5/21/15

the Lymie Diaries: Cindy's Guest Post


I am so excited to have Cindy share her heart today about her experience with Lyme Disease. Cynthia Dainsberg, RN, FCN is the author of "Practical Care Tips for Those in the Lyme Fight- an interactive Care Handbook for Those Battling Lyme Disease and Other Chronic Conditions, with Special Notes to Caregivers", which is available through Amazon. She is such an encouragement to me personally and I am so thankful for her willingness to share with us today!
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Taming a Wild Ride

In a few months, I will be ‘celebrating’ four years of treatment for Late Stage Lyme Disease plus 5 Co-infections. It was a very long road to getting diagnosed, and it’s been long road in treatment.

Am I well? No.  Am I better? Yes, and no. Yes, many of the symptoms I’ve experienced have abated, or come less frequently, and with less intensity. Still, as with many of you, as the layers of Lyme are dealt with, in addition to keeping Lyme at bay and dealing with the body systems it broke… other issues are uncovered and must be addressed. (MCS, Mold Toxicity, life-threatening allergies, food sensitivities….) 

Much of my journey has thrown me onto a perceived intense internal roller-coaster of experiences, and feelings.  Thrilled with a day there is enough energy to do something fun, besides what ‘has to be done in order to be and do’- a time to be a life participant.  Other days are arduous, with duty magnified and consuming the day- where I feel I am just working so hard to do the very minimal to survive.

Interestingly, the days in which I find myself doing life in horizontal mode, still take me by surprise, and they cause me to get down and to wonder how long it will last this time to recover, what will I miss this time…  I tell friends I’m down today; they respond with a cheery note and get about their lives.  I realize my being down isn’t anything new to them; it doesn’t take them by surprise anymore.  How nice it would be to hear, “Wow, it’s happened again?  I’m sorry to hear that- let me do (something) for you to help.  And, how can I be praying of you?”  Those responses are rare now. As I’ve said, it’s been a long road.

My tendency is to allow myself to passively ride along this crazy roller coaster.  Of course, I can’t change the majority of circumstances- but I’ve come to realize that how I view the ride is the important thing.

Over the past six months, I’ve come across an ancient practice, discipline, called “Consolation and Desolation”. This tool was first written about in the 16th century by St. Ignatius of Loyola in his book “The Spiritual Exercises”.  Practicing these, one can go through their day with more of a birds-eye view of the coaster life, instead of a side-view. It is an especially good way to put-the-day-to-bed, or start-the-day.  

It isn’t so important when it is done during the day, that is personal, but it can be and important tool, which used regularly may help stabilize your ride in the world of chronic illness.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a ‘bad news first’ kinda person- so I will begin with explaining Desolation.  Here is a list by Margaret Silf:

Desolation: 
-          turns us in on ourselves
-          drives us down the spiral ever deeper into our own negative feelings
-          cuts us off from community
-          makes us want to give up on things that used to be important to us
-          takes over our whole consciousness and crowds out our distant vision
-   covers up all our landmarks
 -   drains us of energy

In other words, “What pulls me away from God?  For what am I least grateful? What drains life from me?”

Continuing on with the ‘good news’, Silf explains Consolation as:
-          Directs our focus outside and beyond ourselves
-          Lifts our hearts so that we can see the joys and sorrows of other people
-          Bonds us more closely with our human community
-          Generates balance and refreshes our inner vision
-          Shows us where God is active in our lives and where He is leading us
-          Releases new energy

In Consolation we ask, “What draws me close to God? For what am I grateful? What gives me life?” 

(If you need help with words to express your feelings- just try using your internet search engine and keyboard in “word list, feelings” or “word list, values”.  It can be very therapeutic and cathartic to find just the right word with which to express yourself.)

The questions Silf gives us great direction.  Perhaps you are a journaler, and you can incorporate the practice of answering these questions of Desolation and Consolation in your journal.  Or, you may be like me- a ‘jotter’, making two columns and jotting down a bullet-point list.  Another idea may be to have someone who is close to you, agree to practice this with you verbally- sharing these things together… No matter how, or when you may incorporate this into your daily protocol- I’d encourage you to then follow up your journaling/jotting/sharing with a prayer- handing all of it over into the loving hands our Lord. 

