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As promised, here’s a photo I took this morning after sleeping with the henna on all last night. So, it’s a bit darker now. I love the design though! I consider a swirl symbol to be very symbolic of me and my life. Something like a trademark? Who knows. But I had to include it somehow.

 

My Henna!

Shall I share the ironic aspect to this design with you? I didn’t realize it until this morning as I was peeling the dried henna off. I added several dots in between the rays of the sun. {Yes, it’s a sun} Now you can’t tell from this particular picture but I’m seriously covered in moles. So now it looks like I just drew in 20-ish more moles than I actually have. And that one dot in the middle of one of the top rays? Yeah I didn’t draw in that one! See, you can’t tell the difference can you? I still love it though :)

 

As far as my progression with the Cat’s Claw. Whew. Day 2: Today was a long day. My mental capacities are barely discernable right now. I feel like I’m sifting through sludge when I try to think. Or write. Writing is becoming more difficult, which is a painful acceptance. I’m hoping this doesn’t continue too long. I’m also having chest pains, dizziness, loss of appetite, and I’m having some difficulty breathing. But once again these are all normal symptoms for me. Do I attribute them to the Cat’s Claw? I don’t know. I wish I did! Some of my eye symptoms are coming back too. That’s a little nerve-wracking. I’d really rather not have to have another spinal tap before heading off to Mayo.

 

I think that’s it for tonight!

Peace and healing, molly

 

“Never let go of hope. One day you will see that it all has finally come together. What you have always wished for has finally come to be. You will look back and laugh at what has passed and you will ask yourself… ‘How did I get through all of that?”

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I love this video! I smile each time I watch it. Enjoy!

 

 

More later,

Peace, love, and healing, molly

I finally decided it was time to start taking the Cat’s Claw we bought a month ago. Yeah, I know. I was avoiding it. I admit it whole-heartily! My LLMD is seeing great results from it with her patients. And we’ve heard from others who have been treated for Lyme with it. {One of whom is in remission!} They highly recommend that I try taking it as well.

 

I’m all for trying anything once. Call me adventurous, but really I just want to be well again in the shortest time frame possible. A lot to ask, I know. So why have I avoided it? I have one hesitation – those who have taken it describe a horrible herx following it. So, that means it works. It’s killing those little buggers. But I have to live through the process of it. I’m not looking forward to it.

 

And I’m wondering to myself why exactly I chose today of all days to start. I still have a week’s worth of school to get through before my summer begins and I’m actually a week behind in turning work in. Great. There’s an excellent example of Lyme brain right there. I forgot all of those things when I found the bottle of Saventaro in my meds bag while I was filling my pill containers for the week.

 

So I’ll of course record my experiences with it here as often as I can now that I’ve begun. I’m excited to have found the Saventaro though. It’s a pill form of TOA-free Cat’s Claw instead of tincture form. I’m starting with one pill in the morning until I see my LLMD next. No need to rush too fast into this… Slow and easy with this one.

 

On a brighter and more artistic note – I just finished my first Henna tattoo tonight! I’ve been in love with Henna as an art form for years. There’s a wonderful Henna artist at my local Farmer’s Market on Sunday mornings. But I was assigned to create my own Henna design and tattoo it myself in my Cross-Cultural art class this week. Needless to say I was very excited! I’ve wanted to learn for a while now, and this was just the push I needed. I have a feeling I’ll be experimenting a lot this summer! I’m crossing my fingers the two I did tonight turn out. I’ll post pictures tomorrow!

 

Peace, love, and healing, molly

 

“The artist’s world is limitless.  It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away.  It is always on his doorstep.”  ~Paul Strand

My Lyme disease adventure has recently thrown another curveball at me. A few months ago I began cutting many sources of Gluten and processed sugars from my diet. I didn’t notice a huge difference at first, and didn’t think much about it. It was hard to decide to make the switch, so I told myself that I could always cheat a little. Some regular pasta once in a while, or maybe a sandwich on French bread for a treat. After all, I didn’t have a gluten-intolerance like my mom. No, I was just avoiding these foods to curb the yeast build-up from long term antibiotics.

