Posts Tagged With: purple

Doctors: Please Take ME Into Consideration

Full Name: Nahleen Virginia (Knight) Blake. Knight is my Maiden Name. Where did Nahleen come from? Well funny you should ask. I’m sure I’ll have to repeat to you over and over how to say it and how to spell it but let’s get it right the first time. What’s the significance of Virginia? It’s my Grandmother’s Name.

Birth Date: 5/28/77. Thanks! Yes I just turned 36. Uh huh. I’m aware of what 36 means. Wait, what does it mean? Do I dare ask?

Male/Female: I’ll let you guess.

Phone Number: Oh great now you’re gonna bug me all the time.

Any Other Good Numbers to Call?: Nope. And even if there were some I wouldn’t give them to you because you’d chase after me and I’d get no peace. And no you are NOT getting my work number. I made the mistake of telling you that number before and you kept calling me there. Um hi. I’m busy there.

Address: Great. You might stalk me. You’ll at least be sending me bills here. Why else would you want it? Why do I want to give this to you?

Is This a Good Billing Address?: Knew it. It’s all about the $.

Emergency Contact Phone Number: ACK! What’s gonna happen here? There’s gonna be an Emergency here? What if I have no one? And if I give you someone, will you call them every time you can’t reach me? What if that person is across the country? How will they know where I am? Great, now they’ll be worried.

Weight: Does that really matter? Is this any indication of anything? There is no black and white here.

Height: 5’Short–according to my Chiropractor I should be 5’5″ someday as long as I keep going to get adjustments/treatments from him.

Usual Blood Pressure Reading: As if I’m gonna tell you if it’s high. Uh huh. But you’ll take it here in the midst of White Coat Land and freak me out EVERY TIME and take that as a regular reading. Oh you want me to check it at home to get a more accurate reading? How will that be accurate again? I’ll know when I’m gonna be doing it and it will go up.

Usual Body Temperature: 97.5 but you won’t believe me so when you check my temperature and see that it’s 98.6 you’ll say that’s normal and I’ll say it’s high for me and you’ll pass it off.

Hair Color: Well now that’s a good question. Some kind of purple since March 2012.

Hair Type: Pretty dang curly. It’s really short right now.

Eye Color: Blue and to me my eyes are tiny. I also wear glasses so it’s hard to tell they’re as blue as they are.

Birthplace: Homestead, FL (Does that really matter?)

Where I’m From: Kingston, NH

Where I Live Now: Los Angeles, CA

Grow Up With Both Parents?: Yes. I’m blessed to have done so. However, growing up with Single Parents wouldn’t make me less than.

How Old Are They?: None of your business.

Siblings?: Yes. An older sister.

How Old is Your Sibling?: Isn’t that Private? I already said she was older.

Employed?: No. What’s your point? Thanks for reminding me.

Insurance?: Yes. What if I said no?

Are you the Insured? The Primary Card Holder?: HUH?

Primary Insurance?: Ummm…

Secondary Insurance?: WHAT THE?! Leave me alone!

Insurance Information (and everything you didn’t even know you needed to know…): OK. Let me just dig through my purse and wallet and FIND that all for you. Didn’t I just give you my Insurance card? Isn’t it all on there?

Driver License Number: Geez. Nosy! And didn’t I just give you my ID? Isn’t that what this is?

Social Security Number: None of your business. Stop snooping around. I think I need to report you.

Disability?: Meaning what? Yes I have Disability Coverage but don’t get me started about all of that. Am I Disabled? YES! OK?! I think that’s in the mind of the beholder.

Married? Single? Divorced? Domestic Partner?: What does that matter?

If Yes to Married, what’s your Spouse’s Name?: What if I’m not married? I feel like crap now.

If Yes to Married, Spouse’s Social Security Number: Well now that everyone else has been left out…now why on EARTH would you EVER need their Social Security Number?

Allergic to Anything?: What exactly do you mean by allergic? I hope not! Great now you have me paranoid.

Eyesight: Yes I have it but I’m pretty blind. Do you mean do I wear glasses? Yes.

Illnesses?: Must you remind me? (Sigh.)–Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, High Blood Pressure, Asthmatic Tendencies, Hay Fever, IBS, Prone to Infection, Probably Depression–and now I’ve crawled under the chair in the corner…

Is This a Work Related Accident?: I knew it was an accident I had all these illnesses! Yes! I’ve wanted to blame my work for something! Perfect!

When Did It Happen?: Ummmm…which dates are you looking for? What are we talking about now?

Medications: Hmmmmm. Do you have a whole book I can fill out? This little box here ain’t gonna cut it. And do I include vitamins in this or not? None of you ever know if you care about these or not.

Other Doctors?: Too many to count. Again, looking for a book to fill out. I might have room to write down one doctor.

Can We Contact Your Doctors?: Meaning what? Yes aaannndddd No. How’s that? And will you really contact them?

Any New Doctors?: Chiropractor (not that you pay attention to that because they are NOT in Western Medicine…OH but he’s a doctor too? OK…). Psychologist/Psychiatrist: Yes she’s both.

Symptoms?: Ok great. Thanks for reminding me. Yep. (Tense up).–Fatigue, pain, stiffness, weakness, tingling, heat fatigue, eye light/dark sensitivity (new–and I’m annoyed), dry eyes, dry mouth, cognitive symptoms, emotional symptoms, overall malaise, hair loss, nausea, bloating (hmmm there’s not enough room on here. In fact, there’s not enough room in any of these boxes on here. What the heck? Do you really have any patients who can fit their life/health histories in such a small space?)

WHAT KIND OF A FORM IS THIS?

*THESE ARE JUST EXAMPLES OF WHAT I’VE BEEN ASKED OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN!*

Seriously, doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, medical assistants, nurses, office staff, lab technicians, etc.: How often do you really look at these? Are you even looking at these? And do I even want ALL OF YOU to see EVERYTHING I just answered? That is a flat out NO! And why isn’t there an overall database that all medical professionals have access to? Why do I have to KEEP filling out all the same questions? Why is each form different? Why can’t they be uniform? I’m tired. I’m tired of writing all of this down. I’m soooooo over rehashing all of this.

I AM NAHLEEN.

What does that mean? That means I’m a Person. I mean something. I’m not my penmanship (which used to be really good btw until I kept having to write these answers over and over again). I’m not just my name. I am 3D. I have Depth. I giggle a lot. I’m struggling all the time with my diseases. I’m not working and that was one of the hardest decisions to make. I’m afraid to say I’m feeling better because I don’t want you to think that I’m all better and shut off when I tell you that. And who knows who will be looking at these files/records and will assume I’m magically all better and then what? I don’t fit in a box. I don’t come in black and white. I come in many colors. Perhaps that’s why I express the purple that’s within me. Yes, my hair is purple. That doesn’t mean I’m happy. That also doesn’t mean I’m crying out for attention. Purple is a part of who I am. Purple has been a part of my soul since I was at least 10. That’s a long time. Can we get passed my purple hair? Thanks. Yes, I have a husband. We’ve been together 15 years. Married 6. Why does the part where I’m married mean more than the commitment of the relationship of 15 years? Yes, I have a weight problem. I’d think I myself would be the most aware of this at all times since I have to live with me. I have ALL MY LIFE. Sure I don’t get to exercise as much but how much do I need to do necessarily? I’ve been walking every day now for 401 days! I know it’s cool. You better think it’s cool! I stretch every day too. Cardio? I try. Coming here to all of my doctor appointment should count as cardio. I’m serious. Oh and did you ever ask me how I am? How I’m feeling? How I’m really doing with all these illnesses? You want me to come in next week too? Did you ask if I’d feel up to it? Did you take into account my life? You are not the only doctor in my life. You are not the only part of my life. You want me to try a new medication? Oh it only has THAT many side effects? Will you be able to pay for it? I’m currently low on funds. Did I mention to you that I’m going on a trip soon? That I want to do more than go to doctors? That I want to have a fulfilling life not focused constantly on medical crap? That I want to try to live my life not ALWAYS talking about my illnesses? Not being defined by these life disrupters? Did you know I have a Cleo Kitty? That I love to write. That I have a Honda Fit that I love? That I miss my family and loved ones back east like crazy? That I’d love to be a Producer of TV, feature films, short films, videos of any sort and to be that creative and not worry about how much time that would entail and how much that would wear me out? That because I’m always seeing you I get really tired and don’t have a lot of time to be social? That I love to be social? I almost forget this myself because I’m so caught up in stuff with you. Don’t get me wrong. Thank you for helping me or trying to. Thank you for helping me feel better (well at least a lot of you–I won’t talk about the others). Thank you for being proactive and part of my time.

BUT PLEASE TAKE ME INTO CONSIDERATION.

