Rolling With The Punches

Chronic illness paients are a unique kind of creature that many people don’t talk about or understand.

We condition ourselves to roll with the punches. No matter how brutal things get, we keep rolling. Our life depends on it.



Our eyes see the unfathomable, sights that would keep a healthy person awake at night. And yet we roll.

We try to not take things in life too seriously. We know how delicate and brief it truly is. We are reminded of this every day, so we keep rolling.

We face frequent doctor visits, medical tests, treatments, and hospital stays. We hold out our arms, knowing pain is coming, but also subconsciously knowing it’s necessary in order to help us. And yet, we keep getting back up and continue rolling.

We are resilient, but at the same time, it’s a heavy burden. Our hearts feel things differently from those who are protected from this type of consistent and repeated adversity. We cope, perhaps too well. We don’t crumble under life’s pressures. We embrace them and keep rolling with the punches. 

Sometimes we appear cold and emotionally unavailable. We can be seen as unapproachable. We come off as bossy because we have to advocate for our own health and safety.

You will never see the world through our eyes. If we love you, we wouldn’t want you to. We do our damndest to protect you from it. We tend to downplay our situation. Sometimes you won’t even know we’re in the midst of a Category 5 medical hurricane. We walk from hell to healing knowing we still have a long way to go. But we keep rolling without batting an eye.

Please be patient and kind with us. You never know what battlefield we’re walking through. But what you will see is us rolling with the punches. Always.

Moving Through the Pain

Hello! How are ya now? Good and you? For those of you who regularly follow my blog, you may have noticed my nearly 3 month hiatus. There’s a lot to catch you up on, so let’s get crack a lackin’!

Back in February I had surgery on both eyes due to cataracts that formed as a result of the high doses of prednisone I have been on. Just another reason to hate this GD prednisone! I swear. πŸ™„ My cataracts formed in the center of my eyes and grew very rapidly, affecting my entire field of vision. The surgeries went off without a hitch, but I was left with such blurry vision afterwards that I couldn’t read, drive, or use the computer. So that meant no blogging until I could get glasses. I had to wait 6 weeks to get my glasses prescription because my eyes had to fully heal from the surgeries. Once I got my glasses, it took me a few more weeks to get adjusted to seeing through them since they’re trifocals.

Right after I got my glasses, my grandmother’s health declined to the point where the family decided it was time for hospice to come in and help make her as comfortable as possible. She passed one week later on April 27th. She was the one blood relative that I had the closest relationship with. It broke my heart not being able to visit with her over the last couple of years due to my poor health. We would talk on the phone whenever we could during this time, but it wasn’t the same. I was now struggling with figuring out if I could attend Mommom’s funeral and pay respect to her without jeopardizing my health and safety. After talking with my doctors, they gave me permission to travel the 3 hours in each direction so I could attend her funeral as long as I took the precautions they strongly recommended.

The discomfort and awkwardness people often feel towards grief has given rise to many platitudes. Personally, I don’t like it when people tell me, “Everything happens for a reason” or ‘It’s God’s will.” While I believe the person has good intentions, I don’t believe that time heals all things and that everything always ends up being fine. While I am learning to bear the weight of my grief of losing Mommom, I will never “get over it.”

Words don’t seem sufficient enough to express how much I I love and miss Mommom. She was the epitome of a strong, feisty, and graceful woman. Our bond is so special and it means so much to me that she and G have such a wonderful relationship too. She didn’t allow many people to cook in her kitchen, but she allowed him because he can “pick a bird clean” and “mash potatoes right.” I will always remember her unconditional love, her smile, our Yahtzee games, and family dinners at her house.

My brother, Mommom, Poppop, and me (1985)
Me in my wedding dress with Mommom (2004)

Less than a week after Mommom’s funeral I suffered an anaphylactic reaction. On G’s birthday of all freakin’ days. πŸ˜’ Less than an hour after arrival to the hospital, I was intubated and placed on the ventilator. This time was scarier than previous times because G wasn’t allowed inside the hospital with me due to COVID restrictions. Plus, during the intubation I was paralyzed but aware of the breathing tube going down my throat. AGAIN. This same thing happened to me in 2019. I was trying my damnedest to move any body part to alert the doctors but no success. Two days later I awoke in the ICU gagging on the tube in my throat. I wanted that somebitch OUT! The sedation had been turned off in order to test if I could breathe on my own, but I kept failing that test. The doctors just left me gagging on the tube for hours with no sedation. I kept writing on the dry erase board they gave me how pissed off I was with them and that I wanted the tube out. Several hours later, I finally passed the breathing test and the tube was removed.

