It’s been quite a while since I posted a personal update on my Lyme healing journey. However, since 2022 has been a big, transformative year for me, I figured now is as good a time as any to post an update!
First, a little bit of background information about me in case you haven’t read any of my previous blogs about my Lyme disease journey. I was diagnosed with Lyme disease at age 23, after battling severe health problems for at least five years in my late teens and early twenties. I didn’t have a “normal” college experience or early adulthood. Instead of experiencing typical college life, working, networking, and socializing, I was alternately bed-bound or disabled in other ways with severe depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc. My health challenges were ultimately attributed to Lyme disease and environmental illness from exposure to toxic mold in several places where I had lived and gone to school. I eventually found a path to healing through functional medicine, nutrition, and lifestyle changes. My healing experience led me to become very passionate about the role of nutrition in Lyme healing. I ultimately decided to complete my M.S. in Human Nutrition and become a Certified Nutrition Specialist and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist in 2019 and 2020. The past two years have culminated in even more healing for me, leading me to this point in my life that I previously could only have dreamed of when I was in the thick of my early experience with Lyme disease and environmental illness. Here are a few of my life updates:
- In 2021, I began to pursue Lyme disease treatment in earnest. Until then, I couldn’t tolerate any treatment (pharmaceutical or herbal) for Lyme disease for more than a week or two at a time. My previous lack of tolerance for the Lyme medical treatment I desperately needed was due to prior mold exposure and limbic system hyperreactivity, which caused me to react to numerous medications, supplements, foods, etc. I’ve lived in a mold-free environment for at least four years, which I believe has allowed my body to effectively detoxify the mycotoxins that were previously making me sick. I have also done a lot of work to heal my nervous system (including brain retraining and reintegrating pleasure and joy into my life). I’m confident that these adjustments were what allowed me to tolerate Lyme treatment beautifully this time around. I’ve been using an herbal protocol since September 2021 (with a few month-long breaks thrown in there) and will continue to treat Lyme until my symptoms have abated. In the meantime, I am thriving with Lyme, rather than tapping my fingers and waiting for treatment to be over before I can live fully.
- I continue to emphasize nutrition and lifestyle in my Lyme recovery process. In fact, I credit nutrition and lifestyle with helping me tolerate Lyme herbal treatment and live a full, active life while undergoing treatment these past 11 months. I still utilize a Paleo template diet, focus on nutrient density and eating for gut health, and prioritize sleep and movement for healing.
- In November 2021, I got engaged to my partner of four years. In August of 2022 (just a few weeks ago), my husband and I got married in Telluride, Colorado! It was a beautiful wedding filled with love and joy; it really felt like a pivotal turning point in my overall life and my healing process. During the early years of my Lyme treatment, I didn’t date at all and struggled with the idea that I would ever find my soul mate. I experienced a lot of sadness and heartbreak for years as I struggled to find a romantic partner who respected the unconventional journey I’d taken in life and loved me exactly as I am. I’m happy to say that I proved myself wrong and did find my soul mate! If you’ve struggled with the concept of dating due to health challenges like Lyme disease, know that there are potential partners for you out there who will love you for who you are, regardless of the what you’ve experienced. Just work on showing up as your best self, and don’t let illness hold you back; you are a complete, valuable person and have so much to offer to a potential partner!
- I’ve really stepped up my physical activity in 2022. As I’ve healed from Lyme, I’ve focused mainly on rebuilding my aerobic capacity. I hired a coach who is specially trained in working with high-altitude endurance athletes (I live at ~8,000 ft in Colorado); it has been great working with her! So far this year, I’ve run two half-marathons in Colorado at altitude, a 30k (technically, 19.5 miles) in Bryce Canyon, Utah, and summited Mt. Rainier in Washington. I credit my exercise program and the daily nutrition and lifestyle habits I engage in for allowing me to succeed at these endurance feats! This October of 2022, I plan to run the Boulder marathon! It will be my longest race yet and my first marathon, and I couldn’t be more excited! I love that, at this point in my healing journey, I can push my body to do things I previously could only have dreamed of accomplishing.
- If you follow me on social media, you know I’ve been writing a second book! This book is about natural strategies (supplements, physical exercises, and other lifestyle practices) that can support Lyme disease recovery alongside medical treatment. The book is expected to be published this Fall of 2022. I’m so excited to share this book with the Lyme community! Stay tuned for more information.
I am in a much different and better place in my Lyme healing journey today. I’ve struck a good balance between caring for my body and pushing it to try new and sometimes challenging things! This is the goal of Lyme disease treatment, after all; to pursue treatment sustainably so that you can thrive with Lyme during your healing process; rather than wait until some future date to follow all of your dreams. The unfortunate truth: There will never be a “perfect” future date when your health is 100%. Building and maintaining health is always a process. However, the more engaged we are in our own healing journeys (something I emphasize in my client work), the faster we can reclaim our lives and health.