Tag Archives: chronic illness

Catch Up Mondays: Are you where you need to be? – revisited

This post was originally shared on January 22, 2013.  As I have read it again, it reminds me that everything happens when it is supposed to happen and at a time it is supposed to happen.  It does me no good to dig in my heals and fight the direction I am going in.  For I am doing what I am destined to be doing.

This past year I have reconnected with many friends from high school. A reunion page was developed on Facebook and so many of us have found each other after years. My illness and sensitivities has made it even more difficult to even run into anyone who may still be living in town much less attend our class reunion that was held this past October.

One particular friend from high school, Jerri Hansen, has a Facebook page devoted to inspirational and motivational stories.  I have found on more than one occasion that her post is speaking to me.  Forcing me to rethink something or to reflect on something that has happened or that I am about to do.  Yes this illness does imprison me in many ways, but I am still alive and have lots left to give even if it is given in a way that I wouldn’t have imagined I would ever do (this blog for example and my upcoming book).  I found this a day or so ago when I opened my Facebook page:

Are you where you need to be?

Since our timetable most often does not correspond with universal timetable, it’s common for people to feel that life is moving too slowly or too quickly. We find that our plans may fall into place when we least expect. Or, we are placed into roles we believe we are not prepared for and wonder how we will survive the demands imposed upon us by unfamiliar circumstances. When delays in our progress bring about pains of disappointment within us or the pace of life seems overwhelming, peace can be found in the simple fact that we are exactly where we need to be at this moment.

Every person fulfills their purpose when the time is right. If you have fast-tracked to success, you may become deeply frustrated if you discover you can no longer satisfy your desires as quickly as you might like. Yet the delays that disappoint you may be laying the foundation for future accomplishments that you have not yet conceived. Or the universe may have plans for you that differ from the worldly aspirations you have pursued up until this point. What you deem a postponement of progress may actually represent an opportunity to prepare for what is yet to come. If you feel as though the universe is pushing you forward at too fast a rate, you may be resisting your destiny. Your unease regarding the speed of your progress could be a sign that you need to plant a seed of awareness within yourself and learn to move with the flow of fate rather than against it. The universe puts nothing in your path that you are incapable of handling, so you can rest assured that you are ready to grow into your new situation.

You may feel compelled to judge your personal success using your age, your professional position, your level of education, or the accomplishments of your peers as a yardstick. Yet we all enjoy the major milestones in our lives at the appropriate time-some realize their dreams as youngsters while others flourish only in old age. If you take pride in your many accomplishments and make the most of every circumstance in which you find yourself, your time will come.

Catch-UP Mondays: Faith – revisited

This post was featured in December 2012.  I still have one of these beautiful cards.  I couldn’t part with all of them.

Faith is the daring of the soul to go farther than it can see. — William Newton Clarke

I recently purchased some notecards specifically because of this quote.  The cards were beautiful and I loved the sentiment.  The card company is Punch Card Studio.  They have some spectacularly beautiful cards.  And I have to admit I am a sucker for note cards.  Nothing is more special than sending one to someone you care about.


I believe this is so true.  Without faith I couldn’t have continued on this journey.  I had to dare myself to go further than I could see because I could not see myself beyond the current pain, hopelessness, loneliness, and isolation.  I had to dare myself to put one step in front of the other when I just wanted to sit in a corner and disappear.  I know many of you out there are struggling as well.  Have faith.  Dare yourself to go farther than you can see.  Who knows what you will find just beyond your sight and reach.

What does this quote say to you?  What are you doing to dare yourself to go further than you can see?  It could be something as a simple affirmation that you will be able to do something you are currently struggling to do today.  “My Healing is already in Progress” (Taken from Power Thought Cards by Louise L. Hay.).

Getting Stung By a BEE was not on my agenda today.

I went to my mother’s to pick up something and while we stood in her driveway talking, I felt something sting me.  I looked down and a bee was stinging the top of my hand.  I shook my hand and then had to pull out the stinger.

I rushed home (thank goodness we only live about five minutes from her) and took a histamine shot and 1600 mg. of vitamin C and put ice on my hand.  My throat feels tight and swollen.  I can still take more histamine and have an epi-pen if I absolutely need it although it has been years since I used an epi-pen and don’t even know how I will react to it.  I will keep you updated.

Hate to Say Goodbye

Two days ago there was a notification in my inbox that there was a new post from fellow blogger Jen at Myfibrotasticlife.  Jen stated that this post would be her last post.  Jen has been struggling for a long time with her fibromyalgia.  She has finally come to the point where she has to eliminate things from her life to make it easier.  Sadly, one of those things is her blog.  I know how hard it is sometimes to get up and write when you are not feeling well or your body is betraying you.

One of the things Jen discovered that she enjoyed doing was crocheting and she created an Arts & Crafts Gallery on her blog to show her work which she also sold on etsy.

