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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Bowl of Eden - 15 Minute Meal

1 Cup of Organic Steel-cut Oats
2 Cups of Water
Dash of Himalayan Pink Salt

1/2 Peach
1/2 Apple (of your choice. I chose Fuji)
1/2 Banana
Handful of Blueberries

1 T. Unsalted Waltnuts (Chopped)

1 small Colander.

Start by dicing your fruit into bite size pieces. 
(Preferably with a knife, and not with your teeth. That could get weird.)
 Set to the side.

On high heat, bring 2 Cups of water and a dash of salt to a boil. 
(Salt is optional. I just like to say "BAM!")
Place 1 Cup of Oats into water, and turn heat down to medium.
Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Pour oatmeal into a colander/strainer. Let drain 15-20 seconds.

Place oatmeal into bowl, top with fruit, walnuts, chia seeds, and flax. 
Enjoy!

Serves 1. 
Double, triple, or quadruple your recipe, depending on how many hungry hooligans you're feeding.

Total Time: 10-12 min.

High in fiber, protein, omega-3's, Vit-C, and goodness.
Gluten free. Dairy free. Refined sugar free. Vegan. 
Ready in less than 15 minutes. Devoured in less than two.






Monday, January 9, 2017

When I grow up and get married i'm living alone.

Whoever says living alone is cool... is crazy.
It's been 24+ hours since Justin left, and I've already found myself hanging upside down over the couch playing tic-tac-toe with myself.

Although I'll admit that i'm a fantastic tic-tac-toer... it doesn't beat spending a Monday evening eating jolly time smart pop on the couch with ma boo.

Justin, the hubster, left to Puerta Vallarta, Mehico yesterday morning. He will be receiving intensive treatment in a Lyme clinic for a little over a month through a tubey on his chest, and through other areas of his body that I won't expound on at this time... nor will I if you ask...

To say i'm nervous would be an understatement.
I'm mostly a wee bit lots excited to get this Lyme show on the road and on its way to "never come back land".
For some reason Lyme likes us, especially Justin, so its been a bit of challenge to part ways.

I've been a bit of a bum since he's left, and have already had to sing myself to sleep (with an air guitar solo), so I made a goal to be more chipper and joanna during this situation. I've started to do this by constructing a list of reasons as to why this experience will benefit both J and myself.  Mostly myself...

A) I can now devour the corner spot on the couch (that usually has Justin's name on it) while watching the majority of all disney movies that have come out in the past 7 years. (I've known Justin for 7.3 years, so that explains the disney dry spell.)

2) I can now listen to Justin Bieber at any volume I prefer. I will also be able to enjoy the Biebs with out Justin's high pitched rendition of "that should be me..."
(I actually kinda like it when he does that...)

and D) Six words: Sleeping. Sideways. Starfish. Bekah. Is. Back.

All joking aside, even though those reasons were completely true and will be fulfilled regularly, I am grateful that Justin has chosen to do this courageous yet scary thing at this time of his life.

He's not one to complain or chat deeply about "stuff" that may be bothering him.
But when that "stuff" kills your kidneys, pancreas, your desire to live, and your ability to move or live any part of a somewhat normal life, you go to pretty drastic measures to try and fix the problem.

The problem being: Lyme disease (and other co-infections such as babesia, bartonella, mycoplasma, and almost everything else...)

This isn't our first go around experience with IV treatments. We are hoping and praying that it is our last.

So as I conquer the corner of the couch by sprawling out sideways in the shape of a starfish, while listening to the Biebs sing my way into watching a much needed animated flick, I will be praying.
I will be praying that Justin will have enough strength and faith to get through another long and grueling month of treatment. I will be praying that every cell in his body will sing like Celine when the chemo, antibiotics, ozone, stem celly's and other odd colored and hard to pronounce liquids enter his body and try to make happy with the uninvited strangers within.
I will also be praying that there will be plenty of juicy and entertaining spanish soaps that he can thoroughly enjoy while getting pumped full of "Happy Juice".

I will mostly be praying that Jesus will be with ma boo.
That he will be there to help him to be tough. Tough like a piece of licorice that has been sitting out on the countertop for too long, but you still eat it anyways.
I will be praying that he will be there to give him comfort. The kind of comfort that your toes feel when you put on a brand new pair of socks and don't even need to adjust that knotty sock seam.
I will be praying that he will be there to support him. That support you feel when your mom gives you a hug after a long day and let's you know that you're doing a good job.

I know that he will. I know that he will understand the pain and exhaustion that comes from a sour situation such as this for he has done it. He has done it all. Alone. And because of him, Justin does not have to.

I am grateful for him. I am grateful for Justin. I am grateful for solutions to problems even though they are sometimes messy, painful, and tiring.

