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Category: Health

The First Year: A Marriage of Ideas

When any two people come together in any kind of relationship, you can expect that certain ideas will clash, and others will meld perfectly. As a man I once knew said, “If two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary.” The adage is just as true today as the first time I heard it.

So I’m not going to tell you a fairy tale here about the first year of marriage. It will not be a tale that will inspire those of you who are single to rush into a relationship and marriage. The truth of the matter is that marriage is hard, and the first year could be argued as the toughest. Abby talked about our first year of marriage over at Unbound Northwest.

But I am not going to tell you a story of woe either. Instead, I am going to tell you about true love, and what that has looked like over the last year (and then some). Because true love is not the fairytale first dance. It is life, lived together as partners every day.

The Honeymoon from Hell

This year for our anniversary we are headed to McCall to redeem our honeymoon and will be staying at the Shore Lodge. And yes, I will call out the horrible experience we had last year at the Hotel McCall. I wrote a review of them here, here, and here. To put it simply:

  • I tore my calf muscle a week before our wedding, so I was using crutches and a cane to get around. Our room was on the second floor. Did we get help with our bags to our room? No.
  • The restaurant they use for room service was closed from Sunday until Wednesday, so we had no room service. Did they tell us this when we booked? No. Contrast: the Shore Lodge is doing some renovations this winter. Immediately after we booked, we got an email telling us exactly what was going on, and apologizing in advance for any inconvenience it would cause during our stay.
  • The Hotel McCall has an indoor salt-water pool. They had an issue with the heater, and so it was cold–unable to be used the only day we could have used it. Did they compensate us, or offer any discount or anything else in return? No.
  • When confronted about our poor experience (before I left the reviews) the manager offered excuses. There was no offer of a discount, refund, future free nights, nothing. Apparently they don’t care if we return (or if you ever go there if you are reading this). They have enough tourist who get suckered in when everything else is full. They don’t need the likes of us, paying customers in the off season, coming in and interrupting their staff’s time on Facebook. (yes, I saw a staff member on her social media, and it took her a couple of minutes to acknowledge me when I dared ask for something)

Needless to say, we were off to a rough start. Put a groom in pain and a tired bride in the same room for a few days without the capacity to be pampered, and although we made the best of it, we need some redemption this year.

The First Few Months

Often, newlyweds live in a place that is less than ideal, but we had a place we were making work. We also had our then 14-year-old son living with us pretty much full time, interrupted with rare visits to his mother. We had an agreement to stay there until December, at which point we would decide where to go next.

The time period was designed to give us space to save money, recover from the wedding, and be able to move.

Not to mention that Abby had a major medical issue in May, just after she also graduated from college, and that set us back even more. Recovery from one thing or another just seemed to be the theme of the moment.

Then our landlord decided to sell the place we were living. With two dogs, we had to scramble to move with no money saved up and only 30 days to find a new place. This meant, more than likely our 14-year-old who was already adjusting to a number of things, would have to switch schools. Again.

We did it, and with the new place came a new peace for everyone. It was astounding the difference it made in our family. The drama, however, would continue.

Career Choices

Abby struggled with what to do after college. From simply getting a different job than the one she was in (she hated it) to going for a Master’s degree in…something…she wasn’t sure what was next. During her senior year, she had a mediation internship at the courthouse and found her calling: mediating conflict was her happy place. However, turning it into a career? There were a ton of questions about how she should best do that.

The answer came in the form of law school. It was something she had thought about, but never really investigated. The investigation turned from casual to serious to filling out applications and attending interest nights at law schools.

She’s retaking the LSAT in June, even after an amazing first score in February, so she can get more scholarships.

In the meantime, I was used to being a freelancer but had taken a job with a local internet marketing company, a job I like and dislike at the same time. The steady income and benefits are good: but it comes at a sacrifice, and does not pay as well as freelancing once did.

It has worked out well, though. I am still able to freelance on the side, not write as much fiction as I would like, but I am headed toward doing more of that. I’m also going to school, but slower. I am taking a freelance writing course, and am enrolled in college online, going back with the eventual goal of getting my Master’s in writing and rhetoric.

