Archive for December, 2013

2013 & My Hopes for 2014 ~Venus

Hello everyone! This year has been interesting. I wouldn’t say overall it hasn’t been a bad year. I definitely learned a lot of myself. I learned more about my weaknesses and worked on trying to overcome them. I had to face my issues and that was really hard. However, it was very much needed so I could move forward.

One of the powerful lessons that I had to learn that things will happen when they are supposed to regarding a relationship. I was anxious to be in a relationship again (I don’t have no real prospects lol) but I realized that I will be in one when the time is right and w/ the right person. I realized that timing is everything(read Ecclesiastes 3). Things will happen whenever they are supposed to happen.   I have to work on myself and be healed (whole) before even considering being with someone else. Yes, it would feel good to be w/ someone but if you’re not healed you will end up causing more damage to yourself and the person you’re with. You’ve heard the saying hurt people, hurt people. I heard someone say that that two hurt people can’t heal each other. I agree with that. I also had to make God a priority and spend more time w/ him.

I also learned that I allowed one life event (failing my internship in college my senior year) paralyze me to the point, I kind of gave up on life. When I say give up, I don’t mean as in wanting to commit suicide but I stopped living and caused that event to make me not want to try when it came to a career. I lost the confidence in myself. I’m working on building myself up even though it’s hard sometimes when I hear the negative voices in my head telling I can’t do something.

I hope in 2014 that I’ll be open to give love and receive it. Maybe I’ll be in relationship, who knows! I’m not in a hurry to be in one though. I want to give new people a chance. I admit that when it comes to meeting new people or getting to know people, I’m hesitant. I prefer sticking to people I know. lol! I have to remember that everyone I know were new to me at one point. I also want to take more risks  (dealing w/ opportunities) even though they may be scary. I want to conquer fear! I want to build up my faith. I would like to have a program that my assistant and I been working on up and running. I really want a new change of scenery as in a new job. We shall see what 2014 has in store! HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!! God bless!

~Venus

I just wanted to share this video, it touched me.

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Wrapping Up December ~ Venus

Hello everyone! So this month wasn’t really exciting…Lol! My last day of work was Dec. 13th.  I went to my job’s Christmas party and that was cool. I invited my mom to the party. I was mad I had to work the day of the party though. I had to bring my outfit and hygiene products w/ me to work because I knew I wouldn’t have the chance to go home and change clothes. We had shrimp cocktail, turkey, roast beef, green beans, salad, cheese and crackers, rolls, apple pie, pecan pie, chocolate cake, queso, chips, cheese sticks (they weren’t mozzarella), sweet potato casserole, grits, and broccoli casserole.

The 13th was also the day my Goddaughter was born. Here name is Ja’Kiya Alexis. She was 5 pounds, 8oz, and 19 inches. Oh course the 13th was Friday the 13th.. Lol!  I forgot to mention that Beyonce shocked everybody w/ the release of her album on the 13th. lol! I was laid off of from work earlier this month and I’ve been really bored. I did volunteer at the clinic this month & my 1st transgender client. That was interesting. I filed for unemployment.

I went home for 5 days but not in a row though. My family had a gathering  to celebrate for Christmas on Dec. 21st so I went home for that weekend. I also went home on Christmas Eve and stayed until Christmas. I didn’t get a lot of Christmas gifts. I got money/ a card from my mom, books/candles/scented soap/candle holder/candy from my co-worker (we did secret Santa at work), and from my female friend “CD” I got candles/candy/a card. I also received Christmas cards from my friends! I know it wasn’t a Christmas present but I love getting cards from my friends! I have every card/letter that my friends have given me.

