Monday, November 10, 2008


As I mentioned the day I voted, the flu has really gotten me this year. I was coughing so hard I though I was going to cough up a lung. The doctor prescribed Z-Pack and I did feel MUCH better by the time I finished the 5 days of antibiotics. But now it seems to be settling back down into my other lung. So far it is just a tight, hacking cough, but if it gets any worse, I'm gonna have to see the doctor again.
This got me thinking about other treatments I could do to help speed my recovery and I remembered when I had Pneumonia when I was nine. It was one of the two times I actually hallucinated due to fever and I know my parents were worried when I was still struggling after seeing the doctor. I don't remember if I had already finished my antibiotics or not, but my parents decided to help me heal by using a method my father had learned in Seminary. The treatment was very relaxing and I remember experiencing a lot of relief afterwards.
Since I heard a lot of other people coughing in the waiting room at the walk-in clinic I don't think I'm the only one fighting this nasty bug. So, instead of keeping this treatment to myself, here are the instructions as my dad told me today.
Hot and Cold Fomentations Preparation
1) Find a comfortable place for the "patient." It could be a bed, comfortable chair, or even a cushion of blankets on the floor. 2) Gather enough blankets to keep very warm. If a wool blanket is available it is the best. 3) You need very hot water in two basins (one could be the sink if it is close enough)and one bowl of ice water. - Keep water heating on the stove to replenish. 4) Two towels or thick cloths and two washcloths. 5) Dry blankets for afterwards.
1) The patient should lay down with as bare a chest as modesty permits and cover with the blankets. 2) Place feet in a basin of very hot water. Be sure not to scald, but add more hot water to warm it up when the water cools. This keeps the circulation flowing through the whole body. 3) Soak the washcloths in the ice water and place one damp cool cloth on the patient's forehead to keep from overheating. This should be refreshed in the ice water as needed. 4) Soak towels in the second hot water basin, wring out till just damp (not dripping) and apply the steaming towels to both the chest and the back of the patient. Recover with blankets. (If the patient feels too hot, or has sensitive skin a thin cloth can be placed in between for comfort.) 5) Every 10 minutes the hot towels need to be quickly removed and the patient's chest and back should be vigorously rubbed with the second damp ice water cloth. And then the re-heated and wrung out towels should be quickly replaced on chest and back. 6) This should be repeated a minimum of 3 times. You will know the proper effect is happening when you see beads of sweat on the patient's nose and face. 7) When complete, the patient should be rubbed down a final time with the ice water cloth. They should then be allowed to sleep at least an hour, warmly covered.
The effect this treatment has is to open all the blood vessels and get the blood circulating, then the cold water causes the body to close the vessels. This squeezes out the blood - speeding circulation. Then the warm water opens all the vessels again bringing in a fresh flow of blood. This helps the body clean out the infection in the chest. It sounds simple, but the effects can be dramatic.
I googled Fomentations to see if I could find an official description and this story is the closest I could come.
Be well!

I had my Dad look this over, to make sure I had gotten it all correct and he did have a couple comments:

I know all the extra circulation will help the body. The immune system loves it.
That's the other result - drawing all the blood to the infected area brings all the white blood cells to help fight. The increased temperature also draws the white blood cells, just like inflammation does. So, in one way, it's somewhat like an artificial inflammation that helps the immune system target the area.
Prayer is also a wonderful atmosphere to surround the treatment with :-)
Thanks Dad!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

To Celebrate

Tears of joy
And tears of sorrow
Mingle slipping down my cheeks
We’re one!
The times of hate and fear are dead!

I want to run into the streets
And sing and shout glad tidings out
To look into compatriot’s eyes
And see the spark of hope alive

But in my town
the streets are bare
And though a few my joy do share
More oft’ then not a frown or sigh
Communicates the fear and dread
That lingers, festers, tears and snares

I long to reassure them then
To clasp their hands
And ask them
Where their deepest fear abides
And then to gently with my words
Un-spin the truth from tangled lies

And reassure all hearts and minds
That even though we don’t agree
I champion the man they flee
BECAUSE he sees both sides
And takes the time to listen well
And takes a breath considering
Each point of view and heartfelt plea

Oh Nation, Neighbors, Countrymen!
A jagged fault line slices through
Dividing up our land
And cracking even family ties
A painful, yawning chasm opens wide

Stretch out your arms
And lift your eyes
To those upon the other side
A house divided cannot stand
So please, oh please, just take my hand!

~ Heather Ann

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Romantic Interlude

I interrupt your regularly scheduled blog to bring you this romantic interlude. Not quite a month after Barack and Michelle tied the knot, my husband and I were married on November 1st, 1992. I cracked up when I heard that Obama had accidentally announced that they were about to celebrate their 15th anniversary, because it has indeed been 16 years!

Since I met the love of my life when I was only 15 (and he was 17), I have now been married to him for longer than I lived without him in my life! It is amazing how quickly time flies! Before we were married, we survived two years of me in California, and him in Argentina! It is always said that long distance relationships do not work, but we have proven to be the exception to the rule! That doesn't mean it was easy. Here is a poem I wrote in a high school History class during that time of separation:


i see your face
frozen in a black and white smile
looking up at me
i was there
the day they took that picture
making you laugh
but i can't remember how you looked
i just see you
and two dimensional

every now and then
something breaks
through the ice of my mind
for a fleeting second
i hear your laugh
see your eyes
and feel loved
and warm
but just as the ice begins to melt
and run into my eyes
i freeze again
and i'm left without even tears
just a stinging in my eyes
and an ache in my heart

if all my dreams should crumble
and blow away in the afternoon breeze
and all my goals
remain forever out of my reach
there's one
that i could never let escape me
never let allow to slip
between my fingers
to the ground

my love
is to once again
see your face
and feel your touch
to share our dreams
and talk
about days gone by
and things to come
to laugh
and have the wind carry our voices
blending as one
and to cry
and see our tears
into one pool of sorrow
to be with you