Home » Archive by category "Chronic Illness"

The Fine (and Essential) Art of Procrastination

I am totally avoiding things. On the upside, my house has never been more organized and I have sorted, books, papers, receipts, clothes and toys that have been lying around for years. On the downside I have a lot more to do, and the more I get rid of or sort out, the more I seem to have to do. One of those things is an update on my son. We went all the way to Stanford yet again. He’s ok. They don’t want to do surgery if they don’t have to. We did full scans of his back and saw a geneticist and returned home with a solid meh. They don’t seem to really know how to help him. It’s a lot of wait and see if he gets worse, since he’s basically stopped improving. Exercising helped many things, but solved nothing. Medications for migraines are the same. Ultimately...
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Benjamin Update

Benjamin has now been to Stanford twice and we are in the midst of paying for, scheduling and preparing for his next trip in two weeks. It’s a lot. I am overwhelmed and quite discouraged. His pain management team has been unable to truly help him. He is dislocating his ankles, knee, shoulder, and sometimes hips and others. His stomach issues have escalated to needing Zofran regularly to keep food down, and he is back to having migraines most days of the week. The Depakote helped for a while, and it is keeping him from passing out, but that means he probably is/was having seizures. They told us he was severely deconditioned and to avoid having to place him in a residential treatment program we have had to do a lot of exercises and walking. He has responded to that and is doing better in that area, but he still...
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Stanford Consultation Results – Ben Update

Two weeks ago Ben and I drove to Stanford with an amazing friend in her RV. It may not have been the best way to travel in retrospect, but with what I knew about Stanford (nothing), my anxiety and Ben’s, and our needs it was best at the time. First – my friend was absolutely amazing! She was the patient with a surly, sick teenager, and understanding of his autistic moments and needs. She drove us safely all around the area and was a great support for me as she has endured many of my same illnesses and has had surgery to correct Chiari Malformation. Her service dog, Moby, was calming and distracting for Ben at important times, and an example of how amazing service animals can be. Everyone loved him everywhere we went and his behavior was perfect.  I don’t know how to thank her enough! Second – Stanford...
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I Don’t Know How To Do This – My Son Needs Brain Surgery

I have written this post in my head for weeks. This is so much harder than I can describe, but I am going to try, because we need help, and people need to know what this is like. I need to be able to find others who have had this experience. I need other mom’s who have walked this path and can help me walk it. I need to know that you can survive this as a parent. That my heart won’t break, and that if the worst happens, we can endure. Maybe I can be that person for someone else in the future. Please follow the link below to donate to my son’s GoFundMe Account if you can! Click to Donate Now! My son, Ben, is sick. He has autism, ADHD, anxiety, depression and asthma since he was born. This was hard enough. This was enough to make me...
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I’m Back – I Think – Life is Hard and then you Die.

My blog has been the target of multiple issues, attacks and locked down for months. I finally figured out how to use it again! Hurray! It is an outlet for me. I need to write. I need to do weird giveaways, review movies and books and generally engage in life in a different way. I try to keep this blog positive, but I am struggling to find the positive in my life or to be a positive type of person. I have also been really sick all year. If I don’t have bronchitis, it is something else. In May I had a routine (for me) procedure on my neck that resulted in severe migraines, and unbearable pain. I tried everything, my doctors tried everything, and I ended up in the hospital for four days. The first night I was admitted I fell in the bathroom. I hit my head and...
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Zero Compression Back Brace Review Failure, #endallbackpain

Dear Lovely Readers, I have failed. I agreed to promote and take part in this Zero Compression Back Brace campaign, and I didn’t. It started with my getting the first posting dates mixed up. Then I got a migraine, and couldn’t immediately get to fixing things, and then so much time had passed that the guilt mixed with my anxiety and though I would start this post many times, ultimately it never got posted.   The saddest part is I was super excited to do this review and be part of this campaign. The back brace is something that I need, and have been looking for, and the money that I could have earned as part of this campaign would have been a huge help to my family. I do love the brace. It is comfortable, feminine and discreet. I do look a little wider around the middle, but that...
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Zero Compression Back Brace Giveaway and Review #endallbackpain

We have partnered with Zero Compression Back Brace  help relieve your back pain with an amazing prize package! Be sure to learn more at zerocompressionbackbrace.com on how you can relieve back pain and improve your quality of live with this new concept that no other brace can claim! This back brace, is meant to be worn under clothing, is comfortable, and washable. It places no pressure on the spine, and is extremely easy to adjust and wear. Check out a review of the miracle back brace, My review can be found here.   Prize: 2 prize packages each including a $50 cash prize (paid via PayPal or Amazon Gift Card) and a Zero Compression back brace of your choice ($49.95 value) – Total giveaway value is $199.90   Giveaway is open to US only, ages 18 and older. Giveaway ends June 30, 2016 at 11:59 pm EST. Enter to win via...
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Worst Workout Ever

