Kelly Kreth

Instagram Roundup #41

by Jamie Sanford on May 22, 2013

Here are all of the other Instagram Roundups!

We attended Lyme Aid for Kelly Kreth, and of course, our hand stamp was WTF?

Lyme Aid was held at XVI Rooftop Lounge. This is the unfiltered sunset view.

Here we are on the way out.

I forgot to mention that I won this INSANE beauty bag in the raffle! (Well officially, it was the ticket in Will’s hand, but he wasn’t about to go claim this prize.) Look at the crazy contents!

Went to a party last Friday, and this punching man creeped me out. This lighting in particular didn’t help.

Before I started using this Dolce & Gabbana Illuminator (in Eva 3), I took a photo while the beautiful packaging was pristine. Quick review – this is the most gorgeous powder ever. I’m basically using it as a setting powder, and it’s magic. Not really a highlighting powder but it’s really lovely.

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Kelly Kreth: The JamieSanford.com Interview

by Jamie Sanford on April 2, 2013

Click here to read my other interviews.

I have written about Kelly Kreth on the blog before – she has written multiple guest posts. We met on a little website called Open Diary in 2000 when I started writing there and quickly stumbled upon her diary, which was immediately addicting. I haven’t been on Open Diary in ages, I rarely visit and when I do, I can never catch up because following 40 diaries and not visiting for 6 months makes it impossible. Luckily, I have connections with many of the friends I’ve made through OD on Facebook and Twitter, and Kelly is one of them.

Kelly is writing publicly as well – check out her Hell’s Bitchen pieces on Brick Underground and her blog, You Might As Well…  Kelly works as both a freelance writer and real estate publicist.

Kelly is currently fighting a hideous battle against Lyme Disease, which I had heard about here and there, but didn’t really know anything about. Luckily her friend Holly started a Go Fund Me campaign to help Kelly with the insane cost of Lyme treatment, and shared a link to the documentary Under Our Skin, which I cannot recommend enough. I decided to approach Kelly about an interview so we can talk about her diagnosis, treatment, and her long-term health.

When did you start experiencing issues that eventually led to your Lyme diagnosis? What symptoms did you start having?

In March of last year, I started noticing odd memory problems–sort of like things were always on the tip of  my tongue but it would take longer for me to recall them. I was in a sort of brain fog. I would notice some vocabulary issues, like using the wrong word for things or making really odd typos. My fingers and mind would no longer align at times. I write as part of my job, so this was frustrating and baffling.  By the next month, I was having trouble reading. By the time I got to the second paragraph I would forget the first. I have never had dyslexia or ADD so this seemed odd. I made a mental note to contact a neurologist and even set up an appointment but it was going to take eight weeks to be seen. A few weeks  into my wait I woke one morning dizzy, confused, and with the left side of my face numb and slack. I wasn’t sure if I had had a minor stroke or had a brain tumor but I raced to my doctor.

How long did it take you to get diagnosed with Lyme? From watching the documentary, it seems like it can take an exorbitantly long time to get a proper diagnosis. Did you find a specialist right away?

Thankfully my primary care doctor said that she was sure there was no stroke or tumor based on her exam, and she took blood and requested a CT Scan. She told  me to sit tight. Two days later she said I had a positive Lyme test and that all the symptoms I was describing were attributed to neuro-Lyme. She said 30 days of Doxycycline would fix it. I was relieved but about a week and a half into taking the medicine I started feeling even worse. Every symptom was compounded tenfold. I went to the ER and they did an MRI which showed lesions on the white matter of my brain consistent with Lyme. They suggested I see a neurologist. This was my first indication this was not going to rectify itself within 30 days. I now realized I was herxing even at the low dose of Doxy I was given–the normal dose which can never get past the brain-blood barrier and into the brain. (The Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction (or Herx for short) is an inflammatory response to antibiotic treatment for Lyme. It means detoxification of dead or dying bacteria and other pathogenic organisms in the body. Herxing feels like a worsening of illness symptoms.)

