Saturday, November 26, 2011

3 more days!!!!!!!!!!! :)

So since posting last, not much has happened, but at the same time a lot has happened. I have felt very drained this entire past my head I was pretty sure that it was God's way of making me rest before I traveled to Salisbury next week because it is going to take a lot of energy and effort to get there, even though I really want to be there. So really most of this week I slept. Except Thursday. Thursday I cooked and cooked and cooked some more and Wednesday night too. I had a wonderful thanksgiving meal with my family and there was a gluten free equivalent of every menu item...or so we thought...

I did all of the cooking minus the non gluten free stuffing and putting the turkey in the oven because I couldn't physically lift it...haha...we had everything you could imagine for dinner: turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy (gluten and non gluten), rolls (gluten and non gluten), stuffing (gluten and non gluten), cranberries, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, apple pie, and pumpkin cheesecake (which I made from scratch and my uncle said I could sell for money it was so good). This was the first time I was going to get to be with extended family on Thanksgiving in since I was a kid because even when I went "home" in college for Thanksgiving it was to South Carolina and my extended family wasn't there. I really don't remember the last time I was with extended family on Thanksgiving. But this year I got to have Thanksgiving dinner with my mom, my sister, my grandpa, my aunt, my uncle, one of my cousins and his family (wife and son) and it was awesome. I was supposed to get to have a second thanksgiving today with even more of the extended family all the cousins and their families and aunts/uncles, grandparents, mom/sis, again...but that whole gluten free equivalent thing wasn't quite accurate we think that the bread I used for my stuffing may not have been gluten free as advertised (we got it from a bakery and there wasn't a label on it but the lady said it was gluten free and we've bought the bread from them before so we trusted them...but...not so much anymore)

Thursday night I started getting violently ill and was running to the bathroom about every 15 or 20 minutes (TMI, I know). Well come Friday morning after going to the bathroom/sleeping all night/not feeling good and achy, I take my temp and its 102.2. I am less than 5 days from going to Salisbury and I'm virtually hospital bound again. I couldn't stay awake for the life of me and the only time I was awake was to go to the bathroom and I was so horribly nauseous it wasn't even funny. I was for sure that I wasn't going to get to go to Salisbury after all the care I had taken for myself the past couple of weeks to make sure I was healthy enough to travel and the money I had saved to make sure I could make the trip. Today, I was still not much better. I wasn't going to the bathroom as much, but still couldn't sit up without feeling like I was gonna pass out which is not very good for driving since driving requires you being conscious and sitting up. But I didn't have a fever and I was not sleepy either. So I stayed home and watched trashy TV most of the day and some great sporting events Carolina vs Duke football (online), USC vs Clemson football, and now I'm watching Carolina vs UNLV far all my carolina teams have won, now they have to win this basketball game...GO HEELS!!! Now it's like 11:45 at night and I pretty much feel as good as new but need to go to bed and rest I'm sure.

I found out yesterday, while I was deliriously sick, that I officially got accepted into ISU so I will be at least taking the pre-requisites for the dietitian program there in the spring and we will go from there, I won't find out if I get into the dietetics program until May because that is when they notify people for that. I am pretty excited and just hope that I can make it through the semester without getting sick and with good grades. I haven't done real college in a while and I'm sure it will wear me out with all the studying and stuff I will have to do for sure. My schedule will be brutal, I will post it later after I officially register for my classes.

I am now only 3 days away from being in Salisbury and could not be more excited, I just hope that I keep getting better so that the trip doesn't kill me. Mom is worried that I will either get really sick on the way there or get really sick while I'm down there and not be able to get back. But, I know that seeing my friends and stuff will make me feel good and sustain me enough to get through the trip. I can't wait to see all of you. I know you have been praying or else I wouldn't have gotten over this sickness so fast. The church that I'm going to has live streaming of their services and I think I am going to go with that option for tomorrow because I need to make sure I'm rested to the fullest potential and then Monday I'm not sure what I'll do but then Tuesday is the day I start driving to Salisbury. Tuesday night I will stay in Kentucky and then Wednesday I will get up and get to Salisbury. I am so excited!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Leaving your glory

So I really really like the church I've been going to up here...remember how I said that I would find a best church ever for me right now in the moment? Well, I think I've found it. It is a cross between my best church ever St. Andrews and my best church ever FBC Salisbury. It is a community church, which is an interdenominational church, that is a little unconventional in the way they do things (in my opinion) but it, I can tell, is grounded in the scripture and God is definitely there. The church itself is an hour and a half long but really doesn't feel that long at all. There is music first and most of the music there is like rock band style with electric guitars, drums, keyboard, etc not a choir...although this week they did some traditional hymns with a rocked out style and it was cool. Then there is offering/prayer/announcement time. Then the sermon. Then there is more music time where you can either pray, dance, sing, sit, give more money, etc. The one major thing I don't agree with in this church and still want to get more information about how they think it is Biblically grounded is how they do their communion. They just have tables set up and you go and pick it up yourself and take it. There is no blessing or preacher or anything, if you want it you just take it. I'm not sure about that. But I will find out more about it and let you know. Unfortunately the new members orientation thing is December 4th which is when I will be in I probably won't find out then...haha.

