How do you track an invisible illness?
This is a question I’ve failed to answer and a practice I’ve failed to perfect for over seven years. I’ve lost complete track of my illness. All of the symptoms have blurred together in my memory and don’t even ask about my illness timeline. I’ve lost all grip on years, dates and the order of events.
In some respects forgetting is actually a beneficial coping mechanism. If I could remember every step (and misstep) of this journey I would probably become discouraged. In this case, some ignorance is certainly bliss. Forgetting has kept me from being paralyzed by the past and the long road of progressive, chronic illness.
But there is a flip side to the forgetting/losing track coin. Now that I’m on the Lyme healing journey if I forget the severity, complexity and variety of my symptoms I won’t recognize when they start disappearing. When it’s all said and done, I won’t fully appreciate the healing or acknowledge how truly far I’ve traveled on my road to recovery. So in order to make sure I don’t miss a moment of healing I’m renewing my efforts to track my recovery progress.
With a pen and paper I determined to sit down and write any and every sign of improvement that came to mind. I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly I was able to fill the lines. Muscle spasms severity and frequency cut in half… Optic disturbances reduced to an average of once a week instead of daily… Increased heat tolerance… Increased stamina in the evenings.
The simple act of tracking my healing progress opened my eyes to changes great and small, invisible victories and silent wins I nearly missed. By taking an improvement inventory I could see, recognize and rejoice in the exciting steps of healing and recovery underway in my body.
Give it a try, take an improvement inventory and track your invisible progress. I think you may be pleasantly surprised to discover that over the course of your fight you’ve not only been surviving Lyme, you’ve been beating it.