Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Posts tagged ‘Doctor’

Blatant Nepotism and Back to School

I took Olivia to get her sport’s physical this week.  We waited an hour to see the Doctor.  Apparently, waiting until the week before school to get your kids’ physicals is what all the cool moms are doing.  The clinic was running a little (a lot) behind.

I didn’t mind.  I liked talking to my girl.  When we were sitting in the lobby, Olivia gave me some career advice.  She said that I should open an office up right at our house and become a “Christian Organic Doctor who sells wellness”.  I’m like, I have no idea what that is, but I am TOTALLY in, Olivia.

She said that when she’s older she’d be my partner.  But, then she said she isn’t actually interested in any of that stuff, so she thinks she’d rather just watch my patient’s kids.  I love it when your children figure your life out for you.

I’m sad again.  I’m sad every single start of every single school year since I’ve had a school age child.  Zeke pointed out that going back to school does not really change my schedule at all, so there’s no reason for me to be sad.  I know that is true, but I’m sad any way.

Good byes have always made me sad.  Every fall I know we are saying good bye to another piece of our kids’ childhood.  It won’t be long before the last pieces are gone.

It’s going to be messy when all these kids go for real.  I know it.  I’ll be sad. I know one person for sure who will be sadder.  The kids have this one BFF who plays with them all the time.  This guy wants the kids to spend all their free time with him.  The other day the kids were gone, and this guy told me he felt so sad and lonely.  He didn’t know what to do with himself.

I said, “Scott.  I think you need to find some friends your own age.  These kids aren’t meant to live with us forever.”

He had a lonely look on his face.  He said, “I know.”

This is the down side of marrying a guy who has no interest in rubbing elbows with the movers and the shakers at the country club.  The guy who, if I’m remembering right, has never had a single “guys night out” in 22 years.

Guys like that  take their kids growing up pretty hard.

I’ve got a few years to figure out how to find some kind of life for Scott and me by ourselves, without kids.   I might get him into some pottery or paper mache classes.  Perhaps, interpretive dance?  If I keep this up, he for sure is going to ask the kids if he can live with them in their dorms.

Olivia has enjoyed her summer. She has sweet friends.  They have been busy filming and editing videos for their Youtube channel.  Is there anything at all about modern day child hood that looks like our own?  I recognize none of it.  I thought you were supposed to snap beans and wait for “Love Boat” reruns in the summer.

I was watching the girls’ videos and I thought they were funny and cute.  I’m not one bit biased, either.  I told the girls that the videos were awesome.  I said most of them were so long, that really only their Mother’s would have it in them to stick with it until the end.

I told the girls that if they made a short little video, I would love to put it on my blog.  Because, really?  just how long can people listen to me blather?  There’s gotta be something more interesting than that.  Like, a middle school girl’s fashion video.

Happy Back to School to all the wonderful families out there.  Blessings on you and your sweet children.  I am rooting for you!

 

 

It is NOT Cancer

I thought I was going to have a busy week at work.   Instead, I’m at the hospital.  I’m not here for me.  I’m here with my sister.  I’m here FOR my sister.

My sister, Heidi, and I are two years apart.  Exactly two years apart. Two years to the day.

Heidi and I are a lot alike.  We look alike; we  sound alike.  We can even trick our husbands on the phone.  Those guys  love it when we do that.

Heidi and I are alike, but we are also very  different.  Heidi is calm, humble, slow to speak, and a little shy.  She is gifted in music, and she loves hanging out in her garden.  Yeah.  We’re so different.

When we were little, our family would accuse Heidi and me of having a secret language.  In a large group, we could often be found whispering to each other.  We were probably being rude. I don’t even remember what we were saying .  I think there is a decent chance I was being a jackwagon, and Heidi was laughing. Heidi was always an appreciative audience.  She thought I was funny;  for some reason she liked listening to me talk.  We all know I have plenty to say.

Sometimes,  all that talking got me in to trouble with people.  Still does.   Heidi was quiet, but she was strong.   I think she would have made a great warrior, in a different time and age. When my talking got me in trouble, Heidi came to my defense.  I think we were a little bit like Romona and Beezus.  I never meant to get myself in trouble, but there I always was.

