My Twentysomething Life

I Do, Make, Read, Watch, Eat…

What to hope for

I’m sure that you all are tired of my groaning and complaining about my shoulder, so here is the good news.

I took the first step this morning in finding out what is going on. Early this morning I had an MRI done.  Luckily, I am not a claustrophobic person, but the MRI was almost enough to make me become a claustrophobic person.  For those of you who do not know what I am talking about, here is a visual aid:

mriNow, this may not look too bad to you, and it didn’t to me either.  I was facing the other way, so I had my head toward the machine, so I could see behind me.  What you can’t really tell from this picture is how small it truly is.  As you go inside, the tube gets smaller.  My elbow hit the side as I went in and if I tilted my head just right my nose would have touched the top.  So yeah, it’s a pretty tight fit.  Another thing that I did not realize about an MRI was that it isn’t like an x-ray or a CT Scan.  It’s not a quick “click” or “whirrr” and then you’re done, no.  I was in the tube for about 15 minutes.  And all the time you are in it, it sounds like the machine is malfunctioning.  It is really loud (the tech gave me earplugs but I don’t think they helped) and rather unsettling.  But, needless to say, I made it through and I am not emotionally traumatized.

The next step for me is seeing the doctor on Thursday.  Now, since Adam and I had to pay $300 up-front for this MRI, I am a little torn with what to hope for from the doctor.  I almost want him to give me bad news, because then I won’t feel like I wasted the money for the MRI if it is not actually that bad.  Adam said that it won’t be a waste of money even if it’s better news because then we still know what it is and hopefully how to fix it.  I see his point, but I’m not sure I’m completely sold on what I should hope for.

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Almost in Handcuffs

Today I will tell you about the scariest experience of my life.

It was my sophomore year of high school.  Over Christmas break, the marching band went down to Florida to go to Disney.  We marched and played in the New Year’s parade and did all kinds of fun things.  The trip had been awesome.

After we performed in the parade we got to spend the rest of the day at Disney.  After the first fireworks of the new year, we all piled onto our buses and started the long trip back to Illinois.  After the full week we had, we were exhausted.  We woke up when the bus stopped somewhere in Georgia for us to get some breakfast.

We piled out of the buses and formed a very long line inside a McDonalds.  We were all tired and hungry, me especially because I don’t sleep very well in a car.  I got up to the register and ordered a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit meal.  The employee told me the price, and I handed her a $10 bill that I had gotten as change in the park.  She took it, looked at it, looked at me, and then walked to the back.  When she came back she told me that the $10 bill was counterfeit.  I said okay.  She said she would have to keep it and give it to the police.  Again, I said okay.  So then I paid again and stood to the side waiting for my food.

The employee kept staring at me as 20 students ordered and got their food, and I was still waiting.  I was wondering why I hadn’t gotten my food.  And the employee just kept staring at me.

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I see two policeman enter into the McDonalds.  One was short and round the other super tall and huge, very intimidating.  They walked up to the counter, and the next thing I knew, the employee was pointing at me and saying, “She’s the counterfeiter!  She admitted it!”

What?!!

“No I didn’t.”

“Yes she did.  I told her it was counterfeit and she said okay!”

“What was I supposed to say?”

At this point the policeman came over to me and said, “Can you come over here, we need to ask you some questions.”  Well I couldn’t really say no…

So they pulled me off to the side and my band director and a few concerned band parents came along with me.  So we were talking, and I was answering their questions, and my band director and I tried to explain to them that we had been at Disney and that’s where I had gotten that change from and I didn’t know it was counterfeit.  At one point a very rambunctious band dad said to the policeman, “You can’t do anything to this girl, she didn’t do anything wrong.”  And then the policeman said, “Sir, we can do whatever we want.  I can talk this girl to jail if I thought it was necessary.”

WHAT?!!!  Hold up band dad—stop talking!  Jail?!  Woah-woah-woah.

Soon we had the whole problem worked out and the police decided that I wasn’t a criminal.  As soon as the police left I broke down and cried.  I had been so scared.  I don’t know how I had held it together for that long.  One very nice band mom asked if I had ever gotten my food and I said no, and that I had even paid for it twice.  She went up to the counter and demanded to know why no one had given me my food and they said because they were afraid that once I got my food I would get away.  So I finally had some food, but I was not very hungry at this point.  It took me a while to calm down, but I was finally able to.

I was afraid to use the money in my wallet for the rest of the trip home.

And that, is the most traumatic moment in my life.

