Monday, January 31, 2011


I used to dream that I was a different girl
I used to dream that I was in a different world
I used to dream that I had a different dad
I used to dream I had more than I had
Those dreams were very real
Those dreams were full of zeal
Those dreams came every night
Those dreams were worth the fight
I cannot change who I was
I cannot change the circumstances
I cannot change what I had
I cannot change my dad
I will move on
I will no longer be a pawn
I can make a change
I will my life exchange

For I will find the strength inside to make a difference in others lives. I will show them all that they can move on, that they can realize that they have survived. There is something inside of every survivor that may not be able to be expressed, but it's there. We may have not chosen the healthiest of coping mechanisms, but we did what we did to get through the hell that we were experiencing.

Matthew 26:13 NIV

I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."

Friday, January 28, 2011

In the Mirror

I gaze into the looking glass,
Trying hard not to gasp.
What happened to the girl I was?
Why is there a little peach fuzz?
I wonder why the wrinkles came?
Why time took hold of my frame?
I see spots that were never there,
I see my sad and thinning hair.
The hooded look of my eyes,
The definite broadening of my thighs.
The lost firmness of my gut,
The sagginess of my butt.
I see someone I barely know,
But then I see that same old glow.
My smile may have more lines,
But I really feel that is fine.
I show the years upon my self,
I show it as upon a shelf.
I wear my scars with great pride,
I have nothing that I'd like to hide.
I may not have the shine of youth,
I may have lost a spark or two.
I am me and I am proud to say,
I am the me I am today.

Why Me? Why NOT Me?

There is something brewing in my family right now. It's a BIG deal, and I can't talk about it yet. I was thinking about it though, and my first thought was "why us?" My family has been through so much and to think that we have yet ANOTHER issue to face is a bit daunting.

I have often said, "why me?" in my lifetime. Let's think about it, I have had many traumas in my life. My parents divorced, I suffered through child abuse, I struggled with self-esteem, I developed and fought an eating disorder and my health right now is quite frankly, horrible. I have been through a lot, and in my situation, who wouldn't wonder, "Why me?"

But, "why NOT me?" Am I anyone special that I should not have tragedy touch me? Is someone else more deserving of pain? The simple answer is, no. Sure, things suck at times and I just get to feeling sorry for myself, but I am not alone in my pain and suffering. There are millions of people out there facing things much worse than I ever have. They go through their daily lives trying to find the same answers I am. I feel their pain and understand that it can be overwhelming.

I may never know in this lifetime why I have been through what I have, but I am okay with that. I will work with what I have and do my best to help others that face the same issues anyway. I will take my lemons and turn them into lemonade and never give up the fight to stay positive and make a difference.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Positive Outlook

I have had many people comment on my positive outlook on things in times of great pain and suffering. Let me tell you this, it isn't easy! I have said before that my first reaction is to go to the negative, to think the absolute worst will happen.

I have made a decision in my life, to think of how I am blessed. I have a fantastic family, my husband and children are amazing and their love for me is enough to remind me of joy. I have an incredible mother and siblings, I know that they "have my back" if I need anything at all. I have friends that I know would do anything for me and are a great support. I have a heavenly father that loves me unconditionally and only wants the best for me as I fulfill His purpose.

I could think about all the bad that has come into my life, evil things even. I could say, why me? I could lament that it isn't fair and that no one should go through any of these things, let alone ALL of them. Would this help the situation? Would these make me heal faster? Would it change the outcome? Would I feel better?


Studies have shown how a positive attitude can help in the healing process. I choose to be happy, to seek joy, to count my blessings if you will.

That is how I maintain a positive attitude. This isn't to say that there are days that I am down and angry, I just choose to acknowledge those feelings and move on. Feel free to join me on my journey to discovering joy, it can't hurt, can it?

Getting Stuck

Today my dog, Buddy, came running out of our bedroom with his paw up. We thought it was because of the pinched nerve in his back. Upon further inspection, we realized he had caught his claw on the ring in his collar. Poor guy was stuck and couldn't get himself out of it.

This reminded me of the many times in my life when I was "stuck." I didn't know how to get out of the situation, and I needed help. Sometimes I asked for it, other times it was offered to me whether I wanted it or not.

Recovering from any addiction (which an eating disorder most definitely is) is difficult. Recognizing that you are in the addiction is hard enough, it is nearly impossible if you are trying to do it totally alone.

They say that it "takes a village" to raise a child, recovery is very close to that analogy as well. It can be done without the aid of professionals, but I personally could not have done it without them. I had a team of medical, psychological and spiritual professionals to help me. I also had my family and a large group of friends that were there. I learned so much from them as they led me out of the worst part of my journey. I still have a large "village" of people that help me as I continue, and I am eternally grateful.

