FROM DARK CLOUDS TO SUNNY SKIES. A STORY ABOUT MY DEPRESSION AND WHY I AM STILL HERE.

This morning I was lying in bed feeling like crap honestly! My crazy hectic week in Vegas caught up with me and boy can I feel it! I am exhausted! I ended up staying in bed until 3:30 watching movies! I cannot remember the last time I was in bed that long.

Yes, I can, and it hit me like a ton of bricks right in my damn face! Last time when I was in bed that long was when I was going through my Chemo treatments. Today as I was having my little pity party of one because my voice is shot, I am sweating and of course have the chills I realized I am not sick. As in have an autoimmune disease sick.

I used to lie in bed so stressed out and beyond depressed for hours just wanting to give up and die honestly because I couldn’t see my future. Becoming blind and/or being completely paralyzed just wasn’t in the cards for me. I just couldn’t picture it! The reason I probably couldn’t see it in the future is because those things will never happen to me because I was misdiagnosed. And for those of you still fighting, you’ve got this, and you know I am always here to support you, No matter what!

Obviously at the time I had no idea. I’ve realized that being sick for years and now dealing with the turmoil (withdrawals from meds) after the fact and the legal aspect of it all and reliving this nightmare I have looked at it all and taken it on as a job! That’s just what I’ve done since day one! I know now, thanks to lots of therapy that was not the best way. However, it’s a way that made me feel safe and in control! It’s a way that allowed me to be in control of every single situation.

Last week I helped my best friend move while I was in Vegas. I was cleaning out the upstairs rooms and taking a few last things off the walls and when I went to close the door it was like closing another chapter of my life. This wave of immediate emotions just smacked me in the face, and I started bawling!

That room is where I cried myself to sleep every night because I was told I had MS!

That room is where I cried myself to sleep and thought the darkest thoughts of my life because I was told I had a disease that would leave me blind and paralyzed.

That room is where I was stuck for days after chemo because I could not even move my finger, let alone take the tiniest sip of water.

That room was empty now. Kind of like how I feel sometimes. Empty! I closed the door and just started crying again because it just brought up all these memories!

Ironically, I’m trying to close more doors on my legal case, which was another reason I had to be in Vegas. I had to finish putting together my case. Again, another job I took on! The hardest one I’ve ever taken on in my life! I want this nightmare to end and hopefully with my new strategy it will be over by Fall!

If you’ve met me in real life, listened to my podcast or seen any of my videos online, you know I am a Cryer! I’ve always been an emotional Gemini! I just can’t help it! Happy or Sad! I cry!

For years I lost those emotions and feelings as well as my sense of smell apparently.

Now that I am still feeling the withdrawals of so many medications I was put on, my emotions and sense of smell are on another level! It’s so insane!

Over the last few weeks I’ve just had all these thoughts I’ve been wanting to share. These feelings. My original plan was to record them on podcast episodes so that I can help others out there who may be listening and/or going through anything that I’ve gone through.

I want you to know, you are not alone! I know everyone says this but you’re not! Because you have me! I will be your biggest cheerleader because you need one! If you have one already, the more the merrier.

Lying in bed sick, popping all the pills prescribed to you, thinking about the most depressing things and visualizing who will be at your funeral is just not a good time!

I know because I was there for years and I am so lucky to be out of that dark place to be able to write this today!

You need a good time, or you will not make it out!

Honestly, I don’t know how I would have if I didn’t take this shit on as a job and have my own group of cheerleaders. You know who you are. And I am incredibly grateful for all of you!

I’m typing this out at the beach right now. Reason for that is I got my ass out of bed because lying there scared the shit out of me and made me feel like I was sick again and I am no longer available for those dark days! Never! Ever. Ever…

So, I got up because my legs work.

I got up because I can see, therefore drive to the beach!

I got up because I have a story to tell and it’s not over.

I know this happened to me for a reason and that reason I think is to be strong and help others out there!

This week is going to be another emotional one but one I know I can 100% handle just need to be in full on “beast mode” to get to Friday!

I’m finalizing some legal case to-do’s, working with all my incredible clients, meditating a ton, hopefully recording a ton, seeing my Nutritionist and Therapist and going to kick ass and this little cold I caught!

I am a true believer in everything happens for a reason. So, my guess is that I got this cold and lost my voice to slow my roll today and share this message with you.

Or I’m just high on cold meds and just shared way too much. Either way it’s out and I am always here to help.

Here’s to a brand-new outlook on life and continuous happy thoughts.

Let’s all have the best fucking week ever!

Thanks for reading this far and when I get my voice back, I will be sharing more on my podcast.

If you or someone you know needs a friend who has literally been through it, over and over again, please do not hesitate to reach out. I know and feel your pain…

If you need more help please seek medical attention. I promise you it will all work out in the end. Because you too, have a story to tell!

SEEING THE LIGHT AFTER LIVING IN DARKNESS

I’ve been going back and forth over the past few days on whether or not I should publish this post. Normally I would just record a podcast but seeing as though my voice sounds horrific now (thanks to my steroids) I’ve decided I am not going to put you through the torture of listening to me for 30 minutes. So here I am typing it all out with my right hand. I’ll fill you in on that shortly…

So, as you may or may not know I have an autoimmune disease called Neuromyelitis Optica. NMO for short. It is a disease that has no cure and one that I am getting chemo treatments for. Treatments that I will have to get until someone finds a cure. This is a disease that can (in a few minutes) leave me blind and/or paralyzed at any given moment. It is some scary shit to say the least!

I have always tried to be positive, vocal and strong when talking about this online. However, that is not always how I feel. I feel lonely, sad, depressed and anxious. I constantly question why this is happening to me. Why now? Did I do something to cause this? Questions I obviously do not have the answers to.

When talking about my disease on my podcast, a Facebook live or a YouTube video I have always said that I feel like I have this for a reason. That reason being that I am strong enough to fight (most of the time) as well as speak up for others who are afraid or don’t quite have the courage yet. I will be their cheerleader of sorts. I have the platform to do so why why not make it more aware to others? For others? Right?

