Daily Living with Chronic Illness

As some of you are aware, I have a host of chronic, but, mostly invisible illnesses. Living day to day with this and being consistent in interacting with the world at large is often quite difficult. This is why I have a hard time posting on a consistent basis. I don’t care to share very often about it because there are so many people with serious issues that are so much worse. And I don’t care to appear as a whiner or attention seeking.

However, when I discover a way to get something done efficiently that would generally take a great deal out of me, I just have to share. I want others to be able to get “normal” things done that won’t take up their energy and do them in for the day. We’re talking “Spoon Theory” vs Shaving our legs! Today, I managed to shave my legs from the ankle to the knee. I did not have to struggle through a shower shave. Nor did I have to do a tub scrub afterwards!

First, let’s talk about that wonderful coconut oil! I have been using it for just about everything under the sun for the past year or so. It works brilliantly for someone such as myself with very sensitive skin. I use it for everything from oil pulling to bathing and shaving. The drawback to shaving with coconut oil is that it usually will clog your razor and make a mess of you tub/shower which then requires a scrub down. As someone with a disease of this caliber, I cannot possibly manage to wash and condition my hair, shave my legs and scrub the tub in the same day. Unless, that’s all I’m doing for the day. Like, literally ALL that I am doing. No meals cooked, no laundry done, no toys picked up. Heck, I’d be lucky to make it down the stairs with my 2 year old twins in tow. That just isn’t happening for me.coconut-oil

So, here’s what I did today: I went ahead and did my bathing and all of that good stuff. But, I really wanted to shave my legs. I knew that I simply didn’t have enough energy to manage it. So, I went ahead and finished up my routine with my morning all over coconut oil application. Then, I gathered my razor, a cup of steaming hot water and my towel. I lay down on my bed to rest a few moments and then began to shave my legs, on the bed, using the hot water to swish the razor vigorously to unclog it from the oil/stubble combination. I was able to lie back and rest at will. And although it took a little longer, it did take a lot less energy. I was able to simply lie down and nap directly after finishing up. I woke up rested with silky smooth legs. It was a win for me today.

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I know that the average person may not appreciate the seriousness of this post. But, to those who are chronically ill and fatigued, this could be quite helpful. I, personally, struggle with the desire to be a “normal” woman. The kind that always has smooth legs and dinner on the table. Alas, I often have to settle for getting clothes on and making it downstairs before noon. So, anything that will help me to feel normal without expending so much energy that it causes a flare up is, to me, a wonderful thing! God bless all my Sister Spoonies.

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Much Love,

Angie

 

 

 

 

Last Post

I have been quite busy of late. But, I hadn’t realized that my last post was in June! What have you been up to since then? We had a very busy summer with the family. The adoption of our little guys finally came through. So, we are now, legally, the proud parents of two year old twins!

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From right to left: Me, Judge Neil with Jesse on his lap holding the gavel, my Husband, Troy holding Connor and my Mom aka “MawMaw”. As you can see this was an incredibly happy day for us. All the stress of the past two years just seemed to fly away with the bang of the Judge’s gavel. So, we spent the summer making memories with the little guys.

I have been having a lot of flare ups these past months which has resulted in a lot of time being bed bound. And so it goes with Chronic illnesses. Unfortunately this also results in feelings of depression and a serious lack of motivation. Spending so much time in bed, I have watched a lot of shows and movies between Netflix and Amazon. I have fallen in love with True Blood, Grimm, The Walking Dead, Hemlock Grove, American Horror Story…are you seeing a pattern emerge? I am a fan of supernatural entertainment. I also love me some psychological thrillers and just things that get your mind going. I love The Black List, Bones, House… Speaking of Psychological Thrillers, have you read my Friend, Christa Wojciechowski’s book, “Sick”? She actually has a few out now. But, if your looking for something to blow your mind, start with this one.

http://ow.ly/4Onk304AgwT #amwriting #freebooks #freekindle #horror #suspense #shortreads

I enjoy reading very much and covet time alone to sneak into a quiet corner and tuck into a good book, when I am not suffering from a debilitating migraine, of course.

Anyway, one of the twins woke up at midnight tonight/ this morning and I was not able to get back into a good sleep. So, I spent some time in prayer, listened to some relaxing music, took a good, hot bath and still, sleep would not come. So, here I am, after months of absence and it feels good to be writing again. What do you do when you aren’t sleeping well?

