Dreaming the Big Dreams is Always Worth it… 

This season has proven to be some kind of wild for me and just recently a few items have been checked off my bucket list. One of those being my first book a pocket poetry is being published and I’ll be in my hand in 13 days or less. I am having so many overwhelming feelings of joy and nervousness and excitement and shock. You have all been so kind especially since this is truly a small pocket edition work and it’s only special to me. I am excited to share it with those who have journeyed with me thus far and many moon to come!

The image I have included is the cover of the book coming in t-minus 14 days and counting!  I understand poetry is not for everyone but these were for me and from my heart encompassing a range of experiences from joy to heartache. Don’t feel obligated to try to love it. It is what it is. Many of you will find yourself in the pages but don’t fret in asking me to point it out. Just enjoy. Thank you all for your support and to everyone who has pre ordered, thank you. Your support speaks volumes and I am grateful to have so many who care. That’s rare I know so I don’t take it lightheartedly. I cherish each of you, you know who you are my friends, my loved ones.

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” 

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is Finally Time…

maxresdefault.jpgI have been waiting, as patiently as I am capable, to fill you all in on a little secret.  Those of you who have been on various journeys with me will understand why this is so special.

Hours and hours of hard work has paid off… in 14 days my first book will be PUBLISHED and physically in my hands! I am over the moon with excitment!  I realize it si not for everyone. I did not write it for everyone.  However, it is written for the someones who know my journey and share in the investment of the adventures and heartaches… or those who love poetry.

A BIG thank you to all who helped make this happen and know this is the first of many more to come. Pre-order is possible, just let me know and I will send you an invoice for the preorder and shipping!

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To pre-order click here or comment in the section below this post with an email I can reach you with an invoice! Pre-orders are $10 w/free shipping!


Last thing I want to say… don’t ever give up on yourself or your dreams. Many of you will see in my book where you have played a roll, you will see yourself and I am forever changed by your investment.  So, I end with this thought… 

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.    ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


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To stay as is or become more…?

Soren Kierkegaard once said “There is nothing with which every man is so afraid as getting to know how enormously much he is capable of doing and becoming.”  I have seen several theories in his motivation behind this truth.   I happen to believe one reason this is mans fear… man instinctually has the immense need for success.  (Obviously some lack this internal drive) I believe it is to whom much is given much is required or the more you know the more responsibility you hold… so if you are to trip into your greater self you then are held to a higher standard and the fall is much further and the pressure much greater.  I suppose this is why people may prefer to live with the motto “ignorance is bliss” as a form of protection against the pressure to avert mistakes or missteps that can mar ones character. 

Where do you find success and is it relevant to societal expectations?  Where in Life do you believe you have found the greatest nuggets of wisdom, are you still searching, or so you have a good arguement to stay in the blissfully ignorant state staving off responsibility as you may know it? 

Adrenal Glands & their essential bodily functions

  • Carbohydrate Metabolism 
  • Detoxification Capacity 
  • Neural Tissue Health
  • Endocrine Function 
  • Metabolism
  • Musculoskeletal

What is Addison’s? Well. There’s more to this disease than you will desire to read in one blog so I’ll give you some highlights and resources to find out more! 

The definition of Addison’s disease is such a poor excuse to clarify what an Addisonian is and what they experience… but here it is: 

Addison’s disease is a disorder that occurs when your body produces insufficient amounts of certain hormones produced by your adrenal glands. In Addison’s disease, your adrenal glands produce too little cortisol and often insufficient levels of aldosterone as well.

Also called adrenal insufficiency, Addison’s disease occurs in all age groups and affects both sexes. Addison’s disease can be life-threatening.

For an even greater in depth look at the life of an addisonian check out the blog I referenced at the bottom of the page! She nailed it! 



Main symptoms of LOW CORTISOL which, if left untreated can lead to adrenal crisis can vary widely:

  •  Fatigue & muscle weakness
  •  Nausea, sometimes leading to
  •  vomiting and/or diarrhoea
  •  Inability to cope with stress/anxiety
  • Moodiness, irritability, & depression 
  •  Headache or migraine
  •  Rapid heart rate
  • Sweating &/or Dehydration
  • Dizziness/disorientation
  • Muscle aches or pains 

In an actual CRISIS, you will almost always have sudden penetrating pain in the lower back, abdomen, or legs, can have severe vomiting and/or diarrhea followed by dehydration and likely will have low blood pressure and possible loss of consciousness and seizures (BP can also go high in some people). 

In PAI, (Primary Adrenal Insifficiency) potassium will often be elevated and sodium will often drop too low. In adrenal crisis, confusion will nearly always be present in everyone. 

CRISIS SYMPTOMS (these will vary by person and you may only have some of these):

  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration
  • Dizziness/light- headedness /Fatigue
  • Flank pain (back sides)
  • Headache/migraine
  •  Fever 
  •  Joint pain
  •  Loss of appetite 
  •  Loss of consciousness 
  •  Low blood pressure (can also be high)
  •  Nausea 
  •  Profound weakness
  •  Low blood sugar 
  •  Rapid heart rate
  •  Rapid respiratory rate
  •  Shaking/chills 
  •  Unusual and excessive sweating
  • Vomiting, Confusion or coma

Here’s a real life story of someone with Addison’s! 

