It’s been a crazy week and few days and I’m sorry I haven’t written. I have some blog posts ready to go but these last few weeks have been something else… I love cats and most recently (April 2016) adopted … Continue reading
I love the band Social Distortion. There is always a song for each happening in life and, although this may seem like it will be a band tribute, it isn’t. I’ve had some experiences in the past few weeks that … Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago our pastor told the story behind the song “I’ll be Home for Christmas”. It was written during wartime and the writer couldn’t get a record label to record the song. One day while golfing with … Continue reading
As you can tell, I’ve taken a little break from writing. Some of it because I’ve, honestly, not felt like writing because I felt like everything I would write would be not overly positive. Not because everything is horrible but because that’s when I feel like writing the most. The other part is that I’ve been busy and putting my brain to writing seems to exhaust me.
That brings me to this. I’ve been tired. Like sleep 10 hours a night tired. And thankfully I’ve had this weekend off so I’ve been going to bed at 9 after struggling to stay awake. I mean, six o’ clock and I could go to bed tired. Then I sleep until 7 or 8. I’ve been tired for a while but the last couple of months it has started to really bother me. I went to the doctor and they did a complete blood panel and everything came back normal. My T3 (thanks to my hypothyroidism) is a little off but nothing to be overly concerned about. Nothing to explain this feeling of exhaustion. Unless it’s mono, then all I can do is sleep it off. I go back to the doc in a couple of week to see if the new meds for the T3 are working and will have them do the mono test at that time.
Also, I know this is the time for people to go out to eat with their families and it can be a struggle. No matter how many times you ask if a meal is gluten free, ask the server to mark it on their order, mistakes can happen as can cross contamination. This happened last week, I went to a restaurant with a friend. I made sure the server knew it had to be gluten free (asked about each item on the list and requested it three times) and then when it was served I asked several times again. It wasn’t gluten free, my tummy told me that, and I spent most of the night with a tummy that tried to get rid of the food as quickly as possible.
Now, I know I take a chance when eating out. This is the first time in over four years that this has happened, people around here tend to get it right, to understand how important it is. But this was one time when care wasn’t taken no matter how careful I was.
I’m sure some of this contributed to my lack of energy this weekend. I did have an amazing Thanksgiving and had the energy to prepare the meal with the help of my mom and dad. I did have the energy to finish decorating the exterior of the house and it took all day on Friday to do the interior of the house.
So I’m taking little steps with the little energy I have. Thank you for your patience as I took some time off the radar. I will be better in the future.
It’s been a while since I’ve written. The last couple of months have been crazy. I went into sales in June and I’ve been concentrating on building my book of business and have been running on all cylinders. I’ve spent quite a few days out of town as well. Things are going well but it’s a crazy, crazy time.
I also moved to 2nd Vice President in Lions last month which means new responsibilities and learning more there.
It’s a lot of change at one time and while I embrace change, this week things have caught up to me.
You see, there have been a lot of changes in my personal life and my friend’s lives. I have done a little “housekeeping” when it came to friends and have decided to weed out those that have wronged me or that use me. It’s felt good to surround myself with positive people.
While I’ve been overwhelmed with what’s going on in my life, the worst thing is when I can’t help my friends. I know that when things are crazy in my life I have a good cry and the weight is lifted. But when I see my friends hurting, it overwhelms me in a different way. There aren’t enough words or hugs or cards that can make things better. Only time. But all I want to do is fix things, make them right again and make sure everyone is happy.
The reality is that not all times are happy. In fact, Ecclesiastes 3 says:
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
We take the good with the bad, we laugh and cry…and in these times of being overwhelmed I pray.
Today is Thanksgiving. For some people it means a days of stuffing your face full of food or prepping for Black Friday (which has turned into Black Thanksgiving Day but I digress), but for me it means what I think it should mean: a day with family and friends.
You see, I’ve always thought “what if you take away the food, football, shopping, etc…what do you have?” It’s the people around you! As a Celiac, so much emphasis is put on food. Don’t get me wrong, I love stuffing as much (or more) than the next person but if I couldn’t have it but was surrounded by people I love…Thanksgiving is perfect.
