Lyme, you can't kill me.
Part 1: The Sickness
Part 2: The Healing
Part 3: The After
It has been 10 years since I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Right away, I don't think me or my family knew just how much my life would revolve around this peculiar illness. At the age of 8 (when I first was bit), I don't think I would have believed anyone who would tell me that I would suffer from Chronic Lyme for over 9 years before seeing any significant improvement. During those 9 years, I didn't want improvement - I wanted healing.
My health journey really starts way before I was even bit. I was one of those babies who had strange symptoms that the Doctors could never figure out. I combated strange sudden fevers that would come on for about a year as a toddler. All my life I have had some sensitivities to food, but before 2015, wasn't able to pin down anything.
My childhood consisted of spending as much time outside as possible. At the age of 4, I learned how to ride a snowmobile, and after that I was pretty familiar with barreling around on any off- road vehicle. I was a girl for sure - I played with barbies and loved to go shopping. However, you would mostly find me up in a tree or out playing in the mud (and yep, I was probably wearing all my new clothes.) I loved being outside; I knew it would always be something that I thought was fun, and made me happy.
I grew up in a strong Christian home, and what I like to always tell people is that at a young age, I choose to believe in Jesus Christ because I knew it was truth, not just because that is what I was raised in. Throughout my youth, my faith was strengthened and stretched from my illness. It was a huge testimony grower.
8. I was 8, almost 9. I had all the 'typical symptoms' with Lyme. Feeling sick, no energy, just not yourself. I remember waking up early one morning to find my dad eating breakfast before he left for a hard day of work. I asked him to look at my back (where the deer tick had bit me), I remember as he looked, his face grow huge with concern. I had a full blown bullseye. This rash that is typical for Lyme, was on my back, and it looked just like the Target logo!
That was the start. I went downhill fast. I remember days, upon days of laying on the couch, thinking I was dying. At 9 years old I told my mom "I just want to die" and still when I explain it to people, I say it feels like you are dying. We went to emergency, saw Doctor after Doctor, tried medicine, and were finally sent to a special disease Dr. I went in to see every month, sometimes getting 10 huge tubes of blood drawn at a time, I was on tons of antibiotics that made me feel even more sick. By this time, my symptoms were up and down, and they were becoming the ones that Doctors say "You will have to live with them the rest of your life".
When I was 10ish, I got bit again, and yes, you can get re-infected. Eventually, my special disease Doctor said he did all he could do for me, and that the infections were gone, but the symptoms would remain.
My symptoms: feeling like I was dying, dyslexia, achey body, arthritis in my hands and knees, emotional instability, foggy mind, unable to focus, not able to tan, extreme stomach pain, extreme weight fluctuations (up to 40lbs!), hair loss, smell sensitivity, light sensitivity, constant pain, headaches, and other strange ones.
There were many years in between that I just tried to live with it. Lyme can hide in so many ways, I knew that the enemy was trying to deceive me so bad. My stomach hurt all the time, I was sick, Doctors said I needed therapy for all my anxiety, and before I knew it I fell into a eating disorder that almost caused me to die. Thankfully, God healed me in a MOMENT (one of the most supernatural, amazing things I have experienced). I no longer had issues with that (and no longer do! Wahoo!), but something was still wrong. I gained the weight I had lost, only to lose it again - this time for no apparent reason at all. I could eat and eat, but my body kept wasting away. In 2014, at 17 years old, I quickly fell down under 80 pounds - I was sick, my stomach was HUGE, it was like a huge pregnant belly, except it was just my intestines inflamed. Through the 10 years, I would hide away a lot. It was so consuming and barely anybody understood. I received TONS of messages of concerns about how sick I looked, and I must have mental problems. (Whenever I had energy, I would go outside and do what I love. You can see in my face how thin and sick I was - it is crazy to look back.)
Through this though, I feel into a deep season of worship. I listened to worship music all day, for MONTHS. As a family we felt strong in the Lord during this time and knew that He was about to move mightily. I knew that He was going to heal my Whole person. I was ready. At the time, living with it for around 8 years, I knew there had to be a different way - I don't think God would ever just say, "You have to deal with these symptoms for the rest of your life." I started thinking about Heaven on Earth. There had to be a way to get my health back! And start healing! That is when we pressed in hard with prayer, and decided to take an approach that not many people do - a natural, holistic way, and partnering with God for the most natural way to heal. I never knew just how much more I would learn from this.
(Stay tuned for Part 2: The Healing!)