BlogHer Conference 2012: Looking Ahead and Wondering

For those uninitiated, the BlogHer conference 2011 is coming to a close.  To read my devastation over not being able to go BlogHer’s past click here and here.  This year I was only able to once again, watch from the sidelines.  Next year, God willing, I will have the money to go.  We will have Grant’s disability money and we will hopefully have mine.  It won’t be a lot but we will be like millionaires compared to the way we’ve been living.  We talk a lot about traveling and Grant knows that this is the third BlogHer that I have missed and he wants me to be there next year very much.

(You may want to stop reading here if you do not want to be shaken to your core and be made very upset.  Okay, you have been warned.) 

People always say that I have got to be more positive, more optimistic.  Well friends, I tell them that I am not pessimistic, I am REALISTIC.  These past few weeks I have come the closest I have ever felt to dying.  Two weeks ago I was having a fever every day, freezing, sweating, nauseous.  I had wounds that were not healing, that would bleed profusely by me absent-mindedly scratching a mosquito bite.  The pain was off the charts, the medicine for it, a joke.  Two weeks ago, when my fever was running and I could not get out of bed or barely speak, I swear I felt God next to me.  “Do you really want to die?  Well here is what it feels like.  Be careful what you wish for.  Death is not the peaceful, calm you think, at least getting there sure isn’t”.

I was crying.  I thought of Grant and Tyler and my cat.  I thought about the things I enjoy, just for ME, writing this blog, my voiceover work, my book club, Twitter, Google+, and then I realized…life is fun.  Not just with Tyler.  There are fun things in MY life.  There are still books to read and places to go and candles to be lit and beautiful but cheap things to have. Money is coming.  I WILL travel.  I will take Tyler to Disney World one day.  And then I said to God, “Stop!  Stop!  I don’t need to see this any more.  I don’t want to die.  I thought I did but I DON’T.  I want to live, not just for Tyler but for ME, God please let me live, I still have living to do!”

And then, it was either God the steroids or both, I got better.  Not better like I am trying out for the Olympic team but…my fever went away.  My mouth sores were gone.  My wounds healed.  I bought that “Imagination” candle I had been thinking about from the Disney Store and the Alice in Wonderland Vinylmation and my surprise “Buy one get one free” Vinylmation “Pete” from the Mickey Mouse Club House show.  And all three things are with me right now, bringing me joy.

Last Tuesday, I went to the hospital again.  I had horrific abdominal pain, with all of the symptoms of an appendicitis.  Unfortunately whenever I go to the hospital I am such a complex patient that they often do not want to treat me.  They gave me an ultrasound on my stomach and then up my…well let’s just say I could have had a career in pornography, I took it like a champ.  There was a lot of waiting, a lot of blood-letting and peeing in cups.

Throughout this my feet were swelling, like they have never swelled before.  They were purple and red, as if I had not been walking on them, as if they were starting to clot.  They looked like….like the way my father’s looked as he lay dying.  Like the feet of death.  The only feet I had seen looked like that were my father’s.  All discolored, painful.  I kept asking if they would examine my feet, if they would treat my pain, but they didn’t want to do much until they figured out what was wrong with me.  Alone, in a private emergency room, I started to pray, I started to beg and cry.  “Dear God, Jesus and Daddy.  I have a little boy that I have to make it for.  You can take me, but please, not now, not until he is a teenager and he no longer needs his Mommy.  That’s all I want!”  People on Face Book were praying for me, people on Twitter and Google+ were praying and I thank them very much.

And suddenly, I was getting better.  My feet cleared up.  My diagnosis was spastic colon or a possible flare-up of my Ulcerative Colitis.  That was a lot better than, “You need surgery on your BLANK or your BLANK.”  They had been almost positive I was going to be needing surgery of some kind!

And then I was discharged.  And Grant and Tyler came to the hospital to take me home.

So, where was I going with this, what the Hell does this have to do with BlogHer’12?  Well, the truth is I am being REALISTIC when I say I may not be there…or here.  How lucky can I get?  When God wants me, he wants me, I can only continue to pray that I live to finish out being Tyler’s “Mommy”.

Really, where will ANY of us be in 2012 anyway?  Any one of us could get into a car accident tomorrow.  Our plane might crash, we could get breast cancer.

Yes, any one of us.  But for people like me, with Lupus and other serious, worsening chronic conditions, we REALLY have to ask ourselves, where will I BE?  Will I even be here to make it to an event that for three years now has been so unobtainable?  When I have the money for next year’s BlogHer…will I really…be here?


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About mamasick

Emily Cullen is a pen-name. I suffer from chronic illnesses and diseases which include Bipolar Disorder, Asthma, Diabetes and Fibromyalgia. I had battled Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis but there is no longer evidence of me having these diseases and my Rheumatologist has declared them to be "burnt out" of my system. I am separated from my husband, “Grant”. Our son, “Tyler” was born in September of 2006 and suffers from tics and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and is delayed in fine and gross motor skills. In my blog I seek to let sick moms know that they are not the only ones going through this, and to educate people about what can happens when one becomes catastrophically ill. I also strive to break down stereotypes of what a “Welfare Mom” is like. Anything that I have gone through due to being sick, is written on the pages of Mama Sick.
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9 Responses to BlogHer Conference 2012: Looking Ahead and Wondering

  1. Mrs4444 says:

    So glad to know that you have come through last week okay! You are a very strong person.

