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I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from whence shall my help come?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.  He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.  Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.  The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.  The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.  The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.  The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.

-Psalm 121

This week has been a rough one, but also one of joy.  I was witness to another birth of a baby boy. 🙂  We celebrated Deladis’s fifth birthday (pictures to come), and I received my test results for my bloodwork.  I haven’t had a lot of time, and this next week will be busy as well.  I’m just trying my best to keep up.

The bloodwork says I have low blood sugar, my adrenals are shot, of course there’s my thyroid, and a few other minor things.  The low blood sugar is a shocker.  From what I understand it is connected to the function of the adrenals as well.  So, one is causing the other, or one is the symptom of the other.  I think the adrenals came first.  Anyway, I have to see another doctor Wednesday that is about an hour away.  I’m supposed to eat every two hours, which is going to be very difficult for me to do.  I just don’t get hungry like that.  I’m one that eats breakfast at 8am and doesn’t eat again sometimes until 2 or 3pm.  I do have this shake stuff to drink in between meals to help regulate my blood sugar, so that will help.

The most depressing thing for me is that I have to be off of dairy for 3 weeks.  I didn’t show an allergy, but she expects that I might be having some sensitivity to it because I’m not digesting well.  Have I ever mentioned that I love dairy?  I truly don’t know what I’m going to eat now.  I live off of milk products.  Now, this isn’t good from a traditional foods standpoint, because pastuerized and homogenized milk is so tampered with that it is hard for any human being to digest or utilize properly.  I don’t have access to raw milk products, and that is one piece of eating traditional foods that I have never been able to adopt.  Rather than go without dairy, I just ate conventional dairy.  I have been pointed in the direction of the PETA website called Milk Sucks.  I suppose I need to check it out.  I know conventional dairies are cruel.  I know these three weeks won’t kill me, but…. Did I mention I love dairy????

I have been having these episodes of dizziness and such that is related to my blood sugar, and I’m tired.  I’m lifting my eyes to the mountains, and pushing onward.  Whatever manifests in our body has its beginnings in our inner work.  I believe that thoroughly.  Healing is a time of inner work as much as it is getting well physically.

I posted a comment on Mama-Om and she was gracious enough to share with me some of her experiences with being a parent and not feeling well.  I wanted to share them here.  Sometimes I think us mothers tend to hide our pitfalls, and things that aren’t just so.  There’s nothing to hide.  Mothers are people afterall, and we all have work to do in this life. 

Mama-Om:

Thankful Anyway and Unraveled

This week has been nothing but storms and rain.

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Tuesday, I went to a new doctor about my thyroid and exhaustion issues.  I came away with orders to rest and a prescription for Synthroid – a synthetic thyroid hormone medication.  I’ve been taking it now for three days and have been nearly out of commission all three days.  Today(Thursday) has been by far the worst.  I’ve either been on the couch or in bed all day.  I feel spacey, dizzy, nauseated, and physically listless.  My moods have been all over the place, but today I’m generally peaceful.  I’ve tried to get anxious a few times, especially when I realized I just couldn’t muster the strength to exercise, but quickly decided it isn’t worth it.

I have been told by other members of the family who have to take this medication that the way I feel is normal until my body adjusts to the hormones that it has been going without.  I am noticing two positive things since starting the medicine.  It is easier to sleep and my dreams are very vivid, and my breastmilk is letting down faster and my supply of it is up.  I so hope this medicine works for me, because I hate medications and pharmaceuticals are at the top of the list, but I need healing.  I’ve tried the vitamin and herbal supplement route with no results for this particular situation.

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Having been forced to slow down has made me a little reflective.  I’ve played with the girls, given Ivy her first haircut, and written quite a bit on my novel.

1st Haircut - and my poor attempt at using John's professional camera

1st Haircut - and my poor attempt at using John's professional camera

I have only exercised one of the three days and have realized that I am probably overtraining and should take a break.  I’m interested in looking into natural movements and bodyweight exercises to bring myself more into what our body needs naturally when it comes to physicality.  I haven’t cleaned anything in the house, but washed and put away a few clothes.  I am coming to the realization that hormones are powerful things, and in order to be the best I can be at anything, I need to listen to the messages sent to me by the body that I’m in.

Now, I am struggling to find a way to get more sleep.  The doctor said that even if my hormone levels improve I won’t feel better without proper rest.  How does a mother with two children neither of which sleeps through the night and one of whom still nurses find uninterrupted sleep?  I’m forever trying to figure that one out.  I haven’t slept through an entire night without coming to consciousness at least once in four years.  I’ll take any advice you have for me there.

