Not Today

Not Today

Today was not a good day.

We’ll just let that sentence sink in.

Okay, now we can get to why.

I would like to start with I started it. I woke up really grumpy for whatever reason this morning. All hell broke loose. In the direction of Russell. He did absolutely nothing to cause the wrath of Abbey to be thrown his way.

Today did not go well. Overall I think that I would be good with going to bed and trying again tomorrow.

I wanted to talk about the mental game that begins the minute you are diagnosed with a chronic illness that does not fall under the mental illness category.

More often than not I have met people in the spoonie world, some have become friends and some have not, that at least have depression or anxiety. Or both.

I have seen more people lose the fight against their illness from one common thing. The depression becomes so great that suicide kills them before complications from their chronic diagnosis.

I don’t know about you but that scares me. I had Bi Polar Disorder before I was diagnoses with Gastroparesis. Do my chances double or triple?! What will happen to me?

Today, I cried and hard. You know, the ones where you ache with your entire being The ones where you just want it to stop. You want everything to feel better but you don’t see how so you just wail out and cry.

That was my day today. I cried and was anxious all day. I can remember part of our argument today and then something I begged while I was crying and I feel like this is something that has come out of our mouths at least once. All of us. Spoonie or not.

I cried out.

Please just make it stop. Take it all away. I don’t want to hurt anymore. Please…. I don’t want to hurt like this anymore.

That has been haunting me today. I can’t tell you how many times over the years of Russell and I dating I have a cried that way and cried out with those pleas.

As I type this, that moment comes flooding back and hits me like a ten foot wave that beats on the rocks of the coast.

Honestly, I am not 100 percent sure where I am going with this. Maybe I just felt the need to share. Or maybe I want people to know that it’s not always the symptoms in the medical book that kill the patients.

Depression. Anxiety. Solitude.

The things our doctors don’t warn us about. The one side effect of having a chronic illness that they don’t tell us.

That is where a lot of danger lies.

Until next time.

Abbey

Interrogation and the Feeling of Shame

Interrogation and the Feeling of Shame

I was going to write a happy spot about my amazingly happy day! Until I had to go to DPS/DMV to renew my license…

Dun Dun Dunnnnnn….. (that was supposed to be a scary music effect).

We all hate going to get our driver’s license renewed. It’s not like when we wake up in the morning we go Oh! I know what I want to to today before anything else! I want to go to the DPS/DMV!!! That would just start of everything perfectly! Yay!!!

Honestly, I wouldn’t be writing this post if it weren’t for how I was treated.

So I am going to give you my experience and then I am going to go slightly legal here.

I went to renew my license. It expires soon and didn’t want to wait until the last minute. Yay! Proactive me!

On the form that one has to fill out in the State of Texas (I can’t speak for any other state) it has a series of questions that look like this*:

I answered question 15 honestly. So of you may know and some of you may not but I have a slew of diagnoses. I put down Bi Polar Disorder and Gastroparesis. Both of those things are chronic conditions. They will not go away anytime soon and I have received treatment up until today and it will continue tomorrow and the next day and so on.

Little did I know that I would receive a thorough, what felt like, a health interrogation. I was asking to fill out the same form twice for each diagnosis. It asked things like when I was diagnosed, when was the last time I saw a physician for the diagnosis, if/when I was hospitalized for the condition, and so on. Then the clerk asked me about the medications I took. The frequency and dosage.

Last time I checked I was not in a physicians office. Last I checked question 16 asks ” Have you EVER been referred to the Texas Medical Advisory Board for Driver Liscenting?” My answer was, no.

If you have concerns about my health and ability to drive please ask for permission to speak with my physician(s). I will most likely tell you no, because honestly, it does not affect my ability to drive.

I also checked no to question number 11. I do not have any heart problems or seizures.

Now, you may be all in an uproar about this and I am too. You may also be thinking well there has to be a reason that they need to know these things….

In the Texas Driver’s Handbook** they outline who may have a driver’s license in the State of Texas and even have a section on medical conditions.

No where in there does it say that I legally have to provide this information or that they can ask these things.

Plain and simple it is a violation of HIPPA.

I was not informed that these forms and information were optional to fill out and share.

The clerk also failed to inform me if it was a requirement or not.

