Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

It has been a harsh winter at our home. Our memories of this winter will last long in our minds. Memories of the struggles that we have faced and the conquests we have achieved will be slow to fade. Let these days be a great lesson in reminding us how lucky we have been in our lives, and how blessed we continue to be. I hope everyone can see the good fortune in their lives and realize how lucky they are. None of us should ever take for granted all the blessings that we have.

We took Anna down to Dr. Jemsek's office yesterday. Dr. J has hired a PA to assist him in seeing more patients at his practice. Dr. J has been open in Fort Mill for 16 months, and already there is a 4-5 month waiting period for a first appointment.

Anna saw the PA who's name is Anne. Anne also is infected with Lyme and is one of Dr. J's patients. She also works for a doctor in Asheville who is a Lyme Literate MD. Anne is now splitting her time between Fort Mill and Asheville.

The visit was comfortable and comprehensive. In the end Anna was prescribed 3 antibiotics. Each medicine targets a different form of the Lyme bacteria. The medicine will be administered on a pulsed dosage. This seems to be a standard Jemsek protocol. Starting next week, Anna will take the antibiotics on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for 3 weeks. Then she'll take a week off.

This therapy schedule addresses two issues. The first issue of antibiotic toxicity is addressed by not taking the medicine day after day. The 4th week off is to trick the borrelia. The Lyme bacteria has the ability to go dormant and hide when the environment is not suitable for it, such as during antibiotic treatment. The borrelia will come out to play when the antibiotics stop.

The whole cycle starts again after the week of no antibiotics. The borrelia should become active again and thus will be vulnerable to the antibiotic treatment. There is one other drug that Anna will take in the third week that addresses yet another form of borrelia.

While we were at Dr. Jemsek's, we took care of some business for Lynette. She made sure to arrange to have her disability claim filled out so that she can continue to receive her benefit. She also talked to a nurse who discussed a couple of Lynette's lab results with her. Lynette got a Vitamin D prescription for a noted deficiency. Lynette likes this pill. You only take it once a week.

The nurse also said that a hormonal imbalance had been noted in Lynette's labs. In Lyme sufferers this often indicates pituitary gland involvement. In middle aged women it can be an indication of menopause. Dr. Jemsek ordered a brain MRI with pituitary view for Lynette. They will want to show that tissue damage around the pituitary is the cause of the hormonal imbalance. The treatment is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Eventually Lynette's body will heal itself and the HRT will no longer be needed. In the mean time it can help with her metabolism, stamina, and mood.

Lynette is walking freely now. Her gait is still encumbered by her ailment, but she no longer needs support. The little things like standing to take a shower and being able to folding a towel are major milestones here. Her right hand has been the slowest thing to respond. Tonight I watched her try to open the car door from the outside . That hand still doesn't want to cooperate.

Dr. Jemsek suggested that Lynette go on a gluten free diet. I think he's a big fan of this too. This means no wheat products. That's right, no bread and no pasta. We love pasta and sandwiches and french bread and flour tortillas. But we'll get by. We've been experimenting with a few gluten free products such as crackers and pasta.

We are excited to be going to the Lyme Rally in Columbia, SC on Thursday morning. I've heard that there are several of my family members that will be joining us. We will all have on our Lyme green shirts.

We had Chinese food the other night. My fortune said: "Someone is speaking well of you." I thought it was y'all. Lynette said it was her. Thanks.

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