My Diabetes Miracle #21: What Rosacea?

For at least ten years now (maybe more like fifteen), I have suffered from increasingly severe rosacea. At first it was just a little redness on my cheeks. I looked a little sunburnt—all the time. If I actually went out into the sun and heat, my face basically caught fire. People were constantly asking me if I had a sunburn or a fever.

Then it got worse. It progressed to severe “pustular” rosacea, which means that I had zit-like pustules on my face all the time. It was like teenage acne, only worse. I tried a succession of ointments, including one that had worked very well for my dad. Nothing worked. After several months of faithful use, my face was worse. The pustules were so numerous and so ugly. They took weeks to heal and fade away, by which time they were succeeded by many more.

I couldn’t bear to look at my face in the mirror. I was so repulsed by my own visage that I often burst into tears when I saw it. I avoided being photographed even more assiduously than before. I had never thought of myself as particularly vain, but this condition exposed my vanity in a most painful way. I had accepted the natural consequences of my advancing age, but I couldn’t accept the ravages of rosacea.

Then, a little over a year ago, I discovered by accident that the soap I had been using in hopes of ameliorating the rosacea was actually making it worse. I immediately stopped using that soap! And to my everlasting relief, the rosacea improved to where it had been several years earlier.

Since then, I have seen my rosacea continue to fade. I wish I could tell you what specific thing I’ve done to achieve this. I think the big thing is that my keto diet and fasting have successfully eliminated most of the inflammation in my body—including my face. In terms of what I put on it, I use a gentle cleanser and then follow up with moisturizer, to which I add a dollop of Prosacea ointment and three drops of frankincense essential oil. I don’t know if the Prosacea is actually doing anything at all, but I’m afraid to stop! The frankincense has been very helpful and in addition to treating my rosacea it has eliminated a couple of skin tags that appeared on my face.

Now, looking in the mirror no longer reduces me to despair. Every now and then, I’ll get a little spot, but it goes away within a few hours with no intervention from me. I actually get compliments on my complexion now. If you’re my friend on Facebook, you’ve seen this photo of me that Mary took on Christmas morning:

When I saw this photo, the first thing that struck me was this: where is my rosacea? Do you see any sign of rosacea? I don’t. I am not wearing any makeup in this photo. That is just my real face—a face I think I can live with!

And finally, since we have reached the turning of the year and tomorrow will be a new one, I just want to look back on what I have achieved in 2018. I worked very very hard and learned to deny myself more than I ever thought possible—and succeeded in losing another 50 pounds, bringing my total weight lost to 120. I wish I could have the quick and easy success that others seem to enjoy, but I am just so thrilled to be where I am. A couple of years ago, I would never have believed this was possible. I had gotten rid of all my “thin” clothes—which would now be way too big for me. In this year, I have gone from wearing size 20 to size 14 (I started as a size 24 two years ago). I have increased my fitness and decreased my joint pain. I freed myself from my last diabetes medication and am now medication free.

As I look forward to 2019, I know I still have plenty of hard work and self-denial ahead of me. I still have 30 pounds to lose and based on my experiences so far, I expect it to take all year—but the big thing is that I believe it is possible and that I can do it.

No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus

No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus

Charles Weigle

I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus,
Since I found in Him a friend so strong and true;
I would tell you how He changed my life completely,
He did something that no other friend could do.
No one ever cared for me like Jesus,
There’s no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me,
O how much He cared for me.


All my life was full of sin when Jesus found me,
All my heart was full of misery and woe;
Jesus placed His strong and loving arms about me,
And He led me in the way I ought to go.
No one ever cared for me like Jesus,
There’s no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me,
O how much He cared for me.

Ev’ry day He comes to me with new assurance,
More and more I understand His words of love;
But I’ll never know just why He came to save me,
Till some day I see His blessed face above.
No one ever cared for me like Jesus,
There’s no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me,
O how much He cared for me.

Lit

Today might be Saturday, but my husband still had to get up early and go to the daycare to start laying wax. This is the “easiest” day of the job but it is still tedious because you have to wait for the wax to dry between coats.

The rest of us got a somewhat slower start, although I was up earlier than the rest and made a trip to Walmart to pick up some donuts. Mostly I puttered around the house, trying to get some things organized so I can get a few more projects done before school starts again. I especially want to make Lucy’s Christmas present, but that will have to wait until there are fewer people in the house as it will require the entire dining room table for a while.

Later in the afternoon, Lina and I went calendar shopping, even though I already have several. I love calendars. They’re such an affordable way to have new art on your walls every month! Most years we have one in just about every room of the house. I also picked up a few other sale items.

