What my chronic illness can teach those who are healthy:

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I backslide in my treatment over the last few months.

Not a ton, mind you, but any backslide is still a regression and it wasn’t one I was happy about. But there was still a lot to be thankful for. I still feel way better than I did when I started treatment over two years ago. One more antibiotic is annoying and it makes my stomach hurt, but it’s still less than I was on. I’m still able to work and go about my daily life, and that’s a big deal, because two years ago I could hardly move from my bed to the couch. Plus, now that I’m taking it, I’m starting to steadily make back the ground that I had lost.

But there’s an important thing to point out. The antibiotics are important but, I only feel like they’re working when I’m taking care of myself. It’s a tricky thing, but finding health with Lyme is a fine balance of taking care of yourself and taking your pills. I find that the pills allowed me the ability care for myself by helping reduce my pain and my fatigue, but without the diet, the exercise, and natural treatments, I might as well still be sick.

It brings me back to all the lessons on health I had learned before Lyme Disease.

We push aside daily wellness when we’re healthy enough. When we don’t have a chronic illness, when we don’t have a disease, or a disorder. Our bodies are functioning and that’s enough for us, we don’t feel like we need to do all the extra work for them to be at their best, because good enough is good enough.

It has a lot to do with our own laziness, our own gluttony, and all the pleasure we find in things that aren’t very healthy to us. It really dawned on me after a few weeks of giving this lifestyle my all so I could get better. I thought “when will I be better enough to stop all of this?”

That’s right, I wanted to know when will I would be better enough to stop being healthy.

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Fake medicine, real medicine, and their role in Lyme disease.

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There is a growing group of naturopaths claiming to cure everything with natural approaches and homeopathic medicine. A lot of us with chronic illnesses end up falling into their hands when traditional medicines turns their nose at us and tell us we aren’t sick, when we clearly are and have been deteriorating quickly. They like to tell us it’s in our mind or they misdiagnose us since our diseases doesn’t have accurate tests and in the case of Lyme, those tests more often than not throws false negatives.

Those of us suffering with Lyme’s become desperate and frantic trying to find someone to help us, so we go outside of traditional medicine. Is that the right place to find help? We can only hope so, because they seem to be the only people willing to try.

I got pushed out of traditional medicine with a harsh kick. Nobody would help me, so we tried a homeopathic doctor. I was skeptical throughout the process. Some of the things she talks about were proven false. She mentioned being about to help my bipolar through diet, and that she could heal me from it, never mind that its a genetic mood disorder. The wifi isn’t really changing how your body reacts to things and the idea of crystals helping anything comes from old school witchcraft and have no base in science. I was on guard the entire four months I was there, even more so seeing as she was selling herbs and supplements out of her practice. Which is highly unethical and she would have lost her license for doing that if she was in traditional medicine. Everything was expensive. I didn’t notice a difference in how I felt after a lot of treatments.

But- some of the things she suggested have been studied, some of them did make a difference in the way I felt. Some of her concepts weren’t so far off the track I needed to be on. I needed to be helping my body detox, but it wasn’t through green juice and mystery homeopathic drops, it was through sweating and Epson salt baths, ways people have been healing themselves for centuries. I did need to be on some supplements, but ones that list every single ingredient that came from an independent source. There are a lot of supplements derived from foods that help boost your immune system, support your liver, and even have antibacterial qualities. I needed probiotics to keep my gut from being destroyed by treatments. I needed to cut sugar to help with the inflammation, but I didn’t need to clean my diet of every food I’ve ever loved.

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Life Updates: About my current relationship with my Lyme Disease

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I have a lot of posts sitting finished in my drafts right now, but another one is itching to come out of me.

I’ve been sick with Lyme Disease for over two years now, a year and a half of that almost completely thrown away, wasted as I wasted away on the sofa. The disease came sudden and it came fast, but it’s been sticking around ever since. I wrote one big post about it but it hardly goes into the hopelessness. It can hardly express the pain.

Truth is, I’m doing much better now. My doctor has pulled me off a lot of my antibiotics, though recently I back slide and had to have some reintroduced. I realized that I hadn’t shared that Monday night after even more people asked me if I was finally well. I’ve been asked that a lot actually. It doesn’t bother me much, I understand that I seem well. I’m almost at a normal activity level, I finally feel like I have my life back. I’m very happy. I can see how it all could appear to mean I’m finally healed, but I’m not yet. My Lyme isn’t in remission. I’m still actively fighting it every step of the way and it’s hard. It’s really hard. Sometimes it frustrates me to tears, but more often than not it’s lit a fire in me.

I hate calling sicknesses a blessing, but God has a way of taking curses and making them bow to His will. And He’s done that with this one. He’s given me so much perspective, so much hope, and He’s taken my world view and blended it so much that even in my fear I can see how truly blessed I am.

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It’s June and I’m 23. Here’s to bad years closing and lessons learned.

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Happy June! My birthday was yesterday, and I am now officially twenty-three. Let’s just say that twenty-two just wasn’t what Taylor Swift made it out to be. I made a post about my year lost to lyme and mono and I meant it in the most literal way possible. I don’t feel like I was ever really twenty-two. The entire year was lost to pain and I didn’t really move from the couch. I feel like I’m behind now, because I know that if I hadn’t of gotten sick I would be so much farther ahead. I know that I’m not, there are a lot of twenty-three year old’s still trying to figure it out, I just thought by now I’d be farther along.

So when I say I want twenty-three to be a better year for me I’m not setting the bar crazy high, in fact the bar is rather low. I know life moves in phases and no matter what we think those phases aren’t marked in years or semesters. They’re random. God and the forces on this earth aren’t really working with our calendar. So, I don’t expect it to get better right away, but I hope that this age is more giving. I hope that it has a little more mercy.

That’s not to say that twenty-two didn’t come with some valuable lessons. Here is what I learned while I was too sick to get off the couch.  Continue reading

A Year Stolen by Lyme and Mono:

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I’ve mentioned a few times that I’ve been sick, but I don’t think anyone who reads this blog really understands how sick I’ve been (unless you’re one of my real life loved ones, in which case hi! Thanks for following me online and off). There were days where my muscles physically couldn’t hold the weight of my own body. I had stomach flu symptoms, cold symptoms. My joints felt like someone was drilling screws into them from bad angles. It was terrible. People always would ask me what hurt and I couldn’t find a good way to say that I just felt like I was dying. I felt like my body was shutting down one part at a time, and frankly, I was really worried that it wasn’t going to start back up again. I realize this reads as an exaggeration, but it isn’t. I’m not blowing anything out of proportion, at least, not in this blog post.

It started right around graduation (May 2016). I thought I just had bad allergies at first, then all these other symptoms started piling on. It got real bad real fast. I went to the doctors a few times. I had an ear infection. They said. Arthritis? I was being sent doctor to doctor, because nobody knew what was wrong with me. I was two months in when my dad pointed out the infected bite I had on my thigh for just as long and that it might have been a tick. I mentioned it to my horse instructor when she asked me how I was feeling. That’s when I found out that two other people at the horse farm had gotten Lyme out there. So I went back in for the test and got put on one round of antibiotics that lasted a month.

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