Posts tagged love
Lyme Isn't a Crutch. It's a Catalyst.

I was diagnosed January of 2014 after my immune system plummeted when I came down with the Epstein barr virus (mono). It was devastating and relieving news all at the same time. I contracted it around the age of ten when I was living in the woods of NJ. For over a decade I was in and out of doctor’s offices running tests and looking for answers. When the tests results came in positive it gave me something to treat, something to work on. Before, I was discouraged and frustrated, shooting in the dark with strict diets, supplements, and palliative measures. I finally knew what my body was screaming at me so desperately trying to communicate. On the outside I look healthy, but on the inside I feel like my body is failing me and at 22 years old that is not acceptable. I have my entire life ahead of me and I will not let this disease change how I live.

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Alexandra Noll

Lyme Disease was honestly just a name for the myriad of problems I had been dealing with since early adolescence. Chronic illness was nothing new; I watched my grandmother slowly slip away from a combination of medical mysteries that included Crohn’s Disease, ankylosing spondylitis, and many others. As a kid, I battled constant headaches and seasonal allergies that worsened after my family moved from Massachusetts to Texas.

I remember having a lot of growing pains and being tired. I never wanted to run around like the other children my age. In 2010, my headaches worsened. My best friend recommended that I try a gluten-free diet, which miraculously cured the problem. I always managed to pick up weird things, like a staph infection on my face after a week of backpacking.

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Laura Ehlers

I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease in early 2013, after ten years of searching for an answer to my chronic migraines which turned into chemical sensitivities, mold sensitivities and neurological symptoms. My health became drastically worse about one month after I married my husband, when I moved into his home- a brand new starter house. You may not be aware that new building materials are highly toxic and give off chemicals such as formaldehyde in the form of a gas. Some people with strong bodies have no noticeable problems with this, but I was not one of those people. My body was so damaged from the Lyme Disease I did not yet know I had, that the chemical off gassing triggered downward spiral. We barely had a newlywed stage and jumped right into "in sickness and in health". The saddest part of this experience for me has been fighting for better health instead of being able to immerse myself into my marriage right away. I'm not able to work full time, because the stress of being mentally "on" for forty hours a week is too much for my adrenals to handle.

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Adrienne Joy Clements

But my favorite self-love coping tools include: mindfulness + meditation practices, journaling exercises, spending time outdoors, playing with my awesome pup, and connecting with others who understand (Instagram is a great way to do this!).

Question: Following your passion. What activities do you do for yourself that help feed your mind and body? And how do these activities help you stay motivated through the good and the bad?

Adrienne: I like to consider myself a Jackie-of-all-trades, and have so many different passions. I enjoy learning, creating, connecting, traveling, and playing! Spending time outdoors nourishes me on so many levels – physically, mentally, and spiritually. Even if all I can do is sit out in my backyard – the sun, sounds, and earth are so healing.

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For Suzanne

We hiked for nearly two months and approached the Vermont border. I can't describe how amazing it felt to be so far along the trail, with only a few states left, especially when those states held some of the best hiking yet to come.

The days heading into Vermont turned strange however. I noticed Suzanne (the girl I mentioned before / the one this story is really all about, even though it has taken me far too long to get to the point) just wasn't herself. At first I honestly though she might just be on her period. We had overcome this obstacle however, quite smoothly I might add.

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Katelin Kuykendall

My diagnosis came just as I was beginning to follow my dream of being a musician. I had worked so hard to make this dream a reality just in time for Lyme Disease to take it away. This illness chooses to affect my joints primarily, followed by cognitive functions. Due to this, I am no longer capable of being a percussionist. It took three (if not four) years to really grasp the reality of losing my music and appreciate the talents of others. I would break down at the simplest triggers, unable to mourn the loss of this passion. It was hard, ugly, and long, but I overcame. While this was a devastating and life altering realization, so many wonderful things have come from this new path. I’ve learned to appreciate what I had and look forward to what the future will bring. I transferred schools to have a fresh start and learned so much more about myself and my identity.

 

Adjusting to a new way of life - especially one of difficulty - can seem daunting. Just when you think everything is routine and under control, a new symptom sneaks its way in. Because of this, I’ve learned to take it as it comes; one day at a time, one appointment at a time, one feeling at a time. Looking too far ahead with treatments and tasks can be overwhelming, so it’s important to keep the right perspective.

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