A few months ago I got the bright idea to change up my blog and focus it more on helping those with Chronic Illness like me. I’ve done hours of research, training videos and blogging courses. I want so badly to be a influential writer, especially to those hurting like me. To be honest I also hope that one day I can monetize my blog to help off set the income lost by me being sick. Yesterday I wrote a post that was only 75% me though. Writing about my experiences with crashing was easy- trying to transition to selling items with amazon links was not.I took a course on instagram branding last night. I got so overwhelmed I shut my computer and went to bed defeated. I feel so lost in that word, I’ve always been the creative type but never had the ability to execute! So please bare with me as I fumble through social media and writing courses in hopes to better my hobby!

Will’s Wedding and Vacation

As many of you know Steven and I recently went on vacation!!! Flew to Austin, drove through Waco, picked up Beverly in Dallas, drove to Kansas, did wedding stuff, drove to Papa’s, surprised Abby,  took a trip to the Beach, hung out with Grandma, flew home, picked up Sonic, then ended with Steven’s Uncle Rons wedding!

Here are some highlights from the trip!

My love feels like home

Ive been watching way too many Hallmark and Lifetime movies this holiday season. Its made me reflect on my own love story.
I could tell you all about the online dating, the nerves, me walking to a Red Robin because my car broke down and my phone was dead. Our first kiss on my birthday and the heartbreaking news that not only did I lose my passport; it was expired leaving me to spend Christmas alone. How Steven invited me to spend Christmas with his family, and ended up at the beach. It was Christmas Day, standing on a sand dune looking out at the water that, I realized I loved him. He felt like home. Its been two years since that time and he still feels like home.
Instead Ill tell you a different part of our love story; The part that isnt all merry and bright like a Christmas movie.
Last year the holidays were full of excitement about seeing both sides of my family and getting to introduce them to the man that makes me smile. The nerves and heartbreak of my upcoming hysterectomy were somewhat masked by the excitement of it all. Unfortunately my mind is kind of a jerk and doesnt always listen to my heart. It was full of anxiety and the fear that he would leave once the surgery was done. I felt as if I wasnt going to be woman enough anymore. He didnt leave.
It was after surgery that threw us both for a loop (actually its been more like a crazy roller coaster coming off the tracks). I never got better. We were introduced to the world of Chronic Illness. He held my hand and fought for me while searching for answers. Being undiagnosed for so many months was awful. As it became clearer that my chronic pain wasnt leaving anytime soon, I once again let my mind worry about him not loving me anymore.
I could not have been more wrong. He has held my hand through what seems like hundreds of blood tests and sat hours in waiting rooms. Supporting me while I try dozens of new medications and having to suffer the side effects right along with me. Never complaining about the times I cant get out of bed to make him dinner or having to make sure we have clean clothes. He takes care of me days when I cant care for myself. He has washed and brushed my hair, pulled me out of the bathtub, and some days changed my clothes. He sits in the floor with me while I cry and scream about wanting to feel normal again.
Recently my health insurance switched and suddenly everything health wise was no longer being blamed on “Just fibromyalgia and mono.” We have been thrown back onto the roller coaster and its even scarier this time around.
This Holiday season my heart and mind know that it will be okay, because he is by my side and loves me despite the person Ive become since getting sick.
I doubt our story will ever be made into a Hallmark movie and thats okay. I feel I have a different type of Love, one  that heals, and comforts, and feels like home.

The Hope a new Dr gives

Tomorrow I see a new Doctor. With all the insurance changes and having to get Medicaid I can no longer see Dr. P, my favorite and primary care for most of this crazy journey, or my psychiatrist who finally got the correct combo of meds!!
I have read enough articles, blogs and Chronic Illness facebook posts to know not to get my hopes up but here I am 24hrs away from an appointment, getting excited. TOMORROW’S THE DAY WE GET AN ANSWER AND FIX ME!!It’s this feeling I’ve had many times before. Before the neurologist, MRIs, every blood test, rheumatologist appointments, gastroenterologist and every other “ist” I have seen. Maybe someone will have an idea on how to help me or find answers in a new test.
Chronic illness are different than most, you never want tests to show anything bad but at the same time you want something to show up so maybe the medical community can fix it.
Though I have the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, along with some other things, it doesn’t mean I’m well or that we actually know exactly what is wrong. I’m still having the same problems and the longer it goes on the more frustrated I get. I still have a plethora of symptoms that can’t be explained by just fibro, some of which are quite scary. Just this week I passed out, fell off the toilet and broke my glasses beyond repair. This isn’t something that exercise and mindfulness can fix. It’s not something I just work through or can blame on my depression.
Something in my body is off, I can feel it.
So here I am being hopeful and praying the Dr says something new or different tomorrow. I know deep down that I’m at the beginning of the marathon that is my new life and no person or miracle medicine can’t fix me…… yet.
I still want to believe that I, like so many others in the chronic illness community, are not forgotten or left to accept a diagnosis without treatment options. We all deserve to have hope in the medical community around us.
So off I go with my medical records, a 2 page list of medications I’m on, and a hopeful attitude.

