Crowned with Compassion

Today, I did not use valet parking for my trip to the doctor. That’s right. I parked my own car and walked the distance in without being supported by the wall. It felt so good. Granted, I’m tired, now, but it was so worth it.

This new progressive change is due in part to cutting out activities outside the home, so I could focus on healing, and my chiropractor’s care. 

 

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I still struggle with not feeling enough because of all that I cannot accomplish.  The hardest times for me right now are:

-Getting up after sitting a long time (movie theater/church,)

-Remembering that I still have limits (I so want to do EVERYTHING, but then am exhausted for a couple days after,)

-Standing still for 5min or more,

-Doing anything that heightens stress or nerves (the nervous system messes with a normal person’s autonomic function let alone someone with Dysautonomia.)

But, I realize that my worth is not in my accomplishments, and that I need to keep repeating that to myself.

 

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My youngest daughter  was doing really well at her chores, so I thought I would ask her to do a little more. She put away her clean clothes in her basket, but I also asked her to take care of her hanging up clothes. (She usually cannot be alone or she gets into trouble.)

 

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Her sister and brother were doing their homework in her room with earphones on. When she walked in the second time, they became irritated and yelled at her to get out. She tried to defend herself and ended up crying all the way down the stairs. She tried to tell me through sobs and I told her that I heard the whole thing.

 

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I reminded her that many times, she has not been trustworthy, so they just did not trust her. I asked her if she wanted a hug. She pouted, “yes.” I hugged her, rocked her, and told her that she was loved. I love her and God loves her even if other people are not loving.

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Then I put her hand over her heart and told her to say, “I love myself.” I asked her three times, but she refused. She then said, “I like saying I love other people.” I agreed that it was easier to love other people. I reminded her that she was worth loving, she was important, and that even if nobody else showed her love, that she could. I asked her again to say, “I love myself.” Finally, she did and I got her to laugh and say it again. I also reminded her that if people don’t treat her right, that it’s okay to walk away instead of argue and defend. But that she also needed to continue to work on making good choices, so that she could be trusted.

 

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And after I delivered this message to my sweet 5yr old, I realized that I might as well be saying that to myself.  Thank you, God, for the reminder that I am lovable because I am Your Child even though I am imperfect and don’t meet even my own expectations. 

 

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Searching and Re-Searching for Answers

 

I was upset in July after being belittled by the cardiologist. But, we DID find answers. My heart is fine, I just have issues with getting the blood flow to my head. (POTS) The doctor thought he did the right thing by adding in meds to treat it even though he didn’t understand. I am not taking the steroids the cardiologist prescribed.

I will continue praying, seeking alternative answers, and fighting for myself and family.

A friend let me borrow her wheelchair

I began exercising a little laying down, and walking with a walker up to 5min. and drinking lots.

I felt less tired and began sitting up better.

 

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In August, I was able to see an alternative chiropractor that has helped me to walk better by using acupressure. My husband has a great system for laundry, dishes, and food prep. My two youngest children were able to come home after staying with my parents, and my sister, niece, and nephew visited.

 

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This month, I prayed for hope. I received hugs, gifts, flowers, and well wishes. I received gratitude from friends who asked me to help them with oils or the different energy types. I had fun with friends laughing and connecting with me reminding me that I am enough in just being. I began to have energy again to straighten my home and create. I found opportunity and ability to serve. I found lots of hope. Yep… God answered my prayer many times over. 💖

 

unbelief3.jpg“Lord, I believe. Help, Thou, my unbelief.” ~Mark 9:24

 

I went in to a new cardiologist appointment today ready to fight. My husband agreed and said he was ready to fight for me if I couldn’t speak. (He understands that I get emotional when I’m upset and is one of my advocates.)

But immediately, the doctor walked in understanding my resistance to medication, understanding Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Dysautonomia, and gave me hope. I just wanted to cry out of relief. He told me to keep pushing salts/electrolyte drinks, keep exercising laying down, to not overdo it even if I’m having a good day, and to report back to him. I’m happy to! This is a blessing. 

 

 

Some of my goals include:

Don’t eat the things that harm my body.

Rest more.

Exercise more than last week.

Set boundaries and sometimes say them again… and again… 

Keep being creative.

