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Here are the long-awaited photos and videos from my Charter School Essay Contest award ceremony a few weeks ago. Sorry it’s taken this long to post! So many things have come up, as I’m sure I’ve talked about in the meantime. I hope you enjoy seeing the photos. I had such a wonderful time. I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to be a part of it. I read my essay almost dead last. They started with the kindergarteners and ended with the 3rd place high school students. So I waited for over 2 hours in the sweltering heat on the steps of the MN state capitol listening to others read, seeing dance performances, hearing senate representatives, and even a guest author spoke who spoke to us. Like I said, it was just a great experience. My dad took video of my reading; you’re welcome to take a look if you so dare! Here’s the link: http://ntx.na3.acrobat.com/p24691029/

I’ll post an update about how my LP went and what will be happening next as soon as I can. Stay tooned!

Thanks for looking!

Peace and healing, molly

“Write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow…” ~ Lawrence Clark Powell

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GEDC2701Yep, that’s pretty much what it feels like these days. I just finished the saliva spit test I was talking about a few weeks ago. My doctor ordered it to test my adrenal glands. She suspects that they might be the cause to some of my all-too-often draining fatigue of late. So we’ll see. I was all set to take the test last week, but then we discovered that I had to be off one of my meds to do it. So, like I said we stopped those and today was the day. I’d been avoiding it all weekend. I couldn’t eat chocolate, onions, or garlic {all of which I of course craved today. It would be the day my dad suggested we have spaghetti for dinner and the day after I made gluten-free vegan brownies. Ughh.} And I couldn’t drink caffeine. For those of you that know me, you’ll agree that that one was a major biggie! I’m a tea drinker, and had to stick to only herbals all afternoon/evening. For the test, I had to collect samples at 4 specific times during the day. So I’m over here mentally throwing myself a party for remembering them ALL and my normal meds to boot. So, not a horrible day but not the most fun. {I hate getting up early. Oh, and gagging too. I hate gagging. But let’s not get into that!}

 

Otherwise it’s been another crazy, hectic few days since I wrote last. I spent all of last week cramming to finish up my Algebra II and Chemistry classes by Sunday night. I wasn’t able to keep up in the semester-long class so I was given an extension. And then when I realized I was too sick to finish by the end of my extension I was granted permission to complete a quarter credit’s worth of work instead of the full semester. That was a God-send! So it did take me many frustration-filled hours last week. But I finished! I’m so proud of myself. I brought my grade up from an F to an A during that week. My symptoms have really flared up since beginning treatment {of course} and school has been a struggle. For the most part I’m on track, but will be finishing up the other quarter’s worth of work in summer classes to make sure I’m ready for next fall.

 

GEDC2661GEDC2724 

 

 

This weekend was fun though! After the long week it was wonderful to just chill out and relax when my aunt and uncle came into town for a visit. We went out to dinner Saturday night and had them over for a Mother’s Day barbeque last night. Yesterday during the afternoon my parents and I made it to a special event at the Peace Garden which was so beautiful! I brought my camera along and had a lovely time playing with it and taking some photos.

 

 

 

 

 

Then today I started my school day early and completed as much work as I possibly could for the week. Why, you might be asking? Because tomorrow I’m having another spinal tap. Another LP. And then another few days of flat bed-rest afterwards praying I don’t get another spinal headache just in time for my big brother’s college graduation next weekend. I’m not too worried about getting another one. At least this time I know what to expect, and more importantly I know that I’ve gotten through it before without a problem. The more annoying aspect of the procedure is that I have a scheduled 6 hours of bed-rest at the clinic afterwards. So I’ll literally be there until they close. Oh lucky me. So think of me tomorrow morning and wish me a speedy recovery, if you will. GEDC2721

 

Thanks so much!

And I hope you enjoy the photos I took at the Peace Garden.

Peace and healing, molly

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

I had to share this awesome video I found today on One Million Acts of Green.  I signed up to track my efforts to reduce my carbon footprint. Check it out, it’s easy to do your part!

 

 

{Come on, who doesn’t like Blue Man Group?}

Have I mentioned I placed in the Minnesota state charter school essay contest? I don’t remember. I very well could have, or I just as likely forgot to. Either way, I did! I’m so proud. I placed second with an opinion essay about my school. I wrote the essay at the last minute at the end of last quarter and honestly forgot all about it. Then a few weeks ago my English teacher called me to share the good news. I was shocked! It’s the second year in a row someone from my school {BlueSky Online Charter School} has placed and they’re ecstatic about it as well.

 

So tomorrow is my big day. Or it’ll at least have a few interesting hours. Tomorrow morning I’ve been invited to read my essay on the steps of the state capital during a charter school event. I’m not sure what else is happening, or what it will all entail. But I’ve been told to bring my essay to read and be prepared to stay for a few hours. Will do.

