Monday, December 31, 2012

Ramblings of the past 3.5 months at 3:30 am :)

I know I never ever write in this thing...ever...I apologize if you've stumbled upon here from invisible illness week and I never updated...I apologize if you live where I once did and you have no information about me for the past 3.5 months...I apologize if you're bored and didn't want to stare at the t.v. for the 27th hour in a row and this is an escape (not just mine, but any blog) but ya know is there...
I last wrote in here during invisible illness week and vowed to write every day that week, and haven't written since. November was national health blog post month where people with health blogs were supposed to write following a prompt every day for a month (I didn't once). I've had Thanksgiving break and almost all of winter break...but now here I am. At 3:30 in the morning in level like 12,000 pain with a phenegren and 5-500 norco in me and still wide awake (for those of you without health issues those 2 drugs separately would put most grown men down, i should definitely be at least a little sleepy).
So what have I been up to the last 3.5 months you ask? school. that's what.
I remember when school was easy, I didn't have to pay attention or show up and I got an A without trying. Now...It's real hard. See between my dysautonomia and fibromyalgia I got this lovely thing called brain fog. I can't remember car keys if they aren't on the dresser when I walk in my room, they are lost for a super long time. One of my friends at school told my mom when she was over here (becasue she is awesome and comes here to study so I don't have to go out after classes) it always seems like I am looking for, keys, car, books, wallet, etc and she would be correct...but if you ask me to remember a phone number that i dialed once 10 years ago, it's there...just ask me. how weird. But anyways, since I have brain fog now the RDA, DRI, and EAR level of Biotin is not exactly in the working memory really well so I have to study extra hard. Good thing I studied extra hard though because even with 17 credit hours and being sick I made a 3. 7 this semester! Go me!
Clinical's sucked this semester...bad...I hope it's the worst of all of them. I'm pretty sure the only thing I learned in them is I NEVER want to be a food service dietitian. I will ALWAYS appreciate chefs, and more importantly sous chefs and line cooks, way more than anyone will ever know. They work hard. I worked hard. I am pretty sure the work I did this semester; standing in a hot kitchen, for 6-8 hours at a time, in shoes that hurt, in long pants, wearing gloves, and cutting and stirring things repeatedly; put my healing back several years. But I did it and it's over and I don't have to redo it!!!! :)
Small group was great this semester. These ladies are the biggest blessing in my life right now. We did Beth Moore's relatively new, if not newest study, So Long Insecurity. Talk about insecurity. First off, I'm a woman. Second, I had my super successful, perfect little life ripped away from me because of something I can't control. Thirdly, I'm a woman. yeah. Did I say how much I love these ladies? Nothing can replace the love and family I had at FBC Salisbury...which brings me to another problem. I don't have a church here. I liked Maryland where I found my small group, but the service is 1.5 hours in a stadium seating theater place and I can't sit there that long. Also, there is a guy that hugs people when you walk in and everyone knows I don't like to be touched, let alone full frontal hugged, but I'm too nice and non-confrontational to tell him I don't want him too. My old therapist would laugh at this :) Here in lies another problem with not having a church, I would LOVE to start a chronic illness support group. But if I did, it would have to be at a church, because it would be faith based, because the only thing that has gotten me through this crap with somewhat of a positive attitude is my faith in God.
Healthwise has been up and down of course. Every day is pretty painful, having to get up and get out of bed because my program only allows one absence for the semester. I did get accepted into a fibromyalgia study where they are studying the use of laser therapy and resistance training and pain level. I've only done preliminary testing so far, I start the official study and find out what group I'm in sometime in January. I've been having severe abdominal pain again and not been hungry and sometimes not being able to keep food down even if I do eat it. My GI doc wanted me to have a EGD and colonoscopy (my 7th total in 2 years) the day after thanksgiving, but that was a no go for 2 reasons. I wouldn't be eating on thanksgiving and the sedation knocks me out for much more time than normal people and I couldn't miss the last 2 weeks of classes and finals, so I had it done the Tuesday after finals. The lower part, where the pain is just showed inactive left colon ulcerative colitis (which is a praise the Lord since last September they were wanting to take out my whole colon because my colits was so bad, but still didn't give an answer). The upper part showed erosive esophogitis due to undiagnosed and therefore untreated GERD. This is why I've been having trouble swallowing, burning, and too much coughing. Since none of this was an answer to my actual problems I had a CT with contrast (oral and IV) done that the nurse called to tell me wasn't "too alarming" and I could go over the results and next steps at my appointment on January 16th...which is still 3 weeks away and I am still super nauseous, I'm in pain that is crazy, and I just want to be able to eat...and that's not happening...good thing is I'm losing weight, but not in a good way :(
other things on my mind right now that you probably don't care about:
1. I really don't know why my body reacts opposite to all meds
2. I miss my spoon ring
3. I miss my unswollen body
4. I want new organs
5. I really miss playing music...I played for piano the first time in like 7 months yesterday and it was awesome.
6. It was amazing how weird it was at first where I was trying to read the notes, then something in my head turned on and was like just play it and I didn't need to read the notes anymore.
7. When FoodNetwork tells you to have a goodnight and it's actually morning you've been up way too long.
8. I can't wait to start my thesis on "The effects of an anti-inflammotory diet in patients with fibromyalgia"
9. I'm finally getting tired :)
10. I got a puppy you people don't even know I got a puppy
Here is a picture:
All done, have a good day :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


So whether or not you know it, it's national invisible chronic illness awareness week. This is a week where all of us with invisible illnesses support each other and realize that there is hope for us and there are a lot of us to band together for each other.
One of the things the website suggests is to do the 30 things you may not know about me meme. I know I've already done it on here, but it's been a while, most of my answers have changed and it's awareness week, so I'm doing it again. I will also try to blog every day for the rest of this week. I missed yesterday because I was on a homework mission. Next week...I'm going to try to catch the world back up on Meggers land and get the blog up and running, I have over 1000 hits now...and didn't realize it, so I obviously have readers, I guess I should give you guys something to read :)
Love y'all, here's my list :)
30 things you may not know about my invisible illness(es) are, in honor of invisible illness week:) (sorry it's so long)
1. The illness(es) I live with is (are): Celiac, Ulcerative Colitis, Fibromyalgia, Endometriosis, PCOS, and Dysautonomia (NCS) 2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2009, 2009, 2012, 2010, 2011, 2012 respectively 3. But I had symptoms since: I was 14 or 15 years old 4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: learning to say no 5. Most people assume: I am not sick because I look healthy and put a happy face on most days and do more than most healthy people would. 6. The hardest part about mornings are: can't move to get out of bed because I'm so stiff from the fibro, but I have to go to the bathroom immediately because of the UC and NCS 7. My favorite medical TV show is: all of them...but probably grey's anatomy for drama's and trauma life in the E.R. for discovery health ones. 8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: my IPAD!!! It keeps me connected to my friends and has all kinds of useful apps for me that make my life easier like having my books and notes in it so i don't have to carry too much and medical apps to keep track of everything 9. The hardest part about nights are: the pain, the getting up to go to the bathroom, and the not sleeping, ever, it feels like at least 10. Each day I take 21-25 (depending on the pain level) pills & vitamins. (No comments, please) 11. Regarding alternative treatments I: love them and try them whenever possible. I would much rather get a chiropractic adjustment than add 10 more pills a day :) 12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: invisible, i like that people can't judge me based on what I look like physically, I get to show them who I am before they know I'm sick 13. Regarding working and career: right now I've lost one career to my disabilities and I am currently on full time disability. I am working my butt off in dietetic school to possibly work again one day, but it is doubtful. I at least want to do non-profit work from bed once I graduate, and I will :) 14. People would be surprised to know: I really don't want to be's not my idea of fun...I don't do this for attention. 15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: I can't exercise, I have medication induced obesity, I can't do it all, I will never be who I once was again. 16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: go back to school 17. The commercials about my illness: there are none except lyrica commercials and those make me laugh because I'm on lyrica and even on it there is no way in the world I can do the things those people do in the commercials without immense pain 18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: living spontaneously 19. It was really hard to have to give up: exercising! Just being able to stand up without worrying about passing out 20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: blogging (though I haven't done it in a super long time), going to a small group which is the best thing in my life right now, love you girls :) 21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: do all the things. Run 20 miles, teach my babies again, dance, stand up for longer than 30 minutes, play my instruments again, write with a pen without hurting, do anything without hurting, camp, work at camp, not have to say "maybe, it depends how I feel" 22. My illness has taught me: the things most people think are the end of the world aren't; also, what i have is not the end of the world. everyone is broken. there is ALWAYS someone worse off than you and there is ALWAYS HOPE and God loves you. 23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: you aren't really sick, you look completely fine. or. i bet if you exercised you would feel better. 24. But I love it when people: ask me specific things that they can do for me. example i'm on my way to the grocery store can i pick something up for you, instead of let me know what to do for you. 25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: "I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord." Isaiah 66:9 "For You created my inmost being, You knit me together in my mother's womb, I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:13-14 and so many more...just go to my pinterest boards and look at them, those are my inspiration. 26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: it will all be ok, breathe, realize you won't be able to do everything you used to, be ok with it, then just be. it will all be ok. 27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: it gives you an inordinate amount of determination and perseverance, it's almost superhuman. 28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: allowed me to be in a bad mood (that is like everyone on my friends list); also, one of my college roommates bought me an orange light up frog, because I love frogs and orange, that was before I was diagnosed with any of my illnesses, but I still have it :) 29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I am tired of people telling me "But you dont look sick", I truly believe awareness needs to be super huge for all of the invisible illnesses not just the ones I have. 30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: loved, appreciated, and hopeful that you learned something and can apply it to your life :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mourning my plans...but embracing His

So of course 10 minutes ago I had an idea of what I was going to blog about and it was going to be profound and amazing, but of course one of my stupid symptoms of one of my stupid illnesses is that I have memory loss. Lots of memory loss. At this point I can't decide if the memory loss, the weight gain, the pain, the headaches, the heat intolerance, or the other random myriad of symptoms are worse. I'm thinking it's the memory loss, right now, for this second. I don't know if it's because I failed 2 easy midterms this week that I studied my butt off and knew all the answers to an hour before the test, or if it's because I spent an hour with an older couple today and one of them has Alzheimer's and wondering if my baby piddly memory loss will ever get to that point. Maybe it's because I used to pride myself on my memory, you could count on me to remember anything and everything. If I dialed a phone number once it was locked in I don't even know my own home phone number. Now I don't know where my keys are unless I put them where they belong. Today I had to call my mom who is in LA to tell me how to get to Verizon because I drove by it three times and couldn't find it. Yeah. True story. So today the symptom that is the most annoying and whatever is memory loss.
Most of the time it is weight gain or pain. I mean in September of last year I was almost dead I was so malnourished and weighed 99 pounds. Today I've been steadily gaining 1-2 pounds a day for the past 3 or 4 months and I know weigh over 200 pounds. We tried everything to get me to gain weight and now I can't stop. That is really annoying. Now I have to lose about 50 pounds to be where I'm supposed to be. How ironic. The pain has become such a constant that I don't even pay attention to it anymore. It's just like breathing to me now. Just worse. The passing out or almost passing out (pre-syncope as the doctors call it) is just rather annoying. Your like fine one second, the next you are lying flat on the cold floor so you don't pass out. Or you are fine one moment and then you have to sit down so you don't pass out. Or, my personal favorite, you are fine one moment then you wake up anywhere from 5 minutes to 2.5 hours later having no idea what just happened and hope you don't have a head injury from the actual passing out. These are all the negative things though. Well, not all of them. I don't want to overwhelm you to much.
Now, let me let you in on a not so secret, secret. I'm a type A personality. Shocker, right? I've had my whole life planned out since I was about 4. And it was going right on don that path perfectly. Found a guy I loved and wanted to marry in high school (but also found out in high school that he wasn't the guy for me, though I'm sure he is wonderful for his now wife),graduated from college with .02 points away from honors (haha), always knew I wanted to be a teacher, became a teacher, was independent, found friends, found a church, found myself, got sick and almost died and was told there isn't a cure. Oh wait, that last one wasn't in there, was it? It seems all of us type A personalities get these wonderful things thrown at us that we have absolutely no control over, in my opinion for God to see if we can put our trust in Him and pass control over to Him. I've learned in all of this that I am super bad at that, like way bad. Like the worst at it ever. Ironically, most of my friends frequently complement me on my ability to take it all in stride, laugh it off, go with the flow, etc. However; they don't realize the constant dialogue that is going on in my head that goes a little something like this, "ok God, it's a new day, I could be cured today, ya know if that would be cool with you". Or the little things I tell myself like I learned in class the other day that all the red blood cells in your body are replaced every 120 days and the lining of your digestive system is replaced every 3-5 days so if I eat perfectly and force myself to exercise for the next 3 months then I will be a whole new person and that means the disease won't be in my body anymore. But then I also remember the thing that our physiology professor tells us every day...nothing in biology is 100%. I've told him a little of my story (after I passed out in class, check that off the bucket list) and he said dang you got the full cocktail didn't you. And I just chuckle and say oh it's not so bad, when I'm really like in my head yeah and it sucks big time. There is no cure for autonomic dysfunction. There is stuff they can do to make you more comfortable, but there is no cure. There is no cure for colitis or fibromyalgia either. There is a cure for celiac disease being a gluten free diet, but that is probably the least of my problems at this point. So all that being said, I don't think I will be making big, huge, elaborate plans I can stick to any time soon. But I won't stop trying.
I am in several online support groups and follow some of their blogs. The best, funniest, most truthful one I've found is this one: and she also has a Facebook page. Well, today on her Facebook page she posted this status
Before I became ill I had big plans. For a long time after my health declined I mourned those plans and was consumed by hopelessness. Now I realise that my old dreams were small and I am capable of much much more. The world is full of possibilities. The only difference is I have to step outside of the box and give myself permission to embrace those less familiar paths. A while back I made a conscious decision to change how I view my world. To not beat myself up when I get discouraged, because that's part of the ride, and you can't move forward by denying those moments. And to know that I wont get stuck there again because I made it out before. The world can be beautiful. The pain, the fear, the uncertainty, the slow break down of my body all serve to make the good moments shine even brighter. I just have to remember to appreciate that.
After I read that, especially after the crappy day dealing with doctors offices and politics and what not, I just sat at my computer and cried. Because for the past 2 weeks (summer is always harder for me) I realized that I have been doing nothing but mourning my plans. When I got sick, I mean when I realized I wasn't going to get better, I decided that I would be positive about this whole thing. And I've tried. But sometimes it gets to you, but I was bound and determined to make this God's battle and to have Him on my side all the time and realize that anything was possible because He was gonna be with me the whole time and hold me in the palm of His hand. That was His plan. But for the past 2 weeks, for whatever reason, I have forgotten that and I have gone back to mourning the loss of my plans. I have forgotten the world is full of possibilities, there are less familiar paths, and the world is inherently beautiful. I have also forgotten that I am capable of much, much more. So for the next two weeks my focus will be to get my focus back, pass my class, and at the end of the next two weeks I will get to check a whole lot of items off my bucket list. Because I will not let my illness beat me in 16 days. I will get in my car, I will drive and pick up my best friend I haven't seen in 2 years and we will go to Maine. We will eat more seafood than humanly possible, we will dance the night away (yes dance), we will tour wineries, go on nature hikes,we will ride rides at the boardwalk, and we will watch whales jump out of the ocean. And I will, with the help of God, for one week forget that I am sick. How is that for planning?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

a myriad of thoughts...

