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Register to Vote!

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As a young child hearing this speech, I remember wondering what I could possibly do for my country? Now as an adult I know what every citizen can do for this country.

YOU CAN VOTE! 

I just started the process of making sure I can vote in my new state. As soon as my kids are no longer home sick from school I will be heading to the DMV to get my new Washington State licence. I made sure to update my information so that I am voting in my new county and state.

It was simple and easy and something we ALL need to do. Blue, Red, Green, Purple, I don’t care what party you are. Get out and make your voice heard.

www.mauimama.com-get-out-and-vote

Register to vote today! CLICK HERE

There is nothing more important than exercising your democratic right to vote.
It started with a tea party.
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It ended with a new country, Bill of Rights, government, Constitution, and a democracy.

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But not everyone had the right to vote. Women did not earn that right until 1918

Then there were the Jim Crow laws that needed to be abolished. There are people still alive today who stood up for what was right, the ability for any citizen to vote no matter the color of their skin was.

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Never forget the men, women, and even children who laid down their lives for your right to fill out that piece of paper.

If you owe anything to your country, it is registering and voting in every election. Local, national, every election. Get that sticker. Make your voice heard.

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Recipie for my ‘Fall Shake’

I use Vega Vanilla Protien and Greens

(AMAZON PRIME IS THE BEST DEAL)

Also found at Target.

Okay here is the recipie:

1 scoop vanilla Vega

3/4 cups frozen mangos

3/4 cups uncooked raw carrots

2 tbsp flax seed

1tbs chi seeds

1tsp cinnamon

1tsp turmeric powder

1 1/2 cup almond milk (you can add and subtract to taste or use something else besides almond milk)

Ice to taste (I usually only use 2-3 cubes)

Blend and enjoy!

Play around with it. I personally love this shake a lot.

Cheers

Cjean

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20 Year Reunion!!!

It was a massive success. It was also a ton of work. Three years of dreaming and planning and six months of working with Suzanne who volunteered her talents as an event planner.

But we pulled it off. I wanted to share the pictures with some stories so you can feel like you were there with me.

First: I arrived with the flowers three days before the event because we had to get them in the vases.

DETHROWNED INSTEAD OF DETHORNED. 😂🤣😂

It was so much fun helping to make my friend Suzanne’s vision a reality.

We did a cornhole toss to raffle off and I made rather a mess of myself helping to paint it.

All the alumi signed it. Bummed I missed getting a pic of it finished. Hopefully, we can track that down through the winner!

There was also an amazing Lion painting that was donated.

What Suzanne pulled off on the budget we had was a miracle. We kept tickets as low as we could and got a huge discount on the venue thanks to another alumni and committee planner.

She knocked it out of the park on these roses. They were are school colors and beautiful. They were also named `friendship roses’ too perfect right?

The balloons also worked because of her. I might have begged for them, but she made them look amazing. Thanks to another committee member for the helium tanks to blow them all up. Appreciate you Peter.

The photo booth was a huge hit.

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I found those the day before for 1$ and had to get them. Cheers to Michael’s clearance bins. I also got the bubbles and Suzanne found the sticker tape to put around them in our school colors.

My dress was the perfect color. Which was amazing.

The necklace was originally given to me by my Papa for my 17th birthday and I wore it my entire senior year and all through my 20s. It was lost and this version is the one I had made for his funeral in 2008.

Baby Crystal Jean and proof I can not smile sometimes. I think my hair is about the same length and just like highschool I was working the door getting everyone in.

It was so fun to steal a Letterman jacket that I wore often 20 years ago. Eric wrestled and that jacket was pimped out. So, when he got too hot or had to wrestle guess who kept track of that thing? Me, and when I got cold he handed it over with a laugh and a smile.

I was lucky to have boys who were my protectors and like brothers in highschool.

These guys were who I spent most of my time with. I traveled a lot with sports teams (I was the bookkeepers girl, the coaches had known me all my life) and these are a few of the amazing boys who watched out for me. Getting to thank them and see them and meet wives was a highlight of the night.

Sadly, we still can not take pictures together without dying of laughter.

Horrible blurry laughing pictures aside let’s get back to the event. The food was awesome but the deserts…..

The deserts were so yummy and all made by Suzanne. Pumpkin pie, chocolate and vanilla cake.

Then there was the lemon rose cake.

