May 27, 2011

Guest Post - fairy tales are true

I am so excited to have Sarah from fairy tales are true over today!  I was first drawn to fairy tales are true for simple reasons - a gorgeous girl traveling all over the world snapping beautiful photos and wearing the cutest outfits.  To be a fashionable traveler impresses me.  I was not so cute when I traveled around Europe. Oh well.  Then I read Sarah's story - a really scary story.  Before reading her story, I would have never guessed that she had gone through something like this.  She is so uplifting and has such a positive outlook on life.  I then realized that it's her faith that got her through this.  Sarah's story has inspired me to realize our blessings, even in the worst of times. 
 Thank you for sharing your story with us, Sarah!
hi y'all
i'm sarah!
from fairy tales are true

Kelley asked me if I'd tell a little more of my story, how I got through it and how I choose to treasure life's little joys.
I was so happy Kelley asked me because writing for someone else gives me courage that i don't always have on my own blog.

I try to keep things lighthearted over there, a bit of a reprieve from all of the nasty things going on in the world ...  but let's face it - sometimes life gets pretty darn heavy.

And today's story starts out during one of those times... 

I was a teacher, living in west palm beach, with a very sweet boyfriend who would travel miles and miles and purchase plane tickets upon plane tickets to spend time with me.  
During this time in my life, I was grinning from ear to ear.
blissfully happy.
blissfully ignorant about what was about to happen.

it started with headaches. and toothaches but no cavities.
advil became my BFF
but that wasn't all, I was abnormally tired
but again, i was a teacher. doesn't that go hand in hand?
a doctor gave me a Z pack for strep throat.
But I never seemed to recover.
I would act like I was just fine.
or try to anyway.

Then one day my vision left me.  
what i didn't know then, I know now that I was having my first mini stroke. 
my vision returned a few hours later, but the experience terrified me.
I consider this time, a time where God warned me.  
Was all like, "wake up and take this thing seriously my girl".

my mother demanded I come home and go to doctors with her.
but no one had answers.
i got worse.
i'd sweat through my sheets every night.
but i was so cold. 
i couldn't get warm.  
vision problems returned.
i went to the ER.
turned away because a doctor literally told me "why are you here?  hospitals are for sick people."

finally a doctor ordered an echo!
several days later i was rushed to the hospital
there was a verdict.
I had endocarditis from strep throat that had gone down to my heart.  
a couple months of IV antibiotics.
and heart surgery.
at 24?  yep.

Here's a picture of the aftermath {it aint pretty}.  i look so happy. ha ha, riiiight...  i was pretty miserable.  

I still had to go get my drugs in a lounge chair everyday.
and along the way my darn lung kept filling up with fluid.
I'll spare you the details.
but i had to get a thoracotomy.
i.e. way worse than heart surgery 
but, i finally started feeling better.  not my best. but getting there.

During all of this, I was studying.  
You see I'm a determined little girl.
I always have a plan.
so somewhere in my brain I conjured up the idea to take the GRE.
Eventually get my masters ...
This was in July of 2008.
My first trip out of the state was in July 2008 - to visit Ole Miss for my sisters freshman orientation.
I really loved Ole Miss.
on a whim, i looked up masters programs.  
found the one i'd been looking for
I applied.
was accepted that same month.
on a full ride.
plus a paid internship at the hospital.
in guess what?
cardiac rehab.
the next year was spent talking to people before they had open heart surgery.
on what to expect.
and rehab-ing them back to health.
i guess i gave them a little hope too.
for i had truly been there.   

and life kept getting better after that ... 

In May 2009 I got engaged!

January 2010 I made that sweet boyfriend, my husband. 

i guess you could say since then i've lived a pretty good life.
living in beautiful switzerland
traveling the world with my handsome husband who has been there for me in good times and the super scary ones too.

Soooo... as for how I got through all of that.
and not just my own.
because truth be told, there were times I felt so hopeless I couldn't begin a prayer.
that's when {thankfully} my family and friends interceded for me.
speaking of, family and friends ... 
they really got me through this too.
and believe me, if i didn't know who my real friends were then, i do now.
having someone like you when you're at your prettiest and sweetest is easy.
having someone love you when you are losing hair and have a huge bleeding scar down your chest is another thing entirely.
Dear JB: thank you for not being superficial. for your endless compassion.  and humor.  
your humor got me through a lot!
I thought ahead.  I wasn't content wallowing in self pity forever.   
there comes a time when enough is enough.
I knew I had to look to the future I wanted to create and take the steps to get me there.

As for how I choose to treasure life's little joy's

if you've ever gone through difficult times, and considering you are a real live breathing human, you have ...
you know life can get frustrating sometimes. 
soooo yes. 
I choose to let go.  
of all the what if's, of doctors mistakes, of being perfect.

and that has given me an immense amount of

Thanks Kelley for having me!!


  1. I love love love Tucker. She just makes me so happy like I know her in real life. She is so sweet and beautiful and intelligent and real. And I just adore her. Great post :) xo

  2. lady, you bring me to tears when you talk about these things. you have a way with words and i am so glad you're on the other side of all that now.


  3. Thanks for sharing such an inspirational story :)

  4. yes, I'm fighting back tears myself. a truly inspirational story. thanks for sharing!!!

  5. this is amazing!! what an incredible example of living life to the fullest : )

  6. absolutely love sgm and her story! she's an inspiration and her photos are gorgeous :)

  7. such an amazing story. sarah, you truly are a beautiful person inside and out!

  8. Sarah's post should've started with "grab a Kleenex!" Sarah your story is so inspiring and puts life into such perspective. Speaking as a reader of your blog, we're grateful to have doses of your positivity and perspective in our daily lives.

  9. omggoooosh. i knew a lot of this story but learned a lot just from reading this. so amazing. i've been complaining way too much about little things. read this at the right time.

  10. keep amazing me everyday. You are such an inspiration!!!

  11. ugh. agree ^ i am fighting tears. I love Sarah so much..her story, her hope, her faith...she is amazing.

  12. I LOVED this. Loved reading more about Sarah and her awesome story. Without sounding too cliche or silly, FAIRY TALES ARE TRUE!! ;)

  13. why you gotta make me cry girl :).
    Such a beautiful story. Praise God you
    get to tell this story and break hearts and inspire and encourage others with it. What a blessing you are girl. Love you!


  14. I am crying as always when I read about those moments in your life. You are beautiful!! And so strong! Thanks for sharing this all with us! xox

  15. Aww, Sarah. I love hearing everyone's stories. What a strong, beautiful girl. So inspirational to everyone who feels held back. With prayer, family and friends by our side, we can go after our dreams still (:

  16. Thank you for sharing your story. :)

  17. What a touching and inspiring story! Thannk you for sharing!

  18. What an inspiring story ! you are so blessed.

  19. wow, this is an amazing story! cannot believe that you went through that!