Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Peace of After Christmas

I have trouble with the Christmas season... So much striving and pressure and getting things done. I love the peace that comes after the presents are opened and dinner is served. That's when I really can focus on Christ, and what His coming means. Its finally quiet, the chores are all done, the messes cleaned up and everyone is content. This is he peace of Christmas I long for all the holiday shopping season. Finally! SIGH!!!!!!!!!!!

This evening as I look down the line of relaxing family members in the living room, I feel especially blessed. Things are healing. I'm healing, and that is bringing healing to our family. My husband is smiling more now. He's not as tense. My disability caused a lot of frustrated anger, fear and resentment. With the improvements to my condition, a lot of those are melting away. All of the necessary accommodations aren't as burdensome, when the spirit is lifted. So everything is easier. I know he still loved me, even when he was angry; it's hard for a man of action to stand by and do nothing. Very hard. There were times when I thought this illness was going to tear us apart. But we hung on. So as the year draws to a close, I can take a few minutes to look back and see how far I've come. I can look forward and see that through God's grace and power, I shall make it further back on the road to recovery. I can also see that every single step I traveled I was never walking it alone. The Lord my God never left me or forsook me. Every painful step was a blessing, and every tear a prayer. I think the psalmist says it better... "I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a solid rock and gave me a firm pace to stand. He put a new song in my mouth; a song of praise to our God." 40:1-3 & "Unless the Lord had given me help,I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When I,said, 'My foot is slipping,' your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul." 103:17-19

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tok'sha T'shunka Washte

Dan died. He was my gelding. " My horse-boy." He was about 30. He did not suffer, he just got old.  Yesterday he told us it was time. His once powerful body had become that of a little old man-horse. 

He refused to get up for Ron, who wanted to bring him down to the paddock and spoil him until he was gone. So I went out. His gentle eyes said, "momma, it's time." I said, "I know old man get up."  and I tugged on his halter. "momma, I can't" his look said. And I said, "Hoka he! Mita kola!" his ears pricked up, his eyes brightened. I was speaking his native language, and it seemed to bring joy to his heart.  I tugged his halter again,  "Hoka  he!" he surged to his feet. "T'shunka witka" I murmured, and I swear I saw him smile. He liked being called "Crazy Horse."  "T'shunka washte" I crooned as we shambled unsteadily to the paddock. I continued crooning Lakota to him, my big old wild mustang. I stroked his fuzzy ears and talked about our wild rides and how he would once again run across the field in the land of his ancestors, his great big hooves pounding the ground like thunder. He settled down in his favorite wallow, like an old man settles in his favorite chair. I gave him grain, and hay and water within easy reach.  I soothed and stroked his face and neck until he seemed to want to sleep.  Off and on, he slept the rest of the day. He got up and down several times, things were going in and out. There were no issues. He was just old, it was time to go. We spent several more visits together. He savored an apple core. We said goodbye. This morning, he was gone. I shall miss him.
Tok'sha, mita kola washte,  (Until Later, my great friend)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Oh, What A Night!

I haven't had one in quite a while. I wasn't missing it! But apparently it missed me... The specter of my wretched illness raised it freaking head, crawled out from under the bed and impaled me like a pig on a bar-b-que spit.

O.k. Maybe that's a little over dramatic, but, allow me my mellow drama; I've been up since 1:30, in unbearable pain. It's just before 5:30 (a.m) as I begin to write this. I've beat the pain back enough that I can settle... To be more honest, it didn't start exactly like being lanced with a pike staff, it felt more like a giant can opener. Not the kind you twist the knob, with the circular blade, but the older kind, with the point and hook that you lever up and down.