The LORD gives, the LORD takes, He Sees, He Hears- He is trustworthy, and in Him alone is our Hope Secure.  We first must make sure we are secure in Him as we take this wild ride. 
I cannot trust in my circumstances, ideas, feelings- or those of others, to give me hope. But, the Lord Jesus is Hope, and He has indeed proven Himself trustworthy over and over again.  Doing the Desolation and Consolation exercise helps me to be less mercurial, less reactive, and to be more at peace that in all things God is working things out on my behalf, with great depth and dimension, beyond what I can even imagine.   With Him, I can be authentic and honest about all I am thinking and feeling, He is safe with whom to share anything; I can give all these things over into His capable hands…and begin to find more enjoyment in the ride.

Taming a Wild Ride, written by Cynthia Dainsberg, RN, FCN  Author of “Practical Care Tips for Those in the Lyme Fight- an Interactive Care Handbook for Those Battling Lyme Disease and Other Chronic Conditions, with Special Notes to Caregivers”, available through Amazon.com  Also some time Blogger at http://encouragementforlymefighters.blogspot.com/, and on Facebook at Cynthia Dainsberg, RN, FCN 

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Thank you so much Cindy for sharing your heart today! What a beautiful piece of encouragement this is for all of us Lymies and anyone going through a "roller coaster" season of life!!

5/19/15

The Legacy of Suffering

"Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory..."
-I Peter 4:13-

"A good man leaves a legacy for his children's children."
-Proverbs 13:22-

As April faded away several weeks ago and we approached the month of May I have to admit that I sometimes silently groaned as my heart deeply aches. As a lady who has longed to be a mama for years and years I have to grudgingly admit that I view the month of celebrating Mother's Day with heartache. Am I deeply grateful for my precious mama? Absolutely yes. Do I rejoice with my friends who have been blessed with many children? Of course. Do I rejoice with my dear friends who have walked the road of infertility and this year celebrated becoming a mother? Absolutely. But is there a part of me that like many of my hurting friends who long to be a mommy that cries as we approach this date? Yes. Is there a part of me that wonders at how Proverbs 13:22 fits into my life? Yes. 

A few short days before Mother's Day I started thinking more deeply about the idea of "legacy", specifically the legacy formed in suffering. A dear former student contacted me right before Mother's Day and said, "Thank you for your mother's heart that during my time in your classroom showed the joy of Christ, and watching your faith in this trial has shown me the steadfast hope only found in Christ. You have created a legacy of faith for me." To be frank I broke down crying. My faith seems so incredibly small in this journey and I had never considered that one could leave a legacy in suffering. I always equated legacy with children, and there is a legacy left there. But there is also legacy created in other seasons of life... even in suffering where we can and we will leave a legacy.

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."
- Romans 8:18-

The reality is that when life is destroyed all around you it is hard to trust the truth of Romans 8. When we are faced with the death of a loved one, the unanswered prayers for healing, the loss of a job, infertility, chronic pain, broken relationships, and the loss of dreams it can literally stop us in our tracks. It catches our breathe. In many ways we expect, as I did before Mother's Day this year to silently groan and cry our tears in private till the moment passes. Like me, we want to turn the pages of the calendar days quickly so that we forget the pain. And in the midst of the "helpful and sage" advice that we are given, most of us just want to dull the crushing pain and move on to "better times". Like me wanting to avoid Mother's Day, we want to "avoid" the painful times of suffering.

But what about the legacy that is found in suffering? Are we showing the world how to lovingly and faithfully walk with Jesus during the difficult days here on earth, or are we showing them that we have Jesus only to quickly make it through the painful times? Are we showing the power and miraculous God that we have despite circumstances on earth? Or are we limiting our God as we box Him in to ways that we want Him to work?

