Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Story: Blind Ambition

This is a story that I wrote that I want to share with you all. I think it has a good message that I wanted to include when I was writing it. Enjoy everybody!

Carrie gazed out over the sea as far as her eyes could take her. Watching the calm, rippling waves lap against the shore and the laughter among families, she couldn’t help but long for the sensation of love, joy, and fellowship she felt so long ago.

A warm breeze fluttered through her dirty blonde hair, exposing her captivating crystal eyes as she spread out on her beach towel. Anybody who ever looked into those blue eyes would say that you feel like you’re looking deep inside her soul; just like looking into an ice cube and seeing straight through it.

Almost every day, Carrie Buick would relax on the Florida beach marveling over what the next step will be. She was 22, had graduated college a couple months earlier, and was searching for a fitted career. Job searching was not one of her strengths, especially since she had no idea what to pursue.

She headed toward the Farmer’s Market. Since her parents had died when she was 10, “Mr. Eddie”, a fruit vendor, had taken Carrie in as his own. Eddie Montessori had been around ever since she could remember. Mary and John Buick, her parents, were his first loyal customers from the very beginning and over the years they became extremely close. He had one son who chose to stay with his mother after their divorce
“There you are!” Eddie exclaimed as she meandered through the crowd, toward his stand.
“How did you know it was me?”

Recently the doctors declared Eddie as legally blind, seeing only shadows. He was 82, so it was predicted to happen sometime since his health was in such bad shape. Nothing stopped him from doing his job; even going blind. The loyalty and support of his old customers kept him going every day and Carrie admired him for that.

“I could smell your,” he paused to sniff the air, “coconut sunscreen from a mile away!”

Giggling, she bit into a granny smith apple and hopped into a camping chair. Eddie was the only person in the world who could make her laugh. That’s why she loved him.

“How come you’ve lost so much and still are so happy?” She wondered, her eyes focused on his every move.

“Because, I have so much through what I’ve lost.” He smiled at her, through his sightless eyes enjoying the damp, salty airflow through his silver hair.

“Oh, you’re no help these days!” She packed up the stuff and grabbed her purse, “Well I better get back to my apartment. I’ll wait until Diana comes.”

Diana owned her own assisted living business and helped Eddie with basically anything. She offered to sell for him at the Farmer’s Market, but he refused to give it all up.

Once Diana arrived, Carrie turned to leave. Patting his soft, wrinkled hands she said, “See you tomorrow morning, my friend!”

Although Eddie was aged, he could still remember everything from the constant banter of his customers and from Carrie’s conversations with him every day. So he yelled back with his raspy voice, “No, you won’t! Remember? You have that newspaper job interview!”
“Oh, right! Thanks Mr. Eddie! See you in a couple days!”

The sunshine disappeared Monday morning and was replaced with a somber, mournful scene. The clouds filled the sky; you could barely see even a streak of sunlight. _Why is today so tranquil if I have such good news? The sky should be congratulating me with some sun._ Carrie thought as she sprinted the last block to the Farmer’s Market. She just couldn’t wait to tell Mr. Eddie the phenomenal news that she received a phone call that morning announcing she could take the newspaper position; what was waiting for her there was a great surprise. Eddie was not there! He had NEVER missed a day in Carrie’s memory. Why now? Her excited, dazzling eyes now transformed into anxious, restless ones as she searched the area. She knew what she had to do.

Dashing to her car, any outsider could clearly see the tense in her shoulders. Her trench coat was trailing behind her, a tear trickled down her cheek, and she started to cry. _Why did this have to happen? Oh, please don’t let it be what I think it is. Please don’t die on me_. Frantic now, she drove like a maniac to the Memorial Hospital.

“Ma’am,” a woman called to Carrie at the front desk of the hospital, “Eddie Montessori is on the third floor. Are you family?”

“Practically, may I see him?”

Seeing the urgency in Carrie’s eyes, the woman escorted her to the third floor. Diana was sitting next to the hospital bed, rubbing Eddie’s hands when Carrie stepped in the room.

“He’s had a stroke. The doctors said he won’t last long.” Diana looked guilty and ashamed.

With that, Carrie had to get away to the beach like always. She drove her silver Volvo as fast as it could go. When she finally arrived to the beach, she saw that the waves thrashed angrily about the ocean and the coast was completely deserted. It was a depressing setting which made her heart ache even more. Burying her feet under the grains of sand, Carrie placed her head on her knees and sobbed her heart out.

