Lyme update – I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I gave an update on my health. The biggest reason for that is because it has been an extremely slow process and hard to tell where I was at any given moment, so it has been difficult to give an update. With Lyme, it is harder to notice improvements from day-to-day and only over weeks and months that you begin to notice that things have gotten better. Now, I can truly say that I have greatly improved over this past year. After a year of being off medicines and focusing more on “rehab” and healing for my body, instead of many different challenges and some of them being major, now I am down to a couple of challenges and those are not near as major. I feel like I still have a ways to go, but for the first time since I got Lyme, I feel like I may have the possibility of eventually being back to 100% if I keep eating well, exercising, and don’t have any major setbacks. Please pray that God does give me complete and total victory over this. I believe He has confirmed to me that my best days are ahead, so I am clinging to that promise.
New challenge – Some of you are aware of this, but many are not. About 16 years ago, I lost my voice for 1.5 years. Completely for 6 months and partially for another year. Last October, that began coming back and has gotten worse. Thankfully, it is not nearly as bad when I am preaching, but it is more noticeable in 1-on-1 conversations. We have been praying about what to do about it and waiting upon the Lord, hoping the Lord would just take it away as he finally did 16 years ago. During that time, the Lord directed us to a specialist in Philadelphia, and we have an appointment soon with a team of doctors who will hopefully be able to find out and treat the problem. Please pray that God will give the doctors wisdom and will heal me of this – for His glory.
We cannot thank you enough for your partnership and support!
God bless you, Pastor Robbie.
I’ve been on my new herbal, Lyme treatment a couple of weeks while continuing to focus on eating well.
All in all, I have definitely begun to see a difference. I’ve only had a couple of rough periods (such as this past Saturday night), and we think that those were mostly medicine-related. The treatments start at a lower level and are supposed to steadily increase for about a month. Then, I stay at that top level until I have no symptoms for 2 months. A few times the steps have been too aggressive, so I’ve had to adjust it out a little longer before I reach the highest dosage of the treatments.
Overall, though, we’re optimistic that this plan has much fewer complications and has helped many with chronic Lyme to recover significantly if not completely.
Thank you for continuing to pray!
I need some prayers this week. Here are the details…
In the last week, I have put an even tighter focus on my nutrition emphasis, and I had a much better week after having about a month of challenging relapses.
Please pray for me this week, though, as I add to that a new type of Lyme-specific treatment that is more herbal and comes highly recommended.
We believe the year of antibiotic treatment knocked the Lyme way down, but Lyme has a way of hiding some of itself from antibiotics and then showing up again when the medicine is stopped. This herbal approach is designed to finish off what the antibiotics did not.
Pray that I don’t have adverse reactions to it and that the Lord will use it to destroy and remove the Lyme left in my system.
After a couple of months of slow but continued progress, this past month has been more difficult. 2 weeks of up and down times. Then, the last 2 weeks have almost seemed like a total regression back to full-blown Lyme.
I am going back to my Long Island specialist next week. Hopefully, he will be able to help me get back on track. Lyme does go in cycles, so hopefully I have been in a relapse cycle and will be moving out of it soon. (Praise the Lord, though, that I was able to preach all 3 services for New Hope’s yearly Open House this past weekend. At least 10 people accepted Christ!)
Please pray for patience, and if the Lord wills, a complete healing sooner rather than later. Thank you all so much for your prayers and support.
For the past couple of months, I have been experiencing slow but mostly steady progress with my health as I’ve gotten off antibiotics and focused on nutrition. Instead of 3 steps forward & 2 steps back as before, it’s been more like a 1/2 step forward, not many steps back. Super slow but not as many setbacks as previously. I did have a little bit of a Lyme relapse this past week, but that was the first time I had a major one of those in about 6 weeks. I have 3 main issues at this point that you can pray about for me. #1. Endurance – I can tell that it is building back up, so praise the Lord for that. Instead of having to stop a few times a day, I am usually able to make it through the day then crash in the evening. #2. Leg pain – This is my biggest challenge right now. Every day I have a steady 3-4 pain level. Some days it’s 7-10. It would be nice to get it in the 3-4 range more often and to find some way to eliminate it long-term. #3. Mouth sores – Since February, I have seen times of improvement for a few days, but they always come back.
I continue to see the doctor in Long Island, but because of my progress, instead of an appointment every week or two, I was able to go to once per month. This time, we have extended it even longer. Please pray that I see continued progress and move more and more towards eliminating this completely. Thank you for your prayers & encouragement!
