Health Update

Tuesday I started my new medicine.  It is a nasal spray that I take four times a day, and must be refrigerated.  This medicine will build up my immune system to the toxins that inflame my body.  It will also restore the rest of my brain function.  There are two side effects my doctor is more concerned about than others.  The only one that has actually occurred in people on the medicine is anxiety.  The other is pancreatitis, nobody on the medicine has been hospitalized for this (or anything else).  I will be getting blood tests done every 30 days for at least 3 months to check that my pancreas is healthy.  I have to be on this medication for six months.  I am also continuing my diet, sugar-free, grain-free, caffeine-free, peanut-free, high protein, etc..

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I cannot be exposed to anything that will make the slightest bit ill from mould, because I am building up my immune system.  This means I cannot go anywhere that has not been tested.  I stayed at our house from Easter till two weeks ago.  My room (the third floor) tested clean.  However, we got the tests back for the rest of our house and it was not clean.  We stayed at the condo last week, as a stay-cation.  After that though I went back to staying at my aunt’s.  I’ll be here for at least a month (probably longer).  We are getting some other places tested (eg. condo).

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In June and July, I have also gotten to MUSC to be evaluated by their pediatric doctors specifically: cardiology, pulmonary and sleep.  My heart is good.  Pulmonary said I have some shortness of breath, that the doctor believes comes from unconscious stress.  She also said my nasal pathways were shaped abnormally.  The sleep lab found that I have mild apnea.  It would not even be considered apnea, except I am a child.

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Pineapple found on the beach

Feel free to reach out to me for anything!  I appreciate the busy-work, while I am learning to be patient.  Also, I got a job a couple of weeks ago.  It is at miniature golf course, so I’m breathing outside air the whole time.

Thanks for reading!

-M

How to Make Soap

Hey, last Wednesday I made soap with my grandma.  It was fun and easy so I thought I would share about it here.  I am going to spend some more time playing around with soap making and perfecting the process but this is what we did on Wednesday.

What you need:
– A Soap Base: Clear Glycerin Soap Base ($10.25 for 2lb) or Shea Butter Glycerin Soap Base ($10.74 for 2lb).  The shea butter will be white so when it is dyed the colours will mix unlike the clear glycerin.
– Some non-bleeding colour blocks from brambleberry.com for about $1.60.  There are also some on amazon but I haven’t tried any of them.
– DoTERRA Essential Oils if you need help getting these use the contact form above.
– A Soap Mold.  We used these “100% handmade” and flower molds.  There are other options available on amazon including some basic shapes.
– Dried plants or flowers (not necessary)
– Microwave or Stove
– Microwave Safe Container
– Spoon

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What you do:
– Cut about two blocks (or pieces of cake as I think of it) off of the soap box.
– Put those pieces into a microwave safe container.  The pieces should only fill about half of the container.
– Put the container in the microwave for 45 seconds until the soap base is liquid.

– Next add a few thin shavings of the colourant of your choice.  Mix and then add some more colour shavings into the soap if it is not dark enough yet.
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– Now you get to add whatever essential oils you want.  You can add either a single oil or mix them.  We put 5-10 drops in each time.  We were trying to figure out how many drops were ideal on Wednesday.  If you are going to do layers you can change the essential oils up each time.
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– At this point if you want to add dried plants or flowers cut them up small and mix them in.
– Pour the liquid into the soap bases.  Depending on what you want the soap bases to look like you could either fill them up all the way or fill them up only part way so you can do layers.
– With the rest of the space in the soap base you repeat the process switching up whatever colours and oils you want.  Before adding the next layer to the soap mold be sure the top of what is already in there has hardened.
– Now let that the mold is full, let the soap harden.  We let the soap harden for a few hours.  It probably will not take that long.  I wanted to be sure the bottom as well as the top had hardened.

There you go!  That’s how you make soap.  Here are pictures of our finished products.
Purple has rosemary essential oil.  Pink has clary sage essential oil.  Pink has citrus bliss blend.  On the bottom on pink and dark green is blue which is peppermint essential oil.  The dark green is rosemary and spearmint.  The green and white is coriander and wild orange essential oils.

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Let me know what you think in the comments.  If you make some soap post a picture using the hashtag #MbMBSoaping

-Maggie

“What’s up?”

I’ve been getting this question a bit more than normal lately.  I know it’s a normal question.  If you read my last blog post you can understand how it could be hard to answer.

