The Evil With In – Living Life With An Autoimmune Disease

You see me smile but don’t see the pain…
You see me walk, at times with a limp or a little bit slower than the day before…
You brush up against me and it hurts…
I wear clothes just like you but it hurts…
Those cute shoes you wear not possible for me..
I ask you to open a simple jar of food for me, with the look on your face as if I’m weak, but I promise you I’m stronger than what you give me credit for…
The lines on my face yes they come from years of worry and age but there’s more to them…..
You have no idea what a daily fight with my body is like but let me share with you….

My wedding day 2020 with my mom.

My mom was diagnosed with Lupus and Srojens, 11 years ago this month. She went to another specialist for a regular appointment when he noticed a rash on her neck and chest. She thought nothing more of the rash and thought it was from a cleaning product they used in the tanning bed since she was tanning at the time. The doctor than referred her to a dermatologist after 4 months of oral antibiotics and creams were not working.

The dermatologist then did a biopsy. We were all worried about her but again we didn’t think much of it. Results came back as Lupus and then with further testing that comes along with having Lupus, she was diagnosed with Srojens.

Depression and worry set in for her and us as well. More testing and more frequent doctors visits would be her norm for the rest of her life. I do remember her having severe back pain years before her diagnosis and going to the ER and they said it was a pulled muscle. I remember calling her on the phone and she always sounded like she just ran a marathon when she answered. Never did we imagine she would be diagnosed with these 2 ailments.

Some people wait years for a diagnosis of Lupus. It does require ANA blood testing and in my moms case several biopsies (she didn’t believe the 1st biopsy result so she requested another.)

For more info on Lupus my mom swears by this website for more info.

For more info on Srojens click here

Shout out to all small business owner’s….

Times are tough and some customers do not understand that prices go up daily.
When we bought our business in September of 2021 we did not realize as first-time business owner’s the struggles we would face with customer’s. Even though they know prices are increasing on everyday products outside of our store they seem to still get so upset with us. We have often thought about telling them to contact the maker of the products.

There is so much that goes into running a business, you have overhead,
fuel/freight charges, credit card processing fees, employees to pay, building
rent/mortgage, business loans, and so much more. I wish customers really
understood especially with our business, yes, we want to make profit but we
keep our prices lower than most companies around us. We are not in the business to price gouge our customers. Trust me we would like to see more profit but keeping this business up and running for our customer’s is first. We do not drive brand new vehicles and do not live in a million-dollar home. We are
everyday average people running a business.

Not all small businesses run for the customer’s primarily, but my husband
and I do. We enjoy our regular and new customer’s and want the “everyone
knows everyone” atmosphere when customers come in here.

Today we had a customer come in and yelling at one of our employees because a bag of dog food went up (we are still $8-$10 cheaper than everyone around) one dollar from 2 weeks ago. It is simply crazy some people think products should stay the same while prices increase every time, we get a new order in. They also do not realize we do not order a ton of one kind of dog food because we want our customers to have fresh food. So again, every week we get new stock in which means prices may go up but to yell at my employee over a $1.00 I think is absurd.

If I could tell all consumers just one thing it would be: Please be patient with all business’s, be kind to the employees that did show up to work (if they didn’t come in there would be no one there to sale you the products you need), that prices didn’t go up just on gas, milk, and eggs it’s gone up on all things, and treat the business owners and employees the way you want to be treated.

My First True Love, Hunter

My son Hunter is now 21 years old and I could not be prouder of him. He has not always had it so easy. He lost his father at the age of ten. Let me tell you getting him dressed for his father’s funeral was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do besides telling him his father had passed away. Yes, children bury their parents everyday but when they lose a parent at an early age, it is harder on the child. They are left with the what ifs, what would Dad/Mom say or do, the thoughts of them never having that parent teach them to drive, watch them graduate, get married, or have kids. I know for me that was a hard pill for me to even swallow. I wished more than anything Jeremy was still here for all the milestones that Hunter will experience.

