Finding Strength In Two Senior, Rescue Beagles

I am no stranger to hardship. In fact, I live it daily. Beneath the smiles is someone who is struggling–someone who awakens each morning and says, “Let’s give this life a shot again today.” Every healthy decision I make for my body gets me one step closer to my end goal–remission. However, the process is long and grueling, and with each setback, I live through brutal periods of discouragement often unseen by the world’s eyes.

Nearly a decade ago, the doctors diagnosed me with the first of a series of health conditions, called Interstitial Cystitis (IC)–an extremely painful, inflammatory condition of the bladder that substantially reduced my ability to work and profoundly impacted my quality of life. I was in agony, and I was not finding success with the available treatments. Chronic pain often brings about an inadvertent seclusion. In other words, I was heartbreakingly lonely because I quickly became isolated and unable to keep up with my active and social lifestyle.

Around the same time I was diagnosed with IC, I got married to my fiance, Tom. On our wedding day, he chose to walk the long, twisting road of illness hand-in-hand with me. I am not sure he fully knew what he was getting himself into, but he has never once questioned the challenging hand dealt to us.

Tom came into the marriage as a package deal–he and his sidekick, rescue dog named Seven. At that time, she was a feisty, seven-year-old, beagle with hazel eyes who pranced to the beat of her own bark. True to beagle form, “Stubborn” was (and still is) her middle name. Unlike other dogs, Seven never cared much for affection, cuddling or amusing her human owners. “She’s particular,” we said as she wiggled away from any attempts to snuggle with her. She was my first dog and has the distinction of being the most boisterous pooch on the block.

winona-hotel-seven

As one medical treatment after another failed me, I shed numerous tears. There were times I felt stuck and would crawl into bed, holding tightly to a small sliver of hope that I was in some such way still able to be helped. Typically, the days spent by myself while Tom was at work were the most challenging for me; the discomfort was unbearable.

Much to my surprise, Seven frequently appeared beside my bed, gazing up at me with almost human-like eyes. It was as if she knew I was hurting, and in her willful way, she tried her best to comfort me. Though she was cautious, she let me scoop her up, and I laid her beside me on the bed. Then, she allowed me to rub her belly for hours at a time. In her unique way, she helped me survive the bleak days of being newly diagnosed with a chronic illness no one knew much about.

After a few years of marriage, my health stabilized a bit, so my husband and I decided it was time to add a second dog to our little family. At the shelter, we met an overweight, six-year-old beagle named Caylie. She came with a list of health problems, but her easy-going and bubbly disposition made her irresistible. She had an unusual, scorpion-like tail, and deep, black eyes that pierced our hearts like lasers. Despite her health issues, she was perfect, and we adopted her on the spot.

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From the moment we brought Caylie home from the shelter, she had an impressive talent. She bats our couch throw pillows around with her paws and perfectly stacks one on top of the other; she climbs to the top of her pillow peak with the grace of a mountain goat and rests the day away. Barely anything warms my heart more than watching her do this. It’s that cute; it makes me smile a hundred times over! With time, Caylie regained her health, and she and Seven formed a strong bond.

In many ways, Caylie is the exact opposite of Seven. She is playful, goofy, and consumes anything that remotely resembles food. She has an exceptional taste for the creamy, frothed milk topping of Tom’s homemade cappuccinos, Chicago-style pizza, and an occasional Altoid. At night, she often places her furry, little noggin on my lap and falls asleep. She’s the cuddle bug of the family.

Indeed, I wished the story of my chronic illness ended here–with one dog snuggled up on my lap and the other snoring peacefully in her fluffy bed. Nonetheless, it does not.

Sadly, my health didn’t remain steady. I declined with rapid intensity until I was too weak to get out of the bed. I remained bedridden for eighteen long months before two doctors finally diagnosed me with late stage Lyme disease–a chronic form of Lyme disease for which there is no cure and no linear path to healing. To say that my dogs have been a source of joy and strength for me as I fight to reclaim my life is an understatement. Through hearty tail wags, loads of personality, and frequent doses of silliness, Seven and Caylie remain my beams of light along a sometimes dark and deserted road.

