Monday, April 24, 2017

Is Genesis History? Giveaway

Did God really create the world and the universe and all that is in it in just 6 days?

Did a great global flood really happen or is it just a great narrative?

Was the earth created by a big bang?

How did the earth become so filled with many diverse and interesting animals and plants?

Did God create man in His image or did humans really evolve from apes?

Is there historical evidence for the Tower of Babel?

What does science believe over what the Bible teaches about the creation of the universe, earth and life on our planet?

Is there evidence to prove that Genesis is the key to history?

I often said that when I got to heaven I would ask God to show me how He created the heavens and the earth and there have been times when people told me that the initial 6 days of creation found in Genesis isn't truly a day for each event, often citing other scriptures where a day is a thousand years to God and a thousand years equivalent to a day. But is there evidence on earth today that answers every single question I have posed above?

Yes, the evidence is so overwhelming that you can find these things out for yourself, not only by watching the DVD, Is Genesis History but also in researching some of the information outlined in this film yourself. I love how the movie went through each question and offered solid proof that the world was created in just 6 days, true 24 hours periods and we can see evidence in the geology not only from the Grand Canyon but also in places all over the globe that show these events happened quickly and not from billions of years as scientists have claimed.

You learn about what happened to the dinosaurs, why their are so many fossils found in land regions from marine life which shouldn't happen unless there was a global flood. In fact all religions and cultures share a global flood story in them. You get an understanding of how fossils were created and why their evidence proves the Genesis account to be true. You unlock the key differences in Darwin's theory of evolution versus a creation theory and understand why some animals are similar and what their genetic DNA has to say about their unique traits and creations. The best part is all the supposed atheists are now claiming in fact that despite the evidence, Genesis is true and answers all the questions we have about earth's history but more importantly also about earth's future.

I received Is Genesis History? compliments of Compass Cinema and Lev3L Digital. This is such an important teaching tool that I believe will answer some of the greatest questions we have about the creation story we find in the Bible. Did Noah really take all the animals, bird and reptile species in the Ark? What about the Ice Age? Global Warming? What would it have been like when the great flood actually happen? Is there proof on a more recent scale that shows that the way we have documented aging of objects is false like Carbon dating? I love how in under 2 hours you walk away with a whole new confident level of understanding about the Genesis account and how it pertains to history that is based on fact! I give this documentary a solid 5 out of 5 stars. Check out the website to learn more about educational resources, videos, pictures, downloads, and more. The DVD releases on April 11th, so be sure to pick this one up today for your home library!

For more information about Is Genesis History, Compass Cinema, or where to pick up a copy of this DVD today, please click on the links below:

You can find Is Genesis History on Facebook to stay up to date on all the latest information about the film. 

Thanks to the generosity of LEV3L Digital and Is Genesis History project, they are giving away a copy of the DVD to one lucky reader. Here is all you need to do to enter this giveaway. 

1. "Like" Is Genesis History's Facebook page. 

2. Share this blog post or social media link on your social media or blog pages. As believers, we really want to promote this film especially if you're like me and have the same questions and need solid faith filled answers. 

3. Leave me a comment below sharing with me why you would love to win a copy of this DVD. Don't forget to include your email address because without it, I can't notify you if you are the winner of the giveaway. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols. 

Enter as many times as you wish and don't forget to include your links that you shared by coming back here and leaving a comment. If you are reading this on social media, you can private message me with your links and email. The giveaway will end on April 27th so be sure to share as much as you can. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Definitely Over Did It!

Sometimes just when you think you're back to "normal," you have a small setback. In this case, it was working alongside my youngest, Kailee while we worked on my oldest daughter Caitlyn's yard. It involved removing pine cones and pine needles and some weeds from her mountain cabin in Wrightwood. It is required by the city as a way of eliminating things that can add fuel to a fire in case there is one. So with cooler temperatures and a promise of lunch at the Evergreen, we worked on her front yard and back yard. Plus we also get a chance to play with the puppies she has.

So these are the pictures of her front yard before.

And the pictures of the after.

We finished the front yard after about 3 1/2 hours but the result was worth it. It looks so much better. So Kailee and I grabbed lunch at the Evergreen Cafe again and I got a tuna melt and fries and she had the french dip and fries. I opted for lemon water over her coke. To say that we were both beat by the time we broke for lunch is an understatement.  Part of us was dreading going back to finish and the other part of us just wanted to get back and finish the job.

So with weary and tired bones, we headed back, but not before stopping to give my leftovers to Caitlyn as she met us in the parking lot as she was headed out to work. She got a tuna melt to enjoy on her way to work as a cardio echo technician in Redlands.

So now Kailee and I had the side yards and back yard to work on. These are the before pictures:

And the after:

We finished up by 3:30pm and just before we left, Kailee was asked to give a quote to do the same thing for the neighbor Heather who needed to have her pine needles and pine cones removed as well. She has yet to consider a number as estimates are so hard, but she knows it will probably take her a day with help and 2 days if she does it alone. We were so worn out and all either of us wanted was a hot shower and just some clean clothes, which would have to wait til we made the drive home, 40 minutes later. But before we left, we let the puppies out so we could play with them and let them go potty before we left. 25 bags of pine needles later, we headed home.

So today, I am beat down tired and my muscles I hadn't used in so long are aching. Since I can't take muscle relaxers with Elavil, I opted for a full Norco last night and just Advil this morning. I do feel a bit more of a flair in my IC symptoms today, but have plans to just sit back, read and do nothing to give my body a break. Now I know where my limits are and what I need to do to get back to feeling better. Hoping to get out this weekend with my hubby, but for now, grabbing some lunch and a tall glass of water. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

To Better Days and Puppy Sighs

I am so thrilled to have these better days. While I am not 100% symptom free, I am getting better day by day. My body seems to remind me these days when I make the wrong choices, that everything has its place in moderation. While I can't do full mornings with coffee to keep me going, I am learning that everything that goes in our bodies is either helpful or harmful. Some days when we are so busy as moms it is easy to forget that. Just grabbing whatever is right in front of us, or whatever we pass right by in order to make our days go better isn't exactly the right choices.

I am reminded each time I pick things up from what I drink to what I choose to eat or snack on, that it has its price on my body. I also don't want to go back to the way things were and that is keeping my mindset on staying focused on healthy food choices no matter where I go. I can have the occasional indulgence, but if I want my body to be all that I need it to be, I need to fuel it right and take good care of it.

I am glad that I am to be up and about now, instead of stuck in pain relying on pain meds to help get me to the end of the day. Prayer and keeping God in focus helps as well.

Today I got to visit with my oldest daughter Caitlyn and enjoy going out to our local place for breakfast in Wrightwood, the Evergreen Cafe. It is a quaint and charming restaurant, which is always decorated for whatever holiday is happening. I even over heard a conversation that the restaurant has been featured in some movies because it isn't your run of the mill franchise places. If you plan on checking them out anytime soon, if you go on the weekend, be prepared for a wait. There are only about 10 tables to sit at or belly up to the counter if you like, but the food is amazing, filling and you definitely get your money's worth.

It is one of those places where if you visit often enough, you get to know the people who work there like Twila and Karen and they make you feel like family. They know us so well, they know what we will generally get for breakfast or lunch. Their prices are amazing and I love being able to get away and feel spoiled whenever I go there.

Today, I also got to meet the newest member of my daughter's family, Penelope. She is half sharpei and Labrador retriever and is absolutely adorable. She is sweet and loves the attention you give her. Her wrinkles are absolutely adorable. She smells like puppy love. Of course I can't forget Corvo, a mix between a German Shepherd and Siberian Husky. I even brought them gifts, a red Kong for Corvo and a Kong pull toy for Penelope. I even managed to sneak in a few treat, Banana chips for them to enjoy. There is nothing like the expressions that they each can give you just through their eyes and of course, their wagging tales.

Welcome to the family Penelope. Next time, I'll bring you your own Kong since Corvo doesn't like to share his. And yes, just in case your wondering, Corvo is really that fluffy and super soft too!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Such A Hassle Just to Make A Buck

Here it is Day 4 of feeling so much better. Today is better than yesterday with just a trace of symptoms of IC. I am enjoying a cup of coffee this morning since not having any for the last 2 days and switching it out for Marshmallow Root Tea. I've been waking up with a headache the last two mornings and wanted to see how my bladder would handle a bit of coffee. So far so good.

I hate my urologist. I think he is strictly doing his job for the money and making people jump through hoops just to get their test results. When he did my scope on Friday, all he provided to me at that time, was that my bladder was pale. You would think if your urologist conducted said test, he would tell you what is going on at that time. I was in so much pain, I couldn't think straight to ask him anything since I was focused on dealing with that, and my husband was arguing him over why he refused to prescribe something for the pain. When I asked the nurse how I could find out the results of the test, she told me within a week. Really?

After yesterday I told my husband no more.

I'm going to schedule one final appointment to pick up the results of my scope and hand them off to my primary care doctor who was the first to diagnose me with IC. He was the only doctor to also prescribe any pain medication for me, which was my saving grace on Friday. Now when I called to schedule a follow up, the earliest I can see him is April 25th. My current prescription of Elavil is scheduled to run out on Sunday the 23rd of April. I asked his nurse if I can get the prescription refilled so I don't have to be in pain while I wait for the appointment. She told me, the doctor won't refill prescriptions unless he has seen you.

I explained the situation and the earliest appointment would put me two days without medication. Her response was less than favorable, but I pushed her to at least ask. After all it was his suggestion that I double up on the medication just to get me through the pain of Friday's procedure and I can't see how if the medication is working, why he would want to make me wait just to have it filled.

Honestly. Doesn't it seem like this man is out just to make more money. His office visits are $300.00 which is what he is charging our insurance. So now I have to plan another visit, just so he can tell me, my results are normal and that he will refill my script? If I don't hear back from him by Friday, I'll have to see how I can push my primary to refill my scripts instead and forgo dealing with Dr. Greed instead.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Journey is Different For Everyone

It's been a long and painful road to walk these 2 1/2 months. I remember the day it all began and exactly where I was and what I was doing when I felt what would completely change my life. Sitting on the couch, reading a book with my husband by my side and getting a phone call from my dad that he was extremely stressed out and needed me to come to his house. It felt like any other bladder infection or UTI I can remember having and contacted my doctor who asked about my symptoms and gave me the standard antibiotics. Only this wasn't to be a bladder or UTI infection as those of you who have followed my blog posts know. This was going to change my life, my lifestyle and my way of life for the rest of my life.

Interstitial Cystitis or IC is not only a name you can't pronounce it can feel worse than being diagnosed with cancer. It is incurable and there is no one treatment that works for everyone. Basically you will be conducting a science experiment on yourself to find the one thing or combination of things that will get you as symptom free as you can. There will be more tears and frustration than you can imagine, but you are NOT alone. I had the wonderful pleasure of having so many wonderful people reach out to me and tell me about their own journeys, one such person is Elizabeth Musser, an author I reviewed her books for back in 2011 and 2012. Only God knew the connection we would have outside of that many years later. She gave me back hope in that this is NOT the end of my life, but simply a new chapter and that what works for some, doesn't work for everyone.

That there is nothing wrong with challenging your doctor if you feel their level of compassion and understanding to what you're dealing with is sub par. That you can seek help from the internet through your own research, trial and error on yourself and at times, being your own doctor and advocate, because unless you have had this, you don't know what it's like waking up with a horrible Bladder Infection or UTI every day, 24 hours a day with no way it seems to stop it. Doctor's don't want to prescribe pain meds but honestly until you can get to that comfort level, you will take and do almost anything in an effort to re-leave that pain.

