Well, I suppose since today is the last day of 2010, it is time to review my life this past year. Funny, how not alot sticks out but my current situation. ILLNESS. Well, off to that shortly.
The beginning of the year I was still REELING from my first home purchase as a single mom. I was OBSESSED in 2009 with purchasing a home. It closed at the end of 2009 so I think it is fair to say that I was greatly affected and can talk about it in 2010 lol! Let me tell you so many things happened the first couple of months. My fence blew over, my hot water heater broke, my heater needed to be looked at. Uh huh, that was just in the first TWO MONTHS people. Lets not forget about when someone walked into my house a week after I bought it because I hadn't changed the locks yet. Yep it was a wild ride for sure! How blessed was I that my insurance paid me double what it cost me to fix the fence and that left over money helped me pay for a trauma a month later. God is good. Bottom line? WE LOVE OUR HOUSE. Boy did God know what we needed or what? Payment cheaper than rent. NO really...under $800 for a 1300 sq ft house. PRAISE GOD.
Ok ok ok...I can go on and on about the house. In June of last year I became really ill. Fatigue like I have never experienced in my life and a low grade fever. Within 2 days of becoming ill, I had a follow up on my CT scans that I had been doing every 90 days watching some nodes. The CT scan was riddled with nodes stating "too numerous to count". Doc ordered a biopsy STAT and they start treating me for Valley Fever, an endemic in my area. The biopsy didn't reveal anything really - well it ruled out cancer, but it did NOT rule out Valley Fever - no spores were found. My infectious disease doc started saying he didn't think I had it but lung doc wouldn't listen, all the while I am out of work. During this time out, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I developed a virus that almost killed me with a 104.4 fever while I was alone, my feet swelled up so big I couldn't wear shoes, mysterious rashes on my arms, Reynauds, then...my hair started falling out. I was out of work 6 weeks total. I finally go back in August still very fatigued and low grade fever every day. In October a new doc told me he thought I had a very rare lung disease called Granulomatous Lymphocytic Interstitial Lung Disease and that I needed to go to National Jewish Hospital. WOW. Talk about a shock. Missed all that work for nothing as it was probably never Valley Fever. Ended up on disability again in the end of October and here I still wait for my appointment.
The point of all that reminiscing? For starters, during this time I joined a Fibromyalgia support group and from that a smaller group was formed - Christians Fighting Fibro. What an amazing online prayer team, support group....family. I have made some extremely CLOSE friendships from this group. I know these people would be there in a HOT SECOND to help me if I asked. I would do the same for them.
Another amazing thing that I learned from all this? The power of people. I really thought I was going to lose my job for needing to go back on disability a second time in less than 6 months. I told my boss "well HR can fire me now as I only have about 2 weeks of protection left from FMLA". His reply? "I think I have a little something to say about that Kelli. We are very good to people on disability. Don't you worry about us, go out and get better and take care of your daughter". Then two weeks later I get a call from my boss and she tells me the VP and her have come up with a sign up sheet to bring my daughter and I meals once a week. WHAAAAATTTTT??????? NOOOOOOOOOOO I scream...I will be ok, we don't nee....."SHUSH IT" she replied. It's done Kelli, take the help. I reluctantly agreed. I was embarrassed. I felt undeserving, like if I tried really hard I could do it all alone. I had NO idea what was in store. The first person brought us Frugatti's Italian food. I made that food last 3 days and a couple of lunches lol. As we sat eating our first donated meal, I cried. I could not believe someone took their own money, their own time, drove all the way to us....just to help. I was overwhelmed by the act of kindness shown to us. I was also overwhelmed by the fact I didn't have to do dishes or clean up a big ol mess from cooking. I had no idea the stress relief this would bring. PRAISE GOD! The thing that summed it all up for me? I was watching a movie called the Christmas Cottage about Thomas Kincaid. His mother was loosing their house and on Christmas Day the whole town showed up to help with some much needed repairs. She was walking around crying and she said "I never knew I mattered". That summed it up for me.
I MUST MUST MUST put a post in here about all the food I cooked. Lets see...if I had to pick 3 of my favorite recipes? White chili, ooooooooohhhhhhhhhh homemade caramel (eek super easy you must try it!), and honestly? Probably the cran-pistachio cookies dipped in white chocolate! Who am I kidding? They are all my favorite because they are on here!!!
Now, is it sad that most of my year is summed up in illness? If that is what you have read from this post, please read it again. If thats all you still read, send me a comment because I need to re-write it haha. My year was filled with illness, but amid all of that illness a bigger thing happened.....PEOPLE. Friends came and took me to get biopsies, helped out with my daughter when I was getting my IV infusions and so sick after, co-workers so happily bringing my child and I a meal once a week - and enough people signed up through the end of February, people I have never met sending my child and I Christmas gifts, co-workers brought my daughter Christmas gifts and one from Santa (thank GOD because I had forgot the santa gift). 2010 was the year of good will. Humanity. People caring and helping. People being amazing.
My wish for 2011? That I can give back what has been given to me. That I make a difference in someone else's life.