Despite having won her long battle with an unknown illness, Erin Napier still deals with mental health concerns.
The 36-year-old star of HGTV wrote an honest statement on Instagram regarding her health on Wednesday night. “I always feel the anniversary of my illness so much more keenly around this time of year.
These pictures were taken in a hospital in 2014, when I finally recovered from a perforated appendix that had laid me low for a decade “she began the caption of her post, which featured two photos of her family in the hospital and two pages of text from the book she and her husband/co-star Ben Napier wrote many years ago.
I believed I had finally put that decade to rest after that last surgery, and I even wrote about it in our book, Make Something Good Today.
“I’ve been learning through conversation with 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, nausea in particular,” the Home Town star said, noting that her “appendix has been gone along with the physical suffering for 8 years now.”
“Without my knowledge or consent, my brain triggers a “fight or flight” response designed to keep me alive, even while I am in no immediate danger. There is a sudden onset of panic and disorienting thoughts, “She continued.
As Erin put it, she is “relieved” to “have connected all these links in recent months” because of the COVID-19 pandemic. She spoke on the motivations for the post and how she hoped that being open about her struggles with her health would be an inspiration to others.
“One thing you don’t know about me is this, and that’s okay. While you may see positive updates and messages from me, please know that these are simply manifestations of my wacky mind and that I am working hard every day to bring it back under control “…she remarked.
“But I think that describes everyone. Everyone here is dealing with their own set of unique challenges. I know some of you might be thinking, “It’s great to have this space to cut the challenging bits.” In the end, Erin said. There’s always hope, as when you see your loved ones gathered around your hospital bed.
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Many of Erin’s admirers expressed their gratitude for her candor and expressed their love for her in the comments area.
“I appreciate you letting me know this. Since we are all imperfect in some ways, it is via those cracks that truth can enter our lives “a user commented. Something more was said “We appreciate you being honest about both the good and the bad. Everybody could need a dose of this realism. Wishing you peace and strength as you persevere in healing from your experience. 💜.”
In addition, Drew Barrymore commented on 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 benefit others. For your insight, I appreciate it. We appreciate it when you put your trust in us, ps. They all adore you!”
Erin revealed her history of illness in a 2018 memoir she wrote with her husband and in an interview with PEOPLE that same year. Erin described those ten years as “very sad, scary, and perplexing.”
For the first 24 hours, I had an awful stomach ache and a low-grade temperature, and then it would pass,” Erin recalled of her health problems when she was 19.
She claimed that after her 2008 marriage to Ben, aged 38, the incidents became more frequent and severe. A single day turned into two, and then three. At her worst, Erin would spend an entire week in bed, unable to move without excruciating pain, and without a clue as to what was triggering it.
After “going through everything,” as Ben put it, “from doctors thinking it might be something really bad like cancer to saying it was in Erin’s head,” an OBGYN’s recommendation for emergency exploratory surgery revealed that Erin’s organs were all bound together, fused by a tissue that covered everything. After receiving the results, they were perplexed and decided to refer her to a different surgeon.
The unusual condition was traced to a perforated appendix, which was found during a second operation. Over the course of several years, the organ periodically burst and then repaired itself. “When it initially happened to me when I was 19 years old, the sac just partially ruptured. There wasn’t enough to kill me, but it made me nauseous “It’s 2018, Erin proclaimed. In the process of mending itself, the organ had become enveloped in scar tissue, which had spread “like cancer” to her other internal organs.
Both tumor and her appendix were successfully removed, relieving her of the physical pain even if it left her with mental scars.