Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Review

So here it is: It is the last day of 2008.

Favorite Memories from 2008

1. Going to the Outerbanks for a mini vacation
2. Going to two CF Walks and both where I got to meet up with Tricia and Nathan
3. Going to a Carolina game and seeing the basketball Museum.
4. Going to Western Carolina for Alumni Band & Football game (where we actually won).
5. Got to hang out with Kellie twice this year.
6. Got to meet the director of Under Our Skin and see the movie on the big screen.
7. Climbed TWO lighthouses!
8. Helped a family in their time of need.
9. Reunited online with friends from Elementary School, Middle School, High School, and College Days (and even some old friends from work). I can't wait until some of these reunions can be made in person just like I got to do with Kellie! :o)

Some Health things that happened in 2008:

1. I got a PICC line on July 17, 2008
2. My blood was looked at under a really cool microscope.
3. The crazy itching time. I finally figured out why.
4. I had problems with the PICC.
5. I fell and hurt my wrist.
6. Started an experimental treatment in May of 08.

My goal last year was to reconnect with those that I had lost and smile at least once every day. I achieved that goal. This year? I want to continue on with that plan. :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Coming soon

Coming soon to a blog near you will be photos of my favorite Christmas Ornaments. :o)

Last year this time, I was frustrated with my health. I was extremely frustrated because I was on all these medications and they were not helping at all. In fact, I believe that in many ways they made me worse. It hurt to walk and I fell all the time. I can not even count the number of times I fell down my steps ... ripped my pants ... had to come back inside to change clothes before I went to work. Nor can I count the number of times I got sick in the middle of the night for 3 to 4 hours. I was miserable.

I am so blessed to have gotten better. Here is the video/song I listened to on my worst days. I was sure that God would have reached down to take my pain away. I knew I needed patience. I had it. And He took my pain away.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

11 months ago

Here is my post from January 26, 2008

my thoughts
Current mood: contemplative

I have spent this last year thinking about the transformation of my past to the person I have become. If you knew me back in the 90's, you know that I have changed quite a bit on both the inside and the outside. From my perspective, I was very unhappy with a lot of things on the outside which made me struggle with the emotions on my inside.

If my diagnosis had happened a few years ago, I would have quit my job and stayed at home to wallow in my misery. However, times have changed. While I have had days at the beginning where Lyme ruled my life, I made a decision a couple months ago to not let it overwhelm me anymore. As my 32nd birthday approaches, I realize that I don't want it to define me anymore. I don't want to be controlled by my feelings or my illness. I want to be Jennifer and that's all I have ever wanted. So this is the year. 2008 will be awesome. I will reconnect with those that I have lost and smile at least once a day!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Forgiveness part 2

In October, I wrote about forgiveness. Here is the first paragraph of what I wrote:

"The past few weeks I have been thinking about a very complex subject. The issue of forgiveness has been on my mind a lot the last few years and even more so in the last couple of weeks. The very definition of forgiving is the process of letting go resentment. It doesn't necessarily mean that you give absolution to the person that evoked the feelings in the first place. To me, it just means that you are taking a stand to let go of these emotions (whether it's anger, resentment, betrayal or other feelings)."

It dawned on me in all this forgiving that I have been doing for other people that I failed to remember one person that needed forgiveness. Myself. How can I forgive myself for my past wrongdoings? How can I forgive myself for hurting people in the past that may not have even known they were hurt? How can I let this weight off my shoulders be released?

Luke 6:37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.

I am trying to think of those that may have been hurt in the past by my actions or inactions so that I may ask for forgiveness. Though I think those persons that truly know me, they must know that I never intended for any pain to be caused. Unfortunately, they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time and just happened to get the insecure version of me.

Forgive and be forgiven.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Today is the anniversary of a day that holds some wonderful memories for me. Every year on Christmas morning, I would smell bacon & Livermush (and other breakfast delights) being cooked in the kitchen of my grandparent's house. I would hear a "HO HO HO" or two from my Dad and the night before was the night where my brother & I could not go to sleep no matter how hard we tried. I imagine it was in the 15 minutes or so that we did go to sleep that Santa visited b/c we'd take turns going out to the living room to find out if Santa had visited. NOPE. Finally we'd see the tremendous amounts of treasures Santa brought. Some of my favorite gifts over the years were a Cabbage Patch Doll, a grey monkey that I named Jacho, a doll house, and a baby doll that I just loved. I believe I still have Jacho & that baby doll in the closet. I carried Jacho everywhere and until this moment I never even thought that Jacho might need to have a spelling. :o)

Of course my favorite gift ever in my whole life came from my Grandparents. Those of you that know me .. know that the Tarheels rule. They rock my world. Well in 1993, my grandparents gave me a signed T-shirt from the UNC basketball team (the 1993 championship team no less with Eric Montross' signature on it).

So UNC has become an integral part of my Christmas' since forever ago. This year I was surprised with a new UNC shirt and a UNC blanket. Even more surprising, I pretty much awoke to the smell of bacon cooking in the kitchen. It is amazing how far back this smell is taking me.
Gift gifts are great. I love them, but I got two really wonderful gifts this year that are priceless. The first is that of my health. I have been so sick for the last three years that I have little memory of the past few years. So this year I was blessed with better health. The other is that of old dear friends. I have found so many friends this year from the past. Those gifts are just priceless.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

By the time you read this, my husband will have been completely shocked. Today we are headed to my parent's house after a short visit to the doctor's office. Seems like the last few years, we always go to my parent's on Christmas Eve. Then on Christmas Day we go to my Aunt & Uncle's house. This year they are going to Holland for Christmas so we won't be going there on Christmas Day, but we will go there sometime during the Christmas season to visit my Grandfather.

Today is the day where about two months of planning has worked itself out so that my husband would be completely shocked.

So I got him a Wii. His face was priceless, but I was not able to capture the moment on the camera. We had a ball doing the Scavenger Hunt to find it. :o) These are the memories that I will cherish forever.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I am an idiot

I went to Crabtree Valley Mall two days before Christmas. Yes, I finished my present shopping weeks ago and yet I found myself at the mall. I think it took me longer to get into the actual mall and out of the mall than it did for the eating and walking around that I did inside the mall.

*smacks forehead* What idiot does this you ask?

The Lymie that wants to hang out with her other internet Lymie friend when she's in town for her LLMD appointment. I had a great time with Melisa and it really wasn't that bad inside the mall. BUT I need to pull my head out of the sand because when did 1987 come back in style? I so saw some things that teens would have worn in the mid to late 80's. I wanted to tap one girl on the shoulder and say "Hey the 80's called and they want their skirt back." *gasp* But instead I snickered and showed Melisa & Angi. Then I remembered, "Were they even born in 1987?" UH the answer is a resounding no.

Monday, December 22, 2008

PICC insertion

So I have had this thing over 5 months and I have NEVER thought even to youtube it to see what it looks like when they do it. Warning if you are easily disgusted .. do not watch. This young girl also has Lyme Disease and she posted her video so that her Dad who was in Iraq could see what happened to her. ..

So that's what they did to me .. pretty much. I had on sterile head thing and wasn't allowed to look until it was over. Also had something covering my mouth so I wouldn't breathe my germy air in the sterile room.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

no longer miserable

So this picture right here: got me to thinking. Hold that thought. First I must explain that this was in a series of shots that my coworker and I took. This was the third shot and at this point we were laughing quite hard. Now back to my thinking which won't be a very long thought at all. The words to describe said actual thinking will be longer than the actual thought itself. :)

In the past I cried almost every day. I rarely laughed and I certainly didn't do anything silly. I have come to realize that in the last year ... I have come to laugh more, smile more and I am truly happy. :0) Just thought I'd share.

