A friend of mine who recently went on vacation gave me the keys to his house and car and told me to relax, be calm and enjoy myself while he was gone. My response was that it was hard to just be while I have 50 million things running through my mind and at the same time trying to control every aspect of my life. So while I was house-sitting I took my friend’s advice and tried my best to just be. I said for the 5 days he was gone I would plan absolutely nothing and do the bare minimum as far was work was concerned to allow myself the time to be calm. It felt good not to wake up with an alarm clock and move around in complete silence as I had every moment to myself. At times my thoughts were all over the place, but one thought in particular kept creeping up in my mind: Could it be possible that my Type A personality was the cause and the continual fuel for the autoimmune disease (myasthenia gravis) I was diagnosed with over 10 years ago?
This question kept resonating in mind. Which lead me to go back to when I first noticed symptoms of the myasthenia gravis (MG) as an undergrad. At that time I was going through an extremely difficult period in my personal life. Instead of me taking a few days off from work and classes to regroup, I kept things moving because I believed that was what people were supposed to do. I felt like I had conquered something by not caving into my sorrow and not curling up in the fetal position crying. But maybe allowing myself the space to cry, mourn and process everything that was happening to me at that moment would not have allowed the symptoms of the MG to manifest.
I also began to think how not being able to control the MG made me a control freak in other areas of my life. I have mastered time management down to a science that I swear I can teach a course on how to get 1,000 things done in one day and still get to bed by 10pm. But although I’ve mastered time management, my brain goes into a frenzy when my schedule doesn’t stay on course. This ultimately stresses me out which then exacerbates the symptoms of the MG. Staying at my friend’s house also allowed me to see how crazy I can be about keeping order in my own house. I like everything to be in its place and when it’s not again my brain goes into a frenzy. Looking back I don’t ever remember being like this is high school or college. This desire to control everything in my life didn’t really take place until around ’05-’06.
So what have the last few days thought me? First that I need to let go of more than a few things. Second I could relax a lot more. And third as my friend so eloquently told me “Don’t sweat the small stuff because it’s all small stuff.”
Nov 19 Top 10 Things I Learned From Attending the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting in DC!
10. Dooney & Burke carry-on will NEVER get checked – Southwest employees concur!
9. I really can crash on a friend’s couch for more than 1 day & get good sleep !
8. Adrenaline can make my Myasthenia Gravis symptoms go away for at least 30 seconds – as demonstrated by my James Brown split down an escalator while saving 2 suitcases from falling!!!
7. My body really does need Spirulina & Chlorella to function properly.
6. Metro beats CTA any day hands down!
5. Deronis & Regan are 2 people from Parker I love having in my life !
4. Following my intuition is one of the most important things I can do for myself !
3. AESKU DIAGNOSTICS is a company that people with autoimmune diseases so desperately need!
2. Rheumatic Diseases affect approximately 7 million Americans; 1 in 12 women will develop a rheumatic disease.
This past week I found myself in a meeting about how much work/energy/time I should put into a particular project. In the middle of the meeting I just blurted out something about how I can tell how much energy it takes for me walk up and down a flight of stairs one time. I could tell by the expression on everyone’s face that they did not have a clue as to what I was referring to. I then explained how each day I take medication every single day so that I can talk, walk, and basically function as a normal adult. If I don’t take my meds then I am unable to function. So when I look at a project, romantic relationship, relationships with friends, and even having fun time I am ALWAYS cognizant of how much energy it will take out of me; whether it’s positive or negative. The motto “work smarter, not harder” has definitely become one of my mantras over the past few years. I look for the best route through anything that will take the less amount of energy out of me. This is not to say I take shortcuts, but rather that I maximize ALL of my resources.
I have even found myself not giving energy to friendships that I once had. I can usually tell that my body is stressed when my speech begins to slur. There would be certain friends who when I spoke to them my speech would always slur. This lets my body know that the friendship is not positive nor is it worth my energy. I have had to distance myself from people I once called friends because of this. It is imperative for me to ALWAYS put myself first and if it means distancing myself from people who I once called my friend then that is something I am willing to do. At the end of the day what’s important to me is that I conserve my human energy so that I can live as long as possible while dealing with a chronic illness. I make no apologies for having to do this. It has actually been a blessing because it forced me to think about my well being in every situation and it gave me a voice to make sure that well being is sustained.
As I finish up this long overdue blog entry I encourage you all to start thinking of yourself first more often in situations. If you are not in good shape, then you are no good to the people who truly love you. Till next time !
For years I never gave two thoughts about detoxing. I’ve never been overweight, and even when I did gain 20 lbs. from the medication Prednisone I was able to lose the weight within 3 months of changing my eating habits. I’ve kept that weight off for 8 years so it never crossed my mind to detox. Plus I’ve taken medication everyday for the past 11 years that requires me to eat before I take it. So if I did a detox that required me to remove food then for sure I wouldn’t be able to take my medication properly. Detoxing become the driving force for me to get my life back after I took the shot Lupron Depot for one year due to my bad menstrual cycles. The side effects of the shot are pretty intense including the weight gain. Which I didn’t mind on one level because my hips widen quite nicely, but my stomach became bloated and that disgusted me a lot. All my life I’ve had a flat stomach so to wake up each morning and look 4 months pregnant was not a good look. Ok maybe it wasn’t that bad, but I think my stomach stuck out further than my boobs (which by the way got bigger too). After stopping the shot I still hung on to the weight for almost a year even with exercise. After consulting with the herbalist at Dherbs, I was told that in order to lose the weight and get the shot completely out of my system I would need to detox. I did not second guess this advance and immediately signed up for a 28-day detox. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I knew to better my health and lose the weight I had to do it.
