Kim’s Story

‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’ – Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

I accepted Jesus into my heart at a young age, and experienced firsthand his love and protection through the storms of an abusive childhood. But as I got older, I struggled with what my relationship with God meant for my adult life. I knew He’d saved me from a troubled past to prepare me for a better future, but I thought it was up to me to achieve that future.

I wanted a sense of stability in life to make up for my rough childhood, and I secretly believed that if I could get the perfect GPA, the perfect title at the office, the perfect pair of boots, and the best decorated apartment, I’d never have to worry again. For a time it seemed to be paying off. I got everything I’d worked so hard for. But my health had been steadily declining, and in my mid-twenties I became incredibly ill. There were years of tests, a surgery, a partially collapsed lung, lots of infections, too many nights in the ER, tremors, a drooping eyelid, and lots and lots of pain. There were thousands of dollars spent, and after all of this, there was a diagnosis: three infectious diseases – late stage chronic Lyme Disease, Bartonella, and Babesiosis. Then everything came crashing down.

I was physically and emotionally exhausted by a life spent working hard just to keep my head above water and by a body that could no longer keep up with my frantic pace. At that point, I felt as if I was figuratively drowning. I didn’t even have the energy to say the long and unselfish prayers that I thought God wanted to hear from me. So one night while lying in bed I told God that I’d spent my whole life feeling like I was using all of my energy just treading water but still barely keeping my head up to breathe. I cried out to Him for help, telling Him I didn’t want to do things my way anymore. I just wanted Him to save me.

Here’s the crazy part. The part that I hold onto and that sustains me through most days, and the part that I have a hard time putting into words.

As I was crying I saw Jesus. He was there with me, and He was holding me up in the water. And then He said “you might go under, but I’m going to bring you back up again.” It happened in less than a second, but it changed my life from that moment on. I’m completely sold out to a God who loves me that much.

Over the next two years I did get sicker before I got better. But I remembered the peace I’d felt when I prayed that night, and I knew that God was healing me and leading me into a better life. Even though I still wanted to get healthy as quickly as possible, I was no longer afraid of what the future held. Instead I felt a sense of peace and confidence in what God could accomplish in my life. I knew that He had big plans for me beyond a life of illness, anxiety, and fear.

In the years that followed God left no part of my life untouched. He showed me areas where I was being disobedient and poor decisions that I was making and showed me a better way. He went deep into the pieces of me – my habits, my thoughts, my heart, my hurts, my words, my actions, the things I held onto for security, and the things I feared the most – and did His healing work. Not just “bringing me back up again” physically but in every way possible. For lack of better words, I was reborn.

I made the decision to be baptized again as an adult and rededicate my life to Jesus. Since that time God has peeled away the layers of protection I’d built around myself, helping me deal with issues of materialism, anxiety, and perfectionism. And while I still have many issues I’m dealing with, such as the desire to hurry my future or the tendency to want to fix everything when someone I know is hurting, He’s freed me from the stress of feeling like I have to do it all on my own. I feel as though I’ve been set free from my own high expectations, and I’m learning and re-learning all the time how to wait, how to relax and enjoy the moment even when life tries to throw a list of demands my way. I’m finding there’s no such thing as a perfect life or even perfect health, but there is life in Christ, and there’s no other life I’d rather have.

Thank you for being here, and I’m glad we can share life together.

XO.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.

– Psalm 40:1-3

26 comments

  1. Lyme Disease is no joking matter. It’s very difficult to diagnose in the early stages when it’s easier to cure. It has so many different manifestations in the later stage that you might actually be misdiagnosed with all manner of mental illnesses, believe it or not.

    The best prevention is simply… prevention. After playing or working outside in tick season, do a full-body tick scan. Glad to hear you’re on the mend, Kim!

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  2. Thanks for writing this, Kim. I hadn’t come across anyone else who has these chronic sinus and kidney infections… I am encouraged to treat the Lyme, etc. more aggressively now. (One concern is that I seemed to have developed a resistance to zithro after all the sinus Rx’s. Another is that every time I take antibiotics, my inflamed abdomen gets more congested from the lymphatic logjam. Did either of these things happen to you? What did you do about them?)

