Share Your World- March 27, 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!

Does your first or middle name have any significance (or were you named after another family member)? My first name, no. My middle name is my mother’s first name (same with my brother; his middle name is my father’s first name.)

Music or silence while working? It really depends on what I’m doing and what kind of mood I’m in. I have music on right now and I generally do while I’m blogging. But while I’m writing in my journal, I’m a bit more introspective, so I prefer silence. If I happen to be doing anything else, like folding laundry, I like music to be on. Continue reading “Share Your World- March 27, 2017”

The I Dare You Tag

I found this fun-looking and thought-provoking tag over at bluchickenninja (you should totally check out her blog) and decided to tag myself! Anything to distract me from the daily grind of my myriad of chronic illnesses.

1. Which book has been on your shelves the longest?

Audition by Michael Shurtleff. It was gifted to me by my high school musical theater director when I graduated in 2004. She was devastated that I decided not to go into theater, but gave me the book in case I ever wanted to.

On the inside, she wrote, “Laura- this book is a jewel- my theatre ‘Bible.’ I know you’ll love it…and I know you’ll always find a way to be onstage…it’s in you and you’re too good not to. I’ll always believe in you! Love, Ran”

2. What is your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next?

I have two current reads: Ravensbruck by Sarah Helm and The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick. My last read was When God Doesn’t Fix It by Laura Story. And what will I read next? Hmm…probably The Radleys by Matt Haig.

3. What book(s) did everyone like and you hated?

Ok, I know not everyone liked these, but far too many people did and it irks me. That would be the disaster known as the Twilight series. I can’t stand Bella and how she completely shuts down when Edward leaves and how she is completely reliant on him for pretty much everything. What a pathetic reaction, and not a representation of a real, healthy relationship, yet the author has convinced millions of teenage girls that that’s how love is and what every teenage girl should strive for. And Edward is just a little bratty jerk anyway.

4. Which book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I attempted to read it while I was doing the show when I was 16, but I didn’t get very far through “the brick” before I gave up.

5. Which book are you saving for “retirement”?

Probably Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. The movie is one of my favorites of all time, so I tried to read the book when I was 12 or 13 and just couldn’t get into it.

6. Last page: read it first or wait till the end?

Wait until the end! If I accidentally end up reading the last page (like if I’m checking to see how many pages the book has), I get very sad, because then why bother to keep reading if you know how it ends?

7. Acknowledgements: waste of ink and paper or interesting aside?

Kind of both. I always skim them to see if anything interesting catches my eye.

8. Which book character would you switch places with?

A Hogwarts student, most likely a Ravenclaw, since that’s the house I always seem to be sorted into.

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life?

img_0966One Million Lovely Letters by Jodi Ann Bickley. This is an absolutely beautiful book, “The inspiring true story of a young woman who survived a life-threatening illness and sends uplifting letters all around the world- a lifeline in her own darkest moments.” I read this book in February 2016 when I was beginning down a path of chronic illness that, four diagnoses later, shows no signs of slowing down in the diagnosis department. I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, a hernia, an aneurysm, and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and I may also have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). My life is far from a picnic, but this book reminds me of when it all began a year ago. Ok, now I want to read it again. Add it to my list!

10. Name a book you acquired in some interesting way.

See answer to number 13.

11. Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person?

No, but I remember I loaned a book to my ex-boyfriend from high school and I never got it back.

12. Which book has been with you to the most places?

Probably Eyes Wide Open by Ted Dekker. I carried it back and forth in my work bag for ages, hoping to have some down time to read it. I brought it with me on our hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, where we stayed at Phantom Ranch. I think I brought it with me on our trip to the U.K. And I believe I ended up finishing it during a slow night shift at work about a year after I’d started it.

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

Walden by Henry David Thoreau. Our English teacher was obsessed with Thoreau and it was the hardest unit to get through because he expected us to understand fully what we were reading and produce stellar essays from it. But since it was the first unit we did at the start of the school year (to show us what was expected of Advanced Placement English students), our class really bonded with each other and our teacher. When he was forced to retire at the end of the school year due to stupid politics, he knew no teacher after him would ever attempt to teach Thoreau, so he let us steal have the school’s copies of the books so they wouldn’t be thrown out. I still have my copy and treasure it.

