Your potential goes beyond your dents.

The rice cooker dish in my soapy hands is full of damaged bumps. As I wash it and plan on replacing it God flashed a piece of understanding to my heart and my eyes shifted their focus.

They no longer focused on the bumps and dents, but at its potential. This bowl has been successfully cooking all sorts of rice recipes for many years, not only that, it’s steamed so many vegetables and I remembered the amazing meals it helped me make, meals that nourished not only our bodies but our souls and spirits, for you see when a belly is full, many good things follow in any person’s life. I saw the future meals we’ll cook together and despite its bends and dents it became valuable to me.

Just because there’s dents and bruises in our lives it does not mean our potential is lost. We’re not the bends and dents, we are the potential around the dents, the potential despite the dents, we are the potential!

Now, the next step is to believe this revelatory information, beginning with myself.

Have a healthy day today and God Bless you and your family. Look up. You’ll be alright.

Coronavirus, We’re Stronger!

Coronavirus,

You’ll end soon and we’ll be nicer to each other as a result, we’ll care more for each other and love more, we’ll have more patience and mercy, we’ll also forgive often, we’ll smile more and giggle often, we’ll inspire others and be inspired by others. We’ll love our children and parents, our friends and strangers. You hear us?

You’ve come to kill and though we’ve lost some precious people they will remain alive through stories of their strength and uniqueness. We were privileged to have had them in our lives.

God did not bring you in this world. Man did. Despite that God walks along us whispering words of comfort to our broken hearts and reminding us we’re not alone during these harsh times. He tells us that we matter!

God’s not trying to teach us a lesson by allowing you on this earth! He never wanted you here! You snaked your evil head in our lives intent on killing yet, God walks ahead of you so his shadow will confuse you more than anything. He’s on our side not yours, washing away our fears, smiling when we rise up and help each other, when we come together in one voice praying. We pray because our humanity is under attack no matter what part of the world you live in.

To the whole world God whispers: You’re stronger than you think you are! You matter! This will pass.

So you see, coronavirus, you will not succeed, you can’t! Not with God on our side! So good by!

The people of the world.

Step 9- Setbacks and relapses

Imagine me sighing now, because that’s what I’m doing and I haven’t begun writing this blog yet.

Thank God for artist like Mandisa, for friends and loved ones, for great hubbies and wives, for sisters, parents, brothers, for friends and for those wonderful people who do research work so we can find The Cure. We must find the cure! There are only so many relapses we can walk through with our heads high and hope filled hearts. But we do it! Ultimately thank God for life, shitty like it is at times is better than not having it.

Recovery from a chronic illness is an up-and-down process.* No need to beat around the bushes about this, those who suffer know this truth.

Just when you think everything is turning around, a set back kicks you in the …well just about everywhere. You’re on your back, in bed, wrapped in the blanket of pain and now what? Why God? Why again? Did I eat the wrong thing? Did I do too much? Took the wrong medication? And you trace back every single step with a fine brush and can’t seem to find anything. Or maybe you do.

My #1 flaw. With increase of energy my thirst for life returns and I end up wanting to do all those things I dreamed of doing while imprisoned in bed, so I do them! And for brief periods of time I feel like I belong in the vast community of humans where I too look and behave normal, where pain and disease are not the subject of the day, where I can be stupid and silly and alive. That’s when I collected memories. That’s what I call it. These memories are worth every single stab of pain I feel later on, because Lyme punishes us like that. If you see me out there in the world and if I’m visiting you or you’re visiting me, I’m living and loving it, even if I know Lyme’s punishments will come later on.

Fortunately, with time, these setbacks gradually become less common and less intense. * True. At least it is for me.

System disruptors that cause setbacks: poor nourishment, toxins, emotional stress, physical stress, oxidative stress (increase in inflammation), radiation (from computers and cell phones), microbiome imbalance (new bite, flue, cold, Herxheimer reaction, flu vaccine), bacterial and viral fare-ups (Epstein-Barr virus reactivation, other herpes- type viruses, Borrelia, Mycoplasma etc), drug reactions, inadequate sleep, and/or allergic reactions to herbs or drugs, or even food, travel or stressful events, or if you’re like me I enter complacency- do more and eat more sugar. The weather changes also affect us, less sun and more cold, rainy, humid days bring the flare-up fast. Cancer, menopause and other such unexpected illnesses, it can do a number on the body.

