E179: Diary with Leah, a bedbound mom who developed POTS after acute illness

Episode 179 December 09, 2023 00:30:54
E179: Diary with Leah, a bedbound mom who developed POTS after acute illness
The POTScast
E179: Diary with Leah, a bedbound mom who developed POTS after acute illness

Dec 09 2023 | 00:30:54


Hosted By

Cathy Pederson Jill Brook

Show Notes

Leah's life changed after her family got sick in December 2019. They rebounded in a couple of weeks, but she did not. She was diagnosed with POTS quickly, but remains largely bedbound and has had to shift her perspective to use her energy wisely for her family.

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Episode Transcript

POTS Diary with Leah [00:00:00] Jill Brook: Hello fellow POTS patients and magnificent people who care about POTS patients. I'm Jill Brook, your horizontal host. And today we have an episode of the POTS Diaries with Leah. Leah, thank you so much for joining us today. [00:00:13] Leah: I am so excited to be here. [00:00:16] Jill Brook: Well, we're excited to get to know you. Can you tell us you're starting out basics? Like where are you? Where'd you grow up? What's your age? [00:00:23] Leah: I am 46. I live in Michigan, Southeast Michigan near Detroit. Grew up in Boston and Florida, but I've been here for 26 years. So this is home. [00:00:32] Jill Brook: Very cool. Okay. So what is your hometown known for? [00:00:35] Leah: Oh, Shelby Township is just a little town. I don't know that it's known for anything in particular. We have the old Packard plant, the original Packard car place. So they manufactured and tested the vehicles. So that's kind of a museum now. That's right around the corner. [00:00:51] Jill Brook: that's a big deal. Yeah. Okay. So what would your friends or family say is your personality? [00:00:57] Leah: I asked my best friend and she said that I was resourceful and resilient, which I have to confess, neither of which do I feel, but that's what she told me. So I took it. And my husband says that I have a superpower and that is being able to sense what someone needs and give it to them before they even recognize their own need for it. Which, I thought was kind of a kind description, so I appreciated that. [00:01:24] Jill Brook: that's so nice. Wow, that is an awesome superpower. Okay. So what do you enjoy doing? [00:01:30] Leah: These days, watching a lot of YouTube and listening to a lot of podcasts, that give me a lot of comfort and education, which I appreciate very much. [00:01:40] Jill Brook: Do you have any favorite type of thing to watch on YouTube? I know that whenever I share a computer with my husband, they show me so many videos about playing ukulele because he's learning to play ukulele. And so I am learning the value of having your own separate YouTube. [00:01:58] Leah: So it doesn't mess up your feed. [00:02:00] Jill Brook: Yes. But what are you getting on YouTube? [00:02:03] Leah: So a lot of it is nutrition or health. Since getting POTS, I have a really hard time with reading. So most of my learning now comes from listening or watching YouTube. So I'm very grateful for that. A few years ago, I was massively into homesteading videos and learning how to can food and all kinds of stuff like that, that I really enjoyed too. [00:02:22] Jill Brook: So there is that resilience and resourcefulness coming in. Very cool. [00:02:28] Leah: Yes. [00:02:28] Jill Brook: Both counts. Okay. So if we made you brag, what are you good at? [00:02:33] Leah: I don't like bragging. I think that I would say I'm good at making people feel special, making them feel like They have my full attention, and I care about them. And when they leave me, I want them to feel better than when they came. So, I think that that's a skill that I have. [00:02:50] Jill Brook: Oh, that's awesome. Okay. So you mentioned a time before POTS. Can you give us a snapshot of what your life looked like before any sign of POTS? [00:03:01] Leah: Yes, so, I'm a homeschool mom. I've been homeschooling for over 20 years now. We didn't school at home all the time, so we would take our stuff and go for hikes and then sit out in the woods and do our schoolwork. We had started a big garden just before I got sick. Sorry to my husband, but I was loving gardening. And like I said, canning food, like preservation, I was massively into. I loved cooking and I loved coming up with new ways of preserving the food that we had grown. So I was go, go, go from morning till night, gardening, on the go with the kids and then collapsing into bed exhausted at the end of a good day. [00:03:40] Jill Brook: Oh. Oh. Nice. Okay. So what was the first sign that something was wrong with your health? [00:03:46] Leah: So our whole family got Some virus, December of 2019, so theoretically before the dreaded COVID was in the States, I don't know, but we were all knocked down and everybody else got better in like two weeks, and I feel like I never really recovered. So I started just having more problems with fatigue and like joint pain, which went on for a while, and that is what made us look at each other like, what's going on? That was like