Healing

My 1ooth post mile stone!

It is hard to believe that I have actually posted a 100 times since starting this adventure. Blogging is one of the best things I have tried to do as an adult and I am really enjoying it. I have learned so much over the last couple of years and can only say thank you to everyone who has taken the time to reply with a comment or a “like” to my posts. I am thankful that all of you just take the time to stop in a read once in a while. It is amazing how many wonderful people I have met through this adventure. I am lucky to call people from all over the world my friends, from several  down under in Australians to a hard-working Canadian, a few transplanted Americans who are in Bosnia and Chile and people from all over the USA who share my interests. It is a wide wonderful world and I am soooo glad I write with all of you!.

Christopher and I out mushroom hunting in my cast... life really slowed down with it

Christopher and I out mushroom hunting in my cast… life really slowed down with it

This year has seen much less travel, hunting and fishing then I had hoped to write about here at Mountain Mama. Things here have changed as things always do. I have had a broken bone in my foot for 12 months and when every thing is done I will have been in a cast 14 months. Who in the world would have thought that a bone around the size of a dime would cause this much pain and hassle. Then we were informed that my mother in law has throat cancer and we have gone through treatment and she is now living with my family. The cancer alone has changed our whole family and all of our lives. It is a constant struggle to maintain her health at this point and I spend much of my day waiting on her needs and wants. It is worth every struggle to see her regain her health and independence over the next few months. I have gone from a career woman and mom, to a full-time care giver, house wife and homestead gardener over these last 100 posts.

I had high hopes when I started blogging that in some way I would find a way to make an income from my posts and be one of those bloggers who travels the world for free with their blog. I was thinking that blogging would some day be my work but instead it is my love. I would not want to get payed and sponsored into some kind of box. I love that this is a limitless space where I am free to share things with like-minded friends. I love to share my failures and gains with all of you. I love that like a stone thrown into a clam water the ripples that my words create flow away in never-ending rings…. that some where in cyberspace I have found all of you and you have sent your ring of words back to me.

Reflection of Stone Bridge on lake at Black Water Falls State Park. Wv

Reflection of Stone Bridge on lake at Black Water Falls State Park. WV

 

So as I look back over the last 100 times that I have sent messages out in to the Cyber Universe I can see so much improvement in my blog and my posts. It has been a great therapy for me and my creative soul and I just hope to keep sharing, learning.

Faerie mushtrooms

Faerie mushrooms

~THANK YOU FROM WILD WONDERFUL WEST VIRGINIA~

Categories: blogging, Cancer, Family, friends, Friendship, gardening, Healing, writing | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

Ooooo That Hurts, a Bee Sting!

Just about everyone has had a bee sting or two. I have had plenty and with a yard full of clover we are very cautious about wearing shoes out side. I guess today was a the day to get a honey bee sting while wearing my Crocs . It was a total surprise and very painful while balancing a 50 pound bag of sand on my shoulder. So here is a reminder of what works and what doesn’t when some one in the family is needing some TLC from a bee sting.

honey bee

honey bee

The first thing to know is if any of  your friends or family is allergic to bee stings. If there is any chance of an allergy call 911. This simple step could save a life. Beyond a life threatening allergy there are a few things that can be used to calm a very painful and usually puffy bee sting.

my foot with a fresh honey bee sting

my foot with a fresh honey bee sting

As soon as I realized that I was stung I put down that 50 pound bag of play sand and pulled off the clog I was wearing. I looked down and looked for the classic black spot of a honey bee stinger still attached to the skin. I pulled it out with my fingers. Yes, you read that right I pinched the darn thing and pulled it out as fast as I could.I was not waiting to walk into the house to find a credit card to slowly pull the darn thing out. I can’t even imagine waiting to get the stinger out for myself but what about a toddler? Really, who is going to make them wait until you get in the house and find your pocketbook and dig out  a card, the whole time they are screaming at the top of their lungs to make it stop and tears are flowing. I am not that MaMa, I am a get that thing out of their as fast as you can and let’s get it washed ASAP, kinda grandma. Some research supports me in my thinking and others say do not take the chance to inject any more poison. I just know that the faster I get my personal stingers out of the skin the less they swell. So I remove them as fast as I can and head for a bathroom. I find that cool water is a God send. It cools the stink and washes away any dirt or grass that maybe in the sting area. If  the cooling would only last a little longer. If possible I take an aspirin or an antihistamine …  Yea, I know common sense would tell you to do this. Many people forget that aspirin is perfect for reducing swelling and pain suppression and Antihistamines  stops the terrible itching that always fallows a good sting. If you can’t get to Aspirin or a Allegra and you are treating a child try this. Mix up your own batch of Baking Soda and water and apply as a past to the sting.

