Update: Where We Are Now and My PTSD Recovery

Thursday, October 15, 2020

 



It's been quite a week.

First, let me say that I love my new doctor, Dr. Potter, at Sanctuary Functional Medicine. We have been blown away by the care that we've already received and we don't even have the full picture or treatment plan yet. I like doctors who keep asking why and Dr. Potter is the most thorough that I have met.


He is still working to put the pieces together.




As each test comes in, he briefly explains what he finds and then often ends with something like "to discuss further at visit." A couple of weeks ago he decided that it was definitely time for an MRI. With these walking episodes, he wanted to make sure that we weren't missing anything. He ordered an MRI and I went in Monday for that. They did one without contrast, with contrast and another one called Nueroquant to measure the different regions of my brain. He was particularly interested to see what regions might have been effected by the mold.

Monday morning I went to Murfreesboro for my MRI and we came home to find our dog throwing up blood. Monday afternoon was spent at the vet. Winston is ok now, after an overnight stay at the vet.



Then, yesterday, we got our mold report back on our current home. It appeared to be high so I was terrified. I couldn't believe we were living this again. Thankfully, my doctor looked at it and clarified. This particular test checks for a lot more molds so it can appear to be a lot higher but when it comes to strains that really affect your health, our count was actually quite low. He said we probably wouldn't find a safer place to live. Praise God!

Today, I got my MRI results. First, there were no lesions or tumors- Praise the Lord! We had suspected this all along because the symptoms didn't really fit but it was wonderful to have confirmation. On the Nueroquant there was evidence of effects from mold on my brain. He didn't go into details and said we would discuss it at the visit. 

But here is the part that I found wonderfully and truly amazing. There were NO markers for PTSD on the Nueroquant MRI. If you had seen me at my worst last year, you would know what a miracle this is! I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this is 100% the ketamine therapy that I received at Revitalist Clinic.
Every year I see people sharing things about suicide awareness and mental health. Some of my friends have even done fundraisers to help support mental health. If you want to save lives, I truly don't know anything that you could better support than their non profit. If you want to donate, call them at (865) 290-2465.

Here are some things that you can be praying for as we go forward:

  • My son, Reese, has been having a lot of health issues. We know that a lot of this stems from the mold. He will be meeting with Dr. Potter this next Tuesday (10/20). Please pray that I will remember everything important and that Dr. Potter will have discernment to know the best tests to order.
  • My ability has been declining this week. My episodes are lasting longer and walking is becoming more difficult. I am 9 weeks out of ketamine so I'm thinking that I may have to do it again before I get in with Dr. Potter for our appointment on Dec 14th. He didn't want me to do any treatments before coming in but I may not have a choice. Pray that, if I need it, he will be ok with it. (Yes, ketamine helps with PTSD but it also helps my walking and movement. It builds in your system for 8 weeks and last year I was finding that I had to do it every 8-10 weeks just to keep some movement.)
  • Pray for Emma. Because I can barely stand right now, she is back to doing pretty much everything (cooking wise). She is doing her regular school work plus 2 college courses and trying to help take care of her brothers. It's a lot.
  • Pray for us financially. We continue to keep getting hard financially but God always provides.
  • Dr. Potter isn't sure that the histamine/mast cell completely explains what is happening with my legs. He is working to find all the pieces.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and encouragement. They mean more than you know.

In Christ, 

Megan 


The Joy in Waiting on God

Monday, October 5, 2020

 






It's been a month since I went to see my new doctor. I actually didn't get to meet the doctor at the first appointment, I met the physician assistant. Her back ground is neurosurgery so I believe this was a blessing.


They decided on a LOT more tests. They had all my tests from Envita which are now a year old. That is so hard to believe.

So much has happened in the past year.

(testing at Envita on Oct 3, 2019. I was freezing because they took 25 vials of blood)


(day 1 of treatment- Dec 17, 2019)


(1st apheresis treatment -cleaning blood- Jan 3, 2020)


(at new home in Middle TN. Playing with the kids in the snow and walking normally- 
Feb 3, 2020)



Episodes started back up on August 6, 2020. If you want to read more about those, you can here.




Right now, we are just waiting for a few more tests. I have to send in a Mycotoxin test. They want to know how much mold is left in my body after treatment at Envita. We are waiting on another test that I don't understand and, therefore, won't attempt to explain called a Organic Acids Test. We have to do mold testing at this current home because my doctor won't start to treat mold illness until he sees a clean mold report from our current home. That should be here in a couple of days. We are using an at home kit from the lab that we used to test our home in East Tennessee. We'll probably have those results in the next week or so.

Lastly, next Monday (10/12/20) I have an MRI. My doctor really believes these episodes are mast cell related but wants to do a MRI just to be sure. This particular MRI will also measure the regions of the brain to see if any have been damaged by the mold.


Unless my doctor sees anything on these upcoming tests that urges him to get me in sooner, my appointment with him is December 14th. We're praying that nothing urges him to get me in sooner. In the mean time, he is working to stabilize my mast cell issues.

*************


"Whatever you do, don't pray for patience."


I have heard that more times throughout the years than I can count. There's this idea that if we pray for patience, God might send a difficult trial and one would have to endure it to get the patience.

First, in my experience, you don't have to pray for something like patience to get trials. Second, why do we think that being conformed into the image of Christ isn't worth the trial?

In going through this trial, I have seen God provide in ways that I never would have otherwise. You can read here.

God has allowed me to pour into the lives of others who are hurting with chronic illness (usually mold illness) and encourage them.

I am learning to "bring every thought captive" in ways that I have never known.




Last year I prayed for a faith like George Mueller's. What he had in his fellowship with the Lord went far beyond any earthly comfort he could have had (if you are not familiar with him, look him up, better yet, read his biography!)

So when I have more tests that need to be ordered, and the radiator cracks on our suburban and the bills seem to be piling up, I can say,

My God will supply every need of mine according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:19)

and

God is able to make all grace abound to me, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, I can abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)

I can remind myself that this same God provided almost $50,000 and a free place to stay when I had to go to Envita last year.

This same God provided $4,000 for treatment with my new doctor.

This same God had someone anonymously provide for my son, Reese's treatment when I was on my face begging God to provide last week because he has taken a turn for the worse.

This same God provided a place for us to stay when we uprooted our lives again to move to a safer place for me to live.

This same God blessed my husband tremendously with work when he had to start a new business in a new town- to the point where he's booked out over 10 weeks and people are frustrated that they have to wait.

No, there is joy in waiting on God. There is joy in seeing Him move. Him provide.
There is joy in knowing that I am not enough.

But He certainly is.






One Week Post Flare- What Doctor Am I Seeing Next?

Thursday, August 13, 2020

 



Today makes one week since my return of symptoms. If you missed that, you can read it here.

I have been getting some questions, so I thought I would post an update.

Last Friday (after the flare on Thursday), I had more ketamine. I've written about ketamine extensively before. It's not a cure. It won't fix what's wrong with me, but it gives me time as I work on the next steps.

Since the ketamine, I've slowly been gaining energy and movement. My brain and body had a major workout from the tremors so I am just feeling over the past couple of days that the fog has lifted. 

I've had several friends and family ask how I'm doing. Honestly, I think I'm doing pretty well for what has happened. I have learned to put a lot of tools in my toolkit for set backs. I am constantly working on setting my mind on what is 

..."true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, what is commendable, excellent and praiseworthy." Phil 4:8

This doesn't mean I don't feel or acknowledge my feelings. I have broken down and cried more than once since this happened. Rather, I have striven not to let my feelings have the final word. When it all seems too overwhelming, I pull out a "power up" as Dr. Jane McGonigal talks about in her book, Superbetter.

I keep a list of things that make me smile, help me to focus, help me to feel energized or help me relax and I use them... often, multiple times a day.

So, considering what has happened, I think I'm doing fairly well.

I am going to try to keep this blog fairly short but I wanted to answer another question that I have gotten:


What kind of doctor are you going to?

A couple of weeks ago I realized that not only was I not bouncing back, I seemed to be declining further. I was continuing to get weaker and have more and more histamine reactions. My doctor at Envita shared that he believed that I was dealing with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome

Unfortunately, that often goes hand and hand with mold illness and it's pretty complex. I thought it would be wise to find a Mast Cell specialist since mast cell often can need medication and can get bad enough for anaphylaxis. 

