Five on Friday


I figured that I should start today off with a little update from yesterday’s post. My appointment with the physiatrist went as well as could be expected. She was a wonderful physician with a great bedside manner, and that’s always comforting with you’re inevitably receiving bad news. It turns out that she has been intending to send me straight to a surgeon since she first saw all my notes. It was obvious that she had looked over my past medical history in detail before the walked into the room. It’s so nice when you don’t have to retell your story for the umpteenth time. She just needed to perform and document some provocation tests, which I passed (or failed?) with flying colors. Apparently I’m about as perfect of a candidate as you could find for this surgery.

Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers yesterday – I think they worked in some way or another because usually it takes about 8 weeks to get an appointment with the surgeon but he had one available next Wednesday. Instead of waiting two months, I’ll only be waiting 6 days. 

Just because I’ve been referred to the surgeon doesn’t guarantee that he will accept my case. In the end, the surgeon is responsible for determining if a patient is an appropriate candidate for a procedure. Any responsible surgeon takes that seriously, because they bear the fault if something goes wrong. That said, because my case seems to be straightforward and I’m relatively low risk for complications (especially compared to the more senior population that he’s probably used to operating on…) I suspect that he will have no problem taking on my case. Assuming that’s the case, he’ll present my options. There are three different manufacturers of the rods that are used to fuse the sacroiliac joint, so I’ll have to pick my hardware. Fun, right? This is the point where I appreciate my background in health care, because I can really understand what physicians are telling me and I know what questions to ask. 

So am I still scared? Yes, but not as much as before. Having more of an answer and a clear-cut direction puts me a bit more at ease. Plus, I found out that I’ll only have to stay off my leg for one week, not six weeks like I was originally anticipating! 


Enough about me, let’s get on to some Blogger Love….

All the Joys - Blogger Love

7 Ways to Manage Anxiety by the new wifestyle – Chelsea has some great advice for anyone who has ever struggled with anxiety. I’m a pharmacist, so I understand anxiety and mental illness from a provider and a patient perspective. Being a pharmacist, I’m a nerd and I love drugs, but sadly we don’t have a medicinal cure for everything. Some people can manage their mental illness without medication, while other people require medication(s) to balance the chemicals in their brain and allow them to lead a “normal” life (if anyone actually knows that “normal” is, please let me know). Despite a person’s choice or need to use medication, there are a lot of non-drug therapy options that can and SHOULD be utilized to help control your symptoms. Chelsea’s list is AMAZING and she has some great ideas, some of which I’ve used in the past and some of which I should probably use more often! I would actually add one more to her list to make it “8 ways to manage anxiety” and the 8th way would be animal therapy. Seriously, even if you can’t own a pet, just interacting with animals can be SO beneficial to human health and healing (and that’s a fact, people!). I always loved seeing therapy dogs around the hospital when I was working – I swear they did just as much good for the staff as they did for the patients!

Dear Fashion Industry by Chicken Scratch – Val said what I have been saying for years….the fashion industry needs to bring back flared jeans! Actually, she made the point that the fashion industry apparently is bringing back flared jeans. Hallelujah! If you’re a super model, or you happen to be one of those people blessed with a “stick” figure, skinny jeans are awesome. They look fabulous on you. For the rest of us….not so much. I’ve been trying to not wear pants for the past 5+ years because of the skinny jeans trend, but honestly I’m not always a huge skirt / dress kind of girl. I have hips, and a really big butt, and they don’t tend to fit into skinny pants. Even if they do fit into a stretchy pair, they don’t look too good. I’m also tired of looking at other girls with hips and butts trying to squeeze into skinny pants. Enough is enough. Thank goodness the flares are coming back!

Sharing Pregnancy on the Internet by Sage – This is such a difficult topic, and one I’ve wrestled with a bit myself, even though I’ve never been pregnant. Cassie mentioned about how Meagan handles sharing her kids on her blog – and I also think Meagan does a great job. Meagan refers to her kids by their first initial, and blurs or crops their faces out of pictures for their privacy. It seems like the perfect solution to balance acknowledging the existence of your kids but also maintaining their privacy. BUT – Meagan started blogging well after her pregnancies. That’s such a huge milestone event, and I think every blogger is tempted to share it on their blogs. How far do you go? Do you share their name? Their newborn pictures? No pictures? Do you talk about it at all? I think about it terms of “what would I have wanted?” kind of situation. My parents have plenty of embarrassing pictures and stories about me that they didn’t share on the internet because the internet wasn’t really around when I was that young. Don’t my future offspring deserve that privilege as well? Then again – I know I’m going to be so proud of them that I might just not be able to resist sharing a few pictures here and there!


I can’t do a Five on Friday post without including a little house update!

