Sunday, October 18, 2015

Three months - 90 Little Deaths

Four months ago today, I had just returned home from an exotic work trip to Bermuda.

While there, I climbed the multiple stories up the island's lighthouse.

I climbed a "forbidden" mountain and was ceremoniously "escorted" back to the "allowed" areas.

I hiked the beaches for miles across terrain the others complained about.

I was - as I always have been - the consummate adventurer.

I was - as I had newly become - the adventure partner wife to a beautiful husband that I came home to, full of stories.

And then, a mere four weeks later, "the illness" happened.

Like so many illnesses before it, I assumed this one would come and go.

Mentally, I gave it two weeks.

Surely, once the minor surgery had passed and the antibiotics worked their magic, I'd be out adventure seeking again.

I was asked if I'd be ready to start a new job by September 1.

I confidently said, "That shouldn't be a problem."

Little did I know what a problem it'd be.

Because July came and went.

As did August.

September 1 and I was still no better - still no closer to any answers. In fact, I was getting worse...and no doctors could tell me what was wrong.

So I went to the best of the best.

Scott and I spent a week at The Mayo Clinic.

That was mid September.

It is now mid October, and I attempted to go to the park today.

In June and early July I had a 3-mile trail I walked everyday.

Today, vision blurred, feverish, heart rate through the roof, several body systems still inexplicably sick - I walked.

I think I made it a mile.

It took about an hour.

It damned near killed me.

I've spent the rest of the evening, like so many others, on the couch - crying.

Crying because I do not know what has happened to me.

Crying because I don't know if I will ever know.

Crying because I don't know if this illness will ever leave me.

Crying because I don't know if I'll ever be able to have my adventures again.

I don't know that I will ever revisit Machu Picchu or The Old Vic or Harry Potter World.

Crying because I fear the Erin Greer I knew and loved - the traveler - the adventurer - the woman who wanted to see the whole world and be inspired by it - I fear that woman is dying.

Yes, perhaps physically...but - equally troubling - emotionally and mentally.

Crying because I miss her so desperately...and every day that passes is a day she slips further and further away.

It reminds me - heartbreakingly it reminds me - of the way I view every death I've ever experienced.


Friends and family hold out hope.

Loved ones send encouragement.

"There's still time. It's early yet."

"You haven't seen every doctor yet. Haven't had every test. Someone, somewhere will find it."

But my faith is dwindling with my health.

My courage is waning with my strength.

There are those people who never recover.

There are those who never get better.

I never thought their story would be my own.

Now I am not so sure.

And there are no words for that kind of sadness.


  1. It can get better, maybe not perfect, but better! Hang in there! It's still very early for you, give it time.

  2. I am so sorry Erin. I have been going thru this all too. Did going to Mayo Clinic help at all? I keep thinking there has to be a way to figure this all out. I took was like a bomb went off in me. I used to be able to run and eye sight is awful at times...and many other weird, horrible things... I was thinking of going to the Mayo clinic but the cost is what is stopping me. did it help? I hope so.....Very Sincerely, Deb :(

    1. Debbie - I was at Mayo for a week and they didn't find anything. I had them check my eyes - they said they should be functioning perfectly because they saw no damage. Same with the neuropathy in my hands, legs and feet. I told them about my experience with Cipro and was only met with skepticism. I am thinking of going back and seeing a different internist...

    2. Oh Erin. That is what I was afraid of did you see this...

      The first link is over 600 pages and like 400 or something is of people's accounts of their side effects. We are certainly not alone.

      I just reported everything here...

      I think with time we will get better.... I will say prayers for you. Today is a hard day for me. Ugh. Keep writing when u can. It's healing.

  3. I don't think Mayo is very good with controversial or innovative medical ideas - from what I've heard and also experienced.