Friday, October 31, 2008

I'm outta here

I am leaving in a few moments first to go to work and then half way through my work day .... leave to go to Western Carolina. :)

I am going to see THIS SHOW from WCU's Pride of the Mountains Marching Band.

They are absolutely awesome and absolutely HUGE. I marched with them one season and it was the best experience of my life (barring all the sickness on my part). I had so much fun and today I return to my college town to revisit a time in my life where I had a blast on the football field. :) I will missing one special friend though. Really one of my best marching buddies from my college days. I won't know what to do with out him, BUT ....

I'm going to hang out with my friend from high school Kellie.

My cold/cough excluded I will have a great time. :) I'm only taking my heparin and my doxychlor drops (and some cough medications just in hopes that I won't keep Kellie up all night with my horrible hacking)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Slow progress

This week I have been hanging on by a thread. I started getting a cold two Sunday's ago and I have been having symptoms every day since. Sore throats some days while other days I'm coughing and other days I have a runny nose. Between my High Dose Vitamin C IV's and Glutathione IV's and Dioxychlor drops, I have managed to keep my lousy feeling to a minimum. However today I feel pretty awful. I am hoping that my Glutathione IV today will help give me a boost to survive this weekend.

I got back my blood work today. I get blood work done after every doctor's visit and occasionally when I request it in between check-ups. We like to see how my White Blood Cells are doing and are also paying close attention to a couple of other things as well. A few important numbers for my lab work is the AST and ALT numbers (Liver Panel). About 3 years ago, those numbers were extremely high. It was important for those numbers to drop to a normal level. So when I began working with my Lyme phsyician, it was important for us to keep those numbers in mind.

I never wanted a treatment that would affect my liver since I have had high liver panels in the past. Normal levels are between 0 and 40. If it's on the upper end, then it causes concern. However, concerns aren't really raised for "normal" physicians until it goes over 40. May of this year my numbers were 14 and 8 respectively. Those are both very good numbers. Both numbers in July were increased, but nothing to be concerned over. This last test showed another increase, but again the numbers are now only both 18. So I'm sure that my physician won't be worried about those numbers at all.

A couple of other tests that we have been worried about are my vitamin D levels and my Cortisol levels. In July, I was tested and I had a level of 17. My Nurse told me today that they prefer numbers in the 50's and 60's. So upon this, I started some more Vitamin D supplements. I was retested in October and showed an improvement, but I still have defiencies. My new numbers are at 31. The low end of normal is 32, but my nurse wants my number to be at least 50. So I am sure when I go back to my follow up appointment, I'll have to increase my Vitamin D again. I hate being outdoors .. wonder why I have a Vitamin D deficiency.

So when I started treatment, my Cortisol was at a 13 first thing in the morning. I still don't know a lot about Cortisol, but I was told today that numbers should be at least 15 in the morning for women my age. So 13 was close, but by May of this year my cortisol level had dropped to 7.5. That's a huge drop when we're talking about such small numbers. It has slowly rised since May, but we're talking about a small rise from 7.5 to 9.5. TWO WHOLE POINTS. So I suspect that I will have to go on some kind of Addrenal support when I go back to the physician in the middle of May.

I'm trying to not be disappointed because I have shown improvements, but it's still a little frustrating that I have done all this work and I only improved marginally. I leave on Friday to go to the campus of Western Carolina. I can't wait to soak myself in the mountain air. I get my blood rested on Monday. How much you wanna bet my vitamin D is going to be UP because I'll be outside all day on Saturday? I bet you 330 points that my numbers will be up (why 330 .. because that was the miles it took to get to Western from my parent's house when I was in college).

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I've been quiet

In September, I posted 30 or 31 posts. So far October has been a much quieter month.

The reasons for this is that at the end of September I fell and hurt myself. So that limited my typing ability for quite some time. The other reason is that I haven't felt that well. On the Lyme front, everything is going according to plan. However, I caught a lil cold. I've been working on getting rid of that little cold, but in the mean time I haven't felt much like being educational or witty on my blog. :)

So here's the important stuff.

1. I voted already. -- amazing that you have to show your ID to see a Rated R Movie when you're 32 (because you look under age) -- yet I didn't have to show any ID to vote. What if someone had gone in with my name and address and voted "for me." Maybe four years from now, I'll have the hubby go in as "Jennifer" and see if they'll let him vote for me. ;)

2. I'm going to Western Carolina on Friday. I can't wait to hang out with Kellie and possibly Paul through the weekend. I'm so stoked. ;) A bit nervous about the drive to Kellie's, but I am woman hear me roar.

3. I miss my friends. I haven't seen my best friend in over a month. That is not acceptable. :( Or maybe I have .. I just can't remember. Which is also unacceptable that I can't remember the last time I saw my best friend.

4. My coworker reminded me that it is fun to sing, dance and act a fool at work. :) Another co-worker even got a photograph (read blackmail) doing said dance and acting a fool.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Radio Interview LD

I found these videos today on You Tube. It's an interview on a radio station in Washington DC on KJFK with Andy Abrahams Wilson of Under Our Skin from June 17, 2008.

Very interesting videos and very well spoken by the radio folks and Mr. Abrahams Wilson

Part 1 lasts about 9 to 10 minutes (What are the Symptoms plus other answers by Andy)

Part 2 lasts about 9 to 10 minutes (What are the testing Issues and other answers by Andy)

Part 3 lasts about 9 minutes (Questions from Callers and answers by Andy)

Missing Person

Texas EquuSearch is in the process of helping search for Kelly Currin Morris. They are also in the process of helping to find THREE OTHER Missing North Carolinian women.

Jennifer Rivkin: 43 year old woman missing from Bessemer North Carolina. She went missing on May 4, 2008. A car that was apparently borrowed was found with her make-up bag, purse, and driver's license. Here is her information with more details.

Mouy Tang: 45 year old woman missing from Cleveland County North Carolina. She was last seen on September 3, 2008. She's from an assisted living facility and needs diabetic medication 4 times a day. She walked away unnoticed on September 3rd. Here is her information with more details.

Jamie Frayley: 22 year old woman missing from Gastonia North Carolina. She was last seen at her apartment on April 8, 2008. No one has heard from her since. Here is her information with more details.

Kelly Currin Morris: 28 year old woman missing from Stem North Carolina. She was last seen September 3, 2008. Her house burned down on the 4th of September. Her car was found near her home containing her purse, keys and cell phone. Here is her information with more details.

Texas EquuSearch is most newsworthy in the Natalee Holloway case and Natalee's parents help them quite frequently in their searches. There are tons of missing people listed on their website. If you know anything about any of them, please contact them or the agency in charge of finding these missing women (men and children).

Families need answers. Friends want answers. Our Communities ache for these women and want to know what happened to them.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Plum Island

Last year about this time, I first heard about the Plum Island Conspiracy Theory. Plum Island has been historically used for the Military (from the late 1700's to the mid 1900's). In 1954, The Department of Agriculture took over the island from the Military and established the Plum Island Animal Disease Center. In 2003, US Department of Homeland Securty took over the island and the facility. Plum Island is not open to the public and can only be accessed by people that work for the United States Department of Homeland Security. To learn more about Plum Island including it's historic lighthouse, click here.

Plum Island is only accessible by a ferry. There are two ferry docks for getting to Plum Island. One is near Long Island and the other is Old Saybrook Connecticut. The official governement position is that no animal pathogens have escaped in 50 years on the island. Conspiracy theorists beg to differ.

Is it merely a coincidence that what we now call Lyme Disease first appeared in the 1970's a few miles from the dock at Old Saybrook (coincidentally near Lyme CT)? Is it merely coincidental that West Nile Virus as appeared near the dock off of Long Island NY? WARNING: Run on sentence about to get away here: There are also websites that suggest that even though the lab is supposedly a Level 3 lab that they do work on Level 4 diseases and are even secretly labeled Level 5 though Level 5 labs are not allowed on the Continental US (hmmm it's an ISLAND - though technically part of the US .. it's away from the Continental US makes you wonder huh?). WARNING OVER

I did find this on Plum Island on the EPA website. However, it appears to be just be discussing power reduction on the island. My thoughts are Plum Island are more of a "hum wonder if it could be ..." I do find curiosity in that Lyme Disease is studied there. The first cases were close to the dock that only governmental employees were (and are) allowed to use. What if one person on the island was contaminated 30 years ago and brought it onto the mainland. There are several books on the subject. One is a "fictional" novel called Poison Plum. I've read it and wow it's impressive. The other is called Lab 257. I have not had the opportunity to read this one yet, but the author was about 20 feet from this island taking pictures of a facility/island that is under such supposed security and restrictions. Yet, no one told him to leave.

Why am I interested in Plum Island? Why now? Currently, "they" are trying to build a new biolab. They are looking at 6 "cities" for this new biolab. One of those new sites is right next to the existing site and the other is in my home county. If the government did somehow release (accidently or on purpose) Lyme Disease (or West Nile Virus or heck let's go further and say Anthrax), why would any of us want this in our own back yard? Theoretically .. yes they would study diseases on animals and possibly find cures that would help us. BUT what are the chances that it would release these deadly diseases on unsuspecting citizens. I don't know about you, but I don't think I would want "Butner Disease."

And furthermore, this article posted in the New York Times mentioned that a laptop disappeared from a biocontainment area of one of the labs in 2003. And to quote Mr. Glennon, "'If a laptop can walk out of a biocontainment area, how about a vial of pathogens?''

Here are some websites I used to gather what information I posted above
Plum Island Patricia Doyle
Plum Island Animal Disease Center Website
Animal Parasitic Diseases
Biolob 3 or 4 or 5?
Document on Plum Island
No Biolab
Poison Plum
Lab 257
CNN article

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Football Friday Fun

I haven't posted about my fun last week until now because I've been focusing on my hand healing, thinking about Tricia and hoping for the best outcome in the Kelly Currin Morris case.

In any case, I had a blast at the football game. Shortly after Dad and I arrived home from the band room, Kellie called. Kellie is one of my friends from the good old band days. Oh what fun we had in the high school days from band camp to band competitions. So when we found each other on facebook, we decided that we had to get up together for a football game. We have not seen each other in 14 years. So shortly after she arrived, we all left to go to the game. We walked into the band room that we had walked into many times. It was bizarre to see the same room with all these youngin's in it. (Here's the picture off of Kellie's camera that was taken by some random person at the game. Ain't half bad for two old fogy's with glasses.)

We "marched" our way up to the football field with the band. We didn't intend to, but once a band geek --- always a band geek. We found ourselves rolling our feet to the beat of the drum, laughing all the way up to the field. We lingered standing, but after the band performed their pre-game show (aka Star Spangled Banner & the Fight Song) ... we had to find a seat.

We watched our team do their best, but lose they did. We got to see, not one, but two half time shows. Our rival high school was there performing their show as well. So that was a blast to be able to see two shows in one shot. We walked over to get something to drink and saw "fashion statements" that should have stayed at home. The most noticeable thing was a pair of neon orange high heel pumps. (and to those that are thinking it: No it wasn't our school colors or the rival schools color ... and I thought to myself SELF would Nathan wear these shoes?)

Glad I didn't get "that" memo on fashion. We stayed on the concession side of the field until the game was over. Then we walked down the "new hall" which had become worn with age. It was brand spanking new when we were there, but it was raggedy looking now.

Our next visit will be in two weeks when we drive to the mountains. I marched for one semester and drooled over for three semesters the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band. It is Western Carolina University's band and they are superb. We can't wait to see them. I go every year for Alumni Band. The very first year, I got to march. However, the years since I was unable with all my physical ailments. I may just have to pick up a flag and spin for a few minutes this year though. I miss marching with the Pride.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Since Nathan hasn't posted it on his blog yet, I do not want to say what I've read. But please continue to keep them in your prayers. They will need it as they continue their journey.

Nathan has updated his blog. Tricia's cancer has not gotten any better. In fact, there is a chance it has spread to a lymph node. They are waiting to hear from the biopsy from Duke to find out what they need to do next.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fun times

So Thursday, I had my treatment. I don't like doing my treatments on Thursdays because if something drastic happens I can not get a hold of my doctor's office until Monday. Fortunately other than a lot of sleep, nothing drastic happened.

Friday I left work a bit early and drove to my dad's middle school. So weird to walk down the halls of a middle school that I spent so much time in (since dad works there and all) and yet not recognize hardly anyone there. They've all retired. Only three teachers are there that were there when I retired. One is my dad, the other is a computer lab lady, and the third is a science teacher that I never even had because she taught 6th grade at the time and I was in 7th grade when we moved there. I parked back near dad's band room and walked in. No joyous noise of music (IE horrible sounds of beginner bands) were coming from the room. So I walked down the "old 8th grade hall." I have no idea what they teach on that hall now, but when I was there I had all my 8th grade classes on that hall. I walk by and see an old friend's sister teaching. I walk into the office and almost immediately feel reprimanded for walking into the office during class time. Yeah .. they thought I was a student. They changed their tune and attitude quite quickly when I tell them who I am and ask whether my dad was on his lunch period.

I make a quick drive to my parent's house and there they are. I was surprised because both my dad and my brother were there. When it's time for Dad to return, I go back with him to listen to the joyous sounds of music. The first period class was excellent, but the second one made my ears bleed a little. Shortly after I had arrived, my brother arrived to the band room. I bet that was a little weird seeing his two grown children in his band room. After a little encouragment (IE Dad said "Ya know Susan has planning this period."), I dashed out of the room and back down the old 8th grade hall.

I hung with Susan for a bit and then headed towards the old 6th grade building (which has expanded quite a bit since I went to school there) to find a friend of mine who is married to one of my best friends from middle school. I walked in and stooped down next to him. He didn't realize who it was and said "Yesssssssssssssssssssssss." I laughed as he looked and it took him a second to realize who I was. We talked (IE Gossiped) for a while and then I made it back to my Dad's class.

We went home and watched an episode of Grey's Anatomy and the 'Joys of Painting' (Oh JOY).

Stay tuned for: Football Fun For Friends who haven't Faced each other in Fourteen years that Found each other on Facebook. *snort*

PS I was so disappointed that my camera was out of batteries. I didn't get to take even one picture.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Treatment tomorrow

I have my doozy of a treatment tomorrow on 10-9-08. So pray for me. I probably won't be "with it" to blog tomorrow.


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).

In my life time, I have seen people who forgive easily and those that hold onto grudges for a long time. I have always thought of myself as a very forgiving person. A few months ago, I realized that statement might not be true. It's scary to think that my heart & my brain don't want to let go of resentment. In my past, I forgave easily. Someone stood me up, the words easily parted my lips ... "It's okay. I forgive you." Someone didn't call me when they said they would, "No big deal." Someone was very late, "Not a problem."

Some where along the line between then and now, it has become a serious problem. Someone is late and it makes me mad. Not only that day, but the anger lasts for days. Someone doesn't call and it makes me sad. Sometimes for just the moment and sometimes for days. Someone stands me up ... and I'm both angry and sad at the same time. Someone hurts someone else I'm close to and that resentment lasts for years.

I have a few very close friends. Those friends have been hurt by others. I think I felt more resentment and anger towards the hurter months later than even my friends than were hurt. How could someone hurt someone else so deeply? I read the other day that just the simple act of forgiveness can relieve many health problems. According to the Mayo Clinic, the act of forgiveness can reduce blood pressure, reduce stress, lower heart rate, reduce chronic pain and many other things.

In the past week, I have chosen to let go of resentment of at least one person and I'm in the process of trying to forgive another. Not only is it healthy, but there are many passages in the bible on forgiveness. Here is one that I found.

Ephesians 4:31 You must put away every kind of bitterness, anger, wrath, quarreling, and evil, slanderous talk. 4:32 Instead, be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.

So pray that I can forgive those that need forgiveness even if they don't ask.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Prayers for Tricia

Tricia has been admitted to the hospital on Monday night. She has not been feeling well at least the last week or so. Her history if you don't know is that she's had a double lung transplant. She has Cystic Fibrosis and also has Lymphoma in her new lungs. She's had 4 rounds of the hard chemo (and even more before the hard stuff began) and she was going to find out how the chemo was doing. It is always difficult when Tricia gets a little cold because it can turn into a huge infection. A huge infection in her brand new lungs can be a very bad thing. ICU has already been mentioned.

Please if you read me ... please please please go see Nathan's blog and read about Tricia. Pray for Tricia. Pray for Nathan & Gwyneth and their entire family. I have had the privileged of hanging out with them on more than one occasion and they are great friends of a friend of mine.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Busy upcoming week

It's going to be a busy week for me. So there might not be too many posts on this end of things. On Tuesday evening, I may attend a Lyme presentation given by my doctor. I've attended this before, but it was in the beginning of my treatment. So I wasn't very Lyme Literate myself. I may get some new things out of it. I just have to find out whether or not they are going to have it though. If they have it and I'm feeling decent, I'll be there.

On Wednesday, I have an appointment to have my dressing changed. I need to also make sure it's working properly because since they changed the tip, it's been a little slow on the blood returns. On Thursday, I have a treatment. The glorious treatments that make me feel so bad and I am also going to try to get some blood work done before the treatment starts. Then finally on Friday, I am going to visit my folks and go to my alma mater's high school football game to watch the marching band perform. Yeah yeah a little backwards, but I couldn't care less about football. I love marching bands. :)

Depending on how I feel, I may stay until Saturday to hang out with the folks and possibly see some old high school friends. We'll see how that all works out.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Find Kelly Currin

I know I do not not have a huge following nor are the people that read my blog in the Granville County area of North Carolina, but if by chance you are ........ please help them find Kelly. Obviously the longer a woman is missing, the worse the outcome. The other thing you can do is pray that the family can find her.

There is a missing lady from the town I grew up in. I went to high school with her and her brother. I did not know her, but was acquaintances with her brother. Kelly was friend's with many of my friends however and still lives in the same county.

She has been missing for a month now. The facts that are known are this:

Kelly is 28 years old. She has two children and married to a man named Scott Morris. The authorities have found her car which had her keys, purse and cell phone a mile from her house shortly after her disappearance. Kelly's house was on fire and burned down the same day she disappeared. According to the authorities, Kelly has not been found in the home.

The family has offered a 30,000 dollar reward for information that leads to finding her. I saw this on a comment on WRAL's story on her.

"On behalf of the Currin family, we are requesting any and all available personnel for a continued missing person search in Granville County. We will meet at the Orange County Rescue Squad in Hillsborough at 0630 Saturday morning. We will meet at the Currin Construction company on the northwest corner of Old Weaver Trail and NC Highway 50 in Wake County just south of the Granville County line at 0700. Please pass this along to anyone and everyone that you know so we can get as large a group as possible. We have been asked about horseback and ATVs. All are necessary and greatly appreciated. Please forward this email to all those you know and any listserv you may be a part of to help gather those who can work beside us to assist the Currin Family and the Hollis Family in bringing their daughter home." by member: betty8i

Weekend of Nothing

How excited am I that I absolutely have nothing planned this weekend? Nothing for Friday night, nothing for Saturday or Sunday either. *wow* I'm sure that will change by the time the weekend is over, but for now ... absolutely no plans. :)

Any suggestions?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Lil bit of my real life

So I work for a day care. I have a variety of hats that I wear at this job, but the most important role for me is the role in which I teach young children how to read. It's my passion to have the children I teach reading before they enter Kindergarten. I have one child that will be five soon and the words he can read ... it is amazing. I have a group of children that I have been working with for 3 months and they now know 14 letters, 14 sounds for those letter and 14 words that begin with those letters. Some pick it up so quickly. Others take a while. And while it's a pleasure to teach the ones that pick it up quickly ... the joy when the children that take a while finally pick it up ... it is priceless.

I sent all children that I tutored last year to Kindergarten knowing how to read (except one and she was a late comer to my class). One that is in 1st grade this year is already reading on the level 17 & 18. They are supposed to be on a 7 & 8 at her age. It just blows my mind that I am able to shape their minds at 3 and 4. It makes me extremely happy to watch them grow.

There are always a couple that struggle a little bit, but those that struggle are still getting a head start on learning. So tonight I go in to work for an hour to convince parents why they need me. If they could see the children that I have taught in the past reading, they would not hesitate for a minute. They would spend the extra money and hire me on the spot. It's my passion. It's my life. It's my ambition. It's something that I can do with or without Lyme Disease. It is truly awesome. :)

Have a great night while I see if I can convince a few parents to join my class. I can't wait to shape new minds. One child I have been teaching since he was 2. TWO. I had him reading at TWO. :) I love teaching that child. He makes my head swell. ;)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October Plans

September was a busy month and was full of joyous occasions. I went to the Outer Banks and climbed two lighthouses. I saw Tricia and Nathan again while walking for Cystic Fibrosis. It was also a weird health month with the yeast rash and the wrist sprain. It was a better Lyme month for regular Lyme symptoms though. I am thankful for that.

What's up with me for October 2008? One Friday night, I think I am going to my former high school Football game. Oh, but it's not for the football. It's for the MARCHING BAND. :) Halloween night, there will be a long drive to my other alma mater Western Carolina University. It's annual Alumni Band time. That is always so exciting and it's the one thing I look forward to every year. The first year I marched. I got on the football field and marched for the first time since 1995. I enjoyed myself so much. I did not realize I was getting sick. The second year, I had really bad arthritis. I could barely climb the bleachers so marching was out of the question. The third year (last year) I also was having a lot of troubles with my joints so I did not march again. This year I had really hoped to march, but I have my doubts with the probable picc line.

Healthwise: I'll have 31 heparin shots, possibly up to 6 saline shots, 4 dressing changes, 1 bone specialist appointment, 1 -- possibly 2 Lyme antimicrobial treatment, 2 Glutathione infusions, 2 home IV's and any other weird thing that always comes up because my life is never just that simple. Not to mention 31 days of supplements including yeast killers and an MSA test somewhere in there along with a blood test that I should have already had completed. The wrist sprain kind of threw that blood work off course ... I really need to set that up.

On top of all of that, there is a professional development day at work and a fall festival and an open house and so much other stuff. It's going to be a busy month. I look forward to every day ... good, bad or the ugly.

Have a great October everybody. :)