How I Love my Liver (Pt 1)

  For the past seventeen years, I have struggled with a chronic disease (chronic Lyme disease).  In that time I have researched, read and discussed many elements relating to good health. These include but are not limited to diet, adrenals, hormones, and keeping the colon, intestines and liver in good working order.

As early as age 15, I began researching all the functions that fall under the liver’s list of must-do’s.  Even so, I continually come across individuals in this country who believe that the liver (and other major organs) do not need detoxing. It astounds me, especially considering that these people are often incredibly smart OR belong to the medical society.

In the following posts I will discuss not only what our livers do for us and ways we can keep them healthy, but will be providing links for YOU to do your own research. Don’t just believe me! It stands to reason that if I, who have been studying this issue for fifteen years, still have to argue the basics with medical personnel, then YOU will also come across many people who believe that detoxing the liver is completely unnecessary. Learn more for yourself so that you can be confident when talking about this issue.

Please remember: I am not a licensed health professional. Anything I share is based on research and personal education, so please read more for yourself and talk to your doctor about these subjects.

  Right, let’s answer some basic questions:

Where is the liver in the human body?

The liver sits in the upper right portion of the abdomen. It is above the stomach and below the diaphragm. Reddish-brown in color, it is the largest solid organ in the body.

What does the liver actually do?

Textbooks often cite around 500 functions of our liver, including bile production, creating blood-clotting coagulants, fat metabolization, carbohydrate metabolization, storing both vitamins and minerals, filtering the blood, metabolizing proteins, producing albumin, and breaking down any chemicals (such as prescription drugs).

Basically, your liver is responsible for processing EVERYTHING you eat or drink and either repackages it for your body to use in other areas, or eliminates it.

How much does the liver weigh?

The liver weighs in around three pounds.

Can you function without your liver?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. There is a possibility of donating part of your liver to another person and functioning without full use of your liver, but if your liver is already compromised, there could be serious side effects.

 

Some incredible information so far, readers! Your liver, the largest solid organ in your body, is responsible for everything you eat, drink, and put into your body. Who wouldn’t want to make sure their liver is functioning at as high a level as possible?

  Now comes the tricky part. Many elements can compromise your liver, but do they apply to you?

What hurts my liver?

As already established, the liver processes everything we eat, drink and put into our bodies (including supplements and prescription drugs). Therefore the very BASIC answer to this question is, eat well, drink responsibly, and be aware of what prescriptions you take.

 

But what does it mean to eat well and drink responsibly?

Let’s take a look at some items that typical humans eat and drink on a regular basis:

 

Sugar

Refined sugar comes from a sugar cane, but when it is refined it is stripped off all its natural componants and has been defined by some as a “drug” in your body. Refined sugar can:

  • Increase the risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, hormonal imbalance and contribute to candida which is a yeast overgrowth in the body. It is highly addictive and because it is stripped of its natural componants, is difficult to break down in your body, leading to a blood sugar imbalance

Refined sugar is basically empty calories with no nutritional value whatsoever. Here are some more articles to check out:

https://authoritynutrition.com/10-disturbing-reasons-why-sugar-is-bad/

https://wellnessmama.com/15/harmful-effects-of-sugar/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/441681-the-effect-of-refined-sugar-on-the-body/

ITEMS HIGH IN SUGAR

Cereals/canned and packaged fruit/pudding and pudding cups/snack cakes and pies/muffin mixes and prepared muffins/barbecue sauce/specialty coffees and teas

pies

WHITE FLOUR

White flour is wheat flour that has been stripped of bran and germ, and then bleached with a chemical component (often chlorine oxide) to give it a lighter color. Refined white flour is highly processed during which time most of the organic nutrients, such as vitamin E, vitamin B, magnesium, calcium, and iron, are almost completely stripped.  During the growing process the wheat is sprayed with pesticides.  Essentially, white flour has little to no nutritional value and is a festation of pesticides and bleach. Despite this, it is extremely common in everyday eating habits!

