10 things I’m doing once I get out of this point in life

As a southern belle, I have seen and read Margaret Mitchell’s literary classic, Gone with the Wind more times than I can count. For those of you who have seen it, you will understand this slightly comical realization.

I’m lying wide awake on this RV couch, shivering. (yes you can do that in the south in the summer, but ONLY if someone who you “live” with decides to turn the thermostat to 65) I twist and turn on this mini couch, ignoring the grouchy, annoyed groans I hear whenever it squeaks with my movement. I feel like Scarlett O’hara whenever she finally makes it to Tara. In a desperate state of hunger and exhaustion she drags herself to the garden and digs a carrot out of the dirt. She takes one bite and falls to the ground from stomach pain. With anger, determination and sadness she balls her fist up, angles it to the sky and states, “As God as my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.”

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Okay yes, me comparing this moment to that is quite dramatic. I found it more humorous myself…..

If you follow my blog at all, you know I’ve had a tough couple of years…especially the last little bit. So for my mental sanity, I am making a list of things that I look forward to when all the dust settles from this horrendous sandstorm of life.

As God as my witness, these are the desires of my heart to fulfill and do according to his will and foresight. 

Ten things I want to do-

1- I’m going to buy an RV and host a charity event. In this charity event, I will invite caregivers for alzheimers, cancer, MS, lupus and various illnesses. I will give them all baseball bats and together we will vent out frustrations and attack the horrible invention that is the RV. Caregivers of sick people rarely get a chance to expel their emotions. This will be a good release for them and plus, I’d just love to see an RV destroyed.

Just kidding, okay no not really….

2- I am going to get a home! Imagining it has kept me sane in my six months of homelessness. My home will be as follows;  Living room- Green and forest themed. Bedroom- Teal and Black, ocean themed. Kitchen- Red and jungle themed. Bathroom- Peach colored with coral accents. I will have amazingly fluffy towels in this bathroom that have NOT been dried on a clothesline…. I cannot wait to have a bath tub again. Epsom salt…I miss you!

3- I will attend Physician’s assistant school. I will help the elderly in long term care facilities. I will not talk to the CNA’s, Medtechs and LPN’s like they are stupid, uneducated fools.

4- I will finish my fiction novel. I cannot wait for the world to read what has been in my heart and mind for so long.

5- I will adopt a child. After being homeless, I cannot imagine being a child and feeling the way I’ve felt. It hurt me deeply as an adult. I want to adopt as many as I can. I want to raise awareness so no child  has to feel abandoned and hopeless.

6- I will not ever turn my air conditioner on 65 degrees. I never knew you could freeze in a southern climate during summer but it is very possible!

7- I will volunteer to counsel others who have suffered anaphalaxis. That was the most terrifying experience of my life. There are NOT enough resources or awareness about the after effects of anaphalaxis trauma! As a PA, I will do my best to help as many fellow sufferers as I can.

8- I will open my home up to as many people as I can. I want it to be a sanctuary of love, acceptance,healing, comfort and southern hospitality.

9- If my book does well, I want to donate money to help other people. I know so many CNA’s, Medtechs and LPN’s who work for wages at or under the poverty level. If you have a family member in a RidgeCare facility just know that excellent caregiver that goes out of their way for your loved one; works for pennies.

*Hops on soap box*  These fast food workers want $15 an hour. Try being a CNA/Medtech/LPN. Work over 40 hours a week.Sometimes 12 hour shifts  6 days a week when staffing is low. Cleaning rooms, doing laundry, passing medications, giving injections, tioleting, cleaning up every body fluid, answering phone calls, consulting Dr’s regarding patients needs just to name SOME of the duties. If anyone deserves $15 an hour it those workers. *Hops off soap box* ANYWAYS…

10- I want to take a deep breath and thank God for getting me out of the storm. I want to relish every moment of peace that I will finally have. I want to encourage others to just hold on.

Cause I guess that’s what I’m still doing…..

