Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I've been crazy busy, as I'm sure everyone has this week. We had a really hectic weekend. We had planned to drive to Connecticut Friday when the kids got out of school to celebrate Christmas with my family there. Thursday afternoon, we learned there was a huge snow & ice storm predicted for Friday, so within a couple of hours, we packed up and left by Thursday evening! It was all very last-minute, but it worked out. My sister and I both made it to my Mom's house, and we all spent two days together. Then we had to hurry up and drive back Saturday night before a second snow & ice storm hit! Not exactly what we'd planned, but we got to enjoy some time together. The only downside was that my 2-year old nephew came down with strep throat while we were there. So, far we're all OK but keeping our fingers crossed!

I've been feeling really good. The double-dose of doxycycline is definitely working on my Lyme. I've had great energy this past week and even managed all that hectic, last-minute packing and traveling without crashing. My Mom was amazed by how well I seemed; she said it was like having the "old me" back. I did a bit too much yesterday and am run-down today, but at least I finished all our holiday preparation yesterday and am able to just relax today. Speaking of that, it's nap-time!

I hope everyone enjoys this time with family and friends and has a very happy and HEALTHY holiday season!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lyme Treatment Update

I spent Wednesday driving back and forth to see the Lyme specialist in NJ. It was mostly good news. This doctor is a bit strange in some ways, but he does seem to know a lot about Lyme and treats it aggressively. That's what I was looking for, so I'm willing to put up with his quirks.

All of my lab tests for co-infections came back negative (I had them all done earlier by my own doctor, but this doctor used Igenex), so that's good. My Lyme test was still not completely positive (per the CDC guidelines), but it was indicative of possible Lyme infection. That, plus my symptoms and my response to antibiotics, made this doctor certain I do have Lyme. He felt that my treatment approach is on the right track; I just stopped too soon during that first round of treatment when all my symptoms had resolved. He doubled the dose of my antibiotic (and told me to double the amount of probiotic I'm taking, too) and wants to see me back in a month. He may add another antibiotic at that time but didn't want to overwhelm my system all at once.

I've been on the double dose for just two days, and my knees started to hurt again today. That's good news! Another herx reaction means the extra antibiotic is killing off more Lyme bacteria. So, I'm very hopeful that I'm on the road to recovery (from Lyme anyway).

I'm also (finally) feeling better from that nasty respiratory virus. Wow, it was a bad one - knocked me out for over two weeks. Both boys have it also now, but they're handling it better than I did. Each of them has missed only one day of school so far (Craig was home today but is currently bouncing off the walls with energy!).

So, things are definitely looking up, and I'm finally starting to enjoy the holiday season. I even managed a little shopping at Target after my doctor's appointment yesterday! Hope you enjoy these photos of Craig putting the star on our Christmas tree and Jamie's insanely large cast for a broken toe!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Holiday Spirit

I'm trying to get in the holiday spirit, but it's tough so far. I'm still very, very sick with this awful virus. Jamie is, too, although so far he's only missed one day of school. I'm worried he's on the verge of bronchitis, though. Then, on Sunday, Craig started to complain of a sore throat, post-nasal drip, and feeling like he had to constantly cough. Jamie and I looked at each other and said, "uh-oh, that sounds familiar." He made it to school for most of the day today, but he's feeling pretty crummy tonight. His holiday concert for band is tomorrow, and he'll be totally crushed if he can't make it. I'm hoping he'll at least get through tomorrow without crashing.

My car is still in the shop, so we're really struggling to get by with just one. Not that I've been well enough to go anywhere, but I'm too sick to walk to the end of the neighborhood where the bus picks the kids up. And, to top it off, we just learned that Jamie has a broken toe (another reason I need the car to go to the bus stop!), so I have to take him to the children's hospital tomorrow morning to get a boot-thingy to immobilize it.

I don't mean to complain so much, but I feel like December is passing me by. I did manage to do some online shopping today - thank goodness for the internet! (Be sure to use iGive when you shop to help raise money for CFS research). I'm also grateful that I started shopping early this year, back in November. I was looking for bargains because money is so tight, but it has worked out well now that I'm too sick to get out.

We made our annual trek to the tree farm this weekend and decorated our tree. It's one of our favorite parts of the season, but I was so wiped out on Sunday that it was a real struggle just to help decorate it. Our best friends just called tonight and offered to host our annual cookie-decorating-Grinch-watching party. I'm very grateful for that - we usually have it at our house, but I was wondering how I'd manage this year. It's another favorite part of the holidays for us.

So, I'm trying to get in the spirit! My follow-up appointment with the Lyme doctor is on Wednesday, and I'm hoping he'll be able to finally give me some answers and some help.

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Man, what a week. First, the Bad:

I've been SO sick. I actually seem to have a cold virus - very unusual for me. We must have picked up some nasty germs during our trip to Rochester (all those hugs and kisses from little cousins!!). I've been completely useless since Monday - terrible sore throat, congestion, cough, fever, plus bad CFS and Lyme symptoms.

Craig called from school Tuesday morning, just as I'd decided to go back to bed, and asked me to bring his drum kit to school for band. I dragged myself out to the car - in sweats, looking and feeling awful - and my car broke down half-way to school! I had to wait for a tow truck and a friend who rescued me. Now it looks like another $400 repair for my car. The worst part? The office secretary got mixed up and there wasn't band practice that day after all!

The Good:
There have been a few brief flashes of goodness this week. As I sat by the side of the road on Tuesday, a truck made a U-turn and pulled up behind me. It was our appliance repairman - who we only see about once a year - stopping to see if I needed help. He recognized my car and remembered me. What a nice guy.

We had a nice surprise on Wednesday, delivery of one of those fruit baskets that looks like a flower arrangement! Jamie and I had helped an elderly neighbor who fell a couple of weeks ago, and she sent this wonderful gift as thanks.

Best of all, even though I've been terribly sick, the kids both had a good week. Jamie was home sick just that one day, bounced back quickly, and went to school the rest of the week. Craig just had a sore throat one morning but felt fine by afternoon and didn't miss any school. Sometimes this crazy, over-active immune system works in your favor!

And the Ugly?
Ah, that would be me - still in the same old, baggy sweats, with matted hair from lying in bed all day, and in desperate need of a shower. Ew.

Here's to a better weekend and a better next week!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

'Tis the Season!

No, not THAT season....the season for germs and viruses!

Jamie is home sick today. He felt terrible last night, with headache, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, etc. Craig has a sore throat but went in to school today. And I was very, very sick during our entire trip to Rochester. At the time, I thought it was just the Lyme, but it seems that there was probably a virus triggering my crash and activating the Lyme.

I was glad to see my family and friends, but it was a very difficult trip for me. Anytime that I wasn't at some event or gathering, I was in bed at my Dad's house. All of the social interaction was completely exhausting to me. It was one of those times when I felt like I was inhabiting a different world than everyone around me. That can be so surreal, when everyone else is talking and laughing and enjoying themselves and you feel like some sort of zombie in their midst. I did my best to enjoy their company (and it was good to see everyone), but I was in constant pain and discomfort. By Saturday evening, after a 5-hour cabin party at a local park with my extended family, I just collapsed into bed and cried. Definitely a low point.

The 8-hour drive on Sunday was just what I needed, though - quiet, calm, and no exertion at all. We listened to a great audio book and napped, and I felt much better on Monday. Jamie seems a bit better this morning, too, so hopefully he'll rebound quickly. One more week of waiting, and my lab results for Lyme and other tick-borne infections should be back. Then, I can get the right treatment(s) and hopefully get back to where I was before Lyme. Meanwhile, there is another season to prepare for - Christmas is only 3 weeks away - yikes!