Fortune Cookie was a Misfortune

fortune cookie

I thought I wouldn’t react, but I did. I started out with eating a pretzel, then some toast and eventually had a half of a whole grain bagel without any gluten reaction. However, last night I had Chinese food and wow, was I ever miserable. I was full all night long, feeling bloated, had heart burn and my face was so oily. Could this be all from gluten exposure, or over exposure?

People can have reactions to wheat, as to any food, and I did react. I can’t say that I am 100% allergic to gluten. I think I just over did it with the amount that I re-introduced into my system. Remember, I have been GF for five months. The body’s different mechanisms of defense involved in each type of reaction to wheat can cause symptoms which can vary from person to person. The severity of the symptoms can vary as well. This time around, I had symptoms for sure.

Wheat, like all other foods, contains a number of proteins (more than 100), including albumin, globulin, gliadin and gluetenin, which together they form gluten. So, if my protein and my albumin levels are very low right now, does that mean that I NEED gluten? Hum, this is one of those times I really wish I knew what I was talking about. I do know that gluten is composed of two protein groups, namely gliadins, which give wheat dough its flow characteristics, and glutenins, which proved the elasticity in the wheat products. So how do I know if I really had Celiac Disease or not? I DON’T!!! And furthermore, the doctor’s don’t either.

So as I continue to dissect all of the perimeters of my health, I am no further along in my knowledge of if I’m allergic to gluten or not. I do know one thing though and have known from the beginning, that I can call upon God for wisdom, strength, and patience as I continue to follow through with doctor visits and tests. I do think I am approaching the right answers but the journey has been very mysterious. I’ve had such weird things happen to body over the last ten months. Even some of the doctors that I’ve seen have shrugged their shoulders. They are trying to figure this out but they really don’t know. They are NOT THE GREAT PHYSICIAN.

God, the Great Physician has given us the authority to pray and pray and pray over illnesses. What a great, warm-fuzzy feeling it is to have so many friends and family praying for me during this time. They are taking time from their own lives to think about me. The Great Physician can not only fix what’s wrong with us, he can help us stay healthy. He can remove the illness inside of us and He can also put us on the path to a healthier life! If your doctor is suggesting that you quit smoking, get on a low fat diet, and exercise more, then, please pay attention to him.  God does not allow situations to go to waste. Now that’s the kind of doctor I want in my corner; the Almighty Great Physician; the one who created me, has a purpose for my life and gives me all that I need from day to day.

How about you? Are you physically sick? Are you dealing with disease, the flu, bronchitis, phenomena; heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes or even cancer? Are you calling out to the Great Physician? Are you putting your trust in HIM?

My friends, I encourage you call upon HIM for healing. I encourage you to reach out to those you know that are sick and send them a note of encouragement, bring them a meal or just take the time to pray for them.

Exodus 23:25 NASB But you shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst.

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I Had a Bagel

 

3 John1:2 is one of the most beloved and well-known Scripture on health: “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (NKJV). The Greek word for health, hugiaino (hoog-ee-ah’ee-no), means to be sound in body, in good health. I need a good diagnosis today and a better prognosis today. I need God in a very real way today. I’ve been to Sooooooo many doctors and today, I need answers and good health.

I don’t want to be considered just a bag of organs and bones. I want to identify the cause-and-effect of this illness that I have, and will seek how my mind, body and spirit are all interrelated and how I can live with kidney disease, IF that is what it is. I won’t know until later this afternoon.

I am scared. I am uneasy. I am being a little faithless because this has been going on way too long. I want my strength, vitality, and vigor back. I want to maintain my optimum health, radiant skin, and luxurious hair that is rapidly thinning. I guess I just can’t take the day on today without the following scripture: Psalm 121                        

I look up to the mountains,

Does my help come from there?

My help comes from the LORD,

Who made the heavens and the earth!

He will not let ME stumble and fall;

The one who watches over ME will not sleep.

Indeed, he who watches over Israel

Never tires and never sleeps.

The LORD himself watches over ME!

