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I might have gone a little cupcake crazy. I’m not sure. I mean, how many cupcakes does that constitute? Because, I made more today. I couldn’t help it! The muffin tins were out, the new jar of agave was in my line of sight, and we had a family friend over for dessert and coffee. Coffee was made to be pared with chocolate. Don’t deny it.

Cupcake Crazy!

I made the chocolate cupcake recipe from elana’s pantry exactly as written. And, ohmygoodness, these cupcakes are amazing! They mixed up so quickly, and I didn’t even bother to drag out my mixer. I love batter that I can whip up with a whisk. (I love my whisk, too. It might disappear from my parent’s kitchen when I eventually move out.)

Coconut flour fascinates me. I’m not ready to experiment with it on my own yet though. I can’t get a handle on the liquids ratio. But every recipe I try with it is wonderful! And it makes such moist and spongy muffins and cupcakes. That much I know!

So, this recipe is highly recommended!

I whipped half a stick of butter, a few scoops of cocoa powder, a few drizzles of agave syrup, and small amount of melted chocolate together to make a quick frosting. Yum! A little buttery for my taste, but it was fast and painless. I can’t find a stevia-sweetened frosting recipe. Anyone know of one? Or honey based? I’m trying out a cream cheese/honey recipe tomorrow, but my mom doesn’t do dairy.

Ignore the white cupcake in the photo. More on that one tomorrow.

 

Sweat dreams, molly

 

“Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, usually do”

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I’m convinced that life’s pleasures are found in the simple things. A sunrise. A cup of tea. A fresh baked cookie. A hug. A letter in the mail. A new book. A favorite song.
I think you get the idea…
I’m going to (attempt) to begin a new series of posts where I’ll share some of the simple things that get me through my days.
I’ll give you a hint of today’s simple pleasure.
Can you guess?
 

cupcake cups, originally uploaded by maedchenmitherz.

 

Yes. I have one word for you: Cupcakes! This is no laughing matter. Cupcakes are to be taken very, very seriously. Got it? This is important stuff we’re dealing with here!

Or, you can be like me and throw caution to the wind as you dare to enter the world of refined sugar and gluten-free baked treats. Come join me!

I woke up this morning and stifled a groan. I don’t wake up well. At all. My joints feel stiff, my muscles ache, my head is heavy, my eyes are dry and I’m usually starving from not eating much for dinner the night before. I always hate the first steps out of bed that capture the Bartonella pains in the soles of my feet.

I staggered out to the kitchen this morning, and that’s all I remember. Next thing I know I’m cutting a grapefruit, making toast, and spilling peanut butter. Who knows how much time had passed, but I didn’t care. I was hungry for a change. And I was thinking. Today, I would make cupcakes. Yes, it sounded like a wonderful idea!

Lately, I’ve coped with my bad days by spending more time in the kitchen. Whole days have gone by that I’ve accomplished little more than having dinner ready, or planning a new meal, or researching a new ingredient. I can’t seem to sit still, or concentrate on anything.

But cooking makes me happy. I’m creating something with my own two hands to share. It fills a gap in my life that I’d forgotten about until recently. And, for now I can still measure, pour, mix, chop, simmer, and season. My mind can still comprehend recipe instructions. I just can’t always eat. I’m working on that one. Baby steps, baby steps.

So today I made cupcakes!

 

More simple things to come.

Happy cooking, molly

 

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

– Confucius

I’ve been working on this post for so long that I barely remember what it all was that I wanted to say. In fact, this post has been so long in the works that apparently I’ve got another appointment with my LLMD next week. That works out wonderfully since I’ve forgotten my last one! (Surprise, surprise.)

I do remember that last month I walked into the office in the midst of my abdominal troubles. Near constant pain, swelling, and complete loss of appetite. My doctor had me get an ultrasound for a suspected enlarged spleen. That ultrasound came back within normal limits. But I was still left with the pain, not to mention the swelling. There really wasn’t much we could do. I wrote about this extensively here.

I also had a blood draw that day to check on my liver panel. Being on the Mepron was worrying with the toxicity, and now those new symptoms. Last week I came home from the Senate hearing and found a message from my LLMD waiting for me. My liver panel numbers were significantly higher than my December results had been. At my January appointment we had decided to wait and see what another month on the Mepron would produce. My Babesia symptoms had flared, and not broken yet.

Instead, with these new liver panel numbers I was instructed to stop the Mepron until we could discuss the situation with my doctor in depth. So, I was on the yellow stuff one morning, and off that night. Just like that!

