Do you really want to know what it’s like to have a chronic illness? No sugar-coating? Okay, let me tell you.
- The amount of pills I had to take today to just get by? 27 pills. No, they aren’t pills that make you high. That’s how many I have to take to even make it to my so-called normal. I am not a druggie.
- When was the last time I did my yoga (the exercise I love so much)? I can’t tell you. Between my energy levels and having procedures, it’s been a while. I made it up to a headstand before I had to stop doing yoga. No, it’s not just something that I can push through. It’s either spend my energy on yoga and relax the whole day or take care of my husband, child, and our home.
- When was the last time I didn’t have to take a break when walking up or down stairs? That’s a good question.
- Why is it hard for people to believe that I’m sick? I try to hide it as much as possible. It’s gotten to where I can fool everyone but my husband. If I let people see how I feel, who would want to be around me?
- Those looks you get when you have to use a cane and park in a handicapped space? Yeah, those are lovely. I’m 25 and sometimes move slower than someone who is 50 years older than me.
- I sometimes have to sit or lay down in a grocery isle when I go grocery shopping. I promise, I’m not that kookoo for cocoa puffs to randomly lay in a store.
- Sometimes I have to run-ish to the bathroom really quickly at the store, because my colon picked a very convenient time to try to finally empty itself. Why is it always at the store?
- Pre-syncope (almost fainting, but not quite) happens all the time. I think full on fainting feels better than the almost fainting.
- I could barely move the last time we took our son to the zoo.
- My husband doesn’t want to go see different places, because he knows I’m going to get tired and have to just rest for who knows how many days afterward.
- Because of a feminine problem and fibromyalgia and neuropathy, I’m in pain all the time. Here’s the kicker, even morphine given through an IV doesn’t affect me.
But I still fight to be there for my husband and son. I take care of my son, because I take care of myself. It’s so hard some days, but it’s so worth it. Who said life on earth would be easy? Life is work and life is hard, deal with it. We all have a cross to carry, and this is mine. A lot of people with illnesses milk it, but most of us don’t and won’t do it. I don’t need your sympathy, I need your understanding that sometimes I just can’t do things. You don’t need to know everything wrong with me, just know that I need a rest sometimes. I cannot do it all.
I began doing yoga towards the end of January. If you had asked me a year ago what I thought about yoga, I would have told you that I thought it was just a bunch of people doing silly stretches. I even used to make fun of my brother for doing yoga (sorry, bro). I’m eating my words. Honestly, I would probably not be in such a centered state if it wasn’t for yoga. Yoga has helped me in so many ways. Listed below are some things about yoga that I love.
- It really is a workout. No, seriously. I’m getting back into shape from it. Awesome stuff, man. My POTS is pretty cool with it, too.
- It’s helped me to let go of a lot of things, such as: my constant thoughts of what people would think of me while I’m doing these odd stretches or how I must look so weird. Who cares? It’s yoga. Don’t lose your sanity over speculating what people may be saying or thinking about you.
- Even though I get to stare at my ugly feet a lot, them being ugly doesn’t bother me anymore. I love my hobbit feet (well, they’re not that hairy).
- You don’t have to own a pair of yoga pants to do yoga. Thank goodness. I have never done a single yoga practice in yoga attire. However, the one pair of those pants I do own are like sweatpants to me. You best believe I rock them sweatpants. But at home. Not outside, at home. Not as every day wear, but as I-don’t-give-a-crap-I’m-just-sitting-on-my-couch wear.
- There’s no judging in yoga. So your crow pose isn’t pretty. At least you can rock that savasana. You go, girl. Go ahead and fall asleep while you relax that awesome body of yours.
- There’s no competition. There’s no pressure to feel like you have to do certain things. You go as far as you want to go. End of story.
- You let go of fear. Whatever your fear may be, you can conquer it. I’m just happy I can do a headstand now. I was always afraid of breaking my neck. But look at me, with my neck not broken and stuff.
- You learn how to center/ground yourself. It helps a lot with anxiety. True story.
- You have to relax. For someone like me, that’s tough. “You mean I just have to lay here and basically go to sleep?” Man, I love that savasana. It’s my favorite.
- One of my favorite yoga instructors (Kathryn Budig) says that if you’re not smiling, then you’re taking it too seriously. Sure, I would like to just hit her with a foamy baseball bat when I’m trying to do some of those poses like alternately lifting up each leg in dolphin pose and upward bow pose, but she’s right. (Insert mumbling about how I’d like to find a foam bat here.)
- Yoga is really for anyone. Of course, you always need to clear it with your doc before you start anything. However, here I am with several autoimmune diseases and disorders, but I can do yoga. I can’t do yoga every day, but I do it when I can. It’s important to keep moving forward no matter the struggle.
