Friday, May 6, 2016

Facing Forward: Ivy

Facing Forward is a series that shares the lives of people living with arthritis and other invisible chronic illnesses. The goal of the series is to see how we are similar and how we are different - and to remind us to keep moving forward because we aren't alone!

Name: Ivy
Location: Auburn, AL
Diagnosis & Age:
- PTSD at 3 years old
- Anxiety at 17 years old
- Depression at 17 years old
- Hypothyroidism at 17 years old
- Hashimoto's Thyroditis at 18 years old
- Sleep apnea at 20 years old
- Lupus in skin and joints at 20 years old

Currently being tested for:
- Fibromyalgia
- Explanation for lung troubles and nodules
- Explanation for pressure in my heart

How are you currently treating your condition?
I'm currently seeing a number of specialists and doing what they recommend. I am on multiple medications that I take daily. I was prescribed a couple for a few of my symptoms that I have yet to take. I just don't want to take more than my body really needs at this moment. I am not currently on a special diet or trying alternative treatments.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced since your diagnosis?
I've definitely struggled with accepting my diagnoses. I have always been incredibly independent, even as a child. I don't like knowing that I have to depend on others because I can't physically do everything on my own anymore. Another challenge was giving up school and work. I still haven't recovered from either of these.

What are your favorite tips and tricks for managing everyday tasks?
I think my favorite tip would be to know your body. I've learned how much energy each task takes and I've learned to prioritize my tasks. It's even gotten to the point that if I know I have plans one day I'll make sure I'm free to relax the day before and after those plans. I've always been one to over-schedule myself and my diagnoses have helped me leave time for myself and recovering if need be.

How do you manage to keep facing forward every day?
I want to say that I've completely managed this, but I haven't. One of my goals is to focus on my verse of encouragement for the month. I've written a specific verse in my planner for each month. I've also started a blog series for these verses and I create a beautiful printable of the verse both for myself and my readers. I also post a daily inspirational quote on my Instagram each morning. I use it to motivate myself, inspire my followers, and support artists.

If you could go back to diagnosis day and tell your past self one thing, what would it be?
Advocate, advocate, advocate. I would have told myself that I need to advocate for myself. I have spent the last four years trying to get my diagnosis correct and it could have been solved so much earlier had I just made my doctors listen to me or switched doctors all together.

Do you have a blog you would like to share?
Yes! My blog is labeled Perfectly Ambitious. I thought the name was fitting because even though my diagnoses are an obstacle, I am still incredibly ambitious and motivated to fulfill my dreams. My blog's three main focuses are: living, creating, and encouraging others to be perfectly ambitious. I also make sure to post about my spoonie life or tips on Saturdays, or as I like to call it "Spoonie Saturdays."

Would you like to be featured on Facing Forward? If so, please send an email to  

No comments: