Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Kidney Girl

Let's skip the formalities. Yes, it's me. I'm still a blogger. Hey.

I am also proud to announce that if any of you had doubts that I still had my kidney's, I am happy to announce that they are both located in their proper positions and working well enough to give me kidney stones. Last night was quite the adventure. And as much as I really love spur of the moment adventures, I really could have done without last nights.

For the past couple of days I have been getting sharp pains to the sides of my abdomen. It was enough to grab my side, sit down, let it subside, and move on with my life. However last night, after a delicious spinach artichoke pasta dinner, the pain came back to the left side of my stomach. This time it was so much stronger, and my first thought was "well, perhaps I need to use the bathroom and clear myself out." I proceeded to spend 20 minutes doing nothing in the bathroom but withering in pain bent over the toilet. {This is SO TMI for me, I apologize!!} I finally gave up on the clearing out plan, washed my hands, and put a pillow on the living room floor and proceeded to lay down while making terrible wailing noises. It hurt. Bad. I am trying to think of something to compare it to, but honestly I've never been in so much excruciating pain. I've had fevers that hurt, and make me cry. I've had menstrual cramps that really sting, and knock me out for days. But nothing has ever been as sharp and horrible as the pain I felt last night lying on the floor of my apartment.

Over the next 30 minutes I tried to chat with my roommate Kirsten about Chick-fil-A awesomeness, and with Erron about the game 2048. And then I decided, since the pain wasn't subsiding whatsoever, that I needed some medical attention. Luckily for me, my Grandma is a nurse and so I called her. No answer. I laid there, just praying that the pain would dull a little bit, and miraculously my Grandma walked through the door about 5 minutes later. 

She brought me a heating pad, and felt around my abdomen to get an idea of what could be causing my pain. Ultimately, she concluded that it could be a couple different things. At this point she, as well as Erron, was telling me that I really should go into the emergency room. Which I was hesitant about because A) I have wonderful insurance, but I presumed that the ER would be pricey. And B) I just felt so dramatic, lying on the floor, moaning, and crying. I mean, maybe I was just being a baby? The pain wasn't actually *that* bad, was it? 

It was. My Grandpa came down to give me a priesthood blessing alongside Erron, and while it was such a nice blessing I remember thinking "Come ON, hurry UP, I am in pain here!" And at that point, I knew that I needed to go in.

Erron drove me to the hospital and I walked right in to the ER. It was an easy process and they made sure I was comfortable, with warm blankets and all. Initially when I walked in, I told them that the pain was at a 7 out of 10. But once I lied down and waited for the doctor it started to subside a little. Finally. 

The doctor promptly came in to analyse the problem, and shortly after he decided to get blood work, a urine sample, and put me on pain meds. I didn't know what I was expecting when I came in, but I completely forgot about the whole "needle" thing that happens when you go to the hospital. And so began my mental journey to prepare myself for an IV. The good news is, that when you are in as much pain as I was, you want them to do whatever they can to fix you. 

I clutched Erron's hand as a nice man named Andrew came in to take my blood. Erron wanted to know all about how the needle worked and so I got to get a demonstration about what was going to happen to me, thinking to myself the whole time "just poke me, damnit!"

He did, and he did it well. The most horrific experience I had with needles was when I found out I had mono, and the nurse couldn't get the IV in. It was my freshman year of college, and ultimately she tried 5 times without succeeding, 3 times on one arm, 2 in both hands, and then finally got the vein on my opposite arm. That experience haunts me to this day. But after about 5 viles of blood were taken he put me on a saline solution so that I could pee faster. How kind.

When I was able to use the bathroom I paged Andrew, and he came back and guided me to the restroom. I quickly did my business and went back to my room where a nice lady got the wonderful job of picking up my pee cup. Erron and I then waited for about 45 minutes while they got their results. The doctor came back within this time, after the blood work was done and told me that they couldn't determine if I was pregnant yet, so I would have to wait awhile longer. He told me that if the test came back that I was negative for pregnancy, that he would send someone to pick me up for a CT scan.

Andrew came, and told me that they had found blood in my urine, and that they were going to proceed with a CT scan. TMI here, but I always imagined blood in urine would be just that. Blood, in your urine. But I'm telling you all right now that it was not visible to my eye, and when they told me there was blood in it I was astounded!

I started to get up out of my bed, and he quickly told me that they were going to wheel me through the hallways. Which was fun, but I felt like I was on House or General Hospital or something. Here I was being dramatically wheeled on a gurney through the halls of the emergency room. 

Andrew didn't stay with me for the scan, much to my dismay, and the guy that was running the machine gave me the creeps. He was generally nice, but there was something about him that was just off, and I just wanted to be taken back to the comfort of my brightly-lit ER room. 

After I went through the machine 3 times, holding my breath at different intervals each time, he wheeled me back to my room and told me it would be about 1/2 an hour to get results from the urologist. 

At this point I was feeling SO much better. The sharp pain was gone, the ache was gone, and there was just a dull pain in my back. After some time, the doctor came in to share his findings. The ureter on my left side, where the pain had been, was severely inflamed, causing them to think that I had just passed the stone either right before I came in, or in the very cup that sat on the counter. I told him I had seen things floating in the cup, and he scooted his little chair-stool over to my urine and took a look. It did indeed have remnants of the stone in it, and he seemed pleased with me. {Thank you, thank  you, I try to pass kidney stone just for you Dr. Leblanc.} He then scooted back to share that I also have a small stone in my right side, still in my kidney and that it could pass at any time. He told me it could pass tomorrow, or a year from tomorrow. At this point I was feeling almost completely better and I didn't even care that I had another stone. 

We talked about ways to prevent future stones, and he told me that I should try to collect the stone that I still had so that they could test it and figure out how to better help me prevent future issues.

And with that- I was done! 4 long hours after entering the hospital, I was out! We collected our things, and walked out to the car, following behind a police officer who was leading a sick, handcuffed man to his patrol vehicle. 

As we got in the car and drove home, I thanked Erron over and over for staying up half the night and keeping me calm. His selflessness was such an inspiration to me, and I hope I can be like that if roles are ever reversed.

Kidney stones SUCK. And I am more motivated than anything to drink lots of water now. I never ever want to experience the pain I was in last night ever again, and I will do whatever it takes to keep them away!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sad Songs Don't Make Happy People

I know you all know that feeling. Bad day = sad songs on repeat. That has been my routine like 3 out of all 7 days in a week. I have a sort of sad day, and then I just decide to listen to sad songs about heartbreak and sorrow. 

It's always worked in the past, I get sad, listen to my sappy sad crap, I feel better, I move on. But lately I've realized that my sad music has really taken a toll on me! I'll have a sort of sad day, and listen to sad music and then the next day is worse and then I'm belting these songs out while I drive wanting to cry, and then the next day I end up crying at some point. It's a vicious cycle. And I've realized that dwelling on the sadness, even by listening to completely innocent songs about your problem, does NOT help you feel better. 

If you want to feel better--you have to change your outlook! You cannot just dwell in sadness and hope that it will help you feel better because even though music isn't a person: "misery loves company" and you'll just wind up in a nasty cycle of sadness.

On that note, I did listen to "Dear John" like 11,000 times today. (Can you say Taylor Swift obsessed this week!?) The lyrics are just so powerful that I get chills every time. I also love that it isn't necessarily a sad song, rather it tells a story. (Which I believe is MY story...) It starts sad, and turns into this empowering message that "hey I wasn't wrong--YOU were!" 

 But still! Happy songs are what are going to create happy people, and I need to remember that in the future. Even when times get somber.

