After being under a Lyme Literate Dr’s care for a year, by the winter of 2011, I began to feel close to “normal”. I appreciate “feeling well” so much more now. Why do we find it so easy to take our health for granted? I was SO sure that I had BEATEN Lyme Disease! (Even tho’ I did not have the blood work done because it was just another expense we couldn’t afford! And besides that, there are some tests for Lyme that have questionable negative results, that is for another post.)
I felt so good in fact, that in early 2012 I began planning the “Lyme Climb”. I was determined to climb to the top of the highest mountain in Colorado, Mt. Elbert! My sisters Sandy and Carol became my “coaches” and we started walking ALOT. Uphill (as much as that is possible in Iowa!), downhill, and backwards! We were also doing water aerobics at least once a week. My sister Linda was my “long distance” coach, she just kept asking me if I was sure I wanted to do this?? I think she knew I was not ready for this. I had attempted this climb twice before, “pre-lymelife”, it is not an easy adventure.
I created t-shirts to help raise awareness about Lyme Disease, “It is not the mountain that we conquer, but Lyme Disease”. I invited family and friends to come to Colorado and join me for the Lyme Climb! The local news, KWWL, http://www.kwwl.com/story/18158494/local-woman-raising-awareness-of-lyme-disease did an interview with me and I had stories in several local papers, all to help raise Lyme Disease awareness.
August 7th, 2012 I began the climb up Mt. Elbert (elevation 14,433 ft) at 6 a.m. with my husband Keith, brother Troy and his wife Tracey, and my bff since childhood, Jeanne. It was a GRUELING climb for me from the beginning! T and T had some kind of Honey Energy in a packet that I sucked down to try to make it a little further. Jeanne coached me all the way, telling me “see that rock? Just 10 more steps to that rock, you can do it!” This trip up was WAY WAY harder than the other 2 times I had tried, but I made it further up the mountain this time! Not quite to the top, but I could not go another step!
I was not really sure I was going to make it back down. My knees were swollen and painful, my ankles screamed with every step down, and I was extremely exhausted. Jeanne told me, “you HAVE to do this, there is NO other way”! The Lyme Climb theme, “What does not kill us makes us stronger”, rang out in my head!
Troy and Tracey had made it to the top and had passed us on the way down long ago! Keith was ahead of us a short distance, and in one spot on the trail, I saw “Luv U BB”, I knew it was from Keith, and that was a positive force to help me on my way. It was 7:30 p.m. before we got down off Mt. Elbert. Maybe that hadn’t been such a great idea…