Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Airrosti...there are no words (OK there are a few)

Today was my release  appointment from Dr. Hill, my airrosti provider.  I cannot effectively put into words the relieff I feel from having gone through this treatment program.  I have spent YEARS (you can read the prior blog post entitled Day 7: End of fast and Airrosti for the background on that) suffering in pain and only finding doctors who wanted to either medicate me, electrocute me, or stick a huge needle into my spinal column.  I had five 1-hour Airrosti sessions and I now know the cause of my pain, how to retrain my body to stop creating the pain, and where to go if the pain returns--no narcotics necessary.
Upon first visiting Dr. Hill I was amazed at the force he had to use to straighten out my fascia and relax my muscles.  It was intense!!!  I used to poke fun at my husband because he REFUSED to rub my neck, sometimes even if I were in tears, because he said it hurt his hands.  I just thought he was being a big baby.  But then I got to truly experience what it took to do the job right.  I am not sure how Airrosti providers do it all day, but they do.  Dr. Hill even showed me a callous on his thumb after me telling him the story about Jason.  Is there Airrosti for Airrosti provider's hands?  Seriously...I couldn't do it all day.
But back to the story.  The issue is resolved.  I know my exercises and will continue to do them.  I have a follow up in a month to check my progress and I can return for 'touch up' visits if the pain breaks back through.  Basically, I am a teeth clincher and I carry my stress in my shoulders.  The worst damage was on the side of my neck that draws up when I carry my kids on that hip (left side), and it was so very bad just because it went so long untreated--or poorly treated I should say.
During the exercise portion of the visits the lady had been using what they call "The Stick" to help loosen up the tender areas the doctor worked on that day.  I decided to aide Jason's poor lil hands and purchased the stick upon my release today.  It was a whopping $40--money well spent if you ask me.  Consider this...In the years that I have been searching for answers to my neck I have
seen the GP 4 times: $100 copay
seen a neurosurgeon twice: $80 copay
had 2 MRIs: for combined cost of $342 coinsurance after twice meeting a $500 deductible
took 3 years worth of muscle relaxers
and had 1 spinal cortisone injection $145 coinsurance
used 3 years worth of muscle rub
and spent nights in agony....
That is a monetary out of pocket total of $667!!  That is NOT the amount billed to insurance--just the amount that we had to pay after insurance.
In total for Airrosti I had 5 visits at $10 per visit plus my whopping $40 purchase of "The Stick".  When all is said and done I am pain free and have a management plan for a low price of only $90!  $90!!!

I am one very happy customer and I will SING Airrosti's praises to anyone who will listen!  Even if Jason's insurance didn't have the special $10 copay set up I would have only been out of pocket $240 at the $40 specialty copay.  Comeon people--Just do it! And I don't mean Nike...I mean AIRROSTI!!

Reposted from email: Father of Columbine Victim and his speech to Congress

Columbine student's father 12 years later

Definitely worth the read!

Guess our national leaders didn't expect this. On Thursday, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful.

They were ill-prepared for what he was about to say, nor was it received well. It needs to be heard by every parent, teacher, politician, sociologist, psychologist, and so-called expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal. There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness. The following is a portion of the transcript:

"Since the dawn of creation, there has been both good and evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart.

In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA - because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore, I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder, I would be their strongest opponent.

I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy -- it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here, in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers, themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best.

Your laws ignore our deepest needs,

Your words are empty air;

You've stripped away our heritage,

You've outlawed simple prayer.

Now gunshots fill our classrooms,

And precious children die.

You seek for answers everywhere,

And ask the question "Why?"

You regulate restrictive laws,

Through legislative creed.

And yet you fail to understand,

That God is what we need!

"Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation's history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs -- politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.

As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School, prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA -- I give to you a sincere challenge. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone! My daughter's death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!" - Darrell Scott

Do what the media did not - - let the nation hear this man's speech. Please send this out to everyone you can. God Bless!
"Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point"

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Life Resolution Day 8: Quiet Time Reveal, The Power of the Living Word

So today is the second day that I am post juice fast.  I still feel awesome.  I am eating mostly fruits and veggies with a tad it of meat when I go out, Like Wednesday night dinner last night at Erath.  But I am avoiding junk food.  God called me to quiet time with Him this morning.  My quiet time is an everyday goal but I will be honest and admit that it far too easily falls by the way-side.
I sat down this morning with my Bible and prayed for God to reveal his will for me to me and this is what I found.  I opened to the middle of the book of Daniel and I was intrigued by the fasting vision Daniel had of a huge war with rules that sounded uncannily like our governments today.  I read 2-3 chapters and decided that I needed to start at the beginning.  What I found litterly made me call out to God and immediately call my husband.
Daniel 1:8-16

