changes.

Madam Pomfrey was holding a large bottle of something labeled Skele Gro.

“You’re in for a rough night,” she said, pouring out a steaming beakerful and handing it to him. “Regrowing bones is a nasty business.”

– Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets

Well, y’all, I have plenty of news and I’m all kinds of in my feelings right now.

I saw my rheumy on Friday and he finally decided to get moving on the daily injections that will strengthen my bones. While I am hopeful for the therapy, it does last for two years and it is painful – because regrowing bones IS a nasty business – so that part I am not looking forward to. I am waiting on insurance approval right now and hope to start it next week. I pray this will help my feet and hip heal as well.

We are also tapering down so that I can stop my prednisone – which is going to be painful as well – but I am still thankful. Between the crumbling bones and the cardiovascular side effects and the high blood sugar and the weight gain, I am beyond ready to say goodbye to the pred.

We have much going on this week in our home as well.

For our girls, we have our younger daughter going back to school – starting high school – and our older daughter turning 18. It’s hard to believe.

And, on Tuesday, my smartchair will be delivered. I am so SO grateful for it – but I have been a big ball of tears as my better half has been rearranging our house to get ready. I think the gravity of this situation, especially the broken hip, has been sinking in and I just HATE that my body is falling apart so spectacularly.

Still, I am very much looking forward to being able to get around and go and do again. So, on Tuesday, as our youngest says, Speedracer will be at it again. . . =D

As for right now, I’ve been dealing with some sort of respiratory illness and I feel just awful. This has called for lots of resting in bed with Henry – and Steel Magnolias is keeping us company at the moment.

Wishing y’all a fabulous week!

Be well, everybody.

Grace and Blessings.

 

 

 

what a freaking day

Y’all.

It started last night.

I was getting everything in order for my clean eating renovation and the girls were planning to start our summer swimming for exercise plan and I was good to go with accountability buddies to really start addressing all this medication weight. . . because it is a major health issue at this point, even if it isn’t my fault. And it HAS to be dealt with.

And I explained the reasons it was so serious to my daughters SO damn well – and it is – that, after they left and went to bed, I had hell’s own panic attack and couldn’t go to sleep for fear that my sleep apnea might actually kill me and then they would be half orphans. Yeah, no one said anxiety attacks are reasonable – and, if you have them, you are so not alone.

Anyway, Henry and the Valor EO and I finally got the situation under control around 5 AM and I slept for a couple of hours before I was up and back at it – and a little bit bumfuzzled due to anxiety residual and sleep deprivation.

So I did my daily blog post for my practice and posted it EVERYWHERE and wished everyone a Happy Friday! – and a few hours later my wonderful husband let me know it’s Thursday. Dammit.

Then I went to get dressed to go swimming with the girls and discovered that NONE of my swimsuits fit. That’s right. I can’t go exercise to lose the weight because I’ve busted out of the clothes I need to exercise in. Yippie.

And then I ran into some major undergarment issues that could only happen to me. #prednisonepudgesucks

What. The. Frack.

Oh, and when I got home from erranding, I parked crooked and I hit the lil’ mini trash can when I pulled back in the garage. #fixitjesus

Needless to say, I am working HARD on this weight issue for the sake of my heart – with its insane heart rates – and my extremities and my blood sugar and my self-esteem too.

But for now?

I’m finishing my salad and taking a damn nap.

Good grief.

Be well, everybody.

Grace and blessings.

 

 

becoming

I’ve written often recently about the negatives of my illness – and there are many – but a thought has been following me around that has given me pause:

Life is not happening to you; it’s happening for you.

Even the bad stuff is, in some way, happening for us.

And I’ve heard this in so many different places in the past few weeks that it isn’t happenstance.

And I realized it’s true.

While I would never have chosen this path, some good is coming from it still, slowly.

And I want to tell y’all about it.


Since I was a little girl, I’ve been a foodie:

Hand over the noms and nobody gets hurt. =D

My family, however, wasn’t really into cooking, and, with it just being my dad and me at our house, I cooked for us, so we ate mostly boxed, pre-packaged food.

When I became an adult, I bought Giada de Laurentis’ cookbook, Everyday Italian, and taught myself the basics of cooking by making every recipe in it. I’ve continued to learn from there and become passionate about real food.

I also became a nurse and worked as one for fourteen years.

Even with my illness, I kept pushing until it was absolutely physically impossible for me to take care of patients – or even go into work daily to do phone triage – anymore.

So, as I was only 38, it was time to come up with something else to do with myself:

one of my favorite Cheryl Strayed quotes

And I found the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and enrolled in May of 2017.

Since then, I can’t begin to tell how much I’ve learned about holistic health and the whole person and whole foods and macrobiotics and factory farming and the major diets circulating now and bioindividuality and health counseling and the benefits of meditation and heart health and cancer prevention and raw foods and so so many other things.