baking soda and water mix together to get a paste

baking soda and water mix together to get a paste

baking soda paste on sting

baking soda paste on sting

Let this concoction dry and it will sooth the sting. It took about 5 minutes for the majority of the pain to pass away. Then to combat the swelling I washed my foot again with a cool wash cloth and used it as a compress. I have also used ice packs for wasp stings. I am more sensitive to them and swell a lot more.  Although, today all I really needed was to reach in my fridge and find a Blue Ice cooler pack and use it, wrapped in a paper towel.

blue ice pack and paper towel

blue ice pack and paper towel

 

After about three hours, I found that with a dose of Allegra, the ice and soda, I was totally fine. No pain, No swelling, and no itching, this was a great first day. Things went very well for a couple of days and on the 3 day after spending a large amount of time on my feet  I did notice a little swelling in my pinky toe and across the bridge of my foot and some general itching. I guess even after 48 hours there was enough poison in my system to have a slight reaction when I was walking all day.

2 hrs after bee sting

3 hrs after bee sting

Some of the other things that my family has tried over the years that do not help us who swell up like balloons are…. deodorant, Calamine lotion, Toothpaste, and  most of the bee sting kits. Most of the kits only mask the pain with a skin numbing agent and a small amount of rubbing alcohol. They do nothing to reduce swelling and the itching. These two symptoms are actually the worst for my family. I can usually get the stinging to stop with the above treatments,but they do nothing for the later effects. I have taken my son to the ER due to swelling of his foot so big that he was unable to wear shoes or see his three smallest toes for several days. So I always keep on had any form of generic children’s allergy medication and my Adult version just in case something happens. I even take them on vacations with us in our medical kits.

three days after a bee sting

three days after a bee sting

I hope that your summer is sting free. I am hoping that I am the only one in my family to have this experience this year. I know my heart would be broken if it was little Christopher who got in a fight with a bee and lost. Kids have such little bodies to deal with this and they suffer so much more than we do. So keep in mind these tips and maybe your summer will be a little more comfortable for everyone.

Categories: bee stings, family health, Healing, home remedies | Tags: , , , , , | 14 Comments

Cancer sucks! /Know One Gets Out of Here alive

Most everyone has experienced  Cancer in some way.We all know some one who has it, is recovering from it or has passed away from it. I have even owned a dog with it. It is a ruthless killer and if you are lucky to know, or  be some one who has survived it, you are a miracle. My life is up side down due to my dearly loved mother-in-laws diagnoses with throat cancer. If all you were not following to close this maybe the first time that you have seen me write about it. I was trying to let the terrible words sink in and not totally put a damper on my husbands 50th birthday party the last time I wrote about it. March 26 we were given the news that she had stage 3 throat cancer. It was a hard couple of days and my husband had a large birthday party planed 3 days later. How to celebrate the life of one loved one and stifle the tears for another one. It was a hard couple of days.4 generations of the powers family 2014 This is not even the first time I have dreaded hearing the words cancer as my X-husband passed from stomach cancer about 7 years ago at age 41, his mother soon after was also treated for cancer and survives to this day. I have seen my aunt fight to keep her breast for as long a possible fighting a little lump that would change her life. Cancer is part every species, race, age group, nation and living creature on the earth.We all fight the same battle and none of us is going to get out of here alive.

Cancer seems to either bring out the very best in people or the worst. I am proud to say that most of our family has come together in support of my mother in law. We all have heard stories about wives or husbands walking away from a sick spouse or a families falling  apart when a child becomes ill. It is a strange  thing to observe who hangs in their and who walks away. My husband and I are in the stay and fight camp. We along with his brother and sisters are all standing our ground in her fight against cancer.

