This not that

Take a pill but this one no not that one!

Pump some iron but not too much, faster no slow down!

Swing your arms but don’t walk longer, do lunges along the way.

Eat organic and non-GMO but not if it’s locally framed or in the backyard.

Hugs not drugs but in the Emergency Room give me that good IV stuff Maynard.

Go naturale but smoky eyes and bright-colored hair will make him notice even more.

Save for tomorrow but live all you can right now because you just never know . . .

And such are the paradoxes of our time without truth to guide even the mundane stuff of life.

I think I need to read fewer magazines and open the Word more.

Know what I mean?

JJ

 

Life 101

I really don’t think it works for me to have a young person in great health and some priviledge try and sell me on the latest fitness smoothie, butt workout, or prayer meditation. Pretty posts are meaningless to me!

So here goes an alternative from someone with decent skills and experiences from life but who is intensely focused on her health every day. I am “seasoned” by my years over 50 and fueled by the grace that comes with leaning on the Lord to see me through. If I can keep moving forward with crapoloaski (Polish, of course) all around and it makes a difference, so can you dear friends!

I keep going with a simple life-ism to, “do what you can with what you have where you are, with gratitude and reliance on the Christ who loves you, sees you, saved you, and gives you hope beyond that which you can see. Be a good steward of all the brains, stuff, experiences, and relationships I have been given.” Now break it down as follows:

break-it-down

MIND: Feed it or lose it. We must never stop learning. And deeper still: read the Bible, talk to Jesus, and blessings will come one way or another.

FOOD: Eat the food that provides fuel for your body even if you are tired or don’t feel like making it. (Avoid this and feel worse. Why do that?)

BODY: Move in a way for at least a few minutes TODAY that helps support the frame you live in if you want it work for you. Bear weight, even your own body weight, for best results.

WATER: Find water that tastes good to you to increase your hydration. Everything works better when, er, wet.

RELATIONSHIPS: Connect with someone you like every day. Ask for a hug if not freely given. Say “thank you.” Find something to at least smirk or even smile about. And if you can, do something nice for someone even if you have to pray for the strength to get it done. If you are blessed with a spouse, start with him or her, k?

INTEGRITY: Build upon something meaningful from your past even if it was from last week. This is how dreams are born, dreams are realized. God loves that. He very likely placed them there in your heart before you were born and that is cool beans folks.

KEEP MOVING FORWARD, one tiny step, one deep breath at a time. Those in Christ Jesus will have that perfect body in heaven one day, celebrating with the redeemed fitness models we once saw on Facebook. There is room for all of us here and there too. Perfection is not the goal here so let it go right now. Which brings me to my last point:

TAKE A NAP.

Seeya, :JJ

We all have but one past

“We all have one past, but many possible futures,” stated Canadian hockey player Guy LaFleur, in an interview at his retirement (as quoted in the February 2014 newsletter of RZIM ministries).

24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.  (The apostle Paul speaking in Acts 20:24)

Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.  Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.  (Proverbs 4:25-26)

Oh to be able to empty myself of yesterday and walk forth into tomorrow with great expectation!  To live in the moment with hope that what comes will be filled with the Lord’s tender mercies and grace is to really live freely in Christ.  And to know that the struggles of the day will work itself into a beautiful tapestry of my eternal life that has already begun, well, that’s really head-y man!

When I was researching yet another new dietary approach to the illness I endure, I realized how many times I have done this work before.  Over and over again I have sat here at our computer and continued to research solutions to the treatment failures in the past.  I admit that the new ideas don’t always come from the Lord, however.  Who else would come up with a way to make turnips to fit a Candida, mold-free, and low oxalate diet?  (Chuckle.)  I believe it is the Lord who inspires the best of what comes from me through the Holy Spirit and then provides just enough energy to get me there.  For example, I had an unexpected, Divine appointment with a friend who happened to be in the lobby of our doctor’s office on Friday.  She needed prayer badly!  The Lord in his mercy used me to step out in faith and pray with her right then and there.  The fellowship moved each of us.  The moment would have been missed if the Lord had orchestrated the events for me to leave the building just a few minutes earlier or later . . .

