What are the Odds?! Lyme in the Family!

Sweden Lyme Lives Here Sign

Banner source:  whatislyme.com/swedens-only-lyme-doctor-under-investigation/

My twin sister flew in to visit from Sweden a couple of weeks ago.  I remember her talking about finding a tick on her daughter’s chest and one between her own fingers in the last several weeks.  She is very aware of Lyme Disease and was concerned due to my daughter’s struggle with the illness.  She has been reassured by friends and family who have grown up and lived in her area of southern Sweden for many years that Lyme Disease is not common in the specific area where she lives.  Unfortunately, times are changing and this epidemic is spreading.  This study from 1995 states:  “Lyme disease is very common in southern Sweden, with a relatively high frequency of neurologic complications and arthritis. With the exception of the low incidence of carditis, the pattern of disease we found in Sweden was similar to that reported in the United States.”  This article was written over 20 years ago so you can imagine that it has spread even further in the last two decades. And don’t forget, in 2013, the CDC actually admitted to under reporting Lyme Disease by tenfold.  In other words, they were reporting 30,000 cases per year when the real numbers were 300,000! Most people in the Lyme community agree that that is still likely a huge under-estimation.

On with my story:  I was in the jacuzzi with my sister and she showed me a bite she had gotten on her leg from walking around her town about 4 weeks ago.  She did not notice a tick but she definitely saw the bite later on.  She had been wearing loose jeans and flip-flops frequently so a tick could have easily crawled up and made itself at home for a while without being noticed. The bite started as a bump then had some central clearing then spread out into what I immediately saw as a bullseye pattern.  “I’m pretty sure that’s a bullseye rash,” I told her, “and you should definitely go see a doctor immediately.”  The bullseye rash, or erythema migrans, is clinical confirmation of Lyme Disease.

Sources from Wikipedia (link above) state, “Erythema migrans is the only manifestation of Lyme disease in the United States that is sufficiently distinctive to allow clinical diagnosis in the absence of laboratory confirmation.”[3] It is a pathognomonic sign:[4] a physician-identified rash warrants an instant diagnosis of Lyme disease and immediate treatment without further testing, even by the strict criteria of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Such target lesions (bull’s-eye rashes) are characteristic of Borrelia infections, and no other pathogens are known that cause this form of rash. It is also true, though, that the rash in Lyme disease may also be solid rather than bullseye-shaped,[5] so self-diagnosis cannot rule out Lyme disease, and a doctor visit is advisable.”

With that said, my sister, having traveler’s medical insurance, went to an urgent care where a local Southern California doctor was not quite sure what she was looking at.  I expected this (as I already knew that most doctors in our area are not informed about Lyme Disease and its existence in our area let alone its existence in Europe!).  The doctor did offer to run a test and she offered 10 days of antibiotics.

So, my sister had to pay out-of-pocket for the Lyme test.  I told her to choose the cheapest test because it would not test for European strains of Borrelia so it might be a waste of  money as the information will not be entirely accurate. It was the typical two-tiered test with an immunoassay and then a western blot only if the immunoassay was positive.  Guess what?!  The immunoassay was positive!  That means the western blot was also run. Just like there is DNA specific to only humans, the western blot tests for DNA that is specific to only Borrelia.  My sister tested positive for band 23.   Bands 23-25 are outer surface protein C (OspC), specific for Borellia and can be an early band (meaning part of the early immune response to the borrelia bacteria).  

Here’s a description of the significance of band 23 (link below):

“A Western Blot may report bands at 22, 23, 25, 31, 34, 39, and 41 kDa. Each of these bands represents an antibody response to a specific protein on the spirochete. The 41 band indicates an antibody to the flagella 41 kDa protein and is nonspecific. The 31 kDa band represents the OSPA protein and is specific for just a few species of Borrelia, as is the 34 band OSPB, and 23 kDa OSPC.”  As well, band 23 is one of the “three most widely accepted and recognized Borrelia antigens. These antigens were the antigens chosen for human vaccine trials.”

Still, the doctor who saw her gave her the results but had no recommendations for more antibiotics or any further treatment!  I truly can’t understand why doctors have no problem prescribing longer-term antibiotics for acne but not for the obvious indications of a disease that can affect you for the rest of your life if not taken care of immediately and appropriately.  And they are actually the same antibiotics!!

My sister will follow up with doctors once she heads back to Sweden so I hope that she will not suffer any future issues!  But one of the most important things to take from this post is that both my daughter and my twin sister (from Southern CA and Southern Sweden) have contracted Lyme Disease within the past 3 years!! Sadly, neither one was offered appropriate treatment!

THE WORLD NEEDS TO WAKE UP!!

For more information on the different bands of the Western Blot and their significance CLICK HERE!

For more information on Lyme Disease in Scandinavian countries CLICK HERE! (Sorry- there were no English translations available at the time of writing this blog but I presume most people searching will speak one of the Scandinavian languages…).

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Real-Life Horror Stories: Lyme and Tickborne Disease

I have been thinking about all of the news stories I have seen more and more about people dying from tick-borne diseases.  While, most people become sick and, if not caught on time, chronically ill (which is awful in and of itself), we don’t normally think about tick-borne illnesses killing people.  But, let me tell you, they do.  People like Kenley Ratliff, Tamela Wilson, and Jeff Naticchia deserve for their stories to be heard.  And their stories should be seen as a foreboding look into the future of tickborne illness.  I know Lyme Disease/tickborne illness has been in the media a lot recently and maybe some people just think it’s the “illness du jour,” but it surely deserves its time in the spotlight and, in my humble opinion, I think we SHOULD be worried.  Read the book, “Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change,” to get an understanding of how climate change is contributing to this growing problem.  Whether you see this as a natural process or due to global warming, the climate is changing and, with that, there are ecological changes.  Humans are also encroaching more and more on the habitats of wildlife, which increases one’s likelihood of becoming a host. We are in the midst of something big and most of the medical community has not yet caught up.

I am speaking from experience.  I had no idea and I doubted that Lyme Disease could be the reason for my daughter’s symptoms.  After our long struggle, two hospitalizations, and two misdiagnoses, I finally opened my mind and researched the topic (which my friend had brought to my attention).  Once the doctors in my daughter’s case determined that she did not have an autoimmune disease (after she was misdiagnosed with Lupus and put on immunosupressants for 9 weeks), they did an ELISA test for Lyme disease.  An ELISA  test works by looking for antibodies related to the pathogen.  I did not need to be a doctor to understand why my daughter’s ELISA for Lyme came back negative after being on immunosuppressants for 9 weeks.  When they proceeded to diagnose her with Somatoform Disorder (a psycological condition), I knew that we were done for.  In my heart, I knew something was horribly wrong but, with a mental health diagnosis, no doctor was willing to look further into her symptoms–it was psychological in their eyes and any abnormal bloodwork results (e.g. chronically elevated eosinophils, chronically elevated ASO titers and chronically elevated ANAs) were conveniently explained away.

An empathetic doctor told me that Lyme did not present this way–he had had it as a child and had a build-up of fluid that had to be aspirated from his knee.  The thing is, that was three decades ago and things change.  There are multiple co-infections that are now associated with Lyme Disease and this complicates the picture.  My daughter tested positive for four of them (Babesia, Bartonella, Erlichia, and Mycoplasma)!

Another problem with the medical community in Southern California is that few are aware that Lyme Disease exists here.  But all they have to do is take a hike!  The Angeles National Forest and Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties have posted warnings that the ticks in this area may carry Lyme Disease and other infections.  But, when my daughter was having rashes, hives, and itching all over her body that would not quit, we were asked if we had traveled out of the state.   We were also asked if she had had an insect bite (but we never saw the tick and many go unseen because they are the size of a poppy seed and find covenient places to hide within the crevices of our body).  And, finally, we were asked if we had hiked “recently,” but her illness was at its worst in December and our last hiking was done in late July.  If the doctors and I had been educated about Lyme at the time, we would have put two and two together–my daughter

S rashes blurred

December, 2015 (age 9)

started complaining of her symptoms the first week of September and I know now that Lyme symptoms can begin weeks after exposure.  Also, lyme can lie dormant until something triggers it.  In my daughter’s case, she was already sick and complaining enough that I already had an appointment set with a rheumatologist.  But the strep infection and antibiotics/herx caused a giant, “perfect”storm of inflammation. You can read all about that in my previous posts.

My main point in today’s post is that we need to make ourselves aware, be advocates for ourselves and our loved ones, and pass this information along!  I can’t imagine where my daughter would be now had I not pursued the testing and the specialists on my own. And, unfortunately, for those who have passed on from some of the deadly tickborne infections, the doctors figured things out too late.  Here is a list of articles about these people.  May they rest in peace.

