Honey, It’s Cold Outside!

The seasons are changing and it’s starting to get cooler and my body has been going through it. In the mornings recently it has been averaging around 38 degrees this week and I have felt every bit of it. During the fall and winter months I tend to spend more and more time in the bed mostly because the cold causes me to tense up which causes a higher degree of pain. Don’t get me wrong, I welcome the change from the 100+ temps we tend to see here in TX during the summer months but as it gets cooler I tend to go into my personal hibernation.

Fighting with the thermostat because I can’t seem to regulate my temperature, adding on layers, oh and the thick, cozy socks that my daughter buys me for Christmas each year begin to make their annual appearance around this time. I can’t forget my favorite fall/winter accessory…my weighted blanket!!!! Not only does it help keep me warm, it helps manage the fibromyalgia pain. I believe the one I use the most is about 20 lbs. I think everyone in the world should have one…or two! In addition to my weighted blanket, there are other things I love during this time of year that help me manage pain and inflammation:

  • Hot Tea (Oolong is my favorite right now with a splash of heavy cream)
  • Yummy Soup (Warm and comforting…Tomato Basil)
  • Bubble Baths (As hot as I can stand it, with Epsom Salt)
  • Hot Stone Massage (Helps with pain management)
  • Weighted Blanket (I know…I had to say it again, it really is a game changer)

You see when it’s cold outside I tend to tense up which causes even more pain. The muscles in my body are so tight and it’s hard for me to relax. I also notice an increase in brain fog when it’s both cold and rainy. Not fun at all, so that makes me want to stay in bed and sleep when really what I need to be doing is moving my body so the muscles have a better chance relax so I’m not so tense.

Keys To Staying Warm This Winter:

  • Layering
  • Thick, fuzzy socks
  • Lots of blankets
  • Hat (Keep your body warm from the top)
  • Gloves (My hands are always cold)
  • My favorite scarf (Really it’s my husbands, but I sneak and wear it sometimes…don’t tell)

What are some ways you keep warm during the fall/winter months? I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to drop a comment below or send an email to info@windysjourney.com

Thank you so much for stopping by! Please help me out by liking, subscribing and sharing with someone who is living with chronic illness. Also, be sure to subscribe to my podcast, “Windy’s Journey“, now streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts or wherever you stream.

I appreciate your support! It really means so much, more than you will ever know. It’s important to me to bring more awareness and support.

XO, Windy

You Don’t Look Sick!

Living with a chronic illness can be very challenging. It can be especially taxing and a huge pull on your physical, mental and spiritual health. The most challenging part about living with a chronic illness is the fact that to many, You don’t “look” sick. I wish I had a dollar for every time someone said that to me. I’d be rich! Lol. I know people mean well, but having a chronic illness and living with a disability does not have to mean you’re in a wheelchair, using a walking aide, etc. Does it? Sometimes it might, but for others it may not. In my humble opinion, unfortunately, some people (not all) have in their mind that in order to be “sick” you must look like you just got hit by a mack truck and that’s not fair nor is it always the case. Each person is different and the way their specific illness shows up each day will be different.

So what is an Invisible Illness anyway? I’m glad you asked.

According to Wikipedia, ” Invisible disabilities, also known as hidden disabilities or non-visible disabilities, are disabilities that are not immediately apparent, are typically chronic illnesses and conditions that significantly impair normal activities of daily living

SOME EXAMPLES OF AN INVISIBLE ILLNESS:

  • Fibromyalgia**
  • Chronic Lyme Disease**
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome*
  • Hashimoto’s Disease
  • Crohns Disease
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

(Those with an asterisk are the illnesses I have)

THE IMPACT

Although those of us who live with an invisible illness may not appear sick/ill on the outside, on the inside we are going through hell. Yes, I said hell! Pain so debilitating that you can’t get out of the bed or off of the sofa, fatigue that is so tiring and exhaustive that not even a good night’s sleep will help, and emotional stress which can sometimes lead to anxiety and depression. The emotional stress, such as sadness over how your life has changed since being diagnosed and anxiety over how your illness may gotten worse over time. In some cases, the symptoms can be so severe the person becomes disabled and unable to work. In the case where friends or family members think you’re lazy, this makes things even worse. Having a great support system is very important. I am so thankful for all the love and support I get from my family and amazing friends! Sadly, not everyone has this. I personally know of situations where someone with a chronic illness is getting divorced because their spouse thinks they are lazy and just doesn’t want work and help pay the bills, or have family members who make fun of them and speak negatively to and about them while; others have simply been left to fend for themselves without the support of family and friends. Neglected.

