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July 7, 2014

Another Promise from Scripture


I like what Beth Moore says via Twitter here:


Lord, explode my faith.  Blow me away.  Show me your mighty power.  My faith is unwavering.

June 26, 2014

A Tweet from Beth Moore

I follow Beth Moore on Twitter and she regularly passes on wisdom and encouragement from Scripture.  Twitter only allows so many characters per post so she numbers them so you know she has more to say and what order to read them.

I love what she shared below.  As we pray for something long term, we must watch for every glimmer of God's activity - because He IS working - and praise Him for it.  He is always working on our behalf!!


June 22, 2014

In Case You're Wondering...

For those of you who come across my blog while you're searching for health related information, you may be confused as to why there is so much spiritual stuff on here.  The answer to that is very simple ---  I am nothing without Christ!

My life was radically changed at the tender age of 6 after attending Vacation Bible School.  Yes, I was young but I understood that God loved me and died for my sins on the cross, forgiving me.  That was so easy for me to get.  I also knew more than ever that I wanted Christ to live in me and be my Savior so that day I gave my life to Him.

Over the years, through life's ups and downs, I have clearly seen God's hand at work at in my life.  Clear evidence that God is there and that He cares about me.  Clear answers to prayer, answers so awesome that only God could do them.  Yes, people, He is real and active in our lives.

Though I am far from perfect, Christ has transformed my heart and I long to be like Him every day.  I long to be an encouragement to others.  I long to be used in whatever way He wants to use me.  In my  morning times in God's Word, I regularly ask Him to mold me into His image.  To allow others to see Christ in me.  To bring glory to the Father.

So that's why there is so much spiritual stuff on here.

It's who I am.

It's first and foremost in my life.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.   Galations 2:20

June 21, 2014

An Honor to Pray

Last night, I had just gone to bed - it was about 10:30 pm - and my phone lit up for a text message on my night stand.  "Who is texting me at this hour?", I said, grabbing my phone.

It was my daughter's dear friend, Kassie.  She lives in Washington state.   She and my daughter met online years ago and have become very good friends.  They both love Jesus and have been such encouragements to each other.

She and I have never met.  I'm more than twice her age.  But somehow over the course of time, we've made a connection.  I'm so thankful for that.  I want my life to be an encouragement to others, even amidst my own struggles.  That is my prayer.

She was asking me to pray for a specific request.  I was so touched.  It humbled me.  I was honored that she asked ME to pray - to bring her situation before the Throne.  WOW....it brought tears to my eyes.

So while I lay there in bed, I spoke to my Father about her situation.  As always, He listens very well.   He hears my heart even when I don't have the right words.  He knows the very depths of my soul and what I long to convey.  It brought to mind the following verse:
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.     Romans 8:26
When I awoke this morning, my thoughts turned to her and what she was dealing with last night.  I prayed again for her and the situation.  And once again, this overwhelming feeling of gratitude came over me for being able to be a part of bringing this before the Throne.  What an honor to be included!!!

Thank you, Kassie!  Thank you for allowing me to pray for and with you on this.  You really touched my heart by asking me and I am am so honored to take your request before our Heavenly Father.


June 20, 2014

A Psalm of David....





Growing up overseas as an MK (missionary kid), we sang a lot of Scripture songs/choruses.  They come back to me on a regular basis, especially after reading a passage of Scripture from whence it came.  Like this one -- "Bless the Lord, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name" - a short little chorus taken from this passage.

I love these little choruses because I am singing God's Word, which is powerful and life changing.

I had a stranger ask me this week how I liked growing up overseas as an MK.  My response: "I wouldn't change it for the world!"  It made me who I am today and I thank God for that.

Once again, David, the author of this Psalm, reiterates that our Lord is the One who heals -- I am claiming this promise for me today.  You claim it too!


June 18, 2014

Claiming God's Promises


My husband and I pray together before we go to sleep at night.  I love this nighty ritual.  It binds us together on so many levels.  When it comes to my health, I often feel defeated and this ends our day with victory and hope!

Last night I woke up and felt the Holy Spirit saying, "Liz, you need to claim God's promises for yourself each and every day."  So when I awoke this morning, the first thing on my mind was, "Which promise should I claim for my day?"  I was excited.  I know God's Word is powerful and I was eager to find a promise that I could claim for my own healing.

Isaiah 53:5 was the first verse that came to mind.  I know this verse well.  I texted Mom and Dad and asked them if they would claim it with me today for the healing of my body.  I can always count on them to join me in prayer, no matter the request.

Later Mom texted me with another passage to look at.  Matthew 8:14-17.


Isn't this exciting to see God's Word in action?  I sure think so.

I'd love for you to join me in claiming God's promises for my physical healing.  That would mean so much to me.  And if you have a need that I can pray for, please email me.  I will take it to the Throne for sure.






June 14, 2014

The Man at Dunkin' Donuts

Yesterday I managed to get out of the house alone - just me and my O2 backpack - to do a few errands.  I was only gone about an hour but the Lord used this little trip to encourage my heart.

My last stop before returning home was to run by Dunkin' Donuts to pick up a few munchkins.  I haven't been to this establishment in probably 10 years but for some reason I had a hankering for a few glazed donut holes.  (I must admit I am a die-hard Krispy Kreme fan!)

As I was standing in line, this man behind me caught my eye and he asked me,  "Would you mind if I asked why you need oxygen?" glancing over at my backpack.  "No, I don't mind," and explained to him my situation.  "Is it helping?",  he asked.  "Yes, it helps me stay mobile and get around."

He pondered for a minute.

"Would you mind if I asked your name?", he continued.  "I'm Liz," I said.   "Nice to meet you, Liz," he replied.  I could tell he had more to say, but was contemplating the situation.

As we approached the register to place our orders, he asked me, "Would you mind if I prayed for you?"  I was caught off guard.  That has never happened to me before.  "Yes!  I would love if you would pray for me.  I believe in the power of prayer."  He smiled.

We were both standing at the counter, each placing our own orders when I felt his hand on my shoulder.  I looked over and he uttered a short prayer:  "Lord, touch Liz's body.  Heal her."  I was deeply moved, to say the least.

I thanked him and left with my munchkins.

I cannot express adequately how much that moved me.  That short interaction.  Someone willing to step out of his comfort zone and connect with another human being in a powerful way.

Thank you, kind gentleman.  Whoever you are.  Thank you.

