Bloody Lymey

A Blog About Living with Lyme Disease

17 Day Diet Take Two: Day 10 – and Info about Leaky Gut Syndrome

I have not update my progress in a while. So here I am!

I have lost 12 lbs. Six pounds were in the first two days, so I’m trying not to think of timelines and feeling discouraged by the daily ounces I’ve been losing.

The other day at work, the elevator was broken. I work on the 5th floor. Miracle of miracles: I could do the stairs!!! Toward the end of the day, I had to back down some of the stairs because my knees were rebelling, but for the most part I was up to it. I probably did the 5 flights of stairs FOUR or FIVE times.

I mowed the lawn the other day, and if you’re a regular reader you may be aware that I have done this before. Well? This time it didn’t feel so much like work and I did not have to uncurl my hands afterward.

At the end of a day I sometimes feel very sleepy, but it is the kind of sleepy one feels after having worked and not the Lyme-caliber fatigue. My headaches are gone. My tongue is now PINK and not white (an indicator of internal candida). On occasion I have had a little jab of nerve pain. Another improvement is my menstrual cycle. It is less heavy and clotty [TMI? Sorry!] I have cramps again, which is bad news in its own right, but a spin of normalcy on anything I do is GOOD.

In six days I am scheduled to see the rheumatologist and I do not have much to report. My singular symptom – that’s worsening – is floaters. The computer screen looks like it’s pulsating and moving with “molecules” and squiggly lines. I don’t know if this is some sort of herx reaction? [PS. Forgive me if there are typos in here or little grammatical hiccups — I am relying on the red squiggly underlines to tip me off because it’s difficult to read lately ]

What I’m wondering is if I have a food sensitivity as well. I have read a lot of about Leaky Gut Syndrome, happening upon the condition by accident during my research. If you’re wondering what “leaky gut syndrome” is, it’s damage to the intestinal lining. How does this tie into Lyme Disease?

Some Leading Causes of Leaky Gut:
1. Lots of antibiotics
2. Lots of NSAID medications such as Naproxen or Ibuprofen
3. Caffeine

Lots of us lymies are “guilty” of that. Don’t we sometimes get carried away with the caffeine when we’re in a big bout of fatigue? Don’t we take pain medications for our joint pain and other malaise? Antibiotics go without saying. I, myself, lost count after 18 months (3 months here, 6 months there).

When the lining of the intestines are in good working order, they have little gaps in the cells that permit vitamins and nutrition to seep through into our blood stream. When they are damaged, the cellular gaps expand and other things can get through such as food particles and gut bacteria – both good and bad.

Symptoms are often confused with food allergies, MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and skin conditions.

Leaky Gut Symptoms:

1. Bloating
2. Gas & cramps
3. Abdominal pain
4. Joint pain
5. Neurological symptoms
6. Food sensitivities
7. Acne
8. Fatigue
9. Brain Fog
10. Constipation
11. Heartburn
12. Gum Disease
13. Depression
14. Autoimmune Deficiency
15. ADD
16. Dermatitis such as Eczema and Psoriasis
17. Headaches and migraines
18. Systemic Candida (nail fungus, etc.)
19. Colitis
20. Celiac Disease
21. Thyroid conditions
22. Crohn’s Disease
23. Arthritis

Here’s one article about it: [if link fails, try to copy and paste this: http://www.leakygutsymptoms.com/%5D

Notice that the symptoms increase in severity?

I have read many articles about it and the consensus seems to be:

1. The symptoms – and that they increase in severity
2. Treatment – Addresses the CAUSE of the intestinal permeability. Often it has to do with nutrition. This is like an elimination diet so that the intestines may heal. This is a good resource: [links sometimes fail me! If this doesn’t work, copy and paste: http://www.liverdoctor.com/liver-problems/leaky-gut ]
3. The medical community seems divided over the authenticity of the existence of Leaky Gut, so treatment usually falls on the patient or the Holistic / Natural Medicine community

I am mentioning this because if you are new to Lyme Disease and are on antibiotics then you may want to consider going on a cleansing diet to prevent this happening to you. If you take lots of antibiotics and eat lots of refined foods, sugars, yeast, wheat, et al, you are feeding the bacteria you are trying to kill and also making a happier home for yeast inside your gut. Make sure you consume plenty of probiotics, and try to consume ones with MANY different cultures not limiting yourself to the typical acidophilus.

What Made Me Happen Upon Leaky Gut?