8-10 But Daniel determined that he would not defile himself by eating the king's food or drinking his wine, so he asked the head of the palace staff to exempt him from the royal diet. The head of the palace staff, by God's grace, liked Daniel, but he warned him, "I'm afraid of what my master the king will do. He is the one who assigned this diet and if he sees that you are not as healthy as the rest, he'll have my head!"

11-13 But Daniel appealed to a steward who had been assigned by the head of the palace staff to be in charge of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: "Try us out for ten days on a simple diet of vegetables and water. Then compare us with the young men who eat from the royal menu. Make your decision on the basis of what you see."

14-16 The steward agreed to do it and fed them vegetables and water for ten days. At the end of the ten days they looked better and more robust than all the others who had been eating from the royal menu. So the steward continued to exempt them from the royal menu of food and drink and served them only vegetables.

HOW HAVE I NEVER SEEN THIS BEFORE!!!!!  God has renwed my drive for a wholesome fruit and veggetable based diet.  I choose to be like Daniel and not eat the diet of our kingly world but rather eat what God has provided for me from this earth.  Such an amazing experience when the Word of God comes alive and speaks directly into your situation.  This is why it is SO very important to physically put yourself in the Word.  Simply listening to sermons or reading books written by others is NO SUBSTITUTE for the one on one connect with God expereinced through the Bible.  Thank you God for that gift!
DOWN 1.4 lbs today!!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Day 7: End of fast and Airrosti

So I ended my juice fast last night. I ate some salsa, guacamole and chips. I was having a hard time concentrating and yes I could have just pushed through but I am not my only responsibility. I have 2 precious little girls in my care and when my fog started to effect my driving I figured it was time to pull the plug. In all I lost 10 lbs in 6 days...not too bad...but weight loss was not my primary goal. Don't get me wrong, it was a great side-effect of the fast but not the greatest.

Let me tell you what!!!!!! I feel AMAZING! I woke this morning and the only thing that sounded the least bit good was pineapple and strawberries with a cup of coffee and a dab of soy milk in the coffee for creamer. Not too far of a divergence from my fast diet except for the caffeine and the fact that I actually got to chew something. The fog has lifted and I am soooo very energized. Normally with my swelling and arthritis normal, everyday tasks can be difficult for me to accomplish. I am usually lethargic, sleepy and a bit depressed. Not today!
I leapt from bed this morning got my daughter ready for school, packed her snack (an orange), made coffee and prepared my breakfast. Then I mopped the kitchen, washed a load of clothes, put up laundry, hung the girls clothes, cleaned our Rae's dresser, matched millions of tiny little socks, cleaned my tub and shower and I am still going. I think the detox was a success!!! I am so very excited!
My taste buds are definitely changed. I tried to sip on some lipton citrus green tea last night and EWWWWW!!!! It was like drinking syrup--far to sweet and sickly thick. My coffee was perfect with just a dab of soymilk--I didn't crave a thick flavored cream or any artificial sweetener. I am thinking that I will have more fruit for lunch and maybe some celery. Even a sandwich sounds super heavy for now. I need to ease my way back in to eating a full 'meal' and even that term has a new definition.
Jason and I have agreed to cut red meat and regular milk out of our diet (unless the milk is used for cooking). We are going to eat veggies (which were shocking absent in our prefast diet), fruit, whole grains, fish and chicken. I am excited.
This morning when I weighed I was up like 1.4 lbs. Didn't really bother me. I realize that that weight is the food in my digestive system...something that hasn't been there in days. With that said I don't look for a continual regain of all the lost weight. With my new diet the scale will continue to inch down at a healthy rate.
With all that said I feel that I should also talk a bit more about something else pretty awesome in m y life right now--Airrosti. I went for my second visit yesterday and it was amazing. I have struggled for at least 5 years with intense neck tightness and pain. I have been to the GP who prescribed 2 different muscle relaxers and sent me to get a MRI. The MRI showed some bulging discs and twisting in my cervical vertebrae. Upon reviewing the MRI my GP sent me to a neurosurgeon. The neurosurgeon concurred that the pain was from the bulging and twisting and asked me if I had been in a car accident. I HADN'T! I kept telling everyone that the pain started when I was breastfeeding my first child. She breastfed for a whopping 14-16 months (I cant remember the exact time). He didn't think that could be a cause, even though I was SURE of it, and he gave me a TENS unit. This was a small black box that generated electrical impulses to stimulate the muscle in order to distract me from the pain. He also recommended steroid injections right into my spinal column to reduce the swelling. Well I soon thereafter got pregnant with Raeleigh so I could no longer use the TENS unit or get the shots and it was time to breastfeed again.
While pregnant with Raeleigh I started noticing some joint pain in my elbows, wrists and OF COURSE hips. I thought it was simple joint pain form my tendons relaxing due to pregnancy hormone and I wrote it off. Something else odd started to happen. The neck pain never let up and even worsened with the renewed breastfeeding routine. I started to get extreme pain from any bump, poke or bang. These were my first signs of fibromyalgia. I am no physician but I am educated enough to see a correlation here. I will talk more about my reasoning in a minute.
So I breastfed Rae for 8 months and then had my second bout of Hashimotos thyroiditis and went to the GP. At this time my lethargy was getting out of control. I had to do something. The GP found a lump on my thyroid. My mom had thyroid cancer in her 30s so as a precaution I had a biopsy. Luckily enough the lump was not cancerous but I had no energy. My GP sent me to an endocrinologist that placed me on a small dose of synthroid...very, very small. It seemed to help but I think now it was just the placebo effect and me just WANTING to feel better. Rae weaned herself when I started the new meds.....she didn't like them at all!
So I lived like this for a while...neck hurting, body sensitive to pain, joints hurting and low energy. Then the joint pain got unbearable. My GP sent me to a rheumetologist. The Rheumy diagnosed me with psoriatic arthritis (explaining the joint pain) and fibromyalgia explaining the body tenderness. He also told me I was pre-lupus...ANA negative but enough symptoms to see the path that I was headed down. I was placed on methotrexate and over the following months I went from a small dose of 4 per week to the max dose of 10 per week. Methotrexate is low-dose chemo and kills in inflamed and damaged cells. It is lethal to a fetus. I couldn't live with the idea of unexpectedly getting pregnant and not knowing it in time and losing the baby due to the meds. Methotrexate is the same type of drug that they use for the morning after pill. So, a few months later Jason got 'fixed'. We were done with kids--I mourned. This sent me into a bit deeper depression.
In the meantime Jason's grandfather passed and his grandmother became more and more dependent on the family to provide for her. I committed to driving to see her once a week. The house and yard was in great disrepair so I began cleaning up a bit on my visits. One such visit I spent about 2 hours outside trimming bushed, shrubs and trees to clean out the overgrowth. I used some heavy duty hedge clippers and really hurt myself. The action used to chop off heavy branches seriously tweaked my neck. I was in excruciating pain. I went to the chiropractor the next day. I saw her for 5-6 visits and it helped a little but it wasn't intense enough. She used what is called the activator method and I later discovered that it is not as effective as hands on manipulation. I was so sad nothing was helping. I was always hurting. I went from ice to heat and back again several time a day. I was up to 4 aleve per day in addition to all my other caustic drugs. This was not a pattern that I could continue and it was getting worse. One thing I got from my chiro that actually helped was sleeping on a towel roll paced under what should be the curve of my neck....my is distorted so badly that it doesn't curve back at the neck to support my head like it should...it juts forward and makes my head feel very heavy for my neck to support.
The depression then increased my neck pain and lethargy. Enough was enough. I went back to the GP about 3 years after the first MRI and the GP ordered another. I have what physicians call a buffalo hump. I have had it as long as I can remember...even back in middle school. It is larger now and consists of a hard center and tons of swelling. I could get the swelling gone with ice. MRI showed same results...good news that there wasn't any deterioration but options remained the same....cortisone shot....I was at my wits end and did it.
It was invasive, scary and expensive...but I got relief--for THREE weeks! *SCOFF* $750 for 3 weeks? I think not. So I was back at square one. Or at least I thought. Good news was on its way. Jason had attended a meeting at work about some new health benefits and one new program sounded very promising--Airrositi.
It was supposed to be able to relieve most neck and back pain in 3-5 visits and the visit copay was only $10. I could totally try this. The chiro copay had been $40 per visit and the shot...well, it was insane. So I signed up. I am so very glad I did.
This is where I will talk about how I believe all my disorders stemmed from my chronic neck pain. I was well until the neck pain began. I was a normal weight. I was active and while I have always been quirky...my autoimmune disorder was under control. When the neck pain began, my sleep was disrupted and I began to snore. I began using a cpap for the snoring. But the sleep deprivation from the pain began to manifest symptoms of fibromyalgia. If you read about fibro there is always a sleep disorder associated with it and some people and researchers believe that fibro can be set off my chronic pain--the body hurts so badly for so long that it begins to misinterpret signals and everything registers as painful. The depression and pain from the neck and fibro began to take a toll on my immune system and new disorders started popping out. The lethargy from the thyroid and depression led me to self medicate with caffeine and sugar for energy and the weight piled on worsening my psoriatic arthritis and poor diet began to take its toll on my immune system. It is all related. 100% positive.
So now here I am two visits into Airrosti and things are looking up. I can fall asleep unmedicated. I am down to 2 and sometimes no aleve per day. I am not continuously in pain and my doctors says in 2-3 more visits I will not only be pain free but HEALED!!!! He said my fascia was in a mess and had contracted and balled up from hours and hours of holding something in a cradled position with both arms while my head was down and my shoulders pulled up. Sounds interestingly like the position one takes to...BREASTFEED!!! He agreed. I was right all along and no one listened. I was not in a car accident--I was a mom who breastfed for a combined 24 months (feeling sorry for Michelle Duggar's neck right about now). The treatment is oh so simple. The doctor uses his thumbs to apply extreme pressure and a slow directional force to stretch the fascia (tissue encapsulating the muscles) back to its intended length. He explained that muscles are very vascular and therefore heal fast. Fascia, however, has very little blood flow so that when it become damaged or contracted it needs help to relax. The treatment is very painful. I get nauseous and have even felt like I could pass out but afterwards the results are UNBELIEVABLE!!!
This last time he worked on both sides of my shoulders and then the attachment from my jaw down to my shoulder. It felt like he rolled the muscle/fibers from my shoulder to skull along both sides of my neck and I literally had to recite the Lords Prayer to myself in my head so that I wouldn't vomit and then pass out. But today...NO PAIN!