Eddie and Carrie’s last conversation was all a blur to her, but eventually it swept over her and something lit up inside her like a light bulb. A flashback of their last conversation ran through her mind. “How come you’ve lost so much and still are so happy?” She had said on that perfect Saturday morning. “Because. I have so much through what I’ve lost.” Eddie had answered. It was so clear now; his answer made perfect sense. He wouldn’t have Diana if he weren’t blind, he probably wouldn’t be a fruit vendor if he had his son to care for, and he wouldn’t have Carrie if John and Mary Buick hadn’t gotten in a car accident. Although she hated to admit it, Carrie knew that statement was true in every way.

Eddie passed away that morning and Carrie turned down the newspaper opportunity to run his fruit stand. Although it took her so long to figure it out, Carrie found herself. She found her new love and she appreciated what she had through all that she had lost.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Beauty in the Desert

I remember the very first day that I found out that we were leaving our house, and everything we owned due to a toxic mold exposure. Little did I know that my family and I were later going to be leaving Colorado completely, losing all of our connections and friends, and moving to a whole other state. It was a very dark time in my life. Everything was turning so chaotic and confusing. Moving here was such a change, and we weren't fully aware of what we had gotten ourselves into, or of how sick we really were.

At first, Arizona was gray and somber compared to the lives that we had built for ourselves back at home. It was a perfect example of what our lives were like, and seemed that nobody was the same person that they once were.. We were coping the best we could, coming from such a trauma, with supplements and such, but that wasn't enough for our situation.

Little by little, after we started to recover, Arizona started to feel more and more lively and colorful, in a very desert-like way. We ("we" meaning my mom, because she did all the research ) learned new things about ways to recover, and it took us about 1 year and 1/2 to get to we are today.

One day I went on a hike with some of the family, and, suddenly, in the middle of all of the cacti and desert brush I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a beautiful flower blooming from a bush. I was astonished that in the center of unappealing desert, was this one little beauty that made all the difference, and I was even more surprised to find more.

That is exactly what is happening through this road that we're on. In the midst of all of the hard times, there are so many good things that come out of it like a flower in the middle of a desert.

The bible says that there is a season for everything, and this is our season for healing; now that I look back, I can see so many beauties about the most difficult times of my life, just like beauty in the desert.

Monday, August 30, 2010

1 Month on a Diet

Throughout this whole experience, my family has tried several new things to make the healing process a little faster. In this past month, I would say we took the biggest step by starting a brand new GAPS diet that heals the gut lining, restores the correct balance of intestinal bacteria, and relieves the body of toxins, which helps to resolve existing imbalance and prevents further damage.

Week 1:

Ever since I can remember, when someone was ill in my house chicken soup was always the #1 rejuvenating food that could help them restore their health. Well, as it turns out the main food on GAPS is of course homemade soup, made from natural homemade bone broth that is full of nutrients and minerals.

Our first day with 11 people on the diet was not pretty. We started off with a 24 hour soup fast, which had been so detoxifying that I had a low blood sugar of 56, was unable to walk without getting dizzy or lightheaded, and highly nauseated. As the day passed, we longed for some solid food, but somehow we made it through.

The next day I was still experiencing the same results, but I added in boiled meats and refused to eat any more soup because of my strong reaction. We decided that for me, our goal would be to build up to three bowls of soup a day.

Week 2:

The first week went by slowly, and by the second week, after some more detox, I was eating three bowls of pureed soup a day with still some effects afterwards. Everybody was at different stages in the diet. For some, they jumped right into raw vegetables and other foods, for others they are at the stage where only soup, probiotic foods, and boiled meats are allowed, like me.

It was hard to concentrate when our tutor came to the house to teach us. Often, I was too weak and had to go rest.

The Final Weeks:

After the first two weeks ended, the detoxing symptoms began to become less severe. Still unable to move forward to the next stages, I am eating three bowls of pureed soup a day with boiled meats and steamed veggies.

For my younger brothers, I am their personal chef at lunch and cook them meals like vegetable stir fry and many others that I occasionally take a sample knowing that I will experience some effects afterwards.