That lemon cake was my special request, but the decorating of it was organic and unplanned. She decorated the cake this way in honor of my Nana.

My Nana baked me a rose cake for my 17th birthday. We had extra roses and she surprised by doing this after I told her the story.

I will admit to some tears seeing this finished cake.

Here is why it meant so much to have this at the reunion:

Nana worked at my highschool from 1973 to 1997. She was honored with a rock at the memorial table. As was her best friend. Yes, I was named for her. Jean was her middle name that she went by because she was named for her own mother. The name? Lenna. Yes, my daughter is the third Lenna and named for my Nana.

The memorial table was beautiful. We had 50 white roses in a vase in the center and the six faculty rocks there for everyone to look at. Three on each side.

Dropping off her rock was super emotional.

Nana grew this plant in her backyard and was always so proud of it. It was just too perfect.

I had a good cry and got to say goodbye to Nana and many faculty who meant the world to me.

Thank you class of 2009 for this amazing spot on campus.

As I was working the event I didn’t get many pictures, but like a true 90s child I have the memories.

You can look up the event with our hashtag on Instagram #AHS20YR789

Until next time AHS.

Cheers

Cjean

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No pelvic pain clinic.

It seems to be official. There is no pelvic pain clinic anywhere in Washington or Oregon.

I am about to change that. If there are any Oregon or Washingon pelvic pain or endo women interested in a new way to treat pain. I want to talk to you.

Then I am going to figure out how to get Oregon University Hospital to start a clinic like I had in Denver, because I refuse to settle for a life of pain when I KNOW how to help.

PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD.

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My journey to healthier curls.

The curly girl method. Curly Girl Explained
I am not gonna lie. It sounded crazy. Not wash your hair? Mostly use conditioners. Throw away half my hair products?

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But, I live in Washington State now. Curls are going to be the norm. The first few months I rebelled. Side braid for the win

But my hair was getting dry and my split ends had split ends.

The first cut was a bust.

Next was a bit better but I needed more layers.

Groupon for the win I got a cut that brought out my curls.

But apparently only in Virginia….

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Nope, not kidding. The curls have gone flat since I got home.

Now that I am back to the drawing board. The products that worked so well in Virginia do not perform their best here.

See my previous post here

My only winner on both shores and high altitude is my magic spray.

You can get this amazing product HERE
Tell them Crystal Jean sent you!

I admit- I resorted to straightening my hair just to feel pretty and not have to fight it. I do love my hair both ways and I am never going to limit myself to one or the other.
See my blog post of shame here

Back to the curly girl dilemma.

I am double conditioning and not using even the wide tooth comb. I’ve given up on bouncecurl, it simply isn’t working for me here. It did in Denver, never in Washington. I hate when that happens.

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They have a hairspray everyone is raving about that I will save up my pennies to try. It is alcohol-free, check it out here

I’ve also had to learn that less is more with my righteousroots oil. The amount I used in Denver leaves my hair greasy here.

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I’m still trying moisturizing shampoos and using what I call the ‘Blake’ method. Deep conditioner on my roots as I scrub my scalp. (I read somewhere that Blake Lively puts mayonnaise on the end of her hair to protect it when she washes it.) Or, I just made that up, I am honestly not sure. Let me go look….

Nope, it is true:
“My mom taught me this really great beauty tip,” Lively told Byrdie. “She used to put oil or mayonnaise on the bottom half of her hair before she would shower. That way, when she would shampoo, the soap wouldn’t strip the bottom of the hair and dry it out, making it brittle.”
The article can be found here and claims to have a better version of this crazy sounding trick.

I still have to scrub the bottom of my skull when in a lupus flare, but I am super careful not to let the castile soap touch my roots.

I think I need to read up on hair density testing. I know I need a few more products that I will be adding to my birthday list.

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For those of us on a budget, I love this site: Products that won’t break the bank

I am taking my biotin and vitamins in hope that I can get my length back and do longer layers.
So, it’s all trial and error. But, something has to give with the back of my hair. This is a mess.

Totally tipping my hair back to make it look longer. 

And I have to work on my scarf skills at night.

All the blogs and Instagrams I read seem to show my same problems when they started. It’s a commitment, rebuilding your curly hair.

I think the next thing I will be trying is a homemade cleanse of some type.

My dream curls look like this. Her story can be found here

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Obviously not blond, and yes I know I will probably never have these perfect ringlets, but I said ‘dream’ what are we if we are not dreamers?

