Who supports Lyme Disease Education? THESE GUYS – LOYOLA NEW ORLEANS DNP STUDENTS!

Loyno TAKE A BITE OUT OF LYME 3 copy

Spring Intensive LOYOLA NEW ORLEANS DNP Students rise to the challenge and TAKE A BITE OUT OF LYME DISEASE!

This spring (2015), while attending the annual Loyola New Orleans DNP program intensives, I said to myself perhaps I should give a little talk to my peers about Lyme Disease. The previous January 2014, I had made the heart wrenching decision to with draw from the BSN to DNP program. Lyme disease awareness has become my passion and I take/create every opportunity I can to speak about it. Being knocked out of the program for a year to work on first identifying what was wrong with me and then finding health care professionals who cared enough to help me heal has been very inspiring. My little informal talk, turned into everyone who was in attendance from multiple co-horts taking a bite out of LYME and participating in the 2015 Lyme Disease Awareness Challenge.

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Lyme Advocacy Starts With ME!

Angola Inmate Hospice volunteers taught me to trust God and the power of forgiveness. Belief runs deepI have always been fascinated by how people ‘discover’ their gifts/callings.

As a coping mechanism for a complicated home life; I turned to running in the great Canadian outdoors regardless the weather. After University my running was curtailed due to mystery ailments that would flare up on-and-off for decades.

Intuitively, I have been soaking in epsom salt baths ever since I became a runner. Perhaps these soaks are what kept my immune system functioning for so long. Many Lymies (people with Lyme disease) get temporary relief from detox baths. In 2005, my mystery ailments returned. After a decade of suffering and symptom flare ups, I was told by health care practitioners to learn to live with what was ailing me. By 2013, my immune system shut down and resulted in a health crisis; ultimately saving my life.

Tired of being sick and tired, by divine intervention I found an amazing advocate in Dr. Amanda Lea; an osteopathic physician in Zachary Louisiana. Two days before I becoming her new patient, a friend put me on her church prayer list as I searched for answers. Dr. Lea was setting up a new practice and worked me in the day after the prayer chain started. She listened to my health history uninterrupted for 45 minutes.
IMG_0061-1Dr. Lea was setting up a new practice and worked me in the day after the prayer chain started. She listened to my health history uninterrupted for 45 minutes.

 

After my diagnosis, I went to see a Lyme specialist MD, the head of infectious disease at a large hospital in New Orleans. She opened the office door, walked in and proclaimed that “Lyme disease does not exist in Louisiana” and then proceeded to accused me of shopping for antibiotics.

That day my passion for Lyme awareness, education and advocacy was revealed to me. Ticks know NO boundaries AND respect NO borders. Lyme disease is real and YES it does exist in Louisiana!!

Your life matters, my life matters – ALL LIVES MATTER!

Please support my advocacy by donating one day of your coffee/tea/smoothie money 🙂

Yours in health advocacy, Melody

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Aloha – THE PERFECT PROTEIN POWDER! Get $20 off your first purchase when you use the code MELODY54 during checkout!

Being sick for so long with Lyme disease has taken its toll on my body. I have developed a bunch of food sensitives and have to be mindful not to feed the Lyme bacteria and its buddy co-infections. Taking over 35 medications and supplements a day, I need to look for something easy on my stomach & pocket book.Product ContentI have always been a smoothie girl, so I started back making my own. I received my free trial after signing up at Aloha.com and I must say, I am beyond pleased – the companies values and standards are top notch!Sustainability
What The Company Cares AboutAfter signing up as a skeptic, I received my free trial and was blown away by the companies transparency with marketing. Yes, I had to give them a credit card number – but they emailed me when my full size samples arrived to notify me my free 7 day trial had begun. The instructions were crystal clear that not only was it okay to change my mind; they provided the directions on how to cancel at ANY time. The web site is user friendly and very straight forward. This is from the web site: Though you can always place a one-time order of any product without being enrolled in a subscription plan, you can also modify your subscription to include new products as well. Easily update preferences on your subscription page or feel free to reach out to our Care Team for assistance via care@aloha.com or over the phone at 1.866.850.4585, Monday – Thursday 10AM – 9PM EST or Friday 10AM – 8PM EST.SustainabilityGet $20 off your first purchase when you use the code MELODY54 during checkout!

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Run RON Run! What goes up, must come down!

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Thank you for everyones prayers and support while we (me and my family) cheered my baby brother (Ron Spragg) on during his first Ultra-race this past weekend. I am so honored that he let me high-jack his first event; while competing at the Squamish50 in the beautiful rain forrest terrain in British Columbia.

This is from the race page describing the event:  Between the relatively flat first six miles and final mile, you’ll find over 3350 m /11,000 ft of climbing jammed into the remaining 43 miles of terrain. Your largest individual climb is 760 m / 2500 ft. This is an exceptionally difficult course made tougher still by the technical nature of a majority of the terrain. Throw in the fact that the back half runs much more difficult than the front half and you have yourself a nice little day of suffering. Thankfully we’ve made every effort to distract you with incredible scenery at every possible turnYour race begins at 5:30am, by headlamp.

Ascent: 3500 m / 11,000 ft

Descent: 3500 m / 11,000 ft

Interested in running next year? more details at; http://squamish50.com/50-miles/

Ron's race drop bag. Do you think they will mix it up?

