A heart of thanks to my mom –

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DEAR MOM…what I want the world to know about you – 

My mother—first of all let’s just say that 5 years ago I started praying that my parents would move down to Atlanta area as we knew we wanted to have children sooner than later and they moved down here in September and I got pregnant in October!  Yet again as we all do sometimes forget how God truly does listen to our every hearts desire and in some way possibly not the way we had hoped or planned He works it out in His perfect control.  This time it was quicker and crazier than we have ever imagined – I’ve always been close to my mom even though we are very different we got along.  Spontaneous and adventurous are 2 words that are common in my vocabulary but not for my mom.  She is one who wouldn’t mind living groundhog day over and over not because she is boring but because she likes structure and the comfort of routine.  Well after living in small town Upland Indiana for almost 20 years with no thoughts of moving or retiring God moved them down through a new job for my dad to Atlanta – 3 months later their address changed from Upland, IN to Hoschton GA.  It happened so fast that Billy and I had to pick out their house (and my best friend Heather as she was visiting).  They moved down here never seeing the house they would soon call home.  Yet trusted God!  

I was STOKED and SHOCKED all in one!  I was in awe of how God answered my prayer in a completely different way that i had expected – 100% faster and better!  In all our eyes it was 10 years down the road when retirement would come and then just maybe they would start looking at places around Georgia.  

God only knew how deeply we would need them 4 years down the road.  

My mother is the most selfless person I know. Period.  She gives everything she has emotionally, spirtually, physically, and mentally.  Her time is only to give to others and she doesn’t just give it but she gives 110%!  She does everything with joy, gratitude and a huge smile on her face whether it is to take care of the girls, go to the grocery for us, or take me to get my treatments.  And this is just my story, she gives to many many others in so many ways I don’t think she ever sleeps at night to do all she does and gives all she gives.  

She supports us, has called many doctors on my behalf to search for answers, she wakes up in the middle of the night trying to remember every doctor appointment I have had to help figure all of this out.  She searches for all sorts of home remedies that could help me, she prays fervently for me/us and yet doesn’t worry because she has trust and faith that God has me tightly wrapped in His mighty hands.  I will forever be grateful that she has passed this on to me – to worry little and trust BIG!  After all, isn’t that faith!  And faith can move mountains even as it is healing a body or speaking to a world who needs to hear from Him.  She encourages me when I need it, she hugs me when I need it, she gives me space, she listens to me, she knows everything that needs to be done around the house even without me asking her, she laughs with me and cries with me, she teaches me even when she isn’t trying, she lives her life for the Lord and loves just like a daughter needs.  She is my only mother in this whole world and how I dream to be half the mom she was and is to me.  

So thank you mom for all of this – for never giving up, for always being there and for being one of my closest friends yet still being my mom!  So much of this goes to my dad as well but they are “one” so Pupsters this is to you too!! Thanks for giving up so much time with your wife to help me and my family during this valley.  We love you guys!  

 

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Being Back…

Well as we are back into the swing of things I told Billy I think we need to move to Cozumel or somewhere warm and on the beach!  I have had a pretty good week…besides the factor of I am fighting myself on 

1. wanting one of those scooters that my grandma has except getting it in hot pink and putting zebra duck tape over some of it with flowers and sparkles…call it my jazzy to get around easier on the days that I am so slow and have trouble walking 

2. denying the fact that i do or really could need one in the future (or now, on my bad days) still hopeful that it all might disappear or go away -that i might be able to not limp or walk as slow as molasses someday soon  (in all honestly, i hope no one feels bad right now and can all join me in my laughter)  

It kind of has become a joke around here with Billy and me…

Ann: I can’t make dinner again because I have lyme disease remember

Billy: Oh thats right, I forgot you have Borrelia burgdorferi all throughout your body 

Ann: Yeah, (laughing) I think I need a jazzy scooter so I can really continue doing my 1000 things a minute here, this slow paced creeping just isn’t working for me!  

