Wife answers after a long pause: I might have sent them to Minnesota . . .
And then another looooooong pause follows with: silence!
Sometimes the logic of the moment doesn’t make sense to anyone else but oneself. Know what I mean? Hey, I was selling my jewelry business this past Fall and wanted to send along all of the tools that the new owner would need. I noted that there was a nicer pair of pliers in the tool cabinet so surely hubby-dear would agree that I should make my customer happy to have both pairs needed to successfully open and close jump rings? Besides, I did ask him about it didn’t I? He did not remember me asking him. I did not remember it exactly either. Well DeeAnn in Minnesota is happily making jewelry and that’s all that counts, right?
Well maybe not. Within a day I made sure that we picked up for my beloved, a nicer Stanley-branded pair with ergonomic, non-slip grips at Walmart. Win! Win?
We employed a similar rationale four years ago when I never really recovered from acute hepatitis. For more on that story, see the About Julie page here. It seemed the right thing to do to use an alternative technology to treat Lyme disease when a trial of antibiotics left me wretchedly ill. Sadly, the Beam Ray Rife machine hurt me, sending me into a tailspin. There would be no easy solution(s) to this complication. I developed seizure attack episodes within 3 weeks of running very short programs on the unit which exposed me to various frequencies of light and sound waves. A dozen or more local folks using their own machines noted benefits. I did not. I sold it about 1 1/2 years later with a net loss of $1500 and what has become 4 years of daily convulsive episodes. This weekend there have been 3 major and several minor wretched episodes within the last 24 hours. Lord have mercy!
As you can read in the link noted above, we have tried many different kinds of valid treatments coached by skilled practitioners. I have benefitted from taking down mold exposures and illness, mercury toxicity, Candida, parasites, and the extraction of 2 root-canaled teeth. Even so I feel like a beaten puppy! But now we know that they very likely are related to Chronic Lyme Disease requiring the use of powerful doses of IV antibiotics for many months. Seven weeks into the treatment I can tell you that there are some positive changes. Unfortunately I am having complications from the weekly IV infusions so later this week I will have a port surgically placed in my chest wall. This becomes a direct-access site without the need for sterile dressings that irritate my skin or superficial phlebitis that has plagued my forearms for about 3 weeks. (Thank the Lord that I discovered horse chestnut gel when the warm compresses did not help.) I am also hoping there won’t be any more violent episodes with the treatments. Even intramuscular injections have been exceedingly difficult. Whew!
So there ya go. A funny story, an update, and a little hope beyond the saga of late. Lord willing, I am going to get well! And when I do I might just get out my own tools here in Indiana, not Minnesota, for digging in the garden. By the way, Spring weather is forecasted for this week . Since I won’t be tethered to an IV line I can safely get a little dirt underneath my fingernails if I am up to it before the surgical procedure on Thursday. The garden pup is ready. You could say that I’ve traded the needle nosed pliers for an aluminum shovel! So let’s get to it . . .
I wonder how those carrots are doing that got left in the ground last fall? Having a little extra time in the soil should make them as sweet as candy by now dontcha know? :JJ
Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22
But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel. Philippians 1:12
I am 2 days post surgical removal of 2 root-canaled teeth and THE CONVULSIONS ARE GONE!!! Yipppeeee and praise the Lord! This 3 years of daily hell for me and my beloved husband, Steve, is finally over!
While there is still much work to do to detox mercury toxicity and re-evaluate chronic Lyme and mold illnesses, I feel more optimistic that I will be able to tolerate those treatments someday. Until this week, I was failing. I was bedridden most every day with convulsive episodes. The grief and impact was huge on everything from our finances to my aching neck. My husband no longer got a full night of sleep and this illness had changed virtually every activity inside/outside of our home. How would Steve find me when he came home from work? Would he have to make me my pureed dinner and feed me again before bed tonight? Carry me to the toilet? Our hearts were weary after 3 years of this living hell.
Nine months ago I began investigating how two sore molars in the upper left section of my jaw might be impacting my health. Four dentists and three oral surgeons, a cone beam CT, MRI, and pano plus regular x-rays later (including a consultation out of State) we had no objective data to guide us. Everything looked “fine.” The teeth had bothered me for over 13 years! Fifteen years ago I had all my amalgam fillings removed but was never guided to chelate for mercury. Were there silver filings containing mercury remaining underneath the crowns over these two teeth? We will never know the answer to that question. My saliva had started tasting metallic. Eating started triggering the convulsive episodes. With Steve’s support, we took an expensive leap of faith and pursued a dental solution.
Additionally, seven weeks before what would become the big day, I started eating only on the right side of my mouth. Two and one-half weeks later I started a pureed diet to eliminate the chewing action that seemed to make things worse; all this was quite a feat since my struggle to get well led me to eat low oxalate, virtually dairy-free, and completely sugar/sweetener-free, gluten-free, and mold -free foods too! Another two weeks later and 1 week before the surgery I noticed that using plastic utensils delayed the onset of convulsions after eating. Even drinking my foods through a straw helped initially then ultimately triggered episodes. I feared eating anything at all! The only problem with that was hunger and thirst could also trigger convulsions or make them worse. I felt trapped!
Three and one-half days before the dental surgery my doctor recommended trying an EMF deflecting device. “It might help” he said, like so many other recommendations I had received all over the spectrum of traditional and alternative medical care. After one such technology (a Rife machine called a Beam Ray) I tried 3 years ago to treat “Chronic Lyme,” the daily tic attacks started. Within a year these episodes would escalate to waking seizure attacks then convulsive episodes lasting 2 to 5 hours per day. We had tried to shield me from wireless technology in our home in the past yet the results were initially helpful then inconsistent. This time the GEOMACK from Spain reduced the intensity of the convulsions 50%. That reduction gave me a tiny boost of strength that I needed to physically and mentally prepare for surgery. My husband got some much needed sleep as well! Could their be an electrical cause after all? (See this blog for more anatomy and discussion.)
The morning of the surgery went as usual. Convulsive episodes began shortly after opening my eyes and periodically as we prepared to leave the house. Seizure zips ripped through my hungry and thirsty frame as my beloved drove us to the hospital. We were still reeling from the large check we had to carry with us since the oral surgeon insisted on performing the extractions near a crash cart, I guess. And after some prayers, many silly jokes and one last shake/rattle/and roll with placement of the IV in my arm, the time had come to let go and not look back. We reviewed my situation with the anesthesiologist and oral surgeon, surgical tech, and several nurses. They were not to abort the mission if I seized under anesthesia! Just wait a moment and get the job done.
I’d like to say that I woke up in a calm, blissful state but that simply was not the case. I became nauseous and pain management was a problem over the next day and one-half. Oh well. One thing was certain: THERE WERE NO SEIZURES OR CONVULSIONS! The “battery effect” of dissimilar metals in 2 adjacent crowns over root-canaled teeth WERE FRICKIN’ GONE! No more tazoring of my brain would continue. And hey, if there was hidden infection in the root-canaled teeth then the problems caused therein are now also “history.” The hell is over.
My job now includes retraining my brain to relax when falling asleep instead of bracing for impact. My job now includes remembering all of the relaxation techniques I used to train my patients in psychiatric hospitals to deal with anxiety. I need to rework those memory pathways and feelings of impending doom that followed me, waited for me every night, every morning, every time when I was exposed to noxious stimuli, or even on the clothing or breath of my beloved anytime, anywhere. Hey, no problemmo. I am ready to live and the extended forecast is good!
Thank you and big hugs to those of you who have followed my story for any length of time, You have been an important part of my lifeblood to go on when I could not. Sometimes my husband could not be home with me and I was alone, feeling terrified mostly of even greater suffering and it came. The worst episodes were never captured on YouTube videos because my warrior husband was needed to hold me tightly to keep me from greater harm instead of holding onto a camera. Sometimes the Lord was silent even when I cried out to Him when breathless, facing death again and again when my breathing stopped. When He did speak I gained the courage I needed to face the next trial. In the end, death was not my greatest fear. Dying without my Heavenly Husband was.
