Don't forget to check out Astrid's blog to: http://rocasvida.com/
So we had a little party for Ms. Astrid (Kim) to meet the whole gang before she had to leave us. Quite an adventure with my closest friends and family. It is all laughs and hugs at our little backyard shin-digs. Here is a peek inside....OPA!!!!
Don't forget to check out Astrid's blog to: http://rocasvida.com/
A path to the light has been found, a new beginning has emerged from all the pain. I can not begin to tell you all that the last couple of weeks has brought to me. Another doctors appointment and Kim coming to the Big Easy!
First thing first Kim (aka Astrid) came to stay with me in NOLA! I can't tell you how excited I was for her to come. I was like a giddy little school girl the whole time, waiting impatiently. When she finally arrived Robbie & I swooped her up and took her for a stroll in downtown. I do say I wish we would have had more time there as we were having a grand time. We visited shops, saw the sites, watched local dancers & musicians, revisited places from the Tomboy years and made great plans. It was a magical day and I was so happy she got to meet all the wonderful people in my life.
We headed out to the doctor the next morning and of course mother nature was dishing out some freezing temps with sleet and snow. It was beautiful and serene to see the snow falling through the pines. We had a plan to listen to her playlist the way there but the music quickly faded as we were chatting away.
We went through our checklists for the doctor because...we forget. I teased her about her "SURPRISE" after we left the doctor...I know she was so excited that I planned this without her knowing anything! We talked and talked about everything and anything. It was a great drive there!
Arriving at the doctor we got all checked in and had some laughs with their Valentine Bag display. Drop a little sweatheart into the bag you liked the most. Good Times! Well we finally got called back and Kim went first. Before doc came in she shared with me some truly inspiring words from her book that left us both in tears. We held hands and prayed as the moment sank in. Doc came in and we shared with him her words of inspiration and we all hugged it out. LOL<3
She broke out her list and started firing questions as I took notes in the corner...again we forget. Then it was my turn and I started firing away with my questions and Kim was in the corner taking notes. We came and accomplished the goals we set out for our recovery and left with our hopes and hearts filled! I have to say each visit to see him is very emotional. We laugh, we cry and we PRAY! Words can not express the true depth of how much I have been blessed to have Kim & our LLMD in my life. They are both truly an inspiration and my saviors. All three of us will do great things...you just wait and see!
So the moment yall have been waiting for....THE BIG SURPRISE!! As soon as we left doc's office we headed to our surprise destination. Kim was so excited and we talked about all that we accomplished in our visit.
We finally arrived at The Paragon Casino!!
Kim was SO EXCITED!!! We got checked into our room and I did my last IV treatment while she got ready. She helped me fix my hair because it is sooooo dry and frail from all the antibiotics it just looks like a big rats nest most of the time. She worked her magic and BOOM brushable hair!! I was one happy lady! We got dressed and headed down to see the gators in the lobby and off to the casino. I did not have a care in the world that night I was free from my port & IV and with a true friend. Kim says I was walking tall that night, beaming with confidence, I personally did not feel so confident...I just didn't care. I was not there to impress anyone just wanted to have a great time and unwind with her. I was kid free, hubby free and stress free...could not ask for anything more!! We played the penny & nickel slots most of the night and we met some interesting people. THANKS to W for the great service lol! After we were done in the casino we popped back to the room to freshen up and then headed for dinner in the little 50's diner they had. We brought the food up to the room and talked some more. We came up with some great ideas ( I will be sharing after my visit to Austin...so stay tuned). I had the best night hanging out with her. I felt free for the first time in a long time.
The next morning we packed up and headed down to check out. While we were checking out I stopped to take some pictures of Kim in the lobby and out of nowhere an older gentleman asked who she was. He assumed because I looked all professional that she was someone famous getting her pictures "did". Funny enough the man was the piano player for Crystal Gayle...GO FIGURE!! So I captured a few shots of our up and coming star Kim and Mr. Dunlap. Just a side note, did some researching and he and his brother also played for Loretta Lynn and are in the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame!
On our way home we were passing an old PIGGLY WIGGLY and we both looked at each other and said "I haven't seen one in ages, lets go!" So, we went and in that split second decision changed the course of our lives forever.
We went in to buy some shirts and ended up making some new friends. Kim was telling the ladies all about Lyme and I was talking with the cashier and coming up aisle 8 was a Cajun as true as they come. He was speaking in that Cajun tongue and my messed up brain was having a hard time keeping up. He then asked me if I knew God's name...and I just looked puzzled. He then said God's name is HOWARD.
I turned and looked at Kim and said you have to hear this. One thing led to another and before we knew it we were in the back of the store where he was smoking some turkey necks. It smelled sooo good. He was so sweet and asked if we had time and I said of course. He said to meet him upfront and so we headed up.
On aisle 8 of the Piggly Wiggly a new mission and dream was born.
I can not tell you the details of this yet but you will know all about it shortly.
After a short while he came up aisle 8 bearing a big gift. He had brought us some yummy ribs to take home for dinner. Now Kim and I both know he bought those for us and we are truly grateful for his generosity because he did not have to. One of those moments in life when you know a kind and giving soul and makes you feel the urge to Pay It Forward! Thank you for showing us your true soul, we love ya Mr. Gautreaux!! <3
To say the least Kim & I talked of our new plans the whole way home. I took notes of our conversation and all the details from our trip. This is one of the best days of my life, I will never forget the birth of this new beginning. Our lives and the people around us will forever be changed because of this day.
There will be more to come on all the developments but just keep this in mind BIG things are happening for these two ladies...BIG DREAMS COMING TRUE! Our path to the light has begun.
2-7-14 New Beginnings Pinky Swears LOVE YA SWEETIE <3
Here is to US and our NEW future!
Life has thrown another curve ball my way and brought me to my knees for guidance from above....
Life is precious and short.
In the blink of an eye...
a lifetime could pass you by..
everything can change...
So forgive often & love with all your heart...
You may never know if you will have the chance again
As many of you know already my husbands grandmother passed January 21 unexpectedly. Her passing has caused me great pain inside that I have not shared with anyone. From someone who lost their grandfathers before I was even born and to loose both my grandmothers fairly young she became my Maw Maw. She had been battling dementia in the last few years of her life and was enjoying her new life in a great home that catered to her needs. She had an accident that left her with a broken hip and broken femur but she pulled through and had started physical therapy. All in all I thought for sure she was going to be fine, but sadly it did not turn out that way. The morning she passed she went to her PT as normal but asked if she could stop early because she was tired. The nurse said it was fine and took her back to her room to rest. The nurse got her all fixed up and said she would be back to check on her in a little while, when she returned she had passed in her sleep. I am forever grateful that she passed on her own terms and peacefully in her sleep.
My heart is saddened from the loss. She was a very interesting woman and I loved to hear her stories. She would tell me all about her days as a child on the strawberry farm and her life up until Paw Paw had passed in 2004. The great adventures they took and the love of her family and church. I watched as her memory faded and she slowly forgot the things that meant so much to her. It was hard to watch my husbands family loose her that way.
The service was wonderful and the pastor made all the difference in the world as he knew Maw Maw Ruby personally. He brought an intimate setting to her service that I will never forget. It touched my soul and left me thinking.
In a day that brought such chaos from the icy weather, closed bridges, freezing rain, nurse coming, infusion and my picc line dressing coming off a beautiful soul was laid to rest and a fire lit in me.
My emotions from the service impacted me so intensely because of my own internal battle with my mortality. After finally receiving a diagnosis of Chronic Lyme Disease and Lupus my life has changed dramatically. I feel like I have went through stages that has left me where I am today. Not all are sunshine and happiness and not all are dark and depressing. Somewhere in between I had a breakthrough, but this loss set me back.
I started out with bittersweet emotions finding out I had Lyme Disease. I was grateful for FINALLY having an answer but saddened at the grandeur of the disease. I struggled with the acceptance from close family and friends. Still till this day there are people in my life that do not wish to learn or acknowledge the depth of Lyme and its impact on my life. I moved past the bitterness and tried to focus on the healing. This is easier said than done. Things that were going on in my personal life and in my family at the time just broke me. My whole world ceased to exist as I knew it. Things had changed and my heart was broken, my dreams shattered.
Something profound came out of this catastrophe, a new me. I had been broken for the last time, I could not fathom another moment of the past to haunt me. I had hit my rock bottom of emotions. Everything that I held dear was slipping from my grip. If it were not for a few true friends I do not know how I would have fared. Their words and guidance brought me from a place of darkness to a warm place in the Lyme Light.