So where am I today? I have had some great days between Saturday evening and Sunday. I can't say I am symptom free but between taking 50 mg of Elavil which deals with overactive nerves, to adding Aloe Vera capsules 3 times a day along with giving up coffee in lieu of Marshmallow Root tea, and minimizing my diet of foods that cause pain and those that don't. I am feeling what I could call almost normal. I can feel the sensitivity of the IC, but it is being held back for now. I am off the pryidium which turns your urine orange, and off the pain meds so I can function in ways I wasn't able to before.

I am working with trying to figure out if a high alkaline diet or a low oxalate diet is the best for me, so trying all kinds of food is key to keeping me pain free. The one thing that really stood out for me in talking with Elizabeth is we can go back to our lives prior to that beginning of IC and see where we could have made some changes in our lifestyle that could have prevented this from happening. For me it was dealing with all kinds of stress being generated from my dad, my husband's job, my daughters heart issue and just trying to manage through all of it when everyone wants a piece of you and you try to hard to accommodate everyone and end up short changing yourself. I remember gaining a lot of weight recently and that enabled me to not watch what I was eating and thought I could eat everything and anything I wanted while trying to manage my stress. Now I can see that connection and the light at the end of the tunnel thankfully is no longer a train, but a way out of this darkness of pain and agony.

So today is the beginning of my journey into the light hopefully for quite a while. Thank you to all that have been praying for me, calling me and emailing me. You are God's angels in the flesh, someone I can talk to and cry with. For that, I am forever thankful.

Friday, April 14, 2017

All Is Not Well!!!

So I did it.

I made the decision to get the cystoscopy done today. It is where you go into the urologists office and they take a camera and take a peek at your bladder. I had talked to so many different people about the procedure, did it hurt, what are the expectations afterwards, and after some consideration made the choice to go through with it.

It was the worst decision of my life. When I woke up this morning, my pain scale was already at a 6 moving up, meaning it would be a worse day over yesterday, so I was reconsidering whether I should follow through with the appointment. Then I thought, well what if they find something simple, that justifies all this pain and it can be fixed and the only way they'll know is if I do this test. So I made up my mind to do it.

I went in pajama bottoms because they say you have to get undressed from the waist down so I thought it would be easier on me when it came time to go home. SMART decision by me. There is no way I could have put on jeans after this procedure.

So once I disrobed from the waist down and carefully sat on the padded table, with nothing to cover me but a paper sheet, the nurse came in, had me lie down, and she proceeded to wash me down with a COLD solution and then insert the lidocaine syringe. THAT REALLY HURT. Then she left and said the doctor would be in shortly. I had to ask my husband who came in the room with me, what they just did and he said they inserted a syringe into your urethra and pushed in the lidocaine. It felt like a searing HOT needle and the worst part is the more I sat there waiting to feel numb, it just kept throbbing.

Then enters said doctor, my urologist. Let's just call him Dr. L. He told me the procedure would last about 5 minutes, and then inserted the camera. MY pain scale went from a 6 to an instant 10. I couldn't even focus to watch him do his camera stuff, as I had my eyes closed praying for God to take me now and breathing through the pain as well as I could. I could feel every single time he moved the camera and I wanted to Scream!!!

Then he pulled out the camera and said he was done. As I tried to get up, I asked when I would get the results back and he said about a week. I asked what can I do for the pain I was in now, and he said, the medication he had already prescribed for me should be working. I told him that for the most part it really wasn't on a day like today. I couldn't even stand up straight. I was so doubled over in pain. He asked me to use the restroom while he continued to talk with my husband who was adamant that he give me something.

When I attempted to use the bathroom, it felt like shards of glass and my urine was lemon juice. I was almost in tears. When I came out, Dr. L looked at me, and said, "that wasn't so bad right?" I looked at him and said, "Are you kidding me? My pain scale went from a 6 to a 10." He said I could take AZO for about 2-3 days and that should help along with Tylenol or Advil. I was just in shock.

How could a well meaning doctor not see a patient in physical pain and not do anything? He said he doesn't like to prescribe narcotics because patients abuse them. Then he walked away. I told my husband that I needed to leave, but honestly the hardest thing was trying to walk out of the office with any sense of dignity I had left. I could only manage a partial half standing walking position. Once I was in the car, I immediately got my pryidium out and took the pill, just like AZO only a bit stronger, along with a full NORCO tablet.