I am writing this today to give you an update on what has been going on with me “behind the screen”.

Over the last two months I have had three relapses. The last one was this weekend. The time before that was a few weeks ago and ended up getting me admitted to the hospital. I am on steroids again to suppress my immune system until I meet my new NMO Specialist next week and we schedule my next chemo treatment.

I know for sure I need it as I never had my treatment in June. I pushed it because I honestly was scared to get it. I also felt healthy and thought it would be ok to wait until I lined up all my new doctors. My body however had other plans for me…

So, a few weeks ago I thought I had sprained my left wrist. The pain was so annoying so per usual I took an ibuprofen and moved on with my life. By that I mean continued to work and type with my right hand only.

Days went by and the pain got worse and started to travel up my arm. It felt bruised. It was honestly an odd feeling. As I was on my way to get a much-needed pedicure something told me not to go inside. That inner voice of mine was telling me something was wrong with my left wrist and now arm and I needed to go to ER and get it checked out ASAP.

I run my business online so typing with one hand only was getting a bit ridiculous! However, I’ll have you know that I am really good at it and surprisingly fast! lol

Long story short my left wrist that I thought was sprained ended up being inflamed nerves triggured by by NMO. They were so inflamed that it caused that bruised feeling. You could actually feel them.

While I was waiting for my nurse to come back in and fill me in on the splint I had to wear my entire left arm went numb. Then my right. Next my upper back and into my neck. Lastly, the bottom half of my left leg. This happened within 5-10 minutes. Good thing I didn’t go get my pedicure, right? Thank god I listened to that inner voice of mine and went to the ER when I did.

The ER doctor said he had to then admit me, so I could be seen by neurology team and get the very high dose of IV steroids my body needed to suppress my immune system.

I was crying hysterically. Crying because I was scared, relieved and annoyed. Again, questioning myself. Why the EFF is this happening to me?

I was immediately getting flashbacks of my last hospital stay which was nine days. There was no way in hell I was doing that again! Although, I knew it could be a possibility…

The one thing that did give me a sigh of relief was the fact I had a port this time. My last glorious trip left me bruised for about a month after being discharged. 15 IV’s and a two-hour procedure for a pic line that did not work. Hence why I now have a power port. One of the most painful procedures I’ve had to date but 150% worth it now.

I was lucky this trip to hospital. They let me out the next afternoon. I did not have to stay for a five-day IVIG treatment if I agreed to stay on steroids for weeks if discharged. The highest dose I have ever been on by the way.

The next few days were rough. I felt like I was going to literally blow up! I could barely see my eyes because I was so swollen. And the pressure headaches that come along with these drugs are unreal. I would also like to add that a side affect stated on the prescription bottle states loss of appetite! That my friends is a complete lie. It is the opposite. I know this because I cannot stop eating and I crave the strangest things all dam day.

After about five days I was feeling better. However, I still could not look at myself in the mirror. I am just feeling so huge and so awful from these drugs but know that this is the course I need to be on right now. I know it will pass because it always does, and it must because I simply cannot live like this! I don’t want to live like this! Therefore, I fight every single day!

I also have a whole month of planned video content that I no longer feel comfortable doing becasue of the way I look. There is not enough makeup or contouring that will make me feel better. I also cannot stop sweating and nobody wants to watch the hot mess express unless it’s on BRAVO! And I am not quite there. YET…

I finished my steroids last week. Two days after my doses were done I started feeling things again. My wrist started bothering me. My body was getting the electricity feelings throughout. I knew something was up.

I started coughing again. I began to lose my voice. My system was shutting down. I knew that if I went to ER they would just give me steroids again, so I ended up getting a hold of the on-call doctor and she sent me a prescription which was amazing. It took me six hours to get a hold of the doctor, but that time spent was well worth it.

Today is Wednesday and I started on another dose of steroids on Monday. I spent almost the whole holiday weekend in bed. I was so weak. I was so depressed and so so sad. My anxiety was through the roof and I just wanted to be in darkness. And I was! My doctor told me to rest and no work. Seriously? I’m THE Happy Workaholic. I LOVE to work but knew I really had to listen this time.

So here we are today. I am typing with my right hand again because my left one has the splint back on to help with the nerve issues I am having.

I am sharing my story with you today because I know I am not the only one going through something scary in life. Something dark and depressing. I want you to know that you are not alone! There is a light at the end. I promise you that. I have seen it so many times and I know I will see it again.

If we are strong enough to fight whatever may come our way, then be the light for the next person. Shine for them so they know that they are supported and loved. If you feel confortable talking about it then do that too!

We all have shit we are dealing with. Everyone has a unique story. That is what makes us all so different yet so relatable right? We are all on a different journey but our paths do eventually cross at some point. Where the happiness and sunshine is.

We’re all in this thing called life together. It is up to you to choose your path and whether you want it to continue in the right direction. I try to do this every single day. TRY is the key word here. There are always going to be good days and bad no matter who you are, where you are and what you’re doing.

For me I know that I will get back to my happy self. I am there now it is just that I am spending more time fighting and medicating these days rather then laughing and smiling but I know I will be back there soon enough. That is a promise I have to keep. Laughter truly is the best medicine!

My appointment that I have been waiting on for months with my NMO Specialist is next week. It is then I will get my next treatment plan and can move on with my life. Literally! I’ve got a mile long to-do list to take care of! A business to continue to build, brands that are relying on me and a group of clients I am so lucky to be working with.

Am I scared for this next treatment? Absolutely! Do I have horrible nightmares that my time may be up while in the chair? Yes! However, I know that I must convince myself to not think this way as I am strong and will continue to fight every chance I have and so will you when going through “the impossible”.

You have just as much strength to get through the thoughts currently going through your head. Trust me I know those thoughts all too well. My advice to you would be to get those thoughts out in a journal and try to meditate when time allows. That is what helps me the most.