I’m so incredibly thankful for so many people in my life. My parents are amazing people who jump in to whatever adventure I start on. My brother and sister in law support me from afar and my niece and nephew are amazing little wide eyed children. I have a fantastic group of friends who make me laugh and have hearts of gold and a bestie who is always there for me. What more could I need?
This Thanksgiving, count your blessings. I bet the list is longer than you think.
There’s so much fun in traveling. I love going to a place and seeing what that place has to offer. I just arrived home to Grand Junction from visiting my brother and sister in law, and their kiddos, north of Seattle.
When you are flying people ask “where are you going?” “What is your final destination?” On the way to Seattle I love the question. On the way home it’s a different story. I love visiting my family up north. I see them about every year to year and a half, depending on how my money flow is. And going home gets harder as the kids get older. My niece is 4 1/2 and my nephew 2. My niece is starting to get that auntie comes…and leaves. It’s starting to get harder as we play harder and I find out things like my niece loves running and photography, two passions of mine.
And I sit on the Tarmac in Salt Lake City watching videos she and I made and pictures we took and the tears roll down my cheek. I’m sure I look a little crazy: yoga pants, ball cap and tears but going home is the hardest right now.
Miss these two munchkins, and their parents, a lot right now…and always…
It all began with my dad. It was June of 2009 and dad’s health had been going downhill for quite some time. He didn’t have energy, was looking pale and, as a good stubborn German man, refused to go to the doctor and had been refusing for months. I will never forget the Sunday that we had done a trip through the orchards and when mom and dad dropped me off, as usual, I invited them up to my condo which is on the second story. Dad flat out said “no” because he didn’t have the energy. I had gone over there a few days later and dad could hardly walk across the living room without stopping to gather his energy so he could keep going. He had turned into an old, old man in front of our eyes. My brother emailed me, asking if he needed to fly in from Washington state. I told him no…but I honestly didn’t think dad was going to make it. Later, he would tell us that he wasn’t sure he was going to live much longer.
A couple of weeks later I received a phone call while I was at work. It was my mom and my dad had driven himself to the ER from his part time job at a golf course. They had found a hernia and would have to do surgery. When they did the pre surgery blood tests, he came back severely anemic and ordered an upper and lower GI to find out where they internal bleeding was. Otherwise, why would you have such severe anemia? The gastroenterologist did the tests and told mom that they biopsied a portion of his upper GI but he was pretty sure it was Celiac Disease.
My mom is super resourceful so started doing research so when the test came back positive for Celiac Disease, she was ready to rock n roll. Everything got put into a box and I was the proud recipient of TONS of food. Mom started baking and cooking gluten free, dad was mad at the world. Here he was, in his 60’s. He was already a diabetic and had a thyroid condition…why this too? No bread, no pasta, no beer…Father’s Day was right around the corner so I did my due diligence as his daughter and found gluten free beer. It was no Bud Light but it worked!
We would later find out that all of these autoimmune diseases work hand in hand and when you have one, you are very likely to have another.
Mom’s research took her to find that if you have a relative with Celiac Disease, you have a 1 in 22 chance of having the disease too. A few months later I took a blood test and it came back positive for Celiac Disease. I spoke with my doctor and she told me that as long as I didn’t have the symptoms, to keep on living my life the way I was. (BTW, this is NOT correct. If you are diagnosed with Celiac Disease you must IMMEDIATELY start eating gluten free).
As time went on, I starting having symptoms. I had always been anemic but now I was having intestinal issues. I would eat and then head straight to the bathroom because it went through me so fast. I would have severe cramps and would go home and just curl up on my couch, praying they would go away. I was bloated and had no energy.
I finally decided it was time to go gluten free. Should be easy, right? My mom and dad had just gone through it and I was sure it would be easier for me.
I went through the purging process as well, taking food out of my pantry and donating it or giving to it friends. I then headed to the grocery store, Vitamin Cottage, actually. I will NEVER forget standing in the pasta aisle, looking at the mac and cheese and wondering which box of $5 mac and cheese was actually any good. Which $6 pasta was any good. I was overwhelmed and, before I could start crying, I bought a box of mac and cheese and went home. It was overwhelming and I cried all the way home. The mac and cheese sucked. It was expensive so I ate it all and cried more.
The next day I put on my big girl panties and went to City Market. I bought a few things because a girl’s gotta eat. I asked mom for help. I tried things and figured out which ones weren’t good, although I’d eat it anyway because GF food is EXPENSIVE. Most breads were only good for toast, buns were hard, eating out was horrible and still can be bad. It was FRUSTRATING.
But I’ve lived and I’ve figured out what is good, what isn’t, where is safe to eat, where make my tummy hurt and in this, I’ve found friends who are going through the same thing. It’s so much easier when you have people who know exactly what you are going through.
And that’s my journey, so far. I know there is more to do, this is my platform and there are many more people who feel alone in this world, or who haven’t been diagnosed with Celiac although they’ve been diagnosed with everything under the sun. And the true cause is Celiac Disease.
I ask that if you know someone who has Celiac Disease and feels alone in the world, share this blog. If you have a question for me, ask. I’m here to help, I’m going on this journey for a reason.
The past two weeks weren’t the easiest ones I’ve had in my life. Making the decision to put my Punky to sleep was a hard one, but the right one. I never want to have one of my fur babies suffer.
I learned a lot about the people in my life over the past days and I want to publicly thank you for your support, kind words and actions. I’ve been feeling the love more than ever before.
I had so many friends reach out to me: making dates to go on walks, for dinners, drinks or a day at a wrestling tournament. My parents spent so much time with me too, my dad helping me clean carpets. Yup, I said cleaning carpets.
All of these people wanted to make sure that I was ok, that I didn’t just dig myself into a depression, which could have easily happened. I had people email me, call me, text me, message me on Facebook, Twitter and through this blog…all with beautiful memories of Punky and encouraging words. And the gifts that are reminders of my beautiful fur baby. Those will help me to remember her as well.
I am one of the luckiest girls alive. And I thank you.
It’s been a long, emotional week. Sunday was the day that I realized that I would have to say good-bye to my cat, Punky.
Punky is an 18 1/2 year old cat who has been diabetic for 6 1/2 years. I kind of adopted her by accident. Here’s the story:
In 1996, my parents took my brother off to college and my grandma was checking in on our cat at the time, Tuffy. I lived an hour away and when grandma called me to tell me that Tuffy was listless, I told her to take him to the vet. He died that night.
A month later I was in a pet shop, to get my cat fix, when a little black kitten caught my eye. I adopted this kitty who was already named Allie. Around the same time, Mom and Dad adopted Punky. When I decided to move to Sioux Falls, SD to go to college, Mom and Dad adopted Allie for the time being. When I moved to Colorado and got my own home, I took both cats with me.
Allie was always the “apple of my eye” but after Allie passed over six year ago, Punky became my protector, the one always by my side.
Punky always had been a cat that didn’t like people, Allie was the people-cat. After Allie left this earth, Punky filled the void and started coming out of her shell. Once she realized that people weren’t so scary after all and that she got attention, she became the “bell of the ball”. Punky was always in the middle of the room, usually on her back waiting for someone to rub her belly. Otherwise she was always on my lap, purring, looking at me adoringly, like I was the only human for her. She would touch your face with her paw and then give kisses, both her ways of saying “I love you.” She would greet me at the door, come when I called or whistled, would sit on command and would get upset on the weekends when I would open the door to her room and then crawl right back into bed. She has the most loving personality that I’ve ever seen in a cat. One that makes you realize what unconditional love feels like, should be like.
And tomorrow I will have to say good-bye. In the past six months she’s had several bladder infections and UTI’s. The last one has left her incontinent and she has kitty dementia. The loving look she used to have is replaced with a blank look like she should know who I am but doesn’t. She doesn’t have great balance, can’t find the litterbox and can’t hear most times when I call her.
This is the hardest decision I have ever made. This is the part of life that makes me want to build my blanket fort, crawl into it and ignore the world. This is the part of life where I have to think beyond what I want and think about what is best for Punky. As my vet, and my friend asked, “would she want this quality of life?” And I know she wouldn’t. I know she doesn’t.
So I make the hard decision…and tonight I hold her tight for the last evening.