© Illustration by Life in Lyme Light.

How has Lyme Disease affected your life? What inspires you?

A little less than a year ago, I was planning my funeral…something I never imagined I would be doing at the ripe old age of 33. Yet, here I was. Given the long-term decline in my health, it seemed I had no choice but to acknowledge this possible inevitability… Chronic Lyme Disease might actually kill me. But I’m getting ahead of myself – let’s rewind. I suppose I should start with an introduction.

My name is Amber Overholt and I’ve been battling Chronic Lyme Disease for the better part of my life. I was diagnosed in April 2014 and have been in treatment ever since. Like most suffering from this chronic illness, I’ve tried antibiotics, truckloads of supplements and countless holistic therapies. My symptoms have ranged from mild to debilitating, including fatigue, seizures, thyroid dysfunction, Bell’s palsy, migraines, memory loss, vertigo, hormone balances, cognitive decline, tremors, joint pain, anxiety, gastrointestinal issues and everything in between. But (believe it or not), I’m not here to talk about that. About the medications and treatments and the revolving door of doctors, but instead, I want to share with you some of the challenges I’ve endured and the lessons I’ve learned throughout my journey.

This is what I’ve learned about letting go…

Someone asked me recently what I felt was the hardest part of living with Chronic Lyme disease. Though I’d been sick for a long time, it was only within the last few years that everything changed. I was once outgoing and vivacious. I was always sick, but not this sick, so once upon a time, I did actually have some semblance of a life. I loved the spotlight and never missed an opportunity to socialize. I was an avid runner, a lover of fashion and music, with a heart for helping others. I was creative and articulate. I cherished my relationships and prided myself on being a “people person.” Some of this remains true but much of it has been lost, little pieces of myself chipped away, sometimes making me unrecognizable even to myself. How had I gotten here? So I really began to wonder…what was the worst part of this awful disease that has taken so much from me? This took some serious thought. Not to sound like a martyr, but there isn’t much of an upside to work with here… there’s the crippling financial debt caused by the lack of medical coverage for long term treatment, the never ending list of symptoms that can flare up any given day due to any number of environmental circumstances (including food, weather, stress, mold, fragrances and chemicals), the neurological and psychological impact of both the physical and emotional manifestations of the bacteria, the isolation of dealing with a disease few understand and even fewer care to understand… honestly, how do I pick just one? But as I continued to think about it, I realized that throughout this journey I have been faced with one recurring theme time and again: letting go. And that’s when it hit me- that has been the hardest part of fighting this battle. But it’s the hardest lessons that mold and shape us, and I believe learning to let go, while painful, has made me a stronger, better person.

Shortly after my diagnosis, I discovered a wide range of food allergies I had which had been contributing to the inflammation in my body and feeding the bacteria. This is not uncommon in Lyme patients and most have to follow a pretty strict diet. It may not seem like it to some, but not following said strict regimen can be fatal. It may not necessarily present as an immediate life or death scenario if someone with Lyme eats gluten or sugar or dairy (etc) but ultimately these foods feed the bacteria that is already working hard to kill us. So the diet thing is pretty important. That being said, I was already pretty healthy pre-diagnosis, that is, for someone who was constantly sick and had a myriad of mysterious symptoms and unexplained illnesses. I mean, I was a runner and fitness junkie who ate healthily, took my vitamins daily and always made it a point to stay well hydrated. I was kind of a perfectionist like that. Yet, I was always sick. People used to comment that I was the sickest “healthy” person they knew. I was an anomaly. For someone so health conscious, why was I always sick? At work, I lovingly became known as “Typhoid Mary.” So when I found out that 90% of my so-called “healthy” diet was actually making things worse, it was time for a complete overhaul. I had to cut out all gluten (and eventually went on a paleo diet, eliminating all grains), sugar, dairy, eggs, some nuts, whey, yeast, soy, corn, some nightshades and anything too high in carbohydrates. Um, excuse me, but what was left?