I have been learning a lot about being someone with chronic illnesses here lately. This is going to be a very personal blog entry, if that may freak you out, do not read further, I really do this more for me than for you anyway :) Let me do like a top 10 list or whatever number I chose to stop at, then tell you a story you won't believe, then tell you some good news, ps this will obviously be a long post, but I promise to try and make it good :) Why am I giving you the run down? This is my blog, I can do whatever I like really...
So anyways...
The top _____ things you learn when you have chronic illnesses:
1. ALWAYS advocate for yourself...NEVER and I mean NEVER settle for a treatment, a death sentence, being told you will never be able to do "x" again and know that doctors are not God despite their belief that they are...they are humans, they make mistakes, they don't know everything. When they make mistakes stand up for yourself and infrom them they are dumb (but hopefully in a nice way)
2. Try to maintain a social life. Have a core group of friends, try to make sure that they understand that yes you do have limitations, but it is very nice to be invited to do things. Never promise to do said activities, but promise to try. Also, try to make sure that it means a lot for you to be invited even if they think you can't do it, because honestly we don't know what we can do on a certain day, how is someone else supposed to know what we are capable of on that day ahead of time.
3. Don't feel sorry for yourself. Yes it stinks, yes its hard, but you are not the worst off person in the world. There is someone that has it way way way worse than you do. Even though I have to literally repeat that in my head over and over all day long in my head to try and stay positive ;)
4. People don't matter. The people that look at a seemingly healthy looking 26 year old get out of her bright yellow sports car in the handicapped parking place don't matter. What matters is that you know that if you park in the non handicapped parking place to save face you will pass out before you get to the door of the store/restaurant/etc you are going into. (P.S. If there is a non handicapped space directly next to a handicapped space, I always take that space instead because again I know I am no where near the sickest person in the world, and someone sicker than me may need that space...but if the nearest space is halfway down the parking lot, heck ya I'm parking close...who wants to pick someone passed out up out of the parking lot, really)
5. Blogging really helps. I know I don't do it as much anymore...but it does help. It hurts to type like I've said before, and I honestly don't have the mental energy it takes to do it most of the time once I go to school and study. I barely have the energy to make it to the bed most of the days let alone blog. It helps to be able to type anything and everything to a cyberspace thing though...I know I know the people that read it, but it still feels safer than face to face contact.
6. Medicine sucks. I was never a medicine fan. I almost died because I didn't take my meds right, then almost died because I was taking the wrong meds. I gained 85 pounds in 4 months because of meds. But medicine also sometimes keeps you alive.
7. Have a support group. Whether it be a facebook group with people from across the world. A group of people you physically get together with. Or anything in between. Have a support system of people that actually deal with what you deal with. Not people who think they know how you feel. This will help you more than you can now. To be able to go and type on a support group page I feel this way and this way today and 15 people write back it makes you realize you are not alone, puts things in perspective, and helps you realize you are not crazy.
8. You are not crazy. Just because an idiotic doctor that doesn't know you thinks you need a therapist you do not need a therapist. He needs a therapist (P.S. the idiotic doctor may or may not be the story I'm referring to for later)
9. God created you. He knew you were going to be sick, He still loves you. He knew you could handle it. He knew you would be mad and upset and cry, but He knew that you, my friend, are an overcomer. The Bible says so. This is the verse I say over and over when I'm mad at my body.
"Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb. I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day." Psalm 139:13-ff Message version
You thought I was gonna go to 10 didn't I'm getting tired. Time for a story you won't believe...or maybe you will, then some good news.
So yesterday, I met the dumbest, most arrogant doctor ever. I thought I had a cyst so I had to go to this new gyn that I have NEVER met. He checks me out, is nice enough...then the tides turn. He is scrolling through his tablet and looking at my med list and my diagnoses and says hey, i know i don't know you really well, but i can i ask you a question. I'm like sure, he's like doesn't it suck to be 26 and be on disability? I'm all like sure but don't really have a choice...obviously the wrong choice of words on my part because then this happens. Dr.: "Well, I'm going to tell you a story. When I was 16 I had back pain and I went to 3 doctors. One told me I was going to be in pain for the rest of my life and on pain killers, one told me I could use a TENS machine to try and curb the pain, the 3rd told me I could do weight training and I would not have to be a slave to pain pills and treatments and be disabled for the rest of my life. Don't you feel useless? Don't you feel like you're wasting your life. If you would just exercise then you wouldn't have any pain and you wouldn't pass out anymore because you would be in shape. Also, it seems you've gained a lot of weight, exercising and eating right would help that too." (Not a real direct quote just to show you where he about stops talking) At this point in the story I am sitting there crying hysterically, shaking, and livid, and I'm sure my Blood pressure and heart rate are sky high which is the exact reason I got a 2 day stay at the hospital last week. I don't even know what to say. The only thing I can muster up is: Me: "Well, you obviously have never met me before in your life or know nothing about me. You obviously don't know that I spent the entire time the olympic track and field trials were on the tv watching them going that should have been me. You don't know I all but refused every medication that was ever given to me because I believe in natural medicine as much as possible until I almost died a couple of times from not taking my medications. You don't know that I miss teaching, I miss my life, I do not enjoy being 26 and laying in bed all day when I'm not at school because that is the only thing I can do right now. You don't know that I'm fighting my battles every day to become a dietitian and help people eat right and not get as sick as I did with my disease. You don't know that the reason I am overweight is because I gained 85 pounds in 4 months on a medication and since we quit it 1 week ago I've already lost almost 10 pounds. You don't know that I'm allowed to take up to 4 pain pills a day and most days I don't even take one, because I don't want to be addicted to drugs. You don't know me at all." At the end of this freak out and crying and still hysterically shaking...then he proceeds to say well I think you should see a therapist because I don't think you are dealing with your chronic illnesses very well. First of all, from the information given where am I not dealing well. Second, I'm only crying because you're an asshole...excuse my French. Then he goes, I don't know why you're so upset I was just trying to be sympathetic with you. Then I'm so upset I don't even read my visit summary until I get in my car and I'm looking over my diagnosis list and see that he has added obesity to my diagnosis list. First of all, according to the BMI, I am not obese. Second of all, how are you going to add a diagnosis without telling a patient. Third of all, did he not read when the nurse typed in the medication reaction I told him about or listen when I told him about the medication reaction. Obviously my weight problem is not because I eat 12 big macs a day, its from medication. Idiot. He was very far from giving me the sympathetic vibe...needless to say I will not be seeing him again and the director of the organization he works for will be getting a formal complaint from me. Just sayin. He was completely out of line and if he is a gyn he should be empathetic and nice and know how to deal with women who are hormonal and freak out when they're being harassed. to the good news.
When I quit my job I was fortunate and blessed enough to receive cobra health insurance. It was wonderful, I really needed insurance obviously and it was there. Well, now several months into no income to very little income I just couldn't afford it anymore, let alone the high copays it comes with and the medications I had to pay with. Most months I am spending more on health care than I receive for my disability and I'm leaving some things out that would help me stay better like vitamins and chiropractors and good for me food etc. Anyways, I finally took the plunge and applied for medicaid. I had my interview today for it and they told me I would definitely be approved. On July 18th I will have health insurance that I don't have to pay almost 500 dollars a month for which is over half of my disability check and doesn't even include meds or doctors visits. I am so, so blessed by this opportunity. I know that some people think that people like me living off the government are bad and it's not fair that you are paying our way and blah blah blah and I honestly felt that way on August 31st. I felt that way about 4 weeks ago actually. But there comes a time, when the cards are so stacked against you that you just cant swim anymore. And there are people like me (and hundreds and thousands of others) that do not abuse the system and aren't trying to do it for pleasure or anything. There is no way my healthcare could be afforded any longer based on my income. It was ridiculous. And I don't think that it is fair for my mother to have to continually shell out several hundred dollars a month to take care of her adult child's healthcare needs. I don't think its fair that this was the card I was dealt, but I am very glad the program is in place for people who truly need the support. To be clear, I also don't think it's fair that there are people that do take advantage of the system and abuse the system. I try not to do this as much as possible. So for now, yay for me. Yay for me finally being able to save some money, pay some forward, and try to become more self sufficient. Because as mom told me, we have to figure out a way for you to get ahead because I won't be here forever...but that's not something I need to think about right now hopefully. Anyways, so there goes the world's longest blogpost. Hope you enjoyed :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Isn't it Funny

So while on a pinterest spree today I decided that I would pin like every C.S. Lewis quote I could find because I am madly in love with that man and his wisdom. I kind of started becoming obsessed with him when I was a senior in high school and struggling with Christianity and did my senior research paper on The Screwtape Letters, my obsession went full force in college with my religion degree and the advent of the Narnia movies. Anyways, all this to say, one of the quotes I found and pinned said this, "Isn't it funny how day by nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different..." This is how my life has felt lately. Somehow with the end of the semester of school and getting yet another diagnosis, the pain increasing every day, looking at pictures from my "old life" and looking at where I am now, etc, etc. I realize just how different things are, when really it all feels the same. But it all feels the same because even though it was gradual, it was sudden, but I've had time to get settled and into a "routine" as much as someone with chronic illnesses can have a routine anyway. I think the thing that has been upsetting me the most is that I'm constantly surrounded now (because I'm in college again) by people who are so active and free spirited and crazy and work out and I used to be that person and I took it so much for granted. If someone had told me when I was at track practice and complaining about running a few extra laps or doing a couple extra jump drills that in less than 10 years I wouldn't be able to walk more than 75 feet without either feeling like I was going to pass out or passing out before I thought about the feeling. If someone had told me that all the times I 'hurt' from the intense workouts I was doing or the running on the beach, that in less than 10 years I wouldn't be able to get out of bed without being in pain because simply standing up and putting pressure on my joints would be painful. If someone had told me that I would have to use a shower stool, a cane, a wheelchair, etc at the ripe old age of 26 I wouldn't have complained about standing up for an 8 hour shift at the Piggly Wiggly. I don't think I would have complained at all then, if I knew where I would be in 10 years. I think I would have realized how lucky I was and how grateful I should have been for being as healthy and active and blessed as I was. I was an athlete, and a good one. I had a job, I was in the band, I went to college, I could work (at one point I had 3 jobs on top of going to school). I graduated. I got a big girl job. I was still running, my knees hurt sometimes but I was still running 5, 6, 7 miles at a time...until 2 years ago. But they always say hindsight is twenty/twenty so right now it looks like a huge difference, but day by day, it isn't a big deal. Every day, I get up, I evaluate my pain level, I eat breakfast, I go to school, I sit there and get more in pain by the second because of the furniture, I finish up my last class, and come home and take a nap, eat dinner, watch some tv, and go to bed and do it again. Randomly there are dr's appointments thrown in there and they tell me thins that at this point just seem like words and no big deal. Every time I go to the doctor there is some new something so I know that's coming and it doesn't usually phase me. So yeah day by day it doesn't look any different, we tend to do the same or similar things every day, but when you look back it looks so different. Eight months ago, I was a teacher of special needs kids and I loved it...the next day I wasn't that was kind of an earth shattering blow...but two or three days later I was just back to day by day and not looking any different. Two or three weeks ago I 'only' had ulcerative colitis, celiac, fibromyalgia, and orthostatic hypertension. The next day, I had the diagnosis I had been "waiting for"...neurocardiogenic syncope or dysautonomia. I say I had been waiting for it because we had heard about it from several friends, researched it, and it fit me to a T...however, I am not one of those patients that is going to be known as a google doctor and read a whole bunch of information on the internet and walk in and demand a doctor test me for this disease so I can prove I am right. I do steer them in the right direction, but I don't force my uneducated beliefs on them. Anyways, basically all a diagnosis of NCS does is make my disability paperwork keep looking good because there is nothing they can do for it. I can be aware of it and try to fight off the passing out when I feel it coming on and they do have me on beta blockers now to try and stabilize my heart rate (it was going between 130 and 150 pretty much all the time which is way too high). But now it's back to day by day again. We get news and we adjust. We get a routine and we adjust. I have to adjust bigger than other sometimes, but I still adjust. Much of my life is mind over matter and God over human. I trust God and believe in the Spirit (especially after the study the small group is doing right now)and know that He would not give me anything that I cannot handle and He cannot help me through, so you just go back to day by day. I try to live my life as close to normal as possible while I can because I know that one day (probably sooner than later) I won't be able to get out of bed most days, now it's just occasionally. I am not the same as everyone else...I take lots of breaks, and when I look back my life is way more drastically different than most 26 year olds would be, but I still take it day by day like everyone else. And I bet, I laugh at myself way more than anyone else on the face of the planet does...because it is so much easier and takes way less energy to laugh than cry :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Only the good die young...