I want to suggest that the Legacy of Suffering is a beautiful thing called joy. Joy in the midst of pain. Joy in the midst of heartache. Joy, not smiles that are on our faces, but true joy found deep in the heart of Hope in a God who promises to never leave us. Sweet friends, as we cry out in our pain, let us take the risk to walk the road of suffering joyfully confident in the one who carries us each day. Be brave friends with your suffering. Our hope is never in vain when it is in Jesus, but creates a beautiful legacy out of suffering that spreads to those around you and offers redemption to the pain that we all experience here on earth. Our everlasting God who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow is our everlasting hope, which brings joy. There is purpose in it. There is a legacy that will be formed. 

"And Hope does not Disappoint us..."
-Romans 5:5-

5/16/15

Notes from the Porch (thirty-four): the third spring

Time is a very funny thing isn't it? When we are experiencing "good times" in life time seems to "fly" and we can never get enough of it and yet when we encounter hardships we often are surprised at how long something lasts. 
And sometimes... well sometimes life is a mixture of both. 

And for me, that is what this third spring on this journey feels like. It is the third spring since I have moved home to my parents house suspecting that I was dealing with more than "just" CFS/ME and Fibromyalgia. It is the third spring since my entire digestive system started to crash and I needed IV nutrients. It is the third spring since I gave up my independence, moved back home into my parents home, and then eventually (in the winter) became unable to walk with no explanation. It is the third spring away from the job that I loved (teaching). It is the third spring without chaperoning a senior trip. It is the third spring that I have experienced extreme illness and pain. It is the third spring that I will spend time in a city that I grew up in but don't have close friends in because I am to ill to put effort into relationships. It is the third spring that I am completely reliant on my parents, family, and friends for help in a variety of ways (including financial resources).
It is the third spring that many people would classify as a time that has been horrendous and as one person said to me yesterday, "I bet you will be glad to say goodbye to this chapter on of your life". Hmmm... yes and no. You see... something changed last year. When I wrote that post about delighting in the ordinary in June I meant what I said. There had been a "change in the wind" throughout last Spring in my heart. Instead of saying "I want this to end... (or) I want this time to be over" I found myself begging the Lord for healing and yet asking for continued wisdom -specifically in how He would use me right now. I was able to come to terms with my wishing for the past and accepting the present and the future. I found the truth of the verse "Godliness with Contentment is Great Gain". I found myself wrestling with the Lord in prayer in new ways- and learning to trust in new ways. I have been so delighted to be apart of encouraging others who are hurting through SEEN Gathering. And I have found that while many people in circumstances like this abandon their faith I have fallen more in love with my Savior each day and have such a passion to encourage others to find their hope in Jesus too. 
It is the third spring of spending hundreds of hours with the Lord in prayer in bed because I am to weak to even sit up. It is the third spring of seeing the Lord provide for me daily on this journey - emotionally, physically, spiritually. It is the third spring of seeing who my friends are who are willing walk the dark and difficult roads. It is the third spring of being overwhelmed by the love of family and strangers alike in this journey. It is the third spring of learning who I am in Christ in a whole new way. It is the third spring of this fight... a fight that still has a while to go.

Thank you so much for your prayers for wisdom and for the trip out to California several weeks ago. The Lord blessed the trip and so many prayers were answered and I am so incredibly grateful for each and every prayer. You can read the update HERE of the original plan. To be frank I was excited and felt very strong as I went into this plan. I had recently been able to do a number of things that I hadn't been able to in years (like walking, pilates, eating a more well rounded diet, etc.) and I felt ready to continue to move forward. But like many things in this journey things always don't go as planned. Remember when I picked the word "mettle" for this year? I think the Lord was preparing my heart for this intense fight. *smiles* 