Cheers

Cjean

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Timber….

A story of why writers for hospital drama shows should interview me. 
I had an appointment with the kids to get all of our ears checked from the viral infection.
Things were going well, both kids were pink ear free. I was stressed as my kids had played the- I am still hurting and sick card- when they were obviously over their virus.

It was my turn on the hot seat.

(I did a condition today but put in no products, I didn’t have the energy or time and ran out with wet hair, ugh.) 

My blood pressure was high, I had a migraine, so I wasn’t too concerned. We talked about my GI bleed, the fact I had lost 11 pounds in a short period of time because it was so hard to eat.

We decided to do some blood work just to be on the safe side. My migraine was easing off and I was putting some pain cream on my sore belly and back. I had leaned down and back up but do not remember feeling dizzy.

The next thing I remember is being on the floor, doctors, nurses, and my two children all around me.

I knew it must have been my blood pressure so we took another reading of my BP and Pulse. Sure enough, I had dropped 20 points on top and 10 on the bottom.

But I was dizzy and it was obvious to the doctor that something was wrong.
Pale, clammy, shaking.
My blood pressure kept going up and down.

Suddenly, we are going to take labs turned into: you have to go to the ER and we can’t let you walk the 100 feet to the next building so we are calling an ambulance.
Yes, they seriously called an ambulance for me to go to an ER that I loathe and hate that was RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO THE CLINIC.

I had my kids, I was not stable to walk or drive. If I had walked out I have no doubt I would have had a nice visit from CPS.

So, we sat, my kids and I- we sat in that waiting room for an hour and a half while I tried to track anyone down from church who could come get the kids. Finally, admitting defeat, I called my husband who rushed off to catch two buses back to his park and ride spot so he could get to us. (He works in Portland but takes the bus over the bridge from Vancouver.)

By the time the ambulance showed up, I was feeling fine. My pressure was still going up and down, but I could have made it home just fine- if they had let me.

The ER doctor left a lot to be desired. He told me he was going to do a groin blood draw.
I refused.
He told me I had no need for an IV.
I requested he give me a bag to see if it stabilized my blood pressure.
As an ultrasound was the only way he was going to get his ten vials of blood he agreed. Smart man, he was not going near my groin for a blood draw.

They got me in one stick and all their blood. They took enough to lower my BP again.

He refused me nausea medication.
I sat and watched my endo belly grow and my pain increase as the bag of fluids ran into me and cramped up my gut.

I NEVER asked for pain medication. He, never even asked why my pain was at an 8 when the nurse demanded a number.
He never checked me for a concussion even though I hit my head. No imaging was done because my labs came back fine.

I asked once more before they yanked the IV for the only nausea medication I can have, which he refused and was discharged because- as I had told the doctors and nurses- I was not bleeding out.

It was a simple case of my blood pressure doing its song and dance that it likes to do when I am in pain and dehydrated.
Dehydrated for my body that is, my labs were perfect, but my body thinks it is dying of thirst. That is sjogrens syndrome. You drink water all day and it just seems to disappear on you.

It was another awesome example of why I despise and detest St Johns ER in Longview Washington.

If I could sign a DNR to never be taken there again I would.

I have had a lot of crappy hospitals over the last twenty years of chronic illness. This one takes the cake for the worst one yet.

I even despise nurses there. I LOVE nurses. Practically every Doctor who works there is rude, unhelpful, mean, and dangerous.

I had a doctor give me 60 Toridal after I told him that I had already taken three naproxen that day. He assured me it was safe. I have a GI Bleed. It wasn’t. My GI Doctor was livid.
(This was the doctor who had me in tears for five hours and refused to do anything to help with pain or nausea besides the Toridal I should NOT HAVE BEEN GIVEN.)

Today left me very angry. I should be able to refuse being treated at an Emergency Room I do not feel safe in. I shouldn’t be held captive in my doctor’s office just because I fainted. Truthfully, I faint a few times a week from my blood pressure being unstable. Usually, I am able to lay down as I faint so it’s not a big deal.

I lived three blocks away. Let me walk home if you are so afraid of me driving.

This is just another stern warning to anyone. Never, EVER, faint in a hospital. It never ends well for you.

Now I have a nice swollen endo belly, a sore head, and am even more ticked off at the utter lack of CARE given at this ER.

