Merry Christmas 2015 to all my friends, family, and any others who have taken a few minutes out of their busy holiday schedules to read this!
Amazing how quickly a year passes. As I sat with my counselor the other day, we marveled at how 365 days could come and go. Those days have been filled with struggles and triumphs, disappointment and joy, tears and laughter. As we come to the end of this year, I would like to reflect on what 2015 meant to me and what I wish from this holiday season.
At the end of 2014, I was at an extremely low point in my life. My health had deteriorated to such a degree that simply surviving was all I was managing. However, in October of 2014 I had been to see a new doctor and by Christmas I was on a new treatment program. It certainly wasn’t providing instant gratification, but after fifteen years of being chronically ill, no sudden miracles or cures existed and I knew I was in it for the long-haul.
In February of 2015, my sister and I enjoyed a small vacation. Although I was wracked by four migraines within the five days we were away, it was still an enjoyable time and a chance to see four different walls for a short period of time. By July of 2015, my health had taken a clear turn for the better. After sticking to the strict new protocol set up by my new doctor for 8-9 months, my joint and muscle pain had greatly deteriorated, my energy levels were improved, my cognitive function was better and my emotional state was better than it had been for quite a while. Although I still struggled with constant headaches, sleep issues, pain and brain function, I was greatly encouraged.
Of course, with Lyme disease, things can turn around quickly. Because of the detoxification my body had experienced over the past months I began to experience new symptoms that drove me back to the couch and my mind, back to despair. For these past few months of 2015, life hasn’t been a bed of roses. As always, I am continuing to try new medications, supplements and treatment plans, and my doctors are alongside me in this battle.
My counselor recently asked me what I wanted from Christmas. The question puzzled me; Christmas isn’t about getting, but about giving. However, it made me think seriously about what kinds of gifts I would truly appreciate this holiday season. The following are a few ideas that came to mind:
The constant belief that my times are in God’s hands and that no matter what happens, I am being cared for by One Who is greater than any doctor on earth.
The knowledge that what I have been through has made me stronger, wiser and more prepared for the battles that lie ahead.
The capability and patience to deal with all the new symptoms and health concerns that I know await me in the New Year.
The ability to put aside my own issues and reach out to others who are unable to articulate the hells they are enduring.
Many consider love to be the ultimate secret to happiness; I however, believe that good health is happiness (and Buddha, coincidentally, agrees with me).
There is one more thing I would appreciate this Christmas: knowing that everyone who is reading this post understands that, no matter what they are going through, someone else in the world understands about some of the harder aspects of life and appreciates and respects the fact that you are still here, still battling, still surviving. You are constantly in my thoughts and prayers, and I pray that I can encourage you to keep on fighting through any struggles you face in the year to come.