All of these career things equaled stress. Every decision was agonized over. There were moments when my job was going well, Abby’s was not. And vice versa.


If you have not figured out by now that we are both ambitious people with lofty goals, go back and read what is under the headings. Stop skimming this article. When two driven, strong-willed people come together, they are bound to butt heads. Not to mention we have different styles of dealing with conflict: Abby is a verbal processor, and I process internally. I need space and time, she wants to tackle things right away.

Big honesty moment here: it took us ten months to figure out how to balance this out. Every time we had an argument, even a small one, I would try to retreat, and Abby would verbally chase me. I did not always handle being pursued well, and she did not handle me trying to back away well.

I had trouble expressing my need for space and time, while Abby had no trouble expressing her need to verbally process (no shock there, that is verbal processing). I’d never before dealt with anyone who pursued me with such zeal at those moments of, shall we call them intense marital bonding?

Love and Partnership

Want to know the secret of how we figured it all out? The one thing that will make your relationship perfect like ours, since now we have how to do this conflict thing figured out? HA! There isn’t one, and we don’t. We do better every day. We love each other more. But we are far from perfect. However, here are some tips that might help you:

We love each other, and we are on the same side. This applies to so many areas of life, but especially in marriage. We both want to raise a teenager from a boy into a good man. We both want our family to be well provided for, comfortable and happy. Neither one of us wants conflict, and certainly not with each other.

We are team Bertmore, and both of us want that team to be the best it can be. Neither of us are trying intentionally to tear the other person down and assume some kind of dominant control. This leads me to the next point.

We are partners. It is one thing not to oppose someone. It is another to be partners with them, coming alongside and supporting their goals and ambitions. But it is not just about supporting the other person’s goals and joining with them to help accomplish what they want. There are two other key elements:

  • Your partner comes alongside you and supports you in your goals and ambitions as well. This is not always perfectly balanced. Sometimes one person’s needs or goals come ahead of the other person’s, but this is constantly in flux. It reverses as often as it needs to.
  • You make shared goals and work together to accomplish them. These can be relationship goals, financial goals, and even career goals. They are short and long term and show your commitment to each other’s needs.

When does disaster strike in partnerships? When you have goals that are pulling you in opposite directions. Your shared goals must take precedent over your individual ones, at least if you are determined to stay together, so sometimes those goals have to take a back seat.

We cannot afford for Abby to go to law school and me to go to college full time, and support a teenager in the house at the same time. Abby gets to go to school first, me second. While she is in school, I need to support her in every way possible.

It does not mean that my goals are any less important, or that our partnership is unbalanced. It means that, although it is hard, I need to put my personal goals on hold so we can accomplish our shared goals. The time of a reversal of that will come.

None of these final tips I have shared mean we will have a perfect relationship going forward. It hardly means that I will never retreat, and she will never over-pursue me to get a verbal resolution.

It just means that we know a few simple things. We love each other. We have shared goals. And we have promised each other to partner in achieving those goals, no matter what that looks like. Our first year of marriage was not a picnic filled with rainbows, unicorns, and tooth-achingly sweet love. It’s been filled with real life, real challenges, and real work.

That is true love.

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October 13th, Unlucky No More


Every October 13th has been a rough day for me since the year 2000. That year, October 13th fell on a Friday, and my life changed forever.

Traveling back to Payson, Arizona where I lived at the time from a friends house in Wilhoit, I came around a corner near the final stretch into town. A Toyota truck was turning left into an outlying neighborhood. I still swear to this day that the driver saw me, because I was watching. I swear she hesitated, and went anyway.

I applied both brakes and steered left, but I could not stop in time. I hit the side of her truck at about 45 miles per hour.

Even a year ago, I would not have been able to type those words without sweating. However, due to some great counseling over the last year, that trigger has gotten way better. It used to be that every year, I would get on a motorcycle and ride on that day, a spit in the face of fate.