After all the food we’ve had this week, today seemed like a good day for a simple supper of tomato soup and quesadillas. Afterward, we climbed into two vehicles and drove to the north side of town to see the Christmas lights in the “Mini Santa Land.” There is a bigger Santa Land an hour’s drive away, but the local one is beautiful—and free! And going a few days after Christmas means no long waiting in line on the highway.

It was an enjoyable outing, and we topped off the evening by watching a nature show. We are enjoying the Africa episodes of the BBC’s Planet Earth.

If It’s Not One Thing . . .

This morning, after my husband got up, I was unable to fall back asleep because there was so much walking to and from the bathroom. I finally asked what was going on, only to find out that the bathroom sink valve was leaking and had flooded out the cabinet underneath.

I wish that was the only bad news, but it wasn’t. The kitchen sink was also leaking, and that cabinet also had to be evacuated. All day while Walter was at work, there were containers under the sinks which had to be emptied as the constant dripping filled them up. So my husband knew that as soon as he got done at the daycare, he’d be doing some plumbing.

Meanwhile, word came from Dallas that Mercy has succumbed to a stomach bug. Whether it was the same one that plagued us or a different one, it’s certainly not welcome! What a thing to have to deal with in the middle of a move.

I went to Aldi for my regular weekly shopping and picked up some half-price German Christmas goodies for the family to enjoy also. After lunch, I took Jade out to spend her gift card at Ross and she was able to find a couple of things she liked. We drove back to the house, picked up Lina and Mary, and headed to Kilgore, where I hoped to take them all to my favorite bookstore/coffeeshop.

However, to my dismay the place is closed until after New Year’s. I had Mary search for any nearby coffee shops (since I was driving) and she found one just a few blocks away, so we went to try it out. It was very cozy and deserted so we made ourselves at home. They even had a padded rocking chair I could sit in, and the tea was not too bad. We stayed for quite a while and Mary got some work done on her computer.

When we returned, my intention was to start making pizza for supper, but the kitchen sink was torn apart and all the water to the house had been shut off. I could not imagine trying to cook supper with no water, so I made the decision to go buy the pizza when the time came. Mary went out right away to buy drinks as everyone was thirsty.

So the family still had their pizza supper—it just wasn’t good homemade pizza. The water got turned on after the kitchen sink was fixed. The sink in the master bathroom was a different story, however. Ever since we returned from Colorado we have had no hot water in that sink, which means I have to bend over the bathtub to wash my face every day. I had high hopes that this situation would be rectified, but alas that was not the urgent problem. While fixing the problem that was urgent, another leak developed in the cold water line. So essentially we are back to where we were in terms of functionality. We can use the cold water in the sink, but if I want hot water I still have to resort to the bathtub. Maybe tomorrow some more progress can be made.

A Trip to the Cinema

When I posted last night’s entry, we were in the middle of a severe thunderstorm, and the tornado sirens were sounding. (For those not in tornado territory, this means that actual tornadoes have been detected in the immediate vicinity.) Obviously I am still here! And today was glorious, sunny, and breezy.

For the second day in a row, I slept in. I get to do it so rarely and I find I am needing the extra sleep after the intensity of the last month. My brother called me later in the morning and we had a nice long chat before I had to go to Walmart to buy supplies for Jasper’s little party.

Walter and Lina came home from work at noon for a quick lunch before the five of us headed to the theater to see They Shall Not Grow Old, Peter Jackson’s tour de force documentary about World War I. If you ever get a chance to see it, you really should. It’s all narrated by World War I veterans talking about their own experiences.

After the movie, we rushed home so Jasper could get together with his buddies for an airsoft battle (the first stage of their Christmas party). Jade was here hanging out, and I went for a walk on campus. It’s the first day since I got sick that I have felt up to walking, and it was such a beautiful day for it.

I got some coals going in a couple small grills and grilled hot dogs for everyone for supper. Jasper and his buddies ate out on the patio and the rest of us stayed inside. Afterward, I sent everyone outside to roast marshmallows and make some s’mores. I stayed in because roasted marshmallows are very tempting to me and it’s best to keep my distance.

I think the boys had a good time. Jasper is so fortunate to have three friends who all live in our neighborhood. I think that is quite rare these days.

Mercy and Daniel made it safely to Dallas and toured two different apartment complexes today. One of them looked quite promising.

Boxing Day

Once again, this is one of those posts that you may not want to wade through unless you are related to me.

