My top moments of May 2020

Hello my beautiful darlings!

It is officially a new month! Can’t even believe it is already June! This year seems to be going by fast, despite all of the craziness that is going on. When you live with mental and chronic illness, it’s sometimes hard to focus on and realize all the good things that you have in your life. Often, your illnesses and the problems they cause can mask the happy moments, but it’s very important to remember that even though there is so much dark within our lives, there is also so much light. So today I want to try to start a series on this blog where at the end of the month/beginning of the next month, I share with you some of my happiest memories from that month because those are the memories that even on my worst days, I can focus on and smile. 🙂

Moment #1: Mothers Day

Mothers day this year was a day I was actually dreading. The week leading up to Mothers day, I was very stressed out and emotional. This was due to multiple reasons. The biggest one being, I always thought by this point in my life I would either have a child, be pregnant, or at least be in the planning stages. I never thought I would be sitting here realizing there is a high chance that I may never be able to biologically have kids. Realizing the state of my health and knowing I am nowhere near what I imagined I would be at 24, was really hard and weighed heavily on my heart that week. I was also feeling depressed over the fact that due to certain situations, our oldest dog Willie can no longer live with us at this time. It hurt knowing that I wouldn’t be able to be with all 4 of my fur children at one time but at least I would be able to see them all throughout the day. When Mothers day arrived, I still felt stressed but tried to just focus on making muffins for my mother in law. Before we headed over, my wonderful husband gave me a card that warmed my heart and really made me realize how blessed I am. He had made me a card on photoshop from all my pups with tons of pictures of them. He also wrote a poem from each one to me. I couldn’t help but cry. Mother’s day is my number one memory of the month because that was the day that I realized that even though my life isn’t where I thought it would be, one thing is true, I am still a mommy, my kids just have paws ❤

Moment #2: Getting my new desk

I know many of you probably don’t understand why this moment would be so important to me but it was more than just getting a desk. For many years now, I have had no space to call my own. If I wanted to do my makeup, I had to stand in front of my dresser which only caused my body pain. If I wanted to type, I would just transfer my surface to any available table or even my lap. Recording videos was always a headache because I would have to figure out a place to set up my chair. It was exhausting and not having your own space can really take a toll on you. When my husband set up my new desk in the corner of our bedroom, I almost started to cry. Finally, I had a space all to my own where I could create whatever I wanted to create. It was an amazing feeling and honestly has done wonders for my mental health.

Moment #3: Rescueing a baby Raccoon

Being a total animal lover, of course this had to make the list. I had gotten up to take Blue out like I do every morning when my grandma stopped me in the kitchen and let me know that she found a baby raccoon this morning in our yard. Besides for his one eye looking injured and not being able to open, he looked perfectly healthy and was very vocal. My grandma had him in a box with a towel on our back porch. I called my mom, since she has experience with rehabilitating animals, and she began to call other people she knew. She soon came down to give the baby some pedialyte and make sure he was warm. The little raccoon was so adorable and I even nicknamed him Rocket after Guardians of the Galaxy. We only had him for a few hours before my mom finally got in touch with a rehabilitator up near the Catskills who could take care of him. Turns out, he was really young and his eye was indeed infected but he is doing very well in the care of this guy. It felt good to be able to rescue this tiny helpless creature and get him to someone who was able to give him the care that he needed.

Moment #4: Taking Blue on his first real PA & socialization trip

One of the most crucial things that must be done when you have a puppy training for service work is socialization. Unfortunately, socializing during a pandemic is very difficult so we haven’t really been able to do so. However, this month I was finally able to take Blue out and do some real world socialization with him. My mom’s friend unfortunately, due to covid-19, had to close down her store. She was getting rid of and selling a lot so she invited us to come down to pick up anything we wanted. Since the shop was closed, the only people allowed to come were people she directly invited so everything was done in a very safe way. She told me I could bring Blue since the shop is right in town so I could sit outside with him and get him used to the sounds of traffic. Blue wound up doing an amazing job! Not only was he not scared of anything, not even the giant trucks that went by, but he consistently listened to me and his commands. Of course, he was excited meeting someone new but he quickly settled down and focused on me. I was even able to put a treat on his paw and have him leave it, something I didn’t think he would do in a new environment with distractions. Before this outing, I was getting pretty frustrated with him. As my trainer says, it’s completely normal at this age for them to test you. It’s like you take 500 steps forward and 5000 steps back. This can be mentally and physically exhausting though and at times, it’s very easy to start to doubt your ability to train and even your puppies ability to become a service dog. This trip though was exactly what I needed to be reminded that Blue and I are doing a great job and even though we still have a long road ahead of us, in my heart I feel like we are going to make it and he will become my service dog!

So there you have it, 4 of my top moments of the month. Of course, there were many other smaller moments that made up my month that bring a smile to my face. I encourage everyone out there who may be struggling with their health to try to keep track somehow of your highlights each month. There are different ways to do this, for me I keep track of them in my digital bullet journal. The important thing to remember is no memory or moment is too small. Anything that makes you smile should be documented because it’s those moments that you can look back on during a flare up or bad mental health day and be able to smile. It’s those moments that shed a glimmer of light into an otherwise dark world. And it is those moments that provide you the hope you need to keep going.

I challenge you to find something good in everyday. The more you do this, I promise, the more you will realize how much good is in your life. Also tell me down below in the comments about one of your highlights this month, I would love to hear them! As always, hold onto hope and remember that life, though difficult, can still be beautiful! ❤

Until next time,

Kaylee D. ❤

I’m back and I finally created a Youtube Channel!!

Hello my beautiful darlings!! I know it’s been months since I last posted and I apologize deeply for that. A lot has happened in my life these past few months, some bad and some good, that I can not wait to update you all about! I have spent the last few months really trying to figure out my health and what I want for my future. Everything keeps reminding me that what I want most of all right now is to be able to share my story and help others out there who are struggling. That is why, I have renewed my blog and have finally created a Youtube channel!! This is something I have wanted to do for years but was always too scared to do so! However, I finally have created my channel so if you want to see me on a whole new platform, please check that out!

The other giant news I have to share with you all is that I have recently picked up my potential service dog! This is another thing I never thought would happen but finally has! Obviously, I will be writing all about him and our training adventures since I will be owner training him, under the guidance of a professional trainer. There is also a video up on my Youtube of us picking him up and his first 48 hours with us you can check out if you want!

I know my blog looks different right now, at this moment I am using the free plan but in the near future, I do plan on upgrading back to premium so I can get my old layout back.

I’m hoping to really be able to dive back into blogging and hopefully bring some joy and hope into people’s lives along the way!

Until next time,

Kaylee D. ❤

Health Update

My physical health has been up and down these last few weeks. I have my good days where I can get work done and enjoy life, but I also have my really bad days where I can’t get out of bed without feeling faint and dizzy. My mental health, on the other hand, has been consistently rough. My anxiety has gotten severe and even though I didn’t realize it at first, so has my depression. This is heavily due to the fact my future has been on my mind a lot lately, especially one certain aspect of my future; having kids. For as long as I can remember, I dreamed about becoming a mother. Tom and I had always discussed having children in our early twenties, shortly after getting married. But being diagnosed with Lupus has turned our entire plan upside down.

The reality is that having Lupus does increase my chances of miscarriage, birth complications and even infertility all together. Yes, I know there are many women out there with Lupus who have children and had problem-free pregnancies but there are also many who have not. Just knowing that we could have problems getting/staying pregnant and there is a chance we may never become pregnant at all is a thought that honestly breaks my heart. Before this diagnosis, we had a plan. Shortly after our 1 year anniversary, we would begin to actively try for a baby as long as we felt we were in a financially good space to do so. But now, that can’t happen. I need my health to be in check before we even consider trying. But we are also still on a timeline because the older I get and the longer I’m on my medication, the harder pregnancy will be for me and the risk factor goes higher. It is so hard to hear friends and family ask me, “so when will you guys have a baby?” knowing that I don’t know that answer anymore. It hurts having to explain why we need to wait and even explaining how it may never happen biologically for us. I always feared infertility issues, always scared that my biggest dream wouldn’t be able to come true for me. I wish I could get testing done now, to know before we start to try and have to experience heartbreak over and over again if it turns out that I can’t become pregnant or hold a pregnancy. But doctors won’t run those tests unless it’s necessary.