For many people, asking for help is hard to do. We are raised to be independent and often equate that with a need to do everything by ourselves. Asking for help does not mean we are weak or inept, it means that we recognize that sometimes others have more experience or knowledge than we do. I believe that it shows a certain intelligence to recognize this fact. I have only recently begun to realize this myself.

Let's work together to try and ask for help when needed, or accept it when offered. Sometimes our "claw gets stuck" and we can't get it out on our own. There are others that know more than we do at times, and it's okay to let them help.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me

~Maya Angelou

I believe that Maya's words are enough...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Last Song

Okay, I may take some flack for this, but here goes...I just watched the movie "The Last Song." I know it was supposed to be bad, a teen movie, etc.

It made me weep. I should have known though, it is a Nicholas Sparks book. (spoiler alert) I didn't know what the title really meant, I assumed it was some sappy thing about growing up. About half way through you find out that the father has cancer and wanted to spend his last summer with his kids in his childhood hometown.

I have recently felt that fear of dying and leaving my children behind. I will not lie to you about the sheer terror that invoked in me. I didn't know at that time that there were options for me, and that I would be okay. I have a chronic, serious illness that is life-threatening if not taken care of. It has made me more aware of what is important in life than I have ever been before. I am unashamed to say that my faith was shaken to the core, and that in the midst of the storm I finally saw things with a new clarity.

Again, another slap in the face trying to get my attention that I am not able to control everything. I think God is really trying to tell me something!

My children, my husband, my family and my friends, these are the things that really matter. I will spend every waking breath trying to enjoy them to the fullest. Whether I have 1 or 100,000,000,000 more to take.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cleaning up My Life

I was scrubbing my stove this morning, and I started thinking about my life. I have really done some major housework on my life in the last year.

I have decided to take care of myself fully, in every way. I try to sleep as needed, eat healthy meals, take my medications as directed, see my doctors regularly and ask for help when it is required. I have decided to enjoy life and to let go of the negativity that has plagued me most of my life. In every situation I have a choice to make in how I respond. My general nature takes me to the negative, but I choose the positive outlook, it makes a big difference. (More on that in another blog). I have decided to let go of unhealthy relationships. I no longer have any contact with the man that abused me. That decision in itself changed my life. I feel freer than I ever have before. Finally, I have decided to allow God the control that I know He so greatly desires, and that I need. I cannot control a lot of what is happening to me right now, but I trust that my God is taking care of me and has a plan for my life. He desires great things for me and by trusting in that, I can live a full life without the need to try and control every situation. 

Psalm 59:17
You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.

Now I need to go and do some laundry!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Going Someplace New

I don't deal well with going someplace I have never been before. I am self-conscious, and nervous. I like to know exactly what to do and where to go and who to speak to. I do know that this seems bizarre to most people, but it is my reality. I do deal with it and just go, but it makes me so uncomfortable.

Today I am going to my first outpatient dialysis treatment. I am nervous not only about the procedure, but about the environment. When they called to confirm my appointment yesterday, I asked a million questions just to make sure I knew what to do. I forgot to ask what to wear! I don't know if they will have me in a gown, or keep me in my same clothes. I have a catheter in my chest, and I am unsure how they will access it. I am going anyway and am wearing what I want, and we'll just see if I made a mistake or not!

What irrational fears do you have? Leave a comment here on the blog and we'll all see that we are not alone!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Adjusting to my Current Weight

I have an eating disorder. It has been established not only here in this blog, but in my life over more than a decade. I have suffered from this eating disorder for most of my life. I struggle with how much I weigh, how much I eat, and how much medication I have to take. I hate it, I have lived with it, it has consumed much of my life.

I named it, Edith. She had amazing power over me, but I beat her down. She still survives, but she is caged and I rarely visit her. She has been screaming for me a lot lately, wanting attention.

You see, I had adjusted to a much healthier weight. I had begun to be happy with a womanly body. I was proud of the curves I had developed. She did not like that, because the attention was no longer on her. 

Now a crisis has hit. I have kidney failure and have gained a massive amount of weight. To the point that I only have one pair of pants that fit. This is water weight, and I am going to take it off healthily through dialysis, but it is scary. I hear Edith screaming for me to let her out. 

I will tell you that I feel ugly, that I feel fat, I feel unlovable. These are all feelings that lurk in the background of my mind, but I have coping mechanisms to put them at bay. I tell myself the truth, that I am a beautiful woman, that I am sick and that I am truly loved. I stop the negative tapes that run through my mind over and over, and replace it with positive tapes. 

I will also tell you that although I am winning the battle, we are in heavy combat right now. The war is not over, I will prevail, but I am taking heavy damage right now! 

I believe in God's refining fire, that I will come out shining gold on the other side.

And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”  Zechariah 3:9

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I am going home today. 


I really hate being in the hospital. I don't know many that love it, but I am sure there are some. I have had excellent care from my nursing staff, and my room was AMAZING for a hospital room, but I want to be home where I can be on my own schedule. It is hard to sleep when people are coming in at all hours to check my vitals or draw blood. I'm ready.

