Monday, April 25, 2016

Flashing, Lights, Lights, Lights, Lights

Since switching up my meds and going through one year and 6 months of high therapeutic dosages of antibiotics for Neuroborreliosis Lyme disease, I can safely say I am a new person. 

I'm not the same person I was 7 years ago and I will always miss her. But I'm a better version than her in many ways.  One of the things I'm most grateful for is to have at least 90% of my brain back.  Inflammation in the brain is very serious and very scary.  Much of me has come back and she is bursting with energy, a sense of humor, smiles, and way less naps! Like I said in my last post, the side effects of my antibiotics are now starting to show more than my actual Lyme symptoms. For me this is great news!!!  It means remission is truly right around the corner. Although my eyes still bother me every single day,  muscle pain exists in my upper back and neck, and my brain can get a little foggy when I'm sleepy; everything has been drastically reduced or eliminated.  I am starting to feel very much the way a healthy person should feel!

Here is my original blog post showing most of my Lyme symptoms from fall of 2014.  Some symptoms are not on this list because it took for them to go away in order for me to realize they were Lyme related, such as anxiety and mood disorders.  It's amazing the changes and really hard to believe I have been in treatment for one year and 6 months.
This is another oldy but goody
After going through this long of treatment I'm so much more of a bad-ass now.  I'll have to write another one when I'm finished with treatment.

I'm so happy to be getting better from this disease, I realize some people aren't as lucky and I'm very grateful.  I work hard for my health and I know that's a significant reason why I am getting better.  Although, this is something that will stick with me forever, it's not something that's going to control me and kill me any longer.

Sooooooo what have I been up to now that I am feeling better?
Of course taking care of myself is still my first priority, but what else?  

1)  Working out!  I have set some new goals for myself.  My body has changed drastically from my Lyme disease and hypothyroidism, caused by Lyme.  Quite frankly I'm tired of feeling uncomfortable in my body. I really want to make some long term changes now that my body is FINALLY responding to exercise.  I'm about 20% body fat and I'd like to be in the teens.
I have been doing 3-4 full body, very intense circuit workouts a week; this is my favorite kind of workout.  I also incorporate 3-4 longer, easier bouts of cardio on the step mill, ladder, bike, or treadmill I also work in a muscle group or a two a day.  I give myself one active rest day a week and do abs 4 days a week.  Muscle pain was one of my most severe Lyme symptoms so it's absolutely fantastic that I can workout like this and not feel extreme pain, soreness and fatigue on a day to day basis.  I still avoid any rowing motion and anything that activates my traps, upper back and neck.
It feels great to be able to workout at the level I have been.  It's been 6 years!  Just a year ago all I could do was 20 minutes of cardio!  I'm starting to see some results but I'm not stopping until I reach my goals.
I am not the kind of person who posts half naked photos of themselves on the internet for attention, the only reason I am doing this is to motivate others reading, especially for my Lyme warriors out there.  There was a time when I thought I was dying and lost nearly all my muscle mass and now I'm out there making lil bits of progress everyday. There are times I don't feel like working out, and on those days I remind myself that it makes me forget about my eye pain for a lil while, and I do it.  Hey whatever motivates ya!

Don't stop get it get it

2)  Eating, cooking, more eating and more cooking!  I food prep 2 days a week, Sundays and Wednesdays or Thursdays.  I have also really cleaned up my diet.  I get a little stubborn sometimes because I have already given up multiple food groups for my health and that makes it hard to give up even more.   The remaining few food items that I have to give up is quite the challenge for me.  Examples of my bad food would be something like corn chips and dark chocolate.
I decided to do a local veggie delivery service.  Every other week I get a tub full of different kinds of vegetables.   It's great because it gives my diet variety and it's helping to bring the spark back and make cooking exciting again.
I eat 3 meals a day and usually 3 snack meals a day.  I've calculated all my macro goals and track everything I consume on a daily basis.  I weigh my food and usually consume protein and veggies.  My snacks are pea protein shakes, berries, and kombutcha is now considered a treat for me. And nooooo this does not control my life, there are cheat moments and they are filled with my local co-ops Tony Roma bars!  Sooo damn delicious.


