October is dysautonomia awareness month. 💙
Dysautonomia is an umbrella term for conditions that affect the autonomic nervous system. POTS is one of those conditions. POTS can cause hundreds of symptoms and it’s often difficult to diagnose.
I’ve been battling POTS since I was around 14 years old. But I was misdiagnosed for years as basically just being a mental basket case (which obviously helped tremendously as you could imagine. #NOT 😂) as is the case with so many others who struggle with invisible illnesses. 💔
Since my official POTS diagnoses in 2018, I’ve been diagnosed with Lyme disease, Alpha Gal syndrome, Pernicious anemia, Asthma, hEDS, MCAS, May Thurner Syndrome, Venous insufficiency disease, and struggle with Reactive Hypoglycemia symptoms.
I’ve lost the ability to do so many of the things I once loved. Each day is a battle of its own. I’ve been just a step away from starting feeding tube formulas, and had months where I was almost constantly bedridden. I can’t function in the morning before I’ve done in IV, and have to run another by the time the evening comes. The world between what life once was, and what it is now, is often blurred.
I’ve come so far from where I once was, but nothing near how life use to be.
People often ask how I’m able to stay positive. How I continue to keep moving forward despite all of this.
I definitely have my days. 😅
But the truth is, my joy and hope isn’t found in a perfectly working body. It isn’t found in my work, profession, or anything that can be taken away. It once was. I found my worth and joy and identity in something so very fragile. And one day, in the blink of an eye, it was gone. Leaving me raw and open and vulnerable, grappling with the feeling that I had no worth anymore.
I had to learn to place my identity in something that could never be taken away. That no matter how sick I became, no matter how fragile my life was, it would never crumble. Jesus became that identity. I find my worth and happiness in Him. In who He says I am; in who He says I will one day be. 💜
The questions I get prompt me to remember a talk I once heard from a fellow chronic illness warrior. She mentioned that we often see sick people, disabled individuals, or those in wheelchairs and we immediately feel sorry for them. We pity them and feel bad for how hard their life must be.
But then she spoke the words my heart echos every day. She talked about how those who have had so much taken away, many of us have the magical gift of taking pleasure and finding joy in the smallest of things. We face the world with a childlike wonder. 🦋
She said instead of looking at them and saying “how hard they must have it!” Instead think, “how beautiful their life must be.” 💜
I know that’s so often the case with myself!! I’m forever grateful for the smallest things. Beautiful Fall days, encouraging messages between friends, music, my audio Bible, audiobooks, (kdramas 😜) pretty sunsets, or evening drives. Chick-fil-A waffle fries, or Dairy Queen strawberry cheesecake royals. 😛
Or the ways I’ve gotten better in areas I once was so much worse. Days where I’m able to help cook dinner, or stand up long enough to take a shower. The joy of being able to run my own business. (Even if it can also sometimes be a bit overwhelming 😜). The list goes on. 💜
I definitely have my moments. The days where grief seems to hit me out of nowhere, reminding me of what I’ve lost. Of the things I still can’t do. I’ll often sit in those feelings until my heart is ready to whisper, “maybe one day” and then pick back up my sword and continue to fight.
The road of a chronic illness warrior is a long and weary one. Instead of taking a week off to recover, like most do when they’re sick, our lives are spent trying to learn how to thrive and continue pressing on alongside the illnesses. It’s by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to learn.
But I’m thankful I can say with certainty that I love my life. Brokenness, scars and all. 💜💜💜
Where do YOU find your hope? What are some small things that make you smile? Let me know in the comments below!!
This post is also an introduction post for this little dude in the photo below!!! 😍🥰❤️
Teddy is a little over 6 months old and he’s a hypoallergenic goldendoodle. He’s the smartest, most lovable little puppy in the world and I couldn’t be more thankful for him!! He’s completely rocking most of his commands and tasks at home and is getting ready to start public access training with a trainer. 💜
He’ll be a medical alert dog if I continue to have blood pressure and blood sugar issues. As well as doing light mobility work, and tasks like picking things up off the ground (something that’s usually sure to send someone with POTS into an episode 🙈) or shutting doors, bringing meds, etc. He’s already rocking several of those tasks, and has been such an eager learner! He LOVES to work and feels so proud of himself when he completes a task. 😂💜
He’s also in desperate need of a haircut. 😂
In other news...
Our Fall box has launched over at Literary Treasures Co!
I launched Literary Treasures Co. when I noticed the need for a wholesome and inspiring book box subscription. Something the entire family can enjoy!
Each box features a full-length novel, (either leather bound or hardcover) and multiple gifts surrounding the story. Typically replicas of items mentioned inside the book!! (See below for our past Alice in Wonderland box!) We primarily feature classics, with the exception of an occasional classic retelling!
"RUBY RED” is the theme for this month’s book choice! This leather-bound classic is full of adventure, spunk, and friendship. 🦁💚🧺 And the box is FULL of treasures, (THIRTEEN to be exact!) guaranteed to sweep you along as you journey through the story!!! ✨💖
This box had its share of hiccups along the way, (like every box does 😂🙈) but it’s finally here and I CAN NOT WAIT to share it with you!!!! 😍🥰♥️
Orders are shipping right now and there are only a few boxes left!! These make the perfect Christmas gifts! As usual, I’m always happy to disclose the book choice to those who don’t like surprises!!! Simply send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us via our Instagram page (@LiteraryTreasuresCo) and I'll get back to you shortly!!
Find out more about this months box or order your box HERE!
Photos of one of our past boxes: