Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March: still sick, but improving

It's been almost a month since my last post. I think the more my health improves, the less interested I am in posting, or thinking about Lyme disease.

Not that I'm all better, of course...

I'm finished with the course of Ceftin and Biaxin. And I'm a bit confused as to what was herx and what was normal lymie-ness. The fatigue I reported in my previous post came back periodically throughout the month, as well as almost constant neck and back pain. There were a few days here and there of nasty neuro (I feel like an unhappy troll hiding under a bridge, waiting for it to stop), and some brain fade during the periods of fatigue. Still struggling with ringing ears and sensitivity to noise.

But... there were also periods, like during the last Diflucan course, where I felt pretty darn great, and am beginning to feel like my old self again, both physically and mentally. I just have to remain objective, and not be too dismayed when the lyme comes crushing back in a day or so.

Is it possible to have a "wrist herx"? Last week my left wrist hurt so bad I was beginning to think somehow I had a stress fracture. Both constant toothache-y pain, and *very* sharp pain if I so much as turned my hand slightly in the wrong direction. Screamingly sharp. I thought it was unlikely I had broken it, and figured it was either lyme-causing-tendonitis, or tendonitis-made-worse-by-lyme. Either way, I know tendonitis is really hard to heal, and takes a long time.

Well, after 3-4 days of this, and taking the occasional Tylenol with Codeine so I could sleep through the pain, it just went away. Completely. I can do anything with the wrist now, and no pain at all. What the heck? I'm happy, but confused. It's not all in my head, really! :) All I can figure is that it was a herx reaction. Many folks report joint problems, almost always knees. I've never had any problems with my knees, but early on could hardly use my hands due to pain in thumb and wrist joints. But even that wasn't nearly as acute as this recent condition.

I'm feeling increasingly like I'm in a "middle place". Still ill, still disabled, but often don't feel like it. Early on, I was so sick I couldn't even begin to think of "doing anything". Plus, I'm kind of hunkered down in the finance department, having not earned a dime in a long time now, and the prospect of reversing the disability denial merely a concept, not reality. But now that I'm getting better, I feel like using this time to do something. Anything.

The financial writing is coming along, though it'll never pay more than lunch money. But it keeps me busy.

I've always liked the idea of being able to express myself artistically, but never had any easy, innate talent, and always put off working hard at it. So, for Christmas I asked for, and received, a beginner Bob Ross oil painting set (don't laugh, I like Bob Ross :) . Now that the weather's warming up, I'm going to try a bit of oil painting. If I can relax into it, and not do too horribly, it should end up being healing and entertaining. Or it could turn out to be just frustrating, we'll see...

I felt so good one day that I packed my backpack and went for a hike! Really! I packed everything needed for an overnight (about 18 lbs.), and headed up a mountain on the Appalachian Trail an hour from home. Just packing and driving there tired me out, but I proceeded very slowly, enjoying the fresh air, and the motion of my body. I ended up only going 2.5 miles, resting a couple hours, and turning around and heading back to the car. But it was good. I just figured I didn't want to push a good thing, and that when the end of the day came, I'd be better off sleeping in my bed than on the ground. I was glad to have the gear and food so that I could have stayed out if I'd wanted. I was pretty sore the next couple of days, but I survived. It was a pretty teeny hike for a former thru-hiker, but it's a beginning. I'm hoping for a repeat soon.

So now I'm off meds for a week or so, letting the body regroup a bit. Next week I see the LLMD again, and find out what April's little medical adventure will be.


beth said...

I used to be a runner AND a painter before Lyme. One of the good things (okay, the only good thing) that happened because of Lyme is that I am painting more and selling them...not enough to pay for treatment unfortunately, but still! Oh, the other other good thing is I have met some really cool people, both instructors and students, in the classes and workshops I take. I actually haven't been painting for several months as I have a pretty time consuming IV antibiotic regimen and I just can't seem to wrap my brain around anything else. Anyway, you never know, maybe you'll find find your inner artist!

Joe said...

Ouch, you had to bring this up. At least the one ugly painting I've done can't talk--though it mocks me just by existing.

I, ahem, didn't find things nearly as easy as Bob Ross. Happy little trees my ass. Happy little globs of mud-colored paint, more like.

It really was comical, by the time I finished the session I was covered in paint. And I was exhausted from having to hold up the paint brush. So pathetic.

It appears my inner artist is still hiding. Sigh.

I'm glad you've been able to find one or two *good* things about Lyme. I have also, over time. But so far, painting isn't one of them. Maybe I'll try singing...

Tyler said...

Forget Bob Ross...your photographs are great....maybe that is your artistic outlet.

Actually, I lied when I said there were good things about Lyme....I was just trying to channel my happy upbeat self. I'm pretty sure I could paint and meet cool people without Lyme! Sorry.

Good luck with your singing career.

Beth said...

Whoops...I'm not Tyler...