Friday, May 31, 2013

What is Lyme: Later Stage & Treatment

This is part 2. If you haven't already, please go read part 1 - What is Lyme: Basics and the Bite.


So I left off in my last post at the point where you have Lyme disease, you don't know that, it goes diagnosed, and the symptoms start getting worse.

Lyme can affect about every system in the body, and cases can look very different because of that.

Some people will have many physical symptoms, and start losing control of their body. It can be certain joints or arms or legs that stop works, seizures, or twitches and tics and look like Tourette syndrome or Bell's Palsy. Or you can become paralyzed and/or bedridden.

For others it can be an invisible illness. Headaches, muscle/joint pain, achy all over, and neurological issues such as memory loss.
Or it can be a mix of the two. Either way there will be many more symptoms than the ones I've mentioned here. (I have mostly invisible, but I do have twitches and involuntary movements sometimes.)

There is a pretty good (but medical sounding) list here - Lyme Symptoms List

If left untreated, you can eventually become bedridden and die. You wouldn't think that something the size of poppy seed would cause so much pain and havoc, but it does.


The everyday life of Lymie (nickname for those with Lyme! :)) isn't easy. Sure, the symptoms may not sound bad, but trust me, they are bad. I can't speak for others, but a case pretty similar to mine would be something like this.

Imagine you've been hit by a truck. You ache all over, and the pain doesn't go away. You have join pain, and hearing things pop or having to pop things back into place is a regular occurrence. Headache is pretty familiar. You can't be on your feet, walk, exercise for long periods or time because of fatigue and it hurts to much. You're always tired, and the fact you have insomnia and have to drug yourself to sleep doesn't help. Sometime you can have fun days or do stuff running on adrenaline when you don't have a choice, but you pay for it x10 later.

I made this awhile back... except the teacher thing kinda fits into the family thing for me since I'm homeschooled. ;)

You don't remember a day you weren't in pain. You often want to die. You take an absurd amount of medication a day. Your sense of smell, and appetite is messed up (some days I feel hungry all day long, and others I will realize at supper time I haven't eaten all day even though I don't feel hungry). You have sensitivity to light and sound. You judge how good a day was by how much ibuprofen you had to take. And then you force a smile and tell people you're doing ok or better than you were.

Yes, it's awful, but it is what it is, and there's nothing you can do about it besides keep pushing through and seeking treatment.


There is no cure for Lyme disease. There are many different treatments, but none that are guaranteed to work every time on everyone. The reason for that is because Lyme can take so many different forms and hide in so many areas of the body. It can even hide from the immune system and antibiotics. The Lyme bacteria, borrelia burgdorferi, is spiral shaped, so it can "drill" through tissue and into about every area in the body.
The traditional treatment that the top Lyme doctor use is long term antibiotics. Another treatment is homeopathic. There are also some other natural ones I've heard of. I believe there's one similar to chemo, and hyberbaric oxygen therapy apparently treats it too, though I've not done any research on it.


Thank you for reading! This is the second of my What it Lyme posts. I have more posts about this, and other Lyme stuff coming soon. I meant to get them all done in May (Lyme Awareness Month), but that didn't happen. So we'll make June Lyme awareness month on this blog too. :)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rachel's Birthday!

The other day was Rachel's birthday! We hosted a birthday party for her with her family and the Gibson family.. Star Wars themed!

I've wanted to a Star Wars Birthday Party for awhile, and had so much fun! I found mostly everything on Pinterest, you can find it on my board here
 {Signs - Star Wars font was found here. Download, open up zip file, open one of the text tiles in that zip, hit download, open whatever Microsoft product you want to use it in, and it should be the fonts.  I used Publisher. Black background was from google images.}

{Sweet n Salty Sabers - Pretzel Rods with Fruit Roll-ups wrapped around them.}

 {Leia cupcakes - Went off this model. Face and hair is decorating gel/frosting. Buns are Oreos with decorating frosting over  the white filling, stuck on with a toothpick for each side (you can only push them in past one side of the Oreo very carefully or they'll break), and frosting for extra "glue".}

{Lightsaber napkin roll - Incredibly easy, printable and directions here.}

Eating <---> Rachel and her pie!
Top: Rachel & Ashley <---> Carter & Rachel
Bottom: Rebekah & Rachel <---> Rachel & I
Carter waiting for his pie <---> Carter and Elijah, these two get into so much trouble together! :)
Today is also Carter's birthday! Now he and Elijah are both 5! Happy Birthday Carter!!
We had such a fun night (including battles with pool noodle light sabers.. sorry, no pics, they look like this)! Thank you so much to everyone who came to make Rachel's day special!

