I have Lyme Disease. Microscopic spirals of bacteria are burrowing and digging around inside of me – having a party.
For the longest time I ignored urging by family and friends to get tested for Lyme. I figured it was just bad allergies, a crappy immune system, or maybe mono. But I didn’t get better. Pills, x-rays, doctors, tests, vitamins, sun, adjustments, acupuncture, massage, diet, exercise, sleep, positive thinking, ice baths, even a tonsillectomy.
Then, finally, a positive blood test. I have Lyme.
It’s a relief to have an answer, although my first response was one of anger.
One and a half years of symptoms. Time lost. Weeks and even months that I can barely remember because of the Lyme-induced “brain-fog.” Thousands of dollars spent treating symptoms, while entirely missing the root cause. Twenty-four years old, and living at home like a hermit – with anxiety and depression that I was unable to explain.
Once upon a time I was a fire fighter, I took flying lessons, I traveled to foreign countries by myself, I had friends. Now I can barely get myself to go anywhere. A couple hours on my feet and I’m absolutely drained. One of the neurological symptoms is a “tippy” feeling. On my worse days it scares me just trying to drive to the store.
I know there is a reason behind this. A lesson. Before those mysterious first symptoms began, my life was on a collision course. I figure that previous trajectory would have put the collision about 20 years farther out. Instead, Lyme stepped in early and hit me across the head with a 2 by 4. When I beat this, I know I will be grateful for all that it has taught me about living and my health.
For those that I’ve ignored or treated poorly over these last several years, I’m sorry. Even with all the Lyme-induced symptoms, I’m still me. Our characters show best when we are weak and brought low. What I know now is that my character has been weak, and my prayer is that it will be made stronger through this time.
I will accept where my health is now, but I hope and plan to return to “100%.”
God, give me the strength needed to overcome what faces me now, and to rekindle my spirit of hope and possibility for my future. There are adventures out there just waiting for me, and Lyme isn’t invited.
It’s time to fight.