It’s Tuesday January 30th. Tomorrow is Elsa’s one month birthday, and I feel the concern about her living (or not) washing off of me. She is a normal calf in all ways barring her cleft palate. Scratch that… well, maybe not exactly normal. She plays with the dogs, loves human attention, and follows me around like a toddler when I’m outside. Her feeding schedule is now on official every 8 hours (whew!). In my book, that makes her better than normal, right?
As in all other aspects of my life, when the major stress is over, that’s usually when my body lets down its guard and my immune system fails me. No better time for that than smack dab in the middle of flu season. I have been praying that my body does not succumb. It’s particularly nasty this year if you haven’t heard. In our area of Texas alone, entire school districts have been shut down for days at a time, and the lingering effects include a hacking barky cough that lasts for weeks on end. I’ve got no time for that nonsense.
Last Friday evening, Charlie wanted to go see the movie 12 Strong (a fantastic patriot inspired true story) after work and chores. As we were headed home, he said “I think I need an Inner Defense“. UGH!!!! We had just shared a bottle of water throughout the movie. By Saturday morning, it was clear that my sweet husband had fallen to the flu, and I knew I was (and still am) in the direct line of fire.
This is the moment that I take no prisoners when it comes time to caring for myself, and I immediately went in to full throttle defense mode. We don’t do Tamiflu or any other pharmaceutical ‘remedies’ around here unless an emergency warrants it (although I would personally never touch Tamiflu), and my farm guy is already on the mend. I imagine that he will be 100% again before the week is out.
I am still standing strong, but my body has given me clues that if I let my guard down, the situation will likely escalate. I know many of you are worried about this season of illness, but I’m here to tell you that the best offense is a great defense…… Here is what I am doing (in addition to prayer):
Y'all, I went for about 2 weeks with only taking catnaps in early January…. stressing about Elsa, and still working at the pharmacy in a flu ridden environment. Knock on wood….. I am still standing strong.
My goal is and always will be to empower people to take charge of their own health. You alone are the only one who can read your body’s signs and know what it feels like when you are about to be knocked down a notch or two in the wellness department. It is in that moment that you act quickly. The first line of defense is to not fall below that wellness line!
Hugs and love, liz
If you’d like to learn more about these products as well as other holistic wellness options, please message me.
……. stands a man who supports me in all that I do. My farm guy and I have been married for 25+ years, and he truly never ceases to amaze me with his support, care, and love.
I’m not gonna lie, these past three weeks have pushed me to the limit and have brought out the cranky side of me. I feel like lack of sleep has called out my evil twin. Charlie has been awesome despite all this, and has picked up where I’ve had to leave off to keep Elsa fed and cared for. (She is doing INCREDIBLE by the way… and feedings are now spread to every 5 hours!)
Charlie learned early on that my love language is service. We make a great team…. I say something like, “I wish I had a ______________” (this blank usually requires power tools to complete), and the next thing you know, he’s out there building it! No joke. My dad was a handy guy, and I married an equally handy one. My guy is gifted beyond measure and can visualize something and then the next thing you know, it’s built. He is a man’s man, and he is also a tenderhearted sweet soul that God gifted me.
Last year, he encouraged me to step out and pursue a passion that I’ve been carrying in my heart. He did this verbally, and then backed that encouragement by physically stepping in and being present when I was absent. That is no small feat when it entails caring for 60+ animals, managing farm chores, being an elder at our church, AND holding down a 50+hr per week job that is a 2+hr round trip commute each day. He sees value in what I am passionate about, and he supports me 100%. This is a gift beyond measure, and he does it without complaint.
Last week, I pretty much hit my stress limit. I’ve got alot going on here…. at times, I wonder if I’ve bitten off more than I can chew (especially when you throw Elsa’s care into the mix). In some ways, I feel like I’ve gone back to college…. but these things I’m doing are part of a much bigger vision that God has on my heart, and I have a sense of urgency in completing them. People are hurting (physically and emotionally) and feel it. It is driving me to learn how to help them find healthier ways to heal (instead of being ‘band-aided’ by meds).
This is a season, and it won’t be forever, but it’s a busy time right now, especially with Elsa’s needs. (I only have words of admiration for you moms of special needs human babies….YOU are amazing if someone did not tell you that today!)
My ‘to do’ list of farm chores is steadily falling further behind. For having a working farm, I’d say we run a pretty tight ship around here. We both like ‘neat and tidy’, and my efforts with Elsa mean that other duties have fallen to the wayside. We’ve recently hired a young man to help us for a few hours a week…. I think you might have heard us both audibly sigh in relief.
We are in the process of converting our barn apartment into a home office to house ‘my vision’ that has become ‘our vision’. Charlie has been working tirelessly to get the physical upgrades done, and it is looking awesome! I am the caulker and painter in the family, and both of those duties have fallen to the side. He knew that was stressing me out (falling behind on my end of the work project), so he quietly arranged for a dear friend who owns a commercial painting company to come out and do what I have not had time to complete, and then surprised me with it. If you want to see a grown woman cry, that was it…. a blessing beyond measure.
