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How Lyme Disease Changed My Bucket List

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When I crashed into Lyme disease in 2012, life was upended. I was so sick I had to quit my job, driving, reading, and holding the phone chit chat. My life got tiny real quick, walled in by pain
and disability. It was pretty clear to me that I didn’t have long to live. So I made a Lyme bucket list.

This bucket list was very small and humble: see my parents and friends a last time, that kind of thing. My family was deeply worried and thought any significant recovery was remote. My husband and I reviewed my end of life wishes and will. This may seem a bit over the top, but through the lens of severe Lyme it felt critical and right at the time.

Now a few years and a huge healing journey later, I am much healthier. I live in awe and appreciation of our human capacity to mend. Our bodies are amazing healing machines and work hard to keep us alive. If you need a parcel of healing, build a health care team to support and help you on a steep climb back to health. If you have chronic Lyme disease your team might have a (MD) Lyme specialist, a therapist, a chiropractor, a massage therapist, a vision coach and an energy healer. You might need more or different experts depending on how Lyme or other illness is attacking your body.

With the right help, attitude and a little luck, I believe we can heal from many things at many levels. I continue to heal from Lyme disease. It has been a great teacher. The scope of my life is larger and brighter again. I have new goals and desires and a clearer sense of self than ever before.

How did illness change my bucket list?

The bucket list of critical things to do during my life is much larger. There is just a ton for me and everyone to do in this life. Different things have priority. Here are some of the new additions.

  • Value my body, care for myself and my health as the leverage point for living my largest life.
  • Identify my genius and purpose and make it happen.
  • Seek joy
  • Grow my spirit
  • Turn to love and loving at every opportunity
  • Help others.
  • Stay in the moment and feel every good feeling.

Sure, I still want to support my family, eat yummy foods, travel to New Zealand, garner great experiences, and build a successful business to provide for myself. All this stuff is stored in the “enjoy being in my body” section of the list. Lyme has taught me that that I also need to contribute to my world and grow my spirit. My bucket list has expanded to cover all these areas. It should keep me busy well beyond  this embodied life.

There is still struggle and pain in my life; I have more healing to do. Even if I am never symptom-free, Lyme disease gave me a learning opportunity I can’t regret. It shook my life to the core and opened my eyes to all kinds of possibilities. There is so much more awareness and balance in my life today because of Lyme disease.

How has illness changed your bucket list and your life? This is important stuff to share; with Lyme disease and all illness, information is power. We all have to help each other.

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Originally published: November 14, 2016
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