The LORD stands beside ME as MY protective shade.

The sun will not hurt you by day,

Nor the moon at night.

The LORD keeps ME from all evil

And preserves MY life.

The LORD keeps watch over ME as I come and go,

Both now and forever.  

From Pretzel to Toast

pretzel

I am the luckiest gal in the world today. Okay, maybe I’m stretching that a little bit, but, I have to say how blessed I feel and how happy I am.

I tried a real pretzel rod yesterday; you know the kind that has wheat gluten in it!!! Yup, one of those; and I had no reaction. I had a slight headache during the night but I really think I over dosed on some chocolate. Yea, I know better; too much chocolate is not good right before bed.

I was twisting and twirling that salty stick, taking mouse size nibbles, waiting in anticipation for some sort of reaction; but, there wasn’t any. I figured that I would be in the bathroom all night long or in bed with stomach cramps; my love goes out to those who suffer from a gluten reaction, hugs!!! I didn’t get anything.

Today I graduated from the pretzel. I had a piece of whole wheat toast; the kind I used to eat. The kind I loved with honey and peanut butter. I nibbled away at it taking almost a half hour to eat it and lo and behold!!! NOTHING AGAIN.  I couldn’t believe it; still can’t. I’m waiting for something to react but nothing. No skin rashes, no headaches and again no tummy troubles.

Do you mean all of these months I’ve had to go without gluten and I never needed to? I have spent six months being stuck in my own mind regarding what and whatnot to eat in fear of what kind of reaction I might have. And being stuck in there was torturous with no way out. At the time of being diagnosed with Celiac, I never once gave it a thought that it would be temporary, but not only was it temporary, it actually just never WAS!!!

Oh I could be madder than a pistol but know what? I’m not. It gave me a better appreciation of those who do suffer with Celiac or other auto-immune disorders. It gave me the opportunity to eat healthier and really, isn’t that what we are supposed to do? Take care of our temple?

I’m still unsure of what my diagnosis is though. I am now going to see a nephrologist, one that specializes in the kidney’s. I’m about burnt out of doctors, but I have to keep my head up, looking towards God rather than myself and my own little pity party. I have been asking since the beginning of all of this, starting from last April 2012,

What symbolic meaning can I draw from this experience? I would have to reply with, I’m learning to lean on God so much more than I used to. I am trusting in His wisdom, trusting in family and friends praying for me and supporting me and I am empowered to keep going one day at a time, taking the needed time to heal because I’m worth it. I never felt that way before. I always felt like a burden or a bother to others that took care of me, but not anymore; I am worth it.

So, from pretzel to whole wheat toast  was all good eating’s!!! I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, maybe some real pasta.

 

Beth

A Stranger Passing Through revised…

dale and beth kissing - Copy - Copy
The strangest thing happened today. I was upstairs doing some writing, my husband downstairs watching TV when all of a sudden, the doorbell rang. We NEVER have the doorbell ring and if it were one of our kids, they would just walk in. I immediately thought it was a door-to-door solicitor and figured my husband can handle it.

Well, the dog was barking like crazy and I hear the front door open. There was a young mans voice coming from downstairs. I heard, “Ah man, I didn’t expect you to invite me into your home.”  With my eyebrows crinkled, I started getting really curious as to who was in my living room and what did he want.

Next thing I know, my husband dashes up the stairs, two steps at a time; must be nice to have long legs, but anyhow, he asks me for the phone charger. He grabs it and flies down the stairs. Okay, I stop writing in the middle of a sentence and make my way down the stairs. Low and behold, there is this bald-headed young man sitting in my living room, drinking a glass of water talking a mile a minute.

Within a half an hour, he told us he spoke two different languages, had his business degree, car broke down on North Oak Trafficway, (8 to 9 miles from us), was divorced but was here visiting his X-wife, father was a doctor but owned a limousine service, um, used to work at a tattoo parlor, travels by plane all of the time, is trying to get his Masters Degree, has a dog and much more than that.

First of all, I have to tell you, my husband has a HUGE heart. He will help anyone that he feels needs the help. He’s been in very low places himself in life so he just has that huge, compassionate heart. While his heart is bursting out of his shirt, I’m getting upset because he didn’t offer a “bottle” of water instead using one of my glasses. Yea, okay, pretty petty Beth. But that’s what I am at times. I would never have a stranger put their germs on my glasses.

I thought for sure this young man was giving us all sorts of fibs because by golly, he had on brown pants and a black blazer. He didn’t match! What does that have to do with anything? Well, my mother always taught me that you don’t mix brown with black and you certainly don’t wear black dress shoes with brown pants with gray socks! If they dress like that then they are up to no good. So surely this man was up to no good. And…he had on dark sunglasses and never took them off. It’s CLOUDY out. Really the whole non-matching clothing has nothing to do with anything other than me judging him.

My heart was becoming anxious and the more my heart beat, the more my husband chatted with him.  So I hurry the conversation along and say, “So do you need to be somewhere?” He replies that if he could use his cell phone, which was hooked up to MY charger, he would call his x-wife and have her call a cab or pick him up. Now, I’m not that great with my phone but at that point I was willing to pull up taxi services in the Kansas City area. As my fingers were starting to slide on my phone screen when my husband blurts out, “I’ll give you a lift.” WHAT? I could feel the fumes coming from my nostrils and I down right started to have a panic attack. Was he crazy? What was he thinking? I couldn’t find a way to get him in the other room to tell him how crazy he was and that there was no way I was going to let him risk his life. But I never got the opportunity. They were gone in a flash.

HOLY THUMP! Ouch! God taps me on the head and says, “Would you allow your husband to do what I’ve called him to do please?” Next thing I know, husband, man and glass of water are loading up in husband’s car. They take off and I immediately head out for a walk to clear my head. While walking I hear sirens. I immediately start to anxiously chat with God. “Oh God, don’t take him. Don’t allow him to have his wisdom clouded by his big heart. I need him. I am not ready.”When I reach my house my cell rings. “Hi honey; I figured you were probably having some sort of panicky dialect with God right about now so I knew I needed to call you and tell you that I’m fine, the man is fine, he made a call in some foreign language and I’m on my way back.”

Tears filled my eyes. Shame filled my heart. Sadness filled my body and the love I have for my husband grew stronger. When he walked in the door, I hugged him, not wanting to let him go. All I said was, “Next time can you offer a bottled water rather than one of our glasses?” Okay folks, I still have a way to go with my attitude.

Lord, thank you for this stranger passing through. I am so thankful that you allowed me to once again see the good in my man. I am so thankful that you used him to plant a seed, bless a man and you brought him home safely. May I honor and cherish him all the days of my life. Amen.

Tranquiltiy

While reading in Proverbs I came across a saying from Rabbi Rami Shapiro author of Proverbs: Annotated & Explained.

The loudest alarm is the growing fear that gnaws at the ignorant, robbing them of any true tranquility.

Today it’s nephrology syndrome being caused by possible lupus. I looked at the doctor and asked, “What’s that?” It’s when the protein in your urine is spilling into your body which causing the swelling and edema.It also causes very high cholesterol.  It has to do with the kidney function and mine is not functioning correctly. I then asked if it was serious and he said, “yes if untreated.” So, now I’m off to see a Nephrologist! sigh, sigh.

Wait, there is good news! I do not have Celiac and I can go back to a regular diet. YAY!!! No more mushy pizza or stiff bread. I hear a Panera Bagel calling my name sometime this weekend. Oh pasta, where for art thou? I can’t wait!!!

I also don’t need to think about selling my house due to all of the stairs because I have NO signs of arthritis. NONE!!! Ma, I don’t need your walker yet!!! It’s not trigeminal neuralgia either so no neurological medicines. Whew!

So what does all of this mean? I don’t know yet. I have to see another specialist and right now I can’t get in until March. That’s a long time to wait, don’t you think? I am hoping the doctor can get me in sooner.

