Hopefully, everyone in the Lyme community knows of Yolanda Foster and her family’s battle with Lyme. If not her, then perhaps Avril Lavigne. If not her, then maybe they know of the movie Alec Baldwin and friends made focusing on the peripheral effects of Lyme, as he too suffers from it in real life.
Regardless of how much you know, if you are thrust into the world of late-diagnosed/ late-stage/ late-disseminated/ (whatever your doctor calls it) chronic Lyme disease, then it might be a bit like drinking from a fire hose.
While there are many treatments, I have found that regardless of what you choose to do, be it long-term antibiotics, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or saline bags, ultimately it’s a lifestyle change. So, here are some of those lifestyle-changing tips to help you get through the pre- during and post- treatment days.
- Eliminate toxins from your diet. Eat as whole and pure as possible. Find a grocery store near you that sells fruits and vegetables on a budget. While organic is preferred, if you can’t afford it, it’s still better to eat whole than processed. In doing this, you can eliminate naturally inflammatory agents like gluten (found in wheat, like bread and pasta), dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt) and processed sugar (basically in everything from bread, to cereal, to granola bars).
- Move. I know during treatment it is so difficult to even walk. But you can, try to walk or move for 30 minutes per day. If you are recovering, try gentle exercise like yoga. And if you are far out from recovering, you can take up low-impact exercise like biking. I know you’re tired, I know you’re dizzy, fatigued and woozy, so if you can’t even walk, try to stretch at least.
- Be diligent about your supplements. Your doctor prescribes them for a reason. If they are immune boosting, then you want them! However, sometimes your stomach can be working too hard in breaking down the plastic casing, which could hurt you. Trial and error to find out what is the right amount of supplements you can take.
- Prioritize your stomach. Regardless of if you are on antibiotics, your stomach plays an essential role in the immune system. Think about taking strong probiotics, drinking collagen or taking L-glutamine. Of course, ask your doctor if those are right for you.
- Interact. I know it’s depressing interacting with anyone. You don’t want to feel like a burden or negative, but everything coming out of your mouth is about Lyme and that subject just sucks. But if you are watching TV or reading in the meantime, then bring up funny shows you’re watching/books you are reading. Ask your friends, families and supporters how they’re doing. And while you might be thinking about how much pain you are in that entire time, remember that this can be temporary. This doesn’t have to be forever. And they appreciate that you’re trying.
- Patience. I know sometimes it feels like it’s never going to end. I used to think that Lyme was my forever, at the young age of 26. I couldn’t even finish treatment because the side effects were so extreme. But with patience, searching and finding the right doctors, things verrrrrrrrrrrrrry slowly got better. At a barely noticeable rate. But still, they got better.
I know these tips don’t cover the vast array of complications that come with Lyme disease or treatment, but if you put some of these into practice, things can get better.