JITZUROE   100,703
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My Toolbox Has No Tools In It

Friday, August 26, 2011

First of all, it's got a padlock on it, to which I do not have the key (my husband does).
Do you need a screw driver? Sorry, you're out of luck.
It's not filled with craftsman tools or an old hammer passed down from generation to generation.
There's no sweet family history in this box. The toolbox contains my weekly sweet treats.

I'm sure that you could mold some Laffy Taffy into a paint scraper, but it wouldn't work too well.
Red vines for hanging pictures - no good, but your walls would smell nice.
Peanut butter would probably make great putty in a pinch (see my recent blog on uses for PB).
Necco wafers could be used for making chalk outlines while measuring.
Perhaps some pop rocks would unclog your kitchen sink (be sure to take cover!)
Gummy fruit slices would work great to balance out a wobbly table.

As much as I try to tell myself that I can have weekly treats out in the (unlocked) open, those treats have turned into daily treats, and even 1 entire day's worth of treats too often in the past.

It was only after I found SparkPeople a few months ago that I was able to admit to myself:
I am an emotional eater.

I used to push my shopping cart through the grocery store, pretending that I was someone else. Casually reaching for the multipack of my trigger foods like Lemonheads and dark chocolate bars, telling myself that it was no big deal.
After all, the king sized packs were on sale, right? I am SURE I can just put all of it in the pantry, and not touch it until Saturday (6 days from then). Meanwhile, deep down you could almost hear the echoing sinister voice whispering 'uh huh, good luck with that'.

I have fought many an emotional eating battlefield in this candyland of life, and do not feel that I have overcome it. Actually, I am not sure if that will ever happen.
Maybe one day that toolbox will actually have some tools in it, and I will be able to have my trigger foods around. Only time will tell.

For now, when the microwave light bulb burns out and needs to be replaced, I'll be knocking on your door for some tools : )

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNFLOWERSAVAGE 10/19/2011 5:05PM

    I totally love your toolbox...lmao...my partner would think I was crazy if I asked him to do that...well, crazier ;P

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RASMUSSEN5 8/28/2011 10:37PM

    I have a really difficult time with sweets and emotional eating as well. It's a very tough habit to break but you can do it! What a great solution! I love that your hubby has the key! I just may have to try that

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SUNFLOWER4ME 8/28/2011 9:26AM

    I just told you how I threw out the PB. We all have trigger foods, and I love that you share with us!

Comment edited on: 8/28/2011 9:26:29 AM

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CANNIE50 8/27/2011 12:09AM

    I long for the day when I don't have a visceral reaction to the sight of an ice cream carton, or a bag of jellybeans. I am not there yet. Maybe if I had my husband attach some sort of buzzer that shocks me when I reach for them, or hire someone to taser me when I touch them - maybe THAT would convince me sugar is not a good idea. Hmmmm...... We, my dear, have the sugar crazies, I do believe. emoticon emoticon

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RYDERB 8/27/2011 12:03AM

    What a great idea, but you are so much stronger than I am! I can see myself banging it with a sledge hammer, in complete desperation, if I even thought a box of Red Vines might be inside.

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CLOVER2 8/26/2011 9:23PM

    What a wonderful solution! Hubby is great to hold on to that key, no matter HOW desperate you are! My theory on weight loss is to do whatever works, whatever it takes! emoticon

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I Am Not A Remote Control...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yesterday was a long day at the pain management building of the hospital.

Various parts of my body had been grinding away at me with pain, numbness and 'buzzing' for the last week. My entire left foot, one of the toes on my right foot, and my right hand pinky finger had been swollen and purple, and just misbehaving from my Complex Regional Pain Disorder (CRPD).
My husband made me call the hospital and tell them what was up, err, what was purple, and I was then ordered to come in ASAP to get my third spinal nerve block procedure in a 15 week span. I was supposed to space them out with 12 weeks in between, but my CRPD was not having it.

