Spencer and I had a great Christmas! Spencer was lucky enough to get off work early Christmas Eve, so we were able to go to his parents' for their Christmas dinner. Then we woke up early Christmas morning and I made monkey bread for us, and we had our own little Christmas. Spencer got an Xbox with some games and tickets to go see BodyWorlds 3. I got the computer game Spore and some really nice bath towels that actually fit all the way around me! Haha. Then we went over to his parents' again. Spencer got some more games and some movies. I got a nice sweater and a bag Spencer's brother made that has Domo on it. Domo is the mascot for Japanese public tv. He looks like a walking shag carpet and he's adorable. Then we went over to my dad's house so I could cook dinner. Dad got us this really beautiful wall hanging. It's a metal disk with a cutout of the Tree of Life. It's about 2 feet across and simply gorgeous. I made my famous ham and potato soup and served it in bread bowls with eggnog cheesecake to finish it off. Dad can't eat a lot because of his hernia so I had to keep the meal small which is why we had soup. Spencer and I were able to get home safely before it started snowing, and spent all weekend playing with our new games! We also took time out of our Christmas weekend to watch the first three original Star Wars movies (which are actually 4, 5 and 6 I understand) and they were so funny! I hadn't seen them in years and Yoda is absolutely the funniest character I've ever seen in a movie. Plus my friend Savannah had her baby and all us girls are so excited for her! It was a great weekend and now we're back at work!

My eggnog cheesecake. Yummm!!!!

My puppy after she just got a treat.

This is the wall hanging my dad bought us.

Spencer looking at one of his presents.

The sock puppet Spencer's mom made for us....for some reason.

Spence and I at Christmas Eve dinner.



So we are officially ready for Christmas in the new Miller house! Spencer and I finished up all of our last minute shopping today and got everything wrapped up. Then we sat on the couch and watched Elf, which Spencer had never seen before. He loved it! It's so funny and it's such a funny movie! we just have three days of work to get through and then Christmas is here! I can hardly wait!


What I Live With Every Day

I started developing symptoms of fibromyalgia in 2001. Back then, it didn't have a name. I didn't know what was wrong with me. I thought I was a hypochondriac or maybe just stupid. It wasn't until 2006 that a rheumatologist was able to put a face to this problem for me. I was diagnosed in April 2006. Nothing has gotten better since then but at least there's a name for what I'm up against every day.

Fibromyalgia is not "just in my head." It won't kill me, but some days I wish I would just die because I don't have the energy to live my life. I have no control over when I feel good and when I feel terrible. Fibromyalgia never goes away. If I am able to function normally, it means I'm having a good day. I can have good days, or weeks or even months. Just because I'm having a good day does mean I'm not in pain and it doesn't mean I'm not exhausted. It just means that on that particular day I'm able to overcome it just to live my life. A good morning can quickly turn into a terrible afternoon. I get a feeling like someone has pulled out a plug and all the energy has run out of my body. I can get irritable during these flares, and suddenly get more sensitive to noise or touch or just collapse from deadening fatigue. I may just suddenly feel awful. I can't warn anyone when this is going to happen because there's just no way for me to know.

Fibromyalgics have a different kind of pain that is hard to treat. It is not caused by inflammation like an injurty. It is not a constant ache in one place like a broken bone. It moves around my body daily and hourly and changes in severity and type. Sometimes it is dull and sometimes is is cramping or prickly. Sometimes it's jabbing and excruciating. If Eskimos have a hundred words for snow, fibromyalgics have them for pain. The pain has no rhyme or reason. Sometimes wearing clothes or even showering seems impossible because the feel of anything on my skin causes agony.

Because I feel bad most of the time I am always pushing myself, and sometimes I push myself too hard. When this happens, I pay for it. Sometimes if I can summon the strength to do something special I will have to rest for a few days afterward because my body can only make so much energy. These are called flares. During these flares my fatige level and sensitivity is greatly increased, and almost anything can cause pain. During these times I will just want to be held, but I can't because it hurts too much for anyone to touch me.

