My Life Abbreviated

My Story Goes Something Like This:

I have recently been diagnosed with an incurable disease. In my journey to this diagnosis which feels like a final diagnosis amongst many abbreviated diagnoses’ lead me to feel like I needed to reach out to others. This condition is an invisible illness, one that makes me a member of the chronically awesome crowd, a spoonie, a silent sufferer if you will. These too are terms I am just now learning. This is not my first blog and although it will repeat a lot of what I have already written, it will leave some out. Because there are some parts of my story that I have told which required me to remain anonymous. I no longer want to be unknown. So, I suppose I should edit some parts out.

Please note: If there are any people close to me who read this blog and their feelings get hurt in any way, it is not my intention but simply the way I felt at any given time. I think if nothing else in this country we live in, we are still allowed to have our own opinion and we are still allowed to voice them. With that being said let me start.

HallmanFamily

First of all, let me do something I have yet to do in this writing journey which is introduce myself. My name is Melissa and I am a proud mother to 5 great children. (See picture above of a rare moment which we ALL smile for the camera together) I love them with every fiber of my being, but if you are a parent you will understand my repeateded need to vent about them from time to time. Parenting alone is enough to drive many people crazy. I’m just wingin’ it here. Hopefully I don’t mess them up in any way because in this life I think it is the most important thing I’ll ever do. Raise them to know they’re loved, to be able to love themselves and others, to learn hurt and how to recover, to learn hard work, and to learn to have fun in life. And since they are mine, they’ll have to learn to learn from their mistakes. Lord knows, I’ve made many. But I think those mistakes are the ones I learned the most from.

This blog is about my daily struggle with mixed connective tissue disease and all of the other abbreviations I have been diagnosed with along the way. Isn’t it crazy how we abbreviate so many things? Like, is it really too complicated or too much work to just come out and say the words? My son has started this new thing where instead of laughing, he says, “LOL”. Really son? Isn’t it easier just to actually laugh? You know, OUT LOUD? He’s 14 and thinks he’s really cool so when I say things like that to him, I’m just not cool enough to know that saying “LOL” is cool. One day when he’s much older and wiser he will realize how stupid some of the things he does at this stage in his life are and he will look back and LOL about it.
So what lead me to decide to start a blog? Well, abbreviations of course. I’ve been given many. Some stuck, some have not. But almost every single one that I have been given has been a struggle.

 

It all started in elementary school when I was given a test for ADD/ADHD. I passed this test. Or some would say failed it. I guess it depends on whether or not you see it as a glass half full or half empty sort of thing. I mean, failing tests was what caused me to be tested in the first place, so this time I considered myself having passed this one. I had an answer, or at least in my little mind, I did. I knew now why any amount of studying I did wouldn’t show in my test and why my friends had better grades than I did even though I never saw them study.
I was going to finally fit in I thought. This magic medicine will solve everything. Boy, was I ever wrong?

 

My principal wouldn’t even accept that I was ADD. “She doesn’t have ADD, she’s such a pretty little girl” she would say. “You need to have her retested, they got it wrong”. Being diagnosed with ADD in the 80’s was a different ballgame than it is today. Note that I didn’t say ADHD. Yes, friends, I have never had a hyper bone in my body. I wish sometimes that I did. That way I didn’t procrastinate as much as I do, or maybe I would have the energy to do the things my mind wants to do, but I just can’t. I have no reason as to why, but I just don’t follow through with things as I should. I’ve been wanting to write a blog for the longest time and I just haven’t. And I don’t have an excuse.
This blog is going to cover so much more than ADD. This is just where it all began for me. So this is what I am going to start with today. I can’t cover it all in one day. My body will no longer allow me to sit and type for too long and my mind jumps from one thought to another so keeping up with me from a reader’s standpoint may prove to be challenging if I didn’t keep each post short and sweet.

