dryadgrl: (Default)
This weekend at Bibleution so much happened. One of the things that happened is that in a conversation with the amazing @Bric... we talked about our chronic illness stuff. The question arose: Who would you be without your illness?

And that was huge for me. I don't know that I've looked at it in quite that way. I had 3 realizations about it - one is that in order to heal more I have to have waaaaaaaaay better boundaries than I've been recently. I nearly had a full on migraine this weekend for the first time in 5 years. 5 years!!!! So no, there's a lot I'm not going to do going forward. I'm not even sure what that looks like honestly. I'm just barely starting this journey.

The second, is that I need a lot more support than I've been getting. In a conversation with my beloved this morning I was feeling very, very vulnerable because I needed to ask him for yet more help. He's incredibly generous with me and... And I had the story that if I asked, he'd leave me. I immediately recognized it as a story about fear and about not feeling worthy and deserving of support. About how I long to be supported and loved and seen and yet desperately afraid. So I told him my story and he said the thing that is both true for him and what I needed to hear: "I love you! You are totally worth it!"

It changed the course of my day. And in truth, he's changed the course of my life and work with his love and support. I've never had this level of support in my life before. Literally ever. Not from my parents or other lovers or partners. It's felt like I needed to fight for every single bit of support I've ever gotten. Ever.

And I have - fought for it. My condition went undiagnosed for 14 years. I've fought for medical attention, for medicine, for health care, for work, for my son, my home, my health, the right to live my life my way. Literally everything. So there's no surprise that I spend a lot of time very, very angry - it has literally saved my life hundreds of times over to push for what I want, for the right be alive. To advocate and not give up, to be angry to use that to make sure I can live. I'm not yet willing to give it up - not yet. But as I get what I need a bit at at time, it softens. As I no longer have to fight for every single thing, I relax more and more.

The third thing is that I realized most of you have no idea that I'm chronically ill. That I spend a fair amount of time in pain and that's why I don't do a lot of things and why I sometimes turn away and go, or why I don't stick it out until the end, or sit in that big chair - I can't. I can't sit in a regular chair, after an hour I'm in incredible pain. I think people think that I'm just fat and that it's my own fault, when in fact my multiple conditions/diseases went undiagnosed for 14 years and so spiraled wildly out of control and it's only been the last 5 years that I've been getting them under control. That means I've been chronically ill for 19 years. Nearly all of my adult life.

I'm really, really tired of talking about it and explaining about it. I don't want it to be center stage. But in doing that I have made it so that I am not getting what I need, that I don't know how to get what I need. My disability is inconsistent - sometimes I can and sometimes I can't do any particular thing. It's very moment to moment. Often I'm quite happy. But often enough I need support or someone to listen to me. But I'm not weak and I don't want pity - I have had an incredibly hard time learning to receive and there are ways that I still have a hard time. Like everyone's coaching each other and I often just can't receive it. Receiving kindness for no reason has been suspect in my life - code for someone wanting something from me.

Anyway, I just want you to know me and to know that I'm not trying to keep myself away from you or to distance myself from you in my anger or frustration, but it's kept me alive for decades. I'm working on learning new ways of being.

Thank you for hearing me.
dryadgrl: (love)
So the recipe is...
1 part beeswax (which for me was 1/2 cup)
3 parts calendula essential oil (grapeseed oil base)
30-40 drops lavender essential oil (which is very strong)
1/8 part St. John's Wort herbal oil (from Gathering Thyme)
Arnica herbal oil (1/8c maybe - this one was also in the last recipe, but not in the notes for some reason and this time I made my own again in grapeseed oil)
1 part shea butter
10 drops Frankinsence essential oil (doTerra)

The previous recipe makes a salve that is a little to hard for my taste and left some stuff out. I like it soft and creamy and closer to an ointment than to a butter. You can vary the oils and beeswax to get something you like.

Just put spoons in the freezer - you'll get to know what you really want from dipping a frozen spoon into the mix and putting it in the freezer for a minute or two. Easy peasy and much easier than cleaning out the containers once you realize that you've not done what you really wanted.
dryadgrl: (love)
I just started a detox protocol given to me by Joan (my healer).

The symptoms are that I've been having gastro distress in my upper belly with bloating, no intestinal involvement and some indication of mild systemic infection (which often happens when digestive stuff is involved because anything that involved metabolism effects the whole system).

She did some AK and figured out what I was reacting to and found that this would help. She used the word biofilms (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biofilm). What she seems to mean is a bunch of stuff that is all stuck together. So likely I'm in need of major detox. Not surprising given all the recent stress with deaths and the summer travel and change in adventures and so on.  I've been considering doing a fall cleanse of some sort. Apparently I waited too long.

She's never given me anything like this and in the past has recommended that I (and others) stay away from essential oils.

I don't - I use them regularly to treat all manner of stuff. Especially skin and gastrointestinal stuff. All my salves and lip balms have essential oils in them and they are the most effective stuff I found to treat cuts, bruises, sun burns, and so on. And things like fennel are so good an belly stuff it's a shame to not use them. So it's interesting to she her coming around.

