Health Update – 9/23/2016

23 Sep

How in the world can September already be almost over?! Although, the coming of all things pumpkin and fall does help ease the shock of itūüėČ

 

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Overall Health:¬†since getting back on the majority of my vitamins/supplements I’ve been better – comparably. For about a week I was stuck on the couch due to unbelievable weakness and exhaustion. I haven’t been quite so negative. I haven’t had to nap so often lately, but sleeping at night has been really rough. I’ve been able to walk the dogs a few times a week, which benefits all 3 of us.

Treatment: I went in to my doctor the beginning of this week and we changed up what I’ve been taking, and she sent me home with several new things to start! I am currently off the Xiao Chai Hu Tang (possibly the cause of my extreme exhaustion last week) and have started taking Silver. (yes, silver! apparently while it’s very gentle on you, it kills things, who knew?) Tomorrow I start taking EHB, then if I don’t react negatively to that, 3 days later I start Garlic pills (oh joy). 3 days later, Vitamin E and then, you guessed it, 3 days after that, Copper pills. She’s also told me to start drinking 1 TB Apple Cider Vinegar in the mornings.

Migraines: Killer. They have been going from a 5 to an 8 (or higher) in the blink of an eye, making thinking (and anything else really) incredibly difficult.

Digestion and TMJ: Neither have changed here-which means they aren’t that good… but while my jaw has been hurting a lot, it doesn’t pop as much as it used to! Silver lining right there!

Mood:¬†It’s been better overall this past month, thank goodness. I feel like I mostly am back to myself although I do still feel a tad anti-social

Sleep: Except for the past few nights, it’s been atrocious. Of course, the nights I do sleep better I have nightmares..sigh.

Memory:¬†Once again, it hasn’t improved but aside from freaking out late one night because I couldn’t remember words to songs that I’ve known for ages, I haven’t noticed any worsening.

Daily Vitamins:

Clonidine – for most of this month I was taking 3 a day but since Sunday it’s backed off to 1 or 2 !!!!!

off the Xiao Chai Hu Tang

Pulsatilla and Belladonna – finally got some more of these amazing tinctures!!!

Here’s a full list ¬†– although I will have to update this next month!

Stick around and check out my other health updates!

8/23/16

Symptoms of my Lyme

7/27/16

Fighting Lyme and Migraines

The Big Health Update

 

Next week is the monthly Book Review, come back and check it out!

Have a fabulous Fall weekend,

Laura

 

 

 

City of Tranquil Light Book Review

20 Sep

Friends, this book sat on my shelf for YEARS without me ever reading it. Not even a ‘read a few pages and put it down’ read. Never. Do you know what made me finally pull it out and give it a try? Running across an old email from my sister in law, recommending a few books (thanks Michaela!) , and this was on it.

cityoftranquillightbkrvw

 

This story pulled me in right from the start and I quickly fell in love with Will, Katherine, Chung Hao and the descriptions of China. When Will Kiehn feels God call him to go to China as a missionary, he leaves his family’s farm in the Midwest and goes. He falls in love with a fellow missionary, Katherine, and ¬†after they wed, they move to Kuang P’ing Ch’eng – City of Tranquil Light – and settle in to offer medical and spiritual help to the people there. As the years go by, they endure much hardship – war, famine, floods, bandits – will their faith be enough to help them?

Caldwell writes in an enchanting memoirlike way – alternating between Will and Katherine’s perspectives, each come alive in a remarkable way. And as these characters reminded me strongly of a former pastor and his wife, it added another depth of emotion to it , as I could so easily see these people doing what Will and Katherine did – living a hard life in response to their God’s call.

I highly recommend this book, although perhaps not for younger teens as some of the violence is described. I am planning on getting Caldwell’s first novel, The Distant Land of my Father, next time I get to the library!

~Laura

The Tears of My Heart

16 Sep

I fond this in my drafts folder earlier this week and decided that it is ready to be shared. While I now have a diagnosis and somewhat-of-a-plan for a cure, these feelings do so frequently overwhelm me and I once again, have to remind myself of the unfailing love of my Saviour.