I’m lucky I did not die that day. I let the bike go, and flipped through the air, landing on my right side. My shoulder was dislocated, stuck in place. For hours they thought my collarbone was broken. Around midnight, after x-rays of everything, I woke with a splint on my right thumb and was told I would be having surgery on Monday to reconstruct my thumb. It would be the first of several.

thumbI still carry the scar on my hand, and it reminds me of the accident whenever the weather changes, often in October.

But I don’t have to be scared of this day any more. It’s not a trigger like it used to be. Yeah, I still have scars. If I don’t work it out regularly, my shoulder is painful, and my thumb hurts pretty often, since I write for a living and type all the time.

My mind is better, though. I don’t have a motorcycle at the moment, but I will probably take a long ride on my bicycle later.

Just a small spit in the eye of fate.

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Prepping for a Bike Race and Writing a Novel

So a few weeks back a friend challenged me to ride a bike race in the near future. It is 53 miles long, and at the time I was riding about 12-15 miles a day, most of that part of my commute. I decided to train for the race, in an attempt to do one thing: finish.

Aerial Course Overview – Rebecca’s Private Idaho from SCVP Cordovano Video Production on Vimeo.

Like any good citizen, I fired up Google to find a training plan, and I found one designed to prepare a cyclist for a 50+ mile mountain bike race. There was only one minor problem with every plan that I found.

They were 12 weeks long, and I had eight weeks until race day. I was reminded of the expression of stuffing 10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag.

I was also reminded by my ever overworking mind that I also had to move during that time, and help another friend move. So some of my “training time” would be spent lifting boxes, a noble activity, but one that did not really count toward my goal.

With another self imposed writing deadline looming, one designed to get me back in the novel writing game, I realized the two were parallel for a number of reasons.

Time is Short

There is only so much time in a day, and while I write every day, and way more than some people do, I need to allocate how much of that writing time is for Fiction. Because while writing for Huffington Post, Tweak Your Biz, and other websites is fun and helps pay the bills and spread the word about the other things I do, my new detective series is languishing, and fiction sales need the boost that only new work can give it.

Time management has become critical, but I have to be careful. To accomplish goals, I can’t set aside my other priorities. I have a family and other obligations, and neglecting them to write or ride is not the right thing to do, at least long term.

Time Resting is not Time Wasted

Did I mention that I tore a calf muscle playing basketball in March? You may not know much about cycling, but your calves play a big role. The tear (which happened a week before my wedding, making other things tough as well, like the honeymoon) is healed and pretty much rehabbed, but there are days when I get out of the saddle and realize how much it still hurts.

Writing muscles are much the same. I have been in a non-fiction, tech and business writing type mode, and while that is great, the fiction writing muscles need to be flexed, stretched, and exercised as well.

But rest sometimes allows those muscles time to heal. In fiction, ideas build up so words flow like water released from a dam. In cycling, muscles are ready to tackle a challenge and be pushed harder than if they were already tired.

Deadlines Motivate Me

I work well under the gun. When I have a deadline looming, I push myself and do some of my best work.

I also exercise more often, mainly because I feel like I have a purpose, a goal in mind. That goal makes it more important that I apply myself, since the last thing I want to do is fail because I did not put in the effort.

Setbacks Happen

You can only control your efforts and what you try to do. Accidents happen, and people and relationships are still more important than any goals you may have. These setbacks are decision points. Do you drop out of the race, or change your goal for completion of your novel? Or do you buckle down and work that much harder?

Handling setbacks without just giving up completely is the hardest part of endurance. Make no mistake, long distance biking and writing a novel have that in common. Both are endurance events.

There are other things you can compare to novel writing. All of them are tortuous and require strength, flexibility and endurance. Do you think training for a mountain bike race compares? What else do you think compares? Let me know in the comments below.

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GUEST POST: 3 Signs Self-Doubt is Trying to Destroy Your Creative World

I’ve followed Colleen for a while now, and love her blog and all of her posts. They have become a highlight of my monday and #MondayBlogs. Today, she guest posts on my site. Enjoy! I know you will learn something. I did.

I’ve interviewed over 100 authors over the past two years, and I’ve learned one thing we all have in common:


From short-story writers to novelists, thriller escapers to romance weavers to fantasy spinners to literary thinkers, self-published to traditionally published, newbies to old hats, it doesn’t matter.

