Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Reflections from Today’s Battle with a Chronic Illness & the Healthcare System




  • I’ve been battling this illness for over 15 years, I’ve learned long ago what my “normal” is. I’m very well versed in my “normal” so if I reach out for help from you; it’s because something is wrong. I’m not going to jump through the hoops to see you if my symptoms weren’t way off “my normal”.
  • Since my body can’t announce when it’s cramping, shocking me with pain, having me escape to a restroom, etc. - I have to list all these uncomfortable symptoms. Please just listen to me and not debate me on what my body can’t possibly do. 
  • Yes, I’ve become an expert on my body BUT I did not go to medical school. Hence my smiling face in your office with instead of the hundreds of places I’d rather be.
  • I would love for there to be more to my life right now than frequent visits to the doctor’s offices, labs, and scanning facilities but I need your help. It is what it is.
  • I can understand everyone has good & bad days. But please remember that I’m coming to you on my worst days & I work really hard to still be nice. So it’s extremely hurtful when the people you’re coming to for help are rude, belittling, or mean. 
  • Can we all (me included) just practice more compassion & kindness please. It’s hard some days; the chaos of life can make it extremely difficult to see that hope still around us all. Lashing out at someone else due to my own pain always makes me feel worse not better. So, can we all take a beat and be nicer to each other.
  • Remember a smile or a wave, any small act of kindness, can remind us all that Hope is Still Here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Super Tuesday

I know the definition of “Super Tuesday” but even with my degree; I still don’t get it. Elections always remind me of middle school. And middle school was not SUPER. So I think we need a new classification as to want is exactly worthy of SUPER

SUPER has been overused it holds little meaning outside of grade school. With adults, SUPER is tongue-in-cheek, sarcasm. SUPER should mean something more. 

So today is SUPER Tuesday if:
  • You survived any storm for another day.
  • You made it through another night 
  • You faced the chaos of life
  • You preserved through yet another flare of an illness that baffles even your doctors
  • You smiled, even if it was a sassy one
  • You held on to hope 
I hope you had a real, honest-to-God, SUPER Tuesday.

Monday, December 9, 2019

What was I hiding for?



1. This is from around a week ago. & this will be a #longpost stick with me please. 

2. It has taken me that long to find the words and courage to post. 

3. I have had a chronic illness for about 18 years and recently it’s decided it wants to be different. I was forewarned a long time ago that my symptoms could fluctuate with age. Yeah, this isn’t a fluctuation. 

4. So I found myself in the ER getting IV fluids, CT scan, etc. due to how awful this flare is being. 

5. I don’t mind doctors, clinics, and the tests but my anxiety goes into hyperdrive if I get near a hospital. So color me shocked when I didn’t have anxiety issues until I was processing out because I felt so bad. 

6. For 18 years-ish, this chronic thing has been managed and I had a system worked out to handle any flares. Well I’m in a whole new ball game now. 

My #longawaited point: for those years, I could hide/conceal what was going on with my body. 

If you looked at me, there wasn’t an IBS/GERD label stamped across my forehead. I prided myself on managing “the thing in my gut” so well that no one could see my hurting. 

But what if that was the wrong choice? Why did I feel like I had to hide something that was never my fault or anything I could control? Why did it take an ER visit years later for me to finally yell “stop”? 

This is an #authenticityjourney right; right now pretty much feel horrible a lot of the time. Will it always be like this; God willing no but this is my now. 

I went got the care I needed and it helped me ease some of the symptoms for a bit & made progress in facing a huge anxiety of mine. 

Those are good things. There is a silver lining and that shouldn’t be a secret. Nor should the illness be. It’s part of me: a soon-to-be tiny minuscule part of my story hopefully. I’m here as are millions of others who live with the same condition or hundreds of others. 

We’re not less than; we’re just here. 

Get it yet - @hopes.still.here .

Thursday, November 14, 2019

“Do the Next Right Thing” - Inspiration from Frozen II and Veronica Mars



It’s a factor of life that awful horrible things can happen to anyone. And a good chunk of the time it isn’t anybody’s fault or it is but you’re so far removed from them. 