I will be making some major adjustments to my life when I return home and I am very nervous about that though. I will be having outpatient Dialysis treatments 3 times a week. I will be on a very strict diet that has very limited options. I will be checking on other resources for my care, and trying to weigh the best treatment plan.

A lot of this is like being discharged from the eating disorder units I have been in in the past. I must make doctor appointments, a diet plan, a relapse prevention plan as well as keep my support system informed. 

I feel strong and ready to conquer it all. Today is a new day and I am really excited about the possibilities out there for me!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sharing My Story

I love sharing my story with others. Today I got to share with one of my nurses, and it was really nice. 

A week ago a nurse that wasn't even usually in my unit and I started talking. I have to tell them each time I get checked in that I have an eating disorder, which leads to the question, "What kind, anorexia or bulimia?" I then explain my "type" of eating disorder, Not Otherwise Specified or NOS.

They also almost always say, "You're too young to have all of these complications." I then have to explain what I did, how it affected me and why I started it in the first place. 

That nurse and I really hit it off. After talking with her at length, we decided to get together and talk the next day. It was great to tell her my story and see her interest, but there was something else that transpired above and beyond what either of us expected. She really got an insight into a patient's mind, understanding better how to care for them beyond the physical aspect. 

I felt good sharing it with her, and I know she also felt good about it. I believe this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Kidney Dialysis is a Necessary Evil

I started Kidney Dialysis yesterday. 
I cannot say it is fun. 
I cannot say it is easy.
I cannot say that I wanted this.
I can say, however, that I needed this. 

Sometimes in life we need to do things we don't want to do. It isn't that we are being "forced" to against our will, it is just that in order to live a healthier/happier/more fulfilled life, we must do things that may not seem pleasant. This is one of those times in my life. 

I have written about losing control of what is going on in my body, or what I "had" to do. I didn't like it and I rebelled against it. I still don't like it, but I am accepting it.

If I were to refuse dialysis, or even taking my medications or food, I will die. There is no if, and or but about it. There are people in this world that have more knowledge of what needs to be done to maintain a healthy body. I will trust in them. This is not to say that I go with what the first doctor says without checking them out or seeing another one, it just means that I acknowledge my lack of understanding of some things.

This is another big step for me, because I like to diagnose myself. It drives my husband crazy. I will see a bump and suddenly I fear I am dying from skin cancer or some other ailment. By letting go and trusting others, I am truly nurturing and caring for myself. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pain and Suffering

I have been dealing with a lot of pain this hospital stay. I have had pain in the past, but for some reason, it is attacking everything in me right now and even the doctors don't know why.

I do have Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Kidney Disease. I also have a severe case of anemia, requiring 6 blood transfusions of 2 bags each time in the last 6 months. I don't like this, I don't want this, I want it to STOP! 

I have really found strength with my friends, both near and far. I have also found a stronger faith in God's healing power.

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. (Deuteronomy 33:27) 

I know that I can rest in his everlasting arms when I am scared and tired. I can find refuge from the storms that are brewing around me. I can take comfort in what lies ahead, no matter how scary. 

I have asked all of my friends to place me on their church's prayer chains, and I believe in the power that comes from believers joining together for a common goal. 

More to come...

Monday, January 10, 2011


This song means so much to me right now. I feel like I want to give up, and sometimes I feel so alone. This reminds me to "Keep Holding On" and that I am not alone. I have friends that are there for me, that WANT to be there for me. I am truly loved. 

Glee is one of our favorite shows, we never miss it. Thanks for the reminder kids!

Facing Illness

I debated writing this post. I really am feeling down and discouraged, but I realized that this is the reality of where I am right now and I need to share it. I have had many requests for a new blog post. You just may regret that now! : ) 

I am sick and in the hospital again. I have very low kidney function, anemia, and congestive heart failure. 

I know, your reactions will range from "Oh no, poor Rachel," and "Oh no, not another drama." I don't blame anyone for having those thoughts, however, please do not pity me.

Right now I am living my life just as the doctors have suggested.

  • Watching what I eat.
  • Taking copious amounts of medications.
  • Physical therapy.
  • Attending so many doctor's appointments, they are becoming my friends.
Edith is the reason I am here. I gave away my power and control for so many years that I am now suffering the consequences. I ask myself the question that I am sure you are wondering, "Was being in 'control' worth it?" It wasn't. I know that we are not supposed to live with regrets, because our pasts shape who we are today. I will tell you this, I regret the choices I made, and if I could go back I would do it totally differently. Of course, that is only if I had the knowledge I have today.

I plead with you, that if you are using an eating disorder to cope with issues in your life, please seek treatment TODAY.

Blessings to you today, and please say a prayer for me. I pray for my readers every time I post.