Hey guys! I’m back from my unintentional hiatus. As I have alluded previously, things around here have been crazy what with the kids moving to Ohio and me being sick and now the hubbs is dealing with some medical stuff.
He had allergy testing a couple weeks ago and lit up like a Christmas tree for a LOT of things. Mostly foods and environmental. Several trees and grasses (hay fever), the usual indoor culprits (dust thingies) and a whole list of the oddest foods. Strangely enough (or not!) most of the foods were things he had eaten recently. WEIRD!
So, we’ve gone off all these foods. I’m talking things like wheat (yeah, his celiac tests came back negative, but he’s allergic to wheat and I don’t quite understand that just yet), carrots, grapes, coconut, apples…WHA?? Yeah, weird. Oh, and turkey! Pecans, walnuts, sesame seeds… sweet potatoes, cauliflower, tomatoes!
Poor guy, he was pretty stunned and dazed. You’d think after living all these years with a type 1 diabetic, he’d be used to the concept of not being able to eat certain things, but nope. He seems so baffled. It’s all I can do not to say, “See? Welcome to my life!” heh! But no, I haven’t done that. But occasionally I REALLY want to!
On top of finding out about all the allergies, he then had to begin the prep for a double scope. From the top and the bottom. Yikes! So then he had to go off things like rice (which is what most ‘wheat free’ things are made of) and fresh fruit and veggies (seriously?) and nothing purple, red or blue… that was only for 5 days, thank God. Then on the last day, he had to do liquids only and take that nasty diarrhea stuff then drink like 40-some ounces of clear liquid immediately after. Egads!!
He did okay but it was a challenge figuring out what he could eat. During the 5 day thing, we were in Cincy with Corey and Melissa, so that actually helped since Corey has celiac disease and has learned what to avoid for that. We just basically put Tommy on a celiac diet with the added restrictions from his allergy test and/or his prep diet. My brain was fried after all that food juggling! And that’s not counting my own food restrictions like dairy and super-acidic foods that either give me horrible sinus issues or cause my tongue to swell and crack. (yes, crack…it’s so painful!) It’s a wonder we can find anything to eat between us! Ha ha ha!
So back to the scopes.. this was the same gastro doctor he went to for scopes before, so we were thrilled to get in with her. It was probably three years ago when he had his first one done and we hadn’t seen this doctor since. Anyway, she said there wasn’t any new damage, thank God… no ulcers or any thing like that. But his stomach was a raw, irritated mess. She said the same thing about this irritation, which he also had on his first scan years ago…get off the NSAIDs. He’s been on those off and on (mostly on) for ages because of the pain in his back and legs, specifically his Achilles tendon. It tightens up so much, it had tears the last time he saw a rheumatologist. He went off the NSAIDs then, but ended up in misery so the GP he had at the time put him on a “new” pain med that he said wouldn’t bother his stomach. Yeah, whatever. And so now, he’s been having pain under his ribs on the right side, classic gallbladder/stones symptoms, so he’d had an ultrasound the week before. We hadn’t heard those results though and they hadn’t forwarded them to the gastro doc, so we had to wait around to get those. The report from the imaging center only said the tech saw nothing that “needs immediate attention” but the gastro doc wasn’t good with that and told us she’d look at it herself. The next day, they called Tommy to schedule a hida scan.
Hmmm… me thinks there WAS something needing attention on the ultrasound. A hida scan is when they put that radioactive dye in an IV and then have you hang around for scans over a few hours to watch the dye move through the gallbladder. Nice.
I’ve had radioactive dye stuff done before. It’s scary to think about, but apparently I survived without issue (that we know of, at least!) but we don’t want to do that if we don’t have to. Besides, we’ve already knocked this year’s deductible in the head with these tests and don’t want to add more bills to the heap. I’m sure the hida will be uber expensive.
ANYway, so Tommy started looking up stuff on the gallbladder online, which was surprising and exciting. He usually is all, “Well if the doctor says I need to, I won’t question it.” while I’m all like, “NO! Don’t do that, I don’t care what the doctor said!” Heh. And I joined him in the research til we found all this info on a gallbladder flush.
Maybe you’ve heard of this before. I guess I sort-of had during my time working in the health food store, but being the youngster I was, I didn’t really ponder it. Back then, with my fully functional 20-something body, it all sounded gross and like something only old people needed to think about.
Well, guess what, Poopsie! You’re OLD now! sigh
We looked at several sites and watched a bunch of videos detailing what the gallbladder does and what the flush does for you. One doctor said, “If you’re 40 or older, you WILL have some gall stones which may or may not give you symptoms or at the very least, you will have developed sludge (thickened bile) in there which leads to stones.” Sounds delightful, doesn’t it?
When Tommy realized that the gallbladder helps the liver in filtering toxins and such, he was all like, I NEED my gallbladder! At this point, we knew that if something showed on the hida, they’d most likely want to take his gallbladder out. So after months and months of me telling him he needed to change his habits or he was gonna be big as a horse and have a heart attack…he’s ready to commit to changing his diet.
Of course, I have to do it too. And I get that. I mean, I don’t stick with a diet unless he’s at least supporting me if not also doing it too. It’s just easier that way. He’s just not always willing to be talked into being supportive!
I figure a flush will not hurt me either. I mean, I am in that magical area they talked about…”over 40″, so I’m sure I have my share of sludgey-crapola in there too.
We made a run to the Aldi in the next town over since they have so much affordable gluten free and organic stuff. We got organic olive oil and lemons and apple juice. Yes, even though he tested positive for apple allergy, and he DID have some slight allergic symptoms (looking back, that is) after eating apples like a slight scratchy throat, we figure doing the juice instead of whole apples would be less irritating. The pectin in the apples is supposed to soften the stones so they come loose or become soft enough to pass out of the gallbladder.
We read anywhere from 5 to 14 days to either eat 5 apples a day (Gah!) or drink 2 cups of apple juice twice a day before doing the actual flush. Then, you go on a very low- to no-fat diet for a couple days then choose your day to flush.
Obviously, you need to stick close to home/the bathroom for this. So even though we (he) don’t have time to do a full week with the juice before the hida scan (this coming Thursday!) we’re still going to do it. After the apple juice days, on flush day, you stop eating at 2 pm then you begin a schedule of drinking an Epsom salt/water mixture at 6 and 8 pm. They have you lie on your right side after each dose (to allow the mixture to gravitate to the gallbladder). The Epsom salt helps open up the bile ducts in the gallbladder so the stones and sludge can move out easily. At 10 pm, after you’ve gone potty (so you don’t have to get up during the night), you drink an olive oil/lemon juice mixture and go to bed. Again, lying on your right side, as still as possible for at least 40 minutes. At 6 am, you drink another dose of Epsom, lie back down, then same thing again at 8 am and then at 10 am, you can eat. They say very light, bland foods and wait for the “magic” to happen.
By this time, of course, you have effectively given yourself the screaming trots which is the mechanism by which that sludgey-stoney goop is to exit your body.
Oddly enough, none of these instructional sites give any detail about how long or how um…er.. intense this phase of the flush is, but I’m guessing it’s gotta be pretty daggone epic.
On one site where we found this flush recipe, the guy (an Oriental doctor, I think) asks for photos of your results. BAHAHA!! Um, nope. I don’t think so, pal. I’ll be doing well if I can find the handle with my eyes closed to flush the toilet, okay?
Oh yeah, in an effort to keep him from being in so much pain from going off NSAIDs, we are using tart cherry juice and tumeric. I’ve wanted to try the tumeric drink (sometimes called “golden milk”) for awhile after hearing that it’s good for inflammation and helps you sleep. I could use some-a that. So we also bought coconut milk (which, for any T1D out there, has NO CARBS!) and organic tumeric. I made a batch last night and it’s not bad. I was afraid the coconut milk would be strong, but it’s not. I don’t really like the taste of coconut which is weird since I use coconut oil for everything! Anyhow, coconut was a 1 on Tommy’s list of allergies, meaning it was a mild irritant, so we’re going to use it anyway with the hope that getting his gallbladder flushed will relieve these silly allergies! Anyhow, I thought the golden milk was actually sorta bland, so I think I’ll use a little more cinnamon next time. I ended up putting apple juice in it last night. Heh.