Ron’s race drop bag; think the mix it up with someone else?

Things just got real; 50 miler start point! Can you see my brother?

Things just got real; 50 miler start point! Can you see my brother?

squamish 50 Terrain

Not your average 50 miler; he had to run up and then down a mountain! Squamish50 Terrain

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What goes up, must come down! Squamish50 Terrain

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Top 3 Ways Social Media can Help Humanitarian Work (and 3 Pitfalls)

Top 3 Ways Social Media can Help Humanitarian Work (and 3 Pitfalls).

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Will you support Lyme Education?

2 - 1I have come to realize that Lyme & its co-infections probably invaded my body during 1990 ~26 or more years ago. The anniversary of: my diagnosis is April 2014; finding a Lyme Literate Practitioner is October 2014, and returning to school part time to finish within my school’s deadline is January 2017. When I walk across the stage in 2017 in New Orlean’s obtaining my FNP/DNP in 2017, I will still have have Lyme Disease and be under treatment for years after.

I am sending out a call to all for a helping hand.  My name is Melody, my goal is to improve the treatment of Lyme Disease in Louisiana. During my battle with Lyme, I have been told by multiple medical doctors and specialists that “There is NO such thing as Lyme Disease in Louisiana.” Please help me to change this preception by donating and helping me to further my Lyme education.

I am an Family Nurse Practitioner Student, and a Lymie! Currently, in Louisiana I only know of two Lyme Literate Doctors; one of them is Dr. Forrester. He has graciously agreed to share his wealth of knowledge with me so that I can better treat Lyme patients in Southeast Louisiana upon graduation. This means lots of travel, his office is in Pineville and I live in Saint Francisville. Due to my extensive and expensive Lyme Treatments, I am in need of financial support to complete my Lyme focused capstone project and to advance my Lyme knowledge.

The rest of my Lyme Testimony and Financially Support Melody Here

Yours in health promotion, Melody

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Lyme Myths Debunked By Canlyme.com

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There once was a woman

     

 

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There once was a nurse named Melody…

Hi, I’m Melody and my new goal in life is to improve the treatment of Lyme Disease in Louisiana. I am an Family Nurse Practitioner Student, a Lyme Patient & Warrior!

Currently, in Louisiana there is one Lyme Literate Doctor – his name is Dr. Forrester. He has agreed to share his wealth of knowledge with me, so that I can better treat Lyme patients in Southeast Louisiana upon graduation. This means lots of travel, his office is in Pineville and I live in Saint Francisville.

This is my Lyme story: 

I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, During my teen years I used long distance / cross country running as a coping mechanism that carried over to my days at the University of Calgary and after my move to Louisiana. No one can tell me for how long I have had Lyme Disease, all they say it has been a very, very long time. 

Being the great imitator I have suffered from various ailments for decades. These signs and symptoms were always attributed to some other cause and never given to much concern because I always bounced back. The only lingering condition I’ve had is endometriosis, so severe my husband and I are unable to have children. So with that change in life plan in 2012, I applied and was accepted to a Local Nurse Practitioner Program. By October 2013, chronic illness had taken control of every aspect of my life. 

Over the years, I have been terminated from jobs as a registered nurse and asked to leave two others. I have been accused by my supervisors of malingering, faking being sick and written up for using my sick time and being on FMLA. Like most Lyme patients, I have been accused of Doctor shopping and antibiotic drug seeking (who knew there was such a thing). After being told it is time to learn to live with IT – what ever IT was because no one had taken the time to find any answers. IT apparently was depression and generalized anxiety as I left my former healthcare providers office with a prescription for Lexapro. During this time, I was bed bound, unable to think; read; follow a TV program due to my non-existent attention span. I could no longer carry on a conversation with my husband, I had become 10 second Tom from “50 First Dates”.

Lyme and it’s co-infections invaded my brain (thought I had early onset Dementia); my nervous system (severe vertigo and MS symptoms); my heart (resting HR was 180’s); my kidneys (3 Lithotripsy’s in 4 months); and my joints & feet. 

Through the grace of God, my fight goes on. God’s intervention led me to my amazing school advisor Dr. Laurie Anne Ferguson. With her encouragement, I did not accept being told to learn to live with IT! My health care team also includes an awe-inspiring Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine – Dr. Amanda Lea who in April of 2013 diagnosed my Lyme Disease; an amazing immunologist – Dr. Richard Guillot, an incredible pulmonologist – Dr. Gomez; and the best cardiophysiologist – Dr. Ravi Kanagala. These professional took me at my word, they have never stopped believing in me and have been 100% supportive of Dr. Forrester’s (my Lyme Literate Doctors) plan of care. My goal is make my patient feel the same way once I graduate and enter primary care practice. 

Thank you for reading my Lyme story,  unfortunately the next Lyme story could be yours or someone you love because – Lyme Lives Everywhere

Yours in health promotion, 

                                         💚 Melody

  

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Lyme Lives Everywhere!

My blog is going to focus on two new topics: A delayed Lyme Disease Diagnosis and how it impacted my journey as a nurse practitioner student (admitted 2010 to Loyola New Orleans).  I appreciate your time, look forward to your comments and insights.

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