Pure Positivity, No Negativity

Hey y’all! It’s been a little while since I have posted and let me tell you, I have missed writing and posting! My mother-in-law spent last week in the hospital in another town so I was running around like a mad woman all last week between her at the hospital, mine and my husband’s doctors appointments, kids and school, etc. It was a crazy week and I am so thankful she is home now and life has returned back to my normal; which is not normal at all. Ha!

Lately, I am struggling with being positive ALL THE TIME on EVERYTHING. Some days I just want to give up, lay in my bed, and cry. But then I think to myself, “what good would that do?” Yeah, it will make me feel better temporarily, but is it getting me anywhere? It just makes my lungs hurt because when I get upset and cry, it puts more stress on my lungs and breathing.

So I have decided that I will do my very best to be POSITIVE as much as I can. I have realized that in every bad situation, something good comes out of it; might not be today, might not be tomorrow, might not understand the bad, might not understand why. If we look at the negative in every situation, we tend to stay negative. I want my life to be filled with positivity. And I am very guilty of having those days where I feel sorry for myself because I can’t work, I’m mad because at 36 years old I should be working full time and helping support my family, I shouldn’t have to write every single thing down because I forget so fast now. Those are just a few things that stick in my negative mind every single day.

I have decided that today will be the day that I will fill my life with positive thoughts, positive actions, and positive people. If the world had more positive people in it, life would be great. I see so many people walking around with sour looks on their faces; me included some days. I want to see people smile. I want to help make people smile. I want to lift people up when they are having a bad day. I encourage all of you to join me in filling your life with positivity. Put a smile on someone’s face today!

It’s a coupon thing!

Last week I had a great trip to Bi-Lo and Harris Teeter! The Super Bowl was coming up and I wanted to fix what I call “football food,” which is finger foods. I had some great coupons so I set out on my journey to Bi-Lo and Harris Teeter to see how much money I could save this week!

If you have a Bi-Lo near you, you should shop there! They are the best store to use coupons at, as they double up to $.99 on coupons. They also have great deals on Buy 1 Get 1 Free deals…and in case you didn’t know, you can use 2 coupons on B1G1 deals! So here we go…if you have a coupons that is $.55 off of one item and that item is B1G1, you can use 2 coupons, one for each item you are purchasing. Now that coupon will double to $1.10 off EACH item that is B1G1.

Perfect example:
8 pack of hot dogs are $3.99/pack but on sale for Buy 1 Get 1 Free.
You have 2 coupons that are $.55 off. Each coupon doubles to $1.10 off.
So you purchase 2 packs of hot dogs for a total of $3.99.
You use your 2 coupons to get $2.20 off of your 2 packs of hot dogs.
Your final total for those 2 packs of hot dogs is $1.79 for BOTH PACKS!!

Each store has their own coupon policy so it’s very useful to learn each policy from top to bottom. Unfortunately, there are people out there that have taken advantage of couponing and have caused the stores to become a lot more strict on using coupons.

Here are my 2 receipts of savings for my trips to Bi-Lo and Harris Teeter last week. I’m looking forward to seeing what deals this week brings!

Harsh Reality of Sarcoidosis

As I sit here at my kitchen table crying, I have just submitted my resignation letter to my employer that I have been with for the past 13 years. Never in my life would I have thought that at 36 years old, I would no longer be able to work. This disease has taken so much from me over the past 4 years and yes, I am down right angry about it today. I’m angry, sad, hurt, confused, and jealous of those that are completely healthy. I had to go to the hospital yesterday and have lab work done because I have felt like absolute crap the past several weeks. And for those that don’t know, I had gastric bypass December 12, 2016 and have lost a total of 114 pounds thus far. To me, that’s wayyyyyyy too much weight for me to loose. My goal was to get to 150 and I am down to 112 pounds. I’m scared yall.

So now that I limit myself to being in the public with all this flu mess going around, I have started to gather recipes for baking. I use to make and decorate cakes on the side and can no longer do that either because of this darn disease. BUT, I’m not letting this disease take my love for baking! I have decided to make cupcakes now. They don’t take long to bake, are very easy to decorate, and I can come up with my own flavors. I have to find something to do that makes me happy.

I have enjoyed this blogging journey so far. I find peace when I can write about how I feel about certain things and how I wish more people understood that just because a disability isn’t visible on the outside, doesn’t always mean anything. I guess now it’s time to focus on me, and how to survive with this disease and all the crap that comes with it. I won’t let the devil win this battle! Not today Satan!

Thursday Coupon Savings

Being that we have 4 females and 2 males in the house, we go through some shampoo and conditioner like nobody’s business. So I went through my coupon book and found that I had some coupons for some shampoo and conditioner. Now I use to shop only for certain brands of things and never strayed from my Pantene shampoo and Colgate toothpaste. However, now that I have learned to coupon, I no longer buy stuff that I do not have coupons for. Well, except today when I had to get some laundry detergent and I didn’t have any coupons for that. So below you will see my trail of savings and what I got from Bi-Lo. If you have a Bi-Lo near you, they are the best place to shop with coupons, in my opinion. They double coupons EVERYDAY and often have great deals on buy one, get one free, 2 for $5, etc.

Now don’t misunderstand me. I use to hate having to go to several stores just to get groceries each week. It’s always easier to get everything in one place. However, since learning to coupon, most of the time, I look forward to going to the different stores to see how much money I can save at each store. Walmart, by far, as the cheapest “brand name” things in my area. But, they don’t double coupons. So, I get the better deal going to Bi-Lo and the other grocery stores to get most of my things.