I just want my life to count for something. I cannot wait until I can finally say YES! The storm is OVER!

I wanna wrap up in my fluffy towels 🙂

If you’re reading this, please write a response as to what you want to do whenever your storm is over. Even if you’re not in a storm, what are some things you want to do?

If we shoot for nothing, we’ll hit it every time…..

I wanna shoot for peace. Yeah…that sounds like an oxymoron.

Sorry for the over personal blog post. Sometimes I write things simply because I myself need to hear it, see it and talk about it.

I really would love to hear other’s dreams as well.

Feel free to comment.

Shattered

brokenRecently my little world caved in. Every single person, thing and concept I held to be true collapsed into oblivion. I lost my home, my family, my love, my health and almost my life….in four little weeks of terror.

I went to college in Florida many years ago. Ever since then my family has made it a pressing goal to relocated there. Considering my age, the fact that my parents were moving should not have affected me. My illness changed that. I became so ill that living apart from my family seemed impossible. I am going to share my story of terror, near death and finally hope to you blog readers. If I can make it through the last month, YOU can make it through too.

I shall start at the beginning of the changes. I am medically trained and have been in the industry for quite sometime. I left a wonderful job I loved to consider a glorious job offer. I was asked to work directly for specific doctors doing medical records and helping physicians instead of patient care. I rejoiced at the chance and readily took the job. It was everything I thought it’d be! Wonderful hours, good pay and a manageable work load. Four months went by and all seemed to be well until I was called into the corporate office. With the fakest smile she could muster, my supervisor told me the company no longer needed me. When asked for a reason why she simply stated, “It is nothing you have done. Give me your badge.”  I complied to her request and went home; stunned and jobless. My parents were already in process to move and I knew I would need a substantial amount of money quickly.  I began to brainstorm to find a solution. I applied for jobs in my field and nothing was coming to fruition. After weeks of trying I decided to look outside of my trained field. I remembered when I bought my car that the sales manager offered me a job. AHA! That was the answer! Car sales! I applied for the local sales company and within that week I was selling cars. Avid ford driver me was selling German vehicles. I studied every part and detail thoroughly, thinking that would lead to my success. Every customer that walked through the showroom doors was earmarked for a salesmen. I began to notice deception my both the salesman and the financing employees. Along with the deception came illicit sexual comments and requests. I was surrounded in a world totally opposite of what I’d previously known. My healthcare world was surrounded with care, compassion and kindness. I voiced my concerns to authority figures in the company and was sent to corporate training. (Yeah cause that’ll fix crooked people…not) I finished my training week and never returned to the company. So there I was, once again with no job and no plans. My illness fed on the stress. I not only did not have a job, but I physically could not hold one. During this illness, someone dear to me took care of me. I frequented the hospital and doctors offices. My health plummeted but this person never seemed to waiver in their compassion towards me. The days went on and my family left for their Florida home. I stayed in the old house, thinking this person and I would forge our own future. Things went on as normal. I rested and tried to get myself back to par while they worked and came to my aid afterwards. We made plans to visit my family and make our plans.

Such plans never came to pass. This person expelled the most painful classic line from their lips, “It’s not you its me.” And just like that, in the middle of an ihop parking lot: my heart broke.

In an effort to help my heart, my parents agreed to fly me to where they were. I packed one carry on bag and left my birth home. I thought anything would be better than staying in the town full of memories. I was wrong….

