August 31, 2009


we've decided to take full advantage of this streak of wellness i am experiencing and head out of town for a little holiday.
we are in need of a little family bonding
this has been a tough summer

my last streak of wellness was back at the end of june when we attended the YFC National Ministry Conference in Edmonton, AB.

Graham, Parker and Avery embarked on an epic 13 hour road trip to Edmonton.

parker and "pretend mom" somewhere in the wilds of alberta

parker, avery, "pretend mom" and our good friend joan -
who graciously opened her home to my crew and put them up (or put up with them) for several nights

parker takes "pretend mom" canoeing

"real mom" would have loved to join my family on their epic road trip however doing so would have come at great physical cost to me.
thanks to the generosity of friends, i was able to fly to Edmonton. we were so grateful for this gift as it allowed me to spend my limited energy on being and doing rather than traveling. and do we did!

Our National Ministry Conference was awesome. Tony Campolo was one of the speakers (need i say more?) it was a great time of encouragement, building, refreshment and renewal and re-connecting with friends from around the country.

we were incredibly grateful that i was able to attend the conference at all, let alone take in as much and do as much as i did. i made it to morning and evening sessions by taking marathon naps of 4-5 hours in between. this was the most functional i had been in quite awhile

we spent a few extra days "holidaying" in the Edmonton area after the conference ended, visiting with some dear friends and spending a day at the world famous West Edmonton Mall Water Park

i was able to even go for 2 water slide rides with Parker and Avery

all in all, it was a terrific holiday
a much needed time of family bonding
taylor was not with us
(he was in costa rica on a 2 week missions trip with our church youth group)

welcoming taylor home! so very happy to have him back!

his presence was immensely missed and it left a huge crater sized hole in our family
we all missed him terribly

upon our return from Edmonton, i had a HUGE crash
and aside from a handful of 'functional days' that included an outing to our local aquarium, a trip to the beach, and a sprinkling of visits with friends and family, i have spent the majority of the rest of this summer fairly home bound and unable to participate in many activities with the kids

one of my greatest fears is that the most prominent memory my kids will have of their childhood is mom being sick, mom lying on the couch and mom is a fear i am learning to surrender and trust our heavenly father with...

and i guess in part, it is that fear that motivates me to make the most of life when i am able and create meaningful memories for my kids to carry with them

so, as you can imagine, after spending my 3rd summer in a row of seeing more couch than beach,
i have had a huge need to spend some intensive, concentrated family bonding where the 5 of us could just BE together...with no expectation of 'doing' other than just being together -
and being away from the distractions of everyday life...

cell phones
snail mail and the bills and invoices it delivers
basically i wanted a place to nest with my family away from the distractions of modern living,

yes, in a moment of insanity,
i was envisioning a remote (preferrably ocean front) locale where we could light a fire, gather round and all sing kum by ya
one small problem
i don't camp
remote ocean front cabin get-aways are not cheap (seriously!)

and the kids were less than thrilled with the idea of doing without modern bonding is enough torture for them.

amazingly enough, they were so opposed to the idea that they had an immediate meeting of the minds and ALL agreed there was one place where they ALL wanted to go.

their chosen destination?

official alpine skiing venue for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games
official site for the 2009 Olympic-sized Goertzen family bonding

really it is rare for the kids to all be in agreement
they presented a very unified front on Whistler being "the place to go"

initially i was less than thrilled...
the thought of navigating Whistler in wheelchair conjured up all sorts of death defying yet horribly hilarious scenarios

whistler 2006

and it was on a holiday in Whistler 3 LONG years ago (above photo), when i had one of my first inklings that something was really wrong with me. all i can remember from that trip was being in an incredible amount of pain, experiencing monumental fatigue and feeling as though i was being poisoned and electrocuted.
but you know prior to that,
we had been going to whistler for a number of years (my folks have a time share there)
and we have some pretty fond and wonderful memories
so pretty quickly i warmed to the idea


taylor & parker
whistler 2001

taylor, parker & avery
whistler 2006

and now
i just have to trust that i will remain well enough to be able-bodied for this trip
if not
well, i will just "roll" with the punches if they come

at any rate,
the kids are in for some olympic-sized family bonding...whether they like it or not!