Anyways. I haven't done much since I last blogged. I've been struggling with pain and fatigue pretty severely, but last week was huge for me, I did a ton of stuff. Plus, I need to rest up for all the driving to Salisbury I will be doing next week!!! Wow, can't believe it will be next Tuesday that I head out to Salisbury, seems so close! Yay! Saturday, I really don't remember what we did at all...which makes me think it was nothing. Sunday was busy. I went to church, then after church they had a luncheon for prospective members and visitors that I went to (they had a baked potato bar...I could eat it...bonus points), and then I went to my mom's church to eat lunch there for their homecoming that they were having that weekeend. That was a potluck and I could eat parts of it...score for 2 church meals in one day! Anyways...after that I was completely exhausted and we ate leftovers. I have been doing bad on the cooking, I didn't cook tonight either we ate blt's and cottage cheese...yum. Hopefully tomorrow I will have some strength gained back and I can cook something. Then of course thanksgiving is coming up and that will be awesome. I haven't gotten to be with my blood family for like a long time on thanksgiving and haven't got to be with my extended blood family in probably over 10 years for thanksgiving. I can't wait to be with everyone on the holiday!

So, as I was saying earlier, the church I have been going to is pretty awesome and is a cross between the 2 churches I used to go to. The music and small group set up is like St. Andrew's and the deep preaching is like FBC Salisbury. Well the guy that has been preaching has been doing a sermon series on All For Glory. This week it was called All For Glory: Attitude. It talked about how one of the main reasons that people don't go to church because of the attitudes of Christians and how they have some of the worst attitudes out there and are so down and pessimistic and judgmental all the time. I know this is me sometimes...but I hope it is not me all the time. But Scot, the preacher, talked about how we have to solve this by leaving our glory. The ways that we do this are to be like minded--which does not mean that we have to agree with each other all the time, it just means that we have to share the same love. As long as we love Christ, we can be like minded. See Phillipians 2:2 "...being like minded, having the SAME LOVE, being one in spirit and purpose." We also have to be humble. Which is where I definitely struggle. I am not a humble person, I am a selfish person that doesn't want to burden people with my stuff and needs to be humbled to receive and to give. In the same way. I know that makes no sense but it's true...even though I don't want to receive, I do take a lot from people anyways. I complain to a few certain people all the time, I always feel bad which makes it hard for me to get out and fulfill my purpose. I miss the days where I felt good and could go on and please everyone's needs and requests they had of me. But that isn't being humble either...that is is just being a yes man and feeling obligated to do something. I'm working on being more humble and am decently moderately humble I feel like, but no one could ever be as humble as my Jesus, I hope I get close one day though. Then Scot said that we have to look out for others. We have to look to the interests of others (see Philippians 2:4) This kind of goes along with the being humble verse.

Then he spent time in the characteristics of Jesus that are described in Philippians 2:6-11. One part that really struck out to me is "Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness." This really struck me because we, as humans, strive to make ourselves out like gods. Not God, gods. But we are always trying to one up everybody, trying to get the bigger this, the better this, the brighter future. We try to win whatever argument, conversation, etc that is going on. We all do it, don't even try to convince yourself you don't. At some point you try to be superior in your human experience, don't lie to yourself. Anyways. Jesus, my Savior, who actually IS God and IS the Savior of the world and does deserve to be the best, brightest, whatever made Himself NOTHING. He made Himself human, and not only human, but a servant. My Jesus is the most humble person in the world, universe, etc. He is the one who deserves all glory, laud, and honor, and made himself basically a piece of trash or something. Cleaning the feet of people, born in a manger, He is lowly in world views. Why wasn't He trying to keep up with Joneses'? Maybe because He knew there were far better things to come and that He had to be a humble servant to make those things happen. Maybe we need to be more like Jesus and leave our glory behind, especially in this holiday season coming up. We need to be more servant like, more humble, look out for others more, and be like minded. Remember, being like minded does not mean agreeing with everyone just seeing what they have to say with the SAME LOVE as Christ. Surely we can do this...I know it will be hard. But Scot said Leaving all our glory would be a beautiful thing...and I'm all into beautiful things right now so I am gonna work on leaving my glory. I know I will fail every day, probably every hour...but I'm gonna try to leave my glory for Jesus...I hope you will too.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Beautiful and blessed and more exciting news!

