Friday, September 20, 2013

Lyme Symptoms-and there's a lot of them!!

I probably should have done this post about Lyme Disease symptoms at the very beginning of treatment, but it is still valid now. It is so important to know what symptoms to look for if you have been bitten by a tick. The best option is to get 4-6 weeks of antibiotics as soon as you are bitten by a tick. Not all doctors agree with this, but it is by far the best thing to do. Not everyone who has been bitten by a tick will show symptoms. Not every bite transmits Lyme, and not everyone who has been exposed to it gets it.  *Note-I'm currently doing a detox treatment and it makes it hard to write. Please excuse mistakes!!*

The best way for a doctor to figure out if you do have Lyme's is for the doctor to use a clinical diagnosis. Many, many times the blood work will give a false negative and it can even give a false positive. So what do you do if you suspect you have it? See a doctor and have this checklist (see below) ready. It will help you communicate to your doctor what your symptoms are, and you won't forget when the doc asks you. This checklist comes from (International Lyme And Associated Diseases Society). Beware, the list is long! I'll probably highlight some and then send you to the checklist in case you ever need it.

Lyme Disease Symptoms:

Persistent swollen glands
Sore throat
Sore soles, esp. in the AM
Joint pain: Fingers, toes, ankles, wrists, knees, elbows, hips, shoulders
Joint swelling: fingers, toes, ankles, wrists, knees, elbows, hips, shoulders
Unexplained back pain
Stiffness of the joints or back
Muscle pain or cramps
Obvious muscle weakness
Twitching of the face or other muscles
Confusion, difficulty thinking
Difficulty with concentration, reading, problem absorbing new information
Word search, name block
Forgetfulness, poor short term memory, poor attention
Disorientation: getting lost, going to wrong places
Speech errors: wrong word, misspeaking
Mood swings, irritability, depression
Anxiety, panic attacks
Psychosis (hallucinations,
delusions, paranoia, bipolar)
Light sensitivity
Sound sensitivity

This is by no means a complete list.  These symptoms were taken from pages 9 and 10. There, you can find the complete list.

When I first went in to be diagnosed, I think I counted 30 symptoms that I had. Over the years symptoms  come and go and even change. I have no desire to count now :-) However, it is great to have this list to refer to. I hope this post hasn't been too boring... Next post is about detoxing and I'll update how things are going around here.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Two hundred and thirty days.

Two hundred and thirty days. That is how long I've been doing treatment. I hit a wall for a little bit today. I was tired and I stayed in bed for 5 1/2 hours this afternoon. I really haven't done that in a long time and my body still protested when I got up. :-) Today was my last day of treatment till we return to the doctor to get the next treatment schedule. Thankfully I can rest the next two weeks. I can't imagine what it will be like, though I do have to catch up on chicken chores. I feel like I've been fighting my chickens lately. Two broody hens that had to be broken, one chicken with a bum leg, and another with prolapse. I'm not sure whether she will make it or not. Ugh. But I'll have time to work with her tomorrow.

Fall seems to have come on quite suddenly and I definitely don't look forward to putting on 4 layers just to do my chicken chores... But I do look forward to be able to do them without sweating profusely!! And oh, the fair! When a chill hits the air and the leave start turning and falling, I start to dream of the fair. Fun filled days full of delicious food and sweet animals to look at. Those two things are what I love! I have found quite a few gluten-free foods that I can eat at the fair. This year I really want a dill pickle. Those full size ones that they sell for something like 50 cents. Oh, they are so good! Fudge, nachos, roasted corn, pickles, kettle corn, ice cream, apple cider, and Al's fries. I'm a happy girl when the fair comes to town and it's less than a month away. In the past five years I've been to the fair once in a walking boot (broken foot), once in a wheelchair, and once on a mobility scooter (really broken foot). This year I am going most likely by wheelchair, but I am definitely going! And I'm going twice. Never less than twice.

The first week of this medicine cycle I had a lot of bad herxes and I needed someone with me every day. Joel, my mom, and my aunt normally handle this, but I thought they needed a break. So I called my Mema who came for 3 days. It was so wonderful to have her here. We talked and talked; she graciously cooked and even indulged me when I asked for fried chicken livers! She brought Peso, her Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix. He kept things lively for sure! But I was really glad she brought him. Overall, having a small yapping dog went well :-)

So here's to two hundred and thirty days of treatment and to the fair! There are hard things in life and fun things in life. Even when you feel like you've hit a wall, there is always something to look forward to!

Friday, September 6, 2013

September 6: National Read A Book Day

I've been wanting to a post on books since I've had a short break from the last 2 months of treatment. My word, they were hard! I couldn't have done it without my family who really kept me going when I really wanted to quit. Thankfully the doctor has pulled back my treatment so that it will take longer but not be so harsh. I am so thankful for that! I'm working on detoxing and regaining energy, but neither of them are easy. My animals are the perfect diversion-especially the chickens. Annie the dog and Obi-Wan the cat will take a nap with me, but Jasper the crazy kitty just gets into everything possible and then I get tired from chasing him around. Poor thing doesn't come in a lot because of that, but I don't think he has put 2 and 2 together. Jasper has a habit of eating things he's not supposed to (like shower curtains and fabric)so we have to be super alert when he's in. Craziness!!!

On to my favorite topic... Books! I really have a problem with acquiring books, but at least I do buy them at thrift stores and antique shops where they are 50 cents to $1.50. I have a ridiculous amount of books in the living room, and no, none of them are on a book shelf. Here they are in no particular order:

A NEW SELECTED POEMS by Galway Kinnell
LITTLE TOOT by Hardie Gramatky
Make Way For Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
The Fabric & Yarn Dyer's Handbook by Tracy Kendall
THE FEDERALIST PAPERS by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison -edited by Richard Beeman
ESSAYS Old and New -edited by Robert U. Jameson
STORM OF SWORDS by George R.R. Martin
LINCOLN SPEECHES edited by Richard Beeman
HALF BROKE HORSES by Jeannette Walls
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
Southwestern Pottery: Anasazi to Zuni by Allan Hayes and John Blom
Storey's Guide to RAISING CHICKENS by Gail Damerow
my Bible
CAST of CHARACTERS by Max Lucado
THE HEAVENLY MAN: the remarkable true story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun -with Paul Hattaway OF MICE AND MEN by John Steinbeck
ENDER'S GAME by Orson Scott Card
THE EARTH MOVED: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms by Amy Stewart
another Bible
Jesus Today by Sarah Young
Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
Bound Feet and Western Dress by Pang-Mei Natasha Chang
and... and an untold amount of chicken magazines.

35+ books on my living room floor.
I have a SERIOUS, SERIOUS problem.
I'm currently reading 8 of them.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


It's the middle of the night, and I'm awake. I'm taking a medicine for my Lyme this week that is actually an anti-malarial drug. It kills off the spirochetes and the cysts. How do I know? Because my legs won't stop shaking and jerking and I can't even focus on the computer screen. I'm pretty much typing blind and letting spell check do the rest. My pupils are dilated like I've been to the eye doctor. No matter how much light is in a room, my pupils are taking in huge amounts of light. Days and nights like these are no fun and horrible. No sleep plus crazy things happening to you makes for one tired Allison the next day. I have one more dose of this medicine and I could not be more thankful. Right now the jerking has moved from my legs down to my feet. I think I'm gonna turn my movie back on, cause there will be no sleeping with these crazy jerking feet.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

It's easy to go silent

In Blog-land it's easy to go silent if you are busy, if things are difficult, or even if you just don't feel like sharing. I think that lately it has been a little of all these things. The medicines haven't been so bad this month, but the detox has. Joel and I both have noticed that in general I have more energy. I feel a little more like a normal person. I still can't leave the house by myself, but that doesn't bother me so long as I get to Chick-fil-A every week or so. I love their fries!! There are always chickens to take care of, cats and a dog to love on, and well, to be honest, there's always Facebook. Can I claim that it keeps me in touch with the rest of the world?

Detoxification is really important during Lyme disease treatment. When you kill off the spirochetes (the bacteria that makes you sick) and the cysts that they build around themselves for protection, the side effect is that they release terrible toxins into your body. I've never handled this well; my body just doesn't detox easily. I know that there are lots of ways to detox, but the ones suggested by my doctor are Epsom salt baths, green tea, burbur drops, and lactated ringers. Most of the time all of these methods are gentle, easy ways to clear your body of toxins. However, last week after two of the lactated ringers that I did, I had spells of confusion and short term memory loss. Both symptoms went away within hours, but it was scary. Joel called the doctor and they said that this was not unusual at this stage of treatment. I just finished four straight days of IV antibiotics tonight and I'm doing my first ringer in days. I hope that it doesn't cause confusion and short term memory loss, but I'm sure the phrase "better out than in" applies to toxins as well.

In other news, we let the barn chickens free range most of the day yesterday. Joel was home with me to supervise my medicine taking in case I had anything unusual come along. After my meds, I had to drag all of the young chickens out of the barn and into the yard. As soon as I put them on the ground, they looked down and realized there was green stuff and bugs to eat. They stayed out till 8 when we had to herd them back into the barn. Hopefully next time they will go in and out of their own accord. I thought I'd post some pictures so that you can see how happy they were. I loved watching them run around and eat their fill, dust bathe, or just sit in the shade and relax. They're so cute. The picture quality is terrible because all I had was my phone, but they are cute anyway.

Here is Eugenia Price sitting on the hull of an old lawnmower. I love this picture!!

My flock.

Chicken happiness!

I'll be selling eggs soon. I get about 9 eggs a day right now but that still leaves 14 chickens who need to start laying. It's getting more exciting every day!
Please continue to help us with this medical treatment.

Monday, July 8, 2013


I was really scared about doing my medicines today. Lots of pills this morning and 2 IV bags tonight. The second IV made me incredibly sick in DC when the doctor tested it on me. Tonight, however, I have had no problems except for a little bit of wobbly head. Let me just say, God gives hope and he does not hold back. Joel reminded me that the treatment could get much harder as the week goes on, and he is right. But tonight gave me hope, and sometimes that is all you need. The song I heard in my head this evening is one that we sang in the small church I grew up in. I absolutely love hymns and the hope and comfort that they give.

To God Be the Glory
To God be the glory, great things He has done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.


Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He has done.

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.


Great things He has taught us, great things He has done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.


Because hope always comes at just the right time.

Monday, July 1, 2013

One Crazy Weekend!

This past weekend we traveled up to D.C. It was wonderful to get out and go somewhere, especially as I love the city of DC so very much. I love the monuments and the magnificent buildings and the sense of pride one has when recalling how our nation was founded. I love the museums and have really wanted to go to the American Indian museum. Of all the museums, however, I love the ones that have art-fiber arts, painting, sculpture...Oh how I love art. It's not surprising then that I was an art major at college. But I love to read too. I just finished Brave New World and now I'm on to Macbeth. Oh, Shakespeare, you were brilliant. I actually didn't like Macbeth at all in high school, but I think that I didn't have the capacity to understand some of the lines. In Brave New World, the character named "Savage" spoke mostly in verses from Shakespeare. Thus, the transition from a dystopian novel to a Shakespearean play.

Our appointment with the doctor went okay. The normal things were fine-talking about symptoms and problems I'm having and his advice for how to handle it. One thing he did say was that I need an extra week off. My body has always had a hard time detoxing from the medicines. This week will be dedicated to getting those toxins out. I'll be doing lactated ringers, Epsom salt baths, and green tea. And rest. Rest is good. I felt fine at my appointment while they were administering my test dose of antibiotics to make sure I can take it without having an allergic reaction. It was fine-I'm not allergic. However, it took a toll on everything else. I started feeling like I had the flu. I was nauseated, weepy, and everything hurt. I couldn't eat anything till the next morning and even then I felt like I had been hit by a mac truck. I was in a haze the next two days with loss of balance, confusion, terrible short term memory, and weakness. People, it was no fun! But I did get to see my wonderful roommate from college. We lived together for 4 years and it was wonderful. Neither one of us were exceptionally tidy, but I remember looking at the floor one day and there was a line straight down the middle floor and my clothes went right up to that line. I didn't destroy her side of the room, I don't think... (Well, maybe you should ask Christy). Anyways, we had tons of fun together this weekend, and she even hung out with me when I was so sick on Friday night. I love you, Christy! This is the two of us at the Nats ballgame last trip up. We both love baseball!

We now have a place where you can sign up to bring us a gluten-free meal. The website is Food Tidings. You have to make an account, but that is super easy. Then you can pick a date that hasn't been chosen and sign up. If you have questions about how to make a gluten-free meal, feel free to contact me. I can answer your questions.

On a very happy note, two of the hens that I raised from chicks this spring have started laying. They have the cutest, most perfect little eggs you've ever seen. I haven't figured out yet which two are laying yet, but I'm super excited, and can't wait for the Easter Eggers lay. I'm dying to see what color eggs they lay. I really, really want one or all of my EE hens to lay blue eggs. That just might be a dream though. They'll probably all lay green eggs out of spite. Oh well!
Tchau, or goodbye as we say in Portuguese.

Please continue to help us make these trips to DC for medical treatment.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

3:37 am

Good morning to those of you who can't sleep like me. I must suggest having some decaf green tea and a maple glazed gluten-free donut for not feeling sorry for yourself at 3:37 in the morning. I was out of chamomile tea-quite an accomplishment as we have 25 boxes of tea in the cabinet, but I wasn't about to dig around and pull out every tea box out for fear of waking the dog. I did find Tazo "Awake" black breakfast tea. That was decidedly out of the question, because at some point this morning I would love to crawl back in bed and sleep for a very long time. I've always slept better during the day due to the Lyme; I don't understand it, but there you have it.

I thought I would write a chirpy little post about some of the things I love-things that get me through the day. The first is my wonderful, loving, holds-me-when-I-cry husband. From the outside it may not be as visible as it should be, but this man sacrifices everything for me day in and day out. I could not have asked the Lord for a more perfect husband to take care of me. He married me knowing I was sick, and I was diagnosed with Lyme 9 months into our marriage. How's that for your first year of marriage? But he took it all in stride. This is Joel, my wonderful hubby, who loves Farmall tractors (John Deere is not welcome in our house), gardening, sci-fi, computers, XBOX 360, and fixing and building things. And I LOVE him!

The second thing I'd like to highlight are some of my favorite blogs and websites. I love to crochet and Lucy at Attic 24 in England is my absolute fav. She constantly comes up with new projects to try and graciously writes tutorials so that everyone can crochet them. She has a zest for life that not many people have, and it is for the simple things that I love-bright colors, nature, and family.

The next blog is the Carpool Queen's Blog. My friend Susan is the author here. She loves coffee as much as I do, and shares all of life here-the nitty gritty and the sweet moments. I'm not sure her boys technically qualify as kids anymore. This set of triplets just turned 14. I met them all 10 years ago and they will always hold a special place in my heart. Susan, celebrate having a week with a little less chaos now that the boys are at camp.

By now, you all know how much I love chickens, and Backyard Chickens is the best website/forum for figuring out what you need to know. When your chickens are sick, you can't always run them to the vet, though to be perfectly honest, one time I did. Those days are over, and now I'm the vet. Backyard Chickens has so much information that with enough searching you can usually find the solution to your chickens' problems.

Since I am starting to get sleepy, I'll quickly highlight three books that I've really enjoyed this year. I'd been wanting to read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley for a year or two and finally picked it up. It was amazing! Thanks to Mary V. for lighting a fire under my tail so that I would read it. If you like classic novels about dystopian societies, you should read this one. It is my favorite so far.

My next favorite was Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. It is a book about books-what could be better than that? Both books are about societal control and individuality. It is a great, quick read that will leave you thinking about it for days.

The final book that I enjoyed definitely surprised me. I don't typically pick up modern fiction, but The Paris Wife by Paula McLain was quite good. It focuses on Ernest Hemingway's first wife, Hadley Richardson, and the intensity of their life in Paris. The author is a great writer and the book drew me into the world of the Hemingways, Fitzgeralds, Pounds, and the ever important Gertrude Stein.

Farewell for now, I'm going back to sleep. It's 5:34 and the birds are singing. Hopefully Adah the rooster is not crowing. But I wouldn't bet on it. Here he is in all his glory...

As much as I love these things and my husband, I cherish the fact that I might be well in the future. Please help us get there by donating.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Why we need financial support

I've been wanting to write a couple of different entries lately, like "What is Lyme Disease," or "What do I need to do if I've been bitten by a tick?" However, this one popped out at me today as important because it might not be obvious why the insurance company won't pay for the treatment that Lyme patients so badly need. Over the years we have been given multiple reasons by doctors and insurance companies. Here is a list:

1. Lyme disease does not exist in North Carolina. (wrong answer!)
2. If you indeed have Lyme disease, the only treatment you need is two weeks of Doxycycline. You will be fine once that is administered. (not necessarily)
3. Chronic Lyme disease does not exist. There is no proof that it does. (the research is there but ignored)
4. A positive blood test is the only way to properly diagnose Lyme disease. (you also need to be evaluated for symptoms)
5. If you didn't have a bulls-eye rash, you don't have Lyme. Moreover, if you did not see the tick that bit you, you can't contract Lyme.(only 40% of Lyme patients have had a bulls-eye rash)

I'll try to address the reasons that affect my case quickly. Otherwise we could be here all night :-)

Backstory: I got into a nest of nymph/baby ticks on a hiking trip here in NC. I never saw the tick that bit me, nor did I get a bulls-eye rash. When I got sick 6 months later with typical Lyme symptoms (remember, I had  no hard evidence), my doctors brushed it aside. My test was negative. I don't remember if I did two weeks of Doxy or not. At that point, 16 years ago, a negative test meant NO HELP.

My mom took me to any doctor who would listen. The answer was always the same: your test is negative, and besides, this disease doesn't exist in North Carolina. The doctors were not kind. They wrote in their notes that Mom was seeking attention for herself. The reality was that she was watching her teenage daughter get sicker by the day.

It took 8 long years to get a diagnosis. I graduated high school. I graduated from Meredith College. By that time, I was married and was so sick that i couldn't hold a full time job. Eventually, I had to quit working. My mom and Mema convinced me to go to a doctor they had found, and I was immediately diagnosed. I did oral antibiotics regemines that to keep the illness under control. Over the last two years, however, that stopped helping for various reasons. The only choice I had was to do IV antibiotics for 9 months.

So here's the question: Why does this bright young couple need to raise $50,000 dollars? (Do take note of our very cute niece :-)

Because 16 years later, very few things have changed with doctors and insurance companies! There are small signs that more doctors are listening, but the insurance companies aren't. There is a tiny possibility that they will pay for 2 weeks of IVs, but it is more than likely that they will pay nothing, and the IV meds are very, very expensive. They don't cover doctors visits, and they don't consider that we drive out of state to get the best care. Bottom line, they make the decisions, and when it comes to Lyme disease the answer is NO. I don't say this for you to pity us or put a guilt trip on anyone. However, the reality is that we can't pay for this on our own. We need help from our family, friends, and the community around us. PLEASE DONATE TODAY! It will make such a difference in our fight against Lyme.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Good days, bad nights

Aside from Monday of this week, my treatments have really not been that bad. The morning IV's have gone swimmingly, but the evening treatments leave me feeling yucky. I just took my final antibiotic pill of the evening and I'm so thankful. I wasn't sure if I could get another one down. I'm doing my last IV treatment for two weeks and then we get to go see the doctor. I'm so excited about this! I'm actually excited about being off for two weeks, just to clarify. Tuesday and Thursday (my off days) were pretty good and I actually felt like a human being :-) The doctor believes that we will be able to get a good picture of my prognosis based on how well I do for the next two weeks. I do start a new pill next week that I have never heard of, but hopefully it won't be too bad. I'll let you know if it is.

 For the local weather report, we had a severe thunderstorm last night which left us with tons of limbs down but no downed trees, thankfully. Straight line winds preceded the storm and they were dangerous-up to 70 mph. I was convinced I was going to see one of the pecan trees in the back yard just lay on over. If the chickens in the outside pen hadn't had wire surrounding them, I'm convinced they would have blown away out of sheer stupidity. That really nice coop they have? Nope. They weren't interested in seeking shelter there.

 I have 3 laying hens who are all in need of treatment for an illness, and it is difficult to know what to do. There are no vets that really specialize in chickens, and then, really, how much is a chicken worth when it's all said and done? I've giving them baths and meds, and hopefully it will all start working. Ever wanna bathe a chicken? Just come on over and I'll put you to it. Here are the three fluffy butts and their rooster:

These meds make me so groggy. Blogging helps normally keep me awake, but I'm not sure it's working this time. I'm off to find a snack or something. Must.Stay.Awake.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Just another manic Monday

It really is "just another manic Monday." Except that I had to ask Joel if it really was Monday! That is a normal question around here these days!

It has been raining constantly around here... We had rain all spring long and never really had true spring weather. It stayed very cool. The benefit of the cool weather was that I was able to be outside a lot and our hemlock trees grew as if they had never grown before. Normally our trees will grow about an inch each spring-light green growth right on the tip of the branches. This year, our hemlocks grew 4 inches. I have lived here for 9 years and have never seen this much growth in one spring. These trees were brought from the mountains and planted here some years ago, and they are quite prized in our yard. We keep a close eye on them at all times. My husband won't even let me trim the end of one branch to clear my walking path. :-) It's okay, though, I've grown to love them too. Here are two of the hemlocks in between two of our pecan trees (also highly prized).

Just last week we weathered Tropical Storm Andrea. It was a real frog strangler. It rained sideways and frontways and backways. Today it rained just as hard, just not as long. I put my cactus out because it needed sun. Now I'm not so sure it won't drown. It's looking a little brown.

On to other news... The medicine is doing exactly what it is supposed to do in my body. It is killing the Lyme at a very fast rate. But that means that the days of feeling good are over. It is really hard to come to grips with this. I went out this weekend, but learned that now when I go out, I need my wheelchair all the time. My wonderful friend Heather supplied me with one and it is great! My awesome Sunday school class is going to be recording the lessons for me so that I can still be included and learn from the Bible. I was feeling very disconnected from church since I haven't been able to go, and this will help a ton. I've been super emotional as of late. The Lyme is in all parts of my brain-especially my frontal lobe. I cry because I feel terrible; I cry because I'm overwhelmed. Last night was the all-time low, though. I cried because one of the chickens pecked me. Looking back it is pretty funny. I'm surprised Joel held it together without laughing his head off at me. In my defense, however, it hurt really bad! This was the perpetrator:

She has a terribly sharp beak and is a proficient flier. I have three of these White-Faced Black Spanish chickens and their names are Ruby, Garnet, and Sapphire. So far, Ruby is the only one I can single out because her comb is really red. The other two look just alike.

Writing about things I love makes me super happy. But I do need your prayers now more than ever. Some days I don't remember anything about the day before. Sometimes I get so groggy during my treatments that it takes everything I have to stay awake. As the toxins build up in my body, I get very sick and spend hours in bed or on the couch. This afternoon I felt well enough to go take care of the chickens. It lasted about 20 minutes and then the fatigue hit and I couldn't move off the couch. But so it goes. I have to make it though a summer of this. Pray for me and pray for those who are taking care of me. Please donate to help us pay for the medical treatment that costs $50,000. We need more than money too. If you can help out in any way, please let us know. Leave a comment or contact me through FB or email. And if you don't do anything else, watch Duck Dynasty for me. I love me some Si!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

How it all began...

My story with Lyme started 16 years ago when I was 16. Somehow I managed get covered by the tiniest ticks I have ever seen while on a hiking trip in North Carolina. In order to get rid of them, I picked them off and squished them between my thumbnails like any thinking teenager would do. Nothing bad came out of that for 6 months until I got the flu. The flu triggered the dormant Lyme disease and an auto-immune disease called Sjogren's Syndrome. My mom did some research and discovered that I had Lyme disease. Except she couldn't prove it to the doctors who wanted a physical test that would say I had Lyme. They said she was crazy; they labeled her an overprotective mother; they said she had borderline Munchausen syndrome; they said Lyme did not exist in North Carolina. And still, my loving, dedicated, frustrated mom ever persisted in taking me to doctors, trying to get that diagnosis.

It took 8, read that, EIGHT years to find a doctor who would treat me. By then, Joel and I were married. The doctor wasn't even in Raleigh, so we drove west. Now, eight years later, Joel drives me north to see the doctor. I will not mention my practitioner's name on this blog for his protection, so we'll call him "Best-Doctor-Ever." I started oral antibiotics immediately. I improved, but the medicines were always hard on my stomach because of my acid reflux. I did treatment off and on and had been off for the last two years or so to give my stomach time to heal.

Eventually, I got super sick with the Lyme, and by last summer it was obvious that something had to be done. Joel, my kind and understanding husband, left the ultimate choice up to me because we both knew how terrible the treatment was going to be (you get much worse before you get better). I was approved for IV therapy done at home. We visit "Best-Doctor-Ever" once a month or once every two months. We bring new medicines home after every visit; we pay tons of money to get me better. I get therapies that insurance companies won't pay for or even touch with a ten foot pole. We were told that the treatment costs could be as low as $35,000 and as high $60,000 or $70,000. These figures only cover our medical costs (IV medications, doctors' visits, etc...) We need help from you, --our family, friends, and acquaintances. We need help from people who may not know us but may have a link to Lyme. You can't just leave the Lyme alone and expect it to go away. Why not? Because LYME DISEASE KILLS. A great resource to learn about Lyme Disease is the documentary aptly named "Under Our Skin." You can find out about the documentary on their website

While I'm thankful that my Lyme has not been life threatening, I desperately need to have a better quality of life. There is a donation button below that will allow you to donate to our medical fund. Right now we are trying to raise $50,000 dollars to cover my treatment. However, the price could fluctuate based on what treatments I receive. Please, donate. If you can't donate, pray that God would lift people up to donate.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rough Days

Today was a rough day. I was tired and sleepy (still am) and so dizzy that I feel like I've put my head on a bat and twirled around for 20 seconds. My eyes won't focus on the same thing and that drives me nuts because it makes it hard to read or use the computer. I cooked supper but it wasn't quite a success. The food was great, but the fact that I almost burned my fingers and turned on all the wrong burners despite the fact that they are labeled specifically for me was more than I could handle. It ended in tears. But Joel was there to comfort me and remind me that it is toxins in my brain making me do things like that. He got me a Coke (my love language) and assured me it would all be okay. I know it will be okay, but sometimes in the thick of things it feels like it won't. Now I'm attached to my faithful IV pole to try to get rid of some of those toxins. Here she is: Hopefully I will feel better tomorrow, but if I don't, I'm just gonna go sit outside because for some reason I'm not dizzy our there. It is my oasis, a special blessing. And even if I can't sit outside, I'll be okay because of what it says in Lamentations 3:22. "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."

Monday, May 27, 2013

My First Rooster

I thought I would introduce you today to the first rooster I raised. His name is Gus and he is a beautiful Americauna/Easter Egger rooster. I suspected that he was a rooster the day I got him. He was only 2 days old. He was twice the size of all the chicks and he was fat. Very fat. For that reason, he reminded me of Gus Gus the mouse in Cinderella. I named him Gus and decided that if he turned out to be a she, I would call him Augusta. My initial suspicion was correct... He started crowing and grew up to be a handsome, but loud, lad. Gus was a fabulous rooster, always protecting his ladies. The problem was that he was also trying to protect them from me. When he was away from the hens, he was an absolute gentleman. I would sit on the coop floor and he would stare in my eyes and let me pet him as long as I wanted to. He let me carry him around. But he gradually got more aggressive. I didn't think it was too bad, but with a central line in my chest for the IV treatment, I couldn't take a chance. After he seriously injured my other rooster who wasn't the least bit aggressive toward me, I decided to re-home him. I still wish he lived in my backyard, but I do have a great rooster named Adah and he is the sweetest roo I know. I'll introduce you to him later.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Lyme Disease Awareness Month

     The month of May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. I love Black  History Month, but other than that I don't keep up with what awareness month it is. I can barely keep up with which month it actually is anyway. This year, however, Lyme Disease Awareness means a lot to me because I am doing IV antibiotics after having Lyme Disease for 16 years. 16 years is half of my life. I used to be able to control the Lyme with oral antiobiotc treatment every few years. In the past year or two, however, the Lyme had become so bad that it was seriously affecting my digestive system. Without a properly working digestive system, I couldn't take tons of pills (my stomach couldn't digest them), and my intestines wouldn't absorb them even if they were digested.
     Last fall, Joel and I realized that something had to be done. And I was TERRIFIED. I didn't want to do IV therapy. We knew that the insurance company wouldn't cover it and that we would have to pay for all of it ourselves, but we also knew that there weren't any other options for us. Joel let me make the decision. He was okay with whatever I chose. That was scary too. He left the choice to me because I would be the one who would deal with all the side effects the medicines would throw at me.
     It took months for me to think about whether I wanted to do the treatment or not. I was too scared to pray about it. Then, at the Christmas social for my Tuesday morning Bible study, I shared with the other women that I was too scared to even pray about. So, instead of telling me to get over my fears, they prayed for me. That one night was such a blessing for me. For just a few hours I was freed from my fears and I prayed hard, knowing that the fear would try to regain control of my life. On the 45 minute drive home, I pray that God would give me wisdom and a clear indication as to whether or not to pursue the IV therapy knowing that it would cost us tens of thousands of dollars.
    That night God's answer was clearly "Yes." I opened my Bible to read when I got home and the passage was the transfiguration of Jesus in Matthew 17. The Bible says that Jesus took Peter, James, and John up to a mountain with them. There, he was transformed-his face was radiant and clothes became pure white. In essence, he became the image of the glory of God. The disciples (like me) were terrified, but Christ was comforted them. Matthew 17:17it says: "But Jesus came and touched them. 'Get up,' he said. 'Don't be afraid.' When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus." I felt like Christ had just spoken those very words to me. I knew that if I looked only at Jesus through this crazy journey, I could make it to the other side. I didn't know how it would all happen, but when Christ speaks, you move. You are willing to do crazy things that you don't know how you will pay for. I agreed to do a treatment that would make me oh-so-sick before I ever got better. I agreed to let God handle the money for us. I agreed to let God walk us through this for his glory, because without him I just couldn't make it.
    This is the short version of what is going on. Not all posts will be doom and gloom (though today and yesterday sure felt like it). Please forgive this English minor's grammatical errors. Forgive the spelling errors. The treatment really muddles my brain, but I can explain that later. It has been humbling for me to suddenly not be able to do things that I took pride in before I started treatment. It's been humbling, but I am learning that a humble place is a great place to grow in God.