Blogging · health · mental health · poetry · Uncategorized · wellness · writing

🖤

I want you to understand what is it like for me
It is not at all how I thought it would be, every little thing feels like the end to me
Every ache and pain scares me
My days are filled with making memories, in case they are all you have left of me
I want to live the happiest I can be
All while slowly falling into the abyss of misery
I lay awake at night for fear of falling asleep
I cry in the morning, thankful I get another chance to hug my babies
To tell my husband how much he means to me
Maybe this will be the day for another epiphany
An answer to a prayer for what is best for me
I can write what’s in my heart and share it for the world to see
It is important for you to know what life is like with chronic illness you see
Not only for the ones you love but the chance you may face the same adversity
We are people just like you, with hopes and dreams
We fight silent battles that no one sees
We must advocate for ourselves while fighting for our lives
I hope now you understand me
I am coming to the realization that this is how it is supposed to be

~Jennifer Steen

Blogging · health · Lifestyle · mental health · music · poetry · wellness

Self Survival and Recovery……a creative reflection.

So let’s just dive in and bring it to surface. This feels like coming back from the brink of death, all the pain, unknowns, brain games, and ever lasting shame. Fighting for your life, hypnophobia, your mind on replay. I love how music is on display, in your darkest hours. The melody touches your soul, like the crashing waves on the coast. My other home, where the sea turns to foam. My feet in the sand, I feel at home. Wishing you were here, to see for yourself, the heaven and hell I’ve been in. My own creation, then invited others in. I write to heal, to have a voice for silenced. To put a smile on someone’s face, changes lives everyday.

It is time to let go and just fly, over mile high. Where the sunset paints a canvas, my star in the sky shines bright. Like falling stardust, a continuous process. Take a deep breath and let the calm descend, if only for a moment, as eyes open wide. Looking back it was a slow ascend to the top, full of clarity, then the bombs were dropped. Like a nuclear attack packed with flashbacks and long lasting side effects. Reflections stare back, unrecognizable to you now. Not sure when you will come back, all those faces to survive. Masks are easy to hide behind, what color defines who you have become inside. Synchronicity begins, its 4:04am, how time never ends. 4:20 is usually my jam, it’s very personal, like a vice. I will talk about it some time, for now I will fix what is going on, right here and right now. Or is this a dream, more like a living nightmare. You awaken and the fog is still there, not like the first time, when everything was so clear. Then it all disappears, cycles away like night and day. Why I am I stuck on repeat, the music in my head writing out sentences. How amazing that would be, put pen to paper, and make history.

Which one will it be? Fear or anxiety……overcoming is never easy. It’s relies on strategy, no playbooks are the same. The mind wanders and misses time, so you play catch up as you try and get by. All you have is today, right now in this moment, amongst the parade. The siren she calls to us all, he is hot on her heels, a game of cat and mouse. Who will win these time? Outsmart the ego and call a truce before they tighten the noose. Suffocation like claustrophobia, crawling within my skin. Poison leaks from the pores, and then the healing begins. A slow speed in the fast lane so to speak. Capeche! Understanding comes with peace, take it from me, seeing clearly is the key. One of many shapes and colors for the locks change periodically. The door stays the same, an imprint on the world, for ALL to see. Even the ground beneath our feet and the trees 🎶Twenty One Pilots “Trees” stop and add it to your playlist now!!🎶 blurryfaced in the breeze. Like a coat of many colors, I had one when I was 13, how eccentric of me. Anyways its time to go, I will be back soon with another review.

~Jennifer Steen 🦉

* I am finally calm now, this is my favorite therapy. The creation of art and using my literary voice. Since my vocal cords only seem to whisper. I wander in this life, all around. I feel quite lost yet found……..it is 5:39am, time to roll over and sleep.

health · Lifestyle · mental health · Uncategorized · wellness

Health and Wellness Progress Report

Hey! So as I am waiting on the first round of tests to come in, I wanted to give you all an update on what has been happening and where I am at on my journey.

Things are improving slowly and positively so while I am still weak and fatigued, my mind is in a much better place. With Omega 3 supplements and adrenal tonic, my brain fog has cleared, my hair no longer falls out, and I have more energy. Hopefully the test results, I will have a clear picture of the damage the steroids did to my adrenal glands. So important message, if you are diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency, please find another alternative besides steroids. They will turn your adrenal glands to stone and you will be dependant on those for the rest of your life, I was lucky and caught it in time before it did irrevocable damage. Your adrenals, when insuffiecient, need rest, proper diet, and all natural support! I have gone from two steroid pills twice a day to a quarter of a pill once a day, guys that is huge!

