3 Lessons I Learned From Falling Down the Stairs

For those that don’t follow me on social media, that title is not clickbait! Last Sunday, I did indeed fall down about six concrete steps. Outside of a funeral home, of all places. According to my family, I was lucky to come out of it with just scrapes and bruises by the way I tumbled. I only remember bits and pieces, like how I was so sure I’d be able to catch the railing somehow, or regain control by getting my foot on another stair. Neither of those things happened. Then I pictured actually dying outside of my 83-year-old grandmother’s wake at just 21 and laughed, or at least I laughed in my head. By the end of the fall I was merely focusing on protecting my head as best I could. My dad says I shielded my face with my arm and hand, which explains all of the scrapes and bruises there, but I don’t remember doing it.

Now back at home and giving my body much needed time to recover, below are three lessons I learned from falling down the stairs.

3 Lessons I Learned From Falling Down the Stairs (NOT clickbait!)

[Image Description: The words “3 less I learned from going down the stairs, NOT clickbait!” in white against a dark green background full of foliage.]

1. Appreciate your front teeth.

Especially the two at the top. Yes, I chipped mine while trying to avoid breaking my nose on the pavement. My nose is fine, but half of my right tooth is not. I never truly noticed how much I actually used my front teeth when eating. Whether it’s grabbing whatever’s on the eating utensil I’m holding, or moving food around in my mouth while chewing, they were incredibly under appreciated before, but never will they be again! I have a dentist appointment tomorrow to see what we can do about repairing them.

2. ALWAYS hold on to the railing.

Have you ever rolled your eyes at the adult in your life because they told you for the umpteenth time to hold on to the railing while you were going down steps? Yeah, me too. Though I almost always held myself to that rule, I didn’t this time. Maybe it was because I was getting out of the way of an open door, or maybe I just thought I’d be fine, like I was with the stairs at home earlier that day. Whatever the reason, I didn’t hold on to the railing. Maybe if I had, I wouldn’t have a bloody lip and bruises down my leg now. Always hold on to the railing.

3. Finally, the ever so cliché, life is short.

Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I seriously considered that I might die during my fall. I’m 21 years old, bedbound for over a quarter of that time… I haven’t lived. I mean, I’ve done incredible things, don’t get me wrong, but my biggest dream in life is to be a mom someday. So, you see, I haven’t lived.

I’ve always known life is short. Adults tell you all the time when you’re young, “Life is short, don’t waste it!” I’ve never taken that for granted, especially these past ten+ years with chronic illness. But, trust me, you do not want to be tumbling down concrete steps with your loved ones watching, wondering what the hell you’ve been waiting for to do XYZ. Life is too short.

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Things Are Quiet | Dear Diary #6

Previously.

Welcome to Dear Diary, a series where I talk about the little things going on in my life that don’t necessarily warrant their own individual posts. Please, feel free to do the same in the comments! So… What’s new?

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash. [Image Description: A flatlay of a vase full of flowers, a stack of photos, and a full mug of coffee, all on top of a dark brown hardwood surface.]

Health

Things have been kind of quiet around here. The only doctor appointments I’ve kept up with are my monthly iron infusions because my mom, who has always been my partner on this chronic illness roller coaster, has been recovering from surgery and thus can’t drive. My grandma’s taken me to my last two infusions, where she’s kicked my ass in Gin each time. Let me tell ya, trying to hide your cards when you only have one hand to work with is much harder than it initially seemed.

I do have a POTS appointment next week, which my dad has volunteered to take me to. This will be his first time meeting my new POTS doctor and experiencing the chaos that is his office. My mom and I prepped him, but you really have to experience it firsthand.

Speaking of my mom, she’s approaching six weeks post-op! Her nurse comes once or twice a week. Milo, our Yorkie, is starting to warm up to her, so hopefully someday soon she won’t have to listen to him bark the whole time she’s here with my mom. Waking up much earlier than I’m used to to keep Milo occupied while the nurse is here has been…different. My body’s getting used to my sleep medication again, which means I’m not getting enough rest as it is. Not that I’m truly complaining; I do need to start waking up earlier if I want some semblance of a life in the future.

Other than sleep deprivation, my health has been stable. Well, I say stable, but I’m still pretty much glued to my mattress. At least the dizziness is mostly taken care of until Midodrine wears off. I have noticed that Florinef is drying me out faster than usual and, with gastroparesis making it hard to drink enough water, there’s not much I can do to combat it on a day-to-day basis. Definitely need to make a note to bring that up next week!

Personal

Milo’s 10th birthday was on April 3rd! I meant to dedicate a whole post to him and officially introduce you guys, but obviously that didn’t end up happening. I’d like y’all to know that’s been on my to-do list since I launched this blog back in November of 2016. I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you.

My bedroom still looks like a tornado spun through it since emptying that dresser. I have a couple of ideas in my head of what I want to do, but furniture is so dang expensive! How? Why? I’m not about to spend $200 on a small dresser, it’s just not happening. Especially because I do not currently have $200.

That being said, I’m considering moving Chronically Dannie off of wordpress.com. The only thing stopping me is the lack of a stable income to support it. Thankfully I still have an entire checklist of things I want to take care of before I make the move, so there’s still plenty of time to figure that out. Speaking of the checklist, I’m going to be changing my Twitter and Instagram handles someday soon. At the moment, if you were to search for “ChronicallyDannie” on Instagram, you’d get my Etsy shop’s profile, not my personal one. My goal is to fix that, which would include adding the word shop to my jewelry Insta’s handle. Instagram now allows you to link to other profiles in your bio, so the change shouldn’t be too big of a hassle for anyone trying to find me.

