Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

As I reflect on 2011 I realize it's been a year of acceptance and appreciation for what I have. I have learned how to live with this new normal and view this new often purple, light headed, fatigued, tired and unfamiliar body with humor and patience. I'm settling into this new life style that is so foreign to my nature. I've learned to appreciate what I can do, because there are so many out there who have it so much worse. I've learned to educate myself on my illness and not be afraid to question my doctors. I've made so many new friends because of POTS that I would have never met. The support and sharing through the many POTS groups has given me the constant reminder that I'm not alone in this. POTS has changed who I am. My body may be physically worse off than the year before. But the person I'm becoming is definitely richer and better than the person I was before I got sick.

My hopes for next year are:
*A cure for POTS.
*A closer bond with friends and family.
*The willingness to trust God with the direction He chooses to make in my life.
*A miracle of healing would be nice.

Wishing all of you the best new year ever.


Romans 8:18
For I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Pajama Day

I promised myself that this winter break I would keep my social calender empty with a few minor exceptions of family events on the holidays. My two weeks would include pajama days filled with rest and relaxation.

I started things off with a day spent in my favorite blue snowflake thermal pajamas with a book I haven't read yet from my e-reader. I could feel the fatigue melting off my exhausted body with every page I turned (or clicked). A pajama day to be proud of.

On my second pajama day only my most comfy red flannels and softy snowman socks (try saying that 3 times in a row) would do! I decided I would treat myself to a marathon of The Nutcracker. The artistic direction most of these ballet's took inspired me to do a great deal of shouting at the TV like an angry football fan. I mean, who in their right mind would switch the sugar plum fairy solo with a duet with a sheep? There comes a point where artistic expression crosses over into rubbish! It was somewhere during the party scene that I began finding the commercials more entertaining than the ballet!

These commercials made my top 10 most memorable.

1. What is cable television without a Snuggies commercial. Gee, it comes in every shade of the rainbow, including animal print, camo (in case you need to hide from your loved ones) and Spongebob Square pants for the kids. Who doesn't need a poly-me-ester oversize blanket with sleeves. In my book, if it doesn't fit, don't wear it! I guess I can cross that one of my impulsive buyers shopping list!

2. RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) medication, within 20 seconds of listening to this commercial 90% of it's viewers have diagnosed themselves with this condition and are running to their phones to call the 800 number to get their free drug sample. Unfortunately while they're out of the room dialing, the announcer has spent 2 minutes on the long list of side effects this drug may cause.

3. Acutane lawsuit commercial. If you or a loved one has taken Acutane and has suffered one of the following conditions please call ****** law firm now at the 800 number below. Obviously this commercial came on quite a bit, and if my teaching job disappears I may consider doing commercials. I wouldn't be too surprised if the same law firm isn't representing patients who ended up taking the above RLS drug in a few years.

4. The upside down hanging tomato plant. Really? What's wrong with using a nice pot and growing tomatoes in the traditional way?

5.The 16 individual brownie pan. A definite impulsive shoppers must have, because it would look lovely collecting dust next to the Foreman Grill, Juicer and The Chopper!

6. The Cami Secret, just clip this onto your bra straps and instant cami! Woohoo, so how hard is it to actually wear a camisole? This so reminds me of the dickeys of the 70's, but at least the dickey replaced a long sleeve shirt, and the dickey didn't last very long so I'm sure Cami Secret isn't too far behind it.

7. Fat melting pills, just take the pill twice a day, and watch the fat melt off your body. I'm sure this commercial is popular with those who don't want to work a little for their weight loss!

8. Stretch mark removal cream, which follows the fat melting pill commercial. You will need this product after all the fat melts away and leaves your body with rubbery stretch marks. But you need to hurry for this one, the first 2 callers receive a free .25 sample, but don't fret the next 1 million callers who purchase our product will get one free! But wait, if you call within the next 5 minutes you'll also receive this travelers size bottle, just pay separate shipping and handling.

9. The shake weight, this commercial had me blushing within the first two seconds. The Shake weight is designed to tone woman's arms, but I'm sorry to me it looks like something hmmm... how to word this, I can't so you'll have to check out this commercial yourself, just check their web site @

10. So far my all time favorite commercial is the Schick Quatro Woman's bikini trimmer. This is a "they didn't" commercial. It starts off with three woman in short skirts and heels pushing pink lawn mowers singing about trimming below the belt. They pass different shaped shrubs singing the praises of the many shape options you have (oval, circle triangle and narrow rectangle). I kept telling myself they surely can't be showing this on TV, yet I couldn't stop watching giggling hysterically.
If you haven't seen it it's definitely a must see, it can be seen on u-tube titled "mow the lawn".

So unfortunately that's how I've been spending my first week of winter break, hopefully the second is much more exciting.

Inspired to spend my days more wisely,

Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the soul of the diligent is made fat.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

I wanted to wish my loyal and precious friends a very merry Christmas.
May you enjoy the precious moments given to you.
May your day be symptom free.
May you bless those who need you.
May you remember the reason for the season.
May God bless each of you and keep you in His arms of protection.


Luke 2:10-11
And the angel said to them, "do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which shall be for all people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

My BFF has a New Friend

My BFF (Big Fat Foot in case you've missed a blog or two.) has a new friend. Which would be my BFB, Big Fat Belly! I would prefer not to have Big Fat anything, but POTS seems to be a magnet for everything undesirable!

