“Verily, with hardship comes ease.” (Quran 94:6)
God never gives us more than we can handle. I am a firm believer in what path my life has taken, I was meant to be on this journey. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease 10 years ago. My disease was so progressive and on the cusp of colon cancer; I had to undergo a hand-assisted laproscopic total proctocolectomy with a temporary ileostomy and a J-pouch in 2008. I lived with an ileostomy for some time while my J-pouch healed and had my takedown surgery in February 2009. However, my J-pouch failed, and in November 2010, I underwent another surgery to have a temporary ileostomy for a year in hopes that my J-pouch would heal, but that never happened. I had to have another surgery in September 2011 to make my ileostomy permanent and remove my J-pouch and affected intestine. I now live with a permanent ileostomy. In May 2015, I had to have another surgery to remove approximately 30 centimeters of small intestine in a resection surgery along with a relocation of my ostomy due to a prolapse. Severe complications set in with an internal infection, a subQ leak from my stoma and other issues which nearly cost me my life. More recently, I underwent another surgery to remove the anal area because an abscess had formed internally causing a very critical situation. The doctors felt that removing this area, it would prevent further complications down the line. My medical story keeps writing itself and it never gets easier, but a positive attitude and a life of purpose helps me get through the hardest days. Crochet has been a lifeline.
I began crocheting to pass the time during all the numerous hospital stays I had endured through my journey with Crohn’s disease. Soon this hobby took on a life of its own and I began to crochet as a form of therapy. I love to pick up a hook and start creating. Creating things helps me feel accomplished. I started a mini shop, called YARNutopia, to sell some of my crocheted creations in 2012. A portion of each sale is donated to research to find a cure for inflammatory bowel diseases, a disease that has affected me personally.
Everyone has to deal with the hand they have been dealt. I am no exception to that rule. I just feel that out of something negative, it was vital for me to turn it into something positive, and for me to not allow this disease to take from me more than it already has. I really wish I could do more in my life, but hospital stays and surgeries have stalled some of the progress that I would see my life taking. Being able to crochet and build awareness through my craft is the detour my life took when this disease tried to put some roadblocks in my way. I am extremely thankful that I found this outlet, and I feel better that I am able to give back in this way.
Click here to view my latest Health Update
Recent Blog Posts
FREE Written Crochet Pattern: Hair Scrunchies - It’s time for a messy bun and getting stuff done! Tie your hair up with one of my easy-to-make hair scrunchies! Scrunchies are back, and they’re all the rave! You can make an assortment of them in every color and size using my pattern. Here, I show you how to take the same pattern using […] Stitch Gallery & Glossary Episode #25: Thermal Stitch (Single Crochet) - This is an easy comprehensive video tutorial on how to do a Single Crochet Thermal Stitch. In this crochet tutorial, I teach how to create this basic stitch called the Thermal stitch. You can use any hook and any yarn. Follow along and make something with the Thermal stitch following my video! […] FREE Written Crochet Pattern: Happy Heart Stitch Leg Warmers - We are still in the month of LOVE and what better way to commemorate this month than with a pattern that teaches you the heart stitch!! The Happy Heart Stitch Leg Warmers are the perfect accessory to keep your legs warm and comfy with a fun fashion spin! Perfect for working out or wearing out! […] FREE Written Crochet Pattern: Winter Stripes Scarf - This Winter Stripes Scarf is a wonderful way to use up your scrap yarn. Using a multitude of color, this scarf adds a fantastic pop of color to your winter wardrobe. I used the Crunch Stitch throughout this project to create texture for this piece. I love that the added fringe gives this scarf an […] FREE Crochet Video Tutorial: Winter Stripes Scarf - This Winter Stripes Scarf is a wonderful way to use up your scrap yarn. Using a multitude of color, this scarf adds a fantastic pop of color to your winter wardrobe. I used the Crunch Stitch throughout this project to create texture for this piece. I love that the added fringe gives this scarf an […] Valentine’s Day Crochet Patterns - Here is a gallery of Valentine’s Day related crochet patterns that are FREE for you to try out!! They are simple, quick projects that you can make for your Valentine this year! Don’t have a Valentine to give anything to? No problem! Make these for yourself!!! Click on the image or the title […] FREE Written Crochet Pattern: New Year, New Me Chunky Hat - I took a little time off for the holiday. Sorry for being missing from my YARNutopia platforms lately. I’m ending the year with a NEW pattern and I hope you really like it! It features Lion Brand Yarn Hometown in Tampa Spice and Aspen Tweed. Plus, a FUR POM!! I hope you all have a […] 12 Days of Christmas: Yarn Art Jingle Trees - Yarn Art Jingle Trees are the next project in our 12 Days of Christmas. I have seen many of these trees adorned in chunky yarn online and in stores. I always see these and think I can make them myself! So I did! With a few simple tools and a skein of chunky yarn, I […] 12 Days of Christmas: Festive Holiday JOY Wall Hanging (Photo Tutorial) - Bring a bit of *Joy* to your holiday home this season. Using a little yarn-art, you can create this door/wall hanging in a few short minutes using my step-by-step instructions. This lovely homemade, home town decor piece is sure to bring joy and happiness to any home it graces. Disclaimer: this project requires the use […] 12 Days of Christmas: Shell Stitch Fingerless Gloves FREE CROCHET PATTERN - These simple fingerless gloves are a great gift to whip up last minute and give to family and friends this holiday season! These are sure to keep you warm while allowing your fingers to text and be free! Make these in all different colors for the whole family! Follow along with this video tutorial […] 12 Days of Christmas: Pine Cone Wreath Ornament - Grab a glue gun, some pine cones from the yard (or store), and a few yarn scraps to make this sweet holiday wreath ornament! This is a perfect craft for kiddos at home and it takes almost no time at all to assemble. You will love brightening the cones with colorful yarn. A little hot […] 12 Days of Christmas: Snowman Coasters - On this 3rd Day of our 12 Days of Christmas, we have this fun set of Snowman Coasters. Pair a set of four with a mug and a packet of premium hot cocoa and this is sure to be a huge hit in your gift giving circle! This is a perfect way to add a […] 12 Days of Christmas: Candy Cane Place-card Holder with a Bow - On the first day of Christmas we take a candy cane, we add a cute bow, and a lovely name tag…🎶🎵 This is how you make an adorable holiday place card holder. Add this to any table setting to bring some Christmas flair to your family dinner! Here is a list of supplies I used: […] FREE Crochet Video Tutorial: Blaze Orange Woodsman Hat - This Blaze Orange Woodsman Hat is sure to keep the most die-hard outdoorsman toasty warm this winter season! Safety and comfort are the name of the game for this time of year when you’re roaming in the woods. Make this for someone you love! Follow along with this video tutorial to learn how to make […] FREE Written Crochet Pattern: Blaze Orange Woodsman Hat - This Blaze Orange Woodsman Hat is sure to keep the most die-hard outdoorsman toasty warm this winter season! Safety and comfort are the name of the game for this time of year when you’re roaming in the woods. Make this for someone you love! My dad will continue to be the videographer, editor, […]