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Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Everything Has It's Place

I call myself The Healing Mama. I am an advocate for natural healing and clean eating. I love to utilize the tools God has given  us to maintain a healthy lifestyle and heal sickness. I love my essential oils and eat a paleo diet. I love to learn more about natural living and have made many changes throughout the last few years. I have been known to say things like, "The medical system can't help me." And, it's true. I have an illness not recognized by most health care professionals and even if they recognize it as a real illness, they can't treat it. So, it has left me with a sour taste in my mouth when it comes to doctors and the entire medical profession. And then, something changed. Now, don't get me wrong; I still love my oils, supplements, clean foods, and natural alternatives to pretty much everything. But, something happened that changed how I view the medical profession and I just have to share.
On Friday, May 3rd my husband was involved in a horrible car accident that left him unable to walk. He spent 3 days in ICU before being transferred to the Orthopaedic Unit. He broke multiple bones in multiple places and received hours of orthopaedic surgeries to repair the extensive damage to his body. He was given blood many times throughout his stay in the ICU. He has now been on the Orthopaedic Unit for almost 2 weeks, and will remain in a hospital for the next 3-6 months and will require extensive rehabilitation. It has been so hard. He is my best friend. I have not been without him for the entire 14 years we have been married. In fact, I have spent pretty much my entire adult life aside this man. Watching him go through what he has had to endure this last 2 and a half weeks has been excruciating to say the least. He has been hooked up to machines and IV's and tubes. After his first set of 8 hour surgeries he was even put on a breathing tube. It has been very difficult to watch him suffer, but also amazing to see his strength, endurance, and positive attitude. But, what I have experienced in the hospital during this so far has been remarkable.
Friday, May 3rd at 8:40 am I received the call that nobody wants to get. "Your husband was in a motor vehicle accident. I do not know the extent of his injuries, but he's talking and is aware I'm calling you." Those were the nurse's exact words, I will never forget. I froze and kept saying over and over, "What? What?" And then, the tears came. The nurse was so concerned about me that she tried desperately to calm me down before letting me off of the phone to drive to the hospital. Once I arrived in the ER, I saw that the damage was in fact worse than I had imagined. At one point, I left the room to use the bathroom and on my way across the hall I started to have a panic attack. A nurse came out of nowhere, picked me up off of the floor, and held me in her arms while I sobbed uncontrollably.
Over the next few days I experienced this over and over; the nursing staff being attentive to our needs and doing everything they could do to help in whatever way they could. During our stay in the ICU, my husband had a nurse that would always check on me and make sure I was ok to drive home at night. She was my angel. Once we were transferred out, the nursing staff on the Trauma Unit were amazing. We were only there briefly but the care they gave was wonderful. The short amount of time we spent on that unit is kind of a blur to me now, but they did everything they could for us while we were there. The Orthopaedic surgeon who performed the surgeries on my husband is amazing. He always explains everything to us and answers all of my questions. He is kind and compassionate, and he does not treat us like just another case. He sees us as real people, and it shows. The Orthopaedic Unit (where we still are currently) has become like my second home. I go up there everyday and spend hours with my husband. The staff has been so incredible and make sure we are taken care of. They are just so amazing with my husband. If a nurse has my husband to care for a couple of days and then he is given to new nurses, the previous nurses love to come check to see how he is doing. They want to see his progress and always encourage him. I have seen the nursing staff go above and beyond for us, and I have even told a few that they don't get paid enough for the job they are doing.
The Occupational Therapist that is working with my husband is really awesome too. She modified a wheelchair for him and specifically designed some special stint for his legs. Everyone is always checking on him and giving him such excellent care. The parking attendant that sees me every day always greets me with a smile and says, "Hey, boss" as he lets me through the gate. He doesn't know it, but that little bit of consistency in my day and the "have a great night" like he really means it actually means a lot.
My husband has had to take a lot of pain killers to help manage the terrible pain he is experiencing. This stuff is nasty. But, I know he needs it. I hate having to use pharmaceuticals, but there are cases where they are necessary. I still advocate for natural healing, but essential oils can't heal a broken bone. Essential oils, supplements, clean eating; these things are amazing. They heal bodies. They prevent disease. But, there are some things like broken bones and genetic illnesses that these things cannot heal. They can help aid and quicken the progress.They can manage symptoms. But, other interventions are needed. What I have learned through all of this is that there is a place for the medical field, and I am so appreciative of it. I am so thankful that there are people out there who care enough to be in this field of work. It truly takes someone special to do this job well. I am grateful to the medical staff at the Regina General Hospital for their outstanding service and for making this experience just a little less horrible for our family.
On Friday, May 3rd our life changed drastically. I struggle daily to find my new normal and assure our kids that everything will be ok. I could have lost my husband, but I thank God every single day that he will return home when he's ready. Things could have turned out very differently. The hospital staff has made it much more bearable to go through this. We continue to stay positive and are grateful for every single person who has helped in any way. We are truly blessed.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Who Am I

