Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to my beautiful, wonderful online/blogger family. You all bring such joy into my life and I thank you for that. I hope that you all have a wonderful December 25th, and find happiness in whatever it is that the day holds for you.

As for me, I’m hoping tomorrow is as pain-free as possible for not only me but all those that I love too, especially my mom. We’re going to spend Christmas at my maternal grandparents with much of our family, as we do every year – my very favorite thing about the day. 

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Sleepy cat, helping me wrap presents of course.

Love, joy and peace to you all.

-Katie

One of my favorite places on Earth.

My grandparents built their house when my mom was just a baby on the most beautiful property. 40 years later and they’re still living there – though the upkeep may mean that they’ll have to sell in the near future. All of my best childhood memories were made here. It’s the definition of home for me.

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I’m lucky to have had such a place in my life growing up. It really was magical.

There’s this screaming in my ear…

My sensors are so unbelievably overloaded, I’m surprised at myself for even offering up the effort that it’s taking to blog this right now. When you’re in pain it’s like having someone beside you, shouting in your ear while you try and process information. It becomes sadly difficult to do things that should be very simple, like listening in conversation – anything you’ve said will most likely not be remembered if I’m in very much pain.  This does make me feel bad, I think that it’s easy for people to interpret my inability to concentrate because of the pain as being a disinterest in them, or what they’re telling me. This is definitely not my intention but it is impossible to do otherwise at times.

When I have an awful headache, like now, I get this unintentional scowl and squint eyed look – all of my face muscles become tense, especially the eyebrow and forehead ones, partly in response to the entire pain itself and partly because looking around hurts. I try my hardest to relax these muscles, knowing that tension can only make the pain worse, but I find that I have to remind myself every few seconds. I found these amazing sunglasses the other day – not style-wise – but because they are super dark, almost too dark to be of any use but when a nasty headache occurs.

My mom and I had to drive to the next town over for one of her doctor appointments today. Well, I came in case she needed me to drive, but in the long run my pain got so bad that I couldn’t anyways – not safely at least. Being in the car is terrible for me pain wise, not to mention the fact that my height makes everything far less roomier than it would for those of average height. The drive is only about an hour and fifteen minutes each way, but that was plenty enough for the both of us. We’ve both been at home recuperating ever since. I find myself again being reminded of the harsh truth in the spoon theory, that a 19 year old can be so physically wrecked by a 2 and a half hour car ride. It’s ironic to think that my grandma fairs so much better than I do while taking on a much larger load, daily.

I’m finding myself in a good mood despite the above. I have much to be thankful for today, starting with the fact that my mom’s appointment went well and we received not an ounce of bad news. I have my own doctor appointment in two days. I want to ask her if there’s something that can be done for the spine pain, a nerve block or something, because what’s being done now isn’t working. My quality of life has been steadily declining very much in large part because of the back pain. I’m terrified of the answer I’ll receive to that question so I’ve been declining to think about it, I’ll find out soon enough anyways.

I had planned to use my camera somewhere along the beautiful drive today but that didn’t quite turn out to be as much road trip fun as I had hoped. So, instead I decided to post a few more from our Ottawa pain summit trip.

The parliament buildings are covered in stone carvings like this one, the detail and sheer man-hours put into them is incredible. I found this one to be the most humorous, perhaps unintentionally. Though, I can’t really see someone carving this out without having a laugh.

This is maybe 1/16th of one of the parliament buildings. I felt like I needed to hire a crane to lift me up so I could take pictures of them properly. They are huge. They were such a sight to see.

Summer’s beauty.

She was afraid of what she’d find when she looked in the mirror. Deep in her eyes was a truth that had so long sat dormant that eventually even she had all but forgotten it’s existence. 

She had chosen to believe instead, that her reflection was not one worth summoning and that it held no beauty, no hope and no promise.

I wondered how she could not see it; that she was no less than a flower, delicate, but undeniably beautiful in it’s fragility.

So much so that like a welcomed summer, my life would feel absolutely incomplete in it’s absence.


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Craving a little winter wonderland.

I never thought I’d say this but this +30 Celsius weather is seriously making me miss winter. I know that I’ll probably be recanting that statement furiously this December.

A few of the pictures from my Ottawa trip.

I can’t believe it’s already been two months since the Canadian pain summit! I said I’d post the photos I took soon but I just kept postponing hooking my camera up and getting them onto the computer. But, here’s a few that I like, I’m still going through the rest, but they will be up.

This is the awesome view of Gatineau Quebec along the walk around the parliament buildings.

These are the provincial flags lined up on the stage next to where I gave my speech on living with pain as a teenager.

This is just a glimpse of one of the beautiful (and huge!) parliament buildings. I love the old architecture! It’s like taking a trip to Europe without leaving the country!

Some quick snapshots from the Vancouver trip.

As most people know; Vancouver rains, a lot. Which is exactly what it did the three days that we were there this time. So, I didn’t get to take hardly any pictures, which is okay because I’ll be back.

This Canadian goose has taken it upon himself to make the Children’s Hospital his home. Similar to some that were there when I was 4, only this one was much friendlier.

I have a picture from my first trip to the Children’s Hospital of me sitting in the wagon next to the bear. They’re one of the only things left that I remember getting excited about. For some reason or other they took out a lot of the other children-friendly statues that always made going there more comforting and relaxing. Now it looks like your average boring hospital.

Some crazy kids.

Some pictures taken last night at a little family get-together for my mom’s birthday. They couldn’t get enough of the camera! I think B demanded that I take about 100 pictures of her making the exact same silly face. Oh well, we had fun.

Today consists of packing for our trip, but at least it’s a short one.