Monday, March 24, 2014

Welcome to life after Pristiq...with the help of Essential Oils

We will start back in 1999...I had a growing, adorable one year old boy, who came into this world 3 months earlier than expected and in a way that literally almost killed me (long story short, I ended up with H.E.L.L.P. syndrome).  My hubby told me the minute I woke up from that experience that we would not be having any more children ourselves because the doctor gave us a high percentage that it would happen again.  It scared him way more than it scared me, although I was scared out of my wits once I woke up from it all...after all...he faced losing two of us, I only faced losing one.  So, enter the Depo-Provera birth control shot.  See...I was horrible at remembering my birth control pills (for exhibit A, meet my oldest...J).  ;-)

So my doc at the time and I decided the shot would be the easiest thing for me, once a month, one dose.   

T (my  hubby) began calling the Depo my "Happy Shot".  It really did improve my mood, and it was really good at it's main job, keeping us from going through another life-threatening birth to both myself and baby.  Keep in mind that also having gone through H.E.L.L.P had some lasting effects as vision has never been the same, my hair changed a bit, so my internal chemistry also changed a bit apparently, this didn't all start with Depo but my doc and I agree it contributed. 

Around 2006, my new OBGYN in Lufkin sat and talked with me about this shot.  I had been on it now for almost 7 years, she was concerned with the side effects after being on it so long.  I didn't know that I was having any, but I had been nervous about it for a few years as well. Without going into a lot of detail, there are things it "stops" that I know can be ok, but just didn't seem natural to me after awhile.  She was concerned that there wasn't a lot of research out there at the time on the effects of being on the shot longer than 6 years.  So, together we decided that I would have a tubal ligation and stop the Depo shot.

Here's where the fun see, as my main doctor explained, when I stopped the Depo shot, I would either stay mellow through menopause age or I would tank.  I tanked.  My seratonin levels were low, I was not a very nice person to be around all the time.  I had major anxiety every summer before J started back up in school (before we homeschooled), I cried in movies...EVERY movie...even the Chipmunks...seriously, I was irritable with T and J especially.  I had good days, don't get me wrong, but not much. 

So my doc prescribed Pristiq.  Pristiq is a wonderful medicine.  It evened me out, so to speak and I had no bad side effects from being on the medicine, it worked right away.  I was more calm around home and I stopped crying in movies, even my anxiety slowed down.  It's been a good few years.

But see...that "stopped crying" thing bothered me on and off.  As a friend explained to me, it's like you know you should be sad about some things but you just can't.  I was ok with that, but not great with it.  Before I go any further, let me be perfectly clear...I have NO issues with people (or myself) using prescription medications for anxiety, depression, etc...none at all.  They are a blessing to many of us.  I actually assumed I would end up staying on Pristiq through menopause at least.  Even though the doctor didn't plan on my being on it longer than a couple of years, I ended up on it for almost 6.  Again, not a bad thing, please don't read this as "you should never take these meds".  NO, if you need them and a doctor agrees, take them!  They can help in many ways and I don't think it goes against anything God would advise, I believe that with all my heart.  In fact, after meeting SP and knowing my history, my main doc has since told me I might need Prozac when I hit menopause. I laughed...he was serious!

However, over the last six months, I've been feeling God leading me to take a leap of faith, to stop taking Pristiq.  I felt Him saying "look, you are trusting me by using oils and vitamins on your son for therapy, trust me to help you with your 'issues' also."  Basically...put your money and your faith where your mouth is.

I've been a believer praising Jesus for as long as I can remember.  God has blessed me immensely through life and He has brought me through so many situations (usually ones I created that could have been my ruin) good and bad.  I've also been praising essential oils (Young Living oils mainly but also doTerra which his horse teacher uses) as far as J has been concerned since we started last fall.  The changes in his stretching, his reach, his fear levels, are so very easy to see, I mean actually see with your eyes!  