At first, I thought it might not be that bad. I looked at it as a challenge. After all, I was already disciplined and used to eating well. I was confident this would be a walk in the park. But let me tell you, there is a big difference between eating well and being allowed to have the occasional indulgence like ice cream or pizza, and suddenly not being able to eat anything you love. I spent the first several months feeling pissed off and hungry all the time. I believe this is where the term “hangry” was coined. And ultimately, I think this was the first time I was forced to learn about letting go.

My whole life had been turned upside down but it was the small things (which didn’t feel so small at the time), like changing my diet, that had the biggest impact, because it forced me to acknowledge every single day that my life was no longer the same. And if I had any hope of normalcy returning, I had to accept that these were the rules and I better follow them. Lyme had made me it’s bitch, and I didn’t take too well to that. I’m not one to be pushed around and I hate being told I can’t do something, so there were definitely some periods of denial and rebellion. But in the end, I came to realize that this was how it had to be, at least for now. After all, change can’t come without change right? And I wanted to get better, so I made up my mind I would do whatever it took. Albeit a brutal one, that was my first lesson in learning to let go.

Just when I thought I was settling into my new routine and I’d made all the changes my Type A/OCD personality could handle, Lyme decided it was time for lesson #2 and threw me yet another curveball. Despite my best efforts (and remember, I’m a perfectionist, so I really gave it my all) to adhere to my insanely strict diet, after a brief period of improvement, all of my symptoms came back with a vengeance. Avoiding dietary triggers definitely helped, and is still a crucial part of the recovery process. However, eventually other factors (such as stress, lowered immune function, other coinfections, etc) came into play, and as a result, so did the return of my symptoms, along with some new ones. Some of the worst among them included severe joint pain, brain fog, vertigo, migraines, cognitive decline (word jumbling, thought processing, memory loss, etc) insomnia, ocular pain, gastrointestinal issues, reduced immune function, shortness of breath, muscle spasms, and recurring upper respiratory infections.

Due to the worsening nature of my symptoms, I was forced to sacrifice other things in my life. I thought changing my diet was hard but soon I would realize things were going to get much worse. Once an avid runner, suddenly I could no longer run due to severe joint pain, respiratory problems, and decreased endurance. This did not work for me!  Running was my therapy! It was a major piece of my identity, of who I was. I kept telling myself it was only temporary but over time, things got harder instead of easier and before I knew it, I could no longer call myself a runner. Truth be told, it’s been over two years and I think I’m still mourning that loss.

I also had to accept other, less serious, but still significant changes in my new lifestyle. I found I could no longer tolerate alcohol anymore, which pretty much eliminated most of the social outings for people my age. Honestly, I didn’t even miss it that much at first. Along with the fatigue and the constant infections it didn’t even seem like that much of a sacrifice. All I wanted to do was stay in bed. So I traded in my stilettos for sweatpants. Wild nights of concerts and cookouts were eventually replaced by Netflix marathons and detox baths. I was too busy being exhausted all the time to really even miss having a life. I was just trying to make it through the day, one day at a time. But then came the biggest blow…about six months into treatment, I had to leave my job. I tried to keep working but the treatments were brutal, and my flare-ups were unpredictable. I worked in a fast-paced environment and eventually got to the point where I was no longer capable of keeping up with even some of my most basic job duties. I loved my job but each day just seemed to become harder and harder. To this day, only a select few know what I really went through as I tried to “power through.” I showed up even when I was vomiting or hadn’t slept for weeks on end. I fought through the crippling joint pain and debilitating migraines. I took naps in my car on my lunch break and sometimes cried in the bathrooms when I was in more pain than I could bear. I withstood ridicule and criticism when I became overwhelmed and frustrated because my brain could no longer keep up with the task at hand. I tried to hide symptoms in an attempt to convince myself that they weren’t really there. But in the end, I couldn’t avoid it. So here I was…no longer able to run, no longer able to work. My social life had become non-existent. And try as I may, I couldn’t even muster up the energy to grieve for any of it for the longest time.