At this point I wanted to contact G and let him know what’s going on but I couldn’t find my cell phone. It wasn’t in my hospital room. I also realized that my backpack with my medical supplies, shoes, and clothes were missing too. I told my nurse and doctors about all of my missing items and I was given the bullshit response of “sometimes these things happen.” No assholes. 🀬 I was knocked out in the Emergency room without being given the opportunity to secure my belongings. You didn’t allow my husband inside to secure my belongings either. So what the fuck did you do with my shit? At this point I am LIVID. I want to leave. I didn’t feel safe there. Not just because of my missing stuff. But also because they hadn’t given me any of my daily medications since I had been in the hospital, they blew my veins all to hell trying to get IV access and blood gas labs, and the traumatic events of being paralyzed during the intubation and gagging on the breathing tube for hours without sedation. I insisted on leaving and coming home where I could better manage my health care. Multiple doctors tried to convince me to stay but I refused out of concern for my own safety. I told the doctors that I would need an EpiPen to leave the hospital since my missing backpack contained my EpiPen. I was told they would have the pharmacy fill an EpiPen for me so I had to wait for that before I could go home.

My right arm one week after multiple IV lines and lab draws
My left arm one week after multiple IV lines and lab draws

As G is nearly to the hospital to pick me up, the doctor comes in to my room and asks me to have my husband bring an EpiPen from home because she claimed their pharmacy wouldn’t dispense an EpiPen for me. Now I was out of fucks with these people. Hell I was fuck bankrupt at that point. So I had to call G and ask him to turn around and go home to get an EpiPen for me so I could leave this hell hole. An hour later, G arrives with an EpiPen to take me home-with no cell phone, shoes, backpack with medical supplies, or clothes I wore to the hospital. G had been in contact with security about my missing items but no one had been able to locate any of them by the time I left the hospital. A few days later (after several phone calls, emails, and a social media posting) ALL of my missing items were found and returned to me. Thankfully I have been slowly recovering and improving since I left the hospital with my home breathing treatments and medications.

So there’s the 411 on what’s been going on in my neck of the woods these last few months. Now that I can see with my glasses and I am moving through the pain of losing Mommom and my hospitalization, I am looking forward to blogging again. I hope that you will join along for more delicate and brutal tidbits! πŸ˜ƒ

Rare Disease Day

Many of you know that I live with 2 rare conditions: Hereditary angioedema and Mast cell disease. They aren’t pretty and they aren’t flattering. But they are real.

I haven’t wanted to take or show many pictures of myself because of how different I look. I don’t recognize myself and sometimes I feel embarrassed by my appearance. I was afraid of being judged by others the way I have been judging myself.

But since today is Rare Disease Day and it’s about spreading awareness, I am sharing some unpretty, unflattering, but real pictures of me living with these conditions.

Hereditary angioedema of my tongue
Hereditary angioedema of my belly
Treatment I have to inject myself any time I have swelling
Intubated/on the ventilator in November 2019 due to throat swelling
Swollen face and cataracts from prednisone. This was right after cataract surgery earlier this month.

Self-Care Is Not Selfish

There are a lot of things causing anxiety these days. We live in a complex and stressful world full of uncertainty right now. Will the COVID-19 vaccines provide the immunity needed to help us? Will there be more senseless violence at the Presidential inauguration this week? Our teachers and students are stressed as they navigate the constant changes and challenges of online education. Our healthcare workers (both front line and behind the scenes) are pulled and stretched in every direction trying to help patients. Many people are struggling financially. We’re constantly plugged in to technology and yet are more disconnected from each other than ever before.

