By the time we got home from that Wisconsin trip, I was very sick again. I began to fear that what if I'd never feel well again. My low back was again hurting extremely bad. I found it odd. I again wondered, was it from the travel or the Lyme treatment? I became very nauseated again. My legs ached more than ever. I was so so so tired. I had headaches. Finally about a month later, I started feeling better again. And my goodness... I soon started feeling so good that I was ready to tackle some organizing that I had wanted to do 2 years earlier. It was incredible!! I worked harder for the next 2 weeks than I had in the last 2 years!!! I went through a lot of totes. Filled more totes. Made piles for the thrift store and bags for the trash. I do believe that I probably lifted way to much stuff. I tried to be careful but when it was just Branson and I at home, I couldn't expect much from a 3 year old so I just did stuff myself. When I was getting close to done with the project, I could feel my good health slipping away. I really had to push myself to finish and then I crashed.
I had been really looking forward to our area school meeting here this year (about a month ago) as last year I was terribly sick. The meeting was in western Kansas last year and I decided to go because I'd be sick at home just as much as there. Well, I wound up sitting in a chair in the nursery and finally went to someone's home to lay on their couch. But hey... it was different walls to look at than mine. But on the way home in our old school bus that we board and teachers traveled in, I was really wishing I hadn't come along. It wasn't my first bad experience with the bus as the children's field trips were awful. I hated it that my children saw me on the couch or in bed so much. And I hated to so often reply to their wants and requests “I'm just too sick!” I felt I was being a terrible mother. So the least I could do was go on their field trips. They were baaaad but I pretended to be well the best I could. One trip, I knew before I ever boarded the bus, it was gonna be awful, not only was I nauseated, but I was starting the day with a bad migraine. I sat on every chair or bench (and sometimes the grass) I could find along the way on our tours. And sadly I returned home with the same migraine. Another trip, there was long stretches with only fields and prairies in sight... no restrooms... and that was a scary feeling as I just never knew when my digestive system would decide it was time to rebel!! When we got to our destination, all the students and parents went on a hike, while I laid across some bus seats and fell asleep. On another trip, all parents and students hopped on a carousel. I debated but to be honest I thought “If whatever is wrong with me, eventually takes my life, I'd like for my child to be able to say 'even though my mom was sick, she still did her best to do things with us and even rode on a carousel on my field trip'” So... on I hopped!! I smiled big and waved at my young boy even though inwardly I was cringing and hoping I didn't throw up.
Anyway, sadly the school meeting here was pretty much a test of endurance. But, we have one more year on the school board so I'll hold out hope that I can enjoy our last one. I enjoy being on the school board and have tried my best to still do my part. The hardest for me has been that I haven’t been able to have the teachers over. I would love to but getting my house cleaned up enough to be able to have company is very difficult.
So.... where am I now?
As far as remaining symptoms.... yes, my legs do still ache some, the swelling and pain under my arm hasn't changed much yet which does concern me even though I understand it's an immune response to the Lyme. If it's still there in March I'll see what Dr Ben says but I fear what he might say is I really need to try the strict, anti-inflammatory diet for 3 months. Also my neck does still hurt some but nothing compared to what it used it. I recently got x-rays done and sent them to my German doctor to make sure everything is ok. Haven't gotten the results yet. And my low back does give me some trouble but I've always had that. And I've certainly had quite a few headaches but again that's life. I'm often tired but not nearly as bad as I used to be. I used to not be able to wake up long enough to hear the entire question my child was asking me.
I often feel that I am climbing out of a thick fog. It's sometimes shocking, some of the events and details that I don't even remember from these last couple years. It's incredible that I am cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry. There are even a few days I haven't taken a nap!! And I have experienced waking a couple times and not feeling tired. Recently I laid back down after Russ left for work and after a few minutes I was like “HUH, I'm not sleeping?!?” I can go to the grocery store and actually concentrate. I can go to town and not have to take a nap before heading home. I've even made snack for my children sometimes after school whereas in the last couple years, I was generally sitting or laying when my children came home and they had to find their own snack. I have experienced numerous consecutive weeks with NO nausea! I sometimes have entire days where my legs don't feel like I've run a marathon nor my feet like I'm walking on pins and needles. I have even experienced what it feels like to have some energy. I painted our bathroom recently. Over Thanksgiving break I played in the snow with my children. I have many times felt like doing cartwheels (haha... IF I knew how!) because I feel such joy and happiness inside!!
I now have a new theme song. It's called “Thank You Lord” also by Don Moen. But this song I sing with a strong voice. Yes, my children know this one too. I sometimes even pick Branson up and twirl around with him while I sing it!!! So far, this Christmas season, I am staying above “survival mode” like I have been in the last couple years... I've actually enjoyed being with friends and family. I have been able to take part in conversation and not just be groaning inwardly and thinking “I just want to go home!” One evening after a get together, I found myself heartily visiting and suddenly I thought “WOW! I don't have that feeling of 'I just want to crumple onto the floor or at least rest my weary head on the table or counter in front of me'!!” Often the kitchen is where I've forced myself to stand and pretend I'm fine. But just last night after a supper at school, I realized that while cleaning up in the kitchen, I was tired but wasn't having to tell myself over and over “Just keep going!” It is awesome what I am able to do this December and also enjoy it!!!
I'm maybe not quite feeling as good yet as I did about a month ago or back at the end of August. But its probably just due to Holiday busyness. I'm excited for January because I'm pretty sure that things are going to slow down and my body and brain will be able to rest a little more and heal even faster with out so many down times. When I feel good I think “Ok now... just stay positive and determined and you won't need to have down times!” But when it hits, it's real. It's not a matter of choice. I can try to fight it all I want but it doesn't help. I try to tell myself to just get with it. I fear to be ok with and accept not feeling good because then what if I stay there and don't get well again? But so far I do always start feeling better again in about 3-4 days. And when I don't feel good, it's still generally not even close to as bad as I used to feel! So I try to just accept that life is full of ups and downs and its not my fault or choice when I don't feel good. And I need to just have patience and not “chomp at the bit” to feel better. And honestly I know that no one feels good all the time... gotta wait for Heaven to get that! :)
I actually feel so much better than I used to that I'd be satisfied even if I didn't improve anymore. The idea though that I will most likely feel even better yet as time continues is sometimes mind boggling. Dr Ben says it's common to have a lot of ups and downs for the first year as the body fights off and gets rid of all the infections plus heal from all the damage done to the body. And the longer a person has had Lyme, the longer it will take for their body to heal. I still have a hard time believing that I actually had something “wrong” with me (Lyme) most of life and that maybe I'm not as lazy as I've always believed myself to be. But maybe at the end of next year I will tell you that yes... life is better than it's EVER been before!! :) Of course I have fears like... what if I go back to how I felt, maybe this is just a faze?!? But I try to just live one day at a time. Truthfully I know that I naturally have a laid back nature so I don't really expect to ever have boundless energy. And I'm pretty sure I will always struggle with keeping up with laundry and cleaning my house etc.
But for now.... I'm here to tell you.... Life is amazing!! And we have amazing friends and family!! We've been helped in so many ways, beef and pork in our freezer, meals brought in, money given to us, house cleaning, prayers, etc... but the bottom line is the love and support we have felt and received! We feel very undeserving!! Also... we serve an awesome God!!! Truly He cares for us!!! We have felt very very blessed this last year!!!