Life Changes

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Is there something in your family’s medical history that scares you? For me, that was Type 2 diabetes.

My mother, her two sisters, and their father had all had Type 2. I believe it is what killed my sister as well. So the family history made it a very real, very dire, diagnosis for me.

Back when my grandfather and my Aunt Edith were diagnosed. the only treatment was to watch your diet and take insulin before each meal. There was no way to check your blood sugar before or after eating, or even check it at home. We went in to the doctor once every four to six weeks to have blood work drawn. As my grandfather wasn’t what you could call compliant by any stretch of the imagination, it was always a stressful day.

He couldn’t get his mind around the fact that just because something was a healthy food generally, that it wasn’t necessarily a healthy food for him to eat whenever he wanted. He loved apples and oranges and would sneak them into his room. And when his blood sugar results came in, he would have a fit. Somehow it was someone else’s fault.

I grew up watching my mother give her father insulin shots three times a day, fussing at him abut his diet, and eating meals on a strict schedule to accommodate for his illness. Breakfast was at seven, lunch at noon, and dinner at five. This never varied.

My Aunt Edith, was extremely strict about her diet. Not only did she know what she could eat, she carried measuring cups and spoons with her to measure everything that went on her plate. When we sat down for breakfast, she and my mother went over the meal plan for the day so she could figure out her bread  substitutes for each meal. And she took three daily injections as well.

Aunt Betty was able to control her diabetes with diet alone. She was the sister with a completely different metabolism from her sisters. Mom and Aunt Edith could gain weight just thinking about chocolate cake. Aunt Betty could eat the whole thing a lose a pound or two. She had never had the diet struggle her sisters had, so the transition wasn’t as difficult.

My mother was fine with diet at first, but after the first year or so, had to go on an oral medication, which was later involved in a class action suit. She died from complications to her diabetes, partly due to the medication. I am now older than she was at her death.

Even in my mother’s time, there was no way to do home blood sugar tests, so you were more or less left to flounder around on your own and hope everything was fine when you went to the lab.

When I was a child I had major ear infections and was in the clinic once a month it seemed, so I had grown tired of injections at an early age. The idea of having to take three injections each and every day for the rest of my life was worse than a death sentence. It got to the point where I couldn’t even watch anyone getting an injection. I still can’t.

As a breast cancer survivor, you might think diabetes would be a walk in the park by comparison, but not for me. Cancer was something you could eliminate with surgery and drugs. Diabetes, as far as I knew, was forever. Once diagnosed, it would be a lifelong enemy. I knew there had been advancement in medication, but it still scared me spitless.

Our daughter is a nurse, and she recommended the doctor I went to see. She assured me he knew what he was talking about. But when he initially insisted I should take a once a week insulin shot, I was dismayed, though he insisted diabetes could be reversed.

The diet I’ve been following was a bit of a challenge at the beginning. Eating nothing but unprocessed foods can be tricky. Eating unprocessed foods, with no oil or salt added is trickier. Eating most of it raw or lightly steamed is hard to get used to.

And it seems there is sugar in everything on the shelf. I had some cans of beans in the pantry–kidney beans, black beans, and garbanzos. Though he’d told me to avoid canned foods, I didn’t want to waste them. Some of the black beans and the garbanzos were all right, as far as sugar.

But kidney beans? I have yet to find a brand of kidney beans which does not contain sugar. After the beans in my pantry were gone, I hadn’t planned on buying more anyway. But I was curious. Some of the other beans have sugar, but not usually every brand. Kidney beans, though, are always sweetened.

And stewed tomatoes. You can buy just about any other sort of canned tomato and be fine. But if they’re stewed, they have sugar in them.

Seasoning blends usually have sugar in them. Some of the Mrs. Dash seasonings I’ve found without sugar, but I’m not particularly fond of them. So I’ve become more skilled at making my own seasonings–without salt or sugar involved.

Salad dressings and most sauces have sugar, not to mention salt. And I really can’t deal with the artificial sweeteners or fat free things. It’s much easier to flavor some vinegar ahead of time for salads.

But after eight months of working with this new diet plan, I’ve found a way to have variety in my meals, have plenty to eat without feeling too full, and not feel overly restricted. Eating out can be a challenge, but there are several places around where I can browse the salad bar or order a large salad. One of the Chinese restaurants will steam me a large platter of mixed vegetables.

There are still times when I miss being able to eat whatever I want whenever I want it. But as my system won’t accept some foods yet, that makes it easier. I’m beginning to be able to add more beans and grains to my diet, a little at a time, which helps. But I found the family BBQ upsetting, even though I had skewers of grilled veggies–which were marvelous.

I have another appointment with my doctor coming up later this month. I’ll let you know how that goes. In the meantime, stay happy, stay healthy, and live life to the full.

Are you interested in the story of my breast cancer?

Cancer and the Warrior’s Way is available at Amazon!

Also available for Kindle!

