How Are You?

attractive beautiful beautiful girl beauty

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Someone asks, “hey, how are you?” and I answer, “good, and you?” and they reply that they are good too.

No drama, quick, easy … but is it honest? Is it real? Do people really want to know the “real” that is going on in your life? Do YOU know the “real” that is going on in your life? Or is it a gloss over “good?”

Whenever I take an online quiz about health or happiness, I want to get a high “passing” score … what is that all about? I want assurance I’m in a good place physically and mentally. Why? Why would it be so earth shattering if that weren’t the case?

Would it mean I’d failed myself somehow? I’d not been perfect? I’d missed something? And wouldn’t that make me more human if I did sometimes fail, I wasn’t perfect, and if I didn’t know everything?

There’s something inside of me that whispers “you’re not good enough” and I hate the subterfuge and sabotage of that “little” hidden fear. It’s been the source of the masks I’ve worn, the superficiality I have with others, the self-protection of not stepping out in the proverbial spotlight more, the hiding out in my comfy “cave.”

All to prevent failure which would “prove” I really wasn’t good enough. Or would it? Maybe failure isn’t crushing, maybe it’s a way to learn a certain lesson or be guided on a different path or to strengthen resolve and keep pushing forward.

Maybe I am good enough as I am right now. Maybe I can reframe this inner fear and decide how I want to act rather than simply giving in to a reaction.

There are seven different inner fears that create subterfuge and sabotage for women. We all have one. Do you know which one is acting in your life? Try this online quiz to find out!

?? CBD !!

macro photography of brown dog

Photo by Pete Johnson on Pexels.com

I’m always looking for natural non-addictive no side-effects (yes to other health benefits) types of pain relief.

I tried CBD a while back. It didn’t do much. Then I listened to a summit training on cannabis and learned quite a bit more that I didn’t know. First (and this is probably a duh) everyone is different and requires different dosing to see benefits. And every situation is different and best responds to CBD or THC or some combination of the two.

I’ve been having a trigeminal neuralgia flare due to the simple fact of having two crowns of dental work done in the past few months. Both teeth had mercury amalgams and so I also have to detox the mercury as well as work to settle down the trigeminal nerve.

I hate to live on motrin but it does help ease the thudding pain in my face, ear, and jaw. I like to buy high quality supplements and believe they are worth the cost. I’m using a trusted source of CBD and was taking one 10mg dose and not feeling much help.

Instead of giving up, I experimented and took two 10mg CBD doses and finally noticed a big difference. That dose gives me about 10 hours of pain relief. So during this acute pain phase, I have to take at least 40mg of CBD a day to get relief. At night I tried adding a cannabis cream blend on the trigeminal nerve area that had both CBD and THC (a friend makes this and shared it with me when we became legal in Michigan). But I haven’t noticed that the THC/CBD cream helps any more or any less than the plain CBD (and I didn’t notice any psychological effects either). so for me, I discovered I just need the CBD.

Here’s a blurb on the benefits of CBD and THC from Dr. Axe:
CBD Benefits
Relieves pain
Reduces inflammation
Improves mood
Improves anxiety, stress and PTSD
Relieves nausea
Relieves headaches and migraines
Fights depression and other mood disorders
Prevents seizures
May work as anti-cancer agent and reduce tumor growth
Does not produce mind-altering effects

THC Benefits
Relieves pain
Reduces inflammation
Relaxes nervous system
Reduces spasms
Relieves nausea
Increases appetite
Fights insomnia
May work as anti-cancer agent and reduce tumor growth
Has euphoric effects

(Research shows that CBD has a better safety profile than other cannabinoids, including THC.)

During the cannabis summit I also learned about using CBD for pain relief in dogs. (Plus I learned dogs can not tolerate THC.) I like the fact that CBD not only offers pain relief but reduces inflammation too plus a host of other benefits. A 50# dog dose is about a 2mg CBD dose. I have an older beloved dog that was on a prescription pain medication. Without the medication she barely wanted to move, awkwardly rising from her bed, with pain filling her eyes.

The prescription medication was about $2 a dose, so pretty pricey, but it helped her get up and about to do chores around the farm. I decided to try CBD oil and put a 2mg CBD dose over her food morning and night (4mg of CBD total a day). The first day we noticed a difference and were able to stop the prescription medication. It has now been four months and she hasn’t had a prescription pain pill since starting the CBD. And she just acts different … she’s playing with her toys again, walking 6 miles with my husband, climbing to the top of the hay mow in search of birds and is dancing circles when she gets excited outside.

