Where I Come From

Yeah, yeah, I know I haven’t blogged in awhile, but school is almost over and my free time is finally opening up! So, when I was in about 8th or 9th grade my English teacher asked us to write a poem about where we came from. Now, of course there were requirements to this essay, but I recently came across it and thought I should share it for my comeback blog! Enjoy Lovelies!

I am from satin dresses,

from sparkles and stages.

I am from the eyeshadow upon my eyelid.

(Shimmering beneath the lights,

like stars reflecting off the moon.)

I am from the tiaras,

the sashes

whose silky textures crowd the walls.

I’m from hotels and road trips,

from Nana and Pop.

I’m from the book worm and Sci-Fi junkie,

from pretty feet and 5,6,7,8.

I’m from the huddled masses and shining torches.

I’m from Jerry and Christy’s branch,

barbeque brisket and baked ziti.

From Lufkin Lane and it’s all day games

and crashing go-karts and buying mail boxes.

From the kitchen hutch carrying the scrapbooks,

cradling the memories.

I am from those moments-

The newest branch,

pushing through to find my own light.

Happy Blogging,

Emily❤

Life’s Little Disappointments

After the end of a 3 year relationship, I have found myself in a new lifestyle known as “dating”. At 19, you would think that this would be something I would be familiar with right? Wrong! I began dating my ex a month before my 17th birthday and before that I was in a 2 year relationship. When my recent relationship ended, I was eager to get out and join others my age in this fun social life I have been excluded from. I have had to be so dependent on others while I was sick and in the hospital, that this new found independence and dating life is so appealing to me.

So, I met this guy. He was everything that I didn’t think could even exist in small town Texas. He was liberal, atheist, musical and up to date with world events. If you don’t really know me that is pretty much how I would sum up my life partner to you if you were to ask. We started hanging out and talking regularly and things were going great. I was happy to wake up in the morning and had a new found excitement of life that had gone astray when I got so ill. As time went on things only got better and I found myself unexpectedly ready to have another exclusive relationship.

But, it didn’t work out. I was pissed. I couldn’t help but think to myself how things could have gone so wrong, when we had been getting along great. I wasn’t informed that this new “casual dating” doesn’t mean that all past relationships are completely in the past and that the other person may or may not be talking to other people while also talking to you as well.

At only 19, I’ve been given a heaping handful of bad news. People say that things not going your way is “normal” and “a part of life”, maybe it is. During this new dating scene I’ve been in, I have thought to myself that things HAVE to go my way this time since I have had bad news repeatedly the last few years. I’m wrong. Just because you’ve had bad news in the past, doesn’t mean that the bad news has stopped. Bad news, unfair outcomes, things that make no sense at all to you is going to happen repeatedly. The true difference of the outcome lies in how you handle the results. So, how did I handle him “just wanting to be friends”? I did just that, I have stayed his friend and although I might look forward to our pow-wows a little more than him, I’ve come to accept that that’s just how it’s going to be. I could have thought about the situation in two ways… either, things never go my way and my life is just meant to suck, or he gave me back my excitement for life and thirst to get out and have an awesome social life. I have decided that while life has its many little disappointments, they are just that… little.

4 Struggles People With IBD Know All To Well & Tips On How To Cope

Irritable Bowel Disese or “IBD” (can-stock-photo_csp11853269Crohn’s Disease & Ulcerative Colitis) affects around 1.4 million people in the United States. Many individuals who live their life battling these unattractive diseases are FIGHTERS. Talking about poop doesn’t bother us. GET ON OUR LEVEL! After talking to others who also have to deal with IBD daily and my own personal experiences, I have chosen five really common struggles that we deal with almost daily!

      

1) Fatigue NeesleepingBeauty-femmewised I say more? Fatigue affects so many people with IBD due to weight loss, loss of appetite, anemia, etc. It can be frustrating to those with IBD like myself. Some days I have so many activities planned and then they are all thrown out the window and I am in the bed for two days straight. Try taking regular naps and scheduling important activities at times when you’ll have the most energy. You’re given a ticket to a free nap in the afternoons after you’ve completed your morning “tasks.”

2) Nausea-images

Oh the dreaded nausea. When I was in my worst flare up back in November 2013 until around February 2014, I was throwing up around 10-14 times a day. If there wasn’t food in my stomach I would throw up pills. No pills? I would throw up bile. I have learned a lot of tricks that really help me every time.

  • If the urge gets more intense Zofran can be a good medication to try to stop it, because it dissolves in your mouth giving you quicker relief than Promethazine
  • If you don’t have time to take medication and your mouth begins to get very watery, it is time to go to the bathroom, the vomit it coming!
  • If you have time to grab one, a wet washcloth is great to have! Place it on your neck for some type of comfort and then you can use it afterwards to wipe your face and teary eyes.

3) Sex-Couple in Bed

When I surveyed a few of my IBD Facebook Chat Groups, this was the second most popular topic. Having sex with IBD can be difficult for you and your partner. It is totally natural to not want to have sex when you are in a flare! Some of the medications doctors prescribe, will lower your sex drive and can even make sex painful. Plus, we all know how awkward it can be trying not to accidentally go while having sexual intercourse! Communication is key when you are going through this! Be open with our partner and if they are worth it, they will stick around until you are in remission and can go back to “normal” whatever that may be for you.

4) Invisible Illness-ea34c1e3042f110e8ed276691b369308

IBD is not something you can see from a distance or even 6 inches from somebody. Those of us with IBD spend our days holding in gas, running to the restroom and sitting down constantly due to fatigue. It’s real, but not seen. That is one of the most difficult things we have to deal with. Being only 19 with Ulcerative Colitis, I am always trying to do normal College Student activities. That isn’t always going to be easy for me though and sometimes people don’t understand what is happening inside my body. That is why I am all about educating my friends and family about IBD, so then they know what my insides are up to!