"expect the best, prepare for the worst, plan to be surprised...
and capitalize on what comes."

August 30, 2009


friday (aug 28) saw me knock back my first round of ABX since the end of June
given what it has taken to get me back to this point
you'd have thought i'd have had a ceremonial moment of something or other to mark the occasion...
i don't know what exactly
maybe some sort of ceremonial salute...

dance a jig?
let loose with a shrieking war cry?
shadow box with my pill box?

not sure what i expected to think or feel...
maybe some sense of impending doom, apprehension or dread (after all a herx is now imminent)
at the very least,
i'd guess i figured it would take some herculean effort of mind to work up the nerve to face the fight again

but no
i just woke up
popped an alinia and a malarone
washed it down with some lovely green goo

no big moment
no dramatic hoopla

just dove in with both feet
with nary a second thought

it was so anti-climatic that it was almost disappointing!
except for this

God-breathed peace and courage raining down on mel

in my finest hour,
i could never will this kind of peace
in my strongest moment,
i could never summon this amount of courage

3You will guard him(her) and keep him(her) in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because (s)he commits himself(herself) to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.

4So trust in the Lord [commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him] forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].

Isaiah 26:3-4

August 28, 2009


****please note dates to avoid confusion ****
this posting should've been up 2 weeks ago but i've had some technical difficulties...
hopefully i'll have all entries from past 2 weeks up in the next 24 hours

this week (Aug 25 - 26), we took our weirdness south of the border

in keeping with what has become a family tradition we headed to the Seattle,WA area
for our annual
"shoe and zoo adventure"

the shoe thing is for Taylor....
we indulge Taylor's shoe fetish and
(thankfully the nike outlet sells size 13s at a semi-affordable price which makes this a wise indulgence!)
in return he endures the zoo with us

yes, it is probably the world's worst disguised bribe...
but hey Taylor had a rather unfortunate incident at a zoo when he was younger!
(the dramatic tale includes a rather large and annoyed black panther which possessed a rather amazing ability to take aim and "spray" the brash, young lad who was taunting it from 15 feet away - Taylor still is suffering some residual trauma -
however he learned a valuable lesson - cats actually do have feelings.)

we're glad he endures the zoo for us
after all, our family is just not complete without him... and his feet!
but not one of us stands anywhere near him when observing any wild felines.

this year, we deviated from our traditional trip to the Woodland Park Zoo instead opting for the smaller Point Defiance Aquarium and Zoo.
(which was nice but in our humble yet professional zoo viewing opinion Woodland Zoo is better)

i quickly discovered some of the most fascinatingly weird and wonderful signs along the way...

...and i might add, i discovered signs that were profound...

and signs that i could only wish applied to human species....

yes, i was almost more intrigued by the signage than the animals and my kids thought my obsession with photographing signs was very weird...

and so they mocked me every chance they got...

i just happily reminded them that weirdness is genetic.

note the sign behind us:
"Alien Invaders"
hee hee

we combined our great shoe and zoo adventure with a "drug run"

what is a drug run?

a huge portion of my medications prescribed by DR H are ordered and come from the states
the majority of them cannot be shipped across the line

therefore we have them delivered to a USA PO box just across the border from our house (thankfully just a 30 minute drive from our home)
and then
when orders come in, we pick them up at the PO Box, 'declare' them at the border and physically bring them across the line

we call these 'drug runs'
just a little lyme humor
we do not refer to our drug runs as drug runs when speaking with border guards

b/c i am just getting this whole new treatment protocol underway, i had an order waiting for me, so on our way home we stopped by our PO box to pick up my latest shipment of drugs.

when the border guard asked us what we had to declare
we told him we were bringing back prescribed meds and supplements
we then declared the monetary total
it is a lot of money
a ridiculous amount
fighting lyme is not cheap

the border guard did a double take and disbelievingly queried, "HOW MUCH?"