It’s nice to see these differences and interesting to learn more about natural pain relief and using CBD. Have you tried it yet? What dosing do you use and what is it helping?  I’d love to hear your story!

Life Span vs. Health Span

barefoot beach blur break

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I went to get my blood drawn today. It will be my second hormone test. The first blood draw to check hormone levels was done in October, so I’m very curious to see what, if anything, has changed.

The test is an investment in myself and yep, I’m paying for it out-of-pocket. When I say “hormones,” what do you think of? I know I used to think estrogen with menopause. But estrogen is not the only hormone affected in menopause. I’ll be getting many different hormones tested … thyroid, cortisol (stress), insulin (blood sugar), DHEA, pregnenolone, estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. And the inflammation marker hs-CRP plus cholesterol, blood health, kidney and liver health, cardio health, and vitamin levels including vitamin D and magnesium.

Testing will help me personalize the vitamins I supplement with as well as let me know if I’m on the right track with the Keto-Alkaline foods I’m now eating, and the Bi-Est and Progesterone creams I’m using. The more I learn about DNA SNPs and epigenetic, the more I see how individual we each are in the direction we need to go to age well.

And that leads into the title of this blog, Life Span vs. Health Span. I heard Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD talking and mentioned a statistic that removing murders and such, the average lifespan of an American woman is 83 years old but the last 20 years of that is spent in ill health. Whoa. Women’s health span is up to age 63? Not for me if I can help it! I want to age with wellness and that’s why I’m willing to invest in “my retirement” health now!

Dr. Klinghardt said the reasons leading up to ill health were toxins including mental stress, electrosmog, pesticides, insecticides, and heavy metal toxins in the body. He also mentioned that mercury and aluminum prevent the body from detoxifying the other toxins and thus it’s a priority to remove those first.

The body wants to heal itself, but if it’s being held prisoner by toxins, it’s limited on what it can do and thus the symptoms of ill health. I’m working on those things before they reach the tipping point and create disease in my body. I have been detoxing for years and I guess that’s the safest way to go, but I haven’t removed all the amalgams from my mouth yet and that is a big source of mercury. So I use zeolites every other month or so and I’m doing the Microbe Formulas detox right now (message me and I’ll let you know about it).

I’ve also looked at the Andy Cutler protocol but I can’t do that one until all my amalgams are gone. I tend to shy away from IV detoxing, colonics, or any extreme short-term type of detox … I don’t want to overwhelm my body, just keep nudging it and supporting it to health.

Let me know the ways you detox … including metals and mental detoxing. Are you working on increasing your health span? Have you thought of it that way? If you want someone to walk with you as you begin the journey, get some “KICK A$S” emotional stress load release tools, and ideas on detoxing I have a 3-month wholistic wellness coaching system to support you. Don’t wait, the changes you do today can impact your life span and your health span for years to come!

Prison

hallway with window

Photo by Jimmy Chan on Pexels.com

I had a dream the other day, a dream of being imprisoned. I don’t know why, only that it was unjust (perhaps for being a Christian) and that I could do nothing about it. And I felt a wave of soul deep sadness over the loss of petting my animals, being in charge of my own day, walking freely in the sunshine, watching the trees in the changes of season, soaking in my hot tub, helping my parents, talking with my husband.

Just recalling the dream brings a heart wrenching feeling of dread. The dream certainly highlighted the values I hold dear and I began to look at how I was spending my time and energy. Am I filling up my day with those things I’d miss most if they weren’t there anymore? Instead of “fitting” the things I value into a busy schedule, am I making a priority of those things which give joy to my soul?

After the dream I found myself sitting on the floor and petting the dogs, taking time to give attention to each of the barn cats, slowing down while brushing my horse and giving her more treats. It’s just really simple little stuff but it’s what matters to me, really deep down, it matters to my inner most being.

What means the most to your heart? What would create a deep sense of loss if YOU were put in prison?

Sometimes we put ourself in prison, sometimes life is hard and hurts so much we put a wall up around our heart in order to protect it from hurt. But walls not only protect us from hurt, they prevent the joy of good things coming in too. I’ve worked with some of you and helped to release the emotions trapped around the heart. I will be doing that again this Thursday at 7:30pm eastern time on a half hour or so teleconference.

