Saturday, 17 February 2018

Two months post diagnosis

Today I want to give you another update on Rich's Lyme Disease status. (For the one month post diagnosis post, click here.)
He has now completed 2 full months of antibiotics (Doxycycline) and started on the third month. We see the doctor every two weeks for monitoring, but so far, he's tolerating the antibiotics well and has no problems with them. 

We have noticed an almost imperceptible, but hugely significant change: instead of feeling sick all the time with the odd good day, he's now feeling pretty good most the time with the odd bad day! His energy levels are rising, his appetite is back, and he says he feels almost normal everywhere below the shoulders. 
His main problem is still the pain and limited range of motion in his left shoulder (the right one is much better now), and the pain and swelling in his hands. 

As I mentioned last time, we've been experimenting with medical marijuana. After some misses, we have now found something that works well for him: Phoenix Tears, a cannabis oil. Ours is equal parts CBD and THC, and I put two tiny drops into a capsule and give it to him to swallow every night before bed. It doesn't get him high, but it helps him sleep, and getting a decent amount of sleep has been instrumental in making him feel better. 
Thanks to the oil there are days where he doesn't take any painkillers aside from his anti-inflammatory, and even on bad days he's now cut back from six to two Tylenol!

We've received a ton of (unsolicited) advice about our diet. Go paleo, cut out dairy, gluten and sugar, become vegetarian, only eat organic, etc. 
Here's the thing: we love food. There are few things better in life than roasting a chicken you raised yourself, mashing potatoes with a healthy dose of butter, and serving it with a rainbow of colourful vegetables. We don't want to restrict ourselves. We have no food allergies, and we don't want to create a list of 'forbidden' food. Like most women, I lived like that for a decade, and it made me miserable and ill-tempered. 

So no, we won't cut out anything. We live by the rule "everything in moderation", and we grow some of our food ourselves (if you ever eat with us, chances are that your piece of meat has a name 😉), but we won't follow a "diet". I hate the word diet. Diets are not permitted in our home. 

Food plays such a large role in life: it's much more than just "fuel for your body" (an expression that irks me, to be honest). It's part of our culture, our history together as a couple, and it's a large part of what makes life enjoyable. 
We eat a ton of fruit and veggies, but we also love Kaiserschmarrn for breakfast (torn pancakes with raisins and apples, an Austrian speciality), we have ice cream regularly, and neither of us says no to a big, juicy steak. 
I don't feel like our eating habits are unhealthy, and I definitely don't believe that they have contributed to Rich's illness. So, while I appreciate the attempts to help us, we respectfully decline to follow the latest eating fad. 

I'm still doing the heavy lifting around here, because of Rich's painful hands and shoulders, but he's feeding all his birds. We have found a good balance of doing the chores for now, and once spring comes, it will be a whole lot easier. 

Overall, we are on the up and up! 
It's easy to forget sometimes that we've only known that he has Lyme Disease for two months, and have been treating it for a relatively short amount of time. 
At our last doctor's visit, we discussed just that, and the doctor said: "You were basically crippled in December, and look at you now!"
Look at him, indeed. That man of mine is a fighter, and I'm so proud of him!

Happy weekend!

xo Miriam



  1. So glad to hear that Rich is making progress and feeling better in such a short time. Here's to progress (and warmer days and sunshine!). :)

    1. Yes to both!I have a feeling that his pain will melt away with the snow - which means, the sooner that happens, the better!
      How are you doing? Are you getting better as well?

  2. This is such great news!!
    And I commend you for your lack of diet :P Eat well and be happy.

    1. Oh yes! Life's too short to make it complicated with weird food rules - all food is great!

  3. I'm glad to hear that the treatments are helping. It sounds like Lyme's is a pretty challenging diagnosis. Congratulations on the progress so far. I also wanted to say – I TOTALLY agree with the food as "fuel for your body" being irksome. It kinda makes me crazy when people over-simplify the role food plays in our lives.

    1. IT goes right along with the mindset that our bodies are fine-tuned "machines" - we are SO much more than some muscle, coordination and stamina.
      We are living, breathing beings with emotions, talents, the ability to love deeper than we ever thought possible, we are messy and flawed and full of contradictions. We are so much more than a "machine".

      Lyme is difficult to diagnose, primarily because there isn't a clinical test that can give you a 100% answer. Many people with Lyme disease get negative blood tests, because the borrelia bacteria hide in cells and are not being detected in the blood. A good doctor will take the symptoms into consideration, combined with ruling out other diseases.

  4. I am so happy to read about Rich's progress! I giggled when you said he feeds the birds because it made me think of the "tuppence" song from Mary Poppins. That breakfast looks to die for!

    1. Omg, he IS the little old bird (wo)man! It's perfect! :-D
      And yes, Kaiserschmarrn is a favourite in our house, we eat it at least once a week!


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