Oddly enough, I've been planning the title of this blog and the content of this blog long before it was Billy Joel week on American Idol...guess God's just good like that.

Those of you that know me really well, know that for a 26 year old, I have known quite a few people who have left this Earth far too least what their friends and family felt like was far too early...and is part of the reason why I fight these stupid diseases that ravage my body every day. When people on days like today, where you can look at me and tell there is no way I should be baking apple crisp in foods lab (I should at least be in bed and probably at the doctor or in the hospital), ask me over and over again why are you at school? Why don't you take a break? Why do you push yourself? It's because of my friends, my acquaintances, the people I've heard of that don't have the chance to fight, that don't have the chance to prove the doctors wrong, that don't have the chance any longer to show people what strength and beauty really looks like. It's because, for at least right now, any day that I wake up, is a day that God gifted me and gave purpose to me fulfill. I came across this quote on Pinterest that sums it up perfectly to me: "Having a rough morning? Place your hand over your heart. Feel that? That's called purpose, you're alive for a reason." So I get out of bed every day because I can, it may hurt, but it makes me a better person to realize that there are people much worse off than me, and that I have friends that didn't get to live to be 26, and it just doesn't seem fair to them, in my opinion.

So let me tell you about some of my friends...and I may have left some out...because I am having a pretty crumby health week(s) and part of that is not remembering everything I have to say/want to I'm sure this will be pretty emotional to right so I might get sidetracked or whatever...but anyways...I wanted to let you, my readers, know about the awesome people that I have had the pleasure of meeting, that have inspired me in my life, and that were too good so they had to die young.

The first young person that I knew that died was Todd Carter, he was 16, he died the week of my 16th birthday in a car wreck. He was the star football player for our gigantic high school football team, dating a head cheerleader, went to youth group. He wasn't wearing his seatbelt. I didn't really know Todd that well besides the fact that he was so popular and I wanted to be his friend so bad and he was always nice and he was in my youth group. But his death still hit me super hard, because we were/were soon to be 16, we were invincible. I was supposed to be getting my license that week...I didn't by the way, I waited a while. I still remember at his funeral they played "Time of your life" by Green Day.

After that there were a slew of other kids I knew that either committed suicide or died in car wrecks. The next one that really hit me kind of hard though was Joe Shuford. He was the first young person, 18, that I knew that passed away from cancer. He went to my church in South Carolina. I was away at college when he passed away. I came home for that funeral too...but that wasn't really a funeral, that was a worship service. There was praising of God that I could not even imagine at that service. His little brother got up and talked about how he was so happy that his brother was in heaven with Jesus and could run and play football again with Todd (my other friend that had died previously), talk about crazy emotional. Joe knew he was going to die and decided that he was going to make it his mission to become a fisher or men. He had bumper stickers made up that said Joe, Fight, Win! that were seen all over town and still are seen all over town. He said that he knew God gave him the cancer so people would listen to him and God called us to be fishers of men and made it his goal to bring one person to Christ every day until he passed, and I'm sure he did that...if not more.

Later that same year; my first friend that I had in Charleston, the longest friend I had ever had, and the friend that I had put on the back burner and shunned because she wasn't popular in high school passed away in a car wreck, her name was Amanda Bates. We still were close in college and talked a lot, once I got away from the entrappings of the high school popularity contest. I, however, did find out she passed away on facebook. Which, let me tell you, is not the way to find out your best friend of 10+ years passed away. She passed in a car wreck as well, she was on the interstate with her 2 year old niece in the back seat and she turned around to hand her something and drove off the side of the road into a tree head on. She died instantly we were told. Her niece was just fine, thank God. Amanada is one of the most important people that has influenced me in my life. She taught me to always be prepared (she would have anything you needed on her at any time), she taught me to always be herself and not compromise who you are for the popular crowd (which I learned after high school, but from her), and she made me want to teach again. We always knew we were going to be teachers, but then I didn't want to teach when I first started college. After Amanda passed, I drifted back to teaching eventually. Her funeral, I really don't remember much of. I remember standing in the row with our group of friends from elementary school on (there were 4 of us in that row), and all of us virtually collapsing in each others arms as they carried her casket past us up to the front of the church. I had never been to a family member's funeral (besides my grandmothers when I was very young) but this was pretty dang close. I also remember that everyone there wore pink, because it was her favorite color.

I think the next person that I knew that passed away was my dad. Who wasn't that young (in comparison to the rest of this blog), and I didn't really love him or consider him good at the time or anything. But he was 49...and had a ton of health problems (surprise, surprise given my history, right?) And he had to have been good in some respect because at one point he loved my mom enough to have 2 kids with her. And, who isn't going to be upset when their dad passes least a little bit, no matter how absent they were. I remember when mom called and told me, I laughed because I thought she was joking. Then I realized she wasn't. It had always been a joke that he was dead because we thought he was for a while, then he came back, then he was gone, then he was dying in 2 weeks, in 2 months, etc, etc. So when mom calls me at like 11 o clock on a school night (I was teaching at this point) and tells me that my dad just died in heart surgery, of course I thought it was a family joke continuation. Then, of course, I realize it's 11 o clock on a school night and she's telling me I need to call the hospital and talk to them because I have to figure out what to do with his body and stuff because I'm the next of kin...and I don't even know him. I don't remember anything from that night but being very tired, driving around Salisbury in circles, numb. I don't think I cried for like a month or two. I don't think I thought it was real for that long. I honestly don't think I cried until the next death, which the anniversary of is today.

The reason I am writing this oh so joyful blog post today is because one year ago today another great friend passed away in a car wreck. Julie, 28, was the most beautiful, talented, fun to work with, joyful, passionate person I think I've ever met. She was always herself and she was so freaking beautiful being herself. She had fiery red hair and a personality to match. I worked with Julie at Escape the Daily Grind (a coffee shop) and got to be pretty decent friends with her. We would talk about such worldly things, Godly things, photography things. I would see her around town and no matter what she was doing she would sit there and have a 20 or 30 minute conversation with me, even if she was running a little late (which was often). She wanted to be a professional photographer and went to school for it so we didn't get to do things together alot because she was really only around in the summers andn I was usually gone then because I worked at camps. But she was amazing, inspiring, and so genuinely kind. She is another person that taught me never to compromise who I was for fitting in. We had such a great time whenever we worked together and loved listening to 95.7 the Ride and dancing in the back together while we washed dishes. We were two silly people together :) Julie was an inspiration to me, and her mom has been an inspiration to me since her passing. A very strong one, that keeps me focused and determined.

The next person that I knew that passed away too soon, was Vanessa Allred, 36, who passed away a couple of weeks ago. She had cancer, and she was a fighter. I didn't know V, pre cancer. But let me tell you, if someone has faith in God to do the impossible it is her. She would post the most breath taking, inspiring facebook status updates through all of her pain and through all the doctors telling her she can't do anything, etc, etc. She knew where her allegience's were to lay and she didn't go down without a fight. Her and her husband (who is the knight in shining armor every girl desires) were witnesses throughout her daily battle, right up until she passed away. Where she thanked her facebook friends for praying for her, wrote on her kids wall that she loved them, and wrote on her husbands wall that he was her hero, to which he immediately replied no, you are mine. Vanessa, was the type of person that would often message me, despite everything she was going through, and let me know that she was praying for me and hoped my pain would go away soon...right up until 3 days before she died. Vanessa, was one of the most selfless people I knew and am sorry I didn't get to know her before the cancer, because I'm sure she was awesome then too.

So there are just 6 examples in the life of one 26 year old of good, inspirational, amazing people dying way too young. So on days when I'm swollen, when I have intense pain, when I can barely move, when I am flushed, when I am nauseous, when I am so dizzy I pass out a couple of times, when I can't type or write, etc I remember when I'm in all this pain that I'm alive...and not everyone is that lucky. And I remember that I'm alive because God has a purpose for me, and I know that if I don't fulfill that purpose then I'm not doing what God wants me too and that isn't good. My purpose for that day may be to be in pain, or have symptoms so that I keep my passion for figuring out what is wrong with me and how to fix it in others. But if that's my purpose, that's my purpose, and who am I to deny God's will in my life. So please, if you are reading this, when I look like crap, and I keep fighting, don't tell me to go to bed and give up for the day, please just realize why I'm not. It says it right in the Bible in Romans 8:14-15, "God's spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go! This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?"

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

He will come to us like the rain.

