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Ulcers, abnormal migraines, and costochondritis! It’s been a rough couple months.

About a month ago, I was all, “AHHH I HAVE THIS HORRIBLE PAIN IN MY STOMACH AREA AND IF YOU TOUCH IT, IT FEELS LIKE I’M GOING TO DIE! AND THERE SEEMS TO BE NO APPARENT CAUSE!.”

So, I drove myself to the emergency room. And the doctor touched my stomach area and it felt like a semi had plowed into my ribs and he ordered a chest X-Ray, and a CT-Scan and some blood work.

And none of those turned back crap. Then they gave me morphine, told me I probably had an ulcer from excessive use of ibuprofen and called in a GI doctor.

And I was all, “So an ulcer would hurt like that?” And I swear to you, the doctor looked at me and in the most stern voice you can think of said, “Yes. An ulcer can kill you.”

And I was like, Dannnng. All right.

And then the GI Doctor was all, “You’re in a lot of pain. I think you have an ulcer too. I’m going to recommend we admit you and then stick a camera down your throat in the morning and see what the dealio is.” Or something like that. Morphine has a way of making your memories foggy.

So I was like, “Cool beans. Whatever yo.”

And then a primary care doctor came in to examine me, and I was all, “No. That doesn’t hurt at all.”  to everything she did because, like I said, they had already given me morphine.

So I spent the night in the hospital. And then the next morning they stuck a camera down my throat and they found an ulcer in my intestines. They even showed a picture of it to my mom and my boyfriend, so I’m pretty sure it was real.

Then, they gave me ulcer medicines, banned me from eating every good food ever for a month and sent me on my merry way.

Fast forward one month.

I actually did feel like I was on the path to recovery. I was taking the ulcer meds and avoiding every good food ever. La di da da. And I thought things were going pretty well when I walked into my follow-up visit with my GI doctor.

Except while I was there, he pushed on part of my stomach and it felt like a semi-truck had hit a train that then rammed into me. And I was like, “Woah dude. That hurt.” And he was like, “Huh.” And then he said, basically, that based on what he saw, I should be pretty much healed by now. And I was like, “Hmm. Well I was feeling pretty good before I got here, so maybe this will all go away when I leave.”

Except of course it didn’t. At all.

And after four days of going, “Hopefully tomorrow I either wake up feeling better or die.” I finally decided to make an appointment with my primary care doctor.

And while I was there she determined that I had a rib injury which she didn’t notice in the ER because when she examined me I was already on morphine. And, now, here’s where it gets confusing, because I didn’t really have anything happen to me to cause a rib injury. My doctor said I have costochondritis, which is only scary when you Google it too much. (I’m pretty sure I probably have cancer).

So now, I’m wearing pain patches and I am not wearing any bras with under wire, because apparently those exasperate the situation. And just a heads up, when I tell you I’m not the right “treatment path” it’s my polite way of saying I’m no longer wearing bras with under wire. Because manners.

In other health-related news, I am also taking a new long-term medication for my headaches, which is what led to the long-term excessive Advil use in the first place. It’s called Topamax.

I also saw a neurologist yesterday for the first time and we had a nice little hour-long chat. In short, there’s an Android app for keeping a headache diary, I have to have an MRI done of my head in case there’s an aneurysm in there trying to kill me and the headaches are probably basically abnormal migraines caused by the fact that the regular migraines I used to get morphed into these headaches.

And I have to say I prefer these headaches because they do not come with any blind spots. I seriously HATED those.

Tune in next time for, “Why medical bills be crazy!”

 

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I totally got through to KLOVE! Here’s how it all went down.

It all started on Jan. 2. I was driving into work for my first day back after a week-long Christmas vacation, and there were only about three other people on the highway.

There I was jamming along to Klove when the morning show hosts started talking about the station’s 30-day challenge. Basically, they say that listening to only Christian music for 30 days will change your life. And I love KLove, so I was like, I’m going to try to call them and tell them that I totally believe in the 30-day challenge.

So, I dialed them up (I have their number memorized). And let me just say here that I have in fact tried to call them about 458 times in the past and have never, ever, ever gotten through to a live person. They’re a national Christian radio station and at any given moment about 40,000 people are trying to call them.

But for some reason, this one time, a human being actually answered when I dialed the number! They were all, “This is KLOVE” and I was like, “Woah. Did I dial the wrong number? How? What? I’m so confused.” And then, out loud, I was all, “Umm, ya, Hi! I was just calling to talk about the 30-day challenge.” And the dude was like, “Ok. Please hold.”

