Wednesday, June 25, 2014

decisions & improvements

Every day reveals some improvement in my skin-related symptoms. We credit prayer and doTerra's Zendocrine (which was, in itself, an answer to prayers).

For those who have asked, we have decided to use the doTerra lyme protocol. If we need to do Cowden, we will, but it looks like doTerra both meets and exceeds our goals and needs. Excited to start soon!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

it's a...


Lymes is the doctors conclusion. Sooo I am a real Virginian now! Time to sharpie "feral immigrant" off of my ID card. 

Everything else is still there (yeast, fungi, blah blah blah). BUT... We don't know if the Lyme was the chicken or the egg in this scenario for certain, but most likely the chicken. Supposedly the diagnosis explains why things have been triggered recently (lymes does this -- makes a-topic stuff, like eczema, worse in addition to everything else it damages). It is honestly a much simpler explanation and for that I am relieved. Time to explore natural treatment options. :) 

Thank you all for praying this past week for relief from the mysterious surge of eczema. Face and neck is completely, miraculously healed. Hands, wrists, and arms are still unbearable but we are starting to see improvement there, even -- so encouraging. 

Love you all dearly. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

I can see!

1. We had to wrap my wrists and hands in gauze because it's such a painful wreck, and we are hopeful that this will enable them to heal for the first time in a while. In the meantime, I look very mummy-chic mets steam-punk.

2. For the first time since Monday night (when I went to bed), I can open both of my eyes and not only that, but I can actually see. No weird eyelashes or spontaneous tearing to obscure my vision. I am stoked.

AND, this is a pretty spiffy story. Around 2:30, I finally forced my left eye open enough so I could find my phone to call Debbie (to tell her that I wanted to take her up on her offer to come over and help me), my Oma, and Rachel. I asked Oma and Rachel to pray for me over the phone...and within thirty minutes I could open my right eye enough to see out of it. Previously, I couldn't even force it open with my fingers because they swelling was so intense. As of today, the swelling isn't completely gone, but we're getting there! It's such a marvelous improvement, though. I was astounded by the speedy answer to prayer that I witnessed yesterday.

3. Yesterday, my mother-in-law came over, spent time with me, talked with me, applied oils for me, and was a kind comfort. At someone's suggestion, we applied the doTerra zendocrine oil blend to the bottom of my feet. As time progressed, Debbie actually saw a visual difference -- the swelling continued to go down, the redness continued to subside... amazing. I am quite grateful for her sacrificial love -- driving an hour to come help me, putting her arm around me, having me lay in her lap while we talked and I gathered my bearings, making calls to people who knew what would work, and just loving me to pieces.

4. Beyond thankful for all of your prayers. You bless me (and my long-suffering, patient husband) to no end.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

bad news

Well, this week's update isn't great.

My arms, neck, face, shoulders, back of my ear-lobes, and abdomen are oozing with something I think? TBD, because I can only see part-way out of my left eye (one fourth of the vision + looking through a soap bubble). Additionally, I am having tons of trouble opening my mouth enough to eat. So, feeling bewildered, confused, a little sad, and surprised. I was fine yesterday!

I wasn't physically able to get out of bed until 4:30PM today. BUT the fact that I was able to get out of bed is a testament to the power of prayer -- I had been trying all day to get out of bed with no success. I sent messages to some friends, and within the hour I was able to successfully move. Praise the Lord!

I have no idea what has caused this, but I am really looking forward to seeing the doctor (for the first time since what, April?) on Tuesday. Plus, I am feeling really encouraged knowing that others are praying for Tom and I as we try to make it through today, and the next, and the next.

Come Lord, and Let Thy Pow'r, by Fanny Crosby

Come, Lord, and let Thy pow’r
On each and all descend,
While gathered in Thy holy Name,
Before Thy throne we bend.

Refresh our waiting souls,
Our feeble faith inspire,
And from Thine altar touch our hearts
With coals of sacred fire.

Come, Lord, and let Thy pow’r
Each thought of self remove;
And may we feel as ne’er before
Thy pure and perfect love.


Our waiting, longing eyes,
Are looking up to Thee,
O may we, in Thy smiling face,
Our Father’s glory see.


Come, Lord, Thy pow’r alone
The work of grace can do;
Now let it consecrate to Thee
Our hearts and lives anew.


Be ours, with fervent zeal,
Thy bloodstained cross to bear;
Till at Thy feet we lay it down,
A crown of life to wear.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

proof of life

Summary of the past few weeks: we were able to go to California, and I decided to post-pone the next round of heavy detoxers until next month. Things go up and down within the course of each day. The past week has been marvelous; no problems bending my arms or moving my neck, GI stuff is on-point, the alkalizing seems to be going well (although we have to retest my internal ph soon!), eczema-related problem areas are in terms of symptoms, they have become more manageable within the past 7 days (within the past 24 hours, even). There's still constant itchiness / stomach-pain, but it is so much more manageable. We're pretty floored.

I'm not stupid enough to think that this is a true indicator of causal-improvement -- the last cycle of heavy detoxers/Herxheimer's proved that there are a lot of things that will have to be shaken loose. But I am able to do things without trouble, live life as it should be, and that is marvelous. Part of me doesn't want to ever do the next cycle of heavy-detoxers. It's quite McDonalds around here ("I'm lovin' it!"), but we are also excited to hear what our doctor has to say, now that they blood tests are in (and our appointment is only two-ish weeks away!).

