Happenings

I thought I’d give y’all a little update on what’s happening around here, in my life. I have taken a step back from the personal posts and have been focusing more on the inspirational, general life posts and photography – which I’m super excited that I’ve been able to do! However, I am feeling a little bit discouraged because one of the main reasons I started this blog was to share parts of my life and what I’ve learned from them and to encourage others to learn too. So I thought I’d give you a little update on where I’ve been in the past couple of months.

I don’t remember exactly where I left off, but I’ll start at the beginning of June. I went on my yellow Tempra paint (if you’re a Lymie, you know what this is..) antibiotic for two weeks to kick Babesia for the second time and I think we were more successful than the first time! I started to have more energy throughout June and was

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Final worship at Camp Wapo for 2016.
able to hold up for longer days, despite my excruciating leg pain, knee swelling, ankle swelling and temperature dis-regulation. I went to camp for two days and took some incredible pictures, shared my faith story (thank you Tim for encouraging me/pushing me to do that), and witnessed the Holy Spirit working through tons of middle schoolers like I’ve never seen before. I was able to attend a few grad parties, I held up for my own party and made the best of my last month as a Minnesotan! I started a new protocol of three antibiotics and I will be on this protocol for a few months. I am just beginning month 2 now. I continue to take Tramadol as a pain reliever and I hope that I can find relief naturally soon (a.k.a the Lyme finally gets put in it’s place).

 

The beginning of July was fairly easy and I was feeling the adrenaline and shock of moving 1,200 miles away from what I grew up with. I had to say goodbye to my friends, to my home, and to what I knew as normal.

I was running with this adrenaline for a couple of weeks and felt fairly good, with the exception of the daily pain and fatigue that I’ve learned to cope with. I was able to enjoy the first week in Georgia with my best friend Brooke, who braved the 17+ hours in my Honda Pilot
with my brother and me. We spent time at the pool, we slept, we found an adorable GF and vegan cupcake shop, watched fireworks and floated down the Chattahoochee River on The Fourth of July.

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Floating down the Chattahoochee River with my best friend, Brooke!
I was feeling my lyme normal. Nothing worse than the normal pain and fatigue, nothing better. I know how to deal with my lyme normal, though it gets exhausting, I am learning each day to just manage. Thank you Brooke for dealing with me, for helping me, for loving me, for keeping me sane and for being my rock. I love you dearly and would not have been able to handle this move without you. I miss you everyday like crazy and I am so excited to see what God has in store for you!

 

Brooke left on the 6th and from then on the adrenaline began to leave me. I was realizing I had nothing left to be in shock for. I realized very quickly that I was stuck here. I was in unfamiliar territory, where I felt I didn’t belong – I still feel a bit out of place. I instantly began to feel sad. I began to grieve the loss of my home, the loss of my friends, the loss of familiarity. I lost normal. I knew that something was different and that a major change had just occurred in my life. I knew I needed to talk to someone, to vent. I miss my friends a ton, I miss being social, I miss having that outlet and energy.

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This whole month, since Brooke left, has been a complete blur. I finally have my own bedroom and am not sleeping in a guest room. I was able to get out and go take pictures at a local historical site/creek which was lots of fun. I’ve gone on short shopping trips with my mom and I helped make the pallet bed base that is shown here. I am also now a Pura Vida rep and you can find more info here. I sleep a ton and watch Netflix all the time. I have been feeling worse and worse over the past week and am getting weaker and more tired everyday. My sleep schedule is all messed up because I sleep during the day for extended periods of time and then my back screams at me at night, my legs jerk in pain and my head rings in agony. I’ve been waking up completely exhausted and feeling the opposite of re-energized. My back is hurting a lot more recently and I am going to a fantastic chiropractor. I am eager to start to notice a difference and begin to feel relief.

 

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My legs and arms feel heavy and weak. They ache and throb. It’s so frustrating to have the desire to workout and move, but to know that either, A) I won’t last very long or B) I won’t even be able to move in the first place, is so upsetting. Typing is pretty easy because I can let my arms fall heavy and let my fingers float across the keyboard. I’m not a fan of writing because it hurts my wrist and my hands cramp easily.

 

My memory is still pretty bad and I don’t remember specific days or events without looking at pictures or asking questions. I get frustrated because my thoughts are unclear and I lose my focus quickly and easily. I thought I was getting the hang of driving in my new town; but I was coming home from the chiropractor last Monday and I totally forgot where I was for a couple of minutes. I miss being able to just drive and know exactly where I am.