(Kim, Kara, Deb & Jess I am forever grateful for your kindness & endless support <3)
I have described to my friends this experience that I had in a unique way. It was like being led to the water by the congregation for a cleansing of my soul, to be reborn. To be in the river and have my body thrust into the depths to wash away every bit of hurt and resentment that I carried with me. It was purifying and at the end everyone rejoiced in my new found empowerment.
I have never been more clear on my path than I am now. To me I was given the greatest gift. A gift of true forgiveness. Do not get me wrong I did not forget the terrible and unthinkable things that have been done to me but I no longer were going to let them define me. I have moved on from the hate, resentment, pain, isolation, betrayal and regret. I feel I have been unburdened by these debilitating emotions. I made it to the other side and I am so grateful. My conscious is finally cleared and my heart purged for a new beginning.
My purpose and calling now is on healing my broken body and elevating my mind to utter peace. For the first time in my life I need to focus on ME. It is not about everyone else right now. This time...this time I need the help. I need the troops to rescue me. I do not seek your pity. I seek your wise words on your experiences, your words of encouragement, a helping hand when I can not get up on my own, an understanding that you don't understand how this feels and offer support regardless without judging me, I seek unconditional friendship and love.
I am realizing how fragile my life is after the passing of Maw Maw Ruby. How in a blink of an eye it can be over. So why would I want to spend it dredging up the past and living in pain. I have moved on from that place but it brings me back to a sense of urgency to get well. I do not want my life to end on that note and this disease is not going to define me but RE-DEFINE my life.
I mean that only good is going to come from all that I am suffering and going to suffer. This disease has brought people from my past back into my life and started new friendships that will never be replaced or forgotten.
A beautiful story is unfolding right before my eyes and this roller coaster is going full speed ahead!
Hold on tight...it's going to be a bumpy ride!
So, I never thought I would wake up feeling the way I did today. It has been a challenging day already and it is not even NOON!! My mind is all over the place. My emotions raging through me like a bat out of hell. My hands shaking so bad today that I can hardly hold a cup to drink. My body trembling and spasms all over. The ticks have taken over for sure today!
I felt somewhat accomplished today that I got to inform a sweet lady from CarePoint named Patty about Lyme Disease and what it involves. This woman lives where Lyme originated and did not know hardly anything about it....that is just sad to me. It angers me that people and doctors are not educated on this ever growing epidemic.
This is the first time I have felt this extreme of symptoms at one time. I guess this is the IV antibiotics doing their job finally. Ironically this is a good thing, not a bad thing. Feeling worse means that it is drawling the bacteria to my bloodstream so it can break it up and kill it off.
For the last few weeks have slept so much that the days just seemed to be meshed all together. Getting up to do something was such a task or just trying to "think" was such an effort it wore me out. My parents were a great help being here to pick up my slack but now they are gone and hubby is back at work again and its all on me again. This is a challenge as I know I am only going to get worse and I do not know where that leaves me being able to care for my kids and my family. Its alot to ponder and yall have a front row seat to this soap opera.
Thanks to two very sweet women in my life my day is brightening up. I am blessed to have them to call or text for whatever I need. Even though one is over 500 miles away and the other is just around the corner, they are always there for me and I am forever grateful. So a big shout out to the both of you, I love yall so much! Thank you both for being such great friends to me.
Till next time......
This is a two part update in one post as it is taking me longer and longer to get the energy to put information together that makes sense. First part is on my IV treatments and the rest is on Lyme today and how it effects everyone. Please get informed there is so much information out there and I have saved you alot of trouble by posting many of the links in the second part of this post. Thank you evreryone for your continued support and prayers they are very appreciated.
Two weeks of treatment have come and gone and I have definitely noticed a difference in how I feel. I just wish this was going to be the worst of it but I know sadly it is not. My energy level is low that even getting up to go to the bathroom is a task that I would rather not partake in. My phone rings off the wall and a streams of text messages a day. I wish I had the energy to talk to everyone that calls or texts but I don't. I PROMISE I am not ignoring anyone on purpose :)
Just writing this blog takes so much out of me. My sweet friend Kim had a great idea to start updating with video but I have not been as brave as her to expose that part of this ugly, relentless disease. Maybe one day I can but for now I will just have to keep using pictures and my written word.
