Saturday, December 3, 2016

Monthly Milestones 2016 {12}

Today is the twelfth and last Monthly Milestones of 2016.  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:
Me as of today, December 3,2016, at 227 lbs.

  1. My weight is down 3 lbs. for the month, with an overall decrease of 1 lb. for the year!  Though I had hoped to be down more than 1 lb. overall, I'll take what I can get. :)  Hopefully the weight loss trend will continue into the new year.  I am super excited about losing 3 pounds for the month, and being down to the lowest I've been since February.  That's a great feeling.
           
  2. The weather is getting yucky, so I have to work more at being active.  I am going for walks when I can, and I am also making sure that I stay active inside when I can't go outside.  It takes conscious effort on my part, but I'm willing to do it.  I feel so much better when I am less sedentary. :)  It also helps that I have an activity/health tracker on my cellphone now, so that helps keep me honest. :)
     
  3. Dietary/lifestyle changes are still happening.  I'm still doing well on the "no coffee" plan, though I still haven't gone completely herbal yet.  We'll see if that happens this month or not.  I also am making sure I get 9 Cups+ of water each day (that helps so much with my water retention issues!), and have been doing great with that goal.  I've also been working on only eating when I'm hungry.  That's not as easy, but I'll get there. :)
        
  4. My health is still mainly stable for now.  The issues I reported last month with my hearing and vision are still the same - stable, but not quite 100%.  I have not had any weakness either.  For this, I am grateful!  I've dealt with some normal for this time of year illnesses, but am otherwise feeling well.  I don't know how long it will stay this way, but I am hopeful it will be for awhile. :)  I appreciate your prayers in this regard.  Thank you! :)
         
  5. I have on been able to get back to the chiropractor once, but I am hopeful that I'll be able to go again soon, and the chiropractic stretches that are still helping.  Please keep this as a matter of prayer.  We got a small blessing when I went last time realizing I had overpaid (the insurance covered something we didn't think they would), so I had a balance, and we had to pay just a small sum when I went last.  I am hoping to go again some time this month, but we're not sure if that will be possible due to a few things.  My husband could really stand to go back, too.  Anyway, prayers appreciated that the stretches will continue to help, and that we'll be able to afford to go when we need to to keep from going too far backward in our health.  Thanks!
      
  6. Homeschooling is still going well!  Monarch is still a great fit.  We still plan to try to add electives after Christmas, but we're still not 100% on that due to cost and a few other things.  Pray for guidance and wisdom here.  Thanks so much!
        
  7. Thank you for all your prayers, and we would appreciate your continued prayers!  We appreciate all the prayers and support as we've gone through so much this last year, especially. It's been a real blessing! 
      
    I have a very important unspoken at this time.  As I feel I can discuss it, I will, but for now, I just ask you to pray.  Thank you!
     
    Please also continue to pray for us with the homeschooling, my health, and just for us financially as we try to pay for the expenses of the last year in a timely fashion along with any new expenses as they arise.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!
          
  8. I am hoping to post more on both blogs sooner than later! I've not been able to post quite as much as I'd like, but I'm still trying to post monthly (if not more often) to this blog and Natural and Free.  I'm hoping to post soon to Natural and Free with either some new recipes or other helpful information.  I have the material, just no time to update just yet.  I am hoping to be able to post other types of posts here, too, soon as well.  Christmas break will be here soon, so maybe then?  We'll see. :)

That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)


Saturday, November 5, 2016

Monthly Milestones 2016 {11}

Today is the eleventh Monthly Milestones of 2016.  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:

Me as of today, November 5, 2016, at 230 lbs.

  1. My weight is down 2 1/2 lbs!  I have recently discovered that I have a major issue with water retention which was causing a lot of trouble with me losing weight, along with some issues with stiffness/mobility.  I can gain anywhere from 2 to 5 lbs. overnight and daily due to said water retention issues, regardless of diet/exercise.  My doctor put me on a water pill (hydrochlorothiazide) for it, and it has helped a lot.  I just started consistently taking it, so we'll see how I do on it from now on.  So far, so good. :)
        
  2. The weather has been nicer for this time of year, so my activity level is still pretty high.  I'm going on walks as I can, and I'm determined to keep that up even after the temperatures drop as possible.  Pray that I'll be able to do that!  It is super key to my mobility and good health.  I'm also working on adding chores that I used to consider "once a year" or "once a month" to more often so that I can keep the activity level up...and the house being that much cleaner isn't a bad thing either. :)
     
  3. Dietary/lifestyle changes are still happening.  I am now officially off coffee - regular and decaf!  I feel like I am sleeping better (for the most part), so I feel this is a positive change.  I limit myself to black tea once a day, and any other is decaf, green tea or herbal.  I have noticed that the herbal teas tend to help with any colds or congestion wonderfully (I am thinking about sharing a list of my favorites on Natural and Free soon), too.  Green tea is supposed to help with weight loss, too, so - all positives here. :)  I am very excited about these changes!
        
  4. My health is still mainly stable for now.  I have not had any more weakness issues in awhile.  This is great!  I'm not sure if this is going to be permanent or temporary, but I'll enjoy it while it lasts. :)  I do deal with stiffness and some pain now and then that I associate with not being able to go to the chiropractor, but that tends to fade as the day goes on.  Please continue to pray for me in regards to my health.  I'd LOVE to be "better" and not face another round of weakness, but I've been here before, so I'm cautiously optimistic. :)
     
    My vision is still not 100%, but it is stable mainly, too.  Most of the time, things are marginally blurry, but not terrible (unless a font or picture is too "fancy" and then it takes a lot of concentration to read or see it correctly).  Night time driving is still an issue if it is very dark, and low light makes it harder for me to see things clearly.  Again, there is no pain, double vision or loss of vision that is "concerning" at this point, but I will continue to monitor it.  It may resolve or it may not.  Time will tell.  I'll definitely see the eye doctor if it gets too bad, too.
     
