A Response to Being Diagnosed with Hypoglycemia

Today: Fewer words typed out. More words spoken. And even a few tears cried. On video.

I don't know for sure why I felt so strongly I should to film this video the other night. I don't even know if I successfully articulated the things I was attempting to get across! But what I do know is that I want this space to be real and raw, and in order for it to be just that we all have to share the hard things, too. In fact, not too, but especially. We have to share the hard things especially.

The things that would be easier to keep to ourselves. The things that hurt and haunt us. Our stories....pasts, presents, and futures...no matter how daunting, messed up, or complicated...are the very things that hold the healing we so desperately seek.

I truly, truly believe we do ourselves and the God who created us a HUGE disservice when we ignore an opportunity to share the way difficult trials can truly be revolutionized into an opportunity for more assured and solid hope. When we are vulnerable and honest, however, we can move to a place where we are the furthest thing from alone. In addition, we give others the freedom to learn they are not alone, either.

Since my subtotal colectomy, I have struggled intensely with low blood pressure and what we most recently recognized as low blood sugar. Though I know adding hypoglycemia to my laundry list of diagnoses is not the end of the world, it is something that has greatly affected my independence the past few months...and last week, hearing those words affected my emotions greatly as well.

Watch the video below, and I'll fill you in a bit more...

I have gotten quite used to Methotrexate (chemo) Saturday nights and Humira (biologic) Wednesday nights. I have worked through a fear of needles and conquered these injections week after week all while learning that I can only do my best. Some occasions hurt worse than others-- sometimes tears fall and sometimes they don't even scratch the surface-- but all in all, injections have inevitably become a part of my life.

Checking my blood sugar will become a part of my life in the same way. I will figure out this "new normal" and learn the ins and outs of how to maintain this crazy blood sugar of mine. I will eventually learn I can't "forget" to check my darn stats before I eat a meal, after I wake up, or when I'm feeling all sweaty, insanely shaky, and shivering my ever loving booty off. I'll learn. And as I learn, I'll continue to grow.

One step, one finger prick at a time. :)


Currently (July '16)

Thankful for...a crazy stressful but eye-opening full time job that is teaching me so much about the field of social work and how sure I am of this career path. Also for the opportunity to live with Grandma Shirley for the summer. She is such a gem and the memories we continue to make together are priceless. What a gift!

Watching...The Frey Life! This couple vlogs daily and shares the reality of what it's like to live with/be married to someone with a chronic illness. They are honest, vulnerable, and hilarious to boot! I watch their latest vlog before closing my eyes at night and it always leaves me smiling. I'm also contemplating restarting Friends and watching ALL THE EPISODES all over again. #noshame

FYI...this post is in no way, shape, or form sponsored by the links I'm sharing today. ;) I've just become rather obsessed with the black hole that is YouTube and want to share awesome people with awesome friends. :)

Listening to...The Coteries (!!!) Particularly their original songs I'm Traveling On and Ain't No Time... but also their awesome cover of Mercedes Benz by Janis Joplin. Seriously, do yourself a favor and subscribe to this group on YouTubeThey were featured at 'Music in the Park' a few weeks ago here where I'm living with my Grandma for the summer. Super humble, down to earth people and a sound you can listen to at 10,000 feet in the air, while studying your assets off for some big exam, as you're running [away from your problems], or as you drift off to sleep at night. Embedding video below so you can have a listen as you finish this post!

Writing...at insanely random times/when my head feels like it's going to burst if I don't get some thoughts down. I also have several blog posts in the works, just waiting til my little 'ole heart is content enough to click that "publish" button! I've been taking a step back from a few forms of social media and removing that distraction has given me soooo much more time to focus on productive writing and where this hobby of mine is going. It's also given me a lot more time to READ-- books, posts on my favorite blogs, and even the cereal box as I enjoy my daily bowl of Frosted Flakes. #stilladdicted #notevenonPrednisone

Smiling about...to be completely honest, I'm sort of just doing my best to plaster on a smile each day whether it's fake or not. We're abiding by the whole "fake it til ya make it" dealio around here! At least for right now. ;) My blood pressure/sugars have been dropping ridiculously low and it's causing so many strange symptoms. I'm having some tests done Thursday and into next week so we can get a handle on what exactly is going on (this is a new issue since surgery). Until further notice, you'll likely find me looking something like this...

Reading...here's an update as of lately:

     - I finished up a memoir titled Two Kisses for Maddy about a week ago. I found it remarkably touching and really        enjoyed the honest, candid nature of the author. Essentially, his wife passes away the day after giving birth and he      shares his story of what it was like moving 'through' the grief, rather than moving 'on.'

     -I'm currently digging into/working through Night Falls Fast by Kay Redfield Jamison. It's a scientific type memoir       subtitled "Understanding Suicide." After losing an uncle to suicide this past winter and continuing to deal with my         own mental health struggles, it has been an informative, comforting read.

     -Just yesterday, I started ANOTHER book titled Writing as a Way of Healing. Let me just say-- ALL the praise               hands...on every page. I'm writing a book within the book all along the margins-- HA! Mainly jotting down reflective     thoughts! If you enjoy writing, get your hands on a copy pronto! And if you have any book recommendations, share     'em here! :)

Working on...Travel plans for the remainder of the summer...and even into the fall! At the end of July, I'm headed to Arkansas for girls week with one of my best friends, Val. We both have rheumatoid arthritis and other similar conditions. We have been talking via e-mail, text, phone, etc. for over 4 years now but have never actually met. I cannot wait to squeeze her in person!

Praying about...the upcoming school year, social work internship/program acceptance, the service dog process that continues chugging along, friendships, and for our world. May we learn to acknowledge the tragedies happening around us by FEELING instead of BLAMING or seeking revenge. And may those feelings convict us to do what is right and good for the sake of peace and prosperity for all...amen?!

What are your currently's?