My friend mentioned something in her blog about the cost of this treatment and how insurance companies will only pay for 28 days of "investigational treatment" I thought I should add that to my blog as well. The cost for most people after this period will be on average $45/day. That is only for IV Home Infusion, that does not count the other antibiotics, medications, supplements and supplies needed. The reason that this is so important is there is such a coverup going on here and people are dying from Lyme because they can not get proper treatment! The cost of treating Lyme is very expensive and most doctors don't want to get into trouble for treating it. So here are a few things to ponder.http://lymedisease.org/news/lyme_disease_views/lymepolicywonk-annual-lyme-costs-now-top-3-1-billion%E2%80%94it%E2%80%99s-time-to-wake-up.html
To give you an idea on how POPULAR insurance companies view Late/Chronic Lyme Disease, here is what is in your EOB's (Explanation of Benefits):
(If you actually read this all the way through you would be amazed at the constant contradictions in how it is confirmed and how it is treated. Just to give you an idea here is a clip from it.
Aetna considers outpatient intravenous antibiotic therapy medically necessary in adult and pediatric members with the diagnosis of Lyme disease only when it is based on the clinical presentation of signs and symptoms compatible with the disease and supported by a positive serologic and/or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) titer ( So they want a SPINAL TAP)by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA), Prevue Borrelia burgdorferi antibody detection assay, or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), which itself is validated by a positive Western Blot Test (see CDC criteria in note* below).~Aetna considers the following diagnostic tests for Lyme disease experimental and investigational because there is inadequate scientific evidence to prove their usefulness in clinical practice: (Click the link to see full list-you won't believe your eyes)
United Health Care-
***This one actually admits in its studies section that "IV ceftriaxone therapy resulted in short-term cognitive
improvement for patients with posttreatment Lyme encephalopathy, but relapse in cognition
occured after the antibiotic was discontinued."
Blue Cross/Blue Shield- http://www.anthem.com/medicalpolicies/policies/mp_pw_a050480.htm
Some interesting sites on how big this is...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lClS8IEkvok (Dr. Phil)
(one of the best interviews EVER!)
Dr.Phil Complete Show Parts 1-3
If you are reading this then you know someone with Chronic Lyme Disease. YES, YES YOU DO...ME!! So I am pleading with you to raise awareness. It is so more common than you may think. You may know several people with it and not know it or you yourself could have it and not know. People ask me all the time how "I knew" and I have to say it was a series of events and Gods impeccable timing that has gotten me to where I am now. I have had medical issues almost all my life whether it be one thing or another and to find out now that it was all related to Lyme Disease in one way or another angers me beyond comprehension. All it would have taken was for a doctor to test me for it, but because most doctors are not taught about Chronic Lyme or "It's not common/or in this area" I was never tested or treated for it and went misdiagnosed for over 20 years! I also have to say that the current test that general labs do (western blot test) is not very accurate in determining if a person has Lymes disease unless it is caught within the first couple of months of being "exposed" to it. Like how I use the word "exposed" instead of bitten. The reason I say this is because you can get Lyme disease even if you are not bite by a tick!!!! AGAIN, YOU CAN GET LYME DISEASE EVEN IF YOU DO NOT GET BITE BY A TICK!! It as not well documented but more and more studies show that Lyme disease is passed from mother to baby during pregnancy and that mosquitoes, small rodents carry Lyme as well.So, please do not be fooled by this massive ploy to hide this from the mainstream public. People are profiting off of this disease worse than any other I have ever seen and it needs to stop. People need to stop dying for inadequate care from doctors and insurance. I do not wish this disease on anyone, not even my worst enemy.
This disease strains every relationship that you have in life one way or another. No one fully accepts or understands what this disease is like unless they have it themselves. It takes on so many different things that it is not just one thing that defines it. The symptoms cover such a broad spectrum and come and go that people and doctors think you are crazy and need mental help. Its very hard for a person to have their own family and friends turn on them. The isolation that CLD (Chronic Lyme Disease) brings on is unimaginable.