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When Heidi left for college, we wrote each other all the time.  That is so weird.  We wrote actual letters on actual paper.  We gave those letters to a messenger pigeon, and hoped for the best.  No, we aren’t exactly that old. We at least knew to put the messages in a bottle.

When it was my turn to go to college, I followed Heidi.   We were suite mates my Freshman year.  If it weren’t for falling in love with our husbands, I’m pretty sure Heidi and I would have stayed roommates throughout life.  We would have been like those elderly sisters who lived together in “Little House on the Prairie”.  I really get those ladies.

Heidi and I have talked to each other almost every day for our entire lives.

Heidi has been having some health issues for a while.  On the 4th of July she and her family hosted all of our relatives at her house.  I could tell she had her brave face on the entire day.  She didn’t feel good.  She had a fever.  We thought that she had a cold.

A month later, Heidi still wasn’t feeling good.  She still had a fever.  She also had severe abdominal pain.  She went to the emergency room one night.  The Doctor there told her she had a large tumor on her ovary, other cysts,  and lesions in other places you don’t want lesions.

The Doctor had some big long name for the tumor.  I don’t remember the whole word, I just know that “carcinoma” was part of it.  The E.R. Doctor said that she needed to see an oncologist right away.  Before she left the E.R., the Doctor asked her if he could pray with her.  That is a super good way to scare a patient.

Heidi couldn’t get in to see the oncologist for a week or so.  Meanwhile, everyone in the family was praying for the best, planning for the worst.  We’ve had the worst happen before.  We aren’t so naive any more.  We all know that one moment you can be laughing and eating dinner with your family, and the next  you’re on the floor, hyperventilating in a public place.  Bad stuff happens.

I learned everything I could about ovarian cancer.  It’s a sad thing to learn about.

I asked God how he thought I could live without Heidi.  I couldn’t picture it.  But, of course, God can ask you to do all sorts of things you never thought you could do.  We can’t do it.  Not on our own, anyway.

I was feeling really sorry for myself, and sorrier for Heidi.  I was sorriest of all for Heidi’s family.  I was making a secret plan in my heart.  I thought there was a chance it might help Heidi’s family a little to know that I could be strong.  Maybe if I was strong, some of my strength would spill over into their hearts, and help them be strong.  I decided that this thought would be the motivation I needed to keep my head above water.

Heidi’s oncologist took one look at her, and told her he did NOT think she had cancer.  I guess people with cancer look like they have cancer.  Heidi’s blood work indicated that she did have cancer, so did the tumor on her ovary.  Still, the doctor wasn’t buying it.  He said she looked too healthy.

The Doctor was right.  Heidi has Endometriosis. The Doctor said it was a severe case; he took all sorts of things out of her body.

Now I am in the hospital.  I’m watching my sister sleep. She is in a lot of pain.

Endometriosis is nothing to be happy about.  But, we are really happy about it.   I have thanked God for allowing Heidi and I more time together on Earth.  I trust Him.  I have been thanking Him for a lot of things lately.  Mostly, I am thanking Him for reminding me that my time on Earth is just a short stay.  I should make the best use of my stay.  I should be grateful, industrious, loving, forgiving and faithful.  I wish I didn’t need reminders.

I wish people didn’t get cancer.  I wish everyone had perfectly healthy bodies, and could live together forever without any problems.  Well, I guess we are going to do that, just not yet.  Not here.

Right now is the time to understand that happiness, joy, pain and suffering are all to be embraced.   I for sure think we are on Earth  to have fun;  I also think we’re here to be refined.  We’re here to learn and to grown.  Hard stuff makes me grow.

My sister Katy sent the rest of my sisters and Mom this beautiful passage while we were waiting for Heidi’s diagnosis.   I don’t know why I loved these words so much.  I do.  I have reread them many times. I don’t always get what God is trying to tell me.  I so get this.  It’s becoming my life’s motto:

 

A Time for Everything

1There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

4a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

6a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

9What do workers gain from their toil? 10I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yeta no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

old miki and heidi

Why I Think I Have ADD Do You Like My Sweater?

My mom recently posted this picture on Facebook:

ADD

I have been thinking about that little upside down hanging girl ever since I first saw her. I totally get her. She looks like she’s having fun, right? I mean, what’s not fun about hanging upside down and swinging like a monkey? That’s a good time.

