Running Amok

Since I’ve been feeling better, I started walking early in the morning.  Exercise was one of those things that I knew I needed to do, but near-debilitating joint pain and discomfort stood in the way.

Not all that long ago, it occurred to me that nothing hurt.  I stood still, closed my eyes, and had a revelation that I was not experiencing any pain.  At all.  And that feeling continued.  One of the only two supplements I’ve been taking is CuraMed (for inflammation and it includes Curcumin) and Vitamin D.  This is a very different regimen from when I had to take upwards of 70 pills a day including antibiotics and various herbal medications.

So now I walk.  I do kind of a fast/slow interval walk, replete with 70’s music piped in.  My children would be horrified.  I really have perfected speed walking, even what with my stubby legs and all.  Fiddle daddy calls me Shorty McShorty.

He gets really agitated when he climbs into the van and I have the seat set to “crush upon impact” so that my feet can reach the pedals.  He has bruises on his knees that he will show you if you ask.

So I was on my walk yesterday and I had a thought.  “I want to run.  On purpose.”  Anyone who knows me well knows that I don’t run.  Even before the Lyme Disease, and even before two unnecessary knee surgeries left me with a severely thinned ACL, I didn’t run.  And if I did happen to run, you needed to run too because something really really bad was coming.

So I took off running.  And to the naked eye, it might have looked more like Phoebe from Friends attempting to run.  (Look it up on youtube.)  That’s what the neighbors were treated to.  But still, I ran.  Not far. Not fast. Not pretty.  But I ran.  And I didn’t break anything.  Except a sweat.

I returned home looking more disheveled than usual.  I informed a child that I ran.  “MOM RAN?”  As other children heard this they repeated incredulously, “MOM RAN????”

Word got around to my dear friend and partner in crime, Andrea, who I talked into coming to the beach nice and early with me the next morning.  She and I have always stood in solidarity that we don’t do the beach.  And yet, there we were sitting in our beach chairs, watching our teenagers surf, while facing the ocean and beautiful billowy clouded sky.  I audibly noted how nice the sand felt on my toes.  She shifted uncomfortably.  Then she remarked that I was eating something that looked like a delicious dessert concoction, but I told her it was a salad.  After a few moments someone offered me a chocolate-filled donut, which I politely declined.  Just then a bike rode by in front of us, and I mused that it might be fun to ride a bike on the beach.

She couldn’t take it any longer.  She turned to me “WHO ARE YOU?”

I chuckled.  I KNOW, RIGHT?

I’m just someone who is anxious to do a lot of catching up on life.  I will simply need to do it in my orthopedic sneakers.

DeeDeeSig

My State of Being

My girls are taking a Speech/Debate class at our homeschool co-op.  Speech covers the first semester, and Debate will be the second semester.  Our English/Lit/Speech tutor is amazing and is one of the main reasons I signed Emme up for this co-op 3 years ago when it looked like our Classical Conversations class was going to disband.  At the open house for the Co-op, I met this enthusiastic Literature-centric educator, who not only got Emme excited about classes, but had me thinking I should go back to school.

(I didn’t.  But I thought about it.)

Emme is an avid reader/writer who has blossomed under this tutor.  Both girls (and Jensen) are all taking English/Literature classes with her, and we threw in Speech/Debate for high school credit for my Emme (who is now a Sophomore…sob…sob).  Cailey jumped on the speech/debate band wagon for grins and I’m certain this decision will come back to haunt me.  Cailey can argue with a brick wall and win.  Should she ever become an attorney, opposing counsel will be begging to be locked up, just to escape her mad-pit-bull take-no-prisoners attitude.

(I often say that this skill will serve her well in adulthood, but it’s going to kill me in menopause.)  So do I really want her to hone this ability?

So.  Speech class has been a breeze for Emme  who can pull together an essay on anything without breaking a sweat.  For Cailey, it is like you are asking her to pluck out an eye with a spoon should she have to compose something.  How they share DNA, I’ll never know.

Anyhoo.  Recently they had an assignment to write and read aloud an essay about something that is close to their heart.  Over the course of a Wednesday afternoon I saw Emme furiously typing her speech.  She rarely shows them to me, and I only see them after the grading as I’m filing them in her portfolio.

The next day after class, Cailey came home and told me that Emme’s speech made everyone cry.  Even Emme.  A heaving sobbing ugly cry.  I turned to her, “What did you write about?”

She said, “Your battle with Lyme disease.”

Uh-oh.  Knowing her penchant for All The Drama, I asked her, “We’re not going to start getting casseroles are we?”  

She let me read her paper.  I got teary.  I really had forgotten how frightening my illness, diagnosis, and subsequent 18 months of treatment was on my sweet girl.  As well as on my entire family.

I think sometimes, it’s like childbirth.  As time goes by, we do forget the pain.  But I don’t think my husband, or my children, will ever forget what we went through 5 years ago.

I’ve been able to manage my symptoms by keeping my immune system strong.  I’ve had to clean up my diet (so let’s not talk about my trip to Cracker Barrel Friday night), avoid stress (Hello? Have you met my 3 children?  That I HOMESCHOOL?), and maintain a positive attitude (coffee plays a major role in this department, so disregard the whole clean up my diet idea first thing in the morning).  I haven’t been on antibiotics in a few years, and really only take a few supplements.  That beats the heck out of the 60 to 70 pills a day that I had to take during treatment.  It’s something that I’ll have to watch all of my life, but it’s manageable.

I’m pretty spry.  I’m not sure if I can run, because I never run on purpose.  But I bet I can.  If chased.  I still deal with joint inflammation, but am hoping to get control of that as I’m researching what triggers this.

One tremendous positive about my Lyme journey is that because I had been so outspoken (some might call it over-sharing) about what I was going through, others (even people who are near and dear to my heart) were able to get a correct diagnosis and treatment.  And I will never again take my health for granted.

And that’s my state of being.  Grateful.

DeeDeeSig

December 8, 2015

T stands for TORTURE

Allow me to get you up to speed.  Around the beginning of the year I had high hopes of having found a local doc who would treat Lyme Disease AND STILL TAKE INSURANCE.  A rare combination.  My hopes were dashed when I was told over the phone that he doesn’t take Lyme patients, but he agreed to look over my records.  I had them faxed to his office, he looked them over, and stated unequivocally that he would not take my case.

Set back.

Because I’ve been experiencing a good deal of hip, leg, and foot pain, I feared the Lyme was returning.  And was angry.  So I went back on the antibiotic protocol that my Orlando Lyme doctor tried to put me on last year.  After a bad reaction, he took me off the meds, but told me to try again in 2 weeks.  I waited 8 months.  And this time the reaction was times 5.  I lost 3 days of my life and revised my will at least a half a dozen times.

I threw those antibiotics in the street and ran them over with the van.  Before setting them ablaze.

Plan C went into effect.  We lost my favorite doctor in the area who was as close to a Naturopath and still took insurance as I’ll EVER find.  LOVED him.  But he sold his practice (thank you new health care law which shall go unnamed because I only discuss politics in person…over a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20).  Fiddledaddy found a sports medicine doctor in the area who he had been seeing and he sang this doctor’s praises to the heavens.  Fiddledaddy is not an easy sell when it comes to doctors so I thought I’d give it a go.

This doctor knew I had Lyme Disease, but I asked him to look at me with fresh eyes.  Fiddledaddy wasn’t convinced that I am dealing with a resurgence of Lyme, because the symptoms seemed to be localized from my hips down.  As opposed to EVERYWHERE with the additional bonus of not remembering my own phone number.  GOOD TIMES.

This doctor poked and prodded, checking this and that.  He told me that he really believed that my pain issues were all related to the fact that I was seriously OUT OF ALIGNMENT.  So much so that one leg is now longer than the other.  He talked about a whole bunch of 4-syllable medical terms that made my eyes roll to the back of my head.  I paid very little attention in Health, Physics, and Biology.  But I do know that the hip bone is connected to the thigh bone.  And the thigh bone is connected to the knee bone.  And you do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself about….

In other words, everything from my lower back down is angry.  Very angry.  And at the end of the trail I have Plantar Fasciitis in both feet.  (It was only one foot a while back.  But share the wealth, and all that…)

The one thing that I did hear loud and clear and understood was that, “THIS IS TOTALLY FIXABLE.”  He does have a working understanding of Lyme Disease, and he warned me that because of that, I may experience joint pain in addition to all of everything else.  I would just have to keep an eye on it.  His recommendation was 3 weeks of Physical Therapy.  Which I started.  Last week.

Let me tell you a little bit about Physical Therapy, as this is not my first rodeo.  The first week?  That’s the honeymoon phase wherein they lull you into a sense of false security with gentle massage, soft music, and scented candles.  (Okay, I’m exaggerating about the scented candles.)  Then the next week they CUT LOOSE WITH ALL THE MIND NUMBING PAINFUL STRETCHING TECHNIQUES.   I AM CERTAIN THAT I WAS NOT MEANT TO BEND THAT WAY.  GUMBY I am NOT.

This leads me to the assertion that P.T. actually stands for Physical Torture.

When I get home Fiddledaddy hands me the heating pad.  But really, I think I need a full body heating pad.  I don’t even know where to start.

I am really and truly optimistic.  I do believe that I’m making strides.  And by strides I mean that I’m no longer spitting on the ground when I think of my Physical Therapist.

They asked me what my goals were on the P.T. new patient form.  I said, “a cartwheel.”  But in reality it is closer to, “just to get from one end of the room to the other without feeling like I’m 90.”

But a cartwheel would be totally cool.  Hope springs eternal.

DeeDeeSig

February 17, 2014

A Lyme-y Update

Ninety-nine per cent of the mail I receive from the Contact page of this blog has to do with my Lyme Disease.  A number of those sweet people are either asking about my protocol or inquiring about the doctor that treated me for Lyme.

I thought I’d pen a little update on my progress.

I still have Lyme Disease.  But I’m a functioning Lyme patient.  Not all Lyme sufferers are able to function.  I thank God every day for the ability to walk across the room.  To be able to wash my own hair.  To be able to drive a car.  To be able to remember my own phone number.

Because there was a time, not so long ago, that I could do none of those things with any degree of proficiency.

After my diagnosis, I was on a regime of antibiotics and herbal/vitamin supplements for 18 months.  That ever-changing protocol gave me my life back.  I then went into what I would only describe as a Lyme-remission.  My blood work tells the tale that I’m still battling Lyme.  I do have some recurring symptoms such as extreme fatigue and significant joint pain.  If I’ve been sitting for any length of time and then decide to trot over to the refrigerator for snacking opportunities, I look rather like the little old man from Laugh In.

Some days too little movement does me in.  Some days too much movement does me in.  It’s all about knowing my limitations and pacing myself.  Ibuprofin is my friend.

I was placed back on antibiotics over the summer but had a bad reaction.  The first bad reaction I’ve ever had to an antibiotic.  So for now I’m traveling a different road.  From the research that I’ve done (and by “I’ve” I mean Fiddledaddy because we all know he’s the research king around here, and he wishes that I would at least read directions…which I don’t) “I’ve” discovered that the human immune system is wonderfully designed to fight infection and disease.  My job is to build up my own immune system to keep this insidious disease at bay.  My doctor believes that I have been infected with Lyme for years, and my body did a fine job fighting it off, until one fateful bout of a virus knocked my whole family on our backsides a number of years ago.  I began having knee pain (Lyme can often begin by infecting a large joint) and after 2 (unnecessary knee surgeries) the Lyme spread throughout my entire system.

But don’t get me started.

So.  I’m keeping my Vitamin D levels up with supplements, plus other horse pills, Oregano Oil, etc.  I’ve started a stretching program and am veering away from sugar plus other inflammatory foods.  (Hold me.)

To look at me you wouldn’t know I am sick.  I wear make-up, brush my hair, and display a mostly sunny attitude.  I wish I could say that I don’t complain, but my husband would set the record straight.

I have two dear friends who also suffer from a disease of the auto-immune system.  When asked how I’m feeling, I can tell them the truth.  They get it.  And they can share their woes with me.  It’s like an unspoken club.  With anyone else, I’m likely to spout “Dandy!”  I don’t ever want to be known as a whiner.

I really am doing fine, and I do feel like I have a handle on all of this.  So if you ask me how I’m doing and I say “Dandy” I really mean it.  I’ve come a long long way.

Fiddledaddy was talking to me in the van Sunday morning on our way to church, reminding that I need to look for ways to reduce my stress.

So I jumped out of the moving van…

It was the first thing I thought of…

Seriously, I homeschool 3 children.  Three high-spirited children.  I’m going through menopause.  HOW DO I REDUCE STRESS?