So peeps, let's try and have a praying party together. Many of you have done a lot for Justin and I.
I'd ask you to stop but you're so good at it... so please pray. If you're not a praying person, feel free to send your happy vibes and warm and fuzzy creepy snuggle bear feelings our way.
(oh. You can also pray that i'll be able to fall asleep tonight without needing to sing a falsetto version of Michael Bolton's Greatest Hits album)

We appreciate you.
Rebekah also appreciates whole wheat carbs and cafe rio on her doorstep but thats completely beside the point.
Or is it....

Until next time...

-R

#LetsDoThisLyme













Saturday, June 11, 2016

Part 2 - Zeus is in my bed!


I'd like you to picture this. You're me. A 22 year old girl who is visiting a doctors office for literally the third time in your life (that's including your birth). You've recently found out that you have Lyme Disease and are waiting to see a doctor who is said to treat it. (In fact, this doctor has been treating your husband for the past few months). You sit down in the exam room and hand them your test results. They briefly look over them and then ask your spouse if he would mind leaving the room so we could have a few words... The Doc then says...

"Now I know your husband has been sick for a while and I am sure that has been difficult for you to watch. I can see that your test results are positive and don't get me wrong, I do think that there is something going on... but I get the feeling that you want attention...
Let's just call horses horses and zebras zebras." - undisclosed medical professional

Whatever that means?

Okay. So lettuce go back in time to a couple of months before this...
I'm lying in bed, the blanket close up under my chin, teetering between consciousness and sleep... (Ya know that yummy stage you're in when you are on the verge of falling into a deep sleep but can still hear the water in the toilet running and the ac unit buzzing outside?)
Anyways. I'm slowly falling asleep and I begin to feel a tingle in my toe. Nothing to make me jump out of bed and fly into the next room like that feeling of something scurrying across your skin, just more like a tiny shock. I quickly notice it, turn onto my back and return to my pre-dream thoughts (which probably consisted of trying to invent a new cookie cutter and getting that Prince song out of my head).
"That's when I saw her, ooh, I saw her she walked in through the out door out door. She wore a raZEUS IS IN MY BED!!!!" My eyes pop open. I immediately go completely stiff like a surfboard, tighten my grip on the blankets that are still up under my chin and suddenly notice that I've forgotten how to breath. I'm awake. So awake. Why? Like me and Prince were saying... ZEUS IS IN MY BED. (or at least I thought so...)
Lightning bolts begin flying up my legs. I wait wait to see if they go away but they only get worse and more frequent. I wiggle my toes to see if they stop. Nope. I start to tighten and then relax the muscles in my legs. The shocks continue to shoot up my legs from my toes and the soles of my feet. I try to stay calm but the pain is now reaching my hips. I think about loosening the death grip I have on my blankets and peeking under the covers to check and make sure that Zeus isn't at the bottom of my sheets throwing lightning at the heels of my feet. When I finally get up the courage to take a look, my arms start to tingle and vibrate. "Are you kidding me?", I thought. The tingles turn into shocks and I finally turn to Justin and say..."Sooooo I think there's something wrong..."

On a side note... If there is one thing I have discovered about God it is that he has impeccable timing. Truly.
These nightly shock sessions went on for at least a week and at this time Justin was reading a book called Natures Dirty Needle, a book on Lyme Disease. In this book it mentions that Lyme Disease is possibly sexually transmitted. Yes, peeps. Sexually transmitted... that means you don't have to get bit by a tick to contract it. You actually can just... well. You get it. (Explains the strep and pneumonia I got on my honeymoon...)
When I told Justin about the zingers in my veins he of course said... "I think we need to get you tested for Lyme's" and showed me the book.
I got tested through Igenix Labs and received my results a few weeks later. Positive peeps. I was probably more shocked then anyone. My body was definitely trying to communicate to me that something was not right. Sadly it took electricity up my bones to get a message to my brain that something was wrong.

