Where to start with this Rheumatoid Arthritis trouble? It could sound like an old Bryan Adam's song...it was the Summer of 2015.
Writing this in the Summer of 2016 so a bit has transpired in a year. Last summer my joints started swelling on my hands. I had been off gluten for a year...but I had sneaked a bite here and there when a fabulous booth at our Farmer's Market was baking amazing international pastries. I would buy a pastry for Rob and then take a bite. So when my joints started bothering me I thought it was because of that. I was back on the no gluten bandwagon pretty quickly and ended my love affair with the pastries. Actually I just figured out how to bake them gluten free. I don't know if this little tete de tete with gluten kicked all this off or if it was just a coincidence? I have to just let that go.
By the end of summer I had redness, stiffness and swelling in my joints. I just wrote it off as non descript joint pain thinking that if I followed the no gluten rule eventually it would work itself out.
Fast forward a couple of months and I had a pinky finger that overnight became malformed on a joint. So my hands were starting to look like they belonged on someone 40 years older than me. In between the knuckles on my left hand I could see there were pads of swelling happening. And then my index finger knuckle started growing to two or three times it's normal size. At this point I was popping ibuprofen more days than not. I had to use my hands. Fast forward a couple more months and the joints in my toes and one of my knees joined in the fun. I also had severe fatigue, during this time. I spent more time resting than I ever had before. I should have gone to the doctor by this point but I knew that a traditional doctor would not have a fix for this and I didn't want to go on meds to treat the symptoms. My holistic doctor is 3 hours away and I just was having a hard time figuring out how to take a day to get to him. I knew this was diet related. And by this time I started researching on line about this type of joint pain and figured out pretty quickly I most likely had Rheumatoid Arthritis. The scariest part was how quickly it was moving through my body. That was about 3 or 4 months ago. I knew this was an auto immune disease, and I also knew that if I changed my diet somehow I could help myself.
I chose to follow the Whole 30 plan to knock out foods that I thought could be offending my body. The foods that would trigger this disease. Rob and I did it together. At the end of the 30 days not only had it not helped my joints they had progressively gotten worse. That's when I made my appointment to see my holistic doctor. I told him of my self diagnosis, he had lots of blood drawn, gave me some baseline treatments to bring my body back to a healing state and made a follow up appointment for me to come back once blood results were in and I had followed the diet he put me on for 6 weeks. About a week after my appointment his nurse called and confirmed that I did have RA and to keep with the program and they would work with me when I came back to address the RA head on with a positive outcome and to not be afraid. The diet that he had put me on before my diagnosis was pretty similar to the Whole 30 and I just couldn't wait it out another 6 weeks to talk to him so I started researching on line. There are other people who have dealt with this and I knew if I could find the right information I wouldn't have to wait 6 weeks to start feeling better.
At this point I would look at stairs with dread, I could use the railings to get myself up, but Rob would have to hold onto me to help me down. I was at a place that seemed surreal. I couldn't bare to talk about it outside my home for fear that once I complained of the pain I thought I might not ever stop. I was teary eyed a lot, partly from the pain and partly from the quick progression of the pain. If things got this bad over one year would they continue to progress as quickly?
So I found a website when looking for natural healings and I looked at all the you tube video's associated with it...about 5 or 6 hours worth any way. The client reviews were in the hundreds and all of them said that the program helped them. Some completely healed, some better enough to manage the pain and to get off their meds. It was called the Paddington Program created by Chris Paddington out of Australia. He had debilitating RA at 30 years old. His program takes the research of multiple doctors and combines it into the plan that worked for him. He is 8 years out and shows less markers for RA in his blood work than the average person on the street. I was able to watch multiple lectures from one doctor in particular Dr. McDougall that were very helpful. So I bought this on line plan for $49 and began following it the next day. The first two days is a juice and salad cleanse to bring your body back to an alkaline state, then the next 10 days was full of quinoa, buckwheat, seaweed, sweet potatoes, salad, more green juicing along with other healing food options. After two days on this plan my joint pain was 80% gone. I could make a fist with my left hand, and several days into it Rob and I went to the movies and I was up about 15 steps and realized I wasn't holding onto the railing and had no pain in my knees.
