Mar 31, 2011

Transition Time

I wrote in this post last week about my Dr. and my physical therapist both recommending a change in my 'career'. I have been thinking a LOT about that and praying a LOT about that! The thing is, I WANT TO TEACH YOGA!! I don't want to get a job doing anything else! I don't want to be a secretary or a banker or anything else. I feel like God gave me this desire to teach Holy Yoga for a reason and He provided in miraculous ways for me to do the training. I keep thinking to myself, "Why would God provide like He did if I were never going to be able to teach?". Well, I obviously do NOT have the answers, but I do feel like I am getting some direction. I am SO thankful that God cares about this kind of stuff in our lives!

I went to therapy again yesterday and talked to the therapist the whole time she was working on me about my desire to teach yoga and stop cleaning. My main question for her was if she thought my body could handle teaching. My myofascial pain is improving~not gone but improving:) I have been able to do yoga three times this week and it didn't kill me!! YAY!! I do have to be extra careful, but the therapist thinks I can do enough to teach. That was the most encouraging news I have had in months!! Seriously!! She also thinks having a job I LOVE would be more beneficial to my health than doing something I really do not like~that is a nice way to put it:)

One good point the therapist made, was that we have never had a chance to see how my body would respond if I were ONLY doing yoga and NOT cleaning. I had never really thought about that before, but it hasn't left my mind since. Where do I go from here? I can't really afford to stop cleaning cold turkey, so my only option really is to keep cleaning AND try to get my yoga up and running. I'm not sure if my body can handle both, but I'll never know if I don't take a leap of faith! God knows my situation and I am really crying out to Him for wisdom. Who knows, He could do a miracle and make a way for me to stop cleaning tomorrow! If not, I am praying He will give me the grace to clean while I start teaching. Praying for lots of students to come my way:)!

Have you had to take a leap of faith recently? I would love to hear about it:) Thanks for reading my blog!

Mar 29, 2011

A Timely Devotion

I read this devotion today and couldn't believe how 'on the spot' it was for me so I thought I would share it with you:) This is from 'Streams In The Desert' by L.B Cowman.

                              " See how the lilies of the field grow" (Matthew     6:28)
      "Many years ago there was a monk who needed olive oil, so he planted an olive tree sapling. After he finished planting it, he prayed, 'Lord, my tree needs rain so its tender roots may drink and grow. Send gentle showers.' And the Lord sent gentle showers. Then the monk prayed, 'Lord, my tree needs sun. Please send it sun.' And the sun shone, gliding the once-dripping clouds. 'Now send frost, dear Lord, to strengthen its branches,' cried the monk. And soon the little tree was covered in sparkling frost, but by evening it had died.
       The monk sought out a brother monk in his cell and told him of his strange experience. After hearing the story, the other monk said,'I also planted a little tree. See how it is thriving! But I entrust my tree to it's God. He who made it knows better than a man like me what it needs. I gave God no constraints or conditions, except to pray, 'Lord, send what it needs--whether that be storm or sunshine, wind, rain, or frost. You made it, and you know best what it needs."

I read this and realized how many times I think I know what is best for my children or myself. I think I have it all figured out. I think I know better than God how to care for things and that is SO NOT TRUE!! I am always fretting and worrying and wanting things to go a certain way because I think that way is best, when really I am killing the tree!! I am trying to learn to STOP trying to control everything and realize that if God can cause the lilies in the field to flourish, or the olive tree to thrive, then surely He knows what is best for me and my family! I can trust Him with my children, my health, my finances, my marriage and anything else in my life, but I don't always live like I trust Him.

Are there areas in your life that you are trying to control or having a hard time trusting Him? I am a control freak and that really needs to change!!

Mar 28, 2011

A Taxing Day

Today has been a LONG day!! It started out with this:
SNOW!! Seriously?!

I thought it was supposed to be SRING! Does that look like spring to you? I didn't think so! It didn't stick around long though so all is good. I'm not a big fan of snow~especially at the end of March.