    Best to you in your journey now you have legs to walk with, so to speak. Tam in Tucson

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    1. Hi Tam! Thanks for visiting and nice to meet you. I did have these problems. I was able to take zithro for several months before I developed a resistance to it. But then I had to stop it immediately and switch to an unrelated antibiotic. Do you have an LLMD that could work with you to find one you’d have a better reaction to?

      My gut was really sensitive too. It was inflamed for years! I actually had to do a lot of nutritional work to heal it. The number one thing for me was finding the right amount of probiotics. I cut out all sugar and yeast and started taking a probiotic with 50 billion live cultures in it everyday. My favorite is Bio-K since my abdomen seems to react way better to things in liquid form than pill form, and for whatever reason Bio-K worked the best for me. I’m not going to lie… it was expensive, but I bought it by the case to save money and did that for about two months. Now I only take Bio-K once a week and take a Renew Life’s 50 or 30 billion probiotics on the other days. I know there are a lot of other good ones out there, but those are the two that really did the trick for me.

      I also used grapefruit seed extract and a super foods powder (I like Macrogreens) to alkalize because I found I was getting infections in my intestine otherwise. I still drink the Macrogreens in the morning with breakfast and drink 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract in water with lunch and dinner. I also take Milk Thistle to help my liver flush everything out quickly and would drink warm water with lemon juice when I was feeling extra inflamed.

      I hope that helps. It seems like a lot, but all of those things really helped me. And it’s one of the reasons I’m so cheap in every other area of my life. 🙂

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      1. Oh, yeah, I know the probiotic/wallet connection.

        i’ve actually done a lot of nutrition, antifungal protocols, milk thistle. i’ve not tried the probio you mentioned nor the lemon juice…

        I’m gleaning that your gut infections, and by extension kidney and sinus, came from diminished immune response and acidity. Did the Lyme diminish the immune response, or was it yeast/fungus from all the antibiotics? Or, put another way, did you treat yeast/fungus before Lyme?

        Thanks again?

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      2. wow, kim, our paths really are similar. i’m well acquainted w/ every one of those supplements, incl. the probiotic brand you used. dare i tell you i’m currently taking 900billion? 😉

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        1. Hi Tanya! Nice to “meet” you. I guess I have something to work up to now. 😉 I have a friend who takes 400 billion. I’m always nervous to go too much above 100 billion, but it’s great to know others have good experience with it!!

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  3. Hi Tam,

    I think you’re right. By the time I was diagnosed with Lyme my immune system was pretty much shot, and I’m sure that’s why I was getting so many infections. I got the gut infections starting in middle school, so I think it was a big sign that my immune system was down (and my sugar addiction didn’t help either).

    My LLMD was the first to tell me what it was, so I treated both at the same time. It was hard for me to keep it completely in check while I was on abx, but I could keep it at a minimum at least just by taking my pro’s between abx doses. I would still see-saw though as long as I was on abx.

    I tried a bunch of stuff after I stopped the abx, but a lot of the pills and cleanses didn’t really work for me. Then I did 6 months of alkalizing and eating prebiotics like kimchi and sauerkraut (Kim C from Affairs of Living showed me how to make some that was awesome) and did the liquid probiotics. That’s what did the trick for me. For whatever reason my body likes its probiotics in food form. (I should’ve mentioned… the Bio-K tastes pretty bad. I had to pinch my nose while I took it. But now that I’m used to it, it’s not so bad.)

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    1. Hi Kim. Yes, I love saurkraut. I like Goldmine brand the best. One day I”ll make my own.

      CAn you clarify something for me: when you say you continued to see-saw while on antibiotics, do you mean the gut bacterial and fungal infections only, or did you continue to get kidney and sinus infections during the 2 year treatment?

      I do not yet have an LLMD, but I’m working on it. Just fishing for clues here.

