Thursday, June 26, 2014

To pass the Time

Since graduation I've been searching for a career job, which is much harder than I anticipated. Between applications and interviews I've been passing my time by tatting. Here are a few pictures of my creations so far: 

What do you think of them?! I just can't do too much at once or my hands are immovable and shaky all the next day:) 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

"Pain is a Gift"

These four words made my world come crashing down around me during Stake Conference, a regional church meeting. The speaker said these words, "pain is a gift," and it shattered my reality. I have constant pain. Pain that makes me incapable of moving somedays and bawling in the fetal position on the other days. In the very least, my pain is the dull aching reminder at the end of the day that I can't ever forget. How is this supposed to be a gift?! 

I understand that the speaker was making a great analogy between pain and the Gospel. It went something like this: leprosy is a disease where the pain nerves die off. So the reason that lepers look diseased or like their skin will fall off is because they can't feel pain to take care of their body. So pain is good to let people know that they need help to take care of their body. So pain of guilt or shame or sorrow in a way is something that is good because it promotes us to seek healing. And preferably the healing will come from the one true balm, our Savior Jesus Christ. 

But my pain never stops. It's hard. And very few, other than Christ, understand. I guess my pain is a gift: A very serious and very real push towards my Savior.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

ABCs of Fibromyalgia

I have been trying to come up with ways to describe what my body is going through to people that just don't get it. One is: I'm always in pain and always tired. Another is: it's like my nerves never stop telling my brain I have pain or that I need sleep. But that doesn't cover very much of what people with Fibromyalgia go through. So here's my ABCs of Fibromyalgia:

A is for the Anxiety that can overcome me when I'm not expecting it

B is for the Bad days

C is for Chronic, you can't escape it no matter how well you're managing it

D is for the Depression, the dark toll that falls sometimes when the going gets pretty tough

E is for Eating healthy to manage my symptoms, less sugar less processed foods and more fruits more veggies more meat, which makes it rough to socialize sometimes cause our culture is so focused on unhealthy eating to facilitate social events

F is for being Forgetful, also known as Fibro Fog, I've forgotten the silliest things sometimes like names of family members or close friends as well as how to tie shoes etc

G is for the Good days

H is for Heat therapy, so relaxing and relieving of pain, electric blankets and rice bags are my good friends during the bad days

I is for how Fibromyalgia seems Invisible to everyone else, I don't like to draw attention to the fact that I'm miserable and I'll push myself through the pain and fatigue

J is for 'Just say no' to activities that cause pain and fatigue, and prioritize so I can do all that's necessary 

K is for those Killer tension headaches, for me, only caffeine can take the edge off of them

L is for that Lazy feeling that creeps in and makes me guilty for not being superwoman

M is for Muscle weakness and pain, sometimes just lifting up a fork to eat is rough. 

N is for what a big Nuisance it is, and how No one truly understands. It'll get in the way of all the fun, ... but then I get to create my own new kind of fun

O is for the Over active nerves, they are always partying!

P is for the Pain that lingers and travels around to different parts of my body

Q is for a Quilt to snuggle up in to try and forget the pain when I can't sleep

R is for Relaxation therapy to help my muscles not ache and be so stiff

S is for the Sensitivity to the cold and temperature changes whether they are drastic changes or not. 

T is for always being Tired but unable to ever feel rested after sleep

U is for being Unproductive and feeling like I'm drowning Underwater, but still doing my best to try and stay afloat

V is for the Vast ways that fibromyalgia can manifest itself in each individual person

W is for Warmth needed for my muscles to relax, warm showers and baths are heaven sent!

X is for (according to several MDs) the eXam and all other medical tests that proved I was the picture of perfect health and all this pain and fatigue was in my head... Ha ha Yeah right! Haha

Y is for the Yellow sunshine that brightens my day when I go for a walk and Yoga to stretch out my stiff muscles 

Z is for my Zany friends and family that make me laugh and smile through it all

Yes, it's hard to deal with but it makes me, me! Sometimes I do have bad days, or on occasion a really bad day. But I try to remember that my good days outweigh the bad days:) and God is with me through it all.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


First off, I was on my mission when the whole hashtags thing became popular. I had never heard about Twitter and such until I returned home from New England. Then I find out it's all the rage and I don't see the point of it and try to ignore the tic-tac-toe board lookin thing on all the social media. I thought I was doing pretty good at this avoidance until the CES (Church Education System) fireside/devotional tonight. 

As I'm sitting on the couch watching sister Linda K Burton on the TV teach about the gospel of Jesus Christ, she instructs all that are in attendance or watching via satellite to post on Twitter! But alas I don't have a twitter account. So I decided that my blog was the next best thing:) 

She asked us all to write how we know we have felt the spirit of God. Here's mine: 

When I feel empowered. My body pulses with energy. I am given strength I know is not my own. My heart feels like it's overflowing with joy and doesn't feel big enough to be contained on my body. My mind becomes clear and focused. I am content. 