Disability

I’ve been debating on if I should share this or not but considering I’m awake at 3AM I figured I could use extra prayer.
I have my disability interview tomorrow which is the first step in a very long process that I honestly don’t even want to go through. I never thought going in for surgery that I just wouldn’t recover. It’s been 7 months of battling. I don’t want to be on disability. I want to go back to work, I want to stay awake all day, and function like a normal person, I want to able to function every day without pain.
I recently went to a friend’s wedding, it was the first time I had traveled very far from home, gotten dressed up and was excited about something in a long time. Facebook told y’all that I was doing better, looking better, and sounding better. Reality was different, you didn’t see that I didn’t drive very long, hurt the whole way, needed to nap and rest in the car, or that during the reception the most comfortable place for me was on the ground. I’m sure people were like what in the world is she doing. Facebook doesn’t know how many days I stayed in bed or couldn’t function afterword’s, or how many showers I’ve managed to take in the past few weeks. I’m not saying I didn’t have a blast- it was great to see friends and old co workers and to celebrate a beautiful couple.
Y’all chronic illness is hard, dark and ugly, these days of social media make it harder. I don’t want people to see the part of me that is disabled now so I try and hide it. I only post on good days and try to stay positive . I should be glad if a few of you reading are like wow- she’s fine- not disabled- why on earth is she filing.
I should have filed months ago but was/am concerned about how this would effect foster and adoption in future. These decisions don’t just impact me, they effect Steven, my family, his family, and so on. I already have so much guilt that I can’t give anyone biological children so trusting Google to tell me you can foster while on disability is hard for me.
Trusting God to take care of it is even harder.I’m usually most honest while I blog and keeping with the spirit of that I’ll admit that I’m still at the “Kicking and Screaming” at God phase of this chronic illness battle. I shouldn’t be but I am. When thinking about it, looking at my medical records and discussion with my a few dr’s and therapist I realize that my health started going downhill after having Mono in high school. They tell me I should take comfort in knowing that it wasn’t “just” the hysterectomy or anything I did or could have done to prevent this.
Now here we are- almost 7 months after my surgery and I’m asking for prayer around this. I’m nervous and scared and not too thrilled about what will most likely be a long and drawn out process. Having my interview tomorrow doesn’t mean I’ll get it, and if I do it takes 3-6 months for a decision. This means another few months of hardly getting by and trouble paying bills, my mom and Steven can’t help me much longer.
All that to say Prayers are appreciated.
               Not all Disabilities are visible.

Healthy Haircut

At this point in this never ending health saga I am absolutely desperate for some sort of relief. Somewhere between the pain and fatigue my depression jumps in and makes everything much worse leaving me in what seems to be a chronic cycle of me just trying to function like a normal human.

Yesterday was ME/CFS & Fibromyalgia awareness day, while I have not been officially diagnosed with either of these or anything at this point ( besides mono…) I do take comfort in the community of people I have found online experiencing the same issues as I am. It’s nice to know you are not alone even though my depression tells me otherwise- I am not the only person in the world with random symptoms, the only one who has to nap after a shower, who’s skin feels like fire after the smallest touch, who can’t seem to be hugged anymore without severe pain, who’s blood results are great yet abnormal at the same time. I am not the only one who is desperate for some relief and knowing that brings the comfort that I cherish late at night and into the wee hours of the morning when I’m left alone with the pain and darkness.
Last night was one of the worsts I’ve had in a long time. I feel like it was trying new medications plus the disappointment of having no answers from the rheumatologist, mixed with a little bit of Mother’s day is tomorrow and the whole childless hysterectomy thing.
So I cut my hair.
I’ve been thinking about for a bit. In preparation for explaining and convincing those closest to me that I’m not being compulsive,  I came up with this list.
MY HAIR HURTS
Why not? It will grow back right?
What if it works? How silly would I feel if cutting my hair helped some of my symptoms where my head is concerned?
At this point my double chins don’t matter.
It’s exhausting to wash it hurts so bad to brush it
It is falling out. I’m so tired of seeing it in the shower, in the sink, pillow. I know cutting it won’t help the shedding but at least it won’t be as long right?
I am aware that I’ve always been on the masculine side and do worry about the short hair but desperation wins this battle. I’ll just have to learn makeup and jewelry to pretty things up Or because I rarely leave the house just deal with it. Looking like my dad should be a compliment 😉