Unfortunately, there are those who live with an invisible chronic illness who are not believed when they say they are sick/ill because they don’t “look” the part. This can be very frustrating. Feeling like you have to validate your illness to others can be hard. Trying to convince others that you are indeed sick/ill, arguing with family members who think you’re just lazy can make you feel dismissed and judged, which leads to the person turning inward. It silences us. Silencing someone with chronic illness keeps us from sharing our journey which in turn keeps us from bringing about more awareness. That’s the last thing we want to do!

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Again, living with a chronic illness is difficult and we need your help. If you know someone who has a chronic illness they are most likely suffering in silence or not telling you how they really feel. Here are some practical things you can do to be a support in their lives:

  • Believe Them! (So important)
  • Check on them (We might not reach out)
  • Pray for them
  • Offer to pick up their RX
  • Offer to bring them a meal
  • Offer to take them to their next DR appointment
  • Listen!
  • Encouragement
  • Stop by for a visit
  • Become an advocate

Thank you so much for stopping by! If you know someone who lives with one or more chronic illness, reach out and see how you might be able to support them. I am 100% certain they will be so glad you did.

XO, Windy

One Of The Toughest Decisions I’ve Ever Had To Make…I’m Glad I Did It!

Over the past few months I have been making an effort to listen to my body and making some changes in support of self care. To be transparent, I have not been feeling like myself at all…experiencing some anxiety and depression. The joy that I once held so dear has seemingly disappeared. At times I have felt hopeless as I sit home alone while my family is at work and/or school. I want to be clear and say that I have never felt like harming myself in anyway. I just know that I am not myself lately so I reached out for help.

This week I began seeing a christian counselor. I must admit this was a very scary step for me to take, but it was the right thing for me to do for the sake of my mental health. Having to admit that I am in a space where I need additional support was hard for me. I tend to be pretty private and I try to handle things on my own through prayer and devotion, but I got to a point where I am overwhelmed, stressed, anxious and hopeless which is not my normal character. I have a dear friend who inspired to be speak to someone. I appreciate the reminder that it’s ok to not be ok! I will say that again…IT’S OK TO NOT BE OK!

So far I’ve only visited my counselor once, but it was great. I felt heard and I felt like I am on my way to creating a toolbox of things I can put in place that will help me navigate each day with more joy, peace and laughter.

I will keep you posted on how things are going. This, so far, has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in a very long time.

Remember, IT’S OK TO NOT BE OK! If you are not feeling like yourself or if you are experiencing the following symptoms, please reach out and talk to someone who can help:

Symptoms can include:

Mood: anxiety, apathy, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, mood swings, or sadness

Behavioral: agitation, excessive crying, irritability, restlessness, or social isolation

Sleep: early awakening, excess sleepiness, insomnia, or restless sleep

Whole body: excessive hunger, fatigue, or loss of appetite

Cognitive: lack of concentration or slowness in activity

Weight: weight gain or weight loss

Also common: poor appetite, repeatedly going over thoughts, or thoughts of suicide

Thank you so much for stopping by. Please share this post with someone who might be struggling with making the decision to get help. You can also catch my podcast “Windy’s Journey“, now streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or wherever you stream.

Thank you for your support!

XO, Windy

My Struggle With Fibromyalgia

As so many of you know, I have been living with Fibromyalgia for many, many years! This illness has really shown me what I am made of. It’s been hard, it’s been tough and some days I don’t know how I make it through. I wake up each day and brace myself for the flood of symptoms that my body experiences, ranging from:

  • Intense pain from head to toe
  • Fatigue
  • Brain Fog
  • Memory Loss
  • Irritability
  • Joint Pain
  • Muscle Pain
  • Vision Problems
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Cognitive Issues
    • Hand Tremors
    • Imbalance
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Restless Legs
  • Swollen Feet and Hands
  • Nausea
  • Increased Heart Rate

These symptoms can take a huge toll on my mental health which shows up as anxiety and mild depression. I mean for anyone who lives with any kind of chronic illness, you get to a place where you’re just sick and tired of being sick and tired. I also struggle feeling like I am letting everyone down because I am always in pain and never feeling well. If that’s not enough, a few times each month, I have what’s known as a “Fibro Flare Up“. This means that my symptoms are more intense and even worse than normal which can be unbearable. This leaves me homebound and isolated until the symptoms ease up enough for me function a little. A flare up can last a few days to several weeks, with the most recent lasting over a month. As you can imagine, this really wears my body out. Always fighting to the point of exhaustion. I try to find relief wherever I can (Other than the RX):

