Hello, welcome back to my glamorous life. It’s been a cool, fun, easy, calm, straightforward, relaxing week. Can you tell by the number of adjectives that I used that I’m lying.
Happy 2020! I’m still not used to writing that year down, but having separation from 2019 and the disaster that it was feels really good. I’m not a resolution person, but I do like to reevaluate my goals at the beginning of each year and refocus my (limited) energy. As I slowly and steadily climb out of the deep (deep, deep, deep… etc) pit Lyme threw me into, the one thing I’ve been looking forward to the most is returning to exercise.
I grew up in sports and dancing competitively, my degree was made up of classes like Exercise Physiology and Strength and Conditioning, I took yoga for elective credit as much as I could, kept a minor in dance, worked with a personal trainer and genuinely loved going to the gym, my future career is all about improving quality of life through movement. Exercise and movement is my happy place, its where I feel the most grounded, peaceful, and joyful. Moving, working, sweating, and breathing have a unique way of bringing you back to yourself. When you’re alone on a run or in the midst of a yoga flow, the only thing you have to do is be present and honest with yourself. It’s soothing and invigorating. Lyme took that from me for over a year, but NOT ANYMORE!!! 2020 is the year I feel like a human again!!
One of my 3 concrete (and attainable) goals for the first few months of 2020 is going to yoga once a week. I’ve never loved yoga, but it’s the perfect middle ground for my ability right now. The right class will get my heart rate up, work my muscles, and give time for restorative and healing breathing. I’m very very far from being able to walk in the gym and lift weights or go for a run, but my muscles don’t remember how to be muscles anymore so they need something.
The last week of December I jumped into physical therapy to help with pain management and that reminded me how much I crave the feeling of working out. So last week I went to my first yoga class! I was definitely nervous walking in, there was no way for me to tell how my body would respond to physical exertion and I was scared I’d have to quit halfway through.
I made it through the whole class without overdoing it and everything felt SO GOOD! In savasana, the final resting pose, the teacher guides you through breathing and a short reflection. And yeah, I cried. I was so happy to be moving and so relieved that I was able to do the whole class without any issues. My body was able to give me something I’d been craving for sooo long without any disappointment, modification, or compromise.
Living with chronic illness is hard and complex in a lot of different ways (lol duh), but this made me realize something I hadn’t thought about yet. As someone working through disease, you are required to be tuned into your body. You need to track symptoms, be aware of the effects of medications, key into any changes and communicate those to doctors, there’s a constant conversation between brain and body and a heightened sense of awareness. But all of that is really painful to do. Physically it hurts, because you’re always bringing your attention back to your pain (as if you could forget about it…) and emotionally, you’re constantly reminding yourself of your disability and having to keep it at the forefront of your mind. It’s a never ending stream of your unpleasant reality.
During that class I was cued into my body and for the first time since Fall 2018, it wasn’t painful. I was confronted with ability, success, and freedom – instead of disability, defeat, and shortcoming. That is enough to cry about!!! It was a much needed reprieve and gave me a glimpse of what’s to come. So yeah, I did cry in savasana!! I’m not ashamed!! I’m so proud of my body and it’s strength to heal from disease. I love the little moments of amazement and appreciation that wash over me.
Okay next up on the list, I threw up blood. Turns out I have a small tear in my esophagus. Most likely from the asinine amount of pills I have to swallow on a daily basis. This whole experience was not fun. In fact, it was horrible. It’s also a testament to everything I’ve been through that I was not at all shocked, phased, or scared when this happened hahahah. I honestly did not think anything of it and said “Just another day in the life!” until I told my friends and they were all very concerned. Thankfully its nothing too serious or severe and now I’m working to repair the lining across my GI system so it doesn’t flare up again. This also means that I get a free pass from (most) of my pills 🙂 For the next week or so I only have to take 8 pills! Instead of 54! Is this what complete liberation feels like??
In the midst of my esophagus issues, I left nashville and headed west to the promised land (I say sarcastically) of Phoenix, Arizona. Let it be heard that I do not like the desert. Let it be repeated that I do not like the desert. But that god-forsaken desert is home to some of my favorite people, so I still look forward to going. I joined my parents and my sister for a little family vacay, we spent time with great family friends and my mom’s parents. Our Holidays last month were crazy because I was in a big herx flare and my dad was on call so he had to work a lot, so this was like a mini do-over! We did all the family fun things and reconnected. We’ve always taken a lot of family vacations and use that to really connect with each other and have fun, but life has been so crazy I can’t remember the last time we were all together (not at home). We went to Top Golf and I gripped the clubs so tight that my forearms are still not recovered 6 days later. I got to watch The Bachelor with my mom which is absolutely our favorite thing to do together. We ate lots of good food and got in some arguments, something about the desert really affects the Reburn clan and we kind of lose our minds.
It was also the full moon last week, which can be wild for Lymies. People say the life cycle of the bacteria aligns with the moon cycles so full moons often accompany flares. Physically and emotionally I definitely felt the full moon in all of its glory. I was unable to mount an emotional response for so much of last year, now that I do have emotions again I’m relearning how to handle them and it’s a nice big lovely mess.
Coming off of my stint in the desert, it feels good to be back in Nashville 🙂 Today I got my blood drawn, ran some errands, went to yoga, grocery shopped, took a long nap, went to the infrared sauna, cooked dinner, did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, got a milkshake, and wrote a blog post. And I’m still standing. I’m awake, alive, and writing a blog post!! I cannot believe it and texted my mom in absolute awe. Look what I did!! I had a productive and fun and full day! Not even by my Lyme standards, by normal people standards. :)))))))
This week I started to feel like a human, not just like a walking disease. And it feels GOOD.
As always, thank you, truly, for reading and being with me through all of this. Disulfiram Diaries: Month 2 is coming soon!
Until Next Whine,