We celebrated our 3rd anniversary yesterday. I am so thankful for my dear friend, all of his unwavering support and love, and the time with which God has blessedly given us together.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

the Roll family

Delicious but weirdly shaped. (Metaphor for life, anyone?)

slivered golden beet
shredded collard greens
alfalfa sprouts 
torn basil
shredded Brussel sprouts a brown rice thingymabob. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

blown away/thankful

The last two days have seen huge improvements. Friday, my arms went from beyond awful to bad. Tom and I went on an evening walk and I only needed to sit down once. Today (Saturday) we went on 1 mile hike without any difficulty...and my arms are continuing to improve. My abdomen and face have improved tons! This is the Herxheimer's petering off, but it is happening incredibly fast. Much faster than it "should" be. We credit this entirely to your prayers. I'm not healthy yet, but I am not curled up in my house like a decomposing shrimp. I am able to sleep longer than 2 hours at a time and that is amazing. :) Praising the Lord for choosing to heal me of this first round of Herxheimer's so rapidly for His glory. Thank you all for your dear prayers.

Update: Sunday saw even more improvements! I am sleeping about 3/3.5 hours at a time now. The Herxheimer's is almost gone and my skin continues to improve. We are thrilled God allowed this first round of herxing to be so brief. Praising Him for the continual healing and for the sweet encouragement it is to know that our brothers and sisters are praying for us. Love you all.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

leek/beet hash

New favorite: 

Sautée 2 sliced leeks & one cubed beet. 
Mix kale in to let it wilt. 

Serve over brown rice pho noodles. We liked the way organic sprouts and GMO-free soy sauce (Bragg's) complimented the dish. :) 

I'd rather be sick

(I am not going to rattle on, but a few 4AM thoughts... they kind of link to a journal entry excerpt I shared earlier).

Sanctification is tricky, at least in my mind. The concept is simple, but the actionable data is hazy at best. Anyway, I have been thinking about it (because nothing is more jolly than thinking about things that make you feel dumb, derp). 

As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. 
James 5:10-11 

Through the processes of chronic illness, God has been sanctifying me. Not to say that when I felt healthy He wasn't, but rather... It might be best explained as the realization that trials are not useless. So, I am amazed to be able to say that I am counting it all joy, praying that it produces steadfastness, and that I am humble to "let steadfastness take its full effect", so that I may be "perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" (James 1:2-4). 

At the risk of sounding glib (and please know I am sincere)... I'd rather be sick and being sanctified than be healthy and not being sanctified. And yes, there is a third option (being healthy while being sanctified). But honestly, who cares? It is irrelevant to the idea. Third option or no, whatever God can use to sanctify me so that I can be useful to Him and live to the praise of His glory... that is a mercy, a kindness I do not merit. The fact that God, creator of the universe, who has already paid the immeasurable cost of my unfaithfulness & sin and then saved me unto Himself chooses to be involved and loves me (us!) enough to sanctify me is amazing. Sickness is a part of the fall, an imperfection that is the result of sin. But, if He can use the fruit of the fall to plant a tree of life within me...that is marvelous indeed. 

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 
2 Corinthians 4:16 

An amazing, merciful gift. The thankfulness is bursting from my heart. He is gloriously perfect and yet He chooses to work to make me more holy. How can I restrain my praises? My thankfulness? My wonder? "For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

Friday, May 2, 2014


YOU GUYS. I slept soundly from 10:30pm to 5am! This is the most consecutive hours of sleep I have gotten in two weeks. I feel so much better. Praising the Lord for this unexpected and wonderful gift. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


a. I have flu-like symptoms due to Herzheimer's reaction and, well, you know how the flu is. This plus everything else is a three layer cake of lethal that has knocked me flat out.
b. All areas that had almost finished healing (shoulders, back, chest, abdomen, thighs, back of R knee, arms, wrists, hands) from eczema are either back to their original state or worse.
c. A third fungi has apparently taken over my system.
(Uncertain why, but the theory is that when we got rid of the others this one, dormant in tissue, decided to 'move in'.
hlkjsafdsafhlkj. ! ! ! Disgusting x a billion.)
d. I am fully cationic, i.e. my system is extremely acidic.
I say "fully" cationic, because February testing revealed my system was cationic/anionic...some parts of were too acidic while others were too alkaline. Current ph is 5.8 (ideal body ph is slightly alkaline, at ~7.4 ph).
e. Sadly, we had to delay our departure date. No CA vacation for us, at least this time around. (Preview of an "Up" --> but we are still going to be there for the major family events, which is fantastic).

a. As of yesterday (Tuesday), we have the results from one of the tests (not the blood tests, but still). Incredibly glad to have them!
b. Part of the results --> New diet to alkalize my system...and I like it way better, even though it is just as restrictive in many ways. Things like raw milk and raspberries are okay to eat now, even though old favorites like maple syrup, eggs (just kidding! This is apparently [thankfully!] temporary. In a month I can eat eggs! They are an acidifying food, but no where near as bad as beef, so just gotta wait until I am not so cationic, and then we will likely be able to reintroduce), and beef are off the table. :)
c. I am consistently able to open my eyes without difficulty, despite the fact that they are still swollen. This is a tremendous relief.
d. The eczema no longer impedes my ability to eat.
e. Today I did a lot of standing and walking around as mom and I did some errands to prepare for this new diet...and I am pooped but not crashing, as has been the pattern in the past. SO happy about this.
f. Found a clinic that does pre-warming / has the proper incubator so the final blood test (for this first round of testing) can be completed. Whoop!
g. My amazing mom blessed me by hanging out with me and discovering MOM's Organic Market with me when I wasn't permitted to take the blood test that was scheduled for today. I loved spending time with her. Cannot thank you enough, Mom. (You should all find good reasons to visit her, by the way. She is going to make a strawberry-rhubarb pie...and you know about my mother's magical abilities with pie).
h. Despite having to cancel our CA vacation, I'm not anxious or depressed. We're still going out for Sarah's graduation, just not when we hoped we would. It's out of our control, so it is both practical and of strategic interest to be at peace...but beyond that, I just am at peace.

