Whew! After 4 long years of struggling to get through school, my wife has finally graduated from Nursing School. She is now officially an R.N. (Registered Nurse).
This is so awesome because it has been a struggle for both of us over the past 4 years. We have both struggled with school, finances, time, and more. Now, this chapter in our lives is finally over, and we can move on without school constantly dragging us both down (it was consuming so much time, and money). Yes! I am so happy she is finally done with nursing school forever.
We both look forward to the future. Hopefully now we will be able to get a house within the next 6 months or so, and no more studying & working for free all the time (those darn nursing clinicals). Yippee! I am super excited to hopefully be getting out of this sardine can (aka apartment) soon, and into a real house with some land. I think the hives will be so much better (if not gone), once I get a house & can get outside, eat better, filter & soften the water, & so forth.
I am so proud of my wife. She has worked so hard to get this degree, and she has made so many personal sacrifices. She graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors, which is pretty darn good considering the nursing program she was in is known for being very difficult.
My Hives During Nursing School Graduation
This week was really crazy! My wife & I were busy the entire week cleaning the apartment, running errands, etc. On Friday she had her pinning ceremony & graduation practice. Then, on Saturday, my wife’s friend came in from out-of-town (she hasn’t seen her in 2 years), and she had the actual graduation ceremony on that day. After that, we had a huge party at my wife’s mother’s house. Then, on Sunday, it was Mother’s Day, so we went down to visit our Moms. So if you can imagine, it has been one crazy week, and I am still exhausted from everything (and my wife is too). But it was a great week, with lots of great memories & milestone achievements.
I am actually very happy about the hives during all of this. I have been secretly worrying about the hives for weeks & I feared some bad attacks in public during the ceremonies & parties (I hate public attacks with hives).
Luckily, I didn’t have 1 single attack in public! I am so happy that I was able to enjoy it. On the day of the pinning ceremony, it was like 90 degrees in the auditorium. I didn’t even get prickly. However, I did actually have a lot of pricklies that day before the ceremony when I was cleaning the apartment (and it was hot in here). So I did have some hives reactions to deal with, just not in public or during any of the fun festivities (I can deal with that).
Then, on graduation, I got through the whole thing without hives, including the after-party. It was a lot of fun too, and I was playing sports & running around like crazy. We had a huge water balloon fight, and I got pegged by like 15 balloons. I was soaked. I guess they figured I was the best target or something, lol. I have to admit that I was talking trash to everyone that I was going to peg them, so I guess I had it coming to me. We also played volleyball (with a big beach ball), and lots of other fun games.
I didn’t really “sweat” much at all, but at least I didn’t get too hivey. I did take Zyrtec-D on Friday & Saturday, which probably helped a little.
Some Random Thoughts on Cholinergic Urticaria, Life, and the Future
I try to stop & reflect back on life & evaluate the past, present, and my thoughts on the future. I have noticed that I do this a lot, so apparently I am really an “introspective” type of person (you learn something new about yourself ever day lol). I think the hives have contributed to this a lot, as it has forced me to really stop & think about a lot of things in my life while scrambling to make sense of my itching.
Anyway, I have to say that I am so much more positive about having cholinergic urticaria than I used to be in the past. I used to really let it bother me, and I had a really negative outlook on life, and the future. At some points, I didn’t even really want to live anymore. Not that I was suicidal really, I just didn’t see the point in living & suffering in this life. I really didn’t have much to look forward to, and the future just seemed so grim in every area of my life.
Not so now. I really feel as if I will be free of this condition one day soon. Not only that, but I feel like I am much better at managing attacks, and dealing with it psychologically. I don’t get down & depressed nearly as much as I used to about this time last year. Furthermore, I have really grown in a lot of other areas of my life, which is something that has really grounded me on a personal level. I am much more spiritual than ever, I have better relationships, I have a more positive outlook on life, and more. For the first time in a long time, I feel like life may be looking up.
Plus, it seems like we continue to find out a little more about cholinergic urticaria each week or month. We find new ways to deal with things. We hear new stories on the cholinergic urticaria forum about managing it, tests people have had, etc. So it is really great.
I am still not totally where I hope to be as a person. While I am optimistic about the hives, I still want them gone for good soon. I never want to have to worry about this again. I also want to continue to help others who have this, and I hope we can really find ways to make this go away for us all.
I also have a lot of indecision about my future career path at this point. I have tried several things over the past 7-9 years, and I have had some small successes & some failures. At this point, I still want to do something “big” in life, I just don’t know what. I have always felt like I would do something “big,” but then again, perhaps everyone feels this way?? It would just be nice if I had 1 great achievement in life. Even if that is all I ever do. I could live with being a “has-been.” I would actually enjoy it because at least I could say I did something big in life & always reflect back on that experience. But I fear being a “never-was.” I don’t think I could ever be satisfied with that.