So how do we help ourselves ride the inevitable storms that come our way? How do we handle daily chaos without feeling overwhelmed? We all know that we should make our health and well-being a priority. But we seem to make excuses as to why we don’t take care of ourselves. So what’s the problem? Lack of money, lack of time, lack of resources, lack of awareness, lack of motivation. We may feel disheartened to β€œfix” our life because we think there are too many problems to tackle. But we don’t have to completely overhaul our lifestyle in one month, or even one year, to make a difference. We just have to take one step forward right now.

Practicing self-care provides stress management techniques to help us cope with life’s challenges. If you have been following my blog you know that I live with several chronic illnesses. Managing my medical conditions can be quite stressful, especially when I am hospitalized. I recently spent a week in the hospital over the new year due to a severe asthma flare. It sucked ass. None of the hospital doctors could reach my asthma doctor or anyone on her team for treatment recommendations. I had to call every time I needed to go to the bathroom because I was hooked up to the heart monitor and my bed alarm was turned on to prevent me from getting out of bed unattended. I had to call for my insulin with every meal. I had to call for the respiratory therapist even though I had breathing treatments scheduled at regular intervals. I was stressed out because I felt like I had lost my freedom and I thought I could do a better job managing my care at home.

On top of all that, the hospital team wanted to shove a camera down my throat to look at my vocal cords because my voice was intermittently hoarse. I have had this done a few times with my ear, nose, and throat doctor to monitor the size of a large polyp. It always causes swelling in my tongue and throat afterwards due to my hereditary angioedema which requires treatment. I refused to do this scope while I was in the hospital since I just had one done 3 weeks before and the hospital didn’t stock the medication needed to treat my hereditary angioedema. We already knew that my vocal cords don’t close all the way because they have become very thin as a result of all the prednisone I have been on. This gap in my vocal cords is why my voice is intermittently hoarse. SIX different doctors kept pushing me to consent to the scope. I felt bullied but I stood my ground. I was pissed that these doctors wouldn’t listen to me and understand that there was no benefit to shoving a camera down my throat when we already had an explanation for my hoarseness.

So what do I do to calm the fuck down when I feel like a hostage held in the hospital? How can I practice self-care while hospitalized where I have limited resources? I do deep breathing exercises, look at pictures and videos of my kitties on my phone, watch TV shows that make me laugh, and look up corny jokes online. Here’s my favorite joke right now: Is buttcheeks one word? Or should I spread them apart? πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ‘

Now that I am managing my health at home again, my self-care activities have expanded. I enjoy watching our cats run around the house like wildebeests, listening to my favorite music, pigging out on comfort food, tending to our plants and orchids, and taking long hot showers. There’s nothing more refreshing than washing the hospital stank off!

It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. Don’t put off self-care for later because later will never come. We have to make time now for what’s important and self-care should be a priority. It can help you transition from simply existing to living and experiencing everything this world has to offer. Which would you rather be doing? 

My 2020 In Photos

2020 is now behind us and I think everyone is happy to celebrate that while looking forward to 2021 with hope. As fucked up as 2020 was for so many people, I appreciate the moments of beauty and joy from last year. So here are 20 delicate and brutal photos of my 2020 to share with all of you.

I love summertime! The colors are vibrant, the pools are refreshing, and the fruit is juicy. πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ‰ Plus our blooming hydrangeas are my favorite if you can’t tell! πŸ˜πŸ€—

Our backyard pool with impatients. I just love the colors of summer!

Next up are our orchids. I love these as much as our hydrangeas! Growing them has taught me a lot of patience and to appreciate the beauty in things.

My health continued to be a roller coaster throughout 2020 with several hospitalizations for severe allergic reactions and asthma flares. My body has continued to change and swell from all the prednisone.

My last time on the ventilator was March 2020. So thankful that I haven’t had to be intubated since then.
On hi flow humidified oxygen after a severe allergic reaction
Hospitalized again for a severe asthma flare 10 days after allergic reaction
Currently still in the hospital for another severe asthma flare. On continuous breathing treatments to try to open my airways. Very swollen from all the prednisone.

One of the highlights of 2020 for G and I was adopting 3 kitties from our local animal shelter. Tilly, Savina (AKA Veenie Beanie), and Poovey are frisky, curious, and sweet cats who bring us their toys, zoom around the house, and love to cuddle.