General Guidelines: If you can get sun or move to a sunny area, do it. REST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Did I make that clear? I hope so:) Lots of liquids and when I say liquids I mean water, tea (ginger) and natural non-sugary drinks. Vitamin C, turmeric and boswellia to reduce inflammation, Enzymes to help you break down the food you eat. The best one is just eating pineapple or take Bromelain, Omega-3 fatty acids, heat, CBD oil (I take that quite a bit during flare-ups, it keeps me sane), herbal supplements, go outside and breath fresh air and walk barefoot on the dirt, meditate, make your world smaller, try to exercise-Yoga is good- (now this is one of those catch 22 issues, flare-ups brings along severe fatigue symptoms and we only have a certain small amount of energy every day and many times we have to choose between cooking or exercising) but endorphins suppress pain and enhance immune function.

And the hardest one of all, figure out how to reduce fear. Yeah, easier said than done, right?

How do I do it? Well, I cry first and I get angry then I start formulating a plan. I’ll give you some ideas, but if you have other ones please share them and I’ll add them here.

Plan ideas

What do I want to do this summer? Realistic goals only. Everyone can make their way outside and lay on a piece of grass and soak the sun, for example. So look forward to those activities.

What new recipes do I want to make? (Most days I only want to eat sugar, so this one is tough:).

What friends do I want to see once I feel better? Assuming they’re still talking to me;)

How can I be part of my children’s lives more?

What hobby brings me peace? I should start that hobby then. So on.

In conclusion, please rest, surround yourself with good and positive encouragement material via books, shows, friends, activities and look forward for the happy spring and summer seasons. Keep fighting because a cure will be found:)

I hope some of this information has been helpful to you:)

God Bless:)

* Quotes or information taken from Williams Rawls book, Unlocking Lyme.

Lyme disease and non-epileptic seizures.

Danielle explains the seizures better than I can.

I got diagnosed with Neurological Lyme Disease plus co-infections back in 2014-2015 and that’s how I get attacked after a nasty flue/cold, or any elevated or prolonged stress in my life. I also have a hard time in public (especially after a relapse) around lots of people, places such as Costco, church, any restaurant, or grocery stores, festivals, or just crowds, like in airports. I used to love being in large crowds of people, their energy and happiness only increased mine, but now I hate being in crowds of people. When I relapse or have flare ups, talking to one person, looking them in the eye, fills me up with anxiety. It’s as if I can feel their pain or distress and I absorb it in my own body.

Thank God for Instacart app. They deliver the groceries you buy on line to your door for a small fee, or free if you buy a year membership. Amazon also delivers from Whole Foods if you live in Seattle, which we do, and these modern services are a complete blessing for people like me.

Nutramedix Burbur-Pinella tincture or warm lemon water helps me through these seizures, it calm the neurological system down, by cleaning all the toxins away and calming the whole wiring down. The Burbur helps fast while the lemon water is just a nice detox habit to have.

All Lyme warriors keep your spirits up today and God Bless:)

My gratitude towards you explained.

I asked myself today: why the urge, lately, to write about people that made a positive impact in my life?

It’s not a sudden urge. I’ve had these emotions accompanied by fond memories deep within myself for a very long time but I never acted on them. It seems the deeper I care about a person the harder it is for me to express it. Is it a flaw? A weakness? An oddity? Or am I simply a normal human being. Upon reflection, I’ve gathered that is far easier for us humans to express anger, displeasure, and critic of others to their face (even easier behind their backs) than give them an honest compliment. And if any measure of a compliment holds an element of insincerity it shatters something within us, it shatters our trust, and without trust, a real friendship can’t exist.