Years have passed since we became a family of four. Caylie is now 13, and Seven just turned the ripe, old age of 16. My two senior, rescue beagles are nourishment for my soul to continue the long journey towards improving my health. I had no idea that a couple of white-faced, old pups would continually renew my sense of hope, and be the best medicine I’d ever find.

I’d love to hear stories about how your pets have helped you heal. Please feel free to leave a comment.

Update: In the early morning hours of June 24, 2017, we said an unexpected good-bye to Caylie—the sweetest, white-faced old pup on the planet. Our hearts are crushed. We will love you forever, Caylie Bear. Thank you for always being the goofy, rocky-steady dog that brought calm and laughter to our family. Always in our hearts, precious girl. Rest In Peace, my best beags.

Update: On October 6th, 2016, Seven was laid to rest. Our hearts are broken, but we find comfort in knowing she is no longer in pain. Seven will always be our number one–the original member of @twosweetbeags. In loving memory of Sweet Seven Beags. January 2000 to October 6th, 2016. She was three months away from her 17th birthday.

No matter how many dogs we have in our lifetime, whether 40 or 50 years go by, you two will always have a piece of our hearts.

Renew Your Sense Of Hope And Optimism This Year With Theses Four Steps

Please note: this article originally appeared on ProHealth on January 20th, 2016. 

By Jenny Lelwica Buttaccio

With 2016 well underway, many of us have recently reassessed our lives. We took inventory of what worked last year, what we hoped to improve upon this year, and constructed a well-intentioned plan to move forward in a fresh, new direction. Not surprisingly, several of us still resolved to achieve more, get in better shape, eat a healthier diet, be a better mother, father, partner, spouse, friend, etc. However, with Lyme disease and various overlapping conditions in the mix, often, our best-laid plans come to an abrupt halt. Many of us simply don’t have the strength and stamina to exert ourselves so intensely (myself included), which tends to leave us feeling frustrated and disheartened.

If this describes you, go easy on yourself. Thankfully, there’s plenty of time left to challenge the idea that you must muster up the strength to push more and try harder to have a better year. Instead, make 2016 exceptional by honoring your body exactly where it’s at, and accepting your current capabilities. By embracing a healthier mindset, may you feel uplifted and encouraged as you continue to heal. Here are four tips to renew your sense of hope and optimism this year

1. Remember that you are worth the struggle.

First, let me start off by saying–the trials you’ve endured, the tears you’ve shed over this illness, the obstacles you fought so hard to overcome—are not meaningless. Likewise, you battle a set of invisible symptoms on a daily basis that most will never see. Your unwavering determination and strength inspire others to forge ahead. Your vast knowledge helps others. Others see you as more than your illness, and your perseverance motivates them. The road to recovery is long, but please hold onto this certainty for 2016: You are worth all of the effort–all of the struggle– it takes to reclaim your health and life. Always remember, you are a person of great value to the world.

2.Find something therapeutic for yourself.

Raise your hand if you feel completely overwhelmed now and then by the usual, chronic illness rigmarole! Okay, maybe all the time (my hand shot up too). As an occupational therapist, my training taught me that a productive treatment session possesses healing, restorative, and therapeutic qualities for the patient. From a personal perspective, I learned a valuable lesson about a year into my Lyme treatment when I realized nothing felt therapeutic. My muscles held an abundance of tension, and my mind was regularly fearful. From herbs and supplements to medications, it didn’t matter what I put into my struggling body. I always reacted harshly to all of it.

