Monthly Archives: May 2014

When Food Doesn’t Move

BEET_JUICE

Good news!
My comprehensive stool test came back!

I don’t have bad bacteria in my gut anymore.

No candida.  No more SIBO.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any GOOD bacteria either…and I had meat (undigested in my stool).

Gross.  I know.  But it’s my reality.

So how does THAT happen?

Well, in my process of preparing for the test – I had to stop taking my enzymes, any probiotics, and HCl (the stomach acid helper).  In the mean time, we went on vacation… I stopped taking my MSM… I got a little lazy and was eating some sweet potato chips, with coconut oil, which I”m not supposed to have because it causes reactions… and I started eating some raw veggies… carrots, cucumbers… a few radishes.

BIG Mistake.  BIG.  HUGE.

As of recent I had been battling the every day morning “I think I’m going to throw up I’m so full in guts” feeling.  I got a stomach bug early this week – which emptied my entire body of any food contents that might have thought about sitting, and other than wishing I didn’t have to throw up beet juice, I was just THANKFUL to not feel so sore, and sick.

It was almost a year ago I realized I was battling gastroparesis, you can read more about that if you want.

I knew my stomach was emptying slowly.  I didn’t really consider THAT was my main problem.  I knew it led to other bacteria issues… I figure THAT had to be the main problem…  and maybe it was – before the treatments I did.

But now?  After getting the results back from my stool test… and knowing the SIBO is gone, and candida isn’t an issue… and there are no parasites…

and some more research on gastroparesis….

I realize now – this is more serious, and I need to get more specific before I end up on a complete liquid diet.

I’m happy to report I’m bouncing back from my Iowa trip, and adding MSM in has helped my inflammation a ton (as has getting rid of the sweet potato chips – boo-hoo!)

I spent some time being real with myself, and figuring out a plan because this is serious, and it’s not going away.

I have to say I’m SO glad I did the most recent elimination diet from this book.  It helped me get to this point to see why and what was making me bloat.  While I focused on trying to eat 2 meals a day, and a smooth in the AM (more recently) – in an attempt to encourage “cleansing waves” for my digestion process…  I’m realizing now that approach isn’t going to fix my gastroparesis.

In fact, it’s going to make it worse.  While the well cooked foods, and types of foods are GREAT to encouraging healing…  SMALLER, more frequent meals are required.

I’ll admit.  I had some tears over it.

Realizing that fiber from raw vegetables and fruit simply aren’t an option, and that juicing and well cooked smaller meals like I ate before, are going to be consuming most of my summer wasn’t exactly where I was hoping to go with this.

Selfishly I was thinking we’d be on track to targeting a bacteria, and be able to move forward… away from the chronic pain that has plagued me for a majority of the past 3 years.

You know how when you are in a pit… and God just lifts you up?  

Once again, God doesn’t disappoint.

While researching my newest plan, and awaiting my doctor’s input…  I was SO encouraged by this short video by an 18-year-old from Canada who shared how SHE healed her gastroparesis… after going through a wild goose chase with western medicine.  She talks about several things that I’ m already doing, and a few I’m interested in trying, or getting more serious about.  Specifically acupuncture more regularly.  I’m going on Tuesday.

I also watch this video on what to eat for gastroparesis, and she had her top 10 things to do… again, most of them I’m doing, but it had some great insight.  One of the things I KNOW effects me (and literally made me laugh out loud!)  is  “eat in a calm environment.”  Sorry.  That’s not going to happen any time in the near future anyway, and I know stress is a big problem – I’m fighting regularly to keep under control, and at a manageable level.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this.   Please don’t pity me.  I am encouraged and hopeful.  Our BIG GOD is a healer – and I’m focused on what He’s doing in me through this process.  Healthy for Him.

Curing the Incurable

What is in Iberogast?

“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses.
He sent His word and healed them,
And delivered them from their destructions.”

Psalm 107:19-20

 

Just Breathe

D1_LIP_TIE

We might take for granted that we breathe.  It’s something we don’t think about often, until our passage ways, by which we take in oxygen, are blocked.  Either we’re stuffed up, or swollen up, or something toxic in the air prevents us from breathing…

How much thought have you given to breathing while you sleep?

Do you snore?

Are you a mouth breather?

Do you “smack” when you eat?

Messy eater?

Drooler?

Have trouble swallowing?