We were ushered into a green hued, dimly fluorescent lit room, and then one of my doctors came in to talk to us.
Have any of you seen Joe vs. the Volcano with Tom Hanks? His office lighting reminded me of this room in many ways ("suck suck sucking the life outta me!").
The docs were hesitant to do the same procedure again (since it's not really working). They wanted my consent to go another route for a procedure that would (hopefully) open the flood gates of my vascular system and get blood moving to my foot/toe/finger without waking the monster of Erythromelalgia (EM). It would be tricky, as they did not want to trigger more pain from my EM, which also affects the vascular and muscular system.
I agreed to the procedure and stressed to them, "please, DON'T wake the monster!"

My husband was sent to the waiting room and we were off to the procedure room. The anesthesiologist walked in next with extra folks in smurfy blue uniforms to help out. The doctor told me that he was having a tough time getting the needles into the area around my spine since apparently I had GREAT hamstring muscles - Hoorah for that - I think? I'll take whatever compliments I can get with my piddly no impact home workout dvd's right now. Ha!

Later hubbie drove me home to sleep, and thankfully, I woke up with some relief. The EM monster did not retaliate as much as we all had feared it might. Big smiles for that.
This means that they can slowly give me higher doses of the new drugs by way of this procedure every 4 weeks. It's not something I enjoy by any means, but I'm game. The drugs administered have a short lifespan in my body = good news.

But I am running out of options to treat my chronic pain, and have not been getting major relief yet from anything I've subjected myself to. My primary pain doctor cornered me yesterday and told me that she wanted me to get something called a Spinal Cord Stimulator attached to my spine, with the lead wires then plugged into a small device implanted in my bum cheek. I've had 2 other doctors in the past push this on me as well. I guess I can't call those guys quacks anymore : ).
But I am NOT OK with it, and it does not sit well in my heart of hearts, you know?

I still continue to choose daily pain over body numbing 'relief' that would prevent me from doing activities that I am fighting to get back in my life again, like running and jumping.

And if I said yes to the spinal cord device how would my life change?

What if I wanted to coat myself in various shades of plaid clothing and try golfing?
Nice try, but no.

How about my dreams of hang gliding lessons and (if I mustered up the nerve - Ha Ha 'nerve'), skydiving?
Just a dream hon'. Not really a reality for you if you get this device implanted.

Never mind that I find it extremely un-sexy to have essentially something the size of a car alarm remote implanted in my bum cheek.

Would I set off alarms at the airport?
Perhaps some high pitched sound emanating from my tooshy that only I would be able to hear?
Would my acupuncture treatments trigger car alarms to go off in the vicinity?
How would I change the batteries???

I asked the doctor, "have you had patients who pursued some of the activities that are considered a big no-no with this procedure/device? Perhaps people who were 'too active', and decided to do 100 jumping jacks?" I asked. "Yes, but you have to understand that there are going to be things that you simply CANNOT do." She said that she has had to re-open the area around the spine to re-attach the leads in patients in the past from too much activity.

At this point, in my mind I'm thinking, 'oh great, so you CAN plug me back into the Matrix when my wiring comes free...'

I'm a firm believer in going with your gut, and my gut has been screaming 'NOOOOOOOOOO' about this for years now. Perhaps this works for others, but I don't see this as an option for me yet, and I am not a procrastinator by any means.

I think for now I will continue to get up daily and move my body with some exercise 6 days a week. I will Spark daily and pull strength from my Sparkly pals. I will pay attention to what I fuel my body with each morning through evening, and try not to give into the despair and random hopelessness that pulled me to the pantry too often in the past.

I choose to live with my daily pain; which means feeling all of it, and respecting it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLOVER2 8/26/2011 9:58PM

    You are the bravest person I have met on this site. I think about what you are going through and I don't know...I think I would be doing ANYTHING to make it go away, or even bearable. You are in my thoughts and prayers! emoticon emoticon

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AAAACK 8/26/2011 5:42PM

    I hope this new procedure provides you the relief you need, so that you don't have to have the one you don't feel is right for you. Docs can recommend all they want, but YOU know what's right for you, and I really admire how you stand up for it. I hate to think of you in so much pain all the time, and I hope that you are able to get relief from the new procedure.

I hope one day you can run, jump, and get crazy. And I will hope for a cure for you (and everyone who lives with this debilitating disorder).

You are so strong, though. You are such a great inspiration to so many of us on this site, and probably in all areas of your life. Your attitude is always so great, and I know that can't be easy. But you make it LOOK so easy - those big smiles in your photos, your funny blogs. I think your sense of humor goes a long way to ease your daily struggles. Keep it up! Don't change, and don't let them bully you!
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RASMUSSEN5 8/25/2011 11:11PM

    You are an amazing woman! I will be praying for you hon!

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THEFITNUTLIFE 8/25/2011 8:36PM

    Oh honey! I can't even begin to imagine what you are dealing with, but just the sound of all that makes me cringe! I am glad you are standing up for what you think is best for you! Do not let anyone push you into something that you're not comfortable with. If the time comes that the pain is just too unbearable or the quality of you life is further hindered, then you can reconsider, but til then stick to your gut feeling! Prayers for you, Bren. You are one, truly amazing, strong woman. You inspire me every day :)

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CATS_MEOW_0911 8/25/2011 2:48PM

    You are one tough cookie! Hmmm...I totally understand the hesitation with getting a nerve stimulator implanted...just because we CAN treat something doesn't always mean that we SHOULD. I commend you for continuing to be highly active. Western docs are difficult because they tend to treat 1 symptom or area without consequence of the others. Sounds like your docs are at least cognizant of the effects that their procedures could have on EM and complications that could arise. No fun dealing with such a multi-faceted problem...best of luck...

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MINKABONET 8/25/2011 2:20AM

    Yes! The best idea IMO is to gather all the facts from professional sources (sounds like you've done a great job with that), weigh your options. Since you are willing to live with the level of pain you have now, seems like watchful waiting is a very good choice, since your instinct tells you not to jump into the SCS option so quickly. At least you know it's another option, should you need it in the future. Here's wishing you less pain in the future.

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1HAPPYWOMAN 8/24/2011 11:26PM

    You're facing such a difficult choice, and I applaud you for listening to your heart of hearts. I hope an effective and less invasive treatment option becomes available for you.

You are in my thoughts. I'm sending you lots of love and sparkles!

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CANNIE50 8/24/2011 11:13PM

    Oh, sweetie. I don't even know what to say. I hate the idea of you in so much pain. I have no opinion about the remote control thing - you know way more than I do. I am amazed that at the level of pain you are in, that you didn't jump on it. This just shows the strength of your spirit. PS I am loving seeing lil Miss Olive scamping all over Sparkville. oxoxo

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PURESTILLWATER 8/24/2011 10:34PM

    Every time I read about this horrible disease you have my heart just breaks for you. I am proud of you for standing for what you believe and what is right for you.

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MUSICALLYMINDED 8/24/2011 9:35PM

    don't let anyone push you into doing something you don't want to do! i guess you can always revert back to that option if your pain becomes unbearable :(

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Uses for Peanut Butter

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I started to research ideas on how to use up a jar of peanut butter after my husband got his quarterly peanut butter and jelly fix.
See, I didn't care if he would need to buy a new jar every time the next craving hit him. The $4.00 jar was nothing compared to the lack of sleep and stress it was causing me by having it around (that constant singing!)
That could mean 12 weeks of drawn out torture for me, a nut butter addict, who used the heavenly goo as a crutch for decades.
I went hunting online for ways to clean out that jar with something other than my mouth (see below):

* Make peanut butter cookies and bring them to work. Great idea, but one cannot hide the odor of a nutty cookie, and I would then be revealing that hubbie's peanut butter was now gone once he got home.
* Go to an elementary school and volunteer to get the bubble gum out of children's hair- Ha!
* Make dog cookies and gift them to the canines in the neighborhood (this one I have done).
* Price tag removal on books. Apparently you can rub it on price tags AND ruin your book covers at the same time!
* De-fish the house. After cooking your fish, remove it from the pan, add some PB and heat it up. Umm, wouldn't this make your house smell like fish AND peanut butter?
* Lubricate your lawn mower - I'm thinking that this one should come with a warning to wear gloves.
*Mousetrap bait - Has anyone seen the movie Wanted? I believe this one for sure. But sadly (or not sadly), I have no mice to trap.
* Shave Lotion - Unless you want to see me leech onto my own legs with fury, I don't see this one happening. Plus, think of the injuries to come in the tub from slipping!
* Leather furniture cleaner - Really? Not a good idea for either myself or my furniture. I can already hear my husband asking me why I was licking the sofa (again).

I'll be tossing the list of peanut butter uses for now.
I'm pretty sure I'll be saving us a trip or two to the Emergency Room as well from slipping in the shower - Ha!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLOVER2 8/26/2011 9:29PM

    You gave me my first belly laugh of the day! And I DO love those endorphins! You rock!! emoticon emoticon

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JONICACALDWELL 8/25/2011 7:57PM

    So Awesome. Maybe I'll think about this next time I try to down the jar by heating it and drinking it. Oh my bff brought me a jar of maple apple PB. If I didn't love her, I'd kill her, LOL.

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PURESTILLWATER 8/23/2011 10:09PM

    You are so funny, such a wonderful sense of humor! Love it!

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MUSICALLYMINDED 8/22/2011 6:48PM

    OK, after reading the caption about shoving the dog into your bra, the name of this blog scares me...

hahahahaha!

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KELLEEH 8/22/2011 5:42PM

    Oh, no... now my jar of peanut butter is calling my name! LOL!

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CANNIE50 8/22/2011 1:29AM

    What, no picture of you with razor in one hand, puppy in the other, peanut butter on leg, and you and the puppy both gnawing on said leg? Next, I want you to research alternative uses for Nutella, the particularly evil combo of chocolate and hazelnut. emoticon

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RYDERB 8/21/2011 10:47PM

    OMG! That was so funny! I can't imagine when the leather chair would stop smelling like peanut butter. But baking cookies…. Peanut Butter cookies are my favorite! Yummy. Definitely would get rid of the jar, but I would eat those cookies, before I could give them away! emoticon

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TRAILSAGAIN 8/21/2011 9:53PM

    Like your potential uses. I never seem to need them. A jar shows up and disappears. Of course, I do find it again the next time I step on the scale. Now shaving my face might work and it would serve as a nice after shave

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KARLIBRADY1 8/21/2011 8:12PM

  Ok, THAT was funny! I go through phases with peanut butter. Sometimes I binge on it constantly and have to go thru periods where I won't keep it in the house. Other times I feel "strong" and will try keeping a jar in the house. Our latest jar has been there for 5 days and has a little over half the jar left! Woo hoo! (Except right this very moment I could really go for some peanut butter and chocolate chips. . . )

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Will I Be Called the Sick Auntie Forever?

Monday, August 15, 2011

My husband's sister called last week and said that they would be driving through our area after visiting family out of state. They wanted to come over and visit. My husband has 2 sisters. Each with 3 children. This particular one has 3 sons ranging in ages from 3 - 13. I wanted to see them all. I missed them.

I made myself go to Target to get back to school supplies for the 3 kids coming over, as well as for his other sister's 3 children. I was not at the store for long. I had a detailed list to save time. Even still, my pain started to cover me like an iron blanket. I drove home and had to lie down. I was swollen and red all over, and had ice packs on my hands and legs to help cool the fire of my nerve and vascular pain.

My husband came home later and said that he was impressed by the items I got for each child. He then looked at my hands and feet and face (as my disease has spread recently), and scolded me for making the trip without him.
"I HAD to do it, don't you see? I wanted this to be from me, not stuff that you bought and put my name on. I just had to do something for them myself", I whined.

I was angry at my disease. Angry for my world shrinking smaller before my eyes. Angry at my pain.
I wanted to do just one little thing for them so badly. Why was that becoming increasingly impossible? He gave me a sad smile, and asked if I needed more ice packs.

I had not seen my husband's family since last November, and I was not feeling like myself even then since I was in a lot of pain. My progressively poor health has prevented me from traveling, really anywhere. The only reason I flew down last November was for a funeral. I sucked it up. I made it work.

You know those fun games we all have played at some point in life, that although small, build family bonds?
Playing Uno, drawing on the sidewalk, teaching a child to snap their fingers, or build a fort out of cardboard boxes?
The texture of that cardboard, the pressure inside my hands and feet, even the sunshine on my face and wind at my back - all bring me pain too often. So when my 7 year old twin nieces walked over in their pretty dresses at that funeral service, leaned on me, and went to hold my hand, their mom said, "Auntie's sick. Why don't you go hold Uncle's hand?"

Will I always be the sick Auntie? Each time I've seen these kids these past 5+ years, the hesitation in their reach to hug me (at their mom's request to "be gentle"), and bit of fear in their eyes breaks my heart.

There are literally dozens of kids in my husband's family. Almost every one knows I am ill. For the older kids who remember me as the goofy and silly aunt who used to play hide and seek under the dining room table with them years ago, I get their sad smiles as they hover around me, but are not sure what to say. I am sort of broken to them; like a toy who's batteries have run out. I just need new batteries, don't you see?

My sister in law and her family came over as planned. I had to disappear for a nap to sleep away some pain, and then huddled in the corner chair through most of their visit. Any time the 3 year old tumbled in my direction, someone would quickly swoop him up and away from me.
I did the best I could, but felt that it was not nearly enough (we are our worst critics of course). This was not how I wanted to them to see me.
But I am sure I could have said no and not opened my home to them. Selfishly I wanted to say no, but I can't crawl into that depression hole anymore.

Does this mean that I should stop referring to myself as a regular gal who has a mean disease, and instead, think of myself as an ill woman who has some good days every year?

I'm afraid that those little hands which currently want to hold mine will be too old to want to reach for my red swollen limbs as time moves on (and I get even worse). They are growing up fast, and slipping away.

I need new batteries. NOW...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AAAACK 8/19/2011 2:25AM

    You have so much courage! The kids may not see that now, but they must certainly see your awesomely funny way of looking at life, and the way you don't let your pain affect your sense of humor. That will teach them how to handle pain when they experience it in their own lives, true, but isn't it possible that they still see you as the funny goofy aunt? I mean your blogs are SERIOUSLY funny, and I know you can't hide that sense of humor from them.

Besides, there are more ways to reach a child than physically. I had an aunt who I still think of as the most beautiful person I've ever known. I remember her from when I was about 7 or 8 thru about 13. She had about 3 teeth left, was bald, nearly blind, and couldn't get around by herself, and she was only in her 60s. But she got yarn scraps from the local mill, and crocheted booties for the local hospital to put on newborns. She taught me how to crochet, mostly by feel. My mom told me many years later that my aunt smelled horrible due to her disease and immobility, but as a kid I didn't notice or care. I loved my aunt Agnes so much. I wrote to her even though she couldn't write back. Even at a very young age, I understood and fully accepted her limitations, and adored her because she was such an awesome spirit. She gave me more, just by being her, than any other relative. And I'm sure that as a dumb kid, I didn't let my aunt know how special she was and what a profound effect she had (has) on my life. You may have limitations, but maybe you are more special to those kids than you can possibly know! I know that you have a very positive affect on me just through Sparkpeople, and just in slightly over a month, I can't imagine those kids being less affected! Don't sell yourself short, you are amazing!

Comment edited on: 8/19/2011 2:27:43 AM

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WINACHST 8/18/2011 9:38AM

    Thank you for this blog. I needed to read something like that from the hurting one's perspective. My husband and youngest daughter both have chronic pain issues and sometimes it is difficult for me to remember that moving is not always easy for them.

Comment edited on: 8/18/2011 9:39:08 AM

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DEBBIEDAY 8/18/2011 9:09AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon You are a strong amazing lady and I'm sure your family knows this! ....

Are you able to write to the kids? Birthday and holiday cards are nice but I totally believe those notes and cards that pop up unexpectedly make a lasting impression, especiually when we take note of their special interests of accomplishments they believe no one sees or understands!

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CTUPTON 8/17/2011 7:47AM

    Have you discussed any of this with your family? Are they explaining the situation to their children--explaining it in a positive way!!

I had an Aunt who had ulcers badly. She had most of her stomach removed. As a kid I was scared of her. No one encouraged me to try to approach her. After she died many years later-of bone cancer, I learned more about her from my uncle.Often, He would come to visit my brother. I realized that my aunt had been a vital, happy person before her ulcer problem. And eventually she had surgery and healed and became active again. they had 2 sons. They would visit my family but I barely spoke to any of them. I needed someone to encourage me. I felt they were strangers, not family. What missed opportunities!

Chris

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SUNFLOWER4ME 8/17/2011 7:29AM

    You are such a sweet heart. emoticon

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JULES-AT-HEART 8/16/2011 1:42AM

    I understand what it's like to have something chronic (I have vertigo) that affects my daily life. There are times I don't want to go anywhere because I'm having dizziness or my head is "off". It's great that you are doing things even in the face of pain. Just remember that you are still you and your family sees that. =]

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PURESTILLWATER 8/16/2011 1:34AM

    emoticon

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RYDERB 8/15/2011 11:47PM

    You put up with me whining about the sun, and the heat, and you NEVER complain about the real pain that exposure to those things causes you. There's nothing "regular" about you! You're an AMAZING, STRONG, woman, who doesn't let her terrible and debilitating disease keep her down for long. You're such an inspiration. I know those little ones will grow up looking up to you, and knowing that they can accomplish anything, because they've seen you do it.
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CANNIE50 8/15/2011 11:47PM

    You are teaching them compassion, and courage in the face of pain and illness. I am so glad you opened your home to them, despite your desire to "go in the cave". You are still the wonderful auntie, just a different version. Children know when people genuinely care about them, and are truly interested, and you do, and you are. I hope there are more visits and less pain. I wish I could fix it all. oxox

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HIPPIECHIC68 8/15/2011 11:17PM

    emoticon

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1HAPPYWOMAN 8/15/2011 11:07PM

    It's so hard to live with chronic pain, not knowing if it will end.
It's so hard to deal with how differently people treat you when you're ill.
It's even harder when your illness keeps you from being able to connect with people you love in the way that you want to.
All that difficulty, all that hardness, and it still hasn't changed what is essential and true about you. It hasn't silenced your unique and beautiful voice. Please keep on writing, keep on feeling, keep on hoping. Your pain will never define you.

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Fo-Fo-Fo-Photograph!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

If a friend asked you to post a photo of yourself, would you be able to pick one immediately? Let me be more direct: If your weight has gone up and down like a roller coaster, which 'you' would you want to have them view???
The 'you' that you wish to get back to? Perhaps a photo of someone else's body that you were striving to be like? How about the bravest of the pack, who post photo's of their true 'you', as in today's version?

Another Spark friend had encouraged me to post a photo on my Spark Page months ago (CANNIE50). I recall being initially terrified since I had been hiding from the camera for a couple of years now - save for one silly photo with the Southwest Airlines Santa last December. My husband and I REALLY needed to shake off some sad feelings after a double funeral that we flew down for that morning. But Southwest's St. Nick was not going to tell anyone, and neither was I.

The idea of not only posing for, but posting a photograph of the 'current me' in transformation mode wafted through every grey wrinkle in my brain like the scent of burning popcorn in the microwave - it just wasn't going to fade away any time soon. As you know, I was still hiding from my mirror until recently, so you can imagine the anxiety I felt about seeing even myself in a pic.