After some serious thought, I’ve come up with an answer:

Happy_Camper

Not even kidding.  And I only went with the day-glo ear plugs because I couldn’t find my usual clear ones.  I only hope that Jensen doesn’t find the used ones on my night stand and think they are gummies…

Other stress reducers in my life include a wonderfully supportive husband, some really really dear friends who make me laugh out loud, and other precious readers who have supported me with encouragement and prayer over all of these years.

I appreciate you so much.

Happy Monday!

DeeDeeSig

November 11, 2013

The Pain in my Foot

I fear I’m at that point in my life where I will openly start discussing my ailments and broken down body parts that are falling off.  So bear with me.

I will forevermore refer to the last week as The Lost Week.  The week that Bactrim took me down.  After a discussion with my doctor early last Thursday, he also concluded that Bactrim is not my friend, and that I should cease and desist all antibiotics.  To be safe, I stopped even the vitamins.  The only pill that would pass my lips was that of Extra-strength Excedrin.

Slowly, oh so slowly, I regained the will to live.

And because I do not know how to pace myself, we went to Disney World on Friday to meet up and surprise some dear friends who were visiting.  Thusly ensuring myself another 2 days on the barkolounger.

But here’s what I’ve discovered.  Years ago, I had pain in my feet that was Lyme related.  This began reoccurring a few months ago.  I just assumed it was Lyme.  Then the pain settled in my right heel.  For weeks, I’ve felt that I had the worst stone bruise EVER, except that it would come and go.

The pain would be awful in the morning upon rising, then settle down, then get much much worse at the days end if I over did it.  Which I am apt to do.  When I started the antibiotics a week ago, the pain immediately subsided.  But then kicked in as soon as I stopped them.  So Fiddledaddy did a little research.  As he is apt to do.

He sent me this link, asking me if anything seemed familiar.  It seems I may have Plantar Fasciitis.  LIKE LYME DISEASE WASN’T ENOUGH.  Except that I grossly mispronounced it, causing Fiddledaddy to blush.  “PLEASE DON’T EVER SAY THAT OUT LOUD AGAIN.”  I keep him young.  Yes, I do.

He encouraged me to put on his Dr. Scholl’s Orthotic Inserts.  The ones I mocked him for buying.  The same inserts he’s been trying to get me to purchase FOR MONTHS but I refused because A) eeewww, I’d have to stand barefoot on the machine thingy at Wal-Mart, and B) FORTY FIVE DOLLARS FOR CUSTOM INSERTS?  Seriously?

I slipped his inserts into my Crocs, then followed them with my own feet.  Sing with me, SWEET MYSTERY OF LIFE AT LAST I’VE FOUND YOU…  Sweet relief.  Followed by, “I told you so.”

So this morning I took my nauseas self to Wal-Mart to consult the machine.  Thankfully someone had thoughtfully left a tube of sanitizing wipes for the machine.  I thoroughly cleaned the foot shaped marking and climbed aboard.  An alert came across the screen that something was broken and an associate needed to be fetched.

Lucky for me, I think that half of the Wal-Mart staff had called in sick because I could have gone bowling down the aisles and it would not have been noticed.  I limped over to a cashier and asked her to call someone.  She did.  I limped back over to the machine, located in Pharmacy, cleaned it once again, and climbed aboard.  Hoping above all hopes.  Nothing.  So frustrating.  I could see all the packages of pending relief, but I had no idea which one to choose.  And still no associate.

I limped over to Customer Service and a nice lady and she called a manager who then followed me back to the machine.  I cleaned it off again and climbed aboard.  She looked at it blankly and stated that she could not help me, as the Pharmacy manned the machine but they would not be there for another hour.

I gave up, choosing instead to to the grocery shopping.  Which by the end I was strongly considering asking the checkout cashier just to bag me along with everything else and give me a lift to the van via the shopping cart.

The rest of Sunday was another lost day.

Any other Plantar Fasciitis sufferers out there and what has brought you the most relief?  (I will be starting back on Azithromycin on Monday, so it will be interesting to see if the pain subsides.)

Next topic up for discussion:  Menopause – or as I prefer to call it: “is it hot in here or am I in hell?” 

DeeDeeSig

How to score a massage

This morning we made the pilgrimage into Orlando so that I could have testing done to determine the proper Lyme protocol.  I brought my entourage with me in the van.  The children were strapped into the van.  I rode shot gun.

As per usual, the meal of choice was served en route.  I never leave home without a cooler now. This facilitates snacking opportunities for the offspring and gluten free options for me so that I don’t die during my daily errands.

Jensen was gnawing on something directly behind me and began coughing.  He coughs all the time, mainly because ALL THE DINOSAUR ROARING irritates his throat.  So I’ve perfected the art of ignoring him.  Fiddledaddy, ever on high alert, looked into the rear view mirror and noticed the child holding his throat and not able to breathe.  I began paying attention when I detected the urgency in his voice, “ARE YOU OKAY BUDDY?”

I heard a barely audible Jensen quietly say no.

I threw my phone and glasses down onto the floorboard and whipped my head around to assess the situation.  The rest of me remained affixed to the passenger seat because I hadn’t unbuckled yet.  I’m fairly sure my head did a 180.  It was just like a scene from the Exorcist.  But without the pea soup.

Since we were hurtling down the freeway,  Fiddledaddy had to pull onto the shoulder and come to a rapid stop.  Before I could get to the boy, his father was out the driver’s side door and sprinting around the van to open Jensen’s door.  So then not only did I fear my son choking, I also envisioned a semi plowing into the back of us.

Because that’s how I roll.

What we gathered was that Jensen had been eating a snack cracker and it was lodged in his throat.  He was breathing, but there were big crocodile tears in his eyes and he couldn’t talk.  Water would not go down.  Fiddledaddy stood him up and had him raise his arms up over his head.  After a time that seemed like an eternity, the cracker made its way down.  All the while I was watching through the back window of the van, ready to alert everyone to BRACE YOURSELVES.  The boy did a bit of gagging and there was some talk of a search for a plastic bag should vomit enter the fray.  I eyed the forest, mentally preparing for a quick exit.  Alas, everything settled.

Once we were again safely tucked into our seat belts, we breathed a sigh of relief and continued on our journey.

Jensen immediately asked for something else to eat.

As I was about to turn and deny his request, I learned that I had a muscle spasm taking up residence in my upper left shoulder.  Undoubtedly from all the whipping around.  And years and years of pent up stress.  And yes, the INFLAMMATION that has over taken me.

Some days I’m like Tim Conway’s Little Old Man from the Carol Burnett shuffling through my day.

But with slightly better hair.

We arrived safely and the appointment went fine.  As long as I didn’t have to look to the left.  Or the right.

After arriving back home, Fiddledaddy brilliantly suggested I call our chiropractor to see if their massage therapist had any openings.  He knows my love language.  They were able to fit me in at 4.

BEST MASSAGE I’VE EVER HAD.  EVER.

So good in fact that when I stumbled out of the massage sanctuary, I looked and felt like I’d had 4 too many Martinis.

I’ll be getting the new Lyme protocol likely by next week.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to insist that an occasional massage is involved.

DeeDeeSig

Lyme Aid and the Gluten Free Factor

Thank you everyone for your sweet comments and private messages and prayers regarding my Lyme Disease resurgence.

As I mentioned, I was scheduled to meet with my Lyme doctor in Orlando on Monday morning.  Since this was the day that followed Mother’s Day, and Fiddledaddy intuitively knew I was a little down in the dumps (the fetal position and non-stop tears are generally a give away), he booked us a night at the new WDW Animation Resort following my appointment.

And I’ll get to that next post.  WITH PICTURES.

The doctor’s appointment went well.  At least as well as could be expected in that he did not give me a magic pill to fix me.  He denied my request for pain killers as well.  (Because I have to go back on Low Dose Naltrexone.)  You can’t blame a girl for trying.

After looking at my blood work, and knowing my history, my doctor has determined that I not only am dealing with underlying Lyme, and likely a Lyme co-infection, but more importantly, I have significant mold exposure.  All this to say I have a Biotoxin Illness.

Which sounds fancy.

Treatment for Lyme Disease and this sort of thing has changed in the last few years.  When I began treatment, my doctor simply used a combination of antibiotics and supplements and waited to see results.  There is no one size fits all protocol.  I was fortunate in that I respond well to antibiotics and have few issues with them.  My protocol was tweaked over the next 18 months with good results.  But we’re not done.  Because of my symptoms returning, and my blood work showing a biotoxin illness,  I need to resume a more aggressive treatment.

But some advances have been made in Lyme treatment, and after having some more testing done next week, my doctor will have a much better idea how to pinpoint what protocol I need to follow.