"Come on, let's go back to God. He hurt us, but He'll heal us. He hit us hard, but he'll put us right again. In a couple of days we'll feel better. By the third day he'll have made us brand new, alive and on our feet, fit to face Him. We're ready to study God, eager for God-knowledge. As sure as dawn breaks, so sure is His daily arrival. He comes as rain comes, as spring rain refreshing the ground." Hosea 6:3

"The thief only comes to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it to the full." John 10:10

It's been over a month since I wrote, but most of you have seen me since then. I basically haven't written since I got an iPad because there "isn't an app for that"...seriously...i only do things on my iPad now pretty much. First of all, it's super cool, second of all my laptop is pretty heavy and hurts me to use it. I got it because it was too heavy to carry my laptop to school and was becoming an issue so I bought an iPad to make it lighter but now I use that sucker for everything. Cooking, reading my Bible, reading my textbooks, taking notes, watching tv, playing games, etc, etc. That thing can do anything, but blogs apparently. Plus, it's hard to use the keyboard because I haven't gotten a keyboard attachment yet so it takes a while to type really long stuff on it aside from class notes. So anyways, that is my "excuse" for not writing, as well as the fact that school is super hard and exhausting. I was going to write when I got to Salisbury, but that didn't happen either because I was having way too much fun.

As most of you know, I had a friend pass away earlier this month and it just so happened to occur at the same time as spring break so I was able to go down to Salisbury for the memorial service and stayed for the week to catch up with some people and have some fun. If you all recall, the last time I was in Salisbury, I was super super sick and was forced to lay in bed the entire time I was there which highly upset me and it felt like I was wasting money. This was a different story. I was everywhere, for most of the day everyday. It was so nice to be able to see so many people and do so many things, etc, etc. I think it could of quite honestly be one of the only times in my life I've been in Salisbury and been relatively 'healthy'. That is kind of disturbing since I lived there for about 1/3of my life. I mean of course towards the end of the week, I was getting tired but I was still trucking on and made it home safely and healthy.

Since I've been home though, which has been about a week and a half, I have been slowly deteriorating. I believe there are several factors to this. First, I didn't really use spring break the best way I should have (to rest, duh) but I really needed to see my Salisbury family and say goodbye to V and it went really well. Second, I still haven't been able to get my remicade that, if you remember from my last blog post over a month ago, I wasn't able to get because I had pneumonia in January and February...which means I am about a month and a half over due for it now. No worries though I will be getting it on Thursday (barring any catastrophes). Third, school is wiping me out and stressing me out and pissing me off.

So for the health update part of the above. I have been in remission since January and I'm starting to flare just a teensy bit again; but, like I said I am over a month behind on my remicade and I'm stressed out. So those are both ways to let me flare easily. Besides that though, I've still been gaining weight. I am almost to 160 pounds now and I've had to buy new clothes several times. This is not a bad thing, I am not saying I'm fat, but it isn't good I'm gaining as much weight as I am this fast. I will definitely be talking to my rheumy about this next week. I also was doing better in terms of fibro pain (and thank God for the drugs making the trip to the Bury much easier) but now they basically aren't working at all anymore and I'm in worse pain than I ever was much of the time. I sweat all the time, have hot flashes all the time, my skin always looks flushed, etc, etc. My tachycardia is getting pretty bad and my shortness of breath is increasing too. I was hoping with the warmer weather I would be able to go walk around outside some and try to get a little bit in shape, but I think the heat is making my symptoms worse instead of better like I predicted so that is not making me happy. I also am losing complete control/motion in my right hand, it is also trying to turn blue a lot of the time and be numb/dead most of the time. We are trying to find a surgeon that will do a surgery that was recommended to me last summer, but I chose not to do it then. Now though it's do the surgery or have no use of my right hand. That is about it health wise, which is a lot, but still trucking a long.

The reason that school is stressing me out, pissing me off, and exhausting me is because well a lot of reasons. Exhausting me is obvious, I am extremely sick taking 3 lab science classes, one very intense nutrition course, and one class that is so stupid and boring but meets 6 hours a week and makes me mad. It takes everything I have to get out of bed and go to school, especially this week. But I really do want this, so I am going to give it my all. School is stressing me out because dietetics applications were due last week, which means that I'm in the waiting game. We are waiting on interviews and waiting to find out if we get into the program. 8 undergrads and 8 graduate students get in. At last count there were 25 people applying total for the 16 spaces, but I don't know what the breakdown is for graduate/undergraduate in there so I don't know my exact odds. I am applying for the graduate program obviously, which usually has more applicants than the undergrad program so we'll see. Hopefully I'll know soon. School is pissing me off because I am just now realizing the value of that 120,000 dollar Catawba education I got. When I first graduated I thought it was not worth the money. However, I did get a job right after graduation and every single day I felt challenged at Catawba. Was forced to think out of the box, etc. At ISU, while I am learning, it is not in the way that I would like to. I have more than one professor that tells me to google the information I need to know, and most of the professors waste my time by reading me powerpoints that I've had since the first day of class. This would not happen at Catawba, and I bet the teachers at this school don't get paid as much as they do at Catawba, which sucks. So that is my two cents on state schools versus private schools right now.

Anyways, back to the references at the beginning of this post. I am feeling very blah with my faith right now. Like not that I don't believe in Him, just that I'm not trusting Him or realizing how much He has brought me through recently I guess. I guess, not really giving Him the "props He deserves". I know that God is here and that without God I would be no where near where I am today and no where near the health level I'm at today. But when I have these strings of bad days, and the pain is almost unbearable, and my friends pass away and aren't healed, and so on and so's hard to remember that He is here. But He is, and He is good, and He makes beautiful things. And He never promised it would be easy...I just have to remember to keep fighting the good fight and fight it for Him and my friends that have gone on to be with Him. I just need to keep reminding myself that even though He hurt me, He will heal me, and He will make me brand day

Friday, February 17, 2012

Long overdue update..and too sick to make a cute title.

It's been like 3 and a half weeks since I've written because I am super bad at going to school and doing life at the same time. I love my classes, but it is so exhausting to get up every day, go to class, sit there, and listen. You would think it wouldn't take that much energy, but it does. Then I have homework and stuff so school is doing a pretty great job at exhausting me. I am doing okay in my classes, but not as good as I should be. I think the most frustrating thing is the fibro fog.

Fibro fog is a part of the fibromyalgia that basically means that I have a lack of mental clarity that can range anywhere from forgetting where I put my keys to knowing every answer for a test but then walking in and forgetting everything...which you know realize why this is frustrating. I oftentimes forget what a word is when i'm talking and have done this for years, but now know why. But when your teachers think you are the smartest person in the class and when you are in class in a non stressful situation and know all the answers then walk into the test and the fibro fog takes over it's just not freaking fair. I mean i haven't made lower than a B on anything yet. But when there are only 8 people admitted into a program that you are told about 30 people apply to you really wanna get that A. However, all my professors that are in charge of admission to the program know what is going on and understand and have taken my disabilities into consideration for the most part and still seem to like me ok. But fibro fog pisses me off. I also get worse fibro fog when I hurt worse and i hurt worse when I stay up late to study and I study more because I know I forget more than other it is like a vicious cycle of pain and fibro fog over and over again. Anyways...

Other than that school is going great. I am making good friends that are really cool. I am learning a ton of really interesting stuff. I am feeling like a scientist in my labs doing gram stains, and streak plates, and separating enzymes from oranges that can cure cancer, taking the sugar out of sodas, and the fats out of potato chips, pretty cool stuff, right? I have also finished my dietetics application and applied to grad school so now I'm just waiting and waiting.

Small group is wonderful!!! It is so nice to have a group of women that love the Lord and help support each other through everything. I haven't been able to see them in almost 2 weeks though because I am super sick right now so I miss them very much. We were going to get together last Friday, but I was starting to get sick then, and then this Wednesday for group I was super sick by then. Now I am in bed on Friday in the middle of the day because I have finally succumbed to the sickness and am taking a 3 day weekend because midterms are next week so I need to be better by then for sure.

So now that I've mentioned I'm sick I guess I need to do the every so important health update since that is what this blog is supposed to be about anyways. Well, last time I wrote I had mentioned that they thought I had lupus. I don't. Praise the Lord! At least, what the doctor said is, you don't have it yet, not sure what that means, if they are going to do more tests or what...but for right now I don't have it. He did tell me that my potassium was down to 3.0 again (which if you remember from my very first blog is right around where it was when they told me I could die and wouldn't let me leave the hospital) That pretty much terrified me and put me in a very bad mood because I was scared. They put me on potassium supplements and said if it didn't go up in a week they were going to send me to a kidney doctor because it could be something wrong with my kidneys. Well it went up with supplements so right now I am just on a high potassium diet so hopefully it will work this time. Then they said my vitamin D levels were low so I am taking a TON of vitamin D every week and more every hopefully that will help some too. I guess the celiac is making me not absorb like any nutrients properly. But I must be absorbing something because I now weigh 149 pounds which is unheard of. I can't believe I weigh that much. I have been trying to get up to like 120 my whole life now I am almost 150 pounds. Crazy! I couldn't do my remicade this week because I have a cold/bronchitis/sinus thing...and you can't get remicade if you are sick because it suppresses your immune system so you get sicker if you do it. The kicker is I'm already on immunosuppressive drugs in pill form that I take every day in pill form so I really don't think I'm going to get better any faster than if I had the remicade or not because my immune system is already suppressed. But anyways...I am supposed to get it next thursday now so hopefully I will be better by then or else I have to reschedule again. But other than that, nothing else is really going on. That is pretty much an update.