Unnamed post about losing my baby maker here…..

 think I’ve been pretty stable for so long now I’d forgotten what it felt like to be in my “Pit” with my little black rain cloud. I am an anxious nervous wreck and feel like I have lost all ability to function… and you know what? I’m starting to think that’s okay all things considered.
This weekend was rough. I took a 14 Hour nap Thursday, could hardly function on Friday. I forced myself out of bed on Saturday and then didn’t even get dressed yesterday. I seem to be in a daze. I don’t want to watch TV, cook, clean, read, I pretty much just lay around and try not to think, praying passes the time too. I’ve had to force myself to eat which is so unusual. Then the tears and time it takes to even decide what to have is completely exhausting to the point of just giving up and not eating.
It has been so hot in the apartment I’m about to blow a gasket. My rage against the sweating has really been a welcome distraction. Not really a healthy one- a welcome one though. I’m tempted to ask my mom to put back up the AC- because opening the windows when its 36 outside is doing absolutely nothing for me. I need to get an indoor/outdoor thermometer so I can see if I’m just being crazy or if it really is above 70 in the apartment.
Yesterday I was reminded that I am about to go through a major surgery.  A very personal, life changing one. Its not like my gallbladder – this is my babymaker ( uterus, tubes, cervix all that sounds so official. I’ll be immature and stick with babymaker)
I guess I haven’t been letting myself grieve properly. I’ve been really trying to hold it together. I read an article from HysterSisters  (thank  goodness for this site) and it seemed to put some things into perspective for me so I figured I’d share it here.
It’s Major Surgery
No matter what type of hysterectomy you have, it’s still major surgery. You may have only tiny incisions or no visible incisions at all, but you still had an organ removed. Although hysterectomies are performed so frequently that society has come to think of them as no big deal, let your family know it is major surgery and you need to follow doctor’s orders and take care of yourself. Remember, you only have one chance to heal right!
Recovery Really Does take 6 Weeks
You’re dressed, you’re walking around the block… so you must be all better, right? Not necessarily! Because you are encouraged to walk during recovery and look quite well, your family may not realize you’re not fully recovered. Remind them that recovery cannot be rushed, and until you’re cleared by your doctor, you’ll be relying on their help around the house.
No, I Can’t Vacuum!
Most doctors will advise you of lifting limits (usually no more than 10lbs). Vacuuming falls under this same restriction. The pushing and pulling motion of vacuuming (as well as sweeping and mopping) puts strain on your abdominal region, and, thereby your stitches and healing tissues. Ignore the pet hair on the carpet and leave that vacuum in the closet.
There May be Tears
The trauma of surgery, medications, fatigue, and hormonal fluctuations can lead to weepiness post op. Some women are dealing with a cancer diagnosis, the onset of surgical menopause or the loss of fertility, and this can be overwhelming. The depth of the emotions can take you and your families by surprise. Let your family know there will be tears and you will need hugs, but it will get better soon!
You Need to put Yourself First
As a woman, you are used to being busy and “doing it all.” This is one of the few times in your life when you need to put yourself (emotionally and physically) first. Your family can take care of meals and housekeeping: this is your time to rest. It may be an eye-opener for them, but stand strong and leave that Super Woman cape in the closet. It will be there when you’re recovered!

I dreamed a dream


 

I’ve always wanted to be a mom. A stay at home mom actually, it was quite a foreign concept to me growing up. No one in my family was a “homemaker” and the majority of the extended members  were divorced and working so the idea of a stay at home mom was fascinating to me.

 

The hunger grew while I was at Hillsong. I was forced to go to Sisterhood and be around girly things and talk about families, children and everything it is to be a woman of God. I secretly loved it though if you knew me then you would be surprised. It was hard, while in Sydney I had two procedures on my female parts and faced some of the same thoughts and fears as I’m facing now… 

 

As the years went by and I got older I heard the biological clock tick louder. I celebrated with friends through weddings, engagements and birth their babies. Somewhere along the way I let my guard down and actually believed I would know this joy one day too. A few years ago I actually had a dr tell me the cysts in my ovaries were gone, that really allowed me to dream even bigger.