 

I’m so excited! A bit nervous, but not too much. Although, maybe I should be… I haven’t done any public speaking in a while :)

 

I have a hard time reading a speech, or an essay, because continually moving my head up and down to look from my paper to the crowd causes me a lot of dizziness. I would compensate by memorizing parts of the material, but with my memory slipping more and more each day that’s just not realistic! I haven’t successfully been able to memorize anything since I began middle school. I was lucky just to remember my locker combination every morning last year. Oh well, I’ll do the best I can. That’s all I can ask of myself.

 

I know I’m going to have a great time, but some extra luck sent in my direction wouldn’t be misguided!

Peace and healing, molly

 

“For each petal on the shamrock this brings a wish your way. Good health, good luck, and happiness for today and every day.” ~ Irish Blessing

 

Photo courtesy of Flickr.com

Birthday Balloons! Yep, I’m officially 17 now. It snuck up on me, I’ll admit it. I’d forgotten that it was even so soon until last week. (Lyme-brain!) But sure enough, May 4th has come and gone.

 

I had a wonderful time, however! As my aunt said on the phone tonight, somebody up there gave me the best present. I felt good, almost normal all day until I began to fade around 8 pm before dinner. I woke up later than usual, and plenty sore from all that walking at the Living Green Expo. But, I took the day slowly enjoying every minute of energy and mental clarity. What a joy! I’m so thankful I was able to truly enjoy the day. It was very low-key, but that’s just what I’ve needed lately.

 

My brothers weren’t able to make it home for the celebration tonight, but Tara did! Before dinner my dad made calamari and mussels bought fresh today. And for dinner we had, as I requested, fresh grilled salmon, asparagus, and my favorite wheat-free noodles. My mom made me a beautiful chocolate gluten-free cake with drizzled chocolate and strawberries for desert. Matt's Flowers

 

Matt and Becky had flowers sent to me over the weekend since they’re in Peru now. They’re absolutely beautiful! I love getting flowers in the mail! Chris and Tara have promised to take me golfing this summer, which I’m so excited about! I got clubs a long time ago but was never feeling well enough to use them. I’m hoping this summer we’ll find some time when I’m not too dizzy. My parents were generous to give me a new cookbook full of baking recipes, as well as “The Cake Decorating Bible”. Guess I’ll have to practice soon :) They also gave me a book documenting Peace throughout history. It has some amazing pictures and quotes that I’ve seen just from paging through it. I can’t wait to have the time to read it. However, I think I’m the most excited about my new eco-friendly SIGG water bottle! I’ve been coveting all of them I see out and about, and love the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” design on it. Oh how well my parents know me!

 

Presents Cards arrived from family in WI and CA, and well wishes were sent to me on Facebook and my Lyme support groups. Thank you So Much everyone, you truly made my day!

 

As a friend said, “Here’s to a year of healing and wellness!”

 

Peace and healing, molly

“Our birthdays are feathers in the broad wing of time.”  ~Jean Paul Richter

I don’t even know where to begin. This weekend has been so incredibly jam-packed with fun and inspiring events I only hope I can relate them all accurately enough!
Let’s see… where to start…

 

Well, actually a good friend of my mom’s is also going through treatment for Lyme right now (as well as her two sons who, like me, got it congenitally) and she set up a local showing of the movie Under Our Skin. I knew that I couldn’t watch it yet, but I was thrilled that there was the opportunity for my family and friends to go and see it. And they did! My parents, my best friend Emily, and her mom (my Girl Scout leader) all took the time to go and see the documentary. It really means so much that they were able to. I’m hoping this will bring more of an understanding of what I’m living through right now as they continue to support me through my treatment. Hopefully there’ll be another showing soon and I can send in a few more friends and family. I’d love to see it soon myself as well.

 

For those of you who haven’t heard of it, Under Our Skin is a documentary exploring the “untold story of Lyme disease” which has received some serious acclaim in the Lyme community for it’s real-life truths. Check out www.underourskin.com to learn more and see the trailer.

 

So that was yesterday afternoon, and afterwards I was able to spend the rest of the day with my best friends. It was wonderful. I hadn’t realized how much I needed to see them, and to have that dose of social interaction and normalcy. Sure, we talked about my spinal tap and how emotional the movie was for Em. But we also threw in some much-needed conversations about proms and football seasons. And, I admit it… I cheated on my diet, threw caution to the wind, and ate a slice of pizza! Ack! We capped the night off with the first bonfire of the year. One of many, I’m sure.

 

Today was exciting as well. It was the last day of my Preschool of Religion where I’m a 4 year-old teacher. We had a procession into church to honor Mary with flowers, and held a year end concert for the student’s families. I had such a blast teaching this year. It’s something I look forward to each Sunday. I hate waking up early, and often don’t feel well. But I know that it’s worth it. I love every hectic-filled minute. Ok, ask me that again in September and I’ll probably deny it!  But it always is so hard to say goodbye to all my kids at the end of the school year. I think I grow more attached than they do! However, the concert went off relatively smoothly and ended in them singing me Happy Birthday and presenting me with the largest balloon I think I’ve ever gotten. I love it! I’ll have to take a picture and share it tomorrow :)

 

After I escaped that chaos, I entered another.

