The Choice You Have in Times of Crisis

The Choice You Have in Times of Crisis - Chronic Illness

A crisis strikes.

Hope appears lost.

There is pain, discouragement, and feelings of uncertainty.

You’re not sure what to do.

Life with a chronic illness is full of ups and downs. At certain points, the ups don’t reach very high and the downs seem to go deeper than you ever imagined.

Things are hard. There’s no denying that.

But what happens next will determine the the character of your life.

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The Power of Connection When You Have a Chronic Illness

The Power of Connection When You Have a Chronic Illness 1

A life with debilitating chronic illness can be isolating.

I know this firsthand.

If you’re reading this post, you may also understand the isolation that comes when chronic illness keeps you from living what many would consider a “normal life.”

In this rough season of treating Lyme Disease and other chronic health conditions, the majority of my time has been spent in bed.

At some points, I could barely leave my apartment once a week. My boyfriend would come by with groceries or supper to help get me through the time until I had enough strength to make it out again. Occasionally, another friend would stop by to visit or bring a meal.

I had interaction, but it wasn’t often.

Long weeks of being alone can take a toll on a person.

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6 Things I’ve Learned While Treating Lyme Disease

Lessons Learned While Treating Lyme Disease

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 often felt lost and alone.

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.

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What to Do When Others Don’t Understand Your Chronic Illness

What to Do When Others Don't Understand Your Chronic Illness

Dealing with a chronic illness that most people don’t understand can be isolating. It is discouraging when we can no longer live “normal” lives but everyone else we

know seems to be living life as usual.

It gets even more sad when the people who should be closest to us, like family, seem to disregard the pain we’re experiencing.

For me, living with Lyme Disease is complicated because of the misinformation out there about the disease. There’s a big difference between early diagnosed and chronic infections. Like others with different chronic illnesses, Lyme Disease patients often need to try many different treatment protocols before they find something that works. Symptoms come and go, and pain migrates. It’s hard to explain how you’re doing when things can change drastically in a short period of time.

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5 Ways To Pray When Lyme Symptoms Flare

5 Ways to Pray When Lyme Symptoms Flare

Some days on the journey with Lyme Disease are harder than others. It’s all up and down, which makes feeling stable something to be desired, but not grasped.

It’s interesting how different our experiences with Lyme Disease may be. For some, just leaving the house to go to the grocery store is a major victory (that’s been me!). For others, they homeschool 4 kids and remain active in church. Others may work part-time but spend every minute outside of work resting. Chronic Lyme Disease can be a debilitating illness that affects each of us differently.

But, one thing we all seem to have in common is that symptoms come and go. They increase and decrease. The pain migrates to various parts of our bodies. There are flares and Herxheimer Reactions.

While in the midst of difficult symptoms, I am aware of what is happening with my body. I know the pain is bad and I begin to get used to it. It’s somehow expected as I wake up each day.

However, if I have a few “good days” in a row (good is all relative…), I begin to be shocked or discouraged when symptoms increase, either by flare or Herx. I may have started out content on the difficult days, but when good days come, they bring a glimmer of hope for more better days. Then, when a good day is followed by a bad day, I grow more depressed about my current situation.

That’s why prayer must be the first thing I do when symptoms come on stronger. I have seek God in it before I allow my sinful nature to take over. My tendency is to grow bitter and become angry, but I know that letting my mind engage in that kind of thinking is never helpful!

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Trusting God When Healing is Slow

Trusting God When Healing is Slow

The process of healing from chronic illness (or at least getting to a place of stability) has gone nothing like I thought it would.

About fourteen months ago, I was officially given names for the host of symptoms that gradually led to the debilitation of my body. I saw various symptoms come and go over a period of five years, but it wasn’t until February 2016 that my health began to decline to the point where I needed serious help to get better. By the time of diagnosis, I was exhausted, in constant pain, unable to function at work, and deeply depressed.

Many days of research, blood work, and doctors appointments led to the discovery that I had Chronic Lyme Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, several co-infections, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and more.

For some, receiving test results that pointed to multiple conditions and food sensitivities would be devastating. But for me, it provided a glimmer of hope. I finally knew what I needed to treat so I could move forward toward better health. I had a plan for healing, and I love plans!

In my typical Type A fashion, I followed my doctor’s treatment protocol to a T. This meant giving up all my favorite foods and focusing only on the things I needed to get better. I had to quit my serious Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup addiction and instead fill up on Vegan Chocolate Shakeology (email me if you want more info on this…) and a (mostly) Paleo diet.

My health protocol was overwhelming, sometimes consisting of 60+ pills a day. My weeks were filled with detoxing, sleeping, lying on the couch while listening to podcasts, and working as much as possible to maintain some sense of normalcy in the office and get a paycheck (gotta pay for all those supplements and meds!).

I was doing everything “right” in my journey of healing, but instead of finding stability, any step forward was met with two steps back.

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