Just about every writer had a story to tell about how the self-doubt demon had threatened to open its giant mouth and swallow her whole.

“I become plagued with self-doubt,” says women’s fiction writer Linda K. Sienkiewicz. “I fear I’m wasting my time, kidding myself when I say I’m a writer, flogging a dead horse. Oh, those horrible negative voices in my head!”

“I wage a constant battle with self-doubt,” says USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Bernard. “I often think of it as an iron ball chained to my leg, slowing me down. It makes everything more difficult. Promotion is harder, bouncing back from rejection is harder. I wonder what the writing life would be like without it?”

Jennifer admits she may never know, and I imagine the same could be said for most writers (and other creative artists). Though we can beat it back, self-doubt is like a mosquito in the middle of the night. No matter how many times you swat at it, it just keeps buzzing in your ear and biting your skin.

And it’s got teeth, very sharp, dangerous teeth. If we allow it to get too close, it can shred our confidence, sap our motivation, and gradually tear down our desire to create at all.

“And if I’ve learned one thing,” said animated movie Frozen director and screenwriter Jennifer Lee during a University of New Hampshire commencement speech in 2014, “it’s that self-doubt is one of the most destructive forces….Self-doubt is consuming and cruel and my hope is today that we can all collectively agree to ban it.”

Unfortunately, if we think we can somehow live life without it, we’re going to be disappointed. I’ve learned through lots of interviews with creative people that it’s a common companion, no matter how successful you get.

That doesn’t mean, however, that we have to let it mess with us. Below are three signs that self-doubt is trying to destroy your creative world—and what you can do to stop it.

1. Your work isn’t fun anymore.

You’re dreading, or worse, avoiding your writing time. You slog through the pages like you’re walking through a four-foot drift. When people ask you how it’s going, you change the subject, roll your eyes, or shrug your shoulders.

“Okay,” you say, and let it go at that.

Something’s wrong, but you’re not sure what. Could be that you’re tired—not enough sleep or too much stress in your life. Maybe you’ve been eating a lousy diet or you’ve avoided your exercise.

But beware, because this could be the work of the self-doubt demon. It lurks around at the edges of your subconscious mind, feeding you destructive messages about how your work is going nowhere, and is a complete waste of time.

In other words, it’s a huge killjoy.

Action Step

If you’ve noticed that you just can’t get excited about your work these days, take a moment to think back. Maybe some event preceded how you feel. A rejection, critical review, or even an offhand comment from a friend. Maybe someone said something about how much money you make (or don’t) as a writer, or you came to the realization that your book just hasn’t sold well.

Maybe it was your own thought that started it all. “I don’t really know what I’m doing. It’s been five years and I haven’t gotten as far as I hoped.”

Somewhere along the way, a seed was planted, and self-doubt grew.

Once you discover what started it all, write it down. (If you can’t remember, just write down your main doubting thought.) Seeing the cause or even just the thought in black-and-white can help it feel less powerful.

Next, ask yourself if you’ve been here before. Has this type of statement or event (like a rejection) triggered this feeling in you in the past? Do you remember attaching a lot of significance to a similar opinion or event in your life? If so, did you overcome it?

If you’re still writing, the answer is “yes.”

Realize that self-doubt is habitual. Finding evidence of similar feelings in the past can help you realize that this is just a pattern, and that you don’t have to give it so much power or significance. The more you see evidence of that, the less pressure and heaviness you’ll feel, which will help you more quickly get back to the fun of creating.

2. You’re not showing anyone your work.

You say that it’s not ready yet, but when you go to work on your manuscript, you know you’re tinkering. It’s time, but you keep finding reasons to wait.

Reasons to hide.

One of the biggest mistakes I made in my writing career was failing to submit often enough. It was only when I finally got ticked off at my lack of progress that I splurged on submissions. Shortly after that, I got my first novel publishing contract.

Looking back, I know that I feared rejection. I kept thinking if I could make the submission perfect, maybe I could avoid the pain, but that’s not how it works.

