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I have a moment, a feeling frozen in my mind. I doubt that it will ever go away. It doesn’t haunt me. It doesn’t affect my daily life. But sometimes a memory will be triggered by the present, and I need to accept that it was part of my journey in order to move on.

I was ten or eleven years old. I’m sitting in a chair in my parent’s bedroom with tears streaming down my face. I remember vividly that I was crying because I was shaking with internal tremors that nobody could see or feel. All I wanted was for somebody to see what I felt. I wanted somebody to tell me that they knew I wasn’t lying or faking to get out of school or to gain attention. At this point I hadn’t been sick for very long (in retrospect) but it felt like it had been forever. I was miserable. I just wanted a doctor to believe me, to help me, to make it stop. Why couldn’t they see it? WHY? Tears spilled from my eyes often during those hard years.

My parents believed me every step of the way. They fought for me. I’m lucky and honest to God, I’m blessed to have them as my parents. They never gave up, and they taught me to fight for myself, my health and my hope.

Nine years later I still have those internal tremors. But as time has passed they’ve progressed. Now I have muscle tremors and spasms that are completely visible. Most days they’re minimal. I can often hide them, or hold my muscles so that they are less noticeable. Ask my best friends or my brothers if they’ve ever seen what I’m talking about and they’ll say “No”. I simply unconsciously hide most of my symptoms around people. I can’t help it.

Yesterday one of my practioners was working with my face and head. Not even five minutes later my eyes, eyebrows, nose, lips, and cheeks were in spasm. They began twitching uncontrollably for the next hour and a half. Soon my arms, shoulders and legs were jerking. The more I tried the relax my face they would act up again. I’d take a deep breath, release, and then a moment later they were back. It’s an odd feeling of vulnerability. I wasn’t afraid to let them happen yesterday, but they were exhausting. I left the appointment completely done-in.

As I lay on the table I was struck with that memory. The odd juxtaposition of my feelings nine years ago with my habit of hiding these tremors today occurred to me. Now I have that vindication. Doctors and those providing care on my medical team do acknowledge that these tremors exist. They are no longer in question. These people believed me and now they can see it with their own eyes. It’s been proven that I was never the young faker trying to gain attention or get out of school. I was a girl who needed help that I didn’t receive until it was long overdue.

So in that light not only do I have feelings of vindication now, but I have a sense of exasperation. I simply shouldn’t have had to wait nine years.

Now my sense of fairness to my younger self is troubling me.

Do I want people to see these tremors? Do I acknowledge her wish? Or do I continue to allow myself to put up a front, a different face now in the present? I don’t know. I almost hesitated to write this post because I don’t know what my final feelings are about this. It’s an internal question that I’m going to have to work out for myself. So if one day you see me and notice these muscle spasms, know that either I’m too ill to control them or, more hopefully, I’m acknowledging that little girl inside me who only wanted to be heard.

 

xo,

molly

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I have both exciting and nerve-wracking news share with you! My current LLMD has been recommending that I seek a consult with a more specialized  and experienced LLMD since last winter. We’ve been putting off this move because, quite honestly, the expense of a non-insured LLMD is astronomical. However, my health has been steadily declining since January of this year. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that 2011 has been one of my absolute worst years in the course of my illness. My LLMD has admitted that I’m beyond her abilities at this point.

We took the plunge.

An appointment with a new LLMD was scheduled. The only problem? I was distraught to hear that I wouldn’t be seen until December. I knew I didn’t want to go on living like I have been. I hoped for something – just something – to surface. 

And, here comes the exciting news – it did! This week we received a call saying that if I wished I could take an appointment that was open after a cancelation. We took it!! I see the new LLMD next Wednesday, the 7th of September!!

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers sending positive, healing vibes for next week’s appointment! I’m hoping to receive some expert guidance and a new treatment protocol.

At the moment I’m feeling overwhelmed with the intense paperwork required, the tests I haven’t had done yet, and the thought that I have a 3 hour appointment ahead of me where my whole story and every single symptom from the last three years will need to be retold and analyzed. I’m excited, nervous, and crossing my fingers that this doctor will finally hold the answer I so desperately need.

I’m taking many, many deep breathes, drinking tea to soothe my stomach and my soul, trying to recapture lost memories, and generally taking this all as it comes. One action, one thought, one moment at a time.

 

With love,

molly

 

“May the pain you have known and the conflict you have experienced give you the strength to walk through life facing each new situation with courage and optimism.”

One of the worst aspects of Lyme is the setbacks. Lyme is a disease that keeps on giving – one new symptom after another.

I’ve been quiet for so long on this blog, but I’ve thought about it and you who read it, nearly every week! I spent a long time this afternoon going back into my archives and rereading many of my posts. I’ve had so many up’s & down’s while treating this disease, I’d forgotten most of them. Perhaps I chose to forget them, who knows.

I think it’s time now for me to post an update on my progress and my life (or lack thereof) since it’s been so long since I have.

2011 has not been the best year for me, medically speaking. It feels like one big experiment-gone-wrong. I don’t remember a time this year that I fell well, really well. And it’s June already. Half of the year is gone!

I’m going to be honest. I feel worse now that I did at this point last year. Last summer I was in much better shape! I was excited and felt like I was finally on the right track in my treatment. Now fast-forward to this spring… I’m having a repeat of spring 2009. I’m going through the exact same symptoms, diagnoses, and experiences. I feel as though I’m reliving this part of my treatment.

