Friday, July 11, 2014

Balancing Health, Balancing Income

Since 2010, I have been sharing my experiences and posting articles about balancing life changes when faced with chronic illness.  My journey actually started as a teenager, even though I did not realize I was ill.  I know that sounds kind of strange, but having lived with a mother that had Diabetes, Nerve Pain, and probably Fibromyalgia, I began to think of pain as a normal kind of thing.  Besides, my doctor said I was as healthy as a horse.  This was in a different era, the 1960's, and I think saying you had pain and looking normal was many doctors' medical opinion for labeling you a hypochondriac;  therefore, I dosed myself with over the counter pain medications, sinus medications, and kept telling myself I was healthy.  I did not want my friends and family thinking I was a hyponchondriac, and I believed in thinking positively.

The problem with pretending to be well is I kept having more and more things go wrong with my body.  Now, I keep reading articles that show me how interconnected our bodies actually are;  and, I wonder if I had started taking care of the root causes earlier in my life, could I have escaped the magnified effect of being in pain for most of my lifetime, as well as the depression and fatigue that became routine for me?  Of course, if I had never experienced Fibromyalgia, Depression, Liver Disease, Spondylitis, Arthritis, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Hypothyroidism, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME, I would not be writing this blog or talking to many other people who suffer.  Therefore, I have learned to have an attitude of gratitude despite my situation;  however, that does not mean I do not want to feel better or to be able to enjoy some of my old activities, that I have had to give up over the years.

About twenty years ago, my doctor said I should not work.  In fact, I have had three doctors and one therapist tell me I should not work in the last twenty years.  Why?  Work was too stressful, and it was making me sicker.  However, I still worked at home and in my church and community activities.  I did not want to slow down, although more and more often I was unable to go to church or do something I had planned to do.  Then, one day, I collapsed.  I felt like I was dying from fatigue and pain.  I did not know what to do.  Nothing had worked.  Not long after that, I found out I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which was actually a good thing in my life.  I had an answer:  I had supplements and hormone medications that were helping me, yet I just could not escape the fatigue anymore.  I was stuck in a cycle of pain, fatigue, rest, meds, feeling better, doing more;  then, the cycle would start again after the post-exertional malaise hit.  The crux of the matter was that not working did not make me feel any better, and I was too sick to work.

In the comments I have read from so many readers of this blog and on Facebook, as well as reading  blogs by other people who live with Chronic Illness, I see that not being able to work is a huge problem.  Many of us live with loss of income and illness, a horrible combination.  Moreover, some of us are labeled as being lazy, which is not true for the majority.  We have pushed, pushed, pushed until we could no longer push through and act like we were healthy.  We want to work, we want to clean house, we want to participate in our family and community activities;  however, we are faced with what seems like a brick wall.  Guess what!  In many lives, that brick wall can be knocked down or breached.  Maybe, not all the bricks will go, but doors and windows can be opened.

Image Courtesy of  [Sura Nualpadid] /
A long time ago, a friend of mine gave me a plaque that said, "When God closes a door, he opens a window  (author unknown)."  I have been hanging that on my wall in every house we have lived in.  I have seen Him open windows and new doors.  Now, I truly believe He has shown me another window and another door, which I have walked through.

Recently, I started a new journey in my life;  and, I would like to invite you to join my Facebook Group to follow my journey.  Also, if you like what you see, I would like you to contact me to learn more.  Please feel free to ask questions.  My friend Cindy shared with me how using a few products are making a difference in her life.  I even blocked her group, because I am quite skeptical when I hear about wellness products, because I have been down that road and not felt much better.  Cindy's life has changed.  She is healthier;  and, on the way to getting healthier, she has lost weight.  She knew we shared some illnesses in common.  We had even tried to lose weight together.  She is a good enough friend, that she gently shared with me again and the timing was right.  I was ready to listen.  I also asked her for the URL to her Facebook group
and asked to join it.

Image Courtesy of [Stuart Miles] /
Since June 16, 2014, I have been using Plexus Slim.  I have added a few more products over several weeks time, and I can feel the results.  The very first week, I started doing things I had not done for months, like going to the large Superstore to shop for groceries and other household necessities.  I cannot claim Plexus wellness products will cure all your ills, but I am finding that my life is improving.  I have more energy, my blood sugar is already balanced with the help of Plexus Slim and my diet.  I have lost nine pounds, and I am able to cook more often.  I have been out of the house more, gone to more church activities, and I have even started taking walks.  I am seeing my gait change from a slow, careful walk to a brisker, more lively walk. I can see the light shining through the window.