Hunter is a good combo of me and his daddy. He is stubborn at times (dad), likes to figure out things the hard way (his dad), quiet (dad), loving and caring (me and his daddy), and a worry wart (that would be my fault).

I am trying to teach him to calm down when the anxiety and worry comes up but I know it is hard at that age. It was not till I was older that I realized “you can’t sweat the small stuff” and that I need take it one step at a time. Oh, I forgot to mention he is very impatient too (I used to be I am sure Justin would say I still am).

No child should experience burying their parent at a young age.

Hunter loves his momma there’s no doubt about it but of course with every child/parent relationship I’m sure I get on his nerves. We’ve always had a great open relationship. I always wanted him to feel he could tell me anything. Although something’s he would tell me left me thinking “ok that might have been a little too much” but I honestly wouldn’t want it any other way.

Hunter’s Birthday party 2012.

Don’t get me wrong we’ve had rough patches just like every child/parent relationship but being a single momma wasn’t easy and tough calls had to be made. Overall, I do believe he does respect me more for those tough decisions.

He graduated South Grand Prairie High in 2020, the start of COVID – 19. He went on spring break and never returned. Classes were done at home on the computer and just like everyone else restricted from doing too much of anything. Not at all how I wished he would have experienced his senior year however he was cool with it. One of his big milestones I wish his daddy was there in person for. After graduating he decided to do the Dallas Promise (offered to all graduates in the Dallas Independent School District) for welding. I’m a strong believer in learning a trade and so is Justin. 3 months into college he was offered a welding job at a company in Ft. Worth. He worked there for a while making decent money for his age and without any certificates. I was so happy for him. The hours were long and it was a beating on him so eventually he switched jobs and totally left the welding field for a while. He then about a year ago started working for another company, welding when just recently the company he first started welding at asked him to come back for more money than what he’s currently making. So super stoked for him and his future in welding.

Hunter Truman Middle School – loved watching him play football.
Hunter and his dad.

I raised Hunter learning responsibility and instilling in him excellent work ethic. I always told him you must work hard for what you want nothing will be handed to you and NO ONE owes you anything, hard work pays off. He bought his 1st vehicle with no cosigner that says a lot in my opinion. I know I had to have a cosigner on one of my vehicles so to me that was a big moment for Hunter. His Aunt Tammy (his dad’s sister) bought his 1st truck for him and we were so thankful for that. She also paid for 1 year of his insurance. I told Hunter after that year was up, he would then have to help me pay half of his insurance. Insurance for young male drivers is expensive. He did help me with it. Mind you Hunter started working at 15 and was paying his own cell phone bill at 16 yes old. He doesn’t like to miss work or be late for anything so he’s accomplished the good work ethics and responsibility I believe.

I can go on and on about Hunter and how proud of him I am. I will share more stories of Hunter and how he was growing up.

One of my favorites of Hunter!

The Beginning of Motherhood

I was told at 16 I’d never be able to have kids (I’ll share that experience at another time), so every time Mother’s Day would come around and I’d see my sister-in-law at the time celebrating with her kids it always hit a little harder, especially because I was married and wanting to start a family.

I will never forget the time being at my now ex mother in laws celebrating Mother’s Day with them (my husband and I would spend half the time with my mom the other half with his mom) and she came over to me and told me she spoke to a psychic and was told that there was a baby in the near future.

So, I stopped my birth control (I had to take it due to endometriosis) and prayed for a miracle. August came along and it was time to celebrate my mother in laws birthday and alcohol was involved. Life continued as normal.

Then in the September we went hiking with Jeremy’s best friend Ricky and his wife at Dinosaur Valley in Glen Rose, TX. I did not feel right and with every step I took my breast hurt. Finally told them something is not right, and Ricky’s response was, “on the way back home were stopping to get you two pregnancy tests.”

So, hours later and lunch we stopped by the grocery store bought two tests and off to Ricky and Patrice’s house to take the test. Patrice was so excited she came into the bathroom with me as we waited for the lines to appear, and THEY DID. We were all overcome with so much emotion and the phone calls started.

This is just the beginning of one of the most rewarding roles…. check back for updates on the rest of this story.