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Flares

Flare-ups.  It’s the dirty word in the world of chronic pain sufferers.

Crying.

Bone-crushing pain.

Swelling.

Burning.

Crying.

Gnashing of teeth.

Hell.

Yeah, I said a word that Christians aren’t supposed to use.  But I’m not just using this as a flippant curse word.  RSD/CRPS is listed at the very top of the pain scale for a reason:

It’s terrible, aching, burning, irritating pain. Everyday. But then something causes a flare-up and I’ve just got the wind knocked out of me, too.

And sometimes it’s the simplest of things that can cause a flare-up. For me, it’s the rain, mayonnaise, thunderstorms, fried foods, cold weather.  These are things that I can count on causing flare-ups.

But then there are unforeseen things.  Like last weekend, I had an energy drink and a few hours later, my leg and foot just felt like it was in some kind of burning torture device for the rest of the day/evening.  And then one of my children moved a belt on the bed and the metal buckle accidentally hit my foot. It sent my body into a pretty deep trauma mode this past week. My left hand and my RSD foot/leg began having spasms because of the trauma.

I had an appointment with my neurologist yesterday, but I’m still trying to sort out how I feel about it.  Basically, he upped my lyrica. I was pretty nervous about the spasms in my hand and foot/leg and he wrote it off as trauma b/c of the belt.  He doesn’t think the RSD is progressing. And he doesn’t think it’s b/c of the lyrica.  And he told me that the spasms were definitely not dystonia and didn’t look like myclonic jerks. I wanted to know the difference between what I was experiencing and dystonia and asked him.  He seemed to be a little upset that I asked.  Like I was questioning him.  I wasn’t.  I really did want to know. I’m freaked out about what my body is doing and he’s the doctor. Right?!?

Mike has been doing a ton of research on hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) the last few weeks. I’ve asked some of my online RSD friends about it and have heard positive things about it. So I asked my dr. about the HBOT and his response: “well, if you have the resources to pay for it…but….it’s more for blood vessel rehabilitation rather than your kind of RSD.”  In other words, he wasn’t really for it.

So, I’m left with this uneasy feeling about the whole appointment. I guess I should be glad that he said it wasn’t anything to be worried about. So, why I am sitting here still worrying about it? ….

“b/c you’re Shara and that’s what you do.”

Ok, Momma, Kris, Mike, and God…I hear you.

I’ll try to stop. I’ll give it a few more days. My dr did say to call him back if I’m still having the spasms in a week or two.  I want to listen to him. I just can’t shake off the feeling. Mike was with me, though, and he reads people really well and he seemed to think the appointment was fine.  I guess I’ve just been so keyed up from this last flare-up that I can’t think straight.  The more anxiety I have, the more pain I have, the more medicine I have to take for the anxiety and pain =  Shara doesn’t think straight.

Thank God for Mike.

I’m serious.  He’s my rock.  How many other husbands have to work with middle school kids, high school students, and then have to take care of three children under the age of ten and have to deal with the ups and downs of a seriously sick wife?  Mike is one of a kind.  And then there’s the week of a really bad flare-up like this last week, and I can’t even explain how strong he is for all of us.  He tried to stay home with me and go to work and be home again so that he could meet the kids at the bus after school and he made lunches every night and comforted me everyday and went to a meeting at school for Clarky’s speech and took me to my dr appointment, and then all the other church stuff this week that I don’t see.

This is why I want to get better.  He’s not only doing his part, but my part, too.  I want to be able to help my family again.  I want to be able to help Mike again. I don’t want flare-ups anymore.

I want to be better.

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Sunshine

There’s sunshine today.

That is my blessing today.

And I can see that it’s very windy out there…it’s reminding me of Kansas, and of home.

I want to be honest on here.  So I’m going to tell you that with starting to write again has really brought a lot of emotions the last few days. I went back and read through several of my past posts leading up to my diagnosis and us moving to Virginia and then when I just abruptly quit writing.

So many emotions.

There’s been quite a bit of tears the last couple of days.

And a few too many cookies eaten.

Yeah….I’m an emotional eater.  I hate that.

But there’s sunshine today.  That means hope to me.

And if any of you deal with depression, you know what I mean.  You long to soak up that God-given vitamin D, to bathe in His warmth.

I’ve decided to share this blog with my new family at Fairmount, so I may be having a lot more people reading about me and my family.  And for some reason, this has brought on some weird emotions for me.  I want to share myself with others or I wouldn’t have started this blog, but knowing and willingly opening myself and my family up to a new family is….well…honestly…a little scary.

But I gave this blog, this journey up to the Lord when I decided to write again. And I know that this is what He wants. It’s what I want, too. I’m not able to get out to go to church on Sundays or to other church activities, and I want my new church family to get to know me. And even though it’s been rather dark and rainy (literally and emotionally) the last couple of days:

there’s sunshine today.

“Oh, how sweet the light of day, and how wonderful to live in the sunshine!”

Ecclesiastes 11:7

The Message

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Overdo Update

I guess it’s been a little while since I’ve updated…

Yeah…moving was rough.

Physically

Emotionally

Spiritually

I’m just now beginning to feel like my head is a little above the water. I had a scare in June that put me in the hospital. The docs said it was a crazy virus that made me severely sick and dehydrated and landed me in the hospital for a few days. I and my doc think it’s b/c my RSD has me weakened and so some bug that the kids or Mike brought home, I got it and well…I got it really, really bad. Just another reason I’m afraid to get out.

The kids had a great long summer. 🙂 They started school after Labor Day and have been doing great! They go to Pole Green Elementary. Cade is in 4th grade; Reagan is in 3rd grade; and Clark started Kindergarten this year. They are growing up so fast!!

So my beautiful kiddos have been doing great!

I started seeing a neurologist in September.  I think he’s a pretty good doc so far.  He started me on Lyrica and really think it’s starting to help a little.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed…but not too tight.

And then the spiritual…yeah.  Me and God. We’ve been wrestling a bit.

Having a chronic pain disease is not easy.

Being agoraphobic is not easy.

Moving across the country is not easy.

Being shy is not easy.

Having three children under the age of 10 is not easy.

Not being able to be a normal 34 year old woman is not easy.

So me and God have been wrestling. Wrestling with the why me’s. Wrestling with the why does my husband have to deal with this?  Wrestling with the fact that my very identity….my passion…my ministry….the way I took care of my family…. has been stolen from me.  You can read the whole first half of my blog to understand this.  My blog used to be called SharATreat.  It was all about baking and cooking and food.  But now I can no longer stand in one spot longer than about 10 minutes. Which means I might be able to fix a box of mac & cheese or a smoothie or a PBJ on a good day. I’ve also been wrestling with what I’m supposed to do now.

What AM I supposed to do now?!?

I mean as far as ministry is concerned? I used to bake for my ministry.  So God and I have been talking about what I should be doing.

So He showed me Ephesians 4:1.  Here’s what it says in the Message:  “I want you to get there and walk – better yet, run! – on the road God called you to travel.  I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands.  I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere.”

Uh…ok.  If that’s not a smack in the face, I don’t know what is. First of all, I know I won’t be running anytime soon and that walking is a real challenge even on good days, but this still resinates with me. Especially the part about sitting around on your hands.  When I read this I could literally almost hear God whisper: That means you, Shara. You can still write with your hands. The RSD is not in your hands.  I can use your hands. It’s time to start writing again.

And get this… I’m talking to Mike about this and Ephesians 4:1-4 are the Scriptures he’s using in his ministry this year.  I had no idea.

But God did.

I’m still not 100% sure where I’m supposed to go with all of this, but I do know that I’m supposed to start this blog back up. If nothing else, I can just share what’s going on in my life and what God is doing.  And hopefully I can share a few pictures and if I’m feeling up to it, a recipe or two ;0)

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Knock, Knock

Hello?

Knock, Knock….

Is there still anyone out there?

As you can tell from the last post (from back in October), my life has been turned upside down.  It’s now been 6 months….6 long scary months since we last visited.

And not a lot has changed, except for one big thing.

We are moving.

To Virginia.

See that little red “A” marker on the map below.  Yep, that’s where we’re moving.

Man, that’s a long ways away for this Okie…whose never lived farther than 5 hours from her Momma.

But when your in the ministry…you go where God has called you.

And you get this really strange peace about it.

Oh, I’ve shed my fair share of tears.  And I’m not done.  We are moving away from blood family.  We are moving away from our Crossroads family.  It’s scary and exciting all at the same time.

There’s lots more to share, but my foot can only handle being away from it’s pillow and heating blanket for so long.

So I’ll be updating a little more frequently.  I can’t express how deeply sad I am that I can no longer bake and cook like I used to.  I can barely stand up long enough to fix ramen noodles.  But I think there’s more out there that I can share about, right?  Right!!  And I’ve still got all my other recipes from last year.  I may even just blog about the recipes I never got around to sharing, even though I can’t make them anymore.

Man, I’ve missed you guys!!

Shara

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Things have changed

When I started this blog, my intention was to share my love of baking with all of you, and throw in some “treats” about my family. Oh, and share a little about my struggle with depression. Thus the name, “shar A treat”. (also a play off my name :D)

Little did I know that a few short months after starting this blog that my life was about to be turned upside down.

Little did I know that I would be diagnosed with a chronic pain condition and that everything I knew about my life was to be forever different.

I’ve struggled the last week or more about what to write….this disease is crippling. You know when God talked about hell being like wailing and gnashing of teeth….I’m pretty sure He was talking about RSD. After doing some more research on RSD, I found this pain scale:

Did you see what’s at the very top?  RSD.  Yep…it’s the highest on the pain scale. More than childbirth. More than cancer pain. More than a broken bone.

So, I haven’t written anything. I’ve been silent. I mean, I haven’t been baking or cooking because I can only stand for a few minutes at a time before my foot turns completely red and swollen. And if I’m not baking, then I’ve got nothing to share.  Right?!

So, I’ve been doing a lot of praying. Asking God a lot of questions. Questions like…

Why me?
Why is this happening to my family?
Doesn’t Mike have enough to handle?
Would life for my family be better without me? Then they wouldn’t have to take care of me or worry about me.

And after a lot of these questions to God and lots of tears, I began to hear God’s still small voice.

You do have something to share.

Not what you had originally planned, but I’ve got something more.

It’s not about you.

It’s about Me.

So, I’m back.  I’m sorry that it won’t be about cooking or baking.  I know I’ll probably lose some of you because of changing my theme about baking, but that’s okay.  From here on out, this blog will be about the struggle I have with RSD, the pain and frustration it causes our family, but the hope that there is Something bigger.  That God is bigger.  That He is my Hope.

Welcome to shar A hope

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I know, I know…it’s been a loooooooong time since I’ve posted any recipes.  Quite frankly, I’ve just been making my staple dishes that I’ve already posted.  I just haven’t felt like being inventive or like trying anything new.  My foot can only take standing for so long, and if I’m going to be in the kitchen I want preparation to be as fast and as easy as possible.  One of my first posts was about a great go-to menu plan.  It’s something like this:

And I still use this plan.  My family’s tastes are pretty basic, so instead of stressing about what to make, I came up with this plan and it’s worked really well…especially during the school season.

Since tonight was Pizza night, I made my staple half cheese-half pepperoni pizza but I also made my new favorite:

Fresh Mozzarella & Roma Pizza

  • 1 recipe of Pizza Dough
  • 2 Tbsp real mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 3 medium roma tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced (I buy mine at Aldi here in Hutch and it comes packaged in a round ball shape, but I’m sure you can find at just about any grocery store…just look where the specialty cheeses are sold).
  • 1/4 c shredded pizza blend cheese
  • Italian Seasoning, to taste (I use Pizza Seasoning from Glenn’s Bulk Foods)

Prepare dough and while rising, combine mayonnaise, butter, and garlic salt.  Slice tomatoes.  Slice the fresh mozzarella.  Divide dough in half after rising and with each half, spread out on greased pizza pan.  Prepare one of the pans with your favorite toppings (my family is half cheese and half pepperoni).  The other pizza top as follows:  spread mayo/butter/garlic mixture on top of dough; top with sliced romas, then pizza blend cheese, fresh mozzarella, and lastly sprinkle with italian seasoning or pizza seasoning.  Bake in 450 degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until bottom of pizza is golden brown.

Before baking:

After:

And before I close and call it a night, there has been a lot of “firsts” for our family this week.  Today was another one:

You know what this is?  A bike chain.  You know why we need a bike chain?  Because my big 3rd grader has deemed himself old enough to ride his bike to school.  He’s been begging since last year, but I just couldn’t let him go…let go of him.  But last night, a friend down the street asked if Cade could ride with him this morning, promising that they could chain their bikes together, and I couldn’t think of a reason why he shouldn’t.  We’ve discussed it further after school, and came to a compromise of letting him ride 2-3 days a week, depending on our schedules.  He took the deal. 😀  So Mike took Cade to Target after dinner and they picked out this chain.

My mommy heart was hurting this morning.  Standing at the front screen door, as I watched him ride away , I couldn’t stop the tears from rolling down my cheeks.  Letting him go was tough on this ol’ softy’s heart.  I know it’s not that big of a deal, but it’s just one step closer to him taking on more responsibility.  A step towards his independence. One step closer to him becoming a man.  I’m not sure how much more my mommy heart can take this week. 😀

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Summer Updates

RSD Update: I feel like I’ve slept through most of the Summer because of these crazy pain pills.  BUT I’m already seeing some real improvements, so I shouldn’t be on them for too much longer.  I’m taking less every day.  YEAH!!!  The vitamin D is making feel better all over….emotionally and physically, and my physical therapy is working.  My range of motion is remarkably better and walking with just barely a limp.  I may have RSD, but it’s not going to rule my life!

I spent all last week working on switching the kiddos rooms around.  Actually, we moved Cade into his own room and Reagan in with Clarky.  It was a big, BIG project because I hadn’t gone through any of their clothes in a long time.  I ended up with three trash bags full of clothes for my sister’s girls, one bag for my brother’s lil’ guy, and two bags saved back for Clark.  I can’t believe all that stuff actually fit in their rooms!

Here’s Cade’s new room:

And Reagan & Clarky’s bunk beds:

I can’t believe the school year is about to start…Didn’t the kiddos just get out for the summer?  We’ve made some big decisions concerning school this year.  Reagan will be attending the Community School of Hutchinson…a small Christian school/homeschool co-op.  She will attend school Monday through Friday and then I will homeschool her on Thursday and Fridays.  It’s a decision that we (Mike and I) thought about and prayed about for quite a bit during the last school year.  I love Morgan Elementary.  I love the teachers, the staff, the principle. Every teacher my kiddos have had are good Christian women and they have loved on and taken care of my babies during the school year.  However, I felt like we were losing my little girl.  We’ve never had a bad experience there, and as a matter of fact, Cade will continue there again this year.  We had issues with the influence of the kids, the girls she was around.  It was just things that were completely out the teachers’ controls.  There’s only so much they can do.  So, this is how we came to this decision.  I feel at peace at about it.  I’m really looking forward to spending more one on one time with Reagan.  Since she’s my middle baby, she gets a little lost in the shuffle at times.

Clark will start preschool this year, too.  Community School has a one day a week preschool and Clark is sooooo excited that he’s going to school with his best friend.  He has an evaluation this week concerning his speech, so we’ll find out if he’ll be returning to speech therapy again this fall.  AND he got a haircut this morning (“wike Daddy, pweeeze” he told me):

So with Cade going to Morgan Elementary and Reagan going to Community School and Clark starting preschool and possibly speech therapy…we are in for a full Fall 😀

As far as recipes…I just haven’t been making anything new lately.  Once school starts, we’ll be back on a more regular schedule and I’ll be back to cooking again.  I did make Pizza and No Bakes tonight…yummo!

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