After the 30 minute hands on treatment you see an in-house physical therapist who doest some exercises with you and assigns homework etc. They use some 'kinetic tape' to increase blood flow and promote healing--you wear it after you appointment for up to 3 days. It is awesome.
After 5 years I have found someone who doesn't just want to give me drugs or cut me open--they actually want to heal the problem....treat the issue...I am so very EXCITED! I LOVE AIRROSTI.

So this has been and epically long post. I have tons of other things I want to touch on but I will save those for tomorrow so I don't bore whoever may read this to death!
Here's to juice fasting, vegan/vegetarian eating, juice fasting and AIRROSTI!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Airriosti visit 2/Juice fast day 6

Good energy today.  Feeling good about my decision to make it a 10day fast.  Thirty days is just not feasible for me as this time.  I plan to eat healthy for 1-2 weeks and may be revisit a longer juice fast depending on how I feel.  It is doing good so far though--I just miss chewing!
I had my 2nd airriosti visit today.  OUCH!  Airiosti is a intense form of deep muscle manipulation that focuses on the fascia surrounding the muscles.  I have had severe neck pain for 5+ years.  I have bulging discs and twisted vertebra--I was told that these were the source of my pain.  WRONG!  Countless muscle relaxers, a neurosurgeon and one epidural cortisone shot later I found myself here, at Airriosti.  I am so very thankful that I ended up here.
I wont lie to you, it HURTS.  I get nauseous and have almost fainted.  I am terribly sore the day after even when I follow orders and ice, but the pain is diminishing.  I can fall asleep at night without a heating pad or some crazy construction of pillows to support my ailing neck in just the right manner.  IT IS WORKING!  No meds....no surgery....nothing invasive and I have hope.  I have hope that it will be healed!  So far I am loving airriosti!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Morning of day 5

So I am definitely waking and rising alot easier.  I have never been a morning person, I am actually that person who grumbles moodily until I ingest copious amount of coffee and sit unbothered for some number of minutes.  But not this morning.  Jason woke me to tell me it was time to get up and I thought, ah maaannnn, but then got up and at em with great ease.  Made our juice, had my quiet time, stripped 2 beds, tended to a sick kid all before I normally would have had a chance to drink that first cup of coffee.  I can live with this.
Yesterday evening was BAAADDDD HARD!  I wanted to eat anything and everything.  I DO NOT like KFC and even their commercial on tv was making my mouth water. I know myself and as of now I fear that I am going to have a hard time not binging when I break this fast.  But for now I will just worry myself with today. Cheers!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Green Smoothie/juice fast Evening of day 4

Not gonna lie.  It has been a hard day.  I want to eat everything, even the mediocre corn dogs the kids had this evening.  I had juice for breakfast and lunch and then a smoothie for dinner.  I think that I am favoring the juice.  The smoothies just seem to have too much pulp for my liking.
Went to church today and crashed when I came home.  I seriously napped for 4 hours.  I am ready for the fatigue to lift.  When is it supposed to lift?  As I sat down this evening to my smoothie I told my hubby that I didnt know if I could do 30 days. 
I am not really struggling with the physical pangs of hunger but I am struggling with emotionally wanting to just EAT!  I like food.  I like to eat...no, I LOVE to eat.  I guess that is how I got to be a whopping 300 lbs.
Asking for your prayers...

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Green Smoothie and juice fast morning of day 3

It is the morning of day 3, and so far so good.  I am still in the early stages of detox.  I am tired, lethargic and I had a monsterous headache yesterday but I have n ot really been hungry.  As of this morning I do not have a headache, that is good news.  I have been combining green smoothies and juice.  I am using this method mostly to cut cost.  It takes ALOT of produce to get 12 oz of juice. 
I am juicing the less palateable veggies and then putting that juice into my smoothies.  I am also drinking some of the juices straight, like the famous MEAN GREEN juice.
Some of the things I am using are spinach, squash, eggplant, pineapple, ginger, lemon, lime, orange, apple, bananna, celery, bell pepper, blackberries, grapes, carrots, pears, etc...
Thus far 6lbs lost.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fast begins tomorrow---surpise from hubby

So my fast begins tomorrow morning.  Jason went grocery shopping tonight to get all my fruits, veggies etc and got me a great suprise. 

We were unpacking all the goods and Jason kept acting weird.  He kept laughing at me.  I thought he was making fun of me for doing the juice fast/smoothie fast because of the Jim Carey In Living Color Skit  that he showed me the other day.

So I made a big deal about him not making fun of me.  I wanted him to tell me why he kept laughing and the he asked me where my blender I had set out on the counter had came from.  I was sooo confused.  He unplugged my blender and started to put it up.  I was freaking out.  I had no clue what he was doing and then I looked down!  All along I had been standing next too, touching and evening at times moving the box of a brand new juicer!!!!!  So he WAS making fun of me all along but not for wanting to do this fast--because I am a big fat doof!!  I love my man!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Life Resolution--Green Smoothie fast preplanning

I have come across lots of information lately that has all pointed towards whole foods, raw foods and low animal based foods diet as the ideal diet for autoimmune dosorders.  I have watched things like "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead", "FoodMatters" and "Forks over Knives" among other things.
I have a fibromyalgia diagnosis, but it seems to be partially if not completely, in remission.  I have psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.  I am considered pre-lupus---and I am only 30 years old. And as of today I am considering a visit to the doctor for a test for Cushings disease. I have been on methotrexate for 3 years, muscle relaxers for 3 years, antidepressants for 4 years, blood pressure meds for 2 years and things do not seem to be getting better.  I am going to greatly humble myself here and admit that my weight teeters at 300lbs.  Yes, you read that right.  There are alot of mitigating factors but I cannot deny that I am solely to blame, period.  I got myself in this bind and I, with God's help, will get myself out.
Here is my plan.  I am on Thursday January 5th embarking on a 30 day green smoothie fast.  For 30 days I will consume only raw fruits, vegetables, water, black coffee, green tea and small amounts of soymilk. While weightloss is a long-term goal, my most pressing goal is to feel better and eat healthier.  I am not looking at this as a diet--this is a treatment.  I am making the choice to let food be my medicine.  I am willing to try something that I have never tried before in order to achieve something that I have never achieved before.
After my 30 days of green smoothie fast I will break for a short time and actually 'eat' my meals (still maintaining a vegetarian diet).  I plan to then begin a 10 day juice fast--that is if I can persuade my husband to buy me a juicer!!!
Is this my New Years Resolution?  Not really, but maybe. I don't want to doom it by placing that moniker on it so I will call this My New Life Resolution.