Today, December 27th, 2017 marks 4 years since I got Lyme Disease.
This post is about how far I have come since then.
The ability to see how far we have coming in any journey is probably one of the greatest gifts ever given to anyone on the face of the earth. That very ability, to not blind ones self to their own past, is something that some human struggle to grasp. For myself, that ability comes and goes, sometimes I can look back on certain days so clearly, other times all I see is everything in front of me and nothing behind. Sometimes the things I can look back on and see the most clearly are things I really don't want to see at all. However, I am at a point in my life, in my battle against Lyme Disease where I have to be able to look back. I have to be able to see how far I have come.
I told myself last year at this time that I would be in remission. I said #remission2k17 and I believed with every fiber in my being that I would make it to remission this year. I am still on just as many antibiotics as I was last year. I am still seeing a naturopath and my lyme doctor, who still doesn't hesitate to order 15 vials worth of blood work from me. I am not in remission. I started to realize I wasn't going to get into remission by the end of the year and started to get sloppy with things that I had worked so hard on the whole year. I started cheating on my diet, I started giving up on my strict bed time. I started to convince myself that this was as good as I am going to get. I got hooked on caffeine again. I just started all around slacking. The resilience that I had kept so strong through about August of 2017 left faster than a couple of fiber one bars eaten for breakfast.
I saw I wasn't going to be completely healed and assumed this would be my life--feeling alright most days, with only a few crappy days. This is as good as it get... That's what I have started to convince myself. I was a little frustrated with how I was feeling. I wasn't getting better... or was I?
The crazy symptoms I have are gone. I don't struggle with PTSD like I did before. I don't have any self harm thoughts, and I don't have mood swings. I don't fall asleep driving in the car 10 minutes to work. I don't feel like dizzy when I stand up, and I don't forget to wear a bra in the mornings anymore before I leave the house. I don't run on 2 hours of sleep anymore...it's more like 4-5. I don't pass out or have seizures anymore.
These are huge mile stones, but for me those are big things to over come. I notice when those things are gone. I notice that I am not falling asleep anymore at the wheel. I notice that I don't need to take naps. I notice I don't wake up having awful flashbacks. These are all great things I have overcome with so much help of my doctors and my family... But I still have a ways to go. And the other things are harder to notice, because they are little things.
I keep getting sinus infections because of a biotin from Lyme Disease and mold. I have crappy skin, and bad acne because my body is trying to detox it's self from all the Lyme Disease I have killed off. I hit a wall every day at 3 where I don't feel like doing anything. I don't need a nap, I just don't have energy or motivation to do anything at that point in the day.
These are all things that are harder to pin point and treat as symptoms of Lyme Disease, because what if these are just side effects of the antibiotics? What if this is just me? and my biggest fear: What if this is just me now, for the rest of my life? What if the Lyme is taken care of pretty much, and the rest is just what it has left in damages? This might be a little dramatic in thinking, but that is what I wonder sometimes.
I do have one huge milestone that I have reached in the last 4 months of the year, which I didn't realize until towards the end of November. Since September I have not had a since day of depression. I didn't not have a wave of it hit me on a single day. Every one has their hard, and sad days. But I didn't have anything like I used to have. I made it through my whole semester of college without having a bout of depression. That is an amazing feat. That is something I am really excited about, and it took me a while to realize I wasn't feeling depressed. Part of it was I was so busy, and the other part was because I was still looking forward at everything I still had to get better from. I wasn't taking the time to notice the improvements I had already had. I wasn't taking the time to look back at where I was compared to now. I had forgotten for a second, where I once was.
|My battered, old Medical ID|
Now, don't get me wrong, I never want to go back to there. But I don't ever want to forget how sick I really was. Because I am who I am today because of how sick I really was. And I like who I am now.
In realizing that I did not meet my goal of getting into remission, yet, also realizing how far I made it this year, I am treating myself to a milestone of my own. In July 2016 I had a seizure. I was really embarrassed about it, and it was pretty scary, and so I never wrote about it. It was while I was up at school for a summer semester, but I was wearing a medical ID bracelet and that helped my roommates when the ambulance had to come get me. I will write more about this day some other time, but I have kinda had that medical ID as a life line before, and since that seizure.
I have started to break myself of my consistency of wearing it. And since tomorrow marks the 4 year anniversary of me getting bit by Dick the Tick, I have decided that I will not be wearing my medical ID anymore. I may not be in remission yet, but I am well enough that I don't need to wear it anymore. For me, that feels like a great weight taken off of me, to help me move forward.
-The Lyme Warrior