About Julie

Paddling my Stellar SR from the Leo boat launch on the St. Joe river in the Fall of 2011

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

Christian couple, husband, wife, marriage, God, centered, focused, pulling together, trials

Steve and Julie visiting family in Texas, November of 2017

pup, dog, German Shepherd, Lazydays, campground, pet, woman with dog, Elle, dog park

Hanging out with Elle in the Lazydays Dog Park in Tampa, Florida March 2018:  town where my  Craniomandibular Treatment and visits with my Aunt Lori nearby all began.

patio

The landscaping is all grown up now creating a lovely oasis for healing. God is good!

Silver Lake Dunes S16S Lighthouse

Getting on the water in a less tippy, no less FUN, Stellar S16S (compliments of River Bear Racing) on Lake Michigan in July 2016.

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “About Julie

  1. Hi JJ, can I paste this “About” information into a Google Docs document?

    • Dear Gentle Reader: thank you for your support of my blog. Please do not share my “About Julie” page anywhere else. I prefer to keep my story here, connected with the rest of my blog.

      Take care lady, Julie

  2. I am so glad I came across this doing searches. I have started following you. I have had a rough few years and January of this year was diagnosed with CIRS, I am currently on treatment now. Thank you for sharing your blog.

    • Hi Sandy and glad to meet you! I hope you find the treatment that will make a difference in your recovery. CIRS can be so complex yet Lord willing, we will get well! I will pray for you my dear. Take care, Julie

  3. Have you tried KEPPRA anti-seizure med just to see if it might help? Also could you explain the use or meaning of non-epilepsy seizures? Why not call re-occurring seizures epilepsy. Please help me to understand.
    bgill.onthelake@gmail.

    • Hi Barbara: Thank you for writing. “Non-epileptic seizures” is the diagnosis you get when nothing shows up on an MRI or video EEG yet you still have some seizure-like activity. The only problem is that the medical community ignores that there are 2 causes for non-epileptic seizures: 1) biological and 2) psychiatric. When the medical community can’t explain what is going on they jump to #2, especially if you have any history of trauma in the past. For me there is latent Lyme and a serious mold illness causing Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. There are lots of labs to explain that something is wrong but not what to do about it. Such is my frustrating dilemma with no treatment direction. Sish.

      My understanding from the neurologist I did see is that E medications are not used for non-epileptic seizures. They scare me anyways! I can’t even tolerate ibuprofen or antibiotics, most supplements, select foods, without having convulsions. I’m grateful to have a few more things to try at least. In the meantime the Lord sees me through some very rough days. I don’t know what I would do without Jesus. And Steve.

      Take car lady, :J

  4. I am so happy to be able to follow a Christian blogger with Lyme disease. For, no matter how bad things get, there is always hope!

    • Thank you Karen! I am honored to hear from a wonderful Lyme advocate, doing so much for others while still in the thick of things yourself. I pray that the Lord’s grace sustain you through your new protocol, especially this Easter weekend. Take care lady, Julie

  5. Julie,
    I am very sorry to hear about this unfortunate bug bite for you. However I know that God uses ALL things in our lives to bring us back to Him. I am very proud of you for all you have gone through and still remain faithful to our Abba. Tell Steve I am proud of the man he chooses to be in honoring or Lord. I pray some day a man such as that will enter my life. I am SO happy for you two and the way you love one another. And that verse, Jer. 29:11, that is my life verse. It has brought me SO much comfort in knowing that God ‘s words are truth and He is faithful to His words. He does have a plan for me. And for you!!! I love you SO much…be blessed xoxoxo

    • Thank you my dearest Tami! This trial has brought much sweetness and healing to my life that would not have come any other way, for sure. I praise Him for this insight that carries me through the trials. The Lord knows the deepest desires of our heart and cares for them tenderly. He will restore the years the locusts have eaten! Love you! :J

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