Wednesday, January 29, 2014


So I've been getting prodded to do an update, and I admit - it's been way too long.  Life gets as life does.  I've been busy, the kids have been busy, and I let myself get lazy as far as the blog is concerned. So here are a few lines about what the Izadis have been up to lately - and how we've been feeling...
Bella, Luca and Mia on a Sunday in Advent

Last year, I added another full time job to my list of commitments.  It's called building a house.  I knew that when we decided to buy some farmland and build our "dream home" it was going to be a task - and I was right.  I remember how I would stress out just thinking about breaking ground for the house - to the point where Dr. Jowdy actually had to "treat" those emotions at one of my appointments with him last year!  But as much as a challenge as it has been (making hundreds of decisions on an entirely custom home), it's not been as horrible as I had anticipated.  I have literally considered this as my job as of late, because Keith, as an oral surgeon, really does not have the time to be on site, or hear about and make most of the tedious small decisions that need to be made on a daily basis.  Things are moving along, and we anticipate the home being completed at the beginning of May.

My three beauties this fall on the farm
Our home at this point in construction

The children will finish this school year at their beloved FCS Stafford Campus, and then move to the FCS Fredericksburg campus in the fall.
Speaking of school, I have lost count of the number of snow days the kids have had so far this year, but they are home again today due to a dusting of snow overnight and frigid temperatures.  They did manage to go two days in a row this week, and it should warm up here a bit over the next few days, so it looks like they should be able to finish out the week!
Bella and Luca made us proud by qualifying for the ACSI Spelling Bee this year.  They came home yesterday with the good news, and we are excited for them to represent FCS next month.  This will be Luca's second year, and Bella's first time in the Bee.  Their little brains have been working just fine, as they brought home excellent report cards again this month with straight A's for both of them.
In other news, Bella and Luca also earned rank promotions this week in karate at Champion Martial Arts where they study Chun Kuk Do!
Bella earned her 5th Green, and Luca his 6th Green at their rank promotion last night.

They also continue to study piano - progressing wonderfully as reported by their amazing teacher, Miss Rachael.  Although Bella and Luca both faced health challenges with Lyme, they have burst through the fog of behavioral issues (Luca) and times of not making it through the school day because of fatigue, body aches and headaches (Bella), to come out on the other side and the soar on the wings of blessed good health.

So let's talk about the LYME.  Actually, we rarely even utter the word anymore.  Our lives and health have been completely transformed by the amazing doctors at the Hansa Center.  We had a breakthrough trip last November, and we haven't looked back since.  I didn't blog the last time I had treatment, because I decided that I was going to focus only on the full restoration of my health.  On our second trip, both Bella and Luca were having treatment.  Keith was accompanying us, and I was blogging every night after we came back from the clinic to chronicle updates on the progress of all three of us.  And truth be told, I really don't think I got as much out of that trip as I could have.  Bella and Luca did great.  Actually Luca has been completely restored - after just that one trip.  But when I left after that week, I felt like I wanted to stay for one more - for just me!  But that wasn't in the plan, so we came back home and I managed to be productive and pretty much functioned at about 75% of what I consider myself as totally healthy.
Then in October, Bella had a minor setback.  She had begun having night sweats and terrors - visions, as she described it.  They made her heart race, and then she couldn't sleep after it would happen.  This happened every day for about 2 weeks before I decided to email Dr. Jernigan about it, as I though that the Babesia could be possibly rearing its ugly head again.  He told us to get her there as soon as we could.  So we planned an impromptu trip to Wichita the second week of November so that Bella could be treated at The Hansa Center. (By the way, if you click through that link, you'll see a picture of Bella and Dr. Jernigan during her first trip there!)  Since we were already making the trip, I decided to schedule a week of treatment for myself as well with Dr. Jowdy.  It was an amazing week, as my uncle was actually also being treated during the same time.
You know, we never really comprehend the real meaning of why things happen, or the plan behind the timing of it all.  But I do know that the trip we took in November was designed by the hand of God.  Bella did great, and has not had an issue since.  But I actually consider that treatment week MY breakthrough.  I even rang the "Well Bell" upon checking out on our last day.  Bella and I walked out of the clinic on both knowing that we were fully restored, and that Lyme could now be safely put in our past.  When we came home I was refreshed and confident in the knowledge that my healing had finally come to fruition.  I will never forget the joy I felt as I filled out a "Hopes Fulfilled" card in church the following Sunday.  It would be the reciprocal of the "Hopes Expressed" card I had filled out 2 years before.  This one expressed my thanksgiving to God for the fact that my family had been loosed from the chains of chronic illness.
The kids and their cousins on Christmas Eve

