Overcoming Trauma from Chronic Illness

It only took 3 years, one ambulance ride, multiple ER visits, cardiac specialists, multiple doctors, a ridiculous diagnosis of PTSD and being labeled as a mental case to receive a proper diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease. I’m one of the lucky ones. Most patients see many more specialists over the course of more than 10 years to be diagnosed. My medical file is thick. I lost count of the number of tests run on my heart, my head, and my body. Everything was always “normal”. My crazy symptoms must have been in my head because doctors claimed I was normal. Lyme disease is called the great imitator. It can be mistaken for ALS, MS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Alzheimer’s, Chorons, Parkinson’s, and other illnesses. Throughout the years, I had symptoms of many of these illnesses. Muscle weakness, pain, fatigue, cardiac issues, memory loss, hair loss, rashes…the list goes on. Healing has not been a cake walk. It required a couple of doctors who knew this illness inside and out, but also took the time to look at me and help me heal from the inside out. My treatment was filled with unconventional methods to hack my immune system.

It has also required me to overcome the trauma from more that 7 years of being sick. I’m still working on that piece of the puzzle. Healing does not happen overnight. If trauma is not addressed, a person can not find healing. While my life is mostly “normal”, I have my moments of panic, pain, anxiety, cold hands, and fatigue. The trauma of living with years of fatigue, pain, being defeated the moment my eyes opened, and feeling like I would never find healing was overwhelming. Pushing beyond my physical limits will still knock me down. I’ve learned to listen to my body. I’ve learned to back off when my body is done. I also work crazy hard to build up my own strength and stamina. Today, my kids and I had an adventure on the lake with our new stand up paddle boards. Goal by the end of summer…handstands on the board. Cheers to healing and coming back stronger. Be kind to everyone you meet…you never know what battles they may be fighting.

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