I found myself in my late 30’s in the worst shape of my life. I was having more and more health issues and I had no idea what was happening. My unexplained symptoms started slowly at first and got progressively worse over the years. It started with occasional indigestion, occasional poor sleep, and occasional upper back and shoulder pain. This got progressively worse over the years and I started having these symptoms all the time. And then I started having brain fog and things started getting really bad. I had a successful career in corporate America and all of a sudden I felt myself slipping and I had no idea why. I took pretty good care of myself, although I did party pretty hard on the weekends. I think the years and years of being a weekend warrior was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
I would wake up on days feeling really out of it and with a sense that something just wasn’t right. I would make a doctor’s appointment and usually by the time I saw him 2-3 weeks later I wouldn’t be feeling as bad. My doctor would run the standard blood tests and everything was in the normal range. He chalked it up to me getting older and probably just working too hard. This went on for a few years and I started to think it was all in my head. I was losing confidence at work due to my brain fog getting worse and I started getting really bad anxiety. I was also taking on more responsibility at work and the levels of stress were getting higher and higher. The added stress was really starting to affect me and ultimately make my symptoms worse.
Then one day I was at a bar for a friend’s birthday and I bumped into another friend that I hadn’t seen in some time. We started talking and it turned out she had a lot of symptoms that I had. She had just started seeing an integrative medicine doctor and she told me how he tested her for all sorts of things that I had never heard of. I wasn’t familiar with integrative medicine doctors at the time but I knew that this was the kind of doctor that I needed to see. I made an appointment and the doctor spoke with me for about an hour. He told me that based on my symptoms he thought I had Lyme disease. The only thing I knew about Lyme disease was that you get it from ticks and I had never found a tick on me so didn’t think that I had it. Well my tests came back and I tested positive for Lyme along with Candida, and mercury toxicity. I was actually relieved at the time because at least I knew I wasn’t crazy and now I knew what I had so at least I could address it. I thought I would take antibiotics for a month and be all better. Unfortunately it took a little longer than that and I got a lot worse before I got better.
My doctor had me taking 3 different antibiotics, 3 times a day. I went from 175 pounds down to 140 pounds at one point. Once I had the realization that I wasn’t going to be better from this after a month I started doing hours and hours of research on the internet on how to get better. I spent thousands and thousands of dollars on various supplements and I was seeing my doctor every 2 weeks and at $450 an hour that was really adding up. In addition to all the supplements and meds, I experimented with different diets. I went vegetarian for a while and I eventually became macrobiotic, which is even stricter. I managed to get my weight back up to 150 pounds but I couldn’t get it to budge from there. Cutting out alcohol, sugar, gluten and processed foods made a really big difference but I wasn’t getting the results that I wanted. I had heard about the paleo diet but I didn’t think that was for me. I finally came across a version of paleo that had more of an emphasis on seafood as the protein source and I decided to give it a try. I also started learning more and more about my gut and that most of our immune system lives there and I started to realize all of the damage that the antibiotics were doing to me. Within 2 weeks of changing my diet I was feeling so much better. I made a decision to stop taking all of my antibiotics and I haven’t been on them since.
I finally had the energy to start working out again and was able to get back to my normal weight of 175 pounds after about 6 months. For the first time in several years I was starting to feel normal again. Just when things seemed to be turning around in my life it became apparent that my marriage was falling apart. I had been so focused on healing from Lyme that I had neglected my marriage and by the time I was feeling good enough to work on it, it was too late. I started doing a lot of self reflection and it started to become more and more apparent that I had a different calling in life. I had a corporate job at a prestigious consulting firm with a great salary and benefits. I knew I wanted to make a change, I just didn’t know what. I also knew I would never fully heal until I changed careers and did something that I was passionate about.
Other people with Lyme disease that either knew me directly or had heard of my recovery through friends of friends started reaching out to me for advice on how to get better from Lyme disease. I was able to help out quite a few people. A lot of people I spoke with commented on how I really knew my stuff and that I should do this as my job. I didn’t really think much about it at first and then one day it finally hit me and I made a decision to change careers. I walked away from a $140K salary with really good benefits to follow my passion and to live a life of purpose. I decided to become a health coach with a focus on helping others who have Lyme disease.
Having a self awakening is not uncommon for those who have Lyme disease. I truly believe that I was infected with the borrelia bacteria many years ago and my body was able to live with it. My body just got to a point where it had enough partying and something in me knew I wasn’t living my life’s purpose. Lyme caused a lot of havoc on my body and mind and I am still recovering from some of it but all I know is that I am in such a better place now and that I am moving in the right direction and living a life of purpose. I never really had a purpose before and now my life mission is to help as many people as possible achieve optimal health.