January 1, 2017…today is the start of a new year. As I start a new year, I look forward to whatever life has in store for me. At the same time, I find myself reflecting on the up and down times I lived through last year.
2016 was a bitter-sweet year. While my health situation was quite challenging, I managed to accomplish several things last year. If I had a bucket list, which I don’t, I imagine these would be some of the thongs I would list on it. Around September, I started this blog to share my story with the world. I needed an outlet where I could use my life, my story, to not only bring me peace, but to help add inspire others as well. Just putting my story in words and posting it has given me a sense of freedom. It’s seems as though putting my story in words is helping me deal with the daily challenges of living life with CRPS and gastroparesis. I still haven’t shared the fact that I’m blogging with others, but I do have two followers and several likes. Not only did I start this blog, I chose to submit one of my posts to “The Mighty.”. The Mighty is a community where real people facing the challenges of living life with serious health conditions share their experiences. My story “The Moment of ‘Normalcy’ I Craved as a Student With a Disability” was accepted and published on their website December 28, 2016. As I move into the new year, I hope to continue to share my story and hope to be able to inspire others to do the same. By sharing our stories, we can encourage each other and raise awareness of the health conditions we live with. As I start the new year, I hope to be able to blog on a more regular schedule. I don’t know if my health will allow daily posts, but I’m going to attempt the Mighty’s 30 Day Journaling Challenge.
As 2016 cam to an end, I did something I had been wanting to do for a long time. Due to the pain, weakness, and lack of energy associated with CRPS and gastroparesis, I spend a large part of my day in bed. When my carpal tunnel isn’t flared up too bad, I enjoy knitting. I mostly knit hats because they are quick and easy. My nieces and nephews all have hand-knitted hats from their crafty aunt. Over the past few years, I’ve been knitting hats and dropping them in a bag. I given several away as gifts, but my bag was running over. I washed the hats, placed each one in its own Ziploc bag, and donated them to the local children’s hospital. The hats ranged in size from preemie to teenager. Some were plain single color knotted hats, while others had bows or looked like cartoon characters. Here is a picture of some of the hats I donated.
I will never know who received the hats and they will never know who made them, but it felt good to be able to do something nice for someone else. Having spent a lot of time in the hospital, I know firsthand how cold hospitals are sometimes. I hope these hats bring warmth and love to the children who receive them.
While reflecting on the old and looking forward to the new, I also find myself thinking about the challenges I face during the holidays with CRPS and gastroparesis. However, I think I’ll save that for another post… stay tuned!