How to Live With Cold Sores

IT HAPPENS:

You know that feeling when you wake up in the morning with that tingle on your lip? You think it is just a pimple but it never goes away. It oozes and itches and you notice a clear fluid that comes out of it. You ask your Doctor and he or she tells you it is a cold sore or Type 1 Herpes to be exact.

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A picture of my most recent outbreak 4/16

What does that mean?

Herpes?

Isn’t that a STD?

Is it contagious?

What do I do now?

These are all valid questions when it comes to cold sores (they are also called fever blisters). There are some things that you really need to know about them because first, they are very contagious. If not treated right, you can pass it on to your spouse and your kids. But, let’s start from the beginning. How did you get herpes if it wasn’t from sex?

Well it’s simple really. The herpes simplex virus one (or HSV-1 for short) isn’t exactly an STD. The herpes simplex virus two is the STD. What HSV-1 is an infection that gets into your blood stream but instead of going to your genitals like HSV-2, it goes to your lips. You can transmit it to the genitals if you were… you know, while you had an outbreak. The only thing is, there is no way to cure it. It will always pop up with its trigger. For me, that is stress and sickness. For others it can also be food or too much sun. So learn your trigger and stay away from it. Then the outbreaks will get less and less.

And for where you got it? I was given mine as a baby. Someone touched my hands who had the infection on them and then I touched my mouth and there you have it. I have been battling these things ever since. In a word, it sucks having them but through my life time of having them pop up, I have come with a few tricks. To my knowledge, I have not given anyone this disease.

HOW TO NOT PASS IT ON:

What can you do to make sure that you don’t pass this on to people around you? Here are my tricks in keeping this little present I was given to myself.

  • Wash your hands!

The importance of keeping your hands clean during an outbreak is crucial to not giving it to someone else. You don’t touch it and, if you do, you go wash your hands IMMEDIATELY. I always carry hand sanitizer with me in case I can’t get to sink right away.

  • Don’t touch anyone with your lips

This one should be a no brainer but it not as easy as it sounds. When I have an outbreak, I don’t kiss anyone and I don’t let anyone drink out of anything I have. All my silver ware goes in the dishwasher and I normally use disposable straws when possible. It kills me though having to be distant from my husband. We have no physical contact at all when I have an outbreak. Nothing! No kissing, hugging, or any sexual contact. If he has an issue, he gets to fix it himself. The risk is just too much. I would hate to have him catch and now have to deal with it the rest of his life. The same goes for my daughter but she is a little easier. I just don’t kiss her on the cheek, keep my cups away from her, and we are good to go. I just have to wash my hands to insure I don’t pass it to her when I pick her up.

  • Don’t play with the scabs

It will be super tempting to play with the scabs as they fall off. Don’t do it! The fluid in the sore is what is contagious and it can pass on to other parts of your face. So as the scabs start to come off, just let them. Not playing with them will also help make any scarring less.

TREATMENT:

Ok, so I gave you a few tips on how not to pass the disease on, now how about treating them? The key to treating a cold sore is drying it out. Most people like me experience dry lips all the way around when I have cold sore. The only problems with putting lip balm on it 1. you have now contaminated you balm and 2. it holds in the moisture that you are trying to dry out. So I just tough it out while I have an outbreak. Yes my lips split but not for as long as if I was moisturizing my lips. So what do you do instead to dry them out?

I love using Tea Tree Oil! My second choice, in case you have more sensitive skin, is Lavender Oil. These two oils dry out the cold sore nicely and don’t have any chemicals in them. I have also been told that ice helps. This has never worked me but it might work for you. If you prefer over the counter stuff, Abreva is said to work great. I have never had to use it since my oils have always done the job for me.

How do you apply it? I would suggest using a q-tip or tissue. You can use your finger but you really have to wash with antibacterial soap after. This is prime time to pass it on to someone if you don’t wash your hands properly after.

CONCLUSION:

Are cold sores the end of the world? No. They are like anything in life and won’t be a big deal if you take care of them and yourself correctly. They will look worse than they really are once you get the hang of the precautions to take when you are having an outbreak. Good luck and stay healthy.

Oh the Irony in Life

I got an interesting letter in the mail today. I sort of freaked out because it was from Sutter Health and it looked like it was a bill. Here is the thing though, we paid off all of our bills two years ago to them right before my husband got his current benefits at his job. So I opened the letter and a second later started laughing my head off.

Let me give you a little back story. In December 2013 I came down with a nasty respiratory cold and it got so bad that I had to go to the ER. Mind you I was also five months pregnant with my daughter and had a fever that wasn’t coming down. So off to the ER we went and had the most horrific service I have ever had in the ER. WE were there for 7 hours and saw the Doctor for 10 minutes. They didn’t do an IV or anything. They simply called me crazy and sent me home. In the words of Michelle Tanner “How rude!”

After that we were slammed with a $1,000.00 bill from the ER room for no service and  and a $250 bill for 10 minutes with the Doctor who did absolutely nothing! Nothing! He got paid to tell me I was nuts. Any way, we wanted to protest the amount of the bill but with all the crap from Obama Care (thanks Obama), I didn’t want to get into a nasty medical case. So we were good stewards and paid the bill one $25 dollar payment at a time.

Why so low? Well…I had tried to settle with them on a lump sum but they wouldn’t take it. They wanted the full amount even if it meant that they got it $25 at a time. Once again, they were rude and uncaring. So we did just that for about eight months. Then we got enough to pay the full amount and did so just to get away from this system of terror.

Ok, now back to why I was laughing my head off. Turns out we over paid! Guess by how much?

That’s right, one penny! The stamp itself was $0.47. So they spent $0.48 in total. I would have honestly said keep the change but they have to by law send out any overpayment fees. So I did end up getting the last laugh. Needless to say, we are no longer with this group and now with a medical group who treated us like gold when my husband was recently there. You can read all about it HERE.

So if you are dealing with a medical fiasco, take heart. You just might get a check in the mail for $0.01 for two and half years ago and get the last laugh in the end.

All is Right in the World

I am so thankful for my life right now. These past few days have been a roller coaster with Aaron getting sick and having to take him to the hospital, to being separated from daughter for five days. It has been a good growing time for both my husband and I but I am ready to be woken up by a little girl knocking on her door demanding to come out.

I mean it’s kind of ironic really. My husband and I have been needing a weekend away for some time now but couldn’t and now have been forced to spend four days kid free since she couldn’t be around my husband and then she couldn’t be around me. It wasn’t the get away we planned but I guess it still counts. It was nice to have the time alone with him (after I learned he wasn’t going to die). We wanted to relax but  hadn’t planned on it being mandatory. We wanted to be in bed together but planned on doing something else besides binge watching Once Upon a Time again (first time for him). But the whole point of our get aways is that we are together and for these last few days we were.

My daughter finally got to sleep in her own bed last night since my fever had broke during the night before and now she is crying wanting to see me. So my world is back to normal. And I’ll try to enjoy it better than I was before this all happened. My life isn’t always perfect but it’s mine and I wouldn’t trade it for anything 🙂

God’s Not Done With Me Yet

I have always been told that unless it’s your time to die, nothing can happen to you. That God has Hid hand of protection over you and He won’t let anything happen to you unless He is done with you. Is this true? Well the apostles would surely say so. They went through hell and back with the many times that people tried to kill them. I mean John was boiled in oil! How do you survive being boiled in oil unless God had His hand over you and still has work for you to do?

So then I started thinking about my life (since I have been through a good amount but not as much as others) and about all the times that should have died. I almost wasn’t born that is how much satan has tried to bump me off. Then I almost died from liver failure as an infant, I was diagnosed (I should say misdiagnosed) with spinal meningitis when I was 9, suffered from many falls from horses, was abused by a boyfriend,  was misdiagnosed with leukemia, and would have died in child birth if it wasn’t for our awesome first world medical treatment. Hmmm… Why does satan want me dead so badly? He has tried many times and failed. I am just a lowly human who has no power right?

Oh you couldn’t be more wrong. Yes, I am human and yes I have no power in myself, but I have power through Jesus Christ to do things that simply scare the crap out of the devil. Me waking up every morning puts fear into his heart because I can mess up his plans with just the slightest act of kindness to a stranger. I am spreading to the love of Jesus everywhere I go and satan hates that.

He doesn’t want to have the love of God spread and preached throughout the world. He wants the world to stay in darkness and chaos. It a chess match that he shifted the weight too much to his side and he thinks we can’t win. But we can keep our king alive through the power of our King – Jesus Christ.

It is kind of like a game of chess. Jesus is the ultimate chess piece that trumps all the pieces. He can come in a wipe satan off the board and claim victory, but He uses little pawns and rooks and his knights to do it instead so at the very end end He will have the victory. Jesus is coming but right now his little pawns are out there with a few rooks coming in help the pawns and the knights to help them and the queen (Holy Spirit) to help with all. Yes each pawn will perish but the King has the final say.

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So if you are going through some hard stuff, see it as a blessing and not a curse. It just means  that satan is really afraid of you because you are meant to do great things for God, and I can’t think of anything better than to have little old satan afraid of me.

How to Say “I’m Sorry”

People have said that to say “I’m sorry” is the biggest act to show how humble you really are. As a kid, I thought they were crazy but then I got married. Now I have only been married for four years to this date but I have already seen how the lack of saying “I’m sorry” can very quickly destroy a marriage.

I have a very “let’s fix right now” attitude and my husband is a “lets see how this rolls” kind of personality. Both are good in their own ways until we get in an argument. Then he shuts down and I don’t shut up. It turns into an ugly mess and we end up going in separate rooms where he is probably thinking I have gone insane and I am thinking that he is the worst husband ever. None of those things are true by the way, but have you ever felt that? They are both lies, actually anything in an argument said in anger is a lie, to get us off track with God and to have Satan get into our heads.

My husband and I one time had this fight where I thought that we might not work out in the long run because it seemed our goals were going in two completely different directions. I thought he was being lazy with life and I wanted to have more out of life. Turns out that wasn’t the case but it still didn’t stop me from mouthing off and not saying some nice things. MY husband was hurt and I was in no mood to apologize because I was in the right after all. If he wanted to “I’m sorry” it would have to come out his mouth.

Well it didn’t because he wasn’t the one who had to say it. If I have been rational, we could have just talked about my feelings of being taken advantage of and so on and the whole argument could have been by passed. He had no idea that was feeling the way I was and he would have been better if he had only known.

So guess what I had to do though before I could find that out? Yup, I had to swallow my pride and go say “I’m sorry”. I didn’t want to but God pricked my heart once I calmed down and point out how I was in the wrong. I needed to make the first step to making things right, not my husband. And when I humbled myself and said the magic words, the tension and anger melted away. So don’t give satan the satisfaction of getting in your head. Because it won’t end up in a good place for anyone.

Now this just doesn’t go for women, but also you men too. My husband has gone off on me for something that had happened at work and he had to be the one to apologize. And sometimes, it is the man who needs to be humbled and brought before God. No one is perfect and that includes men and husbands. Because you guys are the ones that Satan will want to get his foothold in the most. He know that if he can get a wedge between two people (especially a man a wife) then he knows that he can create a whole lot of trouble. He wants to have as much time as possible between apologies because that is where he can have fun.

