Last week I wrote about my perspective on recovery from Lyme disease and some of the dynamics of that. If you missed it you can read it here. A few days later, I was at my office and a couple I have been treating for some time came in for an appointment. The wife, Mrs R, is in remission; her husband Mr. R is on his way but not quite there yet. They read my post and it sparked a conversation between us, and I asked her to write a couple of paragraphs for me because I just love her story, her outlook and her spirit. She has truly used Lyme disease as a tool of empowerment. She has worked really, really hard in her recovery, and has been rewarded with not only remission, but a higher level of health than she started with because of the changes that she made along the way in order to get well. So here is “Recovery From Lyme: a Patient Story.”
This woman has been through hell, let me be clear about that. Several years of it. I have witnessed her spending several weeks in hospital, to the precipice of having to choose life over death, of having to climb out of a dark hole bit by bit, every second an effort. She didn’t have “mild” Lyme, she had serious, horrible, nasty, chronic Lyme. She had to fight really, really hard.
But fight she did. What I love about her is the way she has used that experience to the best possible benefit she can. She knows herself better, her nutrition and self-care are better, she has grown emotionally and spiritually. She is actually thankful to Lyme disease for what it has brought her; she can see the purpose and the bigger picture.
I share her words today in the hope that it brings hope and inspiration. Everyone has their own journey, and far be it for me or anyone else to tell you how to think, feel or experience. Everyone is where they are, and everyone has their own journey. But I talk a lot about the impact that outlook as not only on one’s experience of illness, but on one’s recovery too, and in stories like these ones I see it so clearly.
This is from Mrs M, one of my very favorite people. From the ashen, grey, wasted-away person who wasn’t sure if she could live on or not, to a vibrant, radiant woman in excellent health, so much of her recovery came from her fighting spirit. I’m sure those of you reading will wonder what she actually did – how did she get better – I can tell you that we did a combination of antibiotics, essential oils, nutritional supplements, herbs and hormonal support. She might be willing to write a bit about that for us (I’ll ask her!), but she did an integrative approach, and I think she’d say that every phase and every modality contributed to her overall recovery. She was determined, she was willing to make profound dietary and lifestyle changes, she stayed positive in her mindset and she just kept going.
Here are her reflections; I thank her for sharing this with you all:
We all have choices in this life. This goes for everything, including how we see the world. When having Lyme, we have every right to see the world as a crappy, negative and just plain unfair! We also have a plethora of emotions that go along as well; fearful, depression, anger, anxiety etc., etc.…you name it Lyme has made me feel it. However, I have come to realize that we have a choice in the way we feel, just as we have a choice in how we see the world. I have been in the trenches with every negative emotion and that hasn’t gotten me anywhere. I have come to realize that Lyme, just like any other disease, is a test of life. We have choices on how we want to handle it. What you choose is what’s right for you.
I know having lived on both sides, its exponentially better on the positive side. I have taken myself to the bare bones of life and started over. Started over with everything, how I look at the world and myself, my beliefs, what I do daily, etc., etc. I dug deep and came to realize that each day is a new day, a new opportunity to make this the best day of your life. I remind myself constantly that no matter what physical state you are in, Life is a gift. When gratitude starts flowing, fear starts going and life begins to change. Disease is meant to change us, but that doesn’t have to be negative. Yes, my life is completely different than prior to my Lyme. It has taught me so many lessons that I have learned to become thankful for it. I have learned how to truly take care of myself and my needs. And in turn my body has started taking care of me again. I practice daily affirmations. I move my body, lovingly, every day for at least 20 minutes whether hiking with my dogs, going for a walk at the beach, nothing to strenuous, just gentle movement…. I listen to positive pod casts to keep reaffirming the good things in life. I stopped watching all news and limit my time on social media. I eat mindfully and pay close attention to everything I eat, making sure the food is going to help my body. I chose to change my view on everything. If these were the cards I was dealt, then I wanted to deal with them in the best way possible. I decided to learn everything I could about myself. What are some activities I could do, even on days when I don’t have any ‘spoons’ to spare. I realized I liked reading was something I could do on any type of day. I order books online and read, in bed, on the couch, some days I even went out in the yard and read. All the sudden I turned my attention from thinking about the Lyme, and all that goes with that, to something positive, something I was looking forward too. My thought patterns were starting to change.
I now live a completely different life than I have ever lived before. I live a life with more intention and purpose with everything I do. I move with purpose. I eat mindfully. I truly experience being alive. I have fought very hard to be where I am today and will never take that for granted again. I have learned that LIFE truly is a gift that so many of us, myself included, have taken advantage of. Life is a miracle. Life is this precious. We all get so busy in our daily lives, and trying to survive this disease, that we forget it is a blessing to be apart of this life.