Tilly loves to play hide and seek πŸ˜€
Poovey
Savina (AKA Veenie Beanie)
Savina wants to help G ice cupcakes πŸ˜„
Tilly posing on her new Christmas toy
Poovey was overly excited from the catnip in her new Christmas toy 🀣

Who doesn’t love a nice fat Christmas tree? Is this the biggest thing you’ve ever seen?! 🎢 I like ’em round and big 🎢🎀

Our 2020 Christmas tree πŸŽ„

Well that’s a wrap! Au revoir 2020! Here’s to a healthier 2021 with just as much beauty, joy, juicy slurpable fruit, and kitty friskiness. πŸ’•πŸ˜€πŸ‘πŸ˜Ί

Blogger Recognition Award

I am so humbled and honored to be nominated by the lovely Brittany from mindbeautysimplicity for this Blogger Recognition Award. Brittany is an amazing blogger om minimalism and is currently participating in Blogmas. Her post Blogmas Day 2: Minimalism Holiday Gift Guide combines the two topics to provide some wonderful tips this holiday season. I am grateful for the opportunity to answer Brittany’s questions and share a little bit more about myself with the blogging world. If you are new to my blog and would like to know more about my delicate and brutal face, click here. πŸ˜€

The Rules:

Thank the blogger that nominated you & provide a link to their site.

Do a blog post about this award.

Give a brief summary about how you started your blog.

Give two pieces of advice for any new blogger.

How I Started My Blog:

I started my blog in March 2020 after a lot of encouragement from my husband and friends. I have been told most of my adult life that my life stories and experiences could fill a book! After my life took an unexpected turn due to several life altering medical conditions, I finally decided to start this blog as a creative outlet for sharing my personal and medical experiences with all of you. If you would like to read about my medical conditions, click here.

Two Pieces of Advice I Would Give New Bloggers:

1. Just try! There’s no right or wrong way to blog. You will surprise yourself if you just start somewhere and see where it takes you. Write about whatever feels right or what you know.

2. Don’t aim for perfection. Just do your best and that is good enough! You will stress yourself out and get discouraged if you try to perfect every detail of your blog.

Mindbeautysimplicity’s Questions:


What has been one of your most proudest moments in your blogging journey? Actually starting it! It took me a while to decide to start my blog because I kept telling myself “Who gives a shit about what I have to say?” But I am so glad that I took the plunge because I have received a lot of positive feedback and simultaneously gained a wonderful support community. πŸ˜€

What has been something you have had to overcome / learn in the blogging world? Trying to learn about tags has been a challenge for me. Figuring out how many to use, using them effectively, or categorizing them is something that I still am trying to learn.

What’s something that helps you keep going during these pandemic times? I look forward to traveling again one day. The next trip G and I would love to take is to Iceland. I want to swim in the Blue Lagoon, see puffins and whales, and walk on black sand beaches.. I want to explore the waterfalls and volcanoes, see the Midnight Sun, hike across a glacier, and explore the caves. I am hoping my health improves enough and coronavirus travel restrictions are lifted to make a vacation possible. πŸ™‚

What’s your favorite form of self care? A massage! 😊😍 When I can’t get a massage from my favorite massage therapist, I enjoy a long hot shower, eating comfort food, or taking a nap with my kitties.

What is one misconception people have about you? There are people who feel that I have this hard exterior shell that is difficult to break through in order to get to know me. But I am an open book unless you are disrespectful to me or cross a boundry. Then I distance myself from you because I don’t tolerate that shit.

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be? Be more patient. Lordy I would get so impatient about EVERY. DAMN. THING. The drive thru line not moving fast enough? Come the fuck on people! My package hasn’t arrived in the mail yet? Jesus where’s my stuff?! My friend said they’ll pick me up at 5pm. It’s 5:05pm. I was ready on time. Why on earth aren’t you here yet? I had zero patience and would get frustrated so easily when things didn’t go as I expected. Now I know it’s not worth getting my panties in a bunch over the small stuff.

