Cowgirl Gets Back Up

Time and Lyme Perspective.

In my life on earth I’ve noticed that time and perspective heal a lot of things if I give it a chance. Now it’s a year after I first sought help for the debilitating symptoms.   Three months after my diagnosis. Two months after the completion of the 28 day course of Doxycycline.  I feel like I’ve educated myself on the subject. I’ve searched (online, of course) and read four actual books on Lyme. I even watched a documentary. If I was a science person I would be fascinated by this bad ass little spirochete.  I know there is a lot of controversy and political crap surrounding Lyme and other vector borne diseases. That being said,  I can only share my personal experience and perspective with this stealthy bastard.

Three weeks into my treatment I “came out” on social media with the fact that I was recovering from Lyme disease.  I hate sharing anything this personal on social media, however, I had a deep conviction about it. My brain fog was clearing. I felt that many friends could be in the same boat. As it turns out, five of my real-life friends had the symptoms, got tested, were positive, are now under treatment and starting to heal. Two of them had a double diagnosis of Lyme and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever! These friends are from three different states in the Midwest and Rocky Mountains. All are in the livestock industry. We cowgirls are tough, but it was kicking our asses.  I stay in touch and offer my experience, strength and hope. We’ve all had the experience of having to push the doctor to do the test. I’m still working on my personal resentment about that.  I still feel traumatized by the whole experience. Sharing with friends and being able to talk and laugh about our common journey helps me heal more than anything.

Over the course of the 28-day Doxycycline treatment I steadily felt the debilitating pain, anxiety, depression, dizziness and brain fog leaving my body. I quit hating everybody. That alone was a miracle. The fatigue remains but it is so much better.  I met with a holistic MD in Wichita and we are mapping a plan to rebuild my immune system and restore my energy and health.

 

What I’ve learned from this journey:

  • That it’s more common than doctors think.
  • That resting is a crucial part of recovery
  • That older women get dismissed way too often.
  • That I wasn’t just old and cranky and lazy.  I was sick.
  • That testing for the vector born diseases is in the dark ages.
  • That the CDC is behind the times.
  • That testing is unreliable.
  • That I need to be a better advocate for my own health and recovery.
  • That I need to be a better advocate for my friends.
  • That friends and family can’t help you if you don’t tell them what’s wrong.
  • That people in the livestock industry are High, High risk.
  • That livestock can carry Borrelia but not have an active infection and can pass it to us through other fluids. (ie. placenta etc)
  • That there are many, many strains of Lyme (Borrelia) and other vector diseases.
  • That there are many more types of ticks that can pass it on.
  • That it isn’t about the “deer” and the rash means nothing.
  • That debilitating pain, fatigue, anxiety and depression are not normal signs of aging.
  • That I am not alone.

 

How I know I’m Healing:

  • I’m riding my horse again. Willingly. Not with dread.
  • I’m back to helping in the cattle pens.
  • I’m sewing again. I had quit sewing completely last winter.
  • I like people again. I hated everybody for a while.
  • I’m visiting friends and calling friends to check-in.
  • I lost a little weight without trying.
  • I actually want to exercise. Swimming it the choice right now.
  • I started cooking again.  I had ceased all forms of meal prep.
  • I started reading books again. Always a sign of good mental health for me.
  • I planted a small garden.
  • I’ve almost quit binge-watching Netflix.
  • I’m cleaning my house and de-cluttering.
  • I got my taxes filed and I’m caught up on my book work.
  • I’m sleeping 8-9 hours per night. Uninterrupted. Restful sleep.
  • Some days I don’t have to lay down for a rest in the afternoon.
  • I never think about how much I hurt.  Because I don’t hurt.

 

I encourage anyone in the livestock industry (and outdoorsy people) to be aware of the symptoms. Please encourage yourself and anyone else to get tested if they suspect it.  We already know about prevention. And  I already know way too much about ticks. They are so gross. They are endemic to our lifestyle.  They are just here.  They are part everyday life.  Be assertive with the medical community.  Don’t let them dismiss what you feel is going on with your health.  It’s not rare.  It’s not confined to any geographic area. It’s here. It’s everywhere.

 

The 28 days Doxycycline seems to have been a good start for me.  Others aren’t that fortunate. There seems to be a “one-size-fits-all” attitude with conventional CDC/insurance-approved treatment.  That’s  even more unfortunate. I don’t fault the doctors and medical community. There is no “us vs. them”. Doctors are as stressed as we are with everything we have to deal with. They are so restricted by  Health Insurance companies, the CDC, time constraints, protocols, etc etc. Add the fact that Lyme is called “The Great Imitator” for a reason. Testing is unreliable and symptoms mimic so many other conditions.  I can only imagine how stressful that is.  We are all in this together.  We don’t know what we don’t know. Knowledge and self awareness are power.

 

Please share your experience and thoughts with me so we can encourage and support one another.

For now…. This Cowgirl got back up!

 

Thanks for reading and following my blog.  Stay tuned.

 

 

XOXOXO   —- Cowgirl-Red    aka  Terah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Janie DaVault says:

    Terah so glad for your continuing recovery! I so wish everyone can do as well! I was always so blessed for my Nurse practioner. She always said ” No one knows you body like you” and always worked to find the correct treatment!! With my anxiety and depression I had been poor pooed before! Never with her! Prayers for your continued recovery! Love your posts! I do love Waco, Tx. Feel at home!!

    • Thanks Janie ! I miss you around here. I’m so happy that you love it there. Stay in touch. xoxoxo Terah

  2. I know of two people in Minnesota who caught Lymes who don’t work in the industry and only have some trees/woods near their homes. You’re right–it is not uncommon. Lymes was one of the things they tested me for to eliminate when I was diagnosed with fibro.

    Prayers for your recovery and the recovery of your friends. The one lady I know who had Lymes still gets occasional flare ups. Love and hugs

  3. Lola Searle says:

    Terah, sister, I cried when I read these….talk about writing my story over the past 2-3 years….On day 18 of a 60 day doxy ride….headed back to Mexico the end of October. Love & miss you!!!

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