I feel healthy, oh so healthy! This is my Eastside story . . . .

I Feel Pretty! Oh so pretty!

I Feel Pretty! Oh so pretty!

The funny thing about this post is that by the time I actually got around to publishing it, I felt like crap again. It started off like this:

Whenever I get a new hair cut, I always feel so pretty and rejuvenated. I often catch myself peeking at my reflection, smiling and even singing the Westside Story song, I Feel Pretty. The past few days I’ve been round-house kicking my hubby (a bad habit that I have when I’m excited), been extra rowdy with tickling and kissing the kids – and even caught myself be-bopping around the house. I can tell that I’m borderline annoying (well, not so much borderline, but VERY annoying) to my husband and my co-workers. My kids, on the other hand, are loving it because my immaturity level is ridiculously low and I’m bringing a new level of chaos to our family.

But I just can’t contain myself. There is something to be said about coming back from the dead. I’m not referring to Jesus…. I’m talking about me! I have been raised from the dead! Amazing Grace – I once was DEAD but now I’m ALIVE! AMEN!

(a few days later . . . )

I’m lying on the couch,  mumbling, “I Feel Crappy! Oh so crappy!”

Yes, physically I am alive but that’s about it.  I’m emotionally and mentally dead. I read a blog a few months ago from a fellow Lymie who described it as this:

Imagine yourself all alone on a train traveling at a constant speed and in an unknown direction.  While you’re sitting in your seat, you look out the window and notice another train completely identical in appearance running parallel to yours.  It appears to be traveling at the same constant speed and in the same direction as your train.  After examining the parallel train’s exterior, you peer through its windows and take note of what resides within its cabins.  Your life.  Everything that you’ve ever known, felt, and yearned for is seen on the train running parallel to yours.  One train consists of your estranged self perceiving from a distance a train containing the constituents of your life.  You can’t interact with it.  There is a complete disconnect and feeling of estrangement from the train but it forever travels by your side.   All you can do is watch as the events of your life unfold and yearn deeply to exist within its realm.  Somehow you wish the two trains could once more become a single entity.

At first I didn’t completely understand it, but now that I’ve had my good days, my bad days, my herxing – I get it. I’m here. I’m present. But that’s about it. It’s different than depression (which I happen to know a thing or two about). With depression, you don’t have the desire to do things that you normally love. With Lyme you want to do those things, but you can’t. I knew I was sick, when my son went through his entire first year of basketball and I hadn’t gone to one practice or game. I had the opportunity to leave a house full of screaming, fighting seven year olds and go out ALONE and enjoy watching my son play.

I passed this opportunity up three times a week, for several months. It was unheard of! What mom wouldn’t want to take a break from her hectic day, get away from the noise and stress of life and just sit back and enjoy some peace and quiet? I couldn’t believe it myself. But the sound of the basketballs bouncing, the thought of sitting on hard bleachers for an hour, the possibility that I might have to TALK to someone . . . .  I couldn’t force myself to go. Even knowing that staying home would be louder, more stressful and unmanageable, I would choose to stay home.

It’s been a few days I’m still not back to normal (whatever normal may be) but I was talking to a friend today, who asked me to pray for  her. She specifically asked that I pray PSALM 54. Before even reading it,  I decided that I would incorporate it into this post. Here it is:

Save me, O God, by your name;
vindicate me by your might.
Hear my prayer, O God;
listen to the words of my mouth.
Arrogant foes are attacking me;
ruthless people are trying to kill me—
people without regard for God.
Surely God is my help;
the Lord is the one who sustains me.
Let evil recoil on those who slander me;
in your faithfulness destroy them.
I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you;
I will praise your name, Lord, for it is good.
You have delivered me from all my troubles,
and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.

What can I possibly add? The only thing that is attacking me is my negativity. I’m giving the enemy the ammunition he needs to get to me. The Lord has already answered my prayers, He has delivered me from my troubles and gave me a glance into my future . . .  a healthy physical body. But more importantly, He has spoken to my heart and opened the door of healing for me. He has shown me how vain I’ve been and what is most important in my life. It’s time to start singing again! What’s my song now? Amazing Grace 🙂

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My thighs are burning! And NO it’s not another bizarre Lyme symptom . . . .

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I was so excited to feel an almost foreign sensation of muscles burning yesterday. I had forgotten what it felt like to intentionally increase my heart rate and get my body moving (not referring to the heart racing and involuntarily muscle twitching – that’s a whole different topic). It was a beautiful day and two weeks into the antibiotics, I was feeling peculiarly spunky, so I decided it was time to push the limits. I grabbed the leash, put on my “running attire” and off we went. I knew it was unrealistic to attempt running, so I convinced myself that a brisk walk would be a good start. I wanted to feel a sense of accomplishment – not defeat. PLUS, I know how it feels to run, when I’m a tad bit out of shape (according to my OLD standards) and if this new body were to run, I wouldn’t be able survive the mental anguish of all the jiggling, rubbing, flapping and bouncing that’s not supposed to occur when you run. I know my limits – physical and emotional – and that would have put me over the edge!