Here is a bonus, this is all in writing in their database. Or at least in a file somewhere.

All in all I was violated and in the end I felt like I was being punished for being chronically ill. I will not let this one roll off my back.

If I had been treated with kindness and respect just as a gave to the clerk who was having a bad day and was doing this job because it it a paycheck and those are hard to come by. I get it. Not everyone loves their jobs. Not everyone has a good day. Not everyone gets to deal with people who are kind to them.

I said yes m’am, no m’am, pardon me when I couldn’t hear her, and even said please, thank you, and have a nice day.

In return I got interrogated. Illegally at that.

I just wanted to renew my license before my birthday so I could actually enjoy my birthday without having to worry about what I had to do.

I have sent the Department of Public Safety of the State of Texas my little survey of my experience and will be passing on a complaint to the State. Specifically, the Texas Attorney General’s office.

I honestly wish I could have written my originally planned post but that will have to wait until tomorrow. I could not let this one go.

Until next time.

Abbey.

P.S. Please try to keep the comments reasonable. I am cool if you choose to share this on social media but please try to keep it from becoming an anti-government message. That was not my intention in writing this. My intention is to let The State of Texas know that something is not right here. And to vent… I will remove any comments I feel to be inappropriate.

 

*To find the original document please click here.

** You can find that here.

 

 

No Offense but You Don’t!

No Offense but You Don’t!

I just want to start this with saying that this post is not coming from any kind of anger or frustration or hurt of any kind.

You know when your friends and family do everything they can to make it seem like they understand. Or we’ll even throw doctor’s into that category, co-workers, bosses, etc.

Like they understand whatever you are going through. Whether it is chronic illness or losing someone or maybe being frustrated with work or totally in love.

Everyone wants to make you feel like they understand or that they are really trying to.

Now I love that people do this coming from their heart.

It is truly something that we humans do in order to build a connection with one another.

I know people do this out of love but it drives me up the wall sometimes. They’ll send little notes, photos, videos, or memes showing that they “get it” but really it just show desperation to understand.

I was at a Women of Joy conference last year (you can find more info here if you want to learn more. No I did not get paid or offered anything to mention them in a post.) and one of the speakers was Margret Feinberg. (I honestly love her. You can find her here.) She was diagnosed with cancer at some point in the past few years and when she was at the conference last year she shared some of  her greeting cards. You know instead of “Get Well Soon”? She had  cards for people who just didn’t know what to say. (You can find them in her shop. I will make it easy for you. Ta Da! A link you can click on.) Please visit the rest of her shop and website.) I don’t make any money off of this but y’all can pay me in smiles. 🙂

There was way more to her session than just this point but she drove it home to me. The point she was making is that is is better to say “I don’t know what to say or feel but know that I am your friend and I am here” than to say some ludicrous thing that comes on a greeting card or just one of the standard things you say to someone who is sick or who has gone through something so hard. Be that death, divorce, illness, being out of work… whatever it may be.

Not knowing what to say and not understanding is okay. Just like it is okay to be mad, sad, angry, happy. Just like it is okay to cry.

I would rather you say I don’t understand but I want to than putting on sheep skin and making it seem like you understand.

Even my friends that share any of my diagnoses, even if it is just one, I don’t understand. I don’t know.

I can be your friend. I can be there. I will do my best to learn. Even if I have spent years with you through something that will never go away. I may never understand.

That’s another beauty in humanity. We always crave to learn. I want to know everything about you but only the things you are willing to teach me.

I have said (and most likely will say it again) that I understand or that I’ll pray for you. Or any of the things we do to try to connect. I will not deny that because I would be lying to you if I did.

So you really don’t understand but neither do I.

Until next time.

Abbey

P.S. If you have a website I will totally visit it if you share it with me!

 

 

Does It Happen For A Reason?

Does It Happen For A Reason?

Hi, my name is Abbey and I’m a Christian.

This is where everyone replies Hi, Abbey. in a really flat tone.

Welcome to Christian’s Anonymous. Which doesn’t actually exist because I’d rather not be anonymous. Anyone else?

Okay, I just really wanted to start this blog this way…. Sorry if it threw y’all for a loop.

This is my point:

Hi, my name is Abbey and I’m a Christian. No I do not believe that everything happens for a reason.