But you know what? I made it through. Steve made it through. A new chapter in our lives is about to begin. I’m going to take some time now and regroup. I am very weak. An infusion of my Jesus is needed. The warmest embrace with my beloved must follow. And really good food cannot be far behind. After tomorrow the putty d’ jour will be history! Yeah God!
With love, JJ
But the Lord was my support. He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me. Psalm 18:18b-19
Cast your burden on the Lord and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22
UPDATE: The holiday from convulsive episodes did not last, unfortunately. There were many benefits from having these two infected teeth removed: significantly less mouth pain, less congestion in the upper shoulder and neck, decreased TMJ symptoms, decreased auditory anomalies, reduced ringing in my ears, and more. Then there was a miracle: our insurance company covered most of the $10,000 bill. Amazing! :J
Unlike the brain fog of this cartoon, I am going to get well. I am sure of it!
The second week into the use of an atypical chelating agent (Zeolite by Zeo Health) for very high mercury levels has brought more moments of mental clarity than I can ever remember in my entire life. Oh sure there are ongoing seizure attack episodes yet they are generally 50% improved overall!!!!!! I could not say this after any other treatment protocol attempted these past 3 years. I could not say this even after the initial relief from high CBD hemp oil (the industrial hemp counterpart to cannabis oil). I could not say this after antibiotics or Rife treatment with the Beam Ray. I did not say this after (27) IV infusions of magnesium last Fall. I could not say this after extensive and expensive mold remediation in 2013. Even after aggressive treatment for candida over 2 years, I could not say this. But I will say it again:
I AM GOING TO GET WELL!!!!!!
There is only one person to thank for this new direction: the Lord, Jesus Christ. At a time when multiple factors have come together at last, the path has cleared and hope is restored over here because of His mercy and grace. A key factor in this process is humility. More on that in a moment. I also want to thank my chiropractor: Dr. Lee Nagel at DeKalb Chiropractic Center in Waterloo, Indiana. He had a hunch early on in my care that I was suffering from mercury poisoning. After all, two hair analysis tests revealed mercury and other heavy metal toxicity in the year 2000 and again in 2011 but both times my respective Family Practice Physician (FPP) minimized the results. Both times the Dr. thought I would be unable to tolerate a special type of detoxification protocol called chelation that would be required to remove heavy metals. So off we went each time in another direction instead until my life of hell began with viral hepatitis October 11, 2011 and escalated into daily seizures beginning in March of 2012.
Dr. Nagle had high mercury levels discovered by his cardiologist. His health improved after treatment thus placing mercury issues on his clinical radar. Dr. Nagle, father of three, is one of the most adventurist and athletic people I have ever met (behind my beloved Stevers of course!). His chiropractic practice rarely includes medical testing but he made an exception with me. Thank you! It took a month to get the testing protocol right then the results revealed the shocking reality of a probable root cause of illness for me: very high mercury levels. (Please refer to this excellent summary to learn more about this devastating substance. Original citation available upon request.) After a false starts with a quack-y Dr. who claimed to provide chelation, my current FPP is guiding me in the use of chelation and increasing other gentle methods of detoxification that have worked well for me. By the way, my FPP has also recovered from mercury poisoning that almost took his life!
All of this is very humbling after 3 wretched years of illness and 23 years of chronic pain aka fibromyalgia. While I do recognize that I have a new, long course of treatment ahead of me, I am exceedingly grateful to discover a root cause of much of my suffering. Holy cow! A successful outcome could help more than the seizures. Yeah God! Both Steve and I are really hopeful this time. And it is with mental clarity at 4:30 in the morning that I write this to you! So grateful for the 3-hour nap earlier tonight. Yeah, the weird sleep schedule continues a bit!
