Are You Like Me?

I think I need to take a break from reading memoirs. But I can’t seem to stop. My last four books:

IMG_1341Still Waiting by Ann Swindell. Faithfully encouraging and integrates the story of the Bleeding Woman (one of my favorite parts of the Gospels).

“From my own perspective, I couldn’t see any reason why God wouldn’t heal me, why He wouldn’t change my struggle into a victorious cure. Wouldn’t He get all the glory? All the doctors and therapies and supplements hadn’t helped me, so clearly He would get the attention and fame if He healed me. Wouldn’t He show Himself to be God when no one else could heal?

“Why wouldn’t He heal me? Why?” Still Waiting, page 107

Continue reading “Are You Like Me?”

Friends, Can You Help Me?

I’ll try to keep this short and sweet so as to not burden anyone.

I need help from you, my faithful readers.

The brain fog caused by one of my medical conditions, POTS, a form of dysautonomia, has made it monumentally difficult for me to think. It’s like…my thoughts won’t connect, or certain parts of my brain won’t talk to each other. I can almost feel this void in the middle of my head, like a bridge is out over a river. I can feel an idea, or a sentence starting somewhere, but then it doesn’t get to where it needs to go, and it never materializes. I feel as though I’m stuck with all of these thoughts bouncing around in my head, but they won’t come out or even come to fruition.

I’m not using this as an excuse for my less than stellar writing as of late or for my general lack of writing altogether. I just can’t come up with anything that I think would be worth anyone’s while to read. So I’ve stopped writing. Or I’ll write something and immediately trash it because it’s not of a high enough standard for me to release to all of you.

So here’s where I need your help.

  1. If you have anything about any of our specific disease states (and this is being cross-posted, so this means endometriosis, adenomyosis, POTS and dysautonomia, that stupid brain tumor, celiac disease, depression, social anxiety, infertility, etc) that you would like to see a blog post written about, please comment and let me know! I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to get a post out of it, but I’ll give it a good college try.
  2. Is there anything regarding myself you’d be more interested in knowing about? I will answer questions about almost anything, while maintaining privacy where appropriate.
  3. My blog does better the more followers I have. So instead of having to scroll through Facebook and hope to stumble across one of my posts, I invite you to go to the About page of my blog, scroll down to where it says “Follow Blog By E-mail,” and sign up! You will receive an e-mail only when I post, and no spam! If you happen to have a WordPress account, you can sign up using that too.
  4. If you have a blog and want to share, feel free to comment and leave a link so we know about each other’s blogs! It’s best to encourage and inspire each other, not to mention providing support to each other because of what we’re going through.

I really just need a spark to light the fuse in my brain somewhere. I’ve been trying and trying and can’t get through this brain fog. It’s made me want to quit blogging, and I’m very close to doing just that because I can’t deliver quality blog posts to you, my dear readers, anymore. For that, I am sorry.

If you can do anything to help me out, don’t hesitate to suggest an idea. You all are what makes this blog possible and meaningful, not me. That’s why I need your help to get me off the floor and get my brain working again.

I don’t want to quit blogging. But if I just stay like this and don’t move forward soon, I’ll have no choice. Please help me to not let that happen.

I love you all.

💛ribbonrx

Share Your World: June 12, 2017

This will be a weekly post of the most random of random questions to answer- to share my world! Thanks to Cee’s blog for being the brainchild behind this!

What do you do when you’re not working? If you are retired, what do you that is not part of your regular daytime routine? Due to my illnesses, I am unable to work at the age of 31. I hate it and I’m ashamed of it. And I have no children to take care of because my body is a traitor. So what do I do now? I write, both on my blog and in my journal. I read. I listen to music. That’s it. Continue reading “Share Your World: June 12, 2017”

Share Your World: June 5, 2017

This will be a weekly post of the most random of random questions to answer- to share my world! Thanks to Cee’s blog for being the brainchild behind this!

image
After surgery, when I couldn’t smell anything!

What’s your strongest sense? Smell. (I must have been a dog or cat in a past life.) Many of my memories are based on smells. It was so weird after my brain surgery when I couldn’t smell anything at all for a week or two because the tumor was removed through my nose. And it wasn’t just like when you have a cold and can’t smell anything, this was a total, complete loss of the sense. I was lucky to get it back so quickly; many people experience a loss for months to a year! And it affects your sense of taste, too…I didn’t want to eat at all because what’s the point of eating if you can’t even remotely taste or smell your food? My husband had to practically force-feed me. Continue reading “Share Your World: June 5, 2017”

Sunday Stealing: The Procrastination Tool

Greetings, one and all! Time to have some fun! I picked up these lovely questions down South at the McClendon Villa! Originally, however, they were the loot of Sunday Stealing! Check them both out!

But as for me…

1. What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?

This is a tricky one. I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2012 and in this area of the country, it’s actually quite challenging to find a restaurant that can safely cater to a gluten free diet. The only place I really feel safe at is a restaurant called Skye.