Hey, some days I cry and cry, other days I hurt so bad I can’t cry and some days I just giggle and giggle!  That’s what we call walking through LIFE!  And it is all about PERSPECTIVE!! That is a HUGE word in my daily vocabulary!  

This week has been filled with body aches, hip and ankle pains, arthritis so bad in my hands and fingers, and teeth/jaw aches!  But to say the least we have had such a wonderful few days being back with our girls, Billy being home for 3 straight days and just enjoying our time together as a family!  

Here are some pictures from our trip to Cozumel!  

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Our Trip

Well we returned home from celebrating our 5 year anniversary and all I can say is we were BLESSED…blessed beyond what we even expected not because the resort blew our socks off or the food was the yummiest we have ever had but BLESSED because…

1. My health was an 8 out of 10 overall 

2. We reconnected, grew, shared, learned about ourselves and each other due to the effects having this disease, cried and laughed for so many various reasons, and heard God’s voice on so many levels 

3.  Checked a few things off our bucket list…for me it was to snorkel and explore Gods divine creation underwater – we saw a baby sea turtle, yes a shark, coral, tons of fish including a huge grouper and a big baracuda in this crystal clear world we know so little about and for us we got a couple’s massage on the beach (Billy’s first massage ever) and it was amazing.  

4. Each read 2 incredible books – mine was BLOOM by Kelle Hampton (so good) and Choosing to See by Marybeth Chapman (amazing)…I sobbed during both of them and they spoke volumes into my life, our world and where God has us in just this very moment.  (Thanks to my friend Brit for giving me BLOOM even before she was finished reading it because she knew we could relate in a very odd way)

In the beauty and quiet of just being together our conversations were some that were from a movie.  God truly blessed us each day, in every step and breath we took.  He even lead us to a couple people to share who God is and His love.  It was so neat to really be able to see God work through and speak through us and we have added them to our prayer list…”Heidi and ‘Jesus.  

Through this week I got to write, think, write, grieve, get excited about where I feel God taking me on this journey, dream, cry, and write some more. I wrote down a list of things I wanted to, needed to, finally accept and deal with during these last two years as we have been battling this disease and so I started writing small chapters of my “book.”  

health – guilt – pain – fear – my daughters – learned – desires -girls reactions – billy – support team – my mom- God 

So here’s to the start of opening my heart during this journey, me not faking/masking the pain, that everything is and has been okay, and what I have learned and who I want to be because of this!  Writing I have found is the most theraputic medicine for me and so I hope you enjoy my heart, my realness, my journey as it comes post by post and piece by piece.  

With love and gratitude, Ann 

 

a break…

Thank you all for your constant love,cards, support and prayers from so many of you. This week was overall pretty good. I had some strange tingling and numbing on my left side and my left arm felt as if I had a blood pressure cuff tightening on it. I have also had more muscle pain in my legs this week. Normally it is joint pain, arthritis, etc. But it started moving into my muscles. Anyways, I would take numbness and tingling anyday over pain…so I’m thankful.

In march we celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary and we had planned in October to go to playa del carmen…well we had to cancel the day before due to a hurricane…but God knew when we would really need this time away, time together and a little escape from this whole lyme research…so we are sitting at the airport ready to board on our way to Cozumel. We are so excited despite my pain…it was a busy day and not.much sleep last night which tends to.mean a bad day for me today. However it will be nice to be with Billy, be on the beach and just celebrating our love.

I probably won’t blog again till we return as we are trying to get away from it all for a bit.

Anxious to see how the beach and heat help my body…we might need to.move. haha

Loves.

Ann’s Lyme Disease

We finally got a diagnosis…Thank you God!  You know when you have been searching for an answer or saving for something and it isn’t really what you had in mind?  We have these exact feelings – we rejoice, we cry, we ask why, we research, we wonder, we fear the unknown, and we feel blessed all at once.  This blog will be to help educate, keep you posted on my health and our hopes and plans for what God wants us to do with this.

Thanks for your support,

Billy and Ann Clark

My Daily Health Blog

3/28/12

Diagnosed March 28th at Progressive Medical Center with Dr. Burdette

We have been a little disturbed with all the research we have found with Lyme Disease…very political and controversial.  We keep digging deeper and deeper with all the information, treatments, etc.  It is all very complicated and so individualized it is hard to really grasp everything.  The treatment we have decided to try first is called MAH Oxidative Therapy.  We are doing 5 IV treatments along with the RIFE machine, matrix and ozone sauna.

3/29, 3/30

There has been a lot of different emotions we have been facing –

  1. So thankful that we finally received a diagnosis
  2. Feeling like we are going to have a battle with this disease
  3. Fear of the unknown and how my body will take on this disease, the treatments and deciding how to treat it, fear of what I will not be able to do on some days
  4. Praising the Lord again it is not a disease/illness that will take my life very shortly

 

We watched UNDER OUR SKIN Documentary Friday pm and had an emotional train wreck right after it was over.  I wept and sobbed, then wanted to punch everything in sight, then wanted to go run 10 miles, then wept some more and fell on my knees in prayer…laying everything at the Lords feet.

4/2

1st MAH Treatment along with Matrix and RIFE machine

Going into the IV room really hit me that wow this is real, here I sit with all other sort of people with cancer or another disease.  I had a very PEACEFUL feel yet disturbed feeling that this was really happening to me.  They took my blood and the 3 nurses and Billy all noticed at different times how dark my blood was (like red wine) which means not a lot of oxygen.  So that made me say, “Hey good thing I am doing this then since they put ozone into my blood and then put it back into my body.  I felt nauseas before and after it was over and had no energy afterwards.  I then went straight to Dr. Mike and he gave me 2 Matrix treatments and then put me on the RIFE machine doing all 3 lyme programs.  It was A LOT but felt very good and at peace.

4/3 Had no pain this am and once I got going lots of energy.  Went to Town Center with girls and played in the fountains.  Came home and still felt great.  Ate lunch (sheeps cheese, gf chips, apple with lemonade)

Got very very tired and almost fell asleep on the sofa but my sweet Elliana woke me up

2-3:00pm  Had some knee, neck, arm and finger pain

Felt good the rest of the day

4/4 Got up and ate egg/daiya wrap.  Started having pain first thing but went to Target anyway with girls and mom to get Easter basket stuff.  Was moving very slow at Target.  On the way home I just didn’t feel right and I pulled over and had mom drive us home.  Felt very tingling, out of it, tired, just weird.  My head, ears, legs all hurt. Mom left about 1:30 and I started to feel better around 3ish

4/5 Duggers came over for a playdate and we had a ball.  Had no pain most of the day, got some hip pain at 1:30 and then after everyone had left, Emersyn was sleeping my body started hurting all over.  The pain went from muscle aches in my legs, hip pains, intense finger and hand pain, tingles in my arms and legs, teeth ache, chest pain, joint pain in my elbows, shoulders and ankles.  It continued getting worse from around 5 to 8ish.  The pain was enough to make me cry, which I did a little but didn’t want the girls to see me…didn’t work, Elliana came over and asked me why I was crying.  She is so sweet but I know she doesn’t understand all that is going on and so I am really praying about how to tell her what mommy has wrong with her at her level.  This is not for the birds, man oh man pain all over your body is not fun.  It is hard for me to walk today.

4/6 Got up and in a lot of pain, didn’t think I should drive so all 4 of us went to my treatment…I did the RIFE machine and then the sauna for about 20 minutes.  Came home and had NO ENERGY.  I took a 2 hour nap.  Felt a little better after I woke up and cleaned a little, got ready and we all went to church.  I sat in pain a lot of the service but it was very uplifting and felt better as the night went on.  Had more energy and not much pain.

 

4/7 Got up and felt very stiff and tired.  Pain didn’t seem to come.  Went to River Club Easter Egg Hunt with Tammy and Joy and the kids had a blast.  They had pony rides, animals to pet, Easter Bunny, egg hunt, games, snacks…kids had a blast and I felt really good.  Ankle and legs hurt around 11:00 but was able to keep going.  Had a salad there and came home.  Was tired but probably the best day pain wise for the past 4 days.

 

4/8 HAPPY EASTER!! Woke up and God is so GOOD and so FAITHFUL!  I felt great the whole day!  Went to my parents to celebrate and truly enjoyed the entire day. Was careful with what I ate all day, I had energy and truly felt good.

4/9 Had my 2nd set of IV Oxidative Therapy and got to do the sauna for about 20 minutes before.  Had my mom drive me as I usually don’t feel good enough to drive just because it is a lot physically, mentally and emotionally…just wipes me out.  Am doing better with each one it seems and my body is hopefully responding to this treatment.

4/10 -4/12 Got a bit behind on my blog but that usually is a good thing.  Means I am able to get out and do somethings and not be in a lot of pain…PRAISE THE LORD!

4/13  4/14Had a good day, then had a Matilda Jane party that evening and started hurting bad around 8ish.  Had a hard time walking and did not sleep hardly at all.  Stayed at Clarks all weekend since Jason & Amanda and Amy were all in town.  Woke up very stiff, tight muscles and moving very slow.  It didn’t get better but worse today.  I had alot of distractions with all four girls being together and all the adults hanging out but still in much pain.  Mainly my legs- nerves, muscles, bones, just everything hurt.  Amanda was very sweet and massaged my legs which helped the muscle aches.  I feel so blessed to have some really supportive and loving people walking through this with me.  I know not everyone understands and doesn’t know a lot about Lyme Disease (we didnt either and are still learning) but I now have experienced what true friends are -sticking by you through good and bad, helping you even when you don’t want help, and knowing there are some special people in your life that can just look at you and sense your pain or know exactly what you need.  Thank you for that dear loved ones – you know who you are!  I experienced a lot this weekend as this becomes more debilitating it also becomes more obvious to the eye – meaning people who aren’t around me everyday don’t see all that Lyme is doing in my body.  This is hard for me because I don’t want extra attention, I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, I don’t want people to think I am faking it and when you can’t walk right due to the pain you can’t really “hide” it.  But then the pain may ease and move somewhere else in my body and then I can walk.  Yet through it all I never fail to learn something God is trying to teach me each day.

4/15 I woke up feeling bad arthritis in my hands and feet and very stiff.  Billy let me sleep in to try to help my body rest and fight…it felt great to sleep till 9:30.  I felt better than I did yesterday and I think my face showed it as Billy’s mom said I can see in your eyes you are feeling a little better.  We were able to watch the episode that Dr. Phil had on Friday about Lyme Disease.  I think it gave everyone an idea of what this disease is and can do, which was eye opening.  We had small group and it was such a blessing.  I woke up feeling that I didn’t want to take time away from everyone else or our study but Brit (gosh I love her) kept pushing me saying this is part of life and part of having a small group to support and love each other through what they are dealing with.  So I texted Mark and he said take the whole time.  Billy and I were able to show some of “Under our Skin” and talk a little bit about Lyme and where we are and what we have decided as far as treatment for now.  It was a time of initial shock, understanding what Lyme is, grieving, praying and loving.  We feel so honored and so blessed to have such an incredible support system walking this battle with us.  We love you guys so very much!

4/18 Went this morning for my 3rd MAH IV Treatment and it was crowded this morning.  I usually go on Mondays but couldn’t this week.  I sat there watching everyone, feeling just YUCK!  I did my best to not break down and held back my tears as I had so many emotions running through me – feeling so thankful for doctors who want to help me and who are working with me, feeling so sad about how many sick people there are in this world and lastly just grateful to God that this is not our “home”  My IV went well and I am feeling very good so far.

Thanks for all your prayers and your care!

I hope to add a post each day but sometimes it just doesn’t happen!  Sorry this isnt a very fun blog with lots of cute pictures, I will add some at times!

 

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