Category: Coping

Gettin My Slothy On

There really is a term “gettin slothy!” Who knew I would be so cutting edge with the urban slang! Go me!

Anyhoo, the past few days, I’ve been in this mode. I feel a bit guilty, but I truly feel like doing nothing. I’ve watched a lot of Netflix but that is all I can be bothered to do. No worries though; I have been feeding and watering the animal menagerie. They all seem quite content that we have been laying around in the AC watching copious amounts of television.

I can’t seem to get motivated! UGH. I would blame it on the Lyme but I haven’t been feeling terrible. Yes, I do have to rest off and on especially with the new meds I’m taking but not for 5 hours straight! And overall, I’m feeling better this week then I was last week, so what gives? In my defense, my husband has been really busy all weekend with some side projects and so I’ve been mostly alone. I don’t mind it, I just obvioulsy can’t take any initiative by myself!

tired
Not now, please!

I tried to be better today. Although I told myself I would complete an online class for work and well, that didn’t happen. But I did do some laundry and a few other household chores today so can we call it a “productive” or rather “not wasted” day, officially?

I mean I guess a positive of this situation is I am realizing I’m gettin slothy. Last July 4th, I wasn’t feeling very well at all. In fact, my husband went to a little get together, and I just couldn’t due to symptoms and fatigue. So that is good news. I’m not sure if we are up to anything tomorrow honestly. Maybe a movie. Maybe a meal out. Not sure. But either way, this summer, I will be able to do some stuff if we decide to which is a really nice change, no doubt.

On that note, I hope that you and yours enjoy Independence Day tomorrow (for those fellow Amercians) and I hope absolutely everyone has a great week! Take care, friends.

Peace! – Belle

 

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Summer 2017

Howdy ya’ll! I hope your summer is sailing along smoothly. I always feel extra lucky because as a teacher, I have summers off (kinda). The first 6 years I taught, I worked in the summer. I spent 3-4 summers as a shift manager at Starbucks (I had been a manager for them before teaching) and then I spent about 3 summers teaching as an adjunct.

After that, sometimes, I would teach a summer high school course. This wouldn’t be all summer, just 3 weeks. And some summers, I attended conferences and or week-long workshops. However, these past 4 years, I haven’t done anything of the sort. I struggle to keep my summers work-free so I can rest and try to get my health on track.

I now marvel at the things I used to do before getting severely ill. I also used to adjunct during the school year, usually teaching one evening college class each semester. No can do now. And so, because of illness, I have definitely modified my activities.

deckchairs-355596__340

But back to this summer. So some things I’ve been able to do that I normally cannot manage while working:

1. Hangout with friends. Nothing fancy but stuff like dinner and lunches. Just visiting and spending time together.

2. Go grocery shopping! I’m so not lying. This chore can be so overwhelming and so full of anxiety for me I just cannot manage it. So I’ve actually sort of enjoyed (except the bill!) going grocery shopping for us this past month.

3. Spend time with family. With energy so limited while I am working full-time, it is rare to just get together with family and visit. It’s a total gift to get to do this unplanned.

4. Be upright and not in pain after 4 p.m. daily. Sure, I still have to rest. And yes, I do still have pain periodically any time of day, but it’s nice to know that some days, I can be up and active in the afternoon, on a weekday!!!

So as you can see, there’s nothing too crazy going on here this usmmer. But I’m glad I have the time to do a few cool things I can’t do normally.

I’m off to cook some dinner for my husband. I forgot to add that to my list! 🙂

Happy Summer, friends. Talk to you sooner than later. -b

P.S. I really feel like Bilbo below!!

200w_d

What’s Going On?!?

WOW! So my out of town doctor (OTD) at my last appointment in May looked over my labs (the ones where my ITDoc said my thyroid was “fine”) and said the numbers weren’t where we should have them. OTD then added more thyroid meds and told me to start tirtrating up from 5 mcg and to continue to add another 5 mcg weekly until I hit 20 mcg. OTD told me to stop at the dosage anytime I began to feel better and more energetic. Since the middle of May, I have added the thyroid meds and maxed at 20 mcg around May 28th. Again, this is medication in addition to the Synthroid I have been taking for years on a daily basis for Hypothyroidism.

With the first 5,10, 15 additional mcg I really didn’t notice much. Maybe a little more pep but nothing too noticable. Then, I hit the 20 mcg. Again, not much felt different the first week of this dose. But after about 2 weeks, BOY HOWDY! This past week has been seriously amazing.