So to everyone out there family, friends, acquaintances and my fellow Lymies, I pray for us all to find peace with this disease and I pray for full disclosure to the world. So that one of your family members, friends, co-workers, friend of a friend, or acquaintance does not feel the burden as I do now. The more it is talked about the more they will have to listen. If all of our voices become "ONE" we will be heard.
Lots of love my friends it maybe awhile till my next post, so keep me and my fellow Lymies in your prayers...we need them! #Lymies4Life http://statigr.am/tag/lymediseaseawareness
Whole site dedicated on everything LYME! http://lymepedia.org/
Here are a list of celebrities with Chronic Lyme Disease:
Daryl Hall - Hall & Oates
Yolanda Foster Real Housewives
Amy Tan author
George W. Bush
Richard Gere actor
Tim Simpson, professional golfer
Diane Varsi, actress
Alice Walker, author
Christie Todd Whitman, Governor
Ben Stiller & son, Comedian
Christie Brinkley, Model
Here is a longer list of famous people with LD or CDL
PLEASE WAKE UP AND SPREAD AWARENESS!!!
You may just save a life!
Yesterday I returned for my 6 week checkup after being diagnosed with Acute & Chronic Lyme Disease. I love that my doctor takes his time with me and listens carefully to everything I say so that he knows how to treat me best. This is something that I am not used to, as I am used to doctors calling me crazy lol.
After being on all the medications for six weeks it has taken its toll on my body and my stomach. It has come to our attention that my pill intake has to be cut drastically down so that my stomach will calm down. The decision to start IV medications was made yesterday. I will now be taking my antibiotics by IV and only a small few by pill form.
This is a huge step in progress for me. I desperately want to get better fast, but I know that I will get worse before I get better. It is just part of the process of killing this off and ALL the co-infections that I am plagued with. After going over all of the lab tests and symptoms it is clear how sick I really am and you would never know by looking at me. I can not stress enough how debilitating this disease is and how great it is at masking it all. I hate the famous line "well you don't look sick". That line makes me want to vomit and explode on someone.
I met a man from Arkansas while I was there and he was new to all this but had been suffering for about three years. We talked and talked about all the things that needed to be done and how great our doctor is and how effective his treatment plan is. He shared a little secret that most of us with an invisible illness don't talk about alot to other people. He mentioned that his wife was having a hard time accepting all this that he felt like no one believes him.
We have all been there. I have talked about it before how being this sick for so long can take its toll on any relationship. I feel like I have been a burden all these years. That nothing I was ever doing was ever good enough because I was not at my best. It has strained many relationships in my life including my marriage. It is an awful feeling knowing that you are not always pulling your weight and causing that person to pick up the slack. It is alot of pressure for someone. Overall, these people just don't understand that we don't want it this way, we want our lives back to whatever "normal" is or was.
I wish that everyone this disease and many others like it could come with an instruction manual for all the people in your life, especially your spouses. Maybe then it would not be so hard for them to accept. Maybe they could start to understand that we did not ask for this nor did we want it. It is, what it is....deal with it! If you truly love that person you should give that courtesy of believing them even if you can't feel or see it for yourself. It takes a whole other level of commitment and love to move through the treatment of this disease. I hope that for most of you out there that you have a spouse and family that love you and are with you every step of the way. But for most I know you are in the same boat as I am, they can't take it. They up and move on without you, never wanting to see you better and normal for the first time. I have listened to many people that are back to "normal" now that say those people try to step back in your life after it is all over with. This pains me greatly. What makes them think you would want them back in your life if they can't tough it out with you through the tough times. To me that shows a lack of character and commitment. There is no love there, it is a selfish relationship. Those people need to be purged from your life so a new and positive place opens up in your heart.
Ok enough of my side rant! To say the least here I am excited that my treatment is going in this direction because I know I will start to get better faster than I would on the pills. I will still be sick for a long time but there is an end in sight. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I maybe crawling there but I will get there, I can promise you that! I have great friends and a community of people like me all cheering me on, like I cheer for them. I will keep everyone posted!
I have to keep telling myself over and over again, this to will pass. You will come out stronger on the other side. People in your life that are not worthy will move on and true happiness awaits you on the other side. It will be a long bumpy road but you will get there one day. Keep your head held high and your emotions close because this is the ride of your life.
Stay Strong & Surround Yourself With People Who Love You!
