" i don't know "

Starting new resolutions, setting new goals. Insurance benefits resetting, adding hours to my work schedule and the stress of telling patients that they owe more money than expected. My coworker turning in her resignation, leaving me completely alone to run the "behind the scenes" of the office. My best friend going through her own issues and I didn't know how to separate her life from mine. My ex coming back into my life, manipulating me into thinking that he wants a fresh start with me, then gaslighting me back into depression. People I thought were my friends, saying mean things, not taking responsibility for what they've done and making everything my problem. The beginning of 2022 was off to a start that felt unfair.

Coming home after work, I was burnt out. I had enough and I had nothing to look forward to. Stress had gotten to me and I fainted. Immediately afterwards, there was blood in my urine. I was approximately a week out from the predicted start of my menstrual cycle, so I thought just maybe I had started early. I just took my daily medication and went to bed that night. The next morning, I had gone into my allergist for my biweekly allergy shots and let the medical assistant know what happened. She was nervous and told me it was time to see a gynecologist and gave me some recommendations.

Since the day I fainted, I have thrown up every single time I tried to swallow something, I have had an incontinence accidents every single time I swallowed something and didn't vomit it up, and I started to have allergic reactions to water. Every single shower turned into rashes, throat swelling, and the skin eroding off of my chest. Brushing my teeth turns into mouth ulcers. Crying turns into anaphylaxis after my mouth swells and bleeds.

I have seen my allergist twice since then, who's broken down over the phone just as much as I have. "I just don't know what to do, Alexis." I just had a skin biopsy done at the new dermatologist's office after causing a reaction by showering, then heading straight to their office. "It could be this, I don't know." My gastroenterologist has referred me to another specialist and ordered an endoscopy with biopsies, and a CAT scan. "I don't know what's happening. I think it's something systemic, but I don't know." I now have an oncologist consultation set up and a neurology follow up and probably a handful more of "I don't know"'s.

This makes life a lot harder than it already is. It makes "being strong" feel really weakening and makes me question what's worth it and who to trust. All I want are answers at this point, no matter what it is - as long as I know.

So what do you do when not one single person, especially the people that are doing this as their careers (like doctors), have no answers for you? I don't know. But I can tell you what I've done so far.

I've established some boundaries with the people in my life. I'm no longer letting their personal situations cause anxiety, because they're just simply not my problem. And I have enough of my own problems to worry about others'.

I'm being open about how I actually feel. No more "I'm fine" or "oh, it's okay". If I'm having a bad day, I let myself have a bad day and rest. No more masking.

I've been exploring faith. Feeling lost in every sense of the word, I didn't know where else to turn. Instead of just jumping into any religion, I'm taking it slow. Researching, seeing what really vibes with my morals and values, praying to whoever is listening and hoping someone answers. It's all been extremely interesting and I'm feeling more grounded since starting this journey. And I'm not saying that religion or God is the answer. It's brought me to a place to really figure out who I am as a person and actually be grateful for the little things. Whether it's the Universe as a whole, a set of deities, or just seeing yourself as the bigger person, I'm learning to say thank you and practicing patience.

If anyone has any other tips or tricks to get through this "I don't know" period and pass the time in all of these waiting rooms, I'd be more than grateful for it.