Facing Our Demons…and Kicking Ass.

Super cool photo of your demons.

This was not going to be the original title, but it needed to be said.  How often have you actually named your demon?  I am not talking about a freaky version of Rumpelstiltskin where a tiny man dances around the fire saying his name loudly in a song that your hand-maiden can hear in order to destroy him…way to go Rumple, nope.  Not that kind of naming.  No.  This kind is actually way worse.

The scariest quest I ever completed was the journey into my deepest darkest fears.  The time that I sat on the couch and knew that without hope, of which I had very little, and faith, of which I still had a small amount left, that if I lost those two things, I would not be able to come out on the other side of this…maybe ever.  Let me be real about it.  It was not suicide, it was immense and total desperation.  It was depression that at such a young age, disease starting trying to destroy my body.

Now with disease comes an entire army of demons.  The likes of which normal people might face one at a time.  However, with me, it was the Battle of the 5 Armies and I wasn’t sure if the Elves were going to fight for me…or not.  << see that scary part in the beginning if you love Tolkien like I do, but stay for the battle.  It’s only a minute but it illustrates my point perfectly.

So the orcs, my demons, I had to name.  I was afraid of living a life of pain, and I knew it.  All of a sudden the Elves catapulted over the humans to fight the impending doom.  In reality, that didn’t happen.  I had to rise up and make a plan.  A plan that I knew would not bring me instant gratification, and a plan that I knew was going to be hard.  Like throwing the ring into Mount Doom hard.  So what did I do?

I got still.  And I said a prayer.

You can meditate, talk to your higher power, write about it, but speak it into existence.  Ask for it.  Seriously.  Men fighting battles always say a battle cry to rally the troops.  We’ve seen that time and time again.  RALLY your TROOPS. 

I made a plan.

Let’s say that you are dealing with anxiety.  When does it happen?  What are your triggers?  Do you know what causes you to spiral into that head space where all the voices are going off at once?  Write it down.  Use a focus word or mantra like this “I am breathing in.  I am breathing out.  I am safe.  I am whole.  I am not afraid. I am in control of my thoughts.”

I realized that I could control my thoughts.

This was a huge part of healing.  As I started to take back control of my Head, everything else started falling into place.  Did this process happen overnight?  No.  But I had a great and powerful plan of journaling my way back to what I truly wanted to feel like, and it was working.

I got really clear on my inner most desires, feelings, and what I did NOT want in my life.

It’s amazing how boundaries work.  One day, after a particularly amazing Yoga session, a “friend” called me to vent yet again.  Only this time, everything that was wrong in her life somehow became my fault because I suggested that I could help her no more and that perhaps therapy was needed.  Never heard from her again.  I was not important enough when I wanted to do fun things like go to yoga, or go out and enjoy dinner without hearing the same exact story.  Every. Single.  Time.  I was ready to grow and change and move forward.  She, and a few others like her, were not.

I made self-care first, not second, to ANY excuses.

This one is also powerful because if you make a commitment to your health and well-being, honor it or one day, quite frankly, you might not be here.  Too many people were flipping out, stressed out, and over the profession I was in.  They always stayed late, and got there early.  They said they couldn’t make yoga because of a “work” thing.  Or it was raining.  Or they were tired.  <<< pick your poison.  Excuses are a type of demon that want you to fail, so my friends, put up the good fight.  Send in Legolas and do the work here. 

I hope this helps you see that growth, in any form, is not an overnight process.  I recently pissed off a person as I mentioned that it was up to them, and no one else, to make their own happiness.  That is where the light comes in my friends.  You can fight these demons and win.  I believe in you.

Dedicated to my warriors in the Head|Heart|Health Club.  There is always room for you!

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Restorative Yoga…finding my place

Coming to yoga from a place of pain…Aimee’s perspective:

I was afraid my body was not ready for this class.  In fact, after taking the beginner yoga class, I waited weeks before coming back in to give it another go.  You see, the ego whispers to me “That was too hard, you must give up now.”  It is coming from a place of pain.  Pain I have lived with for the last 5 years since developing the symptoms and ultimately the diagnosis of fibromyalgia.  But last night on my mat, as I held the pose for a little bit longer, my mind tried to scream at me again to register and focus on my pain.  I then shushed it, and focused on my breathing instead.  And guess what happened?  It worked.

