blog · lyme disease

Giving Up Or Giving In

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This is my 25th year of suffering from Lyme disease and it’s associated co-infections and often pray it will be my last. It has turned me from an active, confident person into someone trapped in a frail, exhausted body. I went from being an enthusiastic, goal-oriented person to someone who was stripped of their ability to work, walk, shower, and care for myself. I am now a person limited to my bed or couch, missing church, family events, social outings, traveling and just being around people in general. It has changed my life so dramatically that it has shaken me to the very core of who I am.

For those who struggle with chronic illness in any form, the experience is at times unbearable and overwhelming. Not only am I affected physically, but it affects me mentally as I struggle to read, think, talk and concentrate. It affects me emotionally as I grieve what I have lost and struggle to cope with life as it is now. Life is now painstakingly slower and much more limited. I get frustrated, isolated, lonely and scared. Some days I don’t feel anything at all. It’s a constant, 24/7 assault with no certain treatment or cure and no guarantee that you come out the other end of this alive.

I often find being a Christian with this illness very hard. My mind can sometimes be too foggy to read a few verses, let alone try to think about them and apply them to my life. It’s hard to keep giving my life to Christ when I don’t really like what He’s doing with it, when embracing His will means accepting horrible symptoms, disappointments and a lack of answers. Sometimes God just feels so far away, and I feel like I’ve got no trust left, that I can’t do it anymore, and I get angry at Him because of the situation I’m in. In those awful moments when I don’t cope, I still find myself crying out: God, I know that it’s your will that I’m sick, but does it really have to be this bad?

My story is not one of victory, but of struggle. It isn’t one of knowledge and godliness achieved like the great heroes we read about in the Bible, but of constant wrestling and learning and re-learning. God is using this trial to teach me—sinful me—some of what it means to give up my life to Him.

So I figured I’d jot down some lessons I’m learning as I watch the world and time pass by.

HOPES AND DREAMS

I had so many plans, hopes and dreams for my days on this earth, but I’m learning that my plans aren’t always His plans. I thought I had good plans, but God says His plans are best. He’s reminding me that the main purpose of my life isn’t to necessarily “do” things (thought that’s what I would like!), but it’s to bring glory to Him whatever my life looks like. My hopes and dreams seem distant, and often dead, but He’s working and shaping me. He chooses what happens to me and how He will use me.

WHERE TO TURN

Throughout this suffering my heart seeks comfort, joy and peace. I’ve often turned to our broken world for these things instead of to God. I’ve found that my biggest challenge in any day is to run to Him, not to the world. I wonder sometimes how many things God has to take away from me before I listen to His voice? “Cling to Me. Cling to Me. I love you!” God is teaching me that the things I put my hope in, in this world, could be gone at any moment.

HUMILITY

Constant fatigue and unrelenting symptoms are a reminder of my frailty, weaknesses and never-ending need for God. It never lets me forget that I am small, God is huge, and He doesn’t need me to get His work done. I’m reminded of God’s complete control. He is the one who decides whether I get out of bed and how much I can do. It keeps me on my knees, and I’m learning that’s the best place to be, for that is where I belong.

MY WORTH

This illness has also helped me realize that there are things I’ve been finding my worth in apart from God. I thought my value was caught up in what I did, accomplished or the possessions I owned. But I am learning that I am no less valuable now than I was before. If I added up all I now ‘achieve’ in a whole day, it would only fill an hour of my old normal day. I am just as worthwhile, loved and significant, even if I can’t get off the couch. May this truth crush the need I have to achieve things each day to feel good about myself, and teach me to surrender to God the things I find my worth in apart from him. For my value comes from who God has made me, the qualities He’s given me and what He has done to make me His child.

CARING FOR MYSELF

I’ve never been great at asking for help, or admitting when I’m not coping well but I’m learning that it can be helpful to be real with people about how hard life is. Whenever someone would ask how I’m doing, I would give the standard “I’m ok” answer even if I wasn’t ok. It’s alright for me to tell someone how I’m really doing. I am just as important as others. If I tell others honestly how I am doing, my motive not being to complain, then it can encourage others not to hide their struggles as well, and show them that they are not alone. It can create a culture of honesty, where I can care more deeply for others, and they for me.

TEMPORARY

And most importantly of all, this illness causes me to yearn for Heaven in a real and unique way, and on the days I can really grasp its reality, it puts the pains of this life into perspective. In my life before this illness, I found it so easy to become engulfed in daily comings and goings. The slowness of my life now, the absence of that busyness, has helped me pull my head out of life in this world, and better understand these four words: this life is temporary. And much comfort is found in Heaven.