This weekend, I had a couple of issues which kept me from being able to speak on Sunday. Thank the Lord for the video from Saturday night!
Over the last few weeks, I’ve worked my way off of most of the medications I’ve been taking because my body seemed to be indicating I needed a break from that. I am now focusing on nutrition and natural supplements. I’ve begun seeing a doctor on Long Island who is helping me with this new direction, and I’m continuing to work with my Lyme specialist. It’s going to be a slow process, but a recent Lyme retest showed that my Lyme levels have been reduced significantly since this time last year. Lord willing, this will be the path that finishes things out. Thank you for your continued prayers!
It’s been a little while since I’ve given a health update. Since I missed being in worship last weekend and part of this one, I thought it would be a good time to share one now.
For the past couple of months, I’ve seen significant improvement over the Lyme, especially with the really bad days. Most of the issues I’ve had over the last little while we think were different complications related to my treatments, so now that I am seeing progress, I’m working my way off most of those to see where things are.
Hopefully, the Lyme is leaving or is gone, and coming off the treatments will mark the end of most of my issues. Lyme is very erratic, though, so it’s hard to say at this point.
My family and I continue to thank you all for your prayers and support in so many ways. We are truly blessed to have you all be such a special part of our lives!
This week, I am finishing 6 months of IV treatment and will begin another 2 month cycle. I have definitely seen the most improvement this past cycle. Lyme treatment is slow, so it takes some time to get a good feel for where things are. Seeing some signs of progress, though, are steps in the right direction.
Severe cases take 3-12 months of treatment. After this new cycle it will be 8 total for me. Here’s what I’m hoping for & what you can pray for… that all of my symptoms would subside over the next month (muscle aches, headaches, etc.), the 2nd month of treatment will just pound it all out completely, and there would be no need for more IV treatment cycles after that!
I can’t thank you all enough for your love, support, encouragement, and prayers. My family and I are truly blessed to have you all in our lives!
What a blessing it was this week for me to meet with our pastoral team and some of our other ministry leaders. I wanted to share with you what we think might be the Lord’s next steps for me and for us as a church family. I am planning on being with you in worship the weekend of Oct. 19-20. The following weekend, Oct. 26-27, I am looking forward to preaching our Open House services as we reach out to our community together! My hope is that I will be able to start preaching regularly again after that.
I do need to share with you that I am “testing the waters” a little bit. There’s no way to know for sure, but I feel like I am maybe 50% through the recovery process. The primary reasons I am coming back are because I want to be with you all and I also want to see how much I can do. This week, I am entering another 2 month treatment period like I have just finished. It’s possible that I will have to back off again while doing those treatments. We’ll just have to see how it goes. During this time, Pastor Chris will continue to be our point person day in and day out, and as my health improves, I can continue working my way back.
I do want to share with you 3 things that I believe the Lord has done during this time…
1. Moved Pastor Chris into full-time and more towards the Executive Pastor-type role that we want him to have as I focus more on preaching and leading in the future. 2. Grown His family at New Hope. Thank the Lord for you and all of our other pastors! 3. Given me time to seek the Lord’s direction for what He has for us ahead as a church family. I’ll be sharing more about all of this in the days to come, but I just wanted to give you an update. Lord willing, I can’t wait to see you all soon!
I’m a little over halfway through my 1st 2 month cycle of IV treatments. I have seen some definite improvements but still have a long way to go. My doctor told me this week that it looks very likely that my treatments will need to be extended beyond the end of this month for another cycle. Apparently, I have a fairly strong case of Lyme, and it is going to take a little while to fight it. My hope is to be working my way back to New Hope by the middle-end of October (our anniversary season), but we’ll have to see what the next couple of weeks bring. I can tell you that the Lord is really working in my life personally as well as giving me clear direction for us ahead as a church family. Please pray that I will be patient and trust His timing. Thank you for your encouragement in so many ways (it was great seeing many of you at the Casting Crowns concert this week)!
Hello, everyone. I’m thankful that so far I’ve been able to do the 2 main things I needed to do on my sabbatical… 1. Work on my health 2. Begin seeking the Lord for His direction ahead for New Hope. As for my health, we’ve tried several different courses of antibiotics. Some have provided temporary relief. Others I have not been able to continue because of allergic reactions. Today, I’m having an IV PICC line inserted for the purpose of taking what is considered the strongest and best antibiotic for Lyme. It’s very common for treatment to continue in some form even after this, but we’re hoping this will be the backbreaker to the Lyme. Please pray that my body responds well to the medicine.