    My right ear's hearing is still "off".  Most of the time I feel as if I am hearing through a cotton ball or something like that.  My regular doctor can't find the issue, and all tests he's done shows my ear is "fine".  If it gets too awful, I will ask about seeing an ENT.  All I know is, I hate asking people to repeat themselves when there's a lot of background noise or when I have a cold. :)  Again, this is just an "annoyance" for now more than anything.  Your prayers are appreciated, as always! :)
         
  5. I haven't been able to get back to the chiropractor yet, but I have found some chiropractic stretches that are helping.  As I mentioned last time, our deductible has reset, and our chiropractic care cost is now back to self pay until the new deductible level is met.  The deductible is less than last year as my hubby's insurance coverage changed, but due to paying off last year's bills and the higher cost of the new insurance plan along with no increase in his pay, we still can't afford to incur a lot of new debt unless absolutely necessary.  Unfortunately, chiropractic care is on the "would love to, but can't justify it at this time" list.  Thankfully, based on stretches the chiropractor showed me, I was able to find some chiropractic stretches that are helping in the meantime.  It is my hope that I'll get to see him this month, but that may not happen.  We'll see.  Prayers appreciated that I don't wait too long, and that we'll get the funds to not only pay off last year's medical bills (more than just a little at a time), but get the chiropractic care that has helped me so much (hubby, too).  Thanks!
      
  6. Homeschooling is still going well!  Monarch is still a great fit.  The plan right now is probably to add electives after Christmas, but we're still not 100% on that due to cost.  Pray for guidance and wisdom here.  Thanks so much!
        
  7. Thank you for all your prayers, and we would appreciate your continued prayers!  We appreciate all the prayers and support as we've gone through so much this last year, especially. It's been a real blessing! 

    Please continue to pray for us with the homeschooling, my health, and for some other unspokens at this time.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!
          
  8. Blog updates have stalled, though posting has increased! I've not been able to post quite as much as I'd like, but I'm still trying to post monthly (if not more often) to this blog and Natural and Free.  I'm hoping to have a guest post soon on Natural and Free, and hopefully some new recipes and such soon there, too.  I am hoping to be able to post other types of posts here, too, soon as well.  We'll see!

That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)


Friday, September 30, 2016

Monthly Milestones 2016 {10}

Today is the tenth Monthly Milestones of 2016 (a day early since I will be gone all day tomorrow).  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:

Me as of today, September 30, 2016, at 232 and a half pounds.


  1. My weight is exactly the same as it was at the beginning of the month.  My weight roller coaster was back again this month, and I ended up at exactly the same weight as I was at the beginning of the month.  Hopefully, the next Monthly Milestones will show a weight loss.  I'll just keep watching what I eat, try to stay active, and we'll see how it goes.
        
  2. I'm still trying to be quite active.  I still try to make sure that I am doing things that require activity whenever I can, which includes daily walks when weather allows, doing the housework that needs to be done daily, etc.  I feel better when I'm more active, so I will have to get creative to stay active as the weather begins to get colder, wetter, snowy (hopefully not this one for awhile yet!), etc.
     
  3. Dietary/lifestyle changes are still happening.  I haven't transitioned to tea yet, but I'm hoping to do that over this next month.  My husband has been lifted off his corn restrictions as it has not been linked to his EoE, though he's re-introducing it slowly, and may never get back to eating corn, corn chips, etc.  He has allowed corn starch back into his diet in moderation, though.  We're still working more and more towards "natural" and homemade foods most of the time, too.
        
  4. I have no diagnosis and my health is mainly stable for now.  My last MRI was normal.  I had some eye tests done due to my eye issues, and those were also normal.  The only thing that hasn't been rechecked yet is my lab work, which is due to be rechecked in the next few weeks.  Basically, I'm in a state of limbo right now.  I don't have to go back to the neurologist or eye doctor unless I have new or worsening symptoms.  My vision is stable (which means bad night vision and trouble with twilight/dusk or lots of rain, etc., and I can read/see, though sometimes I have to focus extra hard to do so), and I'm not on any official restrictions other than my own personal comfort with doing a task like driving (which I can do unless I'm headed somewhere unfamiliar where I have to read a lot of road signs or trying to travel in bad weather).  I've also not had any more weakness in awhile, which is great.  Every one of my doctors is ok with me just seeing the chiropractor for now as it's the only thing that's even remotely been able to help me, and seeing anyone else as needed. 
       
    Additionally, my neurologist is still thinking I'm dealing with a migraine variant, Fibromyalgia complication, or even Hashimoto's complication.  If I do have to go back, she's looking at putting me on a migraine preventative medication, and there are only so many of those I can take - I believe only 2 types - due to my Factor V Leiden, and one of those I know I can't take because they made my migraines worse, so I really don't want to go that route.  I'm not convinced this is migraine (neither is my eye doctor) unless it's migraine aura I'm dealing with, and that doesn't really make sense, and I'm not really sure I even have Fibromyalgia due to the lack of traditional Fibromyalgia pain (I was diagnosed after like 3 months of weakness/stiffness and pain upon pressing on different areas of my body), so that leaves the possibility of Hashimoto issues or hormone issues which we can't do a thing about (other than keep my thyroid levels in check) since my Factor V Leiden prevents me from taking Estrogen (it would increase my blood clot risk exponentially).  You can see the dilemma.  Anyway, it's a matter of prayer, and I appreciate all your prayers in regards to my health!
         
  5. Chiropractic seems to be helping a bit.  Unfortunately, our health insurance year starts over again tomorrow (October 1st), so our deductible (which is crazy high) will need to be met again starting tomorrow before we get any sort of insurance coverage, and we're still paying on last year and will be for awhile, so we can't afford to go into major debt unless we have no other choice (i.e. hospitalization, major testing).  I'll still be going to the chiropractor as we can afford it, but it will be more like once a month or so vs. twice a week unless we can work something out.  Please pray that we will be able to work out something so that I can go as often as I need to to keep these symptoms at bay!  Thank you so much!
      
