The full moon must goeth

If ever cycling was a thing in chronic illness then the one that goes with the emergence of a full moon is my worst. What a night from hell it was yesterday.

The new spritely Doberman mix youngster whacked me on the forehead when she jumped up suddenly. It felt like a head injury. Stars and stunned. Soon came the gutteral cries, gasps for air, and profuse drooling as I braced myself against the kitchen sink. I could think of nothing else but to hold on, try to breathe. Steve heard me and asked if I had a leg cramp. I could not speak for a very long time. I was seizing. It was terrifying.

About an hour later after much weeping, rebounding, being carried to the sectional, and 60 mg of Prednisone, my mind began to clear. No really it took 2 hours. I needed water and food and to go to the bathroom and serious help from Steve who sat nearby, trying to figure out what the hell was going on, what to do or not do. It was awful for him as well. We simply endured.

I am crying as I write this. I have spent this past day moving gently and taking a long time to do basic tasks. Very deliberately, very carefully, and certainly with much caution where Bella pup was involved. Did she know? Later last night she did lie beside me on the floor. Our other dogs never did that for more than a moment. Isabella has only been in our lives for 7 days. She’s a different kind of beast for sure. I wish I could say the same for myself. At this moment I feel like I am slipping away from my former sameness . . .

In the midst of the rebounding into more episodes when simply trying to adjust a blanket, I asked the Lord to take me home. Please take me home. I gave him my gardening, our marriage, this home. It just hurts so badly to be awake when hell breaks loose in your body and you have to watch it, helplessly. He said no. It’s not time yet. My mind went blank for all of the implications of living on until the next violent convulsive episode rips through my world. It’s complicated. It’s just so very hard.

So if the answer is no, not yet, keep going, that’s just what I will do. That’s just what I did today. He gave me the strength to take care of the dog, the laundry, some bills, cooking, computer stuff, and finding my way back to you Gentle Reader. How are you tonight? Today?

Perhaps some joy or even happiness will return to me at some point. Just for today all I can say is that I am blessed to be struggling with this mess in a situation where all of my basic needs are met well. In this place I will start the next cycle of the moon. And keep experimenting with ozone water. It did help me sleep better quite a few days and improve enough to get some tasks done that have been harder in the past to do.

Just keep going. Sometimes it’s enough. Isn’t she adorable? JJ

Treatment Update 4.25.22

When gardening and the activities of an Extension Master Gardener ends up creating more stress than joy, we have a problem. Such has been my experience of late. Then increased health issues created a bit of a medical crisis. What to do now? After 9 years of battling a serious, chronic illness there just didn’t seem to be anything left to try. Then the Lord spoke into my heart and I’ve embarked on some important changes in my life. Tonight I am encouraged! Here’s what I decided to do.

  1. Let go of a volunteer role as Editor of a monthly gardening newsletter. Within 2 days of the decision, a flare up of shingles on my face started coming down. Sure, I took some medications but I could only tolerate a couple of doses until it triggered convulsive episodes. I took a break, knowing that a new treatment protocol was on the horizon. The reduction in the stress that I experienced was quite a surprise. As an Extension Master Gardener, I loved volunteering in this way for the past 3 1/2 years and went through a grieving process letting it go. Gratefully I even got to write several articles along the way, two of which you can view here and here.
  2. Daily home ozone therapy. Here’s a simple description of what this entails. After much preparation and study along with professional IV ozone therapies 2 years ago, I drank my first dose of ozonated water this evening. So far, so good (although it tastes really strange!).
  3. Begin the process of finding an online Bible study or women’s fellowship within the Calvary Chapel churches. Sadly my own congregation was unable to help me unless perhaps I started a new ministry. Me and two Christian women bloggers did just that for 2 1/2 years awhile back but this time I’m just not up to getting something going! Gratefully I have found some possibilities.
  4. Focus on our home gardening activities where possible for the foreseeable future. There’s plenty to do here, especially if we add a second tall raised bed yet this growing season. Lord willing, it will happen and some juicy tomatoes will follow!
  5. Sleep more even if it means napping at odd times during the day or cancelling appointments.
  6. Continue in our diet the recent additions of sprouted seeds and microgreens. These have provided a concentrated source of nutrition that has actually improved some of my lab markers. This is so awesome for a gal who hasn’t made much progress in years.
  7. Do more blogging, more journaling, more Bible study, more connecting with Christian gal friends.
  8. Take more walks as I am able, especially with my beloved Steve.

Lord willing there will be fruit from this new direction. It’s been a long, difficult, and complicated journey that isn’t over yet. I might as well keep trying eh? JJ

Isaiah 58:11

11 The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.

Microgreens add a solid and beautiful source of nutrition to one’s diet.

After another dead end in the road

So many times I have chosen the road less travelled.

  • Finally detaching myself from toxic, addicted friends and family members beyond the proverbial geographical cure that didn’t work.
  • Working hard in Al Anon Adult Children of Alcoholics as I discovered the extent to which abuse, dysfunction, relying on survival skills alone, and the absence of a Christ-centered view of the world made my world smaller and darker than it needed to be.
  • Accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
  • Pursuing my goals of higher education degrees in a family where at the time, only one blood relative had done so.
  • Starting and operating a home business several times despite not having all of the strengths needed for success.
  • Divorcing the man instrumental to my coming to faith in Christ when he would not return to our marriage nor his faith of sorts.
  • Embracing the Lord’s restoration of my life after much tragedy: a life total makeover of sorts.
  • Moving out of State to marry my Intended Beloved and start a new life in which I knew no one else but Steve.
  • Finding things that I could learn and still do despite a serious decline of my health and loss of my profession.
  • Never losing hope in the Lord or that better days lain ahead somewhere despite wretched convulsive episodes virtually every day for ten years.

