I ended my last post on February 2nd saying “for I know the Rebuild is waiting right on the other side”, so let’s just pick up right where we left off.
After a 3rd month of disulfiram, a month break, and 3 months of herbal tinctures I went in for more lab tests. 2 weeks later I got a call from my doctor.
The word I’d been aching for but didn’t fully trust was coming. After 2 years I was free from active infection and free from fighting every day. It’s so funny when the one thing you’d been hoping for comes true, and all of a sudden you don’t know what to do. In one phone call my reality was totally altered. After I screamed, cried, called my whole phone book to celebrate with me, and felt the purest form of joy maybe ever experienced on planet earth, I just sat there alone for a long time.
- What is my identity now that I won’t say “Hi, I’m Christina and I have Lyme Disease”?
- What does my day look like without 2 appointments and 4 bouts of medicine?
- What does my heart feel like to welcome joy outside of dis-ease?
- How does my spirit move from combat to rest?
- Now that my body is becoming my own again, what do I do with it?
- How do you make 2 years of fighting and the gift of remission ‘worth it’?
All of these questions, iterations of the same paralyzing thought, “how do I rebuild?”
I know that question is not unique to me, especially not in 2020. When your world is turned upside down and all of your familiar ways of operating are broken down or inaccessible, simply moving through the day to day is aggressively disorienting.
At my sickest I felt the warmest peace. Unable to walk more than a few feet and every effort concentrated on breathing, I felt the sun shining on me and in me. In the middle of a seizure, my body at war, my spirit calm.
I wish I could say I’ve been able to stay connected to that peace. Growing back into a body I can trust should only build my faith and gratitude.
But I’m growing into a body I don’t recognize with a faith I don’t understand.
Feelings of abandonment and isolation are far too familiar to all of us now. We’re all growing into a society we don’t recognize with our faiths tested in a new and all-consuming way.
So what do we do … how do we Rebuild?
When our comfort is to gather with friends and that is unsafe. When our reprieve is to go to a concert and that is inaccessible. When our purpose is found in our job and we got let go. When our loved ones are suffering and we’re too distant to assist
With so much swirling around us and no aspect of our lives left untouched, we’ve all been broken down by 2020 a little more than we ever bargained for.
And we’re left with a choice, millions of choices actually, of how to move in it and through it.
Now’s the part when I offer some cool perspective on how I’ve approached the Rebuild post-Lyme in a Covid world, but I don’t have any of that. If I did I’d probably be rich or famous by now.
What I do have are simple joys and the ability to recognize God’s hand in those. When the whole world is so disorienting and I’m unable to tell up from down or left from right, I can still feel Jesus’ company in the companionship of my dog Seaver. And I can see God’s strength in my body’s new capability of completing 16 hour days spent in PT school. And I can know the kingdom community through friends that continue to show up for each other, despite omnipresent stress.
I don’t have a blueprint on how to rebuild after devastation so all I can do is keep searching for my Cornerstone – a sure foundation and orienting peace designed to withstand anything (even Lyme and 2020).
Until Next Whine,
(a newly Lyme-free) Christina
I’ve written and deleted so many versions of a remission post. I think I’ll spend my whole life trying to understand the impact of Lyme on my life and still come up short. I have immense joy and gratitude for everyone that has been with me. Healing doesn’t happen in a vacuum and it doesn’t happen alone; each of you has offered a part of yourselves that came together to fill in all of the cracks Lyme left me with. Thank you for your generosity and willingness to walk with me. While the hard fighting work is done, it feels like I’m only just now starting to heal. Rest, recovery, and rediscovery are coming together as I continue to pick up the pieces and let God shape me into who He designed me to be. Now let’s have a freaking retirement party because I’m officially retired from “full-time treatment”!