I remember my snoring and lack of ability to breathe being SO bad during pregnancy, my husband asked the doctor if I could “die” – because it sounded like I was gasping for air.  Yes – it was really horrible.

We had our first official “meeting” via Skype with our Oral-facial Therapist this week.  The woman who has insight into helping my 14-year-old be able to close his mouth, retrain his tongue, and avoid yet another round of braces.  Time is of the essence.

Something I didn’t realize until a few days ago, D1 has a lip tie, in addition to his tongue tie.  That’s partly why he can’t close his mouth.  His top lip is “tied” to the skin of his face inside his mouth, not allowing him to pull that lip OVER his teeth, and close his mouth.

His lips are always cracking and dry.  He is a horrible mouth breather.  It often leads to bad breath.

All of that seems pretty minor, comparatively to the quality of sleep he has been missing over the years.

Sleep is essential to your body healing.  Its’ when you repair and recover…. and grow.  There is growth hormone only created when you sleep.

So while getting your inflammation down, and eating a real food diet is helpful, as is increasing your zinc, and getting enough vitamin D…

If you’re not getting the proper oxygen throughout the day, and you’re not getting the oxygen flow at night.

Guess what?

Not cool.

So we discussed all of that… and next week we’re setting up an appointment with an ENT to take a look at D1, so we can address these issues with him first.  I’m fairly positive he isn’t the only one who will be addressed – but the palate expander on several of the other children HAS helped address things dramatically.  She said when you’re talking about even tiny millimeters of space “cleared” to allow oxygen flow, you’re talking huge differences.

While we talked, she shared part of her story.  Very similar on some levels to mine.  Metal toxicity, and healing her body inside out.  She encouraged me to look into expanders myself.  I told her my orthodontist seemed to shy away from that, at my age…  she disagreed, and said it was the best thing she has done, although they used removable devices, so you can eat – it has made HUGE impacts on her sleep and healing.

I can imagine…. just how much that is impairing my healing process.  I do sleep – but I never feel rested.  I just don’t.

She explain how braces used to be addressed, vs. how they are now…  The teeth on top were “aligned” and the bottom jaw was “tucked” under.  (If you can visualize my profile… Beeker from the muppets comes to mind!)  She went on further to say that once you set that bottom foundation – then you set the top teeth on TOP of that, you have a set up a healthy breathing space needed to function.  It changes your face shape, but more importantly – you can breathe.

I try not to think about what if…

However…

What if someone mentioned that PUPPS was related to celiac disease.  I could have changed my diet, instead of being put on steroids… and the snowball that got me to now.  What if my son had been “clipped” years ago… and nursing hadn’t been such a struggle.  Would that have prevented post pardum depression, and all of the issues that were created from lack of family support during those very trying months?  What would be different now?

My head spins.  Literally.

I cry at how many times I didn’t “get” that my son said, “I can’t control my tongue”.  I mean, I get that it’s a strong muscle… but WHO can’t control it.  Seriously?

We have lots of months of things that were include many trips, most likely surgery for multiple kids, as well as myself, and then therapy for a long while to get these things corrected.  It’s not going to be a quick thing.  We’re going to have to make adjustments to not just throw ourselves into things that eat up our time.  We have to make a solid effort to heal, and be open to changes that need to be made.

Most people would probably cringe at the thought of all of this, but I’m actually VERY excited.  I know this is going to help us tremendously.  We are thankful to God, for the knowledge and advancements being made to understand our body better.  Never assume God doesn’t know what He’s doing.  The one thing I didn’t mention – just how much He has grown me, and strengthened our marriage through this process.  It’s solidified our relationship with our kids, and given them opportunities to trust in Him as well.

God is good.  ALL the time, He is good.

 

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”

Romans 8:28

Why I Eat Meat

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Yes.  I’ve read the China Study.

…and then I read the book “WHOLE”

I read “The Body Ecology Diet”…  and I’ve studied the Gerson Therapy and watched the Gerson Miracle, and Beautiful Truth.

I’ve watched Knives Of Forks

 

Well, let me just say that I understand why an organic, vegetarian diet would be done in the short-term – to rid the body of things like cancer, which is caused from inflammation, and focused on healing the body through detoxing.

Why do I say “short-term”?

Because being vegetarian long-term actually increases issues with auto immune disease.  {I’ll get to that in a minute.}

Why the Paleo Diet instead?