I think it shocked my system, frankly. Last week was one long herx. I barely made my school deadlines, and by the end of the week I had a migraine like I hadn’t had in months. I can only describe it as a headache so intense that it reminded me of the ICP episode of last year. I had a constant low-grade temperature, and an increase in brain fog.

But by Sunday morning I was feeling well enough to follow-through with my plans to volunteer at my old elementary school’s Mardi Gras, and then spend the afternoon with friends. It was a joy! And, I couldn’t believe my luck when I felt well enough the next day to spend another afternoon with friends! Things were looking up. The herx had lifted. Lifted, that is, all except for one symptom. I’ve still got the headache I got the day after I stopped the Mepron. It’s no longer a migraine, but it’s a headache. And it isn’t letting up.

As far as I can tell I’m still showing symptoms of Babesia. But, I’m waiting to hear my LLMD’s opinion next week.

I feel differently since stopping the Mepron, however. I don’t know how to describe it. A word isn’t coming to mind. I think my energy levels are a little higher, and my stomach has felt better since last week. My concentration level and cognitive functions are fleeting though.

Yesterday I couldn’t settle down to work on homework. Something just wouldn’t let me concentrate on what was in front of me. Instead I found myself making bread. Gluten-free bread. From scratch! I don’t even remember starting – I just recall being in the thick of measuring flours and smelling yeast. I made a big pot of quick lentil soup for dinner (I’ve been craving lentils like crazy!), and threw together a chocolate pudding to set overnight. I was a madwoman in the kitchen and I could barely stand by 7 o’clock.

I do feel that I’m not getting enough probiotics in my routine. And, adding more can only help my abdominal issues. I do take a supplemental probiotic, but I want to be adding additional foods to that. So – deep breath – starting this week I’m going to begin brewing kombucha (fermented tea) and give that a shot. I’m also very interested in water kefir as a dairy-free kefir option.

I had the opportunity to spend the afternoon today at the MN hearing for the house version of the Lyme protection bill, HF 2597. No vote yet. The bill was tabled.

More soon. I feel sleep coming, and not a moment too soon.

Peace and healing, molly

 

“So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don’t sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.” – Lee Iacocca

Ah. I love baking. It’s such a calming experience. I feel so much more relaxed after time in the kitchen (on most days). Tonight I had 3 very overripe  bananas – that had accidentally ripped open this morning – sitting on my counter. What to do, oh what to do?

Banana bread of course!

I have no clue why, but I’ve been craving banana bread for the past 3 weeks. I’d made a loaf a few weeks ago when the craving began that was delicious, but of course when I went looking for it I couldn’t remember which recipe I’d made! Well, to be honest, at first I couldn’t even find it. Then – aren’t I smart? – I thought to look in our growing GF cookbook binder. Sadly, I found several banana bread recipes there and not just one. That would have been too easy.

Confusion ensued.

In the end I gave up and decided to go searching for a new recipe. A better recipe. I’ve experimented with stevia sweetened baked goods. I’ve even had a few good results! But the recipe I found tonight is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Ok, so maybe not that dramatic. But it is delicious!

It’s gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free and yeast-free! Guilt-free goodness, my Lyme friends!

It’s not beautiful, but here’s a photo:

Banana Bread Remains

It tasted better than it looks, I promise! The bread stuck in my pan and the entire loaf fell apart. Better luck next time. Hey, at least I got to eat the middle part first (my favorite). I’ll post the recipe eventually. I want to make a few revisions to it still.

I know what I’m having for breakfast. Yum!

Peace and healing, molly

 

“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” – Dalai Lama

1st Lyme Year

As promised, here’s the celebratory photos from January 1st. Me and my gluten-free cupcake! Yes, yes, lots of sugar in it but I didn’t care. It was delicious!

My 1st Lyme anniversary of treatment seemed like something to celebrate!

Lyme-iversary 1

Just a quick post before I fall up into my bed. {I say “up into” because I have a loft bed, and try as I have, it’s impossible to just fall into it. Frustrating, yes, but I deal because I love it.} I almost forgot over the weekend, but I have an appointment with my LLMD bright and early tomorrow morning. You’re all in-the-loop again. How’s it feel? I’m enjoying it! 

I just finished writing up my most recent symptoms, and questions to talk about tomorrow. I think we’ll be discussing my co-infection panel results this time. We only had the preliminary results last month, and my LLMD wanted to refer with another doctor in-state about my results.

