Sunday, November 11, 2012


Finley is learning fractions. Well, to be fair, she is sitting, listening patiently as Robyn explains fractions to her over and over again. They are playing school. At the end of every lecture Robyn asks, "Do you understand what a fraction is now?" It is so cute to listen to both sides of the convo.

I wonder if that is how God feels with me. I sit and listen (sometimes) as He explains how much He loves me over and over again. At the end, He asks, "Do you understand how much I love you now?" and like Finley, I  look at Him with my blank 4 1/2 year old face as if He is speaking a foreign language.

When will I get it? Why haven't I gotten it by now?

Friday, July 13, 2012


Months. it's been months. and I have absolutely no excuse other than that I have had no blogs a’brewin’. And I still don’t, but I figure that you would like to hear from me. Maybe I figured wrong, but here are some bits and pieces from the past few months.

Robyn was baptized. It was amazing. At the beach, and my dad and my sister got to come up for the event. I was actually able to walk out into the water with her and Charles and I held her hands as he dipped her down under the water. I, of course, was crying like a baby. It was beautiful. Dad was only able to stay for one night, but he had enough time to fix the brakes on our car, so it is now drivable again. He never gets to come and just relax, there is always something to fix, but I think he likes it that way.

My sister got to stay for a week and help me out. Wow, I can’t tell you what a huge help she was. It made such a difference having her here. And at night, after the kids went to bed, we got to hang out. We talked lots of wedding details (she just got engaged) and we taught her one of our favorite games, Settlers of Catan. It was so fun. I helped raise her, and now here she is, an adult that is about to get married, hanging out with me. Weird.

For the Fourth of July, we just had a lazy day. That night we went to our favorite place for fireworks, 2nd ave pier. Our good friends MJ and Jackie met us there, with their kids JJ and, Robyn’s best friend, Rosemary. We had such a great time, eating watermelon, doing sparklers and watching the huge fireworks. They set them off the end of their pier and you can just lay back on the beach and let the explosion of color fill your entire vision. Last year Finley screamed and cried, this year we brought headphones and she was fine. A little ingenuity and she loved it.

We just got back from another trip to DC. We decided to go a little early and take the kids and stay with our friends from college, Klon and Tracy Kitchen. They have kids the same ages as ours, plus two more, and we have such a good, albeit chaotic, time with them. On Tuesday the 10 of us headed to the National Zoo. Tracy and I spent most of our time counting 6 little heads, making sure we didn’t lose anyone. We saw an elephant, Finn’s favorite; prairie dogs, Robyn’s and Charles’ fav; and my fav: the best, by leaps and bounds, gluten free pizza I have ever had. I will go back, for the pizza alone. We loved the giant panda, petting the horses, the huge snapping turtle who looked as if he could snap your leg off, and the Kitchen children’s favorite, the naked mole-rat. It was such a great day.

The next day we visited Dr. Jemsek. It was a disappointing visit in that we thought our last infusion was to be my last, but he wants me to do one more. God has once again provided a way for us to get my meds at a much discounted rate so that I can even receive the treatment. There was lots of good news too. I am gradually getting better. I am more mobile, I can get around by myself. My balance is almost completely back, and I am doing daily physical therapy homework. I still don’t have much stamina, and my pain levels aren’t decreasing, which is a little worrisome because we have tried almost every pain med in the arsenal. I am trying another one this week, which I had tried before. It helped with the pain last time, but caused severe depression, so I was taken off of it. Dr. Jemsek is hoping that my brain chemistry has  changed to the degree that it will not cause the same side effect this time.

Charles and I leave for Sweden in about 2 and a half weeks. Charles will be performing the wedding ceremony of one of our dear, sweet friends, Kate. We consider her one of our daughters and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. This last round of IV antibiotics throws a little monkey wrench in it, but what are you gonna do? I’ve taken my IV pole to the movies, surely the airlines won’t mind, right?

Well, I guess I had more to say than I thought. Lyme disease continues to be part of my every day life, but I am learning to not let it rule my days. I have a disease, but that doesn’t define me, I am a lot of other things besides that and I will continue to lean on my Savior to hold my hand through the hard times and laugh with me during the good ones. I hold tight to one of Robyn’s memory verses, Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

blue skies smilin' at me

Don't pass out. Two posts in one week.......inconceivable! (A little nod to those fans of The Princess Bride)

I do actually have much to say. Since I last wrote that our insurance had quit covering anything Lyme, not much has changed on the surface. But underneath, much is afoot. Mom and Charles have been working nonstop trying to appeal the situation. Every step is arduous, time consuming and confusing. I am so thankful for all their hard work and determination. We have also found a pharmacy that worked with our insurance to get my lactatid ringers covered. Since this is an infusion I have to have everyday, it is a huge blessing.

The plan is 3 more rounds of IV therapy. My next round begins Monday, April 23rd and will last nine days. After that we will be going back up to DC to see Dr. Jemsek. From there we will determine how many weeks of "vacation" I get between each round.

Dr. Jemsek is looking for Blue Sky Days - terminology that I love. I actually had one this past Sunday and it felt amazing. The old Brooke was back in action. Still a little weak and achy, but wow, what a difference. It was really, really fun. Since then, it has been more gray and cloudy, but we are looking for that sun to peak around the corner again soon. The goal is several of these days in a row, then weeks, months, and so on. Ahhhhh! Just saying that brings me hope!

As a last note, check out this speech, Dr. Joe Jemsek "Speaks the Truth." It is pretty thought provoking.

Monday, April 16, 2012

dr. phil

okay - why do i always find myself beginning my posts with an apology? I don't know if you expect as much from me as I do....but I feel this overwhelming responsibility to you, my wonderful readers, to provide you with interesting and educational material to spend your valuable time reading.

On that note, if you didn't catch it the first time around, last Friday, the entire last half of the Dr. Phil show was devoted to Lyme Disease! Amazing!!!

So take a second and check out the recap......

Dr. Phil - Lyme Disease

Thursday, March 22, 2012

prayers and hand sanitizer

I got that dreaded call from the school today. Robyn had thrown up and was at the nurse’s office. We got her home and, I swear, I am trying my very best to balance caring for her with frantically washing my hands every 2 minutes so as not to catch this bug. I keep imagining my stomach hurts, and there is a very good chance that I will imagine my way right into throwing up. Charles always says it’s half mental. And, of course, he refuses to believe it is a bug. He keeps saying she ate something that made her throw up. All the while, I’m about to puke up my banana with peanut butter because of this stomach bug ripping through our family. Oh yeah, the cat threw up this morning too. Proof.

Second dreaded call of the day. Apparently today’s the day for dreaded calls. This call makes me even more nauseous than the last. It very well takes up the other half of my brain and now I am fully convinced I am going to throw up. Either from the bug or the call, its going to happen. No hand sanitizer will help.

I’m sure you’re wondering what the call was. Ugh. Even writing about it makes me sick. No more insurance coverage for Lyme Disease. Ahhhhhh. Breathe in, Haaaaa. Breathe out. I am so scared. Here is my big opportunity to trust God to take care of us and I am petrified.

The miracle is that they covered me this long. It has been a year. The financial person at Jemsek’s office just cannot even believe that we have been covered at all. She said that it is extremely rare that anyone with our same insurance gets covered. It is truly only by the hand of God that they approved the first eight months, then reviewed it and said yes, and reviewed it again with the same answer. This review, however, God had a different plan. I have yet to understand what that is, but I know He has one. Maybe He is just teaching me to trust Him more.

I am trying to concentrate on all the amazing parts of this year. God has provided money through friends and family, many of you, for all the parts we had to pay for. He has taken care of us in every way from a home health care nurse to home deliveries of all our medications. We have been so very, very blessed.

We are still very blessed, but this means life will change a little. No more nurse. No more deliveries. Our last round of antibiotics would have cost us roughly $4000, so that’s a little scary to think about as we have another round coming up, but I believe God is going to provide. I know in my heart He is. I think even my head knows it. But my stomach? My head is having a really hard time telling my stomach just to settle down and wait on God.

Somewhere between the insurance and the stomach bug.......there’s sure to be some puking around here......even if only the cat. Especially since “Charles It’s All Mental” has now joined the sick brigade. Proof.

For my part, I am going to be talking to God and keeping that hand sanitizer close at hand.

Friday, March 16, 2012

pain today, gone tomorrow

I’m on a new med. I know, right? Well this med makes me ancy, shaky, you name it, I’ve got the side effect. Naturally, in turn, I am itching to do more. More walking, more laundry, more get the idea, just more. Actually fun for me, and Charles is very appreciative for some help, until the next day when I’m in so much pain I can barely get out of bed. A little exaggeration, but a lot of pain none the less.

So it becomes a vicious cycle. This med is supposed to help with the pain, which it does, but it makes me ancy, which makes me do more, which gives me more...together people...PAIN. So they up the dose and here we go again - ring around the rosy.

What to do - this is the story of every new med, and the list keeps growing.....