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

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Update

May 31, 2014-MND00002-2

Hey Everyone!!!

I have some really good news and also a big prayer request. ❤  The big news is that my body has been functioning SOOOOOOOOOOO much better lately as far as energy goes.   I haven’t been having nearly as many lyme attacks/lyme seizures, my vision has improved DRAMATICALLY, reading is MUCH easier, riding in cars doesn’t make me crazy motion sick, I’m walking almost every day for about a WHOLE MILE ( SOOOOOO huge and SOOOO grateful for the strength to do that!), my muscle strength in my arms and legs is slowly but surely returning more and more with each passing week, I’m handling temperature change and heat MUCH better than last Summer, sun & lights aren’t affecting me as much and SO many other improvements.  I still get worn out really quickly and I still have to stay on top of my game plan to recovery (lots of shakes, 5 hour pfg treatments daily, infrared sauna, stretching, diet, blood treatments, IV’s etc…)….but I can’t tell you how encouraging it is to be actually seeing and FEELING the results of getting better. ❤  I’m SOOOOO grateful!!! The above picture is of me last Sunday with my brother.  He completed a triathlon and I got to be there to watch and cheer for him!  It was wonderful to be there cheering him and some other friends on who competed!  I hope to join him someday….probably a few years off still…but someday. 😉  After spending the morning watching the race I came home and crashed in bed for the rest of the day because it really exhausted me being in such a large group of people and all the walking….but I was SOOOOOO glad to have been able to go.

Another precious and FUN event of this past week was my dear friend, Bethany coming and visiting me all the way from Georgia!  I met her years ago on a Journey to the Heart trip and she has remained a dear, close friend ever since.  She was just what I needed this past week!  I’ve definitely been struggling with loneliness lately and missing my closest friends who are scattered all over the US and it meant the world to me to see her and spend quality time together *in person*…not just over the phone.  She was SUCH a HUGE encouragement to me.  Years ago before we knew what was wrong with me she was one of my friends who had fasted and prayed for my healing for several days in a row….I’ll never forget what a prayer warrior she has been and continues to be for my life, strength & health.   We had a blast talking and sharing and playing our favorite old 1940’s music, playing with make-up looks, matching our outfits, talking about her upcoming WEDDING in the Fall and so many other things.  It felt good to have FUN….I do my best to have fun each and every day….but sometimes my health routine gets so monotonous that breaking it up with a good friend really does good like medicine.  I thank Jesus for Bethany!  As you can see from the pics….we definitely had fun together. ❤ I was sorry to see her leave….but grateful for the time we had. 🙂

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On to the BIG prayer request….behind my smiles in both of the pictures is a TREMENDOUS amount of pain. :-/  My Ulcerative Colitis is acting up BIG TIME.  It has for 4 weeks now and this morning I woke up in so much pain I could hardly get out of bed.  My Lyme Symptoms are SO much better….but my UC symptoms are SO much worse. 😦  I have dealt with my UC on and off the past 4 years and during these flare ups it is beyond discouraging to be trying SO hard with diet & shots & meds/natural things and to not see any improvement day after day.  For some reason today has been the worst yet and I’ve spent a huge chunk of it in the bathroom….not to be gross or anything….just being honest. I’ve been doing different teas and essential oils and lots of Reliv shakes etc….all those things usually help and can sometimes clear it right up.  But that’s not happening this time.  I’m waiting to hear back from my Liver Doctor to see if I can go on a new medication that my Dr would like me to be on to try to calm it down.  I’m also back on the Ulcerative Colitis peptide shots….which has been another discouraging thing for me.  The shots help me A LOT!  But they are $325 each…..and insurance won’t cover them.  So financially, it’s discouraging trying to figure out how to add that back into the budget….I was on the shots for 1 1/2 years and then it looked like my UC had gone into remission last Fall/Winter….almost 6 months of NO flares!  I NEVER cheat on my diet (which is a BIG thing for people with UC or Crohns) and was doing everything I could learn to strengthen my colon….so I thought after 6 months I was free.  But apparently not. SO…I would REALLY appreciate prayers for a QUICK healing of my UC….that my body stays hydrated….that I’m able to keep eating through this flare and for wisdom with medications/treatments and financial provision.  AND that this doesn’t set me back any with the fight against Lyme.

