Monday, December 24, 2012

Peanut Butter Fudge Debacle 2012

From a time since before I was born I reckon, my Grandfather made the most delicious peanut butter fudge.  It was always a highlight during the holiday season, but especially at Christmas.  There were countless tins around my grandparent's home filled with peanut butter fudge.  It's been 2 and 1/2 years since we said our goodbyes to my grandfather - and it was longer than that since he made his home-made fudge at home.  While others could make fudge, nothing tastes like his.  Enter two days ago - As I'm flipping through a recipe book that I have (I rarely use it, but do open it almost every time I make my Granny's mac & cheese), I see a tiny piece of paper with his initials at the bottom.  I realize it's his recipe for Peanut Butter fudge. 

I say that it would be nice to make some peanut butter fudge and off we went to the store to pick up a few key ingredients.  We came home and began to work together to make this very special holiday treat.  As my wonderful husband was putting 3 ingredients into a pot, I reminded him the recipe called for a large pot.  I'm assured that the pot he being used was fine.   I work on my 3 ingredients and scoop out a good portion of one jar of peanut butter.  he began to cook - and watch the temperature on the candy thermometer rise - and as the temperature rised higher - so did the 3 ingredients being constantly stirred.  He got nervous about the ingredients possibly coming out of the pot - so about 14 degrees too soon the pot was removed from the stove. 

He mixes his 3 ingredients with my 3 ingredients and began to pour into a glass 9x13 baking dish.  It looked a little thin, but it smelled fantastic!  We walked away waiting for it to harden and later that night I discovered it was above the dish washer (which was running) - aka a hot spot. So I moved it to a cooler spot on the counter and when I woke the next morn discovered that it was not hard at all.  It was like Peanut Butter Spoon Fudge.  Feeling my disappointment, my husband began to make another batch.  The first batch was "too thin." 

Well the second batch - we pulled out the largest pot we had.  This was not going to be a mistake we were going to make again.  I pulled out a jar of  peanut butter and with my calculations from the day before pulled out 6 tablespoons of  PB and then used the rest of the jar.  We worked together and got the pot of ingredients to the right temp and then mixed the two together.  Something wasn't right.  It was "too thick."  Back to the recipe -  UH OH!  I had messed up in the first batch and didn't realize it so when I made the 2nd batch, I didn't double check.  Instead of using 3 cups of PB, I had used 4 cups!  

We were feeling a little bit like Goldilocks - 1st batch was too thin, 2nd batch was too thick - we wondered if we would ever get it right.  At this point we weren't going to let the fudge get the best of us.  SO we began again double checking every single measure and every single ingredient - FINALLY - it poured right - and we waited.  The third batch was JUST RIGHT!  And - I smiled as I bit into the first piece - it tasted just like my my Granddaddy's - *almost* :)    We got two thumbs up from my family too!

I miss you Granny & Granddaddy - every single day, but on days where we try to recreate your master pieces - even more especially so.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Wishes & Resolutions

November of 2006, I was certain I wouldn't see November 2007 and now here it is December 2012.  While my health has been on a roller coaster journey since - I am so thankful to be alive. Some call them resolutions, I call them goals and/or wishes.   In the middle of 2007, my friend told me that I never smiled.  I thought, how can I smile when I've been sick so long without a diagnosis?  However, I pinky promised her that I would smile at least once a day - even if it was forced.  Here it is in December 2012 and I got told the other day that I'm the happiest person she knows.

In that same year, I made it a goal to reconnect with friends from my past in 2008.  I absolutely made that happen.  In December 2008, I wanted to continue with both plans in 2009.  To smile, to make others smile and reconnect with friends. Facebook was a big part of that, but in 2009 Santa gifted me a GPS and it made this happen in person more often in 2010 through current times!

In January 2009, I looked around and realized I had a major problem.  My house was disgusting.  I couldn't take it.  I knew I couldn't fix "all" my problems over night so I started off with the laundry. I had a system in 2009, but altered that system in 2012.  It at least keeps the laundry off the floor -

In January 2010, I didn't really make any goals or promises - I was just trying to maintain my smiling, keeping up with friends and keeping up with the laundry.

In January 2011, I made a goal to keep clean the master closet and bedroom.  It worked.

Last year I said, "My family has several wishes in regards to this wish. We will see if it can come true in 2012. While we love our home, there are several things that we would love to have and honestly those things wouldn't be easily obtained if we are where we are. So we would love to be able to either purchase some land and build our dream home upon it, or find a new home that we would easily make into our dream home. Either way, a lot of prayers would have to be fulfilled in order for either to happen."

I wished and prayed and it happened.  Seriously when I suggested this in December of 2011, I didn't really think we'd be moving - much less moving in May of 2012.  When you put your faith in God and have your mind really set on doing something - you get what you need. 

I've really done well at keeping my new house clean - at least the downstairs.  The upstairs is a work in progress. I wanted it to be "visitor" ready at a knock of a door or the chime of a doorbell.  And mostly it has been.  In 2013, I will just hope to maintain this level of cleanliness at the new house.  Keep up the smiles, laughter and fun with friends -

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Checking in

Just wanted to check in on how I've been doing this past week. It's been about 50/50.  On Saturday, I had lunch with some of my best Lyme friends and some their family.  There were a total of 13 of us.  I think there were about 8 Lymies and 5 relatives/friends.  This was so much fun.  It's always so nice to get together with a lot of patients. We get each other in a way that it's really hard for the "healthy" to understand. However, we don't just talk about the Lyme devastation. We talk about a lot of things and try to make time to include what we can do to educated NC about Lyme. This last time we had an ornament exchange. I mentioned to everyone to bring a wrapped ornament costing less than $5.  Four of us brought ornaments and we exchanged.  I handmade my ornament and gave it to my awesome friend Meredith and in exchange I received a red and gold deer for my tree!  Love it! 

Then I hung out with work friends afterwards.  That was exhausting in and of itself because it was late (6 to 9pm) and there were about 40 of us.  Fortunately I love my work friends so it was worth it.  Now those two things have pretty much worn me out.  Sunday was brutal.  I could barely do a thing and Monday was worse because I had to work and Tuesday I rested all day. Then yesterday I worked 8 hours straight without a break, which was brutal.  I'm able to rest all morning and then tomorrow my husband & I both have the day off. 

In my childhood at Christmas time, I remember three things distinctively.  A:  Playing with the ballerina ornament on my Granny's tree.  B: The smell of the kitchen on Christmas morning when my Granddaddy would "bake" us awake with bacon and livermush.  C:  Wondering how Granny had the time and energy to put the candle lights in the windows and make sure they were on every single night we were there 

Yesterday afternoon, I opened up one of the boxes of Christmas things I got from my grandparent's house when my granddaddy moved into a nursing home.  Then, I spent the evening trying to put up candle lights in my windows like Granny.  I only got 4 lights in the window.  Granny had 8 lights that I inherited from their home.  There might be more somewhere in the boxes I have upstairs, but I could only find 8.  So I put 4 lights in the front windows downstairs. I pushed up the red bows she carefully made onto the white candle light so that it could be seen outside.    Might put the four candle lights upstairs, but there won't be enough for every window (we have 5 windows upstairs).  So I'll probably put t hem up - turn them on and if it doesn't look right, then I'll take them down.  But that's a lot of energy that I don't have right now so I may wait until Christmas 2013 to try it. 

Speaking of energy, my b12 shots came in on Tuesday so I was able to have a boost of b12 on Tuesday night.  It helped me not fall over at work on Wednesday of pure exhaustion.  Very helpful indeed.  The last b12 shot I had was in May 2012.    I thought I had no more refills so I never ordered.  When I called the pharmacy they informed me I had 4 refills.  Go Lyme brain.  So I ordered two months supply and by the time I see my LLMD again, I'll be able to tell him whether they kept my energy the "same" or "increased" it. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Bad Days

I've had a couple weeks of bad days.  I've pretty much lived in Migraine Land for the past two weeks and yesterday I reached my breaking point.  I even broke down and wore sunglasses in the building at work.  It wasn't the most fashionable thing to do, but the florescent lights were making it worse and if anyone asked about them I simply said, "My future's so bright I have to wear shades."  The person laughed and we moved on. 

Breathing -

Enter last night.  I got home and heard the dryer going.  It was relief as I had put the load in the washing machine before I left for work.  I was dreading reaching into the washer - slopping out wet clothes and lugging them into the dryer.  This may seem a simple task, but when you have a Lyme migraine - this task is daunting. 

I arrived home to a clean kitchen, clothes drying, a made bed with the electric blanket set on  high - all thanks to a wonderful husband who knew I'd had a bad symptom day.  Together we put away some clean laundry and after I vented on facebook, I got into the cozy bed and went to sleep.  You see, I served my migraine an eviction notice.  I told my migraine I was DONE with it residing in my body and in the morning it would be gone OR ELSE!  I didn't know what the OR ELSE would be, but it had to be gone.

Before I went to bed, I loaded a load of clothes in the washing machine and saw - the timer button.  Hmmm I wondered what it would do.  I had never used it.  So I set it for 10 Hours and went to bed.  I woke up shortly after the washing machine finished (the spin cycle woke me up) and was able to put a fresh load of clothes into the dryer.  Oh how this feature will be so helpful in the future -

I woke today - stood up.  The Vertigo was GONE.  The intensity of the headache - GONE.  The flashing of colors in my vision - GONE.  Only a small portion of a very small headache remained.  I thanked God for serving the eviction notice and have gone about my day extremely grateful that every time I stand up that I don't swoon.

PS:  Buy 3 bracelets over on the right side of my blog - so I can send some donations to Alisa & Jaime.  So far I'll be able to donate to her $30 from bracelet sales.  Let's keep it going!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

We Fight Lyme Together Sale!

Any bracelets sold in December - a portion of the proceeds will go to the Lara family.  Want to help the Lara family and buy a few silicone bracelets in the process - Order some bracelets today!

Due to the processing procedures of Paypal (because I'm a new user, it holds all funds for 21 days) - if you would like them quicker than I can send them out with a paypal order, please EMAIL me your order and I'll tell you how you can get the order quicker (only takes about 4 days instead)!  You can find my livinglymelife email address over on the side of the blog. Also I will be able to give you information on another way to pay which will maximize the amount I can send Alisa & Jaime.

So far I have sold 15 bracelets in December! Continue to order.  

This offer is only while supplies last.

Friday, December 7, 2012

61 minutes of heaven on earth

My friend Alisa had her baby, London Daniel Lara, this morning in Texas at 7:25am.  While all the details are not known, I do know that she was able to hold him on her chest until he passed away at 8:26am. 

Please continue to pray for my close friend and pray that my heart can find the right words that will bless her.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Loving London Lara

If you are on facebook, you have likely seen this photograph amongst many of your friends (especially if you have Lyme Disease).

This is a very good friend of mine Alisa Turner.  I have written about her before - Alisa & I share a bond that I don't just share with just anyone. I do make friends easily. I don't know a stranger, but when Alisa walked into our doctor's office and I looked into her soul I knew I had a friend for life.  I slouched in one chair while she slouched down in another.  We both looked how the other one felt.  Exhausted doesn't even begin to describe our physical and emotional demeanor on the day we met.  We were spent, both physically and emotionally.  I picked my head up off the back of the chair and looked her way.  I mustered up a smile and she smiled back.  We spoke few words that day, but I saw her soul and she saw mine.

This was about April of 2007.  Here we are 5 years and 8 months later and we are still friends.  She has since met and married the man of her dreams.  They moved away and we communicate on Facebook and via text messages occasionally.  Our souls are so intertwined that it is almost like we know when we need the other.  I'll be having a terrible day and I'll get a message from Alisa of encouragement and support. It lightens up my spirit.  It happens the other way around too.  I won't be able to get Alisa out of my mind so I'll send her a message and shortly after she'll respond back that I knew the words her heart needed to hear that day.

Back in May 2012, I felt a terrible urgency to get in touch with her.  I kept sending her messages and never really got a great response back.  I was worried.  You see, I have these dreams.  Some people know about them and some people don't.  I get these terribly realistic and sometimes prophetic dreams and I dreamed that something horrific happened to my friend, my best Lyme friend.

I went to her youtube channel and listened to her most recent vlog.  It had been posted at the end of April, but I didn't realize it.  You see, my friend Alisa is an artist. She writes and sings the most beautiful songs.  And this particular song - was called Faithful Til The End.  Faithful Til The End By Alisa Turner.  She called it "not her best song," but I disagreed.  It gave me goosebumps and her demeanor makes me cry.  It reminded me of the day I met her where we barely had the energy to muster a smile and yet she was able to produce such lovely sound and lyrics that it reduced me to tears very quickly.  Every time I hear it, I cry all over again. "He has never left me" gives me goose bumps and sounds so haunting.

I received very few correspondence from Alisa between May and August. It had me worried, but I just prayed for her.  I knew what ever she was going through was so unbelievably difficult that she just needed prayers.  I stayed quiet and every once in a while I'd send a message of encouragement.  Then in August, she shared with the world that she was pregnant.  A miracle baby.  You see a lot of Lymies have trouble getting pregnant and staying that way simple because most of our  hormones are so out of whack that pregnancy is near impossible.  Not to mention the physical stress on the body and the risks of transmitting the disease to your child -

In Alisa's case:  She had virtually zero of one of the hormones necessary to sustain a viable pregnancy, but God always provides.  Jaime & Alisa got the news in May that Alisa was pregnant.  She kept the pregnancy to herself because she was certain that she would have limited time with her precious tadpole.   They decided that after her ultrasound at the 12 week point they would share the news with close family if things were still looking good with their precious miracle's fluttering heartbeat. As she would share in her own facebook note in August, they received news that their precious miracle had a birth defect known as Anencephaly.

Here we are 20 weeks after receiving the news and Alisa is preparing to say hello and goodbye to her precious SON, London Daniel Lara.  She posted a facebook note with all of the specifics and I won't go into them all here, but Alisa & Jaime decided that they wanted as much time as possible with their son.   The time is coming to a close however because tomorrow - Alisa will be undergoing a c-section under general anesthesia at 32 weeks.    Her doctors have all agreed it is best for her health to have London at 32 weeks.  She recently posted a video about her pregnancy and Lyme

So today:  I come to you and ask for you to pray for my best Lyme friend Alisa & her husband Jaime.  I've read her birth plan and it is heart breaking and inspiring.   I wish she were close so that I could support her more.  I'm supporting her as much as I can from North Carolina and I ask that you support her too by praying that she will get to enjoy some moments with her son as she says hello and goodbye, particularly allowing her to "sleep" while her son London lays on her chest breathing.

Okay well I have tears falling down my cheeks now -
so I share with you something I've written for Alisa inspired by two of her songs:

Beacon of Hope
Even in your darkest hours
you are faithful to the 
One that holds the beacon of light.

Take that beacon of light
and shine it for the world to see
For through you, Jaime & London
People have found Jesus.

Souls have begun to pray repeatedly
Souls that have never prayed before
until they discovered you
at your darkest hour
being faithful til the end to the
One that holds the beacon of light,
the beacon of hope.

I love you with all of my heart
with all of my soul
with all of my spirit.

Your spirit shines through 
For all of us to see
Even in your darkest hour
where hope meets sadness.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Issues with the guidelines

To undersstand my disdain of the DSM - you must understand four things.  

  • What is the DSM?  Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.  Every so often they revise the DSM.  When I was in college, we studied the DSM III (3), but knew that DSM IV (4) was on our heels and knew that some changes would be made.  
  • I graduated with my degree in Social Work.
  • I was diagnosed with an illness from the DSM 3 my freshmen year of college and after I read the definition for a paper I wrote on said illness my senior year I thought the psychologist should have been diagnosed with it instead!  FYI, I do not have said "disorder."   It turned out to be Lyme Disease.  
  • These are my opinions and my opinions alone.
 So I don't dislike the DSM itself.  I think there are many purposes for this statistical manuals.  I do believe that of people don't understand how to "test" for the disorders listed in the book.  So I was reading on the local news website that they are revising the DSM in 2013.  The biggest thing the article spoke on was the removal of Aspberger's as a diagnosis in the DSM and how it was going to be under the umbrella of Autism.  This is a hot button of mine to start with because I do believe that many cases of Autism are caused by untreated bacteria - um specifically the Lyme bacteria gone wild after being exposed to too many vaccines.  But I digress.  

The thing that made me hot - really  hot and the thing I had forgotten about was that in the DSM IV they had a label of "Severe Recurrent Temper Tantrums."  The name itself makes me kind of chuckle.  I have seen children with this problem - but the DSM guidelines will change the name to Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder!  Sometimes it's best just to call a spade a spade instead of a "sturdy hand shovel."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Overwhelming Follow Up

It seems like every follow up here lately has left me feeling extremely overwhelmed.  Today's visit was absolutely no exception.  I arrived a little bit before 9 to fill out all appropriate paperwork and was called back at 9:15.  I was in the the PA and my LLMD for at least an hour.  He talked about his most recent ILADS conference.  I love and hate when he comes back from those conferences.  I love it because he usually brings back with him a new piece of information that might help solve the puzzle of my illness.  I hate it because I usually leave extremely overwhelmed by all the information he gives me and usually it involves a change in treatment plans.

The antibiotics are the same.  The days I'll take them - VERY different.  Over the next six weeks, I"ll be on five different pharmaceuticals.

  • "M" will be taken twice DAILY instead of pulsing like we've been doing. no time off unless I'm struggling.
  • "Z" is better taken 4 days in a row in order to get blood levels to a therapeutic level - so "Z" will be taken twice daily Monday through Thursday and I won't take any on Friday through Sunday.  Two weeks on, one week off, two weeks on, two weeks off. 
  • "F" will be taken on the 2nd week of antibiotics - twice daily on Friday and Saturday only.
  • "O" will be taken on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Two weeks on, one week off, two weeks on, two weeks off. 
  • "N" to be taken on whatever day I'm taking antibiotics which will be daily (unless I go a "M" respite)

In addition to these, I'll be on a multitude of supplements. There are probably 15 bottles of supplements that I'll be taking 2 or 3 times a day.  There are also about 10 bottles that I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be on or not so I sent an email to my supplement lady.  A lot of them are detox remedies so I feel like I should probably be on them with all of the antibiotics I'll be on, but - adding an additional 10 items twice a day in combination with everything else - seems very overwhelming.

Over the last six weeks, my fatigue level has sky rocketed.  Most nights I'm in bed by 7pm and if I have to work -  I'm rudely disturbed by the alarm at 5.  However if I don't have to work, I sleep a good 12 hours if not more.  One night I went to bed at 6pm and slept until 7am the next morning. I didn't even realize I had slept all night and wondered where my husband was when I got up.  It wasn't until I made my way to the computer and saw AM on the time stamps that I realized I had slept 13 straight hours.  That same day - I napped an addition 3 hours twice and then slept an other 12 or 13 hours the next night.

I've also had spells of dizziness.  Most of the time I attributed it to a new pharmaceutical that I'm supposed to be on to increase my sodium levels.  My Sodium levels are in the toilet again.  So I've got to try to see if I can get those up over the next few weeks before my next set of blood work again.  One set of liver enzymes were elevated from my last set of labs, but not out of the normal range.  Then the other set of liver enzymes were elevated out of range.  We all think it's due to the antibiotics and we're keeping an eye on it. A few of my new supplements are to help support liver function.

Sorry I've been so quiet.  I've had a rough month and I just tend to get really quiet when things get really bad. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday Fun

My husband & I have apparently started a new tradition.  Last year - we went to Carolina Beach on the day after Thanksgiving.  This year, we did the same thing.  Look at our view at Fort Fisher North Carolina.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Flagyl kicking my hind parts

My day yesterday went like this:

Wake up.
Watch Carolina game from night before.
Get online.
Eat something.
Take Flagyl.
Get dressed.
Go out with hubby.
Eat again.
Smell something rotten.
Consider running to the nearest toilet to vomit.
Hold it back. 
Go home.
Eat again.
Run to the bathroom.
Feel lousy.
Take a two hour nap.
Go buy water and gatorade.
Eat dinner.
Go home to take Flagyl.
Eat again. 
Run to the bathroom.
Lay down and feel nauseated while watching tv with my hubby.
Give up at 8:30 and go lay down.

I probably actually ran to the toilet about 10 times yesterday.  Flagyl really is kicking my hind parts.  Today, no flagyl and I'm still running to the toilet. I suspect it will be that way until tomorrow.  No antibiotics this week.  This week I concentrate on detoxing.

I feel badly, but I know that the Flagyl is kicking the cyst form of Lyme.  I know the Mepron is kicking Babesia.  Today I plan to chill. Big time.  Resting for Jennifer - because this week, I work 3 days in a row (something I haven't done in a while - and I've tried to avoid it, but we're closed on Thursday and Friday and I want to help out my colleagues - so I'm working 3 straight days). So today, I chill.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Still kicking

This was an antibiotic week - so it's been tough for me.

I've had a lot of joint pain (especially in my ankles and feet).  I've also had a lot of cognitive troubles.  It's been tough even understanding the most simple concept which has made me a little ornery.  Frustration sets in when I don't understand something.

As you know, I've been selling bracelets. Until recently, I've pretty much sold them to people I've known online for a while.  However I put them up in a Holiday Auction for to sell.  

I got orders from people I've never met so I decided it was finally time to set up a pay-pal account for the sale of the bracelets.  I've also had people ask me how they could send me donations to help with the cost of my specialist.  This was very kind of people, but I've always said no thanks because it would have involved people having my address to send me money.

So if anyone is interested in buying the the bracelets - let me know in email - LIVINGLYMELIFE @ GMAIL.COM (put it together in lower case).  I need to know which size you are interested in. I have both 7 inch and 8 inch.  The silicone bracelets say We Fight Lyme Together.  I have wanted to sell them for a really long time, but have always broken out in a rash.  I did major research and found a company that eliminated the product that I was allergic to - and ordered from them.  When they came in, I wore them for days and never broke out!  I was thrilled.   Then I realized the 8 inch bracelets were way too large for my wrists.  Someone offered to go in with me and buy some for cost.  We bought them in the same order so they'd be cheaper for both of us.

So in any case - if you're interested in buying some - let me know.  I'd be happy to take payment via pay-pal.

PS: Look to your RIGHT on the blog itself and you'll see the Buy it now button for PayPal - you can buy it straight from the blog (well it will carry you to another site, but you can choose from buying 1, 5 or 10 - with 7 inch or the 8 inch). You don't have to be a paypal member to buy a bracelet or 5 or 10 - Once you click the Buy it Now button - you will be carried to the invoice.  It will ask you if you're a member, but underneath it will give you an option if you're not a member to pay with a debit or credit card.

Price for buy it now on the blog:

3 for $12 (plus 2 for shipping)
5 for $20(plus 2 for shipping)
10 for $33 (plus 2 for shipping)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Extremely tired

I thought this week would be greatly improved since I'm not on the antibiotics this week.  While it was "better" than the weeks I was on them - it wasn't "greatly improved."  I almost fell asleep on the way home yesterday 3 times.  Not to worry folks  - I'm fine.  I went to bed about 6:30 last night and slept 12 almost straight hours.  You see at about 6pm - I started having severe ankle pain and hip pain.  SO I put on my ankle support, took some Claritin for itchy eyes and made the executive decision to go to bed early.  About 11pm, I woke up hurting from the support - so I took it off and went back to sleep.  Woke up feeling a little refreshed so I cleaned up my office (dusted, cleaned the windows and vacuumed) and put my sheets in the wash.  I figured at least if I started feeling badly later that I got at least TWO things accomplished today. 

Now I'm winded and am going to rest some more.  I don't have to work today so I will rest and try to straighten the house up.  I'll do one room at a time and if I "wipe out" early - so be it. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012


I dislike Flagyl immensely.   It causes me to hurt, all over.  In places I didn't realize could hurt.

The medicine itself makes my mouth burn.  It makes my cheeks raw and gums sore.  It also causes pain in the usual places (big and little joints).  I only need to take it on Friday & Saturday on the 2nd week of antibiotics.  Yesterday & Today were my Flagyl Days.  Thanks to the IV Vitamin C, I slept from 6:30pm last night (YES -- 6:30!) until 7:15AM this morning.  I only woke once and that was about 15 minutes after I fell asleep when my husband walked into the bedroom to see if I was okay.  Then I fell back to sleep and I woke up feeling surprisingly well. I actually only thought I had slept for 45 minutes until I realized that it was the next morning.  I got some things accomplished around the house before taking my morning dose of Flagyl. 

After going to a few stores (including hardware store and a grocery store), we came home.  I had planned to go to a neighbor's pumpkin carving party, but I began to hurt.  So I took a nap and an hour and 1/2 later I woke up in severe pain.  All over, from head to toe.  I don't like to take pain medicine, but I think that I"ll take a small dose of something to take the edge off.  I have to look to see if my homeopathic drops are allowed (because if they have even the smallest amount of alcohol in them, I can't take them for another 48 hours - can't take anything with alcohol near Flagyl).  I'm hoping that when I wake tomorrow I will feel better.

I'll be focusing on detoxing this week - on my week without antibiotics. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sad IV and Blood draw day.

I arrived early. I always do.  This was after drinking a ton of water for the last 3 days and after drinking a ton of water this morning.  I even did the newly "suggested" 1/2 gatorade and 1/2 water method last night.  I came in and sat down and got warm under the heating pad.  I continued to drink until my eye balls were floating.  Then - "A" mentioned to "S" to get me started. I've never met "S" - and "A" knows of my terrible vein history.   I think "A" was terrified to even try.  I explain to "S" that if she KNEW how tough I was she would have said no.

Long story short, "S" blew two of my veins.  I tried to explain as best as I could how shallow my veins are and that they collapse easily if they aren't hit at exactly the right angle which is different than other people's angles - we were positive. BUT, she punctured right through them.  I shook my head and a tear fell down my cheek, but not out of pain. I was simply crying because the more veins she blew through - the harder it will be to get next time.   She looked some more and sent me back to my seat to warm up again and drink more water.  She was shocked when she saw how many empty bottles of water I had. She left the room and a short while later "J" came in. 

J has tried me twice before. Once was a miss and once was a hit.  She studied my arms and then gave me two options.  I chose one of them - she stuck - and I held my breath - it went in.  It took over 15 minutes to fill 3 tiny vials.  Then she hooked up the IV. I had to watch the drip rate the entire time because my IV was very positional.  If I moved my arm at all, the drip rate would slow.

So glad today is over.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Community Helper Day

Today was Community Helper Day at work - So I dressed up like the community helper I see the most - a nurse.

It was so realistic by the way that when I went to vote this afternoon - I got thanked for being a nurse. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Falling for Fall Decor

Today I played around with my camera - and with my photographs.  I toyed with editing pictures on the camera after taking the picture.  I also toyed with editing the picture with Google+.  I always enjoy learning something new, particularly when I can figure it out on my own!

We went to Lowe's today and picked up two pumpkins and a large mum. I absolutely LOVE the simplistic look of Mums and Pumpkins. I took this photo with my Olympus E-620

and then edited it in the camera.  There's not much of a difference, but I bumped up the saturation a touch. 

However, the difference in the next two photos is much more noticeable.
The first one was taken straight out of camera (using the Pop Art Setting)

 But it was just too bright, so I notched down the saturation.  

Have I mentioned lately how much I love pumpkins and mums?    Have I mentioned how much I love to take pictures?  Well, here is the best of both worlds!

Straight out of camera with Pin Hole Setting. :) 

and my first attempt at editing with google +

Tired after fun day

I went all the way to Hickory NC (3 hour and 20 minute drive for me one way) to see my friends and got a bonus surprise.  Got to see another college buddy that I haven't seen in 13 years come December.

I took a lot of  pictures of course - but my friend's camera card died - and none of the pictures of me are available to share (because she took pictures of me on my camera and I took photos of them on my camera). 

However, here is one at the park we went to after eating. I feel like the leaves were much brighter last year. 

If you guys haven't figured it out yet, I love photography.  Yesterday I took 117 and only 3 were too blurry.   And I also figured out this morning how to change a photograph in the camera from color to black & white.  I played around with photographs that didn't matter (IE the laundry room wall with the brooms & such) and got the hang of it so that I think when I want to actually alter them on the spot that I'll be able to. 

Made it the first 3 days of antibiotics.  It was tough.  Plaquenil was especially tough.  At the end of the week I go to get my blood work done.  They'll test for the MTHFR gene and other stuff.  I'll also be picking up another "killer" supplement.

In other news:  Our garage is clean enough to park one vehicle in it.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

One Year ago Today

My cell rings and I recognize the number.  I smile because it's my best friend from college.  I remember my plans for that Saturday very vividly. We had discussed them online several times.  I was going to be going to my LLMD's office to get a hyperbaric treatment and then I was going to eat something and then I was going to head out on a 3 hour drive to see him because I hadn't met his lady yet and they were engaged.  So I was really surprised when I saw his number pop up on the cell screen. I quickly answered the phone with the old style "Wassssssssssssup."  I figure it was last minute details about Saturday. 

Boy did I figure right on the money.  He asks me how quickly I can get to his area.  I hesitate trying to calculate how long my HBOT was going to last and how quickly I would be getting out of the chamber.  I tell him.  He asks if there is anyway I can be there earlier.  I ask why.  We had after all discussed my day at length.  Then he says,

"because we're getting married on Saturday"

I was thrown into a little bit of excitement and a little bit of shock.  I told him I would try my absolute best to be there by wedding time.  I immediately knew that I would cut my HBOT chamber session short by 30 minutes and pre-pay so that I could jump out of the chamber and leave as soon as the chamber was done (sometimes there is a line after getting out so it takes a while to pay).  I also knew I'd have to go dressed (or take my clothes for the wedding and change at my LLMD's office after the HBOT treatment).  Like I said, I was shocked - and excited.  I was going to get to meet my best friend from college - his future wife - like 2 minutes before the wedding (literally as it turned out). 

Today - I head back out to celebrate with them as they celebrate their anniversary.   That's exciting.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Pharmaceuticals

I was given a new pharmaceutical this go around that I've never taken before.  I picked it up on Monday morning and could have taken it Monday evening, but I hesitated.  Then I hesitated again.  This morning I knew I had no choice - I couldn't hesitate anymore.

I pulled up my "big girl panties" and took it.  Plaquenil.  I need a new nickname for it.  "Instant Nausea."  Seriously - as soon as it hit my tongue - the nausea set in.  My gag reflex set in.  I barely got it down and my stomach is churning (a mere 5 minutes later) and I'm hoping it will stay down (otherwise up comes Omnicef, Zithromax, Mepron and Nystatin).  I took my "nausea be gone" drink (also known as Gatorade) and it's not touched it yet.  Usually if a medicine causes nausea, I can make it disappear with a couple of swigs of Gatorade.  Not this time, at least not yet.

And the problem is - if the nausea stays so long - I will wind up visiting the toilet because my body doesn't handle nausea well.  Or rather it handles it too well because  my body wants to expel whatever is in my stomach that is causing the nausea.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Beat the Bite 5K and mile run in pictures

I had such a fun day yesterday - The organizers are such amazing people and their family and friends are even more amazing.  All I can do is smile when I think about yesterday and the impact it had on all of our lives.  It is one thing to say you care and to say you want to do something to make people Lyme aware, but it's another completely to show it.  I must have teared up ten or twelve times through the course of the day.  Watching other family members support their loved ones - then being completely overwhelmed by my own support system.

I arrived early at 11am.  I got there before the signs were up and I got extra lost, but I found my way to where they were in that huge park. I had a few goals and one of was to take plenty of photographs for the organizers (even when they were setting up) because I knew they wouldn't be focused on that.  There were probably three of us with SLR's - phottoging (Yeah I know that's not a real word) around.  I only got in a few shots. I'm so much of a behind the camera gal that it's hard for me to remember to be IN some of the photos.  So I'm a little disappointed that I didn't hand my camera over more often for others to take pictures of my friends and me together. I think I knew a little over 30 people that were there before the walk. 

A few people *really* surprised me.  The first surprise I had - I found out right before I was leaving for the walk.  My Bloggy Friend emailed me letting me know he was coming to the race with his wife. Many people wonder how I can be so positive about Lyme.  However, THIS moment is why I'm so positive.  Having Lyme truly changed my life.  It changed my outlook on life and it also changed me from being extremely introverted to being able to make strangers into friends in an instant.  (yes I just snapped my fingers).

Smiles change people folks.  Don't you know that if you smile at one person - they are more than likely going to smile back at you?  I spent a lot of my time smiling at people yesterday, but no person gave me a bigger smile than Mr. K.  I saw him and smiled - he smiled back and introduced himself as my blog reader. I knew in that moment exactly who he was. Every time I saw K and his wife - they smiled at me.  I smiled back.  It was contagious this smiling.   I spent a lot of time with them, although I'll be honest - it wasn't long enough.  So you there - reading this blog - we have to get together again.  Seriously. 

Let me back track for a second.  When I think of my friends - sometimes I take a snap shot of them in my mind.  Those snapshots I carry around with me for life.  Whenever I think of someone, I think of them in that snapshot.  I now have a snap shot of K in my mind (and fortunately for me - on my computer because I used my camera to actually take it!).  And I don't know if you can see it - I can - but through his "frown" he's actually smiling!  It cracks me up!  He looks like Michael Rosenbaum!  Tell me I'm not the only one that thinks this - (I see you all - madly googling - Michael Rosenbaum - without hair people - ala Smallville era). Whatever would I have posted about K if you hadn't come to see me.  Seriously.  It would have been such a dull post. Chuckles.  Ask him - I laugh and smile - a lot.  It helps.  There's no need to be sick and grumpy.  Be sick and happy.  I can't change the sick, but I can change my attitude and I did. 

PS: K - I'm so proud of you - I'm not sure if you've seen the official results, but you finished FOURTH in your age group - He finished running 3.1 miles - 5 minutes faster than I walked 1 mile. Be proud there pal - you did it.

Moving on - I work in a pre-school and two children and their Mom came to support me.  They also knew someone that had been affected and when the Mom found out about the walk and that I had Lyme she registered.  I was so blessed by this simple act of kindness  - that this was one of the moments I cried.  I pretty much spent the entire mile walking with this family. I'm not posting pictures of them because I did not ask for permission.  I really try not to post pictures of folks without their consent.  However if I see them this week and they say yes - I will gladly post a picture of them.  They are so adorable  :}

A bunch of us know a guy named Pete.  Pete & I are the ones that hosted the Under Our Skin screening in May 2012.  Well, we've really been missing him here lately.  So Meredith and I took it upon ourselves to come up with an idea to show him how much we miss him.  I haven't seen Pete since the screening.  So we had this idea of holding up words.  Do you know how hard it is to direct people to hold words? Um, very.  I think they rearranged about 3 times and finally we got it so that everyone was in the picture - and the sentence made sense!  His Mom is sending this picture to him since he doesn't have internet or phone access right now.  Speaking of Mom's - My Mom and brother came!  I didn't know they were coming so I got the shock of my life.  My Mom took this photo of the group.  Thanks Mom.

After the race - they had three things.  The first was the Bouncing Bulldogs.  Now these the world's best jump rope team - They were simply amazing. Yes the whole group was jumping over one rope. 

There were also the awards for the competitive 5K

And TIC-NC did a small presentation.

Overall I had a great time!  This is me with the sign I made to walk with there photographed by my friend Melisa.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Breathing relief

Today was the 5K.  I will write more in depth tomorrow, but I wanted to make a list of the "cool" things that happened today.

  • Saw 14 Lyme Friends
  • Had 11 Non Lyme friends and family there to support me.  
  • I knew many others that were there.  
  • I was overwhelmed.  I shed a tear or two or maybe twenty.
  • I took over 300 photographs at the walk.  
  • I only deleted 10 of them due to blurriness (I'm improving).
  • I took a picture of a Lyme friend that told me yesterday that she takes horrible pictures - that no one can take her picture.  I said she hadn't met me yet and I'd get a great shot.  Challenge accepted - I squatted down - I had her smile - I snapped the shot.  And in ONE try - it was perfect.  :} I can't wait for her to see it on her computer!
  • My Mom & Brother came out to support me.  I wasn't expecting them and they showed up.  I shed a tear or two - okay maybe twenty.
  • An AWESOME blog reader of several years & his wife came - I took tons of pictures of them, but failed (this is what happens when I'm the photographer!) to get a picture of the three of us together.  Guess it just means we'll have to hang out again in the future and get that photo. Sometimes I wonder if my blog is reaching anyone.  I wonder if I'm just writing a journal to myself.  That's why I started Living the Lyme Life in the first place.  And then, just when I was thinking about giving it up - stepping back - I get an email. Yes, I am reaching people.  One - Two - Twenty thousand. It doesn't matter.  I reached one. One is enough for me.
And this is how we felt when we didn't place - because we're too slow.  But man - my blog reader turned now friend -  He ran the mile (or maybe he walked - I don't know because I was almost dead last in the mile walk - ) and then -- get this folks -- he ran the 5K.  I told him to give me a sad face because we "lost" and this is what I got.  My new friend cracks me up. You know who you are - Thanks for coming today.  I wasn't expecting it (even after I got your email because things happen at the last minute) - and you and your wife really made my day.  And yes, that's his gorgeous wife next to him.  I got his permission to post this picture cause he's awesome like that!  Thanks "Mr. K." LOL.  You know all those Dr. P's - and Dr. J's and Dr. D's and Dr. Initials - I dub you Mr. K. LOL.  Have Mrs. K friend request me on facebook and you can see all 250 pictures I uploaded. See Mr. K's photo on the official 5K post.  I removed this one. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Busy Week Ahead

I will be working 3 part days every week the rest of October (possibly November and December too) and that begins tomorrow.  This coming week is going to be crazy busy.  I will work a total of 17 hours, but in addition to working I also have my Lyme follow up appointment and my hair appointment.  I've also been selling the bracelets to raise money for TIC-NC so in addition to work and appointments - I will make a couple of trips to the bank and to the post office.  In my possession, I will have $133 on Tuesday morning.  I'm waiting for the rest of the money to arrive, but in the very least I'll be able to take $133 to the walk on Sunday.  However, I should be receiving about $200 in total in the mail to donate. 

I'm a little worried about working so much, but I scheduled the hours myself and I never scheduled myself 3 days in a row.  I also never scheduled myself to work late one day and early the next.  And with the exception of this week - 4 and 1/2 hours is the longest day.  So I'm hoping that my body won't shut down.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bracelet Sale Update

So far through Facebook, we've managed to raised $165 for TIC-NC.  This is far more than I ever expected.  Now that I've surpassed my original goal of $100, I am hoping to be able to pass my second goal of $200.00 and with only being $35 short of that or about 25 bracelets - I am confidant we'll make it and possibly make a third goal!

PS:  Since my blog message at 6:08, I've gotten another order. I'm now only $21.50 shy of $200 - Only ten bracelets and I'll break the $200 mark.  It can and will be done! Then I'll set a new goal of $250.00 for TIC-NC from bracelet sales ... but first let's break the $200 mark!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Beat the Bite 5 K

 Your friendly Beat the Bite 5K reminder!

Fundraiser for Lyme Disease - I rarely flat out fund raise.  You will rarely hear me ask for money, but today I come to my readers (I know there aren't that many of you, but I ask none-the-less) for help.  I realized today that if all of my friends and family on facebook donated even $1 that I would collect almost $600 and that if each of those friends or family donated a generous $5 that it would be over $2800.  So today, I come to them and to you with my hand held out.

The other day I mentioned the 1st Annual Beat the Bite 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run.  It was right before my beach trip on Sunday when I first heard about this.  A friend of mine (huge advocate in NC) told me about it.  So I contacted the Beat the Bite founders and realized this:  They did not have Lyme Disease.  They created this organization and this 5K for their little sister.  I was blown away.  I invited them (all three sisters) to the beach, but only one was able to attend with such short notice.  I was able to get to know such a sweet woman and feel very blessed to now call her my friend.

This race is happening for two reasons.  The first is to raise awareness for Lyme Disease in North Carolina.  The second is to raise money so that we can continue to raise awareness for Lyme Disease in North Carolina.  On Beat the Bite website, you can register for the 5K or the 1 Mile fun run.  Register for the 5K for $25.00 or register for the 1 mile fun run for $10.  Don't live in the area or won't be able to attend.  That's okay.  You can sponsor someone to walk that otherwise wouldn't be able to do so.  Let me know and I can hook you up with a friend or two or twenty. 

Please help us continue to raise awareness in North Carolina.  Find all the information you need about the organization Beat the Bite & the 5K run at this website: .  If you donate or are going to the walk, let me know!  I'd love to meet you there or simply say thank you for your generosity.  We're trying to make this event HUGE!  So spread the word about Beat the Bite and the 5K Run.

PS.  You will see this post again in October.

PPS.  How am I helping to raise money for TIC-NC other than just participating in the walk?

I'm selling bracelets that say We Fight Lyme Together - Approximately $1.33 per bracelet sold is going straight to TIC-NC.  So far I've sold 64 bracelets! So far I've raised $85.25 for TIC-NC!  You might wonder where the rest is going.  The other approximate 67 cents is going to pay for the bracelet itself.  The reason I say "approximate" is because I'm going to round up or down.  So let's say the 1.33 times 64 is $85.12.  Instead of giving that amount, I'll just go ahead and round up what I give to TIC-NC to $85.25.  In all honesty, I'd probably just round it up to $86 even.  I know in rounding - technically I should round down for $85.12, but I'll never round down when it comes to giving to charity.  I'll just pitch in the extra it needs with the cost of the bracelet money to make it to an amount where there is no change.

I am hoping to be able to make a donation of $100.00 to TIC-NC with bracelet sales on October 14th.  If I sell 11 more bracelets, I will be able to do that.  So $100.00 to TIC-NC is easily doable!

PPS:  While I was finishing up this blog post, I received a message.  Someone wanted to up their order so that I could reach my goal of 75 bracelets.  I now have a new goal of 100 bracelets.

PPPS:  Now I've sold 88 bracelets!  12 more to reach 100 bracelets!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Raising Money for TIC-NC

I've mentioned the 5K walk for Lyme Awareness in a few blog posts now.  I have a group of Lyme friends and several of us (maybe 11 at this point) are going to the walk.  I thought it would be cool if we had something the same - whether it was a t-shirt or a head band or something.  I must have come up with about 20 ideas.  Then I thought about those silicone bracelets.  So I got online to find a place to order them.  I realized quickly that it was almost the same price if I ordered 20 or 100.  Then I realized if I ordered a bunch of them that I could sell them to benefit TIC-NC.  So, I ordered a bunch.  Three hundred to be specific.

I got them in the other day and I took a picture of them, well three of them to be specific.  I posted a picture on Facebook and wouldn't you know in three days I've already had 54 bracelets ordered.    My original goal was to sell 50 in two weeks.  Now I have a new goal.  I think my friends are going to help me reach that goal. If you know me on facebook, get in touch if you're interested in purchasing one of these We Fight Lyme Together bracelets.  They are 100% silicone.  They are lime green & white and embossed with black over the embossing so they are easy to read. I'm selling them for $4 per bracelet (shipping is included in base price).  A portion of the proceeds will go to TIC-NC.  So let's fight Lyme together!

Go Fight Win!

Thursday, September 27, 2012


I really begin to think about the value of friendship every now and again. I think of friendships of the past and how some friends truly are only meant for one season while others are meant to stick with us for a few and sometimes we get really lucky and a friendship last a lifetime.  I remember my first best friend.  Although our friendship ended abruptly, we reconnected online a couple of years ago.  I remember most of my friends from elementary school.  I thought they were "one season" friends - but the internet has helped us reconnect.  Then there were high school friends - Some of them I still see on a monthly basis and others I haven't seen in years.  One high school friend has been my best friend for at least the last 10 years.  

Then, there are my Lyme friends.  When I was diagnosed, I got online and searched for every single Lyme forum there was.  I must have been on five different Lyme boards.  We all had "user names" and it was very "anonymous,"  however some people I found myself connecting with.  After a while, the forums lost their usefulness.  As I learned more and the groups got more volatile, I left the groups.  However before I did, I was able to connect with my friends from the forum on facebook. Well, the thing about Lyme forums is that you really don't know how old some people are when you start connecting with them.  What I found quickly is that some of the people I was fond of were mother/daughter pairings.  All of the daughters were teenagers (actually they were all 15) and their mom's were on the forum to make sure their daughters didn't get into trouble on the forum and to protect them. 

As a woman in my 30's, I was concerned about talking to these girls 1/2 my age. I just knew that if they were my girls, I wouldn't want them just talking to anyone - so I got close to their mother's.  They were purposeful friendships.  First, I knew that I could connect with the adult on a different level and I could be a good contact for the daughters.  Someone they could safely talk to about issues.  I never realized that 5 and 1/2 years later that I would STILL be close friends with both the daughters and the mothers.   

I'd like to take a moment to talk about each of them - because they are each special in their own ways.  I have a different bond with each of them. They are each strong in their own unique ways. 

First I'd like to talk about my friend "S" and her Mom "V" - When I started talking to "S," I was really worried her Mom wouldn't want her to talk with me.  So I talked to her on the phone once and then I knew she was more than excited to have me talk with her daughter.  "S" and I talk on the phone at least once a month. I do this to check on her and to hear how she's doing.  I try to talk about crazy life stories just so she's not enamored with "how are you doing? I'm so worried" questions.  Together, we've formed several facebook groups have helped many over the last 5 years.  We had one wacky chat together one night 5 years ago and that wacky chat turned out to be an amazing tool for others. I went to S's high school graduation and spent time at her mom's home and we recently got to hang out in person again last weekend. 

Second, I'd like to talk about TL and her Mom.  I didn't get to connect with TL's Mom online, but TL knew that I was safe.  Then once TL came all the way to the east coast and did a Lyme Friends Tour.  She got to meet a lot of us in person during that trip.  I got to meet her mom.  TL and I have a bond that no one else shares.  Then this past weekend, we got to hang out again - on two different days and on one of those days she got to see my home.  She actually brought me a beautiful picture frame with scripture on it with our picture in it from her trip here in 2010. I don't get to talk to her on the phone all that often because of the 3 hour time difference, but we do get to chat online often.  We encourage each other. 

Next, there's K & her mom J.  Now J has got to be the most caring understanding person I've ever met.   Now honestly when I'd talk to these girls back in teh day, I did my best to be an uplifter. I rarely complained about my own ailments, but one day I had a really bad day and I really needed to talk to someone.  K offered me her Mom's phone number and I got to talk to J on the phone. In just a few sentences, J calmed me down and helped me to realize that I was safe and that the journey I was on was normal.  K & J live roughly 3 hours from me and for the first time this past weekend, I got to visit with them in person. 

Then, there's H&D.  I have yet to meet them.  We "just" missed each other this weekend.  I talk to Mom now more than I talk with H, but there's still a bond. - There are so many more stories like this -

Now, we've all been friends for this unbelievable season in our lives. I think we will all be life long friends.  Now the funny part about all of this - is that they were all 15 when we connected online and now they are all 21.  I've "watched" them grow up and mature.  I feel like a proud mama that has watched them grow from these girls to women. 

Well all have one thing in common:  Lyme Disease.  That is what brought us together, but we encourage each other and lift each other up in times of weakness and isn't that what friendships are for?  Yes, they are my Lyme friends - Yes, I met them on the internet.  However, they know me.  I know them.  In some ways, we probably know each other better than our healthy friends know us.  I am so glad that these friends didn't just last during my "getting to understand Lyme Disease in a bunch of forums season."  I'm glad we stuck around and I can't wait to see these ladies again. 

With Lyme, it is a struggle to find support.  People say they want to help, but then they don't.  It's not that they don't want to or can't - it's just that they don't know what to do and we don't want to ask because we don't want to put anyone out and ask for help.  Lyme connections are important for those of us with Lyme.  It's important to connect with someone that gets it and unfortunately you don't get Lyme until you get Lyme. 

Want to support Lyme patients?  Register to walk in the Beat the Bite 5K in Cary NC.  Come and talk to one random Lyme patient. Ask their story.  It will shock and inspire you.  It will change your life.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

September loves!

The things I love about September.

  • The Cooler Weather -

  • The Beginning of School (yes I know that most schools begin in August, but I feel that it really doesn't get started until September - this gives kids something to do in the neighborhood except for playing "Olympics" off the trampoline.  Now this is actually quite funny because I actually enjoy watching out the window and watching the kids "RUN" and jump on the tiny exercise trampoline and see how far they can jump.  My husband and I call it the Long Jump off the mini Trampoline.  Admit it - you're now really interested in knowing how far you could jump off of the mini trampoline.  These pre-teens have inspired you.  Okay, maybe not - but it sure is refreshing to see children exercising and having fun outside instead of zipping up and down the street with loud ATVs. 

  • Cooler Weather = Warmer Clothes.  It means, I can hide my hair with hats again.  I love particular hats.  I'm not sure if I can find my two favorite hats since we moved, but I'm gonna try because I love those things.   Also, I am such a big lover of pants.  If I had to choose between pants and shorts, I'd choose pants every single time. Until recently, I only wore shorts sparingly.  However, it was so hot this summer - I had to wear shorts.  Now there is one downside to September, it's that summer dresses are no longer fitting to wear - but that's okay it wasn't until the last few years that I began to wear dresses anyway.  I've accumulated quite a few though.  

  • September = start of football season.  Now I don't' care about football, but it means marching band is in full swing.  Drive by any high school on a Friday night that has a marching band program and you can hear the sounds of instruments and the beating of a drum. My favorite time of year.  Although when I marched, the season wasn't "enjoyable" until October.  

  • I tend to plan fun things in September. I don't know when this started, but it just did.  Last year, I planned a Lyme Lunch with all of my online Lyme friends.  In 2008, my husband and I went to the beach to participate in a CF walk for my friend Tricia.  During that same time, I amazed myself by climbing two light houses.  No big deal LOL.  This month I went to the beach for a day trip, but I can promise you there will be no climbing of light houses!  Also, the trip to Charlotte.  AND a Lyme Lunch.  It's also the "dating" anniversary of my husband and me.  I know those don't count, but - when it's a big one like FIFTEEN YEARS - then it counts. 

  • Now you may think this one is kind of strange - odd - but I love September because it is the month my dearest friend Eva left this world and entered the kingdom of heaven.  I hated it for me, but oh how I loved that my friend Eva was no longer in pain.  

  •  I just love September.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Beat the Bite 5K

 Reminder day for Beat the Bite 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run!

Fundraiser for Lyme Disease - I rarely flat out fund raise.  You will rarely hear me ask for money, but today I come to my readers (I know there aren't that many of you, but I ask none-the-less) for help.  I realized today that if all of my friends and family on facebook donated even $1 that I would collect almost $600 and that if each of those friends or family donated a generous $5 that it would be over $2800.  So today, I come to them and to you with my hand held out.

The other day I mentioned the 1st Annual Beat the Bite 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run.  It was right before my beach trip on Sunday when I first heard about this.  A friend of mine (huge advocate in NC) told me about it.  So I contacted the Beat the Bite founders and realized this:  They did not have Lyme Disease.  They created this organization and this 5K for their little sister.  I was blown away.  I invited them (all three sisters) to the beach, but only one was able to attend with such short notice.  I was able to get to know such a sweet woman and feel very blessed to now call her my friend.

This race is happening for two reasons.  The first is to raise awareness for Lyme Disease in North Carolina.  The second is to raise money so that we can continue to raise awareness for Lyme Disease in North Carolina.  On Beat the Bite website, you can register for the 5K or the 1 Mile fun run.  Register for the 5K for $25.00 or register for the 1 mile fun run for $10.  Don't live in the area or won't be able to attend.  That's okay.  You can sponsor someone to walk that otherwise wouldn't be able to do so.  Let me know and I can hook you up with a friend or two or twenty. 

Please help us continue to raise awareness in North Carolina.  Find all the information you need about the organization Beat the Bite & the 5K run at this website: .  If you donate or are going to the walk, let me know!  I'd love to meet you there or simply say thank you for your generosity.  We're trying to make this event HUGE!  So spread the word about Beat the Bite and the 5K Run.

PS.  You will see this post again before October. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Charlotte Trip

I heard that a very good online friend of mine from California was coming to North Carolina in September.  She arranged it so that she would stay in my neck of the woods, but would be staying most of her time in NC with another very good online Lyme friend of mine in the big city of Charlotte.  "J" told everyone they could come visit with "S" and her daughter "K" while "S" was in town.  So I looked at my calendar and realized that if I was going to visit then I would have to visit on Saturday the 22nd. The problem with this is that I had a beach trip last weekend and was extremely exhausted.  So I had decided not to go.  That I would see S when she came to my town and that I could go visit with K & J later when I wasn't so tired.

Then, I got word that a few more people were going to be there.  So, I decided I *had* to go.  There was no excuse I could come up with that would pacify me later when I'd feel the utter disappointed of meeting all of these ladies.  So, I invited another Lyme friend to go with me (S2).  S2 went with me to the beach and we had such a great time I knew she would be the perfect riding companion.

We got on the interstate and drove straight to - well not their house.  I thought that I would like to continue my clock tower tour.  So we drove straight to UNC-Charlotte.  I took a LOT of photos.  Not as many as I usually take actually, but still - 94 pictures at this one area of UNC-C is quite a lot.  I was blessed that most of them turned out exactly how I wanted them to.  All of my pictures are straight out of camera shots.  My camera has different settings that allow me to tweak the shots before I take them so they come out slightly different than if I were to just set it on Auto and snap away.  I used two different lenses with these shots.  One was the standard lens I use and the other was the lens that can zoom in close to something far away.  4 of the 5 shots were taken by me.  The one of me in front of the clock tower was taken by my friend S2.

After UNC-C, we drove to J's house.  I'm not posting any pictures from that trip, but we had a blast!  We were there for a little over four hours.  It was well worth the pain I feel today. 

15 years ago part 4

** continued **

On September 23rd, I started my email.  It was a doozy.  I listed all of the reasons why it would never work out, mainly that if I started dating him - it would be a rebound and that it was a long distance relationship and those never work out.  However at the end, I said that yes I would go out on a date with him.

That email - those few days - changed my life.  I began the journey with my husband 15 years ago today.  It seems like yesterday. 

It was a week or two later that I came down for our first "official" date - I met him at a local mall and he was standing at a bridge.  I have never been as nervous as I was on that date.  I had no idea what he had planned.  I had no idea what was in store. My palms were sweating as I drove past him and I was shaking when I got out the car.    Then we proceeded to have one of the best first dates.   Our first meal as a couple was at Burger King.  Our first date night - to see an obscure comic that I've loved forever, but he didn't know it.   Those few weeks changed my life.  I realized we can be a little spontaneous with our planning and I realized I was finally dating someone who cared as much about time as I did.  In fact, he's worse. LOL.  The other day he left for work at 8:15 and arrived to work at 9, but didn't need to be there until 10.

I often wonder if I hadn't changed my plans on the 21st - if we had just eaten a quick bite for breakfast instead of going on the unofficial perfect non-date - would I have said yes?  I'd like to think so.  :}

Saturday, September 22, 2012

15 years ago part 3

 continued ---

And when we said we were going to go back to the way things were before we started dating, we meant it.  In fact, the next day he picks me up and we walk together to the library.   I think if no one had known we had broken up, no one would have known.  We rarely spent a day apart even after we broke up.  We ate lunch and dinner together in the dining hall every single day.  He would walk me to classes if he had the chance and he would walk me back to my dorm after I was done studying at the library to ensure I was safe.  Our friendship was that solid.  So back to the library on September 22nd - 15 years ago today -

I get to the computer and check my email first.  I hadn't been able to check on my email since the Thursday before the wedding.  The first message I saw shocked me.  It was from my friend, Rob.  "If I pay, it's a date."  It was his response to my message which I did not see where I had jokingly asked if he was paying for my breakfast.  However, I did not see this message before I left.  I laughed out loud because he had indeed paid for my breakfast.  Then, I got uncomfortable.  Then, I see his second message.  He was concerned because I did not let him know I had made it back to school.  He left a clever message about the things that could have happened to me on the way home.  I don't remember the exact things, but some of them included alien abduction and a car accident.  I laughed.  It was funny.

I replied to his message saying that I was sorry that I didn't make it to the library to let him know that I had made it home safely, but that he left one option off his list and told him what happened the evening before.    His response shocked me.  I think it took me a good 10 minutes to pick my chin off the floor.  He had asked if I would go out with him.   Now you see, what I realized later is that he had tried to ask me out on a date several times.  However every time he had garnered up the courage to ask, I was dating somebody.  So this time, he decided he was not going to let time pass him by.  He was not going to let somebody else have his opportunity.  I just sat and looked at the email and decided to give myself an opportunity to think first respond second.  I simply responded asking if I could have 24 hours to think about it.  After all, I am a planner.

My ex was at the other computer so I grabbed him by the arm and pulled him out of the library.  I needed a friend to talk to and he was the best thing I had at the time.  I still shake my head at the fact that I asked my Ex of not even 18 hours of his opinion of what I should do regarding Rob's question.  We sat together and made a pro con list and by the end of the evening I had my decision made.  I started pre-writing an email. 

** to be continued **

Friday, September 21, 2012

For Juliet

Juliet posted a comment that I wanted to address to her.  She wrote on a post that was so old that I wasn't sure if she'd be able to check to see my response.   So I copied my response and here it is for Juliet.

This is from memory so please pardon if there are any misspelled words or misinformation.  This is MY understanding of what LDN is supposed to do.

LDN is Low Dose Naltraxone. Originally, Naltraxone was created for something else, but they realized in small doses it boosted immune function which is supposed to help your body kill Lyme (that's my understanding and it's my really simplistic way of understanding).

However, for me -- I had such difficulty with the drug itself and the side effects that it was never able to do this.

Some people claim LDN is the perfect helper for them while others say it did nothing. LDN for me may have prevented the disease from progressing, but it did not help my immune markers because I wasn't able to take a therapeutic enough dose. Recommended dosages is 4.5mg and I couldn't get above 1mg without tremendous side effects. .5mg and 1 mg gave me terrible headaches and vivid dreams which woke me often. So I've not been on this treatment in a while. I write a few blogs on LDN. If you look over to the labels on LDN and LDN cream, you can read more.

Thanks for reading!

15 years ago part 2

Continued ---

So on the morning of September 21st (15 years ago today), he picked me up and we went out for breakfast.  However on this day, our plans changed.  They morphed and for the first time ever it did not make me anxious.  Our original plans were to go eat breakfast and then for him to take me back to my parent's house and then for me to head to college.  I had planned for us to hang out for 80 minutes max (20 minutes of transportation and an hour of eating and conversing).  As we were sitting and conversing and laughing, I realized that I wasn't ready for our fun to end.  I really just wanted to hang out with my friend for longer.  I thought just this once I would break my plan even though I had a time schedule.  I made a suggestion that I would be cool if we could hang out longer.  Hang out we did.  We went to the lake and to the rock quarry (because I had never seen it) and finally to the bowling alley. Then, we made it home. 

I was thinking 1/2 way through our lake walk that if I could describe a perfect date - that what was happening was the perfect date - except there was a huge problem.  This wasn't a date.   There was no hand holding or flirting.  There was no "date" discussion at all.  This wasn't a date.  This was a friend. I shrugged off my thoughts and continued to have a great time - with my friend.  I spent 5 hours on my drive back home and I couldn't stop thinking about the wedding, the time I spent with my friend and the direction my life was headed.  I couldn't stop thinking about the spontaneous of it all and how much fun I had. 

I arrive back to my college dorm room.  I remember this room.  I hated it.  I didn't mind the room so much, but I did not like the girls on my hall. They were like sorority girls without the sorority.  Cliques here and cliques there, but I didn't click with any of them.  My roommate lived with her boyfriend off campus - so I had the room to myself.  I think I saw my roommate all of three times the entire semester and two of those were after I called her to tell her that she had messages on the machine.  I arrive to my room four hours later than planned.  I got home to see 20 plus messages on my machine.  It wasn't unusual since I had been gone for a few days and my roommate wasn't there to have a bunch of messages, but what was unusual was who had left the messages and when. 

My guy had left all of these messages over the course of the 4 hours I was supposed to be there.  He was so worried that he called every 5 or 10 minutes.  I am NEVER late.  If I say I'm going to be back after being at home by Noon, then I'm back by Noon.  I'm definitely not back at 6pm.  While listening to all of these messages, I jumped out of my skin because he knocked on my window - I let him in and the look on his face was two fold.  First was of relief and the second was of pure terrification (is that a word?).  He was absolutely terrified that something had happened to me and when he realized I was okay he was relieved.  We went out for dinner and then had the longest conversation of our lives. We discussed our relationship. We discussed things that had gone wrong and things that had gone right.  We finally decided together that our relationship needed to go back to the way things were before we started dating.   I think he and I talked from 6pm until well past midnight.  It was the best and worst conversation we had ever had. 

*** To be Continued ***