"Those who tell you something cannot be done have never done anything that required faith in God." Jen Backus

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Never Miss a Dose.

We missed a few doses of Mark's many supplements the other day. When he got home from work it had been a full 24 hours since he had taken anything besides food and water into his body, and he said he had been feeling his muscles twitching like crazy all day. This is really significant, not only because of what is happening in the body when the muscles are doing that, but also because he hasn't complained of the muscle fasciculations since we started all the supplements about a month ago. Which gives me hope that what we are doing is actually working and slowing things down. Obviously I can't let him miss another dose, but it's encouraging to know we have made a few good decisions.
I posted a link to the right of an excellent website, (I Am Perfectly Healthy), with lots of information and descriptions of some of the detoxing we are doing now. Mark especially loves drinking the Red Desert Clay mixed with water. :) Just kidding- he says it tastes like dirt. Well it is certainly not the worst tasting concoction I have served up lately. Last night as I brought everything out to him he looked at me and then looked at everything- his three cups of juices (cod liver oil in a little juice, MMS solution in juice, and beet kvass), glass of water, dish of a handful of capsules & tablets, essential oils, and Zeolite in a dropper, and gave a great sigh. Harley, our three year old, has gotten very good at telling Daddy to take his medicine. Bless his heart he really loves to help- me to get it all ready and Mark to take it.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

We Have Popcorn!

We are doing well. We have had several visits this week from family and friends. My father-in-law brought the young men from his ward over to mow our back yard as a service project. What would have taken us all day took them a couple of hours and it looks great. Thank you Mike! We also woke up to a surprise on our front porch one morning of a party tub filled with toys and games for the kids as well as a restaurant card for Mark and I. The boys were so excited. Hyrum danced around the house singing "We have popcorn, we have popcorn" to his own invented tune. I had no idea my kids were so deprived. I used to buy popcorn, until the boys took my popcorn popper outside one day and the dogs chewed up the pieces. And why not? Hopefully those with boys can relate and it is not just MY boys. The things they do sometimes simply defy explanation. Anyway that was a while ago, so the popcorn was a huge hit. To the anonymous giver of the party tub: thank you! We loved it.
I promised to detail the things we are doing to bring Mark back to a state of good health. I should probably start by explaining the basics. A few years ago I bought a cookbook that led me to adopt my entire philosophy on nutrition and health. When I have a question about anything related to food, I first turn to this foundation. The cookbook is called Nourishing Traditions, and the foundation is called the Weston Price Foundation. The principles are pretty simple (but they can get pretty technical if you want, and I don't). If I could really sum it up I would say this:
1. cod liver oil
2. no processed foods, refined white flours or sugars, artificial colorings/flavorings, anything like that.
3. healthy fats are vital
4. Raw dairy products
5. Lacto-fermented beverages and condiments.

6. lots of seasonal, local produce.
So this is how I cook. Most of the time. I do confess to making cookies and cakes when the occasion arises, but there are some things I will make a big deal about NEVER ingesting, like aspartame, and soy products. But I digress. So to start with, Mark is taking cod liver oil very diligently twice a day. Bless his heart he does not complain. That is something I absolutely love about him. He has always supported me in all my weirdness and is always willing to listen as I bounce off whatever it is I am learning about on him. I am always reading and researching things, and I'll make my mind up about something and then forget why. (Yes I have lately begun taking notes). So sometimes I say- I don't remember why, but I know this ingredient is toxic. And he trusts me! And I love him for it.
Mark has promised to tell me if he notices any changes in his condition at all. It is difficult for me to notice a change when I see him for most of every day, but he has allowed me to copy the following paragraph. It is cut from the middle of his most recent letter to his brother Mitchell, who is serving a mission in Kennewick, Washington.

"My condition has slightly worsened. My right calf is getting a little weaker and it is getting harder to stand up from a lying or sitting position. The goal is to stop the muscle twitches. If we stop the muscle twitches…we stop the disease. So I really have to pay close attention to my body throughout the day…especially when I try a new vitamin, mineral, supplement, oil, treatment….etc…... My whole left arm is weak, shriveled and almost crippled. I can barely use my left thumb to pick up a piece of paper. I can not tie my shoes, put on my socks, tie my tie, button my pants, or hold anything more than 10 lbs. in my left hand. Do not be discouraged, my body will be perfect someday. :) TRY FOR ONE DAY OR ONE HOUR NOT TO USE YOUR LEFT ARM…THAT’S HOW I LIVE EVERYDAY."

As I read that back to myself, it sounds a bit harsh. But Mark has always been honest, sometimes painfully so. He remains thankful for the strength he still has, and even still wrestles with the boys. Today he and the boys cleaned the entire house while I made dinner. It was so nice, even if it did inspire Bryce to rearrange bedrooms, move his and his brothers' beds around and create a disaster area in his brothers' room. By the time they were done it was bedtime. What a mess. But they were so happy with their new room. Maybe we'll let them keep it that way for a while.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ready to share

I'm starting a blog to update the world on my husband. I may talk about myself and the kids though as well. I have to promise myself I will not obsess with making it cute and sounding intelligent, as I have never been very good at either. Mark has experienced some weakness and muscle loss in his left hand that has now spread throughout his arm and shoulder. He has been to many doctors and has been given several possibilities. He finally went all the way up the chain of doctor referrals and ended up visiting the Barrows Neurological Institute about a month ago. There he saw a team of doctors and therapists who will continue to monitor and work with him. And in that time I have been so impressed at the sheer number of people calling and visiting and sending notes- all offering their help, support, prayers, and love. For this we are truly thankful. I always knew he was a nice guy, but it turns out I'm just one of many whose lives he has touched in a profound and wonderful way. We've been given the opportunity to stop and re-evaluate our lives and the state of our little family. I have to keep reminding myself that the Lord gives us trials to bring us closer to him. I know if we didn't need this, it would be taken from us and we would not be asked to bear it. But there is something for us to learn, and lately I have been feeling like this is just the beginning of a journey, and life really does go on. The boys still need their routines, we still need a date night now and then, and I still need to get away and get my hair done once in a while.
The medical establishment gives very little hope of recovery from a disease like ALS. Well, I have never had much faith in the medical establishment anyway. We are doing a lot of our own research right now and finding a lot of possibilities. I'll write about them specifically in later posts. There is a lot we are doing, and it would take time to write about each one. Right now Mark is in the backyard playing frisbee with the boys and I need to prepare his evening supplements and put the baby to bed. More to come later...