I knew without a doubt this time that God wanted me to try this for myself, not just use them as cold/sickness intervention.  I have several friends/family members who have kicked their meds with the aid of essential oils and supplements.  On the whole "emotional" side I have several friends who cry easily (even in movies like Chipmunks) and it's so natural for them, they've never taken meds to stop this natural feminine gift...why is that one thing I was worried about?  I was leary to say the least...I've tried stopping Pristiq before, side effects when you stop taking any SSRI med, especially cold turkey, are A.W.F.U.L. terrible. daily routine halting. horrible. 

Let me add, T and J have been very nervous about this, T said he would sell a kidney to keep me on Pristiq (that's something I forgot to tell you...another reason I wanted costs us $75 a month WITH insurance...without it's $225 a month and there is NO generic and not one in sight because the company knows they have a good thing going).  But I asked them both to give me a month and I would get back on if we all agreed it was needed.  They were to be honest.  They remember what it was like when I stopped 2 years ago because our insurance stopped covering Pristiq unless you received special permission.  They didn't want "mean mom" to return.  ever.

But my "plan of attack" was much different this time around.  I had God leading me, I did my research and I gathered a small group of friends to pray with me daily, sometimes several times a day....and I knew it was cold-turkey or nothing.  So a month ago today...I cold-turkeyed Pristiq.  (to be continued...)
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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Melva Mae Infinity Scarves

 As you know, I am passionate about the 3Day for the Cure. I have been walking and crewing in this event in the Dallas area since 2008.  My initial inspiration for joining this cause were my Aunt Jo and my maternal grandmother.  Melva Jo and Dora Mae were there names and they are still on the back of our Team Priceless shirts every year.  As the years continue, more family and friends end up on our shirts...5 of my high school classmates have battled cancer in the last 4 years.  FIVE.  4 of them fought breast cancer.  So you can see why this continues to be my passion and my mission field.

I started making scarves last year as a fundraiser for our 3Day Team, knitting them for the main part.  But then spring started arriving (well, here in Texas it keeps TRYING to arrive) and I realized I needed to switch scarf gears.  

Enter...the Melva Mae Infinity Scarf.  This is an ultra lightweight, organza/knit infinity scarf.  But instead of simply being sewn together in a loop, these are fastened into the loop with vintage buttons ranging from the 1960's to the 1990's.  And...they are all from the stashes of my mom, my grandmother and my aunt.
Please visit my Etsy Store and place your orders!  These are a mere $12 each, all profit going to our 3Day fundraising for Team Priceless :-)  Colors currently available: black, turquoise (shown), hot pink, purple, white and a dyed lime green/turq/blue.  

And please absolutely Pin away on these scarf pictures and the post!  The more exposure we get, the more funds we raise in the fight against breast cancer!

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Book Review: Captured By Grace

"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound"... always will be a special song to me, it was the one my grandmother would ask me to sing when I was little (so I've been told over the years) and after she passed away it remained a special song to my family. David Jeremiah uses the lines from this beloved hymn to share God's Grace with readers. 

This book is a practical "guide" to learning to live in God's grace and is backed with scripture throughout.  Through the example of Paul, we are reminded of how much He loves us, how his grace captures us and brings us to the truth in a way we cannot ignore...nor will we ever want to.  None of us are beyond God' reach when He wants us as His.  He also compares Paul to John Newton, the man who penned Amazing Grace, this was an interesting comparison for me.

I enjoyed reading this book, I thought it was well written, although to be honest I did have a hard time getting into the first few chapters.  I think it just didn't "grab" my attention right off but after getting in a few chapters, I saw exactly where he was going and what God wanted me to learn from this book.  

About the Author
Dr. David Jeremiah is the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California, and chancellor of San Diego Christian College. He is also the founder of Turning Point, a ministry committed to providing sound Bible teaching through national radio and television broadcasting. Dr. Jeremiah has authored numerous books, including the best-selling "Captured by Grace," "Life Wide Open," "My Heart's Desire," and "Sanctuary."

Disclaimer:  I was given this book for free by BookLook Bloggers to review, the views expressed in this post are solely my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.

