Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's a miracle

Our Tree is put together.
Our Tree is decked out with lights and ornaments.
Our Tree is decked out with MORE lights than normal and a different strand of garland.

And it's only two days after Thanksgiving. That my dear friends is what I call a miracle.

Don't understand the miraculous nature of this event? Well two years ago I could NOT put up a tree. I could not celebrate the birth of Christ with the tradition of putting together a tree with a star so bright on top that it guided the 3 Kings to witness Christ's birth. I just had to simply be simple in knowing that the spirit was in my heart, but not my home.

So it's a miracle that the tree is put up.

It's a miracle.

So here is me: A tree hugging, Eric Montross loving, ornament putter upper Jennifer!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Straight No Chasers

Oops. Guess you'll have to be patient. :o) Instead of your regularly scheduled UNC Varsity picture post ... Enjoy this:

Happy Birthday Mom!

And I sent you an even BETTER video through email.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What are you thankful for?

Today is a day to give thanks for all that we have been given. What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What are the things you've heard?

As a chronically ill patient, I have heard the gambit of things that have just blown my mind. Some were said from friends, family, nurses, and even doctors. The one that gets me every time I think about it is when a Rheumatologist told me, "That shouldn't happen."

So my question for my blogger friends is this: What is the most eye brow raising thing that someone else has said to you during your illness? Use MckLinky here to enter your answers. :) I left some my real life examples for you to go by. :o)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gift Idea

Hey ladies ... share this with your friends and family. Get a great gift AND support a Lyme Disease patient all in the same breath. First just look at it. It's beautiful. Second, it was designed with a special person in mind. This necklace was designed and dedicated for Jessica Stevens. Jessica is a 21 year old who suffers from Neurologic Lyme Disease in addition to Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. Alone, each one is painful, but together it's severely debilitating and painful. Jessica has spent the last 3 years of her life paralyzed. She is unable to sit or walk or even eat. Lately to battle these illnesses, Jessica has been in Mexico participating in a Ketamine study.

You can follow Jessica on her blog at:

Lymelinks is an etsy shop that sends profits to Lyme charties (and some pieces are made for Autism charities too), but recently decided to "adopt" Jessica. So for each one of these necklaces that are sold, the proceeds benefit the her so her family can pay medical bills. Later, there are plans to create a matching bracelet will also benefit Jessica. Lymelinks plans to adopt one Lyme patient each year.

Usually, the necklaces will ships within 2 to 14 days. Jessica's necklace is on a 19 3/4 " silver plate chain. It has a sterling silver awareness ribbon bail and a 22 mm swaroviski crystal pendant. Jessica's necklace is only $26.95 with a shipping cost of 2.50 to 3.00 to the United States. So for less than $30.00 you can not only have a beautiful necklace, but also a memento to remember Lyme Disease and help Jessica.

Want to learn more about Jessica's Ketamine Study?

Watch this news story on her, "Counting on a Coma."

And check out Lyme Links other pieces of jewelry ...

Lymelinks Webpage

I know the family that created this etsy site in person. They are a wonderful family. The mom has Lyme Disease along with her two children. I met her at my LLMD's office shortly after I was diagnosed. Her children had yet to be diagnosed at that point.

JV Game

Here are the photos from the JV game I attended with my husband a week ago Sunday.

UNC JV team at the Free Throw line and number 42 is watching the ball go into the basket.

UNC JV team attempting a Three Point shot.

These boys fight for every shot.

There were several injuries too.

including a pretty bad blood nose. But best of all,

And Eric Montross too. :o)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lil Piece of Me

Thomas Wolfe wrote a book called You Can't Go Home Again. There are places in my past that I love. On Monday November 16th, I took a road trip to a place that I have longed to be since I was last there. While my memories of this place decrease with each year that I live, what I do remember is how much I love the friends I made and moments I had.

One of my favorite places was right here ...

in this nook, I read many books. I probably would have read every book in that library had stayed there long enough. As I walked into the library, the familiar smell of books hit me. The kind Librarian greeted me just as she (well not that exactly Librarian that would be kind of scary eh?) had done well over 22 years ago.

From this spot, I drove on to another place I spent a lot of time. I spent a lot of time on slides, Merry Go Rounds and seesaws, but I spent a lot of time sitting right here watching people come into the building.

This building: Our Church.

Then after spending some time around the swings, merry go round and seesaws, I drove down past where I used to live. I must say it looks exactly how it does in my memory. I snapped a quick picture while driving past and went onto my former elementary school. I only took one photo because the building made me sad. This part was condemned a few years ago and they have recently built a new elementary school combining the students from another school with "ours." What memories I have from this building.

Then I realized that I can go back and see some old friends that I haven't seen in 21 years. That would be nice. We've all aged, but we're all essentially the same people. And guess what ... we can go home again.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Interviewed by Lyme Girl

I was interviewed by "Lyme Girl" a few weeks ago and she posted the question & answer session on her blog. If you're interesting in reading, check it out here.

Know there is one mistake which hopefully will be corrected soon. I started blogging September of 2008 instead of March 2008. I started treatment March of 07 and I'm thinking she just mixed up my answers. Ya know being that she is a Lymie! :) Much love to ya LG. :D

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pride of the Mountains

Now for a rather large rememory about me choosing a college.

When it was time for me to choose a college, I knew that I wanted a university in North Carolina. I knew what I wanted and I knew what I didn't want. I knew that I did not want to spend a plethora of money on application fees to different universities when I could only attend one. I had a preference to stay close to home.

Fate had other plans. During the time in which it becomes more important to choose different universities, I was introduced to a couple of people that went to Western Carolina. These people were band people geeks just like me. They were former students of my band director and they helped us out quite often with our music & drill.

Our band was on it's way to one of the biggest competitions of our high school career and it was going to be our first time marching on turf instead of grass. Mr. Bob Buckner and the Western Carolina Marching Band invited us to come and practice on their field. As soon as our buses arrived onto campus, I fell in love. It was the time of year that mountains are covered with colorful leaves. I marched on that field and knew in a moment that I had to go there.

photo taken Nov. 1, 2008 taken from home side looking at visitor's side. The purple & gold seats were not there when I attended WCU. The band took up about 1/7 of the stands in the front section you see. Now I want to say they take up about 3/7 of the stands in the front section you see.

