Friday, April 30, 2010

Love Me Fridays

  • Tumblr.  I swear, there is no other way I could get through these endlessly long nights of not sleeping.
  • Watermelon.  Definitely my favorite summer treat!  (Minus hot fudge sundaes of course!)
  • Strepsils.  I have a ton of cankers in my mouth since yesterday.  It usually signals virus for me, so woo.  But those little mouth numbers do an excellent job!
  • Cats and dogs.  They are awesome.  I want to have a little animal family once I get out of this apartment!
  • Floral and abstract prints for Spring!  I wish I could just magically have a wardrobe that could rotate through the fashion seasons.
  • Hot showers.  I wish I could spend all of my time in a hot shower.
  • Hats!  I am attempting to grow my hair out and it is in a VERY awkward stage.  Need to cover it up as much as possible.
  • My boyfriend, for calming me down when I am as sick as I was last night.
  • Things I wish for:
This crazy bench!!!  I have odd design cravings for sure...
Vases shaped like hearts!

A skull embroidered Alexander McQueen dress!  RIP.

What are you loving this week my beloved blog readers??


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Plagued By Pain? No Problem! (Well Other Than The Pain Itself...)

Pain is impossible for me to ignore.  It invades every aspect of my being: making me a cranky, miserable creature, lessening my ability to care for myself and my apartment, and causing me serious financial stress.

Despite this unpleasant fate, I have learned a few tips and tricks over my years that can help make life a little more enjoyable - even if I can't remove the pain altogether.
  • Denial is everyone's WORST enemy.  For a long time, when my life felt like a constant flu, I would follow one of two paths: either push myself to fight through it (with 10-12 hour days), or wallow in my own self-pity.  Serious wallowing.  The kind where you sob into a wine bottle while lying on the floor wondering "WHY ME?!?," with people having to come over and check that you are still alive.  I didn't know it at the time, but these were two of the worst things that I could have been doing for my well-being. 
Life with chronic illness/pain is a challenging path, but there are lessons to be learned along the way.  It is as a result of many tough times that I have gone down the path on how to live as well as possible in one's circumstances. 
  • The Spoon Theory was one of the first chronic illness articles that made a huge impact in my life.  It taught me that one must create a life budget, the way one would with their finances.  You have a set amount of spoons at the beginning of the day, and you must be very careful where you use them.  The people who are stealing your spoons might as well be stealing 20's right out of your pocket!
Here are some of my favorite things to spend my limited spoons on:
When you catch yourself thinking those self-sabotaging thoughts - stop them as soon as possible through distraction methods.  Attempt to get to a happy place, even if it is only a daydream.  We already have to deal with hurting all of the time.  There is no need to add to the misery.

(Images from WeHeartIt)


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pop Culture Wednesday

It was a good week for movie watching around these parts!


This was the worst of the four by far.  Bandslam is a cute movie for teenagers, but has too much schlock for the rest of us.  I mean her name is SA5M and the 5 is silent???  That's just strange.  I really liked Lisa Kudrow though.  She plays overbearing mother in the best way possible.  I miss her as Phoebe in Friends.


I LOVED this film.  Loved, loved, loved!  This is the best portrayal of a man with Asperger's syndrome that I've seen in film.  Hugh Dancy doesn't play the role over the top, he just is.  It also doesn't have the traditional ending, which is special in and of itself.  This will definitely require a re-watch.

Dear John:

Before I watched this, I expected it to be bad.  Really bad.  However, my love of Amanda Seyfried won over, and I had to make a viewing.  To my surprise, I ended up enjoying it.  It is formulaic, but has a lot of heart.  It shouldn't win any awards, but if you want to watch a love story in the middle of the afternoon - I recommend.

The Hours:

My favorite movie of the group.  I had watched it before, but it was due time for me to watch it again.  Some would call this movie depressing, but I just view it as a glimpse into some very sensitive, wonderful, and troubled women.  Perhaps I see myself in the film.  It always makes me remember just how much I need to read Mrs Dalloway.

Lovely blog readers!  Please tell me of the interesting things that you've been watching recently!!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Peek Into My Brain...

I found this on Rachel Denbow's amazing craft blog, Smile and Wave!

1. When do you feel happiest?

When I feel reasonably well, and when I am with family, sunshine, and a pen and paper!

