Fundraiser for Lyme Disease: I’m a Warrior But I’m Not at War
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It was back in January, right after I first heard THOSE WORDS, “Your symptoms are consistent with Lyme Disease,” that I made my last post. Since then I’ve been trying to process, seek help for and integrate that news. (Plus, my brain has been toast. The posts I tried to write go in circles and make no sense.)

In the five months following there’ve been over forty health appointments and countless vials of blood drawn. A handful of those appointments yielded more unsavory news such as multiple viruses, bacterial infections, toxic levels of mercury as well as other heavy metals. No wonder I’m so exhausted! My immune system has been working  nonstop trying to knock out the undesirables.

There was talk of my body being poisoned by GMO foods. Ever heard of that? Just as Lyme is hotly debated, so is this topic. To the “scientific minds” (or those paid) to quickly to attack this possibility I say: A serious threat to one’s life tends to open the mind to all possibilities. After much reading online, it seems that science is just as full of opinions and personal spin as my posts are. In my research I’ve come across stories of “sciencey types” who completely change their tune once they, or a loved one, personally experiences a “mystery” illness.

This article in Elle magazine covering GMO poisoning was thought provoking, and of course, blasted by commenters. The waters are so muddied that truth can no longer be determined by the reasoning mind. If you read it, I hope you’ll allow your gut instinct to be the judge.

Also within my system —a retrovirus, the Covert Ops of viruses. This virus, made of RNA(which has vital roles in the coding, decoding, regulation, and expression of genes) has the ability to enter normal DNA cells, take them over, turn them into a virus cell and then get away with hiding in plain sight simply by keeping up the appearances of a DNA cell. The body won’t attack DNA cells because the real ones are the good guys. This is how an immune system can become so compromised. Retrovirus cells can duplicate, taking over more and more healthy cells while keeping themselves under the radar.  (Thankfully, I do not have HIV, but the retrovirus is in that family.)

Interestingly, GMO-foods are totally linked to RNA and retroviruses. In a quote from the book Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know, author Robert Paarlberg writes:

“In 2002, one UK organization named Farming and Livestock Concern went so far as to warn officials from the government of Zambia that it would be unwise to accept GMO maize from the U.S. as food aid because inside the human body it could form a retrovirus similar to HIV.”

raffle fundraiser for lyme kim vazquezOn my journey to finding the right professionals to make these diagnoses I’ve sat in front of a host of medical doctors who, after ordering blood work that came back normal leaned in the same direction:

” You have symptoms of depression.”

“Kim, we really should talk about anti-depressants.”

“We need to set you up with a psychologist.”

Gotcha. It’s all in my head.

One doctor even tossed out the words “Somatization disorder” which means I have psychological anxiety that’s producing real physical symptoms. When I asked that same doctor if I could have Lyme, he looked me in the eye and stated matter-of-factly, “There’s no Lyme in California.”

Yet, the website for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) says there is:

“Lyme disease is spread through the bite of a blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis or Ixodes pacificus) that is infected with Borrelia burgdorferi. In the United States, most infections occur in the following endemic areas: Northeast and mid-Atlantic, from northeastern Virginia to Maine, North central states, mostly in Wisconsin and Minnesota, the West Coast, particularly northern California

Local newspaper articles also confirm Lyme:

Auburn Journal 

Press Tribune

Sacramento Bee

And so does the “positive for Lyme” blood test that I got through another doctor following my visit with Dr. No Lyme in California.

You know what makes me psychologically anxious? Doctor’s who imply that I’ve got a mental problem when my gut tells me I’m dying.

For many folks getting an accurate Lyme test is elusive because the bacterial spirochetes that cause Lyme specialize in being elusive. In my case, a Western blot test showed past exposure/infection to Lyme along with a current/recent active infection.

At best guess I’ve been living with these infections for at least 7-10 years, making it a “chronic case.” The Chronic Lyme experience is very different than say for the person who gets bit by a tick, gets a rash, goes to the doctor, gets a months course of antibiotics and is successful in eradicating the Lyme infection. In this best case scenario life can be fabulously normal again.