When I look back now and try to think about symptoms I was experiencing, I'm amazed at how many there were and still are.
Everything from:
Never ending back pain. Somedays it would sink into one side of my back, usually up around my shoulder blades. Id wake up the next day feeling semi-okay until realizing that the stabbing raw pain had only switched to the other side.
Cold sores galore. Nothing says 'Kiss Me' like an oozing volcano on your upper lip.
Exhaustion so extreme that I've proven that zombies are real to sudden bursts of energy that had me running a half marathon every night.
Weight gain so discouraging and overwhelming that I've proven that I can gain weight by just eating vegetables to weight loss which led to anorexia and wearing a size 10 in juniors, never finding a pair of jeans long enough (leggings I love you), and bruising my hips black and blue from knocking them against the countertop or bumping them along the side of doorway.
Hormone imbalances so up and down I feel like crying when I forget to put ice in my water, throwing the toaster when my bread burns and probably the reason I crave baked potatoes with mustard at 3 in the morning and a bowl of beans with a side of pickle for breakfast.
Joints that burn and ache so bad they itch and have me in a tub full of epsom salts and water so hot it makes my blood boil.
Skin crawling, yes the kind that makes me want to jump out of bed and fly into the other room.
Night sweats that led to sleeping on towels and taking showers in the wee hours of the morning.
Insomnia that had me up baking banana bread for the neighbors at midnight and reorganizing the bathroom cabinets.
Hair loss that had me on the floor of the shower weeping.
Moments of crazy creativity like creating a whole business plan around s'mores and asking your husband to move to Samoa to start it. (It could still work...)
Acne so atrocious I want to hug every teenager with a pimple and tell them that they're still pretty.
Depression so bad that there are not enough scriptures, happy songs, cute babies, disney movies, fluffy carbs or Jesus videos to help me feel okay. Feeling so emotionally wrung out I find myself on the kitchen floor bawling my brains out for the first time in months and not wanting to stop because it just feels good to feel something. anything.
Mania so extreme I've been pinned to the ground in a house full of paramedics and police officers and have had the word "Bexorcism" named after a manic episode.
Blood sugar problems that have made "I'm sorry for what I said when I was hungry" my motto.
Low blood pressure(POTS) that literally had me dragging my face on the floor to get to the next room.
Light sensitivity so severe that going outside makes my eyes water and twitch uncontrollably triggering a migraine for a week.
Muscle twitches that looked like I had swallowed pollyjuice potion.
Seizures that had me curled up on the bathroom floor waiting to die.
IBS so bad I don't go to the bathroom for dayssssss. Nausea that has me in a corner with a mouth full of spit asking myself... "so this is what pregnancy is like?". Throwing up whole pieces of food and swearing I chewed that up before swallowing. Changing into sweat pants before dinner because i'm usually bloated for 3 hours after eating.
Knee problems that have me cringing at the thought of saying my prayers at night and giving myself a high five when I hear them pop.
Sore SORE muscles that I can only describe as CRUEL (ohhhh curse the fibro pain). Knots on knots - in places I didn't even think I could get them, like the heels of my feet, my eyebrows, jaw, the side of my knee and the back of my head. By 3pm I'm lying on the floor or bent backwards over a chair wishing I could get every kid in the neighborhood to come over and pull on any and all parts of my body that will stretch.
Inflammation everywhere, like really, everywhere. My ears even burn.
Encephalitis of the brain that gets so bad I'm grateful for when I can hear my ears ringing and I know I've been laying on one side for too long when my brain gets a heartbeat. Putting pressure on a certain part of my skull triggers uncontrollable feelings of stress, fear, memories, excitement and just about everything else... It's like that video in health class on the surgeon doing brain surgery and poking specific areas of the brain to see what it triggers. Most days I feel I need to melt my head under hot water and wait for my pre frontal cortex to vomit.
Swollen lymph nodes that are literally the size of golf balls and are mistaken for knots. They get that fuzzy, burning itchy feeling that doesn't go away until I drink a gallon of water and lay on a heating pad. I usually throw the towel in when my groin goes aflame.
Sinus pressure, congestion, inflammation and infections so bad and for so long that there's no wonder why I have to dowse everything with hot sauce and salt to taste it.
ADD that makes it difficult to read three words without floating off into who knows what land or concentrate long enough to get through one roll in the board game 'Life'. It's like my thoughts are a game of pinball. I can focus for a couple seconds and then boing, my attention goes flying off to something new.
Such bad circulation my hands and feet turn pale and ice cold and my husband doesn't want to snuggle unless I wear gloves and socks.
Food allergies so random and severe ill get a rash on my calf from something I ate at dinner to looking down at my fingers and seeing that they are the size of sausages because of the yogurt I just ate.