The quick drop in pain was the motivation I needed to stay on this strict diet. Which for the most part fit inside the diet my doctor had put me on. All except the sweet potato because of sugar content. But I had to have the energy from the sweet potato so I included it in my diet. I am now on day 15 and am able to re-introduce foods one at a time. If I feel my pain increase I go back to the foods on the 10 day eating plan for about 18 hours that knocks it out and I can try that food again at a later date as my body might have a different reaction at that time.
So why had this diet helped me so much? Through my research I have learned that RA is caused by perforations in your intestines, or as a holistic doctor would call it..leaky gut. While there are lots of reasons this could happen most have to do with taking Nsaids (like ibuprofen), antibiotics, a diet high in fats (even healthy fats).. All of these things affect your gut. So little particles of food I was eating were getting into my bloodstream. My body then attacked the foreign articles...and in doing so was attacking my own joints. Animal protein, dairy and gluten in that order are the most common pain triggers for RA. Without these in my diet and with the intense amount of healing food that is super easy for my body to digest my gut is healing.
Paddington says it took him about two years to not wake up with the stiffness and the pain, but within 4 months he was able to run again.
I will be excited to go back to my doctor in 3 weeks on the road to feeling better and see how he might help me continue in this journey. But I know these things for sure: Even if I have to be on a Vegan eating plan forever RA will not keep me from having a full life, I will do whatever it takes to pick up a grandchild in the years to come, I will be able to hold my husbands hand without it hurting, I will be grateful for where I am today, where I was yesterday and where I will be tomorrow. Thanks be to God.
God made our bodies to heal themselves...like a cut on the hand. But in my case I was not creating an environment that was conducive to that healing.
Here is the link to the RA Program I am using.
I found the You Tube video's by Dr. McDougall VERY helpful! This video not only addresses RA but all the other auto immune diseases as well. You can find a full eating plan on Dr. McDougall's website and everything on the site is free. So there is no necessity in paying for anything if you go this route.
Here is his website. https://www.drmcdougall.com/
Here is a link to a great video:
June 01, 2016
Where to start with this Rheumatoid Arthritis trouble? It could sound like an old Bryan Adam's song...it was the Summer of 2015.
March 06, 2016
Lent is not over, but our series is complete.
Wow! Is all I can say. Thanks be to God for these days of enrichment for marriage. I am also most grateful for the men and women who stepped out of their comfort zones to share from their hearts throughout the series.
I felt clearly when I "lost" all of my preparations for this series that God was at work in that. I clearly felt God's call for me to look around and gather as many people as I possibly could to share their hearts and thoughts on marriage. From students to professors, from those that work in the home to those that run corporations, from those that had never written publicly to those who write for a living, every person's thoughts and prayers were a blessing.
I just want to thank each one of you that have participated in any way through this season of Lent, whether you said one prayer for a marriage or a hundred, whether you wrote, or read, or maybe you did both. I praise God for you. We truly are in our journey together. We might live such hurried lives that we feel as though we are alone, but that is not truth. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. If one falls, then another helps them up.
My prayer for each of us as we continue these last couple of days of Lent is to simply continue in prayer.
Ask God if He wants you to send a note to those you have been praying for.
This could be of great encouragement to some. One of the places that Satan likes to convince us of is that we are alone. If we know others love us, and we have others praying for us, it is much more difficult to fall into a pit and stay there. However, we all fall into pits now and then but there are lots of people willing to make a chain and grab hold of those that have fallen in the pit, but we do need to speak out to let them know.
One of the reasons that I felt called to begin this series was because Rob and I found our marriage in a pit last year. We talked to some people we could trust and they made a chain and they wouldn't let go of us. After a year because we were determined to not let go of God and His work in us we experienced complete healing and restoration in our marriage. The statistics are clear, there is lot's of divorce. There are lots of people who have quit praying for marriages because they have given up hope - they are hopeless. The secular world would like to convince us that divorce is normal, it's fine, it's the easy way out...from talking to friends it might seem the easiest way out in the moment but they have said in the long run there are lots of repercussions. So if a marriage can be saved, it is worth the effort. There is a great line in Harry Potter...Dumbledore says to Harry, "One day Harry you will have to choose between what is easy and what is right." Those words found a home in me when I heard them. I pray they find their home in you.
