Never judge a book by its Instagram page – Health update

Dear followers, friends, brands, pr-agencies, people I was supposed to meet or drink coffee with ages ago, I would like to explain myself by sharing a personal update on my health.

Over the past 7 months, I’ve already informed a lot of people, but I understand it can be confusing when you see photos of a – what seems to be – happy girl on Instagram. You’re right, I don’t look sick. But please remember to..

never judge a book by its cover, or in this case by its Instagram page.

My Instagram is all about fashion, which is only a tiny part of my life. But it’s an important part of my life and being able to share this passion with so many people is amazing. The fact that social media and content creation eventually became my job is also amazing and I don’t want to lose my beloved job.

Being able to work, even if it’s just a little, makes me feel worthwhile, useful and less of a patient. So during my good days, which I fortunately still have, I try to create content and schedule posts in advance, so I don’t have to worry about this when I’m not feeling well.

My Instagram is about fashion and therefore my content is a reflection of my style; not my personality, my life or how I’m feeling that day.

So what’s wrong?

March 2018 I started to feel really tired. I figured I had a burnout, so I started to take things slow. But the symptoms only got worse. It got to a point where I was constantly so exhausted I couldn’t keep up with life. I can only do about 30% of the things I used to, the other 70% I’m on the couch or in bed.

My lack of energy has made it hard to work, to do things that make me happy and to meet with people. It makes me feel insecure, useless, sad, isolated and lonely. The fact that my family lives in The Netherlands isn’t helping either. Though I’ve met great people in Sydney, I don’t have a really good friend I feel comfortable enough with to call when I’m down. It takes time and energy to build those kind of relationships. Time I have, energy I don’t.

Luckily I have my boyfriend, who’s been an amazing support.

Iron deficiency

Eventually, I got depressed and anxious, so I went to the doctor. It seemed I had severe iron deficiency, which can cause extreme fatigue and even anxiety. After 3 months of no results from daily iron supplements, I had an iron infusion 3 weeks ago. I was excited to soon be the old happy and energetic Lian again.

Unfortunately I felt even more tired afterwards and I started having pain in my legs. So bad that I have trouble walking and standing. After a few blood tests, it seems I have hypophosphatemia; an abnormally low level of phosphate in the blood. It’s beyond the point of solving it with food or supplements.

Hypophosphatemia

Hypophosphatemia is very rare and can be dangerous. The common causes of hypophosphatemia are not applicable to me, so it’s unclear what’s causing this. My doctor referred me to a kidney specialist. She told me that if something unusual happens with my health in the meantime, I immediately have to go to the hospital.

Since the cause is unclear I’m not on treatment right now, so it’s a nerve-racking wait until the kidney specialist figures out what’s wrong. This is all leaving me in an anxious state. I don’t know what’s wrong, whether it’s easy to cure, whether it’s something bad or how long it will be until I’m better. And it’s already been 7 months.

 

I’m trying to keep Instagram going as much as I can. I scheduled a couple of posts before I heard the news from the doctor last Thursday, so you’ll still get your doses of outfit inspiration even though I’m not in the best shape right now.

I hope this clears things out for everyone that I’ve disappointed by not replying or canceling/declining invitations. I also hope this shows that

what you see on social media is not necessarily a reflection of someone’s life.

3 Comments

  1. Amy October 28, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    I wish I could do something to help such as a hug or just someone to drive you to the hospital but I live in Adelaide. Thankyou for sharing your story with us and I’ll be thinking of you all week. Love and light xx

    Reply
  2. Sennett October 28, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    Ach jeetje Lian wat heftig! Lijkt me enorm schrikken. Ik hoop dat je woensdag dichterbij een antwoord komt en kan werken aan je herstel. Denk nu vooral aan jezelf. Ik wens jou en Rick veel sterkte en hoop. Klinkt gek maar ik denk regelmatig aan je en hoe het gaat. Veel liefs

    Reply
  3. Judith October 28, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    Lieve Lian! Wat ontzettend heftig en naar! En vooral vreselijk onzeker. Ik hoop voor je dat je snel duidelijkheid krijgt en dat het allemaal “meevalt”. Fijn dat Rick zo’n grote steun voor je is. Neem je tijd en trek je niks aan van wat een ander denkt te zien aan de buitenkant!
    Sterkte! Knuffel, ook voor mn neefje!

    Reply

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