- Here’s a TMI part (you’ve been warned): I can poop. Yoga helps me poop. I have tried everything you can think of to go, but nothing ever worked-even at my healthiest. But yoga can take care of you so well in that aspect. That tension is gone, dude. Relief is a wonderful thing.
Here is a picture of me doing crow pose when I was just starting to be able to do it a little over a month ago:
What do you love about yoga?
The first part of Psalm 46:10 reads, “Be still, and know that I am God.” As I’ve been struggling with missing my husband, trying to fight postpartum depression, and all of my other ailments, I have to say this verse has calmed me the most. It reminds me to just take a deep breath, put my hands down, and just relax. This reminds me that God is here for me, yes, even me. That He is able, that He is strong, that He is love in its purest form. Not only has He taken care of me, He will continue to do so as long as I follow Him and do His will. Whenever I read this first, it humbles me. I take a deep breath and just let things go, and find comfort in the fact that God is God and He is so much wiser than I am ( “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?” Romans 11:34). God is our strength and refuge, a very present help in times of trouble no matter the difficulties (Ps. 46:2,3). God does want us to just put things down sometimes and to just trust in Him.
If it seems as if your world is caving in, don’t waver in faith in God. Not faith in yourself; not faith in that you’ve seen, done, experienced it all; not because you can keep your composure no matter the strife. Be still, because of what you know from scripture about God. He will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 28:20).
Don’t forget to be thankful, no matter your circumstances (Ephesians 5:20). Other verses that may help encourage you are: Ephesians 4:6-9; Matthew 6:25-34; Matthew 11:28-30; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Psalm 46; Psalm 51; Psalm 55:22; Isaiah 41:10; Proverbs 3:5,6; Psalm 34; John 14:27; etc. If there are any verses that you use for comfort, please share them in the comments section.
Steps to Salvation 1. Hear – Romans 10:17 2. Believe – John 8:24 3. Repent – Luke 13:1-5 4. Confess – Romans 10:10 5. Be Baptized – Acts 2:38 6. Live Faithfully – Revelation 2:10
I am an Army Infantryman’s wife. My husband is gone a lot (yes, I know I married into this life knowing that he would be gone a lot), from being deployed if not in training for deployments. Pre-deployment training is one of the things I hate. I hate the months leading up to him deploying, because I just want it over with and done. The long nights of him being gone, taking care of our child, listening to our son say, “Dada,” and, “Daddy,” all day and night, and trying to just not break down are mentally and physically exhausting, especially with dysautonomia. Wondering whether or not my husband will come home and wondering whether or not my son will get to know his father are constant worries, even when I don’t realize it. Never will I say I’m a single parent with my husband gone, but I worry that I will be someday. It feels as if part of me is missing whenever he isn’t home. I want to be able to kiss him good-bye in the mornings, I want to be able to hold him before we fall asleep at night, and I want him to be able to come home and play with our son. My husband would choose to be home with us over being deployed, but his life is his job. All of my feelings can be summed up in this: I miss him. I want my love and my best friend home and safe.
So before you start complaining that your husband doesn’t help around the house, doesn’t answer his phone every time you call, and has to work 12 hour shifts for a little while, think about the other families out there. There’s a wife sleeping with her laptop open in case her husband gets online, there’s a wife being woken up by a knock on the door by some men dressed in dress blues- dreading telling her the bad news, there is a child cradling a picture of her daddy whom she’ll never be able to talk to again, there is a family trying to cope with their soldier being crippled for life. Be thankful you can complain to your husband, that your husband is able to work, and be thankful that you really aren’t completely on your own. Enjoy your life with your husband.
To my husband: Thank you for all that you do. You are my best friend, and I love you like crazy. I will wait for you, always.
There are certain times when only a mother wouldn’t flip out and go nuts when her child did something gross, like blow out poop or snot all over your face that does not belong to you. Here’s a list of things that only a mother (and some dads, too) can tolerate:
- Trying to kiss your son on the cheek while he eats his waffles and getting a mouthful of snot all over your lips, because your sick toddler turned his head at just the right moment. [I deserve that one, I was the one who said that the booger flavored Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans jelly bean didn’t taste that bad. (Yes, this is a Harry Potter reference.)]
- Your child wakes up shortly after you laying him down from his crying. You decide to give him a little while to go back to sleep, only to discover that he’s puked up the mac ‘n’ cheese from supper all over his crib, his stuffed animals, and his body. This results in you washing everything that was near the puke, desperately wiping his crib down with lysol wipes, really trying not to puke because of the puke smell, giving him a really good bath, having to go to the store to get gatorade for him to drink since he hates pedialyte, force spooning gatorade into his mouth, and eventually going to sleep yourself in the wee hours of the morning only to have to wake up in another hour or two to make sure your hubby hears the alarm and gets off to PT at 5 A.M.