Since I have been home, I have been able to recover from the repair of two tears in my right rotator cuff, and get back into a physical fitness routine, which my body craves in order to feel well!  We are all diligent about what foods we put into our bodies.  I still take some supplements that the doc put me on when we were there.  I am adamant about NOT using chemicals like antibiotics to cure illnesses that we may encounter.  We also make an effort to detox in addition to exercise by using an infrared sauna 1-2 times/week.  Staying healthy is something that we still work for - there are just too many insults in our environment to become lax at it.    I have begun to learn about and use essential oils to treat illnesses, pains, and issues that come up day to day.  I have also incorporated Bach Flower Remedies into our arsenal to encourage our emotional well being.   It is a constant learning process, but it is something that I enjoy doing, and I am quite passionate about it.
That being said, I am very excited that I will be traveling to the Hansa Center in April for a Bioresonance Scanning workshop so that I can learn further how to help my friends and family live in optimal health.
So that's that!  I would be happy to entertain any questions you may have about us and our journey to wellness in the comments section. Thanks for checking in :).
My wonderful husband on his birthday in December

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Okay, it's really Saturday, but I thought I'd like to have a rested, clear head as I wrapped up our week at the Hansa Center

Our doctor appointments were packed full on our last day. 
First of all, Luca was up and Dr. Jernigan covered metabolic sensitivities and imbalances, and then food allergies. Luca actually reacted to the entire tray of food test vials. We knew that Luca had multiple sensitivities to foods, but this surprised us a bit, as almost everything in the tray caused a reaction in Luca's body. Dr. Jernigan then added the neurophotonic therapy, and it caused even more reactions as Luca's brain tried to process light and different colors. 
The best part of these appointments, though, is when Dr. Jernigan looks up and smiles and says something like, "It doesn't matter... It's no harder to fix :)"
After a few homeopathic remedies (and one to bring home to treat him), his body is calm, and there are no more reactions. 
It's all so very cool. The big thing is that we know that it works, and here's why... 
Bella's appointment was next. She had been treated for food allergies during her visit in the spring. But Dr. Jernigan tested her again with the neurophotonic therapy. She had no food reactions at all, and only a couple of sensitivities to metabolites and neurotransmitters.
So he treated those, and now she's all tuned up and ready go!  We asked whether the kids needed to come back after a certain period of time, and the answer was to just see how things go. He didn't feel that they would need to be seen again unless there was some sort of trauma or incident that required treatment. This actually made Bella a little sad because she loves Dr. Jernigan like family. But the kids hugged him and we reluctantly said our goodbyes until next time. We walked gratefully out of his office, never ceasing to be impressed with the way he constantly gives God the glory for what has taken place under his care. 
Later in the day, Luca and I each had our last Life Vessel therapies, which were much "easier" than yesterday's. 
We had a few more therapies to do, and then we had to say goodbye to Diana, one of the most gracious and caring people I have ever met. She truly is part of what makes Hansa so wonderful, and saying goodbye to her is tough. But we know we will see her again. It's times like these that we are thankful for modern technology, because rather than goodbye, we can say, "We'll see you on Facebook!"
The kids and Diana

