You know that feeling when you have something stirring in your heart, something weighing you down, you know you need to get it out, but you don’t even know where to start? I’ve been feeling like that for a couple of days.
So I think a good way to begin my thoughts is giving you a little bit of background.
I’ve been sick for around 4 years. When I say that, I don’t mean I’ve been laying-on-my-death-bed sick or stuck-in-the-hospital-for-months sick all this time. I’ll feel at 70% for two months, then 30% for two weeks, then four months of 50%, and so on. In summary, I haven’t felt ‘normal’ or ‘like myself’ in years, and I’d say my overall quality of life has been an average of a C- [sorry for sounding like a downer…but I’m just being honest!].
Over this time, I’ve dealt with a wide range of symptoms,
- night sweats
- muscle soreness/weakness
- joint pain (knees especially)
- teeth sensitivity and weakness
- brain fog
- hot flashes
- nonexistent menstrual cycle
- sensitivity to light, noise & movement
- low energy and motivation
and various diagnosed illnesses,
- sodium deficiency
- depression and anxiety
- estrogen deficiency
Disclaimer: I don’t want you to think that I’m telling you this to play the sympathy card or claim that ‘I’ve had it worse.’ Because that just isn’t true! Everybody goes through different, unique battles that the rest of us are often oblivious to. Besides, comparison is one of the devil’s favorite ways to knock us down, and I’m not letting him ruin my blog post lol.
“Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.” -Galatians 6:4-5
Because of my health issues, I’ve had to say ‘no’ to a lot of things that I’ve wanted to do. Things like hanging out with my friends, playing sports, going to summer camps, accepting leadership positions and having a summer job; all which have definitely not helped with my ongoing depression.
This was especially hard because for a long time I didn’t know WHY I was feeling this way. There was no illness that I could specifically pin it down to…I just thought I was unlucky to get sick so frequently.
I’ve shared with my immediate family, especially my older sister Kristin, the symptoms I’ve dealt with over the past couple years and the ones I’m dealing with today. Kristin is close friends with multiple people who’ve had a disease called Lyme and will often share with these friends how I’m doing. One particular friend commented that my symptoms all seemed to have a common denominator: Lyme Disease.
[To any of you who don’t know, Lyme is a disease that originates from a bite of a Lyme-infested tick. The Lyme infection enters your bloodstream through the bite, and if not treated right away, the bacteria eventually becomes stronger and makes its way to other parts of your body.]
When my sister told me about this, I was a little skeptical at first. I had been treated with the antibiotic Doxycycline for 2 months when I was 14 (four years ago) because I was showing the more common, fever-like symptoms of Lyme. I never had the infamous bullseye rash associated with the illness and my Lyme test results were negative…
[Side note: the Western Blot blood test I took only tests for a couple of the 100 strains of Lyme, meaning even though I tested negative I still could’ve tested positive for any of the other 90+ strains]
…but the antibiotics seemed to really help. I got better (I’d say I was about 90% for 4 months afterwards) and we felt secure in the belief that it was gone and I wouldn’t have to deal with it again.
However(!!), Lyme is a sneaky, crafty illness. After researching about it, I learned that when it is faced with danger like antibiotics, it will often secrete little baby cells just before it dies as a last-resort defense mechanism. The antibiotics kill the mature, powerful cells and, as a result, you begin feeling much better.
But, the leftover baby cells remain undetected and will then start gathering resources from your body to become stronger. They’ll take vitamins, minerals, etc. to increase in size and number. In just a couple of months (sometimes years), those baby Lyme cells will have grown and inevitably wreak havoc on your body.
While I was researching how Lyme tends to function in your body, the mechanical gears in my mind were on over-drive as things were beginning to click in place.
I realized that the past illnesses I dealt with – anemia, sodium deficiency, depression, estrogen deficiency – could all easily be due to this illness. Lyme was most likely taking nutrients from my body (iron, salt, serotonin, estrogen, etc.) to grow in strength and size, which is why I was getting so sick! Everything was beginning to make sense.
Even though all the research and data I found was pointing towards the notion that I had Lyme, I knew I needed to make sure.
From multiple recommendations from friends and doctors, I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Bengston, a holistic chiropractor in the Chippewa Valley with an expertise in Lyme.
Through muscle-tension testing (one of the coolest things ever; so fascinating and I highly recommend anyone with various health issues to try it out), I tested positive for the main Borrelia infection of Lyme Disease.
The funny thing is, when Dr. Bengston told me I had Lyme, I couldn’t stop smiling…I was so happy!! It may seem weird to react that way when tested positive for a disease, but I have been questioning and doubting what is wrong with me for almost 5 years. It’s about time I got some answers!
Dr. Bengston examined me for all sorts of other stuff (autoimmune disease, candida, Lyme co-infections, dairy allergies, food sensitivities and lots more) that could play a factor in why I’m sick. He discovered that I have a gluten allergy, am missing some important trace minerals and have a Lyme co-infection called Biofilm.