May 30, 2014

If there's just one thing I NEED, it's Jesus!


Below is a short video I have to share with you.  If you haven't hard this man sing, oh my....you're seriously missing out.  It touches the very depths of my soul each time --  I use it as worship to my Savior.  Whew....words cannot adequately describe this a cappella piece!!

 Click here if the video fails to show up in your email.  I'm realizing that sometimes it does.  Sorry!

May 26, 2014

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Wisdom You Won't Get From Your Doctor


I've mentioned Dr. Andrew Saul a few times on my blog.  This guy is right on and is loaded with helpful input and wisdom.  Check out his YouTube channel here.

April 30, 2014

Just Follow the Green Line

Throughout my home runs a dark green line -- my oxygen line -- connecting me to a continuous flow of pure oxygen.  I've had this for almost a full week now and even though it is frustrating to be connected to a machine 24 hours a day, it has made a difference in my well being and energy.

You see, I used to only connect to oxygen when I found myself overexerting - such as walking into the next room, doing dishes, vacuuming a small section of the living room.  (Yes, I know -- to you, that's not over-exerting.  But with my condition, it is.)   I was used to feeling winded and "on the edge" and knew when to sit down and "connect".   Little did I know that I needed more help.
Oxygen Concentrator

Upon ordering a pulse oximeter from Amazon, I was quite shocked to find out that my body had been running at super sub-par oxygen levels.  A healthy person's blood oxygen levels should be at 100% - but a doctor will tell you if you're over 95%, they consider you ok.  I thought mine was running in the upper 80s, which isn't good - but no, they were running in the 70s.  No wonder I had no energy and was feeling so badly!!!

After going through far too many travel size oxygen tanks in one month (each one lasts only 30 minutes max),  I placed a call to my oxygen distributor.  I told him what I was experiencing, what my levels were and he told me that I needed continuous oxygen throughout the day and night.  He also told me that if I continued pushing myself with the levels I have without bringing them up with oxygen therapy, I could experience more serious health problems.  Not good.  I don't want that.  No. No. No.

So my very sweet and caring husband drove over to their office and picked up an oxygen concentrator.  This takes the oxygen from the room and purifies and concentrates it and then delivers it to the patient through their oxygen line.  My husband saw a difference in me within the few hours of being hooked up.  The next day I had a little more energy.  The next day, even more....

To say this has been an adjustment for me is putting it mildly.  I have a cannula in my nose all the time, with a long cord running from it throughout the house.  It's not fun.  My nose gets sore at times, my ears as well as the line runs behind the ears to keep it on your face.  I was ready to throw the whole thing out the window yesterday, I was so frustrated.

Sitting here on my couch today, I'm realizing that this is my life.  Yes, most days I find it hard to accept.  My common answer to the question, "How are you doing?" is usually a one word reply: "Surviving!"  That's generally how I feel most days.  A continual inward struggle.

But at least I'm living -- doing life still -- right?  It could be far worse.   It's so easy to feel sorry for yourself.  I think that's our natural place to go when life isn't going the way we want it to go...."Oh, poor me...."

With God's help I'm making a concerted effort to change my thinking.  To look at life with a different perspective.  Lord, help me to stop focusing on what I don't have or cannot do.  But instead focus on You, Lord...your faithfulness, mercy, love and provision.

This is my prayer.




April 28, 2014

Always Learning....

My parents came through this last week for a visit and, as always, my illness is one of the main topics of conversation.  Polymyositis is not a common auto-immune illness as is Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, so it is often difficult to understand.  Even my own physician had never diagnosed anyone with it in his 15 plus years.  So you could say there is a lot of learning to do.

Today I spent some time online learning about the lungs as it relates to my illness.  My research confirmed that the main target of Polymyositis is #1, the lungs,  then the muscles and joints, and thirdly, the skin.   Many often are confused as to why I'm having lung issues and so this helps explain a lot.

One of the biggest mis-diagnoses, my research said, is when this illness hits, it typically starts with the lungs.  And most physicians, unaware of the ins and outs of Polymyositis, diagnose the patient with having pneumonia, when more often than not, most of these patients are experiencing an acute onset of Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) - which is the beginning phase of Polymyositis.  Wow.

My research also said that when pneumonia is diagnosed - or should I say misdiagnosed - instead of the proper diagnosis of ILD, the physician typically medicates the patient with strong antibiotics.  However, because it is not pneumonia, the antibiotics don't generally work.  This happened to me.  I was given two weeks of very strong antibiotics and my supposed 'pneumonia' wasn't budging.  So once again I was given another round of antibiotics (the Z pack).  Then I awoke one morning and could not move without severe pain.  The only way I was accurately diagnosed was through a series of blood tests which involved one in particular - CPK (Creatine Phosphokinase) - which measures the level of inflammation in the body.

Within the last year, I had an initial consultation with a "natural" practitioner.  After examination, he told me this,
"Liz, had you not been in exceptional cardiovascular and muscular shape like you were, when this illness hit, it would have done you in.  But having worked out hard at the gym for the many years you did, you were able to take this illness on much more successfully than most people.  So be extremely thankful for all the hard work you did, day in and day out."  
You know what -- I AM THANKFUL.  Only God knew that I would need that "prep work" to help me through this major battle!

So here I am a little over two years later since I was diagnosed.  My primary struggle, my lungs, reminds me daily that I am indeed ill.  Prednisone, even at a very low dose, keeps my muscles mobile.  Praise God for that.


Each day is a challenge.  But I'm not giving up!  And I'm not giving in to the enemy who longs to see me 'hang it up'!  No way.  My God tells me that I am "more than a conqueror" and I am claiming His promises each and every day.





April 10, 2014

Green Smoothie, Anyone?

Based on Genesis 2:16, it would appear that God's original design was for us to eat fruits and vegetables.  When you take into consideration the endless amount of antioxidants and nutrients in them, it makes complete sense that God intended for these plants to provide our bodies with exceptional health.

But seriously, how often do we eat vegetables?  Probably not often enough, that's for sure.  Fruits are easier to eat as many of them hold natural sweetness, but in our world of highly processed foods, most of us don't get enough nutrients from these two groups of foods.

The reason I bring up this subject is because I have felt guilty for not eating enough of these disease-fighting foods myself -- and so I've decided to change this.  With my illness of Polymyositis, my inflammation levels are super high and I know that a change in my eating habits will definitely help, not hinder, my body.

Green Smoothies are all over the internet.  Recipes abound.  I've done them before but I used yogurt in mine, which I can no longer do as it upsets my stomach.  But yogurt is not needed for green smoothies.  If a little sweetness is needed, honey or stevia can be used.  However, oftentimes the addition of a banana or other naturally sweetened fruit is all that's needed.

I was standing in line at Sams Club when a sweet woman tapped me on the shoulder.  She pointed to my four containers of fresh spinach and asked, "How do you eat it fast enough without it going bad?"  "I don't," I said.  "I freeze it and use it in my smoothies."   She had never thought of that and was pleased to learn that spinach could be frozen.

So....

Want to join me?  I found this article that gives proof how beneficial green smoothies are.  Check it out here.


April 9, 2014

So you want to breathe, do you?

The answer to that question is YES -- but quite the challenge.  Below is the pollen forecast for my immediate area.  Every inch outdoors is covered in green powder.  When you have lung problems, this kind of thing can bring breathing to a speedy halt.


One day I went through six tanks of oxygen because of this nasty pollen.  Right now I'm averaging two a day.  But you can rest assured I'm not outdoors, even though I'd like to be.  This stuff is a killer for people like me!

Before I got ill, I never thought about what this could do to someone with breathing problems.  Thoughts like that just don't come to mind when you're healthy.  But now I see things quite differently --

Life is not an easy road.

March 28, 2014

6 Weeks of Nasty

About six weeks ago , I attended a social event and paid the price.  The day after the event I caught a cold.  This was no ordinary cold.  At least not for me.  Remember now, my immune system is severely compromised so when most people can fight off a little cold, this can land me in the hospital if I'm not careful.

Because my lungs function at sub-par levels, the slightest congestion can bring my ability to breathe to a slamming halt.  There were a few dicey days where I thought that I might need hospital care.   My lungs were rattling,  talking back at me.  I couldn't sleep much because I couldn't breathe.  My coughing got so severe that I relocated to the living room couch so as not to keep my husband up all night.  And even then, I was propped up with pillows and blankets to assist my breathing.  I went through twice the amount of oxygen that I normally use - and that's probably an understatement.

Well, I'm starting to see the light of day, finally.  I can sleep in the same bed with my husband again.  Whew!  (It's no fun sleeping apart.)  Though I still have some congestion, it is coming up much more easily.  I'm resting well at night.  Praise God.

What helped?  You might be surprised.  If you know me, you know I do a LOT of supplemental reading on health, wellness and related topics.  I started to take 2 grams of Vitamin C every two hours while I was awake.  After doing this for one full day, I began to notice an improvement.  (Vitamin C is water soluble so to reap the benefits from it, you have to take it at regular intervals throughout the day.)  Even my husband noticed a difference.

Then, before my next shipment of Vitamin C arrived, I ran out -- big mistake.  Within 12 hours my health began to decline.  I'm not joking.  Finally, the shipment came but the product was defective so I was still up the creek.  My daughter ran over to the Vitamin store and picked up another bottle.

I'm back on it and staying on it until this thing has fully run its course.  And I'm glad that I didn't resort to the traditional treatment of antibiotics.   Reading pays off, guys!

Below is a five minute video by Dr. Andrew Saul talking about Vitamin C therapy.  It's very good.  Check it out.


March 12, 2014

A Few Facts About My Illness (Polymyositis) That You May Not Know


  • My health problems began over 24 years ago when I started popping that little birth control pill each day for three and a half years. (If you're considering going on birth control, I would advise you not to go this route.  There are other healthy ways.)
  • For over 13 years, I went from doctor to doctor trying to find out why I was experiencing out of control weight gain, hormonal problems, and then liver problems.  No one wanted to listen; instead referring me to one doctor after another.  My own GP (general practitioner) tried to convince me to undergo Gastric Bypass Surgery - and I was only 20 lbs overweight at the time! I've never been back to see him since.
  • When I was most active, I would go to the gym and work out with weights for an hour, then play racquetball for an hour or two.  When I got home, I couldn't keep my eyelids open.  I was so terribly exhausted that I was forced to take a 2-3 hour nap each day.  This was definitely not normal.  I knew something was very wrong.  (I had severe adrenal fatigue.)
  • In 2009, I went to a Naturopathic physician who quickly diagnosed my liver problems.  I was in such severe pain that I had to sit off to the right to take pressure off my liver.  Within 30 minutes of taking supplements to improve the bile flow from my liver, I was pain-free.  I still take these supplements today.
  • In 2012, I went from being able to function normally, so to speak, to having severe pneumonia (per my Dr.'s diagnosis, which most likely was an acute onset of Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) - common to this illness), lasting 3 weeks.  At the end of that time, my body suddenly shut down and I went from being independent to completely relying on my spouse to care for me.  This is when I was diagnosed with Polymyositis.
Daily Facts About My Illness -

  • Getting a gallon of milk out of the fridge is super hard.  I have to use two hands.  I have no strength whatsoever.
  • I have to ask for assistance to open a cheese stick, a jar, my prescription pill bottle, etc.  
  • My lungs cannot stand any scent.  So if you're wearing perfume, scented deodorant, hair spray, etc., you would have to leave my house as my lungs would constrict and I wouldn't be able to breathe.
  • Going to bed at night is a major struggle.  The change in angle causes my lung congestion to constrict my breathing.  I often have to go to bed sitting up.
  • My blood oxygen levels are far below normal - in the low 80s.  This requires me to use oxygen therapy regularly just to walk from one room to the next.
  • If you're catching a cold or feeling ill, please don't come to my house.  My immune system is severely compromised and exposure could put me in the hospital.
  • To bend over at the waist constricts my lungs - so I try to avoid putting things on the floor.  (My baseboards are needing cleaning something fierce! Know anybody needing to make a few bucks?!)
  • When I drive, I have to lift my legs manually into the car as I have no strength in my hip flexor muscles.
  • My ankles are typically swollen by the end of the day.
  • Prednisone (the only medication I'm on) has ruined my gut flora, causing me to be nauseous throughout the day.  Hence, I eat very little.
  • Prednisone also made my hair go from straight to curly.
  • Never before did I think I'd need a Handicap License Plate -- but I do and it has helped so much, allowing me to be a little independent.
  • Once a "gym rat", now a "home girl" - those days are over for now.  
Perhaps this gives you a little insight into my life.  

Over and Out!

February 18, 2014

A Year Older

I just celebrated another birthday - I turned 47 this past week.

You see, another year is a true gift.  Each day is a gift from our Creator.  When you are ill, you realize that very quickly.  You realize how fragile life is.

My family did a great job of making me feel loved and celebrated.  A homemade, gluten free carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.  My fave!  Books to read.  Gift cards to enjoy.  New clothing.  And even more special than all the gifts are the words written in those sweet and thoughtful cards -- they bring strength and comfort and joy to  my heart.


All day long I received phone calls from family members with voices singing "Happy Birthday to you".  My 3 year old niece nearly brought me to tears with her joyous little voice on the phone.  So very precious.

The people behind these thoughtful tokens of love are the reason to celebrate!  I call them

F-A-M-I-L-Y!  

People that make life worth living.

So I thank you.  Thank you for your love, your encouragement, your prayers, your support, and for being you.  For being a part of me - a part of my life.


January 24, 2014

A Delicious, Wholesome Snack...

With a sensitive digestive system, I often have difficulty finding something to eat that doesn't upset my stomach.  Prednisone has done a number on my gut flora and I'm paying the price.  

However, within the last few days, I found a wholesome bar that is gluten-free that tastes amazing and doesn't make my internals upset.  The KIND bars have many varieties to choose from, but the one I love is Dark Chocolate Chunk (seen below).  

Look for it when you're at your local grocery store - oftentimes you can buy just one to try out before spending money on the box of 4 or 5.  You'll be glad you did!






January 1, 2014

My Verse for the New Year -- What's Yours?

An EAP Creation 2014


God is in the business
of doing
amazing things!    

He delights in pleasing His children, in meeting our needs, in being there in the very meticulous details of our lives.  Nothing is insignificant to Him.  Nothing!

In this new year, what amazing things do you want to see Him do in your life?  Take time to think about it.  Write out a list in your journal.  


Let's consecrate ourselves and be bold in asking Him to really show himself in specific situations.  

Are you excited?  I am!

Happy New Year.

December 29, 2013

Celebrating 24 Years!

Tomorrow is our 24th anniversary.  Wow.  Is that really possible?


It is only possible with Jesus, let me tell you.

Even in the best of relationships, we are still human and thus inherently selfish.  

If there's one single thing I've learned in my 24 years of marriage, it's this:

When I allow my selfish desires to take over, my marriage deteriorates.

But....

When I put Jesus first, my marriage THRIVES.

This is truly the key to a successful and thriving marriage.

It's that simple.  The concept, that is.  Not so simple to do, however.  (smile)

On your wedding day, you think that you couldn't be more in love.  But truly, you have no idea what true love is until you've been through the good times and the bad -- and together, with Jesus, you've come away more in love and committed to the Lord and to each other.

Honey, I love you and am so grateful for your presence in my life.

Happy Anniversary!! 

December 18, 2013

A BIG shout-out to Christine M. and Lynne C. -- THANK YOU!

There is nothing more wonderful than receiving something special in the mail that was totally unexpected.  Around the week of Thanksgiving, I received a beautiful card in the mail from an old friend.  Her name is Christine and she is from my area.  This woman has a huge heart for others!  She's been through rough times herself so she can definitely relate to what I'm going through.
Our cute little Christmas Tree

The card she sent me was SO sweet and encouraging.  Many times I've told my husband, "I'm going to stop blogging.  After all, so few read it anyway."  But Christine's handwritten note motivated me to continue.  I cannot tell you enough, dear friend, how MUCH your note meant to me!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to send such a precious note.

And just yesterday our very kind postman delivered a small padded envelope to our front door.  I recognized the handwriting and wondered what it could be.  Upon opening it, I found the most beautiful scarf with a touching note -- "Thought this would go with your beautiful eyes."  My husband was sitting right there and he looked up at me and I had tears in my eyes....this was from my sister-in-law who is going through some hard times herself right now.  Yet she took the time to do something so very kind and unexpected for me.   Lynne, thank you!

Ladies, your thoughtfulness and kindness touched me so deeply.  Thank you for your love and encouragement.  I am ever so grateful!

(PS to Christine - So glad to hear the critters are doing well!)


December 10, 2013

Just a few random thoughts for the day....

It's a little about 5 pm on December 10th, 2013 - the sun is going down here in the Carolinas and the temperatures are dropping.  Homemade potato soap is on the stove and boy does it smell good!  The house is quiet except for the sound of my two dogs romping in the living room.  Hubby is at work keeping the bad guys off the street and my daughter is helping customers with her animal expertise.

My goal was to begin my holiday baking today -- Mocha Frosted Drops.  An old family recipe passed down through the years.  But I have yet to start.  Procrastinating just a little, you could say.
OUR FIRST FIRE THIS WINTER


I don't know about you, but the holidays are always hard for me.   For one, being away from extended family is a major downer.  I miss the talks, the laughter, getting together around good food....

However, when you're not feeling well, everything is just a little more difficult.  Getting the motivation to do things when your body is screaming, "Stop".  When your lungs are begging you to sit down and hook up the oxygen.  Sometimes it is hard to find the motivation to get out of bed in the mornings.

It's easy to feel sorry for yourself.  I found myself having a pity party several times this week.  My way of handling these kinds of feelings is to do something nice and unexpected for someone -- after all, my thought is that if I put others first and do something kind for someone, I'll feel better.  That usually helps.

But not this week.

Nope.

The Lord had to show me a video to give me perspective.  Click here to watch it.  It's worth the 20 minutes.
At the age of 26, Katherine Wolf, a young mother and wife, nearly died of a massive brain stem stroke. Her survival was nothing short of miraculous, and her recovery continues to be a testament to the healing power of hope. (Source: www.hopeheals.com)
KATHERINE WOLF AND HER HUSBAND
(SOURCE: HOPEHEALS.COM)

It tore at my heart strings.  I cried.  And cried.  And when it was over, I sat there -- as if God were speaking directly to me.  Then I cried some more.  Wow.

"Feeling sorry for yourself now, are you?", God was asking.

Then I cried some more.  I cried because I had been very selfish.  It's so easy for it to be all about me.  What I'm going through.  The difficulties I'm having.  How hard it is to get around.  Me. Me. Me.

My Creator was humbling my heart.  And shortly I found myself praising Him.  Praising Him for what I could do.  For being gentle with me.  For loving me and teaching me.  For keeping my heart soft.

