Lyme Disease Awareness Month!

Hey Friends!

Happy 1st day of Lyme Disease Awareness month!  I changed my profile picture on Twitter and Facebook to this today:

may 1st lyme awarenessTAKE A BITE OUT OF LYME!

It’s an automatic “sticker” that you can add to your social media profile picture using this site right here: http://twibbon.com/support/lyme-disease-challenge-3?fb_ref=Default

I believe so strongly in promoting Lyme Disease awareness!  I was originally infected with Lyme Disease after being bit by some ticks when I was 18 years old in 2005, but because of bad testing, little awareness about Lyme and none of the Doctors I saw thinking Lyme Disease would be my issue I was not diagnosed until 2012.  Unfortunately, by the time I started treatments the Lyme had ravaged my body pretty severely and it’s been quite the battle ever since to fight Lyme and regain my health.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to use my story to help spread awareness, though!  My prayer is that through my story and the stories of countless others who are fighting Lyme proper awareness will be raised and the number or chronic Lyme Disease cases will start going back down instead of up.  Changing your profile picture for the month of May is something you can do to help raise awareness and together we can “Take A Bite Out of Lyme.”!!😉

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This dear friend used her day off of work this past week to drive me to my clinic for my Lyme Treatments. SO grateful for her!  <3❤❤

I have an important appointment tomorrow (5/2/2016) that I would REALLY appreciate prayer for.  Thank you so much dear friends!

With Love,

Monica

Fun Girlie Lyme Tip :-)

Hey Ya’ll! 

So I thought I’d do just a FUN post today about nails!😉  What girl doesn’t like her nails super pretty?!     I’m definitely no exception and after doing my nails yesterday I thought I should do a blogpost about them.😀  So, if you like girlie things like me, continue reading.  If girlie things bore you, then feel free to skip this post.😉

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Once a Ballerina….always a Ballerina.😉  Hence, the ballet slipper nails. 

 “I don’t ever remember seeing you without your nails painted!” my friend Heather who I’ve known since I was 5 years old told me on a RARE nails-not-done-kinda-day.  So, with that background in mind you can imagine how awful it was for me when my weekend tradition of painting my nails had to be placed on hold because the Lyme Disease was causing lots of pretty major chemical sensitives and yes, nail polish was one of them.  It was during one of my really bad lyme flare ups about 2 years ago when I googled “non-toxic nail polish” to see if there were any other options out there.  Up until then nail polish had always been fine, but then I started reacting to the fumes and having mini “lyme attack/seizures” when I tried to paint my nails.  I found the Jamberry website and LOVED all the super cute nail  stickers, but I especially loved them because there were no bad chemical fumes that came in addition to the cuteness. At the time, all of our extra money was going towards my medical treatments so I decided to just put Jamberry nails in the back of my mind for a Christmas or Birthday wish-list.  About 2 weeks later I got an e-mail for a super sweet out of state friend, Mollie asking if she could mail me some Jamberry nail stickers as a gift.  It touched my heart SO much!  Here she was, not knowing me very well since we had only met maybe twice, and yet she was sending me a gift that I had secretly been wanting.  I TOTALLY felt God’s love for me – in the fact that He created me as a girl who loves to be girlie and even though I was at that point too sick to walk or barely sit up and too sick to handle the fumes from nail polish, He was going to send me nail stickers through Mollie so I could still enjoy having pretty nails.😉  It might sound silly to some of you….but to me it was yet another reminder that HE CARES about everything that matter to us, from the smallest thing to the largest thing.❤  It’s well over two years later and I still love Jamberry nails.  My body is in a MUCH stronger and healthier state now so I’m back to using my regular nail polish most of the time but I still love to switch up my nail looks with Jamberry from time to time.:-)

SO, why am I sharing all of this on my blog??  Because I know a lot of people read this that are struggling with lyme disease or other chronic illnesses and many times nail polish, like it was for me, is too strong of a chemical smell for people to handle. Well, Jamberry can fix that!😉  Here’s for you girls needing something safe and healthy for your nails….and for the family or friends of a girl who is fighting a chronic illness.  Definitely a great gift!❤  (If you’re interested you can look up a consultant in your area by going to www.jamberry.com )

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These ballet slipper Jamberry nails were given to me by my dear friends, Heather & Gina….thank you, girls!  (PC: Adam DeMass – www.artthunder.com

Alright dear ones,  hope you have a beautiful day in HIS love and may His sufficient grace wash over you every moment.❤  Thank you for your love, encouragement and prayers!!!  You are all so treasured by me.