I started researching, and realized that chronic Lyme is a bear of a disease. I found the movie Under Our Skin and figured out pretty quickly this was going to be very costly because I knew I need a Lyme Literate doctor (LLMD), and none of them took insurance. I set up an appointment with one, but that would also be an eight-week waiting period. I also found the only neurologist I could find who specialized in Lyme. Since he was an insurance doctor, it was my best bet. In the interim, I went to a regular infectious disease doctor (DO NOT DO THIS!) and she took one look at my CDC-positive Lyme test and told me I don’t have Lyme. She said it was a false positive (this can sometimes happen but is silly to negate positive results when I had classic symptoms of Lyme) and said she’d take another test. I asked if it came back positive if she’d treat me and she said that I could have 40 positive tests and she would not believe I have Lyme. I already new of the Lyme controversy so it didn’t surprise me, but I just wanted this weirdness to be taken away. I asked her what it could be if not Lyme and she said to see a neurologist but that she sees people in her office everyday with my symptoms and she believes it is a psychiatric issue.

I often think that had I stopped there, I would be a vegetable by now. I think all the time about writing her a letter and telling her what transpired this last year and how so very wrong she was. This woman is literally killing people and/or making them suffer.

I finally met with my LLMD at the rate of $900 but I loved him. He has been compassionate and kind, taking calls from me and friends at 4am, sometimes several times a night. He has partnered with an insurance doctor that treats Lyme so my fees would be minimal. I have made them team up with the insurance Lyme neurologist who has a more traditional take on things, so I think it is a nice balance. That doesn’t mean I’m getting better.

What treatments have been prescribed for you? Are they working?

Initially I was given different antibiotics in 30-day increments at very high dosages. For example I was taking amoxicillin for 30 days at 3000mg a day. But nothing was working. Thankfully it was just the cognitive issues and joint pain back then. For seven months I had oral antibiotics with no change. Then finally I was given IV Rocephin through a PICC line and I started to feel better. I still had brain fog but I had energy and no joint pain. I felt like I was finally making progress, but then the insurance company refused to pay for a second month citing the CDC’s guidelines saying that after 30 days of treatment no one could still have Lyme. Because the current tests are not very good, there was no way for me to prove I was still sick and the insurance ID doctor I was forced to see to get the meds refused to help fight for it. Once they pulled the line out, that was the beginning of what seems like no return for me. For the next couple of months I was in severe pain and had a bout of disassociation. I put my hands solely in the hands of my LLMD at that point racking up tens of thousands of dollars. There is now a blood culture test to show if you definitively have Lyme. It is available in every state but NY so I had to take a long, painful drive to CT. It can turn positive between ten days (if you are severely sick) to two months. If it doesn’t come back positive in two months you are Lyme free. Mine came back positive in nine days. Traditional doctors do not trust this test because there have not been official trials on it but that is because, again, of the CDC’s guidelines from the IDSA (The Infectious Diseases Society of America).

I’m now back on an IV, and am told after this initial 30 days paid for, once again, by the insurance, I will have to pay for continued treatment for six months to a year myself. IV and nurse care can run about $5K a month! Who has this type of  money? But it is a fight for your life. From being off IV for so long I now have CNS damage which causes my brain to misfire and cause nerve pain all over my body. It is unrelenting. I’m on 30 pills a day now to try to assuage that and other painful symptoms. Nothing seems to be working.

If someone thinks they might have Lyme, what steps would you recommend?

First, learn all you can. Find a Lyme Literate doctor. It is sort of a secret society and you can only get the names by writing to an associate for Lyme advocacy as far as I know. The TickBorne Disease Alliance sent them to me all cloak-and-dagger style. Watch Under Our Skin. You can also contact them for chronic Lyme info. The good news is that most people don’t get into late-stage Lyme and are cured within 30 days if the disease is caught quickly. Be vigilant about scanning your body — even in hair — for ticks and if you should find one, bulls-eye rash or not, get yourself at least 30 days of Doxycycline. Better safe than sorry.  I never had a bulls-eye rash but now in retrospect I remember exactly when I got infected. It was almost a year before symptoms started, on July 4th of 2011. I was in the Hamptons for two days and was in Montauk and a friend told me not to walk into the brush to go down a small path. Jokingly he said it was Lyme-Alley. I didn’t know what Lyme was so I went. Two weeks later, I had a horrible fever and fatigue which felt like a flu but with no respiratory issues. When my fever spiked to 103 I went to Urgent Care, who said they suspected Mono. When the tests came back negative and I started to feel better we all figured it was a rogue virus. Over the course of the next nine months I was achy in mornings, but I attributed that to getting older.

What can I do to help with awareness and changing the way Lyme is addressed in this country?