And I have three more months to go.

And this to work through:

Plus some more.

And I am eager to learn all I can.

And continue to grow.

And continue becoming the best health coach I can be.

I want to help people get healthy with an intuitive eating approach, adapting their diet and addressing their medical needs:

In my heart, I believe I’ve been brought to this place to combine my nursing training and my holistic nutrition knowledge to help people in a different, totally awesome way.

This is a new chapter.

A becoming.


Be well, everybody. Happy Tuesday!

Grace and blessings.

flu should really be a four letter word.

What. A. Yuck. Week.

We were two ER visits in with our youngest, Sara, for kidney problems, and she and I were up all night again last night, but she went back to school today anyway, toughing it out. What a trooper I say. ❤️

And, the plan – bahahahaha! – was that our eldest, Laura, was going to go off with my dad from today through Sunday, gallivanting. They left about 2 PM.

They returned at 8 PM with Laura running a temp of 101.9 with chills, headache, body aches, and a cough.

Of course, by then, I had also given myself my chemo shot for the week at about 6:30 PM. Yay for extra immune suppression!

I gave her a gram of Tylenol and settled her on the couch with fluids.

By 10PM, her temp was 104 – she’s always run crazy high fevers but now that she is almost an adult that is just too much – so I loaded her up in Janis and off to the ER we went.

As expected, the flu it is, as well as another minor infection.

So, she’ll be on Tamiflu and an antibiotic and on the couch for several days.


Even so, the Lord was looking after us, with this, our third ER visit of the week.

Our triage nurse was sweet nurse Becky, who immediately said, when she saw me, “Your hair is growing back!” and got us to a room quickly.

Our nurse and nurse practitioner were both just precious.

And, most importantly, the doctor overseeing all of this is a doctor I know well. When she stopped in before we left, she immediately said, “You need ten days of Tamiflu as well. You can’t get this. I’ll write it for you.”

What a blessing.

I am so thankful.


So now we are home.

Laura is on the couch.

I will be up all night (Again. Dammit.) monitoring her – because 104 temp – until the pharmacy opens at 9 AM and we can get her Tamiflu started. She has to be on alternating Tylenol and Motrin – just like when she was little – to contain this fever so the coffee maker and I are going to be close friends this evening.

The non-exposed family members are downstairs and Thieves is diffusing throughout the house.

I also have my bottle of Valor sitting next to me as I work because STRESS.

I plan to be productive since I am pulling an all-nighter but my lil’ RA body is still sick too and it doth protest.

Help me, Jesus.

I know He will.

And this little dude just seems to know I’m stressed and sick and he’s been sticking extra close too:

He is just the best lil’ service pup in the land. ❤️

Be well, everybody.

Grace and blessings.

the hard things.

It has truly been a wild few days here in the Hippie Hut: calls from my attorney with sudden needs related to disability, unexpected nursing requirements (I no longer work as a nurse but I will always keep my license) that have had me chasing myself, and so much going on with working towards our eldest’s admission into her program. Utter chaos.

Yesterday morning I slept through my alarm and through morning prayer service.

And yesterday was a freaking zoo.

We had a phone appointment with the admissions counselor for Laura’s program, who advised us that she needed to see her psychiatrist right away to get a certain letter that is needed to proceed forward. Yay. So I called and they could see her this afternoon. Right at the time I had an appointment that I both needed and was looking forward to. Isn’t that the way all of this has been going?

Of course, I cancelled my appointment and made hers.

And, then, as I am just wiped out, I overslept AGAIN this morning and woke up just in time to attend online campus for morning prayer – but I am so glad I did – because, y’all, today has been so ugly.

In morning prayer service this week, we are focusing on Jesus alone and today’s word from Pastor Mark was “dependence” on Him. As I was sitting at my desk watching the service, I actually wrote it on my hand in red Sharpie:


When I did, it was just to keep it on my mind. I wasn’t really expecting such a gnarly, gnarly day.


This morning, I had an ortho appointment scheduled, and, as I’ve written before, those usually don’t bring the best news about my left foot. I already know this going in.

But today was different.

I went to see Dr. H. – who is wonderful (friendly, understanding, straightforward, just the best kind of doctor) – and started with my routine foot x-rays as usual. When he came in, he immediately called me to the hall to show me that my fourth metatarsal (the broken bone that has now been broken for a full year) is still the same and that the second metatarsal (the newer break) is actually a little worse.

And then we went back to the exam room to chat.

First he wrote this out:

But then we REALLY got down to it.

With my health, we can either:

Continue the bone growth stimulator and vitamin D and let me limp around with my broken foot and pain and no further risk.

