Tuesday, September 27, 2011

In my Friend's Memory

About eleven years ago, I met this woman. Eva Mae. She was a fiesty spitfire. She had more energy than anyone I had ever met. What I didn't know at the time was that she had cancer. I was so focused on her boundless energy that I didn't realize she was dying. She quickly became one of my best friends. Our age difference was a huge one. In fact, her daughter and I were only one year apart in age (exactly).

When I would get to work, her smile was the first one I found. There were no other faces that I wanted to see. I wanted to see my friend. I started to have some health problems, but because I knew she was facing her own struggles I didn't want to tell her about my problems. Then one day, she caught me off guard. She had gone over to Hallmark and picked up some balloons for me. She somehow saw through my spitfire personality and knew I needed some cheering up. Little did she know, her smile was all I ever needed.

We spent our time at work cheering each other up. She would hem up pants for me and surprised me occasionally with new clothes. She would smile at me and it would light up my entire body. Our smiles were contagious. Our laughter was contagious. One time she brought me the most beautiful gift. Actually I have three reminders of Eva in my home. One is a photograph of her and her beloved. It sits next to a picture of my family. The other was a phrase framed that says, "Your friendship is the nicest gift of all." Truer words were never spoken. And then, there is that angel. The angel that started it all. She gave me a gift of Sarah's Angel. It had two angels next to each other. It plays the music, "You Light Up my Life."

It hurt my heart when I decided to quit because I knew I wouldn't get to see her every day. I called her every week to see how she was doing. I would stop by occasionally and bring her little gifts to work. When my health problems became overwhelming I'd call her to get a reality check. She would ask me all about my problems, I'd ask all about hers and her beautiful granddaughter.

You see the most special thing about Eva is that all she asked God for when she found out she had cancer was to be given the chance to see her daughter graduate high school. Well, not only did she witness this, but she witnessed her daughter graduate college, get married and have a daughter. She felt that every day was a gift of God. She taught me that too. God gave me a gift when he gave me Eva because she taught me that every day was a gift from God, no matter how painful they were.

You see, I have been thinking about her all month long. It was six years ago today that she passed away. I got to tell her goodbye the week before. She called to talk. And she said the words that are etched on my heart. "You are a huge blessing. I'm glad God gave me you." She went on to give a pep talk that kept me going from September 2005 to March 2007. We exchanged many I love yous.

I miss you Eva. So much. Every Day.

Monday, September 26, 2011

May 2007

So I'm going through old emails. Trying to delete things. I have over 3,000 messages in my sent folder. So I am starting simple. I'll take 26 days to work through it. One letter per day. Yesterday I deleted most of the A's. Today I tackled the B's, but I read some of them. My heart pitted into my stomach. I read this that I had sent to a friend in May of 2007. This was a couple of months after I was diagnosed with Lyme.

"Last night was absolutely horrid. I even took pictures of my face. So I got into bed and notice all these little small reddish purple dots all over my skin. I think, "That's odd."In an instant, my elbows start giving me lots of pain. It jumped from one joint to the next. The pain was excruciating and the bumps were getting to become a brighter purple. Within moments, I start feeling nauseated.

I got up. I had explosive diarrhea. Afterwards, I noticed my face in the mirror. Those red/purplish dots are everywhere and I have a huge rash on my face. I get back in the bed. All the sudden I knew if I didn't get up right away I was gonna have a huge mess on my hands. It was horrible and wretched. I have never thrown up that hard or that much. The purple dots on my body slowly go away. My face is slowly returning to normal. This moring the rash on my body is completely gone (except this little pimply dot looking things which are almost always there anyways),but the dots around my eyes are not gone. I thought once I started treatment that I would feel better and that these episodes would stop. When will these things end? How long is enough? I'm so tired."

I don't remember this specific day, but I remember days and months and years like this.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

24 minutes of shopping

So I showed you the one shirt from my 24 minute shopping experience. Here is the 2nd shirt. I got it for the low price of 12 dollars. Yes it came with the belt. Yes the lace paneling is in the shirt and not a separate piece of clothing.

And YES, that's a new "design" on my necklace. ;) I decided to simplify the necklace with the plaid design of the shirt.

P.S. I got the 30% sticker on the Kohl's mailer today! That's like hitting the jack pot since I usually only get the 15% off sticker.