To begin treatment, I have been taking a couple prescribed supplements daily (Fish oils, Vitamin D3 and a multi-vitamin) as well as avoiding all gluten. In order for my body to focus all of its energy on attacking the Lyme, this needed to be done first to get it back in balance. I am now beginning the actual Lyme treatment by taking an herbal tincture drink daily. This drink will help to eradicate the Biofilm infection (Biofilm is a sort of outer-layer mask that protects and disguises the Lyme from my immune system) by stripping away the protective outer layer and then attacking the Borrelia Lyme infection.
To say the least, I’m just a little excited(!!) to start seeing results and getting back on my feet. 🙂
The past two months, specifically the past two weeks, have been especially difficult. I am a very ambitious, hard-working person (My second highest Enneagram personality was #3 Achiever), so for me to take this time to heal/rest has been a strange and growing experience.
For example: I’ve tried making plans ahead-of-time with friends, to end up canceling the day of because I woke up exhausted with a fever and migraine. I’ve tried working on stuff at home – cooking, cleaning, organizing, etc. – to then accidentally push myself too far and end up in bed the next day. I’ve tried exercising to hopefully release some healthy and energizing endorphins, to end up quitting my workout early because I felt faint and dizzy.
In short, it’s been hard for me to accept what God has for me during this season. Time and time again, I’ve wrestled with Him, wondering what His purpose for this time was and why it seemed to be lasting so long.
But lately He has been whispering the verse Romans 8:37 over me that says: “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
For awhile, I didn’t know or understand what this meant. What does it mean to be a conqueror? What does it mean to be more than a conqueror?
But I like how the Amplified Bible version of Romans 8:37 says that “we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us.” To be a conqueror through Jesus Christ means that not only do we achieve victory in every situation, we are overwhelmingly victorious. We can enter into any battle or obstacle life throws at us, knowing that in the end we are the winners; Satan can’t steal our eternal life awaiting for us in Heaven nor the unconditional love God has for us here and now.
Isn’t that so amazing?!
When I researched that verse for the first time, the explanations I found brought tears to my eyes. In the past couple months of being sick, I have felt incredibly weak, lost and powerless. But meditating over this verse, I realized how there is no doubt in my mind in whether or not I am going to overcome this. Even if I died from Lyme (I am being treated so I seriously doubt this…I’m just trying to prove my point), it doesn’t matter! Death isn’t the end for me nor any other Christ follower! Because of Jesus dying on the cross, nothing can stand against us (Romans 8:31); He conquered death, and in the process, gave hope of eternal life to every person willing to believe.
Not only has that been encouraging, but He’s also been comforting me with the verse Exodus 14:14 that says “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.”
Wow. Can I get an Amen???
To someone like me, a girl who likes to take matters into her own hands, it’s hard to accept this verse into my heart. But the other day a friend reminded me how it’s really just about submitting to Him (Job 22:21-22) and surrendering it all (Proverbs 3:5-6); it’s about taking up our cross and following Him daily (Matthew 16:24-27).
Definitely easier said than done lol.
But honestly…even though I’m in the midst of a storm, God is doing SO many amazing things in me right now. He is teaching me invaluable lessons during this season that I could never learn through any sermon I listen to or book I read. He has spoken to me multiple times how He is refining me like silver (Psalm 66:10 “For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver”); He is molding me more and more into a mirror-like image of His son Jesus Christ. Even when there are days that the heat of my situation feels like too much for me to bear, I persevere through the knowledge that what God has for me is the best for me. When this storm has calmed, I will come out as a better, more Jesus-like version of myself…and I think that’s something to rejoice over (James 1:2-4)!!
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” -Psalm 28:7
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal;” -Ecclesiastes 3:1-3
“That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.” -Psalm 1:3
I’m attaching this picture I took (above) to help illustrate what God is doing in my life right now. Just like a river current carries a boat, He is carrying me through this season and guiding me in the direction I should go.
With this, I would really appreciate some prayer! [Your prayers CAN and DO make such an impact (Mark 11:24, Ephesians 6:18, James 5:16, John 15:7)]. Prayers of patience as I go through the healing process and especially prayers for healing of my body and mind. Each day I wake up I have no clue how severe my symptoms will be…some days I have enough energy to maybe go on a walk or spend time with a friend, while others I can’t focus on anything and/or I can barely get out of bed.
But just like any process, healing is a journey full of ups and downs (lol so cliché I know). But really! I’m incredibly excited to start seeing results and getting back on my feet. 🙂
If anyone would like to know my diagnosis story more in-depth or what else I have learned about Lyme…I’d love to give you some more information!
Also, if anyone knows of a Lyme treatment that has genuinely helped them, a friend or a family member…I’m all ears! I’m really curious to hear what other Lymies have used to recover…since Lyme is so different and unique to each person any suggestion or little nugget of information is awesome. 🙂
God bless and God be with you!
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that by the power of the holy spirit you may abound in hope.” -Romans 15:13
“And now abide in faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.” -1 Corinthians 13:13
Abound in Hope. Abide in Love.