2. How do you take care of yourself?

I eat well, try to sleep reasonably well, take vitamins, attempt to keep moving, and work on improving my outlook on life.

3. Are you internally (by yourself) or externally (by others) motivated?

I'm entirely internally driven.

4. What do you do for fun?

Writing, painting, organizing, going out for dinner, road trips, watching movies, and the like.

5. What intimidates you?

People who are extremely successful, large groups of people, and job interviews.

6. What is something you're proud of?

Finishing my education, despite the fact that I didn't really want it that much and had a difficult time as a result of my illnesses.

7. Finish this sentence. 
I never _____________ get things done without to-do lists.

8. Favorite vacation spot.

Dream or reality?  I like taking mini vacations on this pretty little island, but I would also love to take off to France any time the opportunity presented itself.

9. Today is a (rate from 1 - 10).

Today is a 5 due to it being the same as every other day of my recent memory.

10. Finish this sentence. 
If you knew me really well you'd know_____________ I am an absolute control freak who is trying to re-program herself.

(Images from WeHeartIt)


Hospital Poetry: Take 4

The pain echoes
in a way that the others can't understand
creeping up on a victim
in this case myself
without sense
and others can't help
we all have our demons
that walk by our sides
in the case of myself
the demon resides
rising up at whim
ruining my fun
my daily abilities
I've barely begun
the fight has been long
some answers are needed
come to me now
is all I have pleaded
~ Annie Martin (April '10)


Monday, April 26, 2010

Things That Bug Me Mondays

  • I'm having difficulty eating again, as it seems that all of my medications have just up and stopped working :(.
  • Having to face the feelings of disappointment that I can't fix myself and no one else can seem to fix me for the millionth time.
  • I wish I had enough money to buy a house.  Alas.
  • Paperwork and bloodwork for doctor's appointments.  I feel like it NEVER ends.
  • My computer keeps overheating and I don't really want to rush out and buy a new one ... blargh.
  • There was a blog carnival on ChronicBabe that I didn't participate in, even though I was interested.  I just could not get myself inspired enough to write anything.
  • Shrimp.  I used to like them.  Now I'm not in the fan club anymore.
  • The fact that I am becoming the person that tells a story to the same person 3 times because I keep forgetting I've told it.  Grr...

(Images from WeHeartIt)

What are you feeling cranky about this Monday???


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cartoon Love

This makes me laugh.  A lot.


Hospital Poetry: Take 3

the revolt of my body
the revolt of my mind
neither were issues
I was wanting to find

and now I'm alone
minus the bugs
and the pervasive emptiness
brought forth by drugs

I need to escape
I'm not sure how
but this room is stifling
and my head is too loud

by now I should know better
than to open my mouth
it's easier to be silent
than deal with the trouble that comes out.
~ Annie Martin ('10)


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hospital Poetry: Take 2

To leave the edge of hysteria
and fall back on Earth
is a jolting ride indeed
the panic
has turned to calm
the thoughts
are being channeled
this little white room
of hatred
holds healing powers
whether I'd like to admit it
or not
unfortunately one never knows
how the real world will treat them
once they are free
from their hideaway land
no one knows the future
not even I
much to my dismay
~ Annie Martin (April '10)


Friday, April 23, 2010

Love Me Fridays

  • Asparagus season!  It is my favorite vegetable by far.  I believe I'm going to fry up a bunch of it and throw some sunny-side eggs on top for breakfast!
  • Pretty stationery for writing thank-you notes on :)
  • Feeling a little bit better still!
  • Trying to push myself out the door to go for a walk to mail a card.  This is foreign territory for me as I never leave just to take a walk all by myself anymore.  I'll keep you updated!  Haha.
  • Thai food with my family :)
  • The ability to rent month-to-month now so we can take longer with our apartment hunt!
  • Movies!
  • Minimalist philosophy!
  • Guest blogs - go check me out at
  • Pretty pictures!

(Images from WeHeartIt)

What lovely things have been happening to you this week???


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Guest Blogger - Jamee from A New Kind of Normal!!

My name is Jamee and I am 28 years old.  I am a new mom, wife, and seminary student.   I have also been diagnosed with multiple chronic illnesses.  I was diagnosed with endometriosis in September 2003 after having my first of many surgeries.  From 2006 to 2008 I had three consecutive surgeries each occurring in May.  The last of which was a total hysterectomy with bilateral oopherectomy (basically stated – I’ve no longer got any of my lady parts which means no pregnancy for me).  In the mix of all of this I was diagnosed with fibromylgia, migraines, and a host of other issues that we haven’t quite yet been able to put a label on. 