14. What is the strangest item you’ve ever found in a book?

I don’t think I’ve ever found anything strange in a book, except maybe the name of the previous owner.

15. Used or brand new?

It depends on the condition. I adore used paperbacks, but prefer hardcovers to be brand new.

16. Have you ever read a Dan Brown?

No, and I really don’t intend to.

17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book?

The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Don’t get me wrong, Tolkien was a one-of-a-kind writer. His books are beautiful. But seeing the characters come to life in such a beautiful way is just breathtaking.

18. A book that NEVER should have been published.

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. Because really, who attempts suicide by sledding into a tree?

19. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks being excluded from this question?

Reading The Plum Tree by Ellen Marie Wiseman made me crave schnitzel and spaetzle because the book takes place in Germany during World War Two.

20. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

My friend Sara.

💛ribbonrx

50 Questions You’ve Never Been Asked

I love fun stuff like this. It’s distracting me from the hell hole that is my life lately. Thanks Dangerously Normal Spoonie for the idea!

1. What’s your favorite candle scent? North Pole from Yankee Candle.

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Look how he is not touching her midriff. Such a gentleman!

2. What female celebrity do you wish was your sister? Emma Watson

3. What male celebrity do you wish was your brother? Tom Hiddleston (seriously, he’s only four years older than me.)

4. How old do you think you’ll be when you get married? I was 24 when I got married, which is about how old I expected I would be.

5. Do you know a hoarder? Not as bad as on the show, but my husband is definitely a hoarder.

6. Can you do a split? Yes. I’ll have you know I haven’t stretched in two years and didn’t before taking these pictures just now.

7. How old were you when you learned how to ride a bike? I think about five?

8. How many oceans have you swam in? Umm…Atlantic, Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Adriatic. So four.

9. How many countries have you been to? I think eight…(excluding the U.S.) Canada, Honduras, France, Italy, Monaco, (is Monaco its own country?) Germany, United Kingdom (including England, Wales, and Northern Ireland), Republic of Ireland.

10. Is anyone in your family in the army? Nope.

11. What would you name your daughter if you had one? Alexis Ruth

12. What would you name your son if you had one? Jacob Daniel

13. What’s the worst grade you got on a test? F. Very, very F. (In the apt words of one of my uncle’s college professors, “Oh, you don’t get F, you get F minus!”)

14. What was your favorite TV show when you were a child? Adventures in Wonderland and Saved by the Bell

15. What did you dress up as on Halloween when you were eight? That would have been second grade…a black cat.

16. Have you read any of the Harry Potter, Hunger Games or Twilight series? Yes. I loved and need to reread Harry Potter. I need to finish Hunger Games (only finished the first book). And I need to set fire to Twilight.

17. Would you rather have an American accent or a British accent? British. It’s in my royal heritage, you know.

18. Did your mother go to college? Yes.

19. Are your grandparents still married? They’re dead.

20. Have you ever taken karate lessons? No

21. Do you know who Kermit the frog is? Of course. If you don’t, I don’t want to imagine how tragic your childhood was.

22. What’s the first amusement park you’ve been to? Seabreeze! (Twelfth oldest operating amusement park in the world, fourth oldest in the U.S.)

23. What language, besides your native language, would you like to be fluent in? Spanish

24. Do you spell the color as grey or gray? Gray

25. Is your father bald? Getting there.

26. Do you know triplets? Not personally.

27. Do you prefer Titanic or The Notebook? Neither, although if I had to pick one, The Notebook.

28. Have you ever had Indian food? Who hasn’t?

29. What’s the name of your favorite restaurant? Revolution Pizza (best gluten free pizza anywhere!)

30. Have you ever been to Olive Garden? Too many times.

31. Do you belong to any warehouse stores (Costco, BJ’s, etc.)?Sam’s Club

32. What would your parents have named you if you were the opposite gender? Kevin Charles

33. If you have a nickname, what is it? Bootie

34. Who’s your favorite person in the world? My hubby, David.

35. Would you rather live in a rural area or in the suburbs? Suburbs.

36. Can you whistle? Eh, not really.

37. Do you sleep with a nightlight? We have one over by the bathroom door that we put there while I was recovering from knee surgery so if I needed to crutch to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I could see where I was going. We just never got rid of it. But it’s pretty much hidden by a dresser, so you can’t see it until you’re right in front of the bathroom door.

