Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Life Lately

So 4 years in and… we’re still looking for a solid diagnosis. It does get tiring. And there are so many nights where I feel like giving up. But I know I have to keep fighting for answers. Sometimes we’ll get an unexpected clue. And you never know when that clue will lead to a discovery.

I’ve been fighting some sort of virus for the past week, but prior to that I was dealing with some serious fatigue. I always have had extreme fatigue, but the past couple of weeks, I’ve just been so drained of energy. I also had a bladder flare up and went into retention. I was taught to self-catheterize about a year ago, but I’ve tried time and time again and failed. Some sort of wave of determination came over me, and I finally successfully did it. It was a proud moment (though I’m annoyed with my bladder), and it’s a relief to know that now we won’t have to go to the ER for this. My mobility isn’t great but isn’t at an all time low. My tremor has been a bit more bothersome than usual lately, maybe because I’ve been using my hands a lot to type or paint. I’ve been continuing with rehabilitation at Constance Lethbridge even though I had to miss this week because I wasn’t doing well. I’ll just have to work doubly as hard next week, though I felt so bad for having to cancel!

I recently went for blood tests which are still in-lab, and I’m waiting for a call for an MRI. Will these yield any answers? Who knows. I tend to be pessimistic at this point, which I know isn’t good, but I try to protect myself from disappointment. Luckily today I saw one of my doctors who actually has an interest in my case and is always caring and helpful, and that lifted my spirits.

I might be going to see a motility specialist in Ottawa who was recommended by a friend for my gastrointestinal issues. My doctor today wrote us the referral, so we’ll just have to figure out the logistics between Ontario and Quebec healthcare.

And that is all that's new in my world. Thanks for following along and supporting me through this long trek to answers,

Friday, January 13, 2017

Remembering My Grandmother

A year ago today, my grandmother’s battle with cancer ended. In the past days I’ve kept thinking that I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel on this day. I mean, I mourn and miss her every day, and this day is no different. I will hug my build-a-bear that we made together, along with my cousins, and remember the heart she kissed and put in it. I’ll remember that she told us to hug the bear when we wanted to hug her. I’ll remember her tears while telling the kind ladies in Build-a-Bear what these bears were for. I’ll long for her.

But today, I will celebrate her. I will remember all that she did. Because this lady, was one of the most special people you could have ever met. And I’m not biased! Everyone loved her, and felt their own special connection with her. Before she passed, I got a tattoo in her handwriting from a card she had given me that says “love always”. I felt this was perfect because I always said I want to be like her when I was older. And what I meant by that was the fact that she always chose to see the best in everyone, no matter who it was. She treated strangers like best friends. We used to laugh at her for it, and she’d laugh too, but in reality, it was one of her best traits. She never spoke badly of anyone. How rare is that these days? She was happiness. If I could describe my grandmother in one word, it would be happiness. And that’s not to say that she didn’t have her fair share of heartache and pain in life, but her soul and her energy was something so special that you just couldn’t help but feel happy when you were with her. She loved people. She also loved her alone time playing poker on Facebook, but she loved people. She understood people.And she loved HARD. And that is my life goal, to love as hard as she did, and to try to see the best in everyone.

I did get a few traits of hers handed down to me. One specific thing we had in common was being a people pleaser. She always wanted everyone to be happy, and hated when there was any conflict. If someone she loved was hurting about something, she would worry about it endlessly. And yes, this is highly stressful at times, because we all know it’s impossible for everyone to be happy all the time. But I still like that trait, because it came from her, and she’s my ultimate role model.

So, my garlic loving, poker playing, wine drinking, snuggle cherishing grandmother, I am so lucky to have you watching over me. I am so lucky to have your blood running through my veins. I am so lucky that I have Jess, Becca, Matthew and David because of you. I am so lucky to have someone so magical to look up to.

Channeling the Lion King, "He lives in you, he lives in me

He watches over everything we see

Into the waters, into the truth

In your reflection, he lives in you" ☀️

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Favorites of 2016

Some of my favorite posts to read are lists of people's favorite things. Whether it be tv shows, beauty products, songs, or movies, I love getting recommendations and having a little window into someone else's mind. So without further ado, these are, in my opinion, the things from many different categories that I discovered during the year of 2016 that you must see, must do, must hear or must have.