Brain fog that feels like I'm seeing everything under water.  My memory is so poor, trying to remember something from my past is like digging through a hoarders office full of papers stacked high to the ceiling... when I feel like I've found what I'm looking for I realize the paper is blank and I walk away feeling mentally, physically, and spiritually worn out. I forget my birthday, what way is left and how to walk down the, what's that word again? oh. Street. It has me thoroughly convinced that I'm the worst listener on planet earth because a date, a recipe, and a story have to be repeated several times before I get it. I feel like a 4 year old when it comes to reading books and actually making sense of what is going on all while trying to get the words and letters to stay in one spot makes my head spin. Comprehending a picture book gives me a headache and I usually end up craving carbs and a nap.
The nagging voices in my head that tell me every teeny weeny little menial decision I make is the biggest decision of my life. Giving me input on everything from what way to turn, what color shirt to put on, what leg to cross and how many blueberries I should put in my oatmeal for breakfast. Like a nagging school teacher or babysitter telling me, "don't do that" "too loud", "say it". When I try to ignore it it begins repeating quotes, scripture verses or a song lyric over and over again in my head leaving me feeling guilty and destined to end up in hell because I ate an apple instead of an orange or sat at the wrong seat at dinner. Making it almost impossible to discern what really is right or wrong, especially when it is so darn good at mimicing a 'still, small voice'. Some days I end up with my fingers in my ears singing lalala or doing 342 things to drown it out.
My pal paranoia that has me thinking that everything I do, say and think is a vicious cycle of voodoo and it's all taboo. I subconsciously fear the world and everything in it including what I put in my mouth to the color of car I see in front of me. I was terrified to give someone a hug because of the fear that I might give them some of my disease. Some nights i'd pray that someone would come sit on my porch because I was afraid someone was coming to get me. Yes, the boogyman scares adults too...
OCD. I still have a love-hate relationship with this clean freak frenemy. It keeps my kitchen clean but has me organizing the snack pantry, the DVD's and pills alphabetically. There were a certain number of clicks from the blinker that had to go off before I switched lanes, every towel was folded a certain way, every clothes closet was color coded, every shoe was lined up perfectly by style, color and season, and even the tassels on the rug had to be perfectly straight or id lay awake at night tossing and turning with that scratchy feeling in my chest. Sometimes I feel like my life is a perfect example of organized chaos. What's worse is watching people come in my house and stress over leaving something on the counter or dropping something on the floor. I've realized how nice it is to be in someones home where a pair of shoes is out, some toys are at my feet and there are groceries that haven't been put away. It reminds me that they are people and it is okay to be one too.
Ultra sensitivity to almost everything. My finger goes numb when I wear my wedding ring. I feel like I'm carrying a 10 pound chain around my neck when I put on a necklace. My skin breaks out if I touch my nose. My energy changes every time I walk into a different room. Anything other than elastic around my waste feels like I'm suffocating. Being in the heat for longer than 3 minutes had me gasping for air, irritated, weak and wanting to eat lunch again. A persons perfume would make my eyes itch and give me the sneezies. Putting on a headband feels like my brains are going to squeeze out of my ears. Driving in a car that is going too fast leaves me tired. Even eating a handful of grapes gives me a sugar high.
For years having viral counts that go higher then Noah's age.
Then of course there is my constant and closest compadre... the mighty A-bomb - Anxiety. No, not the kind where you need to imagine everyone in underpants to go out in public... It's the anxiety where I feel chronically stressed. Constantly under this invisible pressure, feeling like I need to be doing something ALL of the time. The need to be folding laundry, cooking dinner, pinning, stretching and coloring all at the same time just so I can semi-focus on the TV show I feel so pressured to have to sit down and watch. The pressure that I became so used to feeling that being relaxed felt more like being dead. The anxiety that refuses to let me take a nap, let alone lay down and make out the shapes in the ceiling paint without wanting to rip my chest open. Stress that has me on youtube typing "How do I breath?"(Yes, I'm positive I can hold my breath longer than Michael Phelps.) It's been so constant and familiar that my shoulders have made a home up by ears, my muscles feel so tense they are like strings pulled too tight on a guitar and meditating sometimes feels like having to put together a 1000 piece solid white puzzle before breakfast. I can't seem to get that knot out of my stomach that usually sits right up under my sternum. A lot of the time is feels like I've swallowed a grenade and it's sitting at the base of my throat waiting to go off.
The smallest tasks like brushing my teeth, putting in my contacts and going to the mail box can feel like pushing a boulder twice my size up a mountain.
I lay in bed some nights and feel my feet screaming "you did too much" while I tell myself, "you didn't do enough".