I was reminded of a Twitter post that I'd read a week or so ago by Beth Moore.  I had saved it on my laptop.  Here it is:


God is the giver of all good things.   I want to trust Him to do amazing things -- so join me this coming year - 2014.  Join me in trusting God to do "immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us" (Eph. 3:20) -- to do the impossible.   I am believing this and claiming it for myself as well as for many dear ones I know going through major battles.

If you're with me and want to believe God for the impossible in your life, send me a comment below or an email to eapcreations@gmail.com.  Together we will boldly approach the Throne.  Together.

(Special note to Teresa @ Living Natural Today:  Thank you for your comment on my blog today.  It was a huge encouragement to me and motivated me to write the above post.  Blessings!)



November 22, 2013

The Health of Your Lungs

A large part of the auto-immune illness I deal with is impaired lung function.  I never had problems with my lungs before this -- in fact, just the opposite.  As a regular gym go-er, I was known for being able to perform long, intense cardio sessions.  I could play racquetball for several hours at a time.  I had amazing lungs!  "Had" being the key word here.

Perhaps the pneumonia that I battled for several weeks prior to this played a part, I don't know.  But lungs are muscles and with Polymyositis, all muscles suffer with this illness.  My airways are regularly irritated, inflamed and congested.  I am always coughing up 'stuff'.

To simply 'breathe' would be wonderful, if possible.  It started with the smell of perfume.  When anyone around me was wearing perfume or cologne - and it didn't have to be strong -  my airways closed down and I could hardly breathe.  It's quite scary for me because my airways are already challenged -- and all it takes is for me is to get a whiff walking by someone wearing cologne or perfume and I'm done!  My lungs constrict, I start coughing something fierce and then it's like I've lost my ability to breathe.  Bathroom deodorizers, scented candles, plug-in oil room deodorizers, car air fresheners, scented dryer sheets and laundry detergent  -- you name it -- they are toxic to my lungs.

Was this just me or was there something to this?  I started to do my research.  According to Dr. Mercola at www.mercola.com, he says this:
A chemical called 1,4-dichlorobenzene, or 1,4-DCB, could harm your lungs.
It is found in air fresheners, toilet deodorizers, and mothballs, and is present in the blood of nearly all Americans. 1,4-DCB is the chemical that gives mothballs their distinctive smell.
The finding came as part of a National Institutes of Health study that looked at 11 household chemicals. All 11 chemicals are emitted as gasses by common household products. 1,4-DCB was the only chemical in the study which was linked to lung damage.
Those who had the highest amounts in the chemical in their blood showed diminished lung function, which could be serious for those with asthma or other lung problems. Reduced lung function is also a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.  (Source: Air Fresheners May Damage Your Lungs

In another article entitled, Air Fresheners Impact Respiratory Health, we're told:
Air fresheners contain ingredients such as formaldehyde; petroleum distillates, benzene, styrene; terpenes, such as limonene; aldehydes, ketones, esters, and alcohols; phosphates, bleach, and ammonia. Plug-in deodorizers were found to have more than 20 different volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with more than one-third of those VOCs classified as toxic or hazardous. Candles produce soot, lead, organic compounds, and VOCs. The toxicity characteristics of candle emissions match those of diesel emissions, and those emissions are often less than one micron in size, which allows for penetration into the lungs. The use of scented candles may contribute significant quantities of pollutants to the indoor environment, especially soot, benzene, and lead.

So basically here's the bottom line:  All these scented products impact ALL our health --  yes, even your lungs, healthy one!  But for those of us with problematic lungs such as me, it's much more critical to avoid these things altogether.

Hey, when you're going to be in a public place such as the gym, waiting room, theatre, etc., please don't wear cologne or perfume!  Many people are allergic to these scents and oils and some of us simply cannot breathe when you're around.

Thank you for being considerate!



October 27, 2013

CHRISTMAS IS COMING....



Christmas is only weeks away.  With that in mind, I thought I'd share with you one of my t-shirt designs.  Click on the link below to see it on one of my zazzle models.  

I love wearing faith-based Christmas t-shirts -- after all, Christmas is about Christ!  His gift to us - the best gift of all.
TO ORDER: CLICK THE LINK BELOW

http://www.zazzle.com/christmas_t_shirt_o_come_all_ye_faithful-235307697660294538





September 18, 2013

You're an Overcomer


Christian artist, Mandisa, is one talented woman!  The message in her song, Overcomer, is exactly what I need to hear each and every day.  Her video is also powerful as she highlights people who have gone through major battles.  I encourage you to watch it!  It will motivate and inspire you.

Lyrics to "Overcomer"
Staring at a stop sign
Watching people drive by
T Mac on the radio
Got so much on your mind
Nothing’s really going right
Looking for a ray of hope
Whatever it is you may be going through
I know He’s not gonna let it get the best of you
You’re an overcomer
Stay in the fight ‘til the final round
You’re not going under
‘Cause God is holding you right now
You might be down for a moment
Feeling like it’s hopeless
That’s when He reminds You
That you’re an overcomer
You’re an overcomer
Everybody’s been down
Hit the bottom, hit the ground
Oh, you’re not alone
Just take a breath, don’t forget
Hang on to His promises
He wants You to know
The same Man, the Great I am
The one who overcame death
Is living inside of You
So just hold tight, fix your eyes
On the one who holds your life
There’s nothing He can’t do
He’s telling You

September 17, 2013

Antibiotic use kills good bacteria


If you want to pick up an excellent book on health, go get Ultraprevention by Mark Hyman, M.D. and Mark Liponis, M.D.!!

