Sunday, 16 August 2009
The first thing, as usual, was a hand over of my food diary sheets and a review of them. Jan took especial note of the symptoms I'd written down after the stomach upset I suffered after starting the slippery elm powder. I'd felt that this was more due to some kind of bug, rather than the powder - Jan thought it was a virus, due to my "feeling as weak as a kitten" afterwards. I'd run out of the digestive capsules I usually take on the Saturday I came home, after my holiday, and it followed that my digestive problems gradually increased during the time that I wasn't taking them. Conclusion for us both: I am definitely much better when taking the capsules, so that will continue. Jan had already ordered in more of said capsules for me but in a larger, more economical sized box, this time.
It was decided that the mix wasn't quite right for me, as my energy levels and moods had been up and down, leaning mostly towards down since my holiday as I've had real problems readjusting to the traffic noise and general bustle, resulting in disturbed sleep - not helped my mood at all: so whilst I needed the calming influence of some of the herbs in the mix to help lower my stress levels before the holiday they seemed to be flattening things off a bit too much afterwards. Plus, as Jan felt I was still recuperating from a virus, she thought adding in some echinacea, as an immune system boost, would be a good idea, along with a little more of the "lifting" herbs. Not too many of those though, as then there would be the risk of me becoming hyper - had enough of that when I had a bad Diet Coke and coffee caffeine habit! LOL
We then agreed it was time to start tackling the Candida gut fungus again, so Candigest capsules were added to my treatment. So my new regime is: on waking and one hour before breakfast take 2 Candigest capsules, half an hour before take 1 L-Glutamine tablet and 2 digestive capsules, just before take 6mls of the new mix medicine and after eating take a Chromium tablet; half an hour before lunch take 1 L-Glutamine and 2 dig. caps, just before 6 mls of med and a Zinc tablet during; a minimum of 2 hours after last eating/an hour before evening meal take 2 Candigest, half an hour before 1 L-Glutamine and 2 dig. caps., just before take 6mls of med and 1 Osteoguard tablet (dairy intolerant, so developed brittle nails through lack of calcium) during; just before bedtime take 1 Acidophilus capsule (to put good bacteria back into my system, replacing the bad bacteria that the Candigest kills off).
Yes, I've written it all down on a reminder list and I've stuck it on the cupboard above the area where I keep my pills and potion........ and I'm definitely going to start rattling as I walk during the next couple of months. LMAO
There's no getting away from it: it's working out expensive, as the NHS doesn't cover any of the cost BUT the increased health improvements I've gained since starting the Candida diet and treatment make the cost well worth it. Not only have I lost weight, which will benefit me long term, but my energy levels are vastly improved, my sleep patterns have improved (though still have the occasional glitch), pain from my arthritic joints has greatly decreased and - the biggest improvement of all - my moods (depression, grief, anger) have lifted greatly. Not only can I now go out of the house on my own again without it being a major issue but my self-confidence and zest for life have returned in spades - it feels like I've finally reclaimed the old me, the person I used to be in my 20's and early 30's. How can you measure all those benefits in the terms of cost/money? Thankfully my DH considers it worth the pain to his wallet as he can literally see the improvements..... though I don't think he's all that keen on the increased enthusiasm for decluttering the house and getting jobs done. ROFL
We also nattered about a few non-health related things along the way, one of them being that Jan has now realised she does need to get out of the town and out into the country and is currently looking at houses in the villages. She showed me details for two properties she was going to look at, both lovely homes with beautiful gardens - one she pointed out and said that she thought of me as soon as she saw it. It was absolutely gorgeous but, much as I'd love to leave this town at some point, am not so keen about remaining in the same area....... I always hoped that, should we ever decide to move - and be able to afford it - we'd go to live in my beloved Cumbria or, failing that, into DH's home county of Derbyshire. Basically, somewhere with lots of fresh air, peace and quiet and lots of decent walking on the doorstep. I'll leave it up to the Universe: if it's meant to be, it'll happen. Meantime I'm enjoying finally getting things sorted here. :0)
I then asked Jan to do the all important weigh in, to which she commented that she hoped it wouldn't depress me. Nope, I felt I needed to know what damage, if any, I'd done. On holiday it was very easy not to pick much between meals, as we were out and about a lot, and felt I'd lost much of what I'd gained beforehand - back home and in a funk it had been really difficult not to keep reaching for the tortilla chips, plus the digestive problems had kicked in big time and I felt bloated and fat. Off we trotted, with Jan stepping on the scales first to check everything was aligned OK...... then it was my turn. Had I done any damage? I couldn't believe it when Jan said "Is that on or below 12stone? I reckon it's below". Looking down at the dial it was definitely below and I honestly couldn't believe it at first and had to re-check the reading.
So................... I am now at 11stone 13. TaaaaDaaaaa!
Yes, that was the goal I'd wanted to achieve before my holiday but things started yo-yo'ing out of control instead. The new tablet regime should ensure there's no afternoon picking going on from now on, so I'll be introducing some distraction techniques when I start to feel hungry, as in: I've made a list of those "extra" jobs that need doing around the house, such as wiping down the bathroom wall tiles, organising bits of my various stash (cardmaking, stitching and fabrics) etc etc and when I feel hungry I'll pick a job at random and go and do it. The house benefits, I get busy so it distracts me and the extra activity should burn off extra calories. It's a win-win situation. LOL
After Jan had mixed the new potion and gathered together the other bits I needed I paid my dues, popped everything in my bag, thanked Jan and said goodbye and headed down the stairs.......... and straight into my favourite haunt, the Hospice Bookshop. About 20 minutes later I came out with two more additions:
A fantasy book and another for my esoteric collection. I didn't really fancy wandering any further down the High Street, so I crossed over to the Tesco Express to get the bits of shopping I needed. I also came away with a little treat: the magazine. I don't usually buy this (my DSis does occasionally and she passes it on to me when she's done with it) but it had a couple of articles in it that interested me: the Spiritual space clearing one as, when the mammoth de-cluttering session is finished and the rooms are redecorated I fully intend doing a proper cleansing on them too - though I have various books that touch on this subject I was curious to know what the piece had to say about it; a piece about the Angel "expert" Diana Cooper and another piece on Pagan Wedding ceremonies, the latter just because I'm curious to see what alternatives are out there now. When we wed it was just 2 choices: civil ceremony or church wedding - only a very few adventurous souls had started going abroad to marry, combining it with the honeymoon. This is definitely one area where the changes have been for the better. :0)
Home again, everything put away and my dinner prepared and eaten I opted to go out into the garden for a while, making the most of the reasonable weather while it's here. Being out there has seen a lifting in my mood, as it's helped to get rid of the worst of the post-holiday blues - renewing the connection with Mother Earth is always good for my soul. :0)
Synopsis: Witchcraft has recently undergone a huge popular revival, but does modern pagan witchcraft really bear any resemblance to its historical antecedents?
The witch in history was a very different creature from her modern counterpart, and this book sets out to explore the historical background to the European witchcraft phenomenon. It examines in detail the growth of the ideological , cultural and legal concepts that eventually led to the carnage of the Witch Craze in the 16th and 17th centuries, which may have claimed the lives of around 40,000 people.
For both medieval and Reformation scholars alike the Devil and all his works were a very real threat. Their conviction that witches were the servants of Satan led to the formation of perhaps one of the greatest conspiracy theories of all times: a belief that witches were working in league with the Devil in a diabolical plot against all Christendom. Witches were transformed from poor deluded old women who rode out at night with the pagan Goddess Diana into devil-worshipping heretics who became the focus of a centuries-long, Europe-wide campaign determined to seek out and destroy this evil wherever it was to be found, regardless of whether any of its victims were actually guilty or not.
This title is part of the Pocket Essentials range and, for a little book, is crammed full of historical details and information on the history of witchcraft and how changing attitudes and beliefs impacted and altered the way people thought about and behaved towards those who followed ages old Pagan beliefs. Those changes resulted in the Witch Craze.
I've generally found that Pagan books that touch on the subject are usually unable to refrain from either being emotional, defensive or condemnatory: perfectly understandable because, lets face it, no modern Pagan wants to be subject to that kind of persecution and will always feel empathy for those who suffered. Other books have left me with the feeling that they are still being condemnatory - perhaps because the authors' own belief systems have coloured their attitude to the subject. Either way, the subject matter always seems to hit a nerve or two.
It was good to read a factual historical account that didn't have an hidden agenda and just presented everything, as researched, in a clear and concise way. Though nothing can ever excuse the horrendous events it does go some way to making you realise what happened, when and, more importantly, why these persecutions took place: due to the mindsets at the time. The book also opened my eyes to the realisation that the Church, though not fully blameless, weren't actually the main instigators behind said persecutions - it seems that role was down to the legal profession and the courts of the time.
There are two useful lists at the end of the book: one for Further Reading and another of relevant websites, all of which I'll investigate further at a later date.