- The wipes being taken out of the wipe case. I had to do deep breathing for that one.
- Patiently trying to not lose your head while your son tosses all of his food off of his tray onto the floor. No more spaghetti noodles for you, Traitor (Yep, Daddy is still the favorite)!
- Trying to comfort your crying toddler by cradling him against your chest, because he decided to rear his head back and slam his eye against the coffee table. He still has a bruise right under his eye. True story.
- Not being disgusted by the rainbow color of poops that can blow out quite easily if diarrhea is involved, and trying to hold his legs in the air while he squirms since he doesn’t want you to wipe his butt. (Mommy wins every time! However, he gets in some good swings by his poopy butt touching the couch or floor or something.)
- Toys being scattered all over the living room floor, stepping on a block (that hurts like none other), and picking it all up at night when he goes to bed just to have to do it all over again the next day.
- Trying to cook anything while having your toddler weave in and out between your legs, because apparently he doesn’t want to go around you. You are a jungle-gym.
Ahhh, the life of a stay-at-home-mom.
I was so motivated and excited to write this post tonight that I brushed my teeth, washed my face, folded laundry, made the bed (I had washed the sheets), and attempted to put away my son’s toys. I needed a toy box to put his toys in, went into his room to get one, and woke him up. I. Am. Awesome. BUT, he fell back asleep very quickly after, thankfully. I’ve had enough Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for one day. Anyways, here’s a list of random things about becoming a mom and motherhood.
- A very great friend and I were talking the other week about the rising prices of crayons and coloring books. She had her daughter a little over three months before I had my son. During the middle of this conversation of me being very upset that coloring books aren’t $1 like they used to be, I stopped and asked her, “Dude, did you ever think two years ago that we would be talking about the rising prices of crayons?” We had a good laugh about it, and then proceeded to talk more about those awful rising prices. (Seriously, $10 for a 10 page coloring book and 5 markers?!) Motherhood: Rising cost in crayons and coloring books DOES matter.
- Before I even became pregnant with my son, I always said that I would never be a mom who would have toys laying all over the floor for people to step on. Everything would be perfect and pristine in my household. Yeah, and unicorns would babysit my toddler while I took a spa day in the bathroom, and I wouldn’t have stepped on my son’s toys about 5 times this evening alone. Motherhood: It makes you a hypocrite.
- I just recently started going back to the gym after having surgery – in July. (In my defense, it does take a while for those with P.O.T.S. to recover fully from surgery.) I did an upper body workout and my abs workout (I work my abs every day I workout, gotta strengthen that core, people). I was so sore that I had to do the pregnant woman roll to get off the couch. Motherhood: It teaches you how to efficiently roll off the couch.
- I never thought I would be at a loss for words when other people (mostly older folks) start talking to my son and I. You never know whether or not they want you to respond or see if your baby/toddler would coo something at them. It is just a very awkward process, and I am VERY glad when that is over. Motherhood: It makes you go through awkward conversations with people.
- Saying, “No,” to a child gets tiring. There are so many times a day where you can tell your child, “No,” before you either flip out on him, leaving him to stare blankly and confused at you, or you just let him do whatever he wants to do, only slightly modifying it for safety reasons. Motherhood: Saying, “No,” so many times will eventually wear you down.
- Just like my toddler can go from all smiley to hating my living guts, Mommy can still have some hormonal mood swings a certain time of the month. There is also some extra pain during that certain time of the month that is most likely the cause of those not-so-hormonal mood swings, all because a child came forth from her loins. Motherhood: It makes you still feel like you’re trying to push out a baby once a month for the rest of your fertile life.
- Supermoms freak me out. Either they’re taking something to keep them going, or they may be neglecting something and not realizing it, like maybe the hubby. It is a juggling act trying to make sure everyone in the family has their needs taken care of without much damage. Motherhood: It makes you crazy and a juggler. (Maybe I should join a circus.)
There are more things that I wanted to type out tonight, but my body is in automatic shut down mode since my son has been asleep for almost 2 hours. However, I will leave you with one last piece of wisdom: Motherhood changes you, mostly in the hips and thighs.
Finally, I’m back home. Well, I got home the night before Thanksgiving, but I’ve been spending time with my husband and the Traitor, as well as trying to recuperate from the traveling. The trip went okay, I won’t know what the Air Force decides for a while. All I have to say about flying is… thank you for midodrine, Heavenly Father! If it wasn’t for midodrine, I don’t know how I would have made it. I will post a few posts about the trip and my son soon, but I just wanted to touch base with you guys. I would like to read all of the blog posts I missed while I was gone, but there are literally too many for me to read at the moment.
I hope you guys had a great Thanksgiving! Soon I will post a cheap and easy Thanksgiving Day/Christmas Day meal. Take care!