What it really means is that for today, I’M DONE!!! No more research on the disease. No more studying doctor’s bio’s and no more peace being robbed from me. With that being said, I’m off to the couch with my little dog, a hot cup of coffee and a good book. Ah Tranquility here I come. Goodbye!GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Answers

I just can’t wait to go to the doctor tomorrow. How many people ever really say that? I have been dealing with weird body things for way too long; I’ve got to get some answers tomorrow. I’m worried, anxious and kind of biting my nails…not much to bite there.

I was gathering up all of my lab reports, stacking them in a neat pile when I realized that I could either get good news or bad news. I sat in my chair, pulled out the computer and slipped into dad’s sweater. When I panic, I write. When I write, I process. When I process, I usually feel much better.

The first thing that came to my mind wasGE DIGITAL CAMERA

the following scripture:

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. NIV

That is my all time favorite scripture and I’ve had to pull it out several times in my life and this is just another one of those times where I’m pulling it out, reciting it aloud, writing it down and trusting in it. I know God has NOTHING bad up His sleeve. He’s not that kind of God. He’s a loving, gentle, and caring. He also is  funny at times, at least He is with me. Maybe He has to be in order to put up with me at times. He’s so patient with me too. Man, I would have thrown in the towel a long time ago, but not MY God. He never gives up on me, never walks away from me and never runs out of time for me.

If you are personally dealing with something right now, bad health, no job, loss of a loved one, moving, job change, irritating family; whatever it might be, remember that God has plans for every situation. Your situation is to prosper you and never to harm you. Hang in there! 🙂

Hand Over the Load

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I had a discussion with my husband this morning about Proverbs 10:4; “Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich.” NLT. Let me also add the KJV from the Expositor’s Study Bible: “He becomes poor who deals with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent makes rich.”

One of the things that I love about my husband,  and there are several, is  when I want to talk about the Bible, he’s all ears. Today I got a little stuck on the words lazy and slack. I’ve never considered myself a lazy person or as some would say, a slacker. As a matter of fact, I have often received comments saying just the opposite.

But, when I became somewhat disabled over this past year with my health, I found myself on the couch more often; much to my disapproval, that’s where I was. I’ve always been ane that moves and grooves. I’m a list maker; a list checker; and a very task oriented person. It makes me feel good when I can cross things off my list but when I have anything left over for tomorrow, it greatly bugs me.

So back to my discussion with my husband, I shared with him that I feel like a slacker in God’s eyes right now. I’m not working as much as I was. I’m not contributing as much financially to the household, I’m not as active around the house and most days when I am home, I need to put my feet up and rest for a spell.

We re-read the KJ version again and in parentheses it read, (The words, “slack hand,” actually mean “deceitful hand.”) Whew, that counts me out! I’m not deceitful! I’ll get back to that statement a little later.

My husband reminded me that I’ve been called to work part-time for medical reasons and more importantly, because God has called me to do so. You don’t mess around with God’s calling. In being obedient to this new unfamiliar call, it’s been a big struggle financially. But, if I may confess to something here, I would not be home, following God’s direction if I had not been so sick over this past year.  I would still be working full-time, missing the many blessings that He has delicately slowed me down to receive, and I’ve had numerous opportunities to encourage and share my story with others that have needed it.

Lazy? No, I’m still doing God’s work. I’m still spreading His Word; encouraging others, praying for others, writing, and having diligent hands around the house when possible.

Back to the word deceitful; I ask myself; Am I? I most certainly can be at times.  There are times that I don’t want to listen to someone and maybe not reach out to someone or even pray for someone. Ouch! That really hurts to admit. I guess in some ways I am lazy/deceitful in spirit. I guess when I have that type of attitude I really am not doing enough for the kingdom and for others. There is good news in this though because I don’t have to. I’ll never be able to do enough or be enough and that’s okay because JESUS DID IT ALL so that I don’t have to. I don’t have to live condemning myself. Just because I was once called to full-time employment, doesn’t mean I am now. There are seasons of our lives that dictate what we need to let got of or cling onto and God has put me in the slow-down-pay-attention-to-God season. You are not being lazy, please hand over the load.

