“Beautiful people do not just happen”

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The most beautiful people we have known are those who have

known defeat,

known suffering,

known loss,

and have found their way out of the depths.

These persons have an appreciation,

a sensitivity,

and an understanding of life that fills them with

compassion,

gentleness

and a deep loving concern.

Beautiful people do not just happen.

– Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Perpetually Traumatized on the Daily, thank you. (PTSD and Chronic Illness)

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I wish my little spiral notebook stored emotions because I’m really trying to muster up that anger and that disappointment that I felt this afternoon when I was dismissed by my primary care doctor who spoke to me like I was a little fucking whiny ass bitch with a toothache, looking for Tylenol 3. Been there done that whole routine. I don’t have the energy for the gym, much less a drug addiction.

Physically I feel like I am forty years older and the kicker is I got my Brain MRI results and it looks like my memory may be as well. It was a small victory for me, honestly. Just kind of hoping for that white matter for so you can show everyone else you’re not crazy. I mean…I may be getting there so that’s not like a definite. Anyways, as we were waiting for them to fax over the results, my doctor – who’s this short, very serious squirrelly little thing – he tilted his tiny head and looked up at me over his glasses and had the audacity to ask, Do you think this could all be depression or anxiety related?”. You see, when you have a diagnosis such as PTSD on your medical resume, you have to accept that every single doctor that you see and trust enough to share with is going to look at a person like me very differently than say, a 37 year old stay at home mom that always brings the snacks to fucking lacrosse practice. They’re going to spend a little more time with them and actually hear their symptoms. Like such severe light sensitivity and brain fog that it’s impaired their ability to drive a car. We, those who share similar diagnosis codes, are treated differently. I can’t really describe it but if you’re asking me to, you’re probably a 37 year old soccer mom who wears pearls and in that case I’d say count your lucky fucking stars, bitch.

I did go through an incredibly traumatic experience that altered me and the course of my life and I would never have done it any other way because I now see it as a gift and not a curse. Not only that…I have very rarely let it show. I’m always smiling, always polite and the answers always ‘yes’. I still have dreams, still see him daily. Still deal with it. But prior to falling ill in December I was at the best place I’ve been in a very very long time. And actually, I remain positive and proactive, which is something I’m super proud of. 

SO, UM, YEAH I DONT THINK I HAVE CHRONIC JOINT PAIN AND SHORT TERM MEMORY LOSS BECAUSE IM BOO-HOOING OVER A ‘BAD BREAK UP’ OR BECAUSE I NEED XANAX FOR LIKE, THIS SUPER HIGH PAYING JOB INTERVIEW.

From here on out I am going to do my best to drill something into my head that has really been helpful: I am the only one who knows my truth because I’m living in it. No one else will know more about you than you. Especially not some dull, uninspired family physician who’s probably popping Adderall for a non-existent deadline.  