If untreated for years, Chronic Lyme begins to distort so many aspects of life that it’s hard to remember what normal feels like. It can turn “living” into “surviving” and has the potential to do permanent damage to the body and brain. Through long-term taxation of your organs, it may also end your life.

Untreated Lyme is deadly.

No wonder I felt like I was dying for the last few years. There’s something almost indescribable about feeling your life force wane. The word fatigue doesn’t begin to cover it. If you can imagine the exhaustion you’d feel from crawling out of quicksand, after you’d just finished a big move to a new house during which you moved heavy furniture while sick with pneumonia, that’s probably pretty close. When you’re losing your life force, it’s eerie and unmistakable.

Receiving the answer to a collection of bizarre health symptoms felt wonderful, yet also like being sentenced to a slow and painful death.

You see, the go-to treatment for Chronic Lyme is round after round of fierce antibiotics, taken for YEARS. But, me and antibiotics— we fight with each other before a week is up.

I’d already invested in specialists to help me heal. The stakes are high, I couldn’t help but wonder- Have I made the right choices? Without antibiotics, can I really be helped? What if tearing my gut apart with antibiotics was inevitable and trying other things was getting me behind on healing, possibly walking toward deeper suffering or death?

I was sitting with some big questions having no idea what to do.

raffle fundraiser for lyme 1To empower myself and boost my spirit, I went online to do research. I scoured health forums looking for shining beacons of hope—Those Who Had Healed. Once I found them I planned to narrow it down to those who’d healed without antibiotics, hoping their stories would yield clues to what might heal me.

The result of my search was slim pickins, so I began to look for just Those Who Had Improved.

In the improved category there were lots of stories about folks who responded well to antibiotics, only to have their symptoms return once they quit taking the medications. Can I get a dislike button for that?

This was a different world I had entered, the World of Online Lyme. It’s a world through which an Empath (a person with the “gift” of feeling other’s emotions) must tread lightly and take plenty of mental breaks.

Wandering through this land of raw agony, the Lyme world, would end up testing my spirit, mind and sanity. I’d both witness and feel fear, frustration and anger. The “justice theme” that makes up a part of my personality kept getting triggered by outrageous injustice. My ability to stay in the moment would be challenged and I’d fight to not project worry upon my future.

Amidst the torment, however, I found equally raw beauty— loving groups of “Lymies” banded together, bearing witness to each other’s anguish and offering compassion to each other.

Although I went in hoping for stories of healing and ideas on treatment, the information I found had me coming out the other side with even more concern.

I now knew that Lyme treatment is not covered by insurance and it costs thousands of dollars a year to treat. How am I going to pay for that?

Words are powerful!

The words I read in forums offered me concepts of microscopic spiraling monsters living inside my body, bacteria and infections so evil, so adaptive, that they can hide anywhere within to ensure their survival until they end mine. Words lingered in my mind: “My body is attacking me… My immune system has turned on me… Lyme is trying to kill me.”

As I read these words they twanged awkwardly against my soul like a guitar grossly out of tune. And yet, they stayed for awhile in my head making me uncomfortable and lost.

I Am a Warrior but I’m Not at War

Slowly, the horror wore off and I began to release those words, clearing space for new ones and creating a pathway through which my divine guides could reach me again.

It finally became clear: To begin healing, I would need a belief system that supports healing and a treatment program that I can put faith in. But, how to get there?

The question~ Do I believe that I can “battle” or “be at war” with anything within me and heal at the same time? Those are two very conflicting energies.

The answer~ I just can’t bring myself to be at war within this amazing body that’s endured and adapted to so much in order to keep me alive.

raffle fundraiser for lyme 2I am not at war with anything inside me.

I’m not battling for my life.

My body is not housing the enemy.

While certain life factors and genetics made me a candidate more likely to become ill, had I not spent so many years ignorant about how to care for myself I don’t believe I’d be experiencing this deficit of health. What my body has gone through keeping me alive, is nothing short of a miracle. I am awed. My body is not the betrayer. I am.

I didn’t honor my body as a temple that houses a divine soul, because I didn’t know any better.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

That’s what I’m giving it today. I must be here on earth for a reason.

Call me crazy, but I believe whatever is going on within— even the presence of bacteria, infections and viruses— is all part of divine body intelligence.

