I am finally carving out the margin in life to start adding to my blog. I had created it almost three years ago with the intent to share my healing story, recipe ideas for a family with multiple allergies or those following restrictive diets like us, and to give hope and a starting point for answers to other moms who struggled with pregnancy and breastfeeding like I had. At the time, I was so frustrated as I went through that stage of this journey that I could find NO plausible explanations in the medical or quasi-medical world of what could be at the root of our troubles. I am a truth seeker, and I knew there had to be an underlying cause of the severe immune dysfunction, food and sugar sensitivity, inflammation, digestive distress, exhaustion, occasional unreasonable anger, anxiety, stutter, teeth grinding, and brain symptoms I saw in my boys, and other symptoms of chronic illness that manifested in different ways for my two boys and myself. I knew in my gut all of it was somehow connected to a common root (despite quite a few doctors rolling their eyes at my mothers' intuition that my boys' specific symptoms and general ill health were somehow connected to mine) and I knew there must be answers out there. Most importantly I had faith that something could be done to heal and that once I found it, I could share it with other seekers like me. Because believe me, there is noone in the world more motivated than a truth-seeking mother of a sick child. Little did I know how deep my own illness really was at that time, or the difficult road I would have to walk in order to have those answers slowly and faithfully revealed, one by one. Shortly after pulling the trigger and paying for the domain (I had no idea websites cost so much to maintain!!), a bad mastitis infection triggered by weaning my youngest took me down, and I was bed-ridden for nearly a month. My descent into the dangerous levels of Lyme began.
Needless to say, over the next couple of years of my own deep physical illness, prepping every meal from scratch to give my boys food they could actually tolerate as they spiraled into mold-induced illness, constant doctor visits, complete mold cleanup of the house, and starting to homeschool a brain-inflamed, stubborn and unmotivated 4-year-old, there was no margin to write. It's only lately that I've had enough energy to finally start the posts I had been so hopeful to start three years ago. First I've been doing Agriscaping posts about our backyard garden renovation, because that is the project we are pouring our hearts into right now and we have weekly tasks we are supposed to finish, which lend themselves nicely to a weekly blog. Chronicling that journey is light, fun, and really good for me to get back into regular writing.
So I've been waiting to start talking about my Lyme journey, mostly because now that I look back, there is so much I want to share that I have no idea where to start! I know how utterly overwhelming and intimidating the jungle maze of chronic illness can be. Add in any thought of mold being the cause, which would then require remediation, getting rid of possessions, possibly moving, and the extreme difficulty and cost of safe cleanup to the level necessary for a CIRS sufferer, and I find most peoples' brains just freeze up and their eyes glaze over - honestly they lose all ability to process anything else I might say, no matter how sick they are! So I know for some, the band-aid approach of modern medicine is the only way because it's a path that their brains can process, even if it means they will simply never get well. But I was willing to face the heavy lifting of getting to the root of the real cause of our illness, no matter the cost, and I want to share the success of that approach with anyone who truly wants to get well.
I know how utterly overwhelming and intimidating the jungle maze of chronic illness can be.
So for those truth-seekers like me, I want to share with you that there is indeed hope on all fronts. My boys and I are proof that long, slow healing is possible. There are no two ways about it - this is a deeply painful road we walk, whether we're stepping daily in the direction of sickness or toward health, and you will likely be asked to be willing to give up everything you once held dear, or you may find it has been ripped from your hands by the illness itself - possessions, finances, foods, beloved activities, going into buildings that now trigger symptoms, the ability to work, relationships (not on purpose of course, but what I am referring to is the destruction of marriages and other close friendships by chronic illness - I pray this blog might help prevent that, as I've seen it happen to so may women I've met who have walked this road). Some of us may even lose the most basic ability to walk or think, deal with bone-crushing fatigue that keeps us feeling barely alive, and see no hope for joy on any horizon. And nearly all of us suffer at one time or another from the deep depression that such a perfect storm of physical, hormonal, relational, financial and spiritual distress this causes.
The hopelessness of chronic illness is the enemy I intend to fight here with my words.
The one thing I've learned through it all is: keep your eyes on God, and He will lead you through the maze. He knows the answers you need. No doctor has that info, but you can trust the one true creator God to lead you to those who can and will help - you just have to ask Him. There's a reason one of His names in Hebrew is Jehova-Rapha, the God who Heals. Looking back, I see uncountable instances where God worked in just the right way to lead me to answers and treatments that have helped me take just one more step toward healing, one day at a time. I want to share all of these things to give you the hope I struggled to find at the beginning of this journey. But it will take a while - thanks for being patient as I process them all in my own head to finally get them out on paper!
The truth is, as infinitely long as the road to today has felt, I still have a long road of healing left ahead of me. All of us who struggle with Lyme or other chronic disease have to accept this truth, or the weight of fear and dread of the journey itself may prove to be mentally catastrophic. We cannot move faster than one small step forward at a time, never giving up the hope that healing is possible. And we can only live in the moment, accepting the reality of where our bodies are on the healing path, right now. Now that I reflect on it, I realize I have spent the past three years often thinking of my illness as a race - imagining that there will someday be a "finish line" that I can cross, and then I'll be totally well (do you sometimes hear the call of cheers at your finish line in the distance too? Usually that's when I trip and fall and find myself flat on my face, miles away again!). I have a sneaking suspicion, as I've experienced untold other times in life, that once I give up this idol of "wellness," God will open the doors and bring it about by His power, in His timing. We shall see.
The one thing I've learned through it all is: keep your eyes on God, and He will lead you through the maze.
As for today, as I deal again with a set of symptoms flaring back up that I thought I was done with, I am making the conscious choice to be content to continue walking one itty bitty step forward at a time. (To the benefit of those who find this blog, just know that I will eventually share the insights I am learning as to what caused this round of symptoms and what I'm doing to heal the specific cause much more quickly than I was able to do in the past. Be encouraged that this time around for me, there is NO fear of the unknown, just understanding of the root cause, and resolve to quickly help my body fix the problem - what a blessing that is!) And I am thankful, always thankful, that I have hope! And that God is the bearer of our ultimate hope - it is always in Him, no matter what happens in this life. I look forward to sharing it all with you, wherever you are on your journey.