chronic illness

Game On: Taking Living Boldly to Heart


Living Boldly With Chronic Illness When The Going Gets Tough

If you don’t follow me on social media (which by the way – why aren’t you, hmmm?), I spent most of last night at the ER. I have been dealing with the “usual” – abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, etc. I had had an appointment at my endometriosis doctor, Dr H, and had felt so weak, nauseated, and in so much pain, she sent me straight to the ER. Of course, as you know, the doctor you get at the ER is the luck of the draw. You can get lucky (like I did at my last visit in November) but this time I wasn’t so lucky. I ended up with one of “those” doctors that automatically walked in with a chip on his shoulder. He was in the room no more than five minutes and never laying a hand on me and the only treatment I received was Benadryl (seriously?!). I did finally receive some Zofran after dry heaving for who knows how long and the fact that they could not get any blood from me because I was so dry until I had a liter of fluids in me. I have the massive bruises and poke marks to prove it. I know when your scans and your blood work comes back normal their hands are tied regardless of how hellish you feel so they have to send you on your way.

Needless to say, I was PISSED when I left. Not the most ladylike term but I was. Let’s not get into how angry my husband was.

There was good that came out of the whole ordeal.

I am tired of taking all of this laying down and waiting for some doctor to have a break through and find a way to not exact heal me, but find a way to at least make life more liveable.

Today, I am taking it into my own hands. I am taking my own advice to LIVE BOLDLY. For months it has sat as the tagline to my blog title. I am ready to make it more. I am ready to take the phrase: live boldly to heart. I am ready to grab the bull by the horns and get on this. I am FURIOUS in all sense of the word.

I was determined to get out of the house today. My husband and I finally bought a car (we have been a one car family for quite some time waiting on disability to finally roll through) and I am SO thrilled. Its not brand new or super fancy by the worlds standards but for me, it is absolutely perfect. Something I have always, always wanted was a moon roof and this has one! We were actually looking at other models on the lot and the salesman pointed out this one and after a false start on the test drive (we’ve never driven a car with a sports mode), we were sold and now its ours! YAY!

There is so much to be said for taking “Live Boldly” to heart. I am actually working with my favorite jewelry designer ever, Jenjer over at FJJ Creations, to come up with a necklace that says “Live Boldly” and I can’t wait to see what she has to come up with.

I am just so excited. I am full of energy (maybe not so good at almost 1am) but I am feel so revitalized, invigorated, and just ready to take on the world. There are some awesome things that can come out of being furious.

I hope you are are all ready to join me on this wild ride of living boldly with chronic illness that I am about to embark on! GAME ON!



chronic illnessfaith

My Word for 2016: Furious


I am a little late getting my act together on what my hopes and dreams are for 2016. I was able to travel for Christmas which was a huge, huge blessing but ever since it has been one major crash after another. As some of you may know, last year I had to have my gallbladder removed (which was a soap opera in and of itself) and the surgeon who performed the procedure noticed that I was full of adhesions but chose to not take them down for some reason beyond my understanding (and several other doctors I have spoken with). Instead he predicted that I would have a major obstruction within a year. Two at most. That surgery was in July and I had an obstruction in November. Thankfully, I know exactly what it means to throw up “coffee grounds” so we were able to catch it early and we were able to avoid surgery with time in the hospital on NPO.

Unfortunately the problems have only continued to get worse. After the gallbladder fiasco, I am done dealing with the local surgeons and my gastroenterologist referred me to surgeon that he hand picked so we can get another opinion of what is really going on and have some sort of plan of action. My endo doctor is also on board with getting another option as with adhesions being the primary issue, she would rather have a skilled general surgeon take the helm but would like a gyn to be on hand to check for endometriosis while they are in there if surgery were to happen. I will also be doing the Clomid challenge soon to check FSH levels for the possible of ORS or endo.

I had my appointment last Monday at CMC for my first consult with the new surgeon. She was really nice, very thorough, and while she was very frank when we spoke (no sugar coating here), she had a great bedside manner. That quality is extremely important to me in learning to trust a doctor. I know things aren’t always going to be puppies and rainbows but delivery is key. Anyone else with me on this?

I appreciated this quality in her even more when she told me that she would be calling a hospital board meeting before making any decisions on what to do next. She would be calling together other surgeons, radiologists, gastroenterologists (including my own), and anesthesiologists to discuss my case and formulate a game plan (you know you are a spoonie when . . . ). The first step will most likely be some type of advanced imaging to get a better idea of what is going on in there. Surgery may be on the table at some point but we are currently between a rock and a hard place. Because of all of my prior surgeries and adhesions, the likelihood of being able to do anything laparoscopically would be next to none and there are obvious risks of doing any kind of full incision (especially when the focus would be in a small area overall). The initial surgical incision if done blindly (or even with scans) can be dangerous or even fatal depending on where things are adhered.

So now we are faced with two options: 1) do we go ahead and do the scans to have them for reference and then wait until I obstruct to go in to fix everything and I just have to suffer with the pain now; or 2) do we take the chance to move ahead with surgery to take down adhesions and hopefully help the pain while risking injury and knowing adhesions could return?

It is definitely a hard question that has been weighing on my mind. The board meeting will be in a couple weeks so hopefully we’ll have some sort of plan put together.

All of this rambling and updating does have a purpose and does tie into the title of this post. Obviously everything that has been going on has made me incredibly anxious and filling my mind with so many doubts and questions. At times I have just felt like my head was spinning but I am ready to get back up, put on my gloves, and start fighting.

So I chose my word for 2016:




Most of the time when people think about the word furious, they think of anger but that is not all of it. The other definition is “full of intensity, energetic, or fierce.”

I don’t want to live 2016 full of anger. I want to live 2016 full of intensity.

I want to live furiously.

I want to love furiously.

I want to work furiously to make a difference in the lives of others.

One song that has trying been a life changing song for me over the past few months is called “Furious Love” by Veridia. It immediately touched me to my core. It reminded me that we can try our butt off trying to please others by being something that we are not but God made each and every one of us perfect just the way we are. He loves us so much, so intensely, and so furiously that He sent us a Savior, a Hero. 



In order to live the life of intensity that I want for myself this year, I need to set goals for myself. I always try to think of my health in a holistic sense so I want to set a goal to cover each area of my life including the physical, mental/emotional, spiritual, something that is just fun and something to get out of your comfort zone.

Here are my goals:

1- In order to help my body have more energy in 2016, I will strive exercise four days a week (with a minimum of a 10 minute walk). I would also like to look fierce in my bathing suit at Disney in September 🙂

2- In order to better focus my mind and emotions so that I can focus on enjoying the positive ones more fully in 2016, I will strive to find alternative ways to confront my anxiety, such as through writing, art, or possibly equine therapy.

3- In order to ignite a deeper and more furious love for Christ in 2016, I will strive to read at least one spiritual/discipleship book a month and start keeping a prayer journal again. Some of the books on my reading list are Dear Woman by Chavos Buycks, God is Able by Priscilla Shrirer,  and Chronic Resilience by Danea Horn.

4- In order to have some furious fun 2016, I will strive to expand my makeup skills by taking at least one in person makeup lesson/course and at least 2 online courses. I know there are places in the Charlotte area that offer classes (meet up anyone? LOL) and there are also websites where you can receive one-on-one instruction from a makeup artist or stylist via webcam. This goal has me really excited!

5- In order to have a life full of intensity and challenge myself to spread my wings in 2016, I will strive to write an ebook this year! It is something that I have always wanted to do but the thought honestly scares the crap out of me which is even more of a reason why I should strive to achieve it this year! Would anyone even want to read a book that I’ve written?! Ack! My stomach has butterflies just typing this! Can I do this?

I will be sharing more about my blogging goals for the year tomorrow but these are the five big ones I will focus on to make me a healthier person as a whole in 2016. I am so super excited and can’t wait to get started!

Did you select a word for 2016? What are some of your goals or hopes for the year?


P.S. Back in the day, A New Kind of Normal had a feature called “Sharing Our Spoons” where each of us would set goals for ourself and have monthly check ins on how we were doing to help support and encourage one another. It was also set up in a way to encourage us to take care of ourselves as a whole, not just the physical aspects of our health. I would love to do that again if anyone is interested! You don’t have to follow the same holistic model if you don’t want to but if you just have a couple goals for the year that you would like to receive some support and encouragement, that would work as well too! Just leave me a comment or shoot me an email!

