August was a busy month, and it taught me a valuable lesson. As my doctor put it: my battery isn’t the same size as everybody else’s and it’s far less efficient.
As per my previous blog post, I had visited Ireland for a wedding and put my best ‘healthy face’ on to enjoy the celebrations. I wasn’t well though and had to visit the pharmacy on the morning of the wedding. Later on in the day back pain arrived, and towards the end of the evening, a fever. But unless I had told you, you wouldn’t know. And this is because like most chronically ill people, I suck it up and keep going till I can’t go anymore.
Also, I’m entitled to have a good time and often get a bit stubborn with myself when it comes to listening to my body… lesson learned. By the time I arrived back at Heathrow a few days later, I had tremors in both arms and slurred speech. I had spilt coffee down my front (not unusual for me but I’m painting a picture here) and I experienced what can only be described as pure exhaustion. Not the kind you get after a long week at work, but the kind that has you bedbound for three days. It’s called post-exertional malaise and effects most people with chronic illness and disease.
On top of the Lyme disease and all its many symptoms, a recent blood test had highlighted that I was deficient in vitamin D. Red blotches had appeared under every fingernail and they were now sporting ridges and cracks.
The temperature spikes were becoming more frequent and finally a kidney infection reared its ugly self. A short course of antibiotics and that was (at least) one problem dealt with.
I’m almost at the end of my cholecalciferol prescription treatment and have also been taking an O-T-C supplement every day and will continue to do so. My nails are slowly healing and I am only just starting to feel more capable, something I also attribute to the daily B12 vitamin I’m taking.
I dragged myself through August and had hoped September would be quieter but it involved nerve conduction studies at two different hospitals, a visit to the GP, five trips to university, the juggling of my dwindling day job and the odd social event.
Last week I left my day job. Something I should have done sooner if I had been listening to my body. But I was well supported and I had a plan in place.
That plan is finally taking form. I’m at uni one day a week, it provides me with a bit of focus and a goal whilst I spend the rest of the week taking care of myself and figuring out how to kick Lyme in the butt. This includes giving hyperbaric oxygen treatment a try whilst waiting for NHS reports and appointments, and taking my mind off of the big stuff by baking delicious gluten free goodies when I’m capable.
I’m not always capable; yesterday I cremated vegetables on the hob.