Enjoy life as I go!

 

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Steady Me

I was shaky, but I figured I probably just overdid it the day before. I did every form of Magnesium I could think of and it didn’t work. My body crashed again: too nauseous and tired to get up. The doctor put me on blood pressure meds to temporarily stabilize me until I could see the cardiologist to come up with a long-term plan.

 

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This is the one symptom from EDS/POTS that I couldn’t figure out. I fought every day to eat the right foods, take supplements, gauge my energy levels, and keep from getting viruses with essential oils. My goal this year was my health… again, but more specifically the dizziness, ‘blood not getting to my head fast enough’ stuff. (POTS) I was frustrated when my body crashed a couple weeks ago because it looks as bad as a few years ago. But if me getting to a low again is the way to figure it out, let’s do this. 

 

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Hubby bought me sunflowers to brighten up my room.  “to keep the zombies away.” Lol. He sent out a message to all of our friends:

‘”As many of you know my wife’s EDS/Pots/Dysautonomia has flared up again in the last couple weeks. She is bed ridden about 90% of the time. She is on blood pressure meds and has an appt with a specialist in a couple weeks. Many have asked what you can do to help. 1) pray. 2) drop her a note of encouragement. 3) stop by to visit and/or lend a hand around the house. 4) take the kids out while I’m off at work.”

 

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I received cards of encouragement, and a few visits. Many people let me know that they were praying for me.

“Sending prayers of strength, restoration of health and lots of hugs your way. Our God is a restorer of health.. take this time to be still and hear His whisper.. there is always a battle before a victory. Keep believing.”

 

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My 9yr old girl asked, “Mommy, are you still sick? When are you getting better? It makes me sad when you’re sick.” My 13yr old became angry at being in charge again and the kids didn’t want to listen to him. He admitted that he’s angry that I’m not better. I know. Me, too.  I reminded them that anger and sadness are okay emotions, and that I feel them, too. This broken, sinful, imperfect world hurts, but we keep giving that hurt to the perfect One who can heal us.

 

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People I didn’t know very well brought me food, even though, I knew how difficult it was to follow the Paleo diet. They cleaned my home, and even weeded my garden that I was so upset about not getting to go out in. They even took my kids out to play for most of the day.

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This is Week 3: I am still not able to walk well without feeling sick to my stomach, being hard to breathe, or feeling like I’m going to pass out/exhausted. But, I sat up outside for a little bit, and even got dressed in normal clothes, painted my nails instead. I continue to do my best to rest, but I will also keep trying to get away from my room. I’m angry about moving away from my support group, but grateful to have a new one. 

 

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My mom and sister are researching with me while awaiting the cardiologist to get this mystery solved quickly. We feel all the symptoms point to two issues. We hope to rule out the heart issues. The obvious is POTS, but regardless, we want to know, so we can move on to how to deal with it. (Not knowing is the hardest part.)

 

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God has helped me solve and manage symptoms well before, He can do it, again.

 

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I’ve had symptoms of this all my life (dizziness, near fainting) and it’s time to deal with it. (especially since my daughter is beginning to display symptoms, as well.)

 

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I am definitely not alone! I am so thankful to everyone who has uplifted my family and I. I am fighting hard to be a good patient and await my doctor, as well as, take care of myself.

 

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I’m not dead, yet!

I just woke up this morning with more energy and became so excited to clean a couple of rooms!!! My daughter helped me to plant a couple of plants, and a couple of friends stopped by. I’m exhausted and a little nauseous, but happy! I was not created to rest continually. I’m a Dreamer and a Go-Getter, and I will accomplish those dreams regardless of how long it takes.

 

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Now, before you go chastising me, know that I have been bed-ridden 3 times in my life, I am fighting hard to take care of myself with Magnesium hourly in one form or another plus food, and rest, and…. I can only read so many books before I’m bored!!!!

 

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I think I’m regaining energy! After laughing with my sister, she reminded me of the “spoon theory.” It has been such a hard decision for me to choose what to spend my energy on this last week, not knowing how much energy I have to begin with.

 

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I had the kids pushing me through the house and to and from the garden. My husband carried heavy bags of dirt and mulch for me to play 5 minutes at a time. I spent a half hour in my dream garden I haven’t finished, yet. And, I will not be antisocial just because I don’t feel well… I may look like I’m falling asleep, but I love people.  I’m not dead, yet! Lol.

I’m so thankful for my hubby who has not batted an eye at doing all the dishes, laundry, and grilling enough food to last the week each week.

 

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I feel like I’ve (we’ve) gotten so good at managing my symptoms, that I forget that it’s NOT normal. I forget that I (we) need support… some days more than others. We all do. So, even if you don’t quite understand what I deal with, I’m thankful to those who are there for my family and I. Thank you for your compassion, prayers, and friendship regardless of whether I look well or not. I really appreciate you. 

And… If you’re wondering what you can do for me,

#1 make me laugh,

#2 feel free to sit and talk with me; be a friend,

#3 if I ask for help, do not embarrass me and draw attention to the situation,

#4 I know how busy life is, and I won’t ask for help unless I am certain I absolutely need it, and you’re able to give it. But, I won’t refuse service, either.

 

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Thanks so much for being part of our lives. I love you!!!! But God loves you more. 

 

 

 

Dire Circumstances, BUT God…

Well, I had a few really good days before my body crashed again. (fatigue/dizziness) I was really frustrated, yesterday, that it didn’t make any sense. So, I’m going to just say that I was sick. When people normally get sick, it’s random, unpredictable, and inconvenient. I don’t understand the reasons, but until then, here is a list of the things I’ve seen God be there for me this last week:

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1) God brought a friend back into my life that had hurt and disrespected me a year ago. I have kept boundaries in place, but He has been healing and leading her.

2) My oldest accomplished double his schoolwork last week to spend time with his grandparents fixing up their home. What an amazing teaching opportunity, and relationship builder!

3) The kids helped me research new recipes. My oldest even made one to take to our family reunion last Saturday! Because of this, there were no complaints about how “Mom’s killing us!” or “We’re eating like birds!”

4) We were able to spend quality time with some of our best friends in this weekend before they move later this week. I know God brought them into our lives blessing us in so many ways, and that He will bless us with more friends. It was great to spend time and hope to make plans together in the future, too.

5) I loved going to my home church, singing with incredibly talented people who I’ve missed, hugging many that I love, not needing Google maps to find my way, and feeling so loved that I could face the world again.

6) I’ve been able to work through some issues while my parents encouraged me.

7) We came home safely and were able to get the house back in order, so that I only had laundry and dishes left.

8) When I was wondering if I needed to ask for help, I realized that the house was fine, the kids know how to feed themselves because I haven’t made dinner in months, and I just needed rest since I couldn’t do much else.

9) The van’s axle broke with me driving across town. I was safe. Ford fixed it for free because of an old recall.

10) Our upstairs bathroom is getting remodeled! It’s been leaking since we moved in, so we tried not to bathe much… But we have a shower upstairs, now, and the bathroom could be finished by the end of the week.

11) The kids found out about a VBS down the street and were excited to go. Without a vehicle, I wasn’t letting them go in the rain. They prayed for it to stop and it did when it was time to go.

12) My neighbor took my kids last night to VBS since I couldn’t walk them.

13) I am grateful for those who show kindness and compassion. A friend who asked if she could help without embarrassing me in front of others, listened and tried to understand, and made sure I safely returned home.

14) Free valet parking at the hospital. He never questioned why I might need help even with his eyes. (I’ve had people do so in the past with Walmart carts.) Never made a comment about how good I look to not feel well. He even helped me with my door and seat belt. Kindness is God’s love. 

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I could go on with every detail. But I just wanted to say that regardless of how dire circumstances seem, God is always there. He’s been working things out for my good from the beginning. He knows and loves me personally. Circumstances change, but God never does. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. This is why I trust and love Him.

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Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

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With my first two children, I really struggled gathering materials together to teach them to read. There are a few materials that I absolutely loved, but there always seemed to be a huge gap to get there. We loved playing with our Foam Letters to learn ABC’s, sounds of those letters, and words to go with them. We also all loved Dick & Jane books, Bob books, and Mo Willems books. With my third child, I decided to try this book.