A great way to learn why we aren’t keeping up with YOU and it sounds like we make a lot of excuses to avoid fun check out… Spoon Theory in depth or an overview below:


For more information:

NADF

NORD

Best blog ever to get a clue! 

The Effects of Chronic Illness on a Family System

A Current Issue and the Effect on a Couple

“Research shows that couple dynamics influence the immune, endocrine, and cardiovascular systems, and self-reported health status; and medical problems can affect all areas of a couple’s functioning, including communication, sexual and emotional intimacy, and role flexibility (Dankoski & Pais, 2007).” Using therapeutic services may be helpful for a family to process a new way of living or a loss of the previous lifestyle due to the course of a chronic illness.  Family therapy can provide the system with tools and support to manage the anxiety, depressions, fear, miscommunication, potential conflict, and stressors brought on by the needed adjustments and caregiving accompanying chronic illness.

 When a couple faces chronic illness

 Facing a chronic illness such as an autoimmune disease can take years of searching and testing for a diagnosis. Once the family receives the diagnosis there are mixed emotions that accompany such as both fear and relief.  Relief comes due to finally knowing the name of what the family is fighting and the protocol that may come with that specific disease. Fear and distress floods a family as they see potential and sometimes probably declination in the future of their loved one’s quality of life and the challenges the family will be facing for a lifetime.  The diagnosis of the illness marshals in the opportunity and need for further family and loved one’s support systems to increase the resources, readiness, and availability.

One of the major tasks a couple has to face is first learning about the illness and what they will be facing, their options for treatment and quality of life, as well as available resources concerning their specific challenge (Dankoski & Pais, 2007). Living with chronic illness can be isolating and cause depression and anxiety.  Activities the couple once enjoyed may no longer be an option due to the limitations of the illness and this may cause friends and social supports to move on in life and in a sense, leave the couple behind if the illness prevents the couple from participating often in social gatherings.  Adjustments and accommodations can be made if the couple and their social supports are willing to work together for the sake of the value of the relationships.

Impact on relationship

The chronic symptoms of an autoimmune disease can be perceived as burdensome by caregivers or support system members, or the fear of being a burden can be overwhelming by the ill individual.  A couple faces great strains on traditional couple activities, socializing, physical intimacy, time, and life/marital milestones.  Confusion and misunderstandings can occur as each person is struggling to process the changes needed in their lifestyle.  Frustration can arise from multiple doctors and years of misdiagnosis and worsen symptoms without answers until diagnosis finally occurs. Depression and hopeless can plague the couple due to loss and perceived future losses. Chronic illness can create deep feelings of hopelessness for a happy marriage or happy life, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  Feelings of anger and discouragement may be encountered as the learning phase is navigated for this lifelong adjustment that will more than likely continue to change and morph, but the key is to monitor and adjust and rely on not only each other but social and familial supports (Law &Crane, 2003).  If the couple does not reach outside themselves for support and help for care, there is a possibility for the destruction of the family system; but with utilizing the resources available, support systems and education, strength and encouragement, hope and positive outlooks can be found.

 Goals of therapy

Approaching this situation as both an individual with a rare chronic illness and a clinician, I see ample opportunity for solution-focused brief therapy with components of narrative therapy to be effective in helping the couple create the desired changes and set the appropriate goals they believe they are able to work toward. Psychoeducation is an important facet of the therapeutic process the provide the couple with needed information about resources, stages of grief and the value of understanding why goal setting and commitment are paramount for success (Law &Crane, 2003). A component of narrative therapy that will be helpful for a couple in this situation is restorying.  Changing the way the couple perceive the situation and their role in this new adjusted way of living will require the clinician to assist them in re-authoring their story in a positive light typically contrary to natural reflex; then assist the couple in creating the alternative more preferred story that is less problem-saturated but seeks out exceptions, positive perspectives and ways to make the most of the positive available (Law &Crane, 2003).

Solution-focused therapy will also provide effective care for this specific type of challenge a couple will face. Looking for exceptions, using scaling questions to help them become more self-aware and finding ways to help them take baby steps toward lowering the depression level to one level lower at a time. Asking the couple how they would know depression had changed from a seven to a six on a scale of one to ten. Scaling questions, psychoeducation, and exception identifying are effective tools; but I would further the work by having the couple set short-term measurable goals they are able to work toward and commit to establishing to the possibility of victories given the right motivation and partnership of support within the couple and family.

Reference for further reading! 

Spoon Theory If you haven’t read this and you love someone chronically ill….

American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. (July, 2016). Chronic
illness. 
Retrievedfrom http://www.aamft.org/iMIS15/AAMFT/Content/Consumer_Updates/Women_and_AutoimmuneDiseases.aspx

 Dankoski, M. E., & Pais, S. (2007). Whats Love Got to Do with It? Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy,6(1-2), 31-43. doi:10.1300/j398v06n01_04

Law, D. D., Crane, D. R., & Berge, J. M. (2003). The Influence Of Individual, Marital, And Family Therapy On High Utilizers Of Health Care. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy,29(3), 353-363. doi:10.1111/j.1752-0606.2003.tb01212.x

Thomlison, B. (2016). Family assessment handbook: An introduction (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. 

