Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Update: part 2

So I wrote that part in January, still really unsure where life was going, but in an effort to keep people posted. Well, I didn't end up finishing it until now (April 8) so that was kinda a fail.

Wow, It has been about 2.5 months since I wrote. And so much has changed. I tried to drop half my classes and still continue, I even kept attending the lectures of my dropped classes to make it easier for when I actually had to take them, but things kept getting worse. My doctor at the time put me on antibiotics and tried to give me ADD meds to stay awake and nausea medicine, but nothing was really helping. The straw that broke the camels back was a accidentally ate gluten a week or two later and that knocked me out for a whole week. I tried SO hard to keep going, keep up with classes and homework, but it was physically impossible. In a very hard decision, but VERY inspired, I withdrew from all my classes and decided on focusing the rest of the semester on resting, doctors appointments, healthy eating and general recovery. I decided to stay in Utah for this recovery and not return back to my parent's house in Texas mostly because I've heard how hard it is to stay positive and many cases of Lyme are also followed by depression and I didn't think my mental health could handle it. Through it all, I'm so grateful for Provo. For the fact I live with my best friends and the nicest people on the planet. For the fact I have so many mission friends around and I get to see them so frequently. For the MTC just up the street and for my opportunity to use my Cebuano to serve others. For the temple just down the road and for my chances to serve in my student ward as visiting teacher and Sunday school teacher. To be able to serve and feel needed. Service is the best way to handle something hard because it gives you a chance to truly forget yourself and focus on others. It's the best medicine.

My mom was also kind enough to drive up here for 2 weeks and help me navigate doctors and what to do next. People have been SO nice and have given so many recommendations, but after doctor #4, I made my mom promise that we would see these through rather than going from doctor to doctor to doctor and never really following through.

#1 To his credit, he FOUND my Lyme disease which is really difficult apparently. But his treatment was to take various antibiotics for a year which we were willing to try. Problems: super hard to keep in touch with, he gave me no expectations (timeline, symptoms, etc.). At one point, my symptoms got way worse, but for all I knew, that was normal! When my mom told the nurse, she said, well of course you should call as soon as something is wrong! But I had no idea. It was hard.

#2 Basically only took me because of my positive blood test. Even ran it again just to be sure- Yep! Same results. Definitely positive. His treatment was an antibiotic via IV for 30 days. EVERY SINGLE DAY. My mom and I weren't convinced that was all it took based on all our research, but we figured it was worth a shot and a quick way (relatively) to rule out one of our options. Problems: even though I had the positive blood test, he kinda made me feel like I was crazy, like it was all in my head. I've been through that quite a bit on my medical journey and it is hard! I saw him every week throughout the treatment (Feb 20-March 22) and my main complaints (fatigue and nausea) Didn't really improve. Like at all. I'm just so glad I didn't invest all my hope in that treatment because that would've been really discouraging. But the whole time he was asking if I was going back to school and exercising everyday, no, crazy! I have zero desire to do that, because nothing has changed! Most of all, he just made me feel like my symptoms were not a big deal and it's a part of life. Which made me mad because I didn't just drop my classes because I got this positive blood test. I tried and tried and tried and pushed myself to the limit of my physical and mental and emotional capacity, and this guy just wasn't really buying it. By the end, I kinda just ignored everything he said and was excited to be done with it.

#3 By far my favorite. He is a naturopathic doctor and I never thought I would choose this alternative approach, but I strangely have the most faith in him. He just seemed to understand. He didn't make me feel like I was crazy. He made me feel like-"woah, your body is really messed up and it will take a lot of different approaches and it won't be an easy fix, but you will get better. You will be able to move on with your life." He gave me hope. I actually started seeing this doctor about a week after Doctor #2 because he really gave me perspective. It made sense to me that I would need to change my diet (avoid dairy and sugars) and that my body needed supplements to help it fight off these multiple infections ( I tested positive for 3 herpes viruses that like to come back when your immune is shot like, you know, when it's destroyed by Lyme disease.) It just really made sense! Also, it's no coincidence that every single person who has said they or a friend had Lyme disease recommended alternative approaches to medicine. I think all the normal doctors just made them feel a little crazy.

So here I am, April 8, 2015. I'm taking lots of supplements, on an alkaline diet, and a homeopathic therapy where I take a mouthful of gross liquid stuff every 3 days for the next 2 months. I sleep until 1pm everyday. I sit on my couch and rest like it's my day job. I read the newspaper, lots of books, watch netflix, enjoy listening to General Conference talks, eating fruits and vegetables and talking to my friends. Occasionally I'll attend a living Prophets class on campus. Occasionally I'll play a game of basketball or tennis (that's a new one) or frisbee or (insert sport here). I don't know when I'll finish school, I don't know when I'll stop being tired, I don't know my summer plans, and I don't know what my future holds, BUT I do know that I have a loving Heavenly Father who has a plan for me. I do know that his son, Jesus Christ, suffered and died for me so that I will not be alone during the hard times. I do know HE is the PRINCE of PEACE and I have been given that peace in abundance that speaks to me saying, "everything will be alright". I do know that this sickness is helping me develop the Christ-like attributes of patience, humility, long-suffering, trust, faith, diligence, hope and obedience. I do know that I want to draw near unto Him in every moment because that's what gives me true happiness. And to quote Elder Teixiera from general conference, "I know by personal experience that the joy of living in righteousness and abiding in Christ can continue despite the tribulations characteristic of mortality." And I do know that I am happy. This is an update of my life:)

Until I get around to updating you again,

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