Thoughts about living with Lyme Disease

 

Lyme1

Living with Chronic Lyme Disease is sort of like living with the Mad Hatter.  You never know what you are going to wake up with, what’s going to be thrown at you, or when you are going to suddenly feel like you have been stomped on. Some days are just fine, the aches and pains are part of the landscape, but it’s manageable and you can move through it quickly.  Other days the weight of waking up in the morning feels like a heavy wet blanket that tries to push you back down and force your eyes closed, not out of comfort but out of exhaustion.

I have come to have an understanding with my disease and work with it like a friend instead of my enemy.  I try to understand it and listen when it needs to vent, and in return it gives me days off.  Except it’s a selfish friend and it chooses which days I take off and they are rarely the ones I would have asked for. Yet I know I could have worse friends and living with Lyme isn’t horrible, just a bit exhausting.

For the most part, Lyme and I work together. I see my Chiropractor once or twice a month now to keep my body in better flow and go through physical therapy to condition my muscles and bones to handle the stress of the pain and inflammation. My Chiropractor moves through each area of my body and addresses areas where the Lyme has moved in and settled the fluids and muscle tension, then works to release the tension and readjust the area so I can move better. Once a month I have a massage done to go back to those areas that are especially painful and try to get my muscles to release and relax, reset the pain sensors in the area, and just for a few minutes enjoy the pleasant sensations instead of feeling the aches. Acupuncture works when the other treatments just aren’t enough.  Honestly I have no idea why the needles work, I only know that for the rest of the day I can feel that area feeling energized and healthy again and the pain usually moves to a new area.

Medication is difficult for most Lyme patients.  We don’t handle meds well and the bacteria fights anything it feels as a threat.  When I have to go through antibiotic treatments, I really feel like my body just wants to die.  It’s sick, it hurts, it feels so depressed that it wants nothing more than to just give up.  That’s the “Herxing” a herx occurs between 3-4 days after the introduction of a new drug.  And in that time, the bacteria fights against you in the worst ways, sending messages to your brain that are both confusing and painful.  Those are the days when you just want to sleep on the couch watching the Food Network all day.  I try not to give in to them, but they suck.  “Herxing” happens too when you are actually on the right track and growing healthier.  Your immune system starts fighting the bacteria harder and causing the die off in the bacteria.  Then the mean little monsters start fighting back. Right now the only meds I am on are for my tremors and body vibrations.  Thankfully the dose is low, but enough to keep the tremors down.  It does however ruin my stomach and makes eating a dreaded event, one would think I would have lost a ton of weight since I hate eating.. however my friends the Lymes make sure that won’t happen and have a little talk to my Adrenal glands to make sure the weight always stays on.

Lyme sucks, but its not the end of the world.. it’s just a new world that you have to constantly learn to live in. Some days you are no different from anyone else and other days you feel like nobody can relate to what you are going through.  Just hang in there, Lyme has cycles and when it’s at it’s worst, like a roller coaster, it will have to come back down eventually.  But for now.. I just want a nap and a remote.

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