Wetchler, J. L., & Hecker, L. L., & (Eds.). (2015). An introduction to marriage and family therapy. (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

 

We used to never get enough…

43051d76d4b1990ed41.jpgWhere has the comedy gone? Relationships are falling flat and the adult world is taking over!!! The following is a review of Penny and Leonards System Dynamics. I would LOVE your feedback on the joy…or discontent… you find with these lovable friends!  (***ALERT*** longer post than usual but it’s worth dealing with the extra 3 minutes of reading! maybe.) P.s. I am sadly aware there are so many from this tribe I did not get to mention… mostly because this became SO LONG!

System Dynamics

Penny and Leonard Hofstadter’s family dynamics are challenging. They are a newly married couple living with a third party at all times. Discontent about a roommate with compulsive and controlling behaviors living with them named Sheldon Cooper was prevalent. Despite discussions, it ends with complaints without actions.  A newlywed couple in our society can view this as a negative impact on their time together.  Finally, Sheldon moves out and the couple then moves in another one of their friends, Raj, with his own personal interesting issues and challenges adding more tension.  There have been indicators prior to marriage that both parties do not believe they have another choice for a relationship and have settled for one another.

Boundaries are challenging within the Hofstadter couple’s marriage and are identified as permeable.  Both Sheldon’s and Raj’s issues bleed into Penny and Leonard’s relationship.  I believe most of the friend’s issues stay in the forefront in this household as people are continually coming and going.  This triangulation has become such a challenge, Sheldon even went on the honeymoon with the couple to San Francisco for what he convinced them was for personal reflection (International, 2015).
Leonard has mommy issues and low self-esteem, he seeks validation and affirmation from both Penny and his mother. Penny is a socialite, can appear selfish, shallow and is always looking to capture her dream as an actress. Penny seeks refuge in the wisdom of her one newly married friend (Bernadette) and one single friend (Sheldon’s Amy) to sort through marital challenges. TV-Show_the-big-bang-theory_270880.jpgThe couple has adopted Sheldon as a relationship akin to a younger sibling or a child.  They are unable to ignore him and move forward.  The more Leonard needs Penny, the more Sheldon needs Leonard. The couple presents with continual attempts to sabotage their own marriage, I believe both are in fear of losing the other and are finding themselves unable to face that fear. Pushing through fear is challenging and a way back to a healthy marriage is communication about these issues.

Sheldon has limited emotional recognition (maybe a sweet pea sized amygdala to blame) as well as lessened expressions of his own emotion.  He is controlling and orderly and many have described him as having Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, but he insists his mother had him tested and he is definitively not classified as crazy.  Raj is not as overtly challenging as Sheldon, but his presence in the newlywed’s home still draws the focus away from whatever issues the couple may need to resolve.  If the issues remain on the back burner, they can fester and grow rather than create growth.

The couple’s supra-systems are impacted by social group differences and families of origins (Wetchler & Hecker, 2015).  Leonard’s personal devotion to all things science fiction is far removed from his wife’s yoga practicing, low-tech lifestyle choices. The families of origin come into play periodically abrasively reminding this couple of their vastly differing upbringing. Minimal history is provided of legitimate financial stability other than Leonard refusing marriage therapy due to the cost being a strain. Leonard comes from a high-achieving family and personally is an experimental physicist at Caltech with a sibling working as a tenured law professor at Harvard. Penny has a high school education or equivalent and a few college courses. There a is minimal family of origin history other than she has a sibling with drug addiction and a criminal record.

Penny and Leonard have a relationship agreement drawn up by Sheldon and agreed upon by the couple.  It consists of rules, roles, and expectations for their marriage. The covert rules are the challenges that create miscommunication, hurt feelings, and arguments between the couple after the issues have festered for period of time (Wetchler & Hecker, 2015).  I do not believe there has been at length communication about roles and expectations outside of this contract drawn up, signed, and amended when necessary.  This contract was developed due to Penny’s discontent over Leonard’s lack of romantic pursuit of her and her challenge to communicate her feelings with him.

Boy! Relationships can be messy!

For further reading on relationship agreements here is Sheldon’s and Amy’s for your viewing pleasure!

Penny: You guys just got back together. You might not want to ditch her on her birthday.

Leonard: I think Penny has a point. You can see it another day.

Sheldon: But someone might spoil the movie. No one can spoil Amy’s birthday for me. Surprise, she’s even older. Who saw that coming?

Penny: Aww, that’s nice. Put that on her cake.

References:

International, I. A. (2015). Retrieved June 26, 2017, from http://www.aamft.org/iMIS15/AAMFT/Content/About_AAMFT/Position_On_Couples.aspx

Wetchler, J. L. (2015). An introduction to marriage and family therapy. New York: Routledge.big-bang-theory-bazinga_114809.jpg