While it is still true nothing sounds better than a few solid days with beautiful surroundings, with no one but my handsome husband and nothing to interfere in our plans... it's not my hope or source of joy. Are you rolling your eyeballs? Before you lift a scoffing eyebrow, realize that I think the day has been fancy if I go to the grocery store! Easter weekend has been the only weekend in ages that wasn't spent doing damage control for a new mystery surge as we watched all of our progress disappear. Just the idea of a vacation with your most treasured friend can easily become an idol when you are a shut-in. In retrospect, it had become that for me for a brief amount of time. Praise the Lord for His goodness and generous mercy in both shaking me free of that idol and for giving me peace when the opportunity for precious time with Tom was taken away.

For those of you who understand why this would be saddening, don't feel bad for me. I actually feel worse for Tom. I tried to convince him to go on without me so he could spend time with family and friends but, of course, he would have none of it, in the kindest way possible. He has had made so many sacrifices already. I hoped this would not be one of them. Thinking about all of the good (and just plain normal) things he has given up or missed---cheerfully, with love, for the glory of God, literally without uttering a single complaint---because of me makes my heart ache. (Lord, please grant Tom the desires of his heart, for Your name's sake). However, we strongly doubt that my condition is permanent, and while disappointing and a little sad, there will be other trips and opportunities...hey, while our time in CA will be a rushed and busy few days, they will be full of dear-ones. I can't wait to be spending time with our family! Eeep! <--(utilizing a non-word to express my intense level of excited anticipation! And excitement! Because I am excited. Did I mention I am excited about seeing our family??! Bah!)

Oh, and it will be warm. Poo on you, rainy Virginia.

Monday, April 28, 2014

hang loose

1. Many things (well, sinful actions) arguably stem from issues of control*. The range is great; from anger to passive aggressiveness, for example. Personally, I generally internalize it and become an extremely stressed and stressful person, leading to other things (e.g. subdued panic, being a terrible wife/sister/daughter, and eczema flare-ups, haha). Through this whole saga, especially as the past three days have been terrifyingly bad, I have been realizing all of the areas over which I have consciously and subconsciously tried to exert control (the list is becoming impossibly long). It is God's grace that has revealed this to me through these distressing circumstances and, to be honest, I am rejoicing in it. I'm not a fan of the circumstances by any stretch, but I am so glad that God is graciously, mercifully, and lovingly sanctifying me! A gift of mercy.

2. I'm in pretty terrible shape. Not going to going to make it long but... it's gnarly. And gross. And miserable. And painful. But I'm relaxed (whatwhat?!). We might have to delay our trip to CA and cancel our vacation but... I'm okay. Ask me again if we actually have to do those things, but for now, I'm relaxed and peaceful. Praise the Lord for His kindness in this. And please petition Him for my healing, that He may be glorified through my physical wholeness.

*"Arguably" used to make room for other theories / beliefs, including pride, nature v nuture, greed, being a first born, selfishness, 'because I love you', and IBS.

rely not on ourselves

For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. (2 Corinthians 1:5-11 ESV)

Saturday, April 26, 2014


Can't really move; can only open right eye a little; swollen, oozing, extreme pain, etc. Worst day in a while. No idea why. Prayers would be magnificent. 

Friday, April 25, 2014


Becca sent me this and it is a brilliant summary of how I feel all the time. I showed it to my siblings today and we all determined it was precious. So maybe I really just feel precious and not pooped. Or precious AND pooped. (Mostly just pooped). At any rate, thanks, Becca!

"does that sound okay, ma'am?"

All of the recent medical bills have added up. Insurance is chipping in on those bloody blood tests, but did you know that they cost ~5k?! For the 21 vials of my blood they took on Friday?! That's over $220 per vial! Oi.

Last year I was teed by a truck, and by God's grace I only required some intense but brief chiropractic care. The fellow's insurance offered to pay the medical expenses, but it seemed that they had dropped the ball until... I received a call from them (completely unexpectedly) to inform me that they would like to send a check for the chiropractic care and would it be fine if they added an additional $1,000 for pain and suffering? (The cheeker was definitely fishing for a reaction). I played it cool, because that's what I do, but Tom surmised from all the faces I was making at him that something was up.

We had prayed for the chiropractic bills to be paid in the past...but hadn't thought about it recently, assuming it would never happen. It has been over a year, after all. To receive not just the answer to that prayer, but the blessing of an unexpected thousand dollars... Wow. We are quite thankful...and quite surprised. An answer to prayer that has definitely caught us off guard. 

steady as she goes

The title was originally "chug chug", inspired by the steadiness of a train, but then I realized that wasn't what it would convey to everyone else. Shhhaved it! 

Spiritually: Psalm 27:13 --> Psalm 34. 

Health: ebbs and flows; sometimes I'm good, sometimes I'm flat-out and can't get out of bed most of the day. It's like sticking your hand in the Harry Potter jelly jean mix; you could get watermelon or earwax or candy-floss or vomit -- whee, what an adventure. 


