My Summer So Far

August 20, 2018

My dear readers, I’m sorry I disappeared on you. I never planned to abandon blogging but sometimes you just need to step away for a while. When you’re feeling vulnerable, like I have been, it can be wearisome and unpleasant to have your entire life on the internet. It’s very uncomfortable to feel like strangers have access to parts of your heart that you still have trouble sharing with close friends. Sometimes you realize you just need a little space and privacy. 

I still care deeply about the chronic illness community though and I’ve really appreciated all the kind messages I’ve received these last few months. Thank you for reaching out to ask about me. Please know that I still want to be a source of encouragement and hope for all of you. It brings me so much joy to be able to help others suffering from these devastating illnesses. 

I can’t promise that I will be up to blogging regularly again but I thought I could at least share a general update for my faithful readers who are wondering what I’ve been up to. 

This summer hasn’t quite gone the way we imagined it would. Early spring was so amazing that I nearly expected my illness would be all but forgotten by summertime.

Instead, the resurfacing of past trauma left me laying in my hammock exhausted and overwhelmed. It set off a chain reaction of insomnia and fatigue that led me to neglect a lot of the things I was doing to detoxify and support my body’s healing. That was a big mistake.

I’ve had swollen lymph nodes and episodes of serious pain (though thankfully they don’t last more than a few minutes). I also had to deal with liver pain and nausea. Plus, the wildfire smoke drifting in from the West Coast made me extremely tired, achy and foggy brained.

Several weeks ago, Brett and I decided I was well enough to invest in a real mattress. We were so excited to finally have a comfortable bed! Unfortunately, I started waking up with a swollen face and painful joints every morning. My body felt so inflamed! Blinded by charming ads and reports of low-toxicity it took us several weeks to realize that our new mattress was the reason for the swelling (and not the wildfire smoke). 

Two nights ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with my eyes, cheeks, lips and throat more swollen than any of the previous mornings. I got scared enough that I just started sobbing and making all sorts of hopeless pronouncements. The air outside was clear however and that was when it finally dawned on us that it might be the bed. I started sleeping in my hammock and am already sleeping much better and waking up with less inflammation. Thankfully we can still return the mattress. 

This summer has been a lot harder than I expected but it hasn’t been without it’s joyful moments. I enjoyed a delightful visit with one of my best friends at the beginning of the summer. I got to hike with her, eat out and do a lot of things I hadn’t been able to do with her for several years.

Then my family came to visit last weekend and it was a wonderful opportunity to reconnect. I could still feel the problematic biotoxins from my hometown on them but it went so much better than last year’s visit. We were able to hang out outdoors and I experienced no negative repercussions. I even got to swim with my siblings! Best of all, my sister and her new husband are here to stay. They actually moved to South Dakota!

The last two days sum up my summer pretty well. Yesterday I was in pain, I had an awful headache and was horribly fatigued. Except for a short miserable walk outside, I did nothing all day. I spent the evening crying to Brett about how overwhelming it is that I don’t have the energy to exercise or help around the house, how lonely I feel and how sick I am of thinking I’m all better only to plunge back into illness again. It’s so difficult to be in limbo between health and sickness. Healing finally feels possible and yet it always finds new ways to stay just out of reach. 

Today has been better. I slept in the hammock and woke up with normal-sized eyes and lips. I did my coffee enema. I took my minerals. I talked to a friend on the phone. Then a glorious north wind started blowing in and I went outside to soak up the clean air. The north wind is always the best. I felt well enough to write this blog post. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but the future always looks a bit more hopeful when the wind is blowing from the north. 🙂

By the way, Brett and I made a beautiful PDF of my favorite resources for suffering souls. I created the content and he made it look fancy with his superduper graphic design skills. It’s available for free to my email subscribers. Click here to sign up and receive 5 Resources for the Suffering Soul.

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  • Christa Upton

    I can so relate. “Healing finally feels possible and yet it always finds new ways to stay just out of reach.” Mine has been chemical hits, accidental or unavoidable. But I know God has a plan even in all this, too. Hang in there; i know you will. hugs

    August 20, 2018 at 5:09 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      I know you understand Christa! I’ve read your blog too and hope that you can avoid those chemical hits long enough to really heal. You’re right though, that God is not surprised by the things that surprise and derail us. Hugs to you! ❤️

      August 20, 2018 at 5:46 pm Reply
  • Ruth

    Dear Ana, Thank you so much for using your limited energy to let “us” know how you are. I am sorry there are so many up and downs. And having so many variables makes it hard to figure out exactly where to focus your limited energy. May the Lord give you hope and peace as you seek healing.

    August 20, 2018 at 5:28 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you so much for your kind words Ruth. 💕

      August 20, 2018 at 5:47 pm Reply
  • Sandra Elam

    Ana – I feel the same way. I’ve gotten so much better in the past year too. Some days are so good that I think maybe I can recover completely. And then, Boom! I’m exposed to some toxin and I am confined to bed for 24 hours hardly able to move, wondering will I ever get better. My prayers go out to you and to everyone with chronic illness. Hang in there! Never forget that our time on this Earth is short and that one day when we meet Jesus, there will be no more sickness, no more crying, and no more pain.

    August 20, 2018 at 6:15 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      So sorry Sandra! It’s seems like ups and downs are just a part of the journey. It is good to remember that this world is not our home. I pray God strengthens you and heals you. 💕

      August 20, 2018 at 9:01 pm Reply
  • Christine

    Anna, you are so adorable and brave and I am blessed to have known you. I am happy you have your family with you . 😗

    August 20, 2018 at 7:20 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww! Thank you Mrs. McCutcheon. I love you! 💕

      August 20, 2018 at 9:02 pm Reply
  • JOHN

    HI ANA,

    August 20, 2018 at 11:08 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you so much for this encouragement brother John! You are a fighter too! May God strengthen and sustain you.

      August 21, 2018 at 11:52 am Reply
  • Amber V.

    Continuing to pray for you both, Ana. The Lord goes before you every step of the way. Asking for continued guidance for you as you go through these layers of healing & recovery as well as much strength & grace.

    Every time I read your updates I can’t help but send you the link again to this program.

    God brought it into my life 3 years ago & it got my overburdened Lyme & mold body/brain/emotions out of the reactive patterns that kept me stuck & kept me from moving forward. Our brains are fearfully & wonderfully made but in a fallen world they can get stuck from trauma, illness, etc. Please consider this. It’s being studied at 2 Canadian universities as it is truly life-changing science. Get Annie’s book from Amazon & return it after reading if you don’t see how this fits into your journey but please read it.

    Watch the testimonies. I’ve met some of these people in real life & their recovery is true while everything else they tried before never broke them out of the cycle. They were like you confined in their reactive state & now live free.

    August 21, 2018 at 12:47 pm Reply
  • Anna Thomas

    So good to hear from you again, Ana! Praying for you in so many ways. Press on, for the prize is great, indeed! We are all by your side in spirit, supporting you on this journey. Never give up hope!

    With Love,

    August 21, 2018 at 2:57 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you so so much Anna! That means a lot!

      August 23, 2018 at 4:51 pm Reply
  • Lee Ann

    I too am dealing with the combined challenges of chronic illness and trauma recovery. It feels like each complicates the other, and sometimes I think I can’t win with those two strikes against me! Here is the thing: chronic illness gives us a unique perspective on our trauma and vice versa. I love this post because it reflects the importance of being patient, understanding, and compassionate with ourselves, and of being open to what each day brings. I think you’re going to be OK. Thanks, as always, for reaching out with your beautiful writing!

    August 21, 2018 at 10:20 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you so much for your comment Lee Ann. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with both too. I do think they interact and complicate each other. 💕

      August 23, 2018 at 4:52 pm Reply
  • Lisa

    💓💓 💓

    August 22, 2018 at 6:47 am Reply
    • Ana Harris


      August 23, 2018 at 4:52 pm Reply
  • Erin

    Such cute photos!!!

    This is a very sad but also joyous post. 🙂 Praying for you!

    August 22, 2018 at 2:19 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris


      August 23, 2018 at 4:53 pm Reply
  • Ruth Meyer

    Praying for you all the time, Ana, and glad you are getting more time with your family, and able to do things like swimming. I jumped in a lake this summer with my family! That was huge for me, because I’ve never jumped into water before, and never even swam in a lake before. I feel some of my courage is returning, though after that last trip things caught up with me and I crashed for two days straight. I feel I can do more now, but I just have to remind myself I will be paying the price in built up fatigue at some point. I’m glad the smoke hasn’t been a huge bother for you. *Waves from Washington state!* 🙂

    August 24, 2018 at 12:40 am Reply
  • Tamam

    Ana, praying for you, dear one. I love you so much….and Brett! Loved the video shown at Melo&Justin’s (i.e., Jello) wedding….and so good to see Brett…and so difficult to say good-bye to Brett. You are awesome, awesome…and so very beautiful…inside and out! Love to you and Brett, tamam

    August 25, 2018 at 4:23 pm Reply
  • Natalie Julson

    Praying for you Ana, glad you and Brett were able to enjoy some of the summer. Thank you for taking the time to share how you’ve been doing <3

    *sends hugs your way*

    August 27, 2018 at 1:02 pm Reply
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