Invisible Disability

Could you stop giving me rude glances? How dare you tell me to put my cell phone away. I seriously just got called one of those inconsiderate generation x-ers. Wow! How about you just stop?! Consider there is a legitimate reason that I have my cell phone out in a business meeting. Maybe I have a sick child or dying loved one. Maybe there’s an emergency. …BUT that’s not the case though.

You see last night, I had a hemiplegic migraine. Those words probably mean nothing to you. Those words changed my life. From time to time I have a type of migraine where one side of my body gets extremely weak. I basically look like I’ve had a stroke, but it will go away. It’s hard for me to function, but since I refuse to allow a disability to control my life, I’m here in a business meeting with you. I’m right- handed and the weakness has effected my right side. I literally do not have the ability to grasp a pen. Have you ever tried to write with your non-dominant hand? I have. It’s not easy, actually its almost impossible to read what I tried to write. So for me, it’s much easier to type notes using my phone. I can use my left hand to type on my phone much more easily than to write. I know you did not know any of this before you made your assumptions. That’s okay. I hate having to constantly justify what I am doing. I grew up with technology, and I’m grateful that since having this disability, technology has enabled me to continue to function. The alternative, miss work each time I have one of this migraines, is not an option for me. The weakness can last up to two weeks, that is a lot of missed work.  Not to mention, what would I do? Sit at home? No thank you. I would much rather be at work. Doing the job that I love, even if that means I have to deal with your rude glances, inconsiderate remarks, and hurtful stares. I will not let you or my disability keep me from my passion.

The next time you see someone who seems to be doing something rude or inconsiderate to you, ask yourself if there could possibly be another reason. I am sure the gentleman mentioned above who is much older than me (at least twice my age) never thought about why I had my cell phone out. He just assumed I was a young person without proper respect or training. I do not like having to explain the fact that I have a disability to everyone I meet. Look at me long enough or see me walk in a room and it’s probably more obvious than if I’m just sitting there. Hemiplegic migraines have changed my life. There’s no doubt about that. I take medication daily in an attempt to prevent them. I have become dependent on my husband to help care for our children when I am having one. Hemiplegic migraines changed my life, but I refuse to let them control my life.

Cleaning house

So I must admit…My husband was right. That does not mean I was wrong, but this time, he was right.  I am a firm believer that God has given everyone talents. Most people call these talents their strengths. People also have weaknesses or areas that they do not excel in. One of my strengths is schedules. I love making schedules. At work, we create daily schedules. I love doing them, we have to do them each semester, and usually at least two per semester. My co-workers will let me do their schedules too. Yes, they are very grateful that I enjoy it, because they hate it.

Now, one of my main weaknesses involves cleaning. I am not good at it. I know as a mom, wife, woman… I am supposed to be a natural homemaker and cleaner. That is not me. Do not mis-understand, my house is never nasty. It is just well-lived in. You know messy. There are things out of place. There are some things that do not even have a “place”. And I hate scrubbing bathrooms! I’ll wipe down, but that’s about it.

So, what does my husband being right have to do with cleaning house? I’m glad you asked. He had a great idea to hire someone to come clean the house every two weeks. WOW! At first I said, “no”. I am a woman, and cleaning the house is my job. Except, I have a full-time job outside of the home, that also includes a hour commute each way, plus my kids once I am home. I would much rather have family time than clean. After much consideration, I decided he was right. He found and hired a cleaning service. I use the term service lightly. It is a small business, which I love supporting. So far I have been beyond impressed. Funny thing, when my house is clean, my stress level is lower.

Although this was a simple example, it showed me two things. First, if everyone would work in their strengths, life would be more enjoyable. Yes, there are times when we have to do things we do not enjoy. However, working in one’s strengths is ideal and makes the work less tedious. Second, it is okay to ask for help. Since I work a full-time job outside of the home, some traditional roles may not be accomplished. While I am at work, it is okay to allow someone to come clean my house. There should be no shame in that. SO this time…My husband was right.

Back to the Real World

Well…It has been nice. You know the holiday break is one of the best things about my job. I basically get a month off. However, this wonderful perk comes to an end, as I return back to work on Monday. Yes, being off that long is nice. I am truly grateful for that time off and I get to spend it with my babies.