I am not going to lie. The start has been incredibly difficult. If we are connected on instagram then you know that I alluded to the fact that the last six weeks have been difficult, and the last 14 days have been extremely difficult as one of the items that I was taken has caused a herx reaction that has rendered me completely bedridden since two weeks ago (not even able to sit up). These days have been painful, long, and quite difficult.  And yet, this is the battle. The battle to get well and to fight to beat these diseases. I well up with tears though at the goodness of the Lord. I have a wonderful doctor and medical team and they are fighting this journey with me. I have amazing parents who lavish love and encouragement on me. I have a lovely grandmother who spends hours upon hours in prayer for me. I have sweet friends who have never walked away and have supported me whole-heartedly in this journey. One day at a time friends (and sometimes one minute at a time) we will take this fight. The Lord is with me. He continues to provide wisdom and direction- even as recently as the end of the last week as blood work came in and we learned some new news. Surprising to me but not to the Lord. He is NEVER surprised by any of this. And friends, "There will be a lovely ending to this story of frustration, something worth all it has cost." (Amy Carmichael) 
So I continue on one day at a time as I face each new day in this third spring. A spring that has been filled with different plans then I originally thought and filled with a battle of a lifetime for me. A spring that I know the Lord will provide for me again- in miraculous ways. A spring of trusting the Lord who knows my heart and knows the way I will go. A spring filled with days of falling more in love with my Savior. 
As I continue on in this third spring I cling to these beautiful verses in Jeremiah: 

"The people who survived the wars have found favor in the desert. The LORD appeared to me in a faraway place and said, “I love you with an everlasting love. So I will continue to show you my kindness. Once again I will build you up, and you will be rebuilt, my dear people Israel. Once again you will take your tambourines, and you will go dancing with happy people. Once again you will plant..." 
-Jeremiah 31:2-5-
Once again dear friends... once again I am starting the third spring looking to the Lord and His love and knowing that He will have the best in mind. What a good and amazing God He is. Thank you so much for all of your continued prayers for me on this journey. Every single day I see the answers to each of them in a thousand different ways. (P.S. I am horribly overdue at a thousand thank you notes for all of your support from my go fund me page and terribly behind on phone messages, emails, etc. Even just writing this post has taken me several days. I appreciate your patience and understanding as I work to return these during this difficult health time. Your love and understanding is a gift.) Please keep praying and thank you so much for all of your love and support on this journey.  

With lots of love friends, 

5/8/15

Praying through Lyme Disease (Ranking)

Y'all I am so humbled and excited to share that I received word this morning that out of 8 MILLION paper back books, "Praying through Lyme Disease" is currently ranked 99,513 on Amazon!!! It is unbelievable to me that for such a little book it is ranked so high!!!! I was speechless when I found this out that after only a couple of months on the market (and for being such a "niche" book) it was ranked this high! THANK YOU so much for spreading the word on this book, for purchasing it, and for being so supportive of this journey! My prayer is that every person reading this book will be drawn closer to the heart of God if they are suffering with this awful disease or are supporting a loved one suffering through this disease. Would you join me in that prayer?

Thank you again! If you are looking to purchase the book you can buy it where books are sold and find it on Amazon HERE

Thank you again! Happy Friday Friends!

5/4/15

Choosing To Be Wise With Time in The Hard Seasons of Life

Choosing what we do with our time is one of the most important decisions that we make everyday. I am sure that many of you have heard quotes, sayings, etc. based on how important it is to make wise choices with our time as we never know what the future holds. I completely agree with that, but even more so I have been contemplating how to spend my time in this season of life, in this very hard and difficult season.
In the difficult and dramatic seasons of life it can be easy to whittle away time with things that aren't that important. Perhaps even more than when things are going "good" in life, there is a temptation to "veg out" and "disappear" when life gets more difficult. I have seen and been tempted myself on really difficult health days to veg out and spend my time on social media and just scrolling through countless pictures of people's lives who seem "perfect". But honestly I am learning a really hard but important lesson in this season. 

