Your Story : Carabeth

Aug 20, 2013 Your Story, Giving Back
i continue to be (& doubt it will stop ) in complete awe of the incredible stories for the i want to know YOUR story project...

along with the great courage that people have to be so open to share and allow us all to feel connected & not alone in this big world of ours.

and that's exactly it. the more stories i read, the more i am humbled & blessed.

thank you.
(you all know who you are! ).

without further ado,
please meet Carabeth.
this is her story.

who are you, where are you from, what excites you, what is your PASSION... what's your story?

Here goes nothing....

My name is Carabeth.
I am lupus, celiac, raynauds, sjogrens, anxiety, hope, fun, loving, and giving.

I am the animal advocate,
the caregiver,
the lover of books and all words,
the ex-nurse,
the baker,
the friend,
the yoga handicapped fool,
the ADD dreamer.
I am from the midwest.
I have lived in many different places in the United States but something always brings me home to Illinois.

Maybe it is the smell of clover in the summer or the warm scent of cow farms.
Maybe it is the winter snowfalls when we get in our cars and drive to the grocery to show we can in a snow storm.
Or the thunderstorms that are so beautiful and sound like a high school drum band that shakes the windows.
Maybe it is the crisp fall day where a sweatshirt is needed but the capri pants are still ok.
Maybe it is the food...the sloppy joes, pot roast and potatoes, corn on the cob at the summer fair.

And of course IT IS the people,
my family,
the kindness of us midwesterners,
the sound of "U betcha".
Or saying "Uff da" and people know what I mean.
It is home.
It is where I belong.
I have lupus.
Systemic lupus erythematosus.
It is an autoimmune disease affecting multiple systems in the body.

For me it has affected my skin, heart, kidneys, lungs,
and now my brain.

I have done a triathlon,
I have been on a swim team,
I have loved going to the gym,
I have loved using the stairclimber at the gym
but that has all changed.

Due to medications and severe fatigue, I am now squishy (sounds better than fat).
It makes me sad ..... I miss all the things I use to be and able to do.
Everything from triathlons to simply reading.
The lupus has not just affected me physically but also cognitively, so I now have a hard time even reading.
I used to read 3 books a week.
Now I am lucky to get through two a month.

I also have celiac disease (another autoimmune disease) in which gluten is no longer allowed in my diet...
raynauds, another autoimmune disease that affects my fingers and toes.
And then there is sjogrens, another autoimmune disease which affects my moisture producing glands.

Yes, I am an autoimmune walking freak. ha!

And to top it all off, I have suffered from anxiety and panic disorder since the age of 10...thirty years now.

But that is not all I am.
I will not let the medications and illnesses define me.
Yes, they take up a lot of time and energy but there is so much more that I am.

I am yoga handicapped and proud to admit it. I have given it the old college try and guess what?...I suck.
I thought yoga was suppose to be a peaceful, breathing, slow moving, class.
Little did I know, I managed to fall on a guy and his mat and knock his yoga block across the room,
then I fell into a pile of spin bikes (the class was held in a spin classroom) and
received dirty looks from the others in the class as the pedals were whirling away!
Last but not least, I went into some kind of downward dog position with a kick and lo and behold, I kicked a picture off the wall.
At this point I am sweating, breathing like a hyena in heat, and as red as a ripe tomato.

Yup, I am also clumsy. I took that moment to gather my things and leave.
As I am leaving the class I can hear a sigh of relief from the others...
hmm, guess yoga isn't for me. haha!

But I am loving, giving,
even though I have problems cognitively now, I STILL and will ALWAYS love books and words,
I am an ex nurse who loves to care for others,
I will fight the hard fight for ANY and ALL animals!
And on days when I can, I bake and dream.
Many, many, dreams of what I could be and do....I am an ex triathlete.
I am me...Carabeth.
You ask what excites me....a good day excites me.
A day where I feel well enough to do things such as bake, walk the dog,
and DREAM of all the things I wish I could do and be.
A bookstore excites me.
I can stay for hours just touching, smelling, wandering, and passing time.
When I am gone for the day, coming home to my pug, Lula excites me.
Weird I know, but she is just as excited to see me as I am to see her.
what are 3 words that describe you & your LIFE?

Three words to describe me and my life:


what do you love? who do you LOVE?

Love....I love my wife...
Her name is Kim and she is the most important person in my life.

She has been here for the ups, downs, and in betweens.
Doctors, endless hours in used bookstores, in shape, squishy, holding me while I cry with pain and sorrow.
Listening with an open heart and mind.

She is my love, my life, my companion, my best friend.
I love every single quality about her.
I would change NOTHING.

I love her with all my heart, soul, and being.
I am lucky....
I have never been loved so hard and so well.
I have what everyone should have at least once in their life.
I also love my dog.
I met her at the rescue when she was a year old.
As soon as I saw her I knew
I love her little mushed in face, her fun personality, her squiggly tail,
and her snuggles when she knows I need them.

I love her with as much fervor as she loves me.
She is my little buddy, my toe warmer, my kissy giver, my tear licker, my beady eyed little pug dog.
And I would protect and do whatever is needed
to keep her safe, healthy, and happy.
last, but not least,
what is your most favorite quote?!

My favorite quote:
"Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt."
by ― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five.
I actually have it tattooed on my arm.
It can have many meanings at any give time but for me, I live with pain daily....

I dream of a place where everything is beautiful and nothing hurts.

Carabeth actually drove 5 hours to come meet with me! about unbelievable!
& not only did i have the GREAT pleasure to meet her
but i also had the honor to meet her beautyFULL mother Jane.

...let me tell you,
the apple does not fall far from the tree!
Jane is just as uplifting, wise, funny & beautiful (inside & out) as her daughter.
their connection was SO inspiring.
...did i mention they were funny?
we literally laughed & cried that sweet afternoon.
Carabeth also shared with me two sites that she LOVES...

"Any and all information regarding lupus and education on lupus is on this amazing site :

Also I am a huge defender of animals, as you know.
I will not, now or ever condone any type of animal abuse no matter how small.
I love the ASPCA.
They have actually helped me out in a few cases of animal abuse.
I donate to them and would love their link popped up too.

Plus I only let animals rescue me and would never buy an animal!"

thank you, Carabeth, for sharing YOUR story.
you are truly incredible!
with love & admiration,


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