Hey again internet! It's been awhile since I've blogged but ThinkKit's daily prompts are back for the month of December and I'm going to participate again this year. Today's prompt was to share a year in photos, or a significant photo (which I am choosing) and to dig deeper into the meaning behind it.
So here is a photo I want to talk about:
As some of you know, my hair was fire engine red for a week in early June. Now, some of you probably hated it (which I ended up not liking it since it faded so damn quickly and my mom kept calling me Bozo) but dying my hair this vibrant color was more than a new hair color for me.
Some of you know that not too long after Raven was born, I began having digestion issues. I had a hospital stay in June 2013, an endoscopy, a colonoscopy, an MCRP, a gallbladder removal, and various acid and anti nausea medications and still no answer as to why my stomach felt full/painful so much or why I would get nauseated almost daily. I would literally eat 5 bites of food and suddenly feel like I ate a large Thanksgiving dinner. Since I hadn't found the answer to my issues, a couple doctors convinced me I was just 'stressed out' causing me stomach issues. In all honesty, feeling bad was stressing me out and not the other way around. If I ate lunch at say, 11 am, I would be burping it up at 6 pm. I couldn't eat very much and felt weak. I lost 30 lbs from my weight after Raven was born. I was losing hope with every pound that I lost. I became depressed and angry because I knew I was not causing this problem but I wasn't getting an answer. I isolated myself from a lot of people because I HATED the way I looked and hated the way my body was making me feel. I just didn't want to be Debbie Downer to friends and acquaintances. January through April, I got a lot of strangers negatively commenting on my weight which hurt my self esteem even more. I thought this nightmare would never end.
Then I had a new gastro doctor who suggested I might have gastroparesis (a partially paralyzed stomach) that could have been caused by a virus or for unknown reasons. The only way to find out if this was my issue was by taking a Gastic Emptying Scan. The scan revealed that my stomach was emptying much slower than most people's stomach thus I FINALLY HAD AN ANSWER! Fortunately with this condition, it could go away and I do have a milder version than the poor people who have to have feeding tubes in their small intestines or vomit 15 times a day because their stomach does not operate at all. Because I have a mild enough condition (though still life changing and depressing), I was put on a prokinetic medication called Domperidone which tells the nerves in my stomach to contract when they won't on their own. I take one pill about 10 minutes before every meal and I can eat like I used to! I get hungry and I'm not nauseated! I might have to be on this medicine the rest of my life, but I have come to peace with that as long as I feel better. May is when I started the Domperidone and I could tell within 2 weeks that I was remarkably better and able to take in over 3000 calories a day in order to gain weight back.
So what does this have to do with hair color or taking a selfie with my daughter? I felt like I was finally vibrant again and I wanted my hair to shout that out. The past year, I would fake smile for the camera when inside I barely felt a reason for smiling since I felt so physically terrible and was losing weight like crazy. This photo was taken soon after I dyed my hair and I am GENUINELY smiling in this photo. I felt (and still feel) good, and it made me a better mom being able to have the energy to do more things with Raven. I had a great summer with her before returning to the workforce this fall (besides my floral business which I have continued).
The hair color may not have stayed, but my happiness has. I have gained a lot of weight back despite still being a naturally skinny person. I love this photo, and it will always remind me that no matter what horrible situation I come across that I will make it out. A friend in college told me once, "If things aren't okay, they aren't the end and in the end, everything will be okay."