Blogiversary!

Happy Blogiversary to us!  Without you reading my posts, there wouldn’t be a blog.  Ok, that’s not true, I would be lonely, but the truth is, I write for me as I’ve always said.  It heals something deep down inside me that was broken the day I found out about my first diagnosis of an “invisible disease” named Porphyria.  So without further ado, let’s go back there, shall we?  Cue psychedelic swirly things.  And poof!  We are in 1997.  That was the New Year’s Eve all the crazy decided it was time to come out.  It started with tests coming back odd…and I thought my life was just beginning with my soon-to-be husband back then.  Then I get told about the cervical dysplasia and I admit the word pre-cancerous cells is scary.  It just is.

So as we move into 1998, the year does not get any better at that point.  I find a man I am madly in love with and now I am falling apart…in more ways than one.  That’s when the blisters started.  Blisters. Are.  Bad.  These were not your ordinary ones mind you, well have a read over there at my link.  I’ll wait.  Humming music in my head.  Okay, back on track.  See I told you.  They used LATIN words.  Latin.  On me.  Who did they think they were dealing with??  I had a B.A. in English and was a researcher.  Of course I was going to find out what they trying to hide.  And it wasn’t going to be good…but I already knew the that the second she whispered to the other doctor.

Anyway, I consoled myself back then with the fact that out of all the porphyrias, mine seemed to be the less likely to cause internal pain.  I didn’t think about the psychological at the time.  The fact that I was such a strong person and this was slowly killing me inside.  But, I had a wedding to plan so let’s get to the rest of 1998, and how it lingered on.  You will want to read that link over there again.  I’ll wait for you to catch up because that one includes everyone’s favorite subject.  Vampire lore (hint, I do not sparkle, but yes, the burning part is real).  I have been told I am ageless.  There is some truth to that part of the myth as well.  I do get my blood taken for life.  But I would not wish this on even the most fervent Twilight fan.  P.S. that vamp is dumb.  My man Damon Salvatore is much better…in fact any vampire is better than Mr.  Sparkle.  Just my opinion.

Okay, back to me getting married at this point in my life with pints of blood taken every week, no sunlight, no birth control, no alcohol, and blisters still present.  Did I mention my skin burned?  Burned all over, but especially my hands.  Ding, ding ding!  See how I came up with the quote title??  It made perfect sense.  Love of literature combined with the horrible stuff going on in my body.  Poof.  Perfect title.  So let’s finish up remembering why I started this blog by reading this post the Summer of 1998.  And this my friends, is why I need to finish my book.  I believe my story can and does help others feel less alone in this world.  And this was just the beginning.

hope

Motivational Monday…

It’s hard to write a Motivational Monday post when all you can think of is how un-motivated you are when in pain.  But that being said, I got up just as I always do and struggled through my morning routine.  I use Samuel L. Jackson words in my head just to actually get through my “routine”.  My hair was on my nerves this past weekend because who has time to deal with that mess.  So I cut that off.  Now it’s time to get down to business.

I went out Saturday morning to meet a new group of ladies.  I don’t actually feel like I have that many friends.  I felt kind of bad ass with my new short haircut.  Like I could go all Matrix on whoever or whatever pisses me off.  I think it goes with my mood.  Don’t mess with me Pain, I have things to do.  Don’t make me cut you.  Like Pain has become some nemesis.  Maybe I should play Darth Vader music.  Anyway, so after that, Fatigue wanted a piece of me, but I just didn’t have time.  I had things to do.  A college buddy was in town and I said I was going to meet up with him.  It was my college homecoming and I had places to be.

I made it to the tailgating party in my high heel black boots, skinny jeans and black shirt.  Take that.  I enjoyed hanging out with my peeps and then there was the “after party” at a beverage facility nearby.  I was drinking water to better hydrate myself, but there was also free, and very cheap, wine.  UGH.  I can have one glass said an old friend.  Why aren’t you drinking?  Said another.  People.  Chillax.  Here, have this deep fried oreo, said one more.  Nope.  I can’t.  Not if you don’t want me to be sick.  I really hadn’t planned on explaining that the Aimee they knew, ahem, just you know, a few years ago, is not exactly the same one now.  If it’s not gluten free, and refined sugar free, I am not eating it.