OR

We can go ahead with the surgery, which entails internal and external wires that would come out the top of my foot and total bed rest (which is absolutely impossible as a mother of three) and no weight-bearing for four weeks. Due to my health issues, there are also a great number of risks that are associated with this surgery that there wouldn’t be for your average bear:

  • I would have to stop my RA meds (except my prednisone) for two weeks before the surgery and two weeks after. We have NO IDEA how my RA would react but we know it wouldn’t be good considering how active my disease process is while I’m taking my RA meds.
  • My risk for infection is extremely high. As Dr. H and I discussed at length, prior to my stopping work, I was a rehab nurse, and many of my patients were people like me – younger post-op patients with health problems who had to come for IV antibiotics – the strong ones that require a PICC line and tend to make a person sick as Hale – and physical therapy because their bodies wouldn’t heal. And Dr. H. feels that there is a strong possibly that this would happen. His words were “you pick the horse by the jockey.” In other words, we are in trouble here.
  • I have severely impaired blood flow in my left leg. That’s why the bones aren’t healing in the first place. And that is another issue with the surgery and another risk for blood clots after surgery.
  • If the foot doesn’t heal, there is a very real risk of actually losing it. The idea of going from a broken foot that I can walk on to losing my foot is terrifying.

Needless to say, we chose to go another month on the bone growth stimulator.

When I opened my Insta sitting in Dr. H.’s office, this was what I saw:

And I do believe that God is faithful. Absolutely.

But, as it sank in, I am still just devastated and I think it’s okay to be honest about that too.

As I said earlier today to my husband, “It’s hard to go from running marathons to hardly being able to walk some days.”

And now I really have to accept that – as surgery isn’t a viable, safe option for me – I will have to live with the broken foot permanently most likely.

Of course I’m grateful that I CAN get around on it. That is truly a blessing.

But I’m also 11 days aways from my 39th birthday and now apparently not ever going to get better.


So I came home pretty well distraught and needed to lie down for the afternoon desperately.  With all of the stress we’ve been under, I’ve also been having some major food intolerance and nausea and vomiting as well and I’m just weak and worn out.

But we had Laura’s psych appointment this afternoon so it was time to summon my mom superpowers – we all have them – and push on. And I did.

We went to her appointment, met with the psychiatric nurse practitioner, got her prescriptions for her time away, and addressed the letter she needs.

And then we finally headed home after a quick stop at the Starbucks drive-thru.


I wish I could say tomorrow (today really – it’s super early morning here) is a home day after morning prayer service but we have some regular doctor stuff for Laura before she and Joey go off to my parents for the weekend to do some things they have planned with my dad.

Still, after that, I am looking forward to a weekend at home with my better half, working on some house things that I am excited about and doing several units of school work that MUST be done. Oh, and Church Day. And my sweet babies. And watching my Saints play (Who Dat!).


And, though I certainly don’t know where my broken foot fits in the plan, I do trust Him. And I know that He is good and His plans are good.

And I will push forward and do the hard things and know that good will come of it somehow.

Even on days like today, when I need all the Kleenex and all the Valor.


Be well, everybody.

Grace and blessings.

 

 

 

 

new year. new things. new business.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am starting off 2018 working on some personal health goals. As long-term steroid therapy has not been kind to my weight, it is time to find a way to lose some extra pounds. I am hopeful that it will help my joint pain (at least a little), and, as RA significantly increases cardiovascular disease risks, it is important to maintain an appropriate BMI. Finally, though it is less important, I will feel so much better when I look like myself again.

So, it was time to devise a final plan that was reasonable and appropriate for my body and state of health. I have decided on the Daniel Plan (which I love and will be using with my health coaching clients when they leave the choice to me – but more on that later) and adding some oils to support digestion and metabolism.

my planner, the Daniel Plan book, my food log, and my EOs. Leggo!

As I organized everything for my new years health plan, Sara and I talked about starting our oil classes again.

We are both passionate about our oils.

I use them to help with my anxiety, I have an oil that is the bombdiggety for study, I have diffusers everywhere (including my car), I have one that I LOVE for scary moods, and I love the YL cleaner so so much.

And Sara’s jam? Rollerballs. She can make the most fabulous scents and is so so good at it. She has had to take many of them to friends at school because they smell her and want some of their own.

We love our oils.

However, I have NEVER been a “sales-y” person and I’ve been really hesitant to jump all the way in because I never, EVER want to be off-putting to friends and family with this.

We all know those “sales-y” people. We see their name pop up and think “what now?”

I so don’t want that.

But I do want to share my oils.

So Sara and I had a talk about what we wanted to do and share and how we wanted to go about our business. And it doesn’t follow the “script” that is all the rage right now in YL (because some people do need a starter kit – and that’s awesome – but some people just need a bottle of Valor and some questions answered and some support – and that’s awesome too).

And we decided to start again our way. With our faves and our Leilani superpup.

And we are super excited.

