DeSales Class of 1994 Reunion Mashup

This weekend was a great time catching up with all my brothers (it’s an all boys school) from the DeSales High School Class of 1994. We had our reunion and we spent a lot of time talking about the good old days.

I couldn’t resist putting this list together and I hope my buds will all chime in. I numbered them to make it easier to laugh about them. This is a totally random mashup of fun thoughts and memories.

  1. Mr. Throughber …. aka David Traughber working the Algebra on the Overhead
  2. On the jug list today Carter Robinson, Kerwin Wilson ……
  3. I’ll jug your buns, but not Kevin Moss – Says Mr. Neininger
  4. Brother Vince unclogging toilets from Ben S
  5. ROHMAN, KENBURGER – Coach Harold Joyce likes to say your names
  6. Coach Barney losing fingers closing the door, has he got any left by now
  7. Coach Mac eating dip on cucumbers
  8. Coach Burke’s History Class and the O shit ball for Jeff Summers, also face painting with white out, and the rubber band on the end of the ruler for Tim Rosenberger
  9. Tim Keogh and the little Buddha doll
  10. Happy Easter Coach Eppinger – from Scott Evans
  11. Dick Wunderlin teaching Jeff Summers how to assemble a car in Geometry Class
  12. If you have a headache, Father Kyrin Caggiono has some Aspirin in his desk. just don’t tell him you’re taking one, he can’t know about it
  13. Coach Campbell corrected by Mike Doyle on the Amanda Rights, I mean Miranda Rights
  14. Brown crotch hugging PE shorts for everyone
  15. The World’s Most Dangerous High School Pep Band led my Roger Knight, I mean Hank Sinatra
  16. Coach Padgett needs a cafe por favor from Brian Moss, a scribe from the late Todd Steinmacher, and a VCandR from the Real Tim Steele, he also needs to know what a 9-2 horse pays Adam Peak
  17. Get out your journals says Dick Cooper
  18. Mrs. Helm with a crush on Josh Biven 🙂
  19. Moss and Summers tearing it up at the Mixers
  20. Bob Love needs Timmy Steele to quit golf and play tennis
  21. Coach Dave Burns showing lots of leg with the short shorts and foot propped up on the desk in Spanish Class
  22. Afficianado Tim Steele, Afficianado
  23. Bob Blakely taking every class Mr. Knoop offered
  24. The little Biology professor, was his name Eckel?
  25. Fried Shrecker Fish is still Russell Quick’s favorite food
  26. Coach Schrecker: A fan of Argentinian Soccer players, the song Where oh Where Can my Baby Be …. and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer
  27. Coach Baaaaarneyyyyy
  28. All you French Scrabble players report to Mrs. Dole’s room
  29. Mr. Lyster (sp?) Kermit the frog needs his voice back
  30. Billweee Calhoun
  31. Anyone want to learn how to type in the computer lab with Chris Siegle and Coach Harold Joyce
  32. Mr. Mike Doyle, Coach Padgett says that’s a good one, but it gonna cost you. Kindly see him at 2:30
  33. Anyone want to spell out colts on the floor at the next Basketball game, Chris Guttermuth where you at?
  34. Anybody still owe money for a loan from the DeSales bank funded by Coach Campbell and his business classes? Conveniently located next the cafeteria.
  35. I still want some of that square pizza with some ranch dressing on it. Brian Moss can your mom hook us up?
  36. For those in Coach Joyce PE class you’ll never forget how to lift weights. For those in Coach Barney’s PE class you’ll never forget playing softball, handball, doing gymnastics, playing basketball, and a ton of other physical activities besides lifting weights.

Keep this list going, there has to be tons more ….

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My Battle With Chronic Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease, ain’t it grand.

This is not a post for self pity. It’s a post to get off my chest. My hope is that it will convey just a little of what this feels like on a daily basis. I wish this battle had been going on for just a while, but it’s been 3-5 years, when I look back on it. That’s a lot of missed time. I try and remind myself that Moses waited 40 years, and Joseph 20. Job suffered for a long time as well. I try and walk in this faith daily, but every moment you miss with your child, every thing you can’t do to serve your wife, every golf trip you miss and round that goes by, every year you can’t play volleyball, or softball, every business meeting you’ve missed, and every invitation you’ve declined, start to add up. I’m going to write a few books when all this has passed, and this too shall pass. I am a fighter. I tell myself sometimes to quit or give up, but that only lasts a moment. I quickly remember some words from Churchill, who said “Never, Never, Never, Never, Never Give In”. Or I remember Peter J Daniels, who said, “I’ll never give up or shut up, until God takes me up”. I wake many mornings and say let’s go child of God (thanks to pastor Mike Gatton for that prayer, he’s a fellow Lymie). Another day to battle. Another day to fight. I say why me, and then I say why not me. It doesn’t mean I don’t beg Jesus to end this. I end most days and start many just crying out to Jesus, literally in tears. It doesn’t mean I don’t search for answers, therapies and try everything I can think of to get past this sooner. I have prayed with our elders, prayed with prayer teams like Wings of Refuge, and tried as best I can to live with as much joy as I can muster. I don’t do a very good job of that. I need more lessons from Paul.

