Monday, May 9, 2011

May - Lyme Disease Awareness Month

It's Mother's Day and I'm at my sister's new house in the great, big back yard, with my family all around me. I'm feeling the best I've felt in a long time, despite having a bad candida infection (yeast overgrowth) now that I must battle. And there are still symptoms every day - Mepron (one of the meds for the babesia infection I have) makes me have nightmares, hurts my stomach, I am still fatigued, I can feel my muscles hurting under my skin, etc. However, my good days are getting better, and that's something. It's a stunningly beautiful day here in Philly, the kind of May day that makes me feel grateful to be alive. The sun is glorious, it's a perfect 65 degrees, no humidity, and flowers have burst into color everywhere. We are in my sister's backyard before dinner, and I'm having an easy lacrosse catch with my niece. Everyone is laughing and enjoying the day. But in the back of my mind, I keep thinking that I shouldn't be standing in the grass. I keep looking at the woods that surround her house, and the place where the lawn meets the trees, the places ticks like to live waiting for a host (humans!) to walk by so they can jump on. I feel slightly uneasy and it makes me mad. I was always an adventurous person who liked to try new things and get in the middle of the action. Now, I just want to put down the lacrosse stick and go sit on the deck where I feel more safe. What a bummer.

Lyme disease and co-infections are no joke. I've been sick now going on 3 years, which to some lyme patients is nothing at all. I know lymies who have been infected for 15 years without knowing what the cause of their misery was. When I was healthy and had never experienced debilitating illness before, I just didn't care about what someone was going through if they were ill. Well, it wasn't that I didn't care, I just didn't KNOW. I had no experience in that arena in my life to commiserate or be compassionate about what it is like to be that sick. So imagine...take the worst illness you've ever experienced, I'm talking so sick you can't get out of bed, fever, vomiting whatever. Ok, your WORST hangover. Now multiply the pain by about 10, and then imagine you have that level of pain every day for YEARS. Oh, and the doctors you see for this pain tell you your crazy, and that they don't know what's wrong with you. Yeah. That's what it feels like to be a lyme patient.

So, what is my point? As May is lyme disease awareness month; check in with your lyme friends, be diligent about checking yourself and your children for ticks, if you see a tick on you, SAVE IT, get your butt to the doctor immediately, get on anti-biotics immediately and don't screw around. And if you are a lymie; be kind to yourself, forgive your body, know that it will get better, watch a funny movie, keep negativity out of your life, treat your body like a temple, get enough sleep, eat only healthy foods that will heal your body, and most importantly TRUST YOUR INTUITION.

P.S. - my sister calls me when I get home from our Mother's Day gathering. She had found a tick in her bed earlier when she woke up from a nap and she has a perfect, round, mark on her collarbone. She is going to the doctor tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Wow what a powerful entry. I have chills after reading the last paragraph about your sister.

    Imagining you playing lacrosse in the yard made me instantly worry. Your description of feeling mad that you just wanted to go sit on the deck is exactly how I would feel. And I probably would go sit on the deck.

    I got Lyme Disease in the backyard of a house in the Philadelphia suburbs. About 3 weeks before I got sick I saw a deer the size of a horse leap through the yard. I am so thankful that I got a bulls eye rash and a fever. I caught it and feel like one of the lucky few.

    But I no longer go camping with friends or go hiking like I did as a kid. The woods were one of my favorite places on Earth. Now I only enjoy them by gazing out the car window as Jeremy and I drive around south Jersey and PA.

    But who knows if my thyroid and digestion problems aren't related to having had Lyme at one time. My health is a mystery and I feel like I'll never know why mine went downhill. but like you wrote every day is getting better.

    Thanks for this great blog Amy.