I am learning the lesson of choosing to be wise with my time no matter the season.
I was stopped short this past week by some verses in Mark 14 which state; 
"They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, "Sit here while I go and pray"...Then He returned and found the disciples asleep. He said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep? Could you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray sot hat you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak. Then Jesus left them again and prayed the same prayer as before. When He returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn't keep their eyes open and they didn't know what to say.." 
-Mark 14:32-39-

It has occurred to me through reading this passage a couple of important things. First, our enemy is alive and at work in the world and we live and operate not only in the things we seen but in the unseen. One of the ways that we are easily distracted by accomplishing things that God would have us do is through "tiredness" and in "vegging out". 
Second, I want to share that I definitely think that being tired and needing rest are real things! Jesus talks in scripture about resting in Him. Fighting two serious illnesses leaves me often physically exhausted and yet I am challenged to admit that I seem to be able to find time to idly spend on social media but sometimes struggle to put energy into memorizing scripture. I am humbled to acknowledge that I might spend hours watching TV to help me on difficult pain days as I am forced to lay in bed, but struggle to read and meditate on scripture. And the list goes on and on... My question for you would be what are ways that you "veg out" but could use the time we are given wisely? 
Going through a difficult season in life is not an excuse for us to be given a "free pass" with our time. Instead, we are challenged to acknowledge that there are days that are too dark for those of us that are suffering to see light, yet God is light. He brightens the path before us and before each step that we take. 

"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you."
-Isaiah 60:1-2-
There are experiences that are so extreme that they crush us and we struggle to have hope. But let us find our hope sweet friends not in "vegging out" but instead in the Hope that will not disappoint us. 

"I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit."
-Romans 15:13-
There are days where the valleys that we are in are seem so deep and difficult that it seems that we will never find relief. But it is in those valleys that the Lord meets us in new ways that we never would have experienced had we not been in them. In those valleys we see the love of the Lord in new angles and see him at work in new ways then we ever thought possible. 

"I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them."
-Isaiah 42:16-
I urge you sweet friends to not ignore or try and pass by the hard seasons by vegging out, instead let us dig into scripture and press on to know our Savior in new ways. Let the truth of His word fill our hearts as we wait on Him to answer us in our struggles. May His hope fill our hurting hearts like nothing else can because He will answer us when we are in distress.

"Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early Spring."
-Hosea 6:3-


Today I am excited to be linking up with Lori from Boutelle Family Blog and Ashley at Grace Mountain Diaries for ways that we take time for ourselves and quiet times! Stop on over and check out some of the other lovely bloggers ideas and thoughts! I hope y'all have a wonderful Monday!

5/1/15

What is Lyme Disease?

Whenever I meet someone who does not know my journey of fighting to regain my health I find that a common conversation takes place. It doesn't matter if this person is a random stranger, a new doctor, a new hospital emergency room nurse, a lady standing in line at the county clerks office as I apply for the disability tag, my former boss, a former co-worker, a cousin that I haven't seen in a long time, the cute guy sitting next to me on the plane as I travel to California to my medical team, or the firefighter that came to save our neighborhood last year. I receive a sympathetic nod or a sweet comment of encouragement when they hear that I have cancer but when I mention Lyme Disease they look at me bewildered or with a confused look. 

They hesitate... and then the questions start.

"Is that what happens when you get bit by a tick?" they ask. 
"Yes" I answer. 
"When did that happen?" they ask. 
"2007. May 19, 2007 to be exact." I reply. 
"Not to be rude or anything but you know that you can just go to the doctors and get antibiotics for that." they state. 
"Yes, I am aware of that." I reply. 
"Did you get the bulls eye rash? You just need to go get medicine and get better" they state (most of them very kindly, a few a little sarcastically, and one who accused me of "simply making it up to get attention"). 
"No seriously, if you had the rash you should go get medicine. My ___________(insert some long lost family member's sisters friends cousin's name here) had Lyme and they got better in a few days...maybe a week at most. Why are you waiting?" they state more insistently. I hesitate and then with a quiet sigh my reply comes.

"I was bit by a tick on May 19th, 2007 hiking in Great Falls, Virginia. I remember the date exactly because my ex-finance and I talked about marriage that day. The next day as I was training for a 1/2 marathon I noticed the bulls eye rash on my upper right arm. I received medication (yes, I finished the full dosage) and was seen at John Hopkins University Hospital Lyme Center. After completing the medication I was declared "Lyme free". Except I wasn't..." I calmly reply. 

