Calm Thyself.

Don’t you absolutely love those little moments in life where you get so incredibly happy that it almost feels drug induced? Those little moments of Heaven that are perfect, but as soon as our brain processes this amazing feeling it has disappeared in a flash. In my eyes, I consider that an extremely small preview of what Heaven has been promised to us. Of course, that will be ten times better, but still wasn’t that amazing feeling worth fighting for to keep around? For now, I think we can find our little slice of Heaven in things that keep our soul happy, not our body, and not things obligated to us because of our age. Come on people, you know whats right for you. Take care of both your soul, and your body.

I am not getting religious on you, but I have been debating a very tricky question in my head lately. “You’re so young, do it now before you can’t!”, and “You don’t have to do that to be happy, that’s not appropriate!” is what my ears absorb constantly, and let me just say…Its exhausting, and I’m tired of it. I am young, and most people my age are all about going out, getting drunk, hooking up, and what not. Yes, I have gone out, I have had a drink in public (I was of age because that’s the classy thing to do), and I felt just fine. Was I crazy trashed? absolutely not. Were there guys involved? I two stepped with a cowboy. That night was perfectly fine, and for my personal boundaries, I crossed no lines. What am I getting at here? You don’t have to live a crazy life to feel alive.

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I ran into this image yesterday, as well as a bracelet (y’all will see later in the week) that overwhelmed me with this message. My life is highly criticized for how “boring” I come off as a twenty-one year old. I understand that I have never acted twenty-one, but when have I ever had the chance to be my age? I’ve been dealing with medical bills, surgeries, insurance agencies, and money since the minute I turned eighteen. I lived a crazy life just balancing that stupidity, and my body? It has its own identity too. My heart has struggled beyond its years to keep pumping, and now thanks to amazing medicine, its reversing its age slowly. Therefore, I am tired, I deal with things that eighty-year-old people are used to. On top of this madness, I grew up a tad different. My mornings consisted of watching “I Dream Of Jeannie”, and while you listened to Hilary Duff,  I listened to bands like “America” and “The Doors.” I’ve always been different, and quite an older soul. So now in my twenties, feeling like I’ve lived twenty lives already, I’m quite tired. Calm sounds fabulous to me.

As a PH patient or anyone with a disease, you don’t have to be crazy. In fact, if your body doesn’t feel that, then why do it? A calm life is still a fabulously happy life. I do go out dancing with my friends, dance with guys that don’t look like serial killers, or have a margarita with friends at a nearby restaurant. I’m indulging in ways that I feel appropriate, and I feel alive. You don’t have to over extend your energy to keep up, or feel obligated to go crazy because “you only have one life!” ENJOY your life, whatever that may be. Yes, I only have one life, and sometimes I will enjoy that having a cup of coffee with my cat, lesson planning for my class, or thinking about how many kids I want.

-haley.

*Don’t forget to enter the Fault In Our Stars Contest! Check out the contest tab for more details!! Check out our song of the week, Afternoon by Pat Metheny.*

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Fashion Friday: My Galian PH Awareness Tote.

Happy Fashion Friday! I’ve finally decided to post about my lovely Galian purse I bought back in July to show my support for PH. Just in case you missed that, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association was featured in People’s Fashion Week for Galian purses donating with every purchase of this lovely mirrored tote! Yay for publicity, right?! This being a very extremely cool moment, I had to participate and purchase one. peoplestylewatchAbout a week later, my tote arrived! It was safely packaged and the purse itself came inside a protective and reusable bag. I can definitely use it to put groceries in, or something! On top of that, it came with a very flashy, gold reusable bag that I can use for random errands as well. The purse itself? HUGE. Which I love! It’s very shiny, I absolutely love the leather handles and accents, as well as the leopard lining! This is going to be a perfect traveling purse for doctor appointments, and what not because you can fit anything in this bag due to it being so tall. I carried a magazine in it forever, and it wasn’t even noticeable. I mean seriously, were they thinking about us patients, and all our medical documents when they designed this bag? Anyways, I’m so happy I made this purchase not only because I love purses, I love fashion, but I got to support, and represent a very small part of Pulmonary Hypertension. Please check out http://www.galianonline.com to see their very large and amazing collection of bags, my favorite thing ever. Seriously, my purse fetish is insane, and I’m happy to add this to the collection. Thank you so much Galian for your support!