Tough stuff, eh? Thank you Lord for your mercy and grace through it all! Tonight I’m not sure what to make of things when I find myself at the end of another road, another lifeline of a rope that has given me so much. After 3 1/2 years, I have decided to step down from my role as Editor of the monthly newsletter for the Extension Master Gardeners in our county. My 42 newsletters have been a labor of love for me: challenging my creativity, communication, and computer skills as applied to my favorite topic of gardening. I need to open up some time and energy to find new solutions to boost my health. Working on a newsletter in the middle of the night (because that is most often the time I am stable enough to do so) then being trashed all day the next day, then repeating this pattern a few times per month is just too much. It has become a dysfunctional pattern of living just to earn 15 volunteer hours every month. Regardless, I am sad to let it go. I need to let it go. I need to let it go not knowing to where the Lord will lead me from here. I will miss being “in the know” about our local volunteer gardening activities, upcoming events, and exciting developments on the horizon. Gee, I did ask myself about taking the next step towards becoming a board member and advance within the organization: a logical next step. Supervise the new Editor in addition to two other communications coordinators? No, came the answer to my prayer. Not this time or in this way. Sigh, I just wanted to figure out my next steps ahead of time. That’s not the type of road I am travelling on right now. The GPS is stopping right here. I have arrived at a blank screen. But why not?

Geez oh man. Talk about what is looking like another endless path with no answers. Let’s add a few more.

  • Why haven’t the thousands of hours of medical care, excess of a hundred thousand dollars of expenses, many hundreds of hours of research, and prayers of the faithful including my own yielded more fruit so to speak? We don’t know. No one knows.
  • Why did my Mother die right before I met my Intended Beloved? She never got to meet him. She would have loved him dearly.
  • Why did my former supervisor’s house burn to the ground the day before she intended to cancel my trip to see my estranged father right before he died? I didn’t know he was dying and had not seen him in 30 years. Turns out that I got to see him and she didn’t return to work until months later.
  • Why did my Grandmother die the day after I discovered my former husband’s affair? I couldn’t get out of bed to go to work, so overcome with grief.
  • Why have I survived all of the members of my immediate family with no one to carry on the family name? This leaves me feeling pretty empty at the holidays or special occasions.
  • Why did I get to marry the man of my dreams only to not be able to fly with him when he lifts off to so many cool places?

Just because, Gentle Julie. This isn’t heaven. You live in a fallen world marked by sin and evil with only glimmers of my majesty and goodness sprinkled amidst the darkness. Even so, I am God. I am doing a different kind of work in your heart, in your life with a different kind of reward for your faithfulness to follow me instead of the way of the world. I know all of your story. I know all of your sorrows, including ones that only I can see. I know because I am there loving you and seeing you through it all. Thank you for letting me in . . . could you do so even more? I grieve and suffer with you in ways that you can only imagine from what you can see, from my Word. Meet me there. I promise you that the strife, the unrelenting striving that leads to seemingly dead ends will be redeemed when I come again in glory. Lay your cares at the foot of my cross. I will hold them tenderly with your tears. Trust me. I will never leave you or forsake you.

So this blog is a bit of a downer tonight but it doesn’t end there. I write the truth as I know it and about the truth that sets me free. Me and you too, Gentle Reader. Do you know many sorrows too? Weep with me. Weep for your losses, your hurts, your unanswered prayers. Then take each one and place it beneath the cross of our Lord, Jesus Christ right next to mine. He will take them for us from here. It doesn’t matter that we don’t know where the path we are on is leading us when we are living unto the Lord and following Him. What matters is the trail we are leaving behind. JJ

If this but that

If this were to occur but not that

Or rather if that were to occur but not this, well then

What if this but that and then again but this?

Then if this isn’t good enough but that is then what?

But if I cannot talk to that but that is the only option then I shall do this

Until but that tells me this is the only way to go.

Then this but makes me go that way and I am left in limbo this time, again

Ugh! But that never happens in this situation! Imagine that! This did!

But this but that, I raise you one “this more” and take that you fiend!

For the medical merry-go-round of late has me all but thisserated!

But it will go away soon. This is the only way. Until that happens again. And it will. This always does me in that way.

I digress.

JJ

Almost Worse than the Sticker Man

Hear ye, hear ye, my nemesis is about to speak!

He once reigned supreme but his sticky residue is now de-throned

For the foreign help desk at the electronics’ website

Is now a chat box with hours-long delays, okay, you win!

Just go ahead and try to get a new phone, I dare you twice, he warns

Your angst with paper stickers on produce that stick in your teeth

Can’t light a candle to the one you never see or can’t understand

Should the bot wizard become akin to a blood-thirsty human

About to challenge your mental stability as your life agonizingly slips away.

Go ahead again. Try to get your throw-a-way, $1,000-phone-on-a-20-year-payment-plan to work better, NOT!

I prescribe a lobotomy to cope since rationality isn’t a trait of a programmer abroad.

Think I am exaggerating? No, your turn is coming. It’s only a matter of time as they say.

One day we will all succumb to the Son of the Sticker Man, the Help Desk with forked tongue

Just bring your alcohol, chocolate, potato chips (family-sized bag please) and expect PAIN

And don’t even try to click over to a new window while waiting my dear friend. The torture will intensify with a prompt for password you don’t even know as you get blasted out of rationality again and again.

I suppose it all makes a flip phone sound really good about now, eh? JJ

Photo by Erik Mclean on Pexels.com