Out of desperation, a quick Yelp search led me to an acupuncturist, named Tina, who had treated at least one other Lyme patient. She kindly agreed to see me that buy carisoprodol cod very day. I was so weak at this particular point in my illness that my husband carried me to her office and laid me down on the table. On our first visit, Tina evaluated me, and we agreed on a gentle treatment plan utilizing massage and acupuncture to relax my nervous system. Upon completion of our first session, I felt different, lighter. It was as if years of tension had melted away. This experience underscored the importance of utilizing various therapeutic modalities to help improve my health. It was a piece of the puzzle that had been missing.

Perhaps a detox bath, a massage, reading a good book, or prayer is therapeutic for you. Whatever it is, do it often. Don’t neglect to include these beneficial elements into your protocol. Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you.

3. Allow yourself to feel happiness.

Most of us believe our happiness is dependent upon our circumstances– we’ll feel happy if we are well, if we have enough money, if we were around nicer people–if, if, if.

I hear these “if” statements often. We place our delight and joy in future pursuits that may or may not ever happen, and we deny ourselves the ability to experience happiness now. In 2016, let’s try a new approach. Release yourself from the thought that you can’t be happy until your life looks a certain way. Instead, notice the little gifts and sweet surprises that each day brings. While it’s true this won’t end your hardships; it will boost your spirit as you walk the long road to recovery.

4. Stop measuring your progress by how others are doing

There is no easy answer as to why some people get well while many of us continue to be ill. What I can tell you is, your journey through this illness is uniquely yours. You will repeatedly hear about someone who got well seeing a specific doctor, using a particular treatment, trying a bold therapy, or taking a special supplement. While it’s good to stay informed of your options, it’s important to remember there is no surefire way to recover. No matter what treatment option you choose to pursue, your body tolerates what it can, and it heals at its own rate. Healing will always be unique to you and your body and different from anyone else’s. So, please stop measuring your progress by how others are doing. I mean it. Stop it. This type of comparison is instantly depressing and will immediately kill your sense of hope and optimism. Rather, focus on how far you’ve already come, because, believe it or not, you’ve already made it a heck of a long way.

I would love to hear what things you are doing to remain hopeful and optimistic in the new year. Please feel free to leave a comment.

Q & A Thursday

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Q: Have you tried incorporating acupuncture into your recovery?

A: I get asked this question quite often–usually by people who have success with acupuncture as a therapeutic tool.

With the same positive results as so many others, I too experienced the incredible benefits of integrating acupuncture into my protocol. In 2013, I went to my first session; I could barely stand, walk, or sit upright. After my second visit–in a rare moment–I was able to go shopping for 2 hours. That was an activity I hadn’t done in two, long years. The results were nothing short of dramatic. For me, acupuncture jump-started my healing, and I continued to go for an entire year. Unfortunately, it became too cost prohibitive for me, and I had to quit going at the end of 2014.

Recently, my treatment buy cheap soma overnight protocol intensely increased to tackle Babesia and overcome the plateau I experienced most of 2015. At the same time, I began reading Dr. Horowitz’s book, Why Can’t I Get Better? In his book (2013), he writes, “Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are clearly useful adjuncts in certain treatment-resistant patients, even though we may not fully understand why it works” (p.118).

Once again, I feel as though acupuncture could be a vital part of my current treatment along with the medications, herbs, and supplements I take. I now go once a week, and I feel hopeful that my stalled healing will get a much-needed boost.

To hear more about my experience with acupuncture, please listen to my podcast on Lyme Ninja Radio.

A DIY French Green Clay Mask That Will Refresh Your Skin on mindbodygreen

Please note: This article was originally published on mindbodygreen on February 16th, 2016.

I love green beauty products, and I probably have a slight addiction to them. To my pleasant surprise, I awoke this morning to find one of my beauty articles published on mindbodygreen! Want to look like you’ve slept eight hours even if you haven’t? This is the mask for you.

