No Booze, No Painkillers

“My… liver? I ask in shock.

My doctor nods. “Yes. It’s not too bad right now. But don’t do anything that will increase your levels. No painkillers, no alcohol, no unhealthy foods”.

I close my eyes. Life can be unfair sometimes. Most of my graduate school friends are walking high in energy, ready to graduate. I am sluggish, my body hurts. Now I know why.

“Why is it that something new is wrong with me every time I come in here? First the vitamin deficiencies and now my liver?” I ask.

“That’s how most autoimmune disorders work Shaz, symptoms go and symptoms come” she says sympathetically. “But the good thing is, we can treat the symptoms. You had a vitamin B-12 and vitamin d deficiency, and we fixed both of those!”

I sigh.

“So remember. No alcohol, no painkillers, and implement a good diet! I need to see you back here in a month to re-check your levels” she says.

I go home and tell the news to my Mom and Dad. They don’t worry too much, which is comforting.

But when I leave the day before school ends, my dad pulls me in a hug. “Don’t worry about your liver. It will be all okay. If you need extra money to buy healthier foods, I’ll send you some. Come back soon so we can re-check the levels and see if you are healthy again”.

Sigh.

I go to school the next day. I see my friends. They talk about going out, I say I can come, but I can’t drink. I explain why.

“Wow what unfair bullshit. This girl is the one that has a drink once a season, and something’s wrong with her liver???” my very outspoken friend Linette says.

We all laugh.

My friend Susan gives me a ride home. She just lost someone and we were talking about it. When I leave I give her a hug and say “If you need anything, and I mean anything, I am here for you. I can bake cookies or bring you alcohol!” I say.

“Only if you can have some!” she says.

And it makes me laugh. Because. Here’s the thing. My friends are standing with me in solidarity.

Through the last semester of graduate school, through the period of writing our thesis, through this intense time of endless job applications and interviews- I’m not going through it alone. We all have our problems, and we help each other out. Not like where I went to college.

When one of my pediatrician friends asked me to dinner this week, I told him I couldn’t because I wasn’t feeling well. He asked me what was wrong. I told him the same old fatigue.

“I think you have Anemia!” he says. “I’m convinced I have Celiac” I say.

“What did your doctor say?” he asks. “Pernicious anemia” I say rolling my eyes.

He laughs. “You need to trust us!”

“If I felt better I would!” I say laughing.

ed3173ce0b11d961a740a8ba633b0eb3Welp. So that’s that. Another day in the life of Shaz. Along with this, school has really picked up. I am taking a few hard classes, working on my thesis, and applying for jobs. Regardless, I’m not afraid. I’ve come a long way. And there is no stopping now!

xoxo. S.

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Revenge Body

IMG_9260In just a little bit, one of my favorite shows comes back! Season 2 of Revenge Body.

Revenge Body has inspired me to be the best fit version of myself I can be. Last year, after gaining weight from the sadness of leaving people I loved in Chicago, stress of graduate school, and my autoimmune disorder- I worked out with the help of my awesome personal trainer 4 to 5 times a week and slimmed down to what made me feel fabulous. This year I’m going to do that, but also focus more on eating healthy.

As I wait for the show to begin I think of my favorite episode last season. It was about a guy named Will who wanted to get in shape because his boyfriend Kyle left him after not finding him attractive anymore.

One day, Will missed his training session. When he showed up late, his trainer (Gunnar Peterson) was not happy. This is how it went:

Will: “Can I at least explain?”

Gunnar: “Should I grab the popcorn and watch the drama unfold?”

Will: “I got blackout drunk and I couldn’t get up and the reason why I got drunk is because I found out that Kyle is dating somebody.”

Gunnar: “If I told you I was interested in that, that would be a lie. So let’s move on. That’s not important. Let’s get you working out. Kyle who? Kyle who? Right?”

Will agreed and at a moment when it was time to box, Will said he wasn’t angry enough to punch the punching bag and Gunner said “Kyle’s New Boyfriend” and BAM Will punched that bag so hard.

