The other day I found myself saying, “Oh, I’m about 95% better”. I said this even though I was feeling rather exhausted from an anniversary celebration we gave to my parents almost 5 days before.
I’ve been having trouble walking again, having pain and heaviness in my legs. My neck and shoulders have been aching and I’ve been having pain in my back and sciatica.
Why would I even think I’m 95% percent better when I have these kinds of symptoms going on? Maybe I just wanted to put on my happy face and pretend that everything was OK. I’m not really sure but my words sure caught me off guard.
If you’ve been dealing with chronic Lyme for any length of time, all you really want is to be well, to be normal, and to be able to keep up with what everyone else is doing.
I started out this year announcing to my family and everyone around me that this was my year to get well. I was going to focus on resting and getting the therapy and treatments that I needed in order to completely regain my health. I babied myself, took naps, put my feet up a little more, began a physical therapy type exercise program, overlooked the messy house and did what I needed to do to feel like I was taking care of me.
Now that summer break is here I’ve found myself busy, hurrying, and trying to accomplish all the projects I set by the wayside. In my head, I began thinking I was better but my body is saying otherwise.
When Spring came, I began feeling more energetic but maybe filling up my time with busy activities and running around has taken its toll causing the fatigue to return. It could be that my adrenals haven’t completely healed or my symptoms could be from peri-menopause. It’s also possible that my symptoms are not from a Lyme flare but a result of the damage left over from being sick for so long.
No matter what the cause, it’s time to get real again, to stop lying to myself and to acknowledge that my year of healing has not come to an end yet. I may have to add extra time to my healing journey or maybe even come to grips with the reality that it may take a lot longer than I planned.
I wonder if you also find it hard to admit when your health is not as good as you want it to be. Are you pretending to be as well as those around you? Maybe you are taking the necessary steps to make sure you’re resting when you should or focusing on a specific aspect of your health?
It’s hard for me, it’s so easy to allow guilty feelings to get in the way and prevent physical healing. The truth is Lyme disease is a vicious beast of an illness. It can cause just about any symptom and it depletes your immune system making you more susceptible to other illnesses. Lyme takes so much from our lives and it can leave us hopeless if we’re not careful.
I hear from a lot of you that you don’t have support or that your family and friends don’t understand and that’s a really hard place to be.
I’m in an unusual position where my family understands my limitations because we’ve all dealt with the symptoms of Lyme and co-infections. We each know exactly what the pain and fatigue feel like. I’ll admit it’s a lot easier for me in this area and while I wish my husband and children didn’t have the experience I’m thankful that they’re understanding.
So, for now, I need to work on telling myself the truth. I’m going to guard my calendar and go back to working on caring for my health. Most importantly, I’m going to slow down so that I don’t relapse and so that I can enjoy the good days that I have.