“Out of the Woods” was published last October. We launched it in my hometown at a festive crowd filled party amid much fanfare. An evening of joy, tears and compassion, all of us in attendance felt the heartfelt message of healing wisdom shared in the beautiful induction from my beloved spiritual teacher, Dr. Meredith Young-Sowers. She blessed this special book and my work as a healer and messenger with such grace and divinity. It was a true honor for me.
Ten months later now, I scan back and must say I am moved at a very deep level by what I have been experiencing, as I share “Out of the Woods” and my recovery journey from advanced chronic Lyme with others.
I am taking this time to elucidate the most intrinsic pieces with you, though I could write for days on the process in totality. In fact, I have toyed with the notion of writing a memoir on my year catapulted into the working world and stratosphere of Inspirational Speaker as a recovered Lymie. It has been nothing short of miraculous, on many levels! For you kind followers however, I would like to share these pieces now.
After a winter time of radio shows, in March 2012 I took off for a two week book tour to the West Coast. My prior blogs showcase that remarkable time and the amazing people I met, the Innanna House fundraiser a highlight.
April brought me locally around New Hampshire and then to picturesque, Princeton, New Jersey, a heavily Lyme infested region. Three knock-out book events; Barnes and Noble, Lawrence Nature Center, Whole Life Market plus a smashingly fun dinner party at fellow homeopath’s home made this an action packed four days. Old friends, health care providers, internet acquaintances and Lymies all came to share. I come home, my head a swirl.
Peterborough, New Hampshire, hoisted me as a featured speaker at their Greenerborough Day Festival, again record numbers in rapt attention, more regional bookstores and now the front page newspaper status emerged for me, as Pepperell, Massachusetts, and Peterborough took the Lyme epidemic seriously, sending their reporters out to cover my events. Wow! Cape Code public TV featured “Out of the Woods” and me on their interview program “Books and the World” in May and Wellfleet Library sponsored me at a lovely event, again many people at “ground zero Lyme” on the Cape. Sadly barely any Lyme literate practitioners are there andthe Cape is severely infested.
Green Living Journal, Creations Magazine, Wisdom Magazine all generously ran my Lyme disease articles, “Is Lyme the New HIV?” garnering international attention as it went viral around the globe on the web.
By now, I began to realize something critical was at play- people are calling out for help! Lyme disease has destroyed too many lives and is breaking down once stable systems. Our medical system, the insurance industry, the International Organization of Medicine, the Center for Disease Control and even the Human Services Sector have “missed the boat” regarding Lyme disease over the past 35 years and we are paying for it now. Every community I walk into has a mere one or two, at best, Lyme literate practitioners available to treat them. Some absolutely none!
Hospital ER’s, the average GP, and even renowned medical centers and hospitals are not recognizing Lyme disease cases in front of their very eyes. At all my events there are caretakers present, there for a sick loved one who could not leave the house to attend, due to Lyme.
“My daughter’s limbs are paralyzed and “X” hospital sent her home with no diagnosis.”
“My husband lost his job due to Lyme disease sickness, we have no income or insurance.”
“I got sick with a fever, five days later “Y” hospital told me I had three days to live, as my heart valves were destroyed. My ex husband had me ambulanced to a Boston hospital for valve transplants. The surgeon said my heart was attacked by Lyme babesiosis.”
“My daughter has not gone to school in seven years. She is 17 and we don’t know if she will live. We are going to India for stem cell experimental work for Lyme disease.”
“The only food I can keep down is white rice. They put me on a feeding tube to keep me alive.”
“I used to be a runner and very vital. Fifteen years ago I had a numb left leg, then year by year new “odd” symptoms emerged. Every doctor has a vague diagnosis of CFS, arthritis, possible early MS, migraines, and now I’m on a cane and can’t think at all. Just five months ago Igenex lab tests were run and I’ve had undiagnosed Lyme disease all the time!”
These are just the tip of the iceberg of stories I hear every single week. Massive numbers of people are stricken by the Lyme organisms! Our nation, Europe, Australia, even South Africa, Asia and more are under the Lyme siege. I am having the biggest education of my life, out on the streets with “Out of the Woods” by my side. It is shocking.
June took Laura Piazza, “Recipes for Repair” author and myself, into assorted New England locations as we joined forces, lecturing on behalf of lyme awareness and recovery options to the public for free. Our events are packed! We are meeting very special people; intelligent, brave, battle-scarred and searching. We offer hope and resources for recovery AND we are wide eyed at the swathe of the epidemic. Lyme affects all age brackets.
Boston Lyme Support Group and the Dover, Massachusetts Library were stunning events for me. Eighty-five people at Dover, two newspaper reporters, the Board of Health, doctors in attendance. This community is ravaged by Lyme, they welcomed me with open arms. Two hours later, sweating, drained and ignited simultaneously, I was ushered out from the group, the energy of Lyme distress, anger and need propelling me into the soft air of a summer night. My heart ached for the single mom with no money to pay for her bedridden son’s medications, for the lack of savvy doctors, for the sorrow in the eyes of grey pallored man in the front row, his eyes glazed from Lyme. The ugly saber cuts of this illness are striking into too, too many homes! It must be stopped!
By July, I’d been on the road for five months, speaking somewhere every week. My flurry of a trip to the New York City Book Expo was actually feeling frivolous compared to the work I was doing lecturing in the war zones of Lyme. In many ways it was hard to catch my breath. But, the radio and TV stations started calling.
WNHN, Arnie Arnesen’s “News, Views, and Blues” interviewed me live. ABC 22 and FOX 44 live in Burlington, Vermont, featured me. Four more front page newspapers status. The Concord Insider featured Laura Piazza and me in a full page interview on Lyme disease and our books. The New Hampshire’s largest newspaper, The Union Leader, devoted Sunday Arts and Entertainment section to an interview article on me as an author of “Out of the Woods; Healing Lyme Disease, Body, Mind, and Spirit.” The Lyme disease awareness by now was soaring in New England. Part of this makes me feel hopeful.
Ever enchanting Woodstock, New York beckoned, the Ulster County Lyme Support Group bringing me to the famed Mirabai Bookstore. The Hudson River Valley is an eternally beautiful region , depicted in the umber toned paintings of the 1800’s artists, gentle farmlands and the river’s presence, beaucolic and nurturing. Yet, danger lurks here. Lyme disease is rampant! At a wonderful event, “Holistic Healing Approaches to Lyme Disease,” I was able to share my personal and professional experience on how to recover from chronic Lyme. Our audience was wise and sensitive and more than half sick with Lyme.
The drumbeat rolls on. From town to town I travel, a minstrel show style of simplicity, as it is typically just me, my books and my voice, there to offer hope and inspiration, guidance and healing support to those in need. Through the small townships, over streaming highways into the big cities, and into the skies to longer distances, I am working, and ministering to the gapping spiritual wounds of the Lyme afflicted.
I know your stories. I have lived it, long and hard myself. Ten years of my life “lost” to Lyme’s destructive forces. This syphilitic style illness creates an array of auto-immune type symptoms, erodes multiple systems of the body into depletion, and can crack the self-confidence and well-being of even the most stalwart or adventurous person. Relationships, families, careers, lives can be ruined. And yes, you CAN heal, against steep odds!
I do not like what I am seeing. I favor what I am feeling-the pleading call for recognition and the honest willingness so many individuals show me, when I offer to teach them a spiritual healing exercise. Vulnerable, tender, aware are words I use to describe many Lyme drained beings. Your journey has been life altering. Some of you have been mishandled by the medical world. All of you have beautiful hearts.
I wrote “Out of the Woods” as a handhold of comfort for the Lyme afflicted and their caregivers. My intention was to use my personal story as a message of hope, that you too could recover like I did. My voice in “Out of the Woods:” is the voice of thousands, maybe millions, who walk this treacherous path beside me. We are bonded in a sense, through this illness; alone in many ways, yet connected in a universal truth-love is the guiding light.
Venturing out of the woods of New Hampshire and on the road with my book, initially I assumed I would share my writing style as an author and offer inspiration. Many months later, I have learned that something much larger has been asked of me-to help shift the tides of this epidemic. As momentum has built, my voice and healing work expanding constantly, I somehow have become a conduit for change. Town by town, paper to radio, individual and groups entwined, a grass roots collective has been forming. Those of you who join me are all included. Together we are potent.
The forces are aligning. I can feel it. Don’t forget I am a trained Intuitive. I can glimpse into the future. It is coming, please be assured. Just as they got a “handle” on HIV, they will get a “handle” on Lyme disease. I am working out there for all of us. Constantly networking, interfacing, inquiring, I am pushing into the medical and scientific communities. Please keep the faith. Pray and take good care of yourselves-body, mind, and spirit.
“Stay strong and believe in yourself, no matter what.” The mystical words from my mother in the Nantucket Moors. It is important to have belief.
We will affect a change with Lyme disease. Walls need to come down. Education is essential. Money and research are dire necessities. But, we are closer. In ten years from now it will be vastly better. Lyme disease can no longer be pushed under the carpet nor neglected. Thank you to all the groups, foundations, and people pushing for this.
The past cannot be undone, but the future is ours to hold. We can create what is needed. Do not be held down by negative thinking, the wounds,the half-empty glass in life, but instead believe in your own personal recovery and a positive outcome for Lyme disease-better diagnostics, an integrative health care system and ample money available. Out there on the horizon I hold the vision of an effective Lyme vaccine and Lyme disease retreat hospitals.
In the meanwhile, the book tour continues!! No sleep for the weary as my Grandma would say. Thank you to all my true friends, support leaders, bookstores, libraries, newspapers and more who have given “Out of the Woods” its wings. We are flying high and proud these days!
I’m off to totally ravaged Long Island-Shelter Island and Sag Harbor this weekend. Then Rhode Island and Connecticut in September.
Please send me strength, guidance, and protection, as I move forth, “Out of the Woods” in my hands, bringing insights and a healing message to others.
I am doing this now for ALL OF US. I have moved way beyond doing PR for my book, into igniting the fires of change for Lyme disease awareness and the course of our healthy future.