I’ll tell you what’s not fun about it. What’s NOT fun are those four little punks standing next to her. What a bunch of goody two shoes. They’re paying attention to the teacher and are going to know exactly where to put their arms and feet at the dance recital. They’re going to make poor little monkey girl look bad; she’s going to just have to stand there and wave at Grandma to try to distract folks from realizing she doesn’t have a single idea what she is supposed to be doing. You know how I know that’s going to happen to her? Because I AM her.

On one of our many, many trips to the Doctor over the years, I remember a conversation with a Pediatric Neurologist. I would guess that about 95% of the Doctors we have spoken to in search for Eddie’s cure have been really terrific. Just the tiniest portion of them, in my opinion, have needed a gentle throat punch. This Neurologist was one of them. She was crabby and condescending. I knew right away that I wasn’t going to be her fan. One reason I knew that was because she told me that I probably had ADD.

Really? You’re going to have a 15 minute conversation with me and tell me I have ADD? I told her that I was pretty sure she had Rheumatoid Arthritis. Just based on my initial tests, which I gave her magically, with my brainwaves. You can’t diagnose someone with ADD without some kind of official test, right? I didn’t think so.

But, do you remember that I’m a bit of a hypochondriac too? I couldn’t just let her suggestion sit there without pulling out all my medical journals and taking all the on line tests to figure it out for myself. Here’s what I learned. I am on the ADD spectrum. Here’s how I feel about that. A lot of other people are too.

I think many of the people I know have some ADD and OCD tendencies. I know that ADD and OCD can become debilitating, but for a lot of people (like me) it’s just a nuisance, and something you have to try to manage. And, I guess, sometimes, in a weird way, those gene mutations (that’s the scientific explanation that I made up) can occasionally help you succeed as well.

After my conversation with the Neurologist, I started figuring a lot of things out. Do you realize how useful this ADD knowledge would have been to me when I was younger? I drove my parents crazy. I was a disaster. And now I KNOW that is because I have a MEDICAL CONDITION!!!! A medical condition, people! How are you supposed to get your homework done, keep your room clean and remember to go to piano lessons with a medical condition? Now I have proof that all that stuff wasn’t my fault. My parents were just being cruel to me and my medical condition.

I remember many times being the only one in my grade school class to forget to return important papers. I also have some vague memories of teachers making a fuss over me in first grade. I was given some special testing, and there was some talk about moving me ahead a grade. Then they spent more time with me. They changed their minds. They decided reading well wouldn’t help me in the next grade if I couldn’t actually remember to do my work or bring my backpack to school.

I also remember when I graduated from high school, I came home from the graduation ceremony in my cap and gown. I was so excited! I pulled in to the drive way and my dad came out of the house and said, “Go back to school. You have to return your cap and gown. You were the only one in the class who didn’t understand that is what you’re supposed to do.”

That stuff didn’t bother me at all. It happened all the time. It was part of living with my brain. I almost always didn’t hear instructions, because I almost always was hanging upside down, thinking about something else when the instructions were being given.

I started thinking about my life as a young mother too. When my children were pre schoolers, I would meet my friends with our children at McDonalds every Wednesday morning. One morning, our 3-year-old little girls were up in the slide for quite a while. They were especially quiet. When they came down, all of them had lipstick on their lips, cheeks and faces. Olivia had given them makeovers.

One of my friends was a super mom and drill sergeant. She was mad. Her girls NEVER played with make up. She wanted an explanation from me. I said, “I’m sorry. Olivia really likes lipstick. I gave her mine this morning.”

She said, “Did it ever occur to you that just because your kids want to do something, doesn’t mean they always can?”

I said, “No. That hardly ever occurs to me. But, I’m going to try harder.”

My ADD tendencies have certainly affected my parenting. It’s soooo hard to keep track of other people, when you can’t keep track of yourself. I mostly think kids are awesome, funny and clever. I’m very weak at discipline. It’s tedious.

I recently ran into another mom from my children’s preschool days. We lived in another town then. We were laughing and catching up. She said, “I was just talking to some of our other friends the other day. We were wondering how you are surviving without us to manage your calendar.”

