Trying New Things and New Goals

I am so excited!!!  I’m a little frustrated, but mostly I am excited!!!

I have a workout partner!!!  I have been to the gym several times this week!

I have been doing yoga for almost 3 months now!  I have already met one goal which is to be able to do camel pose!

Camelpose

I have done boot camp, core class, barre class and am exploring the activities that I like to do.  

exercise1

I also have a new favorite thing…

My Instant Pot!!!

Instantpot

Yes, I have been using my Pinterest Keto board and have been cooking up a storm!!!  It’s been awesome!!!

But, I haven’t lost much weight, so I’m going to try a 3 day EGG FAST starting tomorrow!

And…June 1st, we are going to Colorado, WAY up in the mountains, pretty far east of Woodland Park in a place called Florissant to visit family.  So I am setting a goal to lose between 6 and 10 pounds by the time we go.  I want to be in much better shape than the last time we were out there.

It’s been two years since we have visited and the last time I was out there was just about two months after we had been T-boned by a vehicle that had run a red light.  I was still healing from that accident and I was moving slowly and I also weighed about 40 pounds more than I do now.  So I am really looking forward to this trip.  

We don’t get to travel much or take many trips or vacations, so this is going to be a real treat for us and I am so excited because I’m already in much better shape than I was two years ago, and I plan to be in even better shape by the time we get there! 

Here are some things that I have learned about my body over the last couple of months.  

  1.  Too much spinach salad aggravates my diverticulitis.  I do much better staying on a more carnivore based diet.
  2. Too many carbs or sugars make my liver hurt which has ended up explaining SO much to me.
  3. When my sugar is high, I tend to have a problem with regulating my temperature so I usually get very hot.

One of the main things that I am learning, partially because I do Yoga With Adriene on YouTube and from following several doctors for keto…

Adriene says Find What Feels Good when doing Yoga.  Also, keto can be a very personalized way of eating.  Different foods affect different people in different ways.  You have to find what works for you.  Keto is not going to be the same for everyone.  Yoga, especially when you start is not going to be the same for everyone.  When it comes to your health DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. ‘

*UPDATE: Okay, so I was going to get this edited and posted last night, however, due to extreme weather and having to go sit in a storm shelter, that did not happen.  I have also had a chance to look at my schedule and I am wondering if today is the best day to start my egg fast as we are extremely busy with end of school activities, including an award dinner on Wednesday evening.  

I am also very tired this morning as last night was a little crazy with the weather, which is supposed to stay about the same for the next few days.  But I am determined to get started on this endeavor.

Who knows, maybe I will do what I can and then break the fast on Wednesday evening and restart on Thursday.  I have a plan.  I have a specific goal, it is measurable and achievable.  It’s completely doable.  I just have to work on the scheduling of it.

I’m excited. I’m making positive life choices.  I’m feeling better.  I’m getting out and  being more active.  I hate to say it, but I had to get to a point where I was sick of where I was and I could make that decision to change.  

Everything starts with a choice.

And that’s my simple thought for today!!

 

Advertisements

Food Hangover…YES!!! It’s a Thing!!!

So, yesterday was my husband’s birthday.  I think that I did pretty well surprising him and taking him to see Shazam…even though I told him we were just going to Walmart, and then when we got to the theater I told him that we were seeing Us (which I knew he had no desire to see) until I gave him his ticket for Shazam.  All in all it was a great evening.

multi colored chairs in row
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

However…

I have discovered that I have absolutely no self-control or self-discipline when it comes to…duh duh duh….MOVIE THEATER POPCORN, smothered in butter.  Today?  I feel like UTTER poo-poo!!!!  Seriously!!!! The worst thing about it?  It’s not the first time!  Only this time it’s WAY worse.

food snack popcorn movie theater
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

You see, I grew up on popcorn.  Maybe not movie theater popcorn.  But popcorn was always considered one of those “healthy” snacks.  In fact, I have heard it called a “good” carb.

Let me tell ya’.  THERE ARE NO GOOD CARBS!!!

In fact, in Dr. Sarah Hallberg’s Ted Talk speech, she states that we don’t even NEED carbs to survive!!!  Why?  Because our body makes what we need from other foods we eat, such as protein.

Anyway, I knew that my sugar was going up and up because I could feel it.  I guess that’s what they mean by you can put your diabetes in remission, reverse it whatever, but if you go back to eating your old ways, it can definitely come back.  Me?  I’m still diabetic, even though my last A1C was a 6.4 which is technically pre-diabetic, I’m still on medications which are helping me to get there.  I won’t be in remission, or have completely reversed my diabetes until I can maintain a 5.5 A1C without the use of medications.  That is my goal.  That is my plan.  

