The number one question this past month has been, "How are you feeling?"
We're all terrified of the dreaded relapse or flare after childbirth; some women have a setback and some don't. Emmett turned three months old yesterday, and up until a couple of weeks ago I was doing great. I recently had a major crash that my doctor feels warrants one final round of IV treatment, but neither of us attribute it to pregnancy or delivery.
I'm not sure if any of you deal with this during cold and flu season (please tell me I'm not the only one this happens to!) but the smallest cold sends my immune system on a rampage, and my Lyme symptoms emerge and flare to the point where I'm stuck in bed or taking a trip to the ER for scary heart rate issues or paralysis. It usually doesn't last long--a week or two--and I forget about it once I'm up and moving around again.
I now officially view children as little germ covered illness spreaders. In the last month Wyatt has shared with us three different viruses, because he insists on touching other sick kids and everything dirty in every public place. The first cold I bounced back from, the second left me with a nasty case of vertigo and nausea, and the third left me wondering if I will ever come back from this. I would definitely consider this a crash: vision so blurry I can't drive (which is not a bad thing, since last week I was pulling out of a parking lot and couldn't figure out which side of the road to drive on), horrible bone, muscle and joint pain, and sounds make my head want to explode. There's a much longer list of symptoms, but you get the idea, plus my energy is limited. I've been writing this post little by little for three days because computer screens are making me extra dizzy.
I was not thrilled with the idea of another eight weeks of IV, but my COBRA runs out at the end of December, and since my deductible was astronomical, I want to take advantage of any treatment I can get while it's covered. If it's covered. If this doesn't work, I'm swearing off antibiotics for a while and will try a more natural approach. In the end, my doctor convinced me that this was the way to go, because I was nowhere near remission territory when I got pregnant, and I ended up having two kids back-to-back. He wants to get a good, strong start to what is essentially the beginning of "real" treatment. It is what it is--no regrets.
Just waiting for current IGenex results to come back. We tried getting a positive through Labcorp, which is not as sensitive, and I only had one active band (23) come back positive this time around (my original IGenex tests came back very positive for Lyme and Bart and questionable for Babesia). If insurance won't cover this, I won't do the IV, plain and simple.
Bottom line: stay the hell away from sick people during the cold months, especially kids! I know, easier said than done.
That said, I have to say that I bounced back very well from pregnancy. An hour after I delivered Emmett, a new nurse came in the room and cheerfully asked if I was going home that day. When I told her I'd just come out of surgery, she thought I was kidding. I felt that much better immediately.
Granted, there's a lot to be said for pain killers, but I continued to improve as I spent more time at home, drug-free. Here are some things I've been able to do since I recovered from surgery (about two weeks after delivery):
-Carry and care for babies all day -Chores around the house--dishes, vacuuming, straightening, laundry, etc. -Cooking and baking -Actively play with Wyatt, which includes chasing, rolling, dragging, and lifting -Push a stroller around the neighborhood -Shopping (Oh, how I missed you!) -Walk the dog around the yard -Go out for dinner and drinks with my husband -Spend the day out doing fun things, like going to the flea market, visiting family, going to parks and farms, etc.
Some of the activities required rest the day after, but I can honestly say that until very recently, I've been able to keep up with healthy mommies in the activities department, and I've been having lots of fun.
There are dark days, and there are wonderful days. I choose to focus on the positive, and I believe that I will feel better and be active again soon, regardless of whether I get approved for the IV. I could use some discipline in the diet and taking good care of myself departments, but I'm working on it. How easily we forget that we've been ill once we start feeling better. I'm a work in progress, and there are good days ahead.
This is a picture of Emmett's negative IGeneX Western Blot test. Words cannot describe how relieved we are.
I know, testing is unreliable to say the least, but we have decided to simply view this as a blessing, and until we see signs of an unhealthy baby, we will treat both of our children like they are Lyme free.
Thank you all for your love and support during this waiting period.
If you have a few more good wishes to spare, please send some positive energy to my husband, who just lost his job and found a bulls eye rash on his foot all in one week.
We have a family friend who's had so many obstacles in life, she now calls up and just laughs as she tells us about what's falling apart. She once said, "I swear, someday I'm going to write a book. I'm gonna call it, My Fuckin' Book, and anyone who's interested can see how crazy my life is and feel better about theirs!"
That always makes me laugh when I think about it. I'm sure we could all write our own versions after dealing with all of this. I just try to remember to add some humor when things get overwhelming. It really does make a huge difference.
I am a mother and writer with Chronic Lyme, on the road to acceptance and recovery. I was bitten in 1996, diagnosed 2008. I am living proof that it is possible to live meaningfully and have happy, healthy children while battling this terrible disease.