I am a POWERBALL winner.

Really. I am a winner! Powerball $500 Million

I contributed to the Powerball pool at the gym.

There was about $180 dollars worth of Powerball tickets purchased.

And they were purchased fairly – at each of the three locations in my small town that sell lottery tickets.

It is a small town – an island actually. And there are not too many members at the gym.  It is a really small town.

Three of the ticket we purchased were four dollar winners. Grand winnings $12.00.

Better than most Powerball ticket holders.


Veterans Day

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

by Laura Hillenbrand.

Great read for Veterans Day weekend.

Amazing story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympian during World War II. If you thought German brutality during the war was horrific, read about the Japanese.

To Veterans – thank you!

Louis Zamperini

Tick Team Collecting Larvae

Short video – counting ticks.  

What is amazing is the vast quantity of tiny ticks that are collected in neighborhoods – not deep in the woods, away from humans and pets, but close to home.

From the University of Rhode Island’s TickEncounter.org

URI Tick Survey Team Collecting Larvae July 2012 – YouTube.

Romney and Lyme

These could be my words, my story. Well said, Katina Makris. Thank you.

Lyme Disease – A Campaign Issue That Stays
Katina I.Makris, CCH, CIH

The Romney/Ryan campaign promised action towards thwarting the spread of Lyme disease, an exploding national infectious illness. The media railed back, purporting that chronic Lyme disease is a mere delusion. Yet, people are sick and concerned for contagion in their own neighborhoods.

Since it was first recognized in 1975, this tick-borne illness has been highly politicized and contentious; wide-ranging symptoms making it difficult to  diagnose and treat, earning Lyme ‘The Great Imitator’ moniker. The CDC and the Infectious Disease Society of America recognize acute Lyme- the achey, flu-like symptoms occurring right after a tick bite, but deny Lyme manifests as a chronic illness.

I’ve seen the devastating effects of chronic Lyme too many times, and have lived through it myself.  Countless victims of this insidious illness have spoken to me.  On a June night in Massachusetts, a standing room only crowd; newspaper reporters, doctors, board of health members converge, stricken citizens voice their messages:

“ My health has deteriorated for 15 years, with apparent fibromyalgia, Bells palsy and dementia. Only last year did lab work prove I have had lyme all along,” an infuriated woman  explains.” A single mother, her young son bedridden with paralyzed limbs, says “Famous hospitals had no answers. Fortunately, a savvy physician recognized the neurological form of Lyme and 9 months later on IV antibiotics, he is able to ride a bike again.” These are real people, with a real disease, who need real help. Lyme is not the ‘’illness du jour’.

The Lyme-causing bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, is cork-screw spirochete, akin to syphilis. If not treated promptly, the spirochete disseminates throughout the body, burrowing into soft tissues, joints, the nervous system and organs, triggering auto-immune responses and inflammation, resulting in diverse symptoms from vertigo to arrhythmia to mental illness.    Authorities agree that acute Lyme is arrested with simple antibiotics, while long term forms brew a sea of controversy, as a documented consistent cure is nonexistent.

With commercial Lyme lab tests exhibiting a 65% false negative error rate, finding Lyme knowledgable doctors, who know to use one of the USA’s diagnostic specialty labs is difficult. Certain states have stripped physician’s licenses for long term antibiotic use, despite clinical evidence of success.  On the other side of the fence, thousands of patients do not adequately regain their health, even after years of expensive multi-pharmaceutical combinations.  These tragedies only underscore the necessity of more timely research and treatments options.

Most doctors do not necessarily think to test for Lyme believing it does not exist outside of New England. But ticks, the prime vector for Lyme, are found everywhere in the U.S, having spread as a result of global warming and migratory bird patterns.

A woman from Tennessee told me she removed 14 ticks from her husband, 5 with bulls-eye rashes, after clearing brush. Their physician said ‘This isn’t Lyme disease, we don’t have that illness here. It is only found on Cape Cod.” Her husband went on to suffer crippling migraines, joint pain, and depression and can no longer work. But, as the world warms and different infected tick species move comfortably into new habitats, we should be especially alert.

In 2011, 35,198 new Lyme cases were reported by the CDC, representing a 40% increase over the number reported in 2006.  Additionally, the CDC acknowledges that the true number of Lyme cases is probably ten times higher, translating to an estimated 3,000,000 Americans shuffling around our health care system in various states of misdiagnosed illness over the past ten years alone. (Klempner et al. 2001). Mismanaged Lyme disease is over burdening the medical community, the insurance industry and wrecking lives.

Renowned Lyme specialist, Alan MacDonald’s 1980s studies proved that 70% of Alzheimer patients tested positive for the Lyme-causing spirochete, and proof that Lyme could cross the placental barrier, putting the fetus at risk.  Yet, a 100% accurate borrelia culture test and more private research into this area could not get governmental financial backing. The position of the IDSA remained unchanged: Lyme disease was a short term infectious illness and any patient complaints made after the brief antibiotic treatment were non related or a ‘’post syndrome’. (Burrascano 2012)

Western society experiences a massive life-altering epidemic—HIV, polio, tuberculosis—approximately every 30 years. HIV exploded into our lives in the 1980‘s, when Lyme was still an unsuspected acute illness. Covertly, Lyme pirated its way into our backyards, as who ever saw the pin sized deer tick nymphs creeping across their back or scalp?  Are we sitting in the crosshairs of the potential epidemic of the 21st century having ignored its ugly saber strikes? Tick borne organisms could be the lock and key ingredient to many of mankind’s chronic ills.

Having lived in heavily infested Massachusetts, Romney maybe more Lyme aware, or his personal connection with conservative notable Michael Farris, who has watched Lyme chip away at his wife and seven children, may bring it home.  But who cares? The partisan rhetoric shouldn’t obfuscate basic medical funding for a disease that does not discriminate against any American; age, economic status or political party included.

Katina I. Makris, CCH, CIH is the author of “” Out of the Woods, Healing Lyme Disease, Body, Mind & Spirit”, Elite Books, 2011.


603 562 5887


Pinching Myself

If you use Facebook and have tried to get technical help for your FB questions, you know it it impossible to talk to Facebook. You have to figure it out yourself, ask friends or just go along. 

I use Facebook as a marketing tool to enhance my own and my customers’ brands. So, to have the opportunity to meet with a FB employee on the small biz team a few days ago – just me and four other people, in Providence was awesome. Well, that is an understatement.

That is me on the left, trying to look cool, not too excited about the opportunity.

What is the role of the federal government?

Is the role of the federal government to be responsible for E V E R Y T H I N G ?

Or should the states be more responsible for themselves?

“Governor Romney believes that states should be in charge of emergency management in responding to storms and other natural disasters in their jurisdictions,” Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said in a statement to Politico. “As the first responders, states are in the best position to aid affected individuals and communities, and to direct resources and assistance to where they are needed most. This includes help from the federal government and FEMA.”

My opinion: States are in a better position to understand needs and to direct assistance. I am for less government.

Did Mitt Romney suggest eliminating FEMA? – CSMonitor.com.

ILADS conference in Boston 2012

From Jennifer Crystal’s Blog:

”   Dr. Patel noted that for all of the different opinions and theories out there, at the end of the day, “it comes down to the patient.” He spoke of medicine as a learned art, asserting that an experienced doctor will be able to go beyond textbook diagnosis, to understand his/her patient as a person and figure out the best methods to holistically treat that individual.   

TOUCHED BY LYME: Reporting in from ILADS conferenceLymeDisease.org.