Well? I was at work with a client the other day and my mouth became very dry. I could not get something to drink that very moment so I grabbed a couple of mints on my desk. The mints came from our Health Insurance company in a package with their logo so there was no list of ingredients and such. I suspected they may have sugar, but they’re the size of baby aspirin and I was THIRSTY. It brought me relief but I almost promptly became bloated. My stomach, by the end of the day, was rather distended. The mint was certainly the trigger.

I googled “mints and bloating” and came to find Sorbitol is a common ingredient that many are sensitive to and that it causes bloating. Here is an article if it interests you: And here’s a copy and paste option for you: http://www.foodintolerances.com.au/food-intolerances-sorbitol.aspx

Reading about it over and over, I came to find the term “leaky gut syndrome” attached. That led me on another tangent.

So here I am. Perhaps it is leaky gut. Perhaps it is not. But I am DEFINITELY doing better physically on this diet. Mentally too. Emotionally too. I highly recommend it!

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Yale University. Mehhhhhhhh.

I found this post in the Yale Alumni Magazine:

(http://www.yalealumnimagazine.com/blog/?p=15060)

“It’s post-Lyme, not chronic Lyme, new study suggests
“Posted by Carole Bass ’83, ’97MSL on June 25, 2012, 3:59 pm
“In the chronic battles over the existence of chronic Lyme disease, Yale experts have spoken loudly for the medical establishment. There is no such thing as chronic Lyme, they say.

“For example: ‘The Infectious Diseases Society of America has taken a strong stand against the belief that people are chronically infected with the Lyme disease bacterium,’ Yale epidemiologist Durland Fish said in a recent interview. ‘Unfortunately, a large number of patients have been misled by self-appointed lay experts. … The result is that a large number of people are being treated needlessly for an infection they do not have.’

“Now comes a Yale study that puts a different spin on the debate. It does not find evidence for chronic Lyme, but suggests that symptoms that linger after antibiotic treatment may be a post-Lyme condition caused by detritus from the dead germs.

“Lyme disease—named for the area of eastern Connecticut where it was first discovered—is an infection caused by bacteria called spirochetes and transmitted to human beings by tiny, scarcely detectable deer ticks.

“’Although the disease is responsive to antibiotics, up to 25 percent of patients treated early in the course of infection can experience protracted musculoskeletal symptoms of unclear etiology,’ write the authors this week in the online Journal of Clinical Investigation.

“In other words, patients still hurt, and the doctors don’t know why.

“Led by Linda Bockenstedt, researchers at the Yale School of Medicine examined Lyme-infected mice after treating them with antibiotics. They found that the bacteria—and therefore, the infection—were gone. But proteins from the bacteria persisted in the mice’s joints and near their cartilage. And the animals’ immune systems produced antigens to attack the dead stuff, causing inflammation and potentially arthritis.

“’This study provides the first direct evidence that spirochete proteins can remain long after the bacterium is gone, and in places where people can experience symptoms after treatment for Lyme disease,’ Bockenstedt says in a Yale press release.

“Full disclosure: I’m currently being treated for Lyme disease after lab tests confirmed a recent infection. I plan on a full recovery.”

I love this rebuttal in the comments area:

“Christine Lydon, MD says:
June 27, 2012 at 9:59 pm
Dear Ms. Bockenstedt,

Thank you for affirming that chronic Lyme disease does not exist and insisting that Lyme infection is self-limited and cured by two to four weeks of oral antibiotics; this is of enormous comfort to the 85% of us who never fully recover, and the 40% of us eventually commit suicide.

Thank you for collaborating with insurance companies to create guidelines that preclude coverage of our medication and force doctors to risk their licenses for having the audacity to treat us past the four-week mark.

I just have one question for you: Since this disease is all in my head, why is it that I am prohibited from donating blood? Certainly there is no risk that one could “catch” an illness that, by your own assertion, doesn’t exist. And aside from the crippling symptoms of chronic Lyme disease that manifest solely as a result of my overactive imagination, I am a veritable picture of good health.

To illustrate my gratitude, I ask that you please allow me to donate my blood to a special blood bank for you and your family. I have a very rare blood type– it could prove invaluable the next time one of your children’s survival depends on this gift of life. Thanks to your guidelines, it turns out that I am not actually sick. There are no words to express how much it would mean to me if I could return that favor.

Yours Very Truly,
Christine Lydon, MD (Yale School of Medicine, Class of 1994; currently bedridden and unemployed)”

As for me?  I’m wondering why the F**K the medical community is stuck on semantics and proving that there is or isn’t Chronic Lyme and why aren’t they taking this energy and putting it toward fixing whatever they suppose the freaking problem is? !

People have had the audacity to tell me I’m just “used” to being sick.  Well?  How do you explain my 10-month remission? How do you explain the millions of people with this issue???  There’s the power of positive thinking and most every day I have moved forward in optimism — that’s not something that someone who is “used” to being sick does.  I’m outraged.

Anyone want to start a letter-writing campaign?  At the time I had read this article, it had been published not quite 3 days prior and the comments are already closed (you ought to read some of them!).  I find that to be terribly interesting.

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Manuka Honey with Bee Venom – In Practice

I bit the bullet and ordered Manuka Honey with Bee Venom after some research and feeling comfortable with who I was ordering it from. At $38 for a jar, I knew this was a chance I was taking. I will say, however, that when the pain is great enough you start thinking crazy things and start BUYING stuff. Well, at least I do.

It came in the mail last week. I had read some credible articles about its use in Europe – one such article was from BBC News.

So here I am. The instructions suggest taking 1-2 tsp./day, stating you should start with 1/4 tsp. and increase. I did this. The website touts it as a remedy for arthritis (at the very least, I could certainly use that – especially since mine is becoming so widespread and far more severe), adding it may take “a month or two for results” (I’m hoping this is not a piece of cheese to string me along and get me to buy TWO jars of it before throwing in the towel). So after my 1-week stint on this “protocol,” I don’t feel any results. I feel strangely invigorated for a short while after ingesting it, so I know something in there is effecting me. I guess it remains to be seen if it works. My other concern is that I will take it and some mysterious remission will coincide with my having taken it for a month or two and that I’d falsely attribute my well-being to the honey. How will I know?

I don’t know. I must try it, though. Naproxen isn’t touching it. Icy Hot works just a smidge’. Ibuprofen isn’t doing a thing. I just have to keep plugging away. If nothing else, I feel proactive.

So some sites state that bee venom can “cure” Lyme. Others statue Manuka Honey’s antibacterial properties will do the trick. So I’ve ordered some of both. The taste is peculiar – really thick and strong. I must say it isn’t a real pleasure to eat. I’ll keep you posted on progress – some Herx might be feedback enough. So far there isn’t any that I’m aware of, but the arthritis was pretty bad when I ordered it so that’s no measure.

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Less Hope, But Not Hopeless …….

Somewhere in this haze, somewhere beneath the joint pain is a fire. I have to reach it. A lady on facebook that I casually know posted about the importance of walking. She described her tenure working in a nursing home and how many of its residents were ladies who hadn’t valued walking and exercising, deteriorating early in their elder years. I have to get better. I just have to.

I work on the main street in our town and constantly see people cruising the sidewalks in scooters. They are overweight and have clearly become immobilized by their sedentary lifestyles. It bothers me how much time I have spent on the couch or in bed this week. It’s a miracle I have worked my hours this week – I had to work a long day on Tuesday to compensate for the mere three hours I worked on Monday, but wow. I thought I was going to die that day.

This is the worst week I have had health-wise in over three years. The arthritis symptoms are rather severe and more widespread than they ever were. Generally I can count on my hands or my knees to be achy – sometimes in outright pain. It’s now basically anything on my body that is meant to bend or twist.

My son sleeps at my mom’s on Fridays and she called me 15 minutes after I was due to arrive. I distantly heard the phone ringing, and didn’t care. The fluffy blanket, my position, and the fact that I was nearly sound asleep accounted for this complacency. My 8 year old answered the phone finally.

“Damn kids,” he huffed after no one answered his “hello.”

Mom called my cell phone. All I said was hello and she asked what was wrong.

She came to pick him up. Looking me over, she told me about a lady she knows who had Lyme. HAD Lyme. This friend of hers was debilitated for years but managed to see someone in Boston who helped her with both conventional medicine and homeopathic methods. She has been cured? In remission? I don’t want to jinx her. Oh, yeah. It’s been six years. That’s a lot better than the ten months I had in 2009/2010.