So there you have it. You’re mostly caught up on the doin’s around here. Hopefully, this ol’ gal will start feeling better soon. I’ll let you know AFTER I’ve recovered from this flush.
So you probably get it by now that I am in favor of marriage. Marriage is important. It’s vitally important to defend and fight for your marriage. No matter what’s going on, aside from outright abuse, your marriage is worth a fight. It’s worth laying aside all your pride, rolling up your sleeves and getting in the mud and muck and fighting like all of hell is after you. Because it is.
Satan hates a strong, godly marriage where the family puts God first and rejects the world’s image of disposable marriages, discounted vows, discouraged couples and disaffected children, dismantled stability, discarded families. You’d better believe he’s after your marriage.
As you’ve seen, if you have read here much at all, our marriage was very atypical in many ways. We didn’t have that crazy first year with tons of sex and exploring our intimate life together, figuring out what we liked best, what each other wanted most, etc. Our first year was confusing…bewildering even. We didn’t understand why sex was so hard for us…for me. We were still hanging on to hope that time would take care of the issues, that it was just a matter of “trying more” or getting used to it…or SOMEthing!!
By the time we finally decided we needed medical help, we had been dealing with it for ten years, had two kids and for all intents and purposes, we looked like every other young couple. Nobody knew how we were struggling. We didn’t talk to anyone about it, not even each other except to yell when the frustration became too much.
I want to get Tommy to sit down with me and do a video. I’m not sure what he’ll think about that ha ha but I think it would be good for him to at least say a little bit about his side of things. We are both healing together. Even though the physical side of the problem was mine as far as the pain went, and perhaps I bore more of the depression and stuff like that, but he carried a lot of emotional pain as well.
We’ve never talked a whole lot about that. I mean, I have shared a little, just me and him, about how I felt and then of course, he’s heard me relate it to my therapist and read what I’ve written here about it, but we’ve never really discussed his side so much.
He might not want to. Maybe he never knew how to voice it or maybe it hurt too much to speak out loud. I have been in that place too, where I didn’t know how to put into words the way I felt.
I know there are a few men who read here, or at least they have at one time. heh I would like to hear from ALL of you, what you would ask Tommy? Are there parts of this story that you’d like his take on? Are there things that you would like to know from his side?
Please put those in the comments for us? I would really love for us to have a conversation about where he was, emotionally, and where he is now as we are in the healing process. What would he have done differently? What would he keep the same, if anything? What made him choose to stay? Did he really still have hope that our sex life would ever be remotely normal? Those are the questions I want to ask. I’m not sure I’ll like the answers, but I think it’s important for us to flesh this out and I feel like maybe others could benefit from hearing his viewpoint.
DON’T FORGET! Leave your questions in the comments! (or you can email them to me at: geannie [at] lifeindogyears [dot] com)
Hey y’all. I have some things on my mind and you know how that goes. smile I’m gonna try to sift through them here if you don’t mind. Any insights or commentary is always appreciated!
So…I alluded Monday to the fact that things are going well in the s-e-x department at my house. Hahaha… stop laughing! stifles a giggle If you’re new here and don’t know our back story, please read this first so you’ll be up on everything.
Did you read it? Okay, let’s proceed. So yeah, it’s a little weird to have been married for almost 31 years and feel the way we do these days. I think I can truly say that the healing is complete. I’ve lost count of our “encounters” in the past couple of weeks and that is just amazing! I used to consistently get bladder spasms or sometimes a full-on UTI every time we had sex. That’s understandable since it would be long periods of time in between! I finally learned to get up pretty quickly, go pee and avoided some of those, but sometimes, I’d get one in spite of that. I’m not one of those gals who can have a bladder issue or UTI and not even know it. No. I KNOW when I have it. It creates tremendous pain, unbelievable spasms and frequency which keeps me at home and close to a bathroom. It’s horrible, so it was a real pain to deal with. Yet another reason why I never wanted to have sex! My doctor has prescribed me some Macrobid after I explained to her how this scenario goes for me. She was SO cool about it! I hadn’t even mentioned this whole thing to her til I asked about some way to avoid this problem. She said anytime we had frequent or longer-than-usual intercourse, that I should take one of them.
