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.  

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

To Scope or Not To Scope, That is the question!



Today is a bad day.

What I mean by that is I rate most of my days now by my pain scale and today is a 5. The lowest I have even been able to get it down to is 3, although there are moments in that 3 day where I almost feel normal. Today is 66 days since I've been dealing with the issue of IC or Interstitial Cystitis. It is all the signs and symptoms of a UTI or bladder infection but without the infection part which means that taking things like cranberry juice, cranberry tablets, over the counter meds like AZO doesn't work. AZO is only supposed to used for 2 days at the most and for me, 2 days isn't going to cut it.

So on Friday at 8am I am scheduled for a cystoscopy, which is where you are given something to numb you locally while they insert a camera for a look inside your urethra and bladder. The procedure is supposed to take anywhere from 5 minutes to 15 minutes and there is expected to be some discomfort following that for a day or two.

While it will rule out what it might or might not be, the issue I have is the pain that might accompany me during the procedure and for sure afterwards. Right now I am attempting to manage my lifestyle around 3-5 on my pain scale with taking Elavil 25 mg and taking Marshmallow Root capsules before every meal. If this diagnosis is in fact IC, there is NO cure. Taking things like AZO will NOT help my issue.

If it were only a UTI or simple cystitis than those might be options I can benefit from. I hate looking at my life now and wondering, "Is this as good as it will be?" I am almost out of options for the treatment of IC, besides increasing my dosage of Elavil which may or may not help. I hate that every time I try to talk to my doctor he simply dismisses my issue of dealing with ongoing pain. He simply writes a new prescription and tells me to follow up in about 4 weeks. 4 WEEKS?!!! What about the pain I am dealing with now?

Now don't get me wrong, I don't want pain meds just to be on pain meds forever, and even the one's that do help don't allow me to function in any normal level of being able to move on with my life. Ibuprofen, the doctors choice prescription is a joke. If simply taking that would help, I would not be coming to the doctor. I have taken Advil, Aleve and nothing helps. I have even succumbed to trying the Ibuprofen but NOTHING. Don't get me started on Tramadol, it does nothing. NOT ONE THING for me. That is usually doctor's recommendation # 2. I had to beg my primary to give me a prescription for Norco and I am able to take half of those and keep my pain level way down, but it doesn't allow me to be up and about, it is sitting in a chair or laying down.

Truly I am at a loss at this point between toggling with cancelling everything, postponing it for a later date, but I think well if I am going to postpone it, why not just bite the bullet like someone said and just go for it. Oh how I wish this was treatable in a sense that you take some pills for a couple of weeks and you're back to normal. No pain when you urinate, no acid like pain in your bladder and of course the constant need to feel like you have to go and of course don't.

For now it is a depressing time and I find myself toggling between crying a lot, praying daily, and of course researching anything and everything anyone with IC has tried. Is there anyone out there that has this and can help me? ANYONE?

If so, what has worked?

How are you dealing with your pain and discomfort?

Are there things you are doing that have worked or not?

Advice?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Ups and Downs



Hard to figure out why some days are better than others when managing my IC pain. I try to keep to my approved food list, but there are those moments when it seems like you're doing everything right and nothing seems to help. I am trying to stay positive and most of all, trying to keep my emotions in check. That in itself seems like an impossible task.

To say that IC (Interstitial Cystitis) sufferers have to deal with life style changes is an understatement. You can't just hop of to a random lunch at your favorite restaurant because your food choices have changed. My hubby in hoping to cheer me up offered to do just that, a lunch date to get out of the house. Where does one go when you have IC? No more Mexican food with my favorite people, No more Italian food, no more Pizza and now I really have to scrutinize the ingredient list in what I do order, so we opted to eat at home since it was more safe for me.

It is hard to even think about going anywhere based on this because not only do you have to have a restroom readily available but you also carry water with you everywhere you go along with your approved food choices and let me tell you, there are not many I can have. My beverage choices are water, milk and milk substitutes like Almond Milk and such, eggnog, pear and blueberry juice. That is all my friends. Can't even infuse my water with things I used to love like strawberries and other berries. I even tried Hibiscus Tea yesterday with blueberries, and that left me reeling in pain all night to the point I was considering taking some pain meds.Last night was not a good night.