I miss salisbury super bad, I also have started missing charleston super bad. I don't think it's because I'm cold because it hasn't really been cold here this winter. We did get 2 inches of snow on Valentines day, but it still wasn't that cold, in my opinion. And we still had school, which would not happen in Salisbury or in Charleston. So I think I just miss the people and the food...or how my life was in those places. Mostly I just miss being able to do stuff that everyone else can do...I think the more I get invited to stuff and the more I have to say no because I can't do it, the more I miss being on my own and being not sick...but it's ok...I guess.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

answers are sometimes not what you actually want...

So I went to the rheumatologist yesterday and I LOVED him. He is very young (literally the same age as me basically) and so he is up to date on everything and still passionate because he is not burnt out yet. Basically, everyone at the office was super nice from the check in person to the nurse to the lab people to everyone...especially the doctor. I have seen my fair share of doctors (see last blog post) and the only doctor I've ever really liked a whole lot is Dr. Brown who was my general physician in Salisbury. I didn't like him all the time though, at the beginning he was like all the others and didn't believe me and blah blah...but once he believed me he was like my best friend. He really tried hard to help me, he never didn't believe me about anything again, he trusted what I told him I was feeling and what I thought I needed to do for me, and backed me up when he wanted me to quit and I wanted to keep working. He supported me and you could tell he truly cared for me. One of the reasons leaving Salisbury was so hard was because I couldn't believe I would find another doctor quite as amazing as Dr. Brown. I may have come close yesterday though.

I mentioned to the nurse yesterday (when she mentioned my blood pressure was sky rocket high which is really abnormal for me since it is usually near rock bottom) I was nervous about the appointment...which is also a little abnormal for me because I've basically done nothing for the past 2 years but go from doctor to doctor and test after test. But when he came in and asked me why I was scared to be there and I told him I wasn't nervous about tests or anything but that I was scared he wouldn't believe me. I gave a little of my background and how I had not been at all supported by the majority of my dr's and I just wanted someone to believe me and figure out what was wrong with me. He assured me that he would believe everything I told him unless I gave him a reason not to and that I could ask questions at any time and he would figure out what was wrong with me. At first, I didn't care what was wrong with me, I just wanted answers. Well, after spending 2 hours with me (yes a specialist that spent 2 hours with me in one appointment...unheard of I know)...I got answers. And let me tell you, I'm so grateful that I was eating dinner and hanging out with my small group last night because it helped me not think about it last night, because know I am getting pretty upset about it.

So we knew I had celiac, we knew I had ulcerative colitis, orthostatic hypotension, and we knew that I had tons of symptoms of some pretty other nasty chronic illnesses. But they weren't officially diagnosed. I found out yesterday officially that I have fibromyalgia, which is not autoimmune but is very common in people with automimmune disorders (which celiac is). I have known that I had fibromyalgia in my gut for a while, but honestly I was really hoping and praying I didn't have it. It is just another chronic illness that I have to deal with that has no cure that I have to deal with for the rest of my life. I have been in intense pain every day for the past 2-5 years and while yes it is nice to be able to say I have this illness, it's not in my head, there is someone who believes me, there is a name for this...I really wish it was something fixable. Something I could just have surgery for and it would be better...something they've missed on one of my MRI's or CT scans. But no, I have fibromyalgia. The only "treatment" he said there is for fibromyalgia is to exercise for 1 hour a day (which I can't do very well because of my other problems) and to sleep for 8 hours a night. There are fibro drugs out there, but he doesn't like medications and he doesn't think the fibro drugs really work. He did give me a med to help my nerves be less stimulated at night to curb the pain some so I can sleep at night and get my 8 hours in.

So after he tells me I have firbo (which is diagnosed by pushing trigger points all over your body and seeing the response to pain from this) he says he's going to do TONS more labs because he thinks I have several other problems too. These range from vitamin b12 and vitamin d deficiency all the way to he is pretty sure I have lupus too. I swear if I have lupus too, I almost want to give up. Literally every body system and organ in my body will have been attacked if I get lupus too. I am so over this. I know I said I wanted answers, but I want cureable, fixable answers. I know I should count my blessings because they aren't saying cancer and I have 3 months to live...but seriously a lifetime of chronic pain all over your entire body...and diseases that attack your organs one by one until they all fail eventually (not that this would happen for a long time, but still faster than healthy people)...and specialized diets...and exercising...and etc etc that I have to deal with already. Why can't I have a cold or the flu? Something that comes for a day or two and then leaves your body alone. My fingers are in so much pain right now from typing I can't even explain that...from typing...and I have that to look forward to for the res of my life. Walking through walmart today almost killed me because there floors are too hard...for the rest of my life I have that to look forward too. But I have a rest of my life to look forward to I guess.

This week in small group the "respectable sins" we studied were ungodliness and unthankfullnes. And let me tell you, the thoughts I have had today are pretty ungodly and unthankful. I am thankful I have an answer, I am just not thankful for the answer. I will get over it though, I always do. When I first started this blog, I talked about how it would be a beautiful, peaceful journey. Right now I feel like I am falling off the edge of a cliff. I am exhausted, irritable, in pain all the time, can barely make it through the school day and still have homework when I get home...but I know it will still be a beautiful journey. I also know that I am thankful that I have met some awesome girls here that I can hang out with to help me stay focused so that I don't get discouraged as easily. Anyways, know both my arms are going numb so I really need to stop have a good night..and I will blog again soon.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Preach the Gospel to yourself every day

Not much has changed since I blogged last, now my life pretty much consists of go to school, sit through class in pain, try to retain information while I do it, then come home and go to bed. In between classes I hang out in the commuter lounge and do my homework so that I don't have to worry about that when I get home because by the time I get home I am so exhausted and hurt so bad I can barely think, let alone do homework. On days where I have a longer break between classes, I come home and take a nap and eat lunch then go back. I am doing really well academically in my classes though and am enjoying the content I am learning. I just wish that it didn't hurt so bad. Honestly, some days, especially lately I don't know if I even want to be in school. I am so tired and so irritable because I am so tired. Then I'm like, in my head, well now I have disability so I don't technically have to go back to school. But I also don't want to live off the government forever and I don't want to be not a productive citizen for the rest of my life. I want to be able to get this degree so that I can do something productive and good for society, I just don't want it to make me this tired and make me hurt this bad. Hopefully, I will get through it...only like 13 more weeks this semester...haha...

Anyways, this weekend it was super icy here and they declared a level 1 emergency state because of the ice which means that no one is supposed to be driving because of how bad the ice is and you can even get a ticket if you are caught on the roads. Well, I still have been having some minor issues driving under normal circumstances because my muscles are weaker and I have slower reaction times so I knew that I for sure was not going anywhere this weekend because I would for sure wreck on ice. Therefore, I had a nice relaxing weekend in my bed which I needed after the previous week at school. The only time I really left the house was on Saturday night. We threw a surprise party for my cousin's baby shower. We told her we were getting together for her birthday (which was MLK, Jr day) and had her baby shower instead. Long reason why...but the only thing you need to know is it was a success and even with the ice (though some of it had melted by then) there were a lot of people there. Though the whole time on the way to my aunt and uncle's house I was like please don't die, etc...because I was scared even though mom kept telling me it was ok. That is pretty much all I did all weekend though. This Friday (at 2 pm for those of you who like to pray at the exact time people) I will go to yet another specialist...a rheumatologist this time and hopefully get some more answers and get on a road to recovery of my other illnesses. At this point in my quest for health of the past 2 years I've seen approximately (and I say approximately because I may have forgotten some) 1 general physician, 9 specialists (1 orthopedist, 2 neurologists, 2 cardiologists, 4 GI docs), 2 chiropractors, 3 ob/gyns, and a physical therapists. I have had about 5 or 6 CT scans, 3 MRI's, 5 colonoscopies, 1 sigmoidoscopy, probably somewhere near or over 100 tubes of blood drawn, worn a 24 hour holter monitor at least 4 times, had 8 ekgs done, 3 echocardiograms, and a tilt table test, and had 2 surgeries. I take somewhere between 10 and 15 pills a day and that is on a good day when I don't need painkillers. I get infusions of medication every 8 weeks and I get a shot every 3 months to keep me from getting huge cysts on my ovary because they don't know why I get them, but if I ovulate I get them and they won't take out my ovary like I ask them to because I'm too young and could have kids...but all my diseases cause infertility...don't ask...omg...So anyways, all this is to say, prayers would be appreciated this Friday at 2:00 PM to hopefully be the visit to close to one of the last specialists and that this one will have a right answer or at least believe me that I am sick. On to happier parts of blogging...or different anyways...

I am having a really great time with my small group. We have so much fun together, and we are trying at least to hold each other accountable for our respectable sins. The book we are doing is awesome, it reminds us that the sins that we do daily are the same as the 'big time' sins that we as Christians so commonly judge on a daily basis. I didn't realize until I started doing this study just how much I sin and how much it hurts God. Like every time I get frustrated and yell at my mom for waking me up from my nap, or every time I tell a white lie, or every time I complain about the disease that God trusted me to have because I can't be normal, or every time I on and on and on. As you can tell if you have read this entire post, being in this study has obviously not stopped me from committing "respectable sins" because I have complained about my disease in this post already among other things I am sure. I sin probably like every 0.4325 seconds and you do too...but that just makes it so much worse. Because now that I'm aware I'm sinning every 0.4325 seconds I should be able to be like okay God you did this huge thing for saved my sent your sin to come and die for me and I can't even do something so small as to stop sinning and hurting you. But it's impossible, that is why I am thankful beyond a shadow of a doubt for grace and forgiveness and that is why I am so incredibly mad at myself for knowing that I'm willingly hurting my God every day. But that is what we do, we sin, we ask for forgiveness, and then we sin again and then He forgives me again. UNBELIEVABLE! It is unreal the love that my God loves me with...and loves you with! It is unreal to me that my God would love me enough that the disease that I complain about every day that is so small in comparison to what he has done for me to live with He still chooses to heal me from, to let me have good days, to put dr's and friends in my life to save me from death. It is unreal to me that every time I sin it's like He says don't worry Megan, this one's on me, I got your back, you didn't really do that. Unreal. Anyways....I am done ranting about this, for now...I am now going to leave you with some Bible verses and quotes from the book that have really stuck out to me throughout this study. The quotes come from the book Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges unless otherwise noted.