I’m a little frustrated because I’m seeing a pattern in my symptoms and some of those that I thought were gone for good, seem to be back. I’ve had 3 migraines in the past month. Those have been gone for months! We thought that they were being caused by the gluten in my diet because almost as soon as I went gluten-free they began to decrease. Why are they back?

And, true to my yearly patterns my winter air hunger is back with a vengeance. Yuck. My pulse has been so fast that some nights it’s hard to fall asleep. And my hands are so sore that I can barely write a lesson’s worth of math notes. My teachers are so understanding, but you try explaining brain fog to them. It’s hard! Especially when you’re experiencing said brain fog at the time!

Of course, this pain and soreness can be partially blamed on the weather. Did you know, that it has SNOWED here in Minneapolis? Yes. Inches of snow on October 12th. I don’t remember it being this cold and white this early! {But then, I try not to rely on my memory…} This feels truly bizarre. I love snow as much as anyone, but what happened to fall? Just wondering, since last week I announced that it was “officially here”.

 

Wish me luck tomorrow!

Peace and healing, molly

 

“Kindness is like snow – it beautifies everything it covers”

School begins in a week. I checked, it’s the 8th. For weeks I’ve put off looking up which day it is that I start my senior year, hoping, and yes perhaps clinging to the idea that if I didn’t know the actual date my lingering last weeks of summer would last longer. If that piece of logic escapes you, please don’t ask me to explain further. I’ve often been told I have a very original sense of logic. I like it, it suits me just fine!

 

As I sit here writing this I’m up at my cabin for the last time this summer enjoying a relaxing weekend escape. My dad jokingly kicked my mom and I out of the house on Friday morning, taking the opportunity to work on a few projects around the house.  My brother’s wedding is sneaking up on us in a few short weeks and we’ve got plenty to do still! Obviously my mom and I had no arguments and gladly escaped! The weekend has been a wet one, with rain almost every day. Since rain = pain I’ve been a little uncomfortable, but it’s been nice all the same.

 

We didn’t arrive here until late Friday night, but luckily I’d packed enough gluten-free snacks for the car that we didn’t have to stop to eat on the way. We’ve gotten sick too many times trying to do that. We’re learning, slowly but surely. Then as we ate our small dinner that night we caught the amazing Packer’s pre-season game!! Yes, it was amazing. I screamed so much I was afraid I’d go hoarse. You’ve been warned – I am a Green Bay Packer fan, and I’m proud of it. And yes, I do live in Minnesota the new home of Brett Favre. But, I’m not going to go into that here – I really just enjoy watching the games, not talking about the politics.

 

Yesterday we spent the day inside, snug and cozy watching a few Alfred Hitchcock movies (my favorite!) and reading our books. What would a vacation be without some reading time? Then, a delicious dinner and we spent the evening listening to my cousin play at a local bar. That was so much fun! I love listening to him play, and it was fun to hear some new songs from him. I’m impressed with myself too though. The bar was loud, had ceiling fans, and cigarette smoke. All of which I have issues with! But last night, I had a great time and only had a few minutes where things seemed overwhelming. I spent much more time laughing, smiling, and clapping than I did thinking about how I was feeling. It was nice to get out, and let go for a night. Usually I’m very aware of how I’m feeling at any given moment. And it gets tiring, ironically enough.

 

Today I did feel a little worse for the wear, sleeping in late and waking up in pain. But today was an important day. Today was the day we decided that I would start the Cumanda tincture I’ve talked about. I’m not sure what to expect, a huge herx or nothing. Either way, I’m taking a super low dose of 1 drop twice daily to begin with. On Wednesday morning I’m going in to have my co-infection panel. We’re hoping that the Cumanda will help bring out a reaction in my immune system that will show up in the blood test.

 

I’m praying, for what I’m not exactly sure but I’m praying about it all the same.

 

It’s been a nice weekend, but it ends tomorrow morning. Back home and back to summer homework for me. I’m thankful we got the chance to make it up here once more though. I love it here. It’s very grounding for me. I seem to get lost in the time I spend here. It slips by so fast! And I’m glad I got the chance to spend some time with my great grandparents today too. One small hiccup- it was too cold to swim! This is August still, I should have been able to swim! But, no. The weather certainly didn’t cooperate.

 

Peace and healing, molly

 

“Love life, engage in it, give it all you’ve got. Love it with a passion, because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it.” ~ Maya Angelou

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