Let’s try to answer this question now.

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I am okay.  This has been a reality of mine for a while now.  I have gotten used to moving every few weeks.  I have been used to my symptoms since I’ve been experiencing them for a while.  That doesn’t mean my symptoms are perfect, but I am used to them.  I know how to handle them.  They do not scare me like they used to.

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I was at my grandparent’s until Tuesday.  I started to seriously not feel well there about two weeks ago.  We are now back in our house!  The remediation process has finished.  While we can’t entirely move back in yet, it is great to be home.  We will finish moving back in once our remodel is complete.  It is likely to take place at the end of the summer.

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School has been pretty tough lately.  As I have said, I have brain handicaps at the moment.  It will heal and I’ll go back to my pure ADD self.  It might be a while few months before that process ends.  Or even starts, I’ll find out more when I go to the doctor next week.  Some of my teachers have been working with me to get somethings to not be so hard.

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One of things that has been hard for me is food.  I’m on a grain and sugar free lifestyle right now, plus a few specific foods.  I’ve been doing this pretty consistently since November.  This is because my gut is inflamed causing insulin resistance.  Also, just being patient.  This is not a get better quick thing.  It takes time a lot of time.  I’ve been on a certain medication since the end of January.  I should be getting off that soon and moving along to the next one.  In the mean time I have to be patient.  I feel like I am making no progress but I am trying to be trusting in the doctors and research.

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I am home now, and hopefully will be until a trip at the end of May.  This means routine.  I thrive on routine. (ISTJ!)  I hope this gets me thriving more in school, and finally really focused on healing.

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Maybe I’ll just make this post a weekly thing.
The photos are from Swan Lake Iris Gardens in Sumter, South Carolina.  Also, I have a Myrtle Beach related blog post coming up soon

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The Beginning of a New Journey

Hello!  It’s been a long time since I made a blog post but I’m going to explain why by going into what has been going on with my health and has started a new journey for me.

A little background information on my health.  I have a genetic mutation called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) specifically the A1305C variant.  I have ADD and a learning disability similar to dyslexia.  I also have mild scoliosis.  I’ve had difficulty breathing occasionally for a while now, but I do not have asthma.  Braces were a nightmare to me which lead to me to having minor TMJ.  Also. because this is the internet and you all don’t necessarily know these things, I’m 5’10” which actually helped lead the doctor to my diagnosis.

*Jessie Sprano freaking out about her height giph* (could not be found)

When I wear heels

My family and I are also on a natural path.  The world was created with everything we needed.  America in particular is turning to synthetics too much just because they’re new.  So many of them have a long list of side effects that are real.  When I say synthetics, I am talking about genetically modified organism (GMOs) and pharmaceuticals.   Just because our first choice is organic non-GMO food and natural alternatives to medicine doesn’t mean we wouldn’t or don’t ever eat junk food and take pharmaceuticals.  Of course, there is a time for pharmaceuticals and with how crazy our life is at the moment avoiding junk food is hard.  My mom is a doTERRA Wellness Advocate, which means her job is to teach people how to live naturally.

Whenever I say “us” or “we” it’s because my family is also on this journey with me because genetics.  🙂

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In the fall, I started experiencing problematic symptoms that lead us on this journey.  I say problematic because now that I know my diagnosis I can see I’ve had symptoms for a while.  My symptoms which I started to experience in September were high anxiety levels and insulin resistance.  At the time, I had no idea what was going on with my body.  The insulin resistance added to my anxiety and my anxiety was worse because my sleep was off because of my anxiety.  After going to the doctor, I learned that my memory was not up to normal standards either.  My official symptoms are: general anxiety, insulin resistance, memory impairment, insomnia, and headaches.  There were days when I just couldn’t do anything, still are sometimes.  After 6.5 years of drinking coffee one sip would make me shake and have panic attacks.

I, of course, did the normal thing and got a couple rounds of blood work done.  I also had an MRI (that was an experience, I’m also claustrophobic).  The blood work shown numerous things and the MRI showed that I had inflammation on my executive and cognitive function.  I was diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS).  The big thing here is CIRS.  Essentially, POTS means whenever I stand up my blood pressure changes significantly and most of the time I get a head rush or feel like I am going to faint to some extent.