After the movie we decided to go to Red Robin, (because of the bottomless sides, the fries are the most popular),  and I was GOOD.  I had a wedgie style burger, (burger wrapped in lettuce, but I also added all the veggies), and bottomless side salad with blue cheese.  And I gulped down like 3 glasses of water.  

It didn’t matter.  By the end of the night, I felt drunk.  When we got home and I checked my sugar…it was 246. 

man old depressed headache
Photo by Gerd Altmann on Pexels.com

Ok.  I know, that for some of you 246 is normal, or not that high.  That’s the way it used to be for me.  If I was at a 246 I was a happy girl because that was low for me.  But now?  I’m used to running between 120 and 140.  So 246 is a miserable state for me to be in.  

I took my medications, I drank water and I went to bed.  

Only to wake up this morning feeling like,…well, like I spent the night out drinking tons of alcohol…and ending up with a hangover.  In fact, I honestly have that “I’m still drunk” feeling.  This morning, my sugar was 176…better, but still much higher than what my body is used to lately.  In fact, I still feel so bad that I can’t even drink my bulletproof coffee. How sad is that?

Was it worth it?  For my husband’s birthday, everything was worth it, EXCEPT the stupid movie theater popcorn.  

I just saw a video posted by Thomas DeLauer, that said “No more snacking”.  Don’t eat between your meals.  

Stop Eating Anything Between Meals

I guess, that’s what I’m going to have to do that (I don’t do that normally) when I go to the movies.  I am going to have to find the self-control and self-discipline to not indulge in that yummy, salty, buttery, (fake butter), warm popcorn.  And not eat.  Because let’s face it, movie theaters are NOT keto friendly.  

My plans for today?  Take my youngest son to school, come home, go to bed again for awhile, do a water fast until about 6, and hopefully throw some yoga in there.  

I’m proud to admit that I am on day 12 of 30 days of yoga with Adrienne on YouTube.  And I usually do a little more than just the one video.  I’m working towards camel pose and a headstand or sometimes I do a deep stretch yoga workout depending on how I’m feeling.  We shall see.

30 Days of Yoga With Adriene

woman doing yoga pose on pink yoga mat
Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

So my friends, if you are thinking about cheating on your new way of life, whether that be keto, paleo, DASH, vegan, whatever way of eating you are choosing to follow, think twice.  If you are adapted to that new way of eating…then the consequences of your cheat may not be pleasant…at all.  

And those are my simple thoughts for today.

 

Understanding Knowing Your Why

Last year when I first started this new health journey, it was a split second decision based on the fact that I had had pneumonia for almost 6 months. As the result of mold in my house my entire family had pneumonia.  However, unlike the rest of my family, I ended up with sepsis, was in the hospital for 5 days and after having acquired pneumonia in September of 2017, I was still fighting it in February and March of 2018.

alone bed bedroom blur
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

One day I just got sick of it all and said, “That’s it! No more potatoes, no more sugar, no more rice or bread, no more corn”… and I started eating fresh veggies with the “expensive” dips that you find in the produce section, and lots of salmon or chicken. Honestly though, I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing.  I did however, notice change almost right away.  My sugars started stabilizing.  I started feeling better and the residual cough that I had had since I got pneumonia started to FINALLY go away.

The main problem was I didn’t know exactly what I was doing.  I didn’t know exactly where to go from veggie trays and fish.  I was also eating quinoa as filler.  I had already made the change from margarine to butter, and from vegetable oil to olive oil.  Other than that I had no clue what to do.

Then my personality kicked in.

I like to know stuff.  When I get on a kick about something, I love to try to find out everything I can about that subject.  So when I first started looking into seriously changing my diet or finding new ways to stay on the way of eating I was already doing, I started by researching Paleo, the DASH diet, and Whole 30.  I think I may have even considered becoming a vegetarian.  (To tell the truth, I like meat way too much for that.)

I actually stumbled on the keto diet.  I can’t remember which was first, the keto diet, or Dr. Ken D. Berry.  Either way, what I was starting to hear, was making complete sense to me.  From there, I found lots of people, who were completely on fire for keto, but not many doctors or medical professionals.  But I kept looking, and I kept finding.  In fact, I’m still finding today.

Just the other day I stumbled upon this video:

Reversing Type 2 diabetes starts by IGNORING the guidelines

You can probably guess how curious that made me. 

This video is a Ted Talk but Dr. Sarah Hallberg, who is the medical director of the Medically Supervised Weight Loss program at IU Health Arnett.  

Now, granted in this video, she does not actually use the word keto, but her charts, her graphs, her speech in general was VERY keto.  I have done a little more research and she does have more videos that use the term keto.  I will be very curious to see what she says in those. 

In her speech, while she says diabetes can not be cured, (because if you go back to eating the way you were before, it can come back,) but it can definitely be reversed to the point where you don’t have it anymore.  You can come off your insulin, you can come off your medications…

It was WONDERFUL!!!!  Because a couple of months ago, I had decided that my “WHY” of doing keto was to cure my diabetes and now there was one more medical professional telling me that that goal IS POSSIBLE!!!!

My very specific “why” has been to cure my diabetes and now I know that it can and it has been done.  So now I am going stronger than ever!  And because I know what my “why” is…this journey has become so much easier.  

I won’t say that I haven’t been tempted, but it is so much easier to not cheat.  It is so much easier for me to ask myself if cheating is worth it and then walk away.  It’s so much easier for me to think about the consequences of having that ice cream, or cake, or pancakes with syrup…(high blood sugar spike, feeling sick and nauseated and exhausted) and just know that it’s not worth it to me.  

When I started this journey, my A1C had been up to 8.3.  I got it to a 7.5.  In 2 months I got it down to a 6.5.  Over Christmas this year I got it down to a 6.4.  My goal?  5.5.  I want to get to a 5.5 A1C.  I want to come off Metformin and Glipizide.  I want to lower my blood pressure and I want to live a full life instead of feeling like crap all of the time.

colors colours health medicine
Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

 

So if you have decided to set a goal, of any kind, make sure you know your “why”.  Make sure it’s specific, and especially make sure that you know it CAN be done because it makes a HUGE difference in your journey.

And that’s my simple view for today!

black and white black and white destination expedition
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Great Things Abound

My new life, full of new choices has been successful in many ways.  One thing that I forgot to update in my last post was the fact that as of this week I am 2 months SMOKE-FREE!!!!  Yes!!!  No more sitting out in the cold smoking!!!  No more worrying about if I smell like stale smoke!!!  No more wasting time and money on cigarettes!!!  It’s gone!!! Out of my life completely!!!!

My cervical spinal stenosis?  Not an issue anymore!!!  Ever since I started vaping CBD oil, the pain in my neck and arm became less and less and now I don’t have any issues whatsoever.  I am PAIN-FREE!!!

woman waering white bra and maxi skirt
Photo by Lucas Pezeta on Pexels.com

Wow!!  Smoke-free and pain-free!!!  Imagine that!!!  I am so grateful and so blessed that I have found things that have worked for me!!

(Yes, I know…I LOVE exclamation points too.)

Oh, I almost forgot.  So many of you who are diabetic know that you can start getting peripheral neuropathy in your hands and feet.  I had really bad neuropathy in my feet.  The kind of pain where at night I couldn’t have my feet on the bed, or even a sheet touching my toes or feet.  I was taking 2400 mg of Gabapentin every day.  Two pills in the morning, two pills in the afternoon and two more in the evening.

I no longer take it.

Once in awhile if I have cheated or had sugar I may need one or two, but I really have not needed to take Gabapentin for awhile now, because I no longer have neuropathy in my feet.

So, is keto worth it?  Is living a keto lifestyle a good choice?

For me, it has been the best choice.  As I keep my eye on the research, I am finding that more and more doctors are getting on board with LCHF diets, if not pure keto.  More and more doctors are finding out from experience that what they have been taught and what they have been practicing for so long…does not work.

This is the best choice for me.  My life is slowly changing for the better.  I am starting to be able to live a healthier and happier life.  It’s a slow journey as I am working on changing years of bad health and years of bad habits, but I like the results that I am seeing.

Do your research.  That’s all I can say.  Whatever choice you are trying to make, information on everything is out there.  Just do your research because it is so important to know what you are getting into before you make a decision to start something like keto, or paleo, or LCHF, or whatever new choice you are trying to make.  Do it so that you can make good, wise choices, and positive change and so you can live!!!

Make your choice and know WHY you are making that choice and then have a plan.

You can change your life.  You can change your health.  You can change your happiness and joy.  You can live and not just survive.  It’s up to you.

close up photo of coffee mug near pink roses and macarons
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

That’s probably the biggest lesson that I have learned.  I only wish I had learned it earlier.

And those are my simple views and thoughts for today!!!

Be blessed everyone!!!

 

 

I Went Missing…Again

A couple of months ago, I started working on a couple of posts, reintroducing myself and getting ready to try to reinvent my blog a little bit and figure out exactly what my niche is and try to make it look a little more professional. However, life struck again and I have been sick off an on for almost a month now.

