"Living Sustainable Earth Stewardship"

VTGW began as a small, mom owned & operated venture, with many ideas of how to offer consumers what they are seeking. With many changes necessary for growth, natural ingredients bath & body products continue to be the main focus of VTGW. A recent addition of featuring farmer's market vendors, emphasizing the support of the Local Movement, will be highlighted weekly. Striving to provide all Earth patrons with what YOU are seeking, VTGW is your destination. Enjoy the journey!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

And the Phoenix Will Rise, Part One

Barbi's Beauty Basics Sampler Pack

After a severe time delay in launch, which I refuse to label this delay as failure to launch, here I am.  Telling you my story and how this came to be that I am coming back into soap making and sharing my craft with the world (be it on the small scale at this time in my life).
I embarked on a spring detox, using a simple tea formula consisting of four herbs: Burdock Root, Turkey Rhubarb, Sheep Sorrel, and Slippery Elm Bark.  As I have done this in the past (granted its been about 6 yrs to do so), having the experience and herbal knowledge I've acquired (earned!) over the years, I went ahead and set out to cleanse my system.  Mind you, I've either been pregnant or breastfeeding in the last 6 yrs, so I was eating for nutritional value not only pertaining to my own body and immune system but for the health of my boys (who will be focus of another post here later on). 
And so I dove into the detox pool.  I usually wait until the Vernal (spring) Equinox to do so, but as I'd been experiencing extremely dry skin on my hands, and a chemical burn (which I suspected but didn't resign to) to boot, I started a week early.  I had it in my mind I could kick this skin thing, participated in a "Increase Your Water" challenge with a college friend at the same time, and had high hopes for a good result in the end.  Little did I know the adventure I was about to embark upon.
Within one week, using salves that I make as well, my dry/chemically irritated skin went from my fingers/back of my left hand up to my forearms.  No sweat, I thought. Maybe its something else.  Google University.....yeah.....remember that wonderful week in March we had here in Vermont?  Fabulous sun and great temps?  My son, Tristan (4yrs) and I spent huge amounts of time outside, full sun, working in the gardens.  Great idea?  Mmmmm....maybe not.  After a week of basking in the glow and feeling energized internally, my external shell was on fire. What had seemed so simple to possibly take care of on my own was like a wildfire out of control.  And I was still detoxing. 

March 22, 2012
The morning of the date above, I woke up, realized I was out of options as to self treating.  I didn't want to be a baby about going to the Emergency Room but I couldn't keep doing what I was doing; and good thing I didn't wait any longer. 

March 22, 2012
After a couple of hrs in the ER (go figure, as most people know it can take half your day just to be seen for something non-emergent, according to med staff), I was diagnosed with a possible allergic reaction to one or more of the herbs in my detox tea (which I actually figured out [Google University] on my own @ home and stopped taking the tea), and a possible photosensitive reaction to the salves I was using for itching/burning/peeling relief (or would that be no relief?).  A call to Dermatology got me in to see them within 30 mins of the call (yeah, someone was looking out for me that day), and upon discharge from the ER, I went to my first derm appt.

March 22, 2012
Within 5 mins of questions, it was confirmed on the allergic reaction AND photosensitivity.  Two herbs (that fit description for allergic reaction) were culprit to my situation.  Sheep Sorrel (in the detox tea) and Lavender (essential oil form in the salves I made and was using on my skin at the time I was out playing in the sun for a week).  I was stunned.  I didn't think this would happen to me; I'm educated in herbs, why didn't it occur to me that this can happen to ME?  I know folks who are allergic to Chamomile, Calendula, you name it.  I've created soaps for people who have allergies to certain herbs.  Sitting for a moment, alone in the exam room, I realized: this can happen to anyone, even me.

With scripts for Prednisone and Hydrocortisone cream you can't get over the counter, I went home to start my healing process.  I kept with the increase in my fluids, turned to juicing to help detox my system of all the craziness that was now going on with it, and wondered what the next step in my life would be and where was it going to take me.  That's when the "barn burner" of an idea struck me and I knew right then and there, no turning back for me.  Its like being at the bottom and the only way you can go from there is up.