"Whoever keeps the whole law, but fails in ONE point has become accountable for ALL of it." James 2:10

"But the fact still remains that the seemingly minor sins we tolerate in our lives do indeed deserve the curse of God."

"The acceptable sins are subtle in the sense that they deceive us into thinking they are not so bad, or not thinking of them as sins, or even worse, not even thinking about them at all!"

"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost." 1 Timothy 1:5

"My memory is nearly gone; but I remember two things: that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior." John Newton

"Preach the Gospel to yourself every day"

"Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin." Romans 4:7-8

"If we claim that we're free of sin, we're only fooling ourselves...on the other hand, if we admit our sins--make a clean breast of them--God won't let us down; he'll be true to himself. He'll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing." 1 John 1:8-9

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

school is tiring

I haven't written in forever. I have been so tired, it's not even funny. Last Monday (the 9th) I started school to get my pre-requisites for my hopefully masters degree in Dietetics. My classes have been great, so far, at least. I am meeting more people since I am in school and I am very excited about that. My classes are seeming to be easier than I thought they were going to be and I'm in classes with the 2 professors that decide who gets into the dietetics department and so far they like me. I have also so far made it to every class. However, as soon as I get home I'm in bed. I have no choice. I am tired. I mean I stay awake for the most part, but my body is done being up and about. I have also been hurting pretty badly, but I am toughing my way out through it. So far I have learned a lot and hopefully I will do well enough to get into the program, if not, oh well. My professors have also been really good so far after I talked to all of them personally with if I need to take a break or whatever that is ok. I am very thankful for this. Indiana State is a very different college from Catawba (14000 students vs 2000) and most of my classes have at least 40 people in them, one actually has about 200 people in it. However, most of my professors have already learned my name and realize that I am a little different than most "traditional students"

I also started a new small group at my church and it is awesome! There are about 7 girls and we have a blast. Some of them are married some of them are single. We eat, we talk about God and guys and have a great time. We are doing a book study by Jerry Bridges called Respectable Sins, which I highly recommend. It's all about how "Christians" have these sins that we tolerate because they aren't "as bad" as the big sins like murder and homosexuality and things like that. They are sins like pride and selfishness and gossip and things like that. Sins that we do every day and we do them so often that we don't even realize we are sinning. It is a good book. I really like my small group and hope that I become great friends with the girls.

This weekend was spent preparing and throwing my sister a graduation party because she graduated from Liberty University in December with a BS in Psychology. We had about 20 people over and I cooked most of the food for it. Some of the items included beef brisket, buffalo wings, bar b que, potato salad, muddy buddies, little football shaped chocolates, etc. It was a lot of food, but most of it got eaten thank goodness. Yesterday, my mom sister and I went out to lunch with my aunt and her kids at TGIFridays. After that I went with my aunt and cousins shopping at the mall and some other places. After that I was so exhausted and in so much pain I spent most of the rest of my day in bed. Today I went to school, went to the chiropractor, and found out I got approved for disability. I am making about 1/2 of what I made teaching but considering I had no income for the past 4 months I am so, so, so thankful that I will have income again. I told mom I could make like 200 dollars and it would be worth it. I am making more than that and I don't have many bills anymore besides my health insurance so I am way excited. I was just thinking about declaring bankruptcy because of my medical bills and what not, but I hopefully will not have to now. I am so so excited that I can take some burden off my family financially now.

Anyways, I am exhausted and in pain and have to go to school tomorrow so I think I am going to sign off now. I will try to be a better blogger, but no promises since I'm in school now.

Have a good night guys :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

I am not my disease

So I guess I should do an update and post some new year's resolutions or something like that...

This week has been crap in terms of pain wise. It is probably the weather, but my joints and muscles hurt so bad it takes great effort to get out of bed everyday and most of the day I can't get out of bed. I only really move if I have to. It was super cold this weekend (I'm talking real feel temperatures of negative 3 degrees) and it just killed all the good muscle gaining process I've made. In particular my ankles, toes, knees, wrists and the middle joint in most of my fingers have been hurting especially bad. Yesterday, I got up in the middle of the night/morning to go to the bathroom and literally collapsed to the floor because my ankles were in so much pain they couldn't hold up my body weight. I don't weigh that much, but it was enough to send me to the ground literally. I used mom's cane most of the day yesterday to do the things I needed to do, until the afternoon when everything started working itself out more. I always feel better in the afternoon, unfortunately for me all my classes are in the that might be an issue. My labs are in the afternoon though, and those are going to be the most intense demand of my energy and body control. As long as I can get to school I can sit there, it will hurt but I can do it, maybe. The labs are what I'm scared about. I remember when I was at Catawba in chem labs I would shake so bad I couldn't get accurate measurements for my beakers and weights of chemicals and what not and now I am tremoring much worse and have much less muscle control so I'm nervous I'll fail my chem and bio labs just because of my physical limitations...but I hope the professors are better/nicer than that.

Anyways, in other health news, and I don't want to jinx it colitis has been in remission for almost a month now. It will be a month next week. I am so freaking excited. I haven't been in remission completely for almost 2 years now. Knock on wood, I haven't had to plan my life around what if there is a bathroom, or am I going to be anemic and need a transfusion this week from the bleeding, or waking up 5 or 6 times a night (though I still usually wake up once but I think it is out of habit and being used to not sleeping because I don't go to the bathroom I just wake up), or being in intense pain in my abdomen. I've still had a couple of "episodes" but nothing like what I was doing and it is usually when I'm stupid and eat foods that I know are not digested well and a lot of them at one time (like a large popcorn at the movie theater) or something like that. Otherwise, I have been colitis flare up free and it feels amazing! I am so happy the new medication is working and now all we have to worry about is this other stupid illness whatever it is. I see the rheumatologist 3 weeks from today and I absolutely cannot wait. I've been keeping a journal for a couple weeks now of every symptom I have and what time I have it so that they can have a good baseline of data. I'm also trying to get all my test results and records from all my different doctors so we don't have to start completely over. Believe it or not, I'm getting a little tired of paying for and doing every test over and over again. So hopefully, in 3 weeks we will be on a diagnosis/treatment journey for whatever this is and maybe my whole body can be in remission and I can be 'healthy' again :)

K, time for some new year's resolutions...

1) Get out of bed everyday, even if I just make it to the couch or table for a meal, get out of bed everyday.
2)Go to school every day I possibly can, do not use my disease as a crutch to skip class and do whatever. This is an opportunity I wanted, don't waste it.
3) New recipe every week...something good to not just like chicken and rice, but more like blue cheese pork roasted salad or something crazy like that.
4) Go to church every week in some capactity
5) Meet 1 new person a month and really get to know them. I'm not talking hey, my name is megan, I'm talking get to know them...I'm lonely here maybe that will be a good way to form friendships. It will probably also be easier since I am getting more involved with my church and school and stuff.
6) See Christine
7) Save money to make this a reality (which will be hard since I don't really make money...but we'll figure that out)
8)Start a celiac support group here...I really miss that thing...
9)Be able to run or walk in a 5k by the end of the summer...I realize this will probably be walk and that makes me sad...but right now walking 50 feet without being out of breath is an ambitious goal and that is sad for a runner...this will also require being correctly diagnosed and treated for whatever I have right now
10)Follow dr's orders...take my medicine every day, rest, do what I'm supposed to so I can get better one day

and last but not least, I want to let my relationship with Christ identify me, not my disease. I have been getting very down lately and it has made me an irritable, cranky, mean person and even though in my head and heart and whatever I know I am not the only one in the world that is this sick I've been feeling like it lately and it is bringing me down. But I need to not let that happen, I need to keep my focus on God and try to stay in a good mood and positive, even when I'm laying on the floor, flat on my face because I passed out or my muscles quit working or whatever. When I'm up at 4 in the morning so tired I want to sleep, but can't because my body doesn't want to sleep. When I'm hungry and can't find one restaurant open that has food I can eat and there is no food in the house I can eat and I don't want to go to the store. When I am so tired I can't stay awake, but have to go to class or the doctor or some other important errand. I need to be happy and positive...because if I'm not happy and positive then the disease wins...and I don't know if you know this or not, but I've read the Bible and the only thing that wins in the end is Jesus...not a disease, not a bill, not a doctor...Jesus...He wins, and we win by having faith in Him. So I am not my disease, I am a daughter of Christ and because of this, one day I will win the battle and it will feel oh so good...and that is my new year's resolution :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


