So many people have continued to ask me why I went to New Hampshire for a week so soon before Houston and I actually moved there. In fact, a lot of people thought I’d already moved. It’s such a lengthy reason, that I usually reduce the story. So, for those of you who want the lengthy version, here it is!
I flew to New Hampshire before Houston and I moved because of some unreal circumstances that had surfaced with my sister-in-law, Merrilea. She has Chronic Lyme’s disease, which is a very REAL, life-threatening disease that can literally take over your mind and body.
Her side effects of this disease reveal themselves in the form of a migraine that can last between 5-8 days every month. While experiencing this migraine she can hardly keep food down and is pretty much unable to move. Unless you witness it, there’s really no way to describe the incredible toll it takes on her body.
Merrilea has had these migraines for the last 10-12 years. She has seen countless doctors who have never checked her for Lymes because a migraine is not a common symptom of this disease. Most doctors immediately thought that it was neurological issue. Through radically changing her diet and exercising consistently Merrilea was symptom free for the last 4 years, which is unheard of in the Lyme’s world!
Stress is able to trigger this disease that can lie dormant, and 6 months ago Merrilea and the family experienced a chimney fire that threatened their home and the lives of their three children. If that’s not a trigger, then I don’t know what is! Since this occurrence, Merrilea’s symptoms have come back with a vengeance.
There are many theories on how to treat this disease. It’s technically still so new in the medical world, because some doctors deny that Chronic Lyme’s Disease actually exists. This blows my minds since there are actual tests that can identify whether you have it and what kind of strands are infecting you.
Merrilea opted for a treatment center in Arizona that takes a more natural, while still medicinal, approach to treating this disease. It’s a ten week program where she had to go in five days a week for treatment that could last up to six hours. I sat with her through treatments, and I can honestly say I’d rather have Cancer than Lyme’s. Maybe that’s naive of me, and I’d be the first to admit it, but I’m trying to help you understand how extremely hard this disease is.
While Merrilea was in Arizona, my brother was taking the kids with him to work a few days a week. My mom watched them the rest of the week. Thankfully FaceTime exists because Merrilea was still able to talk with all of the kids almost every day. Most of them understood that Mommy was sick and that she was in Arizona to get better. I think probably one of the hardest parts about this experience for her was the separation from her family. I can’t imagine going that long without seeing the people you love the most, but Merrilea is one of the strongest people I know. She has so much courage and is so brave. I’m going to cry.
Luke, Merrilea’s husband, travels all around the state for his work and even has clientele in Arizona. Every six weeks he travels out west for a week to work with his existing clientele and then flies home. Because one of these weeks overlapped Merrilea’s stay they asked me to fly back and watch the kids.
I gladly volunteered. I really wanted to help in anyway I could, and so I was thankful for the opportunity.
For those of you asking, this is why I was in New Hampshire for the week. Kind of heavy, but God is good. To anyone reading this, please pray for Merrilea and all who are infected with this disease. Also, continue to raise awareness! This disease is still so misunderstood, and it’s time for it to be taken seriously and to develop a cure.
Thankfully, due to Envita Medical Center, Merrilea is doing much better and has only experienced one migraine that lasted half a day since her treatment, and was able to keep it at bay with ibuprofen. This is incredible and such a testimony to God’s power and the exceptional health center she was able to be treated by.