Photo is the copyright of lymeroad.com and Jenny Lelwica Buttaccio

Photo is the copyright of lymeroad.com and Jenny Lelwica Buttaccio

I’m a professional insomniac. Despite having tried nearly everything to fix my sleep woes, I continue to toss and turn most nights. It’s an unfortunate symptom of a chronic illness, so it’s not likely to change anytime soon.

As expected, the lack of sleep takes a toll on my skin, so to combat my perpetual shortage of shut-eye, I’m eternally obsessed with finding a green beauty routine that keeps my skin looking as healthy as possible.

In the wee hours of a recent snooze-free morning, I lay in bed thinking of a way I could achieve great-looking skin even as my precious sleep eluded me. Enter thoughts of French green clay.

This mineral-rich mud forms a perfect base for a DIY mask that both exfoliates and revitalizes, and a protein-packed egg yolk provides an easily absorbable combination of nutrients to restore tired skin.

The day after my all-night bout of insomnia, a friend asked me why my skin looked so good and whether I had changed my beauty routine. I just smiled at her and said, “It’s thanks to insomnia!”

French Green Clay Mask To Revive & Refresh Your Skin

This clay mask takes about five minutes to prepare and contains a handful of get-your-skin-glowing ingredients. Best of all, buy soma watson pain relief these items are easily found online and at your local health or grocery stores, making it a cinch to look like you got a full night’s sleep (even if you didn’t).

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon French green clay (available from a health food store or online)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut flour (you can also use oat flour, almond flour, corn flour, etc.)
  • 1 organic egg yolk
  • 3 teaspoons filtered water, spring water, or aloe vera juice
  • 2 drops geranium essential oil (optional, for normal skin)
  • 2 drops lavender essential oil (optional, for acne-prone and sensitive skin)
  • 2 drop chamomile essential oil (optional, for dry skin)
  • 1 teaspoon avocado, jojoba, sunflower, or olive oil (optional, for dry skin)

Preparation

Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl. If you have dry skin, add your oil of choice (avocado, jojoba, sunflower, or olive oil). Next, gently mix in the two drops of your preferred essential oil.

Please note that you can still use this mask even if you don’t add any oil or essential oil — a mask using only the base will still slough off dead skin and leave your complexion refreshed.

Now you’re ready to apply the mask!

Cleanse your face with warm water to open your pores and remove makeup. Gently pat your face with a towel until there’s just a little moisture left on your skin.

Use your fingers to apply a thick layer of the clay paste to your face, avoiding the eyes, eyebrows, and lips. Let the mask sit for 15 minutes or until dry. Then carefully wipe the mask off with a wet, warm washcloth.

Follow up with your favorite toner, moisturizer, or facial oil. Ta-da! Gorgeous skin.

Use once or twice a week for best results.

Five Tips To Manage Plantar Fasciitis

Please note: This article originally appeared on Pro Health (prohealth.com) on December 15th, 2015.

Unfortunately, foot pain is an all too common complaint among Lyme disease patients. Plantar fasciitis is often diagnosed because it’s a frequent cause of heel and arch pain. The dense, fibrous tissues that run along the bottom of your foot, connecting the heel to the base of your toe, become uncomfortable and inflamed. If you suffer from this type of foot pain, you know how difficult–sometimes, downright excruciating–it is to be on your feet. The pain is often most noticeable in the mornings, but frequent periods of standing or sitting can also provoke a flare-up of your symptoms at any time of the day. While there are several reasons for the onset of plantar fasciitis, the following tips can help you manage, and hopefully reduce, the severity of your foot pain.

1. Rule out co-infections.

Initially, it might seem unimportant to mention foot pain to your Lyme-treating physician when there are often a myriad of other issues to treat. However, the co-infection Bartonella can mimic foot pain that is often misdiagnosed as plantar fasciitis. It’s essential to tell your doctor about this symptom. Doing so helps him or her to determine which infections to target during treatment. The good news is that foot pain due to Bartonella usually improves with treatment. In the meantime, you can use the tips outlined here to help lessen the intensity of the pain.