Every penny that I can save my family is a penny that can go to another bill. I am bound and determined not to struggle since being out of work. I want to take you all on the journey with me! Subscribe to the blog and follow me on my savings journey just by learning to use coupons!

2 Year Surgical Anniversary and Many Thanks

My how time flies! I remember this time 2 years ago being rolled down a cold, bright hallway in crocodile tears knowing I was about to have ANOTHER lung resection because of this “mysterious” illness that I had going on in my lungs. All I could think about was how bad the first one hurt, how bad it hurt to breathe or move, and how bad it hurt when the surgeon ripped that chest tube out 2 days after surgery! As I rolled down the hallway, I remember praying to God, “please just let me make it back home to my babies. They need me Lord.”

So today, on this 2 year surgical anniversary, I am thankful for the blessings in my life. I am thankful that God has never left me or forsaken me during this crazy journey the past 4 years. I am so blessed and thankful for a family that supports me and is there for me no matter what. Sometimes it is hard to find the things to be thankful for when we are fighting such an unknown illness. I hope that you can dig deep down and be thankful that God has given us another day to share our stories!

Snowflake Family

So here in the sunny south, we hardly ever get snow. Well, this past Wednesday, we got almost 6 inches here in upstate SC! The kids were elated that they were out of school and it was snowing! Me, on the other hand, was wondering how long the snow was gonna last and how long they would be out of school!

This snow was special to me as I had just posted about snowflakes, what they mean to us sarcoidosis warriors. and how we are all different in our own special ways. So I braved the cold, went out on the porch, and took some pictures with my iPhone 7 plus. I tried my best to get a good picture of a real, close up snowflake with my phone. I didn’t think I had captured any good photos, but surprisingly, a few turned out very good!

As I look at these pictures, I am reminded of how far I have come since November 2014 when I was diagnosed. All the surgeries, medicines, hospitalizations, doctor visits, etc. are overwhelming at times. I am so thankful for a lung doctor that understands my disease, frustrations, and listens to me whine and cry about this disease and how it’s not fair that at 36 years old I can’t work, can’t run, and have to take several breaks during the day just to make it to bed time.

Sometimes I feel like a lost snowflake in this journey of sarcoidosis. Everyone is so different and we all have so many different symptoms, but some have like symptoms. But just like snowflakes fall together, we as sarcoidosis warriors stick together just like snowflakes. I encourage you all to reach out to each other for uplifting and positive thoughts as we press on in the journey of sarcoidosis!

Back on the coupon wagon!

Took a trip to Bi-Lo today to get some things for the week. Nothing too much, but I noticed they had some things on sale that I had coupons for. With 3 teenagers, a husband, a 12 year old son, a dog, a cat, and a monkey, our grocery bill use to be anywhere from $250-350 per week. Now that I have gotten back on the couponing wagon, I am feeling pretty good about my savings here lately!

I enjoy going to the grocery store now since I have gotten back on the couponing wagon! I also enjoy telling others how to coupon the correct way and how to get the most bang for your buck! Make sure to subscribe to see how much money I save each week!

Snowflakes

Just a few fun facts about sarcoidosis for y’all on this chilly Monday morning! The snowflake is the symbol for those of us fighting sarcoidosis. Sarcoidosis is like a snowflake because patients have so many different symptoms. No snowflake is like the other; they are all different shapes and sizes, much like us fighters. Purple is the color of the sarcoidosis awareness ribbon. Sarcoidosis is a multi-organ disease. However, I only have it in my lungs at this point. I have pulmonary sarcoidosis that limits my ability to be able to walk long distances, run, and sometimes just breathing is difficult without pain. When it’s so cold outside, breathing the cold air in my lungs makes me hurt.

So, on this chilly Monday morning, I will be doing things in shifts. Fold laundry, sit on couch; wash dishes, sit on couch; make bed, sit on couch…I miss the days when I could do all of these things in an hour and go on about my day.

Where it all began…

Y’all ready for this crazy ride of mine that I call life with sarcoidosis as a wife, mother, daughter, and sister? It’s been a CRAZY one so far, but by the grace of God I’m still here!

On October 29, 2014 I came down with a barky cough and thought I had bronchitis.  Nothing new for me as I usually have it once or twice a year.  I go to my primary care doctor and she gives me all the big-gun medicines including antibiotics and Prednisone.  From this point on, you will see me refer to Prednisone as “Prednicrap.” If any of you have ever been on it, you know exactly what I’m talking about!

Fast forward 2 weeks of being on the medicines and I return to inform her that I am worse than I was when I originally came in.  She proceeds to give me 2 shots, one of antibiotic and one of a different type of steroid.  Fast forward another week and I am STILL no better despite her efforts.  She looks at me and says to me, “I’m not sure what’s going on and I am referring you to a lung specialist.” Ummmm….ok?!?! Not to mention I am now suffering from EVERY SINGLE side affect there is from the Prednicrap, including yelling one minute, crying the next, drinking fluids like there is no tomorrow, and riding the emotional roller coaster of what in the heck is going on!

I finally see the lung specialist and he is puzzled as well.  By this time I have had every test known to man including a bronchoscopy, CT needle biopsy, xrays, CT scans, and 2 open lung surgeries.  First guess was “it’s an infectious process,” then it was “I think it’s a type of TB” (from another specialist), it’s “reflux” (from that same specialist), it’s “hystoplasmosis (from a surgeon”), blah blah blah…

Then it happened; on November 14, 2014 a different lung specialist officially diagnosed me with pulmonary sarcoidosis.  Ummmmm what the heck is that? Am I going to die? Am I going to have to have ANOTHER lung surgery? Is this fatal? How do I get rid of it? How did I get it? Oh dear Lord what am I gonna do now???

And so the journey begins…