Many people have Lyme disease and don’t know it. For years, I was one of that lucky number. What changed that? A complete disregard for my emotional and physical well-being. Our immune system is the core of our health and happiness. Though it has remarkable stamina, constantly abusing ourselves physically and mentally has consequences. There is the secret to my Lyme disease recovery. I either remain sick or rebuild myself physically and mentally through diet, exercise and meditation.
Camping beside a lake seemed a lovely idea. The moon was full, the loons were calling, and a pesky tick crawled inside my sleeping bag and bit my ankle. Though a cyst formed at the bite, I didn’t understand until years later what happened. After bitten I suffered flu-like symptoms long enough that after six weeks I visited a doctor. Back then, they did not understand Lyme disease. If they had, a strong dose of antibiotics may have killed the bacteria taking root in my body. Being a healthy and fun-loving woman in my twenties, I moved on unaware. If I pushed myself too hard, I had a day or two of sore throat and flu-like symptoms. It was thirty years later I pushed myself so hard I got sick and did not recover. Rather than share a long, sad story about why I didn’t love and respect myself, recovery means rebuilding myself emotionally and physically.
Our bodies want food. This simple logic has been lost in a society of processed food. That nasty stuff inflames our bodies, forcing our immune system to work overtime. Research anti-inflammatory diets. Illness breeds in an acidic, oxygen-deprived body. That is something you can change. You will feel better right away.
Balance your blood sugar. Dr. Barry Sears is my blood sugar hero. His second book, “Mastering the Zone”, is easier to understand than his first. You may balance your insulin, a hormone, through diet. While it is different from a typical American diet, it is nourishing and easy to understand. Basically, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and a lean protein source triumphs one of sodium, sugar and processed foods. You may feel deprived in the beginning, as those foods are addictive, but as your mind clears and your health improves cravings vanish.
Exercise is necessary. You aren’t going to get better sitting on the couch. It might surprise you how fast exercise improves your health. If possible, take your exercise outdoors. You don’t need a health club membership for fresh air, trees, bird song and the wind. Remember, balance; start slowly and build. A short walk is a perfect beginning.
Prayer and meditation. For me the two are the same. How you pursue this is personal. It could start with spending quiet time each day. If you want instruction, there is plenty available on the Internet, through books and classes. Follow your instincts, but don’t neglect this vital practice. Reducing stress is necessary to recovery.
By taking care of myself I felt better right away. Still, Lyme does not go away. My goal is to improve my immune system enough that the symptoms recede to the background. I feel better all the time, but still have bad days, though they are fewer and further apart. Considering how sick I was, where for six years I was too weak and in too much pain to function, I am grateful for having my life back.