Posted in Everyday, Guest Blogger, Health

Welcome My Guest Blogger: Callie and Read Her Lyme Story

Callie…..I met her parents before she was ever a speck in their eyes.  Her family and my family were neighbors and her mom, Lesley, and I were pregnant at the same time with the girls 🙂  It was lovely!  Callie was born a couple of weeks before my daughter, Victoria.  We raised our big girls together, so I’ve been blessed to know this family for over 20 years.  Please read the story that spurred on my desire to have this Lyme Disease Series.  I’m so proud of this young lady and her testimony is one that only God could orchestrate!  If you have ANY questions, please feel free to email me at thebarefoothomeschooler@gmail.com and I will personally put you in touch with Lesley and she can share the details of how God chose an unconventional method to heal this sweet beauty of a crapola disease!

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There’s No Suffering without Glory

Callie Emerson

I’m sure if you’ve been keeping up with the Lyme series on Brandi’s blog up to this point, you know quite a bit of my story and a significant amount of information about Chronic Lyme Disease. So while my blog post is going to be based on Lyme awareness and my personal battle with the disease, I’m hoping that the greater message that will come across is that no suffering occurs in vain when it is for the glory of God.

Before I delve into all of the medical mess, I want to give a little background information to those reading this. I grew up in a Christian home, and at age seven I knew that I was dearly loved by the Father, that I loved Him in return, and that I desperately wanted Jesus to rid me of my sin debt so I could spend my eternity with Him. I want to be clear, that I came to know Jesus as my Savior long before I had any medical issues.

My journey with Chronic Lyme Disease began in sixth grade when I began to faint at completely random times. I eventually reached the point where I was fainting roughly ten times a day. My symptoms only continued to increase from there. At age 13 my knee pain was so severe that I received steroid shots in both knees-and yes, shots in the knee are as awful as they sound. As I proceeded into eighth grade, my back, shoulder, and neck pain began to develop. By the end of my eight grade year my pain was so severe that I was physically incapable of opening my bottom locker, I relied on others to open my locker for me.

This next symptom, for me, is the hardest one to reflect upon. This is the point where I began to experience what I now know to be “Lyme rage”. During this time I was so unkind to my family, and even a couple of close friends. I don’t exaggerate when I say one of my family members could look at me, and I would begin to feel myself getting angry. I lived life in state of unjustified, uncontrollable anger. The worst part is that I could feel myself getting angry so I would try to assess why I was so mad, and even after I couldn’t find a single reason I found myself unable to stop the anger from welling up inside of me. Needless to say, my family is a really fantastic group of people for not only dealing with me during this time, but continually showing me grace and love.

At this point I was angry, sore, and dizzy. I continued on and my symptoms grew worse and I continued to be given misdiagnoses and pills. Luckily I have a really awesome mom who went above and beyond for four years, ignoring ten misinformed doctors to find the only Chronic Lyme Disease expert in the area. We found this doctor sometime around my sophomore year of high school. I’m not sure if anyone picked up on this idea from my mom’s post, but GOD’S TIMING IS PERFECT. Right before we discovered this doctor, I went to church camp. While I know it’s super cheesy, going to camp allowed me a much needed break from distractions and afforded me the opportunity to learn what it actually meant to be a Christian. You’re probably thinking that you haven’t heard much about my walk with Christ until just now-and you’re right. That’s because at age seven, most of us aren’t dwelling in sin that requires us to make an extreme life change. In fact, I made no changes at all as the years passed and my spiritual growth was completely stagnant. Fortunately attending camp presented the Spirit with an opportunity to convict me while I wasn’t distracted by soccer, school, or being sick. I became aware that I behaved well and made good choices because I have strict parents and that’s how they raised me to act, not because I was trying to live a life worthy of the gospel (Philippians 1:27). My eyes were opened to what being a Christian actually entailed as well as actually believing that He had a plan for my illness. Up until this point when I asked I would half-heartedly respond that God had a plan for it. After learning what it meant to really follow and pursue Christ, I was finally able to fully grasp the concept that I was enduring this trial for a purpose.

God blessed me by allowing me to understand that He had a plan for this illness right before I entered into the most difficult time in my life. I can never communicate how gracious He is for doing so, this enabled to rely on Him wholly during this time. My physical difficulties began when I started taking some very strong oral antibiotics to fight off the Lyme. I reached the point where I was taking roughly 15 pills a day. During Lyme treatment with antibiotics your body can respond in weird ways, and oftentimes you have to go through phases of feeling worse before you can feel any better. For me this meant I would wake up for school in the morning and be unable sit up. I’m not exaggerating when I say I couldn’t move. There would be days that I would make it to school, but I would be sitting in my desk and I would be in so much pain that I would be on the verge of tears or would literally be unable to hold my head up without using my hands because of how badly my neck hurt. Because of how many and how strong the pills were that I was taking, I really struggled to keep anything down. I threw up almost daily-which defeated the purpose of taking the pills. Because I couldn’t keep all of the pills down, my doctor decided to pursue a different route.

