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Lyme Disease Interview on The Organic View

Posted on Aug 2, 2014 in Blog |

Please come and listen to June Stoyer interview me for her show The Organic View Share...

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Death of My Uncle

Posted on May 23, 2014 in Blog |

George “Troup” Brazelton III died suddenly on Thursday, May 1, 2014.  Troup was my uncle. Born on October 26, 1940 in Bessemer Alabama, he graduated from Parrish High School in Selma, Alabama in 1959 and graduated from Auburn University in 1968. Troup was an affable man. He diffused warmth and friendliness with anyone he came into contact with.  He could find a way to connect with anyone, whether he met you in a coffee shop or tailgating at an Auburn University football game.  He could initiate a conversation with anyone, any age, and find something in common within minutes of striking up the conversation.  It was a special talent Troup had that put people at ease- usually making them smile within minutes of meeting him.  He was quick witted and honest. You can tell a lot about a man about how he treats the women around him.  Troup treated his mother and his mother-in-law with great respect, honor, and genuine love.  He took them for drives to see the blooming crepe myrtles and azaleas. He shelled pecans with them. Troup often sat in a chair watching the television – he loved sports and the news shows.  He had opinions and welcomed debate with those that disagreed with him.  He wasn’t a loud or gregarious man; he was quiet in tone.  But he made people laugh.  His statements of the obvious could have been good enough for a stand-up comedy routine sometimes.  But his ability to make others laugh was in a “sneak up behind you and tap you on the shoulder” sort of subtlety. My first soul connection with Troup came in 2000 as he cared for Aunt Betty during her last years of declining health.  What started as a “reaction to suntan lotion” later evolved into a diagnosis of Lupus, to ALS, but was finally found to be Lyme Disease. During Betty’s last 24 months, Troup spent every moment caring for her, researching her symptoms, contacting physicians, doing everything in his power to save her life.  They had found the right diagnosis, and she was getting the right treatment, but it was simply too late.  The Lyme had ravaged too much of her...

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The Best Part of My Day

Posted on Apr 7, 2014 in Blog |

From my latest column at Women’s Voices magazine: When our son Stephen got into the car from school each day, he was quick to tell me the worst part of his day. It often involved another student making fun of him or not doing something the teacher wanted them to do. Stephen was an ardent rule-follower, so when someone else broke the rules, it was quite disturbing to Stephen. Almost as a self defense mechanism, I started asking Stephen, “What was the BEST part of your day?” He would think hard with the initial answers usually being “lunch” or “recess.” When I started ruling those options out, he looked more closely at his interactions with others. And eventually, he started finding more “best parts” of his day. When I started treatment for advanced Lyme disease, there were days and weeks that were absolutely miserable. Stephen would come home and ask me how my day was, and I immediately went to the worst of my day. With a small grin on his face, he would ask, “Well, then what was the BEST part of your day?” The student had become the teacher. For my birthday last month, I didn’t do anything in particular. But the best part of my day was eating lunch with my husband and two employees. The food was delicious, but it was the time we spent laughing, talking, and connecting that made it really special. Two days after my birthday, I watched my 58 year old husband Jeffrey endure a heart attack. For 36 hours we went from a little cough to bronchitis, to a possible pulmonary embolism, to a heart attack, to a heart attack and a blood clot, to the catheterization lab where they placed four stents, three of which are in the “widowmaker” artery. The weird part of this is that throughout the entire crisis, I was the calm one. Let me rephrase that. After I watched him have the heart attack, with his blood pressure up at 213/175, and thinking he would die at that very moment; AFTER that, I was overcome with the most mysterious but completely grounded confirmation that...

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Share Your Love Challenge

Posted on Feb 3, 2014 in Blog |

Please read my challenge to everyone to “Share Your Love” The over-commercialism of Valentine’s Day often annoys me.  For me, too much attention is given to romance.  The cards are big and glittery.  Women are dressed in red or pink; men are wearing red ties. At work everyone looks at the door each time it opens to see if they are the ones receiving the flower delivery.  This focus leaves too many people feeling left out and alone.  I hate it when people feel left out simply because they don’t have a romantic partner. I know it’s about ‘love,’ but the ads are all focused on ‘romance.’  I grew up feeling like the odd girl out, so I guess I might be a little hyper-sensitive to this matter.  But it’s important for me to feel that a day about love needs to be all-inclusive, not exclusive. I also hate the pressure Valentine’s Day puts on the couple (buying roses, dinner out, etc).  The cost of one day to publically show your affection for another person can easily run into hundreds of dollars just with the flowers or the dinner, depending on where you go.  In current economic conditions, this can be just too much. I have always told my husband specifically not to buy me roses for Valentine’s Day.  Instead, he brings me spring flowers.  They remind me the sun and spring are soon to arrive.  And I prefer them anyway.  I want the vibrant rainbow colors to shine on my desk.  And, they are usually far more impressive than any other arrangement around! We usually have dinner at home, because he can cook better than almost any restaurant.  And we hate paying money to be rushed through an expensive dinner in a crowded restaurant with no privacy.  So if we do go out, we make it for a week or so later.  But truly, I prefer sitting in our dining room, with candlelight and a great meal, and privacy! I also think things are different than they were say 40 years ago.  I remember getting a card from my parents on Valentine’s Day, but that was it. ...

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Healing from Lyme Disease TOGETHER

Posted on Jan 6, 2014 in Blog |

This past weekend I experienced one of the most energetic, productive days I have had in years, not weeks, not months – YEARS. I attribute this to my treatment protocol to kill the co-infections of Lyme disease I have been battling for four years now.  It has been a long, slow battle, but it is obvious I am towards the end of this war, and, clearly, I am winning. More than a year ago, my physician said, “A good day is proof you don’t have permanent damage.”  And he is right. Four years ago, I don’t think I would have believed his statement.  I didn’t have enough faith, and I hadn’t met anyone else who was healing. Then, I started meeting other patients with Lyme disease in my community.  I found other Lyme patients on Facebook.  I found other patients through my blog.  I met patients who were further along in treatment and who were healing.  I met others who were behind me in treatment. I started connecting with others by asking questions: Did you have these symptoms? What meds are you on? Do you ever feel like . . . ? How does your family react? What do you do when your friends ask if you are well yet? People were very kind to me.  They shared what they knew, what they had tried, how their friends and family had responded, and how they dealt with the reactions.  I started to feel less isolated and less of a freak.  There were other people out there with medical histories very similar to mine.  I wasn’t a hypochondriac.  I was sick.  And, I wasn’t along anymore. A few people shared their success stories with me as they were in remission or well.  They no longer had symptoms and were still testing negative after treatment.  There weren’t many, but a few and I clung to almost every word they shared.  I needed that hope.  I needed to know there might be an end to my suffering. During treatment, I stayed in contact with people asking them: Is this what herxing is? Does it get better? How do I lessen the symptoms?...

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