  • Massage
  • Infrared Sauna
  • Hot Baths
  • Elevated Legs
  • Heating Pads
  • Naps (My favorite)
  • Rest

As a result of Fibromyalgia, my life has changed a lot. The realization that there are certain things I can no longer do is saddening. The simplest of things wear me out; like walking from my bedroom to the kitchen to grab a snack or making up the bed. You would’ve thought I just ran around the track, so out of breath, lightheaded and in pain. My heart rate increased to the point that it feels like my heart will jump right out of my chest. Or the times I can’t remember where I am or how to navigate places I’ve gone to for years, or worse, the embarrassment of not being able to remember my own phone number. The humiliation of it all…

Over the years I’ve done a fair job of disguising my symptoms so people wouldn’t feel sorry for me or treat me differently but that is proving to be difficult to do with the increased intensity of my symptoms. I’ve had to take a step back and listen to what my body has been trying to tell me for so long. This time I am listening, no longer looking for any false glimpse of “feeling better” so I can go right back to doing the things my body is telling me I can’t do. So if you know me and don’t see me on social media and the like, not to worry I am just being obedient to my body and resting!!!

I will keep you posted on how things are going!

Until next time,

XO- Windy

May Is Lyme Disease Awareness Month!

As we kick off the month of May, I thought it befitting to write a post that is dedicated to Lyme Disease as it is the start of Lyme Disease Awareness Month. In this post I will share some basic information about Lyme Disease as so many still know very little about this chronic yet debilitating disease. Did you know that it is estimated that roughly 30,000 new cases of Lyme Disease are reported each year? That is a very low estimate, as it is thought to be more than double that number but many cases each year go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as another illness or disease.

So what is Lyme Disease exactly? To be honest it can be hard to explain. In it’s most basic terms, Lyme Disease is an infectious disease caused by a species of bacteria belonging to the Borrelia family. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto is the main cause of Lyme Disease in North America. The disease is named after the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme, Connecticut where a number of cases were identified in 1975. Although it was known that Lyme Disease was a tick-borne disease as far back as 1978, the cause of the disease remained a mystery until 1981 when B burgdorferi was identified by Willy Burgforfer.

Lyme Disease is the most common tick-borne disease in North America and is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected tick belonging to a few species of genus lxodes (hard ticks) Early symptoms may include fever, headache and fatigue. A bullseyes rash occurs in 70-80% of infected persons at the site of the tick bite after a delay of about 3-30 days. The rash is only rarely painful or itchy, although it may be warm to touch. Approximately 20-30% of infected persons do not experience a rash. Left untreated, later symptoms may involve the joints, heart and central nervous system. In most cases, the infection and it symptoms are eliminated by antibiotics, especially if the illness is treated early (within the first 30 days of being infected). Delayed or inadequate treatment can lead to more serious symptoms which can lead to disabling and difficult to treat. The term ”Chronic Lyme Disease” is controversial and not recognized in the medical literature and most medical authorities advise against long-term antibiotic treatment for chronic lyme disease.

More work needs to be done in order to bring about more awareness. I must admit before I got sick and diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease, I had no idea what it was other than it being something that I knew pets could contract. I worry that if more education is not provided more and more people will be misdiagnosed and will suffer because of it. That is why our family started the Windy J Cumberbatch Foundation, to help provide more education and awareness in an effort to help others and Empower | Encourage | Inspire those living with Lyme Disease and other chronic illness such as Fibromyalgia.

Please visit our website at windyjcumberbatch.org for more information. We welcome your tax deductible donation that allows us to provide transportation to and from doctor visits and assist with co-pays. You can also follow us on social media: Facebook- @windy j cumberbatch foundation and IG: WJC Foundation, Podcast: Windy’s Journey on Apple Podcast, Google Podcasts or wherever you stream.

Thank you for stopping by!

-Windy

The Importance Of Setting Healthy Boundaries

For those of us living with chronic illness (and really for everyone) it’s very important to set healthy boundaries. Taking the first step can seem hard and scary because for most us, the illness in on the inside of you, no visible or noticeable signs of being ill which can make it easy for others to forget.