Join the TBDA. There are always petitions to sign and rallies to go to. Watch the movie and learn about what organizations are trying to help us. Most of all if you hear of a friend or friend of a friend with late-stage Lyme be kind and try to help them. It is frustrating for us to be in so much pain and because no one seems to understand our disease. Since we typically look normal, people think we are being overly dramatic or are nuts. It is so heartbreaking when someone tells  me, “Well you look great, you must be getting better” or “Well at least it isn’t cancer…” You can start change right in your own home by learning all you can. We have symptoms that are intermittent and varying so for an hour your heart might be hurting and then it will stop and your vision will be blurry and then that will stop and your hands and feet will be numb or you will feel panicked or be unable to walk down the stairs. It is maddening because you never know what will be happening to you. It is much worse when those around you don’t understand that you can’t control these odd symptoms and that they pass and return with no rhyme or reason.

Try to be cognizant of the fact that sufferers have been affected physically, emotionally, and financially. I recently lost a 25-year friendship because of my friend’s inability to understand my disease. It has been more painful than the physical pain.

…and the questions that I give to everyone…

Tweet challenge! Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

A good girl who does bad things.

What’s your favorite website?

My own, because even though I’m sick I’m still dark and funny and a total fucking narcissist. (Pain can make anyone narcissistic, but I was one long before Lyme attacked me) For me, one of the only ways to stave off depression is through doing something creative, however small. Also, I like to complain. So each day I will share a reason to Die! (with the occasional reason to LIVE when I’m feeling oddly optimistic.

What celebrities did you have crushes on in high school?

I’m old, so I really don’t recall. I suspect Prince and Johnny Depp. Those two have endured for the last 25 years.

What’s next for you?

Not to sound morbid, but I just don’t know if there is a next for me at this point. I’m told it could take another year before I can function properly–not be cured, mind you, but be out of pain, able to walk outside for leisure, eat properly, be able to read large amounts of text… I will probably have to take pills my whole life and who knows if any of the damage caused by Lyme is permanent. I don’t know how  much more of this I can take so I literally live life some days, day-by-day, hour-by-hour, or when it is really bad, minute-by-minute.  I miss my dachshund Mini but am too sick to care for him properly. He is with a friend but all my friends are taxed beyond belief with dealing with me and this disease. I”m trying to find a local foster who will take him for a few months in the hopes I’ll get well enough to care for him again and give him back. I haven’t found anyone yet and it is a constant worry.

How can everyone connect with you online?

They can email me at: sixthflrwalkup@aol.com; leave me an anonymous note via my blog; or find me on Twitter at: @KellyKreth

That’s all everyone. Please go check out the GoFundMe page for Kelly, and also please watch Under Our Skin, which was really informative and certainly taught me more than I ever knew about Lyme disease.

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Holiday Wishlist: Kelly Kreth

by Jamie Sanford on December 17, 2012

My friend Kelly Kreth is back to share her holiday wishlist! Mine is coming up later this week. Check out Kelly’s blog, You Might As Well.

Seasons Greetings Cyberfriends, you may remember me from my three-part holiday wishlist two years ago. While this year’s isn’t as lengthy, there are still some things I’ve been coveting that I’d like to share with you. Most are eager for a White Christmas, but my list will surely illustrate I’d much prefer a black, white and red one.

1-Because I have both a bladder disease (interstitial cystitis) and Lyme disease, there isn’t much I can drink except water and herbal tea. So I tend to drink seltzer daily but all those bottles take up such room in the fridge and getting cases delivered is expensive and time consuming. I recently came across the Sodastream seltzer machine which turns tap water into a fizzy delight in under a minute. I have a black, white and red color scheme in my home so I really love this one: Price range: $79.99-199.99

2-Continuing on this desire for only black, white and red things. You can see the extent of my disorder here and here, not to mention my tree:

I recently saw this nutcracker  on the cover of a Crate and Barrel catalog and bought it for my god-daughter because she collects them and this one is the coolest with tats on his guns. The Inked Nutcracker was $29.99 but appears to no longer be in stock.