once again graham told him the total

to which the border guard jokingly responded,
"WOW! What are you bringing back....medicinal marijuana?"

wow. a border guard with a sense of humor?
very weird
very funny

and then to top it off
all of sudden from the back seat of the van,

Avery yells at the guy,
"Hey, you, mister man, i sure bet you have to pee like crazy after being in that little booth all day!"

the border guard burst out laughing and said
"wow. that was random. you are free to go. see ya."

there you have it.
we declared our weirdness at the border.

one last weird and wonderful discovery to share:

this is a picture of a tidy room.
this is a picture of Taylor's room.
Taylor is a teenager

tidy room + teenager = weird... but wonderful discovery

August 27, 2009


i had my monthly phone appointment with DR H today.

i was hoping he would take me off my pre-digested food diet.
no such luck.
when i complained about the limited amount of pre-digested goo choices available,
he quipped back that he was pretty sure he had some pre-chewed food lying around his office.
he cheekily offered to send me some.

then he ventured to add even more pills to my ever growing smorgasbord of pills, enzymes and extracts.

-compliments of DR H

ok, i don't actually use the martini shaker, i just threw it in for the fun of it
but i do drink my detox meds out of the martini glass now - they go down much smoother!

i am not currently able to eat any food without my body reacting to it - (i "puff up" 5 to 10lbs overnight) for this reason, aside from small amounts of veggies and fruits, my buffet of pills and liquids makes up my entire daily diet.

now back to my appointment with DR H

here's the good news:

DR H started me on this pre-digested diet of amino acids, minerals and therapeutic enzymes (endearingly known in our home as "The Goo that smells like Poo") at the beginning of august.

ah, yes, plug your noses kiddies,
the goo is staying
but with your free hand
gimme a high five
the goo appears to be working!

most notably there has been a significant increase in my energy and stamina levels, my mood swings are less severe....and my toxicity levels are slowly getting better

my weekly lab work is even starting to reflect this stabilization
over the course of this month, there has been a very slow, but definite improvement with my WBC (white blood cell count) and an increase in my WBC differentials

my WBC which is almost never within normal range, is now within range and steadily increasing.
amazingly my neutrophils and lymphocytes which are chronically very low, ("flagged" on lab reports) have slowly but steadily risen since starting "the goo" too

that is exciting news

here's the tough news:

at the same time that there has been marked improvement, in other areas there has been a steady decline in my health.

my babesia (BABS) infection is growing stronger.
BABS is notorious for infecting and destroying the RBC (red blood cells). this is reflected in my blood work and the steady increase in my symptoms that are associated with an active BABS infection.

most notable symptoms are drenching night sweats, hallucinations, insomnia and fractured sleep patterns (meaning i never have a deep sleep - even when i am "asleep" i am aware), tremors, ever-present headache,
and shortness of breath episodes.

other symptoms that are getting stronger are related to both my BABS and Lyme infections

i am having rheumatoid arthritis like flares of swollen, stiff and painful joints, arrythmias, CNS disturbances, internal head pressure, neck stiffness...etc.

aside from that,
i feel pretty darn good... lol...

in spite of all that,
"i don't look sick"

i'd venture to say i still manage to look good...

...aside from some alarming hair issues, that is.

here's the wait and see news:

in january, when i saw DR H in office, he noticed a pattern of symptom cycling that occurs with me. it runs in an 8 week cycle. meaning for 6 to 8 weeks, my symptoms and level of disability greatly fluctuate between very severe and intense (which means bedridden) to barely bearable (my couch-ridden days) thrown in that time frame is a smattering of random semi-functional days. (and of course, if i am on meds to fight lyme or my other tick-borne infections, than herxing is thrown into that mix)
lo and behold
roughly around the 8 week mark, i will have a good run of semi-functional days. it lasts anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks. during this time, provided i take frequent rest breaks, i am able to do much more than usual.
DR H says this is the way that BABS plays.

i am currently experiencing the upward swing of one of these cycles.
the question becomes
am i experiencing some relief and more functional days "just because"
is the goo really making a huge difference?

only time will tell
i must wait and see

the foreseeable future and prayer requests:

1) i will remain on the goo for the next 3 to 6 weeks
this should be enough time for DR H to assess whether or not my improvements are 'real' and not just part of my 8 week cycle
if improvements do not continue, i will be forced to go from the oral goo to all of it run through IV

so if the oral goo is so gross and smells like poo then wouldn't IV formulations be more preferable?

yes and no.

the answer is complicated
the short of it is this

the IV formulations are extremely costly and complicated
but they are a more exact science
i (actually my blood) would undergo numerous nutrient/biochemistry testing
based on the results
specialized amino acid and mineral IVs would be formulated by a doctor who specializes in cellular nutrition
all of this would need to be done in the states

while the pre-digested goo is not exactly cheap it is more accessible
it is a lot of trial and error to find the right combination for my body's needs
iit's success is dependent on my body's ability to absorb it through the digestive track rather than bloodstream.

there are pros and cons to both.
DR H has this other doctor (DR G) on stand-by should we need to move forward with these specialized IVs.

please pray for God's provision should this treatment become necessary.

DR H does not feel i am strong enough yet to return to aggressive IV treatment for my lyme. this is concerning because i have now been off of all IV medications since the end of May.


he has re-started me on 2 meds for the BABS infection

3) on Friday, i will start alinia and malarone for my BABS infection
i am on a full dose of alina and a micro dose of malarone

re-starting meds to fight my infection
means that
herxing will commence shortly

herxing is an unimaginable horror to endure. it is not explainable - unless you have lived through it, it is impossible to comprehend.

please pray for me (and my family) as i (we) prepare to live through this difficult yet necessary part of the healing process again.

historically speaking :)
hey, after 2.4 years of herxing cycles i can refer to it as historic,
i have a very strong herx at the 3 week mark of starting meds
taylor's 17th birthday is roughly 3 weeks away
i was completely bedridden for his 16th birthday last year

please pray that i will be well enough to celebrate his birthday

there is more but for now that is the bulk of it.
i'm about due
for another round of goo.
and so
i must go

i cannot type and write rhyming prose
while drinking goo and plugging my nose



August 23, 2009


so i'm just one week into my return to blogging about the fearless front on Sundays'
yet here it is 10:45pm sunday nite
i haven't posted yet

oh dear!
night tme is not my best time for deep thinking!

mornings are better
my family stayed home from church this morning
which was wonderful
lovely to have their company
but not so conducive to quiet, contemplative thinking

this afternoon my buddy (& fellow lymie) Peter dropped by
he brought me some of my favorite chips
such a nice guy!
graham and i both appreciate what a thoughtful friend he is

Peter taught me how to "Twitter" today
so i guess
"i'm tweeting" now
maybe or maybe not
the whole thing confuses me
i refuse to be too scared to try!

i have courage to try twitter
if you are a fellow tweeter, you can find me on twitter as trust358

fearless twittering aside
another week of fighting lyme lays before me
many of you have asked whether or not i am on abx
i am NOT.
DR H still has me OFF of all abx (both oral and IV)
currently, i am on that pre-digested goo he prescribed
as well as a detox protocol that includes a lovely buffet of 85 pills a day
but NO abx
i am anticipating that that may soon change... given that my both my babs symptoms are returning and my lyme arthritis is steadily getting stronger
i have a phone consult with DR H on thursday to discuss this and make a game plan for my next step in this fight.

i read the following devotional this week and it was great to be reminded to keep believing that my break through is coming, keep trusting that my healing IS could just be around the corner - the only way i'll find out is if i continue to fearlessly fight lyme.

“…He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.’ Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We never saw anything like this!’” (Mark 2:10b-12, NKJ).