White flour leads to:

  • Obesity, heart disease, allergies and asthma, diabetes, gluten intolerance, health issues related to vitamin deficiencies, gut inflammation, other chronic diseases

http://www.rachelhjones.com/508/5-ways-white-flour-is-harmful-to-you

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/06/30/we-have-known-bread-has-been-bad-for-your-health-for-over-a-century.aspx

ITEMS HIGH IN WHITE FLOUR

Bread/Pastries/Pasta/Pizza/Cereals

pizza

 

 

To be honest, readers, hundreds of blog posts could be dedicated to discussing the evils of common food ingredients such as sugar and white flour. There simply isn’t enough room to go into more specific detail, which is why I provided links for you to do your own research.

 This concludes Part 1, but stay tuned for the next post which will contain information on things you can do to make and keep your liver healthy!

Ah, My Life

 

WORK, WORK, WORK

The other day, my boss scheduled a store meeting.  As I prepared to drive to work that morning, I wondered just how this meeting would go, considering the personality differences encountered in the few months I have worked there.

 

At the start, my boss “suggested” we take notes, to make sure we remembered everything.  Here are a few notes I took:

  • Store is too neat.
  • Store needs to be more clean.
  • When writing on a piece of paper, use every line.
  • When putting storage boxes back under tables, be sure to line them up exactly with the edges of the table.
  • When handling storage boxes, be gentle. They are showing signs of wear.
  • If using Windex and paper towels to clean the windows, don’t let the paper towel become too wet. It can leave streaks.
  • Don’t line up the coffee mugs. Place them randomly on the display.
  • Don’t tell her (boss) about things she already knows about (no one knew she already knew about those items) but communication needs to improve.
  • Go slowly when ringing up a customer.
  • Don’t go too slowly when ringing up a customer.
  • Count correctly.
  • Check that you counted correctly.
  • Do it right the first time and there won’t be any problems (even if no instructions are given on how to do it right the first time).
  • Ask more questions (at which point a co-worker asks a question; the response was a rather dismal attempt at enduring the fact that questions were asked)

 

  Having just turned 30, it made me feel like I was fulfilling my purpose in life, listening to an hour and a half of instructions such as these. 

lonely-girl-in-woods
‘TIS THE COLD/FLU/FEEL LIKE CRAP SEASON

  In the past 7 weeks, I have been ill.  Normally, I deal with numerous symptoms each day from Lyme disease, but in the past weeks symptoms such as runny nose, inability to breathe, inability to sleep, and headaches due to the massive amount of sinus issues have been added to the list.

Finally in desperation, I called my doctor.  To counter the cold/flu-like symptoms, I did things such as:

  • Make Elderberry syrup (great for fighting infections) multiple times
  • Make bone broth soup
  • Double up on Vitamin D
  • Triple up on probiotic
  • Quadruple up on Vitamin C
  • To name a few…

After hearing my list of attempts I have made on my own, my doctor decided to put me on antibiotics. Ugh.

 

Although some would tell me to “suck it up,” that “everyone gets the flu,” my story is a bit different. I’ve dealt with Lyme for nearly 17 years. In the past 6 months I have bottomed out my adrenals at least once, messed up my hormonal balance (which affects everything), endured multiple migraines that lasted up to a week each, and now, dealt with a “cold” for almost 2 months.

 

I’d really like a break.

trees-black-and-white-2

For selfish reasons, mostly.  I’d like to find a new job.  Something that doesn’t make me feel like an idiot…something that allows me to make a difference in others lives.  I would like to go back to school.  Education is important when thinking about a career.  And yes, I’d like to pursue a career.

walkinwoods

So in asking for a break in life, I’m really asking for a chance.  A chance to prove that my life means something, something other than defeating the daily challenges that come with Lyme disease.

 

  Ah, my life.

The life of a Lymie.

Wahoo!

Dear Journal,
  I took a shower today.
  Take that, Lyme – I actually felt up to doing something that these days, can be very difficult to accomplish! Wahoo!
-Shelby

It Hurts to Live

  At the Doctor’s office the other day, I was placidly answering routine questions regarding medications, changes in any routines or treatments, and of course, current complaints with the nurse practitioner before my appointment with my MD began.
  “Where does the pain currently affect you the most?”  The nurse questioned, her pen steady as she listened for my reply.
  I laughed without humor before responding that the pain throughout the entire length of my body, including joint, muscle, and nerve pain, screamed daily in my ears at nearly equal levels. “It hurts to live,” I summed up without giving a thought to this simply put truth in my life.
  •   It’s a basic fact of my life – everything I do hurts. Walking, sitting, standing, eating, reading, writing, driving, shopping, traveling, treatments. Every activity hurts in one way or another. 
  For example, when walking my dog outdoors, the sunshine bothers my eyes and causes my chronic cluster headaches to worsen, while my muscles and joints ache as though my body significantly aged during the time it took to simply put on my tennis shoes.  Random noises can set my nerves on edge within seconds and temperatures high and low can cause my oxygen levels to dip while my heart rate soars
  Life hurts. Do I stop living? Some days I “take a personal day” and take it slow, while other days I fight through the pain, knowing that my life will unfortunately be filled with daily pain and I cannot retreat because of such difficult daily battles.
  After my answer at my Doc’s office, the nurse paused; later, she said it was hard to hear me say that life was pain and it hurt to live, adding with great tenderness that “it shouldn’t be that way.”
  You know what? I agree wholeheartedly, and will continue to live through the pain with the hope of living without so much of it in the years to come. 

 

“THE LOSSES OF LYME:” SELF-ESTEEM

 self-esteem pic 2 The side effects of Lyme can change your body in many ways, including both weight gain and weight loss, as well as an altered change psychologically that can leave you wondering if you are really YOU because, well, you don’t FEEL like you. 
Good self-esteem can be altered by these changes, unfortunately.
 
  I’m certainly living proof of this; three years into getting sick, my body had amazingly packed on a good 30 pounds. There was no reason for this, considering I was barely eating after trying every diet under the sun after cutting out bread, drinking gallons of water daily, juicing fresh vegetables for my “meals,” cutting out sugar and preservatives and “indulging” my body in liver and colon cleanses on a regular basis. Throughout this, I was also navigating the early years of being a teenager and the pressures I felt as a young woman.
  I had horrible, horrible self-esteem. It took years of pain, an eating disorder, and the truly miraculous rescue of my dog (who then in turn, rescued me from my eating disorder) to bring about a sliver of appreciation for the person I had become.
self-esteem pic 1
  Now, as my weight again fluctuates however it wants, thanks to the intense Treatment I am currently undergoing for Lyme, my self-esteem also bends to and fro as I ask myself this question:
 is it more important to look and feel good, or to be healthy?
 Lyme forces us to answer. Often we have to choose the answer that, at the time, is best for our bodies…
just not the body we see in the mirror every day.

“THE LOSSES OF LYME:” SLEEP, cont.

 

   GUESS WHAT…  

After my last post (10/19/13) regarding loss of sleep, I have had more than a few nights of restless tossing and turning, willing myself to fall asleep but failing quite miserably. Businessman-sleeping-at-desk

 Sleep is like a secret weapon for those with chronic illness:

   it silently allows your body to heal and gives you strength to get through the next day.

 When sleep evades you, your body goes back into a “fight or flight” mode, using energy you do not have while withholding the healing you desperately need.  Other symptoms seem to double in strength after the sun slowly rises on your restless soul with a force and power greater than you can overcome.

