6.29.2015

What is the exact opposite of fun?


This is. This is the exact opposite of fun.

The good news, I don't have cancer!

The bad news, I don't have anything ... err, at least the extremely invasive surgery/procedure proved to determine what we already knew - no one has no idea what is wrong with me or why my body is falling apart. 

How can something be so good and so bad at the same time?

On the plus side, after four days of a clear liquid diet only, a saltine cracker tastes like gourmet cuisine! I had never in my long-legged life, tasted such a FABULOUS saltine cracker as I did following the procedure. 

I then followed that up with raspberry, white chocolate chip with cream cheese drizzled pancakes. And a turkey steak, fries and six Maddox rolls. Yeah, six. Oh, then, a cream cheese brownie, naturally.

Here's to the two doctor appointments outside of Cache Valley over the next two weeks to see if they have any answers! :)

6.28.2015

Textbooks without tears

One of the most difficult things in college was always the extra expense for textbooks. As if handing over your last dollar for tuition every semester wasn't enough, you have to find a way to fork out several hundred dollars more for textbooks!

And then, to top it off, when I would return my textbooks to the book store {because hey, what am I going to do with an atmosphere and weather textbook for the rest of my life???}, you get the smallest percentage of the book - IF they even take it back!

Fortunatley, the days of awful textbook purchasing and rentals are over! This is because of CampusBookRentals.com

With CampusBookRentals.com you can rent your textbook {don' worry - you can still highlight it for studying and notes} and save up to 90% off of bookstore prices! This is truly so perfect for those textbooks you don't intend to keep - but if you do - you can pay the difference of the rental price and the buying price too!

One other thing I love about this company is that they have flexible renting periods. This means, if you rent one book for fall semester, then realize you need the same book for a different class in spring semester, you can just rent it longer!

And if this isn't all wonderful enough, for every textbook rented, CampusBookRentals.com donates a portion to Operation Smile, where medical volunteers travel to third-world countries to repair cleft lips and palates of children. 


So, what are you waiting for? Rent away, friends!
___

I was compensated for this post by providing my honest and sincere opinion. 

6.12.2015

When your body wants to resign from life ...


I have been to so many doctor appointments lately and have so many scheduled for the future, that ... it kind of seems that is what my summer break has turned into. One big doctor fest. I am not saying it's horrible. Oh, wait. I am. 

I was really hoping that after a visit to the ENT and the gastroenterologist that I would have some concrete answers. My biggest fear was that I would go and there would be just more questions. And that, my friends ... that's exactly what happened. 

I have been in pain every day since May 26th. And don't get me wrong, this isn't my normal autoimmune disorder pain that comes every day ... it's in addition to that. My entire digestive system is on downward spiraling train track, waiting for its inevitable careening out of control and crash! 

On this day, if I sat down and pressed really hard where my gallbladder is, it felt okayish for a bit. 
About a week after I went into the gastroenterologist, some tests that they took came back. And they came back positive ... which, is exactly what we didn't want to happen. 

Because of these positive results I "get" to go in for an extremely pleasant procedure in two weeks. It's so "pleasant" that I am not even going to tell you what it is. You're welcome.

I am really, really hoping I pass several days prior to this procedure so I will have no recollection of it whatsoever. And don't even worry about that this type of procedure is recommended for people two decades older than myself. Whatevs. It's cool. And by cool I mean totally and completely uncool. 

And maybe ... just maybe it might provide some answers so my body doesn't end up resigning its position in life without my permission. 

Oh, and my nose? Yeah, CT scan for that and hopefully that yielded some information, which I will find out on Tuesday. Like I said, it's a party. Anyone want an invitation??

6.02.2015

This post has nothing to do with Bruce Jenner ... er... Caitlyn Jenner.


Well, my alleged gallbladder problems haven't gone away, but they haven't gotten worse. All this means is I've had to wait until my appointment with the gastroenterologist tomorrow before I can hopefully get some answers. 

What this means for you is, I can now talk about my nose. You're welcome.

I have mentioned before that ever since I came out of the hospital in March 2014 that I had nose bleeds and sinus infections. About a month ago I finally decided I ought to go see an ENT to correct this, as it was driving me batty.

The soonest the ENT could get me in was three weeks away, which was fine ... until I could feel the inside of my nose falling apart. I kid you not.

If I would press on the outside of my nose, I could feel something shift and affect the opposite side of where I was pushing on my nose. 

And this next part ... is not suitable for children {nor many adults for that matter}. I could start smelling my own nose. Fantastic, no?

As soon as I felt my nose move, I called the ENT immediately to see if I needed to get in sooner. They said nope! Just be "really careful" with my nose. I asked if I could be put on a cancellation list. They said nope! But I could call every day to see if there were any cancellations. And call I did! Twice a day! With no luck!

When my appointment date finally came ... it was a doozy! When the ENT looked into my nose she said, "This is bad. This is very bad."

Yeah, I figured as much when I started smelling my own nose.

So, a biopsy was done.

Pre-biopsy
And my nose was falling apart on the inside! 

I get a CT scan on Thursday and potential surgery later this summer.  

So, there's that. 

Oh, and they helped it so I can't smell my own nose anymore. Phew. 

Gallbladder stuff tomorrow, nose stuff Thursday. So far my summer break is filled with doctors, doctors and more doctors! It's party time, chumps. 