Do these buggers really want to kill their host, thereby ending their own existence? If they’re so freaking clever, aren’t they too smart for that,too?

I’m willing to entertain the idea that there may be a function for them that helps to save my life rather than end it. Bacteria serves a purpose in our world. Perhaps they are busy preventing cancer within me.

I am not at peace with the idea that I need to KILL THE BACTERIA. KILL THE LYME. KILL THE VIRUSES.

Angel route 444

 

I am aligned with this:

Supporting and restoring my immune system to optimal function so it may heal what ails me. Once given what it needs and currently lacks, I believe the body knows what to do.

 

 

 

Can I Heal on the Road Less Traveled?

Once I let go of the idea of battle, harmony returned to my being. That’s was the first step.

The next question was—Am I brave enough to invest all of my belief in what my gut says will heal me even if it’s contrary to popular opinion? For it to work, I must believe.

I decided to put my faith in the Spiritual Law of Cause and Effect— Karma.

I don’t believe I’ve been bad and I deserve to suffer. I’m not talking about this Karma, “the Bitch.” The Karma I know is the balancer of life experience and teacher of compassion. She revealed that my life was terribly off course and a correction was needed. Some of us are so detached from cause and effect that we have to lose everything, including our health, before we understand what really matters.

In the simplest explanation —The effect is Lyme.

My total inability to value and honor myself through love or lifestyle

(because I didn’t know how) was the cause.

Using the same Law of Cause and Effect, I believe that if I apply a new Karma formula there will be a new outcome.

My new formula looks like this:

Trust my life with only those specialists who are willing to be my partner in health, rather than my dictator. I will weigh their suggestions and allow my instinct to lead.

Nurture. I eat now as if my life depends on it, because it does. As does yours. The quality of what I eat is priority. I go to great lengths to feed myself NUTRIENTS with love.

Who I spend time with matters. The quality of my friendships matter. Loving words matter. The presence of gentleness and peace matter. Resolving any feelings of disharmony quickly matters. Speaking with love matters. Authenticity matters.

I will continue to get better at noticing when I’m compromising myself, because all of my needs matter now.

Today I intend to treat myself gently, like precious cargo, which means I’m not the woman I was when I contracted Lyme. I continue to evolve and become New From the Inside Out.

Another incredibly important change is that I have lost my will to be an Army of One. I know I need help.

No matter what route— alternative medicine or Lyme Literate doctors— the process, length of time and cost of healing Lyme is no joke. It’s serious business that costs thousands a year and it’s not covered by insurance.

This is a fundraiser, my way of putting myself out there, boldly hoping that it’s part of the solution.

Will your investment in my health treatments really make a difference? Will I be able to get better? I believe so.

Why? Because on Easter Sunday this year my knees stopped working for me. It felt as if someone was relentlessly stabbing me with an ice pick. I couldn’t stand up and had to scooch around the house on my bottom. It was terrible and my heart went out to the many Lyme patients who have ended up in wheelchairs. For weeks afterward on days that I could stand without support I still had to wrap both knees in ace bandages to keep going. On the days I couldn’t stand on my own I had to use a walker. I’m in my forties for goodness sake! This was a heavy emotional experience for me.

Today, I still have the occasional stabbing knee pain that stops me in my tracks, but I haven’t had to wear an ace bandage for a month now. Why? Because I’ve been receiving treatment for my knee that is helping. YAHOO!!!!

There are many costs involved with making a total lifestyle change and acquiring the gear to support health. Some of these I’ve managed to get by having garage sales or selling items on craigslist. But there’s a few big ticket items left. On the top of that list is the removal of two mercury fillings that continue to drip poison into my system.

Above all else, I need to continue with regular visits to the specialists I’ve chosen to be on my Dream Team.

th_Scale-EvenIn order to learn all we need to learn in this lifetime I believe that Karma will balance what has been out of balance, one way or another.

I used to be a “cool chic” who denied her needs to avoid being considered “high maintenance.” I used to give too much, do too much, try and be too much.

I’ve been told that this part of the Lyme journey is about receiving with grace. It’s very possible that the epilogue to my healing story will say: Lyme has balanced what was out of balance in me.