I am a person. I have a life. You take up a lot of me. I don’t see you for fun. I see you to get healthy. Perhaps we need to take a look at the best way to keep me healthy. Is it by seeing you all the time? Filling out these forms? Getting my arm constantly squeezed by the blood pressure cuff only for it to spike when I’m there? Is it by constantly talking about my weight? Is it by constantly stabbing my arm to check my blood work levels over and over again because you haven’t been in communication with my other doctors about my blood count levels that were taken just last week? OR is it by spacing out these appointments a bit more? By letting me expand and grow my life to see what I can do and not do? By taking the time to see that I am a human being who needs to breathe and to LIVE and experience the world as this newer more enhanced version of Nahleen???

I’m not the same Nahleen who was working 3 years ago and pushing to do my best no matter what cost it put on my body and my life because I didn’t know or understand anything different. I am a Nahleen who is feeling out my boundaries. Who is not willing to be horribly sick again if I can help it. Sure my body might have its own plans but I will not push it too far. But see I don’t have much chance to see how far I can push. If am pushing, it’s to see my therapist and chiropractor while I’m seeing my other doctors. And these 2 new medical professionals in my life are helping me to figure out how to be a Nahleen with purple hair who still has a chance to smell the roses and look up at the sky (3 of her favorite things were just mentioned here), wants to figure out where her place now is in the world, wants to be social and not live within a medical professional tunnel of health, wants to try new things, wants to do more than rehash her health stuff over and over and who needs to BREATHE!

So if I tell you I can’t see you next week and there is room to BREATHE without putting my entire health at stake (I understand sometimes there are exceptions), please give me that room. You have your life schedule. I have mine. Please respect that. And if I don’t have time to see you, please COMPROMISE. With all due respect, it’s not all about you. You are not my only doctor. You are not the only thing going on in my life. Let’s talk about this. And PLEASE, don’t give me less care because I didn’t put my life aside to come in and see you and pay you more money. There is a phone. There is email. There is always another way.

THANK YOU.

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The Crud of Healing

I’ve been sort of MIA lately because I’ve been doing a lot of healing. And man is it hard.

It always seems to me like healing should be something soothing and soft and gentle. Sure that happens sometimes in the process of healing. Then again, there are those skinned knees that scab over again and again and no, that’s not comfy at all is it? Lately it’s been some of the hardest crud I’ve gone through. And I mean crud. Yet deep down I feel like it’s time. This is it.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m now seeing a Chiropractor at least once a week. He wants to see me twice a week but so much crud (he uses that word and I’m starting to use it again) has been coming up that it takes me a week to heal from it. Yet, it’s all a good healing. I’m beginning to feel like I can become a whole person. I feel better even though my body gets twisted and contorted in weird ways. And/or he has me working on some emotional healing within the therapy.

Right now his new technique for me is something called NET or Neuro-Emotional Technique and it is fascinating. I can’t really explain it except that he was able to tell just by pushing down on my uplifted arm and putting his finger in the middle of my forehead that I had emotional blockage somewhere in my body and that that was playing a huge part in my physical symptoms and my messed up mind these days. It was crazy. When he didn’t put his finger in the middle of my forehead and pushed down on my arm I was able to push back up. When his finger was on my forehead and he pushed on my arm it went straight down and I had no strength to push back. He had basically disabled my arm. CRAZY AND FREAKY. Apparently it’s sooooo many emotions that are just flying all over the place and I’m not sure what to do with all of them so my body stores them for me and well, let’s think, that’s probably not good huh? So not only am I dragging up feelings and emotions but now they’re all just apparently free to come on up even when I didn’t invite them.

CRUD CRUD CRUD.

I’m also going to a Therapist now who I believe was sent to work directly with me. She loves the color purple, she’s bright and peppy, her office is close to where I live, and she’s also very compassionate and knows how to reach me in ways no one else seems to be able to–even ME! She’s revealing a part of me I didn’t know existed or just wasn’t ready to know or something. Talk about uncomfortable YET it really is helping. I feel like I’m getting detoxed of yucky poisonous feelings. She’s cracking my shell and the feelings are just flooding out.

Apparently it was time for all of this to come up. Wish I had gotten the memo from me that it was time to really work on all this stuff.

It’s kinda crazy how it happened that I found these 2 very important Specialists on my path right around the same time.

Next thing I know I’m in the Chiropractor’s office at the first appointment and I’m wondering how I got there and how is it that it all happened so fast. I mean my friend had just been raving about him and there I was. Then I end up having 2 doctors arguing (and not even knowing it) over a medication I’m on and telling me I should see a Psychiatrist to see what the actual Specialist says about it all and the next thing I know I’m in a Psychologist/Psychiatrist’s office and again, kinda wondering how I got there.

I’ll repeat, it would’ve been nice had someone informed me this was all gonna happen. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t black out and become another person or my alter ego…at least I think I didn’t…no really. I remember asking about these 2 Specialists but I don’t remember deciding to take the action. Hmmm, could it be that I’m not taking FOREVER to think it all out as much as I used to and perhaps I’m going more with my gut? That I’m following the Path I’m supposed to be on and just doing it?

Still…WOULD’VE BEEN NICE TO GET THE MEMO.

Just sayin’.

So for now I’m going to try to take the advice of these 2 incredibly valuable Specialists who have already changed my life in less than 6 weeks and try to be patient. They both tell me that crud is going to come up, that things are going to be messy and that it’s okay that things are messy. Really. It’s okay if things aren’t all done my way.

Weird. I mean it’s all supposed to be done and planned in an orderly fashion or at least “Nahleen’s orderly fashion”. Well that’s not happening.

I’m feeling incredibly uncomfortable, exposed, vulnerable and raw and yet I’m feeling the safest I’ve ever felt…whatever that means.

Guess there’s more to find out. I get to find out about who this shiny new Nahleen is I’m becoming. My Therapist encourages the purple hair. She says it’s only the beginning. Now it’s time for more piercings and tattoos according to her…She’s convinced there’s a much more wild and open Spirit in me just desperate to come out and she’s trying to gently tell all of me that it’s okay to come out.

So for now I just keep on trudging through the crud. I feel like a clam who just lost its shell and now waits to be eaten by the predator who broke that shell. Poor clam. I feel so bad for it. Must be awful. I’m such a softie. Hey that can be my new Activist project. SAVE THE CLAMS!

Perhaps another time…Continuing on this side note, I’m so relieved I don’t like to eat clams or I may have just ruined any chance of ever eating them again.

What’s cool is I’m pretty sure I won’t be eaten and that I’m going to be OK. Crud and all.

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175th Blog Post!: Doing My Best to Focus On the Positive

175 Blog posts I’ve written!!!!!

WOW!

I am blown away that I keep on writing.  It’s been helping me so much.  You’ve been helping me so much.  All of you who Follow me, stop on by to read a few posts, comment on my Blog, email me personally (I know I still owe some of you responses) and who support me help me stay positive.

I was told by my Chiropractor last week that I needed to start adding EVEN MORE positive thoughts, elements, stuff, things–whatever it is for me to be positive–at least twice more a week.  He told me how some of his patients have done that.  As he’s been treating me, some emotions have been coming up like FEAR, anger and just being really frustrated.  Some of the emotions have been good too.  But in order to cushion the impact of the hard emotions (trying not to say negative because perhaps IT REALLY ISN’T NEGATIVE TO HAVE THESE HARD EMOTIONS), he’s highly suggested I add more “up” things to my life.

So yesterday while I was getting my apartment cleaned (one of the best things I have ever decided to let SOMEONE ELSE DO because there’s no way it would get done any other way), I found myself wandering a mall for awhile before sitting down, eating lunch and hanging out.

Here’s what I found in a store:

I LOVE THESE “KEEP CALM” SAYINGS…and this one FITS ME PERFECTLY!

HOW AWESOME IS THIS?!  I mean it is SOOOOO ME!  It’s a hue of purple, it’s a “Keep Calm” saying, it says “Sparkle” and I love sparkly things, and it’s on a plaque thingie that I can put up on my wall to remind me to keep calm and sparkle.  It really helps me to remember that it’s all gonna be OK and I can get through anything because if I can deal with having MS and lupus I can deal with a lot of other crap…EVEN IF IT FEELS LIKE I JUST CAN’T TAKE ANYMORE…and believe me it feels like that often.

So this was one of my first attempts at finding more positive things to focus on.  Today I had PLENTY to get my nerves all in an uproar and then I saw that in my bedroom sitting on my bookshelf at eye level and it reminded me to BREATHE and remember what’s more important.

MY LIGHT FROM WITHIN IS MORE IMPORTANT.

It’s not this other crapola that keeps getting in my way.