This is a self-care stress management group for women and you’re welcome to join in but you do have to pre-register. I won’t waste your time, the focus of the group is both therapy and therapeutic, we’ll facilitate the removal of old negative emotional energy using the Emotion Code, and I’ll suggest some personal tools you can use on your own to manage stress, along with the reasons of why they work from a neuro-biological perspective.

If you can call in live on Thursday, please join us! In the meantime, ask yourself if you are giving mindful time to those things that have soul-deep meaning in your life. If not, why not start now!

Beautiful

 

snowy pathway surrounded by bare tree

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

Four inches of snow fell last night. Everything is cleanly coated in white. The weeds, the branches, the ground, all renewed with gleaming crystals glimmering in the sunlight this morning. 

But I can’t see it. Well, I can “see” it but my heart isn’t filled with joy from the beauty surrounding me. Why? Because my husband was moody this morning, grumbling about this, complaining about that. So draining.

I feel my gut clenching, I hate that feeling. I hate missing out on a beautiful day. I hate feeling pulled down.

But I have a toolbox filled with tools to handle things just like this. What do I want? I want to enjoy the morning. How can I de-stress? I can focus on my breathing, I can find those tense muscles and allow them to let go, I can release expectations on my husband and simply love him.

The clenching in my gut is gone and my heart expands. The beauty of this day slowly fills me with awe. I can feel my gut wanting to clench again, I go through the breathing, releasing muscle tension, letting go of expectations, expanding my heart and I find joy again.

It’s an exercise I repeat several times before my body totally lets it go. My husband apologizes for his morning mood. I’m glad he can “own” what is his and find his peace again. I didn’t add or take away from his drama, it was his to come to terms with. I just found my own joy and sent out love.

Centered and mindful, I continue the day. It’s just beautiful.

Suffering and Healing

woman wearing striped shirt

Photo by Ivandrei Pretorius on Pexels.com

This is an anniversary week. Six years ago I was in the hospital and newly diagnosed with chronic pain, Trigeminal Neuralgia. I’ve been having twinging reminders of jaw pain as I nervously wait for a dental crown that won’t be happening until next month. It’s understandable to contemplate both suffering and healing this week.

Yesterday was the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes. In 1858, Mary, the mother of Jesus, appeared in France to a young girl named Bernadette. She was a sickly girl who had breathing problems and suffered greatly. Bernadette was directed by Mary to dig in one area of a grotto and water appeared. The water from Lourdes has had miraculous healing properties for many people. But it didn’t heal Bernadette, who was told by the apparition that Bernadette’s “happiness would not be in this world but in the next.”

There is a mystery in suffering. Bernadette’s suffering was not because of anything she did wrong, God used it for her sanctification and for the healing of others. That can be hard to understand if you don’t have a Christian faith (or even if you do). Bernadette’s suffering for the sake of others has happened to other Christians … Saint Apollonia (whose feast day is celebrated today) is considered the patron saint of dentists … her teeth were knocked out by an angry anti-Christian mob. Did you know saints are only recognized officially as saints when there are documented scientifically unexplainable healings and miracles attributed to them?

Why does God allow healing from someone else’s suffering? I guess that’s the mystery of the cross. Christ suffered (and conquered death) to help heal humanity’s relationship with God. Christ didn’t take away suffering in this life (as ample evidence around us proves), we are still called to take up our own cross … but Jesus showed us that following God’s will, even unto suffering and death, can lead to sanctification.

We all suffer in different ways and some people I’ve worked with will have lifelong suffering … with the pain from spastic muscles in cerebral palsy, with the inability to ever walk again after a tragic car accident, with autoimmune disease, with the slow loss of a spouse to dementia, with the draining fight of cancer. Chronic suffering affects your ability to work and give back to society and I’m afraid I’ve noticed how the world doesn’t see much value in people who are in a state of chronic suffering.

But Christianity views all human beings in whatever stage of health as valuable. And Christianity shows suffering can have spiritual value … St. Paul writes, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.” We, God’s people, are the church and one of the things lacking in Christ’s afflictions is our willingness, our freely given “yes” to participate in suffering when we are faced with it.  Besides St. Paul, other saints have written similar advice for this type of suffering and it’s worth considering their words as well.