So what does one have on your typical day, breakfast for me will be bagel and cream cheese with water, followed by lunch which will be a grilled cheese sandwich on wheat bread and cottage cheese, and dinner will be salmon and broccoli. All with my ever full cup of ice water. I do have an appointment with a natural doctor who deals outside of prescriptions drugs but that is not until May 25th. I have a scope scheduled for Friday but trying to decide if I want to do that and deal with pain all weekend long.

From what I have been reading and researching, scopes are generally not scheduled unless prior treatment has failed or there is blood in your urine. For now I guess, I can manage my symptoms as best as I can, and no blood in my urine at this time. I am still waiting for the results of my urine culture I completed yesterday so time will tell. I will call for the results on Thursday, but I know what it will reveal, no infection. So today I pray that God will strengthen me to walk the path He has laid before me today. There will always be something good in all of it so I am thanking Him that He has a plan and a purpose for this. For now, just trying to find ways to enjoy some coffee so I don't have to deal with migraines from caffeine withdrawal and finding ways to get my energy level back.

Please pray that the pain will be manageable today, that my energy levels will increase, and that I will be fully healed from this in God's timing. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

No Cure!



For those that follow me on social media, via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you already know most of my story, but for those that simply follow me via my blog, this may be new to you. When I became interested in blogging it was to keep an online journal of what was going on in my life in hopes I could look back on it and be encouraged or to see answers to prayers in what was going on in my life and perhaps find common ground with others in the process. I am going back to this because of what I am now being diagnosed with and it's called "Interstitial Cystitis" or IC for short.

What is it? Basically summed up in a nutshell is all the symptoms of your traditional Urinary Tract Infection or Bladder Infection, minus the infection part. The problem being is that treatment is different for everyone because the DNA make up and what you eat and how your body processes that is different. From a science point of view it is cracks in the bladder that allow urine to irritate the bladder wall and thus cause the symptoms of what duplicated a UTI. There is no infection.

I've been at it trying to figure out what has been going on since February 6, 2017. For almost 4 months despite all the negative urine cultures they ran on me, the doctors kept thinking it was a UTI or Bladder Infection, so I was given 4 different types of antibiotics, from Nitrofurtin, to Cipro, to Bactrim to Augmentin. Nothing worked. And it shouldn't have because there was no infection, only pain and urgency to urinate all the time. Bathrooms were my newest friends.

I did find some relief taking Pyridium, the stuff that makes your urine bright orange and stains everything. But eventually that stopped helping as much as first. So I tried everything in my medicine cabinet, researching the internet for all kinds of "what could it be?" advice and while they all pointed to a number of things, it would now begin a process of working with both my primary doctor and my urologist to pin point the cause for the next month going from ultrasounds, CT Scans and more eliminating kidney and bladder stones, and everything under the sun all while prescribing me meds for over active bladder in any attempt to get my symptoms under control. These haven't worked because it wasn't over active bladder and all they did was make things worse.

Now it has come up with IC, which unfortunately has no cure. My biggest challenge on any day is not to get depressed by it because it has drastically altered my life. Pain is also ever present, it never goes away. I found that by eliminating all foods that are spicy, sour, citrus, coffee, chocolate, garlic, onions and the like, I am more comfortable. The best days are a pain scale of about 3. I am taking marshmallow root capsules because upon research, most IC sufferers found relief by taking them as well as Elavil 25 mg that my urologist has me taking at night. This is how I went from a 10 on the pain scale to now finding relief in a 3. I am praying for 0, but for now I will take what I can get.

At first, I hated this diagnosis because of what this would mean for me, and also my family. Trips now have to have restroom access at all times. You just never know when its time. It is also figuring out which foods trigger pain after eating them, and adding them to the no eat list. The biggest challenge has been trying to figure out how to eliminate all the prescription meds and go completely natural, but for now it is still one big science experiment. Along the way I have been encouraged by those who also have it and have been sharing what works for them and how things have helped. My quality of life right now is pretty depressing since there is nothing anyone can do to help me. It remains a journey I take alone right now, but I pray to Jesus every day that today, just today will be a better day.

I would love to hear from you if you also suffer from IC, and please email me at Stevenkat27@verizon.net and I'd love to hear you story and what has worked for you. Please keep me in your prayers for a complete healing and at least the strength to get through one day at a time, and to keep depression behind me.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Prayer Does Change Things



Every morning I wake up and immediately look at my social media feeds. From notifications on different sites to instant messages it seems the need for prayer is greater than ever and it breaks my heart. So many are asking for the immediate power most of us as Christians have access to and that is God's throne room with a simple prayer request.