God, I want to thank you for this day; the sunshine, the ability to get out and walk and the ability to have the time to reflect on my blessings. I thank you that I don’t have to be  enough to be loved in your eyes. I am enough however you have created me to be. For those who might not get that, speak to their hearts and show them their significance in You.

Turkey Soup for My Soul

Turkey Soup for My Soul

 

I had a couple of rough days this week but nothing that a good ole bowl of turkey soup couldn’t fix especially from a wonderful, caring, big hearted friend.

Last Thursday I had some outreach to do and upon returning back at the library, I noticed a little brown oily bag sitting upon my shelf. I placed my things down and read the attached note; Beth this was delivered about 3:00 from your BFF Jenny. She said to feel better. It smelled yummy. All of my coworkers were showing up like vultures waiting to pounce upon the package. We could all smell the wonderful scent from within.

There, in the little greasy brown bag was a covered bowl of warm turkey soup with a little container of apple sauce; and, it was all gluten free. The smell was luring me in but I had just had lunch so I opted to roll up the bag and just admire the note.

My BFF Jenny has gone through a lot over the last year or so and without sharing any private details, let me say, in my opinion, she has endured some very trying times; times in which I would personally have caved, crumbled and isolated myself. She has been an inspiration to me. When I call her, or walk over to her house with great intentions to chat about her and pray with her, she inspires me and encourages me.

We met at our community pool four years ago. From there our relationship has allowed us to share many cups of coffee together. We’ve hit some restaurants together, taken walks together, watched Chick Flick movies together and each one of those times spent with her, has been a true blessing.  When I feel like no one else seems to understand me, she does.

Jenny became my chauffeur when I had three terrible migraine headaches. They were crippling headaches that brought us to the local emergency room at 6:00 a.m. and on one of those visits, I threw up in her car. What did she do? Rubbed my back, held my hand, and practically carried me.

She is an Angel. I have been able to return some love in my own special way, but this is really about her. For all of my praying friends out there, if you would just say a prayer for my BFF Jenny; I would appreciate it and I know she would too.

If you have a BFF or someone special that is struggling right now, bring them a bowl of home-made turkey soup for their soul.

