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Returning to Me

Over the last few years, I’ve been mentally bracing myself for menopause. Not because I was concerned about the hot flashes, or the hormonal fluctuations, but rather because I knew in my heart that I’d be experiencing the joys of “The Change” just as my two tween daughters hit puberty.

And really, WHO DOESN’T LOVE A GOOD HORMONAL ROLLER COASTER RIDE with three women living under the same roof?

I had no idea that All The Hormones would be the least of my worries.

As many of my long time readers know, in January of 2010 my health began to decline. I documented two (unnecessary) knee surgeries, and the subsequent lack of function of my left arm and right hand. I lost the ability to drive, and by October of 2010, the only means of getting around were with the use of crutches and a knee brace, or by my children careening me around in a wheelchair.

Let me just stop to say that I’m going to hand off the driver’s education portion of our homeschooling to my husband.

The brief version of the story (and believe me, brevity is not my gift) is that I was misdiagnosed with a torn knee meniscus, followed by two (unnecessary) surgeries, followed by a misdiagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

I was placed on high doses of two medications and the combination of these powerful drugs not only made me crazy, but they completely destroyed what was left of my immune system. I was given some significant pain killers because of the constant pain, which didn’t take away the pain, but made me not care so much. (Hang with me, there is a happy ending.)

I was ready to give up.

My husband was not. He continued to dig, to research, to fight for my very life. Through God’s grace we found the right doctor. He suspected immediately after looking over my previous test results and by examining me that I did not have R.A.

He had me tested for Lyme Disease.

The day before Thanksgiving I sat in my doctor’s office as he gave me the news. I have chronic Lyme Disease. He told me I had a long road ahead of me, but that this disease is one that I can fight. And win. I cried like I’ve never cried before.

The only words I could choke out were, “I’m not crazy.”

Of course my husband could argue that point and likely win. But still. It was on that day that I finally found hope, and I began to fight like mad.

With my doctor’s help we began a protocol of antibiotics, natural herbs, and vitamin therapy. I completely changed my diet so that I might boost my own immune system, allowing my body to begin the healing process.

By Christmas I began to regain function in my arm, hand, and legs.

By Valentines Day I was walking on my own.

At our church Fall Festival last year, I sat in a wheelchair. This year, I danced with my children. And because of my issues with coordination (which are legendary), I use the term “dancing” rather loosely.

As I look at the calendar, I am about to celebrate the day of my diagnosis. Yes, I say celebrate because of all this disease has done to enrich my life. I’ve had the privilege of being the mouthpiece of a disease that doesn’t get talked about a lot. And because of that I know of several people that have sought testing for Lyme, were diagnosed, and are currently being treated.

As for me, every day is a gift.

If there is one thing I hope someone takes away from all of this is to NEVER GIVE UP HOPE. Always be your own advocate. We women have pretty keen intuition, and we should always listen to our own bodies. Get that second opinion. Get a third opinion if need be. And if a doctor tells you there’s really nothing wrong with you and to take an antidepressant so that you “feel better,” it’s okay to punch him in the throat. (Just kidding.) (Sort of.)

My fight continues and I’m gaining ground every single day. Not only am I finding my way back to me, but I’m finding my way back to a better me.

And how do I feel about menopause? It is imminent. But I ain’t skeert.

Are you worried about menopause? Do you have a story to share about advocating for your health or making a positive change to Return to You? Tell me about it!

Also, visit the BlogHer.com Pfizer Page to read the other Return to You blogger stories.

If I had to give myself a grade…

I was asked a question today that caught me off guard, even though it was simple enough.

“Are you back to 100% yet?”

I stumbled and fumbled a bit, wanting to raise my arms high into the air, YES!  But the honest truth is that I’m not 100%.  But there are definite moments during the day when I have to stop and think to myself, “Gosh, I do feel normal.”

The question that my friend asked has been knocking around in my head all afternoon, and I’m trying to understand why it’s so hard to answer.  Perhaps I don’t want to hear the sound of my own complaining, especially since I’ve come so far.

Fiddledaddy asked me at the breakfast table this morning if I knew what I was doing a year ago today.  I had to think about it, but a year ago today I was leaving to go back to the Mayo Clinic to meet with yet another doctor and hopefully receive a long awaited diagnosis.

I was told, a year ago today, that I had Rheumatoid Arthritis.  I was told that I needed to be placed on horrific drugs for the rest of my life that would hopefully stop the spread of the disease.  But would not reverse the affects.  In other words, I likely would never walk without pain, and would never regain the use of my left arm.