Oops, my Husband just caught me! He wants to know what in the heck I am doing at this hour. Ha! Ha! He should be used to this by now. We’ve been together long enough. Well, that is a false statement. I don’t know if forever would be long enough with this man. Troy is the absolute best! We’ve had our ups and downs, as has any couple who have managed to stay together in this wild world. But, we have made it well past those early struggles. I have to tell you, it was all worth it in the end. The struggle, the pain, the heartaches…I wouldn’t change a thing.

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Well, it’s 0600 now and it looks like he’s up for the day. So, I’m going to take this rare opportunity to spend time with him before the twins wake up! Thanks for sticking around all these months. I promise that you’ll hear from me again soon~

Mother

We all form an opinion of the people that we love. We always feel that we have an accurate idea about a person based on what we see and hear from them . This is especially true of those with whom we live. Let us remember that they had a whole life before the present day. We all did.

Mother sits on the front porch. She smokes and gossips on the phone.This is much of her daily life. She watches the neighborhood. She notes the coming and going of all the neighbors. She takes note  when she sees a stranger. To her family, this is her life. But, she had a larger life once. She had a job and friends. She went out occasionally to dance and sing. She sang well. She had her own home. Now, her life was contained in one room of her daughter’s home. She, to the porch where she kept watch and replayed memories of yesterday.

 

HATRED

This is an exerpt from a story that I may be writing. Tell me what you think.

HATRED

She turns from the checkout counter, bag in hand. As she is turning, she meets a pair of the most intense eyes she’s ever seen staring back at her. For a split second, she was taken aback. She realizes that she was still smiling because the cashier had been so pleasant. Is it possible that he thought she was smiling at him? That simply would not do. No. She gave him a slight nod and carried on. Following the strapping man who carried her bags, she began to ponder her life. He was her one and only. Her soul mate.  Her ride or die. She was truly blessed. They had been through Hell together and come out the other side. They were a threefold cord which could not be broken. As she climbs into the Mini-van, she can’t shake the image of those dark eyes staring her down. The man’s eyes had been so dark they almost appeared to be black. The intensity of his stare had been palpable. She couldn’t shake the feeling. What bothered her more, was that she couldn’t quite put a name to it. It wasn’t attraction. He definitely wasn’t her type. Not that she had a type these days. She really hadn’t much noticed other men since she’d met Jeremy. They had had an immediate connection the moment that they met. Everyone else in the world had ceased to matter. Their love was a blazing inferno that could not be quenched. It had been tried on many occasions. Still, the man in the store brought forth something dormant in her. Even though he never spoke a word to her, she felt as if he had stripped her down to her soul. He knew a truth about her that no one else knew. How could it be? How could he have seen the darkness hidden so deeply inside of her? It was impossible. Yet, she knew it as truly as she knew her own name. He had seen her. He had seen who and what she truly was. And he had tried to tempt her as surely as the serpent in the garden had tempted Eve. She had stood firm at that moment. But, still she wondered what it was that he had seen. He had looked at her with such blatant hostility. Hatred had blazed in those onyx eyes. Those eyes, were so strange. Deep and fathomless. They almost seemed to be separate from the face of the man. As if they were not the eyes he was born with. They were the correct shape and size for his body. But, something was strange. They didn’t seem attached to his body in some odd way. She saw it. But, even more, she felt it. She felt it with every fiber of her being.  He hated her with a blackness so deep that the boundlessness of the universe could not begin to explain it. She couldn’t shake it. Why would he give her such a nasty look? Why would hate her? She didn’t know him. She’d never met him before in her life! If only that were so. She knew that she was often overly sensitive to these things. Most people that she knew thought she was tough; hard hearted even. But, that wasn’t the truth. Nothing on Earth usually is. The truth was that she felt things so much more intensely than most. She became easily depressed. Was usually torn to pieces by the sight of another person in pain. To observe the grief of others was an invitation for a cycle of depression that could send her into her shell for a week. She even became depressed when characters in the shows that she watched or books she read experienced tragedy. She had had to stop watching Criminal minds because it had subconsciously caused a depression in her that she couldn’t  deconstruct. Same thing with Grey’s Anatomy. Son’s of Anarchy got cut from her list because she was so upset with the characters for Tara’s sake. Ridiculous! She had been told by a few different Church leaders that she had the “Gift of Discernment” this often caused issues like these because the discerner could feel things in their own spirit that others never noticed. She wondered if this was the case, with Onyx. She had given him an imaginary name because she needed to identify him in some way. She decided on the most noticeable aspect of her experience with him. Those black eyes! Her spirit began to help her sort things out in her mind. You are right, the spirit exhorted. You think he saw you. But, what he saw was himself reflected back by your gift. What he truly despised was not you, but me. I am the Spirit inside of you. I am the Truth. His name is Hatred. He inhabits the mind and body of the young man that you saw. The young man is not exactly what one would consider “Possessed” as much as he is demonized. He is surrounded and harassed by malevolent spirits constantly, although he doesn’t realize it. Every act of violence he watches on television or commits in some game. Evert curse that comes out of his mouth. Every time he gets high and “empties” his mind…he is opening a door. He sends an invitation for more of the same. It is not evident to most people. They either think that demons don’t exist, or that they have no power. That isn’t true. They have as much power as a person gives them. Their greatest sales tactic is to try to convince people that they don’t exist.