Some things I’ve been able to do this past week that I haven’t done for months on end……and that I definitely haven’t done all in one week for YEARS are: Go out for dinner with friends, go to a movie (at night!), go grocery shopping (I am not kdding), go to lunch with a friend, mow the entire yard (like an acre), clean the house, do laundry, cook dinner, go do errands and actually enjoy said errands! Stay upright most of the day! I also have added small increments of excercise on my old elliptical machine.

No Way!
Source: Netflix GIF

I’ve had the best time! I know that most of the above a normal person can do without much thinking about it, but for me, it has been something else. Have I still had some joint pain? Yes. Have I still hit some energy walls? Yes. Am I not working right now? Yes. But still!!!

Now granted, I probably have absolutely no idea what “normal” is anymore. After 4 years of treatment and about 7 years of being ill what I can remember is most likely skewed. But I honestly haven’t felt this good and full of this much energy in….well, I have no idea how long. While I have had some hours and maybe a few days sporadically over the past year where I felt well enough or I had enough energy enough to do a few things, I have never had an extended period of time – a whole week! – where I felt like this.

I’m savoring every single minute, my people. Every. single.minute. My husband says we’ll take what we can get, and I say Amen to that. I know I’m not “cured.” I also know that my being off from work for the summer helps. I also realize that I’m starting a new treatment protocol of combination antibiotics and high doses of those antibiotics in just a few days. There will be fallout from this treatment. I will have to detox, to deal with new symptoms, to handle herxes. I know. I know. The thought  of lsoing this momentum makes me want to not go ahead with this protocol. But, I need to try it. I’ve never been treated with combination therapy and if I’m going to do it, the summer is the best time for sure.

But until I start the new meds, I’m going to kick it up as much as possible. I’m going to try to squeeze in everything I physically can while I feel good. So I’m off to do some projects. I hope your weekend is wonderful. And a Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there. Take care of yourselves.

Peace and joy- Belle

 

 

What’s the Sitch?

What’s new in my world?  It’s been a tough spring, I won’t lie. In March, I had to take a medical leave from work. I was just dragging at everything, missing work days, spending every minute at home laying down. It truly was torturous. I couldn’t manage to gain any ground at all even after resting all weekend long.

It was depressing as hell. It was like watching a movie. You could see what was going wrong but no control in changing it. I was just a zombie. The chronic fatigue was impenetrable. I was out of work about 3 weeks. I tested positive for Lyme and EBV again (not new infections but chronic ones) and my doctor put me on antibiotics. I was a little better when I went back at the end of March. It was still a challenge daily to get through each day but it has progressively improved.

Sick and tired

I’m still on antibiotics. I’ll have another follow-up on June 28th, so we’ll see. School is out for the summer and that helps too. I considered not working next year, but I’m hopeful I can gain ground this summer and honestly, I’m scared to not work. I know, it’s weird. It’s all very emotional and right now; I am planning on returning to work in August.

I’ll post an update about my doctor visit I had in May with my doctor out-of-town. She’s offering up some treatments being done overseas that sound both promising and expensive. I’m trying to do some more research. More to come and soon!

I hope your summer is off to a great start! I’ve missed blogging, and I look forward to reconnecting with you all!

Peace – b

I found this book to be the most helpful when I started my Lyme journey.

 

Lyme and Relationships

Mary_Oliver_quote1

So, I have totally steered away from discussing and writing about the reality of trying to have a marriage, well any relationship really, while dealing with chronic Lyme disease. Why? Because it is TOUGH. In most cases, I feel like a failure and I feel guilty. I know, I know. It isn’t my fault I’m sick and I don’t choose to be sick. But still. All these feelings get tossed around. Many times, I feel like my husband and I just can’t speak the same language.

He’s been awesome, don’t get me wrong. But after 4 years of this illness and not a lot of progress, I think we are both just stuck in how to move forward. How to be more accepting of the chronicness of my illness, and then how to accomodate what comes along with it. We aren’t doing too great of a job, honestly.

I guess like Trump said about being president, “I thought it would be easier.” I thought figuring things out as a couple would be easier than it feels like right now.  We are talking and discussing all kinds of things so I think that’s a good sign. But I’m still scared sh**less and freaked out about it all.

I don’t want to lose my husband and my best friend. I want it and US to work but I don’t have a clue what that might or should look like.

Any advice or wisdom you can share? It would be much appreciated!

Anyway friends, I hope your Sunday was and is a joyous one. Peace.

 

 

Just Well, No.