Absolutely silent they look at me. And some say what I am sure everyone is thinking... "So what the heck is Lyme Disease and how in the world is this making you so ill?"

To be frank it is a question that I have asked myself thousands of times as I approach the 8 year anniversary of contracting Lyme. At a recent Lyme Disease conference it was stated that "Lyme Disease is the growing epidemic and health crisis of the 21st century" and that "in the fullness of time the mainstream handling of Chronic Lyme Disease will be viewed as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of medicine."

Lyme Disease is contracted by a tick bite that has been infected and then infects the person that it has bitten. While a bulls eye rash is common in most cases, in recent years there are more and more cases that occur with the person never seeing a bulls eye rash. In addition to this in recent years studies have shown that in addition to a tick transferring Lyme you can also contract Lyme through being bit by a mosquito, flies, or fleas. 
property of Lyme Disease pictures
Lyme Disease is considered (by most doctors- some would disagree) an infections Disease with the bacteria in Lyme called "Borelia Burgdorferi". The Lyme bacteria is unique in its shape (it has a spiral shape) and unlike most diseases it is able to burrow into not only into the blood stream but into vital organs, muscles throughout the body, the nervous system, and body tissue. (In addition to this studies coming out of Europe show belief that Lyme has the potential to drill into bones.) Due to the unique shape and properties of the Boreilia Burgdorferi Lyme has the ability to literally infect the entire body and travel throughout the blood stream (doing incredible damage to the organs and the cells that it connects with in its way). Over time Lyme also has the ability and capability of surrounding cells, killing them, and creating a "wall" that prevents antibiotics to "break" the barriers. In addition to this the bacteria commonly makes cysts that are also difficult for antibiotics to touch.
property of Lyme Disease pictures
Due to these reasons a person with Lyme (whether mis-diagnosed, mis-treated, or not caught at the time of infection) can suffer for decades before being diagnosed and can suffer a confusing and wide array of symptoms that might or might not look like other "lymies" fighting the same battle. 

Lyme is considered the "Great Imitator" and is known to imitate over four hundred different diseases including CFS/ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), Fibromyalgia, IBS, Lupus, MS, Autoimmune Disorders, Alzheimer's, ALS, Migraines, Depression, Meningitis, Lou Gehrig's Disease, and hundreds of others. 

Patients in "late stage or chronic stage" Lyme Disease are fighting a complicated and complex battle as many (including myself) are fighting not just the Lyme but co-infections, additional diagnosis', and issues that have occurred due to the fact that Lyme has waged war on their bodies. Due to the fact that the bacteria from Lyme Disease can not only travel but multiply patients are dealing with multiple issues and symptoms. The bacteria with Lyme Disease does not like the fight and will literally "fight back" which causes a "herxheimer reaction" that can be worse than the disease itself. Due to this the "horror stories" (as the news has sometimes labeled it) are true, as some patients have died and many patients end up in the hospital and are fighting for their lives. 

The symptoms of Lyme Disease vary but most people struggle from many of the following symptoms: debilitating fatigue, heart issues, heart palpitations, arthritis, facial numbness, blood pressure problems, extreme pain, autoimmune disorders, malnutrition, hair loss, vision problems, skin issues, rashes, panic attacks, adrenal failure (or fatigue), memory issues, food allergies, unexplained allergic reactions, insomnia, inability to absorb vitamins and nutrition, hormonal issues, circulation issues, dizziness, seizures, body numbness, blindness, migraines, paralysis in extremities, heart attacks, inability to handle temperature change, lung function, shortness of breath, menstrual issues, and the list goes on and on and on. I have just listed a few but here are hundreds more.


In addition to the physical aspects of fighting Lyme Disease patients are in for the FIGHT of their life not only physically but mentally, financially, and emotionally too. Most Lyme Disease patients have seen dozens of doctors (I personally saw 273-including some of the top hospitals throughout the US-before I was correctly diagnosed) and after the diagnosis can introduce the most difficult battle that is never expected.