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-haley.

We Present To You…A New T-shirt Design.

Yesterday while scrolling through Facebook, I saw a post that reminded me about PH awareness month approaching us quickly. Crap!! What the heck am I going to do? I’m still in a very “stuck” process of actually hosting an event in my hometown. Maybe one day…BUT, until then, I’m releasing a new shirt design. I think this a lovely tradition I might do each year, because last year I started the lungs which BLEW UP. This year we have a different set of lungs. This is the chosen design for this year, and I would love to hear some feedback!! Tell me what you think about seeing this on a shirt this year to represent PH Awareness month. I hope y’all like the design and have a lovely Thursday. The sooner we have good feedback, the sooner we start collecting orders.

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-haley.

Withdrawal, Here I Come.

Addiction; the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity. A plague that has been attacking us humans since the very beginning. Most of the time, we fall into this hole without even realizing we’re standing in it till we look up, realizing how deep we are into the darkness. We pair addiction mostly with drugs, and alcohol, but we tend to look past the fact that addiction can attack us in the “simplest” of ways, fooling us into thinking we’re fine. There is no way we could be addicted to “that.”

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For a long time now, I’ve known how much I love my coffee, dessert, ice cream, and things like so. My best friend has even caught on with my ridiculous cravings, and mood swings when I haven’t had my serving of such things. We never took it seriously, but the word addiction had sputtered out of our mouths a few times. So last night I found myself at Hastings, a giant blueberry muffin in one hand, and a pumpkin pie latte in the other. I turned down an unknown aisle just to eat my muffin in private, and just when I had finished it, a hot pink book captured my attention with the side reading, “Beat Sugar Addiction Now!” My curiosity overwhelmed me, so I found a chair and began reading. It opens up with a short list of what sugar addiction can lead to: Chronic fatigue, Fibromyalgia, pain, decreased immune function, chronic sinusitis, irritable bowel syndrome, autoimmune disease, cancer, hypertension, heart disease, hormonal problems, schizophrenia, yeast infections and ADHD. Remember, Thats the short list. In my continued reading, I find out there are four different types of addicts, and I identified myself as type one. I also took the quiz to see if I was in fact type one. If you scored about 70 then it was a for sure in which you needed to start “rehabilitation” and changing your ways immediately. I scored a 125.

I’ve been trying to improve my lifestyle as well as my weight for over three years now, and haven’t been able to figure out why exactly I fail at it, again and again. Not only has my weight been an issue, but insomnia, the way I eat, chronic headaches, and so many other things that I put back on my disease. Having a disease that can so easily play a part to feeling like crap daily, I never thought that the one thing I loved indulging in was making it worse. You can say, “Haley you have a chronic heart, and lung disease that contributes to you feeling this way.” Um, no. There were too many things that were closely aligned with the way I feel, and behave that explains this sugar addiction. Also, taking a close look at just what I ate today is ridiculous proof. Yes, Pulmonary Hypertension does adjust how I feel daily, but all of this sugar consumption has made it beyond worse. It’s amazing how badly an overuse of sugar can affect us, and leave us only with a train wreck of physical damage. This week I’m starting my new program into a physical recovery from this addiction so I can feel, and look better. For people with sugar addiction it’s called the SHINE technique. Sleep, Hormone support, Infections (helping your immune system), Nutrition and Exercise. It states that I’ll be having withdrawal systems for a while but I should feel somewhat better after ten days. So here is to a new season, a new week, and a new lifestyle. I know all this sounds crazy, but I am living proof with how awful I’ve been feeling physically, and also how I’ve been feeling about myself. If you think you’re suffering from a possible sugar addiction or any addiction in particular, please acknowledge it for what it is, and help yourself.

Check out the amazing book where I received all this information from, Beat Sugar Addiction Now by Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, Also, enjoy the song of the week, “Blood and Peanut Butter” by B.C. Camplight.

-haley.

Contest Tiiiiiiiiime.

I hope this has been a fabulous week for y’all. I’ve embedded myself in John Green’s other book, “Looking for Alaska”. I’m so obsessed with this author, and how much ridiculous talent he possess. Anyways, I’ve been following “The Fault In Our Stars” movie on twitter, seeing pictures from the set, and I can hardly contain myself for it to hit the screen. I am obsessed, but that’s just how my mind works. Utterly obsessed, or completely uninterested. Moving on, Its contest time.