5.27.2015

When your nose is over shadowed by your gallbladder ...


I was going to write a post today about my nose. 

Yes, my nose.



It's been in rare form lately. Well, honestly, it's been in rare form since I returned home from the hospital with the grand and vague diagnosis of autoimmune failure. But it got in even rarer form, which I didn't think was possible, in the last month. So much so that I might need surgery {this one is supported by a medical professional known as an ENT}.

But, I am actually not going to go into that today. That's because we have to talk about my gallbladder, which unbeknownst to me, has been in rare form since August. And got in even rarer form, which I didn't think was possible, in the last day. So much so that I might need surgery {this one isn't currently supported by a medical professional because I am holding off whether to go in or not tomorrow morning}. 

Yes. this is my life. 

I've mentioned before that I haven't been able to eat food without taking medicine twice daily. The past week, even with the medicine I have been getting so, so sick with food. I went to my witch doctor and her solution was just to take more of the medicine, which I obliged {I am so obedient!}. It made it so I could eat food again and I thought life was okay-ish {considering the information I got regarding my rotting nose yesterday - yes, it is rotting}.

Yes, this is my life.

But in the wee-hours of the morning I felt a sharp pain in my upper-right abdomen. And it reminded me that I have felt this a couple times before in the last week or so. Except this time it was far more severe and lasted a lot longer. I immediately go to the world-wide web to find out what was wrong with me, and it said gallbladder problems.

I then took my concerns to my favorite physician, Dr. Green. He seconded the idea of gallbladder problems. 

I then called a local gastroenterologist {which is a very difficult word for me to say for some reason}. And then can't get me in until next week {the day before my CT scan for my nose}. And they said if it gets any worse, I should just go to the ER. 

So, while this was going to be a post about my nose, it is a post about my gallbladder. And my autoimmune failured life. 

It's party time, chumps. I will be sure to let you know how it goes, because I would love nothing more than to have surgery on my nose and gallbladder in the same month. 

That's all. 

5.10.2015

His Birthday


On the 23rd of April we celebrated Steve's 39th birthday.

It was such a beautiful day and a beautiful celebration. So many people who loved and adored him were able to be together to celebrate the life of such a great man. 

Brandon & Hillary came up from St. George. Steve's sister came in from Salt Lake and his big brother flew in from Texas. It meant so much to have everyone there who could be. 

Part of the day's celebration included a Steve Trivia game that his sons put together. We also went to dinner at restaurant he always liked. The trivia game was ... epic. :)

The most important part of the celebration to me was sending off to "Heaven" with notes to Steven. 

              







It was such a perfect day to celebrate the birthday of such a loved man. 
___

Photos by the talented Claire Utley

While we let the balloons off a the temple, I would strongly advice against it for anyone in the future. There may be more to the story that I will share in a different post. ;)

Lastly, to anyone concerned about the disintegration of the balloons, a study done by Harvard has shown that balloons disintegrate at the same rate as a Maple leaf. 

5.06.2015

IT IS MINE.


I recently received a Facebook message from a stranger.
 
In the message, this individual expressed feelings of their discomfort over something I had been doing.
 
They expressed their feelings of discomfort over MY GRIEF.
 
It was interesting, to say the least, why a complete stranger felt compelled to share this with me. After all, for this person to access expression of my grief, they had to follow me either on Instagram or this blog, or better yet, log into someone else's Facebook account {as mine is private}.
 
It was clear the entire purpose of their message was to hurt. Which, if I am to be honest, it did, initially. It stung. Not only did they judge my grief, by they judged my relationship with my deceased loved one, whom they also don't know.
 
But quickly, the hurt dissipated. It dissipated because this stranger's opinions held absolutely no weight on who I am, or how I choose to express my grief.
 
It dissipated because I suddenly was overwhelmed with great sadness for them.
 
Sadness for their explicit lack of compassion.
 
Sadness for the relationships they have with their in-laws, that clearly would not invoke such grief if they were to leave this world for another, for when there is great love, there is also great grief.
 
Sadness for their inability to understand mourning for a blood sibling's loss of their heart and soul and the loss of their very own nieces'/nephews' parent.
 
I have never once asked anyone to understand the relationships between my family members and myself. I doubt I ever will, because until you have walked in our footsteps and faced all that we 10 have faced together, I don't think anyone could possibly understand.
 
Upon reading this cruel, heartless and selfish message, I thought, "I am sorry you don't understand my grief ..."
 
But I immediately stopped, because I am not sorry.
 
Because the thing is ... THE GRIEF IS MINE.  And I pray that the sender of that message never knows the grief that greeted me and my family on that rainy September morn. And I pray that if they do, that their sacred sorrow is never judged as they judged mine.
 
And let me make this clear, I do find grief of this magnitude sacred.
 
From my very first post, I mentioned I was hesitant to write about my grief. And I will repeat what I said then ... I have shared what I have via all platforms of social media regarding my story, my grief, my loss because the man this world lost lived a life too glorious not to share. And, I want anyone else who knows a similar loss to know, that they are not alone.
 
So, I will share my story as I please. When I write the story of my life, I will hold the pen. I certainly will not let the intending cutting words of another determine what I share, what I write, and most definitely I will NOT let them choose how I grieve. Because ... that grief is mine.


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