I get depressed a lot. I feel alone and useless and it's hard. I get angry and frustrated and I can have nasty mood swings. Sometimes I know I'm being unreasonable but just can't admit it. Most days I just want to pull the covers over my head and stay it bed. It's so hard.

There are other symptoms, ilke irritable bowel and pelvic pain that take a toll on my personal life. These can be embarrassing to talk about but they never go away.

Fibromyalgia is real. A lot of people don't believe that it is but they don't have to live with the pain of it every day. It's important to my that the people in my life believe me when I say that I am not without ambition, and I'm not "just lazy." I have dreams and I have things that I want to achieve in life but my disability makes it harder for me. I can't participate in a lot of things I'd like to. I can't work full time, which makes it difficult to help support myself and my family. But I am still human. And that's what's important.


Last Night

Last night two things happened. One was our office Christmas party, at which we were able to make an appearance but not able to stay. The other was the theater! Spencer's mom bought us tickets to go see A Christmas Carol at Hale Center Theater. It was so much fun! I haven't seen that show in years and I really enjoyed it. It was so much fun to sit there with my new family to enjoy the spirit of the Christmas season. Just makes me wish even more that Christmas would come even sooner!


Looking Forward to Christmas

I'm so excited for this year. I've got Spencer's presents all ready, I just have to wrap them and put them under the tree! I think I might do that today after work. This year my dad said that instead of a present he wanted me to come over and cook him a nice dinner. So since he actually has Christmass off for the first time in like six years, Spencer and I are going over to his house on Christmas to spend the day there and I will make him dinner there. Christmas Eve we will spend the evening with Spencer's parents, because they always have their Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. I'm going to make my ham and potato soup with bread bowls (if I can find them. I want them fresh!). Then I'm thinking I might make a sweet potato pie. Or maybe peach. I don't know. Some kind of pie. I suppose it depends on what kind my dad wants! And there was something else I was going to make but I can't remember what....It's hard to think this early in the morning on a monday. Especially when Christmas is so close! I know what I'd like for Christmas but I have no idea what I'm getting! I can't wait to find out!


The First Step

So for years I've dreamed of someday owning my own bakery. I've found great joy in baking things for family and friends for their holiday parties or office parties or just because they want something. Today I took the first step in someday starting that business. I made a pumpkin cheesecake for an office party we were having today. It got rave reviews, everyone who tried it absolutely loved it. Well one of my coworkers asked me if I would be willing to make a couple cheesecakes for her family holiday party, and she said she'd be willing to pay me to do it! So I officially have my first holiday cake order! I'm so excited, I really want them to turn out! I'm actually kind of nervous now that something will go wrong! But if this is meant to be then it will work out fine. I just have to trust myself and God and have faith that this will work. But I'm so excited!


Should I or Shouldn't I...

I've been contemplating doing something new and exciting with my life. Currently Spencer are I are doing pretty well making a living at our current jobs, but if we ever want to move into a nicer place or afford to have children, at least one of us will need to get a different job. We just don't make enough as it is. I've been thinking about the possibility of getting certified to be a Pharmacy Technician. The certification program through SLCC takes about a year to complete, and all together costs between $2500-$3000, which is a lot less than the career colleges in the area, which can range from $12,000 up for an eighteen-month program. So I was considering that. My one problem is my current job: I don't ever want to leave. I mean yeah, the job can be really stressful, but I love the people here. I've been here for two years and I'm so completely settled in; I'm comfortable with my work and my commute (or lack thereof) and the people I work with. I generally don't like change, even if it is my idea. But as a pharm tech, I would be able to make more money. I just don't know what to do. I have an appointment with an academic advisor this wednesday. Hopefully after I meet with someone and have some questions answered I'll feel a little more confident about where to go. I just don't know if this is the right direction or not. Hmmm.