In Mark chapter two, the Bible talks about a man who was paralyzed. He heard that Jesus was in town teaching at another house and knew that He could heal him. The paralyzed man convinced four of his friends to carry him on his bed over to where Jesus was. When they arrived, the house was so packed that they couldn’t get in. Do you know what happened next? Instead of just giving up and going home, the man was so determined to get his miracle that he convinced his friends to climb up on the roof, cut a hole in it, and lower him down to where Jesus was!
Now this man understood that you are closest to your victory when you face the greatest opposition. A lot of people would have just given up. They would have seen the crowd and gone home—even though they were just a few feet away from their miracle. Don’t let that be you! What are you believing for? Don’t give up just because there is opposition. Don’t let others discourage you from seeing your miracle. Keep pressing through today because you are closer than you think to the victory God has in store for you!

Prayer for This Week:

Heavenly Father, today I release all of my cares and anxieties on You. I trust that my breakthrough is coming. I choose to press in and stand strong. I believe Your Word, and I believe that You will reward me as I diligently seek after You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. (source found here)

August 22, 2009


we are a weird family
i know that
i tend to forget just how weird we are because most of the time i am home with the weirdness
tucked away from the scrutiny of the general public

this week i've had a few days
where i was well enough to get out of the house
which has been wonderful
weird for my family who has gotten used to doing things
and going places without me

so I'm well enough to go out this week
and where do we as a family choose to go?

home depot
weird choice
sad but true

off to home depot we go
graham kept looking at me
every once in awhile
he'd turn around, do a double take, give his head a little shake
repeatedly say
"whoa, this is weird. it's just so weird to have you with us."

"thank you" i sighed
"you've now mentioned that multiple times."

"well, its weird but nice." his reply was accompanied with his cheesiest grin.

"thank you for clarifying that."

when we hit the return section
the gal behind the counter asked graham why he was returning the closest organizer.

"and the reason for the return, sir?" she queried

"ah, there is a dead squirrel in it." graham calmly replied. total poker face.

the poor girls eyebrows hit the ceiling and her jaw hit the ground.
5 minutes of dead silence followed.
graham just nonchalantly stood there .

"ah, pardon me, sir?" the girl finally sputtered

"there's a dead squirrel in it." graham repeated.

by this time the poor girl's eyes were nearly bugging out of her head.

i figured it was time to come to her rescue and let her know he wasn't serious.

"he's kidding. honest. it's okay." i clarified

it still took a few moments for her to really believe me...once she finally realized he wasn't really serious, she had a really good laugh.
we all did.

"is he always like that?" she asked

and can you believe he has the audacity to claim that it's weird to be out with me!"

"We are all a little weird and life's a little weird
and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours,
we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness...
and call it love."

(source -Think Exist Quotes

August 16, 2009


i'm working at a return to the fearless front.
didn't know there was one to return to?
me either
er, well i did
i just forgot about it

let me explain
once upon a time
a long time ago
when i first went public with my blog
i tried to do an entry every Sunday called
"this week on the fearless front"
it's not often that i am well enough to join my family in church
so Sunday mornings often finds me home alone
in order to make it a 'special' day
and different in respect to my standard daily devotions
i intentionally focus on the fearless aspect of my trust journey

along the way
blogging about the fearless front was lost
an unintentional casualty of the realities of living with lyme;

lost to the challenge of brain fog
lost to the challenge of endless weeks of herxing
lost to an endless list of challenges

lost to the ever present challenge of finding fearlessness and choosing hope
in the midst of a time of perpetual night

my recent God-inspired collision with courage
happened to jog my memory about this whole business of fearlessness
after all
fear has no business encroaching on my journey
no matter how dark, painful and hopeless it can leave me feeling

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?
When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
Though a host encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
In spite of this I shall be confident.

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the LORD. - psalm 27:1-3,11-14(NASB)

trust in God
faith in God
hope in God
are foundational to my life and my journey

"Faith (Trust) in God generates courage to face facts and deal with reality. True faith acknowledges the facts but recognizes that God’s truth supersedes worldly facts, and that faith-full action can change things.