Thank you all SOOOOO much everyone.  I truly appreciate each and every one of you more than I could ever say.  Love, hugs and prayers to all of my cheerleaders, fellow lyme warriors and friends. ❤

Love,

Monica

The day after…

I am in SO much pain today I hardly know what to do with myself…I tried reading…and couldn’t do that.  Tried to sleep…that didn’t work too well either.  Put in a CD with soft music…mmm…distracted me for a short time. Pretty much, nothing is working today.  Well, I haven’t tried an epsom salt bath yet! Need to try that next…those usually at least help a little bit.  The best thing has been to replay the memories from the past several days…happy memories seems to soothe almost any pain.  It doesn’t take it away…but it does help to soothe. 🙂  And so, since nothing has helped so far….I’m turning to the solace of writing. 😉  Part of me really dislikes writing about pain, the other part of me feels like it’s an outlet and then another part knows this is all part of documenting my story (for my someday Lord willing book) and to help me not forget.  Days of intense pain seem to be wiped from my memory unless I write about them.

I’m not feeling sorry for myself though…not at all. I know why I am in this much pain, and I really wouldn’t trade it.  Right now with where my health is at, pushing myself in any way, shape or form brings consequences…and I know that.  But the JOY of being able to get out of the house, “pretend” like I’m feeling good and actually socialize and SEE PEOPLE overrides MAJORLY any pain that I’m experiencing right now.  There’s such a balance when you’re fighting a disease like Lyme.  A balance I am learning on a continual basis.  On one hand, RESTING as much as possible is CRUCIAL to your body being able to recover and go through all of the hard treatments/medications etc….and then on the other hand, when you’re a social butterfly (like me) sometimes seeing people and being involved in an event can lift your spirits like nothing else!  And the lifting of one’s spirits does LOADS for your mind and body. It really does.  🙂  And so, physically I know I’m paying dearly for the activities I was a part of the past several days…but my heart is SO full I wouldn’t trade it for anything!  VERY grateful to the Lord for allowing me to be a part of my friend’s wedding and visit my nephew in the hospital.  Both pushed me to my limit…at the wedding I had to sit down during most of the ceremony because I was far too weak to keep standing and at the hospital I ended up needing a wheelchair for most of the time because my legs just didn’t want to work any longer after the walk from the parking ramp to the third floor.  But a hospital is the perfect place to find a wheelchair! Praise the Lord! 😉 When I push myself to that extent of being forced to sit down (at the wedding) or lay down (at the hospital)…I know the pain throughout my whole body is going to be quite great over the next week.  But oh the JOY of even having the option of being at both of those events….Thank You, Lord. ❤  A month or so ago it wouldn’t have even been an option to get out of the house for either of those.  And so I’m thanking HIM for the progress we are seeing. 🙂  Slow but steady…hard but good…requiring patience, perseverance and heart that doesn’t give up. ❤

The pain I’m in today would’ve have made me do anything different. 🙂  My heart is too full.  ❤   One of the things that is the hardest for me to deal with when it comes to Lyme Disease is the Loneliness… the Loneliness of spending hours each day in bed…and wanting so badly to be a part of the LIFE that goes on outside of my bedroom.  And so when I get to taste a little bit of that life…even if it’s short and even if it brings consequences like today…it is worth it to me. 🙂  I know I can’t indulge too much in “pushing myself” to this point…but when I do, you better believe I soak up every single minute and take it all in. ❤ 🙂

I’m not sure this post will make sense to those who are not sick…but to those that are, here’s to the “good days” when we can “pretend” for a few moments that we’re okay and healthy again. 🙂  And someday…those good days will be REAL again with NO “Day after consequences”!  🙂

Back to bed and trying to sleep off the pain…but smiling from the memories made. ❤

Trusting in HIS perfect timing for healing,

Love Always,

Monica

1379544_10152019192054106_558857566_n Visiting my new little ADORABLE nephew in the hospital yesterday. He is PRECIOUS and I’m THRILLED to be an Aunt. 🙂

1466144_10152008463684106_700075822_nMy Dear Friend, Sarah at her wedding.  Such an honor, privilege and blessing to be a part of her special day. ❤

Update from Melanie

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Hey, everyone! This is Melanie, Monica’s sister. I just got done reading all the encouraging comments from all of you to her! What a blessing. Thank you so much!! She is laying here right now enjoying the beautiful flowers from her dear friend Sarah. 
She had a rough night last night, and is still having trouble breathing, and in a lot of pain. 
Thank you so much for the continued prayers and support. 

