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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What Does Quitting Religion Look Like?

So it's been a couple month's since my last post and also my last visit to a church.

It's funny how people are concerned about my church attendance. I suppose it's from good intentions and because they care, but frankly, I really prefer not to be monitored.

It's a crucial time, especially with the launch of El-Shaddai's Library and here I am wanting to quit being religious. Perhaps I've gone astray? Being too liberal?  ....

God reminded me today the purpose of the book store!  I went into the public library to borrow books on business plans and parenting. As I browsed the cataloque, I jotted down some call numbers. One of the numbers I jotted down (which was suppose to be either parenting or business plans), lead me to this book! 



Our world is so broken, so numb, so lofty, we forget about our wounds. Layers are healed over, but the wounds still lie raw beneath.  Many people who have experienced trauma, like myself, reach out in silence to self help books. I dream that El-Shaddai's will be a place for people to reach out to and feel welcomed, not judged, totally accepted and free to borrow books, videos, or music to enrich their healing journey.

Sure it's Christian materials, I too felt like I couldn't trust Christian views on certain topics, like verbal abuse. I thought Christian authors would tell me to turn the other cheek and take it, forgive, yadi yadi yadi...   But on Sunday, (yes, I skipped church), the alarm to El-Shaddai's went off. Someone opened the front door. So I drove down to see if we had someone break in. Well good news, nothing was stolen, just the door was unlocked. 

"Ok, here I am God! You obviously called me"  - browsing the shelves, i found a book on verbal abuse. (I've been looking for one and found none, not even in the public library).  -  and guess what? It's amazing!  Really, sound practical solutions. This book is giving me strength to stand firm, to know my worth, to NOT be a door mat!   -

I dont' know how I ended up here - my blog was suppose to be about quitting Religion.

Perhaps this is how it looks like?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lucas is 10 months old and Mommy's Back To Work

I feel GREAT!

I heard many mommy's complain about how its easy to loose yourself as a mom and now I can understand with all the self denying, self sacrificing, and simply lack of time for self nurturing tendencies. On top of that, I realized that my Christian walk has been warped and out of wack. I forgot all about "loving others AS I LOVE MYSELF

Who am I, What do I like, What do I want, What would I do?
The I in my relationships and marriage started to fade and soon, with that my self-esteem.  When we deny ourselves, I found that my body started to speak for me, feelings would rise (guilt, jelousy), and stress level with that.

However, today, I feel GREAT; Why?

1. Developing a Personal Style
For 9 months during pregnancy and 9 months after, all I wore was baby doll tops, lots of BLACK, and sweats. I can walk into a store and feel that NOTHING there will look nice on ME. Having a husband consistantly bugging me to where mini skirts doesn't help either; because that's just not ME.
So I started to browse magazines and downloaded some fashion apps for mon my iphone to browse and take note of what I liked and what I didn't like. Then I CLEANED out my closet tossing everything that I didn't fit anymore, especially items I've saved thinking I will one day fit those again! Nope Gone, I don't care! Finally, I went shopping for a something I REALLY liked and didn't care whether it was on sale or not, because I AM WORTH IT! haha!

2. Back to Work
Being back to work at what I do best, Accounting has been so liberating. It's one area I know I can.
Being able to dress up, talk to people in non baby language, and simply be an adult is new and exciting. The boys at work thinking that I"m onlyy 24 helps too:) hehe  In addition; having the extra income now eliviates our financial stress and we can move into managing our finances and not let our finances manage us. (Mo and I)

3.  Stopped Being Religious
Believe it or not, after 10 years of going to church and being a Christian, I QUIT!
I recently finished a book by Andrew Farley "God without Religion" and it's help me put on new lens as I view my faith.

4. Loving Myself with No Guilt
I'm starting to honor myself and love myself with NO GUILT by making time for myself, tidying, and simply listening to my feelings, needs, and wants.  The next hardest thing is finding and using my voice to assert what I need and want.

But ofcourse not always, I still have that nagging thought " oh but that is so selfish"; 

People who judge don't matter, and people who matter don't judge! 

5. Marriage Counselling
Mo and I are going to marriage counselling and its really helped us understand each other, how to communicate, and also what our boundaries are with each other.  I can't change anyone including my husband, but I can certainly change myself and my reactions.  - To give someone freedom and honoring his choices has freed and empowered me to make my own choices and actions. I feel closer to him and can embrace each day with him. (almost each day .. hehe)
6. El-Shaddai'sThe store is now self-sustaining after its 3rd year of operating. Though its been hard work with huge financial stress; I think the hard part is over  and now we (my partner and I) have more freedom and resources to create new projects and ideas to help improve the business / ministry. Our team there is so helpful, and gifted in different ways. Truly its not just a ministry to our customers, but its been a place of healing for myself.

7. Friendships & Family
Spending more time with friend's and family, accepting help, talking about my struggles, and reaching out has helped me nurture and develop the relationships that mean most in my life. Many friends have come and go, but there is a handful, that hold a special place in my heart.

8. My Mom
Being a mom, has opened my eyes, to the depth of love my own mother has for me. For those who know me well, its been a rough journey with my mother or lack of. However, during my time of financial need, she really poured into my life, her time, her effort, and her love. I'm truly thankful for her and can see what an awesome mother she is.

Well I hope this list for me continues and that I can come back to this and reflect on days I don't feel so great! :) - 

Any hoo, thanks for reading and I hope you have a GGGGGGRRRRRREAT DAY!!!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Psychoneuroimmunology - When the Body Says No

Psychoneuroimmunology??? What the heck is that?  It is the study of the interaction between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the human body.

Well, I just finished reading a book written by Gabor Mate titled, When the Body Says No: Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection, and it has confirmed my initial belief that this yucky RA autoimmune disease is emotionally related, not just physi

He uses many stories and examples from people who have the same illnesses and found that a few common factors existed in all which are:

1. Childhood trauma / loss
2. Inability to say no / lack of boundaries
3. Repression of emotions especially anger
4. Serving everyone else but themselves
5. Lack of self worth and self awareness
6. Driven (to compensate for #5)

He also mentions that hidden stresses from our early programming, becomes a pattern so entrenched in our being that it feels normal. In other words, our minds don't even realize it; but our bodies are (well at least mine is) is crying out "no". 

Recently I've also explored professional counselling to seek healing from inside out. After a few sessions, I came to realize that I am always on guard as if I am perpetually in danger. Though my mind knows I'm not; my body still thinks I am and reacts. Hence anxiety level rises, my immune system is wonky and attacking, (except it's attacking the wrong thing, myself), and finally I end up judging myself. 

Both Gabor and my counsellor mentioned that self love and acceptance is crucial in the healing process.
One example in the book healed through daily practice of emotional self-inventory and of self-love that, little by little, "unfroze" each part of her body.  He dedicates a chapter on healing using 7 A's as acronyms for

1. Acceptance - Embrace our individuality and uniqueness, both strengths and weaknesses
2. Awareness - Be aware of our emotions, our bodies, our stressors
3. Anger - Allow anger to motivate healthy action
4. Autonomy - Develop our internal centre of control
5. Attachment - To allow and enjoy genuine emotional support from others
6. Assertion - To just BE, irrespective of action
7. Affirmation - To affirm our creative expressions and our connectedness (mine being today, writing)

Am I flaring now? Yes, my wrists are today, the question is Why? What is my body saying no to?
I guess it's something I'm going to have to ask, pay attention and listen for. 

No to self judgement and expectations
No to expectations from others
No to verbal abuse
No to hostile environments
No to demands from work
No to needy people

No No No!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

6 - Month Baby Lucas Update

So Lucas is actually 7 months now, but I previously wrote that I will give an update at 6 months, so here are his stats first:

Weight:                   17.3 pounds (50% percentile)
Height:                    70cm (75% percentile)
Head:                      I forgot but it was (50% percentile)


Besides  a slight fever after his 3 month's vaccines, Lucas has not been sick at all. (As a mom I worry and I wonder whether it's because his immune system is on over drive like mine. Gosh, here I am worrying if he is sick and worrying if he's not sick). He does have eczema though behind his knees, elbows and ears and we use California Babies Calendula cream - Always sold out at Target! (US only)
Hydrocortizone seems to work too, but we prefer to use something more natural.


Lucas started organic rice cereal at 4 months. Then at 6 months we introduced congee -
He LOVES the chicken congee that his grandmother makes. He doesn't like oatmeal, or any of the jar baby foods, except for the fruits and vegtables. Likely schedule:

7:00 am - breast milk
9:00 am - 1/2 bowl (chinese rice bowl) congee mixed with rice cereal PLUS
1/4 bowl wheat, strawberry yogurt cereal
10:00 am - breast milk
12:00 am - 1/4 to 1/2 bowl of congee
2:00 pm - breast milk
4:00 pm - cracker / fruit snack / offer milk
6:00 pm - 1/2 bowl of congee / offer milk
9:00 pm  - breastmilk

I'm currently making congee every 2 days for this little guy. Basically boil rice, with organic vegtables (carrots / zuccini / spinich / yam) and chicken. Then grind up the larger chunks in magic bullet, mix and store in fridge.


Lucas sleeps in his crib, but wakes up throughout the night.Usually once at midnight, then 2am, then 5am and 7am. I nurse him back to sleep and sleep myself each time.


Lucas likes to growl and can get agressive when he is determined or fixated on an item within his reach. Perhaps this is why he has pushed himself up to sitting, rolled over to his target object, and tries to crawl ( I call it the swimming position).

However as I'm typing today, Lucas is actually 7 months and he has started crawling now to his destination!!!

He is a happy baby most of the time :) Very easily amused with peekaboo, sing song noises and/or funny faces. For an immediate giggle, bring him to look at himself in a mirror:) On the bus, he tends to scrunch his  eyebrows at people with a look of "who the heck are you?" and if he is tired on top of that, he just stares - LOL Some people call him a deep thinker.   Most of the time, when people smile at him, he flashes a smile right back. From my observation, Lucas is extroverted - He loves being around people and other children and will kick his legs in excitement and giggle.


We celebrated our first father's day this year! I use to be sad on father's day as I reflect on my fatherless years. 

However, this year, I am truly blessed to have celebrated father's day with Maurice and Lucas! Plus I connected with my biological father in HK. From this year forward I will look forward to father's day:)

Enbrel & Breastfeeding
I'm currently injecting Enbrel twice a month since I've cut out the list of allergic foods from my diet.
Cutting out certain foods seem to be helping (excpet I had a beer a couple days ago without realizing that it is made from wheat) and my wrist swelled up till now.  Any how, Enbrel does not seem to have compromised Lucas's immune system and he seems to be doing well. The rheumatologist had said that Enbrel is a protein anyways and if ingested will just breakdown and pass through his body without affecting him.

Well thanks for reading! I'll provide an update soon re: Naturalpath and healing of RA

Friday, June 3, 2011

Finding Cure for RA with Natural Remedies (cont.) - Natural Path Update

Hello!!! So it's been a couple months since I've provided an update pertaining to the healing of this Rheumatoid Arthristis auto immune yucky illness.

Here's a summary of events.
2005 - Diagnosed with RA
           I've tried methotrexate, plaquinil, sulphasalazine, and now on Enbrel (1 injection every 2 weeks)
2007 - Trip to China for 4 months and RA went into remission
2010 - Pregnant while on Enbrel

Here we are in year 2011 and the birth of my baby has given me a reason beyond myself to be healthy and seek a cure for this disease.

In march I tried Acupunture to treat the inflamed joints and it was useless; rather it made my joints worse!
The chinese medical practitioner aslo recommended me herbal medication; but did not email me the ingredients as I asked, so I gave up on him.

In April, I booked my self in to see a Natural Path. - He booked me in for a blood test and below are my results, which I just got today. Surprise suprise! I'm allergic to my favorite foods - so weird.
Basically, the numbers to the left indicate the number of antibodies my body produces to fight the particular food allergen - for example EGGS

My body has developed 2472 antibodies to fight EGGS. The normal level should be only 111.
Taking a look at the number of  foods that are in the avoid category, no wonder why my immune system is on overdrive! (by the way this is only page 1, the entire report is 4 pages)


Additional Supplements presribed by Natural Path
I have never popped so many pills in my life; but for the sake of healing I will.  So here goes:

  1. Rehmannia & Scrophularia Herbal Supplement (2 pills, 3 times /day)
  2. Curcumin SAP antioxidant (1 pill, 3 times / day)
  3. Recovery SAP probiotics (1 pill / day)
  4. EGCG SAP ultra antioxidant (1pill, 3 times / day)
  5. Omega - D3 Liquid (1 tsp, 2 times / day)
In addtion, I am continuing with Enbrel injection twice a month.

The Natural Path doctor reassured me that the supplements will not harm my baby; rather be very good for him too.

Next Action: continue with Enbrel twice / week, supplements per above for 1 month, try my best to stick to this new diet

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

6 Month Baby Lucas Schedule

Lucas is almost 6 months old and I feel like I still don't have a routine / schedule.
So I tried to document my last 2 days to find a similar rythem- here goes:

Tuesday - Schedule (Good Day)
6:45 am wake up, change diaper.
6;50 am play
7:05 am feed
7:20 am lay in bed w mommy
7:30 am sit in saucer
7:45 am nap
9:40 amwake up sit saucer
10:00 am eat cereal
10:40 am play
11:15 am feed
11:30 am do laundry w mommy
12:00 pm play mat
12:15 pm feed
12:22 pm nap
12:45 pm move laundry to dryer w mom
1:20 pm diaper change
1:20 pm walk to bank
2:50 pm feed
3:00 pm walk back
3:15 pm nap (mommy do chores)
4:35 pm wake up, change diaper
4:40 pm feed
4:55 pm watch daddy play video
5:15 pm eat cereal little bit
6:00 pm swimming (mommy can work out)
6:3o pm shower change diaper
7:20 pm feed
7:30 pm change poo poo diaper n clothes
7:40 pm quick shower
7:45 pm feed
8:00 pm nap
10:00 pm feed bit, change diaper
10:20 pm saucer
10:30 pm feed bit and sleep
2:00 am feed
4:00 am feed
5:00 am feed

Wednesday - Schedule Tiring and Frustrating Day

7:25 am wake up, change diaper
7:35 am feed a bit
7:40 am saucer
8:00 am feed then nap
10:00 am wake up and feed
10:10 am Play
10:30 am ate bit cereal
11:00 am play in crib
11:20 am feed
11:30 am sit in saucer getting fussy
12:00 pm lay with mommy in bed try to sleep (no)
12:10 pm play mat (fussy)
12:20 pm crib (fussy)
12:30 pm nap
1:00 pm wake up, feed
1:15 pm saucer
1:30 pm playmat
2:00 pm short walk to get mommy coffee
3:00 pm saucer
3;05 pm short feed
3:10 pm play on mommy's lap
3:20 pm play on futon mat, video rollover n giggles
3:40 pm feed
3:45 pm nap while mommy folds laundry
4:15 pm wake up help mommy archive clothes that are too small - (fussy)
5:00 pm refuse cereal
5:15 pm in crib (fussy)
5:25 play w daddy!!! - mommy goes for 1/2 walk
6:30 pm feed
6:40 pm nap
7:00 pm wakup, watch mommy cook
7:45 pm refuse breast, too bottle
8:00 pm in crib fussy
8:15 pm took rest of bottle
8:30 pm nap
9:30 pm wake up n cuddle
10:00 pm sleep

I'm posting this at 10:30 pm now, so will update to see if there is a pattern with night wakings and feeding times.

Phew I feel pooped and I want 4 kids. Wow!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Finding Cure for RA with Natural Remedies while Caring for a Baby

So I ended up my last blog,with:
Next action: continue taking Enbrel, cut out gluten, cut out milk, take multi-vitamins.

Well first off, my "Special Authority" from the government expired, so my meds cost $1,500 for 4 injections. (1 months supply) and as a self employed new mom, I don't get any maternity benefits, nor do I take a salary from my company as I need to pay the workers and partner there first! - How on earth am I to come up with $1,500 each month for meds? It's ridiculous. I try to budget time per day to "work", but really it's not possible with the demands of a baby and sore limbs. I'm starting to realize how limited I am and that I can't be the super mom, I'd like to be.

However, on a brighter note, it is a miracle, that I have not flared badly yet. - Perhaps its cutting out the gluten and milk, or perhaps it's God's hands upon my bones, or perhaps its both. - Either way, I am truly grateful that I am not in too much pain, right now.  1 shot of Enbrel usually helps for 4-6 days before I flare again, and need another shot.  It's like clock work. It's really a miracle that I am not actively flaring badly right now (just my hands) with out Enbrel for a whole week.

As for Baby Lucas :) - He is a bundle of joy from God. - I still love being a mom and can find alternative ways / positions to feed him without directly using my hands. - Being forced off Enbrel might be a good thing, as the med passes into my breast milk to him. Though the doctor said it gets broken down in his tummy and should not affect his immune system, do they really know the truth? - More about Lucas when we visit his doctor at 4 months.
(He's 3 months now)

Finally, lets not forget my husband. He would hate for me to blog about him LOL, but I just want to say that I am very grateful for his love and care.

For those reading with RA, I found some excellent info/resources from Dr. Mercola's site -

Next actions: continue with no gluten and dairy diet, take multi-vitamins and pray! - Enbrel??!! Also, continue with weekly physiotherapy and explore the possibility of a naturalpath.  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Natural Remedies or Enbrel ? - Is there a cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Well I ended off the last post by trying to cut gluten out of my diet to see if it will help with the inflammations and that I would stay clear of Enbrel, since I read of a number of lawsuits, suing Enbrel for causing cancer.

The truth is, I couldn't last 2 days without giving myself another shot. By day 2, places that haven't hurt since 2005 started to flare, like my collar bone and shoulders, in addition to my usual wrists and feet, making it hard to lift myself out of bed.

I couldn't bare the flare ups to see if cutting out gluten would work. Also, since I have a chubby 3 month old baby, I rather be able to pick him up and feed him, than be actively flaring up and bed ridden while testing natural remedies.

Though Cutting Out Gluten does make sense. The year I was diagnosed with RA, I remember being very unhealthy, living off pretzels and coffee while attending full-time school and working nights. High stress, unhealthy diet with excessive gluten, and genetics (my aunt has RA), are probably all common factors contributing to this auto immune disease.

Cutting Out Dairy?
Has any one watched "The Corporations" documentary? It is well worth watching.
From the video, I'm considering cutting out dairy as well since milk production companies inject cows with hormones to produce more milk. Many cows then develop infections (milk ducts get blocked) and hence are also injected with antibiotics. When milking cows, the puss from the infection can get into our milk, along with the hormones and antibiotics. YUCK! The US started to do this in 2002. I'm a type to have cereal with milk for breakfast everyday! I was diagnosed with an auto immune disease in 2005. Perhaps there is a link,  because... get this....  my RA went into remission when I was in China for 4 months  !! Weird. - The milk there tasted very different.

If you are a mom, please check this out: Check out:

Next action: continue taking Enbrel, cut out gluten, cut out milk, take multi-vitamins.

My next refill of Enbrel, may not be approved by the government, which means I am responsible for $1,500 which I do not have! So, I will have no shots. So I will update you soon.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Enbrel Nightmare?

I saw a commercial for the first time about Enbrel.  At first, I was actually excited to see a commercial for the drug I was using; but that quickly faded when near the end a soft spoken lady calmly lists all the possible side effects... cancer..   What? Cancer? Really?

So I went home and googled Enbrel and Cancer to see what came up. Well I found this link:   comments from 2008 - 2011 of people who have lost a loved one while taking Enbrel.  What are the chances?

