Yesterday, I had the opportunity to take my first phone call as an Oley ambassador. The gal and I clicked so well that we ended up talking about the importance of people knowing your story and the fact that people are interested in listening to other people’s stories. This is basically everything I believe in and stand for, yet here this already built blog has sat for several months, just waiting to be filled with my story. So here I am today, taking the leap and sharing the story that I’ve always shared in my close circles with the rest of you because I can’t keep trying to make this blog “perfect.”
Even though I don’t know exactly where to begin, the longer I spend thinking, “Oh yes! That definitely needs to be shared with the world, but it can’t be my first post,” the fewer things I’ll ultimately be able to share, which is so sad. So here we are, I am going to start with a few posts over the next couple of weeks telling the lengthy version of my health story. It will be the foundation for the rest of the blog and must be included for the blog to even make sense. And this will probably (hopefully) be the posts I have people reading years down the road to welcome them here. So hey 2025 people, welcome to you, too!
I’ll start this story by saying I don’t really remember a whole lot about being born. I don’t think a whole lot of humans do. But from what I’m told, I was born on the nineteenth of November in 1992 as the first born of Roger and Debbie. I’m also told that I got home from the hospital right before a blizzard in the Panhandle of Texas. The kind of blizzard where legend has it, my uncle Frank’s hat blew right off his head and it wasn’t found until after the snow had melted away much later in spring. Nuts, I know.
Back to my birth, from what I know, it was a completely normal and healthy pregnancy and labor situation. I won’t pretend I know exactly what that means because I haven’t ever birthed a child. But I think we all are on the same page in understanding that for the most part, an unhealthy or scary pregnancy and labor can lead to lifelong health issues. And well, that isn’t the case here. But we will get to that stuff here before you know it, I’m sure.
I grew up for the first few years of my life in Perryton, Texas. It is a town in the Texas Panhandle that is small enough that there is still not a Walmart there. Anyway, we lived in this really old house that my great grandpa ordered out of a Sear’s catalog and built from the ground up. Pretty weird thing to think about these days, huh? Buying a house out of a catalog. So we lived in this cute little hundred year old farm house on a country road. I find it weird that I still remember the address and it’s also weird that it was Route 3 Box 79. I guess if you wanted to find that house, you’d be out of luck unless you were a mailman and knew the old routes. We had friends though and they knew where our house was and we had killer garage sales.
We had sheep and barns and farm cats and a farm dog that chased after cars that drove down our Route 3 Box 79 road. It was fun. Until the spring day my dad would have people come to the farm to shear the sheep. I always thought something much worse was happening out there on those days. It also wasn’t fun when I would be doing laps around the farm on my purple and green daisy bike, and would run into my dad welding in the big barn. I also thought that was almost, if not as, terrifying as shearing day.
When I was four years old, I got myself a little brother, his name is Carson. He was also a healthy pregnancy and birth situation. Speaking of his birth, we almost got to share the same birthday! But he ended up coming two days after my fourth birthday, the twenty-first of November 1996.
Not to start into sad things right after announcing my little brother’s birth, but this is the age when my family and I remember signs of stomach issues beginning. Four years old. Nothing too crazy – bouts of nausea and vomiting here and there, with some constipation thrown in, too. For years and years, everyone attributed these problems to my undying love of cheese, which was my favorite food from day one or whatever day my parents introduced me to its pure magic.
These things didn’t affect me in a big way. I went to pre-school, then on to Montessori school where I will never forget first seeing rain falling on a sunshiny day. Then, I stepped my big girl self right on into Kindergarten.
And when I say my ‘big girl self,’ I’m not playing around. If you saw me today, you might just laugh and say, ‘yeah right.’ But you have to remember that at this time in my life, as far as I remember, I was the second tallest girl in my class. Not that this was a huge surprise or anything, coming from a dad who is a pretty impressive 6’ 4”. But Lisa, from my kindergarten class, was and might still be the tallest girl. I am only sharing this from a health and growth standpoint, not as a contest to be the tallest girl for my whole life, promise. Well, maybe.
All while being this tall girl, I was developing just like everyone else. I was growing. My weight was well within the normal range. I played. I loved baby dolls and playing real life things like doctor (ironic), house and stuff like that. I was very much about the real life of things. Never was much for cartoons. I liked real people shows. Even when I did let imaginary characters in, I preferred humans dressed in costumes. This is why it probably doesn’t come as any surprise that I was absolutely, one hundred percent a Barney kid. No shame in that game. I also liked Gullah Gullah Island, for any of you nineties kids who remember Binyah-Binyah. Yeah, I see you.
Then before we knew it, I was heading on into the first grade. The morning of the first day of first grade I remember super vividly. I was wearing this grey and blue stretchy cotton dress. Like some kind of nineties hybrid of something Baby Spice would wear and something Limited Too would make, mostly because there was a tiny butterfly on it. My mom had curled my hair, I had my backpack all packed, I was so ready. And then, something weird happened that I’d never done before, I fainted.
Way to leave you on a cliff hanger, am I right? I promise there is so much more to come. But I’ve got to keep you on your toes! I know we haven’t gotten to the juicy stuff of hospitals and tubes and IV nutrition, but it’s important to hear the whole story and to understand that I began my life as a normal, healthy child. Sometimes I feel that people hear my story, and automatically assume that I’ve been this way since day one. But that’s not my story, and everyone’s story is different. So, this is my first chapter! I hope you enjoyed and will follow along in the following weeks! Thanks so much for being here.