From Bandage to Bible

GE DIGITAL CAMERAThere I was, in the midst of a foggy tunnel surrounding my head, in heavy communication with God. I was alone, scared and in great need of His strength. I was incapable of gaining strength on my own.
Yesterday was a hard day. I went in for my follow-up visit to my doctor. The purpose of this was to go over my blood work and the diagnosis was um, not the worst, but not the greatest. First of all, I do not have Celiac. I might be a little allergic to wheat but I can have gluten. I was misdiagnosed with that six months ago. That’s part of the good news but to re-introduce gluten into my diet, I will get diarrhea and stomach pain. Yuck! Is it worth it? I have to give that thought.
The bad news was that I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I have a rheumatologic disorder, and some possible MS creeping in. But the real kicker was that while I was there, I asked the doctor to look at some lumps behind my ear, in front of my ear and this strange lump on my head. I thought I might have an ear infection, but these spots were warm to the touch and very tender.
“Weird,” my doctor said. “We really need you to get a CAT scan like now.” I looked at her with bulging. frightened eyes and asked, “Why?” “We need to make sure that there is no bone cancer,” and she referred to a bunch of other medical terms, none of which I remember. I was fixated on the word CANCER. Oh Lord.
Within ten minutes, I was downstairs nervously waiting for the technician to call my name. When she finally called my name, like a half-hour later, she was so incredibly friendly. “Beth, I need you to take off all of your earrings and lie down on your back on this table.” I looked over at this stark, white table that was connected to a tube that I figured I would have to slide into. I don’t like small places. I tend to get a little claustrophobic. Anyhow, I laid on the table and my body began to shake uncontrollably. I was cold and nervous. The technician took notice to my giggling body, left the room but returned with a nice warm blanket that she draped over my body. She asked if I was okay and I reassured her I was fine, which is an expression that my mother always says when she’s not fine. Oh brother, I’m not only scared to death, I’m becoming my mother. Actually that’s a really good thing in many ways. “Beth, I’m going to get an IV started on you, draw blood and then inject dye.” I sat up, and said, “Can you repeat that a little slower please.” She repeated the step-by-step process with an explanation as to why she was doing each thing. She must have seen the need to know every detail in my face. I just sat there thinking, “What in the world? Die, IV, blood, kidneys, CANCER!!!”
The IV was inserted, blood was drawn and I was left alone for about ten minutes waiting for results. Most people would take a snooze and I am one of those people, under normal circumstances, but not now. I was just lying there looking up at the tube that I knew I was going to have to enter.
“Okay Beth, the labs look fine. Let’s get the process started.” She explained that when the die is inserte,d some people feel like they have a metallic taste in their mouth and can smell it as well. She also said that some people feel like they have to urinate but they don’t. I looked up at her, asked, “Are you sure I won’t pee? I have a very weak bladder.” She laughed.
She proceeds to swoosh me into the tube, tilts my head to the left, shoulder to the right and requests me to lie really still again leaving me there alone. The ON button was ignited and the foggy tunnel now sounded like a huge vacuum. I was slowly hoisted into the machine when all of the sudden I could feel my heart rate increase. The sweat started forming around my upper lip. I quickly shut my eyes when all of thesudden the Bible came to life. I was recalling verses that I had not recalled in months. The 23rd. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. “KJV Okay God, I am convinced that nothing can ever separate me from your love. I need your peace to flow through my whole body, mind and spirit now! Please comfort me. I will fear no evil for you are with me. ” And so it was! I went from bandage to Bible in an instant.
Whether we are filled with confidence or fear depends on the kind of thoughts that habitually occupy our minds. I knew in that moment I had to stand against the storm or in my case lie down through the storm. I thought no one was there to hold my hand, but I was wrong. Not only was God there to hold my hand, he was holding my whole body. We need to familiarize ourselves with biblical accounts that show us of what He’s done in the past and reveal His promises for the present and our future.
I was out of the foggy tunnel within less than two minutes. I felt fine, the IV came out and the best news of the day…NO CANCER. I am so thankful that at that moment my heart was prepared to take on Satan during a rough storm

What in the world is going on? I woke up feeling pretty good. I started my day on the right foot only to find myself at 3:20 in the afternoon stuck in my little home office with a little space heater.

I have a gas leak in the house somewhere. The Gas Company was out, spent quite a while here but couldn’t find it. They said we will have to call a plumber. A plumber? It’s under the house somewhere. The Gas man was incredibly nice and tried so hard to figure it out, but he couldn’t. Oh Lord, what’s next?

My husband’s job is not steady right now; some days he has no idea if he is even working. I am only working part time now due to my health and now this! I don’t know how much more we can take.

Do you ever have days like this? You start out so well with all sorts of intentions and boom!!! All in the matter of a blink of an eye, it falls into a big pile of poop! We need a huge dose of GOOD right now. Or is it that I need a huge dose of GOD right now?

Wait a minute there Beth, back up. What did you read this morning?Didn’t your just read this very morning about Jehovah-Jireh, provider?Didn’t you just read about how Abraham arrived at the place of sacrifice, faithful(and trembling?) Abraham bound Isaac with rope, laid him on the altar, and took out his knife to slay his son. SLAY HIS SON. Then the Angel of the Lord called and said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him.” Then God provided a lamb instead. No wonder why Abraham named the place “The-Lord-Will-Provide”!

What can I take from this? That I am feeling overwhelmed today by the circumstances around my house but like Abraham, I will stay faithful and respond to the call of God. I will move in obedience, and trust the Lord with all of this.

So with that…I leave you now to which I must climb my mountain and pray.

Genesis 23:14: Abraham named the place “The LORD Will Provide.” This name has now become a proverb: “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”NLT