and the list goes on... and on. and on and on and on. and on some more...

Most days feel like I'm waking up to a game of powerball. It's like Lyme is playing with my life, digging through a massive machine full of sickness and serving me my symptoms for the day. "Welp Rebekah, today you've won a nice dose of 'I just got hit by a truck - fatigue', air hunger, 'Don't touch that toast, it'll make you gag and possibly give you hives', heart palpitations, and a 'don't get to comfy in those covers there... you won't need them because you'll have a fever by midnight.' Oh! and because you're so special, we'll throw in an emergency root canal for good measure. Don'r worry though... they have happy gas.

If I had to sum up what I feel like most of the time, it'd be a kid trapped in a 90 year old's body going through puberty. with the flu.

Things are getting better though my friends. Really.
After almost 4 years of IV treatments, blood transfusions, oral antibiotics, herbs and everything else you could think up to try and get rid of all the bugs, viruses and heavy metals, I think I'm doing alright.
There are too many days where I think of my accomplishments and end up feeling like I am taking 1/2 a crawl forward then falling backwards down a flight of stairs. When I feel like I have conquered a certain symptom, 1, 7 or 37 more things pop up. It leaves me feeling discouraged, hopeless and depressed. I somedays wake up in the morning looking forward to bedtime. I stare out the window and try my hardest not to be sad about how slow, dumb and far behind I feel. I am torn between feeling so excited and happy for my friends and family who are having babies, graduating college, holding jobs, waking up when it is still considered morning, eating a cookie without getting sick, walking through target without passing out, and simply living life to feeling absolutely heartbroken that I can't have those same things. Some days I'm completely overwhelmed with the amount of knowledge I think I don't have and not even knowing where to start.  I am not able to truly feel okay until I allow myself to be grateful, think of the good things I have done and how far I've come.
For example:
I don't have to take a hot bath every morning to make it down the stairs. I can grip something without that aching stabbing feeling up my fingers, hands and arms. My shoes go anywhere on the shelf where I can fit them. Mediation is my mojo. I no longer have to rest and catch my breath when I reach the top of my stairs. I am in my 5th chapter of a big kids book. I rarely get bloated after eating unless I eat too much cabbage. The last time I was nauseas was when I got a whiff of bad tuna. I can function just fine without a diet coke. Some mornings I wake up and cancel my alarm before it even goes off. I take a shower without feeling like I've climbed a mountain and deserve a medal (shaving is a whole different ball game). The voices are now just one voice and it stays gone unless I really need a nap. I don't feel like Elsa when I touch something or someone with my cold hands. I exercise at least 5 times a week. I crave hugs. My neck doesn't get sore and stiff after I eat popcorn. I can make it through a full episode without a stack of laundry, my phone or a panic attack. I could sit in the sun and garden like your grandma all afternoon. I go to the doctor maybe once every two weeks instead of every 2 days (and it's usually to be reminded how well I am doing.) My lymph nodes are more around the size of peas instead of golf balls. I go to bed with dishes in the sink. I haven't had a cold sore for over 6 months. I took a nap on Sunday for the first time in 2 1/2 years. I take less than 10 different medicines a day instead of 103. It only takes me maybe 1-2 days to recover from a flight instead of 4. And I no longer fear the world, the dark, the boogyman or sitting still. In fact, I get giddy when I get to go to the grocery store or run to the post office and go to bed early because I'm so excited to go to yoga the next morning.

Yes, I have bad moments, days, weeks and what seems like months and years. Yes, my back still hurts but not nearly as bad as it used to (and ill take it!). I still get scared of how my body will react when I put anything in my mouth. I'm still working on breaking up with anxiety. I still get sad. like really really sad but thats totally okay because if I can get really really sad then I can get really really happy too. I still struggle with how many steps I take in-between the cracks in the sidewalk and where stuff goes in the fridge but that's cool too because its much easier to find the jam.
I still put my face in my hands while crying, laughing, groaning and screaming as I struggle with feeling so close yet so far away from God. I keep having to continually reassure myself that answers will come, even though I spend 74% of my time trying to figure out why this is happening, why such good, bad, ugly, pretty, happy, lonely, crazy and cool people have to suffer, why I just can't feel decent enough to make it through a movie, a date, a meeting or a car ride without needing help and actually getting the courage to ask for it instead of dealing with the painful consequences later. I still feel my head spin in circles as I try and make sense as to why I'm sick and suffocate my mind with questions like "did I do or am I doing something wrong? is God not forgiving me for something? Am I not forgiving me for something? Is this a curse? Something I'm allergic to? Was I too mean to my brothers growing up? Have I eaten too many tomatoes? Did I make a wrong decision? Am I a bad person? A demon? A brat? I continually ask myself, "Is this all in my head?" but realize, well if it were, would it make it any less real?

