The Sunshine Blogger Award

sunshine blogger award

This is the first time anyone has ever tagged me in a question answering thing, so I’m kind of excited. And, admittedly, kind of scared. I have no idea why though, probably because I’m afraid I’ll somehow mess it up. Even so, it’s cool to have been tagged in something like this! Thank you Nikki (from Undiagnosed Warrior)!

The rules of the Sunshine Blogger Award are to nominate eleven people and ask them eleven questions. Nikki asked that I answer the same questions that she did, so here goes!

What is the most important thing to you?

My husband. Just flat out, my husband. I have been in love with him for so long, and he has ALWAYS taken such amazing care of me! We had only been dating for three months when I ended up bedridden for three months (ovarian cyst issues, one ruptured, and then one decided to grow humongous and cause a lot of pain). He was amazing! Every time I’ve ever needed taking care of, he does it without question. Sure, he doesn’t enjoy it, but he mostly just hates seeing me in pain and sick all the time. Without him, however, I don’t know how I would find the strength to keep going. He takes me to doc appointments and helps remember care plans, and he holds me when I get scary and confusing diagnoses. I will never love anyone as much as I love him. Thanks for being my rock, Dan (since I know you’ll read it eventually)!

If you could go anywhere right now, where would it be?

I would love to go on a cruise! Northern Europe or Alaska would be pretty awesome, and it would make Dan really happy too! I’ve been on one cruise, a short one, and I enjoyed it immensely. Dan’s never been on one, and I love making the people I care about happy, especially him!

I would also love to go back to Costa Rica. We were there for our honeymoon, and I didn’t have a single allergy symptom, fibro symptom, or asthma symptom the entire week! It was fantastic, and really was a breath of fresh air. I remembered who I was, and it really helped pull me out of the funk of the fibro diagnosis.

What’s your favorite thing about blogging?

This blog started so that I could share my story, and show that life with chronic illness can really be a life. What I wasn’t expecting were all of the other chronic illness sufferers I would end up meeting, and how hearing their stories would make me feel better about my own. All the online support groups I’d tried joining were just depressing rants about how life sucked… not good for depression. But the little community I’ve found myself in via this blog has finally showed me why so many people swear by support groups. These people are amazing, and one commonality that I’ve noticed: they understand true darkness and therefore are some of the most supportive and inspirational people I’ve ever met.

What’s your favorite thing about yourself?

Okay, so this is really hard. I was bullied a ton through school (yes, all of it), so my self-esteem is still a work in progress. Plus, I have always heard to be modest. To me, modesty ended up meaning not admitting anything good. This is still difficult for me, but I’ll give it my best shot.

My favorite thing about myself is my empathy. Yes, the level of empathy that I have can be crippling at times, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m extremely sensitive to the emotions of other people, and often pick up on things that no one else does. I remember being in a really dark point in high school, struggling to pull myself out of it, and then once I did a friend told me everyone knew I was struggling. No one helped me. I hated knowing that they were okay with just watching me struggle. I never want anyone to feel that way. If I notice someone is off somehow, I’ll say something. To me, empathy is an essential part of my life. Sure, it makes me emotionally raw (which is painful) but it also makes me a better person and friend.

What has been your biggest challenge in life so far?

Accepting that I have a “new normal” has definitely been one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I loved hiking, camping, and rock climbing with Dan, but I definitely can’t go rock climbing or doing any of our spectacular hikes now. I might be able to go camping, and I might be able to do tiny and flat hikes, but giving up the things I loved has been extremely difficult. Luckily, Dan understands. We’re both holding out hope that being medicated will make it easier to recondition myself so that I can eventually do these things again.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

In a way. The very first time I saw Dan, something in me said “he will change your life.” I also thought he was extremely attractive, which made it hard for me to talk to him (that really doesn’t happen often actually). I think I subconsciously fell in love with him immediately, like my soul knew somehow, but it took a while for me to realize it.

However, I do believe that non-romantic love at first sight can happen. A lot of mommies and daddies end up falling in love with their new baby the minute they see them. And I also have found that I can fall in love with animals at first sight too.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

In ten years, I will be 35. By then I would like to have two children, to which I’ll be a stay at home mom. Dan should have a better idea of where he’s going with his career, and should be in a position he could see himself in for quite a long time. We will have moved out of our townhouse and be in a single family home (hopefully a large one with a large yard). I would like to be making some money on the side with my painting and sewing so we can have more savings and more fun money. Hopefully I’ll also be managing my chronic conditions without much medication, and my allergies should be a ton better (because I’ll be done with my shots).

How many languages do you speak?

I speak English fluently. I can cobble sentences together in Spanish, but I speak it incredibly slowly, and when I haven’t spoken it in a long time, I forget most of the vocabulary. That’s it though. English and extremely broken Spanish.

What do you think is your best post so far? Link it.

The favorite things about my posts are the titles actually, I find them goofy and clever (and they frequently make my husband chuckle). As far as best post overall? Well, that’s kind of hard. I’m just starting out, so they’re pretty rudimentary right now. I have three that I’m pretty proud of at the moment (though I’m currently working on one that I think might end up being a favorite), and I can’t choose just one:

How This New Potsie Survived the Colorado Renaissance Festival

I like this one because it’s really the first “tutorial” I’ve ever written. I’d say it turned out pretty well for a first! Plus, I love RenFest, so I’m partial to the content.

My Struggle with POTS

This one has a decent amount of information about POTS in general, and how it can vary greatly. I feel like this post provides a very accessible description of POTS and what it’s like to live with it, and I’m really proud of that.

Drumroll Please… The Food Allergy Skin Test Results Are In!

I like this one for a few reasons. First, the title image is fun, at least I think so 😛 Okay, that’s not really first, more like an extra… so I guess I’ll give you the real first now. I was able to provide good information about how allergies work (technically it’s a separate post I linked in this one), and then how the testing works. I also liked that I was able to explain that there are different types of testing, and that they don’t necessarily show the same results. Then I thought my allergens were kind of amusing.

What’s your favorite quote?

Well, I have several that I enjoy immensely. Two that I have been using to help give me a little boost when I’m down are:

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” – Kahlil Gibran

I love this quote. I have definitely suffered a lot. In recent years, I’ve had to deal with all these illnesses; previous years contained bullies and mentally abusive boyfriends. Even though my soul is covered in scars, it always surprises me with its strength. Even when I think something is going to break me, it rarely does. It really helps to show me that I’m not helpless due to these diseases. Quite the opposite in fact.

“I don’t really care if nobody else believes / ‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me” – Rachel Platten

Actually, all of Fight Song is incredibly inspirational to me at the moment. People sound so astonished that I am “still going” (I honestly don’t know what else I’d do) and I think about this quote from her a lot. One thing I’ve learned, especially since these illnesses, is to just keep fighting. Eventually, you can have what you want, even if no one thinks that you can.

If you could recommend one fellow blogger to follow, who would it be and why?

IAmChronicallyWell has a fantastic blog about POTS, and she is very active in the dysautonomia community near her.

The Person Next to You is a great blog about an entire family suffering from chronic Lyme disease. The blog focuses a lot on holistic solutions, not just pharmaceutical solutions. Some of her advice is great for any chronic illness sufferers, some is great for any person in general, and some is specific to Lyme. It’s a great blog that is definitely worth a read.

And finally, in no specific order, the eleven nominees:

Answer the same questions, because I suck at coming up with new ones 😛

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