However, I must go back to work on Monday. One of the main reasons, we totally blew our budget for December. oops. Who knew Christmas would happen in December? (I’m kidding). It just seems no matter how well you plan, something always happens. I am not even sure where the money went… well food. We ate out A LOT. TOO much. We will do better in January. I have made our budget for January and we are on track…. yes we are a whole week in.

As I prepare to go back to work, I am sure I will miss a lot about staying home. I am however, ready to get back into my routine…can you tell I am a routine kind-of person? 🙂

As a side note, I start Crystal Paine’s 15 days to a Healthier You course. I am excited to find some healthier habits, which relate to my goals this year.

How’s your 2017 going so far? I hope it is awesome!

Word of the Year

Two years ago I started during a word of the year. In 2015 my word was “survive.” I chose it at the end of the 2014 when there was a lot going on. During 2015, I became pregnant and had an extremely difficult pregnancy. You can read that post under Here. I had no idea how true that word would be for 2015.

In 2016 my word was “change”.  Although I had no major life changes, I did undergo a lot of change. I learned it was okay to change my perspective, sometimes that is the only thing that can change. As much as I would like to change others or situations, it is more reasonable to change the way I look at the person or situation. This change did not come easy for me.

This year, 2017, my word is simply “Focus”. There are several areas of my life that I want to focus on. If you read my previous post “Goals” I mentioned a few of them. I want to be focused on my life, including my family, my faith, my career, and hobby. One area that I would like to become more intentional about is this blog. As you can probably see, I write because I enjoy it. Writing is a way to express myself and I love sharing my life with you all.

I hope by publishing this post on January 1, 2017 that I will encourage someone to think about a word for the year. Of course, by making this public, it also forces me to be accountable even when I get discouraged and tired. Let’s make 2017 awesome!

Goals

So as 2016 is coming to an end, many people begin to think about the upcoming year. I know some people who make new year resolutions. However, statistically the vast majority of people do not keep those resolutions. In the past, I have made resolutions and in all honesty, I did not keep them.

For the past few years, I have skipped the new year’s resolutions and chose a word for the year. This year I am going to try something different…similar to resolutions, but goals.  Specific goals for specific areas of my life. I have not worked out all of the details for the goals yet.

So far my categories are spiritual, financial, career, personal, and family. I really want to only focus on one, maybe two, goals for the year. For example, my financial goal is to make a budget each month AND begin to seriously pay off my student loan. Unfortunately, I have A LOT of student loan debt. Paying it off is going to take a while, but the sooner we get started the better off we will be.

So I decided to purchase a planner that will keep me focused, specifically I purchased the living well planner. I have read great reviews and I love planners. I am curious to see if the planner will help me stay on track with my goals this year. What are your goals for 2017? Do you make new year’s resolutions?

Scary day

So this post is very personal. Sorry to kinda just disappear for a while. For the past few weeks I have been battling something scary. So here is the story:

I have had migraines for about 12 years. Some years I have them a lot, other years just a couple of times of year. During nursing school, they got so bad, I was classified as having a disability. Trust me when I say, nursing school is hard enough without any additional struggles. Anyways, one Wednesday I went out to lunch with some co-workers (& my boss) and during lunch I got an aura. My typical aura is flashing lights. I already had a slight headache, so I took some Motrin. Usually, ibuprofen will lessen my migraines enough to allow me to make it until the end of the work day. NOT THIS TIME! By the time I got back to my office, I was miserable. I turned off the lights and laid my head down on my desk. Keep in mind the back wall of my office is completely glass. I ended up leaving the faculty meeting slightly early. I took my usual medicines and went to bed.

The next morning,the right side of my face was tingling and my right arm was tingling and felt odd. As the morning progressed, my arm got progressively weaker. the only positive note was the headache was gone. My Dean took me to the ER, where they did a stroke protocol. When that was negative, I was sent home.

I went to my personal doctor the next day who thought it was a hemiplegic migraine. Something I had never heard of. A neurologist confirmed the diagnosis. I am still waiting on a MRI/MRA and EEG. At this time it looks like this may be my new reality.

So basically, when this happens, I look like I had a stroke although the weakness eventually gets better. It took two weeks for my right hand to get better this time. It is quite difficult to function when you are right handed. Part of me is really hoping that this was a once in a lifetime experience. We shall see….

politics

With election day being tomorrow, the posts on social media has been “special”. Everyone has an opinion about why their candidate is the best, or more commonly, why the other candidate is not fit. This election more than others in the past has been filled with drama by the media and concern from many. I know who I am voting for tomorrow. Of course, I hope others vote the same way as me, but what if they don’t. What if the candidate that I chose does not win? What would my response be?