It started out with a bout of diverticulitis, followed up by pain and nausea that was mostly in my right side under my ribs, which is very strange since I don’t have a gallbladder anymore. Followed by just colds and flu and a sinus and ear infection.

apartment bed carpet chair
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This has only gone to reinforce my belief that I need to stay keto as much as possible or even carnivore, which I do as much as possible when I can. However, I LIKE too many foods to just stick to carnivore.

cooked meat on brown chopping board
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

When I started this journey, I was at a point where I was frustrated with my health because I always felt sick. ALWAYS. My A1C had been up to an 8.3 and my immune system was almost non-existent. At my last check-up, my A1C was down to a 6.4!!!!!!

I was a little disappointed and shocked with that. Disappointed because I knew in my heart that I could have brought that number down lower if I had really been focused, and shocked because I was just bad about my food choices over the Christmas holidays so the fact that it had continued to go down was amazing.

photo of a woman holding an ipad
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

I have been learning lots of things, and even though I haven’t been blogging as much as I would like to, I am making changes in my life.

You know, people my whole life have talked to me about making goals. “What is your 5 year plan? What is your 10 year plan?” But no one really talked to me about HOW to make those goals…or rather I should say, make those goals achievable.

It was probably a month or so ago that I started listening to the Ketovangelist podcast. And me, being who I am, I started way back at the beginning and his first episodes were all about setting goals and making them achievable.

One thing that I have really been working on is knowing what my “why” is. I never realized before that when you set a goal, that you need a very specific and attainable “why”. And just because of that, I have really started making some little changes in my life that could have a big impact.

For instance, why am I doing keto? Really, and specifically. I started doing it because I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. My goal now is not only do I want to reverse my diabetes, I want to cure it. I want to cure my diabetes. I want to strengthen my immune system and I want to start living the life that I have and stop letting my health and how I feel dictate what I do and don’t do.

Another goal that I have chosen for myself…I will choose joy every day. Why? Because I’m learning that my feelings don’t have to dictate how I act, how I treat other people and my circumstances can’t take my joy away from me. I am deciding to choose joy every day because it makes me feel better. It makes me feel better, emotionally, physically, and mentally.

And third, I am choosing to do something that make me laugh every day.

If any of you have read any of my past blogs, the you will notice that the last two goals may sound familiar because I follow a vlog on YouTube called The Frey Life. I have learned so much from watching this vlog. Mary Frey has cystic fibrosis, and her journey of faith has inspired me and made me realize that I don’t always have to let my circumstances bring down and make me depressed every single time something bad happens or when I get sick. It’s a hard decision to follow through on, but it is a decision that I wish I had made much earlier in my life. It’s a lesson that I wish I had learned much earlier in life and since I have made these decisions, I find that I am much happier on a daily basis than I have ever been in the past.

I still have my struggles. I still fight daily fatigue. Right now, I’m still trying to get over a sinus infection. But I don’t feel stuck anymore. I feel like I can change and I can make my life better just by deciding to choose joy and laugh and by trying to be as healthy as I can.

I’m already seeing results. My faith is stronger. I’m making wiser choices. I feel happier. Oh, and my fingernails…they are so strong and grow so fast!!!! (I love doing my nails) It might be hard work, but I think it’s worth it.

So that’s been my last couple of months, making decisions, praying about them, fighting illness and trying to stay joyful despite all of it.

I have so many things I wish to write about and share, I really hope that I can get to a point where this blog can be a priority for me. I learn so much from other people, and I love to share what I learn and how I implement those lessons and how they impact my life.

That’s why life is such an exquisitely beautiful and bittersweet journey. All the lessons learned and the growing pains that come with them. It’s worth it in the end, especially when it molds you into something God intended you to be and turns you into something beautiful.

And these are my simple thoughts of the day. Have a blessed day!

sakura tree
Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

Regrets…and Other Thoughts

Today I was listening to the “Going Scared” podcast with Jessica Honegger. It was her latest podcast on my Castbox app, and on it, she was interviewing Danielle Walker, who is an author and a chef. Her book, “Eat What You Love” recently came out in December of 2018. She also has a book out called “Against All Grain” and a website,http://againstallgrain.com

In this podcast, Danielle went on to explain that when she was 22 or 23 years old, she had been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. She told a story about how this disease had started affecting her life, and how she almost died, and how all the doctors and specialists over and over again just doled out pills and medications and told her as long as she stayed on the medications that she could live a normal life, and for awhile she believed it.

This comes to the point of my blog. So often, especially in the past, we are so apt to follow blindly the information that our doctors give us as if they were gods.

With my diabetes, I was put on numerous medications, (some which I still take, but my doses have gone down), and was told to watch my diet and follow the diabetes diet, which did not work for me, and yet I blindly did so because that’s what ALL the doctors told me to do.

