First Tattoo

July 19th, 2018

3:59 PM

England, United Kingdom

Kings Crossing Tattoo Parlor

With a brief Instagram story of my beaming smile and tightly closed eyes laying on a tattoo parlor chair, no one but close family and friends knew the words that were being written on my ribs.

The word, fighter, in the handwritten script of my mother and father. My dad wrote the beginning of the word while my mom finished it off.

I’ve been through a lot in my life living with cystic fibrosis. Situations that have left me weeping in my bed, holding back tears while my body is crying in pain, and times where I questioned if I would ever be able to come back from the trauma I had been through.

Well here I am, aren’t I? Still smiling, still holding a positive outlook in life despite it all.

I am a fighter.

I got this tattoo to symbolize all the strength that I have and the ever-growing strength that will come throughout my life.

I want to look in the mirror and see that tattoo as a reminder of everything I am. No matter how hard things will get in life, no matter how much I think I’ll never be able to push through; I will be reminded that I am someone who never gives up. I will get through anything and everything.

I may only have myself at the end of the day but there is comfort in knowing that I am capable of overcoming.

I will fight to live a long life. I will fight against this disease. I will fight for every single person I love in my life.

I got my mom and dads handwriting because I wouldn’t be where I am without them. I wouldn’t be on this earth, gifted with this beautiful life. They have given me the foundation to live a life that I will be proud of one day. They have covered me with love, appreciation, a home, a family; what more could I ask for?

Getting this tattoo was essential while I was in Europe because I knew it would be a time in my life that I wouldn’t want to forget.

The tattoo artist (who’s card I am trying to find to give credit to) had a family member who also suffered from cystic fibrosis. I had been so nervous that the pain would be too overwhelming and I wouldn’t be able to take it. Everyone had been hyping it up that the rib was the worst place to get a tattoo.

I asked him if it was going to be too painful and he responded with “This is going to be nothing compared to the pain that you’ve been through in your life.”

And he couldn’t be more right. The pain was near to nothing in comparison with a PICC line dressing change or the surgery recoveries that I had been through. It felt like a little bee sting for 15 minutes and then it was done.

A smile was etched on my face the entire time. I was so incredibly happy and content with how it came out and how good it felt to have it done.

 

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Have any of you had one done or have a first-time experience you want to share? Leave it in the comments!

Love,

The Hard Times

All I could feel was shooting pain in my abdomen and chest as I awoke from my drugged daze. It felt as though I couldn’t breathe and I started gasping for air.

I had oxygen pouring through the cannula in my nose yet it felt like every breath was not full, the pain resonating through my body leaving me in tears.

I looked around me to see someone I loved or knew. I was so scared. All I remember were seeing the doctors and nurses talking, telling me to relax and that they will give me more medication to help with the pain. Then darkness.

The next time I woke up, my mom and my grandmother were by my side and I had never been more appreciative than at that moment.

It’s when you go through the absolute hardest things in life, you realize who truly has your back; the people that are willing to be there no matter what difficulties you may be facing.

I was and am currently going through one of those very rough times. I am in excruciating pain because of my gallbladder surgery. Getting the surgery done has also affected my lungs which have led to an endless amount of coughing and crying in pain because of it.

Recovering from a surgery results in a plethora of time with yourself and your thoughts. It’s easy to feel isolated when watching through your phone, the lives of friends, family, and acquaintances living their life. And it’s easy to feel even more isolated when some of the people you love don’t reach out nor try to lend a comforting hand when you are going through those hard times.

Yes, I am strong and can deal with many of life’s obstacles with a smile. But that doesn’t mean that I am not suffering or in need of support time after time.

Living with a life-threatening illness, there’s this heartbreaking moment that forces its way into your life. The moment where you realize the people you thought would be there for you through absolutely everything, wind up letting you down.

In a way, it narrows down the people who truly care about you and the people who don’t.

It also makes you appreciate the amazing people in your life. Those that hold your hand through the ups and downs. Those who wipe away your tears and tell you that everything is going to be okay.  Those who run to get you your favorite food at Chic fil a. Those who send you mail filled with love and prayer. Those who come over just to lay down on the couch with you and watch movies.

Those are the special people and I am lucky enough to have them in my life.

It’s also through these hard times, that I have seen an outpouring of love. From people sending me messages to Facebook posts to getting me little gifts that make me smile. So many amazing people that have honestly made recovering easier and has given me the most positive outlook.

So this is for all of those people who have had my back and have supported me recently (and always), thank you so so much. I honestly don’t know what I would do without all of your love. I appreciate you more than you know and I will always remember how you were there for me.

Love,

I Am Struggling

A lot is going on in my life right now and I feel as though it is never-ending.

I wish things could just work out the way you wanted. I wish relationships didn’t have to end. I wish people didn’t have to leave. I wish that people didn’t get sick. I wish that the heart wasn’t so fragile. I wish that I didn’t feel everything as a stab to the heart.

I just wish that everything was okay.

But it’s not and I am struggling. People are so afraid to admit that, why? Isn’t struggling a part of life?

Struggle promotes change.

Change gives light to new perspectives and new ways of life. Although I always hated change, I am slowly growing onto the love relationship of it all.

I believe that there is a set path for everyone in life. Wherever life takes you, it was meant to be.

So change may be annoying and inevitable, causing us to struggle for a period of time but it’s the path we need to take to get to our destination (where ever that may be).

So keep struggling because eventually, you won’t be. There’s always those brief moments of time where everything is okay when a smile doesn’t leave your face, and there is no longer a pit in your stomach. Just got to keep fighting for that time.

On a side note, I made a video for my cystic fibrosis story. I am not sure what I am going to be doing on my channel but I am just hoping that one video can make a difference and spread awareness.

Let me know if you enjoyed it and if you enjoyed this blog post!

Love,

I Am Free!

After all of the grueling days spent with fevers and an endless amount of pain, I am finally free.

I got out my PICC line out along with stopping all of the antibiotics and I couldn’t be happier.

I feel good, for once. My lungs don’t feel as though a pile of bricks is on them. I am no longer coughing to the point that I throw up. I am able to actually stand and go about life without possibly fainting.

I am also happy to announce that I am officially going to England this summer. It was a spur of the moment decision I made a month or so ago, I was able to get in all the documents, forms, and payments. Now it is official that I am heading off and I am so so excited.

I will only be gone for three weeks where I will take a creative writing course of some sort to get credits. I do not know what to expect but I do have family over there so hopefully, they can guide me if everything gets to be too much.

I love traveling and I always will. Being admitted through the dates that I was supposed to go on a trip was absolutely devastating. But you can’t plan for things to happen (now I know to always purchase travel insurance), life works in its own way.

In the hospital, I just kept thinking of getting away and seeing the most beautiful views in England.

Speaking of when I was in the hospital, I couldn’t tell you how grateful I was for all of the people who stopped to visit me. Even though it wasn’t that long of a stay, people came to see me and it meant the absolute world to me. So to those special people, thank you so so much for giving me company, cards, sweet treats, etc. I will always remember it and cherish you.

This admission was different than most because I truly was going about my medical decisions by myself. I spent every night alone and handled my doctors without my family. I actually felt like an adult for once and yes, it was terrifying but it kind of felt good too.

Twenty is really changing who I am and I am just going along with it.

Love,