In the chapter, The Myths of Modern Medicine, these two doctors elaborate:
Perhaps the most common place where we see doctors missing the boat is irritable bowel syndrome, from which more than 60 million Americans suffer.  Irritable bowel syndrome is a disturbance of the intestinal function, with two or three of the following features: abdominal pain that is relieved with defecation; abdominal pain that is associated with frequency of bowel movements, constipation or diarrhea; and loose, watery, or pelletlike stool.
Today's prevailing thesis is that irritable bowel syndrome is an unknown condition requiring medication to stop its symptoms.  That's certainly what most doctors will tell you if you ask. 
We think, however, that irritable bowel syndrome is caused by an imbalance of the ecology of the intestinal tract.  Like any ecosystem, your intestine - which breaks down, digests, and absorbs food, as well as helping to control water balance and eliminate waste -   contains a delicate balance of living organisms, known as your gut flora.  Around 100 quadrillion organisms live within every human digestive tract, which at three pounds, could be considered the largest internal organ other than the liver.  
The healthy bacteria in your intestine, including lactobacillus, bifidobacteria, and E. coli (not the killer E.coli you hear about in the media), aid your digestion primarily by breaking down tough fiber.  These beneficial bacteria also perform chemical transformations such as synthesizing vitamins and minerals - for example, they digest foods such as flaxseed and soy, change them into molecules possessing anticancer properties. 
These bacteria have an excellent symbiotic relationship with us.  They thrive because we feed them, and we benefit from their helping us digest food and produce important nutrients that we absorb into our bodies.  
These bacteria also serve another function.  They crowd out other, nastier flora in the gut.  Because of the stress we put on our bodies through antibiotics, alcohol, sugar and bad food or water, we often disturb the normal ecological balance in our gut, causing certain bacteria and yeasts to grow unchecked.  This creates a little fermentation factory, similar to what happens when you let apple cider stay in the refrigerator too long and the container explodes.
In our bodies, the internal fermentation process causes bloating, gas and pain.  Food remains undigested, and in turn also ferments.  When this happens, your breath contains an excess amount of hydrogen, produced from the fermenting bacteria.
The only thing separating us from these unfriendly bacteria is a membrane just one cell thick: the intestinal epithelium, or the gut lining.  If just a few of these nasty bacteria cross that lining, they can cause something as lethal as peritonitis, or something as common as irritable bowel syndrome, or even autoimmune or other inflammatory diseases.
The bacteria we like so much aren't interested in getting across that lining, but when the lining is inflamed or injured in some way, more dangerous bacteria can leak through it.
So our guts are the scene of a constant ecological struggle among bacteria.  The fewer good bacteria living inside of us, the more likely the bad bacteria or other organisms will have no competitors and will grow and reproduce. 
The most common reason for the death of good bacteria is antibiotic use.  An antibiotic will kill the sensitive bacteria, and all the ones that are resistant to it will have no competition in the ecological system and can proliferate.  In response to rampant overprescribing, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently issued a plea to doctors to stop prescribing unnecessary antibiotics.
What's the answer?  Nutrition is key to healthy gut flora - however, when you're taking antibiotics, it is essential to also take probiotics.

Brenda Watson's website clearly explains the importance of probiotics:
Probiotics are live microorganisms (bacteria or yeast) that have been shown to help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the digestive tract. This is especially important because nearly three-quarters of your immune system is located in your digestive tract, so when that balance is upset, your health may suffer as a result. 
Ideally, there should be a balance of approximately 80% good bacteria and 20% percent harmful bacteria in your intestines. Unfortunately, factors such as diet, stress, illness, and exposure to toxic substances can affect that healthy environment. Antibiotic use can also significantly alter the bacterial balance in your gut. Although their main purpose is to kill harmful bacteria, antibiotics often kill the existing beneficial bacteria as well. This can lead to diarrhea and other intestinal issues. Likewise, using anti-bacterial soaps has the same effect—killing many good bacteria at the same time it kills the bad bacteria.(1)
Check out the links below for more information on this topic - as well as the RenewLife brand of probiotics and supplements.

Sources:

(1) http://www.renewlife.com/learning-center/digestive-care-articles/probiotics-and-intestinal-health/benefits-of-a-probiotics-supplement

Additional Reading:

Probiotics are Essential to a Healthy Gut Flora

From MSN.com: Drug Resistant Superbugs due to overuse of Antibiotics

September 15, 2013

Passing a little info along....

Have you ever looked at the prescription your doctor wrote for you and wondered what it meant?  Well, I have -- here's what I found out.  Thought I'd pass it along.



September 2, 2013

His Divine Plan?


Within the last week or so, I have gone through a myriad of emotions.  Mostly anger, to be honest.  Approximately a week ago, I observed a rash on my chest and stomach.  Each day I awoke to it spreading further, extremely itchy and uncomfortable.  As of today, my neck down to my knees are covered with this nasty rash.

I am angry.  Why am I angry?  Because I can only deal with so much -- and my Polymyositis is a HUGE thing to deal with on a daily basis.  Then to have this added to my plate -- it's just too much.

On another note, during this same time, our daughter was mistreated terribly at work.  It was unjust.   It was shocking.  And I am still angry about it.  Angry because it was done "in Christ's name" --- so hypocritical on every level.  I won't go into the details because it is unnecessary but all of us are still struggling with this.

Sunday I broke down in tears, overwhelmed with all that I am having to deal with.  Do I trust God with my life?  Yes!  I still hold on to Romans 8:28,  that "all things work together for good, to them that love God".  But I'm very frustrated -- and angry.

Sorry if that disappoints, but it's how I'm feeling right now.  I do believe that one day when I'm reunited with my Savior that I will understand all that He allowed me to go through --- but for now, I've had enough.  Really!

 


August 26, 2013

Steroid Drugs and Weaning Off Them

If you're like me and are having trouble weaning off steroidal medication like Prednisone, here's yet another article that is helpful.   Click on the link below to go to the original article:

http://www.westonaprice.org/ask-the-doctor/steroid-drugs

Adrenal Support Supplements by Standard Process

August 6, 2013

Pastor Rick Warren Interviews Dr. Mark Hyman

Dr. Mark Hyman is one of my absolute favorite doctors!  He has written a number of informative books - my favorite being Ultraprevention!  I pull this book out about a dozen times a year for reference information.  Watch this short video -- it is excellent.



July 9, 2013

Vital Prednisone Tapering Information


Prednisone Taper


Prednisone Taper – No Longer Needed for Short Course Corticosteroid Therapy: 

As a medical student and resident I remember hearing all of the attending physicians tell m
e about the best way to do a prednisone taper.  I still have older patients question why prednisone tapering is not recommended, because their old doctor always did a prednisone taper.  For those of you not familiar with prednisone, or corticosteroid treatment in general, prednisone is a commonly used, inexpensive, and quite potent corticosteroid.  Corticosteroids are distinctly different from the anabolic steroids of the Mitchell Report and Marion Jones infamy.  Corticosteroids are naturally occurring hormones produced by the adrenal cortex that are essential to our well being.  They serve to regulate glucose, protein and fat metabolism and function to reduce inflammation by blocking a key step in the inflammatory process and by inhibiting eosinophil (the primary allergic white blood cell) action, as well as other mechanisms.  Therapeutically corticosteroids like prednisone, dexamethasone, prednisolone, hydrocortisone and others are used in higher than naturally occurring amounts to reduce inflammation.  They are commonly used in attacks of asthma or bronchospasm, in severe acute arthritis, in head trauma or spinal cord trauma with swelling, in acute severe allergic reactions, in severe dermatitis, and for lots of other situations.  They are often injected directly into inflamed areas to reduce inflammation locally.