I attempted to declutter my room, I still have a little bit of a long way to go. Working on decluttering my room was one of my Radical7even goals. I made some avocado conditioner for my hair and put some oils in it. I didn’t like it. I’m trying to do natural remedies to put moisture in my hair. I also added some coconut milk in my tropical coconut conditioner. My hair liked it. =) I finally learned how to detangle my hair! My friend Danielle gave me the suggestion of detangling my hair into smaller sections. It worked! lol! I parted my hair into eight sections. I combed each section of my hair and used my Denman brush to detangle. I blow dried  my hair w/ the Denman brush and then braided each section after I got finished. When I usually detangle my hair  in four sections because I be trying to get it over with. lol! I really hate doing my hair sometimes especially when I have to wash it, condition it, blow dry it, and detangle it. It’s like an all day event. lol!

One of my female friends visited me this month & I was so happy to see her! She spent the night. =) I went to my best friend’s house the other day to visit my Goddaughter. Let’s just say that things didn’t go as planned yesterday and I was in a funk for the rest of the day.  I also was stressed about trying to figure how to get healthcare.

I took it upon myself to take care of a cat my roommate was keeping. She wasn’t at home for a few days so I bought the cat some food because it was out and it was going HAM (that means going crazy or mad) being stuck in her room. I had let the cat out of her room a few times so it wouldn’t feel trapped. I also cleaned it’s litter box (well scooped out the poop). The cat was very whiny though. The whining drove my other roommate and I crazy! lol!I can’t think of anything else to add to this post. So on that note, God bless! lol!

~Venus

P.S. I really enjoyed the movies that came on Lifetime this month such as Bonnie & Clyde, Dear Secret Santa, The Wrong Woman, and Taken  for Ransom to name a few. Lifetime has awesome movies coming out next year! I can’t wait! I LOVE LIFETIME! lol! I love it so much, I downloaded the app on my phone. lol!

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All I Want for Christmas is A Diagnosis~Audrey

 

Sukha means content or happy. Spending a few minutes letting yourself soften into this pose is a centering way to start your practice.

 

Is it any wonder that my most comfortable and relaxing yoga position in the Sukhasana Forward Fold? I’ve been doing

Sukhasana Forward Fold

Sukhasana Forward Fold

it for years not knowing it was a beneficial yoga pose. It has always helped me stretch, think clearly, calm my tummy, or just rest. Jason will tell you he will often find me in a modified version of this pose as I watch TV.

 

The above quote is from the yoga book I am working with. I do a very easy version for flexibility and to help with my weight gain. I have the problem of steroid weight gain. The medicine makes me hungry and distributes my fat into my stomach and face. These outward appearance changes make it even harder to deal what is going through. The yoga allows me to feel like I am at least doing something.

 

My trip to UAB moves me a step closer to a diagnosis. My reaction to the vaccines were “OK” according the note my doctor sent but he was still referring me to another doctor in his group that worked with low IgG numbers and other disorders.  This was pretty par for the course.

 

What wasn’t: a new medication. In order to counter action the clotting agent I have, the doctor has put me on an anti-malaria medicine to help with the clotting possibility. It also has added benefits in managing auto-immune side effects. It should help with the pain in my muscles and joints. The paperwork says it can take 3 to 6 MONTHS to truly get the effects of this medicine. There is also another issue that really got me down. There is a small (less than n 1 in 100) chance I will develop a side effect in my retina from this medication and I must get an eye exam every year.  Great, another doctor to go see!

 

There is some good news. My protein level in my urine is down with in normal range! The double dose of medication is working and I don’t seem to be suffering too much from low blood pressure. The anti-malaria is also better for my kidney because regular arthritis medicine cannot be filtered correctly. Hoorah!

 

So this leaves me in limbo for Christmas, but overall it doesn’t bring me down. I love Christmas. I love the love, the generosity, the idea that we can emulate our Lord and Savior! It is no stronger than at this time of year. So I’ll drink some Egg Nog, read my Bible and thank God for all the contentment he has given me. I may have an illness, but my Lord is bigger than that!

 

Namaste!

