Sunday, July 31, 2011

Magnesium Gel

So at my last LLMD appointment, we discussed Magnesium Deficiency. I started doing a little research on this possible deficiency of mine and discovered a number of things. MedlinePlus says there are three categories of deficiency: 1. Early. 2. Moderate. 3. Severe. They mention fatigue, insomnia, irritability and muscle twitching as a few of the early symptoms. In an Ezine Article, they mention PMS, headaches, and that lights may appear too bright.

Well, I tend to have trouble taking supplements and as with the LDN Cream, we're trying alternative therapies. So when he mentioned that there was possibly a Magnesium Gel, I jumped on it. Apparently it's supposed to really help. I'm not sure how well it will work, but today I put on my arm a little bit and massaged it in. Per the instructions on the bottle, I washed it off after 30 minutes.

Some people online have sworn by this saying that they've had rashes disappear they've had for a long time. So I chose to go ahead and use it on my arm. We'll see how it goes and if I start to feel better as time goes on. Either way, I didn't get sick to my stomach since I didn't have to put it into my stomach. If it helps this rashy appearance on my arm to boot, I'll be thrilled as punch.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Blood Draw McGraw

If you want to know about my My Diagnostic Codes for this particular Lab check out my previous post called Diagnostic Codes.

My day began Thursday night. I drank two extra bottles of water and went to sleep good & early to be well rested for Friday. I woke up bright & early and began my regiment on drinking water. I got in the car and left my A/C OFF. And in this sweltering topping 100's (yesterday in the sun, my best friend's thermometer read 115 .. though I doubt it was really above 104). Occasionally I would crank it up for a moment to keep me from melting away, but I was trying to keep my temp pretty warm so that my veins would cooperate.

I arrived at the lab expecting a line full of people. There was only one. It seemed to take a while, but honestly it probably wasn't as long as I felt (b.c I arrived at 9:15 and then left at 10:15). After the other client left, I handed the dreaded vampire my forms and cards (insurance, driver's license and credit card). As she was typing in the codes from the paper, I could hear her audibly sighing. Finally I said "What's wrong?"

She said, "These are some serious tests with difficult lab procedures."

It was then that I laid on her that, "My veins are difficult to get." We both took a breath and she was writing a lot of things down (SST*, Frozen; SST, Ambient; SST, Refrigerated; etc!). She's going over each test and writing down which test needed what. When all was said & done, she needed 10 vials. During this, I'm telling her my horror stories which included:

  • The time that the lab used the wrong tube for my "Day 21" lab which caused me to have to go back on another Day 21 which caused me to miss about 28 days of meds b.c I needed them
  • The time that the lab stuck me about 8 times before sending me home to come back the next day
  • The time I fainted
  • The "Latex" Tourniquet & Gloves Lady
  • The "OH I can so get that" vein lady (which just so happened to be the same lady as the Latex tourniquet lady).
She looked at me with horror as I recounted several visits in the past. I sat down and she went through all 10 vials and the paper twice before grabbing a beautiful blue pair of gloves. We talked about my arms before she even put the tourniquet on. She tourney'd up the left arm and felt around. She tourney'd up the right arm and felt around. She asked where this infamous "vein" was and I pointed the general direction of its location. She couldn't believe that anyone would try that particular spot.

She then said she wanted to try my hands, but in general hands didn't respond well to 10 vials. That she would do her best. So she tourney'd up my left hand and began manipulating my hand to get some veins to pop. And pop they did. I felt as if this lady had struck gold! She grabbed a butterfly (the heaven's opened up and sang her praises when she did that!) needle and said "Are you ready?" Like I even had a choice! We both took a deep breath and she stuck it in. I felt it all the way down to my toes! I felt a joyous feeling inside b.c I knew that when I feel that it means that typically at least 5 vials will get blood filled.

I started taking deep breaths, which of course worried her. But then I told her that typically the blood flows better for me when I breathe in and out slowly throughout the entire procedure. Vial after Vial filled with glorious blood. She got to the last two and said even if she had to pull the needle out that she was confidant that she could get two purple tubes out of another vein. I continued to slowly breathe. The blood continued to flow. Next thing I know, she's pulling out the butterfly.

