Sunday, November 10, 2013

life with lyme, part 1

"I beat lyme & so can you!"
2010. An inspiring note graffitied on the wall outside my Dr.'s office in San Francisco. 
I was flipping through old pictures and came 
across this made me cry.
It was taken 3 years ago when I was still in the thick of it and taking exactly 1,027 pills a day. 
Give or take a few.

I remember thinking someday those words would come true for me.
And I just realized.......they DID come true. 
Someday is NOW.
I have been off all antibiotics for a little over a year now and I'm feeling fantastic. The best I have felt in years. No more doctors, no more pills, no more crazy tests, no more awkward contraptions pumping poisonous medicine into my veins. 
No more!

In case you are newer around here, in 2009 I was diagnosed with Lyme disease (FINALLY......after chasing down doctor after doctor for well over a year). 

It seems like so long ago sometimes, and then some days it seems like it all happened so recently. Parts of it stand out very vividly, and sometimes 2008-2012 just mush together into a blurry jumble.
But the point is......I made it. 
It's done. 
I rarely think about it, which is so weird because it was such a HUGE part of our lives for so long.

I am strong and healthy and every single time I get out and run I am so thankful for my body and all it has overcome. To say "I am thankful for my body" sounds extra cheesy, but those words are so true for me. There are times when I'm out running and climbing and pushing myself that I get emotional if I think about how far I've come. A few years ago I struggled to get a mile in around my neighborhood--Flash forward to now--Saturday I hurried out for a quick 10 miles on the mountain, no problem.
Time makes everything better.

Lyme made me stronger. It made me faster. 
It made me look at life differently. 
We completely changed our lifestyle because of it. 
How we eat, how we live. 
How we spend our free time. 
Were those four years hard?
Yes. Terribly.
But worth it?
Every day.

* * * * * *

Now I need your help--you all know I am terrible when it comes to email. 
I am the worst at responding--so sorry! Every month I get a few emails that are Lyme related. I really try to respond to these in a timely matter because I know what it's like when you are searching for answers. 

A lot of the questions I get are very similar, so I started thinking that maybe I should put up a Lyme Q&A here on the blog to direct people to. Lyme is getting a lot more attention these days, and I feel like more and more people are closer to getting the help they need. 

What questions do you have about Lyme? 
It presents itself differently in everyone, but I will do my best to answer what I know, and my own personal experiences.
If I could point one person in the right direction, I would be so happy.
Also, if you or someone you know has been diagnosed and have seen a Lyme Dr, could you pretty pretty please leave the Dr.s name here in the comments (and the area you are in). 
I would be nice to list a few LLMDs from around the country if I could.

In the next few weeks I will put up another post. I will share my own experience with Lyme (I will try to condense it down, promise) and I will do my best to answer your questions. Leave them here or if you'd rather, email me sheenajibson at gmail. 
(If I don't respond directly to you, I will answer your question here on the blog if I know the answer)
I look forward to hearing from you--don't be shy.

In the meantime, be grateful for your body.
Women are especially hard on themselves because they don't look a certain way. 
Can you walk? Can you run? Can you climb mountains? 
You never know when those things could be taken away from you.
Be grateful. 
I sure am.

What does your body do for you that makes you thankful?


Anonymous said...

What symptoms did you have? What made you go to the doctor in the first place?

Bella said...

I don't have any questions, but I just wanted to say how inspiring you are! I love reading your posts - they are always just what I need to hear :)

Danielle Gossman said...

I'm so glad you posted this! I've randomly wondered how you've been since your trip to the new Dr. and if it helped! Glad to hear!

Lindsey said...

So excited for you! What protocol did you use?? Would love to hear...I am on my 5th doctor and feel so discouraged!

Danielle said...

I'm so happy for you! I am about 10 months symptom free- I still have some lymie days (usually right before my period) but other than that I feel better than I have in years. It's so amazing. Like you, every once in a while I will be doing something active and just get tears in my eyes thinking, "I'm doing this!" and I too don't think of it much but when I do I am so grateful for where I'm at in comparison to where I've been. Lyme is a crazy, long, heart breaking road and we are lucky women to be living on the other side.

Anonymous said...

How long was your treatment for?
What supplements did you use?

Best advise.

Ally said...

yay! you can go kick rocks lyme! so happy for you friend!

Clandestine Road said...

Congratulations, Sheena. This is amazing.

My question is, after watching Under Our Skin, is the insurance company payment option still as politicized as it was when the film was made? I was horrified at what happened to the doctor in the end. I think he was in Florida, if memory serves.


Anonymous said...

what kind of symptoms did you have? what recommendations would you give? I have lyme and babesia, feel stiffness and heavy legs constantly, only beeing treating for a year. knee pains as well.

Thanks for giving us hope!

Unknown said...

Thank you for your willingness to share your story! I was just diagnosed and would love to see the follow up post to this. I don't see it here on your blog - is it yet to be written?

Merrit said...

Hi Sheena,
I tried to comment b4, but the stinky computer miffed it! Anyway, I'm a follower from way back, the flickr days! rusticroots was my name :) Still here, years later!
I'm recently diagnosed with Lyme. Boy this thing is crappy! As soon as I heard it, I thought of you and your journey with Lyme. And you BEAT IT!!!!
Could you please share a bit more with me about your healing journey(doctor, herbs, etc)? I'd be ever so grateful, as would my husband and kiddos. They're pretty sick of dealing with a stinky mama that just isn't her jumpy self. THis life is too good to pass me by. I need to weekend again!

Thanks from my entire family!

Anonymous said...

Dr Chandra Swami - Hermitage, Pa

He saved me and hundreds, if not thousands, of lives with his holistic blend of traditional and alternative medicine.
He is a recognized LLMD. I have talked with people from all over the country in his waiting room, sharing stories of our illness and eventual recovery- getting our lives back.

I don't know what other doctors do for treatment but I am lucky to have found Dr. Swami and recommend him to anyone who is suffering from disease that could be caused by any of the various bacterial infections contracted via a vector.

Don't delay, untreated Lyme is fatal!