Thursday, 13 August 2009
As is usual Aureen took me through to the treatment room and asked me how things were going: I told her about the holiday blues - they have confirmed my long held belief that I should be living in the Lake District, as I am so much happier and contented when I'm there. The peace suits me and something about the place nourishes my soul. I also told her what I'd been doing that week: I'd finally sorted through the two cases containing my Mum's clothes, putting some in the charity bag, some that weren't too big I've put to one side as I'll wear them and some went back in the case, along with some of my too-big clothes, to go back to my DSis's, for her to try on - she'll keep what fits/suits and take the rest to the Bluebell Wood Hospice collection van at the Outlet. This was a big step forward...... those cases have been sat there since I brought them back to my house after my Mum passed away. I'd only been into them once before, the summer after she passed, when I got a couple of dresses and tops out to wear - I was seriously short of summery clothes and I guess I needed the comfort too.
Aureen was pleased I'd done this and, even though it had been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster ride at the time, I'm pleased I have too. It wasn't exactly looming over me but it was certainly one of those things that needed to be done but I just kept putting off. The time felt right, it's done....... another step forward in my healing has been achieved. :0)
I laid on the treatment bed, was covered in the fleecy blanket and the session began, after Aureen had washed her hands and come back into the room. Again I just had to close my eyes.
So what happened in this session? At the start of the session, when Aureen went to my feet and was grounding me, in preparation for opening my chakras, I suddenly felt someone walk past on my left side, going from my feet towards my head - one of those definite, almost feel a draught kind of movements. Initially I assumed it was Aureen so didn't open my eyes to check...... only to quickly realise that no, her hands were still firmly on my ankles. OK - maybe I should have opened my eyes.... maybe I'd have seen an Angel. :0)
There was heat from Aureen's hands and the buzz in my ears when she worked on my head; an image of trees when she worked on my base chakra; a couple of dizzy spells (how on Earth you can feel dizzy when layed down I don't know!); a feeling I'd drifted off, possibly even dropped off to sleep, a couple of times during the session but occasionally I caught myself wondering if it was working this time - silly because it obviously was, as I was so relaxed....... it certainly didn't feel like I'd been there a whole hour when the session was over.
It's a bit hard to describe quite how I felt by the end of that session. There weren't as many fleeting images coming to my minds eye as in some, nor was it intense and I didn't seem to get many impressions of anything in the room, other than that initial feeling of someone walking past me..... the only word I could think of to describe it to Aureen was Deep. It made her smile: this time she'd gone for a deep healing, which was why I'd felt dizzy, to help with any residual issues left from my Mum's death. That sort out of her clothes had indicated the time was right for this.
I told her about the feeling of someone walking past and again she smiled and said she wasn't surprised: Archangel's Michael and Rafael were there, helping her. Rafael is the Archangel of Healers and Healing. Michael offers strength and protection and aids with Psychic Awareness..... he was there cutting the strings of negativity as Aureen pulled them from me. Funnily enough I'd had my Oracle Cards out the night before and out came Archangel Michael..... the card was totally relevant (only realised how much so after the session) and I'd called on him for help: if I did have any skills, to please help me develop them and show me what I am supposed to be doing with them in this lifetime. I hadn't told Aureen any of this. Next she told me that when she was working on my third eye the Archangels aided and they placed a tear dropped shape piece of lapis lazuli (scroll down the page), point downwards, onto my third eye - I wasn't to be surprised if I occasionally got the sensation that there's something on my brow, as it was left there. Another jaw dropping moment and some might put it down to the power of suggestion but since, at odd moments, it does feel like there's something on my brow.
She then said that as she was working on me she had a vision of my Mum: she was stood on the top of a green hill with two people stood, one on either side of her (she didn't know who they were). Mum was dressed in a pure white robe and was emanating a beautiful golden glow. She told Aureen that she was well and happy and this was how she was now and that it was now time for me to move on. That got me a touch weepy, so out came the tissues. LOL Unfortunately that also seemed to affect my concentration, so I didn't fully absorb some of what was said next but I do remember that Aureen said that two little cherubs came into the room, which was the first time she'd ever seen them, and they did something to my heart, to help cleanse it, and then filled it with a beautiful pink light. I think another couple of crystals were mentioned but I can't, for the life of me, remember what they were or what significance they had.