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Here are just four of the most amazing quotes from The Fault in Our Stars, and I want to know which one my readers absolutely love the most. You can send your vote to haley.ann.92@gmail.com, and will automatically be entered in the contest. What could you win? A Just Breathe T-shirt (that you could wear to premiere night!!!) and a copy of The Fault in Our Stars. Get to voting y’all! Contest closes October 24th, 2013. Y’all are awesome, and I hope to see your vote soon!

 

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The Fault In Our Stars.

Note to self: Always remember your caffeine, especially on Sunday. Today has consisted of caffeine withdrawal headaches, and eventually a crash that resulted in a little over an hour of sleep. Oh well. Now its raining hard which is rare for the super dry part of Texas I live in, and I am content. ANYWAYS. I really hadn’t looked into books lately because well, I just haven’t. But I kept seeing this “Fault in Our Stars” book pop up everywhere, so I became super curious. After deciding to actually read what the thing was about, I immediately got in my car, drove to Hastings and purchased it. Just in case you haven’t been in the know with this book, it’s about Hazel, a sixteen year old girl who has terminal cancer (in her lungs), and is dealing with her disease as well as love. IT. IS. AMAZING. Thats all I will say about the actual story of the book, the rest you will have to read.

johngreen

I’ve seen plenty of disease movies, documentaries and so on, but this was my first book. It wasn’t just a book. It was an incredibly intelligent, put together, hit the nail on the head adventure. John Green is beyond talented in writing, AND writing about disease. I was nodding the whole way through and fell in love with how much I could relate. I also fell in love with Augustus, which you will too. Bottom line, I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY encourage you to get this book, read it and love it. It was incredible and totally just amazing. I cannot wait for the movie to come out! Please invest your time, it is worth it. Enjoy the new song of the week, He can only hold her by Amy Winehouse. Love love love it as well.

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-haley.

 

They Did Their Part.

It is “Invisible Disease Awareness Week!” WOO-HOO! Share blog posts, pictures or anything that will tell the public about Pulmonary Hypertension. Anyways, while cleaning my room the other day (thank you Jesus that finally happened) I found these wonderful works of art that some of my 5th grade students did last year. While learning about body systems last year, I educated them on my disease. I cannot even believe how well they picked up on what PH does, and how interested they were! These eager ten-year olds were fantastic. To encourage further learning, they all got to wear awareness ribbons, there was a raffle of PH prizes (paintings of the lungs) and then they had the chance to make their own PH Awareness poster. The winner received a Just Breathe shirt as well as the picture of their work on my blog. I love them so much. ALL of my kids are incredibly talented in their own way and it was amazing to see them show their skill! I cannot speak ENOUGH about how important my kids (students) are to me. I’ve said many times that as a teacher, your students should be number one in your mind and lifting you up. When you are concerned about friends, scores and money…you need to find another job. Children have a sixth sense of knowing who really cares about their existence and happiness, and who doesn’t. They just know. That’s when a student-teacher bond is formed, when they can sense that you care. They are still your student, and they need hard discipline, but they need to be loved as well. Evaluate your actions carefully.

I love and miss these kids so incredibly much just talking about them! I can’t believe how excited they were to learn about PH! Here were our contest winners:

Brianna, 10 years old

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Ruben, 10 years old

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Arent they so talented? I love them. I love my students. I love kids. Thank you to all my sweet babies who learned and did their part in raising awareness at such a young age, and truly caring. Are you doing your part?

-haley.

I Am Tired.

jesusMany apologies loves for not posting, and things like so. September is going to be a rough, very busy and crazy month! Why you ask? The first month of school is always crazy since we are adjusting to new schedules! Also, I’m exposed for the first time in a while to all these kids which means I’m getting sick AGAIN. I’ll probably be sick through October, because this happens almost every year! So please please please be patient when it comes to getting in contact with me or with posting, because I’m adjusting. I’m either at school, work or at home asleep. I am hoping for understanding! Also, when it comes to shipping packages, things are getting tricky. I’m at school at the beginning part of the day, then I have to travel to work. By the time I leave work the post office is closed. So that is why it has been SO difficult with shipping!

