Well, it has been a long time since I last posted on the blog. I have had a lot of things happen that pretty much derailed me in life. This gal feels like a soul in search and for only the Lord knows what for and why.

I just feel lost where I sit currently. Who am I supposed to be right now? What should I really be doing? Why am I still so tired all the time? What can I do to change this body of mine for the better? What is happening to me that has made everything feel so off?

Little things mostly, but some big things have set me off kilter.

My mother in-law has battled breast cancer (and all the following cancers as it spread over the years) for the last 5.5 years. So many ups and downs that we were all taken aback by her sudden change of health after her last trip for treatment. She looked so well on the outside, and seemed to have so much energy to do things… that honestly I think we (us kids and such) really thought it was improving. She came home and no longer looked or acted that way at all, and it was not long before we knew why. Things were far from improving at all and time was really limited. Thankfully, everyone that needed to be near her was able to be near. Things were a day to day method of holding our breath and praying it was not really the end. The early morning of June 1st she went with the Lord into the sunrise. Hearts never can truly prepare for those kinds of moments. Needless to say, no matter how long we knew she could pass away made it any easier to experience when that time came. We wept, and wept…. and it has now been around a month since she left us to go on ahead. We are all still figuring out how to cope with this truth. Little things still stop us in our tracks though. Times where I think, “Oh, I have to show her/tell her…” kinds of moments. Matthew was baking cookies, and suddenly WHAM! He really missed her; baking cookies with her. His new truck at work, and all those little things we love to share with those who care about them all. You find yourself, just crumbling where you stand. Wishing that there had been a way to make it all better. Not angry, or even sad that she is well in heaven; but desperately lonesome for her presence to be felt again. I’m not sure when we’ll lose the next loved one and I am honestly dreading those times ahead. I know there will be more, simply as there always are as we grow up. I have two more loved ones battling types of cancer right now, and I keep praying that God is going to let me keep them awhile yet. I’m not ready to feel those losses on top of losing Clara. Losing her has been a deep wound in my heart. I really love my mother in-law, and feel so blessed beyond measure to have had her as mine. I know not everyone is so lucky as I have been with in-laws… but I was. I wish there could be more time with her right now. There just isn’t any more time than the amount God ordained from the moment we are formed. This is why you should ALWAYS tell people when you do love them. Hug them. See them. Know them…. know them well. Take photos, candids are even better… relish in the life in-front of you because one day it changes. I am thankful for the memories we have of her. We needed them to get through this time without her.

I had that follow up neurology appointment this June. Not a lot had to be discussed though. I was still doing better on the venlafaxine and remarkably well considering the emotional time we were going through. I still was not sleeping like needed, so this worried the doctor. He decided I should try taking a pill called gabapentin. That maybe if I slept decent at night that I would in turn be able to eliminate some of the migraines and bodily stiffness. So I took gabapentin for around 3 weeks exactly before I ended up in the emergency room with a massive abdominal migraine and c.v.s. for the first time in a long time. I thought maybe it was all the emotional stress finally leaving its mark. After several abdominal migraines, accompanied by c.v.s. ( but no migraine in my head) we really began looking into the effects that gabapentin could have on my body. Turned out it was the gabapentin causing these sudden episodes to come on out of the blue. I was able to stop the medication in full right away, and have had no more episodes since stopping. So here I am awake when I should be sleeping…. but being able to breath, eat some without puking, sit upright… those little things…. it is nice. Not sure what the next follow up will lead to but hoping to just stick with the medications that are working right now and not try any new ones. I did NOT miss having abdominal migraines or c.v.s. taking me to the ER for a while. Hoping to not have any further relapses anyhow.

Aside from that, life has been full of rainy days and feeling very tired. The weather here can be a big trigger for my symptoms on a daily basis. Thankfully I have had very few migraines lately, but plenty of nausea and exhaustion. I do not eat anything some days, and just drink water. Still weigh 140 or so pounds but I know that things fit differently. I think that I am just less bloated. I have yet to begin any vitamin regimen to offset the methylation problems from the genetic mutations, but that would be a good thing to begin soon. I just have a hard time understanding all the science behind the regimens that I can read about online. Plus each added mutation complicates the regimen. I have several methylation mutations to deal with and not all of them have clear regimens or known symptoms to watch for or known triggers to avoid. This does not make me any more eager to start taking anything new, or any more confident in ordering what may or may not be the right kind of activated vitamins. I also have to be careful about what I do eat of just straight up whole foods. I cannot have cruciferous vegetables (sadly some of my absolute favorites are on that list), fermented foods, sulphated foods (or products), fortified is still a huge NOPE, and have to be careful of the acidic levels from eating fruits. SO…. everything is either very appealing or very unappealing to me when I try to eat. I honestly have no clue what to eat, what to drink, or even what products to use. It is mentally exhausting and grocery shopping plum wastes me.

On a few pluses……………. my bestie had her baby girl late June and oh my does my heart warm at the sight of her little self! I wish that we were able to go visit her now and hold sweet baby girl. Sadly, it is unlikely to happen this year really. Life just doesn’t throw us a bone out of state or even town hardly ever.

The second little positive thing is that I finally got my wedding bands resized! Oh how good it is to have MY rings back on my finger and not pinch. Wearing a fake wedding ring was so weird. I always admire other bands for sale, but never really thought it would feel so wrong to wear different ones. Nothing is like your actual wedding ring though. It has been a relief to wear my own again and I don’t look at those other sparkly diamonds the same way I did prior haha

We have had some fun in the sun a few days so far this summer. The last holiday was decent and we spent it at my aunt and uncles homestead in Homer, Alaska. My dad came down and stayed two nights with us (this is rare lol) and went to Homer as well. This is extra fun because it only really works out every couple of years that we all get around to visit. My dad is also a 4th of July baby 🙂 SO we are big on trying to spend it with my dad to celebrate his birthday if he is around town. This year it was really fun and will make for good memories.

Then yesterday evening we went to Captain Cook state park beach and just enjoyed the view…. well and squishing our (my and Riley’s) feet in the pudding-like clay that is naturally occurring from the volcanic ash mixing with the water. It is better than anything else to squish my feet in nice cool clay. Matt feels quite the contrary about his feet getting into goopy clay lol I did get him to take off his boots and socks and at least walk along the sandy parts that were less covered in rocks. The sound of the water lapping has to be one of our family favorites though. It is a strange thought that there are people who have never once seen a beach that is coastal. I also think it is so weird that anyone refers to the sandy areas by a lake or river as a beach. To me it is just a sandbar if it doesn’t meet with open ocean water. I have never been to beaches on the coast of anywhere else though…. well actually that isn’t true. I went to the beach a few times as a kid down by my grandma’s house at Coupeville on Whidbey Island (Washington). I have never been to Hawaii or to the beaches of California or Florida. One day I do hope to walk some other beaches on the coasts of new states or places out of the united states. Riley loves collecting agates, various rocks, and especially seashells. Not a lot of seashells to pick up on our beaches, but she loves the few teeny tiny pink or white shells she finds. I think she would go nuts if we went to Hawaii and could see all the varying shells on those beaches.  Someday…. <3

Well, it is a bit after 4 in the morning now…. and I am supposed to be getting up in a few hours to get ready for grocery shopping and a friend’s wedding. I will wish that all this time had been spent sleeping, but that is how my life generally goes. I’ll make up for it asleep at some other wrong hour of the day most likely! lol

God bless,

 

Ally

Posted in health updates, HOLIDAYS, PRAISES | Leave a comment

Have you ever been so chronically tired that you actually are envious of hibernating animals and a coma sounds so relaxing?