Hi my people. Yep, I’m missing you too. But, I am struggling with inspiration and with life in general at this point it seems. These past few months have been tough. I know I am being vague in a way, and I am so not trying to be evasive. Overall, it’s been a challenge to keep working. A real challenge. Don’t get me wrong. I love my job. But overall, it has just been a struggle to keep it up while dealing with the chronic fatigue and a myriad of illnesses I contract due to my sucky immune system.

isayno

So, yeah, both the emotional and the physical challenges of working a full-time job have pretty much consumed all of my time in recent months. Unfortunately, I am also trying to dig deep to find joy. Even in the little things. I don’t know if it is the time of year or the incessant constant day to day barrage of symptoms, or the trying to escape some of the chronic symptoms that seems to have made me shut-down a little on the inside. I’m trying to figure it out but honestly, I have found even that kind of thinking and reflection just exhausting. IDK.

I just wanted to check in becasue, well, I miss the blogging world and my blogging people. I promise that I am making a concerted effort to get myself back on track and back in the Game so to speak.

I hope this finds you well and full of JOY. Peace. -b

HoneyColony CBD Oil: A Review

** “I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers  network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.” **

If you are a first-time visitor, well, HOWDY!! And thanks for stopping by! Here are some other posts you might like check out:

Don’t Read This if you are Grateful for your Illness

The Long Lyme Con Continues…..

How are Lyme Disease and AIDS Alike?

Now, onto the review!

Hi, my people! Well, here we are, post-election in the states and moving quickly towards the holidays.

When I was first diagnosed with Chronic Lyme disease, now almost 4 years ago, I thought I knew what it was all about. You get bit by a tick, you might get sick, and then you are treated and cured quickly. HAHAHA!  Little did I know! So once I began researching this crazy and unpredictable disease, I began realizing that there is no CURE. That in many cases, including mine, Lyme cannot be merely treated with 14-28 days of oral antibiotics. Not even. And I began to understand, especially after being sick 6 – 12 months, that I was going to have to try out some unconventional, non-Western medicine options, to treat this bacterial infection.

I had been hearing and reading about CBD oil long before I decided to try it out. Information was mixed but the one common denominator seemed to be QUALITY of the product. Yet, I had no idea where to even begin. My first foray into the CBD sphere was, and now regrettably, a product I found and purchased from a seller on Craigslist. I know, I know. Believe me, I really was clueless, and in my Lyme social circle, no one had a recommendation for me. But I knew that I wanted to try this option. No Bueno. Honestly, I think there was turpentine in it. I tried to take it a few times, but the taste was just so disgusting, I could barely gag it down.

From that point on, I realized, and the hard way, that I needed to invest in QUALITY. I continued my research and then recently, I was offered an opportunity to try out HoneyColony’s CBD Oil. I have tried this company’s products in the past, and I have not been disappointed. I jumped at the chance to try out their CBD Oil.

Quality CBD Oil!
http://www.honeycolony.com

HoneyColony’s CBD Hemp Oil is a blend of several ingredients, including Teasel root as well Astragalus Root. You can visit this page for a much more detailed list and explanation. I have tried both of these roots before in the past with some positive effects, but not at the same time and not as a part of a CBD Oil mix. When my product arrived, I was really excited to give it a shot!

I know some people may be hesitant to try CBD Oil as there is a lot of misinformation out there, including that it makes you “high.” However, according to HoneyColony, “Cannabidiol (CBD) is extracted from the Cannabis plant and has no euphoric properties whatsoever. This formulation offers all the health benefits of CBD without the feeling of being high.” At no point of my using this product have I ever had a euphoric feeling or a feeling of being “high.”

The first stop I made before adding this product to my daily routine was at HoneyColony’s  13 Commonly Asked Questions about their Superior CBD Oil product ranging from ingredients to usage. Since this quality CBD oil is mixed with coconut oil (no weird ingredients in this product!), this oil has a very smooth taste. There is no aftertaste nor did it bother my throat or stomach. It is silky sweet and easy to administer.  I take just a drop in the morning and then one at night. While I haven’t necessarily seen a huge impact in the morning for myself (and mornings are so, so difficult for me), I have experienced an effect in the evening. While I struggle with getting up, the joint stiffness and fatigue, lately, I have really been having sleep issues. I can go to sleep, but then I tend to wake up 3-6 times a night. It’s been a serious hindrance in the past few months.

Bundles are available!
http://www.honeycolony.com

So I started taking a drop of oil about an hour before bedtime as suggested on the  13 Commonly Asked Questions page. This seems to help me relax enough to get to sleep. Recently, I have also started taking a drop when I wake up during the night. Doing this has been beneficial in helping me get back to sleep and to stay asleep throughout the night!