The great imitator.

That’s what they call Lyme Disease. It’s like Syphilis on steroids. It the past 3 years I’ve been told I had the following: stress induced anxiety disorder, adrenal fatigue, hyperthyroid, hyperparathryoidism, ( I actually had a surgery for the last two) depression, low testosterone, subluxated atlas and axis vertebrae from a whiplash accident, small intestine bacterial overgrowth, epstein barr (i.e. Chronic Fatigue Sydrome) hpylori, labyrhinthitis, meniere’s disease, palatus eustachian tube, superior canal dishescence. irritable bowel syndrome, and finally, drum roll, Lyme Disease and Mold Toxicity. When you have this many things wrong, you know deep down there is an underlying cause that is not being addressed. Well when they finally tested my blood for Lyme with the right test (the Western Blot from Igenex) and it showed several positive strains of antibodies for Lyme. I also had high levels of mold, and a biotoxin load 25,000 points higher than normal. Well there was my answer. Finally after 3 years and tens of thousands of dollars.

Here are just some of the symptoms I’ve lived with for 2 years, and some for 3-5.

Vision:

When I look at any background that’s white, or gray I see tons of black floaters clouding my vision. I also see ones that are clear colored. They are more distracting, especially when driving. They move around and float across my screen. The clear ones may very well be Lyme spirochetal bacteria. That is a consensus online, because they are so different than normal floaters. Anytime I move my eyes too quickly I get a falling sensation. When I close my eyes I immediately either experience spinning (vertigo) or I can actually feel the signals going to my bad ear and coming back to the back of my head. It’s quite surreal. If I close my eyes while sitting or lying down to sleep, I start to float up and down, back and forth. Imagine lying on a raft in the ocean, or standing on a wobble board 24/7 365 days a year. It never stops. Ever. Did I mention I had one trip to the doctor in the previous 15 years before this popped up 3 years ago?

Balance:

This goes hand in hand with the vision problems above. My balance was so bad last winter that I couldn’t stand on my own in the shower. I sat in the tub every morning and I spent months, at least about 4, lying on a couch. Wouldn’t have been too bad if I could sleep or nap. Try that with constant spinning and motion. Your body even if it wants to fall asleep will twitch and jump and spasm. Of course those are all very prevalent Lyme symptoms. I did vestibular rehab last summer and I went from falling and scoring 59% on my function, to 89% after 10 weeks. It lasted quite a while, but as winter progressed, Lyme treatment began and work increased back close to 40 hours, I was unable to keep up the exercises. It was about 2 hours per day just to maintain rehab exercises. So I was tested again last week, and I back down to 62% function. I’m not using my eyes or vestibular system much again, and I’m realying mostly on my somatic system. The therapy team was shocked at how good my balance was given it was all via my body, not my eyes, ears and brainstem. This is a double edged sword, as my somatic system won’t calm down when I do stop moving. Hence why I’m most uncomfortable sitting still. I typically rock, swing, sway or move as much as I can. So if I decline your offer to go to the game, grab some dinner or coffee, you know why. I have trouble sitting down at the dinner table with my family, and sitting still through an entire church service. At least I’m able to go to church, as I spent 8 months last year crying the entire hour my family was gone. That was tough. I questioned why God wouldn’t even allow me to come worship him. His ways are not our ways. His plans are not our plans. I tell you this, I have a whole new appreciation for worship.

Digestion:

This one has been up and down, up and down over the last few years. Sometimes I can eat things, other times I live in a state of naseau. Gas bloating, indigestion come and go as well. It’s quite erratic. I take massive doses of probiotics (like 80 to 100 billion per day) to keep my digestion stable.

Mind and Mood:

It started with anxiety, then paranoia, then depression. Keep in mind, I grew up a product of divorce and lived around alcoholism. I had some tough early losses of close family members who went way too early. Still I never battled anxiety or depression. So why now? Well, along with contracting Lyme disease from deer tick bites at Dale Hollow golf course 3 years ago, and a lonestar tick bites in my backyard 18 months ago, we also lived underneath a 30,000 volt power tower. Not just power lines, we lived 30 feet from the tower. Right by the bedroom window. What was I thinking when we bought that house? I wasn’t. I was concerned from the moment we moved in, but when I started having insomnia for the first time in my life. and anxiety, I knew something was up. Powerful EMF’s (electro magnetic fields) really suppress your immune system, then all hell breaks loose when you’re exposed to a pathogen like Lyme. A state worker told me one day as they were cutting limbs below the tower, that he had to wear a special suit within 15 feet of the lines. Hmm, but it’s okay for me and my family to live 30 feet away. That’s a magic 15 feet of buffer. By the way, there are regulations which prohibit towers from being nearby schools and hospitals. With Lyme disease I’ve experienced brain fog, major difficulty concentrating, and problems carrying out multi step projects. I had bouts of confusion where I didn’t even know what was happening around me. My mom and wife have seen it first hand. This has all been getting better, as I said, I’ve been working close to full time now.

Hormones:

High cortisol, then rock bottom low cortisol. It’s a stress hormone made in your adrenal glands. You can’t live without it by the way. When I was first taking supplements to support these glands about 2 years ago, I had people close to me really questioning it. I said you can’t live without them. I still don’t think they believed me. I have had normal, high and low testosterone through this journey. It’s perplexed doctors, but again that’s the nature of Lyme. It doesn’t spend much time in the bloodstream. It corkscrews itself into your glands, your spine, your brain and your joints. It also morphs into cyst form whenever antibiotics or antimicrobials are used to treat it. It also affects your brain neurotransmitters. You know serotonin, dopamine, gabba, norepinephrine and acetylcholine. Getting these puppies balanced through supplementation or drugs is quite challenging when an infection is affecting your brain. I’ve chosen the natural route for the most part, with a few attempts to medicate, unsuccessfully.

Energy:

This is the next most bothersome after the vision and balance symptoms. The fatigue is unbearable. Sometimes you crawl. Sometimes you can’t even raise your arms. I joked last year, that when shaving makes the do list that’s a problem. For those who knew me before this, I was playing softball, volleyball, competing in golf tournaments, running a new business, helping raise 4 kids, volunteering at church and juggling other commitments. Yes I was overdoing it. I was using coffee to power through it. I was setting myself up for a crash. But this was not a normal crash. When Lyme moves in, you go down in flames. How do you know you might have Lyme disease? Daryl Hall (of Hall and Oates) says when you can’t get off the floor. It’s crippling and makes it hard to work, engage in life, or do anything predictably. It’s hard to commit to plans because you feel like you’re living with the flu.

In the last 3 years, I’ve had the following diagnostic tests run:

  • 3 hour MRI of brain, and full spine.
  • CAT Scan of head.
  • 3 CAT Scan’s of left ear (they messed up the first one), and they were both unnecessary, as a third ENT diagnosed me correctly with a Patulous Eustachian Tube.
  • Gallbladder, Liver stomach ultrasound
  • Thyroid Ultrasound, Thyroid Fine Needle aspiration
  • Parathyroid exploration and Thyroid Nodule removal
  • Full body thermography scan
  • VNG exam (testing the balance mechanisms of the ear, and eyes)
  • 2nd VNG exam
  • Chest xray
  • Full spinal xrays
  • Flexion spinal xrays
  • EKG
  • Adrenal ACTH Challenge Test
  • 4 Neurological Exams
  • Balance Testing on Neurocom
  • I’ve had blood drawn probably 25 times in 3 years.
  • 4 ER trips

The Treatment:

What I’m doing has worked for others. I’m trying lots of alternative treatments, from hydrogen peroxide, to infrared sauna detoxes, to a strict diet, and tons of supplementation just to keep me going ( I tried the no supplement route and dropped to 157 pounds and couldn’t move). I also take the Cowden Protocol from Nutrimedix. It’s a natural treatment for Lyme Disease that has been shown to work as effectively as antibiotics, or more so for that matter. My doctors, my primary care physician and my Lyme Literate doctor have suggested other things, such as Hyperbaric Oxygen, blood ozone therapy, IV vitamins and minerals, glutathione injections, acupuncture, biofeedback and several other modalities. On a fixed income with 4 kids, we haven’t tried any of these consistently. It’s a tough disease because health insurance companies don’t recognize Lyme or only cover 2- 4 weeks of antibiotics, so almost all costs are out of pocket. That’s changing based on a precedent setting court case recently. Lyme tends to attack the neck joints, and that along with a whiplash accident, have complicated matters for me. I’ve spent a lot of time and money ( sometimes 2-3 times per week) getting my top two bones in my spine adjusted. I’m very grateful that I’m currently holding an adjustment for 3 weeks. When I’m out, my left leg pulls up 3/4 of an inch, my right shoulder pulls next to my neck, and my symptoms get way worse.

Lyme kills some people. It disables others to the point where they have no life. It leads, for many, to neurological conditions like MS, ALS, and Parkinsons. I relate most to what Daryl Hall (or Hall and Oates) said. Lyme makes you wish you were dead. I have called out to Jesus on at least 20 occasions in the past 2 years and asked him to take me home. I never wanted to leave my family, but the suffering was so intense. I have life insurance, and actually made plans last year for my wife on how to disperse it. That’s what this disease can do to you. That being said, I’m a fighter. Always have been, always will be. I don’t ever quit. Ever. So don’t worry about me, I will beat this. If God called me home, then I’m in a better place. Much better. However, I believe he has a lot more work for me to do down here. I’m getting my motivation back so watch out. Don’t bet against me. I can be tenacious, especially when I’m calling on Jesus to be my strength. My flesh is weak but my spirit is willing.

It’s not always Jesus plan to heal, or no one would ever die, right? I’m not asking. I’m making a statement. He has plans for us all, and I don’t understand why some haven’t been healed. We’ve lost two special people this month alone. I don’t have to mention their names, as many of you know them. They were saints and servants in his kingdom. It doesn’t make much sense that he called them home with so much work to do, but only time will reveal his plan. So will he heal me? I believe that’s his plan, but if he doesn’t that’s okay. I don’t deserve it any more than many others that have not received healing. After all, those of us who believe are all going to a better place one day. This is not our home. We were made for him.

I’ve dealt with all kinds during this journey. Some people just don’t have an empathic bone in their body. I’ve had people call me an infidel for not providing for my family at the worst. I’ve had people just not understand at the least. For those who will say his mind is working fine, he wrote all this. Well I did write it over the last 4 months. This would have been impossible last year. I lived in a state of brain fog and confusion. It’s hard to explain. You just wouldn’t understand. If I weren’t trying, I wouldn’t even get up each day.

I will battle on. Will you pray for me, and those with Lyme Disease. They might look fine, but they’re far from it.

P.S. This video is a bit what it’s like to live with Lyme.

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Senior PGA at Valhalla- My Take on Day 4

photo (3)

Well, that was something special. And to think I was wanting to work all week and miss the event just 6 days ago. Thanks to my father in law Perry, and my neighbor Hal for talking me into volunteering. Thanks to my business partner Jay for making me … [Continue reading]

Senior PGA at Valhalla- My Take on Day 3

Senior PGA Day 3

So I snuck out and played 18 this morning. How can I guy watch that much golf and not wanna go play. The results were less than stellar. Quite boring. I shot a 78 with pars and bogeys. Ball striking was great with the irons. I watched the pros and … [Continue reading]

Senior PGA at Valhalla- My Take on Day Two

grassroots and soil

So for starters my picture is terrible. Quick iphone picture, but it captures the day pretty well. Overcast. Chilly. There were hand warmers, rain jackets, and it seemed like lots of coffee was sold. I never saw the sun peek out. I arrived at … [Continue reading]

Senior PGA at Valhalla- My Take on Day One

Valhalla Senior PGA

So I'm volunteering this week at the Senior PGA, and in turn I get a hall pass for the week. Pretty cool deal. Of course most everyone else in the city of Louisville is doing the same thing. I worked my shift for yesterday's practice round so … [Continue reading]

Perseverance have you been blessed with the chance to develop it

Perseverance

How would you define perseverance? Staying power? Battling through the odds when they are stacked against you? Dictionary.com defines it as: steady persistence in course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of … [Continue reading]

Our Decision to Homeschool

Those who know us, realize homeschooling wasn't a last minute decision made on a whim. We stated after Madison, our first child who is now 5; was born, that we planned to homeschool. It's a decision many of our friends from church have made and … [Continue reading]

Trip to Walmart changed my weekend

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm not a Walmart fan. It has nothing to do with corporate welfare, mom and pop businesses, health insurance or any of those old debates. It has to do with the organization of the store. I can never find anything like I can … [Continue reading]

Isaiah 40 and the Serenity Prayer

I keep reading this verse of scripture daily and it really refreshes me. It's the verse quoted by Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire during one of his sermons. The text from the NIV translation is below the video. Also, below that I've listed the full … [Continue reading]