I have!

I am chronically worst in my health episodically from January to late May, and yet it begins as early as October and just because daily not long after Christmas; every single year. Usually come the new year I spend several days or nights in a row in the local emergency department to end cyclic vomiting syndrome and migraine attacks. Often meeting my new yearly insurance deductible in around a week to 10 days. YEAH.

But this year has been different! Yes, finally a positive change to the last 10 years of chronic illness patterns. I have been seeing my neurologist in the city every two months. He decided just this last visit (early March 2017) to wait for my chronic cycle to end before checking in again in June. He has taken me off one medication, amitriptyline, in order to see if I could lose some of the 40-ish pounds I gained in a month when I began the medication. I am only 4 feet 11 inches ‘tall’ and petite… so 140+ pounds on this frame is a bit much when it is just fat and not toned muscle for core strength. I was originally started on that medication for my migraines and possible c.v.s. (which the doctors would never actually diagnose me with as it is SO rare….but my neurologist says I do have all the symptoms of it and he believes I do have c.v.s. and un-typical chronic migraines, akathisia, essential tremor, still have nerve damage from cancer in 1995-1996, sleep problems but none of the MSLT tests diagnosed me despite showing definite interrupted sleep and lack of REM… and the list goes on). I have been worried that without the amitriptyline daily that my c.v.s. would come back with a vengeance, but it has not. This time of year I am usually so bad with c.v.s. it was nerve wracking to stop the one thing that was supposed to be the best for sufferers.

ecard hibernation

Luckily I have been able to abort all episodes at home and have NOT had to go to the E.R. in over six months! That is a first in a decade for me!!!! SO, I am not anywhere near meeting my deductible right now lol I can handle that though as it is a crazy high one for me alone. Plus no more co-pay……… which makes appointments expensive out of pocket right away. SO I have been having nausea and migraines near daily all these months, but all have been bearable at home and all my as needed medication hoarding helps.

So in a way, I feel that my need to sleep a ton during these times is almost too ironic as I am already squirreling away medication for the winter months haha!

The medications I am on daily now are just Venlafaxine (which seems to be working very well, despite it causing me to feel like I am going through menopause at *almost* thirty years old… hot flashes galore!). Then because of having migraines every single day for months straight… I have been taking sumatriptan nearly every day and if nauseated enough that oils are not enough, I also take my promethazine. These three things interacting in my body means I am drenched in sweat and zonked out like Sleeping Beauty… except a lot less attractive haha

The cats have really enjoyed all the time cuddled up in bed, but boy am I ready for summer and feeling like a non-catatonic human being again. Grass, fresh air, the smell of wild roses, clover, butterflies, beach days, agate collecting, and pretending we don’t need to sleep ever again haha It’s an Alaskan thing……. trust me. We’re odd for a reason around here 😉

I am hoping to get fresh blog ideas this summer and to try and schedule a more regular writing time to get this blog really going though. I am a major procrastinator and hate trying to write about whatever. I am worried that with my lifestyle of being basically your modern invalid that I don’t have a lot of experiences to write about and that I’ll become a bit of a broken record writing about so much of my health life. There just is not really anything else in my life due to being home and asleep so much of the last 10 years.

Hard to believe all this time has flown by though. I have had plenty of wonderful experiences and sad times come along over the last decade of life but it has just gone so quickly. It was super weird to have my high school ten year reunion this last fall. I am truly thankful that I did go though, as one of the people that came ended up dying in a vehicle roll over a few months after the reunion. The next time I saw a bunch of old classmates was at his funeral. It is the second person to pass away suddenly of our graduating class. I truly sit back in awe of all the people that have touched my life over the 30 years I have been alive. Many in such wonderful ways and a few in very painful ways. I feel fortunate overall in my life experiences. It has taught me that I do need to focus on the good little things of daily life. Because in the end, those are the things that stick with us when we look back on life. The little things that we end up missing about someone once they are no longer with us. I try to not worry about the fact that my baby is now eight years old and will transform before my very eyes into a young woman. It begins to feel like I will go to sleep and awaken to her as an eighteen year old and I’ll be 40….. like BAM! Old sauce.

Yup, that is sometimes what keeps me awake at night… and maybe just sort of creeping up into her room and watching her sleep. Sometimes. Ok, a lot. BUT I am her mom… I mean I gave birth to her and wiped up a lot of poop over the last 8 years so I can be a creeper, right? lol

Matt is going to be thirty-one in July and he is really starting to feel like we got old somehow. He is starting to be around enough of the younger adults and realising that what is ‘not old’ to us is basically ancient history to them or stuff they have no clue about at all. Plus, there are the random gray hairs, aches, and not being able to wait to go to bed once you have had your dinner and wound down for the night. He is like, “So am I super lame and boring to be married to?” I laugh and look at him with a big grin, “Heck No! Thank goodness you just want to relax at home and be lame with me since there is no way I would be caught dead out on the town the way I am 90% of the time!” We find comfort in each others lame-ness lol Watch out you whippersnappers! Senility creeps into your life in bits…. and you will wake up one day thinking, “How am I not 18 still?!” because it feels in a way like it was just yesterday; yet forever ago. So learn to guard your rest, don’t spend all your earnings, get people’s addresses since you probably will stop hanging out every weekend, stock up on pajamas, pay your bills, drink lots of water, eat something healthy every day, tell your family you love them, and don’t let facebook be your only form of socializing (especially if all you do is scroll through your feed and never actually talk to your ‘friends’). Time will flow ever more quickly with each year.

To end things for now, let me know if there are topics you would love me to write about and if there is a series of posts you want from my blog. Suggestions are always welcome!

I also got on the instagram wagon! Not sure how to re-post stuff at all, but I at least know how to reply and follow folks! You can search for me on instagram using the name: ally schuetzler.   https://www.instagram.com/allyschuetzler/

If anyone is looking for a copy of my book as a paperback you can still order them off of Amazon( https://www.amazon.com/First-Easter-Bunny-childrens-discover-ebook/dp/B00RY0ZHLQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1490810583&sr=8-1&keywords=Schuetzler), or through my publisher online (https://www.publicationconsultants.com/?s=Schuetzler&submit=)

Love to you all, and happy spring of 2017!

~Ally

Posted in health updates, SALES, SOCIAL MEDIA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
http://quotesgram.com/img/giving-to-the-poor-quotes/10580627/

http://quotesgram.com/img/giving-to-the-poor-quotes/10580627/

It has been some time since my last post. There has been much going on seen and unseen. I think we all know the strains that an election year brings upon us in America. I have to be honest in the reality that it tends to consume my thoughts and prayers when the power of a nation is passed to another.

I know not what the future holds, but I do believe we are seeing prophetic events. The news of the Sanhedrin  requesting aid to build the third temple is indeed a major event to keep our eyes upon. If the rebuilding of the temple is accomplished, that is prophetic events being fulfilled.

