The Hope Beyond story began after kayaking in the Cedarville Reservoir in Leo, Indiana on October 11, 2011. What a great time I had with my husband, Steve, and the Fort Wayne Kayaking Group including enjoyment of Louise’s fabulous cookies afterwards! The only problem with our paddle that night was a few sanitary mistakes I made that led to a devastating bout of hepatitis, trip to the emergency room and over a month of wretched illness. The Lord healed me enough to enjoy a family trip over Thanksgiving weekend then symptoms returned thereafter and never really abated.
By January of 2012, my doctor was looking for other causes of the ongoing illness. He identified Chronic Lyme Disease largely by exclusion and clinical presentation; I may have had it for years! Treatment for Chronic Lyme Disease began with oral antibiotics and immediately I was exceedingly miserable. By February I was no longer able to work in my profession as an occupational therapist. We invested in Rife technology coupled with low dose antibiotics, compounded medications, and specific pharmaceutical-grade supplements. Daily seizure attack episodes began shortly thereafter and escalated to an unbelieveable level. (See more on my You Tube Channel.) A year later in January of 2013 Steve and I learned that mold in our home was contributing to these neurological complications. We fast-tracked the mold remediation of our home in three months so I could continue to live there! It turns out that the blue-green algae in the Cedarville Reservoir and mold exposures are both “biotoxins” and contribute to Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. Then as 2014 began the big focus was on resolving a systemic Candida infection with even more restrictive dietary changes. Sish.
2014 ended with the bombshell news that underlying all of this illness was mercury toxicity!!! I investigated chelation then pursued the best mercury speciation testing and detoxification protocol I could find thanks to my chiropractor, family practice physician, and Quicksilver Scientific. Removal of 2 problematic, root-canaled teeth followed. While the journey of recovery continued to be difficult five years down the road, I recognized the many cool little life lessons along the way that have served to grow my faith in the Lord no matter what may happen to me! And with the potent neurotoxin burden of mercury (and soon other heavy metals) down, my beloved Steve and I were hopeful that I would soon GET WELL!!!
The Lord, Jesus Christ provided for our needs during this time and directed us through Steve’s leadership, love, and care. The tremendous trials brought Steve and I closer to each other and to His throne of grace. When the isolation of this disease got unbearable, He brought me a local Lyme Support Group, Skype Bible Prayer Group, new friends, my own eBook (Hope Beyond Lyme: The First Year), and meaningful connections with others online including this blog! Somehow I became an Advanced Master Gardener along the way. A new hobby kept my hands busy when I couldn’t sleep and led me to open then sell my jewelry shop on Etsy called, Trinity Jewelry by Design. Although I attempted to write a second eBook (Caring for the Sandwich Generation at Home) and develop a unique home safety product for Two Step Solutions LLC, the severity of the complications rendered me bed-ridden most of the days of 2015. These projects are on slowly taking shape and are definitely not forgotten!
January of 2016 began the time to revisit the diagnosis of Chronic Lyme Disease with IV antibiotics, experimental treatment for a fungal infection (protomyxzoa rheumatica or FL1953), and genetic coaching by a naturopathic physician. I battled shingles during the Christmas season then 2017, stopped IV antibiotics, began treatment for three viral infections then for parasites, oh my! Gratefully I am tolerating everything a bit better than when this journey began over 6 years ago; I have made progress in many areas of my overall health. And now in 2018, longstanding TMJ and temporal mandibular disorder issues have appeared on my radar as cranial nerve impingement can contribute to movement disorders; they are alleviated by specialized dental appliances. Learn more about our pursuit of this new avenue here.
JUNE 2018 UPDATE: The new treatment is helping! Praise the Lord! The healing process has begun! I am grateful to report that the wretched episodes are down about 80% making the simple act of lying down less of a trigger; reactivity has improved, sleep/wake cycles are more reasonable, and my activity level is slowly coming up for the first time in SIX YEARS! My caregiver responsibilities for my Aunt Lori has increased as well posing a challenge to my new gains in health. Even so, my beloved husband, Steve, and I are grateful to the Lord for His sustaining grace, mercy through the hellish years, provision, strength, and presence that has been with me in my darkest hours as well as in the light of the day, now and forevermore. Steve (aka River Bear!) remains my hero and partner through this incredible journey. Increasingly there is a little bit of dirt under my fingernails from a wee bit o’ gardening too. Stay tuned! :JJ
At some other life-changing points in my life, the Lord gave me these promises from His Word that have remained my benchmarks for life:
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Romans 8 (NIV)
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Philippians 1:12 (NIV)
12 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel.
Gentle Reader: I know that the suffering during these past 6 years will not be wasted. Click on the “FOLLOW ME” button along the right hand column or at the bottom of your screen to join me on this amazing journey. Let me know you are there, k? May the Lord bless you and lead you to Himself . . . a journey always worth taking! :JJ