Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Book Give-away!

Sorry the cover is backwards. My laptop takes mirror image photos! If there is a way to "flip" them, I sure have never discovered that feature. Keep reading to learn how to enter (once or lots of times)to win a free copy of this book!

Extended Entry Deadline: To enter, please leave a comment (including a valid email address to contact you if you win) on this post prior to Christmas Day, 2015! I'll send out a notification email and post the winner here by Dec.28. You will have 48 hours to respond with your mailing address or I'll need to select a new winner. That's it. EASY. (Keep reading for more chances to enter.)

You can see my dear friend Shelly Benoit Hendricks's correct book cover for her 30 devotional collection for newly diagnosed patients, "You're Chronically Ill...So Now What?" at http://amzn.to/21Mp2T7 or visit the  You're Chronically Ill. Now What? facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/YoureChronicallyIllNowWhat.

For additional enteritis, please share this post widely, on Facebook, pinterest, twitter, your blog, wherever. Leave an additional post each time you do!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

MSG Detox

So I can find the link when I need it, here are detox strategies for accidental MSG consumption with glutamate toxicity.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

When Balloons Are Scary

Picture via Google Images.
I recently shared about my latex reactions over on my Stroke Of Grace blog. I promised to provide more details here. These details are taken from the replies I gave on this thread on Facebook.

Picture via Google Images.
Reply Details:

I was only touch reactive most of my life. I never had airborne issues until about 5 or 6 years back when a kids school craft sent me to the hospital. I was taking harsh medication at the time that was bringing rapid changes to my immune system and I think that's what threw the switch to severer reaction.

About our church:

Church leadership is aware and has been beautifully accommodating to us. It is a large church. Two of the three pastors have been gone this week (hospital and death in family) and this one just sort of slipped in under the radar. I imagine it was someone's birthday in a Sunday School class. Nothing malicious and they would have been horrified to learn the ripple effects to our family, I'm sure! I'm just ever-so-thankful that we got there at the exact time to see and avoid the danger!

To the question, "How do shop?? Most stores nowadays sell balloons."

I do as much shopping as I can online. Stores that sell them, as long as they aren't inflated and are in a package, I'm OK as long as I don't handle or hang out by the packages. Last year, I scared a friend when we were in the party supply department enough we had to do an impromptu overview of where to find the Epi-pen I always carry, etc. I ALWAYS carry Benadryl too, and pop them liberally, at the slightest first signs of possible exposure. Most places only have the mylar (foil) balloons inflated in the stores now (at least to sell, unfortunately, you never know when/where you might run into them in a display). If a stores sells inflated latex balloons, I leave and don't go back! 

I haven't even met my son's school teacher this year (we do all our communication via email) because his school uses balloons in crafts. Before going to anyone's house, party or event I call first and don't go if they have recently had balloons or rubber gloves on premises. We also have to call any restaurant before we go to make sure there are no balloons. 

Fortunately, most kitchens now use vinyl gloves so food contamination is rare (I just have to watch fancy stuff like chocolate shell bowl formed around a balloon), but have had to get up and leave in the middle of "safe" restaurant meals before if other guests bring in balloons, like for a birthday party. I can only use one of the two main medical health care systems in town because they a relatively latex-free while the other hospital may still use latex in gloves or some of their other supplies. I also have to watch rubber bands (not allowed in our house!) and several other every-day items, but unless I touch them or they "snap" near me, most of those things don't release enough air borne particle to significantly impact me unless I touch them. New items like tires or certain paints in an enclosed area can make me reactive until they have aged and settled enough (can take weeks or months) that I have to be really careful in things like walking into Sam's club (they have a big automotive area including tires, right at the front entrance).

Also, it depends on the quality and manufacturing process of individual balloons. As a general rule, the cheeper a balloon, the lower the quality of material and more readily it sheds latex particles into the air. I have actually been around very high quality balloons without reaction. But typically folks grab the least expensive (a.k.a. most dangerous as far as latex shedding goes) balloons they can buy for party decorations, crafts, pranks, etc! And please, NEVER pop any kind of latex balloon anywhere near me - fantastic way to spread a ton of allergen-particles far, wide and FAST!

A friend replied:
Thankful that you were able to avoid a dangerous situation! My sister has a latex allergy too but only if she touches it. I'm also glad that you posted this. Helps to better understand why hospitals near us do not allow any balloons unless bought in their gift shops (all latex free).

Short, very helpful article! Please take 2 minutes to read!

Original post:

We missed church today. Got up, ready, and even into the church parking lot, only to see someone carrying balloons into the church. (I am HIGHLY reactive to LATEX and even going into a room that has balloons in it could send me to a hospital via ambulance!) Our student driver didn't even get to park. Rick simply said, "We are not going in there!" and directed him right through the parking lot and back onto the main road. 
I was disappointed as I haven't been out of the house in a week, but just getting up and ready, a quick stop for bagels on the way, then picking up a couple items from the store on our way home, I came home (back home by 9:30!) and slept HARD for over 2 hours! (Sad that I slept right through the internet feed of our services so I didn't even get to see those!)
Guess I'm not bounced back much from surgery yet. Counting it God's grace that we pulled into the parking lot at the exact time the balloons were being taken into the building so I didn't encounter another allergic reaction in my already stressed body!
‪#‎MyInvisibleFight‬ ‪#‎InvisibleFight‬ ‪#‎IIWK‬ ‪#‎IIWK15‬ ‪#‎LatexAlergy‬‪#‎WhenBalloonsAreScary‬ ‪#‎CrazyBody‬

Picture via Google Images.
For more latex allergy news and resources, be sure to click on the tag below or the resource link in the right side bar!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

In the Garden

I just spent 2 hours out working in my garden yesterday evening. Had a good talk with  our 9-year-old about the meaning of the word "prune". He was so cute, talking about when he got baptized earlier this year his feet got all "pruney" from being in the water. grin emoticon But we did get down to the fact that Jesus must clean/prune us continually to bring us into the shape of His will, just like we were doing to our roses.

I was pretty hard on my plants, leaving only about 6 healthy blooms and a bunch of buds behind (on a total of about 18 rose bushes!) so it looks pretty stark right now. But each cut was made with care and purpose, knowing that by my birthday at the end of the month, I will have a glorious garden full of healthy blossoms, all on nicely trimmed and shaped plants!

I take comfort from my parent's story as newly weds. They had several rose bushes under the kitchen window. Mom was having horrid allergies, so Dad went out and brutally shopped them all nearly down to the roots to try to kill them. They came back healthier and prettier than before! So when the devil sets out to destroy me, God can intend the same season of harsh pruning for my benefit.

I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more.
John 15:1-2 (The Message)

He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch to make it bear more AND richer AND more excellent fruit!

(First published July, 2015 at Harvesting Hope from Heartache, copyright, Jennifer Saake)

Thursday, June 11, 2015


"So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations a thorn was given to me in the flesh,a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited."/2 Corr. 12:7 (ESV)

Guest post:

Aah humility, what a desirable yet precarious characteristic to attain. Paul, a man of great wisdom and knowledge, as well as zealous follower of Christ, knew this particular trait was one God was developing in him for a specific purpose.

It must have been so frustrating, as he desired to spend every waking moment serving the Lord, winning souls for his Savior, yet as he said this ever present " thorn" was present. He pleads for it to be removed not once, not twice, but 3 times. What's the reply? "My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in your weakness" 

(vs.9). So what can we too hope to learn from Paul's wisdom? Perhaps one thing is that humility is a tool God uses to draw us and others closer to Him. The thorn can come in many forms, I think, in the work place, in our physical health, mental health, our spiritual walk. So many avenues that Satan can place his prickly point. But the thing is God is still in control, He still is sovereign; NOTHING can touch our life with out His knowledge. We may ask, plead, or cry out for God to remove "it", to heal, to quiet the storm in our life, but ultimately it is His will that will be done.

So how can we choose to look at this as a blessing? To still hold onto the joy, the hope our Lord promises? 

I think perhaps by taking on that spirit of humility as Paul chose to do,; to allow God to be glorified, by others witnessing His power, His love, His life within us despite our thorn, our weaknesses. 
Yes humility is a blessing and a curse, the pain or strife is not wanted by us on a human level, however the promise and hope delivered by our Heavenly Father with in that is. 
Friends let us not look with disdain on our thorns, but embrace them for what they are, God's hope, shown proven as evidenced within our lives. 

Be blessed, Di

Diane Kalata is a wife of 26 yrs., mother of 3 , and grandma too! She is a cancer survivor. She deals with chronic illness on a daily basis, but has the joy of ministering through writing, art, and home studies. She loves our Lord dearly and desires to be a reflection of Him in her daily life, as they walk the journey of illness together. www.facebook.com/groups/Zebras4Christ/

Saturday, May 2, 2015


FAST stands for Facial droop, Arm inability to hold both out front without one drifting down, Speech slurred or garbled, Time to call 911 and report a suspected stroke if any of those three quick stroke assessments aren't passed!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Round 2

I seem to have picked up at least two different nasty and heavy-duty viruses this spring, triggering the reactivation of ME/CFS (previously known as Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome), that I battled for over 20 years, but has been in remission for over 3 years, since before my strokes

I haven't said anything here yet because I hoped this relapse would be short-lived and not worth mention. Plus, putting it is writing "makes it real" and I can no longer pretend it isn't happening. It has gone on long enough, I have enough medical confirmation and symptoms, that it looks like we are in for another battle. I have been on anti-viral medications for a few weeks now (out of an anticipated 6 month course of treatment) and, other than needing mega amounts of sleep, think the medicine may actually be helping a bit already!

I was in and out of the local emergency room for tummy pain (that may or may not be related to these viruses), my appendix, the ovarian cysts they found on my stroked side that could have been referring pain to my "good" side, some combination of any/all of the above, or something else not yet discovered, (no one is totally sure), twice within 3 1/2 weeks, but am on day 7 of a relatively pain-free or at least low-tummy-pain streak. I was pretty feverish and have slept most of the day yesterday, but no pain!

We still don't know the reasons for the tummy stuff. That it is gone right now makes me wonder if the anti-viral medication is addressing the root cause, but we simply do not know. My next regular doctor's appointment is scheduled for about the 3rd week of May, so that if it is a recurrent feminine issue, we hope to catch it cyclically. Because of the internal stroke paralysis, I do not seem capable of properly transmitting pain signals, so I am leaving my doctors with quite the guessing game right now!