Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Would You Miss Me?

Well, it's December 27. If you're scratching your head, I'll give you an assist. The day that Jack killed himself two years ago. Also the day of our first date. Those two events may or may not be related. I won't know until I'm also dead. But, then I won't be able to blog about it and let you in on the news. It's a puzzler for sure.

I went back to a blog I wrote in 2010. A very long blog detailing the relationship in conversation and summary. I really had no clue about how to write a succinct blog back in those days. (Yeah, I know it's still an issue. You must grade me on improvement.) What follows are short excerpts from that blog:

Me: If I had to move to Florida, would you miss me? (I say this because it is a possibility. My finances are terrible, but I hope it won't happen.)

Him: I would miss you like I would miss the sun.

And that always makes me think of this song:

On the original post, I included the Grey's Anatomy video It's The End of the World As We Know It at the end, with these words bringing up the very end of the blog. Again, for the sake of your time, which I know is precious, I'm just going to skip to the clip at the end of that show (It's The End Of The World As We Know It, Part 2):

I have spent years trying to remember that last kiss, and I can't for the life of me. If you know something is going to end, you prepare better. You note each thing as it happens, and mark it as the last word, the last dance, the last dinner, the last touch, so that nothing is missed. I don't remember the last time I even saw him, much less kissed him, because I didn't know it would be the last time. And he isn't talking.

Well, it's 2016, and I still can't put my finger on that last kiss. I wish I'd asked him when we talked the last time (a few months before he died). Maybe he could've helped me out with that detail. As it is, he still isn't talking.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas, What I Want for 2017, and BoTB Results

Skidding into the office breathless...

I'm here. I'm here. I know I'm late with the results for Battle of the Bands. I know I was lousy about commenting to your comments. Yikes.

You know what I want for 2017... I mean besides all the obvious things like good health and world peace? I want direction. Focus. I want to finally get going. My ongoing (read: constant) prayer is that God simply give me direction on what He wants me to do and then guide my stubborn nose in the right direction. I'm praying for open doors and new opportunities and courage to walk through those doors and grab onto those opportunities. Even if they are scary. Or feel uncertain or new. I suppose I'm praying for a Jesus-style kick in the rear end. And joy. Lots of joy. I really want to seize the joy in life and be present for it. And live in the moment. All that good stuff.

Okay, now that we've covered where my mental energy has been spent (see above) instead of blogging, let's get back to it. 16 of you voted in the December 15 round of Battle of the Bands. The contenders were Amy Grant and Michael Buble. The song was Grown Up Christmas List. I confess that I found this song by going to YouTube and looking for Amy Grant Christmas songs. I'd gotten stuck in a Christmas song whirlwind (that place of too many songs = confusion), so I decided to begin with an artist I knew I liked. Work from there. Back in the 80s, I had Amy Grant's first Christmas record. It was the collectible variety with her the cover of the album imprinted into the vinyl of the record. I thought I'd choose something from that record. But then I came across her rendition of Grown Up Christmas List (awesome song!), checked out who else recorded it (serious contenders!) and a battle began to take shape. Point of fact, I liked the Michael Buble recording so much that he stole my vote from Amy (who started this whole thing in the first place!), which doesn't seem fair. But, that is how voting works. You think it's going to go one way, but then someone else does it better, and voila. And Michael Buble did it better to these ears. I couldn't have been more shocked.

What did you guys think?

Well, Amy Grant began very strong garnering the first four votes. After that it was back and forth. Then Michael Buble came from behind at the end for the win. And that was without my vote, which turns out doesn't actually count for anything in this battle, because you guys decided it. Final tally:

Amy Grant: 7
Michael Buble: 10 (inc. mine)

I think that was a darn good battle. Very close. And some of you heard a new song (Cherdo, yes, I'm looking at you:)/

Michael, I'm going to let you walk us out with a favorite in our house. Merry Christmas friends. I hope yours is overflowing with blessings!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Battle of the Bands ~ Grown-Up Christmas List

Hello friends. I apologize for being so slow in responding to your comments on my previous post. I have been reading them. I will say this: to each of you who said, "I should try iodine because..." I want you to know that I literally said out loud, "Yes! You should!" You should also do it now while the iodine and selenium are on clearance. I don't think the price will be any lower. They are trying to move as much inventory as they can by end of the year. One more note: this stuff isn't just for migraines. There are something like 3,000 reviews on the iodine on the website. I think I read 300+ (starting with the least favorable). Not one person mentioned having migraine problems, but tons of people mentioned having a variety of health issues that got better upon taking the iodine. Most shocking to me? Gout. This stuff detoxifies you. So, it pushes out the bad stuff, simply making you more healthy, thereby solving some surprising health problems. If you don't know what I'm yakking about, go back one post. I don't know one person who has said recently, "I'm so healthy that I wouldn't take something that would make me even healthier because I'm as healthy as a person can get." That is NOT the society we live in folks. Good health. The best Christmas gift ever. :)

Battle of the Bands.