the first inkling. [00:04:16] Jill Brook: And how did you end up finding out that it was POTS? Was it a quick thing? Drawn out thing? [00:04:24] Leah: It's funny, because I spent probably most of a year getting slowly worse, despite trying to like figure some things out, but really wasn't sure what was going on. It felt like chronic fatigue, kind of a thing. And then all of a sudden... It was January of 22, I kind of collapsed in the shower, and needed help getting up, back up the stairs, and like, so all of a sudden the standing in the hot water suddenly became this problem that I had never encountered before, but like, what is going on? So that started the hunt for like, okay. What's going on. And between that time and a diagnosis was only seven months. So I'm wildly grateful for that. [00:05:04] Jill Brook: Oh, well, yeah, it's amazing what a person could be grateful for in this world, right? collapsed in a shower and it only [00:05:12] Leah: Yes! It was great! [00:05:13] Jill Brook: Oh, you know, it's funny because I'm thinking about all the POTS patients that probably have like a moment in the shower and probably all of us felt so alone. I remember the first time I had that moment in the shower and I think I cried because I didn't know what was wrong and I couldn't stand up. It was like in a shower and the horrible thing is probably thousands and thousands of us have all done that, but at the time we all felt so alone. And instead, I wish I could, you know, somehow have this way to, I don't know, metaphysically reach out and be like, Oh, hey, shower person. You're not alone. [00:05:53] Leah: Yes, just sitting there. I remember sitting there for probably about ten minutes. Because, like, this can't actually be happening. I'm sure if I wait just another couple minutes, I'll be fine, and then I'll get up to bed and figure it out, and I realized this is not gonna solve itself. I actually need help. That was like one of those earth shaking, life changing kind of moments. I was a healthy year old with no, no issues, really, you know. So yes, I feel greatly for those who have not yet figured it out and have that moment on their own. [00:06:28] Jill Brook: Yeah. Okay. So it took you about seven months and then you knew POTS was there. Did that help? Did having a diagnosis help you try some things and get a lot better or what happened then? [00:06:42] Leah: It did help first of all, just to know that I'm not crazy. That was great. To know [00:06:47] Jill Brook: Was that an issue? Did you think you were crazy? Did your family think you were crazy? [00:06:51] Leah: no one else ever said anything to me. No doctor, my husband never doubted me. But I was in my own head, you know, really like really thinking if I just push a little harder, I'll be fine I'm being a wimp. So it was validating in my own mind. But then yes, I was able to then start some treatments that Obviously didn't fix me completely. I am still bed bound, but my quality of life definitely went up so I was able to have some medications and some treatments that were helpful because of that diagnosis. [00:07:23] Jill Brook: So can you talk about what were your very worst symptoms at your worst and then what got better and why? [00:07:31] Leah: Sure, so It was a long progression. I'm trying to think where it started. I would say in the beginning some of the worst was the feeling in your legs when the blood starts pooling and that feeling of I'm going to collapse Made me very shaky mentally because, like, I didn't trust myself in any situations anymore. So that was really difficult. But then starting to deal with the cognitive issues when I would become too fatigued, so any exertion, I would then have payback within, like, the first hour, but then again, the next day, like, that post exertional malaise, and the, the cognition issues that came with that were very, very difficult because Like I said, I spend my days schooling the kids, and reasoning, and talking, and reading, and the act of doing that literally sucked all of the physical and mental energy out of me. So I would finish with school, and then I would sleep for four hours. It's like I was shot. So that combination of the exhaustion and the mental inability to continue to process words and have conversation, incredibly difficult to adjust to. [00:08:41] Jill Brook: What did your family think when your cognitive issues were strong? [00:08:45] Leah: when they were. They still are. Well, my husband, it was funny because he never doubted that something was going on because he's like this is not you. He would have a conversation and I would forget what I was supposed to take away or do from that. Like we'd agree on who was going to do what task and I would completely forget about it. Or he'd be asking me questions as we're conversing and all of a sudden he could see me shut down. So he could physically see something was happening. But it was just like, sometimes he'd just be shaking his head like. I don't know what to do with this. Like, I know, me either. And the kids got really scared. They're nine and fourteen. And they really thought that I was dying. So, that