I woke up with a headache. No big deal. People get headaches sometimes.
The past couple of weeks I had been noticing my hair falling out, my skin being so dry lotion couldn’t even help and so fatigued the smallest tasks became almost impossible.
It was just a weird stage, right?
I had just gone through a rough break up, I was stressed with school and family life, I was in the mental state of wishing my life away, and was so unhappy with where I was and what I was doing… So all and all, I guess you could say I was pretty depressed.
The headache I had on the 28th, got worse on the 29th, which then became even worse on the 30th.
School was about to start back up after Christmas break and I ended up having to miss the first couple of days back. The headache had turned into a migraine and I became physically unable to move. Missing a couple days of school turned into having to become a homebound student while being bed-ridden.
The headache never went away, but after about 3 and a half months, the symptoms I was suffering from turned more into feeling “flu-like” and extremely weak, and less about the headache I was suffering from.
I felt the need to live as much of a normal life as I could, and that meant acting like I was okay sometimes just to gain a small sense of normalcy.
I would go to a basketball game, or out to dinner with my family, occasionally joke around with friends, but what became my way of trying to be normal turned into –
“Wait… if you were really sick you wouldn’t be able to do that.”
You can only feel sorry for someone for so long until you begin to question what is going on. You become ready for things to get back to normal and you start to believe that the person is full of shit and/or doing all of this for attention. How do I know that, you may ask? It’s because people flat out told me I was full of shit, doing all of this to get attention, that I needed to “f*** off” because I was making them looking like they were condoning my actions of “acting” sick by being around them.
It’s not normal for someone to be so sick, but not look the part. It’s not normal to not have a diagnosis after being sick for many years.
It’s not normal… it’s just not.
It’s hard for people to grasp.
“Oh, you’re STILL sick?”
“Well, when are you going to get better?”
“Are you sure it’s not just all in your head?”
You begin to question yourself.
“Am I sick?”
Well of course I am! No one would voluntarily live like this!
I began to tear my family apart.
I began to lose friends.
I became the talk of the town.
I began to lose joy so fast that I questioned God…
Why is this happening?
Is this my fault?
After completing my junior and senior years of high school as a homebound student, my doctors told me that going to college would not be the best idea for me. I still didn’t have a diagnosis at this point and was struggling day to day, but me being me, I didn’t listen. I had longed to leave my small town and the people in it for so long, no one could stop me now!
After BARELY making it through a semester, I had to go back home.
My health had majorly deteriorated and I was no longer able to take care of myself.
In August 2016 at age 19, I was finally diagnosed with Lyme Disease after 3 years of suffering and found I was in the top 5% of CDC positive cases… which means that I, at the time, was a walking breathing spirochete, bacteria & fungi soup. Although I was still so sick, I hadn’t given up the thought of living on my own again. Everyone else I knew was an “adult” and doing “adult things” and I already felt like I was missing out on so much.
My parents came to me one day with the idea of moving out and I jumped at the bit.
I got an apartment about an hour away from my parents’ house. I was far enough away to do my own thing, but if I really needed to, I could easily go home.
I enrolled in a community college to take some classes and got myself a job working just a couple hours each weekend.
After a few weeks, I had to drop out of classes. Not only was going to just one class – twice a week for an hour and a half – physically too much for me to do, my brain wasn’t working. I would study SO hard and for SO long, but it didn’t matter, I failed every test.
After having to drop my class, I held on to my job for dear life. It physically took everything out of me, but it was the only way for me to get a taste of the “outside world”.
After a couple of months, I ended up having to quit that too.
I’m not a quitter.
I’ve always hated quitting things.
But after having a “Come to Jesus” moment with myself, I realized the most important thing was my health and my well-being. It didn’t matter what I had to quit, as long as I didn’t quit on myself. I moved back home a year ago, and my job since that time has been to get better.
I look back to 4 years ago and it makes me want to cry for that poor girl.
I say “that poor girl” because that girl is no longer me.
I have changed, learned, and grown so much in the past 4 years, I don’t think my old self would even recognize me.
All of the pictures that I’ve posted up to this point were taken before my life was 100% commandeered by tickborne illness. That was about as “normal” as my life would ever get… even though looking back, I was nothing like the normal girls. I had so many issues – mental, physical, emotional – I struggled daily, but I just thought that everybody had the same problems… little did I know my body was being taken over by little shits trying their best to kill me!
But to give you all a little hope and faith, I will tell you this…
I just summarized my depressing past, yes… but there were a million great things that happened to me over those years. Day to day, you feel like you aren’t moving very far and that you’re still just as sick as you were a year ago. We always want big improvements faster than they come, but we don’t realize that they are actually happening daily with treatment.
I just got back from a month long excursion in Spain. I did it. I made it. And it was incredible. This time last year I was about as puny as a pale petunia, but since then I have been working with the Jemsek Specialty Clinic, and I’ve been using the AmpCoil for the past 5 months. Something is helping.
Three weeks ago I had a colonoscopy and upper endoscopy done to make sure my abnormal gut health symptoms weren’t leading to anything other than me just being odd and full of problems. Thankfully, everything came back with nothing more than an internal hemorrhoid and some inflammation.
I continue to work on my gut health daily and the AmpCoil is a major factor in that.
Side note… I began cleansing with the AmpCoil immediately upon my return to the states. MISTAKE. After two days, I experienced one of the biggest Herxheimer reactions I’ve ever had. Since then, I’ve backed up and started over. I am currently working through the 30-day Detoxification Journeys and am doing well with it. The AmpCoil is so powerful – you have to take it SLOWLY!!!
After getting back from Spain and recovering from my outpatient procedure, I got right back into a strict heavy medicine cycle. I’ve had two weeks of meds and I’ve been taken down with some bed-ridden days. My next two weeks are lighter meds and I’m hoping to have some easier times. It’s all about the rollercoaster ride.
When your symptoms are all over the place, it’s hard to stay positive, but to get your life back, I’m willing to do anything, and I know you all are too.
Long story short, your health is worth it. Don’t give up on yourself. There are things out there to help you.. There are people out there to help you.. you just have to find them.
Sometimes I think of where I would be and what I would be doing now if none of this had happened…
I wholeheartedly believe that everything happens for a reason. There is not an ounce of me that wishes this had not have happened to me. This is a journey I will be on forever. Each day I am improving and normalizing my symptoms, but it is never not a hassle.
To those currently questioning life while dealing with this dreadful illness – I promise you there are people that love and care for you, and through this trial, you will grow and learn about yourself as well. Positivity is key.