"In all of living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured!"
~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Anybody Need a Date?

An amusing texting conversation that happened today:

random number: Hey, what's going on?

me: who is this?

random number: *gives name* (which I don't recognize)

me: Um, i think you might have the wrong number. Who are you trying to reach?

random number: isn't this karen?

me: (that is most definitely NOT how my name is spelled...) oh, that's me. How do i know you?

random number: I think we had a class together, but the more i think about it, i'm not sure if that's right...

me: (I graduated from BYU nearly 2 years ago...) Sorry, i don't remember you. How did you get my number?

random number: Its been in my phone as karen cutie...haha

random number: I don't think Cutie is your real last name, is it? haha

me: haha well i'm flattered! that must be from awhile ago though, i've been married for almost a year

random number: uh oh. lol.

The End. Oops. Poor guy.

Sooooo...I still have no clue who that guy is, or how he has my number...and if I really gave it to him apparently he waited quite a long time to actually contact me considering my days of giving out my number ended well over 2 years ago.

BUT, if any of you single ladies are feeling dateless or want a random boy to text, I might be able to point you in his direction :) haha

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

In the End

Yeah...yesterdays post was kind of a low point. I have those. But, today is a new day and it is better already! I'm not feeling perfectly well, but I rarely do. It's usually more a matter of not feeling too sick to do something rather than actually feeling good. But hey, as long as I don't feel too sick to do whatever it is I want to do, at least that's something!

I just found this on someone's facebook and it's what I need to hear like every day of my life.

And so, I'm going to keep on plodding through however many more years of nausea by body decides to throw at me as best I can while searching for a cure or at least a somewhat effective treatment, and someday I won't be sick anymore! Which will hopefully be before the day I die...but if not, well, a lifetime of extra refining never hurt anyone in the long run right? :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Frustrated Stomach Vent

I know having a bad attitude doesn't fix things, but I am in need of a good venting session right now!!! I hate this plague of nausea of mine SOOOOO MUCH!!! And I also hate the way I feel like I'm being bounced around with no answers, and not listened to completely. I understand that doctors are smart, being a doctor is hard, and making a correct diagnosis after just a few short visits is difficult - especially since my symptoms are so vague and generic - and the things that are so obvious to me because I'm living them, may not appear the same way to a doctor who barely knows me (not to mention I might not be explaining things clearly), but this is my vent so I'm going to disregard all that for a minute and assume that I am right about everything.

I just got back from an appointment with a specialist earlier today and he thinks I have Gastroparesis or some similar condition, so I'm going in for more testing on Friday. Well that's great, now maybe we'll get a real diagnosis! What makes me mad is that the second doctor I saw (the first just wanted me to take meds out the wazoo so I never went back) said the exact same thing. Then he moved to a different location so I started seeing a different doctor.  She decided I had Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and proceeded to give me medical advice accordingly and test me for everything other than gastroparesis. I did my research at home looking up articles and looking at medical websites and stuff, and I have like all of the symptoms of gastroparesis, and none of the trademark symptoms of IBS (cramping, pain, diarrhea, constipation, farting) except nausea, which isn't even one of the top symptoms. She told me to take fiber supplements, gave me anti-spasmatic stomach medication, and all that good stuff.

We still couldn't get me well or find answers from the testing, so I started seeing this specialist, but first I had an appointment with his assistant. He gave me a new prescription for some different anti-spasm meds and assured me that he KNEW they would work, and that if they didn't, when I came back he would give me a prescription for a stronger dose.

 So today, after many many expensive tests and prescription refills - not to mention all the copays! - my new doctor said he thought it was unproductive to spend time in the IBS route like my other doctors have been doing, because he thinks I have Gastroparesis, which is what that guy at the beginning thought I had all along. Because guess what, I have like all the major symptoms of it. No way! Tentatively diagnosing someone with something they actually have symptoms of instead of something else that they don't have symptoms of?! What a revolutionary idea! Too bad we couldn't have started making this progress before I had to suffer through an extra year of miserable nausea and running up my medical bills. Sheesh.

Also, thanks to more online research and looking at even more papers and articles I have discovered that a high-fiber diet makes Gastroparesis worse! So assuming that I do in fact have Gastroparesis, the advice from that other doctor was just making my symptoms worse! And get this, the two different anti-spasm medications that I was told to take by two different doctors both work by slowing down the movement in your stomach and intestines (Gastroparesis is when your stomach is too slow at moving food through your system and it makes you sick), so they have just been exacerbating my symptoms and I found a site that even listed them as causes of Gastroparesis! And neither of them are even designed to treat nausea, they are just to relieve pain - which is not one of my symptoms and I keep telling my doctors that!!  It's almost 6 PM all I have eaten today is 1 piece of toast, 2 mini cupcakes, and about 5 saltines, and I spent several hours this morning feeling very nauseous (I almost left my appointment because I almost puked a couple times while waiting), and I'm still just stuffed completely full. Stupid medicine making my problems worse! Stupid doctors writing me prescriptions for symptoms I don't have, that make the ones I do have worse!! GAAAHHH!!! Seriously I just want to scream! If they had just listened to me from the beginning, we could have tested for gastroparesis first instead of just starting down that road now after having to fight through all this expensive mess and misery and missed opportunities because I didn't feel good enough!! ugh.

