One Step Forward, One Step Back

Hello, hospital!

I joined TCW in July 2012. I moved up (in terms of positions) in the media and joined what I knew to be a successful, respected, revered Chicago staple. I can’t even begin to describe the amount of excitement I felt. At the same time, my health issues started catching up with me. It’s not something you want to think about (let alone explain) when you’re starting a new job, but there was no hiding it.

It all goes back to January 2012 when I felt like I had something in my eye. I had blurred vision, which I thought was due to dust or a bug (gross!). I went to an optometrist who prescribed some eye drops and the problem eventually cleared up. Two months later – same problem, different eye. I went back to the optometrist. This time she took more scans in the office and noticed some anomalies that might show up better on an MRI. So she referred me to an ophthalmologist and sent me on my way.

I had my first brain MRI in May 2012. My ophthalmologist noticed some cysts on my pituitary but nothing too alarming. So I was put on prednisone (steroids) for a few months to treat the blurred vision and the problem cleared up. But not even a week later, the issue came back and I went back on steroids for another few weeks. Poof! Problem solved.

At this point, it was somewhat easy to hide these issues. My doctor had weekend hours (thankfully!) and I didn’t let the problem affect my work. However, if you know anything about prednisone, you’ll know one of the horrible side effects is weight gain. Not only did I gain about 30 pounds, but it mostly showed in my face. What used to be a nice semi-round/semi-oval shaped face turned into a basketball. I’m not even kidding.

TCW President/Publisher Sherren Leigh, my new boss, asked me straight out, “Are you on steroids?” At that moment, I had to tell her everything that had transpired the last eight months. And luckily, because it hadn’t affected my work it wasn’t too big a deal. But it was certainly alarming.

Keep reading after the photos…


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About Carrie Williams

Carrie Williams is TCW's managing/digital editor. She manages day-to-day editorial operations of the monthly print publication, website and social media outlets, contributes to a variety of feature articles and directs a team of interns, freelance writers and bloggers. In early 2013, she led the redesign of of TCW's brand strategy. Her blog, "Carrie On," is a blog of reflection and discovery, discussing how to push through life when you’re handed one too many curveballs. And finally, Ms. Williams is also executive director of the TCW Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit supporting underfunded women's and children's organizations.