Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 year In review

Looking back on 2013, I can say it was a fairly decent year. Of course, each year comes with the good and the bad.

My bfff moved to California in June. Although I miss her like crazy, I know it was the best decision she could make and I couldn't be happier for her. 

My niece, Alyssa was born in July. She's such a happy baby. I love the bond her and her brother, Ethan have already formed. 

Unexpectedly, I got a second job which has made my financial situation so much easier to manage. It has allowed me to pay down some bills and even start to save a little money. 

In November, I got a new car that I absolutely love. It's pretty fancy. 

I'm lucky to have a job that I don't mind going to everyday. I'm lucky to have a boss that is extremely grateful to have me as his paralegal and treats me well. 

I'm learning to be grateful for what I do have. I can't expect God to bring me anything more until I can appreciate what I already have.

I have an amazing family (dad, mom, step-mom/dad, two sisters, three nieces, and two nephews) that are always there for me. 

In 2014, I pray for good health for my family and friends.

I hope that both my jobs continue to go well. 

Most of all, I pray for happiness for myself. While it's something I work on daily, it's also something I struggle with daily. 

Here's to a New Year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Want some cheese with that wine?

I honesty cannot remember the last time I actually looked forward to New Year's Eve. When Joey and I were together, we always stayed at his house with his family. After he passed, I celebrated two more years with them. Even then, I don't remember looking forward to the holiday much. Meaning even when Joey was alive. I know I mostly don't look forward to it because it's all about drinking and I don't drink. 

Here's the part where you can ask me if I want some cheese with my wine. I don't have a lot of friends and the friends I do have all have boyfriends/husbands and kids. Also, (yes, I'm laying the pity party on thick tonight) I cannot remember the last time someone asked ME what I was doing for NYE. Kind of makes me think I'm really not all that fun. Ha!

Stacia asked me the other day what single friends I have (I think her plan was to tell me to get up off the couch and go out). Well, that plan failed when I told her I had no single friends. Actually, I think she was my last single friend.

While I can sit here and wallow in my own self-pity, I have no one to blame but myself. I'm not the most social of folks and to be quite honest, I find myself to be socially awkward when I am around a lot of people. I also have little to zero tolerance for people.

I should make my first ever New Year's resolution. I should make an effort to be more socialable and open to new relationships. 

Think I can break out of my shell after 34 years?

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Fault In Our Stars

My niece, Morgan, had posted a picture of this book on Instagram or mentioned it on Twitter.  I forget. But, she said that people were talking about what a great book it was.  I had borrowed it from her several weeks ago and just recently started reading it on Thursday while I was at work.  On Saturday, I finished all but three chapters and then wrapped it up Sunday morning.

It's about this teenage girl, Hazel, who has terminal cancer.  Hazel ends up meeting this teenage boy and they become friends which turns into a relationship.

There were a lot of similarities with Hazel with respect to some of her health care and Joey's health care. She was on 24/7 oxygen which required her to pull a tank of oxygen around wherever she went. Hazel was sitting at the mall and this little girl came up to her and asked her what was wrapped around her ears and in her nose.  It was the line from the oxygen tank and then the nasal insert cannula.  The little girl put the cannula into her nose and said the air tickled (which it does -- I've tried it before).

Hazel also used a BiPAP machine.  It's another way to get oxygen when you're sleeping at night. It's this bulky head piece you put on. You can't talk really once you put it on. During the story, there were several times when Hazel's mom would help her put the head piece on and off. Which I watched Joey do several times when he was in the hospital and also when we lived together.

Lastly, Hazel had a PICC line put in. It's very similar to an IV, but it allows for treatment that an IV can't do. It's used a lot when someone has prolonged antibiotics. I found this website (PICC) if you want to read more about it.

With respect to the teenage boy she falls in love with, he had a GI Tube which Joey also had. Joey had one inserted right above his belly button. At night he could get extra nutrition he required to maintain his weight.

Hazel got really sick at one point and ended up in the hospital. Her lungs had filled up with some type of fluid so she had drains coming out of her chest. I could show you some pictures of drains coming out of Joey after his lung transplant, but I won't.

With all of these similarities, this book was very emotional for me. I question whether it would have had the same impact had I not gone through some of these things with Joey. I don't think I would have quite grasped the concept of Hazel's illness without already knowing what a BiPAP machine was, what a PICC line was, what tubes coming out of your chest looked like, and the importance of a GI Tube.

The same thing happened to me when watching the story of Izzy and Denny on Grey's Anatomy.  Denny had gotten a heart transplant. This was years ago, and while I can't recall the details and what similarities there were, I do remember the emotion I had when watching this scene play out.
Izzy riding in the elevator going to see Denny. You just knew something bad was going to happen.

Izzy laying in Denny's bed after he died

Alex pulling Izzy from Denny's bed.

These images still break my heart. I guess my point in all of this is that on a day-to-day basis, I don't realize the impact Joey's illness had on me. At the time, it was the norm. I'll forever and always be grateful that I got to experience his journey with him. I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world. 

Rest in Peace, Joey.