Every day when I wake up I know it is a brand-new day to start fresh, to fight, to conquer and do what I love the most which would be connecting with others online and IRL as I run my business and enjoy my life to the fullest.

I have my brand for a reason. I have my podcast for a reason. Everyone has a story to tell. And this is mine.

Well there you have it. A little life update. How I’ve been feeling in the real, raw and right handed typed out version. And in under 2,000 words! lol

I hope that by sharing my true authentic self with you today I am able to shine a litle bit more light on a disease that needs more attention towards it. One that over 4,000 others are fighting with every day in the US. I am not the only one living with an autoimmune disease that fights and battles a chronic illness on a daily basis.

If you know someone dealing with something heavy today call them. Make them smile. Make them laugh. Make them cry tears of joy and happiness that you took two minutes out of your day to make sure they knew they were loved!

Here is to living my best day today. Happy, healthy, positive and productive.

Talk soon,

Kelly

PS I’m now sharing my NMO journey on my Instagram Stories and Highlights.

Connect with me @thehappyworkaholic.

To learn more about Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) visit The Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation here!

DATING WITH HEALTH CHALLENGES

As you may or may not know I have an Autoimmune Disease called Neuromyelitis Optica. NMO for short!

When it comes to dating it could be a little tricky!

I am so glad that lemonayde has taken some of that stress away for me.

Excited to see what this app has to offer…

Click the photo below to download in your favorite App Store today and let me know what you think!

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MY PERFECT CHAOS!

Hello Friend! I have missed you!

It has been quite some time since I have written a blog post. Literally months…

I originally planned to post a blog on Friday and then the day got the best of me aka trying to fix my phone.

I already had content planned but then that became something so much better which is the story I will be sharing with you today!

Over the past few weeks I have been “living” and working without my beloved iPhone! Me? I know!

It’s been quite the ride and there were of course a few lessons learned along the way.

However, half of this time I was super sick so I think that is honestly how I was able to survive so long without it.

We live in a world of constant communication. Most of us are on our phones all day long.

When was the last time you went somewhere and everyone was truly engaged in conversation?

No phones out! Just humans conversating.

A few days ago I was at the beach to watch the sun set and I noticed an entire group had come out of a restaurant to take selfies. They weren’t interested in a group photo. They were all about showing their friends, families and followers their beautiful San Diego selfie pics. I too am guilty of course!

I mean…

Isn’t that the world we live in now?  I was going to get up out of my beach chair and offer my photography skills. That was until I witnessed a few selfie sticks come out.

My schedule is always planned to perfection. I schedule all of my social media posts and use a number of apps for myself and my clients that will truly attempt to make our lives easier.

I store all of my passwords as contacts in my phone. By the way I learned that is not smart at all. I somehow manage to back up my entire life on clouds and external hard drives but don’t give the same attention to my thousands of contacts in my phone. What the hell was I thinking? Three days later they have all been found and safely stored. Thank you to all of my new friends at Apple Support!

I am a firm believer of “everything happens for a reason” but this time something felt different. Something in the universe was telling me that I was going to survive without all of my god dam notificatins going off all week long. I just knew I would be ok!

I just want to mention that all of my clients and friends were already aware of my phone troubles so that was a weight of stress that did not exist! Just the piling of work I only do from my phone.

Ok so onto Friday…

As I was ready to head to the Apple store at the Westfield UTC Mall La Jolla I realized that since my phone was still frozen getting an Uber was not in the cards for me. I literally had to message a friend on Facebook  so that he could get one for me!

Cut to spending a few hours at the Apple store and another iPhone repair kiosk I still had a phone that could not be repaired. By this point I was frustrated and needed a little happy hour lovin’ in my life! I needed a glass of wine while I decided who I was going to give a lot of money to for a brand new phone.

I ended up stopping at True Food Kitchen because a few of my friends had been there before. They said it was grear! I also noticed that they had a great happy hour. Ironically happening at the very moment I needed it the most!

I sat down at a table all alone. And without a phone. I did have my planner and notebooks with me so I was able to get a few tasks completed. This is actually when I started writing this post. This is also when my outlook on life changed for the best. No more phone…

Since the realization of my phone not being able to get repaired I decided to just roll with it and live my best dam life without it for another day!

Once I was sat at my table I told my server Stephanie the “short” version of my phone drama and that we would probably become best friends before I left because I had nobody to talk too! lol

She suggested a Rose; so I went with it. Two minutes later a bottle arrive? The women delivering the bottle looked a bit shocked as did I! Apparently, there was an error in the system so they brought a bottle over a glass. For a split second I did have to question myself! I was so stressed out. Maybe I did say bottle! lol

Someone else came over with that bottle. The General Manager Jeremy. He too wanted to see who the hell ordered herself a bottle of Rose! I mean I know I am a bit high maintanance sometimes and LOVE a good deal but that was a bit excessive. Even at Happy Hour!

All of a sudden I am having a full blown conversation (this lasted the few hours I dined in) with my other new best friend Jeremy (the GM of True Food Kitchen).

We chatted about the philosphy behind the restaurant and brand which by the way created by Dr. Andrew Weil. Based around an Anti-Inflammatory diet. This definitely peeked my curiousity as I have NMO. When trying to live your best life with an Autoimmune Disease you really need to be careful with the foods you eat. So basically it was great that I stopped to check out True Food Kitchen.

Jeremy and I ended up chatting about so many other things other then food and illness. Service, sales and running  businesses. Obviously things we loved and so much more…

This is by the way in between my exceptional salad and dessert that the Chef prepared and Jeremy had sent to my table with perfectly poured Rose’s.

This is where I would like to add that I went into this restaurant a sweaty mess with no makeup on, a hat and wearing my basic workout clothes. Not even the cute ones!

I was immediately greeted, sat and served (in my opinion) by some of the best in the biz. I honestly had one of the best experiences since moving back to San Diego.