Aside from these things going on in the world, Americans are preparing for a feast of Thanksgiving. We make our lists, and hope to not forget a thing before the big day arrives. We eat too much and still have plenty left over.

Yet, there are many who are among us that have no feast. They hunger and thirst. They dream of finding comfort one day and earnestly seek to survive.

This is something that breaks God’s heart. It should break yours. What do we do to acknowledge this truth? Do we go out and seek the needy? Often, no. We find excuses to ward off our guilt and the pricking of conscience. We must not do this no matter how small a gift we may give. Even stopping to pray with those who will allow it is a gift much desired most of the time. I tell you these things because God made today the day in my life that a choice had to be made. God caused events that lead me to the opportunity to give where it was directly needed.

I prepared for my usual weekly shopping but with the errand of cashing a small check at the bank for my husband. I decided that being at the bank already, I would take out the amount of cash needed for my shopping as well. Then I went on to my usual store of choice and about my routine. I am always very careful to make a list, a meal plan, and never to go over the budget my husband sets for me each week. I had all the items listed with their prices, and deducted any savings from coupons etc. That way I would be sure to know after taxes if I had too much and could put items back that were not expressly needed that week.

There was a moment though that I spotted boxes of string cheese (which my daughter loves to have in her school lunches). The price tag was covered by a discounted sale sign that said, ‘2/.89’……….. I was not even thinking clearly and thought, “What a bargain!” despite the insane amount of savings it would be for 2 large boxes of cheese sticks haha

Eat your breakfast, folks. It fuels common sense of our little grey cells 😉 The checker was quick and made the proper adjustments since the boxes were without a bar code to scan…. if I had been paying proper attention this would have been my moment to say, “AH-HA!” and fixed the error. Those string cheeses were really 2 individual sticks for $0.89 and not 2 huge boxes for $0.89! I had calculated so carefully though that come the time to pay, I was puzzled at the added cost that was unexpected from my detailed notes. I knew the store was busy with shoppers buying their holiday items; so I quickly put the last bit onto my debit card and went off to the car. Once in the car I took out the receipt and went over it to see how each item wrung up. There were the cheese sticks big as life haha That was when the truth hit me and I knew where it went awry. So I went back in and returned them to the store.  Due to the odd way it was wrung up by the cashier it took a bit extra for customer service to refund the funds to me. I felt awful and promised myself to be more diligent in the future!

Once in the car, there was still another stop before I could go home. I needed to stop by the pharmacy for my monthly sumatriptan medication. The script had run out though and so they needed to await my doctor to write a new one. I was unsure how much time this would take and told the pharmacist to please call me on my cell phone when the script was filled. Just in-case it only took a short while I chose to meander in the store. I took note of certain products to compare prices locally… and after some while it was nearing the time I needed to be home for Riley. So I decided to leave and come back another day. I took the back way to get back to the roadway. This took me by the town bowling alley, which is currently foreclosed. I saw two men sitting on the back steps of the building and noticed they looked homeless. I drove past them just long enough to turn around at the gas station. I felt God prompting me to give them the cash that was refunded from the cheese stick debacle! I knew it was what He desired me to do and I chose to obey His calling.

The men were hesitant as I pulled the car up to them. I rolled the window down and asked if I could give them some money. One man came over and we talked for a long time. Turned out he had lived in Alaska for the last 30 years his life and spent most of it on the road. That he plans to see all of it before God calls him home. He had worked many odd jobs that got him and his wife by; but now times are much harder for Alaskans due to the fall in gas prices. He was not bitter at all and despite the many sad things he has suffered in his life… He praises God for always providing his true needs. Miraculously at times and often when he and his wife could walk no farther in the dark and cold nights. They would be weeping and on their knees as they pray on the roadside… and someone would stop and be just what they needed to carry on another day. He is currently living in a tent and his wife is sheltered in Kasilof (a easy half hour drive going 55mph from Kenai) due to not having a better place to stay right now. That the shelters were for either women or men but not both at once. His wife finds a way to see him every day though and most likely hitching rides from those on the road… which in all honesty is pretty dangerous no matter where one lives. I imagined the pain my heart would feel in such circumstances… child or no child. I love being with my husband. This man, with tears welling up in his eyes said, “But the Lord is GOOD. He only gives us what we can bear.” No words have ever sounded more humble in all my life. I have a habit also of keeping blankets in my car… Alaskan born and raised 😉 Thanks, Mom! So I grabbed one of them and gave it to him as well. He said it would help so much as he had no gloves. I gave him my phone number and told him to please call it if he was in need. Also, I told him where I attend church and that I was sure our pastor would not mind him coming there for free showers at least. He was amazed a church would even have showers in their buildings. I explained how blessed our small congregation was and that I knew many would be glad to help him and his wife. The public laundromat here charges $5 a shower. That is a steep price for the truly needy. I offered him a Gideon bible of the new testament that was in my glove box, but he had a small bible of his own with him. He told me that back when he had a house and a family that there were bibles everywhere. One on every bookshelf <3 I am the same way in my home haha something about bibles…. it is hard not to collect more than one! Especially knowing there are those forbidden to own a bible in many places out there.

We were brother and sister in Christ during that talk and I pray God will bring Him back into my life soon. I want to do as much as I can to help him. This is one of the few occasions I can be charitable face to face. Especially to someone local and in such dire need. That is a full circle blessing that God provides. God perfectly orchestrated my day so that in that moment I could GIVE. What better time to give Thanks to God than at Thanksgiving whilst giving?

Proverbs 31 NLT

1 The sayings of King Lemuel contain this message, which his mother taught him.
2 O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows,
3 do not waste your strength on women, on those who ruin kings.
4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, to guzzle wine. Rulers should not crave alcohol.
5 For if they drink, they may forget the law and not give justice to the oppressed.
6 Alcohol is for the dying, and wine for those in bitter distress.
7 Let them drink to forget their poverty and remember their troubles no more.
8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. 
9 Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice. 
10 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.
11 Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.
12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
13 She finds wool and flax and busily spins it.
14 She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.
16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She is energetic and strong, a hard worker.
18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night.
19 Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber.
20She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy.
21 She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes.
22 She makes her own bedspreads. She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
23 Her husband is well known at the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders.
24 She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.
26 When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.
27 She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.
28 Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised.
31 Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.
I rarely feel like the good woman of Proverbs 31; but today I felt like maybe I just was in that moment that I obeyed the Lord’s prompting.
May God truly bless you so that you may give freely. May you then know the awesome feeling that it brings and that it truly is better to give than to receive.
Happy Thanksgiving to you each <3
Posted in HOLIDAYS, ministry, PRAISES | Tagged , | Leave a comment
Seasons of joy

Seasons of joy

It has been some time since I last made a health update, and so I felt that it was the time to do so 🙂

I have had a few neurology appointments since the last update. I had discovered several genetic mutations that showed strong links to my health problems and I had high hopes that there would be some interest in the findings when I could meet with my neurologist. I studied for two whole weeks and made copies of the most important information for my doctors to have as it is not something I expect them to be experts on off the cuff. Sadly my neurologist doesn’t feel inclined to read that information or help me in the areas that is proven to cause neurological implications. I went home 2 months ago feeling pretty let down that I would have to continue that path alone.