  6. Homeschooling is going well!  Monarch has been a good fit for us.  We're hoping to add in electives sooner than later, but again, that has extra cost to it we can't afford at present.  Please pray about this!  We know we are doing what God says, and we know He will provide in His timing and way.  Pray for guidance and wisdom here.  Thanks so much!
        
  7. Thank you for all your prayers, and we would appreciate your continued prayers!  We appreciate all the prayers and support as we've gone through so much this last year, especially. It's been a real blessing! 

    Please continue to pray for us with the homeschooling, my health, and for some other unspokens at this time.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!
          
  8.  Blog updates have stalled, though posting has increased! So far, I've been able to post at least monthly to this blog and Natural and Free, and I've also been able to make minor changes here and there, so that's a plus.  Hopefully I'll be able to keep this up, and possibly even add in a few more things sooner than later.  We shall see!

That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Monthly Milestones 2016 {9}

Today is the ninth Monthly Milestones of 2016.  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:


Me as of today, September 2, 2016 at 232.5 lbs.

  1. My weight went up a little.  My weight has been fluxing a lot this month, ending in a gain of 1 lb.  However, my clothes are fitting more loosely/better, so I am not going to worry too much about this right now.  I'll just keep watching what I eat, try to stay active, and we'll see how it goes.
        
  2. I'm still able to be quite active.  I'm still working on making sure that I am doing things that require activity when I can.  I try to walk daily, do housework that needs to be done daily, etc.  However, I've had to stop hanging the clothes outside due to road construction and high pollen counts causing allergy issues that have lead to doctor's visits.  Saving a little money on gas and electricity are not worth that!  Yes, it cuts back a little on exercise, but not that much, so I figure it'll all work out. :)
     
  3. Dietary/lifestyle changes are still happening.  Along with trying to stay active, I have kicked the regular coffee.  I do drink decaf, but I'm working my way on to tea with the end goal being to drink green tea and herbal teas vs. coffee of any sort within the next few months or so.  I plan to keep caffeinated coffee for days when I have migraines or focus issues - so I am using it as a medicine in a sense.  We're working more and more towards "natural" and homemade foods most of the time, too.
        
  4. I had more testing done, and some med changes.  On Sunday, August 28th, I had my MRI on my thoracic spine.  Thankfully it worked out to be between church services, too. :)  Anyway, they did NOT have to use contrast (big cheer!), and I will be discussing the results with my neurologist on September 16th when I see her again.
      
    We also found out that my Levothyroxine was too high a dosage, so they changed that.  There was also a suspicion that my Vitamin D3 supplement was causing my LDL level to appear higher than it is (that is a thing), so I am going off that for a few months to see if that changes thing (my blood pressure is great, my triglycerides are awesome, and my HDL is good, but my overall cholesterol is high which I'm sure my weight plays into, but wonder if my supplement was playing into that, too).  I get labs redone in 2 months, and we'll check my thyroid levels, my cholesterol and my Vitamin D levels.
      
  5. Chiropractic seems to be helping a bit.  Not only am I seeing the chiropractor, but my whole family is now.  I love his approach (holistic and gentle), and it does seem to be helping.  The issues with my left leg I talked about last time have nearly resolved.  My hearing is even improving in my right ear that's been dulled for months.  Nothing is 100%, and I still have issues, but I am hopeful!  Improvement is a wonderful thing! :)
      
  6. Homeschooling has begun!  The boys started on Monarch last week, and, so far, it seems to be a good fit.  It keeps everything organized, the lessons aren't too long, and the curriculum seems to be challenging enough.  We'll see how it goes, but for now it looks like this will work for us, hopefully for the long haul! :)
        
  7. More health issues have begun.  A month after my bout of weakness, I began to have vision issues.  I am still dealing with them, and I think it is related to what's been going on with me since this issue cycles (at least a month in between episodes) and varies in symptoms (there seems to be one main thing each time, normally weakness, but I've had vision issues, too).  It is both eyes, and it is like a fuzzy/blurriness thing.  It doesn't matter if my glasses are on or off, if things are near or far, etc.  There is always some form of blurry, though how bad it is fluctuates.  I've been dealing with it since August 29th.  It isn't too bad until I try to read, and then it becomes an issue.  The more plain and large the font (think Arial font, and huge), the easier it is for me to read, though there is still a fuzz.  If it is really fancy or really small, then it is harder.  Detailed objects are harder to see clearly, too.  Dusk is an especially hard time for me to see.  There is no pain, double vision or spots of blindness, though it can feel like my vision is "jumpy" or having a harder time focusing and there is always that fuzz that varies in intensity.  I do get mild headaches from it at times, but nothing serious. It seems like a stable thing right now, not getting better, but not getting worse.  I talked with an optometrist about it, and she seems to think that it is a neurological thing vs. an eye thing, she didn't think it was emergent at this time, and she said I would be ok to just talk to the neurologist about it on the 16th unless I started having pain, worsening vision, blindness or double vision.  If those things happen, then I will need to be seen by her or go to the ER.  We're praying that doesn't happen. :)  I'll keep you posted.
      
  8. Thank you for all your prayers, and we would appreciate your continued prayers!  We appreciate all the prayers and support as we've gone through so much this last year, especially. It's been a real blessing! 

    Please continue to pray for us with the homeschooling, my health, and for some other unspokens at this time.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!
          
  9.  Blog updates have stalled, though posting has increased! So far, I've been able to post at least monthly to this blog and Natural and Free.  Sometimes, I have even been able to do more and make minor changes, so that's a plus.  Now that school has begun for the boys (Elaina is due to start next week), my time is less.  This eye issue is making posting harder, too.  I will do my best, but it may be hard to keep up.  Hopefully I'll be able to do at least a little.  We shall see!

That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)


Saturday, August 6, 2016

Monthly Milestones 2016 {8}

Today is the eighth Monthly Milestones of 2016.  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:

Me as of today, August 6, 2016, at 231 1/2 lbs.