3-I also love this decorative plate not only because of the color scheme, but also because of the subject matter and title: Yayoi Kusama Ceramic Plate: Women Wait for Love, But Men Always Walk Away, $45

4- A friend recently turned me onto the Persian artistic team of Icy and Sot. This print, again, thrills me not just because of the color scheme but also because of the theme.
Icy and Sot
Edition: Edition of 100
Media: Screen Print on paper
Year: 2012
Dimensions: 50 x 70 cm
Price: € 80,00

5- Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, needs one of these and for only $5 you can get them as stocker stuffers for the whole family. In fact, the site, www.fivedollarfinds.com has some of the most creative and kitschiest things you will not only want but will also NEED. You can get every hard-to-please gift recipient on your list at least something they will love for only a five-spot.
6- I guess by now you are sensing a theme in the color scheme and the theme of heartbreak, limerence, loss and longing. So be it. I love this Haring-inspired ottoman and if you can live through the aural ear-rape from the site when you log and the hideous music starts, order it while it lasts. Keith Haring Men w/ Heart Ottoman, $325.00
7- Here’s an interesting story, the summary of which is here. In short I was thrifting at the local Salvation Army and came across a black and white figure vase that I coined my Lovely Lady. It reminded me of Gaultier of the early 90s so for $6 she was mine and resided in my dressing room/closet. Then by coincidence I happened upon others in the Museum of Art and Design gift shop and would now love a companion for my Lovely Lady. I love the black and white polka dot one. I think they’d like to dance with each other as I dress. 12″ Tall $80.00 each
8- I have wanted these Perrin Paris gloves for years.  GLOVES – QUELLE HEURE EST-IL ?, $565—
and also this clutch, and in fact my ex-boyfriend had promised he’d get it for me for my birthday, and he never did. But then again he promised a lot of things, like not to cheat and lie. Capital Clutch, $995
9- There is a Costco in Manhattan and while I don’t have a membership I’ve been lucky enough to go a few times with those that do. I would love my own membership: $55 for a year.
10- Although I was thankfully unaffected by Sandy, I do not have renters insurance and if damage had occurred it could have been financially devastating. I still haven’t ponied up and gotten it. It makes the perfect gift for anyone in the tri-state area.
11- And because everyone needs a little sparkle and shine on the holidays, this bag: Baggu Medium Leather Bag $160, $160.00
Or
12- The smaller, more affordable version: Baggu Medium leather pouch, $40

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My Holiday Wishlist: Kelly Kreth, Part 2

by Jamie Sanford on December 2, 2010

Striped and Fabulous.

Kelly Kreth

(Today’s guest post was contributed by Kelly Kreth. I “met” Kelly online around 10 years ago, and since then she’s made me jewelry, she’s been the subject of one of the best photos I’ve ever taken, and thoroughly kicked my ass in Facebook Scrabble. Check out her new blog which explores optimism and pessimism with great humor and frankness. Check out Part 1 of Kelly’s Holiday Wishlist here.)

Wow! That first part took a lot out of me. So I think I’ll start this second part off with a nice bottle of champagne. [Hell, 52 bottles. One for each week. Veuve Clicquot Rose is a “perfectly balanced rosé which combines elegance and personality. This delectable champagne is beautifully ample and full of charm. It is a delicious wine in early bloom, a rosé with character, wonderful as an aperitif to be shared as a twosome [or for Kelly, alone] or with dear friends.” $71.99 per bottle.

If this booze doesn’t get me sufficiently soused, I’d also like this vodka, but mostly because I love the bottle. $41.99.

Once I am sufficiently buzzed, it’s not enough to just feel good, but I’ll also need to look good. Hence my desire for sexy undies from my favorite lingerie line, Agent Provocateur. I’d pretty much take any of the pieces on the site, but if I had to pick one it’d be this Alina bra, $180 and panty $180.


Whenever I travel or even just stay the night at someone’s home, I always hate having to carry my big daytime bag and also bring a smaller, fancier clutch for evening. Tiffany’s of Breakfast at… fame has come up with a gorgeous solution. This metallic tote reverses to tan for a day look and has a smaller gold clutch attached for evening. How brilliant! Holly Golightly would think it was darling, darling. It is part of their new leather collection, and costs $595. If you aren’t hot for beige and gold, their other color combos are: Tiffany blue and platinum, coral suede and gold, and black and onyx.


And speaking of Tiffany’s, I’ve always wanted two carat diamond stud earrings. These beauties will run about $11,000, but as you all know, as cliché as it sounds, diamonds are forevah.


Now that my ears are a’sparkling, I’d want my wrist to not be naked. I’ve passed the TENO store in Soho tons of times and always marvel at this bracelet. For $1650, it seems pricey for rubber and some gold, but it is a wish list…


I have a flat-screen Bravia tv in my bedroom but it is only 26 inches. I’d love a 40-inch one for my living room. (Currently available for $1,349.)


And now that I’d no longer have to invite those who want to watch tv with me to lay in my bed, I’d get a new couch. Because I am neurotic about keeping everything in my home black, white and red. I’d get this couch, the Antoinette Fainting Sofa at Urban Outfitters for $578.


