I knew something was wrong because when it got cold, my back would hurt in a way that I’d never felt before. It’s not like regular lower back pain when you strain yourself. Arthritis is… foul. It almost feels sentient, like it’s got a grudge and it’s out to cause as much discomfort as possible. It was November that i got the diagnosis and it hit me hard, but I was trying to accept it. But the rest of the winter came and went and “accepting it” became a laughable option. Turns out, the worse the cold, the worse the pain is. The more time goes on, the worse it can get and the worse the pain is. More time went on and all of a sudden it wasn’t just cold that did it. If i pushed myself too hard, my arthritis would flare up. If it rained too hard, my arthritis would flare up. I quickly sank into a deep pit of depression and my thoughts were so focused on how much I hurt that I didn’t even look for a way out.


By the next winter the depression was bad enough that I was starting to wonder if I’d survive it. I tried to imagine the future, and for all the effort I put into it, I couldn’t imagine myself there. I’d never sunk quite that low before, and I knew it was time to get out. It took a long time, but I managed to start looking for help. I saw a doctor and started antidepressants for the first time, and although they were hell at first, they were a sign of hope. I started looking more into the arthritis and I realized that the phrase, I’m too young for this, really was as off as I told myself at first. I learned that there are different types of arthritis and that there are lots of people who go through something similar at my age. I read about different remedies and learned that turmeric, a simple spice, was used to reduce inflammation and pain. I started taking that, and it helped more than I imagined. I even went on a special low carb diet to try to combat something completely different, and it just so happens to be a great anti-inflammatory diet as well.

It took me a couple years in all, but my arthritis doesn’t scare me anymore. It can still get bad, despite the treatments, but I’m ok with it now. When it’s left unchecked, it’s hell. That’s not going to change. But what has changed is that it no longer has the power to break me. I had my pity party, I cried it out, and now I’m up for the challenge. Now I’m happy to tell anyone diagnosed at a young age that they aren’t alone and it’s not the end of the world. I’m a bit ashamed to admit how bad this one diagnosis hit me, but I’m determined that I will beat it.






Sunshine Blogger Award


I have committed what I’m sure is a Twitter blogger faux pas. I was nominated for the Sunshine blogger award, last month, and I’m just getting around to this now! Sorry! But I was nominated by the lovely Hannah and you can check her out here. This girl is a sweetheart who has no problem reaching out to lift someone up, even if she’s not having a good day herself. We need more people like her.


  1. Thank blogger who nominated you for the blog post and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asks you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.


Hannah’s questions, my answers.

  • When did you start your blog and why did you start it?

Wow. I had to look! I started my blog back in March of 2016. The previous winter, I had gotten a couple new diagnoses that sent me into the worst depressive episode I’d ever seen, and it changed me. I knew that I had to start working hard to overcome all the crap I deal with, because if I didn’t, it was too easy to imagine the future without me in it. The blog was meant to be therapy.

  • Do your friends and family know you blog?

Yep! It was a bit weird at first, but then I decided to create a Facebook page for my blog, so family and friends could decide for themselves whether they wanted to see my content or not. I was nervous at first but it’s been an eye opening experience and I’m glad to have started a conversation with some of those people.

  • What is your favorite animal?

Oh gosh I think I have a different answer every time. Right now I’m just gonna say dogs cuz my dog is my buddy and I love him.

  • Have you got a bucket list? If so name 3 things on your bucket list!

I have! I want to visit Ireland, have a full spinal fusion and stand up straight(ish), and I want to eventually go to New York Comic Con. Random examples but I’ve got a ton more.

  • Which post on your blog are you most proud of?

The Sensory Hangover. It’s been shared thousands of times and has gotten people talking and understanding their children, and even themselves, a lot more. I never thought it would get so much attention but I’m glad it’s made an impact.

  • Is there a meaning to the name of your blog?

One year in my MOPS group, we named our tables silly things. My table was the hot mess mamas. It stuck in my head I guess, and between mental illness, scoliosis and PMDD I figured, well, I AM a hot mess… Why not.

  • What would you like to achieve by the end of the year?

My only goal is to make more connections because the world of bloggers is pretty amazing. There are some awesome people out there and I’d like to keep the conversation going about mental health, disability, special needs kids, parenting, all that.

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Doing pretty much the same thing, but with a garden and chickens and more school activities. Hopefully with a better handle on my health so life isn’t so overwhelming.

  • What is your dream job?

To work with wildlife in some way. I don’t even know what, but when it comes down to it, animals soothe my soul and I’d love to be surrounded by them all day.

  • What makes you happy when having a bad day?

A good drink and a good snuggle. And yeah I meant snuggle as in the innocent kind of snuggles!

  • What is your favorite time of the year?

Spring. I love watching flowers bloom, and trees burst into life again. I love seeing animals at their best and having babies and the beauty of it all is just breathtaking.


My Questions!

  1. What made you start blogging?
  2. What has your most proud moment been so far?
  3. What’s your number one blogging goal for 2018?
  4. How have your friends and family responded to your blog?
  5. If you could explain one thing that people may misunderstand about yourself or your writing, what would that be?
  6. If you could be a guest on any TV show, which one would it be?
  7. What are your favorite things to watch?
  8. What’s your favorite book?
  9. What is your Hogwarts/Ilvermorny house?
  10. If you were to write a book, what would it be about?
  11. If you could change one thing with the world, what would it be?

And I nominate…





@shmisarah th







I’ve picked you lovely people because you have under 2,000 followers and I liked your blog enough to give you a boost! Even though most(all?) of you are definitely more popular and in control of things than I am! If you’ve been nominated before don’t feel bad about ignoring this but do take it as a compliment.