 

 

 

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I want to be radically fearless-Renee

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Isaiah 41:10 KJV

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

My Radical 7even goals this year were extremely well thought out and prayed over. I just knew that should be my focus. Then…life happened. I don’t just mean the ectopic pregnancy, but all the things this year that just summed up what an amazingly beautiful tragic triumphant year it has been. I was blessed to get married, keep a job in my field..find another job and get pregnant. I also had quite a few health challenges and lost my first child with my husband. I will absolutely never be the same person next year that I was this year;that’s a great thing.

There were two very distinct situations that I survived that could have killed me. I had an asthma attack over the summer and hadn’t had one in 20 years. It was only through the urging of my mother that I even got a rescue inhaler. I was home alone in the wee hours of the morning when it happened. Had I not gotten to the inhaler..I wouldn’t have made it.

With this ectopic pregnancy I could have died. Something could have ruptured and I could have died without ever truly knowing my life was endanger..but I made it.

How fleeting is life? I’ve had several friends post about loved ones who died this year some as young as 6. This is not meant to be depressing, because for me..it’s motivating.

If life is so short..should I worry about the tiny things that tend to consume me?

Two years ago I said I wanted to start my own business…do you know what happened to that idea?? Absolutely nothing. I sit here,happily employed, but employed under someone else’s vision. I never stepped out.
I always wanted to write a book…I never once put pen to paper to get started.
I’ve decided to scrap all of my radical goals and focus on 3 things.
My relationship with God, myself and others. I’ve decided to start walking in a new direction. I have no clue what that will look like but..it will be very relationship focused. At the end of my life I feel my relationships will be what I think of. Did I say I love you enough? Did I show appreciation enough? Did I end toxic relationships before it turned my heart cold, quick enough?
I am tired of being afraid of failing or over thinking what someone said or did. I’m ready to just do something new.
New-new
Renee’

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Am I Zebra?~Audrey

I sit here on a day when my illness is really getting to me emotionally. I had a huge weekend; I had girl’s night Friday, had to work Saturday, had birthday lunch with my parents, and traveled to Birmingham to see the doctor. I am worn out.

Looking at the list, it seems like a fun filled weekend with five hours of work thrown in. For any person without a chronic illness this might be the case. But for me, it wasn’t. I was asleep before 8 am on Saturday and had to force myself to finish the finale of Sons of Anarchy last night.  I feel it in the muscles in my thighs, I feel it in the numbness in my arms, I feel it in the droops in my eye lids. And every once in a while, it brings tears to my eyes.

Monday’s visit to UAB was pretty par for the course. Do some more tests and arrange future visits. I always feel hope on the horizon at these appointments. Now if I can just catch up to that horizon.

My doctor took blood and urine to test to see if I had created any new antibodies after the vaccines two months ago as well as to check on my kidney function. While he was sticking me, he ran another ANA for Lupus just to be doubly sure. The doctor does not foresee me having made any new antibodies and that the test was important because I would not be able to get treatment without it. He foresees me getting on plasma transfusion so my body can use those antibodies. But instead of making guesses and leaving me in shadows, once the results come in, he is referring me to another doctor.

He has a partner in his group who’s a rheumatologist with a concentration in genetics. He will be the one to diagnose me and set up treatment. My current doctor and I are handing him all these tests, to speed the process. The antibody tests have to be sent off and the doc says that I should here back in about a week; the results were usually returned quickly. He made the statement that he believes that this immune disorder is the reason I have my kidney disease. That in itself is a major revelation. Also, I do have a certain clotting agent that makes me more likely to have clots and possibly strokes and other life threatening conditions. I am on low dose aspirin once a day to help prevent that.

Thanks to a Facebook friend and some research, I saw myself traveling down the road toward CVID, Common Variable ef9989d70d2efd1dc0db6b51bb1abb66Immune Deficiency. So far, I seem to be right on course, but my rate has been accelerated. While most people are not diagnosed till they are adults, the majority have to wait years to get to a doctor who could figure out the diagnosis. CVID does not fit the medical model that if sounds like a horse and looks like a horse, then it is a horse. I have seen firsthand this happen. I have presented with auto-immune symptoms and my doctor thought I had lupus. That is the nature of the beast– this zebra. CVID is hard to diagnosis because it looks like so many other things.

