Week 10 of 2018, I traveled to San Francisco for two doctor appointments, and to meet with my boss at Apple in-person to brainstorm some of the next steps for work. Ended up in Miami to meet Brian before our vacation and got to spend time with Michelle, John, and Wylder, as well as see Gail who was there for the week vacationing.
The fun things, then the medical details.
Got to visit so many friends while back in SF, and really enjoyed spending time with them. I realized how many good friends I have in the Bay Area and it made me want to be back there. Loved going to lunch with my Tepper friends at Google, time walking around with Alice, dinner with Angella, and time spent with Kent & Valerie, and Janice who were so gracious to let me stay with them and borrow their car for a few days! Spent a lot of time with Rachel and her kids, and got to have a special girls-only date with her at Coldstone (thanks Jake for taking care of the kids!). Got to have a special home-cooked meal by Monica and Eliott which was such a treat! I had been cold all week, being from my normal 85 degrees, shorts-weather, and Monica made the most amazing soup that had all healthy ingredients! Plus, I got to meet their adorable fluffy dog, whom Monica holds like a baby, even though he’s giant! ha! Spent hours talking with Christeen, a friend from Apple Christian Fellowship, sharing with each other about the past year, and what God has taught me through my time in Cuba (and she graciously let me sleep on her couch). I got to visit Kyla (another ACF friend) at the new Apple Park campus. AMAZING. It’s beautiful. What a work of art. I was so excited to go visit it. My team won’t move in to the building, as there’s not enough space, but I wish we could, as it’s so neat. And yes, I’m sure there’s a $150k/month budget for windex, as the walls/windows(?) are so clear you will walk into them.
It was a lot of people in a few days, not to mention all of my Apple co-workers and friends who I ran into while on the Apple campus. So good to see all of these people that I have built relationships with over the past 3 years. Thankfully, I’ve stayed in touch with many of them while I’ve been gone, and I’m looking forward to being able to return at some point to continue building them and deepening them.
After SF, I flew back to Miami to meet Brian for our vacation to Barcelona. We were in Miami for a few days, which was nice to thaw out between the SF Bay area weather, and Barcelona, Spain. Got to go to The Edition hotel for brunch and meet up with Gail who was vacationing in Miami for the week. The hotel was gorgeous, and the food was very good, although pricey. Walked along the beach, and felt like there’s no way I can ever live in cold weather again! haha.
And yes, between CA and FL, I had Chipotle 3 times. In 72 hours. Definitely have missed the Mexican food. Too bad I wasn’t able to go to SoCal for the real stuff.
The main reason for the SF trip was to start going to a new doctor, a Lyme Specialist that a friend from VCC had recommended. She had Lyme for a few years and now is incredibly better. I wanted to see the doctors that she had seen. However, I was worried about going to the doctor, because they ask you to tell your “story” of what’s ailing you, and how long it’s been going on, and it’s almost so traumatic to think that this has been going on for almost half my life (12 years) that I’m tired of telling the story and not getting better. However, this time was different. The doctor had previously reviewed my paperwork I submitted (20 pages of labs and history/symptoms), and after asking me a few questions started to tell me things that we should try next. I’ve taken antibiotics before, but apparently they’ve all been a similar type. I have Celiac Disease, so taking oral antibiotics might not be getting to me very effectively! I may have another virus that’s blocking some of the Lyme Disease healing. Things along those lines that made me feel very hopeful that she was an expert. She had seen many people with the same symptoms that I’ve dealt with for Lyme Disease, and my case wasn’t stumping her, like I felt like it had with my previous doctor. I walked out feeling a TON better mentally, knowing that I was going to get better. After the past 1.5 years of treatment that hasn’t seemed to be very proactive from the doctor’s approach, I felt like they were going to take care of me and be my advocate to fight to get me better.
This doctor, Dr. Sorenson at Pacific Frontier Medical, gave me a Glutathione IV, which is supposed to help with detoxification since I’ve had so many antibiotics in the past and to try to kill of the Lyme bugs; it seemed to help. It was hard to tell at first, as I had just traveled from Cuba, and was running off of adrenaline. I was excited to see people, so couldn’t tell if that was giving me more energy or the IV. However, I tried one again two days later and it definitely made a noticeable difference in mood, mental clarity, and energy level. One of my friends who I had hung out with a few times that week noticed that I was much spunkier. It was good to hear her say that, because sometimes you wonder if something did happen. I felt like I could actually think again like my normal self. I was thinking, okay, if I can think like this, I can go back to work, at least slowly ramping up. Without the mental clarity and spunk, it’s hard to do the work of an IT engineer.
Two days later, I went to a different doctor, Dr. Mielke in Pleasanton, who focuses on Lyme Disease by killing it off through natural means and herbal “antibiotics” versus drugs. She focuses also on other parts of the body as well (hormones mainly is her additional speciality), and so that was really important to me, since the Lyme Disease has really impacted a few other systems in my body negatively. It’s amazing how astute these doctors are at linking different parts of the body together. This is why I really favor functional doctors, over Western Medicine doctors, who look at only one system of the body. A body functions all together, and one problem is going to affect other parts of the body. A book I’m reading called Team of Teams (by General Stanley McChrystal) even talks about systems thinking is used for complex systems and plays a key role in items that are interdependent. In the same way, a doctor needs to know how all the systems work together and look at chronic issues all together.
I decided in the end to go with Dr. Mielke instead of Pacific Frontier Medical group due to the focus on herbal treatment versus antibiotics. I have had a LOT of antibiotics in my life, and was constantly on them for the past 1.5 years. It really damaged other things in my body to be on them for that long, and if there’s a just as effective way (80% of Dr. Mielke’s patients get better through herbs, 20% don’t seem to have much improvement; same stats were for Frontier Medical Group’s antibiotics treatments), I’d much rather not cause more havoc on my body using more antibiotics. Plus the antibiotics were going to be through a shot in the butt every few days! No thanks! haha!
Since we would like to have children in the near future after I’m done with all of this health-crisis, it’s important to keep my gut health in good shape, since that’s what’s passed onto the growing baby for their immune system. I’d rather be able to pass along a good immune system in the future, and the antibiotics will really destroy that. We’ll see! She said that within 3 months, her patients tend to notice a difference, and then 6 months – 2 years they are restored for the most part back to normal life. There’s a plan, there’s a timeline, she ran a TON of other tests to ensure we’re not missing anything that’s blocking my restoring of health. I left with a lot of hope, knowing that she’s seen many people over the years and helped them heal of Lyme Disease. Perfect. That’s what I need! It was a great way to start a 10 day vacation in Barcelona.
No little C’s videos for the next few weeks, because we weren’t home to have fun with them 😦 I missed them, but Pam did a great job taking care of them and sending a few pictures while we were gone. Jado did get in trouble before Brian left — hence the picture of him with all the dirt!