“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.” –Charles Dickens
There is a beautiful saying amongst the Irish peasantry to inspire hope under adverse circumstances:- “Remember,” they say, “that the darkest hour of all is the hour before day.” –Samuel Lover
I have always thought that the saying, “It’s always darkest before the dawn” was a melodramatic cliche, an overused phrase to make us feel better about bad situations. However, I had a moment yesterday that gave me hope and made me realize why that phrase is used so often. But since I have been slacking on my blog lately, I must explain what happened before that moment.
Last week during my tenth treatment, I had a black out in the bathroom at the doctor’s office during which my IV ripped out causing blood to go everywhere and everyone in the office to throughly panic and freak out a little bit – including myself. Thankfully, my doctor heard my scream from his office and came and stopped the bleeding while my nurse helped get things under control. My blood pressure sky rocketed and Ryan had to leave work to come get me. It was a crazy day to say the least. The blackout, high blood pressure and some kidney pain I had been having was the result of my body not being able to filter out the toxins and neurotoxins fast enough that the treatment was getting out of the bacteria. Basically, the bacteria releases these toxins constantly in my body but due to the aggressive treatment, they were coming out faster than my body could handle. My doctor told me my body needed to take a short break from treatments and to go off all my supplements as well.
After some 15-20 kidney injections, the next few days were a little discouraging for me. Despite knowing that the treatments were getting to the bacteria and doing something – I started thinking that maybe this alternative treatment wasn’t going to work for me. That maybe I was going to have to do antibiotic treatment after all. After what I had read about antibiotics, I had decided awhile back that they were going to be my last resort. They can make chronic Lyme worse by obliterating the immune system, killing all the good bacteria in the body and can even strengthen the spirochetes. It causes a quick remission from the disease but then you relapse quickly after antibiotic treatment. My goal was to get rid of them for good, even though there are not many chronic Lyme cases of this happening.
So, quitting treatments – even if it was temporary – was disheartening for me. It was the last thing I wanted to do. I was fearful that a loss in momentum with these dreadful suckers would give them time to fight back. While I was off the IV treatments, some of the progress I felt like I had made over the last month seemed to go away. I felt like I was right back to square one and I began to question if I would have to live with this disease for the rest of my life or at the very least, have to get these treatments indefinitely just to feel halfway decent. I started to believe a lot of the literature that reiterated again and again that there was absolutely “no cure for chronic Lyme.” It truly was a dark week for me minus my birthday which was a happy night. I prayed, I felt sorry for myself, I was grouchy and short tempered, and I was very very tired – physically but also emotionally. I almost canceled my treatment yesterday because I just didn’t want to do anything. I was done thinking about, reading about and worrying about Lyme. I was just done. Then I came across this,
“Do not, I beseech you be troubled by the increase of forces already in dissolution. You have mistaken the hour of the night: it is already morning.” –G.K. Chesterson
I was wallowing in my darkness but it was about to be morning. I just didn’t know it yet.
So I started the day out yesterday just wanting to get it over with. Everything in me wanted to leave as I sat down in the comfy recliner and went through the next 30 or so minutes of “good vein finding.” My veins apparently do not like IV’s so it has become quite the process, sometimes involving several sticks and pokes to find a good one that will cooperate. As my third bag was starting, my doctor said he wanted to do another blood analysis so he pricked my finger as he made a joke about my new nickname around the office being “pin cushion” because of all the needle sticks and finger pricks I get. I sat patiently, trying not to have expectations or false hopes. I didn’t even let my mind think of what he was seeing. I just prayed that my treatment would be over with as fast as possible so I could go home.
After about 10 minutes my doctor came back into the room, pulled up a chair and sat down in front of me with a smile. He said he couldn’t find any spirochetes in my blood this time and there weren’t even any left in the cyst form. I think I remember him saying it again, probably because my face was revealing complete disbelief. I mumbled a few questions and he patiently answered. He continued to tell me that he wants me to do a few more treatments, continue with the supplements and have some more prolozone injections in case some of the bacteria was hiding in my joints. But from the looks of my blood, we had successfully eradicated the spirochetes. The next step would be to repair my body from all the damage the bacteria had caused. It was a step I didn’t know for sure if I would ever get to a couple months ago and yet here I was.
Although, I continue to have pain and the fatigue is still quite terrible, I am hopeful that I will be back to myself in the near future. I have read that some chronic Lyme sufferers have permanent damage from the bacteria being in their body for so long but after this miracle that I have witnessed, I know that anything is possible. I am praying that the damage will be quickly reversed! At least I know I am definitely on the road to healing! I know from this experience that I will never again take physical health for granted. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for me, sending me letters, making me and my family healthy meals, checking in on me and encouraging me during this season of my life. You will never know this side of heaven how thankful we are and how much it helped. I love you all!!
**Update 4/27/12 – Doctor visit last week confirmed that I still have the Lyme bacteria. It is not yet completely eradicated like I previously thought. Adrenals and kidneys are under so much stress right now that I am focusing on getting those healthy before doing the IV treatments again. Most of my symptoms are still continuing EXCEPT the migraines for now. I will take it! Will do a few more IV’s in about a week and do re-check in about a month or so. Thanks everyone for all the prayers!
“Blessings alone do not open our eyes. Indeed, blessings by themselves tend to close our eyes. We do not come to know Him in the blessing, but in the breaking. –Chip Brogden