So much to consider

Phil 1:12, Philippians, trials, suffering, endurance, Christian, crisis, long term, illness, chronic, humor, gallows12 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel.”  Phil 1:12

Just as this picture and this scripture present two extremes of perspective for the activities of life, they are united in one theme:  we shall rejoice with Christ as our guide!  Yeah, I know that is a stretch . . . but we do know that the God of the universe has a sense of humor too, right?  I mean he created aardvarks, zebras, and tse tse flies!  What’s up with that?  Oh I know that the Original Adam named them all but just how did he do that?  They were all such weird creatures!  So it follows then that humor can help us endure many kinds of extremes, even the ones you and I are facing today.

Take for another example the thieves that attempted to steal gasoline from an RV.  This is a true story:  instead of tapping off the gas line they ended up tapping off the septic line instead!  When the fluid started flowing it was not fuel it was the polar opposite:  stool!  So sad.  Such a righteous punishment I must admit!  And as a grateful owner of a travel trailer all I can say is:  Tee hee with a smirk.  ;}

I cannot say that I can relate to the paradoxical themes of life with much right now with much lightness of spirit right now, however.  I’ll just keep it simple:  there’s some good and there’s some that is not.

On a good note I am grateful to report a widening of social contacts of late.  I’ve reached out to some old friends and some newer gals have jumped back into my world from my local church.  I appreciate the friends that I’ve met online (and you know who you angels of mercy are) and hope we can extend our fellowship.  All of this is good.  It’s amazing how all believers in Jesus Christ share a common unity even when the circumstances of our lives can be so different.  We all have our daily wants and needs; our Lord cares for the desires of our hearts tenderly and for these we can pray in earnest for one another.

On a less good note, new I.V. antibiotic treatments for chronic Lyme disease are going quite roughly.  Yup, revisiting Lyme since the persistent seizure attacks sure look like the episodes of others dealing with the neurological complications that can happen long after the acute infection has come and gone.  It was 4 years ago that I first started treatment for Lyme when things got sidetracked for treatment of mold and mercury toxicity, dental issues, Candida, parasites, and a possible oxalate burden exacerbating fibromyalgia pain.  Use of a Rife machine brought daily seizure attack episodes and treatment of Candida escalated them from 2 to 5 hours of convulsive episodes per day!  I was bedridden the better part of about 4 days each week this past Spring, Summer, and Fall.  So beginning in January I was started on high doses of IV Rocephin (antibiotic) and I remain sickly but out of bed more of the time.  This treatment coupled with the wintry temperatures below freezing have brought incredible pain.  However, the days that I am up until daybreak every night of the week has cut down; tinnitus, brain fog, and other executive functioning skills are sloooooowly shifting for the good.  Sometimes even the pattern of convulsive episodes shift as well (thank you liposomal melatonin!).  Just maybe these past 4 years have not been wasted after all!  It appears that each new treatment has prepared me for such a time as this:  we just might be able to treat this remaining beastly diagnosis and its co-infections to get well . . .

There is so much to consider.  Will I continue on antibiotics long term?  Will my health insurances help us out or cut us off next week?  Will I be able to get a port to spare my aching skin and forearms from repeated pokes and dressings that trigger more wretched episodes?  When would I transition back to more herbal-with-pharm-grade supplemental interventions?  Will the reactivity to mold and fragrances ever come down or do I have to go live in a pristine environment somewhere for a few months later on to fully detox?  How much more stress can my beloved husband, Steve, be expected to bear?  And how will we pay for all of this?

As the frigid Winter temperatures of the Midwest bring more of a sense of retreat than charging forth into the unknown, we are choosing to press on anyways with my treatment for chronic Lyme disease.  I just wear long underwear everyday to keep warm!  We are starting where we are with a local, Lyme-Literate Medical Doctor who has treated dozens and dozens of cases successfully.  I know that to be true.  I have met many of them when we had a local Lyme disease support group.  I noticed that each of us facing this dreadful disease had chosen a somewhat unique path to his or her recovery based upon the damage the infection caused to our bodies and our individual resources.  (See this link for more info on chronic Lyme.)  Perhaps my case was one of the more severe.  Perhaps the Lord had more than “recovery” in mind when He allowed this serious illness into my life.  There is so much to consider that simply was not on my radar over 4 years ago.

If you have found this blog by way of your own journey through chronic Lyme disease or some other serious illness, know that I am praying for you.  There is hope!  You are not alone, Gentle Reader.  Please comment below and allow me, if you like, to connect you with a larger community of those finding meaning beyond his or her diagnosis.  Our Lord, Jesus Christ, grieves for your suffering, your fear, your broken heartedness.  He sees you and will see you through what you are facing as He has done so for me and Steve.  He loves you more than anyone (including the furry pup above who has found his prize squirrel in the sunshine of a better day).