  1. My weight is still going down!  I lost 2 1/2 pounds overall this month! :D  I have been very careful with my carb intake, and it paid off.  Sugar and gluten are definitely not my friends.  Limiting those makes a HUGE difference.  Portion control is something else I'm trying to stay more aware of, and that helps, too.  Hopefully, I'll have even more weight loss to report next month.
        
  2. I've been able to be a lot more active!  I have been able to go on nearly daily walks (except for the last week, which I will get to later), and even been able to go swimming a few times.  It's been very nice!  It does make a difference in my overall well-being.  I have also made choices to do activities that require me to be up more often like hanging out laundry, doing multiple dish washings vs. one time per day, mixing recipes by hand when possible, etc.  Little things, but they do add up!
     
  3. Dietary/lifestyle changes are still happening.  As I mentioned earlier, I have learned that gluten and sugar especially are not good to my body.  I will keep limiting those, and see how it goes.  Also, preservatives/pre-made food do not agree with me very well, so I am doing my best to limit those, too.

    I am also still having issues with water retention, so my doctor did give me a water pill to take when I need it, which I do believe helped a little with my weight loss this last month.  I am also trying to limit salt and up the water even more.

    I am still having some sleep issues, so I'm working on weaning myself off caffeine even more (I already drink half-caff), so that I get to the point that all coffee that I drink is decaf unless I have a headache and need the caffeine to help with that.
        
  4. I have more testing coming up.  Last weekend, I had an episode of weakness, numbness and tingling that was the worst I've ever had in my life, and I'm still suffering some of the effects a week later.  When this episode started, I actually felt that I was in danger of falling, and I've never felt that unstable before.  It started in both legs, but was/is the worst in my left leg.  I still have an area in my left leg where there is a lack of sensation, though I can finally walk normally more often than not (I go from a normal walk, to a limp, to almost dragging my leg).  I also have a hugging sensation around my ribs quite often, and I have had a few episodes where I feel like I can't take a deep breath (not because of asthma, but more like I have to remind my body how to do it).  I also have had tingling in my arms at times, too.

    I saw my neurologist about this episode, and she told me that I need to have another MRI with contrast, this time on my thoracic spine, and some more blood work.  I also have to have my cane with me at all times, even if I don't need it, as it has to be nearby just in case I feel unsteady or weak in my legs.  Anyway, I don't have the MRI scheduled yet, but I'm expecting it will be within the next week or so, and I will let you all know the results of that when it is done.  I appreciate your prayers!
      
  5. I will be seeing a chiropractor.  After talking with my neurologist about it, it was decided that a chiropractor may be helpful.  It probably won't take away the weakness or some of the other symptoms, but it should help with the bulging discs and degeneration I have going on in my back.  I just can't have him do any HVLA (high velocity, low amplitude) manipulation, which the guy I will be seeing doesn't do, so it's all good.  The guy I will be going to takes a holistic approach, so we will also be discussing diet among other things, and he knows my primary doctor, and it sounds like he wants a team approach (chiropractor, doctor and neurologist) in regards to my health, so that's good.  I'm very hopeful that he will help me get some of my health issues resolved.  I will keep you all posted on how this goes, too.
        
  6. Thank you for all your prayers, and we would appreciate your continued prayers!  We appreciate all the prayers and support as we've gone through so much this last year, especially. It's been a real blessing!

    We are going to be starting the homeschooling program within the next few weeks to see if it is a good fit.  If not, then the boys will probably end up going to the local public school for at least a semester while we figure out what we should do instead.  We may end up having to send them back to the public school regardless due to my health, but we're praying it won't come to that.  We continue to appreciate your prayers in all of this! 

    Please continue to pray for my testing and for wisdom for us.  Thank you so much!  It means more than you know!
      
  7.  Blog updates have stalled, though posting has increased! So far, I've been able to make at least monthly changes to this blog and Natural and Free.  Sometimes, I have even been able to make some minor changes, so that's a plus.  I am going to be doing a review here shortly on Natural and Free, and hope to even have a guest poster there, too.  I am working on a guest poster for on here, but that's going to be awhile in coming yet.  We'll see if it happens sooner than later! :D

That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Health Update: Thursday In Review

I meant to post this on Friday, but didn't get the chance, so I'm doing it today.  For those of you who have been waiting for the full story, thank you for your patience! :)

Ok, so Thursday...What a day!  I'll walk you through it and give you my health update in the process.

My middle kid's big toenail, 15 months after he smashed said toe with a bench.
At 8:45am, my middle kid had to be at the podiatrist to get his toe looked at.  It's been 15 months (yes, that's MONTHS) since he smashed his toe with a bench, and the nail still hasn't reattached correctly.  We were afraid that he would have to get the nail removed and the nail bed destroyed, but the doctor was happy with how it looks, so we wait.  Apparently, it can take YEARS for toenails to fully reattach after injury.  Joy.  As long as it's not snagging on things or getting infected, we just have to wait and keep it maintained.  We'll see how it goes.  Please pray that it doesn't infect and that it will reattach sooner than later.  Thanks!

At 9:40am, this same child had to go to another doctor (yes, my husband went from one appointment to another one - the locations are about 15 to 20 minutes apart, and I let him know about the second appointment that we made THAT MORNING around 9:15am while he was still in the first location) because he had an odd looking rash on his face that we were afraid it could have been ringworm or impetigo.  Turns out that it was just a pressure rash that ended up basically disappearing by the time he got home so we dodged a bullet there, BUT this same child was missing a vaccination that they didn't have when he went to his last well child, so he got a vaccination before he came home.  Poor kid.  He was a trooper, though, and did just great.

By the time my hubby and son got home, it was nearly 10:30am.  We needed to go clean the missionary apartment at our church because we didn't know when I'd be done with my neurologist appointment, and Thursday was the last night of our tent meetings that we would need to get to after my appointment, so we decided an hour and a half would have to be enough time, and it was.  We worked quickly, but we got'er done! :)

We got back from cleaning at just before noon, got the kids loaded up to go to Grandpa and Grandma's, and took off.  We got them all settled there, and then headed off to my neurologist appointment that was an hour away.