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I feel the tears fill my eyes. One by one they drop to my cheek, and follow the curve down to my chin. Drip. Drip. Drip. I reach up to wipe them away, but what’s this? My cheek is dry, as are my eyes. As I rub my fingers together I realize the tears are not outside, but in. It is inside that is aching. Longing. Crying. But these tears cannot be wiped away so easily with a delicate handkerchief or manicured nails. These require connection, vulnerability and love. Confession of the heart is of the utmost importance if one wants to heal it. But what do I have to confess?

Anger. Frustration. Hurt. All over seemingly-unanswered prayer. Anger that this pain has inhibited 10 years of my life. Frustration that a cure remains beyond my grasp. Hurt that I cannot go on as those around me ‚Äď event after event.

But this type of contemplation only brings tears that fall onto my cheek. Tears that will need to be wiped away before they fall from my trembling chin. It would be better, rather, to focus on getting through the pain. Accepting my limitations and counting the many blessings I am surrounded with.  So, while the aching inside me continues, I will work to let Him heal it. For I, on my own, cannot heal such a hurt. Even while the tears threaten to overflow my eyes, I will lift my face to the sun and praise Him who has made me and sustained me and blessed me beyond measure.

“Bless the Lord O my soul, and all that is within me.¬†

Bless His holy name!

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits,

who forgives your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit,

who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good,

so that your youth is renewed like the eagles wings.”

Psalm 103:1-5

*If you have or are struggling with unanswered prayer I encourage you to keep faith! Continue asking and seeking the Lord. His answer might not be the one you (or I) want but His plan far surpasses any plan we can invent. He is the author of everything, give your pain and struggles to Him daily. He can handle them.

~Laura

Unexpected Side Effects of Chronic Pain

13 Sep

So guys, I’ve been thinking about doing this post for ages, I just wish I’d written down all the little things when I thought of them… because trust me, there’s a lot more than this.

unexpectedsideeffects

-you get used to people checking up on you ‘are you okay?’ ‘do you need anything?’

– stairs are not.nice.ever. = you get passed by 60 year olds…

– you decide you’d rather have weight loss than weight gain, and then realize how terrible of a person that probably makes you

-traveling loses quite a bit of its appeal when you realize it takes at least a day to recuperate, you won’t be able to keep up with whoever you’re visiting, if the PAIN hits you’re in a new environment/probably won’t be able to deal with it like you need to, faking feeling better than you do is something that just happens, etc.

– you become the person that carries around a mini pharmacy in their purse (and people still wonder why you carry such a large one)

-standing in lines makes you cranky, achy and wonder why you ever leave your house

-Light PHYSICALLY hurts. no joke.

– Sound does too

-you have a pill box for all your daily pills

-the things your brain chooses to remember is baffling

-going to two or three stores in one trip is EXCITING (yes, the realization of how pathetic this is does dawn on you every time)

-you’ve rarely answered a ‘how are you’ question with ‘i’m great!’

-learning to balance productivity with what your body says is….interesting

 

Basically, pain takes away your independence. But still we fight, day by day to pretend we still have that independence and inexhaustible energy that someone our age is supposed to have.

I just had this verse pop into my head

“They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:8

~Laura

what would you add to this list?!

 

Currently: Sept 2016

9 Sep
I found this post from a few years ago and decided it would be fun to do it again! Enjoy!
currentlysept2016
making: almond milk is in the soaking stage!
cooking: ¬†nothing/because you don’t really cook almond milk =)
drinking: water, lots of water
reading:  City of Tranquil Light
wanting: to live close enough to a dog park that I can walk to it
crafting: gifts!
wishing: all my dear friends lived near me 
enjoying: listening to Count Basie
waiting: for the movie I’m transferring from vhs to dvd to finish
liking:  this cooler weather
 20160908_112725
wondering: if my health will ever get back to what it should be
loving: being able to keep the house cleaner
hoping: I can edit my book without too much revision
smelling: the diffuser
needing: more sleep, less pain
 
wearing: comfy pajamas because I can
 
 
noticing: my mood is a bit better this week – yay!
 
thinking: I really should walk the dogs today
20160907_135738
 
bookmarking/pinteresting:  fall decorations and outfits; inspirational quotes
 
thanking: Abby for finally calming down; my OH for being such a great support and listener in times of need ; a friend for guiding me back to God when I get to whining
 
giggling:  some seriously funny things on pinterest lately
 
feeling: tired and yet content with where we are right now; disbelief that Abby is a year old ; excited I’ve finished the first draft of my novel

Copy and paste and play along! Leave your link below!

