Welcome to my Lyme blog where you enter the world of Lyme Disease and get a firsthand glimpse of what Lyme can do to a person!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Ducks and Roosters

This year (2015) I raised some ducks to let loose in my woods to eat the bugs and ticks.  I now also have two big white roosters running around to scratch and help clean out my woods and gardens. It was a much better year for me.  I didn't have to go on antibiotics once.  Yay!!!  I will win the war with ticks yet.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Springtime Ticks

Dorcas Annette Walker

Springtime is when the horrible creatures called ticks come out targeting any human body they can latch onto.  One red, swollen, hot itchy tick bite is very irritable; more than one is pure misery.

When you discover a tick embedded in your skin your first reaction is to panic, “Oh no!  Not again!” feeling horror at seeing the tiny crawly black insect sucking out your life’s blood. 

Then you go into denial trying to put an optimistic spin on it saying to yourself, “surely this time I will get lucky and not have a reaction”, but the red rash spreads and becomes very itchy.  It drives you crazy trying not to itch the bite while putting stuff on it to keep it cool and heal up, especially as the bites are usually located in a most inconvenient spot like on your buttocks, breast or groin area.  I’ve even had a tick bite right in the middle of two fingers causing both to swell.  Tick bites are uncomfortable to say the least. 

Next you start dragging, having a sick headache, and feeling like you are coming down with the flu.  Since it is the spring season you try to reason that your sinuses are acting up or you just caught the flu bug while deep inside you know it is your Lyme’s flaring up again.  You play mind games like weighing your options, “Surely this time my body can override the Lyme’s virus.  What is worse: battling the virus or suffering through the reaction of the antibiotic?” even though you already know the answer.

You procrastinate.  “I’ll just wait a couple of days to see if I don’t feel better.  You don’t.  You just feel worse.  You can sense the virus slowly surely taking over your body. You fight the feeling of losing control, but know that you will have to get back on antibiotics to stop the virus even though you dread the thought of what the med is going to do to your system knowing from past experience that the longer you put it off the worse it will become.

You finally give in and go to the doctor.  The tick bites are small red spots now that occasionally flare up almost unnoticeable- something you could put out of your head if the rest of your symptoms would only disappear.  You go to the drugstore, fill your prescription, and begin popping pills.

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Year Resolutions

I took a couple weeks to go back over the past year and evaluate where I could do better and maybe pick up my pace, uh.., not that I am wining any races or going over the speed limit in fast living in any measure so far. I am feeling stronger compared to last year and hope to be able to do more in the coming year. So once again I’ve made lists and worked out a schedule- if nothing else it keeps my brain cells active. I plan to try and work on my computer every day, write a magazine article each month, and start back working on my five books that have lain abandoned, besides doing my usual weekly newspaper article, and keeping up with emails. Then on a personal note I hope to be able to get my hair combed more regularly and dressed without expending too much of my energy level that fluctuates daily. I’m not promising miracles, but every bit will certainly help. I extend my sympathy to my poor family, who has had to see the bag lady dragging around for far too long already. Their patience with my blundering attempts to try and keep up with basic house chores helps my flagging self-esteem on bad days. Then I have tried to break down the long list of things needing to get done and kept in control around the house- like spider webs and dust. Whew! I may need a week just to recuperate from all my resolutions- just kidding! Like they say, it’s better to make goals and fail rather than not set any goals and succeed.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Snowy Days and Winter Colds

Snowy Days and Winter Colds
Dorcas Annette Walker

Another winter has arrived up here in the mountains of Tennessee. This year I am really getting to enjoy winter time more. I’ve been able to go and walk in the woods kicking up snow with my boots savoring the whitened landscape and running stream as my dogs race around playing in the snow sending drifts of white flying everywhere. What joy it is to enjoy this winter firsthand, feel the biting cold wind on my face, the wonder of picking up a newly lain egg out of its bed of straw, and help take care of all the furry critters instead of being cooped up inside.

The only problem with getting out more is that you invariable catch some germs despite being careful and staying bundled up. I ended up coming down with a nasty cold for a couple of weeks confining me indoors once again as I doctored myself. Running a temperature, feeling weak, and miserable it seemed like the cold/flu symptoms would never end as I hovered close by the warm wood-stove. But to my relief one day I woke up feeling like myself again and ready to venture outdoors just as another snowfall came turning the world once again into a winter wonderland. This time I made some snow cream. I also love cooking a big pot of soup on my stove or baking something in the oven as winter gales blow outside my kitchen window. That's what I call living instead of existing!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Exercise, Green Tea, and Vinegar

Once again I am back up on my feet. Yay! I still have to be careful with my foot as it tends to swell up if I am up on it too long, so I prop my foot up whenever I sit down in my recliner. I’ve heard that sprains take forever to heal and that once a person has sprained a foot that foot is weaker and easier to sprain again. So whenever I go outside I make sure to wear my sturdy sneakers for support.

Unless one has dealt with a chronic illness it is hard to explain the joys of waking up, feeling like oneself, and not having to worry about your body suddenly giving out accompanied by the sensation like you are going to collapse at any minute. When you feel stronger you try and capture each moment knowing that these memories will help sustain you on the days when your body betrays you again.