Ok. There. I said it. I guess I'm done now.

I really just want to be well. I'm tired of this. Sooooo tired of it.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Homosexuality and the new "It Gets Better at Brigham Young University" Video

I'll update this later when I have more to say and more time to figure out how to say it. For now, suffice it to say that there has been quite a bit of talk on facebook lately about homosexuality.

I posted this status about it today and have gotten quite a few responses. All of them very interesting and insightful! Enjoy and feel free to join the conversation:

And here is another wonderfully worded opinion:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Death Be to the 8-legged Vermin!

Warm weather is coming! And with it comes an invasion of spiders. Also allergies...but spiders are much worse. I hate hate HATE having them in the house!! I almost died last Summer because of all the spiders that decided to inhabit the basement we live in! Ok maybe that's a little bit of an exaggeration, but remember this post? Over 26 spiders in your house in 1 week is too many!!

BUT, this year I am prepared. I still have about 1/2 gallon of spider-killing poison that I have already sprayed around everywhere once and killed 5 spiders with so far this Spring :)

And so to you spiders out there who think it would be fun to come live with us, I have prepared this letter:

Dear spiders,
do not even think of trying to move in. Please know that if you set foot inside this basement you will be mercilessly killed on sight. Invisible poison has already been left nearly everywhere in the basement to kill you silently while we sleep. To prevent you from simply playing dead, if you are found you will not only be poisoned, you will be drowned in poison and/or smashed by the mighty Trevor. I am very thorough in these matters. Do not test me. You WILL end up dead.
Please feel free to live anywhere in the great outdoors. There is much more food and better scenery and much more variety in company for you to enjoy. Plus the weather is beautiful.
Best Wishes at finding a different home,
Karin Michelle

Answers...or in other words...How I Knew My Husband

Note: I started this on Saturday March 30, but then I left to go watch a movie with some friends and didn't get back to it until now...but I don't feel like changing the first paragraph :)

Today was General Conference! And for the first time in quite awhile I don't have work or ballet or a test or some other random inhibitor, and I can watch all 4 sessions! Yay!!! Me and Trevor didn't get tickets to the conference center this year and we decided to just watch from home and avoid the stress and extra time of driving and traffic and parking and walking. A good choice in my opinion :) Anyways, now Trevor is off at the Priesthood session, and I'm at home doing dishes and blogging while I await his return and we head off to a movie night with some friends :)

A good excuse to reflect on the words of wisdom and truth I just heard from the mouths of apostles earlier today.

As kind of an interesting side-note, David Archuleta was totally in the MTC choir for the Saturday Afternoon session!!
totally cool :) Thankfully, they didn't show him until this closeup right at the very end of the closing song so people (myself included) didn't get distracted until after all the speakers were done.

So back to the pre-distraction, I usually think at least one or two of the talks are kind of 'meh', but I was pretty riveted on all of them today. Now that I've had a couple hours to reflect and marinate all the spiritual insight that has been poured into me today, the talk I keep thinking back to the most is Elder Richard G. Scott's.

He spoke about personal revelation and inspiration. One thing he said in particular got me thinking. It was something to the effect of, "if you are praying and asking for an answer and don't think you are getting one, look back at your life and see if maybe you have already received it."

That took me back to when I was a young single girl trying to make one of the most important decisions of my life: should I marry my boyfriend?

Right now seems like an especially appropriate time to be reflecting/writing about that since it was exactly one year and 5 days from today that I became officially engaged to my wonderful husband :) And there's no documentation of any of that since it was during my non-journaling years (sad!), so now there will be at least some sort of record for posterity! Yay!

But that's not the boyfriend I am referring to in the question above. He was one before my husband. We dated for several months, and got to that point in the relationship where it's time to decide to either get married, or break up and move on. I could tell we were getting close, so I started praying about it for awhile, but didn't get any obvious answer so I figured I just wasn't ready to decide yet. Then I got a father's blessing a few weeks later that said straight out that I would know my husband by the end of that year. An unusually bold and straight-forward promise for a blessing. It was mid-August. I started praying more intently, and kept asking if he was the one I should marry, but still didn't get a clear answer. I was mostly just left with a lingering feeling of uncertainty and I would think back on all the things in the relationship that I didn't like and wonder if they were just personality quirks I should learn to overlook, or if I should be seeing them as serious deal-breakers.

I was frustrated that I wasn't getting an answer, especially since it was a sincere question with such major eternal significance. But really, I had already gotten my answer, I just didn't realize. Just like Elder Scott said, if I had looked back at all the impressions I had had at various times, I would have realized I had been getting small answers all along. All the times I had been so sooo close to breaking up with him, but decided to stick it out for just a little longer, and all my suppressed frustrations that I knew were a bigger deal that I was telling myself, not to mention off-hand comments from a few friends about how I just wasn't myself anymore. I had my answer, I just didn't look back and recognize it.

