Acupuncture: My Thoughts

Warning: I have been having major brain fog and I just feel like my brain hasn’t been functioning well lately (my husband would say “just lately??”), so if I misspell any words or if sentences don’t flow correctly, that is why!!! 

I have been meaning to write a post about acupuncture and what I thought of it, but I wanted to wait a while to see if it is or isn’t working for me.

I started Acupuncture sometime in November and I did notice little improvements right away but it took about a month to see major improvements. It was really great to see, because honestly, I did not believe in acupuncture at all prior to trying it, It just seemed too weird that poking people with tiny needles would help alleviate symptoms … but, it really does work!!!

It helped-

My mood, anxiety (this one was huge for me), pain, sleep (slept like a baby most days), balance, nerve issues, headaches and my legs felt stronger. 

Finding a good acupuncturist is HUGE. My acupuncturist is amazing, she has been doing it for 30 some years and she knows A LOT, not just with acupuncture but with herbals, supplements and nutrition. I saw her in January sometime and she dropped a bomb on me telling me she was going to Florida for a vacation for a few months and that another gal was going to replace her for those few months … my heart almost stopped!! She knew so much about me and my illness and knew just what I needed … I was really bummed out. 

I made an appointment with the new gal. First time was eh, okay … she only had two years experience and seemed very nervous around me, which made me extremely nervous. I thought I would give her a second try, maybe she needed to get used to me or something. The next appointment was pretty awful … I was lying on the bed and she put a needle in my wrist and she clearly hit a nerve with the needle because my hand stung soo bad (it’s a weird painful vibrating sensation) and I screamed so loud. She tried doing it again, but on the other wrist .. that one went in okay, but it still felt kinda weird. Same thing happened to my leg and she moved the location of that needle to the other leg. So I am lying there with 13 needles sticking out of my body and all of sudden my arms and legs were throbbing with horrible pain, shooting pain going up my leg and up my arm, involuntary thumb movement .. and I started to panic!!! I was alone in the room, she had just left to the room next door to me, which meant I was in the room for another 20 minutes!!!

I started bagging on the wall … nothing … I yelled out her name “RACHEL RACHEL” … nothing!! I finally got up with all needles sticking out of my body and walked out the room. My appointments are in a center where there is yoga, fitness, a hair salon and more … so outside the rooms people were roaming the halls and what not (why the heck didn’t anyone hear me when I was screaming bloody murder?). I walk out there with needles sticking out of my ears, face, head, arms, legs and feet … people were just staring at me like an alien had just walked out of the room. Rachel (the acupuncturist) was frazzled when she saw me … she rushed me back into the room and apologized and even offered to rub my legs and feet, but I just wanted to get the heck out of there!!

Sorry, that was a long story, but I just had to share!!

Anyway, find a good acupuncturist if you are considering trying it!!

I haven’t done acupuncture in 3 weeks now and I can definitely tell the difference, and unfortunately, I won’t be going back to it until March sometime!

The gist of this post is that I totally recommend acupuncture! However, If you just started treating Lyme and co’s, I would wait until you’re further into treatment and your nervous system is more calm!! 

Blessings & Love,

Aisha 🙂

 

 

 

Finding the New Normal

Am I going to be normal again?

I have asked myself this question a 100 times.

I day dream of doing Ballet again, I day dream of running on a cool, fall morning again. I day dream of having an abundance of energy again, I day dream of being with family & friends and actually enjoying my time with them instead of wondering if I am going to croak right there, right then, in front of everyone.

I spend too much time thinking about how I used to be healthy and all that I was physically able to do, and I forget about what I am currently able to do! It is an awful mindset and it puts me in a deep pit of depression!

No more …. I am done!

When I am sitting, complaining, that my eye floaters are driving me insane and wishing I had better vision – who cares! I mean really, who cares if I am swatting “flies” away when in reality they are my eye floaters. God has blessed me with two eyes that can see. I can see the beauty that is around me, I can see when my husband winks at me (one of my favorite things), I can see my beautiful family and so forth.That is a huge gift.

