Thankfulness is a Verb; Update on My Condition

This past week has been a rollercoaster.  I’m writing this because when people ask for an update, it’s hard to talk about (I sound like a frog now) or write about in a way that fits into a text message.  As I blogged about, I damaged my Eustachian Tube, which connects my ears and nose.  After taking tests in August, I was relieved when the ENT said my problems were temporary and I would not become deaf.  Whew!  Sadly last week I contracted a cold.  Now,  my ears are hurting again.  I’m having trouble fighting the cold because my ears and nose have not yet healed.  They were getting better until the cold came.  I’ve also been fighting Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) pains.  PCOS is the houseguest that crashed my party ten years ago and has yet to leave.  While it’s not my worst PCOS episode ever (thank you Reliv!), it doesn’t help.

The Current Prognosis

Yesterday in Urgent Care, the doctor said that if I had gotten the flu, I would have relapsed and we would have to start inpatient treatment for Myasthenia Gravis.  And if I had the flu, I could lose my hearing.  But how to avoid the flu when everywhere I go most people are not covering their mouths when they cough?

Being Thankful, a Survival Strategy

This is all stressful, obviously.  When I was in college struggling with (bipolar) depression and PCOS, one strategy I developed is something I call my “10 List.”  I would list ten things I was grateful for.  I forced myself to be thankful.  For those of us who have been thrown many curveballs, being thankful feels impossible.  But I do it because I couldn’t survive without it and because my faith tells me to (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “…pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”)

This Week’s “10 List”

  1. PCOS doctor was generous–I have no insurance now but I had to see her.  She didn’t charge me for the visit and she gave me eight months of free meds!
  2. Kristine fixed my DVD—A former student, Kristine, fixed my machine.  Now I can watch my New Kids on the Block Music Videos and Carol Burnett’s Greatest Hits as opposed to reruns of television shows I hate while bedridden.
  3. Bret proofread my 2-page letter—Despite being busy, my friend proofread my document, (which relates to my upcoming pitch to New Harbinger regarding my book).
  4. Prognosis—I have the cold instead of the flu.
  5. Friends—I saw two friends I haven’t seen in months: Frank and Carol.  I previously blogged about Carol who is a true warrior—she fights lupus and bipolar disorder.   I also talked on the phone to my friend Ron whom I haven’t talked to since May.  Another best friend, Amy, randomly called me today—not knowing anything about my current siutation.  And she prayed for me.  My cousin Shelly has also been praying as well as other friends.  My friend, Cylicia, wrote a random post on my Facebook wall saying she is thinking of me.
  6. Understanding Boss—I write for  Readers anonymously submit questions they have about bipolar disorder, and we respond.  My boss, Christi, told me not to worry about writing until I get better.
  7. New Small Group–I attended my previous church for 19 years.  I’ve been attending this small group for three weeks.  When I told them I would be absent, they prayed for me and sent positive messages.  They are even fasting for me next Wednesday.
  8. Best Nephew everAt my cousin’s wedding last week, I was tired and had my head bowed down.  Five-year old Mikko surprised me with a hug and kiss.
  9. Encouraging Blockheads—I admin this Facebook group to get NKOTB on the Cover of People.  I told them I would not be posting for a few days because I’m sick.  So many members left empathetic messages offering positive thoughts and prayers.
  10. No Hurley from LOSTWhen I get sick, I usually look like Hurley from LOST because my hair is wild.  (It’s naturally curly but not Felicity curly.)   Hooray; the new detangler is working!

What’s on your “10 List”?

Thank You, Everyone!

I leave you with this message from the Golden Girls:goldengirltu


–Your Stylist,

Jessica Gimeno



Hi there! I am a patient advocate, writer, and public speaker most well known for my TEDx Talk, “How to Get Stuff Done When You Are Depressed.” As someone who is juggling 5 illnesses: bipolar 2, myasthenia gravis, endometriosis, psoriasis, and asthma, I’m passionate about helping people who navigate life with both chronic physical & emotional pain. If you’re interested in hiring me to speak at your event, check out the CONTACT tab.

8 thoughts on “Thankfulness is a Verb; Update on My Condition

  • November 14, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    I just wanted to let you know I’m thinking of you. In all my belly aching, I will do a list of ten. Inspiring even in your pain. Hugs.

  • November 15, 2013 at 1:19 am

    Glad that you did not get a flu and I hope you feel better! I will always keep you and your health in my prayers. I recently started incorporating being grateful on my daily planner because I just recently realized the power of gratitude and wanted to make it a part of my life. In there I make sure to write 2 things I’m grateful for every single day, apart from getting my basic needs. It has impacted my outlook in life tremendously and also they way I handle problems/ challenges in my day to day life. 😀

  • November 15, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    I am SOOOO glad to hear that it is only a cold and not the flu!!!! And you are so lucky to have a doc that gave you that much in free meds. Just last month, my COBRA ended and I can’t get coverage until January when the preexisting condition is no longer an issue. While the total cost of the meds is less than what my monthly COBRA payment is, I have had to switch some meds to have a lower out of pocket cost. So, my few hundred dollars in meds a month for my bipolar is probably pocket changed compared to the types of medications you are on so that was a HUGE HUGE blessing, and I can truly relate to how much of a blessing it is!

    And, as always, the pure nature of our website Ask A Bipolar means that our authors do have at least bipolar disorder, if not other additional illnesses that go along with it. Because we all have these, it is easy for us to understand when you get sick or when you crash. Its happened to us all. Our main concern is that you get better, rather than trying to push yourself to get your answers in and you end up getting worse. Thats the beauty of working with people who have the same conditions/illnesses as you. We TOTALLY get it because we have been there! 🙂 Just get well!


  • November 18, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Jess, you’re my hero(ine)!

  • November 19, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    As someone who is one of those Blockheads workin’ alongside ya, I can say that I appreciate ALL you give, no matter what when and how!
    I’m so glad meds, nephew, friends, DVD’s, etc. are making it just a little bit better!

  • March 6, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Finding your blog is definitely getting added to my list!

    In fact, it’s inspiring me to get back to writing on my own blog … it’s been too long!

    • March 6, 2014 at 5:49 pm

      Dear Kerry,
      I’m so glad you’re a fan of my blog. Support like this and bonding with other warriors makes me feel like there is a purpose to the pain. What is your blog? I can post a link to it under the “Blogs I Read” with a description.

  • March 6, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    I completely agree! Finding the “kindred spirits” or people who are sharing our experiences means so much … and when I write, if I’m able to help anyone else, it makes us both feel better!

    You can find my blog at
    It’s not completely about my illnesses – just about things I’ve gone through, and how we can find positive ways to get through the hard times … stuff that almost anyone can relate to, with an illness or not … though more recently, the illnesses have become a greater part of what I write, simply because they’ve become a greater part of “the hard times.”

    I hope it does something to put a smile on your face, as your writing has definitely done that for me!


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