2017 was a wild ride both politically and in my personal life. Last year on New Year’s Day, I was headed into work on an empty train into an empty downtown Chicago. It was freezing, just like this year, but I was hopeful and optimistic like I am with every fresh start. This year I'm at home cleaning out my basement and packing all my belongings for a cross country move to Seattle. How things change in just one year.
Before I dive into my update and goals, I want to feature a couple of blog posts from my friends in the Lyme community.
Genevieve of Lyme Yoga Warrior reached out to me and asked me to be a part of the blog post: Giving Spoons: How the Chronic Illness Community Helps Each Other Heal. It's a beautiful post about people who are struggling still finding ways to support each other.
I love this quote from Genevieve: "Who's with me in the battle? Deep in the trenches, when the symptoms flare and it seems like the war won't end? Here, we find each other. Our past doesn’t matter, neither does our outer appearance. Our illness have pushed us past the superficial place where judgement and labeling become wastes of time."
A while back Genevieve did a guest post for the blog: Tips for Spooonies--How to Start a Yoga Practice.
Recently, I connected with Jordan at Detox and Prosper. We have a lot in common; she's a fellow freelance writer and lover of all things natural. To usher in the new year she did a round up post called 23 Healthy Living Blogs to Follow in 2018. She was kind enough to feature my blog and I am very grateful to her.
2017 was a year of answers and more questions. I made the biggest leap in my healing after talking to two energy healers about things that were holding me back. I haven’t completely resolved these issues, but at least I know what I need to be working on in the year ahead.
I’m still taking multiple antibiotics, and due to the complications in my spine I will most likely be on them for a while. I found a new rheumatologist who may have some other ideas for treatment and to curb the inflammation. I was also officially diagnosed with fibromyalgia, Babesia, and a hefty viral load. The more I learn, the more motivated I become to beat this. My complementary therapies include lymph drainage massage, acupuncture, and craniosacral therapy--all thankfully covered by my insurance. There is not a day that goes by that I am not grateful to have good insurance and access to quality medical care. I hope to find practitioners who are equally amazing to the ones I have in Chicago when I arrive in Seattle.
The best news for me in 2017 was that I became stable in my treatment and symptoms. Today marks an entire year without a trip to urgent care, the emergency room, or the hospital. I hope to make that two years by the time we get to 2019. Like every Lyme patient, I have ups and downs, but I am going in the right direction. I am able to work part-time, but my intuition tells me that many symptoms would return if I go back to full-time. So, for now, I'm listening to my body and waiting for the next door to open.
In 2018, I plan to focus on using my voice, standing up for myself, and speaking my truth. I’m working on not being a comfortable host for foreign entities, like bacteria, viruses, and parasites. We had a good run, but it’s time to pack up your stuff and get out.
Speaking of packing up and leaving, I’m excited for a new adventure in Seattle. It's also a bittersweet time, because we are moving away from lifelong friends and all of our Midwestern family members. We’re hoping to make it a priority to visit as much as possible.
I have many goals for 2018. I want this to be the year I finally get a handle on my diet. This is one of my biggest challenges with chronic illness and something I really want to improve in the upcoming year. I also hope to start my yoga teacher certification in the spring.
I will continue to share my story and other Lyme stories on Words Heal. I will continue pursuing freelance writing and take on a few therapy clients. Another goal is to speak to mental health professionals and other organizations about Lyme disease and healing.
When I stop to think about the trajectory of my life, I am overwhelmed by gratitude and joy. There is a lot of change on the horizon, but I think 2018 will be the best year yet.
"And now let us believe in a long year that has been given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been." - Rainer Maria Rilke
I'm Kerry and I was diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease in 2016. This is a positive space for those of us coping with Lyme disease and other invisible illnesses.