Grandma is now receiving  her first round of radiation and is fighting infections of all kinds. It seems that when the cancer started to really grow in her body she was just worn down and infections of all kinds set in. It is as if one break down lead to another, some are even mental and spiritual. It has been a long hard fight but there is some light at the end of the tunnel now. The tumor is shrinking and she is slowly healing and gaining strength. At this point we are just hoping that  she will get to go home and spend some time with us. It is a simple wish from the heart with nothing flashy or brash.We know that with this type of cancer our time maybe limited so we make the best our of what time we have. grandma Wanda Dec 2013 Living surrounded by so much beauty here in the country you forget about what really happens in life sometimes. We all do, we all focus on work and dinner and paying bills, we just don’t always think about what happens at the end. It is our nature to not think about it, we are human. Then something makes you look at it again and you can only embrace the fact that it is part of the plan that we are born into, we are babies, we live, we die and the cycle begins again. This is what I see in the country every day. The farmers, the ranchers, herders live with it day in and day out, with death and birth, over and over again. I look out my kitchen window and see the hay that grows and watch as it gets mowed down in its prime, just so in the cold of winter something will live again. It is a perfect undisturbed system. I have been so lucky to share this country life with my mother in law for so many years. We lived only yards apart on the farm, we shared in the planting, growing and harvesting together. It was on the family farm that I learned about her and cycle of life that she loves still today. She taught me that every thing on the farm was a gift and that gift needed shared.

Grandma Wanda Powers with Christopher

Grandma Wanda Powers with Christopher

My family and  I know that what seems like an ending is really just the beginning.  A new beginning for her no matter where it takes her and for all of us who get to learn to step forward and teach others about what she has taught us over her 76 years. Cancer sucks,on that we can all agree, but it is really only a step towards the next phase in the journey. One that she is prepared to take and we will stand by her all the way.

Spike buck horns in the woods

Spike buck horns in the woods

 

Categories: Death, Family, family memories, Healing, health, old age | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Undiscussed Complications Related to Strep Throat a warning to Parents

This spring has been a long battle for me. I have had some health issue on and off for 5 weeks. Things just started off with a simple spring cold and cough, you know the typical stuff. Then about three good days and was sick again with a sore throat fever and chills. Classic symptoms of Strep Throat and I thought I would wait to see my Dr for a couple of days before running in to get antibiotics. So I did, waiting about 4 days before giving into the swollen glad and body aches that I had on the heals of the sore throat. Note that Strep is almost never seen in adults or teens over 16. It is strange at 45 to hear the clinic P.A.  say yes, it was a real case of strep throat and I was actually quite sick. I never knew that there are complications that regularly occur from this bacterial infection. Most of them you would never ever know about until you Goggled the information.

Over they years I have become a little leery about using to many antibiotics and steroids. I was happy to find that my P.A. did not force the issue of a steroid treatment on my first visit but just causally said he would let me call him back if I felt that I needed them without having another appointment fee. We also discussed that with my age he would expect my case to develop into a sinus infection. OK, great! At that point  he put me on a strong antibiotic to try to keep that from happening and to support the killing of the Streptococcus bacteria. I left the office feeling that this would be the end of all of my aliments. I was wrong!

After the 4 Th day of antibiotic treatment I was feeling really good. Spent some time with Tom outdoors hiking and mushroom hunting enjoying a wonderful day and spent a nice night playing with Christopher. The next morning was totally different.  I woke up to pressure in both ears and a terrible ringing in my right ear. The combination was very disturbing. The ringing lasted several days but over about 24 hours the pressure in my left ear released on its own with a nice Pop! So being a little slow to worry, I  weighted three more days before thinking that I needed the steroids . While these short days passed the symptoms got worse. My hearing was declining fast. The first morning was pressure and ringing but I could hear almost normally. By day 4 I had lost all of the hearing from that ear and the ringing had turned into a buzzing. The pressure was steady and very uncomfortable but not getting better.Things were looking like I was going to have to call and get the steroid medication whether I wanted it or not.

Ear

In the mean time a friend that I have known for about 15 years contacted me and asked me some serious questions about my situation and explained that  her daughter, went deaf in one ear at 17  from a strep infection. Her symptoms acted just like what I had written about in a Facebook post. Well that started me looking up all the information I could on Strep Throat and what her daughter has (idiopathic hearing loss) and what other causes we could find. Not only did I have strep throat just before this but I was also recovering from facial cold sore that I have been fighting with over 20 years.  All these factors added up to trouble. Karen explained that if her daughter had taken a steroids they think that they could have saved her hearing…but they waited to long. The period for treatment is less than a month and the hearing loss becomes permanent.  I also discovered the more common complications while looking up the ones for my problem… the list is LONG and SCARY.

