Living in the LymeLight: Discernment and Intuition Prequel

Discernment & Intuition Prequel

Since this series contains the word “LymeLight,” I want to shine some light on my personal experience by starting this installment with an update.

In January 2020 I was exposed to Bartonella—again. My sweet outdoor kitty sank a bliss bite. Over-stimulated from being held and petted, her adorable little fang punctured the top of my right wrist near the thumb base. Thankfully it bled.

Sunshine is an outdoor cat because she won’t allow me to apply flea treatment. She showed up in the spring of 2017, tame, hungry and deathly afraid of hands. You could call her a harbinger—before the year was done, I found out I had chronic Lyme.

Even after feeding her for nearly three years, she still reacts with fear and aggression when she sees human hands coming her way—mine included. This badassness may have saved her life. I pick her up from behind for “kitty hugs,” a cooperative enterprise she enjoys immensely. She puts herself into position when I say, “Sunshine, may I have a kitty hug?” But this feline dictates her terms. She has to be anesthetized for annual vaccinations.

For months at the beginning of our relationship, Sunshine claw-slapped me daily as I worked to calm her fears. At the time I didn’t realize there was a very high probability that she transmitted Bartonella to me with every bloody swipe.

Some useful equations:

cat + fleas = Bartonella + flea dirt (feces)

cat claws + flea dirt = Bartonella inoculation device

cat teeth + Bartonella = Bartonella inoculation device

cat + Bartonella ≠ sick cat

As usual, after this breach of my skin I immediately washed the wound thoroughly. I didn’t pay much attention to a less painful abrasion from her lower teeth on the inside of my forearm, but washed it, too. A few days later the abrasion was red and inflamed with about three small, flat pustules. Puzzled, I didn’t immediately connect it to the cat bite. While the puncture wound healed without fanfare, the abrasion festered for weeks. I finally treated it with one drop of oregano essential oil, and it healed quickly.

I was already taking the full dose of the Vital Plan Restore Kit herbs plus one serving of Biome Boost (additional antimicrobial herbs) every night, so I didn’t worry about the bite.

But within two weeks, I noticed more roving joint pain and viral reactivation. Rosacea-like skin lesions manifested right away, but since I’ve had more rosacea during chronic Lyme, I didn’t think anything of it. Transient joint pain got so bad in my RIGHT (bitten) hand for a few days I couldn’t see clients or even drain liquid out of a small saucepan. My lower back got painful and touchy like the bad old days. Pins-and-needles numbness in my legs and feet increased dramatically and muscle pain reemerged. I had more fatigue, less stamina and a less comfortable recovery after seeing clients. All signs my body was fighting off a new influx of Bartonella.

I made an appointment with my doctor for a Western blot (the test my insurance might cover), but the first available isn’t until May. I believe my immune system has recovered enough since 2017 there’s a good chance I’d test positive for antibodies now. But I’m not about to disrupt my digestion and immunity again with antibiotics unless it’s the only option.

Before I could finish writing this, my trigeminal and cervical nerves started acting up. Out of the blue, for just a few seconds, my lips and hands will go numb. It’s happened on both sides but is more pronounced on the right side (side of the cat bite). It’s likely due to reactivation of some virus, Mycoplasma or Borrelia. But I did find a case report from 1998 documenting facial paralysis (Bell’s palsy) in a patient with Bartonella henselae, commonly known as Cat Scratch Disease.

Although it’s a setback, it has not reversed the many gains I’m enjoying from two years of herbal therapy. The pain resurgence has subsided, and stamina is returning. Transient numbness (feet, lips, hands) is now the most noticeable symptom. I have no doubt the herbal solution coursing throughout my body is working to prevent a full-blown relapse. I’m so grateful to be able to write this instead of watching my life go down the drain again.

Both discernment and intuition assure me this is just another setback. In the long run I’ll continue to improve and enjoy more vitality and health.

March 5, 2020

Sunshine re-rakes her razors on my other wrist. I petted her one too many times as she settled into breakfast. We have history around the head-in-bowl position—exploiting it was how I managed to get flea treatment on her one and a half times (the second time only half of the fluid made it onto her nape.) After tending to the latest claw wounds I continue my morning routine, listening to the coronavirus updates while feeding my indoor cat and taking my supplements. And then a come-to-Jesus moment.

It’s been three years. Sunshine is calmer and more able to receive touch, but she’s unlikely to become the docile cat I envision. I cannot expect to someday reach into her universe with flea treatments or brushing without the risk of an aggressive reaction. My expectations do not apply in her realm. So, if I’m wise, I’ll stop setting myself up for injuries that allow the transmission of Bartonella. I am the source of this problem. Because I see a “better” life for her, I keep pushing—however gently—for this cat to let me do more.

It’s time to stop.

I don’t give up easily. However, I need to let go of the idea she’ll ever allow me to control her enough to squirt cold alcohol on the nape of her neck without her claw-whacking me like a tennis ball. For whatever reason, her brain operates under a hair-trigger danger alert. The twist-and-swipe razor claw defense is going to play out from time to time. It’s her repertoire. I know her. I know what she doesn’t like. What’s predictable is that an aggressive reaction is coming, whatever the time lapse from cat scratch to cat scratch. Sunshine is and will almost certainly remain an outdoor cat with special needs that must shape every interaction.

The truth hurts—I’ve loved this cat from the start.

Now is the time to learn from this remarkable animal and protect myself. No more pushing her boundaries, not even a little. I release any expectation of change. It’s time for me to love her entirely on her terms, not just on her timeline.

My personal journey backstory. . . 

My first post about Lyme disease. . . 

healing-loss-small-cover-outlined-e1495905246179.jpgWith Peace and Love,

Mira Carroll

Healing Loss Book

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Get $20 off your first purchase at Vital Plan

Next up:  Discernment and Intuition Part 1

LymeLight Intro Link

Living in the LymeLight Series

There’s more to healing than the physical. In this series I share ten body/mind/spirit practices to help us live in the LymeLight, from stealthy back to healthy. Each will be posted separately.

Paradox and Spirit
Movement and Exercise
Discernment and Intuition
States of Mind and Emotion
Responsibility and Power

2 Responses to “Living in the LymeLight: Discernment and Intuition Prequel”
  1. Elaine Mays says:

    Sounds wise.

    Liked by 1 person

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