So yesterday was quite entertaining. Okay that's an over exaggeration.

I attempted to sugar my legs (see about two posts back). Epic Fail since they weren't long enough.
I watched some television from the DVR. Then chose my outfit for the day. A pair of new jeans and a new shirt with a re-altered necklace.

You see I purchased a bunch of beads to go on a necklace and also created a Lyme Awareness pendant to go on it. However, the pendant was too large to go with the shirt so I took off all the beads and pendant. I put aside 3 beads and pendant and rearranged the rest of the beads to work with my outfit. It turned out really cute. I got lots of comments on it at the mall and I'm not one to get comments on my clothes or accessories. Kind of made me feel good! You like?

So shortly after I finished getting ready, I left to go see my Lyme friend. I stayed up there for a while. We had fun for a while first and she rested while I looked at Magazines and watched some tv at her house. She's cool like that! You see my friend won a raffle prize at the Lyme Lunch last weekend. So I took her winning bag to her. See won a bracelet I made similar to my necklace.

So I took a drive to South Point Mall in Durham. I'll tell you that I really enjoy looking at that mall. It's really pretty, BUT and this is a big BUT ... I have never ever been able to buy anything there. I was there for 3 hours and left with NOTHING! It was either too expensive or didn't fit right. And if it was too expensive I didn't even try it on because it would have broken my little heart to not take it home! The best part of yesterday at the mall was running into an old high school friend at the mall. What are the odds? Seriously awesome. It was worth the whole dressing room fiasco.

There were a few things that I was sure was going to fit. A pair of grey slacks that were absolutely beautiful. Size 4 too snug, Size 6 fell off. Did I mention yesterday that I hate clothes shopping? Well I must have tried on nearly 75 things yesterday and NOT ONE fit! Seriously. What a terrible feeling and a blow to the self esteem.

Speaking of Self-Esteem, I saw an article somewhere about time savers. Suggested taking photos of the outfits you love with accessories you love so that later you don't have to remember the outfits later. Pretty neat if you ask me. I may have to start doing that. I struggle with what looks good together.

Next Saturday: Will be LLMD day.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Shopping Experiences

Every season change, I get so frustrated. I'm quite positive that I've griped about this before. I want new clothes, but lack the desire to go shopping or the money for a wardrobe change. However this year was different. I pretty much HAD to go shopping. On our first fall weather day, I reached into the closet to pull out my favorite pair of jeans. I slipped into them. Houston, we had a problem. Unless I was going to lie down with a old metal hanger and squeeze into them circa 1980, these were not going to work at all. The bigger problem was that all of my jeans were this size. This mean that I would have to go shopping.

Shopping in itself isn't a huge problem unless you are short on money and the self esteem to go with it. My problems with shopping to back a few decades. When I was younger, I had trouble finding clothes that fit. I would slip into a pair of jeans and they would slip right off. Now you may think Whoa is me, but these were the smallest pair of adult jeans they made.

As a college student and even as a young adult (let's even say that at 30!) I would try the children's section, but seriously who wants to wear a pair of jeans with a butterfly/glitter on them? Part of my treatment was a serious work on getting my weight to increase. Now let's say I worked on this VERY diligently and finally last year I started to be able to fit into a size 1 or 2. I was truly thrilled. However, my body must be very oddly shaped because I still had trouble finding clothes that fit right.

Anyways, I always dread shopping. Hate it. Still hate it. So after my discovering that my size 2's were no longer than option, I hit Target. I pulled out not one, not two, but 12 pair of jeans. Took them to the dressing room and left 6 sitting on the chair as we can only take in 6 things at a time. Pair after pair, nothing was working. I tried on everything from a Size 2 to a Size 6. Either they were too big or two small. Finally, I found one pair that fit almost everywhere. At this point, I don't care about length ... so what if it's about a foot too long! I'm 5'1, pants are made for those 6 inches taller than me! I looked carefully at them.

For the record, they are Mossimo Fit 4 Size 4. I looked through my stack of 12 pair of pants and found one more that same Fit & Size. I tried them on. Almost perfect, again the length are a little long, but at this point I really don't care! So the next day, we went to pick up a prescription. I discovered that these pants were on sale! So I scrounged around for another Fit 4, Size 4 and found ONE! I didn't even try them on. Went through the line and came home. I was happy!

