Get there.

When I was a little girl, my parent hated telling me any sort of idea what we were going to do for anything. If something happened and we didn’t around to actually doing it, the first thing that would come out of my mouth was, “I thought you said…”

It was since then my brain operated on a plan. It thrived on having a plan and ensuring everything was able to according to said plan. But that’s the thing, life never really goes to plan. There are trails and triumphs. Things both positive and negative that you don’t ever foresee happening.

Plans are never perfect and aren’t fool proof. Plans are based on action done by humans. Humans make mistakes, humans fail. Humans aren’t perfect, so there will never be a perfect plan. 

We fall down, we stumbled, we get knocked down. But we dust ourselves off and get back up. 

In the end no one remember how many times you got knocked down, people don’t care how long it took you get there. They just want to know if you got there. 

We get fixated on the journey. People say to enjoy the journey. But it was never about the journey. No one actually cares about the journey. It doesn’t matter how you got there, or how long it took you to get there. It doesn’t matter if you’re in first place or in last place. All that matters is this destination. Did you get there!?

I will. Maybe not tomorrow, or soon as I’d hoped. But I will get there. I’ll dust myself off, get back  at it. I will never give up. My plan is to get there and I’m more determined to make it happen no matter the cost. I just have to get there. 

(Quote from Rocky Balboa)

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Dr. Peanut Gallery

If you have a chronic illness like me you know one thing, everyone and their grandma have opinions about what you should be doing. They think you should get a second opinion, they think you don’t have what you have been diagnosed with but rather something you’ve already gotten a negative test result back for, they you insist try this, not that, while others think you should be doing that, not this.

If you can’t tell, it’s a bit overwhelming. I’m already psychically, mentally, emotionally, and spirituality exhausted. Hearing everyone’s opinion on what I know is going on with my body, is hard.

Sometimes people’s suggestions leave me feeling like I haven’t already done my research (trust me, I’ve done plenty.) I get it, they are just ideas, just in case I didn’t know. But there are so many things out there, and exhausted every viable option that I can possibly get my hands on. I have tried everything that Google, Pinterest, or Instagram has to offer. Guess what, most of them haven’t had any success. “Well my aunt Suzie has endometriosis and she said her heating pad was essential.” Great for Suz, glad that works for her. Me, not so much. “did you use this heating pad, cuz she said that one didn’t work but this one was like a miracle worker?” yep, tried it. Didn’t work. Then when I tell people they haven’t worked I look like a jerk who shoots down everyone’s ideas. When I didn’t shoot anyone’s ideas down, I thought good ideas too! So much so that I actually tried them, I just didn’t have any luck with it.

Honestly, I get it, most of you are probably saying “well, if you don’t want to hear what people say, don’t bring it up!” Annnnnnnnddddd that would be a marvelous idea if only my pain was such a constant and grueling part of my life. Sometimes my reaction to my pain is such a subliminal process I don’t even realize that I am doing it. It’s hard not to bring up.

I get the peanut gallery’s concern, I genuinely do and I appreciate it. Just don’t give me medical advice unless you’re actually a medical professional, and WebMD or your cousin who is Pre-Med doesn’t count. If I need your medical advice, I’ll ask for it. If need your suggestion, I’ll reach out. But until then, sometimes all I need is a “I wish I could take this pain away from you,” “it must suck to constantly be in pain,” or “is there anything I could do to help you?” If can’t do that, it’s okay. Sometime I just need to have someone to listen to me rant and nothing more.

MMTM: Jackson 5 Christmas Album

Now up until now, I’ve only done songs not albums in their entirety. It’s probably due to the fact that unlike like my parent’s generation of records 8 tracks, and cassettes, or even my early childhood of CDs, the MP3/iPod era has made it easy to only listen to certain songs. But I couldn’t just pick one. It had to be the entire album.

When I was a little girl, Starbucks used to have those music station with the big headphones where my brother and I would listen to all different albums.

We would sit in their big comfy chairs as we would drink our hot chocolate on our Texas frigid winter afternoons. I remember my brother and I being so excited when the stations were open and bargaining with each other when only one spot was open. I can’t adequately convey with words the amount of joy those moments brought me. My mother always struggled to pry us off those stations. Those memories is such a vivid, distinct, and wonderful memory that it had to make the list. For me, it isn’t Christmas until I put it on. Today, it’s on and it’s officially Christmas time.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, Happy Winter Solstice, or simply put Happy Holidays!

 

Research and Worry

I refer to this period of my life as kidulthood, in many ways I’m considered an adult but in many others I’m still a kid.

After turning 18, my medical choices were solely up to me. I didn’t have to confer with my parents, just the doctors and me. I mean I still did, but now the tables had turned to where the ultimate decision lied in my hands.

If I was going forward with a procedure, I had to do the research, It was up to me, I had to call the shots.

This is where it gets tricky, though. For about two years, I’ve been dealing with what we think is endometriosis. Endometriosis is a disorder when the tissue that grows in the uterus is outside of the uterus. I’ve been experiencing a great deal of pain and lots of other awful symptoms, such as leg spasms, collapsing to the floor, throwing up, fatigue, headaches, and overall soreness.

