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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Mental and Physical Self-Therapy for Lyme Disease

During the course of suffering with the multiple symptoms of late-stage Lyme Disease, your body goes through a roller coaster of symptoms that include atrophy of your muscles from lack of use, loss of memory, and depression from chronic illness, among lists of other symptoms.

Here are some pointers from personal experience to help yourself (and those around you) cope with some of the symptoms as listed above.

Physically...

There will, realistically, be days when you will be in bed. You will crash and burn because you push yourself to take care of the functions of daily life.

Mentally...

Don't feel guilty about those days. They are necessary for your body to recuperate from a debilitating disease that remained untreated and misdiagnosed for a long period of time.

Physically...

Because of the multiple symptoms, you may not have been in the habit of exercising your body for quite some time. In order for your body to become strong again and to heal, you need to get your body moving. This will need to be a gradual process. Start with short walks, when weather permits, as the fresh air will also help the mental side of the disease. Your muscles also need stretching. Use a DVD or Video that includes beginner yoga with meditation so that you can incorporate the mind and body into the process. With yoga, your muscles become stronger and become stretched out at the same time. I recommend...



It's simple. Note: Don't feel like you have to do all of the things they do, just do your best and build up to it.

Mentally...

The physical and mental connection is strong. If you can take care of both of them by doing a yoga routine, that is definitely worth your while. As your body becomes stronger, you will notice that the mind fog begins to clear up and your thoughts become more organized, which can help you communicate with your doctor(s) with regards to your treatment and the options.

Physically...

Noise is a big factor at times and things become overwhelming. Don't feel bad if you only get part of your grocery shopping done because your legs feel like they are going to give out on you. Go home, put your feet up, and read instead.

Mentally...

Forget about feeling guilty. That is something that is easy to do, especially after years of illness. You have a diagnosis of Lyme Disease. It is treatable. You have hope. Now, use your time that you would have used to finish the grocery shopping and, instead of turning on the TV to be brainless (which, I admit feels pretty good at times), read uplifting literature so that your mental/intellectual state improves. You need to exercise your brain as much as you need to exercise your body. Both have been through great ordeals.

I recommend reading something that will get you away from your burden of illness and on to the possibility of giving service to others. It is amazingly healing! Right now I am reading...



He teaches you to think of yourself in a much better frame of mind and to give more to others. I've really enjoyed this book!

Physically...

Leave the house once a day. Go for a walk. Go to the store. Walk to the mailbox. Just get out. Depression happens to everyone who experiences chronic illness and you need to get out of the feeling like you are in a cave. Also, ask for help when you need it. You may find that this is a great way to get to know your neighbors. People feel good when they help others so you are actually blessing them. Just make sure that you limit it to asking for help ONLY WHEN NEEDED, or they may feel used.

Mentally...

When you get out of the house, you will notice a feeling of awakening. You will feel like you are getting out of your cave, out of your fog, and you will feel like you are becoming part of the regular world again. It can be such a relief and a great step in recovery when fighting the depression that comes from chronic illness.

Overall, remember that these steps take time. Don't give yourself dates to accomplish certain things until you reach a point that you can actually predict better when your crash and burn times might be. Try to avoid those crash and burn times by methodically spreading your chores and errands out so that you set reasonable limits for yourself. However, keep stretching to do a little more so that your recovery can continue on an upward path.

2 comments:

Lauryshark said...

Thank you for this post! I am glad you included mention of yoga. I practiced yoga before I got sick, and since I have had Lyme, yoga, especially Yin yoga, has helped immensely. Also, body-centered meditations have helped calm the muscle and joint aches. I would definitely recommend this to anyone else trying to stay a little bit active while they recover. If you go to a yoga class, make sure you have a teacher who emphasizes working at your own pace, and provides an environment where you can feel ok about stopping, slowing down or modifying where need be.

Lauryshark said...

Thank you for this post! I am glad you included mention of yoga. I practiced yoga before I got sick, and since I have had Lyme, yoga, especially Yin yoga, has helped immensely. Also, body-centered meditations have helped calm the muscle and joint aches. I would definitely recommend this to anyone else trying to stay a little bit active while they recover. If you go to a yoga class, make sure you have a teacher who emphasizes working at your own pace, and provides an environment where you can feel ok about stopping, slowing down or modifying where need be.