I just want to say that I will miss your posts Jen and wish nothing but the best for you.  I hope Jen will continue to stay in contact with me through the blog so that I can know how she is doing.

Catch Up Mondays: How Strong Are We? – revisited

This post was originally shared on November 27, 2012.  I continue to tell others that they are stronger than they ever could imagine. When faced with struggles, we can lie down and give up or we can choose to fight.  I have been a fighter from the beginning with this illness.  I fought through the depression and loneliness it caused, I fought for the courage to continue on when I wanted to give up and die, I fought for what was right in the workers’ compensation case, and I continue to advocate for others by sharing my experiences.  I wrote “Allergic to Life” to share my journey and let others know not to give up hope.  

I discovered Pinterest about a year ago and began collecting quotations.  I think this quote goes well with this post. We never know how strong someone is unless we can walk in their shoes.



A friend recently posted this quote on her Facebook page.  “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”  — unknown.

Isn’t this the truth.  I don’t know about the rest of you but I have been told so many times things like:  “I don’t know how you do it.”  “I don’t think I could deal with all that you deal with.”

Being strong is ultimately the only choice.  We push forward and do what is necessary despite discomfort, pain, lack of food choices, sleeping on cots, severe reactions, surgeries, grieving for our former lives, etc.  I believe that those who have said I don’t think I could deal with all that you deal with would find an inner strength that they didn’t know they had.  Sure there is depression (I have and do deal with it) but the strength to fight and the will to live has kept me pushing forward in the battle for survival, hope and courage.  I have written in my book about these types of comments.  In my book I quote from a journal entry of September 26, 2004.

“What makes them think I am coping?  What makes them think I am handling this?  They should just read from my journals and they will soon discover what life is like for me….I feel like a caged animal at the zoo, on display for the morbid curiosity of others.   Look at the crazy woman.  She can’t come around us.  She wears a funny mask!  Why did God keep me alive?  What purpose am I serving?”

I have decided that I have to stand strong.  I have to deal with this.  I have to make others aware of what mold does.  I have to offer whatever I have learned and share whatever I have done that helps me.  God kept me alive during reactions that I thought I surely would die from to be a spokesperson for others.

When you don’t feel that you are strong enough, dig deep within.  That strength is there despite your fears and pain.  God kept me alive for a reason and I believe he gave me the strength I didn’t know I had.

Can Perfume Make You Sick?

For most of you who follow my blog, you already know my answer to this.  You have heard me talk about it many times including a post I wrote, Layers of Fragrance.  From the time a person gets up in the morning (and probably more so with women), they are putting layer upon layer of fragrances on their skin and at the same time adding chemical after chemical which is absorbed through the skin.  From the shower products, to the lotions and perfumes, to the laundry soaps and fabric softeners or dry cleaned clothes, and lastly their perfumes or cologne, all those chemicals are slowly poisoning their bodies.

Their answer is that they smell nice and they like the way their shampoo leaves their hair smelling or the lotion leaves their skin smelling.  They haven’t become sick (Or Have They?) so why give up these wonderful delicious smelling products.  I say that they are having health issues that are not sending big signals that they are aware of.  They may be having big health issues that their doctor isn’t able to figure out the cause of so they are given medications.

Thanks to a recent Facebook by my dear friend Jennie Sherwin, I read this article from Prevention.  It just repeats what many of us who suffer from chemical sensitivity (MCS) have been saying for some time.  The chemicals in all these products are indeed making us sick.  Thank you Jennie for sharing this.


2013 In Review

My year in review:  This has been an amazing year with the blog celebrating its first anniversary.  I finally got Allergic to Life published and have met some amazing new people along my journey.  I have become an active and integral part of a brand new Book Club (Rave Reviews Book Club) and re-connected with people from my “old” life (pre-illness).  I have had some great reviews, been featured on slush heap, and worked with a fellow survivor on an interview to be released in 2014.  I look forward to so much in 2014 and hope you all will continue to be with me for what comes next.

Below are some statistics that WordPress sent me today.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 36,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 13 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

I was doing just fine without my old companion.

I woke up this morning to the all too familiar feeling in my face.  My left eye feels like it is being stabbed with an ice pick and the  searing pain from my eye to my ear to my jaw is back.

My trigeminal neuralgia used to be with me at all times.  It was so bad that I had to take a pain pill just to be able to get out of bed and function.  Sometimes I would make it through the day without one but never could I go to bed without taking one unless I didn’t mind not sleeping.  I wrote a post about this in October 2012.

So what brought on the neuralgia?  I have no idea.  My sinus infection is over unless the horrible air quality we are experiencing (unhealthy for sensitive) triggered something.  I was outside a little yesterday when I met my daughter to give her something she had left here before she headed out-of-town.  Whatever the cause, the neuralgia is here.  My solution:  Taking plenty of magnesium and vitamin C to ease the inflammation.  As I am typing this, it is nearly noon and I am still in my jammies and slippers.  I think that is going to be the way I spend the day.  Here at my desk I am working on paperwork that needs to be finished for the end of the year and sipping plenty of hot tea.