I was so thrilled that I filled out one of those comment cards. I believe the wording I used was "miraculous visit. 1 hand stick for 10 vials on what's typically torture and 10 sticks filling only one vial! Thank you Heather."

After I stopped bleeding (I'm really hoping this doesn't mean that my blood work will stink b.c sometimes when it doesn't stop bleeding immediately some of my work is wonky), I went out front to drink 1/2 a bottle of Gatorade before heading out.

Let's just say, I'm thankful to a woman that listened to my past concerns and did exactly what was needed to get a good draw. I'm also thankful to some hand veins that have apparently somewhat healed enough to get some blood! Praise God for Miracles. Now let's pray that my blood work comes back with the answers we need. Heather said she was going to be thinking about me all weekend. I asked her how many was the most vials she had ever filled (thinking it would be in teh 20's ... after all Dr. P's office does this all the time). She asked, "including yours?" ... I'm like yeah .. she said "yours."

No wonder she had an audible sigh! I used to call "S" .. One stick slick. I think Heather will be Blood Draw McGraw! Too bad I can't make sure she's there every time!

*SST is Serum-separating tubes. They use this for a lot of different labs. The tube at my office is generally a marbled colored top. There are many different color tops for different tubes based on what's inside. Some are Red, Purple and honestly I can't remember the others

Website on Vacutainers)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Diagnostic Codes

Earlier today I was looking at the Diagnostic Codes listed on my Lab work paper for tomorrow. I will be going in to get my "Grab & Jab" which will lead to the "hit and miss." Anyways, I saw these diagnostic codes and wondered what they were.

Thank goodness that Google is my friend

780.79 = Other Malaise & Fatigue.
625.4 = Premenstrual tension syndromes
280.0 = Iron deficiency anemia secondary to blood loss (chronic)
288.0 = Agranulocytosis

According to Medline Plus, "Agranulocytosis means a failure of the bone marrow to make enough white blood cells (neutrophils). Bone marrow is the soft tissue inside bones that helps form blood cells."

Medlineplus also says, "Agranulocytosis results in a person not having enough of a specific type of white blood cells, called neutrophils or granulocytes. A low neutrophil count (neutropenia) may also occur when white blood cells are destroyed faster than they can be produced."

People with this condition are more likely to get infections. So in order to insure that Lyme doesn't rear it's ugly head (since it IS a bacterial infection), we have to keep a check on my blood cells. I've had a problem with my cell counts in the past so my LLMD likes to keep a check on them. This is also something that the LDN should have helped.

Cross your fingers that the Grab & Jab goes well.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

LDN Cream

At my most recent LLMD appointment, we discussed what we have been talking about since August of 2009. I wrote a post then (click here to go to that post) Explaining LDN. He started me off at 4.5mg, but I had some really lousy side effects at 4.5mg. Those side effects included a severe lack of sleep, profoundly disturbing dreams, severe headaches, excessive jaw pain and fatigue. When this didn't improve, he recommended that I start off at only 1mg and increase as I adjusted to it. All of 2010, I had difficultly getting past 1mg and I eventually stopped trying. In May of 2011, I decided that I would really try to get up to 3mg. Things went okay and I actually did get up to 3mg.

So when I went to my LLMD, I explained to him that I had done really well. He was rather impressed that I had pushed myself. Then he told me something that I wish I had known before now. LDN can be compounded into a CREAM! The cream comes in syringes. There are 3ml of cream in each syringe and 10 syringes come in a 30 day supply. For a typical Lyme patient, they would use 1ml of cream per night. Well with my sensitivity, we're going to start off with 1/2 ml of cream. This is about the equivalent of 2.25mg of LDN. If things go well this entire month, then I can slowly increase until I get to the full 1 ml of cream.

Here are 9 of the 10 syringes next to my cell phone (an appropriate Lime Green!) to show size.

I push the syringe so that 1/2 ml out onto my arm. The instructions say to rub it onto soft skin. The pharmacist recommended the soft side of the arm between the elbow and wrist. I have decided to alternate the arms, though I don't think it's necessarily required. I have used it for three nights so far. In addition to the LDN cream, we discussed my difficulty sleeping lately. So he sent me home with some Melatonin hoping that it would help me sleep.

