Posted in Healing from Lymes, Lymes and Other Tick-Borne Illnesses, Thyroid Health and Hashimotos Awareness

Healing from Lymes: Phase 1

Since returning from my LLMD on Tuesday evening, I have spent the last 48-hours piecing together the 1st phase of my treatment plan: supplements. “Phase 1” is GREATLY boosting and strengthening the immune system (prior to introducing antibiotics to kill the borrelia burgdorferia bacteria). Lymes weakens the immune system, making it unable to fight against the borrelia bacteria load (while it continues to travel and migrate around your body, wreaking havoc on your health, organs, and systems).

This is what healing from Lymes looks like… in addition to my morning thyroid meds for Hashimoto’s (Naturethroid 32.5 mg), I now will be spending the next 2-3 weeks phasing in 17 different supplements, 2 different types of probiotics, a daily subcutaneous shot of B12 in my hip, Nystatin (to combat the yeast overgrowth in my system), and also maintaining a STRICT anti-inflammatory diet (sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free). Not ONE BITE of sugar, gluten, dairy, or soy.

Yesterday consisted of introducing Vitamin C, 2000 mg capsules and TWO different kinds of probiotics. Since I have so many food sensitivities (and need to adhere to such a strict, anti-inflammatory diet — Lymes THRIVES off of inflammation in your body), all of my supplements need to be allergy-free. I will build up my Vitamin C by 2,000 mg a day up to 8,000 mg total daily (to bowel tolerance) over the course of the next week. I am also taking 20 billion CFU’s of saccharomyces boulardii daily as well as 80 billion CFU’s of 6 other strains. Product links below on Amazon.
Today consisted of introducing 25 mg of subcutaneous B12 (Hydroxocobalamin) in my right hip. This was prescribed for me from a compounding pharmacy. I am now the proud owner of a sharps collector and a bruised right hip. Here is the reasoning behind incorporating Hydroxocobalamin into a Lyme patient’s “healing” protocol:
Finally, today I also introduced a product by Ortho Molecular Products called D-Hist. This product helps the body with mast cell stabilization in healing from Lymes. I will slowly build up to 9 capsules daily. Here is a great explanation as to “why” and also a direct link to the product I am using on Amazon.
With that I REST! A good night’s rest of quality, healing sleep is a critical component of a Lyme patient’s protocol. Good night, and until tomorrow’s healing additions to my rapidly-growing, immune-boosting supplement regimen!

Posted in Healing from Lymes, Lymes and Other Tick-Borne Illnesses, Thyroid Health and Hashimotos Awareness

Newbie Lymie Mama

For those of you patiently following our family’s journey over the course of the last several months… thank you and BLESS you for ALL of the prayers, kindness, crisis interventions, sympathy, empathy, thoughts, concern, meals, cards, flowers, HELP in one way or the other, and so, SO much more!

Our family has been living a nightmarish hell, of sorts, since our eighth child and son, sweet little JJ, was born last June. Here’s a brief overview/chronology:

June 2016: DS Jeremiah Jonathon born. Healthy little red-haired boy despite having been told he had a high likelihood of having Down Syndrome.

August 2016: Not feeling well AT ALL postpartum. Now mind you, I have seven previous pregnancies and postpartums to compare it to. Start researching online. Come up with lupus but don’t have the rash. Come up with fibromyalgia. Figured I shouldn’t head in to see my doctor yet as baby is not sleeping through the night and she will likely tell me I’m crazy and need to start getting some sleep. Experiencing random burning and stabbing pains throughout my body.

September through December 2016: Continued exasperated weird migratory symptoms. Three sinus infections with antibiotic, augmentin. One UTI. A yeast mastitis. Another antibiotic, doxycycline, for a horribly painful rash only on right side of my face doctor diagnoses as perioral dermatitis. I now cannot put my elbows down on furniture when nursing my son. I’m now also wearing knee pads in my house in order to pick up toys, change diapers, and get laundry out of my front loaders. All bloodwork at my doctor’s office is normal, including thyroid labs.