That’s about all I’ve got for you this time! What’s going on in your life?


Blog Updates:
– New Pinterest.
– Now on Poshmark + eBay.
– Added Etsy shop link to my website’s header.
– Changed the format of my blog section.

Review: “Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft”

Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft for free through Netgalley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. Possible spoilers ahead!


Review of Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft

Title: Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft
Editors: Jessica Spotswood, Tess Sharpe
Release date: August 28, 2018
Average rating: 4/5 stars
My rating: 4.5/5 stars

Goodreads Description:
“A young adult fiction anthology of 15 stories featuring contemporary, historical, and futuristic stories featuring witchy heroines who are diverse in race, class, sexuality, religion, geography, and era.

Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

Glinda the Good Witch. Elphaba the Wicked Witch. Willow. Sabrina. Gemma Doyle. The Mayfair Witches. Ursula the Sea Witch. Morgan le Fey. The three weird sisters from Macbeth.

History tells us women accused of witchcraft were often outsiders: educated, independent, unmarried, unwilling to fall in line with traditional societal expectations.

Bold. Powerful. Rebellious.

A bruja’s traditional love spell has unexpected results. A witch’s healing hands begin to take life instead of giving it when she ignores her attraction to a fellow witch. In a terrifying future, women are captured by a cabal of men crying witchcraft and the one true witch among them must fight to free them all. In a desolate past, three orphaned sisters prophesize for a murderous king. Somewhere in the present, a teen girl just wants to kiss a boy without causing a hurricane.

From good witches to bad witches, to witches who are a bit of both, this is an anthology of diverse witchy tales from a collection of diverse, feminist authors. The collective strength of women working together—magically or mundanely—has long frightened society, to the point that women’s rights are challenged, legislated against, and denied all over the world. Toil & Trouble delves deep into the truly diverse mythology of witchcraft from many cultures and feminist points of view, to create modern and unique tales of witchery that have yet to be explored.”

My Thoughts:
I don’t think I’ve ever voluntarily read a collection of short stories in book form. I’m greedy; I’ve always wanted more than a short story format can offer. Slower pacing, more about the characters, and a deep dive into the world around them. Becoming immersed in a fictional world is my happy place.

So, why did I feel such an intense need to request an ARC of Toil & Trouble? The cover caught my eye at first, for sure. As soon as I saw Witchcraft in the title… I don’t think I’ve ever clicked on an ARC so fast! Then I read the description, saw it included LGBTQ+ characters, and that was it. I was hooked.

Out of all fifteen short stories, there were maybe two that I could’ve done without, but the other thirteen made the whole collection worth the read. The final story in the collection was hands down my favourite. It was incredible, beautiful, and empowering. I’m sure I’ll be rereading Toil & Trouble later for that story alone.

All in all, I absolutely loved Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft and I cannot recommend enough that you pick it up once it releases. I mean, LGBTQ+ witches, you guys. What more do I have to say to convince you to mark your calendars for August 28th?!

Breathing and Spring Cleaning

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash. [Image Description: Blue hydrangeas in the background. The words “Breathing & Spring Cleaning” in black against a sheer white rectangle in the foreground.]

If you follow me on Instagram, you might’ve seen that I did some spring cleaning last weekend. Bulk week started on Easter, so my dad and I agreed it was the perfect time to get rid of the furniture I’ve been staring at 24/7 for over a decade of my life.

Can you tell I was all but begging for a change of scenery?

To be fair, this furniture set is way too much for the size of my bedroom. It was my brother’s, up until he became a teenager, and of course I inherited it when our parents redecorated his room. I can’t remember what my furniture situation was like before the hand-me-downs swallowed any and all of my free wall space. For over a decade, though, I haven’t been able to access one of the drawers in my bed frame. Drawers from one of the three dressers are also blocked just enough that I can only pull them open halfway. I found ways to work around it, but I’m an adult now. If I’m going to be bedbound for a majority of the time, I’m at least going to have furniture I can actually access, damn it!

To test the waters, I cleared 1 out of 3 of the dressers and my dad hauled it away. Ugh, you guys, I cannot tell you how much of a relief it is to not feel like your bedroom walls are closing in on you anymore. It’s weird having open space where the dresser used to be, but a good weird, you know? Anyway, I’m happy.

During this process, I ended up discovering a wall socket and a previously beloved pajama shirt I hadn’t even noticed was missing. Pretty successful evening, if I do say so myself. If you don’t count the disaster area that is my bedroom floor at the moment… Boxes and junk everywhere! When did I accumulate so much stuff?! Seriously, the amount of graphic tees I own alone is ridiculous. Especially considering I only wear, like, three of them regularly, on the rare occasion I leave my house. Otherwise I live in pajamas, which are currently taking up two drawers and half of a gigantic cardboard box.

On the chronic illness front, ankylosing spondylitis is piiissssed. I tried to lay down with my legs against the wall to make my POTS happy, but then ankylosing spondylitis decided to show up to the party and declared that position was going to be my worst nightmare come to life. I’m propped up against some pillows now, so the pain’s not too bad, but I shudder at the thought of what laying down to go to sleep is going to be like… Yikes. I’m also about 99.9% sure waking up tomorrow is going to be a drag. I used muscles I’d forgotten even existed trying to get this dresser situation sorted. My body is literally in for a rude awakening.

Now that I think about it, Methotrexate must be working because I had zero shoulder pain. Before, if I was upright for too long, the back of my left shoulder would start to burn so bad, I wouldn’t have been surprised if it were actually on fire. Don’t get me wrong, my back is screaming at me, but I’d take this over that shoulder pain any day.

Do you have the spring cleaning bug, too?