Richard G. Scott also talked about how God does not intend for us to fail, and although we are expected to recognize and remember the sacred pieces of revelation He gives us, He will still remind us of the important things if we forget or do not see them. Fortunately, He did that for me too :) One night I felt impressed to change my question from, "should I marry this boyfriend eventually?" to. "should I break up with my boyfriend today?". That prayer got a direct and immediate "No" response. One of the clearest and most direct answers I've ever received. And so I obeyed.

In the days that followed, pieces started quickly falling into place that made it alarmingly clear that no no no we were not meant for each other, and our relationship was pretty much doomed to fail in the long run. Interestingly enough, a few random people who I haven't counseled with at any other time made unprovoked passionate advice-giving cameos in the next few days that helped me recognize what was unfolding before me. God has a way of putting people with something to say in our paths right when that something is also exactly what we need to hear :)

Thanks to those few extra days at the end that exaggerated everything I knew before but was subconsciously downplaying - and threw a few extra logs on the fire - I realized I really did have my answer all along. 

Fortunately we get to learn from our mistakes, and from that experience I learned a lot about what to look out for, what is really important to me in a relationship, and most importantly, I learned to pay attention to the day-to-day answers that come. So then when the next boy came along (Me and Trevor started talking 5 days after the breakup and started dating about a month after that), I was ready :)

I guess I kind of knew even from the beginning that there was definitely some marriage potential in this guy. The red flags I was used to and was afraid of just weren't there. Not only that, he also had a lot of strengths that I had been wishing for. Plus he was just so wonderful and made me so happy all the time! I remember telling my friends and family at home over Christmas break (2-3 months into our official relationship) that something would have to go really really unexpectedly wrong for me to not want to marry him :)

A month or so later I started the marriage question praying thing again. This time instead of re-asking for a "yes" or "no" answer each day, I prayed that if there was some issue or anything that would be a big problem in our relationship, or reason not to marry him, that it would come up and that I would recognize it. Sure there were small or moderate-sized issues that came up like normal, but they were all things we could work through, or were minor enough that they fell more into the "annoyances" category than "life problems" one. One day in particular I was a little upset about something he did so I prayed about it and decided to keep a list in my journal every night of things Trevor did that I liked and things I didn't. That didn't even last one day. After writing down all the awesome things he had done for me that day, I just couldn't even bring myself to write down whatever it was that had upset me because I realized it was just so stupid, not to mention I was just completely smitten with him all over again after re-realizing how wonderful he was :) And now I don't even remember what he did that I was upset about.

Over the next few weeks me and Trevor had a couple serious conversations about the possibility of marriage, future plans and goals, what we expected from our future spouse, potential fears for our relationship down the road and how we can avoid them from becoming reality, and basically just the logical pros and cons to marrying each other. Overall we concluded it was a logically advantageous decision to marry :) Totally unromantic, I know, but what can I say? My Trevor is a very smart, logical man :) And truthfully, even in matters of the heart you really need to use your head a lot if you want to be happy in the end.

So after we had all that important business material taken care of, we decided to take a week or two to really think about it and decide if it was really what we wanted, and to ask the Lord. We chose March 19th to be our day to try to have our decisions by, and focused on fasting and praying, and spent some time in the temple pondering.

Even though the situation was completely different than the relationship I was in before, I was still a little hesitant to pray and ask for a direct "yes" or "no" like before because I didn't want to get stuck with the same uncertain muddled confused feeling I hated getting all those times I had asked about the other boyfriend. I knew I needed some sort of ultimatum answer or confirmation though to back up my positive reassurances up until that point, so finally, the night before the 19th, I pulled out my scriptures yet again to study and pray. My roommate was asleep already, so I sat on the bathroom floor so I would have some light to read by. After reading for a bit I started praying and asked if marrying Trevor was really what I wanted to do, and if I would be happy as his wife, and if he would help me be all things I want to be and should be. Aaaand once again, I didn't get a "yes" or "no", because I already had been given my answer. Instead of a direct commanding answer it felt almost like a good-natured "well why don't you tell me?", just like if I had gone up to my dad and asked, "do I think brownies are delicious?" Of course I do :)

And lucky for me, Trevor felt the same way! So a week later he officially proposed, and now, over a year later, we're married and living our happily ever after!

God will always give you the answers you need. Just keep on looking and listening :)

us happy little newly-engageders after the official proposal :)

Yes, Life is Wonderful!

I've been feeling rather optimistic lately. Probably because lots of things are going right :) I love my husband, my health has been MUCH better the past month or two that for the several before (although I still feel at least a little sick for at least an hour or so a day), I love ballet and I've had several wonderful opportunities fall right into my lap recently that I never thought I would have, I got out of the retail/production/labor Costco pit and I'm finishing up my internship this week so now I can start the quest for a real paying job, we have a great home with all the things we need, the dishwasher is fixed again, Trevor has an internship for this Summer, I get to see my wonderful friend Stephanie in just a couple days, and Spring is coming and it's warm and beautiful and sunshiney and I love it!!!

Life is Wonderful :)

and I found this wonderful little link/picture about it too:)