No one wants to suffer, we all want health and healing, and some of you are experiencing various types of ongoing suffering, for me it was years of chronic pain after the Trigeminal Neuralgia diagnosis. I didn’t want to suffer, I didn’t want to carry the cross of chronic pain, I worked hard and spent lots of money trying to find ways not to suffer, but I also accepted what was happening in each moment, offering up those moments of both suffering and healing to God.

Screen Shot 2019-02-14 at 6.36.35 PM

Now I apply what I’ve learned to help others with their suffering. The Christian view that suffering can have some value or merit helped me handle the resentfulness at life’s seeming unfairness. Who needs resentfulness stealing the moment by moment joys of fresh air wafting by or the feel of a warm fireplace or the sweet sounds of birds singing or the view of a sunset or the aroma of freshly baked bread.

There can still be joy for those who are suffering. There can still be living while suffering. And there can be healing while suffering. And perhaps some of that healing is spiritual and will not be comprehensible until after we die and meet God in the eternity of time that follows this short life on earth.

Hormones

woman wearing grey long sleeved top photography

Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

About 4 or so years ago I noticed increasing symptoms of menopause: weight gain, bone tenderness, headaches, sleep changes, weepy eyes, bouts of anxiety, fibrocystic breasts, vaginal dryness. I went to my doctor and shared these symptoms and was put on Estrace, a very expensive $350 a tube estrogen cream (out-of-pocket cost).

I like to give things a chance to work and was on that cream for 2 1/2 years. In that time I not only had more weight gain, muscle and bone tenderness, headaches, sleep problems, weepy eyes, bouts of anxiety, fibrocystic breasts and continued vaginal dryness … but I also developed serious hot flashes and had a suspicious mammogram.

Things were getting worse? Why? Worried about my health, I began to study more and took a class given by a doctor who specializes in women’s health and menopause. This is what I learned:

  • There are different types of estrogen – E1 Estrone is a weaker estrogen and is higher in pregnant and menopausal women, E2 Estradiol is an aggressive estrogen linked to breast cancer, and E3 Estriol is a protective estrogen that contributes to healthy skin and plays an anti-cancer role.
  • Estrogen drops during menopause but progesterone drops even more, leading to a higher ratio of estrogen to progesterone, which equals estrogen dominance symptoms.
  • A menopausal woman can be both low in estrogen and be estrogen dominant (due to the low progesterone) at the same time.

That was me. I was low in estrogen and very low in progesterone. Extrace cream is E2 estradiol and was only adding to my menopausal symptoms. I stopped the estradiol prescription cream and started on bi-est cream 1x a day (a bioidentical estrogen cream with the correct ratio of E3 estriol to E2) and natural progesterone cream 2x a day. Both are over-the-counter and I can buy a years supply at the cost of one month of the prescription estrogen. I also began a low dose of DHEA and Pregnenolone.

It’s been about 4 months and my weight is slowly dropping without effort, I feel stronger, headaches are gone, sleep is better, my eyes are clearer, the vaginal dryness is under control, the hot-flashes have all but disappeared and a follow-up mammogram was clear of problems. Isn’t that amazing? Just getting the right balance of hormones and vitamin support and things have changed for the better.

When I told my doctor (actually I saw the nurse practitioner) about the menopause program I was taking, she asked if there was a cost and when I said $700 she rolled her eyes and dismissed it. She also said it wasn’t indicated that I have blood work related to my hormone levels (so I did that on my own). This same person would have had no problem continuing that $350 prescription. UGH, where is the disconnect? Can’t medical professionals see there’s a problem with how women in menopause are being treated?

BTW – A side-benefit of beginning to get my hormones back in line is that my blood pressure readings are getting lower too. (Weeeee – doing a happy dance.) It’s all connected … estrogen, progesterone, thyroid, cortisol, oxytocin … all those hormones interact with each other.

If you’re having menopause issues and aren’t getting answers from your doctor, there are answers out there. I learned to test, not guess and get my hormones tested every few months (on my own, no doc visit). And I highly recommend Dr. Anna’s menopause class, she’s offering a free 10-day menopause masterclass right now and you can learn all about some of those mystical hormones.

And I hope you haven’t gone through hormone misdirection like I did, worsening the symptoms of menopause and costing quite a bit of out-of-pocket fees with the extra mammograms and prescription medications. If you have and that upsets you, then channel your anger into learning more and changing things. You’re in charge of you, you are not helpless, there is hope for hormones.