PEN-Powered Activity Guide VI

The Warrior in Me Saved My Life

Honora Miller

After experiencing increasing fatigue over the course of several years , I started to miss gatherings with friends and fami ly and got to the point of taking one day off a month from work to sleep al l day . This was unl ike me as I was always very involved with professional and volunteer activities and had a very ful l schedule including parenting my young son with my spouse . After a l ingering cold evolved into bronchitis , I began to explore what was wrong with the assistance of my primary care provider ( PCP ). I had mi ld persistent anemia , but nothing to warrant the degree of extreme fatigue that I was experiencing . She ( my PCP ) was very tolerant of my various Google - induced ideas , graciously accepting some to fol low up with tests and others to set aside . After eleven months , a test showed that I had elevated M - proteins and my PCP sent me to a hematologist / oncologist who after greeting me reviewed several years ’ worth of labs and then turned to tel l me to come back in six months . She did not examine me . She did not ask me about my symptoms . She prepared to exit the room . I felt that I could not leave her office without her understanding how significantly the fatigue was impacting my dai ly l ife . This is when the inner warrior in me said NO ! I did not move from my chair . I told her , “ Nope . Now is the time that I need to tel l you about my symptoms .” ( Now this was somewhat uncomfortable for me because I have been wel l - trained to be pol ite and professional with doctors , but I had had enough . My New York elbows were coming out !)


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