I hope you will join me on my journey. Know that your prayers, loving thoughts and donations impact my life greatly!

This post was originally (and a lot more comfortably) intended to be attached to a raffle giveaway, but I was notified by Paypal that raffles fall into their realm of gambling. If you would still like to help, the Donation button is still allowed.

While I had a moment (or two) of feeling devastated that I could no longer work with that intention, (because it’s much easier on me psychologically to offer a prize rather than ask for a donation), many times in the past when things didn’t go my way it was a blessing in disguise. Dear God, please allow me to recognize the blessing here.

Gift cards to stores and online stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Vitacost or Amazon will be gratefully accepted. I also have a PO box if you wish to contact me directly. Just email me through this site for it.

If you were here, please click “like” on the links. I will understand that you don’t “like” that I’ve got Lyme. Your “like” becomes part of a number count that lets me know I’m not alone here on this page.

Please help me share the message! Tweet it, share it on Facebook or email a friend with the link. All the handy links are at the bottom of this page to make it easy. Many thanks for your help. I appreciate it!

I know that many people suffer with all kinds of chronic illnesses. I don’t have the corner of the market on health challenges. To those reading who are also experiencing life lessons from illness, I send my love out to you and picture you surrounded with a heavenly posse of healers.

If you’re nervous after reading this, I don’t blame you, but that’s not my intention. I’m all about education and prevention. The number one way to ensure you or a loved one doesn’t get Lyme is to protect your immune system function. Eat the highest quality foods you can afford, forgoing sugar and non-organic dairy and focus on your nutrients. For tick prevention read more on the links below!

Peace & love to you always,

Kim

More Lyme info:

Tips on Prevention: Click here to read an informative piece on Lyme by California Park Ranger, Steve Diers, a Lyme sufferer. (It was written back in 2005, but still has relevant information.)

Abc News:  Cost and Controversy of Lyme

Doctor’s who treat Lyme face peer disdain and harassment: Did you know that states have to pass laws to protect doctors who treat Lyme from harassment? 

Watch the Lyme Movie: Under Our Skin

Disclosure: The grammar or typing errors likely to be contained within this post are a symptom of Lyme. Go easy on me. :)

I’d love to hear from you! Scroll down to find the reply area and please share with us!

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© 2014 Kim Vazquez All rights reserved. www.kimvazquez.com You may make copies of this message and distribute in any media as long as you change nothing, credit the author, and include this copyright notice and web address.

An Autoimmune Warrior: The Unlikely Look of Lyme
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On Wednesday I was at TJ Maxx looking for a pair of jeans. My arm cried out in pain as I slid a pair of jeans from one side of the rack to the other, as if I’d just lifted a 50 lb. dumbbell. Determined to at least try a pair on, I threw them into the cart and headed into the dressing rooms. Once inside I leaned against the wall to steady myself. Heat from within blasted me like fire from a blow torch. Chanting quietly, I sternly affirmed to myself, I will not pass out. I WILL NOT PASS OUT.

I waited it out breathing a sigh of relief when I could stand on my own. I put the jeans on and stepped up to the three-way mirror. “Hey, look at your hair,” my mind said, “it looks like straw.” Right. Thanks for that.

As I lifted my leg to get out of the jeans, pain, heat and dizziness began again. I needed to leave the store. Now.

Extreme fatigue and pain is what I press on through in normal daily life, but this level of weakness? My concern is growing.

On Thursday, one day later, I was at an appointment with a new specialist. “I’m not going to lie to you,” he said. “It’s serious.”

As terrible as those words were to hear, they were also a bit like the song of angels. Finally! Someone in the medical field was acknowledging what I’ve known for so long: There’s more to my health story than what’s been discovered.

The irony of intuitive gifts is that when something isn’t right, I know it. I carry unshakable unease, without being able to identify the problem. For those I love the most, my family, friends, dog, myself, the details are blanked out by emotional attachment.

For years I’ve been without a guide, someone knowledgeable in the field of “whatever it is that ails me.” Alone, these waters are treacherous. I’ve been hanging onto the boat for dear life, celebrating every time the waters calm, praying hard for a sign of land every time another storm begins. I’ve longed for a mentor versed in the language and science of the body, one who can hear its screams and still believe that it can be healed rather than “managed.”

“Your heart has been affected,” he said, “as well as your pancreas.”

I watched my mom’s eyes widen from across the room.

I like it when she comes with me to appointments because I don’t always retain what the practitioners tell me. Her eyes were acknowledging what I’d said to her a couple weeks prior. I’d been researching my microbiology test results online.

“Mom, I have a feeling this has to do with my pancreas,” I’d said. It keeps coming up around me, but I’m so tired. I can’t do any research on it, because I’m just not ready to accept more right now.”

On some level I already knew, but I wasn’t ready.

“You have trouble sleeping don’t you?” He asked, while checking my vitals.

“Right. I do not sleep well.”

“You have to eat every couple hours?”

“Yes,” I answered. “Or else my brain shuts down and I lose the ability to talk.”

“And your feet are cold?”

“My toes are numb.”

In the last couple weeks my toes had become uncomfortably numb with a purple cast. Six days before, it took over 25 minutes sitting inside an infrared sauna before they finally became warm. Not good.

It’s hard to remember exactly what he said in our appointment because icy chills began to ripple the length of my body, distracting me from his words. It wasn’t news to me that a lot of body systems were involved with an “Immunity Disorder” but his take on things was new, with an eerily accurate feel.

I quietly freak on new information before I can absorb it. The freaking had begun.

It was something about circulation, oxygen, the way my heart and pancreas have to work extra hard. Sleeping challenges my body because it’s basically fasting. Without food every 2 hours it struggles.

I thought of my nights. Lately, getting up to use the bathroom at night has been difficult. I feel trapped under my covers as my arms feebly attempt to lift them off me. When my arms are unsuccessful I wiggle my leg to the side seeking cool air, then use my leg plus a rolling maneuver to escape the weight of the comforter.

Staggering to the bathroom, my legs complain about the walk. The heat blast begins, taking over my whole body except my toes which remain stubborn to warmth. Dizzy, I stumble back to bed. My stomach grumbles with hunger so I drink the water I’ve purposely placed bedside so I can drown the middle-of-the-night feeling of starvation. When I lay back down, I stay outside the covers, sweating, and waiting for the strength to get back in.

I might fall back asleep within a half-hour, but only if I succeed in keeping my mind mushy throughout the trek. Otherwise, it’s wide awake, with bonus time to think about how much this sucks.

Blood sugar issues? Would you believe that my medical record doesn’t show as much as a small glucose issue? Yet, each year the window between how often I have to eat before I crash has been growing smaller. I remember when it was four hours, then three. In the past year I’ve dropped below three. I could be slowly dying, but my labs will “look good.”

I thought of the varicose veins now featured on my calves. Like cracks in the ice gaining speed, they’ve fanned out and spread. My legs are way too young to look this old! You could say that circulation is a problem.

As I listened to the specialist, things were coming together for me. His explanations matched my symptoms in a way that no one else ever had. And then he said it…

“Your symptoms are consistent with a bacterial infection like Lyme Disease.”

My memory flashed quickly to a bulls-eye ring rash that my ex- husband had on his chest once. He went to the doctor. They said it was nothing. Me? I don’t remember one.

Does this look like the face of Lyme?

The face of Lyme?

“How long do you think you’ve had this infection?” the specialist asked. Based on severity of symptoms, we both did some calculations, settling at between 7-10 years.

“NOOOOOOOOOO,” I wanted to scream.

“Let’s not get attached that word as a label though,” he said, seeing the look on my face.

“In fact, we have a code number for what’s going on with you. We actually don’t use the word Lyme here. That word was for you to understand the seriousness of the bacterial infection in your nervous system and nature of what you’re dealing with.”

Giving the infection a code word was brilliant, I thought to myself.

What can a label do for— or do to— a chronically ill person? They validate. But if you hang out with them too long they can really mess with your head.

I already have a cluster of labels. The first, “Neurological Endocrine Immunity Disorder,” given to me, I believe, to somehow honor and differentiate the level of cognitive issues I experience. Then there’s “Chronic Fatigue Immune Dsyfunction SyndromeFibromyalgia,  Adrenal Fatigue, PTSD,…” the list goes on.

