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May Day Rally Speech

Posted on May 26, 2013 in Blog |

Day 25 – May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. We had a rally at Freedom Plaza in Washington DC today. I was one of the speakers. My assigned topic was “Green Smoothies.” When I sat down to write this speech, I put on a work out shirt that my Aunt Betty wore in her last months while she underwent treatment for Lyme Disease. She died from complications of Lyme in 2002 at the age of 57. I wanted her spirit to be with me as I prepared for today. So, Aunt Betty, this is for you. I was originally diagnosed in 2009 with Bartonella and Babesia. After a 22-month course of oral abx, I have now tested clear for Bartonella for 2 years. I’m still working on that pesky Protomyzxoa Rheumatica. My point is that it IS possible to heal from this disease. Things I never thought I would never be doing five years ago: 1. considering coffee enemas 2. writing my second book 3. scheduling laughter time every day with a dose of the television comedy Big Bang Theory 4. taking extra time to play with my puppies because it makes me feel good 5. going without makeup for weeks at a time 6. taking 50 pills a day and being grateful for every single one, knowing each has a specific healing task 7. and drinking green smoothies, willingly . . . Green smoothies are the metaphor for how my healing started. Three and a half years ago when I started treatment, my physician was very gentle. And in a subtle way, he told me I would be going through many changes in order to heal. I heard him, but I didn’t truly understand exactly what changes I would undergo. I did hear him say over and over, “Your number one job for at least the next year is to heal. Every decision you make should be based on the question of ‘will this help me heal?’” If the answer is no, then don’t do it. First came the “learning to say no”, restricting my schedule, required resting periods. I didn’t go out after 5 pm. I only...

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I Never Thought I Would

Posted on May 19, 2013 in Blog |

Day 19 – May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month Things I never thought I would never be doing five years ago: eating almost all organic food saying “no” with no guilt considering coffee enemas drinking green smoothies trying to figure out computer software that used to be “simple” losing so many friends and being ok with that writing my second book scheduling laughter time every day scheduling meditation times giving presentations about Lyme disease participating in protest rallies against the Infectious Disease Society of America taking extra time to play with my puppies because it makes me feel good eating raw, unfiltered honey daily surrendering to fatigue without much guilt – coming home from work at 1 pm to rest laughing louder than I used to because it feels so good to laugh going without makeup for weeks at a time figuring out which method is the best way to detox my body – lemon water, Epsom salts, sauna . . . having two bumper stickers on my car that say “Eat More Kale” and “Sheldon for President” wearing no jewelry but my wedding band spending an hour every two weeks dispensing pills taking 50 pills a day and being grateful for every single one, knowing each has a specific healing task going low gluten, low dairy, low soy, low sugar; willingly inviting 100 people with Lyme disease to my house to celebrate our healing adamantly encouraging people to challenge their physicians and demand the correct testing for Lyme disease and co-infections Wearing lime green clothing Co-infections of Lyme: Erlichiosis, Mycoplasma, Bartonella, Babesia,Protomyxzoa Rheumatica, Colorado Tick Fever, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever,QFever Share...

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Role of Food in Healing – Part 2

Posted on Apr 27, 2013 in Blog |

April 27th – I have accepted The Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge to write daily about my disease. #HAWMC @wegohealth Role of Food in Healing – Part 2 There is a saying in Alcoholics Anonymous that is a semi-joke when newcomers enter and worry about trying not to drink. The ones with more sobriety will say something to the effect of, ‘Don’t worry; all you have to do is stop drinking and change everything about yourself.’ In some respects, that happens with a Lyme disease diagnosis too. My physician was really nice about it, though. He gives it to his patients in stages. But I’m going to give you the one shot deal here: In an IDEAL world, a person diagnosed with Lyme would eat a diet that is: – Organic foods only – dairy free – gluten free – soy free – sugar free and – anti-microbial – alkaline in nature – focusing on foods that eliminate inflammation In MY world, my diet is: – mostly organic – low dairy – low gluten – low soy – some antimicrobial – leaning towards alkaline – focused on foods that eliminate inflammation – and sugar is a challenge for me . . . Changing my diet has helped many of my symptoms lessen or disappear. When I went off the green smoothies this past month, I went CRAZY with sugar. I craved it insatiably. And I ate it. This past week was the height of my inflammation at which I finally surrendered back to my appropriate diet. Here is what it took me to get to the point of surrendering again: My gut was giving me hell. I dropped my toothbrush because my peripheral neuropathy had returned (vascular inflammation) I was tripping over my feet because of the neuropathy. I was having wild nightmares. My back pain increased. Swelling in my knees and ankles increased. For me, green smoothies is my transition food. When I go back on green smoothies, I don’t crave sugar. When I don’t crave sugar, I make better choices overall and I start eating more toward the ideal Lymie diet . . . Today’s green smoothie...