I have lived a life of regret because I spent so much time feeling like crap, or being sick or having to sleep all of the time. I’ve missed out on so much of life!!!

I didn’t do my research. So now I am. I have become an information magnet. I want to learn everything that I can about health, food, herbs, and anything that can help me live a quality of life that I can be proud of and enjoy.

I regret that I blindly followed the normally prescribed way of life for a diabetic as it did not produce the results that I needed. I regret that I missed out on so much of my kids’ lives and building relationships with them that were strong because “mommy is too sick” or “mommy is too tired” to do what they wanted me to do.

It was about April of last year that I decided out of the blue that I was going to cut all carbs out of my diet. ALL carbs. I decided, no rice, no bread, no potatoes, no sugars, no pastas.

Within days…that’s right…I said DAYS, I saw a difference.

So I started doing more research, and I started talking to my friends about the ketogenic diet. I did not just blindly go ahead and start following a diet before I knew anything about it. I did my research.

It was about that time that I was diagnosed with diverticulitis. Let me tell you, it may not be Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis, but it is definitely no fun at all.

The disappointing thing? All of the foods prescribed for diverticulitis strictly go against, not only a diabetic-friendly diet, but ketogenic too.

I found myself on a rollercoaster of health issues, trying to get my blood sugars back in balance while trying to heal my colon. Ergo, more research.

I found that I could stay on a keto diet AND handle my diverticulitis at the same time with foods. I didn’t have to eat rice and bread. I could eat bone broth, with butter, and mild vegetables. And I slowly started to get better and feel better.

The next thing was receiving the diagnosis of cervical spinal stenosis, which left me in so much pain that I could not function. I would rock back and forth on my bed in so much pain, crying out to God and asking why this had happen to me.

The solution?

If you have read some of my previous blogs, you know that I was given opiates, and muscle relaxers, and steroids. None of which worked, and made me feel just as bad as the pain.

So I did more research.

Foods, herbs and spices can all be anti-inflammatory. It may or may not heal you of a condition, you may not be “cured”, but they can certainly help you live a quality of life that I believe is better than living on all of the drugs that the doctors prescribe.

Food is medicine. Food is health. Food is everything. But it has to be the right kind of food.

Photo by Foodie Factor on Pexels.com

I have also added a high dose of CBD oil to my diet and my life is getting so much better than I ever imagined.

I work now. I am now a Work-At-Home Mom, successfully teaching for Qkids, teaching Chinese children English as a second language. And I have gone from barely making it through a couple of classes due to pain, to being able to teach 9 classes a day.

I’m not going to get into the foods that I eat in this particular blog, but I will say, mostly it’s unprocessed.

The point of my blog today is that I regret following doctors advice blindly. I regret not doing research on my own and finding out what would work for me. I regret all of this because if I could have been living the quality of life that I am living right now 10 years ago, I think that my entire family’s life would be better.

So, do your research. Don’t just follow your doctors advice blindly. Unfortunately today, most doctors are making their money from the pharmacuetical companies. Unfortunately today, most doctors are not trained in nutrition.

Find out what WORKS for you, whether it’s oils, or diet, or yoga. I’m not saying that all doctors are wrong and I’m NOT saying to use diet to go off or your medications. I believe that they have your best interests and your health at heart.

I just also believe that you need to have all of the information.

So those are my simple views for today.

What I’ve Discovered and Decisions I Am Making

I have been gone again for awhile.  Thank you cervical spinal stenosis.

I have had a lot of time to think about why this has happened to me, (I believe it is from a car accident on Nov. 15, 2016)  research treatment options and try to make some decisions about what I think would be the best treatment solutions for me, as this is my life now.

One thing that I have learned, and I really don’t like it, is that the majority of my time is now spent on pain management.  It is taking me away from my family, friends, church and other things that I enjoy. 

I hate this.  I hate that there are days when I can’t even sit at my computer and teach online classes due to the amount of pain that I am in.

I hate that I can’t focus on finishing my TESOL course, or doing Bible study because all I can see is pain.  I hate that everyone looks at me and talks to me like I’m something that is going to break.

I have learned that there really are not a lot of options that are effective in treating cervical spinal stenosis.  In my support group pages on Facebook, people are in constant pain, they don’t sleep, they can’t eat…and the surgeries seem to be worse than dealing with the actual condition. I’ve seen pictures of massive scarring.  I’ve read about how after the surgery the throat is so swollen that people have no choice to stay on liquid diets, for weeks, maybe even months at a time.  Sometimes, if the person is lucky they work for awhile, but more often than not, the surgeries fail and have to be repeated time and time again.

