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Fighting Back Against Lyme Disease and Chronic Illness

It’s been quite a rough go lately. I’m experiencing the kind of rough patch that involves higher than normal fevers, excessive body temperature fluctuations, extreme nausea, unrelenting fatigue and roaming pain. It feels like there is an elephant on my chest and that I’m a hostage in my own body. Basically, your average Lyme and Babesia flare.

These nasty flares pass eventually. Perhaps only momentarily, but they pass. Until the next extreme phase rolls around. More than likely in concert with a new or full moon phase (yeah, its a thing), weather fluctuations, added stress or simply because!

Like most who cope with flares and the an onslaught of symptoms that come with them, I hope to one day be free from the clutches of illness.

Until a cure for persistent, late-stage, chronic Lyme disease (and multiple accompanying co-infections) is discovered, days, weeks, months and often years of struggling will continue. Not only for myself, but for all of the Lyme fighters/survivors worldwide who battle and cope with these relentless, debilitating diseases. Every. Single. Day.

There are many people living with chronic illness who experience similar flares: myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, multiple sclerosis, cancer, — to name only a few diagnoses. The list is infinite.

When symptoms seem to be at their maximum level, it’s a battle not to give in, not to allow the weariness and all-encompassing struggles to take over. On days when tears are free-flowing, it is indeed a challenge to keep one’s spirits up. It is during these difficult moments I am most grateful for my faith and my rock of a husband. When the darkness lingers and burdens become too heavy to bear, I also reach out to beloved prayer warriors. Without these vital pillars of strength in my life, the struggling, weakness and lingering sadness (over the loss of my former life — before Lyme and chronic disease) could possibly overcome me. It could strip away my will to fight and leave me in a place of hopelessness. (Not going for the dramatic, simply keeping it real.)

By nature I am an upbeat, positive, strong-willed, stubborn and feisty human. But over decades of being so relentlessly sick, these determined diseases have invaded and wreaked havoc on my body.

With a battle to rid my body of these insidious diseases, there are times when it’s almost impossible to see any positive outcome. Pain, overwhelming miserableness and darkness gain momentum, often overshadowing the joy in my life.

I can’t let this happen! That’s not who I am deep down, under the layers of illness. I know the strong, stubborn and sassy part of me is still inside this body, trying to shine through.

To all who are fighting fiercely for renewed health, we may be weak, weary and tattered, but we are not broken. We can’t give up on ourselves. We can’t stop fighting. We can’t let illness and hardships win. “We haven’t come this far to only come this far!”

When life may seem terribly overwhelming, daunting, perhaps even bleak, please remember — you are not alone

An army of warriors are fighting with you: an online community, a family of illness survivors and your tribe. Whenever in need, day or night, please reach out. Someone will be there to help lift you up. It’s what we do!

Should you ever find yourself in such pain, feeling as though you have lost your will, lost your fight… please ask for help! The following resources are within reach:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-8255
MentalHealth.gov
Top Online Therapy Services

Whether balancing the daily complexities of chronic illness or dealing with the multitude of challenges this life often presents, it is up to each of us to find our way. Hopefully, we also learn from the journey. We find the ability to cope and look beyond our troubles.

There may be days we need to dig down a little deeper and pull ourselves up by the proverbial bootstraps. We may need to do everything in our power to block out the darkness and recognize all of the good in our lives. And that’s OK. We are only human!

Regardless of life’s trials, may we take the time each day to look around outside of ourselves. May we see we are surrounded by endless blessings and beautiful reasons to keep fighting, to breathe, to allow love into our hearts, to choose joy and kindness and to be grateful.

Coping is a daily battle. Please keep searching for balance and moving forward, one tiny step at a time.

Whatever your journey… you got this!

Blessings, positive light and virtual hugs.

Follow this journey on Blatherings with Terry

Getty image by Ponomariova_Maria