I wasn't prepared emotionally to take a new photo of myself, so I started to look for photos I already had; or photos I had not yet thrown away that is. There have been so many variations of 'me' these past 5 or 6 years, and I was having a hard time picking one.

Have you ever tried to describe a new hairstyle to your hairstylist or a friend? Randomly whipping through magazine pages and often repeating phrases like, "it's like this, but more red like this other picture", or "I like the cut on this one, but the bangs are too short, and I wanted it more bouncy", etc. Well, I was lost at which Bren to pick. It was time to dive in and see what I came up with. I started to look through a small stack of photos.

There were snapshots from 8 years ago, before my disease, when my hands and legs were normal flesh tone and not swollen; before I let it take over my life for a while.
*OK, let's skip anything with full body shots to avoid that dilemma.

The next few pictures were of me when I was far too thin, about 7 years ago. A group of food intolerances decided to jump into the mix for fun, and I looked very pale and unhealthy.
*Keep flipping...

Then I came across a photo from 3 years ago with my husband and another couple, who were both Emergency Room doctors, so they knew a lot about my rare disease. They very discreetly posed in a way to cover my swelling and redness (sweet people!), but there was so much pain in my eyes behind my forced smile, that I couldn't bear to look at it.
I think that was about the time in my life when I gave up the fight and let my disease and the basket-full of autoimmune illnesses drown me for a long while. I was so tired of being attacked from all sides, and I felt very alone.
*Down to the last picture.

No surprise, it's with Southwest Santa. I was almost 30 lbs heavier from swelling and depression weight, and really was not occupying a great place emotionally. I needed something tangible to grab onto and get out of the muck.

I shared with a couple of super duper Spark friends that I had made a promise to myself to pose and post a picture on my Spark Page on my birthday a few weeks ago.

I did my hair, I applied my make up with a butter knife (ha!). I primped and posed. I really tried to be in the moment and let my new appreciation for myself shine through to the camera.
Honestly, I pulled strength from many of you Sparkers, who proudly post their photos, to gather the courage and do so myself, and for that I thank you all. I feel a bit embarrassed now that I hid for so long.

CHEESE!!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AAAACK 8/12/2011 3:21PM

    Again, I have to say that I look at everyone photos, and your's is right at the top of this list, and think to myself, "but these women are SO beautiful, how can they hate their photos like I do?" And again, I refer you to my blog about the same subject - I see so much physical beauty in all of you here, and Bren, you are absolutely gorgeous!

Maybe we just don't like pics of ourselves b/c our minds eye sees something different than the camera does? I don't know. But I do know that you have nothing to fear - nobody could look at your photos and think anything other than beautiful!


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WINACHST 8/12/2011 8:27AM

    WOW!

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CANNIE50 8/10/2011 11:57PM

    Well, honey, if you would not wear a furry hat with a ball on the end, and if you just do a wee little laser removal on the chin ar.....oh wait, silly me - you are the STUNNER on the left. I am so glad you have posted photos of you and your handsome man. You know how hard it was for me to find a photo to post. Arrgghhh, not my favorite thing but it definitely makes a statement when we don't hide behind the scenery (me) or the muppets (ahem). It would take a lot more than mean diseases to steal your beauty, my dear sparkly friend.

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RYDERB 8/10/2011 11:08PM

    I'd still be using my dog picture, except my husband took one, I didn't hate completely, but only because it's slightly out of focus. It's amazing what that can do for your skin emoticon You're absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I hope you never feel the need to hide again.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CLOVER2 8/10/2011 10:26PM

    You're lovely, and that isn't just being polite. Your hair and coloring are striking. Good for you! Me, I haven't been able to work my bravery to the point of having anything that even vaguely resembles me on the site. emoticon emoticon

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MUSICALLYMINDED 8/10/2011 10:14PM

    you're gorgeous! i understand you're self-conscious...but you really do look cute in this picture and i don't notice any of your ailments that you talk about in this blog.

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