A.D.D. Attention Deficit Disorder
L.D. Learning Disability
GM General Manager
SR Sales Representative
TMJ Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction
DSM District Sales Manager
C.O.P.D. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
G.E.R.D. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
FM Fibromyalgia
A.D.H.D. Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
R.A. Rheumatoid Arthritis
FM (again) Fibromyalgia
M.C.T.D. Mixed Connective Tissue Disease

As stated before I am almost positive I have left some out, but you get the gist of it. Those last three have been the hardest thus far and they are what have led me here to write this blog. Because I don’t know anyone else who suffers with this right now, I kind of feel alone with it. And I don’t want a pity party, but I do want to know what is normal. Am I normal? I know I’m not, but am I kind of normal? These are the questions you ask yourself when you have been doubted by so many. Even the very doctors that eventually came up with these diagnosis’. Sometimes, even my own family. So why wouldn’t I question myself?

 

Will Chronically Ill Ever Be Safe?

It feels like I am on week 782 of the lockdown. I know I am not alone in feeling like there is no end to this. With so much misinformation out about COVID-19, I am left to feel like the only safe option is to stay home. Wear face masks, wait – no, they won’t help. Wait – yes they will, but not the ones we said to begin with. Wait – no they won’t, cloth won’t help, neither will this or that, but wear it anyway. Yes, they should work so we are going to enforce you all to wear one.

Is there a single thing anyone can all agree on with COVID-19? We went from our president addressing his nation every single day type of scary to no big deal within weeks. Now some say it is all hype and a plot to divide us even more. Listen, people who deal with chronic disease on a daily basis already, don’t need one single other thing to threaten our health. We already don’t trust our physicians, for the most part, because we are still reeling from the “opioid epidemic” which I am assuming isn’t an epidemic right now since COVID-19 is front and center. One thing I think we can all agree on, we surely don’t trust them now.

If we can’t trust our doctors, our government, our media, or even our peers any longer to tell the truth about a truly big problem, how can we trust anyone about anything anymore? Am I the only one who feels like I have been further pushed back into my shell about anything and everything at this point?

The bottom line is this: we MUST trust our gut. We have to know our bodies. We have to know what is right and what is wrong at all times. Not only on a health level but on a decent human level. If I think there is even a small chance that I could be spreading a disease that may only be a cold to one person but has the potential to kill another person, I should have the decency to stay home. If I don’t stay home, wear a mask. I think we need to shift our thoughts from being that wearing a mask stops me from becoming sick to that wearing a mask stops me from infecting other people. Go one step further and add in the fact that everyone else is wearing a mask and you now have two masks between one person and the disease. It really isn’t that hard of a concept to get behind.

Is it really too hard for people, and I mean EVERYONE, to add one item to their daily attire? If it was cold and you needed to wear a coat you surely would do so, right? So why is this one little face-covering item causing so much drama?

Everyone is screaming about Black Lives Matter, yes they matter. I’m in no way trying to belittle that cause. But, I’m over here wondering why nobody is calling out the petty people who are basically screaming – only my life matters – by their refusal to take the teeny tiny small step to wear a mask. These people are literally scattering conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory all throughout the internet in a time where there is already so much confusion going on, it doesn’t make any sense.

Step back, analyze, tell me you can’t see how petty it is, and then come back and talk to me. I haven’t posted on my blog in a while because I feel like I am losing confidence in the human race at this point. I’m scared to say exactly how I feel because it can get so twisted in this world we live in today. But this face mask thing, shouldn’t it be a no-brainer?

I welcome your thoughts on it and if anyone can make me see what I am missing, I urge you to do so. This isn’t a republican or democrat thing to me, it is a human thing.

I leave you with one final thought on the COVID-19 and the way it has been handled: the country went on lockdown for around two months. Numbers were starting to look like they were slowing down. They were still rising, but not as fast as today. Why did we decide at that point to lift the lockdown? It felt like paying nearly an entire car loan off with only 2 or 3 payments left and then stopping and letting the car get repossessed.  

Winter is Over

I haven’t been writing much lately. I have found myself constantly trying to venture into new areas in an effort to continue to be able to work from home so I can afford my insurance and stay my version of healthy.

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I have been working for a company for going on two years and business has all but came to a stand still. Because of this, I am not getting over 20 hours a week. This takes a good toll on your bank account. Not only that, but stress levels are through the roof.

Stress causes disease to grab hold of you and beat you like a drum. Not only that, but the rain season began and that alone can cause pain levels to be astronomical.

For those of you who follow my blog, you know I am a TV fanatic. I can live without a lot of things in life, but my TV is NOT one of them. When pain and stress take hold of me I find myself getting completely immersed in TV. I have found a lot of good shows to binge watch. Two of the latest: Outlander and Peaky Blinders.

