When life gave her Lyme, April Moor did not give in. After making important adjustments to her lifestyle, she continues to be a personal trainer and fitness instructor. April believes in listening to your body and maintaining a positive attitude through treatment. Through the interview I learned we have a lot in common, we are the same age, we both grew up dancing, we both practice yoga, and both love our dogs...a lot. I hope you learn something and are inspired by her interview.
Tell us a little about your blog, what you do, and who you are:
My name is April and my blog is Happy Healin' Vegan. I am a personal trainer, fitness instructor, motivator, animal lover, positive body image ambassador and Lyme awareness advocate. Originally, my blog started as a way to promote my classes but it has become so much more. I am hoping that through my Lyme and Orthorexia (obsession with eating foods that one considers healthy) journey, I will be able to build a community of like-minded, positive people who can stick together through treatment. In addition, I share workouts, recipes, videos and health tips.
What is your Lyme story? How do you think you contracted Lyme and how long did it take you to get a diagnosis?
I was officially diagnosed with Lyme Disease in October 2015. I am not positive when I contracted it; however, I believe that I had it for about 4 months before my diagnosis. I started noticing that something was wrong after months of extreme leg pain, fatigue, brain fog and melancholy. After months of blood tests, Ultrasounds and doctor visits, my general practitioner suggested that I get tested for Lyme. He said, "I don't think you have it, but just in case." And the results were positive. He put me on doxycycline for three weeks and called me "cured."
Although my blood work came up negative, I was still having symptoms and some of them had become worse. I now had tingling in my fingers, a twitching eye, fatigue, leg pain, brain fog, anxiety attacks, heart palpitations, severe digestive pain, bloating, and sinus issues. The Lyme was surely not gone. After doing research I found that Lyme actually can hide in your joints, muscles, and organs and that it can come on stronger when being attacked (ugh, antibiotics).
I don't ever remember being bitten by a tick and never had the bulls-eye rash. We had traveled to a few tick "hot spots" over the summer including Monterrey, California. However, I grew up in Colorado and am beginning to wonder how long I have truly had this illness.
I see you are a personal trainer and fitness instructor. Was there ever a time that Lyme prevented you from being active? What advice do you have for Lyme patients who struggle with fatigue, but want to exercise?
Having Lyme Disease and owning my fitness business has definitely been a struggle. During the first few months, I continued to teach, train, and workout twice a day. This definitely did not help with my treatment. My poor body. When I learned that the Lyme may be affecting my heart as well, I had a huge wake up call. I realized that I need to be nice to myself and that I was in fact fighting a disease (when I first found out about my diagnosis, I wrote it off as no big deal).
Now I continue to teach and train but am only doing workouts that my body wants to do. I am listening to my body and giving it what it needs. My workouts have switched from grueling burpees to ballet, barre, Pilates, yoga, swimming and walking.
I truly think that we need to provide our bodies with a lot of self care. If you want to exercise, but are fatigued, keep it light. Do some stretching, go for a walk outside, or do some yoga. Find a workout that you are passionate about instead of forcing your body to do something that it doesn't want to do. It is already fighting enough battles.
What was your lowest point and how did you find your way out of it?
My lowest point was actually about a few weeks after my diagnosis. When I was first diagnosed I truly thought that Lyme wasn't that big of a deal. My doctor kept telling me that I had "acute" Lyme and that I would be fine after a few weeks of antibiotics. I decided to do some research on my own and found incredibly, heart breaking stories of people who were in comas, had seizures, or were on IV treatments for their whole life. At this point I was also dealing with Herxheimer reactions to the antibiotics and I was in extreme pain. I often cried myself to sleep and was so scared. I couldn't believe that one little bite could do this much damage and I couldn't understand why this was happening to me.
I found my way out of it while finding support from family, good friends, and an amazing Lyme community. For some reason, I found comfort in reading other Lymie's stories and watching their videos. I also truly believe that everything happens for a reason and there was a reason that I was dealing with this...maybe to inspire others.
What is the one thing that you have found most helpful in treatment?
The one thing that I have found most helpful in treatment is to decrease my inflammation by cutting down on my stress level. Things that really help me are being in nature, coloring, meditation, good sleep, healthy food, eliminating foods that bother me, yoga and allowing myself to rest when needed.
What are you most grateful for in your healing journey?
I am the most grateful for my husband, my family, our two fur babies, amazing friends and clients who listen and support me during this difficult journey. I am also extremely grateful for our vast Lyme community. There are so many of us fighting this battle and promoting awareness. It makes it so much easier to know that you are not alone in this fight.
Do you have any advice for the newly diagnosed?
There will be good days and bad days. Enjoy the good while resting on the bad. Also, do as much research as you can; there are many different treatment options and it is important to find what works best for you. In addition, reach out to people that you find on social media who have Lyme Disease. It's crucial to find a support system and people who have been through the same thing.
Who inspires you in the Lyme community?
Every Lymie out there.
Please share a mantra or quote that inspires you?
"You are the only you there is and ever will be. Do not deny the world its one and only chance to bask in your brilliance." - From You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero.
"The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them." - George Bernard Shaw
This guest post on Lymeology is a letter I've been writing for a while as a way to express my feelings about conventional medicine.
There are many amazing, phenomenal things about conventional medicine. Just today a friend of mine was discussing the miraculous separation of conjoined twins. On the other hand, there are many people with chronic disease who are dissatisfied with the treatment options, which are often only to manage symptoms and have serious side-effects.
Functional and integrative medicine seem to offer much more, but are not commonly recognized as legitimate.
There seems to be a pervasive narrow-mindedness within medicine. There is this idea that unless something can be proven in a double-blind clinical trial, it has no value. We are an over-medicated society, because pills are the easiest thing to test in such a trial. It's not as easy to test diet, exercise, meditation, yoga, acupuncture, and massage, but these therapies offer relief with far fewer side-effects.
I'm not asking conventional medicine to drastically change its research and development procedures, but simply to acknowledge there are still so many things we do not understand, and maybe admit they could be wrong about some things.
You can read the full post here:
Open Letter to Conventional Medicine from a Lyme Patient
I know someday Western medicine will be a combination of conventional and alternative approaches, and it will truly be the most innovative healthcare system in the world. However, I think it will take a a great awakening. For the millions of people with chronic illness, I hope it happens sooner rather than later.
"Let the past go. A simply abundant world awaits." - Sarah Ban Breathnach
Lymeology is an editorial website dedicated to educating, empowering, and inspiring Lyme and invisible illness patients.
I will be guest posting there from time to time, and I'll post the links here. My 1st post on the site is about something you may struggle with and I hope these tips help with what to say:
5 Ways to Answer the Question 'How Are You Feeling?' If You Have Lyme Disease
I'm Kerry and I am a licensed therapist, writer & speaker. This is a positive space focused on how to thrive in any situation and the transformative power of suffering.