Category Archives: life

Yes, I am still alive

I’ve been thinking over the past few months that I need to do an update post, but there’s just so much to update on! So, taking my inspiration from Heath‘s update posts, here’s a list of what’s happened:

  • I walked at December graduation, but didn’t graduate. It was no fault of anyone but myself, and I’m still kicking myself in the butt about it. I am finishing my degree this summer, thanks to my amazing adviser and the dean of the school of science.
  • I got married! (will do a more in-depth post including pictures later this week)
  • Josh and I went on an amazing honeymoon cruise (see note in parenthesis above)
  • Before school ended, Josh was offered the pastorate of a small church outside of Waynesville, NC. We moved in the second week of January. I saw more snow in the first week here than in the past two winters in Clemson. (six times in one week!) I love the people at our church, and I can’t think of a better place for Josh and I to start our ministry together. The parsonage is literally attached to the church, which is interesting. (pictures to come)
  • I have applied to a gazillion jobs. Yes, a gazillion. I have heard back from 10, all negative. I’ve been really struggling with this and not doing so well at trusting that God will provide.
  • Josh and I went down to SWU for the spring musical. AMAZING! It made me miss Melanie, my SWUdad, and Charlotte so much. The cast and crew did an incredable job, it completely blew me away.
  • We adopted an adorable cocker spaniel mix puppy from the local shelter and named him Nigel. Sorry the picture is blurry – you try to take clear pictures of a two month old puppy. See? Not that easy, is it?

Nigel looking around the home office the day we brought him home

  • We joined the Haywood county community choir, and it’s been a blast! The concert is this Sunday, so I should probably go practice…
  • I’m turning into a UNC basketball fan. Josh is concerned by how much I yell at the tv when a certain player is not on, yet still shoot 3s and keeps missing. Thankfully that certain player was having a good night when they won the championship.
  • I was talking to the clarinetist for our community choir concert and found out that there is also a community band, and the clarinetist has an alto clarinet he’s willing to loan me, since Em has my bass. I’m going to practice Thursday to look at the music and meet the members.

That’s all I can think of at the moment, plus I need to go do dishes. (Santa, if you’re reading this, could you please bring me a dishwasher for Christmas? kthx.) I should probably do something productive after that, too. I am way to ADD to be a housewife.


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I found a blog yesterday titled blah, blah, blahg…it made me laugh.

It’s a dreary day outside. The kind where it’s overcast and it wouldn’t be as bad if it would just rain. Sadly there is no rain, just wind. Days like this make me want to curl up in the big chair in my parent’s living room and read a good, long book. Like Twilight. I did want to re-read that again before the movie comes out. I find it rather humorous that mine and Josh’s book collection will contain religion books (his major, my minor), psychology books (my major), and my fantasy/crime drama/mystery fiction.

A while ago I mentioned that I should do a blog listing all the gluten free blogs I read. I read an average of about three posts a day from all these sites combined, and usually at least two of the posts are recipes. The amount of posting isn’t overwhelming, and I’ve favorited enough recipes to publish a book (which I wouldn’t do other than for personal use, as most of the recipes are developed by the bloggers or variations on recipes that are already published). Some of these blogs also cover casein, soy, and egg intolerance as well. At least one is vegetarian, and one or two cover kosher food with special posts about Holiday foods.

Here’s the list of blogs:

I didn’t list the ones that haven’t been updated in months. I have them on my reader so I can easily access all their posts and search for recipes.

I’m feeling more awake now, thanks to my ABBA channel on pandora. Don’t judge me. You can’t help but smile when listening to their songs.

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Filed under general, gluten free, life

allergies, wedding planning, and God moments

So aparently I’m not the only one on campus with the vertigo issue, and the doctor said it’s just really bad allergies. REALLY bad. My regular allergies went absolutely crazy this past week, to the point where I was having trouble breathing. It’s calmed down some, but not much. You can always tell when my allergies are bad because my laugh changes into a squeak, and I’m still squeaking.

On the wedding front (now it’s a battle?), things are starting to really fall into place, to the point where I am feeling calmer about it all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still stressed, but not as bad.

This weekend has been a huge God moment for Josh and myself. Saturday night contained confrontation, forgiveness, a lot of prayer, and more than enough tears. Tom preached this morning at FWC/Alive about The Road Less Traveled: When Dreams Break. The scripture was 1 Samuel 21 and 22, where David, by trying to take control of the situation instead of leaving it up to God, caused the death of many innocent people. Here’s a link to the passages online. Tom listed off things that we do when we try to take control, one of which hit pretty close to home. Josh and I spent most of the sermon looking at each other and laughing; Josh made the comment that Tom might as well have been standing right in front of us. It was very obvious what God was saying, and we listened. Please keep us in your prayers as we seek God’s direction for us, and that we will not allow things to return to the way they were.

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I mean really, wasn’t celiac enough?

Yesterday evening I called Josh around 5:30. This is basically our conversation:

me: “Hey”

Josh: “Hey”

me: “Will you do me a favor?”

Josh: “What do you need?”

me: “Will you come cook dinner for me?”

Ok, I know this sounds completely pathetic (who am I kidding? It is). But to understand, here is the background story:

Monday afternoon I was sitting at my desk in my apartment working at homework when all the sudden I realized that I was falling out of my chair. I’m not sure if I fainted and then woke up while I was falling or what. There was a really loud ringing in my right ear and I was having trouble standing up. I napped and felt better a few hours later. Being who I am, I consulted my mom. She thought it was probably related to it being “that time of the month” and ear wax. I agreed until yesterday as I was leaving the chiropractor.

