chronic illness

Putting Myself Back Together: My Journey To Becoming Whole Again With Chronic Illness

Putting Myself Back Together: My Journey To Becoming Whole Again

My apologies from being absent from . . . well . . . everywhere. Since my last trip to the hospital, I have struggled. I feel like I have been treading water just to stay afloat. I’ve wanted to move forward but found myself stuck in the same place.

I’m still really struggling health-wise. I’m still losing weight and not able to eat. My rheumatologist is really worried because I’ve lost a lot of muscle. My joints are ok for the time being but my muscles are in rough shape. I am starting back on Savella so hopefully that will help bring my pain down enough to at least being able to do some exercise to bring back some muscle tone. Fingers crossed that I will have as good of luck this time around on Savella as I did before.

I am also in the process of looking for a counselor to work on my anxiety. Before my last trip to the hospital, I lived in fear of another bowel obstruction but now I also worry about having a repeat performance. I got lucky last time with John coming in when he did but what if next time I’m not as lucky? I know that I can’t live like this. Its not good for me and its not good for my family.

I want to feel whole again so instead of focusing on just my physical health, I want to work on my holistic health. Body, mind, and spirit. I am going back to setting goals like we did for Sharing Our Spoons and sharing them monthly. I would love to have some of you join me and we can walk this journey together!

Thank you so much for all of your continued support and encouragement. It means more than words can explain!

chronic illness

Sharing Our Spoons – August

Its time to relaunch Sharing Our Spoons!

Yes, I am totally aware that I am a little late getting this post up. As I shared about coming out of the fog, the treatment I started for my peripheral neuropathy, Cymbalta, ended up being such as difficult to stop. The nurse at my rheumatolgoist office warned me that it would be a challenging transition and oh my goodness. Challenging would be an understatement. We tapered my dosage in hopes of minimizing the symptoms so I cannot imagine what it would be like stopping cold turkey. I was browsing online in trying to gauge whether or not my symptoms were “normal” (when have I ever been normal?) and I discovered multiple sites and blogs solely dedicated to Cymbalta and all of the issues involved with the withdrawal process. It was reassuring knowing that the severity of the symptoms I was experiencing was par for the course but discouraging at the same time knowing how I feel the medication is marketed as a “miracle” treatment now available for fibromyalgia, neuropathy, and chronic pain. The fact that it is a non-narcotic treatment is pushed to the forefront when, I feel, the side effects when ending treatment are not really addressed. Anyways…

:::stepping off soapbox:::


As a Sharing Our Spoons refresher, here are the goal guidelines:

  1. Physical: could be weight loss or exercise related or it could be goals like eating more veggies or cutting soda
  2. Mental/Emotional: take a day to be alone, write a letter, paint, etc
  3. Spiritual: start a new devotional book, commit a certain amount of time a day for prayer/meditation
  4. Something fun: Take time to treat yourself – maybe a pedicure or Starbucks (if you don’t typically splurge for specialty coffee)
  5. BONUS: One thing to get you out of your comfort zone a week – try something new, sign up for a class you maybe have been putting off.

Progress linkups will be posted the first Tuesday of every month!


Here were my goals for September & the changes I plan to make for August:

  • Physical: Take a 10 minute walk every day. This week my sweet Charlie was diagnosed with arthritis. Her age is not only a factor but her weight is as well so the vet recommended daily walks to help her drop a few pounds and help with the stiffness. We have both been hobbling around so it will be good for the both of us.
  • Mental/Emotional: Get out of the house! I have most definitely shut myself off and the effects of the Cymbalta definitely need not help in the matter so I need to work on getting myself out of the house on a regular basis. I am officially unemployed as of the first of the month as my medical leave with employer was up so the reality of disability is much more evident and my rheumatologist warned me that closing myself off could enhance my fibromyalgia so I need to work on balancing resting when I need to and being active for all aspects of my health.
  • Spiritual: Do nightly devotions with my husband. We not only need the daily one-on-one time the can be difficult to achieve with an active 4 year old but we know how important it is for our relationship to be grounded in our faith. We can only love each other fully by loving God first and being closer to Him allows us to become closer to each other.
  • Something fun: Time to put my Pinterest boards to use! Every week I must take at least one thing that I have pinned and actually do it! Complete revelation yes? Time to cook a new recipe, try a new beauty tutorial, or spruce up some things around the blog! I have actually considered hosting up a weekly linkup called Been There, Pinned That so that we can all share the results. What do you think? Interested?
  • BONUS: Take a step out of your comfort zone.  If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I have updated my hair in a pretty major way so its time to take some fun pictures to update my social media profiles! I have always wanted purple hair and finally bit the bullet (the silver lining for no longer working in an office). I think planning some pics may be a great way to wrap up all my goals for the month!

What are your goals for the month? You can link up your blog post in the linky below or leave your goals in a comment!


2013 Blogging Goals – Check-in #2

I cannot believe that another month is over and it is time to check in with my blogging goals for the year again! I welcome March with open arms because it means Spring and warm weather is around the corner!

Here are the check-in details:

  1. Post at least 3 times a week. I’ve done pretty well with this! There was one week where I only posted twice but I’m very pleased with what I have done so far this year and really feel like I am moving in the right direction! The Blogging for Endometriosis campaign is keeping me pretty active and next month is the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challange with WeGo Health is coming up in April so I’ve got plenty on my plate in the near future!
  2. Read & COMMENT on at least 3 blogs a day. I love getting back into the community! I feel more connected when I not only read but be intentional in leaving comments! I have loved reading and commenting on all of the Blogging for Endo posts this week that have been linked up! I feel so much encouragement knowing that so many of the things I’m feeling recently in battling my illnesses is not completely crazy and that I have women who truly understand.
  3. Guest blog at least 3 times throughout the year. Keeping my eyes open for opportunities!
  4. Feature at least 3 new guest bloggers here at A New Kind of Normal this year. I’ve got two lined up in the next month! If you are interested at all in being a guest here at ANKON, please let me know!
  5. Organize & complete the 2nd annual Blogging for Endometriosis Awareness campaign. In progress!!!! You have to check out the amazing posts that have been linked up for Week 1 of Blogging for Endometriosis!
  6. Grow blog stats by 20%. Growth is happening! I feel so incredibly blessed and humbled by your support! 
  7. Attend Type A Conference in Atlanta in September! Anyone want to be my roomie? I’m promise I’m not a psycho! With the possibility of the big D (disability) I need to cut costs where possible!
  8. Follow through the book Mom Blog SEO by the awesome Kelby Carr! I’m finishing up Simple Blogging by Rachel Meeks (amazing, refreshing, and inspiring) and Mom Blog SEO is next on my list! Anyone want to walk through it with me and have group support?
  9. Have head shots taken! My lovely photographer BFF is currently recovering from surgery but we hope do to some family shots in April so I’m hoping to sneak in a couple shots! My pictures need to be updated to show off my pixie!

How are you doing with your 2013 goals so far?


(disclosure: goal #8 contains an affiliate link. completely love the book! just want to be completely honest!)