Welcome to my little piece of HTML heaven!

Welcome! I am a 30-something mom with boisterous, loving twin girls who were born in 2006.

I started this blog in September 2010 when I made the decision to DEFINITELY pursue bariatric surgery (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass) so I could chronicle my journey and my feelings, thoughts and experiences as a patient, mom, daughter, friend, writer, student, etc.

I had my surgery on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at 7:30am. Although I don't remember much of that day after 7:25am, it changed my life forever. It feels like someone hit a "reset" button in my brain when I was under general anesthesia (and I don't remember my surgeon discussing THAT in my pre-op visit!!). As of 38 months post-op, I have lost 100 pounds and my total loss since my highest recorded weight is nearly 160 pounds.

In mid-2012, my health started to decline as Psoriatic Arthritis started to kick up a few notches and make my life miserable. I am learning to cope with a debilitating auto-immune disease and the life adjustments that go with it. It's not easy, but we're getting there.

Thank you for stopping by, feel free to leave a comment or just say HI! I'm glad you've decided to join me in my journey!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Gratitude....it's what's for dinner

The older I get the more I learn about the world we live in. It seems that in our society, the drive to "succeed" and strive for more, more, more is on the minds of so many people, we tend to forget about what we already have. I don't know if it's an accumulation of life experiences, my trip to a part of the world where life is slower or this damn auto-immune disease that has pretty much put the brakes on my own goals and financial dreams. What I do know is that being forced to slow down and really take a look at things has SERIOUSLY changed my outlook on things in my life and the people I choose to keep near me. I have a life-changing, chronic, disabling auto-immune disease. I have had to give up so much...my ability to do my job, my Girl Scout troop, furthering my secondary education, my social life, running a GLBT parenting organization, my autonomy, my independence....my ability to just DO, in general. What good could EVER come of this? I have to rely on either public assistance or other people for financial support, for medical care and to take care of myself in general. How is THAT a good thing?? I'll tell you. GRATITUDE. Those that have known me for a while know me as the "overachiever", the "go-getter", the "never say no" kind of person. My disease has forced me to SLOW DOWN. I have to stop and think about my actions before I do them. I have to stop and think about how much of myself I can commit to any person or thing outside of my own immediate family. It has forced me to learn to think outside the box in nearly every aspect of my life. It has forced me to step back and ask for help when I need it, which is something that we ALL know is a huge issue for me. I have been forced to prioritize my tasks and only do what I can....not necessarily what I want. It has kept me at home, which is a good thing since we have two soon to be eight year old girls who are barreling towards puberty and a society can be hurtful, judgmental and hostile towards anyone or anything different. I had NEVER thought I would be a stay at home parent, but it's what I've become. I did not find it....it found ME. My kids NEED me. Although I can't be the full fledged GS troop leader, soccer mom, energetic type, I can be WITH them. I can be there FOR THEM and in this day and age, that isn't easy to manage with so many families being forced to work two plus jobs to try and keep things afloat. The past two years have been full of change, both positive and negative. My life in general has been pretty hard to handle, but had it not been how it was, I would not be who I am. I am grateful despite my illness, I was able to travel to the other side of the world and see how another culture lived....and realized that I need to live like that as well. I mean, over there, family is very important...maternity leave can be as long as three YEARS, paid. You can be paid to stay home with your young children for up to four years, medical care is comprehensive....and REQUIRED by law. The work week is shorter and the weekend is longer. Families and government both understand that sick leave is needed for everyone...and so is vacation time. Are there downfalls? Of course. But it certainly makes me think. I have always been family oriented and thankfully, I am now engaged to be married to a woman who values family as much as I do. Her family has become my family and in many ways, I am grateful for them. Having a recovery-intensive surgery has been hard on me, my kids and my fiancee...but without question, my soon to be father in law spent SIX weeks here with us, no questions asked. No emotional price tag (my mother will understand what that means!), nothing asked for in return. A gesture that will always resonate with me because I'm not accustomed to that. I am grateful for this new extension of my family because they are a fantastic example of what a functional family should be, at least in my eyes. This is not to say that I hate my family of origin, I am ungrateful for them or anything like that...because I am not. The girls have an AWESOME set of grandparents (three sets, total) as well as uncles, several cousins...whom they have already met and spent time with. My soon to be mother in law reminds me so much of my Grandma Nita...it is incredible. As my own mother had said, "I am so glad you are marrying into a FAMILY." So am I. In the recent past, I have watched people who are always complaining. They have healthy boys and fuss, whine and cry because they "need" to have that girl. What does that say about them? What does that say to those kids that are already here and in need of love? There are SO many people out there who cannot have ANY children...who would kill to have A child, let alone THREE boys. Be grateful for your children, they are a GIFT. They are NOT an accessory, something to show off or fuss over when *gasp* a child arrives before the due date or doesn't say/do something that YOU want them to do. This child is a gift and your ungrateful attitude will RUIN that child. As parents, it is our job to produce and raise children who will be productive members of society (not just materialistically). Overemphasizing or doting over the first boy or the only girl....what does this do to the rest of the children in the family? You should celebrate ALL of your children and enjoy their lives, trust me, they could be gone at the turn of a page. Losing a child late into the pregnancy instilled this in me. Not seeing my boys in about 5 years instilled this in me. Spending time in homeless shelters with two young children and not a dime to my name instilled this in me. Developing a destructive, chronic disease instilled this into me. It's gratitude and I have it. I'm grateful for my soon to be wife and her family as they have not only blessed me, but my daughters. We may not have a lot of money and like many, it's hard to come by, but what we don't have materialistically, we more than make up for in love. I am grateful for a brand new apartment as I know what it's like to live in horrible shelters or live in substandard housing. My body is more or less attacking itself, but I have excellent health care....and I could be DEAD. The next time you feel down, or feel the urge to feel sorry for yourself.....stop and think about what you have. What do you think your life would be like WITHOUT those things? Be grateful for what you have, because as I've witnessed, it could be gone in an instant. Cherish the children you have, because you could have none at all. In the end, our material things stay behind when we die, but our inner self is ongoing. Be grateful.

1 comment:

  1. May I be the first to thank-you for a wonderful, inspiring article. Gratitude is a scarce commodity these days.