My poor husband, there wasn't anything he could do except drive as quickly as possible to get me home so I could self treat and medicate. We also made a decision to find a more suitable doctor. While he may be convenient, he lacks the bedside manners most doctors are missing any longer. I cried all the way home hunched over wishing Jesus would take me right then and there. I couldn't imagine what my weekend would even look like.

Once the medications kicked in along with laying in a fetal position in bed with a hot water bottle between my legs, I felt somewhat better. I have been drinking tons of water to flush all the stuff out of my system and will be taking it easy today.

I am not blaming anyone for their recommendations to bite the bullet and just do it. I made the decision on my own, but oh how I wish I would have waited. This is NOT how I wanted to spend my weekend, drugged up, in bed, and in pain. For now, the pain is about at a 5-6 which is considerably better than when I came home. I had to write this in hopes that those with painful bladder or UTI consider that you might want to opt for being put out if they ask to scope your bladder. If you are already in pain in those areas, there is nothing they can give you that will make this procedure comfortable. The way I described the pain afterwards to my husband is that they made me a new hole to urinate out of. It was that bad a full 10 out of 10.

Prayer for pain relief for me.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Decision Made

Well to say that yesterday was a bad day is 100% true if you are discussing my level of pain. I was a solid 7 most of the day and at some point I relented to take a half of a Norco because it usually eases the pain. It took the edge of but not enough to where I could function normally, or as well as I can under these circumstances.

I hate this part of my life.

I know God will bring glory to His name in all of these much like the apostle Paul begged three times for his issue to be taken from him and God told him no in the nicest possible way. In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, " But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Hard to imagine gaining strength through this but it takes all that I have not to lash out to anyone who is close to me, because I don't do pain well. I guess let me rephrase that, I can tolerate pain up to a point and then it becomes too much for me and I get frustrated because there is nothing I can do to find the slightest bit of comfort in all of this. 

I can't schedule a hair appointment because I'm not sure if it will be a good day, pain level 3, or a bad day pain level 7 and above. So my life in a nutshell has been staying within 10-15 minutes from home. Just taking a walk through the grocery store is horrible. I hate the way I feel and as I look around me, I can't be but envious of those who aren't dealing with this. A silent pain. One that shows no outward signs of what is happening on the inside. 

Last night I tried everything, from hot water bottles, Xanax, anti-inflammatories, pain meds, to all the comfort foods that is suppose to calm the irritation. I finally gave up by 8pm and opted to double my dose of Elavil based on people who have flare ups will double their dose and in the morning will feel much better. 

This morning I did feel a bit better, but that is the thing, mornings are generally good for me, but by the end of the day I am done. Like stick a fork in me done. So after some consideration and talking with family and friends I am going forward with the scope. I did get my urine culture results back from Monday and that is NO infection. I think I already knew it would rule that one out. Seeing as I have had 7 of them with all the same results over the last 67 days. I need some answers that I can't find right now. I would hate to think that it might be something that they can treat and I can move forward on all this and not look back. 

The scope won't really confirm IC, but it will rule out the things its not, like stones, ulcers, and other maladies of the bladder and urethra, but I need more answers than I have right now and it will also give me time to discuss pain options with my doctor to see if there is something I can take that will curb the pain level NOW, while I'm waiting for the Elavil to take effect. For some it happens right away and for others it happens over time. I've only been on it for a week. 

Thank you to those that I was able to chat with via Facebook messenger or the phone that have given me things to consider about having this done. At least with it out of the way, managing treatment now becomes the one priority to deal with instead of merely guessing about what it could be. 

I could definitely use prayer tomorrow. First of all, always, that God removes all traces of pain and heals whatever this is. Secondly, that I will have peace during the procedure and no pain. Finally, that in this process I will have a definitive answer and hopefully one that allows it to be treated and for me to move forward without having to deal with this.