Thursday, April 28, 2011

Backing authority in your child's life

One of the most important things a parent can do for their child is to back their child's authority. I'm primarily thinking of the Christian school setting for this post. Obviously, God designed parents to be the primary human authority over their own children, but if a parent chooses to place their child in a Christian school, the parent is essentially entrusting some of that authority to the teacher, at least for the hours the child is at school. I think as parents, our initial, normal reaction is to want to defend our child. There can be a time and a place for that, if we do it the right way. And granted, teachers are human and make mistakes just like everyone else.

If there really is a situation where you feel your child has been unfairly treated by a teacher or some other authority figure, the best thing you can do for your child is to NEVER let your child see that you disagree with the decision made by the teacher. Letting your child see that you disagree - or worse, that you are angry and resentful towards the teacher - does great damage to a child. In fact, it breeds rebellion in the heart of a child. and it is extremely difficult to undo that kind of damage in your child's heart. Instead, go to that teacher privately to speak with them. But the key here is to wait until you have had time to calm down. Don't go talk with that teacher when you are so mad and upset that you cannot even see straight. No good is going to come of that, and you will probably end up saying much that you regret.
Also, realize that many, many times there was just a big misunderstanding. Get to the bottom of the situation before you jump to conclusions, even if the conclusions seem logical. Give the teacher the benefit of the doubt. And it's important to realize that children sometimes get the story wrong. It's hard as a parent to not immediately take your child's side. It is possible - and highly likely - that a child will put some sort of a spin on the story to make himself appear more innocent than he really was in the matter. Am I saying that you should consider that your child sometimes does not tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?!  (Not my child, you say to yourself. My child would never lie to me!) Yes, it is entirely possible that your child just told you a bold-faced lie to get out of being in trouble. I'm not suggesting that you should become overly suspicious of anything your child ever says. Absolutely not! But what I am saying, is that you need to get to the bottom of the situation, and do not "take up the cause" for your child before you even know whether the child was in the wrong or not. Ask the Lord for wisdom and discernment in how you should proceed with problems between the teacher and your child.

I've heard the story of a teacher who told all of her students' parents on the first day of school - "If you promise not to believe everything your child says happened at school, I promise not to believe everything your child says happened at home." I like this humorous saying, because it really does go both ways. Teachers and parents both need to work together at solving little problems that come up. If they both gave each other the benefit of the doubt before getting angry, we would have a lot fewer problems in the classroom.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Follow-up post about Thyroid disease

Yet another thyroid post - can you handle another one? :) I wanted to update about my appointment today. But first, what does the picture have to do with thyroid disease, you ask? Not one thing, but I just thought this post needed a fun picture. :)

I took my My Med Lab bloodwork results sheet to show my doctor. In my last post, I mentioned that my TSH was 5.54. My doctor said he wants to get that number below 1. He said a lot of doctors think that a TSH of below 1 is over-medicating. He disagrees. The research I have done also has indicated that a TSH below 1 is so much better than a 1 or a 2. He was not as concerned with my Free T3 and Free T4 numbers, and here's why. In about a month, he is going to have me come back to do extensive bloodwork. I can't even remember all the tests he said he would run, but I do remember a few - antibodies, insulin resistance, cortisol, cholesterol, progesterone, estrogen. There were more, but like I said, that's all I remember. He said he needs a baseline from which to then be able to treat my symptoms fully. He said there is a reason why my levels are off, but it could be any number of things, and he's going to try to find out why through the bloodwork. The main thing he advised me to do was 1.) always take my medication (I take Armour) on an empty stomach, and 2.) avoid the following foods like the plague - soy and all soy products of any kind, peanuts and peanut butter, and garbanzo beans. I have to chuckle at that last one.....I've never heard anyone say to avoid chick peas! Too funny! Come to find out, garbanzo beans are a "close cousin" to soybeans. Soy, peanuts and garbanzo beans all INTERFERE with the thyroid. I'm not going to pretend like I understand exactly how (my doc explained it, but it was pretty technical), but suffice it to say, they do. :)

My husband was able to go with me for this appointment, and I was so glad he was able to hear exactly what the doctor said. I always seem to forget half of what was said, or sometimes I have a hard time explaining technical things to someone else. My husband has done even more research than I have about the thyroid, and he was very impressed with my doctor's answers and explanations. He feels that this doctor will really be able to get to the bottom of my symptoms.

Of course, we realize that all healing and help comes from the Lord. We are praising the Lord for the way in which He continues to work in this situation. I just cannot say this enough, if you or someone you know is struggling with thyroid problems, please please please do not give up. Keep fighting for answers and don't give up hope that one day soon your life will be back to "normal" again.

photo from free pixels

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Medical Testing / Thyroid Testing

Disclaimer - the following post is meant to be simply informative, but in no way is it meant to treat, diagnose, or give any kind of medical advice. I am not a My Med Lab affiliate.

Have you heard of My Med Lab? You can register for a free account and request blood work, all without a script from a doctor. There are many different types of tests - thyroid, autism, vitamin levels, cancer screens, female wellness, male wellness, hormones, diabetes, liver, autoimmune, and more. The tests are very reasonably priced, at least as far as I have found. Once you have selected and paid for the tests you want, your order will be reviewed and approved within two hours. My order for some thyroid tests was approved almost instantly. Then you just print out the approved order, and take it to the nearest lab that is affliated with My Med Lab. In my case, I just took it to the nearest Labcorp. I walked into Labcorp, handed them my order, and I had my results back from my blood work THE NEXT DAY! I was able to view my results online at My Med Lab. Now all I have to do is print out my results to take them to my doctor at my next appointment.

Why would you need to use My Med Lab? I often hear of people with thyroid problems or suspected thyroid problems that have trouble getting their doctor to agree to run certain tests. You can order your own blood tests, without needing your doctor to approve them. This happened to me. I asked my doctor (at the time) if he could run Free T3. My doctor only wanted to run Total T3. My doctor said it was an extremely expensive test. I ran TSH, Free T3 and Free T4 for about the same price I always paid for my bloodwork at other labs.

Another reason you might want to use My Med Lab is if you suspected that your thyroid levels were off, but didn't want to make an appointment with your doctor just to get a script, then have to go get bloodwork, then make another appointment to discuss the results with your doctor. Using My Med Lab eliminates that first apointment. You can simply order your tests first, then make one appointment to discuss the results.

I will point out that my family and I have chosen not to have traditional health insurance. We are part of Samaritan Ministries, and I will try to write a post explaining how Samaritan Ministries works in regards to health care very soon. I pay out-of-pocket for bloodwork and doctor's appointments. I am not sure how My Med Lab would work for someone that does have insurance.

So the results from today - TSH was 5.54, Free T3 was 3.3 (range 2.0- 4.4), and Free T4 was 0.91 (range 0.82 - 1.77). After I see my doctor about my results I'll write a post explaining these levels. I know the TSH is way too high, and the Free T4 is too low. I'm not sure about the Free T3 since I have never had that tested before. While the TSH is not super high (I've been at 54 before), it is still high enough to explain why I've been feeling bad again lately.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Resurrection Sunday

This coming Sunday is Resurrection Sunday. It's also called Easter, but I love to call it Resurrection Sunday. It's my most favorite Sunday of the entire year! It is a day of reflection as I recall the story of the brutal torture and death of the Lord Jesus Christ, knowing that He was on that cross dying for me. It is a day of gratefulness as I thank Him for willingly laying down His life and shedding His own precious blood to pay my sin debt. It is a day of rejoicing, as I worship the One Who has the power to raise Himself from the dead. My Savior is living!

I often wonder what it was like to be one of the women who went to the tomb that morning. Their day did not start out triumphant. (Now Jesus had actually already risen from the dead sometime before dawn, but of course, the women did not know this yet.) Their day started with sadness and sorrow, and possibly dread, as they faced their task of going to the tomb. They expected to see the torn, bruised body of the One they loved so much. I'm sure there were tears as their mind played over and over the horrific scenes of the crucifixion they had witnessed just days earlier. They did not understand, they could not comprehend why Jesus had to die in such a way. And what were they to do now? What would happen to them?

But I love the account given in the Bible. They found the heavy stone already rolled away from the tomb. The two angel messangers said unto the women, "Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen...." Aren't those just some of the most beautiful words in all the Bible? The women's lives were changed forever, as they realized the Savior was alive again!

Yet how sad that we often fill the day up with things that have nothing to do with the Resurrection! I'm not going to list out all kinds of things that I think are not wise for a Christian to participate in. Often that just brings division and offense. But my point is, are the things you are planning to participate in on Resurrection Sunday honoring to the Lord, and do those things put Him FIRST on this special day? (Of course, we are to put the Lord first every day, in every area of our lives, but we're specifically talking about Easter here.) My personal belief is this - if your plans for Easter cause you to miss church, then would it not seem that Jesus is not being given first place? I know there would be those that say that is a little strict, that there is no such commandment in Scripture to go to church twice (morning and evening service) on Sunday, but would it not seem right to put Him first ALL day, and maybe put off some of our own plans until another day so that we would be able to be in church for both services?

I hope we will not be so caught up in "observing a holiday" that we miss the importance of this day. I do think there are many special things we can participate in on this day that do not detract from the Lord Jesus in any way. But I hope that in our activities and in our hearts we put the Lord Jesus Christ first in all that we say and do - on Resurrection Sunday, and all other days as well. For doesn't He deserve our best service, after all He has done for us?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

He Remembers

I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure. ~ Genesis 33:14

Entire Selection from Streams in the Desert -

"What a beautiful picture of Jacob's thoughtfulness for the cattle and the children! He would not allow them to be overdriven even for one day. He would not lead on according to what a strong man like Easu could do and expected them to do, but only according to what they were able to endure. He knew exactly how far they could go in a day; and he made that his only consideration in arranging the marches. He had gone the same wilderness journey years before, and knew all about its roughness and heat and length, by personal experience. And so he said, "I will lead on softly" (Gen. 33:14. "For ye have not passed this way heretofore." (Joshua 3:4)

"We have not passed this way heretofore, but the Lord Jesus has. It is all untrodden and unknown ground to us, but He knows it all by personal experience. The steep bits that take away our breath, the stony bits that make our feet ache so, the hot shadeless stretches that make us feel so exhausted, the rushing rivers that we have to pass through - Jesus has gone through it all before us. "He was wearied with his journey."

"Not some, but all the many waters went over Him, and yet did not quench His love. He was made a perfect leader by the things which He suffered. "He knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust." Think of that when you are tempted to question the gentleness of His leading. He is remembering all the time; and not one step will He make you take beyond what your foot is able to endure. Never mind if you think it will not be able for the step that seems to come next; either He will so strengthen it that it shall be able, or He will call a sudden halt, and you shall not have to take it at all. ~ Francis Ridley Havergall"

In "pastures green"? Not always; sometimes He
Who knowest best, in kindness leadeth me
In weary ways, where heavy shadows be.
So, whether on the hill-tops high and fair
I dwell, or in the sunless valleys, where
The shadows lie, what matter? He is there.
~ Barry

Photo by me

Friday, April 8, 2011

Camping Adventure

I like nature. I really do. I like it as long as I can look at it from a distance, and not actually experience it up close and personal. What I mean is I love to look at photographs of nature, or watch nature shows on TV, but, well, being out IN nature for extended periods of time is not really my thing. I get creeped out by bugs, especially poisonous or stinging ones, and snakes, and just critters in general. Oh, and bears. Florida has bears, you know. Add to that poison ivy or any other type of plant that makes you itch, and no thanks, I'll just stay inside, thank you. 
So, it was with much fear and trepidation (not really) that I reluctantly agreed to go tent camping (for only the second time in my whole life) with my husband Phil, our kids, and my husband's family last weekend. I personally was not super thrilled to go, but I knew that Phil really wanted to go. I knew it would be fun for the kids, and be a wonderful memory with my inlaws. My main concern was bathrooms and showers. I figured if they had an actual bathroom with running water and warm showers, I could make it. I've tried the whole "go in a bucket in the woods somewhere," and I have vowed never to get into that kind of situation again. So, we decided to go. It was just one night, I figured I could survive a few hours.

We headed out on Friday afternoon and got to the campsite around 6:30 p.m. The first thing that kinda freaked me out was how close all the "neighbors" (other campers) were to our campsite. I thought it was going to be a little more remote. I worried about what kind of crazy people would be camping next to me all night. As soon as I got out of the car, I begged asked Phil to take me home right then and there. Yeah, I'm a wimp. He just laughed.
So everyone was getting set up for dinner, cooking on grills and camping stoves.
My kids ran around the campsite playing with their cousins and exploring everything in sight. They were definitely in their element. Strange that neither of them take after their mama. I chalk that up to the fact that they just don't KNOW about all the terrible dangers that I know about that lurk in nature. Shortly before dinner, my father-in-law had to move his vehicle to another location, and as he was driving away, the trailer on his truck caught one of the tents and ripped a huge gash in the side. Of course, it had to be the tent I was going to sleep in. So my father-in-law had to run to the store and get some duct tape, and he managed to get it taped up pretty well.

I will have to say, dinner was awesome. At least food tastes extra good that has been cooked outside on the grill! After dinner we roasted giant marshmellows and popped popcorn over the campfire and just hung out.
 I let my kids get extra dirty, and tried not to mind too much. The kids begged their grandpa to tell them a scary story before bed, Thankfully, he didn't make it too scary. It was pretty late by this time, so everyone prepared to turn in. We got everyone down for the night, and I hoped everyone would sleep through the night. Such was not to be the case.  Ironically, it was not bears, snakes, or crazy people I had to be afraid of on the camping trip. The real terror was a handout given to us by the park service containing the pictures of an entire page full of poisonous fuzzy caterpillars to stear clear of. Sort of like this:
Try going to sleep thinking about poisonous caterpillars finding some little hole (or big hole, remember the rip in the tent?) in the tent and stinging you to death in your sleep. Add to that a child in one of the neighboring campsites screaming for half the night, as well as 50-degree weather at night, and me being all like, "aww, thanks Mom, but I don't need a sleeping bag, I'll be fine with my three fleece blankets I brought," when my mother-in-law so kindly offered to let me use some sleeping bags....for which I should have taken her up on, because I freeze quite easily, and indeed was freezing the entire night. And my poor parents-in-law's brand new air mattress somehow developed a hole and lost so much air during the night. Same thing happened to one of my sister-in-law's air mattress. And, raccoons made their way into our campsite and helped themselves to an entire un-opened package of hotdogs that was INSIDE a cooler, then found a chicken and veggie shish-kabob (left-over dinner) that had fallen under the picnic table unbeknownst to us and ate just the chicken off of it, and finally, shredded a roll of toilet paper we had brought just in case the public bathrooms ran out. And did I mention how cold it was? I did? Well, it's worth mentioning again, because it was cold. Don't laugh, all of you Northerners. That might be a heat wave to you, but I've lived in Florida for 15 years, and my body doesn't know how to handle temperatures below 70 degrees.

Needless to say, it was a very long night. I laid awake alternately thinking about caterpillars and how cold it was. I must have finally gone to sleep, but I'm convinced it was probably only for 2 or 3 hours. I was so glad when it was morning. You didn't have to tell me twice to get up. Morning meant that I could go home in a few hours! I headed off for the showers, and then we all ate a big breakfast of eggs, toast, sausage gravy, and corned beef hash. I considered giving the kids a bath, but I knew that they would get dirty again, so I figured I'd just give them a bath when we got home that afternoon. I don't think they have ever been so dirty in all their little lives! They were having so much fun though. We had a leisurely morning just hanging out together, but soon it was time to pack up and head home (yay!).
To be honest, I really am so glad that we had the opportunity to spend time as a family and with our extended family, and I got lots of pictures and video. We all definitely got in some serious bonding time, that's for sure.
P.S. To family - just because I had a great time, you shouldn't assume I will be game to go again next weekend. It's gonna take a while for the "pain" to wear off. :))))