And Rachel, I just want wish you a (now belated) happy birthday! I'm so grateful to be a friend to such an amazing young women, with such a beautiful heart. I love you! ♥

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Waiting Wednesday: Brett

Today, meet Brett.
He has Down syndrome, and a few other issues, and is waiting for a family.

But there's something else that makes him more than just another one of the 147 million. We know more of his story.

He was born prematurely at home. And then, was abandoned. In a field.

He was left to die, alone in a field.

He was there for 6 hours.

And then he was rescued, brought to a hospital and treated for shock, hypothermia, bug bites all over his body, and difficulty breathing.

Can you even imagine? Horrifying.
Even with his rough start, life didn't get easier.

He ended up in an orphanage, and is now in a mental institution.

Let's find him a family.

If you aren't able to adopt him, share about him, and add a little to his grant if you can.

He doesn't deserve to live a life like this.
Read more about him here: Brett

Monday, May 27, 2013

What is Lyme Disease: Basics & the Bite

Most people know about or have heard of Lyme disease. Few know more than it's caused by the bite of a tick.

I've mentioned Lyme before. I have it. Maybe someone you know has it. You've most likely heard of it.

But what is it???

Lyme is a bacterial borne infection, caused by the bite of a deer tick.

It's not contagious, but anyone can get it.

It's a very real epidemic, with the numbers climbing yearly.

More people are diagnosed with Lyme every year than HIV/AIDS, and West Nile Virus combined. And that is just the diagnosed. Many, many people have it, and don't know they do. I had it for 2+ years without knowing I did.


Lyme was first discovered in Lyme, Connecticut, from where it gets it's name. The whole neighborhood was getting the same symptoms and becoming very sick, even dying. They called for more research to find out what was making them sick, and it was discovered it was deer ticks.

Since, then there has been much more research done, many more things discovered about it, and along with that came much controversy, which I'll explain in a later post.


I said before it's caused by the bite of a tick. But, not every tick you see is carrying the Lyme bacteria.

There are two main types of ticks (at least around here - Wisconsin). The wood tick, and the deer tick. Wood ticks are bigger, and usually harmless. Deer ticks are smaller, and the ones that can give you Lyme.
Wood/Deer Tick comparison
We live out in the country, and finding wood ticks here is a daily occurrence. We've easily found 25 this year alone, with a little less than half of them attached to someones head/skin. The last time we found a deer tick (they are harder to find because they are smaller) was once last summer. Tick checks in us girl's hair is also a daily occurrence. The boy's hair is purposely shaved short enough to see them without having to check.

I'm not sure about wood ticks, but deer ticks can be found all over the US, even though they are more prevalent in some areas.

I had to add one of the rest of the world too, since I probably didn't get it in the US!
Please also keep in mind these are cases, reported, and the bite could have happened elsewhere. Nevertheless, no matter where you live, you are not exempt from the possibility of Lyme!


So, let's pretend for a minute you have a deer tick on you. You don't know it and it bites you.

A characteristic of a deer tick bite is a bulls-eye rash around the bite area. You may or may not have this, only 50% of people who have Lyme report having a rash they saw. (I vaguely remember having some kind of rash on my leg, but it went away, and wasn't visibly infected, so we dismissed it. Mind you I was in Ukraine at a mental institution, a rash could mean anything!)

Another early sign is flu like symptoms. Fever, chills, nauseousness, etc. You will most likely have something like this, even if it's just for a day or two and not very bad. (I had this, but we blamed it on the greasy food, the temperature, and the smells at the institution.)

So, scenario #1 - You suspect you have it. You tell your doctor. You get tested for it. The test is correct only 50% of the time, so it may not come back positive, but just to be safe your doctors starts you on a round of antibiotics. This may or may not take care of it, but you will probably be told it did. (More on this in the controversy post.) If you still do have it, it will overlap in scenario #2.

Scenario #2 - You are ignorant, like I was, of that fact you have it. You have the flu like symptoms, if you're like me, you felt achy for a couple months. Then (how soon depending on several factors, for me, it was 2 yrs), the symptoms intensify and you start getting new ones.

More about this coming in part 2 of What is Lyme Disease. Stay tuned!

