Jan 29, 2017

Sometimes life is hard, but there is still so much joy to be found.

A train-of-thought update on me

I have a confession to make. For the past few months, I have been struggling.  It’s been hard, even though my life is pretty great. I am married to the love of my life—the most wonderful, incredible, kind, loving man I’ve ever known. We have such a great life together with our daughter, who is such a great kid. But, my health has been poor and it’s been affecting my life to a troubling degree.

We had high hopes for this move to Utah. We were thinking that since it’s a much bigger city with a lot more veterans, the endocrinologists at the VA hospital would provide me with a higher quality of care. That has not been the case. Quite the opposite in fact. I find myself with the worst doctors I’ve ever worked with—and I’ve worked with about 24 doctors for my condition.

I will say that I love my Primary Care Manager. The women’s clinic here in Salt Lake is amazing, and my nurse practitioner is one of the most caring physicians I’ve seen yet. She listens to my concerns, she looks at my health history, and she really cares. The endocrinologists though, whom I am forced to see for my chronic illnesses, are heavily lacking. Because of their inattentiveness and lack of communication, I have been in such pain due to my autoimmune disease. I’m so frustrated with dealing with these people that I’ve just about given up on receiving quality care. Just about.
And that was the point where I decided to shift my educational goals from fitness to health. I want to be a medical researcher in the field of immunology specializing in research on autoimmunity. I want to be part of the solution to these diseases and illnesses. I don’t want to just have my symptoms treated. I want to have the root cause of my condition addressed and reversed. And I want to help others receive the same quality of care. So off to school I go again, and I am looking forward to it.

With a goal in mind, I found my motivation in other areas of my life come together again. Although I’m still not well enough to return to endurance running, I am well enough to work on my strength through weight lifting, and to pursue lower impact activities like cycling (since my husband is a cyclist, he’s pretty happy about that). And I’ve been finding more and more motivation to change my diet to help heal my immune system by cutting out inflammatory foods and replacing them with foods of the more nutrient-rich variety.

Through all of this, I have really seen the tender mercies of the Lord in my life and my family’s life. As we strive to continue with regular family home evenings, scripture study, prayer, and church attendance—even during times that I frankly didn’t feel like it—I have seen such great blessings. The biggest of these has been the love and support of my husband and daughter. During the times of most pain, they have been there for me to take care of me and our home.

Teaching my daughter that #REALwomenmove as we hiked Y mountain
Not only that, but I have once again been selected to represent Skirt Sports as an Ambassador Captain. I was so surprised, and so happy, to have this honor for my third year. With how ill I have been lately, I wasn’t sure if they would still select me, so when I got that email to let me know I would be an ambassador for this year, I was ecstatic! This sisterhood has been such a blessing and light in my life. These strong women, all from different places and backgrounds, are some of the most encouraging women I have had the pleasure to know. And I look forward to another year representing this amazing company.

This post really doesn’t have a lot of direction, but that’s how my mind is working today through the treatments I’m receiving for my migraines. I feel like I’m all over the place, but I can also see how I’ve still been able to accomplish quite a bit between my family, my education, my fitness, and my service in the youth organization of my church. I’ve been learning to still be functional as I go through this health trial, and I’ve been learning to still find joy through my health struggles. I have hope that I will get better, and in the meantime, I'm going to try my best not to let these challenges get me down. My family, my faith, my fitness, and my friendships are that source of joy, and they are exactly what I need to not just get through this, but to become a better person because of this.

My husband is so amazing. I can't say enough good things about him.


  1. I'm so glad to hear about how you have found more direction and strength. I always pray for you. I know that as you move forward with the direction you receive through the spirit, the Lord will continue to bless and guide you in marvelous and miraculous ways. You are a light to others and bring strength and hope to many.

    1. Thank you! That really means a lot to me. I try to follow the spirit as I make decisions like this, and I know that the Lord will never steer me wrong.

  2. I am so sorry to hear how much your health is bogging you down. It can be frustrating when you feel like the doctors are not finding the answers or a helpful path. Hopefully you will find some answers! Congrats though on becoming an ambassador Captain!

    1. Thanks so much! I'm currently in the process of working with my healthcare to refer me to a different doctor. Hoping that it works out!


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