 

My mom has been wheat-free {not completely gluten-free} for a few years now. So it really was pretty easy for me to switch to her diet. She had scoped out some great brands, and made the transition nearly seamless for me. Sure, I craved things. I still do. But, I have so many new replacements available to me that I’ve for the most part been great about accepting my new lifestyle. I really only cheated twice.

 

And, I’m sorry to admit how much I regret those two choices. The first time I decided to have some pizza with friends. We were at one of our favorite hang outs, and they really do make some of the best pizza I’ve ever had. Fast forward and that night I was up for hours with the oddest stomachache I’ve ever had. It didn’t hurt. But I could practically feel my body trying to digest the wheat. Foreign object! I had been off wheat for about a month prior to that.

 

A few weeks later I bit the bullet and ordered a hamburger while out for dinner when my aunt and uncle were in town. There wasn’t much on the menu that was Gluten-free, and that hamburger was calling my name. Unfortunately I listened. I was awake for three hours that night, in and out of the bathroom and in complete misery the entire time.

 

Needless to say I’ve been pretty diligent about keeping myself on my “diet” since then. It’s been hard, but I think it is helping me. I’m eating healthier {And I ate considerably healthy before}, and have more energy. I don’t know if I should attribute the energy to this change, but I know it’s made some impact. Not to mention I’ve been losing weight regularly each week.

 

I related this all to my doctor at my last appointment. She looked at me, and I knew it was coming. She believes, as do I, that I’m now suffering from Gluten-intolerance. She warned me that I may have this follow me for the rest of my life. Something to look forward to, huh? But, interesting enough she also mentioned the fact that a colleague of hers has been looking into the relationship between Gluten and Lyme. Apparently they’ve seen many similarities between the two in the body and have developed a theory. In it, the idea is that the body is so focused on killing and eliminating the Lyme in the body that it recognizes the similarities in the Gluten and attacks it as well. I find that fascinating! I’m interested in learning more about this concept as time goes on. It sure would explain not only my intolerance, but my mom’s as well.

 

Peace, love, and healing, molly

 

“Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us.” ~ Boris Pasternak

The date it set; we’ve got my appointment at Mayo scheduled. June 18th is the fatal day {if I’m remembering correctly}. I’m led to understand that I’ll be seen first by an ophthalmologist, next a neurologist, and last but not least an infectious disease doctor. I think they’ll be working as a team to diagnose me, and hopefully help figure out what’s causing my high spinal pressure. So I’ have to be at the hospital at 8 am, and I’m expecting a full day of discussions and most likely more tests. Oh lucky me.

 

My LLMD wants us to mention the Lyme Disease and Bartonella co-infection to the doctors. She knows that they’ll probably ignore it, but better to be safe than sorry. They may, just may, listen this time. It could have some connection, and she doesn’t want them to discount the fact that an infection could be the cause of the raised pressure. Plus, I have the physical proof of the Bartonella. I have the rash on both hips, behind both knees, and on my chest. The lines on my hips have visually decreased {by a little less than half their size} in the past few months since I began an antibiotic that targets the infection. My LLMD is thrilled, as am I! And, eventually Mayo will have to step up and accept the diagnosis  and existence of Chronic Lyme Disease. I’m sure of it. It’s only a matter of time.

 

I’m actually nervous about these appointments. Lately I haven’t been when it comes to seeing a new doctor, or starting a new treatment. There’s been so many of them. But, this time it’s a lot to take in at once. I’m not sure what to expect either. I don’t want them to find anything, but at the same time I need them too. We need to know what’s going on so we can treat it. But, the thought of another condition to live with and come to terms with is daunting. I’m hoping, and telling myself, that it’ll be fine. I know I’ll make it through it. That I’m sure of. It’s the waiting, the anticipation, and the vast array of unknowns that I’m going to have troubles with.

 

I’ll update more tomorrow,

Have a wonderful Memorial Day!