I was just sleeping away, deeply, after a difficult day, when suddenly that wrenching, burning pain tore through my stomach. Groggy and unwilling, I knew I had to get up. I stumbled from the bed, staggering around the room in the dark, collecting slippers and robe. Good Lord! It was burning a hole in my chest! I breached the refrigerated and swilled a couple of ounces of cream. No relief. I slammed down a couple more... Pain begins to spread to my lymphatic tissue and lymph snot begins to form in my stomach and throat, and forcefully spew. I mix and down 10 ounces of homeopathic herbals for lymphs and vomiting. I pace and massage lymphs as the pain continues to rise. I go to the rebounder. No help. I return to the kitchen and take a coupe of toxin absorbing caps with another 10 oz of water and C powder. The pain has reached the level of ice pick, front and back... Oh shit! I make a cup of coffee. Perhaps the heat and drawing will alieviate the pain? Thank God! A moments respite. The pain recedes enough to bear. I take my cup, and nurturing it, I withdraw to my chair. Rosie looks at me dubiously in the subdued light. She snuggles up and starts licking my hand. We get about 5 minutes of respite before the demon launches its next attack and I'm forced out of the chair, seeking relief. I scrounge the fridge and surface with Glute and Methyl B12. I leave them on the table to warm up. I pace and hit the rebounder. No relief! NO RELIEF! I stumble back to the kitchen and inject the B12. Better, that's better. It ebbs a bit. Back to the chair. I try to settle. I try to rest, but it has me firmly now and it's not letting go. I fight my way back out of the chair and gather the injection supplies. I'd left my glasses on the dresser by the bed. I don't want to wake Ron so I decide to try injecting without them. I collect my ipad so I can check my calander. I need to see which arm I last used. I discover that calander pages don't expand. I think it says I did the Right arm last time. Close enough. I hear me crying out softly with every breath. I'm breathing, ow! Ow! Ow! A lament. Tears are forming, I can barely stand it. I begin to shake deep inside. A kind of cellular vibration. O' damn! This takes so long. I have to be careful. Breathe! I tell my wheeny-assed self. There's no point in telling her to stop crying, she doesn't listen... Steady! The strong part has to do it now. I open packages and prepare the injection. Steady, I draw air, jab the stopper through, push in the air and draw the glute. I tear the tape, and stick it to my arm. Steady! She's crying, still crying. Ignore her! Prep the infusion kit. Now, carefully, make the stick. There! the blood runs up. Draw out the air, slowly, slowly push in the glute. Its cold, too cold! My arm aches with the chilling cold. No relief! No relief! I rock and cry. My lament broken now and then by a rising moan, and agonized whimper. I force myself to pace, to jump, to massage. The ripping, tearing screaming pain galvanizes me to make a run for the sauna.

Hah! That sounds like I'm moving quickly but the pain is so bad I can barely force each leg to take the next step as I laboriously pull my unresponsive body up the stairs. We make it to the bedroom and I will myself to the control panel. I'm aware I'm staggering like a drunk. "Focus!" I command my errant thoughts. I punch "start", and then the "light off" button. I'm breathing hard and moaning under my breath. I don't want to wake Ron, I'm trying to be quiet. The air in our room is chilly. I make my way to the recumbent bike. I need to bike while I wait for the sauna to warm up. It will keep me warm; it will move lymph. The lymph pain is spreading from my chest and back now and engulfing my legs and arms in swelling, glowing pain and weakness. I can't give in! I can't. There's no one to call, there's no one who can help. Ron wakes up and asks, "Something you ate?" my response interjected into my song of pain,
"No, lymphoma. I can't find anything. I can't smell anything. will you check? Make sure the kids haven't left anything out?" He gets up, grabs anything in the room that's suspect and dissappears. I get up and pace madley, massaging lymphs, Rosie at my heels... When he returns he informs me that there was nothing. He returns to bed. I keep pacing. Finally the sauna's ready and I crawl in writhing and pressing my back as close to the heat as it will allow. I'll wear stripes tomorrow, but am willing to exchange one pain for the lessor if it will help.

I hurt so bad I can not sit still; the heat is too much. I tap the off button and break for the shower. Scalding hot- beating against my spine where it feels like I'm being torn apart: relief. Enough. I can breathe. I stand there, easing up the dial as I drain the hot water tank. The pain is still there, but I can bear it now. I climb out, dry off and continue pacing, massaging: keep moving lymph. It ebbs further and joy swells against the pain. I roll my weary eyes and risk a gritty grin, I've beat it back again. 'Jamas and robe back on, I leave the bedroom and Ron to sleep in piece and head down stairs to let it ease a bit more before I will be able to crawl back into bed to sleep.

Back to the chair both a blessing and a curse. Yet, as a settle, I feel the rising pressure that signals a return of pain. Cursing, cursing, I make my way, again to the kitchen. Damn, and damn again! What the hell is going on? Why can't I shake it? Back to my cupboard, I mix more C. Chugged and still no relief! I'm desperate now. It's not porphyria, but I have no cards left. I draw together ingredients for porphyria cure. I'm stirring, cooking, thinking, "I've hurt worse. When did I become such a wheeny? Suck it up!!!" by the time I've got it done, the pain has risen to stabbing ice picks again. "What the hell?" I drink my 'cure.' an ineffectual blow against my invisible enemy. "What!?" My eyes cast about, searching for a likely suspect. They light upon the trash compactor. "Hell, why not!" I pull open the bin and draw out the liner. And while I'm at, why not the rest of the garbage, just in case. The pain it nearing unbearable, again. Cursing as I push from garbage can to garbage can, I pause beside the shredder. That's when I smelled it. Benzene, toluene. I remove the top; it billows out. I found it. My chest and spine are screaming in fury. My legs and arms flame and burn! I dump the bin, seal my bag and immediately the pain begins to melt. I drug the cursed thing to the back door, opened it and flung it out.

I turned on exhaust fans and cracked a window open. I lit organic beeswax candles? Faster and faster the pain melts away. I wash my face 3 times. Peace. Soreness. Exhaustion. To the chair. I pull my iPad to me and begin to type. Part way through I pass out of consciousness and into blissful sleep...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Beef Tongue

I cooked the beef tongue tonight. It's been a long time since I've done one. I can't even remember the last time. It must be lost to the brain damage. I remember the time when I first made it for my husband. I remember how easy it was to peel the skin. But darn if I could remember how I did it. That memory is completely gone.

So I read up on it. I read my "Joy of Cooking." Mostly she boils 'em. My mom blanched, peeled and roasted 'em. I did too. I wanted to do that, not boiled. So I looked on the net. Most of those recipes were for boiled as well. I went back to "Joy." there was one brief notation on baking it, with a creole sauce... Let's do that!

Well, obviously the directions in Joy were not the ones I used to use. The skin did not come off. It could have been because I didn't let it cool enough. But, it wasn't getting any easier, as I worked at it, so I'm guessing, "NOT," I decided it was a good time to practice my skinning skills, anyway. They've gotten rusty as I haven't been hunting since before I got pesticided. I sharpened up my knife real good, and set to work. Maybe I should have not sharpened it... Anyway, two nasty slices and 4 band-aides later I had the job done. The dogs were excited. They got skin & trimmings. I included the really fatty parts under the tongue. The rest I thinly sliced, put in a casserole and poured a jar of home canned lime and garlic salsa over the top. Modified "creole sauce." I dashed in a few tasty herbs and a dribble of molasses and tucked it in the oven. It smelled heavenly and tasted delicious. Though, next time I'll cook it slower and on lower heat... Not as tender as I like. Alex said it was fine. I must have got all the chewy pieces!

Two nights ago I made oxtail soup. It is the best tasting meat, with a rich and nourishing broth, thick with cabbage, carrots and onions. Justin has never had ox tail or tongue. Alex didn't remember having tongue. I still can't remember when I lat made it. Of course, if she was at school, she wouldn't have known. Though, I can't imagine me not telling them what it was! GFETE

That takes care of all the fresh meat, from our recent butchering. Tonight, as soon as Ron finishes eating, we'll grind and wrap the belly scrap that Justin brought in, then we'll be done until its hung long enough. Looks like we'll be cutting the first quarter, Christmas weekend. I think we'll leave a T-bone steak out for Santa this year. GFETE

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Liver

Yesterday was a butchering day. Ron (my husband) and Justin (my son-in-law) went out into the cold foggy pasture, sugar coated with ice crystals, and killed a steer. The pool of scarlet blood melted the silvery frost. Steaming crimson on a patch of green, vibrant against the grey and white landscape.

How many people even know what it means to kill their own meat? How many know the heat of the blood and the smell of the gut? Or the work involved? The sweat, the effort, the time... Do they know the sense of sorrow, gratitude and humility, or the sense of connection to the universe that you feel, when you kill your own meat? Hunters and farmers do. They still retain their connection to the land, the life force, the cost... Something that urbanization has taken away... Humility and sacrifice.