 For me, anger and tears often follow these nights.  Why can’t my body settle into enough of a peaceful mode for just a few hours? Why am I fighting my body on this issue after engaging in this same fight all day? Why can’t my body realize that it is draining me of energy that, after engaging in war throughout sun-filled hours,
is running on empty?
  It’s easy to get frustrated when sleepless nights are common.  Sleep is SO important when you are trying to heal your body from the beating it has taken during the days, weeks, months, or years of illness. 
 
 When my body or mind is restless and hours pass without allowing me to fall to sleep, I get up and try to fill the next hours with books that I love to read, computer work that I enjoy doing, or movies/TV shows I enjoy watching.
 

   SLEEP…   

wednesday 2how funny that this simple thing, taken for granted by so many, can cause those afflicted with Lyme disease severe chain reactions and overwhelming repercussions.  

 
  A famous figure I admire and try to emulate once said,
I can walk through h*** with a smile.”  That quote however, takes on a whole new meaning for a LYMIE.
Walking through h***” is possible, yes; but for those with illness or chronic disease, walking through this new CLASS of h*** called THE DAILY REMINDERS YOU HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THE PAIN OR PSYCHOLOGICAL AGONY is the reality we face as we experience the layers of this dark place surrounding our bodies and minds.  
 
wednesday
How do people go to sleep?  I’m afraid I’ve lost the knack.  I might try busting
myself smartly over the temple with the night-light.  I might repeat to myself,
slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound; if I
can remember any of the d*** things.  ~Dorothy Parker

I Got One Too!!

liebster  I re-blogged the post below by juliesspoonfulofsugar,
both because this blogger kindly chose to nominate ME for the same award, and because I think this idea is AWESOME!!   I’m very excited to be nominated
and appreciate the fact that others have recognized my blog as one worth both reading and sharing.
 Below, I have answered the TEN QUESTIONS given me by juliesspoonfulofsugar.
Read HER story in the post below (or at http://juliesspoonfulofsugar.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/wow-an-award/)
Here are my questions and answers:
1. WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST CHILDHOOD MEMORY?

I was around two years old and my family was leaving California, where my dad had worked for several years at the Air Force base in L.A.  I remember riding in our Suburban and passing St Mary’s hospital, and I remember watching the busy highway traffic pass us by.  I’m an Air Force Brat; moving is in my blood!

2. IF YOU WERE AN ANIMAL, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?

Ahh! I have asked myself this question MANY times because, who knows, I may serve another, different life on this earth after my life as a human being, and if that is the case, I am TOTALLY going to choose my fate by returning as a LADYBUG.  It’s not an animal exactly…but answering with “A MOOSE” would just be too easy, don’t you think? I mean, who WOULDN’T want to come back as such a powerful, masterful, and kick-butt animal? Even so, I believe a ladybug fits my personality better.

3. WHAT WAS YOUR 1ST CAR?

A beautiful red Honda Civic, appropriately named “Juliet” because of her fanciful looks and powerful heart (engine).

4. WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT OBSESSION?
The last season of “The Office” just arrived on Netflix and I am quickly catching up on one of my favorite shows.
5. WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3 FAVORITE HOBBIES OR ACTIVITIES?

I love to read and am currently devoted to Elizabeth George’s “Inspector Lindley” series, 2) I love to watch TV shows on Netflix, and 3) I love to snuggle with my snuggle-bug dog, Bella.

6. WHAT IS THE COLOR SCHEME IN YOUR LIVING ROOM?
A light, peaceful green garnishes the walls, while burgundy, gold, and different shades of green season the room through flower-filled vases, furniture that consists of a light beige couch, deep burgundy sitting-room couch and a sitting-room chair that contains all the colors in my scheme. Deep brown and black curtains proudly fall almost to the floor as they silently support the color scheme, while side tables and bookshelves in the same deep colors allow the peaceful but royal greens and golds and reds to wash over the spirit of those who visit.
7. DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF AN AUDITORY, VISUAL, OR KINISTETIC LEARNER?

Visual, for certain.