Today was TAX day~ugh! Before I could get started on taxes, I had to tidy up a bit. I can't concentrate when things are all in disarray. My cats have decided that finding any available paper and shredding it into 5 billion pieces is a fun hobby. I am NOT a fan of their new form of entertainment! I cleaned all that up and then decided I needed to dust and vacuum the computer room. Have you ever noticed that the more you clean, the more you find to clean? I HATE it when that happens!

I eventually was able to sit down and get to work on the dreaded taxes and I decided to get my daughter involved. We home school and I thought what better way for her to learn some 'real life' skills. She was actually very helpful:) We worked until well past lunch and didn't even realize it! The problem with taxes, or ours anyway, is that I have to spend HOURS making sure everything is right because I am self-employed. I have decided being self-employed is a royal pain in the neck! Not only does it make taxes harder, we have to pay self-employment taxes which eats up some of what little income I make. I finally finished up about 7 this evening and then proceeded to head straight for the pain meds.:) Sitting at the computer ALL day does a number on the back!!

All in all, it was a decent day. The snow didn't stick around, taxes are done and my daughter learned a thing or two. Now I am ready to go chill. I have been on this computer long enough:)

Did any of you get snow? Do you find it easier to concentrate when things are tidy?

In other news, I am now able to reply to your comments through email (if your email address is available). Look forward to 'chatting' with more of my readers:)

Mar 27, 2011

Just Another Phase

This is not the most current picture but one my favorites:)
This weekend has been an interesting one! Who would have thought I am old enough to have my firstborn moving out?! My 20 yr. old is out on his own and it seems like just yesterday he was a tiny tot getting into everything. In light of my son moving out, I have been doing a LOT of reflecting and remembering.

When my kids were very small, I remember thinking "This is just a phase". What I didn't realize was that kids go from one phase right smack into another one! I DON'T mean that in a bad way at all. Some of the phases have been hard, but others have been lots of fun. Over the last few days, I could (and have) very easily sit and think about all the things I wish I would have done differently. I wish we would have laughed more and stressed less. I wish I would have just enjoyed my kids more instead of all the things I felt I HAD to get done. I guess every parent probably goes through the 'wishing' and 'what if's'. I have to remind myself that it is ONLY by the grace of God that my kids have turned out okay. I have not been a perfect parent and I don't think there is such a thing, but I have done the best that I knew how. I am grateful for all the lessons I have learned through raising my children. I don't know how many times I have felt like God was smacking me right between the eyes when dealing with my kids~like, duh, I am doing the same thing they are!!

While I have done a lot of reflecting and wishing, I also realize that this moment is what we raise them for. Our job as parents is to raise our kids the best we can~to hopefully know and love God, to hopefully know how to love and serve others, to know how to earn a living and care for a family and to make wise choices (like not living on PopTarts:). Even if they don't always make wise choices, it is our job to love them and show Christ to them. I can't say that I have done any of this perfectly, but I have given them my whole heart. This next phase of my son's life is an exciting one. It is one that I will see what kind of man he has become. I have invested 20 years into this boy's life and I am not done yet. It may look different now, but he will always be my 'child'.

I still have an 18-1/2 yr. old son at home and my daughter is getting ready to turn 15, so my parenting days are nowhere near over. I still need lots of grace and I'm sure I have a lot more to learn about God and myself through my parenting.

P.S. Thanks to all of you lovely readers who left comments on my last post!! Comments are so fun:) I have also had fun giving my blog a face lift! I wanted something cheery and this template makes me happy:) Can you tell I'm ready for Spring?!

Mar 26, 2011

Time on my Mat:)

Ahh, I finally spent some time on my yoga mat this morning! I haven't done yoga in what seems like forever! I have learned a lot about my body since going to physical therapy and my view of yoga is changing~for the better. Before, I looked at yoga as 'exercise' and a 'workout'. I wanted to get the most out of my practice~as in gaining 7 lbs. of muscle over the last year. I always thought that if I didn't sweat and feel like I was going to kill over, then I didn't do enough or do it right. Fast forward to now~I just want to be on my mat! I just want the quiet and stillness that yoga brings. I want to slow down and pay attention to what I'm feeling!

