Friday, February 26, 2016

Life Continues to Get BETTER!

Life has been pretty hectic - I have not returned to work since moving back to Kentucky in December.  My husband went back to NY to work as the money was significantly better.  He will be there until June.  We wanted to give me about 6 months of further healing without having to worry about me going back to work.

Skin wise - doing awesome!  About a few days after my 3 year anniversary, I had some itching around my neck - no rash or eczema or redness.  Just intense itching for a few days.  I attributed that to something like an anniversary flare but without the flare!  It has since gone away and there was no obvious reason or cause for the intense itching (oh, and yes I scratched!  But no skin breakdown whatsoever!!).

Energy wise - was not doing so hot the first month I got back to KY - I was fatigued often and easily. I changed our whole family diet back to an all natural one - one with raw milk, grass fed beef, pasture chicken and eggs, organic produce, and lots of fermented foods/drinks.  I personally have to stay away from dairy and gluten or else I get itchy with hives and my asthma flares.  But this past month I have been FULL of energy.  Getting things done and not sitting down.  The house is in order, the kids are all up to date with school work with a more difficult curriculum, and I have finally started our new business.

So why the increase in energy?  Well I tried some snake oil!  OK, not really, but to many what I am doing is equivalent to trying snake oil.  But it seems to be working for me and working well.  I decided to try a Rife machine - deals with frequencies and in helping the body reset and/or heal areas of problems.  I have done something similar in the past that dealt with frequencies and had good success as well (about 5 years ago).  I was reading back on a post I did in January and I was VERY tired and lacked energy.  So compared to 5 weeks ago, I am doing GREAT!  (I started the Rife machine about 3 weeks ago).  I have also seen an improvement in my asthma since starting the rife machine even though I have not focused on that area yet.

As for my asthma - still using my nebulizer daily but continuing to refuse any other medications including the inhaled steroids my doctor thinks I need.  My change in diet has helped significantly and I'm no longer waking up at night to use my inhaler.  Even though I have been off all dairy and gluten the past few weeks, I am still having asthma symptoms after I eat.  I'm still convinced it's because my gut is still not balanced and healed.  In order to help this along, I am doing a 10 day juice/smoothie fast starting tomorrow.  I tried going the bone broth way, but unfortunately bone broth is very high in histamines and right now I need to go the low histamine way.

As for supplements, I am currently taking my active B12/folic acid tab 2 times a week, magnesium for my breathing, gelatin for gut healing, L-glutamine for gut healing, cod liver oil for vitamin D, and now today starting bovine colostrum for gut healing.  That's it!  My lab work done 2 weeks ago was great!  My liver enzymes which have been elevated for over 12 years are all within normal range (and not close to the high end!).  My vitamin D level was slightly below normal which I attribute to living in NY.  Cod liver oil should turn that around.  My thyroid levels are excellent - so I stopped the natural iodine supplement I was taking.  I might take a few drops of it once a week to keep my levels normal.  My iron levels are also well within normal range.  My blood pressure was 108/72.  Given that I am 43 and not on any blood pressure meds AND I am overweight, I guess that's not too shabby!

Since my increase in energy, I have actually not exercised as much as I want to.  I was going to the gym a few times a week but since I've had more energy, I've been too busy getting things done to get out and exercising.  But we are headed to DC for a mini-vacation in a few weeks so I figured I'd get walking again!

As for our new I have written before, we own 68 acres here in Kentucky - we plan to start a small homestead, and an herb business.  But we are still in the process of deciding what kind of home we want to build.  In the meantime, I need to bring in some income given that I prefer my husband working here in KY and not 12 hours away in NY.  So I've decided to start a business that incorporates the old ways of becoming healthy.  In this business I will plan to sell my herbs, but for now I will start a health coaching aspect (given my nursing background and my significant studies in natural healing I feel well qualified), and I will also be selling my own organic SCOBY's (for making your own kombucha) and kefir grains.  I'm very excited about all this and have been doing significant research just on starting up my own business and website.