8. WHAT 1 EVENT HAS MOST INFLUENCED YOUR LIFE?
At the age of 18 my sister and I vacationed in Puerto Rico for a month.  Words cannot express the beauty of the beaches and upon my return, I had a spirit full of stupidly stubborn determination that carried me from being bedridden, buried in a black pit of depression and pain, to finishing high school, getting my driver’s license, beginning a job and studying at my community college for a degree.  Puerto Rico, for reasons that baffled even me, gave me the stubbornness of spirit that allows me, even now, to push myself harder than I ever knew my body and soul could be pushed in order to have a LIFE.
9. DO YOU PREFER SALTY OR SWEET SNACKS?

Sweet!

10. WHAT RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS BY SOMEONE TOOK YOU MOST BY SURPRISE?
I had set up an online fundraiser in order to raise funds for my ongoing treatment of chronic Lyme disease.  Describing my personal story with this illness, I reached out as I stubbornly dove into treatment after treatment, finding small successes here and there but no actual healing for my battered body. These small victories came at a very, very costly price and my pockets were emptied time after time.
After setting up this site with my personal story, a gentleman sent me both monetary support and a note, filled with words that spoke from such a GOOD HEART that I actually had tears in my eyes.  Although I had, in a way, worked with this guy in the past, he had taken another post but as it was within a close distance to my location of work, he was able to stop by a few days following this post and exchange a few words.  Ever since, I have thought of him when I think of someone with a good heart.  His random act spoke volumes and made a true impression on me, an impression that has only grown since that act. 
In setting up that site, I never expected the gifts I received from both distant acquaintances and those close to me.  MANY acts of kindness were sent my way, acts that were never expected; by closing date, these acts added up to an amazing number and allowed me to pursue more treatments for my disease.
 

“THE LOSSES OF LYME:” OUR HEALTH

2013-02-27 03.31.56Our health.

It seems so simple that when you first read the title of this, the next installment in “THE LOSSES OF LYME” series, you may well have laughed.
But think about it – with Lyme disease, our bodies can quickly fade into a state of intense fatigue with multiple symptoms such as headaches, muscle or joint pain, joint swelling, as well as a digestive system that breaks down in record speed and a psychological state that threateningly swirls around us as suddenly as a dust storm, surprising us…
Leaving us to wonder…
Wonder why our bodies seemed to have suddenly turned against us, attacking parts of us from our head to our toes with ferocity…
Wondering why the supplements and medications and treatments that we endure seem to make us worse, and not better.  The phrase,
“you will get worse before you get better,”
begins to take on a sarcastic ring in our head after a dozen doctors say that very phrase, and then add to it “well, your body just won’t respond to my (perfect, complete, studied) treatment…you should get some help for that,” when we report that the “worse” has not turned into “better.”
Chronic Lyme patients face the bitter truth that their health, something that most in the world take for granted, is disappearing into thin air with the speed of an F-16 aircraft.
So precious is our health that when we lose it, we face battles that many in the world are never called upon to face.
Having been chronically ill for nearly 14 years I have been through so many “treatment plans” I truly couldn’t even give you a number. I’ve been on every diet under the sun, every medication used for this disease, every multiple medications used for this disease, alternative medications that are recommended, etc, etc; however (despite the ferocious cost that I’ve choked down for the chance that maybe, maybe this will work) these did not “do the trick” and allow my body to begin to heal itself.
  • I’ve tried Chinese Medicine alternate therapies. I’ve tried
  • Colonic hydrotherapy,
  • Sauna therapies,
  • natural IV therapies,
pulsing medications with natural treatments like those I just indicated.
In fact, for a year and a half, I pulsed medications WHILE driving an hour each way to do two natural IV’s a week (natural meaning they were filled to the brim with high amounts of multiple vitamins), then returning home and completing three Sauna therapies, 1hr each, as well as doing three Colonic Therapies EACH WEEK.

CHRONIC LYMIES

will go to EXTRAORDINARY lengths and use AMAZING AMOUNTS of strength

that physically they do not possess but mentally, they hold onto with stubbornness. 