“…No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” ~Psalms 84:11 

Love,

Monica

God’s Medicine :-)

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(My little sis, Alivia in the above picture)❤😉

Recently I was very encouraged by a sister in Christ sharing with me Proverbs 4:22 –“For they are LIFE to those who find them and HEALING to all their flesh.”  

His Word is most definitely the most rewarding, refreshing, encouraging & life-giving “medicine” I can think of.😉

The days can feel so long at times as the fight for health continues….but I’m so grateful for all of you who continue to lift me up to the Father, joining in faith for me and with me that HIS healing IS coming in His perfect timing and in His perfect way.  <3

“Surely there IS a future, and your HOPE will not be cut off.” ~Proverbs 23:18

“It is through the most difficult trails that God often brings the sweetest discoveries of Himself.” 

 

Thank you, dear friends!

 

Love to all,

Monica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March Update

Hello Dear Friends!

I’m so happy that we’re fast approaching Summer with April right around the corner!! Sunshine, flowers, beach trips, flip-flops, & sunset watching here we come!😉

Regarding an update on my health – I’m fighting another pretty serious gut infection which has induced an all out ulcerative colitis flare up.😦 The inflammation and autoimmune reactions the colitis causes has brought back quite a few of my old lyme symptoms and the pain has been very severe this past month.   I just completed a 30 day round of doxycicline (again) to help with the lyme and the gut infection/colitis.  And I’m about to start a 30 day round of rocephin injections because the doxy didn’t help the gut infection at all.  It helped the lyme though, so that was encouraging. But we really need to find an antibiotic that will knock out the gut infection SOON.  I’ve been doing lots of ginger, bone broth, cowden protocol herbs and whole host of other vitamins and natural supplements to help my body with the process of fighting this infection as well as to keep helping with the fight against lyme.  It easily can feel discouraging and very monotonous and like the pain is never going to end, but this morning I was listening to a sermon by Adrian Rogers and he said, “You can look at any hospital and say, SIN did this. Look at any mental institution and say, SIN did this. Look all around the world at all the pain happening and say, SIN did this. When God created the rose, He created it without thorns.  But SIN brought the thorns.” In other words, we live in a sinful, fallen world…that DOES have pain and DOES have trials and DOSE have thorns…because of sin. But God STILL sends the roses and flowers amidst the pain.  He sends His precious presence and His overwhelming grace in such abundant amounts as we keep our gaze upward that even though the trials are painful and hard, we can continue to rest and praise because HE IS ENOUGH.❤  As we celebrate Easter this Sunday I’m so grateful my heart can sing “HALLELUJAH” – Praise Jehovah – HE IS RISEN and HE HAS DEFEATED all this pain and sickness in my body and around the world.  We’re not promised the perfect life on this earth, but we ARE promised a God who walks with us.  A God who will wash and soak us with HIS grace for every hour and minute of each trial.  A God who WILL cause the roses to still bloom amidst the thorns….and a God who will make trials seem so small as we focus on on the promise of Heaven, the promise of eternity and the promise that He defeated sin, darkness, pain and sickness once and for all on the cross so many  years ago.❤  One day….one day there won’t be a need for more antibiotics to fight more infections or more tests to figure out why the body isn’t working “right”.  Jesus…thank You that You ARE KING over this world and that You will Win every battle.❤❤❤

 

Current Specific Prayer Requests:

1.)  I had a very in depth genetic test done a few weeks ago and will be getting the results soon.  Please pray if there are any genetic issues that could be prohibiting my recovery they will show up on the test and that we will have wisdom in knowing how to treat them.

2.) That the Rocephin will quickly knock out my gut infection and that my Ulcerative Colitis will calm back down.

