A couple weeks ago I registered to attend Thrive: Make Money Matter in Las Vegas scheduled for this weekend. I was SO excited not only for the incredible speaker lineup, but also to support Wes Chapman and A Human Project, and last but certainly not least, celebrate his gorgeous fiance, my friend Jodie, as her birthday also falls today. (Happy Birthday Jodie! Check out her amazing clean eatin’ blog here!)

Alas, around the weekend of September 20, I started to get sick. I remember sneezing – you know that sick sneeze you get where you just know more sickness is upon you?

I went to the doc and she gave me cough medicine, nasal spray, and told me I’d be fine with a netty pot. A week later, I returned as my cough was now worse, so she did a chest x-ray that came back negative, put me on the z-pack, and sent me on my way.

Fast forward another WEEK, after missing three days of work and sleeping an ungodly amount of hours, a different doctor put me on Prednisone, a steroid inhaler, different antibiotics, and gave me a breathing treatment. After three days, none of that seemed to work and on Monday I sent my doc an urgent message requesting labwork be ordered. I never heard back.

The next day I sent a message through the online portal, and I never heard back, once again. Not only was I still coughing, I was also feeling confused, not remembering the names of some of my best friends, feeling mentally off, anxious, and physically unwell.

Wednesday morning I left work after an hour and went to my good friend Liz’s house as she has air conditioner and we were in record high temps this week – the thought of sitting at home all day sick was miserable.

I got to Liz’s and by that time I was sick to my stomach, but also super confused. I felt like I couldn’t tell the difference between reality and not reality, but I was subsequently aware of this confusion. I laid down on her couch and felt like I was losing it. She put on the movie Happy Feet, and I watched it legitimately questioning if the penguins and birds were real – and I was terrified. I even asked her if they were… I’m sure we will laugh about this eventually but at the moment, I knew – and prefaced my question with – “this sounds crazy but…”

She forced me to eat a rice cracker, which I couldn’t break in half, but she told me to take a bite so I did, and then I broke down in tears because I was terrified about what was happening in my brain. I laid there for over 3 hours before I started to feel normal. I was exhausted, and felt like I could imagine people pay big money for drugs to make them feel that way – dear God I can’t imagine electing to feel that way.

I did some research on “steroid psychosis” and what can happen on Prednisone. I quote another patient who had the exact same experience:

“I’m having Prednisone side effects. My doctor prescribed this drug last Thursday. She prescribed 20mg twice daily for five days. I was sleepless for three days in row. On day 4 after a short nap I awake feeling so nervous. I am crying, my hands are shaking, and my heart is beating so hard. These are awful feelings.”

Later on Wednesday, I finally ate some food, and went to Urgent Care. There, the doc confirmed that the experience was most likely a bad reaction to the Prednisone I was on since it went away, and said my lungs sounded like shit, and did an x-ray. Sure enough, I have Pneumonia.

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Me at Urgent Care; after being poked 3 times in each arm by two people. I have high pain tolerance but I was definitely not happy 😉

Why am I telling you all of this?

For starters, because I know that what I was experiencing that morning – the anxiety, the confusion – was something that had to have been drug-induced, as it was completely unexplainable otherwise – and it could honestly happen to anyone. I will never again let my physician put me on steroids without it being literally life or death and absolutely necessary.

Two, because in my last post I talked about making choices. I even used a made up example of should I go to a business related conference I want to attend or to a friend’s bachelorette party. 

This weekend, that choice became half-real, as I had to decide whether to attend Thrive or stay home and get better.

Ultimately – even though up until late last night I was considering hopping on a plane – I chose not to go (which was the right choice because I feel even worse today).

Even though I really didn’t want to miss the excitement – the energy – the speeches – the knowledge – I also know that in my current state, even though I could probably fake it for a little while, I’m in no position to be in a huge crowd, or sit in a conference room all day, or be tempted to party and celebrate. And I definitely don’t want to be that girl who is coughing and everyone thinks could be contagious – not exactly the first impression I’d like to make ;).

There is LOADS of research on why you need to make health a top priority; here is one article I found on Forbes on the topic: Why More Entrepreneurs Need To Make Health and Wellness A Priority

Thanks to John Lee of EOFire who Periscope’d some of last night’s sessions, I was able to catch some of the event LIVE (Periscope is uh-ma-zing.). And since I have a VIP ticket, I’ll have access to the video from the speakers, which is a plus!

Although I won’t have any great updates for you from Thrive, my lesson for the weekend is put your self first.

You aren’t good for anyone else if you don’t take care of number one, and neither am I.

Be well, everyone.

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