Happy Friday, people! I’m quite pleased to finally be home after being gone for the past sixteen days. It’s quite a bit cooler here than when I left home and I’m reminded that September is right around the corner. Crazy thought!
I hope y’all enjoy the 83rd segment of my fictional story, When Life Hands You Lymes. I’m excited about sharing these last few segments with y’all and am trying to think of some way to celebrate when the story has all been posted…
“How are you feeling?” Julia asked as I lick the envelop shut after sticking in a letter for Grandma.
I used my most fancy penmanship as I added Grandma’s address. “It’s not too bad.” I kept my voice chipper.
“Which means you’re in pain but you don’t want to complain.” Julia blew on her nails. “Is there anything I can do to help?”
“Which means you’d like to be left alone so I’ll just be quiet now.”
Julia was correct, so I didn’t say anything. I had known for a long time that in order for me to have a best friend I would need someone who understood my need for solitude. Julia, friendly and out going though she as she was, was perfect at giving me my space.
After finishing Grandma’s address I put away my writing supplies and went to the kitchenette to begin getting ready for the night. First I flipped the switch and turned on the electric tea kettle. Next I peeled a clove of garlic and crushed it between two spoons. I set my timer for fifteen minutes and then pulled four glasses out of the dish drainer and added an inch of water to three of them. After that I went through and added the various powders and tinctures to three of them. I drink the first one and then time it for five minutes when the next one would be ready.
Opening up the cupboard I pulled out the asparagus tea packet, tore it open and dumped it in the forth glass. Spinning the Lazy Susan around I gathered up the five vitamins the doctor had me taking, so very thankful I wasn’t taking ten times that many any more. By this time the water had boiled so I poured three inches into the glass with the tea, then quickly added a couple inches of tap water. Looking at my phone I timed it three minutes while gulping down the contents of glasses number two and three. When my alarm went off I took the spoonful of garlic and swallowed it as fast as possible, followed by a spoonful of honey. At last I drank my asparagus tea and I was done with my regime for the night. I washed up my dishes and tidied the kitchenette then headed into the bathroom to take a bath with cleansing salts in the water.
“Feeling better?” Julia looked angelical in a fluffy white robe over her pajamas. She was perched in my bed, surrounded by a pile of white pillows and my down comforter.
I climbed up on the other side of the bed, moving slowly because my joints are aching. “Mentally, yes. Physically, no.”
“Which bothers you more?”
I tilted my head, once again thankful that I somehow ended up with such a thoughtful friend. “It depends.” I went over the question in my head. “It’s the worse when I am physically doing almost ok, but mentally can’t concentrate or get stressed out around people because then I feel guilty about it. At least when I’m in actual pain other people can understand then they feel like they can relate to me and I don’t feel so alone.”
“Do you ever despair about feeling better? Wondering if the day will ever come?” Julia turned off all the lights besides the white Christmas lights that are around the border of our room. I had decided to leave them up because they’re so homey.
“How sleepy are you?” The bath relaxed me and I’m ready to have someone to talk to.
“As sleepy as you want me to be.” Julia leaned forward, “Do you want me to put water on for tea?”
Julia was back five minutes later with two steaming mugs of tea. I took mine appreciatively and wrapped both hands around it, savoring the warmth of hot tea and friendship. “Thank you.”
“My ears are yours.” Julia sat back against the pillow and assumes a relaxed expression on her normally excited features.
“This is going to sound like the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard.” I felt tears coming on, but fight them, trying to act jovial. I’m not ready for this. I am so not ready to actually speak the words that have been making me cringe with shame.
Julia’s blue eyes softened with sympathy.
I turned my back to Julia so I couldn’t see her. My words come out slowly but surely. I didn’t stumble over them. I’d rehearsed them so many times in my head as I tried to convince myself that they weren’t true that I have them memorized. I’m just an actress on a stage, performing a comedy, but if that was the case then my heart wouldn’t be tearing apart and I wouldn’t be feeling so alienated from the human race.
“I’ve been sick for so long. It started when I was fifteen. I’m eighteen now. Lyme disease stole the second half of my childhood from me. I went from being a vivacious, out-going girl into a hermit. I remember loving to be around people. I remember when the only thing I wanted was to be surrounded by throngs of people all the time. They called me out-going. People said I was the life of the party. I was invited everywhere and I never turned down an invitation. My life was practically perfect. I loved who I was. I loved every single aspect of being me. I can’t even remember struggling with how I looked because I had the deep assurance that God really had made me just the way I was and that He thought I was beautiful. That was enough for me.
“Looking back now I remember being sick one summer after we’d gone horseback riding. At that time, and for years afterward, I thought it was just some kind of summer flu. No one else in my family got sick, but that didn’t bother me much, I figured I’d caught it from one of my friends. That must have been when I got the tick bite though, we just didn’t know enough to look. My health slowly faded during that summer, but it happened so gradually that it took us until school was about ready to start before we became concerned…”