Big Impacts

Originally posted May 7, 2012:

So this week has been kind of busy and crazy, considering I am moving at the end of the week/beginning of next week. Also, I have an Upper GI (scope with a camera and small knife for biopsies, inserted down your throat into your stomach and small intestine) in the morning and that’s been quite the run-around with the insurance. However, tonight’s blog will be about…

  • acceptance
  • support
  • small things that really impact your life (whether you notice it now or not)
  • I’ll start off with acceptance. I am and always have been, a people pleaser. I do things to make others happy and my happiness is always second, sometimes third. I always want to be accepted and I “just want  people like me”. I think this is honestly just one of my traits and I’m not going to be able to “grow out of” or change. I think I will always want the approval of someone, whether it be my family, friends, or complete strangers. In ways, that’s not so bad. Consider at a job: being accepted and approved of is a good thing! The more recognition you get for doing a good job and putting others first, the farther you move up. However, sometimes its detrimental.

Think about family and friends: there will ALWAYS be someone who doesn’t approve of how you do things, how you live your life, how you raise your children, how you cook your meals, etc. I understand that I shouldn’t take everything my family and friends say to heart, but on the inside I always remember the things that have been said. I shouldn’t need everyone’s “approval” and maybe I should just “grow up” and not listen to them, but that’s not my personality and not how I am. I’m always going to want to make others happy and I will do anything to be accepted in my choices. No, that’s probably not healthy. And honestly, if I did this with EVERY aspect of my life, I wouldn’t have

  1. dropped out of high school
  2. gotten married
  3. decided to move away from everything and everyone I have ever known

I suppose I don’t do this in every aspect, but trust me: I remember everything that has been said to me about “rushing into my marriage” “dropping out of school” and how it was “a terrible decision” and how I have disappointed family and friends. Yes. I totally understand I’m a grown woman and I shouldn’t listen to anyone as long as I’m happy, but I do! I care what everyone thinks! I care what my mother thinks, what my cousins think, what people from my graduating class think. I care! I know I’m getting quite repetitive, but seriously. To end this topic…. I care what everyone thinks. Big or small impact on my life, I care. I always will want to “fit in” and be accepted by people, and that’s something I will deal with. Yeah, I’ll probably pout every once and awhile, but it’s true. I feel the need to be accepted, even if it’s by a few people.

  •  Next! Support. I’m not even sure where to start. From a very young age I have been supported in many, if not all, the choices I have made. Around high school is where I saw less and less support. I understand that dropping out of high school may have not been the “right” choice, but it was for me. “What’s right for one person, isn’t right for everyone.” That is a quote my mom used every time I would get worked up and upset about my choices. I dropped out of high school because I had ongoing (and still do) medical problems that keep me from doing everyday activities and sitting at school (or anywhere basically) for long periods of time. I would just get so worked up about missing school because of being sick that I would get to school, sit in the parking lot, and cry. I couldn’t go inside, I WOULDN’T go inside, because I was so far behind and I couldn’t face my teachers and fellow students with work that “should” have been completed. [It’s a vicious cycle getting caught up after missing an extended amount of school-work, keep that in mind. A person can only handle so much.]

I wasn’t supported very much (besides my mother and a few close family members) about dropping out, but shortly after I got my GED (with honors- I didn’t even know that existed) and was soon engaged afterwords, to the man who is now my husband. Getting engaged and married was another one of the “acceptance” issues. To this day I don’t think my parents and grandparents  “approve” of me getting married, but not once did they decline helping me plan my wedding. They saw that I am an adult and their approval or disapproval wasn’t going to stop me. I will be forever grateful for their generosity and help throughout everything. My grandparents even opened up their home to let my husband live here while he was home on leave.From day one of dating, my (now) husband has supported me in everything. He watched me do homework, cry because I was so far behind, drop out of school, get my GED, and even with little steps along the way. This is why I believe our marriage is, and will continue to be, successful. He has supported me, and I have supported him. Before him, I hated (let’s say it again) HATED the Army. Yep. I hated it because I wasn’t educated and I just always thought war was NOT the way to fix anything, and all they did was kill kill kill and that is obviously getting us nowhere, and I always hated how it tore families apart, etc. HATED! IT! However, after getting myself educated, I understood why he was doing it and how it really was. It’s not AT ALL about killing and tearing apart families. Therefore, I have supported him in everything he has done, from losing weight for the Army, going into the Army, being in the Army, and other things such as how he handles every day situations. I support him and sometimes I don’t like the way he does things, but I know that if it were me, he would be there saying “okay, I’m here.” so I do the exact same. Even when my family and close friends haven’t supported me in some aspects of my life, lately, he has been there. Support is a BIG facet in any relationship, family, and friendship.

  • Last, but not least… The little things. Little things are whatever you see fit. My version of little things are: when my husband sneaks around Wal-Mart to buy me an Angry Birds car magnet, when my little sister tells me “Shelb… I really want you to be home for Christmas… That’s a time for family…”, when my best friend tells me I’m more of a sister to her than just a best friend, and when my grandma sheds a few tears when my grandpa mentions me moving away. These little things are the things I will look back on in 20 years and think “wow… Look at all the wonderful people who went out of their way to think of me…” and I will appreciate that more than the big things like: getting our first house, buying a new car, or even moving from state-to-state. So the next time your significant other/parent/friend/anyone does a little something for you or says a simple “I appreciate you” “I love you” or compliments you, remember that. Keep in mind that at that point in time, they are thinking about you. A little appreciation for the little things in life will go far.

Hidden Hardships and Invisible Illness

Originally posted on April 30, 2012:

This entry will talk about all the things I deal with internally (mentally and physically) on a daily basis. It may contain explicit (more so gruesome details about my bodily functions) material. Parental discretion is advised. 😉

  •  First off, people hide things more than we would like to believe. People hide bad things like abuse, pain, and guilt, and they hide good things, like achievements (in order to not be made fun of), good grades (so they aren’t called a geek, and the joy of life/being pregnant (so they won’t be judged).

   Personally, I hide my pain. I’m an 18 year old, married woman, and I have Fibromyalgia. I always thought Fibromyalgia was an “old person” illness. Contrary to popular belief, it is most common in women of child-bearing age and beyond, but can also occur in teens, children, and men of all ages.

I am in pain all the time, 24/7. No breaks, no time-outs. For those of you who don’t believe or understand I will post a few links at the bottom of the blog, about understanding this pain. I’ll do my best to explain how I feel on a daily basis, but it’s hard to express. I’ll do a timeline.This is based on a typical day/night, some are a little worse, some are a little better.

  • Wake up: The night before I didn’t get a very restful sleep, unless it was drug induced by muscle relaxers or prescription pain-killers. I woke up at least 3 times, getting out of bed every time. I finally drag myself out of bed, with stiffness and pain in my jaw (from clenching/grinding my teeth in my sleep) back, neck, elbows, and knees. On top of the stiffness and aching joints, my skin hurts. There are many different kinds of “hurt” and when my skin hurts it burns. My skin sometimes feels like it is on fire, with the lightest brush of my hair or my shirt on my neck or arms. When it isn’t burning, it’s tender. When someone wants to rub my back, sometimes its nice, but sometimes its completely unbearable because it literally feels like the top layer of my skin has been ripped off and my flesh feels raw.
  • This brings us to the afternoon: Around lunch, I scavange to find something to munch on, because I can’t eat big meals. I eat about 5 or less small meals a day, when I’m not snacking. Some days I just snack all day because if I eat a big meal, I’ll throw up. I always have to keep in mind what to order at restaurants, because if it comes back up or goes out the other end, I could really be in for it. Usually, spicy/greasy/acidic foods are a no-go, unless I have taken medicine prior to eating. I have diarrhea at least once every couple of days, sometimes up to 5 times a day. I’ve recently discovered that sweet tea from the Golden Arches is out of the question, since I get diarrhea following a tall cup of that.
  • Evening/Night: Probably when I feel the worse, but obviously that’s when people are the most active. The evening is when you go on dates, hang out with friends, visit with family, and much more. If I woke up around 8 a.m. I am probably beyond exhausted right now. However, it usually doesn’t stop me from going out and about to see people and go places. By now, my skin is very tender, my neck is aching pretty badly, my feet are starting to throb, sometimes my eyesight gets blurry, I have a headache, and I’m just very tired.