was a very difficult, it was like several, a several month window, where we were just okay, really coming to grips with the new normal in our household. And convincing them, this is not a fatal thing. I'm gonna be here. I'm still here. That was difficult, like to watch them go through that shift in their mind. And getting them to believe, like, I'm not going anywhere. I'm just... Slightly different. [00:09:53] Jill Brook: Is it better now for them? [00:09:55] Leah: For the most part, yeah. Yes. I think we've all mostly come to terms with things. If I'm having a rough day, a rough couple of days, then they start getting that disconcerted look on their face again. My son, who's 14, he popped his head in my room the other day, and I was having a very challenging day physically. And he's like, Can I hug you? Like, of course. So he comes to give me a hug and he says, I'm so tired of watching you struggle. [00:10:21] Jill Brook: Oh, [00:10:22] Leah: I just try to help you as much as I can. You do. You do great. But like every once in a while that will happen and you can see it and we talk about it and you know, let it out. Acknowledge the ick that it is and then we do the best we can with what we've got. [00:10:37] Jill Brook: wow. [00:10:39] Leah: He's a good kid. [00:10:40] Jill Brook: So you said you're bed bound, right? [00:10:43] Leah: Yes. Yes, I can get up to go to the restroom, you know, that kind of thing, but I don't really go anywhere. [00:10:49] Jill Brook: Is, is doing this interview going to tire you out for a while? Or is this within your energy envelope? [00:10:54] Leah: I will go to sleep as soon as we're done. This, this will wear me out, yeah. But so worth it. [00:11:01] Jill Brook: Oh so I'm guessing that really makes you kind of prioritize your life differently. [00:11:07] Leah: Wildly so. Yes. Yes. That was a very, very difficult lesson for me to learn. My husband had to help me to learn that lesson, and he'd be like, this is the new normal, and the new normal is... He's like, your energy is the most important commodity that the family has, pretty much. So we decide together where the family needs me the most, my energy. And then he has had to pick up the slack and the kids on everything. Cause I, I was a stay at home mom homemaker for 25 years. And so I literally can do none of that anymore. So yeah, that's been an interesting adjustment. [00:11:48] Jill Brook: Your husband sounds wonderful. Do you want to talk about him? [00:11:52] Leah: I always want to talk about him. He's awesome. He is an incredibly intense person. So people tend to either love him or hate him. He's kind of polarizing like that. But the biggest thing that I admire is how quickly he has adjusted to what is now expected of him. We divided up the roles in our relationship early on and they worked great for us. We each did our strong suits, and we enjoyed our work, and it was good. And now he's having to do all these jobs that I did, that he hates. He hates them, they don't come naturally, they make him crazy. But he does it all with almost no whining, which is unbelievable. And he does a great job. [00:12:37] Jill Brook: Wow. That's great. Okay. So I realized that I got us off track before I had asked you about how much better you were doing and what you think made you better. [00:12:49] Leah: That's right. I forgot too, so thanks. Ha! So I would say that my energy is still obviously horrible. So I can't get up and do things. However, I've had a couple of treatments come in very handy to make my days better. So I've been taking beta blockers, I take metoprolol, and that made a massive and instantaneous improvement in my tachycardia. So that horrible feeling like you're going to die when your heart's going nuts, I don't experience that all the time like I used to. So that was wonderful. And then, after doing a whole bunch of research, I started asking my doctors questions about getting IV fluids. And my primary care was not interested in trying that, because that's not something that has been studied much. But my cardiologist said, I see no harm in it, let's give it a shot. So now I'm able to have five days a week, I have a liter of electrolytes, and I have home health care come to me, which is fantastic. And that has resulted in much less pain and discomfort in my legs. I used to get just horrible pain. I almost likened it to feeling nausea, but in my leg muscles was kind of how it felt. [00:14:00] Jill Brook: Oh, interesting. [00:14:01] Leah: And the fluids have massively helped with my leg pain, with some of the headaches that I was having, and allows me to have more time conversing with my family. So it gives me enough energy to converse more, which has been fantastic. [00:14:16] Jill Brook: So before we started recording, you had mentioned that you took a little while to learn how to be a better patient. And I just thought that that was interesting. Do you mind saying that? [00:14:31] Leah: I would love to. I am not a person who feels at ease with confrontation or questioning people who might be considered an authority, like we all tend to view the medical professionals but I realized very quickly that My husband would always remind me, no one will care about your health as much as you. And so I realized very quickly that this was gonna be on me. If I was going to find some solutions or some help, I had to be proactive. And so I really spent some time trying to figure out the best way to have my doctors take me seriously and listen more keenly. So I had heard a podcast, now I cannot remember the person's name, but she was talking, it was someone who worked in the medical profession, and then she became a CFS, chronic fatigue syndrome patient, and she talked about how she would always write up with her a very succinct symptoms list, and a very succinct medical history, like no more than a page each, so that the doctor could very quickly scan and see the high points and low points, and I thought, that I can do. And that made a huge difference in... The amount I would get accomplished in a doctor's appointment because they could look at it and immediately see the top few things that I really needed help with and they knew that I had put effort into the process and I have discovered that it is amazing how much more help you get when you have put thought and research and organize your thoughts ahead of time, you get so much more attention and help. And then I had to be brave enough to use it. [00:16:06] Jill Brook: Okay. Talk about that. [00:16:07] Leah: But I did. And it was great. I would just have to psych myself up. Literally, I would be very anxious going into especially any new doctor's appointment. Meeting a new doctor for the first time, being afraid, or are they going to think this is in my head? Are they going to take me seriously? And I would remind myself on the way in. They are the expert in pathologies, I am the expert in me. I have every right to explain myself and be taken seriously. So the combination of my own pep talks and preparation really helped open up better conversations with the different doctors that I was dealing with. [00:16:44] Jill Brook: That's great. And you mentioned that you were averse to confrontations. Have you had any confrontations over this? [00:16:50] Leah: Only one, and we did not go back to that doctor. [00:16:55] Jill Brook: Mm [00:16:55] Leah: But everything else has gone very smoothly because of preparation and just trying to speak their language. [00:17:03] Jill Brook: hmm. [00:17:04] Leah: being vague. It's so easy to go in and say I'm feeling awful. And that's true, we do. But to be able to say, you know, I used to go for a mile and a half walk every morning and now I can't go to my mailbox anymore. It's like, it's a quantifiable thing that they can go, okay, that's a big difference. I should take this seriously. So just learning how to be very specific and clear was massive. [00:17:29] Jill Brook: Yeah. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. That makes a lot of sense. Okay. Are there any other lessons that POTS has taught you besides being super organized and specific and... [00:17:39] Leah: It has taught me a lot about myself and needing to really Examine myself mentally, emotionally, because it strips away, at least in my case, it strips away the things that were my identity, my hard work ethic, my wanting to do and serve others, my spontaneity, like those things get stripped away by the illness. And so I really learned to take stock of myself and see where the good qualities are. Because I don't think I had ever really done that deep of a level of introspection. So, it has nothing to do with POTS itself, but it has taught me a lot about who I am as a person. And where I can improve, and what I can celebrate. [00:18:24] Jill Brook: That, yeah, that sounds very wise. It sounds also a little risky, right? Cause you're there with yourself in your bedroom, many hours a day. [00:18:35] Leah: Very vulnerable, all by yourself. Yes. [00:18:38] Jill Brook: yeah. Okay. So was it a pleasant experience? What was it like doing that? [00:18:44] Leah: Terrifying. Ha! Ha! It was not a pleasant experience. It took me most of a year to, like, be okay with who I was inside, because who I was inside, it turns out, was scared, and didn't have confidence, and insecure, and all of these very vulnerable feelings, like a little girl. It was like facing little me in the mirror, and being like, it's gonna be okay. I, I know how to be a mom, okay, I can mom myself, and start building me back up again. So the experience in the beginning was horrific, but I very much like what has come out of it. [00:19:22] Jill Brook: Wow. That is so interesting. And you're just so eloquent talking about it, but it's neat that you recognized it because I imagine a lot of people maybe do the same thing, but they're not as consciously doing it. And so that could be even more terrifying. [00:19:41] Leah: I can imagine, yes. [00:19:44] Jill Brook: yourself for many hours. Yeah, yeah. So how do you feel like you've changed from that process? [00:19:52] Leah: I feel like I finally know how to slow down, and just stop, and be, which I don't think I ever truly allowed myself to do before. And it's, it's a perk that has come