Friday, September 26, 2014

Moving backwards

Lately I feel like everyone is moving forward with their lives while I am moving backward. My friends are starting new jobs, having new babies, and developing new talents. This week I am revisiting the past as my doctor decided I needed to go back on antibiotics because some of my Lyme symptoms have returned. So instead of moving forward I am doing what I already did, a horrible antibiotic regimen that will screw up my entire body.

Again.

It will be good for me in the long run, but it is horribly defeating to be going backwards. I'm no longer standing in the same place watching and waiting as I see others moved in front of me. Now for each step others take forward I'm taking a step backward getting farther and farther away from what is normal. The distance between me and others continues to grow as my treatment drags on for years and my strength to fight lessons with each new defeat.

I don't want to give the impression that I'm sitting around feeling sorry for myself because I am not. Rather as I continue on with my normal life I feel like the distance between me and normal people has increased and our ability to relate to each other has gone out the window. My every day struggle is so different from most people I feel like we live in different worlds. We go along with our own lives and yet our lives never intersect with one another. I find myself unable the cross the line into the world of having physical health. I suppose that is one of the reason's why chronic illness is so hard and why it is important to be part of community of sick people.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A non drinkers guide to buying hard liquor



So, I don't drink, I never have. Still I fancied myself to be somewhat educated in alcohol considering the major social activity of my university was drinking. You just can't go to Texas A&M and be ignorant about alcohol whether you drink it or not. Turns out I'm only educated in cheap alcohol. Apparently I didn't hang out with the rich kids in college, we had to dream on a budget. I can tell you all about the best wines to get at Walmart and the rankings of cheap beer, but I have no knowledge of anything that costs more than $10.

So this week I decided I was going to make some homemade vanilla extract. I was aware that I needed vodka or rum to make it so I decided I'd just make a quick trip to Sams Club to pick up some hard liquor. No big deal. I was even smart enough to check online to see if Sams carried hard liquor (it's a family store right? you never know) and it does. The suburb we live in was originally settled by Quakers so I knew there was some interesting liquor laws, but since we live on the county line I figured I'd shop in the couny that encompasses the city of Houston which I assumed had liberal liquor laws. Because...Texas. I underestimated Texans ya'll.

My first big check came when I realized that the only thing I needed at Sams was a bottle of rum, a HUGE bottle of low budget rum. My four year old was shopping with me and I realized it would look mighty interesting for me and my kid to go pick up a kegs worth of rum and nothing else. I mean I promise I wasn't buying it to guzzle on the way home, but it felt weird. I just know I'd run into my kids principal or something and then they'd think "well that explains THAT family"! Or I'd run into an acquaintance I haven't seen in a while because being sick kills your social life and they'd be like "oh, she has a chronic illness does she? Looks  like that's a bunch of crap." Because people judge. Heck, I'd judge me too.

So I turned to my partner in crime, my husband, who by the way also doesn't drink. I emailed him a picture of the rum I wanted and figured it would be no big deal for him to pick it up on his way home. So he heads off to Sams and then a few other stores only be mystified at the unavailability of hard liquor. Hmmm, so apparently in our county you can only get it at a liquor store. I had no idea, I just assumed you could pick it up anywhere. Doesn't Walmart have everything, isn't that the entire point of their horrible existence?

So next I looked up a liquor store and I sent my spouse off to buy the cheapest rum he could find. The employees at the liquor store were horrified to see him buy rum in a plastic bottle and tried in vain to convince him that he had to buy some better stuff. They were equally horrified when they found out he didn't intend to even drink it! Why would you ever buy alcohol if you don't intend to drink it? If your wife is a DIYer and has a few too many screws loose, that's why.

There's really no point to this story, but it sure was an amusing experience. Now I know where to find hard liquor if I ever need it in the middle of the night, but not on Sunday because you can't buy it on Sundays here. Because...Texas ya'll.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Wego Health Activist Award

I’d like to thank Julie for nominating me and my blog for Best in Show in the WEGO Health Activist Awards. Please head over to Wego Health and nominate the health blogs that you enjoy. While you're there feel free to nominate me as well if you like my blog!  



Sunday, September 21, 2014

4 things that help you to "just say no"

Having a chronic illness can quickly become overwhelming and it gets even more complicated when it's an invisible chronic illness. When your illness is invisible people assume that you are okay and they have no problem asking things of you. Because of this one of the most important things to remember is "just say no." Here are four things to keep in mind when it comes to saying no:


1. Focus on yourself first

It's hard to say no. It's hard to turn people down, but when you're sick you need to focus on yourself first. You can't help anyone if you are not helping yourself. If you are ignoring your well being to do things for others it will catch up with you, probably fairly quickly, and you will pay for it. It is okay to be selfish.

2. Don't feel like you owe someone an explanation

When we tell someone no we often feel like we have to justify ourselves. Don't. You do not have to justify your illness. It is your life and your body and you don't owe anyone an explanation. The justification for not being able to meet everyone's needs is that you have a chronic illness, period. No other explanation is needed.

3. Be firm in your decision

Often someone will try to talk you out of your decision. They view their need as greater than yours. You may start to think that it's true, but it's not. Your health is more important than someone elses last minute emergency. Don't give in if you feel that you truly cannot do something. You know your body better than anybody else. You know what you are capable of.


4. Don't feel guilty

Guilt is the hallmark of chronic illness. We feel guilt about everything. You are going to feel guilty when you have to say no, don't. You are important. You are doing all you can to take care of yourself and it is not your fault that you can't help someone else. It is out of your hands. None of this is your fault. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Nobody knows


Some days I think this is my theme song. Not in a depressing way, but that we don't understand one another's struggles until we walk in their shoes.

"A bride in store" book review

Overall I really enjoyed this book. The plot was fairly predictable, but it was exciting enough and the writing was good enough for it to be a page turner. I really liked Eliza, the main character. She's smart and stands up for herself and she knows what she wants. She has dreams and she follows them even though many obstacles in her way. She has a lot of difficulties and yet she never gives up, and I admire that. It was interesting to watch her

The faith of the main characters is tested repeatedly throughout the book, so it was interesting to read about their spiritual journey as they dealt with difficulties. I loved seeing the two main characters grow together as they were tested.

My only complaint is the ending of the book. Without giving too much away Eliza sacrifices her dreams for someone else which really frustrated me. The whole book is about all her dreams and goals and then she gives them up in the end? Why does it always have to be the women that gives up everything? Yes, sometimes we have to give up our dreams in order to get something better, but it would be nice if a man had to do that every once in a while.

Overall I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading other books by this author. I was given this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a review.

Monday, September 15, 2014

I am here and I am not invisible



Invisible Illness week technically ended yesterday, but I've been meaning to write my "just one" post and this is the first chance I've had to address it. I love this year's theme of "just one,"

I am just one.

I am just one person with an invisible chronic illness.

And I matter


I am more than my symptoms, I am more than my disease.

I have dreams, I have goals, I have feelings just like everyone else.

I have an invisible illness that causes me pain and misery, but it is not who I am.

I am who I am


My life matters

My life is important

I am important


I may not be physically strong

I am strong

I am just one

I am one person whose life has been effected by illness

I am one person with a blog

I am one person trying to make a difference


My illness is invisible

I am here and I am not invisible




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