Day 23 | I’m Not Helpless Anymore

April 1, 2017

I woke up feeling much better this morning, and didn’t have any hives. Hooray! This is such a confirmation that my miserable symptoms yesterday were location related.

I can’t express how thankful I am for having stumbled across the locations effect. It’s amazing how quickly I am learning control my illness now that I’m armed with the knowledge that my environment is the biggest symptom trigger.

It seems so obvious now, but for most of my life, I never considered that the quality of the air we breathe could be even more fundamental to health than the quality of the food we eat. It’s a paradigm change for sure!

A paradigm change that has given me a measure of power over my illness. I feel like I’m finally subduing the cruel monster that’s tormented and controlled me these last 5 years! I’m not helpless anymore and that is a wonderful feeling. Learning to identify biotoxin exposure and decontaminate quickly has helped me to see my illness as being separate from me. My body isn’t the enemy anymore, it’s an ally telling me when I’ve been exposed to something dangerous. And that is such a healing realization.

Mold avoidance is still suffering but it is a different kind suffering than the pain of being at war with my own body. Yes, it’s incredibly difficult to be temporarily cut off from civilization and to be unable to even enter a building to use the bathroom. And yes, it’s incredibly isolating to not be able to interact with humans in normal contexts.

Even so, I am finding this kind of suffering to be refreshingly different. It’s not nearly as isolating as being trapped in a sickbed with a level of mental and physical anguish that cannot be put into words. People can relate to this new suffering much better because it is not hidden inside of my body. The suffering isn’t internal anymore and that makes me feel much less alone. I feel less “other” and more human.

Today we’re driving back “home” too our campsite on the public lands of Nevada. I am so happy to be going back to that feel good area! I’m really looking forward to sleeping under the stars again!

I read aloud from 1 Peter today and would like to close with a short quote from the scriptures,

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

1 Peter 5:10

It’s so comforting to know that all the things we so desperately long for, are exactly the things that God promises to those who suffer well. Even a lifetime of suffering here on earth is only “a little while” in comparison to the eternal life we will live after being restored, confirmed, strengthened and established.

I send out a weekly digest with updates about our adventures. To receive these updates click here.

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  • Marita Wilson

    Yay!! What an encouraging thing to hear! You have *always* been much more than your illness, and I’m so glad you are getting to reconnect with parts of yourself that have taken a backseat for a long time. So excited for you! Love you!

    April 2, 2017 at 11:14 am Reply
    • AnaHarris

      Aww… Thanks so much Marita! I miss you!

      April 3, 2017 at 7:32 pm Reply
  • Sean

    I identify with your Spirit…given from above…not based on self realization or other philosophies.

    April 2, 2017 at 3:52 pm Reply
  • Cora

    That’s great! I’m praying for you and Brett!!

    April 2, 2017 at 4:18 pm Reply
  • Courtney Harris

    What a wonderful update, Ana! So glad to hear you are seeing the sun start to peak through the clouds!

    April 2, 2017 at 5:29 pm Reply
    • AnaHarris

      Thanks so much Courtney!

      April 3, 2017 at 7:32 pm Reply
  • Natalie Marie Julson

    That’s amazing! Thanks for the update Ana, praying for you both

    April 2, 2017 at 6:06 pm Reply
  • Adriana

    Thanks for sharing your story. Praying for the both of you.

    April 2, 2017 at 8:01 pm Reply
  • Lily

    So encouraging!! Thank you Lord for relief!! 1 Peter is so comforting… He himself will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you… Thank you so much for sharing through this blog. Praying for you and Brett ❤️

    April 2, 2017 at 8:07 pm Reply
    • AnaHarris

      Thanks for stopping by Lily! I’m so glad my post was encouraging. 🙂

      April 3, 2017 at 7:33 pm Reply
  • Autumn

    I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through Ana, but I’m so glad you are sharing it with the world! We need more folks’ Lyme stories out there. If interested, you can check out my own at I’ve been dealing with Lyme for 8 years. I chose to go the natural route, have been to amazing 2 clinics (one in the US, one in CA) that have enabled me to return to a mostly normal lifestyle. I’m going to pin some of your information to my Lyme pinterest board! Blessings!

    April 2, 2017 at 8:44 pm Reply
    • AnaHarris

      That’s amazing Autumn! I’m so glad you’re doing better now. I always love to hear positive recovery stories and will be sure to check out your blog. Thanks for stopping by and sharing my posts on Pinterest.

      April 3, 2017 at 7:35 pm Reply
  • Ruth Meyer

    Glad to hear things are improving for you, Ana! Having any sense of control over symptoms is a huge help. I didn’t improve my thyroid health much until I changed to a gluten-free diet. It took me a year to fully change my diet, but I’ve never regretted that choice, and the small daily choices it took to get me there. Praying for your safety, health, and strength in the Lord as you travel and fight on for your health. ~ A sister in Christ from the YWW

    April 2, 2017 at 9:36 pm Reply
    • AnaHarris

      Thanks for stopping by Ruth! I’m so glad the gluten free diet helped your thyroid issues. I also have thyroid issues and am on a gluten free diet. 🙂 Thank you so much for the prayers! I really appreciate them!

