Health Update

One of the reasons we returned home early from the mission field was our health. We moved to Argentina planning to stay for five or ten years. We returned after only 18 months because, honestly, I just didn’t want to lose anyone. We had lost enough already. The price was very high. We never expected to lose our health like that. I had lived in Argentina before as a newlywed, and even though Dengue Fever made the news in Buenos Aires, we just weren’t sick like we were in Patagonia. I’m sure it had everything to do with the exploding volcanoes and the fact that we went into more unsanitary places than perhaps others. Yeah, we’re pretty sure it was. And the stress. Don’t forget the stress!

Health reasons is one of the top three reasons missionaries return (the other two being financial and family issues).

Most people don’t want to die or watch their kids die if it can be avoided. Never say “All for Christ” unless you really mean it. And even then, you will see if you do when the moment actually comes. My conviction after being so sick and seeing my family so sick was that it was time to go before I lost someone and lived to regret it. I don’t know if we will ever regain our health to what it was before, but I do hope and pray daily that we do. I am optimistic and in faith for it, but time will tell.

Regaining our health has been THE major focus of my life lately. Since returning, we’ve already had croup, bronchitis, sinusitis, a urinary tract infection, several trips to the ER, and the worst migraine I’ve had since last year. Our immune systems, I know, are shot. Although it’s been a hard thing to do, we have purposefully not run around visiting people and socializing, or even going to church, because it’s more important at the moment to rest and recover than anything else. I have to make it important. Pretty soon we hope to be up to start visiting; we do miss our friends and all the lovely people who supported us.

When we got back in April my blood pressure was high. Not 160/100 high like it was, but not good high. As the goodness, mellowness, order, and cleanliness of the States began to invade our beings with it’s wonderful calming and healing affects, my BP slowly started coming down. It took months, but it finally came down.

I was so, so, so thankful the other day when I saw this:
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It’s not always that good, and it used to be better, but it’s not a resting heart rate of 91 {in bed} like a year ago. I’ll take it. I am so very thankful to the Lord for helping me to get it down naturally. I pray I can keep it down am thrilled to have avoided having to go on meds at only 41.

This is how I brought my blood pressure down naturally. It worked for me, and may not work for everybody, but it was worth the try and the HARD work to keep off meds:

NO SALT
No ADDED salt, I should say. I don’t cook with it, but put it on the table for everyone else. Eggs without salt does start to taste good after a while, it does.
WATER
Lots of it
DAILY EXERCIZE

I walk 30 minutes a day, no big deal; but it has brought my HR down from the 80s to 65
REDUCE STRESS
still working on that one…let me know if you find the answer!
RAW APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
I mix a Tablespoon with my dad’s backyard honey in a glass of water, an acquired taste. They say it’s good, don’t know if it works, but it can’t hurt.
VITAMINS
I started taking a multi, 2000UI of D3, Cranberry, Echinacea and hope to add more soon.
A GLASS OF RED WINE A DAY
Although I don’t always do this one, I do confess to trying. :)
PROBIOTICS
As in, the opposite of Anti-biotics, which we’ve taken too many of these past two years. I just feed us organic yogurt and Kefir from the grocery store when I can. Helps to put all the good bacteria back in that the antibiotics kill.
VALERIAN
A calming herb, good for the nerves, helps induce sleep at night. I started taking this in pill form in Argentina and brought some back with me, but you can find it in any pharmacy or grocery store.
CHAMOMILE TEA
Same as valerian, good for the nerves and sleep.
DAILY SUN EXPOSURE
A mininum of 15 minutes of outdoor sun a day for Vitmain D production, which will help our immune systems. I get this walking, and sometimes the kids come with me. If not, I send them outside and sit there sunning myself. It’s funny how we have to make ourselves relax this day and age. I know I do.

I admit I’m a little nervous for the winter. Winter means very bad illnesses for us and I’m a bit traumatized by it. Tony has had bronchitis eight times in the last two years. I hear a cough now and cringe. I do hope the Littlest, at almost five, has now outgrown Croup. We’ll see soon, I guess.

I started the kids and Tony on the max recommended dosis of D3, Vitamin C, and Zinc. The Littles gets multis. I hope to begin making herbal remedies again very soon. They really do work and I do see a difference, so I hope to add Elderberry Syrup to our daily supplements soon. I’m still researching and asking around about what more I can add to our “get healthy” arsenal, so please tell me what you do, suggestions are welcome!

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Garden Therapy

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{chamomile lovin’}

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I built my first raised bed this summer.

I went to Home Depot, had them cut my untreated lumber, hauled it home, and wacked those nails in myself. Our yard is sloped, so I had to make sure the bed was level. Then I filled it in with a mix of bagged soil, compost, and peat moss.

We have rabbits and deer and chipmunks and all sorts of critters, so I have to surround my garden with some sort of fencing. I found some stakes and chicken wire behind the shed. Easy peasy.

I missed planting time for tomatoes and cucumbers and such, so I begin my homesteading ventures with this one bed of salad greens and a few herbs.

We enjoyed fresh, organic salad for over a month. The collard greens got attacked by some bugs, not sure what. Only got one pie out of them. Now the chamomile is blooming and the mammoth dill is… mammoth. I’ll have to remember not to plant so much next year.

Next year I plan on adding two or three more raised beds, fruit trees, and arborvitae hedges! I also want to try Straw Bale Gardening and get my compost bin started before winter rolls around!

Fossil Making

117We started homeschooling again.

I know, I said I wasn’t going to do this anymore. But I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t know how to do anything else. It’s also hard to fight it when your kids tell you that they’ve been praying every night for a YEAR, “God, please change my mom’s heart” and, “Oh please don’t let her send us to public school!”

What’s so bad about public school? I went, and look how great I turned out.

I’m sort of homeschooling the 4yo. I figure I better do something with her or she’ll kill me. We do dollar store workbooks: ABCs, 123s, color the little birdie blue, etc. I read to her (she makes me). When I’m feeling energetic, we craft.

Recently we made homemade fossils. I read about it here. The recipe is here.

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Now that the weather is cooling off, we plan on doing some fossil hunting. I hope we find some real ones!

Yarn Along

I said I would do it – learn to knit when we returned to the U.S. And I am. I’m real exciting these days.

This is how far I’ve gotten:

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The knit stitch, and I guess I managed the purl… but only with the help of YouTube.

I also just finished Jane Eyre , which I downloaded free on Kindle. I got the Kindle to take to Argentina thinking I would do all this reading to unplug and unwind from the craziness of the missions life late, late at night. Nope. I was usually just cleaning up from dinner or company at 11. We had to move back to the U.S. for me to find time to read again. I LOVED Jane Eyre. Top 5 All-Time Reads in my book, without a doubt. The heights and depths of the trials and triumphs of human life and love (and suffering and hate) so delectably written. Kept me up til 3am one night, I just couldn’t put it down! This may be this year’s Read-Aloud to the kiddlings.

Now I need to join the local library KnitWits group and have the old ladies show me how this knitting thing is really done.

Pictures :: 5 months later

I pulled out my camera for the first time since we have been back in the U.S. and was surprised to find these pictures.

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Packing. The only thing we actually brought back, though, was the cat. The rest of our boxes are still in Argentina. Customs didn’t allow us to ship them. We’ve had to start over from scratch. But I love thrift shopping, so it’s been alright.
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Tony took the boys from the boys’ home to his weekend job at the TV station.
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Mr. Kitty loves the U.S.