I was sent home with an added daily medication though and a follow up for 2 months later. Since then I have been to the neurologist again and did not have high expectations. The appointment went just as I expected… and I am having the dose of the new daily medication increased and must report back in 2 months time.

The new daily is  called Effexor; or as a generic Venlafaxine. The one thing I have experienced noticeably was milder migraines since beginning the new medication in combination with my daily amatriptyline. It has not lessened their frequency, nor eliminated the need for sumatriptan. Which is why we are attempting an increased dose of the medication for the time being. I do get hot flashes from the venlafaxine though and if that becomes unbearable then we will look into trying other medications and quit using venlafaxine.

It has been odd to experience so many symptoms that are similar to going through menopause. I am only 29 years old and I honestly do not feel 29 ever. I feel older…. much older.  I look at myself before I put any makeup on and often sigh. I know other people look at me and see a young woman. I see more than that because of the scars and skin issues…. all the things I do my best to hide with makeup. Not because I am ashamed of how I look or afraid of what people would think or say…. just simply because I prefer to not be noticed for how poorly I look without my makeup. I don’t want people stopping me in public asking if I feel alright. I rarely leave home without makeup because of this having happened before when I forget to wear something like blush or mascara. It is just easier to go around blending in with the crowd. I also rarely wear swimwear or ever wear bikini swimwear due to my scars. It is not the kind of thing I am at all ashamed of but I just do not feel like being on display. It is just simpler if nobody can see these sides of me.

The main thing is to find a new normal… to find what makes life more comfortable when there is so much happening that you cannot control. On decent days, I can feel more normal if I put on my makeup and get out of the house for a bit. I can go and not focus on how I feel nauseated or exhausted. I can visit, laugh, cry, pray, and maybe even dare eat something  lol But it is so nice to get out there and join in on life rather than laying in bed with prayers of mercy.

I have no idea where life is going for me though. I am taking it one day at a time and praying there is hope for less pain as I learn about myself. I am afraid of getting older if my body already feels more in-line with a 75 year old. I find myself able to understand and sympathize with the elderly who are just beginning to feel the things I have felt for over 10 years. Some things that I never knew were abnormal for my age because I had always dealt with them. There is so much to deal with emotionally when your body is so different from early on in life. Times when I hate it and just wish I was able to be free of it; other times when I am glad to be able to help another who is new to the pain or just needs to not be alone in their pain anymore.

But I am learning. I am praying and receiving God’s grace despite what I ask for in prayer. I know that He has plans for me and I will do my best to be patient and say yes to His plans. To lead my life less fearfully or pitifully. There is a season for all things and I will continue to do my best to embrace them all~

 

Posted in health updates | Leave a comment

Quiche.

It’s either a dish one’s family will love or detest! However, my experience is that a majority of people love quiche… and you can mix it up a number of ways compared to the original dish. Granted, once you change an ingredient then it’s true name also changes; Such as onion. Once you toss in diced onion to your egg filling it becomes quiche Alsacienne. I am not that educated on quiche titles but I thought it was interest to note.

I am a fan of quiche, and I don’t even really like eggs! My favorite part is the bottom of the pie crust 🙂 My daughter’s favorite part is the crust itself, and my husband is a fan of the filling. I find that most feel that having quiche for a meal is rather satisfying without feeling over fed. It also is a dish that doesn’t leave one searching a snack an hour later!

This simple egg pie can be served for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. There is no mealtime that quiche is advised against—- So let them eat, quiche!

Weather you enjoy a traditional bread crust, or no crust at all you should find making a quiche quite simple. The basic rules to follow are how many eggs, how much milk and go from there. Your cook time will vary considering how deep a pie you choose, what all is mixed into the filling, crust type or none at all and how many one is baking at the same time. The temperature is generally 350 degrees Fahrenheit for gas or electric ranges.

Variations on crust:

Pie crust (short-crust or puff pastry crust), bread dough crust (not sure on that but figure it would be like pizza crust dough rolled very thin like pie crust), rice crust, cous cous crust, polenta, and the list goes on! Get to googling and feel free to be creative! 🙂

and of course you can go crust-less and make a basic egg-bake.

Filling variations; think omelette!

Bacon bits or laying strips of bacon along the bottom of the crust or as your ‘crust’. Granted you can choose any meat variety you wish or omit meat altogether. Some even make a seafood variety… or use imitation crab meat.

cheeses such as cheddar, swiss, feta, ricotta, cottage-cheese, etc. Mix it in, top it off and one can certainly choose more than one to add into the filling.

Onion diced, green onion, chives, white onion, sweet onion, red onion…. your pick!

Mushrooms! Button, shiitake, morel, or plain canned mushrooms. I prefer to slice ours minus stem pieces. If you buy canned mushrooms just drain and use the rest as it is all soft enough and the stems are no longer woody in texture.

Tomato, fresh diced tomatoes are often a nice addition. Cherry tomatoes, regular sandwich tomatoes, sun dried, stewed, oven dried, marinated… whatever you like 🙂 Toss it in there!

Artichoke hearts, especially marinated can be really tasty too!

Broccoli florets minced, spinach (fresh pieces or thawed frozen varieties work), herbs (fresh or dried), garlic (minced or a dry variety), salsa (yes, I said salsa!), asparagus … go GREEN~

Spice it up too! Make sure you can add in more than just salt and pepper to taste if you want something unique. Consider things like onion salt instead of just salt. White pepper or other peppers over the basic black pepper. Paprika, garlic, heck even cinnamon can be delicious if you want a Greek lamb quiche! Ranch seasoning is also tasty 😉

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnd of course we have to have the essential Eggs and Milk/Cream/Half & Half <or a non-dairy type>.

Lastly the baking dishes-

I use glass Pyrex pie plates that are 8 to 9 inches wide and deep dish style. You can use a square or rectangular pan if using other crust types, crust-less or making your own dough and can manipulate the shape more. I primarily prefer glass Pyrex for all my baking dishes and rarely use anything else (cookie sheets and pizza pans are non-stick metal pans still but that could change one day!).

Overall, enjoy the freedom of making a dish uniquely yours!

