Thursday, September 13, 2018

"hold on to me, i'm a little unsteady"

I have never shied away from being open and vulnerable about my life. I have written about my battles with anxiety, depression, and postpartum depression. I have always felt that being open and honest about talking about these things is what we need as a society. So, why, when I’m diagnosed with a long-term, chronic autoimmune disorder do I not want to talk about it?

I’ve had the conversation with some of my family and a few of my friends. It’s awkward to bring up and no one knows what it is or how to react. They all get this look of confusion, pity, and fear on their faces. Mixed Connective Tissue Disease. Yeah, I had no idea what it was either until my diagnosis and, to be honest, it’s still a little confusing to me. 

I was showing some signs and symptoms of lupus and rheumatoid arthritis so my primary care physician ordered some blood work. Two positive ANA tests later and they referred me to a rheumatologist. The rheumatologist then ordered what seemed like an amount of blood work that could satiate Dracula’s appetite. I got a call the following Monday: Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD)

While it’s great to have some answers as to why I’ve been feeling so miserable, it really just leaves me with more questions.  I’m home today from work. I woke up with a migraine and then slept for 5 hours and I’m still exhausted. I have been in pretty consistent pain (joint and muscular) for the last few months, the last few weeks being significantly worse. I have good days and bad days and I pretty much have no idea when I go to sleep what I’m going to wake up feeling like the next day.  I don’t know exactly what MCTD means for my day-to-day life or my overall life plans. I have a dissertation to finish, a job that I love and I want to have another baby. We have an appointment with the rheumatologist on Monday to go over a treatment plan and get more information. My husband is going with me. We’re going to ask all the questions and move on from there. 

This is so much easier for me to write about than talk about (other than the fact that it hurts to type). I don’t really want to talk about it but I do know I’m going to need the love and support of my friends and family as I go through this.  It’s also something that’s been racing through my brain quite a bit of the time since my diagnosis. 

So, if you’re like me and know you need to get it out but would rather avoid having the awkward conversation a million times, I’ve created this template for text/blog/email:
Dear __________,
I have recently been diagnosed with _____________. I’m having a hard time talking about it, but I’m really going to need your love and support as I go through this journey. ________________ is  (insert type of disease and some additional information. I might be feeling ______________ but you might never know it. Every day is different and I really appreciate you being there for me. 

I’m sending you all of my love and support. We all need it. Don’t forget that you don’t have to go through this alone. If you don’t feel like talking to friends/family, there are online support groups for just about everything.
Friday, January 12, 2018

"Look around, look around, at how lucky we are to be alive right now"

It's been over a year since I've blogged. This is why: 
Photo by Gilman Photography

Well, she's one of the reasons. Since I last blogged I've:
-gotten a new job
-had a baby
-actually, have been working on my dissertation
-and have been trying to be present in my life.

Life has been too busy for me to write it all down. I'm, honestly, not sure how all of the mommy bloggers do it. Life with children is exhausting. It's the most beautiful exhaustion I've ever known, but it's exhausting. 
There are so many things that come along with being a parent that no one talks about. For example, if you're married, it brings a whole new dimension to your marriage. You're trying to raise this tiny human to not only survive but maybe make some sort of contribution to the world, all the while, trying to have some time for you and your partner to connect and do the work it takes to maintain a marriage. IT IS HARD, people, HARD. 

I wrote about my post-partum depression for The Mighty. The first couple of months sucked. There was a lot of crying (from me, not the baby) and not a lot of sleep (for either of us). My husband was phenomenal and helped me pick up the pieces. 

I can't even believe it, but my girl is 10 months old now. She's the light of my life and gives me so much joy. When she laughs, I forget all of my problems, because, in that moment, there is nothing wrong with the world. 

I'm going to try to be better about writing more frequently. Life just moves so fast. Sending any of you reading this all of my love and happy thoughts for your 2018. 
Monday, January 9, 2017

this mama bear is hibernating tonight

I'll be thirty-one weeks pregnant on Thursday. It's been the greatest of blessings. I couldn't be more thankful and excited...but, today, I'm feeling...slightly on edge, anxious.

When I found out I was pregnant, I went off of all of my anxiety meds. I knew that if things got bad there were medications safe for pregnancy that I could try, but I wanted to give it a go cold turkey. This isn't for everyone and I must say that I had the blessing and supervision of my doctor when making this decision. I had very frank and open conversations with my doctor and when we started trying to get pregnant, I safely weaned myself off of the meds.

I'm almost to the end of my pregnancy journey and most days have been just fine, but I still have those days where the anxiety gets bad. I start overthinking things. I feel nervous, for really no reason in specific. I'm overwhelmed. I don't really want to talk to anyone.

I'm thankful that over the years I've become pretty self-aware of when I'm suffering from anxiety or depression. It wasn't always that way. There was a long period of time where I had no idea what was happening to me. I just didn't feel like me. Now, I know what to look for when I start feeling like that. I know the signs and I know the methods of self-care that I need to practice.

I go home and take a hot bath. I talk to my husband so he knows that I'm not feeling myself and doesn't take it personally when I'm acting differently. If I feel the need, I talk to a therapist or counselor. I make sure that I get some good sleep and I wake up the next day and re-assess.

I'm really excited about becoming a mom but I'm also (more than) slightly terrified. This is my first child and I have no idea what I'm doing. I know I'm capable and will learn, but I feel like there's so much I should know.

