Today I am watching the LDS General Conference, a 2-day event that always leaves me feeling uplifted and inspired. You can tune in live here. I love this quote that a leader shared this morning. I can't wait for all the wonderful messages that will be shared this weekend.
Thanks for all the support yesterday. It means a lot. It wasn't my first choice to come home, but I am making the best of it! Today I made a few changes to the shop.
First, all prints are now available in 6 sizes! (4x6, 5x7, 8x10, 11x14, 16x20, & 24x36) If none of these is quite what you want (ie you need an international size), let me know so I can set up a custom listing. To make your size selection, just use the handy drop-down menu.
Shipping has been standardized. Domestic orders now ship for $3 and international for $10.
Gift cards are now available! You can find them here. Just is time for Valentine's Day ;)
Discounts are available for ordering multiple prints! Find those offers here.
You can also use the discount code FEB14 to save 10% on your order! Perfect for the new Valentine's prints I added not too long ago...
If you are interested in hosting a giveaway, guest post, etc., shoot me an email. I would love to work something out before I go back to Philly!
This post is overdue. I just haven't known how to write it or where to start. I tried to talk myself out of writing it at all, telling myself that I don't owe anyone an explanation. I held off writing until I had more information, until I knew all the answers.
In September, I left to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Philadelphia. I came home and was released on New Year's Day for medical reasons. I was sick for 12 weeks before coming home and did everything I could to stay. About 6 weeks after I left, I started blacking out as much as 15 times a day and passing out randomly, like while I was sitting in church. I went to doctors, had blood draws, and EKG, an echocardiogram, wore a heart monitor, and couldn't get the answers I needed. It was a rough decision, but everyone involved agreed that I would be able to find out what was wrong and get better faster if I were home. I came home on New Year's Day. It was decided that I probably had a genetic condition called Vasovagal Syncope, something my uncle and cousin have too. By coming home, I was able to see the same cardiologist who diagnosed and treated them, someone who is one of the leading doctors in the country regarding this condition. Since I've been home, I have seen the cardiologist and had a Tilt-table Test (I'm not even going to start describing what a horrible experience that was). I found out that I do have Vasovagal Syncope. Basically there is a communication error in my body that makes my blood pressure and heart rate plummet until my body yells "RESET" and then I pass out. The doc prescribed a heart medication to keep my blood pressure elevated. I was in the parking lot at Costco about to go pick it up when I had a realization and told my mom, "What if it's $200! No one is going to want to marry me if I have $200 heart medication!" Thankfully for my future husband, it was not that much. I also have to eat lots of salt (I now order french fries wherever I go) and no sugar. If it works and I don't pass out, then I can go back to being a missionary in Philadelphia. So now I'm just waiting for the next doctor's appointment to find out what's next.
So that's pretty much it. I loved being a missionary and I'm hoping to get back as soon as they'll let me. Until then, I'm trying to stay busy. The hardest part is not knowing how long I'll be home, but all things considering, I'm doing pretty darn good for not so good (:
Lately I have been praying to really see the good in people, to see them as God sees them. To not assume bad intentions or make hasty judgements. It's certainly something I'm going to have to continually work on, but today I felt like I genuinely saw the good in people and the ways they are trying their hardest. The choir sang in church today and all I can say is that I'm so glad they sang today instead of next week, when I'm speaking. I was a mess. There I was. Sitting on the bench. Unable to stop crying. Not because of the music, even though it was incredibly beautiful, but because I was able to get a glimpse of how I think God must look at His children. It started when I spotted two sisters. Two sisters who have taught me a great deal about what it means to be a disciple of Christ. They are pure. They are strong. And their testimonies are beautiful. Then I saw a young man. A young man who has seen hard things in his life and yet is doing his best to be a worthy Priesthood holder and a good example. Then I saw the choir director and how much of her life is devoted to serving in the Church and her family. I looked at every single choir member individually and saw how good they are. I felt a little bit of how much God must love them. In April, a church leader, Elder Holland, gave a talk that included the thought that, "imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it." We are all terribly imperfect, but we must learn to deal with that as we interact with other people, other beloved children of God.
I dreaded getting my wisdom teeth out. I have had my fair share of surgeries and I was not ready to sign up for another one. I thought maybe I could sneak on a mission without getting them out, but the x-rays said otherwise. In fact, when the surgeon saw them, he said "These are bad. Your recovery is going to be quite a doozy." Not what I wanted to hear just minutes before being laid on the operating table. The surgeon was able to squeak me in just 2 days after calling for an appointment, meaning I didn't have a whole lot of time to prepare mentally. The night before, I googled and read up on what I needed to know to make the experience as uneventful as possible. Here's what I learned from my own experience:
Don't eat after midnight the night before. Because of the anesthetic used, it can be dangerous to eat any closer to surgery. Because I have had plenty of other surgeries, I figured this was the case, but I didn't find out for sure until it would have been too late.
Wait to eat until the numbing wears off. By then, it should be safe to be done chomping on gauze. Having all the feeling in your mouth also makes eating much easier.
Do not use a straw. I was glad I read about this the night before, because I was to loopy to read the doctor's instructions after surgery. I was fully planning on using straws because I thought it would help keep liquid away from the incision sites. Drinking from a straw creates a vacuum in your mouth that can disrupt the forming blood clots needed to heal properly.
My diet was really only heavily restricted for the first couple of days. I ate applesauce and pureed soup. After that, I could eat most things, I just had to be careful. I mostly chewed with my front teeth and made sure to rinse out my mouth. I stayed away from crunchy things that could get stuck in the incision sites. Cold foods are fine, but it is important to stay away from hot foods for the first couple of days.
Ice is your friend. Ice is only needed for 48 hours, but I used it much longer. I never got much swelling, but the ice was just comfortable.
Lortab. Lortab. Lortab. After a couple of days, I was okay if I didn't take medicine (but certainly more grumpy due to the pain I was experiencing), but if I did, I had virtually no pain.
Sleep with head elevated. In order to prevent dry sockets, sleep with your head elevated more than usual. The worst part of the surgery was that I could not sleep. I am a side sleeper, so to not be able to lay on my side made for a miserable few nights.
Stitches are nasty. My stitches were the kind that dissolved, but no one prepared me for the awful taste when they come out.
That's pretty much it. All in all, much better than I expected.