      Thanks again,
      Sabine

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      1. Hi Tam,

        I see-sawed with the intestinal inflammation and fungal infections. I got a couple colds in the two years I was in treatment, but not nearly as bad as what I was getting before that and they’d go away pretty quickly with vitamins and supplements. My gut stuff was better than it was before (I had it really bad before my diagnosis). It’d go away sometimes, but if I stopped my probiotics or if I ate sugar or yeast or something else I wasn’t supposed to eat then it’d usually come back. Once I went off the abx and did like 6 months of probiotics and prebiotics I was able to eat sugar every so often and a little bread here or there in a pinch (like at a restaurant for a special occasion) without getting the infections back. But if I overdo it on sugar like I’m prone to do I’ll still get an achey gut (though so far no major infections…. but I’m learning to keep my sugar cravings in check again so I never have to go through that again.) Hope it helps!

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  4. Hi Kim… I’m still looking for a doctor. No LLMD’s in my town… Are you aware of anyone good in SE Florida? LDA doesn’t list anyone, but I know there are naturopaths, etc who are off the map…

    Also, did you have chronic low grade kidney inflammation even while you were on antibiotics (prior to Lyme treatment?) Kidney stuff… evading my attempts…I wonder if the Lyme & Co. can just cause low-grade inflammation of kidney (I’ve read they can) without infection, and if so, if that’s dangerous… What, if anything, did you do about that…?

    Hope you’re well, Tam

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    1. Hi Tam, Good to hear from you again. I actually don’t know of any in SE FL. I’ve had a hard time finding out about any that far south in general. 😦

      I know an herbal company that works with naturopaths though and gives referrals to specific practitioners that treat illness. I’ll email you the company’s info.

      I used to get kidney edema with Lyme, and it flared up worse when I had candida issues. I still get it if I eat too much sugar or yeast or wear myself out. I take a super high dose of probiotics for it and eat lots of prebiotics. I know I say that a lot, but it really helped me. I did 50 billion cultures with Bio-K, because that one always helped me most when I had inflammation. Then I’d drink Green Vibrance for another 25 billion cultures. I did really well with that. I ate Bubbie’s sauerkraut (vinegar free) for the prebiotics every day too.

      I had my general practitioner run a kidney and liver blood function test like at least once every three months to make sure nothing was dangerously inflamed or out of control. I bought some Liver and Kidney Detox tea recently too, but I can’t tell you if it helps because I’ve only had it once so far. Also, 250 mg Cipro a day helped me if it was bad enough to need abx.

      I hope that helps!

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  5. Oh wow Kim, we are more alike than I thought. (you commented on my blog today that we seem often to be on the same page) Though I do not have Lyme (as far as we know) I have enough similar symptoms that it has been looked in to. I have been sick for 8 months now (and feel like a big whiny baby after seeing how long you were sick with no diagnosis) and we do not have answers. I have an autoimmune disease called Systemic Scleroderma but it does not explain most of my symptoms (just new symptoms to look forward to) If I had to guess I’d guess I have Rheumatoid arthritis or Multiple Sclerosis but like Lyme they are hard to diagnose. ALL this rambling to say, thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for lesson number 145 just this week of how I need to chill out and stop focusing on “poor me”. Thank you for reminding me to not give up. Even though I do not have a diagnosis yet perhaps I can fight to regain some of my health. I am doctored out and ready to give up… yep after 8 months… told you, I’m a wimp. Thank you for not being one. You have encouraged me.

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    1. Sarah, you have no idea how much this comment moves me. I’m sorry that you’re also going through illness and that terrible period of not having any answers. It’s never easy no matter how long it lasts. Please know, I am a huge wimp. Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I kicked and screamed and cried my way through every trial, but yet the Lord hasn’t given up on me yet. I’m still a cry baby when it comes to facing illness and pain head on, but I’m trying to get a little better each time at clinging to Him through it all. I will say this – He will never leave you! And He is absolutely able to overcome anything that comes our way. That much I know for sure. I hope that you do find a diagnosis and healing. Even if it takes a while, don’t give up. He won’t give up on you!

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