The honeymoon has come to an end.

It was inevitable, I knew it. The pure joy of living a Lyme-less, symptom-free life would only be temporary. As quickly as the relief came, it was gone just as fast. I could literally feel the infection/bacteria/disease (whatever it is that causes the symptoms) slowly flaring back up. A subtle hint of a head ache, a minor ache in my back or jaw . . . but nothing alarming. Then with the ZING of a shooting pain in my head – it was back. Lyme Life: the agonizing back pain, that can only be described as back labor; the constant jaw pain that runs from one side of my face to the other; the intense sensitivity of my teeth; sharp pain that shoots through my shoulder; heavy sinus pressure accompanied by disgustingly thick nasal drip; bizarre vision problems that make it difficult to read; extreme sensitivity to light and sound that makes it very difficult to life with four children –  let alone be a good mom;  random stinging in my big toe, that was described by another Lymie as 30 bees stinging your toe at once; flu like full body aches and of course extreme exhaustion.

Life in the LYME Light! Yay! So much fun. As heart breaking as it was to feel all of these symptoms coming back one by one, there was some relief in knowing that in two weeks, I’ll once again have temporary relief in Lyme-Free La-la Lisa Land. Until then, I will do my best not to whine and complain yet be thankful that I was aware of my symptoms at a very early stage in the Lyme game. And unlike a lot of Lymies, I have a husband that not only believes my random aches and pains, but is willing to do whatever it takes to make me healthy again. Now my heart breaks, because every time he complains of an achy back, or having the feeling of being hit by a truck, I panic and worry that I have passed this awful disease to him. Although the CDC states that Lyme can not be sexually transmitted, there are studies that state otherwise . . .  a debate in the Lyme world? No kidding?

Another positive thing that has come from this experience, is that it has forced me to follow up in many areas of my life that I have slacked off on. Due to the HUGE umbrella of symptoms, Lyme has forced me to see a new dentist to rule out TMJ or root canal, an ear nose & throat specialist to rule out sinus infection, and tonight I see a new eye doctor to rule out any vision issues. I’m kind of excited, because if nothing else, I’ll be rocking some cool new glasses 🙂

Proverbs 17:22

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A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

So, through the twitches, spasm and tears I will do my best to stay joyful and thankful for the Lyme Life that I have.

Migraine-free Monday, TMJ-free Tuesday – what is this world coming to?

For a girl who has never kept track of her period, I can now tell you at any given moment where I am in my menstrual cycle. (sorry guys – another girlie post).  I guess that’s one benefit of having Lyme – I’ll never be surprised when I get my period 🙂  I can tell you right now that I am smack dab in the middle of my cycle. My Lyme symptoms have almost vanished! It is a beautiful thing! When I woke up yesterday without a migraine, with only your normal aches and pains of a 30 something year old, I almost did cartwheels (except I have a bad wrist – no it’s not what you think! It’s totally not Lyme related! Too much Group Power!) and today I woke up again, without a migraine, and for two days in a row no nagging jaw pain. I am overcome with joy that I can walk around freely and not have a heating pad attached to my face like some sort of abnormal growth on my chin. It’s just me and my beautiful self 🙂

I even had a dream that I went running…. it didn’t actually happen, but I dreamt it! That has to mean something, right? Quick update on my medical journey. After my initial consultation with the Lyme specialist, I was given a script for blood work. With my insurance, I have to to Lab Corp to get blood drawn. So, like a good little minion, I went to the closest Lab Corp, where I was told that they did not  do the CORTISOL FREE & TOTAL test any more. They had discontinued that test – but they would do the others that the doctor requested. I thought that was odd, since I was just at the doctor’s office, the day before that …. why would he request a test that was either out dated or no longer used. I called the doctors office to give them a heads up that my blood work would not be complete and asked what I should do. They sent me a new script specifically for the Cortisol Free & Total and suggested that I go to Quest. They also mentioned that my numbers would now be off a bit because the tests were done on two different days. Lovely.

I had an appointment set for last week, but because of all of this lovely (yes, LOVELY) snow, I’ve had to reschedule a few times. My appointment is now set for tomorrow. Aside from the tests being done almost a month apart, we may not even have the results for the Cortisol Free & Total before my follow up appointment next week – which by the way, is all out of pocket and could possibly be another $500. But you can’t put a price tag on health, right? And I have a hubby who is accustomed to being in debt, so it’s all good 🙂

But the more I think about this test, the more I think about how controversial this whole Lyme thing is. So, what’s the deal with this test? Why does Lab Corp not cover it? What does it reveal? If you know me, you know that I will now look into this and find out for myself. And I will report back with my findings. It’s just amazing isn’t it? Where does the corruption end? The doctors, the insurance companies, drug companies, the pharmacies?

It’s days like this that make me wish I had enough money to retire and devote my entire day to our church. I love Calvary Chapel Bellmawr, I love the people, the worship, the services, the various ministries . . .  it’s my home (my temporary home anyway). I hate that I spend 8 hours a day in front of a computer not glorifying God, but instead promoting the company that I work for.  Because there is corruption here too. Just like any job. But not with God. God is honest and pure. And he has amazing promises for us. We just have to listen . . . .

2 Peter 1:4 

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By which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

 

 

One more rep in this Lyme disease workout.

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One of the things that I love about writing this blog, is that no matter how crappy I feel, no matter how much I want to whine about my aches and my pains, I know that at the end of the post I have to force myself to find the silver lining on this crappy cloud. But it’s SOOOO hard sometimes. Especially when my body feels the way that it does. I’m a runner, a kick boxer, a group exercise instructor…. I used to bench press and do push ups for five minutes straight, to the beat of an energetic song, while leading an entire class. But now I use my legs to lift the top of the tanning bed off of me, so I can climb out fully clothed (see previous post for explanation), because my arms are too weak to lift it. I used to punch the heavy bag so hard, that my knuckles would bleed – and I LOVED it. Now, I go to work with my hair half wet, because my arms can not hold the hair dryer above my head for more than a few minutes, without draining every ounce of energy out of my pathetic body. I used to love pushing myself to the limit, jumping just a little higher, kicking just a little bit hard, running a little bit faster . . . .  whether the goal was a finish line, or just the cool down at the end of class. There was always a reason to push and I never gave up.

Now pushing myself to my limit, is moving a small desk from one side of the room to the other. Not feeling a sense of accomplishment at the end, but feeling regret. Feeling regret, because now there is even more pain on top of the daily, crappy pain that I have to endure. But I guess this is where I have to search long and hard for that silver lining on the crappy cloud called Lyme disease. But if you think about it, the group exercise instructors don’t stop just because their thighs are burning – they keep going. They have to. It’s their job. And they have to be a good example. No matter how tough the workout is, they have to maintain good form, use good technique, keep up their endurance… and most importantly stay positive and encouraging through the pain! (Now it’s all coming together…. I almost hate that!)

As a runner, I know that I get my second/third/or fourth wind when I can see the finish line. I guess in the Lyme race, it’s a bit harder because I don’t know where the finish line is. I don’t know how many reps I have left or when this song is going to end. As far as I know, we’re only in the warm up, and I’m already feeling like I can’t get through this 60 minute class. I guess now I understand how those “New Years Resolution” people felt at the gym every January 🙂

I’ve got this devotion taped to my wall at work, I refer to it almost daily. It says:

“To him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”  James 4:17

The devotion goes on to say that God has given us two secret weapons to use in our world today. What are they? First I will tell you what they are NOT: whining and complaining. It does not do any good. Neither does boycotting or protesting. The two secret weapons that God has given to the church are praying and preaching. We pray for our nation. We pray for our people we will share the gospel with. And then we share the gospel with them. 

So, that’s what I have to do. And my hope is that you will do the same. Whining and complaining really doesn’t change anything. In fact, it only makes the situation worse. And it shows the enemy your weakness…. which he will be all over! So, I choose to stop typing such negative things and thank God for this challenge, because I know that this is HIS will and maybe, just maybe my suffering will in some way help to be the light for someone’s darkness. Or bring them closer to Lord. And if that’s the case, than it’s all worth it. In the meantime, I’m going to grab my blanket, and snuggle up with my family on the couch, because no matter how crappy I feel,  my arms are never too weak for big squeeze hugs. 

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A MUST HAVE t-shirt

A MUST HAVE t-shirt

This is exactly how I felt this morning when I woke up. It was the first morning without a migraine, which in itself is enough reason to celebrate! I feel as though, I’m slowly climbing out of this relapse/flare up – whatever we call these vicious cycles. It’s invigorating, because I know that there is a light at the end of this tunnel, but it’s haunting because I know it’s only a few days or weeks before I’m back at the bottom again.

We need to celebrate the little things in life, or the big things will drag us down.

Job 33:28
‘He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I will live to enjoy the light.’