 Lyme Disease patients are warriors as they have had to push through hundreds of "all knowledgeable doctors" stating that it is "in their heads" or "they just need some meds". (I had a specialist in 2013 -after we had spent 4 hours in traffic to get to his office-tell my mother (in front of me) that she was "enabling" me to continue to set a "destructive pattern" of desiring attention and that "absolutely" nothing was wrong with me. Within two months of seeing this doctor I not only had been correctly diagnosed with Lyme Disease, but aggressive skin cancer, and Sojourn's Disease.) 

Finding a doctor who is willing to treat a Lyme Disease patient long term is also another battle. Due to arguments with insurance companies, Congress, and medical limitations it is extremely difficult to find a qualified and competent doctor. This takes hours and hours and hours of research and it still doesn't guarantee you an appointment. Mentally this is absolutely exhausting for patients. And after the appointment that you have hopefully gotten there is still the treatment to fight through. 

And both of these things cost an extreme amount of money. 

Money that most patients (like myself) did "OK" with for the first five or six years of wandering the long trail of finding correct answers. But after that time period (and for some it is a much shorter time frame) money is not something that just continues to "come in". It has been spent (wisely, I would like to clarify) on finding answers, traveling to doctors across the country, treating one or two  mis-diagnosis', and on numerous treatments (most alternative so insurance does not cover it). ALL of these things add up to thousands and thousands of dollars. 

Like myself, most Lyme Disease patients are not able to work full time and those that have to struggle to survive day to day. Without a set source of income bank accounts, savings accounts, retirement funds, etc. are quickly depleted. I have been asked by hundreds of people- "didn't you save for a rainy day"? Or... "What about your savings account?". I am going to be incredibly honest here and share something very personal. I had a wonderful savings account (I was a Dave Ramsey's graduate *smiles*) that by year three of this "adventure" was being drained and then at years five and six was completely depleted. (Just to give you a slice of a picture I have spent in the last eight years approximately $75,000 on medical issues, supplies, supplements, travel to doctors, etc. desperately trying to get well!!) I, like most other Lyme Disease patients, have lost any "saved money", savings accounts, retirement accounts, etc in the desperate fight to get better. Many patients like myself have limited funds and to answer the questions that I am sometimes asked- no I do not know where the resources that I am going to need for today and the rest of this week let alone the months and years ahead (until I am able to work full time again) will come from. I am a christian who is madly in love with her savior and have learned to trust that He will always provide for me - each step of this journey. 

Lyme Disease patients worry about things that most people don't think about. I will debate for hours and hours each week on which supplement or antibiotic I should do "without" due to money. We have concerns and stresses that are impossible to explain. We have sold everything we can think of, have had to humble ourselves to ask for money and are embarrassed to admit we have done so, and have asked every family member, friend, and stranger for help. In the process most of our relatives and friends have depleted their savings accounts and bank accounts to help us. Let me say what most Lyme Disease patients are thinking about all of the time but are ashamed to admit:

We don't care about the battles of politics and insurance. We don't care about "which treatment" is supposedly the best. We don't care about "this or that". What we do care about is fighting for our lives and our health and most of us are so scared that we can never get better because we do not have financial ability to do so. 

And I think it takes absolutely no explanation about why Lyme Disease patients also struggle emotionally. The rigor of this fight takes a courage that I never knew before. It takes bravery to face what is realistically going on in your body and the courage to fight for hope despite the odds. It takes courage to look around and realize that your life has been crushed, accept the loneliness of "friends" walking away, and to come to terms with giving up a job that you loved and to recognize that you might never be able to return to it, to find joy despite the pain, to hold on to Hope when it seems so dark, and to believe (against what you have been told) that you can fight this silent and vicious killer. While there are days of tears and darkness Lyme Disease can not silence love and that is what each and every person fighting Lyme is holding onto. 

