Archive for September, 2009

Invisible Illness Awareness Week

For 13 years, I have woken up to pain somewhere in my body. Some days it is worse than other days. However, the pain is consistent and constant. My hands often can not grip a simple bottle to squeeze out the contents. My shoulders often send shooting pain up my arm as I grab the milk from the refrigerator. When I sit down, stand up, or walk up and down the stairs, my left knee feels as though a knife is carving out parts of my tendons. While I do my best to live a “normal” life, I often wonder what my life would be like if I did not experience pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbances every day.

Tomorrow kicks off Invisible Illness Awareness Week for all those who do not physically appear to have an ailment or illness, but in fact their body is screaming from daily pain. The two invisible illnesses that have become the “thorn in my side” are Fibromyalgia and Endometriosis. I had Endometriosis first, beginning at the onset of my menstral cycle at age 11. When I was 19 years old, I had an emergency surgery where my blood pressure dropped so low that I almost lost my life.  I was bleeding internally from an ovarian cyst that had reptured. I experienced two grand mal seziures and was rushed into surgery.

A couple of months after this surgery, the symptoms of Fibromyalgia began. Physical or emotional trauma to the body are seen as possible causes in the development of the illness. I believe the emergency nature of my surgery, along with the hormonal changes in my body,  are to blame for the onset of my Fibromyalgia.

For years I was misdiagnosed, as is common among Fibro patients. Finally, an old school doctor from Harvard University knew exactly what was going on with me just from touching different pressure points on my body. It was a relief to at least have a proper diagnosis. Unfortunately, none of the treatments I have tried to date have offered lasting relief.

I write this post not to have people feel sorry for me, but to help people better understand my life experience. My experience, along with so many others…

So, during this week of Invisible Illness Awareness, as you go about your every day, think of all those around you who may be silently sufferring. If you know of someone in your life who suffers with an invisible illness, do your best to serve them in some way this week. I can guarentee they will appreciate it more than you will ever know!




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Elijah’s First Birthday

Elijah has been one for a week and a half, but our life has been a bit chaotic since that day, so I’m just now getting around to this post.

We went to Huntington, WV, my home town, to celebrate his birthday. It was wonderful. Here are some pictures of our time there.

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We made strawberry cupcakes with butter cream icing. Since Elijah is from South Carolina and started his life at the beach, and enjoyed the beach so much this summer, we decided to have a beach theme for his 1st Birthday.

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We used graham crackers as “sand” and used blue food coloring to make our “ocean.” I thought it turned out pretty good for ametuers.

Up until this point, Elijah had not really had anything sweet. Here are a few pictures to show how he enjoyed his cupcake.

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He wasn’t quite sure what to do when we all started singing to him.

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He needed a little help to blow out the candle…

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Digging in…

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He wasn’t sure if he was supposed to eat the cupcake or wear it…

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In true 1st Birthday fashion, Elijah had it all over his head, hands, clothes, etc…he went directly from the table into the bathtub! It was a lot of fun and he seemed to enjoy it.

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Elijah’s cousin Tim helped show him the ropes of opening his Birthday presents.

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And that’s how it’s done!

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All in all, the 1st Birthday was a huge success! Elijah got lots of fun toys, books, and clothes; He ate his first cupcake; and he had a great week at his Gammy and Papaw’s house!

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