Earlier this year, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the Suffering the Silence team connected with Wendi Lindenmuth, an author, writer, and alternative Healing Specialist. With over 25 years of experience in teaching, medical and public health, and alternative healing, she helps teach people who live with Lyme Disease, chronic pain, and illness, how to live a “new normal” and enjoy life again.
This concept of “new normal” is something so many people, both inside and outside the chronic illness community, are grappling with right now. Wendi’s story may help to shed some light on how we can all navigate these uncertain times.
Earlier in life, Wendi was an avid athlete known for organizing group activities and bike rides for members of her community in Wisconsin. Five years ago, in the Summer of 2015, Wendi organized and led an 80 mile bike ride and though this was something she should have been able to do without pain, she was overcome with nausea, pain, and cramps throughout the entire ride. That day marked a shift in her health, and ultimately led her to a diagnosis of shingles, chronic Lyme disease, viral meningitis and other tick-borne infections.
Overtime, her symptoms and test results seemed to get worse and worse. She was also ultimately diagnosed with a severe traumatic brain injury from the meningitis which made it difficult to listen to any form of sound, watch television or even read. Her life was unrecognizable to what it had been.
Eventually, she had to make a choice. “Who was going to be in control of my future health and life, Lyme disease or me?” Wendi writes on her website, “I chose me. I chose to trust and listen to my body, so I could continue to thrive, learn, teach and live a life of purpose.”
Through this decision, and through accepting her new reality, Wendi has been able to take back her health and her life. “Within this new view of living with multiple diagnoses, symptoms and pain, I was able to embrace and change my experience and relationship with Lyme disease and other symptoms to help me release my fears, heal, and transcend them into a story of strength and purpose. I also implemented alternative healing tools and methods into my daily life so that I could reclaim my health and start creating a life I was in love with again.”
This work was not easy. But she continued to fight for herself, and fight for her health, until she could get to a place that she could care for herself, and care for others. Wendi has published a book about her experience titled, Dear Lyme Disease, which she hopes can be a tool for other patients as they work to manage their illness and find their new normal.
Her message is clear, “it is OK to let go of the life you thought you would have had and start living the life in front of you.”
Perhaps this is something we all could benefit from thinking about right now. Perhaps we can all, in Wendi’s words, “start implementing a new way of thinking, living and finding our “new normal” and hope again.”
Learn more about Wendi and her work at her website at the link below!