out of a lousy situation, because, like, understanding, okay, even if I manage to get myself mostly well again, and I'm entering back into what you would consider normal life, I know I need to hold on to this feeling, and the ability to just stop and recognize the value of just being. Breathing, being in the moment, letting everything hit your senses, and make note of it. And how you react to those things. I never did that before. I was just constantly going all the time. So this is definitely something I want to hold on to, even if, when, I get better. [00:20:45] Jill Brook: Right. Okay, so you mentioned this as a perk of the situation. Are there any others? [00:20:52] Leah: The way my family has drawn together. We've always been a tight knit family anyway, we spend a lot of time together, we homeschool, we value each other's company, but this has brought us, out of necessity, so much closer, and the common goals, like even just a lot of times in the morning, we'll meet up real quick. My husband will call it a huddle. He'll call the kids in for a huddle. Let's huddle up. What do we need to accomplish this morning? Who's going to do what? Okay, who needs what? When will they have fun? When will they ride their bike or whatever? Like, I feel like the whole family has drawn so much closer because of this now common goal, keep the family going. And that's, I feel like, an amazing thing that has come out of it. Our relationships, our communication is clearer. That's just been great. [00:21:42] Jill Brook: Wow, that sounds beautiful. That's great. Yay, family. [00:21:46] Leah: Yay family. Yes. [00:21:48] Jill Brook: Has all of this changed your view of the healthcare system at all? [00:21:53] Leah: I never really had a very positive view of the healthcare system. I avoided the healthcare system as much as possible, which I could get away with because I was mostly healthy. It has made me very appreciative of the doctors that I have that are willing to listen and work with me. Actually it's just from listening to so many episodes of POTScast and hearing what so many others have gone through in trying to get a diagnosis or trying to be taken seriously. It has made me express my gratitude freely to my doctors just because I want them to be motivated to be like that with everybody. So yes, I would say it has made me express my appreciation more than I probably would have. [00:22:36] Jill Brook: That's great. What's the best support people can give you nowadays? Like I imagine, You don't see your friends as often or [00:22:45] Leah: Yeah [00:22:46] Jill Brook: side and what's the best support they can give? [00:22:49] Leah: text messages are huge. Like, I, I cannot express what what a difference it makes in my day when someone just randomly texts, Hey, thinking about you. You know, there's nothing they can necessarily do. I had one friend stop over with some flowers. And she stayed, my husband said you can really only come for like 10 minutes, she can only be up for like 10 minutes. And she's like, that's fine. And she came over and brought flowers and gave me a hug as she was leaving and she says, you're never forgotten. And it was just like, it doesn't get any better than that. [00:23:21] Jill Brook: Oh, [00:23:22] Leah: So that's like, emotional support. And then I've got some friends that are fantastic at they'll ask if they can take the kids to the park or for the weekend or just to go hang out with their own kids so that they get more of that sense of normalcy. That's a huge support. [00:23:37] Jill Brook: Great. Are you up for doing a speed round where you just say the first thing that comes to your mind? [00:23:43] Leah: I will try. [00:23:44] Jill Brook: What's your favorite way to get salt? [00:23:47] Leah: I take salt capsules and that's like my quick and easy to take my salt down but I'm also have this growing collection of different salts now like smoked salt and truffle salt and so I experiment with salts for fun like that too. [00:24:01] Jill Brook: Oh, you're like a salt connoisseur. [00:24:04] Leah: getting there. [00:24:05] Jill Brook: Cool. What's the drink you find the most hydrating? [00:24:09] Leah: LMNT electrolytes. [00:24:10] Jill Brook: What's your favorite time of the day and why? [00:24:13] Leah: I would say after dinner because Even though I'm not the one doing all of the chores in the house, I know that things are done, and so I rest a little easier. [00:24:22] Jill Brook: Where is your favorite place to spend time? [00:24:26] Leah: Mm. In the woods. Which I don't really get to do. But that's where I imagine myself. In a hammock, under the trees, with the sound of water nearby. That's the best. [00:24:36] Jill Brook: Oh, nice. How many doctors have you seen for POTS? [00:24:40] Leah: Mm. I'd guess about seven? [00:24:43] Jill Brook: How many other POTS patients have you ever met face to face in the flesh? [00:24:48] Leah: One. [00:24:49] Jill Brook: What's one word that describes what it's like living with a chronic illness? [00:24:54] Leah: Ridiculous. It is just ridiculous. [00:24:57] Jill Brook: What is some good advice you try to live