One thing I have learned through physical therapy is that I don't breathe right. You would think that as long as you're alive, you must be breathing right, but that is not always the case. I read somewhere (don't remember where) that 98% of people do not breathe properly. I do what is called paradoxical breathing and it is not good for my health. It basically means that when I inhale, my belly typically moves inward instead of expanding out and making space for more air. When you inhale, your belly should get bigger! When you exhale, your belly should sink in. Pay attention to how you are breathing today and see if you may need to work on breathing properly:)

In light of what I have learned about my breathing, I spent this morning's yoga practice REALLY focusing on my breath. I moved very deliberately, very slowly, and very cautiously. I didn't worry about doing all my favorite challenging poses. I played a very slow, relaxing CD and tried to listen to my body. I don't think I hurt myself this time! I think I'll call my new style of yoga 'Slow Motion Yoga':)

I also like to have a scripture or something to ponder in my practice. This is what I focused on this morning: 

   "Oh, dear heart, what is your condition? Are you torn with anguish? Are you sorely distressed? Are you lonely? Are you pushed aside? Then cry to God. No one else can help you. He is your only hope. Wonderful hope! Cry to Him, for He can help you. I tell you, in that cry of yours will be the pure and true worship God desires. He desires a sincere cry far more than the slaughter of ten thousand rams or the pouring out of rivers of oil (Mic. 6:7)... See then, poor, weeping, and distracted ones, that it is not ritualism, it is not the performance of pompous ceremonies, it is not bowing and struggling, it is not using sacred words, but it is crying to God in the hour of trouble that is the most acceptable sacrifice your spirit can bring before the throne of God."
                                                                         Charles Spurgeon
Hope you all have a blessed weekend!

Mar 24, 2011

Eight LONG Years!

Most of you probably already know that I clean houses for a living. I have cut back a lot recently due to my health and am now only cleaning two houses a week~compared to 5-6 a week. Cutting back has helped some but I honestly think I need a change. I went to physical therapy yesterday and my regular Dr. today and they BOTH suggested a change in my career! The therapist said she thinks I have the worst job for my health! The Dr. suggested maybe going back to school or finding an easier job. I have been cleaning for eight years as of next week and my body is DONE!

The problem is, I don't know where to go from here. I have spent the last 20 years raising children and being self-employed either babysitting or cleaning. The last 'real' job I had was at a bank right before I started cleaning. So, I don't have a lot (or any) experience with all the computer stuff I might need to get a good part time job. Another problem is that I can make more money in less time by cleaning than I could make working part time somewhere. I like being my own boss and making my own schedule. What I DON'T like is what it does to my body!

I am certified to teach yoga, but that is not really an option until I get my chronic myofascial pain under control. It is improving, but not to the point that I would feel comfortable teaching yoga. I guess I really need to pray about what to do. Do I be patient and wait to be able to teach yoga, or do I look for a part time job doing who knows what? Have any of you ever gone back to work after years of not working~for someone else that is? I would love to hear your thoughts:)

In other news, I am back on Savella. I had said before that I was NOT going to take it again, but after talking with my Dr., I have decided to give it one more shot. He assured me that the weak feeling should go away, but it may take a month or two. So, no more Naltrexone~which means I can take pain meds. when needed:)

Hope you are all well! I have been blog reading some, but just haven't been much in the computer mood lately:) Thanks for stopping by!