My husband (who, for the record, is amazing and never once made me feel anything but loved), was suffering too. He’d never say it, but my inability to help out around the house or attend family outings left him feeling overwhelmed and frustrated as well. I felt like a shell of a person. I felt angry and helpless. I kept trying to convince myself if I did everything “right”- adhered to my diet, followed my treatment protocols, avoiding triggers, etc., I would bounce back in no time. This is just a setback. This is only temporary. I must have said that to myself a thousand times. Now, granted, I’m not dead, so in the grand scheme of things, this does still count as being temporary. It’s just a much longer version of temporary than I was prepared to withstand. But alas, I found myself being forced to let go of circumstances outside of my control. As I took a moment to reflect on my life, I was faced with the reality of all that I had lost…I was no longer a runner, no longer employed, and barely a wife…Who was I anymore? My entire identity had been stripped away by Lyme. My identity was no longer mine. It was a bittersweet farewell, letting go of the only me I had ever known, but it had happened and I couldn’t change what was already done. All I could do was accept it and move on. Lyme-2, Me-0. Sigh. Letting go sucks.

I tried to adjust accordingly and remain positive as I struggled to get healthy and take back my life. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before I found out just how much worse things could, and would, get. I had already accepted my life was forever changed, but I remained consistent in my beliefs that my situation was temporary and felt certain I had already been through the worst of it, therefore reasoning that things could only get better. Wrong. You’d think after a while I’d stop tempting fate with my optimism. But hope is sometimes the only thing left to cling to in tough times, so there was no way I was letting Lyme take that from me too. Or so I thought.

After having adjusted to my allergen friendly diet, my new physical limitations and unemployment, I began to feel like maybe I was getting the hang of things. It was all about balance. I just had to take it one day at a time, do what I could, when I could, and soon enough I’d be back on my feet! Note to self: do NOT underestimate such a powerful and complex disease. This is your opponent. As soon as you let your guard down, it will attack. And attack it did. After turning my life upside down and robbing me of my identity, it came after my independence next. Lyme is greedy like that. It will take everything from you and then come back for more.

Another flare-up of new and/or worsening symptoms, likely stemming from coinfections like Babesia, Bartonella, Mycoplasma pneumonia, Epstein Barr, and parasites, came along and rocked my world in a whole new way. Now I was forced to deal with issues like heart palpitations, kidney dysfunction, nerve pain, severe social anxiety, sensory/stimuli overload, muscle spasms, incontinence, jaw clenching, ovarian cysts and severe depression.

Everything I did became hard. Washing my hair was hard. Doing my laundry was hard. Chewing my food was hard. Going to the grocery store practically caused panic attacks. The lights, the sounds, the crowds. It was overwhelming for me and I often had to have a chaperone to accompany me to public places. By the time I would get home I was spent. The entire experience, along with all of the stimuli, was simply exhausting. I struggled to communicate with people. I mixed up words or found myself speaking nonsense as I tried to form sentences. I became frustrated and embarrassed. I began to withdraw, retreating into my shell, and even the most casual social settings were too much for me to handle. Eventually, I could no longer drive. In addition to the almost constant dizzy spells I was having, my brain fog, cognitive decline, and anxiety made it unsafe for me to behind the wheel of a vehicle. At 34 years old, I felt like I was 80. Unable to do much of anything at all without assistance or supervision anymore, I felt utterly and completely useless. And I was helpless to all of it. I remember feeling as if I were being swallowed up by the world around me, disappearing into invisibility. I was isolated, lonely and scared. I felt angry and hopeless and bitter ALL the time. I watched as the rest of the world moved on without me—the people in my life were getting promoted and buying houses, celebrating birthdays and having children and traveling… I felt jealous of everyone who wasn’t feeling how I felt and felt guilty for not being able to be happier for them. I’d tried so hard to stay positive, to be strong, but my health only continued to decline and I was feeling defeated. I never thought I’d be someone who would allow themselves to give into that sort of mentality but here I was, ready to throw in the towel. Suicidal thoughts invaded my brain daily, but even in the deepest pits of my despair, I did not submit to them. I suppose I must have had more hope and faith left inside of me than I realized because somewhere, deep down, I continued to fight.

There have been many ups and downs on my journey with Chronic Lyme disease…periods of progress, and periods of regression. I don’t know if, or when, I will reach remission. I’m still in the thick of it all so I know my fight is not over, but I AM still fighting. I have not given up, and I WILL NOT give up. But I have learned a thing or two along the way. I used to believe that acceptance meant defeat. I didn’t understand that I could accept what was happening and still fight to change the outcome. I thought the two were mutually exclusive.

So I fought, tooth and nail, clawing my way out of the trenches, over and over again, and every time I hit another wall, I would grow more resentful. Though I was fighting for my health, and for my life, my inability to accept my circumstances also meant I was fighting against myself. It was like trying to run through quicksand. Only recently, was I able to understand that acceptance does not mean giving up. Rather, acceptance offers peace during, and in spite of, our darkest storms, when we need it most.

So I’ve let go of all the toxic emotions that I allowed to burrow deep into my tissues and bones, festering, and depleting me of energy and happiness and gratitude. I’ve let go of my expectations for what I thought my life “should” look like at this point. I’ve let go of all the social, environmental and physical pressures that managed to wreak havoc on my body for so long. I’ve let go of the old me and the identity of who I used to be. Instead, I choose to focus on who I am now, and who I am becoming each and every day. And while I’ve not given up this fight, I am finally able to let go.

© Illustration by Life in Lyme Light.

How has Lyme Disease affected your life? What inspires you?

Before I realized I had Lyme I got Bell’s palsy. They gave me antidepressants because I “looked” depressed. I about fell out of my chair!

Goodness gracious!! Isn’t it crazy what we’ve learned! I’m a nurse and I have such a hard time making other medical professionals believe anything that I say.. the struggle is REAL… my doctor had Lyme himself so he was able to tell me that I wasn’t crazy and a hypochondriac. I was so relieved! I bawled my eyes out… years of being told I was fine and overreacting and that there was nothing wrong with me vanished in a moment!

They told me I was very young when I first contracted the disease and then around 19/20 when I got it again, about the same time I got Bell’s palsy… It is hard to hold your tongue sometimes. Just the other day when I read spiders can also transfer the disease, because I have never been bit by a tick, lots of mosquitos, chiggers, spiders, but no tick! I remembered a bad bite I had on my inner thigh from sitting in the grass when I was little and it was a spider bite. Was huge and it lasted for a long time and BOOM probably the first time. Crazy I remember that, but around 5/6 I remember getting headaches, joint pains and sick often. Memory started to get bad around 5th grade and just gradually got worse and worse. Around 22 I was like an Alzheimer’s patient. That’s when I knew something was wrong and sought help…

What a life!! I await the day you’re healed and healthy with no pain! I believe that day will come! I don’t think I’ve ever met someone with a similar story to mine, it’s nice (not really) to not feel alone in the journey, but wish it wasn’t true at the same time. I’ve gotten cleared from Lyme for now, I’ve had to deal with biofilm a few times but I’ve definitely made a lot of progress from where I was… So I pray we all live long healthy lives and we kick this awful diseases bum!! <3

© Illustration by Life in Lyme Light.

How has Lyme Disease affected your life? What inspires you?

Everyone has a story, and mine was making me sick. Like many women, I was prescribing to the ‘Do More, Be More’ Story written on the invisible tablets of our society. Little did I know, the chase after more was slowly tearing down my body. The first sign of weakness came in my early 20s. I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome accompanied with its partners: anxiety, depression, and GI discomfort.

Yet, still I kept DOING… doing everything I could to be ‘better.’ I worked out harder, ate more strictly, and took medications and supplements. I tried countless different types of  therapies, from aroma to Reiki. However, as the years went on and my stress levels continued to rise, my health slowly but surely deteriorated until I could no longer work. For me, 40 was the new 70. Despite seeing more than ten doctors and specialists, I was becoming very sick and very sad.