I was super stoked when Andrea asked me to do a guest post so that I can share a little piece of my life with you!  While I would have never of asked to be faced with chronic illness (and I would be happy to be rid of it), I try to seek out how to live abundantly in spite of it.  These are just a few things that have helped me find joy even in the midst of pain:
·         Surround yourself with beautiful things.  Notice that I said beautiful (not necessarily expensive…though it would be nice to go out and splurge on designer bedding since we spend to spend so much extra time in bed).  Wherever you spend a lot of your time, take a few moments to make it beautiful.  Maybe that means putting up a picture of your loved ones.  Maybe putting some fresh flowers in a vase nearby.  Personally, I spend 8 hours a day at work and it can get rough.  So I created a custom bulletin board (black frame and hot pink fabric) that I have at my desk that holds family pictures and inspirational quotes to help keep me perked up during the day.  Maybe you need a wall of inspiration too!
·         Get organized (with help of course!).  Am I the only one who gets so freaked out and overwhelmed when things are not put in their place?  Maybe it’s just my perfectionism coming out :)  Let’s face it.  Often with chronic illness we don’t always get to clean as much as we like (unless you are one of the lucky ones out there that has a housekeeper) but it helps to have a place for everything.  And let’s be honest . . . fibro fog can get the best of us and we can forget where we put things such as keys (waving my hands frantically) but if we can create a system and a spot of things we can make our lives a little easier.  Maybe that means having a cute basket on the table as you come in the door where you can always put your keys (instead of frantically searching on your way out the door).  Or organizing your DVDs so when you are in a flare you can actually find the movie you want to watch as you attempt to relax on the couch.  These are just a couple examples.
·         Find an outlet.  Chronic illness is hard. Period.  And without an outlet things are bound to head south.  For me, I know that I would never be able to get through this experience without my faith.  My faith allows me to make sense of things and create a framework in which I can function day to day with chronic illness.  So my faith (and in turn my ministry) is a major outlet for me personally.  Also another outlet for me personally is blogging.  It allows me to both share my faith as well as my experiences with chronic illness.  In writing about it, I am forced to process it (okay, not exactly forced.  I could write empty words but I choose not to.  I think you know what I mean).  Maybe you are a blogger too (which I imagine many of you are since this is posted on a blog).  Maybe your outlet is art or music.  Maybe you write short stories.  Regardless of what it is, finding an outlet is so important.  I’m just going to step on my soapbox very briefly (I promise) to say that maybe you are at a point where it would be beneficial to see a professional counselor.  If so, please go.  You will benefit greatly.  I hate that our society paints such a negative picture sometimes of those who seek counseling.  I went to see a professional counselor while we were in the midst of infertility and my looming hysterectomy and I am so very, very glad that I did.  So please, if you feel like you would benefit, make that call.  Ok, I’m off my soapbox now.
·         Wear cute lounge clothes instead of grubby sweats.  Grubby sweats have their place (if worn sparingly) but in the midst of a flare, doesn’t it make you feel worse feeling all grubby?  Again, maybe it’s just me!  LOL.   Maybe it means cute flannel pants (I used to have a pair with pigs on them that I loved!).  Or cute socks (toe socks anyone?).  Maybe it’s trying your pony tail with a ribbon.  Anything to help you feel more beautiful and feminine is a plus in my book and I know gives me a boost when I’m feeling low.
·         Know your limitations.  This is definitely not my favorite.  It’s not fun and it is definitely where I struggle the most.  I like being in control and having my independence and doing what I choose.  But unfortunately that is not always the case.  There are days when I have to say “no.”  There are days when I have to ask for help.  Know when you need to ask for help too.  

I hope this has helped you in some way, shape, or form (at least pretend for me, ‘kay?).  Over at A New Kind of Normal, we will be having a month long series called “Making Time for Me in May” so please come over and join in!

I recommend you go, go, go!! Jamee's blog is filled with inspiration, interesting medical news, and motivation tips.  So good.  A great first guest blogger :).  Hopefully there will be more! xo, Annie

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Just Can't Say No!

Do they make a way to rehab from hot fudge sundaes???

I have an addiction of the worst kind.


