May 31, 2016

It Was Bound To Happen - Our First Tick Bites Since Getting Lyme

It seems as soon as I finished doing a Periscope about how to protect yourself from a tick bite then we found ticks on us.

It was bound to happen! Ticks are everywhere and especially around our new home because we're now in the country.

We've been here since October and I've been pretty nervous about the possibilities of anyone in my family or anyone who comes to visit getting a tick bite.

We've been treating our yard but the treatment we chose to use needs to be reapplied every 3 months. My husband was planning to treat the yard just after he and my son mowed. That morning my son mowed the front and my husband mowed the back.

May 16, 2016

The Day I Was Happy I Had Lyme Disease

I remember that day, the one when I was so happy to learn that I had Lyme Disease.

Obviously, at that time I had no idea what I was in for, nor did I know what Lyme disease was.

I remember that day like it was yesterday. There I was sitting in the doctor's office waiting as she reviewed my labs, watching as she shook her head indicating she knew what the numbers on the page meant.

Finally, she said, "Well, you definitely have a Lyme infection, and based on these numbers (pointing at the labs) you've had it for quite some time!"

After hearing her words, a sigh of relief came over me and I was actually happy. For two years I had bounced around to different doctors, had labs drawn multiple times and practically lived at the physical therapist's office.

May 11, 2016

It's Almost The End of Another Homeschool Year

Wow, it's almost the end of another homeschool year for us. Where has the time gone?

I had intended to write throughout the year about homeschooling with chronic illness but here's the reality, I was sick.

That's the thing, when you're homeschooling with chronic illness you have to pick and choose what you can do each day.

We moved just as school was getting started and my "new" house began to make me very sick.

That's a story for another time but the result was that I was extremely fatigued, my pain level went back up to a 10 and I began having a tough time just getting through my days.

Of course, being the doer that I am, I continued to push myself to get the kids to their activities and outside classes but I also made myself go to my room and take a nap almost every day.  This time around, I didn't overwhelm myself with guilt.  I knew I needed this in order to get through the rest of the day.

We got our basement worked on, we had sump pumps and drains installed because it turned out that the wet damp environment down there was the source of my demise.

What did my homeschool look like this year? In the exact words of my 8-year-old son, "Mommy, you didn't do hardly any projects with me this year and it was boring."  Yep, he really did say that.

So, this past month I've been printing things out like crazy to do a lap book or two, I've been trying to read out loud to him and I've been scheduling in some simple things to make him feel like we actually did do some projects.

Book work alone is B - O - R - I - N - G, especially to an 8-year-old boy.  Now, in my defense, my little guy had tons of time in sports this year playing basketball and lacrosse, his sisters played basketball out front with him and he has been helping to train our new puppy.  We did yard work, worked on preparing our garden and even had a PE class with a group of homeschoolers in the area.

I look at our Lesson Plan book and hardly think he had a boring year, but since he's the 4th child I knew what he was really telling me was, "Mom, I just want you to sit next to me and do something with me other then a workbook."

That's hard to do when overwhelming fatigue and brain fog are your constant companion.

There will be years when real life gets in the way of homeschooling.  There were years for us when we did more school in doctor's offices than at home.  Then there were a few years where formal book work didn't get done but we listened to audio books, watched movies and just tried to survive our illness with chronic Lyme disease.

I figured my kids learned more about the human body, nutrition, medications, interacting with doctors, and insurance companies than most adults had ever learned so I definitely counted those as real life educational experiences.  Our main goal was to get better.

Now, my oldest is in school in the medical field and my second graduate is working with animals at an animal hospital.

Don't despair if your school year doesn't look like you think it should. Look at your life and see where real life learning is taking place. Listen to audio books, watch educational videos and spend time loving and encouraging each other.  Learning is for life not just for school.

May 10, 2016

Maryland Lyme Disease Disclosure Law Being Passed Today

Today, May 10th 2016 at 10:30 a.m., Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland will be signing HB 399/SB 926 into law. This will require health care providers issuing labs for Lyme disease testing to disclose to their patients that the tests are inaccurate and that treatment may be required regardless of test results.

Lyme tests available through a local provider are only 30% accurate. If the CDC states that 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme every year, you can imagine how many are misdiagnosed or go undiagnosed.

I'm very excited and I'm sure all those who have suffered for any length of time with Lyme are also excited about this. This is a huge step forward for Marylanders and for those who suffer with Lyme across the country.

As each state takes this step to recognize the deficiencies in Lyme testing we will have a greater voice to move forward, getting accurate information out to the public about what Lyme disease is, our desperate need for better testing and for treatment that is covered by insurance.

A press conference about this law will be hosted by Nat Cap Lyme.

May 5, 2016

Printable Tick Treatment Guiidelines

I'm hearing stories every day on social media about people finding ticks on themselves or their children and they're in a panic because they don't know what to do.  I sure remember that feeling about 9 years ago.

Print your How To Treat A Tick Bite here.
Someone shared a printable online that Dr. Jones made available but I just had a hard time with the layout.

So, I created this quick chart that can be printed and taken to the doctor. I added some quick facts about Lyme and of course the link to ILADS and where to find their guidelines.

Remember that most doctors follow the IDSA recommendations for treating tick bites and Lyme disease.  That means they take an extremely conservative approach and may want to just wait and see if any symptoms occur.

This approach can be detrimental to your health as it was for my 3 daughters.

I always tell people that treating aggressively in the beginning could save you years of chronic illness and hundreds of thousands of dollars in out of pocket expenses.

Please learn your tick facts, learn about Lyme disease and co-infections and be prepared before you are facing a tick bite or unexplained symptoms caused by Lyme disease.

Be aware that even if you go to the doctor prepared you may get the run around and walk out of the doctor's office without the necessary treatment.

Don't give up though, ask around and find someone who is willing to treat whether with antibiotics or holistic treatment but don't let it go and hope that everything will be fine. You'll be glad you took your health into your own hands.

Print your How To Treat A Tick Bite here.

May Is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

Please help us raise awareness about the growing epidemic, Lyme disease is estimated to affect 300,000 per year.  This number is probably low because of the inaccuracy of Lyme testing.

Show your support by wearing a ribbon or posting ribbon.  Post a fact or an article about Lyme disease.  You might just help to prevent a chronic Lyme infection for someone you love.