I claim to be a child of God, a christian. As I have prayed about the election, the thought that keeps coming to mind is “God is in control”. That sounds like a simple statement, but do we truly believe it? I don’t think we do. We should pray, we should vote, we should hope for the best… we should also trust that God is in control. He knows the end. He knows what will happen before it happens. Guess what? He is still in control regardless of what happens.

I live in an amazing country! Many men and women have fought hard to keep us free. Tomorrow I will go vote, as for now and in the days to come I will pray and trust God.

What A Conference

My husband and I attended a Dave Ramsey smart conference this past weekend. WOW! that was the best way to describe it. It was jam-packed with information with topics from money to parenting to marriage. Seriously, information overload!!! So here is my personal review. Please note, this is only my personal opinion.

So first, Dave Ramsey ended the day. He was awesome as I expected. His advice is practical. I will admit, toward the end of the day I had a massive headache. So the speakers toward the end were not as “interesting” for me.

Rachel Cruze, who is Dave’s daughter, was also there. She is incredible. I love her new book, Live your life, not theirs. She talked about the principles in her book and I absolutely loved her talk. She was toward the beginning of the day.

Les Parrot, talked about marriage. He gave practical advice for “fighting” with your spouse. I want to read his book, but I have not done so yet.

Chris Hogan talked about retirement. I only have 31 years before I can retire (could you hear the sarcasm?) I could listen to his voice all day. He has a unique, deep voice that is great. Although I understood some about retirement before this conference, he gave some advice. However, the bottom line was you really need a plan. The earlier you plan the better off you are.

Of course, there were other speakers, Chris Brown, Inky Johnson, Anthony ONeal, Meg Meeker. Some were better than others, but it was well worth the $39 I paid to attend.

Negatives: the band plays music at various breaks. The music was good, but with a headache it got old. It did not seem to be well organized, by that I mean there was no agenda, you had no idea how long lunch was until lunch time. Also with lunch, they brought in some lunch, but did not announce that until lunch time. They also ran out of food…NOT good!

If you ever have a smart conference come to your area, I would highly recommend it. If you can register early, you save money. Everyone likes saving money.

You are awesome!

To all mommies, I have an important message… You are awesome!

To the stay-at-home-mom, You have given up a career in order to complete a monumental task. Add more than one kid to the mix, and it is obvious you must be a super hero. You are awesome!

To the work-from-home-mom, WOW! Juggling the kids, house, and your job… not everyone can do what you do. You dance a fine line of maintaining balance. You are awesome!

To the work-outside-the-home- mom, You work long hours in order to provide for your family. You don’t get to see your kids as much as you would like, but you cherish each moment with them. You are awesome!

Regardless of where you are in life, I believe God has a ultimate plan and design.

If your kids go to daycare, you are teaching important social skills and if it is like my daycare, the workers are awesome! My children are well taken care of.

If your family or friends keep your children, what an honor to build those relationships at such a young age.

Regardless of where you are in life… YOU ARE AWESOME!

family-amj

These two, My husband and son (MC) remind me that being a mom is awesome!

The dreaded B word

The budget…. Is there any word that is scarier than that?

I am fortunate to live in a two-income household. However, my husband and I noticed that our family spent more money than we made. This is never a good idea! So this month, we decided to form a budget. Ok, let’s be honest, I decided to form a budget and let my husband “approve” it. We’ve tried to live on a budget in the past, but it never worked! We are over half way through this month and so far, so good. I promise to update at the end of the month with the verdict.

I love Dave Ramsey! If you have never read his book, Total Money Makeover, you are missing out! Check it out here Total Money Makeover (Please note: this is an affiliate link, which means I earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, that helps maintain the blog).

So by far our largest expenses is our house and DAYCARE. I expected the house to be the most expensive item, but daycare is only a couple of hundred dollars behind it. I love my daycare, but did some cost comparison. Turns out daycare is just expensive! We also realized we spend WAY too much money on food… $1100 is too much. We will have to figure out where to cut back there.

Do you live on a budget? What are your highest spending categories? I would love to hear from you, leave a comment!