As for the trees: I am very firmly grounded in and have a strong connection to Mother Earth, so Aureen wasn't surprised. This comes out again and again whenever she works on my base chakra. Guess I wouldn't be much of a Pagan if I wasn't, now would I? LOL :0)
Aureen did warn me that it was quite possible that I would start to dream of Mum a bit more and probably start thinking back to the events surrounding her death etc and get weepy. I was to go ahead and cry: this wouldn't be the depression but a "good" weepiness, the type that releases, cleanses and allows me to let go. I'd actually had a couple of dreams of her and Dad whilst on holiday, along with some Pagan style dreams, and a couple of times since coming home - all of which had been good and left me feeling positive and happy. I guess my subconcious had already been giving me the messages...... I just hadn't allowed my concious mind to fully process and acknowledge them. I am such a slow learner! Aureen then said that next time she would repeat the same deep healing process for those issues concerning my Dad....... so it looks set to be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster ride for a little while longer.
Aureen then gave me some really good news, though I'm afraid I was so emotionally blown by this time that it only just registered: she'd "bumped into" several people lately who have previously either attended a former Circle or had expressed an interest in joining one and all have expressed interest in attending one again. The friend who's house she holds the meetings in is currently home (which is why it can't go ahead now) but Aureen was going to see her, to double check that it would be OK for her to continue using it when she goes back to Spain again....... she couldn't see any problems with that. So, the Universe willing, it should all go ahead in September. Yay! It will be good to have that focus and no longer feel like I'm in a limbo state, as is current.
I thanked her and went to pay my dues and, as I'd felt a little dizzy again, sat for a while in reception chatting to Natalie, who was receptionist for the day. Once I felt OK I said my goodbyes and left for a wander down the High Street. My first port of call was, as usual, the Hospice Bookshop followed by a nosey in the newsagent's. I didn't leave empty handed from either as I felt the need for a treat:
I've read the middle book from this range so it'll be good to read the previous story and the follow on from it. And who could resist a stitching magazine that has a cute panda design and free threads attached? Certainly not me! LOL After this I headed off back up the High Street to Tesco Express for a few items then headed home.
Moodwise it has been a bit of a rollercoaster but I'm working through it and know I'll come out of it a much stronger person. Everything happens for a reason and everything follows a cycle. Life, death and rebirth being the greatest cycle of all. :0)
Sunday, 2 August 2009
Now I'm back from my fortnight's holiday it's time for a catch-up........ if I can remember what happened! LOL
My appointment was on Friday 17 July at 10.30am, so off I trotted in plenty of time. We went through into the other room where I handed over the latest Food Diary sheets. Jan had a look through them then asked me how I thought things had gone.
Well, some of the monthly problems seemed to be returning, in that it was all stop/start/stop/start through the last one. I'd also felt my energy levels dackering off a little, as the clearing out had come to a virtual standstill - though I had had to divert on to holiday preparations and there are only so many hours in a day. I felt that, during that week, I'd felt like I was coming down with something, though nothing seemed to really develop. I'd also noticed some mood changes occurred, especially leaning towards weepiness. The changes were nowhere near as bad as they used to be - I'm certainly way less angry and brooding to how I used to be - but we both thought that it was an indicator that the medicine mixture was no longer as effective as it had been. I know that when I use something long term (such as a particular brand of deodorant or shampoo) my body seems to get used to it somehow and it's then no longer as effective as it used to be and I have to change it - so it looks like it holds true for the herbal medicine too. Jan decided it was time for a total overhaul of the mix, as well as an ideal time to start using slippery elm powder for the digestive problems.
The slippery elm powder was to be used instead of the digestive capsules I'm currently on, though intermittently rather than every day. I had to mix half a teaspoon of the powder with a little water, to make a paste, than gradually add a little water to it until it was of a consistency I could comfortably swallow it at - with the least amount of water being the best option, as there'd be less of it to swallow. It's not exactly an unpleasant taste but I wouldn't call it tasty either! LOL I had to do this before my meals for a couple of days then stop taking it and see how I was - any digestive problems and I had to take it again for a short spell. It's not to be taken long term as it can lead to problems with constipation - not something I want to develop again, thank you. I reckoned I could cope with it OK.