Short Story Sharing – My story

6 Sep

This is sort of a short story sharing/chronic pain post.

I just found this on my laptop – I vaguely recall starting to write my pain-journey down soon after I married OH… and here it is! This is just a snippet of it =)

I have recently read these termed as invisible illness.  Something that you live with daily but the average person can’t see or tell that they are there.  Living with them has made me more compassionate toward others. They have taught me to be able to look past the obvious and search for the meaning behind their negative words, hurtful actions and painful silence.  They have taken my dreams and then taught me to learn to dream again. I have grown stronger in my sense of who I am through these years. I have learned to speak up, to share my opinion and to believe that I have a right to be heard.

I am more than my health issues.

Now before you start worrying that this is a story of a rise to egotism, let me reassure you that I am still the girl next door ‚Äďhappiest-in-the-country-than-the-city that I always have been. This is a story of faith, family and overcoming obstacles I never dreamed of as a young girl in pigtails and overalls.

When I was young, we lived on acreage that my parents owned, passed down from my grandparents. All five of us kids grew up climbing the trees, playing hide and seek and running between houses to see our extended relatives on this land. I have always loved that fact. I can remember staying the night at my grandparents’ house that they built themselves; and a skip away my great aunt would teach me crotchet and embroidery in a house they also built.  My great grandma also lived in that house for a time.

I would daydream about who I would become ‚Äď teacher? Stay-at-home mom?¬† Business exec? Jumping horses in the Olympics?¬† My dreams were all over the board. It changed from year to year, but always I knew that I would be successful and able to take on any challenge thrown my way. By the time I reached high school, my dreams had shrunk a little, the way that everyone‚Äôs do I imagine. I was lucky to have a group of friends to help me transition to the world of hard teachers, overblown emotions and bad cafeteria food.¬† In that time, one of my ‚Äėinvisible diseases‚Äô slowly started.¬† I, completely unaware what it would come to mean in a few years‚Äô time, shrugged it off and continued ahead in my life.

 

Graduation came and I was relieved at finally getting to move ahead with my future. I had, by this time, no idea what I truly wanted to do and held a great deal of fear inside at failing.  I hid it well and congratulated my friends as they each in their turn headed out of town or state to attend one college or another. I decided to take a year off of school until I had a clearer idea of what I wanted to dedicate my life to and ended up working low-level jobs that barely offer enough money to spend and save.

By the end of that year, I was no closer to a plan than I had been in the beginning but I signed up for classes at our local community college. I remember being so scared of doing this on my own that I cried as I drove there that first morning. I took the required prerequisite classes, really only enjoying  that moment when the day of school was done. I made a few friends but my shyness was well developed by that time and I stuck to the back of the class.

About a year into prerequisite classes, I struggled and struggled with making the decision to attend the culinary institute on campus. I loved the thought of learning more about baking¬† so I finally screwed up my courage and signed up for culinary. The hardest thing I‚Äôve done in my life up to that point was to show up every day and try my best.¬† It was during this time of intense stress, lack of sleep and confidence, that my first invisible disease accelerated its appearance.¬† Advil and Ibuprofen became a companion of mine to get through some days. The pain escalated as I fought to keep up with the others in my class. Lack of concentration, ability to find the right words and the feeling of living in a fog all came crashing down on me and I wasn‚Äôt sure what had happened to who I had been. The struggle that class had been before, had just doubled and some days, tripled. A kitchen is where you must be at your best, ready to run your own legs off to prepare a meal for someone else. You have to be able to multi-task several times over ‚Äď and that ability had just been taken from me.

Book Review – August 2016

2 Sep

Hello again friends! I didn’t feel like I’d done a lot of reading this month and then I started writing this post! Ha! This month feels like it’s been going on a lot longer than 31 days, does anyone else feel that way? It definitely had its good times though – getting to be in Bend and celebrate my brother in law’s and a nephew and a niece’s birthdays; having a good friend stay over so we could binge-watch Star Wars and play with the puppies and getting oh-so-close to the end of the novel I’m writing. I am glad to see it go for the hard side of it too – severe pain; moodiness because of the pain; for the first time not being able to recall words to songs i’ve known for years and puppies having bad reactions to fleas. But! That’s not why you’re here! Books! Books! That’s why you’re here.

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I want to remind you of two things real quick. ¬†One, while covering different genres, I do not read anything that has blatant sexual content. I will tell you if there is any sort of such (typically very mild and delicately put) in them and if I don’t think they’d be appropriate for young/teenage readers. ¬†Two, I have an ever-updated Book List¬†of all the books I’ve reviewed, check it out!

December Caravan by Rebecca Vandemark – Just when her life seemed as perfect as it could get, Rebecca’s world turned upside down. A few month before their wedding, her fiance left her. As the months and years passed, her body seemed determined to fail, no matter what she did. After getting diagnosed with late-stage Lyme Disease and cancer (among other things), her plans and goals for the future drastically change. But what remained constant was her love of the Lord and seeking His heart no matter the circumstances.

~I received this book free for an honest review. I enjoyed this look into Vandemark’s story so much as she constantly reminded me to keep my focus and hope on the Lord. ¬†Her trials are beyond imagining, and yet here she is, years later – encouraging those around her to run to the heart of God. I highly recommend this book and if you want to know more about her, here’s her blog!¬†

Why Can’t I get Better? Solving the Mystery of Lyme and Chronic Disease¬†by Richard I Horowitz – Lyme disease is known as the great imitator. And Horowitz has been studying it for years. In this book he shares the method that he uses for diagnosing Lyme, and other chronic pain as well as thoroughly covering Lyme’s leading symptoms.

~ This book is nothing if not thorough. To be honest, I only made it a quarter of the way through. The information was interesting and I picked up a few tidbits that were extremely helpful to know. The reason I wasn’t able to finish it was that it read like it was also written for doctors – with a lot of information that only those with medical background would find helpful. It was interesting reading how he started his practice and how it evolved into what it is today – with surprising advancements in Lyme research and ‘curing’ if you will. I’d love to read it if they cut it down to maybe half it’s size and written especially for non-medical readers.¬†

Tucker Mills Trilogy¬†by Lori Wick – Tucker Mills, Massachusets in the mid 1800’s. Jace has fallen for Maddie but will his sister allow him to follow his heart? Reese is finally a free woman, but her heart is still in a cage of fear, will she let Conner in? Dannan’s world has drastically changed, but the one thing he longs for most can never happen, can it?

~Let’s move to Tucker Mills, shall we? In case you missed it, I reviewed it earlier this week!¬†

These Three Remain A novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman #3 ¬†by Pamela Aidan – After being rejected by Elizabeth, a humbled Darcy returns to Town and tries to become the kind of man he’s always wanted to be, the kind of man Elizabeth could love. When a chance meeting brings Elizabeth back into his life, Darcy sets out to show her he still loves her. But when Wickham creates havoc again, will Darcy’s newly-found strength withstand the test?

~I adore these books. I mean, Darcy and Elizabeth all over again? Yes please and thank you! Come back for a review of the whole trilogy!! 

On my To-Read list:

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell

 

I hope you found something to read! Happy last-day of August to you all!

