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A Good Playdough Day

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To those who know about the unpredictability of autoimmune diseases, it comes as no surprise that there are days that I have deemed as “Frisbee Squirrel” days. Those days when all previously made plans must be set aside to deal with a body in non-compliance. When the weight of one’s extremities add boat anchors to the weight of the torso sinking into the mattress, it requires major effort to move. Getting upright to walk a few yards to the toilet and back is akin to executing a marathon. Although, praise the Lord, these days are fewer than past years, I do occasionally get side-lined. Today was just such a day.

I had great plans of getting some painting done on a big set project that has a hard deadline. I did prep work yesterday, so I was ready to execute some productivity today. Awwwwk [buzzer sound]…not gonna happen!

Exactly one day after proclaiming that I do trust that God is in charge of everything in my life…And that ALL of it is for my good and His glory…And that I can actually rejoice in trials because of the fact that God uses trials to make me more like Jesus; here I am “grounded” so to speak. My bones have all the strength of a pile of dust. I am fighting to keep my eyes open and my thoughts of the simplest task in a straight line.

It became obvious that I was forced to resign myself to another lost day. The cold, rainy day outside was adding to the gloom that wanted to throw a big pitty-party to the frisbee squirrel who was of no use. However, God was gracious to me!! Let me tell you how.

Last night’s growth group study, focussing on the Bible book of Ephesians, dealt with God’s gifting each of us with what we need to help grow ourselves & others up in Christlikeness. A godly advisor & another friend each independently spoke of being happy for trials. In my morning Bible reading God’s Word reminded me that God is the strength of my heart. In the midday, I received an unexpected facebook tagging of a very good article about Women’s ministry being more than just casseroles or being a Proverbs 31 woman. And finally, my handheld device allowed me, even while too weak to get out of bed, to follow-up on people who are seeking help with Foreign Accent Syndrome.

That series of events helped me quickly shift off of the feelings of defeat to the intentional pursuit of just doing something…any little thing…that I can do.

As a result, today I was blessed to be able to bring great relief and comfort to two souls that are literally in different parts of the world from me, and each other. Yet all three of us know the pain, suffering & loneliness associated with having such a rare condition as Foreign Accent Syndrome. The difference is, I know how to use social media and the world-wide web to reach out to find those who are not getting properly diagnosed or help in the ignorant or uninformed medical community. I have been blessed to be able to speak with many different people about many different things in straightforward and understanding manner. I care for others and they sense that early on. God allows me to be comfort and His love for them.

It is so humbling to realize that God actually uses ME!
God actually uses me, at my absolute lowest of strength and power to have impact in the lives of others! Is that not amazing?!

So, today as I look back on what I thought was going to be another wasted day in which I was just taking up resources, God instead used this day to teach me a new perspective.
What I thought was a “Frisbee Squirrel” day actually turned out to be a “playdough” day. >> Rather than giving in to the notion that I was of no more use than a dried up dead squirrel and all the negativity associated with that, I was given a different outlook.

God allowed me to be truly flexible; to accept that although things were not as I had planned, that it could be okay.

Allowing myself to be molded by my Maker was very rewarding. In fact it was beautiful. I could relinquish all the strain of trying to “make” things happen and instead allow myself to be moved and shaped as He saw fit, knowing that would guarantee a good result. In fact: the best result was assured. It truly left a lasting impression on me and on others.

As I look back on today, I rejoice even in the not-idealic circumstances of my day. I was able to make a new friend in Scotland and another in Chile who actually cried with relief to hear from me…me?! (a nobody Frisbee Squirrel bedridden in the Midwestern United States). I tell you God never ceases to amaze me. Amazing love; how can it be? It was a good day to be playdough.

What kind of day did you have?

Shining Light on Diseases: How’s Your Vitamin D?

Girl-Holding-the-Sun-Sunrise__32633-480x320I recently found out after a blood test that I am very low in Vitamin D. The doctor told me to take a supplement of Vitamin D3 — like 4 times the dose I was already taking! Wow! I knew that I am a gal that likes my sunshine and that Vitamin D is made by our bodies utilizing sunshine. Therefore, the winter months, having less sunshine because the hours of daylight are less, as well as the fact that I usually don’t spend a lot of time outside in my shorts outside in sub-freezing temperatures, would naturally mean a decreased amount of Vitamin D in me.

What I DIDN’T know was just how very many problems can stem from not having a sufficient amount of Vitamin D in our body. I learned a LOT by doing a little research on Vitamin D online. The most interesting aspect of it all is that Vitamin D is NOT a vitamin . . . it was misnamed . . . it is actually a hormone and therefore very important in the regulation of body function. Additionally, Cholesterol is needed by our skins production of vitamin D as it reacts with sunlight. When vitamin D levels are low the body will naturally make more cholesterol to be available for conversion to the needed D.  WOW! What a wake-up call.  So the doctor finds that my cholesterol level is high, so he prescribes statin drugs which reduce the cholesterol and my vitamin D level goes down and then all these problems get even worse. Wow! Additionally, not all Vitamin D supplements are the same.  I mean to say, Vitamin D3 is the proper form for us humans to take. When Vitamin D was first studied and named it was done so with testing on rats which are nocturnal mammals. Since they don’t produce the vitamin D with the help of sunshine like we do, it was believed that Vitamin D was obtained solely by diet; thus the term Vitamin… as in, coming from a source outside the body.

Then too there is the fact that we humans have different skin pigmentation and live in different climates. Those of us who live in areas that experience Winter season with fewer daylight hours and cold temps are obviously not going to have the same Vitamin D levels as someone who lives close to the earth’s equator and temperatures conducive to more time spent outdoors in sunshine. On the contrary, our lifestyles of less time outdoors and more times inside of buildings under florescent lights and in front of computers does nothing to bolster our stores of HORMONE D.

I came upon this fabulous wealth of information by Stasha Gom­i­nak, M.D (a neurologist at Tyler, TX) when I listened to a lecture she gave on Sleep, Chronic Pain and Hormone D. Here is a video Dr. Stasha Gominak Discusses Sleep & Vitamin D (all 5 parts). Listening to all of the video took about an hour and a quarter but it was subdivided into five parts so one could watch or refer to one section at a time if that were easier. I watched it as a whole as well as took note of the power point slides that she gave listing resources and references. This was a professionally done lecture which was communicated in such a way that a layperson could understand. My understanding by what she said during the talk, this was given to a group of caregivers and not just doctors. Therefore it is not full of medical jargon that is beyond a person’s comprehension. Rather it is a very logical account of how HORMONE D is behind so many health problems that many people have today.  I think it is important to mention that she points out the pioneering work done by  Dr. Walter Stumpf and the name “soltriol ” that he coined for this important biological hormone.

In doing more reading and research I found it absolutely fascinating that D3 has an important role throughout various functions in the body. There are receptors in the heart, the brain, the pancreas, the gut, muscles, etc. There is a direct correlation between insufficient D3 and several diseases: neurological dysfunction, migraines, sleep disturbances and quality, pain perception, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, migraines, acid reflux, diabetes, irritable bowel disorder, heart issues, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, etc. Man!

This all is supported by my own personal experiences. Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome came first, then Insulin Resistance, then Fibromyalgia, acid reflux (I blame that on the meds),migraines started after an auto accident, in 2009 I developed Foreign Accent Syndrome, then my cholesterol was too high. Finally, I had neurological abnormalities after being put onto a statin drug. I KNOW it was as a result of being on a statin drug that I suffered a faux heart-attack and then sever muscle weakness to the point of not being able to stand up or walk. Sure enough, after being off of the statin and employing Physical Therapy, I got better within about three weeks. THEN, I discovered several people (including a parent) that had similar horror stories from being on a statin drug. Then I did research online and saw hundreds of similar complaints. There were even commercials on television stating that there was a class action suit whereby statins were associated with causing people to become diabetic, suffer muscle weakness, heart problems, etc.  I declared “NO more statin drugs for me,” I will use fish oil or krill oil, but absolutely refuse to take that detrimental medication ever again.

Which brings us up to today, I started 2014 with a ten day hellish migraine that wouldn’t go away. Now it’s cluster headaches. Putting together what I have just learned as being the vast number of receptors in our body that NEED vitamin D3 and the fact that I am deficient in it now makes sense. So I have increased my intake of D3 and am going to monitor that with periodic blood tests. Additionally, I’ve learned that Magnesium plays an important role in helping to reduce headaches as does vitamin B.

I am much more informed on the physiology of my body when it comes to Hormone D (soltriol). It explains why I often crave time in the sun and suffer more in the winter. Perhaps a good long tropical vacation is in order.

Let me also recommend Dr. Stasha Gominak’s blog about this subject to you at Vitamin D Hormone: Sleep, Chronic Pain and Headaches.  I personally am excited to have found this information and am sharing it with my doctors and friends. Experience is an excellent teacher and mine is saying to me, “we may just be onto something here; something that can restore health and eliminate disease! I think the overuse of statin drugs is going to do more harm than good unless people see the importance of the cholesterol / Hormone D balance in our bodies.

NOTE: I am NOT a doctor and hold no medical degree. The information contained here is from my own personal observation and experience. It is intended to simply offer my opinions and point to the opinions of others. If you are having any medical concerns, please seek the care of your physician. Although I have stated my dislike for certain classes of medications, one should follow the instructions of their physician along with their own personal convictions. These are intended to point you to some resources and give you a reason to think about your plan of care and overall health. God bless you on your journey to achieving a better state of health.

PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO INVESTIGATE THIS FOR YOURSELF.  I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO HEAR WHAT YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED AND LEARNED ABOUT THIS TOPIC BY SIMPLY LEAVING A COMMENT AND IF WORTHY IN YOUR EYES SHARING IT WITH OTHERS. I believe this has news can have great impact in the world for healthier living.

Snow Wonder

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❄️❄️❄️SNOW❄️❄️❄️- it’s something we take for granted. Sometimes we are complaining at shoveling and scraping ice. Other times we are relishing the thoughts of sledding, making snowmen or forts, throwing snowballs and days off of school.
I remember getting to be a high school helper to an exchange student; a young man from Brazil. As much as we taught him in his year with us, I will never forget the one day he helped teach all of us an important lesson.
Our English teacher suddenly stopped class and told us to quietly put on our coats and go outside with him for a few minutes. We saw the absolute awe on Sergio’s face. He was 17 and had NEVER seen snow before!
The sky is falling!! It first terrified and bewildered him. Then delighted him as we all tried to explain how it just suddenly appeared from “up there”. Why is it cold? It disappears when it hits the sidewalk! Why are they sometimes like tiny ice cubes and other times these giant flakes?
We who routinely experience snow no longer marvel at the occurrence nor ponder these many questions that someone who has never seen such a thing. Sergio helped me to better exerience the joy and wonder of discovery by simply looking around me.

It was a marvelous time, and one memory I cherish.

It’s at times like these when we can rediscover the delight in the ordinary. Do you allow yourself to enter into the awesome wonders that surround you every day?

What are some of your recent rediscoveries of delight?

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