I also need to remember not to dwell on the past through my words or thoughts. I went through a rather sour experience a few years back and I was talking to my friend Aubree who had gone through a similar issue. She advised me to write down everything that had happened and then delete it. Well I decided to start writing it down, and although I'm not even close to being done, I know I have issues. Ha, I told Aubree that I am so uber morbid and creepy because I don't WANT to delete it! I seriously want to just read it again later on and be able to feel that pain again and again. (Can you say masochist? Yikes!)

But I think it's human nature to want to punish ourselves. We have regrets and it's not necessarily easy to move past them and forgive ourselves. With time we might heal and become whole again, but there are going to be periods of sadness, I think it's just part of human nature. 

Okay, again, this post got super dark and gloomy. And I do apologize for that, but at the same time, not really because I think it's important that I get my feelings out in the open and move past them.

I've been pretty happy lately. It's been weeks since I really felt down in the dumps. And then today happened. And I felt rotten. I wasn't able to fall asleep last night because I knew what was going to happen, but I also knew that I couldn't avoid it and that I needed to face it. 

"It" wasn't really a big deal for many people, it was just a discussion in one of my classes. But I knew it was going to be painful. Probably because I'm weak, but also just because I'm human. I ended up leaving class and calling Erron in tears. I used our emergency code (calling 2 times in a row) to ensure that I spoke with him. I then proceeded to sit outside in the freezing cold sobbing my eyes out to him. The poor guy was apologizing, and I could tell I was just making him feel sad, but I didn't know what else to do. I couldn't go to my English class, and that only made things worse because of how guilty I felt for skipping it yet again. 

Erron tried to get me to tell him what I was sad about, but honestly I couldn't remember anything. He asked me to tell him what we had talked about in class and all I could remember was hearing certain phrases and then staring blankly at the whiteboard ahead of me. He then asked me if I started to cry in class. Of course I didn't cry! I'm not a crier unless I am by myself or with somebody that I absolutely trust completely. I think a lot of people would think I'm a pretty strong (emotionally, NOT physically.....hahahahah) person, because when I am in public I hold my head high, I smile, and I make sure I am not deflecting my problems onto people. But the truth is that I am such a mess. When I am alone I am completely opposite. I cry, I yell into the mirror, and I am a complete grump. 

I feel almost two-faced, but I don't know how to act any other way. I don't want other people to feel my pain. I don't want them to feel like they have to help me. Because the truth is, most of the time, only I can help myself. I just wish I could be as strong of a person in private that I am in public. I guess if that happened I'd probably turn into like some sort of hot super hero though. And I'm not ready for that kind of career in my life. (:

I guess the bottom line is that I need to be happy as a person. My life is so incredible. And I am blessed beyond belief by my friends, family, and Heavenly Parents. I just hope someday I can help somebody with everything I am learning today. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Civil Rights Today

I'm a white girl from Salt Lake City, UT. I did a stint in Southern CA from years 3-8 in my life, but I wouldn't say I come from a very urban area, at all. I realize my opinion isn't weighted too highly in the scope of things, especially when it comes to civil rights. 

Have we heard of Ferguson? Yes? Good. No? Yes you have, let me recap: black boy fatally shot by white cop in St. Louis, MO last August.

Ever since that case people have been going nuts all over America about white privilege and the safety of blacks. I think we all need to chill out. What bothers me the most is that these black folks living in St. Louis aren't allowed to feel outraged by the death of a young man living in their community. 

What also bothers me is that life isn't just or fair. At all. It kills me to think that we label people by their race, religion, or anything else.

In my History 1700 class the big theme for the class has been the topic of "you can't change human nature." It's such a sad thought--but I've come to the conclusion that human nature can evolve and become beautiful, but you can't change the way humans naturally are. And I don't believe we ever will be able to. I think there will always be hatred in the world. Somebody is always going to be angry at somebody for doing something. And that anger towards one person could turn into anger for a community. 