→   BUT HEY…   ←

Let’s take all of my blabbering away and look at something else. Something that tells a thousand words with one glance; a photo of what it takes for a Chronic Lyme patient to attempt with all their might to reverse that incredible loss: their health.
In fact, why not tell a few thousand words?

2013-03-06 05.28.25 »»»   In the photo to the RIGHT:

  •   This entire counter has been dedicated to the requirements for a particular treatment for a chronically-ill Lyme patient from a Doctor. 
  • This counter cannot even fully represent all the items required for this treatment; although carefully organized (as seen by the papers taped in front of each pile), the overall number of items and the mass of piles seen gives you an idea of what a chronic LYMIE can go through to get better.
  • Oh, and by the way, this entire counter represents more than $5000.00 worth of items.
 

2013-03-06 05.30.10

  «««  In the photo to the LEFT:

  •   On the counter you saw above, these elements were included: two types of gloves (sterile and non-sterile), alcohol swabs, and masks.
  •   Have you ever purchased these items? A chronic LYMIE, going through particular treatment for their fragile body, pays for all these items in order to be extremely careful to keep germs and bacteria away.  Both could easily damage nerves, weaken the digestive track’s functions, and allow toxins to build up in their body.
 

2013-03-06 05.39.10

»»»  In the photo to the RIGHT:

  •     An entire calendar has been dedicated to tracking symptoms that a chronic LYMIE experiences as they go through both life’s pain-filled days and particular treatments.  These symptoms are important to record because they not only indicate how the LYMIE is progressing, or not progressing, but the info allows the Doctor to see how their treatment is working within the body of their patient.
  •   In the blue pitcher to the RIGHT, a LYMIE can keep track of exactly how much is spent DURING any treatment they are going through… just from experience, after just one treatment these pharmacy receipts often add up to several thousand dollars.
 
 

2013-03-06 05.36.06  «««  In the photo to the LEFT:

  •     In this treatment, in which all needed articles have been laid out on the counter, Saline is required.  See those tubes wrapped in plastic that are rather falling out of the box marked with an “M” ? Those are Saline Flushes.  Three boxes full of Saline Flushes. (Don’t ask the price),
  •   Next to the three boxes of Saline Flushes you will notice a pile of tubes encased in plastic wrap.
  •   Ever heard of IV Infusion Treatment for chronic Lyme? I have.  I’m familiar with the treatment! Those packages are extra IV tubing that will be used on a daily basis during this particular treatment.  They hook to whatever IV treatment has been prescribed by the Doctor, and then screw into your body like a nut into a bolt. 

LYMIES go through so much just to get better!!! Believe me! It’s incredible what treatments a LYMIE can endure, even though they are chronically ill, in order to simply restore their bodily health to the point where they can FUNCTION. 

 

2013-03-06 05.43.00»»»  In the photo to the RIGHT:

  •   You know, I love tea. It’s relaxing and comforting, especially on a rainy day when curled up with a book.
  •   But tea can be a part of a treatment program for a chronic LYMIE; the boxes to the right contain Green Tea (high in antioxidants and greatly recommended to a LYMIE in the “prescription” of several cups per day), as well as Kambucha (another tea that cleanses your system and provides natural support to your body, but from my experience, tastes awful! If you must drink this truly wonderfully healthy tea, get some healthy sweetener).
  •   Also, tea that contains Magnesium with a fruity flavor is recommended to calm your body and nerves in order to sleep (often called “Sleepytime Tea”).  Tea that contains natural herbs to help “awaken” your foggy, Lyme-filled brain can also be recommended every morning.
  • Countless other teas contain nutrients and supplements that give a LYMIE a bit of a break while on treatment: instead of popping another dozen pills, multiple cups of tea can be made throughout the day.
 