3.)  Continued wisdom in how to effectively stay on top of the Lyme Disease.

 

as sorrowful yet ALWAYS REJOICING.” ~ 2 Corinthians 6:10 // God has really been using this verse to encourage me in my heart this past week.  I might have *feelings* of sorrow or discouragement over things that I face….but because of Jesus I can always, continually and earnestly CHOOSE to rejoice in my Jesus.  Rejoice in the fact that He never leaves me nor forsakes me. I can rest in the joy and hope of His promises that will never disappoint.❤

 

Thank you SO very much dear friends.❤ Your continued prayers, support and encouragement mean the world to me.

 

With Love,

Monica

Hello :-)

Dear Friends,

I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written an update on here.  As I wrote in a letter earlier today to a dear friend who is also fighting lyme disease, I shared with her that every time I have sat down to do a blogpost I would “start with a blank screen and end with a blank screen.”  If I’ve ever had “writer’s block” in knowing how and what to share regarding this continual battle with Lyme it would be the past several months.  Part of it has been honest to goodness extreme weariness of trying to put into words what living with daily pain is like and just wanting to flat out ignore it and not have to think about putting it into words.  The other part is that it is REALLY hard for me to make such personal things public.  But this past week has reminded me once again how precious it is to have so many of you out there who care about me, who are praying for me and truly want to know how I’m doing.  Thank you.  It brings tears to my eyes feeling so loved by so many whom I have never met…..  The e-mails, letters and phone calls I get from people concerned over how long it’s been since there’s been an update on here touches my heart deeply.

 

This Fall and Winter have not been without their challenges, but I’m still doing better than I have in several years.  As for current treatment, I’ve been doing the “Cowden Protocol” with herbal supplements and have worked up to a pretty high dose. (Those of you also doing “Cowden” know how hard that is!) I’ve been very faithful at staying on the herbal drops even though the herxing has at times been very uncomfortable.  If my lyme count isn’t as low as we’d like to see it next month, I’ll have to go back on antibiotics.  Because of the side effects antibiotics always cause for my gut, I’m really praying and hoping the “Cowden Protocol” will prove to be successful for me as it has for others with Lyme.  The other thing I’m taking right now that has helped several people I know turn around their Lyme is “Plexus”.  I was very skeptical to try it at first, but as long as I’m on it I don’t get daily “shaking spells” or “lyme seizures” as some people call them.  I’ve been on it since last June and when I went off of it for a short time over the Fall, the shaking returned and then disappeared again when I got back on it. The shaking was so bad I’m scared to go back off of it.  It hasn’t seemed to take away my fatigue like it has for a lot of people I know, but I do feel much more stable on it and more comfortable getting out and being around people again because of not having to worry about “shaking spells”.  That has been a HUGE blessing and I’m really praying that it’ll help me turn around the damage the Lyme has done to my body, as it has for others that I know.  I had a fever for two days about a month ago, and ever since then my pain level and inflammation has been pretty high.  My body seems to be having a hard time recovering and rebuilding from that sickness episode. I’m used to it taking a month or so before I feel better after an additional sickness on top of Lyme, but this has seemed to take me out of the game more than normal and ever since has induced a lot of chest pain and heart palpitations again.  I’ll be talking to my Doctor on Monday about if I need to bring a Cardiologist back into the mix.  I’ve had a lot of heart issues since first coming down with Lyme 10 years ago, and we like to rule serious conditions out with a cardiologist. In the past, except for some blood pressure problems, 1st degree heart block once and lots of palpitations – usually the Cardiologists are not too concerned.  All that to say, it’s not too alarming to me what I’m currently experiencing, but its been keeping me up a lot at night to have so many palpitations and I’m really praying for wisdom and discernment about what I can do to strengthen my cardiovascular system.  I know the Lyme has really taken it’s toll on that part of my body, as it has the rest as well.  My nutritional IV’s always REALLY help with heart issues, but I’ve been hoping & praying that my body would be strong enough to not need them anymore.  I may need to go back to them, and that would be ok…..Jesus knows.❤  I know I can trust Him and I’m very grateful for that!❤  I just definitely long for the day when getting poked with needles on a regular basis is a thing of the past.

