Battling Decay.. 

It’s been a while guys but honestly, I didn’t really have anything exciting or revolutionary to share.. but this- you’re going to want to see.. and maybe someone reading this is desperate for hope and healing like I was. 

 

Disclosure
: This blog is of my own personal experience and opinion. This opinion is not forced by a company nor is it made in exchange for any form of compensation. I have written this of my own thoughts in hope of helping someone ❤ 

Oral Healthcare has always been important to me.. but it seemed that no matter how much I brushed, flossed, etc- it was never enough. I’ve been told my Grandma had dentures at a very early age.. and as much as I love her, I didn’t want to follow her steps this time. I can remember getting 4 cavities filled at the age of 4 and always being told I wasn’t brushing enough or my gums needed more attention,  etc.  I’ve had my teeth sealed, braces and extensive dental care to prevent an early oral healthe declined.. So… I tried every latest “great toothpaste”.. I tried every new device meant to offer the closest and best smile, ever. I tried natural remedies and OTC miracle drugs.. and guess what? NONE WORKED

When my oldest had to have oral surgery at the age of 4, I realize that my bad oral luck had passed on to at least one of my kids. We brush his teeth, religiously. We had kids floss and mouthwash.. but it still wasn’t enough for him. I knew we had to figure something out or find something.  But what? I felt like I’d exhausted every avenue in this department and I was just revisiting old streets. I felt absolutely helpless. I didn’t want to curse my sons with this nightmare and was determined to find a solution to give them a better life.

  
So fast forward a little over a year from his surgery, add in hundreds of soft drinks,  many nights of stress and sugary treats and *it happened*. It happened so gradually that I honestly didn’t realize it was happening until it was nearly too late. My gums receded so much you could literally see the bottom of my teeth. The decay was real. My gums were disappearing,  the teeth were turning black and dying. I was so mortified. (Side note: I’m a pretty positive Patty. I’m always smiling and always looking for the good in things. I am overly optimistic.. so my smile being black was so hard for me. I was too insecure to smile at others and it just took a huge emotional toll.) I kept my struggle to myself for the most part, only Shawn knew how bad things were and it was obvious it was because he was home every night and could see me obsessing in my mouth and my declining attitude. 

So I started looking more into things I can try, and I’m not sure why it took so long to figure out, but I’m glad it finally clicked! My oils! Let’s be honest, I know so many of you are still skeptical- and I get that- at one time, I was, too! But here me out, oils saved my mouth. 

I called the dentist accepted on my network and they told me I could be seen in April AT THE EARLIEST! My oils were my Hail Mary, literally. 
I started researching what I had at home and immediately started trying different things. I finally found some good ones that seemed to be helping: Thieves, Rosemary, Eucalyptus Globulus & Frankincense.  

  • Thieves: helps with tooth pain, gum infection, anti-septic.
  • Rosemary: anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, improved blood flow, boost immune system, natural mouthwash
  • Eucalyptus Globulus: boosts immune system, improves/stimulates blood circulation  
  • Frankincense: fights oral infection, anti-inflammatory,  disinfecting pain reliever,  stimulates immune system to heal

After about a week, my gums went from black to pink and the bleeding seemed less frequent. I was impressed to say the least. 

Since my oils seemed to be coming in clutch, I decided to take the next step and commit to their toothpaste: Thieves Aromabright Toothpaste. I was feeling rather impatient so I put a calling out in my Oils group https://www.facebook.com/faithandfrankwellness/  and it was answered by a dear friend, Erica. 

I started the Aromabright and after a few days,  I could feel my gums healing. How can you feel healing?  My mouth felt so much better. Gum irritation decreased, the pinkness in my gums flourished and I could feel growth in my gums. 

Now, I have two regrets on this journey. 

  1.  I regret not finding it sooner. 
  2. I reget not taking “before” pictures sooner. I was so blinded by embarrassment that I didn’t even consider that I’d look back and want to see how far I progressed.  