What's more ... I keep finding old friends that I just absolutely love. :o) Can't believe they remember me. I wonder if they remember me as Sad Jennifer .. Just Jennifer .. or Happy Jennifer. Hopefully a wonderful combination of the above. Best Christmas present ever is finding my friends from Elementary School. :o)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Love is (pt 3)

  • High School Lessons

* Love is falling in love with person you least expect and not saying a word until it is too late (10th grade)
* Love is playing a special song at the Skateeum just because you know your best friend loves it.
* Love is keeping someone alive (10th and 12th grade)
* Love is going around the long way around to classes just because you want to catch a glimpse of someone special.
* Love is not getting mad at someone when they puke on you.
* Love is liking someone no matter how they dress (IE Green Sweat Pants & Blue Glasses)

College Lessons

* Love is sending a card to someone. (freshmen year)
* Love is being the only person to show up at a friend's door step when they come home from college (freshmen year)
* Love is holding someone's hand during a seizure. (sophomore - what a funny looking word)
*Love is spending time with the one person that you like even though others don't (Junior Year)
* Love is walking someone back to their room on a daily basis even after you've broken up. (junior year)
* Love is giving hugs to someone you barely know because they are crying.
* Love is giving up the last cheese stick just because you know the other person loves cheese just as much as you do. (senior year)
* If you love someone, don't take them to Subway on a Sunday. (long story - fresh, soph and junior year lesson)
* True love is going to a wedding and realizing you can't spend the rest of your life with the guy you love. (junior year)
* Love is turning down a marriage proposal when you know your parents can't stand the guy (freshman year)
* Love is when your Dad sings a song that has the word "dumb" in it when your ex walks into the restaurant where you are eating on your 21st birthday with your new boyfriend and family. Because of said song, you all go into laughing fits that cause coughing fits that cause you to have to go to the bathroom with peeing fits where you have to walk right by said exboyfriend with new boyfriend in hand.
* Love is buying Real Talkin Bubba Bear late at night because it is the only thing that has made her laugh in days. Turn me right side up (panicked voice). That wasn't such a good idea> I still have Bubba btw in the closet. That day Rob kept asking me what would make me feel better. I insisted that only Bubba would help and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream. Well I don't know what time he went, but he left and went to go get Bubba and CCCDIC. When he returned ... I WAS ASLEEP. Better believe he woke my butt up. haa
* Love is going with the person you love to pick out fashionable glasses or at least some with a little more style than blue or purple frames. :)

Since College Lessons:

* Love is telling someone you love their haircut even when it looks ridiculous (and telling them ten years later that it looked something dreadful upon seeing a picture of said hairstyle).
* Love is flying your future cousin in law first class for the wedding knowing how important it was that she be there.
* Love is fighting with doctors to get a diagnosis other than "it's in her head."
* Love is sending a Christmas Tree to someone you don't know just because you know it will make her day.
* Love making phone calls to important people and telling them how much you love them.
* Love is pulling off a tag on an Angel Tree. Going to the store to buy a car seat for the child on the angel tree and when you go to another store you find the same car seat for much much cheaper ... instead of returning the first car seat .. going back to the Angel Tree and finding another tag that needs a Car Seat.
* Love is putting your life on the line to have a baby that God wants you to have (Nate & Tricia -- now that is love)
* Love is finding old friends and making them new again.
* Love is picking up a friend from a treatment and basically carrying them into their house because they can't walk straight.
* Love is Life; Life is Love; I love all of you reading this.

The Greatest Gift is LOVE.

For all my Love Lesson Teachers: I loved you then and I love you now. Not only for who you are, but for who I was when I was with you. I love you for teaching me so many love lessons.
I had no idea how much you all meant to me then. I do now. Please know that if I knew then what I know now, I would have shared so much more with you. I would have come out of my shell a little earlier and loved a lot more. For now all of you are the beneficiary of all my life lessons. And on one last note, as my friend from elementary school once said to me, "Love is wrapping your arms around another person's neck and not wanting to let go." I would wrap my arms around every single person I know and not let go. For that is truly what love is.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Love is (pt 2)

I moved in between 6th and 7th grade year. It was a tough couple of years for me, but I learned some lessons of love. :)

Middle School Lessons

  • Love is living each day like it's your last (7th grade)
  • Love is writing notes and leaving them in a locker even if you know that person doesn't like you back (7th grade)
  • Love is a boy carrying a girl into the girl's bathroom after she (aka me) was kicked in the nose by said boy (7th grade)
  • Love can be found in patches of 4th leaf clovers
  • Love is not noticing the little things even though you should (raise your hand if you know I don't have my ears pierced. Apparently not my best friend in 7th grade .. she gave me an earring stand for my earrings in 10th grade after we had known each other almost four years).
  • Love is missing the friends that you loved in elementary school. This missing happened every day in 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th grade. Then it diminished from there, but they are always in my heart.
  • Love is telling someone their new glasses look awesome when they are about as dweeby as they come (8th grade)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Love is

Life Lessons on Love that I have learned over the last 32 years. Oddly enough, I learned most of them in elementary school.

Elementary School Lessons:
  • True love is pushing someone on the swing sets even in really really cold weather (Kindergarten)
  • Love can be found in the honey part of the honeysuckle. (1st grade)
  • When you love someone, you open up their ketchup packets for them when they can't. (1st grade).
  • Love is giving someone your last Green M&M because they know it makes you run faster to get to their house (2nd grade)
  • Love is asking the teacher if your friend can sit in the front row because she's short after realizing she couldn't see the chalkboard because see couldn't see that far away.
  • When you love someone, you must allow them to hear you sing out loud at least once. (1985 - We Are The World)
  • Love is sharing the very last pancake at church (3rd grade)
  • Love is the feeling of the wind going through your hair when you're going down a very rusty slide in your Sunday best. Hate is landing in the mud puddle at the bottom of the slide. :) Ooops. (4th grade)
  • Love is removing an Easter Egg out of it's hiding place 2 months after Easter. (4th grade)
  • Love is painting your girl's room blue ... Carolina blue. (again don't remember, but boy it was pretty).
  • When you truly love someone, give them bubble gum machine rings (5th grade)
  • Love is sharing your 'Now & Laters' right NOW instead of waiting for Later. (5th grade)
  • Love is wrapping up a friend's birthday present in "nesting boxes" so that she has to open up 10 packages before getting to the actual gift (5th or 6th grade)
  • Love is not freezing your best friend's bra at an over night sleep over (6th grade)
  • Love is wrapping your arms around another person's neck and not wanting to let go (6th grade)
  • Love is asking "Will you go out with me?" and even when the person says "we're already out," they say it louder ... "NO will you go OUT with me?" (6th grade)
  • Love is inviting a girl to a dance and not yelling at her when she is too shy to do what they were there for ... dance. (um don't remember which year this was er maybe 5th or 6th)
  • Love is holding onto the front bumper of your car after it is being hurled into oncoming traffic of a very busy highway because somehow someway the little brother in the car made it start going backwards. Thanks Dad :)
  • Love is cutting up an old bridesmaid dress to add in a crotch to a dance costume that is way too small (wanna know the story to this one? I believe my 6th grade year of dance our costumes all came in way too small. Mine went below my chest so my mom cut up one of her dresses and cut through the crotch of my dance costume. She then sewed in another crotch so that my dance costume would fit). Thanks Mom. :)
  • Love is searching for a very special acorn for your friend, giving it to her and telling her not to throw it away because it would connect you forever. True love is still having that acorn at 32. (but my bad memory can't remember who gave it to me - if you read this and you gave me that acorn ... I still have it in my jewelry box from when I was a kid along with a bunch of bubblegum rings)
  • Love is hiding in your best friend's attic in order not to move away.
Next Edition of Love: Middle School Lessons.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

5 months ago

I've had my PICC line for five months today. I thought my PICC and I would only be together for a month or two. I've been to the hospital with it once and had several prescriptions written for it to be x-rayed. Fortunately I only had to go back to Rex the one time and they "fixed" the problem.

I am hoping to be able to end this PICC by my birthday, but who knows what God has in store. It's in January that I go for the Chelation Challenge. If my Chelation challenge shows that I have a lot of heavy metals, then I will need vein access more often than a regular IV can give. If my Chelation Challenge shows that I only have a little bit or no heavy metal toxicity, then I can give up my PICC.

I am content with either option as long as Priscilla the PICC stays happy. :)

*lost track of time* said 4 months originally, but DUH July 17 to December 17th is 5 months. (You might be a lymie if)

*tomorrow begins my 3 day post on Love.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A concert

Tonight, I went to a concert. What what you say? Nah not that kind of concert. You should know me by now. I don't do loud noises, light shows and crowds. I went to my Dad's Christmas Concert. I don't go every year because I always seem to have something to do. But this year, I found out the date in advance.

With any luck, Dad will have pulled his 7th and 8th grade students together and they will play my absolute favorite Christmas tune called Santa and the Symphony. It mixes Christmas carols with classical pieces. It's awesome. :)

No This is not my Dad's band nor is that my Dad. :) I just wanted you guys to hear my FAVORITE CHRISTMAS PIECE EVER. :)


I just got back. They did as good of a job as they could. :) I enjoyed myself.

a tiny cold

About a week ago, I was exposed to three major illnesses. I knew that the liklihood that I'd wind up with some form of these was significantly high, but hoped and prayed that they would not come to fruition. Here it is 9 days before Christmas and I wake up with (TMI) the snots and the sore throat. I also have a cough. If this cold goes in the same directions as any other cold I've ever had in the last 4 years, I will be hoarse by Christmas. What a present for my husband.

Please pray that the treatment I had on Saturday will continue to work it's magic and I will not become so sick that I have to "skip" Christmas. I feel GREAT, but my nose and throat and cough. :( Not so happy about that. I have been feeling the 'tickle' in my throat since Thursday or Friday, but the cough didn't start until yesterday ... woke up with the nasty green nose (At least it's Christmas Colors) today and well it seems that fate always has me sick on something I'm really looking forward to *which you'll hear all about tonight*

I'll survive. Always do.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pure Exhausted

Nothing much to say today except that I am pure exhausted. I stayed up way too late watching Survivor and Survivor Reunion show last night. I was ecstatic when Bob won not only the million dollars, but the Sprint Favorite Player $100,000 prize too.

Since my treatment on Saturday, I have noticed that I have a severe headache. I am sure it is just what we Lymies call a "die off reaction," but since I haven't had a massive headache since like July .. it is a bit depressing. :o( Pray that it ends quickly.

10 days till Christmas. :o) I will definately have to get up pictures of my decorations soon. Praise God that I was able to decorate this year. :=)

Good day to all and to all a good night. :}

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Nov 14, 2007

* I am awake and alive after my treatment yesterday. I did sleep through the worst of it. :) Praise God for that. I've taken a few little naps today and gotten some laundry done. I am still having major ear problems, some body swelling, some muscle twitches, some bad headaches, but other than that ... doing pretty good.

*Regularly scheduled post may commence now*

Exactly 13 months ago: this is how I was feeling. I can't believe how much things have changed in 13 months. I am so glad I was feeling ready to take control, but hard to believe that it took 6 months to actually take control after this was posted in Nov. 07.

Health Update Part Deux
Current mood: drained

It's a little disappointing and discouraging to find out instead of marching forward in this fight against tick borne illnesses, I am marching backwards. I've done my crying and now it's time to do my fighting. I will beat this thing and I will not let it take control of my life anymore. Don't quote me on that though because my "mood" might change quickly.

The short version is that I am going on two additional antibiotics while removing one of the antibiotics that I have been taking. I will also add a few supplements that should aid in rising my cortisol levels which are extremely low. The probability that someone with Lyme Disease has other tick borne illnesses are extremely high. I knew that already. Now I have been clinically diagnosed with Babesia and the new antibiotics I have been told are geared to treat Bartonella. So that's the short version.

I talked to three people yesterday after I found out all of this. Two were saying "You can do this" and the third spent two hours on AIM making me laugh just so that I could forget about the diagnosis for while. I thank all three of you because if it weren't for the three of you ... I would not be smiling right now.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

AMT Treatment

For some reason , I scheduled my treatment on a Saturday. I could have been at a Christmas party today or even a UNC basketball game or even a Christmas Carole. Instead, I chose to give up my Saturday for this treatment.

I start the treatment 9:30 North Carolina time. It will probably end Noon and I will be out of it for the rest of the day and into tomorrow. It will make symptoms come out that I have been struggling with the past few days (coughing, sweating, ear problems, visual perception problems, and problems that I haven't had in 8 weeks .. like dizziness, drooling, difficulty swallowing, overall unwell feeling).

Please may God have mercy on my body today and that I don't have to suffer long. Also sleeping through the bad feeling is better for me so pray that I sleep through the worst part.


Friday, December 12, 2008

My last treatment

It's been 5 weeks and 4 days since my last treatment. It's been 5 weeks and 4 days since my car was smashed. I don't know if I've told this story, but it was the day after I returned from my Western Carolina trip. I scheduled one of my treatments because I needed it then and also to give me a chance to rest from the trip.

My husband always drives me to my treatments because I am unable to function after the treatments. Well, I was waiting for my treatment to get started and my husband walks back into the room. I was shocked to see him, but thought maybe I had accidentally grabbed his phone or something on the way out. Though it had been 30 minutes or more since he had dropped me off.

Turns out, my baby .. my Carolina blue baby .. my beautiful car has been in an accident. He was driving when a fire truck came blazing (no pun intended) through a red light and my husband was forced to slam on brakes. Well the truck behind him did the best he could, but the man was unable to stop. It took 21 days for the people to fix my car. I was without my beautiful Carolina beauty for 21 whole days. It's not fixed all the way so it will have to go back.

That's why I never blogged on my last AMT treatment. I was so depressed about my car that I couldn't think about blogging about my treatment.

In any case, last visit with my LLMD .. I was given instructions to wait 6 weeks until my next treatment. Fortunately the "about 6 week" mark was coinciding with a Saturday they were open. So this treatment will be on a Saturday. It will give me two full days to get over the really bad feelings they give me.

After this treatment, I get to wait a whole EIGHT WEEKS. I am psyched about that. My other treatments are spreading out too. about 3 to 4 weeks on High Vitamin C and teh same on the Glutathione. I'm splitting the difference so that I am getting a treatment of some sort almost every week so that the PICC line is being used. So like I think my plan for next round will be .. AMT, skip a week, Glut, skip a week, High C, skip a week, Glut, skip 2 weeks, AMT. :D AND the heavy metal chelation challege will be in there somewhere.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

favorite things 3

Maybe I'll get a post with pictures of my favorite snowmen in the house. :)

It all started with a simple ornament purchased in 1999. It was the first Christmas after I graduated and before I married my husband. I can't find the exact ornament online, but it was a Snowbuddies ornament where the "huge snowbuddy" is holding a "small snowman." I thought it fit us and we bought it to go on our Christmas Tree. Thus begun the collection of snowmen.

Each year friends and family would add to the collection of snowmen. Until two years ago when Rob said 'ENOUGH WITH THE SNOWMEN ALREADY OUR HOUSE IS FULL.' I began to look around and realized that I had snowmen EVERYWHERE. Some are blue & white like the snowbuddies below, some are clear, some are the S'mores snowmen,, some are stuffed, some are on picture frames, some are on plates, some are on the fridge, some are the head of a cookie jar , and there are some filling the living room and kitchen. I even have one on the PORCH. :) I have a huge one that lights up that I received when I left one of my jobs and I even have one that has two addictions in one .. that's right .. I have a snowman that has UNC on it.

I love my snowmen and occasionally I'll get a gift involving a snowman. I can see my husband rolling his eyes, but he knows that my eyes light up every time I see one of these cute little things.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

favorite things 2

My addictions: Part 2

I used to work in a retail store. While I was there, I met the most delightful woman. She was extremely sweet and made my transition to working at the store seamless. After we got to know each other, we found out that she had a daughter that was exactly one year older than me. We also discovered that her daughter & I had a lot in common. I also discovered that my new friend had cancer. I watched her go about her daily busy with little struggles. She wore a beautiful wig that I never would have guessed was a wig. I didn't even realize it until one day the wig was on my cash register.

Well we bought each other inspirational gifts. One time for my birthday she bought me a beautiful angel. It played the song You Light up my Life. It was perfect. I saved the card that she wrote on and displayed the angels beautifully on my DVD rack (another addiction of mine)
Well sadly in September a couple of years ago, my friend Eva lost her battle with cancer. I immediately had to do something for myself and for her daughter. I wanted to send her daughter a reminder of her mother so I got online and searched. I searched and searched until I found this:

Can you guess what this little beauties name is? Eva. Can you guess what else is important about this little beauty? A number of years ago, the woman that created these angels also had the same form of cancer as my friend Eva. She created a series for birth months. One of those was this one: September .. named Eva. Mine is a bit different than the one above, but it has the same sentiment. It says "May we never lose sight of what's really important to us. To love and be loved is the greatest Joy on Earth."

I bought two that day. I sent one to Eva's daughter to give to Eva's Granddaughter once she was old enough to understand how to care for such a delicate item. I also bought one for myself. With this second purchase of "Sarah's Angels," I became addicted to angels. I purchased 2 more Sarah's angels for myself and received last year another kind of beauty from my mother. Though I don't have a "full collection" of Angels ... they each hold a dear place in my heart.

I miss Eva so much and wish she could have been here to see me through this journey. She's in my heart and in the hearts of people that knew her though.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Favorite things

My addictions: I may end up writing other posts about addictions that I have, but for now this one little post will do.

This year I've already purchased 3 of them. And right now, I am wearing one of them. So comfy and warm and .. I just love them. I have different styles of them. If you look in my chest of drawers, there is a drawer dedicated just for these. I have a variety of colors, but mainly blue and pink.

Hi My name is Jennifer and I am addicted to Pajama Bottoms. Good news is that after about 2 or 3 years, the tops of the pants get all raveled and I *have* to get new ones. :) This year I bought 3 new ones and had to sadly throw away 3 of my favorites because they were pretty much destroyed. I wear them all year long. Right now I'm wearing a pink pair. I tried to find them online, but no such luck.

You may ask where the addiction comes from. Most Lymies can understand the need to be comfortable. So a few years ago, I requested pajama bottoms for Christmas. I received 2 or 3 from my parents, 2 or 3 from my husband, 2 or 3 from my Mother in Law, a pair or two from other people. Next thing I know I have a drawer full. I love each and every pair. I wear them when I'm at home and not going to go anywhere .. and also to sleep in. :) Here for your viewing pleasure is my latest purchase.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Guest Blog pt 2

I read this a bit ago and found it very interesting. So with permission from Renee (the author), I am going to copy it right here for all of my reader's (all 6 of you).

Spirochetes: The Internal Terrorists by Renee

While trying to rest this morning, I found myself thinking about a book I am reading on lyme disease. Some of the information is new to me and sobering to say the least. After reading about the spirochetes and their patterns, it came to me that the spirochetes are a lot like terrorists. I expect this analogy presented itself now because of the recent terrorist attacks in India.....

Terrorist's are patient~~ they methodically and systematically plan and execute their attacks hoping to cause horrible damage and destruction. They are able to hide in places where we cannot find them and adapt to a new environment. They are also very good at disguising themselves. Terrorists show no mercy and will kill any man, woman, child, or animals ~ whoever gets in their way. They have one focus...death and destruction. They are evil.

Everything I just wrote also describes the Lyme bacteria that lives inside of those of us with Lyme Disease. The spirochetes also are patient in their slow reproduction cycle. They systematically execute attacks on every area inside our bodies and cause horrible damage and destruction. Spirochetes are able to hide in places where we cannot find them and are very good at adpating inside our bodies. They are also good at disguising themselves and hiding from antibiotics and other treatments that try to search them out and destroy them. Spirochetes show us no mercy and will destroy any man, woman, child, or animal. They have one they keep reproducing inside of us their goal is to cause major damage and destruction. They can kill. They are evil!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Blessings overfow

Today I got to meet the lady in charge of helping the family I spoke about on the 4th. We gathered in her dining room to put together a game plan for the children's Christmas. Even a week ago, they were told they would not have a Christmas. In a week's time, their mortgage has been caught up ... their electricity paid up .. the local sprint store donated 6 months worth of service for them .. and gift cards for grocery stores and the generosity of everyone has been amazing.

They have so much non-perishables that they are completely overwhelmed and don't know where to put it all.

I was blessed to be around compassionate people today. What a blessing.

We split up the wish list for the children and my new friend will pass on the word to those that still want to help about other things that the children are wanting.

We're having a huge "wrapping party" (not to be confused with a rapping party) right before Christmas and I am looking forward to it.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

13 months ago

Here is my blog from myspace from 13 months ago today. Wow.

Last few weeks
Current mood: Rebellious

My last few weeks have been weeks of highs and lows. I don't understand how one day can be so fantastic and the next you can feel like you've been hit by an 18 wheeler. Lyme disease is so damaging to so many things, but I think mainly my ability to have fun has been drastically altered. I've never been one to stay up late or go to ball games or trips or ballets or anything that remotely resembles fun, but the fact that I have been stripped of the possibility of fun has taken a toll. So I am doing what I must: I am rebelling. Rebelling against my meds. Rebelling against my body. Rebelling against my spirit. My spirit will not break. You can't break what's already broken.

The last few days I have woken up nearly every morning at 3am "worshiping" the toilet. Then I have to go be at work by 6:30 and try to pretend that everything is just hunky dory. I spent all day in bed on Sunday because I rebelled against my meds and went to the Carolina basketball game to watch us win and then stayed out way too late eating dinner. Of course the dinner didn't set well and I wound up back in the bathroom again at 3am. My legs felt like someone twisted the meat right off the bone and my stomach was just about as empty as it has ever been. There is no way to put into words the amount of pain I was in on Sunday. Going on and off of antibiotics that make me feel so unbelievably bad inside. The rebellion was nice, but what did it accomplish? Another few days of Hell and now that I'm back on track ... I'll be back in the bathroom because the antibiotics make me feel so gross.

My first ever UNC basketball game was awesome. Almost everything was perfect. Ignoring the fact that my entire body was killing me and the smell of the lady wearing what appeared to be an entire bottle of perfume was gagging me, I actually had a pretty good time.

Rebelling the evil spirit of pain, I have made plans to go to the ballet near Thanksgiving and a trip to Western Carolina in a week or so. I'm pretty stoked to be doing things that are fun for once, but hoping and praying that maybe I'll be able to not be sick or be punished for actually having excitement in my life.

It could be worse. Rebellion. I will rebel, but not so that it puts my life in jeopardy. I will go and dutifully take my 7:15pm round of antibiotics so that in about two hours I will begin to feel nauseated and two hours after that my stomach will begin to churn and I'll finally feel better after one hour of vomiting. I know TMI, but live in my world for one day ... your spirit would have been broken long before now. I want to be awaken from this nightmare. Maybe one of these days, I'll wake up and realize the last 12 years of my life have been one gigantic nightmare and it will be 1995 again.

What would you have done differently? I would have demanded answers 12 years ago to my health problems.

Imagine my surprise

Apparently my dear friend Alice nominated me for this award. Upon clicking the picture above, you will be able to go to the original link of the award. The owner of said award began by choosing 5 of his favorite blogs to be nominated. They in turn have chosen 5 blogs. So on and so forth.

Here are the rules for the blog:
  • Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
  • Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
  • Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.
I have done number 2, 3, and 5 already. Cue funky dance music now: (insert song of choice in your head now).

  • Cat is a friend of mine online only. She also struggles with Lyme Disease. She started her blog in September shortly after I began mine as apparently I inspired her to do so. :) Cat doesn't post as much as I do, but she is extremely sick. If you want to know her whole story click right here.
  • Adam & Aimee Freeman are an extremely special family. No blog list would be complete without them. Adam and Aimee have three beautiful children. The little boy is 7 and one of the little girls is 9. Their third beautiful child is still in the hospital. She was born a micropreemie right at a pound. She's undergone several surgeries including a major heart surgery. They are selling pink bracelets for 5 dollars each hoping that blog readers will purchase and take a photo of themselves wearing the bracelet. They want a full album of pictures showing Kayleigh when she's older how many people prayed for her. Adam is also writing a book about their experiences. Here is a link to the Kayleigh's 5 month old blog post.
  • Renee is another Lymie. Instead of the usual story of me finding her, she somehow found me. She loves to write and in fact her Lyme Disease has stripped her from her Editor role at a newspaper. Now for her own personal therapy and for fun, she writes on a blog.
  • Missy is one of my REAL LIFE FRIENDS. I used to work with Missy when we both worked in retail. She was working there only to make some money while she was in school. I was there to learn something about myself and to make some money. Missy is only beginning her blog. She's a graphic designer and does beautiful work. She once did a log for an online group I created.
  • And since Nate, Bree, and Alice have already been nominated, I will spread the wealth to another family. I am not for sure how I found this blog, but it is quite inspirational. Matt and Susie get married. Shortly later, Susie is pregnant and gives birth to beautiful baby girl. Shortly later, Susie gets pregnant again. Only this isn't a normal pregnancy. Susie is pregnant with a very special boy. Joshua: Be Strong and Courageous is a blog on Susie's experiences about her pregnancy, delivery and raising a special boy that has an encephalocele. After 67 days and 7 extra hours, Joshua was promoted to Heaven. At the end of September, Susie announced that she is pregnant again. She recently found out she's having another girl.
Now let's go back to the rules. Now are all done except to post on the Mr. Linky. Let me run and do that after I hit "Post."

Thanks Alice. :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Bio Lab update

Remember this post on Plum Island and Biolabs in Butner North Carolina? Well I was reading on and apparently North Carolina has lost their bid for the Biolab.

My prayers have been answered. According to WRAL, the Biolab will be built in Kansas. Please pray for the folks of Kansas. They will need it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tis the season (pt 2)

At the end of one of my blogs I wrote this:

"So am I a wealthy person? Do I have the latest and greatest of things in my home? Compared to some that live in the area ... No I do not. Compared to others ... Yes I do. But am I wealthy? Do I have an abundance of things in my heart in which a price can not be determined? Yes I do. Can people (IE the bank) take these things from me? No they can't. I have a wealth of beautiful memories that no one can take. I have a wealth of friends, laughter, happiness, compassion and knowledge. So today ... I thank God that I am wealthy. My prayer is that all of you can be wealthy too."

I bolded one word that I'd like to mention today. I believe compassion has to be taught at an early age because compassion is engraved into your soul and heart. That's not something that I believe can be added much later in life. Are their exceptions to this rule? Sure there are, but I believe those are few and far between.

I belong to this forum for the small town where I live. On occasion, a member of the forum will post a need of member of the community (whether that family knows it or not). In the past, I have looked at these needs and wanted to do something. I truly felt a desire to alleviate their suffering. However something always gave way to not really be able to help in a manner that I thought sufficient. I thought if I can't do a huge gesture why do anything.

This year my goal was to make myself smile more and to do something extraordinary. I am so fortunate and so wealthy in so many ways. A few days ago, I heard about a family in our community. This family is a good Christian family that goes out of their way to help others in the community. In this last year, they have been hit with tragedy after tragedy and yet kept it hidden from most they knew.

Fortunately someone that knows them got wind of all of this and poured out a request that members of the forum help this family. Rob and I knew we had to do something. I won't share the specifics of what we are planning to do, but know that this family will now be able to keep their home. This is a family where the father must undergo Brain surgery on the 10th and both Mom and Dad lost their jobs. They have three children between the ages of 8 and 14. Their children know that Christmas can not happen this year. Until Tuesday, they thought their electricity would be turned off today. Until Tuesday, they thought they would be losing their home shortly.

The outpouring of love that the community has shown has been a bit overwhelming for this family. I know they appreciate every act of kindness no matter how large or small. I am so glad that I had the "wealth of compassion" to be able to share and while I give a gift to someone else ... it is they that gave me a gift. Please pray for this family. If you wish to lend a helping hand, contact me in the comment section and I can get you in touch with the person lining up the help for this family.

2 Corinthians 9:15

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.

Edited: I received word that their mortgage has been paid up through the end of December. What a blessing for this family.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tis the Season

I will share a verse that came to my heart yesterday as I found out about a family that has a time of need.

2 Corinthians 9:6 to 15

Verse 6: My point is this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously.

Verse 7: Each one of you should give just as he has decided in his heart or under compulsion, because God loves a cheerful giver.

Verse 8: and God is able to make all grace overflow to you so that because you have enough of everything in every way at all times, you will overflow in every good work.

Verse 9: Just as it is written, "He has scattered widely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness remains forever."

Verse 10: Now God who provides seed for the sower and bread for the food will provide and multiply your supply of seed and will cause the harvest of your righteousness to grow.

Verse 11: You will be enriched in every way so that you may be generous on every occasion, which is producing through us thanksgiving to God,

Verse 12: because the service of this ministry is not only providing for the needs of saints, but is also overflowing with many thanks to God.

Verse 13: Through the evidence of this service, they will glorify God because of your obedience to your confession in the gospel of Christ adn the generosity of your sharing with them and with everyone.

Verse 14: And in their prayers on your behalf they long for you because of the extraordinary grace God has shown to you.

Verse 15: Thanks be to God for his indescrible gift!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

We Are The World

I've been thinking about memories of the past. I remember singing this on my little ugly offwhite/orange/yellow/brown swing set in the background with my neighbor Jimmy.

There comes a time
When we head a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And it's time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

We can't go on
Pretending day by day
That someone, somewhere will soon make a change
We are all a part of
God's great big family
And the truth, you know love is all we need

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

Send them your heart
So they'll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stone to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

When you're down and out
There seems no hope at all
But if you just believe
There's no way we can fall
Well, well, well, well, let us realize
That a change will only come
When we stand together as one

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

Monday, December 1, 2008

Guest Blogger

Today's blog is brought to you by my husband. He wrote this shortly after we went to see Under Our Skin. Leave it to a man to compare a doctor to a mechanic. :)

Do you wonder what the differences are between a Standard Doctor and an Integrative Medical Doctor? Here is a quick example to show the differences. This is based on my observations while trying to find treatments for my wife and shows what a Doctor would do if he were an auto mechanic. Unfortunately as funny as this sounds it is a true story.


You decide to go on vacation. You take your car to the dealer once every six months so they keep it maintained and alert you to any thing that seems wrong or out of place. Because of this you know that overall your vehicle is in good shape even though it has 75,000 miles. You fill your gas tank and head out for your trip. Later on as you are driving the engine cuts off and strands you on the side of the road.

Standard Doctor's Diagnosis:
You tell the Doctor that you think you may have run out of gas. The Doctor spends 15 minutes looking at the gas gauge, the one accepted method of telling gas level and says your gas tank is full so that isn't the problem. He then collects his fee and sends you to a Doctor who specializes in transmissions.

That Doctor spends 15 minutes looking at your transmission and says your transmission is fine and collects his fee. You tell him that your gas gauge shows full but you think you are out of gas. He replies "That shouldn't happen," collects his fee and sends you to a Doctor who specializes in On Board Computers.

This Doctor actually spends 30 minutes talking to you. Again you mention that you think you maybe out of gas and he replies that he doesn't think that is your problem since the guage shows full. Just to make sure your computer is functioning, he pulls out test equipment and starts jabbing probes deep into your cars wiring and On Board Computer, but all the tests show the computer is good.

Since your problem is 'not moving,' he attaches a horse to the front of your vehicle, collects his fee and sends you on your way. You are now moving, but still not as fast as you ought to be and you just don't feel like this is the right fix. After you complain on your next visit, which by the way only lasts 15 minutes, he again reassures you that your gauge is right and you are not out of gas. He then sends you to an auto detail shop. You don't understand why and when you ask about it he tells you that the problem isn't your car, but is instead the fact that you think the car is bad. He feels that with a little 'cleaning up' your car will look better to you and everything will be ok.

Integrative Medicine Doctor:
After getting fed up from the above you decide, on your friend's advice, to visit a different Doctor. This doctor spends two hours asking questions about everything that has ever happened to your car and listens to exactly what situation led up to the engine cutting off. He then explains all the possible things that may have happened and theorizes that since you had driven 500 miles after filling up that maybe your gauge is broken. He removes the horse, assures you that the car looks fine and that you are not just thinking it looks bad when it doesn't.
He then decides that a quick test is to add gas so he gasses up the car and it starts. He then replaces your gas gauge and everything now works fine.

You drive home and submit all your bills to the company that handles your extended warranty. They pay the bills for the Doctors who didn't fix anything and then deny the bills from the Doctor who fixed your problem because he used an unapproved screwdriver to fix the gauge.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Last of November

November has come and by midnight tonight November will have passed. November of 2006, I was sure that I would not see November 2007. I wasn't even sure if I would see the summer of 2007.

This November has been one of the best Novembers I have had in three or four years. I pretty much found a lot of my former best friends in life. Found one of my best buds from high school and even more impressive (and skillful if you ask me) I found sisters of my very best friend from Elementary School. I have yet to talk to my best friend, but it's a step in the right direction. Then last night as I was looking up something, a name popped up on the facebook. I wasn't sure if I knew the fellow or not, but he sure looked familiar and his last name was that of my closest friend from back in the day.

So I pulled up his profile, took a look through his pictures (yes I am an internet facebook picture stalker) where one of them confirmed that he was the younger brother of my friend. Contacted him immediately and amazingly enough he remembered both me and my brother. I hope to hear from him soon about his brother. In July of 07, I did a blog on friends. I listed my friends from that time in my life. His brother was one that truly impacted me. Heck, how could he not? He gave me bubblegum rings (I bet I still have them too) and hugged my neck a lot.

Amazing how the past has a way of impacting the future. I wonder how the friends of my past sculpted the person I am today. I wonder if they realize the "rock effect" they had in the river of my life. Last year my new year's resolution was to smile more and make someone else smile. I had to smile at least once a day and make someone else smile at least once a day. That meant if I didn't leave the house, I either had to hear someone smile on the phone OR make my husband smile. If you guys know my husband, this is one difficult task. :)

I don't take resolutions lightly. I did this every day. Bonus points were awarded for laughs and double bonus points for laughter with snorts. :) So what is it that I want to "resolve" this year? I know 2008 still has another 31 days (32 counting today), but I need to start now in order to accomplish my task. It will be a doozy. I want to spend time with my friends. I want PHOTOS of my friends. I want to find photos of the past (if they are available) and photos of the present and put them in one album (heck this might take two or three) called Friends. I want to be able to look at these photos whenever I am feeling down and smile knowing that these are the people that rock effected my world. Whether I knew you one day, two days, or 10 years (or 32) ... I *want* the people that shaped, molded, and helped me become the woman I am today in this book.

Don't be shy friends. :) If you have pictures of you and me together in the past 32 years, get them to me. I *want* them. It's more than a want. It's a need. :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving 07/08

There is a huge difference between last Thanksgiving and this Thanksgiving. I barely remember last Thanksgiving. It was a day where my husband drove me to my family's house. We went out to eat at Cracker Barrel and I had to take a nap while I was there just to make it through part of the day. I slept all the way to their house and all the way back. I was miserable. I didn't even want to think about Christmas shopping, trees, or any other holiday stuff because I was so sick that I didn't want to think that a year had been past and the only reason we knew that it was holidays in our home was the stuff that was up that I was too lazy (read too sick) to put away from 06.

This year we got up fairly early and I spent most of the day at my family's house. I did not even take a cat nap in the car. :D This morning we got up and Rob pulled down the tree. Well I didn't remember because Christmas 06 I was so sick and did not even know what I had yet, but apparently Rob had bought us a new Christmas Tree. We got it up. Rob helped put the lights on and the red/green garland on and left me to my own devices.

I have just spent the last hour looking at ornaments from years past. I love doing this. We have to get a new Christmas topper. I don't think the star we usually use will work on this tree. I think I appreciate the ornaments and tree more this year than ever in years past because I couldn't do this last year.

You see when I was little, we spent every Christmas with my Grandparents. I can't imagine a Christmas without them. Every Christmas, my Granny would decorate her tree with what had to have been at least 2,000 lights and tons of ornaments. I don't think there was a bare branch on that tree. Every year I would ooo and aaa over her tree. There was one that I just loved, a ballerina. I would take her off and carefully spin her around in my hands. It was my sign that Christmas was around the corner when I was able to touch this ballerina. Today at the age of 32, I still pull that ballerina out and twirl her in my hands. I can feel the love of my Granny in that ornament knowing that every year for what must have been 20 years she took special care to make sure that special ornament was on her tree for me.

Now there are other ornaments that hold special memories for me, but not a single one holds a candle to that ballerina.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I have so much this year to be thankful for in my life. The list person in me wants to make a list. :)

God, Family, Friends, Health, Pets, Home, Gas (of the car variety and the heater variety - not the out of bottom variety .. :) ), Carolina Basketball, Work, Voting, Water, Food, finding old friends, enjoying time with people, and so much more.

On the Health Front, I am thankful that I can run up the stairs. Last year this time, I could barely walk up them. I have this thing where I "count the stairs" every day when I go down them so that I don't fall. I realized yesterday morning when I go to the bottom (all whopping number 4) that I failed to count and I didn't fall. I am thankful for that. :)

I am thankful that I can eat cheese whenever I want. Silly I know, but last year this time I could only have things dairy related 2 hours away from my medication. I *love* cheese. I think my children's name will be Mac and Colby. How many of you are laughing? How many of you are scratching your heads because you don't get it yet?

I am thankful that I can go about two weeks going to bed late without me needing to catch up on sleep. And by "late," I mean past 8pm. Last night I had to catch up with 11 1/2 hours of sleep, but I should be good to go for another two weeks of nights where I can stay up until 9pm.

I am thankful that my wonderful husband did all this research so that we could find the doctor I am seeing. He has been a gift from God. Surely by now I would have perished had we not found him. I am reminded of this line from July "I have GOD, I have HOPE .. I have FAITH .. I have FAMILY and I have FRIENDS. What more can I ask for? Just one more thing... I want to say .. I have HEALTH."

Now my Health isn't what other people would call health. I catch a cold just by looking at a picture of a germ, but if a cold is the biggest of my worries ... that's a blessing. I meant to get a little mask for my mouth/nose for today's thanksgiving festivities. I forgot. Oh well who wants to look at me with a mask on anyways. I'll be sick within a week, but who cares. I will do my Vitamin C and Glutathione and the rest of my minerals and vitamins and I'll be good to go after about 3 weeks of coughing and hacking.

Besides What is Christmas without a cold? I don't think I have ever truly been well on Christmas. So what's one more? :) Have a blessed Thanksgiving. Remember even if you can't get out of the bed on this wonderful day, you still have a lot to be thankful for ... Because if you can read this post ... you are alive. That is a glory in and of itself. :) (and if you can eat ham/turkey and other thanksgiving foods ... you should be VERY thankful. YUMMMMMMMY).

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

15 months ago

I wrote this blog on myspace on August 26, 2007. It was approximately 5 months after beginning treatment for Lyme Disease. I will bold some very important lines.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Health Update

As some of you may or may not know, I started having some health problems two or more years ago. {would be now over 3 or more years} I have never been extremely healthy having some odd things come up over my life (sinus problems, breast lump scare, gallbadder surgery, seizure activity), but nothing could prepare me for the worst scare of my life. I had something that no one could or would diagnose. I jumped from doctor to doctor having many tests and many wrong diagnosis. MS, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and it's all in your head was just a few of them. It was time to take matters into our own hands and we saw a doctor who specialized in very weird things. He diagnosed people who couldn't get diagnosis.

If we couldn't get answers from him, I knew that they would find out the answer after an autopsy. I felt close to death and I hid it from most of the people I loved. I couldn't hide the pain or the twitches or the multitude of other problems, but I could hide that I felt I would be better off dead because at least they would give my husband some answers to what has been wrong.

Fast forward to March of this year, I saw the doctor and he gave me a diagnosis. A tiny tick had given me this disease and this disease may not be cured, but I could get better and possibly go into remission for life. There was no telling how long I had had it. A young child? Caused my seizures? Sinus issues? Middle school? Sheer and utter depression? High School senior? problems that started in college that had no answers. A few years after marriage? The breast lump and gall bladder problem. After the surgery? There was no way to know for sure, but what we did know was that there was treatment. I started all the treatment. Three antibiotics for like 8 weeks straight. YUCK. Nasty. I was nauseated all the time and throwing up for half of that time. I felt like I was in early stages of pregnancy, but if I was pregnant someone was gonna get sued. Like all the doctors who insisted that I must be pregnant so ran pregnancy tests on me. Obviously I wasn't pregnant or I would be fairly big by now (5 months or so).

Antibiotic regiment eased off and we tried different things. Some worked and others gave me horrible side effects or appeared to be highly allergic too (throat swelling, eye swelling, lots of red dots on my body, and vomiting). I also started weekly IV treatments for vitamins and minerals. These were things that the Lyme Disease bug robbed me of. I slowly started making them every two weeks instead. I started having some time off of meds. two days to start, then a week, now I'm up to two weeks off of antibiotics. I went back to the doctor on Saturday (yes Saturday, he opens once a month on a saturday).

He gave me some good news. I was improving, but I wasn't back to normal yet. I could have told him that. We are sticking with the "new" treatment plan. I will have 5 days of antibiotics with two days off. Then, I will do it again. After second week of antibiotics, I get two whole weeks off. I will go get IV's every three weeks instead of every two weeks and will add in a few vitamins to my daily regiment (Vitamin C, Chromium and another one that has to be specially ordered).

It's a very carefully planned regiment. Take vitamins two hours away from antibiotics. Take Antibiotics two hours from going to bed. Thank God my brain is almost back to normal or I'd have to have a spreadsheet like I did in the beginning checking off every thing I took.

The big thing that we're adding is some hormones. Now those of you that know me say, "Geesh aren't you hormonal enough already?" Apparently I have too much of one and too little of the other. So if they give me a supplement of the one I have too little of, the other one will go down? I'm not sure exactly how it all works but apparently it will help me sleep better and get rid of my nasty PMS symptoms. I have to take that 10 days out of my 28 day cycle. It has to be at bed time only.

I have a bunch of blood work to go endure the first week of September. Not fun, but it will give us some answers as to whether I really am getting better. I won't find out those answers until November. I hate the wait, but at least I'll get some answers with this doctor. The other doctors told me the results (always "negative") and didn't explain that even though it was in the normal range it was on the low or high end of normal and I could feel better if it were more in the middle range of normal and there was something that could be done to get it to the middle range of normal.

Hey you guys know I'm back to feeling better ... I've started writing my "novels" and run on sentences again. AND (this is for Mellissa A.) I've stopped running into walls. I guess I sometimes still do that, but I've not been tripping over the thin air.

I'm just glad to be on the road to recovery. I'm glad to have some answers and possibly have some problems fixed that I've had my whole life (PMS goodbye my dear friend). Thanks to my friends that have stuck with me through this journey. And those of you that met me while I was going through this health journey, you guys don't know the "real" me. I can't wait until we meet for real.

My memories

In the next month or so, I am going to be putting up some old blogs that I wrote about a year or so ago. I want to show the readers (all 4 of you) how far I've come though I suspect some of you know already (all 3 of you). They might be a bit long for this blogspot format, but I don't want to alter them from their original content. Enjoy.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Your memories

I absolutely love the holidays and memories.

So in the comment section of this blog ... please type up your favorite Thanksgiving/Christmas memory. :) Let's make this blog interactive now ladies. (and gentlemen if you're reading).

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I am wealthy

Keep in mind that my blogs .. are my opinions alone. They aren't meant for controversy or for people to get into an uproar. They are just what I am feeling at the very moment I am writing.

So I've been thinking about the term "wealthy" lately. It's not that odd that I would be thinking about "wealth" or "lack there of" during the Thanksgiving Holiday. It is generally the time when people are thinking about purchasing gifts for loved ones for Christmas. It is hopefully the time in which we think about the "wealth" of gifts the wise men brought for baby Jesus.

Commonly when people think of wealth, the things that come to mind are money, valuable belongings and property. People probably think of how wealthy others are to determine how wealthy they think they are. If they live in an area where everyone drives BMW's, then they probably don't feel very wealthy if they drive a Chevy Nova. If they live in an area where everyone drives a Chevy Nova, they would in all likelihood feel quite well to do if they drove a BMW.

Now let's "remove" the money aspect of wealth.

Wealth in general means an abundance of something. So if someone were to look into my cabinets, they might find a wealth of plastic cups or a wealth of needles for syringes or even a wealth of vitamins. Still those are "things" that a monetary assignment can be placed. It *cost* me to get those things. If someone were to look into my heart ... they would find a wealth of something that a monetary value can not be given. They would find an abundance of compassion, of laughter, of happiness, of friends, of memories and so much more.

So am I a wealthy person? Do I have the latest and greatest of things in my home? Compared to some that live in the area ... No I do not. Compared to others ... Yes I do. But am I wealthy? Do I have an abundance of things in my heart in which a price can not be determined? Yes I do. Can people (IE the bank) take these things from me? No they can't. I have a wealth of beautiful memories that no one can take. I have a wealth of friends, laughter, happiness, compassion and knowledge. So today ... I thank God that I am wealthy. My prayer is that all of you can be wealthy too.

Provers 19:8 (NIV)
He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; he who cherishes understanding prospers.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Chelation Challenge

Essentially what I will have done in January is a test and a treatment at the same time. I will sit down in the same chairs that I have my other treatments done. They will attach two specific drugs to my PICC line (should I still have it ... if I don't have it, then they'll do a regular IV). The first one will run in and then they'll switch out the medications and the 2nd one will run.

Then I will have to pee in a huge jug for the next 6 hours. Essentially what the medication does is bind to heavy metals. Then when I go to the bathroom, it will go out with my urine. Then I will shake this huge jug and pour a little bit out in a specimen cup for sending out for testing. Upon receiving the results to this test will determine my treatment plan from there.

I can't have this chelation challenge until I increase my minerals. This drug will bind to minerals as well so I will need to increase my minerals before so that I won't be deficient after the challenge. I will also likely have to have an IV of minerals a week or two before the challenge though I wasn't quite clear with that information.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mercury Toxicity

For a while now, we have thought there was some Heavy Metals in my body. It showed up in my live cell analysis and my MSA test. So I decided to do a little research on Mercury Toxicity to see what symptoms were. I wanted to know what are the chances that this has been going on just as long as Lyme Disease.

Mercury Poisoning causes problems in the

Central Nervous System -- which includes anxiousness, loss of memory, lethargy, tremors, numbness of hands & feet --- and other symptoms too

Head Neck and Oral Cavity Disorders -- bleeding gums, excess saliva, bad breath, metallic taste, sores in the mouth, ringing in ears, and other symptoms

Gastrointestinal Problems -- food sensitivities, cramps, other GI complaints, diahrea and/or constipation and other symptoms

Cardiovascular Disorders -- abnormal heart rhythm, EKG findings, elevated tiglycerides, elevated cholestoral, abnormal blood pressures, all unexplained.

Immunlogic --repeated infections, viral, fungal, mycobacteria, candida and other yeast infections, cancer, autoimmune disorders, arthritis, Lupus, MS, ALS, hypothroidism, and other problems.

Systemic Effects -- chronic headaches, allergies, dermatitis, thyroid problems, subnormal body tempeture, cold and clammy skin, excess sweating, sensory symptoms including pain, numbness, anemia, kidney disease, adrenal disease, fatigue, loss of appetite with or without weight loss, and others.

I decided to bold all the issues I've had trouble with that may or may not be Lyme Disease related. The problems that I still have currently are italicized.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rebecca Wells

Rebecca Wells is the author of Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood. She has a secret though. Want to know what it is? She has Lyme Disease. She announced in 2005 that back when she was writing the novel that she was battling a variety of symptoms. She saw 12 different doctors before finding out what ailed her. She battled this illness for 5 to 6 years before getting her diagnosis in 2004.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Amy Tan

Amy Tan is an author. Her latest book that I know about is called Saving a Fish from Drowning. It was published in 2006. I have not read any of her bodies of works, but I do know something special about Amy Tan. Amy Tan has been battling Lyme Disease since 1999. I'm not sure about her health status now, but here is her website where she talks about Lyme Disease. Here she is reading some of her book.

Amy Tan also was in Under Our Skin and talked about Lyme Disease at the Tribecca Film Festival where Under Our Skin was first shown. They refer to her here as "former Lyme patient." So I am assuming she is doing well at this time. However like others who "do well" ... a relapse could always happen.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hall & Oates

Daryl Hall and John Oates have been working together since the 70's. Their songs are some of the best ever recorded and one of my favorites is "Maneater." In 2005, Daryl Hall had to cancel some of his performances with John Oates after his diagnosis of Lyme Disease. In June of 05, he wasn't feeling well and had to cancel one show. Then shortly after he performed, but had to stop half way through the performance. Then had to cancel the show altogether. On his blog, he said he would be on antibiotics for a month and be CURED. That was before he had done his research.

Here is his interview with Inside Edition on Lyme Disease.

Here are some Youtube videos of my favorite Hall & Oates songs.

Kiss on my List
Rich Girl
Out of Touch
You've Lost that Loving Feeling
(though it was originally done in 1965 by the Righteous Brothers)

Hopefully Daryl Hall is feeling much better now.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Organ Donation

Have you ever thought about life and death?
Have you ever thought about life after death?

There are two ways to live after you have died.
One is in the memory of those that you have left behind (and also through Eternal Life in Heaven, but this isn't that discussion).
The other is through donating your organs to those that need them.

I mean think about it ... you are no longer needing those organs and tissues. Your heart is no longer going to beat in your chest, your lungs will no longer breathe for you, your eyes will no longer see for you and your skin can no longer protect your body. There are many reasons in which people can not donate their organs, but if you don't have one of those reasons ....

Live after death. Give someone else the chance at life. Let your heart beat in their chest, let your lungs breathe in their body, let your corneas allow someone to see, and let your skin help a burn victim.

Here are some stories: One is the story of Jason Ray. Jason was adament that he wanted his organs donated. His parents honored his wish when he was struck by a car and killed. He went on to help over 75 people just by donating his organs and tissues. Jason Ray was bigger than life in his life as Rameses. Jason Ray is bigger than life in his death in the hearts of those that received his organs and tissues.

The next is the story of Tricia. Amazing woman with an amazing family. She has Cystic Fibrosis and after giving birth to a beautiful baby ... she was granted a life dream. She was on the receiving end of a double lung transplant. The link I gave is her husband's blog as he shares their life together as a family and the struggles they face along with the glory they give to God.

Another Cystic Fibrosis story is that of Alice. Alice received her double lung transplant over 9 months ago. She is doing well and even participated in the Transplant Games. She thinks of her donor every day.

Here is a story of a woman who is WAITING. She is waiting for the chance to breathe. She is waiting for a match of someone who is willing to give her life. Bree just wants to breathe and live her life without Oxygen and antibiotics. She just wants a chance to live again.

Please consider life after death. There are people waiting. Consider being an Organ Donor.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My LLMD appt

I was ready. I was prepared. I had my paper with all my symptoms and all my bloodwork in hand. I was ready to go into fight for me and my life. :) I, Jennifer, have been fighting for my life for the last 10 plus years. I have been battling life with massive artillery since February of 07. However I left my papers sitting on the counter and went in armed with memories.

Those memories were from the Outer Banks and Western Carolina

Carolina and a work related event

I was armed with the fun I have had rather than problems. I was armed with the knowledge that the goal in this "whole treatment" is to reduce the symptoms in between treatments and to spread the treatments further and further apart.

I was also armed with the knowlege of my Live Cell Analysis (finding Parasites, Plaque, Black Fungus, Lyme, Yeast and Heavy Metal Toxicity) and that my CBC and other numbers had improved since my last test. So I went in hopeful. I was hopeful for a light. I wanted that light at the end of the tunnel. I needed that light at the end of the tunnel. AND that light needed to NOT be a train.

So whenever I leave my office I generally get some sense of hope, but never is an end in sight. Today for the first time our focus is going OFF of Lyme Disease and we are focusing on Parasites and Heavy Metals. Now I am still going to be having my Lyme Treatments, but those are going to be spread further apart. My next appointment isn't until 6 weeks after my last treatment and I am going OFF of my oral Dioxychlor. WOOOT WOOOT.

So I have to increase my "mineral" intake so that they can test me for Heavy Metals. Some of my symptoms have pointed that way, but we've been so focused on Lyme and co-infections that we have not even "gone there." It's a marathon ... not a race. I have to go slow and steady. After all, the turtle wins the "race." So I'll have to do the jug-o-pee test. I know this has you intrigued.

I'll get an IV of these meds and for 6 hours after the start of the meds I have to PEE in a JUG. Then I have to shake this jug up .. pour a little bit out and send it off to be tested for all sorts of heavy metals. It will take the words "Pee You" to a whole new level. :)

So that's it. My doctor is pleased with my Lyme Progress. I still need the PICC since it is doing well and ... I'm so psyched. :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

How am I doing?

I hate to ever say how well I am doing. It always seems that as soon as I say something about how well things are going that they begin to spiral down a huge hill into a valley of sickness.

I have been thinking about the comparison of last year and this year. Last November, I went to Western for Alumni Band. It hurt to walk, it hurt to breathe, it hurt to sit, and I was pretty miserable. I had 15 baggies of medications that I had to take with me. Five baggies for each day for the 3 days I was there. Each baggie contained no less than 5 things in it. It was the easiest way to keep control of what I had to take for my short trip.

This November, I went to Western. I took a container of alcohol, two heparin shots for my PICC line and a bottle of Dioxychlor. I had to take nothing with me to the game. I only had to do the heparin shots at night in the comfort of my hotel room instead of in the bathrooms at the WCU football stadiums.

Last year I went to Late Night with Roy & a basketball game. I hurt .... every bone in my body ached. It hurt to walk the short distance from the parking deck to the Dean Dome. It was hard to enjoy the most exciting time on UNC campus because my head hurt so badly.

This year I went to UNC basketball game and toured the campus. I sat down rarely and was able to keep up with my fast walking husband. My lungs gave out faster than my legs did. My bones never hurt even once and the only sign that I even had a problem was shortly after I ate. I had a severe case of heartburn ... or maybe it was just gas. :) In either case, it didn't last too awful long.

I was able to HUG ... It has been so long since someone has HUGGED me without fear of hurting me. I don't even think my friend realized that he should even be careful. I haven't even tried to REALLY hug anyone in so long that I just had to keep hugging over and over again because it felt so darn good. It most definately did not hurt. Well ... until he squeezed me so hard that I about lost my breath .. but I weigh 95 pounds and he weighs .. more than that. :)

The different between this year and last year is drastic. I can walk, breathe (sans huge massive constrictor type hug), hear the roars of the Dean Dome without headaches, and have a wonderful time without worry about medications.

The last few months I have had very few worries. I've had a cold. Big whoopty do. :) It has lasted over 3 weeks, BUT .... I don't have a headache, my joints don't hurt, i'm not dizzy, I can stand up right, I don't get lost going home or to work, and the list could go on and on.

I believe I still have a long road to recovery, but I am on my way. My goal earlier this year was to be well at Thanksgiving. Do I think that Lyme & Yeast won't be an issue then? No, but the symptoms have been drastically reduced that I think I'll actually get to ENJOY Thanksgiving this year.

Now with any luck at all ... by the time I'm 33 ... I'll have more time to be with my friends and less time to take medications. The tide is turning folks. I am getting well. :)

Look forward to a post on Sunday about what all I found out on my Saturday morning LLMD appointment.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Carolina Frenzy 5

We waited in line for about 90 minutes to be let into the Dean Dome. It was a crazy mad dash to a seat as it was general admission. Well ... My husband is the BEST husband ever. He got me such seats that I could watch ERIC MONTROSS the ENTIRE GAME. wooooooooooo woooooooo. I even have about 10 shots of the back of his head. :)

The ONLY Lyme problem came while we were waiting in line. I started not feeling well. My stomach was hurting, my heart was hurting ... my legs began to ache. HOWEVER ... I thought "this is mind over matter. I am going to ignore these problems and they will go away. Once we sat down, the best husband in the world went to the concession stands to get us pizza, popcorn and a couple of drinks. The drink settled my stomach and I continued to stare at Montross. :)

The noise at the Dean Dome is wonderful. Every score gets met with a huge cheer from the fans. AND they even cheered for some UNC Pembroke points too. Outstanding. We won with 102 points. :) Go HEELS. What a pleasure and a privelege to be in the same building as my favorite players (Eric Montross & Tyler Hansbrough). I can't wait to see what the team does this year. OUTSTANDING. :)