 

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Now, granted, I am not strict about following an everyday schedule, following every rule (unless it makes sense,) nor pushing my child to hurry and get it right. We had read this book about 3 days/week. Sometimes, we had gone on vacation or he just didn’t seem to be doing as well, and we would go back a few lessons until he was comfortable. I didn’t have a timetable that he should read by, but I figured that I generally wanted him to be able to read in about a full school year.

 

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I love the details in the book, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Englemann, that don’t leave you with any hesitation about what to do.

This book begins with simple letter sounds. Then moves on to simple words to use those few letters, and moves on. It uses phonetics to make it easier for them to learn certain words. As the lessons go on, the words get smaller and in the 70’s lessons, the phonetics are taken out.

 

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Now, my son doesn’t sit still for very long, so we had to figure out a fun way for us to read this book together. I learned my son’s limits. When he began getting too distracted to sound things out, but would look around, play in his shirt, guess words and get frustrated, I would have him take a 30 second break.

We would get to a point where I could say, “Okay, do this one page and you can make silly faces for 30 seconds.” or even, “Go to this line, word, or paragraph, and you can hop around the room for 30 seconds.” etc.

We also would cover up the picture before he read the story, so after he read it, the picture was his reward. We had fun with it.

 

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Some people like supplemental activities to go with the material.

One person had come up with a chart. I didn’t like the chart because like I said, if he needed to go back to get comfortable, I didn’t want him to feel like he was doing something bad.

I like to use the “sight words” section and make a game out of it. I would lay them on the floor in different designs and have him hop on them when he said the word. (This is also what we did with the foam letters to help him learn for preschool.)

There is a writing section at the end of each lesson. I would write the two learning letters for him on lined paper to do on his own, and he loved it.

 

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If you want to advance your child from preschool after they know their letters or just give them help with their reading, it does help them advance from K-2nd grade reading level.

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What other Blogs are saying about this book:

http://daisycottagedesigns.net/preschool-at-home/teach-your-child-to-read-in-100-easy-lessons-an-update-on-our-progress/

 

http://mamaofletters.com/2011/10/23/review-teach-your-child-to-read-in-100-easy-lessons/

 

http://www.hermamas.com/2014/01/teaching-your-child-to-read-in-100-easy.html

 

Magnesium Rich Foods

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Here are some Magnesium Rich Foods that we are currently enjoying; most of which friends and family have gladly shared their knowledge and time with me… 

 

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Roasted Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)

Originally, I had been frying them, but since burning a hole in the microwave above the stove, I decided to roast them. 450 degrees for 30 minutes.

1 can Garbanzo beans
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Tbsp Paprika
1/2 Tbsp Cumin
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp salt

 

 

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This is one of the first things I began making. At first my kids stayed far away from it, but after I told them that it was mine… they began wanting it. I have to keep the banana out for one of my children, but it is an amazing source of Magnesium!

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Green Smoothie

1/3 Kale
1/3 Spinach
1/3 frozen Berries
1 Banana
1/2 Water (some use milk, but all use different kinds of milk in our household, so this is best for us. Almond Milk would be the highest source of Magnesium. Feel free to use ice if you don’t use frozen fruit.)

 

 

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Kale Chips

My son made these last week after a friend at church told me how to make them. We all love the taste, and they are super easy to make. I did notice that when I put them away in a ziplock bag or plastic container, that they would become soggy again. I then put them back in the oven. We left them out all night a couple of nights ago, and they were super crispy!

In a bowl, mix Kale leaves with a tiny bit of Olive Oil and salt.
Put them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

 

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And just adding Avacado and Spinach to your Salad is a great boost of Magnesium!

 

 

 

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This has been a fun learning experience for my family and I as we are changing for the better. I will add more as we learn more. I hope this encourages you today!

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Other Related Articles:

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Magnesium Deficiency

Treatments for EDS

 

 

Feel Your Emotions

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November, over year ago, I first experienced Fibromyalgia. I had a confrontation with someone at Bible Study and I didn’t feel like I had a voice in the situation. I was angry and became depressed. Within the week, I had insomnia and pain up my spine and over my shoulders so bad that no one could touch me. It was not only hard to experience those physical pains, but one of my main Love Languages is touch which left me feeling lonely.

 

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I worked with a friend of mine to find the best essential oils for me to help heal the inflammation. Within a month, I was able to get the pain gone.