I know now that it’s better for your overall career to keep writing—move on to the next project, and the next—while getting your old work out there. Even if you don’t get it published, you’ll learn something, either through editor/agent comments or just by gaining some space from your work, and moving onto the next project.

Most likely, if you’re not sharing your work, self-doubt has a hold on you.

Action Step

Create a submission schedule. Send your story or poem or novel out to five places at a time (journals, magazines, editors, agents, your choice). If and when they come back, send them out to five more. Then move on to your next project.

Ignore the doubt. Just do the work. Gradually, the doubt will fade on its own, or it won’t, but you won’t be allowing it to slow your progress.

3. You’re comfortable where you are.

On the surface, everything looks good.

You’re writing. You’re producing material. Maybe you’re publishing and selling your stuff. You’re blogging and interacting with other writers. You’re content.

Sounds good, right? So what does this have to do with self-doubt?

Content means comfortable. And comfortable means stagnation.

“My personal research,” says life coach Ibukunolu, “revealed that unsuccessful people are often stagnant; they hate change, in fact majority of them vehemently fight change because of fear of the unknown. On the other hand, the same research revealed that successful people are constantly evolving, constantly creating, constantly exploring, constantly improving, and constantly moving forward; they love change, in fact they thrive on risks and uncertainties.”

Have you gotten too comfortable? Do you have a hard time remembering the last time you were nervous, or worried about your work? That spells “SAFE” in big red letters, and safe likely means you doubt your ability to go any further.

There’s nothing wrong with resting for awhile at a certain level of achievement, but if you stop there for too long, you’ll soon start to go backwards.

“Once you stop learning, you start dying,” Albert Einstein said.

Action Step

Get bored.

That’s right. Make some space in your life.

Give yourself at least thirty minutes a day for at least a week when you have NOTHING on your calendar.


Boredom has been shown in studies to encourage creativity, and you need new, creative ideas to challenge yourself. In one 2014 study, for instance, the group of participants that were most bored scored the highest on tests of creativity.

During that 30 minutes, jot down ideas for your next project—something that’s beyond anything you’ve done so far. Maybe a novel if you’ve written mostly short stories. Maybe a self-published book if you’re traditionally published. Maybe a speaking event, online workshop, or new video feature on your blog.

There are two benefits to this approach. One, you’ll have a week’s worth of new ideas by the time you’re done. Surely one of these will excite you enough to get you to take action.

Two, that excitement will help shadow any self-doubt you feel about being able to stretch yourself. Finding a project you can sink your teeth into—and that you feel, instinctively, is the next step you need to take—can motivate you to move beyond any doubts you have to give it a try.

Don’t Believe What Self-Doubt Tells You

These are just a few of the ways that self-doubt shows its ugly head in our lives. There are many others.

Your best bet is to stay alert. When you catch those destructive thoughts sneaking in, try to step back from them. Realize that they come up for a number of reasons, but the least likely one is that they’re true.

Instead, it could be an ingrained thinking pattern, stress, exhaustion, how you were raised, or just the fact that you’re a sensitive, creative person.

Whatever self-doubt is telling you, don’t bother arguing with it. Take meaningful action that will help you get excited about your work again, because when you’re working and actually involved in (instead of just thinking about) the creative process, that’s usually when you feel most confident.

Have you struggled with self-doubt? How did you get past it? Please share your thoughts.


Sandi Mann and Rebekah Cadman, “Does Being Bored Make Us More Creative?” Creativity Research Journal, May 8, 2014; 26(2): 165-173,

C Story

Colleen M. Story writes imaginative fiction and is also a health writer, instructor, and motivational speaker specializing in creativity, productivity, and personal wellness. She is the founder of Writing and Wellness, a motivational site for writers and other creatives. Her latest novel, Loreena’s Gift, was released with Dzanc Books April 12, 2016. Her fantasy novel, Rise of the Sidenah, is a North American Book Awards winner, and New Apple Book Awards Official Selection (Young Adult). Find more at her website, or follow her on Twitter.

