Sooooo, this little thing happened to me…

I’ve been gone from social media (which can be a relief), gone from my Warrior Wednesday episodes (these I miss doing), but it’s for a great cause. I have not been hospitalized for a crisis since August 2020, aside from the one week in April before my precious cargo arrived.

I had a baby!!! My son is gonna be 3 months old soon and he is EVERYTHING!!!

Yes that mean more sleepless nights for me but here I am at 5:10AM writing this with this huge smile on my face. I experience these sleepless nights differently now. It’s nothing compared to insomnia.

My pregnancy was great. I had NO pain for about 7 months and once I started looking pregnant, my feet were swollen, then I became uncomfortable.

I feel like I can go on and on about my pregnancy because of how much better I felt pregnant; to the point where my niece told me to get pregnant again right after I give birth, but I’ll spare you because I’m gonna start sounding like I’m gloating.

My son (I’m a mom!!!!) got tested for SickleCell and when I tell you God like to show off… This baby came out with Hemoglobin AS and is doing better than great at this point.

Now I gotta go, gotta try to sneak in some zzz’s but I’m already thinking about my next post while I’m all smiles…

Now I gotta go but please do remember to smile because it could definitely be worse…

Pain is unavoidable…

Whether you were born into pain, you pick it up along the way, you experience it later on in life, you will face pain at some point.

I mainly talk about physical pain, my SCD pain, because that’s what I experience the most and I can say I’m somewhat of an expert on how SCD affects my body, but obviously physical pain is not the only type of pain there is and over time, I’ve come to know what mental/emotional pain feels like.

It seems like more and more people are approaching the idea of “speaking freely” about their mental health and it’s about time. I don’t have a diagnostic saying I suffer from any mental condition and I can’t thank God enough because I think I’m dealing with plenty already, but I know the mental anguish SCD has brought on. Once these pain meds were added, it was a recipe for disaster. But I push through daily.

Some people aren’t able to push through because of the different kinds of pain that they’re dealing with, be it mental and/or physical. Experiencing different people at the SCD clinic has been an eye opener for me; sadly though, my fellow SickleCellers don’t like to talk about that part of it.

Pain is unavoidable. At some point or the next, we all experience pain. To the best of your ability, whether you have to talk to someone, whether you have to take pain meds, whether you have to get down on your knees and pray; you have to find a way to deal with the pain, because on the other side of the pain, there’s this beautiful person who’s waiting to flourish. It’s not always easy, but we’re all built to deal with it, successfully.

Smile, it could be worse!!!

I need to overcome…

If you’ve been watching me, following me, reading me for a while you know I am as transparent as possible, as vulnerable as possible. You should also know that when I take a while to write anything it’s because I can’t get it together, I can’t speak on whatever it is as candidly as I should and so I opt for quietness.

I have been doing my IG show since June and I’ve said over and over again that waking up everyday with SCD is a struggle because my body is fighting my body and there isn’t much I can do about it.

On Saturday during my show, I relived a bunch of stuff that I chose to keep suppressed and I was a mess, even hours after the episode. I had plenty to do following the episode, so I did what I do best, I plastered a smile on my face and pushed through.

I’m here in bed and instead of trying to fall asleep, instead of catching these zzz’s that my body deserves, I’m not only trying to nurse this pain, but also I’m thinking of ways to overcome this problem if I can call it that way.

SCD is a condition that I was born with but it’s a big problem in my life. I’ve found ways to adapt, fit my life around, adjust just so I can have some sort of normalcy in my life but this big problem doesn’t make it easy.

Now I know there’s nothing I can do about this, there’s no cure for SCD; even with changing my diet, again adjusting, trying to avoid stress as much as humanly possible, SCD is there!!! So how does one overcome this pain, this problem?

I just turned 39 years old a couple of weeks ago, I’m already thinking about turning 40 because I want the new decade of my life, the new chapter to be completely different. They say you are the author of your life, and while that’s true for most, I feel like for me, and maybe some of my fellow Warriors might feel the same way, SCD dictates the majority of what goes in each chapter of my book.

How do I overcome this? At this point in my life, I crave peace. I enjoy turning my phone off and just be absent from the world and present in my peace. How do I make SCD fit that mold? Because SCD doesn’t go hand in hand with peace; you would think that since I am away from stress and in peace, I would experience less pain.

How do I do this? I’m open to suggestions because I need to overcome…

Smile, it could be worse!!!

