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Monday, April 20, 2015

This is What Lyme Disease Did To Me.

2009: Check out my pipes.

April of 2014: No more pipes.
No more running. For reference, I am
with my 14-year-old daughter.

Lyme Disease affects me in three ways:

  1. Severely compromised digestive tract.
  2. Fatigue. As in, can't get out of my chair some days.
  3. "Brain fog". As in can't think straight. (Case in point -- it just took me 10 attempts to spell "straight" correctly). 
If I could fix the digestion, I could live with the fatigue and brain fog.

Digestive malfunction has been my constant companion since 2009. That's when my small intestine shut down. At one point, I literally could not eat. Could not swallow a drop of water. When I think about that, I am reminded about what a miracle it is that I'm still here.

I think I'm here because of my own creativity. At my darkest moment, I was lucky to force down two bottles of Ensure per day for a total of 440 calories. At that rate starvation seemed likely if not inevitable.

Out of desperation, I devised a system of taking 1 sip every 5 minutes. In this way, I would take an entire hour to down a single Ensure. I would take an hour off and then do it all again. In all, I spent six hours per day taking in nutrition.

Over the course of 5 months I moved from liquids to purees to solids, introducing one new food every three days, just like you do with a baby. At one point, there were only 9 foods in all of the world that I could eat. And I was grateful to be eating them.

My Mayo Clinic doctor said in 20 years she'd never seen improvement like mine.

I couldn't eat and now I can. But I am not even close to being cured. My eating is nothing like normal. Neither is my life.