 

~Laura

 

Series Review – Tucker Mills Trilogy

30 Aug

You Guys. Seriously. I can’t tell you just how much I LOVED this trilogy. Yes I’ve read it before. Yes I read them all in about a week. Yes, it’s by Lori Wick. What can I say? She’s a favorite of mine.

srsrvwtuckermills

Moonlight on the Millpond –¬†As a newcomer to Tucker Mills, Massachusetts, Jace Randall learns the workings of his uncle’s farm and mill. When Maddie Shephard comes back to town, Jace is instantly smitten and decides that not even his sister, Eden, could find fault with her. What he didn’t count on was Eden’s need to control his life – or the lengths she’d go to to maintain it. Will Maddie and Jace be able to forgive her, and each other, after the betrayal and lies?

~First off, I love the name Maddie. Second, Jace just happens to be one of my favorite guy’s names. Third, this book sucks you in on the first page and you quickly fall in love with, well, pretty much everyone. Except Eden. (coughcough)

Just above a Whisper –¬†Indentured servant, Reese Thackery’s life gets another hit when the owner of her contract dies and the bank becomes the holder of her fate. The bank owner’s son, Connor Kingsley, comes to investigate and soon releases her from service. He then hires her to keep house for him, but Reese can’t decide how she feels about him. Can both put aside the hurt of the past and learn to trust again?

~Honestly, I think these two characters are some of my favorites of Wick’s. Reese’s attitude throughout her trials is how I would sincerely like to be! And Conner’s patience…sigh.

 

Leave a Candle Burning –¬†Dannan Mckay has taken over his uncle’s practice in Tucker Mills. While everyone loved Doc Mckay, Dannan has settled in and feels welcomed by the townspeople. When he has an unexpected meeting with a woman in the general store, he starts to dream of something more – a wife and family. But then he learns something that stops his dreams of love in an instant, and he focuses all his attention on his patients. Life once again gets turned upside down when he ends up taking guardianship of a young cousin. The new role of father makes Dannan think of how the young one needs a mother – but the one he loves is out of reach.

~I remembered very little of this one Рhappy sigh. A unique storyline, wonderful romance. 

If I could move to the small town of Tucker Mills, I would do it in a heartbeat. ¬†I’m not kidding. I would. BUT, we’ll get back to reality now… I enjoy how Wick weaves faith into all of her books, I’m always left contemplating the focus in each novel (i.e. each of her novels tend to have one main point in faith that the main character is dealing with) and that normally inspires conversations with my OH.

As with most (if not all ) of Wick’s books, any age could read these – I probably started reading them when I was 13/14. You might have noticed I had to get the 1st and 3rd from the library! Such a tragedy I know, but so far I haven’t found them in used bookstores. One day though, One day.

I also love that since I’ve been reading them for…well, over a decade, I am picking up on different things. Now that I’m married, I pick up on the hurt or joy when it’s a marriage moment… did that even make sense? Maybe I’ll close now and say : This trilogy is delightful. READ IT.

~Laura

Do you have a series you’ve been reading since you were a teen and still enjoy today?

Writing Shorts

26 Aug

 

 

Three months and four days. That’s how long it’s been since I felt normal. I could still feel the cold fear that had settled on me that first day when I realized something had changed. It used to consume me but by now it had settled down in my stomach like those dumplings I’d eaten from the street vendor last time I’d been downtown. I allowed my mind to wander as I remembered that evening, the shining stars had been reflected in my daughter’s eyes as she’d told me about her art class.

“I’m just going to replace the fluids and then the doctor will be in.”

My dreaming interrupted, I was pulled back to reality as I heard my mother respond to the nurse – it sounded like Linda – her gravely voice made me imagine her with a cigarette hanging from her lips. The swish of a page, the click of the fluid bag being hung and then I heard quick footsteps precede the doctor. I hadn’t been able to peg him yet, whether he loved his job or just drank copious amounts of coffee.

“Morningmorning. Let’sseehowshe’sdoingtoday, ifyoudon’tmindwaitingoutside, it’lljustbeaminute.”

Silence followed the shuffle of my mother’s feet. The cold fear had started to rise and I willed my hands to move up to my chest to rub at the spot. As every other time, I couldn’t. No matter how many signals I sent, they remained motionless at my side.

