Today’s Sunday Farm Update provides a personal look into the life and the power of positive perspective of Jim and Mary at Old World Garden Farms.

Every Sunday we write about what is happening at the farm and typically that would include what is happening in and around the garden, what projects we are working on, or what event that we are hosting or attending.  However, this week we wanted to share with you a more personal story on what we are going through and how we are moving forward with a positive perspective on life.  

My Story

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This is my story…..

This story will take you back to the beginning of summer and will be explained by Mary herself.

In preparation for a change in health insurance, I completed my annual well visit physical with my family physician. Because of a heart murmur that I had since I was a child and a higher than average pulse rate, it was decided that a precautionary visit to a cardiologist should be completed prior to the change in insurance coverage. 

The cardiologist visit went well with all tests coming out normal with one exception. When put in a high exercise mode, my blood pressure would jump up to a pre-hypertensive status.  Because of my desire to continue to exercise and be as physically active as possible, the cardiologist recommended a low dose of a calcium blocker medication in efforts to keep my blood pressure lower when I exerted excessive energy.

I asked if there was anything else that I could do rather than be put on medication, but he insisted that medication was the best route. In fact, he put me on a very common medication at the lowest dose possible.

That is where I made my mistake. I should have listened to my instincts to try holistic methods.

The Toxic Medication

I began the medication in early June. Within a few days I began to have severe heartburn. I have never had heartburn in my life, even when eating our extra spicy peppers from the garden. I would wake up for hours in the middle of the night, trying to fight off the pain. And for anyone that knows me, I have a high pain tolerance and I don’t let aches and ailments hold me back.

I let this go on for another week, thinking I would tough through it and it would get better. Jim convinced me to stop the medication as I was about to go to Ireland for vacation – a trip that I had waited many years to go on.  I agreed as I didn’t want the side effects to impact my dream vacation.

Upon my return, I started the medication again. The first week wasn’t too bad, so I continued to take it. By day 10, the heartburn was back and by day 15, I just didn’t feel like myself.  I was sluggish, but pushed through. The heartburn would come and go and with no pattern for the cause.

However, it was week 4 when I knew something had to change. Jim and I made a stop at the grocery store, and I was barely able to walk into the store because of the pain. In fact, I had to leave the store within minutes and walk outside, almost in tears. I am NEVER like that. It was at that time that we decided no more!!!

What Is That? 

That was on Friday, July 14th, and little did we know that the adventure was about to begin. As most of you know we spend a lot of time in the garden, and in the summer I typically wear my hair in a ponytail while outside. However, on Monday, July 17th we went out to dinner and I had my hair down. After a wonderful dinner on our drive home, I ran my fingers through the back of my hair and that is when I felt something unusual.

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The initial bald spot – A sizeable one!

I could feel scalp, no hair, no stubble, just a small patch of scalp. As we drove down the road, I parted my hair in the back and asked Jim “Do I have a bald spot?”  Trying not to panic and more importantly, trying not to let me panic, he held a straight face and his response was “A pretty sizeable one”.

Immediately when we got home, I pulled out a hand mirror and tried to see what was going on. Much to my surprise, I had a 1 ¾ inch x 2 ¼ inch bald spot on the back of my head. This wasn’t visible to anyone, as my surrounding hair easily covered the spot. However, we both knew that the only change that could have caused this was the addition of the medication that I had just stopped. My body had such a toxic reaction to it, and we just knew that this had to be a horrible side effect.

Back To The Doctor

A trip to the cardiologist was made that week and on Thursday, he was shocked to see the newly found bald spot. With all of his resources, only one reported bald spots as a very rare side effect. He continued to convince me that I should try a different type of medication and he prescribed something outside of that family of meds.

Reluctantly I tried it, and that lasted 4 days. I had horrible side effects, one which included numbness and tingling to the left facial nerve, and on day 4 I was done!  I went into the Nurse Practitioner that week and told her I had stopped the medication and I was not willing to try another. After looking at my test results and my age and activity level she seemed shocked that I was ever put on the medication in the first place. We both decided that by using holistic approaches there was no need for medication.

That Was Only The Beginning

Relieved that I was no longer on the trial medication, I believed that my troubles were behind me. Yes, I had a bald spot, but it could easily be covered and I was sure it was about to grow back.

Little did I know that was only the beginning.  After a quick trip back to the family doctor to address the facial numbness, he referred me to a dermatologist to address the bald spot.  On August 1st, I was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata, an autoimmune disorder that attacks otherwise healthy individuals that has no known cause or cure. My immune system began attacking my hair follicles and caused the bald spot. He told me that it would eventually regrow and he tried to stimulate the growth by giving me several injections into my scalp and prescribed me a topical cream.