P.S.S. If you would also like to live furiously in 2016 and would like a visual reminder for your blog, grab the banner in the sidebar!


My Little Cheerleader & The Lessons I Learned As A Cheer Mom

It is hard to believe Abby’s first season of cheerleading is over! For starters, don’t you just die from the cuteness overload when seeing this sweet face in uniform?

My Little Cheerleader


I just can’t. Swoon.

Like I said before, the season is finally over. John and I wanted to throw a party Saturday when the season was officially over (I am sure the coaches did too) because it meant that we now have our Tuesday and Thursdays nights plus Saturday mornings back! Hallelujah!

The basketball season went well. Our age group for basketball and cheerleading was K-2. The skill of the basketball teams grew by leaps and bounds from the start of the season to the finish. The number of cheers and routines our girls had built up in their repertoire was impressive. Abby is not the most coordinated child on earth but her growth from start to finish was amazing. Major kudos to all the coaches.

The season wrapped up with the area cheerleading competition, which was held this past Saturday, and our girls worked their tails off. The coaches put together a great routine and the girls performed it beautifully. I mean this was a 3 minute routine and these 5-7 year olds rocked it. I was honestly blown away with their stage presence. Their focus was completely on the judges. They smiled big, had high energy, and shook their booties (age appropriately of course).

Side note – I wonder how many cheer squads had some part of Shake It Off in their routines this season.

I have always scoffed at those parents who got upset by a bad call by a ref or judge (I mean come on, be a role model to your child please!) but I had to point the finger at myself on Saturday and give myself a time out.

As hard as our girls had worked, we were taken aback when the results were announced. There was only one other squad in her age group and they did well. They performed as I would have expected a group of 5-7 year olds to perform (random waves to family throughout the routine, blanking out, that kind of thing). We knew our girls were on pointe that day so we really thought we would take home the win but the judges didn’t see it that way and gave the win to the other team.

My first reaction was to go all mama bear, yell at the judges and ask them if they were blind. I know I am biased being a parent but the general consensus of the crowd was the same and thought our girls should have won. I was a little upset. Some were more vocal than others. I was more vocal than I should have been. I didn’t storm the table or anything but I did some trash talking amongst other parents and coaches. The worst part was that I did this trash talking in front of my child.

When we got home after the competition and I started packing up Abby’s cheerleading gear, I was still frustrated by the results but I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Instead of having a huge smile and just bubbling over with pride about how hard Abby and her team had worked, how she had gotten up in front of all those people without fear, and how she had gave it everything she had, I had a scowl and was muttering to myself about what kind of point system they must have used.

Some of the reasons we signed Abby up for cheerleading was so she could learn dedication, how to be part of a team, and – you guessed it – good sportsmanship.

I needed a hefty dose of that myself.

I had been a terrible role model for my daughter that morning and I needed to apologize.

And I did.

I sat Abby down and I explained that I did not have the attitude that Christ wants us to model. I should have modeled good sportsmanship and having a Christ-like attitude and I was sorry that I did not do so. The important thing was that they worked hard as a team, they had fun, and they totally rocked it. Everything else was irrelevant. I told her that she reminded me of what was really important and I thanked her for that and asked her to forgive me. She said she did and gave me a kiss and a hug around the neck before running off to play.

The next night, they had the end of season banquet. Abby came home with her trophy and all was right in the world. The results of the competition the previous day were all but forgotten.

She looks at her trophy and remembers the excitement of being chosen to call the cheer during the halftime routine and giggling with teammates about that part in the cheer where you have to shake your butt.

I look at her trophy and remember the lessons I learned as a cheer mom and how God used these little girls to teach me a lesson on attitude and what is really important about being a team.



P.S. Took an intermission from Blogging For Endometriosis Awareness this week but things will kick back up next week and not only are the next two weeks’ topics hardcore, there will be giveaways each week by our amazing campaign sponsors FJJ Creations and Seaview Jewellery! You will not want to miss it!