I found 2 doctors in Tennessee who were specialists. One in Knoxville and one in Nashville. The one in Nashville really caught my attention. He is an MD who graduated from Vanderbilt who also operates as a functional medicine doctor.

His specialties are mold, lyme, genetics and mast cell.

Minus the lyme, these have all been issues for me.

Someone asked me this question yesterday so I thought I would also answer it:


What is a functional medicine doctor?


A standard M.D. might look at me and say, "You have Multiple Sclerosis. These are the different medications that we can try to stop the autoimmune attack."

A functional medicine doctor will say, "Yeah, you have M.S., but why? What underlying toxins and infections have triggered it?"

 For instance, EBV virus has been found in the lesions of M.S. patients causing some to wonder if it's one of the triggers.

I have the EBV virus.

So do I have M.S?

I don't know. It sure does look a lot like it. The one thing that has stumped me and my doctor at Envita is that I have no pain which is virtually unheard of in secondary progressive M.S.


The specialist in Nashville will use medications, supplements, and diet to help me with whatever he finds in his labs. This is part of the reason that I chose this doctor.

Here's another:

At least two weeks before I come, their entire staff will study my case to become familiar with it. I have had to send in extensive paperwork and labs. The office explained to me that sometimes someone moves to Nashville/Franklin and calls because they want a new functional medicine doctor.

The office will explain,

"That's not what we do. Let us give you the name of someone."

This office just works with patients like me. You agree to work with them for a minimum of 7-9 months while they work to get your disease under control and, if possible, start remission.

I was told that this doctor has seen somewhere in the neighborhood of 300-400 mast cell patients in the past 5 years.

At this point, I need someone with that level of expertise.


We have had people ask what they can do to help.

Honestly, pray.

Here are the things you can be praying for.


1. Steve- he is absolutely exhausted. His stress levels were just starting to drop and then this happened.

2. Emma- when I am too weak, Emma is the one who has to cook and clean. The boys do help with the cleaning as well. 

3. The boys. This has been hard on all of them. Isaac has gotten more protective of me and started putting his arm around me a lot. You can see it in this picture. It has really scared Elijah. I am working to downplay this with them as much as possible.


4. My appointment Sept 10th. I am supposed to lay out as much as I can to go in and talk to the doctor about. I'm not going to lie. This overwhelms me. So much has happened just in the past year alone. Pray that I will remember to share the most important things.


Thank you to everyone who is praying.


In Christ,

Megan


A Relapse in Symptoms and Next Steps

Friday, August 7, 2020

 


I'm going to be honest. This is a hard post to write.

Over the past 4-5 weeks, my health has been struggling.

It started with what we now know is a Mast Cell flare up.

About 6 weeks ago, I inadvertently loaded my diet with high histamine foods. After this, I proceeded to have miserable allergic reactions. Around this time I traveled back to see family in Knoxville and overexerted myself physically. 

I didn't do any of these things intentionally. I am still trying to figure out what my physical limits are.

My doctor at Envita told me that he thought we were dealing with Mast Cell issues. We tried some natural treatments. For some people, those are enough.

For me, they did nothing.

I started developing more allergies. Now I can't eat beef (I now know that is a high histamine food). I try to make the best of these situations. I love cooking so I started making some yummy low histamine foods like this low histamine pizza.


I started trying to see how much variety that I can add into my diet. I was striving to pace myself, to not stand too long, to work on retraining my limbic system every day (a lot of people have found that this part of their brain is damaged by mold).

And I kept getting worse. And weaker.

Then, I accidentally ate another high histamine food. Twice.
Then, I got bitten by a bunch of red ants and had an allergic reaction to that.

Yesterday morning, I woke up like this.


My right leg turned in and went. My right hand curled up and started to tremor to the point of cramping. Then it spread to my left hand. Then my thighs.
My teeth started chattering but I wasn't cold.



This went on for about 30 minutes. After it stopped, I couldn't walk at all.

I called Steve home from work. We had to make some hard decisions.

Going to the hospital where I live was absolutely out.
We could drive to Knoxville and go to UT Medical Center. Been there. Done that.
Went twice last year. They said I had a migraine and muscle weakness and sent me home.
Or, we could go to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville. 
We're halfway between both of those hospitals.
If we went to Vanderbilt they'd likely do MRI, Spinal Tap, etc.