What is restorative yoga anyway?  Basically it’s the best thing ever for your body if you are new to yoga and trying to come at it from a place of pain and/or needing healing postures.  Click the above link to find out more.

Three weeks ago as I was getting ready to take the first class, an acquaintance called me, but I said I had to go get ready for yoga.  She asked if she could go; however, she is not known for her patience, so I explained this was not like traditional yoga.  She said she was fine with it…haha.  We arrived and were told to get bolsters, a blanket, a block and a belt.  She kept asking me questions about what we were going to do.  I did mention I had not taken this class before.  Throughout class, she fidgeted.  She whispered.  She twitched.  She complained under her breath.  I was NOT happy.  Yoga is MY place for peace.  If you invite yourself to come with me, you need to respect that this is already hard for me, and I like to relax.

At the end, oh the end, I was mortified.  Tea was served, and I dearly love hot tea.  As it was being passed out, fidgety gal loudly says WHAT IS IT?  I stared at her.  It’s tea.  Well, what kind??  I need to know.  No you don’t.  Be quiet and drink the tea before I lose my calm on you and go off all Scorpio style in this nice place.  She then got out her PHONE.  Yes, her phone, and proceeds to play on it.  NUMBER one rule of yoga is there are NO cell phones in yoga.  Everyone knows this.  Everyone.  Except her.

Unfortunately, I left restorative yoga more tense than I should have.  I allowed another person’s behavior and energy to seep into my space.  I don’t have time for that in my life.  I just don’t.  So I went blessedly alone the next week.  And again last night.  What I learned was that each week, Lauren works on a different part of the body in the poses.  If I had given up because of my mind, body, or embarrassment of the above, I would not have known that.  I am working hard on shifting my focus.  There are things we can’t control, but when you get to your mat, control what you can.  Slow down you mind, focus on the breath, drop the chatter in your head, and let the others melt away.  It is your journey and yours alone.  No one can do this for you.

I truly appreciate this class as it feels like it goes at your own pace.  Some of us use more bolsters, blankets, or props to get in the pose and get the best benefits.  It does not matter.  This is truly a class to teach you to slow down.  Namaste.

 

Heart

The Thief of my Youth.

The Thief…

I remember when it first started. Old age, I thought, was a bitch. Little did I know that it was not, in fact, normal aches and pains. The first sign was when my shoulders started tensing up. They hurt so bad I could not cross my arms in front of me. Each day I would get up, put on my “happy face” and work a full day with 18 tiny people staring at me. I sang songs, songs about being happy. I had to force the pain down each and every day. Doctors couldn’t help me. It was just a flare. Bursitis said one. Arthralgia with a question mark wrote another. Cortisone shot said yet another. So I agreed. I had the shot and was in the worst pain I have almost ever felt in my life. It froze my shoulder up even more and then I cried each time I moved. I had to prop my arm on a pillow that night. I couldn’t even change out of the clothes I was in.

Over time, the pain moved to my spine. It started at the base of my neck and went down until I could feel every single vertebra in my entire spine. I was never aware of my bones before. They were simply there. The pain radiated out to my shoulder blades. I became angry and more distant with people. I was coming home from work and just withdrawing into my own shell. I would put blankets all over me because I could not get warm. I had heating pads on my back and shoulders. I’d try to do things, but simply couldn’t function after working all day long.

Whenever I tried to sleep, I could feel the bones. I would toss and turn and try to get comfortable. By the time I got to sleep, my husband was bringing me coffee. Coffee was the only way to get me up in the morning, and yet it felt like I had just gone to sleep. The cycle was horribly draining on my well-being. Not just physical, but mentally as well. There was not one person I could tell this to. Not one. Do you know what they had called me at work? Mrs. Happy. I was Mrs. Freaking Happy.

I’d alternate between praying and being mad at God. He knew what I was going through. He knew, and yet there were no answers. None. One day a co-worker slapped me on the arm and I almost slapped her across the face for touching me. Yup. I did. It took all the self-control I had to say through gritted teeth “Never, ever touch me again.”   We were not particularly close, and she had a habit of thinking things were funny and slapping my arm like I agreed. The only thing I thought was funny at the moment was watching her face as I explained how much what she did hurt. Yes, it wasn’t nice, I know.  Pain doesn’t care.

