What I Want Anyone Fighting Lyme Disease to Remember
I woke up feeling like someone needed to hear these words…
Lyme disease is on the rise. It’s everywhere you look and it’s touching everyone we know. It’s a complicated illness. It’s a silent, invisible illness. It’s a deadly illness.
Last night, in the middle of the night, I awoke sobbing. I sat up and had a hard time catching my breath. It wasn’t a physical struggle that I was dealing with – it was an emotional struggle.
You see, last night I dreamt about the night that I was laying on the floor of my bathroom with the knowledge that I was going to die that night. It was that night when I made peace with the fact that I was not going to beat this illness. I made peace with the fact that I was no longer going to struggle on a daily basis with the physical pain, with the mental confusion, with the condescending and ignorant medical providers who refuse to look deeper at my symptoms…who refuse to look at me and to see me as someone whose life has value.
You see, last night, in my dream, I stood in the doorway of my bathroom and I watched the shell of the woman I used to be giving up her fight and accepting her fate. I listened to her tears as she cried out to her Maker one last time and pleaded for relief from the agony her mind and body were riddled with. As much as she loved her family, as much as she knew how devastated they would be when she was gone, she was ready to go home. She was done fighting.
As I stood in my bathroom doorway and watched her, I joined her with my own tears. Because I knew what her dreams looked like, I knew the goals and aspirations she had for her life and my heart was aching for her. As I stood there and watched her, I thought about all the hardships she had been through and survived up to this moment – and I wanted to scream out and remind her to hang on, to not give up because she has overcome before and she will overcome again!
And as I opened my mouth to speak to her I was quickly silenced by an unfamiliar sound… She was singing. Singing? Yes, she was no longer crying and she was now singing. She was singing “Amazing Grace” and I knew in that moment I had witnessed something indescribable. I knew in the deepest part of my soul, in the darkest recesses of my mind that her prayers had been answered.
And that was when I woke sobbing in my bed – because I remembered with absolute clarity how she felt when she woke the next morning still on the floor of the bathroom, but with a renewed sense of hope. It was faith-based; it came with no explanation, but when she woke she knew she would survive this. She didn’t know what the rest of her journey was going to look like but instead of preparing to die, she began to will herself to live.
Her journey continues to this day – her story is not done being written. Every day she shares pieces of herself and what she has been through in hopes of encouraging and inspiring others not to give up.
Would I prefer not to have gone down this road? Absolutely! This is one of the toughest battles I have ever faced and fought. I have lost so much and yet I am still able to sing.
If you are reading this, I want you to know it’s OK to sing. I know the pain you are feeling, I know the weight of the burden you are carrying, I know the struggle you face every day that you wake up after praying you would be called home during the night. With these pockets of time you are blessed with, with every new day, I want to encourage you to make the most of what you have. Sing through your tears. Sing through your pain. Sing through your sorrow.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.
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