What better way to let all your emotions come flowing out then with music! I have compiled some playlists from Spotify for your listening enjoyment. I can't say that you won't need like fifty boxes of tissues or something to break afterwards but don't say I didn't fore warn you!
Here is the real tear jerkers! Break out your tissues and some Ben & Jerry's and get to cleansing your soul...
#1 on this list to listen to is "Goodbye My Lover" by James Blunt....whew...if that doesn't leave you sobbing like a baby I don't know what will! I will post the lyrics below.
"Goodbye My Lover"
Did I disappoint you or let you down?
Should I be feeling guilty or let the judges frown?
'Cause I saw the end before we'd begun,
Yes I saw you were blinded and I knew I had won.
So I took what's mine by eternal right.
Took your soul out into the night.
It may be over but it won't stop there,
I am here for you if you'd only care.
You touched my heart you touched my soul.
You changed my life and all my goals.
And love is blind and that I knew when,
My heart was blinded by you.
I've kissed your lips and held your hand.
Shared your dreams and shared your bed.
I know you well, I know your smell.
I've been addicted to you.
Goodbye my lover.
Goodbye my friend.
You have been the one.
You have been the one for me.
I am a dreamer and when I wake,
You can't break my spirit - it's my dreams you take.
And as you move on, remember me,
Remember us and all we used to be
I've seen you cry, I've seen you smile.
I've watched you sleeping for a while.
I'd be the father of your child.
I'd spend a lifetime with you.
I know your fears and you know mine.
We've had our doubts but now we're fine,
And I love you, I swear that's true.
I cannot live without you.
Goodbye my lover.
Goodbye my friend.
You have been the one.
You have been the one for me.
And I still hold your hand in mine.
In mine when I'm asleep.
And I will bare my soul in time,
When I'm kneeling at your feet.
Goodbye my lover.
Goodbye my friend.
You have been the one.
You have been the one for me.
I'm so hollow, baby, I'm so hollow.
I'm so, I'm so, I'm so hollow.
I'm so hollow, baby, I'm so hollow.
I'm so, I'm so, I'm so hollow.
Here are some random songs to cleanse some more...
Here is some classical music to soothe your soul...Enjoy!
There comes a time when everyone must face what they don't want to face. Life beats you into submission, till you decide to fight back. At some point you can not deny what is happening around you or hide from it. No one can save you but yourself. You have to tear away from all the thoughts of grandeur and obedience. Pick yourself up off the frigid floor. Stand before the looking glass and see the truth for what it is. Stop the lying, stop the pain and stop the hate. Be what you are at heart and see the light. Don't let it drag you down again, down to the pits of Hell. Don't go back to that place of solitude and fear. Pick up the pieces of the wreckage and move onward. Don't look back. Hate awaits you in the rear view, and truth lies ahead.
Love has come and gone and there is no going back. The hatred tries its best to win you over and life throws you one devastating blow after another. You can not believe the things that you have done just to cope. Being taken for granted at every turn. Everything you once knew is shattered. Pain consumes an icy heart and takes you farther from the light. Unthinkable acts replay over and over in your mind. You try to piece together the broken fragments but it is pointless. Useless to try and fix anything anymore. Love just does not exist here anymore.
You can try to fight back all the tears but they will come anyway. Try to hide the hurt but it shows through. Try to pretend, but it is no use. Forgotten dreams of hope vanish in the night. You realize everything you knew is a lie. Nothing is what it seems to be. It is all so empty, the void is endless. Look out to the night sky, let it consume you. Get lost in the stars. Try to find lost dreams. It all seems as if it is drifting farther and farther away. Just out of reach, taunting your every move.
Pray for the light to come, pray for the night to fade. Beg for redemption, beg for peace. Peace of mind and soul. Try to heal your wounds, pull the knives from your back and try to mend. Rise up from the ashes, be strong. Do not shed anymore tears for things that you can not change. Race to the light, do not let the darkness catch you. Just run, run as fast as you can. It is creeping up, so run. Run so fast you just fly away, far...far away.
Go to the light, love awaits you there. Peace beckons you. You can forgive but not forget. You become someone that I used to know. Go forth, the birth of a new life awaits you in the light.
