A Face of Lyme Disease

A Face of Lyme Disease - Under the Monkey Bars blog

I was so exhausted the other day. I felt like a zombie. All I wanted to do was crawl into my cozy bed and read, but there was dinner to make, dishes to wash, and laundry to finish.

I could barely put one foot in front of the other. The minute Don walked in the door, I disappeared upstairs. I’d been dying to try this charcoal mask my friend Gia sent me from Beauty Counter and it was calling my name.

After I put the mask on, I saw the face of Lyme looking back at me through the mirror. My skin was the exact shade of our bathroom walls. I could have disappeared. My face hardened to the point that I couldn’t speak. In that moment, I became my chronic illness: invisible and silent, blending into the world.

I often get asked what it’s like to have Lyme disease. Before I was diagnosed, I truly had no idea. I thought that if someone got bit by a tick, they would take antibiotics and be cured. Unless you catch Lyme right away, it’s not like that at all. It’s really hard to describe what it feels like, but gray comes pretty close.

Every day I fight to participate in my own life. Besides the annoyance of taking medicine every day, there’s the rollercoaster of aches and pains, the tilt-a-whirl of nausea, and the marathon of exhaustion. There’s too many ups and downs to keep track. The worst part is never knowing what each day will bring and the fear and anxiety it creates.

Some days I feel like I’m lost. People describe it as brain fog. I walk around feeling uncertain of what to do next as the clock ticks on. I can’t remember things. I don’t feel like I’m in charge. It’s an awful feeling and unfortunately it comes and goes at least twice a week, some days worse than others.

I still have mono but the symptoms are lessening. I’m past the extreme heaviness, but feel like a zombie sometimes — especially after a busy day.

I’m thankful for the healthy food choices I make because I know it’s helping my body heal. The doctor who developed the herbal protocol I’m taking, Dr. Cowden, recommends a diet free of gluten, dairy, corn, soy, and sugar. I was mostly eating this way before my Lyme diagnosis a year ago. I’m more mindful of what I put in my body now more than ever. I really can feel the difference.

I’m so ready to be healthy every day. To wake up in a good mood, ready to greet the day. To feel good all day every day for a whole week. To go for a long walk, drink a glass of wine, and not worry about overdoing it. Enough already, Lyme. 

Life isn’t always unicorns and rainbows, but I much prefer when it is.

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