If you live in Longview Washington and you can- drive to Salmon Creek or any other hospital in Vancouver. Your life might depend on it because even if they find something at St. Johns, they have NO SPECIALISTS ON CALL.

Oh, and as the cherry on the cake of this absolutely fabulous day. My blender died.
Dead.
So no dinner for me as I am really only keeping sips of protein shakes down with sips of water. Week two of my gut being a total tool hasn’t been fun.

Soonest GI can get me in to do an upper and lower scan is 10-31: unless I really do become anaemic I suppose.

Going to try and get some sleep before something else goes pear-shaped.
Cheers,
Cjean

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A lesson in Grace

At my doctor’s last doctors appointment, I was told something that horrified me.

The triage nurses I was speaking with found me aggressive and rude and that I needed to reign in my frustration, as valid as it was, and be mindful of my tone.

My doctor said she defended me, that she could tell I was in serious pain because she knew me. But, even now, with her, I was aggressive and frustrated. If she didn’t know me so well she would find me rude too.

I told her I was about to cry. I love and adore nurses. To hear that they felt I was rude to them was embarrassing and horrid.

She said she knew that and that was why we were talking. So we could address it and keep the clinic on my side.

I felt so much shame. In pain, it’s hard to stay graceful and calm. But, she was right, I needed to be more aware of my tone and what I was saying.

I know I am not perfect. But, I always, ALWAYS, try to be kind to nurses.

I am praying this is fixable.

Embarrassed but determined to make it right.

Cjean

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Ugh, ED story.

As soon as the bronchitis cleared up all hell broke lose in with my GI bleed. And I mean hell.

The pain is at an 8 or 9 and even a 10. I’m no cryer but I have cried more this week than I can recall.

These doctors just decided to NOT treat me. It was torture.

Endobelly and all.

So we were told to head down to Vancouver and get evaluated.

New hospitals and doctors and nurses terrify me. So, I pushed going off until the hubby made me. I missed a game wkfb a friend. I hate having to cancel plans. Hate. Hate. Hate. It.

However, going to this hospital-Best decision ever.

The hospital was clean, had an amazing triage plan and better still, they are nice. It felt like a better version of Univery of Denver Hospital.

They gave me my will to fight back. After four days at a 7 to a 10 I needed desperately to get my pain under control and rule out major things.

We have no idea what is going on so I got to go home. And I went home at a low 7.

We will figure this out. It just will take some time.

Cjean

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An ED miracle

Last night I cried to an Er doctor not known for his bedside manner or helpfulness with patients. I was there for help as I was very weak and I’ll. I expected him to just say NO and walk out.

Instead he nodded and sat down to explain his concerns. Which were valid. My veins are crap. I can not have a central line. It is too dangerous even to do an EJ (neck IV) with me off of blood thinners due to my GI bleed.

He didn’t want to risk destroying the few deep veins we can access if it wasnt absolutly warranted. And while I felt awful I was not medically critical and in need of fluids.

My reply was, “I agree, I understand that concern; but if I continue with the vomiting and diharea with sjogrens and dont get fluids now- We risk not being able to get fluids in me at all without an EJ.

He thought on that for a long moment and then agreed to check my BP standing, sitting, and lying down. If that showed dehydration I could have fluids.
When my stats didn’t change I was sure he would discharge me.

But he shocked me. He said we could try and I could have fluids, nausea meds, and even some toridal.

The ultra sound machine rolled in and yes!!!

My nurse and I were so happy. We started the meds and then disaster strikes.

Luckily, both meds can be absorbed in my tissue. But, what about the fluids?!?

The IV blew and I was sure the doctor would discharge me. We had tried and failed.

I love my endo tribe on Instagram. Follow them all, they have a meme you need to see for any struggle.

The IV blew and I was sure he would discharge me. We had tried and failed.
I WAS RIGHT. In walked my nurse to remove the bad IV and give me the sad news that there was no one available to re try an IV.

I was prepared to deal with this sad blow gracefully when in walked a miracle. A sweet nurse who was determined I would get fluids.

My prayers were answered. I even got some sleep and was released before midnight.

Last night I witnessed a miracle. The fluids saved the day too. I feel so much better. I’m also keeping down water at home so far this morning.

Rough night for sure but it ended with me thanking my loving Heavenly Father for softening the heart of a doctor and sending a nurse in just in time.

Cjean