I cannot tell you how many times my church family and people I love have told me throughout my experience with all of this that things happen for a reason.

They don’t. Down to my very core I believe that not everything has to have a reason for occurring.

I have asked myself why more times than I can even count. Why me? Why this? Why won’t this go away? What did I do to deserve this? (Okay, the last one was a what but you get my point.)

I. Don’t. Have. The. Answers.

I’m not okay with this. I don’t think believing that everything happens for a reason will make me be any more okay with this than I am today or was yesterday or the day before that.

I ask all of those questions still. I can’t believe how many times I still ask them. The thing is knowing why or knowing that everything happens for a reason doesn’t change a darn thing.

I am going to quote someone who is very close to me. He says this all the time (and I am going to edit for language. You may use your imagination if you choose…)

Stuff happens and it screws everything up. You just have to tell the world to suck eggs and move forward with your life. — J.S.

This saying is very colorful with harsh language and I love him to death. This is one of the things I remember and oddly it makes me smile. Even with his sailor’s mouth.

I believe that we are on this path set by God. Point A is your creation and point B is your death. You will find all of the other of the letters of the alphabet in-between because life happens. I do believe that certain things are meant to be but there are an infinite amount of factors for any of these things to occur. A few examples are:

Who you fall in love with.

How many children you have.

If you decide to have children.

If you are able to have children.

Where you live.

The thing is that none of these have a reason just a multitude of factors coming together and making events happen.

Does this make any sense?

I really hope so.

I don’t have a reason for any of my illnesses. There are explanations of what they are or what cause them or  potentially cause them but its not you have Bi Polar because you made this one choice in life or because God intended it this way because it has a purpose.

I have these illnesses and it is up to me to decide if I lean on and trust in God’s plan for me. I am a Christian and do not believe that everything happens for a reason but I do believe in a God that I can be angry with, mad at,  and trusting of.

In the end, that is my choice.

Until next time.

Abbey

I don’t know!

I don’t know!

You know when you have ingenious thoughts and then not even an hour later they go away?!

Yeah, that was my post for today. I had this thing I wanted to share with all of y’all and then poof! It’s gone! What the heck brain?!

I just know within my heart that it was really going to mean something. 

I guess it wasn’t that important. 

So instead I will be telling you about my scary adventure today. 

Russell and I went to this place called Rouxpour for lunch. Pretty decent Cajun food. He knows I love crawfish étouffée. Here’s the catch…. He has a shellfish allergy. Like Epi pen needed allergy. 

Most of their menu is shellfish of some kind. They do make things separately from the shrimp, crawfish, etc but today they were slammed which means they used every available cooking space to keep up with the lunch crowd. 

Can you see where I am going with this? I’m pretty sure you know what happens next. 

He ordered a burger. That should be safe. He knows that they use separate fryers so French fries and the fries onion petal thingies would have been okay if there wasn’t the lunch rush. 

He touched the fried stuff which was fried with shrimp and whatever and sent it back. They made him a new burger with a different side and he started having a reaction. Now it could have been that they didn’t clean the grill enough. It could have been that Russell didn’t wash his hands between burgers. (He didn’t) or I could be a number of silly little tiny factors. 

These silly little tiny factors are a life or death thing. 

Fortunately he caught it in time and loaded up on Benadryl. 

Thank the Lord for my parents! They came and picked him up because I had a doctors appointment and took him home and kept an eye on him. (Oh and the manager comped our entire meal! Thanks, Chris! You went above and beyond!) 

So far the report is he is totally okay. Just incredibly sleepy. 

Now I am over here being an over dramatic worry wart but there is a part of me that is super calm. 

I know he’s okay. I just want to be with him.  To let him know I am there. 

I think that is the most difficult part of being a spoonie for me. 

Everyone I love is always there for me when I am feeling like utter crap. 

What about when they feel that way? They feel sick or hurt or sad? I want to be there. I want to love on them. Take care of them. 

When I am also sick or hurt or sad I can’t. I physically, emotionally,  and mentally cannot. And that hurts. It happens more often than not! And I hate it! 

So now I sit in a waiting room while my best friend is laying in bed knocked out from Benadryl and the way his body chose to react to shellfish. 

This sucks!!! 

Until next time. 

Abbey

P.S. Looks like I figured out what to write after all. It feels like this was better than my original plan even though I have no clue what it was…. 

It Is Well with My Soul…Well No So Much…

It Is Well with My Soul…Well No So Much…

Sundays are probably my favorite day of the week. I grew up in a Christian home so Sunday means church which as a kid meant I got donuts and a coloring page! Awesome, right?

Five years ago when I was diagnosed with gastroparesis there were a lot of unknowns arising around us. This happened shortly after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I hadn’t even had time to process that, but then I was told I was dying of malnutrition? I felt so alone and helpless. Let’s add “hopeless” to that while we’re at it. Nothing would ever be simple again, and I knew it. A lot of prayer and crying and begging for God to fix this and make it all go away has happened over the years. If I prayed enough he would heal me. He heals others. Right?

Fast forward to today. My other half and I have been looking for a new church to call home. So we tried a new church. This church we went to had a pastor who did a message on “Why are you so afraid?” He shared some scripture but mostly of this story of how all of the sudden his wife fell ill. They spent 10 days in the hospital and things were looking grave, but the church rallied together and prayed for them and the doctors and nurses could feel this energy coming from her hospital room and they knew something was different. I am sure I can spare you the rest. Most of us have heard these stories: fall deathly ill, the world prays about you and for you to heal, and bam! It’s a miracle! You’re going to live because you prayed just right and God has healed you! You did everything just right because the answer is always Jesus.

Now I am sitting in this chair (because churches rarely use pews anymore) and I am hearing this wonderful story. (I am happy she is doing better, by the way.) Here I sit, thinking, Where did I go wrong? I have asked that question so many times I have lost count. I have asked many more that make me spiral into this deep depression and self-loathing thing that I don’t think I can pull myself back from. You may ask me, “How can you have faith, Abbey? How can you still be a Christian when everything you hear is prayer heals and you’re still sick?” I have the answer for you, and it is not Jesus.

I need that faith. That faith is how I pull myself back from all the darkness and negativity from within myself. I choose to believe there is a God out there who loves me so deeply that He chooses to heal me in a way I have not understood until today. The way I think about my situation, my heart, my soul, and the way I see things are all examples of how He has healed me. Is it perfect? No. He is still working on me. Always will be. That’s not how I originally would have defined healing? Would you?

I still have gastroparesis. I still deal with bipolar disorder, anxiety, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and whatever else my body decides to throw my way. I am always tired, and it’s a tired that is beyond what a quick stop to Starbucks can fix.

So none of this is well with my soul. My soul aches, and I am mad and frustrated and want so badly to find this bigger purpose for why I go through what I go through. What is in fact well with my soul is through church I met my person (if you have watched “Grey’s Anatomy” you get it), and my person has been amazing support, alongside my parents. So yeah, there are things I truly believe God has led me through to get to where I am. I will continue to try churches and have faith because at the end of the day that is everything to me.

It seems that all of my days feel like I can’t stop the endless fall like Alice in Wonderland. Except I don’t get to land anywhere. I am never quite sure what to do to pull myself out and up.

We Aren’t Going to Dallas!

We Aren’t Going to Dallas!

Easter weekend is here!

I have family throughout east Texas and a lot of us are getting together tomorrow to celebrate together. There are lots of little ones so an Easter Egg Hunt is definitely going to be happening.

All week Russell and I have been talking about this trip. Preparing for it. Telling others. Russell talking to his parents about it. Arranging a house/dog sitter. Every time it got brought up Russell would say our destination was Dallas. I don’t know if any of you are from Texas or East Texas in particular but Dallas/Fort Worth or DFW is a metropolitan complex. That being said… they are two seperate places.

I would keep telling Russell (as would my mom) WE ARE NOT GOING TO DALLAS!!

The point is we are in Fort Worth and I am blessed enough to see family I haven’t seen in awhile with my best friend in the entire world.

Let’s take a side step here.

Everywhere we go people assume we are married. I am constantly referred to as his wife and he is apparently my husband. I didn’t know that we were married. This is new to the both of us.

It happens so often that we have stopped correcting people.

I am at that point with my family. Everyone else has gotten married and/or had kids in my family. At least on this side. I am the last one. Therefore, I must be at least engaged, right?

