Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Adrenal Fatigue and food supplements

I guess I am now really at the "brille en pille" (spectacles and medication) stage of my life.  I am also at a stage of my life that I am "gatvol" (fed up) with chronic muscle spasms and always feeling tired;-)

My darling sister Ansie, phoned me a week or so ago and told me to read an article on "Adrenal Fatigue" that was published a few months ago in the Natural Medicine magazine.  So I read it...and decided to try get out of the cycle that my life has been in since 2003 when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

The adrenal fatigue syndrome develops when there is a deficiency in the functioning of the adrenal glands.  This occurs when the amount of stress experienced by an individual exceeds his or her body's capacity to compensate and recover from that stress.  Healthy adrenal glands secrete tiny precise and balanced amounts of steroid hormones.  They are very responsive to even minute changes in the inner physical, emotional and psychological environment, and any number of factors can influence this finely tuned balance.  In other words, too much physical, emotional, environmental and psychological stress can tire out your adrenals, causing them to produce less adrenal hormones, particularly cortisol.  People suffering from adrenal fatigue often look and act normally and may not display any obvious signs of physical illness, yet they are not well and live with a general sense of unwellness and 'grey' feelings.

A number of conditions have been linked to low adrenal function.  These include low blood sugar, allergies, arthritic pain and decreased immune response.  Decreased adrenal function also has an influence on one's mental state, increasing the tendency to irrational fears, anxiety, depression, confusion, low concentration and memory levels and insomnia. In more severe cases conditions such as respiratory infections, allergies, rhinitis, asthma, frequent colds, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, adult-onset diabetes and auto-immune diseases can occur.  Difficulty getting up in the morning, or waking up still feeling exhausted. (now I have an excuse:-)  Reading all this made me remember something else...the year I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia was also the year I started the age of 42...some gals that age still have babies.

Then follows a lengthy list of what herbal and nutritional medicines help with normalisation of the adrenals.  So on Tuesday morning I walked into our local Dischem armed with this long list. I don't believe in drinking pills of any kind so my jaw dropped when I saw that food supplements took up such a large space in the store.  So there I was... searching for the different food supplements on my list...only to find further down the row that there is products that combine many of the different supplements.  A young lady from the store kept asking me whether she could help...and I was wondering whether she could not see that I enjoyed struggling on my own;-) Anyhoo....a hour later I left the store with my HUGE bag of supplements...I probably won't need food after this.

So we shall see...and I will keep you updated on whether this is all just a bag of wind...or whether it works, and whether damage to the adrenals can be reversed. I would love to live a life without pain and sleep so soundly that I can actually dream we will give this a try. 


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Our weekend in pictures

This weekend was Dewan's first birthday party....and as you can guess...Kobus jr. decided that his mom's house is the perfect party venue.  Having my soon to be ex-DIL as a guest was a tad stressful.
Daddy with the birthday boy and Leane.
Yup...perfect party venue:-)
 Saturday was perfect...sunny with no wind...thank heavens...what would I have done with all these people if it rained.
Little Megan adopted me as her "ouma".
Little Lukas with his little friend.  He was the perfect gentleman, even sharing his golf balls:)
Wynand (middle), Kobus jr (right) and a friend.
Now...just in case you didn't believe me when I said my DH is always fooling the odd balloon:-)
Lukas and Leane...ready to take off.
The kids found a way to get wet.
This is my favorite photo of the weekend.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A delightful read

I managed to read three books during our recent break...but this one was, by far, the most delightful read that I have had in a very long time.  I snorted, I giggled and laughed so hard that my stomach hurt and tears streamed down my face.  What makes it even better, is that this is the life story of the writer.

Without giving away too much, the story centers around Annica (the writer), a young mother in the sixties in South Africa.  She is married to a much older man, an inventor always on the edge of making a breakthrough, who unexpectedly hits financial ruin.  His solution to this is to rent a ‘pondokkie’ in the country, curb their spending and recover from his disaster.