Sister Burton explained how feeling and recognizing and discerning the promotings of the Spirit of God is like learning another language. I agree:) but the grammar is a lot easier than English. Here's the link to watch her full devotional it's pretty good:

Monday, February 24, 2014

Nail Polish and Vermont Maple Syrup

This weekend I was asked to choose two items that described me and explain why. It was very spur of the moment and didn't give me much time to think. I chose nail polish and Vermont maple syrup. Now before you think I'm vain and all about food, let me explain why. 

Nail Polish: When growing up I used to bite my nails all the time. Do much so that they would be bloody and scabby very often. My parents had many attempts at getting me to quit. None worked. I'm pretty stubborn:) One day my Grandma held my hands and looked them over, well, more like studied them. She simply states that my hands are beautiful. Then says they'd be more beautiful if I didn't bite my nails. From then on I stopped bitting in my nails. That's what began me painting my nails. In high school everyday was a different color on my nails. 

It's also a symbol of my hands. I can create with my hands. I make lace, cakes, paleo meals, quilts, clothes, language, and fun hair do's with my hands. I can serve and be the hands of God. I try to do the best I can and be someone that God can use for good:)

Vermont Maple Syrup: A wonderful discovery made while on my mission in the New Hampshire Manchester mission. It's real! I will never eat the knockoff nasty wanna-be syrup again. So naturally I have spent the necessary money to supplement my cravings and buy Vermont Maple Syrup now that I'm no longer in the New England area. 

It has become a symbol of my missionary service and sacrifice I have made for a year and a half. All the sweet memories I made during that time are very precious to me and worth so much!

The way that maple syrup is harvested is a great metaphor for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and gaining a testimony. The syrup is produced after extremely cold temperature differences that freeze and thaw everyday. Life is up and down all the time with trials and times of peace. When the sap is collected it is boiled down, over a refiners fire. Just like that we are refined and the excess unneeded junk is evaporated away and we are left with the sweetest syrup. We become our best selves with the help of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

That is why nail polish and Vermont maple syrup are a pretty good description of me:)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Latest Escapades

It starts Friday, Valentines Day, the day of love and couples. I'm not a part of a couple, but a boy did ask me to spend that night with him by making dinner and watching a movie. It was fun, but not how I had imagined it going. I didn't get home until about 1:30am. By then my body ached and my mind was incredibly foggy. 

Saturday I didn't wake up until 1:00pm. I was stiff and achy, only stayed awake for about 3 hours. Soon I was asleep again until a dear friend came over asking me to go to a movie with him, right then! Do you know how hard it is to get moving after sleeping?! Do you know how much effort it takes to put on jeans and brush my teeth?! It really shouldn't be such a big deal, but it is. After a burst of action to get ready I collapsed into the passenger seat of his car to drive to the movie theatre. 

After the movie I could feel my body crashing. But I ignored it and afterwards ate a waffle infused with sugar. Such a bad move on my part! 

Sunday morning was difficult to get out of bed for church. I practically went through church with my eyes closed and just going through the motions like a zombie. I probably should have stayed home. BUT I really wanted to take the Sacrament, others call it Communion, to renew my covenants, or promises, I had made with God. I needed it:/ And another reason I wanted to go is I might be able to talk to a boy I like. So I went anyways. 

I had been over exerting myself for days and on Monday I took it as easy as I could. But that didn't help cause on Tuesday it all came crashing down on me anyways. I was in a review session. I had such intense pain I became nauseas and my body began going numb. My body started tingling and shaking. I knew what was coming. I got out of that room with all the people cause I didn't want to make a scene. In the bathroom I fainted. When I was able to come around to be able to stand and walk on my own, I went back to find an empty review room. I grabbed my things and began the long walk home. 

So maybe it wasn't that epic. But it was an adventure! Thanks to the best if friends I didn't have to take the entire walk home. They picked me up half way:)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Curse of Sugar

I love sugar. But it hates me. I am lured in to the sweet smell, the delicious taste, the yearning for more and more. I can't just have one price of cheesecake or one homemade chocolate brownie fudge cookie. I need at least 5 because they are sooooo good tasting! 

Then I'm trapped with the sugary curse. I am weakened and become pained in every muscle. It hurts to move. My stomach revolts. My body aches and my eyelids can't stay open. I'm literally sleeping as I walk every painful step to and from campus. 

So, I try my best to stay away from the manufactured candy. No more Milky Ways. No more Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. :( Then I realized that I probably should stay away from the home baked sweets. No more brownies. No more cookies. Then after this drastic action not completely taking the symptoms away, I realized that in processed flours there are sugars. So then I began taking out all white and or processed flours. I was doing pretty good for quite some time:) well... Like three weeks. Then I decided to eat pizza. I only had two slices. Those slices hit me hard. I am drained. I can't stop yawning!! 

Was the pizza last night worth it? Probably not. 

Do I need to have more self discipline? Yes, yes I do. 

The good side to all this is that I can still have natural sugars. I can eat honey and real maple syrup, which are delicious! So I am coming up with great new recipes and trying to find substitutes that work for my old favorite recipes!! It's actually pretty fun!! I feel like a scientist in the kitchen. And have begun receiving the nickname of the 'sweet health nut' from my roomies:)