I was actually watching a biography on Abraham Lincoln the other day, and at one point in his life (before he was well-known), he wrote that he had not yet done 1 single thing to make any man remember him if he died. This bothered him, and he worked harder in his career. Eventually (as most of you know), he went on to become one of the most well-known American Presidents, and being remembered consistently as one of the best presidents in history. I sometimes relate with what Lincoln said, and I hope I can be remembered for something I did in my career, even if only by my own family. Not that I want fame (I really don’t), or even great wealth. I do want decent money, but I just want to feel as if I found my “calling” in life, and did something with it.
I have slowly gotten burned out on business (the retail thing) over the past 2 years, and now I seriously question if I will be doing business stuff for the rest of my life. At one point, I had seriously been bitten by the “entrepreneurial bug.” But after having done this for a couple of years, and it not really achieving the level of success I had hoped for, I am really contemplating giving it up completely & moving on to something else. It did provide some sense of satisfaction (career-wise) for a while, but now it has tapered off and I feel unsatisfied with a career in business. I am quite frankly out of ideas, and out of motivation.
Plus, I am a bit of an anti-social type of person at times (I like my solitude), so it makes it rather difficult to start & manage a business. Just to show you how I don’t like a lot of social interaction, I am totally mentally exhausted from this week, and I have vowed to my wife that aside from our Dollywood trip we will take within the next month, I don’t want to be around people for at least a few weeks. It just totally drains me. I am really nice & outgoing (or at least I try to be) when I am around people, but I have to get away & recharge my batteries. I guess I am an “introvert.” My wife is the opposite, and actually loves being around people.
So What Now? Where Do I Go From Here?
I have considered lots of interesting future career paths: Writing/publishing books, something in film/movies, something in religion (such as online evangelism), possibly becoming a teacher (but I would have to finish my college degree…yuck), trying my hand at inventing something, or being some type of counselor to younger people, etc. I am basically trying to think of all the things I may be able to do well (that suits my personality & skills), and at the same time I have a genuine interest & passion about it.
I really have no clue what is best for me, and this is something I have struggled with for years now, and I still struggle every single day. I still remember when I graduated high school, and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. At that point, I have already worked at (and quit) many different jobs. I worked in retail for Walmart, Target, and Kmart. I worked in a hotel restaurant & did maintenance. I worked in telemarketing, and more.
In college, it was even worse. I dropped out, started a lawn care business, only to fail miserably. I then returned to college, did way better (I made the deans list for several semesters). I chose accounting as my major thinking I would earn a good living. I still can’t believe I chose that. That was a terrible mistake–not because accountants are poor (most make a great living), it is just that accounting is the total opposite of my personality (in fact, accounting was the part I hated most about my own business, and I actually thought I could do it for a living–go figure).
Then, I dropped out again a semester or two prior to graduation. I started doing online retail. It worked out well, but didn’t really make as much money as I had hoped. Plus I realized that the amount of time & money I was putting into it was really giving a poor return. I could be doing something much more efficient or productive with that time, and making more money (without all of the stress, investment, & aggravation). And there were lots of aggravations I didn’t realize once I started doing it, that really made it even less appealing. And my passion & interest in it has almost completely evaporated. So I have basically phased out that now.
So it appears that I am back where I started when I graduated from High School. I have no idea what I want to do. I have some ideas, which I guess I will have to sort through the next few months. I am just tired of having so much indecision about my career. I guess it is time to really think long & hard, and choose something for the long-haul & pour my heart & soul into it. I am just tired of constantly flip flopping on career paths, and never really getting anywhere. I need to find that one thing, and stick with it.
Some people (like my wife), are lucky. They know what they want to do from youth. My wife has always wanted a career in nursing, and has never struggled with this. Some people know they want to be singers, some want to be actors, some lawyers, etc. Many know exactly what they want to do from youth, and just constantly work on that one thing.
I have never really knew what I wanted to do, and now at 26 years old (soon to be 27 in a few months), I still don’t really have a clue. It is really strange too, because I see people I went to school with having careers. One guy is a local news anchor. 2 others are teachers at my old High School (my Nephew actually has them both for his classes). And here I am re-thinking my career path, without having achieved anything notable as of yet.
I just hope that I can figure this stuff out for good within the next year so I can move on with life & finally have a stable career. It would be nice to have a better income, a career identity, and to feel as if I am doing something I love that actually makes a difference in the world.
I suppose cholinergic urticaria also plays a big part in all of that, as it does somewhat affect our careers & day-to-day life. The hives have never forced me to quit a job, but it has influenced a decision to quit a job, and the possible career paths I have chosen.
This is especially true when outbreaks become frequent & severe, and yet we are forced to be in public during these events. That is something I really don’t like. So it would help tremendously if the hives do fade away within the next year & stay gone.
Well, I just wanted to give some updates about how the past week went. I hope everyone is doing well, and the hives go away soon!