I drive the knives that think my back is a butchers block, deeper into my body by burdening myself with trying to figure out if God, the universe, my spirit or my body is trying to teach me something and I'm simply not getting it (and if so, how am I supposed to learn anything if I can't even remember what happened 30 seconds ago). I find myself telling my Father in Heaven things like "this is too much" "too fast!" "I really don't think I can do this one..." but then end up on my knees asking for forgiveness for my whimpering and thanking him for the strength he pours down upon me every second of every minute of every day. And although the days drag on when they are bad or go by too fast when they are better, I know that I still have a fantabulous life. I know I have been blessed with a universe full of friends and family that are so cool it's scary.
I am grateful for you. So unbelievable flipping grateful for you. There are not enough loaves of banana bread, plates of cookies, cards or hugs I could give you to express how awesome I know you are.
Thank You.
for visiting me, dropping off happy notes, cookies, strawberries, coloring books, dinner, crocheted zombies, funny kleenex boxes, carved pumpkins, pretty pictures, funny articles, rolls and loads of other goodies. For walking my dog, picking up his dino-dung, giving him showers and dog sitting. For mopping and vacuuming all my floors, unclogging the toilet, doing my laundry, mowing the lawn, pulling the weeds and laying brick in the backyard.  Who run across town to bring me a slurpee, a gallon of milk or a hash brown from McDonald's at 2 in the morning (especially when it's the first thing I've eaten in 2 days). You have brought me flowers, braided my hair when I couldn't lift my arms, rubbed my feet with oils, shared your blood, sit with me in silence when I don't want to talk and give me hugs even when I don't hug back.
To all of the doctors, nurses, chiropractors, therapists and health helpers who make house visits, rearrange appointments to see me, pop the 3-7 ribs back into place every other day, stand on my back to try and get the knots out, bring me donuts during IV's, tell me funny jokes and happy stories to lift my spirits and do all you can to help me survive each day and feel okay.
Mucho gracias to my folks who have filled my freezer with meals, baked me bread, dropped everything and anything to run to Cafe Rio, Costco and the pharmacy. Who have cleaned up the throw up, ran me baths, flown me across the world to receive help for my health, sat in 3 hours appointments with me because I couldn't think or speak straight and jumped on a plane to be by my side during sad and bad times. Who buy me my favorite apple fritter, hot cheeto's and check every store in Utah Valley for a certain bag of chips I had once on a jet blue flight.
Thank you to my angel sister Hannah Belle who I know is slaying my scary demons, giving me spiritual high fives everyday all day and who I can't wait to squeeze with my whole soul and tell her how much I have missed her. I can just imagine her saying, "Oh Kekah, I know. Did you bring me a Reese's?"
Thank you to my body. My body that I have spent too many years cursing for the state i'm in. It has been poked, prodded, pulled on, pushed on, cut open, torn open, stretched, slammed, starved, cracked, bruised, electrocuted, tested, scanned and infused. It has swallowed almost every capsule full of chemicals, vitamins, herbs, spices, supplements, minerals, oils, dirt, bugs and anything else you could think of. It's been on every gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, nut free, egg free, fish free, fat free, nothing but fat, paleo, whole30, and meatless diet. It has tried every cream, tincture, patch, pill and procedure and STILL loves me enough to keep going and keep going strong.  It is one of the greatest blessings I have and although I sometimes tell myself that I am broken, I am mighty glad to be broken inside my body then to be broken without one. It keeps breathing, beating, walking and living and that alone reminds me that there must be something worth living for.
A humungous thank you to my hubby Justin. He is my Samwise. My Ron, Hermoine, Hedwig and Dumbledore all in one. He has quite literally been by my side through ALL of this, even while he's been just as sick and sometimes even sicker. He rubs my feet like Fabio and turns on the food network, HGTV and old english shows because thats usually all I can stand to watch and because that's what real men do. He would risk getting a cold sore just to kiss me, is by far my most favorite flavored lifesaver and still likes me even though I feel like the farthest thing away from the hyper and happy Bekah he fell in love with. He loves me enough to not only share a last name, a bed, french fries, a car, a home and sometimes even his last orange slice, but even his bugs. For that I am grateful and love him all the more.
The greatest and biggest thank you to my Jesus. Who I picture sitting at the edge of my bed on the bad (and not so bad) nights when I really don't want tomorrow, blessing me to be okay and face it like the champ that he knows I am. Who I know puts his hands on my shoulders and gently reminds me to relax as I tell him how much this sucks to which he replies "I know. I really actually do know." I cannot wait to see him, wrap my arms around his neck and thank him for saving me, even from myself. He is the epitome of Awesome Possum.

Thank you all for your prayers, fasting, blessings, hello's, hugs and the "you look fab" when I feel so drab and sad.

The journey isn't over but boy am I grateful to be living my lovely Lindorf life.

When you cannot do what you have always done, then you only do what matters most.


-Rebekah
If you or anyone you know is suffering with any of my same symptoms DO not wait to get help. 
I promise Zeus is not a friend you want in your bed.
Message me, text me, call me or visit your nearest Owl Post and send me a letter.
I not only want to help, I need to help.

www.lymedisease.org 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akULF1vwyVY&feature=youtu.be

Words for friends: Eat less cheese. Dance a little then dance a lot. Sing like Celine. Give your mom a kiss. Don't delay watching that disney movie. ALWAYS be grateful you can pee, even at 4 in the morning. Look in the mirror and say "I love you. You are doing awesome. We totally got this."




Sunday, September 30, 2012

"Lindorf Lymies" PART 1

I know it's been quite some times since I've blogged, let alone taken the time to write just about anything personal down - but I've had a constant feeling that I should take the time to get on here and let you know what's been going down with the Lindorf's.
Last time Justin and I posted on here we were in sunny California "somewhat" living a normal life. Justin was still struggling through serious health issues with no real "diagnosis" of what was going on. I was working full time and taking some night classes. Well some things have changed since then.
We are now back in Utah, living in a great home, a good neighborhood and much closer to family and friends but mostly working through what's been going on in the last couple years.
Maybe you are wondering why we decided to move back to Utah? especially away from what I swear to be one of the most beautiful and greatest places to live - (San Clemente, CA.) So I will explain why. (which is mainly the reason I felt so prompted to share our story with you.) I'll try to sum it as shortly and as simply as possible but those two words are far from what would describe our lives for the past two years - most especially the last nine months. So if you are hoping to read a sweet post about lovely adventures with rainbows and ponies...I would quit reading now - although there is a unicorn or two...

As most of you know (and as I mentioned earlier), Justin has been struggling with serious health issues for around 4 years now. When we met and first started dating he was a Type 1 Diabetic(which had caused him to come home early from his LDS mission in Toronto) and had had it for about 6 months.Throughout our relationship he had some additional health concerns but we associated them to the diabetes. All around he was an energetic, ambitious and charismatic fella who I quickly fell in love with.Well you know what they say about love...Then comes marriage.
We were married in August of 2010 and were ecstatic and more than ready to start our brand new lives together. You also know what they say about life though... It's never what you expect.

About three weeks after we were married, Justin started having serious and severe health concerns and was literally getting worse by the day. He was having severe stomach problems, chronic fatigue, terrible migranes, panic attacks and overnight had acquired terrible joint pain.
Justin had no choice but to drop out of school and quit working due to the chronic pain and fatigue he struggled with on a daily basis. We visited more doctors than I can count, ran dozens and dozens of tests and even had surgeries to try and figure out what was going on with him - but like before they said it was associated with the Diabetes and tests came back 'normal'.
I was blessed to be able to work at the time and we were provided with what we needed- despite our trial at hand. As the weeks went on, we continued to try and live an exciting and happy newlywed life but Justin's health only got worse and it couldn't be ignored. Soon winter came and we knew that if there was anything worse than being sick and miserable- it was being sick and miserable in the snow... So we had the opportunity to move to southern California, in hopes that it would help Justin heal/cope with his symptoms, and also to be closer to doctors that knew Justin and his health history.

At first it was surreal for me. We lived right on the beach, the weather was perfect and falling asleep to the Ocean was pretty close to perfection. Justin also seemed to be doing much better and things were looking up! We started looking for jobs and Justin landed one as a manager of a call center. It worked well at first and then his health started declining again and more symptoms came up. Depression, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue and chronic pain consumed every bit of Justin's world at this point. We both knew that he was going to have to quit his job to somewhat try and deal with what was going on with his body. Shortly after this we were both extremely blessed for me to have received a job that gave me the opportunity to work from home, paid great and something that I really enjoyed.
Months went on and Justin wasn't getting any better. The doctors we were seeing diagnosed him with over 18 different diseases, some including Fibromyalgia, MS, Lupus, adrenal failure, stomach Cancer, food allergies, ALS, rhumetoid arthritis, bipolar disorder, leaky gut, gastroporesis and even  had the nerve to come to a conclusion that it was all in his head. What we eventually came to discover is that these doctors couln't get past their large egoes and just admit that they didn't have any answers. Meanwhile they continued to test and feed him pills, steroids and opiates like some sort of lab rat and we had just about had enough of it all.

In December of 2011 we decided to go to an internist who we hoped would be a fresh pair of eyes and catch the big picture of what might be going on. He took the time to sit down and go through some of Justin's history and at the end of the appointment simply asked - "have you been tested for Lyme Disease?" Honestly at first I really had no idea what Lyme disease was. Some sort of infection from a tick bite maybe? Whatever it was, no.... he hadn't been tested. The doc proceeded to explain to us that some of Justin's symptoms were similar to other patients who had Lyme and that we should consider testing for it. Later that night me and my sister in law Vange (who was visiting at the time) asked Justin if he ever recalled being bit by a tick. After a while of him trying to think-despite all the meds that made his brain fuzzy, he said..."well actually yeah. On my mission. Twice." Now at this point I didn't quite know what to think - I barely even knew anything about this disease let alone that it even was one and if it was really what he had, why had it taken so long to figure it out, could the bacteria from a tiny tick bite really be causing all these problems for the past 4 years and more importantly why hadn't a doctor even MENTIONED anything about it earlier?

We started our research on the disease and just about every symptom matched up. We had his blood sent off to a basic lab and the test results came back negative... oh great. Meanwhile he was hospitalized twice and the doctor who had mentioned Lyme to us- quickly changed his mind and told us it couldn't be Lyme and wanted to treat Justin for adrenal failure. We were back at square one but could not ignore the idea of Lyme Disease.

We later came to find out that most testing done for Lyme is inaccurate and quite frankly done wrong. We did more research and found a lab that specialized only in testing for Lyme disease. We once again sent his blood off, but this time to Igenix labs and waited for the results.
A few weeks later we finally received the results and he was in fact 100% positive for Lyme Disease and other co-infections. We cried, laughed, smiled and quite literally jumped for joy. Finally! We knew what was wrong and we knew there was something we could do about it. After so many sleepless nights, ER visits, depression and pain... it was an answer to our prayers. Little did we know how difficult the journey ahead would be and how complex this disease and the politics behind it really were.

Now if you are alive and aware in todays world - you know that our health care system is broken and corrupt. Well Lyme Disease is down there with it. It does not only get the care, research or even the attention it so desperately needs but thousands of people are suffereing from this debilitating disease without the proper knowledge or testing they need. It's too complex for me to even try and explain in this post- which is why I am splitting our story/experience into separate parts.

I hope that you will take the time to read our story, share it and educate yourself about this terrible disease. I will try my best to explain our experiences and get into the nitty gritty details with the treatment, the health care system, and even more news that we still can't believe.

Until next time... thanks for reading.

R


http://www.lymedisease.org/

Check Out Under Our Skin on Hulu.
( http://www.hulu.com/watch/268761 )

http://myhellthcare.blogspot.com/

Friday, September 23, 2011

Long time no post

This is actually Justin's first attempt at writing a blog post that other people are going to read. I keep a private blog where I go to write about things I want to remember and to complain about things that no one would ever understand, except my Savior Jesus Christ. I rely on Him very much as Bekah and I try to run our lives and keep it running quasi-smoothly. We have a lot going on in our young little lives. We have started a new venture at www.hotnailwraps.com, Bekah works a great full time job on top of taking care of me everyday, I have finally figured out how to go to school full time and I spend about two or three days a week visiting various doctor offices trying to discover the sources of all my health problems. I don't really let anyone know all that is going on in my life healthwise. My wife is about the only person that knows everything that I have to deal with as well as my endocrinologist. 
Living in California is great though, especially on the days where I don't do too well, it is much better to be in the warmth then then frozen tundra that is Utah. 
Our home is always open to friends or family that wish to come and visit us, just let us know a few weeks in advance and we can figure out how to make it work. We just got a comfy big air mattress and a steal of a deal on a decent television, so when you realize that we are an "old boring married couple," at least you will have some cable to watch. 
We miss all our friends from home and wish we could see you all more often. 

On a different note, my wife is the best wife in the whole world. She found out about a Weezer cruise that leaves from Miami the day after my birthday and she insisted that I go on it with 3 of my best friends in the world. My Dad, Scott and Cuyler. So we will be enjoying two weezer concerts on a cruise boat as well as meeting the band and spending some time in the sun of Cozumel, Mexico. If you don't know me that well, but you know Bekah, let me describe what this means to you. I love weezer as much as Bekah loves John Mayer. I think that should describe it. I have enough weezer t-shirts that I could wear them for more than a week and not wear the same one twice. I even coerced the guy at Hot Topic to give me the big weezer sign that they had when they were promoting their album Raditude. I have only been lucky enough to see them live twice, once in San Diego with my other best friend Steve, and once in Vegas with a whole heap of friends and family. What a cool wife huh? Insisting that I go on this trip for my birthday even though she knew that she could not come along because of her work schedule. Not only that, but she talked to my dad and got him in on it as well as two of my friends. I don't deserve any of it and I can barely believe it is real. 

If I could give one piece of advice to anyone who is really worrying about their finances it would be to pay your tithing as often as possible. Bekah and I made a goal to pay our tithing the Sunday following receiving any income and it has changed our lives so much. We have been blessed in many ways. Bekah's job went from being seasonal to being permanent, our new venture is on track to become worth its' initial investment, and we have been able to find great deals on some big purchases such as a laptop that I needed for school. It has really made my testimony of tithing grow, and I plan on continuing to pay it as soon as I receive any income. I used to worry about paying it once a month or even every 6 months, but I have found that this new plan is working much better for me, and it is easier to keep track of as well. Of course, as long as you pay an honest full tithe you will be rewarded no matter when or how you pay it, but I dare you to try it this way just for awhile and see if you recognize any differences in your life, we sure have. 

Hope that my first post to the public did not bore you to death, and I would love to hear some feedback. So comment or do whatever blog readers do to let me know how I did. 

Thanks,

Justin Lindorf

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Prison Break

For the past week Justin and I have been watching Prison Break.
Oh. ma. gosh. can you say intense? addicting? amazazing?

We will probably be finishing up season 4 tonight and oh how I am relieved. After prison escapes, cross country man hunts, dead BUT not dead characters and decapitated heads in boxes I will be glad to be rid of this addiction in my life. It has taken us into the wee hours of the morning and yet still left us dangling off a cliff by dental floss.Yes, we have gone through 4 seasons in a week and yes I do believe I have an ulcer from the stress this show has given me.

Michael Scofield is the man. I am pretty sure I have the biggest freaking crush on him but it's okay... Justin does too.
Although I will admit that he is not the best actor and there were times I couldn't help but laugh out loud because of his cheesiness, it's still a very entertaining show.

So, if you've been worried that we've fallen off the face of the planet for the last week, don't worry... we're just busy breaking out of prison and getting rid of the bad guys.




Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Yay for family

A couple weeks ago my family came to San Clemente to visit.
For some of them it was their first time in california and for most of them, their first time at a warm beach.
After lots of good food, sunshine and laughs... they all had to leave paradise and head back home.
Time went by too fast.

Come back!!