Desperate for answers, I decided to try Functional Medicine, and I am SO glad I did. My Functional Medicine doctor was the only doctor who tested me for Lyme Disease. Being too sick to take the recommended treatment of heavy antibiotics, I was referred to the resident Naturopathic Doctor. Dr. Weber’s holistic approach not only addressed my physical health but also my emotional, mental, and spiritual health as well.

As the pollution of ruinous narratives cleared, I discovered a new story: the ‘Be You, Love You’ Story. The more I embraced this new prescription of cheerful words and consciously celebrated my worth, the better I felt.

For the first time ever, I learned how to align my words, my worth, and my wellness.

Celebrating worth isn’t always easy. Some days life makes you forget you ever had any. I get it!

As a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach, I am here to cheer you on. You can count on me to listen to your story (words), celebrate your character strengths (worth), and create healthy habits that stick (wellness).

Are you ready to align your words, your worth, and your wellness?

Let’s do it together! Click here for health coaching!

Lyme gave me an opportunity to find my true self. I spent so many hours home alone with just me and my thoughts. And at that time they were not great ones. But once I changed them, I changed my health. And I found my inner strength. I found me.

© Illustration by Makenna.

How has Lyme Disease affected your life? What inspires you?

Well, I did it – I am a college graduate! This is such a major accomplishment for me – especially in light of my health challenges – and has led me to reflect on all I’ve learned and how I’ve changed these last six years: The philosopher Machiavelli asserted that no matter how smart, talented, or hardworking an individual, he or she can only control 50 percent of their life’s outcomes. The rest is up to fortuna – uncontrollable, unpredictable events or circumstances that for better or worse shape our history. While I personally reject much of Machiavelli’s arguments, this concept rings so true to me.

As I’m sure most of you here know, it was about 5 years ago – right after my freshman year – that I first became sick with what doctors eventually diagnosed as Lyme disease and co-infections. Anyone who deals with chronic health challenges knows the frustration of wanting to do more than their body allows. When I look back at my time at BYU, I am a little sad that I wasn’t able to do more. But considering the hand I was dealt, I know that I did the best I could. I am grateful for all the opportunities I received and am proud of myself for all I did accomplish in spite of my limitations.

While fortuna has been unkind to me with Lyme, I recognize that in countless other ways I have been so blessed beyond what is merited. I recognize that I enjoy much privilege and that I owe my graduation to so many people who have taught, loved, encouraged, and supported me along the way. I especially owe so much to my husband Sam who has been there for me through every breakdown and every triumph. I am not being trite when I say I could not have done any of this without him.

I know what I would like to do going forward, but I am uncertain of how my plans and my health will mix. So I will do all I can to realize my goals, recognizing there are some things that lie out of my control. But whether in good fortune or bad, I give thanks and praise to my God, whom with all things – both reaching the highs and enduring the lows – are possible.

© Illustration by Life in Lyme Light.

How has Lyme Disease affected your life? What inspires you?

At the age of 15 I began having fainting spells and experiencing fatigue. In my 20s I began to develop muscle pain, headaches, depression, and increased fatigue. In my mid-30s all of my symptoms began to get worse and my body was starting to shut down. I was in and out of the hospital for severe pain and fainting spells. It wasn’t until age 37 that I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. It is extremely important to me to spread awareness around Lyme disease because not only do I have it, but my husband, eight-year-old daughter, and three-year-old son have it as well. It is hard to live with this torturous disease, let alone watch my family suffer. If I can do anything to prevent someone else from getting this, than I have done my job. It is important to create a dialogue around Lyme Disease and teach people that over 300,000 people get it each year. It is important to do tick checks and know the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease early on. Also find proper treatment with a Lyme Literate Doctor. Thank you for letting me share my story.

© Illustration by Life in Lyme Light.

How has Lyme Disease affected your life? What inspires you? 

Lyme disease has caused me to lose friends…and gain new ones. It has knocked me down…and pulled out the fighter in me. It took over my body…and taught me how to love myself. It pulled me into the darkness…and taught me just how strong I am <3

© Illustration by Life in Lyme Light.

How has Lyme Disease affected your life? What inspires you?

Lyme disease and Co-infections – September 14, 2012 – January 25, 2013 (guesstimate). UPDATED 3/18/2019.

I am Kathleen and I live in Northern VA. I am a recently retired, 60+ year old Grandmother. I am widowed, and I was living alone when Lyme hit; September 2012. My Lyme symptoms happened all at once; NOT “Hard to Get”, about two – three weeks after my vacation to an area highly populated by deer, in the Pacific Northwest. I now maintain a secret FB page called “Where is Lyme Disease” where this story is located. The files on the page contain information for how I was treated and what I have done since then to heal from the hell of Lyme, as well as books and articles of interest I have read. Because Lyme affects our entire “systemic” bodies, I also include any information I find about other diseases, infections, syndromes. By the way, syndrome is a word for something a doctor has no idea about yet.

I was diagnosed with Lyme disease and Mononucleosis on October 12, 2012 and out of work, on sick leave 4 weeks, between October 15-November 13, 2012. Other symptoms and diagnoses prior to this (2005-2012) were high blood pressure, cardiomegaly, chronic bronchitis, prolapsed mitral heart valve, GERD, Barrett’s esophagus, large hiatal hernia. I now realize these symptoms, syndromes etc., might have been the precursor to the Lyme and Mononucleosis in 2012, but spaced so far apart, I never considered them part of something worse.

Before treatment, problems included: Short term memory issues, difficulty with my vision and reading, sensitive to bright lights and sunshine, difficulty walking, inability to fall asleep for several nights in a row, constant buzzing, tingling, and pain throughout my entire body. There was chest pain, head and neck pain, difficulty with bowels and the feeling of being blocked inside, difficulty swallowing, and anxiety from feeling so ill and not knowing why. The swallowing difficulty was taken care of during an endoscopy, and there was a mysterious growth the doctor scraped away(non-cancerous). After the endoscopy I was able to swallow correctly again.

There was NO RASH, I NEVER SAW OR CAUGHT THE TICK, AND I HAVE NO IDEA I HAD BEEN BITTEN, OR WHEN. I felt something poke me on the lower part of my back on 9/14/2012. My doctor tested me for Lyme, West Nile Virus, Mono and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. The Mono, which I had at age 18, always shows up as “exposed” and Lyme was also positive. I would recommend anyone who suspects they have Lyme, to ask the doctor to test for all of the above illnesses, and Lyme might show up positive that way. Testing for Lyme by itself doesn’t seem to register, for some reason.

Doxycycline was 10, 20 and 30 days. After that I could not have Doxycycline again, or my insurance company would have refused or had my doctor investigated. I was then placed on 500 mg Cefuroxime for 30 days. For the first four days on Cefuroxime, I intentionally doubled my own dose from one twice a day to two twice a day. I always eat yogurt before or after taking any antibiotic, to keep the good bacteria from completely dying off with the bad bacteria. Doctors won’t tell us to do that, because they may not know or they may want to keep prescribing more antibiotics to kill the secondary yeast infections, caused by so many antibiotics. **Yogurt may help heal the immune system, which is mostly in the gut and should alleviate the need for additional antibiotics such as Diflucan. **For people allergic to yogurt or dairy products, check into fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut etc. to assist in healing the gut. I have been mostly symptom free since January, 2013. In September, 2013, I went through a local integrative group to learn how to heal my gut, where the immune system is primarily located. Diet changes and supplements containing Glutathione were used and there was significant improvement after two weeks of starting the program.

Tick season is all year around and cold winters don’t kill them. Anyone with flu-like symptoms, congestion, body aches, anything out of the ordinary which doesn’t go completely away or comes back too often, suspect a bad bacteria, parasites in the gut or a co-infection. Lyme always seems to have co-infection buddies with it that can be equally as dangerous, even deadly.

