Rash Decisions…(This article was originally posted in Book Fun ezine January 2018 with Carol Graham on page 100.)
Can you imagine what it would feel like to be bitten by a flea? If you have had that experience, then you know how it compares to your average mosquito bite. It is very intense! At least with those itches, over-the-counter creams will give you some relief.
Can you imagine the how intense the itching of a flea bite would be if you multiplied it by 100? How about a 1,000? What if the only thing you could do to get relief would be to soak in cool bath water with Epsom salts and possibly some lavender essential oil? Can you imagine doing this at two o’clock every morning for a month or more?
What if you couldn’t tolerate anything touching your skin except for cotton? Your days of wearing yoga pants and exercising would be officially over!
How would you feel if you had to miss Birthday parties, Halloween, attending church or spending time with your family and friends? Would you feel like a prisoner in your home?
I had this experience last year. My rash journey began on September 16, 2016. The itching began at my waist and spread to eighty per cent of my body within two months. The more I itched, the more I scratched. The more I scratched, the more my rash spread. It was a vicious cycle! I felt helpless. On several occasions, I wanted to die!
A few well-meaning friends suggested that I see a doctor about my rash. I adamantly refused! Making the ‘rash decision’ to search for the cause seemed to be a more rational idea. I know from personal experience that when you find the cause of something, you also find the solution. It just takes longer. Much longer…
A very close friend mentioned that stress could be a possible cause. I started thinking about the stressful situations that I had recently experienced.
The first one was: My step-mother passed away on August 1st. After her death, I discovered that she had destroyed every memory my dad had had of everybody that had been a part of his life, except her. I was devastated! ALL of my childhood pictures and pictures taken at family reunions were gone!
The second very stressful circumstance that had occurred was that I had made an attempt to quit my dead-end day job before I had a secure income in place. I took a leap of faith. I figuratively-fell among the rocks!
The third circumstance was that I had had a major argument with a very close family member. I knew that we needed to take a time-out from each other, but it was very difficult!
Would these situations stress you out?
The five year anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis was coming up. This was a major milestone! I should have been thrilled to have survived. I should have been celebrating! Instead, I was facing something far more challenging.
In December of 2011, I underwent a bilateral mastectomy-(without reconstructive surgery) for breast cancer. Since I couldn’t tolerate anything touching my skin, I can count it as a blessing that I no longer had to wear a bra or deal with boob sweat anymore…
I was afraid to eat anything for fear that it would make my rash worse or give me a migraine. The good news: I lost ten pounds within six weeks. (The ten pounds that I had been trying to lose for a few years. The ten pounds that people told me I would never lose because I was past the age of fifty. The ten pounds…)
It was at this point that I began to realize that my emotions might be triggering some of the itching. Avoiding my ‘normal trigger foods’ seemed to help a little bit too. I put the following quote on my refrigerator door: Nothing tastes as good as not itching feels!
Prayer and meditation also took the edge off.
The week before Thanksgiving, I finally found relief to the incessant itching in the form of a webinar series about auto-immune diseases and digestive issues.
I believe there was a series of seven webinars on seven separate days. As soon as I finished watching the webinar on the third day, I was feeling hopeful that I had found the solution. The solution that would finally put an end to the constant itching!
As soon as my husband came home from work, I made the ‘rash decision’ to go shopping…alone. When I came home, I began cooking the foods that I was very hopeful would put an end to the itching. Within a few days, the itching started to subside for an hour or so. When my skin did itch, it wasn’t as bad.
Thanksgiving was quickly approaching. All three of our sons would be home. I really wanted to join the fun with my family and extended family. I had to create a plan…
On Thanksgiving morning, one of my sons and his wife arrived about an hour before we had to leave. I asked him to give me a Priesthood blessing. I knew that I would need the comfort and reassurance that this blessing would bring.
I had made our traditional sweet rolls for dinner. I brought cabbage soup for me. (Will it come as a surprise to you to know that nobody wanted any of my cabbage soup?) I was able to eat a lot of turkey and a small slice of chocolate pie.
My itching was kept to a minimum and didn’t start until we were almost home. I was very thankful that I did not make the ‘rash decision’ to stay home. I was very thankful that I was able to enjoy the holiday with my family.
Fast forward to New Year’s Eve. I had been doing a pretty good job following ‘my diet’ and managing my emotions. I felt like I deserved a treat.
When I made the ‘rash decision’ to visit my favorite donut shop: Spud Nuts, (donuts made out of potato bread,) my husband thought I was crazy, but I insisted. When I finished eating and savoring every delicious bite of my chocolate vanilla cream Spud Nut, the realization came over me that…
Good news! God loves me! My rash did not get worse and I did not experience any other negative side effects from it.
Better news! The rash that had previously covered eighty per cent of my body was down to less than ten per cent. It took less time to heal the rash than it did for it to spread. As an added bonus: I also lost a total of twenty-two pounds! I was back to my goal weight. A weight that I had not seen for at least ten years!
The best news of all came in the form of an unexpected answer to one of my prayers. I had been wanting to go back to school and change careers. I was in the early stages of doing that research when my rash broke out.
When I discovered that I could help my body heal itself by making dietary and lifestyle changes, I was convinced that I had found the perfect opportunity. A close friend of mine encouraged me to attend a school that teaches that concept.
Within a very short period of time, I discovered that one of the doctors in the webinar series that I had watched in November was a guest lecturer in the school that I had made the ‘rash decision’ to attend.
I know that we can not gain a testimony of God’s purpose for us until we pass the tests that He has given us. In the Bible, Romans 8:28 (KJV), it says: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
We read in The Book of Mormon, Ether 12:6: …I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.
I am now very much on my way to becoming an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. Becoming a health coach will give me the perfect opportunity to help people save money on the cost of their health care and help them learn how to heal their own bodies by making dietary and lifestyle changes that will work for them.
Thankfully, choosing to attend this school is not proving to have been a very ‘rash decision!’
If you would like to choose a FREE one hour consultation, I promise you won’t be making a ‘rash decision’ to see how I can help you heal your body too! Click here.