My parents relocated, not in a home but an RV. Yes a tiny RV! Both my parents, my brother and I piled into a small space. Don’t get me wrong, we are a loving family but we are all HEADSTRONG. I am one of these gluten free, wheat free, egg free,dairy free people. I will be the first to admit that I am not easy to please…not because of my attitude but because of my illness. I have to eat, sleep and do a certain way; Lupus demands it. I will not go into specifics because it was too bitterly painful. Basically, I knew in my heart that I was causing a problem and needed to go back home. My mother had driven my car down during the time that I flew down to Florida. Due to my health I was unable to drive the long distance. As luck would have it, the ticket  next available was on my birthday. It was three hours away from my home town. I had a difficult time finding someone to pick me up from the airport. When I finally did,I found someone whom my parents detest. This person is always there for me but for whatever reason our families have never mixed well. He picked me up and we had a beautiful drive through lush scenery. What a birthday gift it was!  In a subconsciously rebellious  defense to my recent RV trauma, I brought him to the old house. The evening started out fine but beyond terror ensued. The emptiness of the house depressed me to no end. I began to sob when I realized that our family would never be together in my childhood home again. Uncharacteristically, I could not pull the sadness from my soul. Nothing would or could sate my torn spirit. But in classic me style, I tried to distract myself. We drove to a local fast food restaurant where I knew I could get something gluten free. I assumed my blood sugar was low and that was the cause of my anxiety and inability to get over the sadness. We got to the old house and I took a bite of my food. immediately my throat and tongue swelled up. I wheezed and terror filled my soul. I staggered to find my neb treatment, thinking this was just bad asthma. Within moments I was fading. Mustered the strength to dial 911 and hand him my phone. I was told I stopped breathing by the time EMS got there. I was taken to the hospital with dangerously high blood pressure and low oxygen. I have never been so afraid in my life. The hospital kept me over night and I was later stabilized and sent home with a script for an EPI pen. He had to work that day so he dropped me off at my friend’s home. My friends mother went to get the EPI pen for me, only to discover it was $600. I realized my feat. I was a woman with no home, lupus AND no insurance. I thanked her and tried to heal. It was not even four hours later when the anaphylaxis returned. 911 was called again and back to the hospital I went. My parents were told and immediately assumed it was the fault of the gentleman they do not care for. I was totally powerless, lost, scared and alone. Chaos once again ensued when the man and my parents came in contact. As ill as I was, I knew stress and strife would finish me off.

I had to cut all remaining ties.

I had already lost everything! “THIS is NOT THE WAY IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE!” I screamed at the heavens. Depression sunk in. I stopped eating and lost even more weight. I was even getting concerned about how thin I was. But then again, why should I care. My home was forever gone. He and I were strangers again….. My health was gone…My body is giving out.    Then the worst thing of all happened, I GAVE UP!  My loneliness, depression and loss took over me. The fire in my soul was gone.

Once again my allergic reaction took control of my body. I shook violently as my body gasped to breathe. I knew I was dying this time. I went towards the light. I saw it. And as crazy as it sounds, I couldn’t go any further. I felt the urge to go back to fight for my life. “PLEASE GOD DONT LET ME DIE THIS TIME.” My subconscious called out. In the ambulance I awoke.  Being medically trained, I heard my vital signs and knew they weren’t good. I internally tried to will myself to push on. I remember telling my heart to beat again, not for him, not for my parents, not for anyone or anything…but to beat for my future. Realization of a human purpose flooded into my mind. I saw faces of people I’d taken care of and loved dearly. They seemed to tell me to press on. I once again called to God and told Him I’d do my purpose here. And just like that, I was awake…not well….not okay…but breathing on my own and awake.

After that day I changed. I no longer think of myself of this strong person who cannot be broken. I no longer claim I can handle it all because clearly my mind, body and spirit met its limits in the chaos. I now claim to be a woman who tries every day to fulfill my purpose. I will no longer waste my days stressing myself over who loves me and approves of me. I will love and approve of others who need it. I will no longer feel chained by anyone or anything. I chose my path. Me! Only me. I was broken, but now I am put back together better than I was before. I like this version of myself. I no longer hide my truth so others will approve of me. My journey is my own. Whether you are religious or not, I believe WE ALL HAVE A PURPOSE.

I am better broken than I was whole.

To the people that left me in the hardest moments, I forgive you. I am just sorry you will miss out on the woman I am. She is imperfect but she is better than ever. I am single, but that does not mean I am not loved.

If you have read all this, my message to you is:

YOU don’t have to be strong.

YOU don’t need to be approved of.

