Thursday, December 4, 2008

this is the story of an overwhelmingly blessed Polyvore girl...

This has been a long time and coming. I have just been ignoring the inevitable. I really am good at pretending things don’t exists when I choose too but I suppose we all do that. It had taken me all day long to complete this single post and the set to go along with it on Polyvore. It has been a HUGE accomplishment! What even a few weeks ago was an ordinary task has become almost impossible to do on my own, that being the fact, the whole family gladly took part in my “Saturday Project”! And it was a project…let me tell ya!

First, I should probably try and explain why I am so sick right now. I did a set several month backs about my illness, Dysautonomia. Feel free to look at it again and read the story link, included on the set. I was involved in a motor vehicle accident when I was 11. A drunk driver struck the car of my best friend, her parents and me while we were on our way home from a fair one night. I had many complications and over a 3 month period had 3 surgeries and my left kidney was removed. To say that was a difficult time for my family is an understatement. To realize that I can actual summarize that nightmare in a few sentences in unbelievable to me now. What we didn’t know at the time was that the physical damage from the accident, the multiple surgeries, and infection that my damaged kidney had caused had severely damaged my autonomic nervous system, ANS. Even more important, we didn’t realize that the Lord and His infinite wisdom was preparing our family for what was to come.

Four years after the car accident. I was everything that I wanted to be. I was co-captain of my cheerleading squad. I had lots of friends. I was totally into beauty pageants! (Stage moms…what about stage daughters?!!) Seriously, I was having the time of my life! Then I began fainting. First it was at a shoe store. Then in the lunchroom at school, then at cheer practice and before long, I had managed to faint in all 6 of my classes. My parents were trying so hard to find out what was wrong. Before long, the fainting turned into a common occurrence followed by days and days of painful, disabling fatigue. I couldn’t stand anymore without getting really sick to my stomach and seeing black spots. The smallest thins like taking a bath or trying to get ready for school would completely wear my body out. Eventually I had to withdraw completely from school and completed my junior and senior year through the county home-school program. Those were two very rough years. I was bedridden during that time.

After a year (which is a miraculously short time before being diagnosed with this disorder) I was diagnosed with Dysautonomia. Dysautonomia is a very broad term. There are many types of Dysautonomia. I have the specific type, POTS, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. It means that my brain does not send signals to my blood vessels in my legs and abdomen to constrict when I am upright or standing, so they stay dilated. My blood pressure begins to drop and as it does, my brain quickly sends it a message to beat faster but my heart has no blood in it to pump. Then I loose oxygen to my heart and brain and faint. That is the basic definition of dysautonomia but the best way that I can describe living with dysautonomia is to imagine having the flu everyday, all day. The flu never goes away and lots of times it gets worse for no apparent reason, like right now for instance.

Right now I have to use my wheelchair, again when I go out. Which isn’t much, just too school. I must say, I am not doing a very good job, making it to school! But my professors are being very understanding. I hope you all don’t hold this against me but my pride and vanity are horrible things! I haven’t had to use the wheelchair in some months now and to use it again, is so defeating. I know I should be thankful that it gives me a little more independence and I try to be more grateful but I am afraid that I am not at that point yet. My parents have been bringing my meals to me in bed. I am too weak to eat at the table right now. And everyone morning when I get ready for school…I think of how disappointed you all would be with me! If you saw how shabby I looked!! It is so embarrassing!

Well, this task began as a Saturday task. My mom helped me shower. My dad got me fresh linens for my bed (nothing better when you sick!!) and they offered to proof this for me because they could see how frustrated I was that it was taking me long to do something so simple. But these past weeks my eyes are easily tired and my migraines come on very easily.

Before I end this, I want to say from the bottom of my soul and from the depths of my heart, thank you!! Thank you to all of you dear, dear Polyvore souls who have reached out to me, whether it is through a message or set, or comment. There are not words that can tell you what it means to have women across this globe thinking of me when I need prayers and thoughts the most.

Please know that I am surrounded by mother, daddy, and sister who are angels on earth and though others may doubt me and my illness they are here no matter what. I have shoulders to cry on, to lean on and probably the best medicine ever…a family’s sense of humor about a “crummy” situation!





Much love! Heather

PS: Obviously: You can see, it really is taking me longer to do things being sick right now! I started this on Saturday and it is not being posted until Monday! :)

Would you be my stretcher bearer when I can no longer stand?
Would you each pick up a corner of my pallet in your hand?
This burden’s just too heavy; I find I cannot bear,
Its pain, its grief, its sorrow and so I chance to dare-
To ask if you would carry me through valleys dark and wide;
Then set me safely down, where peace and hope abide.
God said His yoke was easy and His burden would be light;
That is surely why he sent you each, to lead me through the night.
And now I must lift others and the burdens they bring;
I’ll be a stretcher-barrier, carrying wounded for the King.
~Bev Engeldinger

7 comments:

vika said...

dear Heather, i pray for you, for your wonderful family and for your soon recovery! you are very strong and beautiful!! may you have your precious life filled with joy, sun, happiness, grass, everything and anything you wish back very soon!! and i'm looking forward to enjoying your talented works on Polyvore!!

jacx said...

Dearest Heather, thank you so much for sharing your story. It touched me more than you can know, as I too have suffered from dysautonomia. It's taken a very long time but I'm now really well. I'm going to send you a message on polyvore that I hope might help. Thinking of you and much love, Jac.

laitae said...

Dear Heather! Your story touched me so much...I really keep my fingers crossed for you and I'm sending lots of love, Agnes

inspyretash said...

As many have mentioned before me, what a touching story, and such an emotional life journey. Reading your battle with this condition has really wrenched at my heart, it's not a sense of sorriness that I feel for you but an empathy. It's amazing how someone's life from far across the globe can really touch your own soul and although sad at times, can infact be somewhat uplifting.

May you find solace in what others perceive as the little details in life. I may not be religious, but I am spiritual, and in that way, you are in my thoughts. *hugs*

Soul Anchor said...

Dear Heather,
How serendipitous to find such a strong and beautiful soul in you through Polyvore. Your post has brought tears to my eyes, and has humbled me in that I have seen in you such a grateful and graceful heart - finding beauty in the world despite your current condition. I am praying for you right now. You are an inspiration - and that you have placed my blog in this sacred space is an honor. Thank you so much, Heather. Prayers can move mountains - I am praying for you, as many many others are.

I would like to invite you and your parents to subscribe to www.mythoughtcoach.com there are a lot of meditations there that might help you. Stin Hansen, the owner of the site, has put it upon herself to serve humanity through compiling affirmations, prayers and meditations that has helped not only me; but thousands, if not millions of others around the world. I know her words will be able to help you and your family somehow.

Much love to you, Heather.

Karen/Book Lovers' Charm

Soul Anchor said...

Hi again heather! I made you a set in polyvore hope you like it http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/set?id=3849299

Soul Anchor said...

Hi again heather! I made you a set in polyvore hope you like it http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/set?id=3849299

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