So although I will continue to pray for healing, I want to even more earnestly pray for strength to keep giving my life to Christ and trust Him in the midst of my illness. May I not run from suffering but run to my Savior, and keep pleading with Him to teach me to love Him and His ways more than I love my life, and the comforts of this world.

 

health · lyme disease

Greens and Thyroid Issues

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Got thyroid issues? I struggle with hypothyroidism as one of the many side of effects of Lyme disease. So not only do I lose large amounts of hair, it causes dry skin, fatigue, constipation, cold body temperature and a host of other symptoms. I love to eat greens whether cooked or in juice or smoothie form. But there is a down side to consuming too many raw greens especially with an underactive thyroid.

Raw greens from the brassica family (cabbage, spinach, kale, collards, etc) contain glucosinolates, which can inhibit iodine uptake and act as a goitrogen (substances that supress thyroid function). For those of us with thyroid issues, drinking and eating too much of these vegetables in their raw state can further agitate the condition. Instead, rotate your greens to prevent buildup of oxalic acid, which can affect the thyroid. Also as a side note, healthy fats from avocados and other foods actually help stimulate thyroid function so don’t skip the fats!

If you have thyroid issues, I suggest using romaine lettuce as your leafy greens instead of kale or spinach most of the time. Some raw kale or spinach from time to time is fine, but if you get on the smoothie bandwagon and start making a green drink everyday, it’s worth mixing up your greens.

In general, remember that variety is the spice of life. Not only does it help keep your taste buds happy, choosing different fruits and vegetables ensures a variety of nutrients and a well-rounded diet.

lyme disease

LymeLight Stories Interview

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I recently had an opportunity to do an interview for the lovely Taylor over on LymeLight Stories. Here is a little bit about her website-

“The purpose of the LymeLight Stories website is to share the experiences of people affected by Lyme Disease and tick-borne illness. Everyone dealing with tick-borne illness has a story to tell. The mission of this site is to allow those people an easy way to share a piece of it. Together, our collective experience is a powerful statement about Lyme and tick-borne disease. By continuing to share perspectives on life with this illness, we increase awareness—-an important stepping stone to change…At the very least, by sharing, we may change ourselves.”

 

I’m very grateful for this opportunity to share my story in the hopes that it may help others. It’s a quick interview about my journey with Lyme disease and how it’s affected my life and the lives of those around me. Please take a moment to read it and share with others so that we can spread awareness about Lyme disease.

Interview : https://www.lymelightstories.com/product-page/daniela-b-from-texas

 

 

health · lyme disease

Chlorophyll Detox Water

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Chlorophyll water has been trendy for some time now in juice bars, yoga studios, spas and the like. But is there any truth behind the hydrating hype?

We all learned in science class that chlorophyll is the thing that makes plants green, absorbs light from the sun, and uses that energy to make their own food. Remember photosynthesis? Chlorophyll is found in dark green veggies and helps support a healthy life. But why are we now adding drops of this liquid to our water?

A lot of alternative medicine followers swear by it’s ability to remove heavy metals, flush out toxins and enhance energy. It also has an alkalizing effect on the body and eliminates bad body odor and could help block some cancer-causing chemicals.

I think any time we can add more greens to our diet, that’s always a good thing and there’s no toxic side effects to drinking it so why not! I could always use some extra help detoxing due to Lyme, and I’m all for anything that can give me some extra energy so I like to drink it as often as possible.

Liquid chlorophyll does not taste as swampy as it looks, and there are some brands that add peppermint to it to offset the “green” taste.

Recipe

32 oz water

1 tsp liquid chlorophyll

Add ice before drinking

That’s it! It’s easy, refreshing and has great healthy benefits, what more could we ask for?

Try it for yourself and see if you feel a difference!

health · lyme disease

Apple Cinnamon Liver Detox Water

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Your liver loves apples! The bile ducts are opened from the malic acid found in apples and it is able to soften the liver and promote stones to release. I’ve done the standard gallbladder flush in the past but it is a little too harsh of a detox for me at this point in my program so I’m enjoying doing a simpler version of it, and it tastes good too!

Ingredients:

  • A large pitcher
  • 2 fuji apples (or your favorite type of apple)
  • 4 cinnamon sticks (powdered works too, I used about one teaspoon)
  • Ice
  • Water

Directions:

Slice the apples and put them in the pitcher with the cinnamon. Add water, stir and let it sit in the fridge for about 15 minutes to infuse. It will get stronger the longer it sits in the fridge. Try to drink it within a few days. Add ice if needed before serving.

That’s it! It’s easy, tasty and your liver will love you for it!