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September 21, 2011

Friendship is Important

Photo courtesy of my dear friend harmonyhilderbrand.com
My good days seem to be few and far between lately.  I will have a good hour or a good afternoon, but overall I haven't had very many really good days.  The day/night this picture is from is one for me to remember and compare how my body is doing.

*I had very little nausea, controlled almost completely by zofran.
*I had energy to laugh and help my husband prepare a delicious BBQ feast.
*I showered, straightened my hair, and even put on make-up (this takes so much energy!).
*I stayed up late laughing into the night enjoying the summer weather with a fire pit and great friends.
*I played a funny game and I think Alex and I even won!   It was a super fun night of catching up with the Johnson's who were in town from Kentucky and the Halls and Hilderbrands who we don't see nearly enough!
*I rejoice in the good times and am so thankful I could share an excellent day with such special friends.  *I love you all <3

September 19, 2011

Heavy on my Heart

Earlier this month was suicide awareness week and I have some thoughts that have been heavy on my heart.  I have been hesitant to write about suicide because I think it will stir up worry in those who know me. I hope my thoughts are clearly presented so you can see where my heart is. 


Suicide is something I take extremely serious.  In middle school I learned statistics about it and lost a few classmates over the years.  I served at a bereavement camp a few years working with kids who had lost loved ones to all types of death, including suicide.  In college, I took a class to know the signs of a suicidal person and how to talk to someone at a dark place in their life and do a suicide assessment.  I even have strongly considered volunteering for the Crisis Call Center in Reno, but because of my Lyme I have been too low on energy. Suicide to me is not a social topic to avoid, but to confront and understand.


Before I was diagnosed, I learned about the staggering statistics of people who are diagnosed with Lyme disease and the high numbers of them who take their own lives (I wish I could remember where I learned it).  I couldn't understand how life could get so hard, but now I can say with all assurance, I get it.  I consider myself extremely fortunate to have the support I do.  I am in a very healthy place in my life with understanding that I am very lucky to be going through my treatment with financial, emotional and spiritual support.  Without this support I know it would be very easy to slip into a place of deep darkness.  I feel for my fellow Lymies who do not have the support I have been blessed with. I hope to be supportive to those who have none to prevent someone from taking their life.  


I read a post recently from a fellow Lymie, they said, "Please tell me I'm not the only one who has the Suicide Prevention line on speed dial."  The comments that followed were supportive and I commend those people who are reaching out.


Here's what I have come to understand about the connection between Lyme and suicide...Lyme is not recognized by most doctors, many insurance companies, and is extremely controversial in the medical community.  There is no clear cure for Lyme. Testing and treatment are expen$ive! Most people with Lyme can not maintain a job.  Relationships are tested and many do not survive. Fighting Lyme is a marathon not a sprint.  No one knows if the finish line will be four months away or ten years away. What works for one person likely will not work for someone else. It is complicated, frustrating and scary.  The disease is painful. Mixing all this up over a period of time and it is a recipe for a person with Lyme disease, who feels awful, to see suicide as the only option.


Fortunately, there are organizations that want to help: 


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255): Suicide hotline, 24/ 7 free and confidential, nationwide network of crisis centers.




www.save.org


Suicide AWARENESS Voices of Education







www.postsecret.com



Post Secret encourages people to send in their secrets via postcard or electronically through their app.  Don't keep your secrets to yourself. Get it out there. Confidentially. No one has to know it came from you, but please get it off your chest.




Thank you for reading...this blog has been weighing on me for a while...

September 15, 2011

My Compilation of Lyme Friendly Products

With a diagnosis of Lyme disease comes so many bizarre and strange symptoms that I couldn't even make up if I tried.  When a new symptom comes on I troubleshoot a lot to get it to go away.  The last thing I ever want to do is check myself into the ER and have the staff there fight with me about my Lyme disease treatment (For those of you who don't know, Lyme disease is controversial in the medical community. I recommend watching "Under Our Skin" if you are interested in learning more). I thought I would compile the products I have grown very fond of over the last year.