 

Please tell me what you think. Should I continue the story?

Losing Weight, Gaining Control

As many of my readers are aware, I am diabetic. I also have some other health issues that might be easier to live with on a healthier diet. If you are anything like me; and a lot of you are, you have tried every diet under the sun to try to gain control. Unfortunately, I usually feel worse when I’m dieting than any other time. I know the old adage, “It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle.” But, I do have a tenacious sweet tooth. Dieting usually just causes me to feel angry and resentful. I have tried low cal, low carb, even diet pills. My most successful dieting experience was an 8 month stint on Weight Watchers. I lost 40lbs. Pretty good, right? But, I got burned out. For me, counting points was just as bad as counting calories. I HATE counting calories! So, eventually I just gave it up. That was 8 years ago. I am back up most of those 40lbs. I get so frustrated with myself!

 

I have been pretty miserable lately, unable to get my blood sugar under control. I have also been in a lot of pain. So, during one of my afternoons tossing and turning in bed, trying to get some relief, I stumbled across a post by Zero Carb Zen. Their motto is, “Eat meat, drink water.”

 

I thought it was a bit extreme at first,you know, “Everything in moderation.” But, I’m a junkie, that just doesn’t work for me. So, I thought I’d give Zero Carb a try for one day just to see what affect it had on my physical well being. After reading several interviews with participants, the consensus seems to be that it’s a great way to live. The life is pretty simple. But, more than anything, 3 days in, I have had zero, read ZERO, sweet cravings!  Now, I’m not going to B.S. here. I do have a desire to lose weight. But, more than anything, I want to not feel bad physically. So far, I have not needed to take my Metformin in 3 days. I am, of course, being responsible and faithfully using my Accu-check every day. But, so far, I’ve been right on track! That is exciting news to a diabetic! I know that I am a food junkie, so, I can’t guarantee that I won’t veer from the lifestyle. But, for today, it‘s working for me.

meat

What works for you?

My Favorites

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My friend and fellow writer Christa Wojo posted a blog a few weeks ago in which she listed 10 of her favorite things. She followed this by challenging her friends and readers to do the same. I promised that I would take her up on that challenge. Unfortunately, I have been in the throws of a major flare up for the past 2 ½ weeks. So, I haven’t done much in the way of writing. That is why I have not updated my Blog.

I’m back now, so I am fulfilling my promise. This list will exclude the obvious God, babies, family, friends, spouse… and delve a bit into my personally relevant favorites. So, without further ado:

1. Good well water. I live out in the country. I also grew up in a country type area near the entrance to a Game Reserve. We had a well. We also had excellent clean, sweet water. Thirst quenching water! The few times in my life that I have lived within City Limits on City water, I have been sorely disappointed by the taste that dribbles from the tap. I believe that water filters certainly have their place. But, if I had my druthers, I would drink from a clean well every time. And since I do have my druthers, I live in the country with a good well and cool sweet water straight from the tap! I love it!

2. Living fearlessly in a free country. I do realize that there are issues at hand that threaten our freedoms everyday. But, just to be able to lay down in my own bed at night and watch television, read a book or simply drift off into slumber without fear of being attacked or blown up or any other horrific thing that often occurs in other countries. It’s a wonderful thing!

3. Knowledge and Wisdom-I read a book once by Jaqueline Carey and one of her characters states, “All knowledge is worth having”. But, knowledge is no good without wisdom. Without wisdom one may either misuse the knowledge or simply not know what to do with it at all. I am so happy to have access to so much knowledge. And I pray daily for wisdom. One is no good without the other.

4. Hot baths. Oh how I love to sink in a scalding hot bath! My husband, Troy, swears that my skin will peel off. But, it’s not really scalding. It’s just a hair’s breadth away though. To feel every muscle in my body relax as I sink in, close my eyes and let my mind wander. It’s glorious!