A Little About Me

Photo by Dawn ThumbnailI don’t share much about myself sometimes, mainly because I don’t want to seem like I’m hoping for sympathy I suppose. Yes, I’ve been through a few things, but I’ve made it through.

Back in 2004 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. To hurry through the story, I survived chemotherapy and radiation therapy, losing my hair and growing it back again.

Since then, I have recurring symptoms which drive me crazy, but I think they’re a little less now than they had been.

But my scalp has been sensitive to products, which was not helped at all when I began to use a supposedly more natural product that made my hair loss increase drastically after about three months.

Nor was I alone in this. I have a good friend who had the same problem, as did our daughter. Three different people. Three different kinds of hair. Same issue. Unfortunately the company decided it couldn’t be their fault.

But since then, my scalp has been even more sensitive. Everything I tried over the counter either made my scalp break out in huge sores, or it made my hair loss increase. or both!

The salon suggested a product to me, which slowed the hair loss, but unfortunately made my head start breaking out again after a couple weeks. Where do you go from here?

Thankfully our daughter’s hair dresser suggested a product to her, which she loved and then suggested to me. I’ve been using it for nearly eight months now. My hair is filling in, it’s soft and smooth. It’s longer than it has grown in years without split ends.

And no sores on my scalp!

It’s amazing when you find something that works. And not only works, but works well!

Thank you, Tasha and Dawn for introducing me to these products. They’re amazing!

Follow me on Facebook for more information!

http://www.facebook.com/mellie

Emotional Abuse

Black and white2Emotional abuse is a growing concern in our world, and since it is nearly invisible, the perpetrators go away Scot free.  It often stems from the need to be in control. We all know what physical abuse is, and while the victims oftentimes try to hide it, the symptoms are fairly obvious.

But what is emotional abuse? 

According to the Counseling Center, abuse is any behavior which tries to control or subjugate another person by fear, humiliation, verbal or physical assaults. Emotional abuse can include verbal abuse, constant criticism, intimidation, manipulation and refusal to ever be pleased.

Emotional abuse takes away its victim’s sense of self-worth, self-confidence, and their trust in their perceptions. The communication between partners develops into more of a parent/child pattern than one between adults.

Are you in an emotionally abusive relationship?

What are the symptoms of emotional abuse?

  • Feelings of isolation from family and friends.
  • Excessive dependence on him or her
  • You feel like you can’t plan ahead because of your spouse’s response to anything you plan.
  • You feel depressed or anxious most of the time.
  • You doubt your ability to speak your mind, and express your opinions
  • You feel like you can never do enough.

These are a few signs to watch for, but the list isn’t all-inclusive.

What can you do?

Sometimes, once a person realizes they are in an abusive situation, refusing to be a willing party is enough to start the changes in the relationship. Other times, marriage counseling can help.

And of course, last of all, when there is no hope of change, it becomes necessary to leave the relationship.

Don’t continue to consent to emotional abuse. Though the scars are invisible, they can be even more devastating than those people can see.

Take action today.

 

Faith

 Black and white2What is faith? We’ve all heard about faith, but to many it is much the same as making a wish. And if it is nor more than wishing, why bother?

According to the bible, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1)

But how do we put this to work in our daily lives? How can something we hope for have substance?

A wise man I once knew put it sort of like this. When you ask for something in faith, ask and then go out as if your request has already been answered. So if you’ve asked for a new job to come your way, go out knowing that something will come to you and then do what you need to do to find it. Read the want ads, post your resume online, ask your friends.

The person with faith will go out the door looking for the opportunity waiting for him. He’ll be excited, because he knows something will show up–either a new job, a raise, a promotion. Something positive will happen for him.

Chances are, it won’t just fall out of the sky, but you are looking for that job, knowing it will be there. And because you’re looking, you’ll see it when it shows up.

Don’t ask for a new job and then say, “Well, I’ll probably have to make do with what I have. For some reason, God has decided that I can never really get ahead, I guess to keep me humble. Besides, no one in this family has ever done anything. Why should I be the first?”

Do you see the difference? One person is asking for something without limiting God or the universe, willing to accept the new job which will come his way. It may not occur in a way he is expecting, but he’ll be ready for it.

The second person, by his attitude, is placing limits around what can happen. He is asking for something, but accepting, as fact, that it isn’t going to happen. And if he doesn’t expect it to happen, there is no faith involved, and chances are, when the opportunity is presented, he won’t be there to receive it. He’ll be looking back at his past and wishing it was different.

So how do we show faith? By asking and expecting to receive what we need. If you need a new job, and you ask for one, expect to find it. If you need a better car, ask, and then look for what you need, knowing God wants you to prosper.

 

 

This Thing Called Happiness

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Have you noticed that some people seem to be happy not matter what problems have cropped up in their lives. And at the same time, there are people with seemingly everything going for them who can’t find joy in anything?

What is this thing called happiness? What does it mean to be happy? According to the dictionary, it is “feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.”

Are you content?