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The Best of Hard Times

Of late you could say that things have been hard. But before you take some kind of pity on me, let me say that these have also been some of the best times of my life. It’s a paradox hard to come to terms with, and one that has left me deep in thought. If you have been following my blog, you know the story, or at least parts of it.

So let me enlighten you a little, and see if in doing so I may also be able to help you when you are going through tough, but awesome days as well.

Love and Marriage

Finding the woman I love and getting married has been the most wonderful thing on the planet. I mean, Abby is the light of my life, and I have never loved anyone as much as I love her, and never had as much fun with anyone either.

At the same time, she has an incurable and unpredictable disease. One week she is fine, the next not so much. It is a much tougher position for her of course: she has to go through the pain, the lack of energy, and the frustration.

I knew early on the role of caregiver would fall heavily on my shoulders, and because of the love I have for her, I don’t object at all. But that does not mean it is not hard sometimes. The unpredictability is the hardest: it is really tough to plan anything other than tentative events.

Still, we’re growing together and we are having some really fantastic times together, and I would not trade being by her side for anything. Times are good, and times are hard at the same time.

Career Shifting

In the last year I have gone from being 100% freelance to part freelance, part day job. Things I thought would be long term parts of my career have taken a back seat or disappeared altogether, and it looks like I am headed a whole different direction.

Fiction writing has been slow. The unpredictable thing mentioned above, along with balancing the interests of a really cool and really involved teenager and all of us coming together as a new family, have combined to make setting aside consistent time to write difficult.

I’ve come to a crossroads where I need to make more money, so I really need to decide what direction I am going: am I going to get a Bachelor’s and head for a Masters? Am I getting my real estate license and doing that on the side, while continuing with my writing and hoping to make some investments in property? Or do I stay where I am and get on a career track balancing them and freelance work?

You see the dilemma I am sure. Where do I go to school, and how do I find the time? What happens if Abby gets sick? Do I have jobs I can keep working, classes I can attend online? How do I balance all of this and still have time for a life?

What About Friends?

I used to be heavy into writers groups and out with my friends all the time. But with the new job, the new family (where I actually like staying home and spending time with them) I have been doing the typical newlywed isolation thing, even when Abby is well.

So I have not been getting out as much. I have been a pretty shitty friend, and I miss large parts of my friend group I have not seen in a while. There are times when I just feel overwhelmed with it all. I miss that one aspect of my life, while other parts are going really well.

It’s hard, and it is good. I almost feel depressed sometimes at how much I want to get back into the social and writing group swing of things, and yet euphoric at how our son is blossoming and how wonderful spending time with my new bride is.

So how do I handle these things? Well, I do not always handle them well. But thanks to counseling and many things I have learned over the last few years about self-care, most of the time I try to use the RAIN method something taught by Tara Brach.

Recognize: Check in on yourself and see how you are feeling. This is something that takes some getting used to.

A few times I check in and find that in a positive situation, I am actually feeling a little down, as if I am missing something. Others, I am feeling frustrated and angry due to some event from my past similar to the situation I am in. The emotion is triggered in the present by those past events, and I need to recognize what the emotion is, and if possible what is causing it.

Allow: What we resist, persists. So it is important to give space to the emotion, and allow it to exists. It is okay to have negative feelings about a situation.

What is more important is how you react to them, and what place you allow them to have in your life. However, simply pushing down or denying an emotion seldom works long term. You need to simply allow the emotion to be.

Investigate: Determine where you feel the emotion? Is it in your head, your gut, your heart? As you deal with or process through the emotion, does it move? Does it hurt less?

Nurture: Realize in a non-judgmental way that the emotion exists, but that it is simply a passing cloud, and does not need to define you.

Last, have a safe space in your mind that you can go to. A place that is peaceful and calms and soothes your spirit.

Is this a perfect way to make the best of hard but good times? Maybe not. Is it hard? Yes. Does it work for everyone? No, probably not.

But taking the time to follow RAIN has helped me deal with these issues better, at least mentally. As for the rest, all I can try to do is be the best husband, worker, and friend I can be. And if I fail, forgive me. After all, it is the best of hard times.

