Sorry for the delay in posting. I had a little bump in the road the last little while. This why it took me so long to write another post. I emphasize “little” as I try to appreciate how far I have come in my healing. Oh, how blessed I am.
I thought on this post I would talk about sacrifices. I know too well what some people have to sacrifice to recover from Lyme disease. This takes extreme mental strength and the will to live. Which we all possess. Most of my sacrifices were due to the severity of my symptoms. I eventually came to realize that I would have to also sacrifice some things in my life to aid in my recovery.
Let’s start off by listing my limitations and the things I most regretted giving up. Exercise was the very first thing I was forced to give up. This included running, weight lifting, volleyball, basketball, playing tag and racing my kids to name just a few. As my symptoms became worse I had to give up social gatherings and alcohol. Eventually, my entire diet was overhauled -mainly sugar and carbohydrates.
I have Atrial Fibrillation which is a condition that causes your heart rate to be irregular and increase. When I would exercise my heart rate would accelerate to almost 300 beats per minute. Unfortunately, this symptom still remains. That is why this post took so long to add to my blog. I have been dealing with my AFib. My health practitioners and I have not mastered this symptom. I believe it is my last major block in my healing and I’m not giving up now. I started becoming ill with this symptom and I intend to end my illness with this symptom. I was an avid runner and weight lifter. I played volleyball every week and in one instant all that was stripped form me. I payed the emergency room many visits thinking that I was having a heart attack. Now I am grateful that I was in good shape. My heart has gone to hell and back these last 5 years. Who knows what would have happened to me if my heart was not is such good condition. To me exercise was one of the most important things in my life. Exercise was part of my identity. I don’t ever remember it not being a part of my life. I dealt with the extreme disappointment of not being able to exercise by not thinking of it. I would go mad if I focused on not being able to physically move my body the way I most enjoyed. I eventually turned my attention to walking and yoga. They were gentle forms of exercise that would be relaxing and not increase my heart rate very much. I quickly learned to be grateful for these simpler forms of exercise. If I was not in bed that was a good thing.
Social gatherings was also something that I dearly missed when I was ill. What is life without family and friends? What was I going to miss out on? My nieces, nephews and friend’s children growing up. It was painful to think of. I visualized the future when my life would be back to normal. When I wasn’t dreaming of my future I would focus on getting well so that I could rejoin the lives of my loved ones. The little effort I made to be social was with my husband and two children. They were my entire world. My boy’s embraces would breath life into me. I kissed them 100 times a day. That is what I wanted to live for.
Diet was the easiest thing for me to change. I had to remove alcohol and sugar as a first step in my healing. I say this was easy because when I would drink alcohol or each sugar I would become very very ill. Eating these things would send me into a major Atrial Fibrillation attack. I then read that sugar feeds the bacteria, a little late in my illness, but never the less, I learned quickly to give it up. I instantly took sugar out of my diet and never looked back. After my return from New York, I went on a detox diet. It was a very gentle way of changing the way you eat as recommended by my doctor in New York. It included a protein shake, small amounts of fruit, vegetables and protein. I did this for 60 days and boy this is when changes started happening for me. This of course was only a small part of the picture, as you will note when referring back to my previous posts.
The good news?
Diet: I have been able to incorporate small amounts of sugar into my diet as I become well. I can enjoy a muffin and a piece of pie every once in a while. Life’s little pleasures I will no longer take for granted.
Socializing: I am also starting to see my friends and family again. I don’t get anxiety every time someone asks me to go to a party or a house gathering. I have confidence that I will feel well at the event and embrace my loved ones with my whole heart.
Exercise: Yoga is becoming a major ritual in my life now. I am at the beginning a wonderful adventure in yoga. I have learned that fitness is not all about your physical body. There is a strong connection mentally, spiritually and physically. If you can master this union you will be more fit than you can imagine. You will glow on the outside and be completely at peace on the inside.
My journey with Lyme disease has altered every aspect of my life. Believe it or not, I am grateful.