I told her, “Not very well, at first.” It did take me a while to adjust when I moved away from those ladies. They would just tell me where to be and when to be there; story time tomorrow at 10:00; park at 3:00 this afternoon; Karen’s house for lunch. I think it’s called enabling. I love enablers.

When I started thinking about having ADD, I started feeling sorry for Scott. What kind of a joke is it, to have someone with ADD tendencies paired up with someone with OCD tendencies? Maybe it happens a lot, because you’re attracted to people who have strengths where you are deficient. I like that theory.

Scott and I had some decent challenges in our first 5 years of marriage. Now I know why. He wasn’t fond of the way I started sentences and didn’t finish them when I became distracted with my own thoughts. Or, I would start with one thought, and then abruptly move to another. Sometimes I would start in the middle of a thought. I’d say something like, “…he isn’t going to need the car on Friday.”

He’d say, “What is that supposed to mean? Who’s he? What car?”

It’s always the third degree with him. He likes information, and he wants to know the details. Every painful, boring, mind numbing detail. I hate details.

I was always thinking, “Jeez, do I have to spell it out? Can’t you just figure out what I mean, without me having to say it?”

He can’t. It doesn’t work. I have learned that you actually have to say the words that you mean for people to hear. It’s super annoying.

It was kind of nice to figure out why my brain has been sort of fogged over my whole life. It also made me feel badly. I don’t like having malfunctioning parts, especially if I have passed them down to any of my children, and I have…to at least one.

I knew there had to be something positive in this new information. There is. You know those drill sergeant, super moms? They’re not very flexible. I’ve been on committees with moms like that. They’re good. They’re really, really good. They are organized. They follow through. They are reliable, but they find compromising to be more difficult. They have a hard time switching gears. I don’t.

Oh, you want to change the color of the decorations? Sounds good to me. What’s that you say? You want to have the event on a different day? Sounds good to me. Oh, you don’t like the venue. You have a better idea? Sounds good to me.

I’ve been in the middle of conversations where more than one woman is trying to enforce her agenda, because she’s really attached to it. I pretend to get what all the fuss is about, but I really don’t. Because it all sounds good to me.

Let’s also not forget that a person with ADD has the ability to hyperfocus. When you want to accomplish something at warp speed, get someone with ADD to get excited and engaged about your idea. A lot of folks with ADD do not know how to pace themselves when they’re excited or engaged. They will get something done in a fraction of the time it would take a normal person to do the same thing. What is strange to me, is that Scott actually told me that I had this trait many years before I read about it in a book, or knew it was related to my “Medical Condition”! Oh, you know I love a good medical condition.

The other positive is thinking about how I have developed strategies for coping over the years. I wish I could have learned some management techniques 35 years ago. I didn’t. I had to figure things out on my own.

One of my best strategies is right in that picture up above. It’s those four little girls who are NOT hanging from the bar. See how they’re all looking at the teacher? They are listening and learning what they’re supposed to be doing.

I was just kidding when I called those cute little girls punks. They’re actually super sweet, and they’re going to save their upside down friend’s butt…again. They’re going to whisper in her ear at the recital and tell her when she needs to run out on stage, when she needs to point her toes and when she need needs take a bow. They are so nice to her.

Plus, that little upside down girl is going to be watching her four friends. She sees how nicely they act. She likes the way they take care of their things and do things in a nice, logical order. She knows her brain doesn’t want to do things the way they do, but she is smart. She can watch them, and copy them. When she does copy them, she realizes their orderly ways are good. She likes order; it helps her relax.

So, thank you to all my sisters and friends for paying attention while I was upside down. You didn’t even know how much you were helping me, but you were. Who needs medication, when they have sisters and friends like you? Because I really think I have ADD do you like my sweater?

How I almost Died

When I tell my family that I have a brain tumor, they say, “Are we out of milk?” Sometimes I start coughing. I’ll keep coughing so hard that I feel like I could pass out. So, I do, on the kitchen floor, in front of everyone. I gasp loudly and then I lay there, completely limp. My eyes stare at the ceiling. I think I look just like people who die on TV. My family walks around me.