I have to get better. I just HAVE to. I have a lot of living to do. If this week isn’t some fluke, then I’m honestly headed toward collecting disability. I can’t get there. Yesterday I felt awful and was tinkering with the notion of taking the day off. But I realized that “resting” is simply a respite from feeling bad. It doesn’t charge me up. It doesn’t pay off the day after and subsequent days. It’s just a reprieve and nothing more. Coming home after finishing the day was far better for me than it would have felt to succumb to my body and stay home.

But it is becoming increasingly necessary.

Last night I rode a bike with my son. I didn’t realize how doable this is as long as I don’t attempt hills when my joints are this bad (it’s amazing what can happen with a hill – we have to grip the handle bars more tightly, we have to exert more with our legs and this leads to a bit more resistance, and then it gets in my shoulders and elbows from holding on tighter……..). I never thought about the minimal impact compared with walking.

I’m going to try to ride the bike every day. Even if it’s just for a couple of minutes. Just something to get myself moving. I’m also going to try to get the name of my mom’s friend’s doctor(s) in Boston. This just isn’t working anymore and what ever it is, it’s progressing.

Chronic Lyme? Post Lyme Syndrome? I don’t know. Both terms have been thrown at me. What ever it is, I’m not taking this lying down.

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Rainy Days and Mondays Really Bring Me Dowwwwwn ………..

Living here in Berkshire County has been bliss this late winter/early spring. There have been “heat waves.” It has been dry and sunny. Taking it for granted, I have stopped consulting the weather before making plans. [Of course, due to this early spike in temperature, it is reputed that this will be a BAD tick year:

This weekend, the rains came. There have been predictions of flooding and as the rains drop, so does the temperature. I could feel it coming. My knuckles were swelling and my gait fell to its arthritic wobble. This necessitated my crawl up the stairs. But instead of the migrating arthritis that I’m accustomed to (*where it will be in the knees for a while and then it will switch to the hands*), this had a new twist: it was my whole body. If there was a joint, it ACHED:
1. Fingers
2. Wrists
3. Elbows
4. Shoulders
5. Neck
6. Hips
7. Knees
8. Toes

Elevating my legs to help my knees didn’t work. This peculiar posture hurt my hips. I laid down. This hurt my neck. I tried it with and without a pillow. I found a way to lay on my side that helped my neck, hips and knees, but now my shoulder and elbow hurt. Constantly re-positioning hurt my hands and wrists. I wanted to cry. The constriction in my throat was there, tightening. It wasn’t the pain. I’m rather used to that. It was the fear. This was new. I’m also used to going with the flow of migrating arthritis. If I have it at work, then I adjust my sails and go in a new direction. If my hands bother me, then I don’t do paperwork that day. If my knees hurt, then I find more desk stuff to do. This made me fear it all. How could I get to my office from the parking garage? How could I take care of my son? What if it doesn’t go away?

My knuckles became pudgy. Making a fist, I couldn’t see much of my joints.

Naproxone helped – the active ingredient in Aleve. It is supposed to be an anti-inflammatory.

The lesson for the day was to appreciate my needs being met even if my wants are not. What I WANTED was the pain to be GONE. What I NEEDED was for it to be eased. It was eased. Even one millimeter of ease is greatly appreciated. If I can just keep my head on straight, then I’ll be OK. I’ll really be OK no matter what, but keeping my head on straight is such a challenge some days. Particularly the days with the fatigue and that foggy haze. But? It’s late Sunday night and I don’t feel good and tomorrow is the beginning of my workweek. I can’t help but feel nervous about it. AND I have an important meeting in the middle of the day – can’t miss it. My racing thoughts are taking me to Tuesday where I have a meeting out of town and three appointments after. I’m scheduled down to the minute. What do they say in AA about keeping it in the day? Ha ha …. yeah. I guess I have another ten minutes left of Sunday right now. It’s too early to worry about Monday. Time, too, to be grateful.

It’s still raining today. I’m still in pain, but it’s NOTHING like it was last night. And without that Aleve, there is no way I would have slept. Tomorrow? Rain. The day after? Scattered showers. The day after that? Rain and snow mix. Nice, huh? I guess I’ll bundle up, take Aleve, and try to keep my head on straight.

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17-Day Diet & Lyme – Day 16

It’s been quite a week. Some ups and downs. I will say it rained a LOT yesterday and I didn’t KNOW. I was at work and didn’t look out the window and was surprised to find it raining when I left work. My knees didn’t hurt one iota!

I’m not craving carbs so much anymore. This diet is getting easier for sure.

I had a bad couple of days. I was tired, foggy-headed and suffering from the same caliber of vertigo that taunted me at the onset of lyme. And I had the nerve to attempt grocery shopping. I could NOT find the spaghetti sauce my son loves: Newman’s Own Sockarooni. I couldn’t read the labels and it seemed like every product on the shelves was on its own rocking chair and rocking out of synchronicity.

The worst: one evening I was home and doing stuff in the kitchen. With zero warning, I started to wet my pants. And I couldn’t stop. I didn’t feel it coming on. Didn’t feel like I had to “go.” There was no urgency. I’ve been scared to leave the house. What if it happens in public?

I could accept the pain and the limitations I’ve been presented with and the entire notion that I can’t control my body. THIS however is the ultimate in being out of control and it bothers me in ways I can’t begin to describe.

I talked to others with chronic lyme disease and have found they have endured the same humiliating situation themselves.

The vertigo has subsided as mysteriously as it arrived.

Because I’m so excited about working again, my head races at night and I’m getting less sleep. The departure of the peculiar symptoms seemed to coincide with the night that I fell asleep early. I’m also loosely doing the salt protocol and don’t know if there’s a connection. I haven’t had that vertigo feeling for nearly 4 years.

As for the diet …. I’m continuing to lose weight. I think it’s got to be 7 lbs or so by now. I’m way more energetic. Life is good.

I’m cooking with himalayan salt and having a bit of the stomach upset they promised in the salt protocol. Aside from that and my mysterious 2 days of symptoms, I don’t appear to be experiencing much herx.

Hopefully this continues. On top of working, I’m going to go for my internship this semester. Pretty ballsy of me!

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When Pain Shows….

Grarrrrr! I hate it when I’m gimpy. I hate it when my pain is noticeable.

Then comes the paradox – I love that people care enough to ask if I’m okay or what’s wrong, but I hate people noticing my pain. I bristle at the sympathy.

I went to see Stone Temple Pilots in Hampton Beach, NH recently and it was “general admission.” Nowhere to sit. I sat on the floor during the opening acts, knowing that my knees would hate me halfway through the main event.

Being hot in there, the bouncers opened the door. I could smell the ocean across the street and feel the cool damp air. It felt great at first and the air quality was wonderful to breathe.

After a while, my knees started to rebel. I alternated the weight of my body on each knee, trying to give each of them a much-needed break.

The sea air …. the sea air and standing…. woof.

By the end of the show, I was limping. Going down the stairs was a painstaking event. Gimping the three blocks to where we parked was embarrassing.

I think my pride hurt worse than my body. In fact, I know it did.

Maybe this is why my symptoms are coming and going. I have more “work” to do on myself. The inside self …. a part of me that anti-inflammatories can’t touch.

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Herx Reaction & Lyme Treatment

You’re feeling BAD. Sore knees, nerve pain, headaches, fatigue, muscle weakness, dizziness, malaise …. all of it. You can hardly move.

Then you’re TREATED for it! With dull optimism, you gimp into the pharmacy and get the ‘script. You get home and take one. The next day, you take another, then later you take another …..And … you feel worse. You didn’t think it was possible, but your body hit rock bottom and grabbed a shovel and kept digging.

So you want to stop the antibiotics. You want to stop whatever protocol you’re on. Don’t you? Of course you do.

*** And if you’re on antibiotics, it might be wise to ensure this is not an allergic reaction. If your symptoms are out of control, then go to the ER to make sure this isn’t serious. ****

And if it’s not an allergy… then ….

What is happening is a GOOD thing. That extra pain. That comatose-caliber exhaustion. That inflammation. That weakness. That “wanna curl up into a ball and DIE” feeling. It’s called the Jarisch- Herxheimer Reaction, and sometimes simply the Herxheimer Reaction, shortened to the peppier nickname “Herx.”

Lyme is caused by a spirochetal bacteria. Another such bacteria is syphillis. In the 1800’s, two separate dermatologists noted syphillis patients getting worse before they got better. The bacteria releases toxins and the human body can’t detoxify quickly enough, hence an autoimmune response, hence lots of pain (inflammation) and exhaustion.

The bacteria that causes lyme disease can mask their own antigens and our immune systems don’t always detect it. Once it does detect it, the inflammation starts and the pain and fatigue start because the immune system has been alerted and is now fighting the infection. The bacteria then alters its antigens and is disguised again.

The Herx reaction may be worsened when the bacteria reproduce – there are growth spurts every 3-4 weeks (sometimes 6 weeks). A long course of treatment may result in several Herx reactions, and may be spread out during the replication.

It is also important to continue treatment before, during and after the Herx reaction (and not everyone gets them, particularly if the disease hasn’t progressed far enough and the patient isn’t as inundated with spirochetes). Many people have lyme relapses because they don’t finish their antibiotics. Many more may have chronic lyme disease because of not finishing their protocols.

I know there have been times I’ve taken breaks from my antibiotics. I just went off the salt protocol because my Herx reaction was overwhelming.

How long a Herx reaction lasts seems to follow with how long you’ve been sick, how sick you are, how ingrained the bacteria is in you, etc. It can last for a few hours, a few days or a few weeks [gulp].

There are things we can do to get through the Herx Reaction:

1. WATER , water, water – I’m guilty as HELL of not drinking enough. I love diet soda. I love coffee. Water just makes me pee and it seems like it doesn’t sustain the moisture in my mouth the way carbonated things do. But this is the key in EVERY article I’ve read and in EVERY person I’ve spoken to about the subject. If you do nothing else, do this. And make sure it’s 2-3 quarts/day during treatment.

2. Epsom Salts – toss this in a bath. The bath will make you feel better, even if marginally, and the salts will help extract toxins from your skin

3. Milk Thistle – this is a supplement that supports liver function

4. Peppermint Oil – this is reputed to quel nausea and to help with headaches. Sniffing it helps.

5. Peppermint Tea – see above

6. Nattokinnase – a supplement that is reputed to help cleanse the blood (*Note – it’s made with soy. Don’t take it if you’re allergic*)

7. Vegetables – dark, leafy greens are supposed to be the best and most antimicrobial

8. Fruits – makes your liver’s job easier than eating junk food and lots of chemicals

9. Cut back on sugar – mehhhh. They say that Borrelia burgdorferi LOVE feasting on sugar … hmmmm. I don’t even want to think I make them happy.

10. Cut back on caffeine – MEHHHH! I don’t want to. They say that they get what we get and this makes them more active. It may also aggravate some of the symptoms. Mehhhhhh! Who can cut back on caffeine when they’re exhausted?! I guess if the pain is great enough, I will.

11. Benadryl – they say this is good if you get a rash. I’ve read it can be helpful even if you don’t have a rash! However, if you’re prone to feeling tired on Benadryl then you might find it exasperates the symptoms of the Herx Reaction

12. Alka Seltzer Gold – they say this can bring more alkaline to your blood and may be beneficial

Armed with this new information I’ve researched (and relayed to you), I’m going to try the salt and vitamin c protocol again!

*** By all means, stick to your treatment. Follow medical advice. Don’t stop doing something if it’s clearly working! Loved ones are going to HATE seeing you doing badly. They are going to wring their hands in despair and they are going to want to FIX this for you. They might recommend you stop treatment. Keep your eye on the ball. Remember they are good intentioned. Also remember that there is a deplorable infection in your body and it’s dying. Keep doing what you’re doing. Have a funeral for the little varmints. Do something funny. Visualize their die-off. Revel in it. ***

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B’s Knees ….

Since the day of the tornado, my knees have been aching. Since I’m on Zoloft for post lyme syndrome, I cannot take Ibuprofen. I’m not sure what I can take, actually. Suggestions?

My favorite arthritis med was CVS brand Arthritis Pain Relief. It was incredible. I don’t know what the difference was between that and other IB products, but …. it was marvelous! Another help was those expensive workout sneakers by Skechers – you know the ones with the thick soles that feel like thick, mattress-padded rocking chairs for the feet? I don’t know that my butt and thighs are any tighter, but I do know they reduce the impact on my knees. Love ’em!

I try to use my hands and climb stairs like a ladder to reduce the impact. I slide down stairs on my butt or lean hard against a wall while I walk slowly sideways down to reduce the impact.

For the longest time I’ve bitten my lip and tried to hide that anything was wrong. But if I suck up my pride, I can minimize the pain’s impact on my life.

I haven’t mastered this entirely yet. My mom asked me to carry one of her chairs upstairs. Standing right there was my boyfriend who offered to run this errand for me “since your knees are bad.” Not wanting my mom to feel badly about my having brought the chair DOWN, I quickly said I was fine and gimped it up. Why do I do that?

Maybe this is happening to me because there’s more I need to learn for my spiritual and emotional development.

Everything happens for a reason.

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