Tuesday, November 8, 2011

busy as a bee hive...well...

I'm as busy as a bee...but the hive part of it is really to reference my battle with hives. If you've followed my journey for any length of time, you know I've had idiopathic hives (which means that the dr can't figure out why i get them) for about 5 years now. I test barely allergic to grass pollen and weed pollen, but nothing else according to their tests. I know I'm sensitive to things like shampoo, detergents, perfumes, hairspray, other soaps (dishwashing, hand soap, especially anything antibacterial), other hair care products (especially "thickening" things that have polymers in them), and sometimes I think foods bother my intestines too. Not all of these things cause me to have hives; sometimes my throat closes up or I feel like I'm having an asthma attack (although I tested fine and don't have asthma per the allergist - but my personal md treated me for asthma all winter long, and it helped - well, I think it did!).

Sometimes my hives will be on my wrists, on the inside, where the skin is thinner - it will start itching before I even see anything, and the lymph nodes under the surface will swell up, not a normal topical reaction. Sometimes I will get them in the palm of my hand/s. Usually, if it's on my hands, feet or legs, it's a mirror response - either both sides break out at the same time, or after one side is done breaking out the other side will start. They don't have to be in contact with whatever is causing it at all!! One time, while sitting at my computer, the outside of my thigh started breaking out with welts, a normal hive response, and then the other side started on the outside of my thigh!! It was weird. : P

Often times, especially in the evenings, I will break out in my scalp, at the base of my neck. The lymph system will swell there too, but often a "normal" hive will travel down my spine to my lower back (or it will start there and travel up!). The "normal" ones will be raised welts and itch like crazy.

I was taking Lodrane last spring, and it worked wonderfully to control them, but FDA removed it from the market after I had been on it a few months. Not fun. It was the first time I could take something without it leaving me with the drugged feeling for the following day. I'm so bummed. :(

I found out about a drug study going on in my area, for people with hives. A new medication. However, for me to participate in the study I have to take 2 out of 3 drug classes on a daily basis. One of them is an antihistamine - like the Zyrtec I take - but I only take it when I absolutely have to - because of the way it leaves me feeling - medicine head for days!! The other drug would either be something like Singulair (which I took daily all last winter to aid my asthma like symptoms) or another type of drug that was for stomach stuff ... I can't recall the class of drug, but know it's available over the counter for gastric stuff - which I have no reason to really take, but wouldn't hurt me. I just can't imagine taking the Zyrtec every day, even the child's dose (which is what I take) because of the way it leaves me feeling - even if I only take it at bedtime...I wake up foggy brained in the morning.

So, in the midst of researching all this, I found out that the hospital my dr is associated with (St Mary's) has a site for Complementary and Alternative Medicines, and hives was one of the things that was in their directory....so I looked it up. It stated that there were very early studies, with not really conclusive results, that showed that SOME people with hives lack a certain acid level to break down meats, and they thought that might have something to do with their hives. They gave several vitamin and supplement levels to take to assist with it - but again - it wasn't found conclusive for everyone, so it had a very low success rating (and of course, consult with your dr before trying anything...).

This brought me back to a time that I was reading about "Eat Right For Your Blood Type" back in the 90's when I was going through stomach stuff with what the dr in MO diagnosed IBS....but later they removed my gall bladder...so who knows what it was. So I went online last night and found a website that gave information on my type blood (A+) and dietary suggestions based on this doctor's findings. The site is here for "A" type blood folks like me: http://www.dadamo.com/bloodtype_A.htm

Now, as I told my husband last night, and he TOTALY agreed with me, I wouldn't take so seriously what the Dr. says about diet, if he didn't peg my personality and lifestyle needs so perfectly!! WHO would ever think that these would be blood type things?? And in Japan they take it so seriously that they will ask you your blood type in dating? or a job interview?? Crazy!! He mentions the same lack of acid in the/my stomach that aids in breaking down meat/protein and also other things that affect it. I ate vegetarian early in my adult life, and although I was healthy in EATING, I was unhealthy in every other area of my life! It was before I knew Jesus...so it was when I was in the midst of "sex, drugs 'n rock and roll" lifestyle. LOL How foolish of me to eat healthy, but drink every night, do drugs (natural and chemical) and be so messed up in my lifestyle discipline....it was the current society that accepted it, and it was (more or less) preached at home to live this way. We had no authority, no respect for any authority, and it showed in our personal habits.