Instead of selecting a few bloggers to nominate for this award, I am going to leave this as an open invitation to anyone who would like to share why they started their blog and any advice they would like to share with both new and experienced bloggers. So please feel free to post your story and blogging advice in the comments section or create your own post and I will be happy to read it. πŸ˜€ Below are a few of my favorite bloggers I follow. So if you are not familiar with them, please check them out and show them some love!

growingwithspawn

crispyconfessions

zoewiezoe

xocupofjo

markusandmicah

olivialucieblake

chasingthemaximumlife

giganticthoughtbubble

bluntpathway

cowhouses

blogwithshreya

smallmomentsofwonder

Oh It’s Real Yar Shug

I am not always graceful or dignified. Especially when it comes to handling my body or my medical conditions. Despite being grateful for many things over the last few years, I have never actually thanked my body. In fact I blame it. I have had to grow accustomed to living through pain and discomfort daily or I would never get out of bed each morning.

The last 6 weeks have been a rough time for me medically. After two inpatient hospital admissions my asthma continued to flare at home. I was taking crazy high doses of prednisone and doing breathing treatments at home every 2-3 hours hoping to keep me out of the hospital for a third time. During this time my blood sugars spiked to the point where we had to start me on daily 24 hour insulin. That sucks balls but breathing is more important than sticking myself with a needle daily. Besides, I’m already used to self-administering my IV treatment for my hereditary angioedema so an insulin needle is nothing!

Despite the mega prednisone dose and frequent nebulizer treatments, my breathing kept worsening to the point where I would get so out of breath just walking upstairs or going to the bathroom. I would have to sit down afterwards for several minutes and catch my breath. I couldn’t talk in complete sentences. I started coughing up thick grey and green shit too.

Finding the balance of when it’s time to go to the hospital versus continuing home treatment is not a clear cut decision for me. We have to weigh the risks of exposure to mercaptobenzothiazole, catching some nasty infection from being immunocompromised, or exposure to coronavirus over the potential benefits of treatment the hospital can provide me that I don’t have access to at home like IV magnesium and nebulized epinephrine to open up my airways.

We finally made the decision to go to the hospital for treatment after my doctors told me “You’re playing with fire Amy!” Due to coronavirus restrictions, NO ONE (not even your spouse or family members) is allowed inside the emergency room or hospital with you. I waited 3.5 hours in the emergency room waiting room for a treatment bed despite my breathing status because the hospitals are that overloaded. And I was the priority patient in the waiting room due for the next bed! By the time I was called for a room, the nurse had to assist me and call for help because I had so little air movement in my lungs. I was immediately given nebulized epinephrine, multiple albuterol treatments, IV magnesium, and IV steroids to open my airways. They continued double albuterol treatments every 2 hours and told me I was being admitted to the intermediate care unit just below ICU.

Due to the higher level care room I required, I remained boarded in the emergency room for the next 30 hours because so few of those rooms are available compared to a regular room. I got virtually no sleep and was receiving nebulizer treatments every 2 hours plus IV steroids every 6 hours. I don’t know how anyone could sleep on a stretcher with no pillow anyway.

Over the next few days my breathing began to make slow steady progress. But the high doses of IV steroids made my blood sugars even higher. Now we had to start administering insulin after every meal in addition to the 24 hour insulin I was given each night after dinner. My arm looked like a pin cushion! πŸ˜„

As a patient in the hospital they also give you daily shots in the belly to help prevent blood clots. These fuckers sting like hell and often bruise me. The first shot left such a nasty bruise that it looks like a birth mark! The following day it ended up bleeding through my gown so we had to bandage it up for a little while.

Bleeding bruise after shot for preventing blood clots

My doctors originally told me to plan on being in the hospital for one week which I wasn’t thrilled about. But since this was my third admission in 6 weeks I also didn’t want to be discharged too early again only to end up back a fourth time. The hospitals are overloaded with patients and COVID pop up units are occurring all over the hospitals due to the rising numbers of positive patients. This is spreading all of the healthcare workers thin and negatively impacting patient care. My hospital stay was extended by a few additional days because healthcare workers missed scheduled breathing treatments for me multiple times. This caused huge setbacks in my breathing so we had to spend three days in a row rapidly increasing medications and nebulizer treatments to get my respiratory symptoms stable. After a 10 day hospital admission we finally got my breathing stable enough for me to safely come home.