Mar 18, 2011

Need to Clean it up a Bit

Over the years, I have read LOTS of diet and health books~and I do mean LOTS! Right now I'm reading a book called 'Why We Hurt'. It's not a diet book, but he does talk a lot about how diet can affect our health in positive or not so positive ways. I have probably been on every diet known to mankind, either trying to lose weight or trying to feel better. I haven't really found a specific diet to help with fibro. and I don't think there is one out there. What I DO know, is that eating good, whole, clean foods is best for overall health. It seems like no matter what you read about health, eating whole foods is a common theme. It doesn't matter if you are reading about grain free, low-fat, vegan or whatever. I think most people would agree that whole foods are best regardless of what type of diet you follow. Now, of course, that doesn't mean that we all eat the foods we should. Our taste buds crave all kinds of sugary, processed foods. Our taste buds can be our worst enemies!

The more I read about the benefits of eating whole foods, the more I realize, I'm not doing a very good job at it. You may be asking what a whole food is. Well, it's whole grain oats (the slow cooking kind) instead of boxed cereal. That is just one example. The more a food is 'messed' with before it gets to your table, the less whole it is. Lately, I have been feeling like I am eating way too many processed grains: blue corn chips, gluten free bread, rice pasta, gluten free crackers and cookies. Thankfully, my body starts letting me know that it wants REAL food, like veggies and fruit! The more processed food we eat, the more we usually want.

I have gotten bored with food and have not been motivated to cook. I found myself yesterday wanting a BIG yummy salad, but didn't feel like fixing it and didn't have much on hand to make it an interesting salad. So, what did I eat instead: a sandwich on gluten free bread with blue corn chips on the side. Then I went searching for dessert, but didn't have any. 

I am hoping that today, I will have the motivation to eat more things like this:
Black bean burger with sweet potato

fresh peaches

salad with edamame

green smoothie

These are the kinds of foods that I want to be eating! They do make me feel better than processed food! So, why am I not eating like this? I need to go to the store and I have been lazy about my food choices. How about you, are there any food choices you need to work on?

By the way, that workout yesterday~GOT ME!! More on that another day. Let's just say, I need to learn moderation!! I'm off to physical therapy and will most likely get lectured about overdoing it! Have a great day!

Mar 16, 2011

We'll See...

Do you like to exercise? I DO!! About 12-13 years ago I learned to love exercise for the first time in my life. I had three young children and had some weight leftover from pregnancy that I wanted to lose. So, I learned to exercise and found that it made me feel really good. My main form of exercise has changed over the years from one thing to another, but I have been pretty consistent with doing something. I have done FIRM workouts a LOT along with some other videos I had. I never had a gym membership and didn't see the need for one. Over the last few years, my main form of exercise has been lots of walking and cleaning houses for a living. Then, almost two years ago I added yoga to my list of favorites. I also have a history with some dance.

When my fibro. became full blown about 8 months ago, my ability to exercise was greatly challenged. I found it very difficult to do even the simplest things that I used to love to do! I think this has been one of the hardest parts of fibro. and chronic fatigue. Right now, my physical therapist isn't recommending that I do anything other than some walking~which I tend to even overdo that. In a nutshell, not being able to exercise like I have in the past is driving me CRAZY!! My brain wants to do so much more!! So, today I walked on the treadmill for about 20 minutes and then decided I wanted to try to do some of this:

This is the New York City Ballet workout that I used to do a LOT. I have used the book so much that it is literally falling apart! I did refrain from doing the whole thing though. It felt SO good! I did the ab exercises (most of them) and the floor exercises. I can not lay flat on my back, so I made sure I put a pillow under my head to support my neck. My PT had me have x-rays of my neck recently and there are some issues that were concerning, so I have to be pretty careful.

Anyway, I am just really praying that what I did today will not aggravate my body! Sometimes I don't realize I've overdone it until it's too late~like the time I tried to do P90X~not the smartest decision I've ever made. I just want to find something that I can do that won't hurt me! I feel like I am losing a lot of muscle and turning into a blob of flab! Will my body be able to handle a ballet workout? I guess we'll see~

Mar 15, 2011


What's all the excitement about? Well, my son FINALLY got a car!! Do you know what this means? Let me just paint the picture for you. He is 18 and in college classes 5 days a week and two nights a week. He has a girlfriend that lives about 30 minutes from our house and she doesn't have a car either. I work two days a week and have physical therapy usually two days a week, not to mention grocery shopping etc. So, you can imagine how tricky it has been to get my son where he needs to be at the same time I need to be somewhere. Talk about stressful! I am excited beyond belief that this stress has been lifted off of me!