So yesterday, I had one more thing I was doing.  As luck would have it, I was able to make it.  I was dragging, but I made it.  So guess who is paying for it today?  Me.  Yup.  Pain, Fatigue, and maybe even their buddy Depression tried to visit this morning.  Depression was like “Don’t you wish you were normal again?  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to dance with your friends without having to pay for it later?  And of course the old, it must be terrible not to be able to eat real food.”  So in my best Samuel L. Jackson voice I told it to SHUT the F up.  I heated up my heating pads.  I made my hot tea.  I took my last Relief…which is my product as I am only on all-natural, and I called my momma.  ha:)  Who by the way, knows I use the F word to relieve my pain, and while I wasn’t raised that way she would want you to know, she also knows that if that is the worst thing I ever do, it’s ok.  Because there is this wonderful thing called grace we can extend to others to let them know we understand that we are ALL human “beans”.  And human beans have emotions.  Even if the “they” who does research claims we only have 4, we all know that’s wrong.  Have you ever met an angry woman?

courage

Woe is me…

Anyone remember Droopy the cartoon dog?  Just say yes.  Okay, well, there are times I feel like that.  I thought my less than positive feelings would eventually go away when I saw things I couldn’t eat.  Sadly, this is not the case around “Pumpkin” season.  Yes, it’s a season.  I love everything pumpkin.  Everything.  I want all the mixes, and batches of cake, cookies, drinks, icing, marshmallows, candy and whatever else I am not supposed to eat.  So, ahem, last year, when I went through my Grouchy Smurf phase, I deleted and unfollowed every single person pinning CRAP I CAN’T EAT on Pinterest.  SICE for short (replace crap with well you get the picture).

However, it was all I could do not to burst into tears at the grocery store with my little pumpkin last night.  She has a birthday coming up and we always make funfetti Halloween cake.  With the orange icing and sprinkles.  I know this is dumb to some people…clearly, I can live without this, but she looked at me with her big blue eyeballs and said “I wish you could eat this.”  So into the cart it went because it’s not just about me eating it, it’s about memories.

I mean, let’s face it.  I grew up with Taco Bell, Doritoes, McDonald’s and more, and usually, I have willpower.  OKAY, I WANT A MEXI-MELT, but can’t have one.  And flour tortillas.  But whatever.  I am trying to be kind to my insides because I was sick all the time.  All the time.  So I started my business Vitalize You and I try to help others like me.  Yes, of course, I offer suggestions based on my gluten-free all-natural supplements because I know they work (the tab is up top here on the blog).  And I have lost 17 pounds even though my mom is worried I’m not eating enough.  I am. I had put on 20 pounds with my new friend Hashimoto’s.  Not some new sushi place.

But I am not that mom…the one who sits around messing with gluten-free flours and making recipes up.  I wish I was.  Trust me.  I look in the cabinet like it’s magically going to mix itself together and jump out for me to eat.  I pin things, I do.  I even make most of them…if they take like minimal cooking times.  Lately I have been eating more fresh veggies, which I love!!  It’s much easier than trying to figure out what they are magically going to concoct themselves into.  I’m not going to lie, it still takes way more work than I really want to invest in.  But I am doing mostly Autoimmune Paleo, so I mean, the cavemom had to work this hard I guess.  She couldn’t run up to Taco Bell either.  That makes Sir Mix-A-Lot sad.  Me too Sir.  Me too.

So I’m not sure if you all will get this post, but if you are a gluten-free, sugar-free, food intolerance label checker, word.

 

Anew

And cue hilarious sitcom…

Sometimes, I think there is a show being written about my family.  I know at any minute someone is going to pop out of the bushes and yell “cut!” or maybe just tell me that was best take ever.  I really wish someone had been around my folks house yesterday getting all on video.  Since there was no one hiding, I’ll tell you about it…right after I tell you about my dad.

Growing up, I swear I had the meanest, most strict dad in the universe.  At least, I was sure I did.  I couldn’t get phone calls from boys, he embarrassed me to pieces.  When I hung up my Sean Astin posters, ahem, I was afraid he was going to say something to make me take them down.  They were near my Lord of the Rings poster and calendar, NO LIE, how funny is that now?  Ha, but anyway.  So he was a bit overprotective.  JUST a BIT.

