May 30th, 2012 update


Update-  LOTS going on… super busy.  Picked up a part-time job in addition to the full time work my roommate and I do together.  Now I am working in sales for a company, in sales for myself, and tarot reading and life coaching.  Next year I am for sure going to South Korea to teach English for 1 year.  Lots going on!  Working on figuring out why I have gained 10 lbs and why I can’t seem to lose it… doctor appointment in a couple of weeks.  Soooo much going on!  Will try and keep everyone posted.

My feelings about Ashley have not changed, and I have my mind made up, no matter what the age.  I don’t care if I am 80 years old, I will still ask her to marry me.  I know for a fact, with out a doubt, that she is the person that I want to be with.

Advertisements

My “lyme” disease/fibromyalgia symptoms – Going on 4 years now.


Emily’s Symptoms:

Note:  All symptoms started Fall 2007.  Most symptoms occur worse on the right lateral part of my body, but all symptoms are unilateral.  I am more inclined to notice symptoms while lying in bed at night and in the morning although they occur during the day and are noticeable, but I am trying to stay busy and function (very difficult).  I often stay home because I am so tired and ache (ear-node/jaw/back/neck/shoulder).

Color Coding:

Red-  Current and unrelenting
Black-  Past or single occurrence (Note:  Possibly latent)


Musculoskeleton System:

-Joint pain in hands/fingers (Occurs in both hands, though slightly more painful on the right side.  Was x-ray for arthritis twice  – both negative).
-Neck/shoulder pain (I will often wake up with EXTREME stiffness in my neck/shoulder area and my neck/shoulders will just randomly burn, especially at night)
-Weakness in limbs (This has occurred twice.  I was so weak I could not even get up, and I thought I might have to be admitted to the ER.  Also at this time I was sweating – DRENCHED profusely)
-Unexplained menstrual pain and irregularity

Neurologic System:

-Tingling in hands/feet/face (I thought maybe I had MS -Multiple Sclerosis because of the random “tingling” – The face has tingling & numbness around lips and jaw bone upon touch and considerably more noticeable in cold weather)
-Dizziness/increased motion sickness (Occurs every few days randomly)
-Headaches/Migraines (I get them a few times a year for a week straight)
-Fainting (I had my blood drawn and entirely blacked out)
-Vertigo (Two single occurrences)

Psychological Well-Being:

-Vivid dreams and nightmares (Fall 2008)
-Increased anxiety
-Difficulty falling asleep and insomnia
-Increased depression

Head, Face, & Neck:

-Lump in throat sensation (It will randomly feel like I have a golf ball or large-size piece of food stuck in my throat)
-Asymmetrical tonsil (On right side of mouth – Dr. states it looks and feels the “size of a grape”)
-Mouth sores (I get little canker sores — clear bubbles in my mouth at random times — usually a single or couple bubbles at once typically behind my front bottom lip)
-Facial flushing (MRI showed inflammation in cheeks)
-Random nose bleeds (Occur twice a year for a week-long stretch and will gush – Last time I went to the ER)
-Extreme dry mouth (Cotton mouth, and it doesn’t matter how much water I drink)

Eyes, Vision:

-“Tired” dry eyes and tear ducts (Eye doctor said that my tear ducts dry up every “2 seconds” instead of “13” seconds.  Additionally, my eyes have lost their “vitality,” ie: vivid/whiteness, and sometimes by the end of the night I look stoned.
-Oversensitivity to light (I now have to wear a hat with a visor all the time and sunglasses)
-Worsened vision (Blurry, worse at night. Developed astigmatism)

Ears/Hearing:

-Ear-node pain (Constant dull, aching pain behind ears – random times for intermittent hour-stretches of time – when it is really bad, it extends to the upper jaw, causing me to clench both my teeth/jaws and hands, then I get a headache, and then my upper back and neck start throbbing, knotting, and burning)
-Buzzing in ears (Occurs in 1 ear at a time and is known to occur in both ears, though it happens 75% more of the time in right ear)
-Oversensitivity to sound

Digestive:

-Bloating
-Diarrhea
-Constipation
-Unusual abdominal cramping (This has happened a couple times. I will get pain in my abdominal region when I am not on my period)

Respiratory/Circulatory System:

-Extreme sensitivity to heat and cold (When others are warm, I am uncomfortably hot and sweaty, and when others are comfortable, I am cold)
-Night sweats (Mostly occurred in 2008, but should not be ruled out because they occurred frequently)
-Cold hands, feet, and nose (Occurs in fall and winter and is out-of-proportion compared to the normal person)
-Hot and cold flashes (Occurs periodically often while laying in bed, or perhaps that’s when I notice it most like many of the other symptoms)