I never actually planned to share this story but I stumbled across a post that ended up turning into a discussion with friends who were actually struggling with similar problems. It was there that I realized I could actually help someone battling a problem that had caused me so much heartache. My teeth are far from perfect and nowhere near close to being “fixed”- but I know I’m on the right path and giving myself the best oral care possible until I can see my dentist. 
Below is a photo taken just 3 days apart. The proof is in the pictures. I can blabber all day but you cannot deny what you see with your own eyes. 

Please feel free to reach out to me if I can be of any assistance to you. ❤ 

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Before & After Battle..

Sorry for the delay and the broken promises.  I guess I needed a longer break than I originally thought. It was time well spent. I’ve spent the last month or so training hard and focusing on bettering myself and my family. 
In that time, I was preparing to run the Battle 6:11 Battle of Baton Rouge State Championships. It had been since March since I’d taken on an OCR (obstacle course race) but I knew I’d stepped up my training and I guess I just needed to prove something to myself. 
When I finally realized that PCOS Awareness Month AND Battle Race were September, I knew I wanted to use this as an opportunity to create awareness for this illness that plagues me daily yet is still so taboo. So I did. I posted about statistics.  I shared facts. I even had my dear husband make me a new shirt as part of my race gear! Shout out to Shawn with Lipari Specialties for my sweet new shirt

As the days counted down, the fatigue and self doubt began to set in. Why do I do this? Who do I think I am!? I’m just an average Mom of 2 cute kids who tries her best to keep her life together and has chronic illness. There’s plenty of “me” out in the world.. so what makes me think that I’m anything special to run these courses? 

I have really bad anxiety and I tend to be super tough on myself so I’ve learned to push through that train of thought and commit regardless of anxious thoughts.. 

And before I knew it, race day was here… 

At the beginning of the race, I was still in my head and graciously received help on getting in the chute and a few of the earlier obstacles I should have been able to do solo.. but the mental block was dragging me down. But I slowly found a groove and started hopping straight into obstacles without hesitation. 

I wish I could tell you some courageous story of great speed and heroic leaps and bounds.. but the truth is, I am just a Mom with chronic illness who gets on that course to better herself and to make her kids proud. I went out, ran.. well walked/jogged some terrain and tackled some obstacles.  Some obstacles, I needed help and others I tackled solo and shocked myself. 

BUT WHAT THIS RACE SHOWED ME is that I am brave.  I am out in the world creating a platform for women with PCOS to break stigmas and create awareness.  I am slowly (but surely) changing myself and creating a healthier future. 

There are 2 main responses I get when I mention “I run races”.. The first one is that awkward sideways head tilt glance.. I know, it’s hard to believe someone with a larger body build and frame does these things.  Well, it’s hard to believe if you aren’t in that world. More often that not, you will find people of all body ranges at an OCR. Why? Because they don’t require you to be a machine or goddess. These races take HEART. They take effort and determination.  They take comradarie.  *NEVER* let someone tell you that you cannot do something outside of the norm.  Do what makes you happy. Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets you soul on fire. 

The second response is usually “well, do you winm” or “could you even win?” Honestly, probably not. I’m a mediocre runner, and that’s being generous. But not every race has to be about what place you are. Would placing podium be amazing? ABSOLUTELY!  Does it mean I shouldn’t run because I won’t podium? Absolutely not! If you want to run, RUN YOUR RACE. Run your own race. Do not define your ability just by podiums.  Work on self improvement and victory is still yours. 

Learning to Let Go

T’was the night before Kindergarten & all through the home. 

Everything was laid out, from his uniforms to comb. 

A few squirts of Prim Monster Spray in the closet and bed..

So no bad dreams would fill his tiny head.

As we tucked him into bed and kissed him goodnight.. 

We knew in our hearts this new journey would be alright ❤ 

So sweet and innocent in his bed he curled.. 