There is no cure or treatment end date I am working towards. My conditions are a permanent part of me. As much as I hate to admit it, they control so much, including my appearance. The pregnant looking belly, swollen distorted face, buffalo humps on my neck and shoulders, the sideburns, my hair thinning and falling out, and bruises everywhere. I certainly do not meet society’s conventional standard of beauty. There’s sort of a pirate quality to my appearance. Oh it’s real “Yar” shug!

Swollen from high dose prednisone

While I know that I don’t always appreciate my body, I am realizing how much I actually ask of it. I push it every day in spite of my diseases and it still continues to recover. So far, no matter what obstacles it faces or appearance changes it goes through, my body continues to allow me to see another day. So today, I am grateful for this new perspective, for the deep breaths I can now take, and for the reminder of what a blessing it is to be alive.

Gratitude From A to Z

It’s that time of year where comfort food is king and “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” is playing on the television. People tend to reflect on the past year and express gratitude as they come together with loved ones. But this year will look different around the world as we enter the next wave of this coronavirus pandemic.

About a month ago I read a blog post by Soni from Soni’s thoughts where she listed her favorite things from A-Z. Click here to read her post “My A-Z Fav Things!!!” It inspired me to do a similar post on things I am grateful for since Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

A= Air conditioning Cuz hot humid Maryland weather and hot flashes from the prednisone and hysterectomy make me sweat like nobody’s business and that’s just gross.

B= Blogging community The support and encouragement from bloggers I have met around the world gives me warm fuzzies πŸ€—πŸ’•

C= Charmin ultra soft toilet paper No other toilet paper will do. Period.

D= Delivery people 🎢 They work hard for the money. So hard for it honey. They work hard for the money so you better treat them right! 🎢 Seriously, they’re a lifesaver to me delivering my medical supplies, household items, and clothing to my house so I can remain safe at home.

E=Epipen Why thank you EpiPen for always saving my life during an anaphylactic reaction!

F=Face masks Protecting us from coronavirus, flu, and other illnesses

G= Glenn G has stood by my side throughout out our 16+ years of marriage. We have tested the “in sickness and in health” part of our vows more often than I’d like and I am grateful that he still chooses me as his wife every day.

Classic G and A shenanigans πŸ˜„

H= Home Grateful that not only do I have a roof over my head, but that it’s a home safe for me and free from all of my allergies

I= Insurance Not everyone has access to medical or dental insurance. I am EXTREMELY fortunate to have excellent medical and dental insurance coverage.

J= Jackets Protect me from mother nature’s wrath of rain, cold, wind, or snow

K= Kitty love

L= Laboratory scientists Without them your doctor is just guessing at your diagnosis

M= Memories Traveling, going to grandma’s house, all the good shit

N= Nebulizer You help me breathe

O= Orchids Instant smile watching my orchids grow

P=  Pen & paper I like having a backup when technology fails. It has also come in handy when I needed to communicate while on the ventilator and couldn’t speak. I’m not gonna let a tube down my throat stop me from cussing out someone who needs it!

Q= Quiet Who isn’t thankful for quiet time? Besides a youngin.

R= Respiratory Therapists These people bust their hump to help my breathing every time I am at the hospital. They have done everything from nebulizer treatments to assisting with intubating and extubating me. I have really bonded with a few of them over the last couple of years.

S= Showers There is nothing like that first steamy hot shower to clean your ass after being in the hospital or traveling.

T=Teeth I have strong healthy teeth that can chew my food. And food is VERY important to me 😁 Not everyone is fortunate enough to have good teeth.

U= Underwear Specifically clean underwear. No dirty drawers up in here please.

V= Veterinarians They take care of my kitties at all stages of their lives and tell me how adorable they are πŸ˜ƒ

Tilly
Savina
Poovey

W= Water I drink it, swim in it, bathe in it, pee and poo in it, wash my clothes and dishes with it, and cook with it. We can’t live without it.

X= Xyzal It’s an antihistamine I take to help control my allergies.

Y=  You! If you are reading this post then you are a part of my life and I am grateful for that!

Z= Zippers They keep our clothes closed so we don’t expose ourselves and flash people.

So what are some things you are grateful for? Share with me your serious, silly, or sentimental thoughts in the comments below!

