When I was laying in bed month after month, I knew there was a possibility that I was dying or that I would be severely disabled for the rest of my life. Even so, I tried to hold on to hope that some kind of recovery was possible. I didn’t know of any severe Lyme patients who had been able to get 100% better and stay better. Relapses were all too common. Lyme doctors rarely talked about recovery and instead used the language of remission.
The most hopeful stories I heard were of people improving enough that they were able to live semi-normal lives if they were careful about pacing. But even the people who were able to regain functionality were left with a lifetime of bothersome symptoms ranging from fatigue to periodic seizures.
I thought the best I could hope for was a carefully monitored life where I would finally be able to see friends, do basic chores, and raise a small family or have a part time job. I would have very limited energy and need to be extremely careful about not overdoing it. I would probably experience several relapses throughout my life but if we caught them early they wouldn’t need to result in years of disability. That was my goal and it was a vastly more hopeful picture than my reality at the time.
I often wondered what I might do when I was finally in remission. Maybe I would be a part-time nutritionist. Maybe I would go to cosmetology school to become a hair stylist. Maybe I would start an Etsy store to sell my crochet projects. Maybe I would get certified to train service dogs.
I could see myself pursuing any one of those ideas, but things are very different now that I am coming back to life. Fortunately or unfortunately, the one dream I thought was finally dead is coming back to life with me. Almost as soon as I remembered what it felt like to have a body pulsing with energy, I wanted to dance again.
At first, this frustrated me greatly. I thought my dancer life was gone. I’m way too old to start over. I’m going to be terrible. No one has ever come back from 5 years of illness. Just leave me alone and let me live my new normal.
I wrestled with it for months. I tried to squash it with thoughts about how miserable, impossible and time consuming it would be to get back into dancing. It didn’t work. I prayed about it a lot and asked God to take it away. That didn’t work either.
I talked to Brett about it but instead of helping me to shoot the idea down, he encouraged it. Ugh! He asked me what the first step would be if I wanted to explore the possibility of dancing again. I told him I would probably start Pilates classes so I could strengthen my core and get fit enough to take adult beginner ballet classes without risking injury or humiliation.
He reminded me that I don’t need to have it all figured out to take that first step. After all, signing up for Pilates lessons is something I’m unlikely to regret whether I end up dancing again or not. I couldn’t really argue with that… so I prayed about it some more and decided to go for it.
I started Pilates last Thursday and I love it! It felt so good to gently challenge my body again. The studio is in a new building and my instructor is really nice. I’m so excited to get stronger!
I don’t know for sure that I will be able to dance again but I do know that if I don’t at least try, I’ll always wonder what would have happened if I did. You can’t get very far in life if you’re unwilling to risk failure. After all, if I hadn’t taken a gamble on mold avoidance I wouldn’t be that rare Lyme patient who is actually recovering. I do hope that someday my story will prove that a 100% recovery is possible after all. We’ll see…
By the way, Brett and I made a beautiful PDF of my favorite resources for suffering souls. I created the content and he made it look fancy with his superduper graphic design skills. It’s available for free to my email subscribers. Click here to sign up and receive 5 Resources for the Suffering Soul.
Yay! Yay! Yay! Yayayayayayay!!! I’m so happy you’re doing this! I’m really looking forward to seeing where this takes you!November 15, 2017 at 3:39 pm
Aww… Thank you Laura! 🙂🙂🙂November 15, 2017 at 5:57 pm
Ana, this post will give many people hope. And that’s something that’s missing when you feel as you did five years ago. I was so excited to read this and hear of your progress. And to think when you started this blog you were not thinking you would come this far. So this is so awesome. Another thing I got out of this post, which was probably not what you intended, was how grateful we should all be when our bodies work like they are supposed to. If we wake up in the morning feeling fine, we should Praise The Lord!! So often we take this for granted. (And I’m ashamed to say I do this very often!). So you go girl!! Loved seeing this pic!! 🙂November 15, 2017 at 4:04 pm
So true Chris! I hope it does bring hope to others. You’re right about being thankful! 😊💕November 15, 2017 at 6:47 pm
I whole heartedly agree with this! God still opens and closes the doors and if it is his will it will be clear. At least that’s my life story. It’s scary but God gets all the glory on that path. Blessings dear one!November 15, 2017 at 10:17 pm
Very true Lorianne! I’ve definitely learned that my life isn’t in my control. And even though I never want to go through something so horrible again, I think my life will be much more peaceful and fun for having relinquished control and let go of expectations.November 16, 2017 at 1:04 pm
I’M SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!! This is such good news! I’ll be praying that God gives you the strength to one day dance again. PTL!November 16, 2017 at 5:52 am
Thank you so much Tatiana! 💕November 16, 2017 at 2:36 pm
Your progress this year is amazing! Praise God!November 16, 2017 at 7:18 am
I know! 😊November 16, 2017 at 2:36 pm
Awesome job with the pilates, Ana! I’m really glad you’re going for it, despite the risks and fears. Your courage is amazing. You inspire me more than you know. 🙂November 16, 2017 at 11:38 pm
Aww… Thank you Ruth! You’re so sweet! 😊November 17, 2017 at 1:34 pm
Yes! You go girl! Those first couple steps can sometimes be the scariest, but God can get you through it. So proud of you and how far you’ve come!November 17, 2017 at 12:08 pm
Thank you for the encouragement Ashley! 😊💕November 17, 2017 at 1:35 pm
Rather than dancing, what about a focus on Pilates? You could train to be an instructor and help ALOT of other people! In addition to the platform to minister to others, it would also give you the chance to make some money. I call that a WIN-WIN!November 17, 2017 at 3:49 pm
This entry makes me so happy to read! ^_^
(& you crochet?! How awesome! 😛 )
http://www.theoccupiedoptimist.comNovember 19, 2017 at 8:05 pm
😊😊😊😊November 20, 2017 at 5:49 pm
Yay! That’s SO awesome! 😀November 23, 2017 at 8:15 am
Wow! God is good! That’s great that you can pursue your dream again!!! And yes, even if you never dance again at least you tried! 🙂January 1, 2018 at 1:33 pm
This is wonderful! Best of luck in pursuing this amazing dream and continued healing! Happy New Year! 😀
AlexaJanuary 1, 2018 at 6:31 pm