I know in my personal experience that I hate a boy that lives in Lehi, UT. And it doesn't make any sense but I absolutely cannot stand that city. It pained me to move 3 minutes away from there. And when I hear that anybody is from Lehi, the bad taste in my mouth that I hold for one individual is automatically transferred to this {probably awesome} person that I am hearing about. I feel stupid writing it, but it's true. And when I think about the people in Missouri and throughout America, outraged at the prejudice that happens there, I completely understand {on a different level} what they are dealing with. 

The painful truth is that we don't understand what other people are feeling. We don't understand what factors into their lives, that makes them feel pain towards certain people or situations. Take Ferguson for example--we have no idea what happened there. And we never will. We can get pieces of the story from the media, but lets be honest- we hear what they feed us so that we will buy what they are advertising. It's a simple business model. 

We all need to chill out, and try to see the other persons perspective. Even if it's a "stupid" opinion to us, the world will spin a whole lot smoother if we work as a team to fix the injustice in the government and in humanity.

Civil rights are still an issue nowadays because we are all humans. And civil rights are bigger than just minority groups. They are human rights. I would urge you to look around your family, community, nation, and even around the globe today. Try to see the suffering that is happening and do something about it! Smile at somebody you don't like. Get involved in a group to bring awareness to your cause. If there isn't already a group-start one! Be the bigger person, be a honest and upstanding citizen, and protect those around you from harm and sadness.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Back to December

Today is the first day of December. And obviously, the start of a brand new month. November had it's ups, but it definitely had more downs and I'm glad that it's over with. 

However December is a month that I have struggled with for years. A few years back it was really the last happy month I had for almost a year. And while I  try not to be dramatic about it (or obsess over what I could have changed) I seem to have the lyrics to "Back to December" by Taylor Swift constantly playing through my head. That song came out while I was battling a pretty rough demon and I spent countless nights in my dorm room up at Utah State crying myself to sleep to  the chorus  in that song. The chorus was just perfect for my situation, I can't help but feel like it's a discussion I would constantly have with myself in 2011 (rather than how Taylor sings it to a boyfriend). 

I think the biggest thing I need to establish within myself is that I DONT "go back to December all the time." My life is so wonderful, and wouldn't change anything if it would change the happiness I experience today. And even if I could change  certain situations, it was other people's agency, and I don't have the power or abilty to change that. Nobody does except for the person themselves. 

On a happier note: it's December! Christmas lights and baking galore! Hot cocoa and movies and friends and family! I cannot wait for Christmas 2014 to be super fantastic! Tis the season, right!? (:

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Psh....Netflix Who?

I like to reward myself. I need incentives to keep me going, and so I would hook myself onto Netflix shows, and then reward myself with watching a new one each time I did something like homework or housework. 

Well I haven't watched a show for about 2 weeks now, and I'm feeling so much better. But trust me-I didn't just quit cold turkey, I started a new addiction.


It started with Serial. A story told week by week about the mystery of Hae Min Lee's murder in 1999. If someone had told six-year-old me that one day waiting for the next episode of a public radio show spinoff would feel like waiting for Christmas morning, I would probably have given up on life sooner.

But i'm obsessed! And waiting for "next Thursday" is the hardest part--I want to just binge on every episode right now. If you haven't listened to it, it's free and I highly suggest you download it. 

If you have listened to it, what are your thoughts? I think Jay is guilty-I side with Adnan, he didn't kill her. But where is the motive in any of this!? Let me know what you think. And sorry (in advance) for getting you hooked.

Another podcast show I love to listen to is "Stuff Mom Never Told You." It's great and informative, and talks about lots of different women's topics from rape and sexual assault to why we have diamond engagement rings. Erron doesn't really like it, because it's just two girls talking to each other in a studio, and he keeps asking me "what their credentials are" But I enjoy it, I've learned so much already. 

What are your favorite podcasts to listen to? 