Shortly thereafter, I was recruited to the band program by Mr. Buckner and his wife. She wanted me in her guard program. I knew I wanted to be in this blossoming band. I knew that if I didn't participate I would regret it the rest of my life. I knew that this band program was going to balloon into something quite spectacular.

Photo of Bob Buckner, the man responsible for getting me to Western Carolina. :) I even spent the night at his house one cold snowy evening.

Between the gorgeousness of the university, friendliness of the students and the up and coming band program, I knew that Western Carolina University was the place I had to be. Now the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band is the only collegiate marching band to give me down right chill bumps. In fact, it has become extremely difficult to impress me after seeing this program grow into the Sudler Trophy Program.

The Sudler Trophy is an award bestowed on one university marching band each year. The award does not represent the winner of any championship, but rather a band surrounded by great tradition that has become respected nationally. No school may be honored with the award twice.

Western Carolina Pride of the Mountains Marching Band is the most recent recipient of this award. The past few years I have gone to WCU to see them and this year I went to a local band competition to watch them perform their 2009 show. It is spectacular. If you're interested in seeing anything by them, check out youtube. Put in the search button Pride Of the Mountains and many videos will come up. This year, WCU has 350 to 400 marching members and in the last 10 years alone the band has grown by 120 members. I marched in the Fall semester of 1995. Here is part of what I saw at our local band day on October 31, 2009.

While, I didn't choose a college "close" to home ... Western Carolina is home in many ways. I love to go "home" once a year to see the growth of the university. Even at my sickest, I went for the healing properties of the mountain air.

Go CATS. :o)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My friend Cindy

Cindy is an online friend of mine. I don't remember how we "found" each other, but I love reading her blog. She is so creative. Cindy has CF (Cystic Fibrosis), but that is not what makes Cindy so special. Cindy spreads her sunshine to others.

Several times in the past, Cindy has thought about opening up an online shop for her creations. She has finally done it. "Sunshine by Cindy" opened recently and she's having a give a way on her blog. Check out my friend's etsy website and check out her Yo yo Clip giveaway.

My Rememories

With my recent trip to UNC and also a spontaneous trip I took on the 16th, I have been thinking about my rememories. What you say? Rememories isn't a word? I'm going to post a few of my rememories starting with this post.

The first rememory is how I came up with the word. I was full of Lyme, but I didn't know it. I was mixing up all my words. Sometimes I couldn't think of the word phone, but instead I would say, "I need to use the ya know the thing you talk on." Or if I needed to find a pencil, I'd say, "Where's that thing with the lead and pink thing on the end?" It was frustrating, but did prove humorous (but I would have said humory) at times. There was the time where I swore the word was rememory. I said in perfect intonation, I was rememory today about the time .....

I was trying to say remembering or having a memory, but instead the word rememory came out. What's worse is that I couldn't understand why my friend was laughing at me. When I was told, I swore that I was using the right word. Bless my poor word finding heart.

A more recent rememory only happened a week or two ago at work.

I rarely post about work because I prefer to keep that part of my life separate from the blog. However, I have to share the funniest thing that happened about a week ago.

Part of my job has me teaching children letters, sounds and words that begin with those letters. Well this little boy was going through about 5 letters telling me the letter, a sound and a word for the letter. When we got to the letter B, he said, "B says 'buh' for 'bum'."

Because I wasn't sure I heard him correctly, I asked, "What is that?"

That's when he told me, "Well I don't know, but it rhymes with Drum and it starts with a B."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kelly Currin Morris

Update: 2:30pm. I just found out that Dental records have been used to confirmed that the skeletal remains belong to Kelly Currin and her husband Scott Morris has been charged with murder in addition to setting fire to their home.


On October 3, 2008 ... I urged my readers to help find Kelly. Today our Sheriff's Office is holding a press conference to disclose some latest details of the case. Yes, this case is STILL ongoing. Yesterday however, they may have found something. The details are slow to release and may be an assumption of the news, but according to our local news channel (which may or may not be accurate), they found skeletal remains and have taken Kelly's husband into custody.

Please pray for this family that I went to MS & HS with. I know last night must have been incredibly difficult as have each night since her disappearance. I believe the press conference will be held around 4pm Eastern Time, but am not for certain.

This was my original post:

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

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Very Lucky Story

So I was very lucky to meet Eric Montross before the start of Carolina's Basketball Game.

It all came together like pieces of a puzzle. First piece was that someone gave me two tickets for the Carolina Game. On a whim, we decided we would try to go to the Dean Dome to see the JV play which was scheduled to play 3 hours before the Varsity team. We parked and walked to the Dean Dome.

Entrance A looked locked up so we walked around to Entrance B and noticed a door open. We again took a chance. There was someone standing in the door so we asked if it would be alright for us to go watch the JV game. The man kindly said that we could go in and sit anywhere we wanted for the JV game. We sat down in the very first row! When the JV played, we could feel the vibrations in our legs from them playing. It was awesome!

The JV team is pretty much "unknown" to the general public. They play often to very few people. I would say in this 21,000 + capacity dome that there were at most 200 people watching the JV team. Here they are during a time out.

I'll post a more extensive post on the JV team on a later date, but ... I was taking photos of the JV boys and saw him ... See Eric Montross in the back ground of this photo .. the big bald and beautiful man wearing the red tie?

I must have taken a dozen or more from Row A. Then the JV game ended. After being asked by a few people if I'd take their photos, we talked about just going over there and saying Hi. I was very nervous, but after conversing with an usher

(these are the Ushers before they started ... Ushering) I was all convinced to walk over and take my once in a lifetime opportunity.

After all what is the worst that can happen? I could pee on myself, pass out, or he could just be downright rude. I was certain that he wouldn't be rude and I certainly didn't have to go to the bathroom ... so the worst that could happen was me turning 1,000 shades of red and passing out. Then what would happen? Can you imagine Eric Montross picking little ole me off the floor? *gasp* I would have passed out again!

So we walked over there and after standing there for what seemed like 10 minutes (but probably was really only 2 or 3) .. a man moved as if he were standing in our way. I motioned and said that I was trying to speak with Eric Montross. He got Eric's attention and when Eric stood up ... I thought I was going to pass out right then and there. I forgot he was 7 feet tall! I was looking at a giant! He reached out his hand for a handshake and .. I must say that his hands were very soft and warm. I was expecting a hard-roughed hand shake and I got a nice warm soft hand instead. It was a pleasant surprise. I told him a couple of stories about how I gave him the largest coke we had back in 1990 and how my camera had a "find Eric" button on it. He had wonderful eye contact and I felt about 10,000 shades of red. I guess it didn't come out though. After my stories, I asked if he would mind if I took a photo with him. I was thrilled when he said yes! He even made sure that the photos came out so that I wouldn't be disappointed when I got home.

Funny thing is that I was standing a step or two up .. otherwise my face woudln't have been in the photograph. I think I'll stay on cloud 9 million for a while simply beause of my two hand shakes, but then ....he touched my back! I showed great restraint because I really just wanted to rub my hand over his head .. :O So there ya go, the story of how I got to meet my favorite basketball player of all time!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cloud 9 million for Montross

This was me in November of 2008 standing beside Number 00, Montross' jersey. I had a picc line in. I had long unhealthy hair. I was waiting to get it cut when I felt a bit better. I wanted to cut out that thickness and the years of medications. I had no idea that one year later ... I'd be the luckiest fan alive. Some people call it obsession, but I call it dedication.

One year later, I am on cloud 9 million. I'll tell the story later, but here my dear readers is a dream come true. Eric Montross is my Michael Jordan.

Another hint: I am not that tall and he is not as short as he appears. I was standing up a step or two just so we could get our faces in the same picture, *sigh* My dreams came true last night. I am so stoked.

Very lucky

You know I said at the end of yesterday's post if I was lucky, I'd be able to see my favorite former player Eric Montross. Well I must give you a hint for tomorrow's post.

I was *VERY* lucky.

I am on cloud 9. Take that back. I'm on cloud 90. Take that back. More like cloud 90 Million.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

In, out, from , on (another UNC post)

Guess where I am tonight. :o)

Thanks to a friend that works at UNC, I have the privilege of being at the UNC vs. Valpo game right now. Shortly after the exhibition game, he kindly asked if I wanted to go to the UNC Valpo game. He said, "it's in the nosebleed section," but my response is that there are no bad seats in the Dean Dome. The key word to that statement is the word "IN" the Dean Dome. If I didn't have tickets, I'd be OUT of the Dean Dome watching it FROM my couch.

He brought me the tickets and they were ON my fridge waiting to be used today. They are only my 2nd *real* tickets (usually when I order tickets to exhibition game, I print them off at the computer because there is an option for that) and my 1st real tickets to an actual game (opposed to the exhibition game I go to every year). I'm so stoked to be IN the Dean Dome right now! If I was lucky (because i'm writing this post ahead of time), I was able to see the JV team play too.

If I am really lucky, I am able to see Eric Montross. My favorite player from the early 90's. I think I must be his most dedicated fan. :D

Saturday, November 14, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance

I know it's been a few days since the episode aired, but I wanted to get my background story up sooner than later.

My top 5:

Russell & Noelle: I was completely shocked by both in this routine. It was my favorite performance. I'm glad that the judges let North Carolinian Noelle stay in the competition just so we could see this great routine by a new choreographer. All of the street dancer are just blowing me away in this competition and Russell is no exception.

Channing & Victor: First of all, this is MY kind of routine. After taking a respite of dance, I took a class in college ... and we focused on different types of dancing each week or two. So I just melt when I see special pieces like this.

Ashley & Jakob and their cane: I said once before that lighting can really make a routine. The lighting of this routine was absolutely awesome. So far in this show, my favorite moments are happening after the dancing ends though. Jakob says, "I don't know what moment you're talking about." What I love about Jakob is that in this routine he's so awkward in his dancing that it looks smooth and choppy at the same time.

Kathryn & Legacy: AWESOME. I think that they both won in this routine. :o) Adam wasn't too happy with the "adorable" that Kathryn gave, but I loved it. Legacy amazed me with his ability to do this routine. He shouldn't be able to do that and he did (Yes HE DID ... yeah I know I'm still not Mary Murphy).

Kevin & Karen: I love these two together so it's not a surprise that I loved this routine. So they cracked me up with their bobble save at the end of the dance. They are still near the top of my leader board. This routine was my least favorite of the three that they have done, but it was still very good.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Does anyone have any questions after reading my background story?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Jennifer's Background Story

While I have told my story of how I got diagnosed, I am not sure that my entire story has been told. For those of you that know me in person ... you may not have even heard parts of this story. It's not because I didn't want to share, but because it just didn't seem important to tell you everything. I've probably left parts out in this story (not because I want to, but because I've forgotten bits and pieces of the journey). This is a VERY long post. I do not want to bring it down into separate posts so what I will do is break it down in parts. So you can read bits of it at a time if you need to.

Part One:

I spent 12 years fighting for a diagnosis. I had no idea what was wrong with me. It all started off in 1995 right before I left for college. I had a tick bite. Then shortly after also had some vaccinations and I speculate that those vaccinations also played apart in my severe illness. Fast Forwarding 10 years, I got even worse after another vaccination (Tetanus). I was seemingly fine until I got to college. First morning of classes I sat up in my bed forgetting where I was.

Keep in mind that this would be seemingly normal because I had been in the same bed for the previous 18 years. However, I now surmise that the momentarily lapse was the beginning of a multitude of problems. I forgot where I was so I forgot that I was in a bunk bed. I sat up and knocked my head pretty good. There was blood and a pretty good contusion, but doctors said that I was fine. I didn't even realize either the blood or the contusion was there until I got to class and this guy told me that I had blood running down my face. I don't know which was scarier ... that I had blood on my face or that I didn't FEEL the blood running down my face to know that it was there prior to being told that there was blood there. I was just grateful that I didn't have a concussion.

Part Two

It wasn't long after that I began to have these episodes. Some episodes were quick and benign while others were more obvious. Due to my childhood epilepsy and conk on the noggin, I went to a neurologist who confirmed that I was indeed having seizure activity. Even after medication, my seizures grew progressively worse. It got to the point where I needed to go to UNC hospitals

for a week of testing. I've never felt so alone b.c those doctors were actually suggesting that I was making it all up. That they were strictly for attention and possibly due to stress. They said they didn't know how, but the tests at the WCU hospital were all wrong and that the new tests didn't show any seizure activity. I was told to discontinue all my anti-convulsants and "live" with the episodes. Then, I was mandated to therapy before I could return to school.

I continued to have these episodes until probably 2001. In addition to these episodes, I'd have moments where I'd completely lose track of time. I'd "wake up" in class and not know how I had gotten there. I also began having these spells. I would wake up in the middle of the night with sweats. Immediately, nausea would hit. Shortly after I would be in the bathroom vomiting. This would happen at least three times a week. The sweats would be so bad that I would have to change the sheets on my bed and the mattress would be soaked. I could barely get to the bathroom in time.

Sometimes the RA would find me passed out on the bathroom floor lying in my own vomit after a seizure. I became a recluse b.c I never knew when these moments would come. I just lived with them. No doctor would help me. They suggested that I was Pregnant (if I was, It would be a miracle by God for one and for two the longest pregnancy ~ two years plus .. I think not) or had an Eating Disorder or just an Anxiety Disorder, but no one would even do simple blood work to rule out any illness.

Part Three:

When I started dating and eventually married Robert, he convinced me to see a doctor about the cold sweat/vomiting/diarrhea part of the episodes. I finally saw a nurse practitioner (NP) that seemed understanding. She did all these blood tests and one suggested that I might have a Thyroid problem. I was relieved and scared at the same time. Then a second test came back and my Thyroid was deemed normal. She suggested that it was all in my head too and sent me on my way with antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. I was devastated by her drastic change of opinion. I decided to take them anyways b.c I was desperate for help. At this point, they did help some because I was a wreck just living with the symptoms. But, they didn't help even in the slightest with my physical symptoms. However before I even had seen the NP, the seizures had gone away. I was thankful for just the slightest reprieve.

Sometime in 2003/2004 time frame, I felt a lump in my breast. I was in for the scare of my life when the ultrasound tech scanned my breast. After taking longer than I thought it would to find the lump, she said, "Oh wow. Hold on let me go get the Doctor." He came in and asked her for a few more scans. I immediately ran back to my NP who sent me to a surgeon that specialist in breast lesions. Once the surgeon saw my scans, she suggested a biopsy which would include cutting out the entire lump. I also talked to her about my birth mark which was a heart shaped mole on my right leg. Since I was being put under for one surgery, we both decided that it would be beneficial to go ahead and remove the mole at the same time for biopsy. It had grown in size over the last few years and the color had changed slightly. What if I had cancer and that was causing the episodes? I was terrified, but hopeful for answers.

Part Four:

Well both things came back clear. Praise God for small miracles. However, I started feeling worse. My nausea/cold sweat episodes were worse than ever. About twice a month I'd wake up with severe cramping. Also, I would have episodes of severe vertigo and dizziness. I went to the ER several times that year because I felt the world moving around me. I could barely walk from the bed to the bathroom without having to crawl because of the extreme dizziness. The doctors would listen to my symptoms, give me an IV of Ativan and send me on my way. One night (I think it was in 06, but the dates are really running together now), I awoke in tremendous pain.

I refused to wake up my husband because I felt I had woken him up too many times in the previous few weeks. I just went to the couch and doubled over in pain. I tried everything from heat to food to going to the bathroom. Eventually, I wound up waking my husband and we went to the ER. I was insistant that it was probably gas, but upon several scans of my belly they discovered that my gallbladder was infected and had gall stones. I wasn't even given time to think twice. In less time than it took to get the scans, I was headed back for surgery to remove my gallbladder.

I was thrilled and hopefully that all my GI problems would go away. thought my troubles were over. If I knew then what I know now, I would know that surgery was just the beginning of my troubles. A few weeks after that surgery, I was bit by a tick. I didn't realize it at the time because it was hidden. I kept having this itch. However, my body itched all the time so I figured that was it until I finally decided to look. There it was. A huge blood sucking tick attached to the back of my knee. I went to my neighbor's house to get it removed because it was in such an awkward place that I knew I would never be able to remove it safely. After it was gone, I thought nothing of it. While somethings got better after surgery, somethings got worse. I began to have joint pain and extreme fatigue. Then it happened, I got the flu. I thought, "Are you kidding me? ... Surgery, Tick Bites and the FLU? Come on now. This is ridiculous."

Part Five:

I went to the Urgent Care with my flu like symptoms and for some reason mentioned my tick bite. They immediately said I had Lyme Disease. They were kind and compassionate and sent me home with two weeks of Doxycyline. They informed me that sometimes Lyme tests come back negative that quickly after the bite, but that they were positive I was Lyme infected. If I didn't feel better at the end of the antibiotics, I should come back immediately. I was surprised that not only did they give a blood test, but they gave me treatment! I had no idea how surprising this would actually turn out to be.

Each day on the antibiotic I felt better. Within a week of finishing the antibiotics, I felt immediately worse. The flu was back. ARE YOU KIDDING ME I thought. I went back to the Urgent Care and they said that sometimes strains of Lyme Disease are particularly tough and that they would give me the 2nd round of antibiotics. They sent me home with 2 weeks of Amoxicillian.

About the same amount of time upon finishing the antibiotics, I felt the same thing. Extreme fatigue was the worst. I would fall asleep sitting at stop lights. It was horrible. I started having tingling in my legs and arms, muscle weakness, extreme dizziness, cold sweats, joint pain and the symptoms just go on and on. I went to my regular doctor and told her all of this. She sent me home with four weeks of antibiotics and said that if I did have something bacterial (she said that I also had a terrible ear infection) that it would clear up with that. It was during these four weeks of antibiotics that I walked right into a glass door. *gasp* I was horrified. Some points I felt worse and at some points I felt better. At the end of the four weeks I finally felt better, but two weeks later the symptoms came back.

Part Six:
I was shocked. During this whole time, she also started me on some anti-inflammatories to help my joint pain. Only one gave me a tiny bit of a reprieve ~ Celebrex. She had given me a sample of the drug and it helped slightly so she wrote a prescription (at this point I had wasted tons of money on prescriptions so she wanted to see if it would work first). Then it happened. Insurance DENIED the prescription and it was way too expensive to pay out right. I spent two hours on the phone with the insurance company to tell them how much this particular drug had helped. They said I needed to try FIVE more anti-inflammatories before they would approve the Celebrex.

Each of these other meds caused me extreme G.I problems. Celebrex was the only one that didn't have me running to the bathroom. Finally the insurance company approved the medication. But since I was only getting worse and based on my previous history, my doctor's office suggested that I might have something else. I was sent to a Rheumatologist to be tested for lots of things (one of them was RA Arthritis and the other was Lupus, I don't know what else can't remember). All those tests came back normal. The thing that cracks us up to this very day is the answer that the Rheumy gave us after we told her that my joint pain went away while I was on antibiotics. She told us "that shouldn't happen." She sent me home with Neurontin to help with my severe headaches and joint pain. At this point, muscle weakness was pretty severe. I couldn't' even open up a jar of baby food or squeeze the bye bye buggy to make it work. I was falling asleep at work.

Part Seven:

My regular doc became alarmed at the muscle weakness and sent me for an MRI of the brain. Then suggested that I probably had MS and sent me to the neurologist. The Neurologist that read the initial MRI and forwarded me to another Neurologist saw a suspicious area on my scan He wrote that it appeared that I had some sort of lesion, but he couldn't be sure what it was so he forwarded me to another Neurologist. That Neurologist suggested that the lesion was merely from old damage such as a bump on the head or old seizure activity.

Then he suggested that I was still having seizure activity. So he had me undergo several painful tests all of which came back negative. On the first appointment with the Neuro, he increased the Neurontin to help ease my headaches even further and suggested that if I were having seizures that the Neurontin would ease those as well. However, my EEG proved that I had normal activity. After seeing him for approximately three times with no improvement, my husband and I began to research on the internet.

At this point, I felt that they were treating the symptoms, but not the "disease." I honestly thought that if I kept going at that rate that there would be an autopsy to find out cause of death. I told Rob that I wanted him to sue every doctor after autopsy. So we started doing research on Lyme Disease. Since it was the only thing I "definitely" had (though eventually all the tests came back negative), we researched it to death against my doctor's advice and realized that there were specialists in Lyme Disease that might help.

Part Eight:

My husband emailed the NC Lyme Disease Foundation president and received an email with two recommendations. One of the two had been in the news in North Carolina and we were wary of whether to go see him even though we knew he was probably the better of the two. However, we knew that the 2nd physician didn't just have Lyme blinders on. He specialized in other weird things (ala Dr. House) and I decided to send him a letter of my whole story (which is pretty much what I've told you today). He called me personally and offered hope. However, I had been given hope before. So while I was hopeful, I wasn't going to go into the appointment full of naivete . We scheduled an appointment for the end of February beginning of March of 2007.

When I went to his office that morning, the doctor listened to me for over an hour. Up until this point, I had seen any physician at any appointment for the most 15 minutes. Most appointments with physicians prior to this were less than 5 minutes. One was even under one minute. Not this appointment. This one lasted over an hour. He asked my husband and me numerous questions. We answered. I'll never forget the words out of his mouth, "Jennifer, I know what you have and I can help. You have Lyme Disease. It is written all over your forehead. I will tell you why all of your test results have been wrong and we can work on a plan together to fix you." I'll never forget how I felt when I stumbled out of his office for the first time. I felt hope. For the first time since 1995, I knew that someone cared and listened. He put all the pieces of this convoluted puzzle together.

I've been seeing him now ever since. I finally got that positive Lyme Disease test. I didn't need the physical proof, but it was nice to see it on black and white that LD was indeed one of the problems. As much as I've endured the last 14 plus years, I hope that it helps someone in a small way. I rarely tell my full story because it brings back so many painful memories. I put this out here .. all of it today ... because I hope it helps someone. Friend or Stranger.

On May 22, 2010: I wrote a post on "Waiting" that also goes along with my background story. Check it out if you are interested.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

When I went to Clemson University, they had a memorial set up for Veterans. It was lovely. They had words on the steps that described soldiers. This was just one set of steps. It was incredible. I highly recommend checking it out.

Pray for our veterans. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication. Thank you for your courage.


I mentioned the hospital that we would walk by where I spent a week in 1995.

Here it is:

Tomorrow I will be posting my background story.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


According to some of my friends, my husband has a flaw. Sometimes I appreciate this flaw and other times it can be an annoyance. On our first unofficial date, he showed up in my driveway right on the dot. What I didn't know then was that he had been driving down my road for the prior 30 minutes to an hour because he feared he would be late. I am notorious for being early. I was taught a long time ago "to be early is to be on time."

Well my husband has taken this art to the extreme. Sometimes it can be quite annoying to get somewhere a few hours early. The tickets that I am able to get for UNC basketball games are "general admission." This essentially means, "first come first serve" and "you run to get the best seat you can." If you're lucky, the spot you run to isn't reserved. The first year Rob & I went to the Dean Dome, we got there after the doors opened. We walked in and got the best seat we could, but those were in the Upper Level of the Dean Dome. We didn't even try to go to the Lower Level because we knew the seats would either be taken or reserved.

The next year we went to the exhibition game, we arrived extremely early to tour the campus and the basketball museum. We still wound up sitting pretty far up because we were well behind in line. We were just trying to find "A" seat. We didn't care where because we were in the Dean Dome! There are no bad seats in the Dean Dome, but there are more desirable locations.