The big problem with use of high dose corticosteroid therapy is that it eliminates the demand on the adrenal glands to produce cortisol naturally. After the adrenal glands stop functioning to produce cortisol for a period of time, it takes them a while to resume producing normal amounts of cortisol.  It takes even longer to be able to respond to emergency situations where the body requires much higher amounts of cortisol.  In situations like major trauma, surgery, serious infections like pneumonia or pyelonephritis, or really any physically traumatic event the body requires cortisol in higher than usual amounts to cope effectively.  Lack of this adrenal response can lead to shock that fails to respond to fluid resuscitation and death.  This situation is seen clinically in two fairly common situations.  The most common situation is where a patient has been on therapeutic corticosteroid therapy in a dose sufficient to suppress the adrenal glands for a prolonged time and an acute emergent situation develops and the adrenals are not able to respond normally.  The other situation is when a patient has adrenal insufficiency, is on standard daily doses of corticosteroid replacement therapy, and becomes acutely ill or has major trauma.  In either of these situations it is critical to treat the patient with high dose corticosteroids, usually IV if the need is emergent, or orally if it surgery or acute illness is anticipated in order to prevent critical illness-related corticosteroid insufficiency.


In order to prevent this situation for years we were taught to taper corticosteroid treatment after short term “burst” course treatments of prednisone.  Typically we would start moderately high dose of prednisone, say 60 mg for 3 days, then 40 mg for 3 days, then 20 mg for 3 days, then 10 mg for 3 days, then 5 mg for 3 days.  You can imagine there are innumerable variations on this theme.  A product is marketed to make this taper simple, the “medrol dosepak”  (see photo above). The dogma was always taper steroids to allow the adrenal gland to recover from the high dose therapy.  As with many things this was done because everyone knew it was the right thing to do, but nobody looked at it critically.  We have learned that the key to avoiding adrenal suppression prednisone side effects after a short course of prednisone therapy is not tapering corticosteroid therapy, but to keeping the course of therapy as short as possible.  Now we will often use 6o mg of prednisone daily for 7 days, and stop.  This is really safer than taking 10-21 days to taper off the high dose.

I want to make this perfectly clear.  If you have been treated with a course of prednisone, even in moderate or low doses, for more that about 3 weeks you are likely to need a prednisone taper.  Many experts would use the 3 week time frame for this, although some would use as little as 2 weeks, and others might allow up to 4 weeks or even more.  The way the prednisone is dosed makes little difference in the need to taper.  Longer doses of as little as 5-10 mg daily of prednisone require a taper to avoid the risk of adrenal insufficiency. Short courses of even very high doses of prednisone do not require a taper to avoid adrenal insufficiency. Some indications for prednisone benefit from a taper in dosage to avoid a flare in the disease process being treated, and this article is NOT meant to address a therapeutic taper to avoid recurrence or exacerbation of the underlying disorder, but rather just to avoid adrenal insufficiency.

DO NOT MISREAD THIS DISCUSSION.  IF YOU HAVE BEEN TREATED LONGER THAN ABOUT 2 WEEKS WITH PREDNISONE DISCUSS STOPPING WITH YOUR DOCTOR! YOU MAY NEED A TAPER!  YOU ALSO MAY NEED A THERAPEUTIC TAPER TO BEST TREAT YOUR CONDITION. 

It seems that the taper itself is mostly treatment at much higher than natural corticosteroid needs (roughly 5 mg daily of prednisone, or 20 mg daily of hydrocortisone).  For some illnesses even shorter bursts of treatment are effective.  In croup, a viral illness of young children a single IM dose of dexamethasone, or a 3 day burst of high dose prednisone or dexamethasone is quite effective.

In conditions where longer term treatment with corticosteroids is needed, a slow taper is critical.  Examples are many rheumatologic disorders like systemic lupus erythematosis, polymyalgia rheumatica, and other autoimmune disorders like Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis.  In these cases gradual tapers over weeks to months are needed, and patients are at risk of adrenal crisis for some time after stopping therapy.

The key to understand is that in burst courses of prednisone treatment unless there extenuating circumstances like diabetes or major psychiatric disorders, shorter courses at higher doses are much safer than longer courses or longer tapers.  Now instead of hearing every attending and senior resident preach their favorite way to taper burst courses of steroids, they should be debating how short a course of high dose prednisone they can use and still get a good response.

May 26, 2013

The Beauty of Creation


There's something so very special about this time of year.  Every morning you wake up to something new in bloom -- this morning it was our most elegant Bearded Iris in our backyard.  A plant passed on to us by our neighbors across the street.  Something we do often here - exchange plants that have shown promise.  Quite a fun thing!  

The detail and intricacies of this flower are astounding.  I can gaze at it for some time and it continues to show me something new.  Totally amazing!  Oh, the beauty of His creation!


May 19, 2013

Trust the One who made you


Promise for Today

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD,
 "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  (Jeremiah 29:11)

April 17, 2013

Trusting Him



I'm learning this the hard way -- by means of my illness.  And even though every minute of every day is a challenge, I can honestly say that I am THANKFUL -- thankful for the fact that He loves me enough to invest time with me.

Over the course of the last year or so, my love for my Lord has grown so deep and so vast.  He and I are "tight"!

I do trust Him --- more than I ever have.

If you're going through a difficult time, let me suggest getting "real" with your Creator.  He's waiting for you to call on Him.... 

 "Call on me in the day of trouble;

I will deliver you and you shall glorify me."   

Psalm 50:15


April 3, 2013

Down On My Knees

I've been watching a lot of Beth Moore bible studies on my laptop lately.  Great encouragement to my soul.  Exactly what I need and have needed for some time.   If you've ever had the gift of being ministered through Beth's teachings, you'll know she often goes to her knees when she addresses the Throne.  It is so humbling - such an act of respect and honor for our Creator.


If only...if only I could do the same.  Drop to my knees in prayer.  With my Polymyositis, all joints are very inflamed and painful.  I tried months ago to get on the floor with our dogs, only to require immediate assistance to get back up.  Too painful.  I've tried getting into bed on my knees - won't do that again.

