I was born to a military man and his wife as the third child with another child to follow (he was adopted). We have lived in some really odd places, such as Korea and Alaska, and have done many interesting things because my parents were very willing to take on new challenges and experience new things. At present, they have been married for 53 years and are still going strong! I have a sister and two brothers, Teresa, James and Danny who are all very successful in their chosen careers.
As an adult, I have worked for some note-worthy companies, such as the Dallas Cowboys as a tour guide of the Stadium and I also worked for the New York State Fair, which was crazy awesome. Then I settled into a series of jobs in an office, working for an editor of textbooks, an asphalt company, a large grocery distribution company and a printing company. I “retired” from working in 2001 when I was 29 years old. Retired being a nice term for becoming disabled and not being able to actually work anymore. When I was 32 (May 2004), I went into remission and so I started college to get my bachelor degree in Criminal Justice, which I earned at 36 years old (May 2008).
When I was 21 (November 1993), I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, which is an autoimmune disorder that affects the digestive system. I struggled with this illness, complicated by other health issues, while trying to maintain a pretty normal life of working and making my own way in life. When I was 29 (August 2001), the doctor made sure I knew that I would die if I continued to work. At the time I was facing major surgery number 9, after countless minor surgeries. At this time, I have had a total of 19 major surgeries and way more minor surgeries to count and have almost died seven times. I went into remission when I was 32 (May 2004) and I came out of remission at age 36 (October 2008). What a wonderful four years of relative good health. Back to the grindstone of dealing with active Crohn’s!
–In August of 2011, I was diagnosed with Pyloric Stenosis. This is a result of the many surgeries that I have had over the years, and has resulted in having problems maintaining my nutrition, stamina, and blood levels. As my last surgery before this diagnosis was May 2011, the doctors do not want me to have any more surgeries at this time so we are limping along by performing EGD with Balloon Dilations to open my stomach up enough to allow me to digest, which lasted from October 2011 until January 2012.
–As of Christmas 2012, I have found a “miracle drug” called Immodium, that has helped my gut slow down enough to keep me relatively healthy, if I remember to be active, but not TOO active and keep up with my fluids. And my last surgery to date was my gall bladder surgery in June 2012. (not counting the minor surgeries for my port insertion, removal, and re-insertion due to slippage)
–In March of 2014, I have joined a gym and am working on recovering my strength and getting some tone to this flabby body ravaged by surgeries. Still trying to find that balance between active and over-active… 🙂
–In May 2015, I have quit the gym because I am remodeling my house and that is quite a bit of exercise. I am stronger and have more stamina than I have had in a long time. I am personally removing walls, building walls, creating rooms, moving lighting fixtures, trimming out each room and refinishing furniture to match the rustic decor I am going for. I am playing pool league 2 days a week, and having a great time. Crohn’s will never keep me down for long!!!
–2016 – So far this year has started on a very high note, with a few low notes thrown in. The remodel on my house has stalled, because I am just over the whole thing, though I do a little here and there. I built my very first piece of furniture in April, a bathroom vanity, and it is beautiful installed in my bathroom. The enjoyment I found at building this piece has opened up a new world for me. I will be helping my dad build some planter box railings for him and my mom’s back porch, and a couple of other projects for some friends. I am excited about this new venture! My health has been pretty stable lately and I feel like 2016 is gonna be a damn good year!