Saturday, August 15, 2015


I know I have been seriously lacking on my posts. You can now find me on Facebook:) Though I may have to come back here for some more personal rants!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy Mom's Day!

The girls in 1987:)

Lyme Awareness

May is actually Lyme awareness month. So here is some "propaganda".

Strongest girl I know! And her two partners in crime, Aubrey and Kelli, taking a bite out of Lyme! These two girls have really come around to support Noelle in the last six months. It is awesome!!

Please continue to pray for Noelle and the hundreds of thousands of people diagnosed with lyme disease each year!


Health-wise our trip to Virginia/DC could have been better timed for Noelle. She was fighting her endometriosis symptoms and for the first time in a year had to have assistance walking. We ended up purchasing her a pink walker for times when she needs to walk/stand for a long time.

But...we certainly did our best to see DC even with Noelle's limited energy:) First stop DC Cupcakes in Georgetown.

Beautiful, yummy and gluten-free!

Next stop the zoo! Then we went to the Holocaust museum and finally Legal Seafood. (I actually wanted to go to the Oceanaire based on memories from the last time we were in DC, but I messed up the name.)


It is hard to sit back and let Lyme steal the active lives of those I love. It is hard for Noelle not to find a way to act. So she and I travelled to Arlington, Virginia to protest the IDSA (Infectious Diseases Society of America). There needs to be better education, research, testing, etc. for Lyme disease. Here are some pictures of our days protesting. Our protest actually closed their offices down. The first day they left at noon and the second day they worked from home. We did not get a lot of media coverage. Possibly because of the ongoing coverage in Baltimore that week.

This quilt represents those fighting lyme and those who have lost their battle with lyme. In the foreground they are tracing to make a chalk outline.

This truck circled the area where we were protesting. The police were very generous and even let us block traffic a couple times.

This whole thing read "IDSA Harms Lyme Patients". Noelle is holding the white sign at the end.

Thursday evening we held a candlelight vigil remembering those that have lost their lives to lyme. Honestly the list was scary long. One of the most recent casualties was a woman in her forties who took her own life. This speaker spoke out to those gathered asking that they reach out to others if they are considering suicide. Suicide and heart issues are two of the most common reasons for death in lyme patients. The chronic pain and neurological issues combine to make it difficult to press on. Each candle had the name of a lyme fighter that had lost their batttle.

Lady Lyme and the Lyme Avenger!!

My favorite thing about the protest was educating people walking by about lyme disease. Many people stopped to accept information. We had personal letters from lymies telling their stories and Mayday pamphlets with lyme information. I think Noelle's favorite part was representing her many friends with lyme who were to sick to attend!

Friday, April 24, 2015

New memories

Sabrina's Lyme doctor is in Wisconsin. Her first appointment was WAY up north. But follow-up appointments are in Pewaukee, which is near Milwaukee. Since Scott and I lived in Madison when we were first married it holds many happy memories for me. So Sabrina and I stayed in Madison and explored a little.

First up, Henry Villas Zoo. Which is, unbelievably, FREE! So you can bet Scott and I went there more than a few times when we were dating and first married. They have changed a number of things. Including adding a large Children's Zoo. Very cool! But a couple memories were stolen:/

Next up, Ella's Deli. You kind of have to be there to experience it! They have a carosel which Sabrina rode twice, once with and once without me. Every table is different. There is stuff to look at everywhere!! Good stuff, great memories!

World War 3

Or maybe the civil war? Not sure which war, but every morning is a battle at our house. And every morning as I drive away from Sabrina's school I feel like I have PTSD.

Sabrina has been battling with her emotions, leg and arm pain, and stomach upset. So knowing that Sabrina has also had at least one tick bite we decided to have her tested for Lyme. The results were actually inconclusive. I am sure if I had not lived through the last 7 years with Noelle, that would have been the end of it. However, I have, so I called a LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor). Actually she is a nurse practitioner. She said that at least two of the bands that Sabrina tested positive for are Lyme specific. No way we are letting that go, so Sabrina is in treatment for Lyme. This currently involves two antibiotics (liquid since she is unable to swallow pills), fish oil, and a probiotic. We are trying to include Vitamin C but it isn't really happening.