And then, in my head, while I was driving down 55 North, I was all, “OMG! OMG! OMG! I got through! What the heck am I going to say? This is crazy! OMG! I wonder if I’ll actually get to talk to Craig, Amy and Kanklefritz! Dear Holy Sprirt, please be with me and give the right words to say!”

About five minutes later, while I’m jamming to the hold music, I suddenly hear, “This is Crag. Amy. And Kanklefritz. What’s going on?

And I was like, “What? Umm, Hello?”

And they were like, “Yes, go ahead.”

And I was like, “Woah. Hello? Really?”

And they were like, “Yes, go ahead.”

So I did. I started babbling on about how I love listening to KLove on my commute and that it totally changed my life and helped with road rage on my hour and a half commute to my full-time job, and that I’m a part-time  youth leader in the Chicago suburbs and I always tell the youth that what you put in your brain really does affect you and that I was skeptical about Christian music at first but now I love it.

And then the hosts were like, “Woah there, why were you skeptical?”

So I was like, “You know, because Christian music has a reputation for being boring.”

And they were like “WOAH!  BORING? WHAT? Do you still think it’s boring? Do you think we’re boring? Now we’re all self-conscious.”

And I was like, “No. No. No. I LOVE you guys! I listen to you every morning!!! I don’t think that at all anymore!!!”

Then one of the hosts was like, “Uh huh. Sure. Ok. Well, you said you’re driving to work, where do you work?”

So I told them I work at a candy magazine.  That’s when things go crazy. They got all excited and asked me if there were chocolate rivers in my office, and I was like, “Sure.” And they asked whether I burp my way to to the top of an elevator every morning like in Willy Wonka. and I was like, “Yes, every morning, while I listen to Klove, I burp my way to the top of an elevator. How did you know?” (You can listen to all that in the YouTube video on the top of this post).

I seriously talked to these guys for like five to seven minutes, and it was so awesome because I really do feel like their my friends because I hang out with them every single morning.

After I hung I was just so freaking excited and I was kind of hoping they would play the conversation later that morning. So I listed until the end of the show, but no go.

I thought maybe they would play it the next day, but I didn’t know for sure and I didn’t want to get my hopes up, so I didn’t really tell anyone about it except my boyfriend and one of my friends.

I figured, even if they didn’t play it on the radio, I would still always have that conversation for myself.

Then, bam, at 7 a.m. the next day my uncle Randy from New Orleans calls me. And I knew. I knew that he must have heard the conversation on the radio. And he had! He was all excited and he said they had only played half of it, but they were going to play the second half after a few songs.

And I was like “OMG THIS IS SO COOL!”

So I quick turned on the radio and called my mom to let her know. Except she already knew because randomly, my grandma’s radio alarm clock was set for 7 a.m. to Klove and she had heard the first part of the interview and called my mom.

And so we all listened, and it was seriously so cool and I love KLove and now I can totally cross this off my bucket list.

As you may have noticed, I recorded what I could of what they played on the radio, and made a little video (see the top of this post). Enjoy. :)

 

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Sermon: The First Commandment

Editor’s note: The following is the text from the sermon I delivered at my church, Crossroads of Faith UMC, in Bolingbrook, Il, on Sunday, Aug. 5. You can also listen to the audio from the sermon on my church website, if you scroll down to sermon archives and click, “The First Commandment.”

The thing about the first commandment is that it’s so easy to think it’s a freebie.

“You shall have no other gods before me.” Check and check!

I don’t pray to Baal, I don’t worship Zeus and I don’t sing any songs about Buddha. I’m good. No other gods here folks. Moving right along.

Except. Well. You know.

There’s a reason God said that commandment first — it’s so important and we keep screwing it up.

Sure, sure, we may say we worship God, and we probably do. But we also worship a whole bunch of other stuff. Pride, money, status, people, ourselves. And sometimes, we even worship religion.

The good news is, we’re not alone. People have been choosing other gods for thousands of years. Like in today’s scripture.

What fascinates me about this text is that even though it was written thousands of years ago, it still so accurately describes human nature.

The story is basically the sequel to the Moses story. You know Moses, the guy who went through and hell and back to get his people out of Egypt, and then went through and hell and back again to get them through the desert to the promised land, which doesn’t even get to enter because he was so frustrated that the people had so quickly denied God at one point on their journey that he smashed the 10 commandment tablets. Ya. That guy.

Well, he dies. And then Joshua kind of takes over the cause. He is appointed as the new leader of the Israelites by God himself. And Gods all, “Be courageous.” And then, like a verse later, he’s all, “Be courageous.” And then seriously, a couple verses later, God tell him again, “Be courageous.”

And he is. And he gets through a ton of stuff, and everyone is all, “YAY GOD!! WEEE!! WE HEART GOD SO MUCH!!”

(more…)

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