We made it through another year! It has been awhile since I posted about my own journey, and I thought this was a good time to share my personal progress, and encourage the many people who seem to be stuck in chronic illness.There have been many who have had a terrible year full of pain and loneliness, and if that is YOU, then know that you are not alone. The struggle with this diabolical disease is a test in fortitude, so pat yourself on the back – you survived another year!
Many of you know that I got off all prescription pain, anti-anxiety and anti-depression meds in 2015. After 8 years on these addictive substances it was a real challenge to say the least, and it has ultimately allowed me to venture out into the land of the living and even start work again. Don’t get me wrong, the meds allowed me to survive those first years when I had over 125 symptoms – most of them involving excruciating neuropathic pain that would certainly have led to suicide if not for the opiate pain relief. I’m not at all sure I would have survived without those medications facing the overwhelming anxiety and depression that comes with Lyme disease – and to face it day after day for years is hard for most to understand.
Only three years ago I thought that the vibrant productive person I had been was lost forever, but eventually my various treatments paid off. It took a tremendous amount of courage to get off the prescription meds (I did it cold turkey – not recommended), but I have been able to stay off them and climb all the way out of the hole.
I will probably always need to stay on my current treatment protocol until a real cure is discovered, but I am happy to do that – especially now that I am mostly healthy. So now I am selling real estate for Keller Williams (I already have 3 deals under contract) and I walk two miles every morning. If I can recover, so can you!
I know what its like to pray every night for God to take you…to feel like there is no hope…the pain and exhaustion seems harder and harder to bear, especially during the holiday season when surrounded by friends and family members who go busily along their healthy lives enjoying the season like you USED to do. It is even harder for those of us who lost their families due to Lyme (as I did) – the holidays are empty and depressing.
So it is incredibly important to have tools for dealing with the sadness – chief among them should be at least one friend (or family member) – and if you have that person be thankful! If you don’t, then you need to reach out. You may have a friend who just doesn’t know you need help – don’t be afraid to ask. Most people are happy to be asked for help although the closest people to us are usually burnt out and may need a break. Lyme has destroyed more than just marriages!
Another tools is meditation. I am almost finished writing a short eBook called “The Eastern Way” which goes into the techniques and treatment protocols based on Chinese Traditional Medicine( CTM) – hopefully it will be available in the next 30 – 60 days. I have been interested in CTM since I lived in Hawaii back in the 80’s, and made medical qigong a part of my recovery from Lyme as soon as I was able to get out of bed. I have since learned that there are techniques for practicing qigong from a prone position as well, and think it would be an excellent way to combat depression and aid the healing process. Following are some links to YouTube videos that lead you through some easy exercises:
20 minute routine for deep sleep (use if bedridden)
20 minute routine for morning (use to build energy) OR
Note: Never push yourself if the exercise becomes uncomfortable or if you feel too weak. Just do what you can (baby steps). I do the exercises slower than Lee (in above videos), and recommend you start out slow too. Muscles atrophy so it takes time to build back strength and flexibility, so don’t worry if you can’t stay in horse stance (legs apart and knees bent) – adjust the positions to accommodate your fitness level.
May your 2017 be full of health and vitality!