One may not think heavy metal is steel, but after receiving recent test results for heavy metal poisoning, my daughter, Ella said “Mom, you really are made of steel!”
In October of last year, I started a new treatment for Babesia; however, it was making me feel worse, not better, so my doctor suspected something else was going on. Blood tests came back in February that I have heavy metal poisoning. My doctor was adamant that I test for heavy metals as his research and experience lead him to believe heavy metals block many treatments especially when dealing with Lymes and many co-infections. Hence why I was feeling worse, not better.
He was absolutely correct! And who would have guessed….I don’t have just one heavy metal in my system, but I have SIX! Antimony, arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury and strontium all came back at higher levels. I would like to think this makes me Superwoman especially because my doctor indicated a normal person wouldn’t have any of these show up, so to have SIX, well, that just goes to show how unique I am. (Insert smiley face) Well, maybe I could be Superwoman, but what we do suspect is that this is likely caused from having Lymes as my body doesn’t detox, so metals have likely been accumulating for years.
I started chelation therapy about a month ago. (Yes you can google it). Basically this is medication to pull the metals from my bones. The metal will then get deposited into my blood, then into my stomach so technically its a three part process. If the metals stay to long in the blood or stomach, this can cause severe problems (including death in rare cases).
We have been experimenting with the dosages for the medication as well as the detox process as this medication has been kicking my butt! Whew…can you imagine what it feels like to have heavy metals pulled from your bones? Yikes!
What I am grateful for as I embark on this new treatment is that I am learning a few things along the way….
- This too shall pass. (Some days quicker than others)
- God doesn’t give me any more than I can handle. (Trust me I’ve asked)
- I really am made of steel. (Just ask Ella!)
Where has the time gone? I cannot believe its been almost 10 months since I’ve posted here. I think I have finally pulled my head out from under the covers. So much has happened…where do I begin?
First, in March of 2020 the first negative Lyme’s test came into my life. What does that mean? Well, that likely 90% of the Lymes was gone! Cheers to that! We were hoping my body would clean up the remaining 10%. If you caught that, I said “hoping”. Back to that in a minute. The additional negative test was that the anaplasmosis was gone too. Prayers can be answered.
Of course COVID hit in March, and I’m pretty sure I just pulled the covers over my head because I feel like I haven’t been living my best life since then! (Well…that’s my excuse….I’m sure I could come up with a better one if I had more time.)
With both the Lyme’s and the anaplasmosis gone, one would think I would be jumping for joy and feeling better. However, I was feeling worse than when I started. How could that be?
Well, the additional lab tests showed my immune system was still going crazy in overdrive, that I had a parasite in my system, my pituitary gland was out of sync and two other blood tests to show off the charts inflammation in my body. My doctor said he knew I wasn’t lying when I said I didn’t feel good because the test results prove it! Again, the same old question of “Now what?”
Back to the 10% Lymes remaining in my system. If my body isn’t able to clear out the last bit of Lymes, I could still have symptoms and with my body dealing with high inflammation, my immune system is going to work overtime all the time. Hence, why I’m not feeling well. In addition, my doctor said this could point to another tick borne illness called Babesia. This is a parasite that affects the red blood cells. Good news…I’ve been getting treated for Babesia…and I’m FEELING BETTER! I still need to work through the inflammation and hormone issues, but a little relief is like a little bit of heaven. Amen!
What have I learned the last 10 months? Lyme’s has substantially changed my life. COVID has substantially changed everyone’s lives. It’s how we react that will determine the outcome! That’s why I decided to pull back the covers and take a peak into what’s ahead. Its scary but I’m doing it with my head high and my heart filled with gratitude! We can do this together! I promise.
Somedays you just want to stay in bed! Today was one of those days for me. I was informed yesterday that what I’ve been treating (Lymes) and the treatment may not have been 100% on target. What? No seriously, what?? My first thought was “Has all the time, money and effort for the last 3.5 years been useless?” Probably not because I am feeling better, yet I’m still not better. So, while that does make sense, the news came as quite a shock.
The facet of tears started yesterday and continued this morning as I laid in bed. Admittingly, I didn’t think I was going to get out of my bed today. I’m angry and I’m sad and I’m frustrated. I may have lost a lot of time, money and effort over the past several years because the treatment was not exactly correct. I knew, as I laid in bed this morning, I needed to look at the positive side that in 6 months I could be a brand-new person. I could feel like a million dollars. That’s what I’ve been praying for! I want to feel better and now I may have that opportunity! That’s something to celebrate! I could have my normal life back. I could be active every day without struggle. I could stop taking medicine every day. I could wake up and jump out of bed. No more pep talks to myself about getting through the day. Yes, that’s all such good news!!
But I couldn’t get myself to that place this morning so I stayed in bed and continued to cry. My attitude didn’t change until a friend wiped away my tears and said, “Lori, look at this as a breakthrough! We may not have known any of this before and now today we do. You’ve been saying you want to feel better, right? Well, in 6 months, you will be!” At first, I struggled to see it that way! But after letting it sink in, I stopped crying, I pulled myself out of bed and I thought to myself… “Oh my goodness, in 6 months I WILL BE BETTER!” Yes, this is a breakthrough!
