Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It has been interesting. I am going to get tested next Tuesday to find out if I have Lyme Disease. I am nervous because I want to have it and not to have it at the same time. It would mean a cure for so many little problems and yet it would mean one big problem. Things are good between me and Justin. I love him as much as ever. Right now Sam is cuddled up next to me, draped over my arm. I am going to volunteer tomorrow, and I am taking Holden with me. He is going with me because I am spending most of the day with him. Mickey is going into the hospital for most of the day to have tests done. I think I am going to meet Justin's sisters on Friday. I am kinda excited about that. He talks about them often, and then I have a big baby shower gift for his one sister.

Things are going great at Clothing Without Walls. I really enjoy volunteering there. I enjoy the fact that I am helping people. We have been increasing sales a lot lately, which I am super happy about. I hope we can catch up on the rent soon. Once we get the basement organized I want to get some more local churches involved with volunteering and donations, I would love to see more traffic there and to have it more well known. It is nice because Justin goes with me every Tuesday and then Chris goes with me at least once a week. So I am not doing it all by myself.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I was able to get all this information about Lyme Disease from a site. The link it sat the bottom of the page. It was decided that my mother had Lymes Disease even before I was born, so with that, every child in our family has it. Most Lyme Disease is not diagnosed because of the fact it has so many symptoms. It is never the same between two people. There are five in my family and none of us are the same, but we all share this disease. Below are most symptoms and misdiagnoses.

Early symptoms soon after exposure by tick bite:
Skin rash around tick bite - about 75% of cases have this rash; often hot to the touch but not painful; may have bullseye shape.
Erythema migrans (EM) - the official name for the tick bite skin rash
Mild illness
Flu-like symptoms
Swollen lymph nodes
Stiff neck
Muscle aches
Body aches
Neck aches
Joint pain
Knee arthritis
Neurological symptoms - often occurring some time after exposure, from weeks to years later.
Limb pain
Limb weakness
Radiculitis (numbness, tingling, burning)
Bell's palsy
Visual disturbances
Poor motor coordination
Memory loss
Difficulty with concentration
Change in mood
Changed sleeping habits
Thinking difficulties
Nerve damage - in the arms and legs
Encephalomyelitis - including its various symptoms Encephalomyelitis of such as:
Limb weakness
Motor coordination problems
Muscle weakness
Meningitis symptoms
Stiff neck
Severe headache
Heart abnormalities - less than 10% of Lyme patients get heart problems
Irregular heartbeat
Shortness of breath
Eye inflammation
Severe fatigue
Chronic skin disorders
Joint problems
Chronic arthritis
Knee arthritis

It can also cause these complications:

Arthritis - often occurs several months after the tick bite.
Chronic arthritis
Permanent joint damage
Aseptic meningitis
Bell's palsy
Heart abnormalities

Heart inflammation
Heart enlargement
Eye inflammation
Severe fatigue
Heart damage - rare if Lyme is treated.
Muscle aches
Memory problems
Concentration problems
Persistent fatigue Prenatal infection - the unborn child can get Lyme disease from a pregnant woman

For a diagnosis of Lyme disease, the following list of conditions have been mentioned in sources as possible alternative diagnoses to consider during the diagnostic process for Lyme disease:
Ehrlichiosis - may be similar to early Lyme disease.
Multiple sclerosis
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Epstein Barr virus
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
Systemic lupus erythematosus
Mesothelioma (type of Lung conditions)
Reaction to arthropod bite
Erythema multiforme
Granuloma annulare
Rocky mountain spotted fever
Gonococcal arthritis (type of Infectious arthritis)
Rheumatic fever
Still's disease
Viral meningitis
Bell's palsy
Lyme disease
Infectious mononucleosis
Rheumatoid arthritis
Alzheimer's disease
Heart disease
Migraine headache
Human monocyte ehrlichiosis infection (transmitted by Lone Star tick)
Tick-borne relapsing fever (type of Relapsing fever)
Leptospirosis infection
Babesiosis infection
Human granulocytic anaplasmosis infection
Insect bite
Spider bite
Reiter syndrome
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Parkinson's disease
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
Psychiatric illness
Heart failure
Irregular heart rhythm
Attention deficit disorder
Chronic pain disorder (type of Pain Disorder)
Inflammatory eye reaction
Lou Gehrig's disease
Brain tumor
Trigeminal neuralgia