I just wanted to find a fun new atmosphere to have a glass of wine in and to figure out what the hell I was going to do about my phone. Instead I had some of the best conversations that I have had in quite some time.

Do I need my phone on me all the time? Yes!

Did it scare me that my device has been frozen on and off for days? Yes!

Am I living my best dam life without it? Hell yah! And that was without any pics taken for the Gram!

Moral of the Story…

Try to live in some silence every now and then. I promise you will notice that your world doesn’t have to revolve around selfies, social media and the constant notification. Even if it is your job!

You can follow up, you can email, you can delay responses. What you cannot do is delay life!

Go out alone. See the city you live in, meet the people the Universe wants you to meet today and be sure to report back to me. I’m telling you this break feels amazing at the end!

Not having my phone over the past few days was a great reason to get out of the house and meet the new people who had come into my life at True Food Kitchen.

You should always give yourself goals. Personally and Professionally. I say this all the time…

As for myself, I am always striving to learn more, do good and give knowledge.

Two things I learned on Friday…

Appreciate all of our “precious moments” and of course love the “perfect chaos” that we live in every single day. We all go through our own version and craziness of life. Just make sure and take a moment to appreciate the small stuff. I promise it will really change your outlook on a lot!

You never know who you are going to meet or what life has in store for you each day. What you do want to do is make sure you are always living your best dam life.

Every. Single. Day.

Friday was definitely a day to remember. I love seeing the surprises that the world has in store for me every day. I hope and wish that you have one of these unexpected experiences happen to you. Why? Because you deserve it and I know that you will appreciate it and need it at this very time of your life.

Special thank you to Jeremy (GM of True Food Kitchen La Jolla) for introducing me to my new precious moments and explaining my perfect chaos to me. And of course Stephanie! You know we’re going to bump into each other at Trader Joe’s finding our wines right? Thank you so much for keeping me company and being one of the best experienced and knowledgable Servers out there! I appreciated it more than you know…

As for my iPhone it has been repaired for now. I am currently mainfesting a brand new model to fall into my life or lap…

Thanks for reading today’s blog. I know it has been forever since I’ve posted. I have been so focused on The Happy Workaholic Podcast. 

I would love to know if you have had an amazing service experience like this lately? How about living without your phone for a bit? Let me know in the comments below…

Talk soon,

Kelly

PS Chapter Two of The Happy Workaholic Podcast has now begun.

You can find Episode 81 right here.

If you’re listening on iTunes I would truly appreciate it if you could leave me a review!

Please and Thank You.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Year Ago Today My Life Was Changed…

One year ago today I was getting my fifth and last treatment of IV Steroids for my Autoimmune Disease Neuromyelitis Optica aka NMO. The reason why I was getting that treatment was because I denied the other MS Meds my 3rd Neurologist had given me. I needed something asap that would suppress my immune system and hopefully prevent me from becoming blind and/or parlyzed. Steroids were the only option at that time.

Something in my gut told me not to take those drugs. I could not have both MS and NMO which 3 Neurologists had been telling me. I know they were similar but I just had a very strong feeling they were all wrong. I also tested positive for a virus which would have caused a brain infection if I had taken those MS drugs. Thank god I did not as I would not be here today sharing my story.

So one year ago I opted for 3 more MRI’s (#7,8 and 9) of my brain and spine to see if there had been a change. More lesions (tumors) etc. In the meantime I was receiving the 5 days of IV Steroids.

My veins have always been invisible so on the first day it took a while for them to appear. The nurses wrapped my entire arm up so that I would only have to go through that process of poking twice as each IV can stay in for 36 hours. Besides eating for an entire family after each treatment everything went fine. I was crazy wired, sweating like I’ve never sweat before and like I said eating and eating. I knew that was part of the drill though.

Everything changed on the fifth day. Throughout my treatment (about two hours) I felt ok. It wasn’t until the last 10-15 minutes I started swelling up and felt this pressure. A few minutes later it became extremely painful. I called one of the nurses over and she took my blood pressure immediately. It was 264. They stopped the IV Drip immediately. Then a team of nurses came rushing over to me. They put me in a wheel chair and ” ran” me over to the urgent care. Thank god it was right across the hall! They said I may not have made it if it was not there.

Immediaitely I had a team of doctors and nurses surrounding me doing EKG’s, bloodwork and I don’t really remember the rest. That was until they said they were rushing me in an ambulance to the hospital with the closest Neurology team. Thank god it was two blocks away. That ride it still a big blur. I was so scared I think I just blocked it out to be honest.

The next stop was the High Risk Dept. of the ER. From there I began my lovely 9 day hospital stay. And where I met my 4th Neurology Team that saved my life! Which I am forever grateful!

Being in the hospital I had to go through every single piece of testing that I had done in the past year. So now I’m on MRI #10, 11, 12. I also got to have another Spinal Tap! Fun Times. This one though I was so drugged all I remember is the ugly peach paint in the hallway! lol

Throughout my nine day stay I received another treatment that would suppress my immune system called IVIG. Something similar to a blood transfusion. Something you need really good veins for. Long story short. I went through 14 IV’s throughout that stay as well as a 2 hour pic line procedure that did not work. Mostly due to all the steroids I was on.

Here is a funny story about the pic line procedure. They had asked me if I minded if two medical students came to watch and I said sure. Ummm…

There were ten medical students. I was crying hysterically after the blue gown was draped over me and my anxiety was through the roof! When I heard the words “local enesthesia” I should have known…

It ended up being ok because my drugs kicked in right in time and I ended up laughing with all the med students afterwords and thanking them for playing country music to calm me down from one of their phones! lol

Thank god I have a port now! I actually feel better having this then the pic line.

I think it was around my fourth day in the hospital that the Neurology team came in and told me I was right! You have NMO and only NMO! It was like I won a life long court battle trying to save my own life!

The journey of all of this started the Summer of 2015 so you can only imagine how long it really felt. LONG!

