Day 5 – I’m gonna live!

 

I do not think all medications are bad. There are situations where pharmacological medications are curative or the benefits outweigh the potential risks or side effects. At this time in my life, having been on a variety of pharmacological medications with less than optimal results, as evidenced by my struggles (breakdown) the last month, I am wanting to go a more holistic way. It started with medical cannabis and I now am more interested in what nature has to offer.

One of the main reasons for doing gardening and animal care when I am in such a challenging financial and physical and emotional situation is they give me purpose on days I struggle. I am so grateful that I started that.  Putting in a garden and attracting butterflies and hummingbirds gives me something pretty to watch and look for. Being out in nature and getting a little exercise is one of the BEST medicines there is. On many days when I am in pain or just overwhelmed, having those things I MUST get up for …makes me still have a life. Hey Sigmund has done a nice outline here of a more holistic approach for mental health strategies.

http://www.heysigmund.com/the-non-medication-ways-to-deal-with-depression-that-are-as-effective-as-medication/

I started off using the medical cannabis (MMJ) mostly for pain. I was on fairly high doses of Oxycodone and it wasn’t working. At least not enough.  This contributed to my IBS for certain, causing severe constipation.  MMJ has been a wonderful option for getting off opiates. It also has improved my mood greatly, until I get into a panic situation or PTSD gets triggered. I still having to do some learning on that. I have a couple strains that I have been given or bought (thank you to the growers) and it works. But the medication I need now needs a special license to process and so I can’t get it as easily. Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) was the BEST cannabis medication I have had to date that helped me the most.  I was calm and pain was much better controlled than with the opiates.

To get the strains that I need for anxiety and PTSD challenges I have to now go the dispensary. In one week I went through $100 worth of RSO and other types of MMJ products in addition to my usual use of the tinctures and butter and flower I have already at home. I can’t afford that. I sure hope they don’t take out the OMMP because of recreational. This is my medication now.

I had it suggested to me to try some skullcap when my belly settles a bit more. It’s a nervine. Nervines are an classification of herbal remedies for mental health conditions that have evidence of high anxiety. I was also told a student of herbology that nervines such as Skullcap can actually help in the healing of my brain after long term use of various medications. Hearthsidehealing in Portland, OR presented this article on nervines written by Jon Keys.

http://www.hearthsidehealing.com/nervine-herbs-for-deep-relief-from-anxiety-and-stress/

While the last few days have been incredibly difficult emotionally, I have no desire to take those pills again. I do not crave them at all, which is a bit strange based on dealing with my gambling disorder and the drive I had for that. I feel that with the medications I was more dependent on them, whereas the gambling for me is a true addiction. But in all honesty, I really had no idea I had an emotional attachment to the medications. They were prescribed by my NP for my various ailments over the course of the last 5 years. Some of them I had been on for nearly 20 years off and on.  When one has a number of medications like that there is always concern about them being discontinued, or brands changing (can be very difficult for some), or your doctor saying after a number of years prescribing, “no more, we have to stop this”. Or there is confusion about getting it refilled. It is really a painful experience to be taking 60-90mg of oxycodone a day and then not have it for 36 hours! Very painful.

I think this is the 5th night since my last dose and while life isn’t bubblegum and rainbows, it’s better than it was 24 hours ago. I even ate! That is one of the big side effects with my withdrawal is NO appetite. Additionally, I think I have only had about 6-7 hours of sleep in the last 3 days. For tonight I’ve made myself a nice hot cup of cannabis tea. I feel very tired. But not as despondent  and sick as I was off and on the last week. Yay God!

Only two sleeps and I will see the counselor that I have seen before.  As well as my NP was to be putting in a referral to a psychiatrist for me.

I really appreciate those who are following. I hope you share this all over the place! I really want people to know what detox from a benzodiazapine after on and off use for 20 years looks like. I want people to know it’s possible to improve from a dependency, an addiction, or a number of mental health ailments by making just a few lifestyle changes. And help me remember that the only person I really need to take care is me. 🙂 Peace!

frog2

**This is no way an endorsement for taking yourself off medications.  I have discussed this with my Nurse Practitoner and it has been a slow taper over 18 months.  One medication at a time.

 

 

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Making a living vs. making a LIFE

It has been busy this week. I am trying to start a business. It began with an idea that I have been running around in my head for a few weeks. I haven’t made any actual transactions of business yet, but I have met a few farmers and had a few emails of interest. For now, I’ll take that as a sign to proceed. But today is Sunday and I am in town and not doing any work. I am having my day of social interaction and getting my spirit fed.

So grateful for the beauty I SEEK that God always provides!

So grateful for the beauty I SEEK that God always provides!

I had a few new things this week. I love having “new” experiences at this time in life. In fact, I was thinking about all the new things I have done in the last year. My 50th year of life has had me doing more new things than I have in years.

This week’s new things included:

1. Drinking raw milk from grass-fed cows. I don’t remember ever having milk that didn’t either come from the milkman (yes, when I was 5 I remember the nice man who brought milk in glass jars), or from the store. That in itself is a big deal for me. The fact that it didn’t irritate my gut, the way milk has for years, was nothing short of a miracle. I ended up drinking an entire 1/2 gallon of milk in 2 days. That’s a big deal for a gal who LOVES milk and hasn’t drank a glass in over a year because of lactose intolerance and IBS. I may have found a cure. I did use 1 pint of the milk to make some homemade yogurt. Another gallon is ordered for pickup.

I love this stuff!

I love this stuff!

2. Making homemade yogurt. It was pretty simple. I haven’t eaten any of it yet, but I made it with the raw milk, and am hoping it is as delicious as that fresh milk was. If it is good, I will definitely do a blog later with the instructions, because the way I did it was pretty slick…if I do say so myself.

3. Meeting with farmers. I went out and met with farmers. I asked them about their farms and their productions and their hopes for ongoing sustainable organic food. I heard about their hopes and their dreams, their challenges. I picked up little tidbits about their families. I asked them how I can promote their farm and the foods and goods they produce to families that want fresh healthy locally grown food. It was a great day. I only took a couple of pictures and this little sweetie holding one of her hens said what my day was about. Farms, food, friends, community!

This sweet cherub was helping her parents show off their free range chickens.  Adorable!

This sweet cherub was helping her parents show off their free range chickens. Adorable!

4. Fermenting vegetables. I have made sauerkraut with my dear friend up north a couple of times. He taught me how his grandfather taught him who had been taught by someone before that…if you get the picture. There was no recipe. It was a rhythm and a taste and a big mess!!! Making big batches of Kraut the old way is fun! I also made a batch of my own this last fall. It’s not hard. Did you know that lacto-fermented vegetables are so good for the gut. And I need good things for my gut. I had seen beautiful jars of “Garlic-pepper infused” vegetables at the local Grower’s Market. I decided to give it a try. I read a couple of articles, watched a couple of “how to” videos on U-tube. Then I started chopping and layering. I think they look lovely. I will let you know in a week or so how they turned out. I also did a crock full of slicked and diced cabbage with a little onion and garlic in it.

Pretty colors and good for the body!

Pretty colors and good for the body!

5. I also have been gluten/sugar-free all week long. Lots of juicing!!! And I made gluten/sugar free brownies for a treat!

A recipe I found by following one of the local CSA's blogs.  It hit the spot.

A recipe I found by following one of the local CSA’s blogs. It hit the spot.

6. Putting up a greenhouse – I already covered that, but it was a new thing.

So, those are new things I’ve tried just this week. Over the last year, new things I’ve done include; learning to ride a motorcycle and buying my own motorcycle; growing a garden for food; canning; re-purpose old furniture; raising chickens; raising baby chicks; farm life; countless new recipes and cooking creations; driving a BIG motorcycle (that wasn’t mine and I only did it once). These are just the things that come to mind right now. I love doing new things and trying new things and hope to learn until the day I no longer am here on earth.

Many of the new things I try are to make improvements with my health. I am always trying to heal my body. Some ways I do that are through food and nutrition. Some of the new things are to stretch my mind and find things to enjoy in life. I spent years and years working and just taking care of all the chores of life. Today, for my health, I know I need rest and relaxation. I must have creative outlets. Recreation is necessary for my mental health.

I am trying to find a way to be self-sufficient within the limitations my body currently puts on me. I am hopeful that I will continue to have more energy and more strength as I find new ways to eat and heal myself. I am seeking a life that is not just about working to make a living, but rather a work that is about making a wonderful LIFE!!! Time will tell how this all works out. For now, I will take it a day at a time, like I do all things.

At Wildlife Images.

At Wildlife Images.

Something I’ve wanted to try.

I have been contemplating this idea for a number of months. The idea of starting a blog.  I love sharing things.  It isn’t that I think I know so much.  It’s that my life has changed in such ways that I have time to be at home and try things and let you know how they work.  I also enjoying sharing pictures.  I am NOT a photographer.  I have a very old camara and I use my phone frequently  I just love to take pictures to chronicle the passing of life and the moments.  It really is about the moments.

My blog will have posting about a variety of topics.  I recently adopted a flock of 13 chickens.  I got the chicken bug in the early spring of 2012.  I had not anticipated actually being able to get chickens until spring of 2013.  But life gave me a bunch of lemons…and I got chickens!!  GO figure.  I love my girls.  They provide so much more than eggs.  The most important thing, is the sense of repsonsibilty.  They need me to provide them with food and water and PROTECTION!  So that means even on days when I am feeling challenged, I still have to attend to THEIR needs.  If you check in on my blog you will know why me getting up and attending to some chickens is important.

Another of my interests in gardening.  I just moved to a small 13 acre mini farm.  They have given me permission to build my DREAM!  I have had a dream of building a greenhouse for many years.  I actually bought and acquired 50+ windows in early August.  I brought them with me on my move just 2 months ago.   I will have to redesign it based on the new location, but I am hoping to have it ready within the next year.  Until then, I will use the plastic greenhouses that are available on the property.  Gardening with greenhouses is a new gig for me, so you get to watch my successes…and my blunders.  I used to own and operate my own landscape maintence business years ago.  I have had a love of things growing most of my life.   Babies and plants and animals.  I am pretty silly about nature.  🙂  It makes me happy.

I was diagnosds with a spastic colon when I was 17. That was really a drag.  Today it is called Irritabel Bowel Syndrome (IBS).  I am so grateful that I love food enough that I didn’t give up on eating!  If you have IBS you know the challenges.  Finding what you can eat…and finding a BATHROOM!  I am still working on this, but it is 75% better than it was years ago.  I know a few things that will cause upsets.  And sometimes…if I am home alone…I will pay the price.   I won’t do this as often as I used to tho. If I eat natural organic whole foods and stay away from dairy and prepared foods, I have much less troubles.  So, with my own dietary experiences I have a soft spot for anyone that has ANY type of gastrointestinal disorder affected by eating.  We all have to eat!!!  If you have food challenges I will at some time try to address them.  Oh yeah…I am also a nurse.  And preventative medicine is something I have always believed in.  I am learning about some alternative nursing now.  I will be sharing on healthcare related topics.

Lastly, I am a recent convert to being a country girl.  I have always thought I was born in the wrong century.  I think if I would have been alive and kicking back in the 1800’s…well I might have made history!!!  Well, maybe not…but I would have head a heck of a good time trying.  I have been living a rural lifestyle for the last 14 months, and believe I have arrived to the place I belong.  My way of getting here may or may not be discussed.  I have not decided on that yet.  But, I have  arrived to the country and even tho some major challenges were presented, I decided to stay in the country that I have come to love.  Rogue Valley!  I will share more about that later too!!!  It really is a magnificent place in Oregon.

My top THREE things in life.  God, Recovery and my kids(and grandson).  They are the backbone to everyting that I am about!  So you will hear me talk of God, spirituality, acceptance, surrender, love, forgiveness, joy, sorrow, challenges, emotions, praise, forgiveness and a number of life on a day to day basis issues.

I plan on having fun with this.  I hope you enjoy it too!  I have always enjoyed writing, but have become very “prose” oriented with social websites.  I am hoping that a blog will help me to expound on my writing abilities.  Language is beautiful.  Sharing is joy.  Community is paramount to survival!  Yes, I will touch on self-sustainable living, preparedness, canning, and if SHTF!!!

Thank you for reading my first post.