Peace, love, and healing, molly

 

“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception”
      ~  Aldous Huxley

Tonight I felt in need of some slight lifting of spirits, a touch of wisdom, perhaps a dose of inspiration and I thought I’d share it with you. I hope it gives you all of those things, as it did me. I took this photo along the California coast last summer. I gave this and many other photos that I added quotes and affirmations on to to my mom for Mother’s Day this year to use as a mediation tool. I’m looking forward sharing some of them with you all!

 

GEDC1770

 

Peace, healing, and positive thoughts, molly

 

To wish to be well is part of becoming well

Have you ever just stopped, taken a breath, and wondered what just happened? Yeah, I do that a lot. My week has been one thing after another, and I’m stopping to take a breath, and I’m thinking to myself: “I’m ok. I made it through. I did it!” And there’s nothing more self-satisfying in my mind than hearing myself think that.

 

Let me summarize the past few days for you. On Tuesday I had an LP, a spinal tap. I was about as prepared as I could have been. I’d had the last one so recently that all the doctors and nurses remembered me! The procedure itself wasn’t too bad. It was actually shorter and less painful than my first one. So I’m incredibly thankful for that, thinking back on it. The doctor was very nice, and let me know exactly what he was doing as he was doing it. I think he remembered I was a bit of a talker :) When I asked about the opening pressure {of my spinal fluid} he said that it was slightly higher than before. So, of course then I wasn’t too happy, and slightly less grateful {to be honest}. Unfortunately that was exactly what my doctor had been worried about, and why I was having the test again in the first place.

 

I don’t have an exact number, or measurement, but when my doctor called us later that afternoon she explained that a normal pressure is about 100 or below. Mine was above 300. They were concerned, but not overly. At least, I hope not. She promised to talk to my LLMD about it, and get back to use. Well my LLMD is about the hardest doctor to get a hold of that you could imagine. So yesterday I was put on a new medication to bring the pressure down. I’ll be on that until next week, or longer. We don’t know yet.

 

But, speaking of next week that oh so nicely brings me to my next tidbit of news. After my eye specialist finally got in touch with my LLMD they talked things over, and called my parents this morning. I woke up with the wonderful news. First, they would like me to be seen at the Mayo clinic as soon as possible, maybe as early as next week, to rule out any other possible causes other than Lyme disease complications. I think Mayo is one of the few hospitals in the metro area that I haven’t been to in the last 6 years! Please keep me in your thoughts as I move forward with the referral. My LLMD has been very adamant that they will not be accepting of the Lyme diagnosis.  My parents and I are viewing this as an appointment to rule out  all other options, that’s all.

 

Then the second news I received this morning, I was to be scheduled for an emergency MRV procedure this afternoon. The purpose of that was to detect any blood clots in my brain, if they were there. Good news, the test came back negative. So no blood clots!

 

That procedure went well also. It was a long wait, almost 2 hours for what turned out to be only 30 minutes in the machine. It was the first time that I can remember ever having to have an IV placed though. That took them a while. My veins are absolutely horrible, it takes try after try to get a vein! But, after a lot of work and a heating pack the tech got it in the very first stick. Needless to say, I was impressed! They used the IV to inject contrast for part of the procedure. This was much more enjoyable than my MRI last month though, let me tell you. This time they had music for me to listen to, and the pieces holding my head didn’t fall out of place! the doctor was wonderful, so nice.

 

Overall, not too bad. It would have been better if I hadn’t gone in there with what we think might have been another spinal headache. But tonight I’m feeling better. Just very, very tired and a bit sore. Fatigued seems like such an overused word in my world, but it does sum it up quite nicely.

 

I’m excited however for this weekend. Tomorrow my parents, Wilson {my puppy!}, and I are packing up the van and heading out to Milwaukee. My big brother Chris is graduating from college this weekend, and we have a whole slew of festivities planned!

 

I’ll update when I can.

Peace and healing, molly

 

“To wish to be well is part of becoming well.” ~ Seneca

 

Photo: The view looking up our hill at my cabin in Northern WI.

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