UNTIL ... this morning. I failed to see one word ... SKINNY! They were Fit 4, Size 4, SKINNY Jeans. I slipped them on and realized right away the error of my way. Now so they fit ... but they were a skinny leg jean. I personally believe that skinny leg jeans only look good if the length of the jean is right. Um, these were about 6 inches too long. They looked TERRIBLE! So now it's back to Target to return these jeans that made me so happy that I didn't have to go into the dressing room. Ugh! Only thing that is worse than going shopping is taking things back. It's like walking into a firing squad, "Why are you returning these cute jeans?" ... because I'm not the right body type for these jeans ... I can't help that I'm 5'1 and am too short to pull off this fashion trend .. now just leave me alone while I slump out of the store!

I must be glutton for punishment because I decided on a whim to go to the Goodwill store. Now, I typically go there for khaki's. I figure if I have to wear Khaki's to work where they are liable to get anything on them from Bleach to paint to kid vomit, I am not going to spend 20 bucks on a pair of pants. 3 to 4 dollars will work just fine and dandy. So, I pulled out 20 pair of khaki's hoping that 1/2 of them would fit and that I could choose 5 out of the 10 pair. Um yeah. 2 out of 20 fit. Seriously. What is the problem with this?

So I hit the racks for shirts. Now this is where I scored! I tried on 5 shirts and a red hoodie. I bought 4 of the 6 things!

Here are 3 of the 4 things I purchased. From Left to right: What I'm assuming is a sweater from JCPenny, A Green Sweater from Cato, and a sleeveless top from Banana Republic!

Want a closer look? Sure you do!

So I loved this sweater from Catos last season. The problem was that it didn't fit quite right for me to spend 30 plus dollars on it. If it had been on clearance at 10 bucks, I would have bought one. However, I'm so glad I didn't because I spent 4.59 on this baby! :)

The part about the magenta sweater that I love is two fold. One is that it's not that thick and the other ... this lacey ruffle on the bottom of the sweater and on the sleeves! It made me smile the moment I put it on because A: It's one of my favorite clothes colors for winter and B: well see the cute ruffle .. enough said!

Banana Republic Bargain at $3.34. Can't beat it! Seriously.

Then last night, Rob & I went out to eat. Problem was that the restaurant we wanted to go was so crowded that there was no parking. So we went to Target first, where I found two pair of shorts on sale for 75 percent off. I bought 2 pairs (yes I tried them on this time - yes I went in with 10 SHORTS and only 2 fit. Crazy women's sizing!). THEN, I was challenged.

We pulled outside of Kohl's at 7:05. I said I'd meet Rob back at the truck at 7:30. He said there was no way. Challenge accepted. The caveat was that if I wasn't out there at 7:30 it meant I was waiting in a long check out line! I practically ran into Kohl's and began digging through their clearance racks quickly. I kept watch checking and ran into the dressing room with about 8 items. Some of the items I had been watching for a while. I may go to a different Kohl's to try on this orange lovey I've been wanting for a while, but couldn't find the right size at my location.

However ... in 24 minutes, I walked in the store, tried on 8 items, discovered that I wanted 3 of the 8, checked out and got back to the truck. I got to the truck at 7:29. That my dear friends is a miracle. That my dear friends is a shopping experience I loved! And for the shirt I've been looking at:

Sugaring my legs!

First I decided I would sugar wax my legs. Now I first heard about this from an online Lyme friend Heather. I thought she wax crazy. I thought it wouldn't work. I was somewhat right and somewhat wrong. It did work, but because I was impatient it didn't work well. Who can seriously let the hair on their legs grow for two or three weeks during the summer heat that's in Lyme remission? (now those that are still in the heat of a Lyme Battle ... yeah I admit it I once waited a month or more to shave because it zapped all the energy just to bathe my body much less shave my legs!). So I PURCHASED some Moom.

I picked up this from Ulta and came home immediately to try it out. I warmed it up (took about 30 sections plus 15 more after stirring). Took it back to the bathroom and began spreading the mess on one section of leg. After rubbing on the fabric strip, I yanked with all my might and OOOOOOOOOOOWWWWCH!. Heather said it was virtually painless. Um, not as painless as I thought. However which each pull the pain did decrease.

