Morning commuters have been starting their days for almost 32 years listening to Lora Songster on WMAG from 5:30-10 am. Days begin early for Lora, so feeling tired and not getting enough sleep has become a way of life. When Lora started feeling exceptionally tired in January 2017, visits to her physician came back with advice many women who are in their 50s hear: get more sleep and eat healthy. Lora knew that it was more than hormonal issues, lack of sleep or diet, though; in her gut, she felt something was wrong.
“Because of the hours that I work, I’m always tired, but I had come to the place where it took everything out of me to get out of bed, go to work and then I just wanted to come home and go to sleep. I was doing what I needed to do, but nothing outside of what had to get done, because I didn’t have the energy. Everything felt off; my brain felt foggy, issues with depression and anxiety felt heightened; I felt like a hypochondriac and that I was going crazy. During the time I felt really bad, a lot fell on my husband, and he’s was great about helping me. In one year, I had gained 30 pounds, and when you are in the public eye at local events, people notice a change in your appearance. One day on location, a woman said to me, ‘You’ve gained a lot of weight.’ That day I was just happy to be out and meeting people, but that comment was hurtful to me. None of us knows what another is going through in their life and words have an effect that we may not understand at the time,” Lora recalled. While having lunch one day with a friend, Lora opened up about how she was feeling, and her friend suggested that Lora contact Dr. Bruce Lantelme of Robinhood Integrative Health in Winston-Salem, NC. Since Lora wanted to know what was going on with her body and how to get back to ‘normal,’ she made the call.
“Every day in my car, I listen to a daily devotional, and the day of my appointment with Dr. Lantelme, the verse for the day was Proverbs 17:22, ‘A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.’ I thought maybe if I changed my mindset I would feel better. Dr. Lantelme took a complete history of my health, as well as any problems that run in my family and did a physical. With my symptoms, Dr. Lantelme decided to test me for Lyme disease. Being a city girl, I didn’t know much about ticks or Lyme disease. He asked me at the end of our time if he could pray with me. Two different parts of my life, my Christian faith, and my health seemed to collide. As I was leaving the office, setting up my next appointment, I saw on the wall of the office, in needlepoint, Proverbs 17:22. I knew that I was at the right place to get the help I needed…no coincidence that I’d heard that verse earlier in the day,” Lora said. The diagnosis indeed was Lyme disease, a tick-borne bacterial illness that affects the entire body on a cellular level, but when caught early can be treated with antibiotics and flushed out of the body quickly. However, Lora’s Lyme disease was fairly advanced, so her treatment would require not only antibiotics and other prescriptions, but natural supplements too.
“The first few months were the roughest. Antibiotics put my body into shock because of everything I was putting in it. There are various protocols that, when working, help you feel better, but as the treatment progresses, the regimens and the way you approach the disease changes, too. I’d been slowly feeling better until this past April, and I’m feeling lousy right now. I’ve accepted that I am not going to feel good for a long time; I’m a goer and a doer, so sitting on the sofa, resting, is frustrating. I am forcing myself to walk my dog and stay active. But because of my diagnosis from Dr. Lantelme, I have hope for the first time in a long time,” commented Lora. Because she didn’t want to be seen as not being able to carry on with her job responsibilities, Lora kept her problems and diagnosis to herself, until recently.
“We all struggle with something, and I never wanted anyone to think my professional life was going to change; I wasn’t going to let anyone down. I wanted to fulfill all my roles, from my morning radio show to my voice-overs, but when I shared all I’d been going through, everyone has been so supportive. Lyme disease is hard for people to understand, but I know better days are ahead and sharing my story can only help others,” Lora said.