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CIRS is basically saying I don’t detox toxins like a normal person.  Both of my parents are carriers for this gene and are affected by it (and thus my sisters too).  The diagnosis of CIRS led us to finding water damage in our house.  We have an old house.  It has been through many hurricanes being in Myrtle Beach.  The mould was the worst in my room.  None of the mould was visible in our house which means it is not as bad as it could have been.  As a home-schooler I spend a lot of time in my room as you can imagine.  To remediate our house, we have had to move out.  We all have moved around several times and have all lived under different roofs until recently. The remediation part of redoing our house is starting to end so we will get to stay there again soon.  Our house does need to be remodelled because of its age.  That will be happening this summer.  To remediate we had to get everything out of our house and into storage.  As much of that stuff as possible will be staying in storage since the remodel will be happening this summer.

Thank you for reading this.  It has been a crazy 7-ish months.  If you have any questions about this (because I know it’s confusing) either comment below (everyone will be able to see) or go to the about page where you can fill out a contact form (only I can see).  If I get a lot of questions I’ll answer them in one Q&A blog post, if I don’t I’ll put them in the next post about my health journey which I hope won’t come out too long from now.

Thank you for reading.

What’s your health story?

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Final Days in London

Friday:

We went to the V&A to see the Lockwood Kipling exhibit.  Lockwood Kipling was the father of Rudyard Kipling.  It was very interseting.  He was involved in politics but also in art.  After that we had lunch at Pan Quotedien near by.  We split up after that and mom and I went back to the V&A.  We saw the exhibit on Revolutions.  It was really interesting especially considering what is going on in the world today.  (It was also Inaguration Day.)  After that mom and I went to Fait Mason across the street from our hotel.  We sat there and had a snack while working.  We headed out towards Picadilly Circus for dinner with everyone.  We ended up eating at a restuarant across from the theatre.  Then we saw Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – part two!  It was an amazing play, but they asked us not to reveal the magic to those who have yet to see it.

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Saturday:

Mom and Audrey went and did some shopping first thing while the rest of us got ready.  We all met up at the British Library though.  At the British Library we did an exhibit on maps (not pictures aloud) and looked at the old books they have.  We have been before but it is still amazin to see the Magna Carta, Bibles, Karan, Jane Austen’s books and John Lennon’s lyrics.  Afterwards we went to Leicester Square to see if we could get tickets to a matinee.  There weren’t any matinees available we wanted to see.  We had lunch near by before trying to get back to our hotel to pack.  We ended up walking through the Women’s March while everyone else walked in the opposite direction of us.  We ended up walking to Westminster and getting the tube because there were no cabs or buses.  Back at the hotel we packed and had dinner on the same street as the hotel.

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Sunday:

We woke up at 4am to get in the hired car for Heathrow.  We walked a good mile or so through Heathrow to our gate at 5am.  Our flight was fairly empty on the way back to the U.S. so we got to spread out on the plane.  You could definitly tell it was Inaguration and Women’s March weekend at IAD. We then had our flight to RDU and then drove home.  It was a long day for all of us.

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Well there you have it, our January 2017 trip to London!  I hope you enjoye this little blog series.  If there is something on the trip you would like more details about or if there is something else travel or life related you would like to know more about, let me know!  I’d love to write a blog post about it.  I am coming up with a lot of future plans for this blog.  That I am excited about.

-Maggie

London: Wednesday and Thursday

Hey-o!  Happy Superbowl Sunday!  I don’t care too much about football but will be cheering for the Atlanta Falcons.  I wanted this to be my final London post but Wednesday and Thursday will have to do for now.  They were both busy days as you will see.  For some reason wordpress doesn’t upload my photos in the order I told it too, FYI.  Without further ado here is Wednesday and Thursday in London.

Wednesday

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Me at Richmond University

Mom and I went and toured Richmond, the American University London Wednesday morning.  We took the tube out there, but then needed to take the bus to the school.  We got on the wrong bus though, and ended up a 20min. walk from the school.  So, we went into Sainsbury’s and called a taxi.  At the school we took a campus tour.  Richmond is a international school with around 120 nationalities represented.  Their motto is “Unity in Diversity.”  Upon graduation use recieve both a British and American certification.  After the tour ended Mom and I walked down to Thames.  We had lunch over looking the water before getting the tube back to Gloucester Road.  Richmond actually has two seperate campuses in London, one for first and second years and another one for third and fourth years.  Their campus in South Kensington is the one for third and fourth years, while their first and second years campus is the one I toured in the morning in Richmond.  After coming back to South Kensington Mom and I walked by their campuses then we went to Hyde Park.  We rented bikes and rode around!  It was a lovely afternoon.  We headed back to the hotel with our bikes and ran into Audrey and Poppy.  Audrey and Mom switched bikes and we rode around for a few more minutes.  After returning them, we went back to the hotel for a while.  We had dinner right next to the hotel, so it was a quiet night.