Well, I've had a very exciting, but very long 2 days. I called the GI doctor I wanted to see Monday to see if they had any intentions of scheduling an appointment with me because I had turned in my referral almost 2 weeks ago and still hadn't gotten a phone call about an appointment and knew I had to be seen to get scheduled for my remicade that I have to have on or around December 9th again, which is way soon....crazy. So anyways, I called and they were like oh yes, we tried to call you and your phone said some kind of verizon message (weird because I got other phone calls on the day they said they called) Anyways, they were very nice and were able to get me an appointment for the next day (yesterday) which is unheard of for getting into a specialist. I was super excited to finally get to meet this guy who is highly regarded in the GI community and was convinced in my head was going to save my colon! He belongs to 7 of the well touted GI research and professional associations, does the remicade infusions I was already receiving (which none of the GI doctors in the town I live in do), uses some newer treatments I haven't been able to try yet and some experimental ones, and most importantly and what made me ultimately decide to go to him is a Christian. His website says on it: "His practice philosophy is formed by his Christian faith to show genuine compassion to every patient and provide to them the best gastroenterological care possible." I love a doctor that comes straight out and says on their website that they are a Christian and use that as their philosophy, especially with the sometimes stigma on doctors to be purely scientific based in order to be successful. I have been very blessed to have Christian doctors that genuinely care for me and listen to me in the past and love that I will get to have a GI doctor that does the same now. Anyways, his office is 2 hours from my house, but I was convinced it was going to be worth it and there really was not a positive choice in terre haute where I live. There are only 3 GI doctors and none of them have had positive recommendations.

So, Tuesday morning I put a prayer request for a good fit and positive results on facebook and I left the house at 7:30 to get to the office at 9:30 and fill out my paperwork and meet the doctor that I'm still convinced will do this without surgery. And guess what. In good God style, my every dream came true. Not only is this doctor funny and genuine and nice. He listened to me for almost an hour, my whole crazy medical history, asked relevant questions, and then told me good news. Back story, the remicade infusions I get have only been recommended or approved for use in ulcerative colitis for a very short time (in fact I was one of the first cohorts of people to use it for UC) so there was little known about the effects of UC medication and remicade use at the same time. Since Asacol-the medicine I was on-was only used for UC it took the first cohort of people using remicade and Asacol together (me and several thousand other people) to find out that hey Asacol is a great medication for UC on it's own and remicade is a great medication for UC on it's own....but together not so much. In fact, using them together can cause more damage to your colon than not taking either of them at all. However, I was not informed of this (who knows if my dr knew this is newer information because they have only been used together for about 2 years if that and it took people like me getting as sick as I did to show the correlation) and in the process of me getting worse the dr was like hey you're getting worse so lets up your dose of Asacol. So instead of taking 4 pills a day of a medication that is contra indicated with another prescribed medication I was then taking 9 pills a day of a medication that is contra indicated with another prescribed medication. It was less than 2 months after my dose was raised that I eneded up in the hospital for 12 days and almost died...I was a little upset (minor sarcasm I was majorly upset) when I found this out...but we will deal with that later. PS--I'm pretty smart and I hate taking meds anyway so I had already quit taking the Asacol without doctor orders before I went into the hosptial for 12 days about a week prior...I could tell that my symptoms were way worse after ingesting the medication so I quit taking it on my own...this may have saved my life now that we look back at it...seriously.

Anyways, so no more Asacol, we are staying with the remicade because it gave me a quality of life back that I haven't had in years and works very well for me. However, new doctor dude said that there is another medication, azathioprine, that works very well with remicade and should put my disease in remission. There are pretty serious side effects, as with any medication, but heck he told me this pill could put my disease in remission and there would be no need for surgery not even soon but possibly ever. That is worth some side effects to me. The Azathioprine is an immunosuppressive drug so I am not supposed to be around people who are sick. I am starting it in the winter in Indiana...I fully expect to be pretty sick the next couple of months with colds and what not due to this fact. They said if I get a cold it will be pretty serious and could put me in the hospital. So please, if you are reading this and come into contact with me do not cough, sneeze, etc on me...I would really appreciate it :) Also, it can cause cancer...the same kind that the remicade can cause and especially when used together. However, I don't really care. I've said it before I'll say it again, every person on my mom's side of the family has had cancer (and survived for the most part), every person gets cancer pretty much now a days anyway, we all die, Jesus is in Heaven , there are no bills in Heaven, etc etc. So we all know we are getting cancer anyway...I just know what type I'm getting and why...hahaha...joke but serious at the same time. Plus I'm a fighter and cancer is it will be ok. All the research say the benefits far outweigh the risks and I believe so too because I get to keep my colon if it works, which was the plan now, wasn't it? So I felt the GI doctors visit went very well. They are also going to try to get my infusions scheduled for regional hospital which is in terre haute because there are rheumatologists that do them there and they can monitor my blood work through electronic records.

Anyways, I then headed back home and went to the general physician that I had found to get established and to ask about this intense muscle pain and weakness that I have been having for the past week to the point where it is debilitating (and why I'm up at 4 in the morning because I can't sleep). This was not a positive experience at all. Despite her having all of my medical records already she basically looked at my med list, looked at me, asked me some questions and called me a drug addict and said she wouldn't refill any of my pain medications or anxiety medications without drug testing me. Thank goodness none of them need refills right now because I will be finding a different doctor because if anyone knows me they know I do not take my meds like I should anyway, have painkillers left over from my surgery in January despite having 1 other surgery and 3 hospitalizations since then, and don't take my anxiety medication because it makes me feel to mellow anyways, and despite the extreme pain I've been in for the past week and a half to the point where I can't walk or move barely I have only taken a pain pill once and won't even take tylenol because I'm scared of what it will do to my liver. I was not excited at all...I want to report her to someone but don't know who or how. Then, since I am in pain, asked her what to do about it, and she said she was going to refer me to a rheumatologist but I probably wouldn't be able to get in for 3 or 4 months and until then I should just take pain medication to function. So she called me a drug addict then told me to take pain meds to function, like her suggestion for me to be able to get through the day for 3 to 4 months was to take pain medication, just to get out of bed for 3 to 4 months. Hell no. That is all I am saying about that. The end.

