Friday, November 19, 2021

Not So Fast

I have been out-of-pocket because of a very bad flare-up of my arthritis and my liver problems. My diabetes went bonkers, too.

For years, I have tried to find something that would return my life to nearer normal in terms of health. I searched and searched for a doctor, a medicine, a method, an herb, something to return me to normal, to end the pain, to end the inability to stand or walk for long, to end the diabetes, to fix the liver. My friends, my family, my husband all impatiently wanted me to "be fixed." Not for my benefit, but for theirs. 

Despite that, I no longer pray simply to be "fixed," but to be at peace with God's will. I pray for strength, for grace, for "oomph" in the face of my medical problems. When I taught grade school, my classes always knew my mantra when handing out treats, coloring pages, and so forth: "You get what you get, and you don't throw a fit." 

It's hard to "keep in life" with medical problems. But I'm trying. I'm trying to stay in the game. I saw so much beauty, so many interesting things this past week! Yes, I regret I can't walk around much, but I do walk around. Better 100 steps than no steps!

hot chile peppers bright peppers getting ripe

I don't want to stop trying to get better, but I want to stop feeling ashamed that I can't be 100% again. It's a fine line, to accept that some things are simply God's will, and to keep trying. I think there is a lot of blame in our society, for those who have medical problems. There's suspicion that they "caused it," that they don't try hard enough to get better, that they're lazy or unworthy or something. That they are flawed. Oh, God forbid someone is flawed in the time of Instagram and Facebook!

red autumn winter berries ash tree

I went to the botanical garden here almost every day this week. I looked at the plants. Some aren't doing great. Should they feel ashamed? Should we question God's handiwork? Some have broken limbs, or their trunk is twisted, or their flowers small, or their berries not as bright as others' are. And they are all beautiful to me! To be growing in the harsh desert! All are intriguing and amazing!

twisted weeping mulberry

My main mantra is, "Keep on keepin' on" and in that spirit, I am! I heard about a possible way to help my liver and help my inflammation, maybe help the high blood pressure and diabetes: Fasting.

I am fasting and eating a small amount once a day. I am going to have some 48-hour fasts, too, after these first five days of 24-hour fasts are done. I think every religion on earth has a lot of fasting involved, at least in olden times. I know our priests fast every Friday, but they do not mention it.

autumn leaves and palm tree in desert new mexico

My first day of no food until 9 p.m. was tough. I had a small bowl of soup and six green olives and was still very hungry. The second day, better. I had more soup and some crackers, and was still a bit hungry. The third (today), better. I had half a hamburger and felt full. I hope tomorrow and the following day will be better still! And then the two-day fasts: That's where the real benefit to health is supposed to kick in. I'll let you know! 

Have you ever struggled with the expectations of others towards you? Have you ever tried fasting?

last roses of autumn 2021

Sharing "the last roses of autumn" with you!

Remember this in times of doubt:
Your heart's like a ruby,
Your mind's like a pearl.
Your faith's like a diamond:
You're a gem of a girl!

Kind regards,
Olde Dame Holly


  1. Where there's a will, there's a way. I do hope you succeed with your goal. Most of all, hope you can feel better as your faith and attitude grows with your success.
    Beautiful roses.

  2. Oh my dear Holly, I did not realize you were struggling with such health issues. I will definitely be praying with you through these times of fasting and prayer, as you seek to find ways to feel better in the midst of it all. I love these pictures of the roses and berries and beautiful things you've seen this week, even in the midst of your pain and difficulties. I love your little verses at the end...and yes, I believe "you're a gem of a girl!" May God strengthen you and help you in every way. I am humbled by this today as I never suspected that you were going through such health've never complained or let on before, and are always so cheerful. (((hugs))) to you my friend. I will definitely keep you in prayer.

  3. I do a 12 to 18 hour fast most days. If you are going to fast you need to be sure you are doing it correctly. Lots of water and electrolytes. you have a lot going on I don't know much about liver issues.
    You should not feel responsible for your health issues and if your family is not supporting you it is time to pull your support from them as you need all your energy to help yourself. Tom Brady has a whole health thing TB12 that is anti inflammatory not sure if that would help. I hear it is pretty strict. (sure keeps him in top playing condition) I would also look for facebook groups pertaining to what you want to work on. there are groups for everything and some of it can be pretty informative. I follow a low carb group I weed out what doesn't work for me and have gotten some good ideas from it. I would stick to whole foods the processed stuff has so much in it. What does your Dr have to say? Not the right Dr find another. I also have a semi rare immune issue it took 3 Drs to find it and I have been good for years. It is all about what knowledge they have. And last certainly not least love yourself. Do things that give you peace and happiness. The gardens are a lovely idea. I am keeping you in my prayers so very sorry this has been going on.

  4. first thought was did you ask your doctor about fasting with diabetes. this sounds dangerous to me. nuff said about my opinion. I can tell you what helped me, a blog friend was really ill with diabetes and battleing it. type 2 not type 1. she needed to lose 100 lbs. her doctor said, stop the sugar and the white flour.. eat only from food that doesnt contain those 2 things. she did it and lost the weight and her diabetes has been undercontrol for a few years. I don't have it yet, but every female, 7 of them from my mothers side of the family, died from complications of diabetes. to stave it off, i dropped both sugar and white flour and lost 70 lbs 4 years ago, I was told to eat at least 5 small meals a day, it is working for me.. i did not realize how you are suffering and i do know that others do blame us for what they think we are going through and that includes husbands. one thing for sure, we know what is happening to us, others do not, and we are the only ones in charge of us. all we can do is try to ignore their well meaning talks. prayers for you to either overcome or to be at peace with what life gives us.. life happens and it slaps us down and sometimes we struggle to get back up. hugs

  5. I have fasted in the past and it's not easy but it can help in so many ways. Staying active is a challenge when you don't feel well but I think once people give up and stop, it makes it hard to start back up again. Too many people in my older community stayed inside their homes this past year or more and I believe they should have found somewhere to walk or at least drive to and enjoy another view. You are doing so great my friend. I am proud of you. I know it must be so nice to visit those gardens often. Keep up the good work! And thanks for helps us all. Sweet hugs, Diane

  6. Oh Holly, that last verse brought a tear to my eye, thank you for that! I'm sorry you are having problems with your liver and diabetes. Fasting is very hard to do. Regarding your words about our society, and for those who have medical problems there's suspicion that they caused know, many of the Saints had health issues and dealt with it their whole lives. I'm glad you went to the Botanical Gardens. That must have been beautiful to see. I miss the rose garden in my old town. Praying for strength and grace like you do is one of the best things to pray for.

    "you get what you get, and you don't throw a fit." Oh, Holly, that sentence will stay with me all day. That made me laugh, and it's so true. Too many want and want and want, and it's good to know a blog friend who goes through life not complaining and "keeps on keepin' on." : )

    That first rose looks so red, it's beautiful.


    love you,


  7. I am so very sorry you are going through so much pain......and then pressure and stress from those around you who may not always understand. No one understands issues until they, themselves, go through something. Your post today, for me is inspirational......I love your strong attitude. I hope you can find fasting to be of help and I am keeping you close in my prayers.

  8. Your photos are all so heart hurts for what you are going through. Pain and not being able to get around is such a drain on the body......and having the misunderstanding from like a wet blanket. I love your outlook and you just hang in there and take good care of you.......dont worry about what others think or might think. Keeping you close in prayer

  9. I am SO sorry to read about your pain and problems. I was born with a rare form that is similar to arthritis. I can feel your pain. LITERALLY. I have good days and bad. However, like you, I get up every day and carry on. Thankfully, I don't have diabetes, but I have a friend who does. She has to watch everything she eats.

    I have never fasted, but I only eat one meal a day. If I fasted, I would have to quit eating all together. I hope this fasting works for you and you get better, not for others, but for YOU. My thoughts and prayers are with you. BTW, your photos at the Botanical Gardens are beautiful. Even the twisted branches which look like my hands and feet!

  10. I am so sorry you struggle with these difficult issues. I hope fasting helps and if not, that you'll find something that does help. I'll be praying for you.
    (((hugs))) gM

  11. I've been hearing about the anit inflammatory diet, which involves fasting a bit. I'm still looking into it. I get what your saying...I'm right there with you.

  12. My son is also diabetic. He has been researching fasting. I look forward to telling him of your results.

  13. So very sorry to read of this dear Holly... I will be saying prayers for you and sending healing thoughts your way. I have never (intentionally) fasted outside of the required preparations for various medical procedures and then I know the tricks our minds play into convincing you you have never been hungrier than you are then LOL. But on the "expectation" thing...oh yeah...I could write a book on the subject, but let's just say I feel I always disappoint. I assume, perhaps, that you were referring to medical issues and, yes, I can relate there as well. There is perhaps few things as emotionally painful as being in pain but others looking at you and thinking "you look fine." I know I shouldn't, but I feel horrible when I ask someone to lift someone to lift something for me that I "should" be able to.... Or being brought to tears by simply standing too long doing dishes, cooking, etc. when I "look" perfectly fine. They do not feel my...or your...inner pain...the things held in. Keeping you close in my heart and prayers. ~Robin~ (PS...what incredible beauty the desert offers up, no?? Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos with us.)

