It’s not that we’re dead, it’s that we barely feel alive.

This post is dedicated to one amazing young lady, you know who you are:)

The pain within is masked by how well we look on the outside. If only the world knew how much suffering is enveloped within each cell, each joint, each muscle and each neurological signal hidden in the matrix of our bodies. If only our friends knew how much we hoped to be part of what once was, if only the world would understand how loud they really are and how much that seems to bother us, suddenly. At one point we were part of the busy, loud and aggressive world but now we hide in suffering beds, feeling every surface of our tissues and wondering “what’s going on?” We’re silent about our suffering because, at times, we feel like we’re losing our minds, something truly terrifying. We can no longer comprehend what we’re reading and when you want to talk to us, we stare with a smile on our face trying to grasp the words that no longer make sense in our mind. Our bones hurt,  our identity and value hurt alongside as well.

We used to be normal. God, what happened?

These are the inner cries of those suffering from any autoimmune issues, such as Lyme disease, Chronic Lyme with multiple co-infections, Cancer, Fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue syndrome, ME, Lupus, and many more. These are some of the unspoken words and emotions, fears and concerns lingering within.

But, on the other side of these emotions and fears (at one point in the past I felt them all and then some), stand those of us whom, with God’s help, are slowly coming out of such a dark road. We’re here to let you know that you’re not alone, not even close to it and THERE IS A LIGHT AT THE END OF THIS AWFUL TUNNEL. I’m starting to re-live my life, even better than before because I know now how valuable life truly is, how important people are but ultimately how important I also am. You are just as important:) I have boundaries, I keep toxicity at bay, I smile to the things I used to ignore and I ignore the things I should’ve deemed unimportant a long time ago.

Cheer on dear one, this too shall pass, and one day you’ll be back among your friends, most likely some new ones, and you’ll build new memories and you’ll laugh again full of life and most impotantly- full of health.

Thank you, God, for each day and God Bless:)

To the ride ahead and not behind I say “hello” with a smile on my face:)

Living Proof-MS Hope

http://www.mshope.com/

https://www.seelivingproof.com/

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6604174/

I’ve watched this documentary a couple of days ago while in sickation (sick vacation) on MS, knowing people who struggle with this disease, and I strongly recommended to all MS patients out in the world.

About a month ago, unbeknownst to me I began eating a vegan product (fake bacon) and loving it. I would make sandwiches with it and top it with pepperoncini, lettuce, cucumbers, and vegan cheese and smile all the way to the last bite. Then I began feeling some of the old symptoms creeping up, symptoms such as severe fatigue, foggy memory, walking into things, nausea, fever, dropping things all the time, to name a few. Relapse or Lyme-flare was my diagnosis and began treatment right away. It would work until it wouldn’t. I upped the dose and went around the same circle. I would get better only to get worse. What in the world was happening? My joints hurt so bad, especially my hips, I was having a very hard time walking. Meanwhile, I was happily eating my vegan bacon sandwiches. About one week ago, as I was getting ready to make yet another sandwich Chet read the ingredients, for his own reasons, and exclaimed.

“Carmen, did you know this bacon has gluten? Sugar, water and gluten in concentrated form?” My brain was too foggy to process the info I was just receiving and it took me a good while before the truth absorbed between the smoky creases of my brain and into the information center where it could be processed before a response was delivered.

“What?”

“You’ve been on a gluten feast for a month!” He exclaimed in response as we both began laughing. Such privilege yet no recognition.

Well, my vegan sandwich days came to an abrupt halt. It will take a good while until this intake of gluten will be out of my system, meanwhile, I learned a few more lessons.