Tuesday night me and mom went with the cousins of my mom that helped me move up here and played basket bingo to help raise money for the Riley fire department which one of my relatives (distant) works at. I was a little skeptical at first when mom was telling me about it...but dang...let me tell you. That was seriously some of the most fun I've had in a while. I am very competitive (like none of you ever knew that) and it was such a rush waiting to hear the numbers called out and there were door prizes and a 50/50 raffle, etc. I didn't win. But it was still a blast. I can't wait til the next time (and now it is official that I am an Indiana transplant where we do things like tractor pulls and basket bingo- wait a second doesn't sound much different than Rowan county haha)

Yesterday now, or Wednesday, was pretty exciting. For me at least. I was in so much pain it wasn't even funny and I was pretty dizzy and nauseous because the GI doctor took all my blood on Tuesday but I had my appointment with the dietetics department chair at ISU and I was not going to miss that. So I got dressed and crawled my sorry bootay out of bed and downtown in the now cold (after a couple of days of 60s weather) to keep my appointment. She was awesome. She answered all of my questions. She told me that they know accept 16 people into the program instead of 12 and that in her 23 years of teaching there she had never gone to bed at night with a burning sad feeling that someone should be in that didn't get in. She said that I had great potential and could tell I was passionate about it and wanted to do it and felt certain that ISU would be a good fit for me. Of course there is an extensive application process to the program, including pre-requisites and I won't officially find out until April or May, but I feel like I could definitely be a fit into this program. I am still short 6 pre-requisites and I was going to take 2 at Ivy Tech (community college) this spring and 1 at Ivy Tech this summer and do the other ones slowly at ISU next year and then apply for the program for the following year (because you can only apply in the spring to start in the fall), but it just so happens (God and His timing again) that all of the pre-requisites are offered this spring at non conflicting time spaces at ISU and the other one is offered this summer at ISU. So, as long as I get in the university (I applied yesterday and they said I should definitely get in and registered by the beginning of December as long as they get my official transcripts) I can take all of the pre-requisites and apply to start the dietetics program this coming fall instead of the next fall. Which moves up my academic plan one full year!!!!! :) It also gives me more time to get the pre-reqs (which are required for a program at any school) out of the way, make sure I can handle physically going back to school again, and come up with a back up plan if I don't get into the dietetics program at ISU. Also, instead of going back to get a second bachelors they have a new program that is a Masters in Dietetics so I will be getting my masters instead of a BS and still be eligible to sit for the registered dietitian exam at the end of my course work and get a job as a RD/Masters certification level instead of just an RD level. If it all works out. I am so freaking excited! It is going to be a lot more work a lot faster than I expected and I hope my health can handle it...but I am very excited how windows and doors are flying open for me right now. Even though I miss my Salisbury family and friends immensely, I cannot deny the absolute hand that God has in my life right now. Despite all the pain, and bad days, my life is coming together faster and more beautifully and perfectly orchestrated than I could have planned with any amount of to do lists and planners that my ocd self uses...only God could do the things that are happening right now. And they could only be this beautifully done by him.

I am so blessed that He chose to make my life fall apart. I am so blessed that He chose me to be sick and He chose me to lose my job. Because I was complacent in my faith, I didn't know it, but I was way complacent in my faith, and now I'm not. Because now I see Him in everything...even the small things. Now I am blessed, my life is a mess, but I am blessed and I am more beautiful because of it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Healing birthday and other stuff...

I have been in some of the most intense pain of my life for the past week and it has not been pretty. I've also been flaring pretty bad with my colitis still and it has basically just been me laying in bed or the couch or the floor or wherever I am really, hurting extremely bad, and trying to get up to go to the bathroom and my leg muscles not working all the way and almost falling over and then almost passing out. Over and over again for over a week now. I don't know if my potassium is crashed again or if my muscles are just being annoying or if my back is messed up because the pain is mostly in my lower back and shooting down my right leg, but whatever it is is freaking annoying. I have also been getting very close to passing out if I stand up for longer than 10 minutes and especially if it is over 30.

Good thing is I am going to see a general practitioner tomorrow and I am going to have them check my electrolytes and my hemoglobin levels and talk to them about my muscles. My old doctor and several of my other specialists have thought that I had fibromyalgia, but it has always been one of those you already have this diagnosis and that diagnosis and do you really need another diagnosis? However, I can't get the medication for it without the diagnosis and I am tired of hurting. The chiropractor helps a lot, but with no income I can't afford to go every week like I used to so the off weeks are extremely painful. I am becoming more homebound by the day and the whole point of being here is that I am supposed to be getting better...and I just feel like I am getting worse. Something has got to give. One of the reasons I haven't been blogging is because my fingers hurt severely from the typing. So far today has been a good day though so I am going to try and get up and run some errands before I'm in bed for the rest of the day and hope that tomorrow the doctor will give me some more answers. I am also still waiting to hear back from the GI doctor I want to see for an appointment time to see if we can get this colitis a little bit more under control.