YOU have a purpose only YOU can do.

The JOY of the LORD is my strength.

I am FREE.

6 Things I’ve Learned Living With Lupus

Wonderful post.

Thought Catalog

Flickr / lauren rushingFlickr / lauren rushing

1. Realize your privileges, and take advantage of them

I’ve never been an “outdoorsy” girl. I preferred the comfort of couches and air conditioning to the outside. But now that my heat sensitivity and photosensitivity can spike my fever within 5 minutes and I’ve been advised to stay indoors from 10am to 4pm, all I want is to breathe fresh air and feel the sun on my skin. I have the strangest yearning to go hang out at the park. I cry regularly because I want to visit the beach. I’ve never been into sports or exercising, but now that my lungs are becoming more inflamed I have a new desire to run a 5K.

I had no idea what an amazing gift I had of the entire world at my feet. I’m not counting myself out yet for travel and exploration, but I wish I…

View original post 939 more words

Land of the Lost

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I added this picture for three reasons; One- It’s hilarious right? Two- It’s the title of this post.  Three- Because that T-rex represents my thoughts and Will Ferrell in his little boat represents me trying to sleep. Darn brain keeps scaring sleep away with prehistoric (past) memories! Little heavy on the metaphors I know…. But I just had to explain my dinosaur picture!

So, in classic “me fashion”….I am up at 2:30am looking up bad Will Ferrell movie pictures. I also may or may not have looked up Milli Vanilli songs on youtube as well….Ok I did…and Vanilla Ice too. There, I confessed it! The weird, foreign and old side of youtube…How did I get here? If there is ever a youtube anonymous support group,I will be the first member.

Times like this I call falling into the “Land of the lost.” It’s that point where you can’t sleep. You find anything that will distract your mind long enough for you to succumb to exhaustion. I know every single human being has had a night like this. It always starts the same way; thinking too much. A mistake I will not let happen tomorrow night! *clicks another weird youtube video*  I can stop anytime I want really!

Here are my tips for nights where you may be in the Land of the Lost-

1- Write down your problem, write three pros and three cons. *Yells through megaphone* Back away from the paper! That’s right buddy, put it away!

2- Agree to review your pros and cons IN THE MORNING! 

3- After steps 1 & 2, find a distraction. Panic attacks, tears and worry do not solve anything! (Distraction list below)

4- Find a source of comfort. Try drinking some hot tea,wrapping up in a freshly washed blanket, spraying your favorite scent or putting on your favorite shirt. Little things do help. A handful of m&m’s are my guilty saving grace.(Not that I am advertising over eating for comfort but goodness, its a few pieces of chocolates not the whole bag) 😛

5- Make yourself chill. I am not sleeping now, but I am doing my favorite thing; writing!  You know yourself. Find your “calm.”

6- Try to sleep. Lavender or chamomile spray, hot baths, and ASMR are wonderful. (ASMR is basically this wickedly cool thing that soothes you enough to where you sleep.) It’s weird but try it! Just type ASMR into youtube, plug headphones in and relax! Just saw one suggestion that said “Caring boyfriend ASMR” LOL! Forever alone much? Normally its videos of whispering, the ocean, the forest, ect.

7- Avoid sad triggers! Stay in your calm state and get away from any remembrance of what is bothering you.


List of possible distractions-

1- Pinterest! Duh, type in something you LOVE! I always look up black clothes and angel wings.

2- Favorite movie or book. My favorite author, S.j West just published a book. If you  need a good read she is AMAZING! My book will also be out sometime this summer if you need something to read. 😛 (Sorry had to pitch my book just a little!)

3- I know I’ve mentioned youtube.… Look up bloopers of your favorite show. That’ll give you a laugh for sure.

4- Pop in your headphones, play some happy music and lay down. Do not play any music that will remind you of anything upsetting or troublesome.

5- Doodle! Yeah, like you did in 7th grade english class. It’s fun to draw random things. Scribble that unicorn/dog/flea-like creature. I won’t judge ya!

6- Stare at the stars. Be very careful with this. Do not let the beauty of the sky be degraded by worry and negative thoughts.

The next time you’re in the land of the lost, I hope these tips help. Feel free to comment about how you deal with your mental dinosaurs.

Here is a gift from the weird side of youtube that’s sure to make you laugh.

GENTLE–AH!!

When life hands you lemons….

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Hello to my blog followers!  It has been quite a while since I’ve written. In my absence from WordPress, I have tried to make lemonade out of my “life lemons.” I am pleased to announce I have started a holistic nutritional company in order to help others find the healing and hope that I have.

It is my purpose to help sufferers of chronic illness, food allergies, autism, and obesity live better and healthier lives. If you have read any of my blog posts, I am sure you are aware of the health issues I have battled with. By using holistic remedies and eating a better diet I can confidently say I have found healing. While I am not 100% like I was before I became ill; I can function and am not totally debilitated like I once was. Along with healing I have also found hope. I took control of my illness and my emotions. I no longer am depressed and I credit that totally to the methods of healing I’ve discovered.

I started my company, Against The Grains so that I could help those who suffer daily find hope, help and healing. Below is a video further explaining my mission.

Again, feel free to check the website out and like the facebook page!

Against-the-grains.com

https://www.facebook.com/againstthegrainsLLC

Weapon tip #1

As I have stated in my previous blogs, I see dealing with chronic illness as a fight. To fight something what do you need?

WEAPONS!

Before I sound like some crazy gun/knife/chainsaw waving nut, let me explain what I mean.

My weapons against my illness are my treatments, nutrition and medication.

My weapon tip for today-

Epsom salt baths!

These are wonderful for many reasons-

  1. The epsom salt baths detox your body. It helps pull all the toxins out through your pores.
  2.  It soothes achey hurting muscles. With my fibro, it works wonders.
  3. It calms you. I mean who doesnt like a hot bath at the end of a long day?
  4. You can add lavender or whatever fragance you’d like. Wintergreen is my favorite because it’s like a natural vicks, it opens up my sinuses.
  5. It is all natural. organic and good for your body!

The big enchilada?

This is the beginning of my whole ordeal…I jokingly call it the Big bang….the shot heard around my world…my own personal crossing of the rubicon..the big enchilada….ha..you get it…it was tragic and climactic…I am writing this because if you identify with any of these symptoms, get help now. Don’t let people tell you nothing is wrong. You know your body.

So here is the terrible tale……

When I turned eighteen I graduated high school and headed off to college like most eighteen year olds. I chose to go to a college in Florida, four states away from my home. It was a new adventure, a new day in my life! I was eager to become someone, to gain skills to impact the world in a positive way somehow. Little did I know that my life would change drastically, for the worse not the better. My classes began and it seemed like I was a normal freshman. I was meeting new friends, doing homework, taking classes and living in a dorm. In late September, I developed a cold somehow in eighty degree Florida weather. I assumed it would go away on its own and just tried to deal with the symptoms. The cold never went away and I found myself struggling to breath while walking to and from classes. I decided to go to the campus clinic to see what was going on. A nurse practitioner there examined me and told me I had pneumonia. She prescribed me an antibiotic and told me to come back in a week if I was not better.  In a weeks time I was right back in her office, wheezing. She asked me how bad my asthma was and I told her I didn’t have asthma. She shot me a confused glare and told me that I absolutely had asthma. This was step one of the sickness to come. I started using the inhaler that had been prescribed to me and things seemed to get back to normal. Final exams were coming up and I was ready for the upcoming holiday season. My room mates and I started to put Christmas decorations up in our room and the semester was winding down, but my health was doing the same. Just before the semester ended I had to be taken to the hospital for a ruptured ovarian cyst, a complication of a disease I didn’t know I had yet. My parents were four states away, I was in terrible pain and scared.  I remember promising myself I’d never move far away again. 