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Seattle Bound

seattleAt the end of my last blog post, I told all of you that we were probably Seattle bound for another experimental surgery for Abby. In a matter of a day, we know the dates, and it is coming up fast. We’ll be heading over very early in the morning Tuesday, February 9th to make her pre-surgical appointment that afternoon with one of the best GI docs in the country, and arguably the world.

On Wednesday, Abby is the first scheduled surgery of the day. We want to express how much we appreciate everything you all have done for us. I appreciate all of you who read our most recent story on her blog and on mine, and shared it with others. Your prayers, positive thoughts and wishes, and your comments and likes inspire us.

In the huge outpouring of support, we’ve been asked over and over how people can help. I’ll be blunt. This is our greatest need: this whole thing has been a huge financial hardship. Between time off work for doctor’s visits and hospitalization and paying cash for Abby’s college,  our budgets have been stretched to their limits. Now, in the middle of wedding planning, we’re not sure how much Abby will be able to work, and we have to take more time off work and pay for a trip to Seattle

So we need your help financially. Some family has offered support, but it doesn’t cover everything. We’ve set up a joint Paypal account for this reason. You can donate to it here. Even if you don’t have a Paypal account, you can still donate using the button below and use your debit or credit card.

Every little bit helps, even if all you can afford is the price of a latte. If you can’t help financially, believe me we understand. If you can share this post with your friends, that means a bunch too.

Thanks again for all of your thoughts, prayers, and for any help you can offer.


The Awakening

hralthHer health concerns are something I have known about from the beginning of our relationship. We’ve endured a few hospital visits, even some blood transfusions, and some iron infusions with the attendant allergic reactions.

Okay, let me back up for those not in the social media realm of things. Abigail Morehouse is my fiancé, and an amazing survivor. She is one of seven people in the world to be diagnosed with an intestinal bleeding disorder so rare it doesn’t even have a name, So every procedure they do on her is experimental, every treatment a gamble. You can go over to her blog here to see more details and the history.

Our relationship is young, nearing a year old, and things have been good for her health wise, but lately things have been a little more concerning.

Early Monday morning, Indie, my old dog, woke me up, and I thought he wanted to go outside. But he didn’t seem too enthusiastic about that. Twenty minutes later, I found out why he really wanted to wake me up. Abby called me from the other side of the bed.

Once she called my name a number of times, and I woke up, her voice shook.

“Something’s wrong,” she said. “I have to go to the bathroom, and I can’t get up. I ache so bad.”

I got her to her feet, and she was sobbing. “I can’t do it.”

She was right. Not even five steps later, she was on the ground. She was going to get sick, and so I rushed for the bathroom waste basket. Then I called 911. The paramedics came, and then the ambulance. They transported her, and

I followed.

Her hematocrit and hemoglobin (numbers that indicate the amount of blood in your body) were 5 and 20, so far south of normal they were critical. It’s the worst I have ever seen her, and close to the worst she’s ever been.

It was a roller coaster. Two units of blood later, her numbers were not that much better, and she didn’t feel good either. She kept saying something was not right, but her numbers were just good enough that we thought we might go home.

Her body knew better, and so did she. Another blood draw told us: she had still been bleeding, and her numbers had dropped. She needed more blood. We were staying another night.

The roller coaster was real, emotions high and low. But the decision was the right one.

After a better night, the news was both good and bad. Her numbers were better, and this incident was at least stable.

But added to that was a doctor recommendation, that we go to Seattle in the next one to two weeks for another experimental surgery. We’re glad there might be some additional help that will make a difference. But the timing, financially with us planning for a wedding, Abby in her final semester at school, and with a new job?

We headed home. Abby was feeling better. Not perfect, but better.

Three days in the hospital. Stress does not trigger her symptoms, but it certainly doesn’t help anyone. We both missed three days of work, a blow to any budget. Not to mention the stress of just being behind.

So that’s where we’re at. Keep us in your thoughts. Thanks for everyone who has been so supportive in so many different ways. For those who want to know how they can help, once we know when we are going to Seattle, and for how long, I’ll post more information here.

Until then, again, thank you. We love and appreciate every one of you.