As I lay down to go to sleep, I have problems getting comfortable because my skin is hurting and my back and neck ache, so it’s hard to get in a good position to sleep. I lay there for a good 20 minutes before I can actually fall asleep… but alas, I’ll wake up in about 3 hours to begin the cycle all over again.

  • Mentally, I go through quite a lot, too. There are sometimes I just forget. I could have a big appointment or maybe a bill, but I will forget. I have lists everywhere. In high school, I forgot my locker combination constantly and I would just “blank” on what class I had next. I try not to let it get to me, and I always try to be positive. When I’m in a lot of pain, I still try to be nice and happy. However, sometimes I just get snappy or whiny. Then sometimes little things will bother me and I’ll say something I regret, and later that day I’ll apologize like a mad-woman, when it really may not have been a big deal. I always feel bad when I talk to others about my problems, because I feel like I’m putting a burden on them, so I usually just keep it to myself.
  • It’s hard to explain, and also very hard to understand. There is no blood test, imaging test, or clear-cut test to prove you may have this disorder. Some people don’t believe that what I have, Fibromyalgia, is a real disease/disorder/illness/whatever you may call it. I’m living proof that it’s real. Treatment for it is (how my rheumatologist described) 1. Good sleep 2. The right medications 3. The right exercise. Obviously if you’re worn out and tired, you won’t want to exercise. Or if you’re exercising, you might not sleep because of the amount of pain you’re in. In that order, is the treatment. If you can get good, solid sleep (even if it’s helped by medicines) you move on to Step 2. Medciation. Treatment for FM is Cymbalta or Savella. Those two are the only FDA approved medications for Fibromyalgia. After you can get some solid hours of sleep and the right medications to help your daily pain, you move on to exercise. Low-impact exercise is the best. Consider walking, swimming, yoga, Tai-Chi, etc. if you have FM and need to get your daily amounts of exercise in.

Please, for the sake of being my friend or for the sake of others around you who may suffer from Fibromyalgia, read up and educate yourself. That alone will show us you care enough to want to know how we feel.

In closing, I want to say… Just because it looks like someone isn’t in pain, doesn’t mean they aren’t. I’ve gotten fairly good at hiding my pain, just because I don’t want to burden others with my problems. Just because someone doesn’t look like they’re hurting doesn’t mean they aren’t suffering inside. This goes for many different illnesses and diseases. You can’t see depression, but it’s real. Just a few disorders that are “Invisible Illnesses” are depression, Fibromyalgia, arthritis, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (my best friend has this and I will post a link to educate yourself about that, as well), Lupus, dementia, heart disease, and even cancer. Please educate yourself and others on Invisible Illnesses!


Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome


Invisible Illnesses

This Was Me Being Whiney…

Originally posted April 26, 2012:

Wow. I was being a whine-bag.

One small post before bed..

 If you don’t want to hear about me whining, I advise you to skip this entry. Today hasn’t been particularly good, but not so bad either. I cried after writing my last entry and then took a nap after I got home from the airport. When I woke up, I went to see my sister-in-law, Megan, for a little while. Seeing her cheered me up a little, but after I left I realized how much I would miss her. I cried when I left her house. Then I dropped off a game Corey rented at the video store, and cried because I knew I would never step foot in there again. After being reluctantly dragged in there every time we were in Connersville, I realized I would miss Corey begging me to rent a game. On my way home I got straightened up and was listening to music. I had it on shuffle and our First Dance song from our wedding came on. Cue waterworks. I got back to my aunt and uncle’s, and started to watch the NFL Draft, thinking watching tv would keep my mind off things. Around pick 20, they took a moment to bring out 2 reps from each branch of the Armed Forces and play a patriotic song for those who keep our freedom safe. (I was talking to someone, so I “had to go to the bathroom” and cried a little more) After that I started joking around with my aunt and uncle, so I was feeling a little better. They went outside to smoke, and alas.. Shelby can’t catch a break today. They flipped over to show fans, who happened to be soldiers, in Fort Hood, TX watching the Draft.. where Corey is.

I feel selfish for crying sometimes, because I’m going to be with him soon. I feel greedy for being upset, when I know his whole family is upset from him leaving and won’t see him for quite a while. I’ve been told “don’t be upset. It’s all right for you to be upset, too.” but I feel like I shouldn’t be, since I’ll see him soon. Soon, being anywhere from 2 weeks from today to a month, maybe more.

