We're still waiting on the cover for my next "Waiting On" Wednesday, so today, I'm updating you on what's been going on with my health since I went to Mayo Clinic, back in late July/early August.
When I got back from Mayo Clinic, I was already noticing some improvement. I'd realized, during their fibromyalgia seminar, that I had been exercising too much for my body to handle in its current condition. While at Mayo Clinic, I didn't exercise at all, and by the time I got home, my tremors and loss of balance had pretty much vanished. This was, of course, a big relief, and it made walking a lot easier. Evidently, my body's response to the overexertion was to respond with those neurological symptoms.
Today, I'm posting ten pictures of me from the past, with minimal commentary, for you to enjoy. It's a #tbt! Check it out, and I'll be back tomorrow.
Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a book blog tag hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Today's topic is Top Ten Books I'm Grateful For, but I'd like instead just to share the Top Ten Things I'm Grateful For This Year.
1) All the progress I've made towards managing my chronic illnesses. Even though my life is still very different from most people's, and from what I expected it to be, I'm doing much better, which makes me a lot happier.
2) Stories. They connect us as human beings across centuries, they tell truths in a way nothing else can, and they motivate my existence. I'm always grateful for stories.
3) Friends and family. After everything I've been through with mental and physical illness both, I don't have a lot of people left in my life, but those I do mean the world to me. Thank you for standing by me.
4) Cats. Because duh!
Hey, friends! It's time for a life update as told through a series of "-ing" verbs. Enjoy!
Eating: baked potatoes and penne, basically every day
Wearing: a navy and white striped dress and white, knee-length compression socks
Smelling: that my room is a bit cleaner now
Reading: The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows
Writing: nothing other than the usual
Editing: THE PROPHECY KEEPER
Making: fun of my younger self
Listening: to awesome new songs like "Young and Menace" by Fall Out Boy
Watching: nothing ATM, but I'm super looking forward to the next season of Stranger Things!
Hey, friends! It's been quite a while since I last did an "on this day" post! So I thought today I'd go back through my diaries and share what was happening in my life on October 10th throughout the years, starting in 2005. Enjoy!
October 10th, 2005, 6th Grade
It was Columbus Day. We lit the fireplace for the first time that year, and I spent the day making dreamcatchers and other crafts.
October 10th, 2006, 7th Grade
I had a cold, and I was also in the middle of a bad fight with my best friends--something about kicking dirt at each other. My classes were normal. A boy in my science class decided it was his mission to make me laugh, and he managed to do so by telling me he loved me. I spent most of the day trying to reconcile the fight, which I finally managed over the phone, with lots of tears, that night.
Before today's post, I wanted to let y'all know that I'm changing my posting schedule. This will be my last Saturday post! (At least for now.) I've posted a lot of what I want to say here, and I don't have a lot of new ideas, so posting two-sometimes-three times a week is a bit too much. Instead, I'm gonna switch to posting two times every week, on Tuesday and Wednesday. Wednesday posts will be "Waiting On" or Wordy Wednesdays; Tuesdays will be Top Ten Tuesdays some weeks, and the rest of the time, my own original posts. Let me know if there are any posts or topics you'd like to see from me, check out my Recommended Posts page, and we shall move on to the Hamilton Book Tag as seen here, where I pick books for prompts based off of various songs from the fantastic Broadway musical Hamilton!
As many of you know, there is an official quiz on Pottermore, designed by J.K. Rowling, that you can take to determine which of the four Hogwarts houses you belong to. I am a Ravenclaw, and I'm quite proud of that designation. So today, I want to celebrate the awesomeness that is Ravenclaw!
Tuesday two weeks ago, me, my mom, and my brother all set off for Rochester, Minnesota, where the main Mayo Clinic campus is. This involved two airplane rides and almost two hours in a car, so it was fun times. Additionally, the airline left our luggage behind, so we had to make do with our carry-ons the first day.
It has now been five years since I started this blog. Can you believe it?
Here are the best posts of the past year for you to enjoy! You can check out the best posts from the other four years of this blog in the Posts of the Year Roundups linked on my Recommended Posts page. Thanks for being here, and let me know if you have any thoughts or critique about my blog. I will see you again on Tuesday!
Today, I think it's time for another Taking Stock of My Life post, in which I share the current state of my existence through a series of -ing verbs. Check it out!
Eating: plain cheese quesadillas on organic tortillas
Drinking: water, but as usual, not nearly enough of it
Wearing: A cute sundress in black with a peachy-brown flower print
Smelling: the wonderfully stale air of my room
Reading: Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor
Writing: just blog posts and diary entries right now
Editing: old blog posts, mostly
Listening: to Bishop Briggs and the Piano Guys
One part of being chronically ill that can be really difficult is eating.