Only when I became ill, and I myself received encouragements did I realize how valuable spoken support really is to a human mind, soul and spirit and I thought to myself: I may die soon and they’ll never know how much they mean to me! Unless I tell them.

So what was once buried deep within my heart is slowly but surely making its way to the surface. This may be a cheese way to express such gratitude and at times love, but what can I say? Progress and change enter the world one step at the time. The important aspect is that arrives sooner rather than later, right? So, don’t lose heart if your name hasn’t popped up on my blog just yet, it’s coming:)

God Bless:)

Lyme flare-up

This post is specifically intended for Lyme sufferers out in the world. It’s meant to inform not to extract sympathy. 

It began about one month ago, with abnormal fatigue on top of the regular fatigue I still feel most days, then my vision began suffering then my joints began aching, predominantly my hip joints. It got so bad I had a hard time walking. I began tripping constantly, dropping things and walking into furniture or walls. My brain saw the object but could not shoot a response fast enough for me to avoid the collision. I am bruised all over. I began having muscle spasm, forgetting words, and extra sensitivity to noise.  Headaches and constant flu-like symptoms. I’m still sneezing. But when I felt the muscles of my jaw begin to tighten up, the first symptom of a seizure, I knew I needed to do something.

I cut the sugar out of the diet ( high cravings and consumption the past few months). As some of you know sugar suppresses the immune system. I got back on Lyme treatment (see the picture- missing from the photograph is EHB or Immune Supporting Nutrients by Integrative a fantastic supplement and spirulina or chlorella), I continued drinking tea (sarsparilla, green, and calming, mushroom, all organic), I began drinking the juice of a squeezed lemon in the morning to help clean the liver, since it was found stagnant in my recent acupuncture appointment (What? Yes I do acupuncture, it has helped me about 8 times more than any western medicine ever did). Proverbs 18:9. I increased the intake of vegetables (I don’t really like vegetables:) in my diet and cut out meat for now since I noticed a bloating presence after consumption. I’m still on a gluten-free and dairy-free diet, you could say I’m slowly becoming a vegan, something Chet will be happy about (he’s been a vegan for two years now). Two days ago I’ve had the first decrease sign in joint pain (that’s also when I began taking the spirulina/chlorella pills so it’s no coincidence there) and I no longer walk in slow motion while wobbling, my energy is gradually increasing and my brain is clearing up. I’m still walking into things but not as often, I’m still dizzy at times, I’m still sneezing and have a runny nose but my joint pain is much lower. I sleep better and can go for a walk.

What caused it? Stress. 

From what? From the noise caused by the construction workers who drill and hammer all day long. Noise and bad vibrations affect those with a compromised immune system far quicker than otherwise healthy people, but I knew it was bad when every single person on our floor, minus the workers, complained how bad it is. Work. Despite the fact that my work is a positive element in my life, the body can not differentiate positive stress from negative and the damage is still present. Am I going to quit my job? Heck no. I love it too much. Noise: I love the loud mouth Damian/Romanian blood running through my kid’s veins:)))) They’re loud when they are in the comforts of their home, which for now is here with us. They joke constantly and tease each other mercilessly with a contagious humor flare that put both, Chet and I, in good moods while we giggle alongside:) But this sort of happy loud environment does not go well with sensitivity to noise flare-ups, so many times I have to find refuge in my bedroom and veggie with a book or my I pad. Diet. Too much sugar and not enough veggies in my diet as I’ve mentioned before would do the trick:) Emotional: The only issue I can see is our lack of view to the world out there since the building is still wrapped in white plastic and will remain wrapped until May, obstructing the natural light and sun from coming in our condo unit.  Low Vit. D is a doozie.

I‘m fighting my way, happy to have the knowledge and know how to get back on track. So far so good, no doctor appointments of IV’s (which I loathe).

Every Lyme sufferer that reads this blog, please keep in mind (as most of you already know) that Lyme affects different organs and systemically can run with small symptom differences. Every single body reacts differently to medicine, so be cautious and pay attention to your own body if you have Lyme flare-ups and need to get back on treatment. Some treatments that at one point worked for me I noticed they don’t work now and I have to back away.