The problem is that the CDC doesn't even recognize mold illness. There are a small handful of doctors who know how to treat Mast Cell and, at this point, we think the Mast Cells are attacking my brain and central nervous system. 

Before this nervous system attack, I had looked for Mast Cell Specialists in Tennessee. I found two. One in Knoxville and one in Nashville.
The one in Nashville specializes in Mold Illness, Mast Cell and Genetics. My three big issues.
But he's not cheap and I thought I had time to wait a bit.

Yesterday, we realized that was not the case.
 We decided to go ahead and book another ketamine treatment and book the appointment in Nashville.

Mast Cell causes major inflammation and can attack many organs throughout the body. Ketamine is an anti- inflammatory. We think that's why it was helping me last year during the attacks. It was calming down the inflammation in my brain.

The specialist in Nashville is booked out for 4 weeks. My appointment is September 10th. The ketamine lasts in your system for up to 8 weeks.

Tonight, I am walking normally. I hope to keep that. Our hopes and prayers are that the ketamine will keep working while we wait to get in with the specialist in Nashville. Will you pray with us?

In Christ,

Megan


What I Eat in a Week 7/24/2020 -7/29/2020

Wednesday, July 29, 2020



In my blog post last week, I shared that I am striving to share the physical, spiritual, and emotional things that I am doing as am continuing to recover from mold illness.


Since dealing with a mast cell flare up, I am eating more of a low histamine diet. I am still eating a few higher histamine foods, but trying to spread them out. When I spoke to my doctor at Envita a couple of weeks ago, we agreed that fixing my gut is a huge issue. 

Due to the mast cell issues, I can't do ferments or even short cooked meat stock yet. I think there may be a day I can, but I'm not there.
I am on a probiotic that I handle well and I am adding as many vegetables in as possible on a daily and weekly basis.
The Paleo Mom has shown that a variety of veggies is crucial in healing the gut.
Dr. Terry Wahls has uses a large variety of veggies as she put her M.S. into remission.
There is a lot in this world that I can't control, but I can control what I eat.

I have started tracking my daily meals to see how many different veggies (and fruit) that I can eat in a week.

This is what I have eaten this week:

Carrots
Zucchini
Yellow Onions
Arugula
Baby Lettuce Greens
Red Onion
Avocado
Cilantro
Asparagus
Parsnips
Spinach
Apple
Leeks
Purple Cabbage
Blueberries
Sweet Potato 
Cauliflower
Broccoli
Romaine Lettuce
Brussel Sprouts
Radish
Parsley
Fennel
Yellow Beets
Raspberries
Plantains


26 different fruits and veggies!
Next week I am striving for 30. Here are some of my plates and bowls.


Chicken Thigh, Fried Asparagus, Roasted Carrots and Parsnips.


Copycat Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl
Chicken Breast, Riced Cilantro Lime Cauliflower, Romaine Lettuce, Red Onion, Cilantro and Guacamole.
Recipe here:


Chicken Breast, Romaine Lettuce, Roasted Broccoli, Leeks, Red Onion, Cilantro, Radish, topped with Chimichurri Sauce.


Chicken Thigh, Fried Yellow Onion and Zucchini, Carrots, Baby Lettuce Greens with Blueberries, salt and olive oil.

Treating the Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Side of Mold Illness

Wednesday, July 22, 2020





I was hanging on by a thread. I had gone in for my last ketamine appointment before going to treatment. The ketamine helped me to maintain some movement but it was doing less and less each time. I was deteriorating and I knew it. Steve knew it. My parents could see it. My sister could see it.

I was exhausted.

During ketamine, you are pretty out of it. It's anesthesia but they don't put you completely under. You're in and out of it. I had started the ketamine for the severe ptsd, depression and anxiety. I was continuing it for the paralysis. Regardless of why you're using ketamine, it will bring stuff up. Emotions, fears, traumas. It does it in a way that's not quite as traumatic as living it again but it's not fun, nonetheless. 

After each appointment we'd met: the anesthesiologist who administers the ketamine, the counselor (if you had one in the room) and your relative that you had there with you.

So there we sit: Me, Steve, my counselor and the anesthesiologist.

They're kind there. They very gently tell me that they think maybe that I should speak to one of their counselors: a former pastor.