And now about humility. These entire three years have presented challenges requiring me to trust God for everything up to my next breath. I submitted to the loving care of my gracious husband as he needed to carry me to the toilet a hundred times; help me to shower, feed or dress me when I could not about once per week; carry me to bed often so he would be near as he tried to catch some sleep before work, rush me off the emergency room FIVE TIMES, and so much more. Oh Gentle Reader, have you sensed that I am a recovering Type A personality? A first born of my siblings in my family of origin? That I started working when I was 16 years old with babysitting jobs before then? That I am capable of taking care of myself thank you very much? This is the longest and most extreme period of need that I have ever experienced. I have had to let go of everything during these past three years. At another time I will write about facing death when my breathing would freeze multiple times during seizure attack episodes. And with all of this, I did not die of embarrassment or lack of oxygen. My Heavenly Father and earthly husband have carried me through to this next season of recovery. I AM HUMBLED! Thank you seems too small. I love you both!
Briefly, there were two other tasks I believe needed to be completed during this time: 1) learning to depend completely upon my husband for material needs and 2) realizing that the little activities I got to do here and there would become new skills, new relationships, and new activities that would become my future. Both were tasks that probably would not have come without grounding in Jesus Christ or needing to cope with the crises of severe illness. I probably would not have seen so clearly and (hopefully) fully submitted to the incredible character strengths of my beloved had I not become so broken. Steve is my spiritual leader and head of household and I am grateful. Long before we met I know what it took when my life fell apart in 2003 to soften me into the kind of woman that my beloved would choose to love. I now see more clearly what kind of man the Lord has provided for me to love in return. I AM EXCEEDINGLY BLESSED!
So join me, if you will, for an amazing adventure of recovery from serious illness. IT IS HAPPENING! So much fun awaits! Thank you for riding along with me. May we both praise the Lord for the good that is here now.
Hope is a good thing, eh? I am sure of it. JJ
Psalm 62:5-8 (NIV)
5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. 6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. 8 Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
Yeah so it’s the message I put on the metal template of my new jewelry. Of course. It’s not just a trend for me. Faith in Jesus is critical to my survival these days!
I think I slept 2 hours, twice last night, awakened by demonic influences, seizure attacks, and a massive headache. Somewhere in the middle of these 2 episodes of sleep, I pushed myself out of bed to eat, drink, and read . . . my husband’s Popular Mechanics magazine, of course! Reading about the most innovative inventions of the past year is sport for a re-budding entrepreneur like me. I love creativity in virtually all of its forms. We all have creativity in us, I believe placed here by the Lord of all creation, the master Creator. And somewhere in the middle of reading about these inventions I developed a theory about my seizure attacks (formerly known on this blog as “seizure-like tics.”)
Here goes: if I have seizure attacks when falling asleep and perhaps in a unique stage of the sleep cycle then can the attacks be caused by disease in the sleep center of the brain? I have pulsing sensations behind my eyes at times, perhaps near the hypothalamus which is part of the brain’s sleep center. If this dysfunction is localized I wonder if it is possible to use my Rife, Beam Ray machine to target the frequencies of these particular tissues? Cautiously I may even consider medications or supplements (although I have already tried several of each!). My brain MRI was normal so there’s no structural issue. Hmmmmm. Looking forward to my next appointment with my Lyme Literate Doctor; we have so much to discuss!
The Lord gave me and you the ability to create. The Lord gave me and you the ability to use our minds to solve problems, reason, remember, learn, and experience emotions. These are called executive functioning skills. We are unique from all animals and plants in this regard and with these gifts comes stewardship. I will only ask the question for myself: am I using what I have, where I am, with what abilities I’ve got? Better said is as follows:
1 Peter 4:10-11
New King James Version (NKJV)
10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
So I create. I try to figure this Lyme stuff out. I also wait on Him for answers, inspiration, healing, grace, mercy, everything. In the middle of the night, when I can do nothing because of the wretchedness of Lyme Disease, I simply say the name, “Jesus.” In the end, faith in Jesus is critical.
Thank you Lord for increasing my faith. Thank you Lord for meeting me in the middle of the night last night. Thank you for the comfort and faith I can feel in the arms of my Steve. I humbly submit to your will and purpose. And if something good comes from this wretchedness, may You alone receive the glory. In Christ’s name, Amen.