She said: In addition to getting back on my regular nightly activated charcoal in water last thing before bed, she's added BFB-1 ...http://www.supremenutritionproducts.com/BFB/index.html

topical use only
it includes: piper nigum (black pepper)
rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary)
syzygium aromaticum l. (clove)
origanum compactum benth. (oregano oil)

The upside of having played with essential oils for years is that I knew the first two right off and smelled the oregano and I knew I could look this stuff up.  So I did and found the common names listed above. In fact I think I have all of them except rosemary in my current stash.

I don't know the amounts of each, but it's interesting to know that they are saying don't take this internally (all are edible, though I'd take the last two in a capsule). I wonder why.

The dosage info:
"Adults: First 3 days, 1 drop into the sole of each foot or bottom of big tow twice daily (either one drop of BFB1 into the foot and one of BFB2 into the other if both are indicated or one drop of the particular indicated product into both feet twice daily). After 3 days if there is good tolerance (no rash or major die off) add one drop to the print side of the thumb and one to the back of the earlobe each time a drop is placed on the foot.

"Children under 12: 1 drop on to the sole of the foot, one daily for the first 3 days and if tolerated increase to one drop on the bottom of both feet twice daily.
Do not use during pregnancy."

I'd also hesitate to use it on small children or toddlers (and never on babies). Oregano and clove especially can be really intense and you don't want to hurt anyone.

Note on healing
What I'm finding is that we are so trained to be dependent on professional healers that there seems to be a distinct lack of self trust - and I see it reflected in myself. I have done tons of research and know quite a lot these days about natural healing methods, essential oils, herbs, tinctures, plants, food, supplements and their correspondences for use in bodies. But still I sometimes don't trust myself even when I'm not in trauma.

In trauma, it's critical to see a healer - you'll need help healing. It's the nature of trauma and shock. MDs are great for broken bones and stuff especially.

But when my belly is upset for a few days I worry I don't know enough.

I wonder what kinds of of things could be done to support people in having more of an education about even simple things they could be doing to be more healthy or to come back into alignment especially that don't involve taking allopathic medicines. But to know the difference - what are pain kills good for? What can be solved just with rest and tea? What can you solve at home without intervention?

As I've been having my own adventures I'm more and more clear about what I can solve on my own and what I can't. But there's a lot of work to be done. I think what's happening is that more and more I'm realizing that I can rely on my self of myself and my healing knowledge and my sense of what methods to see out when I can't accomplish stuff.

Anyway, I want more people to have access to health more frequently and more confidence in their own health choices.  Posting here about what I do is part of how I'm contributing to that. (Not that this gets much exposure, it's been so many things to me mover time.) But health and healing are a huge piece of that.

So there.
dryadgrl: (love)
So in 2005 I was in the hospital for a while. I had been severely depressed, anxious and suicidal for years. I stopped being invovled in activist projects, I couldn't leave the house, I gained a lot of weight (about 150lbs), my insides were a mess and I often couldn't be away from a bathroom. The acute bit was that I got a migraine that lasted for weeks (6 weeks to be exact) with no history of migraines.  And nothing seemed to help

It finally got to a place that my girlfriend at the time felt she couldn't help me and convinced me to go to the ER to talk to someone. I was really lucky in that way. I wasn't committed, I wasn't picked up at work or school. I'd been suffering for so long it was actually a huge relief to be in the hospital. And I expected that they could help me.

The upside of hospitalization is that I got some space from all the stress and no one expected me to work or go to school or take care of my then 8 yo son. I could chill out, sleep, and reflect. Mostly actually I did art, saw doctors and learned that I never wanted to be in a psych ward again.

A couple of things happened that changed my life. One is that I was diagnosed with "we think you're bipolar" and "you'll never work full time ever again."  That I should expect to be on anti-depressants, anti anxiety meds and pain pills basically the rest of my life.  I'm happy to say that I do now work full time and am a pretty productive member of society. You know, as much as a single mom of a teenager ever is.

They also did some scans of my brain and told me that they didn't know why I was having migraines and that there was a thing in my brain they didn't think was effecting me, but they didn't know. So I saw brain surgeons, neurologists and stuff. The answer there was always "we don't know." WHich, by the way, is less than heartening when your head feels like it wants to split open and you can't go outside because there were no sunglasses strong enough to deal with that big ball of light in the sky.

But another thing happened. When the doctor told me I'd never work again and should expect to be disabled my whole life, something inside of me shifted. My brain fought back. My head swam for several moments and then this small voice inside me said, "This is not my life."

In that way I was lucky. Actually in many ways I was lucky.

One night I was sitting up with a nurse, just talking because I couldn't get my head around all of this and she said to me, "You know, you're different. I see people come in here all the time and I know they'll be back. But you won't. You have support. You'll figure it out."  When I couldn't figure out what the hell she meant she said, "You have support. You have more support than anyone else I've ever seen in here." She clearly believed in me and my systems in a way that I couldn't fathom.

