I Thought It Was Impossible, Yet Here I Am: Hannah Lyal Bingham's Thoughts On Lyme Disease + Living Life To It's Fullest
Hi folks, my name is Hannah and I am here to share MY story.
It all started about two and a half years ago. I became very sick very fast. I was passing blood clots, violently vomiting, my body ached so badly that I would lie in fetal position and not move for hours. I dropped 40 pounds in 3 weeks, and was so depressed to the point where I was suicidal. I truly thought that I was dying. I was sure of it, and the doctors weren't determined to figure out was wrong so they left me with "it might be colon cancer" and that was that. I moved to Alaska without knowing what was wrong with me. Alaska was the happiest I had been in a long time and at first I didn't feel all that shitty, but three months in I had to move back home because my symptoms had come back stronger than ever.
This sickness was destroying opportunities and happiness for me. The next possible diagnosis was Lupus. My aunt died from Lupus so hearing that was very very hard. My symptoms kept getting worse. My heart was beating irregular, my nerves were wigging out, memory became foggy, energy was nonexistent. After searching and searching for doctors, I got recommended a doctor who specializes in auto immune diseases and supposedly solved every mysterious health issue. He tested me for Lupus. Came back negative. Then he struck "it might be Lyme disease" upon me and I instantly became way more nauseous than normal. The thought of me having a DISEASE made my world shake and tremble.
The day I was getting my results I was sent to wait in his office instead of the usual room we met in. Everyone knows that when you meet in the office of a doctor it's bound to be bad news. He walked in holding a piece of paper and smiled saying "positive!" I wanted to run out and cry; I was so relieved to finally know what was wrong but I was terrified of the answer. After being diagnosed my depression worsened and I was actually sent to a psych unit. Lyme had ruined my life. Before I became sick I was climbing tall mountains, hiking miles and miles, staying up all night with friends, biking with my dad, teaching yoga and enjoying my life. All that was taken from me.
I have never in my life been so heartbroken. I never left bed unless I was rushing to puke in the bathroom.
After a while I decided I can't live like this.
I started to fake it until I made it. I pretended I was happy. I pretended to be able to be active even though I was doing mediocre hikes and bike rides. I wasn't going to let this thing kill me and the life inside of me. I one day woke up with a beautiful epiphany of some sort. That I was DONE being controlled. I was going to live a normal life and push through the pain, the nausea, the fatigue, and I was going to LIVE AGAIN. So here I am now, living on my own in San Diego (which I thought was impossible), taking care of myself,working, going on long walks, taking my supplements, going to yoga, and joining in on workouts with my roommates.
I just want everyone to know if you think this thing is killing you, don't let it. You are MORE THAN LYME. You are this world, you are needed, and you can push through this and anything hard that comes your way. I thought it was impossible, yet here I am. Doing the impossible.
Below, you will find five words that come to mind when I think of Hannah, a brief explanation as to why that is, and just a few reasons why "following" along on her adventures will be one of the best decisions you make all day.
When the rug slips out from beneath you, taking nearly everything with it, you examine your surroundings, gather what's left, brush off your knees, and stand back up. Once you're eye level with the rubble and chaos ahead, you plan the "best" route in a way that works for you and with the tools you have and the people that love you. Being the resourceful person that you are, you see this chaos as every reason to keep living a life more than, while knowing that you'll most likely face more than a few hiccups along the way. And eventually, this chaos, it slowly begins to clear and there you are, in the middle of the most challenging, unpredictable, and thrilling adventure of your life.
It's your vigor and drive that carries you through too...
This adventure, wild and full of unexpected obstacles, takes you to places bot inside your mind and out. Testing you, teaching you, and showing you that your stubbornness, it isn't a bad thing. It isn't something you should feel guilty about or try to pull away from. After all, this stubbornness of yours, it has brought you to where you are now and will continue to accompany you through the good and bad, helping you get the care that you need and deserve.
The hiccups and setbacks hit, you fall, cradling you aching and tired body as you try to pick up the broken pieces. Everything from making the bed to picking up some groceries feels impossible. You give yourself some time to feel it, to really feel it, recognizing that this mess, it's only normal, and that no matter how scary things get, you and your determination will prevail. It always does, even if it takes chaos round one-two-three-four to get you there it.
This act of "getting there" is going to look different from one moment to the next, so when thing don't go according to plan, or take a little longer than you thought, you keep on pushing, living, and doing the things you love. Why? Well, because you have no choice when it comes to your happiness. Your wild heart craves the outdoors, movement, curiosity, projects, creativity, community, and connections.
It craves a full life, so a full life is what you will continue to live, even if it requires adjustments and little changes along the way.