"While you were under, you were crying and looking for God."

I'm a little stunned. God has been the only thing that has gotten me this far. I'm embarrassed. How could I have been so weak?

We set up the appointment for me to come back and meet with the counselor in a week. After we leave, though, I look at Steve.

"I don't want to meet with the counselor. I don't want to have to relay my story to one more person. I'd rather just talk to my dad."

He says he understands and I call back and cancel the appointment.

My dad is a former pastor, bible teacher and certified Biblical Counselor. He has watched me go through all of this. I don't have to rehash the past, we can just dive in. That's what I prefer.

I call my dad and ask him if he can come over. He's amazing so he does.

We sit outside and talk. I spend a lot of time outside. It's the only place I feel halfway decent (in retrospect, a warning sign). I tell him what happened during ketamine, how embarrassed I am.

He looks at me and says, "Well, what do you think is going on?"


I break down sobbing.

"I think I am absolutely exhausted."

"So do I," he says. "We want to separate our lives into compartments: the spiritual, the emotional, the physical, but that's just not how life works. It all effects each other."

We talk for a while and pray and I feel relieved, knowing I'm actually just human.




We see this happen in the book of Job. Job starts strong. In Job 1, we are led right into Job's trials. In one day he loses almost everything, including his children. Yet we are told his reaction:

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
Job 1:20-22

Joel James writes in his e book, Help! I Can't Handle All These Trials,

A second reason Job went off the rails was that he let the termite of time gnaw at his faith. According to Job 7:3, Job's grief and the burning torments of his physical ailments had extended for months by the time his friends arrived. Job's suffering felt eternal; the sheer duration of it was wearing him down.

....Time is a killer in trials. Like Job, we start with strong faith, but as we tick off the days on the calendar, turn the page over to a new month, eventually buy a new calendar for next year, and then a new one for the year after that, we can easily despair. Time makes trials hard.

And that was where I was. Time was affecting me emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It was wearing me down.


The fact is, that the past (now almost) 4 years have had an impact on me. They just have. I have to treat all of these: physical, emotional and spiritual.

Physically, there are supplements and medications that I have to take. There are brain exercises that I have to do.
Emotionally, I have to watch my stress. It's my number one trigger. I have to prioritize relationships.
Spiritually, I have to focus on who God is and who I am.

So, as I am going forward, I am going to seek to blog this journey. I shared this the other day, but I'm going to do this for a few reasons:

1. To hold myself accountable. This is work. It's not easy. If I just keep doing what I've been doing, I will remain where I am.
2. For my own records. This is so I can see how far I've come but also see what's working and what isn't.
3. For those who feel hopeless. I have spoken to those who are struggling with giving up. I have spoken to friends who have lost someone who did give up. I hope to point others to truth and hope.


On the top of this blog, you will see 4 categories. The first is my mold illness story. When someone asks me for my story, I always want to point them to this blog for a few reasons:

1. I just don't want to live in the past anymore. The past few years have been extraordinarily painful. I have no desire to rehash it. 
2. I have put pretty much my whole mold story (with records) up on my blog for anyone that wants to read it. I have shown pictures and video of what I went through. If pictures tell a thousand words, I believe you can learn much more by reading what I have already posted.
3. To the glory of God. That is my end goal. I desire to show His faithfulness and His truth through all of this.

The second, third and fourth categories are on the physical, emotional and spiritual issues that I am working through as I move forward. Many of these will overlap because, that's just how life works. I hope that this will encourage you in whatever you are going through.

In Christ,







6 Months Post Treatment- Where I Am Now and Next Steps

Sunday, July 19, 2020




This week makes 6 months since I wrapped up treatment for mold illness at Envita Medical Center. It's hard to believe it's already been 6 months. 

It's hard to believe that this was me in December.


This last week I had a phone appointment with my doctor from Envita. Now that it's been 6 months, I wanted to give a full update on where I am and what's next.

First, the amazing parts:

Since going to treatment I've gained almost 10 lbs. This is great because last year
I was consistently losing weight among my other symptoms. I was steadily dropping 2-3 lbs a month. I have slowly but consistently gained this year which is awesome.

I am, of course, still walking. My wheelchair is gathering dust in storage. I plan on keeping it that way.