After two doctors told me that my “condition” could not be helped by medication or other measures, and that I just needed to exercise, I went and joined a local gym. It is a cost that I cannot afford, but I needed access to a pool and something that was close. We have a new, really awesome gym that just opened nearby, so I took a tour, and signed up. I told my husband afterward, and he is all for it. In fact, he encourages me to go to the gym every day, which is nice. His support has made a huge difference. The actual workout is really good for me, and doesn’t tax my system to overload, like most workouts do. My pain management doctor advised me to walk in water that is chest high and just do that everyday for a month and then let him know how...
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Future of Health Conference

  Check out this amazing No-Cost Future of Healing Online Conference!   I am and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach.  I love online Conferences, trainings and forums. There is a great conference starting today for that is sponsored by the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. I am an affiliate, and if you decide to purchase recordings of the conference I will make money. However, the conference is FREE. Please check it out here: Future of Health Conference The Future of Healing Online Conference goes live on June 22nd. It showcases the voices of 70+ top professionals and thought-leaders who’ll help us step into new possibilities and a healthier future. The conference explores cutting edge thinking in these diverse and fascinating realms: Nutrition, The Psychology of Eating, Functional Medicine, Cultural Transformation, Spiritual Awakening, The New Sexuality, Supplements Herbs and Medicinals, Planetary Health, Our Global Future, and much more… We’ll be expanding...
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How to Kill a Blog! OR Where oh Where Have my Readers Gone?

I tell my husband that I need to blog everyday, but I cannot do it everyday. There are apparently rules for effective blogging, and I follow none of them. Here are some things I learned on Pinterest about blogging that I totally fail at. 1. Blog consistently. – I have a chronic illness. I never know what the day will bring, and I suffer from anxiety, meaning some days I cannot put myself out there. It’s too hard. I’m too worried about what people will think or say. Recent newsworthy events show me I am not alone in my struggles with anxiety and depression, but there are many that think I should keep it to myself. 2. Use visuals. – I suck at drawing and have no clue how to create graphics. It is something I am learning, but I don’t even know how to use my camera well. I...
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Wet N’Wild amidst Monsoons and Migraines

Products and activities mentioned on News Wahl posts have been received for evaluation purposes for free and/or we received compensation. News Wahl is and affiliate for one or more of the products, links, & banners on the site. Which means we may receive compensation when you click on the links. All opinions are 100% our own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. I only recommend products I love and use! Thanks – Natalie It is monsoon season in Las Vegas. I love the rain. It is beautiful, and smells great. My son hates the thunder and lightning, but I could live in a place where it rains every day, except for the fact that barometric pressure changes cause mega migraines in my brain. They are the awful, don’t talk to me, touch me, or...
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Head Games

My son has started playing video games in his head. He can tell you the statistics, the layout, and all the attack and other information in great detail, to a game that he invented and plays in his mind when we won’t let him play on a gaming device. It is a little like having an imaginary friend. It is a lot compulsive, and really annoying to listen to all the details of a game that only he can see. It was a problem when we had to start setting times when he could play/collect at school so it didn’t interrupt his schooling. I often wonder how he’ll get through adulthood. 🙂 I love that his creativity is growing, and that he has developed this in his mind. Often, Asperger’s kids can’t think up new things and are stuck repeating only what they have seen or heard. His imaginative skills...
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Sleep and Fatigue

Nature’s Sleep is having a promotion! Use the code BEARS50 to get 50% off the entire site as well as free shipping. I am saving up for one of their fabulous mattresses. Hopefully it won’t take too much longer as our mattress is getting old. My son could really use a new mattress too. So, I bring up mattresses cause I think they’re cool and because fatigue is a huge part of my life. Sometimes there are nights and days where I cannot sleep because the pain is overwhelming and/or I am just to wound up. I have tried several types of sleeping medications, and techniques. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. It just so happens that I have all kinds of sleep issues. I have trouble falling asleep. I wake up every morning between 2-4 and have a hard time going back to sleep, and then once I’m asleep...
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When Depression Wins – Warning not Light Reading.

I suffer from Chronic Major Depressive Disorder. It isn’t fun, happy or good. Everything I try to blog about is contrary to how I feel and live. It has made me feel like a fake, so I will be blogging about my depression too, because somehow it has to fit in with the happy, fun and good. Somehow, I have to live. Lately I don’t want to. I also struggle with pituitary failure, and Arnold Chiari Syndrome. I have chronic migraines, am allergic to gluten, and struggle with asthma. Because of my pituitary failure I have no immunity, no stress response, and I have to take a LOT of steroids. These have made me gain weight. So basically I am overweight, bedridden, sick all the time, in intolerable pain, and depressed. It isn’t a pretty picture. Last month it got so bad that I wasn’t able to sleep for days...
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Best Laid Plans