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Role of Food in Healing – Part 1

Posted on Apr 26, 2013 in Blog |

April 26th – I have accepted The Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge to write daily about my disease. #HAWMC @wegohealth The Role of Food in Healing from Lyme Disease – Part 1: Green Smoothies At 10 pm last night, I was loading my Vitamix with spinach, blueberries, strawberries, avocado, and coconut water. I hadn’t made a green smoothie in a month. But after two days of intestinal torment, I decided that maybe they really do help and I should go back to what was working for me. How did I get to this point? For most of my life, I have endured intestinal issues starting with a stomach ulcer at age four. Another ulcer at age 13. Gas, bloating, pain, and diarrhea throughout my life. Back then, the medical community believed that milk cured ulcers. I drank 8 ounces of milk every two hours for years. Two years ago, Dr. M suggested I try green smoothies to help reduce my intestinal issues, also mentioning the anti-inflammatory benefits of green smoothies. My response was quick: ‘Next topic, because there is no way I am drinking that nasty stuff.’ A month later, the friend who directed me to Dr. M encouraged me to try green smoothies, raving about how they have helped him tremendously. I was suspicious to say the least. ‘If it doesn’t taste good, I am NOT drinking it,’ I declared. Dan gave me his recipe. I tried it. It tasted good. I drank one the next day. It still tasted good. AND, for the first time since I can remember, I wasn’t in pain. I drank one the next day and the next day and the next day. No pain. Miraculous. One day, I was a little too busy and didn’t make my green smoothie. No biggie. I was ok. The next day, I didn’t feel like making it. That night, I was in misery again. So, I was hooked. I have been drinking green smoothies fairly consistently ever since. And every time I go multiple days without, my symptoms return. I don’t know exactly why green smoothies are so effective for me; I just know they work....

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First Day of Diagnosis

Posted on Apr 25, 2013 in Blog |

April 25th – I have accepted The Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge to write daily about my disease. #HAWMC @wegohealth If you could go back in time and talk to yourself on the day of diagnosis, what would you say? The day I was diagnosed correctly, I spent two hours with Dr. M. I had filled out a 22 page form listing all my symptoms, medical history, etc. When I filled it out, I lied. I thought if I admitted to all of the symptoms I had experienced, I would be labeled a psych case. When I went into Dr. M’s office, he took the form and then asked me all the questions again. The problem was, I couldn’t remember which symptoms I had lied about and which ones I was truthful about. So I just told the truth. For the first time in decades, my symptoms were validated by a physician. In those two hours, Dr. M explained how one diagnosis was responsible for all those symptoms. I walked out of that appointment, got into my car and sobbed with relief. What would I say to myself knowing what I do now? 1. You are the luckiest woman; you just found the most brilliant physician ever. 2. Dr. M is going to HEAL you. 3. You are not going to die from this; you will not repeat what happened to Aunt Betty. 4. Be patient. This is going to take awhile. 5. It’s going to get worse before it gets better. 6. This is going to be the hardest thing you have ever done. 7. Start eating healthy NOW. 8. Start eating organic food NOW. 9. Start EMDR therapy for PTSD NOW. 10. Start meditating daily NOW. 11. Your anxiety is part of the disease. It will go away as you heal. Yes, really, it will. 12. Dr. M is going to explain A LOT of things to you that will take you forever to understand. You will retain only about 20% of everything he tells you and that’s ok. 13. Dr. M is your partner in treatment. Trust him. 14. Start searching for and bringing in puns...

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