2013-03-06 05.51.03   «««  In the photo to the LEFT:

  Ah, gluten-free food.
  • Chronic Lyme patients, even when not going through intense treatments, often switch to a Gluten-Free diet.  Although they may not be sensitive or allergic to gluten, the diet allows their digestive system to better process the nutrients in other foods and in supplements.
  •   I have been on a gluten-free diet for several years now. Oh, I cheat sometimes; I’m not actually allergic to gluten. But after switching to this diet I can tell you, I noticed that I was not having as much stomach aches and pains and my colon found it easier to process foods down the remainder of the passageway. 
  •   As a chronic LYMIE… I will take what I can get, as far as any relief for my body as it struggles to regain its footing within a healthy world.
2013-03-06 05.51.45My sister sent me this card some time ago and I could not help but display it,
as it always produces a chuckle within my throat and often, a smile on my face. 
  • Isn’t the message exactly what we all want? The straight poop, or, if I can interpret for us chronically-ill LYMIES,
the straight path towards a better life and better health?
We may be sitting on the toilet now, but our goal is to stand up some day and walk away on our own two feet, flushing the past away as we go.
Treatments, treatments, treatments… how many have I been through? How long have I sat on the toilet, crunched down because of exhaustion, fatigue, low spirits, extreme muscle and joint pain, endless migraines and restless sleep?
  • I want it STRAIGHT – I want the straight answer.
  • Every chronic LYMIE does.
Review the thousands of words above, contained in each picture;

do you not see the lengths we LYMIES go to in order to try,

with no guarantee of success,

to get better

and regain our health?

“THE LOSSES OF LYME:” OUR SOCIAL CIRCLE

  When I first got sick,

I realized something very quickly.

girl on beach

  Talking about my sickness

didn’t win me any friends.

  In fact, it made people react strangely to me.

 Though the culturally expected and polite question, “How are you?” was asked, tense physical features and uncomfortable silence followed when I answered with even a sliver of honesty regarding my health.

  I realized people didn’t want to know.  

My personality brings with it the ability to often see unspoken words behind the eyes of others, and time and again desperate pleading for the common answer, “I’m fine,” lurked behind their eyes as they silently begged me to bypass the honest truth in my life.

Even I, still in my early teen years, saw the relief in those who silently blessed me for answering with the culturally correct answer as their postures relaxed and the atmosphere remained within their comfort zone.

im your best friend

  I’m no genius, but it doesn’t take a genius to realize that there is nothing like extended sickness to bring out our TRUE friends…

and force us to realize that the social circle previously assumed to be a part of life, the circle that partied and gossiped and giggled

and embodied everything fun and fancy free,

was forever changed. 

  After realizing this truth
I became an expert on silence regarding my pain and the strange, unknown symptoms  
that were quickly consuming my everyday life.

  There have been some who truly tried to stay and help,

but became truly frustrated by my stubborn silence.

 Shaking their heads, they went on with their life without me.  

  I cannot blame them;

after all, canceling plans

for a second or third time

because of symptoms that fluctuate

and, of course, strike you with severity every time you attempt to go out

would frustrate anyone.

  Well, anyone except those special few who understand chronic Lyme.  After all, they often have to do the same thing.  
These precious friends are few and far between, however.  

girls walking away 

Because of my experience I have a deep burning in my soul, a strong desire to help other young people with Lyme disease… I want them

to know there is someone to talk to, to spare them the intense loneliness

that surrounded my teen and early adulthood years…

 

NO ONE
should have to go through what I did.  

But during those years there was no way I could express the painful feeling of loneliness…

How do I explain my inner sadness and heart-felt hurt that,

after I had invested so much into a friendship,

it still disintegrated after my “friend” and our friendship mysteriously faded into the night.

 How do I explain the hurt after this scenario occurred time and time again? 

girl alone on beach

  Your social circle, as you knew it before Lyme, may have diminished to a precious few supportive friends or family members.

