Posted in Chronic Illness, Creativity, Family, Gastroparesis, Invisible Illnesses, My Life

Life Happens

I clicked on my blog and realized it has been a month since I last posted. My last story was a sad one, but the month since then has been even harder and sadder. With a close relative having a brain bleed and a good friend suddenly passing from this life, it has been a stressful few weeks. I’m surviving though and I’m thankful for my tight-knit family and friends. We’ve supported each other through it all. God brought us to it and He is going to see us through it.

I did have some fun this past month though. My niece and I made a birthday cake for her sixth birthday. We made a Candy Land cake. We got the idea from Cookies, Cupcakes, and Cardio. I thought it turned out cute and it was very easy to make. Thanks Cookies, Cupcakes, and Cardio for the great YouTube video. We baked a sheet cake, put a layer of butter cream frosting on it, and topped it with candies. We followed the YouTube video, but my niece wanted us to add the people from the game board (Grandma Nut, King Candy, Mr. Plum, Queen Frosting, etc.), so we copied, laminated, and attached them to popsicle sticks to put them on the cake. We also made edible gingerbread man playing pieces by molding airheads candy  using the actual plastic playing pieces from the game.  We pressed the airheads on the playing pieces, cut away the excess candy, and peeled it loose. We ended up having to stick toothpicks in the playing pieces to hold them up because the airheads drooped when they got hot. If I had found a way to mold them out of the Wilton candy melts, they would have held up better, but I was short on time and didn’t get that figured out.  Everyone loved the cake and my niece is already trying to pick out her birthday cake for May 2018. LOL

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Today I took some time for myself and did some browsing on Pinterest. Self-care is important and I enjoy browsing Pinterest for decorating ideas, inspirational quotes, etc. I can’t afford to buy a lot of things, but I can make a lot of cheap decorations for my house. I must admit that the following sign made me stop and chuckle. Those of you living with chronic invisible illnesses can probably appreciate it.  I hope no one takes the sign as me being rude or disrespectful. I promise I didn’t have any specific person in mind when I saw it. I don’t consider any of my friends stupid. I just saw it and found it funny because I often hear people talking about how good I look even though my big weight loss was caused by gastroparesis starving me. Being sick doesn’t necessarily make us look bad.

May anyone with a chronic illness get a good giggle out of this

 

I’ll try to post more in the upcoming days about what life has been like the past few months with CRPS and Gastroparesis.

Posted in Creativity, Gastroparesis, Uncategorized, Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day – I Love Dum Dums!

Valentine’s Day…a day known for love. Statistics show that an average of 13,290,000,000 is spent annually on Valentine’s day with the top five gift categories being candy, flowers, cards, jewelry, and dining out. It’s hard for me to imagine what a stack of 180 million Valentine’s Day cards would look like, but that’s the average number handed out each year.

Two of the top five gifts contain food. Dinner out usually isn’t a great gift for people with gastroparesis, so I suggest you ask before booking a table in advance. This year, I received a thoughtful gift from my sister. She had bought chocolates, suckers, rice crispy treats, etc. and put together goodie bags for the children at church. When she was finished, she had candy and snacks left over. As silly as it might sound coming from a 36-year-old, I’ve spent more money this year on Dum Dum suckers than I’ve spent of food. Although I had surgery a month ago to implant a gastric stimulator to stimulate my stomach, which is affected by gastroparesis, and help move food through the stomach and into the small intestines, it takes time to get it adjusted right and I still vomit most of what I eat within a short time after eating.  Suckers moisten my extra dry mouth and taste good. I suppose the sugar gives me a quick burst of energy too. It’s probably a good thing I’m not diabetic. When I leave home, I usually carry jolly ranchers, life savers, or some other hard candy. Suckers have sticks and are a little more inconvenient. Back to my story, my sister had a pile of Valentine Dum Dum suckers left over and she gave some to me. I’ve been enjoying them as a treat today. I decided that I would be creative and take a picture of the wrappers. I never realized how hard it would be to make a heart out of squares. Here is my best effort.

