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Exercising Restraint

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I’ve been thinking about exercise these past few weeks. I want to go running or do yoga, but I find myself exhausted every day. I’m sure it is from waking up the Lyme infection, but it has me reflecting on my previously aborted exercise schemes. While I’m musing, I’m also taking a philosophical look at naps. I finally took one today. It was shorter than I needed, and thus less refreshing than I was hoping it would be. But every nap is a success if I close my eyes and rest. One last thing on my mind is the vaccination I got on Sunday. It has definitely triggered the Lyme infection into action, much faster than I expected. Fortunately, the coil machine does its magic equally fast.

Exercising Restraint

In an ideal world, I would exercise every day. That’s right, every day. Some days would be low level exercise: a long walk in a natural environment near my house, a leisurely bike ride in town, or a slow hike if I’m somewhere further away. Other days, I might do something more active: a yoga class, a faster and longer bike ride, a run, a few laps up and down the 150-step staircase at nearby Seacliff Beach.

This is where I run into a problem. The slow activities I can manage. I can almost manage to do them every day. If I do them outside of my nap zone (currently 1-4 pm), I’m fine to do something again the next day. It is the more vigorous exercise that gets me into trouble. I like to run. I like to raise my heart rate. I like to get sweaty. I like to push my limitations. I like the feel of being exercise-tired (rather than illness-tired).

Afterwards, I feel exhilarated. I’m tired and happy. I want to do it again the next day.

The next day, I don’t feel so well. I feel completely exhausted. I stay tired for three or four days. I can’t even manage my low-key exercises. It’s like I have a battery that discharges completely, then won’t recharge. By day 5, I can handle my light exercises again, but I’m nowhere close to being able to do a more challenging exercise activity again.

A few years ago, shortly after I started coiling, I began to take a yoga class once per week. Several times, I tried to increase to twice a week or even every 5 days. It just didn’t work. I ended up overtired and unable to move. So I would skip a week or two, then go back to once a week as soon as I could muster the strength and energy.

I still want to run, to bike hard, and to push it in a yoga class. The secret, the one I have yet to be able to implement, is to stop when I start to get tired. I have to stop before I get the high that comes with pushing myself. I have to keep building up my strength, slowly, way too slowly for my desires, and let myself rest as needed. I’m still looking for a balance.

What I worry about, what I’ve seen with other people who get rid of the aches and pains, the abdominal troubles, and the neurological symptoms, is that at the end, they’re still tired all the time. I’m hoping that when I finish coiling for all the infections I know I have and all the frequencies I’ll try for other infections I may have, that I’ll stop being tired, that when my body isn’t managing a chronic infection, I’ll have a normal amount of energy again.

Nap Time

With the latest round of afternoon fatigue, I know my best bet is to take a nap as soon as I get tired. This isn’t what I’ve been doing. I feel tired, not sleepy, and I feel the pressure of having gotten very little accomplished in the month since I returned from my sister’s house. I’m not missing any deadlines or behind on anything in particular, there are just things I’d like to do that I haven’t had the energy to work on.

Now that I’m not deathly ill, a nap seems like a luxury to be earned by having a productive morning. Productive mornings have been hard to come by. So I fight myself all afternoon and get nothing done anyway.

Naps, according to Dr. Burrascano in his monograph, Advanced Topics in Lyme Disease, are a necessity. He even has a wonderful phrase, “enforced rest,” that I say aloud to myself when I try to convince myself that I should lie down. It is counterproductive to stay up and try to do things when my body is shouting at me to lie down.

The final reminder was from my husband: stress hormones are released when we are active at times when we are tired. I suppose there are times when we need to be active despite fatigue, but I don’t want to keep subjecting myself to extra stress hormones unnecessarily. Thus, I am committing to nap as needed, and when I can’t, to lie down with my eyes closed and rest.

Trigger Happy

I took my last vaccination, a TdaP, on Sunday night. I was fine, physically, on Monday morning, just the usual Bartonella herx. The only thing I noticed was that I was very cranky and irritable. By late afternoon on Monday, I was in a lot of pain. All my joints were acting up. Even my ribs ached (with no wheat consumption that day). My abdomen was more swollen than usual. I even had reflux (right after writing the last post where I said I wasn’t getting reflux anymore!).

Tuesday morning I coiled for Lyme. First thing in the morning, I did my limbs and my hips. Within an hour or two, the sharp pain became a dull ache. Pretty good. Later in the day, I coiled my central nervous system and core organs. It was like tuning a radio to get rid of static. I was less cranky. I was less anxious. I was less on edge. Even physically, I felt less sensitive and off-kilter. My abdominal troubles remain, but I suspect that those are a combination of Lyme and Bartonella and not so easily resolved.

The body part that is most affected is my shoulders. I suspect that’s because I wasn’t coiling them in quite the right way until recently, so I haven’t hacked away as much of the localized infection as I have in other body parts. Temporarily, at least, my shoulders are my other “canary in the coal mine,” letting me know most loudly when the Lyme infection is active. Even they were somewhat relieved by coiling them for Lyme.

The trigger worked. The coiling worked. I suspect I’ll have to coil for Lyme more frequently for the next several weeks. This morning I woke up a little more achy than when I went to bed, especially in my spine. It could by the Lyme herx, or it could be that the infection continues to activate.

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