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Merry-Go-Round

There’s a major thunderstorm going on outside. Consequently, I’ve had a ridiculous migraine for the last five hours. It’s giving other people headaches too... which is strangely reassuring. Theirs aren't living pictures of the Wong-Baker scale, but, it takes a lot of skill to be this unbelievably, improbably... anecdotal.[...]

"State of Grace"

Lisa, one of the respiratory therapists, came into my room Saturday afternoon. I wiped the tears from my eyes, putting on pause the tense discussion taking place in the room before she entered. There are a lot of things going awry in my life right now, not limited to my physical issues. I knew Lisa was nearing the end of her shift, and there was a good chance I wouldn’t see her until my next hospitalization, which isn’t exactly something you can plan or look forward to. I smiled and talked to her as the friend she is as she prepared my treatment. She then told me that she was going to start calling me “Grace” because I smile through it all.[...]

Understanding You Don't Understand

It’s easy to think you understand someone else’s life. Social media can be a mirage. The chronically ill young adult must carefully choose what he/she shares. Do you share all of your sick moments? All of your happy moments? 50/50? But what about the fact that your happy moments aren’t always quite as bright-shiny, picture-perfect happy? How could your day ever compare to your friend’s day of water skiing at the lake AND making fresh ice cream? Regarding the sick moments… which ones? Am I being honest if I post pictures I took of my dogs, during the only twenty minutes I felt okay, but spent the rest of the day with an ice pack on my head, in a dark bedroom, full-on migraine mode?[...]

Steadfast

"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him." James 1:12[...]

“The Lord Sees Not As Man Sees…”

My teeth are yellow from years of vomiting. Half of my life, most of the adult teeth’s life, I’ve been nauseous. Off and on, far too often on than off. I’m a very clean person, but I have yellow teeth, because I have been sick to my stomach, unable to brush my teeth without vomiting. In fact, when I started realizing their color change, I was anxious, and would try to fight through the nausea to brush them, and just swallow the urge to purge for those two minutes. Then I’d stand there, sweating, shaky, over the sink, until it all came back up and ruined my hard work.[...]

Asthma and Anxiety

A is for Anxiety...

Along with my chronic illness, I have both inherited and acquired a few neuroses. It’s nothing I’m ashamed of, anymore, and it’s nothing I believe has power to overtake my day. I’ve struggled with obsessive-compulsive tendencies since I was a little girl, maybe 6 or 7. It was actually worse at that age than it is now, but I was so ashamed of it that I nearly prayed it away. Correction: I knew that the OCD feelings had dealings in the battlefield of self-control. I also knew that self-control was one of the fruits of the spirit and all I had to do was pray for God to give me more and fix things. I knew it was wrong. So I prayed he would give me self-control. And I guess he did. Because before I knew it, I was 9 and I had dreadful asthma and it became less of a priority, mentally.[...]

“To Live Will Be An Awfully Big Adventure”

This week, the words of Peter Pan were close to my heart. Flying to Orlando and back and trying to navigate Epcot and Magic Kingdom during one of Disney’s busiest weeks of the year was not easy. When you have severe, life-threatening asthma, crowds don’t just mean longer lines for popular rides. Two collapses on Disney property - one included loss of consciousness, and a somewhat scary asthma episode on the plane - at least I know those orange oxygen masks really do work. [...]

"And that's okay"

Our society imposes upon young people a question of great importance at a very early age. "What do you want to be when you grow up?" To the average five year old, the answer is as shifting as that of their favorite color. As we age, it begins to take shape that this answer is a little more important to adults than others like color, animal, sport, and other preferences schoolchildren might learn to make. I quickly discovered that one's job and what they "are" when they "grow up" was a very big statement and decision. I didn't notice many adults changing what their jobs where, like kids liked to, so I was careful in my choice of goals for the future.[...]

These Clothes

It’s a fast and furious routine. One I know so well and need so well, there’s no use dawdling. Turn the water on to the perfect temperature - it’s in the wrist, I’d say, and the monotony of the practice - not scalding, but that level of heat that will absorb the epsom and still leave the tub with a lovely steam. Check for the hairbrush while I’ve still got clothes on so I don’t have to hunt in the dark in a towel. Yep. As suspected - gone. Leave the bathroom for the kitchen with the water running in the background not nearly matching the pounding in my head. Grab the Gatorade cup and the half-full Gatorade (and an extra, it takes at least one) sitting on the counter next to the fridge where I knew they’d be. Oh, yea, actually, I grab the Gatorade cup (spoilers, it’s actually a reusable cold Starbucks drink cup with a red fox on it) and fill it with ice THEN pour the Gatorade into it and grab the extra. Swing by the snack drawer (dang. no more original Goldfish). I always get one sweet, one salty, and a fruit strip (sour). I was wrong. My hairbrush wasn’t on the kitchen bar. I’ll skip this stuff. Sorta.[...]