December 2016: The horrible fatigue and hair loss sets in. I’m losing hair by the clumps. The brain fog and neurological symptoms start. The horrible headaches start. I am becoming increasingly irritated by noise and bright lights. Remember — I have eight kids under the age of fourteen, and my life is NOT noise OR stress-free.

My husband returns from a routine physical at the Mayo Clinic. They find a thyroid nodule on his right thyroid. It is biopsied, and it comes back as indeterminate. He decides to have a partial thyroidectomy because he wants it out.

Week before Christmas – – I wake up one morning and can hardly walk. Can’t sit down or drive or bend at of 45° angle. Severe compression/nerve pain in my lower back isolated to spot of epidural. Remember — I have eight children and drive a fifteen passenger van.

January 2017: REALLY not feeling well. Sleeping all the time. Struggling with putting together sentences in basic conversation and remembering short-term details. Rapidly start losing weight. Return to the Mayo Clinic with my husband for his pre-surgery consultation. Arrange overnight care for all eight of our children.

February 2017: The shit *officially* hits the fan. I return to see my doctor once again. FINALLY — labs start coming back indicating that there is a problem. My TSH is now near 6. I have an averse raction after 14 days on levothyroxine. Decide to schedule an appointment with an endocrinologist to continue seeking the deeper root of what is happening to my body.

March 2017: Husband has a partial thyroidectomy at the Mayo Clinic. We are praying it’s not cancer. Arrange childcare again and farm out all eight of our kids for another four days. PRAISE GOD the nodule is an adenoma, a benign tumor. However, my thyroid now starts swinging from hypothyroid to hyperthyroid with my thyroid TSH moving 3 to 4 points in a five day period — up and down. Both of my sisters fly in from out of town to live with our family for several weeks while I am experiencing a whole new array of symptoms with the hyperthyroidism such as anxiety, panic attacks, vertigo, insomnia, hot sweats, and just generally very manic and out of control symptoms (and subsequently cannot drive). 

March 10, 2017: I have my long-awaited appointment with endocrinologist who diagnoses Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroid disease as well as Lymes Disease through the Elisa antibody serum test. However, am told I “do not have active Lymes” since I test negative on the Western Blot.

I have now lost going on TWENTY pounds since Valentine’s Day. I now weigh as much as my fourteen-year-old daughter.

April 19: I have my first appointment out of town, four hour drive each way, with a LLMD. (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor). She is functional medicine/allopathic. She spent FOUR HOURS with me face-to-face going over nearly TWENTY YEARS of medical history which all started for me back in high school when I had EBV/mono. I leave her office that day with NINE different separate “initial” diagnosis of coinfections as well as giving another fifteen to twenty vials of blood.

May 22: A LOOOONG five-week wait between appointments with my LLMD after four months of being EXTREMELY sick and debilitated, eleven months of a hellish nightmare of a postpartum, in addition to nine months before that of an extremely difficult pregnancy with Down Syndrome scare. ALL lab results are in. Final diagnosis of: Lymes Disease (Borrelia Burgdorferia), Babesiosa Duncani (separate tick-borne coinfection), Bartonella Henselae (separate tick-borne coinfection) through IGeneX labwork… mycotoxin toxicity in the form of gliotoxins and tricothecenes (from a previous home we lived in where black mold was NOT disclosed to us prior to closing OR caught during inspection)… which is causing my Hashimoto’s… candida from MANY courses of antibiotics, adrenal insufficiency, severe gluten intolerance (further causing inflammation)… and several other coinfections YET. The three tick-borne illnesses being the BIG PLAYERS, simultaneously fooling my immune system, suppressing it, attacking healthy tissues, and basically creating a HUGE internal traffic jam in my body where nothing is working quite right.

I have decided in the next several weeks (as soon as things calm down a bit and my kids are out of school for the summer) to return to my blog which I started in 2013 during our brief move to Duluth and subsequent relocation back to Ohio. 