But now, what he says in the book (or on this site) about my "personality type" is pretty true to my nature through and through, and whether it's nature or nurture, God created me this way!! SO, I'm going to give this a try, and see if it helps in my health, my hives, my weight (couldn't hurt!!) and just life in general. I would way rather control the way I eat than have to be on medications the rest of my life!! :)

SO, thank You God, for the creative way you stir the medical minds, created us to be, and offer options and lead us in new thinking ways for new reasons. I trust YOU to remove my hives, and ask that You will make me disciplined to break my addictions to sugar, fat, and anything else not good for me. Help me to draw deep from Your well, to make my body run optimally the way You created it. You are my source for Light, Life and health... and I love You for it God!! <3

Friday, November 4, 2011

late night thoughts...

WOW, what a week. since coming back to the U.S. i've thought of things that happened in North Africa, and tried to figure out why i wasn't longing to be back there...i fully expected to leave a part of my heart there, and knew it would be "common" to think that "this is the place God wants me to be" - but it never happened. i love the field, love the people working there, the people living there. i know the needs - the short window of time to get work done there, to spread the gospel, to tell others about Jesus. i know it all, but it doesn't click. the passion for Jesus is there, but the passion for that place is not. He wants me to stay here (or somewhere else that He hasn't shown me yet).

so, content with being here, i'm totally shocked with the doors He's opening in my life. i've never felt so driven and bold to walk in discipline. i know it's all about the love, grace, mercy - but for me - right now it's all about being obedient. not in a "hell, fire and damnation" kind of way - but in a "God said it so i'm going to live it" way. i want to speak truth (in love), walk straight forward and cut to the chase in teaching. don't make it watered down and easy to swallow - i want to hear it straight from the Bible - the words that Jesus spoke or others wrote unapologetically - and let them seer my ears, and burn into my heart and mind. i want to write them on the doorposts of my house, and want to declare myself a bond-servant of Jesus Christ; willingly putting myself in a posture of servanthood to Him and His purposes.

how brave of me.

and then i crumble, from this place forward. i cry for a friend who has lost a child, too young to be born. i cry for the daughter's of another friend as she battles cancer at too young an age. i cry for my own memories and HIStory that has too many times that i've stepped away from Him, my battered mind and body not understanding the true love of His that He gives me freely, His mercies new every morning.

i read, re-read, try to memorize His words, think on things worthy of thought, and struggle with the thought that He chose me to do His will. i am mesmerized by the thought of a love so strong that it captures my actions and thoughts in my own dreams. how can He love like this, and how can i learn to love like He loves. with abandon.

sigh. i pray that others get it. that this oddity, this boldness that i don't want to come off as self-confidence but only confidence in Him, that in my weakness He is made strong, is only Christ in me. weak little me. uncoordinated and unloved for so long me. ungifted before He gifted me, me. that my purpose in life was not to be a great thinker, a great writer or a great artist, but a great follower. a great servant. i want to be the soft clay that can be made into other things as He wills, over and over again. i want to be the worker in the fields ripe with wheat, whether the field is in my back yard, or the world wide web.

i don't want to speak (or write) words that make others THINK. i want to speak and write words that make people GO and DO. i want to go and do too...carrying the banner...

i want to hate sin, even in my own life, my own mind, my own body - and yet love the sinner - even if it's me. i want to be an instrument of peace, not political peace, but peace of mind for the restless, holding their hand as they reach out to touch the hem of the garment that my Savior wears. i want to believe, and rest in the knowledge that HE LIVES. i want to sing myself to sleep with the words of great hymns, instilling peace in my heart, my mind, my soul.

is this what He wants? i want to know that. so Jesus, make my steps Your steps, make my words Your own. Own me. push all of me out, until i only care about the things You do. only love like You love. only see like You see. let me hear the cries of those that You have a broken heart for, and let my heart break for them too.

consume me God. burn within me. wash over me. sing through me.