Gordon, a poster on DFA, talks about raw meaty bones, for dogs, and feeding them on the ground. I wonder what he would think if he saw a steer butchered on the pasture, grass bits clinging to heart, liver tail, tongue, and scrap, when it's brought to the house? What would they think if they saw the blood up to the elbows, the cutting, the cleaning. Would primitive feelings awaken in their souls? Is there some deeper stirring that arises, like that same call of men around a bar-b-que: flames and meat. And here is meat, raw and steaming. The guys gut it, quarter it, and bring it down to the house to clean. Then wrap it in clean sheets and take it to the butchering plant, to hang in the big cooler. The hanging weight is 644 lbs.

I've been presented with the choice parts. They are still warm and very bloody. Not at all like meat from a store. Each piece is washed, rinsed, drained and dried. The liver weighed about 15 lbs. As I wash it, I inspect it for flukes, a parasite. I did not find any, though there was a bit of damage. I wonder what my own liver must look like. Last year, my liver was so damaged that my abdomin was distended above my waist like a 6 months pregnancy. It's almost flat again. That's a lot of healing. I wonder how my liver tissue looks as I cut out and discard the two tiny damaged spots on this steer's liver.

I cut off the lobes, thinly sliced them and set them in a bowl of saltwater. Then went back to dividing the rest of the liver into freezer portions: human and dog. Rosie and Sonia are riveted to my every move. Sonia, being, 13 knows how the game is played. She takes herself off to the living room, out of sight. We play a game in this house. The dog farthest from the food gets the prize. She has positioned herself at the far end of the living room, perky pom ears straining to follow my movements. Rosie is only a year old. Her nappy black body stretched out at the kitchen door, inching forward, testing - learning. When she figures it out and retreats she gets a prize. No dogs in the kitchen.

I move on to cutting and grading the heart meat, while the scrubbed tongue soaks in brine, to remove the slime. Even doing this, I still have to cook dinner, so I break long enough to scrub up a few potatoes and sweet potatoes and start them cooking. Justin and Ron had come in and cleaned up earlier. Cleaning and caring for the organ meat takes nearly as many hours as the slaughtering. Ron started the slaughtering at 7:30 and finished at 3:00. I started my part at 1:00 and finished at 6:30. While I cut up the heart, I ask Justin to slice a couple of onions for dinner. Yep, liver and onions and spicey plank fried potatoes.

When dinner was nearly ready, I called the kids to set the table. I told them to put every condiment on the table we owned. It's been a long time since I've eaten liver and with my heightened sense of smell, I wasn't sure I would be able to choke it down. Justin was thinking along the same lines after spending all those hours working over the gut pile. We hadn't been eating the organ meats the last several years. Too any toxins from the neighbor's spraying. Toxins are processed in the liver. If the animal has been exposed to toxic substances, they'll be accumulated there. So we had been discarding it. This is the first year I felt it would be safe enough. I was a little worried that it wouldn't be clean enough and I thought about it as I sautéed the liver and onions, and turned the oven fried planks.

Spicey mustard works better than ketchup as a liver condiment. How could I have not known that all these years. I ate 4 pieces. Liver is chock full of glutathione. That's why it's so healthy for you. Justin amazed himself and ate 10 pieces, my daughter, Alex ate 8, and Ron, amazed us all by eating 10. Ron is not known for a large appetite. Justin finally owned up that he'd expected that having participated in the process, that he'd have lost his appetite. He surprised himself, and was even looking forward to liver sandwich for lunch.

So, the liver was clean enough, of toxins. It did initiate a cleansing crisis. I was awakened at 4:00 a.m. With acute lymphatic pain. I had to get up to treat it. I'm waiting it out and typing this to keep my mind off the symptoms. Sooo itchy!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Electrocuted Sheep

I had this sheep once, that got stuck between the single strand of hot wire and the woven field fence. It had a full fleece so it normally would have been protected from being shocked. But on that particular occasion it had rained, and the soggy wool conducted the pulsing electricity. So, when I got up, early that morning, I found that one forlorn ewe standing there soggy, twitching and trapped. Twice a second she received a shot that clenched her whole body. Having been zapped by that particular charger myself, I empathized with every jolt.

Of course I turned off the fencer and removed her from her predicament. But it was something about her sad, resigned face, and her quiet expectation of the next arcing pain, that came to mind this morning as I prepared to write this blog. You see, I realized that like her, I expect the next hurt.

