4 Months Later…
Hi, my name is Kyla. It's been two months since my last confession. OK, a little Catholic humor. Forgive me. (Also Catholic humor. Sorry.) I have been back home in the U.S. since August 19th and have been moving fast ever since. There are so many things that I had planned to blog about (the last month at Nu Tech, mainly) but it seems likely the most important topic right now is how I am doing.
After returning home, I had about a week or so to adjust before beginning teaching. Lucky me, my classes were PACKED. I was teaching 260 freshmen a day with no break. Things have calmed down a bit, but I had to go into "survival mode" to make it through September. It seems crazy to work so hard after returning, but with a lot of support and rest, I managed OK.They have hired a new teacher, so now my classes are much more manageable. (It might seem crazy to work, but keeping my job has become equivalent with keeping my sanity. I'm holding on dearly.)
Aside from being tired and emotionally exhausted, I have two main improvements to officially report: Increased energy and cognitive processing! Or in simpler terms: I'm not as drained and my brain is working better.
I no longer need to take naps in the afternoon. Last May, I could barely make it through the day before I sat on my couch in a semi-coma for a few hours trying to recover enough to actually get ready for bed. I am still in a lot of pain, but I have the energy to make it through a normal day. About once every week or so, I do find myself completely wiped out still.
(Lyme patients know what I mean when I am talking about fatigue. Fatigue is not just being tired like everyone else from living, but a type of extreme exhaustion that is usually a result of a medical condition. Fatigue is a type of energy loss that drains you from your core.)
The second obvious improvement is the increased mental function I have experienced. Last May, I found myself avoiding phone calls and social interactions that required me to put together authentic, coherent sentences. I would get lost in my thoughts, forget simple words necessary for a basic explanation and generally exhaust myself trying to put together a paragraph. It was embarrassing and discouraging.
But now…"I'm baaaack." I'm not avoiding my friends and family. I am answering my phone. I am meeting people after work. I have original thoughts and I can get out what I need to say. I am writing this blog in half the time as before.
I wish I could write that my pain has decreased or that I don't wake up every day feeling like I played football the night before, but I've been reassured that nerve regeneration takes time. Some people report a decrease of pain even while they are at NuTech, and although exercise in physio and rest in my room helped, my pain is still fully present.
In the meantime, I have taken up swimming! With the increased energy and the need to keep my joints moving, swimming has become an easy, low-impact way to drain the lymph nodes. I proudly squeeze on my silicone cap, tighten my silly-looking goggles, waddle out to the pool deck in my flower bathing suit, and thank the Universe for every stroke.
More to come...the last month at NuTech, I swear!