A LYME PATIENT'S JOURNEY TOWARD HEALING
I am just about three weeks post-stem at Infusio and while I'm having some super-swell roller-coaster emotions and ups-and-downs with fatigue and other symptoms (to be expected per the doctor), I'm finding that I am having improved energy overall! It's nothing close to where I should be yet, but here are the improvements I am seeing:
Some things that have not improved yet (mostly neuro-related), but I'm still very early in the game with the healing process:
I've only touched on some of the symptoms that come to mind. As many of you know, Lyme and tick-borne infections affect nearly every part of the body. Most of my symptoms are neuro-related and from what the doctor tells me and from other patient experience, the neurological symptoms take the longest to heal.
The stem-cell healing process is certainly a process of having patience. During the first 100 days the body is going through many changes to try to recalibrate as the stem cells are replicating ten times every ten days. So far, I have experienced a roller-coaster of flares, crashes, and major mood swings, but overall I feel changes happening. I get spurts of energy where I have a tiny glimpse of what the "old Denise" felt like. I know from speaking with other patients and with the doctor that for many patients, they don't see a huge shift until after the 100 days. Some take off and get better and better after stems, while others ride the wave and may not see a real shift until getting to months 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8! Patience is needed for sure while trying to stay focused and positive.
1. Walking: Taking a morning or afternoon walk (albeit slow) helps me with mood and having more energy throughout the day. Some days I simply can't, but that's ok. Before stems, I didn't have this energy to even THINK of walking, but I still have to force myself. It's getting easier, though.
2. Reminders/Affirmations: Reminding myself daily that the stems have just replicated one time over each day and that they are hard at work. I have to see a visual of this daily to remind myself. I'm also trying to remind myself that I'm a "going to get better person" now instead of a "sick person" and I'm trying not to obsess. I am trying to focus on the phrase "being free". I had to leave most sick patient Facebook groups to help get out of this mind-set. Packing all of my supplements collected throughout the years in a box and out of sight was empowering. I also just gave away about 3-months worth of IV PICC line supplies to someone that saved her about $500.
3. Writing: Another thing I'm finding that is helping with motivation is typing things out in updates or in this blog. So, if you are reading this, THANK YOU! You are helping me! For some reason, it is making me feel more accountable. If I type that I'm thinking about doing yoga, for instance, it makes me do it. If I type that I'm having a better day, somehow it keeps me going and propels me to have another better day. Or, at least it's a documented reminder that I CAN have better days when I'm feeling like dog-doo.
For me, writing it out helps to keep my eye on the prize. Otherwise, I feel like I'm just floating out there with a myriad of weird roller-coaster symptoms. It helps me make sense of it. It's almost like re-training your brain. If you say things out loud, it sticks. For me, it sticks even more when I write it out. It's sort of reinforcing the concept of, "Your thoughts become your words; Your words become your actions; Your actions become your habits...". It is helping my brain reprogram into healthier habits - all of which, I think, contribute to healing and beating this.
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