I miss you all and thank you for your prayers & the great blessing that you are to my family & me! I also thank the Lord for the good things that I hear are happening in and through New Hope! God bless you. (Ps. 20:7)
Thanks so much to our church family for the amazing encouragement you were to me and my family last weekend! You really were living out the great message that Pastor Chris shared about “kindness”.
This week, the treatment for the Lyme took another step forward in intensity. That is a good thing. However, you may or may not have heard, but I had to go to the emergency room last night as a result of what they think was an allergic reaction to one of the new medications. We’re working with our doctor to try to understand what was the factor that caused it. Thankfully, with all of the medications and tests I’ve had over the last 18 months, I have not had many adverse side effects. Pray that the Lord gives us wisdom about what caused it so that the treatments can continue moving forward.
This past Monday, we received word that I have tested positive for Lyme disease. Our understanding is that the tests that we had done before and that most doctors use only detect Lyme 50% of the time. The test that was done this time we have been told has a 90+% accuracy. The doctor said that I had very high levels on all of the indicators. Though I wouldn’t say I’m “glad” to have Lyme, I am thankful that we now know what we have to treat and trust God to heal!
Thankfully, the doctor was so convinced that I had Lyme based on the symptoms that she made a clinical diagnosis and went ahead and started treating me for it with oral antibiotics a couple of weeks ago. I will take them for a couple of more weeks and then begin the next phase, treatment through injections. The approach will be slow and steady in order to let my body respond to it most effectively. It could take 6 months or longer, but our understanding is that others have found good results with this plan. We’ll just have to take it one step at a time, but the doctor fully expects that I will be able to recover completely from this. Praise the Lord, and thanks for your continued prayers. I really cannot tell you how extremely grateful we are to all of you for your prayers and support!
We’re about to begin a new direction for working on my health issues, so I wanted to give a little bit of an update of where we’ve been and also share about the new focus we’re going to take so everyone can be praying about that.
Neurologist – I am still receiving quarterly botox treatments for my headaches, but more and more, we are uncertain that this is really helping significantly. My headaches never really stop, or if they do, it is for a very short period of time after the treatment.
Rheumatologist – I had an appointment about a month ago. This doctor had a few new ideas but nothing definitive. The main thing he encouraged was some pool therapy for the muscle aches. I have had 4 of these, and they do provide some temporary relief.
Gastroenterologist – I was having some stomach issues for a few months, but after extensive testing, it appears that there are no major problems there. It could be related to my gall bladder, but they think that most of what I was having was related to some medication I was taking. After adjusting that, those issues have improved.
Lyme doctor – After pretty much exhausting all the conventional doctor options, this is the new direction we are now taking. This past week, I had my second appointment. This doctor has run a lot of tests and has diagnosed me with Lyme disease. Beginning this week, I will start on a long-term course of treatment for that. Please pray about this. I had been treated for Lyme almost exactly a year ago, but this doctor believes that it was not strong enough, long enough, and targeted enough to wipe it out.
How I’m doing overall – After my letter to our church family back in March, I’ve been working on adjusting my schedule. That is still a work in progress, but the combination of that and some medication tweaks has allowed me to feel better more often and function a little more consistently. Please pray for our pastoral team as we work together on this and for others who are being trained to serve in important areas of ministry. (Praise the Lord for that!) Many ask what you can do for me. The best things are to pray and to stay involved with what the Lord is doing in our church family. That encourages me the most. God bless you! What a blessing it is to know you all and be a part of your lives!
Wow – it’s been a while since I’ve updated everyone on how my health is. Since October’s botox treatment, my headaches were pretty much gone until January, and then, it was time for another botox treatment which I received a couple of weeks ago. Hopefully, that will take care of the headaches again. The doctor says that it could just be a continual cycle of receive a treatment, improve for 3 months, get another treatment, and so on until (hopefully) they go away at some point.
The biggest issue in recent months, though, has been the muscle aches. When the headaches seemed to be getting under control after my October botox treatment, my doctor anticipated that the muscle aches would subside. Instead, they worsened and have stayed that way since that time. My neurologist changed some of my medications around which helped somewhat. She also asked me to wait until my January headache treatment to give it some time and see what happened. When the muscle aches had still not ended in January, she said that my next step would probably be to go to a rheumatologist.
That is what I am pursuing now, as well as a gastroenterologist, which also seems to be a related part in all of this. Please pray that the Lord will show us the next step to take, and if it is through the help of doctors, that He will show us the right direction. I continue to thank all of you for your faithful prayers and encouragement. You are such a blessing to me!
Two weeks ago, I had another botox treatment. For the last few weeks, I’ve also been doing physical therapy for my neck injury. The combination of the two seems to be helping my headaches. Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks, the headaches will subside completely as the botox kicks in with full power. The biggest issue I am having now are the muscle aches. They have been up and down for a while now, but the last few weeks, they have been especially severe. The doctors are still not exactly sure what is causing them but are hoping they will decrease as my headache improves. Please pray that the Lord will take them away or give me grace to make adjustments as needed when they occur.
Two weeks ago, I had a rough week with the muscle aches, but this week has been very good. My doctor thinks that my injection treatment is wearing off a little early, so they gave me something to help bridge me until my next botox injection in mid-October. I also am doing some physical therapy for my neck injury. As that gets better, that certainly helps my headaches to lessen. Though it sometimes seems like 3 steps forward, 2 steps back, that is still 1 step forward! I am definitely continuing to experience progress. Praise the Lord!
Since my last doctor’s appointment, it’s still been somewhat up-and-down, but I’ve definitely seen improvement. During one point, I had almost a full week with little issues. I wasn’t feeling very well towards the end of this past week and heading into the weekend, but praise the Lord that I was able to preach and finish out our series in Philippians on “Finding True Joy”.
Some of you may have heard that I had to go to the emg. room last night. I was having severe abdominal pains. They checked everything out and don’t believe it was kidney stones or the gall bladder or anything like that. They think it was probably an intestinal spasm which can be pretty painful and can be caused by many different things. I’ve been cutting back on what I eat for the last year or so (which is a good thing), but for some reason, I was very hungry the last few days and ate more than usual for a few meals. Since I’ve been cutting back, it’s possible that my stomach might not have been able to handle more than usual. It seems to be unrelated, though, to my other health issues this year.
As far as the other health challenges, I went back to the neurologist this week and received some more injections for the muscle pains that had come back. That has seemed to help. If we can get the muscle treatment & headache treatment on a matching schedule, I think we’ll be close to taking care of most of it. My doctor says it may take a few months to get things back to where I need to be, but she is confident that we are on the right track. I think she is right. Praise the Lord, and thanks for your prayers!
Since Tuesday, I’ve experienced a little bit of a set-back with my recovery. The muscle aches have come back full throttle. They had pretty much been gone for about 6 weeks, but last week, they started inching back again. I think it’s just part of figuring out the treatment cycle, though, and feel confident we’ll get it taken care of next week when I visit my neurologist. The biggest prayer is that I can preach this weekend.
Today marked the 2nd day in a row that I have not had a headache! In the last few weeks, I’ve gone from headaches all day to a headache 2-3x per day, to a headache 1x at the end of the day last week, to no headache the last 2 days. That is the first time that has happened in months! Praise the Lord.
Exactly a month ago, I received the botox shots for what they think are chronic migraines. After a couple of weeks, I definitely began to see improvements and my headaches were getting less and less frequent – several times per day instead of all day! Unfortunately, when our family was at the beach, I had a serious wave that drove my face in the sand and flipped my body and injured my neck. The headaches came back immediately and with more intensity like before the botox treatment. My throat & neck are still sore, but as they are healing, the headaches are lightening up again. I think we are on the right track, and I go back for a follow-up with the neurologist next week.
Thanks so much to all of you for your continued prayers. (Phil. 1:19)
More background for those who do not know what has been going on…
-In January of 2012, I began having a constant headache & muscle aches all over that lasted for 6 months.
-I went to several doctors (family doctor, rheumatologist, infectious disease, neurologist) and had a battery of tests to figure out what it is.
-The infectious disease doctor thought it was Lyme’s disease at first and treated me for that with oral and IV antibiotics for 2-3 months.
-At the end of June 2012, I began seeing a neurologist in Latham who seems to really understand what is going on with my situation.
-At first, they treated me for my intense, fibromyalgic-like muscle aches. As those were relieved, they began focusing more on the headache. They believe that the problem is chronic migraines (which I have never had a problem with previously), but after months of headaches, the rest of my body was saying, “Enough!” which caused the muscle pains.
-They have used me a variety of treatments for the headaches to give me some immediate relief as well as working on a long-term plan for them.
-In July, they gave my botox injections that they believe will take the headaches away. For some people, those work indefinitely, and they do not have to have any more treatments. For others, they work temporarily, and they have to go back every 2-3 months to receive more treatments.
THANKS SO MUCH for your continued prayers & encouragement. To our Lord be the glory!
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