Monday, January 30, 2006


I asked Erin to proofread my last post before I published it out on my blog. All was fine until she came to the part, "...and we've had crazings like you wouldn't believe." " you mean cravings?" she asked. "Oops...well, we've had crazings like they wouldn't believe either, but that's a story for another day," I giggled.

Crazings is my newly invented word for things that we can laugh about now, but we thought were driving us to insanity at the time they occured. Here's a short example: Watching the movie, Napoleon Dynamite. Never watch a movie about dull people when you are feeling the dullest you've ever felt in your life. It isn't funny. Watching a movie about dull people is only funny if you are feeling brilliant and bright and can laugh at their dullness (because certainly you could never be that dull.)

A crazing that took a little longer for us to classify as such was the day Brady overdosed on one of his medications (it looked just like another pill he was taking and the bottles got mixed up.) I called the pharmacy and spilled out our mistake to my favorite pharmacist who calmly told me he'd check things out and call me back. Brent, along with Billy, quickly researched the side effects. When Brent called back he told me that Brady was going to get very drowsy, but to keep him awake as long as possible (preferably until bedtime) because he could get terrible hallucinations and muscle spasms if he slept. It was just past noon. Okay, we'll watch a movie, I decided picking up the Star Wars movie we had just borrowed. Nothing doing. You would have thought I put on lullaby music instead of inter-galactic wars, he was nodding off in minutes. "Brady, you have to stay awake!" I exclaimed. "I can't watch a movie then," he replied drowsily. I needed to think fast. How in the world were we going to keep him awake for the next seven to eight hours? "I want to go to bed, Mom," yawned Brady with his eyelids almost all the way closed. "NO, YOU CAN'T!" I panicked. "We'll...we'll...we'll play Gamecube with you," I choked out desperately. I had never played Gamecube before in my life. I had never had any desire to play Gamecube. The closest I had gotten to playing a video game with Brady was playing "Wheel of Fortune" on his old Sega Genesis. "You will?" Brady asked surprisedly, peeking through his heavy eyelids. "Yeah, whatever you want, right Erin?" Erin quickly started getting the game out. We started with a snowboarding game. All the laughing about how bad mom was perked Brady right up. We played all together at first and then Erin and I started taking turns with him. After awhile we hopefully suggested doing something else, but Brady was sure this was the only thing that was going to keep him alert. We kept him at it for four hours and then Brent came home and played with him for two more. By then it was supper time. He ate. Giving him a full stomach was not the key to keeping him awake. But by then it was seven in the evening. We had done the best we could. Brady crawled into bed with probably no recollection of even hitting the pillow. We didn't see or hear from him (thankfully!) until late the next morning. He'd gotten a few slight muscle spasms that afternoon, but nothing serious, and no bad hallucinations during the night.

Now that's a crazing!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Food glorious food!

It's been almost a year since we found out that food was contributing to our stomach aches and overall discomfort. Yes, food. Right before the allergy test results came back we were "practicing" by eliminating wheat and sugar from our menu. I'll never forget Erin's comment at the time, "Watching what I eat ruins the one part of the day that I was able to enjoy." It was true, mealtimes really were content times.

After a year of being on our diet we can sing along with the orphans in "Oliver," the musical of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist. We can't relate to every verse; we haven't had it quite as badly as they did. But we've experienced hunger in a way that most Americans never will and we've had cravings like you wouldn't believe.

"Food, glorious food, hot sausage and mustard,
while we're in the mood, cold jelly and custard..."

"Food, glorious food, we're anxious to try it,
Three banquets a day, our favorite diet..."

"What is it we dream about? What brings on a sigh?
Piled peaches and cream about six feet high!"

"Food, glorious food, eat right through the menu.
Just loosen your belt two inches and then you
work up a new appetite in this interlude,
Then food! Marvelous Food! Wonderful Food!
Fabulous Food! Beautiful Food! Glorious Food"

We dream of pasta, homemade bread, and chocolate... not only of eating these things, but eating as much of them as we want. Smelling pasta cooking or white bread toasting has brought tears to our eyes. Really.

My research on the Internet isn't confined to supplements and doctors. I also spend a lot of time trying to find recipes that keep with our restrictions, but give us different tastes and textures. Sometimes the results are great and sometimes they're not so great, but guess what always keeps me going...

"Food, glorious food! What is there more handsome?
Gulped, swallowed, or chewed
Still worth a king's ransom..."

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Being cared for

Speaking of good gifts, I received a tremendous one last evening. Recently my name was chosen to be a potential county juror for the next six months. I was scheduled for my first opportunity to serve this morning at 8:30. But a phone call around supper time yesterday relieved me of the duty - the case had been settled out of court. Whew! I can't tell you how relieved my whole family was. It didn't seem possible that I or the kids could make it through even one of those kind of days at this point. His mercies are new every day.


Yesterday I spent about four hours researching and studying candida related issues. Before I can dig into these topics I always need to make sure I have on the armour of God. I can't read these things without carrying my shield of faith. There are several discussion groups on the web whose members suffer from the same disease that we do. It isn't easy reading how they have been flattened by candida overgrowth, most of them for several years. My shield of faith protects me from discouragement and hopelessness. As I wade through their discussions hoping to learn more about what we should do, I'm thankful that I've girded my loins with truth and know that God is in control and gives His people good gifts. I've been introduced to a society of people that I didn't even know existed a year ago. I'm thankful that I know about them now. I'm thankful not only because their experiences can help us, but also because I'm less ignorant. God's teaching us. Even though it's not with all the schoolbooks we think we should be learning from right now, we're learning important things.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Sweet Worship

I was blessed with the strength to go to church this morning. The worship was sweet and the fellowship was edifying. What a difference it makes to start the week with such a privilege.

Here's the words to one of the hymns we sang:

Come, ye disconsolate, where'er ye languish,
Come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel.
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish;
Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.

Joy of the desolate, light of the straying,
Hope to the penitent, fadeless and pure!
Here speaks the Comforter, tenderly saying,
Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot cure.

Here see the Bread of Life; see waters flowing
forth from the throne of God, pure from above.
Come to the feast of love; come, ever knowing
Earth has no sorrow but heaven can remove.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Up from the Ashes

Conversation Friday at our lunch table: "What'd we do yesterday?" asked Erin. "Don't you remember? You died," stated Brady flatly. "Oh yeah...," started Erin. "But then you came back to life like Fawkes the Phoenix in Harry Potter," added mom with a big grin.

We all got a chuckle from this. And what a grace to be able to laugh about something that was not funny at all the day before. We've all "died" a few times in the last 15 months...days when we just don't know how we will be able to survive another minute. We really feel as if we are on the way to our earthly end. It was Erin's turn on Thursday. Two days of the stomach flu (added to the everyday symptoms of fatigue and other aches) had left her miserable. She couldn't read another word, she couldn't sit and stare at another movie, she couldn't google one more thing on the Internet; yet she felt too awful to do anything else. I got out a two hundred piece puzzle and started putting it together in front of her hoping she would join in. She didn't, but it kept her entertained a bit. Suddenly she knew what would make her feel like a real person again. "I need to go to the library," she said. She said this hesitatingly as though remembering she couldn't possibly go out without taking a shower. I could tell the fight within her had started (sign #1 of new life.) It was the fight "of needing to do something so badly vs. not being up to do prepwork that was necessary." Which side would win? I prayed. Finally she got up to shower - it wasn't a pretty sight, the battle was raging both within and without by now. Getting up the stairs won half the battle. With victory in at least glimpsing distance, Erin continued to fight. Not long after, Erin was downstairs with wet hair and fresh clothes (sign #2 of new life.) Rest was needed. But in not too long she was ready to eat a snack (sign #3 of new life.) Then it was off to the library with dad as chauffeur. I knew at that point that she was out of critical condition. Later, Erin walked into the house with an arm full (not an armful, but an arm full) of books. She displayed and told me about each book as if it was a rare jewel that she had excavated from a cave rich with treasures. They had also picked out a movie that she thought both her and Dad would enjoy since she knew she wouldn't be able to sing with us in choir that night. She sat down and chose a book to start reading. Battle won! Erin had new life once more. Thank you God! After choir, my new bud greeted me bursting with new blossoms. The movie she and Dad had watched was a perfect one for the two of them to enjoy together. As I tucked her into bed she was in full bloom, talking, talking, talking. (Why is it that full bloom time for Erin often occurs when other blossoms close up for the night?) I said another prayer. God is good - Amazing doesn't even begin to describe His grace to us.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

flu bug

Keeping with the routine of these last 15 months, if we push ourselves a little too much we get sick: sometimes a cold, sometimes the yeast overgrowth gets worse; this time the flu. I got it first on Sunday, Brady followed on Monday, and Erin came down with it on Tuesday. It hasn't been as rough as it could be and lasts about 48 hours. Usually when we push ourselves and overdo, it is because the event or activity is worth it emotionally: it's something we really enjoy doing. Like the Proverb says: "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." (17:22) We know these physical setbacks are temporary and that our health has been nourished greatly by doing things that make us smile and laugh.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Weird things are happening

I don't want to scare you all. No new weird things are happening around here. But I'm reminded of the babysitter's lines in the movie, "The Incredibles," as I consider a few things about our lives. It's weird that we have less energy than my 92 year old grandfather who has recovered from pneumonia after nearly dying this Thanksgiving. It's weird that we're taking supplements to help us that are made by a company called "Young Again Nutrients." It's weird having a disease that doctor's are unsure of how to fix, but anyone with cancer knows what that feels like. Weird things are happening, but the weird things in Jack Jack's life were used for good for him and his family. And we know, because of God's promises, that the weird things happening with us are being used for good in our lives too. Yes, we have special needs...but doesn't everybody?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Erin's 15th!

Erin is pictured playing the role of Elizabeth Montgomery at her murder/mystery dinner party held at the Mazzing Mansion (McIntosh home) on Friday, the 13th. Seven other girls, Brady, a friend of mine who played the maid (what a kind friend!), and I also had parts. Erin's character turned out to be the murderer - much to everyone's surprise!

Why Blog?

This blog started out as "schoolwork" for the kids. They weren't healthy enough to dig into their history and science books so I had to get creative in helping them to keep their minds working a bit. They were wanting to post our trip (England/Wales '04) pictures on the web and I encouraged them to do that on a blog where they could describe the pictures as well.

We're still not healthy enough for school days. In fact, it is often difficult for us to talk on the phone. After waivering back and forth with the idea of keeping this blog going, I decided this might be a fun way to communicate what's going on with us. The opportunity for my readers to comment makes it convenient, too.

Hope you can sit down with a cup of tea for a visit with me once a week or so.

New Blogger and New Name

I've adopted this blog from the kids. The previous posts have been entered by Brady and Erin. They've moved on (Erin has her own blog and Brady has his own website - see links.) I'll try to post on this with some regularity.

Why did I name it "just me?" More and more, I meet people who say, "Oh you must be Brent's wife. He's my pharmacist," or "You must be Mrs. McIntosh, Erin's mom." You get the idea. It's actually a wonderful compliment when this a wife and mom of a wonderful family I wouldn't have it any other way.