“This doesn’t look good. Her vitals aren’t changing as they should.” The doctor’s energy seemed to have vanished. Now his voice reminded me of an old haggard man faced with terrible news. “Go ahead and call her family back in, they need to know.”

I tried not to panic as I wondered at his ominous words, part of me refusing to understand what they truly meant. I had blocked so much of what I’d heard but now it threatened to come back and overtake me. I sent every signal I could think of to my legs, then to my arms, trying to move, trying to prove them wrong before he could further break my mother’s heart. And what about my daughter? What would she do without me?

In all my panicking, I missed the beginning of what the doctor said but one word broke through – the one word I’ d been hiding from since I first heard it.

Coma.

The rest of their conversation flowed around me as I finally let the reason for the hard, cold fear settle around me. I was in a coma. For three months and four days now.

“It’s not looking good.”

“Please don’t go out tonight, the roads are icy.”

“Will she come out of it?”

“Just cancel, they’ll understand.”

“You need to prepare yourselves.”

“Mommy?”

The past and present seemed to meld into one, horrible and terrifying moment. The fear and pressure built so strong that I did the only thing I could.

I screamed.

And so did my mom. The doctor dropped his clipboard and the nurse looked like she might faint.  When the four of us had stared at each other for an interminable time, the doctor said, dryly,

“Welcome back.”

 

 

 

Health Update – 8/23/16

23 Aug

This past month has really tested me – I feel that my normal good-humor is starting to slip and as such, I’m quieter because I’d really rather not spew all this anger and frustration on those of you I’m around! (plus, there might be tears. and that’s not cool) Please don’t think I’m walking around depressed or eternally angry, okay? That’s not what I’m saying. What I am saying is that chronic pain is wearying. Thanks in equal parts to my OH, parents, friends and dogs, I’m making it through but by golly, I’m heading to the store today to pick up the vitamins I need, whether I feel up to it or not!

hlthupdt82316

Overall Health:¬†Honestly, it’s the same as last month’s update. TIRED. EXHAUSTED. WORN OUT. that’s me. Leg/foot cramping has come back along with such severe, drive-me-crazy-body-pain that I’d rather just have a migraine, thank you very much. Weight is still slowly going up.

Treatment:¬†I’m still taking the Xiao Chai Hu Tang but I don’t think (which means I know I’m not but I don’t want to admit it)¬†that I’m taking the proper dosage. I am taking 2 a day and apparently I’m supposed to be taking 3 or 4 three times a day….Definitely need to up them!!

Migraines:¬†They have been severe, long-lasting and daily this month. If I don’t catch them right away, nothing touches them. And sometimes, even if I do take everything, it doesn’t seem to touch it.

Digestion and TMJ:¬†digestion has been iffy but I’ll admit it, I haven’t been super strict on my diet lately. So, that’s my own fault . TMJ seems to be even-ing out again after getting worse for a few weeks. I really need to get into the habit of wearing my night guard when I take naps so my jaw doesn’t ache like it is right now.

Mood:¬†I have been more irritable these past weeks and I do. not. like. it. I sincerely apologize to anyone if I’ve been short or rude to you! I try not to let it out. oy. It is directly related to feeling so overwhelmingly awful for so many days in a row.

Sleep: As of a few weeks ago, I have been taking naps almost every day. Sometimes two naps. Yesterday I slept about 5 hours just napping and still was so tired. Still needing melatonin or theanine in order to sleep.

Memory:¬†I don’t think it has improved any. If it has, I can’t tell.

Daily Vitamins:

Clonidine ‚Äď still averaging 2 a day probably.

I have recently run out of : Magnesium, Chaste tree berry, Olive Leaf Extract, Evening Primrose Oil, Calcium, Fish Oil. ( some of these I’ve been taking less of to get them to last longer i.e. til I get to the store)

here’s my full list¬†of vitamins!

Check out my other updates and info on Lyme!

Symptoms of my Lyme

update 7/27/16

the Big Health update

Thanks for stopping by, I feel so blessed that SGL reaches as many people as it does!

~Laura

 

 

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