Isn’t that just a meat based diet?  Isn’t that TOO much meat?

Actually, no.  It’s neither.

To me, the Paleo Diet is a whole foods diet approach that focuses on high-quality nutrition, while resolving inflammation through proper digestion as well as balancing hormones through proper sleep, stress management and exercise.

It’s not a “diet” to achieve a short-term goal and then stop.  It’s a lifestyle of eating what makes you feel best, and is sustainable over the long-term.

The Paleo diet is not necessarily a “high protein” diet, it’s very much a plant-based diet.  Protein can range from 10%-25% of your daily calories, depending on your individual needs.  Many people only eat fish, shellfish, eggs or white meat, such as chicken or turkey, and skip the red meat.

We eat red meat once a week or more, and our source is grass-fed/grass finished beef – that we all enjoy.

Personally, I feel poorly when I can’t have red meat at least once a week.  I eat chicken or salmon almost everyday.  Because I eat large amounts of fats, I’m able to handle and process more carbs (veggies) as well.  Right now, on auto-immune protocol, I would say my diet is 70% veggies, 5% fruit and 10% meat and 10% fat.  I feel really good – my skin looks really good… and I’m working my way up to organ meats, as I know those are really important as well.

I think for me, I’ve read/heard enough other information from people who have attempted vegetarian longer term, and it caused some major issues with auto immune disease – because their body was missing some key things, it needs to prevent disease.  Dr. Amy Myers is one who shared her story of becoming a vegetarian at age 14, and why she eats Paleo now.

I needed all of the help I could get… it has already been years of my body not absorbing what it needed to thrive!  I’m lean, I feel strong, and I know my body is healing.

What more could I hope for?

If Paleo is a FAD, I’d love to know what one might consider all of the sugar filled, flour laden, industrial seed oil filled foods are that most consume while eating the Standard American Diet??  Seems like a REAL FOOD approach is just what our country needs!

 

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,

do all to the glory of God.”

1 Cor. 10:31

 

Vacation Hang-Over

BAGS_TRIP

 

I think my body was trying to run on full-force the past week.  My goals were to get through the prep of another trip, following our vacation… and just survive.

How much can I fit into one weekend?

A home school conference, and research for 2 children starting high school in a few short months.

Squeeze in a last minute family portrait session with a mad-talented friend who I attribute to God using to reset my health-course and helped to save our family.

A Christ-centered wedding and reception – probably one of the richest events my kids have gotten to witness.  (more on that in a minute)

Add in running to the store each day, planning meals, trying to be one step ahead of what we were doing, and a cat on its death bed at home…

I’m beat.

I knew I was beat last night…  when we arrived home, dinner-less and I just wanted to crawl into bed.  I went ahead and threw some veggies (Cabbage, carrots, celery and radishes)  in a pot with olive oil and salami, cut up pears for a side and called it good.

It’s a good thing I did that.  They gobbled it all up.
Oh wait. I made bacon too.

Bacon makes everything better.

Well.  Not everything.  Since I can’t tolerate pork, or the sugar that it’s often included in it.

Still, I had a nibble last night.  First time in … over 6 months I’m sure?  (and when I say nibble, I mean the last section of my pinky-sized nibble.)

So I wake up this morning…. way after everyone does today, and I feel like I’m moving slowly.

Maybe I’m just tired.

Only everything hurts, and it feels too familiar.

I get the kids their supplements, start some laundry and curl back into fetal position on the couch.

By 10 am the mountains of laundry are making me feel a bit sick, so I wonder if it’s just the fact that we did so much this weekend… or that I really shouldn’t have eaten that bacon nibble.

Maybe it’s the stress, and the lack of rest.

Maybe it’s the fact I feel a bit depressed every time I leave Iowa and my heart aches for family, and fellowship and feeling of “home”.

I don’t know…  but I feel horrid.  Like I could sleep the week away…

It’s a good thing I have lots of children who need me, and that isn’t an option.  Right?

Just. Keep. Moving.

Ok, back to that wedding…

The vows the couple wrote to each other included him promising to the spiritual leader of the family, and hers included her promise of submitting to his leadership.  That’s the first time I’ve heard that spoken – in vows, but it was beautiful… and simple, and perfect.  The reception was food, slide shows and cake cutting… for which they had cupcakes. Very cute.  Other than “their first dance”, there was no dancing.  Later it made sense… no dancing,  no alcohol…  just a celebration of their lives joining as one, thankfulness for their strong family bonds, and fellowship.