My color is still good. I don't look (or feel) I'm dying anymore. My color change was one of the first things that the other patients at Envita noticed (that, and the fact that I was walking). It has been one of the things that I have gotten the most comments about as well.

I know the valley of the shadow of death...



I can confidently say that He was with me. His rod and His staff comforted me.



There are, however, a few areas that I still need work.


1. Brain

Mold wreaks havoc on your whole body. One of the areas that it really attacks is the brain. I shared a little bit about this on my Instagram and Facebook a couple of weeks ago. I said that I would share more in a forthcoming blog post. I am going to do that now.

My functional doctor back in Knoxville knew 2 years ago that I was having issues with my brain, vagus nerve, and sympathetic dominance. I sprained my ankle a couple of years ago and was screaming in pain. I went to the E.R. twice thinking that I had broken it. It was some of the worst pain I've experienced in my life.
For a sprained ankle.

But I made it to 9 cm with the twins before I got an epidural and, while it wasn't easy, I was able to breathe through it. How could a sprained ankle be worse than that? 

Answer:
It wasn't.
But my brain saw it as a threat and my pain was through the roof.

That doctor told me, probably almost 2 years ago now,

"It's your brain."

While he wasn't totally right...
he wasn't totally wrong either.

We couldn't have known that I was living in a second home that was making me ill. Had that not been my situation, things likely wouldn't have gotten as bad as they did. I am grateful as I know God had a purpose, I know the mold was still in my body and I was able to go get treatment.

Back to the brain...

Now that I am in a safe environment and my doctor did, as was his primary goal, get me through the worst of it, 

I have to work on my brain.

When you go through years of mold illness, or chronic illness in general, your body goes into fight or flight. There is benefit in this. Our brains are designed to recognize threats and take care of us. Unfortunately, your brain can get stuck there. 

That's where mine is.

(If you want to read more about this, you can go here:

This is the reason that I don't feel hunger. This is the reason that my body thought there was more pain than there was with the sprained ankle. This is one reason that my body keeps reacting to foods and the laundry list of stuff I can't eat keeps getting longer.

So, after losing beef, I discussed it with my doctor.
Brain training was the next step.

There are a few different options when it comes to brain training.

One is neurofeedback.
This is the way it works: You are hooked up to all kinds of wires that are reading your brain waves. While watching a tv show on Netflix, Hulu, etc, the wires are reading your brain waves. When your brain waves are perfectly where they should be, you get a perfectly clear picture on the computer and you get perfect sound. It passively rewards your brain for doing what it's supposed to do. We did several thousand dollars worth of this treatment last year. Would it have worked if I had not been in a home that was making me ill? Possibly. We'll never know. It has helped a lot of people, but it's not something that I'm willing to spend thousands more on.

Two, Heartmath. My doctor at Envita is a big fan of Heartmath so it may still be something that we have to add in. I did Heartmath for a while last year. I did notice while doing it that my body would relax and my stomach would start digesting. In heartmath you are working on your breathing and heartrate. It tells you when you get it where it should be so, again, your brain gets a reward for knowing what it's supposed to do. The only thing has kept me from purchasing Heartmath is that it's a little more expensive to buy for the computer which is how I would have to use it. When I purchased the one that works on your phone with bluetooth, I got all kinds of tingling in my brain. I am HIGHLY sensitive to EMF so I do have to be careful here.

Three, DNRS or Gupta Program. I have a friend with mold illness who has made great progress with DNRS. It was the one that I was going to use, however, an amazing friend is allowing me to use her Gupta Program. So, Gupta it is!

In these programs, you are working on relaxing the central nervous system and retraining the limbic and amygdala parts of the brain. One of the things that held me back from these programs is that there are some things that they practice that go against my Christian beliefs. What I have done is change the parts that I don't agree with and use Scripture as my reference.

Both of these programs are copyrighted so I have to be careful what I share, but you are actively catching thought patterns and retraining them. This is actually very biblical.

2 Corinthians 10:5- We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.

One of the things that I have found interesting is that I can be very weak. So weak, in fact, that my family can barely hear me when I'm talking. I will go and do my 5 daily rounds and, after that, I have energy. It isn't an energy boost from exercise, there isn't any. Most people with chronic illness couldn't do it otherwise. It is completely brain work. I am only 3 weeks into the program. It is recommended that you try it for 6 months before you make a decision on how well it's working for you. I think it's working. I think it will work more when we add in the next pieces.