After I got discharged from the hospital last year it was then time to come up with a treatment plan. I remained on steroids for months after but was finally taken off of them last Summer! Thank god because they made me craaaazy!

At first Chemo was out of the picture which I was so excited about. However, it reentered over the Summer. In the beginning my treatments were every week, then every month and now twice a year! The last one was in December and then next one will be in June! However, there will be more if I relapse so fingers crossed!

The Chemo I am given suppresses my immune system (preventing a relapse) and that is it. I have to take medication for all of my other symptoms unfortunately.

Ironically, I had taken care of someone with cancer years ago and took her to chemo and watched her go through it. ALL of the ups and downs.

The Chemo I am on is for the rest of my life as there is currently no cure for NMO! I wish I could do a few months and be cured but that is not the case for me.

I looked at chemo as a job. Just like it was for me in the past. That was until I started to really feel the side affects and loosing hair and all of the other painful, emotional and stressful baggage that comes along with it. The day that I couldn’t move one finger in my bed without it feeling like a truck was running over me was the day I finally realized that this shit is actucally happening to ME! This drug is in me and this could kill me!

I’m trying to stay positive here so I am not going to get into all of the details but chemo just sucks:)

Over the weekend I did a lot of journaling and self-reflecting and what I came up with was this….

I am a fighter. I always have been and ALWAYS will be! I know now when it is time for my body to take a break and so I take one. I hate that I have to sometimes nap in the middle of the afternoon but it is something that comes with this disease. Chronic exhaustion and pain.

I can handle anything that comes my way. I will ALWAYS find a way to fix a problem. So having NMO is just one more to-do added to my list! You know I looove a good list! lol

Sense of humor is so important for anyone going through a life changing moment. Whatever the case may be. You need to be able to laugh and smile at the end of the day. You need to override those feelings of anxiety, depression, stress and anything negative! Really enjoy the simple things in life such as fresh air and sunshine! Two of my faves.

There are going to be friends and family that you wish could understand what you are going through. But they won’t be able to just be there and some will just drift away unfortunatley. And some you will become so close to that you never would have expected. You just need to keep your circle tight and filled with the ones that love, support and truly appreciate you. They are the ones who are going to help you get through everything!

All I know is that I would never be where I am mentally, physically or emotionally if I didn’t have “MY circle”. They are everything! You know who you are:)

If you are still here thank you for taking the time to read this very long post. I wanted to share something that has been on my mind all weekend. Hopefully I will be able to help someone else out there my sharing my story…

For more information on Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) please visit The Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation here.

Throughout my journey of finding my true diagnosis I realized that I wanted to create a happy, healthy, positive and productive space for other patients. A place for everyone to share stories and bring awareness to their diseases and illnesses through video and voice. I knew that if I was willing to share my story that there would be others out there that were feeling the same way. Others in need of learning more about what a family member or friend may be going through. Others searching for answers from patients actually living through what they have been diagnosed with.

Knowing that there is power in numbers and always hope ahead…

The place I created is called the Just For Us Community which you can become a member of here.

Well there you have it. My very long story semi-short. Yes! This is the short version of my NMO Anniversary coming up. Am I emotional? Absolutely! Will I give up? Never! And neither should you. This goes for anything and everything. Be the fighter you deserve to be. There is always a brighter light ahead. I promise:)

Wishing you a wonderful week!

Kelly

GETTING SH*T DONE!

Happy Monday Friends!

It has been a while since I wrote a blog post on my site and I am here to tell you why…

I have been spending a lot of time (offline) creating content for some new coaching programs as well as working with my current clients and simply learning how to enjoy life! Getting outside, journaling, meditating and creating healthy recipes are some of my favorite ways to keep myself in check!

Living with NMO (my Autoimmune Disease) can sometimes get the best of me! Especially when I have a full month of doctor appointments. However, I am a fighter so I will never give up on what I am trying to accomplish. It may take me a little longer and I may have to become extra extra creative in the process now but I can still get sh*t done!

I’ve learned that I am my best when I focus on one thing at a time. Especially when it comes to creating something BIG! So I have had to take a little break from the internet. As much as I love Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook. In order to better myself and take on more clients and projects I have to remain in a positive and distraction free mindset so I have to unplug more than usual.

Today I am happy to say that many of my projects I have been working on are now complete and I would love to share them with you below!

New episodes are live on The Happy Workaholic Podcast!

The Happy Workaholic Podcast is a show about Service, Sales and Social Media. Three important ingredients needed in order to build a successful business, create long lasting relationships and take your brand to the next level. Tune in every Friday for a brand new episode where Kelly will share all of her tips, tricks and triumphs regarding all things Business, LinkedIn and Life! 

My Pinterest has been upgraded!

My Boards are all about Business, LinkedIn, Travel, Podcasting, Design and Decor, Health and Wellness, Recipes, Healthy Living and so so much more that I love!

Check it out! It’s super organized! I’m so proud to finally check that big project off my to-do list!

New blog up on LinkedIn about my new networking group (see below)!

I created a brand new group on LinkedIn called The Happy Workaholic Network!

The Happy Workaholic Network is for Business Professionals to share their story and what they have to offer. Networking is key when running a business and this group is just the place to do so. 

Once a member of the group please feel free to post a litle bit about yourself. Unlike a lot of other LinkedIn groups you may absolutely post a promo, sale or job you are trying to fill.

If you are looking for a job let everyone in the group know.

You never know who your next contact could be…

New story is up on Medium about what makes you happy!

Group Coaching Sessions are currently for sale for Leverage Your LinkedIn!

Have you ever wondered how you should be using LinkedIn to grow your business? How to create that perfect profile?

Do you want to learn why you should utilitize LinkedIn to build your brand, pitch or collab with other businesses?

Are you in need of some expert tips on how to generate leads for your business? Tricks that will save you time and money?

The Leverage Your LinkedIn (two hour live) Group Coaching (power session) includes a step by step program that is sure to upgrade your profile and get more eyes onto your page once implemented.

