--WARNING: LENGTHY, LENGTHY POST.--
Dallas. Like i said in my previous post, I had the opportunity to intern with an amazing dietitian in Dallas who works with people struggling with eating disorders or disordered eating (I use eating disorders and disordered eating interchangeable in this post so forgive me for those whom it offends). It's funny. In the dietitian world, it is sorta said that "one either loves eating disorders and runs towards them or one hates them and runs far away". I have always had a desire to work with those struggling with ED (eating disorders) but wasn't sure if it would be my cup of tea. I was hoping this rotation would atleast reveal what my desires truly were. And it did. My desire for working with ED patients grew and my fire was lit to dig deeper into the world of ED. I learned more during those few weeks than I could ever sum up, but my favorite thing I "learned" during those weeks is that this world is so broken. (I have known this for a while now, thanks to Jesus, but He shows me His ways and our brokenness in new ways often). The patients/clients we saw are just like you and me. They are no different. I feel like ED often has some sort of stigma or taboo with it. I actually feel like it has many. Like eating disorders are wrong and that those struggling are weak. Or eating disorders shouldn't be talked about and those who have them should be looked down upon. Or that girl has an eating disorder, and if she wanted to get better, she'd just stop _____. This list could go on, but we have so many skewed views of ED in our society, but in reality it comes down to all of us are struggling. Whether you or I have a diagnosed eating disorder and are seeking treatment, or not, we are still in a broken world and we are having to fight off lies daily. ED shows no "favor" towards gender, age, type, style, etc. And many, many are struggling. Some of the patients I saw are some of the strongest people i have ever had the opportunity to come into contact with. They are fighting a daily battle, that they are choosing to not be defeated by. I learned i need to open my eyes, and be so sensitive to those around me and my words. I was also challenged by the strength, courage, perseverance and diligence I saw in the patients. I hope to have half of that one day.
Time in between. So although I only had about 5 days in between dallas and vail, I had a big thing happen to me. About six months ago I learned I was allergic to kiwis. I loved this fruit, and ate it often until 1 night I had an AWFUL reaction. After a 15 hour allergic reaction, and the sickest i have ever been,it was very evident I was allergic. I was bummed but it was nothing in the scheme of things. About 4 months after that, i had a similar but not nearly as severe reaction after eating egg whites one night for dinner. I wasn't sure if i was the egg whites or something else, but sort of thought it could be another new allergy. After a course of tests, we decided to do an "oral challenge". In a quick summary- you eat a food in the doctors office under medical supervision after being off medications for 5 days and see if you are allergic. Well, after 8g of hard boiled egg it was very evident i was allergic. My doctor and his nurses were great, and I was totally fine after an epi shot and some meds. I am bummed I cant eat eggs anymore and have to avoid all things eggs are in. Eating out is hard, since eggs and eggwhites are used in almost everything. Breads, baked goods, some wines, etc. And now i have to be very aware, and it will just take some time to get used to. But this put a lot into perspective. My egg and kiwi allergy is nada compared to those who struggle with multiple severe food allergies. I have seen patients allergic to wheat, soy, milk, and gluten. Try to have a "normal" meal you eat daily without those items. I took for granted being able to eat or take a bite of anything I wanted, without having to worry what was in it. Now i have to be a bit more aware. But there are so many people out there that can't eat out, or can't eat X at birthday dinners or go out to celebrate or go to a dinner party or etc. It may sound dramatic and I dont mean to be making a bigger deal out of something, but again, the Lord is teaching me so much about others. It is so easy for me to get in my ways and wear blinders, but in the smallest of experiences, He loves to remind me to take off those blinders and see those he loves in this world a little differently. I appreciate so much those who live "normal" with multiple food allergies.
Vail. A much needed vacation. It was so wonderful to get some time out of school mode and time full of family and relaxation in God's beautiful creation. My parents, sister, brother-in-law, nephew and brett (boyfriend) all got to spend 4-5 days in a condo in Vail, about 3 minutes from Vail Village. We went white water rafting, girls spent a day at the spa (:)), and spent an afternoon mountain biking down a mountain after eating lunch at the top. We got to laugh a lot, and spend time without distractions. One thing I love about Colorado is the people you come into contact with and get to share stories with. One of our encounters that is heavy on my mind is our white water guide, Miguel. He was somewhat quiet on the ride to the river, and I pre-judged him to be a quite guy with not much to say. The Lord showed me how wrong I was, again. This guy was a guy full of life and full of adventure and experiences. Not only did he save our life on the river, multiple times (we were terrible. the water was low, we were scared, he had to get out and get us "unstuck" multiple times), he did it in the most graceful, merciful way. Always encouraging us and never said a negative thing. On the way back he continued to share is life with us. There is something about the "mountain-life mentality" that challenges me. He loves life. he loves what he does everyday.He truly said he had no complaints. I'm sure there is someone he knows struggling or sick. He told us he doesn't know what he'll be doing in a couple of years. He probably doesn't make much money, and he probably doesn't live in the most extravagant house. But he loves life, and what he is doing. I hope that regardless of circumstances, I will be one who loves life and all that it throws at me.
Here are some pics from the trip..
|My dad and I in Vail Village|
|Cale Cooper- my favorite (and only :)) nephew|
|At the top of the mountain with my handsome boyfriend|
|Two of the greatest people I know. My parents.|
I could say so much and have so much more to share about all of the above but i am done for now. Again, God is good. His creation, His plan, His ways. This world is so broken. We are messed up. But He is good. and it continues to be good.