On the first night, I had no problems sleeping. I slept the entire night without waking. I did have dreams, but they weren't enough to wake me. On the second night, I woke once. I woke up and was extremely thirsty and hot. So I had to get up for some water and to turn the air cooler. Once I was settled with those things, I was easily able to go back to sleep. I was exhausted when my alarm went off however. Last night, I slept like a rock. I fell asleep at 7:45pm and didn't wake until 5am when my alarm sounded.

I get my blood work done on Monday and I'm hoping that all this work I've done since May will show up.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lyme Walk 2011 in NC

Read this Article in the paper regarding the walk I went to on Saturday morning. This article will give you the details about why the walk was being held in the little town of Albemarle North Carolina. Now onto my story.

Prior to my Lyme friend Whitney's benefit raffle, I was invited to this gathering a little over two hours from my home. I thought it would be fun to go, but wrestled with the thought of actually going. I always enjoy hanging out with fellow Lyme patients, but there are several reasons why I thought I wouldn't go. The thought process went something like this:

1. I'm going to spend over 4 1/2 hours in the car.

2. I don't think I'll know anyone there.

3. AND It's going to be OVER 100 DEGREES OUTSIDE!!!!

4. I could easily get sunburned or bit by another tick.

There were however three reasons why I thought that I should go.

1. I knew that I would know Wendy & Brenda from online and that I would have a great time with everyone once I arrived.

2. My ability to advise those that are just starting their Lyme journey or those that knew nothing about the disease.

3. I would be capable of capturing magnificent snapshots of moments.

So after convincing my husband that we should go (despite the HEAT that kept hot dogs warm long after they were cooked!), we went to the store and picked up bottles of Gatorade and water. We purchased three huge bags of ice. Yesterday morning we got up at 5am sharp and packed our car with the cooler full of ice with our drinks, sunscreen, bug spray and our awesome Olympus E-620 SLR camera with extra flash!

Well the drive there was pretty boring. However, I must say "YOU might be in the middle of nowhere IF you see a lady on the side of the road having a little mini yard sale on the hood of her car right near a horse & buggy caution sign." We were right smack dab in the middle of no where. We arrived around 8:20 and I generously applied both sunscreen & bug spray to my skin.

I took a walk over to all the Lyme Clad ladies & gentlemen and threw myself right smack dab in the conversation. Now I am telling you, Lyme has given me many problems. However, it also gave me a huge advantage. Five years ago, there is no way I would have walked into a place with several dozen strangers and felt comfortable enough just to be myself. No way, no how.

Shortly after arriving, I began snapping photos. I took almost four hours worth of photos. I took well over 300 photographs. I won't share them all, but to me these photos are priceless.

Lyme Disease Awareness Board: There were many brochures on Lyme to share with those that participated in the walk.

Tick Remover Tools provided by IgeneX.

Presents for the Lymies. Brenda & Wendy were kind enough to make up packages for those of us in attendance that had Lyme. So very sweet.

Holly presenting the Lyme Awareness shirts.

Ernie & Brenda talking about Lyme Disease.

Lyme Bracelet from May Day

ILADS bag.

Two Lymies sharing a moment.

Brenda counting funds raised.

My new Lyme friend & me.

So the biggest thing that happened was that I got to talk to a young lady I haven't connected with before online. She was the sweetest thing ever. I talked with her and her Dad at length. They got to take home the documentary Under Our Skin. The amazing thing is that I'm more than twice her age! In fact, I'm twice her age plus 3!

What an amazing day.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lyme Walk 2011

My husband and I went to the Lyme Walk today. Took us about 2 hours and 15 minutes to get there. We stayed from about 8:20 to noon. We had a blast and I took a lot of photos. I'd love to share many, but this sums it up.

I will be sharing more in the future, but I wanted to say that we had a great turn out. They raised 500 dollars for ILADS. I met many North Carolina Lymies. All of us have a very similiar story.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lyme Symptoms in the past

So there is this website that most Lymies know of called: It lists about 75 symptoms of Lyme Disease. I thought I would share with all of you the symptoms that I have had starting in 1995 when I got my initial tick bite. Some of these didn't start until 2005 when I got a second known tick bite. Yes, this is a long post. So sorry, but this is a long illness. I'm sure there are things I've left out. Also, there are things that I haven't told very many people.

  • Tick Bite: I saw the tick bite.
  • Rash at the site of the bite. I don't know if there was a rash for the first tick bite, but other tick bites, there were rashes including the EM rash that is commonly recognized as the Lyme Rash.
  • Rashes on other parts of your body. I had rashes (and sometimes still do) all over my body. Sometimes it was on my legs, arms, trunk, face.
  • Raised Rash, disappearing and recurring. Yes my rashes would pop up and some of them would be raised. They would disappear as quickly as they came on.
  • Rash, basically circular, oval and spreading out. I had this as well. These rashes were more after the 2005 tick bite.
  • Headaches - mile or severe. My headaches were tremendous. They were so significant that my GP ordered an MRI to check for tumors.
  • Seizures - about 2 weeks after my tick bite in 1995, I started having seizures. Some were shown on EEGs and some were not. The doctors suggested that they were psychosomatic. I never believed that for a moment. They completely ended a few weeks into Lyme treatment.
  • Twitching of facial or other muscles. My legs and arms twitched all the time. Most weren't noticeable to people, but at the peak of my illness my husband could feel them if he were holding my hand.
  • Tingling of nose, tip of tongue, cheek or facial flushing. For a while, I blushed easily. I also had tingling all over. Nose, tongue, cheek, legs, etc.
  • Stiff or painful neck. I would wake and my neck would be so stiff that I couldn't turn my head. If I did turn my neck, it would be very painful. Most of the time, it would go away after about 2 hours of being awake. It made for a difficult drive b.c I leave for work about 40 minutes after I wake.
  • Jaw Pain.
  • Sore throat, Clearing throat a lot, phlegm, hoarseness, runny nose. I often times would wake with a sore throat and runny nose. It was not uncommon for me to get laryngitis. For no reason, I would wake up without being able to speak. I also would have what I called "clogged throat."
  • Double or blurry vision. at the beginning of my treatment in 2007, I had extremely blurry vision. Because I do wear glasses, it freaked me out. I sought help and my eye doctor was a little bit Lyme literate. She told me that b.c Lyme affects muscles that my muscles were being affected by the bacteria. She thought that with treatment that the blurriness would improve. She was right.
  • Increased Floaters. Oh My Word. There was one point where the floaters were so bad that I didn't want to be out in the sun at all b.c they were so distracting. Some looked just like the spiral bacteria too. I was very freaky. Again, they improved significantly with treatment.
  • Pain in eyes, or swelling around eyes. I often would have swollen lids around my eyes. I'd wake up and they would be swollen. Sometimes it would happen in the middle of the day. It still happens. I attribute it to allergies, but who knows. It could actually be Lyme.
  • Sensitivity to Light. For a while, it hurt to even be inside with the lights on. I would sometimes wear my sunglasses inside. I still have to have complete darkness to sleep. Otherwise I wouldn't get any sleep at all.
  • Plugged Ears. Sometimes I have moments where I can't hear. It feels as if I have cotton in my ears.
  • Buzzing or ringing in ears. There was a point where it was so bad that I wasn't sure if there wasn't something really buzzing in the room. I would have to ask others if they "heard that noise." Once I answered the telephone because I thought the phone was ringing. It was my ears.
  • Oversensitivity to noise. I couldn't go in a crowded room b.c it was so loud and it caused the headaches to increase 10 fold.
  • Diarrhea. I would get cases of having to wake up in the middle of the night b.c this was so bad. It generally only happened between 1am to 4am.
  • Bladder: UTI's were often.
  • Upset stomach. I would wake up in the middle of the night and run to the bathroom. It would be coming out of both ends. There would be no rhyme or reason for it.
  • Bone, Joint Pain, Swelling. My bones and joints ached all the time. My knees, ankles and knuckles would swell.
  • Stiffness of joints, back, neck. It's self explanatory.
  • Muscle pain or cramps. Almost every single muscle ached.
  • Once I started treatment, I had serious trouble catching my breath. It hurt to take a deep breath and I didn't feel like I was getting enough oxygen. It wasn't the case, but it felt that way.
  • Chest pain or Rib soreness. My ribs hurt constantly. It sometimes felt as if I had broken them.
  • Night Sweats, unexplained chills. The nights I would wake up running to the bathroom, I would be in a cold sweat. I'd be freezing cold and burning up all at the same time. No Fever, but my clothes would be covered with sweat.
  • Heart: Sometimes my heart would race or feel like it would skip a beat or two.
  • Tremors, unexplained shaking: My hands would shake sometimes so hard that I couldn't hold a cup a water without spilling. This was the hardest symptom to "hide."
  • Fatigue, Weakness. I felt completely exhausted. Sometimes so bad that I would fall asleep at stop lights.
  • Numbness, tingling, pinpricks in body. Sometimes it was so bad that I couldn't feel something that was vibrating. You know those bouncy seats that vibrate? Well I couldn't tell if it vibrating by touching it. I had to listen for the noise. Imagine my shock when I felt it for the first time with my hand. I often felt as if my body was asleep. You know that annoying sensation when you sit in one place too long. Yeah ... I felt like that a lot.
  • Poor Balance, Dizziness, Difficulty walking. I often fell. It was embarrassing. Sometimes my dizziness was so bad that I crawled.
  • Increased motion sickness. Well I've had this since I was a kid, so I'm not sure whether it was increased or not, but motion sickness during treatment was horrible.
  • Lightheadedness. I often felt faint when I stood up.
  • Mood swings: I went through a phase where my mood would dip with the blink of an eye. I was frustrated a lot of the time.
  • Unusual depression. Not a pretty topic, but I spent a lot of years depressed. Because of this, I was on antidepressants for a few years. Of course, my doctor thought that my depression was causing my symptoms. Turns out my symptoms were causing my depression. :O
  • Disorientation, I got lost all the time. I got lost going home from work, a place I worked at for a number of years.
  • Over-emotional reactions. I would cry at the drop of a hat. No reason. It was insane
  • Too much sleep. there was a time in which I could sleep 12 to 15 hours, wake for an hour or two and then go back to sleep easily for another 8 hours.
  • Difficult falling asleep: in the same breath, some nights were very difficult to fall asleep.
  • Narcolepsy. While never officially diagnosed, I did fall asleep quite easily - not always in the bed. In fact, once I fell asleep while talking to the nurse at the front desk of a medical office.
  • Panic attacks. Back in 2001, I had serious panic attacks. So much so that I took medication for them. Because I was terrified of addiction, I rarely took them ... but dealt with the anxiety through breathing techniques.
  • Memory Loss: Sometimes I would forget days at a time. I think I still have lost memory from the past. Once a friend came to visit me from Virginia. A few weeks later, I mentioned I hadn't seen him in a year. I honestly didn't remember his entire visit. I still don't.
  • Confusion: My words get jumbled sometimes.
  • Difficulty reading: This was the most troubling problem. I loved to read. I mean, I used to get in trouble in elementary school for reading! So when I brought home a book from the library and struggled to read a page, I cried.
  • Going to the wrong place. I once drove to my old place of employment. FOUR YEARS after I quit. I didn't realize I was in the wrong place until I got into the class and the kids didn't know who I was.
  • Slow, Stammering speech. Sometimes I would get told "just spit it out already." What those people didn't know was that I was speaking as fast as my brain would let me. It was so frustrating and I couldn't explain that Lyme was causing my brain/speech to be so slow.
  • Forgetting how to perform simple tasks. I once forgot how to use the washing machine.
  • Phantom smells. Sometimes I would smell foods that hadn't been cooked. Most of the time I smelled Popcorn.
  • Unexplained weight loss. I lost quite a bit of weight. I think I got down in the 70's. No reason for it. It took a while for me to get back into the 90's. Now I'm in the triple digits. No one jumped bigger than my doctor when we tipped the scales. :)
  • Swollen lymph nodes. Occasionally my lymph nodes in my neck would swell.
  • Unexplained "fever" My temp stayed way too low. 96.8 would have been high for me.
  • Continual infections: I almost always had some sort of sinus infection.
  • Symptoms seem to change, come and go. One day I'd have pain, the next day it would be cognitive problems. I'd make a doctor's appointment for one problem and when I'd arrive that one would be gone and another one would be in its place.
  • Pain migrates: Sometimes my right knee would hurt and other times my left elbow. It moved around quite often.
  • Flu like symptoms. I don't remember having the "flu" after my 95 tickbite, but I did get it after my 2005 tickbite.
  • Allergies Chemical sensitivities, I can not tolerate "smells" of any kind. Makes me sick to my stomach.