In comparison, I have been chronically sick since Memorial Day. I look at the symptoms of CVID, frequent sinus infections and respiratory disease, endocrine disorders, and see that it has been going on all my life. It just didn’t come to a head till I had an abscess burst in my tooth and the toxins flooded through my body and sent me to the hospital. Here I am so close to diagnosis and treatment. I really am a lucky one.

Am I Human

Or Am I Zebra?

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I’m Going to see Ellie Goulding and Other Blesings~Audrey

I just want to take this week and count my blessings.
I glad a fabulous Thanksgiving Holiday with my family. I also spent some time with Jason’s family. I really feel like I’m in a grown up relationship.

We have found a replacement instructor for MANE who is one of my friends and instructor. She mentored under me and Rebekah, who is leaving the family. This wills a great change for MANE and an opportunity for Sarah.

Ellie Goulding

Ellie Goulding

I’ve been feeling pretty good and up on my feet lately. Working on a lot of crafts and reading some good books. I’ve also been doing some yoga. This has kept my spirits way up.
I am really looking forward to the future again. I have a few things coming up that I am excited about. I have a great weekend planned for my birthday. Having a girl’s night with my Montgomery friends, some time with my bestie from Florida, lunch with my family, and a night in Birmingham with my boyfriend. Monday I go back to UAB.
In March I am going to see Ellie Goulding. I love her as a singer so much. In college Mandy Moore wrote an album that really reflected my life and I cried when I got to go see her in person. Ellie’s work is the same for me. So much of the work reflects areas of my adult life. I can’t wait.
I am going to Wizard World Atlanta in May and may go to one in New Orleans in January. I am really looking forward to going to another convention, seeing the sites, and hearing the panels.
I hope to report the good news from the doc next week. I will keep you posted!

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I can’t -Renee

Philippians 4:13 NIV

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

I thought that I would never blog about Baby Smith again..but I realized, there aren’t many voices out there for women who suffer a loss like this. What helped me get through this difficult time was reading the blogs/boards of women who went through it. It turns out I did not end up miscarrying the baby; I had an ectopic pregnancy. I never saw the baby and was told immediately that the pregnancy had to be terminated; my life was at risk. How the tables turned for me. I went from mourning the baby..to mourning again as I had to take the MTX shot to end the pregnancy. The shot had side effects that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy..but here I am.

There are so many things that happened this year that I just knew I couldn’t do. I never saw me moving to another city or switching jobs and I did not see an ectopic pregnancy coming my way. At each of these life changing junctions; like a stubborn child refusing to share his toys; I put my foot down and told God “I just can’t”. I can’t stand to move away from my family and a job I’m comfortable at. I can’t go through the pain of losing a baby…I just can’t. But..I did.
Each step..no matter how small or timid;I would say..I don’t think I can..but I will try. When you first get news especially if it’s life changing the first reaction can be doubt. Well atleast it is for me. What this entire year taught me..was I can. I did the impossible at least five times this year. Not because I’m great or wonderful, but because my Father is. I, like Paul, do not brag in my strength. I realize that after being broken..my strength was nothing more than a fantasy. What kept me going was seeing God in the circumstance. I saw God in my healthy boys. I saw God in my supportive husband. I saw God..in just those still moments between tears and questions. I can.Not because I’m so wonderful but because God already wrote it for me to do. Before December 30 (my birthdate), God already knew what my life would hold. I should know every step (even if I can’t see it) is already worked out.
I saw a quote that said faith is believing now what will only make sense in reverse. I’m not sure what this year is supposed to mean in the grand scheme..maybe there’s a scared pregnant momma that might do a google search on ectopic/complicated pregnancy and see that even in the midst of my recovery..that I am recovering and that healing is on the other side. Idk. And honestly that’s not my focus. My focus now is..doing what God willed for me to do.

Impossible only takes a week.
Renee

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