Archive for March, 2015

Bad FaithRecently Dr. Paul Offit, a doctor and author who I greatly respect, wrote a new book, Bad Faith: When Religious Belief Undermines Modern Medicine. I knew from reading reviews and from participating in a conference call through Voices for Vaccines that this was going to be a hard book to read. Not just as a Christian, but also as a mother. I know the most visceral emotion I feel when my children are in pain, the fear when I don’t know what’s wrong, the panic when the fever starts to creep up. I won’t read books or stories where children suffer and die. I avoid news headlines. So picking up this book and knowing what’s in it is a difficult and painful thing for me to do.

I’m going to review this book chapter by chapter from the perspective of a Christian (I’m a Calvinist), a pastor’s wife, and a mother. This isn’t going to be cold and analytical, these are going to be my emotions and perhaps even my tears.

Dr. Offit, in his introduction, commends religion for the good acts and in fact dedicates this book to “all those who perform good deeds in the name of their faith.” I respect that he hasn’t taken a hostile view like Dawkins or Hitchens and that he admits the good commands that those who believe are called to do. While I don’t believe good works is how we enter into heaven (salvation is through faith in Christ), I do hear what James says when he writes that faith without works is dead in this.

Chapter One

I know the second I see the name and the religion where the story is going to end and my stomach churns and twists. I hate Christian Science. I hate it. I don’t hate the people within, I hate the lie that they’ve been told. Before I explain the story of Rita Swan, who watched her child die of a preventable illness (bacterial meningitis), I want to quote Offit with regards to Christian Science as I think it is incredibly accurate:

Eddy used the term Science because healings could be demonstrated, and Christian because healings follow the ministry of Jesus. Christian Science, however, differs from Christianity in nearly every central doctrine; mot importantly, whereas Christians believe that Jesus died for their sins, Christian Scientists believe that Jesus died to prove that diseases aren’t real. As for the word Science, Christian Science doesn’t incorporate any known scientific discipline. Arguably, Christian Science is neither Christian nor Science.

This is vital to understand no matter your faith or lack thereof. Christian Scientists aren’t Christians. Furthermore their beliefs are deadly. This is evident in Rita’s story.

For an opening chapter, this packs a punch. I could barely breathe as I read through the Christian Science practitioners blaming Rita for not believing enough. That they all stood by, so convinced of a lie, that when this child was screaming in pain they did nothing. Admittedly, I grabbed my toddler and I held him so tightly and yes, I thanked God for vaccines, for the doctors at our local clinic, for modern medicine.

I held back tears when Rita and her husband realized much too late that they’d been lied to.

This is how the chapter ends, with the death of a child. A baby.

It’s only chapter one and I’m furious.

 

 

 

 

One of my top posts, one that gets hits almost every week, is my Jamberry review post. When I wrote it, I really didn’t expect it to hang around as long as it did, but it has and the top search is the title of this post.

Does Jamberry damage nails?

First, just a reminder, I’m not a consultant. I was for all of five minutes and quickly went back to being a customer because that’s the role I prefer.

IMG_5015Second, this is my personal blog so really, no one’s paying me to write any of this. I just really like Jamberry to a ridiculous extent.

So – do they damage nails?

Well, the honest answer is, they can. It’s a heat activated adhesive that sticks the wrap to your nail. If you’re hoping to just tear that sucker off, then bad news, yes, you’re going to damage your nails.

Have I damaged my nails? Yes. In pretty much every single case, I was impatient. Rather than take the time to carefully remove my wraps (which, on me, last about two weeks), I’d try to get them off quickly. Inevitably I ended up with some rough looking nails, primarily at the tips where my lack of patience showed. When I took my time, I didn’t damage my nails. Amazing how that works, right?

This is my preferred method for removing nails:

1. Heat. I get my mini heater and I heat the wrap I want to remove.
2. Gentle lift. I work the wrap up, just a little, at the base of my nail near the cuticle.
3. Oil. I like lemon essential oil for this step. I put a drop where the wrap is lifted and continue to apply heat while I carefully work the wrap away from the nail. If I feel resistance, I add a drop or two more as needed.
4. More heat. I don’t hold my finger right up on the heater, but close enough that I feel it without burning.

Once I’ve removed all my wraps, I’ll use some acetone to clean off any sticky residue and then maybe massage in some cuticle oil. Using this method I haven’t damaged my nails. You could use acetone instead of oil. I prefer the oil because I have dry skin and it’s a little nicer to me.

Moral of the story: The nails have to stick and in order to last two weeks they have to stick tough. So take your time and it’ll all be okay.

When it gets too heavy…

Posted: March 7, 2015 in Depression, Life
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I wasn’t sure whether or not I was going to write this. 11 19 11_1542

There’s not an easy way to come out and say, “Hey, my psychiatrist made me check into the psych ward at the local hospital.”

I’ve spent the last few years trying to push back against the stigma of mental illness. I’ve tried to be open as best that I can. I’ve tried to answer questions honestly. It’s not easy. People want to solve your problems even when you ask them not to. They don’t know that they don’t have the whole story. I don’t publish every single facet of my depression. I share what I can, what I can endure to have critiqued, and the rest I save for those closest to me. Sometimes they don’t even get the full story.

When a person is hospitalized for anything other than a mental illness, it’s easily discussed. People will post about it on Facebook or it’ll go out in the prayer chain or whatever. A psych ward visit though… people don’t know what to say. They don’t know what to do. It’s spoken about in hushed whispers. Without intending to, the message gets sent that going to the hospital for a mental illness is shameful. How broken does your mind have to be to land you there?

I don’t want to give the details here, on a public blog. Suffice to say that both my therapist and my psychiatrist were in agreement that I needed to go in. My psychiatrist told me I either went or he put a psychiatric hold on me. My therapist and my psychiatrist are long suffering people who would not have made this decision if it weren’t absolutely necessary.

Sometimes the despair gets to be too heavy. Sometimes the darkness is too thick. Sometimes life feels like a millstone around my neck. Sometimes it looks like there’s only one solution and it has nothing to do with feeling unloved or unwanted. Sometimes I just want it to stop hurting.

Right now my therapist (with his PhD) and my psychiatrist (with his MD) are helping me come up with some creative, scientifically based, solutions. (I say this every time – I don’t want any advice or suggestions. I have a fantastic team and I don’t need folk remedies). I trust them and I’m safe in their care.

So why am I sharing this? Because I’m not okay. Because I’m not okay and I refuse to be ashamed.

We’re all broken in some way, and these are the pieces I’m in.