 

This weekend was The Living Green Expo! It’s an entire weekend at the state fair grounds filled with food, vendors, and music all promoting and celebrating living green. I had a blast, and picked up a few needed necessities: some pins for my computer bag, a few soaps, a couple of reusable shopping bags (like we needed more!), and some great bumper stickers. My mom took information about getting another rain barrel, and I’m completely in awe over what I learned about green roofs. I really wished I could afford some of the hemp clothing, but I just looked instead. I could only stay a short while, but I soaked up the atmosphere. The handy-dandy collapsible cane did come out, but pretty near the end of my stay there. So I’m impressed with myself.

 

Overall, I’m glad I pushed myself this weekend. I’d so much rather be tired and worn out after having such great adventures, than sitting at home wishing I felt better.

 

More soon.

Peace and healing, molly

 

“Take nothing but pictures.
Leave nothing but footprints.
Kill nothing but time.”
– John Kay

 

Today has been another Lyme-filled adventure. Let me tell you. I feel as if I got so much accomplished, and yet as I sit back thinking about the day I’m worried. Did I do too much today? It was a good day, so I obviously jumped at the chance to actually function instead of just going through the motions of another foggy day. I woke up early for an appointment with my eye specialist, finished and turned in a long-term art project, made lunch, did laundry and hung it outside to dry, and finished 2 lessons in math (which is a major accomplishment these days!). I did all of these things, and then I was up again, laughing and chatting away at dinner with only a short hour-long break in between. So I’m in a quandary. It feels awesome! But I have a nagging feeling as well that I’ll be paying for it tomorrow. We shall see.

 

On to my usual update however- I saw my eye specialist, and even got to take the “visual field test” again that I hate. It makes me so dizzy! You have to press a button every time you see a white flashing light in your peripheral vision while your head is in a box. Well, I always start seeing flashes that don’t look like the other other flashes, so I have to figure out which ones to press the button about! By the time they do both eyes I start wishing I had someplace to lie down. But, those test results were normal. They test to see if I’ve developed any blurry or blind spots because of the swelling in my optic nerve. So far, so good.

 

The rest of my appointment went so-so. I was also lucky enough to have to get dilated once again. She was disappointed not to see any further improvement in my swelling. But, there seems to be no more bleeding. So that’s at least a good sign that I interpreted out of the meeting. She’s not sure what to do with me at this point. We came to the decision (after she conferred with my LLMD) that the best route is to have me get another spinal tap so that she can see what my cranial/spinal fluid pressure is. If it’s still up, then we move on from there. If it’s going down, then that’s good news. One major complication however, I now have to stop taking my new medication that was keeping the pressure down.

 

I need to be off the medication for the spinal tap, as well as the spit test and the tilt table test my LLMD is ordering. It will skew the results. We’ve also recently discovered that it’s not recommended for people with adrenal dysfunctions to take this medication. It causes complications, and we believe it has caused those symptoms to flare up in me recently. So I’m not sure what symptoms will crop up again after I stop taking it now. The doctor told me though that it isn’t at all unusual for me to be experiencing disturbed vision side affects like I have been, and that they might increase. So far I’m seeing black spots, white spots, black sparkles, colored flashes, and increased eye floaters. Sometimes scary stuff, but so far they all seem to be coming and going. I’m just thankful nothing has been permanent, or long-lasting.

 

My LLMD called this afternoon just to check in with us and answer a few questions we had. She’s such a busy doctor, I always appreciate the time she’s able to take out of her day to address concerns. Sure, it takes days to get a hold of her, but she always seems to have sufficient answers for me. This time she wanted to let us know that she agreed with the spinal tap, and is aware of all that concerns that. She spoke with my specialist about it. She also suggested that she’d like me to see a neurologist that she refers patients to. I agreed that I’d be perfectly willing to do that, especially after I heard that he specializes in inflammation of the brain and has a specialized MRI that could be very beneficial to us at this point. So many of my symptoms are neuro that it just makes sense to me to see him. My LLMD also mentioned that right now she’s wondering if I need to get a port and get some IV meds into my system. If the neurologist finds anything, she’s counting that as fuel towards the fire to submit to the insurance company if the need arises. That’s far in the future for now, but it’s the first time she’s mentioned IV meds for me before. I’m not sure how I feel about it, it’s still sinking in.

 

One more important event to note- today marks 4 months of treatment for me! 4 long, busy, chaotic, and fast-flying months. As I look back there are times that went by so slowly: the horrible, painful herxs, and the 3 week long migraine that nothing could stop. Those times I could do without. But there have been some good times in the past 4 months as well. Some time of healing, and of recognition. Overall, I think it’s been an eventful start to my adventure. Please, keep visiting me as I continue following my path and blogging along the way!

 

Thanks everyone!
Peace and healing, molly

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” –Helen Keller

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