 

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Doing the Dressing Your Truth program began to teach me that I am lovable and created beautiful in my own type. I began to be excited to be me and tell others what I had learned.

 

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In the process, I had friends that were angry with me for doing so. I began to notice a pattern in these confrontations and I would feel the pain severely again. Some of it was that I would turn to my sugar addiction and my body is already out of balance with bad bacteria causing Leaky Gut. Part of it is that I would revert right back to “Somebody doesn’t like me, I’m not good enough” thinking. I realized after the last time, that I’d had enough of taking my anger out on me.

 

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I began to go to counseling to learn to deal with my anger in a healthy way. And here I’ve been learning to set boundaries in my relationships, to be more patient with myself, and to use my voice.

 

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One of the things that my counselor has been reiterating is that emotions don’t last very long. If we don’t allow ourselves to feel our emotions, it turns into suffering.

 

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I used to stop myself from crying because it wasn’t a “positive” emotion. I felt that it was incorrect to be angry or to cry. I would still be angry, I just wouldn’t express it. Pretending that the feeling wasn’t there didn’t make it go away. My anger would then last for a few days, then I would get depressed for a few days thinking that it was my fault that I was feeling angry and that it was wrong to feel that way. Then I would find a way to move on.

 

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But this weekend, my husband and I went out to eat at a buffet. Going out to eat is hard for me because so many things can knock me back down again. I got a lot of meat and found a few veggies that were not covered in sauces. My husband sat down with carbs. I looked at his plate and said, “I miss that.” He said that a little bit would probably not hurt me, but in this healing stage, I need to stay away from it. I also know that I wouldn’t stop with a little bit because I fear I may never have it again and go overboard.

 

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And I began to cry. This time, I didn’t stop it. I cried because of grief over the loss of my favorite foods. I cried because it wasn’t fair. I cried because I caused this damage to my body. I cried because I don’t know how long it will take to heal.

 

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And after a couple minutes of crying over my food, it was over. I took a deep breath and felt great! I didn’t mourn for the rest of the day. I did not mope about it for the next week. I wasn’t angry with myself, depressed about it, nor did I feel the Fibromyalgia pain. I’m so excited that I’m learning!!! I’m getting it!!! It’s one thing to know what is wrong with you, or have the answer of how to get better, but accomplishing that task is so rewarding!!

 

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I know that without my vitamins and supplements right now, I could still and have crashed. I know that diet changes and exercise are crucial and I don’t have it down, yet! I know that I need to be especially careful around hormone changes. I know that what works for me, may not work for everyone, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t answers for you. I know that addressing whatever caused the initial problem may not be the only way to heal. Because all parts of the body work together, one thing can affect all the other. By praying, hoping, being willing to seek and find answers, and paying attention to my body, I have been able to see the connection for me. I am excited that I am practicing feeling my emotions, learning how to voice them, understanding that it is okay to do so, and that I’m getting this part!!! I am healing!

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Other Related Articles:

10 Things I Learned as a Type 2 with a Type 2: Sensitive Daughter

Climbing Out of the Canyon

Faith and Encouragement

Get Over It!

I Deserve to Be Loved

I Don’t Need Your Approval

Recovering Perfectionist Here

This Amazing Journey

 

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Mullein for Asthma

One of the very first herbs that I was introduced to is a plant that grows in our yard. It’s a soft-leaved plant called Mullein.

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My mother had been researching alternative help for my 2yr old son’s asthma. He would get a cold and it would turn into an asthmatic cough that we couldn’t get rid of without rounds of antibiotics, steroids, and breathing treatments. I began to wonder what strain these drugs were putting on his little body and I was worried for his future. We wouldn’t leave the house for a couple of months trying to help him recover just to go back out into the world for him to get something else.

Glass Teapot with Herbal Tea

We began putting Mullein leaves into a tea for him. At first, it did not taste very well, so we added juice to it. But now, at 5yrs, he drinks it super fast without added sugar. I also use this tea to help any of us in our family heal from respiratory colds.

Thankfully, we have also learned preventative herbs and are working on healing his body from the damage done by antibiotics, but I am thankful to have learned about Mullein. It has been a life-saver. It’s important to remember that not one herb works for everyone, but this has worked for us. There are many herbs that work to heal the same issue.

