What I Do

What I Do

How I spend my days has changed a lot since the diagnosis of Hepatitis C. I work full time during the school year. I currently teach high school Language Arts. I am certified in Business, Special Education, and Computer Technology. Literature is my love, so please do not judge my grammar and usage. I teach from a creative viewpoint and grade content before structure. I take into account each students learning style and meet them where they are. In my classroom, everyone is a genius. Teaching is just a matter of leading them to discover how they are smart. I advocate life-long learning and do my best to promote curiosity. While I have taught at the college level before my Hepatitis C diagnosis, I now rest when I need to. Everything I say and do is filtered by my current level of brain fog and energy.

Since clearing the virus, I am able to lead a more active life in my community, but my priorities have changed. There is a newfound passion to create awareness for Hepatitis C. I feel connected to those who silently suffer symptoms without knowing why. I share in the lives of you who are making health decisions just like I do: without a lot of background knowledge. I need to know more, so I turn to those who have the knowledge. Then I ponder it for a while and talk to you about it. I experiment with new ways of helping my liver fibrosis to heal. I exercise great caution when writing to you about everything from medication to diet, lifestyle, and nutrition.

I use many ways to connect with a variety of sources through social networking. Some days I will slosh my way through a medical review journal, a nutrition blog, and a fun Youtube. Most days I keep up with online friends through forums, facebook, Linkedin, and google+. Good words are my soul food.

These things I do daily: Listen to my spirit, mind, and body. Read inspirational and educational texts relating to personal growth. Carve out a quiet time. Eat well and exercise. Love, Love, Love.

I have always kept a journal and encourage you to do the same. Some days mine is a last will and testament – a goodbye to my family. Many days it is filled with symptoms, doctor’s notes, and lab results. Mostly it is scribbled notes and quotes that I clutch in an effort to understand Hepatitis C and liver disease while my body strains toward life.

With a little sass mouth, and one hand on my hip I can also say that I do whatever the heck I want to. When you feel that your days are numbered you see things from a new vantage point. You find courage to take more risks. That is what I do anyway. Karen 🙂

What I Do ihelpc
“Oh. Come on. You know you wanna read the part of Macbeth”.

I let my students “use technology” in the classroom. One of my girls snuck a pic with her cell phone.

BTW – that is NOT what I call using technology in the classroom.

14 thoughts on “What I Do

  1. Karen, you sure are an intelligent lady. For having these — Business, Special Education, and Computer Technology….and now you are blogging about Hepatitis C…you have a flair for writing. Loved it when you described yourself during the End Stage of Hepatitis C… “I was as yellow as a daffodil.”

    Also, I live your outlook in life. You have full of hope and truly an inspiration to a lot of people. You are a special lady. I hope to get to know you better.


    1. Angela, I’m happy that our paths crossed also. With school starting this week, my time on the site will be crunched.

      I accept your compliment while blushing and thankful, but feel that every single person suffering from this could write the same story. The community of people with Hep c and liver disease is very diverse. We are a family in many ways.

      Thank you for taking the time to encourage me on my journey.

      I hope your weekend is awesome,
      xo Karen:)

  2. Karen, this is just to say sort of publicly here that you are a wonderful person. You are compassionate, kind, generous and courageous, and your attitude is genuinely inspiring.

    I especially love that you’re not judgmental of those who can’t find it in them to be upbeat about their prognosis – too often in America, if you can’t stay positive, you’re labeled a loser whose poor attitude is really the reason why your health is failing. But maybe this attitude is slowly changing too… putting moral labels on depression (especially one associated with other health problems) and anxiety is a pet peeve of mine.

    But you embrace everyone without judging them, no matter how they feel, and try to make them feel better, and help motivate them to do something for themselves, and that’s just awesome. Thank you.

    1. Well, it is awesome that I waited til I felt better to catch up on comments. I really needed this today. Please don’t take this wrong. Did you ever just sit and praise a puppy and watch them wiggle and wag their tail. That’s me right now. lol. Thank YOU!

      On a serious note, you make a great point regarding attitudes. Many individuals in all areas of society have this need to label. Maybe it’s to help them feel safe in their own mental place. By avoiding labeling anything as good or bad, we open our hearts to love. Just love. That leads to compassionate understanding of others. It also means acceptance of ourselves wherever we are.