This year we had what I considered awesome seats for Late Night with Roy. Now consider this. The exhibition game on Friday began at 7:30. We assumed that the gates would open around 5 to 5:30. Now most of my friends would arrive around 5:30 or possibly even later. Not my husband. We arrived on campus around 3pm (if not earlier), a mere 4 1/2 hours before Tip Off and a probable 2 1/2 hours before the gates would even open.

We get in line and yes there was a line already. We were fairly close to the door and I heard the most beautiful thing ever. The doors were to be opened at FOUR because they were opening up the Dean Dome for the volleyball game scheduled around 5. So this meant that we would not be waiting outside all that long. I was thrilled. We have a game plan. Go in through the doors, Rob & I will dash to the first opening and "run/walk" to the lowest row we can. Yeah we got really low. We could have gone further down, but we found our beautiful seats side by side. It was awesome. Looking over to my left, the tunnel was filled with cheerleaders, coaches, players and all sorts of Very Important People. And to my right, my husband. It was as if we were in our own little world of UNCdomeness. We had a whopping 3 people in front of us. Section 123, Row F Seats 1 & 2 treated us well. And if it weren't for my husband's tenacity to arrive places early, we never would have gotten such great seats!

Volleyball Photo

Roy's boys coming out for practice and in this photo you can see the only three people that were directly in front of us. (Man w/ cell phone, woman's shoulder and man with blue wig. )

Coach Roy Williams looking on as his boy's take the floor for practice.

When I look at this photo below I think two things. First thing is that I'm glad I got both Wear twins in one shot. For those that don't know, we have a set of Identical twins on the team this year. David Wear wears number 34. Travis Wear wears number 43. In photos they can't even tell themselves apart. True story.

The second thing is that I *must* have a "find Eric Montross" button on my camera. Go ahead find him? You can't? Well my camera did. Click on the picture ... Look to the left of the ball at the man in the blue long sleeved sweater with bald head. That's right. ERIC MONTROSS! Go Olympus! You're the bomb.

The freshman are going to rock our worlds this season and in seasons to come. You want proof? Here are David Wear (34) , John Henson (31) and Dexter Strickland (5)

We had a little bit of a scare when Dexter Strickland (5) fell and came back up holding his shoulder, but then he came back immediately with a jump shot.

Look here he is flying in the air.

My friend Missy was also at the game. She came down to see us after the game was over. Rob took this photo in front of my awesome seat.

Now you can see how close we were to the floor.

And thanks to a very generous friend, I get to go back to the Dean Dome on Sunday to see UNC play Valparaiso. I'm so stoked. He's bringing me the tickets today at work.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Upcoming UNC post

Coming up is the photographic proof that I was at the Carolina vs. Belmont Abbey game. To give you a little taste of what we saw ....

Dexter Strickland, a freshman guard from New Jersey, impressed me with this shot. He's our new number 5. Let's hope he has a little of what Ty Lawson had.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


For the past two plus years, I have been sporting this look. I went to get my eyes examined shortly after my diagnosis of Lyme Disease. The very cool thing about these particular glasses are that they are Green on the inside. I thought by the time I was to get new glasses that I would not have Lyme or be seeing my Lyme doctor any more. I was wrong. I went on Friday morning for my annual check up. I say annual, but really I haven't been in over two years.

I just don't do doctor's appointments that well. I have crazy fears and I'm not even sure where some of them came from. It has taken time, but I do love my eye doctor's office. The lady in the frame department is phenomenal with me. She took her time when I started going there just talking me into the door and then talking me into looking at frames and etc. Then finally scheduled an appointment for me. This was about 5 pair of glasses ago. I tend to go with the same style of glasses for two eye visits. I am not much on change so something that changes my "face" that drastically just isn't cool. So I go in one time wanting an upgrade and I spend about a month trying on frames and taking photos of myself in said frames.

The day I went in to schedule my appointment 2 and 1/2 years ago, I tried on three pair until I saw these.

I put them on, took a photo in them, put my regular glasses back on and looked through the camera lens to see what I looked like. It was like a whole new person. So when I went into the frame department this time, I knew what I wanted for another year or two.

Why would I want anything else when I finally found glasses that not only have style, but that fit my face? I had a shock when I went in though. The place didn't have them! I almost went into a state of panic until my sweet frame lady called Kate Spade Company herself to find out if they still carried these frames. Yes they do and my sweet frame lady ordered them for me.

Now something amazing miraculous happened when I went for my appointment. Something that can only be attributed to God. Something that has NEVER happened since I started wearing glasses. I was warned 2.5 years ago that I definitely needed to come in after only a year. That if I didn't my prescription would likely change so drastically that it would call for bi-focals (for those that dont' know which shoudl be likely ALL of you except one or two I wore bi-focals for a long time and a while back my doctor realized that I didn't *need* them). So I was all about Yes I will be back in a year. Yes I will. Well that year passed. In fact, two years passed. So with that said, Something miraculous happened. My prescription stayed the same! If I don't want them, I don't NEED new glasses. I don't NEED new lenses and I don't NEED new frames. However, I *want* new frames because my current frames are a bit worn out and I *want* new lenses because my current ones are scratched.

I want to scream from the mountain tops that:

Lyme didn't take more from me. :) My eyesight has not changed in the 2 plus years I've been in treatment even though the eye doctor said it would! Yah!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance

There were 9 couples on Tuesday night's show. I already have a few favorite couples from last week's show, but I suspect that I will be surprised again. I am pleased that Billy Bell can come back at the Top 100 next season and that Brandon can reapply next season as well to potentially return to the Top 20. However, each season it's gets harder and harder to return. So I'm sure that they will have their work cut out for them. Noelle is also back to perform for the first time after she hurt her knee last week. Listing the top three dances for me in order of my most favorite routine to least favorite. Top four for me at this stage of the game: Kevin, Karen, Kathyn & Legacy. And my apologizes to poor Jakob. FOR some reasons that can only be blamed on Lyme Disease, I have thought his name was Jakde. Even when I saw it in print, I read "Jakde" and when I heard them pronouncing it I thought it was Jakde (Jake duh for those that might be wondering how to pronounce it in my head). So I'm so so sorry Jakob. If I ever accidently write "Jakde" on here, you all will know that i'm talking about Jakob. Now back to the regularly scheduled program ....

Kevin & Karen: I couldn't keep my eyes off of Karen because I was trying to see her mistakes. Guess what? It was EXCELLENT. Adam is cracking me up again this week by falling off the chair about Karen's hot tamale traine ride. So great to see Kevin working it out in his own style and right up in the train with Karen. I will have to watch this again just because it was so good. These pair have become my favorite.

Kathryn & Legacy: Absolutely beautiful & unique. The unique lifts, the jerkiness of movements and the extreme smoothness made for a beautiful routine. The color of Kathyn's dress partnered with the darkness of Legacy's clothing made for a beautiful couple. I can see these two sticking around for a long time especially if Legacy keeps improving the way he has the last few weeks.

Mollee & Nathan perform Bollywood for us. I was just thinking .. what if they have to do a Russian Folk number in a few weeks. I hope they don't throw that at us again. Lighting and music have a lot to do with the performance factor for me. So the beginning of the routine was my kind of lighting. I was completely surprised at how well Mollee wowed us in this routine. Both of them blew me away. They are so young and are performing so well. I hope they can keep up this kind of wow factor throughout the show. I know that Mollee was one of the last dancers picked for the show, but can you imagine the show without her? I can't. Nathan on the other hand was given a ticket to hollywood for this season during the summer audition. They knew he had that special factor and together they are completely awesome.

Kudos to Ellenore & Ryan to performing so well even with her dress caught on her heel 1/2 the time.

The bottom three couples for me were the ones that Nigel pulled up front to pull the bottom 4 dancers from. Bianca is the only one that is truly disappointing. She was my favorite pre-season dancer. She's just doing as well as I thought she would. Truly surprising. I am very disappointed that she had to go home so early, but honestly she was the right choice to leave based on the 30 second solos alone. Phillip also was sent home. He was my least favorite overall male dancer, but boy could he tap. I felt his solo was better than Victor's solo, but Victor has more potential to be an outstanding dancer in all areas. After hearing about the death of Phillip's father, I'm glad they didn't string him along with the whole come forward and go back business that is known in this show. Phillip has had a difficult week.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Best place in the world.

I'm in the best place in the world tonight. UNC began playing basketball with its first game against Virginia Christian College, on January 27, 1910. They won that very first game at 42-21. For the record, my birthday is January 27th. I was destined to be a Carolina fan. Born on the very date that Carolina Basketball began a mere 66 years later. The Dean Dome, which was named after Dean Smith former Head Coach of the Heels and current home of Men's Basketball, opened 9 days before my 10th birthday. And on my birthday in 1993, UNC pulled off a doozy of a comeback win. They managed to win after making up a 19 point deficit after Lynch hit a three pointer to ignite a comeback with under 9 minutes to play. (The ball in the photo is from the 1993 NCAA championship win and the spot on the floor is the location that Lynch threw the ball for the January 27th win).

I was there. I was in the building the day of this tremendous win. I was serving Cokes and Sprites with and without ice. But Carolina served me a win. A win on my birthday, a win on my 17th birthday. That same year, they gave me a National Championship win. This year on January 27, 2010 ... Carolina Basketball turns 100 years old. I turn 34. Tonight on November 6th, I watch Carolina in exhibition from the nosebleed section. I will help Turn it Blue and I will smile b.c I am in the best place in the world tonight. Last year I went to watch UNC vs. UNC Pembroke in exhibition. This year I went to Late Night with Roy (photo below) with Rob. I had purchased tickets for this year's exhibition game so I could see the boy's in action again. By the time this posts, Rob & I will be cheering on our Heels!

I said, "Nosebleed section," but I actually got really good awesome completely close up seats. Got to shake the hand of a coach from the other team. I had to. Not because I'm a fan of the "other" team, but because we graduated high school together. I looked down and saw him standing there. He just happened to look up the moment I looked down. Crazy!

Not just any ole day

I'm taking today off.
It's not just any ole day.
I'm having my eyes examined this morning.
It's not just any ole day.

I'm eating lunch with my best friend.
It's not just any ole day.

I'm walking by the hospital that kept me for a week.
And I'm not going in.
It's not just any ole day.

I'm watching the Tarheels play basketball.
It's not just any ole day.

I'm going hog wild taking photos in Chapel Hill.
It's not just any ole day.

I'm soaking up the day I was given.
It's not just any ole day.

I'm loving the fact that I woke up this morning.
It's not just any ole day.

Each day is a gift.
It's not just any ole day.

It's not just any ole day because
I'm getting four any ole days.
Four any ole days to do what I want.
I'm filling my days with wonderful things
because it's not just any ole day.
It's the day that the Lord has made.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Flowers in November

We have these beautiful Hydrangeas on the side of our home. I hadn't really paid them much attention this season until I was about to pull into my driveway today. We bought them a number of years ago knowing that they probably wouldn't thrive and they give me surprises every year when they bloom. Some years they are purple and some years they are blue. This year they a beautiful combination of the two colors.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Upcoming Post

I am going to be working on my full background story. I told a very abbreviated version when I began my blog. I wanted to share with you a more complete picture. I wish I could share with you every detail of every symptom prior to diagnosis, but I can't remember bits and pieces of them. So stay tuned for my pre-diagnosis story.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Living the Lyme Life

I want to welcome any newcomers to my blog by reposting something I post every so often. I know I struggle when I come across a blog that is a year plus old to find the most important and relevant posts. So I've compiled a list of the most relevant posts that relate to my health. Whenever I write a new post, I add it to this list. You will find "this" post over on the right side under the category, "Living the Lyme Life" right under a list of music. You can go over there at any time and click on it will bring up a post very similiar to this one. If you're here and you have or think you have Lyme Disease, I hope you will find my journey helpful. Please feel free to comment and introduce yourself. If you care to have correspondance with me, please ensure to leave your email address so that I can contact you. This comment with your email address will be deleted as soon as I read it in order to protect your account. :o) Without further ado:

Also, I have posted quite a few things in the past week or so. If you haven't been to the blog lately, scroll down after you read this and see my introduction as well as the photos from my fair trip.

**Updated** October 10, 2009***

Welcome to all of you that are new to my journey. Here are my most relevant posts to my health. Start at the top and work your way down for the Chronological Lyme Journey.

My Diagnosis
My Therapy
A day in the life of a treatment
My PICC Line Story Part 1
My PICC Line Story Part 2
Live Blood Cell first visit
Grey's PICC Line Story
Slow Progress
My LLMD appt
November 15, 2008 Update
Chelation Challenge
Mercury Toxicity (My Mercury test came back negative)
Living the Lyme Life Post
Aluminum Toxicity
PICC Line Removal
Two weeks post PICC
Two year anniversary plus supplements
March 15, 2009 Update
Post PICC Pics
Conflicted Lymie
CDC Positive Test Results
Ups and down of Lyme
Live Blood Cell of Rob & Me
Previous Photos of me
Small Victories
Curious Lymies Goes to the Doc
OCD about ticks
The Serenity Prayer
August 8, 2009 Update
Supplement Strategy
August 30, 2009 Update (Rob & Jennifer)
Starting LDN
Explaining LDN
October 10, 2009 Update

There ya go. The most important health blogs all in one place! Enjoy reading if you've not read them before.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Welcome to the Lyme Life

My name is Jennifer and this is my blog. I have been actively fighting this world of Lyme Disease and co-infections since March of 2007. I've also dabbled in mineral deficiency, Progesterone Deficiencies, Heavy Metal Toxicity and other health issues. I had a PICC inserted into my right arm July of 2008 and I battled with it every day to keep it in for almost 7 months. There were several moments where it probably should have been pulled, but between my wonderful nurses, doctor, picc line insertion team and husband ... we managed to keep it in as long as I needed it. We used it up to the night before it was finally pulled.

I've used regular antibiotics, supplemental therapies, IV vitamin & minerals, yeast battling medications and chelation treatment. I know there is more that I have used, but the most important part of my protocol was keeping the Candida (yeast) at bay. I feel as if the IV vitamin & minerals did the best at keeping my energy levels up. I had an extremely experimental IV which I used for well over 7 months (probably more like 9 months) which isn't available any more. I feel like that IV did more for more than anything else I have tried.

Now while that stuff pretty much rules my life, I am a person. I live my life the best I can with the skills that I have and the love I receive. My husband and I have been coupled together now for 12 years. This coming April, we will celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary. He has been with me on almost every single doctor visit I have endured. He's only missed ONE hospital visit and that one was just a quick check on my picc line when I was having an allergic reaction to the cleaning solution. I wasn't even there that long. He's supported me with his quirky sense of humor and determination to get to the root of my health issues. Google was his best friend when I spiralled out of control in 2006/2007. He is the one that found my Lyme Doctor, he is the one that diagnosed me, and he is the one that ensured that I filled out the paperwork to get to see the Great Oz of Lyme.

We have two delightful and mischievous dogs. We rescued both. One is a lab mix that we rescued from the SPCA. He is about 8 to 9 years old. We rescued him when he was about 8 months old. We also rescued a Dachshund from a house. I went over to this house with a friend of mine to donate clothes for the mother. When we arrived, there was a terrible stench that greeted us. The house was full of children and pets. I mentioned how many pets they had and the lady said they were trying to get rid of one of them. I found this lovely scared overweight Dachshund under the couch. I told the lady I would take her to the SPCA and find her a home. I fell in love and she's been under our loving care ever since. I speculate she's around 10 to 11 years old now. She's definately no longer shy, but does get scared at new people. She's no longer overweight either!

I work in a child care facility. Originally, I worked full time in a preschool classroom. However as time went on, I became in charge of my center's reading program. I did both teach in the classroom and run the private reading program. Then it became crystal clear that I was struggling doing both well. I would spend 2 or 3 hours outside of my classroom and only have my class 3 to 4 hours (and two of those hours would be at nap time). So I had a choice to make. Do one or the other or feel like a failure at both. Even though I was still doing both quite well, my health was starting to fail and I needed to focus on as few things as possible. I could have done either, but my passion was the reading program.

So now, I teach 3 & 4 year olds how to read. I also dabble in the Math program as well. It's quite a rewarding job to know that the children I send to Kindergarten already know how to read before getting there. A lot of the children I have taught in the past are now in Academically Gifted programs. It makes me so proud to know that they took the basics I taught them and expanded into very gifted students. I just recently saw one of my students that I taught at 3 and 4 and she's now in 3rd or 4th grade.

There are several things that I love. I love taking photographs (especially of flowers, trees and clock towers), watching Carolina play basketball, collecting angels & snowmen, reconnecting with old friends and watching TV (especially So You Think You Can Dance). I used to be in the marching band and winterguard. I love to go to competitions to see my alma mater perform. Speaking of Alma Maters, I went to Western Carolina University and performed in the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band for one semester. So any chance I get to see WCU perform, I grab it. That band is one awesome band. Youtube does not do it justice. If you ever get the chance to see WCU perform live ... take it! You will not be disappointed.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Whole Lotta Favorites

Some more of my favorite photos from the NC State Fair.

Carefully crafted cake for a baby shower.

October is the month for Pumpkins. There were a plethora of pumpkins. I took plenty of photos of a plethora of plump pumpkins, but here is one in solitude.

Carefully and cautiously photographs of cerulean candles.
It's a miracle that I did not fall when taking this.

This fellow was created out of traffic barrels and cones.
A Student stole Barrel and Cones to build a Barrel Monster.
After he was released, a construction company hired him to recreate his Monster.
So this year, the State Fair featured the Barrel Monster and his bride.
His bride was at one of the entrances.
However it was raining when we were leaving so we couldn't take a photo of her.
I wanted to take my photo with him, but there were so many people stalking him
that I didn't feel comfortable holding his hand. :P

Well that's all she wrote folks.

I had a whole lotta happy!