Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A Health Update and Pictures from February

Things have been interesting around here lately. Mostly because of my health. I don't like being too personal about health issues, but I'm learning a lot and I just love sharing things I learn in case it's of help to anyone. I found help and comfort in a couple of blogs when I was first diagnosed. One thing that has been surprising is how many people are getting autoimmune diseases. They used to be pretty rare, but the rate is skyrocketing. Isn't it interesting that a body would start attacking itself?

When I was diagnosed, I was told that there is no known cause and the only thing to be done was to fight my own body by suppressing it with drugs. Maybe that's true for me. I don't yet know. But I have seen many stories of people who did reverse their disease by listenng to what their body was saying and doing something about it - instead of telling it to be quiet.

I decided that I better try listening. I know every body is different, and maybe I won't be the person who can reverse it naturally, but I wasn't about to start taking the harsh drugs until I at least tried.

I started out with eliminating lots of bad-bacteria-feeding foods (all grains and starches) while eating healing foods (cooked veggies, eggs, good fats and some organic meat and broth), and probiotic foods (I was making yogurt, kefir, sour cream, rejuvenac, and kefir ice cream). I  was also trying to get lots of enzymes by growing sprouts.

I realized that I needed to clear my body of toxins as much as possible if my body was going to stop being confused and attacking itself. But I was nursing a a baby and didn't want to detox too much and give him toxins in my milk. So I was trying to take it slow.

However, cutting out grains made for some quick detoxing. More than my body could handle actually. Especially because my gut was so inflamed that it couldn't keep up. So I wasn't feeling better, and my symptoms were getting worse in some ways. In addition to that, I couldn't absorb nutrients that would help my body heal (the auto-immune disease I have is Ulcerative Colitis - my immune system is attacking my large intestine where most nutrients are absorbed).

I also think that the prednisone I took for a few weeks after my diagnosis messed me up a bit more, because I was much worse after I stopped taking it than I was before I started.

I had to do something because I was deteriorating fast. So I decided to make some homemade formula for my baby and do a pretty extreme detox at a place, that was recommended by a friend, that specializes in detoxing.

They say it takes anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks to be detoxed on this plan, depending on the person. During this time, I can only drink this certain juice made out of anti-inflammatory veggies, roots and a green apple.   I'm on day 7. I'm feeling much better. My symptoms are almost gone and I have more energy. Sunday was the hardest - I was warned that weekend would be the hardest, and sitting there, seeing the delicious enchiladas that were made for dinner and smelling the chocolate cupcakes in the oven - made it really difficult to go juice my veggies!

But I love my body, and I want it to heal. I want to try all in my power to help that happen without blocking it's ability to talk to me. I wish I had listened better to it earlier. I knew sugar and dairy irritated me, but I ate it on occasion anyway, thinking it wasn't that bad once in a while.

Consequences catch up to us with each wrong choice we make. But I'm grateful for the diagnosis and the kick in the butt it gave me to start listening! I am learning a lot and I am glad I can share what I learn with my family and others. I've had this on and off for years, so I'm sure my healing journey will take a while, so I'll put up updates once in a while as I learn and heal.

One if the things I have learned is that our minds, emotions, spirit and body are super connected. They effect each other on a very deep level.

I'm supposed to avoid stress in order to let my body heal, which has caused me to ponder on the nature of stress and why I have it.  I have come to understand that stress is a form of fear. I've realized that I have a fear of being judged - by my family, by friends, and by myself. Maybe I want to prove to myself that I can do many things and I worry when it doesn't appear like I can. The truth is that I can't do all that is on my plate, and I need to be humble and involve my family in helping me - realizing that we are in this together and it's not up to me to fix it all. So lately when I am feeling judged, I have learned to repeat to myself, "My heart is so full of love that there is no room for judgment." And I take a deep breath as a picture God's love filling my heart. It helps me a lot. I feel more peaceful and less guilty about asking for help.

I am also learning that I need to be service minded. it sounds paradoxical that I need to focus on serving while also asking for help, but it is so easy to get wrapped up in myself when I don't feel well - and being self-focused makes me stressed when others need me (which happens a lot in a large family). Like I said, stress is a form of fear. I start to fear that I won't have time to do the things I want to do. But I have seen many times that I will eventually have time to accomplish those righteous desires when I put God first in my life and focus on blessing His children in the way that he guides me to do so.  When I am service minded, peace and love replace stress and fear.

I have tried to take things off my plate during this detoxing time. It takes a lot of time to buy and juice fresh veggies, make formula, pump and dump my milk, go to the detox clinic 3x per week (each trip takes 3 hours), take care of a baby and try to homeschool and do family things. But my family is being supportive. The 4 oldest kids and my mom are taking turns making meals for the family. Jess watches kids for me while I go to the clinic and whenI do at least one daily detoxing thing (yoga, mini-teampoline workouts, hikes, sauna or salt baths).  Today, I asked the other 3 older kids to roate with Jessalyn in watching him since it was a lot for Jess and they agreed to take turns.  Bill is doing the juice part with me for a week... it helps to not be the only one not eating even if it fits mean more veggies to wash ;)  And he helps a lot with the kids when he is home in the evenings. Plus he's been very supportive about the cost of these natural practices which are not covered by insurance, even though he's more of a conventional medicine type of guy. My mom and dad also help with the kids a lot on the weekends when they are home. It's such a blessing having them right next door!

I am excited about this healing journey though. It is hard, but I really am learning a lot. It's almost like stepping into a whole new world of people. People who have had to learn to listen more and who eat weird (the gluten free, dairy free, etc people) and who buy natural cleaners and products  (I did even buy some mineral make up and soap yesterday!) I'm learning some empathy and valuing their wisdom. And I hope to pass some of that empathy to my family.

And now, for some pictures of our February. The pictures above are from some of my hikes.  Here are some of some family times:

We've had a "pass of all passes" that we finally got around to using in Lehi

We finally made it to the waterfall up Grove Creek. I'd been wanting to try this hike since we moved here.
Cassia carried Coen the whole way.  I tried to take turns, but she wouldn't let me. She's much tougher than I am!

I never get tired of the sunsets here

Yes, that's a rose she is holding behind her book... she didn't even realize she was posing as Belle

Valentines Party with our Commonwealth

He made himself a suitcase and got dressed up like a business man,

Inside, he had some architectual designs for a house he plans to make.

We love to find cool tracks on the trails behind our house

We like this spot behind our house. It's fun for skipping rocks and playing.

I took this picture to send to Cassia because she got asked to Prom when she was out running. It was "Up" themed and so creative! She loved it.

Picnic at a park

First time on a swing

He is getting to cool to smile

William and I saw mountain sheep on our way home from his debate class

Jessalyn helps me so much with this baby. I think they will always be close.

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