Look, HoneyColony products are top-quality products! Yes, the price is higher, but again, the QUALITY is worth every penny. I’ve tried enough other inferior CBD oil options to pay twice over what the cost of one of HoneyColony’s CDB bottles cost.  I’ve thrown away more that I care to share. And this bottle that I received about a month ago is still more than half full. I won’t go anywhere else in the future to purchase CBD Oil other than HoneyColony!

Happy Sunday, my friends. Take care – B

P.S. If you are a first-time visitor, well, HOWDY!! And thanks for stopping by! Here are some other posts you might check out:

Don’t Dream It’s Over

Good Monday morning, my people. What a most glorious weather weekend! Finally, we here in the bowels of Texas have had some fantastical temperatures. Way better than the 90+ temps from last weekend. I was able to get out and enjoy some of this myself. Awesome!

So I am at the gas station on Friday afternoon and I hear this song “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House blasting through the outside stereo system (I mean, who in their right mind can pump gas without a soundtrack?) except, unfortunately, in our skewed one dimensional universe, it isn’t Crowded House I hear singing this melody. Actually, I’m not even sure who it is, but it freaks me out all the same. I mean, this song isn’t THAT old and someone has already remade it? And the remake isn’t even a good one. Seriously? Can we not come up with any new ideas, songs, writing, etc. that isn’t just a remake of the old? I know, I know. Most likely, my aggravation is just a sign of my aging.

But the song takes me back to when it was first released in 1986. Ok, ok, that was 30 solid years ago, but it certainly doesn’t excuse the horrible remake of the Original. Yes, I was in high school, a sophomore or junior, and it was a song that was popular and played on the radio incessently.  This was BL, Before Lyme, and I was into so much, and I had the energy to do pretty much whatever I set my mind to! In high school, I was a member of the school paper so I went to all kinds of high school sporting events (my entry level postion was a sports writer – too funny), and then I worked my way up to editor my senior year. As most teenage kids, I was very social. My circle of friends was far and wide. At 16, in Kansas, I could drive already and so, this made getting together with friends way easier than not. 

All that energy! If only I could have bottled some up and saved it for a rainy day or a rainy year! My world is so limited now that I am dealing with a chronic illness. Hey now, I am not trying to be depressing nor morose, it’s just the hard truth right now. I am sure if you are dealing with a chronic illness also that you “get it.”  There’s no one to blame and no one at fault about this situation. It just IS.

At this point, in the throes of severe fatigue, I work and I rest. These are pretty much the only 2 things I can manage at present. Sometimes, I move out of my body for a few seconds and view myself as an outsider. And when I do this, it feels so weird. How can I be so tired and fatigued all of the time? How do other people manage to work and be social? How does anyone have the gumption to get up early on a Saturday, take care of children, go to events, and other things? All in one day???  

But then, of course, I remember these are all things I used to do as well, without a thought about how I might be able to juggle all kinds of things going on each and every day. 

I guess I am living in an alternative universe for now. A universe where fatigue rules, and Miley Cyrus sings, “Don’t Dream It’s Over.”  Hopefully, here soon, I’ll be back in the real world where I’ll “Get to know the feeling of liberation and relief.” Until then, my pretties, take it easy and enjoy the REAL SONG: 

 

Peace – B    #LivingwithLyme

Circling Back Around

Hi there. I know, I know. It’s been awhile. Too long in fact. I hope things are joyful in your world. Between going back to work (over 2 months ago), and dealing with this severe fatigue, I haven’t really done much at all besides try to get to work each day. Nothing to write home about, you know? It’s kinda boring to write Hi Guys, I still have Chronic Lyme, Chronic Fatigue, and Fibromyalgia and some other stuff. And even more boring for you to read! But we’ll forge on. 

While things at work are going well considering my limitations, I’ve been struggling physically and emotionally, mostly because, well, first, we are getting close to the 4 year mark of this diagnosis and the beginning of treatment for said diagnosis. And, yes, as I’ve shared before, there has been progress made, man, it sure feels like it hasn’t been much. I mean not much for a 4 year mark. As the patient, it is very difficult to be objective about measuring “progress” as well.  Another reason I have been struggling is that the severe fatigue is back, yet again.

There’s no way to plan when dealing with severe fatigue. I can’t rest one day, and then feel so much better the next. I can’t save up energy to use as I would like to. Not that there would be much energy to save up at this point. Still, if I could save up energy, I would totally be strategically planning! But, severe fatigue is somewhat or more like always unpredictable. Anyway, it’s back and rearing it very ugly head! 