And that friends, really inspired me. I never skipped a workout because of a guy, but I am an emotional eater and have eaten unhealthy/ drank over a guy while trying to get fit. It’s terrible.

I like Revenge Body because it shows we can make all sorts of excuses for our body, improve our body for others, but at the end of the day- it’s all about us and the choices we make.

Eep! So excited for the new season and improvements I will make this year 🙂 Post your healthy eating and work out tips below!

xoxo. S.

5 Year Blogiversary

Today is a special day. 5 years ago today, in a very cold Chicago, I was sitting depressed Untitledand published my very first post. You know something? I’m still very sad over things that happened that year. And that is okay, because I am human.

But.

I am happy. I am happy that my sadness, turned into 733 followers and friends. I am happy 733 people care what I have to say and that I’m not alone in whatever I am going through. Thank you guys, for sticking though the bad, sad, funny, and happy with me ❤

On top of all the things that happened in graduate school, I would say the hardest thing I had to overcome this year was Hurricane Harvey and my emotionally abusive relationship. During this time it was you guys that gave me an enormous amount of support! I am usually a funny person, but these two things were things I could not laugh through- so I appreciated my readers thoughtful words and wisdom.

Through the bad, we had some great moments. There was that time I did well in Law class. There was that time I got asked to give a talk at my school. There was that time I got a job at the state laboratory. There was that time I got to go visit Chicago and see some important people I have missed including my brother and “Prince Player”.  So many.

But I’m still wishing that this upcoming year will be a better year. I can’t lie. I wanted more this past year.

Anyways, this has started becoming an alphabet soup of my thoughts! I just wanted to say, thanks reader. You mean a lot to me. Have some cake I baked before you go<3

xoxo. S.

On the 19th-31st Days of December

Wow reader, I knew this would happen! I knew this post would be delayed. And that is because, after a long 2017…the day of my birthday and all the days after it were pure bliss.

From the moment my clock hit 12:00, and even before, my family and friends called from all over the world to wish me ❤ That morning I woke up early, showered, and studied for my last final. In between…I got news I passed the course that I was re-taking! That extremely hard statistics one! Best birthday gift ever I’d say.

Later, at my last final, the professor let me cut my cake before the final!! He and I share the same birthday and he also was not in the “finals” mood. My classmates and I were all jittery during the final and it went well.

After class, some of my friends and I met up at a Cuban restaurant. I had chicken empanadas and a coconut mojito (my favorite!) My favorite part was when the waiters and my friends started dancing and singing to me!!! I got free get this GUAVA empanadas with little sparklers and candles on them it was so cute.

Then I got home, and started preparing for Christmas/vacation. My family and I went on vacation to… New Orleans! New Orleans was a blast. I’d say after Vegas, this was my favorite vacation spot! Everyone was in a joyous happy mood and there was so much stuff to do whether we wanted to sightsee or relax. Even my brother who doesn’t really like family vacations said this was a big “mental break” for him. It was a beautiful Christmas and I’ll always remember it.

So reader, after a tough 2017…the month of December was…amazing. I hope that 2018 will be wonderful. I wish all of you a happy and healthy New Year ❤

With love,

Shaz

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On the Eighteenth Day of December

On the Eighteenth day of December, I am happy! The wait is almost over. Tomorrow a grueling semester ends, and a new year of life begins.

Today after class, I cleaned up my apartment and took some items to Goodwill. This past year, lots of bad things happened and I don’t want to remember them anymore. I want to start off 24 with a nice clean slate.

Then I went to pick up my birthday cake. Some of my friends whose finals have already ended and are leaving tonight gave me a present today (I haven’t opened it yet) but the bag said “eat lots of cake”😄. So I must! I got my favorite ice cream cake 🙂 Usually, I like chocolate cake- but ever since my sixth birthday, I have always done ice cream cake for my birthdays!!

Right now I’m working on preparing for my last final. Almost there!!!