Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Bit of Mourning

Tonight I can't sleep. It is warm and humid and Borrelia do not like heat. Our youngest has awakened several times, anxious and in pain. Though she's finally sleeping, I've given up for the moment and here you find me. At the computer at 4am. Perhaps I'll sleep better in a bit.

Each time I sit down to the computer, I face the evidence my life has changed. In high school, I was blessed with an English teacher who taught me to write well. With Lyme, what once took minutes can take hours. I read and reread because of multiple errors; errors I never made before.

My girls want to learn to play piano. Our teacher encourages parents to take lessons first so they can help their child during the week at home. This week I took my second piano lesson and teared up. I don't know how to explain it other than the piano acted as a magnifying glass to the weaknesses that have developed in my body. The muscles in my hands and arms were screaming their fatigue. I felt there was a wrestling match taking place between my brain and the rest of my body. The piano teacher was patient and kind as I tried to explain my emotions. I learned if I look at my hands as I play, my brain has an easier time communicating with the rest of my body. I sense piano could become a form of physical therapy in my healing. It also raises the question should I look at myself as I walk? I may try this in a safe place in our home as my legs occasionally have a mind of their own.

To face Lyme, it often takes superhuman strength, both physically and emotionally. Perhaps tonight I needed to mourn for a bit the person I used to be, as I feel the need for sleep returning. Sweet dreams and bless you for sharing this journey.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Perfect Example

Lyme disease has a tendency to consume your life. Not only the sick person's life, but the lives of our loved ones as well. It is unavoidable.

This isn't all bad. Our lives are so consumed that it seems no matter who we talk to we eventually end up on the topic of Lyme disease. Which, if nothing else, helps to spread awareness.

Yesterday my car broke down and I had to get towed. Guess what? The tow truck driver had never heard of Lyme disease. He didn't know that we live in a high risk county. He didn't even think we had ticks here.

I made sure to tell him all about the tick I found in my hair this April after walking along the paved river trail.

He knew there were ticks about an hour south of us where it is significantly hotter all year long.

"Oh, you mean where the deer and the birds that carry the ticks go for the winter?"

He has decided he needs to do some research.

I'm not the only one who constantly finds myself talking about Lyme, my husband does too. It usually starts something like this, "so, what does your wife do?", and there he is talking about Lyme disease again.

Today he came home with a story that perfectly illustrates why everyone is at risk of contracting Lyme disease, no matter where they live or how outdoorsy they are.

My husband explained to a new co-worker about how his wife (me) doesn't work because she has Lyme disease.

These are the basics of the tick experience the co-worker shared with my husband-

A few years back he decided to check out property in Virginia (it is a lot cheaper there than it is here in California). He had some friends out there that he went to stay with.

They went out hunting and came back covered in ticks. Literally from the sounds of it. They brushed them off and removed them, then carried on with life.

A few days later, back in California, the man went to a office where he had some business to attend to. After he left the people in the office started finding little ticks all over the place.

The man was horrified. If he had left ticks all over the office, he must have left them all over the plane and airport as well!

He knew about Lyme disease. While he doesn't appear to have been infected, he knows the possibility exists that one of the ticks that hitched a ride on him may have carried Lyme. One of them could have bitten and infected the next person it came into contact with at the airport, in the plane or back here in California.