In case you don’t feel like I’m beating a dead horse yet, I’d like to discuss Lyme Disease today!
You can totally go ahead and skip this one if you’re not into tick-borne illnesses. If you’re already bracing yourself for an onslaught of complaints and whines, I don’t blame you. But don’t worry, this is a POSITIVE! post, contrary to some things you may have read about Lyme on this here website.
See over a year after my diagnosis, I finally feel like a normal human again. This is great news, because I can do things like drink a couple glasses of wine without wanting to die, and exercise (except apparently not the running type… joint damage) and think clearly.
I haven’t discussed my experience over the past year with many friends or family members. I’ve found it’s the sort of illness that people generally don’t equate with serious repercussions, because most cases require a round or two of antibiotics and boom, done. Most people catch it early.
Those who are aware of the situation, primarily the family members I was living with, are glad I’m feeling better and are ready to move on. And hey, so I am! But it makes it tough to discuss any lingering thoughts, to break down what happened.
I’ve since met multiple people who are going through something similar, from friends of friends to old colleagues to random strangers at the dog park, and one thing I know for sure is that talking about it helps. So if you’re in the trenches, seeking a virtual “same” then I’m here for you.
I won’t bore you with the details of my treatment again (right this way if you’re interested). That was in January 2017 right after my diagnosis and likely seven or eight months after getting infected. Today I finally feel better, even though I have to take approximately 7,000 supplements a day. I had to go out and buy one of those enormous pill boxes to tote around when traveling, which I’d rather use it to store tiny cubes of swiss cheese.
It’s difficult to describe the past year because it’s kind of a blur. Most days I felt like a shell of a person, like someone had replaced me who was irritable and sad and foggy and tired all the time. This sounds incredibly self-pitying, but there was an odd comfort in feeling that way too. It was as if I was forced into the situation, and didn’t have a choice or a way to get out of it, so I had permission to play my own little tiny violin.
But we always have a choice, don’t we? To wake up and decide to feel better made all the difference, tough as it was.
Here are a few other things that helped, aside from treating the physical symptoms:
I’m cringing as I type this, because I know how very difficult it is to be patient when all you want to do is feel like your normal self again. When my doctor and others would say “you just have to give it time” I’d nod, acknowledging, but really wondering how much time? Trusting the process, knowing that you’ll get a grip on this thing, is powerful stuff. Patience provides a lifeline, a sense of hope.
Also hard to type this one, because there was a period of time that I truly couldn’t muster the energy to exercise. Of course, starting to exercise helps with the energy. The eternal conundrum.
- Positive Thinking + Affirmations
You better believe I took this to a woo woo level. You reach for just about anything when you’re feeling desperate, you know? Turns out repeating the same words to myself in the mirror every morning turned out to be one of the most effective tools. Pick a few words (“I am free, vibrant, joyful,” etc.) that reflect how you want to feel and repeat them 10 times every morning. Eventually you train your mind to truly believe it.
If you’ve wrangled with it in the past I’d love to hear what helped you? Or maybe you’re facing it now: feel free to leave your questions below. I’m happy to discuss my personal experience.