The Sunshine Blogger Award

A big thank you to Sandy from Sandycademy for nominating me for

The Sunshine Blogger Award

beelieve

The rules of the Sunshine Blogger Award are to nominate eleven people and to ask eleven questions.

Here are my answers:

What is the most important thing to you? 

My husband and my “family” of pets. They are with me day in-out and day-out. They support me in my best and love me at my worst. My dogs snuggle me when I’m sick or in pain, and they never judge me for being ill. However, without my husband, there’s no way that I could continue to keep fighting and searching for a diagnosis all these years. He is my strength.

If you could go anywhere right now, where would it be? 

Anywhere with a beach. I miss the ocean! I miss the smell of the sea air when the wind blows, the warmth of sand between my toes, and the taste of salt on my skin. It reminds me of all the good times in my life.

What’s your favorite thing about blogging? 

Being able to share my story with those who are interested in “listening” and being able to connect with others who go through similar challenges related to both mental and physical illness. It’s given me more empathy to others and the understanding that although our chronic conditions may not be the same, we often struggle with some of the same experiences or feelings. Not to mention, all the love and  support I receive from people who TRULY understand what it’s like to be me.

What’s your favorite thing about yourself? 

My ability to be persistent, despite other’s trying to shut me down or discredit my feelings. When I was young, I gave up too easily and let other’s walk all over me. I’ve been through a lot in life, perhaps more or less than others, but what I’ve learned in this journey is that the only one who will fight for my life is me and I’m not willing to let it go that easily anymore.

What has been your biggest challenge in life so far? 

Learning not to get overwhelmed when everything seems like its falling apart. Although I don’t give up on my quest by any means, I often get frustrated and angry with the process. I know it’s normal to react to this amount of stress, I just wish it wouldn’t bother me as much.

Do you believe in love at first sight? 

Not love at first sight per say, but the initial feelings that come deep from your gut that tell you that this person has come into your life because they are exactly what you need. That you both met at the right time and in the right place; and now that you have them, there is absolutely no way you could ever let them go.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? 

I use to be a huge “planner”. I had so many goals and dreams, but the one thing you learn very quickly from chronic illness (especially when the illness advances within a short period of time) is that you never know what to expect from day to day, let alone make any type of plans. Plus, being sick changes your dreams anyway. For instance, I used to dream of having a successful career so I could buy a nice house on a huge plot of land so that I could rescue a ton of animals. Now, I just want to be alive… and  have a confirmed diagnosis, the ability to manage my symptoms, and have a decent quality of life. I also want to bring awareness to the problems that are created by doctors in leaving patients without a diagnosis, while hopefully helping others along the way.

How many languages do you speak? 

Fluently, only English. I’ve taken classes in Latin, Spanish, and Chinese but I never retained any of it. I wish I spoke Russian, though.

What do you think is your best post so far? Link it. 

My favorite post thus far has been The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had because it’s so raw and real to the emotional pain and all the frustrations that come with being so sick for so long, without ever knowing why.

What’s your favorite quote? 

I love all inspirational quotes in general. However, many years ago I came across the following and vowed to live by these words, both in life and in love. When you’re young, it easy to be selfish and less understanding of other’s feelings. Now I work to treat others how I expect to be treated and build up others whenever I can because I know what it’s like to feel pain.

Maybe...giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they will love you back. Don’t expect love in return; just wait for it to grow in their heart; but if it doesn’t, be content that it grew in yours. Maybe . . you should hope for enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, and enough hope to make you happy. Maybe . . we were supposed to meet the wrong people before meeting the right one so that, when we finally meet the right person, we will know how to be grateful for that gift. Maybe . . when the door of happiness closes, another opens; but, often times, we look so long at the closed door that we don’t even see the new one which has been opened for us. Maybe . . it is true that we don’t know what we have until we lose it, but it is also true that we don’t know what we have been missing until it arrives. Maybe . . the happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. Maybe . . the brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; after all, you can’t go on successfully in life until you let go of your past mistakes, failures, and heartaches. Maybe . . you should dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go, be what you want to be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you dream of, and want to do. Maybe . . there are moments in life when you miss someone — a parent, a spouse, a friend, a child, your girlfriend/boyfriend — — so much that you just want to pick them from your dreams and hug them for real, so that once they are around you appreciate them more. Maybe . . the best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch and swing with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you’ve ever had. Maybe . . you should do something nice for someone every single day, even if it is simply to leave them alone. Maybe . . happiness waits for all those who cry, all those who hurt, all those who have searched, and all those who have tried, for only they can appreciate the importance of all the people who have touched their lives. Maybe . . you shouldn’t go for looks; they can deceive; don’t go for wealth; even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile, because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright. Find the one who makes your heart smile. God determines who walks into your life….it’s up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go. Most relationships tend to fail not because the absence of love. Love is always present. It’s just that one was being loved too much and the other was being loved too little..”

If you could recommend one fellow blogger for me to follow, who would it be and why?