So what's my excuse for trying yet again the other day?!  Perhaps a lapse in memory -- who knows.  I've been wanting to clean the shower floor for some time and tried doing it with a hard bristle broom, a mop and a few other strange tools.  Still not up to par for me.

Here's the kicker.  My husband and daughter had just left to run some errands and I got the wild idea of trying again.  I put 3 towels down on the floor to cushion my knees, thinking that would make ALL the difference.   I slowly kneeled down onto the towels and instantly "PAIN"!  Excruciating pain.  I tried to reposition myself - this only made things worse.

Having been a serious weight lifter, I have learned to work through pain, so I told myself I could push through this and get this done.  After all, it would only take a few minutes of scrubbing.  So I started to scrub -- the more I scrubbed, the more my knees hurt.  I knew I had to get up - NOW.  But how?

I tried pushing straight up like any normal person would.  I couldn't get myself even an inch off the floor.


"Oh Lord, what am I going to do?"

I started to pray.

"Jesus, I was really silly trying this today - but I'm in serious need of help.
  I'm in pain.  Please help me get up."  

I considered staying in the position until my family returned home - but then again, they had just left.  They wouldn't be home for quite some time.  The pain was unbearable.

My thoughts turned to Beth Moore --  how ironic, I thought.  I'm kneeling - and talking to God - but I desperately need to get UP!

"Jesus, help me push through the pain and have the strength to get upright!"  

My final request before taking action.  I turned, wrapped my arms around the toilet and pulled up through the pain.  Oh my.  It hurt.  Badly.  But I was standing!

Just as I stood, guess who walked in the door?  My dear hubby.  He had forgotten his wallet.  He had no idea what I had done (or intended to do while he was out) - otherwise he would have said, "Sweetie, when I get home, I'll take care of that for you!" (which he did when he returned).  But I'm stubborn and sometimes I just want to do things myself.  (sheepish grin)  I know, I know....I need to work on that! :)

What brought me to tears was that the Lord provided a way out -- if I hadn't had the strength to push through the pain, he sent my hubby home just in case.  Is that a loving Savior or what?!!   He had a back-up plan ready for me.  I'm so very humbled.

Psalm 22:8 says, 
"He trusts in the Lord.....let the Lord rescue him.
 Let him deliver him, since he delights in him."

Lord, I may not be able to get on my knees when I talk to you - but in my heart, I'm so there.

Humbled. 

Broken.
  
So in love with You.



January 10, 2013

Forced to slow down...

I have been really struggling this week - more than usual.  Strangely, it has been a warm week - in the 70s - yet my body doesn't seem to care.  Warmer weather usual makes me more mobile but not this time.

My joints and muscles are terribly inflamed.  Every movement I make - literally - is painful.  If I raise my arm to brush my hair, I'm in pain.  I can feel every muscle striation. To get up out of any chair makes me cringe because I know what's coming. Pain.

I've been doing a lot of soul searching the last few weeks.  I believe the Lord is slowing me down for a reason.  After all, he ordains everything -- nothing happens that doesn't pass through his hands.  In spite of that knowledge, I still struggle - the emotional struggle is a strong one that I fight every single minute of every day.  Some days lots of tears.  Some days no tears.  I work hard at being "strong" internally.  Even that is tiring.

Yesterday my husband and I made our Sam's Club run.  It means so much to me to have him join me when I am out -- I feel more secure emotionally, I feel supported, I feel very loved.  And my husband is so very loving.

As we were passing the jewelry counter, I noticed this woman.  She had her back to us.  Her legs were lean and very tan.  Instantly I knew who it was.  My dear friend from Gold's Gym.  Though it has been a year or so since we've seen each other, she is always so warm and welcoming.
This was a godsend.  Dianne is one of those people that truly listens.  She's not distracted by the surroundings.  She maintains eye contact and listens with her heart.  What a dear.  It is always a pleasure running into her.

Source: Wikipedia
She asked how I was doing and I informed her about my Polymyositis diagnosis back in February.  Strangely enough, her mother (I believe 75 yrs old) has Dermatomyositis -- this is related to Polymyositis, as it is a connective-tissue disorder, however, this causes inflammation of the skin and muscles.   She went on to tell us that her mom gained 30 lbs of fluid, and her skin was horribly inflamed and itchy.  She had to have the fluid drained and is doing far better.

I had heard of Dermatomyositis.  It was explained to me by my family physician.  All I can say is, "This poor woman!  My heart aches for what she went through."  Dianne went on to say that her mom is back at the gym, working out 3x/week - trying to rebuild her body.  Oh my.  I know what that's like.

You see, Dianne and I worked out at the same time most days at Gold's.  She was amazed at how much weight I could lift.  This was always encouraging to me, to get those kinds of responses.  It fueled my desire to continue lifting because when I strength trained, I trained HARD.  It was work, not pleasure.  From my own observations, I was the only woman in that gym that trained with such intensity.  I was the only woman that could lift the weights I lifted.  I lifted more than many men.  I valued my strength.  Regularly I had guys approach me and ask me to "spot them" because they realized I could handle the weight and they could trust me to keep them from getting injured.  Talk about flattery!

Remembering what Dianne did before, I asked, "Are you still doing massage therapy?"  She was.  I told her that I was considering that form of therapy for my muscles because they're in pain all the time.  Massage relaxes those tight muscle striations and provides a dose of relief.   She gave me her card.

After we parted ways, I realized that we were supposed to run into each other.  I had recently been talking with my husband about massage therapy and where to go, etc....Naturally, I'd rather see someone I knew well and trusted.

The most difficult part of the whole situation is getting there.  It involves moving and moving is painful.  Thankfully, we now have a vehicle that isn't stick shift so I don't have to lift my leg every little while to use the clutch.  But getting in and out of the vehicle is still a challenge -- requiring that I pull each leg in one at a time.  And my lungs - well, they've come a long way -- but I still get winded very easily.  I often joke - just to keep things light - that I "walk like a turtle".....humor is a necessity these days!

So this was a gift seeing Dianne!  A tiny bit of encouragement.  I need all the encouragement I can get.

Lord, if you're trying to teach me something, let me learn quickly!



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DISCLAIMER

I am not a medical professional. These are my observations based on my experiences. Yours may vary. Remember, YOU are responsible for your choices and quality of life!!