I have been on a no grain, no diary, no soy, no corn, and no processed sugar diet. While as hard and as complicated it is to maintain with all the temptation around me, I have found that I feel better physically and emotionally. My gut issues have all but gone away and my joint pain only flairs occassionally. Consider trying it for a few weeks and see how you feel!

I also have been facing my internal struggles with trauma, hurt, pain, and fear. This one will be a life long commitment and one that will test my emotional intelligence to it’s breaking point. I will not change who I am to the core, because she is a beautiful person, but I can change how I react and perceive the world around me. Not facing my issues did not help my medical issues, it made them worse. Stress kills and damages our immune system. We are so much more than the pain we carry around and only we can change our circumstances. Look inward, pray, meditate, and be grateful for every single good time and every single bad time. They are lessons and a pathway to a fulfilling our life path, or destiny!

I have found a level of patience and an understanding that stress leads me nowhere but down. I want answers but I must trust the universe and the creators plan for me, I surround myself with love and support and just breath. I work on myself, my goals, and becoming a healthier. Being ok with being sad sometimes, and enjoying the happy times to the max!

I want to give a shout out to the first doctor, who ever truly helped me, she believed me and in me, and the weight she lifted off my shoulders was so much more than I could have ever hoped for! When no one listened or believed me, she did and gave me the information and the tools to help myself and I am forever grateful to her! She is brilliant, kind, and one of a kind. If you are needing to find a doctor who will take a natural, holistic approach to your health please do not hesitate to reach out to her! She is based in Trinidad, Colorado and can also work remotely with you wherever you are. Her name is Dr. Ivory Raye. http://www.rayenaturopathic.com/

I also see a local doctor here in the Texas Panhandle who has also helped me immensely and is running the tests that I will be having over the next few months, he is also a chiropractor and is patient oriented and will do whatever he can to help! He also offers a holistic approach to healthcare, his name is Dr. Mike Vennell. https://www.spineandsportswellnessclinic.com/

Your health and wellness is important and I hope anyone struggling and feeling hopeless in their journey, to reach out to me or to my doctors. There are people who are willing to help and I am here for support! Thank you for reading and following me on this journey! I will be updating the blog with the results of my dutch test as soon as I get them.

Jennifer Steen

health · Lifestyle · Uncategorized · writing

My thoughts and the lessons I learned

December 2, 2018 journal entry……

I have been chastised for holding onto situations that can not be changed, for staying stuck in the “hurt” and not moving on. They are absolutely right, I was “hurt” so badly and never got closure. I was targetted and bullied and my sensitive nature just could not handle that level of betrayal. Not by people who swore to me they had my back and loved my family. And by those who were only out for themselves and used me as a pawn in their game. My logical side told me to be careful and my heart told me I had no choice but to trust, I needed it so desperately. I have been trapped in my trauma, a slave to the pain and despair. While part of me tried to find the silver lining, to keep going and pretend that I was ok. I was not and even though deep down I knew it, I could never fully face it. Some things are just to painful, it takes time. I could not let go, when in the past I have had no trouble brushing things off and leaving them where they fell. I asked myself why is that? In the wee hours of yesterday morning, I found the answer. It had not been the right time, the story had not been finished. I had not learned the lesson that was laid out before me. I also realized that not everything is meant to be swept under the rug, it is not ok to let people continue to hurt you and for you to stay out of a sense of duty. That standing up for myself and my kids was more important than keeping the peace. Not everyone agrees but I am not here to live other people’s choices. Only mine and I will not always do it in a way that others see fit, I will not always do it in a way that I see fit in hindsight either but my hope is I will learn the lesson, accept it, and do better next time.
I am a victim, I am also a survivor. Resolution does not happen when you want it to, it occurs when the lesson has been learned. Hiding behind the supposed sins of others will leave you trapped in your own personal nightmare for which you will never wake. Call me mental and crazy all you want but make sure you take a cold hard to look in the mirror before you open your mouth. Not everything will be washed away with hollow words hidden behind a fake smile.

