Green – Lyme Disease Awareness

Pennsylvania (yes, that’s where I live) leads the nation in confirmed cases of Lyme disease and has seen a dramatic increase over recent years. The fact is, we live in a valley surrounded by gorgeous and accessible mountains where our family spends a good deal of time. It’s not uncommon to come home from a hike picking off a dozen ticks from our dog (who has tested positive for a tick-borne illness) and a few from ourselves as well. I am acquainted with and have close friends with the disease. Unfortunately, it is commonly misdiagnosed and both the accurate tests and treatments are quite costly. My friend tells of the suffering and hopelessness and helplessness in the spiral of symptoms that often mimic other illnesses (such as autoimmune disorders and mental health issues). It took her family sacrifice, sleepless nights, and extreme resources to receive solid diagnoses and effective treatment. So, this month’s blog circle is to bring light to Lyme disease and encourage compassion for those struggling and advocacy for research to move forward with healing and hope.

(Please see below for additional information)

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I am part of a group of photographers, Share Six, who blog 6 images on the 6th of each month with unique monthly themes.  Next up is the talented, Sharleen  of Sharleen Stuart Photography.  Please click HERE for her interpretation of this month’s theme. Then, follow around the circle for even more beauty and creativity. ❤

Join us for this month’s theme by posting your Green images on our Facebook page at Share Six  and to our Instagram gallery, by tagging #sharesix and #sharesix_green.  A new theme will be posted on June 6th.

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Lyme disease is a spirochete bacterium that is transmitted by ticks. It is the fastest growing infectious disease, and is 1-1/2 times more common than breast cancer and 6 times more common than HIV. If treated with antibiotic therapy soon after transmission, the probability of successful treatment is much higher. If it goes untreated, it can infiltrate a person’s body and wreak great havoc. Untreated Lyme disease is known to attack the heart and central nervous symptom. The numerous symptoms mimic other chronic illnesses such as ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), MS (Multiple Sclerosis), ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), Rheumatoid Arthritis Parkinson’s Disease, Lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, as well as many others. Because of this, many patients with Lyme get misdiagnosed and go years not being properly treated, therefore furthering the progression of Lyme disease. Awareness of this disease is imperative, as there are over 300,000 estimated new cases of Lyme disease each year in the United States alone (according to Johns Hopkins Medicine). It was once believed that you always got a bullseye rash if you contracted the disease from a tick bite, but we now know that is not the case. Not everyone presents with a bullseye rash. Without a bullseye rash (and even with one), many people don’t connect their symptoms to the tick bite. The more awareness we can bring, the better people can understand and know what to look for when searching for answers to their health problems that were unknowingly caused by a fateful tick bite. Please join us this month in spreading awareness.

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Orange / Purple

This month Share Six decided to focus on the awareness of a condition close to our founder’s heart. Her daughter-in-law suffers from this often “silent” disease.
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis that occurs in some patients with psoriasis. This particular arthritis can affect any joint in the body, and symptoms vary from person to person. Research has shown that persistent inflammation from psoriatic arthritis can lead to joint damage. Please see the end of this post for more information on life with Psoriatic arthritis. 
So for those who suffer here are a bit of orange and purple to remind us all, there is hope.
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I am part of a group of photographers, Share Six, who blog 6 images on the 6th of each month with unique monthly themes.  Next up is the talented,  Lynne of Lynne Grant Photography.  Please click HERE for her interpretation of this month’s theme. Then, follow around the circle for even more beauty and creativity. ❤

Join us for this month’s theme by posting your Orange or Purple (or both!) images on our Facebook page at Share Six  and to our Instagram gallery, by tagging #sharesix and #sharesix_orange_purple.  A new theme will be posted on May 6th.

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This month we are highlighting Psoriatic Arthritis. This is a silent and debilitating autoimmune disease. The arthritis causes painful inflammation of the joints and the psoriasis causes random outbreaks of inflamed and often times painful raw skin outbreaks. Psoriatic Arthritis causes intense fatigue, can affect the eyes and hearing. Common symptoms are nail dystrophy and mood swings. In addition PSA can also adversely affect the heart, cause obesity, swelling and metabolic syndrome, along with diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease. Day to day living varies from good days, to bad days, to days when getting out of bed is not an option. Relief does not come easy. Medications may or may not work. It is trial and error to find the balance, along with having to deal with a medical system that makes you wait. If you know of someone suffering with an autoimmune disease try to come alongside them. Understand that some days they will want to do things with you, and other days they will not. Some days they will be in a good mood, and other days they may snap at you. Some days the brain fog makes you think that they are not interested in your conversation. Just remember that we do not understand the pain that they are going through because most of the time we cannot see the effects of this silent disease.

 

Food

Snow day. Seems as if we’ve had our share this winter season. Just so happened that the baker in the family was home on a scheduled day off work. He decided home-made pretzels were a necessity. When creation is just as fun as consumption! 🙂 ❤

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(Freelensed images)

I am part of a group of photographers, Share Six, who blog 6 images on the 6th of each month with unique monthly themes.  Next up is the talented,  Kathy of KG Ledbetter Photography.  Please click HERE for her interpretation of this month’s theme. Then, follow around the circle for even more beauty and creativity. ❤

Join us for this month’s theme by posting your Food images on our Facebook page at Share Six  and to our Instagram gallery, by tagging #sharesix and #sharesix_food.  A new theme will be posted on April 6th.

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Hearts

This month our blog circle is joining in with the Paper Heart Project to spread awareness about Congenital Heart Defects (CHD). A congenital heart defect is a defect in the heart structure that is present at birth. One out of a hundred children are born with a CHD.

One of those hundred is my niece, Ally. Her heart defects required multiple surgeries at birth and eventually resulted in a heart transplant at Johns Hopkins when she was about 5 months old (one of the first non-matching blood-type heart transplants there!). She is now a vibrant, healthy 10-year-old, however her story is far from over. Her abdomen is covered in scars. Daily she takes multiple medications (like a champ!) one of which is now limiting some of her joys (jumping on the trampoline and riding horseback). She has one of the deepest connections to God of anyone I have encountered (likely because she was revived more than once and tasted a glimpse of heaven). Her spirit truly shines.

Here are two images of Ally. The first is of her morning medications that I captured this summer when we visited. And the second is classic Ally: in one of her many pairs of high heels. ❤

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So this year I photographed 10 paper hearts for each year of Ally’s precious life and one sparkly heart for her heart donor. ❤ We will be ever-grateful for the gift of a new life for Ally.

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For Ally’s heart donor…

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I am part of a group of photographers, Share Six, who blog 6 images on the 6th of each month with unique monthly themes.  Next up is the talented,  Janet of Janet Douglas Photography.  Please click HERE for her interpretation of this month’s theme. Then, follow around the circle for even more beauty and creativity. ❤

Join us for this month’s theme by posting your Red or Hearts images on our Facebook page at Share Six  and to our Instagram gallery, by tagging #sharesix and #sharesix_red_heart.  A new theme will be posted on March 6th.

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Wide

Open. Full of opportunity.

All thoughts that typically arrive with the New Year’s dawn.

And so…

(all taken with Lensbaby Edge 50)

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I am part of a group of photographers, Share Six, who blog 6 images on the 6th of each month with unique monthly themes.  Next up is the talented,  Lynne of Lynne Grant Photography.  Please click HERE for her interpretation of this month’s theme. Then, follow around the circle for even more beauty and creativity. ❤

Join us for this month’s theme by posting your Wide images on our Facebook page at Share Six  and to our Instagram gallery, by tagging #sharesix and #sharesix_wide.  A new theme will be posted on February 6th.

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Bokeh

At this time of year, the first thing that pops into my mind when I hear the word, “Bokeh” is the gorgeous bubbles of Christmas lights dancing around and through images creating a sense of magic. This year we are starting a new “St. Nicholas Day” tradition so have waited to set up our tree. A bit disappointed I wasn’t going to have the opportunity to capture the lights in our home for this bokeh theme, once again I was challenged. There is one place I KNOW is beautiful and magical this time of year: our downtown. So between dinner and piano lessons I took 3/4 of my crew for a little walk through the avenue of lights and windows, of reflections and twinkles.

You can check out the technical definition of “bokeh” according to Wikipedia by clicking HERE. 🙂

* All of these images taken with Lensbaby: Edge 50 and Velvet 56

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And a bonus one 🙂

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I am part of a group of photographers, Share Six, who blog 6 images on the 6th of each month with unique monthly themes.  Next up is the talented,  Katherine of Cobert Photography.  Please click HERE for her interpretation of this month’s theme. Then, follow around the circle for even more beauty and creativity. ❤

Join us for this month’s theme by posting your Bokeh images on our Facebook page at Share Six  and to our Instagram gallery, by tagging #sharesix and #sharesix_bokeh.  A new theme will be posted on January 6th.

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Silhouette

My initial vision of a silhouette is a horizon at sunset with a rich array of colors. In contrast to that ideal, I chose to capture my 4-year-old at the playground in mid-afternoon sun on an unusually warm (but breezy) autumn day. An example that the creative process pushes past “traditional” and toward capturing the beauty wherever you happen to be. Right. Now.

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In order to capture a silhouette I had to position myself very low shooting almost straight up. For this one, under the swing!

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As we were strolling out of the park, the tree’s shape caught my eye. Silhouettes provide a bit of mystery which add to the wonder.

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I am part of a group of photographers, Share Six, who blog 6 images on the 6th of each month with unique monthly themes.  Next up is the talented,  Sharleen of Sharleen Stuart Photography.  Please click HERE for her interpretation of this month’s theme. Then, follow around the circle for even more beauty and creativity. ❤

Join us for this month’s theme by posting your Silhouette images on our Facebook page at Share Six  and to our Instagram gallery, by tagging #sharesix and #sharesix_silhouette.  A new theme will be posted on December 6th.