Healthy Balance, Healthy Life

My first post!

Posted on: October 9, 2009

So I moved my blog to this address because it’s easier to remember and everyone can comment and respond! On the Yahoo one you had to be a yahoo member in order to comment! So this first post is just a copying and pasting of the one at Yahoo! Bookmark THIS one b/c it’s what I’ll be using from now on!

I’m past my bed time and need to get up early so I will make this blog look good soon but until then, deal! haha 🙂

Hey All! So since I have so many lovely people in my life who want to keep up with what’s going on in my life, I’ve decided to have a blog so that people can check it out when they’re interested and it’ll be easier for me to keep in touch with people! (Props to Dan for the idea!)

Obviously, I still want to chat one on one with people but there are certain similar things (my lyme for example) which a lot of people are all interested in. So instead of me re-writing/re-saying the same thing to everyone, I can just write general life stuff once and be done with it! People can also comment and stuff so we can still be connected that way.

For the more specific/non-general things, I’ll still email and chat with people one on one for, this blog is more for the general stuff! 🙂


HEALTH (Lymies!)

So here’s an update on what’s going on with my health! As many of you know, I have been feeling very sick since around November of last year (2008) when I just started being very fatigued and gaining weight. I started relying more on coffee to get me through my days since I could get 9-12 hours of sleep and still be exhausted. I also had so much anxiety that I became diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and put on Pristiq, an SNRI (Seretonin and Norepinephrine Re-uptake Inhibitor). Then I started getting crippling headaches that would force me to go to bed and sleep until I felt better. I missed several days of work and school because of this. I also developed other symptoms such as having body aches and feeling faint a lot of the time. In late March, early April I decided to see a doctor near my school about my symptoms. She assured me she would figure everything out but after several blood tests, all of which were negative, she just gave me Rhinocort and told me to take Zyrtec D, which reduced my headaches significantly but did not help with the other symptoms. The only thing that showed up was that I had high cholesterol. She told me to stop eating badly and to work out more. Unfortunately, this was an assumption of hers–I actually was working out 4-5 days a week (although I had less energy, strength, and endurance to do so) and had an impeccably healthy diet. I still have high cholesterol and don’t know why.

When I came home for the summer, I accepted that this was just how it was going to be and maybe this was normal. That is, until just recently in July when the debilitating headaches and all of the other symptoms came back in addition to some new symptoms. I started to feel like I couldn’t work out anymore because I just didn’t have the stamina, I had increased and never-ending anxiety, and I had trouble remembering things and thinking clearly. I also had a rash on the back of my thigh that was 13 cm in diameter and looked like a bullseye. The color was various shades of purple (like a bruise) and had a clear (skin colored) center. I went to the doctor to have it all checked out and she said that she didn’t think it was a bullseye since usual EM/bullseye rashes were not purple. Although I wanted to get tested, she said she would rather not do so unless she felt it was necessary. She must have thought about it because two weeks later, I received a script to get tested for lyme. I was happy about this since I had been getting even worse during that time. Well, I was upset to see that the test came up negative since I felt I had so many of the symptoms of Lyme.

Just a month and a half ago (August 19 2009) I went to a lyme literate doctor who diagnosed me with Lyme and possibly babeosis and bartonella. He took blood to send to iGeneX which is a lab in California that specializes in testing for tick borne illnesses. I haven’t received the results yet but I should within 2 weeks. He has me on azythromicine (generic of zythromax) and malarone. He originally wanted me on mepron instead of malarone but it was too expensive for me to afford. He also told me to order several supplements including two probiotics, grapeseed extract, coenzyme Q10, fish oil, and vitamin B-12. He also said I shouldn’t eat anything with sugar in it.

Since I’ve been diagnosed I’ve been extremely relieved to finally have a diagnosis but the more i learn about this disease, the more concerned I am that I may never get rid of it and have Chronic Lyme. I’ve been adhering to a very strict diet which is gluten, caffeine, and alcohol free.. This has been very difficult! Since starting this diet, however, I’ve noticed my symptoms have been somewhat less and more controlled. When I first started antibiotics and they started killing the Lyme spirochetes, they were being released into my body from where they were hiding so my symptoms actually got worse at first (this is called a herx, or herxeimer reaction). The cognitive issues such as difficulty thinking, extreme emotionality, and irrationality got way worse. The way I perceived things, even my own behavior, was completely different than the way everyone else perceives things. I came off a lot more extreme and negative than I intended (even when I wasn’t not angry or upset) and it was hard for me to communicate correctly. What I was thinking in my head did not come out right. Furthermore, I was extremely emotional and I got extremely upset about mundane things.

After almost two months of antibiotic treatment, I am feeling much better. I feel that I started off feeling like a 2/10 on terms of health and now I feel like a 5/10. It is much easier for me to run now and I don’t feel tired all of the time. The aches and pains have mostly gone away and I have less frequent headaches! I can still get quite emotional sometimes though but the anxiety is getting much better! So my health is improving but I still have a ton of healing left to go!

I just visited the LLMD (lyme literate doctor) last week and he showed me my blood test results. I had six or seven different active lyme antibodies come up so that’s confirmation that it’s what I have! He also did a thyroid gland ultrasound and found an 8 mm in diameter node on my right thyroid. He says we have to wait until it’s at least 10 mm to biopsy it.

Also (maybe I’ll do another post about this when I have more time), Lyme is a very political disease. There’s a new film about it called “Under Our Skin”. Dan just bought it for me (thanks babe!) and I watched it last night. It’s scary that profit is being put before patient health and lives when it comes to Lyme! If you’re interested in learning about it, here’s the trailer! http://underourskin.com/watch.html

I have it so if any of you want to borrow it, you can. I strongly recommend buying it though! I’m pretty sure 100% of the money goes to research and stuff! Support!

So that’s all my health stuff!

SCHOOL

School is going well. I’m taking painting, printmaking, modern dance, Advanced Lab for Psychology, and my internship which is a psychiatric partial hospitalization program for adolescents. After this semester, I’ll be done with the requirements for my psych major and then I’m also doing an art minor so I have 2 or three more studio classes and an art history class left for that. And then I’M DONE WITH UNDERGRAD! So weird! It went by so fast!

But right now, I’m working on my applications for graduate school for a masters in social work with a clinical concentration. I’m really excited about it! I’m applying to all schools in Boston! I really would rather be in Vermont since that’s probably where I’ll end up but there aren’t any programs that fit what I want to do there! So it’ll be two years in Boston before getting to start working and beign a real person! haha

Other

Other than that, I’ve been babysitting a minimum of ten hours a week to make some extra money. The job is babysitting 3 kids and I love them all! I actually enjoy going over there and the family is really flexible and nice. The kids are good kids and the mom and dad are really down to earth. The mom and I have a lot in common because we’re both really into eating well and working out, etc.

Anyway, that’s all I can think of to write for now! I’m so so crazy busy and behind in my work! Ahhh! haha. Luckily I’ll be able to catch up before my teachers realize! 🙂

Comment if you have any comments or questions or just to say hi!!!

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13 Responses to "My first post!"

I miss you! I’m glad I could semi catch up on ur life haha. I’ll call you soon or send you a message. LOVE YOU

I know girl! I need to call you! I’m around tomorrow–are you? I love you too!!!

and you have the best family in the world and new sisters and a nice room and many pets!

you got another bill or something from school- I put it in your room.

I love you!
Momma Wolff

Yes yes yes!!! 🙂

Okay, thanks! My dad is taking care of that so luckily I won’t need it anytime soon.

I love you too!

This is a cool blog. What if you have to be writing on it 24/7? Any time for yourself? The music you sent was too cool. loved it. See you on Sunday?
I Love you. Padressemo

Drive carefully and awake. See ya Sun. Padre LOL

Hey there,
This is my first attempt at anything more technological than email, I’m so excited! I’m glad you finally have a diagnosis and everything is going so well. I am going to be in NYC Dec. 3-6 – it would be cool to hook up if you’re not busy with exams…let me know.
All of the Lenhofs send their love your way!

haha! Hey Aunt Trish! I am babysitting the morning of the 5th but I can probably get to NYC that night if I don’t have tons of work and you’re free! It’d be fun to see you! 🙂

I’m very happy I’m finally diagnosed! And feeling better and better!

Tell of the Lenhofs I love them too! 🙂

I’ll email you about NYC…Sat. early evening is a dinner party for my friend’s 40th, (you know us oldies eat dinner early!) but not sure what’s up after that….
Take care!

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you. Happy Birthday to Swanee, Happy birthday to you. 22? Where did the time go? I hope you have a great day with many, many more to follow. I love you, Padge XXOOXX

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I am a 22 year old social work graduate student living in beautiful Burlington, Vermont. I love do-it-yourself projects, being active, and cooking delicious, healthy food! Feel free to leave comments or email me at AlixandraWest@gmail.com. You can also anonymously ask me questions at http://www.formspring.me/HealthyBalance1 I would love to hear from you!

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