Strength…

On a daily basis I hear “you’re so strong”; “the strongest person I know” “you’re the toughest gal I know” and I have to tell you that I feel like I’m deceiving everyone because I don’t feel strong at all.

I was told I needed to replace my hips or else my bones would break most likely as I’m walking and that would be a more difficult and complicated surgery as opposed to scheduling them to be removed. What would you have done ?

I think when you don’t have a choice, you find a way to muster up the strength to deal with whatever you’re going through. I’m not trying to be modest, I really am not that strong. I have had to accept that this is my life and as much as it pains me everyday that this is my life, the reality is that “this is my life”. What can you do? C’est la vie…

This is a rather short post because today has been quite challenging but again someone just told me that I’m the toughest gal they know and I had to pen my thoughts, especially when I’m not feeling so strong right about now.

Everyone is strong. Only Superman is super strong, the strongest and the toughest. When you have no other choice, you will find the strength somewhere and somehow.

Thanks to everyone who sees me as the strongest and the toughest, I can accept a compliment but I just don’t want to disappoint because I can’t always live up to that.

I’m not a hero neither 🤦🏿‍♀️

Smile, it could be worse!!!

I create as I speak (avra kadavra)…

You try to find yourself while on this journey called life and try to relate to what people say for the most part (people, groups, beliefs, etc.), until one day certain things make sense to you OR you experience an emotion with something you hear, see, touch and/or smell.

To make it clearer, depending on what you believe in, you’ve probably heard people talk about manifesting; for some that’s called “faith” but the process is simply “creating as you speak”. Might have a different meaning to you or you’ve probably expressed it differently but at the end of the day I think we’re all after the same thing.

We usually wait until the turn of the year to make plans for that year, to come up with our resolutions and things of the like; here’s a thought, we would still be making plans for 365 days, do we have to start on 01/01/2021? Are we not making plans for the 12 following months?

For the most part, we have had quite a challenging year; for some of us, we’re still being forced to stay home because of the infamous Vid-19, so why not start working on our “resolution” right this minute? Why not start creating? Why not?

2020 has not been the best year, but we’ve made it to the end, we’ve soldiered through and should be thankful and grateful.

Here’s my POV, let’s not wait until 01/01/2021 to start living out our resolution, start manifesting, start creating, and have faith that as we start creating, we will speak our thoughts into existence and reach our goals.

Happy New Year and abracadabra or better yet, avra kadavra !!!

Smile, it could be worse…

Who are you living for?

As I lay in bed, unable to sleep, because I spent the majority of the day sleeping (just one of those fatigue crisis), watching videos, having random thoughts, thinking about ways to launch my business, I also started thinking about this question that I made the title of my post.

Who am I living for? The people who really know me know that I’m almost always saying “I don’t like people” or “I’m allergic to dumb people”, of course I always say it laughingly or in a playful manner but what am I really saying whenever I do make these statements?

Oddly enough, I attract people. People love talking to me, somehow I end up giving good advice and to a fault I always have people’s back, can that really be a trait for someone who doesn’t like people? It’s clearly the opposite. That makes absolutely ZERO sense but when I think about the title, it actually makes all the sense in the world.

Gathy, who are you living for? What is your purpose? How are you making your time on earth count?

When I started this blog, I just wanted to talk about things that I was going through as a SickleCeller, a Warrior. I always felt like it would be much easier than talking to people, my siblings included. My older brother is one of my best friends and when it comes to my health, he doesn’t know the half of what I go through on a daily basis and that’s my fault and I promise myself every day that I will be more open to him as it relates to SCD.

My significant other and I had a lot of arguments about me keeping stuff to myself, again as it relates to my health and at first it was hard for me to make sense of what he was saying and adjust, but eventually I let my guards down and let him in.

I’ve said all of this to say that my entire life I put a guard up on the issue of “people”, jokingly or straightforward, I kept myself at bay by saying I’m not a people person and/or I dont like people but at the end of it all, being good with people is one of my talents. I just know how to make people feel better and/or how to find solutions when dealing with people. I don’t know if SCD forced me to develop that trait but I have it and even though the question was random but it got me thinking.

I write because it’s easier to talk to people. I prefer helping people instead of letting people help me. I’ve decided to start working on bringing that barrier down, and I have to accept my purpose of being here to not only be a people person but to use that talent mainly within my community and to support my fellow Warriors in the best ways possible, all while allowing myself to be as transparent as I can when it comes to my health and talking to my people.

I will keep working at it until I perfect it and until I bring my guard all the way down, in no particular order and with no particular timeline, I just pray that God keeps me around long enough to accomplish this. In the meantime, smile, it could be worse!!!

My Twilight Zone… (opioids induced…)

I have been focusing more and more on the idea of transitioning completely and totally to Medical Cannabis and I am 93% there, but what of the remaining 7%?

Every time I take a trip to Trulieve (my dispensary), I come home not only happier but also more convinced that I am making the right choice by transitioning. Now I see my hematologist monthly and he is not the one who prescribes the cannabis, so I always leave his office with a prescription for Hydromorphone.

So far, the only negative I can honestly say that I have experienced with the medical cannabis is the fact that the products are not covered by insurance, and it gets pricey. That is something I think needs to be changed and I feel like it is part of my calling to start working on that to insure that our baby Warriors can reap the benefits.

I recommend that anyone, especially living in Florida, venturing into the world of medical cannabis, do not limit yourself and most importantly, think about how much it rains in Florida. If money permits, try oils, capsules, ointments and/or anything else that will help and also that you will be able to use if it is pouring rain, especially if you don’t live alone.

I was in pain earlier, around 2:30 a.m., enough to know that I needed to take something for it. My choices were: 1) roll a joint or 2) take an 8mg diluadid (hydromorphone). Of course I opted for choice 1. Great! I got up, rolled my joint and headed outside to take in my medicine. Upon opening the door, I realized it was pouring rain; my AC was running, maybe that is why I did not hear the rain, but I was sure the rain was on the way because of the pain. Well shucks then, now I have to go with option 2.

I realized long ago that when I take my oral diluadid close to or after 12:00 a.m (midnight), I have more difficulty sleeping. What do you mean you ask? Well, let me tell you! I have yet to figure it out, and maybe I will pose the question to the SCD community and to some of the doctor friends I have. When I take my pain pills late in the night or early in the night (or is it the day?), I end up in my twilight zone.

After taking the opioid, since my system is more used to it now, it takes me a good hour before I can get any relief, which sucks big time but I digress. I eventually fall asleep, but it feels as if I am not really asleep. I know I am sleeping, my eyes are closed, but it feels like an out of body experience. On the nights that it is more challenging for me to fall asleep, I put on my headphones and listen to some music and fall asleep eventually (does not work every time unfortunately), but on the nights that I do use the opioids around the time aforementioned, my headphones are in, my “Celine Dion” or my gospel is playing on low, I feel myself falling asleep, so I know I fell asleep for sure; but then, I feel as if I get out of my body and I then am watching myself sleep, if that makes sense. Kinda creepy actually but since it’s me watching me, it’s all good lol. I recall every single detail during my opioid induced twilight nights, and I dislike those with a passion.

If you live in Florida and you are starting your journey towards Medical Cannabis, whether it’s for minor or major use, take into consideration that you might not be able to go outside to enjoy your meds because it is always raining, if you do not smoke inside your house that is.

Now that it is 8:17 a.m., it is still raining, but at least the sun is out. You think I will get super wet if I step out for a quick minute? Lol… Let me try to catch some zzzzz’s before the day starts starts. If you have a solution for this twilight zone I deal with, please share.

Now, smile it could be worse!!!

Don’t you dare take life for granted!!!

I have a lot of sleepless nights, I just deal with them. Usually, after 5 days, I gotta do what I gotta do to make sure I don’t drop. Maybe my body knows this and I’m sure it knows it better than me, after 5 sleepless nights I start feeling numb.

The positive out of that is the fact that I don’t just lay there and waste, I pray, I read, I pray again; then I get on YouTube and it’s then time to wake up I’m not the biggest Netflix fan, but that’s a story for another time.

I started realizing why I didn’t sleep and as I do with everything else when I have the “aha moments”, I pray then I start fixing it. My prayer at that time is usually just asking God to show me how to fix it. I don’t like the method of “removing what is causing the problem”, just because I think it would then be too easy and eventually it would be in vain. (I know I’ll make sense to some people 😊)

During this process, I usually realize that I’ve been taking that particular thing for granted, which in turn means I take a lot out of life for granted and I’m just going around not really accepting my blessings, in a sense… I know I may not make sense but humor me for a second.