Also they tried to put me on anti-depressants, but I have a mortal fear of them. I watched my mom be put on every psych med known to mankind and they did all of nothing for her. She took everything form lithium to progesterone and they couldn't solve what seemed to be similar symptoms. So I had no expectation that they would help me.  I couldn't tolerate the anti-depressants. Every time they'd put me on one, I'd freak out. I don't know if it's psychosomatic or if I really couldn't tolerate them, but in the end, no anti-depressants. Which was, for me, a really good thing.

Anyway, so my brain shifted. Then I went home.

At home I was alone, which in many ways was a relief. My son was staying with friends which was an incredible gift that I did not fully appreciate at the time because I was so miserable. I could hardly make my own food, I couldn't work, I couldn't really see people and I missed my kid like crazy. So I focused on making food for myself and reading.  My girlfriend was a rockstar and she did a bunch of research and helped me (well pushed me) to look at the Yeast Connection - a book about candida overgrowth and it''s side effects. I read bits of it and decided if all I could do was feed myself, I could do this project.

So I did. And for 6 months I saw my therapist 3 times a week and made my own, boring food. The basis of the book is that if you take every good thing you've ever liked to eat and throw them in the trash instead of putting them in your mouth, you'll be much healthier. So I was off of everything that is involved with sugar, fungus, and yeast from obvious things bread, pasta, crackers and gluten (and all grains) to all forms of sugar, vinegar, dried foods, and mushrooms. So in addition to no deserts, no grains, and nothing sweet, there were no condiments outside of salt and pepper. So I ate meat and vegetables. And occasionally fruit. And did not kill myself.

In some ways it was awful, I couldn't eat out or with people mostly, but what the hell, I wasn't really leaving the house. Eventually I learned how to be in the world that way.

My migraines became instantly less frequent and less intense. But I still took pain meds, and anti-anxiety drugs.

Wait... what? Food is such an intense trigger for migraines that I could change it in a few months by not eating a few things? (Ok not eating anything good, but still.) And I had more energy, my mental health symptoms were lessening, and I started to be able to work!

I started with 6 hours. A week. That's it. That's all I could do.

And it wore me the hell out.  Two three hour shifts and I would come home and pass out each time. It took me days to recover from working.

Anyway, I did this for a couple of years on and off. The food stuff was really helpful, but it only got me so far. Because it's not the answer. It was a beginning - I needed to start the detox project and to understand that there was something I can do to create change.

I continued to see doctors, none of who where helpful and who said things like, "Well that food stuff won't really change anything."  And "You're fat of course you have migraines, they were bound to happen." And "You're not really depressed, you just need to exercise more." Really helpful guys, thanks.

As you can imagine I developed a... distaste for western medicine. Aside from being completely not helpful, they were destructive to my self esteem and mean (concern trolling is still trolling).

In about 2008 ish as I was packing to head out to a convention with my kid I fell down the stairs. (Just what I always needed!) I destroyed my left shoulder and injured various body parts. Stupidly I still took my kid for half the con after going to the ER. I know, I'm not as bright as I look sometimes. But we'll also call this a blessing in disguise.

At that stage a friend who'd been watching me struggle took me to see someone she called her chiropractor. (Dr. Joan is a chiropractor. She also does a lot of other things and has a lot of training as you'll see.)  She paid for my first visit as incentive because I was so resistant to seeing yet another practitioner who just couldn't help me. Joan made me fill out a very extensive questionaire that asked about everything from sleep patterns to bowl movements to food allergies to mood fluctuations. I think it's a couple hundred questions actually and quite daunting.

Dr. Joan talked to me for a long time (her first session is 1.5 HOURS!). She said she didn't think I was bi-polar and she did think she could help me. Eventually put me on the table where she made me move my body in various ways which I now know to be Applied Kiniesology and did my first NAET treatment. She sent me home with some supplements and instructions for rest, food, and the idea that there was help for me. I felt immediately better. (If you see doctors for your pain or chronic stuff that statement will probably shock you. I know I was stunned that someone in the medical field could actually make me feel better.)

I saw her a lot after that. The more I trusted that she could help me, the more I told her, and the more we talked about. We talked about everything from my dreams (related to kidney function!) to bowels and detox, mood, relationships, work, family, home, kid, my dreams and aspirations. Everything.  We tracked my food, my mood, my sleep, exercise, supplements... all kinds of stuff and different times to make connections and create understanding. She gave me things to read, exercises to do, things to think about and encouraged me to go slow and forgive myself when I messed up.

I tear up thinking about it. Finally having a practitioner who really got that I'm not crazy, that things can change and that compassion is a critical part of healing. Compassion, y'all! It was like being granted a gift from the gods.

She made me aware that my symptoms were a complex set of interactions about hormones, organ function and what I believed. She introduced me to ideas about how people get sick and how they get well and what's needed to do that. She partnered with me about problem solving everything in my life.

There's a lot that's happened at Dr. Joan's office over the last few years, some of it you wouldn't believe. But the result is this: nutrition is more important than almost anything else in terms of baseline mental health. Exercise is right up there and so is sleep and sunlight. And compassion.  I can control how I feel.

