The approaching "end of treatment" date is sobering. For the past few months, I've viewed the antibiotics as my safety net. Sure, for the first year and a bit, those drugs were sustaining me, and then healing me. But since I've been feeling well, they haven't had a significant purpose other than to insure that the bacteria have been beaten down sufficiently. Soon, this safety net will be removed.
ILADS doctors like to treat 2 months beyond the end of symptoms, and I'm currently weaning off the antibiotics. I've gone from 2 doses of Zithromax daily, to one dose daily. I'm having a phone consult with my LLMD next week, and we'll see what he'll do next.
Soon, my body will be on its own, needing to keep any remaining Borrelia burgdorferi at bay using only its beautifully designed immune system. That means I need to support my immune system in the best way I can. Sadly, I haven't been doing so well in that department, but it must begin to take on a greater importance in my life.
To that end, I joined a fitness club, something I haven't done in about 15 years! I've certainly exercised in the past 15 years, especially when trying to lose my post-pregnancy weight, but it's been a very long time since I've had a club membership. I decided it was time because I was having difficulty getting motivated to exercise. Despite the fact that I have a treadmill at home, dozens of workout DVDs, and weights, I constantly found excuses to avoid exercise. And exercise is what I need right now, not only to lose the 30 lbs I gained while I was sick, but to support my immune system.
So far, I've been doing the treadmill and the weight machines at the club. I think I need to build up my strength a bit before venturing into a group aerobics class. I'm dying to try Zumba, but I'd likely drop dead from exhaustion! Perhaps I can ease into that class, doing a half class at first and working my way up. If anyone has tried Zumba, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
I've also discovered the sauna! I have a new appreciation for the Finnish and their natural approach to health. I've been sitting in the sauna at the club for 15 min., just feeling all those toxins rising to the surface. It's been great.
In addition to regular exercise, I've made a pledge to myself to work on other areas I've been neglecting: eating well and sleeping an adequate amount each night. I've definitely improved in the eating department. I hauled out my old Weight Watchers information, and I've been watching my calories more closely. I lost 2.5 lbs last week. Who hoo! As for the sleep, that is the hardest area for me. I'm such a night hawk and thoroughly enjoy the quiet house at those late hours, so I've been cheating myself of a good night's sleep and dragging myself through the day. That's certainly not good for the immune system. I'm really going to work on that goal now.
For those of you reading this who might be very ill from Lyme disease, or who might be in the middle of treatment, know that it IS possible to feel well again, and to be able to make goals like this in the future. When I was sick, these types of things were the farthest from my mind. I was in survival mode. And that's OK. You can only do what your body will allow you to do. But do have faith that your treatment will make you well again. It really can happen. It happened to me.
You are in my prayers.