Hey folks! Welcome to the 73rd segment of my fictional story, When Life Hands You Lymes. I hope you enjoy!
“I saw in your paperwork that you’ve been doing a fairly strict diet for the last couple of months so the transition shouldn’t be too difficult. It’s very important that you stay on it very strictly.”
I blink, taking it all in. “Yes, ma’am.”
“You’ll be happy to hear you don’t have to do quite as many extra supplements as your former doctors required you to.” Dr. Shay flips through the papers in her folder.
As we’re wrapping up our appointment Dr. Shay spread her hands out. “Do you have any questions for me?”
“If I do everything you’ve told me to, how long until I’ll be better?”
“I don’t like giving deadlines because there are so many variables.
“I work best on a deadline.” I try not to panic. “Can you just give me an example? Are we talking two months? Two years? Two decades?”
Dr. Shay studies me for a long moment, “A year is a round number we can aim for. Everyone is different though. You could be feeling spry and young again in six months or you can still be fighting the spirochetes eighteen months from now.”
“Thank you. The exhaustion? When will it abate?”
“There’s no clinical answer for that question, either. Lyme disease is very unique to each individual which makes it almost impossible to predict.”
“Do you know how I got Lyme disease?” The words feel odd on my tongue. I feel the thrill of knowledge rush over me again. I have a diagnosis.
“Most likely from a deer tick. Are you ever outside?”
“Some people get a bulls-eye rash, that’s a sure sign of Lyme disease. Most cases don’t get the rash though and if that’s the case all they can do is try to remember a time when they were out in tall grass or the woods or near animals around the time they started feeling sick.”
“Thank you, Dr. Shay.”
I leave the office with a mixture of excitement, apprehensiveness and wonder.
I have Lyme disease.
A new lifestyle existed for me at home, but I dove into it with a determination that drove all thoughts besides music and health out of my brain. There were so many things the doctor had told me to do and not to do and I sometimes found it overwhelming. I pushed through and made it into a game. Don’t eat processed foods. Do find healthy and enjoyable treats. Don’t have a negative attitude. Do find things to be thankful for. Don’t let Lyme disease define who you are. Do work each day at getting over the disease.
The last don’t confused me. Who in their right mind would let Lyme disease define who they were? I soon found my answer. Either I was one of the people or else I wasn’t in my right mind. After over two years of shrugging and not knowing what was going on with my body, it was an incredibly freeing feeling to be able to say I have Lyme disease when someone asked why I didn’t feel well.