I am actually not in pain at all from the colitis which is very odd for me. Plus I am eating like a champ still and last time I checked I am up to 116.6 pounds. When I got released from the hospital I was 101 pounds so I'm definitely headed in the right direction. I am also not really going to the bathroom as much as I used to but it still could get better...maybe...maybe I am just going to be like this forever because that is what colitis does. But I really think my electrolytes, hemoglobin, and energy would be better if I didn't go to the bathroom as much because I am losing so much of what I'm putting in. I think. I don't really know.

Anyways. I have done some stuff the past week on days I felt ok for at least a little bit. I helped my mom out at work on Thursday so that she could have part of Friday off for veteran's day since she can't be off unless all of her work is done. I also ate lunch with her church women's group on Wednesday which was interesting. I had salad because the main course was made with cream of mushroom soup that wasn't gluten free...but it was good salad. Friday was veteran's day so the kiddos are out of school. My aunt is a professional photographer and takes the newborn pics for the hospital that is right next to our house (thank God in case there is an emergency with me). She still had to take pics because obviously newborns don't wait for holidays so she brought her kids, my cousins, over and we hung out while she was at the hospital taking pictures. Then we all went to go see Puss and Boots at the movie theater. We wanted to go see the 3-D one, but they couldn't get the projector to turn on so after we waited almost an hour we went to the 2-D one instead and got a refund for the 3-D portion of our tickets. It was fun to get to spend time with them though. They are all so busy, eventhough we are close we still don't get to spend a lot of time together and I love them so much :) The movie was better than I thought it would be and it was a good time. Then I was completely exhausted so I spent the rest of the day and night asleep.

Saturday was pretty low maintenance. We needed to plan menus and I can't find my menu planning papers anywhere (it's a magnet that has all the days laid out with space to write the meals for each day and your shopping list and I think it disappeared in the move). So I found this cool new website that is called It is so much fun and one of my new obsessions. You go on there type in your zip code and it brings up the stores near you. You pick the stores you shop at and it imports the sales into their database. Then you tell it what you feel like eating that week (chicken, pork, beef, etc and it has several choices for each, what kind of veggies you like, etc) and if you have any special diets (me being gluten free and allison-my sis- being semi vegetarian were clicked. Then it combines all that information, once you rate it in order of importance, and gives you recipes. You click on the recipes you want for that week and get enough for all your meals. Then when you are done you hit print and it prints out the recipes and your grocery list with the sales and everything. How awesome is that. Of course we needed to add snacks and stuff to the list, but within less than like 30 minutes we had menu for the whole week and a grocery list to go with it. Then all I had to do is cross reference with coupons and we were on our way. How cool is that? I almost passed out at the grocery store several times, but we did find gluten free oreos there so life was ok still. This week we will be having: "poverty meal"-which sounds like goulash, chicken with tomatoes and mushrooms, ground turkey shepherds pie, shredded french dip, spaghetti bake, and spaghetti squash chicken alfredo. Sounds great, right? I know I'm excited. I've really gotten into this cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, thing. The thing costs 15 dollars for the first 3 months (only 5 dollars a month for this month) but we think we can get enough recipes and menus in the first 3 months for us to not have to renew it for 10 dollars a month after that. So we are trying it and so far it has already paid for itself with the new recipes and ease of the shopping this week. My mom likes it because she doesn't do the whole menu planning thing. If it were up to her she would literally eat soup every meal of the day, but I like real meals. She likes it because if I don't feel good and can't cook (which was pretty much every day last week) she has the menu at hand and recipe printed out and just has to make what is on the menu and we know we have the stuff because the grocery list was created automatically from the recipes.

Yesterday I tried a new church and I LOVED it. It is called Maryland Community Church and it is non denominational. But I absolutely loved it. It is a bigger church and has definitely more contemporary music than was at FBC Salisbury but it reminded me a lot of St. Andrew's (my old church) on steroids. They start out with praise and worship music, then the message is brought (which was around 45 minutes yesterday but felt like no time at all) and then there is more praise and worship time where you can sit, stand, sing, not sing, pray at the alter, take communion whatever you feel the spirit is leading you to do. They also have a coffee/snack shop, and bookstore with new books that are relevant to classes they are offering. This Friday night the Chix group (women's ministry) is having a holiday craft night that I've already been invited too and they have so many small groups that sound like a lot of fun. The developmental disability home also brings their clients to worship there every Sunday so I feel like that may be something that I would love to get involved with and help with as well. One of my least favorite things about the church is that the communion is something I am not sure I can follow or allow myself to partake in without talking to a preacher because they just set up serve yourself stations throughout the sanctuary during the second praise and worship block and you just walk up and take it if you want it and don't if you don't. But I'm going to ask about it. One of my favorite things that I like about the church is that they do this thing called life journaling. It is a way for the whole church to read the entire Bible every year together. There is a different reading posted on their website every day and you read the readings (3 or 4 chapters a day from various parts of the Bible) and journal about a part of it that stands out to you. Then when you get together in your small groups that week or month or however often they meet you can talk about what stood out to you together. What a way to hold the entire church accountable for being daily in God's word. If you want to do it I will post the link to the church here: and you can just click on the today's life journal reading plan link and do it yourself. It gives you suggestions of how to journal using the SOAP method (which doctors and therapists use all the time--but this one is a little different) It says that you follow SOAP or scripture, observation, application, and prayer. You pick out one of the scriputures and write it down, write down what you think God is saying you in the scripture and how you will apply it to your life and then a short say a short prayer and write what you think God is responding to you. That part can be done later obviously. I just thought this is such a cool idea and a great way to make sure everyone in your church is on the same page. Love it. I think I will really like this church a lot...even though it is very different than a conservative southern baptist church.