Yes, I just changed the subject to the meat of this post. I know most (all?) have done this before. You listen to the songs and then decide who you think sings it better and place your vote in the comments. I will come back in approximately a week, tally up the votes, and write a post letting you know who won this thing.

The song for this installment is Grown-Up Christmas List. The contenders are Amy Grant and Michael Buble. I think both versions are really good. You can watch the video for the Amy Grant version, but don't let the optics influence your vote!  MERRY CHRISTMAS, MY FRIENDS. I hope whatever you're wishing for comes true this year!

First up, Amy Grant:


Michael Buble:

Please vote for the version of this song you prefer. If you want to get into the Ins and Outs of why you like one better than the other... I LOVE long comments!

For more Battle of the Bands fun, check out the other BOTB bloggers to vote on their battles. I've stopped trying to keep up with who is running a battle and who isn't. To see who is participating, go here: Stephen T. McCarthy's Battle of the Bands Blog.

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Fight For My Life

It has been forever since I've written a post about what is going on here in the Land of Robin. Seriously. I think it's been a long, long time.

I'd say the last three years have been roller coaster-like. What I mean by that is this: When I started seeing my new doctor in 2013 she changed my treatment plan. She took me off some of the meds I was on (good!), strongly encouraged eating whole foods only (tough, but she's correct), get off all processed foods (again, not easy, but we all should do it). I felt so much better after making these changes that I decided to try and actually DO some things. Not go crazy and do big things. Little things. Like go to church on Sunday mornings. Sing in the choir. Yes, that is a commitment. But in the grand scheme of life, I'd say it's a reasonable first step. Well, that step turned out to be just enough stress to upset my apple cart. In point of fact, the only way her health management plan worked was if I didn't interact with other humans at all. That was just too much stress. Group activities or anything that required a commitment of a certain day/time... migraine city.

So, it was frustrating. And I was back on over the counter pain medication if I wanted to have even a pseudo life. Meaning a half life. Not even a full life. Not a real life. Because the more stuff I brought into my life, the bigger the migraine got. The less the OTC pain medication worked. I was back in the place of it mostly just taking the edge off a constant migraine. But, let's face it. I'd lived this way since 2003. This wasn't new territory. If I ate better, slept better, tried for at least some exercise I could live a nominal life. Meaning I could go to church. Maybe join a Bible Study or book club. I still had no chance of a relationship with a man (way too much stress there) or a job (are you kidding me?) or a life. Because I still had really bad days that I spent in bed all day no matter what I did with a terrible migraine. And sometimes several of those in a row.

Despite that, I went to camp the last two summers for a few weeks and OTC pain medicated my way through it. That might not have been the best strategy ever, but a person gets tired of lying in bed just waiting to die. And, let's face it, I've pretty much been lying in bed waiting to die since 2003. That is not any way to live. Point of fact: that isn't living. That is existing. I've been existing since 2003 with bursts of living that have managed to seep into my life and right out again. All thanks to a pain medicated existence. Again, this is not the life that the Creator intended for any of us. I believe that with all my heart. And, yet, there I was.

My sister-in-law introduced me to essential oils about a year ago now. I will say that made some difference in my migraine severity and frequency. My recent summer at camp required less OTC pain meds thanks to essential oils than the previous summer. However, after camp I was actually worse than I was at camp. My therapist has definitive ideas on this that have merit, but I'm not going to go into that right now except to say that stress comes in many forms. (And well-meaning people who love you can stress you out to the max.)

The last four months have been tough. My essential oils haven't held up. Any exercise routine I had went into the toilet. And yet, some really awesome things were happening. I joined a Bible Study through a church I don't attend and made some wonderful women friends (which I really needed). We meet weekly, and this has been a source of encouragement for all of us. A few weeks ago I heard about something called Nascent Iodine. I know you know what iodine is. Point of fact, I was certain I was allergic to iodine. In my 20s, a nurse swabbed my arm with it before drawing blood, and I broke out in the itchiest rash. Oh my goodness. And then ten years or so later I developed an allergy to shellfish after an overindulgence in shellfish (I thought because of the iodine... and probably because of the form of iodine...hmm... don't know). So, when I read the following, I thought I can't take this because I'll be allergic. The bolding is mine within the sections.

The Top 5 Reasons You Need Nascent Iodine
  1. Iodine is an essential mineral that supports thyroid health and well-being.*
  2. Nascent iodine may support healthy iodine levels. 
  3. Nascent iodine may support healthy hormone levels.**
  4. Nascent iodine may be involved in maintaining healthy metabolism.
  5. Supplementing with pure nascent iodine may provide sufficient iodine so that the body does not need to absorb iodine from other, perhaps less pure, sources.
Survival Shield X-2 Quality

Survival Shield X-2 is manufactured in a state-licensed facility that meets federal regulatory standards, is cGMP/HACCP-compliant, and lab grade. Raw elemental iodine is a controlled substance both at a State and Federal level. The licensing, approvals and regulatory documentary procedures are exacting and costly.

Bound forms of iodine must first be separated, clarified and purified from other binding components or impurities into a USP-grade (United States Pharmaceutical), mono-elemental iodine as certified USP resublimated iodine crystals. In this purified crystal form, iodine is a highly reactive and toxic substance. However, when the purified USP iodine crystals are subjected to a proprietary process it becomes nano-colloidalized and transforms into a form of elemental nascent iodine, also referred to as monoatomic iodine, without the addition of iodides!***

Shocking Statistics About Iodine

  • According to the World Health Organization's Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, iodine deficiency is a public health problem in 54 countries.
  • The CDC states that iodine deficiency is one of the four major deficiency diseases in the world (Fortunately, it is the easiest to correct).
  • The 2013 USGS iodine commodity summary warns that there are no comparable substitutes for iodine. 
  • Information published by UNICEF notes that iodine deficiency is the most avoidable cause of stunted physical and intellectual development.

*My thyroid went hypo a while ago. And then it went autoimmune. This is very bad news. Once it goes autoimmune your body eventually DESTROYS your thyroid and there is nothing that can stop it. Well, you can take the thyroid medication, which I do, but when it's gone, it's gone. I'm sure it all just gets more fun from there.

**Hormones. Holy rocket science Batman. When I first started getting migraines (2003), I told my neurologist that I was certain this was a hormonal imbalance given how my migraines (before they became chronic) were hormonal. Granted, they were now a freight train bound for hell, but if we could stabilize the hormones, I think we could get the train back on the track. He looked down his nose at me and said, "I hear that from many of my women patients, but I assure you that you are wrong." And that was the end of it. Because, you know, he had a direct line to God. He proceeded to pump untold amounts of medication into me that caused me to lose my hair like a cancer patient. God love him. He was a miracle worker. And I still had migraines.

***Without the addition of iodides. Hmm. Could it have been the addition of iodides that I was actually allergic to and not the iodine itself? 

If we need iodine to live. If we need iodine to regulate our hormones. If we need iodine to keep our thyroid working correctly (and clearly mine is NOT), then maybe, just maybe I have an iodine issue. And maybe, just maybe by giving my thyroid the iodine it very much needs it will start to correct some of these problems that have gone... shall we say, badly.

I ordered it. It comes in liquid form. I placed a drop on my arm and waited. 24 hours later and nothing. No rash. The recommended dose is 3 drops per day. I took one the first day. That was the first day I didn't take any OTC pain medication in four months. The second day I took two. The third day I took three. I've had some serious stress going on during this time (my roof needs replacing and that is super stressful and my health care has required some decision-making, which is also stressful). I was taking OTC pain meds at least twice a day (sometimes three). In the two weeks I've been on the iodine, I've taken them two times. Two. On two different days. I'm still using my essential oils. Still trying to eat well, sleep well, my exercise has sucked (got to be honest), but for the first time since 2003 I'm showing actual improvement. 

It's funny what happens when your life changes radically in a short period of time. When you go from a place of holding space to a place of possibility. Those are very different places for the record. For the first time in a very long time I can see that there is actually a future in my future. 

I apologize that this post was so long. As Blaise Pascal (and Mark Twain, later) said "I didn't have the time to make it shorter."

Friday, December 9, 2016

BoTB Results and Some Snark

It's December 9. Two days ago you expected results from Battle of the Bands. Disappointment set in when you realized it was not to be. I'd like to think to that it mirrored the faces at Hillary Clinton's campaign hall the night of the election, but let's face it... only 15 of you voted in this battle, so to be fair and honest (that is what we are about HERE), you probably only just now even noticed that I hadn't posted the results. Furthermore, you only mildly care about the results. You came. You listened. You punched your ticket. It's Christmas. You're busy for crying out loud. Gifts to buy. Food to eat. Possibly some rioting in the streets and maybe some electors you need to send death threats to over email. I get it. We all have things to do. Tis the season.* Moving on...

 *I was trying to channel Bryan over at A Beer For The Shower and tap into my funny side. Did it work? If I could draw, I would've created what I'm certain is comical genius brought to life for your enjoyment. But, alas, I cannot. So, I moved on.

Okay, the results. This was a close battle. The song was Christmastime Is Here. The contenders were Michael W. Smith (and Vince Gill) versus MercyMe. The voting was close. There was a period at the beginning when I thought that MercyMe was going to run away with it, but then MWS/VG came back. But then the scales tipped MercyMe's way again and it finished like this:

Michael W. Smith with Vince Gill: 6
MercyMe: 10 (including mine)

Congratulations MercyMe!

I'm planning on making a serious attempt at writing a post for Monday letting you know about a wonderful new development with regard to my migraines (and thus my overall health). I'm over a week into it.... and well, let's just say that I am shocked. And hopeful. Seriously hopeful.