Sending in the big guns

As the old Kenny Roger’s song, The Gambler goes, ya gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run . . . .

Today I chose to  . . . RUN!!!

Yes, it’s time for another crazy Lyme story.  Grab a cup of coffee and here we go:

The sharp neck headaches continue to be menacing, even with the recent slight slowing of intensity, duration, and frequency of seizure attacks.  Six months of intense daily episodes and a total of 1 1/2 years since they first began have taken their toll on my deconditioned frame.  It’s like having a little fender bender several times per day in a car that’s a little too small to support your head and neck correctly:  thrashing around, repetitively in one direction then another.  Enough is enough already!

Enter into the picture a new chiropractor.  He was referred to me by Dr. N because Dr. N thought he would provide a more comprehensive approach to treatment.  Dr. N has a no nonsense orthopedic practice that offers spinal decompression and traditional chiropractic care.  Dr. N had taken a long time to contact my Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD) so I kind of wrote him off after the first 7 treatments.  I wanted Dr. N to coordinate my care with the LLMD since I was experiencing so many tic and seizure attacks during treatment.  Paradoxically, even though I had seizure attacks during every chiropractic visit, I was feeling better!  The neck headaches had diminished, my range of motion had significantly improved, and I was back to taking short walks despite the ongoing episodes in the office and at home.  At least part of my body was functioning better!

But by the time Dr. N finally called me to share the results of his consult with my LLMD, 3 weeks had passed.  Dr. N referred me to another chiropractor whom he felt had a more “comprehensive” approach.  He was convinced that Dr. H could help me.  Seriously?

After meeting with Dr. H today it is pretty clear that they probably barely knew each other.  Dr. H had worked in the chiropractic building that Dr. N purchased when Dr. H opened his practice over 10 years ago.  I doubt that Dr. N knew much about what Dr. H really did as a chiropractor.  Today I met a wacko pervert salesperson who barely knew typical chiropractic treatment lingo, for example, pushing off an “automatic activator” as a type of chiropractic care.  The device looked like a football mouth guard with rubber tips attached to an electric handheld jigsaw.  Frightful.  I wondered if he had made it himself?

Shortly into what I thought would be a chiropractic exam, Dr. H asked if he could pray with me.  He had already professed to be a “Christian” and pointed to the pictures with scriptures on it in his waiting room.  Well that is nice.  Usually I look for the framed college degree certificates and a current professional license document — I did not see either, anywhere.  I said, “I guess so,” about the prayer thinking that I would learn a little about what he truly believed.  I had already disclosed that I was a Christian.  Ever notice that so many people throw around the term “Christian” and it has nothing to do with a heart surrendered to Christ?  The prayer was nice.  Then the “shoe salesman” song-and-dance began.

Dr. H’s sales pitch began right away guised as checking acupuncture points whilst holding a bottle of this or that supplement.  Later I recalled that he seemed a little nervous and displayed a very intense affect touching the pressure points around my rib cage.  I have seen many different chiropractors and acupuncturists in the past perform a similar exam so this one was not unusual, except for the collection of bottles.  His mannerisms were also unusual however.  He had started my visit 20 minutes late while finishing up with another patient.  (That patient left with a big bag of new supplements.  Hmmmmmm.)  I had mentioned at the beginning of my appointment that I needed to leave at a certain time (to go to the hospital to have my external IV flushed) so before long he started speaking faster and faster:  repeating himself, referring to the time, and bringing out a few more bottles.  Dr. H pressed for agreement with his assessment:  that the chiropractic adjustments would not hold unless I started a heavy metal detox protocol before my first adjustment.  The appointment today would be for “just talking.”  Would I like to start the protocol today?  Could I come back tomorrow to finish up the physical exam?  Or how about later this afternoon?  He could even meet me at his office at closing time!

Did I mention that his prayer sounded good?  Yes, it sounded like a typical prayer except for one word:  undressed.  He prayed to the Lord something about wanting help to “undress” the issues that I was having to be able to help me.  Undress?  The word stuck in my mind throughout the appointment.  What kind of a prayer is that?  Undress!  What kind of a medical term is that?  Undress.  Where the h*%$$ is your mind Dr. H?  I certainly am not a bombshell these days and was dressed very plainly with partially wet hair.  I would assess he is approximately the same age as I am.  SO WHAT.  And where is your office receptionist?  Do you always see female patients alone in your office in a more secluded part of the office park?

I did what I could to state that I would not be interested in any additional products at this time since I had just started IV treatments and could not risk ingesting anything else new.  I was interested in chiropractic care by a chiropractor who was skilled in manual adjustments of the spine.  He mumbled something about “manual” adjustments.  He could do those too but sometimes a patient needs the mechanical treatments of a device like the “U” jigsaw device.  I gathered my things as he was speaking and prepared to leave the office.  I paused and clarified if I needed to make a payment for his “consultation” and he said “no.”  We were “just talking” and I could take care of that in the follow-up appointment.  I said that I would need to call him back and went out the door.

Sitting in my truck I felt a strong tic zip rip out of my frame and jerk me around.  At this point I was aware that the session I had just endured was very intense and that there was a strong essential oil-type scent in the office and even stronger in the examining room.  Dr. H denied the use of any scented products and had opened the two windows for me, after which I expressed gratitude.  He also said that he was not aware of any water damage to the office (that would indicate a latent presence of mold).  So what was I reacting to now?  A short seizure attack followed.  I was pretty shook up that I’d had another attack in the middle of the day!  Why is this happening when I was not bothered at the time by the herbal scent in Dr. H’s office.  Of course I was definitely upset about Dr. H however!

I sat for awhile to allow time for my psyche and sensorium to recover.  Sometimes I never really know what sets off an attack.  Much later this evening I characterized the experience, the incident at “Health and Wellness” something or another as a form of spiritual warfare.  That guy was a fraud and weird!  He never smiled.  And he pushed products before ever completing a traditional chiropractic exam.  Yes, he completed a clinical interview of my history, reviewed the information that I provided on his intake form,  and threw up my x-ray films on his light box.  Yes there were two models of a spinal column on display in the corner and the typical educational posters on the wall that you might find in a chiropractic office.  But everything else was odd, was inappropriate.  Nope, I won’t be seeing Dr. H again.

One problem remains:  my x-ray films are still at his office!  I had not retrieved my films in my state of recovery after the seizures and time pressure to get to the hospital.  Well after talking to my husband about the whole ordeal tonight, what needs to happen next is perfectly clear:  it’s time to send in the BIG GUNS!  Steve graciously agreed to pick up the films for me.  Yes!  For me to go back could be an abusive encounter.  For my 6 foot 1 man of steel to go back to the office would be a different encounter altogether.  Tee hee!

Yeah, I was wrong when I was single, joking with my spinster girlfriends just 7 years ago:  sometimes you do need a man.  Sometimes you need to send in the big guns.  And this time I am grateful to have had some wits about me to get out of there before I made a bad decision or something worse happened.  As it turns out, Dr. H’s chiropractic license is current with the State of Indiana.   He has no sanctions or restrictions on his professional license.  Good for him.  Too bad for his next female patient.  I guess I’m going to have a neck headache a little longer.  This other headache is history!

Wolfie, the bee and me

You might think that an Advanced Master Gardener who tested as understanding about garden insects would be a little less squeamish about bugs than the average person?  Er, no.

You might think that scaring the wolf spider who fled under the passenger’s car seat, and the “barrier” of the light of a flashlight and a floor space clear of travel garb in which to hide would make the back seat a safe haven for the 6-hour drive home?  Er, no.  I opted for the trunk of the station wagon!

You might think that I’d be used to a sweat bee pestering us at the outdoor dining patio of a small town restaurant since it’s a common phenomena for late summers in Indiana?  Er, no.

And you might think that the gnat in my wild rice was no big deal since I only planned to eat 2 tiny bites due to dietary restrictions; I’d already eaten them so I shouldn’t care right?  Er, no.

Yeah, you might think that a 15-hour road trip to pick up my River Bear husband’s new kayak would be uneventful for the dutiful wife passenger . . . er, no!  For me it was the little things that meant a lot when they were crawling and flying too close to my personal body parts, facial orifices, and comfort zones!  Perhaps the 7 or so tic and seizure attack zips during the afternoon put me a little on edge for the first leg of the trip from Fort Wayne, Indiana to Erie, Pennsylvania.  I had brought ample snacks, blankies, and a pillow for maximum cushy; the lush countryside as we travelled from the flat soybean fields of our homeland to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains made for ample eye candy in between rest stops as well.  I guess I didn’t do so well after all.  I just wonder why spontaneous adventures like these can no longer be, er, “normal?”

Sorry for the down mood.  I spent most of the day in bed today recovering from our day trip.  Gratefully, Steve has a beautiful Epic V12 surf ski in mint condition now, for a steal-of-a-deal price:  $500 below the boat he sold to get it.  My guy sure knows how to trade boats!  As for me, I missed attending a meaningful wedding this afternoon with my beloved and many of our friends from church; I had more tic attacks and convulsions plus an additional 4 1/2 hours of sleep instead!  I woke up worthless except for the intact ability to cruise the internet in bed for hours.  Gratefully I’d made dozens of veggie turkey burgers two nights ago to sustain me with the intermittent, partial bag of Beanitos chips.  Ahhhhh, such is the life of a person lost in the recovery from Lyme Disease.

So where am I now?  I’m more stable as I’ve passed my bewitching hour of 9 to 11:00 p.m. when I usually have a noxious episode.  Thank the Lord I already covered that one earlier today!  My husband has graciously attended to some house chores and provided an occasional kiss of encouragement here and there.  I, too, would have liked to have hidden in the dark under the “seat of life,” buzzed about aimlessly until I found what I was looking for, or curled up next to the softness of a mound of carbs . . . I guess from here I will proceed otherwise.

It’s time for me to crawl like the slow-moving sow bugs on our hardwood floors, before the Throne of Grace.  I need Jesus.  I need an infilling of the Holy Spirit, nothing else.  I need to go it alone at what ever miles per hour it takes to drive home into my heart that this too shall pass.  My thoughts need softening and only the Lord can bring this gently, lovingly, perfectly.  Oh my Jesus, meet me here this night.  Let there be Your light and nothing else.  Thank you Lord for hearing me.

Just Julie

When you are no longer brave

If I were left to my own resources this day, I would not make it.  Thankfully, there is more.

And the only resource worth pursuing is the One that is perfect, all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-present, love incarnate, eternal, and dwelling in my broken heart.

If I were to merely go with what feels right or good, I probably would not get well.  Thankfully, there is more.

And the only emotion worth feeling is that of humility as I lay down my metaphorical sword and let the One who weeps for me wail His own mighty hand of power.

If I were to measure my patience, my progress by the time already invested in recovery or making things right, I could not find a tool with a good enough warranty to last long enough to even bother.  Thankfully, there is more.

And the only period worth measuring is the one I must accept:  the time that is indefinite, outside of a calendar or watch and yet fully calibrated and infinitely accurate in the hands of the Creator of time itself.

So if I were to admit that in the convulsive state of my existence that I can no longer go on I must proclaim on faith that there is more out there somewhere.

And my only hope lies in the protective wings of my Lord and Savior, the Alpha and the Omega, my Immanuel and King.  So Here I am Lord .  .  .

A hymn:  Here I am Lord.

 

When it’s too dangerous: a treatment update

Killing bad bugs is serious business.  Who knows. Maybe even cancer will someday be treated the same way we go after Lyme Disease.  At least some of the fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis approaches are starting to lean in the direction of causation by bacterial infection, parasites, and fungi.

But not all approaches are worthy of pursuit.  Most of you reading this blog know of the struggle I’ve experienced trying to eradicate Lyme Disease and some Co-Infections.  I’ve tried a variety of treatment approaches these past 1 1/2 years after extensive research, networking, and good ol’ trial and error.  Although 1 1/2 years is not a long time for the treatment of Chronic or even Late Stage Lyme Disease, I must say that I have learned a lot already!  Sadly, we are going backwards financially trying to find the best course of action.  And now an important truth became clear to me and my husband this evening from a Biblical principle:

23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.  1 Cor 10:23

We have discovered that my most recent treatment approach is just too dangerous for me at its current intensity.  I will need to back off on the dosage of the new antibiotic regime to keep from damaging my body.  The seizure attacks of the last 36 hours, while not new to me, might even kill me if we were to continue this course.  To kill off Bartonella (a co-infection of Lyme) is considered by some, the hardest co-infection of them all.  This bacteria adapts as it escapes further into one’s tissues when in the presence of antibiotics and other approaches, making it both a super bug and a smart bug.  Unfortunately, it might be the cause of my chronic urinary tract infection and maybe even the seizure attacks.  My, my this complicates things!

We have decided to proceed with a slower yet persistent plan of attack.  The Rife machine will be on hold for awhile due to my increased sensitivity to electromagnetic frequencies when feeling sicker.  “Game on” is still our approach and we’ll take all the time outs, plays in the playbook, and “fighting Irish” I can muster to win this thing.  Steve will be home this weekend with me for my safety as we transition my care.  I’ve gotten weaker this past week and that is not good.

It is good, however, that we have hope and are one accord with the next steps.  I’ll continue on the protein/oil/vegetable diet to attempt to keep Candida down and replenish my gut flora; pushing fluids and probiotics will be critical as well.  I was dreadfully sick 1 1/2 years ago when I started on a rotation of a few antibiotics and had to stop.  Rife treatments and a host of supplements, tinctures, compounded prescriptions and Epsom salt baths followed.  At least now I think I will be able to tolerate a daily low dose of antibiotics:  the proven track record of care by the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society.  I will also continue with the mold illness treatments of which I have written previously:  VIP and Losartan.

Some things just take time I guess.  Another encouraging note:  after the wretched episodes, my mind is significantly clearer.  The improvement mimics my status pre-illness from when I contracted viral hepatitis 2 years ago.  Perhaps we are finally on to an answer after all?  Who knows.  I’ve had my hopes dashed before many times.  That’s o.k.  For tonight, or rather this morning, there’s a real indication that something is improving!

Have I mentioned how wonderful my husband Steve has been through this whole ordeal?  I am grateful for his unfailing love and tenderness that has never wavered despite the trials we have endured.  Thank you Jesus.  We are leaning on you and thank you for walking with us these days as well.

And thank you too, Gentle Reader.  :J

Where does my hope come from?

From where may I find timeless truths that can transform my weary frame, my broken heart and mind?   Let’s see, for that to be true, the truths manifest in words would have to be true for all people at all times.  The only place for such divine work is from the scripture of the Bible that was, is, and forever will be.  (For:  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  John 1:1.)

I pray that you will find comfort, hope, and peace among these passages.  Some verses are for instruction, some for encouragement, some are promises, and some simply convey that the Lord understands and cares for our life experiences.  Some will also have greater meaning when taken in context of how they were written.  I encourage you to go to the Blue Letter Bible for the context of each passage and for more explanation or “commentary.”

May your heart be filled this day with the love, peace, and joy that comes from God Himself as He reveals Himself to you!  :J

And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.  John 16:32b

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

He does not forget the cry of the humble.  Psalm 9:12b

I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be trouble, neither let it be afraid.  John 14:27

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.  1 Peter 4:10

And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation (i.e. comfort).  2 Corinthians 1:7

And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Jesus Christ.  Philippians 4:19

“But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,” declares the Lord.  Jeremiah 30:17

Is anyone among you suffering?  Let him pray.  Is anyone cheerful?  Let him sing palms.  Is anyone among you sick?  Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.  And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.  Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.  The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.  James 5:13-16

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.  1 Peter 4:10

He does not forget the cry of the humble.  Psalm 9:12b

Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble, You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear.  Psalm 10:17

Be still and know that I am God.  Psalm 46:10

I have set the Lord always before me; Because my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices, My flesh will rest in hope for you will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will you allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  Psalm 16: 8-11

Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:4

The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed.  Psalm 41:3

Offer to God thanksgiving.  And pay your vows to the Most High. Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.  Psalm 50:14-15

And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Jesus Christ.  Phil 4:19

Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!  Psalm 27:14

“Therefore we do not lose heart.  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.”  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.  While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.  2 Corinthians      4:16-18

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite sprit.  Psalm 34:18

“My grace is sufficient for you.  For My strength is made perfect in weakness.  Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  2 Corinthians 12:9

In returning and rest you shall be saved.  In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.  Isaiah 30:15

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.  He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His names sake.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me;  Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  Psalm 23:1-4

For with God nothing will be impossible.  Luke 1:37

Now to Him Who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.  Amen.  Ephesians 3:20-21

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.  1 Peter 5:6-7

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you; Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.  Isaiah 14:10

You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, Shall revive me again, And bring me up again from the depths of the earth.  You shall increase my greatness And comfort me on every side.  Also with the lute I will praise You — And your faithfulness, O my God!  Psalm 71:20-22

For further inspiration you might enjoy listening to Praise you in This Storm by Casting Crowns.