Identity and Lyme disease

I find it interesting when people say, “I’m not going to let this or this define me.” I mean I understand the literal and also the deeper meaning, but I’m always curious as to why it needs to be stated at all. My guess is because as humans we are already predisposed to discriminating and organizing pretty much everything and anything we encounter. We want to be able to have control over things, however illusory that control is. And defining and categorizing helps us create the illusion. The illusion of control.

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So we look at people and we begin the never-ending calculations in trying to “know” someone as well as trying to figure ourselves out. We see ourselves as separate entities, as individuals.

Anyway, back to the identity issue. I guess I started thinking about it when I came across a post or rather several in a Lyme forum. “I will not let Lyme define me” someones wrote. And while I agree, I don’t want Lyme to”define” me either, it is still, at least right now, a huge part of my life. Oh, yes, do I ever want control over it though! But just saying something doesn’t define me doesn’t mean it doesn’t define me in other people’s or even in my own mind. I mean when we get down to it is there anything that really clearly defines us from one another as humans/people? I argue no.

Anyway, I realize this is all kinda philosophical mumbo jumbo but the brain keeps itself busy when the body is broken. Well, at least now that the fog and the mental confusion have improved in my brain area.

Wasn’t it Walt Whitman who wrote, “I sing the body electric”? he goes on, ” Was it doubted that those who corrupt their own bodies conceal themselves? / And if those who defile the living are as bad as they who defile the dead? / And if the body does not do fully as much as the soul?/And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul?”

Some beautiful words to ponder about who we are and how we figure ourselves and others out, or at least try to. Check out Whitman’s complete poem, “I Sing the Body Electric”, at http://www.poetryfoundation.org.

Wishing you a wonderful pain free day. Peace, B

Apologies

Hi all. This may not be a positive post so I understand if you have to skip it. I’m struggling. There is no other way to state the fact. It’s been really tough since the New Year when I contracted a cold/upper respiratory infection. After three weeks of all that stuff, then it’s that time of the month, followed by the full moon, and here we are.

Last Sunday through this past Thursday was like a challenge course. Hip pain, lower back pain and headaches plagued me all week long. I attributed some of it to the full moon on Monday, but who knows? I have also been on Stephen Buhner’s suggested herbal protocol for Lyme for about 3 weeks now as well. Then yesterday, I actually felt fairly decent!

What a terrible trick though. I started the day positive, without much pain at all which I realized made my brain work better. So I felt like I was a super ninja most of the day. Until about 3 p.m. Then, the storm clouds rolled in.

My head began to ache accompanied by nausea. I took a pain pill. Nada. The headache laughed in my face. Headed home, took some alka selzer gold, slapped on my eye cover and proceeded to lay in bed until about 7:15. The pain dulled a bit, but I could tell it was still lurking in the shadows…..

I was supposed to work this morning. With my team. I had planned to do this for months. But the headache came back with a vengeance about 5 a.m. this morning. One huge apology sent out to my team leader about how I could not make it today. I was so disappointed with myself. I continue to stack up all of the things I plan and then cannot follow through on.

But, I thought I would still be able to make it to dinner with our friends this evening. Well, I’m sure you can guess the outcome of this drama. I had a few decent hours. Until about 3 p.m. When I told my husband I couldn’t make go tonight, he was understandably upset. Then I got upset. I’m just so very tired of apologizing to everyone for everything. I’m tired of making plans and then canceling. I’m tired of not being able to hold up my end of any bargain.

I love my husband, my friends, and my work. I don’t want to let anyone down and yet, I feel like today was a trifecta. And I am sorry this post is so negative.

Thinking of you all – B

#readbetweenthelyme

Cliff’s Edge

On the edge!
On the edge!

What a week!! I thought there about Tuesday and Wednesday that I wouldn’t make it, but guess what? I did! I wonder at what costs though. I say this because I have been struggling all weekend with symptoms. Most aggravating is the all over soreness and pain. Then, there are the IBS issues. And then the indigestion issues. All of this hit me on Friday at school, and it hasn’t let up. NO MERCY!

Without TMI, I just feel all over terrible. If I can get one issue to subside, another flares up. I have tried epsom salt baths, resting, pain pills, alka selzer gold, heating pads, gingerale, tea…..nothing, nada. I am pretty sure this is what is mean by herxing!  I have tried taking my mind off the total uncomfortableness of being me by reading, Facebook, grading essays, playing Candy Crush, watching Netflix. Alas, I just can’t get out of myself enough to feel better.

I missed an event last night, a family event, and so that was tough. Then, today, my husband is working on his new shop area and of course, I am in no shape to help. Instead, my 60+ year old in laws are slaving out there. I feel so useless. It all hit me this morning in the shower, which was a chore in and of itself, and I just gave in and started crying. I do have meltdowns like this every so often but it’s been awhile. I do not like it when this happens because I feel so helpless. I feel like I have lost some pieces of me that I may never get back. I feel like I am at the edge of a cliff, teetering, looking into a vastness, a place where nothing changes and I just continue to struggle every day.

I know deep down that this is just a culmination of being exhausted, stressed, and depressed. I guess being aware of all of these things helps? My husband says that it is a good thing to have a meltdown every now and then, to grieve about this illness. And, for the most part, I do feel better after my little meltdowns. How do you deal with all of the stress and symptoms of Lyme disease? Any tricks you can share with us? I think I need some Kid President today.

Off to a nap. Peace – B

No Man is an Island….Or?

IslandHere it is Saturday afternoon. I am having a difficult day today after a full week back at school. Barely, I made it out of bed about 10 a.m. I didn’t want to get up, but I was so sore all over in my muscles and joints that laying around wasn’t helping. Getting up didn’t help as much as I had hoped. My huge plan for day today includes a nice, steamy epsom salt bath. Ahhhh.

Dealing with alone time is something someone with Lyme has to deal with very quickly. I feel lucky that by nature, I am an introvert. I relish time alone. I am never bored. Seriously never, unless it is a really boring professional development or a meeting with no purpose, then, yes, boredom sets in. If only I was a good doodler! Otherwise, I can sit for hours, reading, writing, thinking, with no one about to interact with. Thus, I had an advantage starting on this unexpected journey with Lyme. I do get lonely sometimes, and of course, I do miss out on cool events due to poor health off and on. That is tough. But at least, as an introvert, I feel like I haven’t had as hard of a time seguing into spending lots of time alone.

Extroverts must have a much harder time. I mean, they access their energy by being with other people. Extroverts are social by nature and having Lyme puts a Huge Dent in social activities for sure. Lyme takes over minute details of one’s life no matter how hard we try to keep it at bay. For instance, we made plan with friends last weekend to meet up for dinner last Saturday night. Literally, Friday mid morning, I felt confident that I could make it to dinner the next day. I mean I had all Saturday to recoup, right? Best laid plans and Lyme comes along and laughs in my face! Saturday was no bueno. I had stomach issues all day long, including cramping and nausea. I tried some hopeful remedies, but no luck. We had to cancel and stay at home. Disappointed, and helpless to change the facts that I could not make it to dinner out, my husband and I stayed in and watched tv. This scenario is an all too familiar one at this point. After 18 months in treatment and before that, 4 years sick with no idea what was going on, I am still trying to accept that many times, I have to cancel plans. I hate to disappoint anyone, including myself and so I am still working on this hurdle.

Being sick and dealing with different symptoms day to day, hour to hour, I live more of an internal life, as do most Lyme sufferers I guess. But I especially feel for my fellows who deal with Lyme and who are extroverts.

Peace – B