I learned that my body was not making certain things - like DL-phenylalanine (DLPA) so my body was anxious and couldn't be happy. So I had to take it directly. When I did it changed everything. Literally changed my attitude. I would take DLPA and about 45 minutes late (we clocked it) I would start to laugh. I would literally go from sadness and anxiety to laughter and joy. So I took a lot of them. For a long time.

There are several things I found I need to take all the time: really good fish oil, minerals, iron especially, and various b vitamins. And it changes. Sometimes something goes wacky or I eat the wrong thing and I need a different supplement or need to do a detox of some kind. Sometimes we get to a new level of healing and I need less or different supplements.

Dr. Joan taught me that my body will heal the vast majority of things that happen in my body if I listen to it and get some help to uncover the messages. She's amazing. I still see her as often as I need to. But instead of seeing her twice a week it's more like every couple of months or so to make sure I'm still on track and to fine tune supplements and such. She taught me what to look for, what's normal and what's not. Because I grew up with a mom who was sick all the time, I didn't know what was normal and still sometimes forget or have no reference.

In 2012 we reached a plateau and, after much urging from her, I went to see and MD who prescribed me thyroid meds (Armour to be precise). It was quite a battle because my thyroid numbers aren't outside the test range, but they are outside the functional range (which is a whole thing in itself). It was quite scary given my history with MDs. But I found one after only 1 mis-fire and I've been on it ever since. It's changed my life - again.

It put me over the edge into being able to work a lot more. Within a couple of weeks I could work about 40 hours a week in a way that I haven't been able to in something like 8 or 10 years.

The other thing that's happened is that I can now exercise regularly. It's been a gradual process. When I first started seeing the MD she said I had to exercise 4 times a week for 30 minutes and I told her that I would try. But truth? I didn't think it was possible. And I tried and would do a few days or a couple of weeks and fall off the wagon.  It's been about a year, almost exactly and what I've found is that now, this week, I swam 3 days for 45 minutes and but was some kind of active every day - I actually left the house. I got up, ate, took a shower, got dressed and - at some point - left the house.

For most people that doesn't seem like a big deal, but remember when I was sick? I was leaving the house maybe 2 days a week. Maybe.  I would often go several days without direct sunlight.  What it comes down to is that I did a whole lot of work and I didn't give in and I didn't give up and I didn't let people tell me about my body when I knew better.

I realize that for years I was really defensive about my body stuff and I sometimes still am. But I've worked for my health. I've worked hard for it.
dryadgrl: (love)
I'm creating an entry that willbe updated (maybe a lot) about the individual herbs I'm working with. I'm guessing I'll also have them by herb for things that are important. But I find myself mentioning this or that herb so I might as well have them all together.

Astralagus - great herb- take for long term immune system support. Mild, lovely. Can put the root in stews, take the shredded or powdered herb in tea or medicinal honeys.

Black pepper -may increase the gut motility as well as the digestion power by increasing gastro-intestinal enzyme secretions. It has also been found that piperine can increase absorption of selenium, B-complex vitamins, beta-carotene, as well as other nutrients from food. Antiseptic for tooth decay and gum swelling.

Calendula for skin stuff it's brilliantly calming. If taken as a tea with chamomile it's very powerfully for relaxation, but don't taken combined for more than a week.
Chamomile supports rest and clarity and relaxation, good for upset tummies. Gentle
Cinnamon is great for digestion, to move energy and to release heat in the body.
Clove potent, can burn your skin, numb your mouth, used internally can increase hydrochloric acid in the stomach, very warming.

Echinacea Stimulates the immune system. Short term only! It will stimulate immune system if there is something to stimulate, but can over tax weak immune systems. Over used.
Eleuthero (siberian ginseng) adaptogen - using for help with thyroid stuff. Evens out hormones and can help raise or lower levels depending on what's needed. Tinctures are fine, but they contain alcohol which can change the hormone levels as well. So caution there. But in pills, teas and capsules you get rid of that.

Elderberries are great for head colds. The perfect cure, if you will. Taken in tea or syrup.
Elderflowers are cooling which is great for the flu, it brings the heat down and for immune support

Ginger Anti-nasueau, flatulence, and helps with poor digestion. Immune system tonic. Warming.

Kava creates vivid dreams, first night/time of taking it (as a tincture) is very relaxing. Taking repeatedly seems to be too much for me and produces weird symptoms. Use sparingly.

Oatstraw nutrative nervine, helps to restore nerves (for anxiety) and a very weak sleep aid. Also good for depression.
Oregano - anti microbal, anti bacterial, parasiticide, very very strong as an essential oil can burn off skin tags, effective internally an externally but be careful, it can burn you. strong  disinfectant, stimulate the immune system, some places say it is good topically as an insecticide against mosquitos. (http://www.globinmed.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=82444:origanum-compactum&catid=829:o)

Lemon balm -
Marshmellow Demulscent (good for making things wet), good for tummy cramps, acid reflux

Mint (of all kinds)Digestive aid, both hot and cooling
Nettles has trace minerals and other minerals, helps with iron uptake, allergies, reproductive health tonic, immune system support. Riyana recommends taking this every day.