This is such a hard decision as there are so many great blogs that I follow that provide different knowledge and experience. But I do agree with Sandy in choosing Indisposed and Undiagnosed. Not only is her blog well written, but she has long been searching for an accurate diagnosis as well and it’s easy for me to relate to her on a personal level because of both the pain created by her symptoms and the problems she has endured navigating the healthcare system.

Here are my 11 nominees (in no particular order):

  1. Indisposed and Undiagnosed
  2. Finding Life’s Silver Lining
  3. Carrots in My Carryon
  4. itsapotslife
  5. The Medical Student
  6. it’s{pos}able.
  7. Living to thrive
  8. Dear Hope
  9. Chronically Sarah Lynn
  10. sunshinesbeauty
  11. Diary of a POTS Girl

Answer the same questions as me…Congrats everyone! 🙂

The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

So honored and humbled once again for being nominated by the amazingly talented Lore from 

The Modern Girl’s Guide To Being Sick.

I love her page because she not only discusses a variety of topics about living with chronic illness, but she offers some fabulous tips and reviews of beauty products to both cover symptoms and look fabulous, despite being sick.

The Rules:  Answer 10 questions and then nominate 7 other bloggers and ask them to answer the same 10 questions.

First the questions:

Why do you have a blog?

I started my blog so I could learn to express my feelings and tell my story about the realities of living with a chronic, undiagnosed illness. I didn’t expect anyone else to actually read it, or care, except for a handful of family members and friends. I also figured it would be an easy way to update everyone on the status of my testing or symptoms without having to repeat it over and over.

To my surprise, though, other people across the world started reading and following. Soon I was not only sharing my experiences with others, but I have been able to make connections with so many others who have gone through similar situations or experience some of the same symptoms. We have shared stories and tips in how to live day-to-day with our illnesses, dealing with both the good times and the bad. It helps me to not feel so alone anymore and not so ashamed of my condition.

What inspires you the most?

People who are brave enough to keep fighting and try to find the good in life, no matter how much life or their condition continues to knock that down. They find ways to persevere and remain strong. If they can do it, so can I. 

inspirational quotes, christopher reeve, best quotes about life, inspirational quotes today

Favourite animal and why?

I can’t pick just one. I love all animals, especially my own. They give me comfort when I don’t feel well, companionship for when I am lonely, lick my tears away when I am sad, and they don’t judge me for being sick. They are loving and loyal companions

I have a three dogs (2 min pins and a Yorkie) and two lionhead bunnies. While they are all loving and loyal companions, each one has their own personality and way of helping me cope with being sick.

Knuckles and Dahlia

Knuckles and Dahlia

Castro

Castro

Bruce Bunny Campbell and Norman Bunny Bates

Bruce Bunny Campbell and Norman Bunny Bates

What is your favourite colour?

I’m weird with my color choices. I’m drawn to purple when I am happy and hot pink & black when I am sad. Seems like it would be opposite, but I guess my mind just works differently.

Do you prefer the ocean or mountains?

Although I wake up every morning to the most amazing view of some of the most majestic mountains in the country, there is still nothing better than the smell of suntan lotion and salt water, the feel of the warm sand underneath your feet, and the excitement of catching the perfect wave.

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Tea or coffee?

I like tea, but I am addicted to coffee. 

coffee

How many languages can you speak?

Only English fluently, but I know a lot of mish-mash broken language and phrases in Spanish, Russian, Latin and Chinese (but can’t keep a conversation going). 

What made you happy today?

A friend of mine brought me a small plate of homemade food (she knows I’m often too sick to eat a full meal) and stayed to visit with me, since my hubby left today for the funeral.

best-friendships-last

What is your dream?

All I ever dream about is finding a diagnosis, not just theories or random diagnoses to just merely name the symptoms. That way I can learn to manage my illness better and have a better quality of life. It’s too hard to fight something you can’t see or even explain.  

lost

What is your favourite food?

My favorite has been and always will be pizza. Nice and gooey, greasy, cheesy, NY Style Pizza.

But food hates me, pizza included. 

new-york-style-pizza

Secondly, here are my 7 nominations:

(In no particular order)

  1. Sunshines Beauty
  2. It’s {Pots}able
  3. Chaos, Cats, and Chronic Pain
  4. Achy Queen
  5. SexyAchyMoody
  6. CarrotsInMyCarryon
  7. Chronically Sarah Lynn

Say What You Wanna Say and Let The Words Fall Out


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Life is funny sometimes. I can’t apologize for my last post, because it was what I was feeling at the time, but it is slightly ironic that it came just after receiving an award for being an inspiration. Unfortunately, living with a chronic illness, especially without a diagnosis, is a constant roller coaster of emotions. One day you feel like you have everything all under control – your life, while maybe not going exactly as planned, has a purpose and you are stronger for overcoming more than you ever thought you could do. And then out of nowhere, you’re handed a reminder of how human you really are. And it’s okay to be human, in fact, it’s exactly what you are supposed to be.