There were so many incidents when my husband and I would take walks and we would have to cut our walk short because my legs would get weak and shaky. Almost every time, I would secretly go to the bathroom and tear up because I thought my husband and I can’t even enjoy a beautiful summer walk because of me.

Two years ago, I had a very hard time walking. I couldn’t go to stores unless I held on to my husband or I was leaning against a cart for balance support. Today, I can walk by myself without having to hold on to anyone or anything! Yes, my legs are still weak, and yes, I still can’t run (YET), but I can walk with my husband (even if it is for a short time), I can run errands (even if I am exhausted afterwards), and this is another huge gift from God!!

I don’t know if I will ever be able to do some of the things I was able to do when I was healthier, and I want to be at peace with that.

I want to find the new normal for me this year.

I want to enjoy and be grateful for what I am able to do now and not look back at what I was able to do.

I want to enjoy my walks with my husband, even if they are 5 minutes long.

I want to enjoy our nights on the couch, watching movies, holding each others hands because I don’t feel good enough to leave the house.

I want to enjoy my time with my family, whether I feel awful or not, and remember the moments I have with them.

Time is short, friends …. we are not guaranteed a tomorrow. Let’s embrace and savor every moment!

I made a list of things I am currently able to do, and the smile on my face just grew wider and wider. I challenge you to do the same. Right now, get a piece of paper and a pen and write out the things you are physically able to do. It will shock you, and it will open your eyes to how little you lost from this illness! I used to say I lost a lot from this illness, but no, I gained way more FROM the things I lost.

God’s gifts are endless … we just have to open our eyes and look a little closer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Did You Say?!

This has been my husbands favorite sentence all week.

My neurological issues scare me quite a bit, but this time I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the things I have been saying recently.

My sweet husband would look at me with a concerned/baffled/feel sorry for me face and I would just vomit out Lyme words that would make absolutely no sense!!

Here’s a quick story for you –

We have been having a hard time finding a Church here in our new hometown. So, Saturday night, we talked about watching Dr. Charles Stanley on TV Sunday morning. The following day, My husband was sitting on the couch, and as I was walking out of our bedroom I say … wait for it … wait for it … “Hey honey, did you want Dr. Charles Stanley for lunch?” … my husband, for the 100th time this week, says “what did you say?!?!”, we both look at each other quietly and burst into laughter. He then proceeds with “no no, Dr. Charles Stanley doesn’t really sound that good for lunch .. thanks though.”

I originally wanted to say “Hey honey, did you want to watch Dr. Charles Stanley this morning?”  I have no idea where the lunch part came from nor was I thinking about lunch, or anything that pertains to food for that matter!

I started feeling very ill Monday morning with extreme vertigo, AWFUL headaches, stomach issues and extreme fatigue. I thought I was herxing really bad, relapsing, or coming down with a nasty bug. A few days ago, both my husband and I smelt something funky in the basement. My husband calls for someone right away to come check it out, and come to find out, we had two gas leaks in our home – that’s the last thing my body needs right now! It was fixed that night, but I left and spent the night at my in-laws house and sure enough, the headaches and all that stuff went away the next day!!

Anyways, so I keep telling my husband my brain was being filled with toxic gas this past week and that is why I was saying all these weird words! 😉

I know how scary it can be with these neurological issues – memory loss, word retrieval and all that stuff – it can be extremely depressing and frightening, but sometime it is good to just laugh at it rather than dwell on it. For me, it feels like a small victory against this illness!

This might sound really strange to you all but sometimes (not in public or out loud .. I promise:)) I talk to the Lyme and Co’s (which by the way, I am certain they are somehow related to the devil … cousins or siblings … especially Babesia). Yesterday, for example, as I walked away from my hubby after our laughing attack, in my mind I said “I bet you didn’t see that coming, you nasty little things.” Other times, on days where I feel like this illness is trying really hard to get to me I would say to it “you have no control over my body or mind.” Our minds are sooo powerful, you guys …  it creates reality in a ‘sense’!! The way we think determines what we can and can’t see or do. We have a huge advantage over this rotten illness … let’s use it!

Last year I would have been bumming out big time for messing up my words as much as I have in the past week. I would have went on and on about me not sounding smart and it would have spiraled into a sobbing fest.

Let’s try these together –

If you can’t retain any information while you are conversing with someone, just say “wow, that is crazy” like I do 🙂

If you are driving and forget whether the turn signal goes down or up for left or right turns – it is okay – just put your hazard lights on. (this totally happened by the way)

On a serious note, no matter how weird we may sound or act … let’s add a little humor to it and laugh at ourselves! I am not going to let this illness win and neither are you!

Small victories, my friends … small victories!

“With enough small victories one can overcome impossible opposition and odds”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

House, Health & Acupuncture

Yay! I survived the move!!

The past few months have been crazy busy, especially the past few weeks. We moved in to our home two Wednesday’s ago … we had to unpack, clean (my mother in law did most of it) & more unpacking … it felt like it was never ending and honestly, it still feels that way! I went up to Duluth two weekends ago because my sisters longtime boyfriend was planning a surprise proposal. Also, this past weekend my husband and I drove down to Rochester because both of us were in a wedding … so, yeah, it has been a little nuts lately!!

So, what is going on with my health?

Well, I am still on Takuna & A-bart. Now that life is slowing down a bit, I upped my Takuna dose to 2 drops and once I stop herxing from it I will add Quina (Microbial Defense) and Enula (for Babesia). My LLMD thinks I still have some Babesia in me – I treated babs (short cut for babesia) for a year with Mepron & Azithromycin, I was also on Minocycline (not sure if it hits babs or not), anyways, she thinks my treatment for babs wasn’t long enough and the meds weren’t enough. So, here I go again with babs treatment. To be honest with you, I am petrified to start Enula because I had the worst herxes from treating babs. The herxes were stroke like symptoms … VERY VERY scary. I was also the most depressed I had ever been when I was treating babesia … it was a very scary time in my life! I am praying that I will react differently this time around because a) they are herbals and b) I am hoping my babesia load is down, so I won’t herx as bad …. we shall see!!!

I started a sublingual b12 methylcobalamin a month ago because of the C677t gene mutation that I have, and I can say that I have noticed a bit of a difference in my energy. I am still looking for someone who is able to interpret my raw data from my 23andme results so I can figure out what supplements work for me and which ones don’t!

I did acupuncture for the first time last week. I had heard mixed reviews about getting acupuncture done while having Lyme and Co-infections, so, I wanted to experience it myself and see what it was all about.

It was strange … very very strange.

The acupuncturist touched spots on my feet, legs, stomach, arms, hands, head and ears and by doing that she could tell what was going on in my body!! It was crazy! My liver is good, my gallbladder is good, something is goofy with my spleen and my large intestine and of course my immune system is bad.

Prior to this, I filled out a symptom checklist and, no joke, I almost checked off every symptom on the list. She looked at it and said “yikes” and in my mind I said “lady, I feel so sorry for you because you have a handful.”

She put the needles in my feet, legs, hands, arms, ears and hands. Shockingly, they didn’t hurt, but they felt a little weird! Then, she put a hypothermia blanket on me and told me to nap for 20 minutes. I thought she was joking – how can someone nap looking like that?!?!

As she exited the room I had a giggling attack because I thought I looked ridiculous … oh, at what length some people (me) will go for their health!!!

I felt very odd the first 5 minutes into it. Heart palpitation, weird sensations in my body, vertigo – basically a lot of my symptoms were heightened. I was very tempted to exist the room and walk next door (to her office) and ask her to take the pins out of my body, but I thought that would make me look even more ridiculous. Fifteen minutes into it I became extremely sleepy and the sleepiness/fatigue/vertigo continued for several hours after my appointment, but after that I had an enormous amount of energy!

Since then, the ringing in my ears have diminished, my anxiety has been less this week & I feel happier! I see her again this Thursday … slightly dreading it because of how I felt the first 5 minutes, but, if it will help me get better, then it is definitely worth it!!

Blessings & Love,

Aisha 🙂

 

Chuck

I was in Duluth for a few days this past week visiting family and to kind of get away from all the decision making for our new house. Building a new home is stressful and being ill while doing it is sooo tough. My body felt like it was shutting down on me and I was very emotional … so I needed a little break and decided to go up there to spend some time with my amazing family!

One morning, I got up a little early to get coffee from one of my favorite shops up there. As I was turning into the parking lot, I see an elderly gentleman in a wheelchair struggling to go up a hill backwards. With no hesitation, I pulled over, got out of my car and walked towards him. I looked at his sweet wrinkly face and asked if I could help him get up the hill, and with a sense of relief in his eyes, he agreed. As I was pushing him up the hill I noticed him trying to help me by moving the wheels of the chair, I told him to sit back and relax and enjoy the beautiful fall trees. Here’s me, a 105 lb gal pushing at least a 180 lb man plus his wheelchair weight up a pretty steep hill. My heart was pounding hard and fast, my legs were weak and shaky, I really thought I was going to drop dead right there. It was a gorgeous day and people were out and about, big men painting outside of a bank right next to us, people running errands and not one single person offered to help!!

As I was panting and praying in my mind I won’t drop dead, the sweet man asked me what I was doing in town and I told him. He introduced himself to me, “my name is Chuck, what is yours?” “I am Aisha, sir” I said. He then proceeded to tell me story after story … it was obvious he was very eager to share these stories with someone! I could feel a sense of loneliness in his voice and it made me sad, so I made sure not to speak about myself, unless he asked, and let him do the majority of the talking! One of the stories he shared was about his health, he had been very ill for quite some time with numerous health issues and I could tell by the tone of his voice he was discouraged. He also mentioned he had potassium poisoning not too long ago, and I asked him how does someone get that and he said “I drank too much coffee” and we chuckled and I thought to myself “is this a sign I shouldn’t get any coffee this morning?!?” I did anyways haha!

I wheeled him all the way up to his Assisted Living and when we got to the front of the door, he clasped my hands, looked me in the eyes and said “Thank you for listening to me, I am so happy you came to visit your family today.” I told him it was great hearing his stories and a pleasure meeting him and I walked away with a very important lesson.

My illness consumes me and I tend to do the “Oh, poor me” and “Why me?” quite a bit. I tend to forget that there are others who are suffering just as much as I am or more or in a different way! I noticed when I am around friends or family, they ask me how I am doing and sometimes I go on and on about how awful I feel and I don’t take much time to ask about them and their lives, because they are healthy, working and doing things they love, what could possibly be wrong with their lives? But suffering comes in all different forms.

Speaking with Chuck for 10 minutes reminded me that I am not the only one suffering and hurting, and that silence is truly a gift from God. We live in a world where it is all about “me me me” … we want to talk about ourselves, our lives, what happened at work, what someone said to us, the promotion at work, how smart I am, how rich I am , bla bla bla …. but when it comes to us having to listen to someone else speak, we get annoyed or change the subject back to us.

Today, I challenge you to take some time out of your days and be silent and sincerely listen to your friend, your sibling, your grandma or a neighbor, and see how much your silence touches their soul!

Blessings,

Aisha

Why Am I Sick?

I opened up my Bible study book last Tuesday and read what I wrote the night before … “Why am I sick?” …. and I stared at the blank white column next to it.

Last Monday, in my Bible study book, Priscilla asked to write down questions I’ve been asking God in one column and His answer in the next. “Surely, it must be God’s will for me that I am ill” I thought, and I closed the book. I did not want to continue because I presumed I knew the answer. There were no words written in “His Answer” column … I left it blank and planned on leaving it that way, but for some reason, I couldn’t look away from the column. “I need to fill this column … I can’t leave it blank” I thought.

I didn’t know where to begin, so, I opened the concordance in the back of my Bible and saw John 5:7 under ‘sick’. I opened it to John and read about how Jesus healed the disabled man. Then that led me to Matthew where Jesus healed Peter’s mother in law and then he healed those who were oppressed by demons. Then He healed the man with leprosy.  Then He healed blind men. Then He Healed a woman in the crowd. I mean, It was page after page with all the miraculous healings that Jesus did here on earth!!!

I paused and took a deep breath.

I’ve been to a few healing services and many times I’ve heard people say “If it’s God’s will, He will heal you.” And that stuck with me … I kept thinking “well, it must be God’s will that I am still sick” and that I should just accept it. I thought maybe I had done something so bad in the past that He is punishing me for it now, and I am being taught a lesson from it by being really sick. To be quite honest with you, I think this kind of thinking has put a huge wedge between me and The Lord. I can’t count on my fingers how many times I’ve laid on the floor, hopeless and crying out to Him and yelling that if He does exist that He is an evil God for allowing His children to suffer like this. I doubted His existence, I harbored anger towards Him and I resented Him.

Jesus taught us all that when we see Him, we see the Father …  and in John 5:30 Jesus says “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgement is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of Him who sent me.” And maybe I am reading the verse wrong, I don’t know, but if Jesus is the revealed will of God from heaven, did Jesus make anyone sick when He was here on earth?!!? I don’t remember hearing nor reading anywhere in the Bible that says he did, therefore, healing must be the will of God as well!!

I kinda felt like I almost separated Jesus and God from each other when I would read the Bible. Here I would read about Jesus healing, loving, forgiving and I pictured God being more of the disciplinarian, the “scarier” One out of the two. When I would have my one of many breakdowns and I am praying, I tend to direct my anger towards God more and I will thank Jesus for all that He’s done for me …. now, that’s really twisted because they’re One!! I read about all the amazing things Jesus has done here on earth and I think I tend to forget at times that He is God in flesh.

This illness stole a lot from me. It took away my strength, it put me and my husband in a very tough financial spot last year, I am confined in our home most days, It took away my goals I had for my future, it stole the potential for me to do good things in life, I can’t do things I love doing anymore, it made me doubt God’s existence …. there’s is only one thief I know that would do this, and that is satan (my computer wants me to capitalize his name … he won’t get that luxury here :p) … the one who steals, kills and destroys!!!

If you go back to the blogs I posted months back, I mentioned in one of them that I believed this illness was from God. Well, I will say with full confidence now that God’s will for me is to be healthy … to live a long, healthy, joyful life! I believe it with every bit of my heart and that will never change!!

God was tugging at my heart to search for the real answer … the answer that was filled with truth, hope and love, not answers that were blank in my heart and on paper.

Thank you Lord for reminding me of who You really are … 

 

Quick Health Update

My health hasn’t been the best lately. It has been very up and down (mostly down).

I decided not to see the Lyme doctor I was seeing … her and I weren’t on the same page on a lot of things and I just felt like she didn’t know how complex and difficult this illness is. I spoke with a few friends who have Lyme and they recommended a doctor in WI, so, I see her Sept. 11th. These people that I have spoken to are doing much better under her treatment, so, I am praying so hard that she can help me out!

I found out a few months ago that I have this gene mutation called C677t and I am homozygous for this gene mutation, which means I got it from both parents. You can click on the C677t right above and you can read all about it … it is very complex. When I was on antibiotics, I would get really really sick … I mean I felt like death. Part of it was the herxheimer reaction and the the other part was because of my gene mutation. I mentioned before that detox is sooo important with this illness, because when the bacteria dies, you want to detox as much as possible to flush out the toxins and dead bacteria from the body. Well, this lovely gene mutation that I have makes it hard for my body to metabolize medication and my liver has a hard time detoxing everything out, so I had A LOT of toxins building up in my body and that can be very very dangerous!! Also, anyone who has this gene mutation and has a chronic illness, they become more sick compared to one that does not have this gene mutation. Not only is Lyme and Co infections very difficult and complex to treat, but now I have this gene mutation which makes it ten times more difficult to treat! My primary suggested I get a full genetics test done, just so she can see everything in a bigger picture and help heal my body. I should be getting the tests results in a few weeks here!!

Life has been one CRAZY roller coaster ride … physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually! I’ve cried out to God in pain, in anger, in joy, in sadness, in hopelessness, in desperation and He continues to restore me every single time. Wow …. I am so humbled by His love!

If you all could please continue to pray for my health, my husband and this new doctor, It would mean the world to me!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!

*God is soooo good*

Blessings & Love,

Aisha

Prayer Requests

This past month and a half has been very tough … physically, emotionally, mentally … all of it! I have been off antibiotics for a month and half now, because the last antibiotic I was on completely ruined my gut. So, I’ve been having gut issues on top of some of my old symptoms coming back because I am not in treatment right now.

Thankfully, I started a medication for my gut two days ago and it has helped tremendously. No pain, no cramps and hardly any nausea … so that’s good. The cramps were HORRIBLE! I don’t know what giving birth feels like, but if it’s anywhere near the cramps I had … then, I might pass on the whole giving birth part! Adoption sounds like a better idea!

Because of this whole gut issue, I had to do a very strict clean diet. I’ve been losing weight with this diet, and it’s been stressing me out because I can’t afford losing any more pounds because I am tiny as it is! I decided to go to the Co-op today and get a protein shake. Let me back track a bit and say that I have been feeling really crappy today .. weakness, kind of dizzy and my mood wasn’t the best. Back to my little story, my awesome, handy GPS gives me the wrong directions on my way there and I was pretty much going in circles, for like 20 minutes… I was very tempted to chuck my phone out the window.

At this point, I was feeling very overwhelmed.

Marc calls me while I was at the Co-op, and I almost started crying on the phone with him because I was stressed out with everything, and all of a sudden I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath … almost like I was suffocating (last time I felt like this, I had a panic attack). I kept trying to calm myself  by breathing, but at the same time I was rushing to get my stuff and get out of there! I get to the protein shake isle, and a sweet gal came up to me asking me if I needed help. I told her what I was looking for, so she grabbed a protein shake bottle and was explaining why it was good and yada yada … I was standing there and all of a sudden I felt very dizzy, lightheaded and my heart started pounding. I knew I was having a panic attack. I grabbed the protein shake out of her hand while she was talking, and I just pretty much walked away, fast, without saying anything (Sorry sweel girl at the Co-op). I get to the cashier and I was like speedy gonzales .. I’ve never put groceries on the counter so fast in my life!

I get to my car and I just sit and wait until it passes. I was dreading the 20 minute drive back home … but, I had no other way. Finally, after 45 min of deep breathing techniques along with prayers. I calmed down , said another prayer, and drove away!

This was the second panic attack I’ve had. The first one was two months ago … and I was driving!! I actually ended up calling 911 because I literally felt like I was dying!

Prior to my illness, I’ve never ever had a panic attack, never suffered from anxiety … nothing! The Co-infection Bartonella causes anxiety and panic attacks, and all my symptoms right now scream Bartonella. So, I need to get back on antibiotics, but I don’t know if my gut can handle oral medications right now. So, I’m not sure whether to take the natural route, or risk it and try orals again, or do a port. That’s why I am here asking you all for prayers please. Prayers for wisdom, guidance, knowledge, discernment and patience, for me, Marc and both of my doctors!!

It’s SOO tough, but I know The Lord will get us through this set back we are dealing with right now!

P.s: Don’t use a GPS on your phone anymore … apparently, they can trigger a panic attack :p

Blessings & love,

Aisha

A Season of Trials (4)

I opened the email.

And there it was. Names of six doctors that specialize in this illness and that can treat me!

Thank you, Father.

I wanted answers so bad and after a very long six months of suffering and over a 100 crazy symptoms, I was finally going to get it. Waiting one week for that appointment felt like a lifetime!

In the meantime, my sweet mother and sister came to help me with chores around the house and drive me to my appointment. While Marc was at work during the day, I would lay on the couch and just cry most days. So, having them around for that one week helped my mental state quite a bit.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012, the day of my appointment. We parked the car and as soon as the car was turned off, I breathed a sigh of relief. I opened the car door and looked up at the gray gloomy sky and I said nothing but smile at God. I didn’t need a clear blue sky and a bright shining sun to feel His presence … there’s a different kind of peace that comes from Him in the midst of grayness and gloominess!

While walking towards the door, I remember looking at my shaky weak legs and in my mind I said “this is the last time you ugly things (the bacteria) can have fun in my body, because I am coming after you!” yes, my mental state was declining and I was talking to the bacteria in my body … don’t judge :p

I wanted to give my doctor a huge hug when I first met her! We sat down and she had me fill out a symptom check list, no joke, I checked off almost everything on that page! And there were symptoms I had a hard time explaining to others, and sure enough it was on there … I wanted to do the happy dance. We talked for an hour and a half and she affirmed that I do have it. Since the testing is so inaccurate, they treat based on symptoms. This is what it says right below the test results “A negative result does not exclude the possibility of infection” …. really?! so then what? unfortunately, most people suffer with a spew of symptoms for the rest of their lives and some die, because most doctors don’t do anything past that point. This has to change.

Besides the medications she prescribed, she told me all the foods I had to avoid to reduce inflammation in my body and all the supplements I had to take. She warned me about this thing called a Herxheimer reaction, it sounds scary doesn’t it? well, it is!! A Herxheimer reaction is when the immune system reacts to toxins that are released when large amounts of bacteria are being killed off, and the body doesn’t get rid of the toxins quickly enough. So, when I take the antibiotics, it kills the bacteria, and therefore it releases toxins in my body which makes me REALLY sick. I honestly can’t even count how many times I’ve been to the ER just because of this Herxheimer reaction. Best way to describe it, I literally feel like I am dying. That is why detoxing is so crucial with this illness!

I was excited about my treatment plan, but at the same time I was very overwhelmed.

I had to change my diet completely, take medications (I wasn’t one to ever take medications, unless I really had to), take supplements, detox and so much more! But, it had to be done.

That first week of starting my treatment plan, I noticed a little boost of energy. I knew then I was on the right track, but it wasn’t a fast and an easy fix. The first few months of being on medication I had more bad days than good days, and it was very very tough.  My balance was really bad the first 4 months, if I had to go get a few things from the grocery store I had to use a cart as a “walker” because I felt like I was going to fall. I actually cried once in the grocery store and had to leave, because I would just watch how fast people were walking and envied how they didn’t need a cart for balance.

In the middle of July, 2012 I went into target and I was confident enough to walk without my “walker” and sure enough, I did it! I can’t even begin to tell you how good it felt to just simply walk. I walked around the entire store and went down every isle … It felt great. I will never ever take anything for granted again, and that includes little and big things in life!

So, friends, that is my story in a nut shell!

I am slowly but surely improving, however, I still have bad days where it is tough to get off the couch, but that is part of the illness and I am okay with that now!

As much as I hate this illness, I am thankful for it, because really good things came out of it and I believe there are still good things that are going to come out of it. I am much much closer with The Lord, I actually have a relationship with Him compared to before being sick. There is nothing that makes my heart more content and joyful than bathing in Gods Word, and what a privilege I have that I get to do that everyday! I have an amazing relationship with my mother compared to before I was ill. Marc and I had a very difficult year and a half and it was and still is far from perfect in many ways, but it was always centered on The One who is, and that brought us so much closer to each other. My heart and mind are forever changed … I feel the Lord’s gentle hands molding and shaping me into the woman He wants me to be … what an honor that is!

I used to get angry and dwell at the fact that I had to drop out of school because of this illness. I may not be in nursing school right now but I am in God’s school, and let me tell you, it is harder than any school I will ever attend and harder than any test I will ever take.

The only diploma I need in life is one from The Lord saying “You did well, my child, you did well.”

A Season of Trials (3)

I prayed, but I was still very afraid.

I was shunned by the medical community and I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do next. As the days went on, my entire body was getting weaker and weaker and I was noticing scary new symptoms. I truly believed I was developing early stages of ALS, because I was having a difficult time swallowing my own saliva and food. I was also losing a ton of weight on top of all that.

Some nights before I went to bed I would pray for help and answers, but most nights I prayed that The Lord would take me away in my sleep. I was beyond depressed. Ever since I was a little girl, I prayed that God would bless me with a wonderful husband, and by His loving grace He did. Besides getting baptized, getting married to Marc was the second best day of my life. The man I prayed for since I was a little girl, is now my husband. So, the thought of me dying and leaving my husband behind put me in a state of extreme depression and anxiety. I’m not sure if you’ve seen the movie “Over Her Dead Body”, but It’s about these newly engaged couple, and this man’s fiance (Eva Longoria) dies suddenly in a car accident. Eva Longoria comes back as a ghost and tries to stop the relationship her fiance was pursuing with this other woman. I would think to myself “I am totally going to be Eva Longoria if I die from this mystery illness” Sorry Marc :p !! But, I digress … these horrible thoughts consumed my mind daily. Not only was I declining physically but mentally as well!

I was ready to be done with this season of life.

My mind that is part of the image of God where He communicates with me and reveals His will for me, was distorted by Satan. I forgot what happiness felt like … I forgot what it felt like to laugh and smile! My mind became a battleground of a spiritual warfare, and let me tell you, the enemy did a good job … but not for long.

I had a very big God by my side and the victory is always with Him.

At my very lowest and weakest point … The Lord lead me to open my Bible and dig into His Words for strength, daily. Strength that I lacked spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. And guess what? little by little, day by day and the more I dug into His Words, I felt a little stronger in every way each day.

His words became my anchor.

One day, I felt like I needed to do more research on Lyme Disease. I spent about 6 hours reading all the controversial articles about this illness, and I thankfully stumbled upon a blog of a woman who suffered from Chronic Lyme Disease and Co-infections. I should probably elaborate a little on the Co-infection part, so you are not confused when I mention Co-infections. In my case my doctor thinks I have Lyme Disease along with Babesia (co-infection), Bartonella (Co-infection), Ehrlichia (Co-infection) and Rocky mountain spotted fever (Co-infection). Each Co-infection differs from the other and from the Lyme bacteria, and each one produces new symptoms. That is why I had over a 100 symptoms! Anyhow, while reading this woman’s blog, I felt as if I was reading my own life. Her symptoms, quitting her job and nursing school … everything just fit what I was going through to the T! It was an aha moment for me! I needed to be on antibiotics longer than 7 days and I needed a doctor that specialized in this illness. I looked up Minnesota Lyme Association online, I emailed them telling them about my situation and I asked them for names of doctors that specialize in this illness and that I needed help ASAP. The following day I get a phone call from a very sweet woman, and not too far into the conversation she said “I am going to help you find the doctor that will get you better” I instantly started sobbing … I couldn’t keep it together.

It was a cry of relief … a cry of hope.

As soon as I got off the phone, Marc gave me the biggest hug and kissed my salty watery cheeks, “we’ll get through this, and I will do everything I can to get you better” he said.

I had a wonderful man by my side, but most importantly I had a God who is able.

Who is able to conquer all the powers of evil. Who is able to move mountains. Who is able to part the red sea. Who is able to sustain all of our needs. Who is able to do more than I can ever imagine. Who is able to heal …. yes, that is my God!!

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20

To be continued ….