Red raspberry leaf Great for when hormones get out of balance - PMS, menopause, etc. Helps tone and strengthen uterus. Pick the leaves in early spring for best potency.
Rose hips are great for vitamin C. The vitamin C is very available for absorption in the body
Rosemary - astringent

Skull cap restful, it's like putting a hat on my head, it keeps my thoughts from swirling around in the universe; I think it helps me relax.
St. John's Wort Elevates mood. Contra-indicated with anti-depressants.

Yarrow flowerGreat for cold and flu, remove heat without heating up first, support women's reproductive health
dryadgrl: (Default)
I haven't been doing my money practices and having space this weekend I'm getting back to them and that feels good. My friends are inspired by my work and I am inspired by them. But my inspiration isn't quite moving me to action. It's moving me to self care, but I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of my work.

I have taken on a lot recently in some ways both in terms of my work and my healing and self care. I started seeing western docs and they want me to do various things. I am having a cervical biopsy on Tuesday. I haven't been talking about it because I don't know what to do and there's not much info yet. But it is a result of stepping into my commitment to be completely well.

I have to have a root canal and potentially 2 crowns (but at least one). All told the dental stuff is about $3k. Most of it is just ... I have no idea where that would come from. So I have to take steps based on faith in many ways. And that's hard.

I am starting to recognize that taking steps based on faith is not just hard for me, it is a major challenge in having faith or feeling connected to divinity for all the people I have ever to talked about faith. So I finally feel like I'm in good company. I feel some relief in not being entirely alone.

In the space that I've been having because of the holidays, I am really seeing how space serves me and I'm excitedly anticipating more retreat time after the winter holiday. I really got today that my financial practice is part of my spiritual practice. That money is part of life, not separate from it. My relationship with money is sacred, as is my relationship with the earth. And the more I am in respect and reverence, the more I am with myself and my feelings, the more I can open to surrendering to the moment and to divinity. Being in this moment and only in this moment is ecstasy.

I teach about money because it's been a long and painful path and I've learned a lot; I teach about money because it's been an ecstatic path that has lead to me recognize that embracing the fullness of money is embracing the fullness of life. Any place that I feel separate is a place to look for healing. Not to force or change or shame, but to bring to awareness so that in the holding of that place, it opens and relaxes and shows me the lesson and the paths to integration and fullness.

It's when I push parts of myself away or shun them that I feel brittle, as though I might break. When I open to awareness I have increased capacity for surrender and being present. Being present leads me to feeling loved and from that place so many things completely fall away.

Chick weed

Nov. 4th, 2012 11:13 am
dryadgrl: (Default)
"Combine chickweed with motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) and cronewort (Artemisia vulgaris) tinctures in equal parts. These three plants together are an ancient Chinese remedy for many "women's problems.""

From: http://www.susunweed.com/herbal_ezine/May08/healingwise.htm

I'm hearing a lot about motherwort recently, especially for hormone and menopausal stuff.
dryadgrl: (Default)
I have one that I bought that is awesome. It appears to be apricot kernel oil, rice brain oil and tea tree oil. Except that it's the consistency of lip balm.

It says it has chick weed (stellaria media) infused apricot kernel oil, basil (ocimum basilica) infused rice bran oil and tea tree oil. But none of those are solid are room temp and this is. So either they left something out or I am missing something in the preparation.

I'm thinking that I might use beeswax and shea butter as the based and put the oils in that and put them in a big lip balm like tube.

So I'm working out a recipes and if anyone has used these, I'd love to hear more about them.

It seems like it's at least 1 to 4 hard ingredients to oils. So if I use the same proportions maybe that would work. Hrm.
dryadgrl: (Default)
I did a quick look up today for something for cough because I do rarely get them.

Thyme apparently.

So I made a quick tea from things i have on my shelves:
slippery elm and

My cough went away instantly. I know that sounds a little weird, even to me. But the thyme really cleared something out.

So i made up a bigger batch of these herbs to take with me off into the world. I'm finding the magnetic herb containers that I got from Ikea (that were like $2 a piece) are really great at holding a couple of day's worth of tea herbs.

Hopefully this will help me kick this cough to the curb.
dryadgrl: (Default)
So the recipe is...
1 part beeswax (which for me was 1/2 cup)
3 parts calendula essential oil (grapeseed oil base)
40 drops lavender essential oil (which is very strong)
1/8 part St. John's Wort essential oil
1 part shea butter

The previous recipe makes a salve that is a little to hard for my taste. I like it soft and creamy and closer to an ointment than to a butter.
dryadgrl: (Default)
I've already eaten breakfast,
gone for a half hour walk in the hills
meditate for 10 minutes
drove half an hour
cried 3 times
posted to facebook

Courtesy of Armour thyroid medication. It's a fucking new world. If my days were like this all the time, I could take over the world!
dryadgrl: (Default)
Tonight I made lavender honey. I came home with an immune system booster with astralagus, rose hips, ginger and raw honey. You could take that every day to support your immune system health long term. Kiddo loves lavender so I thought I'd just start some and see if he uses them. I ended up making three jars, 1 with lavender and chamomile and the other 2 straight lavender.