I asked my kids what they took away from that.

“I don’t want dancing at my wedding,” D2 said.  “I don’t like the idea of everyone staring at me.”  She is SO her mother.

“I noticed they got along with their siblings, they really loved their family,” D1 gave his input.  This brought up some other good discussion… and made me very encouraged for how we raise our family.

“I want cupcakes at my wedding,” said D7…. “Only not poisonous ones!”  Since we sat right next to the cake table, my husband said we totally should have brought literature on inflammation and grains.  Hah.

Only one woman was brave enough to ask why we weren’t eating the cupcakes, so she got a lesson in alternative options for disease. 🙂  We brought the kids chocolate and fruit strips as a treat.

All in all, I think the message they also received was the importance of choosing a spouse who loves the Lord, and desires to follow Him, and that made it worth it for us to miss soccer championships for our 6 of our 8 soccer players.

An eternal life-lesson is worth more than soccer, any day.

I’m going to continue pushing fluids and taking it easy today.  It’s definitely the most frustrating part of auto immune disease… that you can’t push your body like you used to (not that you should every anyway!).

It’s probably another blessing in disguise that God gives me as a reminder I need Him, and for that – I am grateful.

Keeping me humble.  Healthy for Him.

Oh, and here is a great video of a “chuck box” idea – to tote the things you need while traveling and feeding your family while avoiding eating out.  We travel similarly, and it’s such a help! 🙂  Enjoy!

The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Exodus 33:14

It’s Getting on My Neuropathy!

APPLES_3

Neuropathy.

I used to think that had something to do with my mind…  like neurological.

Quite the contrary, peripheral neuropathy specifically can be any where with in your body.  It’s very common with MS… it’s something I dealt with for years – totally unknown to me what it even meant!

So what is peripheral neuropathy?

It’s actual damage to nerves OUTSIDE of your brain and spinal cord, and it doesn’t deal with your central nervous system.  It effects:

– Autonomic nerves (“automatic” or “involuntary” nerves – things like blood pressure, sweating, and heart rate)
– Motor nerves (things we are in control of purposefully)
– Sensory nerves (including messages to the brain regarding heat, cold and pain)

What can cause it?  SO many things… it’s endless really.  For instance, with me – I’m going to guess it’s a lack of Vit B… but I’m sure it’s that, and other things.  Physical trauma, repetitive injury, infection, metabolic problems and exposure to toxins and some drugs can all lead to peripheral neuropathy.   See what I mean?  Who really knows…  but doing things like removing toxins, and infection can help to rebalance your body a great deal, but nerve regeneration is the slowest – patience is required!

My biggest issues that I battle on any given day are the following:

Motor issues – weakness in the arms specifically – some days I feel like I can barely lift the lightest thing.  Frustrating when I know I’m “fit” and the muscles are there.

Sensory issues– sharp jabbing/prickling pain, and burning pain, numbness in the hands and feet – making me unable to stand or walk, changes in my hair/and nail bed (despite plenty of biotin and nutrition!), lack of coordination (despite lots of muscle work on that core for years – I’ll often just tip over.  My balance stinks).

Autonomic issues – heat intolerance (read my previous post), digestive problems (and I work at it… CONSTANTLY), dizziness and light-headedness… especially on standing.

Now that I know why my body does what it does – it help me to deal with what I’m experiencing.  I don’t really talk about it… because you get strange looks when you tell someone it feels like bugs are crawling all over your legs, or you suddenly slap your leg because you just got a “zinger” again.

One of the most painful neuropathy issues on the trip was my elbow.  It hurt so much to put my elbow on the arm rest, it wasn’t even funny.  It felt like I had exposed bone, sitting on hot cement – just resting my arm down.  I either kept it to my side, or had to have multiple layers in between my elbow and the arm rest.  This damage led to a familiar numbness in my left hand (pinky and ring finger) – that always occurred after having another baby – for months.  Ever since my last child – it never really went away.

Insane right?  Yes…  I know.

For years I just thought I wasn’t tough – so just sucked it up.  Maybe I needed to work harder on my balance, or just had sore arms because I was weak?

I can’t tell you what peace it was realizing WHY I screamed out when a doctor froze a wart off of my foot… and then told me, “that shouldn’t have hurt.”  (It literally felt like he held a flame and melted my skin off deep into the tissue.)  Was that in my head?  Nope.  Good ol’ neuropathy.

