I recently added to and edited an old blog entry that discusses my struggles with being employed while chronically ill. If anyone is interested in reading it, you can find it here.
I keep this blog for three reasons: (1) To journal my experience for my own therapeutic sake, (2) To update friends and family on my progress, (3) To help others who may be struggling, through Lyme education and to offer the comfort of knowing nobody is alone in what they go through.
I never expected this blog to gain popularity but it's reached a wide audience in the chronically ill (Lyme and CFS) community. It accrued 10,000 page views just in time for its one-year anniversary, and the feedback I've received has been overwhelmingly positive. So, a big thank you to my old friends, new friends, and strangers who are reading my blog. I've also been asked if it's OK to share the website on your Facebook pages, and yes, absolutely. The more I can get my story out and teach the world what's largely been ignored, the better.
Getting back to where I was late last year has been hard, but I'm getting there. I still feel like stopping my treatment for the full month of January (for my stomach to heal) was a setback I haven't entirely made up for yet. But I'm definitely trying to make up for that lost time, and I've been very dedicated and determined lately.
The name of the (my) game, most recently, has been mobilizing toxins and detoxing. Mobilize, detox. Mobilize, detox. And repeat. Heavy metal toxicity and candida both have always been a huge issue for me — huge! (And most people with Lyme disease also have heavy metal toxicity and candida.)
So I've been taking more minerals (because minerals knock the metals loose) and I've been consuming gut-healing foods. Taking bits and pieces from various, well-known, healing diets like the juicing diet (known for its nutrients and enzymes) and the GAPS diet (known for healing the gut), I've been using my new Jack Lalanne juicer 4-6 days a week to drink organic blends of kale, cucumber, carrot, celery, lemon, and green apple juices, and building up tolerance to fermented foods and kefir.
Last week, I did a bit too much at once — upped my minerals, started a new probiotic supplement, drank some kefir, switched my fish oil from a salmon source to an anchovy source, took some RNA drops and gave myself a methyl-B12 injection all within 36 hours of each other. Then, bam, I paid the price! I spent two whole days in bed, unable to walk further than the toilet, with a blistering migraine and nausea.
Those days are really hard, and so discouraging. I have to remind myself that less is more. Healing can be compared to trying to push too much of something through a tiny hole. Layering more stuff on there or applying more pressure won't make it flow through the hole more quickly. It just clogs it. We are sensitive creatures who can go overboard too quickly. Slow and steady beats this thing.
Laying in bed feeling like death for those two days, I wasn't sure if one specific thing had triggered the migraine and nausea or if it was a combination of everything I tried to do at once. It's hard to distinguish between the feeling of knocking metals loose and killing candida, for example; or, even an allergic reaction, which I considered was a possibility in regards to the new fish oil source... am I allergic to anchovies? Sometimes all of this is too complicated for me to figure out.
Without getting too specific, I will say I definitely released a lot of metals and candida into my toilet. The evidence was quite, umm, visible for a few days there. If anyone wants any details, they can email me!
In my last entry, I mentioned I'd be starting Amy Yasko's RNA & Methylation protocol and Shoemaker's CSM protocol soon. I've started the former, but not the latter yet. Remember, slow and steady. Too much at once knocks me out, and when I'm totally bedridden, I'm of no good use to myself. I'll let you all know when I start the Shoemaker stuff.
Mobilizing toxins sure threw me for a loop last week! The unpredictability of each day never ceases to amaze me — after I spent two days completely bedridden, the nausea, pain and fog lifted and I had this uncanny, transient sense of elation and energy. I wish the lows didn't have to be so low and that the highs weren't so fleeting.
But as I continue this journey, I have to keep my eye on the end goal: wellness, normalcy, energy to last a full day, socialization, stability, starting a family, stuff like that. All the little things that everybody seems to do without much of an effort. That's my end goal. It gets me through the tough times.
This focus also helps me tolerate some of the ignorant and misguided comments I sometimes hear from friends, such as, "Why are you on these healthy diets? Just eat whatever you want," and "Don't spend all day in bed. Make yourself get up and get out," and, "You're lucky you don't have to work".
To which I would respond, in order, "I can't just eat whatever I want because my body can't tolerate most of the fake-foods you eat," and "I get out and am productive on my good days, but on my bad days it feels like I have three flus — spending the day in bed is not some weird depression or laziness!" and the last commenter, well, was deleted from my Facebook page for that comment.
And if I were to eat whatever I wanted, from donuts and coffee (a favorite duo!) to fast food and pizza, my immune system and gut wouldn't heal, and I'd never reach that final destination. Persistence and abstaining are commitments that will lead me there in time. But recovery from three decades of illness is not an overnight thing.
Keeping my eye on the prize. The end goal. It gets me through this. The thought of health and normalcy, and the fact that it's not this unattainable, delusional fantasy, but rather, a real possibility if I'm consistent — it keeps me chugging along. I'll get there.