Sunday, November 30, 2014

An Appointment in Plattsburgh

It has been a week now since my appointment with Dr McShane in Plattsburgh, NY.  The trip was exhausting for me, both physically and mentally - although physically I noticed quite a significant improvement from how I managed the journey six weeks prior!  When I get discouraged because of slow progress, it is helpful to remember a point in the past and notice the ways I have improved since then....  On the journey in September  2014 I spent almost the entire trip lying down on the back seat of the car, this trip I was able to sit/recline - although with increasing discomfort because of bloating and muscle cramping - even for the additional 6 hours it took us to get home because of a snowstorm! This is significant indicator of my increased strength.
The roads became slippery and traffic stopped to a crawl from about an hour past Toronto on-wards...We had been watching the weather carefully because of the massive snowstorms experienced in Buffalo during the days that we were travelling.  We were praying for a safe journey and so thankful for the blessing of arriving at home without incident.  
Ps 121:8 "The LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore."

I traveled with Jeanne from the Lyme Clinic in Hamilton and enjoyed spending time getting to know her better.  Jeanne 55, also suffers from Lyme disease and is two years into treatment, about 90% recovered....Without the support of family or a church community to help with physical and financial needs, Jeanne struggles with the effects of Lyme on her health and it has devastated her financially as well as strained relationships with those close to her.  During her appointment with McShane, she learned that she has to go back on treatment (she has been off of antibiotics for two months) as some of her symptoms are flaring up.  Due to the lack of financial support or recognition of this disease and treatment in Canada, this news caused some stress for Jeanne.  Jeanne is one of many in Ontario suffering because of the financial burden and physical debilitation that Lyme disease causes.  The strain and hardship of the lack of financial and physical support, alongside the symptoms of the disease itself create terribly difficult situations for those suffering with Lyme Disease in Ontario.  I am blessed beyond measure - to belong to such a godly, giving Christian community where my needs and the needs of my family are so abundantly taken care of! I am obviously in no position to help out in my current state but Lord willing, in the future I would like to find a way to pass on the love and charity that I have received, as well as the hope and comfort of the gospel to those who are affected by Lyme in our local area.....It is so hard to watch people suffer without the support they need.
Phil 4:19 "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus."

For the three days the journey took, I was about half an hour with the doctor and all I remembered was that she is happy with my progress.... I myself have noticed an increase in strength and stability and was able to give the doctor a good report.  Because I am beginning to improve so well, we will not be making any changes to my medication or supplement routines, with the exception of adding some digestive support and sleep aides.  Due to exhaustion, lyme brain and lack of co-ordinating my file on the part of the nurse, I left the appointment in a bit of a daze and unsatisfied, not knowing what just went on and with many unanswered questions that I had so carefully prepared.  I was not able to take in much at the time of the appointment but I have access to an online patient portal so I am able to have contact with the doctor that way if I have any concerns.  It is State law that I must have an appointment in person every six weeks because I have a picc line so at least we accomplished that.... 
 My stomach did not do well with hotel food - I am not able to digest food without the assistance of lots of digestive enzymes and despite taking enzymes like they were candy, I experienced increased inflammation and bloating.  Culprits? Salad (which is harder to digest), more nuts than usual as well as non-organic or gluten free vegetables, meats and seasonings.  A reminder to be very diligent with my diet!  Cheating in any way causes too much extra stress on my body.... Unavoidable on a journey such as this but it did take a number of days for my digestive system to re-stabilize after the trip.

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