Healing My Gut and My Heart

I've battled chronic illness for many years. Heck, it's the reason this little ole' neglected blog exists in the first place. In 2008, I was searching for answers, trying to understand diagnoses that didn't feel quite right and looking to connect to others even though I was often confined to my bed. Since then, I've had good years and not so good years and I've been struggling yet again since last October. I was diagnosed with inflammatory colitis after weeks of severe GI issues in November. Since then, I've endured four stomach bugs, shingles and a raging UTI. To say I'm sick of being sick would be a gross understatement. I've tried modern medicine for all these years but a few weeks ago, as I prayed about how to proceed, I kept coming across articles about "gut" health. Did you know … [Read more...]

A Stroke of Grace

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19 "I don't know how you've lived with this in your head for eleven days. It's completely occluding blood flow on the left side of your brain. You must have a hell of a headache". Those were the neurosurgeon's words to me at 6:45am on October 25, 2016.He said I had a CVST, a rare form of stroke. He also explained that if it started bleeding again, I would have to be transferred to the University of Florida (five hours away) for very delicate surgery but that they prefer not to … [Read more...]

I’m Not a Runner…..Yet

I have many friends that have taken up running. And, they LOVE it. Like, it has changed their life, their health, their physique for the better and they can't imagine not running type of love it. They post pictures on Instagram and Facebook. Sweaty happy faces after running a 5, 10 or 15k.  Running in inclement weather, on purpose. And for most of 2012, I watched their transformations from the comfort of my couch, shaking my head and thinking "bless their little running hearts". Meanwhile, I huffed and puffed at the very thought of running.  A brisk walk could leave me breathless. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- As I prayed for my … [Read more...]

My Friend is a Big Loser

{Tomorrow, I will be sharing my One Word for 2013 with you and that will make this post even more relevant!} My friend, Jessica Heights, is sweet.  People use that word to describe others often but I really mean it. You look up sweet in the dictionary and there is a picture of this girl.  She is a mama to four, a wife, a writer {who blogs here}, co-host of Allume {the largest Christian blogging/social media conference} and has managed to find the time in all that to write an e-book that is going to encourage and inspire lots of women, this woman included. The 100 pound loser is a quick and simple read, that provides inspiration, encouragement and practical tips for those of us looking to lose weight and live healthier in 2013 {or any year for that matter}.  In her conversational … [Read more...]

10 Ways to Stay Healthy This Holiday Season

With the holidays upon us I wanted to take some time to talk about the effects that this busy time of year can have on our health. Living with chronic illness {mine is systemic lupus} doesn't have to steal your joy and zap your energy. But, it is tempting to push yourself with the amount of activity on the calendar this time of year.  Here are a few tips for taking care of yourself while still enjoying this joyful time of year. Pace yourself.  It is  not wise to plan several events in one day, especially if you don’t allot any time for rest in between.  It is better to attend a few get togethers and truly enjoy yourself than attend many and end up feeling yucky! Remember to maintain  a healthy diet.  Pigs in a blanket and eggnog do not a healthy diet make!  Certain medications need … [Read more...]

Fighting the Fizz

I have given it up before.  Cold turkey. But, it sucks me back in. Specifically when I have a stress headache and need some caffeine to chase the tylenol. What has me in it's ugly grasp? Soda. {source unkown} I need to stop drinking soda {again}.  I know it is bad for me.  I know that with a chronic illness the last thing I need is to ingest something that I know is harmful to my body. For some reason though, I am failing. Just today, I brought my unsweetened tea and water to work and halfway through the day, I caved and bought a soda, which led to another {cause I had ice left in my cup ;} So, I am calling on you friends.  I need accountability and I need tips. Have you given up soda or something else unhealthy?  How did you do it? What worked for you?   … [Read more...]

Peeking In

I tend to be quiet here when I am going through something{s}. Really, I have a lot to say but need to say it in real life before I can go blabbing about it on my blog. Plus, I am sick.  After a night in the ER with two bags of fluids, a really strong pain killer and a nurse that seemed to enjoy digging around to start an IV, I am feeling {slightly} better.  The doctor told me today, at a follow-up appointment, that my sample {I will leave what they sampled to your imagination} is growing a pathogen and that Monday he will have results to let me know what antibiotic I need to start.  Basically, I have bad bacteria in my gut? Who knew. So, in an attempt to keep you updated on my oh-so-glamorous life {ha!} here are some pics from my phone this week: Sitting at the DMV on a Saturday was … [Read more...]

More exciting things!!

I promise I will return tomorrow with a content rich post but today I needed to stop by and quickly share a few more exciting things with y'all. {Did you see the exciting things from yesterday?} First of all, I am excited to be contributing to a wonderful community called The Intentional Lifestyle.  The site is chock full of resources, ideas and support to live a healthy life, in all aspects of your life.  I am the Healthy Home "Expert" over there and my first vlog, talking about the four things that clutter steals from you, is live today.  I am humbled and thrilled to be in the company of such a talented team! Please go check it out! Secondly, I contributed to a brand new eBook called From Mom's Failure to God's Grace: Stories of Raising Boys from the MOB Society Writers.  All the … [Read more...]

10 Things I’ve learned about living with invisible illness

I have been living with invisible illness {diagnosed} since 2008.  Chronic pain, fatigue and bizarre symptoms are part of my everyday life.  Statistics tell us that 1 out of every 2 Americans lives with a chronic illness {diabetes, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, etc.}   I know I am not alone.  So, why do I often feel that way? 1.  Invisible illness is isolating. Let's face it, people get tired of hearing about your "aches and pains", tired of having you cancel at the last minute because you suddenly feel like you've been hit by a truck, etc.  At least, I think they get tired of it so I withdraw, not wanting to be a bother.  Loneliness is a frequent companion. 2.  Invisible illness is unpredictable. I can go to bed feeling fine and wake up, unable to get … [Read more...]

Parenting and illness

There is a sad story circulating the news outlets that has mothers {including myself} outraged.  A judge in North Carolina has taken primary custody of a mother's young children away, mostly because she is battling stage 4 breast cancer. {A summary of the story and other posts on the web can be found here.} While I do not pretend to have all the facts of this case nor am I privy to the thought process of the judge involved, the premise is frightening. I live with chronic illness.  MS, Lupus, a blood clotting disorder, etc. impact my health every day. Does illness also impact my parenting? Absolutely. Does illness render me incapable of adequately parenting my children? Absolutely not. The thought of what this woman is enduring, on top of fighting for her life for the past four years, … [Read more...]

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