With all that comes with decisions, do I want to go through with the shots, surgeries, or even a hysterectomy? I had to do my research. If you didn’t know already, let me break the news to you, the internet can be a very dark and scary place. There are so many women, with blogs just like mine, just trying to tell their story to help others experiencing similar issues. But that’s where it gets scary. During my research, I came to the conclusion there really isn’t a definite cure and just like anything everyone has different experiences that shape their views.

Some women claim the shots were majic, while other state it caused early onset menopause. Some women said pregnancy was their cure, others said pregnancy made it worse, some women couldn’t even get pregnant because of the endometriosis.  Some women struggle with this for two months, some go through this for decades. I thought the fool proof plan would be a hysterectomy, I mean no uterus. no problem, right? Wrong. I read one blog where a woman got a hysterectomy and it didn’t fix it at all!

I think that’s when I just decided to stop. I just couldn’t take it. I came to the realization that I could do all the research in the world, but I wouldn’t ever be able to predict what was going to happen. I wound myself into a bit of a worrying frenzy but then I talked to my mom about making health decisions with my sister’s cancer and she reminded me that they say ignorance is bliss, and in the case, sometimes it’s true. I am not saying for you to not do research because you should always understand what you are doing to your body and what are the possible risks. But at the end, you gotta do your research, talk with your doctor about what you’ve read, and then just go with your gut. Because as stupid as this sounds, you don’t know until you know. Worrying won’t change that, although if it could, I would have so much stuff figured out.. 😛

What do people mean by prayer is not enough?

Being a Christian Liberal, I get both sides of the fence on this. People on the right saying “thoughts and prayers are with you,” while the left is saying “that’s not enough.”

The Christian right feel like the prayers they offer can make miracles happen (which they can,) and believe fervently that they are doing all they can to help they situation.

But the left is saying that’s not enough, we need to do more. When they say that doesn’t mean your prayers are an inadequate response, it’s just that we need more.

Take this example: the morning after my wisdom teeth extraction, I woke up throwing up. Immediately my mom began to pray, but after she said amen, she called the doctor. It not that the prayers couldn’t heal me, it’s that God has gifted us other resources that we can reach out to for help.

We have to pray, then act. It’s not enough to pray and hope everything works out. We gotta call our senators, we have to vote for people who change the laws. We got to stop this from happening.

Impending Infertility

Up until I was 18 years old, my period and I had a good thing going. She did her thing, I did mine. I mean it wasn’t anything I looked forward to, but it’s something that happened and I didn’t have too much issues.

But then about a year and half ago, I started having really bad cramping. I found an OBGYN and she didn’t any concerns. She just chalked it up as normal period pain and gave me some pain killers, which did provide some relief.

Then couple months later, it became stronger and again, I went my OBGYN. She ordered a pelvic ultrasound in which they still didn’t really find anything wrong. So they put me on birth control in hopes that hormones would help.

But sadly, it was to no avail. Not only did it not work, but my cramps got worse and would last three weeks. I wouldn’t sleep for days because of my excruciating pain. I’ve fallen to the ground in pain. I’ve tried every speculated method of pain relief. I told my parents countless times I feel like I’m dying.

So I went to see my OBGYN, she told me she thinks it’s probably endometriosis. Endometriosis is a disorder when the tissue that grows in the uterus is outside of the uterus. She went down a list of symptoms and I fit many of them.

I was happy at first, I finally had an answer. Well, it’s not official, I still have to get some test results back. But in my mind it was pretty much a done deal. Though my happiness quickly faded when I found out that one of the related conditions was infertility.

I mean I’ve always wanted to adopt, I have a passion for adoption. But the idea of not having my little mutt rut bummed me out. In that moment, all the ideas I had about what my future life would look like were shattered. I always wanted both, I wanted my adopted kiddos to be sandwiched in between my bio kids. I always wanted raise a bunch of little crazies. I wanted to experience pregnancy. I wanted to choose to adopt, not have adoption chosen for me. I wanted to have both.

I know it’s not official. I may not have endometriosis, and even if I do I might not even be infertile. It’s just scary thought, I still have yet to come to terms with it. What if I don’t get the cards I wanted? I don’t know. But I do know I will have kids one day. Regardless if they are all bio, all adopted, or both, I’ll love them with every fiber of my being, everyday I have them because they are mine.
Update (11/18/17): Today, I was formally diagnosed with endometriosis. 

2008

My mom was watching Dancing with the Stars and tonight was most memorable year, I immediately wondered what’s my most memorable year. I took me a while, but I came to the conclusion it was the year 2008.

So much happen that year that completely transformed into the person I am today. It  was in 2008 that I rally learned about love and about self-love. I learned about myself and about people. I got bullied, not like a little bit of picking on me but like relentlessly tortured. I was 12, I hated everything that I was. Through this, I began binge eating, cutting and I ended up developing depression and anxiety. Things got really bad before they ever got better. Despite believing that it never could happen, things got better. I got better.