I will know more after some testing this month. And while I may still have a little pity party for myself today (my sister said that was ok to do), I will take this news and know with certainty there is a light at the end of this tunnel!
I have to admit that May left without even a wave goodbye! Maybe that’s what happens when May comes in with a blizzard…it leaves tip toeing away! That’s ok because summer is close behind! Yeah!
Using EFT and having found success with my eating disorder, I was beginning to change my eating habits and was not having days of extreme eating nor days of major restrictive eating. I was beginning to push through the guilt on days I felt I ate more than I should. I was beginning to push through the feeling of restricting food after a day of “cheating”. Yet with these changes, I was still experiencing severe bloating and water retention. Admittedly, I was thinking….”Seriously, now what?” Knowing I didn’t want to lose momentum, I decided to talk to my Lyme’s doctor about the challenges I was continuing to face. Dr. Litchy suggested I could be experiencing these symptoms because my metabolism is confused. By restricting foods and restricting calories some days and overloading on calories (or foods I should not be eating) other days, my metabolism was not sure what it needed to do.
I’ve read enough books to know that changing one’s eating habits or patterns in extreme ways on a frequent basis can be harmful to your body. Yes, but I’m doing what’s best for my body to heal so this certainly wouldn’t apply to me. Right? Nope…hard lesson learned…. my metabolism was not immune to chronic illness. After many years of restrictive eating (which I thought was to improve my health), I was confusing my metabolism. What was the solution? You got it…. Stop eating in such extreme ways! While I was changing my eating habits, I needed to make more changes. I needed to eat regular amounts of food daily. I needed to be consistent and regular with my eating habits. I needed to eat foods good for MY body. And, I needed to increase my variety of foods. Sounds easy, right? Not exactly! For someone who struggles with food every minute of the day, this felt extremely challenging.
What I know is the only thing constant is change! So, yes, it will take time for my metabolism, stomach, and overall body to heal! But with the continued changes I’m making, I know I’m on the right track!
February is almost behind us and March is coming in sight. This means warmer temperatures and Spring, Spring, Spring! Did I mention Spring? Well, the thought of seeing green grass, new buds on the trees and fresh flowers spouting up brings me pure joy!
In light of Spring coming upon us, I wanted to share a little secret of mine. Now I would whisper it in your ear, but I don’t think that will work in this vehicle of communication. So, are you ready? Wait…let me frame this up first….
Throughout my health journey, I have had to restrict my food intake because I have become “sensitive” to many foods. I’m not talking just gluten and dairy, but a much broader list which includes black pepper, cilantro, almonds, kale, chia seeds, zucchini, blueberries, and green beans to name a few. My list of restrictive foods is extensive and changes annually depending on when I have the testing done.
While this was beneficial for my health because restricting many foods reduced my Lymes symptoms and digestive issues, it also created a much large problem! Ok, now are you ready? Here’s my secret….a very unexpected eating disorder. Deep breath…I’m saying this mostly for my benefit because this is an extremely difficult topic for me to openly talk about. However, I want to help others who are struggling and the only way I can do that is by sharing my story. Therefore, I am going to start a series on my eating disorder, how it developed, how I’ve dealt with it and consequences of all the above.
Stay tuned…more to come!
(In the meantime, if you or anyone you know is battling with restrictive eating habits, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I would love to have a conversation with you or them and see how I may help!)
Happy New Year! And what a cold one it is! The new year brings below zero temperatures here in Minneapolis! Brrr!
I read an interesting article yesterday from Brave Girls Club that talked about what you “get” to bring with you in 2018 and what you can leave behind. That’s so profound. I can bring whatever I want into the new year. Huh? What will I bring with me? What will I leave behind?
I can think of many things to bring, but what resonates with me more is what I would leave behind. My first thought is I am leaving my health challenges in 2017. No, its not quite so simple to just leave the Lymes or the SIBO in 2017, but I can choose to figuratively leave them in 2017. I’m wondering….does this shift my focus or my attitude? Yes, I think it does. It means I will focus on the healthier me and not have my mindset be riddled with the impact of Lymes and SIBO. Its almost like walking through a door and shutting the door on what you want to leave behind. Why haven’t I thought of this before? We can take the negative stuff, walk through the 2018 door and shut the door on all the yucky stuff from 2017. What an idea! Thanks Brave Girls Club!
I’m still creating a list about what to bring and what to leave behind. Do you know what you are bringing into 2018 and what you are leaving behind from 2017? A shift in your mindset may just bring an exceptional new year….I encourage you to try it!
Mother’s Day weekend!! My tradition is to plant flowers on Mother’s day weekend. Honestly, I transport flowers from one pot to another, but I still consider that planting (insert winky face). I just planted my flowers and even if you don’t plant flowers, I want to wish all the moms a happy, fun filled day spent doing something YOU love whether or not it includes children, family or friends. Do something that feeds your SOUL!