And pain management would be the best I could hope for.

But they could never answer the question, “WHY CAN’T I REMEMBER MY OWN PHONE NUMBER?  THAT’S NOT A SYMPTOM OF RA.  IS IT?”

For a woman with 3 young children, this was at that moment, a death sentence.  Keep in mind that this particular woman nearly always gravitates to the worse case scenario spectrum.  It’s a gift.

And as you all well know, after returning home from the Mayo Clinic, my husband continued to fight for my health, even while I simply wanted to give up.

We found the right doctor, who knew what to look for, and was able to give me a diagnosis of late stage Lyme Disease.  And you also know that since mid-December, I’ve been in treatment using a regiment of herbal supplements and antibiotics.

I have times when a certain combination of antibiotics will knock me on my keister, but I’m never dissuaded because I choose to believe that what I’m experiencing is Lyme die-off.

A while back when on 4 different antibiotics, my body revolted in such a way that I was required to hand over a certain specimen to determine if I had a C-Diff infection.  I’m happy to report that I’m in the clear.

The truth is that I tire easily, still have issues with my left knee (elevators are my friend), and if I stay in one position too long my joints react as though I’m 112.  Nights are especially fun as I’ve perfected the art of rotisserie sleeping.

When Fiddledaddy reminded me that a year ago today I was at the Mayo Clinic, I responded with, “Well, a year ago today I never could have done THIS!”

And with that I began flapping my arms like a chicken.

Thusly sending the children to the far corners of the house.

So let’s just say that I’m at 97%  I’m completely functional, most always without pain, am doing my own grocery shopping, can wash my own hair, and can throw a football to my 11 year old daughter (although I often miss, but that has nothing to do with Lyme Disease and everything to do with my gene pool).

Some day, very soon I feel, I will be at 100%  But for now I’ll take 97%.

Because 97% is still an A.

For more information on my journey with Lyme Disease, and some really wonderful resources, please check out my Lyme Disease page.

The War Within

WARNING:  This is one of those posts that may possibly be an assault on your delicate sensibilities.  If you are squeamish in nature, run.  Run like the wind.

Because my latest blood work showed that Lyme Disease is still all too present in my system, my protocol was stepped up to include the addition of a stronger antibiotic to be taken every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  This is in addition to Doxycycline and Azithromyacin.

You cannot know how much joy it gives me to be able to toss around 4 and 5 syllable words.

And then a couple of weeks later, a full frontal assault was scheduled in the form of I.V. Rocephin (another antibiotic) treatments twice weekly.  Fortunately, I am able to get the I.V. locally, and not have to travel to Orlando.

As you might imagine, if you know anything about long term antibiotic use, I developed a case of, well, the scoots.  Day and night.  Night and day.  Despite a regiment of heavy duty probiotics.

Needless to say, my new Lyme protocol has drained me.

🙂

After a discussion with my doctor’s office, we determined that I should drop the Doxycycline and Azithromyacin.  Now without Doxycycline in my system I am able to stroll out to the mailbox without worrying about 3rd degree burns.

However, I no longer have any good excuse to avoid the beach.  Except for the sharks, of course.

The problem has not resolved, so my doctor is suspecting a C. difficile infection, common for folks taking broad spectrum antibiotics over an extended period of time.  How do they determine if I have C. diff?

A STOOL SAMPLE.

Allrightythen.

He sent me a prescription to pick up a collection kit.  And happily, I was also scheduled for blood work the same morning.  And after googling C.diff, I determined that time was of the essence.

One of the happy byproducts of Lyme Disease, and any disease of the auto-immune system for that matter, is that your veins develop a severe case of shyness.  It’s like getting blood from a turnip.

That means that on Thursday I went in for my I.V. treatment, which always means at least a stick in each arm to locate a cooperative vein.  And then Friday morning, another 3 sticks, before finally finding a suitable vein in my forearm.

I have to say that I am blessed to have a pro at the diagnostic center who is ALWAYS able to find a vein, even if it takes 3 attempts.  I was bandaged all up and down both arms, looking rather like something from Curse of the Mummy.

Before I left, she handed me the specimen collection kit which I was to take home.  It was a subtle looking contraption:

I looked at it.  Then looked at the nurse.  “Seriously?  OK, um, if I’m having (lowers voice to barely audible) diarrhea, how am I going to negotiate that thing?”

Without batting an eye, she said, “Well, you just pour it out the back into the specimen jar.  And be sure to refrigerate it before bringing it back.”

This is when the room began spinning, right before my eyes rolled into the back of my head.

I gathered what was left of my dignity and marched out through the standing room only waiting area, holding my specimen collection contraption, which I could neither hide in my purse or under my t-shirt.  LOOK WHAT I GET TO GO HOME AND DO, EVERYONE!!!  WOOHOO!  PARTY AT MY HOUSE!

Since my blood work was to be taken on an empty stomach, you might imagine that I was starving.  And I don’t handle myself with a great deal of diplomacy when my blood sugar takes a nose dive.  I thought that I would treat myself to a Bacon/Egg/Cheese Biscuit from the McDonald’s drive-thru.  A favorite that I have not allowed myself to have in well over a year because I have made an attempt to clean up my diet for the most part.  Except for the occasional trip to Cracker Barrel.

There was a longish line and I placed my order, picked up my bagged breakfast at the last window and made my way back down the street.  I never ever use my cell phone while operating heavy machinery, but I’m not above eating while driving.

As I was about to take a healthy (as in large) bite, I noticed that they had given me a sausage/egg/biscuit combo.  Since my heart was set on bacon, I turned the car around, getting back into the drive-thru line.  I explained the situation and was handed another bagged breakfast.  I looked into the employee’s eyes, “Bacon egg cheese biscuit?”  “Yep.”

Expectantly, I drove off.  At about the same point down the street, I reached into the bag and pulled out A BISCUIT.  A BISCUIT VOID OF BACON.  VOID OF EGG.  VOID OF CHEESE.

I turned the car around and aimed myself back to McDonald’s.  I determined not to sit in line again, so I parked and marched myself up to the counter.

Envision if you will, a woman who has not eaten all morning, with bandages crisscrossing both arms, already on the verge of high strung.  I explained as calmly as I could what had taken place.  He apologized and went to retrieve a bacon/egg/cheese biscuit himself.  He asked me if I’d like a complimentary hash brown.  I said no thank you, but if he’d make that a coffee, I would likely not cry on his counter.

He complied.

A normal sane type of person would have checked the sandwich right there.  But I chose instead to head back to the safety of my car before examining the contents.  I opened the sandwich to discover only a hint of bacon.  Really.  There were like a few bacon crumbs astride the egg and cheese.  At this point I no longer cared, so I ate the hint-of bacon/egg/cheese biscuit and called it a day.

I figured it was an omen.  Unhealthy eating is simply too much work.  McDonald’s, you are dead to me.  Except for your senior coffee.

When I arrived home Fiddledaddy spotted the specimen collection contraption and asked the dreaded question.  “How is THAT suppose to work?”   I explained it to him, including the part about pouring it out the back into the cup. Then I simply stepped over his body on my way to the back of the house.

Emme who had been listening quizzed me, “YOU’RE GOING TO PUT IT IN THE REFRIGERATOR?”

“Yes, right next to your dinner.”

They were all going down like bowling pins.

And it wasn’t even 10:30 in the morning.

The way I look at it, it’s all going to be uphill from here.  BRING IT ON, WEEKEND.  I AIN’T SKEERT.

The battle is raging, the casualties are mounting, but I’m winning the war.

Page on Lyme Disease

Probably more than any other topic, I receive e-mails related to my Lyme Disease.  I have been promising a page describing my symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.  I’ve finally finished it, and hope it will be a helpful resource to those affected by this disease.  Or even those who are curious.

Prior to last year, I had no working knowledge of Lyme Disease, other than it was the disease that Irene had on Real World : Seattle.  My hope is to shine a spot light on this misunderstood and insidious disease, so that maybe at least one person doesn’t have to go through what I’ve been through.

I haven’t talked much about it lately, because I got tired of hearing the sound of my own voice.  But I’m doing really really well.  And am well on the road to beating this disease.  Thank you all, again, for your prayers and support.

To read my page on Lyme Disease, go here.  It is also listed along with my other pages at the top of my homepage.

Grace-full, or My Trip to Target

Over the weekend, I employed the divide-and-conquer method of parenting, shipping the two girls off to their girl-cousins house for an afternoon of swimming and non-stop giggling.  I could not include the boy child, because I love this particular sister-in-law too much to push her over the brink of insanity.  There is something about the dynamic of all 3 of my children being together that will cause even the most seasoned of parents to twitch.

And froth at the mouth.  But hardly anyone ever points it out to me anymore.

Because our weather forecast of late has been hot with a high probability of pollen, Jensen’s Atopic Dermatitis has been particularly troublesome.  Therefore I have to stick to him like polyester in July.  To ease his sadness, I told him that we could have a date and go spend his birthday money which has been burning a hole in his overalls.

He determined that he would have to find a Mario toy to purchase.  If you have a son that is obsessed with All Things Mario, then you know that the folks at Nintendo have woefully neglected the marketing opportunity that making available Mario action figures would produce.  People, there is a demand, but little to no supply.

Since he did not have enough money to buy a new DS game, or a beloved Mario Wii game, he had to get creative.  First we trudged through the entirety of Wal-Mart.  When the only thing we could find was a Mario t-shirt, he made his case that the nearby Target would surely have something Mario in nature.

Let me pause here to give you a little medical update.  I am making great strides in my quest to gain back full health as I battle chronic Lyme Disease.  I am able to walk pretty good distances, and all without the use of my leg brace.  But I still have some inflammation in my knee, making stairs very difficult, and cartwheels nearly impossible.

As if.

There is something about the manner in which Target cleans their floor that makes it difficult for someone wearing, say, Crocs, to negotiate.  It is as though they installed fly paper, perhaps to get their customers to stick around a little longer.  I’m just guessing.

Such was the case when I was walking at a pretty good clip through the aisles of Target, with my young son keeping pace beside me.  All of a sudden, my left Croc stuck to the floor, while the rest of me continued on.

All arms and legs made like a windmill, and I was propelled a good 10 feet before I could get everything to come to a full and complete stop.  I came very near performing that cartwheel that I wondered if I would ever do again.  On purpose.

Jensen piped up, “WAY TO GO MOM! YOU’RE RUNNING!  DO IT AGAIN!”

In the interest of full disclosure, I haven’t run in a good two years.  And even then, I ran only when being chased.  And that was when all my extremities were fully functioning.

I stood still for a moment, composing myself, and mentally assessing any damage, other than that to my dignity.  And I decided to take the rest of the shopping trip a bit more leisurely.

Interestingly, when we slowed, we were able to find a Mario t-shirt that Jensen loved, and a box of Mario trading cards and tattoos to the tune of TEN DOLLARS.  Robbery.

If anyone knows of any manufacturer that is keen on keeping little boys supplied with inexpensive but sturdy Mario toys, let me know.  I’m thinking that shopping from the safety of my computer would be preferred over taking out any more displays at Target.

Lyme Bytes

I wish I had thought of that title, but I didn’t.  There is an actual blog about Lyme Disease, authored by Connie Strasheim, called Lyme Bytes.  It is hugely insightful when dealing with all aspects of Lyme Disease.  In fact, she wrote a book called “Insights into Lyme Disease Treatment” which sits on my nightstand.  This book has given me invaluable knowledge when I’m researching my own treatment.

I haven’t talked about my Lyme Disease, treatment, or my health in a good while.  And frankly, since it consumed me all of last year, it has been nice to not think or write about it lately.  But I did want to give you all an update.  I know I was on many a prayer list this last year, and I am beyond grateful for your encouragement, prayers, and support.

I saw my Lyme specialist 4 weeks ago.  He was floored at my progress.  Basically, since mid-December I’ve been on the same oral antibiotic protocol, with additional herbal supplements and vitamins.  In all, I choke down take about 60 or so pills a day.

This includes 3 different antibiotics, Nystatin to keep the yeast at bay, plus all of the supplements.  Four weeks ago I also started taking Low Dose Naltrexone (3 mg.) to boost my immune system.  This is a very new addition in the treatment of Lyme.  After beginning this medication, I’ve noticed a steady improvement particularly with regard to my range of motion, energy, and pain reduction.

And the wonderful news is that I’m no longer on any pain killers whatsoever.  Save for the occasional Excedrin when my children cause my head to explode.

I’ve regained almost full mobility to my knee.  Stairs are still an issue, but that has more to do with me rebuilding muscle than the Lyme Disease.  I have full use of my right hand and left arm now.  I still feel twinges of the disease, and I know it’s still there.  But it’s really not slowing me down so much.

I’ve come an awfully long way in just a few short months.  Which is very unusual for someone with chronic Lyme Disease, and with as many issues as I have had in the last year.

We’re attributing it to the fact that I began boosting my own immune system with supplements and diet before beginning treatment.  And we just happened to hit on the right combination of oral antibiotics right out of the gate.

No two Lyme patients ever respond the same with identical treatment.  Which is one of the reasons that it is so difficult for the medical community to wrap their collective head around treatment, much less initial diagnosis.

I had a phone meeting with my doctor today.  Cailey was sick, so I stayed home while Fiddledaddy (who was in Orlando on business) sat in for me in my doctor’s office.  It was all really high tech with me on Skype while wearing my vulcan head gear to hear better.

He reviewed all of my recent blood work, and concluded that I am only fighting one additional co-infection, which is a direct result of the Lyme Disease.  It is not unusual to be fighting many co-infections, which can be tricky.  What this means for me is that I’ll be changing my protocol in the next few days, and dropping two of my antibiotics, while adding another, stronger one.

I’m nervous about this, as I don’t want my progress to slow or reverse.  But my doctor will be closely monitoring me.  One rather off-putting side affect of my new antibiotic is that I have to avoid the sun for the next 2 months.

HOW DO YOU AVOID THE SUN IN FLORIDA?

So much for cute little strappy sandals and tube tops.  As if. I’ll still be visiting the water parks with my family.  I’ll be the one draped in a sheet.  And a sombrero.

A small price to pay.  Especially considering what a slave I am to fashion.

Honestly, I catch myself marveling at the fact that I can move from point A to point B with no pain.  What a blessing.  I’m beginning to feel normal again.  Whatever the heck normal is.  🙂

By the seat of my control top pantyhose

A few months ago, a friend of mine gave me some gorgeous tops and an Ann Taylor suit, petite, size 8.  At that point my size was still in the double digits, and just never you mind what that number was.  But my friend must have known something that I didn’t.

The tops I could wear, but the suit wrapped in plastic, hung along side other abandoned clothes on the I Wish I Wish side of the closet.  As I’ve been mentioning 4 or 104 times in the last few weeks, a side affect to my changing my diet and fighting Lyme Disease has been that I’ve now lost all of my baby AND self-pity weight.  To the tune of nearly 25 pounds.

I mentioned my weight loss to my doctor on the phone on Friday, and he said that yes, healthy eating certainly contributed, but the majority of my weight loss in his opinion is due to the Lyme Disease dying off and exiting me.

Because, what luck, not only does Lyme Disease rob you of mobility, cognitive function, and sleep, it also can aid in weight gain.  (And so can eating columns of Ritz Crackers.)  The disease can also live among the fat cells, which is a lovely thought.  Then you generally have issues with yeast and metabolic and endocrine dysfunction, and there you have the perfect storm.

This is making sense to me, since a good deal of my weight loss has occurred in the last month, as I’ve been going through treatment.  With pretty much no effort on my part.

Anyhoo, on Sunday before church, I was eying that little suit hanging there all alone.  I wonder…I fished around in my underwear drawer seeking a pair of pantyhose.  I can tell you that it has been at least a year or more since I’ve attempted to wriggle myself into a pair of pantyhose.  Mostly because my knee was not known to bend, and try putting on a pair of pantyhose without bending your knee.  And with only one arm.

I dare you.

Sadly, this particular pair of pantyhose was of the control top variety.  Not that I have anything against control top pantyhose.  Quite the contrary.  I’ve been known to sport TWO PAIR of control top pantyhose if it meant that I could avoid the muffin top.  And if you’re a woman, you know of what I speak.

I knew that it would take herculean strength to get myself into this pair of pantyhose.  As they had obviously shrunk since I placed them in the drawer some decade ago or so.  I may have dropped another dress size during this attempt.

After completing that assignment, I gathered all of my courage and unveiled the suit.  I put it on.  Everything zipped and buttoned where needed.  I slipped on my flat dressy Crocs, because heels and even pumps are likely dead to me forever.

Then I caught sight of myself in the mirror.  The old gray mare?  She ain’t what she used to be.  I felt SMOKIN’ HOT.

Well, literally, what with all the hot flashes and such.  But I was not going to let that stand in my way.

I let my family admire me as we filed out the door to head to church.  The only sticky situation that I had to negotiate was the actual sitting down in my control top pantyhose and size 8 PETITE suit.  And the climbing into the van while maintaining what little dignity I have left.