But really, until I started writing this I always thought that deep down inside I was someone who carried the events of my sordid childhood on my sleeve.  My utility to this world was somehow limited because of my past.  I thought that the facts that I came from a broken home, witnessed and experienced abuse, grew up lacking basic provisions at times, and didn’t find Jesus Christ until I had spiraled out of control as a young adult limited who I would eventually become someday.   Even if my outward appearance showed a measure of success, the inner woundedness kept me from enjoying it.  For example, I have had to remember to smile:  the joy just isn’t there a lot of the time to beam out from within me.  This should have changed when I found Jesus and entered into a personal, saving relationship with Him.  He redeemed my sin and began to fill the emptiness in my heart reserved only for Him.  Why wasn’t it enough?

I’m not sure I have the answer to that just yet.  I do know that sometimes we are our own worst enemies, eh?  We get in the way of what the Lord has planned for our lives, the opportunities he places before us and noticing the lovely little niceties he sprinkles around us to show us His love.  His love is always around us.  It’s my opportunity to let more of it dwell within me and let my eyes find it around me too.  And when that happens, more of Him flows through me to others, to my work, to my walk in this life with Him.   I can see that it is happening despite my weakness; I just haven’t recognized it enough.  I’m worried about appearing humble and making sure I “keep the gate closed” on the sordid remnants of my past.  Maybe I don’t need another few years of psychotherapy to figure it all out.  I just need to wait on Him.  He is leading me more than I realize!  And if that means anything to you, well let’s give God the glory!  Like Patsy Clairmont says in her book of the same title, God Uses Cracked Pots (1991) like me.

We all have one past.  Healing the hurts from our past requires grieving, reflection, restoration, and the passing of time.  But carrying it around and letting those wounds drag down the current day that has enough challenges of its own is a mistake.  Cut the ties to the past and live mindfully in the present.  Don’t deny who you are or your unique story.  Tell it to others who need to hear . . . talk about it with your heavenly Father who has sustained you to grow you into the man or woman you are today.  The possibilities of an amazing future awaits, adventures big and tiny, and we don’t want to miss them do we?

Say, I saw a gathering of robins (that signal the first sign of Spring in the Midwest) playing in a couple of feet of snow the other day when I was coming home from that doctor appointment.  I was exhausted as I turned the corner in my truck and some yucky stuff happened later that evening.  All of these events were in the mix of the activities of my day.  The bottom line is that the robins are back!  That is just sweet enough to warm my heart and the tips of my fingers in my fingertip less gloves as I type into the wee hours of the morning (until it’s time to take my final saliva sample for a lab test at the correct time interval, that is!).

Talk about cracked pots . . .  JJ

Treatment Scorecard

In January of 2012 I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease by a brilliant Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD).  I had never fully recovered from an episode of viral hepatitis after kayaking in a local reservoir in October of 2011 and my LLMD went looking for answers.  The diagnosis of Lyme Disease was made.  A year later, additional testing revealed mold illness and we remediated our home from January to March of this year.  During the interim, I’ve been treating for Lyme Disease initially with antibiotics and subsequently with a Rife machine and boatloads of pharmaceutical grade supplements.  Recently Candida was added to the diagnostic profile and I further restricted my diet, started on a supplement specific for Candida.  Now for the heavy hitters from recent blogs:

Let’s see, about 2 months ago I was all excited about vasoactive intestinal peptide or VIP.  It’s used to treat Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, a complication of mold illness which presents a significant neurotoxin challenge for recovery from Lyme Disease.  Basically this means that I react to most noxious sensory stimuli very negatively.

Update:  I’m still at one nasal spray per day and am unable to increase it without tremendous fatigue.  The seizure attacks (which began in March of 2012) are of a shorter duration when present and present one less time per day.

Shortly after starting VIP, my LLMD prescribed Losartan, a blood pressure medication.  Losartan lowers TGF beta-1, a hormone that can cause chest compression-type symptoms, another complication of mold illness.  The symptoms have been a daily issue since March, interfering with sleep and causing my breathing to stop at least once per day temporarily during seizure attacks.  Frightful indeed.  My LLMD tested me for asthma and lung disease; he prescribed Albuterol, an inhaled medication.  Geez!  I’ve used the inhaler once.