 

Specific Prayer Requests:

  • That my Doctors appointment on 2/8/2016 goes well.
  • For the Cowden Protocol to continue to bring my lyme count down.
  • For my heart to be strengthened and palpitations to stop.
  • Continued wisdom, guidance and peace.
  • Grace to keep praising Him each and every day because His plan is perfect and beautiful…even if it’s hard to see and understand at times.❤

 

Thank you, friends, for your generous support, encouragement, love & prayers!  This fight is far from over, but Jesus has it in His hands and I’m praying for grace and strength to continue to praise and thank Him each day for whatever physical strength He chooses to give or withhold.  <3   I love this quote: “When we long for a life without difficulties, remind us that oak trees grow strong under contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.” ~Peter Marshall   

 

God has a plan and we can most certainly trust Him!!  Thank You, Jesus!❤

Thank you, again, dear prayer warriors!!! Love and prayers to each and every one of you!!  I hope you all are well and enjoy a beautiful February!

 

With Love,

Monica

Doctors Appointment Today

Hello Friends!

Heading in for my every 3 month appointment with my main Doctor today. I definitely appreciate your prayers for direction as I continue to battle Lyme Disease. Praying for wisdom specifically today regarding the best treatments/medications/alternative options to continue that will most aggressively and successfully help to completely eradicate the Lyme from my body. Some days it feels like this battle is never going to end and I’m always a little nervous before Doctors appointments because I never know what the tests will say or show….will it show that I’m improving or getting worse?! On days like today I love to claim the Name of God – Jehovah Shammah – the God who is THERE. <3 He’s already there in my Doctors appointment….He’s already there in knowing what my test results are…He’s already there in whether I’ll win my battle against Lyme next week or next year. He knows and He is faithful…nothing is a surprise to Him because He is Jehovah Shammah, the God who is there. And I can rest in just knowing He knows.❤ <3 Thank You, Jesus and thanks for praying!! <3 

~Monica

Update :-)

Hello Friends!!!

I know I’m long over-due for an update…thank you to all of you who have been checking in to see how I am! <3 Hope you all are well and enjoying the beautiful colors of Fall! :-) I was reading through my journal from this past year and read a quote I had written down on December 28th, 2014 and wanted to share it with you all – “This is how you deal with God. Praise Him BEFORE you are delivered. Praise Him for what is coming. ADORE HIM for what He is GOING to do. I do not think there is a sweeter song in God’s ear than the song of one who blesses Him for grace that has not yet been tasted, who blesses Him for answers that have not been received but are sure to come. The praise for past gratitude is sweet, but even sweeter is the praise of FULL CONFIDENCE that ALL WILL BE WELL.” ~Charles Spurgeon // That quote affected me a lot last year when I still hadn’t experienced any huge breakthroughs with my health….and it’s still encouraging me today! I can genuinely praise Him for all the healing that He HAS done in my body from Lyme Disease and can continue to praise Him for the healing that is yet to come….and WILL come in HIS *perfect timing*. As far as how you can pray for me specifically regarding my health – continued wisdom for my Doctors and for me is hugely appreciated! The past several months have brought more healing and strength than I have experienced in years! Praise the Lord!!! His faithfulness just astounds me. <3 But there is still a huge daily reminder that my body isn’t in “the clear” yet…. I still experience a host of lyme related symptoms on a daily basis, but the severity of them is MUCH smaller than in the past. Thank You, Jesus! We’re going to keep moving forward fighting Lyme Disease until it’s completely gone and eradicated from my body. Prayers for the ability to stay strong in this fight praising my Jesus all the way is so SO very appreciated! <3 And that He will get the most glory in my healing…in whatever way He sees fit to bring the healing.  :-)  Looking forward to running my first race someday with any and all of you who can join me! I have no idea if that’ll be 1 year from now or 5 years from now…God knows! But whenever it is…it’s going to be good and it’s going to be the perfect moment that He has already chosen.❤ ;-) Praying God’s blessings on your weekend and thanks so much for reading and for all your continued prayers and e-mails/notes that encourage me SO much!!!!

~Monica