Also, yesterday was my 2 year healing birthday. I was diagnosed with celiac and ulcerative colitis on November 13th, 2009. That means for 2 years and one day now I have known that I have these diseases and have been trying to tackle them head on. I feel like if I gave up when I found out I would have already had my colon removed and been more miserable than I am now. But I am a fighter and we will figure this out and it may be that eventually my colon does get removed. But right now I'm fighting, researching, medicating, listening to my body, and advocating for myself. Right now I am celebrating 2 years of knowing that I have 2 diseases that are controllable and manageable as long as you do it right. And 2 years of knowing that I am not as crazy as I thought because I actually do have diseases that are diagnosable. I was sick for almost 6 years before we found out what it was and everyone (doctors, friends, professors, etc) were beginning to think it was all in my head including me. But 2 years and 1 day ago I found out, and I started the healing process, and it has been beautiful and will continue to be beautiful.

So anyways that is about it, and I have a lot I want to get accomplished today and I'm already getting weakish. I need to go to walmart, take the recycling to goodwill and look for some jeans because I don't have but one pair that fits and it will be cold soon, call the doctors and change some appointments around, and work on coupons for the coming up week. Wednesday I am going to Indiana State University to meet with the chair of the dietitian department so if you could start praying about that now, that would be super great. I really want to get in there. Thanks. Okay that is all for now...gotta go be productive. Love you all and miss you all and I will be back in Salisbury in 15 days for those of reading from there!!! :) Can't wait :)


Monday, November 7, 2011

Running for dear life...

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1

For those of you that don't really know me, I have a slight obsession with running. I am one of those crazy people that like sits down and watches things on tv like the NYC marathon and track and field college meets and loves anything about running and learning about it and doing it. I used to run all the time to get rid of my stress. I haven't been able to run to the caliber that I would love to for a long time because I have been so ill, but I would still get out and jog on good days 3-5 miles. I also coached track at the middle school I worked at. At first I thought it would be something that hindered me because practices and meets were after school and because of my disease it was all I could do most days to make it through the school (work) day, let alone another 4-5 hours for a track meet. But coaching track was the highlight of my teaching career in all honesty. I felt like I was teaching these kids so much more than they could learn in a classroom; perseverance, strength, healthy habits, jumping, etc. I loved it. But it is because running is one of my passions. And it just so happens that it is a passion that, right now, I can't pursue because of my health. But I will again one day. But seeing my kids, my team running always made me happy. I would love to be that happy again, running, releasing endorphin's, etc. I was actually in the process, right before I got really sick, training for a half marathon to raise money for Crohn's and Colitis research through the Crohns and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) Team Challenge. Basically you raise a ton of money (several thousand dollars) for Crohns and Colitis research and they fly you to the site of the marathon, pay for your registration, feed you and put you up for 3 days, and you run the marathon in honor of somebody or for yourself as an honored member. But that idea came crashing down for sure. Right now though I need to take a break from running to get my health back because I know running will probably way reverse any progress I have made so far, and one day I will get to run the race as a survivor and someone in remission from this horrible disease hopefully.

One kind of funny story is the second hospital I was in on my 12 day hospital stint was a teaching hospital and every day I had a different student nurse. They basically had to figure everything out about me each different day so I had to tell my whole medical history all over again. And they would always ask me things about my social history like what do you do for fun, etc. I would always say I love to fun, that is my stress reducer (which it is). And then because of how loopy I was and how much I just wanted to be out of bed I would always tell them--pretty persistently--that I wanted to get out of the hospital and go run a couple of miles right then. This was pretty hilarious because during most of this time because of my potassium crash which kills your muscles basically I was barely able to stand up, let alone walk far, let alone run anywhere...but that is what I wanted to do because the hospital was stressing me out and I wanted out of that room and I just wanted to run. Then the nurses would calm me down and convince me I didn't need to run right then and then I would tell them ok, I'll start next week. Well it's been next week plus several more and there still has definitely been no running. I have been completely devoid of energy all the time, and I am still very weak in terms of my muscles and coordination and stuff (although I am much better in that respect).