Let me tell you, these shows have blown my mind. They are so creative and they really pull you into their world. The stories are very well written and the characters and the actors that play them will knock your socks off. If you haven’t watched either of these shows, do yourself a huge favor and get busy doing so. Outlander is set to come on Netflix May 27th and Peaky Blinders is already there. You can thank me later for these recommendations.

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Last night, one of my other favorites, Game of Thrones, came to a final end. There are so many people mad about the entire last season and the writing and I for one, don’t understand. I mean, this is a TV show and the one thing that has kept people so immersed in the show is the element of surprise. Sure, I think Jon deserved a higher purpose but he got what he wanted. He saved the world and got little to no recognition for it. He’s never wanted that for himself and if you followed the show you know this.

Still, the shows ending leaves a large gap for viewers to fill. There are said to be spinoffs and I hope they aren’t as long awaited as the final season was. I can’t wait to see what they have in store.

Changing subjects, I have also been back to doing surveys to fill the time and make a few extra dollars. One new one I have found that I didn’t previously use is Survey Junkie. It really is self explainatory but you basically find surveys you want to take and earn money upon completion. You can choose to get paid via PayPal so it is a win, win. Please take a look if this interest you and don’t forget to use my link when you sign up.

I am off to do some more job searchin’. I hope to use more of my spare time to write more. I am also in the process of opening my own store. It is a lot easier said than done and will always be a work in progress but please take a peek and let me know if you have any suggestions as I really do need help getting the word out in the cheapest way possible 🙂 The website is dontabbreviateme.net.

https://dontabbreviateme.net/

Hope you guys have a great summer! Stay Cool and most of all BE WELL!

Trapped By Illness

cbcb67c91ceb2ff56bdd60601c9eaf64Have you ever been somewhere that you really really didn’t want to be?  All you can think about is the moment you get to leave. The feeling of slipping back into your pajamas when you get home and hitting the bed like a ton of bricks. The random thoughts that run through your head –  this time tomorrow, I won’t be here. In just three more hours this will be over. This is just a few hours out of my entire life, I can do this.

 

Now, imagine that feeling for the rest of your life. Only you aren’t somewhere you don’t want to be. You are just trapped inside your own body which is breaking down at every single turn you make. You can’t even find a comfortable position to lay and exist in bed. It is miserable.

 


imagesNot only are you overtaken by pain from doing merely nothing besides waking up, but you know all of the things you should be doing are going undone and it is all your fault. You know you look lazy, crazy, and useless to the people around you but you have learned to just accept this label. It’s not fair, but life isn’t fair. This is a saying I have said to my kids more times than I can count and it has come back to bite me tenfold. – “Life’s not fair.” “The only fair you are going to find in life comes to town once a year.” “You buy your tickets and you ride your rides and that’s all the fair you get.” I don’t even get that. I can’t walk around a fair. I struggle to walk around the grocery store.

 

chronic-illness-memesMy 16-year-old son does all of my grocery shopping. I haven’t been to Walmart in months. I am so grateful for him doing this task for me and he will never know just how much. I think about how quickly they go from 16-year-olds to adults living elsewhere and think that by then my house will be clean. By then I will be able to do my own shopping. And then reality hits. By then, I will probably be worse off than I am now and I won’t expect him to do my shopping anymore. By then, what the Hell will I do?

 

I think when you spend so much time accepting the things you can not do it causes you to put off even the things you can do. For instance, writing in this blog. I keep putting it off and I don’t have a reason why. If I’m being honest, writing here is comforting because I am hopeful that sharing my feelings causes someone out there who is having the same life struggles to feel less alone if they stumble across my blog. I am holding on to the fact that my inability to do what I want will somehow encourage others.

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For several months I have been trying to build a store in Shopify that piggybacks off of my blog. So far, it has only been a hobby which I am constantly trying to make profitable.  I have never sold a single thing but I am learning a great deal about what to do and what not to do as far as designing goes. If you have time, check it out HERE.

 

IMG_6395I know this has been a short post and the posts haven’t been happening a lot lately. I do hope to change that very soon. If you have time to leave me a comment, I really do enjoy hearing from others just like me. I hope you all have a Happy St. Patricks Day!