health, wellness

Confessions of a Spoonie: The Reality

So if you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed that I was posting lots of art work over like a two week span, well that’s because I was in the hospital for 2 weeks. I don’t tell anyone beyond my immediate family when I’m hospitalized and a comment from a friend recently made me wonder why I don’t tell my friends, not even my best friends. I think there is a bit of embarrassment there. It happens at least once a month and I just get tired of it all and oddly enough I’m not big on visitors, I guess because I don’t want people to see what actually hides behind the smile you see on Instagram.

This photo above is the truth, even when I’m smiling this is how my body feels. I feel tired, I’m in pain and I just want to sleep. This is the reality of being a spoonie, this is the reality of living with chronic illness, especially when it’s an invisible chronic illness because you don’t look sick.

So my last hospital admission was two week, that’s a long damn time to be in a bed in a room the size of a closet and being hooked to an IV 24/7. The highlight of my day was every 3 hours when my nurses would come in and give me my pain medication and I could have a quick chat with them. It’s almost sad that most of the nurses that treated me this admission knew me so we were able to talk to about things other than why I was in the hospital. They also knew that I’m a good patient… I’m a patient with a lot of patience. If they were busy and couldn’t get my medicine on time I never threw a fit, I guess that’s not the norm. I know how hard nurses work, I’m not going to get all pissy on them, what’s that going to get me?

So back to the artwork, the reason there was so much was because there was nothing else to do and I had to do something to keep my mind from turning to mush. And it became conversation pieces between me and my nurses and me and my doctors. I’m currently taking a summer class but it’s super chill and pretty easy and not a whole lot of work to do.

This particular admission they found a bit of fluid on my lung but thankfully it wasn’t enough where I needed a chest tube to drain it. Ive had a chest tube before and it is hands down the MOST painful thing ever, the pain is almost paralyzing. So praise God I didn’t need one this time. But apparently, the cause of this pneumonia was an sinus infection where the drainage drained into my lung instead of my stomach. I saw my specialist this morning and he has a long term plan on treating this, except it’s going to be a super fight with my insurance, but I have a feeling he will be successful. So there you go… confessions of a spoonie.

Now that I’m out of the hospital I’ll be posting on a more regular basis.

Do you have any questions for me? I’m an open book, the whole reason for this blog is to educate! Are you a spoonie and want to have your story featured here, leave me a comment.

I believe my next entry will be about the analog journal/planner system I use to track everything,

health, wellness

So what the hell is a Spoonie???

Unless you have a chronic illness, you have no idea what kind of hell it can truly be.

You feel like sh*! on any given day, any given hour in all honesty! Some months you have more bad days than good and you constantly feel like you are letting your loved ones down. Like today, my wonderful husband and I had planned to go to the Holocaust Museum. We got a late start because I spent the morning fighting with my insurance trying to get a vital medication approved. When I say vital, I mean vital… it allows my esophagus to behave and actually accept food and drink. My pharmacist is a wonderful man, and since I’d been without it for so long, he filled it for me and said he would deal with insurance later. We picked it up on our way to the metro and I took it right away. Unfortunately, I found out as the day progressed that it was going to take some time for it to begin working again.
Well, we got into the city just to find out that all of the museum tickets were gone for the day, so we were just going to walk around and take pictures. I’ve been a photographer since as long as I remember and now my husband is showing interest in the hobby too. Before we started our walk, I asked for a sit down so I could take a few of my medications in hopes it would settle my stomach enough that I could at least have a snack for some energy, but it went south quickly. I ended up vomiting while sitting on a bench in the middle of the DC Mall… I was ready to rally and continue our day but my husband seeing me sick, wanted to go home. I can’t understand how embarrassing it has to be for him to sit back and watch his wife throw up into a ziplock bag in public none the less. Once again… the chronic illness ruins the day. I told him I was ok, I was willing to rally because I wanted to be out of the house and most importantly, I wanted to spend time with him. I thought he’d be proud of me for being willing to power through even though I didn’t feel well, I haven’t felt well for days as a matter of fact. But for him… the day was over and I felt defeated.
Readers, please don’t get the wrong idea about my husband, he’s a wonderful man, he’s a war hero and continues to serve his community now as a Police Officer… he’s MY Hero… right there with my daddy!!! I have no doubt that he loves me very much and I love him very much, but this past year almost, I’ve been the sickest I’ve been since we met and it’s been a strain on our marriage, I mean, how can it not? But we are committed to each other, our marriage and the vows we made before God and our friends and families. There is a reason I put such emphasis on the word SICKNESS while saying my vows because I knew times like these would arise.