As many chronic fatigue sufferers try to explain severe fatigue to a “normal” people, there don’t seem to be enough metaphors nor analogies to clearly describe what severe fatigue feels like. The Spoon Theory is a good start, but on some days, we have no “spoons.” So we get up, maybe, and start the day with a zero balance or a deficit of energy. And this just keeps going on, day to day. Month to month. It can be a spirit breaker for sure. 

My doctor, at least my local doctor, looks at my labs and says, “yes, of course you are having severe fatigue.” All the numbers doc watches are low when they should be high. The EBV is flaring again, so that adds to the crazy chemistry going on in my body. Inflammation markers are off the chart too even with my dietary changes. Add that to the fatigue as well. Doc tells me to keep doing the B12 shots, the ATP Fuel, the Glutathione shots. I say, OK as I wonder when I might be able to make it through a day without feeling the crushing tiredness. I know (or at least keep the flame of Hope lit) that this cycle will end but sometimes it is hard to remember when every day, every hour is weighing on me like a heavy stone. 

I feel bad when my friends ask how I am doing. They try to keep up with me, but I move at a snail’s pace anymore with nothing new to report for months, and now, for years. They ask, How was your weekend? Are you ready for the holidays? What are you doing next Saturday?  And right now, unfortunately, I honestly don’t know how to answer. 

  1. How was your weekend?                           A:  It was great. I spent most of it in bed.
  2. Are you ready for the holidays?              A:  My head explodes, LOL – God, no.
  3. What are you doing next Saturday?       A: Uhm, I think I have an important                                                                                                       appointment scheduled – with my bed.

Speaking of my bed, I need to go change the sheets and get it made so I can climb back up in there. Hoping this Sunday brings you cooler weather and happiness crafted for the soul. 

Peace -B

P.S. Thoreau makes me happy. I hope he makes you a little happy too.

Chronic fatigue returns
Keep on keeping on…..

Reporting for Duty

Hello my peoples! Yes, I have been so MIA these past 3-4 weeks, and I will tell you, I miss blogging. Yet, duty calls (code for JOB). Work started back up earlier this school year (as in 10-12 days earlier) and right now, it is taking up almost every spare minute I can manage along with being chronically ill. Although, and I am probably forgetting something major, I feel like this weekend will be a time for me to catch up. (Please, God, please!)

My Post Summer 2016 Life thus far: I am teaching all dual credit (high school/college) freshman composition classes this year, which is very cool, so this makes for approximately 132 students total across the five classes I teach daily. Awaiting my undivided attention in a cubby on my kitchen table are about 110 essays to grade, add to that about 75 online responses to a novel we read..the picture is becoming clear, no?  To my credit, I did grade about 25 of these yesterday along with another 25 responses to another piece. And grades are due this coming Friday. You heard, correctly. And my Gradebook is blank at this moment. I believe, or rather hope, that I am just going crazy right now because, HEY, it is the beginning of the school year, and quite honestly, I blank out when it comes to both the beginning and the closing of any school year every.single.year. Sixteen years later, I should know exactly what to expect.

My Post Summer 2016 Health thus far: My health is holding up ok so far, but I have really been pushing it at every turn, and I know I need to get balanced ASAP, or there will be fallout. Is crying to and from school considered fallout? Maybe. Yeah, so that’s been happening. Not every day, but enough for it to be awkward. And not because I don’t want to go to work or come home; it’s just at certain points in the past 3 weeks, my body and brain just feel soooo overwhelmed and tired that I can’t even have an appropraite emotional response to anything. Mental capacity has shifted into Overdrive, and it is causing memory issues, I know it is the neuro-lyme. Or as stated above, I am just going crazy right now. *Note the key word is “now.” LOLs

The picture above is a perfect visual for how I feel at the moment! (from a really cool website http://www.firstcovers.com). Thanks for hanging in there with me. I promise I will get a decent and somewhat interesting post up as soon as I can get my head above water (please send positive vibes my way that this will happen for me THIS WEEK). As always, I appreciate your stopping in to read and comment. Drop a hello if you can. I’m missing my biggest bloggies fans. Have a fun and safe rest of the holiday weekend. BTW, I can’t get that Counting Crows song, Miami, out of my dang head! 🙂 Peace-B
 When summer opens, I see how fast it matures, and fear it will be short; but after the heats of July and August, I am reconciled, like one who has had his swing, to the cool of autumn.   –Ralph Waldo Emerson