As I mentioned before, Sat-Thursday of last week were horrendous... then Friday-Wednesday (well, I am stretching this a little, as Wednesday was terrible until 4pm, buuut) were fantastic, which was amazing. We loved it. I loved it. It was incredible to be able to attend the Easter service without having to sit down during the singing. We were kind of stunned (pleasantly, of course). 

Today (Thursday), is bad. My face and neck have worsened by a good bit. My energy levels are eh, and yes, they always, always are, but you feel it so much more when the rest of you is blerp. AND, the microbiologist who is processing the test I sent in a wee bit ago still hasn't been able to get to it... which isn't a big deal, but a smidge disappointing nonetheless, since it was supposed to be done last Friday. Oh well! Hopefully tomorrow it will be finished. : ) 

I have mentioned that this whole process has revealed my desire for control, and many have been sweetly praying with us that I would be given the grace to relinquish that. It creates endless anxiety (bearing nothing but bitter fruit). 

Truly, that prayer has been answered. Today was proof of that, at least to me. After such a crazy long streak of excellent days (SIX days! SIX!) it was disappointing to be greeted by such a huge resurgence when I awoke. But, that was it; I was disappointed, but not discouraged, and I surprisingly didn't feel any anxiety (besides that one time I applied oregano oil on my oozing face*... desperate times, desperate measures, desperately dumb #ProverbsByChloe). 

All that to say... grace has been poured out abundantly for me. Prayers have been answered so generously. I am amazed by God's goodness in providing those good days and by shoring me up with His perfect peace when they ended. To say that I am comforted and amazed is an understatement. If I was to be completely transparent, I would have to admit that the mere thought of God's grace during these past months makes me teary. He has provided us with all that we needed. Praise be to the God of our salvation, who works wonders and is holy and just and righteous in all things! 

While the face is oozing eczema, let the heart ooze with joy. #ProverbsByChloe 


*For the record, after 20 minutes of terrifying pain, it was all good! And my face was better for it. Or at least that's what I decided. #DecisionsByChloe

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

ice cream?!

To the pounds that I have lost due to the change in my diet: see you soon! 

Recipe (be sure to get certified GMO-free ingredients! or look forward to this *warning:graphic/super gross & sad) + stick it in the freezer and stir every thirty minutes or so. Or forget about it and mix it up as it defrosts. I have done both. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

cup runneth over

A tale of two amazing mothers... 

My second mom (Tom's), when she heard that the earliest that the doctor could see us was over two weeks away, made her own phone call to the doc based on the promoting of the Holy Spirit. She just so happened to secure an appointment that was only two days away. Yes, really. We all briefly acknowledged feeling like a cool part of the mofia (so bad apple -- earlier doctors appointments! Yeah, my mom made a call. Growl/fist slam into palm), and rejoiced. Days later, we were still randomly commenting to each other about how cool it was that God provided for us in that way through Debbie. 

And then, my first mom. Oh my goodness. My mother has been so generous. (As has my kind stud-brother Mitch, as you will quickly see). 

Two Fridays ago, she and Mitch came over to set up what I was told was the rest of my birthday present? Or was it Christmas present?! My mind was blown either way... It was a beautiful porch. Chairs, this ridiculously rad green foofy carpet-ish stuff, a side "table", a pot of pansies and parsley... We have used it every time the weather has been vaguely nice. 

She came over to walk with me on Tuesday, even though it was cold and wet outside. 

On Wednesday, because I wasn't safe to drive, she brought me with her to Reston so we could both do our WFM/TJs errands together. And, when I started having an eczema attack in TJs that was initially easy to control and then began to escalate once we were on the road to my home... She and Mitch carried my groceries up four flights of stairs, and cleaned my house while I crashed in bed (my memory of that part of the day is weirdly spotty/foggy because I could barely even think due to the intensity of the attack... Quite literally "out of it"). That is the day that I mentioned in my last update. I still can't believe that she, Mitch, and Ginny did all that for me while I was in bed dealing with the attack. When I woke up at midnight to take meds I was flabbergasted. My eczema had gone from ugh to horrendous in 90 minutes earlier and had worsened since then. I may have been a mess, but my house was not! It was so clean. And I loved it! It made such a difference. They blessed me beyond words. 

On Friday, she offered to come over to help me with the spring cleaning that had been started and stopped a thousand times because of me (blegh...shoutout to my incredibly chill and patient husband for being willing to live with our clean clothes in bins during the never-ending 'in-between'. He never complained and helped me bail out each time. A champ in every regard). She and Mitch came over and the three of us conquered it once and for all. Thank you both so much. You are crazy to help me out in this way (cleaning the sick house? Ew), but I am so glad of it. 

So yeah, there's my humble brag. I have great moms. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

strangely addictive cookies

They were named by Tom, who partook of his first cookie to be polite...but he was promptly hooked, much to his surprise. We love these! And they are a sinch to whip up. 

Modified from My Whole Food Life. 

1 c. nut butter (we used almond)
5 Tblsp maple syrup 
1.5 Tblsp cocoa powder 
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp coconut oil 

Oven: 350* F

Step 1: blend all ingredients together in food processor. 

Step 2: turn the mixture into balls and put onto lines baking pan. 

Step 3: bake for 10 minutes. 

An addictively easy process for an addictively delicious (and vegan, Paleo, gluten-free, candida-safe (assuming no peanut butter), sugar-free) cookies. Magic. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

praise for / pray for

Points of praise
1. My hands are not itchy 24/7. They aren't healed by any stretch, but they are no longer point of constant anguish. Your prayers are being tangibly answered!

2. The fact that my whole body just starts shutting down whenever I have an eczema attack is actually helping a different problem -- sleep. 