Her new home is set on a 2.5 acre plot of khakibos and blackjacks.  She has to adjust to a typical ‘farming’ way of life – a borehole that was sabotaged by a previous tenant, a windmill and no inside ablutions.   No electricity or running water. If they needed to "go" they did so with a spade whilst hiding in the khakibos.  The joys of an Aga (wood-fired)  stove....and all this in the middle of the winter. She makes a decision that she will tame this piece of ground, have a garden and a lawn...and goes to astonishing lengths to make a compost heap.

The characters she encounters along her journey are what make the book as delightful as it is. It starts with her gay friend,  May, her very forward ‘maid’ and closest friend.  The black sangoma who lives next door. The Jewish pig farmer, the Pom neighbour and the Indian shop owner.

I think one of the reasons I so enjoyed this book is because to an extend I can still recall the mid 60's when I was a 6 year old. Her vivid description of Eloff Street in Johannesburg and all the stores of that time, brings everything to life. She has a way of drawing you into her story and you can taste, smell and see exactly what she is talking about. A lot of delicious Afrikaans words and phrases are used...and I again realised that there is just no words to describe or translate some of our choice Afrikaans words. This is a book I could not put down once I started reading, and a book I enjoyed up to the last page.  I cannot wait to buy the sequel.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Photos of our week in Plett...

Thank you for your comments on yesterday's blog.  With the help of Cataflam and a good massage the pain monster has been pushed back below the surface for the time being.  Our regular doctor is going to try and get me an earlier appointment with the rheumatologist.  I have to admit that this is all my own I am very stubborn and should have seen a specialist a long, long time ago.  Anyway....

The day before we left for Plettenberg Bay, we celebrated Wynand's 28th birthday.  I am so proud to be mom to this wonderful young man.  There is still no improvement in his vision and Nadia and DH drives him where he needs to be.  He has been back to work now for two weeks and is trying his best to go on with his life, just as before.

Wynand and Nadia....still sooooo in love:-)
This photo of the Plett bay was taken from the deck of the Rod and Reel restaurant.
I can never get enough of the privileged to live in a coastal town. Photo taken at Keurbooms.
One of the beaches in Keurboom Strand.
Lazing and reading on the lawn in from of the hotel.
I have a very funny man...have threatened to do a scrapping layout of all the pics in which he is playing the fool.
Me....feeding the elephants...messy affair!
It was a wonderful experiencing getting so close to these huge animals and interacting with them.  Although, all they were interested in was whether you have more food for them:)
One of the babies having a bath.
The most beautiful sunsets....I wish I was a painter...
...and when we got home, our little treasures were waiting for us.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What a pain....

I have shared before that I have  had fibromyalgia since 2003.  (Fibromyalgia is a painful, complex and perplexing medical condition. It is painful because it is characterized by stiffness and tender points that occur in the muscle areas of the hips, shoulders, neck, and spine. It is complex because, in addition to causing general and specific pain, its symptoms include fatigue, difficulties with sleep, anxiety, and stomach related (gastrointestinal) problems.)  It is not just a pain in the is a pain all over;-).  Now me, being a tough lady...really look at my muscles... I have been happy to just have the symptoms treated. Only sissies go to doctors...yes?    My pain threshold is pretty high so it must really be VERY bad before I see a doctor.  Many times I just try to exercise it is probably the good old endorphins that suppress the pain. 

This morning is pretty bad...I have such a severe muscle spasm between my shoulder blades that turning my head is not even an option, and breathing is painful.  So I decided ENOUGH...and phoned the rooms of the only rheumatologist in the Eastern Cape.....and guess what?  She can see me on 27 October.  Anyone out there that want to try a new career?...this seems to be it!  DH to me:  "I told you a long time ago to go to a specialist, you are so stubborn."  Guess hindsight is always 20/20. So it is on to plan no appointment with a physio...Kirsty... wish you were HERE.

Off to try and get some reliefMassage Therapist

Monday, April 19, 2010

Things my mother taught me...

Monday...Monday!!!! After a week away, I have a feeling today is going to be a tough one;-)  I will post pic's of our week away tomorrow...bit snowed under right just something to make you smile today.

