Dream and Inspire

Dream and Inspire

There is a place where fantasy becomes reality and dreams are the seeds of inspiration.
My eyes are cups floating on the salty seas and I fish for the non wavering truth.

My mind is heavy, yet free to fly, if only I could let go of the burdens that hide among the shadows.

Within my heart, an expanding universe beckons me to play among the jewels, so prettily scattered about.

My throat is tight; bound by a well thought out silence, and I breath out all that needs not to be heard.

My ears are exhausted from a world that never stops talking…oh how they long for the sound of the breeze, among the treetops.

My earthen body is a blaze today. Afflicted with an illness no one can see, but I’m still me.

Ah yes, there is a place where fantasy becomes reality and dreams are the seeds of inspiration.

Today I will breath and let go.

Today I will let go and fly.

Today I will fly and listen.

Today I will listen and be silent.

Forever, I will dream and inspire.

💚The Crazy Celt 

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Invisible Me (2)

Invisible Me (2)

I suppose I should have believed my doctor, way back then, when he said I shouldn’t be surprised if, later in life, I’d most likely have other autoimmune issues crop up. Truth is, at age 25, I wasn’t thinking about my health, especially the declination of it, 20 years down the road. I was in top athletic shape and had a world to slay. Certainly a family to raise. 

Unfortunately, I had no idea of the personal tragedies I was about to face over the next 10 years of my life, and what a mental, spiritual and physical toll it would take on me. Without delving too deeply into all of it, I will say that I was entangled in a web of mental, emotional and physical abuse; the kind that movie makers write about. Sadly, at the same time, my father was diagnosed with brain cancer and at the age of 34, I would no longer have either of the 2 most important men in my life. It was simply unbearable and all while raising four children on my own.

After my father passed away, at the age of 59, I realized I didn’t want any regrets, and decided to try my hand at the Fire Service. After 3 short years I was hired as a Fire Lieutenant in California’s Central Valley. This is where my illness articulated itself as an insidious and formidable foe, only to later develop into a cunning thief.

I was almost going to skip right to Fibromyalgia, however, after a plethora of research, realize I need to touch on my diagnosis of endometriosis. I had been hemorrhaging every month with my cycle and that was just not going to work for me if I wanted to remain in the Fire Service. After being diagnosed with large fibroid tumors; too large for ablation, this led to having a partial hysterectomy, which led to the diagnosis of endometriosis. One in 3 women who are diagnosed with endometriosis are diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. One in 5 are later diagnosed with Systemic Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis or MS. It’s like a really sick joke and one I would face very shortly after my surgery.

I began having severe joint pain and weakness, followed by muscle pain and weakness. Some other symptoms that would surface included; spinal pain, burning sensations along my spine from cervical to lumbar, tingling in hands, arms, feet and legs, blurred vision, light sensitivity, sleeplessness, sleepiness, brain fog, forgetfulness, feelings of confusion, body aches, skin pain, ringing in ears, temperature sensitivity, skin rashes, dizziness….ugh really! It’s no wonder I’ll add helplessness, hopelessness and depression to the list, and no one (including doctors) could understand, but most of all me; I couldn’t understand. The downward spiral began.  

I was terrified and angry! After all my family had survived, after working so hard, now this. It probably wouldn’t have been so bad if I could have been diagnosed with something that would hold weight in the medical community, as well as, in the workforce. You can’t get disability with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. I had no choice but to continue to work in a profession and among people who had no desire to understand or help me in any way shape or form. It, quite literally, added insult to injury, and I slipped further into darkness and isolation. I kept hanging onto the hope that maybe I would miraculously get better or maybe the medical community would make a discovery or diagnose me with something that was curable. The waiting went on for months and turned into years and I kept fighting and hoping. 

I didn’t speak of it much, to anyone, except occasionally. An example would be on a morning of my first day of my 48, and I had taped up a few of my fingers, due to lesions I had while in the middle of a terrible flare. I had been scheduled for an intensive wildland training that morning, and while I road with my Chief he asked what happened to my hands…..  I told him that I was having a bad flare and had to cover some open wounds, and without skipping a beat he looked at me with indignant disgust and said, “Don’t you think you better get that figured out?!”  

Had he really just made that accusatory question, slash statement? What the hell did he think I had been doing all along? Did he really believe I enjoyed feeling like shit or having to tape up parts of my body to protect myself against the diseases I faced every shift, after being exposed to people who aren’t honest about what diseases they have? Did he think I felt my health was a big joke and that I hadn’t already spent hours upon hours in waiting rooms, doctors offices and laboratories? Or that I hadn’t already spent thousands and thousands of dollars on blood tests, brain scans, CT scans and MRI’s? Are you fucking kidding me?

At this point I had gotten pretty good at tuning out the blatant ignorance that was all around me, although I had feared many wanted me gone, and I was right, all I could continue to do was my best, and that’s what I did. It was impossible not to feel lonely and isolated….what made it worse was that it was around men I had once called brothers, who now seemed more like unrecognizable strangers to me. My diseases had done what abusers do…they isolate their victim until their surroundings are no longer their own. Till all that once was, is no longer, and they win dominance.

Little do my body abusers know, I’m stronger than that. This is not where my story ends. This is just a new chapter in my saga. I have now become a researchaholic and I believe at the core of my being, all that I’ve suffered is connected and I’m determined to figure it out. None of what I’ve endured will be in vain and I will help others. Till next time….

 Life may throw a number of curve balls, so study the curve ball!

