So far, so good…

It’s been 11 days since I returned from my 20-mile-round-trip backpacking adventure in the Trinity Alps Wilderness. In the aftermath of the trip I experienced four days of intermittent sore throats, which I feared represented the leading edge of a Lyme disease symptom flare. However, the last sore throat faded out six days ago, and since then I’ve been feeling almost normal.

Contrary to expectations, this last backpacking trip did not slow me down. I was exhausted during and immediately after the trip, it’s true – but I recovered faster than I thought possible given my history of illness. I’ve been able to continue conducting bird surveys at work and I’ve felt good while doing them. Getting up at 3:30am and then hiking 3-4 miles can be draining even for a healthy biologist, but so far, so good….

Sunrise
Sunrise on a northern California cattle ranch, at the beginning of another day of bird surveys.

Despite the current string of healthy days I’m always vigilant for the sore throat that will signal the beginning of the next symptom flare. My Lyme disease symptoms come in cycles; based on past experience I expect the next flare to begin two to three weeks from now.

My husband and I are planning a backpacking trip for the weekend of June 20-21 to celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary – unfortunately right in the middle of when I expect to feel sick, but I’m hoping for the best. Ever the optimist, I’m also planning another trip to the Trinity Alps for July 4th weekend (destination to be determined). It’s possible that the next flare will be mild and I’ll be able to spend the long holiday weekend backpacking as planned.

By now I’ve learned that no matter how good I may feel, I will always fall sick again. Sometimes the sick days are mild, sometimes they’re harsh.

I’ve also learned that no matter how bad I feel I will always get well again. The good times have been getting longer, with more time to enjoy life between the sick days. Eventually there will be no more bad days.

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