Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Write your way out of chronic pain


I found this article "Write your way out of chronic pain" to be half helpful and half total crap. The author suggests that writing can help reprogram the space between us and our thoughts. He believes that writing helps those with chronic pain to "let go." In a way I think that this is true. The reason I started this blog after all was because I needed a place to process how I felt about chronic illness. I won't deny that it has been very therapeutic to vent on my blog about my feelings and then interact with others who share similar feelings. My blog has even become therapy in a way.

However the author suggests that writing actually makes his symptoms go away! He suggests that you will begin physically healing as soon as you write. This is ridiculous. All I can say is his chronic pain must have not been that bad in the the first place. It must be nice. Writing has never helped me physically in any waybut it has definitely helped me mentally and even spiritually. Theoretically and I can see how improving your emotions can improve your health, for example stress headaches obviously can be improved by not being stressed, Unfortunately there is a lot more to chronic pain that carrying stress around incorrectly. I'd like to do as the author suggests and write this post and throw it in the trash to get rid of my "negative" emotions and then cure myself!

Book review "My Breaking Point, God's turning point"

Ricky Texada shares the story of the loss of his wife and the journey that led him to a women he had met in college (Cyd) and the joy he found along the way. I found this to be a powerful story and would share it with anyone who has faced a serious loss and struggles to find God and find themselves. Following Ricky through his loss as he learned and grew from the experience despite the pain he felt held me spellbound throughout the entire book. His experience is a reminder that bad things happen to good people all the time and that God is still in control. The theme throughout the book was that God loves us and he has a plan for us, even if it isn't the plan that we would have chosen ourselves.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has faced a serious loss or who struggles with reconciling God and that terrible things that can happen to good people.

I was given this book by Bethany Publishers in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sick people food


You can tell this isn't a food blog by the awfulness of the above picture. Just pretend the lighting was better, the homemade noodles were perfectly shaped, and the bowl was not Tupperware. Even though I'm not a foodie I thought I'd share my favorite "get well soon" recipe. My son was up all night throwing up and now my husband and I are both nauseous, so we needed some good chicken noodle soup and Campbells just doesn't cut it.  Nothing tastes better to me than homemade noodles, once you have them you can't go back.

Chicken Noodle soup with homemade noodles

Homemade Egg Noodles
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
6 T cold water
2 tsp salt
2 cups flour

Beat eggs until well mixed.
Beat in water and salt.
Stir in flour with a spoon until combined. Once combined, separate into three balls.
Roll each ball out thin and cut into thins strips with a pizza cutter.
Let dry on a baking sheet with parchment paper avoid sticking.

Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 celery, chopped
3  carrots, peeled and chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small onion (I hate onion so I used a tiny bit)
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
6 cups chicken broth (I used homemade chicken broth, yum)
1 pound chicken diced (Mine was actually shredded because that's what I had in the freezer)
Homemade egg noodles (recipe follows)
Fresh or dried parsley (optional)

Instructions:

Make your egg noodles so that they can dry while you’re making the soup.
Place a large pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Add vegetables in order as listed and simmer on the stove. Add bay leaves and season vegetables with salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken broth to the pot and raise heat to bring liquid to a boil. Add diced chicken to the pot, return soup to a boil, and reduce heat back to medium. Cook chicken for two minutes then add egg noodles.
Cook soup an additional five minutes or until noodles are tender and floating to the surface. Remove pot from heat. Stir in parsley and/or dill. Remove bay leaves from soup and serve hot.

* Recipe inspired by Rachel Ray

I hate antibiotics

I've been absent from the blogging world for the past week because I restarted antibiotics and they make me feel terrible. I go back and forth on whether or not antibiotics are a good idea. On one hand I was functioning much better without them, on the other hand I was exhibiting early basic Lyme symptoms that need to be dealt with. A big part of me wants to live in denial and just chuck the antibiotics.

The past week has made me realize how well I was functioning before even though I didn't think I was doing all that great. A week of having no energy sure took its toll on my house and even my diet (it's a lot easier to eat healthy when you have the energy to cook). I've also been stuck around the house more which really makes me grumpy and irritable. I don't think I've been all that fun to be around this week.

It's been really frustrating to try to keep up a busy schedule while I'm feeling much worse then I have in a long time. A lot of what happens in my house falls on me and I didn't realize how much I was doing until I couldn't do it anymore. Suddenly there wasn't a lot of food in the house because I hadn't been able to go to the store. Suddenly no one had any clean clothes. Suddenly there were no clean dishes because no one else bothers to put their dishes in the dishwasher. Several people called because they needed help with various things and I was unable to help (which made me feel terrible). I'm going to have to reprogram myself *again* to realize that I can't do everything otherwise I'll fall apart. I dread doing it because it's so hard for other people to understand why sometimes I'm fine and other times I'm not. Blerg, but that's life. It's just another cycle in the chronic illness roller coaster.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The right to die debate

If you've been on the internet lately you have probably heard about the story of Brittney Maynard. To summarize she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and has been given months to live. So she decided to move to Oregon where assisted suicide is legal and end her life on Nov 1. I was reluctant to wade into this topic until someone brought up the Matt Walsh response to the situation (which I will not link to because I can't stand him). The person I was speaking to was somewhat surprised by my strong opinion against Matt Walsh and how the situation was none of his freaking business.