Its quite the dilemma. If i don't give my self my weekly Enbrel injections, I flare! My dose was due today and I skipped it. I could already feel soreness throughout my wrists, fingers, shoulder and feet.
Time to talk to my Rheumatologists and do some serious praying.

In the meantime, I will try cutting out gluten as I read that this helped someone else with RA.

Keep you posted and please pray for me.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Love for my Son

The follow are a few questions I've been asked by friends.

 "So how did you feel when you first saw your son? was it LOVE at first sight?"

Well its hard to explain; As a woman, I had 9 months to fall in love with my child within me before he was even born. At first sight, I was so happy to finally see his face, most important of all, I was relieved to know that he has arrived safely.

 "If someone pointed a gun to your husband and to your son, who would you choose?"

That is a tough one. As I imagined the situation, it deeply grieved me. I would rather die so that the people I love deeply may live, so shoot me instead.  - As I thought about this, John 3:16 started to sort of make more sense. Jesus, God himself came to earth to die, so that the children he loves so dearly may live.
God sacrificed himself.

"Is it true that you forget about the pain?"

No, not for me. The pain was and still remember it to be INTENSE! It hurt like a B!@#%!%#%tch
However, if I were to do it all over again, I would be most willing to! This great bundle of joy is really worth the pain! 

"So how do you feel? Do you have the Baby Blues?"

Honestly no, not at all! Perhaps not yet. I hear it can hit women later. For now I've been so excited and happy to be a mommy. I do get however over emotional and have caught my self crying a few times being overwhelmed by the grace & love of God to seriously give me a child. (If you know me well, you would know what I mean).

Friday, January 7, 2011

1 Month Update: Breastfeeding Tips

FINALLY my baby Lucas is 10 pounds and gaining weight!!
For the last month, I found my focus was on learning to feed my baby and maintaining a good milk supply.
Now that my milk has filled in and our latch is more comfortable, I can say good-bye to sore nipples, stress and worries.

Breastfeeding, though is much healthier for your little one, comes with its pros and cons.
The first couple weeks were excruciating! Most medical professionals say uncomfortable breastfeeding is due to an incorrect latch. So, I had a nurse come over to check and visited 2 lactation consultants. ALL said I was doing fine, yet my nipples were incredibly sore. At one point they were even bleeding. YOUCH!

I found 2 Treatments for Sore Nipples very helpful:
1. Medela sore nipple cream (softer than most lanolin creams) after feed, and cover with saran wrap
2. Dr. Newmans nipple cream (contains, anti inflammatory, anti fungal) - need prescription for

I wish I had taken the advice to "toughen up those nipples" during pregnancy to prepare.

I was forewarned that it would take around 3 days for my milk supply to come in after birth.
Which meant that day 2, baby Lucas will be very fussy and losing weight. My routine was feed 20 minutes each side, then pump to stimulate the milk, then take care of my personal healing needs, brew some lactation tea, rest for 20 min, then do it all over again 24 hours a day.  However, my milk did not come in on day 3 and I was getting worried. Lucas was losing weight (10% of birth weight is ok) and I contemplated on feeding him with a bottle. - I didn't quit; though some family members said I was starving my baby.

Thank God, my milk did gradually fill in on Day #5.  - I encourage every women to breast feed and don't buy the lie that you have not milk. Our bodies were created for this and all new moms will have milk. It's just a matter of time and enough suckling and pumping.

1. Medela Swing Breast Pump - This is the brand they use in the hospital. I tried Safety First and it sucks.
2. Johnson Johnson Breast Pads - These pads were alot softer and comfortable compared to Medela. I didn't think I needed any breast pads to absorb the milk but yup, I do need these.
It helps keep my bra clean; so less laundry.
3. You Tube Videos on Breastfeeding - There are tons of helpful videos on you tube about breastfeeding

During week 2, I found that my hip joint was hurting. I realized that it was my positioning when feeding.
After sitting in a chair with proper back support and the help of an amazing breastfeeding pillow called MY BREST FRIEND, my hip started to improve. 

Well that's it for now. Stay tuned on my experience with a colicky baby...