On Sunday night (the 23rd) I was up until well after 2:00 a.m. finishing the Thing That Had to be Done. That thing was Daniel’s Christmas stocking. It had to be done on Sunday night because people had to be able to put things into it on Christmas Eve!

I don’t think I knew what I was getting into when I first made a Christmas stocking for Lina. My husband and I had (and still have) my parents’ old stockings that my mom had made when I was a kid. Every year I say I’m going to make us some new ones, but I still haven’t! So anyway, the tradition is that each new member of the family gets a handmade stocking from me. The stockings I make are unique and very labor intensive. Daniel’s stocking represents a full week of work, from cross-stitching the cuff to hand-sewing on the many embellishments.

Although each stocking is unique, I do have a system. They are always made from cotton velveteen with a cross-stitched cuff. So far I think we only have two that are the same color. The boys’ stockings all have a Christmas tree in the middle and a star in the toe.

The girls’ stockings all have angels in the middle and a snowflake in the toe.

Daniel’s stocking features some metal gears in addition to the other embellishments, as a nod to his engineering degree. After a few days of recovery, I will forge ahead with Tiffany’s stocking, so I don’t find myself in this same time crunch next year.

Monday morning of course we were busy getting ready for the influx of company. Walter and Lina were working all day, doing the annual floor extracting and refinishing at the daycare.

Mary and Jordan arrived at about 2:00 and Mary jumped right into helping me with preparations for our Christmas Eve celebration. We couldn’t all be together at a single Christmas Eve service, because we wanted to be with Mercy and Daniel at their church before they move, but Spencer was also playing in the service at his church. So Mary, Jordan, and Jasper went to Spencer’s church, and the rest of us went to Mercy and Daniel’s church after getting things as ready for dinner as we could first.

We enjoyed the candlelight service, and then rushed home to prepare for our candlelight dinner. We always have swiss cheese fondue on Christmas Eve. This year there were eleven of us around the table—ten family members plus Spencer’s girlfriend Jade. The only ones missing were newlyweds Flynn and Tiffany, who are still living it up in Europe.

We opened our Christmas crackers and wore the paper crowns and read the silly jokes. This year the crackers all contained a wind-up mechanical snowman, so after dinner we assembled in the living room for a series of snowman races on the floor. After several heats, Jasper’s snowman emerged as the winner.

I couldn’t get anyone interested in our usual tradition of singing Christmas carols, since we had just been to a church service.

Then there was still plenty of cleaning and food prep to do. I had to make the breakfast casserole for the morning plus some fruit salad and jello for the trifle. So even though my huge sewing job was done, I was still up until after 1:00 in the morning.

Christmas morning I was up getting brunch prepared before everyone arrived (Mary and Jordan are staying with Mercy and Daniel, and of course Spencer also has his own place). Our tradition is to open stockings first, followed by brunch, followed by the rest of the gifts. This is one of my favorite things ever, because we have the whole family together in one room, and I love to see everyone’s reactions to the gifts they receive.

After brunch, while we were opening the other gifts, my mild headache became a very severe headache, and that definitely lessened my enjoyment of the day. I was able to take a little nap, but it really didn’t help at all, and neither did my usual cure of caffeine plus ibuprofen. I was so thankful to have all four of my daughters here to help with the preparations for our big meal.

Late in the afternoon, I sat in my chair with my head throbbing and feeling nauseated by the pain. Spencer sat down to work out on a song on the piano (which was right beside me). The added sound of the piano was more than I could take. I retreated to my “office” nook in the schoolroom, grabbed my autoharp and started playing some Christmas carols.

Tears streamed down my face. I hadn’t realized how important it was to me to get to sing some carols at Christmas time. This year, I have missed being in church the last three Sundays in a row due to our trip and our bout of illness. But even if we had been there, I’m quite sure that nothing there would have satisfied my need to sing my favorite traditional Christmas carols. If our church sings any carols at all, they wouldn’t sing them in a way that is enjoyable for me personally. Everyone else in the family got their carol “fix” in one way or another—if they needed it at all. All I had was that time alone with my autoharp, and I played and sang until my fingers hurt and the tears stopped flowing.

By the time I was called to come watch a movie, I felt much better in every way. My headache was fading at last and I had played through most of my favorite carols. I didn’t get to see much of the movie, because I had to finish cooking supper, but I was just so glad to be feeling better. Last year I remember feeling rather deprived at Christmas dinner, because there was so much I couldn’t eat. This year, it didn’t really bother me. I enjoyed the two things I could eat (turkey and a keto green bean casserole) and reveled in the time with my family. I really wish I could have not had a headache, but it was still a lovely day.

