Mar 27, 2015

How To Make A Lavender Rice Heat Pad

Today I made a new lavender rice heat pad.  I made a few of these in different shapes and sizes many years ago but with all the Lyme pain we've used them so much they finally fell apart.  So, it was about time to make another one and I thought it would be fun to share it with you.

Mar 22, 2015

Mothering and Lyme Disease

This morning I watched a video that touched me more deeply than I expected.  The information shared in the beginning of the video by Amy Tan and her doctor, Dr. Stricker was very informative but it was the single Mom with two very sick teens that gripped me the most.

It was the tears in Kate Steele's eyes that I identified with, it was her broken heart over watching her children suffer.  It was the exhaustion that she felt because she has to work 2 jobs and still be up all night with her children.  It was her hearts cry that nobody is there when she needs to be there for both children at the same time, going back and forth, with one child who is sick on the floor in the bathroom and the other who can't get out of bed but needs her too. 

She said she has to work 2 jobs because it takes one job just to pay for the cost of her children's treatment.  Chronic Lyme disease is not accepted by most insurance companies and therefore doctor's who treat it cannot take insurance.  This is a burden that no family should bear and I can only imagine how devastating it is to bear as a single mom.

Mar 20, 2015

Feeling Lost With Lyme Brain

Yesterday I drove to my friend's house to pick up my weekly egg order.  She has chickens and the yummiest eggs around.  I drove out of habit while talking to my 7 year old son in the back seat. I pulled into the driveway and realized that I didn't recognize the house.

I was startled at first but decided to go up to the house anyway, I figured my son would have told me if we were at the wrong house.  As I continued up the walk I noticed the cooler wasn't outside in its usual place and my doubt grew.   I was so relieved when my friend came to the door but I still felt uneasy about the whole episode.

I haven't had much "Lyme brain" in the past few years but with the transition to homeopathics I have had a few episodes.

Mar 16, 2015

You Say LymeS, I Say Lyme

One of the biggest pet peeve's of many Lyme sufferers is when someone refers to Lyme disease as LymeS.

For the Lyme sufferer it makes them feel that the person they're talking to doesn't know anything about what they've been suffering with or doesn't care.  I don't think this is true but if you do know someone with Lyme Disease you only need a few minutes to learn just enough about it in order to help you be more compassionate.

Mar 14, 2015

Happy Birthday To Me! Reflections From My Heart

This week I celebrated my 46th birthday!  Yes, I really did just say that out loud.  I'm quite OK with it though really.
My bday cake with backwards numbers.
In fact I appreciate things so much more now that I'm older and I feel like life is a little easier in some ways.  I'm much more secure with myself and I really don't care so much about things that used to bother me like how much I weigh, what people think of me or even that I didn't mop my floors before a friend comes over.

Birthdays usually cause me to reflect on my life a little more, I'm sure they do for everyone.  I think about things like what I've accomplished so far, have I grown spiritually, am I taking care of my health the best way I can, how blessed I am, and whether or not my life is really making a difference?

I was thinking how the past 8 years have been spent being ill, some years worse than others.  Years of studying tick-borne infections, trying to figure out how get better, how to get my children better and to be free from sickness and doctors and medical bills.

In a way, being 46 and having been sick for so long is discouraging.   At 38 I already felt like I was an old woman, barely able to walk, stand up straight, walk down the stairs or do everyday tasks without intense pain.  I had already suffered mild dementia and spent more hours in the doctor's office and in labs than I've ever thought I would.

In a way, I could feel a little cheated out of some of the best years of my life but the truly sad thing is that I'm not the only one.  So many of you are in the same boat.  So many people and their children are ill and struggling to find their health, to feel better, and to make the most out of their suffering.

I tell myself that just because I'm 46 now it doesn't mean life is going to go down hill from here or that I'll never feel great or be strong or in good health.  Truly my life is in God's hands to do with what He chooses. 

I can work towards good health at my age, people do it all the time.  I was inspired a few years ago by a news report of the 70 something year old woman who decided to get healthy and strong, she worked out daily and ate a healthy diet.  She looked marvelous, she was strong and doing things that so many of us in our early years aren't doing.

So, I'm 46 now and I've decided that I'm going to embrace the wisdom I've gained from my years of struggle and the things that I've learned from so many others.  I've decided that my goal for this year is to get back to eating as healthy as I can and to start an exercise routine in order to strengthen my body and regain my health as much as I can.

I'm going to continue to devote my life to Christ and to helping others.  I'm going to be thankful for every blessing I receive and the ones I already have.

I want to help others understand tick-borne infections, how to prevent them and how to heal from them if they find themselves already infected.

I'm not obsessed with Lyme disease but my life has been changed because of it.  It is the fastest growing infectious disease around the world and it is highly disregarded.

The pain and suffering it causes can be life altering and so my heart is to share information and get the word out so that no one else has to suffer, because what I didn't know 8 years ago could have prevented my children from being sick with chronic tick-borne infections.  It could help you too.

I had a wonderful birthday celebrating my 46th year and now I'm looking forward to spending this year making great things happen.

Mar 9, 2015

Finding Healing In Rest

Today I'm having a bad day.  Can you tell?  It's not quite as bad as the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day that Alexander had.  No, this is just a day where I really feel the need to stay in bed and take some pain medication.  It's a day where all of my joints and muscles hurt, even when lying down or sitting still.  My body feels weak and I'm exhausted even after a good night's sleep.

I haven't had these kinds of days in a long time but most recently they have become more frequent.  I transitioned from prescription medications to homeopathic remedies about 6 months ago to treat my chronic tick-borne infections.  I was really quite surprised that I didn't crash the way I had in the past when I stopped my medication.  This time has been different, my pain has been mild and not as consistent, that is until recently.

Mar 8, 2015

Taking a Bite Out of Lyme

This March Lyme disease sufferers want the world to know about Lyme Disease and other tick-borne diseases by bringing awareness through a new challenge.  

Grassroots organizers have partnered with ILADS to start the Take a Bite Out of Lyme Challenge in order to bring about awareness and raise funds for Lyme research and better treatment. 

Here are some quick facts that you can share during your challenge.

Mar 4, 2015

Recognizing Lyme Disease in Children

Lyme disease is highly controversial and difficult to detect.  It is even more difficult to determine whether or not our children may have gotten an infection without the tell-tale signs of a classic bulls-eye rash.  

It's estimated that around 25% of Lyme disease cases each year are children.  Children ages 5-15 seem to be most at risk.

Many times, children will have very mild symptoms to begin with.  Mom and Dad may not recognize that they have Lyme but will notice that their child may be more tired than usual.  

They may not want to go out to play or be with their friends.  They may begin to have difficulty with school and complain of stomachaches, headaches and car sickness.

If the child also contracted one or more of the many coinfections such as Babesia, Bartonella, Mycoplasma or Erlichia they will exhibit many additional symptoms such as feet pain, muscle spasms, migraines, urinary incontinence, and more severe psychological symptoms.

All four of our children have chronic Lyme disease.  I struggled for several years to get an accurate diagnosis for them.  Two of my children had known deer tick bites but no other initial symptoms at first.  

One daughter never had a tick bite that we knew of, only a spider bite.  My son developed mild symptoms shortly after birth.

I took my two daughters in to the pediatrician each time they were bitten by a deer tick and each time I was given false information which I believe led to them becoming chronically ill.  

The first time I was told that my daughter could not get Lyme disease because the tick was not attached for more then 24 hours. 

Now I know that it does not take 24 hours for a tick to transmit a Lyme infection.

The pediatrician wrote a prescription for her to have exactly 2 Doxycycline pills as a precaution.  This does nothing to prevent an infection and can alter a Lyme disease blood test.

At a later time I took my other daughter in because she had an odd rash which appeared about a week after I removed a tick.  

Our pediatrician told us that she did not have a bulls-eye rash and therefore could not have Lyme disease.

Only 50% of infections produce a rash and 50% of those rashes are bulls-eye.

As a Mom, I want to know why our pediatricians are not being taught the correct information about tick-borne diseases.

Why are they not taught to recognize an early Lyme infection so that our children don't become chronically ill?  Why don't they know the proper treatment protocols?

Instead, I was thrown the CDC "Bible" stating that there's no such thing as chronic Lyme disease.

When I learned that I had chronic Lyme, I began to recognize similar symptoms in my children.  I was heartbroken and angry because I knew it could have been prevented.

When my youngest daughter later began having psychiatric symptoms, learning difficulties and behavioral problems I pursued Lyme testing again because I had read literature regarding Lyme presentations in children and the symptoms matched.  

My pediatrician once again assured me it couldn't be and handed me a list of parenting books to read.

I knew in my heart that my child was suffering from chronic Lyme and so I pursued testing for her with a specialty lab only to find out that she indeed had Lyme disease as well as Bartonella and Babesia.
Our doctors do not know everything and they are not being trained to understand or even acknowledge Lyme disease as problem in our society.

If you, the parent, are not educating yourself you could very well miss the opportunity to prevent a chronic Lyme infection in your precious children.

Here are key symptoms to help you identify a Lyme infection in your child.

It is controversial as to whether or not a mother can pass Lyme disease to their unborn child or through breastfeeding.  

Many Lyme literate physicians have found that Lyme indeed can be transmitted through pregnancy and breastfeeding.  They have found that Lyme bacteria does cross the placenta during pregnancy and through breast-milk.

When I was pregnant with my son, I began having symptoms which I now know were from Lyme disease.

Thankfully, we know that my son has Lyme disease, his symptoms are mild but because we are aware we are able to have him treated appropriately.

No parent wants to see their child suffer.  My children have lost so much of their childhood and of their critical teens years by being sick with this painful and devastating disease.

Ask your pediatrician what their views are about Lyme disease.  Some doctors are willing to give the appropriate dosage of medication when a tick has been found.  

ILADS recommends treating each and every tick bite with 21 days of Doxy and longer if there are any symptoms at all.

Some pediatricians will even offer to send the tick off for testing so that you can be sure to know whether or not an infection is even possible.

If there's one thing I'd like to leave with you, it's that you would dedicate a little of your time to understanding what Lyme disease is and how to recognize an early infection or a chronic infection in order to get the proper diagnosis and treatment.

For further reading and research.

Lyme  Pediatric Tick-borne Disease Specialists
LymeNet Neurological Neurological Manifestations of Lyme Disease in Children
Lyme Disease Association Tick-Borne Disease in Children and Adolescents 
Gordon Medical Associates  Children At Risk for Lyme Disease  The Psychological Effects of Lyme Disease
Psychology Today  Lyme Disease: The Great Imitator, Pamela Weintraub