But when he wakes up, it’s time to change the world ❤ #firstdayofschool

An Ode to My Husband

Shawn, there truly are no words to thank you for how much you do for me in this life. After working a full time job and 2 games, you came home to a broken wife with a crappy attitude. My emotions a mess and crying,  hours long… and without missing a beat- you walked in, hugged me so tight that it “put me back together” and assured me everything would be okay with a gentle kiss on the forehead.  Thank you. Thank you for resetting me when I felt broken. Thank you for loving me on the good days,  but loving me harder on the bad days. Thank you for taking the time to listen and showing that you care. There are times that I have no words, but you sit and listen anyways. I could never truly express just how much those moments mean to me. In a world that often feels so cold and alone, I know there is solace when I am with you.

Yall, I have so many posts I want to share but my depression has been a bit overwhelming. I promise to try and be back soon. Thanks for hanging around. 

Find Yourself in the Mud

My oldest son has asked to run an obstacle course ever since falling in love with American Ninja Warrior.. when I ran Tough Mudder in March, he was disappointed he was too young.. BUT not all hope was lost. 

In Louisiana,  we have Battle Races created by Battle 6:11. 

http://www.battle611.com

They have weekly training, races, rucks, etc. If you’re in the area and looking for a local OCR circuit, this is it. 

So when a date and location popped up that was pretty convenient,  we decided to register him. Elated was an understatement. When he found out he’d get to run, he was so overcome with emotions that he cried. Truly touching as a parent to see that much emotion and happiness come out of such a tiny body. Even more emotional when it’s over something you love, too. 

Race day came and that same level of excitement was still there. As his heat approached, I pointed out the parks alligator in the pond,  I told him a few obstacles I’d seen at my earlier arrival and told him some cool stuff the state park had for after the race.. and then.. 

It was time! 

The start bell sounded and WE WERE OFF! Due to his age, he needed an adult and it just made sense that I would go with him since Shawn isn’t into the entire OCR scene.  He flew over the first obstacles like they were nothing. A little hesitation at trying new things but over the moon with every step at everything he was achieving. 

Leaps and bounds came and went and he breezed through obstacles I had previously assumed he’d struggle with. 

 And then.  It happened. The log carry..

I totally assumed he’d breeze through this. Not because its easy but because we do play outside. And, well, he’s said he wanted to do Tough Mudder, everything.  
Had you told me just milliseconds after I’d taken the photo above that he was about to have a huge mental breakdown,  I would have laughed at you.  He had just scaled 4 foot walls with ease and flew off of them like Superman.. but we hit the mud and it happened. I have lovingly referred to this moment as #MuddyMeltdownApocalypse. 
As he took little steps holding his log, his feet sunk into the clay-like mud. And each step was a little heavier and a little deeper. He chunked the log and exclaimed it was too heavy as he looked at me with defeat. Fine, I’ll carry it- no big deal, right? I grab the log and we go just inched forward. Next step, his shoe is totally submerged in the mud and when he pulls his leg up *POP*.. his foot comes out and the shoe stays hidden. At this point, he LOSES his mind. Tears, screams, wails, groans. Total mental breakdown. I’m doing my best to calm him but it’s just getting worse and nothing I say gives any sense of hope whatsoever. With his next step, his other shoe comes off. Then it’s socks to the mud and he is just a mess of emotions at this point and not happy ones.

I’m doing my best to hold it together but the mud is gross, I’m sinking myself and his screams are making is pretty impossible to make rational thoughts.  So I finally catch my head, hoist him to my back, the log in my arms and every slipped off shoe; his, mine and strays tossed onto my fingers and turn back around. When we finally get out of the mud, he’s screaming that he just needs to rinse off. He’s done and ready to go home. Tosses himself straight to the ground in a fit of refusing to put back on his shoes.

The “Mom” in me fussed with him a bit that he needed to go on. Not for the medal.. but because I knew he would look back on that moment with regret if he didn’t and I didn’t want that for him. I’ve been there before and the regret haunts me. It took some convincing but he finally gave in and agreed to go a little further and “feel things out”.

The brisk run after the mud was rough. He just kept fussing, grumbling and giving me a death stare. I picked up the pace a little so that he’d give chase and be distracted until the next obstacle.  It worked. 

When he finally completely the course, he had been stuck, shed tears, fallen off of an obstacle, overcome obstacles he never thought possible and achieved something he always said he wanted to do. The raw emotion at the finish line was overwhelming,  even staff teared up at his reaction. He was immediately brought to tears in amazement of all he’d done in such a short time.