He even surprised me with my dream of a purple door on ‘The Dairy Palace’. The whole palace (another ‘wish’ that became a reality) isn’t quite done yet (there is a little more to complete), but I love the whimsical pop of color!
I’m a tired farmgirl. It’s a passing season, and I’ve got a farm guy who is my favorite person in the world, my best friend, and greatest cheerleader. It is a blessed woman indeed who has a man such as mine. (And by the way, our animals are blessed too, because his heart is big enough for all of us).
(I’ll post on Elsa update a bit later, but I needed to get these thoughts out of my head first!)
Many many sermons ago, our pastor talked about the movie, The Matrix. I’ve never seen it…. not a huge fan of science fiction…..but the allegory intrigued me. Hollywood does tend to mirror real life, even in science fiction.
Lately, I’ve heard the term ‘Red Pilled‘ bandied around. It didn’t even occur to me that this phraseology was again a nod in reference to The Matrix. Silly me, I thought it meant which side of the political aisle you prefer! (Don’t leave…. I’m not going to talk politics. That’s not my ‘thing’.) I must have seen the phrase more than a handful of times before I felt compelled to look it up.
Red pill vs Blue pill…… it’s about choices. Nothing more.
The Blue Pill, by my estimation, is for those who are passive, and content with their lot in life. They prefer to be spoon fed information and lifestyles. Perhaps, they don’t like what they are being fed. They may grumble a bit, but they eat it anyway and do not look elsewhere for fodder. That puts the holder(s) of the spoon in a tremendous position of power, and fiction, untruths or half truths may look like fact. The rose colored glasses are, in fact, blue lenses.
The Red Pill is for the inquisitive. It’s definitely easier to be spoon fed than it is go out and forage for your own food (or grow your own garden & milk your own cow). The Matrix makes mention of going down the rabbit hole when you take the Red Pill. Lots of twists and turns that reveal important (and previously hidden) information along the way. The hand(s) that feeds the Blue Pilled peeps does not generally smile upon those of us who have become independent foragers of information. Their power is lost on us.
Ya’ll, I may get some flack for writing this…… but ‘the system’ that educates our healthcare professionals (myself included) AND the insurance companies that dictate how healthcare is to be provided are holding the spoon. We healthcare providers were indoctrinated and taught that the way of the Blue Pill was good. We were then taught how to administer the Blue Pill to others. They (I’m removing myself, because I now know better) know no differently… so don’t get mad at them. They believe 100% what they were taught, and if questions arise…. well…. return to the hand(s) that holds the spoon for answers. Remember tho… the hand that holds the spoon has the power to filter what you are fed.
You can take the Blue Pills all your life, but you can only take the Red Pill once. You have to look long and hard to find a good medical professional who is willing to look at and recommend all aspects of health and well care. I’m starting to see more functional medicine doctors…. praise God…. who have taken a stand and have Red Pilled themselves. They understand that you can’t just pharmaceutically treat symptoms of a body system dysfunction…. you have to address the core issue at hand or healing will never occur. They are open to recommending nutrition, holistic care methods, and wellness options. They only use medication as a last resort.
Each one of us has a choice. I took my Red Pill (before I even knew of such a thing) about 15 years ago. It’s the reason we drink raw milk , garden, avoid toxins (ie: standard household chemicals, processed food, toxin laden skincare products), manage our stress and sleep holistically, and make an effort to be physically fit. Like many people who have adopted the Red Pill mentality, my hand was forced when a couple of health conditions demanded that I make a decision on which pill to take.
Ignorance may provide short term bliss, but it will cost you plenty in the long term. Those of us who have taken the Red Pill stand to spend 16X less on healthcare than those who choose to take the Blue Pill….. Blue Pilled people are big business in the health care industry….. BIG (16X) Business. No wonder they feed you so well.
If you are like me and waited until a health situation surfaced, do not be frustrated…. you can still take the Red Pill. Better late than never!
If life seem to be going really well for you, but your intuition has kicked in and your gut tells you that you need to learn more, do more, and be more responsible for you and your family’s health….. let me symbolically hand a Red Pill to you (it’s free)….. message me, and I’ll help you unwind the fiction from fact and half truths.
The truth can be hard to stomach, but it can also set you free.
Would you like some kombucha to wash that Red Pill down?
Hugs and Love, liz
PS: The internet is a wonderful thing. If I learned nothing else in college and in pharmacy school, it’s the power of research. Two incredible sources to find accurate information and studies include:
Pubmed.gov ( a repository of all studies from all over the world)
Google.scholar (another repository of information)
My world has come to a standstill…..at least it feels that way. I take my hat off to all those mamas who have (human) babies. The 24/7 is real….. even more real when you’ve got one with a health problem.