Strep Throat complications included sinus infections, ear infections,enlarged and damage to the kidneys and middle ear problems, Rheumatic fever that damages the heart,to PANDAS- and O.C.D. ( obsessive compulsive disorder). Holy Crap  this is just part of the list. Just think of every kid you have ever known who has had this multiple times. I knew kids growing up that would get it every year or sometimes twice in a year. The risk of complications is real and as a woman who is too old to get strep, I was shocked at the amount of damage a sore throat can cause.

Lucky for me my friend encouraged me to call back to my Dr office and ask to get the steroids ASAP. I did call in for that prescription and began taking them the following morning. The wait was on and I was actually thinking that it would not work. I thought OK, at 45 I would be partly deaf and this was the price I was going to pay. I was wrong and I began to get relief over night.

The second day I picked up the phone and could hear a dial tone. The same one I could not hear the day before and I knew it was working. In about 48 hours the pressure was gone and almost all of my hearing had returned. I still have some issues with ringing but they are better than before. What I have experienced was an emotional roller coaster and has made me more aware of what our kids go through with just a minor cold. I would have never believed that 4 weeks of my life would be lost to a bacterial infection. That what we don’t know can really hurt our health and in this case my hearing. I don’t think it will ever be totally normal but I will take every song bird that I can can hear sing the rest of my life.

So when a child gets diagnosed with a simple case of Strep Throat for their sake take the time to really watch over them closely and make sure that if you see a rash, get complaints about ear pressure or pain, or issues with the stomach that you take it more seriously than before it could make the difference between them hearing your loving words or not hearing at all.

Categories: About me, child care, Healing, health, sickness, Strep Throat | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Frustration of the unhealed bone

I don’t often complain on my blog but today I am just at my wit’s end. After 6 months….yes…. 6 months have passed since I broke the quarter size bone in the bottom of my foot and I am still in pain. I have followed the Dr orders and they have not done much to help in the healing of the Sesamoid bone in my left foot.

bones of the foot showing the side view of the

bones of the foot showing the side view of the

From the bottom image in the diagram you can see the small little bone that I have broken on the bottom of my foot. The bone is like a cap to the joint of our big toe, acting like a knee cap does to our knee-joint. It is nice to have it to protect the joint but is not necessary for walking per say.  This little free-floating bone ( like the knee cap) is kept in place by tendons and muscles . In my case the bone broke perfectly in two pieces and is now flexing sharp bone shards back and forth as I walk. The pain is like having a paper cut every time I take a step, not pleasant at all. The burning and stinging eventually increased to the point that everything inflamed  making walking impossible.

I broke the bone in a very unusual way, In Oct of last year I was changing from my work clothes into yard work clothes, I lost my balance and ended up stomping my foot to the floor to catch myself from falling and “POP” went the bone. This bone is usually found broken in joggers or cross-country runners, not house wives and merchandisers.  As you can guess, It became sore and the whole of my foot became tender to the touch but the pain passed in a couple of days. I was left with just occasional times of burning and tenderness. I just thought it was a something dislocated or deeply bruised. I was wrong.

So finally,  in the first weeks of Dec. I just could not walk any more. The hours I put in walking as a merchandiser and Auditor in retail chains was more than I could stand . I headed to the Dr and proscribed a walking cast boot for up to twelve weeks.

photo of me Dec 10th 2013 in boot cast

photo of me Dec 10th 2013 in boot cast

I worked and did my daily routine with the boot through one of the coldest and snow covered winters that we have had in thirty years. I slipped and bobbed my way through winter being thankful to say home 6 weeks of those 12 weeks.

Air boot cast in snow

Air boot cast in snow

Then at 9 weeks I returned to the Orthopedic surgeon and the new x-ray showed no healing of the bone. Their is only two options at this point, 3 more weeks in a cast and/or surgery. The idea behind the three more weeks was that the Dr hoped that my body would form a scare around the bones to prevent it from moving and causing any more movement and pain.

During the last 3 weeks, I just burnt out. I tired of having cold wet toes every time I go out side. I hated that walking had become dangerous for the rest of my body, as I tried to walk over ice and snow up stairs and over slippery side walks. Finally, at the end of my 3 additional weeks I took the boot off a couple of days early as we went shopping and helped a friend with a couple of mini donkey trims in the snow. The test trips with out the case went well and I put the foot back in the boot for another week before the big reveal.

When freedom came  last week I was over joyed, I  had hoped to put the boot cast to good use,  letting my 5-year-old turn it into a toy. My happiness was short-lived. The pain returned quickly.

