Category Archives: Latter-day Saints

28 Draws

28 Draws

28 draws is what I’m up to.  That’s 28+ different blood tests as they try to figure out what’s ailing me.  While a “normal” means that particular test is within expected range, it doesn’t necessarily mean, in all cases, that the thing being tested for is not present.  Example:  Someone can test negative for the Rheumatoid Arthritis  factor in their blood, but still have rheumatoid arthritis.

So, here I sit, waiting for the last 5 test results.  Today is actually going pretty well.  Saturday and  Sunday were pretty bad.  Elizabethe saw one of my tremors and grabbed my thumb (it was wagging up and down very fast.)  She said it felt like it was “vibrating”.

Today, I’m feeling the best I’ve felt in a LONG time.  I wish I knew what is accounting for my feeling of well being today.  I mowed 1/2 the lawn, but I don’t want to push things.  Past experience has shown if I push too hard, things only get worse the next day.  I’m really hoping tomorrow will be a repeat of today.

Who To Trust

When it comes to autoimmune things, I really don’t trust sources with no scientific background or data.  Yeah, there are people who rub an essential oil on themselves, they feel better, and pronounce themselves cured.  I’m sorry — that’s not a cure unless it can be repeated over, and over, and over again.

In the case of diseases like Myasthenia Gravis, Ataxia, CFS, ALS, etc., there are lots of well meaning people out there who really don’t have a clue.  I’m preparing myself for the day when they find out what’s going on to be able to respond to people who try to push their “cure”.

I guess the best way to respond is to see how much they really know about the disease.  Let’s face it, doctors who have studied most of their lives, specializing in some of these ailments, don’t have a cure.  Yet, there will be someone who paid $350 to join a MLM group to sell oils who think they have an oil that will cure it.

I’ve been doing a LOT of research on the Internet looking for clues.  For the most part, I’m finding I trust sites like the Mayo Clinic, WebMD, etc.

Hazy

Hazy

I can’t tell if I’m hazy because I’m fatigued, or I’m fatigued because my brain is hazy.   I’m counting the days before my next appointment.  It will be nice if the doctor can pinpoint the cause of my symptoms.

Church today went okay, but late in the afternoon, I was standing talking to my wife when I just lost all energy.  It was as though someone unplugged my power source.  I didn’t feel dizzy or faint, just zapped of all energy.

Christ Centered

We had a wonderful Christ centered Sacrament meeting today.  President and Sister Evans were our speakers.  They have amazing testimonies and their talks were amazing.

I shared with them afterwards how bad I felt when I had brought a friend to church.  The first speaker talked about the “atonement” without mentioning Christ.  I felt sad that the speaker didn’t talk about how Heavenly Father provided a Savior who would atone for our sins.  Instead, it was more like the “atonement” was some mystical thing.  It’s not.  It is a plan our Heavenly Father had and it was fulfilled by Jesus Christ.

Priesthood Meeting

Today was my first Sunday teaching Elder’s Quorum on the 4th Sunday.  Our lesson was about ministering and how ministering means serving others and not ourselves.  The men in the class gave some wonderful examples from the scriptures.  I felt very good about how the lesson went.

Pageant 2018 Shift

Pageant 2018 Shift

I fulfilled my Pageant 2018 Shift today.  It was a depressing feeling to not feel my happy self.  I usually enjoy working Pageant security, but with this illness it was everything I could do to endure the 4 hours.

When I got home Elizabethe gave me the painful reminder that I may have to stop volunteering for stuff like this.

I fear how I’m going to handle next week’s photography school.

Update

Since mowing the lawn Monday I have been very sick.  They are doing 6 more blood tests this week.  While some of them will have severe consequences if they turn out positive, at this point, knowing is better than not knowing.

The gal who drew my blood says her mom has been tested on and off for the last 4 years.  That must be heartbreaking to know you’re sick, but have the doctors stymied as to why.  She was telling me people were telling her it is all in her head.  (How cruel.)

I have this to say about it being “all in one’s head”…

My own experience is this:  If it were all in my head, I’d be riding my bicycle 25-40 miles a day, and taking 50 mile trips often.  I’d have the outside of my house painted by now, and I would have done it all by myself.  And, the list would go on.

Nobody wishes these symptoms upon themselves.  Nobody.