Appreciate It!

Originally posted April 26, 2012:

It’s quarter ’til 11 and I’ve been up since 5 for my trek to the Indianapolis airport to drop off Corey. I don’t have a lot to say because 1) I’m quite tired and 2) I always get a little upset on the “goodbye” days.

It kills me how there are so many people out there that whine and moan about little stuff like their boyfriend/fiance/husband picking their nose, not clipping their toenails, or leaving dirty dishes lay. To me, none of this matters because I know when any of the following are occurring, he’s home. Here with me. Wherever we are. Home. We’ve all heard the saying, “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone” and it’s truer than true. Everyone takes SOMETHING for granted. Whether that something be their parents, clean and running water, clothes on their back, or someone to lean on. One thing that I have never, and honestly will never, take for granted is time spent with my husband. Yeah, there are plenty of times I want to rip out his almost non-existent hair, but I still appreciate him for everything he does and all he has sacrificed to give us a better life. I am thankful each and every day that I have someone I know I can depend on to “be there” for me, even if he’s 20 hours away or in the other room. I am thankful for his understanding and caring nature towards me, knowing that I have a lot of health problems going on and can still console me in his own way (since guys aren’t particularly good with the whole “consoling a crying girl” thing). I am extremely grateful for his sense of humor, because no matter how upset or in pain I am, he can always pull a little something out of nowhere and have me in tears from laughing. I am thankful that he cares for others. If he has something cool, he’ll want to share it with you. If he has extra money, he’ll want to buy you food, just because. There’s been quite a few people help us out and we both like to give back. We’re both grateful for each other for different reasons, and try not to nitpick at little things that don’t matter.

If you’re having an argument, just stop. Stop and think: “Will this matter tomorrow? Next week? In a year?” and if the answer is ‘no’ then let it go. Value the time you have with someone because you aren’t promised tomorrow.

Background Check

Originally posted on April 25, 2012:

As my first post I’ll give a brief, but not so brief, description of the past 18 years of my life. When I was little my parents divorced and, like any other child of a separation, my life consisted of two families. One family during the week, another family on every other weekend. Around age six I had quite the “falling out” with my biological dad, who I discovered first-hand was an alcoholic. My mom never forced me to stay home, but also never forced me to go visit him. I slowly grew apart and visited less frequently until I was in the 8th grade.  At this time, the visits halted due to quite the confrontation. I couldn’t handle my emotions being thrown around like this when he got into a drunken spat and decided his life of unemployment and alcoholism was too much for him. I haven’t talked to him since then, and feel no need to if he has no respect for my choices and my family. It hasn’t been easy, but most things that change your life aren’t categorized under “Easy”.

   185586_1894787300688_4136058_n: My health. Ever since I was born I never really was “healthy”. I always had something going on with my stomach, as long as I can remember. My stomach has been the main focus of my problems but some others were sinus infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, aches and pains, migraines, and just feeling puny. After going to countless specialists I was diagnosed with simply Irritable Bowel Syndrome and “stress”. Oh I’m sorry. I don’t think 3 year olds are stressed, but whatever you say! I always got the “eat more fiber” speech, and I always thought they could shove that up their perfectly cleansed colons because fiber was not my problem. After about 4 years of countless doctors appointments every month, blaming it on “stress” and I was “depressed”, to finally get to the right specialist figuring out I had Fibromyalgia. Not a common thing for my age, but its not technically age-specific. After finding the right doctors, I think I am on the road to a better and healthier life! Still a little work to go, but I’ll write about that later.

   At this time last year, I was ending a relationship and finally just trying to focus on my health. No boys, no love, not even much time for my friends. I had been out of school because of all the things going on in my life, health-wise, which eventually lead me to leaving high school for my GED. In the summer I got a job and began working, but one of my friends had recently graduated so we all know that means…. party! A party with people who would influence my life for the rest of forever.

   Today I am married to my best friend and my rock, Corey. He is in the Army, stationed at Fort Hood (he leaves around 9 a.m. tomorrow) and I will soon be joining him to begin this crazy life as an Army Wife.

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I will go into a lot more detail with things later on, but tonight I just wanted to get out a little background that no one really has known about until now. Thanks for reading!