“Whatever doesn’t kill you simply makes you stronger.”

I’m thinking whoever said that never went through a series of health-related garbage so bizarre that people only half-believe the stories.

First my eyes. Then my ear.

I have seen more doctors in the last 6 months than in the last 6 years. And that is saying a lot since I am diabetic, have night terrors, major acne, and a whole host of other weird stuff.

I am beginning to believe I am a hypochondriac.

The thing about health trauma? You get weak. You don’t get strong.

Last weekend, my family went camping in Utah (more on that soon), and while it was a lovely trip in a lot of ways… it showed me how WEAK I am. Physically, emotionally, everything.

Several times, I let the boys scamper off ahead of me, because I was out of breath. Or the wind was bothering my ear. Or I was just. plain. tired.

I actually took a 15 minute cat-nap under the shade of a rock in Goblin Valley while they played.

I have never been super athletic, but this is NOT NORMAL.

At first I beat myself up.

What is my problem? Why can’t I handle this? Is this how it will be FOREVER?

I’ve had restless dreams all week. Tossing and turning these feelings, and so many others, over in my head… it’s like I haven’t processed all the trauma of the last 6 months yet, and Utah forced me to face the new me. The temporary me.

One of the tests the doctors rushed me into when I came back from Austin was to make sure my skull had not been fractured by the ear infection. It was that strong and that massive. They were concerned that my BRAIN was ripped and dripping into my ear. I know I sound melodramatic when I say this, but I could have died several times this past March.

I definitely have not processed this.

Last night I finally looked at some photos I took while in New York City, right before my eyes put me in the ER. That time I was blinded and stumbling around Manhattan, right? The photos are moody, cold. It was sleeting the whole time. It’s like I knew what kind of storm was coming.

Now I just need to get over it.

New York City Umbrellas

This article has 20 comments

  1. Andrea

    Lovely post. Feel better soon.

  2. Anonymous

    I didn’t realize it was that bad. Holy hell. Get better, girl! – m

  3. KR

    Great images for a nearly blind person:) Which just goes to show that it’s not the eyes that see but the unseen stuff that does that picture taking.

    And I wouldn’t rush to get over it, but take your time getting through it…so you don’t have to come back later on.

  4. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Good point, K 🙂

  5. Everyfann

    Whoah. Get better. Love that pic.

  6. Monika

    While it stinks that you are still dealing with everything from Austin and before, I am happy that you are starting to get better.

    Slow and steady wins the race after all.

    Heal that ear so we can continue going to concerts together! 🙂

    I agree with K – that shot is incredible!!

  7. tracy

    oh my…. I hope things improve for you soon, dear. I don’t know about the exhaustion of physical pain & trama, but I am unfortunately an expert on the toll emotional trama takes on a person…. and I suspect given your health issues, you’re probably no stranger to mental exhaustion as well.

    And seeing as how you’ve only recently become my new favorite kick-ass photographer, it’s clear I need to spend some time in your archives learning about the rest of you.

    take care 🙂

  8. Sizzle

    My friend shared this quote with me yesterday and I feel like it’s fitting:

    “The world breaks everyone, and afterward many are strong in the broken places.” -Hemingway

    You’ll be strong again.

  9. Esther Crawford

    You’re definitely in my thoughts and I’m still mad at that damn ear infection for keeping me from hanging out with you in Austin.

  10. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Thanks for the love, y’all. You really do rock.

  11. Corinna

    Amy, I’m sorry to hear how frustrating the past several months have been for you. Time, and your determination to make your current state temporary, will surely bring you back from the brink.

    Looking forward to being at camp with your stronger self.

  12. Rachel

    It will get better, I swear, having been through the wringer myself the past ~20 months. It takes a long time, longer because of diabetes for sure, but one day you will do something physical that will make you go, huh, I’m strong and healthy (as possible with diabetes) again.

    Also, it took awhile for me to process the whole mortality part of things. It’s part of the emotional recovery from the physical illness, for sure.

    (P.S. I am totally getting a tattoo saying “that which did not kill me made me stronger”.)

  13. Julie Marsh

    Seeing my friends go through health crises always gives me pause. We do our best to take care of ourselves, and yet sometimes it’s not enough. It really is frightening.

  14. Connie Weiss

    I’m so glad that you’ve survived these illnesses!

    Or I wouldn’t have met you and that would have made me very sad.

  15. Eva

    Oh my! That sounds really scary. I swear – since I’ve hit my later thirties, I’ve fallen apart. It’s frustrating.

    But wow, that picture is incredible. I love the contrast and composition.

  16. Kim Hosey

    That’s a fantastic image.

    I don’t think you’re a hypochondriac. (Or maybe you’re a hypochondriac about being a hypochondriac. It makes the head spin.) I think you’re a hell of a trooper. Take care of yourself.

  17. annalyn

    That’s a beautiful photo! I am sorry to hear that you have to suffer all these health issues. Hope everything will be well with you.

    All these shall pass.

    -@happysoul on

  18. Schmutzie

    It takes a long time to recover from such powerful infections, especially when they might stem from long-term life stress.

    I get sick with everything constantly right now, but not like I used to, and I am slowly getting better, but I AM getting better.

    And now I want to tell you to breathe and try yoga, because that’s what everybody is always telling me. I haven’t done that yet, though, so don’t take my word for it.

  19. Momo Fali

    My son almost died from a bacterial infection. People don’t realize just how serious they can be.

    Your poor body had to climb a mountain to get through all of that and you’re just now on a downhill slope. It’s going to take a while before you can start climbing mountains again. Take it easy. Be thankful. Take nothing for granted.

  20. Nurse and Hospital Stories

    “Now I just need to get over it.”

    Well said. And you need to cherish the moments that you have with your loved ones though you are feeling weak. Somehow, see the beauty on the storm that you are going through.

    Hoping for you to be better,
    Peny@embroidery digitising

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