When you feel hopeless in your marriage, or want to give up praying for another's marriage, just think about Rob and I, God will still do miracles if we will only humble ourselves and let Him do His supernatural work in us.
All praise to God.
Thank you to Cathy Messecar for today's writing in Marriage on Lent. We are in the home stretch, enjoy these last couple of days of Lent as we lift those around us in prayer.
A MEAL WITH LOVE
By Cathy Messecar
Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fatted calf where there is hatred.
When my husband and I were newlyweds, we paid our first rent in Junction City, Kansas, near Fort Riley. The apartment was in an old house, divided into seven units. Seven oversized closets. Standing still, David could touch the kitchen walls in every direction. In the hall near the bathroom, the refrigerator hummed its frosty tune. Not the perfect floor plan. Because we’d spent little married time together, our first home seemed a palace to us.
David had mailed me many letters from Louisiana, Georgia and Vietnam during the first 18 months of our long distance marriage. We were together less than 60 days after we said, “I do.” After too few wedded-bliss days, but plenty of wedded-miss months, we were delighted with our apartment. Turning a corner in our cubbyhole and bumping into each other was pleasant, but wedding cake doesn't last forever, and we had a few newlywed misunderstandings.
The greatest miscommunication came after five months of shared quarters. Scheduled for only a half day of guard duty at the army base, David said as he left the apartment, "I thought we'd eat out for lunch."
I responded positively to his suggestion. By mid-morning, I put on a clean outfit, teased my hair into an appropriate height for the late 60s, and awaited his arrival. About noon he came home, and I noticed a quick look of puzzlement cross his face that he didn’t explain. As he changed out of his fatigues, we chatted cheerfully. Then he timidly asked, "Where's lunch?"
You could have knocked me over with a stalk of celery. I was stunned. Finally I managed to ask, "I thought you said we were going out to eat?"
He replied sheepishly, "I meant we'd go out of doors to eat. I thought we'd go on a picnic." I changed plans and clothes, threw together sandwiches and squashed my uptown-hair down to country-picnic-plain.
As we drove, David explained that we needed to see the Kansas landscape while we could. “We’ll just cruise around until we find a shady picnic spot.”
The Kansas landscape looked pretty much the same. Treeless. Finally pulling off the road, Dave opened the tailgate on our 1965 Chevy truck. We watched Kansans drive by as we washed down sticky peanut butter sandwiches with soda pop. Sitting on the tailgate with our legs swinging, we ate in the great outdoors.
Whether Dave and I dine at a mahogany dining table or off a tailgate, love must be in our table setting because in marriage some days are picnics and some days are Blue Plate Specials.
Lord God, every day, you prepare a table before David and me. May we always recognize you as both host and guest. In the name of Jesus who brought your bounty into impromptu picnics. Amen.
An excerpt from The Stained Glass Pickup: Glimpses of God’s Uncommon Wisdom www.leafwoodpublishers.com/ by Cathy Messecar, author and speaker, married for 45 years. www.cathymessecar.com
Let's keep praying, finish the week strong.
I would like to thank John Willis for his thoughts on marriage today. Dr. Willis is a
beloved Bible Professor at ACU, he and his wife, Evelyn, have been married for more
than 50 years. Dr. Willis is also known for handing out cookies in the halls of the Bible
building and to all of his classes.
Thoughts from the Heart
Marriage is a three person journey. This is between God, the husband,
and the wife. Before anyone should marry, that person should establish
a strong, firm, lasting relationship with God. Only then can a
marriage survive and flourish.
Obviously, a great text is Ephesians 5:21-33. From that text, three
important concepts emerge:
1. Marriage is a mutual relationship of submission. The wife must
be in submission to her husband, and the husband must be in submission
to his wife.
2. Jesus and the church are the ideal model. Jesus is the husband:
he loved the church and gave himself up for her.