My journey to answers started years ago, but until recently it brought on a whole new meaning. I have listened to so much negativity throughout the years about my health and my sanity and it has taken its toll on me. The decision to pay for specialized testing through Igenex labs was a tough decision for me. All my fears surfaced on whether or not it was all in my head or the real thing. Years of people planting the seeds of doubt got to me. I knew deep down though I was not crazy; that what was happening to me was real, all of it was real.
So now I take you through the last few days that has forever changed my life.
Wednesday morning my friend Jenna and I set out to see the LLMD doctor that I have been waiting months to see and and a long lost friend. We talked for hours about all that had been happening to me and how people have treated me along the way. I was filled with anxiety. I had so many emotions running through my body it is almost indescribable. I was scared of what was coming and the anxiety just built up till we arrived. I had my moments of doubt on whether or not this was going to give me the answers that I was searching for and Jenna tried her best to ease my mind but I think she was just as anxious as I was.
We finally made into town and arrived at the hotel. My long lost friend Kim came out to meet us. I also met Kim's friend Vee for the first time. Kim has been in my life for a long time but we lost touch after high school when life took us in different directions. Just a few months ago we found each other again on Facebook. This would turn out to be a pivotal change in both of our lives. She was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme's Disease and had posted a video about it. We had talked forever about what I was going through and she suggested I watch. I watched the documentary with tears in my eyes the entire time. This was a story of me. Kim and I were convinced that I to had Chronic Lyme's Disease. Kim helped me through the next couple of months of preparing to see the LLMD doctor that she was seeing and to get the proper testing to diagnose it. I followed her steps and it led me to this day.
We all piled in the car Jenna, Kim, Vee and myself and off we went. After arriving at the doctor emotions were running high. We talked about the good ole days and tried to stay distracted until they called my name...it was time. Jenna and Kim accompanied me to see the doctor. We sat anxiously awaiting my test results. The doctor was reading my results and paused to utter the words "Jesus", he told us that it was the most positive test result he has ever seen. Kim was crying and I was in shock. Kim had to keep repeating it to me, telling me that not only was I positive by Igenex criteria but also by the strict guidelines of the CDC. When it finally hit me I just broke down and Kim and Jenna rushed to my side to hold me. It was a beautiful life changing moment. He expressed that I was very ill and he was going to help me get better and that I have had it since I was a child. Funny that two girls from a small town in Texas end up with the same disease.
My mind was racing with so many emotions that I was mentally exhausted. I could not believe that after all these years I finally had an answer to everything. I have been through so much pain and agony my whole life but it has made me strong and very tolerant to pain. I have listened to all kinds of doctors over the years tell me that I was crazy or making it all up, I even heard this from the people closest to me. I can't even begin to tell you how soul crushing that is. To have a doctor not believe you is one thing, but to have your family not believe you is another thing all together. I finally made the choice to just be my own self advocate on my health. When I connected with Kim she brought me hope and peace of mind that no matter what she believed me and was willing to help me. It takes a beautiful soul to give someone help when they in return are in just as much pain. All of this made me realize that I needed to move on from all the negativity in my life and start anew.
The girls and I headed out for some grub at a little Mexican restaurant. We sat in a booth for four and talked. Vee had struck up a conversation with an older man sitting across the way from us. He dressed in faded overalls, moss green crocs and a crooked camo cap. He was alone and unmarried, quietly eating his dinner. He obviously was a regular because even the manager knew his name. This man that I will call "R" spoke to us about respect for women and how always to be kind to them. He made my heart smile, surprisingly gentle and kind even with the rough exterior. When we were ready for the check the waitress came and told us that our meal had been "taken care of". We were shocked and asked by who. Even though the waitress never really said we knew who it was. The kind man "R" had picked up the tab for us. We were very grateful for his generosity and spent some time chatting with him. What a kindness "R" had showed us and we promised to pay it forward.
We headed back to the hotel to reflect on the day and unwind. I couldn't have asked for a better group of girls to help me through one of the hardest and joyous days of my life. We laughed, we cried and we goofed off big time! From dog piles to rapping in the parking lot we had an awesome night letting loose. Vee had us cracking up with her toilet paper mask that Jenna made her and her talent for rapping. Jenna graced us with her best dance moves and Kim with her beats. These ladies are infected with kindness and laughter.