Check out his live finish by clicking on the link below: 
Greyson’s Battle Finish

Ironically, I check my email and his “word of the month” at MMA is resilience. Their definition is “when life pushes me down, I bounce back up.” There is literally no better way to explain what had just happened to him than this. Somethint had just *clicked* inside of him with this word. He realized that by getting back up and moving on, he was able to overcome an obstacle AND achieve a dream..

Some people wait a lifetime to meet a superhero.. I am blessed enough that I am raising two tiny heroes.  In this moment, I was elated at how mature of a realization this was for such a tiny soul. I spend every second of my life trying to help them through life.. and every second right back, they are showing me just what life is about..

If you find yourself knocked down or just stuck… do not succumb to the mud pit.. dig yourself out and bounce back up. 

Battle 6:11 always encourages participants to discover what’s their battle cry?

On this day, we learned that Greyson’s battle cry is #Resilience. 

She’s Back? Julying!? 

Hey guys! It’s been a while!  A lot of chaos!  
It was my circus and it is my monkeys … (haha!)
Stay tuned for a post on Citronella coming up in the next few days! Maybe a little crazy update, too! 

Hope you all had a fabulous 4th of July!  

Keeping the Faith

We are your average family. We live paycheck to paycheck since Shawn was laid off from his oilfield job late in 2015. Despite that small set back, we are still so very blessed beyond words. When he was laid off, he found a job almost immediately.  We adjusted to living on the smaller amount and consolidated some bills to make sure we could stay afloat. We are fortunate that his new job allows him time off when he needs and is very accommodating for sick needs. We fight hard, love harder. For the most part, everyone is happy, healthy and thriving.  One could argue that from the outside looking in, everything is absolutely peachy keen..

  But we all know that looks can be deceiving.  Everyone is doing their best to conceal skeletons that they are embarrassed of or try to run from.  

Last Wednesday, my phone *dings* so I get up and check it and see this: 

Courtesy of 337 Magazine, I had won 2 tickets to see Wonder Woman the day before it hit theatres nationwide. Part of me was excited and then, the other part crushed.. here we are, in the midst of struggling and we win something pretty cool but timing couldn’t be worse. 
With money being so tight, and now gone, our grocery budget had been a little less than appealing. The bulk of it went to food and snacks for the boys while Shawn and I just ate whatever else we could afford. Hint: mostly ramen. My PCOS hated me, my weight had also been creeping back because I wasn’t able to eat correctly. 

I was over the moon with excitement that I’d won. I messaged my Mom and told her I’d won and that she was the reason I had even entered. I offered her the opportunity to go see Wonder Woman.. she had first dibs..but her response was that if I wanted to go with Shawn,  she would have kept the boys. Guilt consumed me.  Since his accident, I’d missed 4 events meant for me to have a little “Mom break”.. this would have been great just to get away for a few hours but things were just so gloomy.. I was so conflicted. I don’t regret missing a single thing but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t itching for a way to get out, even for a tiny bit of time. I just needed to get out of the house for a little while. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t also super excited because the movie was catered. After eating poorly, by this point, I was well over ramen and thrilled at the idea of a proper adult meal. The meal alone was worth venturing for but we are struggling so much, did we even deserve it? 

When Shawn lacerated his arm with the katana, it put us in a “rare but not impossible” emergency situation.  We already live a pretty balanced budget so there isn’t much left after bills and necessities are tended to. To afford the proper medical supplies, we had to dig into our very tiny savings we had just started rebuilding. It didn’t take long to eat away at that. We tried our best to situate late payment plans with all of our bills but one managed to slip under our noses.. and that was all it took to snowball things out of control.. 

Thursday, the day after winning the tickets, a bill came out and the account went negative.  All it took was an $11 bill to break us. Our account was $5 overdrafted and we had 9 days until payday. Things just took a turn for the worst possible path. 