Come prepared. Have your questions written down because this is the time they will all be able to get answered by ME!

Class One is to learn the basics. Class Two is an advanced class. Have a question? Contact Kelly here…

Space is limited. Only ten guests permitted per class to ensure results. 

Group Coaching Sessions are currently for sale for The Podcast Project!

Over the last few months podcasting has become quite the rage!

How do I start a show?

Who will listen?

What should I talk about?

How can I promote to get listeners?

Is there a big investment involved?

Do I need specific software?

How do I design graphics?

Where do I publish my show?

How much time will it take to start a podcast?

If you have recenty asked any of the questions above then The Podcast Project (two hour live) Group Coaching (power session) is for you!

Come prepared. Have your questions written down because this is the time they will all be able to get answered by The Happy Workaholic herself Kelly Ann Gorman.

Class One is to learn the basics. Class Two is an advanced class. Have a question? Contact Kelly here…

Space is limited. Only ten guests permitted per class to ensure results. 

And coming soon…Instagram Updates!

Be sure to follow me @kkinvegas to read the news first!

Well……

If you made it this far! Thank you so much! I know that was suuuuper long.

I would love to know what keeps you motivated, focused and inspired?

Let me know in the comments below.

Wishing you a wonderful week!

KAG

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Sign up for my VIP Newsletter that will get delivered to your inbox every Wednesday!

Click here to join my VIP Email List!

WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE IN HELL AND END UP BACK ON TOP! GOODBYE 2017! I WON’T MISS YOU!

Over the last 12 months I have honest to god been through hell and back quite a few times. I have been mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted more than I could have ever managed possible! I’ve shed gallons of tears, punched multiple pillows and screamed out of pure frustration until my voice was completely gone. More times than I can even remember at this point.

You always hear people say that the man or woman above will never give you more than you can handle. And I am a firm believer of everything happens for a reason. But come on!!!

I’ve asked myself multiple times every single day this past year…Why me? Am I going to die? Is today the day that my time is up? Am I going to feel pain when it happens or will I go peacefully in my sleep? Do I share my story or keep it a secret? How am I going to be able to work if I go blind or my body becomes paralyzed?

Pretty depressing right? I blame a lot of those dark days on being on way too many medications. As of today I am happy to say that I am no longer asking myself those questions or taking the crazy amount of pills that I was on for so many months. The withdrawels were the worst by the way! OMG!

For those of you who are reading this and unfmiliar with my story I was “officially” diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called NMO which stands for Neuromyelitis Optica. It is a very scary disease and one in which you are usually misdiagnosed with having MS at first. That is what happened to me. For those of us that have NMO that is a very scary situation because some of those MS drugs can actually kill us! I was a lucky one. I didn’t take it even though it was in my fridge. I just had a feeling to go with my gut (like I always do) and wait until my 3rd round of MRI’s that my 3rd Neurologist had ordered for me.

To make my very long story short. My 3rd Neurologist said that if I didn’t want to take the drugs prescribed my only option was five days of IV Steroids which would suppress my immune system and prevent a relapse. So I said yes to that treatment.

I ate like a piggie throughout that time (as expected when you’re on steroids) and on the 5th day my blood pressure skyrocketed to 263. I was immediately rushed to the urgent care across the hall which then put me into an ambulence and rushed me to the closest hospital with a neurology team.

I then spent 9 glorious days inside four walls of my hospital room. That is where I met my 4th and final Neurology team who then ran every single test twice that I had previously done throughout the year already. That included 3 more MRI’s and a lovely little spinal tap! Sounds so fun! Right?

I went through 15 IV’s during that time because my veins are apparently invisible. Thank god I have a port now! I mean a metal device in my body for the rest of my life is much better than the anxiety and stress of someone trying to find one of my veins now. I’ll tell ya getting bloodwork done now is a piece of cake for me!

It was on my 5th day of my hospital stay that I received my “official” diagnosis of NMO! I cried tears of joy! I felt like I had just gone through a life long court battle and had come out a winner! A winner I was. And the ones who were wrong were the three previous Neurologists that were trying to tell me different.

I am leaving out a lot of details of the pain and suffering throughout because I just wanted to share my story and somehow still keep it light! I hope I’m doing a good job!

Over the last year I have had to get 12 MRI’s, 3 spinal taps, more than 25 labs (some were 37 viles at a time), 5 days of IV Steroids (mentioned above) and 5 days of IVIG Treatment while I was in the hospital. I’ve had to go through months of physical therapy and now Chemotherapy. This right here would explain my lovely weight gain. However, I am happy to announce I’m finally down 10 pounds now:)

Cut to now. 12-29-17…

I had my last Chemo of 2017 yesterday which is why I’ve been able to work on my computer 12 hours today. The first day I’m usually wired and then I crash a few days later. It was my 9th treatment in only a few months and with my port I feel like a pro! I’m just praying I don’t have the week of bedrest like last month. Praying. Praying because that was the worst pain I have actually felt throughout this entire year or in my life!

I am saving every ounce of energy I have to ring in the new year with the biggest glass of champagne I can find because I dam well deserve it and so do my friends that have stuck by my side throughout this past year! I don’t even have words for how thankful I am for them. That also goes for my doctors and nurses who have completely saved my life!

Sitting in bed watching tv one minute. The next you cannot feel your arms or legs. Feelings of electricity running up and down your spine and body. Seeing white lights and then nothing as your best friend is rushing you to the hospital. That deserves a glass of something right? And my best friend a bottle!

That is just another glimpse into NMO…

I wanted to share my story tonight because it feels good to get a lot of this out. It feels good to know that I have a 150% correct diagnoses and treatment plan after fighting for my life for more than one year. I have a team of doctors that I fought like hell to get. A team that is familiar with this disease and knows how to treat it correctly. NMO is extremely rare and only 4,000 patients in the US have it.

I want to share my journey with you (trust me it’s a lot longer) because you need to be your own advocate. You must speak up for yourself because nobody else will! If you need a second opinion get it! If you need a 3rd or 4th get it! I did! And look where it got me! Back on top and starting to finally feel like myself again.