Pop Culture Wednesday

This week the pop culture intake has been significantly less than usual.  Not entirely sure why, but I'm guessing it's because I'm sleeping nearly ALL of the time.

Memoirs of a Geisha:

Decent movie.  A GREAT book.  I highly recommend the book.  When watching the movie, make sure you are doing it for the fantastic visuals and not the same high-caliber story found in the novel.

The Yes Men Fix The World:

These are some brave, brave men.  This is a documentary film about two activists who get themselves invited to speak at important events representing companies that have done wrong to the world.  They prepare speeches at these places to make a large impact and draw attention to the issue.  I'm surprised they haven't managed to get themselves shot yet.  Definitely worth a viewing.

United States of Tara:

This has been my FAVORITE show lately.  Yes, it displays mental illness in a completely over-the-top way, but everything else is right on.  Wonderful relationships.  I love it.

What about you guys...seen any good movies lately??


How I'm Feeling In Picture Form...

(Images from WeHeartIt)

If you can make sense of it, you are better off than I am!  These are the pictures jumping out at me in this late evening/early morning hour.  


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chronic Babe Blog Carnival #2!

CHRONICBABE BLOG CARNIVAL #2 - Love, Illness and Other Confusing Things is up and I'm a part of it!!

Check out all the wonderful articles here:


Hospital Poetry: Take 1

It's a beautiful view
this courtyard
lit up at night
and yet not
as it is a home for
troubled souls
everyone here has a story
I wish I could know them all
Instead I look at the lights
and ponder the deaths
occurring at this moment
as well as the miraculous recoveries
strange places
I know all too well
but right now
my body is quiet.
~ Annie Martin (April '10)


Monday, April 19, 2010

ME/CFS Awareness



Things That Bug Me Mondays

  • Being sick and tired and sleeping my day away when I have a bunch of things I should be doing.
  • The annoyance of being without energy and having to find a new place to live within a reasonably short time period...
  • The feeling of pills being stuck in my throat.
  • Feeling overwhelmed.  It's a stupid feeling.
  • I wish I had a personal chef...that would be good.  I doubt it would stop my uncontrollable urge to look at websites like Photograzing and Food Porn Daily though.  It's an addiction!!!
  • I also feel similarly with my artwork to this Marc Johns' print.
Moral of the story is...things are looking up-ish.
I'm happy.
Just tired.

Tell me what is getting under your skin on this gloomy Monday (at least in my location!)??


Sunday, April 18, 2010

How I'm Feeling: Quote

"We are our own dragons as well as our own heroes, and we have to rescue ourselves from ourselves."
~ Tom Robbins

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Loving in the World of Illness

The relationship between a person and their chronic illness is very close.  Sometimes to the point of making their significant other feel like the third wheel in the room.  This is probably one of the hardest parts of being sick.

I wish I could say that love between a person with chronic illness and a person without chronic illness was something that fit together like peanut butter and jelly (I mean they say opposites attract right??).  Sadly, it's more like an oil and water situation - even though my boyfriend is a patient saint about it all.

I have had chronic illness for a long time, but I was in much less of a flare when I met my boyfriend (common-law husband).  I warned him about what he was getting into, but I fully believe he did not see it getting nearly as out of hand as it did.  Chronic illness isn't pretty.  It can kill any semblance of romance really quickly.  It is important to channel some of your tiny energy supply into keeping the relationship alive.

Here are my tips, even though I sometimes (more rarely now...) get lost in the occasional pity party:
  • Make the effort to shower, put on decent clothes, and some make-up at least twice a week.  I can't say I look very pretty when I'm sitting around in 3 day old pajamas (although my boyfriend just said none of this matters so perhaps I'm doing it to convince myself...).
  • Communicate!  Whenever we don't talk to each other minus life's distractions (TV, Internet, video games, etc...) we get really cranky.  And cranky doesn't translate well into the bedroom.
  • Try to find enthusiasm for the other person, even if you feel like you are being run over by a truck.  Relationships can't be maintained when they are that one-sided (as I feel like I'm being run over nearly every day!).
  • Snuggles (unless your skin hurts!).  Sometimes just constant physical contact can say more than words.
  • Keeping a daily journal - it really helps you go back and look at the problems you are having in a third-person kind of way.
  • Be considerate.  This is the one thing I have found with all of my relationships.  These are people who go out of their way to help you when you are down.  Do and say things that make them feel special (especially your mom and boyfriend - as they work above and beyond!).  
  • Avoid falling upon bitterness.  It doesn't help you, and it doesn't help your relationships.  
Obviously, I don't have all the answers.  This is the first relationship of my life where I didn't entirely push the other person out of the picture.  I want your suggestions - how do you keep your relationships afloat in prolonged times of crisis??