My kids don't seem to understand that even driving around here and there can be exhausting for someone like me. Like, they REALLY don't get it. I know it has been hard for them to understand why I have such a hard time doing certain things or being on the go all the time. Now, I will be able to be home more instead of going out every single day~woohoo!! There is also the fact that sometimes I would let my son take my car but then that meant if I did NEED to go somewhere, I couldn't. So happy that the problem is solved and he can take his own car to school, work and dating:)

As a follow up to my post yesterday, I have decided to stay on naltrexone, at least until I can talk to my Dr. again. I am trying 5-HTP again and praying that I will feel the benefits from that. No more Savella! I took one dose yesterday morning, but none after that and I can already tell a difference in how weak I was feeling. I didn't sleep well at all last night though, but at least I don't have to run my son everywhere!:) Did I mention that I'm excited about that?!

By the way, sorry I'm not too on top of putting pictures in my post, but I decided when I started this blog that I would not let picureless post keep me from blogging if I felt like blogging:) Have a great day!

Mar 14, 2011

Oh, I Forgot About That!

I know it's been a while since I have posted, but I wanted to talk a bit about being on Naltrexone vs. Savella. I have been on Naltrexone for barely over a month and the main difference I can tell is having a bit more energy. While that is a VERY good thing, it hasn't helped with pain at all. My Dr. said it could take a couple of months before we will know if it is going to work for me. The HUGE downfall to being on Naltrexone is that while being on it, I can't take any kind of pain meds. I can take things like Aleve, but that honestly does NOTHING for my pain. There have been many times over this last month that I would have given my left arm for some strong drugs! Not really, but you get the idea:)

Another downfall to being on Naltrexone is that is does NOTHING for depression. People who are not chronically ill may not understand this, but hurting pretty much all the time and being tired all the time can get pretty depressing! I realized the other day that I was tempted to voluntarily drive my car into a concrete wall! I know~NOT a good way to be thinking! I thought at least I could just lay in a hospital bed and be pumped full of morhine~oh, but wait, I couldn't do that because morphine and Naltrexone would not mix!! Then on top of being hurt, depressed and lying in a hospital bed, I would also be puking my guts up. I decided that was not a good option:) I don't really want to drive into a concrete wall, but I DO want some relief from pain and depression!

After having terribly wrong thinking, I decided maybe I better go back on the Savella. At least it would help with the depression and I could take pain meds. when I need them (after going off Naltrexone). I started Savella back on Friday, but there is something I forgot about when taking it. Yeah, it makes me a little sick at first, but I can handle that.What I can't handle is how weak I feel. I had completely forgotten that I felt like this when I was on it before! I'm talking weak to the point that when I get out of the shower, I have to sit on the toilet seat just to catch my breath and not feel like I'm gonna pass out! I'm talking weak to the point that walking from one end of the house to the other is exhausting~ and I have a small house! I am always tired, but this is a different kind of tired and it only got worse the longer I was on the Savella. How could I have forgotten that?! Well, probably because I was never sure if it was the Savella causing it. I just chalked it up as normal Chronic Fatigue but after being off of it and then starting it back, I now know it is the Savella.

Now what? I think I'm between a rock and a hard place! Now I'm thinking maybe I should just give the Naltrexone more time. But what about the depression? I don't know. I really don't like the idea of trying yet another medication. I have used 5-HTP for depression in the past and may give that another shot. In the meantime, I will continue to do my best to trust God. There have been a lot of things in my life that I have not understood and this is one of them, but I WILL keep going to God! He is my only hope of any kind of peace in the midst of my circumstances. I NEED HIM!! Sometimes I feel like He is right in front of me, but I'm having trouble 'seeing' Him. This is when I have to choose to simply trust:)