As most of you know, I am still working to regain my health after battling Lyme disease and then dealing with the aftermath of the hardcore treatment and the toll it took on my gut health. The story in its entirety is here, but just quickly in case you’re new here, exactly a month after getting married, I was bitten by a tick. I didn’t think anything of it because it wasn’t swollen with blood and was a pretty fresh bite, so I just pulled it out and went about my business.
A few weeks later, I developed swollen joints. I saw nine different doctors in many months and I progressively got worse. By the time I hobbled into a Lyme specialist’s office in upstate New York, I had twenty-two symptoms.
The first trip to the Lyme specialist’s office was a nightmare. I had twenty-two symptoms and could barely walk. I had to sit through an intensive three hour intake. Thankfully, my mother in law had driven me (I couldn’t even drive by that point) and she became my eyes and ears in the appointment. I went through a number of tests, gave 17 vials of blood, and a few weeks later, they called to say I had Lyme disease.
It was the best day of my life! I finally had an answer! And now that I had this diagnosis I could just get better and get on with my life, right?
The long-term antibiotic treatment I went through was grueling. I wasn’t aware of the Herxheimer reaction that it would cause - when symptoms would get worse before they got better. I became completely bed-ridden at one point, and my husband Greg had to carry me from the bed to wherever I needed to go in the house. He had to dress me because I couldn’t even lift my arms over my head.
Every single day was a struggle. For over two years.
Finally I was able to get off antibiotics and I felt pretty good, but slowly, the toll the antibiotics took on my body begin to show through. My stomach was all messed up - I had trouble digesting food. My stomach was painfully distended after eating anything. My hair was falling out in clumps. My skin was a wreck. I began doing research and basically learned that I had developed leaky gut, which is essentially when the gut lining becomes permeable, allowing food particles to be released into the bloodstream and prohibiting the body from absorbing the nutrients. I was severely malnourished despite eating well and taking vitamins. I began a short term, two year, healing GAPS diet to repair my gut lining and improve my digestion and my two years will be up in October.
My digestion is perfect, but I am still off. I’m still experiencing skin issues, and have recently begun working with a GAPS practitioner, who is helping me figure out the last piece to the puzzle.
The disease, treatment, and subsequent dealing with the aftermath of the treatment has impacted my life tremendously. Aside from the obvious physical impact, it’s impacted my social and professional life as well. I couldn't go out and be with friends because of the lack of energy, and I couldn't work, either - because of the constant pain and lack of energy. I’m grateful that we were in a position where we were able to pay for my health care and that my husband could support both of us with his job. Now that I am 90% back to my old self and I am working again, I am always mindful of being prepared for things like this in the future. I just recently set up YBC's pay roll and am finally starting to pay myself. You can bet I'll be saving in a just-in-case account, because you seriously never know what the future holds. At the moment, because paying myself is such a new thing, I'm just putting a little away each week and once I see how the money flow is over the next few months, I'll hopefully be able to put more aside.
We never think these sort of things could happen to us. Or at least, I didn’t. I am all about living in the moment and being present, but I think it’s important to be smart and prepare for an unexpected event. When Prudential asked me to write about my experience, I jumped at the chance because not being prepared when something like this happens can just add fuel to the fire and make the experience much worse.
Prudential offers a really helpful tool that figures out the value of all you do for your family so that they’ll be covered in case the unexpected happens.
Preparing for the unexpected is a hard conversation to have, but in my opinion, it’s important to be smart, be prepared, and subsequently feel empowered.
Let’s talk: Has there ever been a time in your life when you’ve had to deal with the unexpected? Were you prepared? If you're a blogger or are in business for yourself - do you have a savings for things like this?