  14. I am so sorry for the pain and problems you are dealing with. Makes me feel ashamed for whimpering about something as simple as a broken wrist. I sincerely hope your find answers and help for your problems. You sound like such a strong determined person, and a very nice and kind person.

  15. I would NEVER be able to fast like that. Good on you. Hope you feel better. Janice

  16. Holly, your blog humbled and moved my heart. Sure sounds like your shifting thoughts are going in a beautiful direction. The direction of first things, aka seeking most important to the eternal profit. And then for second things, physical healings, bill paying (earthly needs). This is my struggle too so I know the pain and beauty of it. Your honest words and beautiful photos made my day. Thank you.

  17. So sorry to hear of all your medical issues. I hope and pray the fasting will help you!

  18. Dear Holly
    I know about pains and health problems, sometimes others don’t understand or don’t want to understand!
    I sometimes feel the same as you. I try to keep going but the way is difficult.
    I hope you feel better and I’ll keep praying for you.

  19. Dear Holly, I've tried fasting but somethings always happens by the 2nd day--blood sugar or something dives--and I faint. So I don't try any more. However, I so hope that this helps with your physical concerns. The thing about physical concerns that change our routines and life is that they can affect us emotionally also. And so, I move into self-pity (you haven't done that, which is inspiring).

    What helps me is a mantra I say often throughout the day. It's the prayers of Julian of Norwich, an anchorite who lived many centuries ago, during the years of the Black Plague which killed over 1/3 of the entire population of Europe at the time.

    She prayed, "And all shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of things shall be exceedingly well." I say that aloud or inwardly very slowly, cherishing each word. It helps me realize that I am not in control and that I do not know what is best for me or for the Universe. I do not know what will be the "exceedingly well" of the prayer. But I trust that it will be a blessing on all.

    As to those who have not experience ill health and so judge those are having problems, I suspect that age will help them begin to appreciate that the body wears out and needs cherishing.

    Take care. Know that many pray for you and keep you enfolded in the comforter of kindness and empathy and concern. Peace and Happy Thanksgiving.

  20. Your post touched my heart so deeply. I am 64 and cared for my 83 yr old mom for 5 mos, 24/7, until she passed on to Jesus in January. She had many illnesses, including diabetes, arthritis, HBP and painful flare-ups of things.

    Though I do not have health challenges other than I need extensive dental work, I am dealing with other distressing things in life where your statement hit home: "It's a fine line, to accept that some things are simply God's will, and to keep trying."

    It hurt my heart to hear you have to admit that: "My friends, my family, my husband all impatiently wanted me to "be fixed." Not for my benefit, but for theirs." What a lonely world we live in on this earth. We are not, however, alone with God.

    Some other statements you made touched my heart:

    "Despite that, I no longer pray simply to be "fixed," but to be at peace with God's will. I pray for strength, for grace, for "oomph" in the face of my medical problems." Yes, many Christians say this is what we should REALLY pray for, but there are SO many scriptures that tell us we can have healing and deliverance. I read them and wonder and am confused.

    You said: "It's hard to "keep in life" with medical problems. But I'm trying. I'm trying to stay in the game." As I age and notice changes not for the good, and as I reflect on my pursuits, I wonder if we should even try to "keep in life" as you said. Should we even try to keep doing the things that we've always done or does a time come when we should lay them down and just rest until we leave?

    Certainly, if we love something and never want to stop, we have the right and motivation to keep in life, but to press on because we think we should or because of coercion or shaming is very sad when our bodies, minds and emotions want to rest in preparation for departure.

    This that you said is so beautiful. If only all humans could think and feel this way: "I went to the botanical garden here almost every day this week. I looked at the plants. Some aren't doing great. Should they feel ashamed? Should we question God's handiwork? Some have broken limbs, or their trunk is twisted, or their flowers small, or their berries not as bright as others' are. And they are all beautiful to me! To be growing in the harsh desert! All are intriguing and amazing!"

    Yes, I have fasted a few times but I want to make it a regular part of my life. I fast from many different types of things. For diet, I like to fast from meats, sweets and fats, in various combos. I think that getting control over consumption of these foods will bring about the most health improvement.

    God Bless You!

  21. I laughed when you said, "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit"! My daughter and son-in-law say that to their kids all the time. :) It seems like every family has their own unique set of challenges. I pray that those challenges will turn our eyes away from the things of this world and toward God. I hope the fasting brought some improvement.

  22. Pray to the Blessed Mother, asking her to intercede for you.


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