I thought by 24, I would be pregnant with my first child or already have a child. I never thought by 24 I would be diagnosed with Lupus, uncertain if I ever would be able to become a mom. I’m trying my hardest to turn this diagnosis into something positive, to use my experiences to help others. But some days, it’s just so hard to look on the bright side. I feel like I’m grieving, I’m grieving the life I had and the life I thought I would have. The life that was robbed from me by this illness I never asked for. I still have big dreams, dreams that I want so badly to come true but I always fear that my mental and physical health will keep me from ever achieving them. I feel constantly trapped, having to rely on everyone for everything because I can’t do things myself anymore. I can’t drive, I can’t work, hell, some days I can’t even make it up the stairs without help! When I go out, I constantly have to monitor how I’m feeling, often going through periods of lightheadedness and just an overall underlying panic of something going wrong. I won’t even go anywhere if Tom, my mother or my grandmother are not with me because at least I know they understand and they know what to do if god forbid, I get really sick out of nowhere. It sucks having to live like that.

People keep telling me that “it could be worse” and that “I’m going to be okay” and though I know they are right, some days I don’t want to hear it! Because the truth is, yea, it could be worse but this freaking sucks too! And I have every right to be angry and sad about having my independence ripped away! Than on the other hand, I have people compare my illness to others with the same and that hurts worse because everyone deals with illnesses differently and everyone experiences different symptoms. Just because one person is able to work and drive with Lupus, doesn’t mean that I can. I’m trying my hardest but I also can’t risk my life and my health getting worse. I’m at my breaking point as is and basically being told I’m not trying my hardest, that I’m being lazy and using my Lupus and anxiety as an excuse, it’s just beyond heart wrenching and makes me want to cry. Because I am trying my hardest, I’m pushing myself as much as I can.

I’m not happy with my life but I refuse to just give up. I guess I just need to continue taking everything one day at a time, hold onto faith, and no matter what, stay strong. That’s the only way I’ll get through this challenging time. Friends and family tell me how strong I am and how well I have handled this. But the truth is, what other choice did I have? I either let this break me or grow from it. And even on days like today, where I’m deep in my head and am feeling so discouraged, I know I won’t let this shatter me. 

Until next time,

Kaylee D. ❤

Why I haven’t been posting…

Hey everyone. I know it’s been forever since I last posted on here. A lot of personal challenges have come around since this year has begun that has made keeping up with this blog very difficult. The biggest of them being discovering that I actually don’t have Rheumatoid Arthritis, but instead have Lupus. Prior to this diagnosis, my pain had reached very high levels, to the point that even typing became too much for me to do, especially on a daily basis. In addition to the pain, I was having heavy light sensitivity and concentration issues that caused staring at a computer screen to result in very painful headaches. I also began to suffer from brain fog constantly, to the point, I couldn’t really organize my thoughts or what I wanted to say. These new symptoms pushed me to go to a new Rheumatologist and after running blood work, she informed me of this new diagnosis. I have now been on medication for a little over a month and though I have not felt too much relief, I have my good days and my bad days.

When this was all going on, I had very much considered cancelling my blog. I can no longer work and therefore all the financial responsibility must lay on my husbands shoulders. To me, this expense was something that I thought wasn’t necessary. However, my determination and love for blogging caused me to renew. Blogging to me is a safe place and a place where I feel understood, which is very important. I am also in the process of trying to get my Youtube channel created, however, with being sick and in pain a lot, that has shown to be more difficult than I first thought. I do not want to make this long, I just wanted to let you all know where I have been and why I haven’t posted since the beginning of this year before I begin to post again. My hope is now being on treatment, I will be able to get back to some sort of normal and be able to blog even more than I once did. I created this blog and will create my Youtube channel for the same reason. I want this to be something that can hopefully help and inspire others, especially if they are suffering from mental or chronic illnesses that causes them to lose sight of the beauty of life. For months now, I’ve been just existing and it’s time for me to start living again. I may have Lupus and extreme anxiety, but those things do not define who I am. They are only a part of me.

My end goal with this blog is that it becomes a lifestyle blog that will consist of posts that will not only hopefully make living easier for people who have illnesses in their way, but also inspire them to not let their illnesses bring them down and make their life any less beautiful than it should be. I hope to raise awareness on Chronic and mental illnesses, specifically Lupus and Anxiety, as well as take you all on this health journey with me as I learn to cope and manage this new scary disease at only 23 years old. I plan to continue to post poetry about the challenges and other things that go on in my life, and lastly, I hope this blog helps others like me to feel less alone. Living with these illnesses, I often feel very alone because my friends and my family don’t fully understand what I go through. But I’m not alone, and neither are you. I look forward to blogging with you all again very soon!