2. Consider taking a combination of calcium and magnesium.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia expert, Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, recommends 1,000mg-1500mg of calcium and 200mg of magnesium at bedtime to relieve the irritation and stiffness associated with plantar fasciitis. He states that it can take up to six weeks to begin working, but this combination is usually quite effective at mitigating foot pain. Be sure to discuss the addition of these supplements with your doctor, as calcium and magnesium are known to interfere with the absorption of some medications like prescription thyroid medications and some antibiotics.

3. Ice the bottom of your foot.

Icing is one of the easiest and cheapest modalities to use to lessen foot pain. Simply wrap an ice pack in a cloth or towel. Then, place the pack on the bottom of your foot over the area of pain for 15-20 minutes. Repeat three to four times per day for maximum benefit.

4. Stretch your calves.

Plantar fasciitis can be exacerbated by tight calves or Achilles’ tendons. By incorporating two simple stretches into your day, you improve the flexibility, mobility, and position of your foot.

Lying Down Calve Stretch:

Position: Lying in a comfortable buy soma online cod position on your back

Props: Yoga strap, towel or belt

Lie in a comfortable position on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Straighten your right leg toward the ceiling. Place the yoga strap, towel, or belt around the ball of your right foot. While keeping your leg as straight as possible, gently pull on the strap until you feel a stretch in your calf and down the back of your leg. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds. Repeat the stretch three times, and then proceed to the left leg.

Downward Dog Stretch:

Position: Bearing weight on your hands and feet in an inverted “V.”

Props: Yoga mat or some other non-skid surface

I like to use this particular yoga posture because it stretches both the hamstrings and Achilles’ tendons. Place your palms flat on the mat, floor, or some other non-skid surface where you won’t slip. Your palms should be shoulder-width apart on your mat, and your fingers comfortably spread open. Step back with each leg until your body is in the shape of an inverted “V.” Press your feet into the floor, straightening your legs as much as you can–never overdoing the pose. For some people, the heels will reach all the way to the floor. For others, they won’t. The goal is to feel gentle stretching down the back of your legs and into your Achilles’ tendons. Reach your tailbone to the sky, and relax your upper back, head and neck in this pose. Hold for ten deep breaths.

Advanced: If you are familiar with this pose, you can bicycle your legs; lifting the right heel, then the left, to deepen the stretch in the calves. Alternate heels for ten deep breaths.

5. Massage the bottom of your foot with a tennis ball.

Position: Either sitting or standing

Props: A tennis ball

You can perform this stretch either seated or standing, depending on what feels best to you. Place a tennis ball on the ground. Put your foot on top of the ball and roll it back forth along the length of your arch. Use enough pressure so that you feel a deep stretch. When you locate areas of soreness, continue slowly massaging those areas until you notice an improvement.

While these tips are helpful to many people, It’s important to remember they can take a few weeks to a few months to yield improvements. If you do not see progress in your pain levels within a reasonable timeframe, please don’t lose hope. There are several options to discuss with your doctor, like physical therapy sessions, personalized orthotics, and taping techniques, as well as others, to get you on the path to recovery.

References:

Teitelbaum, J. (2015). Plantar Fasciitis. From Fatigued To Fantastic. Retrieved from

http://www.jacobteitelbaum.com/natural_cures/plantarfasciitis.html

http://www.prohealth.com/library/showArticle.cfm?libid=22087&site=articles#discus

Q & A Thursday

Today, I am very excited to announce the beginning of a new section on my blog called, Q & A Thursday. As people search for more answers, I find myself unable to respond to all the emails I receive. My hope is that weekly question and answer posts (or whenever I feel up to the task of writing them) provide insights into the more commonly asked questions. Wishing everyone continued hope and healing in the new year! May this year be a breakthrough year for us all!

 

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Q: I saw some photos of you online, and it seems like you’ve been doing buy soma mexico better. How are you feeling now?

