Aside from that, my greatest sorrow is the loss of my ability to help others. Gone are the days of sending packages to the orphanage, starting fundraising campaigns, making treks to Russia. I have yet to even meet my beautiful granddaughter Sasha (Anya's daughter) because the dr said a trip, and to Russia no less, would set me back months in terms of healing. I'm sure my posts will be all over the place, because that is the brain I live with now. There is no way to focus my thoughts anymore, and my memory is long gone. I used to have most of Shakespeare's plays memorized - the first word to the last. Now I cannot recall a line of Shakespeare unless someone prompts me with the first few words of it.
And yet on good days, I can seem relatively normal. On good days, I get my words back (a few), I get my ability to walk normally back. ON good days I don't stutter, transpose words. On good days I don't have too crawl to the bathroom or hold the walls as I walk. On good days, there is no facial paralysis, no clawed hand that looks like I had a stroke. On good days I don't hallucinate from petit mal seizures. All of this may sound outrageous, but it's all exactly what I am living with. And it is hell and I hate it.
Even on the good days, however, I deal with enough frustrating and painful symptoms to make a grown man cry: tingling, shock-like and burning sensations that travel to different areas of my body, horrible joint pain, dizziness, memory loss, patches of numbness on my legs and face and arms, severe heat sensitivity,vision problems,hair loss, sound and light sensitivity, and exhaustion on the level on a mono infection. And yet none of that shows on the outside, so people often do not 'get' that I am sick, and that poses another huge set of problems.
[Right in the middle of that paragraph I had to stop for 20 minutes, because my hand seized (looks like a seizure, but just in my hand) It cramped up so tightly it hurt terribly - like a really bad charlie horse.]
Btu, believe it or not, i don't want to just vent about my woes here. I do want to share about them to inform people and also take some weight off my shoulders, but I also want to speak more broadly about Lyme as a disease and how it is treated in this country. I want to speak about the loss of people you thought were friends when you have a chronic illness. I want to talk about the guilt at having to watch your kids deal with it. And, on a good day, I want to take about possible gifts in all this. I'm not seeing them today, but I know they must be there.
Need to go back to bed now. That's another crappy part about Lyme - the need to sleep 16-22 hours a day. For a typically 'go-go-go' person like me, its just torture. I feel like the world is racing by me, and I can't go along for the ride.
If you are reading this and have Lyme, please comment. It's good to know we're not alone. We need to grasp hope wherever we can, even if it's just a thimbleful.
|Spirochetes - the enemy that invaded my brain and body.|