38. Do you eat breakfast every morning? Nope. Stopped doing that when I was 12.

39. Do you take any pills or medication daily? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes. Ends up being about 30 pills daily.

40. What medical conditions do you have? Sigh…Endometriosis, adenomyosis, celiac disease, infertility, major depressive disorder, anxiety, episodic migraines, hypothyroidism, pituitary tumor (prolactinoma) that was surgically removed and had better not come back, left internal carotid artery aneurysm, dysautonomia, orthostatic intolerance, moderate hypovolemia (I don’t have enough blood, but I’m not anemic), and “very severe” venous pooling, both of which indicate POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome). And I might have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome; I have an appointment with a geneticist in a few weeks.

41. How many times have you been to the hospital? I work at one and trained in many, so I’m going to assume this question means as a patient. So then…15, to the best of my knowledge, including emergency room visits, admissions, and procedures or surgeries. That excludes appointments.

42. Have you ever seen Finding Nemo? What person in their 30s hasn’t!?

43. Where do you buy your jeans? New York and Company

44. What’s the last compliment you got? A comment from a lovely reader on my blog: “Thank you so much for such an informative post on brain fog. I know I get it a lot and it drives me bonkers. Reading your experience makes me feel less alone!”

45. Do you usually remember your dreams in the morning?  Most of the time.

46. What flavor tea do you enjoy? Lady Gray and English Breakfast.

47. How many pairs of shoes do you currently own? Too many. I only wear about seven of them.

48. What religion will you raise your children to practice? Jesus is my Savior, not my religion.

49. How old were you when you found out that Santa wasn’t real? I think I was about 7 or 8.

50. Why do you have a Tumblr? I don’t. I just copied this list from someone else!

💛ribbonrx

Share Your World- January 30, 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 is the most incredible natural venue that you’ve ever seen in person? The Grand Canyon. I traveled there with family in 2013. We hiked all the way to the bottom and stayed at Phantom Ranch. Getting out was a bit of a disaster for me, but that’s another story for another time…

How many siblings do you have? What’s your birth order? One sibling, an older brother.

If you were a shoe, what kind would you be and why? A pointe shoe. I used to be a dancer.

What is the strangest/weirdest thing you have ever eaten? I’m not a very adventurous food person, so I don’t really think I’ve ever allowed myself to eat anything too strange or weird.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I’m grateful that I had a few “good” days last week. I’ve worked out a few quirks that enable me to feel slightly better than in previous weeks (but only if my body as a whole decides to behave itself that day.) This involves taking salt tablets and drinking Gatorade in the middle of the night if I happen to wake up, but I’ll do what I have to do.

This week, I am looking forward to trying to challenge myself in new ways to get myself feeling better. The more I figure out about how my body works and wants to behave, the more I can understand how to make it better.

💛ribbonrx

Top Posts of 2016: Endo and Tumors and Aneurysms, oh my!

As the year is (finally!) drawing to a close, I decided to go back and look at some of my old posts to see how life has changed in the past six months since I started this blog. My goal was, and still is, to raise awareness about certain chronic health issues that affect me, including endometriosis, adenomyosis, infertility, depression, self harm, social anxiety, celiac disease, pituitary tumor, and I guess that pesky little aneurysm.

Here are my top ten posts from 2016, starting with the most hits and working downward. Feel free to re-visit them if you’ve read them before or check them out if you’re new to 💛ribbonrx! Continue reading “Top Posts of 2016: Endo and Tumors and Aneurysms, oh my!”

