Monday, November 19, 2012

Just Hanging Out With Lyme

Yep. Just hanging out with Lyme these days. That's the biggest reason for my blogging hiatus. Things are still moving fast and wonderfully in my life, but all of my extra strength has been going into my own healing and health.

It's been quite the journey since the summer. I didn't want to share this originally, because I didn't want to draw attention to myself for pity-sake, and to be brutally honest with myself, for vanity (ego) reasons. I don't like people knowing I am unhealthy and I don't like be babied (ask my mom). But I decided to share this journey with you in case it helps anyone else. 


Posing with my son's Michael Jackson hat

It was by reading a fellow-yogi's blog Ashtanga Yoga Mother Earth about two months after I had been bit by a tick that I knew that what I was experiencing was indeed Lyme and I need to get help ASAP. The earlier you treat the easier it is to treat.

Many people were diagnosed with tick-related diseases after the Sundance I was at in July. I knew to be aware of symptoms. But Lyme presents itself so different in each person. I had thought people with Lyme just couldn't get out of bed. Or they had headaches and joint pains so bad they want to die. But here I was chasing kids, doing yoga, but just feeling "not right".

At first I was just a little low energy for a few weeks, then the finger tingling and numbness, and definitely some mental brain fog set in. Then everything was fine for a few weeks until I started antihistamines for my awful ragweed allergies.The antihistamines may have blocked my allergies but the lyme then went loose like a wild fire! The tingling shot to my spine and base of my head, and my hands became very weak and less dexterous. I thought I was getting the beginning of Multiple Sclerosis.

This is when I starting really researching the disease, and re-read what Claudia, of Ashtanga Yoga Mother Earth, had written about it on her blog. It seems that people with Lyme can have a whole range of symptoms, that dissapear and reappear and change. Depending on where the bacteria spirals into, that is where the symptoms may show. For me it was the spine and resulting neuro stuff.

I went on the meds for 45 days, changed my diet (no sugar, low carbs, lots of veggies), and started my journey back to health.

Being off allergy meds during ragweed season almost did me in. It was miserable. But after a while my body adjusted, and got stronger without all the allergy meds.

Slowly the nervous-symptoms started to go away and my strength started to come back. On the days after I pushed too hard physically (like after teaching my weekly arm-balance and inversion classes) I'd feel groggy, and my spine would tinkle a bit. But I'd bounced back.

I petitioned for a sweat to be poured specifically to help rid the bacteria from my body. It was a beautiful, sacred and powerful event. I felt so blessed to have these sacred ways at my fingertips with people who honor and practice them.

At the end of my antibiotics, I was better but still not 100% - like I hit a wall in my healing. This disease is tricky. It can hide and mutate after a while in your body so it hides from the antibiotics. So I gave up the meds to try some more natural things.

I am now a couple weeks off the meds, and on a bunch of herbal remedies, and drinking a lot of detox and other teas (oh the breakouts!). I feel like I am moving slowly in the right direction, but its going to take a good long time.

From what I can gather it can take 6 months to a year to get well after the degree of symptoms I had.

When people ask me how I am, I say, "I am doing alright. I am lucky. And at least my spirit is well!" 

It's true.  Others I know that have Lyme can't even get up off the couch many days, or mentally can't even function. By some grace, I have been able to keep up my lifestyle each and everyday, and play with the kids, teach yoga, and other part-time work. In the early days, my energy some days wasn't as high, and I felt physically weaker, but my outlook on life was always very very upbeat.

Me wearing my daughters 2nd birthday crown at her party

That is the best thing - even if my brain and body aren't 100%, my spirit has been so bright. I know myself. I get the winter blues. I know how hard life can be when my spirit is down. So as long as my spirits are high, I am happy and know I can get back to health.

Not to mention the last couple months I have felt so entirely blessed to have friends and family help support me with food, help with the kids, or just be there to give me good energy. My husband has been kind and helpful. That means the world to me. We've had three sets of family members visit and that also raises my spirits to see my loved ones.

Now, here is a weird thought. Along with other prayers, I always pray for my health and to keep growing on my yoga and native path. I can't help thinking that even though I have Lyme disease still, it has helped me to regain my health in certain ways (better diet for sure, more yoga) and to up my spiritual practice. It certainly pushed me to petition for the sweat and use my pipe and such. I am doing and teaching more yoga now than I was in the summer. So in many ways, I am getting exactly what I prayed for. Hmmmm.


4 comments:

  1. Wow! I am very glad you shared this! I understand all your reasons for being quiet about it but it really is a great thing for you to share your experience. It teaches us (inexperienced with lyme) and is great insight. It's inspirational and you set a great example in how you're dealing with it; not being stubborn, admitting weakness, adapting and overcoming it and still making time for the things that are important for your spirit. I love hearing that you have support from family, local friends and especially your husband. That's a happy story with a tough challenge and i wish you a speedy healing process!

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  2. Thanks for sharing your journey, it's a great lesson for all of us and is also full of inspiration! I wish you and your family well and hope that your recovery is a swift one. Continue to find the respite you need on the mat. Yoga, as you know, is so deeply healing...in more ways than one. Namaste.

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  3. Thanks for your kind words and support. They do help in my road to healing. Namaste

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