Erin Napier still has problems with her mental health, even though she beat a long battle with an illness she didn’t know what it was.
The 36-year-old HGTV star wrote an honest post about her health on Instagram on Wednesday night. “At this time of year, I always feel the anniversary of my illness so much more than at other times.
“These pictures were taken in a hospital in 2014 when I finally got better from a perforated appendix that had kept me sick for a decade,” she wrote in the caption of a post with two photos of her family in the hospital and two pages of text from a book she and her husband/co-star Ben Napier wrote many years ago.
After that last surgery, I thought I was finally done with that decade. I even wrote about it in our book, Make Something Good Today.
“I’ve been learning from my friend who is a therapist that it left some deep ruts in my neuro-pathways that have left me with an extreme fear and preoccupation with sickness, especially nausea,” the Home Town star said, adding that her “appendix has been gone along with the physical pain for 8 years now.”
“Without my knowledge or permission, my brain triggers a “fight or flight” response that is meant to keep me alive, even when I am not in immediate danger. There is a sudden onset of panic and thoughts that make no sense,” she said.
Erin said that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she is “relieved” to “have connected all these links in recent months.” She talked about why she wrote the post and how she hoped that being honest about her health problems would help other people.
“There’s something about me you don’t know, and that’s fine. Even though you may see positive updates and messages from me, please know that these are just signs of my crazy mind and that I am working hard every day to bring it back under control,” she said.
— Erin Napier (@ErinRNapier) February 18, 2020
“But I think that’s how everybody feels. Everyone here has their own set of unique problems to deal with. Some of you are probably thinking, “It’s great to have this space to cut the hard parts.” Erin said, “In the end.” There is always hope, like when your family and friends gather around your hospital bed.
Many of Erin’s supporters thanked her for being so open and professed their love for her below.
Thank you so much for informing me of this. One user wrote, “Since we’re all flawed in some ways, the truth can only enter our lives through the crevices where we’re most vulnerable. We value your candour, good and bad, and we thank you for that. There’s a good chance that everyone could use a healthy dose of this reality. I hope you find comfort and strength to keep moving forward in your recovery. 💜.”
Also, Drew Barrymore said this in response to Erin’s post: “I adore you, @erinapier, and THIS IS HELPFUL TO KNOW; I think we’re fortunate to have this insight into you, which will assist others. I value your perspective, so thank you for sharing it with me. Thank you for putting your faith in us; your patrons will be forever grateful.
In an interview with PEOPLE and a memoir she co-wrote with her husband in 2018, Erin discussed her struggles with health. Erin reflected on those ten years as “extremely sad, scary, and strange.”
Erin, who experienced health issues at the age of 19, stated, “For the first 24 hours, I had a dreadful stomach ache and a low-grade temperature, and then it would pass.”
She blamed her marriage to Ben, then 38, in 2008 for a spike in the frequency and severity of the attacks. Days went became two, and then three. At her worst, Erin would stay in bed for a full week, afraid to move for fear of terrible agony and unable to pinpoint its source.
As Ben put it, “doctors thought it might be something horrible like cancer or said it was in Erin’s brain,” but an OBGYN’s advice for emergency exploratory surgery found that Erin’s organs were all tied together, united by a tissue that covered everything. When they saw the results, they were baffled and ended up sending her to a different surgeon.
At the second surgery, a perforated appendix was discovered to be the source of the unique disease. The organ burst and then self-repaired regularly over the course of several years. When it happened to me for the first time when I was 19 years old, the sac only burst open a little.
The amount wasn’t lethal, but it did make me sick: “It is 2018,” Erin stated. The organ had gotten encased in scar tissue as it attempted to heal, and this scar tissue had spread to her other internal organs “like cancer.”
The removal of the tumour and appendix alleviated her physical discomfort but left her with emotional wounds.
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