My colitis has been really really acting up and I have felt pretty lethargic and the inflammation I could tell was getting pretty bad. I haven't gotten into my new GI doctor yet so I knew I needed to do something. So this weekend after some research and advice from good friends I started taking flaxseed oil pills (which are super high in omega 3's-which naturally reduce inflammation and are just good for you in general and your body doesn't produce on it's own) and some probiotics. The GI doctor I used to go to kept telling me the reason I kept going to the hospital is because I wasn't taking my probiotics. But I don't know if any of you have ever bought probiotics but they are freaking expensive and after all the different meds and pills and treatments and on and on that are literally thousands of dollars a month I couldn't stand to shell out another 45 dollars a month for another pill that may or may not work. I am paying gobs of money for medicine that someone worked hard to invent and it's not working why would this work? Well people let me tell you. I have been on these supplements for 2 days now...and I feel awesome! Like OMG I could run a marathon right now if I wanted to. I am happy and energetic, but still tired, like that makes sense at all. I can tell that I am tired but I have enough motivation to get me to be successful at what I need to do.

Today I found a general practitioner, found somewhere to get my medication administered, called my old doctor, got my prescriptions transferred, checked out a new grocery store, found gluten free tortillas, got excited, transferred my medical records, cooked lunch for me and mom, washed dishes, went to the store for mom, came home, made gluten free cheez-its, called the insurance company, cooked me and mom dinner-quesidillas (yum), cleaned the kitchen, took the dogs out, cleaned my room, folded 2 loads of laundry, and now I'm doing this. There were breaks in there but I have been up since 7:45 and it is now 11:15 and I still have so much energy. I love how I feel, I feel healthy and I feel happy, I feel like I am winning the race. Granted I am still sick, trust me, my colon is not better yet and you don't want to know how I know that. But I feel so much better and I can tell that this may work, or at least help out a lot. I am excited that I might be able to do something that may get me off the meds mostly. That would be awesome!!!

I also realized while pondering on the Hebrews verse above that even though I gave up physical running I really haven't given up the running that is the most important. I haven't given up running towards God, and running the race He had set out for me. I have complained, I have cried, I have asked why, but I have never given up. I moved, I take my meds, I do what I am supposed to do, and I have a (mostly) positive attitude about it. I strive to honor Him in all I do in this journey and I have to have perseverance to win. The verse says to throw off EVERYTHING that hinders, not some things, everything. Just because my entire life was changed and turned upside down does not mean that God is hindering me, it means that He is giving me a new route to run, perhaps a longer route, perhaps a rougher route, but He is still letting me run this race towards Him, and for that I am thankful. Because let's face it the alternative of not running the race of perseverance is quite daunting, right? So I'm going to embrace the spiritual race of running for right now and focus on getting that right and then hopefully get back to physical running at some point soon. Maybe I'll get to be part of team challenge next year as one of the honored members, that would be awesome, to be a survivor of the dreaded disease and get to run to raise money for research so more people wouldn't have to suffer as much as I and many others have :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Living with outrageous joy

So since I didn't write in so long and yesterday was completely different I will update some now. But there isn't really a lot to update.

Since Saturday I've been pretty sick until yesterday. I was not really able to get out of bed much at all except to run to the bathroom pretty frequently. I was able to keep eating though so at least I wasn't losing weight. I did manage to go to the trunk or treat at my mom's church to help out with crafts and that was semi fun except for the fact that I felt horrible the whole time. Sunday was pretty exciting because I think I found a church that I will like here.

It definitely was not FBC Salisbury...but it might do for a while...It is called First Baptist Church of North Terre Haute and it is American Baptist not Southern Baptist-which I can already tell will take some adjustment but not as much as a completely different denomination. The people were really nice, almost everyone that saw me sitting by myself in the back came up and introduced themselves, one guy (who I am guessing must be a deacon or the like because he later helped with the offertory) even gave me his card and told me to call him if I needed anything and then went around to different people in the congregation and found someone my age that agreed to let me sit with her. The music was really's all pretty much praise and worship music not much traditional music but I'm sort of ok with that...I love the praise and worship but I'm also a sucker for a good hymn thrown in there so if it is only praise and worship all the time I might have to shop around some. The preacher was really good. He is doing a sermon series right now called Outrageous Joy out of the book of Phillipians which is one of my favorite books of the Bible anyways so it is easier to be good...this last week was on Phillipians 1:12-21 and he was talking about how our circumstances- no matter what they are- can further advance the kingdom of definitely reminded me of what I'm going through and kind of what I am doing with this blog. I hope that people are realizing through my writings and hope that I am reminding myself that it will be ok and God is using this for greater good in some reason. So I really liked the church and hopefully i will meet some more people soon...they have a young adult group that meets on Sunday nights I want to go too but I didn't go last week because it was their fall party and that didn't seem appropriate to go the first time. Plus the walls of the sanctuary are no lie Carolina blue...perfect...right.

I also got registered for my classes at Ivy Tech next semester and will basically be going to school from 1:30 to 6:15 on Tuesdays and Thursdays which isn't bad for 2 upper level science classes. I will also have a 45 minute break in between to chill out/eat/and do homework. I am still in the trying to get in to talk to someone at ISU stage to see if I will actually be able to do this dietitian thing here...which it pretty much has to be here because I am not a resident anywhere else at this point and I don't have any income right now so I don't have a lot of money to fork out for college.