Well my lovely husband decided that HE could make this. And make it he did. I tried it on my own legs, but my hair simply wasn't long enough. I haven't been able to use it properly yet, but I am confidant that it will work just as well as the store bought stuff. :} There is a "caveat" to it working well. I think my hair grows unevenly. So therefore the hair that grows slower isn't grabbed up by the sugar wax. I suspect this is why people think that waxing fails actually. I'm sure that the speed of which hair grows is different for everyone and that some hairs grow particularly speedy while others grow at snails pace.

Until it's cold enough to wear long pants every day, I suspect I'll be shaving the extra hair left over. I'm hoping in October I can give the stuff a good try!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Saturday Events

For so long, Saturdays were my "rest up" days. I never planned anything on a Saturday because it was simply the day I used to rest up after forcing myself to work all week. So I think that I will start to post the things I do on Saturdays now that I'm in "remission."

Originally I had planned to head about 3 hours out of town to hang out with a college friend and his future wife. They are having a party for the wedding, but I have been having some allergy problems so I thought it might be wiser to stay closer to home just in case I have problems over the weekend. The past week every evening I've either taken Claritin or Zyrtec and every morning I've taken Quercetin (it's a natural antihistimine).

So it calls for a change of plans.

First, I'm going to hang with one of my closest Lyme friends. She won the raffle from the Lyme Lunch and she wasn't able to attend. So I offered to bring her what she won. We'll hang out for a couple of hours and then I'll go to a mall that I rarely go to. I need to look for some fall tops and possibly some pants. Because I've gained weight since last fall/winter, none of my clothes fit. In fact, a lot of my shirts are too small even. So, off to the stores I must go. I don't mind shopping, but it is disheartening to try on 25 pair of pants and only find 1 pair that fit right (yes that happened one day this past week). Then I'll come home.

I hope to finish up that huge laundry pile that has been growing by the day in the morning before I leave for my friend's house. We'll see. I have to go Zyrtec myself up now (I'm trying to NOT get sick in September -- If I manage to keep the allergies away, then I'll manage to keep the Bronchitis/Pneumonia away!!!!). Actually woke up with no sore throat today and very little coughing! This is a sign of good things. My body might be fighting it off without antibiotics! Crossing my fingers on that one. I have my LLMD the following Saturday. The reason we chose 3 months instead of 6 months is because I always get sick in September. Knock on wood. It's day 23 and I've managed to stave off an infection. :}

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Post Lyme - Lunch

For the past few weeks I have been planning a Lyme lunch with some of my closest Lyme friends and Lyme friends that I've not yet to meet. When planning things like this, it's always an unknown as to who can come. I invited 50 people knowing that 25 of them were just too far to come, but I didn't want them to feel left out. On Wednesday night, I knew that 18 people on my list to come. However, Saturday morning I got a call from one of my best Lyme friends saying that she had an accident Friday night and was in a lot of pain. This mean that it was down to 16. Also, two others got really ill during the week, so it was down to 14.

Then I got a phone call from another Lyme friend saying that her brother wanted to come. So we were back up to 15 and then I found out about another girl that could come so we were back to 16. As Lyme goes, that's amazing. Two friends didn't show up. It worried me because for one of them I knew something really bad must have happened for her not to come. She was really looking forward to it.

All in all, we wound up with 14 people ~ 10 Lyme patients and 4 family members. This is outstanding! Out of the 10 Lyme patients: I knew 4 of them in person already and one was me so I met 5 NC Lymies on Saturday! We had such an outstanding time.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Lyme Lunch

So the past few weeks, I have been planning a Lyme Lunch. So far there are about 13 of us going and 13 that can't go and about 21 that haven't decided if they can go or not. I am so excited that I can't stand it! Of the 13 that are definitely going, I have most of them at least once. There are several on the "might" list that I have never met.

So excited to get together with all my Lyme friends and talk about the possibility of hosting a screening in each of their counties. I hope the restaurant is ready for a whole slew of us Lymies in about 2 weeks. :}

Thursday, September 1, 2011

After effects of Irene

I'm fine. My home is fine. Everyone that I know is fine (and by fine I mean .. they are ALIVE and that's the most important definition of fine!), BUT there was severe devastation on the beaches of our state. And many people are still without power. One of my closest friends just got power late last night after not having power since Saturday morning (maybe even Friday night!). Many schools don't have power and many schools lost a good majority of their supplies. Please pray for the teachers that are now having to teach from a cart because their rooms were destroyed. Please pray for the students and parents.