Wednesday, December 31, 2014


When I look back at this year the first thing I remember chronologically is the car accident.  I was hit pretty hard on a highway driving to work.  I still get anxiety when I drive past that spot each day or when I see other accidents. It was over 10 months ago in February right around my birthday.  The car was totaled, I had a concussion, dislocated some ribs, had bruising from the seat belt and had to see a chiropractor for at least a few months.  I had just started a new job in Boulder.  One step forward, two steps back, I thought.  I decided to make it two steps forward, one step back, and bought myself a used mercedes.  While I don't like the stigma that is attached to it, the car is a rock, a tank, makes me feel safe and I can't complain about the heated seats in the below zero temps this winter.  What I still can't wrap my head around is that the car was the same price as the car I totaled, a GMC.  Two steps forward...

Within weeks I had my first cancer scare.  And boy, was I scared.  CT scans, specialists, blood work and swollen 'lymph' nodes in my neck.  I couldn't hold it together.  I couldn't go in to work.  Turns out it was my submandibular glands which were inflamed.  Looking back it was probably the stress of the accident which flared yet another autoimmune disorder.  Doctors wrote it off as sjogrens syndrome (aka dry mouth).  Cough drops, gum, and a fancy toothbrush became regular parts of my day.

Migranes.  I wouldn't leave the house without my migraine medicine.

Strep throat.  Every couple months, if not constantly.  Another positive test.  More antibiotics.

Enough!  I started a new diet.  Why not?  Nothing to lose.  I talk about it too much, I know.  It's a low inflammatory diet.  It's not the kind of diet where you try to lose weight.  In fact, I'm trying to gain weight.  I've been trying my whole life.  It's one of those things I need to accept and let go of.  Off on a tangent again, but I think life is about tangents.  What's fun with straight and narrow?  Low acidic, high alkaline, no nightshades.  I know, I sound like I'm from Boulder though I've somehow managed to spare you the words gluten and paleo.

Some doctors were skeptical.  Some were supportive.  I surrounded myself by the supportive people as much as I could.  3 months in and my rheumatologist said I could try going off my medicine.  6 months in and he said I didn't need blood work.  I'm about 7 months in and originally said I'd give it 15 months.  Let's not forget when I said that it was 15 months, it was being strict on my diet and I cheat way too much.  Perhaps that should be my new years resolution - not cheat, for 3 months and see what happens.  At the rate I've been going, it can only be good.

Let's also not forget I'm still dealing with strep throat at this point.  One doctor recommended going paleo.  Paleo for strep?  The last time I had strep the antibiotics didn't work.  After a week I went back in and got a stronger dose.  It was enough to scare me to go under the knife.  In October I elected to have a tonsillectomy.  To say it was hell and back is no understatement.  It was worse than childbirth, but I don't regret it in the slightest bit.  I was scared for my life, scared of choking on my own spit.  I couldn't eat.  I crushed pills.  I went through 30 pounds of ice chips, which my husband kept for me in a camping cooling by our bed.  I couldn't sleep.  I got a yeast infection in my throat.  Smoothies burned.  Orange sorbet burned.  I lived on sips of milk to coat my stomach when I had to take a pill.  I flared and got a spot of psoriasis on my elbow and a toenail that dislocated from the nail bed.  My psoriasis reared it's ugly head but the arthritis of my psoriatic arthritis stayed dormant.  I got back on my diet as soon as I could and while the one small spot of psoriasis and nail bed remain, they haven't gotten any worse nor have I flared again since the surgery.  One step forward, two steps back?  Haven't you learned I'm optimistic?  I'm two tonsils less, haven't had strep since, and am still off my medicine!!! Two steps forward...

Brycen had hand, foot, mouth.  Horrible.  His hands peeled like snake skin.  We found out he's allergic to sesame too.  Two steps back?  No.  We also found out he's not allergic to stone fruits, sunflower... and we've graduated to oral food challenges.  Two steps forward...

I could go on and on about the year we've had.  As one of our neighbors said, "never a dull moment at the Vroman house".  I could talk about the multiple ER visits we've had.  But I don't want to blow up every single thing that happens in our lives.  It's life.  It has become the new norm.  Shut up and deal with it, as my dad used to say.

Did I mention I got a promotion?  Two steps forward...

Cheers to 2015, I'll be dong my best to focus on the good things.  Cheers to family, cheers to health and being off all meds, cheers to friends and cheers to neighbors.  Cheers to life because while it's hard, at least I can say I'm living.  I'm alive and living life and we should all be grateful for that.

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