1. Alka-seltzer GOLD is magic for heartburn or stomach problems.  Regular alka-seltzer did nothing for me, but the GOLD made it magical in helping my symptoms.  My pharmacy did have to special order it, but the pharmacist was so great and even called me when it arrived at the store. It is an over the counter medicine and pretty cheap.

2. Coke. I am not a soda fan, but I have found on top of my zophran and all the other nausea medicines, this dark soda works to help me with the over drive of nausea about 7/10 times. I go to McDonald's and for $1 I get the largest soda they have!  It costs me a lot in calories, but I am able to get through the day usually if I have a fountain Coke.  (P.S. cans or bottles of Coke do not help me...something to consider for yourself...also, this is not a lasting solution for me and over time I cut it out of my life for a while and then try it again. When it works, it works well and when it doesn't, well it is a waste of empty calories.)

3. Castor oil. Castor oil is used in castor oil packs, which are flannel soaked in the oil applied over liver or kidneys, covered with plastic and topped with a heating pad for about an hour.  This helps the organs detox, which is important when there are so many drugs going through someones body.

4. Organic Coffee Enema. Yes, this one is gross, but oh my heck does it work!  First, buy disposable enema bags, I had to order them on the internet.  Once each week I brew about six cups organic coffee, let it sit out to cool it off to room temperature. Pour it into the enema bag...then start the enema.  You can research more details about it online. There are plenty of tutorials for this process. I recommend making your bathroom floor as comfortable as possible with a few towels.

5.  Epsom salts in bath water. These are general detox for the body.  Dump some epsom salts in bath water or shower water if you let the bath tub fill up a bit.  Let your feet soak.  This is one of those things that I'm not quite sure how it works, but it's cheap and can't hurt.

6. Calm powder. I have had some heart palpitations and anxiety over my treatment and I found a lot of success drinking this.  I happen to love the taste of the raspberry-lemon!  It tastes good hot or cold with ice. It has a lot of magnesium in it that is beneficial for a depleted body.  It's fine to drink on a daily basis too. Mmmm...I'm craving some now.

7. Oxy-powder. I have a few friends who are detox junkies and I guarantee you this is the best detox ever.  Forget all the grocery store detox products, this one regulates chronic bowel irregularity, cleans out the colon, and in the process most people lose weight.  This product uses bursts of oxygen to clean out the digestion track. Make sure the week you start this product, you are close to a bathroom and fairly mellow!

8. Hydrogen peroxide in bath water. I recently started doing this one when I have huge sweats from detoxing.  It is supposed to kill off anything that seeps out of the pores (parasites or whatever) because they can not survive in H2O2.  Again, I'm not totally sure if this one works, but it's cheap and doesn't hurt anything. I have learned that I can't do this one frequently because it dries out my skin really bad.

Added November 2012 when I found a new product to add to my favorite things for Lymies**:
9. The amazing Spoonk mat! It is a stress reliever and muscle relaxer along with many other things.  As a Lymie I am no stranger to stress, muscle tension and anxiety. I also could benefit from being energized and rebalanced when I get easily overwhelmed.  All these things can be helped by one brightly colored mat that can be used any time of the day for any duration of time and it takes no effort except unrolling it and laying down or placing it behind you! The mat uses the same theory as accupressure by stimulate nerve endings and stimulate blood flow.  It takes a little getting used to and I learned I have to commit to a position and not toss or turn or adjust once I'm on it.  It has over 6,000 white sharp stimulation points on it, and guess what, it's amazing! This is coming from me, with the uber sensitive back who at one point couldn't put a shirt on because it caused too much pain!  I have been so happy with my Spoonk mat and I am certain you will find it helps you in many ways as well.  Oh, and I'm not the only one in my house who loves it, my husband has been caught sneaking it to try it out! He loves it too and is definitely is a fan.  Check it out at http://www.spoonkspace.com/home. It was featured on Dr. Oz and sells on Amazon for $40 - $70 depending on the color and size.  They make a travel size as well to take in the car or whatever. It's very versatile and I think everyone needs one. It's become my go-to for almost any ailment or stressful situation. All this to say I give my Lymie stamp of approval on the Spoonk!


PS I am not a doctor or health expert. I am also not being compensated to endorse these products. Please make your own health decisions and consult your doctor before adding any new medicines, supplements or products to your health regiment. I am just a Lymie who has done some research for my own body and wants to share what worked for me :)

**I was promised a free travel size Spoonk mat for reviewing the standard size Spoonk mat, which I purchased, but I would have added it to this list with or without the incentive :)

September 4, 2011

Ten Months of Treatment

The last ten months have been extremely hard on my body.  I have followed my treatment by not doing any cardio, eating as healthy as I can despite feeling nauseas nearly every day, giving up drinking any alcohol, cut back on my coffee intake, and didn't let my body get tired by resting often and for long periods of time.  I feel like I have given it all I can.  Recently, a fire was ignited under me to kick this disease with more gusto then before.  I've committed to two lymphatic massages each week, weekly counseling, infrared saunas multiple days each week while maintaining my intricate medication regiment.

I keep thinking about how I have been off work since last November.  I feel like I have worked harder this past year than I ever did in school or in work.  Fighting a disease is stinkin' hard work!

I know battling these bugs will be worth it one day.  I want to have children one day and have the health and enough energy to keep up with my munchkins.  It is so exciting to watch some of my closest friends be pregnant and prepare to be moms, but part of me cannot help but be jealous.  I want to be in that place in my life.  Unfortunately, God has another plan for my life right now.  I am learning to be patient.  One things for sure, this disease does not define me, it does not have control over my life, and I will come out the other side!

September 3, 2011

Infrared Saunas Are Great for Lyme!

Yesterday I had an adventure to say the least!  I have been reading and researching the benefits of Infrared Saunas for treating Lyme disease.  I wanted to try one a few times before I invest a nice chunk of change on this large device.  I had a very difficult time finding one, but finally found an reverse aging clinic that offered saunas in northern Nevada.  I knew going into this place that it was going to be a little "woo woo" meaning natural-path type healing and I may be skeptical as to if it will work.  My good friend Harmony agreed to take me on our Friday Friend-sitting day so off we went.  This clinic that I found had the saunas and had other equipment that you could use too for the one day price.

When we walked in we were expecting to be greeted by someone very calm and see everyone in the "spa" walking around in white robes.  This was not what we experienced.  A very nice woman greeted us, told us to drop our bags on the floor and take a seat in massage chairs.  We hardly got introductions when we plopped down and had our feet on devices that send electrical pulses through our feet...it tickled so much and our toes were curling uncontrollably!  It was so funny. Then she introduced us to special tea from the Amazon and alkaline water.  I loved the alkaline water but I couldn't finish my tea...blek!

Next,  we had the opportunity to stand on these devices that had a moving plate that you stand on and it shakes back and forth very fast.  The woman told us this device was like doing ten exercises in one.  As we stand on this vibrating machine every part of my body that is flabby is slapping back and forth...this was hilarious too.  Harmony was able to engage her arms and legs while on the machine.  She did squats and free weights while standing there.  I just stood there and allowed my body to flap while trying to keep my body tight to benefit from the "10 workouts in one invented by NASA". I should mention, neither of us is sore so it probably is not a real workout device.

Then we each took turns laying on a hard mattress with infrared plates over our organs and our feet in a light spinal alignment device.  This machine put me to sleep almost because it was so warm.  Well one of us was laying down the other person was sitting with a belt around our waist.  The claims about this machine are "you can turn on a lightbulb with your negative charges going through your body (we actually could, kinda cool) and it was invented by the man who invented the EKG machine".  On this machine I felt nothing and didn't see any benefit of doing it, but whatever.


By this time we have been at the spa/clinic for about two hours.  We then decided to forego the water massaging bed and head straight to the sauna, after all that's what I came for!  The sauna was fantastic we sat down and set it to the temperature my doctor recommended.  We stayed in for thirty minutes and got an amazing sweat.  I could easily see doing this treatment every day for 30 minutes to an hour followed by a cold shower.  I would really like to invest in one...if anyone else wants to use one and wants to share the cost that would be awesome! Hint hint**

Overall, we probably won't be going back to this particular clinic because it was too woo woo for my preferences.  I would say the day was beneficial because I loved the sauna and we certainly laughed a lot!