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Uses for Mullein: Ear Infections, Wounds, Hemorrhoids, Colds, Flu, Diarrhea, Migraines, Gout, Tuberculosis, Croup, Cough, Sore throat, Inflammation of the airways (bronchitis), Whooping Cough, Tuberculosis, Hoarseness, Pneumonia, Swine flu, Chills, Fever, Allergies, Tonsillitis, Colic, Gastrointestinal Bleeding, and Joint Pain. Mullein is applied to the skin for wounds, burns, hemorrhoids, bruises, frostbite, and skin infections. The leaves are used topically to soften and protect the skin.

Tinctures, capsules, lozenges, powders, and ear drops containing mullein are found in many health food stores.

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Other Herbs for Asthma: Licorice, Adhatoda, Ginkgo Biloba, Coltsfoot, Turmeric, Chinese Skullcap, Grindelia

Essential Oils for Asthma: Breathe, Clary Sage, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Frankinsence, Geranium, Helichrysum, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Melalueka, Myrrh, Owie Spray, OnGuard, Oregano,  Peppermint, Rose, Rosemary, Thyme, Ylang ylang,

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Where to buy bulk herbs:

http://www.starwest-botanicals.com/category/bulk-herbs/

http://www.herbco.com/c-2-bulk-herbs-spices.aspx

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Other Related Articles:

Antibiotics Kill!

Essential Oils

Herbs

Healing Infections, Sicknesses, and Cuts

Plantain for Stings

It’s not fair!

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“It’s not fair!” My 5yr old son was throwing a tantrum. I asked him to do his chores, he refused, and now was missing out on the T.V. show that his siblings were watching. “It’s not fair! It’s not fair!” He continued. I can completely relate to this feeling.

 

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When I was 13yrs old, I gave up chocolate because I was addicted to it. A speaker at church talked about addictions, and I took to heart that scripture, “if your hand offends you, cut it off.” (Mark 9:43) In quitting chocolate, I noticed that my asthma attacks went way down. It was difficult. I proved that I had self-control and that it did not control me.

 

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When I was 16yrs, I noticed that my stomach felt like it had knives in it when I drank milk. I switched to rice milk, though, the colonoscopy results said “the beginnings of stomach ulcers.”

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When I was 18yrs, I began passing out and having severe migraines. I found a severe intolerance to Red Dye #40, and a corn allergy were the cause. Often these ingredients were together in products which made it easier to avoid both.

 

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And now, in my mid-thirties, my body won’t tolerate sugar. A little over a year ago, I began experiencing Chronic Pain and Fatigue, and other Dysautonomia/POTS symptoms. My body is very low on salts and doesn’t hold them anymore, so sugar sends me right back where I was over a year ago. It’s just not fair.

 

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This Christmas, they were passing around treats at church, and normally, I can refrain because they are pre-packaged. (Either chocolate, corn syrup, red dye or all 3.) But there were tiny muffin size home-made pecan treats… so I ate a few. Almost immediately afterwards, I felt light-headed. I went to the kitchen and took out my emergency Nuun tablets. It wasn’t enough this time. It was just not fair!

 

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Now, I have been learning to love myself this last year, but right there, I turned immediately to frustration at myself. But, if I truly looked at this situation with love, I would see how far I’ve come and be a little more patient in my learning… just like my 5yr old child in the beginning of this post.

 

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A year ago, I didn’t know why I was so exhausted. I not only have those answers of why, but how to heal. This is my first Christmas knowing how sugar hurts my body. It’s hard to cut out foods or change anything regardless of what that change is. And frankly, life just isn’t fair. It’s okay to grieve through it. We all have our own struggles. I’m realizing that the expectations I place on myself to “Get it right already!” are just as damaging as the sugar itself.

 

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I have learned to avoid harmful foods before. I have made healthy changes before. I can be patient with myself while I learn to change and be healthy in this new way. I have a wonderful support system that is ready to help me in the way I ask. I can use my voice and ask for help. I can change and learn at a pace that I’m able to handle. And… I can enjoy the accomplishments I’ve made this far.

 

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For more articles like this one:

Faith and Encouragement

Treatments for EDS

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