The other diseases for which Lyme disease is listed as a possible alternative diagnosis in their lists include:
Acute rheumatic fever
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Cold & Flu
Dysthymia/seasonal depression disorder, PND
Infectious arthritis
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
Lyme disease
Mosquito-borne diseases
Multiple Sclerosis
Rheumatoid arthritis

All the information above was found at

If you feel that you have many of these symptoms or have been diagnosed with several of these things, then please be tested for Lyme Disease!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

I just finished watching Seven Pounds with Justin. I enjoyed it more toward the end (where I cried my eyes out). The entire movie is a major clueless mystery, until you get to about the last 15 to 20 minutes of it. Then it all comes together in a amazing sense of heart wrenching loss and giving all at once. During the entire movie, I really didn't like it, but once the end came, I loved it. I really believe that one person can make a difference in the world. They don't have to die to do it like he did in the movie, there are so many things.
In a way this really hit close to home. The woman in the movie is dieing from a bad heart, and almost my entire family is suffering from a disease that they may not be able to afford to live with. That's why I am doing what I can to help them raise money to help pay for their medical expenses so they can live full healthy lives. My mom has started a fundraiser call Phoneraiser. Basically all they have to do is gather used ink cartridges and old cell phones. We can mail them into this company which will then recycle them, and pay us. All the money my mom makes will go toward paying for their medical treatment. My mom also sells homemade baked goods. We are having a bake sale at Clothing Without Walls on May 16th, 9:30am-12:30pm.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Lyme Disease

Today it was decided that my Mom, my sister Mickey, and my brothers Dakota and Holden have Lyme Disease. This Disease is something that for my family is a blessing and a curse. It is the answer we have been waiting for all theses years to my family's medical problems. Since they have have been sick all these years with different symptoms and no real cure, especially my mom, this all adds up to this disease. It is treatable disease, but highly expensive. It can be contracted from a tick. I have some information from the Iowa Lyme Disease Association.
First off I would like to list the symptoms they have that I am familiar with. I know there is more that they have, that I have no listed. Also as it states on the site for Iowa Lyme Disease Association, having the following symptoms does not ensure you have Lyme Disease, and there is no one test to find if you do think you have it. The exact type of Lyme Disease my family has, has not been decided yet.
Early Symptoms Include:
Fatigue(My mom always wears out so easily and the older the kids get the easier they do)
Muscle and Joint pain(We thought my mom had Fibro myalgia, which was caused by this)
Headache(My mom has had migraines forever)
Fever, chills(constant colds, and flu's for the next few symptoms)
Swollen glands
Migratory pain
Sore throat
Stiff neck
Rash - bulls eye, or other shape, or multiple rashes
Then Later on Symptoms:
Migratory pain
Continual flu-like symptoms'
Low-grade temperatures
Muscle weakness and pain(My mom was told by her doctor she can only work 3 hours a day)
Stiff, crunchy neck
Sore throat, swollen glands
Stomach pain
Nausea, vomiting
Abdominal cramps
Unexplained, weight gain
or weight loss
Balance problems(my mom has fallen several times and broken bones and dislocated parts because of this)
Poor coordination
Loss of reflexes
Tingling in the extremities
Motor dysfunction
Bell's Palsy
Tourettes(thank god none of this YET)
Mood swings(Sorry mom, your very moody)
Poor concentration(my brother can read to you for an hour straight, but you have him doing an activity with you and he will walk away in the middle because he will forget what he is doing)
Cognitive/Memory Loss
Mental deterioration
Depression(my mom and my brother Dakota, both have had to deal with this a lot)
Difficulty making decisions
Difficulty organizing(umm the kids rooms are a mess, and they can't seem to get in a system)
Irregular Heart Beat
Heart Block
Enlarged Heart
Chest Pain
Premature birth
Birth defects
(My mom lost both my sisters before birth, Dakota was born deaf, and the kids have all had various birth defects)

When to comes to treatment, it can get pretty technical. To keep it short and simple, my family will be on medication for the rest of their life, and have to go to the doctor for treatment for the rest of their lives. These treatments are extremely expensive and are not covered by insurance. The medication will be, but the treatments won't. Many people and families go into extreme debt because of this disease. If it goes untreated, it will eventually kill you.
My family has decided to start a Phoneraiser to raise money to help pay for medical expenses. Basically all I am asking is for your old cell phones, and old ink cartridges. We mail them to a company that recycles them and then they pay us, which will be put toward medical bills. Mickey is only seven and Holden is only ten, and they have been sick most of their childhood. I hope this has been informational and as I learn more I will be putting more up.