One thing that has helped me bounce back the most and be able to get around on good days is the fact that I have persistently exercised on a daily routine. Exercised when I’d wake up to find myself on the floor not remembering where I was, exercised when it took every bit of my precious strength that I had having to spend the rest of the day in bed or the recliner, exercised to strengthen my bones and help keep my joints mobile even when it hurt and seemed like I was wasting my time. The only days I don’t exercise is when my pain level is so high that I can’t do anything but exist, but the next day I hit the floor again even if I can’t do all the exercises in my regiment that I have worked out to help me the most.

Then the second thing I feel that has helped strengthen me is drinking a couple cups of green tea a day that I started when I was on antibiotics to help build back up my immune system. Sometimes for variety I’ve added peach or raspberry tea and even fresh mint from my herb garden for added flavor to my green tea. Drinking green tea has become a daily habit for me. When I am able to be up and around it gives me an excuse to take a break and relax for a bit; to calm my spirit and help me focus on what I want or need to get done for the day. Or soak up nature’s display while watching the birds rocking in my rocking chair on the front porch with my dogs sprawled around me in companionship.

The third thing that I started several months ago it putting a couple tablespoons of vinegar in my glass of orange juice that I drink each morning. Older mountain folk have told me about the benefits of vinegar. So I decided to try it myself. Then I read how it helps the body in several ways and how healthful it is. By mixing the vinegar with orange juice it camouflages the vinegar and makes the orange juice just a bit more tangy, which I find the best way for me to take. Sometimes the old remedies are the best.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Limping Around Like An Old Granny

I have enjoyed getting out and about more this summer. I love walking down in the woods with my dogs, checking out the garden, rocking in the rocking chair on the front porch surrounded by all my furry pets, or going and sitting in the swing in our back yard and watching the chickens strut around in their pen. Even in the hottest part of summer I tried to stay active to help keep my strength built up.

One day while walking in the woods with my dogs on one of the paths that we’ve made, I turned my foot. I didn’t pay it much mind as without warning I will sometimes stumble or nearly trip. I haven’t figured out yet if my ankles are getting weaker or if it is just a side effect from the last bout when my Lyme came out of remission and I’ve had trouble with my balance since. The next day the weather turned quite cold and when my foot bothered me walking I figured that I probably was getting arthritis in my ankle. Since I have arthritis several other places throughout my body and I’m hurting all the time somewhere I just ignored the pain and kept walking on my foot. After a couple of days limping around I decided to check my foot and to my shock discovered that it was swelled up.

Dana was ready to hustle me off to the doctor to get it x-rayed, but since nothing was broken I figured why go to all that trouble only to be told that I have a bad sprain and to keep my foot elevated. So I have wrapped up my foot with ace bandages to support it and am trying to be patient and keep my foot up. Whenever I don’t my leg swells up too. Talk about being totally ratty! I am quite frustrated that I can’t go like I was and have been slowed back down again. How dare my foot do this to me! Now when I go to get up and walk I have to think first where I’m going and what I need to take with me and what I need to get. If nothing else my dear brain cells are getting a work out trying to remember everything so that I can save steps. Meanwhile I shuffle and limp around sometimes using a cane to help support my weight like an old granny. I can’t wait until my foot gets back to normal again. If only I had four feet like my dogs I wouldn’t
be so helpless.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Summer Flu Misery

Summer Flu Misery
Dorcas Annette Walker

I was doing better. In fact I almost convinced myself that I was normal once more. Sure it still didn’t take much to wear me down, but at least I was able to be up and around each day and feel more like myself. I did some canning, sewed my granddaughter some slips, and painted a gourd birdhouse. Doing things that I enjoyed puttering around with to help build back up my self esteem that living with a chronic disease destroys. I felt like I was controlling my life instead of my body controlling me. I was able to attend church nearly every Sunday morning and be with my church family and friends.

Then it happened. Somehow I got the flu bug. Overnight I became sick, started throwing up, and running to the bathroom. I hoped that it would be a twenty-four hour kind of flu. No such luck. Instead due to the fact that I couldn’t keep anything down- pain meds included- my pain level shot way up. I drank Sprite to try and get my stomach settled enough so I could take my pain meds. I wasn’t able to sleep day or night due to the nagging pain. Instead I survived in my recliner dosing off now and then totally exhausted only for the pain to jerk me awake into more misery. After two nightmare days of wishing I could die- anything to get away from the pain- I was able to take my pain meds and got my pain back under control where I could halfway function.

I thought the worse was over, but my intestines had another idea. They were in an uproar. The flu had triggered off my IBS. Eating anything solid would send me racing to the bathroom not one time but every couple of hours. I switched to drinking Coke (the ony thing that works when my bowels go crazy) praying that my stomach would handle the change as I tried to baby my insides along. I existed through each day praying that the next one would be better sleeping the day away in my recliner. By the time a week had gone by, when I finally got my intestinal system under control, I was very weak physically. Once again I had to inch my way- a slow and drawn out process- to gain back my strength.

I can understand why some, who struggle with Lyme disease don’t go out anywhere, but instead isolate themselves living totally inside their homes. It is a scary thought that every time you step outside your door you are at risk to catch something that can put you flat on your back after struggling so long to be able to function. If you aren’t careful your mind will play all kinds of games with you tying you up in knots mentally. But I refuse to let fear control my life. It is bad enough that my body takes over and controls me at times. So I am working on building myself back up to venture forth and not cut myself off from being with my friends. It’s a fine line of guarding oneself, using wisdom, and living life as normal as possible with Lyme’s disease.