Helping women with chronic illnesses

Getting Back On Track!

The five year anniversary of me starting a blog will be in about three weeks. In all of that time, the longest I’ve gone without writing has been recently. It definitely hasn’t been easy for me to step away from it but there have been various reasons that I couldn’t maintain the pace I had set before. I am hopeful that I’ll get things back on track as soon as possible.

It really bothered me that I was unable to be active online this year for Endometriosis Awareness Month. Little did I know when I posted that short video on March 1st that it would be my only March post! Sometimes we just can’t predict what life will throw at us, though. So – as I’ve said before – I try to speak out for endometriosis awareness, as best I can, throughout the year.

Aside from managing my own illnesses, I have been spending time helping a relative who was recently hospitalized, I’ve been helping other family members with various issues, I did some volunteer work that I was “recruited” for, and I was summoned for jury duty.

I have written many times about the importance of pacing and the frustration I feel when I am unable to write regularly on this blog . While I have missed the time I’ve recently had away from this blog, I know that I needed that time to focus on other activities.

In recent weeks, I have been dealing with the same type of fibromyalgia flare-up I get every year when winter turns to spring. While my migraines have been less frequent and less severe since I’ve been getting acupuncture for them, I’ve still had some.

In regard to jury duty, it was an interesting experience. I have been summoned for jury duty many times over the years (far more than most people I know). The last time I was called, I was extremely sick and it was out of the question for me to go in. My doctor had written a letter that excused me from jury duty.

This time when I was summoned, I really stopped to ponder whether I thought I could do it or not. Without a doubt I am still in poor health. My fibromyalgia has been flaring and it really hurts to sit still in one spot for any length of time. That one illness alone would make jury duty a challenge. At the same time, I am not in the very dire shape I was in when I was last summoned. So, I discussed the summons with my primary care physician. She was fully prepared to write me another letter (and she’s not one to take writing such letters lightly); she knows how sick I am and how difficult it would be for me to sit still for so long without moving/stretching and to have infrequent access to a rest room (considering that my interstitial cystitis can cause severe bladder pain and make for unpredictable timing as far as the need for a rest room).

However, I look at jury duty as an important civic duty – like voting. I wanted to give it a shot if I thought I might be able to do it. So, she advised me to take advantage of the time to talk with the attorneys privately about my concerns (rest room access and avoiding exposure to fragrances were the two things I was most worried about). I had been through the voir dire process once before and was already planning on talking with the attorneys privately before my doctor suggested it. So, I screwed up my courage and took a pass on the note from my doctor.

My jury summons number was low. So I knew from past experience I would be called in on the first day. Sure enough, when I called the automated message it said to report the next morning. To make a very long story short, I ended up being one of the people called to sit in “the box” to be questioned by the attorneys. The judge had given some basic details about the case. It was a medical malpractice case that was expected to last two weeks! At this point, I will be perfectly honest and say that I started to wonder if I’d made a mistake passing up that note. However, I patiently waited for the opportunity to speak with the attorneys privately. This came at the very end of the first day. (I will say that I wasn’t sure how I would make it to the lunch break that first day; my bladder was not happy)!

© Jenny Rollo

The private discussion with the attorneys enabled me to share my concerns. In addition to explaining my concerns regarding rest room access (mainly because of IC) and worries about fragrances (and their potential to trigger migraines or even make me faint due to MCS), I had to fill them in on the 2008 surgery I had – which did not go as intended and which has resulted in permanent damage to my left leg (long story). After listening all day to questions pertaining to the medical malpractice case (where a man is now disabled following knee surgery that did not go as planned), I knew that I needed to disclose my own history with having had surgery that has resulted in lifelong damage to the nerves in my leg. We were instructed to return the next day and then I was excused by lunchtime the second day. I have no doubt that my leg situation made me an unwanted juror for that particular case. The good part was that I had the satisfaction of knowing that I had done my best and given it a shot. While there would have been absolutely nothing wrong with me being more cautious and having simply accepted a note from my doctor, I’m glad that I gave it my best shot.

In any event, I am really thankful (and lucky!) that the long stretches where I haven’t posted anything here have not resulted in people unsubscribing from my blog. On the rare occasions I’ve hopped online long enough to take a look at my blog statistics, the traffic has not dipped down in any kind of significant way. I can see that people are still reading my blog even when the most recent post is outdated. I can’t begin to express how grateful I am that people have been so patient and understanding. It’s too soon to tell when I’ll be able to get back on track the way I really want to but I am making every effort to do so.

In less than a month, it will be five years from when I started blogging. The thoughtful people I’ve met – through this blog, through my YouTube channel (which I really need to update more often!) and through social media – continue to amaze me. Thank you very much for your ongoing support and patience!

This post was written by Jeanne at Copyright © Jeanne — All rights reserved.

New to blog commenting? Just click “comments” below post. (If you set up a Gravatar, your picture will show when you comment).

Reading: Getting Back On Track!


1 DarleneNo Gravatar { 05.08.13 at 7:29 pm }

Welcome back Jeanne! Huge kudos for doing your civic duty! Having IC myself, I know how difficult it would be to sit through a trial! Also, the MCS makes it doubly hard to sit in a room full of people wearing scented products etc. as I have said before….I appreciate all that you do, not feeling well, especially. You never need to apologize for having a busy full life, outside the Internet and blog! Hugs!

2 JeanneNo Gravatar { 05.10.13 at 12:16 am }


Thank you! Your boundless support means more to me than you may ever know!!


3 ShaunaNo Gravatar { 09.05.13 at 10:18 am }

Dearest Jeanne,

My friend, I am so blessed to have met you wayyyy back when we started our blogs…5 years girlfriend! 🙂
In that time, many things have happened, our disease processes have 5 more years of pain and the many challenges that accompany it all.
Yet, here we are. You are a fantastic person J, with great empathy, deep caring and a spirit that shines through even the days you are absent. Five years of writing leave in it’s wake the words that still hold as much weight as the day they were written. I also feel ‘guilty’ (blog-guilt) when I’m unable to post as often as I’d like. I imagine we’ve said that for…oh..the last 5 years? 😉
Miss you and the ‘old’ days sometimes- you, me, and sweet, dear McKay.

Thank you for your support Jeanne. I’ll always be here for you too.

Gentle hugs….
Shauna´s last [type] ..38 Years in 2012

4 JeanneNo Gravatar { 09.07.13 at 12:07 am }


It’s so nice to hear from you!

I am still stuck offline but when I saw that you had left a blog comment I just had to say a quick hello. Yes, much has happened in 5 years!

You are an amazing person who articulates what so many patients experience (or something similar enough that they can relate to what you’ve experienced). Your posts are excellent at taking those everyday frustrations (experienced by so many people living with chronic pain) and putting them into words. At the same time, you don’t dwell on the negatives and the challenges.

You find a way to take frustrating or confusing experiences, explain them for those who don’t have firsthand experience, make those who have shared similar experiences feel understood/validated… and you educate people through your blog – after drawing from a combination of your own life experience and your nursing training.

It’s funny that you mentioned the “guilt monster” that often haunts bloggers because I have been working hard not to succumb to it in these last few months where I just haven’t been able to blog.

I miss those days too – and I believe you and I will always miss hearing from McKay K.

Thank you for everything you do. Your posts help many people.


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge