Me thinks the lady dost protest too much

According to Wikipedia (and who can argue with the Big W?)  The quotation “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” comes from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, act III, scene II, where it is spoken by Queen Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother. In Shakespeare’s time, “protest” meant “vow” or “declare solemnly”.  It also means that she is promising too much.  Well I don’t know about the Queen but this lady is going to take it literally:  I think my posting about illness is getting to be too much!

So I must digress for a moment into another topic altogether.  You see, the failing of dealing with chronic illness (defined as that which lasts more than 6 months) is when the diagnosis becomes you.  When I start to use words like, “my Lyme disease” or “my mold illness” then I am beginning to affix a permanent label to myself:  a new identity as a sick person.  Sure, I am a person with a serious illness.  Yet if I am not careful, I will develop such a strong identification with the role of “sick person” that it will be difficult to embody or identify with other roles and activities in my life.  It could be difficult to identify with healing when it comes; that would be bad!  The tendency when wearing the “hat” of a disease too well is to talk about symptoms or treatment all of the time.  I could constantly be complaining about the daily headaches and pain, difficulty concentrating, or pre-tic phenomena, etc.  And if I do that, I simply won’t be much fun to be around.  I will find myself alone more of the time and I’m already alone a lot!

So I must make a conscious effort, beginning with those closest to me, to focus on him or her and other things no matter how benign the topic.  Gotta start somewhere!  I can always find something to say about our cute pupster, the mail that came that day, or something for which I am grateful.  I can always lavish in the goodness of the Lord, Jesus Christ and how he has given me a warm, pretty home in which to reside.  I can always be grateful for the healthy food that is available to me in our smallish town from both local farmers and chain grocery stores.  (For example, have you seen the great prices on organic, free range chicken thighs in the Family Pack at Wal-Mart?)  And when in doubt, I can even brag about making it to Level 102 in the Facebook game Pengle.  Hey, what else am I supposed to do when spacey at 2:00 a.m.?  The game is not that easy and it’s kinda fun too!

One of my favorite topics is my husband Steve.  He is an amazing man.  Steve begins his day with an extended time of prayer before taking care of our dog and getting ready for work.  I am often sleeping or returning to sleep as he is leaving for work; we chat by phone sometime later in the afternoon.  By that time he has designed a cool aspect of a weather satellite or test instrument in his role as a mechanical engineer for a world-wide firm.  At lunch he cycles.  Yeah that’s right.  Most of us take bike rides.  Not my Stevers.  He is a competitive athlete to the core even during his lunch “rides” where the guys crank out 20 or more miles, averaging 19 or so miles per hour most days of the week.  Then on Tuesday nights during the warmer weather and most weekends until the St. Joseph River freezes over, you’ll find my River Bear in his kayak-on-steroids.  Steve races in the United States Canoe Association circuit  (K-1 Unlimited class) here in northern Indiana and at Nationals every year.  His two little ditties are 21-foot carbon fiber surf skiis that weigh in at around 23 pounds each!  The Epic V12 looks like a Tomahawk missile on top of his stealth fighter Dodge Magnum low rider transport vehicle.  Then there’s the multitude of service activities to our church including worship, Bible study, and fellowship.  It’s amazing that there’s any energy left when the dude returns home.  Yes, there is energy left for me, with hugs and tenderness too.  Even at midnight when I’m not doing so well on a work night.

USCA Nationals 2013:  Steve racing the Mohican
USCA Nationals 2013: Steve racing the Mohican

I love Steve with all my heart.  It’s a privilege to be his wife, a blessing from the Lord.  I have never felt so loved, so cherished, so respected, and held in so high of esteem by anyone at any other time in my life.  His sense of humor, common sense, and Godly wisdom enrich me immeasurably.  He is often my “Jesus with skin on.”  Thank you, Jesus for blessing me with an amazing man of God.

Ladies, amazing men do exist!  Can you see one important reason why I strive with what little strength I have these days to be the best woman I can be?  Sometimes all I can do is make my man his lunch . . . at 3:00 a.m. in the morning before I finally make it to bed.  So I make it the best lunch I can possibly muster with my Heavenly Husband holding me together until it’s completed.  Then the dog gets a scratch behind the ears and it’s time to collapse into whatever the darkness may bring.  At least I know as I close my eyes each night that this lady has “professed” her best culinary care and it is not “too much.”  I’m hoping it’s just right!

Oh my Heavenly Father, thank you for my beloved who cares for me and my heart in this life until we both can be in Your presence forevermore.  And if it is your will Lord, I ask to be able to be with Steve a little more as husband and wife, sharing the joys of life and being together.  Thank you for helping us to find some sweetness despite this season of illness in my life.  Thank you for Your provision and helping me, helping us to endure this difficult journey.  You have sustained us, carried us over and over again through much uncertainty, false hopes, unexpected setbacks, and complications.   While all this is true, You have also allowed others to see You here and there when we somehow got it right.  Oh Lord, I pray that we continue to be a worthy steward of all that You allow in our lives for Your glory alone.  Thank you for a better afternoon and evening today.  I love you too.  In Christ’s name, Amen.

