Be Kind to One Another Boxes

I am incredibly honored and appreciative to have been chosen to receive a “Be Kind to One Another Box” from the lovely Cass Reitano (@indisposedandundiagnosed). My incredible fiancé (@caleb_robin_son) nominated me to receive one of these surprise boxes that Cass so graciously send to worldwide suffers of chronic illness. While I am so excited for my package of goodies (that companies graciously donate and Cass works day after day to put together and collect donations and products, etc.) to arrive, I am even more excited that I have gained such wonderful friendships through this project and the community. I can’t begin to explain how great it feels knowing that I can talk to others who can get a similar idea of what I’m going through. While explaining and venting to my fiancé, friends, and family, it’s just not the same as telling someone who knows exactly how you feel. I often feel that I complain too much around those close to me because I constantly am saying my back hurts or my neck hurts, but honestly my brain is just wired to say what is on my mind at the time (I’m bad at holding back), so expressing how I am feeling to another spoonie is relieving because they know it is a daily thing and it’s not like a cold that will fade away with some Nyquil and rest. Cass has been so incredibly kind to me and we now talk almost daily on how one another is doing. I urge you to please share the Be Kind to One Another Boxes donation page and/or donate if you have the availability because this amazing project is uplifting individuals where any pick-me-up is a huge welcome because they are battling different illnesses that can leave them feeling hopeless.

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I’ll be returning to this post to include a what’s in my box section and a lovely photo of yours truly with the box! I can’t wait! A huge thanks to Cass, who goes above and beyond to help others.

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the information below was used from indisposedandundiagnosed

 

Much love,

Cass, Mav, and Ele

 

Self Destruction.

I’ve been struggling lately. In addition to having added intestinal issues including intense stomach cramping, I’ve been having self doubt. I’ve always been over critical of myself. I’m extremely self conscious and constantly am telling myself how fat I am and pointing out every flaw. No matter what size I get down to, it’s not good enough. 


I still remember the girl on the left and the relentless bullying I received as a child. I try my best to act like I’m some tough girl, but I’m not. I’m not happy with the way I look still. I would undergo cosmetic surgery in a heartbeat if I had the money and that in iteslef is just sad. How does one learn self love? I always want to lose another ten pounds and gaining any weight is absolutely discouraging; a pound gain is like I’m killing myself. It makes me disgusted. It makes me feel like I’m undoing everything I worked so hard to lose and maintain. I’m hating myself and I don’t know what I can do to break this or to reverse the damage I do to my own self.

-Cass

Top Five Chronic Pain Go Tos

I am going to try my hardest to blog more regularly and especially about my illnesses because my blog was founded on the prediagnosis and diagnosis of my illnesses. I have been having a rough time lately with my pain amount which has lead to something I call painsomnia, or insomnia caused my unrelenting pain while trying to sleep. I have some go to things I use during pain episodes depending on the location of the pain and the severity.

1) The Leacho Snoogle Total Body Pillow – I originally used some of my gofundme money to buy this gem before I had my decompression surgery and it really is wonderful. According to the chart below from sheknows, sleeping on my stomach (which I have done for years) is the worst position for my neck, hip, and low back pain I deal with everyday. Using this pillow not only allows be to get in a comfortable position, but it also keeps me from reverting back to my stomach. The Snoogle can also be formed in different ways for different uses, proving pregnancy is not the only source of intense pain. I definitely recommend purchasing this pillow if you suffer from chronic pain.


2) Heat- my heating pad, in particular, is from the 1960s (or so) and therefore heats up like a little hot plate, which I love! Let’s be honest, the modern heating pads have a temperature maximum that just doesn’t do it for me. I usually use my heating pad at night on my lower back. Heat is a wonderful remedy for muscle aches and pains! Hot baths also are part of my pain regimen with some Epsom salts to soak in!
3) ESA – my emotional support animal helps me with the mental desperation chronic illnesses leave me with. Mavis is usually by my side whenever I’m in pain. Besides providing loving company, my little girl can tell when I’m not feeling well and cuddles up with me to share the burden.

4) Cervical Collar – I use my cervical collar when my neck begins to tire out. Every time I go to the movie theater I use my brace because I begin having pretty significant pain from straining my neck to get a proper view of the screen. My neck has become quite sensitive after my laminectomy and it’s is easily irritated. I am limited on the degree I can turn my head and it often cracks and pops at different times, so stabilizing it can help with pain and support.

5) Medication Regimen – last, but not least my prescriptions and medications aid in managing my pain. On a daily basis I am accustomed to taking tramadol, alieve, Tylenol pm, gabapentin (nerve pain), methocarbinol (muscle relaxer), and lidocaine patches for my neck, back, and nerve pain. I also use a muscle rub and different oils for massages (Bed Bath & Beyond’s Aromatherapy Collection).

If you have any reccomendations on what you use for your pain please let me know.

Xo,

Cass

New Header!

How amazing is the new header by Zoey Cottom? I had Zoey design a custom header for my blog and I absolutely am in love. How perfect is this magnificent header?! I just am so absolutely happy with it. Please go follow Zoey and order a custom design!! I think I will just have to order a print of this too!

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This was a custom design created for me so please do NOT steal. You do not have permission to use.