Because I am religious I think that most people would assume I'm on the side of Matt Walsh,  that assisted suicide is a completely selfish decision and that only terrible people would consider the option. And that people who commit suicide will all go to Hell.

I am not.

I remember writing an opinion essay for my high school government class against assisted suicide. After the class turned in the essays our teacher then informed us that we would write an essay on the same topic on the other side of the issue. I thought that was just evil manipulative torture at the time, but I am grateful for a wise teacher who knew that these kinds of topics are not always strictly right vs wrong. What I learned from that experience is that assisted suicide is an ugly and complicated topic. Dying is often a very painful, very long, and very expensive process. Not only can it be horrible for the patient it can be horrible for people they love. A friend of mine recently watched a loved one die from a brain tumor. In the months before he died he become a totally different person. He became mean, aggressive, and hostile and then he was in so much pain he begged over and over for them to kill him. The last few months of his life were so horrible his family was relieved to see him die and then they had to deal with the guilt for being relieved.

 If there is one thing that having a chronic illness has taught me is that I can only make decisions for myself and I can't force my ideas on others. It has also taught me that illness involves a lot of suffering that no healthy person can understand. Would I commit suicide if I had a terminal diagnosis? No. I am way too stubborn and would probably fight till my very last breath.  Do I think Brittney is an evil person and damned to Hell for choosing to do it? No I absolutely do not. Do I agree with her decision? It doesn't matter, it's her life not mine.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

I am Lyme Disease

In honor of my "I am Fibromyalgia" post I decided to do one on Lyme disease. 




Hi, I'm Lyme Disease.

I came from something you can barely even see, bacteria through a nymph tick. You had no idea when you went outside that day that I was lying in wait. I lurk in the bodies of animals

waiting

waiting

waiting

for you to come to me and you did. As the tick latched on to you I entered your body and took over and you didn't even know it. You never imagined the damage I could do. I am stealthy. I can wait as long as a need to because I know eventually I am going to win. I am going to have control of your body.

I am hard to find. I disguise myself as different bacteria so that no one can label me. I look different in different places of the world so that no one can find out who I am. I mimic other diseases in order to fool those idiots you call doctors. They know nothing about me. They think they are Gods but they will never know enough to defeat me, I've been around since the beginning.

I will cripple your body in so many different ways you won't be able to figure out what is happening. In some people I attack their  brains, in some their heart, in some their joints. I attack in many different places so no one will figure me out. Your doctors vision is too narrow to track me down. They think they've won when you take antibiotics to chase me away, but it's too late I've been with you too long.  I have news for you, it takes longer than a few weeks of antibiotics to get rid of me. Regular antibiotics just force me into hiding and I'm good at hiding, you'll never find me.

I will take away your ability to walk, your use of your hands, your ability to eat, your ability to get out of bed, your ability to think, and sometimes even your ability to breath. I will make you doubt yourself and make you wonder if you are crazy like the doctors say you are.  I will take over your whole life and  I will destroy you. 

And yet I find that human beings are strangely resilient. You will find a way to go one even as I take away everything that was once important to you. You will fight me for as long as it takes and maybe one day you will triumph, but today is not that day. Today I win.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Are you afraid of complaining?

Are you afraid of complaining? Are there times you hold back because you are worried about what the other person will think?

I don't talk much about my health problems often, not even to my spouse. In fact he complains about his health more than I do and he's perfectly healthy. When he was complaining the other day about how much he hurt after playing basketball I realized how ridiculous it was that he feels he can complain about pain and I who feel horrible pain at all times say nothing. The fact that I don't feel I can complain is my fault though, not his. I am afraid of complaining. I use the "everything is awesome" strategy and it isn't working for me.

Why are sick people so afraid of complaining? Because we have chronic health problems we are used to not being taken seriously. We know that most people don't care about our chronic conditions, and yet we are supposed to care about them when they get sick. I for one am tired of not being socially allowed to acknowledge how miserable I feel on a regular basis. Normal healthy people complain all the time about their health, but those who have chronic illnesses are just expected to never talk about it? That is backwards. Sure none of us want to be around that person, the person who is always complaining about how hard their life is, but surely there is a balance between the two.

Too often I hold back because I don't want to burden the other person, but no one holds back in fear of placing the burden on me. I'm done with that. There is nothing wrong with the chronically ill saying "I am not doing very well. I am hurting and I am exhausted." Just because that is true more often then it is in a healthy person doesn't invalidate the complaint. My goal from now on is to let myself share how I feel instead of pretending everything is awesome all the time.


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