He also checked the rest of my scalp to make sure that there were not any more bald spots, and luckily there was not.

I went home and religiously applied the cream and took his recommended vitamin supplement to promote healthy hair and skin.

August – The Month of Frustrations

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My sink after brushing my hair. Frustrating!!!

The frustrations began almost immediately. As I applied the cream to the bald spot, the rest of my hair around the area seemed and looked greasy. It was no problem to apply it at home and while I was out working in the garden, but when it was time to go out in public, I had to be extra careful to make sure that my hair didn’t look unkept or unclean.

During that first week of August my hair seemed to be coming out more and more. I would clog the shower drain each and every time that I showered and my hairbrush needed cleaned out daily. My hair began falling into the food that I was making for my family and all over the back of my clothing and on my pillowcase.

The worst feeling came from the hair falling onto the back of my arms, making it feel like I was always walking through cobwebs or battling an attack of flies landing on my skin.

And There Is More…..
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The second bald spot found.

On August 10th, as I was blow drying my hair, I found a second spot, about the size of a dime, on the top of my scalp. Within a week, I had 10 more spots appear throughout my entire head. I was frustrated of the unknown – when was it going to end?

By the time of my follow-up appointment on August 29th, which was also my 47th birthday, I had to wear hats, as I could no longer cover up the bald spots with my hair in a ponytail. The Dermatologist was shocked, and told me to no longer use the cream and that injections weren’t a possibility any longer. He gave me a high dose of Prednisone in hopes to shock my immune system to quit attacking itself and gave me the news that most likely all of my hair would fall out. My condition progressed to Alopecia Areata Totalis. 

September – It’s All About Positive Perspective

I knew at that time that this was going to be a long process. I was concerned about how others would handle my new and crazy look. We had to attend some public events in the upcoming weeks and although I could wear a hat to cover up most of the bald spots, sometimes hats just aren’t socially appropriate.

The first event was the Farm To Table event at the beginning of September that we hosted at the farm. The weather was cool and drizzly, and I was able to wear a hat to the event with good cause and without much hesitation. We had a wonderful evening with wonderful people and complete strangers from all walks of life became friends by the end of the night. 

Then on September 16th we had a family wedding to attend. By this time, the progression of hair loss was around 75%.  A wig was in order for this formal event.  I bought a wig on Amazon, and although I pulled it off during the ceremony, by the end of the night, my head was sweating and it began to shift and slide backwards. I resorted to a head cover for the final hour of the reception.

Time To Take Action

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The bald spots continued but keeping a positive perspective. 

We knew that it was time to shave my head. I knew I would be more comfortable with ‘no’ hair, than with multiple bald spots in random places all over my head. I even made a joke with Jim about how my hair looked like the lead singer of Meatloaf.  We both laughed and knew it was best to shave the remaining hair off.

So the very next day, Jim and I shaved my head. The relief was immense. I no longer had the concern of hair falling out everywhere, there would be no more hair in Jim’s coffee cup or in our food and I wouldn’t have the horrible feeling of walking through cobwebs.

The first week of being bald has been eye opening. The weather has allowed me to go in public being completely bald, not needing a hat to keep my head warm. I sometimes forget that I don’t have hair until I get an unusual amount of smiles from complete strangers. I realize that most people would think that I have lost my hair from chemotherapy. I am very lucky that this is not the case, and for me, it’s only hair loss that will most likely eventually return.

The Positives….

My family has been amazing and supportive. Jim would always keep me calm and provided much needed hugs and “You Look Beautiful” comments at just the right moments. Our children have been just as supportive and provided me with the love and kind gestures as I shared each step of the journey with them. And our friends who knew what we were going through made me laugh and joke about who looks better bald and provided me with additional hats to get through the next several months.

For us, it has always been about how you approach life and the positive perspective you take on the circumstances it provides. We have always been the glass is half full type of people, and when life throws you a curveball you swing and hit it out of the park.

There are some advantages of being bald as well. For instance, I will save money on shampoo, conditioner and even on the electricity bill as I will no longer be using a hair dryer or styling tools in the near future. I can now get ready in 15 minutes and be out the door and don’t have to worry about covering my bald spots with a hat every time someone swings by the house.

I am also excited that I will need to learn a new skill of crocheting or knitting, as I know over the winter months I will need to keep my head warm with hats and toboggans. And when my hair does begin to grow back I will be able to try out new hairstyles that I once was too hesitant to try.

What You Can Do…..

I know my situation could be much worse. I know that a smile from a complete stranger can make you smile. My wish is that everyone would smile at each other every day. Although my situation is more visible than others, there are many people who have much worse struggles that they are going through that no one can see than me.  And that one smile or that one hello, for no reason at all, can make all the difference to someone who just might need a simple act of kindness or caring on a rough day.

So as we go through the next 6 months, my look may change several times but my positive perspective, smile, or a simple hello to a stranger, will never damper.

Keep Smiling,

Mary and Jim
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102 thoughts on “Life Throws Us An Unexpected Curveball – Keeping A Positive Perspective

    • September 26, 2017 at 7:22 pm
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      Love it!!! Thanks for sharing.

  • September 26, 2017 at 11:05 am
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    Thank you Annie. I will have to check it out!

  • September 25, 2017 at 10:41 pm
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    Mary – we have dealt with alopecia and successfully reversed it. We did this easily with no side effects using Homeopathy. Have you considered seeing a homeopath?

    • September 26, 2017 at 11:06 am
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      I haven’t looked into it yet as this came on so suddenly. I will definitely look into it. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • September 25, 2017 at 9:52 am
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    When I first saw the picture, l thought it was your daughter! Your eyes steal the show, they are so vibrant and exude kindness. After following your blog for some time, I have no doubt that y’all will use this experience to help others. It seems to be your nature.
    I have been struggling with dealing with my osteoporosis. The meds prescribed are too scary, so I am being proactive in other ways in hopes that I can slow the progression.
    So glad you have support around you, it’s vital to our well-being. Thank you for sharing this story.
    Sending healing your way!

    • September 25, 2017 at 10:51 am
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      Thank you Daisy and best wishes to you as well.

  • September 25, 2017 at 9:13 am
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    My first thought as I saw your beautiful smiling face and lack of hair was that you were undergoing chemo. I was happy to read that this was not the case, too many cancer diagnoses in my people group lately! Nevertheless, any loss of hair, especially for us ladies can be traumatic and scary. I am happy to hear that you are working on whatever has gone wrong in your body too. I will say a prayer for you as you fight to regain health. I enjoy your emails each time we receive them and have incorporated some of the ideas for gardening and with great success, I might add! Take care of yourself and know that even though we don’t know you personally, we care about you and wish you all the best.

    • September 25, 2017 at 10:52 am
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      Thank you Dana – I very much appreciate your thoughtfulness and are happy that you are a part of our online family!

  • September 25, 2017 at 8:42 am
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    Thank you for sharing this personal experience — we will all take away something from this. First your amazing outlook and second a testament to listening to your gut and taking a holistic route. Please keep us informed as to your progress and the natural remedies you are implementing to get your body back on track. Not sure if it applies here, but seems like all kinds of fermented foods have healing qualities from strengthening cells to cleansing to balancing and all the good gut bacteria (probiotics/prebiotics) which seems to regulate everything — kraut, kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, etc … It can’t hurt. Good luck. You ARE beautiful inside & out.

    • September 25, 2017 at 8:49 am
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      Thank you Paula! I will keep everyone updated. I just made my own sauerkraut and my own yogurt, so I may be on the right track!

  • September 25, 2017 at 7:23 am
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    Positivity is definitely the way forward and you obviously have that in spades! I think if all your readers now smile at or say hello to complete strangers and they go on to smile and say hello to others we will all soon be offering that small token to everyone to brighten what might have otherwise been a dull day. Well done you, oh and you look wonderful without the hair!

    • September 25, 2017 at 8:41 am
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      Thank you Julie!

  • September 24, 2017 at 9:55 pm
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    Thank you for publicly sharing your story. Your attitude is inspiring. My daughter developed alopecia areata at age 13. It was difficult, but in the long run, 9 years later, it has made her both stronger and more compassionate. I imagine you are already eating gluten free and sugar free. That had the biggest impact for her early on. She is now working to heal leaky gut which is an underlying problem for anyone with an autoimmune disease. Wishing you all the best!

    • September 25, 2017 at 8:40 am
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      I did find out that most of the time it starts in childhood. Although I didn’t have any hair loss as a child, I always had ridges in my fingernails and seasonal allergies which is common with Alopecia Areata. I am in the process of dietary changes and trying to figure out what my triggers are. I was tested for gluten sensitivities last year and it was normal, but will continue to try to figure it out. Thank you for the support!

      • September 26, 2017 at 1:53 pm
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        My daughter’s finger nails were also affected. She had ridges and a redness. We found out she had a concurrent fungal infection in her nails. She started the diet after the fungal infection cleared with meds. I wanted to let you know that the first place we noticed healing from the diet was in observing the nails. I don’t know if that is typical to notice in the nails first, but it certainly was encouraging.

        • September 26, 2017 at 7:23 pm
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          Thank you Kris – Let’s hope for healing soon!

  • September 24, 2017 at 8:49 pm
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    Honey you look great without hair! I have a strong idea it’s that smile of your’s that people will see! Praying for a fast recovery and cool new hair styles!

    • September 25, 2017 at 8:37 am
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      Thanks Cyndi!

  • September 24, 2017 at 8:40 pm
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    Thank you for sharing your story. How frightening! If you have not already done so, I encourage you to put yourself in the hands of Jesus. I will pray for you!

    • September 25, 2017 at 8:36 am
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      Thank you Karen!

  • September 24, 2017 at 7:23 pm
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    Prayers for you Mary, I have a great admiration for you and your willingness to share your story. I have a teacher friend who found the site Love Your Melon, they are a college group who make hats, a portion of their sales goes to pediatric cancer research. Thanks for sharing your story. Blessings my dear!

    • September 25, 2017 at 8:36 am
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      Thank you Vikki. I will have to check out the site as I believe I will be in need of quite a bit of hats over the next several months!

  • September 24, 2017 at 7:16 pm
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    Wow!! What an inspiration you are!
    And thank you for the reminder to smile, and say hi. It is amazing how much love radiates from a heart felt smile! Sometimes the ‘smallest’ gestures are the most meaningful.
    And your courage and generosity to share your story move me to tears! They also remind me that in each moment we chose to be courageous and radiant, or not.
    I am new to your online family, and so grateful to be here!
    So much gratitude fills my heart!

    • September 25, 2017 at 8:35 am
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      Thanks Deborah for the kind words. Welcome to our online family!

  • September 24, 2017 at 5:36 pm
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    Mary — your post, along with your smiling face at the top of the article, brought me to tears. Your beauty inside and out just shines on through.

    I was also moved because my husband went through a terrible time last year after he had a toxic reaction to methotrexate, a medication he was also disinclined to take but talked into by a rheumatologist. His immune system, like yours, began to attack his body, though in subtle ways at first. He ultimately became so sick he almost couldn’t go to work and that’s when it became abundantly clear it was the medication. Many months later, he’s still dealing with the damage done by the medication and a new-found suspicion (I already have it, but he didn’t) of doctors who are too enthusiastic about medicating symptoms.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us and for allowing us to support you — albeit at a digital distance — as you navigate this unexpected journey.

    • September 25, 2017 at 8:34 am
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      Thank you for the support Tammy. I hope your husband finds health and healing as well.

  • September 24, 2017 at 4:43 pm
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    I relate to your story more than you could know. Two years ago I was diagnosed with Autoimmune Hashimotos Thryoiditis. Obviously an autoimmune condition. As a result I have spent the past two years researching and working on my healing. I joined several on-line thyroid groups to connect with others who are dealing with Autoimmune. About this same time I began the Autoimmune Protocol called AIP. This lifestyle and diet training has been very beneficial for me and others like me. Finding a Functional Medicine Physician (FMP) has also been positive for me. This approach goes to the root cause of the reason for the autoimmune condition and seeks to heal that root cause.as opposed to just taking pharmaceuticals for the symptoms. I urge you to consider functional Medicine. Finding a great FMP began my journey to healing. It has taken me two years and some out of pocket costs but I am now on the road to healing. I will not be able to “cure” autoimmune but I will be able to put it into remission and I will be able to prevent the continuing loop of acquiring one autoimmune condition after another per decade. I wish you the best of luck. Please feel free to contact me if you want more info on AIP or autoimmune. Donna at the Small House Big Sky Homestead. donnaallgaierlamberti@gmail.com

    • September 25, 2017 at 8:33 am
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      Thank you for the wonderful information Donna! I have just learned about AIP and have begun to dive into the research. I have been following Dr. Gundry’s Plant Paradox program and trying to put myself in remission as well. Great tip on finding a FMP. I am definitely going to look into that. Thanks again!

  • September 24, 2017 at 4:30 pm
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    You are beautiful, and have a beautiful spirit , Sending prayers your way.
    I know what you are talking about with DR’S . they pushing Meds to fast and don’t know the side effects . Thank you for the inforamation on what drugs, I have been talking the same blood pressure meds and now my hair is getting thin. I thought it might br Thyroid problem again,Now . . do researching this . Between Meds the DR’S rush to give and everything they put in our food , we need to research eveything. Don’t give up, I was diagnosisedwith mild MS in 89, Went to a DR who belived in evrything natural , with vitamins and nothing with preservatives or pre-packaged food,and it worked, Still have some tiredness and flare-ups but nothing bad. Still on his diet. And you already know most of that . I can tell by your e-mails .Have been with you for long time,& like your recipes. Thank you for all !
    There is always hope in the Lord and his leading!
    Carol

    • September 25, 2017 at 8:31 am
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      Carol – the Dermatologist told me that diabetes and thyroid disorders can cause alopecia as well. Something to look into for sure! Thank you for following along in our journey!

  • September 24, 2017 at 4:26 pm
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    Yes! You are beautiful! I am sorry to hear of your having to go through this. I have gone through some serious reactions to several pharmaceuticals. You seem to be very “in tune” with your body. Keep yourself aware. With all of the things they have given you with the initial drug and the others to treat and counteract the reactions. This may not be the end of it. It will take months for your immune system to recover. I will always try a holistic solution prior to anything from a pharmaceutical company! Experience has taught me not to trust them! Just one of the things I was forced to contend with was that I lost my drivers license for 9 months as a direct correlation to a drug reaction, and there was nothing I could do about it but wait out the time. I live alone! Thankfully God provided me with a new friend to take me most places I needed to go!

    • September 25, 2017 at 8:29 am
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      It sounds like you have been through quite an ordeal Carol. So glad you found a friend that could help out in the mean time. Keep smiling!

  • September 24, 2017 at 4:11 pm
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    Your story took me back 20 years when I lost all my hair. I found it very emotional so I know the feelings that you have had. Stay positive Mary. You are in my prayers. God Bless You Love Laura

    • September 25, 2017 at 8:27 am
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      Thank you Laura!

  • September 24, 2017 at 3:58 pm
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    My oh my, that was some read. I have the utmost respect for you after that tale. I would really like to know how this turns out and what methods and approach you take to get back to “normal”

    • September 25, 2017 at 8:27 am
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      Thanks Greg. As of right now, I am still on Prednisone, although that will end shortly. I have been investigating and implementing some dietary changes to help get over the hump, but will keep everyone updated.

  • September 24, 2017 at 3:40 pm
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    So sorry to hear you have had such a rough summer. And it’s frightening when you don’t know what’s going on. I lost all of my hair 22 years ago after our house burned. Stress related and a few spots grew back but not much. I’ve worn a wig all these years because I have no other options working in an office. You get used to it and it sure makes getting ready for the day a lot quicker. Hang in there and bless you for your positive attitude. That’s really a huge impact on your health when you can be optimistic. You’ll be fine. Holistic is the only way to go. Thanks also for all of your tips over the years. We garden organically in Minnesota and love it, and it’s interesting to see how you do the same in a different climate.

    • September 25, 2017 at 8:25 am
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      Barbara I am so sorry that you had to go through that so many years ago. I am not sure mine will all grow back either, but am remaining optimistic. Wigs are wonderful and it’s so easy to change your look that way as well! I was actually born in Minnesota, and my brother just moved back to Ohio after living 23 years in the Twin Cities!

  • September 24, 2017 at 3:39 pm
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    You look beautiful! I truly believe that nothing happens without a reason and you have already touched lives that beauty starts within!

    • September 25, 2017 at 8:23 am
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      Thank you Susan!

  • September 24, 2017 at 3:02 pm
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    Mary, you look beautiful! I remember my sister shaving our mom’s head after chemotherapy and how beautiful she was. Hats are always a fashion statement, right?

    I can’t help but think of you and Jim every time I make one of your recipes. Matter of fact, a batch of Candied Jalapeños are ready to take out of the canner now. God bless you!

    • September 25, 2017 at 8:23 am
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      Thank you Cathy! I have never been a ‘hat’ person (except on early morning runs to the grocery store to cover up my bed head), but I am getting used to them. Just need to expand my collection for the long haul! I hope you enjoy the candied Jalapenos!!! We love them!

  • September 24, 2017 at 2:51 pm
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    You are truly beautiful, in and out! I love that you mentioned sometimes its good to look for a holistic approach. I have worked as a RN in a hospital for 18 years almost, and because of that I have started studying holistic modalities over the last 5 years. Our western way of medicine has its place for sure, but not for everything. Nutritional, emotional, energetic support can bring the body and its health back into balance so much more naturally. Thank you for your courage of sharing your story, sending you lots of healing energy.

    • September 24, 2017 at 3:01 pm
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      Thank you Deb!

  • September 24, 2017 at 2:50 pm
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    You do have a great attitude as we all should, people really need to look at each other with love and respect. Thanks Mary for sharing your story, you are beautiful, with or without,because its what’s inside our hearts that matter.

    • September 24, 2017 at 3:00 pm
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      Thank you Marlene

  • September 24, 2017 at 1:24 pm
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    You are absolutely gorgeous and an inspiration! I can’t imagine going through that, but I’m so inspired by your focus on what’s truly important. Bless you!

    • September 24, 2017 at 3:00 pm
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      Thank you Holly

  • September 24, 2017 at 1:05 pm
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    You’re very generous to share your story, ,and it will be helpful to many people in different ways. I’m sorry you are going through such a rough time. Yes, it’s helpful to remember that things can always be worse, but that does not lessen the suffering you had and have with your current situation.

    It is frustrating and frightening that so many doctors know so little about prescription drugs. When one drug causes side effects, they tend to leave that prescription in place and prescribe another drug to treat the side effects, and then another to treat the side effects of that drug, etc. It is crazy to the point of criminal.

    I had emergency brain surgery a few years ago and the doctor left my hair below my shoulder on the left side and the right side of my head shaved with large staples sticking out. After I got to go home from the hospital, a friend shaved the left side to match the right. People close to me thought I’d freak out, as I’d always loved having long thick hair, but it was really okay. I got ready really quickly, I could ride in a convertible without tangles, I never woke up with bedhead. 😉

    I look forward to readiing more about your healing. I feel very connected to y’all after following your adventures for so long. 😉 Sending you wishes for peace and strength and ;healing.

    • September 24, 2017 at 3:00 pm
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      Thank you so much and yes, I forgot to mention that I love riding in the car with the windows down now!

  • September 24, 2017 at 12:46 pm
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    First I am so sorry this has happened to you. These reactions are real but doctors just glide right over them because not everyone reacts… But then YOU have to live with the consequences.

    And thanks so much for sharing your story and pictures and being so brave!

    We are an over medicated society that most illnesses can be medicated through over the counter or common old remedies.

    Exactly why I have not visited a doctor since 1999 and I am approaching 60. I am allergic to penicillin and went to the er that year and was given penicillin that caused me infections I had never had. Then when I was treated they wanted me to pay the bill for their mistakes. Top that off with my doctor wanting to see my swollen feet and when I arrived she had no time to see me.. feet make an appointment when you are going to swell. That is when I went back to what my mamma and aunts taught me with home remedies. I have not looked back.

    True I may have an added ache here or an odd pain there but between doctors quick to give a pill, insurance regulating what they can and can not prescribe and not to mention the nosy government I am done until I can not walk or breath on my own.

    • September 24, 2017 at 2:59 pm
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      I couldn’t agree more!

  • September 24, 2017 at 11:45 am
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    Although you seem to have had a less than positive experience with wigs, there are some wonderful you tubers available to share their journey with you if you want to explore more. I might suggest starting here: Wigs by Patti’s Pearls https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWRi6oaAG0r5m1R5r5rV67Q Blessings

    • September 24, 2017 at 2:58 pm
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      Thank you for the link!

  • September 24, 2017 at 11:27 am
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    You are amazing and I am so sorry you have to go through this. Sending you many smiles forever and many thanks for the wonderful inspiring site you and your family have shared 🤗🤓😎😁😁😜😋😍🤠

    • September 24, 2017 at 2:58 pm
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      Thank you Sharon

  • September 24, 2017 at 11:03 am
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    Hugs to you and your family. We have never met but from being a part of your Old World Garden group I feel like I know you. Thanks for the warning. Thanks for all that you do, sharing your experience with everyone.

    • September 24, 2017 at 2:58 pm
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      Thank you Michelle, we love our online family too.

  • September 24, 2017 at 11:00 am
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    Totally LOVE your outlook, openness, reader’s comment re your ‘lemonade” and your great family for their support of an obviously wonderful BEAUTIFUL, spectacular YOU!!! All the best wishes and prayers.

    • September 24, 2017 at 2:57 pm
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      Thank you so much

  • September 24, 2017 at 10:53 am
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    Mary, God Bless you for sharing your story with us. By you being so open and honest about your own personal story you’ve helped more people than you know. I’ve followed your blog over gardening for the last several years and if it wasn’t for both of your great tips and tricks on gardening, my husband and myself would not know the first thing about how to have a healthy, organic garden in our back yard! You are an inspiration not only because of your life work as gardeners, but as a human being, that is real, authentic, compassionate and loving to many. We love you and wish you all the best going forward with a new perspective on life, and to smile knowing you’ll be alright, God is in control and the outcome for you is fabulous, I know it!

    • September 24, 2017 at 2:57 pm
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      Thank you so much for the kind words Sheila

      • September 25, 2017 at 11:51 am
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        You are very welcome Mary!

  • September 24, 2017 at 10:43 am
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    What a positive outlook, I admire the way you turn what may seem terrible to some into positive and remembering other who are dealing with a lot worse. By reading this it is sure is an eye opener. Thanks for sharing. I wish you the best sending prayers.

    • September 24, 2017 at 10:44 am
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      Thank you Laura!

  • September 24, 2017 at 10:33 am
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    You Sparkle!! ~ You have a beautiful soul and appearance and decorate it with a killer smile!

    • September 24, 2017 at 10:44 am
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      Thank you Kay, that was so sweet.

  • September 24, 2017 at 10:31 am
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    Mary, thanks for sharing your story with us. I know it took some courage for you to bring it all out into the open.

    Please do some research into the Ketogenic way of eating. I am a member of a Keto subreddit, and it’s amazing how many people have been cured of different ailments and diseases by simply keeping sugar, starches, grains, and legumes out of their diets. Losing weight is also a great bonus, if someone needs to lose weight. I’ve lost almost 40 pounds so far, and started it in May of this year. I’ve also experienced more energy, and the brain fog from fibromyalgia is completely gone.

    While I don’t know if the keto diet is for you, or if it will bring back your hair or not, I know that for some people, it has caused hair regrowth.

    Best wishes.

    • September 24, 2017 at 10:44 am
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      Thank you so much. I have done a lot of research and have implemented various changes in my diet through Dr. Gundry’s Plant Paradox program and hopefully when my immune system resets I will have hair regrowth sooner than later. Thanks for the Keto suggestion – I will check it out as well.

  • September 24, 2017 at 10:27 am
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    Please check out Dr Tom O’Bryan’s website. He is brilliant with autoimmune disease which is more than likely to do with a leakey gut or an imbalance in your microbiome. Listen to your doctors but do your own research! Most disease begins in the gut. You will be amazed. God bless.

    • September 24, 2017 at 10:42 am
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      Thanks Scott. I totally agree with you and have been researching and implementing Dr. Gundry’s Plant Paradox program/book. I will check out Tom O’Bryan’s as well. Thanks for the tip

  • September 24, 2017 at 10:21 am
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    Thanks for sharing ,love the positive attitude I struggle with Meneres disease and it gets really hard I wish you the best

    • September 24, 2017 at 10:41 am
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      Thank you Chuck and best wishes for you as well!

  • September 24, 2017 at 10:01 am
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    I am also a long time follower but have never commented. Oh my goodness, I wish we could bottle your wonderful attitude and sell it to those that are suffering! I also wish that more people would wake up and realize that these doctors are just practicing medicine, and they are practicing on us! I would wager that those meds messed with your immune system and the hair loss is directly related to that!
    Keep smiling and know that your on-line family is thinking of you and wishing you the best!

    • September 24, 2017 at 10:39 am
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      Thank you so much Nikki. I love my online family!!

  • September 24, 2017 at 9:55 am
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    I do not go to MDs for exactly this reason!

    Look into topical castor oil application (the Palma Christi — palm of Christ) as an Edgar Cayce remedy for regrowing hair.

    Has been used successfully by verinarians for decades, and the cancer and chemo survivors groups have finally caught on and started recommending it too.

    Best wishes!

    • September 24, 2017 at 10:39 am
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      Thanks for the tip!

  • September 24, 2017 at 9:47 am
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    Thanks for sharing your story! Bald is beautiful and you are beautiful!! You are an inspiration and your positive attitude admirable ~ Life as we know it can change in the blink of an eye. We all face adversities and challenges in life, but it is how we handle them that make us stronger or weaker. Stay positive ~ I’m sending you a smile 😊 Lory Miller

    • September 24, 2017 at 10:38 am
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      Thank you for the smile 🙂

  • September 24, 2017 at 9:46 am
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    Thank you for your story. You are right – listen to your body and question doctors. Also, find the best doctors for your particular issue. Had I gone to my very nice local doctor for breast cancer I would not be alive today. I wish you renewed good health. I enjoy reading of your journey back to the land.

