Be Joyful in Hope

17 03 2016

An evening can begin like this:


Youth Valentine Banquet

And it can end like this:

My day can change in five minutes.
Then we have the absence/petit mal siezures. These can last from ten seconds to almost a minute and occur with no warning. If I am standing, I will fall. A good day is two to five seizures. A bad day is ten to fifteen.

Both a dystonic storm and an absence seizure are far more likely to occur when I’m tired and have had a lot of brain stimulation. But sometimes they occur for no reason at all.

In November of 2014, we had a panel of labs done which showed that I was in remission of Lyme and all co-infections. When I began to have an increase of seizures and other neurological issues, my doctors feared a relapse. They had done everything they knew to do, and don’t know what to try next. 

We did a lot of research. In our exhaustive search of the internet, we found a video made by Justin Vanderham of his wife, Christa’s, battle with Lyme disease. Her story and symptoms are similar to mine, with the exception that she is now totally healthy. 

Of course that grabbed our attention and we started looking into what her “magic pill” had been. Now it’s a very long story, watch their video here, but in short, after months of IV antibiotics they discovered that Christa’s body was unable to rid itself of toxins on its own. They began to use a powder that acts as a magnet, binding the toxins and then flushing them out of the body. 

They also discovered Fry Laboratory in Pheonix, Arizona. This laboratory has been on the cutting edge of research on Lyme Disease, it’s co-infections, and tropical diseases. They are very thorough and the most comprehensive of any I’ve used. 

Through extensive blood testing they found Christa was positive for a certain type of Protozoa. She had done a lot of international travel beforehand she got sick. Perhaps she was infected during her travels or, as my doctor tells me, a tick can deliver borrelia burgdorferi as well as protozoa in the same bite. 

    My doctor did a preliminary panel which showed, as before, a remission of all things Lyme. They also tested for the same Protozoa for which Christa Vanderham had been positive. This was negative. However, they did see another type of Protozoa.

Yesterday I went in for more labs. A lot of lab work! They are testing especially for tropical diseases of the Central American corner of the world. 

I have done quite a bit of traveling, and haven’t exactly stayed in areas tourists consider safe or attractive. I’ve waded barefooted through flood waters, I’ve drunk rain water caught in a cement water tank, and I’ve eaten the most amazing food you can imagine from street vendors in multiple countries. Once I was stung by the infamous “docta fly” of Belize, twelve times on my right foot. The swelling was so bad, my foot could scarcely fit into my flip flop. So it is possible to have contracted an uninvited guest.

Perhaps you think I endangered myself by not being more careful. But the truth is, God controls what happens. Of course I must not be foolish, but what I’m trying to say is that my traveling companions ate the same food, drank the same water and hiked through “the bush” (jungle) right behind me. They did not become ill. It wasn’t God’s plan for their lives. Their journeys have included trials I have not faced.

So if you find yourself traveling in a third world country, leave your thigh high boots at home, refrain from drinking river water and trust God with your health. 

But I digress, forgive my sermon! 

We don’t know for sure what has invaded my body but it seems to be a type of Protozoa. Whether its mode of transportation was a tick or some hungry Central American parasite, we do not know. 

We have an appointment with the doctor who founded Fry Laboratory and has spent considerable time researching these diseases. Whether or not he can help me is yet to be determined. But our options are few. If this trip doesn’t give us the answers we need, we are considering the Mayo Clinic. 

I am taking the powder, Cholestyamine, to help with my own detoxification. I have had good results so far with minimal side effects. 

Perhaps March 29th will the start of a journey to better health. While I would love to be perfectly healthy with no pain or seizures, I want to joyfully submit to God’s plan for my future.

Trust His Heart 

24 02 2016

Grief, questions, uncertainty of our future have pushed their way into our lives in the last several weeks. We have faced several major disappointments in a short time. 

It has been one of the toughest times in my life. I feel like I’m trying to hold up a large slab of rock that just keeps getting heavier. Why must everything happen all at the same time?

“Trust,” my mom says. “Things seem overwhelming right now, but God has a plan we can’t see.” 

Trust. I’ve been lying awake in my bed, thinking about it. And I realize it’s not something that will just happen. I must choose it.