For the past couple of days I have been extremely, more than usual frustrated with my illness. For the first time really I have become very frustrated (to the point of hysterical breakdown) with the fact that I can't eat anything I want to. I think it is because I know live with my mom and sis so there is tons of gluten in the house. When I lived on my own it wasn't as big an issue because I just didn't buy glutenous it's everywhere, but that isn't there fault and it's not fair for me to expect them to not have it in the's just bothering me this week for some reason. Also, I have been extremely irritable and taking it out on my family and that makes me sad inside. The pain is getting worse because of the extreme coldness here (night before last the real feel was negative 3 degrees here, in the days the high has been about 24 with a real feel of 17 or so). Right now I am up because my joints, all of them, are on fire, so much so that I am literally sweating because I hurt so bad. So I decided to google quotes about invisible illnesses to try to inspire and motivate me that it will all be ok and found this neato little survey, so I filled it out so that you guys can learn my innermost thoughts about my illness...and I have more thoughts but these are the most of them. I should also point out that I took 2 pain pills tonight because I hurt so bad and I usually don't even take tylenol so I apologize if there is anything offensive and/or non coherent in it. so here you go, enjoy. :)

29 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know
1. The illness I live with is: Celiac/Ulcerative Colitis/and possibly Dysautonomia or Fibromyalgia or some other nervous system disorder
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2009 and will be 2012 for whatever the nervous system thing i have is
3. But I had symptoms since: I was a junior in high school
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: learning that on days I have can't get out of bed that is ok, eating only gluten free food, not being able to be as independent, always planning my life around where the nearest bathroom is
5. Most people assume: I am healthy because, I “don’t look sick” and that I am exaggerating my symptoms there is no way I could be this sick all the time.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: getting out of bed, my joints are in so much pain all the time it is very hard to get moving, especially in the cold. I also can no longer take a shower standing up because it takes to much energy and I will pass out so I use a shower stool to sit on to take showers. Yes, I’m 26 and I have to use a shower stool.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: I love most of them, I especially like Grey’s Anatomy, I also love to watch Discovery Health Channel and watch all the mystery diagnosis shows hoping I will see myself on there one day and know what I have finally!
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: my back massager/heater for my chair, a heating pad, and my cell phone/laptop so I can stay connected on my bad days!
9. The hardest part about nights are: sleeping-either can’t sleep because I’m in too much pain or can’t stay awake. I also get really achey muscles starting around 8 at night and it makes me very irritable. I also get very bad night sweats and wake up in a pool of sweat several times a night and in the mornings I can usually literally wring my clothes out, especially in the summer. I also have to frequently go to the bathroom multiple times in the middle of the night (although that has diminished a lot:) )
10. Each day I take 14 pills & vitamins. Plus, I get IV infusions every 8 weeks of another medication. But I thank God, it is only 14 pills a day, because I used to take 24 pills a day.
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: love them, I could not live without chiropractic adjustments and massage. I also used to get acupuncture in Salisbury and that helped a lot too, but haven’t found that up here in Indiana yet. I am willing to try anything that is not a pill or something not natural because I am not a medication lover.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: visible-people would judge me less I think…but if it was visible then people would judge based on looks, I don’t think there is a good answer to this question.
13. Regarding working and career: I loved my job as a severe and profound teacher. It did not love me. I am no longer allowed to work and am in the process of applying for disability. The people who abuse the system though have made it very hard for people who actually need it to get it, so we’ll see. I am going to try to become a dietitian and see if I can do that eventually.
14. People would be surprised to know: I, no matter how much I complain on facebook, or to my mom, or friends, and no matter how much I hurt and how many times I go to the hospital and take pills and whatever else am very happy that I have my diseases and know what they are. The way I see it, God knows what He’s doing and He is trusting me with these diseases. He is trusting me to have these diseases and take care of the body He entrusted me with to try and take care of it as long as I can. I know that I have these illnesses for a reason and I hope that I am fulfilling my ‘purpose’ of having them every day.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: I will not ever be all the way better, I will never be able to do as much as people my age (or even way older can do). I have to slow down and take it easy, which sometimes means not even doing anything that day at all.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: go back to school (well I haven’t done it yet, but I start next week)
17. The commercials about my illness: make me laugh…and make me feel sad that there are enough people that have my illnesses that there have to be commercials because I wouldn’t wish this crap on my worst enemy.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: eating out with friends anywhere I want to, being able to be spontaneous and have energy to have fun.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: my job, running
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: couponing, cooking, reading, arts and crafts
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: run a marathon, take a hike, eat anything I wanted, and just be spontaneous
22. My illness has taught me: that everyone has stuff, and that some people have harder stuff, but without stuff we don’t know what we are capable of despite bad circumstances
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: You look so good today—of course I look good, you can’t see my disease, the days I “look good” are usually the days I feel the worst. If I take the time to put on make up and get dressed and try to look cute it’s to cover up the fact that I can barely move and feel horrible because I sometimes think that if I look good then that helps me feel better…or something like that.
24. But I love it when people: talk to me about something other than my illness. I am not my illness. I have real life interests and hobbies and passion about real life things besides my illness. If I want to vent about it please listen and don’t tell me I complain too much, but unless I bring it up please don’t talk to me about it. I am Megan not that girl who is sick.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: I have a couple: “Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go” “always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think”, “I will never leave you or forsake you”, “You make beautiful things out of us”, “it is well with my soul”, galatians 2:20 and there are tons more scriptures but that is good enough for you to get an idea.
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: be positive, if you aren’t positive, you won’t be able to get out of bed that day. Your physical body has a lot to do with your mental body, you have to be positive.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: how judgemental people are and how judgemental I was before being ill. How much people take for granted in their extremely blessed lives.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: all the people that have visited me in the hospital, cooked for me. One story that sticks out though is an older gentleman that lived across the hall from me in my apartment building that would carry my groceries upstairs for me almost every time he saw me unloading them and after the I almost died hospital visit before my mom could come down brought me a half gallon of milk every day because he knew I couldn’t drive and loved and was craving milk and wanted to check on me and make sure I was ok.
29. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: like you probably know way to much about me right now, but I hope you can understand better what I’m going through and what many others are going through worse than me so that you can educate people about invisible illnesses. I know none of my friends would be judgmental, but there are tons of people that are so maybe YOU can help advocate for us. And maybe you have an invisible illness too (tons of my friends do)…maybe you should fill this in even if just for your eyes. It was kind of cathartic! :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Living with passion :)

It is a new year, I wanted to write a sappy new year's blog about what I've been through and lessons learned...but you can look forward to that later this week...because I've been reading a very intense, emotional book for the past 2 days called Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult and it has me ruined of any creativity and thought. Plus, that blog I want to write will take some time and effort and I'm tired. Plus, I'm a little obsessed with Dr. Seuss if you don't know that already and I saw this poster on Pinterest and I really think that it is how everyone should live there life every day and thought it would be great for the new year, so I'm reposting it here for all my blog friends to read and for me to remember so I can strive to live my life by it. I am also going to attempt to make a poster of it before I start back to school next monday...crazy, that is so soon!!! :) So enjoy and be inspired :) Love y'all :)


Living with Passion: Top 10 Dr. Seuss Quotes on Life (**Editors note (i.e. Me, meggers) P.S. #4 is usually attributed to Seuss but it also sometimes listed as anonymous so this could be 9 Dr. Seuss Quotes on life and 1 good quote ;)

1. "Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You."
Don't forget the special gift of just being you. Don't get distracted trying to be like something or someone else you're not. You are the best You there could ever be.

2. "If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good."
Life was not given to us to be filled with regrets. Opportunities await and you can be more fun than you ever imagined if you'll simply take the chance. Take advantage of those opportunities and have a blast. What good can possibly come from saying you never tried?

3. "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
Often folks are so worried about what other people think. Be honest and real and those who matter most in your life will accept you no matter what. Those who won't, you don't need. Life is too short to worry all the time what other people think.

4. "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."
This is our opportunity to see the glass as half full. Celebrate people and experiences that you've had and let the memories live on. So often we get trapped in grief and despair when there is so much to be celebrated.

5. "Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple."
Aren't we typically our own worst enemy. We make things more complicated than they have to be. When in doubt, go back to the basics and you'll probably find your answer.

6. "I meant what I said and I said what I meant."
Mean what you say or don't say it at all. Resist the urge to not be genuine in an effort to protect or please yourself or someone else. This does not mean be rude or hateful, in those times it's probably best to not say something. However, when you do speak up, make sure it is what you what to say and what you really mean it's your opportunity to live with integrity.

7. "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."
Always make learning a part of your life. You know only a portion of what you could possibly know and there are so many more exciting adventures to come from learning new things. Learning keeps you connected and interested which is a key to living passionately.

8. "How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon. December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?"
Time flies by. We all know this for a fact. Don't let it sneak past you without being part of it. Time is the most valuable of all the resources as it's the only one we can never get back.

9. "Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one."
Be grateful for the good parts of your day. Recognize what was fun and be thinking of what you can do to make your tomorrow even better.

10. "Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think if you only try."
Trying is a key element to success. Without trying success isn't even a possibility. Without trying you can't complain about what you don't or can't have.

Dream big. Think big and Act big.

It will make all the difference in your life. No limitations.

***End of poster***

Isn't that a nice little inspirational poster with some good advice for you to start out your new year and live your life. Have a great 2012 everyone :)