Next was the medicine mix. Out went most of the herbs in the old mix and in came a bunch of new ones but I can't remember what she mentioned - I know there was a specific one she'd recently been reading up on that she felt would be particularly suitable. There were herbs to help calm down my stressing levels (when going on holiday I like to be organised and get on with things but DH and DS are last-minute-merchants, which increases my stress levels) and other herbs to boost my energy levels, as she wanted me to go away and have a really good holiday. Jan felt I really could do with the agnus castus in there again too but it led to me having a full-on migraine when I was taking them as separate drops so I wasn't too keen. She pointed out that, as this was going to be quite a change, it would probably affect my hormones etc fairly quickly so she recommended that I get some Migraleve tablets anyway to take with me on holiday and to carry them with me at all times. Jan uses a degree of psychic awareness when she treats her clients and I've learnt to trust her instincts with these things (good job I did: two days before my monthly was due I had another full-on migraine. A bummer but at least I was prepared!).
I also asked about the Shamballah Healing Workshop that Jan had mentioned earlier in the year: Jan, Aureen and Janet, the acupuncturist, all want to do this workshop but the recession is making things a little difficult.... so the course is being delayed until Spring next year, in the hopes that things improve and more people will then be able to take it. Jan felt that this delay would give me enough time to get to a stage where I would be able to get the most out of it, as I need to be further along in my development for some of what will be involved. It also gives me a little longer to save up for it: it involves 3-days over 2 weekends (6 days total), so isn't exactly cheap..... though it's substantially cheaper than it is where it's available elsewhere in the country. I always want to help people who have health problems so feel drawn to doing something in the healing line. I think my ultimate aim would be to use the healing energy of crystals, so hope an opportunity to do a workshop in this will present itself when the time is right. :0)
I then asked to be weighed. I wasn't looking forward to this as I had a feeling I'd put weight on again...... and that proved to be right: I'd gone from 12 stone 4 back up to 12 1/2 stone. Bummer! As I told Jan, I'd just worked out what some of the problem was though: instead of having a plated salad with a little rice or cous cous I'd been having two tortilla wraps for my dinner...... and only recently realised just how many calories there are in those darned things. So I'd dropped down to one a day and added extra salad to my plate to bulk things up a little and had my fingers crossed that that change would start to make a difference before too long....... along with planning to do a reasonable amount of walking whilst on holiday.
Jan then went off to make up the new brew for me whilst I went to Reception to pay my dues, adding some more tablets and herbal teas, so I'd be well stocked up with everything while we were on holiday as I had no idea where I would be able to get any of these things up there. The Lake District doesn't seem to have much in the way of alternative therapy places.
Once Jan had given me the new brew and a bag of the slippery elm powder to add to my bag I thanked her and Ann and left. DH met me outside and we popped to a couple of shops to grab some bits we wanted for our holiday, then it was home to finish the last minute packing jobs.
I took the new meds before my lunch and evening meal and everything seemed fine: none of it tasted vile, anyway. :0) That night DS went out to see his girlfriend and DH popped along to a retirement do for someone he knew well at work. Within 10 minutes of them both leaving I found out why I'd been feeling as if I was coming down with something: I got a weird lurching sensation in the pit of my stomach that made me feel seriously out of kilter then had to go to the loo in a hurry. I felt like I couldn't get warm and felt quite off, so I got my nightclothes on and went to bed....... and was in and out of bed regularly for regular bathroom visits until just after midnight. I did eventually warm up to the point that I felt like I had a raised temperature and I couldn't really sleep but had decided phoning DH and asking him to come home - not a lot he could do in the circumstances, was there? Thankfully he got in not long after what turned out to be my final bathroom visit and at the point where I'd wondered if we were going to be able to go on holiday in the morning. DH reassured me and said we'd take our time and see how I felt in the morning - thankfully I fell asleep soon after and only disturbed a couple of times, when I either felt too hot and kicked the duvet off or too cold and had to pull the duvet back over myself. Ain't that irritating? LOL
Apart from feeling a bit washed out and low in energy on Saturday morning I didn't feel too bad. I did ring the Clinic to speak to Jan though and she advised me to stop taking the slippery elm and not take it again until she saw me again and to drop the medicine from 7ml to 5ml and not take that again until the following morning. She was quite apologetic but I don't think what happened was due to the meds, more a case of whatever I'd been feeling "off" all week with had finally happened.
We took it easy packing up the car, allowing time for DS to go off and run a couple of errands into town, and for me to have breakfast and lunch at home, to gauge how things would go. Thankfully everything had settled down OK, so we set off in the mid-afternoon, had our evening meal at the Little Chef just outside of Ambleside (very helpful with my dietary needs) and arriving at the cottage in the early evening. It was a truly lovely place - the best we've stayed in, so far - and an enjoyable holiday, which renewed the feeling that it is my soul's home and that I want to live up there. :0)