I think I last posted after Christmas- I had just induced a massive herx via essential oil enema (very sad) and was overwhelmed by cat pee and an opossum roommate. Well, I must be a glutton for punishment, because I decided to go back to school full force (taking 15 units) at a campus an hour away from where I live, as well as move into a new place during the first week of classes.
The last few months have been an absolute blur. I’ve realized recently that my current place has mold, so I think that may have a lot to do with why I am struggling so much health wise. In the midst of driving to school, trying to work taking care of a baby (who is adorable, but one of those ones you hear stories about, the kind who NEVER sleep), trying to actually get my brain to function (cognitively, I feel like I’m brain dead! What’s that word again? you know..the word for…oh…you know, it’s yellow and you eat it…I think it is yellow..wait, what does yellow look like? Oh, yes, a banana)….. getting molded, getting glutened….in the midst of it all… well..In the midst of it all I have not been doing a proper job of taking care of myself or keeping up with my treatment.
HELLO how I got sick in the first place all over again! I don’t know why I push myself so much, when I have absolutely zero energy and resources. Will I ever get better if I don’t get serious and commit to tackle this? Part of the problem, is I seem to be better able to handle all the random symptoms- brain fog, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, depression, blurred vision, headaches etc- than I am able to handle the herxes. When I herx, holy shit, I cannot take it- it is SO, so bad. My most recent herx, when I decided to seriously take the essential oils again, brought me to the point of being suicidal. Very scary, and not a place I ever want to be in again.
Another part of the problem, is I feel really lost in how to treat it. I do still feel really good about the essential oil protocols, but I had my genetics analyzed (through 23&me and then run through genetic genie, and then my doctor had a look) and I have so much more going on than just the MTHFR mutations. This adds layers to my confusion…sort of like, which came first, the chicken or the egg? Well, my genetic mutations came first, then trauma, then poor nutrition, then Giardia, then Celiac, then Lyme, then mold…. If I have learned one thing in my hours of reading and watching videos and researching Lyme and genetics and mold and autoimmune disease, it is that the Lyme is a SYMPTOM of much, much deeper problems, and just killing off the Lyme is NOT enough. Furthermore, it can be detrimental to kill the lyme before addressing things such as correcting your detox pathways and immune deficiency. What the f*ck…I just want clear answers and a clear plan.
Nothing about this is clear. Yet, in some strange way it is. After I hit bottom- I SERIOUSLY considered suicide- not just suicidal idealization, which I have had on and off since I was young- this was actually planning to do it- something in me shifted. I had a panic attack, stayed up all night and came across a documentary called The Sacred Science (I’m posting it below)-Watching it I proceeded to cry like a crazy person, and then I decided, either I’m going to Peru to do this or I’m going to end up dying…sounds dramatic, but…I just NEEDED something different, a plan, some hope- I knew I needed a radical change in environment and in perspective. Since that night, something in me has changed- I think I finally broke and- and I was okay with that. I’ve come to a much more accepting place. I think so much of me was in denial, confused, lost, scared- I still feel all those things, but…I recognize them and I allow them and work through them to the greatest degree possible.
So, I’ve booked a ticket to Peru 🙂 30 days, in the Amazon- at a retreat center, where I will be doing Ayahausca and San Pedro and…well, who knows what will happen. Given the fact that I live in one of the most expensive places on the planet-absolute bullshit the cost of living, I have no idea how anyone does it- it will cost me the same amount to fly to Peru and do the retreat for 30 days and it would for me to stay here in Santa Cruz for a month. I’m subletting my place, and moving my cats to my moms. Honestly, I love my cats..but I am super happy to get a full 30 days of not being woken up multiple times by them (did I mention one grew up in a homeless camp with heroin addicts and has PTSD and anxiety and hates when I sleep?!?) And I am also super excited not to come home to multiple dead, and alive, rodents, snakes and lizards. Yesterday my cat brought in three mice in the span of 2 hours. My life.