General Well-Being:

-Extreme fatigue (varies day-by-day and can strike out of nowhere)
-Unexplained weight changes (Extreme gain and loss — fluctuates between 118 and 136 lbs and changes in a very short periods of time)
-Enlarged neck/throat (lymph) glands (Especially when I work out, even minimally, ie: lifting dumbbells for a half hour)
-Foul-smelling boogers (Sounds strange, but is definitely something I have noticed since very early on when I became sick).
-Continual, re-occurring, slow healing infections (I get a lot in my fingers)
-Allergies/Sensitivities (I have developed an allergy to dust and developed food sensitivity to blackberries and some soy-made products)
-Random rashes (Allergies?  I have eaten the foods before and never developed a rash – now I am getting more rashes when I eat things.  The last rash was on my left kneecap, which did not subside with Benedryl “quick strip.”  The rash remained on my leg for 3 solid days and was triangle-shaped).

Other:

-Abnormal ANA titer 3x (Negative for rheumatoid factor, ie: scloderma, lupus, arthritis, etc.)
-Hypothyroidism (NOT Hashimoto’s)
-Unexplained hair loss (Every time I take a shower, more hair sheds than necessary)
-Dry hair (feels like straw)
-Brittle nails (they no longer grow)
-Dandruff (I have never had a problem with dandruff until now)

My symptoms have mocked: HIV, MS (Multiple Sclerosis), Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Arthritis, Meniere’s disease, TMJ, Fibromyalgia, CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), Mono (Epstein-Barr), Mumps, Babesia, Sjogrens Syndrome, etc.

June 7th, 2011. The Contemplation of Death. Existential Matters.


You know, something we don’t think about often is death.  I keep getting the “10 of swords” and “5 of pentacles” is nearly all of my tarot readings.  Tarot plays off ones subconscious and works via quantum physics similar to the law of attraction.  The cards are not “evil” as some religious folks might believe – they are impressions in image-form.  In other words, we think certain things and have a subconscious and the images reflect this subconscious domain.

Both of these cards are dis-favorable cards, and I have drawn them more times than I can count.  The reality is my health is not in good shape and is compromised.  My ear-node pain is getting worse.  I have it in both ears, although the right side (also where my asymmetrical tonsil is located) is worse, and it gets so bad sometimes that it radiates to my upper jaw, causing a headache in back and front and then finally neck and shoulder pain.  The ear-node pain is worse when I am stressed out and cold air makes it worse, however, the pain comes and goes at any time.

All other symptoms, ie: hair loss, joint pain in hand/fingers, weight gain (and loss), fatigue (extreme), dry/red/bloodshot eyes, hot/cold flashes, occasional night sweats, etc. are so trivial compared to the ear-node pain, which on a 1-5 scale is about a 4 most of the time, sometimes hitting a 3 and other times a whopping 5.  I am too young to be having these kinds of issues.  Whatever I have going on — this “viral” illness that I came down with either in August of 2008 or Fall of 2007 (I became extremely sick both times) has caused my thyroid to stop working and one thing after another (in my body) to shut down.

At any rate, I am concerned, and I am now thinking about what would happen if I died… ie, if what I have going on is serious, ie: cancer, a tumor, etc.  The cards that have continually popped out are standing out.  “Cards” aside, I have a health issue that is progressively getting worse and nobody knows what it is.  One agency — IGENIX — a top lyme-testing lab in Palo Alto, CA, has diagnosed me with chronic lyme disease and yet the CDC (Center for Disease Control), which we all know has too “low” standards, states that I only meet 3 out of 5 criteria for lyme and so I would technically not have it.  This in and of itself is a huge controversy within the lyme community.

Needless to say, I am thinking about existential matters.  On my way home tonight from NJ after having ran errands and bought groceries I pondered, “What are the 12 things I would like to do before I die?”  ie, if you found out you had 6 months to live, what would you do?  So it has me thinking… and I know that sounds depressing, but lets be prepared for the worst-case scenario.  What do I really have here?  My things — they mean nothing; they will parish when I do.  “What matters to me?”  Death really makes you contemplate.

I cannot help but wonder how many people have had near-death experiences that have changed their lives.  Will I have one?  I can’t tell you how many psychics I’ve been to — trusted ones (my family used to go to one — Ms. Nancy Bowman) who have told me I will have a “cancer” scare — and “scare” or not, that may involve surgery, death, etc.  At any rate, it makes you think — “What is ‘life’ (this thing I have not even begun to fully experience) all about?”  “What will/would I like to do if I was going to die in 6 months and knew it?”  “What things would (will) I have experienced?”