Migrating birds carry ticks, field mice, chipmunks, lizards, fox, raccoon, skunks carry ticks. Family dogs and cats can pick up ticks from the grass they walk through, and their owners can also pick up ticks walking with them through the grass. Ticks come after the oxygen we emit from our bodies. Ticks don’t jump like fleas, they crawl, and they are stealth and cannot be felt when crawling or biting. Note: ALL biting insects can carry diseases, including Lyme (Borrelia), parasites, babesia (malaria cousin), bartonella (cat scratch disease).

Since the end of 2013, I have been making slow, but steady improvement and fewer symptoms. My last blood work for Lyme showed negative, around early 2014. Diet changes to healthier, less processed and getting more daily exercise have helped, along with positive thinking and spiritual thoughts. This is a parasitic bacterial invader!!! This will NOT destroy me!!

Fight back, Lyme warriors. Never give up!!!

© Illustration by Life in Lyme Light & Abounding in Hope with Lyme.

How has Lyme Disease affected your life? What inspires you?

I’m not sure exactly when I contracted Lyme. I never saw a tick, never had a bulls-eye rash or any of the other tell-tale signs of a Lyme infection.

I suspect I was bitten when I was pregnant with my fourth child in 2006. It took me two years to get a diagnosis and by the time I did, I had chronic neurological Lyme.

If it wasn’t enough that I became very ill, my three daughters and husband were also diagnosed very soon after I was. Later we found out my son and contracted it from me while I was pregnant with him.

Our symptoms became severe despite heavy doses of antibiotics. One of my daughters suffered terribly with PANS. It was the most difficult time of my life, of our lives! We were desperate for help and desperate to get better.

We couldn’t travel the world or go from doctor to doctor because all six of us needed treatment and because Lyme disease costs are completely out of pocket, it kept us with a doctor who wasn’t getting us better.

We tried to use herbs, we changed our diets and we did everything we could on our own to get better, but nothing seemed to help us get off the antibiotics. Eventually, our doctor told us she didn’t know how to get us better, especially my daughter.

I prayed for God’s leading and asked him to help us. That very next weekend I was told about an alternative care doctor.

He was able to get my entire family better using homeopathy. He even helped my daughter who had PANS.

As a mom, my purpose for so many years was to get my children better. It was heartbreaking to watch them suffer so much.

Now, it’s so amazing to see them healthy and fulfilling their dreams after such a long, miserable battle.

We lost many years of our lives fighting a battle that no one believed in and that no one seemed to know how to treat. It wasn’t talked about as much then. We lost friends, opportunities, and a lot of money.

My message to others who are fighting this battle is to never give up! Healing is possible. Keep believing, keep hoping, and keep fighting!

I’m inspired by how amazing the human body is and how it can heal when given the proper nutrition, exercise, emotional support, and treatment.

“There are no hopeless situations, only those who have grown hopeless.”

© Illustration by Life in Lyme Light.

How has Lyme Disease affected your life? What inspires you?

In May 2015, my son graduated from high school by the end of June, he was so sick. No one could give us any answers and my beautiful strong son was dissolving before my eyes. He just kept getting worse new symptoms joined the old ones so fast, I knew we would lose him before long. Four months later we finally got a positive diagnosis, we thought, ok we can treat this right? We could never have known how very wrong that was. After a long hard fight we found a cure that took care of not only his Lyme but his bartonella and his yersinia (the bacteria of Black Plague fame) but also reversed his liver failure. I became a Lyme warrior mom. I have been able to help so many and I will as long as I can.

© Illustration by Life in Lyme Light.

How has Lyme Disease affected your life? What inspires you?

Hi! My name is Sara and I am The Healing Mama. I am a daughter of the King, a devoted wife, homeschool mama to 3, and a health foodie. When I was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease, my road to healing began. I still have a long way to go and a lot to learn. But, I wanted a place to share my food, my recipes, and my healing journey. So, here it is. My hope is that you leave here encouraged and inspired, and let your healing begin.