I was told to do “girly” things and not mess up my knees riding a bike (we didn’t do helmets, knee pads, or bubble wrap on you back then), and of course, I might have done some stunts on my bike once or twice.  We were ALWAYS outside.  Imagine that.  And I wanted to learn to skateboard after my brother got one for Christmas, but I might get hurt and girls didn’t ride skateboards.  Says dad.  I couldn’t ride the riding lawnmower, YES, this was a sore spot, because girls didn’t do that.  He taught my brother.

But maybe, just maybe, it was because he loved me and wanted to keep me safe.  I didn’t see it that way.  I distinctly remember calling him a “male chauvinist pig” one day and perhaps oinking at him.  But he was okay with that.  He played games with us, took us places, and pretty much tolerated every crazy thing I did.  I hiked in the woods all day and came back looking like a Lord of the Flies reject.  My mom had to cut burrs out of my hair once.  I had a leech on me once, ewww.  And ticks and chiggers and mosquito bites, and umm even a snake bit me once.  Long story on that one.

So I actually was a mess.  I have two girls now, go figure, and my mom said “I hope you have one just like YOU.”  Like it was an omen.  You could hear it echoing after it was spoken like Maleficent had just visited me.  So my pop wanted the girls to spend the whole weekend with him.  Plus my brother’s daughter spent one night.  Okay dad, you asked for it.  They were having a rousing game of hide and go seek, a favorite among the girls, and my oldest daughter, who happens to look exactly like me, was hiding behind my dad’s hot tub.  They saw him coming, so she ducked down and must have hit the flap.  According to her, all of a sudden, wasps came out of no where and started attacking her.  She was screaming bloody murder and the top of her lungs, but thank God she only got stung 2 times because my mom said it was horrible.

Long hair can be a pain sometimes and one was apparently even caught in her hair.  Anyway, she got inside as did the little ones, and my dad apparently went ballistic.  From what I was told, he ran outside with a broom and was screaming to the top of his lungs “Nobody hurts my granddaughter” and began smashing the wasps in a fit of rage.  I am actually laughing as I type this.  Sorry.  Ahem.  So here is my dad, with his giant bouffant of white hair, beating wasps to death with his broom, yelling at them, and the girls are watching from inside.  Bwahahaha.  I mean, it was serious.  He apparently broke his broom in two, and my mom was yelling “step on them!!!” and the girls were just staring in shock I think.  They had no idea about “overprotective” poppop.  They had NOOOO idea.  So after it was all said and done, mom says and then your dad was holding his eye and going “my eyeee, I got stung” and I was ahem, laughing.  She thought he was kidding, but he really wasn’t.

So my youngest runs to Google, you know that extended family member who knows everything, and Google says to use vinegar.  Good ole’ Google.  So the next time I think about how “overprotective” my dad was, I will remember this story.  This one takes the cake.  Ha.

Two

Motivational Monday…

A long time ago, in a hood far, far away, I was a teacher.  During November, I talked about a few of the hard stories.  I had a student once who had “selective mutism” in first grade.  His parents didn’t act concerned at all and were wonderful and very supportive.  They said, “Oh, he talks up a storm at home.”  The problem was, that didn’t help me in the classroom because I knew I was going to have to do oral exams such as this new test called Phonological Awareness.  It’s kind of hard to hear the phonemes when someone won’t speak. 

I had “G” team up with this other child I thought would be a good role model.  I had the moms exchange phone numbers and I told them what I was doing.  Little by little “G” began to talk.  At first, it was in a whisper.  Then he whispered to his new friend.  He would whisper to me when people didn’t look at him.  The first time he raised his hand to answer a question I almost cried.  I stayed very calm and pretended I wasn’t going to call on him so I didn’t scare him.  When I saw he was ready I said his name.  He answered and the whole class stopped and looked at him.  They gave him words of encouragement.  I almost cried.  Ahhh.  Little “G”, you kind of still are my favorite story to tell.

I just looked through my photo album tonight.  I see you and your friend in almost all of my photos.  I was probably a tad bit obvious that year about favorites, but who could blame me.  It was my very first year and I managed to do something right.  I was a wee bit proud of myself.  Plus I made it through the year without quitting AND the next year, I came back an entirely different teacher; however, that’s another story.  So for my room One first graders, ummm you might be in college, but you know, I am still the same age, anyway, I love you guys and hope you are doing well.  Three of my girls are my Facebook friends so I do check on some of you.  You just don’t know it.