I should have freaked out into sheer panic but I somehow managed to stay calm. I’m 99.9% positive my calmness was solely accredited to not wanting to freak the boys out. $5 overdrafted isn’t a lot, it was the fees that would accumulate over 9 days that scared me. Sure, we have family and even friends we could ask to borrow $5 from just to put us in the clear- but it’s so embarrassing to put aside your pride in situations like this. You are fearful that someone is just going to scoff at you and think you’re simply being irresponsible with money. I immediately start brainstorming things like “well let’s sell my such&such for a low cost. Someone’s bound to bite and $5 is all we need”… or “we could trade in a few games and get cash, sure it’s a huge loss but it’s enough to get us in the clear”.. I was determined we would figure it out. 

As the day continued, my nerves began to get a little worse. I knew once the day was over, those fees would start piling on and it’s a blow that would be extremely hard to recover from. We had literally just started to have control of the finances and it was crumbling through my fingertips like sand with each passing second. 

I reread the facebook post and decided to just set the idea on the back burner. It really was a great opportunity.  The movie was catered with fun give aways, prizes and keepsakes offered. The timing seemed pretty perfect but still, it didn’t solve our problem. I couldn’t fathom just going casually watch a movie knowing the financial chaos that seemed to only be getting worse with each passing second.

I back burnered every single thought and managed to get through most of the afternoon. This could strongly be accredited to the fact that I’m a SAHM and my boys needed me. Then, they laid down for a nap and didn’t need me anymore. My mind was flooded with a mixture of emotions. I tried my best to block it all out to avoid getting anxious but I couldn’t. I put everything away and headed straight to my “War Room” and saw this:

Matthew 6:25-34

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore DO NOT WORRY ABOUT TOMORROW, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

It was EXACTLY what I needed to read. We’ve hit rock bottom before, we’ve put our trust in the Lord and we’ve always overcome the obstacle. I have to trust in my faith and follow what has always pulled us through. This time should be no different. 

By this time, a few friends could tell something was off and had asked if I needed to vent.  I got the delimma off of my chest and politely declined all offers to just borrow the money straight up. I could feel it in my gut that we could figure it out without actually going into more debt. That scripture really relieved my stress with the entire situation and I just felt a sense of calmness. I was beyond appreciative, I just couldn’t wrap my head around “borrowing from Peter to pay Paul”.

I’m glad I followed that feeling. We managed to figure out a solution to get the account in the clear so we decided to head out and see WW just because it was all free and well needed. We realize we cannot pour from empty cups and we needed to get let that stress fizzle some so that we didn’t take that stress out on each other or (especially) the boys. 

The movie was great, we were too late for food but did enjoy a YooHoo & RC Cola. We said hello to a few friends we bumped into. We took a cute picture keepsake and admired the different booths and artists that had come out. And then we headed home to curl up to our sweet boys. 

Around 10 that night, Shawn’s phone chimed and he let out a huge sigh followed by a deep breath. 

Have you ever had “money from heaven”? You know, Money that finds its way to you out of the blue at the perfect moment? 

Money from heaven” had been deposited to our accounts for work I’d done at an earlier time.  The work wasn’t done with the expectations of getting something back in return so the money was truly a surprise to me. I like to think I’m pretty generous at helping people I care about however I can.. I never expect anything in return, I just want to help my friends.. but this Angels timing couldn’t have been more perfect to surprise me. Not only was it enough to cover the problem,  it was plenty leftover to buy necessities for the house and make it the next 9 days without fear of emergency. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

There are no words to describe just how much of a relief this was. I also cannot describe how perfect the timing was to win a small get away down the road from home. It was only a few hours and maybe didn’t give me some glorious vacation- but it recharged me enough that I am able to function and give my children the best of me as. 

Things haven’t exactly gotten easier. Of course, we’re being cautious and we would love to be able to create a new savings we can build up well but that’ll take time. Right now, we have a ltitle room to breath and for that I am eternally grateful. We will face hardships in life (probably more than we want to) but the important thing is to always hold fast to your faith and trust in the Lord. 
To my angel: Thank you. You provided a true sense of relief and peace in ways you may never understand. Your gift was truly one that helped us but your friendship is appreciated more than you know.