It doesn’t matter what you are going through in life. We all have our stories. The only thing you need to keep telling yourself is that you are going to make it through. If your family and friends slowly drift away because they don’t understand or for some other reason it is ok. You know who you need on your team to keep your spirits up, your laugh in tact and a smile on your face. You may laugh and cry at the same time. You may sink into a depression and be filled with a rediculous amount of anxiety but I promise you…

You will make it through because I did! And if you don’t have a team I will be your biggest cheerleader!

I hope that by sharing my story with you tonight you will open your eyes to what is possible. You fight hard enough you will win. This goes for everything in life! I’ve always been a fighter. This year I just decided to take it to a whole other level. Not by choice of course but I feel like now I can do anything I want!

You have to give yourself the permission to cry and seek help when you need it. You have to know when you are wrong and apologize. You have to always know that everything does happen for a reason and mine is this. To spread awareness of NMO especially for those who do not have the strength as I hold it for them.

Not every day but most of the time…

As of today my Chemo treatments will be every six months. That is wonderful news for me. I started off going every week, then once a month and now just twice a year but for the rest of my life. Sounds awful but it could always be worse.

I’ve lost enough hair from this drug and the stress added on top. Just FYI if you see my blonde locks again it will be my fabulous new wig as my Dr’s told me to stop dying my hair. If you know me well enough you know that I did not listen! I’ve been through enough shit this year just let me get rid of my dam roots so I can smile in the morning! lol

So to sum up this very very very long post…

Please know that wherever you are and whatever you may be going through you have a friend and supporter right here! We only have one life and we need to make the most of it! With a smile and a sense of humor.

Find your tribe and be the best you can everyday and know that they will always be there to support you just like you will for them!

I think that’s all I have in me tonight!

Sorry. One more thing. The most important!!! Me forgetting. Yup! That’s called Chemo brain and I am definitely suffereing from it right now.

There is currently no cure for NMO! Please take a moment to learn more about this disease below. And if you have an extra five bucks to donate to help find a cure that would be incredibe and I thank you in advance.

Visit The Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation here!

Last but not least. Thank you for making it this far. I think now I owe you a drink! LOL.

I wanted to let you know that I will have two new shows up on The Happy Workaholic Podcast tomorrow. This will make it an even number of 40 shows thus far.

I will be sharing some very exciting news on those shows that you will not be able to find anywhere else so you are going to want to tune in.

You can listen to The Happy Workaholic Podcast right here on iTunes!

Not on iTunes? No worries. You can listen to all the episodes on my blog right here!

Thank you again for allowing me to share my story with you. It truly means the world!

Wishing you all a wonderful, happy and healthy New Year! 2018 is our year!

XOXO AND CHEERS!

Kelly

PS To learn about the Just For Us Community I started visit www.justforuscommunity.org here!

***The  Just For Us Community was created for anyone going through a tough time in general. Health, heartache or just in need of some happiness. It is a safe place for you to share your feelings, find a few friends and most importantly know that you are not alone!

MAKE TIME TO UNPLUG

From someone who used to be allergic to the word “unplug” I somehow managed to (years later) learn how to do so. Not so much to do it but I learned why I NEEDED to do it! For my mind, body and soul…

It doesn’t matter what career you are in, if you work from home or take care of your family. All of these are job and you MUST take the time to unplug, relax and maybe even meditate. Be grateful for what you have. Take the time to write these things down in a journal. Create a zen for yourself. Create a happy place to escape to even if it just in your mind.

When you take the time to do this you will come back to wherever you needed to get to faster because you are feeling so refreshed.

When I gave myself this challenge of writing 30 blogs in 30 days for my How To Series I thought it was honestly going to be a piece of cake.

Ummm…

That was not the case. I had to create a posting schedule for 30 days and five weeks that would make sense and excite my readers. Manage the professionals posts that were sent to me as I had many guests help me create a few posts each week. Then I had to share my story as well as a few others every day. Almost every post was at a minimum of 1,000 words.

And I am so happy and thrilled to share with you that today is Blog #30. The end of my How To Series. I am not going to lie when I tell you how proud I am that I achieved this personal goal of mine. Again…

That being said I am going to take my own advice and unplug this weekend. I’m going to take deep breathes, write in my journal and just escape from my norm…

Aside from unplugging I will be working on The Happy Workaholic Podcast!

I wanted to leave a few of my favorite “unplugged” quotes. Please enjoy them below…

It was true pleasure writing this series every day and I truly appreciated all of the comments here as well as all over my social media channels.

I want to connect and/or stay connected with you! Let me know what is going on in your world…

Comment below and let’s chat.

Want to connect with me on my social pages? Just visit my home page to follow me.

Now it is time for me to officially unplug until Monday and I hope you do the same…

KAG

PS If you haven’t signed up for my weekly VIP Newsletter you may sign up here…

FOOD IS YOUR FUEL

As someone who has always been up and down in weight it wasn’t until a few years ago that I began eating the right foods and just not the right portions. I finally realized that I needed to eat certain foods as they were actual fuel for my body. Giving me the nutrients and energy that I needed for the day. This is when I really started to listen to my body! My past story was always making sure to prep my meals and eat in portions but it was what I was putting in those meals that was all wrong. Too many bad carbs, sodium, gluten and sugar! These are definite no no’s in my book especially with having an autoimmune disease. There are certain things that just do not agree with me. Wheat and Soy are two of them. Now I know why I always looked swollen and bloated in pics. It wasn’t the alcohol it was the food! I’m not kidding…

I decided to go (almost) dairy free about four years ago. The reason behind this was I found out I could not have my iced coffee with milk in the hour after I took my thyroid medication in the am. So obviously, I had to find a resolution for that because I cannot go that long without my iced coffee in the morning. That is when I discovered my sugar-free vanilla almond milk. Which I still use every morning. Side Note: After a week my skin was clearer and all of my bloating went away. I was in shock when I realized it was dairy that was actually causing that.