1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE "If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."
2. My mother taught me RELIGION. "You better pray that will come out of the carpet."
3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL. "If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"
4. My mother taught me LOGIC. "Because I said so, that's why."
5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC. 'If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."
6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT. "Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."
7. My mother taught me IRONY. "Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."
8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS. "Shut your mouth and eat your supper."
9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM. "Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!" 10. My mother taught me about STAMINA. "You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."
11. My mother taught me about WEATHER. "This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."
12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY. "If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"
13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE. "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."
14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION. "Stop acting like your father!"
15. My mother taught me about ENVY. "There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."
16. My mother ! taught me about ANTICIPATION. "Just wait until we get home."
17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING. "You are going to get it when you get home!"
18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE. "If you don't stop crossing your eyes, They are going to freeze that way."
19. My mother taught me ESP. "Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"
20. My mother taught me HUMOUR. "When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."
21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT. "If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."
22. My mother taught me GENETICS. "You're just like your father."
23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS. "Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"
24. My mother taught me WISDOM. "When you get to be my age, you'll understand."
25. And my favourite: my mother taught me about JUSTICE. "One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!"

Found on Bert Christiansen's site...looks like most of us had wise mom's like this:-)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Childhood memories

Yesterday morning we walked into the restaurant at Look Out point in Plettenberg Bay and bumped into my cousin, Elizabeth that works there.  Strange how something small can spark memories that somehow lay forgotten for years.  Seeing Elizabeth again brought back vivid and happy memories of holidays spent in Jeffreys Bay with them.  As we sat on the deck I recounted these memories to DH and mentioned that I want to still write my Uncle Danie and Aunt Doreen a letter to tell them what an impact these happy times in their home had on my life.  They lived across the road from the main beach.  In those days....mid 70's Jeffreys Bay was still a sleepy hollow. 

I think I told you before that I am one of six children and the oldest of five girls.  My mother used to tell us that my gran was very strict, no playing in the house or sitting on beds were allowed...which meant that they spent most of their time playing at the neighbours where the rules were more relaxed.  We in turn grew up in a home where we were allowed to play in the house but furniture had to be Uncle Danie's house the kids were permitted anything...putting your feet up on the lounge suite and even jumping on beds were ok!  Now you will understand why it was such fun to spend our time there. Uncle Danie and Aunt Doreen had huge hearts and their doors were always open to allow another child, or two or three into their home for the holidays.

I remember long days playing on the beach, body surfing and sifting through mounds of sea shells....and we were picky with the shells, only the most perfect and beautiful and rarest went home with us.  It was days of freedom and safety and running wild. My uncle had two fishing boats called Geelbek and Geelstert and in the late afternoons we were always on the lookout to see when they "come in".  We would all rush down to the beach and watch the fishermen pull the boats high up on the beach with ropes and some timber logs under it's bottoms.  Then Uncle Danie would come and weigh in each fisherman's catch of the day.  I remember us walking to the community hall in the evening to watch a movie and feeling totally safe to walk back home after 11 at night.  I remember my first "holiday romance" in 1975, and my first ever Choc Nut Sundae at the Wimpy on the beachfront.

Sometimes these happy memories remind me how important it is to write down our stories so that one day our children can learn more about "life as we knew it."

Friday, April 9, 2010

We're off... Plettenberg Bay for our bi-annual time share week at the Beacon Island Hotel.
After all the happenings in our precious family...we are really looking forward to this break....of doing absolutely nothing....reading...catching up on lost sleep.....and eating.  I am sure however, that DH will manage to sneak in a round or two of golf, but I am happy with that:)

I only have two things that I really want to do this time around.  That is walking with the elephants at the Knysna Elephant sanctuary.....
...and if the weather is good....going to Tsitsikama Adventures to zipline over the waterfalls.

If and when boredom hits me...I will upload pics of our week...that is if anything  happens that I can photograph and blog about.  


Thursday, April 8, 2010

A little bit of frivolousness....

