Checkpoint Charlie



I attended the funeral of a sister to a dear friend this morning.  The service was held in Kleinfeltersville, my home town.  As we entered the parking lot, we took note that it was a full house, and I smiled, sadly-remembering 15 years ago-when we buried my best friend, Barbie.  Today was about celebrating the life of Fran Compenhaver, who also happened to be Barbie’s sister.  I had never met her, but I am rather close to her family, in a myriad of ways.

Inspecting my latest tick bite, I shook my head, disgusted.   I cried out to God-what now?  I cannot continue on these antibiotics-they aren’t good for our kidneys and extended use can be extremely dangerous.  I had literally just finished the Doxycycline, and the fatigue, migraine and fever all screamed their bloody heads off-telling me that I had to do something different-after five years of going round and round with Lyme disease?  I knew I had to get truly serious and begin some research.

As I read, my mouth remained open to the point that saliva slid from the corner of my lips.  I couldn’t believe what I was reading:

From a Lyme disease specialist:  …so, antibiotics simply do not work in killing the spirochete that causes the disease itself.

“Craptastic,” I mutter, as my anxiety mounts to the point of near hysteria.

The article went on to say that even extended doses of doxy do not cure the disease: they kill the bacteria, yes, causing symptoms to recede, if not vanish completely.  Yet the spirochete remains, causing reoccurring and chronic Lyme.

ok, what the shit am I going to do?

I had made an appointment with a rheumatologist for October.  My physician may mean well, but he didn’t diagnose (let alone look  at my tender and swollen Lymph node) me.  I diagnosed myself six months later, when my husband and I burst into the practice the day after Christmas, 2013.  Luckily, I didn’t see my regular physician, this time a woman; a compassionate, understanding, well educated woman.

“I believe I have Lyme disease (I was drenching in sweat, wearing my tattered bathrobe-hadn’t even tried to comb my hair, and as the good doctor took note, was white as a ghost) please give me 30 days of Doxycycline and we’re done here.”  I ended up having to go for an ultrasound-the lymph node was now the size of a grapefruit; then a uterine biopsy, and then two years of normalcy, energy and strength.

Back to this morning.  My mouth was slack jaw because of the next few words:

In short, Stevia cures Lyme by killing the spirochete.  Here is the link to the article:

STEVIA?  Why, I had a Stevia plant in my garden.  I promptly ran out and picked the biggest leaf I could find, and swallowed the sweetness…and here’s where it gets good.  I had been feeling absolutely awful for a week.  As I sat in Dwain’s truck I did inventory.  I wasn’t stuffed up, my headache abated, lost energy returned and my mood improved dramatically…and the best part?  Seven days.  A leaf of Stevia for seven days.

This is how Jesus leads us, but we need to pray for ourselves as well.

Ask and you shall receive.

As we left the service, in which we reunited with dozens of friends we hadn’t seen since my recovery.  We were the partiers, the click, the druggies and the hippies.  We rocked Kleinfeltersville, shook it up a bit, got ourselves some reputations.  And here we were, together again-but this time complaining about aches and pains, sharing doctor’s numbers and hearing about other losses of which we had not a clue.

And as the crowd prepared to descend on the K-ville Hotel (our collective bar of choice) Dwain took my hand.  We walked in the other direction, somewhat stoic, older and wiser.

In loving memory

Barbie, you were with us today, and I know that with every fiber of my being~

Barbara Ann Shipper

Please don’t take one another for granted, not even for a second.

Only God knows for whom the bell tolls.



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