5. Reading! I love a good story! I enjoy learning new things! I am so thankful to be a free woman in a free country allowed to think, read, learn and express myself at my own leisure. When I think of all the women in the world who have not been allowed access to learning and especially reading…it just breaks my heart. I’ve always live by the motto that , “If you can read, you can learn to do anything”. I believe it’s true. I love every moment of reading; from selecting my chosen material to lying in bed with my book or tablet or magazine…whatever it is that I’m reading. My heavens what a priveledge!

6. Silence- I love to have a little peace and quiet. In this chaotic world, there is so much noise. Even in our own homes we constantly have something going. Weather it’s the T.V. running in the background or just a fan spinning to circulate air. Nothing beats turning everything off and just letting my mind settle. I know that at least for me, I often don’t realize that something is bothering me until it stops. Suddenly I feel this blessed release. And I think, “Wow, I had no idea that was causing me so much aggravation.”

7. Walking in a natural environment- I love having the use of my legs. But, I think that even if I was in some way incapacitated, I would still want to be able to get out and “walk” down the shaded path. I would still appreciate and desire to enjoy the sight of goats and cows grazing. To take in the beauty of the surrounding plant life. To be close to nature. So, please, when I am in a wheel chair, take me out like a baby in a stroller. We don’t have to talk, let’s just be out in nature.

8. Music- I love music of all kinds. I often say that I don’t care for Rap or Screamo. But, if it has decent lyrics, I will respect the devotion to their art. If, on the other hand it’s just a bunch of garbage about killing, I don’t have much use for that. At least not enough to sit and try to decipher the words. Still, music speaks to my soul and for my soul more often than I can speak for myself. You can often tell if I am upset because you will hear quite a lot of music coming from my direction. Often, a specific song or play list on repeat. I usually sing along even though I’m not a great singer. Still something about turning up the music and singing along is cathartic.

9. Singing- As I said, I am not really a great singer, but, I love to sing. I especially love to sing with strong female songstresses like Jennifer Nettles, Reba McIntyre, Adele…It’s actually a pretty good workout. And it feels so empowering to just close my eyes and belt out those lyrics. It is preferable that no one be around for this atrocity! But, still fun and empowering. Please be advised, if you attempt this, it is best to do in your car with the windows rolled up and not the shower. But, you MUST KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN! Heh! Heh!

10. I could never complete a list of my favorite things without acknowledging my sweet tooth! Of course chocolate, as I said in a previous post, is my drug of choice. But, there are so many delectable treats out there. Such as cheesecake, cream puffs, ice cream… and my number one favorite sweet treat? My Husband. I know that some of you may think that is corny. But, truly, he gives the sweetest kisses.

So there you have it. My list of favorite things. What’s on your list? Please comment below. Also if you’d like to see the original challenge posted by Christa Wojo, head on over to My Sweet Delirium. Link to follow.

My Favorite Things

Arise! It’s Monday!

It’s a new day! Hello to all of my friends this Post Easter Monday! I am hoping that you had a nice Holiday. I was blessed with a great day yesterday. Of course, Easter is always fun when you have little ones waddling about! Our little guys are just under 2 years old this year. So, we did a small basket and egg hunt. It was adorable! They’re a little young to grasp the meaning of Easter, so, just fun stuff for them this year. Next year they will probably understand what all is happening much better. But for now, some gratuitous cutie pie pictures:

boys easter hunt

That’s our older son, Dalton, standing back there in his Cookie Monster PJs!

 

Well, I was able to make some decisions over the weekend with my husband. We have decided that we are going to return to school! We had set our goals aside when Jesse and Connor came to live with us. But, we have a pretty good routine down now and I think we can manage it. It will be a little hard. But, hey, good things aren’t necessarily easy things.

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What have you been doing lately? I don’t have too many hobbies. My favorite hobby, by far, is reading. I like to read all kinds of things from paranormal romance to psychological thrillers. Actually, I just finished a great little psych/ suspense novella by my friend and fellow writer, Christa Wojciechowski if you are into psychological thrillers, this is a great quickie if you need a hit of, “Holy Sh17!”

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Sick
Christa is pretty danged creative. She takes her cues from real life and adds a delectable twist that is sure to make you keep turning those pages!

Besides being a reader and writer, I am also the heiress to a 26 acre scrap yard in Floral City, Florida. A weird thing to brag about, I know. But, in the vein of sharing my past times with you all…I have been gathering interesting looking items from the Yard (as we call it) for quite some time. I am totally into the reuse/recycle/upcycle thing. Anyway, I have been giving various items new life. Bwah! Ha! Ha! I feel like Frankenstein sometimes!

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Yes! I will, one day, inherit a missile! Any ideas on up-cycling this baby? Comment below and I’ll see you guys in a day or so~