In case there still is someone who’d like to lay in bed and watch tv with me, I’d get an assortment of these creative black and white pillowcases at Urban Outftters for $28 a pair.


And on that note, I am exhausted; to all a good holiday and to all a good night.

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My Holiday Wishlist: Kelly Kreth, Part 1

by Jamie Sanford on December 1, 2010

Striped and Fabulous.

Kelly Kreth

(Today’s guest post was contributed by Kelly Kreth. I “met” Kelly online around 10 years ago, and since then she’s made me jewelry, she’s been the subject of one of the best photos I’ve ever taken, and thoroughly kicked my ass in Facebook Scrabble. Check out her new blog which explores optimism and pessimism with great humor and frankness.)

Before I begin, I want to make all readers aware that the one thing—actually the top three things—– I want most of all are not on this list. While these things are omitted because they can’t be purchased, I must also disclose that I am not so altruistic that “world peace” is one of the three. I’m far, far shallower.

I’ve debated over how to organize this list. Should it go from cheapest to most expensive? Practical to most luxe? Or should it be grouped by likeness? I’ve opted to list them in a way that is more narrative than listicle:

I’m all about learning new things so the first group are not tangible items, but rather, EXPERIENCES:

A few years ago I took Fine Cooking 1 at the Institute of Culinary Education which has excellent Recreational Cooking Classes. I’d really like to take the second part of that. These comprehensive multi-day courses run about 25 hours over five days and cost about $595. Of course, I’d be happy with any of their one-day courses. Groups are up to 12 people whom you cook with and then afterwards you sit communally, drink wine and try-out your creations.

While I’m a Microsoft PAINT expert, I just bought Photoshop and would love to take a Graphic Design Course. Full-time classes run for three months; Part-time classes run for one year.  These programs run at $9,950.

I’m an avid reader and love all things literary. I’ve always wanted to be a part of the New York Public Library’s Young Lions. Memberships run from $350 for the most basic program to a whopping $10,000 for the most comprehensive. Even at the lowest level, the events and benefits are thrilling. Drinks and debates take place at member forums, private film screenings are held with Q&As afterwards, etc.

Young Lions Co-Chair Ethan Hawke and Committee Member Uzodinma Iweala at the Young Lions Fiction Award.

I’d love to go on a two-week safari to Africa. Expect to pay anywhere from $5000 to $15,000 per person.

My favorite spa experience in Manhattan is in Koreatown at Juvenex Spa. I’ve been on the receiving end of a 90-minute massage and a 60-minute full body scrub and both were excellent. Prior to treatments, you are invited to use their igloo sauna and cold pool. After your treatments you are given tea and fruit. After 7pm the spa is co-ed and it is open all night. Seeing that this is a WISH list, I’d opt for the Full Day Premium with Spa Lunch & Gift Bag – Any 6 Treatments – $725 [plus tip] which basically includes any SIX treatments, lunch and gift bag. Yowza! I especially like that this is one of the few spas in the area that provide women and men with paper bathing suits; I’ve been to others that only provide towels and scrubs are done in public completely sans clothing. Yikes!

Several years ago I was the recipient of a certificate for a dinner for two with wine pairings to Per Se, one of Manhattan’s most expensive and raved about restaurants. Located in the Time Warner Center, it took me about a month to get reservations, but it was surely a birthday dinner to remember. Each day there is a new nine-course tasting menu (plus amuse bouche ) that is $275 per person and also a vegetarian tasting menu which costs the same . Wine pairings are about $150 extra. One of the things I recall most—I’m a bit fuzzy because I had a glass of wine with each course—was the incredible butter. The waiter explained it was from the same set of cows in some exclusive farm. Again, sketchy on the details, but not on the amazing taste.

As you can probably tell from the aforementioned experiences I desire, I’m a hedonist—a very lazy one. Hence my yearning for a full-year of weekly maid service from Maid for You New York. I have a 750 sq. ft. apt. in Manhattan, but the service can do any size residential or commercial space. Prices vary depending on size of unit and chores desired. I’d go for the works: cleaning, laundry, upholstery steaming, etc. Now if only they sent Teri Copley. [I think only olds will get that reference!]


Stay tuned for Part Two of Kelly Kreth’s Holiday Wishlist which will feature more traditional, tangible gift items such as jewelry, clothing, electronics, music and books.

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