And, then, while I was working on that, I saw Mama Beth Moore’s tweet today and it really spoke to me:

mama beth’s tweet today really got me thinking

Since I got my certificate to start seeing health coaching clients, I have been trying to decide how to get started. This is also something I am incredibly passionate about. With my background in nursing and now in nutrition, I feel that I can be of service and help people learn to manage their health issues. And, because I live with autoimmune disease myself, I totally understand the struggles of living with chronic illness. And, with my pred battle, I understand the weight struggle from hades. No one need be uncomfortable with me.

eo 2

So, I’ve decided it is time to go for it.

Tonight, I’ll be working on getting my pages up and running to begin seeing clients. I already have several ideas in mind for how to get started, and – despite the outrageous rates suggested in my school group (umm, no) – I plan to offer a super reasonable 6 month package for my first group of peeps.

More than anything, I just really want to start coaching.

I believe I can really help my clients, I am so ready to be able to use my skills again, and I am super stoked.

So. . .  leggo!

one of my favorite c.s. lewis quotes

Working on some exciting projects has definitely made the gnarly flare from hades much more bearable.

Be well, everybody. I hope you are all off to a great start with your 2018 goals and dreams!

Grace and blessings. ❤️💜💚💙💛

makin’ plans for 2018

As you know if you’ve even glanced at any of my recent blogs, I am super stoked for Christmas. In fact, Miracle on 34th Street is playing in the background as I write.  I can’t wait!

But, today, I’m also thinking a bit beyond Christmas joy for a minute to 2018 and doing some goal setting and plan making.

It’s only ten days away now – WOW!


Last week, I completely reworked my vision board (yes, in hippie nutrition school, we are vision board people) to reflect my life now:

2018 2

In the big picture, I want to focus on my family, faith, writing, reading, and being a more conscious consumer (that’s the meaning of the Toms sticker), among other things. But more specific goals and plans are needed.

So, here we go:

Healthy Weight For My Joints.

I’ve written several times about the prednisone induced weight gain that I have experienced. The bottom line is that it is a great strain on my joints, worsening my pain and complicating my disease process. So, though it is VERY difficult to lose weight while on prednisone, it has to be done.  To do so, I will need to:

  • Follow a low carb diet. From a metabolic standpoint, that is the only thing that will work while on steroid therapy.
  • Swim four days per week for exercise. It is the only form of exercise my joints – and my broken foot – can tolerate.
  • Set a goal of one pound per week. As it is really difficult to lose weight on steroids, that is a reasonable goal.

Write More.

2018 6

As one of my goals is to eventually write a book, I plan to post daily here in 2018. Writers write.

And:

Read More.

My to read stacks currently look like this:

And that isn’t all of them. I read quite often as it is, but, this year, my goal is to finish two books per week as I am forever adding to my to read stack and I’m sure Mr. Stephen King isn’t wrong.

My Most Important To Read.

2018 1

The running joke between Sara and I is that the One Year Bible on the left is my Two Year – One Year Bible because I started it in 2016 and am finishing it this year.

The crazy thing about that is that I stopped it in 2016, and then, this year, I felt strongly lead to pick it back up and discovered that the day I did was only two days off from when I stopped it. I was able to pick right back up and get going. A total God thing.

Well, this year I am finishing it, and now I love, love, love having it as part of my quiet time so I found a different version of a One Year Bible for 2018 (as I’m sure I will do each year).

I’m really excited about this upcoming year’s version. It focuses on how the entire Bible points to Jesus. I think it is going to be amazing.

Small Group.

2018 8

With work and life and just being slow, I waited forever to join the Dream Team at church, and, now that I have, it is the biggest blessing. I love it so much.

So, this year, I will participate in small groups each session as well. I know it will a great thing so I’m not going to let myself put it off.


I share all of this both to make myself accountable and to remind all of you to start thinking about next year too. I can’t believe it’s already upon us but it is.

I’m looking forward to completing my nutrition program in May (yay!!!).

And, as I did this year, I plan to keep shows and road trips on the calendar to look forward to. It helps me so much when illness makes things difficult.

And this year Joey will turn 16, and my baby, Sara, will go to high school. Wow. It’s a big one for our family!


For now, I’m off to do some reading and finish a module of school work today.

I have been really sick these past few days (all of the recent stress brought on some GI bleeding) but I am working on getting my strength back now to enjoy the holiday and looking ahead to all the good things coming.

I’m waiting on a few more Christmas gifts to arrive in the mail so I can get them wrapped and looking forward to our big family Christmas at the lake later this week. I can’t wait to see everybody and we always have the best time! (and it’s Henry’s first family Christmas!)

Then, this weekend, of course, we have Christmas at church and then Christmas at home!

And, next week, I have a Christmas/New Year trip to see my bestie!

So many good things!

Be well, everybody, and Happy Thursday!

Grace and Blessings.