In week 2 in addition to all the foods that were cut out in week 1 we also went completely raw. Which means that we could not consume any cooked food. We still consumed everything from week 1, but also incorporated a energy soup. The energy soup consisted of rejuvelac, dulce, 2 yellow apples, spinach, sunflower greens, buckwheat greens and 1 avocado. You mix all of this in a blender. We also began juicing vegetables consuming 12-24 oz/day and taking shots of wheatgrass each day. We started taking Ultra Flora pills that foster good bacteria growth in the intestine. Now here comes the fun part!!! In week 2 we gave ourselves enemas each day. The liquid for the enema consisted of water and liquid from fenugreek seeds that we soaked. After each enema we’d do a chlorophyll implant. We also started adding food grade hydrogen peroxide to our drinking water. Oh and the water was either distilled, spring or alkaline. I used alkaline water because that’s what my household consumes anyway. We’re ready for week 3!
Week 3 is when we began our fast. During the fast we stopped the Detox Clay Cocktail, all smoothies and shakes, all hot liquids, fruit juices and all solid foods. We could only consume water, juiced vegetables and coconut water. The goal was to fast for a minimum of 3 days. I wanted to do 5, but only made it to 3 because my period came and it was nothing nice. I think my uterus was detoxing too because I got really bad clots and that rarely happens now since I put pumpkin seeds in my protein shake each morning. This was the first time I ever fasted. I swear I had this heightened experience of mental clarity. My mind has never been that clear before. And I felt wonderful. I was really sad that I couldn’t go longer than 3 days. We also tried our best to stay away from chemicals in week 3. I already use healthy stuff for my face and body so that was pretty simply. I just needed to purchase a skin brush. We also took detox baths that consisted of 2-3 cups sea salt and 1 cup baking soda. We continued the daily enemas and wheatgrass shots during this week as well.
Week 4 was pretty simple. We started back incorporating solid foods. The only thing we kept doing from previous weeks was the green kamut, the green meal shake and the water with the hydrogen peroxide.
I can honestly say that I felt like a different person at the end of the detox. I lost 12 lbs and was able to start back wearing a lot of clothes I had written off once I gained the weight from the shot. Would I do another detox…OF COURSE!!! My body has never felt so clean before. A person definitely has to be mentally prepared for the challenge. It’s not something a person can be pushed into. It’s a spiritual journey that I would recommend people embark on once they are ready. I embrace my next detox with open arms !
For about ten years now I have been on a journey to find a natural deodorant that cuts down on odor and won’t cause a rain storm under my arms. The first thing I tried was the crystal stick. I have to say that my friends and family were some real troopers because I know I was definitely not so fresh and so clean while I was using this! But I stuck with it because of my health. I was already taking toxic medication everyday and I really wanted to limit the amount of toxins that I was putting into my body at once. Then I decided to try different so-called natural deodorants by a host of different companies. After still feeling wet and not so fresh I decided to go back to commercial brand anti-perspirant. I even started using the clinical strength because I started taking the Lupron Depot shot that causes hot flashes. But once I was done with the shot I continued to use anti-perspirant even though I knew this stuff wasn’t good for me. Anything that leaves a film on my skin even after I scrub under my arms in the shower is some pretty powerful stuff that might not be so good.
One day while googling “homemade deodorant” I stumbled upon a recipe that caught my attention. For years now I have used coconut oil as a facial and body moisturizer. I absolutely love it! My skin feels really soft and I feel good knowing that what I’m putting on my skin is safe enough to be eaten. I have to admit that I was ecstatic when I found the recipe. The recipe calls for
I first mixed the baking soda and corn starch together in a bowl. Next I added the coconut oil. I recommend that you use the oil in its liquid form. The wonderful thing about coconut oil is that it melts extremely fast. I literally put it up to the vent while the heat was on and it melted in no time. I used a spoon to mix the coconut with the powders. The recipe said that you can add an essential oil for the purpose of having a scent. A lot of websites recommended lavender or tea tree oil. I decided to use rose oil. I love wearing the oil in the summer because the sent is soft and fresh. I put about 20 drops of rose oil in with the powder and coconut oil which had now formed into a glob. When mixing the rose oil I used a large wooden applicator stick (the ones used for waxing). I found that the stick did a better job than the spoon did of mixing the rose oil. After thoroughly mixing all of the ingredients, I placed them in a 8 oz tin jar. My final product came out great!
I have to admit that I was extremely proud of my concoction. It smelled great and the consistency was perfect, but would it work. At first I put a big ole glob under both my armpits. I figured more was better. Then I started to see small crumbles of deodorant on the couch and floor. Clearly I went a little overboard! So I lightly brushed away the lumps and discovered that there was a light film left on my skin. I decided to leave the film and see how the deodorant would hold up to my sweat. Let me tell you when I say it works, I mean it works! Not only does it keep me dry, it also keeps me smelling really fresh! I wish I had discovered this years ago. Easy to make, cheap and reliable. Can’t wait to test it out in the summer!
Note: Because the consistency changes in warmer temperatures (due to the coconut oil), the consistency of the deodorant will change when placed in different temperatures. This will not effect the quality at all. Enjoy!