Lately I have been thinking about who I am; what is my identity. I am a mom, yes. But, what else? For the last couple of years I have been known as the woman with Lyme. I am not saying this is all people see, but that is what I feel I am best known for. Especially now being in a circle of people who didn't know me before my diagnosis. I am the woman with a chronic illness. But, these people didn't know me before. I have found I am seeing myself that way as well, forgetting who I used to be. And so, let me take you back to that girl...
I am the girl who lived on a mountain side in the woods for 6 years. I had to learn how to prime a pump when our well water stopped, learn how to build a fire, drive icy mountain roads into town without any cell service, and haul firewood into the house daily to keep our house warm. I am the girl who hauled 3 kids into town with me to do EVERYTHING on my own like Costco trips, kids' activities, and errands of every kind because my husband worked 12 hour shifts. He was rarely home for supper time and bedtime routines. I was on my own. I am the girl who put myself through an online nail course and passed with flying colors, later to go on to starting a mobile nail service that I was quite successful at! I am the girl who started my own organic skincare line, making skincare products in my kitchen. I am the girl who gave birth to 3 beautiful children, raising 2 of them super close together then adding in a third because we answered God's call. I am the girl who gave birth to number 3 in a bath tub at a friends home without any medical interventions. I am the girl who overcame not being able to breastfeed her first 2 children, and successfully (and joyfully) nursed her third for 3 years. I am the girl who is half way through her seventh year homeschooling, with no plan to stop. I am the girl who loves to write, and started this blog as a place to put down my thoughts and encourage others. I am the girl who has a heart for encouraging others in their health journey, and has a heart to encourage young married couples (both of which God is allowing me to do in very tangible ways).
I am the girl who was diagnosed with a life altering, chronic illness that changed everything for me. I am the girl who gets up each day to fight. I am the girl who speaks out about her illness every chance she gets, not for pity or recognition but to educate others in the hopes I will help someone else. I am the girl who was able to get off of sugar after being a sugar addict, and change my diet completely for the sake of my health.
 I am the girl who never gave up in the face of trials. And, though I may be taking a break from doing these things, it is still who I am. I am that girl. I am a fighter. I may have put some things on hold, and I may need more help now than I ever have, but I am still me. I am still that strong, capable, confident woman. I just need a break. I may never do the things I once did (and, to be honest, there are MANY parts of that life I am thankful I do not have to do anymore!!) But, I know God is calling me to other things and I am both thankful and excited for that. So, whenever I start to see myself as the "sick girl", I will remind myself of who I really am; a woman who never gives up, tries her best at everything she puts her hands to, and perseveres through any trial. I am not just a #lymewarrior. I am a #warrior. That's who I am.

Breakfast Prep

This morning I spent some time preparing a few breakfasts ahead of time. The kids will be pretty excited to have these yummy waffles for breakfast! It is a nice change from the normal breakfast foods we eat. Typically waffles are reserved for brunch after church but they're so easy to make I might just have to put this in the regular rotation as well. I added grass fed collagen to these babies for extra protein, and we will eat these with a TON of grass fed butter and a drizzle of pure organic maple syrup... YUM!! And each waffle has one whole egg, so I don't have to worry about fighting my toddler to eat an egg. 


This is a regular around here, and you can find the recipe on the blog!! This is our favourite grain free banana bread. I like to add some green banana flour for some good prebiotic fiber. We will eat this with some grass fed butter as well.


This is a new one for us that we will be trying tomorrow... lemon cranberry loaf! It smells lovely, and has a ton of eggs so lots of protein. I am hoping it tastes as wonderful as it smells. And if it does it just may make the rotation as well.


