Monday Funday! Yea, Right.

Got a case of the sucky Mondays? A contest can fix that! Finally! We are pretty much caught up on ALL of our shipping (and sending out goodie packs), so the contest shall commence! Yes, we got behind in the past on shipping because of trying to keep up with all the shipping when it came to the T-shirt mishaps AND contests. However, the new rule for contest winners! ALL WINNING PACKAGES ARE NOW SHIPPED THE 28th OF EACH MONTH. Whenever you win, it’ll be shipped the 28th, no matter WHEN you win. That is the official shipping day to keep us on track, and to keep our winners happy! Moving forward…

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To kick off our first contest in 2014, it’s a super easy one. All you have to do is find the official Facebook page (Facebook.com/phenomenalhaley) and like it! Everyone who likes the Facebook page will be put in the system, and one random person will win a Just Breathe T-shirt! So head on over, and like the page! It’s as simple as that. The Facebook page keeps you updated on my life, contests, upcoming events, blah blah blahhhh. Sometimes its just easier to pop on Facebook and update that quickly! So please find us to stay further in tune with whats going on on the blog! Y’all are awesome, so participate. 😉 Have a lovely week y’all! Its only the beginning!

-haley.

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Heart Healthy Week: Thoughtful Thursday.

Oh, this week y’all…we’re going to stay positive!!

Heart Healthy Week: Thoughtful Thursday.

Dont let the goofy title confuse you. I’m not talking about thoughtful as in thinking of others (because you should be doing that anyways), but I’m speaking about your own thoughts…and how powerful just those can be.

The other day I heard someone mention the word reputation, and I think I might have actually twitched. I had either a Clueless or Meangirl flashback. Isn’t that the meanest word you’ve ever heard? Okay, maybe it’s not the absolute worst but still. I had no idea that we still linger on our idea of “reputations” and other people’s “reputations.” GoodNESS.

For the longest time I was a gossip, loved to gossip, and still catch myself doing it. Hello, we all do. However, you can learn to control it and flip your state of mind when it comes to gossiping. Living in a small town word gets around fast, you bump into people who you already somewhat know, but have never even met, and when something happens you want to escape. Why? This so-called “reputation.” Let me just say this, when you reach a point to not care about other people, and their opinions, life is so freeing. Reputation to me just screams scoreboard! Like we’re all walking around with little pens and paper, and keeping tally over who is doing what with who, where that happened, how they are, and how much we can laugh in their mistake. Seriously people? Is the word reputation sounding awful just yet? In December, I kind of had this revelation. No longer will I ever judge a person based on what someone else has told me. I will meet them myself, what they say to me will in turn leave me to my private thoughts about that person. And even then, I have no idea what they have personally been through, what their personal choices are, and it’s not my place to even try to understand that. It’s merely my place to smile, and be supportive. Why? We as humans are called to love people.

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Also, has anyone ever thought about spending time alone with your own thoughts? To anyone that has ever gone through anything mentally, that sounds like a terrifying idea. Usually we’re encouraged to stay busy to escape our own thoughts. Lately, its been so refreshing though to just soak in a bath, write, sketch, or lay down with Rocco. I consider this a reconstructive time that I’m going to need the rest of my life. Sometimes when we’re so busy with other people, and clouded with their talking, and their thinking, we really lose ourselves. I know a lot of moms go through this when it comes to our loving families. But, our own bodies, and minds are keeping us going. Sometimes you just need to sit down or go out, and be alone for a while with yourself, and reconstruct your mind or way of thinking for that time. Get into a habit of relaxing into your own thoughts, and it becomes quite peaceful rather than scary…and a process of accepting yourself.

People should be less consumed in their thoughts associated with someone’s “reputation”, or the fact that a “reputation” should even exist. Its called actually learning to love and accept people…which in reality could reflect into accepting yourself. You should never be concerned with scoring others, or even yourself. What a miserable life that makes for not just you…but seriously. When you have medical bills, tubes up your nose or coming out of your chest, pills to swallow…who has time to judge others or you? Think of who you are, and think of other peoples feelings. Relax. Love you, and love others!

-haley.

Emotions Are High.

Finally, Rocco is asleep and I’m done crying. I honestly do not know how you caregivers do it sometimes, and I reached my breaking point today.

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The meaning of Caregiver to us patients has always been who’s provided for us from the beginning. Who comes with us to appointments, drives us home after surgeries, and who is at our side when this disease shows its ugly side through our challenging bodies. I never thought much about how my Dad has felt towards me, and after being a caregiver to Rocco Ricardo through a very rough almost six months, I’m losing it. Rocco came to me shortly after being diagnosed, and was in a way a caregiver to me. He was the consistent lovable force through very ugly times, and looked to me as his “mom” for just as much love and support as he was showing me. From day one he has always been my baby, and this is truly one of those cases where he, in turn, rescued me. When his episodes started happening I really hoped for a change. I’ve prayed, shoved pills down his throat, liquids, diet changes, and we see his doctor more than I see mine in a year. I really felt that miraculously he would improve, and that the good phases he goes through would get longer, and eventually his episodes would just stop. After all, he is only three years old? Why is my eighteen year old cat still climbing his bony self up tree’s and my three-year old is in the house sleeping all day? It’s not fair. Not at all. Rocco’s bad month has extended into almost six months. His doctor said that his lungs are looking worse, he sounds worse, and dad and I are taking different shifts when it comes to administering treatments to keep him breathing. I cried today because I’m exhausted. Hooking tubes up, paying for medical bills that don’t seem to help, keeping him somewhat breathing, distracting him, and keeping him happy. I am so damn tired, yet I will still do all of these things even at four in the morning just to see Rocco somewhat breathing good (the best he ever will), sitting upright, walking around, and attempting to be happy maybe one hour a day. Last Friday I watched him aspirate a liquid medication that was supposed to help, and he almost left us. After an hour of treatments and hooking up my oxygen to blow in his face, he finally was breathing in big chunks of air. Today he coughed his lungs up, and treatment after treatment he put his head down, and tried to hide from me while I caught myself yelling at dad asking why he is acting weird, and to figure it out. I watched myself finally realize how terrified I am of death, and that my three-year old is definitely not far from this black hole. I realized that I have never been so scared for him, and that I am losing one of my caregivers. He was there for me when I was on bedrest, experimenting with treatments, and when I cried my eyes out into his black fur through a breakup. Now Its my job to make him as comfortable as possible, and to be his caregiver. I’m exhausted, I’m upset, and I don’t know  how the parents of any kid with a disease can do this. I cried today because I am so questionable of death, and am scared to see him in his last moments not acting as himself. Kuddo’s to you caregivers, and what you do for ANYONE, child or adult, that needs assistance. There are not enough words to describe the unknowing and numbing pain you experience as a caregiver, that you were not originally warned of. Thats all I have to say about that.

-haley.

Fashion Friday: Feel Good.

Oh, finally. I have not forgotten, in fact this is a daily subject in my life. Also, a passionate subject. FASHION FRIDAY!!!!

So, usually I’m giving tips on how to cover up some medical PH mishaps (fat ankles, red blotching, tubes, oxygen, cold) due to medication that we take, but lets not forget about the MENTAL side to our disease. We can cover our bodies however we need to, but we also need clothes to make us feel good. When I think about amazing fashion that makes us feel good only one person immediately comes to mind. betseyBETSEY JOHNSON.

Of course its Betsey. Of course. If you have no clue who I’m talking about, lets sum it up to the queen of pink, fun, and staying true to yourself. Betsey is a designer that started in the 60’s (Alley Cat by Betsey). She had a great, and extravagant taste that didn’t stop her! She stayed true to her crazy fun self, and pushed through. Now she’s an extremely successful and well-known designer. She’s famous for doing a cart-wheel at the end of her runway shows, and these aren’t the boring runway shows either. The models are laughing, playing around, blowing kisses, and all of this is encouraged by Betsey. Her clothes, shoes, perfumes, sunglasses, socks, purses, and even cards and stationary sets are a hit! You can find her at Macy’s, Dillards, Nordstrom, and Michael’s for your cards and pens! She’s fabulous.

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Moving on, her personality is just contagious. Never has she once acted like she cared which is so refreshing. She’s truthful to the core, and everyone needs a “Betsey” in their life. In fact, the world needs a whole lot more of Betsey! Many times I’ve used her leopard fuzzy socks to wear into surgery because not only are they warm, but fabulous. So, if you are looking to add a little spice to your life in fashion, or anything of the sort, think Betsey! Just looking at her products will make anyone smile. Fashion Icon at its finest. Thank you Betsey for being you! Happy Friday Loves. Take care of every part of you!

Processed with VSCOcam with x1 presetRocking my new Betsey Blues.

photo(125)Betsey “Raven” Sunglasses right before my first specialist appointment.

photo(124)Betsey shirt!

-haley.

Want to see more of Haley’s daily life, and fashion? Follow her on Instagram! @haleyann92

I’m Not Sorry.

I get tattoos. I love showing what inspires me, and what has heavily influenced me even on my body.
I love art because things that are created come from within, and are so beautiful they can’t be described correctly.
I love black cats, especially Rocco. I don’t think they’re bad luck, I think they’re just as beautiful as any other cat if not more. I don’t believe in animal, or human discrimination.
I quit school. Not necessarily because I hate it, but I already have medical bill collectors harassing my phones, and I don’t need anymore debt.
I believe in loud lipstick. Life is short, wear the hot pink lips.
I like vodka. After you apply the lipstick, have some fun, responsibly of course.
I love giant high heels. Life’s short, doesn’t mean your legs have to be.
I love 50’s early 60’s music. It’s incredibly fun to dance to, especially when you’re making breakfast.
I start every morning by watching I Dream of Jeannie. I think the light-hearted comedy is perfect to wake up to, and that doesn’t make me weird.
I’m either utterly obsessed with something, or not interested at all. That does in fact make me weird.
I believe in being realistic, and then God will take over when he needs to. I believe children deserve the absolute best.
I guess I’m really passionate about conserving the past, history, art, and the way things were done. I love history. I believe that if anything sparks my interest to become completely, and utterly educated on it. I love meeting new people, and talking to complete strangers. The weirdest people can be the coolest, and friendliest people. I believe that in a way I was born to raise hell, and get people’s attention. I’ve never been one to follow rules, conform, or stay quiet. It can be unfortunate sometimes, but it’s my life. These things are me, and honestly I’m just tired of apologizing for who I am. I am not sorry, not anymore.

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Briley Dockery Photography

-haley.

I’m Still Surviving.

I’ve become one of those people who follows “survivor” accounts, quotes, and what not to stay updated on all that cool lingo. However, with Pulmonary Hypertension, we are on life-sustaining treatment which I guess in a way means we are constantly surviving. I have trouble calling myself a “survivor” because I’m not quite done yet.

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It may seem like a negative outlook to many, but a lot of us still have this same view whether we realize it or not. PH is still barely caught in the doctor’s office being its usual invisible self. Even after diagnosis, there is still no cure available. Treatment is built around the idea of making it to the end of the day, and not falling apart. People love to say that “we are survivors” yet I really want to say “of today. We WILL be survivors.” Now that sounds better. I’m totally guilty of the survivor talk too though. It’s not a bad thing at all, but it’s highly unfortunate, and can be changed.

Lets rewind for a minute. Someone asked me someday how long I’ll blog until I completely focus on school (which I finally quit.) Three years ago, I would’ve buried my head in my schooling, and opted for the more stable job. However, I’ve began to step back, and analyze things more closely. This blog is my life, and what I want to DO with my life. My writing, my goals, and my PH community are what keep me going, and I’m not stopping. I’m aiming for lights. And overall, this all ties back into calling ourselves Survivors. If it wasn’t for not having a cure, for suffering through treatment, and mental trials, I would have nothing to write about. This keeps me going so one day we can call ourselves Survivors rather than Surviving. All of this will get out there one day, spark interests, get attention, get people thinking, money donated, and hopefully curing Pulmonary Hypertension. We will Survive, and we will be a Survivor one day saying that we went through our time “surviving” with a treatment, and became a Survivor with a cure. The catch? I need your help getting there. You know what to do y’all. I’m glad y’all are my community of supporters. You are the absolute best.
Check out the song this week, I.G.Y by Steely Dan. “What a beautiful world it will be, What a glorious time to be free.” Check it out y’all.
-haley.

Unfortunate Events.

I finally took my medication last night, and now I’m just a girl with a headache. Hmm, just a headache? Well, that’s how I appear at least. I forgot how much a disease can hurt. After so many months you become numb to the constant feeling of the pain that a disease can bring. Forever, I thought the heart attack like episodes happening daily had to be normal. I was growing immune to them. After my life saving treatment came about, I felt what I thought was normal which in reality was just “better” until the side effects kicked in. When most people see me the day after I take my medication they think I’m probably dramatic or exaggerating. I complain about my head, and what not, and to them it’s just ordinary. The pain this disease brings in every way is anything but ordinary.

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Hours after I swallow the pills that supposedly save my life, a series of events overwhelms my body. The ridiculous drop in blood pressure makes getting out of bed, showering, and even standing up a difficult task. My heart just wants to rest because its been fighting its whole life for just a break, and now with this low blood pressure, why not try? Sometimes the action of merely lifting my hands above my head to wash my hair can take my breath away, and make sparkles appear everywhere because my body wants to turn itself off. These pills are professionals in dilating every blood vessel in my body to the point that my blood boils beneath my skin, and rises to the surface in weird areas causing a red-hot uncomfortable rash. Believe me, it’s not cute either. The pills have dilated my blood vessels so much that the ones in my head feel as thought they might explode. Everything tightens making any light, sound, movement, and even food a horrendous experience, and sometimes I cant even open my jaw because that’s the level of pain that my head is enduring. The pills are so exact in making sure that everything is dilated to the point that my body retains fluid, which sinks down into my feet. My legs, ankles, and feet swell as though I’m nine months pregnant, pushing me up two shoe sizes, and cutting my feet open to let them drain becomes a rational thought. That’s how badly they can hurt. Lets not forget the feeling of no longer having control over your body. You feel as though you are regulating your breathing quite well, yet for some reason that indescribable feeling still encroaches upon you. The oxygen is slipping out of your lungs quicker than you can replace it, you lose the feeling of the atmosphere that you are in, and suddenly you feel like you are ten years away from the room you are existing in. Those sparkles? They may be pretty but they are deadly. You don’t know whether this is “just another weird feeling” or if you actually need to go to the hospital. You’ve done this so many times that sitting on death’s doorstep is normal. So, if these pills don’t work for you? Why, you get all this, and a tube put in your chest for a pretty penny as well.

How ironic that this pain is one of the only things letting us know that we are still alive. Sometimes it doesn’t even feel like its worth it anymore, and that the outside world requires too much energy for the time being. At least, that’s how I feel today. So, this is not just another headache. This is a series of unfortunate events.

-haley.

P.S. Negativity, I know. I’m sorry.

Wake Up.

Destroyed, defeated, and damaged. I really have no idea how else to explain how I’ve felt lately other than those few, and negative words. Taking a far step back to acknowledge everything, a reality hit me in the face and somewhat confused me at that. Why is it almost every humans goal, whether they realize it or they don’t, to destroy someone? As we walk the streets, and go about our days activities we really don’t take to account what all of our actions, and words can do to someone. Thats all part of the human brain though, we all have a different sense of perception, and some humans are ignorant towards that fact.

Someone once told me that love was “giving someone the power to destroy you, but trusting them not to.” How coincidental that he did that very thing, but its okay. Moving on, it honestly just all seems like one universal goal to break people down despite how we feel about ourselves. Posting about people, talking negatively (even if it is behind closed doors), and even TV shows that center their joy on making fun of people, and what outfit they chose to wear. Yes, I’m talking to you Fashion Police. I once loved that show, until I finally woke up. I am so incredibly guilty of this because its like we all evolve into this trance of these actions until we are awakened at how numb we’ve become to another persons existence. I know people who have flat-out said they don’t like me yet have no reason, and admitted to that. I mean really people? How is that humane or logical? Do you have blood pumping through your veins, and an actual heart? I guess you do, but you are just hardened by society.

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I definitely feel destroyed. People don’t think through their actions, and sometimes they have no intent to destroy, but that’s the way the cards fell. I’m tired of my cards falling, I’m tired of things ending, and I’m tired of feeling destroyed. How much lying, criticism, leading on, name-calling, gossiped about, ignored, and pushed over is one person supposed to take? And people wonder why programs such as To Write Love On Her Arms exist, which I’m a huge fan of by the way. Seriously, just stop. Whether its intentional, or not. I think you live a life that is more fulfilled, and not fabricated when you can truly step back and learn to love people you can’t even stand…if that makes sense. That takes actual strength. So, love; giving someone the power to destroy you, but trusting them not to? Love is a silly thing.