Today, instead of trying to manage it by the myriad of coping mechanisms I've tried / developed, I just went to bed. It didn't take but five minutes for me to fall asleep initially. I slept lightly (just because I was at the beginning of an eczema attack) for a solid thirty minutes before my alarm went off and I tried to get up to teach... but my eyes were so swollen and my body shaking so badly / the pain was so great I could barely talk or type so I had to bail and went back to bed. I slept off and on (partly because my eyes quickly swelled shut and I had no choice in the matter - ha!) from 2pm to 11:45PM -- and I only got up because I decided I needed to lay in bed to see if the swelling would go down so I could get up and eat in order to take pills...which it did. They are still swollen but I can see enough to get around, so that is pretty great!

3. Even though I'm getting worse, I'm less anxious about it and my spirit is settled. That is incredible. Seeing Isaiah 26:3 so clearly manifested is amazing. 

4. MOMS! I mean, really. Both the biological and in-law kind. Moms are amazing. So amazing, they will be getting their own post. You guys are crazy wonderful. 

5. My dear husband. He doesn't complain. He is beyond patient. He tells me I am beautiful, even. Taking care of a sick spouse is one thing... taking care of a spouse that has been sick at varying levels for six months with no end in sight is another. That God would let me be his wife overwhelms me. Grace upon grace. I deserve nothing good, least of all salvation, and next to that, my kind man. 

Points for prayer
1. No need to expand on this too much farther (since I mentioned it under praise #2), but I have definitely gotten worse and it is frustrating. This has impacted everything, including my ability to drive (not that I am up to going anywhere most of the time, but you know). Besides the obvious issue (i.e. I can't open my eyes) the eczema on my neck prevents a level of mobility that is necessary to drive safely. It improved a little after my eczema-attack induce uber-nap, so hopefully that will switch to be a point of praise in the next day or two. :) 

2. We are going to try a new doctor tomorrow. We are praying that the doctor would be able to quickly discern with divinely-provided wisdom what to do. That will probably include blood tests on my part, which...I am kind of dreading it. It's new territory (and my number one reason pregnancy stinks--obviously I have never been pregnant, haha). But hey, if I can do a colonic without passing out or vomiting, I can get my blood slurped out of my veins with a large metal stick. (I am being facetious. I am SO grateful that these facilities are close by and available to us so easily. Living in a first world country is such a blessing). 

3. As always, pray for Tom. This isn't bad news... it is merely a point of prayer. Being a caretaker isn't a piece of cake. He is teleworking tomorrow until he has to take me to the doctor. When we get back home he'll continue teleworking...and then he'll have to help me with the evening routine. :( It's rough! He is a treasure with which I cannot believe I have been gifted. I don't want him to be neglected in the midst of everything. My prayer for him is that he would be healthy (in every way), at peace, happy at / able to find joy in work, be given opportunities to see his family more often, thriving spiritual regardless of circumstances, and for blessings to be poured out on him in abundance. The prayer of a righteous man availeth much, and I confident that most of the individuals reading are far more righteous than I (by leaps and bounds) I hope that you remember him in your prayers, as well.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

no rest, no relief

I have been trying to sleep since midnight. It is 3pm and I have gotten about 2.5 hours of sleep. The reason is the recent spread of eczema to my palms and the bottom of my feet (no longer just my heels). This is very discouraging. Prayers for healing and relief would be greatly appreciated. 

with everyday pour out my soul
and He will prove His mercy
though life is just a fleeting breath
a sigh too deep to measure
my King has crushed the curse of death
& I am His forever 

O praise Him, Hallelujah 
my delight and my reward
everlasting, never changing 
my Redeemer, my God
Aaron Keyes

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah Those of low estate are but a breath; those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath. (Psalm 62:5-9 ESV)

More than life to me!

Pass me not, O gentle Savior--
Hear my humble cry!
While on others Thou art calling
Do not pass me by. 

Let me at a throne of mercy
Find a sweet relief 
Kneeling there in deep contrition--
Help my unbelief

Trusting only in Thy merit
Would I seek Thy face;
Heal my wounded, broken spirit
Save me by Thy grace. 

Thou the spring of all my comfort,
More than life to me! 
Whom have I on earth beside Thee?
Whom in heav'n but Thee? 

Savior, Savior, Hear my humble cry!
While on others Thou art calling, do not pass me by.  

Pass me not, by Fanny Crosby 

Saturday, April 12, 2014


As if this morning, the eczema has spread to the palms of my hands and the heels of my feet. I am not going to even try explaining how difficult every task has become overnight. 

Love you all. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

ruh roh

My circadian rhythm is all wompy-jawed. The eczema keeps me up late, and I have lots of trouble sleeping at night... but once I am able to sleep, I sleep a lot (see previous post). Today I took a nap on purpose (I have been doing it a lot accidentally lately, so this felt very different and was deep because I had given myself 'permission' to do it, so I wasn't bouncing in and out of sleep), and oh man, it was delicious, but I don't think I can do it again (thus it is with naps). It is almost 4AM and I am still awake! Ludicrous. But, tomorrow is a new day; I will correct this problem over the next three days. Challenge accepted!

Monday, April 7, 2014

bah humbug

Currently struggling with fatigue, in ways that are just ridiculous! I can sleep forever. Literally, I could just sleep for 24 hours and wake up only be fed and burped (slightly exaggerating, but still). I walk around the house like a slug. Raising my arms to grab stuff leaves me tired. Sometimes the fatigue is manageable, other times it is an enormous struggle. I got up and was in the process of slogging through the morning routine to get ready for church on Sunday, felt awful, decided I would go anyway, and then realized that would be foolish and didn't. To be completely honest, the fatigue makes me a bit of an unsafe driver at times (not all the time, since I'm just sitting on my behind, but if the fatigue is effecting my focus / is making me incredibly sleepy...). I'll be talking to the doctor about it this week, but if you have any suggestions, I'd appreciate them.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

symptoms: ...nope.