Opiates…which is what they give you to treat the pain…do not work on nerve pain.  They just make you not care quite so much about the fact that you are in pain.  They also make me just as unable to function as the pain and they give me awful headaches, so what is the use?  Plus there is the whole thing that opiates are being tracked, you can never get the amount that you need, and they are highly addictive.  The more I read and study about opiates, I’m finding that they are very dangerous, and toxic to the body and many of its systems.

Muscle relaxers…also do not work on nerve pain and they make me sleep all of the time.

bunch of white oval medication tablets and white medication capsules
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So what does work?

For me…I have an electric pulse massager that relieves pain for a little while, heat and ice also work, but very temporary. 

The most success that I have had is with CBD and THC.

Yes, this Jesus-loving, church-going girl has gone there.  CBD and THC.  

I originally started with the THC and was amazed at the results, immediate pain-relief, it lasted for hours and I didn’t have the side-effects that the opiates gave me.  I added CBD to it soon after and I was living an almost completely pain-free life. I felt really lucky because I had found something that worked for me.

However, because THC is not legal where I live, the guilt soon overcame me and I have given it up.  CBD does work, but not as well on its own as when it is combined with the THC.  But I have decided to comply with our state law and stick with the CBD. 

flat lay photography of several product bottles on withered leaves
Photo by Laryssa Suaid on Pexels.com

I will, however, start to advocate for our state to change the laws and allow medical marijuana to be used.  There are so many people who have benefitted from its use and there are so many people who have had to move to other states in order to be able to get the help they need.  

In future blogs, I intend to write about the differences between medical marijuana and recreational marijuana, because they ARE different.  The main difference being that medical marijuana has a higher level of CBD while recreational marijuana has more THC.  

There are many studies being done on the benefits of both CBD and THC, and I intend to research this more because if my life is going to be one of maintaining a quality of life that controls my pain so that I can live and not be down or in bed, I am going to do everything that I can to take care of myself so that I can be there for my family.  

It has taken me awhile to accept that this is my life.  I’m not sure that I am there yet.  I still find myself questioning why this happened.  I’m young, I have so much life ahead of me and I want to live it without being confined by pain as much as possible.  

I am a realist though.  I know that for me the possibility of living a pain-free life is a bit of a dream.  Maybe in the future, there will be better treatments, better surgeries, and better care available, but for now, most of those options are not for me.  I will try to go as long as I can without having surgery and I will try to do it as naturally as possible. 

When I started using CBD, I started with the gummies, which come in different doses.  I found out that for my level of pain, that I needed a very high dose, which got higher when I quit using THC.  The problem with that is that the gummies don’t work immediately.  They took an hour or two before I started to feel any relief.  I was very disappointed with this and quickly found myself deteriorating to a non-functioning state. 

I’ve tried kratom pills, which worked also but had the same issues that I had with the gummies, and I couldn’t keep up with the cost and the pain at the same time.

After talking to several different people, I have decided that I would try vaping CBD.  I don’t like vaping, I had tried it once when I was quitting smoking, and it did work, however, I didn’t like it.  I have been able to find a pre-filled cartridge with a nice mango flavor to it.

CBDOIL
With that, I had to buy a battery/heater in order to vape. received_222930351959727

So far, I am happy, but it hasn’t been a full day yet.  I am definitely feeling more relaxed, have much less pain and am excited to see where it goes from here.

My opinion and recommendation for anyone who is going through an illness or chronic pain is to do your research, talk to people and with CBD it’s all a guessing game to find out what works. 

I am praying and hoping that this will work and if it doesn’t, I pray that the lawmakers in my state will get on the ball and pass medical marijuana as a viable treatment for disease and pain.

Until then, all I can do is keep trying.

One Of Those Days

I am having “one of those days”. 

Today I woke up to pain. The kind of pain where all your brain sees is the word “PAIN” flashing like a neon sign with every throb your body makes.  Pain running down the entire length of my arm, down into my hand that is such, it is hard to even think about anything else.  

Today I woke up afraid that I have mono.  My 11-year-old son has missed two weeks of school because of breaking out in rashes and having such bad joint pain and muscle aches that we rushed him to the Emergency Room one night and he hasn’t been able to walk very well. 

My son who is a junior has missed a week of school due to extreme fatigue and nausea off and on all week, so I’m wondering if he has mono too. 

I taught a class this morning with very little kids and all I could do was hope I didn’t sound as sick to them as I sound to myself.  

I have school to get through, my house is in disarray and all I can think of is pain. 

Here’s the thing about learning to live with chronic pain.  You feel pain for awhile and you think, “This isn’t that bad, I can handle this”.  But then the pain stays, and after awhile you think, “Ok, I know that this pain isn’t that bad, but I’m getting tired of it”.  Then after awhile, the pain itself wears you down until you’re just tired.  This is chronic pain.  Pain that doesn’t stop, pain that doesn’t give you a break, and pain that sometimes is unbearable. 

Today I find myself at a place where all I can pray is “Jesus, help”.  Today is a day I find myself in a place where I know that it is going to be a minute, by minute journey.  Today is a day in which I will cling to the truth of God’s word that He is going to take care of me and bring me through it, even if it is a second by second journey.  Today, I cling to my faith like nothing else because if I didn’t have my faith I think that I might break down and quit.  I am fighting to believe that there is a purpose in this.  I am fighting to know that God will give me enough strength to make it through my day.  

Today is a day where there can only be God.  I have to change that neon sign from blinking “pain” to shining “God”.  

And with that said, I have kids to get up and off to school…..

Everyone have a blessed day!!!!

photo of river with calm waters
Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Where Have I Been?

I have had so many thoughts about what I have wanted this post to be.  There is so much that I want to say, thoughts that I want to share, but I also don’t want this post to go on forever.  

If you have read any of my previous blogs then you know that I have been diagnosed with a condition called cervical spinal stenosis.cervical_stenosis_intro01

It’s a very painful condition that can cause the spinal cord to be pinched and for me, it’s affecting my left side.  A couple of weeks ago the pain had become so bad that I was unable to sleep for several days.  It ended up in a trip to the hospital and an injection of Fentanyl and an oral dose of Dilaudid and a prescription for stronger pain medicine than I’ve ever had.  So I was out of commision for almost a week.  

I am very blessed that since then my pain level has been very tolerable at about a 1-3 most of the time, however, I have periods where my arm goes numb or my fingers stop working and therefore typing or anything is out of the question. 

At the same time that this was going on, I found out that in order to keep teaching for Qkids that I needed to get a TESOL, or basically a certificate saying that I have been trained to teach English as a second language.  So now I am enrolled in a course that I am trying to get finished and that is taking up a lot of my time. 

There are lots of times when I am learning something new, or when I am at church and I hear something that I wish to share with you, but because to time constraints or health issues I am unable to do so at that time. 

Yesterday I was watching 20/20 on Hulu.  Sometimes I like to go back and just watch all the episodes that I haven’t seen, and they were talking about rookies.  If you haven’t seen the TV show “The Rookie”, I highly recommend it.  Anyway, there was an entire episode of 20/20 about rookies.  One was a lady who had been a cop, but when she had children, she decided to be a stay at home mom.  At the age of 52, she became a rookie cop.  

Another one was a girl who had had a high paying, high power job on Wall Street and then one day decided that she was going to quit and start auditioning for Broadway shows and she ended up playing Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway. 

This episode was so bittersweet for me. One reason for that is because when I was in high school, all I wanted to do was to be on Broadway and to win a Tony.  I even went to The American Musical and Dramatics Academy in New York at the age of 17, and I got a certificate for Musical Theater Performance.  But at that time, I realized that the whole audition process was too much for me and that there were things that I wanted more, such as a family, kids, a husband.  So I moved away from New York and left that life behind.  I do miss it.  Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I had stayed on that path…

The episode was also bittersweet for me because I am at a stage in my life where I am trying to find myself.  I have spent the last 18 years doing nothing but taking care of my family and my kids.  I know that being on Broadway is a dream that has passed me by, I never really finished school for anything else, (I did take medical transcription for awhile) and I just am not sure what my purpose in life is supposed to be.  

One thing that I have realized over the past few years is that it’s not about me.  I am at a point in my life where I want my purpose to be about what and where God wants me to be.  I’m just not sure what that is.  Especially, since I am adjusting to living a life of chronic pain, and trying to get through this course so that I can keep teaching for Qkids and earning an income.  

Life.  It likes to throw curveballs.  It takes you to the unexpected.  It is a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, twists and turns.  Sometimes it’s very hard to hold on.  Sometimes it’s hard to keep up.  Sometimes you feel like nothing you do is right or is going to work out.  

But you don’t give up.  You keep going.  You find inner strength you didn’t know you had, you lean on God, your friends, your family.  And you keep going.  

Hopefully, I will finish this course, get my certificate and get back to blogging more.  I have other things that I want and need to do too.  Like getting back to being fully keto.  I have kind of not been as strict as I was because it’s just hard to cook and do all the shopping when you are in constant pain, and yes, I can see and feel the difference.  

This is where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing.  I am praying and hoping that it will all settle down and work itself out soon.  I guess that’s all for today.  

Hope Restored

I’ve been away again.

Health.

Finances.

Kids.

Stress.

I used to be a very angry person.

