Sunday, 12 January 2014

O. of O.

As I mentioned in my last post...which was, ahem, only a few days ago, I got a bit desperate to try and get over our flus and colds.  So I bought... a bottle of oil of oregano.  It tastes awful but it works.  Hey isn't that what Buckley's uses in their ads?

We had first heard about oil of oregano a few years ago from my brother-in-law.  His immediate family had been using it to prevent illness.  I have to admit we were a bit skeptical.  He told us an extended family member had seen dramatic improvements in respiratory health after following a regime of oil of oregano. This piqued my interest.
Here are some of the purported health benefits of the stuff:  potent antioxidant, antibacterial (against 41 different strains), antifungal and antiseptic.  It is been known to treat respiratory tract, GI, skin, and urinary tract disorders.  Several websites claim it can treat the super bug, MRSA.  Since antioxidants have been known to kill cancer cells, it has some websites even claiming that it may prevent and/or slow progression of some types of breast cancer.  Even the Mayo Clinic is weighing in on it, admitting that there seems to be some antibacterial properties but that more studies need to be done.

We first tried oil of oregano when we went to China.  We had been told that getting a GI bug when travelling to China was a given for foreigners.  We did not get sick. (The boys got motion sickness during the plane landing in Shanghai, but none of us got a bug.)  We were very thankful for the many prayers that were spoken on our behalf in this regard.

As a result of taking the oil of oregano for the China trip, I got a really cool health benefit.  My very resistant strain of plantar's warts went away!  I had been treating them myself with various and pricey over the counter remedies for a good long while with no success.  I had visited my GP and she had tried burning them a couple of times with no avail either.  She then sent me to a dermatologist who had been treating me with a stronger form of liquid nitrogen biweekly for a few months.  The dermatologist then had upped the visits to weekly but they still kept growing back.  Finally, just before we left for China the dermatologist gave me a script to go get a medication at the Cancer clinic which she wanted to inject into the warts.  She gave me explicit instructions to pick the med up, keep it cool, and bring it to her within a couple of hours due to the short half-life of the medication.  I left the office thinking I wasn't really comfortable having a chemotherapy agent injected into my feet for something as harmless as a wart.  After all, Steph loves me warts and all!  She reassured me that since the dose was so small there would be no effects like hair loss, etc. A couple of days later we left for China, life got really busy for a few weeks, and when I had time to start thinking about whether or not I wanted to take the chemo drug I realized that the warts were all gone!

So yeah, I became a closet believer in the stuff.  It seemed a bit wacky but I thought, if it works why not use it?!  This brings us to this past December where I have only been sicker once... in high school with a pneumonia that required hospitalization.  I knew that should be going to the doctor.  My cough sounded like I was a chain-smoker with TB.  I had no time to visit the doctor.  So... I bought the bottle.  Steph and I feel much better now.  So thanks, M, although we doubted you, and maybe even mocked your crazy idea, we  now know you were onto something!

***DISCLAIMER*** Please don't use this information as a substitute for visiting a medical professional.  If you decide to buy the oil of oregano drops please don't use for more than a couple of weeks at a time.   Take a least a couple of weeks off the stuff before starting again.  It can be too much for your gastrointestinal tract and kill off the good bacteria.  As with many supplements, it can be tough on the liver if taken too often or in dosages that are too high.  Research it from reliable sources if you want more information.

I feel like I have just posted an informercial with the disclaimer at the end.  I guess many years of working in the healthcare field has taught me to always cover myself.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

December in a nutshell...then a bit of January

As per usual I am behind on blogging.  I sometimes think about throwing in the towel on blogging, but since we have family and friends all over the world, it just seems like a good way to keep in touch.  Not to mention my husband has a colleague that reminds him when we are behind on updating our blog :)

So here goes.  Hang on for the ride.  I should mention, that in November our beautiful daughter Rykauna turned 14!  Hard to believe, but the numbers don't lie.  We are looking forward to what God has in store for our eldest.  It is fun watching her grow and mature.

December rolled in with a wicked flu for Steph and I.  Unfortunately we shared it with my mother-in-law as well.  I was a good ten days of feeling under the weather.  I was shocked to get so sick seeing as I got the flu shot.

On the 9th of December, I turned 38.  A birthday I have been sort of dreading for many years.  Most people dread the big 4-0 but not me.  My mom was diagnosed with cancer around the time of her 38th birthday and died a few months later.  I know that the type of cancer she had was not considered to be one with a genetic link, but...  Yeah, let's not go there. It is also difficult to realize/think about how young she truly was at the time of her transfer to heaven.  It also makes me realize what a privilege it is to grow old.  Many of us dread it, but it truly is a privilege not offered to all.

Two days after my monumental birthday, Logan turned 12.  Yup, our second born is one year away from being a teenager!  He is presently growing like a weed and threatening to catch up height-wise to Rykauna.   His reliability and willingness to help Steph and I with work around the house is such a blessing to us.  May God continually bless him too!

Mid December, Steph and I were given tickets to Les Miserables .  Our generous friends joined us for the event and a great time was had by all!  The story of grace is so strong in this musical...beautiful.