 

But now…..

 

I keep singing I dreamed a dream from Les Miserables. I was trying to explain to my mom that my tears weren’t all about not having children of my own. They are about not even getting to dream about them, their freckles, their births, surprise gender announcements, and fun ways to tell friends and family the happiest news ever. 

 

I’ve been through life, heartache and loss….

I’ve just never had my dreams taken away before.

 

“I had a dream my life would be So different from this life I’m living So different now from what it seemed Now life has killed the dream I dreamed”

Relax! It’s just the hormones

This morning I was standing in my kitchen crying about the lack of ice in the freezer and saying its just the hormones, its just the hormones, its just the hormones calm down just relax.  I realized maybe it was time to stop “working” on my blog and do some actually writing.
***Here is my there will be some girl talk in the post disclaimer***
I’ve basically been on my period for the past 2 months. Due to the lack of iron and severe anemia it has been increasingly hard to function this past month. I have gone through various forms of hormones and birth control drugs in high doses that have wreaked havoc on my body. My hair is thinning, hot flashes, irritability and have pretty much every other side effect possible. Humor and silly Instagram posts have been as warnings and jokes but the mood swings are pretty bad. According to my Psychiatrist it is actually very common for the amount of hormones that I’m on to basically render my anti depressants and anxiety medicine useless. I take comfort in knowing that this will pass and is some what “normal”.
Trying to stay in control of my emotions has really distracted me from the fact that I’ll be having a hysterectomy in January, a month after my 30th birthday. I fell apart once with my mom but I know there is a flood of emotions hiding in my heart.
I’ll be documenting this journey here on my blog. I’ve searched and read every blog post and article about going through this at my age. Since I’ve only come across a few articles on women going through this without ever having kids I felt a nudge in my heart to be real and honest. Maybe my experience with this could help someone else one day.
Since I’m terrified that once I start crying I won’t be able to stop, my current goal is to work and not be a hormonal b-word. I need to enjoy Christmas festivities, turn 30, visit my dad and family whom I haven’t seen in 2 years, and try to hold it together until January. I refuse to let this ruin my holidays.

Self Control at 3:30 AM

It was 3:18 when I woke up to the sound of my stomach growling this morning. Something I’ve gotten used to in the past few weeks of being on this diet….. or lifestyle change as people keep reminding me. I constantly eat but am never full and always craving something I cant have.  Its times like theses that I try find peace in the fact that this is hard and no one expects it to be easy. If it was easy obesity would be such a problem. Alcholohics cut out alcohol, druggies – their drug of choice. I’m not comparing my food issues with a serious illness or addiction but you get the point. They aren’t hit with the temptation everywhere they turn, in their own homes, grocery stores, entertainment etc… I so wish I could cut out food all together but that’s just not an option.
 I am currently
Dairy- we all know how much I love cheese
Eggs
Nuts, Seeds
Grains
Corn
Potatoes
Nightshades ( I bet half of you don’t even know what that is- I didn’t) – Tomatoes, peppers and anything with flavor it seems like
Sugar
Did I mention all meat should be grass fed (I’m currently not working so this just isn’t an option money wise)
and those are just the big ones
The diet ( I mean lifestyle change) I’m on is the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol which I high recommend to  anyone with arthritis, autoimmune, and other inflammatory diseases

There is a half gallon of my favorite chocolate mint chip ice cream in the freezer… Mom was given a glorious box of chocolate for her birthday and then did a crappy job of hiding them ( though she tried). These temptations are all around me. Hello Self Control. I’m so thankful that God provided some money to do this diet with, I haven’t gotten a refund check in years due to student loans but suddenly it shows up. That being said I’m hungry and sick and tired, it would be so much easier to buy some $1 bread and be full than $30 worth of veggies that need to be cooked. I hate to just be venting but its my blog so I’m allowed 🙂

I’ve been praying and have downloaded a few sermons on self control. Self Control is a fruit of the spirit I just don’t have.
Good news is though, its working. The majority of my gastrointestinal issues have stopped- which is a miracle after spending all summer basically in the bathroom. I haven’t actually eaten the ice cream that is in the freezer- I have my $6 a tiny thing of coconut, dairy, soy, gluten free crap right next to it. that most mean some of my prayers are working. Did I put a tiny bit of barbeque sauce on my discusting AIP pulled pork today- maybe. It was better than the alternative though.

I’m learning. This isn’t going to happen over night for me. I’m reversing years and years of bad eating habits. I’m trying though, that should count for something