But LYMIES, there is someone out there in the vast world beyond you who understands.  

 understands many of the side effects and symptoms of chronic Lyme disease…

Because of my personal journey with chronic Lyme,

I am able to identify and sympathize with all the stupid side effects and the numerous symptoms that you are required to deal with…

I understand why plans must be cancelled for the umpteenth time…
I understand the inability to complete sentences when intense fatigue plagued your body…
I understand that there are “good days” and “bad days” that can fluctuate like a freakin’ roller coaster.

Bermuda July 2013 244

Some attempt to understand before quickly advising you of a pill/supplement/diet, etc, that they tried.  “It worked miracles for me! You HAVE to try it, I’m SURE it will improve your health!”

When their suggestions failed to have a positive affect on my body, the reaction from the attempting-to-understand individual would often say, “Well you must not have taken it for long enough. Sometimes it gets worse before it gets better. You didn’t give it a fair try; you should have done 9 months instead of 6 months.”
I’ve learned to say nothing in reply to these comments.

 Unfortunately, others still hold onto the belief that if I had just followed their advice I would be SO much better.

 Not surprisingly,

these people often disappeared

after their miracle cure did nothing.

 

couple watching sunset

There have been those

who stuck with me for a time;

after canceling plans for the second or third time however,

they shook their heads and gave up on me,

assuming that these cancellations

translated to a desire to push their friendship away.  

,The exact opposite was true, but I found it nearly impossible to explain
WHY the cancellation was necessary,
to explain the roller coaster of symptoms that give me “good days,”
followed by “bad days” that hit me with pain so intense
I simply have no energy to give to others.  

 

 As a chronically ill LYMIE,

the reality of life has caused me to grow up

and make difficult and often painful decisions to decline invitations that I knew would drain the little energy my body possessed… even though I know that my decisions would likely anger or hurt others…and sometimes end a friendship I want to keep. 

girl on beach 2

  There are times

when I must remind myself that

someday,
with the hope of healing to which I cling,

a life

that allows more social appointments,

more ability to plan ahead and not have to cancel,

and more confidence to travel

will indeed be possible. 
  The loss of friends and an active social life can cut deep.  

That is why I now write my story for others to read,

though some will criticize, judge and may even use the information against me in some way. 

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As mentioned before

the deep passion that daily burns at my heart and soul  

and now drives me to open up
and share information
I vowed never to pass on,
lies in this simple explanation:

I don’t want other young people

to experience the loss of friends, family, and the needed support and encouragement

needed in order to survive

the intense hurt and loneliness

that often occurs due to the chronic Lyme disease that threatens to consume their life.

 

 

girlfriends

 To those reading this who suffer from chronic Lyme disease…
You are not alone.  
 

It may feel that way

but I want a piece of my soul

to come through each entry in this blog

with the hope that

sharing my intensely personal journey of life with Lyme

will, in turn, touch YOUR soul.

LET’S BE FUN, POSITIVE AND PUT ASIDE OUR HEALTH ISSUES FOR A MOMENT…

NOW, it’s time to think about your dreams…

try not to think about your health and where it might take you in life.

 Just think about your dreams.
NOW THAT YOU HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THEM… 
  • What sort of adventures to you long to experience?
  • What is the one, crazy desire you have, such as para-sailing over Hawaii, climbing Mt Everest, writing a book? 
  • If you could travel to ONE place in the world, where would it be?
  • What is your dream job?
  • What ONE hobby would you love to spend more time on?
  • If you could eat anything and everything, what restaurant would you want to go to? Is it famous, or is it local?

Come on, be creative. Be honest! After all, no one is judging you here… I am just encouraging you to dream for a moment.

Dreams often provide extra determination of spirit and will.
Provided below are some photos to get your mind rolling. So dream LYMIES.

Dream big

wedding bouquet

someday paris

petsExclusive. Alfred, The World's Oldest Parachutist - Soulac

girl on harley

loving lifeBermuda July 2013 001girl on harley davidson 2

enjoying beach