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I often struggle with who I am and what is expected of me ever since I became sick. I’m constantly feeling guilty for not be able to do this or that, or letting this person down…. again…. It really makes it hard to maintain stable confidence in yourself when you are constantly showing pieces of yourself to different people. It feels very fake and rehearsed. Who I am and what I show depends on who I am around and what situation I am in. For example, if I am in public of any kind, no matter how much pain I am in or how much anxiety I have, I will play it off like nothing hurts and put a smile on my face. At work, although they know I am dealing with medical issues, I will put effort into looking nice, a smile on my face, and be cheerful and helpful no matter what I am experiencing on the inside. I even did this at doctor’s offices at first. I got so tired of doctor’s telling me it was anxiety or depression, when I knew it wasn’t, that I played off my symptoms at times or only gave them a very limited version of how it was affecting my life.My husband, at one visit with my doctor, pointed out that I could be crying hysterically in pain or dry heaving in the car on the way to the clinic,  but then be as normal as can be while I sat in the waiting room or on the exam table, only to return to “myself” when we returned to the car. 

A2

It’s not that I am trying to hide who I am or that I want to be a fake person, but often there’s consequences of showing your true self. All of us with a chronic illness have done this – probably more than we’d like to admit. How many times have you answered the question, “How are you doing?” or “How are you feeling?”. We all know no one expects to hear:

“Oh god I am still doing awful. I was up all night AGAIN in the bathroom, I wasn’t able to get any sleep. The rashes all over my body are getting worse. My lymph nodes are swollen and I feel like I am going to DIE, like literally. I worry about dying all the time. I’m bleeding from every orifice this week. What a flair I am having! I had to miss work again, I’m probably going to get fired. Then I’ll be homeless shortly after. Life is just not fair…. Nope, they haven’t found anything yet. I have no hope I’ll ever get a diagnosis anyways. I keep getting told it’s in my head so often that I do think I am crazy sometimes. And some days I think there’s nothing to work and live for, but I don’t want to kill myself either. C’est La Vie”.

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Instead, we just say “I’m fine” or “Good” “Oh yeah, still working with my doctor’s and going through medical tests. I know they’re real close to finding a diagnosis. I am so lucky”.

Most people won’t understand and some may not care if we told them how we truly feel. I’ve learned to be a great actress in my illness. I can be who ever YOU need me to be or however YOU need me to act. It’s just easier for both of us.  

Ultimately, it’s my way of self-protection; building a wall around this part of me that I am embarrassed of. I want you to see the strong girl who handles so much and works so hard, who is inspirational and motivates others. I want to be a cheerleader, a hero, the brave one… I want other’s to look up to me and like me for me. The girl who is an UNDIAGNOSED WARRIOR. I am those things, too. I’m also many things to many people:

  • a wife0000002
  • a puppy and bunny mommy
  • a sister
  • an aunt
  • a daughter
  • a family member
  • a friend 
  • an associate
  • an employee
  • a student
  • a patient

As I have gotten older, I realize it’s alright to be each one of these things. It’s truly not being fake or a coward. Because you some part of you IS that person. And maybe it’s not everyday that you have the strength to put on your makeup, and you’re angry or emotional because you have dealt with so much this week. That’s OK too. Feeling guilt is a useless emotion,  but sometimes it feels so good to just cry so  damn hard that it hurts. Or be so angry that you just need to SCREAM OUT AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS! It’s healthy.

My therapist told me once that I shouldn’t feel bad about myself when I feel frustrated or when the anger builds up – she says that is WHAT KEEPS ME GOING AND FIGHTING. And I think she is right. It may not be pleasant. In fact, it might seem ridiculous at times, especially when you’re set off over something seemingly so small and stupid, but really is just a reaction to all the things you have slowly built up inside of you. How else can you continue on a journey like this, when you are constantly beat down over and over by your symptoms or by other people? It’s easy to give up, to lay down and hang the white flag. But it’s THESE MOMENTS, as crappy and unfair as they are, that really make you push harder and want to FIGHT as hard as you can to PROVE EVERYONE WRONG. And someday you WILL!

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You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up
Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
And they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down
By the enemy
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

Innocence, your history of silence
Won’t do you any good
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

Read more: Sara Bareilles – Brave Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Very Inspiring Blogger Nomination Award

the-very-inspiring-blogger-award

Thank you Sandycademy for nominating me for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award. It’s truly honor to be chosen for such an award. I am grateful to anyone who reads this blog and my stories. All I wanted when I started this blog was to find an outlet and a way to remember my journey, but it has brought me so much more than that. I’ve found validation in knowing that I am not alone, acceptance from those who didn’t understand what I was going through, and most importantly, motivation and encouragement from reading other people’s perseverance in overcoming their own struggles. So thank you.


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RULES:
–  Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
–  Add the logo to your post.
–  Nominate ten (10) bloggers you admire and inform them of the nomination.
I nominate…

  1. https://itsapotslife.wordpress.com/
  2. https://indisposedandundiagnosed.wordpress.com/
  3. https://livingwithchronicpainandyournewreality.wordpress.com/
  4. https://sexinthekitchensink.wordpress.com/
  5. https://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/84535539/
  6. https://heidijoneschronicillness.wordpress.com/
  7. https://chronicallysarahlynn.wordpress.com/
  8. https://onlyyoudecide.wordpress.com/
  9. https://thrivingonillness.wordpress.com/
  10. https://cassiefibro.wordpress.com/