Lyme Disease Treatment.
The process has been hard (which is an understatement).
Many days, I didn’t know if I could go on.
I’m not overdramatizing it, either.
It was that horrible.
I knew God was there, but I wondered why I couldn’t feel close to Him anymore.
Brain fog was thick, and I felt like I was losing my mind.
I’ve finally gotten to a place where I’m a bit more stable, so I’d like to share a few thoughts on the treatment process.
6 Things I’ve Learned While Treating Lyme Disease:
1. I must be my greatest health advocate
Even with excellent doctors and people in my life who care about me, I realized early on that if I did not speak up for myself, I wasn’t going to be helped. Lyme Literate Medical Doctors know what they are doing when it comes to treatment, but they don’t know how it feels to be me. They don’t know the exact pain I’m feeling or how treatment is affecting me. Even before diagnosis, I learned that I had to keep prayerfully pressing for answers. Had I not kept asking questions and seeking information, I’m not sure what kind of shape I’d be in today.
2. Thoughts and words matter
What you tell yourself about your condition matters. I realized that when I engaged in negative thinking regarding my physical condition, it hindered opportunities for progress. I started to learn the value of renewing my mind (Romans 12:2) when lies would creep into my thoughts. Instead of dwelling on the hard things, I started to replace the thoughts of my mind with truth about who God is and who I am in Him.
3. Just because it works for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for me
I love being able to learn from other people in support groups about what they use for treatment. Even though it’s great to bounce ideas off of one another, I know that what works for someone else might not work for me. Our bodies are made differently and how they respond to treatment will be different.
4. Things will get worse before they get better
Oh, Herxheimer reactions! Herxing causes symptoms to get worse before things get better. When the Lyme Disease bacteria dies off from treatment, the toxins released create reactions that are significantly worse than symptoms. It’s crucial to detox a lot to lessen the effects of the treatment. It can be a long process, but once the infection load is lessened and detoxed, things should start to feel somewhat better. This all takes time, patience, and lots of treatment, though!
5. My emotions and thoughts cannot always be trusted
Knowing what scripture says about the heart being deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9) became real to me while treating Lyme Disease. I believed all kinds of lies when I was at my sickest. I’m thankful that I had some amazing people in my life, like my boyfriend and my pastor’s wife, to keep showing me the truth of who I am in Christ.
In many ways, in order to keep from trusting my emotions, I had to become an outside observer of my life. I had to use Biblical wisdom to know if what I was thinking was valid or not. Proverbs 28:26 says, “He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.”
Many days when I was on the verge of self-destruction because of deep depression, I repeated to myself Psalm 13:5-6: “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.” I knew that God’s unfailing love could be trusted and I could be assure of His salvation. I knew He had been good to me. My mind just needed the reminder to reassurance me when things were darkest.
6. It is through suffering that I can further grasp the strength of Christ
For most of my life, I was a strong person (or I put up a front as a strong person). I had no understanding of what it meant for Christ to be strong when we are weak. I didn’t want to be weak. I wanted to fend for myself.
In treating Lyme Disease, God taught me that relying on Him is the sweetest of things.
I think a lot about how the Lord said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9). You can find out more about this in Finding Hope Through the Fog, but it’s pretty amazing how true this is. When we are the weakest, we can see God’s strength.
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
It’s pretty amazing how we can be comforted by God in our troubles, like Lyme Disease, so that we can then share that comfort with others!
If you’re treating Lyme or another chronic illness and are looking for more support, I’d love to give you a copy of my eBook, Finding Hope Through the Fog! We don’t have to walk this path alone.