Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Summer Lovin'... Not So Much

Well, as we continue our saga of the "lost summer," things get a bit uglier, with some fun interspersed. We arrived back home to Wisconsin on the last day of June. Without so much as a seemingly good night's rest, we were unpacked, laundered, re-packed, and on our way to Michigan. It was our traditional stint at the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, MI, where I grew up. Each year, we visit my relatives and have a blast playing "fudgie" (which is what northern Michiganders call tourists as people come up north for the fudge!!), get some much-needed R&R, and let the kids get spoiled just a bit by Nana and Papa and the aunts and uncles.
Here's Abigail... Our yearly tradition is to take the girls' pictures in front of the Cherry Festival signage. It's a great little growth chart of sorts! Oh, and these are the "pose however you wish" shots. Fun stuff...

This year, our trip included borrowing a wheelchair from my parents' church so that I could get around the big festival. Note to all: those wheelchairs with four small wheels are a joke! Don't ever use one unless you KNOW you will only be on paved surfaces!! Whew, Nick had a nasty time pushing me around on any dirt, gravel, or grass! I almost got dumped more than a few times!

After 5 days of this trip, we were back on the road for home for about a week. Then we were off to Indiana for our church's annual conference for 3 days. We had a tremendous time, even though I had to stay in bed for much of the fun/free time. Too much pain and fatigue, too little was the ability to "beam" places. Ahh, where's Scotty when you need him?
Miriam, AKA Vanna...

I am happy to report the rest of July was spent at home. This summer meant a lot more pain for me. I am sure the travels didn't exactly help the situation out... On top of the "normal" muscle fatigue and deep muscle pains, tremors and twitchiing, I also began having pretty severe joint pain. The worst aspect was my knees and elbows. More on that later...

Anyway, I began having headaches again as well. I had lived about 3 lovely months without the migraines, and now they were back. A much-needed respite, I guess.

August came, and with it, the sadness of saying goodbye again to Hannah, our former exchange daughter. She flew back home to Germany and began finalizing things for university in the fall. As for us, it meant one last big trip. Back to Michigan we went; this time to Holland, for a vacation with Nick's family.
And Rebekah, the show stopper, apparently.

I always love these trips we take. Relaxing, fun, and his family is truly a blessing in more ways than I could tell you about in a day. Let's suffice it to say that they are truly my family as well. I am blessed to have an amazing family that I married into! Two great families. It's amazing and wonderful.

This time around, I had to take things so much slower, so much easier. I made the mistake of going to the beach with the family. It is on Lake Michigan, and on a sand dune. Even though we picked a spot that was barely any incline-on-sanddune-walking at all, I still, very much, over-did it. Laying in the sun and walking in the water... whew! LOL And then, the walk back to the car... Up that tiny incline, well, compared to the rest of the beach's dunes, but it was big enough to make most people a bit out of breath, and for me, that meant stopping every 4 or so steps to rest. It was pretty intense. And I paid for it pretty hard the rest of the day and into the next two days.
All three Lymie munchkins. Adorable, no?

Life with Lyme + Co. is certainly a perspective changer.

The rest of August was spent getting all three of our Lymie kids ready for school. We now had a middle schooler, an elementary schooler, and a 4-K-er, ALL AT DIFFERENT SCHOOLS. This was shaping up to be a fun [read: difficult for mama-also-known-as-bus-driver] school year!
And who could forget Hannah? Our kid away from kids... Away from country... But not away from our hearts. Love you Hannah!!
I guess we have made it through August. September will follow in a few days. And so much more!!

Peace, love, and cider mugs!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

And another one's gone, another one's gone...

Yep, Another one bites the dust! Puzzle piece, that is.

My parents called me the other day to let me know that my dad got his Western blot results back from IgeneX. They faxed them over to me and I interpreted them.

Yes, Virginia, there is a puzzle piece! He is positive for Lyme. And while that is such sad news for me, it is also another clue to my health mystery-history. It looks like I was most likely born with this, just like my kids were.

