Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly: My Summer Health Update

I think Clint Eastwood would be fond of my title. *Smiling* Or perhaps I should have entitled it, "Go ahead, you punk, Lyme; make my day."  *Eyes squinting*

Nevertheless, here's the lowdown. I am into my eleventh month on the chronic Lyme protocol, and things are definitely in motion. And it is a combination of good, bad, and ugly parts, so the title is quite fitting. Indeed, this process is akin to peeling an onion. The more layers we peel back, the more we find to deal with. And so it's been through the years. It is an incredibly complex process. 

I have been in this for so long, I've learned how to cope, adjust and pace myself and my expectations. That isn't to say I'm not hopeful. I am very much and especially because of my faith. It's walking through this process of healing after being sick and debilitated for so many years that's so challenging. Believe me when I say you cannot understand unless you've been here. I sincerely pray you never are.

Right now, viral co-infections are surfacing again. I say again because I've dealt with many of these for years, not knowing that chronic Lyme disease was underlying all the while (Lyme actually suppresses immune function and opens the door to other infections). Seems this all came in reverse order for me. Regardless, Borrelia (Lyme bacteria), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr (EBV), and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (A tick-borne bacteria and Lyme co-infection) are the most problematic for me at this point and in that order. 

I believe old viral infections resurfacing is a sign that the Lyme treatment is working very profoundly. This physically translates into me not feeling well on many days, and some days are just downright bad, but at least it's for the sake of healing. I feel a deep sense of gratitude to my body for forever working so hard.

As for the viruses, we're treating them homeopathically, which is one core part of my treatment protocol. Homeopathic Medicine is potent, safe, and very effective. I've found it's the best way to go for me. I say this after spending several years on multiple prescription drugs with little to no improvement or change except for a hefty dose of side effects. Wait. Was that sarcasm coming out of me? I am clearly detoxing, but it's true.

Despite what some might say, healing from long-term Lyme disease and co-infections is not easy, and it certainly doesn't happen overnight. There really are no words to convey how sick I've been throughout all these years and how it has impacted every facet of my life. Or how trying the many long days, weeks, months, and years have been. I have often felt Jobesque.

Yet, God has been doing something during all this time, something within me. He still is. Training time in the wilderness on the backside of the mountain, I guess you could say. Maybe you're there too. And even though this road is long and challenging, even though I long for better days, I have many things to be thankful for, even though I don't always understand. It's bittersweet but true nonetheless. 

So I remain in the throes of healing and recovery. There is some improvement overall, albeit slowly. I've had a few better days scattered here and there, but none like I did back in the Spring when I had ten straight days that I felt better than I have in a very long time. 

I'm just now writing about this because, in all honesty, I wanted to keep it and savor it for myself. Then I realized I needed to share it to perhaps encourage others working to be well too. And to say that I believe this speaks of the fact that a transformation of healing is taking place in my body. Still, this is a much harder place to be than I can fully articulate. It's a fight - a fight to live and reclaim my life.  But isn't this the place where extraordinary transformations take place? Isn't this where tragedy is turned into triumph? Where true heroes emerge?

In ending, let me say I have personally learned true healing encompasses body, soul, and spirit. We cannot be entirely well physically or spiritually if we have unresolved emotions or grief. Conversely, whatever happens to us physically certainly flows over and affects us emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Therefore, proper physical diagnosis, treatment, and care are necessary to help the whole body heal and recover. And when we aren't spiritually connected to our Creator, we aren't fully living. 

I think Acts 17:28 captures it best, "For in Him we live and move and have our being." 

We are triad beings - body, soul, and spirit - made in the image of our triune God - God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. I believe complete health and wellness come about when we are well on all three of those levels. That's where I'm working.

Michelle Holderman
Copyright © 2011