“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr.
When do you accept your current circumstances, and when do you keep fighting for change?
As someone who has lived with chronic illness and limitation for much of their life, this is a question I often ask myself.
I’m off to a new doctor today. Well, not so new. I’ve seen them twice before. I hesitate to write anything else at all about them, such is the culture of bullying and persecution that exists for doctors brave enough to diagnose and treat lyme disease here in Australia.
I saw my first lyme doctor back in 2013. They treated me with a hardcore regime of antibiotics and antibacterials, supplements and diet – saving my life and reversing many of my symptoms. But their practice was closed down fourteen months later, leaving me part-way through my treatment protocol and scrambling to find competent care.
I finally found another doctor to take me on.
Only to have that practice close down too.
I managed to cobble together a treatment plan and find other doctors who would treat me ‘under the radar’ but who couldn’t prescribe the drugs I needed to complete my treatment.
I improved a little more, and stabilised.
But slowly the old symptoms began to return, no matter what I did. Peripheral neuropathy, pain, rashes, facial numbness, exhaustion, mental confusion, neurological incontinence and lyme bladder, terrible headaches, eye pain, loss of vision, impaired balance, slow reflexes, sleep disturbance, fevers, sweats, heart problems.
Then I ended up with the flu at Easter, after which my old Lyme symptoms raged with a vengeance. My thyroid function has been almost destroyed, and my antibodies are off the chart. I have ongoing heart problems and vision disturbance which has not improved.
To have been on the road to well, and then to slide back again is terrifying.
To have gained function and then lost it again has been mental torture.
In early March, while I was in the Philipines I made the decision that I would leave Australia if necessary, to access the drugs and treatment that have been proven to lead me to recovery.
When I came home from Cebu someone in my circle directed me to this doctor, and told me they had discussed me with them, and that they would help me.
So, off I go today. I no longer even sit in a hopeful space. I am resolved and resigned. This is my new Plan A. But I have a Plan B and a Plan C too.
I know I can have a better quality of life. I’ve experienced that. And having tasted it I want more.
I’m not done fighting.
So, I’ll keep you posted. Fingers crossed this one is the last doctor I need for a long while.