One of my POTS symptoms is constant nausea. It feels like morning sickness all day long without the the sweet prize after nine months. At first I responded as most do, and didn't eat much. The decrease in eating seemed to make my POTS symptoms even worse, and the nausea only increased. It took over a year to discover that eating small meals all day helped my nausea and gave me little boosts of energy as well. Eating has become a triggered response to nausea. I feel a little nauseous I eat.

It doesn't help that the foods my body likes most are a bit high in the fat category! I crave nuts, dairy, breads and pasta. Fruits and veggies sit at the bottom of my stomach like a giant boulder with time a of digestion equalling that of a piece of chewing gum (which is several years according to gum legend).

All this eating has its consequences. Two years ago I was a size 0, two years of my new eating regimen and I'm an overflowing muffin top size 4. Dieting in any way shape or form is out of the question. I struggle with an eating disorder, and trying to diet would only put me on a path of insanity! I was a walking, talking calorie calculator. I couldn't put a single thing in my mouth without doing a mental calorie count. It took me a while to accept eating as a good thing, food has always been like poison to me, what's a girl to do? Exercise is a problem as well. Anything that makes my heart rate go up triggers my POTS symptoms. Yoga positions make me dizzy. I'm not sure what the answer to this problem is, but to be honest my fear of becoming as big as a house are beginning to look like a possibility. The serenity prayer seems to be the one thing I can cling to. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. This is a small hurdle compared to others I've faced. I'm lucky I can eat, many people with this condition often have serious digestion issues. Maybe that's the answer, eat while I'm still fortunate to be able to do so. There may come time when I won't be able to eat the way I can now, and the extra spare tire around my middle may come in handy.

Inspired Michele muffin

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Spirit

This week I didn't need to have a visit from the ghost of Christmas past to realize that the spirit of Ebenezer Scrooge had taken up residence in my body. Or maybe the Grinch, but snippy, grouchy Michele had definitely entered the room when it came time to decorate my home.

Every year I look forward to the first signs of Christmas. The wanna be home decorator begins dreaming of new ways I can transform my home into a Christmas wonderland. I almost cheer when the stores begin playing Christmas music right after Halloween!

This year was no different. I usually begin decorating on Thanksgiving weekend. Since our Christmas decorations are up in the attic I have to wait for my He-man son Sean to get them down. Unfortunately for me, Sean doesn't quite have the same enthusiasm for decorating the house as my daughter and I have. It took a week of hounding before he finally got them down for me.

It's Wednesday night, right in the middle of my work week. I'm tired and fatigued but excited to finally be able to get the decorations up. My daughter and I have always decorated the house together and we both were like two kids in a candy shop. Traditionally we have always played Christmas music, but this year my daughter asked to sway a bit from tradition and play some of her favorite music instead. Wanting to be the hip, cool mom I agreed to her request with a little inner disappointment. After five minutes the music began to grate on me and I regretted not sticking with tradition. I believe that's when the Grinch began to seep into my oxygen deprived brain.

Everything began going down hill from that point on. First, the lights in the tree wouldn't light in two rows of the tree (we have a fake tree because of allergies, yuck). Just trying to hold my arms up to check each individual light and afterward spreading the branches so they look somewhat natural was exhausting. It was at this point that "Ms. snippy" took over my body. Then the light for the manger of the nativity scene wouldn't work so "Ms. Whinny" joined "Ms. Snippy". I'm sure at this point my daughter was thinking it's time to put me in my room for a "time out". Thankfully she was still in her "happy place" joyfully humming away to her music. We finally get the lights to work on the Christmas tree and it's time to wrap the tree with ribbon. I begin to help, but my arms are no longer of any use to either of us, so my daughter points to the couch and tells me to sit. My daughter busily finishes the ribbon and asks for my opinion (what she really wanted was praise for a job well done). "Ms Perfectionist" and "Ms. Impatient" joined the party of attitude crashers, and I begin "fixing" the ribbon, only to have to start over. My joyful assistant Megan leaves the room with a few attitude crashers that I created "Ms. Not Good Enough" and "Ms. Angry". I get the ribbon in place and the pain and fatigue have taken over and I give up on the long anticipated Christmas decorating and head for a bath.

As I'm soaking in my "extreme" bubble bath with the jacuzzi jets on full blast, my conscience begins to take over. I begin to mull over what was the real culprit of the evening. I realize I'm not upset with the lights, nativity scene or the ribbon placement. I'm really angry at my POTS for stealing one more good thing from me. Can't I do anything normal without the reminder that I have POTS! Many questions begin to surface. Did I have this much trouble decorating last year? No. Does this mean I'm getting worse? Maybe. What will things be like in a year from now. Stop, stop, stop! I need to stop worrying about tomorrow and deal with today. I just crushed my precious daughter's spirit, and I need to take responsibility for my actions. It's time to kick out the attitude crashers and eat some humble pie.

I did what I needed to do, apologize to my daughter, praise her for a job well done, and thank her for the amazing help she is to me. Then I fell into bed knowing that I'm blessed to have an amazing, helpful and forgiving daughter.

When I woke up the following morning the house was completely decorated by my awesome daughter. I might have POTS, but I also have two amazing children, a wonderful home that can be decorated, food on my table, friends and family to share the good times and the bad. Just another reminder to remember the good always outweighs the bad.


Luke 12:28
"But if God so arrays the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you, O men of little faith!"