Archives For life with lupus

The Invisible Elephant

March 8, 2016

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When you look at someone with an invisible illness you never really see what is actually going on. Sure they may look fine, normal even. But, the fight is happening on the inside and there is no way of knowing what is happening. As for me, my butterfly rash that shows up from time to time is one of the only visible signs of my disease, that and probably the fatigue you see on my face on occasion, but that’s it.

My latest battle with Lupus is struggling to breath on a daily basis. Since my diagnosis in 2012 I have always had some shortness of breath and chest pain. Typically it would come and go, but last summer it just never went away. It is a constant and daily struggle. What do I mean struggle breathing? Basically it feels like someone is squeezing and restricting my lungs while I try and breath, or like a giant elephant is firmly planted on my chest, all day, everyday. Yeah, it’s not fun. Sometimes you might catch me taking several shallow breaths trying to actually catch my breath.

I have gone through rigorous tests to ensure that I did not have asthma or allergies causing this issue. My results were unfortunately not very satisfying. My lungs are functioning properly- no asthma, no allergies, nothing… simply Lupus. But, with Lupus it is never that simple, this disease can attack any organ in your body, and my lucky organ is my lungs, and with any treatment option it may help or it may worsen the condition all together.

To look at a variety of treatment options and know that it’s kind of a coin toss on improving can be a little overwhelming! I took several weeks to pray and research my options. Honestly, I decided that it’s okay if my lungs were never fully healed (in this life) as long as I could find some relief! I felt a peace about my decision to add essential oils to my existing treatment plan. I’ve known people who have used essential oils for a number of things, and I will be 100% honest, I was skeptical…sorry! But, I decided I had no reason not to try it and I felt God nudging me in that direction so I felt like I should listen. I’ve been using 2 oils (Raven for breathing and Immupower for Lupus) daily for about a month now and felt like I have seem an improvement. I noticed the most drastic difference when I went two days without Raven and noticed the increased difficulty in breathing. I know it may not work for everyone, but for me I was so happy to find the relief that I have so desperately wanted for such a long time. I’m so glad that I was obedient and listened to the direction that God was directing me.

It would be so easy to dwell on the what if’s or worry. I decided from the beginning of my diagnosis that my life, my health and path are in God’s hands. He can use every struggle and every invisible pain for the betterment of His Kingdom. I firmly believe that my illness will never be wasted, my life will not be wasted. He has a perfect plan for my life and Lupus holds no bounds to what my God can do!

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26 

 

 

Merry Christmas – 2015

December 19, 2015

 

Layman Family Christmas Card 2015 from Chase Layman on Vimeo.

Purple With A Purpose

May 11, 2015

May 15th is Lupus Awareness Day, a day to celebrate life and take a stand against the wolf. Lupus is one of the cruelest, most mysterious diseases on earth—an unpredictable and misunderstood autoimmune disease that ravages different parts of the body. Research shows lupus is more pervasive and more severe than people think, and has an impact that the public doesn’t realize.

The Lupus Foundation of America started a fun way to show your support and raise awareness by putting on purple and sharing your lupus story. Their tumblr shows everyone from Panera Bread employees to Roscoe the dog to a Teletubby wearing purple in support of those living with lupus. It’s a way to make a serious disease less daunting and encourage people to speak out about the invisible disease. Here are a couple fun ways to wear purple with a purpose:

  1. Make it a family affair by dressing the kids in purple and having a photo shoot.
  1. Find a person on the street that is also wearing purple. Ask them if they’re doing it for Lupus Awareness and then snap a picture with them.
  1. Slip into your favorite purple outfit and set the stage for a selfie shoot.
  1. Treat yourself to a lavender mani/pedi.
  1. If you’re feeling brave, let the kids paint your face purple…and then their own.

 

If you don’t have anything purple to wear, you might be able to find something on Goodshop.com. They have donated thousands of dollars to lupus research because people like you have shopped through their website at stores like, Neiman Marcus, Kohl’s, and Lands’ Endt. Signup and select one of their 24 lupus research foundations, like The Lupus Foundation of America or The Alliance for Lupus Research and they’ll donate up to 20% of any purchase you make online to help find a cure for lupus.

