Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme Disease
Chronic Lyme disease with co-infections, CFS/ME
No evidence of disease
I tried conventional medical treatment, but it did not heal my condition, so then I used only non-conventional treatments, at which point I healed.
Blood Testing, Medical assessment
Diet Change, Herbs & Supplements, Increasing Positive Emotions, Following Your Intuition, Deepening Your Spiritual Connection, Taking Control of Your Health
Energy Healing (e.g., acupuncture, reiki, kinesiology, etc), Exercise, I.V. infusions (please specify in your healing story), Massage, chronic fatigue specialist clinic, low dose immunotherapy, immune boosting injections
I was first diagnosed with mono/glandular fever after a month of being ill with a blood test. Then with CFS/ME by a doctor who had listened to my symptoms and length of time I had been ill (but only after I had found and done research into this illness myself, finding that I strongly resonated with it), and then lastly with chronic Lyme disease and multiple co-infections by a pioneering specialist doctor who gave me many thorough blood tests and assessed me and my symptoms. She was the first doctor to really listen to me.
For CFS/ME I was told to partake in graded exercise and talk therapy. When I attempted the graded exercise my symptoms worsened terribly. I refused talk therapy as at the time I became ill I felt strong, happy and calm.
The form of conventional treatment I had for Lyme disease was a long course of intravenous antibiotics that lasted for 9 months. They did not make any difference.
If you are presenting with similar symptoms as I had during my illness, first of all I would like to say: there is hope. I know this can be hard to believe. I had been ill for over eight years before I found my answer. I had spent six of them absolutely clueless as to what was the cause of my extreme exhaustion and array of other terrible symptoms. I was actually at the point of giving up when my 'miracle' happened. But luckily for me, I was willing to give it one last shot. Because of this, I am now at one hundred percent health. Doctors said it was not possible, and yet here I am. I feel as though I have been to the depths of hell and back because of two little letters; ME. I will tell you my story now.
I came down with what I thought was the flu back in 2007. A month later, my symptoms were not improving and so I made a trip to the doctors. I tested positive for mono and was told to rest as the illness would resolve on its own. After almost two years of rest I was finally told that I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)/ ME. Others out there who have also been given this diagnosis will understand it is like a death sentence. No help. No respect. No understanding. No answers to what is actually going on in the body. A common belief among medical professionals is that in order to become well all we need is psychotherapy and graded exercise which, in my opinion, couldn't be further from the truth.
Previously I had tried anything and everything to recover. This included acupuncture, dietary changes, supplements, kinesiology, specialist clinics, I even traveled all the way to Brazil to see a psychic surgeon! I am a very determined person and was constantly researching and experimenting with new treatment ideas.
My body was deteriorating and I had no idea of what I could do to improve my situation. I had test results showing extremely high levels of the Epstein Barr virus or EBV (the virus that causes mononucleosis or glandular fever) but doctors would ignore this and tell me that my problem was psychosomatic. Thankfully, after having to listen to these judgmental comments for six years, I found a pioneering physician in the private health care system. Once she had carried out a very thorough testing procedure, she immediately diagnosed me with Lyme Disease and a multitude of co-infections, including EBV. Having a diagnosis gave me such peace of mind after all of the years that I had put up with doctors and laypeople labeling me as lazy, malingering, and mentally ill. I was treated with antibiotics intravenously for nine months. However the medicine did not work for me as by this time I had already had Lyme Disease for many years. The longer a person is ill without receiving treatment the harder the disease becomes to eradicate.
The Lyme and other viruses had attacked my body so viciously that by this time I was completely bed bound and reliant on my mother for everything. They had attacked my neurological system so I could not stand noise of any description, touch, light, or movement. I could not move a finger without my brain swelling and causing me unbearable pain. My body began to reject all food so that I was literally starving. I had to lay still in bed with no communication whatsoever, wearing earplugs, headphones, and an eye mask to protect me from the world. This extreme level of suffering occurred for three and a half years. There were actually many other severe symptoms that I was dealing with at the same time, but I'm sure you get the picture. My situation was devastatingly dark.
Then I was presented with a new product to try. The supplement contained a special protein molecule found naturally in the blood that stimulates the macrophage white blood cells, strengthening the immune system so that it can fight pathogens on its own. It was a form of immunotherapy that was entirely natural. Within eight days (two injections on a very low dose) I began to feel small changes in my symptoms. Within a few weeks some of them were starting to disappear (an entirely new experience in my healing journey).
Over the following weeks many of my symptoms improved without me needing to do anything more than simply be injected with the substance once every four days. My POTS (being unable to sit or stand without collapsing), my breathing difficulties, and my joint pain all decreased substantially, and I was beginning to be able to eat wholesome foods again. However, the most severe of my symptoms, including my extreme exhaustion, excruciating headaches, cognition difficulties, and sensitivity to sound, touch and movement did not change. The main elements that were making it impossible for me to leave my bed and become autonomous again were unrelenting. I was left feeling overwhelmingly frustrated.
At this time, a doctor expressed his opinion that my body had simply sustained too much permanent damage to ever recover. Alongside this depressing prognosis, he also shared two highly intriguing stories with me. The first was about one of his own past patients: a young girl who had been suffering with severe brain damage. She had brain scans showing that her condition was permanent and was confined to a wheelchair. One day, her mother was taking her out for some fresh air, and just as the girl was nearing a pond, she was accidentally pushed over a rock. She was catapulted out of her seat and landed in the freezing cold water. At the time she fell into the pond she was seriously ill and yet moments later she walked out of the water completely healed. Was it the shock of the experience that had caused this monumental shift? No one, including my doctor, could ever explain how this miracle had occurred.
The man also said that occasionally, when someone has been as ill as I had for many years, the body can remain in a state of dis ease, no matter what treatment it is given. In other words, it can become so comfortable running in the way that it has for years that it actually doesn't remember how to feel healthy again.
Each of the stories I had heard seemed surreal in their own right. But the story I ruminated over the most was the one about the girl who had walked out of the pond healed. I would think, ‘Why can’t I be her? What’s stopping me? She was an ordinary girl. She had no secret powers and yet this miracle had still occurred, so why wouldn't it be possible for something like this to happen to me?’
After so many years of suffering and so many failed attempts to be well, there came a day that I simply could not fight any longer. I had not seen any improvements in my health for months. I was still hardly able to move a finger without feeling terrible pain. I knew that something HAD to happen, or I would have to end my life. I didn't want to give up but logically I could see that there was no other alternative. I had exhausted all avenues. That was when the most important facet of my healing came into play.
For years I had been waiting for someone else to have the answer; to save me. In that moment the truth finally dawned on me that this was not going to happen, there was no miraculous treatment, no answer for me to find. Within minutes of that realization, I made a crucial decision; I was the person who had to make it happen. I would become the girl in the pond.
I decided to believe with all of the fibers of my being that I was already well, that my body was only unaware of this and I was going to be the one to make it cognizant of this fact... immediately. I WOULD NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER. I called my mum into my room and began to speak to her. My symptoms flared up but I ignored them. I took my headphones off. The same happened again, but I said out loud with every scrap of strength and determination that I could muster, that they were going to listen to me now.
I then decided, with the support of my mum, to get out of bed and take a lay down bath. Once this was finished, I returned to my bed completely depleted of all energy. Moments later, I made up my mind that I would ignore these feelings of exhaustion. With that, I got up and, with assistance, walked into the living room. As I tried each of these strenuous activities I noticed that my symptoms would become worse. However, I remained emphatic that they were no longer to play a role in my life. Upon hearing this clear message, one by one they would eventually subside (something that had definitely never occurred in all of the eight years that I had been ill). The rest of the day progressed in this fashion. My symptoms would flare up but I would repeat the same mantra until they passed.
Even though the bulk of my transformation occurred within the next twenty-four hours, this pattern actually continued in varying degrees for months. I was improving but my body would constantly try to go back to familiarity, all that it had known for so many years. I had to keep telling it, “you don't need to react like this anymore, you are well.” Right from the first day this is what I did. I said “you are well, but you don't know how to run properly again. You are just stuck in what you know, but you must relearn how to feel healthy now”. And this is the mind set I kept throughout the last part of my healing.
In order to override my symptoms, it was crucial that I embodied all that I was telling myself. At the end of the day, I had to manifest my miracle. But this wasn't always easy. The mind is a complex thing. I was constantly fighting to stay positive, to believe that I could beat this illness on my own. When symptoms would flare up again I would feel as though the fight would never be over. The action of becoming well called for more determination, bravery, and strength than I had ever demonstrated before.
Using nothing but the power of my mind, I recovered my health by approximately 50 percent within a 24-hour period. It then took another eight months for me to fully convince my body that it could and would heal. The last part of my healing came during a two month solo trip to Bali. Here I witnessed my vitality returning while participating in activities such as swimming in the fresh clear water at the base of a waterfall or following a narrow dirt path through lush rainforest. It was at these times that I could literally feel my muscles and heart coming alive again.
One day, towards the end of my two-month trip, it dawned on me that I had stopped having to convince my body that the illness was gone. It crept up so slowly that I didn't even realize the change until it had already happened. Before leaving for Bali I had been terrified that I would never be well. However, it was not through any form of pushing or trying that my full personal transformation had occurred. In the end, I achieved my aspiration by participating in new experiences, feeling pleasure in all of its many forms and giving myself the time to simply be. My travels had provided me with the perfect ingredients to foster my own healing.
After being ill for a total of nine years, I am so happy to be able to say that I have fully recuperated and have been completely autonomous and independent for over four years. There is a palpable sense of freedom that comes from having full confidence in your own body's ability to continuously function in a state of equilibrium. I am now able to do whatever I please, whenever I want to, but even more importantly, I feel totally at ease in this level of complete trust. Having the awareness that there is no longer a need to fight for my physical health holds so much power. The huge amount of energy that was previously lost on this all-encompassing battle is now used to live my life, taking pleasure in all of its richness.
I have a strong wish to help others who are in the position I was in only a short time ago. The best thing I can advise is for you to be kind and patient with yourself but to come at this process with unwavering determination. The road will not be straight. But you will get there. Also, don't be afraid to go for it. This is a big ask after years and years of having to be careful, having to listen so intently to your body for signs of your symptoms flaring up. With this disease we have been conditioned to fear, I know. But its now up to you to stop it from controlling you any longer.
You can tell your body what it is capable of now; slow and steady but with no fear. The words you say to yourself need to come from the deepest place, using all of the fire that you hold within your being. The power of intent is limitless. Believe that magic is possible and from this place you can take the steps to create your new reality.
I have written a book that is not yet published that covers my experience of having two presently marginalized illnesses; ME and chronic Lyme disease, and my journey to regaining full health. My aim is to spread the message that each person has the power to create positive change in their lives, no matter how overwhelming their personal adversity may seem. If I could reach even one person with my story, it would make me extremely happy.
Alongside trying to publish my book, I also work as a psychotherapist and Reiki practitioner, helping others on their journeys of transformation. I provide sessions over Skype as well as in person. My website is sunrisehealing.co.uk.
I wish each of you reading this the best of luck and hope that this information will support you in returning to one hundred percent health.
IT IS POSSIBLE.
EDITOR'S NOTE: As of February 2021, Carly is well and thriving post-diagnosis.
Contracting Lyme disease.
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