Embracing minimalism is desirable but difficult to fully execute when chronically ill. The medical supplies, pills, and supplements could use a tiny house of their own. And a capsule wardrobe? Maybe, if multiple pairs of pajamas are considered classic staples. But one need not be extreme. There is merit and value in many minimalist concepts. Downsizing and decluttering have significantly improved my health. Read below to learn the three ways it helped me and how I conquered clutter with minimal energy and stamina! Continue Reading…
How do you come to terms with facing the same loss over and over again? Most goodbyes are final. You grieve and then learn to live without. But what happens when you are gifted and denied your passion repeatedly? I am once again facing the same loss I have grieved four times before, and determining how to hope without setting myself up for disappointment, and how to proceed cautiously without dreaming too small. Continue reading to see how I’m facing this and what a stubborn beagle has to do with my newest challenge. Continue Reading…
How Do I Know If I Have Lyme?
(Or: What if it is not arthritis, MS, interstitial cystitis?)
Most likely it is Lyme. If you are thinking about a possible Lyme diagnosis it probably is. And if you have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, MS, or interstitial cystitis there’s a chance that the Lyme bacteria is causing it. Lots of serious, chronic diseases start because of a virus or bacteria. If your illness is caused by a Borrelia burgdorferi strain, then your treatments will only be Band-Aids for symptoms. If you get tested and narrow the cause down to Lyme, then treating Lyme will get to the root of the problem and begin the healing process.
Many people in my town are being diagnosed with Lyme disease after years of feeling unwell and “mysterious” migrating symptoms. It is an epidemic and therefore makes sense that many people have Lyme, whether they know it or not.
In children, Lyme looks a little different. Sadly Lyme is congenital, and mothers can pass it on to babies if they do not have treatment during pregnancy. It starts out slowly and if untested and untreated, the child will just grow increasingly ill with more symptoms. It usually begins with headaches, bone pain (mistaken sometimes for growing pains), constant sore throat and ear infections, asthma, digestive issues, and/or ADD and anxiety. Some children are developmentally delayed, while others have more physical pain and low immunity.
Here’s how it started for me:
First onset symptoms: A “weird” flu or unexplained “virus” a few months, asthma, chemical sensitivities, fatigue, feeling ‘rundown’, sore throats, annual pneumonia
Chronic Lyme disease symptoms: Extreme fatigue, insomnia, pain, poor circulation, brain fog, tinnitus, heart palpitations, heart block, heart murmur, low BP, difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, chronic cough, stiff joints, heightened anxiety, difficulty remembering common words.
Diagnosis before Lyme disease:
Working too hard; anxiety; IBS
Treatment does not always mean hundreds of thousands of dollars at a special clinic. There are means to managing the disease at home and with the help of various practitioners. It does require patience and research. Some excellent books to start with are:
Dr. Horowitz’s Why Can’t I Get Better? His symptom checklist is thorough.
Stephen Buhner’s books on Lyme and Coinfections
Dr. William Rawls Suffered Long Enough and Unlocking Lyme
Sometimes our dreams or plans blow away and scatter. Watching them go, especially before fruition, is how many felt this week when the intense windy snowstorm “attacked” and blew away the beautiful, colourful fall foliage. Not many complained about the cold or the snow; but the wind was upsetting. The reaction and results of the short-lived blast helped me comprehend what I’ve been feeling lately but couldn’t put into words or fully grasp. I’ve had to let go of some big dreams and lofty goals, not of my choosing or because I changed my mind, but because they were forced from my hand. My fist was pried open and I watched these ideals scatter and blow away. Like the storm this week, a blasting wind blew away some beautiful, colourful goals I had for myself. As the summer says goodbye I say farewell to these goals, without anger or suffering, because I realize now there was nothing of the Divine in my plans. I charged ahead. I wanted control. I thought I knew best. The “storm” blew these expectations away, stripped me bare like the trees’ branches. And stripped down, my life became peaceful and joyous and simple. And after all the turmoil of recent years, simple is welcome! My life is full of quiet mystery and love. I only suffer when chasing after things that aren’t meant for me. I am only angered when pushing myself too hard and being unable to keep up with others. But when I let these expectations go and ask for wisdom and leading, it comes. And with it joy and contentment and a new song. I will rest and recover and reflect through the dormant winter period and when my body is ready, turn over a new leaf. I can begin again and so can you. You can start over. Even if it is the tenth or eleventh time. After all, we live in a cycle like the trees. Our leaves bud, bloom, thrive, change, then let go, only for the cycle to repeat. It’s not the end. It’s not sad. It’s really another time to begin. After you grieve a disappointment (either a loss, a relapse, a heartache) reflect, rest, and recover, you can start anew with purpose. And, like me, you may find your purpose is to do less and live more quietly and to go totally against the current trend of “busy” and “crazy.” Go deep down to the roots when making plans and goals, don’t seek ideals externally. We only suffer when we desire, especially desiring things not suited for us at this time.
We took a short walk by the hoodoos this morning. Not my usual 5km but still I was able to enjoy my beloved badlands. A Lyme treatment lesson for me from the hoodoos occurred: