Monthly Archives:: July 2016

A Year Ago vs. A Year Later

July 28, 2016 Katie A Uncategorized 0 Comments

erA year ago today, I walked out after an appointment I had such high hopes for. I had been referred to an obgyn within the practice where my primary care doctor is. I read the reviews about him, and I was hesitant, but I went.

I went with the support of my girlfriend.

I went with the support of my friends.

I went with the support of my parents.

I went with the support of my sister.

I went to this appointment with hope.

About ten minutes into the appointment, every thread of hope I was holding onto was gone.

Every hope I held onto was torn into shreds.

The day before, I had been in the emergency room, trying to make it another twenty four hours. I just had to hold onto this hope. I had to hold on. I told myself I had to.

When it became all too clear that this doctor was not going to help me in any way, I felt all this hope slip away.

He mentioned hysterectomy, but then refused to do the surgery. I was desperate for any relief. He said “yeah, we can do a hysterectomy, but I won’t do it.” He told me that I was “too young” and that the full hysterectomy would make my life worse. He told me that my breasts would sag because a hysterectomy would put my body into menopause.

He gave me no long term options. He threw a new prescription at me.

I walked into the hallway after the appointment, shaking, ready to break and asked him:

“Will you even consider doing a laparoscopy to treat endometriosis?”

His reply? “No, not at all.”

I walked out of that building with my sister, trying so hard to hold on. I was breaking down from the inside out.

No one cared. No one wanted to help me.

I was already passing time until the next time I had to go to the ER.

I was waiting for the moment where I passed out from bleeding so heavily for so long.

I was waiting for the next moment where the pain was so severe I threw up.

This had become my life.

I had been fighting for so long, and I didn’t want to live this way anymore.

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365 days later . . .

I am still fighting.

I am counting down the next two weeks until I go in for a laparoscopy.

I fought for an entire year to get to where I am now.

I’ve had to cancel plans. I’ve been in and out of the ER. I’ve had doctor after doctor tell me they can’t help me. I’ve had a doctor who called me fat, and basically put up roadblock after roadblock, making it clear she had no intention to give me a long term plan.

I’ve watched my entire quality of life slip away.

It’s gone.

With two weeks until surgery, it all still seems to surreal. It doesn’t seem like this is my life. It doesn’t seem like that I finally found a doctor who listened to me, who wants to help me live again. I sat on the exam table that morning, crying into a wad of tissue while she listened to me.

She gave me options.

She didn’t dismiss my pain and tell me that motrin and aleve would solve all the pain.

She listened. She cared.

With her and my surgical coordinator, I am getting ready for surgery.

I am exhausted. I’m in pain every single day. It has taken so much from me.

I’ve come an entire year with the support of my family, my friends. My girlfriend has been my number one support. She’s woken up to my texts when I can’t sleep because of the pain. She has seen me break down because of the pain. She has stood by my side when no one else was there.

She is the reason I am still standing tall today.

Without Molli, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

In two weeks, she will be be supporting me as I go into surgery. Something we have both been fighting for. When I couldn’t get up, she was there. On the nights I cried because of the pain, she was there. She even wrote a letter to my doctor, explaining how the disease has only gotten worse over the past year.

We are facing more than just surgery.

I am faced with over a month off. It wasn’t something we had expected. It wasn’t something we had planned. I know that I need this surgery, but I will admit that the thought of being off for that long is terrifying. I’m faced with the fact that I won’t be able to work. I’m faced with the fact that this will be a longer and harder recovery.

Yet, I found myself thinking today about what would have happened a year ago if someone had taken my pain seriously. I wonder about what kind of life I’d be living now. I wonder what my life would be like after having surgery before things got this bad.

I still need help. I still need support.

What may have happened a year ago may have changed things about where I am today.

I’ll never know.

In two weeks, I’ll wake up from surgery with a new outlook on life. I’ll wake up knowing that this surgery is happening. This surgery will help. I’ll walk through those hospital doors, knowing I fought long and hard for this day.

I’ll leave that hospital knowing I have a long, painful, exhausting and hard recovery ahead of me.

I still need your help. I still need your support. I am fighting daily.

Even if you cannot donate to the fund to help me get through being off work for so long, your support means the world to me. I can’t do this without you. Your love, support, encouragement helps. Even a dollar or five dollars helps. If you can’t donate, just knowing that I have your support is enough to keep me going for these next few weeks.

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I Need Your Help: Surgery Recovery

July 24, 2016 Katie A Uncategorized 0 Comments

Some of you may know that I’m scheduled to undergo surgery on August 12 for Endometriosis. While it is going to be an outpatient procedure (unless they end up having to make a bigger incision), it is still going to require anywhere from 4-6 weeks off of work to recover.
 
This is not something I ever expected when I was given a choice of two August dates. Unfortunately, this is the reality of the situation. Not only that, but because of how poorly I am given the severity of the disease currently – it is going to be a longer and more difficult recovery than my first procedure in 2007.
I am the person who is always there for others. I have constantly and always put myself last. I drop everything to be there for others, even when I can barely take care of myself. I give, I love. I live to help, support and encourage others.
It is hard to even ask for help. It is not something I do often. Right now? I need your help. I really, really, need your help.
 
Within the last year, I have watched helplessly as this disease has stripped me of so many things.
 
I have had more and more days where I cannot get out of bed.
 

I can’t sleep.

I can’t eat when the pain is so severe.

I have missed countless days of work.

I have gotten behind on the school program I am in.

I have no social life.

I have no energy.
 
I have been in and out of the emergency room. I have been going to several doctors, and several appointments.
 
Even getting through a normal shift at work has become increasingly difficult.
 
I have no quality of life. None.
 
I have been fighting so hard, for so long. I have gotten to the point where I was ready to give up because I just kept getting worse, worse and worse. No one wanted to help me.
 
Instead, I am now going in for this surgery with a chance of having a brand new life where I can actually LIVE. It comes with a price of missing a month or more of work.
 
I need your help. support
 
I need your love. I need your support. I need your encouragement.
 
I’ve set up a gofundme page to help cover the unexpected costs of being off of work for a month or more. It will help make sure I can pay bills. It will help make sure I will have enough to eat. It will help make sure I can get whatever post op supplies I may end up needing that I don’t already have.
 
Even if you can’t donate, just sharing this and spreading the word will be a tremendous help. If you can’t donate, just knowing that you are here for me and support me is enough. I am so lucky to have you in my life and I am so thankful for anything you can do to help, financially or otherwise.
 
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An Open letter to the One Who Said We’d Never Make It

July 6, 2016 Katie A Uncategorized 0 Comments

9ac0bd270c65191289a6d5f8a02658d3you said we would never make it.

you worked hard to undermine what relationship i had with your best friend and you actively pushed for us to break up, telling us that it wouldn’t work, that we were rushing into things.

you stood back as you lied and broke promises, turning what friendship i thought i had with you into a living hell. you didn’t speak to me for well over a year when you dragged me down into some drama i really had no part in.

you told my girlfriend i was horrible.

you told my girlfriend how passive aggressive i was, all while freely admitting that while you hadn’t uttered a single word to me, you were all to happy to stalk my social media to dig up dirt.

you promised time and time again that you would change, that things would be better. time and time again, we worked to believe that. time and time again, our belief that you would change shattered and it became more and more clear that you aren’t the person, much less friend, that we thought you were.

instead, you raced to spread your toxicity into our lives. you pushed for us to break up, disguising it as concern. you would tell my girl that i wasn’t worth the time, the distance. you told her that she was rushing into something we both knew was right and true.

but here’s the thing. . .

we are stronger than ever. we’ve come through our own challenges, standing beside each other. we’ve faced some brutal things throughout our lives well before we even knew each other. we faced backlash and hurtful words from those we loved the most.

we came through it on top. 24ba8ebd964de33ee930adfc5d607aea

we came through stronger than ever.

if anything, we’ve learned that we refuse to let that negativity into our lives. we’ve pushed it out, created safe and healthy spaces. we’ve made new, close and healthy relationships with those around us.

you said we’d never make it to the move – but in the next few weeks, it’s happening. you always doubted us, and tried to get under our skin, you tried so hard to make us second guess our entire lives together. you didn’t win.

in the end, when it came time to walk away – we knew that we had not only made the right choice, but we had made the best choice. you were never the friend you should have been. you were never the positive, open and caring person we thought you were. and that’s okay, it’s your life.

and in the end, we came out on top, stronger than ever, and ready to spend our lives together. time and time again, we will always come out on top, stronger and more in love.

i hope that in time, you find the same – that you will learn to love yourself and others. while you may not see any wrong in what you’ve done, i know that we are healthier, happier and stronger because of what we endured and walked away from.

we made it all the way to the top.

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How I Learned to Love Myself: Body Image, Self Love and more.

July 4, 2016 Katie A Uncategorized 0 Comments

I wanted to take the time to share part of my journey so far. Today I’m talking about body image, how it has played a role in my life and the slow process of learning to love myself.

july4For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with body image, disordered eating and some mental illness that have all stuck with me in some way to form some pretty unhappy thoughts about my body. I’ve been diagnosed with type two diabetes and PCOS within months of each other. It’s been a rough road.

Most recently, I was seeing a new OBGYN to try and get some long term treatment for the severe endometriosis I am battling and advice on things I can continue to do dealing with PCOS and the issues I’m facing with it. It has been so bad in the last year and has sent me to the ER several times and left me with no help from a few medical professionals.

When I walked into the appointment, I was hopeful. My mom was with me for support and I left shaking – angry, upset and hurt. It started a downward spiral. The doctor I saw that morning flat out told me that I was fat, and she would do nothing to help me other than throw pills at me. She made it very clear she had no interest in helping me at all.

A few weeks later, I flew into Tennessee to visit my girlfriend and one afternoon while we are shopping I had a complete breakdown because I was so uncomfortable, but the outfits I loved just didn’t FEEL right. I went on and on about how this doctor had treated me, how it triggered a lot of horrible thoughts, had started a pattern of disordered eating.

I’m going to be completely honest – that entire situation with the doctor and what unfolded in the weeks following was probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with. I was so unsure about my body, myself. I felt like a small, scared child unsure of what to do and the doctors words and treatment of me left me scarred and struggling.

For a while, I blocked it out. I was numb. I was upset. I was shocked. I was already uncomfortable in my own body. What that appointment left me with was a lot of hurt that surfaced again. I really struggled but I didn’t open up to people about the situation. I felt judged and looked down on enough with that single appointment.july2

When it all came floating to the surface, I had no choice but to face what happened. I had gone from someone who was constantly on the go, biking at least 20 miles a week for years to someone who had been in the ER several times in a year because of how severe the endometriosis had gotten.

Over the last year, I’ve become more comfortable in speaking out about my health. I’ve realized that by speaking out, I can help others. I can tell people how my life has changed. It’s also made me realize something huge. Something that within just a few days, has changed a lot of things for me.

My body is strong. It’s carried me this far already. It’s carried me through diagnosis after diagnosis. It’s carried me through some hard times growing up. It’s carried me even on the bad days where I can’t get out of bed.

I’ve started eating better. I’m doing some biking and walking. I’m not stepping onto that scale because it will only bring me back to where I was after the appointment. I’ve noticed small changes, small ones, but they are there.

I’m able to wear some of the pants I wasn’t able to wear a couple months ago, my shirts are feeling more comfortable. On the good days, I have more energy. I’m happier. I’m not looking at my body and thinking how much I hate this part or that part. I’m feeling more comfortable, and that is an amazing change for me.

I’m strong. I’m stronger than I realize and I have to thank my body for that. I have to take care of it. It’s carried me through a lot over the past year and I am thankful for that. It can carry me on the worst days.