2. Adrenals

My ongoing struggle with my adrenals. When your brain is living in fight or flight, you are living on adrenaline. Your body can only do that for so long before it crashes. I had someone ask this past week if this was adrenal fatigue or adrenal insufficiency, which is life threatening.

This is adrenal fatigue. I have been tested for adrenal insufficiency multiple times. I don't have it.
 It is, however, difficult. When my adrenals crash, I can often feel them throbbing in my back. I have unquenchable thirst and blood sugar issues.

Yes, I recognize that sounds like diabetes. It isn't. I've been tested multiple times.

Right now, the most effective thing that we've found for my adrenals is Siberian Ginseng.

This has been a game changer for me.

This helps my adrenals keep up (I do still have to be careful about overdoing it). It helps me deal better with stress and it helps me calm down. When my adrenals are shot, my anxiety is up. 


 
I make a tincture and take it daily. What has gotten me in trouble over the past few months is when I've run out before I had more ready. Last month I went out of town, ran out of Siberian Ginseng and my daughter had this wreck all within a few days.

(She's ok, by the way)

The stress and lack of adrenal support has had me down for 3 weeks. I just started taking some Siberian Ginseng yesterday and felt an immediate boost. From now on, I will do a better job of making sure that I always have it around.

We are also adding Chinese Skullcap. It was on back order so I don't have it yet, but Chinese Skullcap is a nervine. It helps to support the nervous system so it will be great while I'm also doing the brain training. It is apparently great for overthinkers.

Raise your hand if that's you.


No? Just me?
Cool.


3. Mast Cell

This is common in mold illness, unfortunately. With Mast Cell, your body mounts an allergic reaction to foods that are perfectly healthy to everyone else. Dr. Poteet had hinted at it when I went down for treatment at Envita. When I try to eat anything with homemade broth (even short cook meat stock), I get depression. If I try to eat even trace amounts of a ferment, I get panic attacks and run to the bathroom. I'll leave it there. You're welcome.

I have been unable to eat some foods for quite some time that I thought were autoimmune reactions. In retrospect, they might actually have been histamine issues. Right now, we're trying to manage it without medication and I'm doing ok. I limit my histamine in foods. I eat a lot of fresh foods. I have started making up homemade chicken tenders and freezing them. The longer something stays in the fridge, the more histamine it releases so, if you have Mast Cell, leftovers are not your friend. I have found that I can have pork a couple of times a week. Beef is out. I'm eating chicken, pork, turkey and I think I'm going to get some white fish back in the freezer which is also low histamine.

Between this, Quercetin 3 times a day, Vitamin C twice a day and I've added in this homeopathic treatment for histamine (per my doc), I'm doing ok. Will it get better with brain training?

From what I've read, it's possible it will improve, but it's a lifelong condition that you basically manage. I'm fine with being wrong about that, but I haven't found any evidence to suggest differently. That being said, I love gardening and cooking with fresh ingredients so I don't think this keeps me from living a full life as long as we can manage it.


4. The Gut

I asked my doctor last week, if I react to alot of the things you do to heal your gut, what am I supposed to do?

"Great question." He said.

I hate when he agrees with me.

He said that fecal transplant may be something worth looking into. Guys, I'm not gonna lie... that grosses and creeps me out. But it's something I'm praying about.
He said that he is working to get in touch with a clinic in Utah that looks like a promising place to patients. If you don't mind, please pray with us about this.

**********

In closing, I've come so far. I'm so grateful for what God has done for me and the people who have supported us. I get to garden on a daily basis which has been one of my greatest dreams for over 3 years. In the past (now almost 4) years, I have gone to doctor's appointments with books. Books about gardening and books about chickens. Two of my passions. I don't have the chickens <yet> but I'm getting to garden. I get to grow flowers, I get to be outside everyday (even if it's just for a little while when I'm weak), I'm here for my kids and I'm able to do more than I have been able to in years.

Do I have limitations?
Yes, and I'm learning them.

But I'm here. Thanks to God and everyone who has given and prayed for us.
From the bottom of my heart, 

Thank you.