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Monday, April 26, 2010

Challenge - Here it comes


Having a family and getting things done can be challenging.... but when you have a chronic illness or a handicap it can be even more challenging as well as debilitating (not just physically but mentally as well).  I have had 2 TIA's (strokes) and have SLE/Lupus and Hashimoto's (thyroid disease).  There are also signs of MS but ruling it out for now.  They are all auto-immune related and so it might just be 1 thing in the end.  I am also a USMC veteran so it is also called GWS (Gulf War Syndrome if symptoms are not actually diagnosed)

Today and over the weekend is just one of those times when I really see how challenging it can be....not just to work on my craft and being a Mom & wife but just to function doing daily tasks.  From nausea to muscle weakness and cramps from headache to full blown migraine and vomiting--extreme pain--purple fingers--hair loss--stomach pain--swelling--vertigo--dysphasia--insomnia-tremors and on and on and on.  It can be so belittling and heart breaking when i have to rely on my husband to feed the kids or me.  Trying to create something out of these crappy times is not even on my mind times I use those moments just to lay in bed with my family and enjoy a good movie and snacks.  Or I'll just sit there and color with my 4 year old.  

That is when the magic happens and I get a vision (no not a crazy vision-like I see dead people-that is another blog LOL) and i create something with them or through those moments.  Even if i have to ask my pre-schooler to hold the pliers for me ..... it no longer makes me feel small but like I am teaching him a craft that one day he might teach his children.  Even just the notion of being with Mom and helping out eventually makes him a better man......then I have done my job.

Share your challenges big or small and always know that there is meaning in it.


  1. You are still my hero, Anna! Keeping you in my prayers!

    Love and hugs,

  2. Thanks Vicky :) I really appreciate that - heroes take on different forms but they tend to get forgotten. I hope ppl remember our troops - all of them - they give so much and want so little

  3. Well I can relate in so many ways!! I too have an autoimmune disease that effects me daily. I have a very rare brain disease that causes physical and cognitive problems. I know how you feel about having your family do things for you when you just want to do it yourself. Also my son is a Marine and was injured in Afghanistan in October, he's healing from his wounds physically its the emotional part I worry about.
    Your a brave and strong woman and I wish you all the best. Your work is just beautiful! MB

  4. MB-I am so sorry - They are still trying to find out what disease i actually have. Since I too get physical and cognitive problems. If you dont mind me asking what the name of this is - maybe it would help my docs figure things out (off line is ok of course I love your work and feel the pain and struggle that it can take to make things like this or to paint and other things. Sometimes getting dressed for me is easier than hand stamping jewelry sometimes not so. We all do what we have to and can at the moment. I hope your son recovers quickly just know that there are people that will help him through this (besides family) The physical ones are difficult and can get worse with age so support groups and places like the Marine Corps League is one of the bet places for a Marine to feel at home...his Marine home. For me it was difficult to transition form USMC to Civi life but only after 3-4 years when i got out...I think we all miss it. That sense of belonging. Never had suffered an injury in battle or war time but only a minor one plus GWS during "war era" (and peace keeping time-same thing right) I feel for your son and i pray for a speedy and healthy recovery.
    There is support for you as well Marine Corps League Auxiliary is just for wives and Moms. Military family go through all of it the same way but in a different manner.
    SEMPER FI - Marine Mom

  5. Hi Anna, I found you on Facebook, I admire your courage, and your positive attitude. I have fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue and I have bad days though once I stopped work I slowly improved and do pretty well now.
    pam x

  6. Pam - thank you for your comment and I appreciate your candidness about your illness. Stress and many types of work can aggravate these conditions so I am glad it is helping you. Please keep us updated or write about any challenges you might face - see pages above.

  7. I too understand...doesn't matter what's not right...what is counts! As you know, this is the way it is and best not to kvetch about it and just go on. I must say I have more good days.... My son is a Marine, lives in Baltimore with his girlfriend. Has finally gained weight back...took about 2 years!
    Hope you get a chance to check out my new blog at

  8. OH i am so sorry, i have been down with back problems and i can't even imagine what you go through!!!
    OH i am so sorry. Prayers going your way...Love, hugs. May you be blessed for all your efforts to be a good Mom.
    Happy new friend Friday!
    Following you, come follow me too.

  9. Thank you ladies for stopping by - i am new to blogging so just starting out :)
    Ms. Karen SEMPER FI

    I am following and have checked out both your blogs - thank you

  10. Much Love, follow back via Link Love:

  11. Hi, So sorry to hear about all your struggles. I left a full-time job due to my illness. After reading what you go through I cannot complain. I have learned with my illness we all have a cross to carry in this life, it is how we carry it that matters. After struggling with depression for years because of my problems, I finally seen the light. I found interest in jewelry making and although I have always been artistic I spent most of my life in the medical field. I am finally starting to accept that this is my life now and that has helped me move forward. I added myself to your blog:)You are an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing!

  12. Autumn Blue Designs - that is very sweet to say - but i think i'd consider you the inspiration.

  13. Thank you for being so forthcoming about your disabilities:) I'm a 36 yr old widow, mother of 2 boys ages 17&12- 18 & 13 next month! I have degenerative disk disease, nerve damage & also have a femoral bypass Dec08 after 3 previous surgeries from Aug- Sept 08- I had lost my hubby in March same year. It was to say the least a lot to deal with in 8 months time! I am narcotic pain meds everyday. Sometimes, I feel useless, especially when I look around @ all the things that are NOT getting done lol. I try very hard to keep positive, & I know there is ALWAYS someone dealing with more than I am @ any time. It is just nice to see someone share those hardships, & not feel so alone in dealing with them. You make very beautiful creations & I hope that you continue as long as you are able! Also, I wanted to say thank you for your service in the military. My niece just got out of the Air Force , her hubby is still in & going to the Middle East in January 2011. Her brother is AF as well. My boyfriend is in the National Guard & is going next year as well. It is a scary time for too many families. My thoughts & prayers are with you & all those serving & their families. Best Wishes! Junie Duncan

  14. Junie
    Thank you so much for sharing your story - i wish i could take your pain away. :) If this blog gave you any type of sense of "It will be ok" then that is my goal. There are many of us suffering illnesses and have disabilities and you are not alone. If you need to vent or share anything please stop by ...and stop by often.
    I am so very sorry for your loss of your husband-i can not imagine what you are feeling. Bug hug to you.
    Please know we are here for you.
    Seems like you have a big military family - i thank each and every one of them for their service and may ones overseas come back home safely.