I’M WHAT MATTERS…

So after dealing with some tough stuff, I made sure to go walk on the treadmill in the “new” (I say it in quotes because it’s been in the apartment building now for probably a year but it’s “new” to me) for a bit and then head up to the sun deck, look at the sky and the world around me and remember what really matters.  It’s also incredibly humbling to see that I am a little thing compared to the rest of the world.  My problems aren’t AS BIG as the world so it helps to put them in perspective.

And then to think I’m well on my way to 200 BLOG POSTS!

SO COOL!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for being a part of my life.

I can’t wait to see what else is in store…well maybe I can…but to know I’m not alone helps a lot!

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“And…I LOVE LOVE LOVE YOUR PURPLE HAIR!”

That’s what the really nice lady said at my Chiropractor’s office today as she pulled me into one of the  Treatment rooms.

It had been a really long wait at his office today because he celebrates Passover and had squished in a bunch of appointments earlier in the day so he could leave in the afternoon, so I had waited over an hour.  And what surprised me was that I didn’t get too stressed out about it.  I gotta bring my book more often because I bet this happens every once in awhile.  That’s all.  Otherwise, I tried to use it as chill out time.

Anyway, the incredibly spunky lady who works the front desk (I haven’t met her yet till now since this is only my 2nd treatment and I think this doctor has 2 women working for him and I’ve met the other one only) pulled me in the room and quietly said but with exclamation, “OK.  2 things…” and she gestured her 2 fingers up in the air to stress her point.  “The first thing before we get started…I’m so so so sorry for the wait today.  Our office is closing early because we are celebrating Passover so we are distracted (but don’t worry he won’t be distracted when he’s with you).” she said in a hushed voice.  And then she still so discreetly continued, “Plus as you know the traffic was awful due to all this stupid construction out there and it was hard to find a parking spot so all of our patients have been later today.” And she had a brief pause and said, “AND…” and I’m not kidding you, she starts almost flailing her arms up and down and hopping a little bit, “I LOVE LOVE LOVE YOUR PURPLE HAIR!  I LOVE IT!  I LOVE IT!  I LOVE IT!”.  So I’m starting to laugh out loud about her reaction to my hair because she caught me so off guard because she was so careful at first with what she was telling me and then she says, “I’m sorry.  I would’ve said it earlier and I’ve been DYING to tell you for over an hour but I didn’t want to single you out in front of the other patients and I wanted to stay quiet but since you’re in here now I can tell you.  I CAN HARDLY CONTAIN MYSELF!  YOUR HAIR IS SO AWESOME!”.

(Well OK then…)

There I am and I’m supposed to be having worked on relaxing (already know this after my first treatment) so that the doctor can work on looser muscles and joints if possible and she’s getting me all excited about my hair.  And so we had this lovely giggly conversation about how much she loved it and loved that I had the guts to have purple hair and how she could NEVER have purple hair in her world so she just applauds women all the time who just express themselves and let themselves be “WILD” as she almost yelled again…

“OK.  OK.  I have to calm down now so you can calm down or the doctor will be mad at me for getting you excited but then again he wants us to be warm and friendly to you and loving so this is what he gets.  Anyway, I love it.”

I thanked her a bunch and even after the treatment and she still pointed it out as I left.

What a hot ticket that lady is!  Can’t wait to see her again and more.  She seems like someone I need more of in my life.  I want her energy.

As for my 2nd Chiropractic Treatment, it was really great.  The doctor came in and said, “Hey Superstar!” and I said “Is that because I made it to my 2nd appointment?” (by the way, it’s hard to talk with your face down in those things on the table but anyway…) and he said, “Absolutely!” And we talked about how I was doing.  I told him all the improvements I had been feeling since just the first appointment and some of the symptoms I was having and we got started.  Wow.  He really does so much work on the body AND he makes me work too.  LOTS OF BREATHING.

LOTS OF BREATHING.

Apparently oxygen is GOOD FOR YOU.

And I nearly jumped off the table (not sure how since I was face down…) as he ground his hand into my foot because it was “Ow-ie” and yet it was a relief or I would’ve stopped him.  At one point I had this crazy fit of giggles, more like a BURST of giggles (my usual giggles times 10 at least) as he released something in my neck (one of the biggest issues right now in my body) and I told him I just had to laugh and he said, “DO IT!  LET IT OUT!  WHOOO!  YOU LET THAT OUT!  You deserve it.  You just undid a HUGE knot!  WE DID!  I feel it too.  I wanna laugh too!  THAT WAS AWESOME!” and so I did a burst of giggling (I have already heard some of the craziness that is coming out of these rooms with other patients while he’s treating them and it’s only been 2 times there so I must’ve also sounded pretty funny with my huge BURST and he was cracking up too).  It felt good to get it out and then just as fast as it came on, it left.  He said that would happen but with different emotions and to keep letting it out.

We did a bit more treatment, he had me drink some water to rest and regain my equilibrium and I was on my way.  I can tell this whole Chiropractic experience is gonna be quite a trip!  So much personality in that office.  Other doctors and their personnel could learn A LOT from these cool people.  WOW!

As for how I’m feeling a few hours afterwards, I’m definitely doing better than the first treatment.  My body isn’t in as much “SHOCK” as it was the first time.  It kinda gets it now.  Who knows what’s next.  For right now I’ll take whatever I can get for relief.

RELIEF.

I like that word.

Definitely feeling pretty even with my emotions and my body right now too.  I’ll take it as long as I can.

I have my next chiropractic treatment Thursday.  Can’t even imagine what’s in store!

 

 

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Happy 1 Year Anniversary Purple Hair!

Wow!  What can I say Purple Hair?

YOU HAVE ROCKED MY WORLD!

YOU HAVE HELPED ME FIND THE REAL NAHLEEN!

YOU ARE THE REASON I SMILE EVERY TIME I LOOK IN THE MIRROR!

YOU ADD A SPARK TO MY SPIRIT TO KEEP ME GOING!

YOU–PURPLE HAIR–HAVE BECOME A WONDERFUL PART OF MY LIFE…

THANK YOU PURPLE HAIR.

1 Year Ago today my Purple Hair and I were introduced and it has been quite a journey.  Every day I’d get up in my foggy MS/lupus haze and think about how my day was going to play out.  Sometimes I’d dread the day or feel lost in my symptoms.  Sometimes I’d be sad.  But then I’d look in the mirror and see that I had PURPLE HAIR!  It’s not the cure for everyday frustrations or for my physical problems, but it sure has helped A LOT!

Because of my relationship with my Purple Hair, I have found the courage to be more of the Real Me: The Real Nahleen.  I have more spunk.  I have more confidence.  I smile when I see my purple bangs fall into my eyes.  I am more creative.  It has helped put more skip in my step.  My world has opened up before my eyes.  And everyday is a new day with my Purple Hair.  It seems to change color/shade daily.  Sometimes it’s because it’s washing out (I have to re-purple every 2 to 3 weeks depending on my life, longevity of the color and when I feel up to it), sometimes it’s because it feels like it, sometimes it’s because of the curl in my hair and quite often it’s because I’ve changed the hue of purple I’m using or the brand.  Turns out there are quite a few brands out there that provide all kinds of varieties of purple to wear in your hair.  Sometimes it comes out like a magenta.  Sometimes it comes out almost black with a few lighter streaks due to the bleaching of some of those streaks of hair.  If my hair is straighter the purple doesn’t show up as much.  Oh yeah and then there are the times perhaps I haven’t used as much purple during the next re-purpling or it stays in longer or it just does what it wants to do at the time.

Each purple I LOVE!  And if I’m getting low on purple in my hair I can tell.  I get more down and depressed.  I don’t feel that extra spark.  I don’t have the spunk…you know, that extra umpf!

And to think I was so scared to really go PURPLE!  What was my problem?  What is the world’s problem that they can’t accept more colors such as purple, orange, green, blue, teal, bright yellow or whatever the heck someone wants in their hair BUT they’ll accept the reds, the browns, the blondes that might as well be yellow at times.  Who cares?  It’s a color!  What’s wrong with that?  SERIOUSLY?!  It’s just hair!  Why not be taken as seriously?  Why not be treated as professional?  I never understood that before I actually had the purple hair and NOW I really don’t get it.

FOR GOODNESS SAKES IT’S COLOR!  THE WORLD NEEDS MORE OF IT!

That’s my world rant for the day I guess…but I digress…

The point is, I have learned that I needed this purple in my life.  I’m not kidding.  Ever since I was 10 years old I have wanted purple hair.  I tried some magentas here and there as I got older and some maroons BUT never did purple on my hair.  I didn’t want to make a mess.  That was one excuse.  I didn’t want to take the time.  That was another.  To be honest, it doesn’t take that much time.  If you have time to color your hair a brown, blonde, black or even red color than you have time to color it purple.  REALLY.  There are no extras involved.

Sure it can leave a stain.  Sometimes it looks like there was a purple explosion in the bathtub but who cares?  It doesn’t last.  It goes away, just like it leaves my hair.