  1. HUSBAND DIES OF DISEASE CAUSED BY DEER TICK IN BUCKS COUNTY

  2. NEWS: Man dies from first recorded case of babesiosis in Australia 

  3. Official: Tick-borne Powassan virus killed 2 Cape men

  4. First Missouri death this year from tick-borne disease reported

  5. Tick-Borne Heartland Virus Claims Life Of First Oklahoman 

  6. N.J. confirms Warren County woman died from state’s first case of rare tick-borne disease

  7. Woman dies after contracting rare tick-borne virus

  8. Tick-borne disease suspected in 2-year-old’s death

These are just several stories.  Maybe some people will think “it’s only several people out of hundreds of millions,” but think about it being your child, mother, brother, or friend.  The above stories are out there because people had the passion, energy and ambition to educate others on behalf of their loved ones. I found these articles in just one online search. Think of all of those whose stories have not been told to the media.

And, finally, think of those who are chronically ill. In the hopes of not speaking too soon, I think we can say we are lucky (and fortunate to have an awesome specialist) to have come this far with my daughter.  Because she takes 17 pills and four herbal tinctures every day, she is maintaining her health and doing very well. Imagine your child in the shoes of my daughter.  It is a real-life nightmare when you are sick and in pain and people do not believe you–especially when it’s the doctors themselves, who are supposed to be there to figure out the roots of the problem and to help you heal!  And especially when you are just 9 years old!

kids 2018

6th Grade Promotion:

I’m so proud that she graduated with the Citizenship Award, The President’s Education Award and The State Assembly Reading Award!

 

Mimosa Pudica…say what??

I just had to write something about this plant because it’s the first time I have ever heard of it and when I researched it I was shocked by how it actually moves and intrigued by all of its medicinal uses. This video shows how it moves and the presenter explains all of its uses. Why do I know about this plant?  Because my daughter’s specialist recommended it for her!

mimosa pudica picture

In Latin, “pudica” means shy, bashful or shrinking.  This plant is also known as a “touch-me-not.”  I know nothing about Ayurvedic medicine but this sure draws my attention to it.  Why was this remedy recommended? My daughter got her test results back from IgeneX and her Babesiosis IgM results are STILL elevated and she is still having symptoms so we are kind of revamping some of her treatment plan.  Her MDL results for Borrelia (Lyme Disease) are also still IgM positive.  I have read in numerous places that if you have Babesia along with Borrelia, it can make symptoms worse and it can make it more difficult to heal (plus lengthen the illness).  When my daughter was first tested, she had active infections with Borrelia, Babesia, Bartonella, Erlichia, and Mycoplasma!  It’s promising that 3 out of 5 are no longer positive on the tests (although she still seems to periodically complain of symptoms associated with Bartonella, specifically pain in her legs and soles of her feet).

So this is also the first time I have ordered anything from a compounding pharmacy.  We ordered from Hopkinton Drug in Boston.  According to their brochure, “compounding allows your doctor to customize medications to meet your needs.”  Our shipment came today in a mini Styrofoam ice chest.  It was $74 for 180 capsules. I did not know that shipping would cost $26 but I can imagine why (just wish they would have mentioned that)! You are supposed to take 2-3 per day and take for 2 months but we will start with one.  My daughter’s specialist says she may herx on this.  I researched more about using Mimosa Pudica for Lyme and came across this website.  It states that the plant paralyzes parasites and flushes them out of your system.  My daughter has Babesia Duncani.  It is a parasite and this website really explains is well.  So, I guess I will keep you all posted on how it works.  Once we get her settled in on her new regimen I will list each item as well.  She’s taking 17 pills a day plus 3 herbal tinctures (20 drops each twice a day).  This is how we fight Lyme and Co!!

The following picture and information is from this ResearchGate website:

Babesia parasites in human erythrocytes. (a) B. divergens, (b) B. venatorum, (c) Babesia sp. MO1 from Kentucky, (d) B. microti, (e) B. duncani, (f) Babesia sp. KO1 from Korea. (1) Paired piriforms; (2) Tetrads; (3) Ring forms. The figure was reprinted with permission from Elsevier first published in Gray et al. (2010). The parasites shown in Fig. 2a, b, c, e, and f were assembled from original photographs, first published as follows: (a) Hunfeld et al., 2008; (b) Häselbarth et al., 2007; (c) Beattie et al., 2002; (e) Kjemtrup et al., 2002; (f) Kim et al., 2007.

Babesia Dunani photo

Lyme….Ugggghhhh!!!!

Lyme Aware photo

 

Grrrrr…..I guess it was just wishful thinking or HOPE!! But I kinda rejoiced too soon about going off the doxycycline.  My daughter’s recent test from MDL Labs came back IgM positive for Lyme Disease still.  These results indicate that she still has an active infection (versus IgG antibodies).  She had already started to complain about pain in her legs, stomachaches and headaches by the time I received the news from her specialist. Boooooo!!!!  She’s functioning well considering this but it’s so disheartening to know that she’s uncomfortable and she just has to live with it!  And it’s hard that nobody else can see that she doesn’t feel well so if she’s grumpy or whiny or less active it might look like it’s her personality or she’s avoidant or lazy when that’s definitely not the case.

We let her stay home from school today because she had a bad headache and her legs were bugging her. Plus she felt nauseous, a bit dizzy, and had a sore throat. So she got onto the computer and printed out some math pages because she still wanted to be productive.  She loves school, reading, and even likes studying.  She strives to learn and wants to be knowledgable.  And tomorrow I will encourage her to go to school.  I’m thinking it may just have to be this way for a while and she will just have to live with it and push on through her days.  She’s a resilient kid and I’m so proud of her strength and determination.

I have a phone appointment with her specialist on Wednesday so we’ll see what she has to say.  We put her back on the doxy today.  We are still waiting for the results from the Igenex testing (I think it was for co-infections).  So I will update when we get those results. Not sure where we will go from here….

Lyme Disease Awareness Month 2018

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month.   I want everyone to remember that this is not just an epidemic of the East Coast and Upper Midwest.  Borrelia and its multiple co-infections (e.g. Babesia, Bartonella, Erlichia, Mycoplasma) are alive and kicking all around the U.S. including our very own Southern California!  My daughter had active infections with all 5!!  If you are skeptical of this, check out this sign from the trailhead in Placerita Canyon in the County of Los Angeles!

lyme disease post placerita

Let my daughter serve as a reminder!  Please take 11 minutes out of your day to watch her video so you can be aware of the symptoms and the damage it can cause.  On behalf of our daughter, we thank you for watching and wish you all good health!!

http://www.kizoa.com/Movie-Video-Slideshow-Maker/d113437837kP496489927o2l1/sophie-lyme-disease

 Update:  Making Strides!

Time is just flying by!  My daughter is graduating from 6th grade in a little over a month, which means she will be starting junior high!  I’m so proud of her because she joined the local track team and she did awesome!  This is just such a huge stride because, when you’re in that dark and lonely hole of Lyme , Co-Infections and PANDAS, you feel like it’s never going to end and nobody truly understands unless they have been through it themselves–that’s part of the hardship of these illnesses (and can be comparable to the struggles of other autoimmune diseases).  Even though my daughter seems born to be a runner, she tells me that she hates it- ha!  So we had her finish up the season and we will find something else for her to try.  I’m just so happy she pushed through to the end.

Storm track

One of the big strides this past month is that we got to remove the Doxycycline from her daily regimen- woohoo!!  She has been on antibiotics for nearly two years (not to mention the Doxy made her sunburn so easily) so that was a welcome change!  She seems to be doing okay without it.  We ended up ordering the anti-parasitic Nizonide (generic for Alinia) on a website called All Day Chemist as recommended by her specialist.  I’m not gonna lie — it’s scary to order drugs online but it is completely legal and has to be prescribed before you can order.  I trust her specialist and she assured me it was safe.  We had to order it because our insurance will no longer cover the Alinia and it is $300 a month (and I believe that’s with a discount)!  When she stopped taking that drug her headaches and shooting pains returned.  Plus she still had a recent positive result for Babesia so it makes sense.

Her most recent labs still indicate high ANA’s (Anti-Nuclear Antibodies) at 1:160 with a speckled pattern, which are typically indicative of an autoimmune disease.  This (along with all of her symptoms) is what got her the misdiagnosis of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus back in 2015 (but the tests back then were extremely elevated at 1:1260 so at least it’s a lot lower now).   Her specialist believes it is just related to her multiple infections and inflammation.  PANDAS is an autoimmune disorder too so I often wonder if that could have something to do with it….but I’m not exactly sure if that’s how it works because I have not heard of too many other kids with PANDAS who have high ANA’s.  My daughter also  now is deficient in zinc so we have added that to her supplements (along with energizing iron for deficiency in ferritin, vitamin D, and Vitamins B-12 and a B-Complex supplement).

Here’s something new I learned this month:  if  you can’t find a lab to do a test kit (MDL and Igenex for example), you can actually have a phlebotomist come to your house and draw blood.  It cost an arm and a leg but you gotta do what you gotta do…So $145 later we are waiting for results to see if my daughter is lyme and co-infections free!

We continue to pay out-of-pocket for all of her specialist appointments,  (every 6 to 8 weeks at the least $375 a pop), much of her testing, plus all of her supplements, herbal tinctures, etc. We calculate that it’s between $500 to $600 a month to continue this way as we have for about a year and a half now.  I am very grateful that she is healing and I would give anything to have my daughter well but it’s just a truth that I think people should know.  Due to the “Lyme Wars,” mainstream medicine and insurance companies will not recognize and treat Lyme Disease effectively.  PANDAS, unfortunately, is in the same boat.

If you have read this far, thank you!  I appreciate your interest and hope that this information will do just what I hope:  INFORM!  If you have been bitten by a tick carefully remove the whole thing and place in a container.  You can have it tested for lyme and co-infections for free.  For more information about Lyme Disease and free tick testing go to www.lymedisease.org.  If you have been in a tick area in the past several weeks and have developed a flu-like illness followed by migratory joint pain, fatigue, malaise, swollen joints, headaches, fever or rash, please see a functional medicine practitioner or a Lyme Literate MD.  The nymph ticks are as small as a poppy seed and can go unnoticed, especially because they seek out hidden areas (e.g. scalp, nape of neck, armpits).  You know yourself and your loved ones best — don’t let anybody tell you it’s nothing or it’s all in your head!

tiny ticks california

Lots of Updates: LYME and CO, PANDAS, MOLD, MEDS, LABS

Sophie angelIt has been too long since I have updated.  For me, that’s a sign that things have been better.  My daughter, who is 11.5 now, has continued to do her daily regimen of medications, herbals, and vitamins/supplements.  She sees her specialist 2 to 3 times a year in person and I do phone appointments every 6 to 8 weeks.  We just saw her specialist in December and it was decided that we would take her off of the malarone.  This is a drug used to treat malaria (which is also given for the parasite, babesia).  I will talk more about that later.

I have had some people message me to get updates on mold and current meds and I never added my daughter’s labs for mold so I plan to do that here today.

Let’s start with the mold.  We did an ERMI test of the house and it turned out that we have “average” mold so it did not stand out as anything to worry about.  It stumps us because my daughter’s labs came back with lots of elevated numbers for mold.  She has been consistently improving though so this information will just remain in the back of our minds for now.  We did also do a regional allergy blood test for Southern CA and my daughter tested moderately allergic to a number of things including cats, dust mites, bermuda grass, and pollen from some trees.  Interesting.  She never showed an allergy before to cats but after becoming sick we started to see reactions.  Below are the mold labs.

labs 2017 18

labs 2017 17

labs 2017 15

I would like to also list her current medications.  (When I link to a website it does not mean I necessarily use that site.  It is just so you can have a visual picture and a description of the item.  I would recommend searching around for pricing).  The only thing we replaced was the Quintessance with Japanese Knotweed and CSA.  She currently takes prescription Doxycycline Mono; Nystatin, *Atovaquone/Proguanil (Malarone), and *Alinia. She takes BLt along with the herbal tinctures listed above.  She takes the probiotics:  Klaire Labs Biospora, Garden of Life Mood+, Florastor.  She takes a natural anti-inflammatory called Advanced Inflammation Support (but previously took InflamaAway by Donald Yance).  She also takes the following nutrients/vitamins:  Methyl B-12, Coenzyme B Complex, Vitamin D3, EPO (Evening Primrose Oil), and Energizing Iron.  Some of her detox remedies are Tox-Ease II, Activated Charcoal, and King Chlorella.  She also took the homeopathic remedies Mundipur and Renelix in the past.  At one point she took prescription colestyramine for the mold.  She also sometimes takes Natural Calm (magnesium) and Vital Nutrients Whole Fiber Fusion when she’s having tummy trouble.

If this seems like a lot, it is; however, my daughter has been so good about taking it all and I really do attribute her healing to this regimen.  *She stopped taking the Alinia several weeks ago because insurance stopped approving it (and it’s $300/month).  *She stopped the malarone about 2.5 weeks ago but has had some complaints the last few days of headaches, stomachaches, rib pain, ankle/knee pain, and shooting pains so we may start up on one or both of those again.  It’s very hard to know if she’s having normal aches and pains or if it’s illness-related, but if the symptoms are kind of random and they remind me of her original symptoms, I see red flags.  She was still positive for babesia several months ago and I don’t think we have tested again since then.  labs 2017 babesia

 

She also tested positive for mycoplasma, HHV-6, and high eosinophils (which can be indicative of allergies or parasites).  The scariest one for me though, is that she tested high on her ANA’s again and specifically for SCL-70, which is indicative of Scleroderma.  I hope that it’s a false positive.  I have read before that high ANA’s can be falsely positive with lyme disease (and hers were very high at 1:1280 at the height of her illness).  Her specialist seems to think it could be related to her chronic infections and says we will just keep an eye on it.  The high Human Transforming Growth Factor Beta 1 can also be related to mold, so that’s still a bit of a conundrum to us.  (But, with what I have read, it seems to have a relationship to the immune system and inflammation in general so that might be why it’s high). Here are what some of her labs look like:

labs 2017 scleroderma

labs 2017

labs 2017 14

These are all from last June (2017) and she continues to get better so I just hope that we can stay on the right track.  My daughter is a very quiet and stoic child and she does not usually complain very much.  So it is often that I will have to ask a very specific question to understand how she’s feeling (like when I’m trying to get information for my phone consultations with her specialist).  So, in times when she actually vocalizes her complaints, I know that it is really bothering her.  Anyhow, after taking off 2.5 months of school and work in the fall of 2016, we returned to school and work after the winter break in January of 2017.  So, this January, 2018, marks a full year back to “normal” and that is exciting news!  She still has dermatographia and warts

that won’t go away (so they are being frozen off over time).  And I am very worried about the mandatory vaccines for junior high but that is a whole different can of worms.

To look on the bright side, overall, things went so well this year that I actually coached my son’s fall 10-U AYSO soccer team.  Both of my kids won first place in their category for the PTA Reflections art contest.

My daughter has stood up in front of the class to give speeches, she sang in the school performance, she has been getting A’s and B’s in school, and she recently received the citizenship award.  I just hope this will all continue as we modify her treatment plan and she goes off to junior high.

I really feel like pictures speak volumes.  I know that she hit a growth spurt but this past year has made a huge difference just in the way she looks and I think a lot of that is due to healing as well.

     A look back at December, 2015

lyme face 12-2015

On the left:  2016– she made it in for picture day but school anxiety (PANDAS) pushed us to take the rest of the semester off.  On the right:  2017– My 6th grader!

blog 4 compare 2016 to 2017

 

More Book Recommendations!

I have not posted in a while due to my incredibly busy schedule.  I started back to work full time last semester after a semester off and we are now back into the swing of things for fall.  I have decided to volunteer this season to be my son’s AYSO 10-U soccer coach (with no soccer experience whatsoever)!  It has really started to get fun though as the games begin and it keeps me off my couch–and computer–on two weeknight evenings and Saturdays!  The kids also just started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which they love.  It’s the first organized sport that my daughter has tried in over two years, which is a big step–she’s feeling so much better and we have hope that she is going to be completely healed for good!  She’s still taking all of her meds/supplements but our hope is to wean her off in the near future.  We also have come to the realization that we must replace our wood floors and look into the walls in the kitchen so the cupboards are coming down and we are preparing for a pretty decently-sized remodel.  We got our ERMI mold test back, and I will go into more detail about that another time.

I bought a couple new books that I wanted to add here.  The first, “Brain Maker,” by David Perlmutter, MD, is a fascinating look at the gut microbiome and how it affects both our physical and mental health.

The second, “Healing the New Childhood Epidemics,” by Kenneth Bock, MD and Cameron Stauth, will open your eyes to a different way of looking at autism, ADHD, asthma, and allergies, four common childhood epidemics that continue to rise at alarming rates.

I hope that you will take the time to read these amazing books.

Have a happy fall season!!