💚The Crazy Celt 


 

Lake Kaweah Sunset 

Lake Kaweah Sunset 

​Gracie enjoying our time at the lake. Another beautiful sunset.


#adventurer #tularecounty #lakekaweah #sunset #dogs #firfamily

Flow

Flow

I love the analogy of the rivers flow to life….It may flow easily at times, while it may get dammed at others, with the flow almost coming to a complete stop. Of course when this happens, there is bound to be erosion  or damage that occurs, however, it can’t stay dammed forever. Sooner or later, sometimes through disastrous floods, the dam will break and the flow will resume it’s course; even if the course has slightly changed. There may also be dry periods, where the flow is weak, and may seem more like a stream than river. My favorite is spring and early summer, although every season has its importance, when the water is not flowing, but raging, with passion, to meet its destination….it’s destiny….wherever that may be. The wonderful thing to know and understand is that to have a healthy river it must include all of the facets I’ve mentioned, for they all have a significant purpose. 
So, regardless of where you are in your journey, be kind to yourself and know that it all has purpose and meaning. Your only job is to go with the flow and become aware when it’s you and not life that’s creating the blockage. Either way, there’s always something to be learned.

Keep on keepin’ on!

💚 The Crazy Celt 

#photography #adventurer #mountainhiking #sequoianationalpark #tularecounty #philosophy #life #courage #inspiration

Invisible Me

Invisible Me

It is time. After a long walk through my brain and after deep contemplation, I’ve finally decided that it is time. Time to speak out on one issue I’ve been dealing with for many years. An issue that has effected my life in debilitating ways and cost me my livelyhood. An issue that has brought me to my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual knees, over and over again. This is not a one time story, but an ongoing journey and like so many battles I’ve fought, I have found that through sharing my experiences I not only help myself, but I offer inspiration and hope to others. This is only the beginning and I pray that, through my stories, and there are many, that I am able to lift up the weary and provide strength to those who are in need, and so I begin…..

I have multiple, invisible, autoimmune diseases. It all started, or so I thought, with Hashimotos Thyroid Disease. I was diagnosed at the age of 25, presenting with symptoms of a heart attack. This was unbelievable because at the time I was in the fitness industry teaching at least 12 classes a week, training clients and the Program Director for a fitness club in Phoenix Arizona. Even my doctor was perplexed. He said my heart rhythms were that of a top athlete, therefore didn’t understand how or why I’d be presenting with such crazy symptoms. He was concerned and that’s where my journey of becoming a pincushion began.

When my results came back he had the other doctors of the practice present because of how easily I could have been misdiagnosed. I was his teaching tool. He had fully expected me to come back with hyperthyroidism or a pituitary disorder, but in fact, my thyroid was so low that he was confused that I was even able to walk around. He said I should’ve been in a coma. 

Needless to say, this was rather disheartening news for me, a young mother of 2 who went from being unbelievably active to barely making it through a warm-up in class. I am 5’7″ and at the time weighed 100 lbs. This wasn’t because I tried to weigh so little, it was because of the disease. My body had decided to attack itself, specifically, my thyroid and the thyroid effects every organ and bodily function you can imagine. Some of my symptoms included; severe chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, joint pain, muscle fatigue, weight loss, hair loss, sleeplessness, fatigue, depression, loss of interest in sex, fever, coldsweats, decrease in body temperature…the list goes on and on!

I struggled for some time, trying to get leveled out, after my diagnosis. It finally did happen, however, even then I remember having, what I now call “flares”. I could be going along fine and one day “hit the wall”. It’s taken years for me to be kind to myself when I feel like that. I remember being so hard on myself because I just didn’t have the energy. It really did a number on my self esteem. Unfortunately, when you don’t have anyone around you who truly understands, it’s easy to feel alone and isolated. 

Over the years, this has continued to be a problem. When you look healthy but don’t feel healthy, people, unfortunately, are quick to judge or assume something else is going on. Even when you do try to explain, the majority of people, just don’t get it and are downright rude and ignorant. Sometimes it’s easier to be by yourself. I’ve always called it, ‘hiding in my cave’. It’s not even really hiding, sometimes a person gets tired of trying to explain or of feeling like a downer. It’s certainly not an easy road by any means.

I won’t lie….there have been many times along the way where I’ve really wanted to give up, but the truth is, my desire to live the adventure of my life way over weighs the giving up. It’s just not in my nature to do that anyway, and now I want to do something with my diseases that will help my kids and grandchildren, as well as, other sufferers or families of people who suffer.

I will end here for today but will go into my other diagnosis of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue next time. The first few blogs will be dedicated to the foundations of my journey and as we go further along I’ll share with you all the intensive research I’ve been doing, and some possible breakthroughs I’ve been making. This is one fight I won’t give up! I’m determined to win!

Feel free to leave comments or questions and I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can.

Dream, Live, Do💚The Crazy Celt 

Munro bagging 

Munro bagging 

Munro bagging! 

A big thanks to Leslie, a new found friend from Scottland….because of her I’m adding Munro bagging to my bucket list. 

There are a total of 282 to become a Munroist….”Impossible!”, you may say.

I say, dreams don’t live in boxes, neither do possibilities, and I, most definitely, live outside the box, therefore, dreams and possibilities live in me.

Dream, Live, Do!

💚The Crazy Celt 

#inspiration #philosophy #life #courage #adventurer #munrobagging #dream #live #do

Good Morning 

Good Morning 

Wishing everyone a beautiful day full of inspiration and love.

 Pass It On 

💚The Crazy Celt