I talk a little bit about how the pandemic has affected me, and how a shift in thinking has changed my outlook on these days in isolation.Continue reading
100 days of isolation. 100 days of quiet chaos. 100 days lost. 100 days found.
However you view the past 100 days since this virus took hold of our lives, it has been a journey for each and every one of us.
At first, I saw this time as a waste of a year. I felt stuck. In a life where I was constantly moving I was forced to stop.
Not a totally foreign concept to me. I’ve been here before; Been pushed to a stand still thanks to illness. However, this has been the first time I’ve been healthy in doing so.
“What a waste”, I thought.
That is, until I began to shift my thinking.Continue reading
I knew this virus was serious before it even landed in Canada. Anyone with a chronic illness knows just how quickly good health can be taken away, and with that, we’re hyperaware of these things that may impact our well-being, regardless of geographics. It’s shared empathy. Shared caution. Shared fear. Shared with those affected, no matter how far away.
For me, being diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis ten years ago was life changing in so many ways. My doctor at the time gave me words that would stick with me – “This is life altering, not life ending.” And for the most part, this is true. I say “for the most part” because it does end some parts of your life. It can sometimes feel like it is over, however in the end, I always come back to those words, and remind myself that it could be worse.
I recently sat down for a podcast with my friends at Live Free Canada and would love for you all to have a listen! HERE
It’s a raw and completely unrehearsed talk about mental health, Colitis, and the life I live in between.
Hi Guys and Dolls,
Here in Canada, today is Bell’s Let’s Talk Day – We all join together in raising our voices to try to help end the stigma surrounding mental health.
Here’s a video of my thoughts and some of my story.
This is a follow up to my blog post from last year that you can find here.
One year ago today, exactly so, I sat in a hospital chair crying after being told that I had a blood clot at the base of my skull. I didn’t even know then just how large it was; how it nearly blocked off an entire vein.
This time last year, I had barely survived the Holidays; sick and in pain, not even the slightest clue what was looming. It was horrible.
But oh what a difference a year can make.
Progress Update – February 17th 2017
A 30th birthday should be special. It’s a milestone that should be celebrated. My 30th birthday came and went with little fuss. It certainly wasn’t what it “should” have been; More importantly, it wasn’t what it “could” have been.
On December 21st, the day before I was set to leave to head home for the holidays, I went to work, as usual, and afterwards headed over to my friend’s place for our annual Christmas dinner (pizza this year) and gift exchange. That evening I had noticed that a pain would shoot through my neck and into my head whenever I bent down. Prone to headaches, migraines, and suffering from stiffness that I attributed to sitting at a desk job, with poor posture, for 6 years, I made note of it but brushed it off as a long day.
The next day I had a flight to catch but not before an early morning brow and nail appointment. It was at the salon that I had first noticed that I could barely turn my neck either way – I was super stiff, and I was just thankful that I was flying home rather than taking the bus. Once again, I brushed off the stiffness as occupational, or perhaps a slight injury from being jerked the wrong way on the streetcar. I assumed that I would get home, relax, and wake up feeling much better. I certainly was wrong.
The night I flew in my brother and I headed to watch the newest Star Wars movie in DBox (motion seats) 3D. I was nauseous the whole time, however the vibration of the seats seemed to sooth my neck stiffness a bit – “Free massage!”, I joked.
At this point, I should note that I had been throwing up for about a month or so, nearly every day. As someone who suffers from Ulcerative Colitis, I chocked this up to a new symptom of the illness. The problem with suffering from an underlying, chronic illness is that you essentially attribute most new health symptoms to it, especially when they fit the bill.
As the days went on, the stiffness quickly turned to pain that went through my neck and into the base of my skull. Fortunately for me, my parent’s home is equipped with every medical gadget you could imagine, and I love them for it! They have what’s called a TENS/EMS machine, which essentially sends little jolts of electricity to your muscles – An odd sensation, however when applied to my neck and shoulders, a bit of a relief. My mother would lovingly apply that, and I’d place a warm Magic Bag over it nearly ’round the clock. I propped myself up in the comfy recliner and hoped for the best every day.
I heartbreakingly missed my nephew’s 7th birthday party. Missed Christmas Eve at my father’s place, and nearly missed Christmas dinner as well. Christmas Eve, I lied awake all night. My niece was sleeping with me, and I was so worried to wake her. The pain and stiffness was horrible. I tried to quietly grab a heating pad for my neck, and my niece stirred awake, simply to sleepily ask, “Auntie, will you hold my hand while we sleep?” My heart melted. I lied there trying to soak in one of the sweetest moments of being an Auntie, while simultaneously waiting for her tiny grip to loosen as my pain got so severe.
Eventually, I quietly ducked into the bathroom to see if a hot shower would help. It didn’t. In that moment, I was ever so tempted to just curl up on the bathroom floor and cry myself to sleep. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted, and beyond sleep-deprived. This was my one visit home the entire year; My one vacation that I had waited an entire year for – This was not how it was supposed to go.
I wrote the following as an article submission for The Star on friendships that have helped change our lives in some way. It was never chosen, however I thought it would be a shame if it was never published so I thought I would share it here!
Five years of full-time school, nearly full-time work, and battling a chronic illness left my social life fairly depleted. During this time I was lucky to work, mostly as a barista, in jobs that were fun and social enough to fill this gap. However, after being hired following my internship at my current company, I left all this behind to begin what I had been working towards all this time – My career. I worked with, and still do, the greatest group of people, however being the new kid with a bit of an age gap, I often felt like a bit of a lone wolf.
A few months later we took on a new intern named Vanessa from the same program I had graduated from. I don’t believe we spoke much apart from introductions in the first few days, however one day I offered to show her where I spent my lunches and we haven’t stopped talking since. I don’t remember much from our first conversation but I do remember the moment she said, “I prefer to spend money on concerts than anything else” and as a fellow concert junkie, I knew we would be good friends.