A: Well, how much time do you have? That’s a complicated answer.

Above all things, I try my very hardest to remain hopeful and optimistic during what is hands down the most challenging and grueling time in my life. When my symptoms ease up for a short period, I take full advantage of the opportunity. Those quick flashes of time are what you see captured in my photos–moments of promise and joy. I am doing better in those moments because, well, I am living.

In contrast, I struggle with intense, prolonged episodes of debilitating exhaustion. It’s never fully gone, but sometimes it lessens. Whenever I change my treatment protocol, the fatigue intensifies. I have recently begun treating Babesia, and if it’s possible to be exhausted from being exhausted, that’s pretty much where I’m at right now. I find it difficult to leave my house due to the lack of energy. I require more rest times throughout the day; it’s a bit reminiscent of the days before I started treatment and I am trying desperately not to freak out. Admittedly, I had a bit of a breakdown this morning.

But, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that Lyme is a roller coaster that never stops. While this ride has dipped down for the moment, I know it will eventually climb again–hopefully, sooner rather than later. In the meantime, I will continue to follow my treatment protocol and get back into the habit of a consistent detox regime.

Thanks for the question.

Lessons Learned Through Joy, Pain, and Self-Discovery

[Note: This article originally appeared on Pro Health on December 7th, 2015. www.prohealth.com. Christmas is a time for reflection over the past year, and celebrating the possibilities for the new year. It seems appropriate to me then, that I would post this article today. Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a new year filled with joy, peace, and healing. Here’s to 2016!]

October 24, 2013, was probably an average Thursday in the lives of most people. For me, however, it was a life-changing day; it was the day I finally had some answers. After numerous doctors and ten years of seriously declining health–the last 18-months of which I spent bedridden–I listened sharply on the phone as my nurse practitioner informed me, “You have Lyme Disease. You’ve probably had it most of your life.”

I was both scared and relieved to hear this news. Scared because, well, I knew I would be embarking on one of the greatest challenges of my life, and relieved because I was no longer in the dark about what to call the mysterious illness wreaking havoc on my body. The list of diagnoses I had collected over the years–from Interstitial Cystitis and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis to Fibromyalgia, and Adrenal Fatigue–all suddenly seemed interconnected. I knew the path to reclaiming my health would require patience, persistence, effort, and faith. Nevertheless, I was ready to confront the illness that had sidelined me for years. Thankfully, I had the support of my loving husband and family.

On that fall morning in October, my nurse practitioner laid the groundwork for a treatment protocol that has slowly helped me to rebuild my life, one tiny step at a time. There are layers of damage to address as a result of going years–maybe even decades–with undiagnosed, systemic infections. I just passed the two-year treatment mark. I am not cured or well yet, but I am healing. I still have ups and downs; I have flashes where it seems like remission is in reach and stages where I can barely lift my head from the pillow. In spite of all the highs and lows along this bumpy road, I am forever transformed by the lessons learned through joy, pain and, self-discovery. Here are those lessons:

Learn to resist the urge to dwell in a negative headspace for long periods of time.

In the beginning, I had spent countless amounts of energy thinking about the past; what I once was capable of doing, and the social life I had prior to my illness. Dwelling on the past immediately ushered me into a very dark, negative place in my mind. Isolated from the things and people I loved the most, the loneliness was heartbreaking. I felt hopeless, lost and frustrated. I grew too fearful to even imagine a future where joy and dreams could exist. Sickness appeared to win and overtake the best parts of me.

I am not exactly sure when the shift in my thinking occurred; but my core, my spirit, the very deepest places of me, eventually changed. I let go of anger and gave cheap generic soma myself permission to redefine my identity in spite of the struggles I faced. In contrast, by maintaining my focus on the present and not the past, I discovered more peace within my situation. Slowly, I began to see light and hope in the places once occupied by darkness and negativity. I still struggle, but I see an opportunity for personal growth in the midst of my troubles and I choose to embrace it. I am more content nowadays as I take on these health challenges, and much less likely to contemplate the gloomy side of things.