Possible triggers for my mysterious, invisible condition.
We made it to my neurologist appointment on time (1:40pm), and we even had time to grab some lunch on the way.  I was feeling very grateful that we'd gotten so much done and gotten to where we needed to go on time so far. :) 

Anyway, both my EEG and MRV were "within normal", which is what I expected, honestly.  Since I have not been getting worse (though I do have bad times, and have actually had improvement in a lot of ways), and because I've found that diet at least plays into it in part and that increasing my thyroid meds seemed to help reduce my amount of episodes, she told me that she is leaning towards a "migraine variant" that is being complicated by my Fibromyalgia, diet and thyroid/hormones.  I'm not sure I'm 100% convinced of this because I've tried treating my episodes the same way I treat my head migraines and it doesn't work, so...time will tell.  At least I have a game plan now.

I was sent home with a list of common triggers, and I'm to see if avoiding the things on this list makes a difference or not.  Now, I already avoid some things (like alcohol - I don't drink - and artificial sweeteners), but I'm to see if avoiding the things I don't already avoid make a difference.  I will avoid them one at a time for at least a week each and go from there.  

I'm also supposed to get my potassium levels checked (and do a Celiac panel if I haven't already had one done) to see if anything is off there.  If all looks good, and I continue to do ok, then I may not be going back to the neurologist.  If I have another really bad episode or get worse or new symptoms, then I go back. 

I'll keep you all posted, and I appreciate your prayers as we work on figuring this all out.  Thanks! :)

I don't know if you can see the metal fray on the edges, but it's there.  This tire was flat as a pancake and shredding.  It tore up hubby's hands pretty good.
On our way home at about 3pm, our front, driver's side tire decided to go flat.  We pulled over as far as we could without going into a ditch to change it.  We had major traffic going back and forth (mainly Mini Coopers - there was some kind of convention or something going on, me thinks, as we saw over 30 of them while hubby changed the tire), and we were in gravel.

Things were going well until hubby got the new tire on (but not bolted), and he had to jack up the car a little further...and the car started to roll backwards!  He'd forgotten to chock the tire!  Thankfully we were able to stop the car and make makeshift chocks with a large flashlight on one side and the old tire pictured above on the other.  It must've been quite the sight for those passing by!

After we got that all done, hubby had to dig into the gravel with a flat bar to get the jack under the car properly.  That was successful, the chocks held, and we got the car jacked back up to proper height.

Now, when the car rolled backwards, the new tire had gotten caught under the car.  He was able to get that out, it wasn't damaged, and he was able to get it on the car (after digging more into the gravel with the flat bar again), and we were able to get back on our way.

The new tire was a little flat, but not so much that we couldn't drive on it, which is a good thing because we couldn't get air into it until after we got back to our hometown. 

Anyway, we ended up getting home after 4:30pm, and had about an hour and a half to eat, get ready for tent meeting, and get to church.  We were grateful that my folks had the kids (and had agreed to keep them and take them to tent meeting after we'd let them know about our tire issue) and that we'd cleaned the missionary apartment already or we'd been in trouble!

Oh, and did I mention that some time while we'd been gone we'd lost power?  Yah.  It was on by the time we got home, but we knew it'd been out because the clocks were flashing and some things were off that we'd left on.  This made us extra glad that we'd taken the kiddos to the grandparents vs. having them come to our house.

All in all, Thursday was a crazy day!  I didn't find out anything new regarding my mystery health issue, but we do have a direction to head in and try, though.  We also had an amazing tent meeting, and if you'd like to watch some videos from it, you can find them here.

I appreciate all of your prayers, and I will continue to update you as I find out more.  Your support and prayers have meant the world to me!  If there is anything I can pray with you about or help you research, please feel free to email me or comment below, and I'll do what I can to help. :)


Saturday, July 2, 2016

Monthly Milestones 2016 {7}

Today is the seventh Monthly Milestones of 2016.  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:
Me as of today, July 2, 2016, at 234 lbs.  Sorry for the odd smile.  I misjudged when hubby was snapping the photo. :D

  1. My weight is finally going back down!  I lost 1 1/2 pounds overall this month! :D  To say that I am excited about that would be an understatement.  I did not get to do the "no carbs" diet that I planned, but I did greatly reduce the carbs of all sorts (not just grains, but all sugar sources like juice, sugar, etc., though I did allow for some in moderation, whole fruit especially) as well as upping the amount of protein I get, and that did make a difference.  I also realized over the month of June that my body does NOT tolerate some things, and most of that is processed foods and soy in all forms.  I am finding I can barely tolerate a serving a day of soy containing or processed items, sometimes not even a serving a week it tolerated.  My pain is more, my weakness is more, my IBS symptoms are worse, my focus is worse, etc. when I have those things.  The foods with the most natural ingredients possible (i.e. nothing made in a lab) are best tolerated by me.  I'm going to work more on cutting out the processed/soy containing foods and eating more good fats and proteins this month, and we'll see how that goes. :)
        
  2. I've been able to be a lot more active!  I have made it a point to be active.  I've hung clothes out on the line vs. dried them in the dryer to help with this whenever possible.  I've gone on walks at least once a day when it wasn't stormy or raining.  I've made a "housework" schedule to help me from being too idle.  I've also been working on some creative writing to keep myself from being bored so that I don't eat everything in sight out of boredom.  For me, weight loss is not linked to exercise, but exercise and busyness does help keep my energy up and keeps me from binge eating, so it's a good thing. :)  I'm hoping to keep up the walking and such as much as possible.
     
  3. Dietary/lifestyle changes are still happening.  As I mentioned in #1, I'm going to work on my diet even more in July.  Cutting out my multivitamin seems to have made a big difference for me.  My water retention issue is better as long as I remember to drink a lot of water.  I'm going to talk with my neurologist and/or my doctor about the water retention when I see them, and see what they recommend as sometimes even drinking a lot of water isn't enough. 

