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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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Why I Write About My Health

Posted on Apr 1, 2013 in Blog |

As part of a task to get myself writing more regularly, I have accepted The Health Activtist Writer’s Month Challenge #HAWMC. Some of the prompts they have provided I will use. Some, I will improvise upon. I also think this will help me with complete more sections of my book Lyme Savvy. This is probably the easiest question of the entire challenge: Why do I write about my health online and what got me started. When I was first diagnosed with Lyme in September 2009, the only other person I knew (my aunt) had died from the disease seven years prior. I felt very alone. My uncle was guiding me through the process of getting the RIGHT testing and finding a Lyme Literate medical Doctor (LLMD), but I didn’t have anyone to share my experience with. Someone in our community told me about a neighbor who also had Lyme, so I contacted that person. It was not the experience I had wanted or needed. This person was almost elusive, offering me no physician suggestions, no real hope. It was WEIRD. And very isolating. Then, a phone call from a previous employee of mine (who remains a very close friend). ‘You have to meet my boss,’ she urged. ‘He has Lyme too and he has a phenomenal doctor that I think you need to meet.’ And so Dan and I met for coffee and we immediately clicked. Dan validated my entire experience both from symptoms over the years to the horrible mess of finding a good physician and appropriate treatment. Dan and I still meet for coffee about once a month to keep tabs on each other. Dan’s physician is now my physician. And I feel very, very lucky. I write about my health online because I had already started my blog, but I wanted to make sure that no one else ever experienced the loneliness and isolation that I experienced with that first individual. I want other lyme patients to know they can call, email, facebook, anything to reach me. That connection with one other person was critical to my sense of hope and my determination for healing. In...

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