May we both smile some day in the arms of our Heavenly Father for having connected this day, for His glory.  And, um, when we get our prized prey I’ll just say, “please pass the catsup.”  Squirrel on the Bar-B-Que anyone?  Ewwwwww!  :JJ

And then you just hope to move sideways

Here’s a brief update on my brother, Michael, and me with a prayer request:

At this moment Mike is moving from an acute, inpatient rehabilitation facility to one of the lowest-rated nursing homes in the city of Detroit.  The social workers claim that of the 35 facilities they have contacted, St. Francis is the only one who would accept him.  The reason?  He is “Medicaid Pending” and does not have any other insurance.  We are sad and concerned.

Today Mike’s rehabilitation stops until Medicaid is approved.  Today Mike learns how the indigent of our society are left behind in facilities located across the street from an abandoned buildings in scary neighborhoods.  Today Mike decides whether or not he is a FIGHTER.  I only got to talk to him briefly before the transport vehicle came to wheel him out of his private room and begin the next leg of his recovery journey.  He has made tremendous gains in cognition, swallowing, self care, transferring from one seat to another, and even walking.  Mike has had close monitoring of his medical condition, medications, and test results.  The plan to address a complex cyst on a kidney remains unclear as he moves away from his rehabilitation and medical specialists.  None of them go to the new facility.  It is unlikely that he will receive any rehabilitation therapies from this point forward until his Medicaid is approved.  We are sad and concerned.

We are hoping that this transfer is a move sideways and not the beginning of a downward slide.  At this point I do not believe that he knows that he will be receiving fewer services.  He is concerned about the facility location and the comfort level of his fiancé visiting him in an unsafe neighborhood.  Gratefully our cousin, Lisa, is an optometrist who sees patients there every 6 weeks.  She has known the staff there for 10 years.  We are hoping that this helps place Mike in a favorable light.  Lisa has also offered to accompany Mike’s fiancé, also named Lisa, on her first visit to the new place.  I am exceedingly grateful for this.  I wish I could be there too.  I cannot go at this time.

I had my own questionable “move” this past weekend.  Difficulty breathing and bizarre, violent seizure attack episodes landed me in the emergency room.  I received “treatment” and returned home; the last three days have been marginal yet better in some ways.  I saw my family practice physician yesterday and was able to put together a few plans to tighten up my treatment plan.  Unfortunately I had to escape outside for fresh air THREE TIMES due to the mold aerosols in his water-damaged office building!  Did I mention that I was already wearing a charcoal mask?  Geez.  I was re-reading the Clinical Summary this morning from my visit and collapsed at the kitchen table into a pile of seizure-like tics.  Perhaps the aerosols followed me home on the porous copy paper?  Who knows.  My gracious husband has seen me through it all, threw out the papers this morning and opened the bay windows to help me revive.  Thank you my beloved Steve!

Sometimes it looks like things are going downhill when actually we have just stepped a little to the side.  Many hidden blessings have come from my brother’s stroke:  developing a closer relationship with his fiancé, rekindling a friendship with my amazing cousin Lisa, and seeing a few family members step forth to love on my brother are wonderful.  And in my own situation I now have a biotoxin illness doctor who is willing to go to bat for me when headed to the ER on a Sunday in addition to an incredible husband who is my kinsman redeemer.  Steve is willing to love me, care for me, and defend my special needs when needed on my journey to wellness.  He believes me that this crap-ola-ski is NOT all in my head and is helping me overcome it too.  In both my brother’s and my own situation, I am seeing new expressions of love that have not been there in our lives before.  Cool beans.  Thank you Jesus!

Gentle Reader, would you kindly pray this scripture with me?  I pray that we will lean on the Lord, trust in the Lord, and have courage to move forward when-and-as the Lord leads these next few weeks.  I need to rest in the tender care of my Jesus and not get ahead of the work He is accomplishing in today.  After all, I do not want to miss the richness of His tender care, His presence in each breathing moment.  Such a joy it is to know that He is here carrying Mike this afternoon in that transport van.  Such a joy it is to know that He is here too with me and you carrying our thoughts and prayers to our Heavenly Father for His wise care according to His Divine plan for our lives.  Perhaps sideways is a good place to be right now.

Want some bulletproof coffee?  Let’s go out on the patio and sit for awhile.  The sun is shining this afternoon and the narcissus, tulips, hyacinths, and buttercups are blooming!

Proverbs 3:5-6
Proverbs 3:5-6