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Will you please spread the word about this disease and give a BIG hug to those you know who are fighting it? Your kindness in recognizing and spreading the word will touch the hearts of ALL who fight each day. If you would like to spread the word please feel free to use either of these two pictures and link to this post on social media! 

I, like every "lymie" I know, longs to see a world where "Lyme Disease" are words that are understood by the medical community along with friends and family understanding it. We long to see knowledge that is spread so that someday we will have a cure so that no one else has to live this fight. Thank you so much for spreading the word. 

Want additional resources on Lyme Disease? Check out "the Lyme Diaries" series on this blog! Are you a lymie patient or do you have a loved one walking through this journey? Check out my book, Praying through Lyme Disease, which provides scriptural encouragement for this journey! Do you have questions, or just want to talk? Please feel free to email me at caravansonnet@gmail.com I would love to connect with you about this topic!

4/30/15

51 Scripture Verses on Health and Healing to Pray for Those Who are Sick

Happy Thursday sweet friends! I am often told by very dear and well-meaning people, "I am praying for you" or "I am praying for your health" or "I am praying for your healing". ALL of these things are wonderful and I am so grateful and thankful for the time that people pray for me in this area of my life. But I am also asked by those who are closest to me, "I pray for your health everyday, but sometimes I don't know what to pray anymore at this stage of the journey." I have been thinking a lot about this recently and wanted to share with y'all 51 healing scriptures that I pray over myself every single morning and throughout the day. While this doesn't address everything to pray for and is definitely not a "formula" I do hope and pray that this is a good starting point for you to be praying for those that you love that are sick and are desperately praying for healing. These verses bring me such comfort, joy, peace, and strength every single day during this season! I hope it encourages you today!

"If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to His commands and keep all His decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord who heals you."
-Exodus 15:26-

"Worship the Lord your God, and His blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you."
-Exodus 23:25-

"The Lord will keep you free from every disease. He will not inflict on you the horrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but He will inflict them on people who hate you."
-Deuteronomy 7:15-

"This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live."
-Deuteronomy 30:19-

"Not one of all the Lord's good promises to Israel failed, every one was fulfilled."
-Joshua 21:45-

"I love you, Lord my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snare of death confronted me. In my distress I called to the Lord... I cried to my God for help... He rescued me from my powerful enemy..."
-Psalm 18:1-6, 17-

"With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation."
-Psalm 91:16-

"Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being praise His holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul and forget me all His benefits, who forgives all your sins and heals all of your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle."
-Psalm 103:1-5-

"He sent out His word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave."
-Psalm 107:20-

"I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done."
-Psalm 117:17-

"My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart, for they are life to those who find them and health to one's whole body."
-Proverbs 4:20-22-

"I will restore you to health and heal your wounds."
-Jeremiah 30:17-

"I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten- the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm."
-Joel 2:25-

"Let the weakling say, I am strong"
-Joel 3:10-

"...trouble will not come a second time.."
-Nahum 1:9-

"Test me in this", says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of Heave and pour out so much blessing that there will be room enough to store it."
-Malachi 3:10-

"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "Truly I tell you if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea, and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for you."
-Mark 11:22-23-

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full."
-John 10:10-

"And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His spirit who lives in you."
-Romans 8:11-

"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
-2 Corinthians 10:4-5-

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole." He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit."
-Galatians 3:13-14-

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the Heavenly realm. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all of this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
-Ephesians 6:10-17

"...for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose."
-Philippians 2:13-

"For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline."
-2 Timothy 1:7-

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."
-Hebrews 10:23-

"So do not throw away your confidence for it will be richly rewarded."
-Hebrews 10:35-

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."
-Hebrews 13:8-

"He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed."
-I Peter 2:24-

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us-whatever we ask- we know that we have what we asked of Him."
-I John 5:14-15-

"Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well."
-3 John 2-

"They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death."
-Revelation 12:11-

If you would like me to email you a word copy of these verses please shoot me an email at: caravansonnet@gmail.com and I will be happy to email them to you!!