Around that time I realized I couldn’t work around people and keep up appearances. That’s when a plan starting forming in my head that I needed to work on getting better if such a thing was possible. The pain, fatigue, and doubt about whether I would be able to hold down a job with my amount of pain wore me down. Every night I would cry. If I wasn’t crying, I was pretending I was fine…until I started getting sick to my stomach almost every single day. At that point, I could no longer pretend I was fine. Food was making me violently ill and I had not been allergic to any food before in my life. A thief came in and stole my youth. I looked like a 20 something year old healthy adult with the body of an 80-year-old woman on the inside.

This was how my story started, but by God it wasn’t how it was going to continue.  If this sounds like you, please read more under the search term Health.  If you want to start tiny baby steps towards your own change, check out 4 Weeks to Wellness.

 

Pain

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My exquisite spell…

Brief overview of the last 17 years.  Phone call New Year’s Eve 1997, cancerous cells found so I had to have a few procedures on my cervix.  Sorry guys, but it’s true.  Told that if I had too many, might have problems carrying a baby.  I was engaged to be married.  A few months later, my urine was the color of a dark red wine.  Blisters appeared on hands, read more here.  Diagnosis that year was Porphyria Cutanea Tarda.  Told to stay out of the sun, not drink alcohol, and oh yeah, get off birth control.  I was about to go away on my honeymoon.  Awesome.  I happened to need/want all 3 of those things at the time.

Years later, blessed with a healthy baby girl.  18 months later, blessed with another baby girl, through a scary life-changing delivery.  Knew that I was only meant to have those two, but because of the scary news from 1997, I made my peace with it.  Because I was still loading iron, my doctor finally tested me for Hereditary Hemochromatosis.

I thought by now I needed a break in the department of “crazy shit no one can pronounce”.  So I got one for a while.  At this point, I had already been phlebotomized, or pints of my blood taken, for years.  I was always tired, and trying to teach.  After my little one went to pre-school, I was asked to teach again.  I was sought out, which was flattering, by a local principal.  She heard good things about me, but my gut said NOOOOOO, don’t go there.  I didn’t listen to it.  My mistake.  Things happened that were political in nature, and I left the school to work in a private school.  Another thing that erm, was not what I was expecting.  After a few years of a whole different ball game, I went back to public school and found somewhere I LOVED.  I taught pre-school.

As luck would have it, my body was continuing its cycle of let’s try to beat Aimee down because she’s too happy.  So my stomach started hurting profusely all the time, for what I thought was no apparent reason.  I went to the gastroenterologist and had things done…not so fun things.  A procedure I actually put off until the last day of school one year because as you can imagine, I had no more time off.

It also coincided with pain emanating from my spine as well.  Then my shoulder started hurting and freezing up.  I had absolutely no idea what was going on (side note, I was developing autoimmune diseases at the time).  Not a single doctor knew what was wrong.  I taught  the next year in complete pain and would come home and put heating pads all over my body and cry secretly.  This was 3.5 years ago.  I refused to be on drugs that would make me not function at school (side note, I was called Mrs. Happy before this point in my life).  We had no planning periods and it was a full day pre-school with 18 little eyeballs watching my every move.

I could not eat without getting sick.  I actually stopped eating any food before work.  I ate very little at lunch and started developing a plan.  I went gluten-free.  NOT because it was a fad.  I want to smash cupcakes on people who say that.  BIG giant cupcakes.  Anyway, it was not enough.  I still was bloated.  Still had pain.  Still couldn’t eat without getting almost violently ill.  I was tested for allergies.  A ginormous portion flared up, BUT not gluten (no Celiac’s as I was tested).  Sugar was a flare.

Now at this point, I am not sure how the doctor, a ENT guy, didn’t think to say “Hey, wow, these are autoimmune flares”, but he didn’t.  I ended up getting worse off, and more sick after the allergens were introduced into my body and had vertigo for 3 weeks straight and was throwing up so bad I couldn’t keep anything down.

When all of that passed, I came to the decision last year that I could no longer carry on my regular duties as a classroom teacher.  I was tired from the phelbotomies (they had made me somewhat anemic), in pain, and not myself.  Life was, quite frankly, a struggle.  A month after school let out, my hip started going out.  I was now having pain radiating in my left hip and it seemed displaced.  In the fall of last year, I started seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis.  He helped get me moving again and my hip managed to get back in place.  When I realized I could no longer afford him on a regular basis as my insurance only paid for so many visits, I was sad, but I had to stop seeing him.