All in all, I’m so grateful to God for everything I have, the knowledge to know how to handle a situation like this without being scared, the strength to go through a flare-up and still be able to work (that right there to me is a sign of fantastic improvement), to be able to slowly introduce myself back into society (I’m part of a book club here in Magnolia, and Chet and I have game or movie nights with different neighbors. I drive all over Magnolia as if I own the place, but I haven’t adventured farther then upper Queen Anne yet:) No matter the troubles in life there is always hope. Always.

God Bless:)

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Homelessness of the heart

The heart, fatigued and aging, is always on a journey. She starts full of such light but her innocence has been beaten out by shrewd beasts pretending to be her friends. Promises were made to her only to be broken, and the pattern repeated enough times that she hardened and no longer ventures out to the pastures. For a time sheer anger filled her every corner, as a result, she only lashed out. At other times she received kindness and a soft caress and she melted within and without. She loved back and gave herself gladly for it was worth it, but despite the good life and love, she knew someone was missing. Most everyone else called it something, but to her, it was someone. This, someone, was hard to understand or see, its presence was only felt when she took the time, but most days she was busy giving. She often finds herself homeless, even if for a short period of time, or longer. It’s the rejection that builds the lines of sadness and its the acceptance that builds the wrinkles of life, but despite it all, this someone is who she really longs for, a presence beyond her wisdom and time, someone she heard of from so many voices but there’s still a verdict out for what she really thinks of this someone, yet, it’s the someone she longs for because only that someone understands her potential. At times, the heart rests, fully content within her existence, she wants nothing, she needs nothing, she just is. And that someone is always close by in such moments, so she rests and listens. Maybe today she’ll finally meet someone. If not, she’s still happy, even if tired. -Carmen McKnight

The bubble, or the marshmallow as Chet calls it, is getting to us all. The claustrophobia, the lack of fresh air and the stuffiness are not elements a human being was created to thrive in. This environment is digging out of me an issue still unresolved.

This struggle has been unbeknown to me until earlier this year when my heart divulged, as a result of prayers and contemplation, what’s been hidden very deep within the layers of the soal and once exposed the tear glands shed years of struggled emotions. I’ve felt homeless within my own home and heart for many years. As a result, I’ve operated out of an orphaned spirit for years. While young, I had the strength to pretend otherwise. Age brings a whole lot out of the canister.

Let me explain.

I was told, while young and growing, that the home in which I lived was not mine and I could be kicked out anytime I stepped out of line. Now please remember this, I have forgiven my father, there are some old wounds that still need healing but all in all a lot has been healed already and life is good.

When a child grows up with the notion that there is no place in this world for them a complex called the orphan’s heart sets in and with time builds strong roots. When a heart does not have a home, as I suspect most people feel that, it always stays busy searching. That’s actually good.  Searching means moving and movement is life and life-giving and one day the answer or part of the answer will reach those who search. It was the man, in its weakness that hurt us and it’s man in its strength that helps us heal. God built both of these men from the ground up, man chose, consequences followed. So what was once torn down it can be built up twice as strong.

Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated in the heart of a home, as it should be. But some may feel like you’re intruding like you’re a foreigner like you don’t belong. But we always belong, maybe not in that home, but there is always a home for everyone.

As I’m walking my road towards growth I keep on asking myself which wolf will it win? Lie or Truth? The answer is The one I feed.  

There is nothing weird about a struggle, it simply means we’re all human beings and the growth process within has not ended yet.

Gob Bless:)

 

P.S When happy, I don’t feel the need to write blogs. It’s as if those moments of happiness are so personal writing about them would only taint and diminish their value. But hardships and trials trigger my creative juices so much that I begin a downloading process of imaginative and heartfelt moments who, by some odd impulse, I need to share. I’m sharing this with you when I’d rather keep it private. Weird.