While I’ve struggled with a positive body image, knowing that my body has carried me this far is enough to really think about doing the best I can to take care of my body and learn to love my body.july3

 

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The (Brutally) Honest Truth About Depression

July 3, 2016 Katie A Chronic Illness, personal: mental health 0 Comments

she’s a bitch.

she will creep up on you out of nowhere and silently. she will hide behind the amazing moments you live for, waiting to strike.

she will follow you around, making you second guess every move you make. she’s waiting and watching and ready to strike when you least expect it.

she will leave you broken. she will leave you crushed. she will attack and tell you things you may begin to believe. she’s left me broken. shattered. she’s left me unable to eat. unable to sleep. unable to get out of bed. she’s left me in the dark, wondering why i am still here.

even with medication and therapy, she’s still there. waiting. watching.

sometimes you just have to wait for it to pass, holding onto your friends and family. sometimes you brave the storm alone, one breath, one step at a time. each storm that passes, you come out a little higher than you did before, piecing the pieces back together.

it takes time. she will rear her ugly head again and again. you’ll feel the storm pushing you back, drowning you but you fight, you push against the wind, you get through the tears, the nightmares. you want to give up, to give in, but you don’t.

some days are harder than others, but you’ve made it this far already.

let her rear her ugly head. let the depression be the bitch she is, but don’t give up.

don’t give up. ♥

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Keep the Faith: How a PCOS Group Saved my Life

July 2, 2016 Katie A Chronic Illness, personal: health, Uncategorized 0 Comments

f85730b89d84c92fcefe4605d4a23549I was diagnosed with PCOS in September of 2015. It was eight months after I had been diagnosed with type two diabetes. Once again, I felt lost. I was scared. I was devastated. I felt like I was alone.

On top of all of that, I was told that becoming pregnant was something that would either not happen, or it would be very high risk (and the doctor who told me this, made it clear that it wasn’t the best option for me). Needless to say, by the time I got back into my car, I was a wreck.

For months, I had been staring at myself in the mirror – trying to figure out where this extra dark hair on my chin and neck were coming from. It was months of testing my blood sugar, taking medications and trying to hang in there.

I cried my entire way to work, cried at work and then cried even more when I got home from work. Eventually I calmed down and started searching for groups on Facebook. I was already in a few for chronic illnesses and spoonies, but now I needed to find a PCOS one that was right for me.

It was hard. There were so many of them. So freaking many.

A few hours later, I found myself reading up on a group called PCOS Positivity. I joined. I was hesitant to make that nerve wracking introduction post, but I did. I opened up and let these ladies into my life. I told them how lost I felt, how overwhelmed I was, that I wasn’t sure what to do, where to start or how to breathe through this new and scary diagnosis.

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In that group, I began to find myself. I had already been blogging about life and my health journey, but in this group, I was welcomed and I could share positive moments, welcome new members to the group, and grow into loving myself, encouraging others and seeing the love and positivity flourish in this group. I joined the group right in it’s infancy, and holy crap, we are now 6,000+ strong!

Let me tell you what this group has done for me:

The group has given me positive information about my diagnosis.

The group has welcomed me with open arms in one of the hardest times of my life (at that point in time, my life had become diagnosis after diagnosis).

The group challenged me to love myself, no matter how hard of a time I was having. These amazing ladies were always there for me.

I’ve met ladies I never would have met if I didn’t have this group, and so many of them have seen me at my worst, and my best.

I’ve seen the group grow, grow and grow some more. I’ve seen this group grow into a community of ladies who support each other, encourage each other and are there for each other.

I’ve seen how this group gathers around its members, spreading the love, opening up to the group about major life events or just when they really just need a friend.

I know that I am not alone in what this group has done for me. There’s thousands of us who call this group home, our family. There are thousands of us who found this group when they needed it. There are thousands of us who speak out about PCOS and raise awareness.

If I hadn’t found the group when I did, I don’t know where I would be today. It has had such an impact on my life and I’ve learned so much from it and the amazing ladies in the group. We’ve grown and grown and grown, we are entering a new phase and I cannot wait to continue to spread the love, positivity and inspiration that these ladies have given me.

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