Tag Archives: Education

A Story of Faith and Determination

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praises to your name, O Most High. (Psalm 9:1-2)

Giving thanks to the Lord, how sweet is my soul that I have the ability and the freedom to do so. Have you ever thought about how incredible it is to thank Him? To thank the one who has given so much more than we can imagine, without seeing, only knowing. To think about the incredible blessings that have been bestowed on this lowly being brings joy to my heart.

I have had problems writing on my blog the past week and therefore I am late in writing to you all. This is now May and it is Lyme Awareness Month. I have asked a few to share their stories and there are more that I would like to repost here for all to read. Think of it as an opportunity to be educated on this very real illness that plagues so many.

To start, I thought I would begin with my own story.

In July of 2013, I was very busy gardening in my own yard, working at a farm an hours drive away, and also sharing and working a large garden with a friend living 30 minutes from our home in the opposite direction. Previous to my full blown symptoms, I was noticing that I was having some balancing issues. I would step into the garden and sway slightly almost losing my balance. The first time it happened I didn’t think much of it, then it happened a few more times, giving me pause to wonder. I then woke up one morning early to mid July and as I walked down the stairs, I felt as though my foot was dragging. I had to keep looking down to make sure my foot was on the step. This continued for two weeks before I began to really get concerned. At about this same time, I also began to feel very tired. Who wouldn’t…I mean, all I did was work outside, travel with the kids and the band and try to keep up with cooking and housework. Every week I ran around non stop. The exhaustion however, took on a whole new level of “tired” when I would nap on the couch only to have my eyes feel like they were glued shut and I had to physically pull them open. My body also was physically unable to move. I could hear everything, and wanted so badly to communicate with others yet my exhaustion was so bad that I couldnt’ even form complete sentences. I wondered if I had had a stroke.

When the chills set in and the pain in my body was so bad that my husband couldn’t even hold my hand without me feeling like I wanted to scream I knew it was time to call the doctor. I gave her all my symptoms and she recommended two tests, a test to look into Rheumatoid arthritis and another for Lyme disease. What? Lyme? We pray for a gent at church who we rarely see because his symptoms are so bad with Lyme. So we ran both tests, and the Lyme was positive. The symptoms I was experiencing were more late stage Lyme, and in conferred with my doctor I requested a more natural approach to healing. Things began to make sense with the research I had been doing. Symptoms that were unexplainable for so many years. Was there finally a diagnosis?

I had at an early age, pains that would go up and down my legs throwing me into a tizzy because the pain was just awful. It was thought maybe they were growing pains or a mineral deficiency. Nothing would help them. I used to try hot baths, hot tub soaks, bananas for potassium, Tylenol, Alleve, the list goes on. I am now wondering if that could have been the start. I mean, we played in the woods all the time. The girl across the street had a tick on her head. They were definitely around. From the research I was learning that Lyme can lie dormant for not only months yet also years.

The summer after 8th grade, we had taken a trip to the east coast. When we were in Maine, I had an episode that had me nearly collapsing and my dad carried me back to the camper so that I could rest. Yes, we were camping in the east. Hmmmm….

In high school I began having what was diagnosed as superventricular tachycardia’s. At first we thought I was hyperventilating. Having them through college and early into my marriage, I finally had a heart ablation to alleviate the symptoms. CAUSE? Unknown! Amazingly these symptoms began the school year after the summer trip out east. Another hmmmm….

Before homeschooling, the kids were in public school. I was there nearly everyday volunteering in some capacity. I used the bathroom one day and about 2-3 weeks later I noticed a rash ring on my leg. Now, it wasn’t too high up my thigh, yet it was a ring. I actually thought it could be ring worm and I treated it and didn’t think about it again. Something to note is that this was also during the time that I would run the trail which was in the woods at our lake cottage.

About a year later I began noticing my energy levels dropping, I was feeling some of those pains again that I had had in my earlier years and I was just generally not feeling well. I also started gaining weight which I could not lose. I laugh that I was a weight watchers drop out. I went for three months, followed their diet and exercise plan only to gain weight. WHAT? Yes, I gained weight. WW had worked for me in the past so what in the world was going on now? I found an internist that tested me for Rheumatoid, fibromyalgia, thyroid and more only to receive results that were inconclusive.

Fast forward to our current home three years here. I found an integrative doctor who tested me again for the above, only this time with proper testing, found that I was in fact hypothyroid, I had cortisol issues, my adrenals were on shut down, and not only was our son celiac, we all tested positive! Mine turned out to show I was severely. Three of us also tested positive for food intolerance’s.

Hence, the reason the doctor and I both agreed that all of my above issues were likely the symptoms of the underlying issue, Lyme disease. It’s not too difficult to believe when you begin to read about Lyme and the symptoms that have plagued others for years. I must have either been bitten again, triggering a full blown Lyme reaction or my immune system and adrenals just could not cope with my activity level that summer. I had showed my son a deer tick that I found while gardening…guess I should also have checked over my body when we were done. Ironically, that was the same summer that our son had 4 rounds of strep back to back. Coincidence? I think not! Especially since both of us got sick after that little tick show and tell moment.

In all I spent 10 months battling fatigue, brain fog, speech issues, memory loss, extreme daily pain, loss of balance, tinnitus, hearing sensitivity and multiple co-infections and viruses that attacked my body. I could not walk down the driveway and had to use a wheelchair for any distances longer than a few yards, I could not walk up the stairs at night without almost passing out, I was unable to bend over to pick something up without losing my breath and almost passing out, I was falling asleep at 5 at night only to wake up at 2 with insomnia and then would fall asleep at 6 or 7 in the morning without waking up until 10. When I would lay down for a nap, my eyes felt like someone had sewed them shut and yet I could hear everything going on around me. I remember telling my husband that I wondered if that’s what it’s like for someone whose comatose. To hear everything and wanting to speak out yet not being able to.

One virus I acquired attacked my heart and I was told complete bed rest was necessary. The virus I had actually has 6 strains, of which I had tested positive for 5 of the six. If I wanted to make dinner, I was to have others wash veggies, cut them and all I was allowed to do was put it into the oven or give directions. I was showering every few days when I had the energy to actually do so, I wasn’t able to speak clearly when I was tired as I sounded like I was inebriated, I would try at times to talk to my family or friends and the words would just not formulate in my brain. I would forget names of people that I’ve known most of my life and I couldn’t remember the names of items or things, like trees or squirrels.

To friends and family it was the most shocking thing to watch, and for me I was determined to survive. When I was able, I read and studied as much as I could about the bacteria that had changed my life. I was determined to educate myself and my family so that we could all understand and cope together. I was also determined to overcome and I prayed daily that the Lord would heal me and use what I had been through to help others. I studied God’s word knowing that His truth would set me free from the bondage that I was experiencing. That my experience and what I had learned would be of value in helping others to heal. The experience of keeping my head up and remembering God’s grace in my life and His healing power was something I held onto and hoped others would see. I prayed that nothing our family was going through would be wasted, only that we would be able to encourage others, from the side of the patient to that of the caretaker.

Without failure, Gods plan and blessing for our family was for remission and for enough healing that life has become a little more normal. It is not what it once was, yet it is definitely better than what it had been. I still have moments of brain fog when I’m tired, I still have exhaustion when I do more than I should, and I still have pain as well when the weather is changing. My immunity is terrible and I catch everything I’m exposed too. Living in a bubble is not an option. The tinnitus in my ears is becoming the new normal and the change in my eyesight has me slightly troubled, yet I will not fret.

This blog began when I needed something to do to keep my mind active. It has become an avenue for me to share what I know to be a help for others. I have met and prayed for so many affected by Lyme the past few years, and I praise God for the opportunity to understand it and learn. Education isn’t cheap, and trust me when I tell you that my medical bills and supplement bills monthly/bi-monthly speak to that. I do however value that education that I have been given and I see it as part of God’s plan to help others in their own healing. I do keep in mind that you can lead a horse to water, you cannot however make him drink it. Every person with a debilitating illness and unknown or questionable diagnosis has their own decisions to make in their healthcare. For me and for my family, we continually ask the big question….why? For every symptom, there is a cause. Nearly all causes are bacterial, viral or parasitic. Which one is the cause and what the adequate treatment plan should be is the challenge. Finding the right doctor that will hear what you have to say and that will educate himself/herself are the doctors that I find to be the ones pioneering in the healing of Lyme.

I hope to continue sharing information, educational materials and other stories of faith and healing in dealing with Lyme disease this month. If you are a Lyme warrior, please email me your story and let’s share with others how to cope. Keep in mind, you are not alone.

Remember, this disease is estimated to surpass breast cancer. You will or do know someone who is affected.

A Wasted Verb

Prairie Dog:  "Guess I should have quickly eaten it so that the bird wouldn't have had the opportunity to snatch it." Prairie Dog:  "Thank you for sharing your lunch with me.  I've been waiting for someone as nice as you to share."
Prairie Dog: “Guess I should have quickly eaten it so that the bird wouldn’t have had the opportunity to snatch it.”
Prairie Dog: “Thank you for sharing your lunch with me. I’ve been waiting for someone as nice as you to share.”

Regret: verb-feel sad, repentant, disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity).

How many times in our lives do we use the word regret?  Why?

Not to long ago I had a learning opportunity to speak with my children about that word.  We discussed that regret should not be a word that they use in their lives.  It’s one of those words that is like the word Hate.  We should never hate anything.  We may dislike something, yet we don’t hate something.  Regret is much like that.  It’s another strong verb used to describe something that is unrealistic.  You’re likely asking me what I mean by that.

Well, I have said for years that using the word regret, only makes one then realize that if they regret one thing, they have to regret a whole lot of things.  If you regret a decision you made that had disastrous consequences, then you have to regret a lot more things that went along with that decision and you also have to regret the lessons learned from those decisions.  It’s like a gerbil wheel that keeps on spinning and never stops.

If you regret marrying someone, then you would also have to regret having children as well as those years spent with that family,  likely calling them wasted.  If you claim to regret that you didn’t get a higher education, then you also have to regret the path you then chose to take, even if it was a necessary decision to make you realize you needed that higher education.  What about a decision made regarding health?   Goodness knows that doctors, family and friends can all make us feel guilty about how we eat or how we take care of ourselves.   Yet, when the time comes that our eyes are opened to better ways, if we regret the earlier path we would not be able to see how far we’ve come in progressing to a better place.  Or even when it comes to some pretty serious medical decisions.  Should chemo be the best option?  Should alternative medicine be the best?  What about those mammograms and preventative screenings?  If and or when something changes with our health and we become seriously ill, what is the first thing many people say?  “I regret not doing that….”   Like I said, a strong verb that can only bring about more sadness than necessary.  A word that contains a whole lot of disappointment and many times can be tied in with a whole lot of guilt.

I remember some years back when my mom and I had discussions regarding some decisions I had personally made in my own life.  I was young enough to be under the roof of my parents yet old enough to be considered an adult.  My mom said she had regretted allowing me to do this or that and that she felt guilty over not guiding me in a different direction.  I remember thinking about that and also saying that I didn’t regret it and that she shouldn’t either.  That the decisions I made, no matter the outcome, were learning lessons in my own life.  I needed to go through those things in order to become the woman I am today.  If I had not learned through that school of hard knox, I’m not sure who I would be now nor where I would be.  I’m not saying that it’s not sad that I made some wrong decisions, yet those wrong decisions led to an understanding about how I needed to grow.  They helped me to see who I wanted to be and where I wanted to go.

I’ve used a lot of “I’s” in that last paragraph, of which is normal when speaking of one’s self.  However, it is with great joy that one of those lessons learned was that “I” was not in control of any of it.  Something greater was awakening within me of which I was not even aware until a few years later.   A generic definition of sanctification is “the state of proper functioning”.  To sanctify someone or something is to set that person or thing apart for the use intended by its designer. (BibleStudytool.com)   When God opened my eyes and began to show me who He is, I also began to realize that I could not have gotten to a place of peace and understanding in Him until I had gone through the things that most people want to call “regret”.

There are so many blessings that have come out of my personal walk on this journey in this life.  All of which I can honestly say came from “lessons”, not regret.

You may be asking yourself where in the world am I going with this and why blog about this.  Well, to explain, the last week I’ve intermittently been listening to a documentary on the truth about cancer.  I have watched many in heartache over their own “regret” in lack of knowledge.  It has made me consider how many people go through their days regretting how they live, what they say and what decisions they make.  Sorrow overtakes them and they forget that each decision or action or word spoken that makes them have that regret has actually led them to a place of recognition.  So I felt that I needed to share with others that rather than letting sorrow or disappointment over take you and your future, pray about what you have learned and ask for guidance in going forward.

Don’t waste your energy and time in regret or spend time in bitterness over disappointment, be grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow.   Perhaps, this recognition of the past is the beginning of a new journey going forward.  Perhaps also, a door has been opened to see something new and to learn new tools in dealing with situations going forth.

Isaiah 35

The Ransomed Shall Return

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;
it shall blossom abundantly
and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the LORD,
the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who have an anxious heart,
“Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God
will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
For waters break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water;
in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,
the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

And a highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.a
No lion shall be there,
nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
but the redeemed shall walk there.
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain gladness and joy,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

 

 

 

 

Why should I care? (Part 1)

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Educating myself as well as my children has been something I have enjoyed since I began my journey of living a healthy lifestyle. Anything I did with my children when they were little was an adventure into the “why” zone. With the information now present on the internet it’s even more fun and sometimes can be a bit daunting. Whenever the kids ask me a question about something I’m completely unsure about, we research it and look for answers.

With my diagnosis of Lymes, and recent finding of several co-infections, I am finding my days filled with trying to answer the why question. Why does it hurt so badly? Why do I feel good for a few hours and then all of a sudden I feel like I’m on deaths door? Why can’t I stand longer than 20 minutes without feeling 3+ hours of pain in my feet and body when I finally sit down? Why does my right foot not want to bend, feels numb and just doesn’t work well 90% of the time? Why do I all of a sudden have severe shooting pains that come and go throughout different parts of my body that leave me disabled until it passes? Why do I think of things I want to say but the words don’t always come out or I forget 10 seconds after I thought it? Why is there no known cure for Lymes? Why do I also have multiple co-infections? Why me when so many others don’t care about what they do to their bodies, what they eat or drink or inhale? Why? Why? Why?

The list of my questions is long and unending. The more I learn the more I ask why. Most people could look at me (some have) and say, “Just take the antibiotics, find a project, rest and wait to feel better. Let the doctor’s tell you what to do and let them take charge of your health. After all, they are educated to know the answers. Why do you care to know about it? It would just freak me out, your better off not knowing.” Key statements that make me want to run to the Library of Congress, set up camp and stay until I’ve read every published study, report, article, and book written on Lymes and their wonderful debilitating co-infections. Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means anti-doctor nor anti-antibiotics. If I thought for one second that an antibiotic would heal me and actually get rid of the little buggers destroying my body I would take them. In fact, that may be part of my future protocol. For now however, I’ve done enough research, as has my doctor, to know that at this time my personal journey is difficult and weary and that my body needs more than heavy duty short term, expensive antibiotics.

When if comes to learning about the disease and it’s counterparts, I care because I am blessed to have a body that for 44 years worked well and supported me. It’s my God given, God designed body that I need to take care of. The more I know about this disease, the better off I will be to ask intelligent thought provoking questions that will help myself heal. Besides, whoever said that you needed to stop reading and learning just because you have a degree. I am an educated woman who feels that learning goes beyond the classroom door and actually begins with life skills. We teach our children memorization of dates, places, equations and names of important people, yet have we taught them to be proactive and free thinkers? Have we taught them to ask questions or to just listen to what we want them to know? Have we taught them or are we teaching them how to research everything and to be open to understanding the answers to why? If my children do not retain anything else in their school journey, they will remember that in order to help yourself in anything in life, you need to be completely informed. You need to research everything and don’t trust someone else to do it for you.

I have been asked over and over again about my illness, how I’m doing, why am I not on antibiotics yet, what is the diagnosis, how long before I feel better, etc. etc. Then, inevitably, if they are not like me and have the “doctors know all attitude”, they roll their eyes or get quiet and give me the bodily signs that they feel I’ve made every wrong decision in helping myself.

Little do they know, I have been going in to my doctors or health care professionals with questions or information that help us work together in my healing. I have the respect of my health care professionals and doctors because I care about my over all long term healing and am not just looking for the quick fix pill or idea that may help for the interim. Little do my critics know that while I sit day after day quietly waiting to feel “normal”, I spend countless hours researching every website I can find on Lymes. From Western traditional medicine to Integrative to Holistic. Oh, there are some very “quacky” ideas out there, and there are some very sad stories and videos that have scared me to tears. One even kept me up all night.

As I said before, I’m a college educated woman who does not easily fall prey to the latest and greatest. In fact, I am very aware of the effects of untreated Lymes and of the dangerous co-infections and my very low adrenals. For these reasons, I am being treated with protocols that are attacking the problems individually in hopes of long term healing. The disease may not be curable, however, the symptoms can be controlled. I love to research and will keep on researching until my journey comes to an end with this devastating disease. I look forward to sharing with you in the near future what I have learned and hope that you will find my sharing to be an inspiration for you to keep on learning.