Next Steps

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve done the Flight from Florida to North Carolina, I’d definitely be able to afford something fancy! Tomorrow I will once again be flying to NC, but this time, it’s different. This time, I will be packing my house up and preparing to move permanently to Florida in order to get my health straight.

My little life in North Carolina the past year has been an amazing reprieve from the Florida life I’ve had for so long. Its like I woke up to a completely different existence. I got married, I moved into a house in the woods and experienced a totally different life. I feel like GOD gave me a break from Florida to give me enough rest to return to Florida, where I am supposed to be.

It’s so ironic that I am even admitting that Florida is where I am supposed to be. I pined for North Carolina so long after leaving it so many years ago. But the opportunities, healthcare options and loved ones here remind me that this is where GOD has called me to be.

I would be lying if I didn’t admit I wasn’t frustrated that I am having to leave the life my husband I have built together behind. This week we are going back to our home in the woods to pack up everything we own and start over again. But I know that my family, my healthcare and opportunities for my husband’s career are better here. I have to trust GOD that He has a plan, even though I wish I didn’t have to leave my little home in NC behind.

My prayers for our next steps in life are that JP finds a law enforcement position here and continues to make a positive difference in the world, protecting and serving people. I also pray that my health stabilizes enough to where I will have quality of life return.

Our next steps are:

1- Flying to NC. We are packing up our house and getting essentials to bring back down here. We are driving my mustang back to Florida this coming weekend, to stay!

2- Awaiting JP’s equivalency officer training date in order for him to become Florida Law Enforcement certified. Due to COVID, they are cutting class sizes and not hosting as many so we are having to play a waiting game. Once he gets into an EOT class, he will have to take a state exam and then once he passes, he can be qualified for an officer position here.

3- Continuing my work with the non profit organization, Adrenal Alternatives Foundation. We have made huge strides lately regarding helping disabled people! We are currently heavily involved in fighting the injustices happening due to covid restrictions which have negatively impacted the chronically ill community by not allowing patients to have visitors/caregivers present during medical events such as treatments, procedures and appointments. You can read more at this link.

4- Since JP is awaiting his EOT class date, our only income is coming from me in the form of book sales. I have recently released my fiction novel Townsend which is an inspirational read featuring the thematic elements of magic, angels and Native Americans. I also have my other publications, Cortisol Pump 101: A Patient’s Guide to the Cortisol Pumping Method , Adrenal Insufficiency 101: A Patient’s Guide to Managing Adrenal Insufficiency the Arsenal of Arrows Devotional Journal Challenge Series, the Peace by Piece 365 Inspirational Health Log Journal the children’s book The Shivering Sunbeam which explains disability in a way young minds can understand and Chronically Stoned: The Guide to Winning the Battle against Kidney Stones and UTI’s. All are available through Amazon, Kindle E-book and Barnes and Noble. I pray the work the Lord has allowed me to do encourages and helps others. All support is appreciated, even if you don’t purchase anything, shares, page likes, reposts, reviews are all so helpful!

Truth be told, I have no clue what the next couple months will hold. I am anxious about us having to go back tomorrow but I believe GOD will lead us in the right direction if we only surrender to His will!

Psalm 37:23

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.

Ready or not, here change comes!

Let’s keep fighting the good fight!

Love,

Win ❤

Into the Unknown- Back to Florida?

One of the most beautiful and stressful facts about life, is that the future is unknown. I am so thankful that as a young girl, I had no idea what lay ahead of me. The reality of what my life would be filled with would have surely incapacitated me.

But fortunately, young me had no idea I had disease lurking inside me, just waiting to devour every dream I ever had. No, my hopes, my dreams and my desires were intact because I did not know what lay ahead of me.

When my health started to fail, it took everything with it. I wouldn’t have wanted to know that reality was my future. The future, was and is….unknown for all of us.

A beautiful unknown that came into my life was my reconnection with my now husband, John Paul. After begging GOD to deliver me out of Florida, He made a way for me to come back to North Carolina. In March of 2020 amidst a global pandemic, I married my husband and was able to go back home.

(You can read our amazing story about finding each other again after ten years and getting engaged after 3 days here or you can watch our incredible story video below)

JP and I had an incredible first year of marriage together. I enjoyed being back home in North Carolina so much. Finally, after all I’d been through, I was back where I belonged. We settled in our home at the base of the mountain and started our life together, him in his career in law enforcement and me running the non profit organization.

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But as life goes, unknowns don’t stop coming.

In December my health started to decline. I spent the last week of 2020 hooked to a breathing machine with o2 in the low 90s/80s, struggling to keep my cortisol levels at baseline and going in and out of adrenal crisis. None of the doctors in North Carolina knew how to handle my care and I declined to a life threatening point extremely quickly. I knew my best chance was to get back to the healthcare in Florida. On January 8, 2021, I mustered all the strength I had and my husband brought me to Florida.