So, today I’m frustrated. Not because its Friday (of course not!) or because I still need to get a card for my mother for Mother’s Day, but because I’ve been doing the Whole30 diet with a couple of friends and I’m ticked off with my body’s reaction. First, I cannot eat eggs, beans, sweet potatoes or nuts which are staples in the diet! But second, my severe case of SIBO and leaky gut takes these foods and many other foods off the list! Ugh! Finally, the ultimate bummer is how my body is responding!
Three weeks in, I’m feeling more energized and sleeping better; however, I’ve noticed over the last three days, my clothes have gotten tighter (Yes, I said tighter not looser), my stomach has become bloated and my mood shifted from happy to irritated. What is going on? Isn’t eating cleaner supposed to bring fitter, leaner, healthier results? And to top it off, I ate turkey and squash for lunch and my stomach reacted with major bloating! WTH! My body isn’t cooperating and I’m ticked! UGH!! Double UGH UGH!!
Yes, I’m frustrated! I also realize I cannot heal my stomach overnight. I cannot wave a magic wand and make SIBO, Leaky Gut or Lyme’s disappear overnight. BUT, I can be grateful for where I am today. Somedays it takes a little (or BIG) push to get there, but we all can get there! So, even with being frustrated (greatly frustrated), I’m grateful I can afford to eat healthy foods. I’m grateful for my doctor who has turned this frustrating adventure into a livable journey. I’m grateful for my friends, who talked me off the ledge this morning when I was having a pity party! I’m grateful for my daughters who motivate me to push ahead with my head high despite the setbacks! I’m grateful for the people who will read this, who may also be struggling, and see the glimmer of sunlight for them too!
Yes, life is frustrating, but keep going! I’m proof you can see the rainbow after the storm!
Happy Mother’s Day!
Happy New Year – it’s been a while since I decided to show up here but I’m back, like it or not! I love the idea of starting new in 2017 yet I wanted to remind everyone that every day is a new day to start fresh – who needs an entire year to go by to make a fresh start? Not me!
As I reflect on 2016 and greatly anticipate an amazing 2017, I wanted to reflect on some things I’ve learned while living with Lyme’s disease. It is a completely different beast than I ever would have imagined. Living with Lyme’s has the fun of working with food restrictions and food allergies, numerous bouts of various medications, many physical limitations, along with mental and emotional challenges.
There are so many limitations Lyme’s can put on one person every day. However, are they really limitations or are they lessons? I’d like to think they are lessons. What I’ve learned living with Lyme’s is that it’s ok to slow down. It’s ok to enjoy the quiet moments of life. It’s ok to shut your eyes for 5 minutes and breathe in the fresh (cold) air while the sun warms your face. Its ok to snuggle on the couch with a loved one and just savor the moment of closeness. It’s ok to be late for a meeting sometimes. It’s ok to eat ice cream for breakfast and pancakes for dinner. It’s ok to skip hockey or basketball practice to head to Starbucks instead. It’s ok to sit in your car when you get home so you can finish belting out your favorite song. (Just did that myself yesterday). It’s ok! I now know don’t have to win the race every day and some days I don’t even participate. And that’s ok. Why? Because limitations or not, I can wake up (God willing) and start fresh tomorrow.
I’ve found a new love! He’s sweet, loves to cuddle, smiles and only has eyes for me (just ask my sister…she was feeling a little left out!) His name is Luke and he’s all of 8 pounds and 2 1/2 weeks old. I just returned from a quick visit to Portland where I met my new nephew and honestly fell in love the second I laid eyes on him! I couldn’t put him down as he melted my heart with every little coo and cry. I miss him already and its only been 6 hours! Always difficult to leave family especially when they are so cute and cuddly!
Returning quite emotional from a short trip, I am excited to visit my doctor again tomorrow. I finished the new meds more than a week ago and have been feeling rough since. I thought the medicine, while I was taking it, was supposed to make me feel bad. Yet I felt fine until I finished it. Go figure. I am more than curious to hear what the doctor has to say about that…..I’ve been told on more than one occasion that I’m unique!
After spending some quality time with my sister and her family, I am feeling refreshed and grateful for an opportunity to see the miracle of life and mostly just some quality time to hug, squeeze and kiss my new love! May you be blessed with such miracles in your life too!
Sun, sand and ocean….Yes that was the theme for 5 days on a quick getaway with two dear friends! We laughed, talked, cried, relaxed, swam and laughed some more! Maybe had a fun, fruity drink in there too! It was an experience the three of us will be talking and laughing about for months! Already planning our trip for next year! I did not realize how much a little girl time could change my perspective and make everything seem fun, refreshing and normal for a short period of time! Oh memories really do last a lifetime!
Overall, December has been a good month for feeling better. Only one nap a day so life is good! I will start a new treatment in January which I hear can be a bit rough, but I’m grateful for the short glimpse of how I can feel when my health is improving! Cannot imagine what 100% feels like, but its getting closer!
Finally, don’t forget to make time for yourself today and even sneak away with some friends to experience the pure joy of friendship and learn what sun and laughter can do for one’s outlook! Amazing! Thank you girls!