What is your favourite paleo breakfast?

Saturday, 26 January 2019

When Healing Doesn't Come

It's a hard place to be; it's hard to be a chronically ill believer. As a Christian, I believe in healing. I believe in miracles. God can and does heal. So, why am I not healed? It's a difficult question, one that does not come with definitive answers. God doesn't cause our sickness. He doesn't give us an affliction just so He can use it for something greater. I believe He does, however, use our afflictions for His glory and to further His kingdom, if we're willing.
Lately I have been thinking about this a lot. If I am believing for healing, if I am praying for healing, why am I still not well? I don't know the answer, but what I do know is what I feel God is calling me to do during this trial. He's calling me to trust Him. It's not easy to trust; it's not easy to let go of doubt and fear and trust that He has it under control, especially when you're crying out in pain or you wake up itchy with hives or you try to do a task that you no longer can do.
Some days I feel like my faith is stronger than others. And, some days I struggle to believe things will ever change. Some days I look forward to a future without pain, and others I fear for what tomorrow will bring. Why? Because I am human. But I know God is calling me to a greater level of trust as I navigate through this. I feel Him calling me to be still and know... To know He is God. To know He is bigger than any affliction, any obstacle, any sorrow or pain.
I have seen God use me in ways that would not have been possible without this illness. He has opened my eyes to a greater level of compassion for others and the ability to raise awareness for a cause that so desperately needs a voice. He has brought this family closer as we pull together to support one another. He has shown me the importance of my full reliance on Him, creating a desperation for Him like I've never had before. He has shown me that, though I am weak, in Him I am strong.
Now, please don't get me wrong; please do not think I am saying this is easy for me. I'm really struggling, if I'm being honest. This really is a day to day thing. But I am really trying to see the good that has come from all of this, and trusting that no matter what happens I have a Saviour who loves me and will never leave me.
Recently I have felt challenged to switch my focus from one of physical healing to a healing of my soul. I have many afflictions that are not physical; wounds that haven't healed and cause a different kind of pain. Perhaps it is time to pray for a different kind of healing. "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139: 23-24 (KJV)
What has God  been teaching you or already taught you through your own trails and tribulations?

Friday, 4 January 2019

Junk-less Food!!


I have been thinking about writing this post for a while now but, well, life has gotten in the way. I wanted to address any misconceptions about paleo kids missing out. Well, I am here to assure you that they are not!! I am going to share with you some yummy, kid friendly, junk (or, junk-less) food! So, here are a few of my kids' personal favourites. First up, PIZZA!! Yes, you can enjoy delicious pizza without all the junk. I like to use this pizza crust https://www.paleorunningmomma.com/paleo-pizza-crust-grain-free-dairy-free/ and then top with whatever toppings we have on hand and LOTS of grass fed cheese!! I have used a boxed paleo pizza crust, but we all much prefer the homemade. 



On my kids' birthdays, they get to choose their own meal. My oldest son chose his favourite this year, pizza and nachos! We don't eat grains (unless they're sprouted occasionally) so we like these grain free taco chips. They're great for nachos, and we love them crushed on our taco salad!



In the summer ( and all year around as well) we love burgers on the grill!! It wasn't actually that hard to switch everyone from eating buns to going bun-less. Occasionally I'll make some paleo biscuits that we will use for a bun, but they're great without as well!! And we LOVE eating them with organic potato fries baked in the oven with avocado oil! We serve them with some yummy honey sweetened ketchup. This was my youngest child's birthday pick this year. Mmmm… now I want fries...



My absolute favourite (and my daughter's birthday pick this year) is tacos! We often eat taco salad, but we absolutely LOVE tacos with homemade cassava flour tortillas!!


One of our most favourite meals right now is paleo chicken strips and sweet potato fries! 








Another favourite is this good old comfort food- shepherd's pie! I like to sneak cauliflower into those fluffy potatoes.



And, we definitely are not lacking in the dessert department. I have a real sweet tooth, so I like to bake yummy treats! We use only raw, local honey or pure organic maple syrup to sweeten things. The kids are so awesome at not complaining (and, in fact, their treats are usually better tasting than what other kids are eating anyway!!)  We bring along our own treats and snacks when we're out and about, at church functions or birthday parties, and the kids never miss out.