Faith (Trust) in God generates the courage to look at the hopelessness of circumstances and yet remain expectant and hope-filled that God will provide a way."

my blog is titled
"ticks and trust - fighting lyme with a fearless heart"
courage is a synonym for fearless
yet somehow i never ever equated my trust journey with courage
isn't that strange?

funny how when God gives you a divinely inspired word
you begin to see it and experience it

in everything i do
everywhere i go
and everywhere i look
i find courage

it's in so many of the verses that have
comforted, inspired and kept me sane
over the past 3 years
it's on the homepage of my blog
it's even in the song
that inspired part of my blog title
"fighting lyme with a fearless heart"

(FEARLESS HEART - Point of Grace)

For even the most trusting soul
This world can be a scary place
So much that we can't control
In every moment that we face

When a thousand what ifs
Whisper in our ears
We remember who's we are
And watch them disappear

I wanna live with a fearless heart
Courage that's coming from trust in God
It's constantly guiding me though the road may seem dark
I wanna live, wanna live with a fearless heart

There are worries chasing everyone
It's evident in times like these
But I have found the confidence that comes
From time I spend on my knees

There's a truth I'm holding onto
As these days unfold
Greater is He, that is in you
Than he that's in the world

I wanna live with a fearless heart
Courage that's coming from trust in God
It's constantly guiding me though the road may seem dark
I wanna live, wanna live with a fearless heart

He's my strength, He's my shelter
He is with me all the way
He's my light and my salvation
Of whom shall I be afraid, of whom shall I be afraid?

i'm getting back to the fearless front
after all,
focusing on what God has to say about it
is what
gives me the courage to fight lyme with a fearless heart

remind me if i forget!

August 15, 2009


Had another visit with my doctor this week.

i have been really struggling with a sharp increase in joint pain and stiffness over the past 3 weeks.
primarily my hands/fingers, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and feet.
i guess, suffice it to say, just about every joint has been affected.
to say the pain has been unbearable would be an understatement.
i have spent the past 3 weeks gobbling down pain pills like they are candy...and at best, what i've been using has only knocked the edge off the pain.
i need something stronger.
i WANT some heavy duty pharmaceuticals!

i have never been a fan of using pharmaceuticals....says she who has a picc line in her arm.
oh the irony!
i loathe putting "pharma-chemicals" into my body
always have
even now and even before i got LD
prior to getting LD, i was so anti-drug that i even opted for natural child birth with all 3 kids
no drugs.
no pain management.
no big deal (okay, admittedly my longest labor was only an hour - but, hey, it was still labor and resulted in a 9 pound baby!)

pain is relative

mind over matter.
so i used to say.

i changed my mind this week.
i want drugs.
thank you very much.

off for a visit to DR A
where i was frank and to the point;
"i hurt real bad. i want drugs."

now he's a compassionate and lovely fellow
but he is also a responsible doctor
so before pulling out his magic rx pad
he spent some time examining my swollen, red joints
and of course we had a little chat about drug options
unfortunately my choices are somewhat limited
because of my current toxicity issues
and then there is the minor problem of the whole tricky factor associated with LD
tricky as in
often many drugs have little effect on symptoms if they are LD related

but there are some viable, non-addictive options
anything is worth trying at this point

so DR A wrote me a prescription
god bless him
he also gave me some FREE samples to try

my friend Tina, who often chauffeurs me around to my various appointments, was waiting for me when i excitedly came hobbling out of the office

"what's going on?" she asked with brow raised suspiciously, "you're grinning like a cheshire cat!"

"i got drugs." i giddily replied. "i even got some for FREEEEE!"

so that was tuesday.
too early to tell if they are working yet.
last couple of days i've had better joint mobility and less pain
whether that is just because of the natural waxing and waning cycle of this disease
that the drugs are actually helping
i couldn't tell you
only time will tell.
until then
when i feel the need to smile
i look at my little boxes of narcotic freebies
grin like a cheshire cat.