What I have learned most since I started my relationship with my Purple Hair a year ago in March 2012 is that it’s OK TO BE ME.  And the MORE I brought that PURPLE out the more I was ME.  So here’s my advice to you all who are just chomping at the bit to do something funky with your hair, do it!  What are you waiting for?  I have cut my hair a lot shorter but I want to go even shorter and be more funky.  I’m still a bit nervous about that so I need to follow my own advice don’t I?  I guess that’s the next part of my path huh?

And if you have a color that you feel you really connect with in your life you NEED to bring it out more.  It doesn’t have to be with hair.  It can be with anything.  ANYTHING.

REALLY.

I absolutely believe that it will HELP YOU.

So PURPLE HAIR, HERE’S TO ANOTHER YEAR!  BRING IT ON WORLD!  WITH YOU PURPLE HAIR I CAN DO ANYTHING!

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LIFE: ALWAYS IN SESSION (A BLOG POST NOVEL BY NAHLEEN BLAKE)

THIS IS MY 150TH BLOG POST!  Woo hoo!  Go me!  I think part of me was holding off posting this HUGE MIND BLOWING BLOG POST for my 150th because my goodness, it’s my 150th post!  There should be fireworks and you should all be touched FOREVER by all that I have to say. 

OK.  Well, first of all…EGO.  Yes, I have one.  It can get in the way but it helps sometimes…I suppose.  Second of all, WHAT THE HECK?  Fireworks?  Really?  I’m so weird.  I get one compliment from someone and I feel like I don’t deserve it and WOW “they really like me” and my favorite quote that Corey always teases me about, “I’m just being me” as if I’m not good enough for a compliment.  BUT THEN, I want to have words that LIVE ON FOREVER AND EVER?!

Well, no wonder no Blog was coming out.  Conflict and pressure.  Geez!

ANYWAY…

To be honest with you, I don’t know what’s going to come out of these hands as I type.  My head has been all over the place and there has been so much of life happening that I think it almost silenced me.  I know.  HA!  Yeah right!  But it kinda did.  I mean, I had to have a Blog post in order and outlined (not that I ever have…Ahem) before it had to be written.  I had to have a clear head before I wrote it.

Um, it’s the New Year.  Is anyone’s head clear right now?  Is anyone’s head EVER clear?  Really clear?  I mean, like it’s all in order.  I doubt it.

So here I am and this may be a stream of consciousness.

BUT before I go any further, I want to make sure to hit on a few things before I go off on tangents again:

1. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013!  Turns out the world DID NOT end and we are all still here…I think.  Well as far as I know.

2. WELCOME to all my new followers.  Thank you for helping to encourage me that past posts are worth following.

3. THANK YOU to all of you for joining me on this crazy journey called life and what I like to call, “Life In Nahleen’s Head”…I hope you’re all wearing your seat belts.  My head can get crazy and I’m sharing it with you.

4. TOPIC (at least I think this is what the topic is for this Blog) “LIFE: ALWAYS IN SESSION”.

You know, the first time I heard those words from a very wise person I know, I was beside myself.  How profound that sounded.  How simple that idea is.  Life is always in session.  There’s always something going on.  There are always errands to run, people hurting, happy people, the weather continues to change, and really nothing stays the same does it?

So why is that idea so hard?  Why is it that it’s so hard to accept that life is always happening and changing?  Well, for me it’s that YET AGAIN, I gotta morph to it and be flexible.  Ew.   AND if a new event pops up in my life, that doesn’t mean the rest of life STOPS.  Wouldn’t that be great to be able to stop all of the other stuff, you know like stop time whenever we want and how we see in fantasy/sci-fi movies and they make it look so easy with their special effects, that we STOP everything else so that we can take care of this SPECIFIC thing that’s happening?

But then, if it’s something that’s really hard to deal with, then we have to be ready to deal with it.  So, then when do we stop the rest of what’s going on in our lives?  And hey, maybe we don’t want to stop that other stuff.  Maybe it’s the other stuff that helps to keep us going right?  Or maybe it isn’t. 

But the point is: LIFE IS ALWAYS IN SESSION–DANG IT!

I had to add that extra part because well, it’s how I feel most of the time even if there is more than one good thing going on, well then what comes first?  How do I prioritize?  How do I process it all in my crazy filled head?  Isn’t it already filled to the brim?  How can it take on more?  Should it take on more?  Does it need to be handled right away?  WHAT’S GOING ON?

ACK!

Then I turn into the loveable Tasmanian Devil from those wonderful Looney Tunes cartoons of the past and away I go.  But where do I go?  Usually I’m just spinning in place.  But if I’m spinning, I probably don’t have my feet firmly on the ground now do I?  I probably haven’t paused to breathe. 

AND MY HEAD JUMPS IN RIGHT NOW AND ASKS:  WHAT?  BREATHE?

What’s breathing?  Well, there’s the involuntary breathing that thank goodness our bodies are already programmed to do.  Thank goodness for that huh?  I mean, imagine if we didn’t have that involuntary process.  Hmm.  Oh how different life would be.  Would we make it as humanity?  I don’t know about you, but quite often I find myself forgetting to take those intended deep breaths that help get the oxygen into my body and brain and usually help me to relax and calm down even a teensy tiny bit.  So then I’m sort of I guess holding my breath.  Well that’s not good.  The body needs to be doing both kinds of breathing in order to survive the best way: involuntary and voluntary.

SO WHAT AM I GETTING AT HERE?

Well, somewhere along the way in late October or November (or maybe I had never REALLY found myself even a bit at all) I LOST MYSELF.  Where’d Nahleen go?  I’m sure she was there.  I speak of myself in third person on purpose.  She was out there handling the world the best way she knew how.  The holidays were coming upon us.  Cleo Kitty was going through a bit of a hard time and we had to cancel our little Wedding/Together Anniversary Trip to stay with her.  Wouldn’t have changed that for anything but I think it played a part in things.  (I haven’t had a chance to get away for over a year due to either my health or Cleo’s, both or just life reasons in general and I’m feeling it.)  But then, Cleo got so much better and we nursed her back to health, after bringing her to her wonderful new vet who was ONLY a second opinion vet for her back in February of 2012 because we thought she was dealing with cancer. 

BUT then come to find out a few weeks later with a very different care regimen for Cleo, that she was UNDIAGNOSED with cancer because it had been a year since her DIAGNOSIS OF PROBABLE CANCER (Corey and I had made the decision along with Cleo, NOT to do any invasive testing on her and to just let her be a kitty and keep her comfortable as long as she needed it) and as her new vet told us, she was showing NO SIGNS of these probable cancers and she DEFINITELY WOULD BE BY NOW–and that was in November 2012 I believe.

Well, then how AWESOME WAS THAT?!  A true MIRACLE!  I would love there to be more UNDIAGNOSES FOR ME AND ALL MY LOVED ONES AT THIS POINT.  She does however have a very sensitive immune system like I do (oh the parallels of our health together can get a bit too creepy sometimes if I think about it too much) and probably has asthma, IBD of some sort and probably chronic upper respiratory infections that will affect her off and on so we gotta find balance with that.  BUT STILL!  As Corey put it, there was no DARK LOUDLY TICKING CLOCK (Edgar Allen Poe comes to mind) HOVERING OVER OUR LIVES ABOUT how many days Cleo had left.  Sure, she’s older and has immune issues but her life is wide open.  AND YOU KNOW WHAT?  She’s doing EVEN BETTER now.  It helps to be told you don’t have cancer and to see that your people are even brighter about you now I’m sure.  I believe she’s more youthful than she’s been in a LONG TIME.

So yay about that right?  OF COURSE!  But I think it lifted me off the ground even more and it was hard to trust anything after that.  What was real?  What wasn’t real?

THEN THANKSGIVING HAPPENED.  That was a great day.  It was so nice to be of service to others.  Corey, our friend Aaron and I volunteered at a big event that welcomed ALL to come together as a COMMUNITY and cook, eat, cut hair, make crafts, have a kids carnival in the morning, dance, sing, get free check ups from doctors, get family photos, give away and pick up free clothes and the list goes on and on.  Apparently, the event was an absolute success.  I had the PRIVILEGE of being a VOLUNTEER to sit and eat with people and talk to them.  Well, that’s no problem for me now is it?  To be honest, it was a bit awkward at times.  Usually if it was a family I sat with (I think I sat with at least 4 different families as the event went on) and there were kids, it was the kids who were talking to me, not the adults.  Well, that was fine.  I love kids.  I always have and find them very easy to talk to.