Rest assured — my suffering WILL NOT BE in vain. It WILL BE redemptive, and it WILL bear much fruit for other people and families who are victims of this debilitating disease. I WILL have a voice, and I WILL let my voice be heard. My hope is to be an advocate for #lymesdisease and other #tickborneillnesses and #mycotoxintoxicity. I intend to raise awareness of treatment protocols through LLMD’s (Lyme Literate Medical Doctors) as well as prevention procedures. Prevention and early intervention are truly the best ways to fight this! If I can help even just ONE PERSON avoid the suffering I have endured, then going public with all of this will have been immeasurably worth it. 

Jesus, we trust only in YOU. You are so much bigger than our fears and anxieties and the lies the world tells us (“you’re not sick,” “it’s all in your head,” “here’s another prescription,” “you’re just plain crazy.” You are bigger than chronic health issues. You are the beginning and the end. The Alpha and the Omega. You know our future during times of uncertainty, fear, doubt, despair, loss of hope, and even dark nights of the soul.

Jeremiah 29:11 — “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans for hope, and a future.” 

Our 8th child and son, Jeremiah Jonathon, was named after this verse in the Bible. In the middle of a fearful and tumultuous pregnancy, we got down on our knees and continued to praise and serve a God we KNOW does not make mistakes.

A VERY SPECIAL thank you to all of my #lymie and #hashis friends who have walked a mile in my shoes and altered the course of my and my family’s future by sharing YOUR journeys with me! Each and every one of you has made a HUGE impact on my life and so subsequently on my family. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. ❤️❤️🙏🏻🙏🏻💚💚

Lymes Awareness

Posted in Authentic Catholicism

Lent is Lurking

I started the open-ended conversation last week with my children, “So what are you going to give up for Lent this year?”

And I got the usual & normal replies…

One says TV.

Another says XBox.

Someone calls out, “Sweets.”

You get my drift. 😉

While these are all good and sacrificial for small children, it couldn’t help but make me wonder, “What is God calling me… Kelly… Kelly daughter-of-Christ… Kelly-wife… Kelly mother… to give up this year?

How can I be the best me during Lent and give my God my all — the best of me? My whole mind, heart, body, soul, and strength?

As I was reminding my children, it’s not really about us. It’s about Him… about dying to ourselves in order to rise with Him on Easter morning.

Is it the lazy part of ourselves that needs some fine-tuning?

Is it the greedy hand that needs slapped out of the cookie jar?

Is it the restless heart that finally needs to find rest in Christ?

As Matthew Kelly always so eloquently says… how can Lent help us “become the best versions of ourselves” this year?

I came across this article which I really liked. It was new, refreshing, creative, penitential, and introspective — all at the same time. Special thanks to Life Teen for their ideas.

So… with Ash Wednesday lurking only 4 days around the corner, I ask you (as well as myself), “What will you lay down for Him this year?”

Make it count.

Make this your best. Lent. EVER!!


Posted in Authentic Catholicism, Large Family Life

Homeschooling “Featured Family” Article

This last year, I was graced to be asked to write an article, as a Catholic homeschooling mom, about our homeschooling experience… why we homeschool, how we homeschool, and why we use Seton–across the board.

It was published this September in Seton Home Study School’s “Featured Family” monthly newsletter.

Here is a link:



Posted in Large Family Life

The Next Chapter

So here I sit tonight… in O-H-I-O… nearly a year after my last post… at what I’d like to think is the end (but maybe really is only just the beginning) of a loooooong journey.

You see… from my last post in Duluth in 2013… we encountered a relocation to Ohio, another pregnancy, and 9 months of a weekly-traveling husband.

In March of 2013… all within 4 days… we lost our home which we were in contract to purchase in Duluth. Contingency was called on the home we were selling… hubby’s new job got relocated… pregnancy test turned positive… and we were on our way to Ohio.

Another six weeks with six kids in the in-laws’ home…

Hubby gone nearly 5 days a week for 9 months…

Closed on our current home in the middle of May…

Hubby’s replacement came on-board early September… so traveling became more “normalized?” Is there such a thing when you have six kids?!!

*** insert ^^breathe ***

So here we are one year later.

And it’s a funny thing how God works beauty from ashes.

I’d like to introduce you to our newest member of the family. Teresa Grace Madrid was born nearly 5 weeks early on 11-4-2013 at 12:39 AM. She weighed 5 pounds, 7 ounces and was 18 inches in length. She came out with dark brown hair, much to her Mommy’s delight 🙂 She was baptized into the Catholic Faith on 11-24-13, the last day of the Year of Faith. Had she not been so early, this would not have been possible. But God is good, all the time ❤

So… from the ashes beauty arose. We called another soul down from Heaven in what I considered to be "the worst of times." Yet God called us to trust. In Him. And to lean not on our own understanding.

Teresa Grace was named for Mother Teresa, who inspired me to persevere through my everyday trials with JOY. Grace… well that’s obvious. I wouldn’t have made it without it.

Here is the princess — my joy and my strength.

Because with God, all things are possible ❤


Posted in Large Family Life

Our Journey to Duluth

Little did my husband and I know three years ago that we would be suddenly moving to Minnesota. Little did we know three months ago that we would be suddenly moving AGAIN–this time waaaaaaaay up north to “Duluft,” as our four-year-old calls it 😉 Duluth, Minnesota was NEVER a place we had even jokingly considered calling home.

Yet, here we are (well–almost), and this is how it happened (in-a-nutshell).

My husband came home from work earlier this fall and said, “Honey, can we talk?”

These kinds of conversations in marriage are inevitably dreaded and avoided at all costs 😉 Nevertheless, every now-and-again, they need to be had 😉

So, the basis of this conversation was the potential for a shift in my husband’s career, which would land us our 7th move in 10 years. I gave my husband my blessing to move forward, trusting FIRST in him to lead and provide for our family. SECOND, I trusted in God’s Divine Providence for our family. Any job, in this economy, that pays better and avoids a 1.5 hour commute to work — EACH WAY — is a no-brainer when you have 8 mouths to feed.

So, three months later, my husband received and accepted an offer. Within a week, it was in writing. A week after that, we were on our first of three trips up north to find a place for our family to live.

Now, here we are — 10 weeks later. We have had three potential rental properties fall through. “Not my will, but THY will be done.” Lord, we are thankful that you have shown us this is not Your most holy will. Whenever You close a door (or three, in our case), You open a window somewhere else. Please show us how to be patient while we continue to wait and prudently discern.

Our current house has been in contract “with contingency” for nearly two months, waiting for our potential buyers to sell theirs. “Not my will, but THY will be done.” Lord, we are thankful that another family so earnestly wants to make our loving home their forever home.

I drove our 6 children halfway across the country in the dead of winter, BY MYSELF, to stay with my in-laws for a month (January) while our home went into contract. Lord, thank you for the strength and perseverance to make a trip like that. Thank you for the generosity and hospitality of family in our time of need.

I spent a month after that (February) in Duluth with our 6 children, living in my husband’s 800 sq. ft., 2 bedroom condo. Lord, thank you for that time of closeness and togetherness. Thank you that we were together through thick-and-thin. Thank you for helping us hold onto the ideals that we set for our family… the dream we dreamed while standing on the altar nearly 11 years ago to have a large, Catholic family. Thank you for giving us the grace to stand by and hold on to that dream through our Faith in You.

And now… the journey has taken us back to our home for the time being. Lord, thank you for our backyard! Thank you for our sleds and the snow outside and our OWN BEDS! Give us the faith to know that while Daddy is there and we are here — that this is only for a time. May we use the distance to grow together… day by day… in grace, love, holiness, and perfect charity… knowing that YOU are behind and driving it all… and never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.

+ Jesus, we trust in You +