I think it’s about time for me to try the chiropractor after our trip.  I’ve had almost constant neuropathy in my middle back since we have returned.  It’s getting very OLD a week later!!  Maybe some adjusting with loosen up some of those nerves, or relax them at the least.

“When times are good, be joyful; when times are bad, consider this:

God made the one as well as the other, so people won’t seek anything outside of His best.”

Eccles. 7:14

 

Adrenal FAIL!

ARIZONA

Oh the ways our body likes to remind us just who is in charge.

I’m back from vacation, and feeling really good over all… but I have to share with you a couple of episodes I had on vacation that were down-right scary.
Before I do that, I’ll hit the highlights:
– I swam a lot, soaked up a lot of sun, had a great time with our kids and got to bed on time every night.
– Despite having to make every meal but one on our trip, the kitchen was HUGE and allowed for the kids to help me without us tripping over each other.  (NOTE: Larger kitchen and full pantry functions much better for 10)
– There was an outdoor table for 10, and the weather was perfect the entire time. (Yes, you may puke, but it was…)
– I’m pretty sure that I was supposed to live somewhere warmer than Kansas, but vacations are good too.

Ok… so that was the highlights.  Here’s the low-down on what else happened.
Our first night in New Mexico, we booked a Homewood Suites room.  It had 3 rooms and a full-sized fridge, which was perfect!  As my daughter and I did our usual OCD clean-routine, we buzzed around the room and my oldest son brought in cartloads of tubs and bags.  I remember making sure the air temp was in the range we were wanting…. 72.  But as we buzzed around, I kept getting hotter and hotter.

I remember things getting a little fuzzy… and when I went out to get another load – something in the hallway smelled…  funky.  Like incents, or something strange.  It was a casino town, and I was concerned about just sending my son off down the hall with no cell phone because he mentioned there were a ton of people in one room “like a party” he said.  So, I was trying to text my husband what was going on…  Only I suddenly couldn’t text, or think… my mind was getting really fuzzy, and I felt like I really needed to lay down before I passed out!  My daughter was getting concerned as I was slurring my speech as well.

I didn’t know what was happening but it was like my energy was zapped and I couldn’t really even care.  It was awful… like an instant flu-paralyzing feeling.

Thankfully, about then, my husband came in with the rest of our kids – and figured out they had the heat on in the rooms, not the AIR… and the blowers were roasting us.  For someone who did hot yoga last year, I was surprised with my body’s reaction to the heat in about a 10 minute time span.  Maybe it was just too much, too fast… I don’t know, but I took note.  After some food, water and COOL AIR, my body came to, and I could help with getting the kids to bed.

A similar thing happened the next night.  When we got to the house we rented, as the evening wore on, we realized the kitchen, (which had many west-facing windows and no window coverings) was roasting – an almost identical event happened… just as the night before, and I began to get concerned for our trip and my well-being.  I was hoping this was NOT a pattern.  We decided for the remainder of our trip that any baking/cooking would be done earlier in the day – and we’d have our lighter meals for dinner – to avoid heating up the kitchen, and making myself sick!

Voila!! No more issues with that the remainder of the trip!

So, if you’re battling adrenal failure, you know what I’m talking about.  It isn’t just physical and emotional stress that gives you the shakes, makes you flu-ish and zaps your energy almost instantly… it can be environmental stress as well, including the temperature.  I did a great job of not “shocking” my body with cold this winter – and always wearing plenty of layers – and I do a pretty good job of just avoiding most stressful people and situations anymore…  but apparently I’m going to really need to watch it with heat and lack of circulating air this summer.  (and continue praying that my body is healed from adrenal failure soon!)

I hope and pray you have SPRING weather where you are!  After a long week back with grey skies, cold temps and rain (which was a blessing, don’t get me wrong) I’m THRILLED that the weekend looks to be gorgeous! 🙂  Enjoy this link to the top 3 reasons Mainstream “Medicine” could be failing you, and what to do about it!

We get to pick up and travel again really soon – thankfully the next trip is only 5-6 hours, vs. two days by vehicle!  I’m planning now what we will eat, and pack… because that is such a key part to making our trips successful and keeping things Healthy for Him!

“This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”

Proverbs 3:8

 

 

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