Happy Monday

Hey All!

I don’t exactly know how to explain how I am feeling today….  Except that it feels like an “out of body experience.”    I’m so extremely tired, weak, my heart is racing and I can’t focus on anything.  So thankful for having a couple good days over last week.  It was SO good for me to get out and do some fun things with my family at the Tulip Festival and then visit with some really good friends on Saturday.  But I am so beat today I don’t feel like I could even carry on a conversation.   I hate having days where I accomplish absolutely NOTHING…and today is one of those days.  I’m not sure if anything makes me feel more like a failure than “nothing” days.  Except that Jesus keeps reminding me that it isn’t wasted.  It’s a “REST PERIOD” that He has me in while HE is working the healing in my body.  Days like today I just have to sleep….ALL day. Gearing up for the rest of the week…blood treatment…IV…Peptide Shot…etc. 🙂  Thankful that today I can just stay home and sleep…and remembering to thank Jesus for the health that I do have.  AND I am on day 17 of my medication for my infection!  It’s helping me…but I think it’s also making me extra tired. Only 13 more days on it!!! YES!  I don’t like this medication one bit. 😛  I have to go off of it the next few days because the medication has to be cleared out of my system for my shot….but I’ll go back on it Friday and then be DONE with it on May 29th!!  Yipee! 🙂  Gotta find little things to celebrate. 🙂

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This girl is one of my best friends.  She is also fighting a hard battle with Lyme Disease.  We met each other about 7 years ago….when neither of us knew what was wrong with us physically.  We knew we were sick…but so many of the Doctor’s we saw made us feel like it was all in our head.  We talked almost EVERY SINGLE day on the phone and would pray all the time together for Jesus to heal us and to lead us to the right Doctor’s.  We were also Bible Verse memory partners and kept each other accountable for memorizing and hiding God’s precious promises into our hearts.   It seemed like every time I was having a super hard, discouraging day and didn’t wanna go on…Heather was there to pick me back up by pointing me back to God.  And on the days when she was having a hard day…I was there to pick her up.  I know God put us into each others lives for a reason…she’s one of my *angel friends*. ❤ PRAISE GOD about a little over a year ago we both found out we had Lyme Disease.  And the fight against Lyme began.  So thankful to have a best friend who is fighting this battle in a very real way with me.   She just moved back here to the States from the Philippines and Saturday was the first time since she’s been back that I was able to see her and her husband.  Such a special, refreshing time!  I hate that she has Lyme Disease….but thankful God put us in each others lives to help fight this hard battle together.

I was realizing today that 8 years ago….if I had been told it would take 7 years for the Doctor’s to figure out what was wrong with me there is NO WAY I would’ve had the strength to keep going.  Thankfully, Jesus didn’t tell me that…He just told me to trust Him and to take one day at a time.  Knowing it would take 7 years for a diagnosis would’ve been too heavy of a burden for me to carry…so Jesus carried it for me.  Now my question is how long until healing?  Some Lyme Patients take 1 year, 3  years, 5 years, 15 or more years until they are better.  Some….fight the rest of their lives.  I want a time limit on how long I will be sick…I want to know how long I have to keep up the fight…I want to know how many blood treatments until I am all better…  Again, God is telling me to TRUST.  I don’t need to know how long…I just need to look to HIM for the strength for this day, this hour, this minute. ❤  TODAY…Jesus is ALL I need.  And that is enough for me. ❤

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Hope you all are having a wonderful Monday!  Thanks for your continued prayers, love, support and encouragement.