MEANWHILE, as all of this was happening, I was still waiting for Social Security Disability to come through and get their payments to me correctly because it helps to have money but at the same time, I saw all of these people who had so much less and it started to not matter.  At some point along the way, I don’t even remember the day which is AMAZING, they did come through and it looks like the payments are FINALLY coming in right after 2 years of waiting for them to get it right.  Still have a few things to iron out with that but I’m ok.

I DON’T REMEMBER THE EXACT DATE THIS ALL CAME TO A HEAD, (again, Amazing that I don’t have the exact date etched in my head), BUT MY DIGESTIVE SYSTEM STARTED FLIPPING OUT AND I COULDN’T EAT ANYTHING WITHOUT FEELING LIKE MY STOMACH WAS LURCHING AND TRYING TO JUMP OUT OF MY BODY.  I’m convinced that the writers/producers of the movie “Alien” had had digestive problems of some sort because THAT IS WHAT IT FELT LIKE…I couldn’t eat a half piece of toast without feeling like my organs were trying to jump free from my torso.  SOOOO, after being on those HORRIBLE digestive antibiotics for what I’m now finding out was way too long, I found myself in the ER.  I had asked my original Gastroenterologist at the time if I should go and he told me NO.  Well, it’s a good thing I listen to my own body because I called Corey and asked him to come home from work and drive me to the ER.  I couldn’t take it anymore.  It was the day of the huge storm Sandy on the east coast.  I think my timeline is off here but oh well.  Anyway, I remember that because there was a TV in the ER Exam Room I was placed in and I got to be entertained and mortified at the same time (I’m a weather geek but I do have a heart) while I felt so horrible.  They did bunches of tests and gave me some drugs, said they didn’t see a lot but sent me on my way.  I did feel a bit better but I needed more than that.  I found a way to be referred to a second opinion gastroenterologist (was a bit roundabout because my group of doctors pretty much all know each other and are all kinda in it to help each other and I knew I wouldn’t get very far asking my Primary because he’d still stick with what the original Gastroenterologist doctor had said to do and that would’ve gotten me in more trouble) and was able to see this new second opinion specialist almost immediately.  What’s great about going to the ER is that all kinds of tests were done and having been an experienced veteran of the ER experience I was somehow with it enough to ask for all files and records of what had been done so that all of my doctors could get these answers.  So glad I did that.  I brought all the records and results to this second specialist and after a few questions (the right questions I guess) I was able to get a fresh perspective about what might be going on with me.  He is now my current Gastroenterologist.  I won’t go back to the old one.  The old one helped me so much for two years.  I need this new guy.  He’s very calm and calming, he knows exactly how to handle a crazy planning person like me, he keeps me much more present and in the moment, he is very clear about what he knows and with his help I was able to be diagnosed with IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  I’m still currently on a treatment to help get rid of the flare but if you ask me it’s been long enough.  That’s just my head.  Honestly, how cool that this is a medication that I don’t have to be on FOREVER and that my diagnosis wasn’t too hard this time.  He said EVERYTHING I’ve told him of my symptoms and feelings is sooooo common for IBS that he has no doubt.  WHAT???  I have something that was easy to diagnose.  It’s never happened that way before.  Almost felt like something wasn’t right.  With this new doctor’s help I have been feeling much better since.  The flare is not cured just yet and may never be where I want it but with his help, he has GREATLY CHANGED THE QUALITY OF MY LIFE.  I had NO IDEA how much my body was really suffering from this issue flaring up like it was.  NONE.  SO YAY ABOUT THAT.

SO AT SOME POINT THAT FIRST WEEK AFTER THANKSGIVING, a crazy switch went on in my head and I started feeling what I call HOLIDAY AFFECTIVE DISORDER.  Some call it SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER but I use Holiday instead because I start to really feel different and like the decorations have to be up, the gifts have to be bought, I need to bake, will I feel OK to do any special event and the list goes on and on and on.

SO AS MY HEAD STARTED ITS HOLIDAY CRAZINESS, the next thing I know, I FEEL AS IF THE FLOOR AND THE WORLD ARE BEING PULLED OUT FROM UNDER ME…Why you ask?  Well, the Private Long Term Disability Company that I was also getting assistance from, had been doing a two year review of my health and my case.  They bothered all of my doctors yet again with requests for records, files and very vague evaluations.  Oh and I had to fill out my own assessment form too.  My two years is actually not even up until January 29th, 2013 so isn’t that interesting.  BUT on November 21st, 2012 they decided that they would terminate my coverage and not tell me right away.  BECAUSE OF THIS LONG TERM DISABILITY COVERAGE that I had been paying for at my Old Employer for over ten years while I was still actually working, I was able to be covered by THE AWESOME HEALTHCARE PLAN of my Old Employer up to five years as long as this Disability Company said I was Disabled.  NOW THIS WAS NO SURPRISE that they terminated my Disability Coverage.  I had been warned from the beginning by the first Claim Manager I dealt with in that Company that at the two year mark it would be really hard to get coverage.  But see here’s the thing, I ONLY FOUND OUT because I got something really weird in the mail about how much they were paying me in November (it was much less) and no explanation for it.  So ME BEING ME, I called the Claim Manager to inquire about it.  THIS WAS THE LAST WEEK OF NOVEMBER 2012.  She got a bit tense and quiet and said that oh no, the mail must’ve been delayed for some reason and the two items sent in the wrong order or something but that my coverage had been terminated as of NOVEMBER 21ST.  That was the day before Thanksgiving.  I did my best to keep my cool with her on the phone and made sure she explained the Appeal Process but she really didn’t want to do that and then I got off the phone. 

I FREAKED OUT!

Well, of course I did.  First, I find out the hard way that I don’t have their coverage.  Then I KNOW THIS MEANS I’M LOSING REALLY AWESOME AND GREAT HEALTHCARE COVERAGE.  So, I called the Director of Benefits at my Old Employer and told her the situation.  I called her on NOVEMBER 28TH.  She told me she was very upset for me and for her department because this Disability Company had put US ALL in a bind.  WHY YOU ASK?  Well, ignoring the obvious reasons of this all sucked, it meant that my HEALTHCARE COVERAGE WITH MY OLD EMPLOYER WOULD HAVE TO BE TERMINATED BY THE END OF THE MONTH.  Yes, you understand.  NOVEMBER 30TH would be my last day of COVERAGE…

WHAT?!  NOW WHAT?!  FREAKAGE GALORE!  The Director of Benefits apologized to me for this situation, I told her how the Disability Company had handled it and told her some more personal things about what I was going through and she was appalled and said that she’d have to really look at their contract with this Company because there is something very wrong with the whole process…

YES, YES THERE IS…

AND YES I’M GOING TO APPEAL…when I can get myself together.

YOU SEE, here’s the thing.  This is how I know I’m being watched over by something–call it the Universe if you like.  Because Social Security had pulled their business with me together FINALLY, they had decided they would retro-cover me back to December 2010.  After two years of coverage, then I’d be eligible and automatically enrolled in MEDICARE.  So I had already received this stuff from Medicare, was having pride issues of being on Medicare at only 35 and having a hard time accepting it but during this state of panic about healthcare coverage that I can’t afford to live without due to my MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS AND LUPUS (hello, I CAN’T WORK EVEN IF I WANT TO RIGHT NOW–THEY DIDN’T JUST GET CURES AND GO AWAY), I managed to pull out the paperwork and see that I had MEDICARE COVERAGE AS OF DECEMBER 1ST for Parts A and B.  I could choose about Parts C and D.  What’s C?  I’m confused about that one and it’s not important.  What’s D?  Oh well, then funny you should ask.  That’s Prescription Coverage that I can opt into in Medicare if I decide to.

OK.  WELL THEN THAT WOULD’VE BEEN FINE AND DANDY WITH NOTICE…However, I had no notice.  Sure it was so miraculous to put it lightly that my OLD EMPLOYER HEALTHCARE COVERAGE ENDED ON NOVEMBER 30TH AND MY MEDICARE COVERAGE STARTED ON DECEMBER 1ST (no kidding there) but I had just had a conversation with the Director of Benefits at my Old Employer two weeks before (neither of us knowing my Disability Coverage would be terminated) and she told me not to worry about the Prescription Coverage Part D Part of Medicare because I could still get that coverage with the Old Employer Healthcare Coverage and all would be fine and dandy and so much cheaper and less dramatic…

BUT THEN I HAD NO HEALTHCARE COVERAGE BUT MEDICARE…

MORE FREAKAGE…I honestly could not even do ANYTHING about it all for at least a week.  I was COMPLETELY DEFLATED and at the end of my rope.  Well, sure there was rope but it was a very very thin thread and I refused to even pull at it or even grab hold.  I HAD HAD IT!

