Being Bold With My Faith With My Muslim Family

I wrote a post a while back about me being a fearful person most of my life. Both of my parents instilled fear in me and my siblings at a very young age. Our father was an alcoholic, so, there was always that constant on edge feeling being around him wondering what he will do next. My mother feared everything in life and it was very apparent to me and my siblings. Unfortunately, we were predisposed to being fearful individuals.

In my opinion, there is nothing, besides not knowing the Lord and having a serious illness, that is more debilitating in life than being fearful. It has robbed my joy from a lot of things in my life and it has hindered me from doing anything with the gifts God has given me .. I can’t imagine how sad that makes Him! 

One day, the load of my all fears weighed very heavily on my shoulders … I couldn’t stand up! I fell on my knees and cried out to Him and begged Him that He would set me free! Since then, I have been praying earnestly that the Holy Spirit will clothe me with Boldness and fearlessness with my everyday life, but most importantly with my faith.

I can’t tell you how many times I have kept my mouth shut from friends, strangers or family members when I clearly felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit to say something. Instead, I stayed quiet because I was fearful I would offend them, or scared of what they would think of me.

I specifically remember praying about this matter one day and emphasizing more about being fearless and bold with my faith. I felt a weird nudge in my body and my Facebook status popped in my head (weird I know… that’s what I thought too). I love posting quotes from Christian books I am reading, or articles by some pastors that I come by, so my friends who are non-believers would see it. This is my “comfortable” way of being bold with my faith – I don’t have to confront anyone face to face and my statuses sound smart because they are from people who have studied the Bible inside and out!

Here is the part where I think the Holy Spirit was nudging me when I was praying, and I really hate admitting this … I have blocked every single Muslim family member of mine from my statuses on my Facebook. When I told my father I became a Christian a while back, in anger he told me that the rest of my family members in Jordan absolutely cannot find out I converted, because they could disown me or who knows what else could happen… and out of fear, I listened! 

That nudge I felt, was almost as if God was telling me to start being bold with my family first. Every single time I have prayed about this, my family pops in my head! 

What if my Muslim family in Jordan have never heard of the King of Kings?

What if it was through my Facebook posts that one or more would come to know Christ as their Lord and Savior? 

What if Satan is trying his best to make me so fearful that the Word of God will not reach my family in Jordan?

I emailed my father a month ago or so and asked him to give his life to Christ, and believe me when I say this, I would have NEVER been able to do this last year!! The outcome was not what I was praying for … but at least I planted the seed and God can most definitely make it grow!

I am fervently asking you all for prayers on this very important matter – prayers for me to be bold and fearless with my faith when it comes to my family and with others as well!

I keep reminding myself of Peter, he would have not been able to walk on water unless he first stepped out of the boat to walk on that water!

Help me step out of the boat, Lord! 

Blessings & Love,

Aish

 

 

 

 

 

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So Many Meds

I was looking through some old photos and I came across this one. (sorry it’s large)

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That was the month I started treating Lyme & Co’s for the first time. My husband and I were going out of town and I remember looking at my bag and thinking “WOW, these are a lot of meds to take”, so I snapped a photo of it and sent it to my siblings saying “Look at all the meds I have to take.” I also thought I will only need these meds to get me better .. HA .. boy was I wrong! 

I threw away a lot of my meds and empty bottles, but I saved some just in case something happens with our insurance or whatever .. you just never know now a days! After I looked at this photo, I went and gathered all my meds and supplements that I have taken in the past year, and I would say this photo is just half of what I took – not including the empty bottles I threw away!!

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It’s crazy how many supplements/meds Lyme patients need to get better! You name it, and we are on it!

Ooooohh, the joy’s of having a chronic illness, right?! :p

Blessings,

Aisha

 

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 🙂

 

The Long Windy Road

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“But all along this hazardous, twisted road that doesn’t let you see very far ahead there are frequent signs that say, ‘the best is yet to come.’ And at the bottom right corner written with an unmistakable hand are the words, ‘as I live, says the Lord!’ ” John Piper

We will overcome, because He has overcome!!!

Blessings & Love,

Aish

Friends

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I was a social butterfly at a very young age.

The only thing I looked forward to when my mom or dad woke me up for school was being able to hang out with my friends. 

I couldn’t wait for recess; to chit-chat, run, play, share meals, laugh, and hug each other.

I loved dance classes because I got to talk to friends about how puffy our pink tutu’s were, where we got our pink ballet slippers from and help one another do a pirouette!

I couldn’t wait for summer because I got to spend everyday at the swimming club with friends – laying on the grass tanning, jumping off diving boards, and teaching one another how to do back flips

Friends were always my comfort, my safe place.

Lyme stole my personality from me (not for too long). I am not the social butterfly I once was.

I am isolated from most of my friends. I missed and still miss out on soo many events I wish more than anything to be part of but Lyme wants my body at home, in bed, away from everyone. 

My mother once told me, “Aisha, the only time you will find out who your true friends are is when you are going through a hard time in life.” The older I am getting, the more I realize how right mom’s are on A LOT of things … listen to them, young ones!

Oh, was she right.

When I first got sick last year, the friends I thought would be there for me, turned out to be the ones who hardly ever asked how I was doing – it hurt me deeply!! Except my best friend a few other good friends .. I always knew they would be there with me through it all! But to my surprise, the ones I didn’t think would, were the ones that were right by my sidel!!

Lyme Disease opened my eyes to a lot of things, it almost feels as if I was blinded by my surroundings when I was healthy. I am now able to look around me and see which friends of mine are still standing by me after all that has been stripped away from me. This would have never happened had it not been for my illness. I also have been blessed with amazing/new friendships! 

Friendships I am certain will last a lifetime.

They love me for the person I am right now. There is no faking on my end around them. No pretend laughs, no forced conversations … nothing! It takes a lot of energy out of a person with Lyme to talk, to laugh or to even smile but with these friends, I can just be me … no more pretending and it feels good. Oh, so good!

A true friend is one that will call you on her way to work on a random day to check and see how you are feeling.

A true friend will text you and ask you if you need help cleaning the house.

A true friend will text and ask if they can grocery shop for you.

A true friend will send you a Bible verse and encouraging words for the day.

A true friend will pray over you.

A true friend will put her arm around you when you are hurting.

A true friend will send you an email to see how you are doing.

A true friend will take some time out of their day to pray for you.

A true friend will never discourage you.

All you need is one friend … just one friend that understands your pain and tears. Just one friend that will love you for who you are. That is way more valuable than having 50 friends who only show up for your smiles!!

 

Blessings & Love,

Aisha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Storm – Waiting in Silence

The word “silence” has been on my mind quite a bit lately.

It so happened that I stumbled upon a powerful verse a few days after I met Chuck. I’ve never read it nor heard it before!

“For God alone, my soul waits in silence” Psalm 62:1 … this verse sends shivers all the way down to my spine when I read it.

I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like I am in one of the biggest storms of my life right now. So big that I feel like drowning because the waves are too big and the force of the winds are too strong against my body. I want to touch the shoreline so bad and I want to breath a huge sigh of relief, but the waves keep pushing me under into the sea of darkness and I only get a small glimpse of the shoreline!!

I can’t tell you how many times I have complained, moaned, groaned, questioned and cried because I want to be healed now … my time, my way!! I am doing the complete opposite of what God is asking me to do! I looked up the meaning of “wait” and this is what I found – “to remain stationary in readiness or expectation.” It is in our nature to want to fix things, especially when it comes to us or someone we love, and for me personally, waiting makes me extremely anxious and this is where the questioning and complaining comes in. Where is my faith when I am in the deep dark part of the sea questioning His ability to rescue me?! Not only am I not doing what He asked me to do, which is to be silent and wait upon Him, but my faith in Him is lacking! James 1:6-7 says “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”

He is not asking much from me. I am to simply wait upon Him, in silence without any complaining …. that is all! I think it takes more strength to be still in the raging storm and trusting Him that He will extend His gentle hand to reach mine and pull me out of deep waters than me fighting the waves with little energy that I have!

Sweet friend, you might be fighting the big waves and the strong winds because you also want to get to the shoreline, but let’s embrace the sweet promises He has for me and you, and let’s patiently wait upon Him alone, in silence, and trust that His timing is always perfect!!

The shoreline will be that much better at the end …

 

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

Health Update – New Meds, New Doc …

I saw my new doctor almost a month ago … shame on me for not updating sooner!!

My hubby and I are in the process of building a home (should be done in a few weeks here :]) and we moved in with my in laws this past weekend. I had to start packing a few weeks before moving out because my body can’t handle doing it all at once, so, let’s just say I was REALLY busy!!

