Having traveled to over forty countries in my twenties, I learned that climate, culture, altitude and quality of grub have much to do with healing. And then I considered that getting out of the United States for awhile could provide me with another weapon against Lyme.
Anyway, it would get me out of my twenty-four-seven thoughts of Lyme disease, because the perpetual stimulation of being in a new place does much for pulling one's head out of the deep, dark Lyme Space.
I chose Costa Rica because I feel pretty comfy cozy in Central America (compared to other countries anyway) and for its temperate climate, laid-back culture and the kindness of its residents. Also for its track record of being a relatively safe, healthy place where you can get a bed for as little as ten bucks a night and a meal for a fraction of that. The latter is appealing for a soul like me who survives on Disability.
Don't get me wrong. Travel overseas with Lyme is nonetheless harsh. The two days it took me to get here and the first two I spent in San Isidro De El General, a town three hours south of the capital, my body screamed for rest as I wobbled about, with my nervous system off-kilter and my brain and bones vibrating in a very unnatural way. Not to mention the problems breathing and simply remaining upright. I think I tripped on a few sidewalks my first afternoon here, but the good news is, I knew that if I were to pass out in the middle of the road, half a dozen folks would rush to my aid. That's just how the costariccenses are.
When I mistakenly purchased a standing-room only ticket on the chicken bus from San Jose to San Isidro, I figured I'd convince the driver to let me off alongside the highway and I'd hitchhike to San Isidro (yes, after two days of airplanes and sleep deprivation, the latter seemed preferable to standing in a bus for three hours, where I knew I'd keel over onto some guy's lap. And I sure wouldn't want him to get the wrong idea, now would I?)
Fortunately, the driver allowed me to sit next to him on the steps leading up to the bus, while meanwhile a lady passed me her Thermarest pillow to sit on and another offered me her seat the last hour of the journey. You see what I mean? Hospitality aplenty.
And it's no picnic sleeping in a bare bones hotel with no hot water but at least the mattress is decent and I`m starting to feel the effects of the lower altitude, fresher food (even if it is little more than rice and beans and chicken) and the abundant semi-tropical forest which surrounds this town.
But I've had to pace myself, take taxis when the body protests against too much walking, and never ever for a second forget my bottle of electrolyte-filled water and almond snacks.
And fortunately, I've stumbled into another possible Lyme strategy. When I purchased a noni fruit in the market today, and the vendor informed me that "this isn't really a fruit, it's medicine," I realized I'd struck gold. If mangosteen is thought to kill Lyme, then Noni ought to, too. It's used against Babesia, anyway, isn't it?
Ignoring the vendor's recommendation to make a juice of the fruit, I attempted to swallow it with a few brave bites and the pungeant fruit numbed my tongue. Now awaiting the herx reaction :)
Stay tuned for more tales of travel with Lyme...