  1. I’ll stick to real bacon and leave the vegan diet for Chet (who’s been a vegan for the past two years now).
  2. This gluten intolerance issue is not in my head, it’s not a mental/emotional issue I came up with and just need to snap out of it, it’s real and there’s a reason why. This second point goes along with some of the information in the Living Proof MS hope documentary done by Matt Embry who was diagnosed with MS about twenty years back and fights it different ways but mostly through diet, exercise and supplements like Vit. D. Diet is the evil of most diseases and the medicine for all cures.
  3. Read and inform yourself well, without assuming, like I did, that a vegan product automatically means a gluten-free product.
  4. I balanced back quite fast once I stopped the gluten, which tells me my body and mind are serious about getting better:)))) But, I got the flue, along with every single member of my family except Alex. They’ve been in bed for a whole week before showing any signs of life. Today is Chet’s first day back to work after an entire week spent on a horizontal sickation.
  5. Grateful. There’s always a solution for every problem, just read the fine print:)
  6. P.S The words look a little funny to me so any grammatical or expressive mistakes are due to my gluten feast. 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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ME/CFS or Conversion Disorder speech on Ted Talk

ME or Myalgic Encephalopathy, also known as CFS or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Conversion Disorder. 

It’s surprising how about 99% of her symptoms I dealt with and some which remain still deal with. The good news is that I feel soooo much better, despite the mild relapse the past month where I couldn’t touch my chin to my chest due to stiffness and intense pain in the back of my neck and fatigue unusually higher than usual. I’m back on Lyme 2 a tincture that helps calm down the symptoms. I still have a very stiff back neck that crunches all the time I touch but I am so grateful for life in general that I move along:) I have a part-time job now; two hours two times a week cleaning a house, and I’m so happy and proud of myself to be a working woman again. I have deep anxiety before I have to leave, but I take Neurocalm which helps me and this week I’ve just begun drinking Sarsaparilla organic tea which gives me quite a bit of energy and calms my central nervous system as well. Amazon has a brand I use called Buddha Teas, but there are other brands out there to choose from.

For all fellow Lyme Disease, ME, CFS, Conversion Disorder, Cancer and other Autoimmune Issues too many to name, I honestly pray for your complete health or at least bearable symptoms. The cure is out there, we haven’t found it yet. Meanwhile, keep fighting, keep researching and do whatever it takes to heal yourself because if we are to wait for western medicine to do it for us we’d all be dead by now. Maybe one day they’ll catch up as well because they’re seriously behind in autoimmune disease knowledge.

Merry Christmas to everyone reading this blog and a Happy New Year full of an unexpected improvement in your lives.

God Bless:)

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.

 

 

 

Our world and its influence on us

As you can see from the pictures below, we’re living in a bubble during the following renovations months.IMG_3392IMG_3485-1E2F020C0-7348-405B-BDA7-3606DA812B47

Due to asbestos and lead findings in the windows seals, the whole building, along with all the windows, has been fully wrapped in a protective white plastic sheet. At least it’s not black:) Even though it’s suffocating and unpleasant at least is a temporary inconvenience. In comparison to other people’s lives who have been ripped apart by all sorts of tragedies, this inconvenience is minuscule. So I’m greatful.

I find myself outdoors taking daily walks and on such walks, sometimes, I bond with neighbors. This morning I was talking to a retired female who used to work for the Post Office and lived in Seattle, where she was also born, most of her life. There were a few years back in the old days spent in Canada when she used to be married to her first husband, who happened to be a Canadian. She liked living there, mostly but found herself frustrated over a few of the socialistic perks, specifically health care. While talking about this and that she turned the conversation towards the politics. I understood the temptation since we just had mid-term elections on the 6th of November. I could swear that suddenly I was talking to my in-laws. She used the same terminologies and verbiage, the same quotes and so on. The thing is, my in-laws and this woman never met, to my knowledge, yet her words were eerily similar if not verbatim to those of my-in-laws when it came to her political point of view. I walked away knowing such verbiage was learned from TV news reports or newspaper articles, which reminded me how powerful the media is in shaping people’s minds. And that gives me a lot to ponder on regarding my personal thoughts and beliefs which I constantly evaluate and re-evaluate and change when needed because inevitably our world has an influence on us.

On a personal note, I have a part-time job now and it feels fantastic to get back into the swing of things. I’ve joined a book club as well and being part of the community around me is good not only for the soul but for the body as well. Small steps, giant accomplishments:)

Chet’s B-day, yesterday, was a happy event celebrated in the intimacy of our family:) Next week we’ll be celebrating my beautiful girl Meleah’s B-day:) I can’t believe she’s turning twenty-two years old. Time sure flies when you’re having fun, or even when you’re not having fun:)))

Merrill moved in about three months ago and we’re complete again, even if a little cozy in the small apartment. I would much rather have it this way.

Happy with our lives, thankful to God for health, peace, and love. I hope you’re doing well. (For the Lyme sufferers or all other autoimmune disease sufferers, keep on fighting because there is light at the end of the dark and most days unbearably painful season you find yourself in now. Psalm 23 rescued me.)

God bless:)

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Loneliness during illness

I began this web/blog site with the intent to keep a track on my medical info, since my short-term memory was seriously injured- still is to a certain degree, which can be a fantastic blessing when I get frustrated over small things, because I soon forget them and I’m left without a reason to stay mad:). Another reason was to encourage, if possible, anyone out there in the same situation as mine.

I had a great job and relationships before the illness, my life was on a high peak of happiness and contentment and I worked hard to get there. That changed literally overnight. But something that took me by surprise was the loneliness that trickled in along with the illness, like two best friends, inseparable and intent on causing trouble. I was cast aside, no longer a productive and effective member of the society. I call it “the silent depression” and I now understand how horribly it afflicts the ill, especially the chronically ill, and the senior citizens. With Lyme, as with other toxic and neurological illnesses, the mental clarity and health deteriorates and one’s personality changes. I used to feed off the energy of multitudes of people and found solitude boring and useless. Not now.

So I sat down this morning having my breakfast of tea and a gluten-free/vegan carrot/banana bread (not my usual breakfast, but I baked last night:) thinking of all the other ill people out there in the world and the loneliness they may be experiencing. What can I say to be of encouragement? What encouragement can I receive for myself?

For those who believe in God remember that He used the most imperfect people, men and women, to do great things through. It’s never too late, you’re never too weak, to ill or too fragile to be a strong force for those around you. I am like Issac who was a dreamer, but God ended up doing great things through. What about you?

Rom. 12:15; 1 Pet. 4:10; Ex. 14:14-The Lord shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace:) These are some verses to encourage you:)

For everyone:

Forgive.

Meditate on good things (health and a cure and remember not everything has been discovered. I strongly believe there is a cure for Lyme, Chronic Lyme, Neuro Lyme etc, even if it has not been discovered yet, but above that I believe that our body has the ability to heal from anything if given the proper balance of nutrients and extracting all toxicity out of it).

Help others. (That means even if you can only pray for them, or smile at them, or give one word of encouragement, it gives you a temporary break away from your troubles).

Make a plan for what you want to do when feeling better and start planning towards that. Here you’ll have to be realistic and change some of the past goals and plans.

The internet is a source to reach out, through support groups, but be careful not to get stuck in the negative cycle of complaining only. Some days you’ll need to unload, and you should do so keeping in mind that your audience is hurt too, but than don’t forget to smile and laugh. (Watch comedies).

The best cure for loneliness is health and being part of the society once again, until then fight like hell to get there, and I promise you once you make it to the other side a wiser person will emerge on the other side.

I’m reading this book now, and I love it. It’s a look into the human body/autoimmune/cell function with a biblical insight as well. For those who don’t have a passion for the medical field, this may be a bit boring, but it’s not hard to understand. Well written and an easy read.

http://www.scriptum.ro/librarie/mai-presus-de-stiinta.html

For those who want the book in Romanian.

God Bless:)