This is what someone with an INVISIBLE chronic illness AKA A Spoonie looks like… Looks can be deceiving and you never know what someone maybe hiding behind a smile. I can’t tell you all how many times I hear… Well you look great… you don’t look sick… Well thanks but I am and I currently feel like crap but thanks anyway!

So what the HELL is a Spoonie? You know those days where you feel so very frustrated and you may say something like… “I have 0 F’s left to give.” That’s how spoons are to the chronically ill. When you are having a particularly hard day, you may get to the point where you have no more spoons to give and that’s what it means to be a Spoonie. I’m going to be 100% with you all… I HATE being a Spoonie… I feel like being chronically ill has robbed me of so much in my life. But, I am a child of God and I know that He has a reason for all of this. I know I am not supposed to question God and I might not find out His reasoning until I reach heaven, but you better believe, it’ll be one of the first questions I ask Him… I have a LOT of questions for Him. So I thought I’d inaugurate my new blog on a personal note. You’ll learn more about me and my health journey as time goes on. Thank you for going on this journey with me. What topics would you like to see here on the blog??? Please share on social media as well… I need a platform because I have a lot to say, and I know my stories, knowledge, and struggles can help so many others out there. The URL is easy: imzinchworm.blog (that’s it)

health, wellness

Series: Possible Natural Remedies to treat Chronic Illness Symptoms (MACA Root)

I’ve been trying a few different natural remedies to treat some of the symptoms of my chronic illnesses. I’ve grown tired of every time a new symptom arises, a new prescription is handed to me by a doctor. I’m not by any means anti medication, I take a lot of medications that are needed to live and function but if I can try and reduce the amount of prescriptions with the use of natural remedies then I’m all for it. So let me repeat… these natural remedies that I will be showcasing in the next few blog posts are NOT taking the place of my current necessary medications and as always, please consult your physician before adding any of these natural products to your diet. Now that we have the house keeping out of the way… I present to you MACA Root!!!!

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Yellow Maca Root and in Powder Form

Maca is a Peruvian plant grown in the Andes Mountains. It’s actually a vegetable related to broccoli, cabbage and kale. It is grown in root form as you can see in the above image, but in most cases it is ground into a powder form and added to meals or beverages. Maca is water soluble so it is impossible to take too much. Whatever your body doesn’t need, it’ll get rid of it naturally through bodily waste.

There are three different types of Maca: Yellow, Red and Black

Yellow Maca is the most common and the most affordable. I currently take yellow maca and it has a malt like, almost nutty flavor with a hint of sweetness. Its mellow flavor makes it easy to add to different foods and goes awesome in most smoothies too. Yellow Maca is nutrient dense with 60% carbohydrates, 12 crucial minerals, 10 vitamins and over 40 fatty and amino acids. Maca root targets your endocrine system and has been used for over 2000 years to boost energy, mental focus, promote fertility and overall hormone health balance.

Next is Red Maca which is the 2nd most common form. It is the highest in all major phytonutrients and is considered the best of all Maca powders for hormone balance, female fertility and libido. Like its yellow counterpart it is a natural energy booster and helps with male prostate health.

Last, we have Black Maca. Black Maca is the rarest of the bunch but it is specifically indicated for MALE fertility and libido as well as muscle building and endurance. It can also increase sperm count and motility.

As I mentioned above, I currently use yellow powdered maca that I order from BellaAllNatural.com They have stores in Los Angeles and Huntington Park, but if you don’t like in California like me, they have a full service online store as well. And right now, this weekend for Mother’s Day… ALL PRODUCTS are 30% off!!!! So if you are interested in trying some natural products this would be the weekend to do so. The coupon code is MAMA

According to their website, “Maca is a super food known to help with stress, fatigue, increase energy and fertility. Maca is a supplement used by both men and women.” They sell yellow maca in capsule and powder form and they also carry black maca in capsule form only. Check them out… they are a family owned business with great products and great customer service. I’m not getting anything in return for saying this, it’s just my honest opinion.

Here’s a Youtube video that talks a little bit more about Maca and has an awesome Faux Milkshake Recipe!