In the fall of 2009 I was finally diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease and co-infections after a long, frustrating two years visiting different doctors, trying to get a diagnosis for my declining health.
While I still have pain off and on, most days I don’t feel so much like a Lymie, especially since many of my friends have similar aches and pains. I’m not going to say we’re getting older but you know, it happens.
When I was first diagnosed I agreed to high doses of antibiotics. I acted out of fear and ignorance, I thought this was the only way I would regain my health.
Honestly, after the initial period where I felt like I was dying, antibiotics did help me to feel better. For example, my brain fog and extreme fatigue went away. After 2 years, my legs started feeling better instead of throbbing and feeling like they were cast in concrete.
While the antibiotics helped they also did a lot of damage and every time I tried to wean off them I relapsed. They kept my immune system depleted and basically stripped my gut of all the beneficial bacteria.
Your entire immune system depends on a healthy gut. Your entire immune system depends on a healthy gut. #betterhealth #healthygut #lymedisease Click To Tweet
I’ve spent a number of years repairing my gut, building my immune system back up and restoring the necessary bacteria.
I switched to an herbal protocol which also had benefits but at the same time when I tried to go off them, I relapsed. While herbs are natural and are amazing for healing the body, they too have side effects. I loved learning about herbs and how to use them to make medicinal tinctures, salves, and other healing remedies, all of which I still do.
Finally, I opted for homeopathy and I saw amazing improvements in my children and husband, who also have Lyme and co-infections, but I did not improve at the same rate. I’ve never tested for MTHFR* but I knew I wasn’t detoxing well, my adrenals were fatigued, and I was having an allergic reaction to the damp basement in my new house.
During each of these protocols, I was eating a strict sugar-free & gluten free diet. I didn’t opt for GF substitutes because I didn’t feel they were healthy, but instead filled my plate with whole foods.
I took, and still do take, lots of supplements including probiotics to restore what my body lost from the disease itself and antibiotic use.
I’m also still using homeopathy as my primary protocol and of course, my next adventure will be learning more in-depth about homeopathy because I just have to know how it works.
I avoid chemical use in my home as much as possible and even changed my body care and makeup products to natural, sometimes organic alternatives. I try to buy the best quality food I can afford and include raw local honey and good quality oils.
I went to physical therapy and the chiropractor as needed and at one point I had regular therapeutic massages.
This past year I had myofascial therapy, which allowed my body to detox further and helped tremendously with my Lyme induced fibromyalgia. I’m pretty sure I had toxins trapped in my body and this therapy herxed me big time when I first started. After the first month, I began feeling great.
Last winter, my friend, who recently became a health coach, took me on as a client. We had bi-weekly phone call sessions and I greatly benefited from her expertise. She was so helpful and I’m glad I decided to make the commitment and that she was willing to take me on. During this 6 months I learned to be creative again and how to change my thought patterns.
I also began to get back to a committed quiet time with God, reading scriptures and praying. This can be very hard for those of us who have lived in pain for such a long time. Discouragement sets in and it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I committed to exercising, getting off sugar and set goals for myself. She challenged me to stop making excuses for why I couldn’t achieve my goals and she celebrated with me over each accomplishment.
I lost 16 lbs in this 6 month period, my knees don’t hurt anymore and I have a lot more energy.
This past spring and summer I incorporated gentle exercising, walking and strength training exercises and yoga with Faith and Flow Yoga. I’m trying to continue and hopefully can work my way into a more rigorous routine, but if I can’t I’ll just continue what I’m doing.
I started an Abounding in Health Facebook page in order to have some camaraderie as I tried to lose weight, exercise consistently and eat a sugar-free diet. During the summer I hosted an online 21 Day Health Challenge which was a lot of fun for me and I really enjoyed the relationships I made during that time.
When you want to change something whether it's negative thoughts or how you eat, you can't just get rid of the negative, you have to replace it with something good. #Change #aboundinginhopewithlyme Click To Tweet
I noticed that I no longer dwell on how I’m feeling or what I can’t do because pain is no longer writhing through my body. I’ve been able to think about things that I enjoy doing, I’m making plans, setting goals and it feels really great.
In all honestly, I’m not 100% better from tick-borne diseases but I am able to enjoy my life and look forward to tomorrow.
My passion is to still get the word out and educate as many people as I can about Lyme disease but more importantly it’s to tell you that if you’re battling this horrible disease, you can get better.
Even if you have some other inflammatory disease have hope. It takes time and a lot of work for your body to heal and recover. Unfortunately, you have to figure out what is really going on with your body and what will work for you.
While everyone should adopt a healthy lifestyle through clean living, exercise, and positive thoughts it can be more difficult when you have Lyme. Sometimes healing from Lyme can be a very long process. It’s crucial to address the entire immune system and to identify what it was that made your constitution weak in the first place.
So, hang in there and realize that while discouragement is a normal part of living with chronic illness, you can find joy in the little blessings, the little steps forward, and your goal toward healing.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you. I Peter 5:10