    • September 24, 2017 at 10:38 am
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      I totally agree with you. I am so happy that you found the right doctor for you!

  • September 24, 2017 at 9:39 am
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    I am s sorry you have had to endure this ordeal. You truly have a positive attitude about it all. GOD BLESS as you travel this road. Thanks for sharing.

    • September 24, 2017 at 10:37 am
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      Thank you for following along in our journey.

  • September 24, 2017 at 9:24 am
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    As an after thought to my original comment – yes, would you disclose the meds that you were on? I also have been taking heart /hypertension meds for years and was just test for autoimmune disease….

    • September 24, 2017 at 10:37 am
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      I took Amlodipine first and then Lisinopril the second time.

  • September 24, 2017 at 9:24 am
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    You are such an inspiration. Even with your hair you look beautiful in your photo. Your whole face lights up when you smile. Even your eyes are smiling. Will be praying for you and thank you so much for sharing your story.

    • September 24, 2017 at 10:35 am
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      Thank you Jenny

  • September 24, 2017 at 9:21 am
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    Dear Mary, Thank you for sharing your story. Yes, life throws things at us unexpected. I’m sooo happy for you that it is NOT cancer – that was also my first thought when I saw the pic with your bald head. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t any easier….especially for a woman, I’m sure it feels like an emotional roller. And some people may “dismiss” your illness as “no big deal” once you tell them you don’t have cancer….well, they are so wrong.
    I’m wishing you all the best – I have been following your blog for at least 4 years now and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your garden tips AND your personal journey. To me, it feels like I know you as friends/mentors and my garden success is due to you guys. Sending you healing thoughts!

    • September 24, 2017 at 10:35 am
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      Thank you Tina for the kind words and perspective.

  • September 24, 2017 at 9:16 am
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    Thank you for your positive outlook!! Could you share the name of the drug with us? I was just recently put on heart medicine and already have an autoimmune disorder. None of these possible side effects were ever
    discussed with me.

    • September 24, 2017 at 10:34 am
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      The drug was amlodipine. They don’t consider it a direct side effect, however for me the medication spurred the autoimmune disorder to appear. Best of luck to you!

  • September 24, 2017 at 9:14 am
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    Thank you for sharing your story. Your optimistic outlook is inspiring. I would think that there is some relief in having everyone know about your hair loss and not having to spend so much energy trying to hide it. I love the keep smiling suggestion. It is spot on.

    • September 24, 2017 at 10:32 am
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      Thank you Lorri!

  • September 24, 2017 at 9:08 am
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    I had walking pneumonia in 2011. I was give a z pac, an antibiotic with a steroid for inflamation. I completed the dosage, developed blisters the size of my fist over 85% of my body. The eventually opened and developed large open sores over the same area. Like a 2nd or 3rd degree burn. It was a rare auto immune reaction to the meds!! I have had 2 flares in the last 6 yrs. And will be on low dose chemo the rest of my life!! When I was diagnosed, there were fewer than 100 cases spread over the whole southern US. Now thanks to the biological drugs like enbrel that people take for lupus and RA, there are many more. It is scary. Recently a friend was going in monthly for an infusion treatment for psoriatic arthritis. We were offering well wishes. Approximately 250 of her middle aged friends, and we all had an auto immune issue!! Scary!! Prayers, hugs, and blessings!!

    • September 24, 2017 at 10:32 am
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      Thank you for sharing your story. It is so scary what can happen, but I am glad that you are doing better. Hugs and smiles to you!

  • September 24, 2017 at 9:06 am
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    Thanks for sharing your story. Your final thoughts about smiling is key to life. May I ask was your Alopecia a direct side effect of your medication?

    • September 24, 2017 at 10:30 am
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      It wasn’t a true side effect, however, because my body had such a toxic reaction to it, I believe it spurred the autoimmune disorder to appear.

  • September 24, 2017 at 8:54 am
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    sorry to hear about your problem. From what I can get from reading your story, you have a great attitude about it. Keep up that attitude and life will help you prevail.

    • September 24, 2017 at 10:29 am
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      Thank you!

  • September 24, 2017 at 8:34 am
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    Long time reader but first time commenting- what a great outlook you have on life. Life gives you lemons and you made lemonade! I wish you all the best in your journey and I agree that we could all be smiling more at each other. Be well!

    • September 24, 2017 at 10:28 am
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      Thank you Barbara!

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