Xo,

Cass, Mav, & Ele

Mavis and Eleven

Good news, good news, good news! Eleven is home and officially best friends with Mavis! This little seven-week-old pug puppy is so full of spunk and energy, she is known as ‘spitfire’! I officially turned twenty-four this past Sunday and it just so happened to line up with bringing the baby home. Mavis met Eleven on Saturday night right before we went out to Red Lobster to celebrate my day. She did wonderfully with the introduction although

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Eleven was a bit intimidated and scared by this new strange long-legged lady.Eleven is quite different from Mavis when she was puppy! Ele is noticeably smaller than Mae Mae, as she was the runt of eight puppies (Mavis was the runt of five!). She is super quick on her feet, which makes me think she secretly should be called “Lightning McQueen.” Her personality is quickly blossoming into the sassy little soul she is. She is completely fearless now when it comes to playtime with Mavis. She is constantly throwing herself at Mae over and over again looking for a boxing match. It’s quite hilarious!

Mavis and Eleven were even featured on television on Right This Minute! I have never had anything posted main stream wise, so this was pretty cool for all of us. They’re little “puglebrities,” as I have been told. I will continue to videotape Eleven and Mavis as they grow up together and cause shenanigans.So much love to you all!

Xo,
Cass, Mav, & Ele!

pain.

I have a hard time explaining to people that I will not get better. This is only going to get progressively worse, if anything, and I am in pain everyday. Most of the students I go to school with only worry about making it to Friday, so they can party on the weekend. They complain about having to study, while here I am not sure if I am going to make it through class because the pain is too bad. I write this from my couch, heat pad on high on my back, neck brace on with my Real Time Pain Relief MAXX ointment lathered on my neck and back praying that this pain will pass quickly. I am on methocarbamol, a muscle relaxer, and am trying my best to only take one tramadol a day. I have lidocaine patches that I wear 12 hours on (although they don’t ever stay on that long!), 12 hours off on my lower back. I take tylenol and advil daily in addition to these other medications to try to alleviate anything. The pain is the worse thing having to deal with, but I also have weekly allergic reactions. Last Wednesday I had a horrible reaction that left me wheezing, covered in red splotches, and horrible gastrointestinal discomfort. I try my best to push forward and to see the best, which I have so much to be thankful for, but sometimes it’s hard to stay focused. I also suffer with depression and anxiety. The brain’s way of processing pain is similar to depression, so it definitely can have an impact on my mental health. I have had to take a year off in total from college to deal with this and it’s something I’ll have to fight everyday for the rest of my life. I am so incredibly blessed to have a partner willing to stick it out with me and be not only my best friend and husband, but my caretaker too for days that I can’t get by or nights that I come home with tears.

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I want to create a safe place for people suffering, not only with chronic illnesses, but with mental health as well. We are in this together. Please feel free to comment if you need help or want to discuss your challenges.

Xo,

Cass

February.

In honor of my birth month and Valentine’s Day, I decided to participate in some self love and treat myself. First and foremost, Eleven will be coming home at the end of the month and I am so excited to have her in our lives! Mavis will have so much fun being a big sister and having a playmate. We got to visit our little pipsqueak last weekend and instantly fell head over! She is one of nine puppies and the runt of the litter. We’ve already gotten her crate, food, puppy pads, a collar, and some toys! She’ll be using some of Mavis’s hand-me-downs, but I don’t think she’ll mind!

In addition to my puglet, I finally caved in and got my septum pierced today! It wasn’t bad at all, but then again I had nine piercings before adding this one to the mix, so I might not be the best judgement of pain. The jewelry that the piercer used is huge, so I am looking forward to downsizing in the form of this gorgeous jewelry from Etsy! I had been wanting this one for a long time, but always “chickened out” because of what others would think. I really like it and I think that it adds a bit of feminine edge, when done right, to your look!

I wanted to get a few pieces to add to my wardrobe in addition to my septum scheptum. I got a pair of joggers in black because being comfy is key to life. If I can look decent while wearing pajama-like clothes, I’ll have a good day ahead. Urban Outfitters happened to have quite a few different lounge pants on sale, so I snagged some in my favorite color that says maybe I can still be fashionable while managing to balance my inner slob.

I also loved this roll bag that features vegan leather. I had taken a long purse hiatus, but girls need their stuff you know? I might just have to do a “what’s in my bag” post to celebrate my responsible purse-wearing self. We’ll have to see!

I got these cute no-show socks because wearing vans slip-ons with regular socks looks hilariously like a rendition on the old man with high socks and Birkenstocks look, which is not my thing.

 

Ultimately a great little haul. I’ve decide to splurge one more time, but this is more of a joint gift from my love and myself in the form of microbladed eyebrows!! I have been teased about my eyebrows since I was child. I have naturally very thin eyebrows which had lead people to think I over tweeze (never have I!). My brother used to call me browless growing up and I have been secretly obsessing over Little Linda‘s amazing brow work. I have a half sleeve (which I’m going to continue on, slowly-but-surely) and a few here-and-there tattoos, so I’m not really to scared about the process. I trust Linda and I am so excited to get my dream brows (especially in time for my wedding!)!

Remember to treat yourself every now and then! You deserve it after all!

xo

Cass & Mav