    I'm also having issues with sleep.  I am either finding that I can't get to sleep, I wake up super early and can't fall back asleep or both.  It's not been real fun.  It doesn't appear to be linked to being too hot or too cold or to diet that I can pinpoint.  I'll talk with the doctors about that, too, and see what they think.
      
  4. I will be getting my results from my testing soon.  I find out the results from my testing in a few weeks, and then we see where we go from there.  I'm not sure how I feel about it all, honestly.  I'm a bit scared in some ways.  Part of me doesn't want to know, but more of me wants to know.  Knowing what to do next will be a good thing.  If everything comes back "within normal", I'm not sure how much further I will pursue this at this time as far as testing goes.  We'll have a lot to discuss, that's for sure!
        
  5. Thank you for all your prayers, and we would appreciate your continued prayers!  We appreciate all the prayers and support as we've gone through so much this last year, especially. It's been a real blessing!

    We still haven't cemented our schooling decision for next year 100%, so we'd appreciate your prayers in regards to that.  We'd still like to homeschool the boys, but we're holding off on the final decision on that until after I see the neurologist.  This is a great matter of prayer for us.  We want our kids to be where God wants them, and if that's not at home, then we will do what His will is in that regard.  Thank you so much!

    We also have some unspoken prayer requests that I will share later as I have liberty.  Thanks for praying for those, too. :)  We are certain that God knows - we just want His leading, timing and direction!
     
  6.  Blog updates have stalled, though posting has increased! So far, I've been able to make at least monthly changes to this blog and Natural and Free.  Sometimes, I have even been able to make some minor changes, so that's a plus.  I am not sure what all I'll get to over July as it is one of our busiest months, but we'll see. :)

That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Living With An Invisible Condition


Living with an invisible condition is maddening.  You look normal and ok most of the time, but you're not.  You can be totally fine one moment and unable to do much the next.  You feel crazy, you feel like you're letting the world down, and you just want to be normal.  

Here are a few things that I would like those of you who are lucky enough to not have an invisible condition to know.

I am my biggest and worst critic.

I often look in the mirror and wonder if this inability to move right and/or think straight that pops up out of nowhere is all in my head, especially when all tests so far have come back "within normal".  I think to myself, if I just wanted it badly enough, I could make my brain or body work.  It's not true.  I truly can't make things work that refuse to, but I want to make them work.  I feel like the biggest let down to those counting on me, and I would do anything to be "normal", but I am not.  I struggle with feeling less than, and I want to be what I was before.  I mourn the loss of who I was as I work to accept who I am now.  It's a hard process, especially if you don't have support, and even if you do (like me).

I need you to believe the best about me even though things are different.

Unless you suffer from or have suffered from an invisible condition yourself, you will have a hard time accepting or even understanding all the changes that take place in the life of someone with an invisible condition, and believe me when I say that I am kinda glad you don't "get it".  However, I need you to trust in who I was.  That person is still here.  The person who was there for you when you needed someone, the person who helped out when she could, the person who volunteered for things, the person who joked and smiled and wanted to go to that event - I'm still that person.  I still want to be there in any way that I can, but that isn't always possible now.  It may seem like I'm "always" saying no to things, but I will say yes when I can.  If I am saying no or cancelling last minute, it's not because I hate you, don't want to, or am trying to get out of something, it's because I truly cannot do it.  Believe the best about me - that I will be there in any way that I can for you - because that's what a true friend is and how I roll, and it's what I choose to believe about you, too.

I probably won't ask for help even when I need it.

I am working on this one.  I feel like I'm letting you down by not being able to do the things I used to be able to do, so I will probably not ask for help with the things I'm struggling with, too.  I will make appointments whenever I can on days that I know won't interfere with my husband's work schedule so that he doesn't have to miss work.  I will take a week to do a project that should take an hour simply because I don't want to burden anyone else.  I even have a special to-do list for days when I am feeling capable and will leave those tasks until those days (no matter how badly they need to be done) simply because I don't want to ask for help when I know you're already busy, and partly because I need to know I can still do things on my own.

If you can't tell I'm having trouble, that's on purpose.
 
I work very hard to look normal.  I try not to use my cane, even if I could benefit from it.  Every day I have to choose to find joy, and I look for it.  I scour God's Word for encouragement, I surround myself with people who will pray with me and for me, I hum uplifting hymns and songs, I play and laugh with my kids as I'm able, and I find ways to encourage others.  If my condition is truly invisible to you, I've done my job.  Life is too short to live in the darkness.  I choose light, and I choose to "bloom where I'm planted" whenever I can.  I fail sometimes, and I can't always look "normal", but I will do my level best to do so!


This isn't everything, but these are the main things.  

Maybe you have more questions or are curious about something - feel free to ask via commenting below or via email.  I'd rather you ask than assume. :)

Maybe you are wondering how you can help me or someone like me who is struggling with an invisible condition.  I know you can always pray for me and lend an ear when it is needed, and I know you can do that for anyone in a position like mine.  Kindness goes a long way, too.  

Invisible conditions are hard, and they are even harder alone.  We need all the support we can get, and I hope I can count on yours.


Saturday, June 4, 2016

Monthly Milestones 2016 {6}

Today is the sixth Monthly Milestones of 2016.  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:
Me as of today, June 4, 2016, at 235.5 lbs.  My cat, Crush, decided to join me today. :)

  1. My weight is a continued frustration!  This is the heaviest I've been in a long time, and I couldn't be more upset about it.  I have been more active, and have been feeling better with some of the dietary changes I've made, but that's not been enough.  I think I know a few things that are playing into it, and I'm going to do what I can to change what I can.

    First of all, I have found that I am dealing with a lot of water retention for some reason the last few months.  I kind of wonder if it is due to getting rid of the green tea supplement, but I feel better off of it than I did on it, so I have decided to up my water intake and reduce my sodium intake instead.  So far, that seems to be helping some, so hopefully I'll get a handle on that this month.