The kids got out of school on the 19th of December and on the evening of the 21st we were hit with the  longest power outage I can honestly remember ever experiencing.  Around  7:30pm we heard on the news that due to freezing rain causing damage to wires and transformers, power outages were likely to occur.  One hour later our house was plunged into blackness.  We dug around for flashlights and candles, moved our meat and a few other perishables from the fridge to the porch, and found some more blankets to pile on the beds.  We had  been told the power could be out  for as long as 72 hours so we were not surprised to find the floors cold in the morning.  Church services had to be cancelled due to the lack of electricity, and the treacherous road conditions.  Actually the walk to the car was probably the most dangerous.  Our entire yard, and our cars, were covered in an inch of ice.  Many trees were creaking eerily and groaning under the  added weight of the ice on all the branches.  Many tree branches were falling to the ground, large limbs were snapping off and several trees either fell over or snapped in two.  Our neighbourhood looked like a frozen tornado whirled through it.  Thankfully my mother-in-law's apartment, which is at the back of our house, has a gas fireplace.  She was able to turn it on as it has a remote battery starter and we were able to stay warm in her little space.  The rest of the house was very chilly.  By Sunday night it was down to 11C.  We bundled the kids even warmer in heavy pyjamas, socks and sweaters and bunked down for a second night sans heat.  The next morning, the 23rd, I was scheduled to work day shift.  I can honestly say I have never looked forward to working like I did that day.  I knew I was heading to a hospital that, although running on back-up power, was warm!  After over 36 hours of being semi-chilled most of the time I got to work and started to sweat profusely.  The hospital was quite warm and the swing in temps was proving to be a lot for my not-so- temperature- adaptable system.  I changed into fresh scrubs and set to work.  I ended my shift with a nice long hot shower before heading home again.  Steph ended up spending most of the day at the mall then at some friends of ours' place (who had power) doing laundry in view of our next day departure to the north.  Thankfully, five minutes after I arrived home Monday night, the power was restored.  The house temp was 8.3C and we had decided that we would stay over at our friends' home if the power did not return.  I was able to put on my winter coat and finish up the packing while our furnace worked overtime to try to reheat the place.

On Christmas Eve we traveled up to Northern Ontario  with all our presents, a cousin and her dog for a very traditional white Christmas.  We spent our time surrounded by friends and family and the children were able to make some great memories.  On Christmas Day, fifty-five of my relatives gathered at my cousin's lakefront home.  An area of the lake had been cleared off and made into a good ol' fashioned ice rink, fit with hay bales and a fire for warming up around.  Li Lin just loved skating... so much so that after nearly three hours she had to be talked into coming back into the house.

On Boxing Day, Steph, my brother, my brother's father-in-law, my neice, and our two youngest, headed out for an afternoon of ice fishing.
Some kind strangers power -augered some holes for them to fish through, but Hudson wanted to try the hand auger.  He showed some amazing determination as he hand- augered through about twenty inches of thick ice.  After nearly a half-hour of hard work he hit water! Li Lin just loved being out in the snow again.  I stayed home with my sister-in-law and the rest of the kids... in the warmth! :)
Hudson hamming it up!
On the 27th we spent a lovely lunch at my Aunt and Uncle's place.  The kids had fun swimming in their hot tub before we went back to my brother's to enjoy a visit with another cousin's family.  At supper time we met at the local college, where a group of nearly one hundred relatives gathered for a pizza supper and a time of visiting and enjoying the gym facilities. Lots of fun was had by all... not to mention how great it was to catch up with some relatives I had not seen in a while.

On the 28th, my parents had to head back home.  It was nice spending time with them and my two little siblings.  In the late morning we then bundled up and headed to the local ski hill.  We met up with more cousins at the hill and enjoyed a great day of downhill skiing.  It was both Hudson and Li Lin's first time on skis.  They both caught on well and loved it.  I had forgotten my ski jacket, and since my skiing skills are such that I am not a strong skier, I hung out in the chalet with my cousin while my bro and hubby taught Hudson and Li Lin how to ski.  Later on in the day, I took Li Lin to the bunny hill, and let her ski without anyone holding on to her.  I ran along down the gently sloping hill beside her ready to dive in front of her if she started to ski out of control.  She was so proud of herself!

On the 29th we went to church, left immediately after (with a lovely bag lunch made by an aunt and cousin) and started the long drive south.  Along the way home we had a lovely supper and visit with one of the families we went to China with.  It was such a pleasure to meet up with them again.  Next, we dropped Rykauna off at a three-day, church youth New Year's event, and continued on home.

I spent the 31st and 1st nights working night shift :(    My father-in-law arrived on the 31st and joined Steph and the kids for a New Year's Eve get-together at a friend's place.

On the second of January, the kids were thrilled with the news that as part of their Christmas present, Grandpapa had purchased all of us tickets to the  Disney, musical, Aladdin.  Needless to say, the kids loved it!  (The big kids enjoyed it too!)

Over the next few days, we spent some time doing much needed housework and little handyman jobs that have been sitting around.  Rykauna and I were blessed to hear a challenging, thought-provoking missionary report by a friend working in Zambia.

We are now back to some semblance of routine.  After battling two rebounds of the flu (or else three different bugs) Steph and I finally seem to be in the clear.  My mother-in-law is still battling the third round of illness.  Hopefully she will be in the clear soon too.  It seemed we were really struggling to get over these colds so... I broke down and bought it.

Bought what?  Stay tuned for the next post.