3. The church is the wife: she is voluntarily subject to Christ.
I pray that every person will focus on God the Father through Jesus
Christ to love God, honor God, be in subjection to God, constantly
turn to God for help and support and guidance. I pray that every
person will be in subjection go his wife and to her husband, to love,
to honor, to support, and to encourage each person's spouse.
Thanks to one of my college classmates, Misty, for sharing her testimony of how she has seen God work in her life and marriage.
I was reminded of this amazing video in one of my classes at school. Many might have already seen it a while back, but I thought it was worth posting in the marriage series. Whether we are praying for others, looking for ways to strengthen our own marriages, praying for our own transformation in the nature of Christ (or all 3 maybe) we might benefit from taking a personal inventory; reflecting on where we are with Christ. This video depicts some of the places we might find ourselves being enticed away from God, and also putting distance between us and our relationships. We can look to the examples from this video for some of the biggies, sex/lust/porn, money, addiction, narcisism or being consumed by self,...we could add to that list and consider, pride, ego, hard-heartedness, rebellion, materialism....
Scripture reminds us to examine our hearts, and reminds us that we could be white-washed tombs, looking like it's all good on the outside, but our hearts are empty of relationship with God. Are we following God's commands for us? Or just the commands that others might notice?
Father God, I pray that you will quicken our spirits to places in our hearts that you know are out of alignment with you and your will for us. You are the great redeemer and if only we will let you, will not only bring to mind our sins, but help us choose a different way. I pray that you will help me love you more tomorrow than I do today, I also pray that you will help me love others as you love them. May you refine us to be children that represent You in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control. Father, bless our marriages, soften our hearts, humble us so that we can do your work and not have our own agendas. Father, remind us that you are greater than all of our fears, may we cling to you in a mighty way, and fight the battle knowing you have our back. We love you, God. In Christ, Amen.
Thanks to Cathy Messecar for her thoughts on marriage today.
By Cathy Messecar
A book titled Life is Short, Wear Your Party Pants reminded me of celebrations and joyous marriages.
Barely in our twenties, Dave and I attended many weddings. Then a diaper bag full of baby shower invitations arrived as friends started families. Birthdays of every kid their ages came next. We ate our way through pounds of Ball Park franks, mustard, chili, and Crisco-laden sugary frosting. And we fought a few piñatas.
Lately, we’ve received many wedding anniversary invitations, commemorating 25, 40, 50 years of marriage. In this short-attention-span world, those are occasions worth the party pants.
Since summer is a favorite time for weddings, here is a practical suggestion for newlyweds or long time married couples: Create everyday customs that keep you connected to each other.
After many years, one couple performs a wedding tradition each morning. At wedding receptions, couples often toast each other with their arms linked. This couple continues to do this each morning with their first sip of coffee. If this is too starry-eyed for you, read on.
Our marriage-odometer will roll over 46 in a few months. One of those years, we fell into the habit of shaking hands as we leave the breakfast table. It’s a friendly way to start the day. Of course, kissing hello and goodbye are age-old choices of staying connected, too.
A favorite married couple, Donn and Mildred, have learned the secret of honoring each other. Let’s just say they’ve had their wedding rings for a few years.
At a mall in casual conversation, I listened as Donn complimented his wife Mildred, and she “replied” with her classy smile. He also unfolded the foil away from a Hershey Kiss, leaving it resting on the foil in his palm. He lifted it to Mildred’s lips. She only had to bend her head to retrieve the morsel. Never had to lift a finger. What a man!
When I finally said goodbye to this couple, they strolled out hand-in-hand. Nothing has tarnished their love for each other. The shine is still on.
Jacob worked seven years to marry Rebekah, and they “seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her” (Genesis 29:20). Agatha Christie suggests that a woman marry an archaeologist because the older she gets, the more interested he gets.
Not married to an archaeologist, try good manners, genuine compliments, sweet habits, and practice God’s unconditional love. They can add up to a 50th Wedding Anniversary. This world could learn from a few more of those “until death do you part” marriages.
Bring them on.
Press your party pants.
Cathy Messecar, author of A Still and Quiet Soul: Embracing Contentment www.leafwoodpublishers.com/ Married for 45 years, she enjoys writing and spending time with Dave, who still asks her out for Saturday night dates. www.cathymessecar.com