Wednesday, December 23, 2015


So I am breaking the rules, but technically it is my blog and I made the rule, so I can break it.  This photo was not taken by a phone, it was taken by a photographer in Walt Disney World.   I am still in awe that the photographer captured my gleeful face.   It serves as a great reminder about why I am took the risk and went on a vacation.

Less then six weeks after being told I could chose to change my lifestyle, or find other ways to cope and manage the pain in my body, I left my comfort zone.   I went with Ashley's family to Florida and was determined to make the most of the experience and also to listen to my body and be kind when it was time to rest.  

I have to say in some ways it was easier then I expected, Disney handles food allergies and sensitivities extremely well, we also had a kitchen so I was able to make most of my meals.    In other ways it was tough to not be able to physically do a lot of the things I wanted, it was difficult for me to not feel ill when I was taking twenty pills a day, and sometimes I just needed a break to go cry by myself.   

I learned a lot on the trip, I learned that it is possible to travel, and to figure out how to eat.   I also learned that it puts a lot more stress on my body and I am still taking some time to recover and rest.  

The biggest lesson I learned is that I can still have a full life, a life filled with joy and love even when I am not feeling my best.   Because for me that is the hardest part, when I am in pain, it is difficult for me to imagine a time when I didn't hurt.  It is difficult for me to imagine being able to run, and jump and dance without bracing.   However those moments exist everyday, even if it is not useful for my body to jump right now, my heart can still leap, and I can be extremely grateful for my amazing and beautiful life.

Question to consider: What is the most recent lesson you learned dealing with the stress of the holiday season?  

Friday, December 4, 2015

Bone broth

This weekend I made some bone broth, and as I looked at the jars all bottled up. I remembered a blog talking about bone broth years ago.  The blogger had been diagnosed with colitis, and since she was a food blogger, she really focused on the different ways that food would help heal her body.  At one point she wrote a blog about bone broth and the health benefits and her hopes of how it would help her intestinal track.  She was also exploring acupuncture and other methods to help her manage her symptoms.     I remember reading the comments on that post and was shocked at how venomous people were about using food to heal the body.  Lots of readers commented that they were done with her blog and she had gone too far.  My heart hurt for her reading those comments and for the readers who weren't able to relate to having a chronic disease.  

When my doctor diagnosed me with interstial cystitis a month and a half ago, I started researching food, herbs and medications.  I have been weighing all the pluses and minuses.  I decided to keep with a strict diet and see how it helps.  It gets exhausting, and there are many times that I feel like giving up and just having a brownie.  There have been moments when I ask Adam if I am better off just calling the doctor and starting some medication, especially when I feel miserable.   

I ask myself constantly why am I taking this approach?   What are my values?   What is the language that I can use to remind me why I chose not to have a brownie or a glass of wine right now?   And because I am still processing this diagnosis, I am still figuring out what it means to me, the language is changing.  My focus is constantly being adjusted.   

Since I have not found stable ground yet, it makes everything seem less stable.  However I am very lucky, I have a ton of support and knowledgable people to help guide me through this process.   There are people I can lean on when the ground feels unstable and constantly changing.  

I continue going step by step, to see what is useful and what is not useful.   To decide what will help me thrive in this life, not survive.  

Question to consider:  How often do you pay attention to what you eat and how it makes you feel?