It was invigorating! As I made my way around the path for a second lap, I started to feel that encouraging burn and I knew I was finally on my way to the road to recovery. Just a few years ago, I was the most physically fit I had ever been in my life, but I was a wreck mentally. I didn’t know what my purpose in life was, what I should be focusing on, what made me happy. I was lost.

But today, driving home from work, as I looked up at the beautiful sunset, I realized that life is so easy when you know why you are here. I’m not jumping out of airplanes to raise awareness for Autism (just one of my many “projects” to give me a sense of accomplishment), planning fundraisers, or trying to conquer the board of education. I’m just me . . .  and for some strange reason, God loves me and he sent his Son to die on the cross for MY sins. My never ending list of sins. And the best part is that he wants nothing from me. I don’t have to say 10 Hail Mary’s or do any religious ritual. I just have to love him back. And believe me, once you feel HIS love, nothing compares. And loving Him couldn’t be easier. I don’t know the details of my path, but I know it’s His path for me – so that makes it easy. It takes away all the doubt, all the skepticism. It’s love. Pure and simple.

Psalm 16:11
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

It’s Official . . . . I’m a LYMIE!

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I’ve never been so excited to be sick. I feel so blessed to have a diagnosis so quickly! Six months in Lyme life is a very, VERY short wait time for a diagnosis. I have read about people who have gone nine YEARS without a diagnosis and it only took us six months?! That in itself is a miracle. Not only have I been blessed to receive confirmation so quickly, but I have learned  many valuable lessons during this time. The first and foremost is to be still, be quiet and listen.

When you stop the madness and actually sit quietly, the Lord will speak to you (if you have a relationship with him). One night, early in the Lyme journey, I was up late researching symptoms, and after reading a specific article, I  heard the words IT IS LYME. It wasn’t like, “this  sounds like it could be Lyme,” or “i think it might be be Lyme.”   I heard, loud and clear: “IT IS LYME.”

Even though the tests hadn’t come back yet (and when they did, they were still negative), I knew at that moment that all my problems were caused by the little rash I had seen on my ankle months earlier. I knew the Holy Spirit spoke to me, there was no question in my mind. I also knew at that moment, that the Autism battle I had fought for years with my boys, was a pivotal experience in my life. Autism forced me to become an advocate for my boys. I found myself fighting for a cause that I didn’t know much about. But I knew that I had to educate myself and fight like hell — for their sake.

It’s so easy to see that God’s plan for me was to experience the Autism trial, so that I would be able to not only survive this one – but it would prepare me for the fight. Prepare me for the controversy that is Lyme. The young Lisa (that’s me) never would have second guessed a doctor or questioned two separate NEGATIVE Lyme tests.  But because of the Autism fight, I knew that the world wasn’t as perfect as I once thought it was (aka La La Lisa Land).

In this world – the one that the rest of us live in – there is corruption and there are lies. But there is also HOPE and FAITH and inspiration. There is JOY, like the JOY I have now, knowing that I am not crazy. I am sick – even if my Lyme levels do not meet the criteria for the Center for Disease Control to confirm the diagnosis (yet my blood does show bacteria that can only be found with the presence of Lyme). I have HOPE that I will eventually have the energy and endurance to go for a jog, that these darn twitches and spasms will go away and there will be a day with no more jaw pain and migraines! And I will rejoice!! I am rejoicing now! As i’m twitching and spasming!

ooohhh and the vanity…. the lovely vanity issue that God so desperately wanted to address with me.  He placed me in a job, where I would be surrounded by cats and dogs, and eventually one tiny, adorable puppy would have his head smashed in a car door, have its life saved by one of my co-workers, become a surrender, I would eventually adopt that puppy, our family would move to a new home (with a tick invested backyard),  one of those little buggers would find their way onto my new pup, he’d snuggle up with me to go to bed one night, the tick would leap from him, onto my ankle and ZING BOOM BAM fast forward six months and here we are today celebrating a LYME diagnosis!

God’s amazing plan. I was spending way too much time worrying about my weight, trying to be thin and athletic. I needed to slow down, spend more time with my family and  focus on what’s really important…. the fact that Jesus Christ died for me.  I needed to start acting like I know it, care about it and want to share it with others. So, that’s what I’m doing. celebrating, LIFE, LOVE, JESUS and of course LYME!

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