Difference

I can’t turn it off…

If there was ever a time I needed to turn off my brain, it would be now.  I saw the signs leading up to it.  They have always been there.  I just THINK too much.  I think too much to meditate.  I think too much during yoga…well, when I went.  I think too much when I’m trying to go to bed…so I read until it’s impossible to think and I finally fall into deep sleep (with the help of some all-natural pills).  I think so much that when a friend invited me to “Mindfulness” day, I thought it was “Mind full of mess” and quickly accepted.  Oh wait, that’s not it.  Okay, because I totally have that day on repeat.

I even thought too much when I went to a relaxing float spa.  Don’t ask.  Alien pod, you float.  Thoughts of cryogenics and freezing me for later awakenings might have entered my mind.  That or being trapped in there.  And maybe, do they clean this thing?  Am I floating in someone’s healing water because I hope this is fresh.  How much salt is in here?  Hmm.  This place is hot.  I wonder if this is like the temperature of the jungle or something?  No Hawaii, wait how would I know?  Maybe this is like a hot spring.  Yeah.  I wonder if this is healing me now?  Oh yeah, that nice lady told me she hated this pillow for my head, but I like it because she also told me not to get my ear wet if I ever had ear problems.  Remember that one time when your ear drum burst?  Yes.  Worst pain ever.  How will I know when this thing is done?  How much time has passed?  Oh that’s right, the music cues up to remind me.  I had just dozed off when the music came back on and the jets started signaling it was over.

By the time I was done “relaxing”, I needed to relax.  Every single day, I write at least 3 blogs in my head as I am trying to fall asleep.  They are usually quite awesome, but I will myself to stay there and go to bed.  So some strategies I am GOING to start using are as follows:

  1. Stop looking at my phone.  The only way to do this is to un-install FB from my phone.  No lie.  I have done it before.  I lasted a week.  It was better than nothing.  Stupid Smart phone.  It flashes, and makes noise.  Stop.
  2. Get back to nature.  I love being outside and this winter has dragged on, and on, and ON.  And on.  Like the Groundhog Day movie itself.  Cold is not my friend.
  3. Get back to yoga…I will eventually do this one. I will.
  4. Pull weeds.  That’s right.  Gardening is good for the soul.
  5. Get to bed on time…which essentially means shutting down an hour earlier.  Making myself stick to “business” hours since I work from home has been difficult.
  6. Drink turmeric milk before bed.  Ahhh.  It’s tasty and healing.  See my Pinterest board.
  7. Remind myself that I have to let go of things that are out of my control.  Poof.

So, give over to this energy that creates dreams and let go of the energy you are spinning in all directions.  If you know how to do this, feel free to let me know:)

dreams_2

 

 

Motivational Monday…

Laughter…it really is good medicine.  There is this go-to guy I invite on outings when I want to laugh my bum off.  Seriously.  He probably doesn’t even know he is my go-to guy.  He might have some idea, but he really is fun to be around, so I planned this special outing called a “friend” date.  Well, I let my husband think he invited him since he’s his friend, but I planted the idea.  I also happen to have a go-to girlfriend I call my CBFF (crack-a-lackin best friend).  I knew I would have a great time with both of my pranksters in tow.  The idea behind it was that both of us would have a friend around who genuinely can make life fun anywhere.

So, I won’t go into the entire story, but of course, something funny happened.  We were at this local theme park doing spooky night things for Halloween, and this guy came at me with a chain saw.  Now, I saw him, and wasn’t afraid.  But what I did next was ummm dumb, because I turned around to face him thinking he would stop if I looked at him and didn’t try to hide.  Mr. Funny happened to be beside me at that point and erm the chainsaw guy kept coming at me.  I grabbed Mr. Funny and backed up, but didn’t know the curb was behind me.  Somehow, I ended up butt down in a juniper bush with Mr. Funny trying not to fall on top of me.  It was hilarious.  We laughed about it the rest of the night.  Amongst other jokes involving things I won’t mention here.

So, today’s motivation is to get your funny bone on.  Plan a night out.  Rent your favorite movie, or DVR whatever makes you laugh.  Put the Ellen show on for 5 minutes, ha.  She cracks me up.  Of course, there is my all time favorite man.  Eddie Murphy.  Anyway, just relax and have a good time.

Devoured

This was pretty popular over on my FB page, so I thought I’d share it.  I kept imagining Axel screaming…ha.