This was the time in my life that I ended up getting two PICC lines. PICC lines are inserted into your arm and run through your vein, all the way to your heart. This allows IV medicine to be dropped directly into your heart so that it can reach your entire body much faster. As much fun as this sounds already, the entire process can became twice as great as my body began responding to the medicine. Random parts of my body would go numb, as much one entire side of my body would lose all feeling. I would also start shaking uncontrollably. At this point Lyme rage was taken over by random crying. I am completely serious when I say that I would be bawling, but telling my parents that I wasn’t sure why I was crying. While switching to IV antibiotics prevented me from throwing up medicine, the antibiotics were still so strong that I continued to get sick regularly. During the really rough times I typically ran a fever of 103°F. All of the physical turmoil the antibiotics put me through left me overly weak. I had to sleep on an air mattress in our living room because it was too difficult for me to walk from my room to the bathroom. My mom even had to sleep next to me on the couch because it was unsafe for me to be left alone all throughout the night. Because of this I missed 50 days of school from August to December of my senior year.

During this time we began to notice a pattern with my body’s response to antibiotics, after about two weeks I would become allergic and I would need to switch medicines. This happened with roughly five different medications. Eventually I ran out of possible medicines to use to treat Lyme. While contemplating our PICC line options, my PICC line got clogged. For PICC line users clogs, infections, and blood clots will force you to remove your line…so at the time this clog was a big deal. We were able to go to the ER and have it unclogged. In hindsight, the clog was more than likely God’s kind way of telling me to take it out. So naturally my skills of perception were not up to par and missed this, even after 5 failed medications and a clog. The night after I got my PICC line unclogged I ended up getting a blood clot and spending a week in the hospital. The PICC line was removed and my mom and I had no idea what type of treatment to pursue next, we felt as if we had exhausted all of our options.

After a lot of prayer, God led us to a small homeopathic clinic that is about 12 hours away from our home in good ‘ole western Kentucky. I will not delve into the details of the treatment that I received because you can receive that information by contacting my mom or me, but I will tell you that after only three days I was feeling better than I had in years. Total healing continues for several years after the initial treatment, and two years later I am still continually improving and adjusting to life as a healthy college student.

Fairly often, well-meaning friends will ask about my experience with Lyme and say, “Oh my goodness, that’s terrible! I bet you wish you had found that homeopathic clinic sooner.” or “I bet you wish you could erase that from your past.” My answer is always no. I don’t answer this way because I am trying to get attention or appear more “religious”, I answer the way I do because without this season of sickness and trial in my life, I would be a vastly different person. This time of suffering and trial made it very clear that God was directing me towards a specific profession in order to carry out His will. How many 18 year-olds are able to confidently say that they know what profession they want to pursue? I also cannot stress enough how pivotal of a rule this illness played in not only becoming the person that I am today, but becoming so firmly rooted in my relationship with Jesus. I’ve thought about where my walk with Christ would be without those six years several times and every single time I end up thinking the same thing: thank goodness I was sick. God was able to use something so dark to shed light into my life and draw me near to Himself. While I was also awakened to the profession I need to pursue in order to bring Him glory, my time of sickness allowed for me to see how I can use this experience to glorify Him and bring healing to others even before I’ve attended graduate school. Which is why I agreed to write this for Brandi’s blog. God has used my mom and I to personally share healing and the gospel with over 300 people in the US, Canada, and Norway. So while I do want you to come away from this post with new knowledge about Chronic Lyme Disease, I want you to be more impacted by the idea that whatever hardships you encounter can be used to bring God glory and reveal a purpose for your life that is far beyond what you could have ever conceived.

Posted in Everyday, Guest Blogger, Health

Lyme: Easy to Diagnose; Easy to Treat

  • Lyme: easy to diagnose, easy to treat.

You might assume that if it were a possible root cause to your illness that your medical provider would have considered that prior to your diagnosis and there’s no need to consider it now.

So why isn’t it standard practice for anyone that shows signs of autoimmune illness, mental illness, autism or other related illnesses?

It’s pure and simple and nothing shows it better than this picture of Callie administering her own IV antibiotics that cost us (with insurance) $700 per week. 

Yes we had insurance but they paid for only the first 30 days of treatment. Thirty days is not nearly enough.

She did this 3-4 times each day and would become very very ill afterwards.

Our medical system has been taken over by greed thus tying the hands of and misinforming our medical personnel.