1. Roots (History Channel Miniseries)

I watched this miniseries, which is comprised of 4 two and a half hour episodes, a couple of weeks ago, and quite literally have not been able to stop thinking about it. This is a remake of a 1977 miniseries with the same name which was based on the novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley. It follows the story of Kunta Kinte, a Mandinka warrior from West Africa, who is taken from his family and brought to America when he is captured by white slave traders. I won't give much more away, but this miniseries will follow the compelling story of the generations of Kunta Kinte's family, as family is the most important thing to Mandinkas.

This story is based off of real history, and real history was gruesome. So I will warn you, there are many parts in this miniseries that are hard to watch. But it was like reading a good book. I just couldn't stop watching and ended up finishing it in a couple of days. If you want to be completely taken away from your world, learn a bit about history, and introduced to characters that you will fall in love with, this is for you.

2.  Survivor Season 33

I am a self-proclaimed Survivor addict. Have been since the age of 7 or 8 actually, when it all started. And out of all the seasons, none had the punch that this one did. It was the game we all know and love, but cast with so many great strategic players who really love the game. Not only that, but it was won by someone I related to, and the whole world felt his story. Survivor was a show he watched with his mother every Wednesday since he was little, much like my family and I, and his mother had actually almost gotten on the show with him a couple of seasons ago. Well she was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, and when he got on the show by himself, she urged him to go, even though she was so unwell. Watching his victory was something so special. And he deserved it not only because he had a "sob story", but because he had a great strategic and social game. It was truly well earned. His mother passed away about an hour after he got home. And while he was sharing this story at the live finale through tears, he said something that really resonated with me and I'm sure tons throughout the world; "This is crazy because it's MY life. Like, it's such a beautiful story, like I can get that looking outside of it, but this is my life. And it's real." If you haven't watched Survivor,  I highly recommend you start with this season, even though I kind of just spoiled the winner.

3. Tartlette In Bloom Palette

As much as I loved makeup, I was never much of an eyeshadow person, mainly because I sucked at putting it on (and still do!). However this year I bought this as my first palette, and it has been so perfect for a beginner like me. It has so many neutral shades and lots of mattes, and it applies so easily. This is definitely my makeup favorite of 2016!

4. Minimalism

This year I cleaned out my room. And when I say cleaned out, I mean really cleaned out. My room was full of clutter that I just didn't seem to want to get rid of. And the clutter in my room was making it so much less of a nice environment to spend time in. So I went by this quote, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful". And with that quote, I got rid of so much stuff that was just taking up space and energy. And now my room is so much more of a sanctuary. When your surroundings are calm, you're more likely to feel calm, and this is one of my favorite things I tried in 2016.

5. Houseparty App

This app was one of my favorite discoveries! It allows you to video chat with multiple people at one time, and it works amazingly! I use it with my friends from Instagram, and my family who lives in another province, and I find it cuts out even less than FaceTime. It's been so much fun to be able to virtually hang out with two friends at once. Highly recommend.

6. Beyond Type 1 

I am enormously proud to be on the Global Ambassador Council for Beyond Type 1. In their words, "Beyond Type 1 creates and funds a portfolio of programs, technologies and innovations that those living with Type 1 diabetes need to manage, live and thrive.  Our goal is to highlight the brilliance of those fighting this disease every day while always working toward ensuring a cure is on its way." 

Though Beyond Type 1 wasn't founded in 2016, they made so many huge accomplishments over the year, and this is the year that I was lucky enough to get to spend time with the amazing people behind it. There was the Revlon Challenge, and so much money was raised for our cause (Thank you to everyone who contributed!), and the Snail Mail Club was born. People at Beyond Type 1 cleverly pair you up with another t1d to write to, and equip you with a little kit! This is just one of the many ways they've worked to make kids and adults with diabetes all around the world feel less alone. Getting to see it first hand, I am truly in awe of the hard work and passion that has gone into all of this. If anything inspired me most this year, it was Beyond Type 1.  Shoutout to Mary Lucas, Sarah Lucas, Thom Scher, Michelle Boise, and Sara Jensen for everything you've accomplished over the last year. You made my year infinitely better.