I stayed with my parents and made arrangements for Cleveland Clinic to manage my care. My husband returned to North Carolina with his career in law enforcement with the intention to return to get me when my health stabilized.

Shortly after, I suffered a severe adrenal crisis where my parents found me unconscious. I had the worst headache I’ve ever had in my life that day. I remember fading out and all I can remember is my mom calling and screaming my name. I desperately tried to respond to her but it was like I had morphed into nothingness. All I saw was darkness and I tried to get back to consciousness and follow my mother’s voice.

After my mother administered not one, but two emergency cortisol injections, I returned to life. But after that, my heart struggled from the damage it received from the adrenal crisis and the effects of low cortisol. It was apparent my health returning was not going to happen any time soon.

My husband continued to visit me on the weekends he was off. He would fly in Friday night and leave Sunday afternoon. This was not only financially taxing but also difficult on him physically, not to mention emotionally it was hard to have to let him go over and over again. When your health fails, money doesn’t matter, looks don’t matter, careers don’t even matter. All you want is your loved ones around you. Me being me, never let him see how much it broke my heart to let him go each time. I knew how much his career meant to him, so I said goodbye each time. But the last time I thought he was gone and I turned around to see him still standing at the base of the stairs. He got a full glimpse of my eyes full of tears from my thoughts of “Will I live to see him again” running through my mind.

When he returned to the police department the next day, he put in his resignation. He realized that I was his priority and he wanted to be with me more than he wanted his badge. Ironically, his FTO had told him long before he found me again, “The badge can get you a girl, but a girl can also get your badge.”

He walked away from KPD for me.

Now, we are in the process of moving to Florida. After I prayed so hard GOD would deliver me from here, right back I go. But this time, it’s different. This time, I realized that Florida not only holds the best healthcare for me but also the people I hold dear. My parents, my brother and sister in law and my husband are all here with me.

How in the world could I stay bitter about having to move back when I have so many blessings here?

And that’s the lesson I learned this year. It doesn’t matter WHERE you are, what matters is WHO you have with you. It doesn’t matter WHAT you have, it matters WHO you have in your life. Loved ones are the ONLY thing that truly matters. That’s the only thing we can take with us after this life is over, the people we love.

My husband has taken a huge leap of faith in being with me. He left his career and comfort zone behind to start over in Florida. My prayer is that he finds another law enforcement position and my health stabilizes so we can enjoy a beautiful life together. But if not, I have been so incredibly blessed with an abundance of love from family and friends. If my health never gets better, I will still have lived a life full of joy and laughter.

Here’s to embracing the unknown!

Hebrews 13:5-6

 Let your manner of living be without covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have. For He hath said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee”; so that we may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”

Even though this is cheesy, I feel this song is so fitting for what I am trying to say.

Keep fighting the good fight, friends ❤

Love, Win

A heart in two places, be careful what you wish for.

“Be careful what you wish for you, ‘cause you just might get it all.”

I always heard that saying and thought it didn’t exactly make sense. Why would you not want what you wish for?

I wished, pleaded and begged God to get me out of Florida. 

In January of this year, all that I wished for, and even some things that I didn’t, came true.

I permanently moved back to my home state of North Carolina.

My wish came true.

But with my wish, came with the unstable state of the world within the tragedy of the Corona virus.

The irony was I now couldn’t easily get back to the place I avoided so long.

Florida was where my healthcare and my family remained, but traveling back and forth from NC was not so easy anymore.

I found myself remembering that quote…be careful what you wish for….

As many times as I wished I’d never see Florida again….I found myself eating those words…….

Due to healthcare reasons, I have spent the last two weeks in Florida. I get the help I need there to manage my medullary sponge kidney and addison’s disease. I have seen a marked difference in the standard of care. Cleveland Clinic has continuously not only saved my life but helped me find better quality of life, unlike the health care system in NC that completely missed what was wrong with me.

I started seeing the place I hated so much in a different light.  Florida was where I was my sickest, but it’s also where I rebuilt myself.  I always hated Florida for what it took from me, but now I see that It gave me many things too.

Florida gave me time with my family as an adult I wouldn’t have had otherwise. In my time during my bedridden days, I got to know the people who raised me not only as my parents, but also my friends. 

Florida gave me the chance to learn things I never would have had I not gotten sick. My books, my true passion for writing would never have been awakened had I not been forced to recover from my near fatal adrenal crisis.

All of the computer skills and things that I use in my new career, I learned because I was homebound in Florida.

Florida gave me the chance to establish my nonprofit organization, Adrenal Alternatives Foundation because it showed me a deficit in the world I never knew existed. It showed me how many adrenal disease patients were suffering without answers or hope. The 501c3 was born in the midst of my struggles in Florida.  

Florida allowed me to become the woman I am now. My purpose has never been clearer.

My hatred for Florida has turned into an appreciation for what it taught me.   

Now, the irony is, due to health I am considering moving back to FL to run the nonprofit and also try to regain enough quality of life to finish my medical training. My dream is to become a healthcare professional that treats rare diseases and places adrenal patients on the cortisol pump.

Be careful what you wish for, ‘cause you just might get it all.

My husband has graciously suggested that we move back to FL until my health and quality of life improves. We have been a part quite a bit since our marriage began in March due to my medical treatments here and him having to stay behind for his job.

My best-case scenario is that we retain the NC property we purchased together earlier this year and are able to move to NC permanently for our older years.

All I know is that GOD has guided my steps, even when I couldn’t see the path ahead of me. When I went to NC in January, I had no idea what I was going to do. I just knew I was moving back to NC.

GOD prepared a life for me. He gave me a new home, a new husband and a new life. Now I just have to trust that He will continue to guide me into His next steps for my life.

My prayer is that he keeps my marriage strong and focused on him. I pray he allows my health to improve so much that I can get back into my medical schooling. I pray that he allows the foundation to grow so it helps people and they do not suffer as I have.

May we all walk into the doors GOD opens for us. ❤

Love, Win

The closest thing to magic…

Anyone with a debilitating chronic health condition can tell you how much of a nightmare life can be. Couple that with the current insane state of the world struggling with the injustices happening and the drama of the upcoming election added to the COVID pandemic, it’s just a recipe to lose your mind.

Oh, and I picked the greatest time in history to become a police wife……

But honestly, I am at the most peace I have ever been. I know that sounds crazy with the dumpster fire that 2020 has been, but really, I have a peace I’ve never known before in the new life I’ve found this year.

This year, I was able to move back to my home state of North Carolina after 5 long years in Florida. I also married an incredible man and we purchased a little home and 2.5 acres in the mountains of North Carolina.

I had always grown up in the evangelical culture, that taught women that they literally existed to serve a man and how they needed to fulfill the feminine roll of housewife, cook, mother,etc.

Then when I went to college and into the real world and heard the mindset of the modern independent woman, who didn’t need a man and honestly was better off without them.

It wasn’t until I met my husband that I began to fully understand how amazing it is when two people who are compatible work together to create a better life for themselves. My husband and I literally make each other better people. His strengths overshadow my weaknesses and my strong points cover his deficits. We diligently try our best to put each other first. I’ve never known a relationship like this one and I am so thankful it’s the one I chose permanently.

With my health and the current state of the world, our marriage has already faced difficult challenges. But I truly believe we were put together to battle these things side by side. His career in law enforcement, my health and COVID19 have only made us stronger.

I think love is the closest thing we have to magic in this world.

And in a way, love is magic. It can make the hard things seem easier, the work load seem lighter and the world be a little less depressing.

Even more magical, at the biggest weight I’ve ever been thanks to my health and steroids, I don’t feel any less beautiful. My husband accepts me for exactly who I am, weight, surgical scars and all….

In my fairytale, I might be double chinderella, but I think I found my happily ever after.

So don’t give up if you are struggling……..it’s always the darkest before dawn. Your better days are ahead.<3

Wishing you hope, healing & happiness.

Love, Win

Special thanks to Sweet Moments Photography for this amazing photo session!

Loving someone who the World hates- A Police Wife’s Perspective

With the COVID-19 pandemic precipitating the injustice of George Floyd’s death, the state of America is troubling.
I picked a fine time to marry a police officer. This is the perspective from a police wife.

 Loving someone who the world hates.

