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Daily Conqueror Moments

Daily encouragement and inspiration for the warrior in all of us. You can be a winner, a victor, and a CONQUEROR every day of your life. Lisa's posts will help lead the way on this cadence we call life.

Filtering by Tag: #LymeSurvivor

Stepping up to the Plate

Lisa Williams

When I was in the fourth grade, my elementary school teacher, Mrs. Wylie, organized a Mush Ball game for morning recess time. Each week she choose new team captains, who would then choose their teams. Every Monday morning just before recess, she would announce the week's new head honchos.

I stood there among the team captain hopefuls and with the eagerness of would be lottery winners, we cringed each time someone else's name was called. The suspense nearly made us pass out or at the very least scream. There we were, 25 or so, jittery, energy filled 9 year olds awaiting what we deemed to be the chance of a lifetime.

"Team Captain," can't you just hear the angels singing at the sound of that title? It rivaled any we had known thus far. Even if you were a no-name before, if you were picked by Mrs. Wylie for team captain, you gained popularity faster than your mom could cook instant Cream of Wheat.
I was never chosen for Team Captain, so I settled for just being picked for a team. The fear of rejection was the same as any other kids, but looking back I can see why nobody truly wanted me on their teams at first. I was the skinny girl, the toe head, the "dumb blonde." I was awkward and as far as anyone in my class knew, not very good at sports, especially "boy" sports.
Or was I?
What they didn't know was that my dad or sisters played "catch" with me most every evening. My cousin Steve and Uncle Bobby taught me how to pitch. My neighborhood had our own ball "teams" and we played ball quite often after school until the street lights came on. My cousins and I played ball together at picnics and other outings and we really liked it.
Still, I was usually picked last or not at all. I never even got the chance to bat, until one fateful morning. 
I can still remember that sunny day. I was finally up to the plate for the first time. The pitcher turned to his team and said "It's Claiborne, bring it in, she can't hit." Slowly the outfield players all walked in, expecting an easy out.

The pitch, the swing, the miss. No runs, no hits, no errors and I was afraid. 

My palms were sweaty. I looked around as if I was looking for a way out or a source of confidence or something. Anything.

From the corner of my eye I thought saw her. Then, I turned my head and clearly saw my big sister, Peggy, watching from afar. I knew she was rooting for me. She nodded. I nodded back. Then another ball was released from the pitchers arm as though gravity didn't exist. I swung as hard as my frail arms could swing.

I hit a home run and the crowd went wild. I imagine that might've been how Babe Ruth or Mickey Mantle felt when they hit their first homer. After that, I was picked first by a team captain, every week. As I rounded the bases that day, I could hear my big sister cheering, as she jumped up and down. Then the entire team began to cheer, "Claiborne, Claiborne, Claiborne!"

They're chanting my name! Hey, I'm not such a bad player after all!

Today, I'm the pitcher and I'm pitching to you, my reader. Not only am I the pitcher, my calling has made me "Team Captain", but I'm afraid this position hasn't afforded me much popularity. You don't become super popular when you're asking for other people's hard earned money. Yes, I am asking, but not for myself.

How can I cause you to catch a glimpse of my vision?

I know there are so many causes, worthy causes, out there in the world and no doubt all of you see pleas for donations each day in your social media newsfeeds.

But...tonight, I'm weeping at the thought of one more person dying of Lyme disease.

Can you hear these cries? I know of that which I speak because it almost took my life in 2005. I was fortunate enough to have insurance, and, believe me, what insurance covers is merely a drop in the bucket of what it costs to overcome Lyme.
The IDSA (Infectious Disease Society of America) has guidelines on how they say doctors are supposed to treat Lyme. However, those guidelines are not only bogus, they are outdated. The guidelines haven't changed since the 80's. The IDSA, Big Pharma and insurance companies can't make money from Lyme when it is correctly treated. They say 3 weeks of antibiotics are enough, and that Late Stage Lyme doesn't exist. HOGWASH! When Lyme bacteria isn't caught early it multiplies within the body and over the months or years it becomes chronic and deadly.

It's taken me 10 years to get to the place I'm at today in regards to Lyme, and I still have to have treatment to stay alive. Three weeks worth of antibiotics would not have "cured" me, I may as well have eaten Skittles as medicine for that length of time.
Why does the IDSA do this, you ask? Because they love money more than people, so they instigated this evil to deny Lyme patients treatment and they target and shut down physicians that don't comply with their insane policies regarding Lyme treatment.
Since 2005, I have seen 7 different Lyme doctors, 5 of which were targeted and shut down by the "Big Wigs". They were threatened. "We'll pull your medical license," they were told. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the threats were more dangerous than that. When people love money that much, they don't care who lives or dies.
I'm a lot better than I was in 2005. I can walk now, I can travel, write, have fun and most of the time I can drive. Treatment days are still rough but I'm living and not dying.

I know some people that are not so fortunate. I want to help them, but I can't do it alone.

So, I'm doing what any self respecting Lyme Warrior would do. I'm starting a foundation to bring financial aid to those with Lyme who can't afford treatment. My husband Chuck and I mulled over the name and decided that everyone needs a little glimmer of hope to carry on when they're in the dark, thus was born the name The Little Glimmer Lyme Foundation. We're in the process of obtaining our 501 c3 status, but that doesn't mean we can't get crack-a-lackin' now. To learn more about what we do at Little Glimmer Lyme Foundation, please visit our website at www.littleglimmer.com

Please be patient with us. We're just getting started. Funds are low, but won't be low forever. If you know someone who needs help, please click the "contact" button on our website www.littleglimmer.com and shoot us an e-mail. We'll do what we can to help.

The bases are loaded, there are two outs and I've never been up to bat in this kind of World Series before. Please be like my big sister, and cheer me on. Please catch this vision and step up to the plate with me. I have to hit a home run with this, because it's not a game. It's life or death.

Together, we can win this. 
 xoxo

Conquering one step at a time

Lisa Williams

I'm inside a tube.

I'm inside a big, white, hollow tube thingy.

I have a mask over my face that makes me look like a linebacker. They gave me music to listen to via earplugs that is supposed to help lessen the deafening noise of this machine. It seems that somewhere in the distance I can hear Sweet Home Alabama under the banging, clanging and beeping, but barely.

My body is inside of a big, white, hollow tube because they are looking for the reason or reasons why I've been passing out, having seizures, and generally feeling like everything around me is spinning or shifting nearly all of the time.

It's really loud in here and these earplugs aren't all that and a bag of chips. And my face itches. Of course it itches when I'm not allowed to scratch it.

A tumor could be in my head? I do not need another health issue, God. I mean, you know this, right? Lyme is quite enough. I'm sorry, God, I don't mean to be sassy or make demands on you, but, seriously? Oh God, I know that you're kind and I know, that you know, that I've been through the mother of all wringers over the past 10 years. Could you please let this not be a tumor?

These past few months of my life have contained days upon days of one medical test after another. I swear the phlebotomists are secretly vampires. There's no way they need that much of my blood for these tests. Yep, vampires. Blood sucking villains that would put Edward, Bella and the entire cast of Twilight to shame. 

Today, laying inside this claustrophobic noise machine, I still don't have all of the results yet. What I do know according the results that I do have, is that 10 years after the initial diagnosis of late stage Lyme Disease, I am still no better. I have not advanced, in fact, I am worse off than when I began the very first treatment. Lyme has invaded and I am still at war with this monster.

But, I fought so hard! I've done everything I was supposed to do! I was supposed to be better by now, dammit! 

Dear God, I'm sorry for the swear word, but, it seems to me that there's just no other word that will do. Lyme is a damned awful disease from the pit of hell.

I have not advanced.

Not. One. Little. Bit.

Doctors have managed to keep me alive and that's about it.

Alive. Alive to do more than just feel physical pain and limitations all of the time, right? Alive...to actually live, right?

Just wait one little minute here! How am I supposed to plan absolutely anything in my life when I don't know if I'll be alive next week or not?
But...wait a sec. None of us knows what tomorrow might bring. I could die today or on my 100th birthday.

It's good when you have a sense of where you're headed on life's journey, but it's not imperative.

What? You've gotta be kidding me!

Abraham had no idea where God was leading him, but at the command of God, he got up and went.
Hebrews 11:8 (NAS)  By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going.

We walk by faith, not by sight. If we could see ahead of time every step we were to make, we would have no need of faith in God or ourselves at all. God is the only one who sees the entire journey, and we are not required to see every step we are to take, only to take them.
It's important to note that when Abraham went to where he was called to go, that not everyone he knew went with him. Not everyone could because not everyone had the same call on their lives that Abraham did.

Get this clear in your thinking: Where you are called to go, not everyone can go with you. Your journey, your cadence is just that; Yours.

It's not that your cadence is better than anyone else's or that walking it makes you a better person than anyone else is. It's just different. All of us are on different journeys in this life and sometimes, to get to where we are going, we have to leave certain things and certain people behind. It doesn't mean we don't love and care for those people. We do. It just means they can't tag along on the cadence to which you are intimately called to walk. Certain activities can't tag along, either.

Certain people and certain activities just do not belong on your journey. Let them be and follow your own calling towards your own destiny.

Certain activities, attitudes and habits have to be taken off so to speak, like an old coat whose fabric has lost it's weave and buttons, and thus, it's warmth and usefulness. Don't hesitate to remove the old garments that are worn thin. You may have gotten used to the old ways, comfortable in them. The new seems odd to you, but the new is exactly what you need.

The newness, embrace it all, put it on like a new outfit, even if it seems odd to you at first. You will find that it's necessary and it will bring color and function to the stark, dull places in your journey.

Your journey is as unique as you are and the difficulties you encounter along the way have the capacity to connect you with other people that you would never have been connected with otherwise. Some of these connections serve purposes that haven't even crossed your mind yet. Some people needed you to cross their path, and you need them just as much.

So you don't know where this journey will ultimately lead you? Neither does anyone else, but you can't go backwards and you can't stand still for too long or you risk getting stuck.

Leave the baggage behind. Let go of everything that impedes your progress.

I'm letting go of the doubt, the fear, the complaining. I'm going forward. I will keep fighting, no matter what.

Go forward, one step at a time, even if you don't know where you're going. Just take one step, then another, then another.

See? You're making progress already.

 xoxo