Then it was time for my last appointment with Dr. Jowdy. I've gotta say, just like last time, by the end of my time there, my body has really been through it. All of the detoxing, therapies, and then doctors treatments make so many changes in the body, and I find it exhausting. The great thing is that I already know to expect it, and that over the next few weeks it will get better.  The best is yet to come, and it isn't far away!
This week we dug pretty deep, and were able to cover complex issues that most patients aren't able to get to in a two-week treatment period. We even addressed headaches that I constantly had for weeks, and last night around 9 pm, the headache was finally gone. 
I am also returning home having learned a lesson about pushing too hard once I started to feel well. As tempting as is for me to put the pedal to the metal because I am feeling so well, I've learned that I need to listen to my body when it starts to shut down when I have exceeded it's present capabilities.  Part of the reason for me needing to get to Hansa this time around was due to that.  I had really pushed myself almost over the edge, and my adrenals, especially, were unable to keep up with the demand I was putting on my body.  I know now that, as much as I hate it, I need to work at a more moderate pace as far as physical fitness is concerned, and that will mean having to make some changes that I really don't want to make (but NEED to make) when I get home.  It's not forever, though... Dr. Jowdy tells me that it may take up to a year for my adrenals to catch up with me, so I'm going to listen to him.  Keith is making sure of it!
So now I leave Hansa without a pounding headache, and with a calm heart.  I haven't had palpitations or arrhythmias in days, and if that's all I achieved this time around (which I know it isn't!), then it was worth it!
As I left Dr. Jowdy's office, I hugged him goodbye.  He told me that I really am doing fantastic, and I know it.  I told him that I had him to thank for it, and he replied as graciously as I would have expected... "I don't do the work - I'm just the facilitator."  And again, God was given the glory for all the good that had been done this week.  

Nearing the end of the day I was in a detox foot bath, and I heard the ringing of the Well Bell.  There was the usual cheering and clapping, and then a lot of giggles.  Lo and behold, it was Luca and Bella who had rung it.  It really choked me up pretty good when I realized that it was them, and thankfully Keith had snapped this picture so that I could see it.  They rung it together - and the would have it no other way.
So I closed my eyes and said a prayer of gratitude to my Father... expressing my thankfulness for my beautiful, healthy children, and for bringing us to Dr. Jernigan and Dr. Jowdy at the Hansa Center.  Hope really abounds here, and in our hearts as well.  We will forever cherish the blessing of restored health that has been bestowed on our family through them.  Our future is bright and healthy now, and we will be forever grateful for such an amazing gift.
Ringing the Well Bell!
Before signing off, I feel the need to clarify that Hansa is not a Lyme treatment center.  These doctors don't actually claim to treat any specific illness.  The goal of our treatment at the Hansa Center is to restore the body's natural ability to attain optimum health, regardless of the disease that is present.  In our case, our wellness was not obtained because we killed every Lyme spirochete or other pathological microbe that was present in our bodies.  What the doctors help us to do is to be healthy in spite of them!  Once the body is rebalanced and restored to health, it is totally capable of handling Lyme (or anything else) all on it's own, without the need for damaging antibiotics or other chemicals.
By the end of this week, we witnessed healing in patients at the center that was nothing short of miraculous. These patients were sick and debilitated, and before our eyes, they improved each day.  We are blessed to witness such miracles... I can't imagine what it's like for the staff there to see such things day in and day out - what a privilege it must be.  It is truly amazing what the body can do when it is allowed to function the way its Maker intended it to!

Until next time... thanks for checking in :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Well this post is sure to be short, because I barely have enough energy to type.  Today was exhausting.  We all made great headway today, and without going into too much detail, Bella, Luca and I were able to get to the bottom of many issues!
If you prayed for Luca and me for our Life Vessel treatments today, THANK YOU!  It was much easier for each of us, and Luca even slept for both hour-long therapies.  That in it self is proof that something that Dr. Jernigan has been doing with him is bringing relief to his overamped body.  
As for my sessions, the first one was pretty cool.  I was able to stay still and calm down, which I was unable to achieve yesterday.  The second one, however, was exhausting.  I am thinking that by design, this one was supposed to help one deal with suppressed emotions, or things of the past.  I honestly hate going there.  I can't even stand to watch sad movies, but as soon as the music began, I was instantly sucked into my childhood, and it was like watching a movie of my past.  Anyway, we all have things that we lock up and put away somewhere in our mind that most likely shape who we are and affect how we deal with present day situations.  I am hopeful that by processing things like that today, stresses that I encounter in the future will not have such a negative affect on my health the way they do now.  Since getting sick a few years ago, stress has had an almost instant detrimental impact on my physical self, and to be free from that would really be one of the last pieces of the puzzle for me to get my life back!

And that's pretty much the gist of today.  We did manage to get out to a yummy dinner at P.F. Changs, and found some cool spots to take pictures, so here are a few.  

And with that, I am going to sign off... Thanks for checkin in :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Well it's Wednesday night, which means that we are more than halfway done with our week here, which, of course, makes me sad.  I have to admit that a part of me really wishes that our family could just pack up and move out here so that we could be closer to this amazing place. We just can't say enough about the wonderful doctors and caring people.  Please know that so much more happens here than I can blog about, and these people have helped my family - Keith included - in amazing ways.  They have truly blessed us, and we are constantly in awe of the way the Lord has worked in our lives through them.  