 

 

 

The Battle Within

For my sister Delia:)

Within all of us lay a hidden battle, some having to do with uncertainty, or pain, or unanswered questions so on and so forth. Lately, my inner battle has been whether I should keep on writing in this blog, exposing my fears and victories, or not. But talking to my sister Delia gave me my answer.

We all have gifts. Mine happens to be the gift of writing. We all have moments in our lives in which we doubt whether our gifts are real or not, or simply they’re a personal delusion on which we feed when bored or overexcited. I’ve been fearful to write the past month or so, questioning many things, such as the need for yet another story in this world, but what if that story is exactly what someone else needs now in order to push through today’s pain and uncertainty?

Last week I’ve visited the doctors again, making sure they don’t miss my absence:) Kidding. The back/pelvic pain and fever became unbearable.

 

As you can tell, things could be better. I suspect a kidney related infection. I’ve had a few procedures done and no communication, as yet, from the urology specialists. I’ve been given a prescription for an unrelated matter and good luck chump. The prescription causes cancer and I feel ignored. I’m sharing this because of my frustration in the western medical system who was eager to get me to do few expensive tests but not bothered to give a diagnosis or treatment for something that it’s obviously an issue. I’m sure some of you have been through something similar, felt frustrated and let down, yet again, by the medical system who does not seem interested in curing anyone. But I will not give up, not yet anyway. There’s life to be lived and things to be done:)

So, if you have a talent but you feel reluctant to pursue because you may feel “what’s the point?” especially when others seem only interested into milking and ignoring you, do it anyway for the simple reason that you can. Others dream to have your gifting, but you have it so go use it and help someone. No grand gestures necessary, no big words required, just your willingness. Start small and move forward.

 

P.S. Morning the death of a nice uncle, who died today from cancer. Uncle Relu was a hardworking, nice man.

God Bless:)

Do it anyway.

How many of us have helped someone who took advantage of your kind heart? I’m sure there are some invisible hands raised, mine including.

Do it anyway, especially those who are ambassadors of Jesus. Showing love, forgiveness, mercy, and patience is not the same as letting others walk all over you, because what you give freely can’t be taken. In the past, I had many discouraging moments and felt much fatigue after people took advantage of my good intentions, but God’s been teaching me to “do it anyway”. In the beginning, I didn’t understand the importance of such advise, and I’m sure I haven’t completely grasped its benefits even today, but I have learned a few things along the way.

  1. When “I did it anyway” by choosing freely (not guilted into, manipulated, or forced) to show love and mercy, since forgiveness was a lesson I would learn it later on in the midsts of the great sadness of 2014-2016 which was the worst part of illness time, what I was really doing was to train my heart, train it to be more flexible, bendable and malleable, positive properties of one’s soul which God can work with. A hard, rigid and bitter heart, shatters when help comes in a form of constructive criticism, conviction or new information.
  2. When “I did it anyway” I made friends and not enemies, memories and not grievances.
  3. When “I did it anyway”, I chose my action but didn’t have to worry if the outcome was not as I expected, that responsibility was not mine to shoulder.
  4. When “I did it anyway”, I taught better lessons to my children.
  5. When “I did it anyway” I became closer to God.
  6.  When “I did it anyway”, even when it was hard, I protected my family’s hearts from anger and bitterness, a poison more deadly than most of us realize.
  7. When “I did it anyway”, without realizing, I collected favors which were returned at the most opportune time,  favors such as your prayers while too weak to fight alone in my own battles, favors like encouraging words when I had no strength left to encourage myself, favors like reminding me the right way when I was too scared and confused to see that way myself, but mostly the favor of life:) So do it anyway and see what happens in the long run. Life will not be void of pain, but it the midst of pain you will not lack friends and love, something far more precious than we realize.  God Bless:)

For you

Not sure who needs to read these words, but here I go.

For the one that’s hurting, with tears of sorrow and discouragement running down your face and heart, from yet another blow life just hit you with:

Picture the outcome you want and in due time it will come to pass. The road will not be void of pain, struggles, and failures, but it will not be void of success, victory, and hope either. You must fight for the outcome you’re picturing and never doubt you’re not strong enough:)

God Bless:)