I spoke about my lack of sleep. What is the first question in your mind after reading that? The best question should be, the one my grandma asked me when I told her: “well do you sleep during the day?” No ma’am I do not, but I have a superpower, that’s how I’m able to go 5 days with no sleep 😝.

Because of COVID-19, I’m stuck in the house, I can’t work. Because of COVID-19, because I have SCD, the best choice for me is to stay home, away from anything and anyone that could potentially bring me COVID-19. For that reason, I tend to spend a lot of time in my room, in my bed, and because my body is always in that stage, it doesn’t recognize that I rested and so as far as it’s concerned, I already slept (don’t ask me to make it make sense if it doesn’t make sense but I get what I’m trying to say 😂).

I miss waking up at 7:15 a.m. to start getting ready for work. My last job was cool but my boss was a real jerk but I miss working, imagine I took that for granted and did whatever I wanted, disrespected my position, and just was a complete rugrat at work? I can appreciate this here hard time because I valued my position prior to this “hard time”.

Now let me go pray that my body figures things out so that I can get some great sleep but in the meantime, don’t you dare take life for granted you hear?! Eventually it won’t sit well with your soul.

Now smile, because it could be worse!!!

Gotta keep pushing…

I did not realize that it had been so long since I last shared anything with you. I have been in a little funk, as I am sure a lot of us have experienced during these trying times. These times really are trying.

When they started talking about Coronavirus, I did not really take it seriously, and I thank God that my mother was in town, because if it was not for her, I would not have started taking all the precautions that she made me take, because of SCD. I am eternally grateful!

July 13th marked three (3) months since I have been home, stuck, because of the “Rona” and boy did it change me! Because of SCD I am used to staying home, but it was not a situation like this where I am totally forced to stay home to make sure I do not expose myself nor my family to this “virus” and, when you factor SCD in this equation, you literally have a recipe for disaster on your hands. I was focused on work and different other projects that I was working on, and I had tunnel vision.

If you really have been following me, you do know by now that SCD does not have a schedule, it has its own agenda. There’s no way to predict a crisis. You have no way of knowing. And as life would have it, a couple of months ago, I had a major crisis. I mean MAJOR! I have never had a crisis of this magnitude before, and I was scared…

I was stressed out, and since life does not stop because we have a virus, because we are going through personal issues, nor because we are stuck home almost unemployed. It keeps going, minding its business, doing its own thing; it keeps rotating.

We have to figure out how to keep going, how to keep moving, how to push forward because things are not getting better. Coronavirus snuck up on us, the actual people, we are not the most informed and we’re still going to feel stuck because they will never give us all the details as they relate to this virus. What do we do?

Pushing forward is not going to be an easy task, but it is the task at hand. As I always say, “if you have no choice but to be strong, you will find strength within you”; at this juncture, the only choice we have is to push forward, let’s find the ability to do so within us and improve our quality of life, at least that part we have some control over. Let’s keep pushing!!!

Smile, it could be worse…

Oh how I’ve longed for YOU!!!

The beginning of quarantine did not encourage me to do anything productive, positive; nothing!!! I was just existing… At times it scared me because of the familiarity it had with some of the scariest times in my life.

A lot has happened! I’ve been going through a lot, as I suppose every single person on this planet has.

With every situation, I felt like I grew up a lot. People call me Warrior and/or Soldier and it has been quite a challenge for me to accept that title and to wear it with Honor.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you are very aware of the purpose of the blog, but in case you’re never read any previous post I have made, the title of my blog should be the biggest clue. At times I allow myself to be super vulnerable and write candidly and other times, I have the biggest block and I can NOT for the life of me feel inspired, motivated, and to be quite frank, at times, I have found myself not caring enough about promoting awareness.

My title has ambiguity in it. I’ve been working on my relationship with God, the spiritual part of my being. I am starting to crack this person down. I’m seeing a new and improved version of Gathy whom I longed for. I can only seriously relate this to SCD; because of what I have been going through physically, I lost a lot of the essence of who I’m supposed to be; but I was faced with hard reality and made a choice. I have longed for this version of me and the only way I was able to discover her was by longing for and looking for God at a different level.

Writing this post hasn’t been easy because it feels like I should be writing a book on it. I have to edit, delete and contain everything I need to say to make it fit a blog post. I believe ”the best is yet to come”. Best of Gathy by way of Best of God!!!

Smile, it could be worse!!!