This forced stop has made me forget the momentum of the pressures I have put on myself that did not work.  I am choosing to go with the ups and downs of the day.  I am choosing to listen to the natural rhythms of life.  I am choosing to not just keep my spirituality in mind for a set time in a day, but to parent from a place of spirituality (again thanks to Breedermama).  I’m going to focus on what I do get done in a day and celebrating the little things.  I’m going to spend more time being present with my girls, talking to them and guiding them.  I’m going to work on my novel and not waste time doing meaningless things on the internet or otherwise.  I’m going to work on my house chores a little bit a day and come to terms that I won’t have an immaculate house, and when I do I’ll probably be missing the pitter-patter of the little feet that used to make it so hard to clean.

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One day soon, I’ll feel better.  These endlessly raining days will be over, and I’ll be starting with fresh ground.  All because I was finally forced to stop.

This morning was a time of peace for me, as it seems all the first day home after a trip mornings are.  We visited with family this weekend.  John’s Granny saw Ivy for the second time ever.  I saw my sister and best friend and spent the afternoon and evening watching movies and talking with her.  It was nice.

So, I woke up this morning before everyone else.  I tended to our new flock of chickens, hoed our carrots, went to the watering hole for the week’s water.  Though it may not sound like it, I eased into my day.  I felt fresh, alive and rested.

This is significant for me right now because I’m at a transitioning point in my year, my mothering, my work, and my life.  My health has become shoddy.  The thyroid issues that have plagued my family are starting to creep in on me.  I had to have blood tests done last week to check on all my levels, and to try to get to the bottom of why I can’t rest, why my hair is falling out by the handfuls, and why I feel so anxious.  I have a myriad of other symptoms that point to the thyroid issues as well.  Those symptoms have become something I am no longer able to ignore, but what just plain sucks about it is John and I have no insurance.  It’s part of the sacrifice you make when choosing the arts as your career, and yes… it is a choice of one over the other.  This means that I don’t have many options when it comes to getting well, and I have to research many things myself to make the decisions on what doctors I should give my money to to get results the fastest.  I spent $300 last week and I still need more testing, but it will have to wait.  So far, my way of eating seems to be all that I thought it was – wonderfully healthy.  My hormone levels on the other hand, are not.

In the meantime, I’m researching my condition and trying to figure out what I can do to treat it naturally.  That is taking more time than I want to devote to it.  That is because I have become serious about my writing.  Over the last year, all of my free time is going toward making writing my career.  It makes me nutty when I have to interrupt that flow.  I’ve become kind of uptight about it.  I want to contribute to our income so that we can have more together time as a family, and maybe one day afford some kind of insurance.  When the girls get school aged, I don’t want to resort to a job that takes me out of the home and makes me less present as a mother and wife.  I am committed to those things first.  I also don’t want to go back to teaching full time.  Writing is what I went to school to do, and it is what I will do come hell or high water.  I’m going to at the very least give it all I can give it and see what happens.

My passion is fiction.  I am working on one novel, and will soon be going on a trip to research another (which I’ll write more about later this week).  Being a mother of small children makes my writing time skewed.  Between my commitments to my novels and this blog, I’m growing more and more uncertain of where my focus needs to go.  Realistically, it is unlikely that I will ever bring in an income from blogging.  I enjoy it thoroughly.  I love having readers and getting comments.  I like writing about our life.  But, it takes time away from my other writing.  I’m trying to figure out at this stage in my life and mothering what I need to be working on most to get the results I’m looking for.  Should I devote the majority my time to fiction, or (as I’ve thought about recently) more time to blogging and the realm of personal essay and/or non-fiction topics of mothering and off-grid living?

Time is the big factor.  With all of my responisbilities as a wife, mother, and homemaker, my home tends to be what I let fall by the wayside, when I devote time to my writing.  I can no longer get up earlier than everyone on most days as I have found that I am overly exhausted from my health issues and lack of sleep.  I’ve not had a full night’s rest in four years.  It is so difficult for me to prioritize because I feel things so immediate.  I am impatient.  I see something I want to do, or might can fix, and I want to do it right away.  I become stressed if I have to wait.

Friday, we’ll begin our first non-work related trip as a family since the girls were born.  Well, I’ll be working, but it’s not the same as sitting in a booth for hours in the heat at art festivals.  We’ll be doing it all together.  I have so needed that time with my family.  I hope it helps us renew ourselves.  I hope it helps me prioritize and recouperate.  I can hardly wait on what is to come.  I feel like good things are on the way and I am wondering what form they will take.  I hope my emotional/mental health (thrown off from all the hormone imbalance) is equipped to let me be fully present.  My mind is swimming in a fog.  I don’t know how I can best prepare for the upcoming trip this week.  Do I work on housecleaning, writing, gardening, researching my health and what I need to do about it, or trying to do all of that?  It can be confusing wearing many hats.

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About Me

An Appalachian woman born and raised, mothering two little girls in a place that is non-existent to AT&T or UPS. Happily working toward a sustainable lifestyle and writing on the demand of a loud muse.

December 2021
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