I don’t know what my life would look like if I hadn’t experienced this year. It completely shaped me into the person that I am today. I grew up a lot that year.  This year completely molded me, it made me outspoken, passionate, strong, and resilient. If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have anxiety and without that I wouldn’t have gone into Psychology. The very fabric of who I am wouldn’t exist and that’s an odd idea to me.

So as much as I hated this part of my life, if you gave me the chance, I wouldn’t change it. I love who I am, every flaw, quirk, imperfect facet of my being helps shape me into who I am and I wouldn’t change that for the world. I don’t hate this year, I don’t hate her. I could, and a lot of people wouldn’t blame me if I did. But instead I choose to be grateful. Grateful I made it through. Grateful I found my passion. Grateful I am changed. Grateful that I can tell my story.

What I want to say is: I won.  Not because I wasn’t broken, but because despite being torn down I found a way to choose joy.

 

White Pride and Racism

We were playing a game of Apples-to-Apples at church camp and I had finally won a round. I was relishing in my small victory when my friend said “oh look, Kristan finally got her green card. Now we can’t kick her out of this country.”

I was born in the US, in fact so were my parents and heck, even my maternal grandparents were born here too. But the racial comments don’t stop there.

In middle school, the joke everyone seemed to think was funny (except the ones targeted with it, of course) was: “what’s the difference between a bench and a Mexican man? A bench can actually support a family.” My dad has always supported us and continues to do so. He’s helped support our friends when they were struggling. That “joke” never has been funny to me, it rather insulted me.

In 7th grade, two guys demanded I clean off the muddy legs in order to “practice the work of my people.”

All of these statements we’re said to me by white people who all claimed to be extremely proud of their culture.

So yes, when you post about your “white pride” I’m nervous that you are a racist. Because there’s a fine line between pride of your own culture and hate of others who aren’t like you and I’m not so sure which side of the line you’re standing on.

Thirty two years.

People say that children are always learning, even when you aren’t necessarily teaching and I agree with that. As a kid, I watched my parents’ relationship and saw something that was pure, true, and invincible.

My parents have been married 32 years. In that time, they have been through A LOT. While sure every relationships has its ups and downs, but I assure you my parents have been through a lot more.

I see their love in the sweetest yet subtle ways, how my dad would always go to my mom’s school to put up her word wall super straight and how my momma is always making sure dad makes his doctor’s appointments. How my dad insists I wait in a 20 minute line for my mother’s coffee, because it’s for my mom or how my mom goes out of her way to always make sure to call my (paternal) grandparents to see how they are doing.

They may not show their love in the conventional way, but to me their love was so prevalent in my eyes. There’s honestly nothing they wouldn’t do for each other. Growing up, my mom and dad always referred to themselves as a team, team Saucedo. They truly are. Where one is weak, the other is strong. Together they are unstoppable.

I was lucky, my parent’s never had these big blow outs. It’s not that they didn’t disagree, because they do. But they never got to the point where either of them were disrespectful to each other. That’s the thing, they have a lot of respect for each other.

My dad was the primary decision maker. But if mom was felt strongly about something, my dad followed her instinct. If there was something that she really wanted to get done, he made sure it did. They respect each other’s opinion.

I’ve asked my mom; what’s the big secret. How have they managed to say married in a world where divorce is a new constant. Her answer was: they’ve always have remained best friends. She says she doesn’t remember a time where their friendship stopped and their relationship began. It just evolved naturally.

Even through their darkest of times, their friendship is what carried them through. My parents’ relationship is the one thing on this earth that is absolutely invincible. It’s one of the few truths that I can always rely on, my parents’ love.

Happy anniversary, mom and dad! I love you.

me and the rent.jpg

These past three days

These past three days have been a complete and total blur… I haven’t had a chance to breathe, to think, to sleep, to grieve.

It was out of pure survival, though. If I stopped to think, I’d start crying. If I started crying, I was dibilitated by my sadness. I couldn’t be dibilitated. I had things to get done, so I kept going. I had to.

I couldn’t let reality sink in. Like I knew what was going on, I knew my Abuelita passed away. But I just couldn’t let myself go there. Other people needed to go there more than me, so I picked up the load so that they could keep going.

I’m tired of making decisions. Like even for the simplest of things, such as what to eat for lunch seems like a laborious thing. I just don’t want to think…

I feel wiped, emotionally, mentally, physically. I sleep and it’s still not enough.

It’s combination of both pure exhaustion and confusion. It’s lingering sadness paired with a complete numbness. She’s gone, it still hasn’t hit me. She’s gone.

Everyone is saying it’s a blessing we had her here so long. Yeah, we were. But still 103 years weren’t enough, we wanted so much more.

My heart is so broken, not only because of her passing but all the pain I see around me. My parents, my grandparents, my tios, and tias. I want to help save them but I can’t. We’re all so broken about this. But we all have to go through this pain together.

She was a strong woman. She had so much love and gave it so freely. She was so prayerful. She had so much faith. She was invincible, nothing could take her down.

She’s irreplaceable, unforgettable, there was no one quite like her. She was the best part of our family. We will miss her as much as we love her, which is a lot.