The lyrics of the song, “Trust His Heart” begins to to run through my mind. The phrase “when you don’t understand, when you can’t trace his hand, trust his heart”  repeats itself over and over. 

So I choose to trust. I know it will be a choice I must make daily, perhaps hourly, but the alternative is bitterness and I simply cannot afford to allow its seeds to sprout in my heart. 

In the meantime, I will ask Jesus to get under that slab of rock with me to help support the weight. 

Trust His Heart – Babbie Mason

All things work for our good

Though sometimes we don’t

See how they could

Struggles that break our hearts in two

Sometimes blind us to the truth

Our Father knows what’s best for us

His ways are not our own

So when your pathway grows dim

And you just don’t see him,

Remember your never alone

He sees the master plan

He holds the future in his hand,

So don’t live as those who have no hope,

ALL our hope is found in him.

We see the present clearly

He sees the first and last

And like a tapestry He’s weaving you and me,

To someday be just like him

God is too wise to be mistaken

God is too good to be unkind

So when you don’t understand

When don’t see his plan

When you can’t trace his hand

Trust His Heart

This Man I Love

26 08 2015

He surprised me on my birthday with a photo shoot by my sister-in-law, Sheila Wagler, at the covered bridge where he had proposed. I was beyond excited. It was a most wonderful birthday date. He took the afternoon off. We walked around in stores like Pier One Imports, ate Wendy’s frosties, and relaxed by the bridge until Sheila arrived to do this fun photo shoot.


These past weeks he’s had to care for me. Again. Several times he had to drop what he was doing and rush home from work to find me twisted on the floor or jerking in my bed, my phone lying beside me where I’d managed to clumsily hit his number.

He wakes up in the middle of the night to massage my aching muscles or stays awake with me when the pain levels have climbed too high for me to manage on my own. When my head is all confused and muddled, he doesn’t get frustrated, but remains as gentle as ever.

Never does he complain or make me feel like a burden. Instead, he tells me he’s glad he married me, that he likes being able to take care of me. Even so, it makes me sad to watch him do the things very few young husbands have to do.

He loves me well, this man.

When we first met, I was not at all looking for a relationship. I felt that to expect someone to walk this road with me was too much to ask of anyone. Nor did I expect anyone would want to. So it came as a surprise when my dad told me Joe had met with him and asked if he could approach me about beginning a courtship.

I went through all kinds of emotions. There was amazement that I was actually attractive to someone, fear of a relationship, and anger… I guess for disrupting my life. My sisters would be glad to tell you of the time I threw a hand mirror, breaking it in my frustration. I prayed for definite leading. God didn’t give me a “no” and I’m so glad now that he didn’t!

As we began our relationship, we were both faced with warnings and skepticism.

People warned Joe about dating a sick girl. Some thought he was stupid, that I was a “second best” and he shouldn’t “settle” for me but go for a whole girl. Some thought he wouldn’t be able to handle it. And some openly admired him for being so brave and amazing, willing to love a sick girl with seizures.

Joe hated it all. He had sought advice from people whom he trusted and who knew my situation. He felt like he had taken this step with care. But he especially disliked it when people made a big deal over him and let him know they thought he was amazing. “I’m not doing this for people to admire me or think I’m this big hero!” He told me.

He wanted me for me.

And I love him for that.

Folks told me I’d better hang on to him cause not many guys would date a sick girl. 

Was I a “second” and not worth a good man’s attentions? I determined to make sure I wasn’t an object of pity for him. I wasn’t going to marry him just because I was scared of ending up single. 

Poor Joe, I made it pretty tough for him as I made sure he knew exactly what he was getting into and held back from getting too emotionally involved until I knew if he really loved me for me, and if he was truly ok with my disease.

I think he is brave, amazing, worthy of admiration and very much a hero. He gave me unconditional love, he was steady and incredibly patient, willing to give me all the time I needed. I couldn’t help but fall in love with him.

It amazes me when I think of how God orchestrated this part of our lives, sending me someone who is, in so many ways, absolutely perfect for me. Often when we are away from home, strangers will come up to me and comment on how they can tell my husband loves me and is a special man. I love that! When people notice how great he is.

Now, he is not going to appreciate this post because I’m bragging on him and it will make him uncomfortable. But I just need to let folks know, at least once, what a special guy I married.