The Face Behind Delicate and Brutal

Ahoy my fellow readers! I was recently invited by the lovely blogger Shelly from growingwithspawn to join her in “The face behind the blog tag.” If you don’t know Shelly, she’s a working mom who lovingly calls her daughter “Spawn” and her blog posts are always inspiring and positive. 😊 I am so happy that blogging has connected us together from different parts of the world! Please check out and follow her blog here. Without further ado, I share with you my Delicate and brutal face.

Who am I? My name is Amy and I live on the east coast of the United States in the state of Maryland. I grew up in a rural part of this state but moved to a city suburb for college where I have lived ever since. I have been married to G for over 16 years and we both have a wicked sense of humor! I am a combination of feisty, resilient, cheeky, colorful, and raw honesty. I love cats, chocolate, orchids, hydrangeas, hot showers, and F bombs!

What’s a perfect day? Depends on the season. A perfect spring day for me is walking around local gardens and parks seeing the azaleas in bloom with the sunshine on my face. 🌞 My perfect summer day is spent reading a book by the pool or on the beach with an adult beverage in hand. 🍹 A perfect fall day is driving around with the sunroof open in my truck to look at the brilliant color changes of the leaves on trees while feeling the wind in my hair. 🍁 A perfect winter day for me is watching the snow fall outside, nestled under a heated blanket with a kitty cat on my lap, and drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows from my cupcake “poot” mug.β˜•πŸ±

What do I do? Once I became too sick to work, I struggled for a while to find the answer to this question. I always defined this answer by my job as a medical technologist in a hospital blood bank. I would test people’s blood types then find and prepare compatible blood products for patients who required blood transfusions. Most often this included trauma patients, cancer patients, and babies in the neonatal intensive care unit. But since I can no longer work due to my life threatening allergy, severe asthma, and hereditary angioedema, I have had to redefine my answer to “What do you do?” Nowadays I am learning French to try to become fluent, I blog, and I have started getting into baking cookies. πŸ˜‹πŸͺ But mostly my days revolve around managing my medical conditions with the hope of staying out of the hospital as much as possible. Some days it’s a struggle and some days it’s a little easier. There is no end date of treatment I am working towards. My conditions don’t define me but they are a part of me. As much as I don’t like it, they do control many parts of my life, including my appearance.

This is G and I in Summer 2017 before I became too sick to work
This is G and I in Summer 2019 (a few months into daily high dose steroid treatments for my medical conditions)
This is a current picture of me (over a year into daily high dose steroid treatments for my medical conditions)

Why do I blog? Throughout my adulthood I have been told that I should write about my life stories. After much encouragement from others, I decided to start a blog as a platform to share the events of my life in my own unique voice. So if you’re curious about me, my health and personal experiences, or just want some humor sprinkled into your day, read on my friends! 😎

Tag You’re It!

This tag is an open invitation! πŸ˜ƒ I love reading other blogger’s posts and getting to know more about them. Feel free to use the questions above or make up your own. I invite anyone who wants to join in to share pieces of their story with me. πŸ™‚πŸ’•

Laughter is the Best Medicine Unless You Have Diarrhea

The last few weeks have been like a ride on a Tilt-A-Whirl. It’s been a series of fast paced, unpredictable, and disorienting experiences. After my hospital stay a few weeks ago for an anaphylactic reaction, my breathing worsened at home after discharge. It got to the point where I was admitted back into the hospital 10 days later. After several days of IV medications and breathing treatments every 2 hours, I was discharged home again. Woot woot! Unfortunately I couldn’t get jiggy with it because the discharge meds weren’t strong enough to keep my breathing under control. So my doctor tripled my prednisone dose with the hope of keeping me out of the hospital. It’s not my favorite plan, but I am grateful that so far this plan seems to be working. But damn, I could do without the insomnia, munchies, and higher blood sugars. Now it’s to the point where I require insulin daily. Mais c’est la vie!