Taking time for yourself to focus on you is crucial when it comes to your health journey. In doing so, it will require setting realistic expectations for yourself and managing the expectations that others have set for you. Our family and friends don’t mean us any harm, they just want to spend time with us and/or do things they used to be able to do with you. They may simply wish things were back to normal. However, when we fail to set those boundaries we end up maxed out, lacking the energy we need in order to focus on the things that are important to us. We become out of balance. Sound familiar?

Living out of balance for someone who is living with a chronic illness can lead to a relapse in your health. You may begin to experience:

  • Flare up of symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Poor appetite
  • Isolation
  • Lack of energy
  • Weight loss or Weight gain
  • Emotional strain
  • Hospitalization
  • And more!

So what does setting healthy boundaries look like practically? Well I’m glad you asked! Below are a few that I came up with that are personal to me that I have been working to implement, but I would love to hear what things you have put in place that helps you.

  • Saying “No” to the things you need to say no to
  • Learning to identify when your body is telling you to slow down
  • Set aside personal time just for you (Put in on the calendar)
    • Day at the spa
    • Exercise
    • Read a book
    • Take a nap
    • Go for a walk
    • Sit outside and get some sun
    • Do absolutely nothing!
    • Did I say take a nap? Hahaha! (You may noticed, I really love naps)
  • Communicate: Let your family and close friends know that setting boundaries is important for your overall health (They will understand…they love you)!

I think it’s also important to take baby steps. Don’t try to do it all at once. Pick one thing to focus on that you want to implement. See how that feels after a few weeks then consider layering on something else until you’ve developed a good habit of making time for yourself. The goal is for you to take the time you need each day to focus on you so you can put the best version of yourself forward. If you’re tired and overwhelmed, that can lead to a setback in your health. My doctor once told me that rest is super important to allow my body time to heal itself. If I keep going and going and going…well that won’t be good for me so I am committed to doing what I need to do to promote healing in my mind, body and soul.

I would love to hear what’s working for you; send me a little note or comment below. You may be doing something that might help me in my journey. At the end of the day, we’re all in this together.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Until next time…

WJC

Happy New Year | 2022

Happy New Year! Wow, I cannot believe it’s already another year. I’m not sure about you, but I feel like 2020 and 2021 just flew by so fast. Is it just me or do you feel the same way? With everything that has been going on in our world as it relates to COVID-19, things have changed so quickly. I’m sure by now you’ve heard the phrase “New Year, New You” more times than you care to admit. In the past I may have heard this phrase, shrugged my shoulders and moved on, but this year is different. For those of us who are chronically ill we look forward to the new year in hopes it will be the year we see a change in our current circumstance. That things will be both new and different. We are looking forward to the day when we’re not limited by our disability. We’re able to do the things that we may have taken for granted in the past, things like going to the park with your kids, going for a long walk with our spouse or partner or just walking from room to room in your home without feeling like you’re going to pass out. That would be so amazing! If I’m honest, I look forward to that time.

When I think about what I’m most hopeful for in 2022, it’s a renewed sense of myself. What that means to me is really understanding who I am, what my God given talents are, what my purpose is and being able to simply walk in it. Being able to contribute in a meaningful way to my family and friends as well as those around me like my neighbors. When I say neighbor I mean that in the most general since, meaning anyone who is not a member of my family. To be able to have that feeling of hope and joy and peace. Peace that only comes from God. Peace within that no matter what my current situation is or my physical limitations are, I can still be used to Empower, Encourage and Inspire others. Especially those suffering from chronic illness. That’s important to me because it’s my experience that those living with chronic illness can at times feel less valuable because of our limitations. So I am looking forward to 2022 so I can step into all that I was created to be even though I am dealing with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Lyme Disease and more. Suffering in such great pain that it causes me to weep. In the midst of all these things I still want to help someone else. Rather it’s by sharing my own story to let others know they are not alone. I may not have personally met you, but I see you. I see you! And more importantly, God sees you! God has a plan for each of our lives. This test we are going through with our health will become our testimony that will impact someone else and give them hope that they can get through whatever they are facing.

With all that said, yes I am looking forward to 2022. I have a feeling it’s going to be good year. Better than the past 2 years, especially when you consider COVID-19 and the impact it has had on all of our lives. One goal that I am setting for myself is to eat better. I want to eat less meat…for those of you who know me you know that will be hard for me because I truly love a great steak! I want to eat more fruit and veggies and reduce the amount of sugar I consume. I am Celiac (can’t have Gluten) so I already live on a Gluten Free diet but I need to do better. I think that will help me not feel so sluggish during the day. Also drink a little less coffee!! What, did I just say drink less coffee?? Boy oh boy that’s gonna be hard. I LOVE COFFEE! Ha! Maybe substitute it for hot tea and maybe try drinking it with less milk.