I admired his conviction but honestly I cannot imagine risking my livelihood for someone I barely know.

Please do not assume your doctors considered the possibility of Lyme before diagnosing you with something else.

Btw we found a much cheaper alternative so don’t let that scare you.

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Posted in Everyday, Guest Blogger, Health

How To Get Tested

How do I get tested?

There is ONE test and ONE lab ONLY for a proper diagnosis.

Pleassssssse do not ask for a lyme test without calling it by name.

Most doctors unless they are lyme literate do not know which test to give. You will get a false negative.

Don’t believe me?

While searching for answers about why Callie was sick she had three tests for lyme.

They were all negative!

This delayed her diagnosis and treatment because we crossed that off our list of possibilities.

If you get any test other than the Western Blot test you are wasting your time.

I’m glad to help you find lyme literate docs.

If you do get a positive, message me and I will tell you the most effective and fastest treatment!

It isn’t hard!

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Posted in Everyday, Guest Blogger, Health

Where Does It Hurt?

Why are there so many symptoms of Lyme disease?

The bacteria is corkscrew shaped and can bore into any tissue or organ in your body.

Some people have neurological issues because it is predominantly in their brain, some in their digestive track or back or anywhere from the top of your head to the bottom of your toes making it difficult to diagnose just based on symptoms alone.

Testing is super easy with the Western blot test from Igenex labs!

Posted in Everyday, Guest Blogger, Health

Things That BITE!

Well I don’t remember being bitten so I couldn’t have Lyme right?
Well no…other insects can carry Lyme and the most likely one that carries it is a tiny little deer tick.
That’s the smallest on on the second pic. Most likely unless is was in an obvious spot you wouldn’t have seen it and you may or may not have had a bulls-eye rash.
50% never see the bulls-eye.
You can be bitten and have no obvious symptoms for years.

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Posted in Everyday, Guest Blogger, Medical

Lyme Does NOT Travel Alone

It’s important to not think chronic Lyme disease only stems from ticks.

It is most often congenital and is a gift handed down from your parents.

One of the reasons it can be difficult to diagnose or be considered is because the symptoms are so broad.

The symptoms are broad because there are several co-infections that go along with Lyme and everyone has a different combo of them.

Lyme never comes alone it always brings at least one co-infection.

Your symptoms may be fatigue and pain while another has migraines or depression.

That’s because you have different co-infections.

Callie had Lyme and four co-infections well guess who tested positive (although symptom free) for Lyme and the same four co-infections?

My parents–yup!

Why are they symptom free?

Here’s how it works: God made you with a fully functioning immune system and if we left it alone it can handle all the gunk we inherited plus things we are exposed to now.

Any number of things can give it a whack and make it limp a bit where it is not able to fight at its full potential.

When that happens some of these congenital things can pop up.

Of course we all know that the food we eat and all the junk we are doing to ourselves are a factor and then other things can give your immune system a whack that’s just enough to be a trigger.

For Callie it was an exposure to an insecticide (probably while playing soccer) and then her 6th grade booster shots that whacked hers just enough that a month after having them she began having her first of many symptoms.

I’ve heard others have been in a car wreck, gone through a divorce, (any big stress), gotten a flu shot, had anesthesia or a major health crisis and afterwards their symptoms began.

All of those things can affect the function of your immune system letting congenital Lyme take over.

So if your family tree looks similar to the one below there’s probably a good reason for it.

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Posted in Everyday, Guest Blogger, Medical

Do your homework!

More times than not our journey to finding the root cause is our own research.
Be brave, step out, take your health into your own hands.
If your gut tells you it is something more than the disease they “think” you have trust your gut
It’s scary, I know but if I didn’t step out I’m pretty confident Callie would be bedridden by now.
If dumb ole’ me can put it together so can smart ole’ you!

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Posted in Everyday, Guest Blogger, Medical

Attack the Root Cause of Your Illness

It’s January and approaching the TWO YEAR mark of Callie’s healing.

I am absolutely convinced ALL autoimmune, many mental diseases as well as autism have

Lyme disease at the root core.

If you aren’t attacking the root cause your fight will be much more difficult.

The symptoms are different for everyone and NUMEROUS.

Igenex lab is the ONLY lab in the country qualified to do a proper test. In our area most docs use Lab Corp and they do the wrong test.

Testing and the cure are easy peasy!

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Posted in Everyday, Guest Blogger, Medical

Babesia

Some (not all) lymies have flare ups during a full moon week.
One of the co-infections to Lyme, Babesia can act ugly during a full moon and the days around it causing more symptoms and more than normal pain.
Watch this week and the first few days of next week and if your Rheumatoid Arthritis, fibromyalgia or whatever they told you that you have hurts more you probably have Babesia.
No worries, it’s fixable

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