I hope that everyone who reads this finds it interesting, comical, and makes them want to get your whisk on 😉

Quiche-A-La-Allison Recipe

Two 8 inch deep dish pies/quiches   Temp. 350*F    Time: 45-5o minutes baking

  • 2 ready-to-bake pie crusts <Pillsbury is my favorite>
  • 2 pie pans
  • seasoning: 1.5 tsp onion salt, dash of paprika, dash of black pepper, 1/4th tsp. or more dried minced garlic
  • 6 eggs <chicken grade A large> whisked gently
  • 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of whole organic milk
  • 1 cup Daisy sour cream
  • 1 cup bacon bits
  • 4-8 ounces sliced button mushrooms <canned ones need to be drained>
  • 1 cup or more of minced broccoli florets <no stems>
  1. Get out pie pans and lay out your prepared pie dough. Do not fold the dough to make your crust rim yet. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit <mine is a gas oven; electric may require different cook times> I use the glass pyrex pans and do not need to grease the pan before laying out my dough in it.
  2. Grate your cheddar cheese in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. mince your broccoli florets and set aside.
  4. If using fresh mushrooms you will need to discard the stems and chop the rest or slice and set aside. If using a canned button mushroom variety just open it and drain the water out and set aside.
  5. In a large bowl <2 liters size> whisk eggs, seasonings, milk and sour cream until well incorporated.
  6. Add bacon bits, grated cheese, minced broccoli florets and mushrooms to the egg mixture.
  7. Pour half of the filling mixture into each pie shell <unbaked> until all is used up or to almost filling the shell/plate. Then gently roll down the leftover dough to form your crust edge.
  8. If oven is heated fully, go ahead and put the two pies onto the same oven rack side by side. The rack should be around the middle position of the oven as well. There is no need usually for you to worry about the quiche overflowing either. They puff up a bit as it bakes but not too much. Over whisking air into the egg mixture can happen sometimes.
  9. Bake for 45 minutes and then check the quiche with a butter knife to see if it is done or not. The knife should be inserted into the center of a pie and should come out clean when the quiche is fully baked. The crust should be a golden hue and not overdone or burnt. If the knife comes out dirty and the center seems giggly and not fully set then pop the quiche back into the oven to bake another 5 minutes and then check again until done.

Let the quiches cool a bit before serving them. About 5 to 10 minutes should do it before cutting them and serving. Refrigerate all left-overs and eat cold or re-heated! 🙂

 

Quiche recipe via allisonscheutzler.com blog

Quiche recipe via allisonscheutzler.com blog

 

quiche recipe via allisonschuetzler.com blog

quiche recipe via allisonschuetzler.com blog

Posted in RECIPES | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer.

It is my favorite time of the year in Alaska. Summer means sunshine and warmer weather. Summer means agate hunting on the beach and seagulls squawking as they fly overhead. Summer means LIFE. I just love summer~

This summer has been filling up with busy days enjoying the weather as well as good company. I tend to go-go-go and it is a good feeling by comparison of my near hibernation in winter. It’s nice to have more energy to do things and live a little; even if it’s just somebody else’s ‘normal’.

Something that I recently did health-wise was an in office gene sight test or a MAPP report by Millennium PGT. 

Millennium PGTSM Offerings

Millennium Pharmacogenetic Testing (PGT)SM can help health care professionals more effectively personalize treatment by identifying patients who may benefit from a modified drug selection or dose of certain prescribed medications.

Millennium PGT can be ordered by medical specialty, by medication/medication class, and by individual gene-drug pairs.

The test was primarily to test my genetic compatibility with different medications; such as Amitriptyline (Elavil) which I already take a daily dose of before bedtime to try to prevent migraines on a daily basis. The test showed that I metabolize it normally. It screened me for others with a note as to the genetic impact each would have on me. One that did pop up stating that I would benefit from taking it is for L-Methylfolate (Deplin). This is genetically important for the MTHFR gene. What is the MTHFR gene, one might ask? I know I certainly had to google it later!

Methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is the rate-limiting enzyme in the methyl cycle, and it is encoded by the MTHFR gene.[1] Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase catalyzes the conversion of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate to5-methyltetrahydrofolate, a cosubstrate for homocysteine remethylation to methionine. Natural variation in this gene is common in healthy people. Although some variants have been reported to influence susceptibility to occlusive vascular disease, neural tube defects, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, colon cancer, and acute leukemia, findings from small early studies have not been reproduced. Some mutations in this gene are associated with methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency.[2][3][4]

Wow, right?!

Yeah, so turns out I have a mutated form of the MTHFR gene which can lead to a whole bonanza of health issues. It could be why I have such terrible migraines, C.V.S., childhood cancer, and so much more in the family medical history. That is HUGE news! It has to be pertinent information to more than just myself as it is genetically inherited too. So this could be something that affects my sisters, my mom, my daughter… and maybe more family depending on if it was inherited from one or both of my parents.

I took a 23andMe dna test last October and it provides RAW data on my DNA results, I decided to look into what it has to say about my MTHFR genes.  If you already have a 23andMe account just log in and hop over to their tools section and select the ‘browse RAW data’ selection in the drop down menu bar.

Search for specific genes and markers (SNPs) of interest.* You can view or download your data at anytime in its raw, uninterpreted format (your A’s, T’s, G’s, and C’s).

Using the raw data I could seek the MTHFR gene solely from the DNA collected. Mind-boggling would be an understatement! Once that was in front of me on the screen I saw it all…. and honestly wished I had kept my Biology 1 and 2 notes from high school! Genes, markers (SNP), genomic position, variants and genotypes galore. What did all that mean?!

Thankfully I had been busy communicating in a message feed with my sisters and mom. My younger sister was on it! She sent me links to a few excellent blogs AND a site called genetic genie which uses your 23andMe raw data to explain your very own methylation analysis results! Praise the Lord! This site was able to break it down in simpler terms for me and it makes way more sense than it did a few days ago. The genetic genie states that I have one homozygous (+/+) mutation and five heterozygous (+/-) mutations along with several normal MTHFR genes out of the SNP markers found in my raw data. The homozygous mutations from my SNP gene table (not including the normal MTHFR) are CBS A360A and my heterozygous mutations from my SNP gene table (also not including the MTHFR) are COMT V158M, COMT H62H, VDR Bsm, VDR Taq, and MTRR A66G.

The homozygous (+/+) mutation means that both copies I have inherited from my parents (mother and father) are mutated. The heterozygous (+/-) mutation means that only one gene inherited from my parents is mutated. Then the SNP showing (-/-) is normal inherited genes or un-mutated.

The heterozygous mutation (MTHFR C677T ; C/T; +/-) which they state via my SNP gene table are COMT V158M, COMT H62H, VDR Bsm, VDR Taq, and MTRR A66G.  I haven’t quite figured out what all those mean yet, but there is information on MTHFR C677T at least being that it is the more common mutation. It is to help convert homocysteine to methionine except the mutation causes the MTHFR enzyme to have trouble activating the folate being consuming. This can lead to high levels of homocysteine and cause many health problems not limited to but including chronic fatigue syndrome, Bipolar Disorder, Autism, Fibromyalgia, MS and much more chronic health conditions.  They state that as S-adenosylhomocystein (SAH) accumulates, the COMT enzyme might become impaired. This can increase dopamine levels in COMT V158M (-/-), but for those with COMT V158M (+/+), the high level of SAH can lead to behavioral problems and mood swings (according to the quote on my genetic genie info which is quoting a Dr. Amy Yasko).

Genetic Genie also states:

MTR/MTRR Mutations

MTRR (Methionine synthase reductase) helps recycle B12. The combination of MTR and MTRR mutations can deplete methyl B12. MTR A2756G, MTRR A66G, MTRR H595Y, MTRR K350A, MTRR R415T, MTRR S257T, and MTRR A664A all work together to convert homocysteine to methionine.

MTR (5-methyltetrahydrofolate-homocysteine methyltransferase) provides instructions for making the enzyme methionine synthase. Methionine synthase helps convert the amino acid homocysteine to methionine. To work properly, methionine synthase requires B12 (specifically in the form of methylcobalamin). An MTR A2756G mutation increases the activity of the MTR gene causing a greater need for B12 since the enzyme causes B12 to deplete since it is using it up at a faster rate. Mutations in MTR have been identified as the underlying cause of methylcobalamin deficiency. Megaloblastic anemia can occur as a consequence of reduce methionine synthase activity.