I’m sorry y’all. I have no inspiring words today other than to catch y’all up. I am busy, tired, sick and overwhelmed. Other than that, I will be contacting someone for Survivor Sunday, FINALLY. Enjoy the new song of the week Could be Anything by Eames Era. It’s from Grey’s and I love it so incredibly much.

-haley.

Be Their Person.

A disease lurking in the background of any type of relationship is always heavy and a very tricky balance. Romantic especially, but do we put any thoughts into our friendships? Do we actually need to groom, re-balance and gain perspective on these type of relationships? Even though its your best friend, well, yes. Because if a disease eats away your organs and life, its likely to get to anything it wants to and it becomes your job to fight it.

person

Since my life has been somewhat a wreck lately, I’ve been watching fictional characters live theirs and I’m much happier. AKA, I’m hooked on Grey’s Anatomy and have finished so many seasons in one week its embarrassing. Yes, its unhealthy but we wont go there. I don’t recommend watching greys if you have a rare disease but they make very valid points sometimes. I have found myself bawling my eyes out over junk, drooling over Patrick Dempsey but I was really interested when Izzy (one of the main characters) was diagnosed with cancer. I watched as her friends had no idea how to handle her, react or what to say. She was admitted into the hospital (where they work) and kept saying that she was fine. So all her friends took those words and tended to their jobs while Izzy sat in her hospital bed, bored, alone and knitting. Eventually chemo caught up leaving her extremely sick and she ended up having to go back into surgery. If anyone knows Doctor Miranda Bailey (LOVE HER) she told the friends what a crappy job they did and tomorrow, do better.

Why am I telling you this? Because there is so much truth in it, its ridiculous. All the time we try to show everyone how strong we are with our disease. That it has our lungs and that’s it! We are fine, we are good, we don’t need anything…except we do. And that’s ok. Stop trying to play strong when you’re going to a very big appointment, surgery or maybe when its a bad breathing day. Communication gets you places and your friends have no idea what you might need or want. They are trying to do anything you say so when you reply with, “I can handle it” then that’s what they hear and move on. You have to speak up. I tell Candice all the time that I will have enough family at a surgery and that I need a friend. Luckily, she was there when the doctor told me I was in heart failure and she got to hear that breakdown, but I’m glad I didn’t have to do that by myself. If you’re the friend and not the patient? We always pretend that we’re ok, but really we are struggling. Whether that’s physically or mentally, we have demons like anybody that can catch up at anytime. You need to be actively present in their life through ANYTHING. That nine o’clock at night run to Starbucks helps in more ways than you can imagine. We’ve already lost what feels like our own body. We can’t even control it anymore and we are living day-to-day hoping we make it through alive. Don’t make us feel like we’ve lost you too. I don’t care if we say we’re fine, no one wants to be alone at the hospital. Would you? No one wants to sit at home by themselves reflecting on how empty their life is. Step in and be there. Our life is hard enough physically, and mentally is a whole other battle. Don’t forget to breathe for yourself.

What I’m trying to get out is, be their person. Thats all anybody really needs is a loving family… and their person. It’s a tough job, can you handle it?

-haley.

Better Things Are Coming.

So my loves it’s the first day of September. I’m officially converting to fall, breaking out the dark lipstick, pumpkin candles and trying to embrace new life.

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It finally hit me that today is actually September and I was supposed to do Survivor Sunday. Ooops! I’m so sorry I haven’t posted much, emailed and kept up. The first week of school is always super hard on me not only because I’m still a student but also teaching. So the first week is just beyond crazy, tiring, emotional and everything else. BUT ANYWAYS, a week from today I will write a Survivor Sunday post! If you’ve already entered your story, then I have it. If you want the chance to win a shirt, submit your story to haley.ann.92@gmail.com BY FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 6TH. Also, Instagram added a sidebar to WordPress (FINALLY)! I love Instagram so much because I love taking pictures. Sooo, I’m excited about that update. I’m sorry I haven’t done any real writing in a while, but prepare yourself for some actual writing this week. Enjoy the song of the week, Tin Sparrow’s “For You”. It’s just amazing and that’s all I have to say about that. Keep your chin up lovelies, it’s the beginning of a new season and month. Better things are coming.

-haley.