Muscle atrophy is one of the long-term side effects of being partially immobilized for several years. Now that I’m starting to really walk again, and put effort into rebuilding my bones, the muscle tone is returning.
Just before I got totally knocked out by Lyme Disease, back when a few little things kept going wrong, I went on several long hikes in China: the Great Wall, Emei Shan – bottom and snowy top. I love walking. I walked around New York once I moved back. Before that I lived in New Haven (where I think I got bitten by a Lyme Disease infected tick and) where I walked 1.1 miles each way between home and work every day. Then I walked around downtown during the workday for lunch or to take a break. In other words, I was a walker.
Back in those days, I had beautiful calves. Each muscle defined but not bulky. My backside was a nice muscular shape (with Italian padding to soften it out).
The first year of undiagnosed mystery illness, I had serious diarrhea. I lost a lot of weight. I lost a lot of fat tissue and a lot of muscle tissue. I insisted on hobbling around as much as I could because I couldn’t handle the reality that I couldn’t walk.
Once I got diagnosed, I started on antibiotics. Eventually the diarrhea went away, but I still lost weight because my digestive tract was torn apart even more by the drugs. By 18 months into this illness, I had lost most of my muscle tone and a lot of the muscle tissue. It took longer than that to reach the apex of weakness that continued until I started Rocephin in autumn 2010. Walking was difficult partly because of the neurological and joint problems in my legs, hips and lower back, but also because my muscles had so diminished that it put strain on my heart.
I started using the coil machine last February. I saw lots of improvements. Mostly, though, they just taught me how disabled I had previously been. Funny how I was able to ignore my limitations until I was able to push them. This summer I reached the point where I could walk 15 blocks round trip to the health food store in my neighborhood. According to Google Maps, it is a 1 mile walk. If I did that, it was my entire activity for the day. I would rest before and I would rest when I got home.
The magic of the coil machine is that I’ve increased my walking capacity dramatically after the first full Lyme Disease coiling season. I can walk the mile in my neighborhood now and only rest for a half hour when I get back. In Williamsburg, I walked 4 miles in one day. My back was killing me when I returned. I was knocked out for the rest of the day (and the next day or two after that). But there was something amazing about going for a long walk and pushing my limits.
I’ve been trying to exercise, or at least move around, more, now that I can. There is already a visible difference in my body. Between the summer and now, my calves have developed a shape that reflects the existence of a muscle or two under the skin. My butt is now convex again, as the muscles in my thighs and butt grow back. It is miraculous to see it happen so fast.
I’m very pleased with what has happened so far and extremely hopeful about what is possible in the year to come. More exercise. More naps. More joy.
Now that I stopped coiling for Lyme until February, I’m pushing the limits on Babesia. Three sessions today, plus maintenance on Candida and Bartonella.
- Babesia, liver, 10 minutes
- Babesia, back of legs, 3 positions: butt+heels, calves+thighs, back of knees, 1 minute each location; back of ilium, 1 minute each side; 3 sections of spine, 1 minute each; shoulder blades, 1 minute each side; back of head, 1minute; top of head, 1 minute; spleen, 10 minutes
- Babesia, top of feet & ankle, 1 minute; shins together, 1 minute; knees together, 1 minute; front of thighs together, 1 minute; front of ilium, 1 minute each side; sides of ribs, 1 minute each side; front of shoulders, 1 minute each; sides of head, 1 minute each; chest, 10 minutes
- Candida, abdomen, 10 minutes; chest, 2 minutes
- Bartonella, abdomen, 5 minutes; chest 2 minutes
Detox and Diet
For detoxing today, I haven’t done much. I used the skin brush this morning. I went for an acupuncture treatment. I took my regular supplements (lots of antioxidants). I’m drinking more water now that I’m home and remember to do it. But I’m less focused on detoxing during the break from Lyme coiling.
My acupuncturist is helping my body to rebuild my bones. She’s also working on strengthening my lower back, the area of the worst osteoporosis. Then she helps with all the aches and pains and my usual dramas.
I’ve taken to eating more dairy. Today there was sheep’s milk yogurt at lunch and buffalo mozzarella at dinner. Hopefully this will help with my bones.
I still suffer from a fair amount of fatigue. I didn’t sleep too well last night. My apartment was overheated. I got a mystery text in the middle of the night. And I didn’t take enough of a nap today after acupuncture. Usually I need a nap after a treatment, especially if it’s been a while (a month this time). So I’m tired. My joints are achy. But I’m okay.