SO WHAT DID I DO YOU ASK?!  Well, I found myself suddenly making a hair appointment at a new salon that deals with curly hair (had been coloring my own hair purple for eight months at that time and hadn’t had it cut for eight months either and it needed to be taken care of badly), getting two new hair cuts (the first one didn’t fit me at all and well, I hadn’t had the coloring done just yet–only the consultation–so when I came in for the coloring appointment I had a big heart to heart with my stylist/artist about what I really needed to do with my hair for me at that time and she listened, understood and together we collaborated to cut my hair a lot shorter and get the purple I really wanted.), one of which (the final) will apparently be featured in their salon book because this Junior Stylist/Artist was being watched by the Senior Stylist/Artist and LOVED what we came up with and NEEDED TO GET A PICTURE RIGHT AWAY OF IT TO SHOW OFF TO EVERYONE AT THE SALON AND THEIR CLIENTS.  This guy also told me I was a true artist and it was so much more me.  Going through that whole experience is what I think I needed to find some of me at some point.  At least for the holidays.  I needed more oomph and acceptance of me because I felt so scared and defeated.

THEN: I GOT A CRASH COURSE IN MEDICARE–while still infuriated and hurt and disappointed and panicking about coverage.  Calls were made, notes were taken, website was looked at, advice was asked, and then an hour and a half on the phone with a company that may have handled the Prescription Coverage (the lady was so nice and patient) due to my long list of medications and BECAUSE my MS Medication is such a huge dramatic and EXPENSIVE pain in my butt and always has been in my over 10 years of diagnosis (10 years was December 2nd, 2002…so that was going through my mind too) and I’ve always had to jump through hoops to get it even with a PPO…Meanwhile, Corey was going through Open Enrollment for Benefits with his Company and he kept asking me if I wanted to be on his Plan and from what I could see, it looked and seemed to me like it would be more expensive but I guess I didn’t understand what I was looking at because at the last minute before he completed enrollment, he called me from his work and we went over every detail of the coverage if I was part of his plan and we ended up signing me up with his HEALTHCARE PLAN TOO!  SOOOO, AS OF TODAY, JANUARY 8TH, 2013 I still DON’T NEED MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION PLAN PART D yet….PHEW! 

OH AND I’M COVERED BY TWO DIFFERENT PLANS RIGHT NOW: COREY’S HEALTHCARE PLAN AND MEDICARE.  Can’t have asked for better coverage at this point.

BUT BOY WAS THE PROCESS ALL HELL.

OH AND SOMEWHERE IN THERE I started getting an upper respiratory/sinus infection and had to hurry to the doctor and be thrown on antibiotics to try to kill it right away because they don’t want to take any chances with me and my diseases and immune sensitivities so that was NO FUN.  But it made the infection go away and I’m grateful about that.

MEANWHILE, we celebrate Christmas and so Christmas was happening…Oh yeah.  That too.  I was doing pretty well at this point.  My body was handling everything very well.  I’D LIKE TO PUT A SHOUTOUT TO MY BODY AND THANK IT FOR ALL I PUT IT THROUGH FOR OVER A MONTH!  It let me do a lot of holiday things.  I even competed in a Cookie Swap Party and won 1ST PLACE with my special “Nahleen’s Special Snowball Snack Cookies” and was so touched and surprised to have won.  I’ve been making those since I was ten I think, so like twenty-five years…Crazy.  I feel old…But so cool to win.  I don’t think I’ve ever won first place for anything.  And you know what, it was a really nice Christmas.  I missed my loved ones back east big time this year but Corey, Cleo and I pulled off a pretty darn good one.  And things were starting to fall into place…

HOWEVER, THERE’S STILL SO MUCH TO DO with all this Healthcare Change stuff.  Gotta find out how to get my MS Medication (might I add that the Company who handles my MS Medication and the woman assigned to work with me to get it are absolutely WONDERFUL and I swear that woman is an Angel sent to help me–so sweet, so helpful, funny, knows more about my benefits than I do and so on) the right way although they’ve been sending it to me for no charge temporarily while it gets worked out–AMAZING!  I still need to change all my doctors over and let them know about my insurance situation.  I still need to change all my medications over to the new Prescription Plan.  It’s all new.  It’s all Change. 

CHANGE.

THEN NEW YEAR’S CAME AND HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013!  WE MADE IT! I had a great time with a friend watching Corey on Stage after he had been up for a bazillion hours because it was a One Day Play.  The writers had worked on it overnight, the actors and director showed up in the morning and they had to perform a play twice that night at 8pm and 10pm.  It was a crazy, funny play that left us all wondering what really just happened but it was great to take in the New Year with a laugh.  A friend of mine came with me and it was nice not to go alone too. 

MY BODY HUNG ON UNTIL JANUARY 2ND, 2013 and then CRASHED.

I woke up on January 2nd and my whole body felt inflamed.  It was like it was holding on for me as long as it could and when it felt safe, it let go.  I felt like I was on the verge of an MS Attack, a big Lupus Flare, and every symptom I ever felt ever was happening.  And if it didn’t happen that day it’s been making sure to still show itself today, January 8th.  I’m very fortunate to have a body that gives me lots of warning before it attacks.  If I listen to the warning and rest a lot than usually I can avoid any major action like being PUMPED WITH STEROIDS IN THE HOSPITAL FOR 3 DAYS TO TREAT AN MS ATTACK, or who knows what would happen with the LUPUS and how all that would happen.  I am grateful because not everyone with MS or lupus has that “luxury”…

During this past week I’ve been thinking I’ve wanted to FINALLY write my 150th Blog Post Finally and to get it out but it’s been locked in.  I think I’m pulling a bit into my cocoon to protect myself and because I’ve had enough.  I have to lessen the amount of activity I do and everything has really had to come to a halt or what I consider a STOP and RECOVER.  The RECOVERY to me is taking too long of course and the anger has come back up.  I keep thinking about what I “SHOULD BE” doing or what I “HAVE TO BE” doing and that gets me into trouble.

There’s still so much to handle with the Appeal and cleaning up the healthcare mess, and still having less money and with life, like laundry and grocery shopping and paperwork and managing Cleo’s health, and trying to have a life, and not being able to exercise as much and and and and and—I COULD GO ON FOREVER…

BECAUSE: LIFE IS IN SESSION.  IT IS ALWAYS IN SESSION. 

BUT I WANT TO END ON A POSITIVE NOTE:  DESPITE EVERYTHING THAT HAS BEEN GOING ON, I HAVE TAKEN A WALK FOR OVER 250 DAYS AND I KEEP ON WALKING…

GO ME!  GO ME!  GO ME!

So now it’s time for OPERATION: NURTURE NAHLEEN.

What’s that you ask?  Well it really occurred to me yesterday that I’ve learned to LOVE myself quite a bit BUT I’m not nice about it.  I’m not COMPASSIONATE, NURTURING, GENTLE, UNDERSTANDING, CONSIDERATE OR EVEN RESPECTFUL about it.  I tend to be mean about it.  Sure I’ll do what I need to do for rest and I know this is the body I have and I’m learning to LOVE IT but what about LIKING IT.  IT’S ME.  It’s part of who I am.  If it were someone else going through all of this health stuff all the time I’d tell them to be nice to themselves and take it easy, to be gentle and get some rest.  HECK, even if they have sniffles I’m telling them to take care of themselves and I’m so loving about it.  DO I DO THAT WITH ME?!  NO.

SO NOW I WILL FINALLY STOP WRITING AND GET BACK TO:

OPERATION: NURTURE NAHLEEN

It won’t be easy.  It was much easier yesterday than today.  I’ve wanted to rebel today.  But I’m determined to work on it and I know that with practice it will become easier.  That it’s not about perfection but about progress…

***And I really want to thank all of you who have supported me, talked to me, listened to me, loved me, hugged me, smiled at me, accepted me and been there for me this whole time.  No one should have to go through anything ALONE and I was never ALONE nor did I feel ALONE.  We are all in this together and I really felt ALL OF YOU holding me up and together.

THANK YOU.

 

 

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HOLY MOLY DECEMBER!

I write the title that way because December seemed to have pounced in LIKE CRAZY and just keeps going that way!!!

Decembers are always hard I think for most of us.  Not only is there usually some sort of Holiday we celebrate (Christmas here)  but then we end up getting thrown end of the month and year deadlines, new enrollment deadlines and choices, extra bills that come out of nowhere, and extra LIFE just KEEPS ON COMIN’!  And it’s NOT JUST BECAUSE OF THE HOLIDAYS!

Sure the Holidays have a tendency to drive me wacky.  It all gets magnified.  Ain’t that the truth.  I get what I call H-A-D or Holiday Affective Disorder.  It’s like a switch turned on the day after Thanksgiving (interesting that it wasn’t the week before–guess I’m making progress) in my brain and the CRAZY ANXIETY started about HOLIDAYS HOLIDAYS HOLIDAYS and this has to be done and that has to be done and and and…SOUND FAMILIAR TO ANY OF YOU?