When one chapter of life closes, a new chapter begins.

Early in my treatment, I came across a wonderful quote from Pastor Brian Houston. It reads:

“Never ever confuse the end of an era in your life as the completion of your destiny.”

The truth of his words gripped my heart with such conviction I have yet to forget them. He was right. There was no denying that an era in my life had ended. Although I grieved those devastating losses for months, I began to hope and affirm a new beginning; a season of healing and anticipation, in my life. I anchored my thoughts to the idea that I still had a purpose and a destiny, and I have not looked back.

Even though I am strained beneath the weight of a controversial illness, I know I still have a unique set of gifts and talents worth sharing with the world. I accept that Lyme disease is my present circumstance. Thankfully, circumstances can and do change. However, the destiny for my life does not. It’s so freeing to write that!

Take time to celebrate the small victories.

Yes, I still have a chronic illness, but I repeatedly test the notion that I can’t enjoy life. I frequently take mental vacations from my illness– from obsessing over it, Googling it, and chatting about it. Instead, I try to celebrate small victories and nurture my adventuresome spirit.

I snap pictures of just about everything I do. That’s become my approach to maintaining a celebratory, productive outlook. When progress seems slow to come, I can look at these visual reminders and see there have been several small victories. These accomplishments help me to combat adversity and renew my optimism.

I hope I will one day beat Lyme disease altogether. I am steadfast in my determination and more resilient than I realized. Ultimately, there are many more healing milestones to celebrate along the way.

My current treatment is aggressive and will continue to be intense for a while. Although someone else could be angry about their experience with chronic Lyme disease, most of the time, I am not. I choose to stay grateful that I have a body that refuses to give up. Another person– a different body– may have quit a long time ago. In the middle of all the chaos, there have been moments of immense happiness over the last two years. I live for those moments. They are the fuel for my soul to continue this healing journey.

This Fatigue Tho! Part 1

Full Disclosure: The kind, generous folks at Mitosynergy gave me samples of their products to review, provide feedback, and see if the products improve my energy levels (I already use their MitoLipo product).

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Fatigue–like it’s a miracle I can lift my head off the pillow most days kind of fatigue–is my worst symptom. Even with more than two years of treatment under my belt, this symptom has barely budged. I have already tried dozens of things to try to combat this type of “sick” fatigue. Over the next month, I will document my progress to see if there is any improvement using the Mitosynergy products in my situation.

To begin, I filled out a Brief Fatigue Inventory to better track my progress and note any measurable changes.

Brief Fatigue Inventory:

0 is no fatigue, 10 is as bad as you can get.

1) Rate your fatigue level now.
Rating: 8

2) Rate your usual level of fatigue during the past 24 hours.
Rating: 8

3) Rate your worst level of fatigue during the past 24 hours.
Rating:9

Note: I had horrible insomnia last night, and I was exhausted to the point where I did not know if I could walk to the bathroom.

4) During the past 24 hours, where can i buy carisoprodol online fatigued has interfered with your:

A. Generalized Activity
Rating: 7

B. Mood
Rating: 6

C. Walking ability
Rating: 5

D. Normal work (including work outside the home and daily chores)
Rating: 7

E. Relations with other people
Rating: 7

F: Enjoyment of life
Rating 6

Note: Even in the moments of craziness and uncertainty, I still find moments of joy.

I will incorporate the following products into my current treatment and detox protocols:

1) MitoMelts– a powder that you take under your tongue with mitochondrial-specific nutrients to optimize neuromuscular health. The product tastes pretty good–like a SweetTarts candy.

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2)GreenTeaSynergy Plus– a room temperature tea you sip throughout the day. It has a blend of green tea, noni, and Humic Acid; with Humic Acid shown to have viral inhibitor properties.