As the first month passes, I know that in time I will be healthy again, but for now I am taking it slow, one bowl of pureed soup at a time.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Finish Line

I apologize for not writing on the blog for a while, I haven't had any writing inspiration lately. But a thought came to me today that related to my family's situation and many others that are going through struggles.

When some people run a race they run faster for the trophy at the end, but for others they run all the way to the end for the satisfaction of saying , I made it, I'm done, I'm at the finish line.

So, here we are running this race, pushing along, jumping every hurdle that comes our way, but when a hurdle arrives that we can't jump, we can choose to find a way around it or give up.

For my family and I, we are still running that race, dodging those hurdles, but we haven't lost hope.

I speak to all of those people who are struggling when I say, don't ever give up, just imagine the finish line, imagine the satisfaction of making it through because you will make it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

5 Helpful Tips to Improve Your Health

People all around the world want to improve their health, but they don't know where to start. Do you start with medical prescriptions? Or maybe even a low carb diet? Who really knows? All of the information I can give is some tips to improve your health.

1. Take out all processed and refined foods/drinks

(Processed and refined foods make the body work hard, therefore causing a stress on the immune system. It is very important that you eat organic or raw foods because of the chemicals used when a refined food is processed. Canned foods, boxed foods, or any other foods/drinks that contain additives such as MSG, high fructose corn syrup, and sugar are all processed and refined foods/drinks.)

2. Exercise often

(Not only does exercise improve your weight it also improves your mood, fights off chronic diseases, helps high blood pressure, and helps move the lymphatic system. Because the lymphatic system is not connected to the heart, it depends on exercise and other things to keep it moving.Activity activates many brain chemicals, causing you to be happier and more relaxed than you were before.)

3. Drink a lot of water

(All of us need water. After all our bodies are made up of 70% water and all of our systems yearn for it to function. Water flows nutrients to all of our cells, flushes toxins from our kidneys, assists the digestive track, regulates temperature, and helps many other things in the body.)

4. Read labels carefully

(A couple days ago my mom could not make a trip to Jamba Juice to get me a smoothie. We were in Safeway and instead she got me an Odwalla juice. Happily I sat in the car sipping a little bit at a time. In the middle of the car ride my mom read the label on the back. She read that it had evaporated cane juice, a.k.a refined sugar. We learned from this experience that we must always read labels carefully although some of the ingredients are misleading.)

5. Be aware of surrounding air

(Our story speaks for itself on this tip.)

When we were going through a rough time, these tips would have helped us realize what we can do for our health and I hope that you are one step ahead of what we were.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Another Anniversary

My family has had several Anniversaries to celebrate this year. There's of course our parent's anniversary, our 1 year (since leaving the house) anniversary, and our latest anniversary, leaving the rental home that had been sprayed with pesticides.

That week was our worst nightmare...

First we moved in and LOVED the house. (It had 6 bedrooms, a pool, and a guest house)

Second we couldn't breathe after one night of staying there. (Our throats closed up because of the pesticides sprayed throughout the house)

Third we slept outside although they had sprayed pesticides out there as well. (Some of us felt safer outside because of the amount sprayed inside)

Fourth we vacated the home leaving our father to do his radio show in the guest house. (My dad had to do his radio show and claimed that he didn't react to the house)

Finally we lived off of hotels for several more weeks. (For my birthday I spent my time searching for houses to rent temporarily)

With our words we lived it all over again last night. We remebered hotel after hotel, my dad's work, and the complication of it all.

Now that another anniversary has passed, time goes on and the road to recovery gets closer to being paved.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Almost Paved

On Wednesday I celebrated my 3 week anniversary for my broken collarbone. I was running on a hiking trail and lost my footing. 3 weeks down 3 to go.

At first it seemed like another bump in the road, but after the first couple days we started thinking that the break happened for good.

"Mom, since my collarbone is broken it gives a break from my symptoms." I said expressing my thoughts as I always do.

In a way I was right. Instead of focusing on my symptoms and noting them for my next Acupuncture visit, I have something else to worry about now.

Everything is back to normal now. I am back to focusing on my symptoms and noting them for my next Acupuncture appointment.

But I'm sure this break happened for a reason as everything else in life does.

I realized something this week. When we vacated our home it was like a road fell apart and needed repaving. Now that we are coming closer to recovery the road is getting closer to pavement. We just need to wait until the road is safe to drive on.