So anyway, Happy New Year! I’d love to hear how you’re doing in 2022 and what your goals are. You can comment below are send an email to info@windyjcumberbatch.org. Please be sure to check out our foundation by visiting https://www.windyjcumberbatch.org/ where our goal is to Empower | Encourage | Inspire those living with chronic illness. You can also follow my podcast “Windy’s Journey” now streaming on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Thank you for stopping by and for all of your support! Be sure to follow and share with anyone that might benefit from hearing my story.

XO,

Windy

2021: My Year In Review

I can’t believe 2021 is just about over. It seems like just yesterday we were ringing in the new year from our homes, tucked away due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I wanted to recap how my year went as I look forward to 2022. I must admit, due to my illness memory loss makes a bit challenging to recall a lot of things that I encountered, so I will just touch on the things I can recall.

If I’m honest, this year has been full of anxiety and a little fear as I have tried by best to protect myself and my family from the COVID-19 virus. It has been hard because some of the symptoms I face on a daily basis tend to mirror many of the COVID symptoms. I wear my mask faithfully, wash my hands often and sanitize my hands more than I care to admit. Can you relate? Wondering if I remembered to wash my hands after touching a public space, do I have enough hand sanitizer, oh and what about the person in the drive thru that was not wearing a mask, was that ok? So many emotions, so much stress and way too many things to think about each and every day! I often wonder if I am being a little paranoid, but with my current physical condition my body would not be able to handle anything additional. Most days are spent at home on the couch or lying in the bed trying to rest and allow my body to heal itself one day at a time.

As I continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and all of it recent variants, all I know to do is pray that God will protect me, my family and friends. I try to seek his guidance on what I should, how to listen to his voice and most importantly remember his promise to keep me and to never leave me. That does not mean I don’t get scared because I do, but when that fear creeps in I give that fear to God and exchange that fear for his truth that only he can provide. I wish I could say it’s easy, it’s not. It’s a fight everyday and I have to choose each day to trust that God will see me and my family through.

I look forward to the day where we no longer have to worry about COVID-19. It’s been over 2 years since I’ve seen my dad, brother (and his family), and my grandmother. I have family and friends that I’d love to go see, but I want to do my part to keep them safe, especially those who have a compromised immune system like me. We will get there, until that time I will continue to do my part to protect myself, make educated decisions for my health and continue to trust that God is in control.

Thank you for stopping by and don’t forget to check out my new podcast, “Windy’s Journey“, now streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or wherever you stream. Also check out our foundation, Windy J Cumberbatch Foundation, where our goal is to Empower | Encourage | Inspire those living with chronic illness. The main way we help others is by providing transportation to and from doctor visits to those who need it. All donations are tax deductible! We could not do what we do without your support.

Thank you for your support and cheers to 2022!

XO,

Windy

Lyme Disease vs. Chronic Lyme Disease

It took me a while to write this post. There’s so much I want to share with you, but I’m afraid it would become overwhelming and I would lose you. The battle between Lyme Disease and Chronic Lyme Disease is probably not widely known across the country, primarily because Lyme Disease itself is not well known. I am going to do my best to try to share my what I know as it relates to the controversy surrounding this illness.

To start us off, I want to remind you that Lyme Disease is caused by a bacteria called “Borrelia” and it is most commonly found in deer ticks. Once you are infected with Lyme via a tick bite by an infected deer, it can take anywhere between 3-30 days before you noticed any symptoms. Once you noticed symptoms or you noticed a tick embedded in your skin it’s important that you see a doctor right away. At this point, you will be tested for Lyme Disease and if your test comes back positive you will be prescribed a round of antibiotics (most likely Doxycycline) for about 30 days. At this point the antibiotics will do it’s work and you should be ok. However, if you are bit by an infected deer tick and you don’t get treated within the first 30 days it can be hard to diagnose. The longer you go without being diagnosed, the harder it will be. This is where the controversy comes in.