Oh and speaking of income, I applied today to be sub for the school system up here...there aren't benefits but I can work on days I feel like I can work and it's pretty good pay and they pay direct deposit weekly. Hopefully I can start subbing soon. I've also applied for disability and am waiting to here back from that so hopefully I'll at least get some disability coverage and some subbing and I will have some money. Right now we are actually doing okay in terms of paying the bills (minus my car which we are going to have to get rid of soon) but there is very little left over after that...I mean like very tonight I spent about 3 hours couponing and we are going to go shopping Saturday and see how much savings I managed to come up with...I'm excited to see...we are also going to go to Sam's club to see if there is some good stuff that we can buy in bulk :) Oh and another really exciting thing is I found this thing called Gluten Free Saver which is like a gluten free groupon site. This week is the first week they've been in operation and I got the deal which was spend 15 dollars and get a 30 dollar voucher for gopicnic products which are like gluten free lunchables and you have to pay for shipping and handling. I ended up getting 7 complete meals for only 28 dollars including shipping that is only 4 dollars a meal which is incredible for gluten free convenience food. Plus they don't have to be refrigerated or heated up to eat so if the power goes out or something I'll have something to eat that is non-perishable. These could be great ideas for the food pantries I want to open up at some point....great ideas...

Anyways...that is pretty much it for now...trying to do a good job of living in outrageous least for now...despite the circumstances :)

PSBTW 25 days til Salisbury!!!! :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I have been a very bad blog writer lately...I apologize for that...

I don't really know why I haven't written in a record breaking 6 days. I used to do it every night before I went to bed as sort of a recap of my day and as my "quiet time" with God. Then I didn't, honestly, I was too tired from all the stuff I've been trying to do to get my life in Indiana set up, which I am quickly realizing is going to take much more than a couple of days given the amount of energy I have. Then I decided that I wasn't writing because I was sad, I'm in this new place, I don't have anyone to 'hang out with', I'm at home alone all day, I have zero money, I miss my friends, I miss my church, I miss so much and no one wants to hear me whine and complain all day about stuff that probably to you seems so trivial. Then I decided I was too sick to write anything and just needed to rest and writing was too stressful, plus no one wanted to hear about me being sick.

For the past 2 nights I've said, "I can't go to bed until I do my blog." And for the past 2 nights I've watched just one more episode of 'Friends' after another on Nick at Nite until I passed out and woke up at 3 am and that is not the time to write a blog for sure. So anyways...I haven't written, but now I am...even though I am finally writing now that doesn't mean that the aforementioned thoughts are still not ever present in my mind and my heart and probably going to influence my writing. But I want this post to be about thankfulness.

You see far too many people skip the whole Thanksgiving holiday thing and it kind of actually really upsets me. Thanksgiving is almost as important of a holiday as Christmas and Easter are in my opinion. But American culture go straight from Halloween (which I typically do not even celebrate--for example this year my mom and I only gave out candy to the cousins that came over and some other extended family members that had scheduled times to come trick or treating no one else received candy from us) to Christmas. Two holidays that are all about presents and gluttony and hoarding galore (besides the whole like Christ being born part of Christmas that is so often forgotten now a days). There are Christmas decorations up in stores before Halloween is even over and no one even bats an eye to think that Thanksgiving is a big deal anymore. Thanksgiving is important, we should all learn to be more thankful--especially in America where we have so much more than many other countries in the world, yet all we do is want want want more and more. Thanksgiving is celebrated because of our abundant blessings of food and a country that was founded where we have freedom. And you know Thanksgiving has to be important because only really important holidays warrant an entire week off school like the only other ones that get time off like that or more are Christmas and Easter (although those are now referred to winter and spring break). So why do more people not celebrate being thankful.

The Bible has an awful lot to say about Thanksgiving and being thankful let me just share a couple verses with you:

"give thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thes 5:18

"giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" Ephesians 5:20

"oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever!" Psalm 107:1

"and let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Colossians 3:15-17

We are called to be thankful, and I, for one, confess that the past week I have not followed the path of what God would want me to do in being thankful. I have not in whatever I have done in the past week been thankful...but then I remembered my issue with forgetting thanksgiving and remember what I did last year in November to celebrate thanksgiving. Every day in the month of November (all 30 of them not just until Thanksgiving) I made my facebook status for the day something that I am thankful for. And I am ashamed to admit that it was a very, very hard task there towards the end to have enough to have 30 different things. I wrote them all down so I would not repeat. So I am doing it again this year and am going to try to live this next month with only a thankful attitude...which I am honestly telling you I have already failed at...but that is the point of forgiveness and grace, right? Yesterday I was thankful for being able to sleep in so I could feel better and today I was thankful for having some energy to get things accomplished...sooo there are my first 2 days of being thankful, what are yours? There have also been some other pretty cool things going on in Terre Haute life, but this posting has been a little long so I will save that for tomorrow...which I promise will come...because I will be better about blogging...

So find something to be thankful for today, because I guarantee you, even if you think your life stinks and you are the bottom of the have something to be thankful for and you are much better off than most of the people in the be thankful for that...