Lyme Walk in North Carolin

On this coming Saturday (July 23, 2011), there will be a walk in Albemarle North Carolina. A couple of Lyme warriors have organized this walk. It will be held at ...

City Lake Park
815 concord rd
Albemarle, North Carolina 28001

All funds raised will be going to ILADS. There will be an awareness walk and free hot...dogs, drinks, and cupcakes. There will be a cornhole tournament ($20 per team, 2 game guarantee). The park is rented from 8 to 12. Raffle tickets are $2.

Here is the facebook event page.!/event.php?eid=214406478603459

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Living the REMISSION Lyme Life

Yesterday was my wonderful Lyme appointment. I say wonderful because one thing didn't happen. There was no Grab & Jab. That happens July 29th. I say wonderful because of something I read after I left his office.

So at each visit, I go into the waiting room. I sign a piece of paper that says I'm there, what time I arrive and whether I want treatment or not. It's just a cover all our behinds kind of thing. When I'm there for a follow up, I have to fill out another piece of paper that asks what specific improvements or problems I've had since my last visit. Also have to say what specific issues I want addressed and any medications to be listed. I'm taken back for my temp, weight, blood pressure (sitting and standing) and pulse Ox. These are typically all good. Though I did have problems with my temp for a while (being way too low .. and occasionally too high) and my weight was significantly too low, but we've worked out both of those issues. I'm brought back to the waiting room while I read a new set of policies just put in effect and wait for my hero to peer his head through the door.

I was sure to get a smile on his face because while he'd never admit it out loud, I know I'm one of his favorite people. After all, he took me to congress and our picture was in some journal together (though I did never see it). We sat together to see our first viewing of Under Our Skin. So a warm smile from him when he thinks about how far I've come in four plus years is very much expected.

He opens the door and peers his head. Before he could even get my name out, I've bolted out of my seat. We walk back to his most comfortable office where I proceed to tell him that I forgot my cheerleading outfit (which doesn't fit anymore ... :( but symbolic b.c I am his biggest cheer leader) and he kindly reminds me that I used to be the person that always came in dressed crazily. I knew he meant that he could always count on me for a laugh.

We sat down and I haven't been in since December. So he wanted to recount how I've been. I tell him first how well things have gone. I've only been on antibiotics once for Bronchitis since our last visit and those went well. Then, I had to mention the symptoms. I mean I was there to tell him about my symptoms. Well I chart ALL of my symptoms in this calender on google. The problem was that my printer wasn't working and my husband wasn't home to fix it. So I had to rely on the good ole memory banks. That's hard to do sometimes, but I knew the few problems I wanted to discuss.

I told him about the few headaches I've had (which I'm sporting one right now actually). I told him about the problem sleeping sometimes where I wake up from a vivid dream and struggle getting back to sleep. And then there are some nights where I sleep very little. Now those of you that really know me know that in days past I could sleep 12 hours without waking once and at the end of the 12 hours honestly I could wake up about an hour and go back to sleep no problems. I talked about my staring into space and not really being there and spacing out moments. There was one other too private thing (which really isn't that private, but I just don't feel like discussing it on the blog) that I discussed with him.

He dug through my chart and reminded me of some serious symptoms I had in the past. We smiled b.c I had gotten through them. We discussed LDN at length. Discussing that it could possibly be the cause of some of my symptoms, but more likely than not it was something else causing the problem. We discussed how in the past my Progesterone levels were low and this could cause every single one of my problems. So on the 29th, I'll go and have those checked out. We discussed some mineral deficiencies. I've had problems in the past (and probably still have problems). These medicines make me feel so extremely nauseated. So I tend not to take them. So we're working on solutions for that.

We discussed our mutual fear of Lyme creeping back or getting a new infection over every little small symptom. Though I told him I try not to let that anxiety rule my life as it did two years ago. I told him I was in the paper. Oh did you not know? Google News of Orange: Or better yet. It won't be up long b.c they change it weekly, but a picture of Whitney & I were on the front page of News of Orange.

Here is the photo:

Anyways, in the article you will read what it says under it:

"Both women suffer from Lyme disease, though Allton has already completed her treatment and is almost entirely in remission while Corn is just starting her antibiotic series. Before she could start, Corn had to build up her strength by taking supplements.
Erin Wiltgen / News of Orange

I wanted to share this with you because ... it's official.

All indications are that Lyme remains in remission potentially even eradicated (though concerns remain that it could return or I could get a new infection). Dr. P said all of this based on my clinical symptoms just as he diagnosed me clinically. However, once my blood work is done and comes back (which should be back by the middle of August) we will know for certain that my symptoms remaining are hormonal in nature and not from Lyme.

Can you see me jumping for joy? I'm THRILLED.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Be Our Guest

So last week, my boss called me to the office. She told me that "they" had been thinking about me and a "fun" project she wanted me to do. When I asked who "they" were, it was my boss and another school director. Well sometimes these "fun" projects aren't exactly fun. Sometimes they are very boring. I waited for her to spit it out.

She asked for me to go over to another school to be Snow White. Well, that fell through for the week, but then another teacher said since I was already being Snow White that I should be Belle at our school. Well, that happened yesterday. I don't do anything 1/2. So my coworker brought her former boss's costume. I slipped into an empty classroom and applied make-up. Though that did have to be done 1/2 b.c I threw away all of my foundation a few months ago.

I just don't wear make-up. I feel itchy and uncomfortable so I just don't use it at all. Since this foundation was about 10 years old, I simply tossed it. I didn't however toss my powder, eye shadows or lipsticks so I went off to work with my tools in a shoe box (should have packed my caboodle, that would have been a blast from a past!). I put on the powder, a ton of eyeshadow, lipstick and mascara and went off to find someone that could fix my hair.

I can do a lot of things, but I haven't mastered a "pretty" up-do. I have mastered the simple bun and pony tail, but pretty Belle do ... well my hair has always been a mystery to me and yesterday my hair was particularly grumpy. So, I called for back-up. Then the back-up called for back-up. I wish I had pictures because wowzer it looked awesome (especially for a 5 minute fix with no bobby pins or hairspray).

I slipped into the bathroom where there was a whole debacle. I felt kind of like it was my wedding day EXCEPT I failed to remember that I would have to pull a shirt over my hair and make-up. So a friend helped me get undressed and redressed. We pinned where the dress needed to be pin. Put on a tiara and special shoes and voila. Ms. Jennifer turned into Princess Belle.

Wow. It's all I can say. Simply Beautiful.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My friend - Whitney

Whitney & I have a funny (in an irony small world) story to tell.

So in March 2011, I received a request on facebook. I set up a VERY small group a few years ago for my friends in NC and SC that have Lyme. When we started, there were maybe 5 of us. Now it's grown to 37 of us. I personally now have met 10 of them including Whitney. So in March I received a "I want to join your group" request. Whenever I get one of these requests, I pretty much send back some questions to the person. It goes something like this:

Hi, My name is Jennifer and I'm the cofounder of (insert group name here). In order to process your request, I need some information from you.

1. Do you have Lyme?
2. Where do you live?
3. How did you hear about the group?

She replies back that she lives in (----insert city name here---- which is about an hour and 10 minutes from me actually). That she's not sure that she has Lyme, but is certain she does. She goes on to tell me a little bit about her symptoms and while usually I don't add people that aren't certain they have Lyme, I figured what the harm. Plus on her friend's list we had a friend in common. And it was a real life friend. So I partially wondered if my friend had told her about my story and was also convinced it was Lyme. In hindsight, they don't know each other. My friend probably thinks that Whitney is another Whitney, but that's another story for another day.

So anyways, Whitney joins my group and we chat for a while. I highly recommend my doctor and to my surprise she starts to go to him. I often will refer people to my Lyme doctor, but honestly 9 out of 10 people start somewhere else first and then come back to me 6 to 10 months later asking for the name of my doctor again.

Well when I first started seeing him, I was completely overwhelmed. All the medications and supplements was enough to drive anyone crazy, much less someone consumed with neuroborreliosis (or with the 'chetes' as we like to call them). So I took a morning and went over to help her organize a chart for her medicine. We became fast friends.

So yesterday, I went to her raffle benefit. OH My WORD. We laughed and laughed until we could laugh no more. We shared our laughter with three other Lymies. Two were from our small group. What a blessing. I didn't win the TV, but I did win award winning looks like this:

Unfortunately, my camera was dying and I didn't get a photo on my camera of Whitney & me.
Hopefully the photo that the reporter took will be much more flattering of the both of us. Yes, there was a reporter. Now most of the time people say "reporter" and I get so nervous that I revert back to introverted Jennifer. Well I met Erin and just absolutely felt like she was friend I hadn't met yet. She was completely awesome and has done two amazing stories on Whitney. I think there will be a third story and she asked for the correct spelling of my name. So I'll probably be in the paper coming up soon of me & my newest best Lyme friend.

Ps. The another story for another day can be shortened for today:

My mother works with a lady that has the same name as Whitney's mother who also has a daughter named Whitney. They live a few counties apart. So my friend Whitney gets a lot of the other Whitney's friend requests. So more than likely, my friend *T* thought she was the other Whitney.

Pps: want to read the stories?

First Lyme article on Whitney:

Second Lyme article on Whitney:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Raffle for my friend

In a bit, I'll be headed out for a friend. A semi-new friend that seems to have been in my life forever. But I just met her this year. She is a Lyme friend. I seem to collect those easily. We share the same doctor. So this afternoon in a bit, I'll be headed out for a friend.

She's having a raffle and an overall good time with family & friends (and who knows maybe even some strangers) to raise money for treatments.

It's been a crazy day already and as soon as I get home, I'll probably do a lot of resting b.c starting Monday my life will be a little bit crazy for a couple of weeks. LOTS of things to do. One is my Lyme appointment a week from today.

Well I better go change into something green for a wonderful event for a wonderful friend.

If you're reading this Whitney, I love ya girl. :}

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Grab & Jab

So whenever I go to get blood work, I typically get the "grab & jab." The lady (typically it IS a lady) slaps a latex band (regardless of me saying ... "LATEX ALLERGY") around my arm. As my arm begins to itch and turn red, she grabs my arm and jabs. This always turns into a hit & miss, where they hit the vein, but then the vein explodes.

Grab & Jab
Hit & Miss

For once I'd love to get a "listen & feel." They listen to my knowlege of my own body and then feel for a proper vein (and listen again when I say that vein will blow).

My favorite lady has left the practice. I haven't gone back since. Though now I am having to go back and I will have to get blood done at some point. I'm scared of the Grab & Jab and the Hit & Miss.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


So when I was little I loved to watch them. Hear them, not so much. Fireworks.

We live out in the country. And by country I mean ... we live in a subdivision of country people that love to shoot off fireworks (or guns whatever) for 4th of July (or 3rd .. or 5th or all three).

So on the 3rd and 4th, I got interrupted sleep because of these irritating noise sleep suckers.

Tonight, it's a little more God made.

I'm thankful for the rain. Really I am, but the thunder I've had enough of. It's been two hours of tossing & turning. Two hours of flickering lights (imagine my scare when I "woke" up to see my clock at 9:42 ... when my lights had been turned off).

I'm hot, tired and cranky. Throw in a little PMS and I hate to see what tomorrow is going to bring.

I just want some sleep.