What Is The Hushed Truth About Lyme Disease? A Recovery Story, Final Chapter.
This is the last installment on my series 'What Is the Hushed Truth About Lyme Disease?' Please feel free to comment and leave information for others seeking help.
The Home Stretch
This has been a difficult trip. From May through August I experienced the worst fatigue I've ever experienced in my life. It's like coming out of the fog into the the clear blue sky. Thinking back to that time, it's almost like a dream. Did I really experience all that? Was I really able to look & act normal to those who didn't know, or was I just fooling myself?
From looking at my videos, I can see where I put up a brave front. The real struggle was inside; the odd sensations, delusional thinking, & strange thoughts within me now seem vague & far away. I can't believe I wrote my previous articles. My body was so weary each day, yet my mind would continue to swirl with thoughts & images, unable to shut down as I lay in bed each night craving the sleep I so desired. An insane disease that depleats the body of energy, yet robs it of rest.
It's been over two months since I wrote the last article about my illness. The good news is that I feel almost normal again. The time off from work helped me a great deal. My mind has cleared & I've experienced no more Herxheimer reactions to my medication. During my last visit to my LLMD (Lyme literate medical doctor), I reported that my anxiety & sleep had improved from a 2 to a 10, on a scale of 1 being worst, 10 being best.
I attempted to ride my horse again but found he'd been idle for so long, he was a bit 'prancy' & forceful, prompting me to shorten my ride & consider building my confidence before trying to ride again. I plan to send him to a trainer for a few weeks, when I can obtain the funds, who will work with both me & Sport to regain the confidence that was lost. I'll feel better about riding, plus, it will restore the zeal I once had.
When I say I feel "almost normal" I mean that I'm functioning just under the level I was before I got sick. I feel pleasant, ambitious, & energetic again. I'm working on a regular basis without sundowning at the end of the day. I don't feel overly stressed. I'm sleeping much better these days. As a matter of fact, I notice that on my days off I become very, very sleepy in the afternoon & grab a quick nap when I can. When I was experiencing Lyme symptoms, I would become tired & sleepy during the day, but was unable to go to sleep. It was exhausting.
Here are the remaining symptoms that are bothersome enough to list:
1.) Joint/muscle pain.....on a scale of 1-10, ten being worst, fluctuates from a '3' to an '8' daily. The discomfort in my left elbow & arm has become so bad I now wear an arm brace, the one made for 'tennis elbow' or tendinitis. The symptom has now moved to my right arm, though not as extreme. In addition, the pain has traveled to my knee caps, giving me the sensation that my knee caps are not part of my body; the cartilage between the knee & shin feeling stretched or grating. I went to an orthopedic doctor about this. He Xrayed my elbow & knees &, thankfully, I have no permanent damage. In addition, he saw no evidence of arthritis; only inflamation. The symptom has journeyed to my wrists, knuckles, & fingers which hurt from time to time, though not at the extreme of the elbows.
2.) Stiffness......is a problem all over. Getting out of the car seems to be a bit challenging at times. It's like my limbs don't want to respond like they used to. That's frustrating. I'm a bouncy ole chicken, used to darting about here & there, often compared to a freight train with hyper activity. I can still dart, I just can't respond fast enough! Leg stiffness is the worst, especially in the early morning. I don't drop things like I did when I was really sick, but my fingers just don't have the strength to really work to my satisfaction. I don't dare try to pry a stubborn lid from a jar. In doing so, it sends a huge stab of pain up into that oh-so-tender elbow of mine!
3.) Lip twitches.....are annoying. Seems like my upper lip goes into this spasm several times a day, just barely twitching. Not enough for someone else to notice, but just enough that it's aggravating. It's focused on the right side; just draws up a minute, then calms down after a bit, never lasting more than 60 seconds. Don't know what this is about, but I hope it stops soon.
4.) Letter reversal......when writing or typing. Just pops up out of nowhere. I'll be typing away, then when I proof-read, I find these occasional letter reversals. Like this: revresal, dot'n, get taht dog, otday. Doesn't happen all the time, but it rarely, if ever, happened before I got Lyme. Kind of like dyslexia.
Gee, this isn't so bad now, is it? I don't know if this is permanent or if the symptoms will disappear eventually. All I know is this: I CAN & WILL overcome!
Celebrate! What I will CONTINUE to do...
I will go for my chiropractic adjustments regularly to maintain a healthy spine so it will allow my body to heal normally! I will go to Curves 3 times per week & continue resistance strength training with cardio to help with flexibility! I'll continue to practice exercise & re-hab work at home! I will use my best judgement about adding or stopping medications and/or supplements!
I will continue to promote Lyme Disease awareness & let our voice be heard! I will not give up on my recovery! I will allow myself to be angry when appropriate & divert that anger into positive energy!
I WILL SURVIVE, I AM ALIVE!
Rejoice! What I CAN do.....
I can lift my 25 lb saddle onto my horses back! I can climb over the gate & crawl through the barb wire fence! I can lift a 50 lb bag of feed from my trunk & carry to the feed room!
I can tote my 4 year old grandson around after he gets attacked by a rooster! I can feed the horse & the cows! I can climb a ladder & clean the gutters on the house!
I can go to work & assess clients effectively! I can communicate with others & be understood! I can encourage people to get better!
I Guess this is the Final Chapter....
I'm going to close this series of narratives about my struggle with Lyme disease. This battle was won, but the war-monger may be lying in wait to erupt again at the least sign of weakness. I'm treating this like it's the end of the war. Though the battle scars remain, I'm through the storm, for sure.
I have one more appointment with the Lyme specialist doctor. I'm hoping I'll be off all medications by then. My goal is to raise my immune system enough so that my body can fight off any relapses on it's own, without the help of antibiotics. By continuing aggressive spine care, exercise, strength training, & a positive attitude, I feel sure I'll maintain the right balance to be ready in case of another attack. I'm still working on maintaining a healthy diet, though I've eliminated many immune system polluting substances I was putting into my body. Old eating habits & food addictions are the hardest to overcome but that, too, has a balance.
The more I talk about what happened to me, the more people will become aware of the "great imitator. Although it's been a difficult trip, I've gained so much from the fight. I now have hundreds of new friends who are kindrid spirits with me facing the same debilitating challenges. Each night, we all meet online to share support, medical information, & activist activities.
Like I said, the war may not be over, but my battle is won. I have countless comrades who will stand with me in the fight to the end: the fight to reveal the truth about Lyme disease, the courage to contradict the medical bureaucracy with facts we already know, and the ultimate goal to reveal the concealed secret of the hushed truth about Lyme Disease.