Swollen from all the IV steroids πŸ˜‘

While in the hospital there isn’t much to do other than stare at the emptiness of those four white walls or watch television. No visitors are allowed to see me due to my compromised immune system from the high doses of prednisone. The medical team knows I am terrible when it comes to bedrest so they turned on my hospital bed alarm and connected me to the heart monitor on the wall. I couldn’t even get up to pee without calling someone. I hate feeling robbed of my independence and being forced to stay on bedrest goes against every fiber of my being. Although the downtime allows my mind to run like a free spirit from one odd topic to the next. And the results always amuse me because I am weird, nerdy, and slightly naughty. 😁 At least I can still laugh at myself! Because laughter is the best medicine…unless you have diarrhea. πŸ’©πŸ€ͺ So here’s a smattering of what ran through my mind and I hope it tickles your funny bone. πŸ˜€

“The finger” Why is it the middle finger? What makes this particular finger so insulting? I think it’s a perfectly good finger. It’s a fine finger. It’s well protected by fingers on each side. It’s easy to show other people. If your middle finger is anything like mine, it’s the tallest captain of them all! When and why did it obtain such a bad reputation?

“Ride a motorcycle” Why do you hear that people drive cars and trucks but ride motorcycles even if they are operating the motorcycle? Does anyone drive a motorcycle or do they all ride? I have heard the motto “Live to ride, Ride to Live” within the motorcycle community, but I have not really heard people say they drive a motorcycle. If you are operating something with an engine aren’t you driving it? A driver’s license (although a different class from operating a car) is required to operate a motorcycle. The semantics of this topic puzzle me.

“Geography endings” When we say people or material goods are from a certain country or continent, why are some locations ending in “an” and others are not? For example:

  • American= from America (USA)
  • Italian= from Italy
  • Costa Rican= from Costa Rica
  • Brazilian= from Brazil
  • Canadian= from Canada
  • Australian= from Australia
  • Nigerian= from Nigeria
  • Indian= from India
  • Norwegian= from Norway
  • Russian= from Russia
  • Korean= from Korea
  • Ethiopian= from Ethiopia

This “an” ending doesn’t seem to be isolated to any particular continent of the world. North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia all have several countries with this same ending. But Europe, Africa, and Asia seem to be continents with several countries of various endings NOT including “an.” For example:

  • Swiss= from Switzerland
  • Finnish= from Finland
  • French= from France
  • Dutch= from The Netherlands
  • Congolese= from The Congo
  • Filipino= from The Philippines
  • Pakistani= from Pakistan
  • German= from Germany
  • Chinese= from China
  • Swedish= from Sweden
  • Sudanese= from Sudan
  • Turkish= from Turkey

How was it determined which countries get which endings? Is it just an English language thing? Or is this seen in other languages too? I gotta let that one marinate.

“Big ass numbers” Kajillion: how much is it? Is it different than a bazillion? Is it larger or smaller? What about a bajillion? I assume they all exceed a trillion-if they are real numbers. Is there an actual numeric value tied to these words? Or are kajillion, bajillion, and bazillion just made up words for big ass numbers?

“Dinner party” What exactly is a dinner party? Isn’t it just a bunch of people eating a shit ton of food? Not that there’s anything wrong with that. What exactly is the party part of a dinner party? Do people play games at a dinner party? Are there party favors handed out at the end of the night like at a birthday party? Why not just say “Come over for dinner” instead of qualifying it as a dinner party? Don’t we all just want to sit around stuffing our faces like gluttonous pieces of shit instead of being forced to mingle? Who has the energy to party down when you have a food baby or are in a food induced coma?

“Car floor mats” Why on earth are there carpet floor mats in vehicles? They’re impossible to keep clean or looking good! Shoes track so much disgusting crap from the outside to the inside of the car. It’s impossible to thoroughly vacuum those cheap ass mats too. Kids and pets constantly drop and spill stuff on the floors. The fast food employee didn’t secure the lid on your beverage so on your first sip it spills all over yourself and the floor. πŸ™„ Great! Now you’ve ruined your outfit and your carpet floor mats. And it’s not even good quality carpet. Why don’t mats that you can wipe or hose down easily just come as a standard purchase with vehicles?

“Words that tickle my pickle”

  • Tenderloin
  • Poot
  • Kumquat
  • Weenie
  • Deep doodoo
  • Hoochie

What words or phrases make you chuckle? Please feel free to share whatever floats your goat in the comments section! We can all benefit from a toothy grin every now and then! 😁