    Secondly, I am truly a carb-aholic.  I really struggle with eating too much sugar and carbs, even with cutting back on wheat, oats, and corn.  I really need more protein in my diet.  Starting today, I plan to go to a basically "no carb" diet for a few weeks just to try to get my metabolism jump started, and to get my body off the carbs for a bit (think like rehab, so hopefully the withdrawals won't be too bad).  We'll see how that goes. :)  I've done it before and it always helps, so hopefully it will work this time, too.

    Thirdly, I struggle with eating when I'm not hungry.  That is not so awesome.  I'll continue to work on that.

    All in all, I will keep plugging away at there and my other planned dietary changes, and we'll see what happens.  I will either lose weight or I won't - I can't force it.  All I can do is try. :)
      
  2. I've been able to get out more!  Most of May was beautiful, and I was able to get out quite a bit for walks.  I'm hoping June stays that way, too, and my body lets me function enough to walk quite a bit.  I did really well the last month physically speaking, and now I'm having issues again with movement.  I'm trying to figure out if this is just the cycle I'm on with my health issues or what.  This is going to be a process!
     
  3. Dietary/lifestyle changes are still happening.  As I mentioned above and in an earlier post, I'm making some dietary changes.  I've cut out my green tea supplement, removed quite a bit of soy and grains (mainly wheat, oats, and corn) from my diet, and will be removing my multivitamin (as it contains soy) next week or the week after, along with making the changes I mentioned in #1 above.  So far I've noticed that food *does* play into how I'm feeling.  It's not 100% difference, and it's hard to know what all is how this health issue cycles and what all is dietary, but I do notice that the less soy and gluten I have, the better I do in general.  I still have some issues, but they are not as bad.  When I do slip up in my dietary changes and have soy or a lot of grains, then I have worse days.  Now, when you avoid soy, you also inadvertently avoid preservatives 9 times out of 10, and it may be that avoidance that is causing me to have better days.  It's hard to tell, and it will take a while to cement it, but it is something to take note of and talk to my neurologist about when I see her again in July.
         
  4. I have finished round 2 of my tests, and am waiting on results.  My EEG was last week, and my MRV was on Wednesday, June 1st.  Both went well, there were no pokes (YAY! :D ), and (to my knowledge) they got the information they needed.  I will not have results for at least a week yet, and I may not have them until I see my neurologist in July (sooner if she deems it necessary).  I will let you know when I know. :)

    Please continue to pray for me as I seem to be coming out of a "normal" phase and into a "weakness" phase again.  I woke up Thursday morning with weakness in my legs, especially my left one, again.  I had been having tingling sensations in most of my body for at least a week and some minor issues with my arms (especially my left), but it is transferred to weakness now again, though it doesn't seem so bad today.  It may be diet related as I did have some hot cocoa Wednesday night that did contain some soy/preservatives, but it is hard to say for sure.  I've been sort of off since my EEG, so I find that interesting, too.  Anyway, prayers appreciated that we can figure out the dietary triggers, physical activity triggers, etc. that may apply so that I can work on fixing them.  Thanks! :)
      
  5. We appreciate your prayers as we make some important decisions as a family.  Due to my unknown health status among other reasons, we have decided that our boys will do a more traditional homeschool program next year.  We are leaning towards Monarch by Alpha Omega, and plan to cement that decision after school is out in about a week.  However, depending on how things go with my health over the summer, there is a chance the boys may have to go back to the local public school again (we plan on keeping our daughter in the local public school for at least another year, and then bring her home if possible).  We'd prefer not to do this, not because the school is bad, but because I want to teach them at home and that was always the plan, but we want God's perfect will in this.  Please pray that God will work out all the details according to His will and glory, and that we will be able to see His will and way in it clearly and undeniably.  Thank you!

    Also, please be in prayer for my oldest son, Stephen.  He saw the ophthalmologist yesterday, as he is having issues with strabismus.  For now, they think they can correct it with new glasses, but there may be surgery sometime in his future to correct the issue.  We're grateful that is looking like it won't be any time in the near future, though. :)
       
  6.  Blog updates have stalled, though posting has increased! So far, I've been able to make at least monthly changes to this blog and Natural and Free.  Sometimes, I have even been able to make some minor changes, so that's a plus.  I am hoping to do more when school is out in about a week, but I'm not sure I'll be able to.  We shall see. :)

That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Ending Round 2 of Testing Tomorrow and an Update

Me in all my sleep deprived glory just after they hooked me up to do the EEG, but just before they started it.


I'm sorry I didn't get an update posted sooner.  The EEG left me more exhausted than I had planned on (it took me about 2 days to get most of my energy back, and I'm still not 100%), and then we had a long, busy weekend.  Plus, I have no results at all yet, and don't think I will until July when I see the neurologist again.

Anyway, the EEG went well.  They did have some fun trying to attach some of the electrodes through my thick hair, but they did eventually get them all on and get them to stay put, so that was a plus! ;)  I was worried for a moment that they'd want to shave some of my hair off - not kidding!  So glad they didn't have to do that!

The first thing they did was the sleep portion.  I'm not 100% sure, but I think I went in and out of sleep during that time.  I'm hopeful that they got the information they needed there.

The next thing they did were the strobe lights which were interesting.  They made me feel a little weird (sometimes they gave me a headache and/or had a hypnotic effect, and I did have a weird facial twitch after one set), and they left me even more tired than what I was when I started off the test.  Overall, not too bad, though.  It will be interesting to see if those types of things were "normal" or not.

The last thing that I had to do was breathe in and out really fast to simulate hyperventilation.  That was crazy!  You get all tingly from it and a bit lightheaded.  I was glad when that was over. :)

It all took about an hour and a half, and when it was all done, I got some coffee!  Hurrah! :D  

It really wasn't all that terrible, but it is not something I wish to do again any time soon as the lack of sleep really made me more miserable than anything else (I ended up getting just under 3 1/2 hours of sleep before the test).