I guess you can only claim fatal illnesses and fake your death so many times. Eventually your family becomes suspicious, and then they just stop believing you. I told my family that one of these days I’m going to really play the thing out, all the way to the funeral. I’ve always wanted to know how sad people would be if I died. I would sit in the back of the church in a disguise. No one would recognize me. I’d watch everybody weep. I would get really choked up just thinking about what a good person I was.

I’d also pay attention to who wasn’t there. I’d finally know who was just pretending to be my friend. When I decided to come back to life and tell everyone it was just a joke (People are going to laugh so hard. That’s really a good one), I would know who I didn’t have to be nice to any more.

Scott has told me that I have diagnosed myself with more fatal illnesses than anyone he knows. One time I was getting a migraine. Only I didn’t know it was a migraine. I’ve never had a migraine. I only knew that my Grandma and my Dad have lost part of their eye sight when they got older.

I was sitting on the couch with a slight headache. My vision started to blur. I just kept saying, “This is it. I knew this would happen. I’m going blind. It’s going. I’m losing my eyesight.” I tried to take in every detail of my family’s precious faces, knowing it would be my last chance before I was enveloped in complete darkness.

I was scared and convinced. So convinced that Scott started to worry a little about my impending blindness. The visual disturbances eventually passed. I said, “Oh, forget it. I’m not going blind. I guess it was a headache.” I don’t know why Scott gets so annoyed. You just have to get used to his moods.

I am lucky to have a boss that totally gets me. I may not get any sympathy at home, but at work it’s different. My boss and I know that we’re always just moments from getting terrible news, and we’re prepared. If my boss has a health issue, she comes to me. I look it up on line and tell her it could be one of three things. They’re all fatal. She says, “I knew it!” The Doctor told her it was nothing to worry about, and that’s why we both know you should never listen to Doctors.

A few years ago I had a bad eye infection. It spread across part of my face. Eventually I got a fever and the chills. I went to the emergency room by myself, thinking that I would get some antibiotics and come back home. The attending physician was kind of a silly guy. He was making jokes when I first sat down on the examining table. Then he quit laughing and he said, “This is serious. We may have to med flight you to another hospital.” I was ready for this.

I called Scott. I was crying and told him he had to come to the hospital right away. When he got there, I was alone in the examination room. I told him what the Doctor said. Scott patted me on the back. He gently suggested I hold off on panicking until we saw the test results.

Scott’s crazy. He wouldn’t recognize a life-and-death situation if he was standing in the middle of it. And, believe me, he was standing in the middle of it.

I insisted that while we waited Scott needed to take notes on my last words and wishes. I told him that marrying him was the best decision I ever made.

I said, “I want you to move on with your life. You have my blessing to remarry.”

He said, “I don’t think we…”

“Shhh, ” I said putting my finger to his lips. “You musn’t argue. You can’t let my memory get in the way of your happiness. I only ask that she love our children. And, please, make sure the children know how much I loved them.”

He wrote it down. At least I think he did. I packed years worth of wisdom and guidance for him to pass along to the children into those 15 minutes.

The Doctor interrupted my dictation when he came back in the room. He said, “false alarm”. It isn’t what I suspected. We’ll just keep you for the night and give you intravenous antibiotics. You’ll be fine to go home tomorrow.

I looked at Scott and I said, “Now THAT was a close call. There’s nothing like a near death experience to put things into perspective. Am I right? I can’t even imagine how good it must feel to have me back. ” He didn’t say anything.

Emergency

Why I Did Not Kill a Guy…

You may remember my last post was on positive thoughts. Those work. You may not think talking about killing is very positive. But, see I’m talking about NOT killing someone. So, THAT actually is good. Meditate on it.

Last week we had an inspector come to our house to evaluate our levels of environmental allergens. This is a guy you never want to invite to your house. We hired him to tell us what our potential problems are and where. We had an air quality test done a while back. Everything checked out fine. Apparently those tests can change day to day and are not totally reliable.

We have been asking ourselves (again) if there is something in our house that is making Eddie sick. If so, we were prepared to just burn the thing down. Well, after FIVE hours of going through every inch of our living space with a fine tooth comb, the inspector told us that our house is in pretty good shape. And by pretty good shape, I mean, we live in complete filth.

