Sunday, March 16, 2014

let me introduce myself.

hi everyone, and welcome to my blog.  i wanted to start out explaining a little bit about myself and why i wanted to start this blog, so here goes.

my name is gabbi and i am 27 years old.  i live in upstate new york, and have all my life, though i can't wait to move down south.  i have a wonderful boyfriend who is in the army, a great family who is super supportive including a mom who is my best friend, and two amazing & goofy dogs who are the loves of my life.  i have a small but growing jewelry business on etsy that i have recently started and am really enjoying working on, as well as other various crafty projects.  i love drawing and am slowing working my way into painting as well.  i also crochet, make paper cards, work with clay, and will try basically any craft project at least once!  i love taking pictures and exploring new places and being outside as much as possible when i can.  i also like trying out new foods, especially looking for new, healthy ways to get the vitamins and nutrients my body needs, as diet is very important.

my dog, zoe.  she's a pug/min-pin mix.

my other dog, hendrix.  he's a jack russell.

me! :)

almost two years ago, i was diagnosed with interstitial cystitis, a bladder disease characterized by inflammation of the lining of your bladder which results in inability to empty your bladder completely, pain when peeing and also just all the time pain, sometimes blood in the urine from irritation of the lining, the feeling like you have to pee all the time, and a variety of other symptoms.  i was taken out of work for what we thought was a few months, in order to heal.  i loved my job more than anything -- i worked in the operating room as a surgical technician, assisting the surgeon during operations -- and having to leave my career indefinitely is one of the things i have had the hardest times coming to terms with.  over the last two years, i have been diagnosed with a slew of other disorders, diseases, and abnormalities, resulting in me taking about 25 pills a day and being somewhat confined to my apartment.  most of the things i suffer from are considered "invisible diseases," meaning that i don't "look sick".  it is very hard for most people to understand or be sympathetic to why i am as sick as i am when i appear to be normal and healthy.

throughout these past two years, because i have gotten many negative responses from people regarding me not looking sick and therefore not truly being sick, i have mostly kept what has happened to me private, sharing with a few friends and family and an occasional facebook update here and there.  it is embarrassing to be such a young person and be so severely sick, so unable to do things people my age are doing.  it is also extremely frustrating, since it seems like every time i go to the doctor, i get yet another medication added to my list, another test that has to be done, or another ailment added to the list of things that are wrong with me.  it's difficult to process and deal with on my own, so i figured nobody else would want to know about it, either.

but recently, after reading some other blogs online about those living with chronic illnesses, i have realized that that's not true.  it's nice to read about other peoples' struggles and know that i'm not alone.  more importantly, over this journey, i have gathered a ton of information about my diseases and helpful tips and hints that the doctors don't tell you -- things that you only learn through trial and error -- that would be selfish of me to keep to myself.  i also want to give others hope, to show that just because i have all these illnesses, i am still trying to make the best of my life and do the best i can with what i have.

so i have decided to start this blog.  it will contain information about my illnesses, hints and tricks i've learned along the way about them, updates on my progress and how i'm doing, and also regular, real-life things -- beauty products, movie reviews, tv shows i'm watching, trips i take, and fun stuff like that. hopefully you will enjoy reading my blog and get something out of it, and we can help each other along the way!


  1. With the health issues you have to endure how have you been supporting yourself since you had to terminate your career two years ago?

    1. because of the time i had worked at my job, i was eligible for and received both short- and long- term disability insurance benefits, along with the savings i had. i also have a great family who was able to support me when unexpected things came up and i needed the help! :)

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  3. Your response to the issue of supporting yourself seems to be in the past tense, not presently.? I cannot imagine not being able to work, and to be so confined. And my god, how do you pay your medical bills - they must be substantial. I know you mentioned insurance in all about me - is that medicaid since you are unemployed? Do you live with your parents? I know my parents could not provide continuous support for me if I was living on my own and not able to work.

    1. the insurance benefits were provided until pretty recently, and i had a pretty good amount of savings to fall back on. it's been pretty tight, i'm not going to lie, and i've definitely had to make a lot of sacrifices. i had to sell my car and go without a lot of other things, such as cable and a lot of "fun" stuff, in order to get by. also, because i am not able to work, i am eligible for help with my medical bills and other things from the state and government. i live with my boyfriend, and he helps me out too, as do my parents, like i said. i am so grateful to have both of them because if i didn't, i really would be in a terrible position!

  4. My heart goes out to you when I read the things you deal with on an every day basis. I'm really happy to hear that you've got supportive people behind you though.

    I look forward to following your blog!

  5. Could you explain how you lost your long-term disability - it seems incredible that someone who
    is permanently disabled would have long term disablity terminated.


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