More of the Story
Lena's daughter Erika has battled health problems for the majority of her lifetime. Having been diagnosed with Perthes disease in her hip when she was 5 years old that required her to wear braces on her legs for two years, and having overcome this disease at the age of 7 years old, Erika loved the feeling of “ﬂying”, as she describes it, and she began to take dance lessons of every kind. Although health conditions continued to plague her, she persevered and progressed to a pre-professional level in ballet when she was 20 years old.
During this time Erika began to teach dance, was in college seeking a degree in exercise science and technology, and was highly involved in volunteer work with young people at her church. Her world came crashing down when continued pursuit of answers for her health problems finally resulted in a diagnosis of Chronic Lyme Disease. It is believed that she contracted the illness ten years prior but was never correctly diagnosed. By the time she received answers the illness had become deep seated in her body.
If a diagnosis of Chronic Lyme wasn’t enough, in 2014 Erika and her family experienced a toxic black mold release
in their home as a result of a botched plumbing job. This resulted in an eventual diagnosis of Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS)/Biotoxin Illness in 2015 when it was discovered that Erika has a genetic condition which prevents her body from clearing mold toxins. Unfortunately, it was also discovered that she cannot clear toxins from the Lyme bacteria, making her illnesses that much more difficult to treat. Since that time each of Lena's other three children have been bit by ticks and each developed either CDC positive acute Lyme disease, CDC negative Lyme disease but with a classic telltale bullseye rash, or symptoms and an atypical rash.
Although she has seen over 25 different practitioners and has pursued various treatments, Erika is still battling these illnesses. Erika has also dealt with several co-contributing factors to her illness such as Severe Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Gastroparesis, Hypothyroidism, and immune dysfunction, as well as other varying issues. However, Erika continues to persevere and to develop her best life possible. It hasn't been easy, but having traveled down the road of poor choices to deal with her illness in the past, she now recognizes that "wellness", as it pertains to the person as a whole, is based on knowing what he or she has control over and living your best life possible.
In the words of the Serenity Prayer:
"God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference."
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