Coping

Choose Life

December 30, 2017

Today I put before you…

People everywhere are announcing their “word” for 2018. Admittedly I used to roll my eyes and shake my head over this. Of course you can choose “prosperity,” you’re healthy and able to work. And you, yeah go ahead and claim “explore” because you can travel pain free. Oh, “self care” now that’s unique. Like we need another person spending their Sundays soaking in a bath eating bonbons. So, yeah, I’ve been caustic.

But I am learning the power of words. I’m seeing the point of intention and meditating on things. Really, that’s like praying. Asking for favour. Accepting blessings. Being purposeful. So maybe I’ll do this, too.

My word is words, plural. And they are huge. They were handed to me. Surprisingly, against all odds I was given a life, a baby. And although not healthy or 100% well, I’m getting better. Life is being handed back to me slowly, in pieces. I need to build it carefully. Set it up on a strong foundation, and create tall walls but also large windows to let the light in. Follow me on this construction project of 2018 I’m calling: “Choose Life.” I’m doing it for my son. I’m claiming it for me.

What I think, what I say, what I eat, what I do. Is it life-giving? Is it healthy? Will it bring joy and creativity and the breath of life to my recovery and to my family? So I guess the chocolate bars I have hidden gotta go! And I need to quite writing this to go nap with my son. ❤️

Coping, Photos, Tips and Tricks

Walks With Beagle

December 17, 2017

 How do you come to terms with facing the same loss over and over again? Most goodbyes are final. You grieve and then learn to  live without. But what happens when you are gifted and denied your passion repeatedly? I am once again facing the same loss I have grieved four times before, and determining how to hope without setting myself up for disappointment, and how to proceed cautiously without dreaming too small.  Continue reading to see how I’m facing this and what a stubborn beagle has to do with my newest challenge.  Continue Reading…

Treatment

How Do I Know If It Is Lyme?

December 13, 2017

How Do I Know If I Have Lyme?

(Or: What if it is not arthritis, MS, interstitial cystitis?)

Most likely it is Lyme. If you are thinking about a possible Lyme diagnosis it probably is. And if you have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, MS, or interstitial cystitis there’s a chance that the Lyme bacteria is causing it. Lots of serious, chronic diseases start because of a virus or bacteria. If your illness is caused by a Borrelia burgdorferi strain, then your treatments will only be Band-Aids for symptoms.  If you get tested and narrow the cause down to Lyme, then treating Lyme will get to the root of the problem and begin the healing process.

Many people in my town are being diagnosed with Lyme disease after years of feeling unwell and “mysterious” migrating symptoms. It is an epidemic and therefore makes sense that many people have Lyme, whether they know it or not.

In children, Lyme looks a little different. Sadly Lyme is congenital, and mothers can pass it on to babies if they do not have treatment during pregnancy. It starts out slowly and if untested and untreated, the child will just grow increasingly ill with more symptoms. It usually begins with headaches, bone pain (mistaken sometimes for growing pains), constant sore throat and ear infections, asthma, digestive issues, and/or ADD and anxiety. Some children are developmentally delayed, while others have more physical pain and low immunity.

Here’s how it started for me:

First onset symptoms: A “weird” flu or unexplained “virus” a few months, asthma, chemical sensitivities, fatigue, feeling ‘rundown’, sore throats, annual pneumonia

 

Chronic Lyme disease symptoms: Extreme fatigue, insomnia, pain, poor circulation, brain fog, tinnitus, heart palpitations, heart block, heart murmur, low BP, difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, chronic cough, stiff joints, heightened anxiety, difficulty remembering common words.

 

Diagnosis before Lyme disease: 

 

Working too hard; anxiety; IBS

 

Treatment does not always mean hundreds of thousands of dollars at a special clinic. There are means to managing the disease at home and with the help of various practitioners. It does require patience and research. Some excellent books to start with are:

Dr. Horowitz’s Why Can’t I Get Better?  His symptom checklist is thorough.

Stephen Buhner’s books on Lyme and Coinfections

Dr. William Rawls Suffered Long Enough and Unlocking Lyme

Coping

Do It Afraid

November 9, 2017

I am a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock films. North by Northwest is a favourite. To calm down after a Thanksgiving fiasco one year, it was an Alfred Hitchcock marathon we watched while eating pizza. Perhaps my love of the films blossomed because it marked a breakthrough in our marriage and coping with this disease. Strangely I get warm fuzzy feelings watching The Birds, Vertigo, Rear Window, and even Psycho because of that memory. North by Northwest has an amazing scene that is set on Mount Rushmore. As we drove up to the parking lot I felt excitement for the first time in months. I felt blessed as clouds rolled in. I felt capable of walking to see these famous carvings. Phrases from Teddy Roosevelt’s speeches and biographies came to me as I looked at his face. I recalled that Teddy Roosevelt was a sickly child. He was small and suffered from asthma, gasping for air at night. He was weak compared to other boys his age. Instead of caving in to this, he did exercises at home, slowly conditioning his body. Like me, he was riddled with fears. To prevail he simply did things afraid. He pretended he wasn’t afraid in order to overcome. I seemed to do that too. I was always scared. People said, “You are so brave. I couldn’t endure those treatments” and even, “You look so calm. You must be handling this well.”
The truth is I am often scared, silently fretting. I do not speak of these fears aloud very often. I do not allow the fears to have a voice or I would never be able to silence them. I choose to push through and do things afraid. I can convince myself that I am strong and brave. Fake it till I make it. Coinciding with the height of one scary situation was a trip to Mount Rushmore. My fears were mounting to the point of spilling out into a full blown panic attack. But looking at Teddy Roosevelt’s face carved in solid stone reminded me to press on, to do things afraid. Just because we are scared does not give us permission to quit. It was fitting to be at Mount Rushmore on July 4, to be bolstered by history and stone.

Treatment

Milk Thistle

October 31, 2017

Milk thistle seeds contain silymarin, which provides a gentle, yet effective detox mostly by supporting the liver. In my experience, and many others I have interviewed, milk thistle has not caused a healing crisis, herx, or negative side effects. From measurably reducing liver enzymes to relieving neurotoxicity, to alleviating jaundice to easing digestive disorders, this powerful herb can be of significant support.

Milk thistle will not only help “cleanse,” but will also cause new tissue to grow, thereby restoring a damaged liver. It is considered an important treatment for liver disease. Studies reveal improvements in patients suffering from hepatitis, fatty liver, and cirrhosis when milk thistle is prescribed.

In the chronic illness community, liver damage and toxicity are common problems. Milk thistle is proving to bring the most effective, safe, and affordable means of supporting the liver and spleen, while aiding detox and digestion.

I have myself experienced success while taking milk thistle capsules. Once jaundiced, with spiking liver enzymes, I now have a fully functioning liver and bile flow from the consistent use of this wonderful herb.

Unlike yucca or glutathione pushes, which are great for some but cause neurotoxicity and pain in many, milk thistle does not create side effects while opening detox pathways and interrupting cytokine cascades. It does not interfere with other drugs and herbs. Of course, this opinion is based on my experience and research. Speak with your naturopath or TCM doctor about including milk thistle in your treatment plan. Do some of your own research and readings to determine if milk thistle is something you should try.