      April 3, 2017 at 8:35 pm Reply
  • Grace

    Even though being sick probably puts a damper on a lot of things, it seems very exciting to be able to camp out and sleep under stars most nights. That sounds really fun and relaxing. If I were fighting sicknesses like yours, I would DEFINITELY prefer to be outside and exploring and such than be stuck in a hospital bed all day. That’s definitely something to be thankful for. I mean, of course it’s not sunshine and rainbows all the time (obviously), but being positive really helps your mental state (if not anything else). Keep fighting the good fight – Romans 5:3-5, Isaiah 41:13, John 16:33 are some really good Bible verses that you could read. 🙂

    April 3, 2017 at 8:11 am Reply
    • AnaHarris

      Thanks so much for your comment Grace! Thanks for the scripture references too!

      April 3, 2017 at 8:37 pm Reply
  • Carol


    I stumbled onto your blog through your family and have read about your story and the trials you have faced. As I read through your story, there seems to be a constant theme–ignore doctors advice and go the “natural” route. Instead of following a scientific method and plan of care, it seems you constantly reach out for alternatives before allowing the medical doctors to address each change. Are doctors always right? No. I’ve had friends search for answers to their medical questions for years only to find out that it was in fact Lymes. You were told by your doctor years ago that he suspected it, yet you chose to ignore it and due to that, it has become increasingly worse. Do you think, perhaps, that you should try listening to medical professionals instead of chasing the solution through advice from unqualified sources? I urge you to seek true medical advice, to stabilize your marriage and to take medicine. You are in my prayers.

    April 3, 2017 at 10:11 am Reply
    • AnaHarris

      Thanks for reading, Carol. I appreciate your care. Thankfully, you don’t really need to worry about this. I’ve had MDs working on my case from the beginning and have followed their advice, including taking many different medications. I did 9 months of pulsed IV antibiotic therapy among other things and am currently under the care of two highly qualified MDs (not naturopaths or alternative practitioners).

      I have been getting slowly better for the last few years and continue to make improvements. When I look back, I am able to see that each year was a little better than the one before. 😊

      For the sake of other chronic illness suffers who might read this comment I would also like to clarify one thing. Even though I prefer to entrust my primary medical care to an MD, I do not agree that natural medicine has nothing to offer.

      When you have a serious illness that science doesn’t fully understand you’re probably going to need to draw from both paradigms. There’s a lot we still don’t know about these illnesses and we need to stay open minded, no matter which paradigm we tend to gravitate towards. We need to read a lot, look at the studies that do exist, collect anecdotal evidence from those who have recovered, and not be afraid to try something carefully and come to our own conclusions about it.

      April 3, 2017 at 8:32 pm Reply
  • Bethany Rose

    Praise the Lord for the hope He gives.

    April 3, 2017 at 1:45 pm Reply
  • Charis M.

    Hello Ana! I’m Charis, a member of the YWW and fellow dancer. I’m so sorry that you’ve had to go through these chronic illnesses, but I’m praying for you and trust that God has a plan – and an amazing one, at that. I’m so happy that you’re getting better and will be continuing to pray for you in the days and weeks to come! God bless. <3

    April 3, 2017 at 2:32 pm Reply
    • AnaHarris

      Thank you very much for the prayers Charis!💚

      April 3, 2017 at 8:34 pm Reply
  • Alex

    I so loved reading this update, Ana! Praying that you will continue to grow in strength and health!

    April 3, 2017 at 5:56 pm Reply
    • AnaHarris

      Thank you so much Alex!

      April 3, 2017 at 8:38 pm Reply
  • Chris Barratt

    Loved this post Ana!! I’m excited to hear that you’re starting to feel better, both emotionally and physically!!! And the pics you posted were also amazing!! Still praying for you!!

    April 4, 2017 at 8:28 am Reply
  • Julia Camara

    Ana, your story is both heart-wrenching an awe-inspiring. I heard about your situation a few years ago and was so grieved by it. Mostly because I also suffer from chronic pain and relate all to well to your story. But I saw a post from Bret on Facebook and was so curious about your new life. You are a living testimony of God’s goodness and faithfulness. Never stop pushing on, and always remember His grace is sufficient for you because in your weakness his power is made perfect. I will be praying for continued improvement and joy in your life. God bless you!

    April 6, 2017 at 2:21 pm Reply
    • AnaHarris

      Thank you so much for leaving this comment, Julia! I’m sorry you also struggle with chronic pain. There’s no way to put into words what that can do to a person. 😢 Thank you so much for your prayers! I pray you will also find relief and strength to face each new day.

      April 6, 2017 at 5:30 pm Reply
  • Tamam Baida

    Yes, Ana, you are an inspiration to me…even shed a few tears while reading this post. I so look forward to reading your updates…excellent writing gifts you have…thank you for taking the time to share and encourage in this way. Love you and praying.

    April 9, 2017 at 7:51 am Reply
    • AnaHarris

      Aww… Thank you so much Tamam! That’s so encouraging! I just saw this comment today. Love you! 💚

      April 13, 2017 at 4:14 pm Reply

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