A homozygous mutation of MTR A2756G is not very common (<1% of CEU population). Some studies have demonstrated that people with a combination of MTHFR C677T and MTR A2756G have persistently high homocysteine levels unless they are treated with both B12 and folate.

COMT Mutations

COMT (catechol-O-methyltransferase) helps break down certain neurotransmitters and catecholamines. These include dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Catechol-O-methyltransferase is important to the areas of the pre-frontal cortex. This area of the brain is involved with personality, inhibition of behaviors, short-term memory, planning, abstract thinking, and emotion. COMT is also involved with metabolizing estrogens.

COMT (-/-) individuals can usually break down these neurotransmitters efficiently, but COMT (+/+) individuals may have trouble breaking these chemicals down from impaired function of the enzyme. With a COMT + status, it has been clinically observed by physicians that people may have trouble with methyl donors. This can lead to irritability, hyperactivity, or abnormal behavior. They may also be more sensitive to pain.

VDR Mutations

VDR (Vitamin D Receptor) encodes the nuclear hormone receptor for vitamin D3. Low or low normal vitamin D values are often seen in those with chronic illness and even the general population. Low vitamin D is related to a lot of neurological and immunological conditions. Vitamin D stimulates enzymes that create dopamine.

VDR Tak and VDR Bsm are usually inverse from eachother. So if there is a (+/+) VDR Tak, there would be a (-/-) VDR Bsm. However, this is not always the case.

It has been clinically observed that the body may have trouble tolerating methyl donors with a COMT V158M + and a VDR Taq + status. VDR Taq (-/-) individuals may already have higher levels of dopamine, and combinations of variations COMT and VDR Taq can lead to a wide range of dopamine levels. Those that are VDR Taq (+/+) and COMT (-/-) may have lowest dopamine levels.

Note: Some have pointed out that VDR Taq is reported backwards since majority of medical journals report a different risk allele or use different notation. These arguments are well-founded, but Genetic Genie reports this way so results are compatible with existing methylation nutrigenomics literature. Many claims about VDR and methylation are clinical observations. There are no medical studies to support some of the observations.

As for my homozygous mutation (CBS A360A; A/A; +/+) according to genetic genie states:

CBS Mutations

CBS (cystathionine beta synthase) catalyzes the first step of the transsulfuration pathway, from homocysteine to cystathionine. CBS defects are actually an upregulation of the CBS enzyme. This means the enzyme works too fast. In these patients, it’s common to see low levels of cystathionine and homocysteine since there is a rapid conversion to taurine. This leads to high levels of taurine and ammonia. The CBS upregulation has been clinically observed to result in sulfur intolerance in some patients. It has also been observed that BH4 can also become depleted with a CBS upregulation. BH4 helps regulate neurotransmitters and mood. Other mutations, such as MTHFR A1298C, Chronic bacterial infections, and aluminum can also lead to low BH4 levels. Lack of BH4 can lead to mast cell degranulation and possibly mast cell activation disorder (MCAD).

Note: While some physicians think the CBS mutation is one of the most important mutations to address, there is very little medical research to support these claims and some doctors in the field disagree. In normal populations, studies have shown CBS upregulations to be protective against high homocysteine. However, CBS upregulations have shown to be harmful in Down Syndrome. Medical research has not determined if CBS upregulations are harmful in those with syndromes or disorders leading to impaired methylation.

AMAZING!

Thanks to Genetic Genie, I am far more eager to start working on Deplin and seeing where that takes me. I plan to discuss it further with my primary doctor and possibly the neurologist (if I can get my butt to Anchorage anyhow… SO not a city driver… but it could be arranged thanks to others who do city driving haha). I would need to be on Deplin probably long term as this is dealing with the genetic mutation and filling gaps that it is creating in my health as far as folate is concerned (which is a lot). I plan to look into more B vitamins and whatever else would need to be optimized considering the health gaps thanks to mutated genetics 🙂

But honestly, reading about what all can and often does go wrong when one has these mutations…. made me SO thankful to God. When I was pregnant with Riley… I prayed. I prayed a lot for a healthy baby and I know that is something all parents generally do; but I was constantly worried about my cancer history. All I could think about was doctors telling me that it could have been a genetic cancer and that if I ever became pregnant and successfully gave birth to a child that that DNA would be passed on… possibly resulting in my child(children) also developing cancer. That is a lot to consider. That is a lot of guilt to carry into pregnancy and parenthood. I kept praying, “Lord, please protect and heal this baby. Please don’t let it inherit my damaged dna. Please don’t let this child go through chemo and cancer like I had to…. and my family had to…. please protect my baby!” I was desperate to know the peace that only God can impart when there is that much on the line. I didn’t care boy or girl. I didn’t care about eye color, hair color, or anything as long as the baby could be healthy. I didn’t even know I had cancer until I was 8 years old. I lived fairly healthy a life without any obvious signs of cancer or illness until probably age 6 or 7. When you are a parent and trying to do your best it is hard to not worry. It was not obvious signs. Not before… and now I do know that my mom has gone back through old photos and notes of our lives back before cancer… and she sees things… the signs of illness creeping into my face and my life. I know that hurts her. How could it not? I know that she did her best, and I am SO grateful to her for being the mom she was and is to me. I cannot imagine going through that with my own child. I truly hope that Riley, my daughter, progresses truly normal and healthy as the years go on. She is seven now… and honestly… I still pray that God has spared her those bad genes. As I read about the MTHFR stuff… I know God has spared our family generation after generation of horrible affects. It hasn’t been all roses, but it has been far better than it could have been. I mean it. MTHFR is SO important in our bodies. FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY MADE~ it’s true.

So despite the illness, despite the raindrops falling on you today; look around! Be grateful to God and bring Him glory in all that you are and all that you do. If you aren’t sure how to get above and beyond the hardships… PRAY. Wait upon the Lord and He will answer you. He ALWAYS answers. Sometimes it comes quickly and sometimes it trickles in. That is ok. Just never ever forget how much God loves you and wants the best for you. Read your bible, fellowship with others, sing praises with others and on your own…. God is GOOD <3

God is so good.

http://dustoffthebible.com/Blog-archive/2016/03/11/daily-rcl-bible-reading-devotional-march-11th-2016/

http://dustoffthebible.com/Blog-archive/2016/03/11/daily-rcl-bible-reading-devotional-march-11th-2016/

Posted in health updates, PRAISES | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

June bride

I have to say this old tradition is far from out of style <3

Many gals grow up and want to go to the chapel to get married in June and it can be a magical month for new beginnings.