So I had to really work on BREATHING (Tends to help.  I mean who knew right?), meditating, keeping perspective, talking it out, staying in the moment, one day at a time and all that hoobilly doobilly stuff and it helped A LOT.

BUT THEN, I received word (ONLY BECAUSE I SAW A DISCREPANCY IN A PIECE OF MAIL AND HAVE LEARNED TO ADDRESS THESE THINGS) that my Private Long Term Disability Entity that was connected with my previous employer (and who I HAD BEEN PAYING FOR SINCE I STARTED 11 YEARS BEFORE I LEFT), had TERMINATED my DISABILITY COVERAGE and NO ONE HAD TOLD ME ABOUT IT!  AGAIN–the ONLY REASON I FOUND OUT EVEN WHEN I DID WAS THAT I CALLED AND ASKED ABOUT A PIECE OF MAIL I HAD RECEIVED THAT MADE NO SENSE TO ME…

BY TERMINATING MY DISABILITY COVERAGE, THAT ALSO MEANT THAT MY HEALTHCARE COVERAGE CONNECTED WITH MY OLD EMPLOYER WAS ALSO TERMINATED BY THE END OF THE MONTH.  I found this all out the last week of November 2012.  I ended up calling the Director of the Benefits Office at my old employer and asked her about it.  At this point I was so enraged and furious I could hardly function.  She was very upset with this entity for giving no notice to me and to them because it would be a mess because they terminated my coverage and no one knew till later in the month and MY HEALTHCARE COVERAGE WOULD HAVE TO END BY THE LAST DAY OF THE MONTH…if I recall correctly I learned I lost HEALTHCARE COVERAGE 2 DAYS BEFORE IT WAS DONE.

NOT COOL.  WORDS CANNOT EXPRESS MY PANIC, MY FRUSTRATION, MY ANGER, MY FEAR, MY RAGE, and there were so many feelings that I just could not even express in words.  There are not enough words to describe feelings like this in the English language.

THERE IS A BLESSING HERE THAT I HAVE NOT MENTIONED.  I had been enrolled in Medicare (my Pride has a hard time with that since I’m 35 but now I know it’s an absolute BLESSING so I’m learning to accept it and fast) automatically by Social Security Disability and since they were covering me retroactively as of December 2010.  (Social Security Disability is starting to clean up the mess I was in with them.–thank goodness because that would’ve really hurt at that point).  After 2 years you’re automatically eligible for Medicare when you have Social Security Disability.  So there it was.  The TIMING WAS PERFECT.  On November 30th I LOST healthcare coverage with my old employer.  On December 1st I STARTED Medicare healthcare coverage.  CRAZY PERFECT TIMING…

HOWEVER THERE IS A REALLY BIG TWIST that has not been mentioned.  A couple months back the Director of Benefits at my old employer had told me to go ahead and keep Medicare as my Primary and that they would be my Secondary.  She also told me that I DID NOT have to sign up for Part D–Prescription Coverage–separate Plan with Medicare–because I could stay with the Prescription Plan Healthcare Coverage with my old employer Healthcare Plan.  SOOOOO, there I was on December 1st with Part A and Part B covered with Medicare and NO PRESCRIPTION HEALTHCARE COVERAGE….

SOOOOOOOOO UNCOOL to say the least of descriptive words possible…

It’s already hard to pay out of pocket for medications and we all know it gets expensive and fast and that’s even with coverage and co-pays.  However, my MS medications have ALWAYS BEEN AND SEEM TO CONTINUE TO BE RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE (even after 10 years of diagnosis) and the one I’m on right now is still a bit harder to be on and requires a lot of extra attention from the Healthcare system because it’s still so new and Man is it EXPENSIVE!  BUT it has helped improve my MS health immensely so it is worth it.

And so I’ve been trying to pull myself back up after being pulled under by a bunch of entities that seem to be making an effort to make it as hard as possible to be DISABLED.  UM…PSSSSST…IT’S ALREADY FRIGGIN’ HARD TO BE DISABLED.

I DID NOT ASK FOR MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS AND FOR IT TO BE CHRONIC.

I DID NOT ASK FOR LUPUS AND FOR IT TO BE CHRONIC.

I DID NOT ASK FOR ALL OF MY OTHER CONDITIONS THAT GO ALONG WITH CHRONIC AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES AND FOR THEM TO BE CHRONIC EITHER.

I DID NOT ASK FOR TONS OF MEDICATIONS.

I DID NOT ASK FOR THEM TO BE EXPENSIVE.

I DID NOT ASK FOR THIS MANY DOCTORS.

I DID NOT ASK FOR THEM TO BE EXPENSIVE EITHER.

I DID NOT ASK FOR ANY OF THIS.

I’m just me trying to be me and live my life the best way possible.  I’d also like a chance to RECOVER which is really hard to do when not given a break unless I give myself one.

That’s the thing.  I’ve had to schedule time to take more breaks, to try to have a social life, to get domestic life taken care of, to take care of our dearest Cleo Kitty who is doing so well (now that she’s been UN-DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER–MIRACLES DO HAPPEN!), to try to be creative, to try to participate in life-y things, to try to be doing anything I can to keep a smile on my face for the Holidays without forcing it all and pushing through it, to exercise and keep on walking (and I’m getting to 250 days in a row very shortly), to spend time with my husband, to breathe, to live, to have fun, to JUST BE…while LIVING THE LIFE AS SOMEONE WITH DISABILITIES who has to be as PROACTIVE as possible at all times with self care which also includes my eating better things for the Nahleen Diet, getting fresh air, being outside, brushing my teeth, taking a shower (still too much of an event), following up with doctor appointments, addressing colds and other infections immediately, taking care of this newly diagnosed IBS (I do believe we might be getting somewhere but medical tests are being done and those too take time), writing, trying to get more sleep and rest, WHATEVER IT TAKES FOR ME AT THE TIME.  Oh and the symptoms are still coming and going and I have my hard days and not so hard days.  Fatigue is still one of my main issues.  It’s not like they’ve gone away just because this ENTITY has decided THAT I CAN WORK…(Don’t get me wrong.  I’d LOVE TO WORK–who knew I’d say that.  IT WOULD BE A LOT EASIER THAN GOING THROUGH THIS DIFFICULT PERSONAL JOURNEY…)

My life is big–no it’s HUGE lately BUT I’m getting through it with lots of help, love and support that I’m learning to give myself more, from my friends, my family, so many loving people I know in spiritual groups who hold me up, social media, some people I’m getting know at the Pharmacy (sad but true), my awesome husband, my Cleo Kitty and you know what–it’s OK right now.  In fact, I let myself sit with that big blow when it first hit and tried to PROCESS THE TIDAL WAVE OF THE HUGE BLACK BLOW THAT NOT ONLY HIT ME FROM ABOVE BUT THEN TOOK THE WORLD I THOUGHT I WAS STANDING ON RIGHT OUT FROM UNDER ME…

The sitting helped.  THEN IT WAS TIME FOR MY OPERATION NAHLEEN HAIR RE’DO which is much shorter and purple and I LOVE IT.  It is THE NAHLEEN ‘DO!  That helped rebuild me A LOT. I had felt so depleted of everything.  I really had hit a bottom and was floundering.  They say you’ll always get more rope if you feel like you’re at the end and well, if there was any, it was frayed and withered away and may have broken had I grabbed it.

And as TIME HAS PASSED I’m picking myself back up with the help of the Holidays ACTUALLY (sure they’re stressful but I’ve learned over the years to just go with it and whatever happens happens–of course I haven’t felt this way EVERY DAY but I’m trying).  I baked 1st PRIZE WINNING COOKIES for a Cookie Swap Party last weekend that are my tradition to make every year and I think have been for 25 years or so and I still can’t believe I won.  That I even felt up to making them, going to the party, staying and then that I won was so awesome!  Really meant a lot to me in so many ways.  I was IN IT.  It felt so good to be creative and use my hands.

This week I dealt with a TRUE ANGEL (fully believe this) at the MS Medication Company Patient Program who helped me so much.  She stayed calm and knew exactly what she was doing.  I was so worried about how to get my medication without any insurance right now and she made sure I had enough for at least the next month.  She was the one following up with me.  Amazing professional ethics, consideration and respect.  I am truly grateful for her.  It was hard enough to start paying out of pocket for the other medications I need this month.  BUT it is all being recorded for the future.  I am working on RESEARCHING (HOLY CRAP IT IS SO COMPLICATED AND THEY MAKE IT SOOOO HARD TO GET A REALLY GOOD MEDICATION WITH MEDICARE–THEY REALLY DON’T WANT US TO BE ON MEDICATION NOW DO THEY?) this Part D Prescription Plan stuff and I have to take it slowly because it’s stressful and exhausting to look at and I need to know what I’m dealing with.  I was given NO LEAD TIME TO FIND THIS STUFF OUT.  INFURIATING.