While my LEO hubby was asleep, I had this horrible dream about him getting injured in the protests that are happening in our town right now.
I woke up in tears, afraid for his life…knowing in a few hours he would wake up and go back into protecting this dangerous world who seems to hate him just because he is in law enforcement.
I watched my husband sleep and clung to him as I choked back tears.
Then I realized I had to be strong for him. He has to go do his calling in this world. My husband was called to protect and serve and that is exactly what he does every single day he puts on his uniform. 
I see how much he cares for this community. I saw the anguish in his reaction when he watched the video of George Floyd’s arrest.
I saw how one bad action could truly impact the world for darkness and evil.
If only one act of courage, love or virtue could have that strong of an effect.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”― Edmund Burke 
I watched the world go from supporting first responders as heroes to immediately hating them as enemies.
I watched my husband become a target, simply for doing what he believes he’s been called to do.
I absolutely understand that there should be outrage for what happened to George Floyd.
I absolutely understand that racism has NO place in America and we need to do everything we can to support and empower all races. Black lives DO matter.
What I do not understand however is how threatening the lives of police officers and their families somehow fixes this injustice?  
I have personally received death threats simply because I am married to a police officer.
There have been many police officers injured and some even killed simply because of a bad man, who, by the way should not even have the title of officer, because TRUE BLUE doesn’t do what he did.
I don’t know what the answer for fixing America is right now. But I can tell you it isn’t more hate. It isn’t more killing. It isn’t more divisiveness.
I stand with my black brothers and sisters. I have no idea what it is like to be a person of color and I will do whatever I can to make sure equality is available to all races.
I also stand with the thin blue line. True blue sees their job not only as a work position but as a calling to protect and serve. They would not do and would NEVER condone what that Minneapolis officer did.
My husband is a police officer.
He helps get children out of abusive situations.
He keeps illicit fentanyl and illegal drugs out of our community.
He helps car accident victims and makes sure they are transferred to EMS.
He makes sure traffic still goes on when stoplights break or lose power.
He keeps pedophiles out of school zones and away from children.
He investigates every frantic call he receives from a citizen.
He would literally lay down his life to protect and serve. And most, if not all in his PD would do the same.

But more importantly, he comes home to me.

Being a police officer is part of who he is, but it isn’t ALL of who he is. I think people have forgotten the humanity behind all this.
My officer is also a husband, a son, a church member and a bus ministry worker.
I can honestly say I fully trust the staff at his PD, because they see their work as a higher calling.
Yes, there are bad police officers, as there are bad people in every occupation.
Yet I realize that is not an excuse for what happened to George Floyd.
But take heart that there ARE good police officers out there with big hearts who do care.
I will close with this video,
When Louis Armstrong released his song, What a Wonderful World, he remarks about how he was asked how people can see this terrible world as beautiful. His response was astonishing and still fitting for this current age.
“Seems to me it ain’t the world that’s so bad but what we’re doing to it, and all I’m saying is: see what a wonderful world it would be if only we’d give it a chance.
The world isn’t so bad, it’s what we’re doing to it.
So, I challenge all who read this. What are you doing in your world?
We may not be able to fix the whole world, but we can make a difference in ours.

Love one another.  End Racism.  Support your fellow man. Be Kind.

Be the GOOD you want to see in the world.

Wishing you hope, healing & happiness,
-Win
proudPW (2)

Should you be wearing a mask during this pandemic?

Should you be wearing a mask during this pandemic?

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The following content used in this article are opinions based on research done by Winslow E. Dixon and not to be used to give advice. All content is owned and licensed by Winslow E. Dixon. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited, however social media sharing is encouraged.

The 2020 Corona Virus pandemic has struck up a debate on whether masks should be worn or not. With the mounting fears of catching this new, scary, unknown virus, the CDC and WHO have recommended wearing masks. But with the new reports of how this virus is still prominent despite social distancing, the shut down of businesses and restaurants, it begs the question- are masks even effective? This article will tackle that tough question.

First, let’s review the different types of mask options.

Medical Grade Masks

These masks are reportedly the “strongest” protection available. They are made from synthetic polymer fibers and must be approved by a governing authority such as  the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)  to classify for medical grade air filtration.

Examples of medical grade masks are:

Korea 1st class (Korea KMOEL – 2017-64)

DS2 (Japan JMHLW-Notification 214, 2018)

N95 (United States NIOSH-42CFR84)

FFP2 (Europe EN 149-2001)

KN95 (China GB2626-2006)

P2 (Australia/New Zealand AS/NZA 1716:2012)

The statement below is directly from the CDC regarding the use of medical grade masks,

“A surgical N95 (also referred as a medical respirator) is recommended only for use by healthcare personnel (HCP) who need protection from both airborne and fluid hazards (e.g., splashes, sprays). These respirators are not used or needed outside of healthcare settings.”

 

These masks are used in critical healthcare settings and also used to prevent chemical exposure in jobs such as textile manufacturing and those which result in toxic chemical exposure.

 

 

Unlike cloth and surgical masks, medical grade masks must go through the following testing:

 

 

Filter performance – the filter is evaluated to measure the reduction in concentrations of specific aerosols in air that passes through the filter.

 

Test agent – the aerosol that is generated during the filter performance test.

 

Total inward leakage (TIL) – the amount of a specific aerosol that enters the tested respirator facepiece via both filter penetration and faceseal leakage, while a wearer performs a series of exercises in a test chamber.

 

Inward leakage (IL)– the amount of a specific aerosol that enters the tested respirator facepiece, while a wearer performs a normal breathing for 3 minutes in a test chamber. The test aerosol size (count median diameter) is about 0.5 micro meter.

 

Pressure drop – the resistance air is subjected to as it moves through a medium, such as a respirator filter.”

 

Source: 3M Technical Bulletin May, 2020 Revision 3

 

You do not need a medical grade mask unless you are in an active healthcare situation where you will be in direct, close contact with infectious diseases, body fluids or chemical toxins.

 

 

What about other types of masks?

 

 

It has been amazing to see people all over the world take to their sewing machines again to create unique, cloth masks in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  But there has been much debate on whether these homemade masks are even effective in the spread of this virus.

 

Surgical masks are cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to protect against large droplets of bodily or hazardous fluids and are designed to provide protection from airborne emissions.

These masks are not designed for protection against small airborne particles and are not considered respiratory protection.

 

According to the CDC, when used in conjunction with safe practices such as social distancing, handwashing and proper hygiene practices, both cloth and surgical masks are believed to reduce the risk of exposure to large airborne pathogens.

 

However, a study released by Annals of Internal Medicine stated the following regarding the effectiveness of cloth and surgical masks.

 

“The authors in the conclusion stated that surgical and cotton masks seem to be ineffective in preventing the dissemination of SARS-CoV-2 from the coughs of patients with COVID-19 to the environment and external mask surface, but this statement should be complemented by a clear declaration that the samples were taken at a distance of only 20 cm and that these test results do not refer to the possibility of reducing infections.”

 

They also stated:

 

“The authors acknowledge, “We do not know whether masks shorten the travel distance of droplets during coughing”. Although microaerosolization may not be effective with non-N95, a physical mask barrier should impede any large droplet secretions. A more adequately powered study should support the effectiveness of masks (cloth or surgical) in combination with social distancing and handwashing to decrease viral loads.”

 

 

This seems to be conflicting information. If cloth and surgical masks cannot protect against direct exposure, why is the CDC suggesting we wear them?

 

A hilarious retort to that very question is the “Pee On you, Wear a Mask” argument.

PeeMask

The concept of this idea compares the idea of wearing masks to that of wearing pants. If someone pees on you, you still get peed on but if you are wearing pants, you are more protected from the urine than you would be without pants on. Hence, if you are sneezed on with a mask on by someone with a virus, you will be more protected than you would be without the mask. Basically, you still get sneezed on but you are protecting yourself more with a mask than without it.

 

Bottom line, should you wear a mask?

 

The choice is up to you.

 

But there is no justice in acting like a jerk and making some political spectacle of yourself if you choose NOT to wear a mask or if you DO choose to wear a mask.

 

No one can MAKE you do anything, however, common sense and respect go a long way.

 

This pandemic has caused massive suffering. People have died. Businesses have been lost. Weddings and graduations have been cancelled. Birthing mothers cannot have their own mothers by their side during labor. Cancer patients are facing chemo treatments alone. Loved ones can no longer be at bedsides during hospital admissions. Masks are such a small piece of this horrible puzzle, please be kind.

If you choose not to wear a mask, be respectful of those who do and vice versa.

 

Stay Safe. Stay Sane.

 

This too shall pass.

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All content and images used on this site are owned or licensed by Winslow E. Dixon. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.
© 2020 Winslow E. Dixon: Inspire Fire ©

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

 

https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/1791500O/comparison-ffp2-kn95-n95-filtering-facepiece-respirator-classes-tb.pdf

 

http://cnse.gov.cn:8080/userfiles/792e4c4686f142d8934c11730ec979d9/files/teckSolution/2019/06/EN149%2BA1-2009Respiratoryprotectivedevices-Filteringhalfmaskstoprotectagainstparticles.pdf

 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/respirator-use-faq.html

 

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/pdfs/UnderstandDifferenceInfographic-508.pdf

 

https://healthnewshub.org/health-news-hub/top-news/cloth-mask-vs-surgical-mask-vs-n95-how-effective-is-each/

 

https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-1342

 

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/pdfs/UnderstandDifferenceInfographic-508.pdf

Adrenal Insufficiency 101: A Patient’s Guide to Managing Adrenal Insufficiency

When someone has adrenal insufficiency, they are faced with the task of not only replacing a life-sustaining hormone, but also replicating a failed body system. Artificially managing cortisol is a complex task and is vital to quality of life. An adrenal patients personal cortisol needs may differ from day to day depending on physical, emotional and environmental stressors. This book is a patient’s guide to managing adrenal insufficiency.

 

This book is a collaborative project of the Adrenal Alternatives Foundation, Inc.

There is so much false information on the truth of adrenal disease. I become so weary of seeing post after post on social media of how adrenal patients are not only misunderstood, but also mistreated due to the ignorance on the truth of adrenal insufficiency.

This disease is an absolute nightmare. It is NOT a take a pill and go live a normal life experience for most.

This book contains factual information backed up by credible medical sources, patient surveys and personal testimonies of real adrenal patients.

This book contains the following:

Chapter 1:Understanding the Adrenals 

Introduction

Terms to Know

Adrenal Conditions/Diseases

Symptoms

Diagnostics

Standard Treatment for Adrenal Insufficiency

Steroid Equivalent Dose Conversion Chart

 

Chapter 2:Managing Life with Adrenal Insufficiency 

Exercise

Nutrition

Weight

Mindset

Alternative Options

 

Chapter 3:For Family Members/Caregivers/Spouses 

Basic Necessities

Managing an Adrenal Crisis

Emergency Medical Protocols

 

Chapter 4:Critical Care 

Patient Perspective VS Outdated Research

Emergency Room Guidelines

Surgical Guidelines

 

Chapter 5:The Cortisol Pump 

Subcutaneous Cortisol Injections

What is the Cortisol Pump

How to Start the Cortisol Pumping Method

Pre-pump Lab Assessments

Establishing a Pumping Care Plan

Life with the Cortisol Pump

 

Chapter 6:Miscellaneous Care Concerns 

Blood Donation

Pregnancy

Alcohol

Cannabis and CBD

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

 

Chapter 7:Conclusion

Adrenal Alternatives Foundation

Sources/References

About the Author

Dedications

It’s time the truth of adrenal disease was told.

Choices and Change

In my last blog, I wrote about how I abruptly got married because of this quarantine COVID chaos, which left me stranded in North Carolina unable to return to Florida.

I don’t think the word “timing” could be any more appropriate for my life right now.

I begged God to get me out of Florida, and in some weird twisted irony, now I can’t return.

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This is the last time I saw my family who lives there. We took a family picture the day before me and J.P left for NC.

My intention was to bring my car back to NC and have it here for our wedding shower, then I was to return to Florida until our wedding in May.  But then this COVID-19 pandemic started.

Closed state borders, everyone wearing masks, letters of “essential” necessity…….

The world flipped upside down overnight.

Never in this world did I think I wouldn’t be able to return to Florida. I only came up here with a suitcase packed for two weeks.

And now I live here in NC with my husband.

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Where we live is absolutely beautiful. I am completely in love with my life right now.

MINUS this Corona Chaos. 

Reminds me of the Quote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times!”

This world is chaotic, crazy and honestly kind of scary. I do miss my family and it bothers me I don’t know when I will see them again. But I am so thankful to have my wonderful husband and his really supportive mother by my side too.

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This is what love in the Quarantine looks like.

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Isaiah 26:3-4 (KJV)

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.

 

I have no idea when I will be able to return to Florida to see my family or get my stuff. So until then, I’ll be living in the same pairs of clothes I’ve been wearing for weeks, sewing homemade masks to donate and being thankful GOD delivered me out of Florida and gave me a wonderful husband.

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Life is what we make it people, we can chose to either GO through hard times or GROW through hard times. I want to learn whatever lesson God has for me in this season.

 

Let’s keep our minds on CHRIST instead of the CHAOS!

We literally have the greatest opportunity to slow down and cherish the little things and the people around us. That’s what really matters in this life.

So let’s take this time to focus on the important things, become better people and learn to cherish the little moments.

I truly believe GOD is giving us a wake up call. He is giving us a chance to slow down and think….listen….and believe in HIM.

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I’m pasting this song because it’s truly how I feel right now. Even in this chaos, I have all I need. My parents are alive and well, my brother and sister in law are safe with them and I am here living with my wonderful husband and his mom.

Blessed beyond measure. Even with COVID-19 looming around, my heart is full.

“I found all I’ve waited for, and I could not ask for more”

 

 

Stay strong, my friends….this Corona Virus won’t last forever. 

 

Love,

Win

Quarantine & Matrimony

I am ashamed to admit that in my 27 years of life, I thought I’d experienced every scary thing possible. I knew what it was like to lose my home, my health, all my money, my career and everyone I’ve ever loved at one point or another. I stupidly thought I was a seasoned pro at whatever life could throw at me. I was invincible! There was NOTHING left to fear. I’ve been through it all.

PLOT TWIST~ I had actually not…..

This Corona Virus hysteria has shown me otherwise. I think those of us who go through scary, life altering circumstances can sometimes get an arrogance that we’ve seen the worst to nothing can really shake us.

But in truth, all humans….sick and well alike….go through things we aren’t prepared for. 

I was not prepared for COVID-19, nor John Paul Jackson to ask me to marry him.

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As I wrote in my previous blog. I have been pining to get out of Florida pretty much since the moment I left NC.

Well folks, I finally made it home. But NOT with the circumstances I thought.

Visiting my fiance, I got stuck in North Carolina because of the travel restrictions and the quarantine mandates. It’s like the whole world suddenly shut down around me and for the first time in years, I am separated from my blood family. My parents, Joshua and Rachael (brother and sister in law) are currently in Florida. I am in North Carolina.  Now mind you, had this corona virus NOT been a factor….that’d have thrilled me to death. But knowing I cannot get back to them scares me. It is also scary that I only have the pump and supplies I brought with me, having a weird medical situation on the cortisol pump I cant exactly access what I need easily….much less in another state….then add in the Corona hysteria…..it’s scary times to have a rare disease treated by a rare protocol.

 

And on top of all that……JP and I had to make the tough call to cancel our wedding. 

 

Since I got stuck in NC, we made the decision to go ahead and get married so I could live with him. (You know, being a baptist pastors daughter and all…shacking up is just one of the most evil sins I could ever commit) LOL  (Remind me do do another blog post on how legalistic mandates of religious beliefs do impact peoples choices….but ANYWAY)

 

The video below is our Courthouse Wedding.

 

Not what I wanted….not the way we planned….but hey…..God blesses what he puts together….and I know he gave me to John Paul Jackson.

Even in the midst of this chaos, he has given me a peace I’ve never had before. I know even if the world goes to hell around me, he will do ALL he can to keep me not only safe..but also happy.  I have never felt so secure, so loved and so at peace with another human. Marrying a godly, Christian man was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I love John Paul. He is truly the other half of my soul.

Sidenote- Ya’ll pray for me cause I am terrible at this housewife thing….I already melted a pair of his dress pants in the dryer. Who knew that was possible?  I literally MELTED pants??

 

 

So, my crazy self started a marriage during this chaos.  But you know what…..these times are hard and uncertain for everyone. All we can do is trust that the LORD will take care of His own. Throughout history there have been crazy, unforseen circumstances like these. There are no surprises to our GOD.

We are to rest in the shadow of his wings.

Psalm 17:7-10 King James Version (KJV)

Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them.Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.

 

We might all be freaking out over catching some scary virus, being stuck at home and being far away from our loved ones, but GOD is still in control.

We can take this time to be filled with Fear or to be filled with Faith.

I want to choose faith over fear.

 

 

Love, Win

( Jackson 😉   )

God’s Plot Twist

SURPRISE!   😀

If you’re reading this. You’re probably thinking IS SHE FOR REAL?

Well, yes….and I’m going to explain……

As I wrote in my previous blog, January was the straw that broke the camels back for me in Florida. I have been miserable there for years and finally it culminated to the point where I knew I had to leave to save my life.

I truly felt the strongest, gut feeling I’ve ever had that GOD was leading me back to North Carolina. So on January 17, 2020 I boarded an Allegiant flight back home. Little did I know it would lead me to something I couldn’t have ever even dreamed of.

In GOD’s amazing timing, my brother and sister in law (who truck drive) were scheduled to be in King, NC the same week I was.

I was really in a bad mental place with defeat and depression. I’m not going to lie, I was jaded…I hated men because of what the ones I’d dated had done. I was not in a great mindset.

Watching my little brother and his wife sweetened my bitter spirit. I saw how my once little, immature brother became a provider and a protector not only to my sister in law, but to me as well. I saw how his marriage positively affected him and made him a better person. I saw how Rachael and Joshua cared for one another and helped each other.

Josh and I had many conversations that week. But one in particular changed my life forever. He told me he was praying for GOD to send me a husband. I immediately scoffed at the idea and went into my usual rant of how I didn’t need a man and was fine by myself.

“Sis, it’s such an amazing thing when you find someone who was made for you. It makes life so much easier. You deserve that and as much as you say you don’t want it, I am praying GOD sends someone to you.”  He told me.

“Good men don’t exist Josh. Men are trash. No one wants to protect and provide anymore. I’m fine by myself.” I told him.

His conversation stuck in my mind and watching he and Rachael interact that whole week really got me thinking. For the first time in my life, I began praying for a godly husband. I prayed the LORD would send me His match for me. I prayed he would let me leave Florida. I prayed He would open the doors He wanted me to walk through.

It came time for Joshua and Rachael to get back on the road. I’d never tell them this, but I cried when they left. I needed their presence so much after the trauma and decided I wasn’t quite ready to go back to Florida.

My godmother invited me to stay with her. I left King and headed to Enochville to stay with her.

During this time, I was completely off social media. As a writer, I tend to be dramatic and sometimes I’m a little to verbal online so I decided to back away for a bit.

I decided it would be a good idea for me to start over. I stared a new instagram account. My new instagram was going to be dedicated to advocacy on Addison’s disease.  And that’s where the story gets interesting……

When I checked it, I noticed I had a follower I recognized.  It was the first guy I ever dated in Bible college (Pensacola Christian College).

I met this guy in Florida ten years ago my freshman year of college. He was originally from Virginia and I, of course lived in NC.

When we were young, we had the same history class and used to study together. We always liked each other but he didn’t return to school the second semester. We kept in touch here and there when we both left PCC. He even visited the church my dad pastored at one time.  But life happened and I moved to Florida and we lost contact.

I hadn’t seen or spoken to this guy in years….and me…..being me….immediately messaged him and was like HEEYYYYY is that you?

We started messaging on instagram and talked the whole day.

“You still in Virginia?”

“Naw.” He said.  “I moved to a small town in NC.”

“Oh really, where at?”

“King.” He replied.

“Wow, I was JUST THERE….”

 

We agreed to hangout on his next day off. He drove all the way from King to Enochville (which was an hour and a half)  to meet me.

Like I said, I was pretty jaded by men at this point so I was extremely hesitant to even meet with him. I had always liked him in college but was anxious to see him. I knew I looked completely different than I did at 18. I wondered if he would be disgusted by the effects Addison’s disease has had on me. Would he expect the same healthy 18 year old girl he once knew?

But something inside me convinced me that this was a good idea anyway. I may not be the pretty, healthy 18 year old I was…..but I was a strong, stubborn woman with a lot to still offer.  Plus, I was excited to catch up with someone who I knew so many years ago.

He came to pick me up at my godmother’s house and I specifically asked her husband, Mack to meet this man. I, apparently, am a terrible judge of character and I was tired of being around awful men. I decided I would have any male interaction screened by people who were good judges of character.

When he opened the door, I saw the same brown eyes I used to see while we studied at school, but I also saw how he’d evolved into a grown man. He was dressed nicely with a gun strapped to his side. I watched him talk with my godparents and saw how much he’d matured.

Then we went to lunch to catch up. I was extremely nervous the whole time. Our electricity we had in college was still apparent. I laughed and enjoyed our conversations, but kept my guard up,  But our connection was immediately apparent. We talked like we hadn’t been separated for ten years.

I decided to test him to see how he would treat me. I asked him to take me to my Aunt’s house to see my grandma…If a man will do that….He’s into you…….

And he did.

When we got there, I introduced him as my friend and just visited with my family. My grandmother, God bless her…..told him I was the ONLY granddaughter she had that wasn’t married and also that I was “barren.”   Great first impressions after being apart for so long……not…….

My toddler cousins Emma and Cayson were there too and he played with them. Cayson took to him immediately. So much to the point he followed him into the bathroom. He laughed it off and continued to play with him.

After we visited grandma, we went to a local park to sit and talk. We talked about the last ten years of our lives and the time seemed to just fly by.

I had a dinner planned with some of the Dixons that night, so I invited him to join. We all went to a local BBQ place and just hung out. We had a good time swapping stories and visiting.

That whole day seemed like we’d never even been separated at all. We talked just like old friends and seeing him be so good with my family amazed me.

When he drove me back to my godmother’s house at the end of the night, he told me he considered me the “one that got away” and wanted us to see each other again.

Now, mind you, I was in a mindset that men were absolute trash at this point. But my brother’s example and conversation we had resounded in my mind. I had watched this man’s actions all day and decided I should consider seeing him again.

But, I didn’t tell him that. In my snarky, Winslow way….. I was like

“Dude, why now?  After ten years you just expect me to immediately come back into your life?”  I explained to him how this year I promised myself I’d watch actions and not hear words.

“Let me show you with my actions then.” He told me. “Let me see you again?”

I didn’t answer him and sent him on his way. He left back for King and I had a lot to think about that night.  I planned to go to the other side of the state the next day with someone from my past. I laid there that night thinking of everything that had happened that day and about my memories with this man in the past.

I made the decision to stay in Winston Salem so I could see him again. I would be guarded and see if this man could really be a good one.

I agreed to let him take me to dinner on his next day off. I grilled him with every question I could think of. I showed him the scars from my disease, told him about all the trauma and fully expected him to walk away. But he didn’t.

My time in NC was growing short and I told him I had responsibilities I had to get back to in Florida. I had explained to him how much I hated Florida and how hard it has been. I told him how I hadn’t felt at home in years and how I was determined that in 2020 I would go home again.

“I’m not exactly sure where home is or even what home is, but I’m going to find it.” I tearfully explained.

“I want to give you that home. I want you to feel safe, provided for and protected.” He responded.

And in a booth at ihop in Winston Salem we decided to get married.

Introducing the engagement of John Paul Jackson and Winslow Elizabeth Dixon.

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All I’ve been through….all the loss….all the trauma….all the struggle has led me to this moment in my life.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

I knew GOD would open the doors He wanted me to walk through!   PRAISE be to GOD, Great things He Hath done!

 

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Sometimes, the darkness can show you the light.

 

 

GOD IS FAITHFUL ya’ll!   Don’t give up.

 

Love, Win