Yesterday Wynand and I sat in the rooms of the eye specialist for 3 and a half hours...just to have a "field of vision" test done and he must do a report to the neurosurgeon on his findings.  After all that and with the whole past few months in mind...please allow me a bit of frivolity okay?

I hate shopping especially on my own...and I think I have told you that a kazillion times...but yesterday I went shopping and found a few gems. So now it is time to show and tellShopping spree.

Shayne...I might just catch on to your addiction if I can find more of these pretty will be able to call me a "bag lady".

 Just have a look at that exquisite bead work....I am in love people!  To top it all it is huge and my handbag organizer fits perfectly.
I have never been able to find a white bag I liked, until now.
Turquoise is my fave colour, so this bead work is an added bonus. Also big enough to fit the bag organizer.
I just love the bright jewel colours for the winter....and I told you turquoise is my fave colour right?
This pretty knit sits beautifully snug...and is so I can't wait for the cooler weather:)

On Monday I am proud to tell you....I made an entire mini album.  I will show you the front cover of it today...and once I decided who I am going to give it to, I will add the pics and show you the pages of the completed album.   It is beautiful...even if I have to say so myself:)  The Album is a Dee Walker designed album.  I have had to eat my word that I don't like card making and mini albums...but it tasted pretty sweet:)
What do you think?

Monday, April 5, 2010

A quiet Holy weekend

We have had a very quiet weekend.  Kobus Jr. left for Oudtshoorn and the KKNK on Friday.  Friday we celebrated Easter Friday and then went for a long walk on the beach at Sardinia Bay. It was the perfect day, bright blue skies and NO WIND (unusual for our windy city).  I just love this unspoiled beach that still allows you to bring your dogs or go for a horse ride on the beach.  The only thing is... you get a lot of exercise, nature keeps the dunes shifting and the dune has now totally blocked off the road to the beach parking area. To get to the beach you have to climb a steep dune...and the going down is easy...but coming back is a very different story:)
Just beautiful
We sat for a long time just staring at the sea and enjoy the warmth of the sun on our bodies...then we got the courage up to climb down the dune.
The old woman and the sea:)
Some horse riders.
At the moment we have a visiting British lady called Jean Neill, who was cured from spinal problems and 25 years in a wheelchair.  She has a healing ministry and on Friday a team of 20 people met with her to pray for Wynand.  The wonderful thing was that the prophetic words spoken over him was confirmation of what was spoken earlier this year.  It was an incredibly uplifting time for Wynand and Nadia and they came away strengthened in their walk with the Lord.

On Saturday we drove through to Jeffreys Bay and had lunch there.  Wynand shared his heart with us and it deeply moved us.  He said that if it meant that the Lord had to take his vision away so that he could see Him clearly, it would be worth while.  He believes that once he sees the Lord clearly his vision would be restored. His feelings are that the things that was so important to him, cellphone, computer and all the things you do that you need your eyes for, these things have been taken away from his so that he can focus on the Lord.  He spoke of how he experienced just how much the Lord loves him, how everyday he learns to walk closer to the Lord.  He totally believes that the Lord is in control and that he will remain in Him, trusting Him and believing in His promises.    He has made peace with his situation, the Lord must have his will in his life.

Yesterday's piece in My Utmost just fit in perfectly.  "Have we been scattered and have we left Jesus alone by not seeing His providential care for us?  Do we not see God at work in our circumstances?  Dark times are allowed and come to us through the sovereignty of God.  Are we prepared to let God do what He wants with us? Are we prepared to be separated from the outward, evident blessings of God?  Until Jesus Christ is truly our Lord, we each have goals of our own which we serve.  Our faith is real, but it is not yet permanent.  And God is never in a hurry.  If w4e are willing to wait, we will see God pointing out that we have been interested only in His blessings, instead of in God Himself. John 16:33" of good cheer, I have overcome the world."  If we are not focused on Him we will be "scattered into emptiness".  Let God use the darkness to direct us.  Be patient and wait on the Lord.  When we are taken into the abyss of trouble and tumult, look for God's hand and respond accordingly.  Don't be anxious or in a hurry.  This is most likely a growing process.