So- my plan is to continue doing coffee enemas (I credit these with keeping me functional through this semester) taking supportive supplements like turmeric, red root, food-based vitamin c, krill oil and probiotics- while intermittently taking a few essential oils (but nothing crazy to induce a herx), until I leave for Peru (which is in 3 weeks!!!) (The answer is PURE LIFE ENEMA COFFEE!!! http://www.purelifeenema.com/) When I am there, I am just going to go with it and see what comes. I deeply feel that a large part of why I am so ill has to do with early trauma in my life, and then continual stress. Trauma leads to adrenal burnout leads to negative gene expression. Genetic mutations lead to poor immune function leads to allergies and leaky gut. Undiagnosed Celiac leads to further immune suppression, etc etc…hello mold toxicity, hello lyme….
It is such a complicated matrix…a crazy puzzle with mystery pieces and I am trying to put it together to figure out how I got here. But, I’m tired of all the thinking. Tired of the confusion. Tired of the alienation and derealization and depersonalization. I need to get out of all this cerebral thinking and into my heart and body and back to my soul. Hence, the ayahausca retreat….. I will literally probably almost die (my total travel time getting there is 27 hours) just trying to get there…but you know, what can you do?
You have (that we know of) this one life…and it is flying by…I want to change the trajectory..dig in, find out more. It doesn’t mean rejecting being sick, or denying it, it means realizing there are a million layers and my identity is not soley being ill- this illness is an expression of something, and I am realizing i need to learn how to accept it, even welcome it, and integrate it…It sounds cheesy, but I think it may be in some ways actually saving my life. I have always had extremely self-destructive tendencies, and an inability to connect with myself and care for myself. With Lyme, I’ve had to get into a routine, I’ve had to set boundaries, I’ve had to get clear on what I want and need, I’ve had to really look at myself and my life so far…. because, if I don’t do these things, I WILL die, that is no exaggeration.
Obviously, I am still overdoing it, not making all the ‘best’ or ‘right’ decisions- but I’m aware and I’m consciously working to change. I COULD do without the looking like I’m dying part of the equation though. I used to hear, from those who knew I was ill, the standard, “but you don’t look sick.” And, from people who didn’t know I was ill, that I looked incredibly healthy, what was my secret? And, Up until fairly recently- I looked like this:
Then, right after finding out I had Lyme, I looked like this: I had a breakdown and cut my hair (WHY!!!?!?! WHYYYYY?!!?!? it makes no sense to make yourself look bad when you already feel bad!!!
I still looked relatively healthy though…. Well…boy…I never knew how radically ones looks could change…I have always looked relatively the same..no major changes over the years….until NOW.
Recent picture: Note- That is a heart monitor on my chest. My sister had lyme and it attacked her heart and caused a blockage, resulting in stroke and needing emergency open-heart surgery. The Dr’s told her she may not make it out of surgery alive. So, when my heart starting doing crazy things, like…oh, skipping beats, racing, fluttering, etc etc, I immediately went to UCSF and then had to wear this thing on my chest for 2 weeks. I actually kind of ‘enjoyed it,’ because I felt like my teachers thought I wasn’t nearly as sick as I really am- and having this on my chest gave me at least some validity…still waiting on the results… Anyways, I have steadily lost weight. When I first saw my doctor, I was at least 115lbs. At the heart doctor, the scale showed 103, a weight I can’t even fathom because I can’t believe I could lose that much in such a short time, while making virtually no changes dietary wise- to me, anything even close to 100 is a scary number that represents malnutrition.
I don’t feel like I recognize my face anymore. I used to have full, rosy cheeks, and now they are sullen. My skin used to glow, and now I feel like I’m constantly breaking out, which is an absolute insult considering that fact that I am guzzling green juice and avoiding sugar like its the plague! I used to feel like I looked pleasant, pretty, healthy… Now, I feel incredibly unattractive most of the time, and like I have no idea who the face in the mirror starring back at me belongs to. And really, it isn’t about being superficial (though, feeling attractive IS nice), it is much more about the loss of identity that comes with this disease. The lack of recognizing yourself on the outside, is representative also of no longer recognizing yourself on the inside. The question of WHO AM I? comes up more and more for me these days.
But you know, I’m less worried about this all that I was at the start. I’m learning and I’m growing through this. It is tempting to believe I would be in such better places if I just weren’t sick. But I don’t believe I was going anywhere wonderful fast. There were too many things I hadn’t yet looked at, hadn’t worked to heal, hadn’t come to face. So, I’m taking this day by day, and searching for the lessons, ebbing and flowing, learning how to swim 🙂