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Thursday

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Sadie at Holborn Station

All of us headed towards St. Paul’s.  We went to Guildhall, and went to the art gallery there.  They had some awesome paintings.  They had an exhibit on the first telegram.  It was interesting.  Afterwards, Sadie and Mom split up with us and saw Phantom of the Opera.  Poppy, Audrey and I went to the Museum of London.  While Nan hung back at Guildhall for a few minutes, but later joined us.  After finishing at the Museum of London Audrey and I headed to Convent Garden.  We had lunch at Pod.  It was a good different kind of fast food.  We slowly walked our way to Convent Garden Market popping into a shop here and there.  We went into kikki.k!  I’ve wanted to go to one of their stores for a while and was excited to shop there!  I got this Study Notes Note Pad (kind of like planner) and a paper kit with all these different things to do with it.  Audrey and I had a mini tea at Briget’s Bakery and took the scenic bus to Waterloo.  At Waterloo we took the tube back to Leicester Square to meet up with everyone.  We had dinner at a Brazillian place (kind of like Rioz in Myrtle Beach).  Then, we went to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – part one!

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There you have it, have a good Sunday!

Maggie

 

London: Sunday, Monday and Tuseday

Hi everyone!  So basically, between all the things we were doing and jet lag I became exteremly exhausted.  That means this series of posts are coming to you late.

Sunday

20170115_153544I woke up, I showered, I got dressed.  Then Mom and I needed to leaveso my hair was wet. It was a 20 minute walk in less than 40F and rain to the Brompton Oratory, but we made it and it was worth this.  The Brompton Oratory is a catholic church.  It has a beautiful interior.  We came for their Latin mass.  It was interesting, but they only had the English written down so when they were speaking in Latin we could not join in.  I recognized some words from my Latin education but since it was all auditory I could only tell you it was a church service.  After that we got Sadie from the hotel room.  We grabbed a quick bite to eat before seeing Giselle.  After the ballet ended we got on a bus and went to the Tower of London, except it was at night so naturally we could not go in.  We ate at Coba Club.  They had igloos you could eat in but it was a two hour wait.  The igloos keep you warm and cozy while you eat outside.  Also, when they say they have awesome wifi they are not lying!  It was pretty late then so we headed back to the hotel.

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Monday

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It was a slower morning, our mornings just got slower and slower 😀  We rode the bus near to St. Pauls.  We ate lunch at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese ~ rebuilt 1667, after the great fire.  It was a very neat pub.  You could feel the history it had.  It was easy to imagine people from seventeenth and eighteenth century talking and having a pint.  After that we walked to St. Pauls and walked across the Millenium Bridge to the Globe.  On the Millenium Bridge someone pointed out to us “Gum Art,” an artist is painting the gum on the bridge.  Check it out here. Sadie and I went to class in Starbucks across from the Globe.  After that we had dinner in the Swan at the Globe and watched All the Angels in the Sam Wanamaker theatre (also at the Globe).  All the Angles focused on the creation of Handel’s Messiah.  It was amazing!  An older lady had some kind of episode and was carried out of the theatre at a very intense moment in the show, only adding to the intensity.  After All the Angels ended we got the Thames Clipper to Westminster.  We then took the tube back to Gloucester Road, where our hotel was.

I know there are so many pictures of St. Paul’s, but I like them all!

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Tuesday

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All the food was delicious!

We purposefully had a later morning today.  All the Angels got out at about 10pm.  Our adventure today was having tea on a double decker bus!  The bus drove around London showing us all the highlights, and the tea was superb.  After our marvelous tea ended we split up in two.  Audrey and Mom went to all the high-end stores.  Poppy and Sadie went back to the hotel.  Nan and I went to Long Tall Sally, and I got some clothes.  After that we took a quick break at Paul’s.  We went back to the hotel.  We rested a bit, but then Mom, Audrey, Sadie and I went to see Les Misérables.  We ate a very late dinner afterward, and took a lovely taxi back to the hotel.