But since we don't have any immediate plans to relocate to Kansas, we will just have to keep coming back when we are in need of care, and we will be happy to do it!

Today, Luca and I began a new therapy involving what is called the "Life Vessel." In the Life Vessel, frequency, vibration, sound and light waves are non-invasively applied to the human body in a resonant frequency chamber, resulting in the body being able to perform its innate natural ability to heal itself.  
Our doctors felt that this would be a great way for us to help balance out the sympathetic hyperactivity that is present in both of our bodies.  Although I wasn't very excited in lying still for an hour in what looks kind of like a coffin, I am all about getting my heart settled down. I did worry more about Luca being able to stay in there without breaking out!  However, he managed to get through it, and even though I am told he got pretty fidgety near the end, I am really proud of him for sticking in out.  
For me, the fidgety part was in the beginning.  I really dreaded going in there.  I don't know if I was afraid of what may come to the surface if I had to spend that much time with just myself and some sound waves, so I panicked a bit at the beginning.  I did manage to get settled down for most of the time in there, and now that I know what to expect, I am hopeful that the anxiety will fall away for the next time.  Tomorrow, we each will do TWO sessions, and if you'd like to pray for each of us to get through them smoothly, we'd really appreciate it :)  I really look forward to seeing the benefits of the therapy.  I am hopeful that by Friday, the results will be apparent.

During my appointment with Dr. Jowdy, I challenged him with some good old chiropractic work.  I am so thankful that this man is not only great at what he does with bioresonance scanning and testing the body, but he's an awesome chiropractor to boot!  If you know me, you know that I love to challenge myself physically - probably to a fault.  And since I was feeling so well up until a couple of weeks ago, I was working out pretty hard.  But when you work out they way your mind wants to, but your body isn't quite ready for, you get injured.  And that's what happened to me.  I have been having headaches for days now, and today I was completely bound up from my shoulder blades up.  I felt like a huge ball of tension.  To make a long story short, it took the entire hour appointment to get to the root of the problem, which happened to be my injury of the iliotibial band (ITB) in my right leg 10 days ago.  It's really cool how everything in the body is connected.  If he would have gone straight to trying to fix my head, he would have missed the fact that my pelvis was totally out of whack, which locked up my hip, restricting the movement.  That caused my entire body to be off balance, and ended up causing terrible tension all the way through the back of my neck into my head.  
I ended up walking out of his office feeling so much better - and again, thankful that this guy really knows what he is doing!  He has also been helping me with the injury to my shoulder which has been causing me serious pain and frustration for almost a year now.  And if I would only stop aggravating it, I'm sure it would heal, too.

Again, Bella is doing fantastic, Dr. Jernigan is running out of things to do with her!  She has still been having her detox and supportive therapies, and she really just loves being at Hansa.
And that was our day at the clinic.

Today we all also realized that we really miss our little princess, Mia.  We are thankful that my mom keeps sending us pictures of her - and she is always smiling and waving.  And when we talk to her on the phone, she barely has time for us, because she is too busy having a great time at Nonna and Pappy's house swimming, playing with my nieces, and being the center of everyone's attention.  
We are so at ease here, knowing that she is so happy there - but we still miss her.  Mia is such a sweetheart, and really brings light and laughter to everyone she comes in contact with - and we can't wait to squeeze her again!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013


Today at Hansa we each plugged through our different therapies that are designed to help us detoxify and heal from Lyme and other bacteria, viruses and environmental toxins that we have been exposed to.  

Here is Luca having the ST8 lymphatic drainage therapy.  Today's focus was his tonsils!  

Here is Bella having the Lux light therapy.  She was listening to her favorite little man teaching her how to meditate...

I also managed a selfie while I was on the lymph therapy :)

We were pleased to report to Dr. Jernigan today that Luca had no night sweats last night, so that was really quick progress!  It's amazing how fast the kids progress.  How awesome is it that they both will never have to grow up feeling sick all of the time, bound to taking harmful drugs, without an end in sight?   We think very.

As far as us adults, things do take a little longer - especially when an illness has had so much time to do damage to our bodies.  In addition, the drugs I had been put on in the past have also affected the way my body works, and not in a good way.  But I am hopeful that Dr. Jowdy and I will make significant progress in helping me with my greatest concern right now, which is my heart.  I have been dealing with arrhythmias for years, but in the past two weeks, some really scary things have been happening.  I even hooked myself up to my own monitor so that I could watch the rhythm in real time, and it was very interesting.  The rhythm did tell me that I still have some significant metabolic imbalances that need to be addressed, and therefore have landed at Hansa at precisely the right time.  
Also tying into the picture is that I had been placed on prednisone a few years ago when I was misdiagnosed with having Rheumatoid Arthritis (before my Lyme diagnosis).  The prednisone caused my adrenal glands to be suppressed from producing their own cortisol (the body's "stress" hormone), and now I have what is known as adrenal fatigue.  My adrenals have never recovered from that insult, and my goal now is to help them heal.  Once I am no longer dependent on taking cortisol in pill form to supplement what my body cannot make, my other hormones should fall into line much better, and my body will be able to handle stresses such as illness, physical activity, and everyday "stress" much better.
So that's the goal, and that's where we stand on day 2 :)

In other news, it was actually 106 degrees today - even at 7 pm.  Now that's hot.  Thank goodness for the good ol' Kansas wind that makes it a little more bearable!

Monday, July 08, 2013

We're Back!

So I'm tired. Today was a little nuts, as I knew it would be with three of us now having treatment. I ask for your forgiveness in advance if this post ends up being a little choppy! 
But let me say how awesome it was walking through the doors of the Hansa Center again!  It was so great to see the smiling, caring faces of those we had gotten to know this spring welcoming us back, and graciously welcoming Luca. There were a lot of hugs today, and that's really cool because you don't usually get those at your typical doctors office!
The Hansa swans - and now babies!

Mondays at Hansa are different because that's when the initial testing happens and new patients begin their treatment. To recap from my explanation in previous posts, the CRT involves measuring the temperature of over 100 points on the body, then subjecting it to cool temperatures for 10 minutes and retaking the temperature at the same points.  And with CRT testing comes rules... No coffee, shower, deodorant, lotions, make-up, bra, or brushing your teeth. It's very much "patients in the raw" on Monday mornings, and today I really came to appreciate my cup of coffee!
But anyway, Bella and I had our retesting to determine our progress and what else our body is saying in terms if dysfunction, and Luca had his initial test. 
After my test, I practically sprinted back to the hotel to clean up and downed a cup of coffee before getting back for Luca's first appointment with the founder of Hansa, Dr. Jernigan. 

We went over Luca's CRT results, and we learned that his body is mirroring exactly what is happening in Luca's mind. It is almost globally hyperactive in terms of its response to stress (in the case of the CRT test, the body's reaction to exposure to a lower room temperature.) 
We also learned that Luca is actually dealing with Lyme rather well. However, he is dealing with other bacteria, viruses, parasites, hormonal issues and cranial and joint fixations.  We also talked a lot about Luca's nightmares and night sweats.  We have even hypothesized that Luca's extreme reactions to many stresses may actually stem back to a terrible vaccination reaction he had when he was 11 months old. 
The awesome part is that Dr. Jernigan is totally confident that he can help Luca break his struggle with a chaotic mind and body, as well as free him from nightmares and hypersensitivities to everything from bug bites to food!  That really brought serious peace to our hearts :). Luca rolled through lots of therapies today, and he did awesome. He loves it here already, and we are so happy for him. 
Luca making some cool toxic soup in his ionic foot bath.
My appointment with Dr. Jowdy was next. My CRT results had improved - and I have improved. I walked out of Hansa in May and literally left my chronic pain behind. I have not since had a day of feeling like I had the flu, like I couldn't concentrate or think, or pain all over my body. All of that is gone from me now, and I feel so very free - like I need to go out and do something really active... or big!  It has really been a huge and wonderful change in my life. 
My results still showed a level of hyperactivity in my body, as well, though. An autonomic dysfunction to stress that is still causing me to have some serious symptoms such has heart arrhythmias (which, at times, keep me awake at night for hours on end.) My adrenal glands, and therefore many other hormones, are still quite out of whack due to damage from Lyme and the treatments I had been previously exposed to. 
The great thing about today is that I only tested for four things that needed to be addressed (yes - some of them quite big), rather than a mile long list like before. And even though I have been feeling kind of crappy for the last two weeks, it pales in comparison to the mess I was before I went to Hansa in April. 
And so for this week we have a plan for me, and still plenty of work to do. 