Breathing really is over rated.  I found that if I took more shallow breaths, I was less likely to break free from my new suit.  And during church I could stand in praise, and if sitting was ever a problem, I could just stretch out on the pew.  No one really pays attention to my antics anymore.

I was very proud of myself.  And no, I didn’t have to go all prone on the pew.  It’s nice to wear girl clothes again.  A whole rack of fashion possibilities has opened up to me on the other side of my closet (that does not include my husband’s wear) because I’ve been able to ditch the leg brace plus a few dress sizes.  I should have gotten Fiddledaddy to take a picture for show and tell.  I’ll have to do that.  Except that I set the control top pantyhose on fire so that I’d never be tempted to wear them again.

I’ve had a question come up a couple of times of late concerning the controversy surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme Disease.  Very understandable, as it is rarely tackled in the media.

If you ever have the chance, please see the award winning documentary, “Under Our Skin”. I’ve included the extended trailer.

This documentary put everything in perspective for me.  And I sat watching it with tears streaming down my face, knowing that the director really captured what happens with Lyme Disease and why.  And he also tackles and explains the controversy and what the Lyme literate doctors face day to day.  I understand that PBS may be airing it in May, and I’ll put a big old reminder on a post should that happen.

Also, this 2004 article by Dr. Scott Taylor does a great job explaining Lyme Disease.  He is a Lyme literate doctor with a passion for getting the word out about testing and treatment.  It’s long, but the first few paragraphs do a good job with an overview.

Now that I’m back in girl clothes, anybody want to recommend a brand of control top pantyhose that won’t try to kill me?  And don’t tell me to just go up a size, because I have far too much pride for that.

The Phone Meeting

For the sake of full disclosure, I must tell you that I write this post as I watch the Golden Globes.  I think of all the awards shows, I’m most star struck by the Globes.  And you know, as women, there are those times when in order to get everything done that must get done in a short 24 hour time period, we are blessed that we can multitask.

While muting the commercials.

I had a phoned in doctor’s appointment on Friday.  Not phoned in as I really wasn’t emotionally present, but as in I wasn’t present at all and had an opportunity to conduct the meeting via speaker phone, which I just learned how to use 3 weeks ago.  Because technically?  I am semi-proficient.  Fiddledaddy had to work unexpectedly that day, and he’s not comfortable with me driving the hour or so needed to get to Orlando by myself.

Me?  I’m totally fine with it, because I envision myself flying down the freeway with the radio blaring music from the 70’s and 80’s archives.  Which SOME radio stations now call THE OLDIES.  Which frankly I just find offensive.

Anyhoo.  All in good time.

I talked with my doctor about my progress, as I enter my 5th week of treatment.  He was astounded.  And noticeably surprised.  Considering how long I’ve evidently had Lyme Disease, and how bad my symptoms have been, he did not expect that I would be experiencing this degree of improvement so quickly.  Because even though 4 weeks of treatment does not sound quick, in the world of Lyme Disease, it is just a spit in the bucket.

Because it can take a year or more to tackle not only the disease, but also all of the co-infections.

Our plan is to continue on the treatment course I’m on for 4 more weeks, and then after some more testing, see if IV antibiotics and some other possible treatments are warranted.

And my doctor has asked me to come prepared to tape a short testimonial about how Lyme Disease has affected my life.  I want to also add how treatment and healing are saving my life.

As I told my doctor, I’m a functioning human being now.  Four weeks ago, I was not.  I still have my issues, and I still feel this disease coursing through my body, but the hold is not as strong.  And I am stronger.

A big part of the reason for the testimonial, is my doctor’s deep desire to get the word out about Lyme Disease, and how devastating it can be.  Which is something that the general medical community, insurance companies, and the pharmaceutical monopolies are not will to admit.  For political and financial reasons that I cannot even begin to fathom.

I find it interesting that I have spent years sidestepping most everything controversial in nature on this blog.  Only to find myself right smack dab in the middle of fighting a disease that is embroiled in controversy.  And I’m fighting it OUT LOUD.

Funny how God works.

But I know this.  Because I’ve been so vocal about what I’m dealing with, at least one person that I know has gotten tested and tested POSITIVE for Lyme Disease and is now receiving treatment.

My morning prayers always end with “use me Lord”.  When what I really have the urge to pray is, “Oh Lord, help me keep my mouth shut.”

So here’s to the next 4 weeks of treatment.  “Lyme Disease”, (using my best Inigo Montoya impression) “PREPARE TO DIE.”

Have a fantastic week, everyone!