First off, let's be clear: one of the most common microaggressions disabled people face is other people trying to tell them what to do. Everyone has a magic cure; everyone thinks they know how to fix you. And yes, most of it's well-meaning, but often the implication is that you don't know enough about your own illness, that you don't know your own body, and that you're not trying hard enough to get better. Furthermore, being told about someone's aunt's cousin's friend who got 100% better after trying this "magic water" can be very hurtful for chronically ill people--because there is no such thing as a cure. Many chronically ill people, like myself, suffer from disorders that do not go away. Ever. All you can do is manage the symptoms the best you can with the treatments that do help. We have to deal with that fact, and having people come up to us all the time insisting that an impossible hope exists just causes us more pain. It makes it harder to accept the truth. It also makes us feel like the person suggesting a cure doesn't believe us, which is a huge problem that chronically ill people face in society.
Plus, a lot of the time, these cures are scams. Even when they're not, they likely only have a limited impact on a limited group of people, because different bodies respond differently, even to properly tested, doctor-approved medications.
Now, most people who suggest "cures" for chronic illness focus on diet. No matter how long someone has had a chronic illness, how many doctors they've seen, or how well controlled their symptoms are, people will always comment on their diet. I've had people I barely know give me advice about healthy eating upon hearing about my disability, which, again, is insulting. The two things I've heard the most are a) go gluten free and b) eat more vegetables.
But no one ever said anything about corn.
I've talked in the past about my experiences with good vs. bad teachers, but today, I want to share the worst and most ridiculous thing to happen to me at school. This is the story of Kevin and his calculator.
Once upon a time, during my first semester at BYU-Idaho, I had a religion teacher whom I did not like. I didn't hate him either; I just found him to be a little too black-and-white in his thinking and a bit self-righteous. But, as usual, I did all my schoolwork and kept under the radar and got good grades.
Every week, on our own time, we took an online, open-book quiz. As a disabled person, I had a number of accommodations granted to me through the Disability Office. One was that I used a Kindle for many of my textbooks, in order to minimize the amount of weight I had to carry. My scriptures were one of these.
Then, on the second to last week of classes, the religion teacher called me into his office.
"You've been getting better grades than anyone on the quizzes," he said, "and you finish them quickly."
I nodded, unsure where was this was going.
"Have you been cheating?" he asked.
I can't say that I was very well-known by my classmates in school. Me and my best friends were somewhat on the fringe, with friends in various "groups," but not really in any groups ourselves. We had our own little side group, and we were happy that way. But my high school was small, so we all knew each other a little. The reputation that I did have was a simple one: I was the "innocent."
Almost every aspiring writer takes a creative writing class at some point in their lives. A lot of us wonder, though, about the value of those classes. I know a lot of young writers especially question whether or not they should go on to get a Creative Writing degree. So today, I thought I'd share my own experiences with creative writing classes.
I took my first creative writing class in seventh grade. Before that, my teachers supported my writing, and I even had some dedicated time to it through the GATE program, but everyone took the same classes. In middle school, we got to choose some of what we did, and I, of course, chose to take creative writing.
That first class did not go well.
A few months ago, I switched antidepressants. Almost immediately, my mind began to clear. It would appear that my severe brain fog was, in part, a side effect of my previous medication. So now, thankfully, I'm awake again. I can keep up with what's happening around me. I can write without feeling as though I have to swim through Jello to find each word. It's the most progress I've seen in years.
Unfortunately, the medication change has had almost no effect on my physical state. I'm still in severe pain, all over, with no relief. I suffer from muscle weakness and loss of balance, and I have truncal titubation tremors whenever I exert myself much more than I am now (and right now, I'm almost on bed rest). I need naps, like, a lot.
It's something. It means that I can finally make some progress with my writing again. But it's not the miracle I'm looking for. It's not enough for me to have a life again.
This past week, my interstitial cystitis also decided to flare up yet again, making it almost impossible for me to get the sleep I so desperately need. Not only can I not wear pants right now, I can't wear underwear either. I spend all day with my heating pad on. Even then, my bladder is like a never-ending siren shrieking inside of me. I decided to try a bladder instillation, where they put medication into your bladder while you're awake (as opposed to a hydrodistention, where they also stretch your bladder as far as they can, a process so painful it must be done under anesthesia). It helped for a few hours, and then my pain became even worse. I'm still waiting for it to settle. I hope that it does.
I'm also now dealing with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet on top of the already very strict IC Diet, for two weeks while I take an antibiotic to help with my IBS. I am ridiculous hungry, and I really hope it's worth it.
And so the fight goes on.
I'm an unpublished novelist, primarily of YA fantasy, working towards my MLIS degree. I love music, psychology, cats, social justice, and love! I'm also a huge fangirl. Basically, stories are my life.
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