The basic idea of a medicinal honey is to make up a powdered herb mix and fill the jar about 1/ or less full.

Warm the honey, but do not let it boil. It only needs to get hot enough to work with or not be crystalized.

Pour the honey into the jar over the herbs.

Stir (a chop stick works really well for this).

Seal the jars. (If the jars are clean/sterile and are the 2 part lid mason jars, they will self-seal as they cool.

They need to sit 2-4 weeks for maximum potency before eating. Turn them over twice a day to keep the mix moving.
They last a long time. Honey never goes bad, so these will last at least a year (which is the shelf life of most powdered herbs. But these should get eaten up! Yum!
dryadgrl: (Default)
In general syrups are about making medicine sweeter and more condensed for one of a few reasons: 1. you can take it more easily
2. so that you can take less of it
3. So that you can store it and take it with water later.

In general boil the herbs or fruit etc for about 20-30 minutes.
Add sweetner.

Anything you can make tea out of can be made into a syrup from herbs to fruit and vegetables. Just make sure it's edible

They need to sit for: none, ready immediately
Lasts: about a month.

Honey does not go bad, but herbs can and adding water to herbs is what can introduce the place to culture bacteria or mold. So if it smells ok and looks ok, it's probably ok.

The repro health/iron batch that I just made is the third. I made enough so that I cna take some every day either by dropperfull if I'm on the go, but mostly so that I can use it as a tea some times during the day as an iron supplement.

The general idea is to take a tea and boil it until it's half of what the original water then take that and add about 1/2 again as much honey while it's warm so that you have a syrup. The more honey/sweetner you add, the thicker it will be. The general rule is to just taste it to see if it works for you. And remember you can always add more, but you can't add less.
dryadgrl: (Default)
Elderberry syrup is for head colds and mucus in your head and stimulating immune system response. Elderberries smell strong and some people don't like them. I like them, but this is a way to get kids to take this without holding them down.

3 c wanter
1/2c elderberries dried or 1c fresh
handful of elderflowers (dried)
handful of rose hips (dried)
about 2 sticks of cinnamon
raw honey

Boil down herbs down to 1.5 cups (ish)
Add half of the tea volume in honey (or molasses, maple syrup, fruit concentrate, simple syrup or agave)

Dose: Take as often as possible as needed. 1 Tbls 4-6 times a day. The best way to take this is in small doses several times a day so that the medicine part gets into the body a little at a time.

Elderberries are great for head colds. The perfect cure, if you will.
Elderflowers are cooling which is great for the flu, it brings the heat down and for immune support
Rose hips are great for vitamin C. The vitamin C is very available for absorption in the body
Cinnamon is great for digestion, to move energy and to release heat in the body.
dryadgrl: (Default)
I often don't write here about the really good things that are happening. I've been focusing really hard on getting well and writing about things like the moods swings as they happen. It seems to give people the impression that my life is terribly difficult which isn't true.

On the contrary, aside from the medical stuff, my life is pretty great. My son is happy, healthy and smart and progressing in his life. I'm doing interesting and fun things. I have an absolutely amazing boyfriend who's love has changed my life. There's something about the way he is with me that I can really let in his love and love myself more fully. (He also doesn't take crap from me which is also hot.)

On Friday we were talking and I had gotten into a bit of a mood and was about to be self-pitying. I said, "I'm..." and he jumped in with, "perfect." It made my day. In fact it's made the last few days.

I write here because writing releases something inside me, not because it creates a full picture of my life.

The last few days have been delightful. The thyroid meds seem to be working. I upped the mood support stuff and so I'm feeling pretty joyful and productive even. Not perfect. But I found a Starbuck's close to home where I can go and focus. I've been indulging in self care and working on finding and organizing work. I've been spending time with my amazing son and prepping for upcoming fun.

Last night I went to a party, which is pretty rare. When I go to parties I enjoy them, and I got to see a number of people I haven't seen in a long time which was delightful Parties can be a way to see lots of people at once and that's good for me as my time is pretty limited given all that I'm trying to do right now.

But my life is pretty good. A lot of life is really my attitude and when my brain is broken and I'm not getting the right nutrients, I'm really moody. When I am it's fantastic and I am happy and grateful for no reason which feeds an upward spiral.
dryadgrl: (Default)
I started new thyroid meds about 1.5 weeks ago. It took a couple of days, but I woke up feeling a lot better on Saturday and it's been mostly an upward trend.

Until today.

I have more energy, am doing more things, applying for more work, sleeping less, getting some shit done.

But the yesterday and today I'm noticing mood stuff. Today my mood has been ALL over the place. I felt amazing last night after a HAI mini workshop that I was on team for. But today in the middle of talking to the boyfriend I just started melting down, apathy, overwhelm, pain, sadness, .... crash.