In the meanwhile, I have a few things I can do now.  One of which is that I have to go GLUTEN FREE.  And I have to LAY OFF THE SUGAR.  Which as we all know is my drug of choice.

Basically I’ll be following an anti-inflammatory diet.  I ain’t skeert.  I’ve known for a good while that I really needed to change my diet.  I’ve been enjoying a good deal of emotional eating these last 6 months or so, and it’s taken a toll.  Even my stretchypants are complaining.

I’m well aware of a number of really fantastic products that are gluten free, because I’ve had Jensen on that diet off and on over the last number of years.  But I know some of you have blazed the gluten free trail before me, and I wanted to quiz you all about some of your favorite gluten-free products.

I’ll start.  We dearly love Tinkyada Rice Pasta.  I actually prefer it to wheat at this point.

Your turn.  If you have any tried and true GF ideas, I’d so appreciate them!

DeeDeeSig

Retreating

Before I discuss my absence, I’d like to share something with you.  If nothing else, to prove that I don’t need to make stuff up.  Earlier in the week, we attended a pool party at one of Emme’s best friend’s house, to celebrate the successful end to Challenge A of Classical Conversations.

And by successful, I mean that no students, tutor, or parents ended up on the news throughout the school year.  That was something we all feel we needed to celebrate.

Siblings were also invited to attend, so we had a nice variety of ages and interests.  And since my son was involved in the mayhem, lizards became a focal point.

Our friend’s pool was housed in a screen enclosure.  With just enough compromised screening to make it the perfect lizard habitat.  I reminded Jensen that his skin doctor had told him NO TOUCHING OF THE LIZARDS.  And because I am an awesome parent, I did not hesitate to make a bee-line for him every time he cornered a lizard, loudly whispering tales of STAPH INFECTIONS, OOZING PUSTULES, and the like.

At first he adhered by using pool noodles to capture his prey.  Then he solicited the help of other younger siblings to do his bidding.  In no time at all, somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 or so lizards were rounded up.  But what to do with them?

Lizard_boat

Please add us to your guest list the next time you plan a pool party.

I’ll bring the Margaritas.

***********

Now.  Where have I been?

I am one of those women that retreats when faced with hardship.  Either imagined or real.  My SIL, Trish, summed it up today when I saw her, “I know when I don’t hear from you that something is up.”

I haven’t spoken about my battle with Lyme Disease in quite a while because I’ve felt that I had it under control.  If there’s a remission for Chronic Lyme Disease, well then I would say that I’ve been there.  However in the last couple of months or so I’ve noticed some physical issues changing.  I’m experiencing a good deal of pain.  Some times I can mask it with Tylenol, some times not.

I’ve been off of antibiotics for about 18 months now, and have been managing most of my symptoms through homeopathic medication.  But even that is not working.  I had an appointment with my general physician this morning to go over some blood work.  My Vitamin D is much lower, and my C4A (which is a marker for, among other things, chronic Lyme) is now up to 21,500.  It should be down below 3,000.  I’ve noticed it steadily rising over the last year.

It’s time to head back over to Orlando to see my Lyme doctor.  Who now has a huge business in Florida, as he is one of the few Lyme literate doctors in this state.  In fact, his next available appointment was late in June.  The staff knows me well, and they called me back within 30 minutes to give me a cancelled spot for Monday morning.  I love those girls in the office.

So, help is on the way.

Often times in the last few years, as I’ve struggled with Lyme Disease, writing about the insanity that is my life with children has helped me to keep my focus where it belongs.  Instead of the pity party that I’m most drawn to.  But lately, writing has been a struggle.  Not physically.  But mentally.

I know I will get through this, and will ultimately defeat this insidious disease.  I’ve come so far already.

I’ll try not to be so quiet.  I think it’s my own personal character flaw that when I need to reach out to family, friends, community, I retreat.  This is a character flaw that I know I share with a lot of women.  Probably even a lot of you.

I thank you all so much for your love, support, and prayers through this journey.  I have such a wonderful support system and am so blessed.

My husband would call this my Moment of Dread.  You know, those few stolen moments when you sit very still, summoning up the strength to face a really difficult task.  Like mopping the floors.  Or scraping yogurt off the ceiling.  Or fighting Lyme Disease.

Onward and upward.  Have a fantastically blessed weekend, my friends.

DeeDeeSig