Some of us are waiting for everything in our lives to be perfect–the perfect job, perfect mate, perfect car, perfect house, money in the bank, and an abundance of people to share it with. And that would be nice. The problem with this mindset, however, is that there is nothing in this world that is perfect. We are all flawed. That perfect job comes with irritations. Mates are human and cannot be perfect 100% of the time. The perfect car sitting in your garage will begin to have problems.

If you are waiting for something on the outside to give you joy and happiness, you are going to be waiting for a long time. Having things go right every now and then can help, but if your happiness doesn’t begin with you, it will remain as elusive as the white unicorn.

People who always have a smile on their face and a kind greeting for others, who are happy overall with life, even with its ups and downs, have learned an important lesson.

You will not be happy until you learn to be grateful for what you already have.

You will find what you look for. If you concentrate on being ill, being unemployed, not making enough money, chronic pain, then that is what you will find. And the more you concentrate on it, the bigger the problem will grow.

But if you look for things in your life which are uplifting, which are blessings, you’ll find more things to be thankful for.

  • Maybe you’d like a job that paid more. But you can be glad you have a job.
  • Perhaps your health could be better. But you woke up this morning and have another day to be thankful for.
  • Are you and your mate having difficulties? If you’re together, and both willing to stay that way, be thankful for your mate and the chance to work things out for a better, stronger future together.

There is a reason the scripture says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Phillippians 4:8)

This is the recipe for happiness. Wherever your mind is, that is what you will have. If all you can think about are the negatives in your life, that is all you will find.

If you focus your mind on those things around you which are good, beautiful, and uplifting, you will find more of the same.

Here is my challenge to you. Every day for the next week, write down 5 different positive things about the day, 5 different things for which you are grateful. It doesn’t matter how large or small a thing it is. Start with the small things if you wish, and work your way up.

Did you see a pretty little butterfly next to a puddle that gave you a moment of brightness? Be thankful.

Maybe you saw a songbird sitting on a fence preening in the sun. Smile and say thank you.

Did you have to opportunity to eat today? Find a penny in the parking lot? Give thanks.

Whenever you find you’re thinking about a negative, push it away and shift gears. Focus your thoughts on something uplifting. Refuse to allow the negatives a place to live in your mind.

Nurture the attitude of gratitude and see what the future brings.

 

What Are You Reading?

Black and white2I was talking with Katandra Shanel Jackson today. She is the CEO of the publishing company here in Georgia called FreedomInk365. We were discussing how many people just don’t read anymore.

When was the last time you sat down with a good book and got lost in a fantastic tale? Fiction or non-fiction, there are books about anything you might like.

I talk to so many people who when asked, say they just don’t read. They’d rather watch a movie or the TV.

In this electronics age, I fear we are stealing imagination away from our children and grandchildren. When we were kids, we played  “pretend” everything. We had sticks and branches as swords, braided dandelions for crowns. And yes, my friend and I once caught a bunch of grasshoppers and tied them up with string so we could put our horses in a corral.

Boy was my mom mad. Untying them was quite a feat, too.

But without imagination,  whence come dreams? And without dreams what can we hope to accomplish? And without that hope, where will we go, what things will we create for our future?

When everything is done for you, on TV, in the movies, or on your tablet, there is nothing left for you to create in your mind. Ho imagination required. Just fetch the popcorn.

A good book, on the other hand, provides you the opportunity to create the scenes in it, to picture the countryside of renaissance England, or the quaint little street in the French Quarter of New Orleans the suspect just turned onto.

What about that wedding dress the sweetheart of our hero is wearing? Can you picture the lace with the pearl buttons? And our swashbuckling hero. How does he cope with a tuxedo and dress shoes?

So, what have you been reading? And if you’ve not been reading, it’s time to give it a try. It doesn’t matter what it is. What are your hobbies, your fantasies, your dreams?

There’s a book about that, I guarantee it.

Go on. What are you waiting for!

Interested in Fantasy Romance?

http://www.amazon.com/author/melliemiller

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Gratitude…

Black and white2So, tell me, what made you smile today? What made you happy? What are you thankful for?

These days it seems the news is always bad. Every time you turn on the TV or radio, or look at new on the web, it’s bad news. It’s full of murder and mayhem, wars, conflicts, storms and tragedies.

But there must be some good news out there. Right? Every now and again a small story will pop up about someone who helped out in a special way, or about a friends or family reunited after years apart.

We hear from the law of attraction people that where our mind is,  our reality is created. What if by concentrating on everything that’s wrong with the world, we’re merely perpetuating the cycle.

What if we could change it?

Can we simply say no to the big broadcasting companies and seek out those things that are right with our world? What if by focusing on the good, we could cancel out part of what’s wrong? Even just a little bit.

We could make a start.

What if we ask ourselves, “What else is possible?” and let the universe answer that question for us?

Let’s go out today and look for something that makes us smile or laugh, or even just be happy to have seen today. It doesn’t matter how small it is, as long as it makes you happy.

I found a pretty little stone this morning. It’s cream in color, fairly thin, and almost perfectly round. I think it will make a lovely necklace.

So, what puts a smile on your face?

Ciao!