First Aid for the Fabulous and Fatigued

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First Aid for the Fabulous & Fatigued
  1. Tressemmé Fresh Start Dry Shampoo Ulta.com I was introduced to dry shampoo back in mid-December when I underwent a Cystoscopy with Hydrodistention procedure. Immediately afterwards I had the most severe IC flare I had ever experienced and I officially graduated from the type of IC with frequency and little pain to the type with decreased frequency and significant pain. I was unable to stand long enough to even shower and baths were prohibited. Thanks, Doc. Anyhow I have since then tried pretty much every dry shampoo on the market and this is the only one that leaves my hair with that fresh – not filmy – feeling. Plus it’s super affordable and you can find the travel size bottle at most pharmacies – perfect for primping on the go. 
  2. Rite Aid Brand Lavender Scented Epsom Salts RiteAid.com I really have no idea how these actually like, work – per se. But when I saw these I grabbed them because I know lavender is naturally soothing and it kind of somehow makes it seem a little less of a geriatric (or mature I guess is the more appropriate descriptor) product to me. I already had to price ‘sitz’ baths the other day at Walgreens. Allow me some dignity, please. 
  3. ‘Rosy Lips’ Vaseline Lip Therapy Vaseline.com Super cheap, perfect sized, and the rosy scent reminds me of that Rosebud Salve they have in the impulse item section at Sephora for like twice the price. 
  4. Johnson and Johnson Bedtime Bath JohnsonandJohnson.com So secretly I’ve continued to buy Johnson and Johnson Baby everything way past the point of maturity  but it’s the best smelling line out there and it’s cheaper because it’s in the ‘Baby’ section of the drug store. And although it may seem a criminal offense at the checkout line, no one knows if you have kids or not so they usually let it slide  It’s kind of like the friend you knew in high school that like, still insisted on going to her pediatrician for checkups. Somehow just feels wrong. 
  5.  Radial Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Tonic Nordstrom.com I honestly got this as part of an ipsy bag and I had it on on my bedside table as used it as a toner at night after washing my face and would spritz it on my face before I climbed into bed. Not only did it help brighten my skin, you literally spritz it on and let it dry which is amazing .because it saves on time and energy. Anyways by the time I get to that point in my nighttime routine, chances are I hurt all over and I’m irritable and frustrated and that time and energy I’ve saved is better spent in a dark room and a horizontal position.
  6. Sea Bands SeaBand.com I’m not sure that my nausea isn’t psychosomatic sometimes. When I get the dizziness or the ringing in my right ear I usually assume I’ll be vomiting too at some point because I start to think too hard about it. Anyhow either these things really work or I think they’ll work so I don’t think too hard and don’t throw up. The plus is: they’re not awful looking. The minus: you have to wear one on each wrist you look like you’ve been about clubbing. Take that over barfing any day. 
  7. Baby Skin Instant Pore Erasing Primer Ulta.com I love the packaging honesty and I’m a big fan of Baby Lips. Does feel like it smooths out the surface of my skin under makeup and it stays on much longer. And it’s $5.99!!! 
  8. Lumene Purity Dew Drops Hydrating Eye Gel Ulta.com I put this on in the morning and pat dry right before I apply my Boo-Boo Cover Up. Love the fact that it’s a gel because it goes on smoothly and it’s almost cooling. Great for bags. 
  9. Davines More Inside Invisible Serum Davines.com Perfect size for travel. I use it throughout the day to tame my fly-always. Smells yummy and doesn’t leave build up behind. 
  10. Boo-Boo Cover Up Concealer Amazon.com I sang its praises in one of my previous posts. A little goes a long way so it justifies the price. 
  11. Essie Grow Faster Base Coat Ulta.com Always been the best nail product line and again, the longevity and quality is worth the splurge. It’s a base coat but I wear it alone to keep it simple and it gives your nails a freshly buffed subtle shine. 
  12. Philosophy Giving Grace Spray Fragrance Philosophy.com – I’m obsessed with everything Philosophy and always have one on hand to treat myself. To be honest, I never was a big perfume enthusiast until I started to get sick and realized that it’s not just something you use to attract others – it also can be something you use to feel more beautiful. Which is always a plus when you feel like shit. Better than smelling like it, I suppose. 

cleaniness is next to godliness

When people ask me why I insist on putting on a full face of makeup and a pair of sneakers even if, for example, I’m home-bound because my brain fog has become so debilitating that it’s begun to impair my ability to drive, I no longer attempt to explain myself. For one, if you’re asking me that question because you honestly don’t know the answer, then consider yourself lucky. Obviously, you have never struggled to find a way to conceal your cath bag under a pair of old baggy sweatpants or spent 15 minutes on the toilet in the dark using a YouTube guided meditation in order to allow yourself to relax long enough to pee.

When I look better, I feel better. Period. There’s no surprise that my Ulta card has seen more action since I’ve gotten sick than ever before or that I’ve gone through so many different under-eye concealers that I’ve narrowed it down to the one that actually works well enough to give the appearance of entire night’s sleep (Boo-Boo Cover Up Concealer, $20.00 http://www.booboocoverup.com).

Lately I’ve taken to organizing the fuck out of my apartment. Maybe its because my mom took the keys to my Jetta and all I do is stare at are these four walls all day everyday. Also I recently read that clutter lends to negative or stagnant energy and after my life as I knew it just recently came to a standstill I’m  not sure which is worse. As long as I’m moving one way or the other, I’m ok. Being stuck in the middle is not fun. And I figure at least I deserve to have one corner of this cozy little box looking like a page straight out of ‘The Paper Source’ catalog. After all, just because my brain is disorganized, it doesn’t mean my stuff has to be. 

‘this is just a test’

IMG_0166That’s been my mantra ever since I decided it was just easier for me to become my own Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and I read that someone like me is usually better off going along with their second thought rather than their first. So I pace myself in escalating situations by consciously remembering to stop and breathe long enough to repeat it in my head. Unfortunately, today I literally felt myself roll my eyes while repeating this phrase for the umpteeth time because it’s now officially reached the point when I am even sick of the sound of my own voice – or what’s left of it because I get to add asthma to the list of my diagnosis codes. So, instead…I wrote a list of things that I am thankful for today

  1. Maxi dresses
  2. On Demand
  3. Lavender scented Epsom salts from Rite Aid
  4. Sea bands
  5. This you tube audio recording of an Alan Watts lecture called ‘The Art of Dealing With Pain’ https://youtu.be/HNeaZeFbhH0
  6. Tressemmé ‘Fresh Start’ Dry Shampoo
  7. Guided meditation
  8. Big Little Lies on HBO 
  9. This learning experience (and the learned ability to see it as so)

If even numbers didn’t drive me up the wall my number 11 would be the fact that I had the forethought to memorize that phrase – ‘this is just a test’ – because that’s just about the only damn thing I can remember nowadays. Hello, Brain Fog. Welcome to the club. You may want to take a number.