I continue to feel defeated, to feel lost, to feel scared and sad. I know that this is Lyme. That this is just the neurological effects of Lyme. For those of you who don’t know, Lyme is famous for causing depression, anxiety and various other psychological disorders. I know that I will feel fulfilled, that I will feel happy, that I will feel content with my life. I know that it will come.

I lay in bed, day in and day out, thinking, sleeping, hurting, dreaming. Knowing that this too shall pass. Knowing that I have the strength, the tools, the endurance, the heart and the mind to get through this.

Despite my Lyme symptoms, I have remained strong in my faith, I have maintained a strong relationship with Christ, I have kept in touch with my soul.

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Photo I took of the steam rising off of the Chattahoochee River after a hard rain.
I may have lost my dream of attending my dream college in my dream city right out of high school, but I have not lost the dream of attending my dream college in my dream city. Period. I will do what I love. I will be where I love. I will follow my calling from God and I will listen intently to what He has to say.

I have found negativity from my experience in the last 6 months. I have found hatred. I have found hurt and pain.

I have found love and grace. I have found forgiveness and mercy in the last 6 months. I have found positivity and light. I have found hope and faith.

My gaze is set Jesus. My legs have grown weak, but my heart stronger than ever. I have learned that I do not have to physically move to move mountains. And my mountain is beginning to tremble. It is beginning to shake, and soon, it will be moved. God has given me the strength. He has given me the love and grace. I have put my faith in Christ, and Christ alone can move mountains. He will not let me sink. He will not let me drown. Because of Our Father, we will not be lost at sea, we will be found by the light in the house called heaven.

My best friend, Tim, has been there for me through it all and at this point, I think he knows me better than I know myself. I could go on and on about him and how incredible he is, but for now I’ll keep it simple. He encourages me, loves me unconditionally,

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Tim and I at Willow River State Park. 
understands me and knows when I’m not okay, even if I tell him a thousand times I am. He has encouraged me to share my life in a way that I never knew possible. He shows me grace and mercy. He makes me laugh and has wiped the tears from my face. He embraces me when I feel hopeless. He reminds me of my strength, he reminds me of God’s love. He is a brother in Christ and I don’t know what I’d do without him. So, Tim, thank you. I miss you like no other and cannot wait to see you in Minnesota, again soon.

 

I have connected with someone whose faith is a lot stronger than I ever realized. He is an example of ultimate love and mercy. He lives out his love for Christ in a way that I’ve never seen before and I am so glad that he reached out to me. He continues to encourage me with the words of Christ, he continues to relate to me and connect with me through Christ. I am blessed beyond belief to have the ability to talk to someone who has such a strong faith. He is truly a man of God and I know that he will continue to spread God’s love and mercy to all people. Thank you Dillan, for showing me God’s love.

My parents are the best example of true grace and mercy that I’ve had the privilege to first handedly witness. My parents are incredible people of God and I would NOT be the positive, faithful person I am today without their encouragement and support. They have confidence in me that I am not sure I’d find within myself. They love me unconditionally and completely. They are gracious towards me when I get frustrated. They show me mercy

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Mom and me and dad.
when I am upset. They care for me on my bad days and make sure I am okay. My parents are true angels. I am eternally grateful for them and for all that they’ve done for me. I cannot try to type a list of things they’ve done for me because the list would never end. I thank God every single day for the incredible parents I’ve been blessed with and I will never, ever take them for granted. Thank you mom and dad. I love you. Also, thank you to my all of my family members for believing in me and loving me always! My brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Thank you!

 

Though life has thrown a ton of crap at me, I have an incredible support team behind me and there are tons more names that have helped me throughout the past year, but that list, too, would go on for forever. So, to everyone who has encouraged me and helped me and supported me and loved me, thank you! You are making a difference in this world and you matter. I have so much to be thankful for and I thank God for blessing me with the words to exclaim my gratitude and my story of faith.

My Lyme journey continues and my faith story is never ending. I will be a follower of God’s hand, a leader of Christ’s love and the best sister in the name of Jesus that I can be.

Stay strong to my fellow Lymies, we’ve got this!

Thanks be to God.

Xoxo,
Elise Hendrickson

“She is tossed by the waves, but does not sink.”

P.S. If you have any questions about Lyme or anything else, don’t hesitate to contact me or comment!

 

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