You see, Lyme disease is sexually transmissible. While there has been a lot of debate over this aspect in the past, more and more studies have shown that yes, it can be transmitted through intercourse. And yes, my mom will still be tested, but we know that after nearly 40 years of marriage to my dad, either she gave it to him or he gave it to her; more than 36 years ago. My guess is that she gave it to him, as he seemed to be in better health then her in my early years... but we Lymies know that it can lay dormant for years without indication, so we will never really know this for sure. It's the whole chicken versus egg debacle all over again! ;)

If you haven't yet seen it, please check out my new pages within the blog. I have added tabs at the top. Please share this blog with everyone you know. Times have gotten very tough, financially speaking. We thank you for your time, friendship, prayers, and support.

Also take a look at our new video on YouTube!

I will be continuing my summer update soon. Just wanted to get this piece of news out to you tonight. And if you pray, please pray for my parents. After years of strange and rare illnesses, they finally have an answer to a huge question that has been looming ever since I found out my life was plagued with Lyme.
The question of Lyme is no longer without answer for them. And it's going to be a long road.

Lots of love,

Monday, October 1, 2012

So... Enough About Me, What Do YOU Think of Me?

Well, as promised, another update. This time I get to talk about me. Fun fun... LOL

The summer started out sl...BAM/WHACK/POW! fast. Yeah, we thought it might have a nice, slow introduction. You know, take its time to slowly walk around us, whispering sweet nothings into our ears... introduce itself... "Hi, I'm summer, I like ice cream for a hot midday treat and breezy evening walks by the lake," that sort of thing.

Instead, May (yes, still spring, technically) presented itself with myself hosting a screening of Under Our Skin – if you still haven't seen this documentary on Lyme, it's high time you did! – then another "journey," as my youngest calls it, to the kids' LLND (Lyme Literate Naturopathic Doctor [who's also a nurse practitioner] for those who weren't really sure but felt silly asking), then it was off to help hosting the Wisconsin Lyme Network's annual "Lace Up For Lyme Walk" at the Milwaukee Zoo in – of course – Milwaukee. A few various doctor's appointments and the month of May was well-rounded out.

June hit with a whirlwind as well. My older kiddos finished up the school year, including my Abigator graduating from 5th grade. Terrific ceremony; we especially were filled with pride and joy to hear her name called more than 5 times for different honors and such including peer mediation, which is a terrific honor at this school, and other accolades. I shot how-to videos with a friend, had more doctor appointments, held a support group meeting (every month, actually), and then we were off to Florida!!!

An 8-day vacation for the whole family, including our former exchange daughter from Germany, who came back again this summer for a visit. We went through Tropical Storm Debby for half of this time, so we weren't able to wear me out so much. Probably a good thing!

Here is a short photo journal (so many more pics were taken of course, but you can see the highlights...)
We got to stay at Dinsey's Magic Kingdom until it closed. Watched the castle turn brilliant colors, and then some cool fireworks.

The "kids" on the ferry boat ride home... Yes, Dad was one of the kids at this point.

Rebekah was with me in the wheelchair most of the day, especially at night. She was plum tuckered out.

Me and Hannah over my shoulder. Friends/family forever.

My Lyme babies' first dance in the Atlantic. Quite the windy day! They had a blast.

Here we are, blue at Kennedy Space Center. Sorry for the grainy quality... Low light n all...

We even went up in space! Oh... Wait... This was a presentation. Either that or there's a huge, enormous threat shaped like a man attacking the earth... ;)

Through all this my Lyme treatment was pretty much steady on, status quo. We rented wheelchairs at the parks as I can't do much walking. I guess it's better to have my hubby push me around in a wheelchair than for me to not go! It was still good fun. Especially to be able to give this experience and spend this amazing time with our kids. Even the biggest one from Germany.

I didn't really have any changes in my symptoms... until July.

And we will pick up from here in a day or so.

Thanks for sticking with me folks. Peace, love, and cider mugs!