Sometimes There Aren't Answers And That's Okay

Sometimes There Aren't Answers And That's Okay

Today, we have no answers. Tomorrow we may not either.
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I feel the past couple years of my life can be summed up with a very simple phrase: we just don’t know.

These are the moments when I wish those superbly intelligent, genius, almost superhuman doctors we see on television were real. I wish they could look at me, do something quirky, and brilliantly diagnose me, all within an hour period with brief commercial interruptions. But real life doesn’t look like that. Real life is hours spent in waiting rooms, partners who love you who are pained they can’t fix it, random unexplained symptoms, awkward explanations to work friends as to why you just can’t spend your Friday night “out with the girls” because you need to be in bed at 9:30 to function normally. Real life is people asking you why you lost weight and making you feel guilty for it as if you did something wrong. As if you had control over it. Real life is wondering if you will ever get an answer; if you will ever put a name to the flurry of strange things your body seems to do every day.

Real life doesn’t have a clean, solvable, scripted ending.

I am very, very blessed to have a partner that cares so deeply about my well-being. Since we have been together, I have been sick, on and off. And without him, I may not have understood how abnormal my body was. If you have never known normal, it’s hard to differentiate between what is and isn’t usual behavior. Even as I type this, I am fatigued, mentally foggy and physically slow. I am in my mid-20s, active, hard-working and a healthy eater. I am a healthy thin for my height and age and I get about nine to ten hours of sleep a night (I don’t function well on any less). I stay hydrated, I eat my vegetables and fruits, I don’t have high cholesterol or blood pressure, I am not anemic or deficit in anything, and I, unlike many of my contemporaries, don’t drink coffee or alcohol like its going out of style. I limit myself to a cup of coffee a day, and I can barely finish a glass of wine on my own.

In short, I am disciplined. I am in control of what I can be in control of. And my body still doesn’t work properly.

And we still don’t know why. We know some things, but not the whole picture. My doctor had an idea and I prayed he was correct so I could finally have a full diagnosis, even if it would dramatically alter my life. But my blood panel came back without stain or strain. Then I found out after the fact that they only tested for one thing. They didn’t test for other conditions with similar symptoms. Just one. Then, they ruled that out and instead of digging deeper, they said, “Take ibuprofen for the pain.” Right, because pills are always the answer, right? But I compiled a list of symptoms the other day that were out of the ordinary and there were over forty. That makes it hard to swallow the whole “just take an ibuprofen” bit. Because that doesn’t really help. You don’t put a band-aid on a bullet wound and hope you are okay. You dig that bullet out. You bandage that wound up properly.

With my health insurance being the way it is (we have a terrible health system in America), I can’t get more tests without the necessary orders from my doctor, and I can’t get in to see him for another month. And then, even after he orders the tests, they have to be approved and scheduled. In short, that means another two or so months without any additional tests. The system is so bureaucratically congested that when people need help, they can’t get it. Patients are numbers to doctors because they have such a large case volume. Even the best doctors can’t give your body the individualized attention it needs for a proper diagnosis. So, they just treat immediate obvious symptoms without digging for the root of the problem.

So, for now, I don’t have answers. I don’t have a reason. I don’t have ultimate control. I have to make my excuses to my friends and family when I just don’t have the energy to go out, to come over, to meet up for coffee. I have to explain myself to my bosses that I need to come into work a little late so I can take a trip to Urgent Care because my fatigue is so overwhelming. I have to look at my wonderful fiancé’s worried expression when I give him the honest answer to, “How are you feeling today?”

What I am comforted by is my faith, the assurance that life is never easy for anyone and it doesn’t promise otherwise, and that we are all dying a little bit every day. So, whether we feel poorly or not, we have to find joy in each moment. Because it won’t come again. Christ says in John 13:7, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”

Today, we have no answers. Tomorrow we may not either. And that’s okay. Because what I don’t understand, God understands.

Cover Image Credit: The Good Book

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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I Found My Voice When I Was Diagnosed With Muscular Dystrophy

How I became a writer

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I have always had a love and passion for writing since I was little. Probably as early as third grade. I would always write makeup stories about monsters and typical third-grade stuff. My third-grade teacher, Mrs. Strobbe saw my potential. Her class was hard but it pushed me to become a better writer. Rarely anyone got an A in her class and I had received an A in that class. Then as time went on, I pushed away from writing just because I didn't think I could make way with a career of writing - obviously I was wrong.

I began on the teaching path the rest of my elementary years. (Yes, I've had an idea of what I wanted to do when I was just in elementary, call me crazy.) In 6th grade, I still thought teaching was the way to go. At the time was going through a rough patch- getting spinal fusion and getting diagnosed with MD. It was a lot for a 12 or 13-year-old to handle. I had a lot of thoughts and feelings.

My mom had encouraged me to write again whether in a blog or writing in a journal. I had decided to write in a blog and it felt really good to write again. I only talked about my surgery because I wasn't quite ready to share the whole MD ordeal yet to the whole world. Close family knew but my friends had no clue.

I got into high school and students even teachers would ask me "Why are you riding the elevator?" Why this and that. I didn't really share much because I was afraid people would think differently of me. But I was tired of people asking me. I then wrote a piece on social media and put my story out there for the world and it felt amazing. I finally found my voice and I was loving writing more than ever. It was because I had the courage to speak up and stop hiding. I needed to share what I have been through and teach people to learn to embrace what they've got no matter who you are. I wanted to be the person to make a positive impact on people who have diseases and those who don't understand what it's like having a disability through the power of writing. I wanted to have the power to tell people's unique stories who may be afraid to speak up for themselves or share their story.

My goal when I write is to hopefully make a difference in someone's life or just someone that can be relatable. In high school, I am also highly involved in publications ie being Co-Editor-In-Chief for the Magazine for the last four years and it was a huge game changer as well, I never thought that I could make a living and realistically have a job In the journalism field. Being in publications was an eye-opener. It lead me to so many opportunities- writing for Newsboys, going to Mizzou for Journalism field trips etc. It made me fall in love with writing even more than I had. For me, writing is everything to me and I know I wouldn't be the same person or even the writer I am today without sharing my story.

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