-haley.

Merry Christmas Y’all.

Just wanted to say Merry Christmas y’all! I am so thankful for my PH supporters and families. This in itself is a private little world to me that means too much to put into words. Congrats to Summer Gibson! You won the Angel ornament and a Just Breathe T-shirt! Also, check out the blogs Facebook page to stay updated with some private contests! http://www.facebook.com/phenomenalhaley I hope y’all love this blog as much as I do, and it’s definitely opened up a world I thought I would never see. Thank you so incredibly much for following, liking, commenting, sharing, and supporting. Enjoy your Christmas whatever you might be doing. Rocco and I will be doing absolutely nothing other than breathing treatments and relaxing. We are so glamorous. Merry Christmas y’all!

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Last Minute Gift? Check.

This is by far the funnest thing I’ve ever done. Why? Because I love coffee, I collect coffee mugs, I love art, I love crafting…well, you get the point. Anyways, I think homemade gifts speak louder than the two hundred-dollar jeans you bought someone. If you are a last-minute person like me, don’t want to mess with the shopping crowds, and still want a unique gift then this is something you should definitely consider.

Not Just a Sharpie Mugs

photo(105)My mug reads, “I can fall in love with the sound of words.”

Shop Haley’s Zazzle Store!

Or Check out her book!

You will see these all over pinterest, except some people will lead you to believe that this can be done with just a regular sharpie. Well, yes, some people do it that way, but you will soon see your design fading away. I encourage you to instead purchase the super permanent, and perfect for this project “Sharpie Paint Pen.” Make sure to get the oil based pen, NOT the water based. They have a variety of colors to choose from, and since I’m dark and twisty I stuck to black. Moving on!

photo(108)I put a ring on the handle! Have fun with it!

I had hell trying to find cute ceramic mugs. Of course, they were right under my nose the whole time at walmart. This place has a whole section of just plain white ceramic dishes that excited the artist in me! I shall definitely be trying other things soon. Find the cups you will need, I chose a large more rounded mug. It’s all about your preference.

photo(106)I love surprises! Had to write this on the inside.

Shop Haley’s Zazzle Store!

Or Check out her book!

Once you get the mug home, make sure to clean it to get any hand oils and dust particles off the mug. After that you can start your work of art! You will need to shake the paint pen for a little pit, then press the tip down to get the ink flowing to it. DO NOT press it down on the mug. Once a mark is made, it cannot be removed, so carefully plot out your design. Also, the paint pen is moody. It’ll seem like its running out, and sometimes if you try to go over a part of the mug again it’ll look awful. Keep trying until the ink is in “full flow” mode again after shaking it and pressing the tip down again. If you can’t think of a design, get on Pinterest. For the person you’re gifting use their name, obsessions, loves, or whatever. It’ll make a fabulous personalized gift.

photo(107)Whiskers on the other side of course!

Once you are done designing, put the mug inside your NOT TURNED ON YET oven. You want to mug to preheat INSIDE the oven to prevent cracking. Turn it on, set the dial to 425 degrees, and then let the mug bake. Turn your timer to 35 minutes, and keep checking on your mug to make sure it doesn’t turn brown. It didn’t happen to me, but ya never know! The house will smell weird, but once checking on your mug after 35 minutes, if it looks good I gave mine another five minutes just in case. Once your extra optional time is up, turn off the oven and let the mug sit in there for another hour, almost two. It needs to cool down with the oven to prevent cracking.

After you pull your mug out of the oven, it should look the same! If there were some spots where your pen wasn’t as dark, it will seem even lighter on the mug now. Its okay, you know what to do next time. The pen will still have texture on the mug, I tried picking at mine to see (carefully) but nothing came off. Just remember, and tell the person this, NO DISHWASHER! Other than that your mug should be fabulous. Another idea? Get something small like jewelry, a gift card or whatever to wrap and put on the inside. Double surprise! 😉 Enjoy loves! Merry Texas Christmas!

-haley.