Until next time my darlings,

Kaylee D. ❤

2018, The year of Change

2018, The year of Change

 

I can’t even wrap my head over the fact that today is the last day of 2018. This year has been one of the most difficult but also most joyish years of my life. The memories I have made throughout this year are some of the most important memories I know I will ever have and I feel beyond blessed this year to have experienced all that I got to experience. Because of this, I thought it would be fun to write an overview of my year type blog post, highlighting the top moments, good and bad, that have shaped my 2018. Before I begin though, I am aware that it has been a long time since I last posted a blog post and I am so sad that that is the case. My life has been pretty crazy since the wedding but my goal in the next few weeks is to post many different blog posts catching you all up on my beautiful wedding, amazing mini moon/honeymoon, and just life in general. But for today, if you would like to read more about the best year of my life, just keep on reading. 🙂

 

January

The first month of the year I started off by saying that this was going to be my “perfect” year. Sitting here today, I have learned that there is no such thing as “Perfect”. One of the biggest lessons 2018 has taught me is nothing is ever going to go as “perfect” as you think, but that’s for another blog post. Though this is true, I really did find the perfect for me wedding gown and in the beginning of January, my grandmother bought it for me and we picked out the bridesmaid dresses from David’s Bridal. Finding such a picture perfect princess gown was something I had dreamed of since I was a little girl and I remember when I turned and faced the mirror for the first time, I couldn’t help but smile. In that moment, it became real to me that in 9 months, I was going to be walking down the aisle to my best friend in this dress. No words can truly express how I felt in that moment and I am so happy that I had one of my bridesmaids record that moment for me.

February

My happy moment though, did not last long because that following month, I became very sick. The first couple weeks of february were straight hell. In and out of urgent care, the emergency room, not being able to eat solid food,dehydrated constantly, being told I was fine when I felt like I was dying and finally going through an endoscopy to learn that I had gastritis and an hiatal hernia. Throughout all of that, I also started to suffer heavily with depersonalization and dissociation symptoms. Now I had experienced these before but never this strong and unfortunately, these would continue to affect me for most of 2018. Though the beginning part of february was probably the hardest weeks physically and mentally of my life, the month ended with me finally getting the stomach medication I needed, celebrating valentines day for the first time as an engaged couple, registering at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and finally, Tom leasing a 2018 honda civic hatchback.

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March

March brought another first for Tom and I, our first overnight trip away together just the two of us. March 21st marked 5 years since Tom and I became an official couple and even though every year we tried to go away for our anniversary, something always happened that made our plans fall through. This year was different though. This year, we finally went away and even if it was just one night near Mohegan Sun, it was such a fun and special trip for the two of us. Not only did I get to taste my first warm Krispy Kreme doughnut, I also got to gamble for the first time and spend quality time with my husband to be.

April

To help booked couples see how their wedding reception will go, Fox Hill Inn has a mini reception/tasting each year specifically for booked couples. April was the month Tom and I finally got to experience a taste of what our wedding night would be. We got to taste a bunch of different delicious food, dance some, and even get a special deal on different wedding day stations for our guests. This fox hill mini reception was definitely the highlight of April for me because it really got me excited for my wedding and also relaxed me on some of the details for that day.

May

May, however, was another month where there were good moments, but also defining tough ones. For the good, May was the month we selected our wedding menu, I decided to get my hair dyed blonde ombre, Megan had her Bridal shower and probably the most important moment of all, I finally graduated DCC after 4 years with an associates in general studies. May though was also the month I had my last therapy session with a therapist I really loved and trusted. When Lori informed me she would be leaving, I felt my entire world turn upside down. Lori made me feel less crazy, she believed in me and she respected my medication fear. Losing her was beyond hard but the things she had taught me in the months prior were things I was able to carry with me and though I know I will eventually have to find a new therapist, Lori showed me i’m not as broken or messed up as I once believed.