Christopher daning in my Air cast boot

Christopher dancing in my air cast boot

Now about two weeks have passed and I feel crippled again. The nonstop pain is back every time I take a step with out this cumbersome device. I am back to wearing it unless I am reading, writing, or watching TV and generally sitting down. The future plan is to have to bone removed ASAP, meaning sometime in the first weeks of April. Then another 5 weeks at home on bed rest and then another 4 to 5 weeks in another cast.

my air cast boot in the entry area with other shoes

my air cast boot in the entry area with other shoes

I am finding this whole process frustrating. It will be  harder as the weather warms up and the flowers and garden need planting. I am hopeful that by the end of May that I will be in my Crocks again working outside. Until then I am still plugging around the house and finding as much enjoyment in my kitchen as I can. I am adjusting to my more sedentary life as best I can. It is hard not to walk on the treadmill and take mile long walks with Christopher. It appears that I am  home bound a while longer and need to learn to take life more slowly.

Categories: About me, Healing, health, Pain, work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

A Time and Place to Heal

    Do you ever wonder after some major change in your life that maybe even if things didn’t turn out the way you expected that they turned out for the best?

Quarter horse mare and foal... my baby "Dancer"

Quarter horse mare and foal… my baby “Dancer”

   When Tom and I moved off the farm 2 1/2 years ago I think we were both felt a little confused and lost. We had thought that our future was the land and the animals that we had filled it with. We both had jobs and at the time a toddler who needed us. We just had no idea that the future had us elsewhere and that we needed time away from the farm work to rest and heal. Tom needed two major surgeries and I needed to get time to raise Christopher, grandma need a place to recover from major surgery and I would eventually need time to heal a broken bone and time start this blog. ( this is my 50th blog post, a year has almost passed on WordPress)

Tom the day after arm surgery aug 2012

Tom the day after arm surgery Aug 2012

 When we moved Tom was suffering from not only Carpal tunnel but Cubital tunnel also, in both arms ( Cubital Tunnel is at the elbow) and it was getting worse. I knew without the surgeries his days of farm work and being a Farrier to our clients horses were over. I also knew that I was just plain tired of working so hard. Taking care of a toddler, working and looking after 7 head of horses and the rest of our animals was more than a full-time job. I wanted more time to play and show our son the world and you can’t just pack up and leave 15 or 20 animals alone and go to grandmas 1500 miles away.

Tom forming horse shoes on anvil

Tom forming horse shoes on anvil

  So our move off the farm was a good one, not because we understood that we needed to find the old unloved house that we now live in or bring it back to life. We had no way of knowing that the time and money to get Tom arms fixed would take years, not months to correct.That Christopher’s grandma would need loving care and at our house for several weeks or that I would need to let a broken bone heal for 6 weeks. Some how, not having the farm was just what we all needed at the right time.

Grandma staying with us after her surgery

Grandma staying with us after her surgery

   I guess this broken bone in my foot has really changed things for me.I was always looking after everyone else so they had time to heal, now it is me who needs the time off. I think I broke my foot in September but I’m not really sure. The pain just kept growing and no healing was taking place. The pain got so intense that I just couldn’t take a walk out to our mail box anymore. I had to see the Dr and hope they could fix what ever was wrong because without some kind of help I was looking at losing my job and not being able to do simple things like grocery shopping. All due to my feet hurting.

Well the mystery is now over and I look like this…..

Jolynn in her leg in air cast Dec 9th 2013

Jolynn in her leg in air cast Dec 9th 2013

I have some how ( the Dr say stress fractured) the small bone under my big toe joint. I would try to spell it but really it is not worth the mental anguish to figure it out. They are hoping that with 6 weeks off my feet and in the cast it should heal but given the fact that I think I have been walking on it for almost three months with no signs of healing they are not sure what to expect. If the bones do not knit themselves back together then surgery going to be in Feb. At that point they will remove a portion of the bone that is floating loose in the ball of my foot. That would mean another 4 to 6 weeks off.

    So as I look back over the last 2 1/2 years, the amount of time we have been off the farm, I can’t help but to see that we needed this move. The whole family needed less, less things, less land, fewer animals and more time to rest and heal. Who would have guess that my 1920s cottage with thousands in repairs would turn into a safe haven for all of our broken bodies. Again, I am always amazed at how things work out for the best even when we are unwilling or unprepared to see what we need at certain times in our lives. I am just glad to have this healing place we call home.

the new back porch Tom built on the old house last year

the new back porch Tom built on the old house last year

Categories: Family, Farming, Farrier work., Healing, Home | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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