Four years ago today my life changed forever from a bug the size of the period at the end of this sentence. Many of you know that I have struggled greatly with my health in that time due to Lyme Disease. For two years doctors could not figure out what was wrong with me and why my health was rapidly decaying. I have now been in very intense treatments for just over two years and feel 80% better most days. The areas I still struggle with are brain fog, memory issues, focus, cognitive issues, neurological issues, fatigue and massive food allergies. I have not been able to work out or do yoga for close to three years and I have not been able to work full time for close to two years. Being sick has been a full time job just to try to get my life back from this wretched disease. To top it off insurance won’t pay for any of my treatments which have all been paid for out of pocket. To say it turned my life upside down is an understatement.
Today also marks the start of my journey into Stem Cells. I am really hoping this is the grand finale to the nightmare I have been living in. It is going to be a rough 4 months while the stem cells do their job, but I hope this puts an end to this chapter of my life. Stem Cells promise what my other treatments have not been able to give me so I am putting all my faith into this and trusting it is the end.
Lyme does not only affect your health and your body. It changes everything you know. It changes your relationships, friendships, diet, lifestyle, hopes and dreams. I have been very public about my treatments and physical struggles, but I have kept the emotional side to myself. I have not let anyone see how difficult this struggle has really been for me. The countless tears, the horrific pain, the fear, the frustration, the breakdowns, the loneliness, the weakness, the not being able to walk, the depression, the anxiety, the not wanting to go on anymore, the not able to get out of bed for weeks at a time, the not showering for over a week, the wanting to end everything, the herxing, the not being able to think or remember anything, the not being able to drive, the feeling like I am a prisoner in my own body, unable to break free all while looking completely fine and healthy on the outside. It has been the hardest thing I have ever had to endure.
I mourn the loss of my old life, but welcome the new perspective I have on life after walking in this journey. I learned many lessons about life, health, diet, invisible illness, compassion, myself, my relationships, my purpose and my place in the world that I probably never would have been made aware of had this not happened to me.
I urge you, that if you have any odd symptoms, pain or fatigue to see a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor and get tested for Lyme Disease. It is the fastest growing vector based disease in the world and is commonly misdiagnosed as Fibromyalgia, MS, RA, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, ALS, Chronic Fatigue, Autism, Hashimoto’s, Autoimmune Diseases and more. Most doctors do not know how to properly diagnose Lyme and Co-Infections leaving people sick and misdiagnosed for years. I was lucky to be diagnosed in 2 years, but in those 2 years so much damage was done to my body that could have been prevented if I was tested sooner. Its a shame my doctors did not know to test me at the start of my symptoms.
Stay safe out there and always wear bug spray and do tick checks after you have been outdoors. Ticks are everywhere, even in cities. Don’t let a speck change your life forever too. You definitely won’t find me camping or hiking ever again. Especially in Yosemite which is where I am 99.9% sure I got Lyme :(