My Journey

Three years ago, my life changed in a big way. But, let’s back up. After having my first two children, I started to have health issues. After my second child, I was thrown into extreme anxiety and insomnia, so much so that after four full nights of absolutely no sleep and feeling like I was going to have a heart attack, I left the kids with my husband and headed to the hospital. The emergency room doctor diagnosed me with postpartum and quickly medicated me. Over the next few years my medication was changed numerous times, I was having stomach issues, and later was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. I stayed on meds and went on with my life. Then, we decided to have another baby.

After our little miracle baby was born (that’s a whole different story) I became very sick. I had gone off of all medication for the first time in 6 years to get pregnant. And, after he was born, the anxiety and insomnia hit me again full force. I began having many other symptoms that were unexplainable and no doctor could find what was wrong with me. My body was so full of inflammation that I literally had full body hives from head to toe every single night and morning for 18 months. I had sores on my head from inflammation due to an extreme case of psoriasis that no medication or steroid would calm or heal. A doctor prescribed me an antibiotic for my head, and one night I got up to use the bathroom and felt so sick and dizzy I could barely make it back to the bed. I fell to the floor and weakly cried out for my husband who picked me up and carried me back to the bed. I had no idea what had caused such a reaction until later…

After a series of events, I ended up at a Naturopath in Vernon, BC who, though I didn’t know at the time, turned out to be a Lyme Specialist. After speaking with her and answering her questions she mentioned that I most likely had an internal infection and I was later tested for Lyme Disease. On October 31, 2016, I was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease which was most likely a result of a tick bite I received 20 years earlier. I was so shocked. I had been living with this for 20 years. It explained so many of the symptoms I had experienced over the years and was still experiencing. It explained so much.

In the beginning I was so devastated. I did what so many people do (and shouldn’t)… I got on Google. Now, if you’re wanting information Google can be your friend. But, it can also be your worst enemy. I was so full of fear and worry and I believed everything I read about this disease and what it meant for my life. It was essentially a death sentence. I don’t mean it kills you (although it most certainly can). But a life filled with pain and a ridiculous amount of health and mental issues, as well as constant relapse and co-infections is no life to live. Not to mention, this disease isn’t even recognized as a “real” disease by most doctors. And, living in Canada, Lyme Literate doctors just don’t exist. So, what was I to do? I’m a mother to 3 children, 2 that I homeschool and one toddler. I not only wanted to live, I needed to live. I wasn’t going to be bedridden and helpless. I just don’t have time for that. I want to be present for my kids, for my husband. So, with the grace of God and by His strength, I took my health into my own hands. And, that is where my journey began…

I started small, but I knew I needed to get better. I’m so thankful I stumbled across the specialist who helped me find out what was wrong with me. I had prayed for answers for years, and He had answered those prayers by pointing me in the right direction. She’s been a huge help even from far away, and has me on an intense herbal protocol. But, I know that a huge part of my healing has to do with diet and healthy living. I’m far from where I need to be. I still have many struggles. But I have seen improvements and victories and am believing for full remission in the near future. Some days I have to remind myself of that constantly. And some days my faith is strong. But, I keep pushing forward and doing my part, all the while trusting God to continue to do His. In 1 Peter chapter 2 verse 24 it says, “by His wounds you have been healed”. I believe it, and on days when I don’t I give my doubts to God and keep going because there’s no other choice: you have to keep moving.

So, that’s my story but certainly not all of it. This is just the beginning. My prayer is that I can share my healing journey, the good and the bad, in hopes that it will inspire others to enter their own healing journey. We’re in this together.

Click here to view Sara’s blog.

Note from Life in Lyme Light (Lauren) – Sara had messaged me to share her story to spread awareness in the beginning of May, that same day her husband got in a very serious car accident. He was rescued with the jaws of life extracting him and will remain in the hospital with extensive fractures throughout his body and amnesia. This family is asking for prayers! A fundraiser has been started to help them out, click here for the link if you can please share it. As Sara had written in her story prior to this accident, “we’re all in this together“.