I spent the next three months under heating pads again.  Day in and day out.  At this point, I was still having stomach issues so I decided to stop eating sugar completely in all it’s forms.  I researched Hashimoto’s Thyroid, which I had finally been diagnosed with as my autoimmune problem.  I read everything I could about it and went “paleo” as best I could.  When I say “withdrawals” from sweet tea were the hardest, I am not kidding. 

Was diagnosed with fibromyalgia earlier this year as the result of the Epstein-Barr virus coming to life in my spine…oh yeah, that was why I was in pain.  I spent 3 months coming out of what you probably call depression/anxiety, but still was going to find a way to treat my symptoms without prescription drugs.  I want to perfectly honest here for my new friends.  I no longer like to eat.  I actually dislike the thought of food because it made me sick for so long.  So new girlfriend, I get where you are coming from.  I truly, honestly get where you are now.  The reason I wrote all of this is to let you know, you are not alone.  Thank you for asking me the questions you did.  I will always answer as honestly as I can so that you know it’s okay to feel this way.  It will get better.  So I hope I have caught you up to where I am now.  I am on all-natural supplements.  I did find a new functional medical doctor to look at me like a whole person and not one of my diseases.  I am feeling better, but I still have bad days.

Break

Motivational Monday…food triggers

So, a year ago, I made a decision that changed my life.  I decided to step down from teaching and focus on my health.  I don’t even think I made the decision, it was more like it was made for me.  I can honestly say I am still learning and moving forward.  I researched all-natural supplements and learned as much as I could.  I talked to friends about doctor choices, but was not satisfied with what doctors had to say.  I just knew in my gut they were wrong.  I can’t explain it, but I knew that they were treating me symptom by symptom and not looking at everything that had happened to me in the last 3 years.

I looked at my diet, and started removing foods.  I looked at my life and started removing other triggers.  Stress.  School.  Being around sick kids.  Being around negative people.  Being around people in general.  I peeled back as many layers as I could to find out what was causing the problems.  I thought I had it figured out, and I did.  But it had to get worse, much worse, before it could get better.  By the time January rolled around I think I had been wrapped in a cocoon of blankets for 3 months.  I was in deep pain, and it hurt to my very bones.  My stomach that had previously been a volcanic mess, was finally starting to settle because I ate very little for a while until I figured out what I could tolerate.

It turned out I had Epstein-Barr virus in my system that had most likely triggered Fibromyalgia.  The sad thing is, you can have every trigger point there is and it still takes 3 years for someone to say this is what you have.  I met a wonderful lady through my new business opportunity, and she began helping me.  Most likely the first step to helping me was believing in me.  I can honestly say when she walked over to me the first time, I thought she was one of “them”.  Someone who thought they could help me, but sadly, didn’t listen to me.  I am extremely thankful this was not the case.

So I sit here tonight, full from my Mother’s Day meal, a tiny bit pinker than I should be because of soccer today and the beach yesterday, and I realize that if you are reading this, on National Fibromyalgia Day, please be aware that the pain is very real.  I have spent the last 3 years cringing whenever someone touched me, went to pat my arm, or worse yet, pat my back.  I have avoided people like the plague because I was too tired to explain yet one more thing to them.  ONE MORE THING.  But tonight, I have hope.  So if you are sitting there in pain, know that I believe you.  And that’s enough to start with.  Knowing you are not alone.  So I dared to go out on a limb and offer advice not only through this blog but to all who ask me on my new business page.  I am not a doctor…I am one person with a story.  Your journey might look different than mine, as it should.  Be don’t stop if you aren’t there yet.  You’ll get there. 

I close with a quote from my other page…the tab explains it up top on this blog.

IntegrityCheck out the work with me tab for more on what I later created to help others through this process.

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Infinite loop…

An infinite loop can be described as a computer program which loops endlessly.  Having “no terminating condition” or “one that can never be met” or “one that causes the loop to start over”.  After three years, I think I have finally found the start of my infinite loop.  I have long suspected, as far back as the beginning of this blog, that something wasn’t adding up.  I have a good head for knowledge and research, and I know my own instincts.  They have not failed me yet.