I feel like I need to be getting things done, the house is a mess, I need work, I'm .... melting. So I took myself out to lunch on the way to poll worker training.

Yesterday my pants fit a little different than they have been so I'm wondering if this is the beginning of body shifting things for reals (which I'm totally available for) and I wonder if what's happening is revisiting things as my body changes. I don't know that for sure, but in meditation today, that's the message that I received.

I have another appointment on Tuesday and we'll change things up again, I'm sure.

At least I'm not sleeping three hundred hours a day or totally crashed out. In fact I'm writing from a coffee shop where I can focus and get things done away from Kiddo. Hopefully those things will include something other than the Book of Face and journaling.
dryadgrl: (Default)
As of Thursday 4/26/12, we re-adjusted meds. So now I'm taking something that is very similar to a pharma grade thyroid med. It's a lot stronger than what I was taking before. A lot.

Immediately my appetite went waaaaay up and my energy started to rise too. It took until Saturday after an even nap to feel it.

The down side is that I'm higher strung than I've been. So I'm way more active and tolerating Kiddo's mood a lot less. This seems to be the trade off. I think this is where the adrenal stress comes in. I'm much more short with him about stuff.

Maybe it's the pain. I'm still having back pain. Now it's upper back and lower back, and that makes me short with people. But I now have the energy to move - lower back pain for me that is not kidney issues is helped with walking.

One of the things that I can do is to listen to my body and know how much of a pill to take. I upped my dosage of the new thyroid med (it's by Biotics and it's called GTA somethingorother). I picked up the pill bottle and it's like it pulls at me and when I have the right number in my hand, the pull is satisfied.

I chalk this up to doing so much applied kinesiology and NAET that my body is used to tell me dosages. I wonder if this happens to other people. I can do it with food too if I'm listening. I pick it up and things happen, like I'll get slightly nauseated if it's bad or my breathing will be very clear and strong if it's good.

My healer also added a supplement called Chezyn which is minerals to support iron absorption and anemia. She did some research about anemia and found something that would help. Because no matter how much iron I take, it hasn't fixed the problem - either the symptoms or the underlying issue. So this one has things in it like zinc and copper and enzymes that will help me change the way I metabolize iron.

We also did some dosage finding AK. So for the Hemevite and iron, tracking those along with my cycle so that they increase the week before I bleed is our current plan. This is what i've tried to do before, but the dosage is still less than I need. I seem to need 4 times the regular dosage during menses and the week before. That's a huge difference. I typically doubled it. Apparently I need to quadruple it. That's good to know.

By the way the down side for me about the thyroid meds working is that I need to eat, like absolutely must have food, no less than every 4 hours. And I wake up starving. It doesn't sound terrible, but for someone who's very used to not eating for 8+ hours, it's really hard. It's gotten easier over time. But last week and the week before as the Thyroxal stopped working (or wasn't working enough or...) my appetite went away. That's been my state of being for more than a decade so when it came back over the weekend, it took me by surprise.

I can't just "have a snack" every few hours, I need to sit down in front of food and eat a meal. At least 4 times a day. Granted those meals are half the size or less than what I would eat at other, non-working thyroid times. But they are not optional. I get headaches when I don't eat enough and my belly aches and my throat gets hungry and my brain stops working.

I think it's time to explore some recipes so that I have a wider repertoire again.

Oh and I passed the NAET for iron even though I was bleeding the second time through. So hopefully this next month my body will be able to take in enough iron to keep me from being in bed for a week. We'd like that.
dryadgrl: (Default)
I trained Kiddo from very young to ask him self HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired?) when he's upset or tantruming. It was pretty effective to get him and I to both slow down and figure out what was happening when he was younger.

Now there are no tantrums. He does do Sullen Teenaged Boy Sulking on occasion, which I'm sometimes even entertained by. But it is also an opportunity to ask about feelings, needs and choices.

Food, and specificallys tabling blood sugar does a world of good for moods. Last night I was feeling sadness and I had a moment of wanting to stop on my way home and buy food. I stopped myself because my head said, "Hey, wait, this is emotional eating." And my tummy said, "It's true, we're not hungry." So I smiled happily to myself, mood lifted slightly and drove home.

Well 40 minutes later as I approached home, I was hungry and did stop for food and it also lifted my mood.

What I realized is that it's a fine line between emotional eating to stuff emotions, and making sure to eat enough so that emotions aren't exasperated by blood sugar drops. Which brought me round to remembering that all this stuff that I'm going through has a biological reason. My body is trying to keep me alive.

If I am not in touch with my hunger, and I don't know if I'm hungry because that bit of my body doesn't work, it's a reasonable and possibly useful reaction to eat when there are big emotions. It's a signal that something is wrong. It does turn into food problems eventually because it's using poor signaling as a substitute for self care. But the underlying thing my biology is trying to solve, "Keep her from dying" can be temporarily solved by making sure that I eat food if hunger things aren't working but I'm receiving other potential food-related signals.

