Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Rise Up by Andra Day (Live Acoustic Version)




We help one another RISE UP each time we take the time to listen when one of us is having a really hard day. Each time we say I care about how you're feeling. Each time we pray for one another. Each time we speak words of hope and encouragement. Each time we allow someone's tears to fall and we cry with them. Each time we support one another through the setbacks, challenges, or struggles. Each time we rejoice and celebrate milestones and victories together. Each and every time. 

Sometimes, we rise up in grand ways. 
Other times, we rise up in small ways. 
Either way, it matters. 

You matter.

This song is for you, my friends. 
Be lifted up and know you are loved and cared about. 

As Always,
Michelle

Friday, May 1, 2015

Hold Onto Hope For Lyme Disease Awareness Month


MAY IS LYME DISEASE AWARENESS MONTH

My theme this year, as always, is HOPE. More specifically HOLD ONTO HOPE
That's what I do. It sums up my heart.

AND KENTUCKY, IT'S LYME AND TICK-BORNE DISEASES AWARENESS MONTH IN OUR STATE. Governor Beshear signed the proclamation last month. 

So everyone please be aware of and check for TICKS whenever you, your kids and grandkids, or pets have been outside. Also, educate yourself about ticks and tick-borne diseases. As many of you know, I have Lyme Disease and it's absolutely no joke whatsoever. It can be very serious, debilitating, and life-changing. I was misdiagnosed with MS for many years (as well as a few other things), which only complicated everything. Unfortunately, this is all too common. 

Many doctors are unaware of how LYME DISEASE presents (its not always textbook), that the Lyme bacteria is polymorphic or can change forms (three to be exact), and that the infection can become chronic or long term. It is often misdiagnosed or dismissed altogether. The one longer goes without proper treatment, the more the bacteria entrenches itself in tissues and can disseminate throughout the body. Lyme-literate physicians have a better understanding of this. 

It's nicknamed "The Great Imitator" because it can mimic so many other diseases and illnesses. Standard tests are NOT highly accurate and only check for 1 strain of the bacteria (Borrelia) out of a possible 100 strains that can cause Lyme or Borreliosis. Testing from Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases specialty labs are more accurate and thorough. Having said that, Lyme is ultimately a clinical diagnosis. Labs are a diagnostic tool. 

ALSO not everyone gets a Bulls-eye rash. Many get a different type of rash altogether. Symptoms vary from person to person. Generally, if you ever feel like you've got the flu and cannot get over it, especially in late spring and summer months, or if you have persistent fatigue, recurring fevers, neurological, cardiac, and/or joint and muscle issues, it could all possibly be rooted in Lyme Disease or another tick-borne illness. 

In addition to Lyme (Borrelia), ticks also carry other pathogens like Babesia, Bartonella, Ehrlichia, Anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Typhus, Powassan Virus, etc. Lyme is actually more of a disease complex that often includes multiple infections. Whatever the tick is carrying, is what gets transmitted if you are bitten. Not all ticks are infected but some are. Know that while ticks are the primary mode for transmission, other insects can carry these bacteria and viruses too, i.e. mosquitoes, flies, spiders, mites, fleas. 

It is a fallacy that a tick must be attached 24-36 hours to a person before any transmission can take place. NOT TRUE. Any pathogens a tick might be carrying can be transmitted as soon as a person is bitten. Ticks have an anesthetic in their saliva that actually numbs the surface of the skin so you don't feel the bite. That is why many people never know they've been bitten.

It is also a fallacy that Lyme Disease is only found in north eastern states. Lyme has been found in all 50 US states, as well as Canada and throughout North America, South America, Australia, Asia, and Europe.  

If you are interested in knowing more about Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, please go to ILADS.org (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society) and LymeDisease.org. Or check out my Resources and What Is Lyme Disease? sections for more detailed information. 

For more information on the science behind Lyme Disease, please read my blog post Recent Lyme Disease Research Breakthroughs (which I'm now working on Part 2). 

Please also consider reading a series of posts below about The Complexities of Lyme Disease by Thomas Grier, MS. 


don't advocate living in fear. My intention is to spread awareness, support and encourage fellow Lyme and tick-borne diseases warriors, and help educate others along the way.

This is a long, hard journey, but I believe there is always HOPE. For all of us.

And that is what I aspire to and advocate.

~ Michelle

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Kentucky Governor Officially Declares May as Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Awareness Month

Governor Steven Beshear recently signed a proclamation declaring May 2015 as Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Awareness Month in Kentucky. It is the first time in our states history that May, which is nationally known as Lyme Disease Awareness Month, has been so designated. And it's been a long time in coming. It is a step forward for Lyme and tick-borne diseases awareness, and certainly for those of us living here in the great state of Kentucky. Several other states also have similar proclamations but I hope even more will follow suit.

All tick-borne diseases, including Lyme, Babesia, Ehrlichia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Bartonella, Powassan Virus, etc, can cause very serious illness with some being potentially life-threatening. This is why proper awareness and education is so needed.

As a Lyme Disease patient, and on behalf of my fellow Kentuckians, I want to thank Governor Beshear, and Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes, for this proclamation, as well as those who worked so hard to advocate for it. In the bigger picture I know there's still much work to be done, but this helps to establish a more solid foundation. I am seeing more good change happening overall. And I'm happy to see some of it taking place in my home state.

With hope,

~ Michelle

Monday, February 9, 2015

Sisters and Brothers by The Vespers

I like to share music occasionally here on My Lyme Symphony. I'm a music lover from way back when and believe it's good for the soul and the body. There's nothing quite like a good song that can express our hearts, move and inspire us, or lift our spirits. Music is certainly a language we all understand.

I've been listening to Americana singer-songwriter band, The Vespers for a couple years now and have been a big fan from the start. I find their newest song, "Sisters and Brothers," to be particularly meaningful.

So my Lyme sisters and brothers, this is for you. Hope you enjoy this live session.

"Look out for your sisters, don't forget your brothers. Gotta take care of each other."

Love,
Michelle

P.S. I think I'll post more music this year :)