In the past five years, I have had no less than 7 traumatic experiences. Most all wrapped up in one situation or another while my mind and body wasted away and the unknown sickness took hold. I know I am not the only one who has been through hell but I am not here to compare traumas and I will no longer let anyone downplay what happened to me and my family. I do not speak about it for victimhood, I speak because two years ago I was given a gift to be able to share my story in hopes of helping others like myself. To stand up for what’s right and speak against those who hurt people to make themselves feel better, for they can not face themselves. I also speak to those individuals hoping they will see the light within their own darkness. I too carry a darkness within me, we all do. When we acknowledge it, we take away it’s power. I too have hurt people but never out of hate or pleasure. My coldness and isolation is a defense mechanism to protect myself and I own the effect it has on other people, however I will continue to use it if I must. I owe them nothing if there intention is to harm me emotionally. Life is to short to hold grudges but I feel protecting ourselves is vital to our health. Not everyone will understand but not everyone matters.
I also write about my journey through chronic illness and pain, why? Because I can and because millions of other people are facing the same situation. They are scared, lonely, and feel like they have gone mad, we are all little mad though, aren’t we? I sure hope so, life gets to boring to be so sane. I want them to know they are not alone and the light is there if they choose to find it. Truth be told I am a hot mess, scared and scarred but still standing, even when dizzy lol

My journey is far from over and I have a lot of work ahead of me, I have amazing people that have stuck by me and put up with my craziness and for that I am the luckiest girl on earth. I love you guys and hope that you know how much you mean to me. Thank you for loving through my faults and tears, in the good times and laughter, and for my imperfections.
Each of us has a story and it deserves to be told if one sees fit to tell it. You will also suffer for it but the rewards will out way the risk in the end. Within suffering their is compassion, and the road to our own redemption. For me that is worth fighting for and I am grateful for the clarity to do so.

~Jennifer Steen

Lifestyle · mental health · poetry · Uncategorized · writing

My Heartache

The mental anguish is excruciating, frustrating, and debilitating. I smile but it is behind sad eyes, the pain is all consuming. My sensitivity spreads like wildfire, scorching everything in it’s path. I am fighting with everything I have but can not break the surface of despair. Drowning in sorrows that are not even my own sometimes. My heart breaks over and over, sending shards of the remains through my veins. This is what depression and anxiety feels like for me, my very own prison, in which I remain. A vicious cycle of sadness and anger for which I try to escape. It takes planning, prayer, and faith. It requires time, tears, and heartbreak. Eggshells are insignificant as I walk on broken glass, bleeding as the pieces tear at my skin. Add fuel to the fire and I will burn everything around me to ash. Be gentle with me or walk away, every little thing amounts to something so much bigger than one person can take. I will fight for myself and leave others in my wake. I hope one day the wounds will heal and the scars that remain will be a symbol of that strength. To leave others behind will be my greatest heartache yet time heals most things and that is a risk I am willing to take.

~Jennifer Steen

health · Lifestyle · Uncategorized · wellness · writing

Functional Health Report-Blood Chemistry Analysis

Hey! So these samples where taken in mid November, I recieved the results a month later, and now after processing them I will share them with you. This will give insight into what I have been dealing with, suffering from, and hopefully help shed light for anyone who may be sick and need direction on where to find help. I am still undergoing testing to confirm multiple diagnosis’s and how to treat them, if possible in some cases.

It has been 100% confirmed I have a female testosterone deficiency.

Likely 83% Female hormone support

Likely 71% Metabolic syndrome

Possible 59% Metabolic acidosis

Possible 60% Hypoglycemia

Possible 67% Increased cardiovascular Risk

Possible 58% Immune Insufficiency

Possible 57% Secondary Hypothyroidism

Possible 55% Hyperlipidemia

Possible 50% Thyroid Conversion Issues

I suffer from chronic inflammation, compromised thyroid and adrenal function, possible dysbiosis of the gut, compromised intestinal digestion: fungus overgrowth and inflammation of the gut. I will put an asterik next to the symptoms I suffer from…..

I have 3 alarm high results-

Thyroglobulin Abs is a protein produced by the follicular cells in the thyroid gland to produce Thyroxine(T4) and Triiodothyronine(T3). They are immune cells that attack the in the thyroid. Elevated levels are found in patients with Hashimoto’s and Grave’ disease. Optimal range is 0.00-1.00 mine is 10.30.

MCH (The Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin) is a calculated value and is expression of the average weight of hemoglobin per red blood cells. It is a sign of anemia and B12/folate deficiency and hypochlorhydria. When levels are high, indicates my red blood cells are enlarged. Symptoms include tiredness*, pale skin*, fast heartbeat*, brain fog*, confusion*, memory loss*, amd weight loss*. Optimal range is 28.00-31.90 mine is 34.50.

I have a severe and high risk Omega 3 deficiency which caused my hair to fall out, insomnia, poor concentration, fatigue, joint pain, and dry skin. Range is 2.66-12.65 mine is 1.17. These omega results came from a separate report.

Above Optimal Range-

Anion gap is the measurement of the difference between the sum of the sodium and potassium levels and the sum of the serum CO2/bicarbonate and chloride levels. Increased levels are associated with thiamine deficiency and metabolic acidosis. Optimal range is 7.00-12.00 mine is 17.00

Triglycerides/HDL Ratio is determined serum triglycerides and HDL levels. Increased ratios are associated with increased risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Optimal range is 70.00-80.00 mine is 167.00.

Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) Abs is an enzyme inside the cells of the thyroid that attaches to iodine molecules to a tyrosine molecule to form T4. Elevated levels are found in Autoimmune Thyroiditis such as Hashimotos’s Thyroiditis. Optimal range is 0.00-6.80 mine 13.00.

Triglycerides- Serum triglycerides are composed of fatty acid molecules that enter the blood stream either from the liver or from the diet. Levels will be elevated in metabolic syndrome, fatty liver, in people with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, hypothyroidism, and adrenal dysfunction. Optimal range is 0.00-2.00 mine is 3.48.

Reticulocyte count- A reticulocyte is a young, immature blood cell. An increased count indicates that an increased production of red blood cells is occurring in the bone marrow in response to premature destruction or loss. Optimal range is 0.05-1.50 mine is 2.20.

LDL Cholesterol known as bad cholesterol. It is associated with metabolic syndrome, oxidative stress and fatty liver. Optimal range is 80.00-100.00 mine is 106.00.

Insulin-Fasting- commonly known as resistance and is associated with increased levels of insulin in the blood. Excess insulin is associated with greater risk of heart attack, stroke, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Optimal range is 2.00-5.00 mine is 9.50.

RBC-Female- The RBC count determines the total number of red blood cells or erythrocytes found in a cubic millimeter of blood. The carry oxygen from the lungs to the body tissue and transfer carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs. Increased levels are associated with dehydration*, stress*, need for vitamin c and respiratory distress. Optimal range is 3.90-4.50 mine 4.70.

Monocytes- are white blood cells that are the bodies second line of defense against infection. Levels rise at the with a chronic infection. Optimal range is 4.00-7.00 mine is 7.20.

MCV- is a measurements of volume of an average red blood cell. An increase shows anemia. Is associated with B12, folate, and vitamin C deficiency.

Homocysteine- a molecule formed from the incomplete metabolism of the amino acid methionine. An increase raises the risk of cardiovascular disease by causing damage to the lining of the arteries. Meaning by arteries are inflamed, causing depression and inflammatory bowel disease, among other things. Optimal range is 0.00-7.20 mine is 8.00.

Below Optimal

Progesterone-Female Optimal range is 18.00-27.00 mine is 0.07 symptoms include headaches*, migraines* ,hot flashes*, thyroid dysfunction*, weight gain, fibroids, low libido in non pregnant women

Free T3– is the most active thyroid hormone and is primarily produced from the conversion of T4 in the peripheral tissue. Levels may be decreased with hypothyroidism and is associated with selenium deficiency. Optimal range is 3.00-3.50 mine is 2.60.

CO2- Carbon dioxide is a measure of bicarbonate in the blood. CO2, as bicarbonate, is available for acid-base balancing. Bicarbonate neutralizes acids in the body. Decreased levels are associated with metabolic acidosis. Optimal range 25.00-30.00 mine is 21.00.

Testosterone Total-Female. In woman, low totals have been linked to an increased risk for osteoporosis, decreased lean body mass* and decreased libido. Optimal range is 35.00-45.00 mine 27.70.

Testosterone Free-Female. Optimal range is 1.00-2.20 mine is 0.27.

Alkaline Phosphatase(ALP) is a group of isoenzymes that originate in the bone, liver, instestines, skin, and placenta. Decreased levels of ALP have been associated with zinc deficiency. Optimal range is 70.00-100.00 mine is 55.00

Cortisol-PM The serum cortisol test is used to identify dysfunction in the adrenal gland. Decreased levels are associated with adrenal insufficiency. Optimal range is 6.00-10.00 mine is 4.10 symptoms include •low blood pressure*, •dizziness*, •salt cravings*, •hypoglycemia*, •nausea*, •diarrhea, •vomiting•GI issues*.

DHEA-S Female. Is produced primarily from the adrenals and is the most abundant circulating steroid in the human body and influences more than 150 known anabolic(repair) functions throughout the body and brain. Decreased levels are associated with conditions such as disease of the nervous system, cardiovascular, and immune systems such as metabolic syndrome, mood disorders, amd sexual dysfunction. Optimal range is 275.00-390.00 mine is 220.70.

Globulin- constitute the body’s antibody system and the total globulin is a measurement of all the individual globulin fractions in the blood. Decreased levels are associated with inflammation in the digestive system and immune insufficiency. Optimal range is 2.40-2.80 mine is 2.30.

Vitamin DOptimal range is 50.00-100.00 mine is 38.70. Symptoms include increased risk of infections and getting sick often*, fatigue*, bone and back pain*, depression*, bone loss, hair loss*, and muscle pain*.

TSH– or thyroid stimulating hormone is a hormone produced by the anterior pituitary to control the thyroid gland’s production of T4, to store T4 and to release it into the bloodstream. TSH synthesis amd secretion is regulated by the release of TRH(thyroid releasing hormone) from the hypothalamus. TSH levels describe the body’s desire for more T4 and T3 which is done in relation to the body’s need for energy. A low TSH reflects the body’s low need for thyroid hormone. Optimal TSH levels, in a normally functioning pituitary, can tell us the amount of T4 in the blood match the body’s current need and/or ability to utilize the energy necessary for optimal cell function. Optimal range is 1.30-3.00 mine is 1.18.

Creatinine- is produced primarily from the contraction of muscles and is removed by the kidneys. Decreased levels are associated with muscle loss. Optimal range 0.80-1.10 mine is 0.78.

Ok so there it is……I have began taking all natural supplements for the vitamin deficiencies including Omega Monopure 1300EC and vitamin D. I have also cut my steroid pills(which were turning my adrenal glands to stone) from 2 pills 2x daily to a quarter pill once a day with the help of an adrenal tonic 1tsp 2x a day. I take 5 drops of progesterone 2x daily under the tongue and panplex2 for gastric and instestinal digestive support. 20190106_1421311843879601217237752.jpg

 

I cut out diary, grains, corn, soy products, and processed sugar and I feel much better. My energy levels are increasing even with debilitating fatigue and my gastric issues have also decreased. I drink 3 liters of alkaline water daily and rest as much as my busy life will allow. This lifestyle change takes dedication, determination,and sacrifice. I am here to tell you that is hard yet worth it!

I am currently waiting on the results of my Dutch test and will be having a GI map later this month. I will share those in follow up posts as I get them. Please do your research, seek out a legit functioning medicine or naturopathic doctor, and start taking your health seriously!! If anyone has any questions or need a referral to my doctors, please message me and I will be happy to help!

Jennifer Steen

health · Lifestyle · poetry · Uncategorized · writing

Me on display…..and more to come!

Hey everyone! I know I have shared a lot about what has been going in my life over the last two years. The pain, the sickness, my inner most thoughts and feelings. Things I have rarely spoken out loud about and now I am sharing them for the world to see…. it is really scary and freeing all at the same time. I had a major life changing awakening, three months of journeying, journaling, and then it all came crashing down. Slowly at first then like an avalanche, getting buried inside as you get hit from all sides. A struggled just to survive, I curled up inside and infected my body and mind. My ego and heart collided. Releasing the soul within the vessel I reside.

The extent of the damage is severe, I fight with everything I have deep inside to keep surviving and thriving, then sometimes shut down and revive. When I started writing a few years ago at the very same moment in time, I purged all the feelings inside all the way back to before I was one year old. Again, things trapped deep inside where the deep pain and shame resides. 35 years worth of a life, put on display by my own hand, so I have no one to blame. Fate has whispered my name and this was the plan. My past, present, and future all collided like a flaming supernova from which I came. I lost a great deal of people I still hold in my heart, I broke the chains holding me down and there was devastation in it’s wake. For that I will forever be sorry and must forgive myself and others to truly be awake.

Sounds all kinds of crazy but that is ok! Crazy is sane these days…..makes sense if you choose to look at it that way. So anyways, just wanted to share this with you and thank you so much for reading. There will be much more soon, I am getting better most everyday, healing the fractures that remain. I have so much hope that 2019 will be the year that gold fills the broken pieces and I realize my dreams, for hope is a beautiful thing. Writing like crazy, I have a lot to sort through. Crazy because I never put pen to paper before in my whole life. I woke up a poet one day and as you can see, it has stayed with me, for that is a blessing. Must have been all the stories I read, that live in my head. For the story is never truly over even after The End. ~Jennifer Steen

*The featured image is one of my favorite works of art and I would love to have the concept tattooed as a half sleeve with other elements of my life. It perfectly represents what it feels like to me, the serene resilience, as the war rages inside. If anyone knows who the artist is, I would really like to know! Thank you!!