Elsa’s entry into the world, while received happily by us has been fraught with issues. The last two days, we’ve been unraveling the problem(s) that have plagued her.
Once we found out she had pneumonia, we upped our game. Frankly, the vet, rather gently attempted to talk me out of saving her, simply by telling me her chances of survival were slim. That news came Wednesday. Today is Friday, and baby girl is doing better. She has been on a round of two antibiotics, and spent about 48 hours in our bathtub. Because we wanted to do everything we could to support proper lung function and boost her immune system, we’ve been diffusing therapeutic grade Frankincense, Copaiba, and Lemon around the clock. Our bathroom became an aroma tent for her. Two days of tube feeding…. and then we tried to teach her to nurse again, with very little success. We were all disappointed. Honey, (her mama) was THRILLED to have her back this morning after two days of absence. Honey’s mourning was heart wrenching. She went into a depressed mood, and didn’t even call for her baby. It was as if she knew she was dead. This picture isn’t so great, but neither one of them would stand still for a photo op.
Tube feeding is time consuming, but so is keeping a calf in the house….Keeping the house clean is a chore all it’s own. I’ve done load after load of towels and blankets. Little girl has proven that both her bladder and her bowels are functioning… this is GREAT news, as it means her organs are working. Her blood oxygen saturation level yesterday afternoon confirmed that….. it had risen to 95%. Because she is so tiny, she needs food every 2-3 hours. Feed. Clean. Repeat.
Honey, Elsa’s mama, can’t be forgotten in all of this…. she has a bag full of milk at any given time, and has pined for her baby. Throughout all of this, Honey has been a trooper. She is young, and has never been milked before…. so, on top of missing her baby, she had a crash course in getting to know me intimately while I milked. You can’t just walk up and start milking a cow. It actually takes time, trust, and a learning curve on the cow’s part. So this… milking….. has to also be added into the equation. Thankfully, because of scheduling at work, I was given a window of 7 days in a row off (Thank you Jesus!)…. but by next Wednesday, I’ll have to come up with a longer term plan.
This brings me to Elsa’s Problem #4: Last night in the wee hours of the morning as I was placing the tube down her throat for yet another feeding, I felt something odd on the roof of her mouth. No wonder the poor thing can’t suckle well…… she has a cleft palate! After feeding her, I promptly did a little research…. what are our options?…..are we looking at surgery, is death the only option…. what’s next? Surprisingly, I found a small group of farmers and ranchers who have successfully raised cleft palate calves. It appears that if you can get past the initial suckling problems (ie: get creative with feeding), they can actually grow up and thrive. I also found that this particular congenital defect is almost always due to ingesting a plant in the lupine family during a certain time of pregnancy. You know I’m going to be stalking those fields in the spring with the intent of destroying that offending plant.
Today is Friday. Technically, she should be dead by now. I won’t say she’s thriving, but I do believe she is at least 85% better than she was on Wednesday. But the “window”, according to the vet, is still 3 days away.
Y'all keep praying for her. She is a cutie, and she’s worth fighting for!
Hugs and love, Liz
T’was the night before New Year’s and all thru the barn,
Not a creature was stirring…….’cause it was dang cold on the farm.
The critters were nestled all snug in their beds,
With visions of warm spring days dancing in their heads.
With Charlie in his long johns and I in my leggings…..
We too bedded down for a year’s calm ending.
The morning came quickly, and someone was missing,
…. A cow named Honey had left without sleeping.
A package she left us half frozen we found…
A little calf so cold on the hard winter ground.
Shivering mightily, she lay there so weak…..
We feared our new year would begin with a valley, not a peak.
Spotted and tiny the little girl lay,
We towel dried & wrapped her in a blanket and prayed.
The temperature kept dropping, a crisis at hand,
So we brought her inside by the fire to mend.
A blanket, a fire, Frank & Myrrh on the (belly) button….
This baby girl was gonna grow up to be somethin’!
Slowly she warmed and began to stir,
And with a small ‘mooo’ we knew the coast was clear.
Two hours later she returned to her Mama,
Who was pacing the stall, clearly glad to be done with the drama.
And so this morning now that she’s well, We’d like to introduce
The star of the day….. Elsa’s her name (just like in “Frozen” they say).
Happy New Year from us…. Honey and Elsa too,
Although in cow language… you might have just heard ‘Moo’!
We hope your 2018 is filled with HEALTH, Happiness, and Prosperity! Thank you for reading my first year of blogging. You are appreciated!
Hey there....thanks for stopping by! This is me (Liz James)... an eclectic mixture of holistic (and organic) farmgirl meets pharmacist. It's a synergy that works well as I speak truths and dissect fact from fiction. If you're looking for healthier living options, you've come to the right place!