(Image from WeHeartIt)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Love Me Fridays

  • The fact that I made myself gluten-free banana chocolate chip pancakes.  That is a pretty big step for someone just out of the hospital!

  • I've been messing around and painting more!

  • I've been getting a little more sleep :).
  • I am going to go through my journals from the hospital later today and see if there is any interesting writing worth keeping.
Sadly, that's pretty much it.  The most exciting thing about this week has been the return of an interest in eating, but it hasn't come about without its fair share of side effects.  

Tell me what is making your day better this Friday!!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Random Things I've Been Feeling The Need For...

This needs no real explanation.  It's just cool.
If I had a house, I would totally want staircases like these.
A) I want the dress and B) I need to get my hair cut again because it's looking scraggly.  Plus Ginnifer Goodwin is a cutie.
I kind of want to be this person.  Maybe I'll set up one on the step to my apartment.
These look juvenile, yes, but they fulfill my childish dream to wear the solar system.
I would like a vacation please and thank you.

Now, I need to go work on writing actual things of interest -- guest post coming up for both myself and this blog!! 


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pop Culture Wednesday


Time to recap what I've been doing with my mass amounts of at home time.

I re-watched About a Boy today.

It is a really fantastic story (of course it's Nick Hornby, how could it not be??!), about a man who has never grown up.  In untraditional circumstances, Will ends up taking on a parental/best friend role to Marcus, a young boy facing a very tough situation after his mother has a suicide attempt.  I love it, love it, love it.  Highly recommended.

I also watched This Is It:
It sparked my love of Michael Jackson again for sure.  It was incredible to look at the inside process of such a brilliant artist.  It surprised me just how involved he was, especially when you hear of how many medications he was on at the time of his death.  I must say I eventually bored of the experience though.

I watched The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus:
This turned out to be pretty solid.  I was bored for the first hour of the movie, but it really turns around in the second half.  It's a bit heavy handed on the philosophy, but worth checking out if you are at all interested in seeing the last film of Heath Ledger.

I've also been watching a lot of America's Next Top Model, even though I'm pretty sure it rots my brain cells out.  I love personality drama, and that show has more than enough of it.

Has anyone seen anything interesting lately?!?!


Uphill Battle

I have apparently developed a new crippling fear of getting out of bed to do anything at all.
Just what I need.

I had it once before when I was living in Montreal, but eventually it faded away (whether by the course of medication or simply time, I do not know...).  The thought of getting up to do anything is so overwhelming that I just sit and think about it for four hours.  I know how to break the cycle (just move and do it already...) but I never quite know where the fear comes from.  Oh well.

I've also had weird side effects lately of feeling like I'm only breathing in super smoky air and being smothered by it.  Strange.  Stop the ride of my mind, I'd like to get off please.

Also, I made it out last night for my concert.  Just barely.  It was worth it.  Hawksley Workman is an amazingly talented artist and I highly recommend anyone who reads this to check him out!  I came home and was promptly shut down by a migraine.  I knew it would happen.  At least it was a venue where there were only about 100 people and reasonably comfy seats.

I forgot that it was pop culture Wednesdays - so it looks like I'll just do two posts.

Now to try and convince myself to make food and take my pills...


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Me Intimidated?? Never...

Daily household chores and I are starting to get angry at each other.

I don't know why dishes have to look on so ominously.  They actually manage to psych me out before I even fill the sink with soapy water.

I fell asleep on the couch last night, thinking I would wake up in a minute and make my way to bed, but alas, that never happened.  I must have needed to be unconscious in a place where I wake up with 480 different muscle kinks.

I sound like I'm so cheery!  Once I get the ambition to load my camera on here, I'll have daily life pictures for your amusement :).

(Images from WeHeartIt)

I'm supposed to go to a concert tonight.  Hawksley Workman, who I love so much.  And yet, I cannot get excited no matter what I do.  I simply fear getting stuck sick in a place where it is not easy to remove myself.  Bleh.

Hope everyone is having a marvelous sunny day!!