Haha this just cracks me up. It doesn’t bother me really. I actually find it hilarious! I actually joke with Russell and will tell him he is the best non-hubby ever!

He is really an amazing other half, best friend, my person… I could get really gushy but I will spare you.

We are going to my mom’s cousin’s church where his wife is singing in the service. I look forward to it and then spending time with my family afterword.

That’s all I have folks.

Until next time.

Abbey

Flight Was Delayed

Flight Was Delayed

This post has absolutely nothing to do with airplanes.

In fact this post’s topic is migraines.

So as you know there is the butterfly in my logo and as you know they fly. Hence flight was delayed.

I deal with Chronic Migraines and that is just superb. Not really.

Anyway so I haven’t blogged the past couple of days because I haven’t been able to keep my eyes open for more than 10 seconds. Due to two primary reasons: 1) Photosensitivity a.k.a light hurts 2) drugs (not the illegal kind but the hardcore prescription kind)

I missed two days of work due to these migraines.

Today I may have pushed it a bit. I was going crazy just laying around the house. So Russell and I went out.

Of course earlier this morning I managed to bang my head against my wooden headboard and holy crap that hurt.

I really never know what to do in situations like this. I missed blogging and I had these super ideas and I should have written them down and I didn’t so I forgot in my drugged state and then… well… here I am…

I’m not saying I plan out my blogs because I definitely do not but I had things I wanted to tell y’all! I forgot…

I have also forgotten where I was going with this…

Yay drug hangovers!

Until next time.

Sorry this was so spacey.

Y’all are awesome!

Thanks! Leave a comment.

Okay that’s it.

Bye.

Abbey

The Lean

The Lean

I don’t know if anyone feels this way but sometimes a girl just has to prop herself up on a wall or fridge or really whatever is available.

Even though my bloodwork says that I have met all of my nutritional requirements (thank you feeding tube) I still just don’t have the strength or maybe just the energy to hold myself up.

I am on plenty of medications with drowsiness as one of the possible side effects. I feel it.

But even without the medications I just have to lean. If I am standing still I am leaning on something. If Russell is around I am leaning on him. Same with my parents.

I will never understand the phenomenon of getting a full night’s rest and all the nutrition you need but still can’t hold yourself up for more than a few seconds or minutes. Depending on how drained I am.

I don’t like it! I want to be spunky and adventurous all the time!!! Now, I only get to be sometimes and I cherish it.

I have learned to love and cherish the small things because that is what I have. It has definitely taught me to slow down in life.

Not even an energy drink or all the coffee one could stand an then some will give me the energy I need and desire.

Does anyone else crave or desire more energy? Despite the fact that chronic illness  doesn’t allow that. It’s not that forgiving or graceful. There is no mercy.

Let me know. I would love your feedback.

Until next time.

Abbey

No Need to Go Outside

No Need to Go Outside

Oh my Lord!

Exhaustion does not begin to explain how I felt yesterday.

I look forward to Sundays. 100% my favorite day of the week. I love church.

I missed it yet again because I couldn’t make it out of bed in time. When I am in pain and tired and overall just feeling cruddy I don’t make it out of the house. It may be for a couple of hours or it could be for days. This is the part that ultimately sucks.

I made it to work today, though. Many little problems led to a panic attack. I needed some time. To take a moment and reset. That didn’t go very well.

The clinic is small and we have more employees as of late. I already feel left out. I’m not really apart of this team. At least it doesn’t feel like it. Having random doctors appointments or not being able to come in makes it difficult for you to make any kind of connection or camaraderie with your co-workers.

Adding the random working from home period… It just equals alienation even though I work here and am acknowledged.

I helped build this place from the ground up so it really kind of sucks. I feel like I am just not really needed. I also feel like I am wondering around aimlessly even though I have a ton to do.

It will probably take an adjustment period but I can’t help but feel like my co-workers resent me.

I never know what to say or think anymore. When I feel like I said the wrong thing I want to crawl under a rock and hide.

I honestly made myself more stressed and panicked today than was really needed.

I don’t really think there is a point to this particular post other than I am exhausted.

I want to have zero need to go outside of my comfort bubble but I always will.

I am that kind of woman. It just scares me more lately. There is more on the line after all.

Until next time.

Abbey