This morning Walter and Lina were up early and on their way to the daycare to work. I arose somewhat later and had a leisurely cup of tea before going to Walmart to pick up a few items. Jade came over while Spencer was at work, and after lunch she and Mary and Jasper all went over to help Mercy and Daniel pack.

This move has caught me a little off guard. The last few weeks have been all about Flynn’s wedding and Christmas, and the fact that Mercy and Daniel are moving has been kind of buried at the back of my mind. So I’m trying to wrap my head around the fact that they are leaving for Dallas tomorrow (Thursday). They’ll be staying with friends and apartment hunting for the next few days, in hopes that they will find something quickly. Then they will return to rent a U-Haul and move all their stuff. At that point, I hope at least Jasper and I will be able to go help them move in.

We were all together again for our dinner of leftovers tonight, but that might be our last full gathering for this holiday. Mary and Jordan are going with Mercy and Daniel to Dallas tomorrow to take a carload of stuff, but they will return in the afternoon.

Fourth Sunday of Advent

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who orderest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory over the grave.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, great Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times once gave the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Root of Jesse’s tree,
An ensign of Thy people be;
Before Thee rulers silent fall;
All peoples on Thy mercy call.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

Three More Sleeps

Well, the tummy trouble lingers on . . . and it has claimed another victim: Spencer. This makes me wonder if we were exposed to something in our Airbnb in Colorado, because everyone who stayed in that house has gotten sick!

So anyway, my plans to get a lot done were somewhat modified, but I did the best I could. I did get one Christmas goodie made, and Lina made another one, so that’s two more things we had than yesterday!

I worked as much as I could on my crafting project, and made some really good headway. I think I’m going to get it done in time!

In other news, our town got an early Christmas present today. The local high school football team won the state championship for the first time since 1937! Maybe you’ve heard that high school football is a BIG deal in Texas. Maybe you thought the stories about it were exaggerated. They’re not. I heard the highway between here and Arlington (where the game was held) was bumper-to-bumper traffic all the way. I was kind of surprised there was anyone left in town when Lina and I had to go out shopping this afternoon.

After news of the win got out, there were lots of gunshots and fireworks in the neighborhood. This is a big, big deal here. I don’t understand it, but I can be happy for all the people who are celebrating tonight!

Another One Bites the Dust

Yes, Jasper has also succumbed to the virus from hell. That makes every single one of our household this week! Poor guy has had a rough day.

Yesterday, while my husband and I suffered through our virus, Lucy was feeling much better and went to work on her annual  project of making a gingerbread house. She had two “My Little Pony” kits which she put together to make one very gaudy creation (the kit doesn’t come with all that candy–she bought it separate):

Here’s a detail of the roof:

I’m sure it will all be eaten in due time!

This morning my husband and woke up feeling weak, but much better. He went to work. I went to Aldi, and I took Lina with me because I knew I’d need two carts. I can hardly remember the days when I needed two carts every single week!

We bought a LOT of food and brought it home and put it away. Then I went to Walmart, this time with Lucy, to get the things that Aldi hadn’t had. I think we are set on groceries now at least until Monday when I have a few last-minute things to get.

By the middle of the afternoon, I started feeling pretty queasy again so I just took it easy and worked on my craft project as I was able. I received a phone call from an old friend this evening and it was nice to catch up with her.

Here’s hoping I’m back to 100% tomorrow and can get a lot done!

Not Part of the Plan

I’d like to go back to just having a cold. This morning when I woke up, I realized right away that something was wrong. I had a painful stomachache. So did my husband. In fact, we both felt so terrible that he called in to work and we both went back to bed. Lucy’s stomach bug apparently had migrated from her to us. (Lina had some tummy issues the last couple of days too.)

It was a very bad day to be sick in bed. Not only did I have so much to do, but the roofers were trying to finish our roof, and the section they had left was the corner over our bedroom. So all day we had to deal with the roar of the air compressor, the banging of the nail guns, and various other noises that sounded like they were rolling dead bodies around up there. Made it kind of hard to rest. I soon developed a massive headache.

Lina was kind enough to take Jasper Christmas shopping while we were indisposed. She said they made some pretty good headway.

Because I am an old arthritic lady, I can’t just lie in bed for hours on end without becoming very uncomfortable, so from time to time I would get up and sit in my chair instead. I sipped herbal tea and took quite a bit of activated charcoal. Nothing seemed to help. As is so often the case, I did feel somewhat better after a puke fest this evening. I am praying that I will be much better in the morning, as I have my big shopping to do at Aldi, in addition to so many other things!