Tomorrow is my MRV.  I have to find out if it will be done with contrast yet or not (I'm praying not!), and I have no idea how long it will be, though I suspect an hour or so.

Please be praying that the MRV goes well, especially if there is contrast (I want them to get my oh-so-lovely veins the first time).  If there is something to see, I want them to see it.

Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers at this time!  They mean the world!

I will post an update on Saturday on my Monthly Milestones post.  It probably won't be that much of an update as I don't expect answers for awhile yet, but I'll let you know what I know. :)


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Let The Testing Begin!

"God delights when we face the impossible, because it is then that He can do the incredible."- Julie Moore
Tomorrow morning I will have my EEG, and next week will be my MRV.  I must admit; I'm a bit nervous for some reason.  

Maybe it's because the thought of being hooked up to a bunch of wires and being sleep deprived (4 hours or less of sleep) doesn't thrill me.  

Maybe it's because next week's MRV may involve a poke in the arm, and I'm not the biggest fan of needles with my itty, bitty veins that like to hide sometimes.  

Maybe it's because I'm fully expecting them to say that things look "normal", and I'm not ready to hear that because it makes me feel crazy.  

Maybe it's because they may find something. 

I could come up with a million reasons, I'm sure, but I have to remind myself that God knows, and He delights in these seemingly impossible situations.

I have no idea what tomorrow holds, but He does.  This seems impossible - everything has come back "within normal", nothing looks obvious, and yet I have these symptoms that cover the entire map of crazy - but this is where God lives and thrives.

God delights when we face the impossible, because it is then that He can do the incredible.
  
No matter what, God will be there, and He wants to do something incredible.

That may not mean He will cure me, and that's ok.

"Incredible" has many forms, and I hope to manifest one of them.

Above all, I just want to be used by Him...
No matter what that means.  


I appreciate your thoughts and prayers at this time, and I will post an update when I can.  I don't think I'll have any information tomorrow yet, but I'll post sometime tomorrow or Friday most likely.

Thanks again for your thoughts and prayers! 

 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Monthly Milestones 2016 {5}

Today is the fifth Monthly Milestones of 2016.  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:


Me as of today, May 7, 2016, at 233.5 lbs.  Yes, I know I am no wearing the exact same outfit as normal.  Somehow, I lost the pants I had been wearing in the Monthly Milestones 2016 pictures.  No idea where they are.  I guess it is capris for the rest of the year! :D


  1. My weight went up again!  I weigh myself every week, and this month has been up and down a *lot*, ending with a net gain of 3 and a half pounds.  I can contribute part of my weight gain to some water retention that I believe is a result of the baby Aspirin I take now, but I know that it is also due to food choices, lack of exercise, and a few other things.  I am starting on the "removing soy as much as possible" part of my plan today, and have been working on increasing my water intake.  I've also started getting more active as I'm able to, so we'll see how this goes.  I also, just this last week, increased my Levothyroxine dose to help with my Hashimoto's, so we'll see if that helps with the weight issue, too.  I do not like that I've gained 7 lbs. since February, and I'm going to put even more effort at working to get healthier.
      
  2. The weather has improved!  The end of April and now May are shaping up to be warm enough to be outside more.  I'm trying to get into walking a bit more daily, but it's been difficult.  I've had a few really rough weeks physically speaking with leg weakness and I even suffered an injury to my right knee due to it.  Though I still can't walk as long as I'd like, I can walk some, so I'll take what I can get. :)  Hopefully we can get some form of water exercise started up again soon, too.
     
  3. We're still plugging away with our new lifestyle choices, and making some new ones.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I removed my green tea supplement, and that has gone successfully, and I actually have been feeling better, so that's a plus.  I am planning on cutting soy out as much as possible starting today, and then in 2 to 3 weeks, reducing my grain intake, and then I work on removing my multivitamin or replacing it with one that is soy-free.  It will not be easy, but I needs to be done!  Wish me luck!
         
  4. I have no further information on the cause of my health issues, and we are still dealing with other health issues in the family.  As I mentioned earlier, I've had some real physical trials lately.  This is the worst it's been, and this is the first time I've suffered an injury (stretched or torn meniscus in my right knee) due to it.  It has been very discouraging to say the least.  I am being scheduled for some more tests (you can read more about that here), but I have no idea when those will be done.  I will post an update when I know more. 

    We have had to make some other food changes, too, as my husband has been diagnosed with a sensitivity/intolerance to corn (we found out via way of a patch test that left him with basically a 3rd degree burn, which I would consider more than a "sensitivity", but it's not a histamine reaction, so it's not an "allergy", but I digress).  So, we have to avoid most corn products (he was told he could have corn syrup and like dextrose or maltodextrin, just not corn starch, cornmeal, corn cereal, or actually corn, but we avoid all types as much as possible anyway), and wheat/gluten, and now we're adding avoiding even more soy (which we try to do anyway).  The fun never ends! :D  Pray for us as we work on our dietary issues.  I'm hoping that these changes will not only help us feel better, but also help my physical issues.
      
  5. We appreciate your prayers as we make some important decisions as a family.  Due to my unknown health status among other reasons, we need to make some decisions about various things in the next few months.  We appreciate your prayers very much.  Our lifestyle is definitely in for some very big changes, and we are doing our best to prepare for that.  We believe we've already gotten some direction, but are still waiting on some things before we decide 100%, but there are definitely big changes in store for us.  It will be different, but good. :)  Thanks so much for all the support and prayers for us through this.  They mean the world!
     
  6. Blog updates have stalled, though posting has increased!  My system to add posts to this blog and Natural and Free at least once a month is still going well, and I have found the time to make some minor changes, and I do those when I can.  I'd like to do more than that, but my current health status is making that difficult, and I've finding that I am back to having a serious lack of time for now.  I'm hoping that will change when school is out in mid-June.  We'll see how it goes!  I may still be able to surprise you with some crazy awesome updates sooner than later. ;)  Stay tuned! :D

That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)