My first thought, or one of my first thoughts was “I wish I had money (I don’t have any savings or inheritance, what can I say?) I would give it to Ashley and to Jen’s little brother, Jessy.”  I say this not because I think money has worth, but because I believe that it can get people somewhere — it can provide opportunity.  I want to see little Jessy go to college; I have desired that from him since I first saw him, because he deserves it.  At any rate, I do not have money, so what can I give?  That brings me to say “What would I do?” ie, listing 10-12 things before my life runs out.

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

How often and how many of us really think about this?  At any minute any of us could come down with a terminal illness — what are the things (journal) that would want to do given your 6 months to live?

I had told Erin tonight that I would be happy just knowing that I have discovered my purpose – do you know how rare and precious of a gift that is, especially for someone my age?  My purpose is to Serve — to be a vessel, a catalyst for others — to create opportunity and prosperity.  I am interested in providing for myself, my future family, and the community — providing financial and educational opportunities.  Maybe I would have never had a chance to live out that dream; however, I am grateful for having had the clarity to discover the purpose.

I discovered my purpose while in Vermont, which was the best (most life-enhancing) experience of my life.  It really opened my eyes up, and I am thankful (gracious) to have experienced it.  I met some wonderful people and for the first time in my life can say that I discovered “family.”  We choose our family.  Anothe thing, I discovered I had choice in Vermont, and I also found (for the most part) my Voice.  I was able to express myself there for perhaps the first time and was encouraged to express myself and develop my potential.  People (the community) supported me — my interests, well-being, etc.

I will have to think about how to answer this question.  10 things

April 5th, 2011. Healthy diet!


Ah, creating the necessary structure that will enable me to have a successful foundation for myself is quite the process!  I am proud to say that I am enjoying the creation process, but eager to complete it!

So today I will be tracking my “meals.”  I am trying (developing) a healthy meal plan that works for me.  I have not had a meal structure since I lived in Vermont, and since it worked for me out there and I was quite productive, I have decided to go back to it.  Nutrition is vital to a healthy lifestyle.  I am working on devising a plan that will allow for me to have the best quality food and minimal amount for the cheapest price – I have multiple reasons for doing this, all which will serve each each other, ie: travel and prep-time included.

I was debating whether or not to even use this particular chart because of the alcohol content being displayed.  At any rate, I decided to go ahead and post it because it was one of the only “new” pyramids (the guidelines just recently changed) with the servings sizes listed in a comprehensible fashion.

March 21st, 2011. My birthday. Prayer to be well.


Today is my birthday, and I am not sure what to think about it.  As I have mentioned before, and will mention again, I just pray that God will remove the root of what’s causing this.  I want to heal from this chronic lyme disease and anything else that I might have going on.

This is what I have battled for the past 4 years:

-Ear pain (constant, dull, aching, daily)
-Extreme dry mouth (cotton mouth, and it doesn’t matter how much water I drink)
-Enlarged neck/throat (lymph) glands
-Lump in throat sensation (It will randomly feel like I have a golf ball in my throat)
-Headache/Migraines
-Neck/shoulder pain (I will often wake up with EXTREME stiffness in my entire body, and sometimes, randomly my neck/shoulders will just burn)
-Buzzing in ears (I get tinnitus)
-Tinging in hands/feet/face (I was even checked for MS -Multiple Sclerosis because of this — this random “tingling”)
-Night Sweats (Part of Babesia — Tick’s co-infection)
-Hot and Cold flashes (Erin and I actually joked that I was going through “menopause” early when this started happening, and I really began wondering this.  It was the most peculiar thing ever)
-Mouth sores (I get little canker sores — clear bubbles in my mouth at random times — usually a single or couple bubbles typically behind my front lip)
-Fatigue (Extreme, and every day)
-Joint pain (I often get joint pain in my hands and fingers.  I actually thought I had arthritis at one point, but X-rays showed it to be negative for arthritis.  Lyme causes “Arthritic myalgia”)
-Yellow-ish (light), “tired” eyes (My eyes have lost their “vitality” I have described)
-Dry skin and hair  (My hair feels like straw/hay now)
-Hair loss (Every time I take a shower, more and more hair falls out)
-Extreme sensitivity to heat and cold (When others are warm, I am uncomfortably hot, and when others are comfortable, I am incredibly cold)
-Brittle nails (they no longer grow)
-Dry eyes and tear-ducts (My eye doctor said that my tear ducts dry up every “2 seconds” and they’re only supposed to dry up every “13″ seconds)
-Foul-smelling boogers (Sounds strange, I know, but this is definitely something I have noticed that started very early on when I became sick.  I imagine there is some bacteria up there, specifically lyme-causing bacteria)
-Increased ear-wax (Again, something trivial, but I have noticed)
-Dizziness/nausea — “off balance” feeling
-Weight gain (I gained 15 lbs in a short span of months around March 2010)
-Weight loss (Since Jan I have dropped 10-15 lbs.  I am now between 118-120 lbs).
-Frequent and slow healing infections (I get infections constantly, especially in my fingers when I try and bite my nails, and they take days to heal.  I am beginning to wonder if I am developing an immunity towards the Neosporin I have been using)
-Increasing depression, anxiety, and insomnia
-Vision difficulties (My vision has changed — things are blurry now, my eyesight has worsened, and I have developed a very small astigmatism)
-Weakness in limbs (There have been a couple of times where I was so weak I could not even get up, and I thought I might have to be admitted to the ER)
-Hands, feet, nose ice cold randomly (often)
-Unusual abdominal cramping (Out of nowhere I will get pain in my abdominal region; I will also get menstrual cramping randomly when I am not on my period)
-Random rashes (Most recent being March 17th after drinking a freshly squeezed homemade juice drink that I have had before.  Within a few minutes of drinking the drink my tongue slightly swelled up, and I ended up getting a random, unusual shaped, red, slightly raised rash on my left knee cap which did not subside with Benedryl “quick strip.”  The rash remained on my leg for 3 solid days).
-Food sensitives (I have developed a food sensitivity to blackberries and some soy-made products)

Me when I had the most vitality ever:

 

 

 

(Below)  Right before I was infected with Borrelia…

After being infected with Borrelia:

Please pray for me on my birthday, for renewed health, vitality, and productivity.

March 9th, 2011. Financial ruin.


My financial situation is really getting out of hand, and I am likely going to have to sell my car… Things are really proving to be difficult right now, as I am really struggling to bring in income, as my health is poor.  I have not felt well for over 3 years now, continually getting sick, and I was just (finally) diagnosed with a chronic illness.  I don’t want to watch the world just go by before me… I actually want to live it, and so I am determined to get better.  I need to heal.

I am not sure what I am going to do with out my car and its easy access.  I have barely used it the last year that I have resided here in Philadelphia, but Erin and I have used it for a ton of errands, particularly in Jersey — Walmart and grocery shopping being the most important.

I am determined to live out my vision and know that this situation is only temporary.  I know that my health will eventually improve.  I prayed for this year to be healthy and for me to get myself back to where I first started.  I want myself back more than anything and will work (fight) hard for it.  I will hang on as long as I can.  I’m going to try really hard right now to make some lifestyle changes.

I think everyone goes through tough times, and I should be careful not to judge myself so quickly and harshly –we all need help sometimes, and for some, longer than others, but there is always that opportunity to be independent and to succeed on our own.  I very much believe in my own success.  I am a self-starter and motivated and have an eternal optimistic faith.  Despite life’s difficulties, I trust that things will work out.

I need to develop a better idea of what I would like to do in terms of work.  I know already that I am capable of continuing to be self-employed, but I would also like to work for an organization — when I am healthy, which right now unfortunately I am not, and I am very limited in my ability to live out my vision.  I am trying to self-nurture as much as possible, but have not been able to afford an LLMD (Lyme literate MD) yet.  The first session alone is between $900-1100 out-of-pocket.

My life really did take a turn when I left Vermont, and as much as I want to say I made a mistake, I cannot help but think that maybe it happened for a reason.  Maybe I would have been in Vermont without any support to move through this illness, whereas here in Philly there is Erin.  Who knows.

All I know is that I am embarrassed and ashamed of my situation, but it is not something that I cannot get through.  I am just going to need to be patient, open-minded, and persistent.  I am trying to minimize my needs still, and I feel pretty close to being there.  My physical needs are far, few, and in-between.

First thing’s first, I need to figure out how I am going to live without a car.  A car is not absolutely necessary but is helpful in many cases.  On the other hand, I will be sick and possibly bed-ridden for the next 6-12 months so it may not be super necessary, although I will still need groceries and such.  I am creating my “nest” now.  I just want to move through this healing process with ease and not experience too many difficulties.  We will see what life throws at me.  I am going to have to be ready for anything.  At any rate, the car should be the least of my concerns… still, it’s concerning.