This year has been a real roller coaster ride, I have never been so thankful to alive! Like seriously, I am sooooo thankful to be alive. For all of my new followers let me start from the beginging and rewind all the way back to March of 2016....
Last March I noticed that I had some swelling in my hands. The pressure from the swelling caused alot of pain in my hands so I decided to discuss this with my doctor. They didnt appear to be too concerned about it, so they ruled out that it must be carpel tunnel. I immediatly began to worry because the year prior I had a close friend of mine recently pass away suddenly and it all started with her doctor saying that she had carpel tunnel. Something in me was unsettled with the idea that my life could be in jeopardy all because I felt like my doctors were being lazy. So I made a follow up appointment after I saw no improvement and by this time, I had broken a toe from dizzy spells .
Well just like you may have guessed, I received no new information. The doctors totally ignored my questions and blew them off as if I had nothing to worry about; but that is the problem. I did worry, everyday and night for at least a month. I was terrifed because all i wanted was answers and as days slipped by, I began to count the days..... worry so badly that I began having panic attacks again. ( I suffered with Panic disorder a few years back) I began to loose motivation in everything that I loved. I am licensed cosmetology educator and I couldnt even do hair because I couldnt feel what I was doing. So not only was I sufferning with the confusion of not knowing what is causing this, NOW I CANT WORKAND DO WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY, Boy did I feel defeated.
I think the most insulting thing about all of this was the idea that my previous DOCTORS assumed I wasnt healthy until now so they blew me off. As to say, here is this fat girl asking whats wrong with her. The only remedy they offered before my diagnosis was to loose weight. " Your blood work is fine, do you have a weight loss program do you need help with one ?" It made me feel even worse. Here I am tired evryday and sick, robbed from being able to what I loved and no one had any answers except excersise. So I did, I exercised and oddly enough I felt worse. The little bit of energy that I had left as soon as i commpleted the work out. It helped with the circulation but over all I STILL couldnt feel my hands.
So here I was ... sad lost and confused.... so what did I do? I poured my life into my new brand. I decided that until I find my way around this disease I wont dwell on it. Plussizemeplz is more than just a body positive brand. Its a brand that addresses real life experiences to bring hope and positivity to the everyday women. I am a mother of two, cosmetology educator, mentor and power house business women. If I CANT CHANGE MY CIRCUMSTANCES I will create a way to make others happy about their life and their bodies. Inspired by so many movements within the plus community I decided to create my own, and the kick off would be "The Swim Soirée" I poured my heart into this brand to hide the pain I was secretly hiding from the world. I then made another brave decision and switched doctors for the third time.
Finally, I went to a totally different doctor and I talked to her about alot... but I was hesitant to tell her about my hands, feeling that she would only tell me the same things I had already heard. With my head down , she asked , " Do you have any other concerns? " I lifted up my head and said, " yes my hands ... I cant feel them. She was in shock, " why didnt I mention this to her at the begining she wanted to know... I just stared at her... only because I never thought she would be so observant. I mean she actually listened. She asked me a few more questions and sent me to get more lab work done. She held my hand and said, " We are going to figure this out..." I walked out and cried. She heard me, she really lisented, within a two days she called me to say ... You have an auto immune disease. I was on my way to meet with a close friend of mine and as soon as I saw her , she put her arms out, I cried for a few mins but they felt like an eternity, It felt like pools falling from my soul. It wasnt a death sentence but it wasnt anything close to what I wanted to hear. Within a few short months I was diagnosed with Lupus SLE.... an incurable nasty disease that attacks your healthy tissue for no reason. It canattack your heart, brain, kidneys , and liver at any time and with no warning. The thought of that threat was terrifying for me. How could these doctors allow this to slip through their fingers? Nothing would allow me to get past the idea that I could have lost my life had I not inquired for a third opinion.
I battled with the idea of loosing my life over something that truly wasnt my fault. I didnt cause my lupus by being over weight they were wrong.... working out without being treated properly could have triggered a flare and it actually did. Loosing my friend Nichole (Plus model, and Ms. District of Columbia 2015 Plus ) the year prior was traumatic for me. When my hands began to have troubles, I imediately thought of her and demanded answers because her voice told me to. I promised her that I would continue to moved on creating a body positive brand that was a geninue as our friendship. From the moment I met her we shared so many great things, before she passed on we made a plan and I needed to fulfill it . Anyone who interacted with my brand would feel like they were apart of the family. That was the goal and so far that is what makes me proud.
During the process of building this brand I was broken down, but like many things that I encounter I just keep going. the hardest thing that I had to endure this year was accepting that this wasnt my fault. The guilt that others place on you doesnt have to stay on you. Its ok to throw it back out there and give it back to the people it belongs to. Recently (two weeks ago ) I was diagnosed with another incurable disease. Mixed connection tissue disease, again this sucks... but I know that things will be ok, because I WANT THEM TO BE. Ironically enough my new doctor said... "take it easy, dont over do working out right now, your body needs rest...It's working out on its own without you lifting a finger. " Once again I cried, someone said what I was feeling as if they felt it themselves.
My platform for PlusSizeMePlz is over all well being. I'm a real person who goes through real things. My life is an open book and I share to help others be better, live better, be happier and to encouarge people to trust themslves. Had I not trusted my intution, (my angel) who knows how much damage could have been done to my own body... I mean really carpel tunnel vs Lupus is a huge differnce you think?
This year has taught me alot, I have endured many things (that I will continue to share), BUT NOTHING like this. This is very symbolic to a "death" as my therapist says. A part of you died after you got that diagnosis. You can do alot but you are not who you were. Ironically enough I have been saying that phrase for years now. #imnotwhoiwas and its the truth, IM NOT! Im learning to let go of my fears and Im throwing my fears in the air. I have nothing to loose and everything to gain. The hardest part about getting diagnosed with an incurable disease is staying positive and not allowing yourself to be a victim. PlusSizeMePlz kept me focsued and happy when things became to diffucult to stomach. Ive met so many wonderful people and have built stronger bonds with people I have already adored.
There are many things I am not; the lessons I continue learn I share and give freely to you all because I didnt always have that for myself. I hope my brand and blog helps encouarge you all to be your best at all times. That is the goal, to support,uplift and encouarge one another.
It is time to accept that we need each other to be our best, I didnt make it this far on my own. Im just givig what people gave to me ....
Photo credit: Talya