Oct 16, 2016

Quite Honestly, I Hate Lyme Disease

It's Sunday night, there's a full Hunter's Moon tonight and quite honestly I'm more than just a bit overwhelmed!

I've felt sluggish and tired all week, my kids are complaining of a return of symptoms and everyone has been irritable and argumentative. My little guy has had so much pain this weekend and tonight he hurt so badly that we had to give him Motrin and soak him in an Epsom salt bath.

It's so heartbreaking to see your child suffer in pain.

Despite living with chronic Lyme and co-infections for over 9 years and walking through this with my daughters, it never gets easier.

My son didn't even have his own tick bite! He contracted Lyme disease and co-infections from me when I was pregnant with him. When he was much younger he would ask me why he has to have so much pain and why I gave him Lyme disease. That's a pretty hard question to answer.

Sometimes I have to work at having a positive attitude, I have to work hard to keep a smile on my face and to see the bright side of things. Sometimes I want to ask, "why us?" Why did we have to get this? Why did my children have to lose so much of their childhood?

Sometimes the burden becomes harder as I minister to others and try to encourage them to keep working at their health, to make sure they rest and find the best care they can afford.

Sometimes I just don't want to tell another person that they won't be able to get their Lyme treatments covered by insurance because there's some political agenda that is preventing this disease from even being recognized by most doctors.

As I peruse the internet finding the latest research and the best treatment options; or as I read through Lyme forums and hear how desperate and horribly sick people are, I'm overwhelmed with the sheer numbers of people who are affected by this dreaded disease.

EVERY YEAR there are at least 329,000 people diagnosed with Lyme disease! 

Men, women, and children are all suffering and many times no one is there to help them.

It's not like getting a "real disease" or being diagnosed with cancer or even having surgery. Most of time those with Lyme disease look great on the outside and so many times doctors, friends, and even family do not believe the person suffering is really sick.

Sometimes, quite honestly, I just get a bit overwhelmed about the whole thing and I declare, "Lyme Sucks!"

Oct 5, 2016

It's Fall But You're Not Out of the Woods Yet

The gorgeous robust colors of fall and brisk cool weather make outdoor activities like hiking and nature walks ever so enticing.

With the changing colors on the leaves it's hard to stay indoors.

I just love fall and find the beauty irresistible.

While the weather is fabulous, most people don't realize that they're still at risk for getting tick-borne infections.

It's true, ticks are still out and they're still looking for a blood meal, in fact, ticks are out all year long.

Ticks continue to look for a blood meal until the temperatures reach below freezing and stay that way for a whopping 6 days.

So, while you, your friends and family are outdoors enjoying the amazing fall weather, be sure to continue safe practices.

Wear repellent, spray your clothes with permethrin, tuck your socks into your pants, wear light colored clothing, stay on the well worn paths and out of long tall grass.

When you return inside, immediately remove your clothes and throw them in the dryer for 20 minutes. Take a shower and carefully do a tick check by looking in every area and every crevice. Have someone else check your scalp and hair or use a mirror.

If you don't check for ticks right away, you might be allowing hitchhikers into your house, they could fall off of you and onto your furniture or floor where they'll find an unsuspecting victim who may not think to check for ticks.

Go ahead and enjoy the amazing outdoors and the beautiful cool crisp air, but remember, ticks are still out and Lyme disease is still a risk.

Oct 3, 2016

Do You Value Your Job as a Homeschool Mom?

It's the beginning of a new homeschool year for us and we're already in the full swing of things.

Each new year, we start off slowly and really try to enjoy it.

On the first day, we pull out all the school books and supplies and sit together taking in all the sights and smells of our new things.

Come on now, you know you love the smell of new books, I sure do.

We try to enjoy our first week as much as possible and then proceed to do only a few subjects a day. By the second week, the kids are completing each subject and we continue to tweak our schedule.

Sep 26, 2016

The Impossible Request for Lyme Treatment

Lyme Treatment
I've written several posts about what you should do if you get a tick bite but reading those posts and printing off my Tick Treatment Guidelines aren't very helpful when you're sitting across from a doctor who tells you that he's been treating people for an umpteen number of years and he's never had a problem with anyone getting sick from a tick bite.

You might find your doctor giving you only one or two Doxycycline pills, assuring you that this will take care of any possible infection.

At a maximum your doctor may reluctantly give you 21 days of Doxy and tell you not to worry, this will completely cure you and not to worry about residual symptoms because it could take up to 6 months for the symptoms to work their way out of your body.

As an experienced Lymie, I get a lot of calls and emails when friends, loved ones and acquaintances find themselves with a treatment protocol like those mentioned above. 

If you're not familiar with Lyme you'll accept your doctor's advice just like I did, thinking "I'm so glad my doctor knows what he's doing".  

The problem is that these treatment plans are outdated and many people continue to have symptoms for years to come.

Patients who are not educated won't understand why they're still having symptoms after being treated and they'll wonder if something else might be wrong. Many will return to their doctor months or years later, not remembering their tick bite, and their doctor might diagnose them with rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, MS or any of the other inflammatory diseases on the list.

Why are doctors not diagnosing and treating tick-bites and Lyme disease in a way that will prevent people from becoming ill? 

Part of the reason is that there aren't any reasonably priced tests available to the patient that will produce an accurate result.

Testing provided by your doctor is anywhere from 50-70% inaccurate and the treatment protocols traditionally followed are not effective for killing Lyme or the many other tick-borne infections.

What can you do? 

I recommend finding a doctor who is knowledgeable about tick-borne infections, not just Lyme. You could request a list of doctors in your area from ILADS, you could ask around to those in your community or you could call up the practices in your area and ask them a few key questions about what their protocol is for a tick-bite.

Functional, Naturapthic or homeopathic physician can test and treat using alternative methods.

Many doctors will advise a wait and see approach which is very risky, and with the rate of infection in the US being over 300,000 every year*, just might guarantee chronic health problems for your future.

Educating yourself is the best approach you can take however, it doesn't matter how much knowledge you arm yourself with before heading to the doctor, most will refuse to prescribe the ILADS recommended treatment and so you may need to find another doctor for this purpose. 

I always tell people not to live in fear but to live educated. 

Following safe tick prevention practices, sending ticks away for testing and getting immediate treatment are active things that you can do to prevent chronic infections.

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