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Posted in #MyMightyMonth, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome / Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, Creativity, Gastroparesis, Knitting and Crafting

I’m Human..and a little creative

This is yesterday’s journal prompts. I ended up taking a trip to the emergency room yesterday afternoon and was there until around eleven. My picc closed off and I had to go let them unclog it and open it back up. That’s the first time that’s happened. I thought they would have to take it out, but they had medicine that opened it back up. I thank God for that. Without my IV fluids I dehydrate quickly.

Personal Prompt: What is the one thing you wish others knew about you?

I’M HUMAN! Yes, I know all caps is considered yelling and yelling is rude, but sometimes that’s what I feel like yelling.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m unable to hear, unable to speak, unable to think, and invisible. Apparently being in a wheelchair classifies you as being all of the above. I get tired of being treated as some inhuman species just because I have some physical ailments that cause me to need a wheelchair and picc line. For anyone who doesn’t understand, my complex regional pain syndrome and gastroparesis do not affect my ability to see, hear, or speak. Neither disease is contagious either, so you won’t be catching them from me. I’m not made of glass and am not easily broken. If you genuinely care and want to know something, it’s okay to ask me questions. However, if you are only asking me how I’m doing because you think it’s the polite thing to do…don’t bother with asking. The words a person uses to ask questions about how I’m doing, along with the body language that goes along with their questioning, usually makes it pretty clear whether or not they care.

Creative Prompt: Create a list of creative things you’d like to accomplish this year. This can include books you want to read, crafts you want to do, etc.

This year, I hope to buy yarn and knit myself a sweater or a blanket. I’ve knitted lots of hats, scarf, baby blankets, baby sweaters, mittens, stuffed animals, and purses/bags for other people, but I hardly ever make anything for myself. I bought yarn back in November to make me a hat. I must admit, I felt a little selfish buying yarn to make something for myself. I told my mom that and she reassured me that it was okay to make myself something… that I wasn’t being selfish.

This year, I would also like to get back into painting. I have several blank canvases that my sister gave me. They are just waiting for a wave of creativity to wash over me and spill onto them.

I have several other little craft projects I would like to do this year. I’m thinking about making gastroparesis and complex regional pain syndrome awareness bracelets. Just a little something I could hand out to family and friends to help raise awareness.

I’ll try to post photos occasionally of the things I make this year.

Posted in #MyMightyMonth, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome / Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, Creativity, Gastroparesis, Invisible Illnesses, My Life

30 Day Journaling Challenge – Day 1

January 2 – The Mighty’s My Mighty Month 30 Day Journaling Challenge  is intended to promote self-care. Each day I’m provided with a personal prompt and a creative prompt.  Some days I may not feel like doing either, some days I may do one and not the other, and some days I may do both.  Sometimes I may write about something unrelated to the prompts.  It all depends on what is going on in my life and how I feel.

Personal prompt:  What are some things you want to improve in the new year?

ensureThere are two major things I hope to improve in 2017, my mobility and my motility.  Right now, my complex regional pain syndrome is keeping me from being able to walk and my gastroparesis is keeping me from being able to eat.  My main source of nutrition right now is Ensure Clear.  I’m currently waiting for insurance approval for a lead wire revision on my gastric stimulator.  After that procedure, they will turn the stimulator back on and try to program it to where it makes my stomach empty better.  Once my stomach is emptying netter I will be able to tolerate more food and have more energy.  Then I will be able to return to doing physical therapy and hopefully gain back enough strength in my legs to walk with crutches or a walker.

Creative prompt:  Come up with the pitch for a television show. (What’s it about?  Who stars in it?  Where does it take place?)

If I were to make a movie, I would want it to bring awareness to the challenges people with chronic and invisible diseases face on a daily basis.  In order for the movie to be more realistic and believable, I would want the stars to be people who actually have the diseases and their family and friends.  I imagine a reality show where the camera person follows people with chronic illnesses as they go about their daily lives.  Obviously the show would take place wherever the person lived and traveled.

Living with a chronic or invisible disease changes not only the way a person feels, but also how they go about doing things.  I would want the show to be open and honest so that those watching the show realize the effect these diseases have on us physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Filming would have to take place moths ahead of schedule to make the show more interesting.  I wouldn’t expect anyone to watch thirty to forty-five minutes of days that we don’t feel like getting out of bed.

This gives me an idea.  Over the next few months, I may start making short videos and posting them to YouTube.  If I do, you my reader’s will be the first to know, so stay tuned!