Relapsing, Fighting and Dreaming
I am writing this blog post whilst listening to the “Scorpions – Wind of Change”. After having a wonderful time in South-East Asia, I am now physically doing worse. Unfortunately I got the confirmation last week when I had an extensive check-up. Because of a virus the Lyme itself is active again. I received a second (natural) antibiotic and some supplements in order to help me fight it.
My situation is as follows: when all the medication and supplements are doing their job, when I am living in the most healthy way I can and the Lyme is present but inactive, then I am at 70 % of my capacity. For me this feels like having a normal life. I can do what I want to do, but I do have to make choices. I can work 5 days a week, go running and have a social life. As long as I maintain my health and daily routine I feel fairly good and strong. I do have pain and I am tired, but it’s manageable and I can be a part of life.
Whenever I catch something, for example a flu or a cold, than this is twice as heavy for me. I spend most of my time in bed and the Borreliosis (Lyme) sees an opportunity to become active again whenever I’m sick. Mostly I relapse so far that most of the days I cannot get out of bed physically. I am in too much pain and I am too tired. My days are all about getting up, having breakfast, taking a bath or shower and getting back to bed. Sad days. Due to Lyme’s Disease I am vulnerable to every disease, bacteria etc. It is therefore literally and figuratively like falling down and getting back up. I enjoy my good periods and try to make the best out of my bad periods.
But let’s start at the beginning. Holiday. Luckily I was able to have an awesome time! After having to travel with lots of pain related issues for years, I now had an easy flight. We had a flight of about 10 hours and when we arrived at Kuala Lumpur my Mother, Sister and myself were very excited. It was a huge relief to be able to travel “normally”. Of course I was tired, but aside from that I felt like a normal and healthy person.
The Hotel apparently shared my excitement that I had energy left as the room wasn’t ready yet (to be fair, we arrived at 07.30 AM local time). Ah well, no bother. We still had the whole day to enjoy the magnificent city of Kuala Lumpur. What a beautiful (architectural) metropolis to behold!
After a few gorgeous days in Kuala Lumpur it was time to go to Bali. This trip also went flawlessly. Upon arrival at the beautiful Bali Hyatt Hotel at Sanur it felt that the Holiday has actually begun. Time flew by so fast! I was feeling well and even managed to run in the Sun at the hottest time of day. For a while I even “forgot” that I was sick. It was such a nice feeling to be able to fulfill all days and I really enjoyed it.
The only relapse I had was a week before departure. My Sister was having her 23rd birthday and I was feeling tired. We decided to eat a Sushi restaurant and when we sat down the waitress assured me that it was no trouble that I am allergic to seafood. There were lots of other options. My meat dish with rice looked good, smelled good, tasted good…. But fell horribly wrong. I suspect that there were traces of seafood present as I got an allergy attack (urticarial).
I got hives all over my face and neck and no ointment can cure it. The only thing I can do is to “wait it out” and drink water. At the time we were in Kuta as we were planning on having a night out in Kuta’s nightlife. And we did, even though I had my allergy attack. I did not want to spoil the day/evening for my Sister and wanted to have a night out myself as well. We had lots of fun and the booze came in large numbers. In the end it was a success.
They days after I felt rubbish. I stepped out of my daily routine for 1 day and stepped over my boundaries and got punished for it. My body couldn’t handle the alcohol and had even more trouble with me stepping out of my rhythm. It proved to be an unwise decision to go clubbing. For almost a week I was back to scratch. Feeling exhausted and having random allergy attacks. But I also recovered relatively fast. After 5 days of resting I felt strong again and I got back to my daily routine. Getting up, taking a shower, having breakfast, going for a run, having lunch, go swimming or sunbathing and having dinner.
Back in The Netherlands
After saying my Sister goodbye, she went to stay on Bali to follow a minor studies (Lucky Bastard), my Mother and I flew back to Amsterdam with a stop-over on Kuala Lumpur. The journey was again comfortable and I got back home feeling rested and recharged. It took me little effort to get to work again and to meet up with friends and family. I did have some trouble with the jetlag, but I got into my daily routine quite fast. Whenever I am conquering the Lyme and I am feeling strong and healthy, then it feels like having a normal life. Albeit that I am at 70 % capacity.
I was also exercising again. I had decided earlier that I am not going to play soccer anymore, but I took up running again. Running has always been a passion of mine, but it is also safer for me. I tend to have palpitations and it easier for me to monitor and regulate my blood pressure when I run, than when I play soccer. Besides that I can also exercise at my own pace. I try to run with the same intensity every time, but with my current physique that can mean different paces. I have accepted that I cannot be the runner that I used to be anymore. That in all probability I will never go near my PR at the Half Marathon (1h 21m) again, but at least they can’t take it away from me. Above all I consider myself lucky to be able to run again, looking at times and performance is a waste of time.
After giving it some thought I decided to sign me up for the quarter Bosmarathon in Soest of October 13th. Last year, when I wasn’t so ill and did not tell anyone about it, I had also run this quarter marathon I ran with my nephew and 2 friends in a relay format and we came in 3rd (see picture below). A few months ago I could not have imagined that I would be able to run this race again. I cannot comprehend why some days, and even weeks, I cannot take a walk or even get out of bed. And that in other periods I wake up energized and that I am working and exercising. Lyme Is not predictable.
But this dream might not come true after all. The last 2 weeks of September I was feeling weak, had a constant fever and lots of pain. Every day that I managed myself to get out of bed felt like a victory. Initially I dismissed this as having the flu. I did not want to acknowledge that I was ill as I had so much to do and to pursue. But after an extensive check-up it turned out to be a virus. Furthermore, the virus enabled the Lyme to become active again as well. Aside from the fact that I was in preparation for the quarter marathon, my nephew had also organized a party for my “comeback”. This lovely gesture meant a lot to me and I wanted to be present at that party at all cost.
At present time I am taking all these medication and supplements. That did not stop me from attending the party. Although my “comeback” is nowhere near in sight, it felt awesome to be able not to think about it. To just have fun, having drinks, meeting up and chatting with friends and to go clubbing. Something that was worth so much to me mentally, that I accepted the physical side of my decision. Friends, Family and of course the organizers “Matthäus” and especially “Ricky” – Thanks a lot! The night was invaluable to me.
They days after were tough like anticipated. I was already weak and had to recover again. I am not complaining about it, it was my decision, but the fact is that I spent the last days on my couch or in my bed. I was unable to walk or undertake other activities due to the pain I am having. This also meant I had trouble sleeping as the pain is ever present. All in all an unpleasant situation. With the publication of this blog I have no idea if I am able to pursue my current dream. I sincerely hope I can, but my physique has to work with me in order to bring the 10.5 KM to a success.
To conclude I want to thank everyone for their support and the beautiful messages that I have received! I keep believing and will never give up (see video above)!
— Lyme may have won this battle, but I will win the war! —