I won't be updating the list of symptoms for a while. Things aren't improving / are digressing and changing and worsening and seeing how little has changed from that first list is currently depressing (although I know it will be a point of encouragement in the future). The eczema attacks are becoming more debilitating and frankly, I am struggling to keep afloat. I am digesting a lot of thoughts and if I think it would be useful to anyone I may share them. But, just FYI. Symptom updates are discontinued until further notice. 

Love you all. 


And David spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said, "The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. For the waves of death encompassed me, the torrents of destruction assailed me; the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I called. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry came to his ears. ..." (2 Samuel 22:1-7 ESV)

David had been granted victory through and by The Lord when he gave this song of deliverance. I have yet to be delivered from my physical distress, but I have been delivered from my spiritual death. Blessed be the name of the Lord! He is worthy of all praise and glory and thanksgiving and honor and beauty and worship. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

okra me a river

Easy snack: sautée okra in coconut oil and sprinkle with seasoning. My favorite is curry and garam masala. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

hydro hydro!

The second hydrotherapy session went well! While I don't want to put the cart before the horse, I am hopeful that the detoxing after-math won't flatten me out for a week this go-round. :) 

On a different note, though, Tom has been having a lot of trouble breathing, and we're not sure why. Prayers for wisdom and for the cause to be revealed would be most appreciated. 

Love you all.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

a journal excerpt

Admittedly, after typing it up I realized that the tone of my private thoughts are a little different from my public ones. I believe this stems from vulnerability. In any case, however, this idea has been weighing on my soul for the past two weeks and the past few sermons (on Revelation 3:14-22 and Revelation 4) have helped crystalize my thoughts. The sermons are available through the church website and can be downloaded through iTunes for free. If you haven't heard them already, I strongly recommend that you do.


"We consider the fact of God's holiness... and yet when discussing sadness or hardship I use language like 'but then God blessed / graced / granted mercy to us with...' when there is a turn, something that moves from sadness to happiness, i.e. 'the good'. God's blessings are not restricted to something that I, in my imperfection and unholiness, see as 'good', as God's blessings can also come through what I might traditionally label as 'the bad'. I am sick, I am miserable almost constantly...and yet, through the circumstances of the past two weeks, I know I am blessed. I am confident of this. 


My prayer is this: that my life would be useful; that I would be either hot or cold water; that His perfect, holy plan would be realized through healthiness (and that I would be joyful if He chooses to realize it through continued illness). The sickness in me is fruit of the curse, but the fact that it can be used to the praise of His glory is the fruit of Grace and it is a blessing. The earth and my earthly body therein has been made imperfect through sin, but God is not only perfect, He has not been made. Unlike my own thoughts, which change and develop each day, His perfection and wisdom exist out of the corruption of time---to that I can and must and will submit, every insignificant day. In this I find my significance: worship through beautiful submission.  Regardless of whether I am ill or well, I pray that each day I would be humble in submitting to His will and cast my crown at His feet, over and over. This crown has been given to me by Him by His grace, bought for me by His mercy, brought to me by His love. How can I have anything by confidence in His providence and perfect purpose and pure intention through the course of each day. To that I submit; to that holy God I submit my prayers." 

Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone 
And live so all might see 
The strength to follow Your commands 
Could never come from me 
Oh Father, use my ransomed life 
In any way You choose 
And let my song forever be 
My only boast is You

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ

All I Have Is Christ, from Sovereign Grace

Saturday, March 29, 2014


I've played ping-pong maybe three times in my whole life, but I think it is a good way to understand what has been happening. We (boop!) offer something to my body to see how it will respond. Sometimes it lobbies it back nicely and other times it drops the whole thing and we have to scramble to pick stuff up. For the most part it has just blinked at me whenever I'd send something its way, but it is getting better at responding. Good signs, friends! 

I'll be having another colon hydrotherapy treatment in the next two days (strategically arranged so that I will be able to go to church this week since it will probably leave me flat-out again, although hopefully not for more than a week). Prayers for both the treatment and the recovery would be greatly appreciated. :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

coconut flour blab

I made a bread-slab, i.e. a blab. A plateau of bread. 

Don't get me wrong; I think it is very tasty. When I decided to make coconut flour bread, I found a few possible recipes before deciding which to execute. The recipe upon which I finally settled contained a photo of fluffy slices. Mine did not fluff. It flatted. Instead of rising, it declared that it was happy with its current occupation and refused to budge. Befuddling, but coconut flour is apparenfly a challenging ingredient to master, so biscotti bread it is until I learn the tricks of the coconut flour trade. 

The thing is...because it did not rise it is crazy dense. So it is surprisingly filling. And, like I said, quite yummy (especially with coconut cream*). 

If you are not able to eat many grains or need to avoid carbs, I highly recommend.

*Coconut cream = plop a can of full-fat organic coconut milk in the fridge before you go to sleep. When you open it in the morning it will be separated. Use the oh-so-magical cream on the top as butter and the watery milk on the bottom in your baking or morning smoothie.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

parsley, cucumber, chicken salad

We love bright, zesty salads. I made this today in order to use some ingredients 
we needed to eat soon (mostly the chicken and parsley), and we both loved 
the outcome. The recipe is pretty chill, so make it based your own jollies.