    Having been to BlogHer (Chicago ’09), I can tell you that it’s a lot of fun meeting up with people you’ve only known via the computer-That’s the best part. The rest of it (lots and lots and lots of walking around, crowds, lots of evening events in the hotel and out) isn’t really a person with physical difficulties would appreciate, IMO. Even I got tired of that –It’s very over-stimulating for even the average person. I would worry about you going to BlogHer. What is it about BlogHer that draws you so much? Still, everyone needs a goal, so I’m glad you have one.

  2. mamasick says:

    What draws me is the opportunity to be normal, to be able to do things like a normal woman, you know? Last year I believe it was in NY. My husband was going to take me, wheel me to the sessions, but in the end we just could not afford it and I was still too ill.

    If I ever did go, I would definitely need a buddy. Someone who is willing to go to the sessions, or at least drop me off, I would definitely need some one to support me. I feel at this stage in the game I have enough blogging friends that at least one of them would do that for me.

    I want to network of course, learn, meet my online buddies, just like you did. My mission is to bring awareness so this would be a great forum. I would even one day hope to be a speaker.

    But this year it seems like there was very little talk about the conference. I didn’t even see it on the news, it was not trending on Twitter. I believe it is the economy. I would like to know this year’s number of attendees vs. the last couple. BlogHer to me seems to be getting smaller, but that’s just me looking on the outside.

  3. Mrs4444 says:

    I came back over here to say that it would be awesome if BlogHer were in a city near you–That way, you could avoid all the hassles of travel. I’m sure you’re right on the buddy thing. I’m sure you could also get a sponsor to help pay for the trip, as well. I wish you luck. Oh, and Btw, I’m told the twitter hashtag this weekend for those staying home was #homeher (or something like that, I think). I avoided it, because I was too busy but also just didn’t want to be sick about not being there! 🙂 A Google+ hangout, though—wouldn’t that have been fun (with people there)? I wish I’d thought of it before this morning!

  4. daysgoby says:

    I hope you are here. And there.

    I’m going next year, and I’d love to meet you.

    This sounds kind of Pollyanna-ish, but I truly, truly believe that things are going to get better for you – and soon! I think right now is your darkest before the dawn.

    I hope I’m right!
    Best, Jess

  5. mamasick says:

    Mrs. 4444: Yes, unfortunately when it was in NY, I am only an hour away from the city. I was still too poor and too sick! That one really killed me. My husband searched for some last minute tickets but we could not find any, but he really was deluding himself, the poor, well-meaning guy! I have thought about the sponsor/disabled thing too. This year I didn’t see many hashtags for HomeHer or BlogHome either. I do think it speaks about the economy. For so many, BlogHer is a huge expense and unless you are really profitable it doesn’t make too much sense. But then there’s that whole “You have to spend money to earn money thing”!

    Don’t be too nice to me, Jessica, or you might wind up being my buddy. I know things are going to get better for us. Grant has been ‘granted’ his disability, we just have not seen one dime of it yet. The wheels of justice turn slowly. And I know I will get mine too.

    If I die, ya’ll better blog about me and make me posthumously famous, then you can honor me at BlogHer. If I’m dying I will be sure to let you both know!

  6. Mrs4444 says:

    BlogHer 2012 is slated for NY again!

  7. I’ve heard it will be in NYC again. I’m considering going. We’ll see what the budget says when tickets go on sale. It would be awesome if you feel up to being there. I’d love to meet you!

    I’m so sorry that you have been so sick! I know that it takes it out of you physically and emotionally! I believe that God will give you as much time as you need and He will provide everything Tyler needs too … including time with his mommy! But I understand feeling your mortality. When my son left on this mission trip I had a feeling that life would change radically while he was gone. I kind of felt that either my husband or I wouldn’t be here when he returned. I don’t know why … I’m not morbid or defeatist … I just acknowledged that time is in God’s hands and He could call any of us home at any moment. It made me sad for a bit but then I realized that our time here is temporary at best! Heaven is home! And we will all be there. Together! Forever!

    Hang in there, Emily!

  8. I am so sorry for all your health problems and hope you do get to go to the conference next year. I love your attitude in that you have a lot to live for, whether you go or not. And, our time could be up at any time, even if we don’t have a disease such as yours. We just have to make the most of every day we have.

  9. Tendai says:

    I am glad you are better and still here on Earth. Spastic colon sounds under-revealing as to how painful it really is that they should really come up with a more realistic sound name.

    I wish you were able to go to the conference because it is a desire of your heart so keep on hoping for next year! That is not an unrealistic dream unlike my life-long desire to be in the World’s Strongest Woman contest. I had to give that dream up when I was 27 when I hurt my back the first time! I could have been a contender! Anyway, I am glad you had a tangible miracle of healing to prove to you that God does care about you and your needs. May He keep pouring out his love on you!

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