I hope you all are having a relaxing and/or productive day.

Catch Up Mondays: Feeling Grateful – revisited





This post was originally shared on December 1, 2012.  I continue to be grateful for all that I have gained as well as the many new people I have met on my journey.  Since publishing Allergic to Life, I have met many more amazing new authors (some who have dealt with illness like I have and are about to share their stories).  We need to be grateful for what we have and to continue to share our stories and bring awareness to those suffering without support.

My Christmas tree is up and decorated.  While I don’t have many other decorations to put out compared to my “old life” when I had decorations everywhere, my tree is up and for that I am grateful.

Many of my environmentally sensitive friends are not so fortunate.  Some of my friends are not able to have such a tree (real or artificial).   My tree is decorated in all metal ornaments with a few resin ornaments to fill in the gaps.   A very dear friend bought an artificial tree seven years ago and still cannot bring it into her house.  Some of my friends are even less fortunate in that they have no safe place to call home.

I am thankful each day for what I have managed to regain since this merry-go-round of illness began thirteen years ago.   While my life is not what it was before, it is better than I ever dared hope for.  There was a time when I didn’t know if I was going to live or die from all the reactions and infections.   I feel deeply for those who have just started this journey and for those who have been on this journey as long as I have and are struggling daily to survive and find the hope and courage they need to carry on.

To the men and women I have met on this journey, I am grateful to call you my friend.  We have shared tears and anger but we have also shared laughter and joy.  Laughter at finding a way to put some humor into our crazy worlds and joy in each new accomplishment and step forward we make.

What are you grateful for?

Catch Up Monday: How Isolation Affects Others – revisited

This was first posted last year on December 23, just days before Christmas.  Recently I had a conversation with my mother.  She was saying how she missed having us come to her home for Christmas, seeing the presents under her tree, and sitting down to Christmas dinner at her table.  It breaks my heart that we have had to “change” the rules of how the holidays are dealt with and how they are spent.  It breaks my heart that my mom no longer has us at her home.

I have been posting on how isolation affects me during the holidays and others with MCS and chronic illness but I haven’t mentioned how it affects those closest to us, our families.

All my life we had Christmas at the home of my mother and father. When my sister and I grew up and got married (within four months of each other) Christmas Day was still spent with my parents. My husband, daughters, and I always spent Christmas Eve with my husband’s family and Christmas Day with mom and dad, often going back over to his parents’ home for dessert later in the evening.

Suddenly I am sick and everything bothers me including my parents’ home. Suddenly every major event has to be held at my home. Everyone suits up (tyvek) or wears new clothes that have been purchased for them to wear and laundered here so that they don’t smell like the stores they came from. Is it fair to my mother and father that I cannot come into their home and see their Christmas tree and spy the presents that gently lay below it? Is it fair that my daughters no longer get to participate in that tradition as well. My grandchildren have never had the experience of sitting on the warm and carpeted living room floor of their great grandparents’ home and open presents or gather in my mother’s homey kitchen for a wonderful dinner that she has so generously prepared? No it isn’t fair to them.

When we talk of our isolation we need to remember how this isolation has not only affected our lives deeply but forever changed how family traditions are observed. My mother and father and family come here without grumbling. They suit up if necessary without complaint. They step into the cold garage and exchange their clothes for those that have been especially prepared for them to wear. They sit on my wicker or metal chairs or the cold tile floor to open presents as if it were the most natural thing in the world.

So to my family, I am deeply grateful that I have you in my life. I am grateful that you have never questioned this illness of mine, the crazy way I have to live and the crazy way I need to do the things I do. You are the most amazing family any one person could hope to have. Thank you, I love you and Merry Christmas to you all to all my followers and fellow sufferers.

My sister and I on Christmas Day.
My sister and I on Christmas Day.

This picture of my sister and I (I am the brunette) is of us with our dolls in our arms and at our feet suitcases filled with clothes that my mother and grandmother made for them. It is one of the few that I have found and had scanned for me and I treasure this picture.  My doll is stored away and one day my granddaughters will get to see her and her pretty clothes.

So next time you grumble about how your holiday has been ruined, take a moment to reflect on how it as also affected your loved ones.  I will be forever grateful to have the support from my family especially at the holidays when “new traditions” have to replace all those that are so familiar to us.

Merry Christmas to you all.  During the next week while my family and I are celebrating Christmas, I will be re-posting some of my older posts.  To make them easier to find later, I will label them all as Catch Up Mondays.

Also, Allergic to Life will continue to be discounted until the New Year.  I have been trying to get the e-book discounted for those that cannot tolerate ink.  It looks like this may not happen before Christmas.