This is a terrible picture. It is one day after brain surgery, the cape is for my son. You don’t see the bruises from the many tubes, or the back of my head, which has a 4-inch incision. I was lucky the surgery was perfect, and I went home the next day to recover for 6 weeks. So this was me last February. I found out I had an Arnold-Chiari malformation, and within a month had surgery to correct it. In so many ways life is 100% better now, but it is far from perfect. I still have a failed pituitary gland, due to the high pressure in my brain that the surgery corrected, and I seem to have damaged nerves all through my body that are starting to heal, and that is painful. Now I have chronic migraines. Separate issue from the brain thing, but still brain related, and...
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Life Keeps on Rolling

Follow my blog with Bloglovin So there are a LOT of giveaways and very few posts or updates. It’s because my life sucks in many ways, and writing about it just doesn’t seem to fit what I want for this blog, but life is life, so I will share. My health has been quite tenuous lately, as has my weight and psychological well-being. I have been extremely depressed, anxious and unable to blog or even leave the house some days. I hate this person. It is not who I was or am or want to be, but it is my current reality. To illustrate some of the struggle, I have included pictures of my physical changes over the past 8 years. Most of them have occurred in the last 3 years. I started extremely underweight, even emaciated, but that has been fixed, and now I am two wardrobes bigger, and...
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Flash Sale, Gluten Free Books

  My family eats gluten free, and this is a great set of books for getting started, or adding to your gluten free recipe collection. I would love to help anyone who has been diagnosed as gluten intolerant, or who wants to start a gluten free diet. Please e-mail me at aliejudd@gmail.com, and I can walk you through the process. In fact, I am starting a new blog called Medical Soup, and Gluten Free, Milk Free, and other special diets will be a huge part of that blog. It is only hard at first, and then it is a great diet. We are in the process of going Vegan. I just finished watching “Forks over Knives” and am convinced that it a Whole foods diet with no processed foods or oils is going to help my family be healthy. It is a journey I will share on that blog, just...
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I am Free!

I am finally released from bed rest and strict limitations on my activity. I can even drive. Today is a glorious day. I saw my doctor on Monday, and am healing slowly but surely. They are still concerned that my wound has not fully closed, and about the possibility of infection, but I am careful, and they will continue to monitor that. However, I have reached the glorious mark of six-weeks, and my doctor officially declared that I can start to resume normal activity and even drive my car as long as I don’t feel impaired. He’s even insisting that I taper off of medications. Hurray! Mostly I am a fan of being able to drive again. Driving is so linked to independence. I couldn’t go to the doctor without a ride, and I couldn’t do a lot of the things I normally do to help my family, like grocery...
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So I had Brain Surgery

I believe in miracles. I went to my endocrinologist, and he had a new Physicians Assistant. She had worked for a brilliant neurosurgeon who happens to practice in Las Vegas and treats a condition called Chiari Malformations. She looked at my history, and thought it would be worth a call to her old boss to see if my set of odd symptoms fit into this chiari pattern, which they do. Two days later, I was in front of the neurosurgeon. Two days after that I had the advanced and very technical MRI that showed significant pressure increases in my brain and a congenital brain defect called hypoplastic posterior fossa that put pressure on many parts of my brain and may have had a key role in my pituitary gland failing. At this point, the surgeon, Dr. Seiff, decided that I was a candidate for this surgery. His first question was...
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I have been under quarantine. My son caught the flu, then got an upper respiratory infection, and then the stomach flu. Lucky me. Then, because I am special, I caught everything he had. Two emergency room visits, several doctor’s appointments, and one Quick Care visit later, and I think (fingers crossed) that we are finally on the mend. My husband is a teacher, and my son goes to school, so no guarantees. My husband calls the students walking petri dishes, but at least we’ve weathered the last of the stomach bug this time around. When I get sick, I sleep a lot. I am lucky and unlucky in that I lack a gag reflex, so nothing will make me puke, but it means that I feel sick a lot longer than I would if I could just get the bug out of my system. So, I sleep. My son, however,...
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Closed: Sauna Giveaway and Healthy Habits

Every year we set the goal to not go to the ER that year. I have failed every year. This year, both my son and I have had to go to the ER, and it is only January. It looks like were in for another exciting year. I learned that the position and size of the back of your skull can cause or influence all kinds of neurodegenerative diseases, like multiple sclerosis, so I get to see a neurosurgeon next week, which should be exciting.?. Enough of the crazy medical that doesn’t even make sense to my doctor’s. If the contents of the above paragraph demonstrate anything it is that a lot of our health concerns are out of our control. However, there are many things we can do, and should do that can make a difference. The flu season is in full force and doctor’s offices, hospitals and ER’s...
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Our Year in Review

In honor of the New Year, I would like to look back at our past year and the many lessons and experiences we have had. Hopefully then I will have a better plan for what I want to keep, and what I want to change this year. I have contemplated this post for days, and have not found a good way to state what has happened, nor an elegant way to explain the many lessons and blessings that we have received. I have also experienced great anxiety about how others may read and possibly judge me and my family. So, my dear readers, please read this with understanding and compassion. We are not perfect. Our family has struggled greatly, and we have endured much that I never thought possible to survive. Fortunately I have, my family is intact, and we are looking forward to a much brighter and happier year...
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