I recently celebrated my 9th wedding anniversary on June 1st, 2016. We normally would try to get out of the house and do something like walk the beach or take a hike… and that is God willing Matt is not working and I am not sick haha BUT this June was very special for another reason. My best friend, and one of my maids of honor <my little sister Cadee, Misty, and Beth were all maids in my wedding and all 3 are some of my closest friends in this life so far > was engaged to be married June 4th of 2016. So we of course could not miss such a wonderful time in her life! We last were able to see her on our wedding day. A very long time to wait to see good friends and loved ones. Especially when you have a kid since then that they have yet to even meet. We booked our tickets and all that goes with a trip far from home. I had been to visit her in high school to her parents’ home in Kamiah… but I could not for the life of me really recall much about any other locations we visited. So I had no real expectations except to finally get to see my best friend! 🙂

We awoke June 1st to a sunny day and several kitties cuddles. Got up finally and made sure we were all ready to hit the road. We needed to drive for 3 hours to Anchorage where the first flight would take place. We flew from Anchorage to Seattle… then Seattle to Spokane… then we got our rental car and drove to Lewiston, Idaho 🙂 We had secured a hotel room in Lewiston that was pretty much in town and not far from the historic downtown area. It was 40-50 degree differences daily from our weather at home lol MUCH hotter than we are used to but a dry heat and we found it felt pretty good; despite the insane reality that it was upper 90 degrees to 100 degrees. There was so much to see and do while we were there too. The fact that Lewiston is a bordering town to Washington gives it some real personality! It felt to me like a real mix of Portland and Idaho culture. We could drive in different directions each day and find something that looked entirely different then the day before. We truly loved that! Plus, there is a real charm to historical locations. The history is fun to learn about and to explore something like an old brick building that has been there for such a lot of history is pretty amazing. That was one of my favorite aspects to Europe too back when I toured in my Freshman year of high school. We loved the creative feel, the arts, the music (live and free), the natural beauty, the brick, the food… every.single.thing.  SERIOUSLY. Visit.

I knew with wedding stuff going on that visiting time would be sparse and all but that was so worth the trip alone. Seeing her…. I cried! lol I am sure I made no real sense when I tried to blubber out any words but it was amazing to see her and hug her again. Being far from the people that have rocked your world in a good way is rough. But never the less… life without them is incomprehensible. Plus, introducing her to my sweet now 7 year old daughter….. priceless <3 Meeting her husband, and seeing her home… priceless <3 There is so much to love.  I truly hope that it is never 9 years or more ever again that we have to wait to spend time together.

Needless to say, I got next to no pictures of her, her husband, her wedding, us… lol I blubbered a lot when it came to the real events haha BUT so worth being there and loving where her life has gone since 9 years ago. So happy for her and her husband 😀

We managed to fit in a church service while visiting. We really enjoyed the sermon and seeing how another location serves the Lord and celebrates that freedom. If you are ever in Lewiston, Idaho try Crosspoint Alliance Church (1330 Powers Ave. Lewiston, Idaho and online you can find them at www.crosspointlew.org … and we went to the 11 a.m. Sunday service)~

We are back in Alaska… and it is home <3 We missed it and we love it here. We loved it there. What else can I say, but that your heart can be in many places at one time. It’s hard but it’s good too.

Love the people in your life. They are there for a reason. Whether they stay in it for long or briefly; good or bad memories… there is something there. There is a lesson learned, a chance to show them the love of the Lord, a chance to be shown the love of the Lord, a chance to laugh-cry- and everything between. God is good ALL the time… and Life is Good!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

So it is turning out to be an early summer for us on the Peninsula. It’s mid May and we already have hit 70+ degrees and have ran our sprinkler! Pretty wonderful to feel the warmth return and watch the leaves unfurl overnight! It’s magical 🙂 Everything looks dull and desolate and then you wake up and everything is green and so alive!

We only have today and a couple more days before school is out for Riley. She has mixed feelings about summer break… she is excited to be done for a while and then she is really sad about the friends she has made that have outgrown the school and are going to move on to the jr. high next year. She has become pretty fond of this one older girl that rides the bus with her every day. She first met her in kindergarten on the bus and it was nice knowing someone was looking out for her like a big sister <3 I think the jr. high kids might ride the same bus but they may be on the earlier bus with the high school kids. So we’ll just have to wait and see I suppose.

I hope that we can make summer play-dates with her friends though. Most of the summer flies by with everyone making the most of the sun filled months. Fishing, hiking, beach days and road trips. We spend most of ours going out to the national park that is a short drive from our home. It has lots of beach accesses and free outhouse bathrooms to use which is a far cry from squatting in the woods haha Especially with mosquitoes nibbling away at you in the woods 😉

I have hopes to make a few things happen this year though. I want to go to Seward and walk the Exit Glacier trail, as well as visit Alyeska in Girdwood to do the free trails too. A good halfway point for our family that lives in Anchorage ( a good 3 hours from my home driving 60-65 mph too!). There is an animal conservation near the Girdwood area that is pretty amazing to stop by too. It takes care of injured wild animals like lynx, bears, and more. A great rival to the Anchorage zoo in my opinion 🙂

There is also a wonderful botanical garden in Anchorage that I have been to a couple times. They plant tons of different flowers, trees, and herbs! So fun to see and walk through. They also sell some of the plants by the entrance. Great place to find some unique plants for the garden or potted plants for a porch. So far my favorites are chocolate mint and foxgloves. One day I hope to have a real garden but I don’t have much of a green thumb haha

We also love to read over the summer. We try to do a book that Riley would not be able to do on her own yet, something we can read as a family and learn together. We look up all the words we don’t immediately know the definition of, or the ones we cannot pronounce. Then when we finish it up we see if we can rent or borrow a film adaptation of the book. It is a great way to finish it up and also to teach Riley that movies are often fairly different from the book plots. That reading a book is best if you really want to get the most out of the plot. One day she will have to read and write reports and I really hope she will not be the kid who thinks renting the film will suffice!

In years past we have read The Wind in The Willows, The Secret Garden, The Magician’s Nephew, King of The Wind, The B.F.G., Mary Poppins, Winnie The Pooh, and many others. I started off home-schooled and was involved in a group called Battle of The Books. I really loved a great many of the books we read and debated. I have tried to keep or re-purchase many of the titles we went over so that I can read them again but with Riley. She is not old enough for all of them yet, but this summer we are reading The Cay. My 5-6th grade teacher read it aloud  to the class each year and did Timothy’s voice perfectly! He spent time growing up in Africa and had great stories of his own too.

On the side I am reading The Heavenly Man. I read out chapter two to Riley yesterday and then followed up by reading Psalms 119 as the last testimony in chapter two very much made me recall Psalms 119:105. I think it was a good use of our Sunday morning since we missed church (I have been sick with a cold).

But with summer reading on the mind I have been trying to compile a list of lifetime must read books… would LOVE to hear what books you would put on the list too. Some of the books I recall were just fun reads and some were unforgettable and very influential… then some I did not really enjoy but were essential reads because they taught me things in a way that stuck with me so far in life.

I hope that everyone will enjoy their summer days and nights though. There is a time and season for all things under the sun <3

~God bless,

Ally

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
chronic illness is not always what you see

chronic illness is not always what you see

 

When is enough… enough?

 

 

it's not just the moments you see... we don't show what seems like TMI or might come across as attention seeking; especially when we are used to the medical world telling us we are liars, crazy, drug seeking, faking it, weak, and other horrid things.

it’s not just the moments you see… we don’t show what seems like TMI or might come across as attention seeking; especially when we are used to the medical world telling us we are liars, crazy, drug seeking, faking it, weak, and other horrid things.