by? [00:25:00] Leah: I would say do the best you can with what you have. [00:25:05] Jill Brook: Who is someone you admire? [00:25:07] Leah: I admire my husband, Tim, very much. [00:25:11] Jill Brook: Do you want to say why? [00:25:12] Leah: He has been able to shoulder my responsibilities, keep me as emotionally stable as possible, and is very good at saying when he needs help with something. The communication all the way around has been amazing. He's amazing. [00:25:28] Jill Brook: Yay, Tim. What is something small or inexpensive that brings you comfort or joy? [00:25:34] Leah: This is almost embarrassing. My son's baby blanket from 14 years ago. I have taken to snuggling with it and using it to cover my eyes from the light and I love it so much. [00:25:46] Jill Brook: Nice. What's a food you like to eat a lot of these days? [00:25:50] Leah: Oh, you caught me off guard with that one. [00:25:53] Jill Brook: Or like, what's a food that works for you these days? [00:25:57] Leah: I have been just feeling cheesy scrambled eggs a lot lately. That's been settling well. [00:26:03] Jill Brook: What's something you're proud of? [00:26:05] Leah: Keeping a sense of humor, most days. [00:26:09] Jill Brook: Right [00:26:09] Leah: you keep humor through something difficult, you're gonna be okay. [00:26:12] Jill Brook: What's an activity you can enjoy even when you're feeling the most POTSy? [00:26:17] Leah: Listening to podcasts and watching YouTube videos. Yes. [00:26:22] Jill Brook: What is the toughest thing about POTS? [00:26:24] Leah: Losing my confidence in my mental acuity. That has been very difficult. [00:26:33] Jill Brook: What is something you're grateful for? [00:26:36] Leah: My family. [00:26:37] Jill Brook: Do you have anything that helps you sleep? [00:26:40] Leah: I take melatonin at night and... My sleep has actually not been bad, which I'm very grateful for, because it was for a while. [00:26:49] Jill Brook: Do you have anything that gives you energy when you need it? [00:26:51] Leah: No, and if you find something, please share. [00:26:54] Jill Brook: Okay, I'll keep asking people. [00:26:57] Leah: Ha Okay! [00:26:58] Jill Brook: What is a gift that you would have sent to every POTS patient if you had infinite funds? [00:27:03] Leah: A gift basket with a weighted blanket and some compression socks and a nice insulated water bottle. [00:27:11] Jill Brook: Okay. Can you finish these sentences? I love it. When ... [00:27:16] Leah: friends randomly text me to say hello. [00:27:19] Jill Brook: I hate it? When ... [00:27:22] Leah: I hate it when people ask, Are you feeling better? Because I don't want to be depressing and say no, but it's not really better. [00:27:30] Jill Brook: Okay. People might suspect I'm a POTSy. When ... [00:27:34] Leah: when they open the drawer to my dresser and see a wildly huge stash of electrolyte flavors. [00:27:40] Jill Brook: have you ever had to sit down or lie down in a weird place because of POTS? And if so, where was it? [00:27:46] Leah: I had to sit down just outside the door of a Walmart, because there were no benches and it was too far to make it to the car. So I just kind of crouched down on a curb that was right outside the door and everyone was looking at me very confused. [00:28:01] Jill Brook: Okay, I just have a couple more questions. What do you wish more people understood about POTS? [00:28:07] Leah: How many different ways it affects your body. I think people, if they know anything, they just think about the tachycardia part. the heart rate part. And I think if more people were aware that it literally affects how much time you can sit upright or speak with people, it would be easier to maintain social interactions in a way that don't hurt us. [00:28:29] Jill Brook: Is there anything you'd like to say to your fellow POTS patients out there? [00:28:33] Leah: Be a good patient. Learn the best way you can to communicate with your doctors and always express appreciation because it goes a long way for everybody that they come into contact with, with POTS, to get good treatment as well. [00:28:48] Jill Brook: Nice. And last question, why did you agree to let us share your story today? [00:28:54] Leah: Because you and your guests have seen me through some very difficult times. Just listening to the different experiences encouraged me in times when I was just really feeling alone and depressed. And I was able to pick out different things that I could implement in my own life that helped. So if I can do the same for somebody else, that's why I was excited to do it. [00:29:16] Jill Brook: Oh, that's awesome. Leah, thank you so much for sharing your story and your insights with us today. We so appreciate it. And I know that everybody listening is wishing you all the best going forward and your husband and your family. And yes, thanks for being here. [00:29:33] Leah: Thank you. [00:29:34] Jill Brook: Okay. Listeners, we hope you enjoyed today's conversation. We'll be back again next week, but until then, thank you for listening. Remember you're not alone and please join us again soon.

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