I do NOT recommend anyone go through this exercise. Bru – Tal! If you are a germaphope and you have this guy come to your house, just make sure you make your reservation at the mental institution in advance; that is where his information will send you.

I am aware that I am not a 5 star housekeeper. I think I might give myself 2.5 stars. Then again, I have been known to be overly confident. Maybe I am actually a 2 star. I know what a 5 star is too. My mom, Aunt and cousins are five stars. They’re like “The Ritz Carlton”, I-dust-the-top-of-my-water-heater-every-week type of housekeepers. I’m like the “Motel 6”, I haven’t-seen-my-kitchen-counter-in-a-month type of housekeeper.

Well, turns out “Motel 6” housekeeping isn’t cutting it in the allergen free department. Did you know that dust is actually human skin? We shed skin all day, and it lands on our TV and underneath our refrigerator. And if knowing your skin is hanging out on the TV doesn’t impress you, then I can tell you that mites live in that skin dust. These little dust mites poop all day long. Dust mite poop is toxic. Isn’t that awesome?

More good news is that your bedding is full of this shed skin. So, sheets are the perfect breeding ground for mites and their turds. COME ON, MAN!!!! Don’t you think I have enough to worry about? Now you’re telling me that my family is sleeping in poop?

The inspector did other fun things, like show me mold that is growing in the refrigerator (in places you need to get on your hands and knees and use a flashlight to see.) And, he explained that the beautiful antiques in our house are also home to mold. Right there. That is the time I considered delivering a karate chop to his neck.

After the inspector’s horror house tour, he told me our home checked out pretty well. Then he handed me a 5-page, double-sided list of things we need to do to rid our home of allergens. Here are just a few of the items on my list:

1. Buy new pillows
2. Wash sheets every week
3. Spray vinegar inside toilet tank
4. Spray vinegar and wipe down underneath and all over every antique (getting rid of them is even better).
5. Buy special attachment for vacuum to clean the bottom/underneath the refrigerator.
6. Pull everything out of the refrigerator. Clean every inch.
7. Buy a new dehumidifier with a hose.
8. Recaulk the bath tub.
9. Dust every few days.
10. Spray insulation in all openings in the basement.

There are at least 200 more items on this list! Excellent.

We have already started. We are not expecting this to cure Eddie. But, it is definitely going to help (I’m a positive person, remember?). People with healthy immune systems have the luxury of being able to lay in poop and serve themselves up plates full of mold, if they’re in the mood for it; no harm done. But, if your health is compromised, all this stuff is taxing on your system. We’re going to bust through this list, and it is going to help Eddie feel better. And for THAT reason alone, I let that inspector live to see another day.

Positive Thoughts

positive thinking

Have you experienced paradigm shifts in your life? You’re going along knowing what you know, ignoring what you don’t want to know, or don’t believe. Then, suddenly, something happens that makes you understand things in a new way. You wonder why you passed by this information so many times before without grabbing on to it. It was there. You just weren’t ready for it.

I have recently experienced a paradigm shift. Have you heard people say that positive thoughts attract positive results? I think that when I used to hear this, I interpreted it as, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!” I am a practical girl at heart. You know, a let’s-just-stick-with-the-facts kind of person. I have never been keen on taking time to meditate on inspiring words and slogans. I’ve got things to do and a whole semi truck full of problems to solve. I like action.

We are seeing a new Doctor. Yes, another one. Every time we see a new Doctor, I find myself wishing we could just fast forward through all the stuff we’ve done hundreds of times before. I want to skip the part where we tell the Doctor this long, ridiculous story that we hate to tell, and get to the part where the Doctor tells us if there is anything she knows that we have not heard before. Because, we’ve heard a lot, sister. We’ve heard a lot.

This Doctor told us that Eddie’s body is reacting (allergic) to almost everything. We knew that, but it’s a little reassuring to have someone else confirm it. So, I’m not going to go in to all the other stuff we learned and the stuff we’re going to try; I just wanted to share the highlight of this appointment.