I had a Multiple Sleep Latency Test for narcolepsy on the 19th and 20th. I spent the night before on my couch with my head propped on top of a cushion… breathing slowly in and out the cool fresh air that gently wafted in from the open window; Medication slowly setting in. Then I awoke early to help my daughter get ready for school before her bus would arrive. After her bus drove away, I plodded over to the couch again. So tired but I needed to get things done before my MSLT that evening. So I lay on the couch, still wearing my winter down coat and bear-paw (ugg-like) boots as I called my chiropractor. After leaving a message asking them to call me back if they could squeeze me in that day… they were not open yet but luckily they called me back by 9a.m. to let me know they could fit me in around noon. With a sigh of relief i hung up my phone… laid down on the couch with my Tom-cat on my chest. Out like a light until 11:30 a.m. My eyes popped open and I thought, “OH NO! What time is it?!” as I had forgotten to set an alarm to wake me up. Thankful it was not noon or later, i jumped off the couch and sprinted to the garage and got in my car. I made my appointment in time and boy I am glad I did. My neck was out in several places again! This sometimes happens multiple times a week less times in a month. Either way, my chiropractor and his staff have seen me enough times to know how i will look if it’s really bad. They have seen me waltz in happy and feeling good but a little achy to being carried in and whimpering as my skull feels like it is caving in. I got in and out within 15 minutes and let them know my MSLT was that night…. fingers crossed for some enlightening results!

Off I went to run a few errands (like actually picking up my mail… bills… more bills… and credit card offers usually… not so exciting when you know you’ll owe the hospital for the rest of your earthly years). Then I went home and did my best to not fall asleep again. After a bit I made stew for supper and waited for my husband and kiddo to get home from their long days. When they did we enjoyed a little family time and had supper together. Then I packed up my bag for my 24 hour MSLT and headed out by 7p.m.

11825653_10155980402945565_120936634850416948_n

I stopped off at a local store and grabbed some dried fruit to have at my MSLT and then a few things to bring to my mom. My mom had gotten sick and needed some things brought to her at home and I honestly wanted to stop by and just sit with her before I went to the sleep clinic. My mom is a strong lady and has always been there to show me just how strong we ladies can be. She eased my nerves and off I went to the sleep clinic by 830pm. I arrived and was glad to see the same tech that i had the previous time. He would be there for the full 24 hours of the test with me. After chatting he put all the wires (electrodes) where they needed to be, he said, “OK! Good night!” and out went the lights. I lay there wondering how long it would take me to fall asleep… wondering if I would sleep really good or if the night terrors would occur. It is not easy when you experience things that seem insane at home in privacy… but if they are stealing your health from you…. you get to a point where you pray they show up while you are being tested lol Soooo of course my phantoms did not appear and I slept the whole night. The tech told me I slept without a lot of limb movement and breathing was great… but I would startle and wake momentarily and fall back to sleep… a LOT. He said, “Every time that happens… it’s like somebody tapping you on the shoulder all night. This resets your clock EVERY time. So no wonder you are so tired!” Unfortunately though it took me on average 16 minutes to fall asleep out of the 20 minutes they provide for each of the daytime naps. A typical narcoleptic falls asleep in under 5 minutes during these daytime naps for a MSLT. So despite my blood testing positive for the narcolepsy allele…. this probably will mean that I am not a narcoleptic. SO what has similar symptoms (minus cataplexy) to narcolepsy but one cannot fall asleep so quickly? That is my question. Maybe it is hypersomnia? I don’t know… but what I do know is it is possibly a huge part of my life-long illnesses. Cancer at age 8… to C.V.S. and chronic migraines etc. at age 29.

e9b136726282444c54bf2925c800474627b9284aa95917c26f91e020f9e7a219

It is truly difficult to remain up-beat about things when you spend a majority of your time trying to prove your illness to doctors and even others looking in from the outside. Trying to find a way to get tests ran, find a doctor who will approve testing, friends and family who will help you when you cannot take care of your own life, and courage to just keep surviving. Invisible-chronic-illness is extremely hard to live with… you lose out on a lot of your life. You lose friends… and sometimes you lose family. You feel locked up in your own home with some invisible electric fence ready to zap you if you go too far or for too long. Some might think being disabled is a lucky break; but you couldn’t be more wrong. I don’t have a job that pays me a dime. I live feeling like all I am is an expense to my family. They have to live with me…. the good and the bad…. always. They love me through it and are why I am still here today… fighting to see the light through it all.

I find it incredibly boring to be too tired to stay up during the whole day or even part of it…. i find it tedious to try and stay busy when all I have the energy for is netflix and hulu. BUT  I am pretty grateful when I do find a sweet show or movie to dull the endless minutes of my life pretending things are just fantabulous 😉

5616d4208be17e30a417b182938be6b8

Since working away from home… even for only a couple of days has landed me in the e.r. (even once i take abortive medications) I resigned to trying to work from home. I thought, “You are a published freaking author! Get with it and be successful using your words!” thus my attempt to blog and to keep up with the whole social media presence that I am supposed to be doing (i did sign a contract…. thankfully they understand)……………and BAM! Even doing that can be hard. When you feel like you have no life a majority of the time…. it is a little hard to be inspired. I try to raise awareness for CVS and Migraines and whatever else pops into my wee bubble of a life. But it doesn’t pay the bills and the debt down. So I have been adding, ‘work from home’ to my search criteria instead of just pouring over medical studies and the likes. Data entry pops up and looks inviting… so maybe I will find a legit job online doing some data entry. Heck! I know I can waste time toodling around online… why not get paid exerting the same amount of energy? 🙂 SO we’ll see!

553231_10151920868205565_1006133842_nIn other awesome-sauce news………. none of you would know this but my wonderful dad has been battling HepC. He was finally approved to try the 90 day therapy that has been known to cure HepC patients. He told me recently that there was no sign of HepC in his recent labs and you know that is freaking AWESOME! If anyone in my little church bible study several years ago would have told me, “Ally, he will be cured soon. You just need to be still.” I would have cried and thought, “Shows how much you know about HepC!” So when I get really tired of being sick and tired……… all I have to do is look at my Dad <3

I hope that everyone who is struggling to get by and wonder if the pain is worth surviving… that they feel comforted to not be alone… that they hold onto their hopes… their dreams… and enjoy the fragmented moments that are good in life… even if all the people looking at you from the outside can see is ‘healthy’… just know there are many more of us who ‘look healthy’ too. Just keep breathing in and out. Just keep napping and enjoying the netflix/hulu shows and movies….. just keep praising God for the good, the bad, and all the stuff between. He sees you. He loves you. He has a divine purpose for you; even if it doesn’t feel that way.

12074942_10156183072165565_6003554031636774357_ned6870ff153183e51ee101303fec07d5

Posted in Chronic Illness and Faith, health updates | Leave a comment

Hello!

I have been using a public facebook profile account peviously. I have had issues using a profile account and decided that I would discontinue the public profile account. Now there is an all new public facebook page to follow me on facebook!

facebook.com/thefirsteasterbunny

facebook.com/thefirsteasterbunny

facebook.com/thefirsteasterbunny

Thank you all for supporting my venture as an author and illustrator!

God bless~

Ally

Posted in SOCIAL MEDIA | Leave a comment