I was at the counter paying when all the sudden the ringing got really loud again and the room started spinning. I got some water, and the room stopped spinning. I had to run to Wal-Mart, as my roomies and I had run out of important things like toilet paper. I used a buggy so I could support myself if I felt faint again. On the way out I got a Gatorade,  in case it was related to being dehydrated. Back at my apartment it started getting worse, and I lied in the floor and talked to one of my roomies for a while until I could sit up. Then I called Josh. He came and cooked dinner, I sat on a stool and chopped carrots (he made an amazing stir-fry). He left at 6:30 to go to work, and I started feeling better around 7.

So what caused it? I have no idea. It’s never happened before. I went to see the school nurse today, and she said that my ears are completely clear and healthy looking. She mentioned the possibility of hearing loss, and I’m praying that is not the issue. There’s a doctor that I know personally that comes to the school every Wednesday to see students free of charge, and I’m going to see him next week. Please pray for me as I figure out what is going on.


Filed under general, life, school

back to blogging

Well, I made the switch from blogger to wordpress after a long hiatus. Josh has been bugging me to change for a while. I’ve heard that wordpress is much better, but I’ve gotta play around with it more before I put in my two cents.

So what is this blog for? Honestly, there is no telling. Most likely the craziness of wedding planning, newly wed life, and the gluten-free lifestyle. As you can see by my previous posts, I’m sporatic with my posting. No promises that this will be any better.

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The New Me

Hello world!

I know it’s been ages since I updated the blog, but now I’ve got something to write about.
Ever heard of Dermatitis Herpetiformis? No? Well, me neither. Until yesterday, that is.

Back story:
For the past three years, I’ve been having weird breakouts on my elbows. Some medical professionals told me that it was most likely a skin reaction, and not to worry about it unless it spread. This August I noticed it on my knees as well. This started my doctor chain. I first visited my family doctor, who sent me to an allergist. I went in for a scratch test, but nothing reacted like my breakouts (I did find out that I am mildly allergic to grass and dog dander, but can still have a dog). After another breakout, my allergist sent me to a dermatologist.

At this point, I was just annoyed with everything. My breakouts didn’t itch, and half the time I didn’t even know they were there. I just wanted to find out what was wrong and move on. My first appointment with the dermatologist was on Tuesday of last week. We discussed some possible causes, such as arthritis or an allergy to pain medication. I broke out again on Thursday night, and went back to the dermatologist on Friday. She was able to biopsy my knee and drew blood.

This brings us to yesterday. I am sitting at work study, stuffing envelopes and chatting away (what fun!) when my phone rings. I go out in the hall and am told something along the lines of this:

“Joy, you have Dermatitis Herpetiformis. You need to start taking medication go on a gluten-free diet immediately.”

I wondered if the women on the phone knew that she had just changed my entire life.

So I had three things to look up.
1) Dermatitis Herpetiformis (click for Wikipedia article)
Basically, in the simplest terms I can think of, I have a gluten build up in my skin. My body doesn’t know what to do with the gluten it can’t break down, so it stores it in my skin. The breakouts are caused by a combination of the gluten, my skin, and iodine. 11.2 people out of 100,000 have this disease.
2) Dapsone (click for Wikipedia article)
This medicine is used for treatment of DH and combined with two other drugs is a treatment for leprosy. Say what? Basically, I am taking this to get rid of the gluten build up in my skin. According to various medical websites, it can take up to two years for the gluten build up to go away. This medication works amazingly, but because of side effects it is recommended that you only stay on it as long as necessary. While on Dapsone, I have to get blood work done once a month to make sure it isn’t messing me up anywhere else.
3)Gluten free diet (click for Wikipedia article)
Unlike Dapsone, this is life-long. To keep my skin from breaking out and to keep from developing Coeliac Disease (along with a long list of other diseases I’m at risk for), it is mandatory. This sound horrible, and it is at first. I adore bread. I love bread. I would marry it if it were only a person. However, I can no longer eat my beloved sourdough or pumpernickel-rye. Thankfully, there are other people at school with this same strict diet. My RA, for one. She has been an amazing help, and I haven’t even known about it for 24 hours yet. I guess the one plus is that I no longer eat Aramark food.

I’m not going to lie, it sucks. I went grocery shopping last night and had to hold back tears the entire time. Cap’n Crunch peanut butter? Gone. Doritos? No more. Pepsi? Not allowed. Zaxby’s? Sorry, no. And the list goes on. And on. And on.

But if I focus on what I can’t have, I’ll just be depressed. I have to focus on what I can have. Like Chinese food, because they use corn flour on their breaded meats. A Taste of Thai brand foods. Rice cakes (yeah, I actually like these). Sprite. Trix (the only cereal that is gluten free). Potatoes. Rice. Plus there are substitution foods. Breads, crackers, cake, brownies, pancakes, etc. all gluten free.

I can’ promise that I will update frequently (just look at my past posts), but I am going to use this blog as a record of my journey. As my dad said, I am Joy who happens to have DH, not a person with DH named Joy. Hopefully this will be helpful to someone one day, just as my RA has helped me. Please pray for me as I adjust to this new lifestyle.

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Filed under dapsone, dermatitis herpetiformis, gluten free, life