2. What food could you eat for 2 weeks straight and not get sick of it?

Gluten free lemon bars from “Mom’s Place Gluten Free.” Great place if you’re looking for gluten free baking mixes!

3. Have you ever had anything removed from your body?

DesignA baby tooth that wouldn’t fall out because there was no adult tooth under it at the time, four wisdom teeth, appendix, endometriosis lesions, and a brain tumor.

4. What is the last heavy item you lifted?

The glass piece for the storm door after we put the screen in for the summer. It takes two people to lift that thing.

5. Have you ever been knocked unconscious?

Not really “knocked” unconscious as in punched in the head or anything. But I’ve had six surgeries and two endoscopies, so full general anesthesia six times and brief sedation twice.

6. If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?

No, because I’d spend my whole life freaking out about it.

7. If you could change your name, what would you change it to?

 Sara Renee.

8. What’s your goal for the year?

No emergency room visits, hospitalizations, or surgeries! (I have to have an angiogram in November, but I’m going to count that as imaging, even if there is sedation involved…)

9. Last person you hugged?

My hubby David.

10. First place you went this morning?

 The bathroom.

11. Do you always answer your phone?

 Only if I recognize the number.

12. It’s four in the morning and you get a text message, who is it?

 Probably my brother on his way to O’Hare.

13. If you could change your eye color what would it be?

 I like my hazel eyes, but I wouldn’t mind having green eyes.

14. What’s on your wish list for your birthday?

 Books.

15. Does the future make you more nervous or excited?

With all my chronic illnesses and not knowing what’s going to get me next…nervous.

16. Do you have any saved texts?

 All of my texts are saved.

17. Ever been in a car wreck?

A few fender benders. I got rear-ended on Interstate 90 once when someone cut me off and I had to slam on the brakes. But everyone was fine and there was little damage to the vehicles.

The scariest one was my freshman year of high school. It was January and my brother, who was a senior, was driving us to school. He had pulled into the intersection waiting for traffic to pass to make a left turn, which he did just as the light was changing to red. Some idiot from our school was coming from the opposite direction to turn onto the same road (a right turn for him) and he ran the light and swung wide into our lane just as my brother was making the turn. The reckless driver clipped our passenger side door where I was sitting (I can still remember the scraaaaaaaaping sound) and somehow managed to rip the front bumper off our car. He took off, but not before my brother got most of the license plate. I’m proud of my brother; he kept a cool head (after letting loose some choice words), pulled into a CVS parking lot that was right there and immediately called 911 for a police dispatch. We were fine, but the car needed some attention. Later in the day, my brother went out to the student parking lot at school and found the car and was able to give the full license plate to the police. For months afterwards, if I was in the front passenger seat of a car and we were at a four-way stop, I would panic that other cars would run the stop signs and T-bone the passenger door.

18. Do you have an accent?

Technically everyone has an accent. But this seems to be the one I have, called the Northern Cities Vowel Shift. Who knew? (It’s “Raaaaaahchester…”)

19. What was the last song to make you cry?

20. What did you do last night?

Went to bed early because I didn’t feel well. 

21. Have you ever felt like you hit rock bottom?

 Yes. The entire year of 2016.

22. Current hate right now?

Warm weather. I usually enjoy summer because I tend to be freezing all the time. But this is my first summer with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). Many POTsies (apparently myself included) have severe heat intolerance and the warm temperatures cause us to dehydrate very easily, even more so than we usually do. (For example, I get extremely dehydrated just from sleeping too long.) But we do have central air, ceiling fans, and a pool, so hopefully that will keep things tolerable.

23. Met someone who changed your life?

 I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior on April 13, 2001 when I was 15 years old. It was Good Friday that year, so it ended up being a very Good Friday.

24. How did you bring in the New Year?

Watched the Times Square countdown on TV with hubby. Then a neighbor had a very large (and very illegal) fireworks display that we could see out the back windows, so we watched that for a solid five minutes. No idea where this neighbor managed to get fireworks of this size and quality.IMG_1572

25. What song represents you?

💛ribbonrx

May Book Haul

All book blurbs are from Goodreads.

This month I only ordered one book from Book of the Month.

IMG_1272Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood (2017). Don’t be freaked out by the title! It’s totally not what you think. This is a memoir in which the author chronicles life with her married priest father. “Father Greg Lockwood is unlike any Catholic priest you have ever met—a man who lounges in boxer shorts, loves action movies, and whose constant jamming on the guitar reverberates ‘like a whole band dying in a plane crash in 1972.’ His daughter is an irreverent poet who long ago left the Church’s country. When an unexpected crisis leads her and her husband to move back into her parents’ rectory, their two worlds collide.”

