Tuesday, July 21, 2015

My Bright & Happy Future

I'm waiting for the day when I get the all clear from my LL.  People say you never fully recover from Lyme disease, even Dr. Richard Horowitz, one of the leading doctors researching and treating Lyme disease. The key is to get your immune system to function at a level where it can keep the bacteria under wraps.  So you are then able to have your symptoms under control and fight the disease naturally, without medication.
   You go into REMISSION.
The scary word that I've been neglecting to talk about.  I truly want to presume that all the lil fuckers are gone, but the truth is, nobody really knows.

This is a really great book written by Dr. Richard Horowitz. 

This book is meant for doctors to read, but anybody who struggles with their health should read it. There are a lot of people being diagnosed with mystery illnesses, such as Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, ALS, POTS, MS, Multiple Food Allergies & In-tolerances, Thyroid disease, Psychiatric disorders, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and other Autoimmune conditions.  If you have been diagnosed with any of these or have symptoms that mimic these conditions, there is a good chance you have Lyme disease or a co-infection of Lyme.

One thing I know is that I can do everything in my control to kill bacteria and once I am in remission, continue doing those things, forever!  My LL is a freak about it, she had Late Stage Lyme disease herself, about 10 years ago.  I know she's doing well today, because she is running a very busy practice in Seattle, and you can't do that with Lyme bacteria thriving.  You know what else she does?  Takes really good care of herself!  She continues to eat healthy, keeps her body alkaline, and takes the necessary steps to NEVER, if one bug was left, let it thrive and spread.  I am going to be the same way. Taking great care of myself prior to my diagnosis was a priority, but Lyme has taken my health to a new extreme and that's something that will always stick with me!

I've begun to start planning my new Lyme free future!  I have so many exciting things I want to do.  I have been sick for 5 years, treatment could last another 1.5-2 years.  I've been feeling better so I'm already going to get the ball rolling, and here is what I'll be doing to better myself during the remaining parts of my treatment:

1.  I'm going to start taking classes toward my new major of choice.  I contracted Lyme about the the last quarter of my schooling for my associates degree.  Even though I was able to take a few classes after that, it really put school on the back burner.  When you can't read a sentence, how do you continue with schooling?  What's fascinating, is that while sick for 5 years with Lyme, I was able to recognize what I am truly adept at... And guess what?  There is no science and math involved!!

2.  I'm going to focus on myself.  I always thought I was an independent person and I am in many ways.  One thing has always eaten at me though...I've relied on people in my relationships too much.   I want to be self-sufficient.  Nothing can set me up for this more, than what I've been through over the course of the last 6 months!  

3.  I want to fall in love.   Romantic is a word that does not describe me, nor is it in my vocabulary, but Lyme disease has given me a great amount of love.  A love for life that I have never had before, and why wouldn't I want to share that with somebody?!  

4.  I am going to work on me from the inside out.  Healthy foods, trying new forms of exercise, making new friends, being alone and being ok with it, helping others, making change, remaining positive, trying things that scare me.  I am going to be open and receptive to this world and all that it has to offer me. 

5.  Get strong!  As strong as my body will allow me to get.

6.  Keep only the people who deserve to be in my life...in my life.  To hell with the others, life is too short. 

Okay.......Here is what I'm gonna do when I get the all clear

1.  Go to Hawaii!  Vacation is not in my vocabulary nor is it something I've done in 12 years.  So you can bet as soon as I'm feeling 100%  I am going to Hawaii to celebrate.  Or maybe travel across Europe?

2.  Move.  I have no idea where, but moving from Bellingham is something I've wanted to do since arriving in Bellingham 8 years ago.

3.  Get new headshots, get an agent, and get back out there in the acting world.  I dislike seeing my Lyme symptoms on my face in my current photos.  I've got quite the acting resume built,  it's now time to see what other challenging roles can be added.

Not so tan

4.  Continue to advocate and spread awareness about Lyme disease.   I'll speak for the people who are too ill to speak and march for the Lymies too disabled to walk.  The Lyme community needs the continuing support, we are not there yet.  We need to know that there is a cure and we need to be able to get properly diagnosed! Chronic Late Stage Lyme needs to be recognized and treatment needs to be affordable.  This illness has changed my life forever and it's shaping me into somebody I never thought I would be.  There are really low lows and amazing highs, stories need to be told, and hope needs to radiate.

5.  Be the best person I can be, physically and mentally, and live life that way too.  There is no doubt in my mind that I am going to be climbing mountains and doing back-flips off beams.  Late thirties are gonna feel like early twenties.  I like the person I'm becoming, I have a purpose in life, previous to Lyme I just freewheeled by.

Thanks girls, for taking a bite out of Lyme for me.  I was unable to make it to my friends wedding in Cleveland...So this is what my girls did for me!!!!  So awesome, I love them all.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Lesson From Lyme

Before I start this post I want to say that I have been feeling phenomenal.  There has been lots of downers, (one of which you'll read about right now) to get me to this point, and I know there will be more low points during my treatment.  But if my highs feel like this, then I'll take the down days, killing more bacteria!  I have been ill for 5 years with Lyme disease.  For the first time in five years, pieces of the real me are shining through.  It feels unbelievably great to be feeling better, there are no words for it, just smiles. :)

My body has been unresponsive for five years.  For the last six years, up until I started treatment for Lyme disease, I used to wake up at 5 am and go to the gym to do fasting cardio, followed by weight training.  I did this 5 days a week and I also ate a clean diet of 1200-1400 calories a day, anymore I would gain weight.

Throughout the last five years I've eliminated gluten, dairy, grains, and sugar.  Still, my body is unresponsive. Did this frustrate me?  Yes.  Did I work as a personal trainer and struggle with my own body? Yes.  Do I still?  Yes. Did I know why my body wasn't working correctly?  No.  That is until I figured out that I had Lyme disease, which had hindered everything in my body, including, my hormones and thyroid.

My body has a great amount of healing left to do, and my thyroid and Lymphatic system still aren't functioning where they should be.  I try not to stress about it, because I know things will get better, but my health has to get there first.  It is disheartening, I'm not gonna lie, it's hard to know that I do everything I can physically, and I'm unable to achieve my fitness goals for reasons beyond my control.

I had a bad experience when I entered the second antibiotic into my new protocol for my treatment of Lyme. I had my first herx reaction from hell, and I broke out into a horrible rash all over my body.  If you are unaware of what a Herxheimer reaction is, head back to this post.  http://brewlifewithlyme.blogspot.com/2015/03/lets-talk-about-herxing.html

This happened because I was not detoxing my body like I had been previously.  I wasn't taking the best care of me; pushing myself too hard at the gym, nearing passing out on several occasions.  I stopped taking epsom salt baths, wasn't drinking enough water, and wasn't eating foods that heal.  I know this wasn't an allergic reaction, because I made sure to do my trusty scratch testing.  Below you can view my scratch test for Amoxicillin.
This is only a 2 on my scale.

With every new challenge that arises in my treatment for Lyme, comes a lesson. I'm always trying to figure out the lesson from my Lyme.  I believe that certain things happen to certain people at definitive moments in their life. Lyme found me in the field, and it sent my life on an entirely new path. I can be pissed about it, or I can take this experience and grow from it.  Once I've crawled my way out of this hole, I will be a changed person, I already am.  My Lyme lessons will be with me wherever I go.

The video above describes my feelings about this rash, and what exactly was going on with my body. 
Below are a few photos.

By the way, I feel fucking amazing. I am killing those lil fuckers.

There is a lot of superficial in life.
I work in an industry where taking selfies in front of a mirror is the norm, people put sole value on their external appearance.  We all know that external beauty fades and I'm lucky enough to experience my body in a completely different manner.  Having an illness like Lyme disease, does that to you, it takes away all control, and weird bacteria take over.  The saying, "you are what you eat" doesn't apply to me, because I have lil spirochetes eating away at cells, collagen and entire systems within my body. That's one of the first things I remember feeling when I knew I was sick, but didn't know with what.  I remember feeling as if aliens had taken my body over, I had no control.  When your entire body is infected and not functioning properly, you begin to see the human body for what it is, not just a nice ass and a hot pair of shoulders.

If this rash could happen to me because I wasn't taking the necessary steps to detox my body, it got me thinking....How else am I damaging my treatment and overall purpose to get better? 
As symptoms started to improve, I began to overdue some things and became a little too nonchalant about my current health situation.

 I'm learning to find a peaceful balance, but it takes time, a little trial and error, and a lot of love.  Self love. 

Don't overdue it, only do what you are able to physically.
If I overdue it, you can find me on the bathroom floor, puking...and where is the self love in that?
This is one of my favorite reading sites.  Here is another woman's struggle with her body and Lyme disease.

Repeat song of the week.

Thanks for reading