Love My Crazy

Love My Crazy

By Twinkle VanFleet

Love my crazy
Love my fire
Love my passion
I desire

Love my laughter
Love my pain
Love my compassion
By which I’ve gained

Love my present
Love my past
Love the future
At a glance

Love opening minds
Love removing blinds
Love makin’ points
With aching joints

Love spreading word
While still not cured
Love faking it
Toward making it

Love a little change
To rearrange
Love to share
And make aware

Love my path
And my faith
Love my heart
And his grace

Love my uncertainty
And my place
Love my light
And my space

Love my actions
By which I learn
Love my words
Palms upturned

Love my mind
And my emotion
Love my crazy
And my devotion.

©2015 Twinkle VanFleet  All Rights Reserved.

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Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief: Finding the Relaxation Exercises That Work for You

For many of us, relaxation means zoning out in front of the TV at the end of a stressful day. But this does little to reduce the damaging effects of stress. To effectively combat stress, we need to activate the body’s natural relaxation response. You can do this by practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, rhythmic exercise, and yoga. Fitting these activities into your life can help reduce everyday stress and boost your energy and mood.

The relaxation response: Bringing your nervous system back into balance

Stress is necessary for life. You need stress for creativity, learning, and your very survival. Stress is only harmful when it becomes overwhelming and interrupts the healthy state of equilibrium that your nervous system needs to remain in balance. Unfortunately, overwhelming stress has become an increasingly common characteristic of contemporary life. When stressors throw your nervous system out of balance, relaxation techniques can bring it back into a balanced state by producing the relaxation response, a state of deep calmness that is the polar opposite of the stress response.

When stress overwhelms your nervous system your body is flooded with chemicals that prepare you for “fight or flight.” While the stress response can be lifesaving in emergency situations where you need to act quickly, it wears your body down when constantly activated by the stresses of everyday life. The relaxation response puts the brakes on this heightened state of readiness and brings your body and mind back into a state of equilibrium.

Producing the relaxation response

A variety of different relaxation techniques can help you bring your nervous system back into balance by producing the relaxation response. The relaxation response is not lying on the couch or sleeping but a mentally active process that leaves the body relaxed, calm, and focused.

Learning the basics of these relaxation techniques isn’t difficult, but it does take practice. Most stress experts recommend setting aside at least 10 to 20 minutes a day for your relaxation practice. If you’d like to get even more stress relief, aim for 30 minutes to an hour. If that sounds like a daunting commitment, remember that many of these techniques can be incorporated into your existing daily schedule—practiced at your desk over lunch or on the bus during your morning commute.

Finding the relaxation technique that’s best for you

There is no single relaxation technique that is best for everyone. When choosing a relaxation technique, consider your specific needs, preferences, fitness level, and the way you tend to react to stress. The right relaxation technique is the one that resonates with you, fits your lifestyle, and is able to focus your mind and interrupt your everyday thoughts in order to elicit the relaxation response. In many cases, you may find that alternating or combining different techniques will keep you motivated and provide you with the best results.

How you react to stress may influence the relaxation technique that works best for you:

How do you react to stress?

Do you tend to become angry, agitated, or keyed up?

You may respond best to relaxation techniques that quiet you down, such as meditation, deep breathing, or guided imagery

Do you tend to become depressed, withdrawn, or spaced out?

You may respond best to relaxation techniques that are stimulating and that energize your nervous system, such as rhythmic exercise

Do you tend to freeze-speeding up internally, while slowing down externally?

Your challenge is to identify relaxation techniques that provide both safety and stimulation to help you “reboot” your system. Techniques such as mindfulness walking or power yoga might work well for you

Do you need alone time or social stimulation?

If you crave solitude, solo relaxation techniques such as meditation or progressive muscle relaxation will give you the space to quiet your mind and recharge your batteries. If you crave social interaction, a class setting will give you the stimulation and support you’re looking for. Practicing with others may also help you stay motivated.

Relaxation Techniques and More Information-

via Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief: Finding the Relaxation Exercises That Work for You.

Is Ketamine the Next Great Depression Drug? | Al Jazeera America

February 12, 2015 12:00PM ET

In April, a University of Oxford study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that approximately a third of patients with treatment-resistant depression saw immediate improvements in their moods. And since 2012, studies from Yale University, Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine and New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine found that ketamine is overwhelmingly successful for treatment-resistant patients.

