“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend." - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Adding a Twist

I've known for awhile that I needed to change my eating habits. It is a very good possibility that I have candida overgrowth. Plus, I'm susceptible to hypoglycemia. I know that stabilizing my blood sugar will help me keep my energy stable, too.

So, I have just finished a juice detox, and I am starting a low carb diet. I've done South Beach before, and I always feel good when I'm eating that way. I'm going to add a lot more leafy vegetables. I'm taking garlic, oil of oregano, and probiotics for the candida. Goodbye sugar, white flour, regular pasta, sweets. Oh, except I think I'll keep my daily doses of dark chocolate -- you know, for medicinal purposes!

I've also started taking a magnesium supplement, and I want to boost my glutathione levels. I'm looking at a couple of different supplements to see which would be best.

Does anyone know any more tricks for fighting candida? From what I've read, that's about it, but I'm always open to suggestions!

Friday, June 26, 2009

My Alter Ego

I have a wonderful friend who is somewhat of a mirror image of me -- we both have tons of kids, all pretty much in the same age range. Our children love to play together. If it isn't a sleep over at our house, it's at theirs. Sometimes just the boys get to come over, sometimes just the girls, sometimes it's the whole crew. I always enjoy chatting with her, because we're faced with the same challenges and parenting dilemmas. She's creative, like I am, so it's fun to share ideas.

I have to admit, she is a super dynamo, and there have been times that I have compared myself to her and found myself wanting.

Today, I dropped my boys off at her house, and we talked about how the summer is going. She shared with me how she is off to some new adventure every day with her kids -- nothing too big, nothing expensive, but little things that they had never done before. They'll go to a new park and have a picnic, or head to the museum in town, or find a craft place, etc. She tells me it's wonderful, because the kids are eager to get their chores done in the morning so they can participate in their daily outing.

Ah, how different we are! I have to say, that isn't something I would have done even in the best of health. But, I would have taken her idea and adapted it for us -- maybe make it a weekly adventure. I was just thinking the other day of how I used to be so brave. Even when my boys were just babies, I would pack all six kids into the car and take them on my own to Sea World or the Zoo or the Wild Animal Park while my husband was at school or work. They were always so well-behaved! We never had any melt downs or tantrums, no matter how tired they were by the end of the day. They were simply delightful in every way. I miss that.

Do I wish I could be her? No. Definitely not. I wouldn't trade my circumstances with hers for anything in the world. But, in a weird way, it was kind of like looking through the looking glass and seeing my alter ego, the person maybe I could have been if not for the chronic fatigue.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Just Thinking ...

I woke up feeling pretty crappy today. My husband took the kids off to church, so I'm home alone with my thoughts. They have been rather strange and random, I must admit. I think they stem from lingering dreams.

Sometimes, I get caught between sleep and waking. I feel like I am being shown a deep epiphany. But, when I wake up fully, it doesn't seem to make quite as much sense as it did while I was dreaming.

Today I had an image and a thought. The image was a vast wasteland, complete and utter destruction. There was debris everywhere. It looked like a war zone or the end of the world. As far as I could see, there was nothing left. Everything was gone; everything was destroyed.

The thought I had was that there is energy inside me that I am not able to access. It is still there, I just can't reach it or tap into it or unleash it or unlock it. I can feel it during my days when I want so badly to clean my home or walk to the park or play a game with my kids. It's like that phenomenon when you've had a limb amputated and it feels like it's still there. It feels like I should still be able to do all those things. The restrictions I place on my self seem so unnatural. I'm still literally surprised when I overdo it and find I am tired. I look in the mirror, and I see the dark circles and the ashy skin and the wrinkles that chart my journey with chronic fatigue, and I am surprised.

The energy only seems to manifest itself at night, when I'm trying to fall to sleep. Then it dances all around me, taunting me, showing me it still exists, daring me to grab a hold of it. It seems to be laughing at me. I fall asleep thinking that there must be some way to harness it again. Tomorrow. When I wake up.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Wow! I haven't had one of those days in quite awhile!

Yesterday was my day to mind the store. I always hope for a quiet day at work, but alas, it was not meant to be. I had several customers throughout the day. One customer in particular was pretty demanding, not only physically but mentally as well. He was a nice fellow, and it turned into my biggest sale of the day, but it also took a lot out of me. He kept me on toes ... and my feet! ... for the better part of an hour.

After work, I went to my daughter's awards ceremony. My oldest is graduating from high school with honors, and she was receiving a scholarship award as well. I'm very proud of her -- what a good example to set for the rest of my brood! I wouldn't have missed it for the world. However, I was a bit late arriving since I was coming straight from work, and so I had to park in the farthest parking lot. There was a steep hill I had to climb to get to the venue. I have not had a workout like that since my pre-CFS days!

I had no idea that the awards ceremony would last -- are your ready for it? -- two hours! We were huddled on benches as the temperature dropped and the wind picked up. My muscles were tensed trying to generate warmth. My back was aching, and it was nearly unbearable!

By the time we got home, it was after everyone's bedtime (mine included). As I was getting ready for bed, I noticed my pedometer -- over 5300 steps! To put that in perspective, before CFS I was averaging 5000-6000 steps a day, with a busy day pushing 8000. Since CFS, 3000 steps is a busy day. Today, I have 489 steps so far. :) I fell asleep almost immediately, and I slept like a rock until 9 am this morning.

Here's the amazing thing: I thought I would be headed for a crash for sure! And yet, I am feeling surprisingly good. My energy is steady, I'm not sleepy, and I haven't felt like I need to be horizontal. I'm not feeling any post-exertional malaise. Granted, I am having a super slow day (hence the 489 steps), but still ... I must be doing something right if I've tolerated that kind of day so well.

Hmmmm ... hopeful?

Monday, June 8, 2009


I have been trying to adjust my diet lately, and I've come upon an interesting question: Which sweetener is better for you? I've heard that aspartame is not good for people with CFS, but I seem to tolerate it better than actual sugar. I love to have a SlimFast shake in the morning, because I hate breakfast and it's the only thing I can stand. Also, I want to start drinking sports drinks for electrolyte support, but high fructose corn syrup is definitely not good. Is sucralose any better? And I really like the Crystal Lite packets you put into your own water bottle, but again ... aspartame. Does anyone have any experience or advice with this?

As an aside, I have actually had a good week! You couldn't tell it from my lack of posts. Of course, the end of the school year is ridiculously busy. But I've felt a few days of really good energy! I don't know why, because I'm back to feeling blah today.

Plus, I got the first issue of my Fatigue Busters newsletter out -- talk about stress! Why do I worry that people I don't know and will never meet won't like my newsletter and website? Am I really that identified with it? Yes, I think I am. Maybe that means I identify myself too much with CFS. Hmm, something to think about. I also updated two major pages on my website -- pacing and diet. Much better information now, I think. I also added a bit to the natural treatments section of the website. Good work, eh?

This is the last week of school. :) I love having the kids home with me. Plus, I have the added bonus of not having a fixed schedule to stick to. I can actually allow my body to wake when it wants to instead of being jolted out of sleep by the alarm. That's got to help, right?