Our mornings now feel like a repeat of mornings with Noelle when she was 11 and 12. Neurological Lyme is well known to have effects on the brain. (duh, that's why it's called neurological!) I think mornings are especially difficult because sleep is so important when you are fighting an infection. Honestly, the whole thing is so confusing. Especially with Sabrina since she also may have issues from her malnutrition as a baby. The dentists have discovered that it definitely has effected the enamel on her teeth. At some point they will have to actually build up or cap her front teeth as the enamel never formed properly. For now we are dealing with multiple fillings.

Our mornings are full of skirmishes. Getting up, is a battle. "I'm tired, my legs hurt..." And, yes, we have tried earlier bed times but she doesn't fall asleep until well after we have put her to bed no matter when we put her to bed. Last night I think she was up for over an hour after I put her to bed:/ Then comes what to wear. Her school has a uniform so you would think that would be easy. Nope. We found a loophole. She can wear any skirt/dress. But she has a very particular fashion sense and it is very hard for her to be pleased with her appearance, especially on school days. Next is hair. Oh, wow!!! Braids were pretty easy. You get it done and you are good for like two weeks. But she doesn't like braids anymore. I am unsure if it is her caucasion family or her mostly caucasion school but she wants long straight hair. And she loves to brush it. So we finally got it relaxed. That means that we have more options and we are rarely happy with it and might very well become unpleased with it on the way to school and rip out our ponytail holder!

Then we have to try to force down some breakfast, which she doesn't want. Obviously breakfast is good for everyone, but she really needs it because she is supposed to take two antibiotics with breakfast:/ And surprisingly liquid antibiotics don't taste very good and can upset your stomach. Then comes teeth. Nope, don't want to.

EVERY little thing is a battle! And her mood changes at least ten times between the time she wakes up and the time she makes it to the school door.

Do I discipline more? I don't know. I know she is honestly dealing with emotions beyond her. Her legs probably do hurt. Her stomach probably hurts.

She had her first counseling appointment this week. I am hoping the counselor can give her some skills to think before she speaks. And to control her emotions. To find some balance between high and low. To settle the anger.

School is a battle as well. We had a teacher mandated conference this week. Oh, joy! Scott and I have not had a chance to discuss the conference at length but his reaction was, "how did you like having a 23 year old tell us how to raise our child?" Yep, we are having fun!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Unexpected Political Advocacy

April 1, 2015

Dear Senator

I am writing as a mom who has watched her almost 19 year old daughter suffer in daily pain for four and a half years. She suffers from chronic pain, due to Lyme disease, Endometriosis and Chronic Migraines. I have watched as she missed most of her Junior year and all of her Senior year, including prom and graduation ceremonies. For that same four and a half years I have watched as doctors prescribe heavy duty medications like oxycodone, hydrocodone and Tramadol. I have watched as Noelle has tried to avoid becoming dependent while trying to ease her pain.

I am writing to encourage you to wonder what you would want if this was your daughter, or your granddaughter. Would you want her to have the chance to try every possible treatment? I honestly don’t know if medical cannabis will change my daughter’s life. But it could. She struggles every day to do the things that others take for granted. She is a fighter and she fights through and does amazing things. But as a mom, I want her life to be easier. It shouldn’t be difficult for her to walk across campus due to leg pain.

Please vote to give my daughter, and many others like her, the chance to try every solution to their medical issues. Give them the right to access medical cannabis right here in Iowa. We love Iowa. We have no desire to move so that our daughter can get access to every option for her medical care.

Thank you for considering voting in favor of medical cannabis. As a life- long Republican I would prefer to continue voting based on other issues than this. If you have questions about our particular situation please feel free to call at ...

With high hopes,
Diane Larson

I have said over and over during this journey that you have no idea what you will do in a given circumstance. I just sent this letter to all of the Iowa Republican Senators. The Medical Cannabis Bill has passed the Iowa House and will now go to the Iowa Senate; at least if I have my information correct. I would love for Noelle to test this treatment for her pain. I feel that the side-effects and possibility of addiction are most likely better than what she currently takes for pain.

As we continue to try and deal with her pain, we had an appointment with our third pain doctor yesterday. I wrote about our first appointment in January of 2014 here, It was not a good experience. Our second attempt was shut down. After reviewing Noelle's records the doctor did not even grant her an appointment. Yesterday, the doctor gave Noelle's pain a great deal of respect and is trying two new medications. We are praying this medications will eventually contribute to lessen Noelle's pain.

In another scheduled attempt at political advocacy, Noelle and I will be attending the Lyme Mayday Protest in Arlington, Virginia, at the end of the month! More on that later!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Just two more nights!

Take the time to go see this movie!  Open your eyes to the world!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Snow fun!

Scott and I went snowshoeing on Sunday. We pulled Sabrina along in a sled. It was fantastic to get out on such a beautiful day. Hopefully, we will be able to go again this weekend. We all enjoyed it very much!

March is...

Endometriosis Awareness Month!

Noelle was diagnosed with Endometriosis last July. It is incredibly painful. Pray for advancements toward a cure, or at the very least, pain control! We are following up with a specialist in the Chicago area.

A real vacation!

Unbelievably, Scott and I got to go on a REAL vacation! Without any children, for 6 days! To ARUBA! Thanks so much to Brent, Noelle and Kris for watching the kids and making it possible!

We stayed at the Ritz Carlton, Oh la la! If you are a Fancy Nancy fan, that is french for Scott's company paid for the trip!

We got to go snorkeling, on a jeep tour and drink yummy drinks on the beach. I was a little accident prone and injured my toe paddleboarding. But the best part was just hanging out with Scott, uninteruppted!


This picture is actually from Hassan's 17th birthday, January 1st! He said it was his first birthday party! He invited some friends over for ribs and video games. Having Hassan in our home has been a delight. Here you see two of his loves, soccer and cookies. Hassan and Teme can put away some serious food, especially after school and "second" supper! We are anxious to see Hassan play soccer for West High this spring.

Saturday, January 31, 2015


Surgery went very well! Gallbladder was done laproscopically with no complications. Her bladder got a clean bill of health! She is now home resting. With four incisions and air to expell from her torso, she is uncomfortable. However, she is still planning to attend a Super Bowl party tommorrow!

Sabrina missed three days of school with strep. But, so far, no one else has gotten it! She did miss school Friday, the day of surgery. So Scott was home with Sabrina and I was at the hospital with Noelle. Thanks, Elke, for hanging out with me!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Surgery tommorrow

Noelle's gallbladder surgery and bladder scope are tommorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. Specific prayer requests:

1. For two days Sabrina has been home with strep throat, 103 degree temperature last night. Please pray that I do not carry the infection to Noelle and that Sabrina is feeling well enough to go to school tommorrow so that Scott can come up to the hospital.

2. For wisdom for the doctors and anesthesiologist!

3. Laproscopy rather than open surgery!

4. Quick recovery.

5. That if something needs to be discovered in the bladder that it would be.

6. Protection as Noelle is put under for the third time in seven months.

7. Protection from anxiety especially since this procedure is scaring Noelle for some reason.

8. Grace from Noelle's professors.

9. That removal of the gallbladder would actually improve Noelle's pain/stomach upset.

I think that's it. Never fun to have someone you love require surgery. We so appreciate your prayers!

Friday, January 2, 2015


So amazing that Noelle completed 11 credits this semester so that she could graduate in 2014! Since she was unable to attend a Waterloo Schools ceremony, we held our own. Sue Flynn, (Scott's assistant, our friend and school board member), helped us to have a short ceremony. Noelle pranced to and from the podium. She said that she saw many tears but I had dry eyes. I was just so excited for her!

Noelle played recreational and competitive, indoor and outdoor soccer for many years until her health got in the way.

This display was all Noelle's idea. Her journey from patient to nursing student. She has been granted eary admission in to Allen nursing College. She will do two years at Hawkeye Community College. Then she will go to her reserved spot at Allen to continue on for her BSN.

The fancy pink mixer was a graduation gift from my parents. Noelle made gluten free Raspberry Cheesecake cupcakes for the open house. We also had Scratch cupcakes (her favorite before going gluten free) and yummy italian sodas. Uncle Curt and Uncle Mark were our bartenders.

It was a great day! And so deserved!