Monday, May 27, 2013


The Green Sofa 1903, Sir John Lavery.
"Lying on the sofa is your job right now!" my mom said to me. (Can I wear that as my work uniform?)

"Are you taking Monday off?" the salad greens farmer asked me at the market Saturday. I'm one of his regular customers, and he was just being friendly. I was momentarily flummoxed, however.

"No, I don't really get days off," I said with a laugh. Changing the subject is always a good tactic in these situations. "What about you?" I asked. Interestingly, my farmer friend said he was going to relax on Memorial Day. (Instead of waking up at 4 a.m. to pick the arugula, which he's mentioned in other conversations.)

I remember when I was at my most sick. I would drag myself to a level one yoga class, where I would join in the stretching and child's poses, then lie on the floor and breathe while my classmates moved on to more strenuous things, such as the parts of yoga that involved standing up.

Every now and then these vertically gifted people would talk in happy tones about an upcoming three-day weekend. "What are you going to do on your day off?" they would ask each other. These were conversations I opted out of.

Sometimes, though, when Memorial Day or President's Day rolled around, I would imagine what I'd say to people if the universe would also grant me a day off. "It'll be great!" I'd say. "I'll get up and go for a run first thing. I'll eat whole wheat toast for breakfast, then I'll write for a few hours. I'll go the grocery store and buy my own food, cook dinner, and wash the dishes. And I'll eat a piece of chocolate cake, and then I'll sleep all night long."

Now, I do all of these things on a regular basis--except for the toast and cake. I almost take it for granted that I can do them. And I still don't get the day off. Back when I was my sickest, I assumed that if ever in the future I could run for three miles, or spend two hours dancing, I would be cured. I would be living a completely normal adult life.

Reality turned out to be far more complex. I can run and dance, but each day I make huge compromises with Lyme disease. Currently, I get up and seven and act like a quasi normal person until about ten thirty, when I need to rest again for at least forty minutes. I always need to take a nap after lunch. On any given day, I still don't know if the energy to go running will be there, although most days it is.

In a previous post I wrote about how my hormonal and endocrine systems are underactive. (This translates to issues with energy regulation, and all those female things like getting my period) This could be the result of the Lyme itself, of the physical stress from Lyme treatment, or a side effect of all the medicine I used to take. When my Dr. Marty Ross explained all this to me, I decided to try a few months of acupuncture and rest(-ishness) to see if these systems come back on their own, instead of immediately jumping into thyroid pills and estrogen and other hormanal replacement.

So that could be why I need all these naps, and why my energy isn't all that reliable. On the bad days, I remind myself that I chose this harder route for a good reason. In the long run, I'd like to be taking as few pharmaceuticals as possible. Within a few months, one way or the other, this aspect of my recovery should come to a resolution. In other words, I'm expecting that in the future things will be a little better. In other words, it's been six years since my Lyme diagnosis, and I'm still making progress.

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