Putting this together last night gave me space to forgive myself for emotional eating. And if you'e never struggled with that you might not know that the other half of that cycle is guilt when I realize that I've eaten too much or the wrong thing and feel like I "should" or want to be doing it some other way but couldn't do it.

The truth is that this is a biological issue and I'm not bad or wrong or horrible. And forgiving myself for having made mistakes in the past means that I can be more present in the future. I can eat what I need when I need it and not worry about what might happen. Worrying just leads to guilt cycles.

I wish I could say that I did this all through reading some book and it's the solution to emotional eating for everyone, for ever. But this has been resolved by doing a lot of talking and reading and research and also taking supplements and seeing my doctor every couple/fews weeks.

I feel like the OA people and the people who say, "fat is bad!!!!!!" need to get the message about biology. Addictive behavior is a brain chemical issue. Weird eating things are complex chemical and biological issues. It's also not at all clear that people are even all designed to be a certain size to begin with. (And it's clear that I'm still struggling with mainstream correlations of health and wellness and body size even with the available research. I hate the my body is a political battle ground.)

For me, the biology piece feels a lot more solvable than just, "Use you're willpower or you're a bad person." We know willpower is largely a myth. We know that more than 90% of diets fail. We know medically that dieting is not a solution. But since I've been able to change so many other things in my life sometimes it feels like I "should" be able to just do it. Re-framing my success is very helpful. Remembering integrated systems need to be supported together and not separately as the allopaths would try to do.

However, again and again I find that things change as I heal one body thing or another, one piece at a time, over time. My healer told me that this path is a long one and I didn't realize just how long it would be when I made my commitment to healing nearly 7 years ago.

So right now it's thyroid and thymus with lots of support for absorption, digestion and actually taking the nutrients that my body is not making itself. Now that I am absorbing those nutrients, it's a game changer. Even a few days off my supplements and in sadness with a relationship thing, I'm still fine. I am having emotions, but I get how people can get up every day and keep moving. I still don't think it's healthy to keep moving without acknowledgement of what's so, but I see it's possible.

I hesitate to say these things out loud because it sometimes sounds so dire. It was dire and I am still vigilant about it, possibly more than necessary, I really don't know. But it's great to be able to look back and see how far I've come and how the healing work I have done has made such a huge difference in my life.
dryadgrl: (Default)
Kiddo loved hanging with the dog, once the dog stopped being depressed. Today especially they have been bouncing around and Brandy has been climbing all over Kiddo and I. It's pretty great. Especially since Friday night she wouldn't have anything to do with us.

I have managed to take supplements, but I'm not quite back up to full doses. Traveling is always hard on that for me. So I'm going to make an effort take take my evening dose when I'm done here and to sleep extra well and late tomorrow morning.

I've been off my second iron supp because I left in at home. So we'll see how it feels to take that tomorrow. I am pretty low energy. I don't know if that's because it's hell hot here or if it's the iron.

Some will be happy to hear that Kiddo has decided he's obsessed with cello music. It's been coming on for a while, but we sat and went through lots of it this weekend and we have some resources to explore when we get home. I didn't realize just how much I know about music. There is a lot of basic music things in my head that I learned growing up and taking lessons that I started passing on to him as well as movies, artists, styles and so on. I feel competent to start/deepen his music education to a point. It's very re-assuring. I'll take it!

We also re-designed our apartment while we were here and made decisions about more things to get rid of and how to move piece of furniture around in our small space to be more of what we want. I've been getting rid of ton of stuff, but Kiddo hasn't very much. A lot of that is because I haven't sat with him for very long to make it go and he starts but won't progress unless I'm on top of him/working with him. But it sounds like he wants to and that's exciting for both of us. He wants the space to be nicer and is becoming more available for that as I do more of it myself. Yay!

Ok, tired now. Maybe I'll nap while waiting for Puppy-Daddy.
dryadgrl: (Default)
So I started eating what I wanted this afternoon and it seems fine. I haven't taken supplements yet (but will with dinner) and didn't have any major issues this morning aside from the dream and lethargy. The dreams being different, I'm told, is a sign that I'm detoxing and I'll take it, even if it's sad and painful.

Being able to be less reactive to iron so that my body will actually absorb it should give me a lot more energy in the long run. I'll be confirming test results on Thursday and re-treating if I didn't clear it entirely. Sometimes I clear a piece but not all of it which I don't quite understand, but it is true that once I've cleared something for reals, it stays clear most (greater than 95% of the time).

Oddly, I'm not crashed out, the blood sugar meds are holding (at least temporarily) and although today has been a bit challenging, all is essentially well. My mood is still stable even though I haven't taken meds in 24 hours. I'm still up for tonight's birthday party.

(We're dog sitting in Palo Alto and the puppy is sad so Kiddo is sad and that makes my day a little bit harder. Also a large parcel of my friends are at a workshop and I have a work deadline that I've been avoiding. Plus the mom-dream stuff and the boyfriend breaking stuff and it's a lot. The BF is ok by the way, but he's really, really sad. And there's nothing I can do about it.)


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