Imagine me sighing now, because that’s what I’m doing and I haven’t begun writing this blog yet.
Thank God for artist like Mandisa, for friends and loved ones, for great hubbies and wives, for sisters, parents, brothers, for friends and for those wonderful people who do research work so we can find The Cure. We must find the cure! There are only so many relapses we can walk through with our heads high and hope filled hearts. But we do it! Ultimately thank God for life, shitty like it is at times is better than not having it.
Recovery from a chronic illness is an up-and-down process.* No need to beat around the bushes about this, those who suffer know this truth.
Just when you think everything is turning around, a set back kicks you in the …well just about everywhere. You’re on your back, in bed, wrapped in the blanket of pain and now what? Why God? Why again? Did I eat the wrong thing? Did I do too much? Took the wrong medication? And you trace back every single step with a fine brush and can’t seem to find anything. Or maybe you do.
My #1 flaw. With increase of energy my thirst for life returns and I end up wanting to do all those things I dreamed of doing while imprisoned in bed, so I do them! And for brief periods of time I feel like I belong in the vast community of humans where I too look and behave normal, where pain and disease are not the subject of the day, where I can be stupid and silly and alive. That’s when I collected memories. That’s what I call it. These memories are worth every single stab of pain I feel later on, because Lyme punishes us like that. If you see me out there in the world and if I’m visiting you or you’re visiting me, I’m living and loving it, even if I know Lyme’s punishments will come later on.
Fortunately, with time, these setbacks gradually become less common and less intense. * True. At least it is for me.
System disruptors that cause setbacks: poor nourishment, toxins, emotional stress, physical stress, oxidative stress (increase in inflammation), radiation (from computers and cell phones), microbiome imbalance (new bite, flue, cold, Herxheimer reaction, flu vaccine), bacterial and viral fare-ups (Epstein-Barr virus reactivation, other herpes- type viruses, Borrelia, Mycoplasma etc), drug reactions, inadequate sleep, and/or allergic reactions to herbs or drugs, or even food, travel or stressful events, or if you’re like me I enter complacency- do more and eat more sugar. The weather changes also affect us, less sun and more cold, rainy, humid days bring the flare-up fast. Cancer, menopause and other such unexpected illnesses, it can do a number on the body.
General Guidelines: If you can get sun or move to a sunny area, do it. REST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Did I make that clear? I hope so:) Lots of liquids and when I say liquids I mean water, tea (ginger) and natural non-sugary drinks. Vitamin C, turmeric and boswellia to reduce inflammation, Enzymes to help you break down the food you eat. The best one is just eating pineapple or take Bromelain, Omega-3 fatty acids, heat, CBD oil (I take that quite a bit during flare-ups, it keeps me sane), herbal supplements, go outside and breath fresh air and walk barefoot on the dirt, meditate, make your world smaller, try to exercise-Yoga is good- (now this is one of those catch 22 issues, flare-ups brings along severe fatigue symptoms and we only have a certain small amount of energy every day and many times we have to choose between cooking or exercising) but endorphins suppress pain and enhance immune function.
And the hardest one of all, figure out how to reduce fear. Yeah, easier said than done, right?
How do I do it? Well, I cry first and I get angry then I start formulating a plan. I’ll give you some ideas, but if you have other ones please share them and I’ll add them here.
What do I want to do this summer? Realistic goals only. Everyone can make their way outside and lay on a piece of grass and soak the sun, for example. So look forward to those activities.
What new recipes do I want to make? (Most days I only want to eat sugar, so this one is tough:).
What friends do I want to see once I feel better? Assuming they’re still talking to me;)
How can I be part of my children’s lives more?
What hobby brings me peace? I should start that hobby then. So on.
In conclusion, please rest, surround yourself with good and positive encouragement material via books, shows, friends, activities and look forward for the happy spring and summer seasons. Keep fighting because a cure will be found:)
I hope some of this information has been helpful to you:)
* Quotes or information taken from Williams Rawls book, Unlocking Lyme.