You Don’t Have to Claim it, but you have to accept it

When I was diagnosed with my two auto-immune diseases, many of my doctors and family members acted as if it would be so hard for me to face what I had been told not once, but twice. It wasn’t hard at all. I like to think of myself as a realist, I know I will most likely die with these diseases, I know not every guy I want to date will want to handle my diseases and I know I will have my ups and a lot of downs. Accepting my diseases was easier for me than it was for others in my life.

When I talk about having Ulcerative Colitis or Multiple Sclerosis, often times you will hear me say “MY UC is acting up” or “MY MS has made my memory fuzzy lately” Yes, I claim MY diseases. I have both of them and they will forever be a part of me and they have shaped how I live my life drastically. There is nothing wrong with claiming your disease, and those who tell you not to, frankly, haven’t had to deal with something incurable. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for positive thinking and I love the quote by Marianne Williamson who said “Where you seek the positive you call forth more positive and where you seek the negative you call forth more negative” But I don’t think claiming your disease is a bad thing to do or is attracting negative energy.

Think of your disease like this, When Alcoholics go to AA, the first step is admitting and claiming that you have something wrong in your life and that you want to get better. So, Hi my name is Emily Avera and I have Multiple Sclerosis and Ulcerative Colitis. Ulcerative Colitis does not have me. Multiple Sclerosis does not have me. I have them, my body’s immune system sucked and I received these diseases.

That’s okay though, because I can accept what I have and my diseases, I can move forward. I learn new ways to cope with them and new ways to talk about them to those who don’t understand. It really was the first real step in me healing and getting better mentally about my situation. So, what is your name and what do you have?

Hair Angel

Azathioprine also known as 6-MP is an oral chemo-medication used to treat many diseases, including Ulcerative Colitis. While in St. Luke’s in Pasadena, my doctor decided to start me on 6-MP, I immediately asked if I was going to lose my hair and I was told by my three main doctors that “Emily, your hair will only mildly thin.” That my friends, was complete bull.

About 3 weeks after I began to take 6-MP, I was admitted for the 5th time to St. Luke’s and transferred to Houston to be viewed by the Baylor GI Team. In the hospital I began to notice strands of hair on the pillows, blankets and even feeling tangled in them at night.

5 months later my hair was so thin that clip-in extensions wouldn’t even hold and even if they did, I didn’t have enough hair to cover them. Devastated is the best word I could use to describe my hair loss. For the first time in my life, I was truly self-conscious. My mom took me to this wonderful wig store in League City called Becky’s Wigs & Mastectomy, the owner was so helpful. My wigs weren’t human hair, which we thought originally would make a huge difference, but it didn’t! I loved my wigs and I felt like I was finally on the up an up.

When my hair was finally healthy enough to hold extensions, I called Estilo Salon & Spa in Houston to book a consultation with Eric Vaughn. If you don’t know who Eric is, he is the Official Hair Sponsor for the Miss Texas & Miss Texas Teen USA Pageants. When I met with Eric I very shyly showed him my “medication” hair. On top of my head sat brittle, thin, frizzy hair, as we talked about the length and thickness, I still didn’t realize what a change he was going to make. I was so full of emotion after that consultation that finally I was going to have hair that I cried, I cried and cried to myself in my little Red Fit. I was angry that I even had to lose my hair, embarrassed of the hair on my head, but mostly I was so overwhelmed with the feeling of relief. A week later I was back in his chair and he began to work his magic. My hair was literally getting thicker by the minute! I couldn’t even believe how beautiful and happy I was feeling.

7 months, that is how long I dealt with my hair loss and in 2 hours my whole perception of my life changed drastically. I felt beautiful again. Instead of hiding from my mirrors in my room or when I was out, I found myself taking loads of selfies. Eric truly changed me not just physically, but emotionally as well. I will forever be grateful for the work he did, seriously, my hair angel.

Cut & Extension Application, Eric Vaughn at Estilo Salon & Spa, Houston TX.

Extensions Used, Di Biase Hair USA Fusion Extensions

Styled with, Moroccan Oil Products

Wigs Purchased at Becky’s Wigs & Mastectomy 

Chronically Ill, yet Chronically Fabulous

I may be Chronically Ill, but I am also Chronically Fabulous. When I was diagnosed with my first auto-immune disease, Multiple Sclerosis at age 17, I thought my whole world was going to crumble; it didn’t. In November 2013 I was diagnosed with a second auto-immune disease, Ulcerative Colitis and that one, almost did it for me. Ulcerative Colitis has been anything but easy for me. It began with a misdiagnosis in April of 2013, then I went through a series of hospitalizations, transfusions, treatments and I am still battling it as I write this blog. Literally facing death has made me, at 19, view life a little bit differently than other people. I’ve come to realize that facing a deadly situation is not necessarily bad, it will be what you make it and that is determined by how you approach it. You can either cry, hate the world, shut down physically and emotionally or you can get up, listen to your doctors and learn to be a little bit selfish! Being selfish sounds negative but learning to be more selfish and put myself first was one of the great lessons that I learned from my illnesses. I am excited to share my journey with you, my tips on beauty when you are dealing with medications that tend to prevent beauty and all the life lessons I have learned along the way. I may not have been given a choice in the cards I was dealt, but I was certainly given the options for how to play them. I have elected to make certain that my UC and MS do not rule my life. By making the right choices and changes every day, I have made sure that I am the one in control of my life.