It is here!

HOPE eBook CoverIt is here!  I am grateful to announce that my new eBook is now available!   Simply use the coupon code UR45T for your free copy beginning November 1st at:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/371334

The first year enduring and battling a serious illness can test everything we thought we knew about coping with the trials of life.  In this ebook, I invite you to share the more meaningful moments of my journey as I seek to draw strength from outside of myself to endure the trials of my particular story.  My hope is that you, too, will find strength and hope that transcends your day-to-day experience.  I also hope that you will consider the hope found in God though a personal relationship with His Son.  His presence in One’s life makes a difference in where a person lands when this particular journey of life is over.  Will we have peace or will we have despair?

With a sincere heart, it is my privilege to share my journey with you.  Let not these trials of ours be wasted, eh?  Gentle Reader, are you ready for enduring hope beyond what we can see?  If your answer is, “Yes!”  then I invite you to read, Hope Beyond Lyme:  The First Year.  With extra bonus pages and the most meaningful and encouraging vignettes updated from this blog, may it uplift you, knowing that you are not alone, not today, not ever.  :J

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While I would never compare my experiences these past 2 years to the incredible suffering of the apostle Paul of the Bible, I draw encouragement from his words as noted below.  My prayer on my most wretched of days was that there would be some greater purpose for this illness, that something meaningful would come from it.  I hoped that my writing would not be a rant that went no where.  I did not want to end each posting with more anger, hurt, sadness, or negativity than when I began either.  My hope is that I would leave you with more good than not-so-good.  To encourage others, well, that would be awesome as well as pose a tremendous responsibility to get it right as a matter of stewardship.  The Lord gave me a voice and my hope was that I would use it to glorify Him most of all.

If you like what you see here, would you kindly share it with others?  The free coupon special won’t last long!  And thank you for being with me along this journey thus far.  Shall we continue the adventure another year together?  Oh I hope so!  Take care Gentle Reader,  Just Julie

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12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.  (Philippians)

VIP: Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide

Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide Molecular Structure
Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide

According to Hopkinton Pharmacy in Hopkinton Massachusetts, Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) is a 28-amino acid neuropeptide that belongs to the glucagon-growth hormone-releasing factor secretion superfamily.  It plays a special role as it exerts potent anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects.  VIP is rapidly transforming into something more than a mere hormone.

VIP is evolving scientifically from a hormone to a novel agent for modifying immune function and possibly a cytokine-like molecule.  VIP is generally used in persons with pulmonary hypertension.  It’s a paradigm shift to explore mutual interactions between neural and neuroendocrine links in health and disease.  Recognition of the central functions VIP plays in cellular process is focusing researchers’ attention on this “very important peptide” as an exciting new candidate for therapeutic intervention and drug development.  Most recently research has been conducted on the use of VIP in the treatment bio-toxin illness such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue due to mold and Lyme toxins.

For more information and the most recent clinical research on VIP in for 20 patients with Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, go to:

http://www.survivingmold.com/docs/VIP_published_3_2013.pdf

VIP New Treatment Tracker: Day 1

VIP47900-24-3With the rather loud barking of our pup, the mail lady delivered the foam cooler today containing vasoactive intestinal peptide.  Wow.  It is here!

I quickly gathered myself together with a quick prayer, reading of the instructions, and sipping some water before ceremonially administering the first dose.  A quick spray in one nostril delivered 50 mcg of VIP in a stable saline solution.  It must be stored in the refrigerator so I found a special spot for it shortly thereafter.  Here we go again on another great adventure:  another promising new treatment approach to lessen the burden of recovery from Chronic Lyme Disease and Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome.  Like Mach I with your hair on fire, no?

Within an hour I had a slight runny nose that quickly resolved.  No problemmo and this could be expected from a nasal spray.  The stress of it all brought fatigue so a nap will follow shortly.  Then maybe I will shower for the day.  It is beautiful outside today after all.

(For more information on VIP, head to the References section of this blog.)

My Lord goes before me this day and always.  To Him be the glory for the results of this new treatment approach.  He will be the author of the story that will follow, not the pharmacy, doctor, nor myself.  He allowed me to stumble upon this information again and participate in my LLMD prescribing VIP for me.  Thank you Jesus for preserving my mind this past year so that I could respond when a new modality presented itself.  Thank you for continuing to lead me, walk with me and see that this whole ordeal not be wasted.  There are many blessings You have brought me despite the dark days  that began October 11, 2011.  Your light is forever before me no matter the outcome.  Lord help me keep my eyes fixed on You.  And if it is your will Lord, heal me.

In Jesus name,  amen.  Just Julie