Researchers are the excited about these developments in hopes of combatting the rising number of depression cases nationwide. Almost 7 percent of Americans 18 or older – about 16 million people – suffered at least one major episode of depression in the last year, according to NIMH. The World Health Organization recently found that “depression is the predominant cause of illness and disability” for boys and girls 10 to 19 years old. In the United States, lost productivity and health care expenses from depression cost an estimated $80 billion a year. And those trends are not expected to slow down. National Institutes of Health researchers project depression to be “the second leading cause of disability worldwide and the leading cause of disability in high-income nations, including the United States” within 20 years.

Read the full story here-

via Is Ketamine the Next Great Depression Drug? | Al Jazeera America.

Kharisma’s Journey

KurtisandKharismaUCDavisMedCenterJan272015 On January 23, my oldest daughter Kharisma was in the ER again with severe stomach and back pain. The next day she was admitted.  She came home after 8 days of repeat CT scans, MRI, medication management and ending with a Celiac Plexus block.  In August she spent a week there also. A biopsy led the team to believe she had Epithelioid Hemangioendothelioma (EHE).  While the biopsy turned out to be inconclusive, we were led to believe that the several lesions on her liver were benign. During this stay, we learned they just don’t know yet.  She has to have continuous follow ups with dynamic MRI to follow the course of any growth and re uptake in any cell progression. Because EHE is so rare and only first discovered in 1982 no one knows what to do but watch it. I had 2 doctors be most honest with me and I do appreciate them, but I am not certain I would have gotten that conversation if a situation had not happened the day before. From that point on, a relationship was formed with one of the specialists who also cared very much for my daughter.

DeMantaiandKharismaUCDavisMedCenterJan252015We were told that they couldn’t go in and remove the lesions because there are too many and she wouldn’t have a liver left after dissection. We were also personally told that she may need a liver transplant. Some physicians will form a relationship with you, other’s will not. Then other’s will stay in the middle, set compassion to the side, withhold answers, or give few. Sometimes because they don’t have any, or because they don’t have enough. They aren’t intentionally out to hurt us. They don’t have a magic ball and they don’t have super powers. Every situation is different.

Where does that leave us? Where does that leave my daughter? It doesn’t! It leaves us with uncertainty. It’s easy for everyone to say put all your fears in the hands of God! Let God take over.  And no I haven’t lost my faith, and oh yes I’ve already prayed over this and asked forgiveness, but God isn’t going to get my girl to her doctor appointments, he’s not the one to keep up with all the phone calls or pick up the phone to return them, he’s not going to keep her from hurting but meditating on his hope might. Faith keeps us strong to achieve those goals. He would want each person involved from medical to us to self to do the best they could.


Then right back to the same thing. She has to have a referral from her primary to get to the new specialist. That’s just the way the process works. Insurance rules. There’s nothing I can do to jump that hurdle for her or make anything move faster.  I am a mama feeling helpless. I asked 2 of the team in the presence of my husband Erik, my son Kurtis and with Kharisma when will it be too late to intervene with Chemo, Radiation, other? When?! When is it going to be too late? They did not know, but were honest.  The only 2 doctors that gave that much. And I suppose with my next statement anyone can call me paranoid or over thinking it, but I have wondered if my girl isn’t being monitored to learn from this rarity.  Without people to learn and study from there would be no progression in medicine.

Kurtis stayed with his sister each day, came home late, went to work first thing in the morning and back to his sister. We went to see her at the same time each day between 2 and 3 pm. Her sister Rikki took her cupcakes. We took our daughter’s son up to her, our blessing of a grandson De’Mantai Xayvier, as did Kelly who is also grandma to ‘Tai. When you are forced to have conversations with your children that you don’t want to have because of the unknown but you have to because you don’t know.


There’s not a lot more to share at this time.  She is returning to work today for as long as she can manage.  She starts PM soon as well. She’s a department manager where she works and has taken pride in that as she should.  We have to stay on it and on top of it. All of it.

Official diagnosis at discharge Hepatic Hemangioendothelioma

Diagnosis in Electronic Medical Record of this hospitalization Hepatic Epithelioid Hemangioendothelioma dated January 27, 2015


I am so very proud of you Kharisma Anna Magdelena! Not only for being a wonderful mom whose son has been an honor student 8 times over, but as a daughter. There is not a single thing you have ever done that we haven’t been able to laugh about later, together! Even as a family! And same for me in the reverse sense. There isn’t a single squabble we couldn’t ever talk about and let roll. That means I gave you something so amazing and you gave me something back just as amazing. The ability to forgive and let go unconditionally. Without holding grudges, without animosity, never giving and withholding love.

I love you so very much!  I’m truly blessed to be your mama.

Dream big it’s never over.

To be continued-