Thank you to guest blogger Valerie Greene for writing this post! Valerie Greene is passionate about spreading awareness about Lupus because it is a cause close to her heart. She has devoted her life to fundraising for nonprofits to help make an impact on the world. Purple is also her favorite color. 

 

Why I Hate Crop Tops

April 13, 2015

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Have you noticed the trend for this coming summer fashion? Crop tops… everywhere! I went into one of my favorite stores the other day and literally every shirt in their store was cropped. I was so frustrated. Not everyone wants to bare their belly for the world to see. (Yes I have worn a crop top with a cute long tank top underneath. But I usually find it annoying while wearing it and I definitely do not want my wardrobe made up of shirts I can’t wear by themselves. One or two max is sufficient for me.)

What’s with this trend? I thought that the first couple times we said goodbye to the crop top that we all were like “oh good, it’s about time that style left!” yet it keeps reappearing. Fashion designers, seriously, what’s the deal? And to the buyers of each company in charge of setting the trends for us shoppers, how about one longer shirt in your store, any takers? No, well thanks for making me less than thrilled about your season of clothes. I’ll see you again in the fall.

I’m not trying to put anyone down who chooses to wear a crop top. That is your choice, however for me, a wife and mother I personally do not want to wear this shirt style and here is why:

  1. You are paying the same price as a full shirt only to cover half your torso. That is just ridiculous! For $30 I would like my entire torso clothed please!
  2. As a mom I want to teach my kids that modesty is beautiful, and that modesty doesn’t mean boring or fashion-less.
  3. I’m not a fan of wearing something that has the potential for a muffin top. I’m good, thanks!
  4. Too short a shirt and the ever popular mid to low-rise jeans are not a good combination. We have all seen the unfortunate instance when someone has sat down and there is not enough shirt to hide their hiney. I will gladly be avoiding this problem by not wearing those silly crop tops.
  5. I’m tall. So when I put on a crop top, it simply looks like I don’t know how to wash clothes properly and I just shrunk my shirt.
  6. On the other hand it can also look like I went shopping in the junior’s section.
  7. I know my husband and his preference of style. He loves when I get all dolled up or even when I am comfy with a pony tail. But either way, I want him as comfortable with the way that I dress as I am comfortable. Respecting him is just another way for me to show my love for him.
  8. Where are the eyes drawn to? If I’m wearing a top where my belly is out, then that is where the eyes are drawn and that is just something I am not interested in. I would rather people be drawn to my eyes.
  9. Frankly put, these shirts are meant to be sexy. Who are you trying to be sexy for anyway? I’m personally not comfortable with wearing something so specifically intended for sexy and walking around town. Modesty can be sexy. Just saying.
  10. It’s simply not a shirt, I mean it is only half of one.

You know when you log into Facebook and you see that status box asking you, “What’s on your mind?” I laugh and think, well there are a lot of things on my mind. But, nevertheless I don’t do a status update. I tend to be the person that only posts the occasional update, but mostly I post pictures. So I decided to compile some of the things I could have posted on my status update but never did. Better late than never, right?

  1. That perfume I’m wearing… it’s probably just spit up. Yeah, I know. #Sorry #MomLife #ImUsedToIt
  2. Breastfeeding is really really hard at first, but then it gets really really easy. #HangInThere
  3. Laundry, you are my nemesis! #EnoughSaid #AintNoBodyGotTimeForThat
  4. Does it count as a date night if we just sit at home and watch The Voice? #Sure #WhyNot
  5. Falling asleep on the couch during The Voice. #Fail
  6. Playing Legos, sword fighting & building forts. #momofboys. #Favorite #LoveTheseMoments
  7. Watching your oldest make your youngest laugh. #TheBest #BeStillMyHeart
  8. Preparing homeschool lessons. #LearningIsFun #HomeschoolLife
  9. I made myself a dessert once the kids were in bed. #IDidntWantToShare #DontJudge
  10. Please Lord let the little one sleep. #SleepIsOverrated #WeCanSleepWhenWeAreOld