The hard: Treatment takes years, decades, or even a lifetime
- The bacteria never fully goes away. The goal of treatment is to balance your body’s capacity to deal with the bacteria with the bacterial load. They are complicated little buggers with different cycles that require different medications. They develop immunity to different medications so you have to be on your toes.
- The Lyme bacteria often comes with co-infections (other bacteria or parasites) that wrap around them and make it even hard to get rid of. They each need their own combination of pharmaceutical, naturopathic, and other remedies.
- Which ones? That’s part of the game. Treatment needs seem to be different for everybody, so trying to figure out a treatment plan that works for you is really tricky.
- It’s hard on a body to do all this work! You need to support yourself with all the vitamins and minerals that Lyme is constantly depleting and help reduce the inflammation which Lyme is constantly causing. This work is hard, but healing is possible.
The hopeful: There is improvement along the way
After a really hard round of treatment, I had this great day on Saturna island off the West Coast of British Columbia (rightfully belonging to the Tsawwassen First Nation). I was able to move my limbs and support my weight for the first time in months. The next rounds of treatment knocked me out and it seemed impossible to me that I ever had a body that could move joyfully outside. During this time, I would pour over these pictures. I kept them on my computer in a file titled hope.
I had trouble finding a competent health care professional that I could work with and MDs in Canada are not allowed to treat chronic Lyme. I did a lot of my own sleuthing, where it came in handy to have PhD training in research methods. I also did a lot of listening to my own body, where my 20 years of yoga served me well. I learned a lot about how I need to approach my recovery and then finally found a good specialist in the U.S. (and borrowed a lot of money from a lot of sources to see him) who would work with me and what I knew to be true about myself while offering expertise.
Last week my wife took these picture of me doing yoga during one of my less pain filled filled days (I don’t remember what “pain free” feel like, but it sounds amazing). Looking at these I can see how my daily gruelling treatment regime is slowly drawing back the bacteria and allowing more of the strength and flexibility that I still carry inside to come to the surface again.
If you are in the in-between part of your healing journey right now and feeling stuck, maybe getting worse, please know that you are not alone. Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!