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Good Girl Moonshine...the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar...all I could think about when I first learned this was a part of Trim Healthy Mama was the fact that my dad always used it on his sunburns. And I remember more than anything the stink that accompanied this treatment! 
However...with age and Trim Healthy Mama comes wisdom (and the ability to give new things a try without gagging every time...ok most of the time).  There is a drink called Good Girl Moonshine (GGMS) which has apple cider vinegar in it that is a staple in my day now thanks to THM.  Here are some things I'm learning about ACV...

ACV is a huge promoter of good health...(this is from the Trim Healthy Mama Facebook page and author Serene)

"•It is abundant in potassium which is imperative for growth and building muscles, the transmission of nerve impulses, heart activity and preventing brittle teeth and hair loss.

 •It encourages weight loss by breaking down fats to be used instead of stored in your adipose tissue.

•It is loaded with acetic acid which slows the digestion of starch and lowers the rise in glucose levels that occur post mealtime.

•It is anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial due to its high levels of malic acid.

•It is super alkalinizing though being rich in ash.

•It lowers bad cholesterol and helps to regulate blood pressure.

•It is a powerful detox tool and improves bowel function

•It clarifies the skin

•New research reveals it shows strength in killing cancer cells or slowing their growth."

That last one?  Yea, I like that one.  Now here is the don't use just any old ACV if you want all the health benefits, which  let's face it, why else would you drink ACV, certainly not for the smell or taste itself!  You need to use a good, RAW apple cider vinegar.  Heinz may work for relieving sunburn pain but for the above benefits you need one such as Braggs.  I have found it at Drug Emporiums, the Granary (natural food store around here), Whole Foods and even our HEB has it.  

It is SO worth buying this one over the grocery store generic or Heinz, it's just a few dollars and will last quite awhile. doesn't have near the stink as the others and Two...the taste is not near as pungent either.  

If you want to start off Good Girl Moonshine once a day to get this wonderful supplement in your body, I highly suggest you start with just ONE or even 1/2 a Tbs of ACV per 2 cups water because you do need to let your tastebuds adjust, or atleast I did.  I now put 2 Tbs in 2 cups of water for my GGMS, but I started off with just 1/2 Tbs.  You will become addicted, I assure you.  Once you start adding a few strawberries or dark cherries, some lime and/or lemon juice and then sweeten with Stevia or honey...YUM (a few links to my favorite versions are below)!!  Some people even add plain sparkling water along with some berries and/or lemon/lime juice.  You can basically add any fruit flavor you like, just not an entire bag of fruit for just 2 cups of water or you will end up with extra carbs and sugars you don't need.  

Now, before I end this post...another ingredient in GGMS is most Trim Healthy Mama drinks you will find one to four spices added.  They aren't there just for taste, they are all included for their health benefits as well!  There is no set amount for my daily drink...I just put a few sprinkles of powdered ginger in my glass.

Things you may not have known about ginger...

* It is wonderful when trying to combat nausea.

* It's a great digestive aid and gets your digestive juices moving (ACV is great for this too!). 

* It reduces gas and eases stomach cramping. 

* It aids the body in the absorption of essential nutrients.  

* It can help clear clogged sinuses, throat and nose congestion

* Best of all, it is one of the top natural foods with the most potent anti-inflammatory supplements (can help with arthritic conditions and other aches)
Made this one yesterday....ACV, lemon juice, ice, ginger, stevia and some Ningxia Red juice from Young Living (because I had some and it is a great nutritional boost) then topped glass off with water.

Good Girl Moonshine recipes I've tried and enjoy:
 Strawberry Limeade GGMS
(I have also done this with lemon juice and dark sweet cherries, add a little Vit. C and tumeric for even more health can hardly tell there is ACV in there at all!)

Lime Twister GGMS

Almost like a margarita GGMS

The original THM GGMS recipe

Next post...Stevia, Truvia and Swerve...sugar free sweeteners.

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