Update:  It’s now a month later and gratefully the chest compression, pain, and restricted breathing episodes are relieved at least 65%.    The addition of this second medication may be why I am not able to titrate up the VIP yet.  In Dr. Shoemaker’s protocol for mold illness (reference:  www.survivingmold.com) the TGF beta-1 level should be treated first.

The most recent setback was a flare up of a persistent urinary tract infection and possible interstitial cystitis.  By the grace of God, this time a specific bacterium was found in the culture:  citrobacter feundii.  This bug is common in those who are immunosuppressed.  Yeah that’s me.  With a CD-57 of 17 (supposed to be above 160) denoting severe Lyme Disease, it makes sense.  I don’t like it though!  The treatment is typically from a class of antibiotics that I have not been able to tolerate.  In March this meant three straight days of intermittent seizure attacks.  No thanks.  I am not going there again!  Turns out that the LLMD prescribed one of those same types of drugs and the pharmacy did not catch it either.  In the back page of a computer file was a notation that got missed . . . By the grace of God I caught it and got my 40 cents back as I returned the bad boys.

Update:  My LLMD prescribes Doxycycline.  Now those of you familiar with Lyme Disease know that “Doxy” is the drug used for treatment when people first get bitten by a tick.  Sometimes it’s used at the beginning of a chronic Lyme antibiotic protocol or pulsed in rotation with other medicines.  I had never used Doxy.  Whoa.  I was scared!  What kind of herxheimer reaction would follow?  (Herxing is like a detox reaction when on a cleanse protocol.)  I’ve read that Doxy can trigger every kind of symptom under the sun.  I’ve also read that it’s going for $400 or more around the country.  At the time of this writing I am 5 1/2 hours after the first dose and I am feeling better.  The UTI symptoms are subsiding already.  The cost was cheap at my local pharmacy.  Whew!  One dose down and nineteen to go!

The last update is a minor one:  my response to noxious mosquito bites.  I seem to be a magnet for mosquitos, day and night, getting bitten through my clothing and in any spot not doused in DEET-laden bug spray!  Fifteen mosquito bites this past Saturday set off 36 hours of seizure attacks and sickness including Father’s Day.  Bad timing.  Oh well.  Nothing would soothe the inflamed bites either.

Update:  Monday my LLMD office recommended some Rife programs for Lyme and a specific co-infection called Bartonella.  Within a few minutes of running just 90 seconds of each program, the itching subsided.  Praise the Lord!  They returned later but were diminished overall and this occurred in less time than I had noted using various over-the-counter remedies/baking soda.  Yeah God.

I think I’m only going to go outside during the daytime when it’s cooler and I’m covered.  Besides, photosensitivity is a severe side effect of Doxycycline so I better stay out of the sun for the next 10 days!

Sure has been a crazy Spring and Summer so far.  Well actually the whole year has been insane!  I gotta tell ya that I am actually very encouraged this day so I hope that you will be as well.  Seems like the worst setbacks have always given way to the best insights and new directions.  I haven’t a clue why the Lord has allowed this crazy journey in my life.  My husband is a saint!  I do know that the breaks in the illness are very precious times between me and Steve.  I do know that I find myself grateful for smaller and smaller miracles that I might have missed if my life was “normal.”  I have already seen that my experience can benefit others as I have benefitted from theirs too.  I love to blog and make jewelry and had never done either before.  I have finally made some close friends here in Indiana.  And in the end, it is clearer than ever before that the promises of the Lord Jesus Christ bring more hope than any temporal experience in our days.   (Reference:  Psalm33)

Sure, Lyme Disease and all the rest are a drag.  So is the State of the US government!  We are all stewards of our experiences (good and bad), our time, our resources, our talents, our opportunities.  We can waste them, idolize them, or let them distract us from the eternal things that really give meaning to life.  “Whatcha gonna do with it?” is the bigger question really.  Well?