I do cheat and have dairy every now and then. Sometimes (monthly) I am in need of a soft-serve cone and on Friday night I need pizza. I am still searching for a dairy free cheese without soy that I love. So if you have any names please send them my way. I grew up on pizza every Friday night. I have to have the mozzarella and that is that! I am such a high maintenance East Coaster. Pizza and Iced Coffee! Hello! I cannot live without them. Cannot!

Over the last few months I’ve been creating vegan and vegetarian meals! Lentil Vegan Falafel, Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes, Detox Soups, Vegan Ice Cream, Fresh Juices, Hummus and my favorite so far are to make homemade Veggie Burgers. I have about five different variations now. Cooking is also a huge stress reliever for me so spending hours in the kitchen just puts me at ease. Using random ingredients and leftovers in my meals is usually one of the ways I end up making the most unique but delicious meals.

Throughout the process of cooking my meals I usually post on my Instagram Stories. And then the final result is posted on my Pinterest. I honestly just love to share my recipes. And find new ones that I attempt to create as well! I definitely need to up my baking skills. I will not deny that but at least I am trying right? lol

If you have been reading my How To Series all month long you may have read a few times about a Facebook group I am a part of that has literally changed the way I think, speak and live. The best way to describe it is that I got an attitude makeover. It was created by Cara Alwill Leyba aka creator of the blog The Champagne Diet and the book Girl Code as well as many others. This group is filled with the most inspirational, motivational and empowered women from all around the world. Yes! That actually exists. If you would like to see what The Slay Baby Collective is all about just click here...

I hope that you enjoyed today’s post. If you would like to get caught up on the rest of the How To Series posts click here. I cannot believe tomorrow is the last day! 30 straight days of blogs. Wow! Almost there and then it’s CHALLENGE COMPLETE for me!!! I am so proud of myself and thankful for everyone who was a part of the How to Series. As I could not have made it as good as it is without you…

Please let me know what you thought about the post today. Leave a comment below. Please and Thank You.

Want to see what I’ve been up to? Find be below on my social media pages…

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Pinterest

Want to receive my weekly newsletter? Visit home page to subscribe…

Wishing you a wonderful week!

KAG

 

 

HOW TO BE WELL

Today I wanted to share a few things that you really should do to just BE WELL! These tips are great for your overall health and well being. Don’t be overwhelmed if you haven’t done any since last year just make it a priority to get them done throughout the month. The first step is making a list…

When was the last time you went to the dentist or your primary doctor? If it’s been a while make a phone call and schedule an appointment. It really is that simple! Everyone is so busy and working these days that we sometimes forget to make the time to take care of ourselves.

Well my friend now is the time…

Follow up with any doctors that you have been putting off. I am telling you this as it has become my full time job for over a year now since learning over my NMO diagnosis.

Do you know how many patients your doctor will see in a week? I doubt it! You are just another name on a list. It is YOUR JOB to follow up if you want answers. If you are not sure how to do so email me and I will give you a step by step. I am telling you I am a PRO at this sh*t! Sorry for the swears but it is necessary. I feel like I am saving my own life every day.

YOU must be your own advocate and be proactive in any and all things medical. Always, ALWAYS get a second opinion if you are looking for answers regarding a specific medical issue you happen to be going through. And maybe even a third opinion. Don’t be shy or feel bad! This is your life we are talking about. You only have one to live so you must make the best choices in these matters. Again, I am telling you all of this from experience…

If you would like to learn more about my health journey and how to be proactive click here…

SELF CARE. Do you partake? If not, make the time. Even if it is ten minutes. Meditate, listen to some relaxing music, journal, listen to a podcast or cook a delicious meal. What ever your body is craving. Mind, body and soul. Just check the hell out! It is so important to do this every day or every other day even if it’s for five minutes. It will completely change the mood you were in. When you have more time like on a Saturday or Sunday treat yourself to a spa day. Either at a new hotel or at home. I am not going to lie. I love my DIY spa days. I put on a face and hair mask, sit in a bubble bath and just zone out. At times I bring a book or even my tablet to catch up on my shows. I know seriously? Yes. I am that girl! However, don’t knock it until you try it. Having a tv in the bathroom is amazing. Why do you think they are in your hotel bathrooms? Hello? lol

Lastly, I want to share something with you that has really been helping me through my recent health diagnosis. That is doTERRA Essential Oils. I tried them once and I was sold. I just love the fact that they can help you from the inside out. You can use them topically for your body and your home as well. Adding them in all my healthy juices and meals I create just adds so many additional health benefits. This info is just a tiny bit of what the oils can do for you and your overall well being.

I believe so much in this product that I have now become a doTERRA Wellness Advocate. What that means is that you can order all your doTERRA Essential Oils through my website which you can find right here.

As always, sharing is caring. If you have a friend that you feel could benefit from today’s blog post or anything else on my site I would love it if you could share it with them!

Please leave me a comment below to let me know what you do to “be well” and take care of yourself or maybe how you would like to change.

Wishing you a wonderful Day!

KAG

One more thing…

Today on #GivingTuesday, Facebook and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center will be matching up to $2 million of funds raised for US nonprofits through Facebook’s charitable giving tools. I would truly appreciate it if you would create an NMO fundraiser on Facebook or hit the “Donate” button on The Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation’s Facebook page. Neuromyelitis Optica is the autoimmune disease that I have and that there is no cure for. A disease where getting a chemo treatment twice a year for the rest of my life is the only way to prevent a relapse. You can learn more about NMO here…

Donations can be matched up to $50,000 per nonprofit, with a max of $1,000 per fundraiser or donate button, until the $2 million in matching funds run out. And, Facebook is waiving all fees for donations to nonprofits on #GivingTuesday. Don’t miss out on this incredible fundraising opportunity to double your donations! #GiveTueNMO

Thanks for letting me share this today…