I love nourishing my family with healthy foods, and I also love that we don't have to sacrifice yummy foods! So, rest assured, paleo kids don't do so bad. 




Sunday, 14 October 2018

Sleep

Sleep. It is SO important. I never thought I would value it so much. And, I won't EVER take it for granted. Insomnia started for me (in full swing) after the birth of my second child. Before that, I had trouble sleeping but not like this. I didn't have a clue what was wrong with me when it first started happening, but unfortunately it became my normal.

The last few days for me have been hard. Last night was night 4 of no sleep (roughly a combined 11 hours of broken up sleep over 4 nights). So, as you can imagine, I'm not doing all that well.

Because it has been so long since I had a decent sleep, my body is finding it harder and harder to relax. It is in high alert and will not calm down. It amazes me how you can be so tired but your body will not allow you to sleep. I woke up an emotional mess  and just started crying. Lack of sleep wreaks havoc on your mind and emotions. I watched as my family headed to church without me (which is a first for us) and it hurt to not be able to go with. But I feel weak and tired and thought it best to stay home and rest.


It hurts missing out on things with your family, or just missing out on life in general. But, I am trying to not beat myself up too much. I am using every last bit of energy in me to cling to the promises of God. Psalm 4:8 says "In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, oh Lord, make me dwell in safety". Even though I can't see things happening in the natural, I need to trust in Him and His word. He alone sustains me.

My husband keeps reminding me to not give up and to keep fighting. Some days it is hard to fight. But the Lord is my strength, His grace is sufficient for me. And on days when I don't feel like believing that and feel like giving up, He gives me an extra dose of grace and somehow lifts me up and gives me enough strength to push through and keep going.

After not sleeping for this long, your mind starts to tell you that you're not going to sleep and the cycle continues. I am already fighting the thoughts for tonight. My body needs rejuvenation. It needs rest. It needs healing. I need healing. I know my God is able, so I will stand firm on His promises and I will not be shaken.

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
Psalm 62: 1-2

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Fighter

I have been on the verge of a full out relapse for over a week now. Well, not sure you can even call it a relapse because I wasn't in remission as it was. But, things have gotten worse than they had been. Unfortunately, that's how this illness works.  The physical relapse had gotten me so down that mentally I had not been doing well, either. But, I am determined to not give up. I went through some dark days but I kept remembering what (who) I was fighting for.




I mean, look at them!! My family (you can even see my amazing husband in the background). When I took this picture. I was in so much pain I could barely stand up. This past Saturday was my youngest's 4th birthday. We celebrated the night before with cupcakes and presents, but I had not been well all day (and thankful the cupcakes had been baked the day before), and by the time grandparents arrived I was barely mobile.
I managed to make it through presents (removing myself once in the middle of it all to conceal the tears that were falling, trying desperately not to show my kids my pain and ruin the party). Once cake was served (which I couldn't even sample), I headed up to bed while the kids were occupied by all of the new gadgets.



I laid there and just wept; I wept from the pain, but also from the guilt I felt for spending my little boy's birthday party in my bed. I felt awful. I felt like a terrible mom. I felt like the kids deserved better. And then my wonderful husband, my hero, came up to lay with me, to let me cry and vent, but then also to talk some sense into me. I am so very thankful for this man.
A couple of days later, I was asked to speak at a Lyme fundraiser. I was so grateful for the opportunity but I was also still not myself mentally. When I got up there, I said what was on my heart. But, once we left, I felt like I didn't say enough. I didn't do enough. I felt like I hadn't done what I went there to do. But, as the evening unfolded and I was at home beating myself up, I received 3 different messages from complete strangers who had heard me speak and it was clear to me that my voice was in fact heard. I learned a valuable lesson: I cannot trust my own thoughts.
Well. I feel like I can't just leave it at that, you need a recipe!! I tweaked this vanilla cupcake recipe that I made for my husband's birthday to accommodate my little guy's request for chocolate cake. I omitted the vanilla (mostly because I didn't have any on hand) and added some organic cocoa and some stevia sweetened chocolate chips.

As you can see, he thoroughly enjoyed them :)


My head is feeling a little more clear and I feel like the dark cloud is lifting. My body is still struggling, but I am thankful I that I feel the ability again to fight. When my mind wanders it's hard to keep pushing forward, but I am a fighter.