Tragedy happens and sometimes we’re left with bruises and scars that we don’t know how to begin to process. And as I sit her battling IBS & a killer migraine, I’m having to remind myself of exactly that - none of my current situation is my fault or even really under my control. 


The pain and the sadness that contributes to this mess are scars, old bruises, and haunted memories of a little girl having to grow up too soon. And what breaks my heart is I got away easy - I was surrounded by love at home and felt like the four of us could take on anything. 


I never went into those battles alone and later when I did/am I know I have a safe place to fall back too. Not many people have that. 


So if you’re facing darkness & tragedy this day - I’m truly sorry and you are not alone. Hunker down, regroup, and let those wounds heal into scars.




Feeling really rough today. But appreciating how blessed I am that I can take this time to heal because of the amazing people supporting & encouraging me. 


It’s not pretty or easy but I know it’ll be worth it.


It will be worth it. 


@hopes.still.here


#authenticityjourney  

Friday, October 18, 2019

Sorry I’ve been gone, trying to heal some scars

I’m sorry I’ve not been so attentive to the blog. I’ve been battling a horrendously bad IBS flare. I will try better. 

I’ve been realizing over the past couple days that the demons I’m working to free myself from now are truly just the scars of long ago epic scary moments (still having trouble saying the word “trauma”). While some of you are no doubtingly saying “Duh,” hold up a minute. 

Those scars are from the scariest moments of my life; often occurring when I didn’t have the tools to handle. I didn’t ever know there was a toolbox. We all do the best we can with what we have at the time. 

My mode of coping was denial, trying to be invisible or keep everybody happy, and denying some more. And darn if I wasn’t good at it; I buried those scars so deep not only can you not see them but I completely forgot they were there. 

I’m writing all of this to selfishly get those scars out there. I’m hoping that if I get this out, if I own the scars that I have & learn to accept them; healing them won’t feel so hard. 

I do hope that this will help someone else, bring a little hope, and remind us all that nobody knows what someone else has going on behind the scenes. 



#endthestigma #authenticityjourney #ptsdawareness #youarenotalone 

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

This might be a thing

I caught myself focusing on the past a few days ago & I became so angry. Angry at how I’m doing this hard work of healing and the people or situations that hurt me just keep going on like nothing ever happened.


It reminded me a little of how after my dad died - I felt that the world had just ended and everyone else kept chugging along. 


In both situations, it’s like I’m searching for someone or something to validate or show some sort of awareness of the damage done and how different my life is. 


(I’m belting out “Cry” by @faithhill over and over again.) 


What if it’s nobody’s fault I have a different life now? 


What if no person or thing caused my scars? 


What if it was something more evil that can only be fixed by one thing, God? 


What if I have to let go of all the pain and fight & trust Him to do as He says? 




I have to let go and trust God ... Okay this might be a thing. 




#authenticityjourney #ptsdawareness #longpost #chooselove #letgoandletgod 

Friday, June 7, 2019

Only Got Space for Love Now, No More Being Angry At A Past

I was in middle school when things started getting tough for me & my family; my dad fought cancer off & on for 11 years; he died when I was 19; my mom got sick 3 years later & fights every day. 


We all survived. 


I survived & throughout the years I didn’t have many people who reached out to me to say “I’m here” “I’m sorry” or “this sucks”. 


So all I knew was what I figured out for myself & when I was willing to share with my family. 


I blame no one & I have no anger in my heart for anyone. 


Truthfully.


I love my family. I have nothing but love for anybody or any place I traveled through. 


And for those that did reach out: thank you isn’t enough for all the comfort, love, & acceptance you have given me - oftentimes doing so in spite of my stubborn self.




I feel this quote in my bones & I had to remind myself of that today.


I survived


And now I’m taking the time I need to build a healthier stronger life.


I got nothing but love for people & I’m working on nothing but love for myself.