We Wish You A Spoon-ful Christmas!

Now that Christmas has come and gone, I suppose it’s time to be like everyone else and write about it! I’ll start with Christmas Eve, since that’s when all the action started.

The day began quite horribly. I was still wearing the Holter monitor, and it’s a good thing too, because I was extremely symptomatic. I have never had to try so hard in my life to get off the couch. A lot of it was because I hated the way I felt when I stood up, so I tried to avoid it. At one point I got up to get a snack and wound up having to sit down on the kitchen floor to eat it, because even sitting in a chair would have been a bad idea. The only way I was able to do anything that still had to get done was to drink a ton of water. Meanwhile, I got a message from my endocrinologist (on Christmas Eve, bless her) that the thyroid labs she had ordered the day before (TSH, free T3, and prolactin) were normal, so my thyroid is not causing this issue.

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Get this thing off me!

I had to keep the Holter monitor on until 3:30 pm. Taking it off and then finally being able to shower was glorious. I made it through my shower, but when I checked my heart rate on a monitor a full 25 minutes after having first stood up to take my shower, it was at 130. So I grabbed a 30 oz container of water and a bag of pretzels (gluten free, of course) and stuffed myself. Remarkably, it made me feel a lot better; another giant clue that I have some sort of orthostatic intolerance, as increasing sodium intake and hydration is basically the primary means of managing POTS. But more on that at another time.

My family (parents and brother) arrived in the evening and David got home from work shortly thereafter. Since it’s a tradition in David’s family to have homemade New England clam chowder on Christmas Eve, we had that for dinner. We spent the rest of the night catching up. Based on my response to my “salt loading,” David and I came up with a daily hydration plan to try to keep my symptoms at bay. First thing when I get up in the morning, I will drink a Gatorade to get some sodium into me. Then, after I’ve at some point consumed two 30 oz containers of water, another Gatorade, and so on.

I tried out the hydration plan when I got up Christmas morning. And by golly, it worked! I felt great for most of the day! David’s parents arrived around 11:30 am as David was finishing preparing Christmas dinner. It was delicious and enjoyed by all!

Following Christmas dinner, we did a video chat with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, which was, as always, very entertaining! By 3 pm, it was time for presents! It took us two hours to get through everything with there being seven of us. It was a lot of fun because I think everyone got things they wanted. I got a nice haul of books I wanted and other stuff. Even the cats were enjoying their new valerian-filled pouches (except Aurora; she gave it a sniff and went back to sleep. Molly, meanwhile, was going nuts.) David’s parents headed home after we all spent some more time chatting, and the rest of us just basically hung around being lazy for the rest of the night. I suppose you could say it was technically a white Christmas, but all the snow was melting and there were patches of grass everywhere. All the rest of the snow melted today since we hit a record high of 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius.) But the snow will be back in a few days…

This weekend was a true test for me. I will be upfront and say both days completely depleted my spoons. Last night, as I was folding up tissue paper to store away and be used again, I suddenly started to feel off, so I had David get me a Gatorade, which was my second one of the day. I finally crashed to a stop around 7 pm, when I sat down on the couch and realized I could do nothing more functional that day. I was even too tired and unable to concentrate on anything that we didn’t even watch the Doctor Who Christmas special live. I’m so ashamed; it’s been a whole year since we had a new episode of Who. When midnight hit, I could no longer keep my eyes open, so I went to bed and didn’t get up until 11:30 am today. I’ve felt reasonably well today, despite being tachycardic when I got out of bed, but right now my head hurts and my throat is sore since we have a cold front coming through. So I really don’t feel well at the moment and it’s making me grumpy. It’s getting hard for me to think right now.

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Good night, Christmas.

I also learned that I still have a long way to go as far as my health is concerned. Yes, I got through the weekend, but definitely at a price. I’m not the same as I was a year ago and I may never be again. I’m anxious about what happens next.

Anyway, this post is crap because I can’t think very well anymore. So I’m just going to stop now. Hope everyone had a great Christmas!

💛ribbonrx