Today is day 36 of a life-consuming pressure headache. At times, I’ve become non-functioning because of the pain of this headache. Some of you may remember I went through this in 2009 as well. My POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) is back with a vengeance, and my fatigue is insane. I don’t know about you, but I live on my couch. We have a symbiotic relationship.

Since I was following a similar pattern to 2009 we immediately thought of my eyes. Were my optic nerves swollen again? So in I went to be checked out. After many weeks of patience, and follow-ups, I was told on Friday that I need another spinal tap. I had 3 in 2009. I was really, really hoping those would be enough for a lifetime! I’m scheduled to have my 4th done this Thursday morning. Better sooner rather than later. I’ll know the results sooner this way, and hopefully have some answers. My neuro-opthamologist is LL and is concerned that I may be experiencing pseudotumor cerebri, a condition where the brain behaves as if there is a tumor present, but there is none. The number one symptom of this is unexplained increased intracranial pressure, which is what the spinal tap is for on Thursday.

However, I don’t know what to wish for. Do I want to have pseudotumor cerebri – another medical condition that is reversible, but needs medication and/or invasive assistance? Or do I wish for a normal, low pressure from the spinal tap and therefore have all of this be attributed to random Lyme-related symptoms? I just don’t know.

In addition to that development, I’m now completely off of my Lyme protocol. My LLMD and opthamologist told me to back off for now until things calm down. I was put on beta blockers a few weeks ago to calm my rapid heart rate and I’ll be referred to a cardiologist sometime this summer. I think the beta blockers have helped the POTS a bit and the fatigue, thankfully! My LLMD believes that m adrenals are a problem again and I’m most likely iron-deficient. I had a slew of blood tests done on Friday and I’ll learn more in a few weeks.

I’m afraid my LLMD is feeling overwhelmed by me. I’m not getting any better yet, and she’s afraid of making me worse. I’m taking this all one day at a time, but I really am beginning to feel overwhelmed myself!

I’ll be back soon. I’ve missed you all!

Wishing you health & healing,

molly

 

Every day is a journey filled with twists and turns. Every day, if you smile, you will feel alive, my son. — Santosh Kalwar

There’s a running joke in my family that I’m a “medical mystery”. I went from normal to suddenly, devastatingly ill far too quickly. No doctors could fully answer all of our questions. I was bounced around from one specialist to another for years. I was unhappy, and honestly, I was angry that nobody could find a solution.

That is, until two years ago.

I began my Lyme disease journey on January 1st, 2009. I still remember staring at that blue Doxycycline capsule for a long few moments before I finally took the plunge and swallowed it down, along with some apprehension and a lot of relief. Finally somebody had looked at me as a whole, sifting through the symptoms and found an answer for me!

Lyme. Bartonella. Babesia. The list goes on.

Two years later I’m still treating. And, it turns out that I’m still that “medical mystery”. Above all else in a doctor I want them to be honest with me. I need them to talk to me so that I learn to trust them and they trust in me. I love my LLMD dearly. She has been a rock in this journey. However, she’s not strictly speaking an LLMD. She treats Lyme, but not exclusively.

In January she was honest when she turned to me in her office and told me that she didn’t know what to do next. Her treatment regimens weren’t working with me as she had expected them to. She is afraid of making me more toxic, creating more harm than good. I don’t blame her. I just wish this weren’t the case.

She wants me to visit another Lyme specialist for a consultation and receive a second opinion. I was instructed to see a neurologist for my headaches, and to see my neuro-ophthalmologist for a check-up. I feel as though I’m back where I was two years ago, being doled out to different specialists while they scramble to solve the puzzle.

Molly, “medical mystery” at your service.

I haven’t lost hope. No, as I said last week -“I feel as though I’m adrift. I’m bobbing along in the waves waiting for the clarity that calm waters will bring.”

I’m waiting for my turn to discover those calm waters.

Much love,

molly

“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end” ~Unknown

I’ve always been a firm believer in the knowledge that life isn’t all black and white. We live in the gray, and we make the best we can of what we’re given.

However… I never thought that the concept of being “healthy” would appear to me as something nondescriptly gray. Theoretically it’s such a clear-cut, simple issue. Not always so.

I feel as though I’m adrift. I’m bobbing along in the waves waiting for the clarity that calm waters will bring.

I have so much to share with you! You’ll have to be patient with me as I grapple with the correct way to explain what has happened to me in the last few months of my Lyme treatment journey. Tonight, I’ll share the most important part.

My doctor and I (for various reasons I’ll explain at some point) decided to take me off of all my pharmaceutical antibiotics this month. It’s been just over two weeks now, and I’m lost. I have absolutely no idea how my body feels about the change. I have had such trying months since November, that I was truly not sure what to expect.

I’m being treated for an intestinal yeast infection in the interim. Which – if I may sideline for a moment – sucks! My abdomen is still swollen and I believe I had a significant herx right after beginning treatment.

Since the 11th I have had days some good days, and some horrible, and too many in-between. Nothing is constant. I’m searching for clues, taking mental notes, observing myself. Some symptoms are better and others are worse.

I’m adrift, keeping my head above water in the gray. I’m frustrated. But at least I’ve earned myself a medication vacation for a while :)

 

Wishing health & happiness abound,

molly

 

“Each time we face a fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.” -Unknown

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