I used to be a very bitter person.

And then one day, God reached down to a broken, miserable and angry woman and grabbed hold of her heart.

Simple as that?  Yes…and no.

My life has been a like a chapter out of “A Series Of Unfortunate Events”.  Abandoned by a mother who had severe mental illness, adopted by grandparents who tried their best but fell short, loss of a grandparent and going through the teen years with only a grandfather who had no idea what to do with me, kids who have emotional distress and disorders, financial struggle and now my health. 

Have I been perfect since God reached down and saved me?  Not even close, far, far, from it.  I wish I could say that God grabbed my heart and from that moment on I was a completely different person…

However…

For me, faith has been a long, hard-fought journey,  one on which I have had to work very hard to move forward on.  Every day it is work, to be faithful, to trust, to believe, to understand. 

The last couple of years have been especially hard.  We’ve endured mold in our home, everyone having pneumonia (me, being hospitalized due to becoming septic), living in a hotel for a month, four vehicle accidents, a carjacking, a bullet flying through our house barely missing our kids, me developing diverticulitis and now cervical spinal stenosis. 

Financially, we have never been in the category of comfortable.  We live paycheck to paycheck, I’ve spent years making homemade laundry detergent and fabric softener and cleaners to save money and looking for other ways to save and earn.  We miss out on a lot of things because we can’t afford to do them. 

Have I had doubts? Many a time. Do I have doubts now? Yes, sometimes.

But I’m learning and for that I’m grateful.

I have really struggled the last couple of weeks with this new diagnosis that has left me in pain every day.  I get up to pain, I go to bed with pain. At times the pain is so bad that it’s all I can see.  And I’ve been angry.  It hasn’t seemed fair.  I have days where I can’t hold a pen or a fork, I’ve had to learn to do things differently or not at all.  I’ve had to accept my limitations.  But despite my emotions, my Lord and Savior, Jesus, has been there.

Yesterday, I woke up feeling a bit down, but better than I have been for awhile…and as I went about my morning routine, and was taking my husband to work and my son to school and listening to the radio, I was overcome by a feeling of peace.  

“It’s going to be okay.”

In the end, it WILL be okay.  In the end, I will be home in a place with no more sorrow or sadness, no more sickness and pain.  In the end, I win.

I haven’t been as faithful to my Bible readings or studies.  I haven’t been as faithful about checking my social media accounts and sharing verses and teachings about what I’m studying and learning.  But that’s okay.  I’m only human.  

I can have my moments…as long as they stay moments.

You see, Jesus loves me too much to leave me where I am.  That’s why I’m convinced that I was covered with such peace yesterday.  Jesus loves me too much to let me stay down in the dirt, wallowing in sorrow and pain.  His Presence is all too known and felt by me for me to stay in the pit. 

I have to do the best with what I have and that has to be enough for me.  It is for Him. 

So.  I have set myself some goals that I hope to accomplish by December because I still need to grow, I still need to change, I still need to walk this path and move forward in my life, in my faith.

  1.  QUIT SMOKING FOR GOOD!!!!!!  Why?  I believe it’s fairly obvious.  For my health, so that my body can be in it’s best possible shape and be used to serve the Lord.

    close up photo of cigarette
    Photo by Basil MK on Pexels.com
  2.  GET OFF THE SODA!!!!! Another obvious…I love my soda, I only drink diet, but I feel so much better when I drink water, and it’s not healthy.  I don’t want to put any more trash into my temple.

    close up photo of clear drinking glass with black liquid
    Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com
  3.  DESTRESS!!!! Stress is not a God-given emotion.  Stress is not healthy.  So I am going to take time each day to meditate…(I love to sit and think of verses to nice, calming music) and pray.

    adult air beautiful beauty
    Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels.com
  4. GET BACK IN THE WORD!!! Stupid little phone games, drawing me to them instead of opening my Bible app first thing in the morning.  I was doing so well for months and when I got to the point where I was in so much pain, I started neglecting the habit. 

    bible book business christian
    Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com
  5. EXERCISE.  One thing that I have been reading and researching is that even though it may sound wrong for me due to spinal stenosis, exercising is actually good for me, stretching and strength training.  I intend to start small with 15 mins a day.  Everyone can do 15 mins, right?

    woman doing yoga pose facing sea
    Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

I want to grow.  I want to change.  I want to continue down the path to spiritual, physical and mental wellness because that’s where God wants me to be.  He wants me to live an abundant life…in Him.  It may not be the way I expect it to be, but I have to remain faithful to Him and care for myself so that I can represent Him and model Him to the best of my ability, for my family, for my friends, for myself. 

These are my thoughts of the day…

My own Simple View.

nature red love romantic
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com