Thank you for reading. By simply doing that you are helping to raise awareness. My hope is that these post will help others understand this awful disease, and possibly help someone diagnose their Lyme and get proper treatment to help. 

Thank you.

All gave some. Some gave all.

Thank to those who served and died for the freedom we have today. We are grateful, and will never forget.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


I know I disappeared, but yes I am home if you care. ;) I've been sleeping and trying to cope with a bad flare up of my Lyme disease... speaking of that, I know I said May was Lyme Awareness Month, and I would post about it, and I didn't. So I plan on hitting that hard the rest of May! :)

Our trip home was slightly eventful. After we didn't wake up on time, we made it to the airport with minutes to spare. Going through security, the same alarm clock that didn't wake us up looked funky in the machine thing, so had to be run through again costing us time we didn't have to lose. After it got cleared we high-tailed it to our gate at the end of the terminal, and made it, as people we starting to board! Needless to say, I was very happy to see my parents (having no idea that all happened) surprised me with a new alarm clock when I got home! LOL

And then, our second flight turned around half way though and came back. Because the de-ice-er thing on the plane wasn't working, and because of the weather conditions where we were landing, it was unsafe to land. 45 min later, they had it fixed. :P

Anywho, just though you wanted a laugh. :)

We enjoyed our time at Spitz's soo very much, and we miss them something AWFUL!!! Love those Fab Five!! ♥♥♥

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pools and Goodbyes

After being home for a couple hours we headed off to the pool! We had so much fun, and Lyla was having the time of her life! I have never seen her soo happy for soo long! :)

That girl is doing SOO good today!!! The other day we were a bit concerned, but today she's a totally new girl! The doctor said it's not possible for her to be sick and yellow one day, and happy with good color the next. Try telling that to Lyla, the miracle baby! :)

Before bedtime came what we've been dreading. Saying goodbye. We'll be leaving in the wee hours of the morning (so wee that we considered not going to sleep tonight!)!

I learned a lesson tonight. I thought I toughened up, but I learned no matter how many times you say goodbye, no matter if it's the same family or not, it never gets easier.

Boo hoo! I'm going to miss these kids soo much! I'm so sad this trip wasn't longer!! But at the same time thankful we did get to spend this time with them!!
Rachel and Bellie getting some last snuggles in!

Zoo Time!

Today, we had an awesome day, and I took lots of pictures, so I'll make it two parts. Part one: the zoo!

We went to the zoo today and met up with the B family and Uncle Mike! B's have adopted three precious girls from Ukraine, and Uncle Mike traveled with Sarah (another Sarah! We had 3 at the zoo today!) to bring Mila home, just like he traveled with Summer to bring Lyla home!

Here are some a lot of pictures!
Rachel and Bellie getting some snuggles in before we go!
Happy Bug on the way!
Lyla meeting Sofia!
Summer meeting Sofia!
Beautiful girls!
Our big ol' group! The kiddos with Ds outnumbered the "typical" kids! So fun! :)
Uncle Mike and his girls!
Sofia and me! Love that spunky girl!
Uncle Mike and his traveling buddies!
Rachel and Sofia!
Looking at the bears!
Uncle Mike and his Lyla Bean!
Pretty princess Sofia wearing my sunglasses. (Yes, this was me aiming the camera as I was holding her. Clearly, I am the camera as well as I aim a ball.)
Love that pose!
Photography courtesy of Sofia!
Sofia found the knife!
Owen the chef!
Gav watching the monkeys!
 Our favorite uncle!! :)
Uncle Mike hanging out with his miss Mila Hope!
And then she went to Rachel!
And didn't want to go back by Uncle Mike... and Uncle Mike's her favorite! She loved Rachel!
She didn't care for me, but tolerated me enough for a picture! :)
"Cheese!" Uncle Mike and Zoya!
Belle and Gav loving on each other!
Gav eating french fries at McDonalds!
Our McDonalds Crew!
So sweet! Love these sisters!
Beanie loved my pineapple smoothie! Later today after I got all the pictures up, Summer says to me "Was Lyla actually drinking your smoothie?!?!" I said that yes, I could feel the cold coming up the straw. She was shocked, she didn't think Lyla knew how to use a straw, because she didn't know how the one time they tried!
Zoya and me!
Zoya and Rachel!
We had so much fun today! Thank you Summer, B's, and Uncle Mike our favorite uncle for such a fun day! :)