June

June was a happy month. Adrian, my best friend’s son, turned one and we had a wonderful birthday party for him. It was so unreal to me that he was already 1 when it seemed like just yesterday he was this infant lexi placed in my arms. Watching him grow was definitely one of my favorite parts of this past year. My cousin Michael and his fiance Megan got married which caused Tom to finally get to go to a wedding. That day was just filled with love and once again, really made me excited for my upcoming nuptials in 4 months. I also got a job as a temporary program assistant in my office which brought much more responsibility to my life and though at times this job would make me want to scream, I am so happy I was able to have had that experience. Lastly, June was the month where me and my girls finally did a pre-wedding activity and went to the Bronx zoo together. We even made minnie mouse hats to wear so everyone knew this was a pre-bachelorette outing!

July

July was also a fun month. Tom turned 23 and we went on our annual Ocean City NJ vacation trip with my family from Pennsylvania. Like always, that trip was nothing but fun but this year it was so sentimental thinking back to last July when Tom popped the question at the top of the wonder wheel. July was also the month that Tom and I got pre-approved for a mortgage. At the time, I cried with happiness but my little naive self was not prepared for all that was soon going to hit me because of it.

August

August began with a camping trip to Gilberts Lake with Tom, my soon to be brother and sister in laws and Victoria’s fiance. What started off as a trip I was dreading, became a highlight of my entire year and one of the most fun trips I had been on in a long time. The following weekend, I walked into my surprise Bridal shower which was also so much fun and Tom and I wound up getting so many amazing gifts. We sent out our wedding invitations to our guests and than got hit with the first of a few house disappointments. When a house we had fallen in love with accepted an offer that wasn’t ours, I was heartbroken. It was like I saw my future in front of me and with a phone call it had all broken away. Slowly though, with Toms help, I got over losing that “perfect” home and we continued our house hunting.

September

In September, my girls and I went on another pre-bachelorette outing and went to Six Flags for the day. I got my hair dyed back to my natural brunette color and my baby girl Luna turned 2 years old. This month I also hit 50 followers on this blog and though it doesn’t seem like a lot, it meant the world to me. Which is partly why, sitting here now, I feel so sad because I hate not posting here for all of you but life and mental illness have just gotten in the way so much and have prevented me from having any motivation to write lately. I can only hope that 2019 will be the year where I really do keep up with my blog and also, finally, start a youtube channel.

October

October. Oh October. This was the month that highlighted my entire year. I had an amazing bachelorette weekend at Mohegan Sun with my girls, a fun-filled rehearsal dinner and after party at Olive Garden and Round one, a relaxing salon day the day before the wedding with my girls and of course, the most important event of all of 2018, my wedding day. October 28th 2018 was the day I finally married my best friend, my soul mate, and the love of my life. Our Disney themed wedding was a day straight out of a story book and better than anything I could have ever dreamed of. After our wedding, we also got to have a wonderful mini-moon at Cove Haven which was the perfect way to end such a fairytale month. It’s crazy to think I started October 2018 as Kaylee DeMarco but ended it as Kaylee D’Ascanio.

November

Our actual honeymoon started in November. But November was also the month that my position at DCC ended which also ended my 4 year long job in the student financial services office. Having to leave a job I love and more importantly, coworkers who had became family was one of the hardest things I had to do and something I’m still struggling with. But when I think of November, I think of our magical honeymoon. Leaving the day after thanksgiving, we began our honeymoon in North Carolina where I finally got to meet Tom’s family down there. After 4 days there, we headed to Florida where I finally got to experience all the Magic of Disney World. I won’t lie, I cried when I saw the castle for the first time. Ending November in the happiest place on earth, well, I couldn’t ask for anything better.

December

The start of December, Tom and I boarded our 8 day Eastern Caribbean Carnival cruise, our last part to our magical honeymoon. We got to visit Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Grand Turk, and St. Kitts. When we returned, it was back to the real world but my annual cousin shopping trip with grandma for christmas, my 23rd birthday, and Christmas itself all helped to make the adjustment from paradise to back home a little less stressful.

And that brings us to today, December 31st 2018. The last day of such an incredible year. As you can see, this year brought many ups, as well as some downs. I started off this year as a fiance and am ending it as a wife. I hope you enjoyed reading this post about my 2018 but now I want to hear from you. Tell me in the comments below what was one defining moment for you in 2018. If you enjoyed this post, especially the pieces about our wedding, mini moon, and honeymoon, than please keep your eye out because my plan is to post a lot about these three things in this upcoming month! Until than, Happy new years everyone! I hope 2018 was a great year for you and I hope that 2019 will be even better! 🙂 

Until next time,

Kaylee D. ❤