The person cast into the role of The Autoimmune Warrior is likely to meet up with the cascade effect. Once one body system is overtaxed that can lead to another body system becoming overtaxed, so one label often leads to another.

But Lyme? Dear Lord, what I don’t need is another uphill battle, another medically-debated, often-discredited, only half-believed disease. Do I really have the mojo for this? The absolute last thing I need is a bacterial infection that requires treatment by annihilation. The medical weapon: A cannonball of fierce, gut destroying antibiotics.

My soul whispers to me that my immune system won’t survive the antibiotic plan. I am acutely aware that I have little defense against a cannonball. I tried that once and cheated death.

Eight years prior I almost died, my weight free-falling 17 pounds in two short weeks, landing below 100. One never forgets what it feels like when organs threaten to shut down while no medical cause reveals itself.

(Read bottom right corner of this link for antibiotic story.)

Was that the onset of this disease? I wonder. Could that go round with IV antibiotics have been enough to suppress the Lyme symptoms for a while?

Was this the proverbial catch 22? Because I was never the same again. My immune system didn’t recover. Back then, I didn’t know to take mega doses of probiotics to offset the flora damage. My health began it’s slow and steady decline.

I respect doctors and believe they choose their professions for the noble reason of helping others. A diagnosis can save life. But I’m not down with their little pills anymore. Through personal experience I’ve learned that while one manages the symptoms of chronic illness with synthetic drugs, the body gets torn down from the inside out. Medication may save me in catastrophic circumstances, but they aren’t going to heal me.

face of lymeRight now I need less destruction and more healing.

In contrast, as we left the alternative specialist’s office that day I had a healing plan, a way to support the body while it uses its innate God-given wisdom to heal. I’ve been telling myself that my body knows how to heal. I just haven’t found the key— the sacred code— that will unlock my healing door.

When I’d been inside the office listening to my new practitioner, he’d said to me, “Your body wants to heal. It’s got its own special code, a combination that will unlock the door to healing.”

Ding. Ding. Ding. We all know I watch for signs.

I left the office stunned, the beginning stages of grief settling in. There are so many of us living with autoimmune conditions, in fact, enough to be called  The Autoimmune Epidemic and yet it’s still a long, lonely road.

To look at me, it’s hard to believe that I’m not just a whiner or hypochondriac. Because I’m naturally thin, I look pretty fit.  When I use energy to put on make-up and curl my hair, not only do I look F.I.N.E, fine, I look healthy. On a good day I can still sound intelligent.

Driving home from the appointment Mom says to me, “Now, I hope you don’t get it in your head to go researching this like crazy.”

Who me? Go a little OCD on something? Turns out that’s one of the neurological symptoms of Lyme. I know this because I researched it. Chuckle.

Read more about that here. 

What I heard Mom saying was, “You don’t need to learn more, just get your treatment and be okay.”

But, that’s not me.

As I drove home I was alternating between feelings of devastation and incredible gratitude, pretty certain that my Creator had just delivered me to the answers I’ve desperately called out for in my heart.

Once I did get online, I recalled all the times I came right up to Lyme in my prior research, read the symptoms, felt my gut churn and quick exited the site. Just like my pancreas symptoms, some part of me knew and didn’t want it to be true.

Yolanda Foster, a woman from Beverly Hills Housewives recently became the face of Lyme disease. Watching the show last season, I could tell she didn’t feel well. What’s her story? I wondered.  Googling her name, I easily found her blog.

Yolanda Foster of Beverly Hills Housewives~ Looks healthy right?

Although to me she seems to be the most loving and down-to-earth lady on the show, on her blog she was subjected to cruel judgments. Her thinning hair was the topic of criticism by those commenting anonymously. Come on people, have a little compassion.

The mean comments on her blog reminded me of the mean comments made by my own mind in the TJ Maxx dressing room. “Your hair looks like straw.” 

I thought of the hairs I’m constantly finding clinging to my clothes, my car seat, my purse, my bedding and another chill of recognition went through me.

“Noooo,” I cried to myself, still protesting.

Then I found a video comment Yolanda made about watching herself on the show and witnessing her own struggle. She was challenged to participate in conversations, having difficulty verbally expressing her words. She said her mind was full of words— my mind is full of words. But neither of us can be certain we’ll get them out verbally if we need to. Her many neurological symptoms caused me to reflect on a post I wrote months ago in which I wondered if this is what autism feels like. Cold goose bumps ran down my arms again.

Full of all the information and sadness I could process for one night, I went to bed rippling with anxiety attacks, now understanding why I had strange sensations in my chest.

The next morning I was thinking about the brain limitations I work with. The variable, moving targets, are ever-present—a daily mental obstacle course.

If we are chatting, I cannot have the TV on, a phone ringing, music playing, noise outside, birds chirping loudly, or dog’s barking. Noises in the environment scramble my comprehension code. If you change topics quickly, or choose the wrong word for something, I lose track of you. If I manage to stay with you, it actually hurts.

One time, not long ago, I stepped up to the counter at Rubio’s to order lunch at the same time a boisterous woman stepped up beside me to order hers. As she bellowed out her order I became so discombobulated that I stood there staring at my order taker, unable to speak, unable to move, a visitor from the Twilight Zone.

Multi-tasking is something I once excelled at. Now it’s a story of days gone by. Four years ago my husband (ex) had a habit of talking to me while I was trying to pay for groceries. My brain would freeze up mid-process. Internally I’d get distressed, embarrassed to shut down in front of the Trader Joes clerk with a long line behind me. If my ex continued to talk to me I’d snap at him. He’d thereby get irritated with me or hurt, making me not only the jerk, but also the one who owed an apology. Once safely in the car, he’d try to get over his annoyance and I would cry, unable to explain what was happening inside.

Today I have a one track mind. Those who knew me during my Wonder Woman years are still adjusting to this. If I get interrupted while I’m writing, I struggle to find my path back to where I was in my brain. If I get interrupted when I’m talking I likely won’t remember what I was talking about. If I go off on a tangent—don’t expect me to circle around.

We’ve figured out only recently that I get a bit testy when being read aloud to. Whatever I can’t pace with starts to cause me mental discomfort. 

Perhaps one of the most significant changes, a huge effect that’s been going on eight years now, is that after twenty-four years in the finance business doing numbers and reasoning work, my brain now hates everything about numbers. Calculations, details, paying bills, following instructions and tax preparation were super easy before. Today I’d call them torturous.

On rare occasions, the stars align and I gain brief access, a glimpse, into the part of my brain that, for all those working years, was exceptionally good at documenting files, knew how to create and work within systems, made sense of numbers, was extremely organized and high functioning. It’s only ever a glimpse of the former me that I get to enjoy, but I hold onto it dearly, reveling in the hope it offers.

As vulnerable as I already feel, I cannot imagine where I’d be in my life today if I wasn’t conditioned by my business background. Some of the behavior that carries me today is habitual, rather than a result of thought. I’ve got “taking care of business” grooves ground into my brain, from years of workaholism. My heart goes out to all those on disability who are navigating without a business background. May the force be with you.

The writing you’re reading today IS NOT EASY for me to produce! But, it’s a healing method I use to express in writing what I can’t always find the verbal words to say. Writing is a labor of love that gives me a reason to live. Thank you, God.

And, thank you for reading. To read the back story of my life click here. 

To read more about the neurological aspects of Lyme Disease visit this link: http://www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk/about-lyme/neurology-psychiatry/

To read what I’ve learned about healthy grieving and emotional healing, as well as the myths and healing of Lyme, please sign up to receive upcoming posts. I’m pooped right now, as I’m sure you can imagine, but there’s more to come.

Wishing you all peace and love. Thank you for reading!

Kim

If you were here, please click Like on the links. I will understand that you don’t “like” that I’ve got Lyme. Your “like” helps me know that I’m not alone here on this page.

Disclosure: The errors likely to be contained within are also a symptom. Go easy on me. :)

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© 2014 Kim Vazquez All rights reserved. www.kimvazquez.com You may make copies of this message and distribute in any media as long as you change nothing, credit the author, and include this copyright notice and web address.

 

 

 

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