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Two years after returning home…..

It is hard to believe it’s been two years since I returned home from Arizona. It’s been an interesting couple of years with lots of learning about Lyme and how the body works. I just wanted to let you know what has happened in the past year.

With no business to keep me busy, I decided to start volunteering at the hospital. During my exam I was told I was overdue for my tetanus booster and would need to receive one to volunteer. I got it, not thinking of the ramifications. That shot created 5 weeks of major pain and fatigue. Later that summer I learned why I reacted so strongly to it, but more on that in a minute.

Late spring my left arm started hurting. I had managed to get a small tear in the labrum. The real fun started when my shoulder froze up as a reaction to the tear. I would recommend not ever doing that. Oy, that pain is intense! Thankfully I was feeling better from the Lyme issues, so I wasn’t battling both kinds of pain.

Then my eyes started giving me trouble. After three rounds of what we thought were eye infections the doctor finally sent me to a specialist. He said it’s giant papillary conjunctivitis due to dry eyes. I am on Restasis now and hope to figure out why all the sudden my eyes became dry.

I also found out last summer that I have one of the MTHFR genetic mutations. This is keeping my body from detoxing the way it should. I am far from understanding it, but I do know it has something to do with not absorbing and using B vitamins properly, creating a break down in the body being able to get rid of toxins. I began oral B12, but had to switch to shots in February. I still feel quite toxic, so we may have to do more.

Every Lymie I’ve met has one of the variations of this mutation and it is probably why many struggle to get better. When we kill the Lyme bacteria it releases neurotoxins. So not only do we have dead bacteria hanging out in our bodies for a long time, we have neurotoxins creating more damage. This mutation is why  I  struggled with the vaccine. When you have a body that is a hoarder and you fill it with dead/mostly dead pathogens….well, it’s a recipe for disaster. So what should have been a couple of days of not feeling well turned into 5 weeks. I finally had the idea to rife for tetanus. After a few sessions and running the detox setting several times a day, I began to feel better.

This fall was great. I felt really good and even my brain fog was beginning to lift. I had my port removed. In January I was feeling good enough to start exercising again. I hate exercising. SO boring. Apparently it is hard to engage the body and mind at the same time. 🙂 A Facebook friend posted she was doing a 30 day yoga challenge she found online, so I thought I would give it a try. I was not hopeful, but I ended up loving it. I can highly recommend Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube if you want to give it a try. My back and hip pain is nearly non-existent, so now I don’t have to go to therapy every other week any more.

This spring I have struggled with outdoor allergies for the first time. It has been miserable. I finally seem to be over the hump with those. But other than that, and the return of the brain fog and forgetfulness, I’ve been doing good. There are still days when I need to take it slower, but for the most part I feel pretty good. My husband said he thinks this is the best I’ve been in nearly 20 years.

I still do the colloidal silver and other supplements, rife daily, and use my infrared sauna several times a week. My functional medicine doctor is helping me with the secondary symptoms I am still dealing with and figuring out how to heal my body from the damage from the Lyme and years of medications from wrong diagnosis.

I am thankful for the many Lymies I’ve met this past year. No matter what you struggle with it’s good to have a support group who understand exactly how you feel. We bolster each other up on the hard days and celebrate together on the good days. I am also so thankful for the many people who tell me that they pray for me, who take time to ask me how I’m really doing, and give me words of encouragement. You are such a blessing!

I am most thankful for my amazing husband. He is the very definition of compassion. I could not do this without him.

One Year Later…..

I can hardly believe that one year ago today I left for treatment in Scottsdale, Arizona. It already seems like a lifetime ago with all that has happened since then. So here is a quick update for you about what has happened since coming home and how I’m doing now.

It took several months to figure out the protocol they clinic sent me home with was not going to work. I ended up having allergic reactions to everything. I then began seeing my integrative doctor here in Waterloo to help with secondary symptoms and did a lot of research on my own. I eventually stopped everything they recommended and purchased a Prowave energy system. I have been very happy with it so far. We’ve even used it for the flu, canker sores, and headaches with success.

We also got an infrared sauna to help me with detox. I love it! 30 minutes of guilt-free reading time. 🙂

I am now just taking colloidal silver, aged garlic, and apple cider vinegar to kill the Lyme and co-infections. I am taking a prescription drug to help with the detox, but that should be short term. These supplements, the energy system, and sauna seem to making headway on decreasing my symptoms. At times I feel worse, but that is because I do too much killing and can’t get the neurotoxins and dead “bugs” out of my body quick enough.

While there is improvement, I expect it will take another 6 months or longer before I feel good on a regular basis. Lyme has had 20 some year head start on me, so it’s going to take some time to catch up. I am looking forward to having energy again and not spending a majority of my day killing and detoxing. It feels like a full time job right now!

After much prayer and talking with my doctors and families, I “retired” from my business as of February 1st. It was becoming overwhelming due to my lack of strength and my family was doing a majority of the work for me. I thoroughly enjoy the almost 14 years I had with Usborne Books & More. It was a very difficult decision, but I am at total peace with it.

I am enjoying being able to read more, scrapbook, and attend all my children’s activities. Just a few more years and my kids will be grown, so I’m savoring every moment I have left with them at home.

I continue to do research about Lyme a couple days a week. It is such a complicated disease because the bacteria is so smart. What works for me might not work at all for another person, so treatment is a constant game of trial and error. I am contacted at least once a month by someone who comes across my blog. I wish I knew more to help those who contact me, but all I have is my journey to share, so I share it and hope that it helps.

Was my time in AZ profitable? I think so. The treatment did not help as much as we had hoped it would, but it did do some good. And knowing what we do now about all my allergies, things may have gone better if we had known about them while I was there.

I gained friends who I’m still in contact with. The Lyme community is so supportive. It is a comfort to know there are people who understand what I am going through and we can encourage each other.

I also found a state that I absolutely love! I never thought I would want to move away from Iowa, but Arizona keeps calling my name. The desert is beautiful and the people are wonderful. Maybe God will move us there some day.

Thank you for all your prayers and encouraging words to me as I fight this disease. It is so humbling to know so many of you still pray for me on a daily basis. I hope that soon I can say that today is one of many good days that I’ve had. I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

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The People I met in Arizona

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My last bag of anitbiotics.

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My friend Marsha from church.

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Brian and Tom…they are the medical assistants who took care of me. Malinda is the third person but she was not there my last day, so I didn’t get a picture of her. 😦

The People I met in Arizona

Sam and Dana ran the clinic.

These are the people who became dear to me during my stay in Arizona.

Relaxing Sunday

Today was a wonderful, relaxing Sunday. It was great to see my church family again even though we said goodbye to Pastor Lee. It will be hard these next few months as we figure out God’s will for our church. Please pray for Walnut Ridge.

Tomorrow I speak with the doctor about my bloodwork. I am very anxious for that call! That will give us a better idea about the direction of my home protocol. I will update you tomorrow about that and see if I can post some pictures of the people I met in Arizona.

Thank you for all the encouraging words about the blog. I have enjoyed chronicling God’s provision and work in my life during this journey. My plan is to stop blogging daily after tomorrow and add occasional updates for those who live out of state.

Thank you for the prayers. They have sustained me and my family during this adventure in Arizona.

Please feel free to give me a call, text, or send an email to see how I’m doing. Prefer face to face? I love doing lunch. 🙂 

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Building Islands

“The adult coral invertebrates, known as polyps, work underwater constructing coral reefs. They do so never even imagining they are building the foundation of a new island, which will someday support plants and animals and will be a home where the children of God will be born and equipped for eternal glory as ‘co-heirs with Christ’. Beloved, if your place in God’s army is hidden and secluded, do not grumble and complain….remember, without the polyps, the coral reefs would never be built.”

Sometimes we feel like what we do is for nothing. That our days are filled with things that are not significant like laundry and dishes. But it has become so clear to me this past four months when I was unable to do those things for my family, how important they really are. Each time I do those mundane tasks I have an opportunity to build character into my children, to show my husband my love, and prepare my home as a place where others can come and be ministered to. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve my family like that again. To find those moments in the tedious tasks to instruct and encourage my kids. To change my attitude from drudgery to anticipation. What will God build on my tasks today? I will probably not live long enough to see the island God builds on my coral reefs, but I gladly work each day obeying in anticipation of what He is doing in my life.

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Convention

Thunderstorms woke me up this morning. My first storm since I’ve been home. It was nice, but I missed the sunshine. I got use to the plentiful sunshine and blue skies in Arizona. I am also missing the stillness of the air. It was hardly ever windy–usually just a gentle breeze if anything.

Today was a better day. My appetite has returned and I was in less pain. Still didn’t get as much done as I would have liked, but I’m working on taking it easy. Had a fun time playing games with the kids, doing some research online, and getting some weeding done. That’s a never ending task…but I enjoy it, so that’s okay.

God granted me some contentment today, even though I am missing Usborne Books Convention. I haven’t missed a year since 2004. I am very sad about not getting to see all the amazing women I get to call co-workers. I usually get to see them twice a year, but I did not go to leadership training in January like I usually do, so I was really looking forward to seeing them this week. But God has other plans for me this week. He needs me here. So I will choose to be content about not being at convention. He’s got a plan for my business and I am waiting for His guidance.

So hello to all my Uzzie friends! Hope you are having a marvelous time with the new titles and great training. I can’t wait to here all about it when you go home. Especially about Bob the Unicorn. 🙂

Worry

“Worry is largely a matter of thinking about things at the wrong time. I have built into your brain the amazing capacity to observe your own thoughts. So it is possible to monitor your thoughts and make choices about them.

To avoid wasting mental and emotional energy, timing is very important. If you think about certain things at the wrong time–for example, when you’re lying in bed-it’s all too easy to start worrying about them. This is why it’s so helpful to monitor your thinking. Instead of waiting until you’re deep in worry, you can interrupt anxious thoughts and change the subject.

I want you to discipline your mind to minimize worry and maximize worship. This will require much ongoing effort, but you’ll find that it is a path to freedom. When you realize you’re thinking about something at the wrong time–a worrisome thought at a time when you can do nothing about it–take swift action. Tell yourself, “Not now!” and direct your mind elsewhere. The best direction for your thinking is towrad Me.

Draw near Me by expressing your trust in Me, your love for Me. This is worship.”

Sarah Young, “Jesus Today”

Usually I do just a portion of one of my devotions, but this one was so good I had to share all of it. It was so necessary for me when I read it yesterday. Yesterday was a very painful day. I started a new supplement and my body was not happy about it. Worry and doubt began to creep in–should I be taking this? Are these supplements really helping? Did the treatment in Arizona really help? What if in order to be healthy I have to be in pain all the time? What if I never feel good enough work my business again? Or do all the other things I want to do? And so it goes round and round in my head.

But then I realized I’m worrying and doubting God’s plan. I need to trust that if I’m following His will, then this is how it’s suppose to be. Have I not already been down this lesson’s path before? And recently? 🙂  Here is an opportunity to trust and I have chosen not to…at least for a little while. Eventually my heart came around, but it sure is hard when you’re laying on the couch in pain instead of doing the things you want to around the house and with the family. But He needed me on the couch yesterday for some reason. My job is to obey–respond to His will no matter the cost.

And He did give me some encouragement today. Not only did I have less pain, but remember that yummy ice cream I found in Arizona that falls within the guidelines of my diet? It is sold at Fareway. And they said they would order chocolate for me next time. Thank you God for that little blessing.