Those of us with chronic Lyme & other tick borne diseases have a lot of cellular damage and nutritional deficiencies. There are a number of rules important for us to follow so that our bodies are able to become nourished and heal. Most of these rules are pretty clear cut – no alcohol, no smoking, diet of high fiber, low fat, low carb, and we are not allowed to get behind on sleep or become over-tired. Detoxing is important. Low stress is mandatory (think island lifestyle). Exercise is a key factor in healing – but aerobic activity is absolutely not allowed (focus on core strengthening) and we can never exercise 2 days in a row (once a week can even be difficult so this is part works out).
Some of these rules are easy to comply with (I’ve never smoked and I don’t drink), but many of these are a challenge to maintain – especially for a type A, highly driven, tenacious person like me.
My doctors instructions include “Do…but don’t overdo.” Which I’m learning means that I have to not only know the limits of my body, but I have to also respect those limits.
Here’s the honest truth, I spend days or even weeks laid up in bed dealing in pain, weak, exhausted and fighting for life. And suddenly I wake up with a little bit of energy and somewhat lessened pain levels. I push myself just to get out of bed, shower, dress, and eat a decent meal. That is often the moment I hit the wall of my limits. I know I can’t go further, I really shouldn’t. But I am up and moving and developing mental lists of things I might be able to accomplish. I push past the limits and just do it.
And I Over-do it.
Life doesn’t stop just because I’m sick. Bills need to be paid, meals need to be prepared, the house needs to be cleaned, laundry needs to be washed.
So I Over-do it.
Balancing life and Lyme is impossible. One or the other always weighs heavier. But here’s the thing, if I don’t spend some time focusing on healing, I will never get well.
The only way I will ever be able to truly comply with the rules and respect the limits is to develop a plan to strictly focus on getting well. Which may just mean that some aspects of life will need to take a backseat to my health.
Yes the bills still need to be paid and the house still needs to be cleaned. But perhaps it’s time to take a realistic view of my world and make some changes so that on those days when I do get out of bed, I’m not overloaded with so many tasks that I forgo the necessary treatment protocol (which includes all the rules).
Life will wait. Lyme will not. If you are in the battle with me, I hope you are finding ways to rest and heal. We are indeed in the fight of our lives.
(PS: It is currently 3:12am and I am breaking the “sleep” rule thanks to one of the many bartonella symptoms, insomnia.)