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Perilous Potlucks

For a person with food allergies, potlucks are death defying stunts.  And I had two potlucks in the past four days.  This weekend someone asked me, “How do you know what to eat at potlucks?”  Do you want the scary answer?  I guess.  I usually choose things that there is almost no way that you could sneak a nut into.  So at my first potluck I had macaroni and cheese, baked beans, and barbecued pork.  It would be awfully hard to mess those things up with nuts.  At the second one I had green beans, creamed corn, and chicken pot pie (no crust just filling).  Needless to say I don’t usually eat much at potlucks and here is one important rule I have for myself: Absolutely no desserts.  People can hide nuts in desserts better than anything I have ever seen.

Because of this, I always take the same thing to potlucks: dessert.  I do this so there is one sweet thing on the table that I absolutely know is safe.  This week I took these two potlucks as an opportunity to try something new (two Pinterest recipes I had been wanting to try).

My first new dessert was Strawberry Brownies.  This is really easy.  It’s a box of strawberry cake mix, 2 eggs and 1/3 cup of oil.  You mix this all together and then put it in a 9×13 pan.  Then it cooks at 350 for 14 minutes.  For the topping, you do a glaze, which is 1 cup of powdered sugar and 1 T of water or milk.  These brownies looked suspicious in the end, but they were pretty good.  You could easily do this with any kind of cake mix.  Hmm….funfetti brownies….

My second new dessert I was really excited about:  Jello Frosting.  I made some vanilla cupcakes the night before because this recipe is only good for about a day.  You can pick any flavor jello and it’s not just for color, it’s for the taste.  I chose raspberry for my first attempt (but watermelon would be awesome).  You mix a 3oz box of jello mix, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 egg white, and ½ c of boiling water.  Then you mix it on high with a whisk attachment in a glass bowl (the recipe said this was important).  You mix on high for 5 minutes and these soft, beautiful peaks are supposed to form.

Problem 1:  whipping something super watery on high is a problem.  A problem which means there are bright red dots all of my kitchen and myself.  Note to self:  Watch for splatter.

Problem 2:  soft, beautiful peaks never formed.  I got a runny, soupy jello mess.

But, this mess tasted good.  I put the frosting on the cupcakes, and then it ran down the sides, but this frosting was pretty delicious.  The kids at the potluck loved them.  Here are some pictures of the runny goodness for you to enjoy.

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Armbands and Anxiety

A lot of my life recently has involved allergic reactions, real and not.

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Last weekend on Friday night I was feeling like I was having an allergic reaction.  Now, for those of you who don’t know, I have a severe nut allergy.  So much so that I usually have anaphylactic reactions to them, so I carry an epi-pen and I have to be very careful.  Well, what was strange was that I had only had a French dip sandwich and potato chips for dinner, so I didn’t think I had eaten anything so I tried to ignore it, well pretty soon it was getting pretty bad and I felt like my tongue was swelling, so I had to go to Adam and tell him I needed to go to the ER.  On the way we actually had to use my epi-pen.  Well, we went to the ER and I was finally feeling better.  We still did not know what I had gotten into.

Then on Saturday afternoon I started feeling funny again.  All I had done was shower and eat some cereal.  Well, I had started using a new soap, and come to find out it had coconut oil in it and I was reacting to that.  So, Saturday we had another trip to the ER.  The next few days seemed to be going fine, I was really busy at work and I was eating things I knew I could eat.  Well Wednesday night we had pulled pork sandwiches and potato chips, well I started feeling funny again, and we ended up in the ER for a third time in less than a week.  It turns out I didn’t have a reaction to anything that time, but instead I had an anxiety attack.  Great.

Ever since then I have been struggling with this anxiety.  What happens is, my brain makes me feel like I am having an allergic reaction.  My lips and tongue tingle and I start to feel like it’s getting worse when actually I can breathe and there is actually no swelling.  Well, needless to say this was pretty scary for me, so much so that I stopped eating because everything felt like I was having an allergic reaction.  So all weekend I have been dealing with this.  Finally I had to eat because I was so hungry and every time I’ve eaten this weekend I have had the tingly feeling but I have had to tell myself “You are not allergic to this.  You have eaten it a thousand times.”  It has been a long and hard process.  I have gotten better little by little all week, but even today my lips and tongue are still tingling.  I have never had to deal with anxiety before, and I do not like it.  It comes and goes throughout the day and it’s just kind of scary.  Since this blog is about my life, I wanted to share this with you, but also ask for prayer.  I know I cannot do this alone, I need God and also the support of my family and friends.  Thanks for reading and thanks for loving me.

And a big thank you to my wonderful husband who has helped me a lot this weekend.

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