That is all for now!  I am pressed for time before we head out to DC!  So much to do - but thankfully for once I have the energy to do it!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

3 Years TSW!!

Today is my 3 year TSW anniversary. I remember that day clearly.  I was researching something in regards to severe eczema not healing. I then went to my FB group on the GAPS diet and saw a post from Kline's mom regarding TSW.  I then went to her blog and spent well over an hour reading her entire blog and Kline's journey through TSW.  I remember feeling ecstatic thinking I just found the cause of my whole body eczema for most of my life.  I went into my bathroom and purse and bedroom and threw away every tube of steroid cream.  I remember one of my daughters found another tube and harshly threw it away. We were in the process of trying to buy a house 4 states away and planning to move in 6 months. But after going through more blogs, I just knew I was not going to be able to work nor was I going to be in any condition to move. Later that evening when my husband came home from work I tearfully told him about TSW.  I also reminded him of the few years after the birth of our 3rd child and how I was bed ridden because I had stopped steroid creams as they were no longer working.  At that time I had no idea I was withdrawing from the creams.  I later went back to them but those few years were hellish.

So we knew we were in for a very rough road.  We had no family in the immediate area and no one to help.  Thankfully our kids were older and able to manage the house and dog.  My husband picked up overtime and I started my horrific journey.  I was blessed though as I only suffered full body for the first 8 months. Mind you those were pretty bad months. But with my husband's insistence I went to see a naturopathic doctor and discovered I had the MTHFR gene mutation.   That changed the whole path of my TSW journey.  Up to that point I had had no clear moments; only a few better days.  With my previous experience of TSW I knew my body didn't have clear times.  But after starting treatment for the mutation, my skin went from full body flaring to only isolated areas of flaring.  I was able to go back to work here and there.  However since I'm a nurse, whenever my hands flared I was unable to work due to all the handwashing. But basically life was significantly better. It took time for me to feel comfortable in the heat and for the oozing to stop completely, but by my 2nd year anniversary I was almost completely through TSW.  This past year I have had some dry spots and irritation and tons of hives!!!  But 99% of that cleared up with a change in more dairy, gluten, or chocolate.  When I do cheat I get hives or itchy dry areas. Also I had a huge flare up in my asthma due to eating dairy and gluten around the holidays. I ended up needing a shot of steroids.  But thankfully had no skin issues when it wore off.  My doctor really wanted me on an inhaled steroid but I have refused.  I only use the albuterol as needed.  As long as I don't cheat on my diet then my asthma and my skin stay good.  I've really tried to stay in the TSW loop but it has been hard. I felt like I lost so much time with my kids and husband.   So 2015 was the year I got my life back.   It was crazy!  We finally moved to Kentucky and are planning to build a house on our 68 acres and start a farm.  We've had some things get in the way of our dream but we have persevered and so far things are moving along as they should.  

Below are some pictures of my skin currently and also of all the things I did in 2015 to play catch up with my family!

My hands are almost completely clear - here is a left over dry area from going off my diet.  

Inner arms are great - again one or two small dots from itching when eating bad.  

My neck along with my hands was one of my most painful areas.  My skin is wrinkly but completely clear!  As is my face, my ears, my legs, etc....

Having fun at Dave & Busters!  I would never have been able to go out in such a crowded public place in full TSW.

At Thatcher State Park in NY

Visiting Niagara Falls

It was cold at the Falls but still a lot of fun!  Again, would not have tolerated the very cold temps on raw skin during TSW.  

Visiting the Easter Bunny at the Broadway Market in Buffalo, NY

Visiting with my grandfather and aunt

Howe's Cave with my parents

Out drinking in Buffalo with my brother!  We were a bit tipsy!

Trip to our 68 acres in KY in April

Eating out at Cracker Barrel in KY with hubby and family

A trip to NC to see my sister and her 8 kids - here there are only 4 of hers and my 3

Goofing off with the cousins

Visiting Virginia Beach for a few days - my Dad and Mama Jo came from Richmond to visit with us

Walking the boardwalk in the evening

Loving the beach time!

My son being goofy at a rest stop in W. Virginia on yet another trip to KY in July

Picking blackberries on our property

My goodbye party at work where I worked on/off for 4 years

Visiting Watkins Glen in NY

Visiting with my brother, his girlfriend, and their new baby

Oh look!  Drinking again with my brother!  This time in Rochester

Visiting Fort Niagara

A summer visit to Niagara Falls!

Another visit with my grandfather and aunt!

Visiting with my in-laws!

Out at our neighbors having a bonfire in KY!

Visiting Letchworth State Park in NY

Me on our property doing some target practice.  

Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester 

Christmas Village in PA

The Christmas Museum also in PA

And our first Christmas in Kentucky!!