By Brian Morris
Hi, I'm Brian Morris and at 57 years-of-age, I'm an on-again / off-again Chronic Lyme Disease sufferer for over 25 years now. I was first diagnosed with Lyme back in 1988 while living in Westchester County NY. They kinda didn't know what it was then and that's how they kinda treated me: without a clue or a map, making stuff up as they went along.
I was told I had Lyme 4 or 5 different times over the next 4 or 5 years, but I know now that simply wasn't true. I had it only once; it just never really went away. And then, as is their wont, the spirochetes ran and hid. And for 20 years I was okay, yet thoroughly unaware that this disease was fortifying itself inside me all the while even though I thought I'd already beat it.
Cut to June 2011: I woke up one morning and I just knew they were back: "they" being the spirochetes. And they were bigger, better, faster & stronger than ever before. Back with a vengeance. There's a certain kind of pain unique to the Lyme sufferer. And this time, it brought me to my knees. I couldn't get out of bed, and was in horrible, horrible pain. I developed a nasty cardiac condition and was constantly in a Lyme-induced brain fog. My body and soul started breaking down, leaving me devastated and hopeless.
As I say, this was the greater New York metropolitan area: not Mayberry R.F.D. I was misdiagnosed, mistreated and mis-medicated across the board in NYC, Mt. Kisco & the Center For Infectious Disease in Greenwich CT….where I was summarily dismissed by a lyme-illiterate clown who told me I couldn't possibly have Chronic Lyme Disease because such a condition did not exist. Malarkey.
One week later, I was in Pocatello Idaho where a very enlightened chiropractor pointed to my ehrlichia levels and noted that they were seven times higher than the allowable limit in a human body. Ergo, Lyme. Chronic Lyme. Bad.
Western medicine had thrown every narcotic, every painkiller in the book at me. Instead of treating the core issue, they treated the fringe symptoms. And I got hooked, badly on painkillers. To the extent that I stroked, twice; flatlined, once….and just when I thought I'd hit rock bottom, I was stunned to find I was standing on a trap door. I fell even harder, further into the abyss. My addiction had turned me into a monster, and I was no more liberated from Lyme than on Day One.
I am now clean, though at a perilously heavy price. And the "addict mind" is forever ingrained into my psyche. But, good news: I am here to tell you that there is hope. And just as a physical detox has been an important part of my recovery, a spiritual awakening has also been an important foundation for my rebirth. I am now in touch with the 'grand high exalted mystic ruler' and by that I don't mean god. But rather that certain intangible higher power that makes sense out of a life I'd long ago left for bankrupt. Sometimes, it's my dead brother speaking to me from beyond the grave that Chronic Lyme and all of its unfortunate side effects (addiction issues being but one) put him in; some days it's the beauty of an idea I hear in one of the many recovery and support groups I attend on a daily basis; other times, it's hearing Johnny Cash cover the Depeche Mode classic, "Personal Jesus." Whatever!
IT is what it is and what it is is what gets me through the day. And night. That and the fact that I now lean heavily on a holistic approach to my Chronic Lyme affliction. Lyme-literate naturopaths and chiropractors will empower you: they will teach you enough to know what to do to your own body. And what not to do. Self-empowerment is the best way to heal. I am now pain free and drug free.
You don't beat Chronic Lyme Disease.....you only hope to contain it. And I'm living proof that you can. Ain't life grand?