I’ve only had it happen twice so far, and both times was a day or more later, but the Macrobid took care of it in one dose, so praise God!! That’s a relief!
We have really been like a couple of teenagers around here and it seems every time we had “plans” for later in the day, SOMETHING would always happen! For instance, when Tommy had to run shut off the pumps at the lake last week after the first of the severe storms? Yep. We had some plans. There have been times when we had more visitors than we would get in three months all in one flippin’ day!! Yep, we had them plans made then, too. Sheesh!
I am still trying to process how I feel about all this. I mean, obviously, I’m thrilled that we are finally able to be together without any pain. I’m over-the-moon that not only is there no pain, there is actually enjoyment for me! I honestly never ever thought I would be able to make love with my husband and not at least be uncomfortable. And to find that I am now suggesting that we make love?? That’s just so beyond our comprehension!
Are you getting uncomfortable with all this sex talk? Well, I’m sorry, but get over it. We’ve been married all these years, suffered unbelievably and done untold damage to our marriage because of not being able to have sex together…I refuse to be quiet. The whole purpose of sharing our story in the first place is in hopes of keeping other women or couples from suffering in silence the way we did for decades. We felt we had NOWHERE to turn for answers or help. I felt I was damaged, cursed, defective, worthless…you name it. I felt I had been deserted by God and was being punished for some reason by having this one, most basic thing in our marriage cause me so much pain I wanted nothing to do with it.
My poor husband, yes, he is a saint in my eyes. To have remained faithful to me in all that time. I know it was God who caused him to love me so much he couldn’t stand the thought of leaving me. I mean, it just doesn’t make sense otherwise, ya know? No man could love a woman so much that he’d go months and probably even a year or more between sexual encounters without Divine intervention. Especially not a woman who was so hurt and angry as I was. It is honestly bizarre that I actually want to be around Tommy now. I mean, don’t get me wrong…I never stopped loving him. I loved him even more when I realized he loved me so much that he put up with me! But I was SO angry, SO depressed. I just wanted to die. With all the things going on in my life…conflict with my parents or boys or daughter-in-law, stress from various obligations I had, money worries and then the diabetes and the constant struggle to control it… I was a complete disaster. And I took most of that out on him.
Looking at our lives now, I get this image of me…of my heart, all boarded up, overgrown, and closed to everyone and everything. A lot like these shutters…closed so long that vines had overgrown it then died and regrown. Over and over, waiting for someone or something to cut them away and pry the shutters open again.
It’s just overwhelming at times to realize how far we’ve come. What we’ve come through…from barren wasteland to beautifully vibrant and growing.
chuckle I guess this post has no purpose other than to praise God for the complete healing that’s taken place in our marriage. We are truly more in love now than ever and it’s a total love, in every area of our lives. Unlike most marriages where the physical side of love dies down the longer the marriage lasts, ours began as a dead garden that God has nurtured and “held out hope for” until His appointed time when He has brought us back to life.
If you are or have experienced this sort of problem in your marriage, please share or email me privately. I’d love to hear how things are going or how they’ve happened for you. I would LOVE to know that putting our story out there has helped someone. It’s no small thing to put something so raw and private and painful out into cyberspace for the world to read. We didn’t do it lightly or flippantly. We did it for no other reason than that God urged us to share so that other couples could benefit from our experience.
Unlike Monday, this Tuesday was good. I didn’t feel super, but good enough to work in the garden. We haven’t put one out in a couple years. The last times we have, we’ve done it all by ourselves. It seemed like no one else was in the mood for it. We’d get comments about how it was too much work, it was cheaper to buy from the store or we weren’t keeping it the way “you’re supposed to”. That just meant we were doing something different than the way they or previous generations did it. sigh As you might guess, we get those kinds of comments about pretty much everything we do!
Dad just doesn’t and didn’t want to fool with the garden at all.It seems Mom has been the one suddenly just dying to have a garden this year. Every time she’d send Dad down to the house with the tractor and plow, if Tommy was around he’d make at least one comment about it, letting us all know he was completely against the idea. Actually, last time he had Tommy’s ear bent for almost 45 minutes! ha ha
Anyway, so after dumping the chicken poops all over the garden for the past couple years and getting it worked into the ground, we have probably the best-looking dirt we’ve ever had! YAY! The ground here is very clay-heavy and has never grown anything, including grass (see that bald spot at the lower left of the photo? ‘ats what I’m sayin’!) We’ve brought in cow manure in years past so every year we try to enhance the soil somehow. But this year it is just more rich-looking and less hard/crusty/mud-rocky. We are hopeful to get a lot better results this year! After looking at the following photo, it doesn’t really appear to be the greatest soil, but it is dry so just trust me, that dirt is the best we’ve ever had to plant!
our garden, all ready to plant!
Tommy took off work because that’s the only way we’ve ever been able to get a garden out without working into the night and pulling out all sorts of lights, fighting shadows and all that craziness. Today however, we had Mom and my brother-in-law, Dale, helping us! Mom often has Dale help her with things and already had him lined up to help with planting on Wednesday though I’m not sure why since she hadn’t mentioned it to us, but ANYhow, she was able to suddenly change his plans (I’m laughing because Mom does that kinda thing SO often!) and we had help!
Mom has to be careful because she’s got some kind of weird spasm thing in her shoulders, so I had to keep her from overdoing. She will get herself completely down in the bed just from something like sweeping or chopping vegetables. She could help drop seed and cover plants though, so we were able to actually get the entire garden planted, including putting up our “bean fence” which is a little labor intense, but is the best way we’ve found to keep the beans clean and give them plenty of room to vine. We put out several varieties of tomatoes and peppers, some broccoli seedlings, 45 day cabbage, squash and zucchini, two kinds of potatoes, cucumbers, a rhubarb plant, green beans and even some romaine lettuce.
the garden, all planted and ready to grow! God bless it with increase, please!
Tommy and I were SO glad to have that done. We weren’t expecting to have help so what normally would have taken us at least two days went much faster! Mom was tired, but we finally got her to go home when we were down to just filling in the last empty area of the garden with beans.
She was insistent that we put out a ton of beans. I would normally not put any more than goes around our bean fence, which amounts to four rows, but she wanted more, so we have eight rows, four of which aren’t on any sort of support. I don’t like picking dirty beans. Well wait, I don’t like picking beans at all, but especially if I have to crawl around in the dirt. That’s why we go to the trouble of putting up that fence. It keeps them up off the ground and they’re much easier to pick! I could tell Mom thought it was just crazy for us to spend the time and labor to put up our fence. I’ll be curious to see how much trouble she thinks it was when she’s having to deal with her extra rows on the ground. ha ha
I am sore and really tired and “sun-kissed”…well, aggressively sun-kissed, but not burned, thank God! My hands, which tend to get random, weird (probably neuropathy-related) itching-blisters anyway got even more torn up, but at least not itching.
my poor, sad diabetic/gardener hands
I went in, took a shower to wash the grit off and sacked out! Poor Tommy had to go do some running for the Jeep project, so he ended up coming in quite a bit later.
We have sewn the seed, now for God to send the right amounts of sun and rain and deliver the increase! Let it be so, we pray!
Blessings to you!
I just wanted to let you guys know about this. They are running an awesome deal on Cricut! I thought this was a terrific deal and I have ALWAYS WANTED A CRICUT! Maybe one of these days, I’ll have one! Ha ha…
For those of you who are closer to “the dream” of owning one than I am, this one’s for you!
If your house is anything like mine, your husband and kids wouldn’t mind some help figuring out what you’d like for Mother’s Day! Tell them not to worry about it. You have it all taken care of… “and thank you!” 🙂
Just wanted to pop on really quick and share that we are really LOVING these new groups. (if you don’t know what “groups” I’m talking about, click “new groups” and find out!) We’ve had our first meeting at church and it was just great.
The staff worked withRead More »
I’m unsure how to tell you about this, but since I’ve shared about this here, I have to update you.
First of all, both Hubby and I really just love the pelvic health therapist. She’s an awesome lady who is passionate about what she does. She really wants people, both women and men, to understand how their bodies work. She is a Christian, which makes sharing our story with her even easier and she’s an Emmausite. She has this high-tech way to measure how strong (or weak, as the case was in the beginning) my pelvic floor muscles are and how well I am able to contract and relax. All those things are important to healthy muscle function and she’s given me several exercises that I’ve been doing at home.
She has taught Hubby how to help with stretching and even showed him some massage techniques to help me relax all the tension I hold in my neck and shoulders. Before you get all jealous about that, realize that him knowing the techniques and having had the time to actually DO any of them are two different things. Between him working late several days and then working on his talk for this weekend’s Emmaus walk (more on that later), we just have not had the time. And honestly, I won’t ask him to do it because it makes me feel guilty. So I may never get one of those massages, but at least he knows what he’s supposed to do, right? HA-HA-HA!
Other things she’s had me doing is using pure vitamin E, which is supposed to strengthen and “heal” the skin in my outer hoo-ha. Sorry, I’m not as good at using the proper names for those things. (and would like to avoid being pulled up on Yahoo, ya know?!? Sheesh!) Anyhow, it made a huge difference in the sensitivity down there. I mean, like amazing improvement. I could hardly stand for her to do the initial exam when she used a cotton swab and had me give her a number for the level of pain I felt. Then she had me using a sustained moisture gel stuff to see if perhaps dryness was causing some of my pain.
It’s an over-the-counter stuff called Replens and after using it for a couple of weeks and then feeling a burning pain “way up high” and not so much in the walls of the … heh heh… hoo-ha, she decided I probably needed to check with the gynec0l0gist to make sure there was no infection or other thing going on.
So I’ve done that and the GYN says no infection, but everything looked thin and fragile so she gave me some estrogen cream that I use vaginally a couple times a week. It was like no big deal and she said that I should notice a difference in about a week and could probably do just once a month after the first couple weeks using it 2-3 times weekly.
That’s like, WOW!! Who knew and why didn’t those people tell me already? Like 20-some years ago?!?! Anyhow, I used the cream and a couple days later, the Hubbs and I were reading in the book the therapist recommended. It’s for married couples and is a Christian book about s#x! It’s called A Celebration of S#x. Cool, huh? It’s very educational as far as explaining those things that most of us don’t know about how our bodies work. So we read a bunch in that before going to bed. We laughed SO much because since I had a headache, Hubby did the reading out loud for us. He’s a little dyslexic and will mix up his words sometimes, so when he substituted the word “sectional” for “sexual”, I about lost it. I laughed so hard that I started the asthma going and I wheezed the rest of the time. Seriously, we had so much fun reading this book about how our genitals are made!! BAHAHA!
Later we woke up and began snugg1ing and ki$sing some and well…one thing led to another and we put some of the stuff from our book into practice. We had no agendas, either of us, but we were just enjoying being together. It was nice and something we had not done in AGES. As things went along, without being explicit, we got to a point of attempting to actually m@ke love and most people won’t understand this, but we were able to do so without any pain. That is a miracle. I haven’t been able to have actual interc*urse (I’m trying not to get picked up in some lurid Google searches!) without some significant pain in probably 15-18 years. I’m sure that seems unbelievable to most people, but that’s been my life and the ugly secret we have lived with our entire marriage. If all these years the trouble has been from low estrogen, it really is pathetic that doctors don’t ask more pertinent questions about these things and that we don’t know enough to talk to doctors about this problem.
However, I will remind you now that we did go to several doctors over the years trying to figure out why I had pain with s#x and were either told it was in my head, that I had a deformity or just looked at like we were crazy. So we DID seek help years ago, then just gave up and assumed we would just have to live with it.
Anyhow, hopefully that wasn’t too risqué for anyone, but I said I was going to be open and honest about what we were dealing with, so I wanted to also share the update, the happy update!
Now I’ll tell you that all the next day, I would intermittently be in awe that “it” had happened the night before, almost wondering if it really even happened at all, [think “Is this real life?” LOL!] and then worrying that it was a fluke. When I shared those thoughts with my sweet Hubby, he said, “Well, if it was fluke, we will wait for the next one.”
We are praying it was not a fluke, but the beginning of a new chapter in our marriage. As the GYN said to us in the beginning of this journey, with all the time we’ve invested in this marriage, we owe it to ourselves to pursue a healthy, full intimate relationship together! I thank God that He’s working things out in this area!
Hebrews 13:4 – “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled…..”