I don’t know why my photos don’t upload in chronological order, or any particular order at all.

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First Bit of London, January 2017

Hi!  I’m in London right now with my sisters, mom and grandparents.  In this post I’ll give you a run down on the last few days.
The weather has been 40F or below with rain. YAY…  We’ve packed, travelled and rested and explored our neighborhood.  My sisters and I have school to keep up with and mom has work so that also plays a factor in how we spend our time.

Thursday
We finished packing, then drove to Raleigh. We had dinner with my dad’s family who live there.  After a sweet and short visit, we did a quick stop at target then rearranged our suitcases in our hotel room.  We probably went to bed after 12am.

Friday
Up at 3:30am!  We left the hotel at 4 for the flight to Dulles 😭  It was a quick flight.  It was a long walk from gate to gate.  We got on the flight to Heathrow pretty quickly.  We had the best flight attendants!  The flight from Dulles to Heathrow is a little more than seven hours.  The flight was during the day, most flights going east are at night.  It was nice because when we got to London we could sleep all night.  The flight offered a breakfast and a sandwich for lunch.  I had snacks with me but it was nice because our morning that started at 3 am went buy quickly.  The flight was smooth except for a little expected turbulence that didn’t last very long.  Our flight got in a bit early but customs took a bit longer than expected for this time of year.  We had arranged a car to pick us up at the airport because of some injuries and the weather.  Bed after midnight, long few days for us!

Saturday
Slower start to the morning.  We ate breakfast at restuarant right next to our hotel, but then went back up to do some school.  After that we did most of the V&A’s exhibit Undressed, a brief history of underwear before joining Nan for lunch at the V&A.  Nan went to get us ticckets for some plays.  The rest of went to the National Gallery’s exhbit Beyond Carvaggio.  It was really good!  It focused on certain times in Carvaggio’s life and the artist who were influenced by him at that time.  Afterwards we met Nan and Poppy for dinner at the Golden Dragon in China Town.  It was a good and quick meal, we had only and hour before we had to be at our play for the evening, Peter Pan Goes Wrong.  The play was right around the corner, so we weren’t pressed for time at dinner.  In November 2015 we saw the companies first take on the “Goes Wrong” series The Play That Goes Wrong, which focuses around the attempt to perform a play about a murder.  The “Goes Wrong” bit of both of these plays is where the comedy comes in.  It includeds problems with the sets and cast members forgetting their lines or their personal life interfering with the performance, but I won’t tell you more unless I ruin it for you.  After Peter Pan we got the tube back to the hotel.

Today had its own adventures I look forward to sharing with you over the next few days.

Ciao
Maggie

Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas

Hi Everyone, it’s taken me two months + the time between the trip and starting to write (=4 months) to get this blog post published but here it is!  In July my family and I went on a cruise on Royal Caribbean International’s Grandeur of the Seas.  The Cruise was 9 nights; 2 days in Bermuda, 1 day in Nassau, Bahamas, 1 day on Royal Caribbean’s island CocoCay, and a total of 5 days at sea. Below is a gallery of pictures from our trip. I plan on posting a series of posts from the trip, one for each port, cruising tips, etcetera.

Pre-Cruise

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Bermuda

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Nassau, Bahamas

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CoCoCay,  Bahamas (RCI’s Private Island)

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On Board Grandeur of the Seas

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Then we had to get off the ship 😦

I am working on some projects which may take some time to get finalized (& published) but they’re on their way to you.

Thanks for reading!
Maggie

 

Day Trip – Columbia, S.C.

Hi! It’s been a long time. Yesterday I took a day trip to Columbia, SC. Our purpose in going was to see Absolutely Fabulous. Columbia was the closest place to Myrtle Beach that was showing it. We got there too late for the 3 o’clock showing, but knew there was a later one. That second showing ended up being at 8:30 pm. So, we got home at 1 am.

With all that extra time, we went to the art museum.

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After an hour there, we looked at a store and ate dinner (part one). We then drove around the USC campus, and grabbed some coffee.  Hungary again we ate dinner (part two).  Finally, it was time to get to the movie theatre thirty minutes early.  Absolutely Fabulous was a great movie, and made the day absolutely fabulous.

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Ciao for now,
I am busy writing some new posts.
-Maggie