I'm being vigilant of my anxiety and taking each day at a time. If you're out there and you're going through the same thing: I hope you know that you're not alone. This is a huge life change. Huge life changes are often accompanied by anxiety and if you have a history of battling this monster, it's even more important for you to be aware of the symptoms when they may present themselves and take care of yourself.

Talk to your doctor or therapist. Talk to your partner or best friend. Watch your favorite movie and take a warm bath.

As for me, I'm going home to order some Indian food, enjoy a soak in the tub, and snuggle with my pups.

Tomorrow is another day and one I hope will be free from the anxiety that I'm battling today.
Wednesday, January 4, 2017

It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you

I used to travel and explore the world around me. I haven't done a lot of that lately. I think that's part of the reason that my soul feels so restless. I'm not used to being in one place for this long. I've traveled lately, but not that adventurous kind of travel that recharges my soul. The travel I've done lately is chaotic, event-related travel that only continues to exhaust me. 

I have a wandering soul that is ready to go explore some more, but I am also exhausted from all of the event-related travel that we've done lately. I think I'm going to try to make it a point to explore the things around me better. Anything can be an adventure if you have the right mindset. There are so many places in my hometown and its' surrounding area that are just waiting for me to discover them.

So here's to everyday expeditions, may they fulfill your wandering soul just long enough to get you to your next travel adventure.
Wednesday, December 28, 2016

#weddingwednesday: videography

Wedding videography seems to be one of those controversial topics when it comes to planning your big day. Why? It's expensive and some people feel that once you have all those beautiful photos, you don't need a video.

I felt really differently.

There are so many memories captured in our videography that didn't show up in the photos. I am beyond thankful that I did it.

Not only am I glad we choose to do videography, but I'm really glad I took the time to do the research and find a videographer that was not only talented but matched the overall look and feel of what I wanted for our wedding. Videographers shoot and edit in all different styles. It was important to me that everything went with our one cohesive theme.

We ended up choosing Sugar Peach Productions and chose to have a feature film, full ceremony film, and documentary film of our toasts and special dances. These are memories that I will treasure forever and I'm so incredibly glad I can re-live them by watching these beautiful films.

Take a look at our three different films and see your options:

Maisy and Mike Adams :: Wedding Ceremony at Walt Disney's Wedding Pavilion ~ Grand Floridian Resort & Spa from Sugar Peach Productions on Vimeo.

Maisy and Mike Adams Documentary Toasts and Dances from Sugar Peach Productions on Vimeo.

Maisy and Mike Adams Wedding Feature Film :: Walt Disney World, Grand Floridian Wedding Pavilion by Sugar Peach Productions from Sugar Peach Productions on Vimeo.
Saturday, August 20, 2016

it's not vapid optimism, it's just math.

I haven't had anything to say lately. I've been consumed in trying to make sense of a lot of the tragedy, devastation, and hate in the world. Words just haven't come easy. I don't feel like anything I say is enough to express my disdain for the hatred that seems to be accelerated by the fact that it's an election year, my sympathy for the victims of the countless tragedies occurring, and my confusion at how I can make anything any better. 

I was listening to a podcast this morning on my way to work. I've grown quite fond of listening to the podcasts of the sermons from the House for All Sinners and Saints when I'm grasping for answers. I've struggled with my faith over the years. A lot of personal loss and grief and my struggle with the hypocritical faithful has made being a part of any sort of organized religion a challenge for me. The House for All Sinners and Saints is not your typical "church" though. They preach a message of love and acceptance. They practice what they preach. They make it hard for even a cynic like me to doubt that God sends us messages. 

I got a message sent to me this morning in the form of a sermon that I listened to. 

Just 13 short minutes made my soul feel like someone gave me a really good hug and said, "it's all going to be ok, and yes, you can do something about it."

So today, I'm going to do what I can to celebrate the good and the kind. 

I'm going to take donations to our local animal shelter that just received a group of homeless animals that were displaced by the flooding in Lousiana. I'm going to donate to Doctors without Borders and try to do my small part in helping the courageous medical workers that are saving lives in war zones. I'm going to schedule a time to volunteer at a local organization that can use help doing something, anything. I'm going to offer my help to my friends suffering the floods in Louisiana and I'm going to share some links here that are little ways that you can do good for the world. If you're reading this...listen to the podcast, hug someone that you care about, and be positive that you can make a difference. 

So, thank you, Nadia Bolz-Weber, for bringing me back around to where I needed to be this morning. Thank you for shifting my perspective and refocusing my objectives. 

"The center of human nature is rooted in ten thousand ordinary acts of kindness that define our days."
-Stephen Jay Gould

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Cherish. Every. Moment.

The world has been a crazy place lately. Trying to stay afloat in all of this sadness and chaos isn't easy, especially for those of us who just feel things a little deeper. For our family, things have been hard, personally, as well. My husband lost his father a little bit over a month ago to complications from multiple strokes.

I haven't written much lately because I just haven't known what to say. It was sudden, and heartbreaking, and too soon. Death is never easy. I've had to deal with losing loved ones more than I wish I have and I still don't feel like I have the right words to express how it makes me feel.

My way of honoring those that I have lost is to live every day with no regrets. Tell people you love them. Have you been wanting to do something forever but keep putting it off? DO it. Don't waste the time that you have here with the people that you love. Cherish. Every. Moment.