Not only have I become chemically hypersensitive, I've become emotionally hyper-sensitive. I discovered, I'm defensive. Too quick to think the worst. Oh, I could make all kinds of justifications, give my reasons, but bottom line... I was wrong.

The person that I thought was saying that he didn't want to hear what I had to say, yesterday, was trying to "help" me. He wanted me to fit in a little better. To be a little more "normal." His motivation was good hearted.

In all my life, I have never received such a gracious apology. It was very beautiful. It made me cry. I was devastated and hurt, when I thought he was criticizing me, and now greatful and humbled by his apology. I'm kind of at a loss for words. I wish I could describe it better. I think if people actually knew how incredibly redeeming and healing a sincere apology is, they'd practice it more. I'd had no idea! I'd never received one before now. Somehow, the art, or skill, or graciousness of truly apologizing has gotten lost. I've read in the Word of God, that we're supposed to, and that it is truly healing. I've longed for apologies from people who've hurt me. I've done my due diligence preparing my heart to forgive... But never in all my life has anyone come and apologized! I never knew what it felt like, to be asked to be forgiven... Wow!

Don't get me wrong, I've had people say the words, but not mean them. That kind of apology is usually followed by justification or rationalization. It never felt like they were sorry... This time, this person really meant it. It was so apparent. The whole thing was so incredibly different. I think I will treasure it for the rest of my life. I shall measure every time I wrong another, and I need to apologize by this standard. I have learned an incredible lesson, in a place I never expected to learn it.

I was that sheep, stuck and soggy, between the hot wire and the fence, stoggedly enduring shock after shock, until some one came and set me free.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Most People Don't Want To Hear It.

It is true, so many of the people that I blog to, on other sites, and even those in my life, don't want to hear it. That just blows me away! I mean really?! How can you protect yourself against the unknown. You can't. If you are ignoring or running away from your enemies or problems, you are vulnerable. You can't defend yourself. If you face them, you can fight them.

They tell me they are "overwhelmed" by ALL the things I tell them are toxic. Don't they get it? Their bodies are being overwhelmed by all those toxic things! I don't know how to proceed. I make them uncomfortable and they, in so many ways, want to shush me. They want to stop the flow of bad news. But, that's not going to stop the bad news from coming, or from destroying their lives.

So many people hear my story and because I'm sick from big exposures, assume that the toxins won't harm them. They don't get that I, among the TI, am in the minority. The majority of TIs can't tell you what injured them! They became TI by multiple small daily exposures to what are considered everyday products...!!! They were sickened so gradually that they didn't recognize that there was even anything wrong, until one day they realized just how very bad it was. Some struggled along, obliviously suffering, for decades!

Unfortunately for those who's injuries occur like this, there is less help or validation of their condition. They are the ones that suffer the most with the "it's all in your head" accusations.

How many of you, out there, don't think you're TI? How many of you have acid reflux? That is due to toxic injury. How about arthritis?- also recognized as a TI. Muscle aches and pains? ED? Fertility problems? Ulcers? Gout? Headaches? Asthma, allergies, dry flakey skin, diabetes? ALL toxic injuries. Slowly and insidiously they pile up. Until one day you begin to notice that certain perfumes are bothering you. You find yourself selecting fragrance free laundry products because "the fragrances conflict." Keep deceiving yourself... Then you find yourself avoiding the fragranced aisles in stores or cringing when nearing and passing Bath salt stores or Candle stores at the mall... You are chemically hyper-sensitive!!!! But, you'll tell yourself all kinds of things that you'll try hard to believe, in order to convince yourself it's not happening to you... I know you will. I did. So has every other TI I've ever talked to. Eventually, you'll reach the tipping point. You'll be so fricking sick that you can no longer deny it...

That makes me sad! It breaks my heart! That's why I share ALL the crap I know. That's why I try so hard to warn people! I don't want one more person to succumb... But, They. Don't. Want. To. Hear. It.

I'm thinking I should just stop blogging on that other blog. I don't believe in forcing anybody... I've heard from several posters, that they don't want to hear it. I even heard from someone that I thought was a supporter, who in the nicest way, told me he didn't want to hear it. Must be time for me to move on. I'm hoping that I've given some help to people who would have otherwise never have known. I'm hoping that in some way, I've prevented some Toxic injuries. I'm very sad for the lives that will be lost due to obstinacy.