I have also walked through the door, and I have become an independent ambassador for Plexus Worldwide, so I can buy the products wholesale.  I did not have to do this.  I could have ordered from Cindy on her website and been either a one time customer or a preferred customer (someone who orders every month).  However, I knew I wanted to share this if it helped me.  Also, I have read testimonials from so many people with autoimmune diseases and other problems that are enjoying their lives again and feeling much healthier, that I felt confident enough to try Plexus products.  Another factor was I am getting off a medication that is well-known for it's side effects, and I needed a natural, healthy alternative or I would end up back on it from the pain and side effects of withdrawal.

I always knew that I could share something that is working for me, something I believed in.  And even though I was not looking for a job or a new health product, this just landed in my lap.  I had to make a decision to try it, and I said, "Yes!"  That is why I am sharing about Plexus wellness products on my blog.  I cannot keep this to myself.

Check it out.  My new Facebook group is  Debby's Plexus Page.  I am so excited about the possibilities and of my new reality.  You  can also go to my Plexus website to Place an Order or to Join as an Ambassador.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Families Dusting Together

Have you been busy with summer fun or work, when all of sudden you realized it has been three or four weeks since you last dusted?   Can you write in the dust?

Oops!  I can.  No excuses are necessary.  We make choices about how we are going to spend our time and energy.  Sometimes, the house suffers:  well, actually--the house doesn't care, but we do.  Therefore, I am sending out a dusting challenge this week.  Let's dust and vacuum at least one room a day.  Here are some choices of how to do that.  Dust with a throw away Swiffer duster or a Microfiber Dust Rag.  My mother always used the vacuum cleaner brush and sucked up that dirt and hair.

  1. We are dusting, not polishing, unless you just prefer to spray and wipe.
  2. Choices of how to do this job are:
  • Dust and vacuum one room a day.  Or
  • Dust all your rooms in one day--perfection is not the objective here.
  • Vacuum the centers of the rooms, not every little corner, or under everything.  Break this job into increments of time you are able to accomplish or let someone else do it for you. 
  • Option for mothers and fathers with children at home:  hand each child a dust rag and set the timer.  Give them specific areas to dust  and turn on some music.  You can make this a family affair, working in one room at a time or let them do their own rooms. If your child needs hands on attention for this job:  stick to doing one room together.  Make it fun with a treat at the end, such as reading a book or watching a DVD.
Parents, children need to learn to work at home.  It is a necessary part of their training, or they are liable to expect someone else to do it their whole lives.  If they need supervision, remember they will probably not do the job as well as you;  however, it is still important they do it.  Do not frustrate your children by constantly comparing how they do their chores with other members of the household.  Do not heap your perfectionism on them.  Be matter of fact:  "Today we are going to dust.  We will start in the ________.  You work in this section of the room.  Your sister will work in that section of the room, and I will work in this section."

Do the children want to do something later, such as going to a friend's house, swimming, or playing in the sprinkler?  Tell them that none of these things are going to happen, until together you dust a certain number of rooms.  STICK TO YOUR GUNS!  This is training time that will benefit them the rest of their lives.

We did it!
Image Courtesy of [Ambro]

Back to Vacuuming

When you dust, you should vacuum if you can.  These two jobs go hand in hand.  However, use your best judgement.  You can only do what you can do, and you may have to find creative ways to get the job done.  However, I would not wait more than one day to vacuum each room you dust.  What is on the floor will eventually manage to find it's way to the furniture.  Moreover, if you have not vacuumed and dusted for a while, you might want to change your filter for your air conditioner.  A clean filter will help keep your house clean longer.

Note:  If you are going to have to declutter tabletops, because you have let things accumulate on them, you will want to do that a different day than the day you dust;  unless, you are so impressed with clean tabletops, you cannot help yourself.  If you just have to dust after you pick up and put away what is on the tables, the  one room a day method is best

Have a great week, and remember:  when you can write in the dust, your house looks dirty, even when it is decluttered.