And then came Bella's turn with Dr. Jernigan. Her CRT test results were actually quite impressive. She is really doing great, and the test proved it. She is basically asymptomatic now, but her digestion still could use some improving. She actually tested for h. Pylori, which is very common in a child who has had such a long-term exposure to antibiotic treatment the way Bella had for Lyme.  She is pretty much a rock star when it comes to beating Lyme, and we are so thankful for the way God has delivered her from this nasty disease.  
This week Bella will still do some detoxifying and some lymphatic drainage therapies, and we expect her to return home all tuned-up and ready to take on the world!

Today was also really cool because I got to meet, in person, two people who I had the pleasure of meeting online through my blog.  What's really cool is that both of them decided to go to Hansa for treatment, and that God allowed them both to be there at the same time I am returning!  It brings my heart such joy to know that these two beautiful ladies are in for such a blessing and a redemption of their health.  I will only get to spend the week with them, but I know that by the end of week two, they will be well on their way to optimum health!

And with that, I am going to sign off for today.  I am so grateful for your gracious words of encouragement and prayers for Luca, Bella and me.  We are humbled and blessed by your support :)

Thanks for checking in!

Sunday, July 07, 2013

A Look at Luca

We have said goodbye to our little Mia, who is now in the care of my parents in Pennsylvania, and we are on our flight to Wichita, KS.  We have been awaiting this return to the Hansa Center since the day we left it in May.  Bella, my 9-year-old daughter, and I experienced such amazing progress during those two weeks of treatment, and we developed such great relationships with the caring people there.
This past week has dealt me some personal health challenges, but I don't want to get into all of that just yet.  Let's just say that Monday can't come soon enough for me.  Now it is Luca's turn to begin the healing process, and we are confident that he will leave Lyme Disease in the dust after his treatment week at Hansa.

Since my previous posts have all focused on Bella and me, I thought that I should introduce Luca to those of you reading who don't know him :)
Luca is my 7-year-old prince.  He is the middle child, and certainly has many "middle child" attributes.  He is quiet, and sort of just mixes into the family background most of the time.  He has a sweet, tender heart, and an old soul.  His brain is constantly at work - you can see it just by looking at him.  And every now and then (or maybe for his teachers at school - more often) - he will spout off a fact or two that will give you a glimpse of just what is going on in his head at the moment.  Most of the time when this happens, Keith and I will look at each other with a knowing glance, and the unspoken words that we can't believe what he just said are exchanged as we are in awe of how his little mind works.  
It was his uniqueness that set him apart at a very young age.  Luca had an interesting first 2 years of life.  When I was pregnant with him, Luca got settled deep into my pelvic bones pretty early on, and when he was born, his cranial bones were malformed.  He also had torticollis in his neck, meaning that the muscles on one side of his neck were in constant tension, pulling the bones to continue to form asymmetrically.  When he was four months old, Luca was diagnosed with brachycephaly and plagiocephaly.  For this, he wore a cranial remolding helmet 24/7 until he was more than one year-old.  

I have these great pictures of our little stunt man in his helmet and arm cast, because during his early walking stage, he decided to try to pull himself up on a sofa table - which he actually pulled down on top of his little right hand, smashing it between the table and our hardwood floor.  He broke 3 bones in his hand that day.  And I could just feel the stares of everyone around us after that - as my little boy now had to trudge on through with his helmet AND and cast!  We lived in San Diego then, and were thousands of miles from any family.  Those were challenging times.
Luca also decided that he wasn't going to speak - at all - for the first two years of his life.  We couldn't even get him to utter an animal sound.  It was at this point that we began to be concerned about some of the tendencies that we had been noticing.  He was not a snuggly kid - he preferred to be by himself rather than held by us.  He was obsessed by spinning objects… car wheels, fans, etc.  We certainly thought that he was just being a boy.  But when we coupled that with his delay of speech and a severe reaction to a vaccination that he received, we had suspicions of autism in the back of our minds.  Luca began to get frustrated with everything.  He was constantly sick, and he didn't know how to communicate with us.  It was at this point that we brought sign language back to help him, and it did.  
We prayed for our child.  We prayed specific, detailed prayers for Luca.  
And then one day, he spoke.  It still brings tears to my eyes when I remember hearing him say, "mama" for the first time.  I have videos way back in the archives of this blog with his little afro reciting what sounds like a jumbly mess of the alphabet.  But he was talking.  And he had broken through the cloud that he had seemed to be in for months before that.  My little boy was back, and I am convinced that it was a miracle, and that the Lord answered our cries for our child.  We are blessed, and so is he.  

The infamous, "It's not a wizard, it's a WIZARD!" tattoo ;)

From his first words, Luca hit the ground running and didn't look back.  We always to say that he will talk to everyone and anyone.  I would find this kid having in depth conversations with the Fed Ex guy!  Now he loves to talk - once he gets to know someone - and much of the time, he talks a little too much!
We have found that Luca's mind is packed full - and he often finds the need to get some of the information out.  He is obsessed with things like volcanoes, tornadoes and hurricanes.  He plays the piano quite well for his limited exposure to lessons, and he picks up on a new piece, or even something he has heard and just wants to play, very quickly.  Luca is quite the character, and like his name implies, he is the bearer of light to our family.

Luca is the most "asymptomatic" of the three of us.  However, knowing that Lyme can be transmitted in utero, we began suspecting that Luca may also have Lyme more than a year ago when he began to complain of neck and back pain.  We did take him to the chiropractor often, and given his history of torticollis, we knew that it could have some lasting craniosacral implications for him.  Luca has pretty bad eyesight, and was given corrective glasses before he began kindergarten.  However, he began to have persistent headaches after that, and by this past winter, he was getting them almost every day.  Then he began to complain of random joint pain, particularly in his neck and shoulders.  Late last summer, Luca got terribly sick with mono, which is atypical of a healthy, 6 year-old.  
As his mother, though, the most concerning of any of his symptoms is the state of constant chaos of Luca's little mind.  During preschool and Kindergarten, I was a frequent visitor of his school's principal's office.  I think they had my number on speed dial, actually.  Luca was very challenged with self-control in the classroom.  I look back and laugh a little now at the randomness of some of his outbursts that landed him in the office.  At first, we were angry and disappointed in his behavior.  We were embarrassed and punished him for his bad choices and lack of self-control.  Throughout this time, though, we began to understand Luca a little better, and realized what a challenge it actually was for him to control himself, pay attention, and refrain from outbursts in the classroom.  Luca's mind constantly has something in the works, and sometimes, it's almost like he needs to vent the top and let a little of the pressure off.  
We were told that he had ADHD tendencies.  However, we decided not to have him evaluated for this, and we were grateful for the wonderful principal and teachers at his school who respected our wishes to work with Luca with his mind the way it was, rather than giving him mind-altering medications.  We have been persistently working with him, helping him by developing structured environments, making sure he gets plenty of sleep, encouraging him to make good choices as he exercises self control, and also giving him nutritional supplements to help him remain calm and focused for school.  Luca's behavior has improved immensely this past year, but he still struggles with these things.  I realize that many children have these challenges and beyond, requiring a much higher level of intervention.  We feel blessed that we have been able to work with Luca the way we have, and that we have been relatively successful.

Luca has also been tested for food sensitivities, and he has problems with many, including gluten, dairy, and soy.  Although he does not abstain from eating them completely, we do limit him at home.  He does not have any tangible reactions at this point, but we believe that his behavior and focus are better when he is off of gluten.  
He also severely reacts to insect bites of any sort, with huge swellings, and he will often get physically ill if he has too many bites.  

It is for all of these reasons that we had Luca tested for Lyme early this spring.  We actually got the results during my second week at Hansa, and they floored us.  Although he appears to be the most "well" among the three of us, his test was the most blatantly positive.  

But I believe those results came at just the right time.  It was by then that we were confident that the Lord had led us to Hansa as an answer to our prayers for deliverance from Lyme.  We were feeling better already, and we had hope that we just needed to get Luca there, and he would be better, too.  

So that's Luca in a tiny nutshell.  This little guy is such a special part of our family, and we are overjoyed at the relief that he will soon have from his struggle.

I will share more on Bella and me tomorrow - but I have to say that I am so excited to get back our Hansa family!  Tomorrow can't come soon enough :)