IMG_1273In My Home There Is No More Sorrow: Ten Days in Rwanda by Rick Bass (2012). This one I got cheap as part of a website’s spring cleaning sale. I admit I was drawn to it because I sponsor a child in Rwanda through Compassion International. Reviews are quite mixed; we’ll see how it turns out. “Rick Bass traveled to Rwanda, roaming from the bustle of Kigali to the breathtaking volcanic preserves of the last few mountain gorillas. Now he offers an extraordinary portrait of what can be found in that country today—heartbreaking evidence of the genocide that occurred there a generation ago, dazzling natural beauty, and young people who have emerged from tragedy with a blazingly optimistic spirit and a profound artistic voice.”

IMG_1274Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (2009). I read My Own Country several years ago and couldn’t put it down, so I’m looking forward to this work. “Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother’s death in childbirth and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics that will tear them apart and force Marion, fresh out of medical school, to flee his homeland. He makes his way to America. When the past catches up to him — nearly destroying him — Marion must entrust his life to the two men he thought he trusted least in the world: the surgeon father who abandoned him and the brother who betrayed him.”

IMG_1312The Plantagenets by Dan Jones (2012). I saw this one mentioned by a fellow blogger. I’m actually a direct descendant of the Plantagenet line, so I got this book to learn more about my ancestors. “The Plantagenets transports readers to the era of chivalry and the Crusades, the Black Death and the Hundred Years War. The first Plantagenet king inherited a broken, bloodsoaked realm from the Normans and transformed it into an empire that would stretch at its peak from Scotland to Jerusalem. His descendants and their fiery queens, including Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard the Lionheart, Edward II, and King John, shaped England into the country we recognize today and gave it many of the laws, contracts, and bodies of governance—like Parliament and the Magna Carta—that would shape our own nation.”

IMG_1314The Wars of the Roses by Dan Jones (2014). This is basically the sequel of the previous novel. “The crown of England changed hands five times over the course of the fifteenth century, as two branches of the Plantagenet dynasty fought to the death for the right to rule. In this riveting follow-up to The Plantagenets, celebrated historian Dan Jones describes how the longest-reigning British royal family tore itself apart until it was finally replaced by the Tudors.”

IMG_1340Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (2016). I’ve been wanting to get this one for months but wanted to wait for the paperback version to be released on May 2nd. “Two half sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America; from the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day.”

IMG_1341Still Waiting by Ann Swindell (2017). Huh, I didn’t know this book was a brand new release until just now! This one I got on a whim (or did I…? I think God plopped this one into my Amazon cart when I wasn’t looking.) “Most of us don’t willingly choose to wait. We pick the shortest lines at the grocery store and avoid construction routes whenever possible. These are relatively short holdups, but they point to the deeper truth of what we try to evade on the larger scale of our lives: the anguish and heartache we experience during extended times of waiting when something we have hoped for gets delayed. Because waiting is painful and hard, too often we try to rush through it, seeking to jump ahead to the hoped-for resolution, opportunity, or healing. It’s easy to overlook that waiting is an inevitable part of our walk with God.”

Only seven books this month! Probably because I’ve been caught up all month reading The Plantagenets, which has remarkably minuscule font for a 500+ page book and itty bitty margins, so it takes me literally an hour to read 25 pages. I love the book, but have determined my royal ancestors were officially nuts. In David’s words, “Well, at least now we know where you get it from.” Touché.

💛ribbonrx

Share Your World: May 15, 2017

This will be a weekly post of the most random of random questions to answer- to share my world! Thanks to Cee’s blog for being the brainchild behind this!

How many languages do you you speak? Two. Like the vast majority of American kids, I took Spanish in high school, but I don’t remember enough to really speak it. I especially realized this when my husband and I traveled to Honduras in 2012 to meet our sponsor child through Compassion International, Heybi. When we met, I did ok to start but then got nervous and promptly forgot all the Spanish I knew. Thank goodness we had personal translators with us. I remember at one point, the translator had gone to the bathroom, and I tried, out of necessity, to say something to Heybi’s mother and I conjugated the verb wrong (not a big deal; I said “No necesitan” instead of “No necesitamos.”) I corrected myself and managed to mumble a “Lo siento,” but she just smiled, chuckled, and hugged me for trying.

And I speak fluent cat. Meow.

I guess I dabbled in ASL (American Sign Language) as a child; I used to be able to sign the Pledge of Allegiance. I remember the alphabet and the sign for “flag.” And I can sign the following (known as “Awesome God/Omega”) from my time in a Christian vocal group in college: “Our God is an awesome God; He reigns from heaven above; With wisdom, power, and love, our God is an awesome God. May the grace of our Lord be with you now and always, may you stay blameless ’til He comes. May the love of our Lord be with you now and always, may you stay blameless ’til He comes.” To see the song, view the following video from a “Beauty and the Geek” chapel event in February 2007. Bonus points if you can find me, lol.

Continue reading “Share Your World: May 15, 2017”