The next morning was a somber one. It was time to head home. We decided to get some breakfast at Cracker Barrel and part ways. We talked over breakfast and then hit the gift store. Everyone knows you can't go to Cracker Barrel without visiting the store! With our last hugs goodbye we parted till next time. Jenna and I spent the rest of the trip home listening to music from Griffin House and enjoying the beauty of the drive.
In these short few days my life has changed dramatically. I not only found the root cause of all the things that I have experienced throughout my life but made some life altering decisions for myself. I learned in this brief period of time that life is to short and I do not want to be surrounded by people that do not make me happy and people who do not have my back. The betrayal I have felt has not left me bitter but more aware of people's true colors. I have learned the hard way and now I can move on with my life in a more positive way. Knowing what I will have to go through brings me comfort that I have great friends by my side.
Letter to Kim:
You have been such an inspiration to me. You reached out to me in my most desperate of hours. You helped me find the strength to march on in my journey for answers. Your kind and motivating words touched my heart and soul. You encouraged me with your own story of struggles to take the leap faith. I know that I have reconnected with a life long friend. Words can not due justice to the way you have changed me. I will be forever grateful for your support and honest words. I will always be here for you for anything that may come your way. I believe in you and God will bless you for you have paid it forward in one of the biggest ways possible. You are my friend and always will be.
The time has come for answers and actions in my life. So many things have been crashing down around me that I feel as though I am drowning.
I started on this journey seeking the answers to my health and my future. I have worked hard to get to where I am now and there is no turning back. I always knew this would not be easy to overcome but I have to try. All the changes that have been happening to me over the last year has halted my happiness. I have not been able to do all the things I love due to the way I have felt. It has all been slowly taken away. I still have fairly good days where I can go out and enjoy the sunshine with the kiddos or a good day of fishing but its not without pain, just tolerable. It means I wake up every morning and my pain level is either tolerable or not tolerable, end of story. It is what is and right now I can not change what is happening to me, but I am trying to.
In the midst of all of this some things have happened that I wish I did not have to endure. I wish I didn't see what I did. I wish that I did not have to face the truth that I am faced with now. It is right in my face taunting me to do something about it for so long but now it has all been exposed and there is no turning back now.
What I saw was people turning their backs on me, telling me I am faking, over exaggerating my illness because I am lazy or I wanted the attention. It is utterly mind blowing to me how these people claim to know me but really know nothing about me. It has been the hardest thing out of all of this to deal with. I have seen their true colors and it has crushed me. The people in my life that are supposed to be there for me no matter what and to have my back, hold my hand and help me through all this, just shut me out. I have never been more devastated by such heartless and cold acts.
I have always been there for these people and would gladly take a bullet for any one of them. It is obvious to me now that these feelings are not mutual. Some are not as cruel but just as skeptical in saying they need "proof" that I am ill. I am sorry that I do not look the part that makes it easier for you to accept that I am sick. Having an invisible illness that only rears its ugly head to the outside of me on occasion is very frustrating when I have to deal with ignorant and non-supportive people in my life. I never thought that I would have to "prove" anything to anyone that is close to me and that knows me, but I was greatly mistaken.
Due to this overwhelming experience and other personal issues, I have decided to make some big changes in my life. I am getting rid of all the negative and all the drama. I no longer need to be surrounded by people who do not love or care for me the way that I do them. I no longer want to spend my days walking on egg shells around these people and pretending to be ok with the way they are treating me. I am not a doormat, do not take me for granted and do not mistake my kindness for weakness! I have learned a harsh lesson about love, trust and respect and it is one I learned the hard way.
So it is time for action! Out with the old and in with the new, onward I march! A new me is emerging from all this pain, a stronger, smarter me. I have grieved, been angry and now I am determined to change my life around.
So, tomorrow I embark on my journey to see the LLMD and meet up with a long lost friend. She has been helping me every step of the way and I can not thank her enough. She is a rock battling her own battles but still finds the time to help me get through it to. God has blessed me by putting us back in touch with her. Together, her and I will move mountains! I am so excited and terrified all at the same time for so many reasons. This is going to be a long tough journey for me but the outcome will make it all worthwhile and y'all will have a front roll seat!
See y'all on the other side!
PS: I do want to thank all my precious friends that have been there for me every step of the way and who have helped me through every rough day I have encountered. They are all God sent and I love them all. Y'all know who you are! ;)