Posted on Apr 14, 2013 in Blog |
April 14th – I have accepted The Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge to write daily about my disease. #HAWMC @wegohealth
Willing to Go to Any Lengths.
When I started treatment, my physician warned me that my life needed to change. It had already changed so much I didn’t really know what he meant by that statement. I was already so exhausted and in so much pain, I couldn’t imagine how much worse my life could get. As Yolanda Foster mentioned in her recent speech, ‘meeting Mr Herxheimer was a rude awakening and probably the worst date I have ever been on.’
What I did understand was that my number one goal needed to be healing. And I knew that I was willing to go to any lengths to heal.
My physician gave me an idea of what to expect, emphasizing the amount of rest I needed. Luckily, I was able to make some major decisions quickly which I believe were an integral part of my healing.
#1 – I stopped going out of the house after 5 pm. I knew when I got tired, I tended to fall easily. And 5 pm seemed to be my bewitching hour. So I committed to staying home where I was safer. No evening activities for me.
#2 – I gave myself permission to attend a maximum of one activity each weekend. That activity included: grocery shopping, having coffee with a friend, a movie with Jeffrey, going to the farmer’s market. One activity each weekend. MAXIMUM.
#3 – when I was tired, I rested. My physician reiterated the importance of rest. ‘If you don’t rest, your body cannot heal.’ I took it to heart. I spent a lot of time on my bed. Resting meant lying completely vertical; not just sitting on the couch. Resting meant that my head and heart needed to be level with one another. It made a difference.
#4 – Say no without a need to explain the no. I was able to decline invitations more easily and readily without feeling an obligation to explain why. This left me with more time to do the things I wanted to do though I had very little energy to do much.
#5 – I changed my eating habits. I started eating organic foods. I started eating healthier foods. I started drinking green smoothies (this took awhile). I eat organize beef and chicken.
#6 – I got a puppy; my healing buddy. I did this later in treatment when I could handle the responsibilities of a puppy. But my puppy was key in helping me heal; he slept next to me on the bed as I lay there all day long, day after day.
#7 – I followed my physician’s directions. I did what he told me. I took the pills. I still take the pills. Patient compliance is a HUGE part of the healing process.
#8 – From my friend Deb Jansen: Spend a day every so often focusing on the little things: how the leaves on the sidewalk make it slippery or how the squirrels are really crabby or how there is a birds nest in the yard and pay attention every day to the bird on the eggs and then the babies hatching out; anything that will draw you out of focusing on the hurt or the bills or the work to be done. You still have to find ways to enjoy life and when the big things are out of the question, look for the little things you might be missing out on.
#9 – Laughter. I make it a point to laugh for at least 30 minutes every single day. My favorite show is ‘Big Bang Theory.’ I try to watch it every day. When my nephew died by suicide, I ended up watching YouTube episodes of ‘Whose Line is it Anyway?’ I loved the bloopers especially. Laughter heals.
#10 – Stay focused. I kept my eye on the target and knew I needed to stay the course for as long as it took.
And I did. It took 22 months of treatment and I was cured of Bartonella. Another year of treatment and I cleared the Protomyzoa Rheumatica. I have another 6-9 months of treatment for another variant, but then I should be done!