      I believe you and I could write a blog about this! We agree on all points. Again, life has been challenging the last several weeks and I have to admit that some praise just feels good right now. I love your heart and receive it just as you spoke it.

      Love right back atcha!
      x0 Karen:)

  3. I am impressed Karen. Your words are very encouraging to the discouraged. Enlightening to those in the darkness. I see you are currently teach high school Language Arts, certified in Business, Special Education, and Computer Technology? Hmmm you seem a little wishy washy on your career goals. i would work on that. I am kidding. Keep up the wonderful work.

    1. Hey there, it is so nice of you to write in. You are so right, Karen lifted me up like no other medication could do. She made me see that there were other ways to think, more positive. Funny about her career goals. She does so many things it is amazing.
      Looking over her blog she has great ideas for exercise, diet, how to get through the side effects of treatment for HCV, for cancer and transplant. She is such a miracle to me. We have been friends since we treated together in 2011 and I am amazed at all she has accomplished. The biggest gift to me is that she will go on helping others as she has been helped. I just love her. Thanks so much for writing. Many people read, just a few write and it lifts my spirits so much to connect with others in similar situations.
      Bless you Dee

      1. I agree you you Dee. It is great to share with others who know first hand the struggle to get this far has been. I am a member of the Liver Transplant support group she is a member of. I had my transplant Nov of 2014 so the daily struggle is still there but gets better day by day. Cheers to you both. !!

        1. Awww…thank you so very much. I agree, any way that we can share will help people who are feeling isolated as we once felt. I felt very alone for a long time after my diagnosis. There is alot of ignorance out there. Even among people who have HCV, they are not aware of the new treatments, don’t know they can be cured now. Also I don’t think some realize that if they could just change their diet a bit they would receive so many rewards. I met someone who needed a transplant, or so she was told, she changed her diet to help her liver function better got rid of the HCV and now they are saying she no longer needs a transplant. I am sure it is rare for that to happen but it such good news and gives others (like me) hope for the future. Thanks so much for your kind reply. It means a lot to me. Wow, you are new in your recovery from the liver transplant. I had read the body needs a year to recover from such a major operation. You will soon be celebrating your anniversary, I am so happy to hear your story! Thank you so much! Dee

        2. Bob,
          You’ve recovered so well! I wonder how much you are able to walk? You’re about 5 months ahead of me. I was just told to keep it under 3 miles a day. I wear a fitbit tracker and every step around the house counts too!
          xo Karen:)

    2. Bob,
      At first I thought Huh? Then I lol. It’s funny how all of that education and experience landed me here blogging about liver disease. I could use a refresher course on the computer technology stuff! It changes constantly!
      xoxo Karen:)

      1. Cheers Karen. I know what you mean. Sometimes i am typing and forget what or who i am talking to 🙂 . Its been 6.5 months and i been on as long as 4-5 hrs walkabouts per day. I walk as much as i can handle. I have been meaning to join YMCA for a low impact exercise program of some type but not right now with a low WBC, be easy to catch anything. Very soon though. The one thing i am careful abut is lifting an such. Have to be careful about hernias. I have been fortunate on my road to recovery. Been relatively smooth. Hit a few bumps but still on the road. You will get stronger day by day i can assure you then look back and say 3 miles? pfffffff nothin. Take care and stay on that smooth road! Keep up the great work you are doing.

        1. Hey Bob, I don’t know where you are but please be careful in the heat. The heat is really bad here in Virginia. We are going to have some storms soon. I hope it cools us down. The mid western states are really getting hit with storms, hurricanes and I pray for everyone to remain safe. Karen’s doctor told her to be careful or she could get a hernia. You don’t want that. I hope where ever you are you are cool. The heat is really affecting me today. Take Care Cee

  4. So true Dee. Nice to chat with you. My way of thinking is it happened, its in the past can’t change anything, what can I do about the future, now that i have one. Keep on keeping on!!

    1. You are so right, there is no sense in mourning the past. I just need to find my new reality and do the best where ever I can. Thanks for your encouraging post, I appreciate, Dee

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