Years ago when the pain started, I thought the doctors were missing all the key signs.  I just found them in this slide show about Fibromyalgia.  I had my suspicions, but looking at the very first slide just now, I wanted to cry.  It shows every spot that was triggered.  For those of you who have been here with me for a while, you’ll remember the post about my shoulder 3 years ago, then my spine.  The back of my neck was next, and this summer was my hip.

In the fall I started waking up not being able to move my fingers well in the morning, and honestly, just didn’t say anything.  What was the point?  Then my eyes started having some issues.  The ophthalmologist said it was severe allergy eyes.  Hmm.  I later learned that almost all of my friends with autoimmune issues have had eye problems as well.  I did not know that.  I already knew I had 16 of the 18 trigger points as this was not the first time I suspected that this could be the underlying cause; however, no doctor has ever looked further into it.  I realized years ago when someone touched my back to pat me and I stared daggers at them like they had just forcefully beat me on the back, that something was wrong.  I just thought “they” would find it.

Slide 5 is very interesting to me as it suggests that patients with fibro “experience pain in response to stimuli that are normally not perceived as painful.”  That would explain many things.  Then there was this piece “Researchers have found elevated levels of a nerve chemical signal, called substance P, and nerve growth factor in the spinal fluid of fibromyalgia patients.”  When all of this started, I told the doctor, a rheumatologist who was “well-known”, that I could feel every single place in my vertebral column.  I got a blank look.  I believe now that was the start of it.

The next slide that is of interest to me is slide 9.  “Patients with fibromyalgia lack the deep, restorative level of sleep, called ‘non-rapid eye movement’ (non-REM) sleep. Consequently, patients with fibromyalgia often awaken in the morning without feeling fully rested, even though they seem to have had an adequate number of hours of sleep time.”  This would explain why my hematologist looked at me like I had lost my mind when I said I am still fatigued all the time.  I suppose it would be too much for any of my doctors to coordinate on a treatment plan.

So what am I going to do about it now?  Well, after I see the next specialist a friend recommended as she uses this doctor for her own fibromyalgia care, I am going to move forward.  I am going to do some of these exercises as well.  I am going to look into Qigong exercises.  I am going to live again and know that while there is no cure, I am not alone.  Thank you to all who have been supportive of me during this journey.

Prosper

P.S.  I like to believe God is more like a father…one who leaves me notes.  One who is supportive and understanding.  YOU can believe whatever you want.

Motivational Monday…

Last week, my friend was in a terrible car accident that could have been very, very bad.  She has whiplash, but her car was totaled.  I thanked God when I found out that she and her passenger were able to walk away.  A drunk driver did not stop.  He did not even seem to see the car and smashed right into her bumper.  I read one book nightly, but I don’t usually talk about it here.  It is a devotional book that helps me focus my prayers at night.  I reflect on things and how to proceed from there.

Last night, my friend was messaging me and we talked about her pain.  She said something that was so profound for me, that I want to repeat it, and I know she won’t mind.  She said “I want to forget it, but I hurt, so I can’t.”  Wow.  I knew exactly how she felt.  We then talked about a recent situation in my life and she said “Some people have so much pain in their life that they need to slop it over everyone they encounter.  They have to keep engaging people with that pain.  It is how they communicate.”

I then knew I had done the right thing.  I have walked away from two situations that are not mine to fix.  They never were.  It was never about me at all.  I realized that these people like to be reminded of their pain.  They like to argue.  Nothing I say or do will ever change that.  They have to be willing to fix that for themselves and honestly, I don’t know if they can.

Don’t let your words be motivated by pain.  Don’t be afraid to walk away from someone who doesn’t deserve your time.  Remember what they say about that one bad apple…it really does spoil the bunch.

somepeopleTruth.

Time…

be who you are

  I was in a rather bad mood the other day and I know better than to write when I am in a bad mood.  I write my best posts in my mind as I am going to bed.  However, by that time, I have already posted something.  I rarely go back and change anything after I have posted it because it wouldn’t be fair.  It was my mood at the time and how I felt.  Writing exposes a side of a person and if you aren’t careful, you can get hurt.  So, my advice to myself is, do not write when you are in a bad mood.  Save that for a later time and never post it Abe.

Time does not really heal all things, so I am not going to be spouting that fictional tale.  I lost a friend last year to cancer.  She went to college with me, and I know she was upset about the amount of time she had left.  None of us are promised a certain number of days on this earth.  I will not tell you that I do not mourn the loss of my friend because I do.  Just as I mourn the loss of my grandmother.  However, the difference is that I believe in my heart, my grandmother had made peace with it, and my friend was still having a hard time.  That is why the pain is so raw.  Here is what my friend said to me in one of our last messages after I told her I understood about her condition due to my own strange illness…I had no idea. That’s heavy stuff, I like how you said “I only have” like it’s no big deal, when it is. Sometimes it just feels like you are the only one that is dealing with your sickness & NO ONE knows what you are going through, even though you know it’s not true. Thanks for telling me & for the note. XOXO

I like to think that my friends feel comfortable enough around me that they can “delegate”.  That’s right.  Go ahead.  I can take it.  Every now and again, I go to her Facebook page and read comments.  I do this in the dark, alone, with a box of tissues.  I let the tears stream hot tracks down my cheeks and I don’t wipe them away until I feel better.  Sometimes people let me down.  It’s only natural.  Sometimes life lets me down.  There is no way for everyone to be who we need at the exact moment we need it.  As long as I have one friend who can understand and be supportive, I am happy.

Don’t be afraid to share what you are going through with at least one person.  Learn to “delegate” your troubles.  If in doubt about who to talk to, mumble around all of your friends until that one friend says, what is wrong with you???  That person will help you ponder…the one who really listens.

“When in doubt, mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in charge, ponder.”  ~James H. Boren

The year was 1998…

Urine.  What a fun topic. 

Well, as I said in the beginning, it has to happen to someone, and as it so happens, it already has.  So, here I am trying to get over my first health scare of a new year, only to find something else wrong.  I go back to my gynecologist as I figured something was dreadfully wrong with my prior condition.  Maybe I just have a urinary tract infection (UTI).  It was the first time I can honestly say that I hoped that was the problem.  On this occasion, all the tests came back normal.

If I had been someone fictional like Dr. House, perhaps I could have sorted out my symptoms right away and made a great big flow chart of some sort or bounced a ball to find the right answer.  I would have realized that when I was working, I got cut easily and started bleeding all over without realizing I had even hurt my hand. I might have noticed I had thin skin when some of it came off in a horrible way (painful).  Additionally, I would have realized how extremely exhausted I had become, and perhaps planning a wedding during all of this, should not have made me so tired.  However, I was working for the first time after college so I wanted to make a good impression, and I let things go.  I was puzzled by these oddities, but since I was still dealing with the cervical issues, I failed to notice how strange things were.

All that changed when the blisters came.  The painful bubbles started appearing on my hands and some grew to be the size of a dime.  You might think this is an exaggeration, sadly, it is not.  The welts would pop open and leave painful scars for weeks and the skin would be tight and itchy where the blisters had been.  Did I mention I was getting married?  Think wedding portraits.  Ha.  Anyway, I go to my primary care physician at the time, and she looks me up and down.  She says she has no idea what is happening to me, but she knows of someone who can help.  A dermatologist.  Somehow, I get penciled in.  At this point, my hands are hurting me so badly at night I get little to no sleep.  The skin itches constantly and I am in pain.  My life is falling apart and I am only 23 years old at the time.

I sit on the crinkly paper and wait for a doctor who I hope will have answers.  Telling a story I had told twice, and hoping that this third time was a charm.  As she looks at my face, arms, and hands, she gets a worried look on her face and asks if her colleague can come take a look.  Sure, the more the merrier.  He comes in and mentions he is also her husband.  They haven’t seen a case like this…well, maybe ever.  The good news is that they happen to write a paper on it in medical school.  They whisper in undertones and I hear all kinds of strange-sounding words.  Latin I think to myself.  Great.  Just great.  This can’t be good news.  They seem to notice I am still in the room.  Since I ask a lot of questions, I get right to the point.  Please tell me what I have.  They seem calm when they tell me that I might have porphyria cutanea tarda, but don’t look it up.  Famous last words.  Don’t look it up.  They didn’t know who they were dealing with here.  Never tell me what I should not do.  Highly ineffective strategy.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes