Sunday, April 29, 2007

"I'm happy, too, Skin Horse. So happy I could burst! Just take a good, deep breath and let it out with a whoop!" Velveteen Rabbit, from the play based on the story by Margery Williams

Happy is happening here.

Erin's heading into the last week of dress rehearsals and performances. Thank you for your prayers. God is blessing her with the health she needs to get through the rehearsals and delight in the perks of being a lead: newspaper interviews. We'd appreciate your continued petitions on her behalf. She still is struggling with a cold that affects her voice and she is experiencing some muscle pain from inflammation that occurs when she pushes her body too much. Performances are May 4, 7:30, and May 5th, 2:00 and 7:30.

Brady sold his first image as a print! Go here to check out the images he has available for purchase.

I not only made it to church today, but I was able to sing with the choir as well. GLORY!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Last week, I had my second phone consultation with the Health Realities office in Colorado. My iron and protein levels had improved a little. Not nearly enough yet though.

In December, they had hinted that the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) might be something that would be helpful for me. I had already looked into this diet from the recommendation of a friend at church. Absolutely no grains nor starches are allowed. Something that they do allow, but we have been off of, is cultured dairy. I was skeptical for two reasons: 1) NO GRAINS?!! - not even a bowl of brown rice now and then? Not even rice powder or any kind of starch as an additive can be in supplements or medicines that you take. 2) We had been shown by various tests that we were allergic to dairy - especially the casein protein found in dairy.

This time, it was highly recommended that I get on the diet. After I hung up the phone, I decided to do a little test. No starches or grains for a week (I didn't make it that long) to see if I felt better. The answer was yes. I could see a little difference in some things.

Now the overwhelming task of trying to prepare to get on this diet and stay on it. It may be necessary to stay on it as much as a year or more. Strict adherence is necessary in order for it to work. I need things like a yogurt maker, yogurt starter, raw goat's milk, dry curd cottage cheese (which I'm finding out no one within 90 miles or so can get,) and almond flour in bulk. I also need to carefully peruse all the ingredients of my supplements and replace all of them that have "illegal" ingredients.

We've been gluten-free/dairy-free a year without the results all of our doctors were hoping for. This is worth a try...I guess. It is so hard to get my mind around it. I finally have learned the ins and outs of gluten- free baking and have assorted flours in my cupboards and freezers with yummy recipes all organized so nicely in my accordian file. This is another major deal and mentally I'm not handling it the way I should be for having seen some results (of being off the grains and starches) in just a few short days.

On the plus side there is amazing Internet and email support for people who are on this diet. I immediately joined an e-mail loop to ask some questions. Just by reading the e-mails on this list for a few days, I'm counting my blessings for the health I do have. My questions have been answered so quickly and generously. I know that I can do this...if I can just quit thinking of what I have to give up. Think CHEESE, I tell myself. It's been a long time since that's been in the house.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

"Oh, I want very much to be real." The Velveteen Rabbit, 1985 film

Erin is our local community theater's Velveteen Rabbit in the upcoming May performances of the play with the same name. She didn't audition for the lead role, but she landed it anyway. Since the lead in a play is something all actors dream about (and our daughter has prayed for since who knows when,) we didn't have the heart to tell her she couldn't accept the role.

Along with Velveteen Rabbit, Erin longs to "live." Her body isn't cooperating very well though, so we ask you all to pray specifically for Erin each day through May 5th. She has a cold. And from past experience, it probably isn't going to go away until Erin is back to resting more. But a cold won't stop Erin. Extreme fatigue won't stop her from getting on stage either, as her adreneline usually kicks in enough to help with that. What will hinder Erin greatly is a fever, the loss of her voice, or a cough that just won't stop. Please pray that God would protect her and keep those conditions from becoming a problem. We pray that she'll be able to enjoy the role she has earned and that the audience will be able to enjoy her performance of it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul.
And sings the tune
Without the words,
And never stops at all.

-Emily Dickinson

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

About two years ago, a friend drove my daughter and me the 90 miles to the doctor we were seeing for our illness. We had been doctoring with this particular doctor for about three months. His office had tested for and found out quite a few specific things that were wrong with us, after our general practitioner had pretty much told us we had the winter blues.

As our doctor started going over our test results, he looked at me and said, "You have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome." I didn't know a whole lot about this at the time, except that it was an umbrella term with several symptoms and there wasn't a known (universal) cure.

I became very angry at the doctor. How could he just "give up" after three months? That is what I was thinking. Each test showed certain things that were wrong. In my thinking, all we had to do was address each of these problems, and we'd be better. How could he lump all these results under one condition and put his hands up and say, "Oh yeah, it's Chronic Fatigue, sorry." I can't remember what I said to him. I barely listened to his recommendations for supplements, took his handouts on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and was out the door.

My friend was waiting in the car. "Well, how did it go?" she asked. "We need to find a new doctor, this one has already given up," I replied.

Now, almost two years later, I understand what he was saying to me. I have more of an understanding about this disease, bad name and all. (There is a movement in the medical community to change the name.) And even though, no other doctor since has called it that...I know that he was right and the kids and I have this disease.

It's been hard for me to give in and admit it we have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. But it's dumb at this point, not to. The different problems that we have with amebas/parasites, candida, viruses, etc. that are persisting in our bodies are the symptoms and conditions of this debilitating disease.

It is a hidden disease because of the fact, that people who have it can look normal when they do go out and about. But there is much to know about those who suffer with CFS. Below is a video that describes what sufferers go through and deal with.

We have been blessed with faith in the Triune God. Without this faith, we would not be blessed with the quality of living that we enjoy today after 2 and 1/2 years with this disease. We've been blessed with family and friends that try to understand. We hope we can continue to help people understand and gain awareness of CFS. We know of at least 8 people just in our church community who suffer from this problem and there are probably more that we aren't aware of, or who may not yet know what is causing their fatigue or other health problems.

I try to focus on the positives on this blog, mostly as an encouragment for my own family - that we may be reminded of God's faithfulness to us as we go through this illness. But understanding is an important part of being a faithful witness, and so I will try to expand the awareness of this chronic illness in hopes of helping us all to be a little less ignorant.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Happy Easter!

Spotted on a sign in front of a business today:

"Easter Sunday means everything if you celebrate the Resurrection."