Mealthy Pot Enchilada

Mealthy Pot Enchilada

I’m really enjoying my Mealthy Pot.  Today I made Mealthy Pot Enchilada.  Basically, I layered ingredients divided by corn chips.  Layer 1 – meat, layer 2 was chili rellenos, and layer 3, cheese and onion.

The biggest mistake, however, was cooking it too long.  I put it on for 45 minutes.  I think 20 minutes would have been just right.  45 minutes over cooked the meat.

Next time I make Mealthy Pot Enchilada I won’t cook it as long, and I’m going to put the chili rellenos at the bottom, then cheese and finally meat at the top.  I will also use more enchilada sauce on the meat.

Strawberries

The strawberries we picked yesterday were used in the dessert I made.  I baked a thin poppyseed cake (about 1″ thick), sliced it in to 5×5 squares.  I then put a layer of heavy whipped cream with diced strawberries between two squares of cake. Next came mashed strawberries over the top and that was topped with whipped cream.

We’re talking a serious strawberry shortcake (but made with my poppyseed cake, and not dry, tasteless shortcake.)

Tomorrow

I see the doctor tomorrow, and I plan to mow the lawn after my appointment.  We’ll see how I do after mowing the lawn.

Florida is Cooler

Florida is Cooler

Today the weather map for the USA shows Florida is cooler than most other places.  That’s a switch.  This heatwave has hit the entire lower 48 states.  It’s miserable.

I decided to do a salad for dinner with tuna sandwiches instead of cooking.  It’s just too hot.  I bet the sister missionaries were thankful we didn’t bake lasagna for dinner.  (Elizabethe is!)

Ice cream for dinner, again because it is too hot.

Not a Good Day

It’s not a good day health wise.  Yesterday I experienced a sudden loss of strength in my fingers.  Coupled with the other symptoms I searched for what it could be.  The first thing that popped up was ALS.  Oh, I hope it isn’t that.  Reading that just compounded my already existing stress.

Drug Trial

Elizabethe is in a drug trial program.  It’s an already existing drug that has a side effect of weight loss.  They are testing to see if it is effective as a weight loss.  So far, it has taken away her appetite.  I joked that she’ll lose weight, but I’ll gain what she loses because I’ll have to eat her leftovers too.

Actually, that’s not going to happen.  Whatever it is that I have is making me less hungry than before.

Pageant Rush

Pageant Rush

Pageant rush is upon us.  Elizabethe tells me a guy called in a frenzy asking if we had enough rooms for his group.  She says, he said, “I can’t believe practically every place is already booked.”

Yes, that’s what happens in Palmyra during Hill Cumorah Pageant season.  The Pageant rush hits and every one is frantically looking for lodging.

Why?

Because Palmyra is a tiny village near a very small city (Rochester).  That’s why I tell people to try to book 6 to 12 months in advance.  Expect to pay more.  It’s supply and demand.

Bond, James Bond

I’ve been learning how to do gobos (go betweens) in Poser and DAZ3d.  I created this James Bond inspired piece today as part of my studies.

copyright 2018 db walton

Bond, James Bond

I’ve finally got a handle on making and using gobos.  A gobo is a sheet that goes between your lighting and subject to create shadows.  In this case, a spiral pattern falls on the lady and the floor.

Taco Bell

We went for a cheap date today.  We drove to Victor and went to Taco Bell.  While I miss the good ol’ 5 item menu, their XXL grilled burrito is pretty good.  I gave it a try today and I’d give it a 5 out of 5.

Procrastinate

Procrastinate

Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow.  That is how I feel about the lawn today.  Procrastinate!  My feeling is because I feel rotten.

Weather permitting, I will do it tomorrow.

Temple

My temple shift went well.  I rested before going.  I also heard from my doctor’s office and all of my blood tests are normal.  The plan of action wasn’t going to help me tonight, so I got a good rest before going to the temple.

Blood Tests

Because the blood tests didn’t show any abnormalities, the doctor wants to change some of my medications.  We’ll see how that goes.  Tonight at bedtime will be the first adjusted dosage.

I also had a thought:  What if it is pain that is causing me to not rest well?

So, to test my theory, I’m going to put some pain lotion on my shoulder each night.  Again, tonight will the first night.  I know, changing 3 variables at the same time isn’t a good troubleshooting method, but I’m desperate at this point.

