Hospitalized Again: What Being Back Means for My Year of Healing

In this oh holy year of healing, I expected setbacks on my attempt to achieve healing. I recognize that it will take baby steps, and not gigantic leaps into suddenly transforming myself into a new, healthy person. This became apparent to me when I was hospitalized just 9 days into Kelly's Year Of Healing (trademark to come.)

Why am I back here for the 3rd time in 3 months? Well, much of this has to do with weaning off steroids, which I did at the start of the year. I was immediately rewarded with a sore throat and mouth sores worse than the ones I encountered at Christmas. 

I have also been feeling very confused and dizzy, not always sure of what movement I was making or what words I was typing. (So if this makese no sense, contact me or a mental health professional.) This was attributed to my low blood sugar. I consider myself self-aware, for better or for worse. So to wake up screaming for my mom and being surely it was 6am in July and I was in a hotel somewhere was odd because really, it was 11pm, I'd just woken from an ill-timed nap, and I was in the apartment I've lived in for a year.

It's absolutely terrifying, this run of diabetes I've had. I'm afraid to go to sleep sometimes because my sugar crashes are so bad that threats of a seizure or worse, a coma, are very real. My numbers also spike so high that my kidneys are in danger of real and permanet damage.

I went to see my lupus doctor yesterday and my limbs and body were so achy that I lay facedown on the table, waiting for him to come in. My face and ears burned. And surprisingly, I had a temperature. I rarely have a fever over 99, so to spike from 99 to 101 to 102 was reason enough for my doctors to want me hospitalized. It's best if I'm back on the steroids (argh) and get antibiotics for an infection, all by IV.

And so I am back here again, in the hospital beds that feel so familiar to me, tethered to a machine pumping me full of incredibly strong and scary drugs, wondering what's next.

I want to get better on my own, without the help of drugs. I want to get better by utilizing nature's cures. I want to travel and seek out the value of Eastern Medicine.

I am expecting too much of myself and I'm losing sight of the goal, which is to feel better.

It's NOT to suddenly become normal like my friends, to suddenly slip into the life I've wanted since I was a terribly sick 12 year old.

I'm hopeful I'll get better, but I cannot change how illness has shaped me, no matter how much kale I eat.

I'll likely be here for another night or two. I'm hoping to read and think and rest, and give my body the replenishment it apparently needs. Next week I'll see my Eastern Medicine Healer Chris in NYC, and along with my Western medicine docs, we will build a plan for a better 2014.

As always, thank you for the love and support.


Oh! An essay I wrote about culture in 2013 was published last night on Thought Catalog. I do hope you'll read it here: My Year of Cultural Abstinence. If that doesn't work, just click here: http://thoughtcatalog.com/kelly-bergin/2014/01/my-year-of-cultural-abstinence/


  1. Kelly, I've been following you on Instagram what feels like forever and I'm sorry to see you in the hospital again. Feel better soon and all the best on your journey to a healthier you!

  2. We are all wishing you a speedy release/recover !!

    -Your friends/fam in LA

  3. I hope the doctors find the right combination of medicine for you soon. I also have a sugar addiction because the doctors always encouraged me to eat high calories (I am thin) so I understand it and know it is real. I read your recent publication, My Year of Cultural Abstinence and thought it was terrific. Hoping you feel better soon. Reader in Canada, Julie

  4. Kelly, I had thyroid cancer and was also diagnosed with lupus many years ago. My blood sugar was crazy, sometimes up, sometimes down, and really not controllable. Then I became anemic and my doctor ordered a colonoscopy (to check for internal bleeding). The GI doing the procedure looked at my health history and requested permission to do an upper endoscopy as well. I agreed to it. That was a turning point in my life. I was diagnosed with celiac disease. I had no idea that undiagnosed celiac could cause so many other autoimmune disorders (and cancer!). Since I've been strictly gluten free, I don't have any lupus symptoms and no more mouth sores. I hope to god your doctors have screened you for celiac. It was the root cause of years of misery for me. Wishing you all the best!

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