August 14, 2009


LAST friday was my birthday.

i am now closer to 40 than 30. which is fine by me. aside from the effects of gravity, aging doesn't much bother me. i figure why sweat it, you know? after all, it's inevitable. albeit, the toll that gravity has on my body occasionally gets to me but then i just remind myself that there are a bevy of iron clad undergarments on the market to combat that...and they are making advances in that technology everyday.

all kidding aside, i actually like getting older. the Wikipedia defines ageing as:

"aging is the accumulation of changes in an organism or object over time. Aging in humans refers to a multidimensional process of physical, psychological, and social change. Some dimensions of aging grow and expand over time, while others decline. Reaction time, for example, may slow with age, while knowledge of world events and wisdom may expand. Research shows that even late in life potential exists for physical, mental, and social growth and development."

i love that. i love to think of aging as an accumulation of changes that ADD dimension to a person...and that the older i get the more multi-dimensional i get. if you let it, aging can be a wonderfully refining and beautifying metamorphosis. some of the most beautiful people i know are well-developed in years!

obviously, aging isn't exactly a bed of roses either. i get that...after all, i've spent the past 3 years trapped in a body that feels old. really, really old. i'm not big on that. i often joke about the possiblity that i might finally get time to retire and acquire all the aches and pains that go with it. in all honesty, sometimes i worry that i could spend my whole life feeling old.

yes, sure would be nice to actually FEEL my chronological age this side of retirement.

alright, stop with the aging requiem already.

my big outing for my birthday was a visit to the doctor. other than that, i was home on the couch. would have liked it to be different however this is my life right now.
naturally, i had some moments where i felt really sad and alone because of that but for the most part i was able to accept it and make the best of it.

i was happy that we could be together as a family...
and they all made a considerable effort to make my day special...

graham reminded me that i am still way younger than him...and added that i am still younger than many of the trees in the forest.
taylor had the audacity to snicker at that.
i put taylor in his place by gleefully reminding him that a couple weeks back, he got asked if i was his sister.
(i also reminded him that it would be wise for him to be nice to me as it is not completely out of the realm of possibilities that one day we may be in the same nursing home together. after all, the age difference between us is not astronomical. ha!)
however, even though he made fun of me, i am just grateful that taylor spent the entire day at home with me. i recognize that that is a big sacrifice when you are sixteen.
parker, bless his heart, massaged my aching hands and feet whenever i asked him to. he gives the best hand/foot rubs ever.
avery, our resident, self-professed "What NOT to wear" fashionista was adamant about giving me a make-over for my birthday.
Avery is 6.
with no prior make-up experience.
and has limited points of reference, given that i rarely have the energy or inclination to bother with make-up anymore.

i figured this makeover had the potential to have an incredibly hilarious end result.

avery took the task at hand with complete seriousness.

before she got started she gave me a cursory, once over. then with a roll of her eyes, she raised her hand to her forehead and sighed,
"Boy, do i have my work cut out for me! this could take awhile."

apparently i don't just need a make-over, i need a complete over-haul.

ha! can you believe i agreed to posing for a BEFORE photo after hearing that!


we're both thinking, "What have i gotten myself into?"

anyhow, much to all our amazement, she actually did an incredible job.

obviously, one should never estimate the magical powers of a fashionista - no matter what their age!



my birthday overhaul also included a manicure:

worlds longest overhaul - is Parker asleep or passed out?

so apparently because my makeover was such a challenging task, (which i was told at frequent intervals) it ended up taking FOREVER. by the time i was deemed successfully over-hauled, it was dinner time.

of course, because of my fairly rigid dietary restricitions, i couldn't actually really eat anything
i am just grateful that i could even SIT at the dinner table with my family...recently, i haven't had the strength or stamina to do that very often.
we made my pre-digested dinner as special as possible...

pre-digested "pre-dinner cocktail" and "4 course dinner"

"my birthday cake"

"The overhauled purple princess bids a fond farewell to her early 30s."

"Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are be renewed day by day "
2 Cor 4:16

August 9, 2009


"pain is temporary. it may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. if i quit, however, it lasts forever." -lance armstrong

pain can also be very motivating.

my pain levels have reached an all time high.
and once resolved symptoms are now returning.
amidst the pain, i have had a light bulb moment of realization.

treatment really was working.


not only did my pain inspire that Oprah-esque "A-HA" moment
it, also, motivated me to finally put in a call to DR H.
given my body's current state of treatment revolt, i wasn't sure what exactly could be done but at least i was willing to FINALLY TRY to do something.

so, last Monday morning found me armed with a new treatment plan from DR H...

no abx for the time being. my body is too weak to handle a right now, we're working at building up my body, pain management, and dealing with my toxicity issues. my toxicity levels are high. dealing with this is currently the top priority because they are now effecting my body's ability to process food. for this reason, DR H has put me on a pre-digested diet - yes, it is as gross as it sounds.

DR H is an amazingly smart doctor. his level of knowledge about both traditional and less conventional medicine often leaves me astounded.

his latest treatment plan is good.
it's comprehensive. it makes sense. seems do-able. yes, even the pre-digested part is doable. barely.

despite my confidence in this new plan
following through with it is so very difficult

obviously, the physical aspect of choking back 50+ pills a day and the foul liquid diet is a challenge
but even more difficult to stomach
is the emotional war that has churned and roiled within me.

over the past couple of weeks, i knew that God was moving me towards further and continued treatment under the care of DR H.
in fact, through all manner of ways, he made it pretty crystal clear,
ABUNDANTLY evident, in fact, that right now

treatment is God's prescription plan for me

i don't like that
not one little bit

however, like it or not,
i was finally seeking and trying treatment!
and so in essence, i was following HIS plan for me, right?
sure. great.


that it was crippling arthritic pain, fear and panic
that had fueled my desire for treatment

that moving forward was not based on an authentic obedience nor was it born because of an unwavering faith that this agonizing process of treatment is what God is using to heal me.

and for that reason, i became a quintessential study of neurotic contradictions:

i can, i can't
i will, i won't
i do, i don't
i will win, i will lose
choose life, beg for death
cry without ceasing, too numb to cry
see light, be completely ensconced in deepest, depressive darkness
laugh once or twice, scream mercilessly
rebel, surrender

(congratulations, you've just survived the last 30 seconds of the dialogue that is raging in my head.) oh what fun! this exhaustive neurotic, analytical storm has brutalized my mind 24/7 for the past several weeks.

it is difficult to even put it all into words
i read a quote today on a dear friends FB page that put an eloquent spin on the craziness that plagues my being....i have no idea the context of it but hoo-yah did it speak to my soul...

"the war isn't because of a lack of not knowing what to do. The war is overcoming all the physical and circumstantial evidence contrary to our hope that sways our emotions. Having believed something in our hearts, the war is now in our souls; it is the struggle between thought and emotion."

i don't want this journey to include treatment anymore.
anything but more treatment, lord!

i do not,
have not,
cannot see,
how this can even be
i do not,
have not,
cannot understand
that this is healing me
anything but more treatment, lord!
why i'd even try green eggs and ham!
(ok, slightly random, but it seemed to go)

my body is weak
my mind is wary
my spirit is weary

with arms contemptuously crossed over a heart that was both stubbornly petulant and softly surrendered, i have begged, pleaded, raged expletives, prayed fervently, and refused to pray. i have quietly pondered and furiously wondered out loud. i have spent days devouring and scouring the scriptures, and spent many other days maniacally staring my bible down... all in a desperate attempt to find a different answer; to find a more do-able plan of healing than the one i know he has chosen for me.

he didn't change his answer
he did give me something huge.

the anecdote to my fear and panic

through Him and in Him,
i received the
to follow HIS treatment PLAN for me.

to face the insurmountable

to do the impossible.

to keep walking this agonizing journey

to keep trusting

to move forward in an act of faith in the midst of an impossible situation

to heal

"Courage, daughter. You took a risk of faith, and now you are well." - Matt 9:22