I was also given a probably potential silver lining with my husband’s healthcare plan at work on Friday.  I thought it would be too expensive to do and got all confused about how it all worked and then he called me last minute and we went over it piece by piece to see if it would be worth it for me to be on his plan and I BELIEVE IT ABSOLUTELY IS and I ALSO BELIEVE I’M OFFICIALLY GOING TO HAVE A SECONDARY HEALTHCARE PLAN NOW which also probably means (with a little more research) THAT I DON’T HAVE TO DEAL WITH PART D-PRESCRIPTION COVERAGE WITH MEDICARE which is a TOTALLY AWESOME thing because my goodness the HEADACHE.

AND YES.  I WILL APPEAL THE DECISION THIS PRIVATE LONG TERM DISABILITY PLAN MADE ABOUT TERMINATING MY COVERAGE.  That is coming.  I am very resentful that this must happen but I need to fight not only for me but for others out there who don’t have the support I have and well THEY JUST CAN’T DO IT (I have those days quite a bit but I am too stubborn to let them win this one.)  I have a bit more to pull everything else together with my healthcare coverage and THEN LET THE APPEAL GAMES BEGIN.–As if I really wanted to do more work with ANOTHER APPEAL.  AND AS IF THEY ARE GAMES…

SO TIRING AND DRAINING.  So tired of talking about how awful my health is and trying to prove it yet not being able to really celebrate the improvements that have occurred is so sad.  Sometimes I feel like I have to be at least 2 people…

MS IS ENOUGH FOR DISABILITY.

LUPUS IS ENOUGH FOR DISABILITY.

MS AND LUPUS ARE DOUBLE ENOUGH FOR DISABILITY.

THERE SHOULD BE NO QUESTION.

**Anyway, I wanted to make sure to write and let you know that you are all on my minds all the time.  I look forward to less busy times ahead (hmmm…will it be so?) without end of the year stuff and the holidays so that I can back into writing more regularly.  Just writing this Post has helped me so much.  I was going to post a quick note to say hi and stuff and then it all came out.  Thanks so much for reading.  By the way, it seems I have New Followers.  WELCOME.  What a year it has been with this Blog.  *March 2013 will be my 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF WRITING THIS BLOG.* I am so happy and honored to have you all here on my journey with me.   And I so hope you are all doing okay.  I know it has been a rough year for a lot of us and I wish you all the best.  Please feel free to spread the word about my Blog, comment on my Posts, visit me on my Facebook Page that is supposed to be a supplement for this Page called “Nahleen.com” at http://www.facebook.com/Nahleencom, also on my Public Timeline at http://www.facebook.com/nahleenblake, and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nahleenblake!

Please whatever you do or don’t celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful end of the year if I don’t check in before then and may 2013 bring us all more peace in as many forms as possible!!!!

Much love!!!!!!–Nahleen

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Operation Nahleen New ‘Do!

OK.  So here I am.  I’ll spare you the scary in-between pics (weird foil and other strange things they do to your hair when coloring it and stuff) and show you the results instead.

I decided to go to a totally different hair stylist this time to see what would happen.  Devachan is the name of the place and they specialize in curly hair.  I really had a great experience there the whole way through.  I was pampered as soon as I walked in the door.

I had scheduled a hair appointment just to cut my hair and a hair color consultation (the hair coloring would come another time).  So what I didn’t mention earlier is that I had a VERY different hair style before this final hair style.  I LOVED IT BUT it wasn’t me.  My awesome hair stylist told me that if any adjustments were needed on my hair she’d do them at the coloring appointment.  So I really thought about how my hair was during the 4 days between appointments and came to the conclusion that it was really NOT going to work out.  I was looking for something fun, more out of my face (find that more and more I can’t stand it too much in my face–think it’s sensory thing with health stuff), off my neck (heat reasons due to MS and well probably the lupus too), could handle wearing a hat more (lupus–need to wear one almost all the time if there’s any UV rays or I can FEEL them), handle the curls, a little funky too AND OF COURSE IT HAD TO HAVE PURPLE!  Sooooo, at the coloring appointment I had a heart to heart with my stylist and she took care of it and together we came up with this.  I got to have 2 different hair styles and pamperings in 5 days!  I call it the ME DO.  She’s a Junior Stylist who is working her way up to Senior Stylist and I think she was pretty nervous because she was trying something very new and NOT what she had recommended at first.

However, AT THE FINALE, the Senior Stylist who was there was blown away by the outcome and exclaimed how SUPER CUTE it was!  That it was TOTALLY me and that I was a true artist by telling her what I needed.  So it worked out great because my Junior Stylist got a lot of praise and was also happy with how it came out.  I think we both learned a lot from each other.  She was very funny, sweet and honest.  Meant for me I think.  Turns out the Senior Stylist wanted pictures right away from his phone so that he could include them in their own Hair Style Manual for examples.  Well then.  That’s a pretty neat compliment if you ask me.

And without further ado:

INTRODUCING THE NEWER MORE IMPROVED NAHLEEN ‘DO!:

Here’s the Final! Doesn’t really show how good it looked but it shows the purple!

Side view! Needed the cut to be short to be off my neck for health and heat reasons mostly. I love it that short!

The FINAL of the back although I shouldn’t say that because my hair stylist kept fixing it even as I was walking out the door…

And when I got home I kept playing with it so we could see it from all angles. It’s purple, it’s practical, it’s cute and it’s ME! I LOVE IT!

And another angle because I was having fun!

And I just had to show the top!

And I post this one because I feel like it shows my spunkier side. I’m thrilled with this style FOR ME!

AND A WEEK AND A HALF LATER I STILL LOVE IT!  WOO HOO!

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Moments of Peace Part 7

Happy 3 Day Weekend All!  I hope you can enjoy the Holiday!  It will be a very special day for me on Monday because it’s also my Birthday!  I’m not sure how it’s already that time of year and I’m just gonna go with it.  It’s good to be alive.

Welcome to my new followers this week.  It is really so very cool to share my journey with all of you.  This week has been a very full week of ups and downs and roundabouts and I’m pretty exhausted.  Next week I am on a Rest-cation and I can’t wait!  I need the break badly.

It’s that time of week again where I like to review my Moments of Peace and share them with you:

05/18/12 My view from the sun deck as day turns to night. Clear skies and lots of views of planes that night. We are in the flight pattern of 2 different airports and I really enjoy watching the planes fly by.

05/18/12 My view from the sun deck as day turns to night. I really like how the sun’s reflections on the low clouds on the horizon give us the view of extra streaks of light.

05/18/12 Corey and our Cleo Kitty. These 2 are so in love. As you can see, Cleo has her own little playground on the floor with wrapping paper (that she just loves to sit on) and some kitty beds, and toys everywhere. We kinda like her.

05/19/12 My view from my balcony as morning turns to do. Some of the best views of the sky have come from my balcony. It is so nice to be able to see the big sky from our place.

05/19/12 My view from my balcony as morning turns to day. Another really neat view.

05/19/12 My view on a random street corner in West LA as day turns to night. I was running some errands and had to grab the picture before I lost the sun.  Oh and I grabbed it from the car.

05/19/12 My view in West LA as day turns to night. This time I wasn’t Driving While Taking Pictures and was on the sidewalk.

05/19/12 Being able to see Corey perform with improv group The Magic Meathands always gives me peace and lots of laughter. I was so happy to be able to get out and see him on the stage!

05/20/12 We went to Santa Monica, CA to see the solar eclipse on Sunday and it was wonderfully relaxing. The ocean always helps me feel at peace.

05/20/12 My view of the solar eclipse in Santa Monica, CA. The light was getting very dramatic at this point.

05/21/12 My view from the sun deck as day turns to night. Gotta love the twinkling LA nights.

05/21/12 My view from the sun deck as day turns to night. I turned to the right from the last picture and this is what I saw. Oh how I love the pinks!

05/22/12 My view from the sun deck as day turns to evening. It was kinda hot. Look at that intense sun!

05/22/12 My view from the sun deck as day turns to evening. I was trying to be artsy with this but it came out kinda weird. I really like the flatline effect of the sun.

05/23/12 My view on my walk in Santa Monica, CA. Look at that vibrant purple!

05/23/12 Had my absolutely favorite lunch at The Veggie Grill. They call it Buffalo Chickin’ Salad and it is not chicken. It is their own vegetarian version. It is so good and it tastes like chicken with the consistency too. I love it!

05/23/12 My view on my walk in Santa Monica, CA. Huge palm tree!

05/24/12 My view on my walk in Beverly Hills, CA. Such pretty simplicity.

05/24/12 My view on my walk in Beverly Hills, CA. Crazy strong sun!

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