Keep the Fight STRONG, Hopeful and *always* keep smiling,

Love Always,

Monica

TULIPS <3

Okay, it’s really late and I need to head to bed…but wanted to share just a quick picture from today…

This morning my Dad woke me up and asked if I wanted him to take me and a few of my sisters to the Tulip Festival in Holland!  OF COURSE I wanted to go…but had already resigned myself to thinking that it wasn’t going to work out earlier in the week.  So it was such a pleasant surprise when Dad woke me up and  it DID work out to go and it was such a beautiful day!!!  Every second was cherished and enjoyed soaking in the beautiful sights and memories with family.  I was nervous about not having enough energy to walk around and keep up with everyone.  But I surprisingly managed pretty well!  I had to sit down quite frequently and my stomach pain got to me a couple of times…but all in all the day was GREAT!

It just FELT SO GOOD to get out and do something that had absolutely NOTHING to do with a Drs. Appt. 🙂

And…I will probably have to crash and sleep ALLLLLL day tomorrow to make up for today.  But it was incredibly worth it.  Every second.   Thank you, Jesus for a beautiful day today and thank you, Daddy, for taking us! ❤

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Here’s my sisters and I spreading Lyme Awareness thru out Holland, MI! 🙂

Crashing in bed now…  Love you all!  Thanks for your continued prayers and support! ❤

Keep the Fight Strong, HOPEFUL and *always* keep smiling,

Love Always,

Monica

P.S. A couple times today…I almost felt like the “old Monica” was back…  (that’ll make sense to all you other Lymies out there).  SO encouraging!  Even if it just lasts 10 minutes here or there….I’ll take it!  Any and every HOPE towards recovery. ❤

Happy Friday!!

Happy First Lyme Disease Awareness Friday in May 2013!! 🙂

There are some friends in life….who are practically family. 🙂  And Christiana is one of them. 😉  I’ve known her for literally as long as I can remember…well, since I was like 6 or 7 maybe?  Anyways, she is wearing something GREEN in honor of Lyme Awareness Month every single day this May and it means SO much to me.  Thanks, Chris! 🙂  I love you!  She sent me these two pictures of Day 1 and Day 2 of May 2013. 🙂

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Christiana’s Day 1 Green Thing for Lyme Awareness Month ❤

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Christiana’s Day 2 Green Thing for Lyme Awareness Month

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Here’s me and Chris years ago at a Corn Maze…AND LOOK!!  Little did she know she was wearing GREEN THEN in honor of Lyme Disease, too! 😉 😉  LOL. 🙂 The adventures I have had with her since I was 7…pretty countless. 😉

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It’s been a looooong time since I’ve had the energy for a corn maze…but now she’s right there with me during the hard moments, too…like getting shots in my butt that hurt like crazy! 😉 And also…like last week…when I didn’t feel good enough to talk or do stuff…but just lay on the couch…and she came over and just sat with me and watched a movie with me.  Yes…she is a true friend…in the “true friend” department…I am one rich girl! ❤  Thank You, Jesus for blessing me SO much in this area. ❤  (haha…I just realized that Chris is in GREEN in this picture too! 😉  Sure helps that she already likes green) 😉  LOL.

Thank you to ALL my friends and family who encourage me.  Fighting Lyme Disease can be such a hard, long, dark journey.  Finding out you have Lyme is a big part of the battle….but the recovery from it takes such a hard fight for so many years that there are definitely the days that I just want to give up and stop fighting.  I can’t and I won’t ever stop fighting…but a big part of that is my support team.  Thanks to all of you who don’t let me give up. ❤  I love you guys!  If you wear anything green this month send me a a picture!!!  I’d LOVE to see it!

Read this quote today: “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” -Scott Hamilton So true!! May my attitude always be a fighting, victorious, my-faith-is-in-God, WINNING attitude!! ❤ ❤

Keep the Fight Strong, Hopeful and *always* keep smiling,

Love Always,

Monica

www.hisgirlforever.com

P.S. Please keep praying the infection GOES AWAY AND STAYS AWAY! 😛  It feels like it’s back again kinda strong today because of the pain and other symptoms…:(  I had quite a few really good days…and then yesterday and today have been discouraging again. Thank you!!

P.S.S.  Announcement coming SOON about new “Fundraising for my treatments fun”!! 🙂  I meant to have it up before May…but with the infection taking me outta the game I am running several weeks behind…but I am working on it and hope to have it up soon! 🙂  Thanks for bearing with me.