I will admit it can be overwhelming at times because it seems as you run through your feeds, that is all it seems to be...someone dying of cancer, someone lost their job, someone just lost their home in a fire, divorce issues, relationship issues, job changes, and even healing for whatever is ailing someone.

So if it is so simple, why do we feel overwhelmed? Why do we read their post and agree silently that we will pray for them and move on to the next feed. If you're like me, you almost regret opening it to begin with because it can be so overwhelming. However what I don't believe we see when prayer is being requested is the response or the answer to that prayer. Those don't get posted as often as we would like, and perhaps if we did more of those as well, it might encourage more prayer because we can get validation in a way that it does change things at least on a visible level.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not questioning God's answers to our many requests, but I do know it can seem overwhelming when that is all you see in your news feeds through social media. But the one thing I can tell you is that prayer does change things. It begins a process that God is already aware of and it begins to make a difference in the spiritual realm, the one we can not see. One day we might have access to see what happens when someone stops what they are doing and prays for another, but for those of us that know God, it works. We just might not get the answer we want.

We might pray for someone to be healed of cancer, and it might be an every day prayer for months and then they get worse and die. Did God not get that one? Of course He did. He might have extended that persons' earthly time to give them a change to get in their final goodbyes and get their affairs in order, maybe to share their faith with others during the worst time in their life, but realize one thing...cancer didn't win. If they're a believer in Christ, they have been 100% fully restored, healed and are waiting for us in heaven. They just got their healing on the other side of this earthly life.

It's all about perspective and I don't mean ours, although... it wouldn't hurt sometimes to shift our own, but it is about God's perspective. What we don't see playing out before our own eyes but it is accomplishing all He has set out to accomplish by allowing these things to run their course. For some living their final day on earth...they might pray for one more day. One more day to tell those they love just how much they are loved, and how much of an impact they have had in our lives. One more day to spend enjoying all those little moments we take for granted trying to cross things of our perpetual to do list and miss out. One more day to enjoy the rain falling and listening and using all five sense to engage in this day.

Most of all, I hope that you take the time to pray for someone when they ask. Let them know that you are praying for them, not simply click a "Like" or a "Heart" on their social media page. Write a prayer if you have time so others can join in and affirm those thoughts. Most of all, keep encouraging them. We need a lot more cheerleaders in this world and prayer does change things. Keep on praying!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Beauty and The Beast Controversy?

(image by Disney)


Beauty and Beast Drama? I see so many Christians stating they're going to boycott the new Disney film which has gotten a lot of publicity lately over the introduction of a gay scene between Gaston and Le Fou. May I take a moment and remind you that the very same scene is still in the original Disney animated feature? If it didn't bother you then, why now?

Perhaps it is because the media is making a big deal out of it now. Yet if you think about it most subject matter in the film, the animated one is completely flying in the face of biblical standards. How so? Well a witch arrives at the castle disguised as an old woman who is shunned by her appearance. Then she transforms herself into a beautiful enchantress who then casts a spell on the prince as well as the staff in the castle. (Witchcraft, sorcery). Belle then falls in love with the beast unaware that he is the prince. (leading to Bestiality at some point should the relationship continue?) 

Do you see where I am going with this? Most Disney movies contain things that go against biblical standards. Yet most of you are okay with the animated feature and no the real live action one. Isn't that a double standard?

I am not conveying that any gay scene in a movie geared for children should be allowed, as a Christian, I don't believe in that. Yet if we are going to use the same standard to judge all films, we may as well throw away most of what is in kids library's now. I think it does provide opportunity's for us to open up conversations with our children and provide some otherwise honest communication with them. The very same song that Le Fou sings to Gaston is in the original animated movie and none of the lyrics have changed, so why are parents and Christians in such an uproar now? Because the media has chosen to focus on it. If it didn't bother you then, why does it bother you now?

That's just my two cents worth on this and hope others might share your opinion on this post. Will I be going to see it, yes I will. I enjoyed the first one and I believe I will enjoy this one as well. Do I condone the subject matters in this movie as well as the original one, No. Yet it is a fairy tale, fictional story and one I will make sure my kids fully understand the difference between real and what isn't, as well as what is biblical and what isn't.