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Greetings and welcome to my Lyme disease blog, a comfy cozy (and sometimes crazy!) place for cutting-edge information, encouragement and insight into the fastest-growing epidemic disease in the United States. In this blog you will find everything from bug-killing strategies to immune system and hormone help, as well as lifestyle and spiritual suggestions for healing from chronic illness involving Lyme disease. The information contained within this blog is based upon my own healing journey and what I have learned over the past eight years as I have been diligently digging and researching my way back to a better state of health. May you find it to be a source of hope, inspiration and wisdom in your own journey towards wellness.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Healing Paradise--Costa Rica Chapter Nine

I don't know if it's been due to a change in climate, air quality, diet (the latter is less likely, since I've been eating foods that shoot my blood sugar to the stars), EMF exposure, culture, or simply being away from thoughts of responsibility, but I feel better than when I arrived here nearly five weeks ago. By about thirty percent, if I had to be official about it.

The last two weeks, I have witnessed the most dramatic changes in my symptoms, which has led me to wonder what more time here would do for me. What more time in a different environment would do for anyone suffering from chronic illness.

I share the following report because the effects of overseas travel can be profound. For some, it may be harmful, but in my case, I have observed mostly the opposite. Have a look:

1) For the first time in nearly three years, I can get up at seven a.m. and hop out of bed almost immediately, whereas at home, I awaken to heaviness and a body that needs an hour of persuasion to get moving.

2) The clouds in my brain have vanished. I can sit at a computer and crank out a blog post without stopping and stewing and stumbling over words. I can read a novel in Spanish without having to re-read the lines several times. At home, I don't even want to bother with a book in another language.

3) I can eat whatever the heck I want and I still feel pretty normal afterwards. Deviations are allowed, whereas at home, the mere mention of the word "gluten" sends my body into a tailspin. And I don't even need digestive enzymes in Costa Rica. If I do, I then I haven't noticed.

4) I can sleep eight hours and feel pretty decent. At home, I can't get by on less than nine.

5) My breathing problem, tachycardia and postural hypotension have, of late, been slightly less pronounced.

6) Anxiety? What anxiety?

My back pain is worse, but this is from lugging a liter of salt water around all day long. And while I'm nowhere near healed, if I had to rank my symptoms on a scale of one to ten, at home, on average, I feel like a four or five. Here in Costa Rica, and especially these past two weeks, I have felt like a six or seven.

So why? Is it just the green trees exuding oxygen? The salt water air of the beach? How about all the walking I'm doing, even though my body protests against too much exercise? Is it being outdoors all day long, in the sunshine? Is it the fact that I only think about my illness fifty percent of the time, instead of eighty? Does it have to do with being away from my computer and cell phone for most of the day? Or being away from responsibility, and desperate thoughts of survival (though they still come to mind here)?, or the contamination of the city where I live? Is the food fresher? Is it all a product of my imagination or, knowing that I have to get around, I just do?

Possibly a combination of all of the above.
Have you ever had the chance to get away and wondered the same?

Should I move to Costa Rica to see if the magical healing powers continue to exert their effects upon me? But what would a single lady with Lyme do in a place like this? I could only lie on the beach for so many days before the crazy birds of boredom would flock to my brain. Moving to paradise is another question that throws more variables into the health equation, since visiting another country is one thing and living there, quite another.

In any case, I am evidence that a change of environment can aid the healing process. You might try it yourself one day, even if it means making just a small change--from one bedroom to another, from one city to another--or, if you are like me, from one country to another.


~Tr@cy~ said...
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~Tr@cy~ said...

Connie - Your thoughts intrigue me, as I've experienced exactly the same things with my chronic fatigue problems. As happy as I was while away on a trip, I was forced realize how very much of my illness is due to the corner that I have backed myself in to. A corner of self-pity, constant introversion about my condition, repeated searchings for new ways to feel better, worrying about every ache and pain. When I get away, I forget all that and just live. I hope you can keep that grand feeling for a long time. I've done better this last time... I pray the same for you! BTW, thanks for your honesty... it's refreshing.

isaiah said...

Hi Connie, really enjoy your post. Just wondering as you are well read on the topic of Lyme, where would you start on the Lyme journey. There is so much stuff out there. I'm a Newby. Thanks a lot. Isaiah

Connie Killabugger said...

Hi Tracy,

How wonderful it is to put a face to a name! Thanks for sharing and relating. It's great you have been able to get away from some of the traps that illness and being homebound tends to set for us.
I am holding on to my peace as I return home, renewed and determined once again to live more fully outside of my symptoms. May you continue in your journey towards wellness, too!

Connie Killabugger said...

Hi Isaiah,

Thanks for stopping by!
If you are just starting out on the Lyme journey, I would recommend you check out IRT (Immune Response Training) first. It is truly a marvelous therapy. Also the salt/C protocol as outlined on the Lyme Strategies Yahoo! group.
At times, finding a protocol that works can be a bit of trial and error. Different things work for different people, but IRT has been successful for many.
Also, treating Lyme is often just as much, if not more, about living in a healthy manner, as it is about killing bugs. A good diet, detox protocol, and strong community and spiritual life will accelerate the healing process. I wish you well in the journey. Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any other questions.

isaiah said...

Hi Connie, thanks for the info. I do have another question. I read somewhere in your post where you talked about remedies for insomnia. I, like you have tried alot of different natural things. I was wondering if you came across anything new recently. I found that andrographis will help me get to sleep but i wake like in 4 hours and cant get back to sleep.

Connie Killabugger said...


Insomnia is a difficult symptom to treat. Different remedies work for different people. Magnesium and calcium will help you relax at night, as will herbs such as valerian. Don't work on the computer until late as the screen stimulates the pineal gland, which keeps you awake. Make sure your room is dark and quiet and consider a warm bath or glass of milk before bedtime. And while these are all helpful, many Lymies find they need additional help. Personally, melatonin has worked best for me but at times I am obliged to take a sedative such as Lorazepam, as well. These are powerful but also very addictive so if you must resort to these use them with caution and preferably not every night. Hope this helps!