It is not a secret that we love Frozen in this house. My husband would probably say that I love it even more than Abby. I love music, what can I say? So when Abby’s birthday drew closer, we not only started planning her party but started planning to create her “big girl” bedroom. Her request for both was Frozen.
Of course I scoured Pinterest for ideas and I am actually proud to say that I actually completed some of the projects I pinned! Crazy, right?
After painting and redecorating, her Frozen inspired bedroom was complete:
Instead of having a big birthday party, we spent the day at the local Merry Go Round Festival with friends and family and of course she had to have her face painted to match her Frozen dress (created by 5 Little Elephants). It comes around every year on her birthday so she thinks its pretty cool that they set up a fair just for her birthday 🙂
If you have a little girl who loves Frozen, then you might have gone through the same insanity of trying to find an Elsa dress (or any Frozen merchandise for that matter). Dresses that were originally sold at the Disney Store for $50 were being marked up online for $200 or more which is INSANE so I took to Etsy and found an amazing seller, Merry Mary’s Creations, who created this gorgeous Elsa dress:
Abby was so excited to open her presents to find her Frozen dress which of course had to immediately be tried on! If you ask her, she looks exactly like Elsa. Dramatic performances of movie scenes and songs quickly followed.
I cannot leave out the amazing Frozen-inspired birthday cake created by Keystone Confections! It was gluten-free and absolutely delicious:
In this picture it looks like Olaf’s arm is on fire but as he said in the movie, some people are worth melting for!
While it is hard to believe that Abby is now 5 and will be starting kindergarten in the fall, it was definitely a birthday to remember!
As I have mentioned 2014 has not been off to the greatest start and honestly I feel like I have spent most of my time passed back and forth between my doctors with one saying the other was the problem. The pelvic specialist thought that my Celiac was the problem. My GI thought that scar tissue was the problem. My pain specialist just thinks I am falling apart. Needless to say I have struggled staying positive and often wondered if I was just a lost cause and if chronic pain would continue to define my days.
Last week I had an appointment with my primary doctor so we could just lay everything out on the table and come up with a plan. We were able to look at all of the test results and procedure results along with my history. She has been my doctor from the beginning so after almost 11 years, she and I had quite a bit of history. I know that God had designed for our paths to meet as He knew the type of support I would need for my journey. As a scared college kid, I sat in the office of the new doctor who had just come to town. Coincidence? I think not. Within three months of my initial exam, I was diagnosed and began treatment for endometriosis (some women have to suffer for years before nailing down the diagnosis). In all of the time since then she has never once made me feel like I was crazy. Never once has she doubted or brushed off my experience. Never once has she made me feel like I was just a number. Over the last 11 years, she has laughed with me and cried with me so when I felt like I was at the end of my nope, I knew that she could help pull me back in.
So last Thursday she and I along with my husband (and the NP student who just happened to be shadowing my doctor), we laid everything out. Surgery was definitely not an possibility because I am so high risk because of my history of adhesions and obstructions. At this point surgery would only be an option in an emergency (like another total bowel obstruction). I felt relieved (as I still have nightmares about my last surgery) and overwhelmed (as I wasn’t sure what other options we had).
We decided that the next step should be getting a second opinion from a pain specialist. If you have read my blog for awhile, you may have noticed that I am not too fond of my current pain specialist (and I happened to find out that the other doctors in the area aren’t fond of him either) but being in a small town and knowing all of the restrictions involved in seeing a pain specialist, I was too worried that attempting to find a new one would cause problems (such as looking like I was shopping for prescriptions).
With the assurance of my doctor, we knew that the time had come to get a second option. My current specialist only wants to treat the pain with medication and honestly at this point, we aren’t sure if they are helping or hurting so it is time to explore new options (such as a nerve stimulator).
While it may not look like we made great strides in that appointment, I feel very positive about the direction we are taking and more confident that I will not have to continue to live with this amount of pain indefinitely. I feel like there is hope that I regain some type of normal for my life. Pain will no longer define my days and that feels awesome.
If you haven’t noticed, there are some big changes going on around here! After lots of planning the new branding is complete and A New Kind of Normal is getting an overhaul thanks to my fabulous designer April from Creative Girl Media! Things will be getting tweaked for the next little bit so thank you in advance for your patience!
I had not planned on spending the last month dropped off the face of the planet. I have been trying everything to put on a happy face and keep pressing forward but instead with each passing day without answers or relief, I felt myself start to withdraw bit by bit. I think you can only hear “there is nothing we can do” so many times before you started to believe it. As my pain continued to go up, my resolve went down. It was a very lonely place to be.
Thankfully, I have been able to turn the corner thanks to the support of my family and friends. My spirit is lighter and my focus is clearer. Despite the continuing high pain levels, I feel reenergized to keep fighting and not allow it to steal my joy and my hope. I set up an appointment next week to meet with my primary endometriosis doctor to come up with a game plan. I am resuming my role as an advocate for my health.
Because of my recent tendency to block myself off, I finally built up the courage to talk with my pain specialist about a handicap placard to use on the hard days. I had been allowing my pain to keep me further blocked off so I wanted to find a way to allow myself to go out on the harder days and have a life outside of my house. I have only used it once as I am still scared to use it because of the fear of judgment but I am working on it. I deserve to have a life and I am learning to use the tools available to help regain control.
For the first time in quite some time, I feel like I am breathing again and rediscovering myself. I am reminded of the promise that God has amazing plans for my life. I am feeling the embrace of those surrounding and supporting me and allowing their strength to carry me when I feel like I’m not able to on my own. I am feeling reenergized to fight against chronic illness with a new blog design and a refreshed spirit.
I can do this.