I have "known of" Jeff most of my life, but Jeff & I really met while I was working at a local bank. In the small town I live in, everybody knows everybody (and knows everybody's business). He owned the local auto body shop and the bank I worked at was just a block away. He was (is) easily the most charming and best looking man in town. We actually had "Jeff F. day" at the bank (the days we knew he would be in). The utility offices, cable office, etc actually had the same "day". He could, and still can, make even the little old ladies weak in the knees. He still calls and any female over the age of 50 "girl" to make them feel young. I always had this feeling about him, that we would be together one day, years before we were. Jeff was divorced with children (which usually would have been something I wouldn't go for at that point in my life) , but when you know, you know, right?
Well, several years ago, we started seeing each other. Jeff was in perfect physical condition, but was becoming sick. His legs were becoming weaker and weaker. He went to many doctors, all who said something different. The most awful office visit was the doctor who told him he was 75% sure he had ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) and only had 3-5 years to live (this was in 2005). Devastating was not the word for it. For a couple of years, this is what he believed was wrong with him. He even took his savings and we went to Mexico for him to receive a stem cell procedure. The thing about his disease, was that it was nothing like ALS. There were just TOO many differences in the progression and symptoms. I am such a researcher, so I began looking into it, going through old medical records, etc. I discovered a doctors visit in 2001 when Jeff had a rash from a tick bite. He used to be really into turkey and deer hunting and could recall pulling many ticks off of him over the years. It hit me right away. I began researching Lyme Disease and got him an appointment to get tested. After 3 years of being misdiagnosed and probably 8 years of being sick, we discovered that Jeff had Lyme disease and this, along with all of it's co-infections, were causing his sickness. This was a miracle in itself! We had no idea that the battle was just beginning.
Lyme disease is a VERY complicated disease. It is known for mimicking many diseases and so many people who have it have no idea. It can be carried for years and then surface itself when a carrier goes stress. Jeff went through a bad divorce and then lost his mother (eg.. stress). This awful disease has many co-infections and it is very difficult to find a Lyme-literate doctor. For now, I will not go into the long journey it has been to find a good doctor. Last year, he saw amazing results with antibiotic and holistic treatment. Then came a major setback and it is almost like we are starting all over with his treatment. The co-infections are on a cycle and reproduce monthly, so without treatment, the disease only gets worse. It has taken life as he knew it away from him. He can not walk (and hasn't been able to for a few years) and on some days can barely move his arms of legs either one. Like I said, last time he was on treatment, the results were amazing. He was able to stand again and got most of the mobility back in his arms in just a short period of time! We are praying for those same miracles once again. This is such a dangerous disease, especially at this point, and the medicine makes him very sick.
Yesterday, we had to travel out-of-state to a doctor. Hopefully by next week, J will be back on his treatment completely. This is where I need your help. This doctor has put him on a very strict diet and a very specific medicine and vitamin regimen.
This new diet is as follows:
NO grains of any kind (wheat, barley, oats, rye, rice, all sprouted grains, not even gluten-free flour)
NO Fructose/high fructose corn syrup
10-30% Nuts (the main problem with nut flours is that Jeff's son Trevor is highly allergic to any nuts, so we have to be very careful with having it around)
There are many Gluten-free foods I have found that can be eaten, but many of these foods/recipes contain HFCS, dairy, are processed, or require the Gluten-free flour which isn't an option.
I also just discovered the Paleo diet. This is the closest I have been able to find to the new eating plan. The Paleo just contains more meat than the above diet. I have to figure out an entirely new way of cooking and in this little town, it isn't easy to find the organic foods that are needed. I also have to figure out how to keep Jeff from losing any weight on this diet. If you have any resources that may be helpful, I would really appreciate it. This has gotten to the point now of being a life/death situation, so we need all the help we can get.
Thank you all SO much for letting me open up to you. It really isn't easy for me at all, but this is a start. I am thinking about starting another blog just for talking about all of this,(because I really don't wanna bring you all down with my downer stories) even if I make it private. I hope you all are having a wonderful Friday!!! I haven't forgotten about the 500 follower giveaways I promised you guys! I have a few lined up, it has just been so hectic and I haven't gotten them posted. I also want to mention that this past week, HiH reached 200,000 page views! I think that is pretty fabulous for less than 11 months! Thanks y'all! Well, I will see you in the morning for the Weekend Soiree and Blog Hop! Can't wait to see what you guys have been working on!