3)  Enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest weather we have been having!  I am happy to announce that I went on my first hike since 2014!  I didn't feel an ounce of Lyme pain.  My past hikes leading up to my diagnosis of Lyme had usually resulted in pain and lots of tears.  I cried because I literally felt like I was dying while hiking and it was frustrating to not know why.  I've also continued my walks outdoors. My bike was stolen a few years back or would have been biking!  And I'm fully confident that I will be hopping on my skateboard and roller blades this summer.  Even pondering running.
Summer of 2012-2014 I could not be in a car with the windows down nor ride my bike without my throat swelling.  My allergies were so bad going outdoors was extremely painful, my eyes always felt like they had little rocks in them, making it hard to concentrate on anything else.  I'm lucky to be able to tolerate the outdoors again!

Woot woot!

4)  Planning a return to school to get my Bachelors!  I currently have an associates degree and had to stop school from my Lyme brain and fatigue.  I couldn't focus, read, and sit to study without feeling immense pain. When you have Lyme disease everything halts, including school for most.  My life went on the back burner for 6 years and I am soooo over it. I'm ready to to challenge my brain and get smarter!  I will be doing online classes through an accredited college to get my Bachelors in Public Health Services with a concentration in Public Health and Wellness....Hmmmmmmm sound similar to what I do now?

5)  Rediscovering value in myself!  Lyme took a lot away from me.  I was self conscious, full of anxiety, unable to reach my goals due to limitations. I felt slow, my brain was slow, I was sick and tired, living in pain. I lived day by day pretending to be normal; smiling to everyone, but crying in the shower.  The last six years my body was in survival mode, never really excelling or moving forward.
Looking back I do not know how I did it!
I continued to go to work with a smile on my face every single day, pushed through workouts, got through extremely difficult and challenging times only to come out on the other side healthier and smarter than before!
I have worked 14+ years as a personal trainer, completely lost my health, only to regain it, conquering bigger and better goals than ever before.  I am back working close to 40 hours a week and just got offered an amazing position from a company who values and respects my work experience.  I see the significance of my employment history and all of my accomplishments are really becoming obvious to me now.  I absolutely refuse to be taken advantage of or be taken for granted.

And though she be but little, she is fierce. -Shakespeare 

6)  Advocating, offering advice & motivating others!  This has to be the most important thing that I am doing right now.  It's what gets me up at 5 am in the morning and why I go to bed feeling like I accomplished something great during my day.  Witnessing my training clients break through mind and body barriers on a daily basis is fascinating. Even just seeing their spirit lifted after conquering a small goal such as finally being able to understand the concept of a hip hinge.
Other areas are my advocating.  I advocate for Lyme disease so that myself and my fellow Lymies can be treated like human beings, and get proper treatment that doesn't cost ridiculous amounts of money so that everybody can get better.  I advocate for women rights, having worked 14 years in a male dominated environment I know first hand what a mans club can feel like and I'm not down with it.
I enjoy informing others about health stuff!  I know more than anybody that a gene mutation can prohibit gains when working out and that your t3 needs to be checked!  I dedicate my life to inform, encourage, and educate others. Friends, clients, and family members ask for help and advice.  Fellow Lymies reach out from all over the country for questions and to thank me for sharing my story on my blog and You Tube channel.
One of the things I love about the Lyme community is that everybody is willing to help you out, encourage you, and give you advice if you have questions.  I realize I have helped others all over this country but many people have helped and encouraged me along the way.  Thank

 You :)


7)  Taking all my supplements and doing things that support healing in my body!  Gotta keep taking my pills.  I will be forever taking lots of pills and I must say the practice has paid off, my gag reflex is nearly eliminated.  I'm also keeping up on blood work and all the other millions of doctor appointments.  You won't see me partying like a rock star anymore, I'm social and around, but my health and well being is far more important than my social status.

It's not odd to find lil piles of empty pill bottles lying around.
I don good.  Real good.

8)  Chillen with the homies and my "awesome, super sexy, part Canadian boy toy!"  Hey, he said it.  But I think he's so much more than that.  Developing real and lasting friendships. Having deep connections and lots of love.  I have always been a person who loves being around people.  Lyme stole that from me a few years back, I lost a lot of friends from breaking plans and had anxiety in public situations. But not anymore!  Hugs and snuggles fill me with joy and I'm not afraid to admit it. Sometimes I want to take a shower in love; wrap it around me and roll around like a dog in the grass! I'm excited for my old friends, the ones I have had in my life for years and years, and I'm excited for the people I have in my life now, and the ones I'm going to meet. I love and miss my family and wish they were closer.  My friends and family respect me, understand to some extent what's going on with me, never give me shit for my insane diet, and never judge me.  I love you for that!  Here's to friends, old and new, you know who you are!!
Keep it real homies and drive it like you stole it.

Thanks for reading,
Becky Smith