But if too much times goes by where neither party is willing to say it, then that is where problems start. There’s a void that starts to open and it is not a good thing. Too much void means there will be opportunities for both sides to make bad decisions. I know that I have been presented a few and my husband even more when we are fighting. It is a scary thing to think of would happen to our marriage if one of us slips up just once. I don’t even want to think about it. So I have to remind myself daily to keep up the fight against the right enemy and that is not my husband. So do the easy thing and say “I’m sorry” and see the difference it makes in your life 🙂

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Seriously. How can I be mad a face like this? 🙂

Finding Food in Your Backyard

With all this wonderful weather we are having in California, if you are anywhere else it will be there soon, we are having quite the time with our backyard. As I have bugged my husband to mow it, he finally got his newest toy! Believe it or not, it is a manual mower.

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Hubby proudly mowing his lawn 🙂

He did all the research, and fought with a gas mower that we were given, and decided this was the best and most cost effective way to go. I think it is rather sexy to be honest but that is just me 🙂 And as you can see, the front yard could have really used it.

It’s not the conventional thing to do but who is to say that we are conventional?

But there’s more and I am sure you are going to face palm when I say this but we have lettuce growing our back yard! And we didn’t even plant it! Here is Northern California we have this thing called Miner’s Lettuce and it 100% edible. Most people just think it is a weed and mow it down.

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So I did the weird thing and told my husband not to mow this section of grass until the Miner’s Lettuce dies off because we don’t have to pay for letus for our salads while it’s growing. I know I am crazy but it saves me money 🙂

Do you have this wonderful plant in your back yard? If you do, then maybe you give it a chance in the kitchen instead of the mower 🙂

Love Your Body Part 5

Weight. Ugh. I hate hearing about weight and all the issues that come with it. I hate going to the doctor and being judged because I am over weight and don’t fit into their box even though they have no idea what kind of lifestyle I have. All because the numbers don’t fit, I am a slob who doesn’t take care of herself right? Wrong.

I wish I could blow up the BMI scale and try to explain to modern medicine that we are not all suppose to fit in a box. We are all shapes and sizes and, like stated previously, being big doesn’t mean that I am any less healthy than a a tiny girl. It is unbelievable how small they say I should be.

Below is the scale. Look at your height and weight and see where you fit.

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My BMI scale is 37. Obese. Yuck. Here is a picture of me from daughter’s first birthday. Pardon the ears and tail. Her theme was My Little Pony 🙂

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Now I know that I can lose about 40 pounds and be 180, but what I should be according the BMI scale is 145 pounds max! That’s 75 pound for me to lose. You can see that there is no way I could ever get to be that small. If I had to be that small then I would just say “I give up!” That is unrealistic and probably why most of us hate our bodies because they don’t fit in the little box that we are so called “Supposed” to fit in. I want to love my body as it is now. Not when I am at my goal weight.

I remember being pregnant with my daughter and being tested up the wazoo for things like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and other things just because I was a heavier mom-to-be. You know what happened? My blood was so good that they had never seen it stay so level and low in a long time with any mother. I never came close to having diabetes either. Why? Because even though my weight said one thing, my health said another.

So my readers, if you are having issues with weight don’t give up. It is not always your fault that you are the size you are. I know quite a few heavier people who love the way they are and don’t plan on changing their ways. They like the fast food and the ice cream and I say good for them. I am not talking about that kind of life style. I am talking to those who are living healthy lifestyles who are discouraged because they work so hard but the scale doesn’t show it.

I am right there with you. I know I work really hard and most of the time the scale doesn’t move. It’s horrible and disheartening but I keep going. I have to. And I encourage you to do the same. Because even though the scale isn’t moving, other things are happening. As we are cooking for us and our families meals that are heathly, they will effect how we see ourselves in the mirror and will help with our weight. But most importantly what goes inside our bodies are also getting better. Our blood is getting cleaner, our lungs are able to breathe easier, and our heart is pumping happier. It is all worth the work. It is all worth the sweat and tears.

Because our bodies deserve to be loved now. Not when we get to where we going but on the journey to get there. Because we are perfect in the sight of God. I am comforted by the verse below when I am down about my weight.

                          “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. ”   Psalm 139:14

I hope this encourages you too and maybe some day the BMI scale and I will be friends. Until then, I will just keep working and striving for my goal weight while loving my body in the process.