The Doctor did a demonstration. She had Eddie hold up his arm straight in front of him. She pushed down on his arm, and he was to resist the pressure. While he resisted, he was supposed to say two different statements. The first was, “I am getting better.” The second was, “I am not going to get better.” When he made the positive statement, he was able to resist the pressure. When he spoke in the negative, his arm weakened, and the Doctor could easily push it down. SHABANG!!!! Paradigm shift!!!

Now THAT is practical information that I can use. Positive thoughts and positive talk can help my son get better. I am so ON it!! See, I’ve been doing it all wrong. I have been hedging my bets and managing my expectations all these years. That’s all wrong. Sure, I can’t live in crazy town, making up fairy tales. What I can do is speak and pray into existence what I hope to see. That is something practical I can do. Something that will help.

I have a great friend who has been telling me about this mind/body connection for years. I’m so sorry that I only heard her say, “Blah, blah, blah!” Let me tell you about this friend. You would hate her. Not only is she beautiful and looks like she could be on the cover of a fitness magazine, but she has five kids and is even nicer than she is fit. See? It’s better to not know people like this exist. Wait, that isn’t very positive.

I mean, “I am beautiful. I am nice. I am fit.”

Anyway, several years ago this fit friend of mine some how got it in her head that we would be good training partners. She is a runner. A very good runner. I had done a few races, including a couple of half marathons. I could have sworn I told her that I finished “running” with the speed walkers (now there’s a cocky bunch) in my last race, but people hear what they want to hear.

We were out training one day. I was having a hard time keeping up. I told her to just go ahead and let me run at my own pace. She started talking about this positive thinking stuff. She said I needed to believe that I could accomplish a faster pace. I needed to tell myself that I would run a 7-minute mile. I tried it. I said to myself, “Self, you are a fast runner. Your legs are lean and strong. You run fast, and you are running a seven-minute-mile.”

It worked. I ran the first mile faster than I have ever run a mile in my life. Then, “Self” had a morsel of wisdom to say in return. Self said, “You are on CRACK, lady!” I begged my friend to run ahead, and she finally did. My legs didn’t know how much I believed in them, because those suckers boycotted big time. They seized with cramps. I had to start walking. I seriously considered crawling. It took me so long to get back that my friend finally came back in her car to get me. She was worried about me, and was certain something serious had happened. She knew it couldn’t possibly take so long to finish the route. I told her my body knows no boundaries.

I kept trying to use my friend’s advice. When I was on long training runs by myself, my positive thoughts were like this, “I’m not sure I can keep going. Oh, that car is going fast. What if that car hits me? If that car hits me, I can stop running and I can rest in the hospital. I hope that car hits me.” I can save you some time, and tell you that line of thinking does not improve your running times either.

I know speaking, praying and thinking in the positive is not a magic wand. But, being positive is a tool I have not been using to help Eddie. Remember, I told Eddie I would use everything and anything to restore his health? I think when you get beaten down in life, you start to think you are better off hoping for nothing. Better to get what you expect, than continually experience crushing disappointment. There may be some truth to that theory, and let me tell you I have been clinging hard to that mindset for years; what I understand now is that thinking and praying that way is not physically, emotionally and spiritually helpful to Eddie. Helping Eddie is all I want to do.

From now on I will be praying like this, “Dear God, thank you for the healthy body you will be giving Eddie. Thank you for the Doctors that you will be leading us to that will solve this complex issue. Thank you for trials that are making us stronger and smarter.”

Do you think it is a coincidence that our Pastor pointed something out that confirmed this new paradigm? Let’s be clear, I’m kind of hit and miss on my Bible trivia. But, it’s for sure my go-to-guide. Our Pastor pointed out a passage in the Gospel of Mark. The disciples were complaining about not having bread. Jesus said (and this is a direct quote), “Listen, you silly little guys. Don’t you remember how I fed thousands of people with a few fish and a few loaves of bread? Why you gotta be so negative? Have some confidence in my miracle making, and let’s stay positive, okay?” There you have it. I know what you’re thinking. I should be teaching theology somewhere. I’ve just got a lot going on right now though.

Now when you meet me on the street, instead of me saying things like, “No one knows what’s wrong. We may never figure it out.” I’m going to say things like, “We know more than we ever have. We are working on a cure right now and Eddie is going to be well!” Wow. That just feel good, and it works. I’m totally running a seven minute mile today!

more positive thinking

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