Things have been happening around the house, but not much that is really “picture-worthy” or “blog post worthy.” For example, today a guy was doing the blower door test. Not very picture-worthy at all, let me tell ya. 

The first big exciting thing was CARPET. We actually don’t have a ton of carpet in the house, but still – it’s the last of the flooring to go it. Right now all of the carpet is in except for two bedroom closets. I have no idea why they’ve been left out. We’ve got two different carpets – once in the basement and extra bedrooms, and one on the staircase. The staircase one is the fun exciting one that I picked out! We also got a lot of the floor uncovered, which was really exciting, but then some painters came in and covered up half the hardwood on the main floor again soooo….womp womp. 

Carpet in the basement
Carpet in the basement

Stair Carpet

Stair Carpet

The second big exciting thing was the stain on the front door. It looks fantastic, minus the neon green painters tape surrounding it. I’m excited to see it sans tape. 

Front Door Stain

The big letdown of the week? No appliances. Sometimes we get things ahead of schedule (like concrete) and sometime things come later than anticipated. We were told appliances were due to go in on Wednesday, but as of Thursday night….no appliances. Dave’s out of town for the weekend, so if they go in today he’s going to be a very unhappy camper because he won’t be able to see them until Sunday! 


I’ve been having a bit of DIY fun this week. I’ve been thinking of making a chalkboard for the mantle on our lanai, so I finally decided to get it done. It was really easy and it turned out AWESOME. I’ll be posting about what I used to make it happen next week!

The chalkboard, in progress!
The chalkboard, in progress!


I don’t usually talk about politics or religion on the blog, but I’m going to break that rule right now. Indiana recently enacted a religious freedom bill that allows individuals and businesses to us “religious beliefs” as a defense when they are sued. In general, I’m all for the freedom of religion, but this bill seems to be more about using religion as an excuse to discriminate….and that bothers me. It hasn’t been a particularly popular piece of legislation, with the NCAA (which is headquartered in Indianapolis and hosts many championships in the city, including this year’s Final Four) and GenCon (which brings over 50,000 people to Indianapolis each year) expressing their opposition. Even the Republican mayor of Indianapolis has spoken out about it. My favorite response, however, came from my own church, specifically from Catherine Waynick, the bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis. You can read the full letter here, but this is part that I think explains why this law is so anti-Christian:

We are enjoined to love God with heart, mind, soul and strength, and to love others as Christ loves us. We promise, every time we reaffirm our baptismal vows, to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves.” We promise to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.”

The God we worship became Incarnate, and waded into the unfaithful realities of human life. We follow a Master who associated with sinful, unacceptable people, both Jew and Gentile, all the while challenging as hypocritical the religious leaders who held themselves aloof from the general populace.

I’ve known for a long time that the church I belong to is accepting and loving of all of God’s people, which can be somewhat surprising to others who only see our conservative services which are steeped in tradition. I was born into an Anglican (Episcopalian) family, but as an adult I have chosen to stay in the Anglican / Episcopalian church, and messages like this confirm to me that I am where I belong.

Until later, Ashlen


  • Yay for being able to get in with a surgeon so quickly!! I’ll keep praying for more good things. I’m literally living vicariously through you and your adorable home. LOL! Ugh, I hope that new political mess doesn’t cause too many issues. It always amazes me how people can be so judgmental, use their faith as an excuse for being that way, but still consider themselves a good “Christian”. We need to love everybody and not judge lol!

    • Thank you Kelly! I completely agree with you about loving everybody and not judging – it’s not always easy to do, but I think it’s crazy to legally allow people to discriminate and use religion as their excuse. Indianapolis is such a great city – I hate that this law is getting national publicity and that we may lose business and events as a result (not that I blame businesses for going elsewhere).

      • ​Eeek! I really am hoping and praying that it doesn’t get too crazy up there. Have a good weekend!

  • Love the chalkboard project and the house update. That carpet is so pretty! Also, I love when I don’t have to go over my medical history, which isn’t very often. I loved (not) at the Mayo Clinic where they had total access to your records, but you had to go over it with each doctor. I was seeing an internist who sent me to like 6 different specialists, so I had to tell it with an emphasis on a different thing each time. And someone seriously asked why I was exhausted…!

    • I was actually amazed that I didn’t have to go over everything with the new physician. She actually said “I’m going to give you a summary of your medical history, tell me if everything is correct.” I just needed to add a couple details. It was fantastic! I wish there were more providers like that!

  • Love the carpet in your house! I’m glad you got some answers and have a direction now. Hopefully you can get scheduled soon and move on!

    Thanks for linking up. The pregnancy thing is so tricky – to each his own, I just do what works for us. Hope you are having a good week!