I’m not sure how many days the change in medications needs.  However, the pain in my shoulder theory will start to become evident tomorrow morning.

A Month Away

A Month Away

It’s hard to believe pageant is only a month away.  They have trucks staged in the big parking lot at Hill Cumorah.  It looks like the stage construction will begin soon.

My workshop classes for photography are during pageant this year (again).  This means I’ll be in school from about 8am to 5pm daily.  I’ll miss much of the daytime stuff that accompanies pageant, but I’ll be able to watch the show one of those nights.

Social Media Fast

President Russell M. Nelson asked the youth to do a 7-day social media fast.  If the prophet asks the youth to do it, it must be good for others too.  But, like any fast, there are some things to consider.

  1. Do it in private.  Christ warned not to be as the publicans who disfigure their faces and dress in sackcloth and ashes.  In modern terms, I would take it to mean, don’t post stuff on social media like, “Okay, I’m going on a 7-day Facebook fast.  I don’t know how I’m going to manage, but I’m doing it okay.  Starting right now.”
  2. Social media is more than just Facebook.  It’s Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, chat rooms, message boards, etc.  A 7-day social media fast must include all of them.
  3. A fast isn’t complete without an offering.  What will be your offering at the end of your 7-day media fast?  I’ve been thinking a lot about this.  I think it would be appropriate for 7 days worth of internet or phone charges donated to the fast offering fund.
  4. It should start and end with a prayer.  You should have in mind what Heavenly Father wants you to learn from the experience, and you should pray for understanding and strength.

I guess one learning might end up being that people can do with out so much social media.

Church Down South

Church Down South

Church down south was fun today.  Zoe’s name was announced from the pulpit and she was sustained as a new member of the church.

copyright 2018 db walton

Zoe

Avery and Zoe get along amazingly well.  Let’s hope it keeps up.  After all, it’s only been a few months since they became a family.  I don’t say that pessimistically, but let’s be realistic.  Siblings usually will have their spats.

After church I drove the 4 of them (Ashley went home with her grandparents last night), down to Steve’s parent’s house.  They are having a week-long camp with all the grandchildren.  (It sounds fun.  For Rebecca and Steve this will be a nice honeymoon time for them.)

Old Hospital and Prison

Steve showed us around the old hospital and prison.  Talk about a waste of property and resources.  It’s been shut down since 1980s.  The buildings sit vacant, and the grounds unkempt.   (A lot of people blame Reagan for this, but I’ve read several analysis of it and basically, Reagan signed in some budget cuts, but MOVED the burden to the states.  States, like Georgia, responded in kind by closing facilities… and blaming Reagan.)

Israel

I dropped Steve and Rebecca off and went back to the hotel.  They joined Elizabethe and I there and I gave them a slideshow of Israel.  It was fun.

Zoe Baptized

Zoe Baptized

Zoe was baptized today.  She was so excited.  Her grin went from ear to ear.

Rebecca and Steve commented the attendance was more than they expected.  The little room was packed to capacity.  Zoe asked me and her Grandpa Martin to talk.  Russ Martin talked about baptism, and I talked about the gift of the Holy Ghost.

copyright 2018 db walton

Their Happy Family

Lunch

Before the baptism we met them for lunch at a diner named Kirby G.  I had a brisket burger.  It was a lean beef patty topped with slices of brisket.  Best burger ever.  As a result, I’ll want to return when we visit Atlanta.

copyright 2018 db walton

Zoe and Avery at Kirby G’s

Open House

They had an open house for Zoe after the baptism.  Some of Steve’s family showed up, as well as some friends.  The full-time missionaries were also there.

I enjoyed talking to the elders about missions and stuff.  The elders were telling me they are going away from tablets and just using smartphones now.  (Just wait for the next technology and they’ll be carrying something different.  Technology changes too quickly.)

Chick-Fil-A

We stopped and picked up a snack at Chick-Fil-A.  I wish we had one here in Palmyra.  Elizabethe was reading they are #1 where ever they have a location.  That’s impressive.

The Trip There

We arrived her yesterday afternoon.  We had dinner at Rebecca’s with the Sister Missionaries.

copyright 2018 db walton

The Gang Friday Night After Dinner