For chicken:
1 package of organic chicken thighs 
Red wine 

For dressing:
Balsamic vinaigrette (we make ours with a healthy oil like avocado + 
balsamic + dried onion + apple cider vinegar)
Yogurt (we love unsweetened coconut yogurt)

For veggies:
2 telegraph cucumbers 
1/2 purple onion
1 bunch of organic parsley

Chicken: Start the chicken first, so that it is ready by the time everything 
else is finished. 
Boil in enough water to almost cover it and then add red wine cover (plus a 
little to account for the boil off). When it is cooked, scoop it out and set it aside. 

(Side note: the leftover liquid is perfect for boiling pasta -- delicious). 

Dressing: After setting the chicken to boil... 
In the bottom of the bowl in which you intend to serve it... Mix a scoop of tahini, 
a spoonful of yogurt, and about 1/2 cup of balsamic vinaigrette (do it to your own 
taste). It doesn't mix well on top of veggies, so... 

Veggies: Dice everything -- the cucumber, the onion, and the parsley (if you're a 
first-time parsley eater, consider mincing it finely so that it is well-distributed). 
Plop into the bowl containing that killer dressing you just made, and mix.

To finish: dice the chicken and add it to the salad. 

Boom. So good you won't even realize it is healthy. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


For obvious reasons, I bring my own meals whenever I go somewhere, although that has really just been my family's house so far (but small group tomorrow, whoop whoop!). Today we celebrated Suzannah's birthday at their house, and yesterday we visited them after church. Monday is pasta night, so she requested alfredo (noone with all their marbles in place would pass an opportunity to pasta). Pasta and salad was a good choice, Suz. :) 

In order to join them I brought some Amy's Mac and Cheese (still mastering the whole vegan cheese thing myself). I didn't expect anything, but my family (especially my mom) totally floored me. They had made a safe salad for me. Well, had made a safe salad again, as they had literally just made me one the day before so I could join them for the Sunday salad. 

Being loved in this way is so incredibly wonderful, not because the food is delicious (which it is) or because I am depressed about being so high-maintenance (which I am not), but because (a) makes me feel normal and less like an on-going experiment, and (b)it is a tangible demonstration of their love and support. That's all I really need (well, since I can poop now). Their tangible love is a reflection of Christ's love, and that is truly all that I need. 

Not to be all cheesy segue, but... Speaking of reflecting Christ's magnificent love, Tom has been so patient. I cannot even begin to list out the ways he has been benevolent and kind. Well, I could, it would just be an obscenely long list. He is a trooper in every way possible. Tom has the best butt and is the best husband. A winning combination. I pray my sisters find husbands as godly and selfless as Tom. 

All that to say... My normal has been fluid. The days are long but the time elapsed is short, so while it feels like it has been an age since diagnosis and treatment began, it has really only been about a month. Things like salad from my caring family added to a patient husband and God's grace make this new normal simply that -- new. Not bad, just new. :) 

Love to you all and cheers to another week. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

symptoms #4

Italics = it's improved. A lot more improvements and no areas that have gotten worse! 

Chronic fatigue from morning to early evening
On/off nausea (it's returned)
Serious brain fog
Back pain
Neck pain
Stomach pain
Chronic constipation (we shall see, but right now it looks like it may even be gone!)
 Bloated / swollen: face, neck, tummy

- L, R ears
- forehead
- L, R cheeks
- L, R eyelids
- under the chin
- L, R jawbone
- L, R, F, B of neck
- L, R, F of shoulders + along arm pit line
- top of back **March 3: is spreading downward. :-/ 
- chest
- torso
- L, R inner thigh 
- behind R knee 
- L, R arms, including wrist 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

I came, I saw, I pooped

We did the colon hydrotherapy treatment last Saturday and, while it made me very sick & nauseous during the process itself, immediately afterwards I felt amazing. 

However... In the evening I started feeling awful. By 11:30 I was a mess. (Do I regret not doing it on Sunday after church? A little, yeah. Oh well.) This week has been---and continues to be---abundantly gnarly. Hopefully I will begin to improve again sometime soon. After making all that progress last week it was an epic bummer for it to be so thoroughly reversed before our eyes over the course a mere evening. This is the natural result of detoxing, though. It will be worse before it becomes better. And that is okay! I am, frankly, encouraged and praising the Lord for the doctor's wisdom in recommending the treatment. 

God is faithful, no matter the gnarliness or the easiness, though. The perceived quality of the current circumstances cannot render that false or moot. In the end, the question really is: How faithful am I? 

Anyway, the hydrotherapy worked and I am no longer chronically constipated! This is such an incredible change. In order for my body to get rid of the die off and toxins / toxic byproducts, well, that had to happen. In any other context the excitement Tom & I have for The Number Two would be irrational, but it has been the sincere impetus for many a high-five. Will you ever be able to high-five me again? TBD. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

symptoms #3

Strikethrough = it's gone. Italics = it's improved. Note that a lot of eczema has improved! Underlined = it's worsened. Nothing new has been removed from the list; wrist cramping is from last week's update. 

Chronic fatigue from morning to early evening
On/off nausea (it's returned)
Serious brain fog
Back pain
Neck pain
Wrist cramping, L & R
Stomach pain
Chronic constipation
 Bloated / swollen: face, neck, tummy

- L, R ears
- forehead
- L, R cheeks
- L, R eyelids
- under the chin
- L, R jawbone
- L, R, F, B of neck
- L, R, F of shoulders + along arm pit line
- top of back **March 3: is spreading downward. :-/ 
- chest
- torso
- L, R inner thigh 
- behind R knee 
- L, R arms, including wrist 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

hazelnut lamingtons

So, obviously traditional sweets are out of the question as everything except maple syrup feeds the icky stuff in my system. But raw / vegan dishes are typically built without these sugars, so all systems go! 