The semester ended and I went home for three weeks. During those three weeks my family convinced me that the worst of bad college experiences were behind me and I should go back and start fresh. Me being the stubborn, fighting spirit that I am, decided to go back and conquer my freshman semester. So off I went back for the second semester. 

The semester started out just like the first had, new classes and new friends. I had a positive attitude and was convinced this semester would be great. January came and went without a hitch. YES! I thought, finally I am getting this thing right!   But as the semester wore on I found myself with strange symptoms. The asthma I had battled the first semester was worse and new symptoms arose. I remember tearing up thinking of how long I had to walk back from the lunchroom to the dorm or from class to class. I was so exhausted I could hardly put one foot in front of the other or stay awake in class. This was so unlike me, I had always been lively and full of energy. I brushed it off as not getting enough sleep or nutrition. Every day it seemed to get worse and with it came terrible pains and nausea. I started having to leave classes and church services because I got so ill. My demerits were piling up for these actions. I got called to student life multiple times for my offenses. Enough was enough! I dragged myself back to the campus clinic and was sent to the local hospital. This went on for several weeks. People did not understand that I was sick. The response I constantly got was, “You look healthy”, but I wasn’t. I knew something was wrong, and the nurse practitioner did too. Since I missed so many classes and church services from sickness my demerits were so high that I could be expelled. Student life was constantly down my throat. I was fed up with the lack of compassion. I was loosing weight and falling asleep constantly. I was bedridden and in terrible pain. In a final attempt to get help I went back to the clinic and they again sent me to the Emergency room.  I waited and waited as they took multiple blood samples, CT scans and ran tests. Hours later, the nurse came into my room and hastily said, “Your tests were clear, you can go.” I was distraught! Why was all this happening? Is it in my head? Am I mentally ill? Why do I feel this bad? I cried myself to sleep that night wondering all these things. The next morning, heartbroken, I went back to the Nurse practitioner and told her what happened. She told me to sign a paper to give her permission to see my test results and she would get to the bottom of this. With my last hope in her words, I signed the paper. I was beyond disheartened. I had battled this enough.  I headed up to student life and formally withdrew.  I called my mom and she told me she’d fly down the next morning to get me. I slept easier that night, knowing that my horrible college ordeal was ending. If I had to be in pain, I’d rather it be at home. 

The next morning came, I went to go pick my mother up at the airport. While I was waiting for her plane to land I got a phone call from the nurse practitioner. She said it was urgent and I needed to come see her as soon as possible. I told my mother this as soon as I saw her and we headed to the college clinic. We were both so anxious waiting in the lobby, though her being there calmed me. The nurse practitioner finally called me into her office. She told me that the hospital had missed a lot in my tests. I had kidney stones and gallstones and I needed to have my gallbladder taken out. She recommended I go to a local hospital. So my mother took me there only to find out that the surgeons didnt wanna risk doing this surgery on a patient so young.  I was so exhausted and stressed by this time I didnt even care. I just wanted to go home. I loaded up one box of my things and started out on my fourteen hour journey home.  I honestly could have kissed the ground when we pulled into my driveway. That night I slept so peacefully. Finally, I was home safe. 

In the weeks ahead I still felt very sick. I stayed in bed and could hardly eat anything. I never felt well. I just took one day at a time and hoped it would go away eventually. I looked frail and felt even worse. One morning I woke up with the worst pain I have ever had. It felt like I was being shot in the stomach. I begged my mom to take me to the emergency room. She did and I was in emergency surgery two hours later. I can vividly remember quoting the 23 Psalm as they were putting anesthesia into my IV. I was terrified. I knew at that moment my life was truly in God’s hands. That day I walked through the valley of the shadow of death and truly felt the comfort of the Lord. That surgery was a lifesaver in more than one way. While I was having my gallbladder removed they discovered that my appendix was about to rupture and it was removed as well. They also discovered endometriosis and inflammatory bowel disease. Without the gall stones, I may not have been alive today. So in a way, they were miracles 🙂

So, thats the beginning of the fun. 😛