Sunday, November 9, 2014


I was absolutely absent from my life this last week. I try to think about what I did and all I can think about was the sorrow in my body. It was hard. However! I am so excited to get back into the kick of things! (: Yesterday was the first day since Monday that I really felt alive and functioning, and today was even better!

Don't you absolutely love Sunday's? I mean it's a day completely chill. If you are religious you get to attend a sermon, and if you aren't religious you get to just kick back and relax all day. (Unless you work, my condolences.) In my case, since I'm LDS I get to attend what we call "Sacrament Meeting." Basically it's a one hour long meeting that we focus our thoughts and testimonies to Christ. 

Today when I took the sacrament I felt so amazing! It was like I was completely clean and pure of everything. I couldn't help but cry as I was silently praying, because I was so filled with gratitude that my Heavenly Parents delivered me from the awful week I had experienced. I was also so thankful that I had somebody who could fully and completely relate to my experience. He is the only being that could comprehend the pain that I felt, and that alone lifted a percentage of the burden.

I'm so grateful for the knowledge I have of the gospel. It isn't always easy to be LDS, but it's always worth it. When we were at Carissa and Jimmy's house on Friday I told Erron, as I glanced around the house at everybody and their beers, that all I wanted to do was drink. And he understood, to an extent, how I was feeling. The reason I enjoyed drinking my freshman year of college was because (I now understand) I was numbing the pain I was experiencing. But as hard as this last week was and as sad as I was feeling on Friday, a shot of something strong wasn't going to fix it in the long run. I'm sure it would have made my night better & probably a heck of a lot more fun, but it wouldn't have fixed anything. And I'm all about fixing and healing wounds! (:

I'm excited for tomorrow, and hope that I can kick butt in school this week! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Pit

It was nothing new, but it was still so dark and deep.
It physically made me ill. 
There was no pain in my heart, there was no pain in my mind. Just in my stomach.
It twisted, a reminder that it had never really left.
Although I had treated it in the best way I knew how, the treatment I used was only temporary.
And the true wound was back, in it's original state.

I tried to push it away.
But the harder I tried to make it leave me, the deeper it penetrated my heart and my mind. 
The only two places where pain could bring me down.

I didn't ask for this. 
In fact, the book was closed.
Locked even.
And I had thrown away the key. 

But the book was taken off the shelf, by somebody else, and opened to the chapter that, though locked away, was still burned into my brain.
I cried. 
I had known it all along, but couldn't admit it to myself.
I was angry. Angry at so many different forces. The force that found the key and opened the book, the force that wrote the terrible chapter, and the force that was within me-that hadn't allowed myself to think clearly about the matter. 

Initially I was going to run away.
I didn't need to think about it.
Not again.
There was no purpose, in my mind, to relive it.
And then my heart led me to understand why this was happening.

It was for the better.

I turned to those around me that I trusted. 
They had no reason to understand why I had locked the book, but they did. 
They understood that even though I wanted to leave it shut & hidden, I needed to treat the wound properly.
What I had doctored up before was adequate, and worked for a time. But since it wasn't the correct fix, I needed to understand what it would truly take to close the wound. I needed to, once again, suffer the pain from that horrible chapter in order to receive proper healing.

That was yesterday.
This is today.
And the pit in my stomach is still here as it was there. 
It has followed me through a full 24 hours.
And it sucks.
BUT I know that because the force that had found the key and opened the book, despite my resistance, I would be forever thankful. I would know the true feeling of recovery.
In time, it would be something that I wouldn't regret. Rather, it would be something that I endear.

The past is dark.
Dark because it is hidden behind you.
Everything has already happened in the past. 
The sun has set, eternally, on it-and will not be rising again.

The future is bright.
It is before your eyes. 
It's still hidden, but nothing is finalized. 
It's open and free.
The future is full. Full of hope and joy. Full of radiance.

I cannot wait for the future.
Even if it means I have a pit in the present.