Anywho, my appointment went really good. My new doctor is great and I think she is going to be the one that will get me better! She has extensive knowledge in Lyme and Co’s, she knew about the gene mutation (c677t), she is great with nutrition. She knows a lot about supplements, naturals, and antibiotics (even though I want to stay away from antibiotic use for the time being). She is great!!

My treatment plan – I am to continue taking A-bart (2 drops in the day, 1 drop at night). She added Takuna (anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral) 2 drops in the morning, just for now, and Bentonite Clay (2 capsules before bedtime). I am on a ton of supps – fish oil, magnesium, vitamin-c, b-12 (methycobalamin) my body can’t break down b12 because of my gene mutation so I take this kind of b12, Bioavailable Folate (quatrefolic) my body doesn’t make enough folic acid and doesn’t break it down either so I take this kind, vitamin D3 and some probiotics.

I didn’t start any of the new stuff until a week after my appointment because I felt pretty awful after coming back from Wisconsin. I was sleeping all day, felt super weak .. I just did not feel right. My mind was running wild with thoughts like “what if Lyme Disease is airborne now? especially since Lyme is endemic in WI” or “It was that mosquito that stung me … I probably have West Nile virus on top of all the other junk I have … great”. I went to the doctor and got some blood work done. My WBC were low and Lymphocytes were slightly elevated, the doctor said I probably had a viral infection going on. I was freaking out because last time my blood work was like this was when I had “flu like” symptoms at the beginning of my lyme journey. I emailed my primary (very very lyme friendly) four days later and told her what was going on and she put in an order for me to get my WBC and Lymphocytes rechecked. Thankfully, they were normal, but a few days after that I got a nasty cold and cough that lasted about a week (I guess there was a bad virus going on). I am better, but my gosh I felt really sick for a few weeks there. On top of that, I was herxing from starting the new meds … awful combo!!!

So here I am now, crossing my fingers all this works. She will be adding more things and upping the drops slowly down the road!!

I am constantly being reminded of God’s goodness. This time last year we were living with my brother-in-law and I seriously thought we were going to be living with him for years because of the circumstances we were in. Now, my wonderful/hard working husband and I are building our first home together. I am very very thankful!!

He is so good.

Blessings & love,

Aish 🙂

 

10 Crazy Things I Do Because of Lyme

I was thinking the other day how coo coo this illness has made me, and I couldn’t help but chuckle.

I don’t know if you all can relate or not, but here are some things I realized I have been doing since being ill with Lyme and Co’s … please don’t judge haha!

1- I carry a tick/mosquito repellent with me EVERYWHERE I go.

2- During spring and summer, I vacuum everyday, sometimes twice.

3- I am pretty sure I know how many moles I have on my body.

4- If my husband is anywhere near a woodsy area, I have him take his clothes off in the entry way and put his clothes in a bag so I can wash them, and he goes straight to the shower …. bless him 🙂

5- I write Lyme instead of lime on my grocery list.

6- I’m sorry, but Julia Roberts and all those actresses have nothing on Lyme patients. I could feel completely awful but still attend a family function and force myself to look and act as if I have nothing wrong with me … all with a smile on my face. We deserve an Oscar.

7- If I am conversing with someone and you hear me saying “that’s crazy” a lot … it is most likely because I am not a 100% listening to what they are are saying, because I am thinking about the 100 crazy symptoms that are going in my body, like “O crap, was that my heart that just skipped a beat? am I having a heart attack?” “Did my eye and face just twitch uncontrollably? Am I going to have bells palsy?”  … and trying my best not to fall off the chair!

8- I have a box of surgical masks in my cupboard for when I clean, because I can’t handle the smell of cleaning products. My husband and I live in an apartment and we have hard water which makes it harder to clean things. Well, one night we both tried to tackle the tub and we used almost every cleaning product we had. I had the mask on the entire time. I kept it on a little while longer and watched some TV with it, waiting for the smell to go away …  my husband could not stop laughing and he, of course, had to take a photo of me. I would post it on here, but it is kind of embarrassing!

9- I mix up my words soo much. I am not sure if it is funny or scary. For example, I was trying to explain where a store was to my husband and I said “It is next to Good Sporting Dick’s” instead of Dick’s Sporting Goods.

10- Once I have a yard. I will be that crazy neighbor walking in my backyard with stilts on … I think I need prayers haha!

I am sure there is more … but my Lyme brain froze! I am sure some of you can relate to these … I would love to hear some of the coo coo things you guys do because of this illness!! 🙂

 

Blessings & Love,

Aish