While the following little recipe is supposedly for does not taste like brownie. You can't just plop chocolate in a squishy square and call it a brownie, folks. If it acts like a duck, walks like a duck, but tastes like ham, then you have not eaten duck. 

I tried explaining them as "energy bite...ish" to skeptics who were led to nibble by my unconquerable enthusiasm. Their facial expressions revealed the depth of betrayal that arises when someone hands you prune and cocoa cake after vowing it was a brownie. A tale as old as time. 

Then I realized: they are lamingtons. Of course! The chocolate and coconut cake that is so quintessentially Australian.  

I was shocked by how easy and delicious these were. Put everything in a high-power blender or food processor and voilà; from pulling out my blender to spreading the mixture into a glass dish, barely 10 minutes elapsed. And did I mention that it wasn't sticky so clean up was a breeze? It fell off the blender blades. 

I followed the recipe below except for a few tweaks...which probably made it a little drier, thus contributing to the overall ease of cleanup. 

1. Instead of dates, I had to use prunes. (I rebuke your raised eyebrow; it was unnoticeable and delicious! Or maybe that is the starvation taking...) 

2. I omitted both the vanilla and the cinnamon, and certainly did not add water. 

Try them! Although, unless you are loopy or need to poopie, use dates. 

Recipe from:

Saturday, March 15, 2014

praise and prayer requests

I am so excited about the progress that has been made in the past few days. Even though I still look like a mess, I feel exponentially better. If you have been praying with us for healing and guidance and good fruit; thank you a thousand times over. To make this kind of progress in just a few days is an encouraging proof of your prayers. 

These are the things that are most important right now. 

1. For sleep

The sleep that I am able to sustain is typically very heavy. However, I cannot sustain it for very long (30-120 minute intervals). Eczema attacks often seem to be the primary cause, but that is not a universal. Prayer for healing sleep (for both of us, honestly, as sometimes my restlessness unintentionally awakens him). 

2. The discovery of a successful coping mechanism

If I am awake and it is a reasonable hour, I knit to keep myself / both of my hands preoccupied during an eczema attack. If I have been awakened from sleep or am trying to sleep, this is obviously not an option (although I have tried...and ended up accidentally staying up until 4am each time). I am at a loss, as the topical ointment that is doing such an incredible job healing the skin and killing the two strains of fungus in the dermas does not deterr burning, pain, or itching during an attack. The previous lotions that we used were actually feeding the fungi (oops), which may very well be the reason they were so soothing. 

3. That Tom would stay healthy and happy

The role of a caregiver is stressful. He doesn't complain (truly) and he has been sacrificially loving and caring through it all. Today he had to telecommute because he was sick. He is often tired. Please be praying for him. 

I love you all and treasure your prayers and encouragement. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014


On the 11th we started noticing some really solid topical improvements. That has been sustained! Jojoba oil and melaleuca (as a blend to diffuse the melaleuca at lower intensity) has been successfully killing the fungus in the dermas. Praise the Lord! Feeling relieved and encouraged. Even though it is still itchy / burning / uncomfortable a bulk of the time, the level of improvement that we have seen over the past three days has made everything much more do-able. Although the 11th was a rough day itself, it was for symptoms unrelated to eczema. The eczema has been one of the most frustratingly unsolvable and debilitating symptoms. To see marked improvement is both encouraging and liberating. Thank you all so much for your prayers. 

Monday, March 10, 2014


Doc is concerned about my progress r/g the restoration of the digestive system and after trying a combination of tons of things... she recommends colon hydrotherapy now. Apparently, many patients see dramatic improvement afterwards, including improvement of skin-based symptoms. I'm actually excited about this and the possibility of improvement. Still looking for someone in the area to make it happen, but hey! Baby steps, baby steps... Finally feeling encouraged.

Additional encouragement came this morning when I woke up to an improvement instead of a regression on my arms! So exciting! Mixing doTerra tea tree oil and a carrier oil (like jojoba or apricot oil) is working. : ) 

Rachel introduced me to food combining and it is fascinating! Currently, I'm working on learning more about it and seeing how I can use it. The idea is this: our stomach acids digest different foods at different rates (i.e., watermelon is digested in 15 minutes, while meat takes 2-3 days from what I've read...although I'll admit I gave that information the eyebrow. Still investigating for veracity). Something like watermelon will be digested and ready to move onward, but if it is on the top, waiting for something like meat to be processed, it will ferment and even putrefy, thus leading to things like bloating, gas, stomach pains, heartburn, et cetera. The principle is that you should eat from lightest to heaviest (so eat fruit first and the heavy starches last, for instance). Things like starch and animal protein work against each other (so meat and potatoes, tearfully, are horrible for your gut when eaten together. RIP the Appeal of Classic American Meals). 

I strongly recommend you also investigate -- it has apparently alleviated a variety of ailments, including acne. 


All the way my Savior leads me, 
Cheers each winding path I tread; 
Gives me grace for every trial, 
Feeds me with the living Bread. 
Though my weary steps may falter, 
And my soul athirst may be, 
Gushing from the Rock before me, 
Lo! A spring of joy I see; 
Gushing from the Rock before me, 
Lo! A spring of joy I see.

Hymn by Fanny Crosby.