March Coffee Date & SPECIAL Giveaway!

on March 28, 2018

It’s been a while since we talked. I mean, really talked. So this month, let’s have a coffee date (and a giveaway, because, why not).

I mixed up my monthly recap last month, and thought I’d try a new style again for March, in the style of Carolann’s monthly coffee dates. As a treat for you all, I also have a giveaway at the bottom of this post! I’m giving away a piece of handmade (by me!) pottery, as well as 10 free subscriptions to the popular GPS My City app. Just scroll to the bottom to see the details. Otherwise, sit down and have a coffee with me 🙂

the mug in question – you could win this lil pottery baby!

If we were having a coffee date…

You’d be drinking coffee and I would probably be drinking mint tea. You’d ask me “how are things going with me lately?” And I’d raise my eyebrows and let out a big sigh.

In one hand I hold the good things, in the other I hold the bad. There’s not a lot in between, lately.

In Chicago during Dan’s visit.

Should we do the good first?

Dan visited. I have to say, we have the art of the long distance relationship down, but nothing is better than being together. We spent a weekend in Chicago, but also did a lot of normal things like walk the dog, catch up on TV, go to the gym. I asked him if he ever wished we lived in the same city and could just meet for a weekly gym date, or even like, go grocery shopping together… He just looked at me and said “Um. All the time.” Which pretty much sums of up long distance relationships. He’s back 5,000 miles away in England now but I am already planning my trip to visit him (and my first return visit to England!).

I got a job. After a month of half-heartedly applying for jobs and then another month of manically applying for jobs, I finally got one! I have been doing freelance travel and yoga writing, but it is wonderful to now have an in-person job that is therapy-relevant (I’m based in a nursing home).

I started my half-marathon fundraiser. And so many of you donated! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You can read more about the women I’m running for and why here.

The pottery came out of the kiln. After months of making pottery, it all came out of the kiln at once! It is a special feeling to see the final result of something I worked on for so long. Some pieces I love, and others are a bit wonky. For my giveaway I’m giving someone a teacup I made that has my favorite glaze style of all! More details at the end of this post 🙂

tea cup waiting for a new home 🙂 and one of the best parts of my month was finding this finished on the kiln shelf!!

But the bad?

No matter how many good things happen (and as you read there were some special ones this month!), there is a dark undertone to everything for me. That, as you may guess if you have been reading my blog posts these last few months, is my health.

I feel like I am on a pendulum of emotion when it comes to my stomach health. I’m currently going through a battery of assessments and investigations. I visit doctor after doctor and one day I am incredibly optimistic and hopeful, and the next all that hope evaporates. I guess this ‘pendulum’ is unavoidable during the investigation period, but part of me wonders if I will ever know what is wrong with me. I’ve cried in more than one doctors’ parking lot this month.

I do not mean to be vague or mysterious about my health, but I also don’t know how much detail you guys want or are interested in. I’ll go into a bit more detail than I previously have, for those who are interested. (For those who are not, feel free to skip to the giveaway section).

good amidst the bad? spring is coming 🙂

My health investigations in March

In February I was diagnosed with IBS-C after my colonoscopy showed no Crohns or Colitis. IBS is a syndrome which is a diagnosis of exclusion and basically is an umbrella term that refers to multiple disorders with a huge variety of symptoms, many of which doctors are as yet unable to identify.

This month, however, my doctor switched my IBS medication because the first one was not effective. I then had an allergic reaction to the new medication – It was very scary as I couldn’t breathe and it was after hours for the doctor. The thing is there are only two medications for IBS-C and now both were not options for me.

So I am being investigated for a motility disorder now, instead of IBS, and will be seeing a specialist in another state. When I asked my gastroenterologist what the cure is for motility disorders he said, I quote, “well there is no cure except for surgically removing the bowel.” Cue me crying in the parking lot part 1.

I am currently completing a Sitz Marker study. I had to take three pills with these tiny radioactive rings in them. I am getting X-Rays to follow the progress of the rings through my digestive system. This is a pretty rudimentary and outdated test method but it is a start. I have my final X-Ray on Friday.

I also got interesting and potentially life changing news. My doctor finally looked at my food intolerance test from December, and what I thought were mostly mild food intolerances, turns out are allergies. In particular, I apparently have a very severe allergy to yeast. Go figure. However there is not a lot of information out there on yeast allergies or what the heck yeast is even in. So far I have not altered my diet, but I am seeing an allergist in April so I’m hoping for some clarification then and have been told I might have to go through immunotherapy.

a gorgeous day in Chicago this month, taking my mind off the doctors visits.

Have I made you lose your appetite yet? Good thing we are just having coffee 😉

In any case, as a treat for making it all the way through this rather raw and unprecedented life/heath update, here’s the giveaway!

GIVEAWAY: Win Handmade Pottery or a Travel App!

As I mentioned, I’m giving away a beautiful (if I do say so myself!) handmade tea cup. It has a soft pink, purple, blue, and white glaze. It’s slightly smaller than a normal coffee cup. It is both microwave and dishwasher safe! I made this mug by hand, from throwing it on the wheel, to glazing it and everything in between. I want it to find a happy home!

one handmade teacup looking for a new home!

To win the mug, enter the rafflecopter giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am also giving away 10 free subscriptions to GPS My City! The subscription service you could win is good for one year, with 1,000+ cities, and a $19 value! I have been a fan of GPS My City for a long time and have multiple of my blog posts on their app. Basically, they are an app where you can download travel blog posts which are transformed into walking maps for you. They contain GPS but you don’t need data or internet to use them if you have the subscription service!

All you need to do to be entered in the GPS My City giveaway is leave one blog post comment answering this question:

What would you like to read about on Endless Distances?

Yoga routines? More detailed health posts? My health story? Travel health tips? Supplements? Specific travel posts (England? Michigan? Other places)? Skincare or beauty? You name it!

 

Best of luck everyone – Giveaway closes on April 11!

In the meantime, I’d love to know your plans for April 🙂

 

Sarah xx

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