Some doctors do not believe that an illness that goes untreated for long periods of time, such as Lyme Disease, could turn chronic. Some doctors believe that 30 days of antibiotics will do the trick and cure you. That is not the case with Lyme Disease. If you are infected and go untreated, the Lyme bacteria begins to take up residency in your body. The bacteria spirochetes begin to travel throughout your entire body and eventually every area of your body will become infected. Areas such as: (List not conclusive)

  • Central Nervous System
  • Brain
  • Respiratory System
  • Heart
  • Eyes
  • Dental
  • Muscles
  • Reproductive System

Once the Lyme bacteria invades the various areas within your body and the longer you go untreated, your symptoms begin to worsen and the illness turns Chronic, as it did in my case. Once this happens, the illness can be hard to detect, primarily because the current tests are not specific or sensitive enough to detect Chronic Lyme that has been invading your body for weeks if not months. The main reason for this failure to accurately test for Lyme is the fact that there are more than 1 strain of Lyme. The traditional tests that most doctors use will only test for 1, which means you could get a false negative. In order to be properly diagnosed you will need to be seen by a specialist who knows about Chronic Lyme and has access to the proper test. When the disease isn’t caught in time, it can spread throughout the body and cause chronic health problems that could otherwise be avoided with earlier detection and treatment.

The short story is, if you are bit by an infected deer tick and become sick, please see a doctor immediately and be test for Lyme Disease. Some of the early symptoms of Lyme Disease are:

  • a rash that looks like a red oval or bull’s-eye anywhere on your body.
  • fatigue
  • joint pain and swelling
  • muscle aches
  • headache
  • fever
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • sleep disturbances

Please note that only 70-80% of people infected with Lyme will develop the bulls eye rash, which means that 20-30% will NOT develop one. That means, if you notice symptoms and don’t see the rash you should still see a doctor and get tested. If you dismiss the symptoms as something else like the flu and don’t get tested and seek treatment, the bacteria will infect your entire body and turn to Chronic Lyme and become more challenging to treat. Symptoms will increase and become intense over time, again making it harder to treat. At this point you will need to see seen by a doctor who knows about Chronic Lyme Disease who can determine the best path and begin treatment. The longer you’ve gone untreated the longer it will take to see improvement. In some cases, Chronic Lyme Disease can become debilitating and cause disability.

More work needs to be done, more education, better testing, and increased awareness in order for people such as myself who have been suffering for years, to get the treatment we deserve. For more information, please visit my foundation’s website Windy J Cumberbatch Foundation. To learn more about more story, please check out my podcast “Windy’s Journey” now streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts & more!

Thank your stopping by and thank you so much for your support!

XO,

Windy

Loneliness & Chronic Illness

I have been living with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Lyme Disease for almost 2 decades. Wow! I don’t think I’ve ever said it like that before. Let me try it again…for almost 20 years, a little less than half of my life, I’ve been sick! As you can imagine, with prolonged sickness comes frustration and if I’m honest, loneliness creeps in at times.

You see, while my husband is working and the kids are in school, I spend my day at home alone. Outside of the chats with my girlfriends and catching up with family, I’m usually home in bed or on the couch pondering what to do next. To be transparent, what I’m really pondering is what CAN I do today? You see most days I am not feeling well enough to do the things I used to do or really desire to due to the various symptoms I navigate on a daily basis. I wake up each morning not really knowing what to expect or how I am going to feel. How I long for the days when I could get up and do whatever I wanted to do that day. Insert loneliness.

I think what’s really taking place is I am grieving the way my life used to be and a good friend of mine helped me realize that I would never get that life back, nor should I strive to. You see, the old Windy didn’t know she was sick and was living a life that could not continue. The old Windy had not stepped into what God had for her in order to stretch her into what God is calling her to become. Whew…that’s hard to hear at times but it’s true. If I were to go back to the way things were in the past, I would be far from who I am called to be. Even though it’s hard most days and even though I am lonely at times, I would not trade it for anything if it means getting closer to who I am created to be.

So what do I do to all day? Well I’m glad you asked!

  • I take lots of naps! (Naps are the best and much needed to allow my body to heal itself)
  • Eat (Way too much)
  • Read my Bible (Food for the soul)
  • Pray (Talk to God about all the things)
  • Nap some more (Ha!)
  • Think about ways to help others (Giveback)
  • Laugh at myself (When I’m not crying. Laughter is good medicine)
  • Check on my family and friends (I love you all)
  • Doctors appointments (I love my doctors too)
  • Repeat
  • Oh, I’m sure I take another nap!!!!

It can be lonely living with chronic illness and I am so thankful for the people in my life (You know who you are)who help me keep my spirits up and push through and never give up. This too shall pass.

Thanks for all of your support. It means everything to me. Please be sure to check out my new podcast, “Windy’s Journey” which is now streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.

Until next time, XO

Windy