GreenTeaSynergyPlus

3)MitoMudBath Extreme Cleanse– a detoxifying mud bath with a blend of peat, pine essential oil, wintergreen essential oil, sulfur, and glycerine. This product drains easily, even in an Old, Chicago tub like mine.

MudBath1

Getting ready for my first mud bath.

Getting ready for my first mud bath.

I will write an update on this new addition to my treatment in the next few weeks. I hope and pray I can make a significant dent in this fatigue once and for all!

 

 

Exactly three years ago today…

Looking back at this pic from three years ago, I choked up a bit. I may “appear” okay, but inside my body, a serious war waged on that had me fighting for my life. What many never knew is that I am leaning on Tom because I was too weak to stand on my own. My hair is long and uncut because I was too sick to endure a trip to the hair salon. My glasses were broken because I stepped on them 4 months buy soma 350 mg online prior and was not strong enough to go to an eye doctor. I was bedridden 90% of the time and remained that way for 18 agonizing months. After this picture was taken, I immediately had to lie down. The girl in this picture knew she would fight an invisible battle for the rest of her life– a battle that would rarely ever show on her face. I am so glad this girl was brave, had perseverance and most importantly, never gave up. ?

New Pumpkin Patch Pic

#?TakeThatLyme? ?#?NeverGiveUp?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Treatment Update: This Is My Present, Strange Reality

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First, thank you so much for your nice words and comments the past few months regarding my post, A Life On Pause, through Facebook, emails, my blog and elsewhere. Tens-of-thousands of people around the world read it! I am speechless. That is the greatest compliment I have ever received. The article is even scheduled to be printed in the upcoming issue of The Lyme Times, a quarterly journal through LymeDisease.org.

I have been hesitant and excited to write this update. Hesitant because, well, there’s the fear of relapse in the back of my mind, and excited because I finally made a dent in this disease. Lyme is a sucker punch of an illness and has delivered enough low, unexpected blows to me to last a lifetime.

I’ve been treating Lyme Disease and a host of overlapping conditions for nearly two years now. My condition fluctuates between bad and worse days. This pattern has been consistent. My treatment has been intense, occasionally hurling me backward before I can move forward again. Quitting is not an option, though I sometimes fantasize about throwing all my pills in the trash. It’s not easy to take upwards of 60 pills, herbs, tinctures and supplements each day.

This is my life. When the alarm sounds, it’s time to take my medications. I have taken medications in a Chipotle bathroom, the back of a taxi, dressing rooms, the hair salon, the grocery aisle at Target, in the middle of a church worship service, even, on a Ferris Wheel (once).

This is my present, strange reality. And there are still years of treatment ahead.

However, I made a promise to myself early on in my treatment that I would never measure my progress by how anyone buy soma drugs online else was doing. I would choose the treatments that felt right for me. I do not chase after treatments in the hopes of finding a faster fix to my circumstance. I don’t have the financial means nor the energy to do so. I accept that recovery, remission and a better quality of life take time and effort. It’s more work than I could ever have imagined.

But my story begins to take a favorable twist. Those who see me, talk with me or follow me on social media know there has been a subtle shift occurring in my symptoms. I have better days. At times, even a good day:

I felt the wind whip through my hair and the sunshine on my face as I sat by the lake. I shared delicious dinners with long-time friends. I tasted my first Stanley’s donut. I walked through my neighborhood park and breathed in the fresh air. I had a wonderful 4th of July with my mother and Tom and only required a few days to recover. I took the dogs to the park. I danced to an old workout video. I hung upside down from some monkey bars. I even napped! Yes, insomnia that tortured me for years is truly improving. There is such happiness in these small victories for me.

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When I look back on the last year and ten months, I feel proud. I am proud of my attitude through this journey, proud I persevere along the path of recovery and proud of the life I am rebuilding bit by bit. This has been my greatest challenge, but I now know things do get better.

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