Today is April 30, 2015. On this day, two years ago, April 30, 2013, a nurse who I refer to as Miss Lisa saved my life. When I went into respiratory arrest in became severely acidotic I shouldn't have survived but I did; thanks to the pediatric intensive care unit staff at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. I remember thinking I'm dying and it was a scary thought but it showed me what I regretted in my life. I remember thinking Lord please don't take me now I haven't gotten my driver's license. I haven't gone to a high school dance yet, but most importantly I haven't made a difference in this world yet. I remember saying an act of contrition just in case, because if those are my last words on earth I wanted them to be devoted to God. I remember thinking my last words to my parents my brother, my grandma Nan, Grandma Bayer, my aunt, my uncle, and my cousin Brie. I saw my life flash before my eyes and for the most part, I was happy with what I saw. And so on this day, I want to thank everybody who has played a major role in my life I love you guys, and even the people that have wronged me thank you for making me a stronger person because I wouldn't be the person I am today without all The people in my life.
I'm going to step back here a second to recall one memory of the day... I remember hearing my mom tell me that she loved me and her telling me to stay strong and fight. However, I wasn't able to respond, as everything went completely dark and silent again.
Even though this was a scary experience, I wouldn't have learned many of the things l learned without this experience. Thank you to everybody who supported me over the years, and to anyone whose struggling with something today, trust God and remember my motto, keep your chin up and charge the mountain!
When I started taekwondo in January 2014, I spent so much of my time being afraid of all the unknowns I couldn't control in my life. At that time, my ability to walk and be independent was in serious jeopardy. I felt like every time I turned around there was something scary new challenge to deal with. After 15 months of training, I can say with complete confidence that even though I can't control everything in life, I truly believe I will overcome any obstacles I face no matter how big, scary, or impossible they seem to overcome. I've learned that at the end of the day, I'm stronger than I ever thought possible.
When I started SWATting, I realized that I had to walk and stay active for reasons bigger than me. I have a whole bunch of white and orange belts depending on me to be healthy to help out with their class.
Confidence... It's a funny thing to think about sometimes. There are so many ways to say it: inner strength, conviction, belief, trust, credence, self-assurance. To make it easier for the kids to understand in martial arts, we describe it in one word...
Martial arts rescued me from my failing body, my shaky confidence, and gave me the ability to lead. It's my escape from a sometimes difficult reality
I'm my own biggest challenge. When reality and my drive and determination collide, it's difficult. Does hard work, drive, determination, confidence, and passion beat talent when pure talent itself fails? It's nights like these where I swear I need a sports psychologist.
Setting my sights on being the 2016 Pennsylvania State Women's 18-29 1st Degree Black Belt Combat Weapons Champion!
Every once in a while, you come across an individual who rocks your world. They challenge you to ponder life's most challenging questions and push you to be the very best you can be. They teach to persevere and encourage you to set the world on fire; to make a great change and be that person that the world looks to do great things. They are there for you when no one else is and they understand situations that few others can. It is impossible to repay those people who have that incredible impact on your life. However, when I handed the hearing aids that provided me access to a world of sound to one of my most influential teachers, I knew the gift of hearing and my success in life would be the best way to repay him for his hard work over the last 4 years. It has been a year since these pictures were taken. A year that he has had access to optimal sound and it is a day that I will never forget.
~March 23, 2014~
Just a simple and quick poem I wrote about my struggles with CRPS. I also scribbled this picture as well.
I wish I never injured my pinkie.
I wish that I could live a typical teenaged life.
I wish I hadn't been robbed of my basketball career.
I wish I could have my junior and senior years of high school back to live like a typical teen.
I wish I didn't have to worry about the future.
I wish I wasn't a "chameleon".
I wish I didn't have to spend so much time in the hospital, when I could be out exploring the world.
I wish I didn't have to be poked and jabbed with needles.
I wish I didn't have to go through procedures and surgeries.
I wish the tests would stop.
I wish I didn't have to gag down medications four times a day.
I wish I could sleep through the night.
I wish I never had to worry about when my body will fail me next.
I wish I could run without rolling an ankle.
I wish I could hop like a rabbit without a thousand knives waiting to stab me when I hit the ground.
But most of all, I wish I didn't have to feel this icy fire engulf my body, change my temperature, make me sick, and swell me up like a balloon.
I wish I may, I wish I might have a cure for CRPS tonight.
This entry is a true recollection of the events that took place April 29-30th, 2013.
"I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well." --Diane Ackerman
I am a 20 year old junior at the college of my dreams. I am studying Emergency Medicine and Communication Rhetoric and minoring in the Administration of Justice and National Preparedness and Emergency Management certificate. At some point, I want to go and get my paramedic certification when my health allows. I have several chronic illnesses and this blog and website serves as a place for me to share my journey fighting CRPS and my other conditions. I hope that this blog can also serve as an outlet for raising awareness for rare diseases. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy! Feel free to comment; I'd love to know what you think!