Looking Back at Where I Was in My Journey With Lyme a Year Ago
How do I commemorate the last year of my life?
How do I put into perspective what I have been through and how I have changed as a person?
Who would even understand unless they have been through it themselves
Almost seems trivial to try, but I will do it because it’s important.
It’s important for me to talk about it, it’s important to continue to spread awareness and it’s important for others to know they are not alone in this battle.
365 days ago I had no clue what the year ahead of me was going to be like. All I knew was that something was wrong and I didn’t feel well, but never did I imagine what was about to unfold.
I was oblivious to the testing I was going to be put through. I became terrified of my body, and the fact that I could no longer control what it was doing or my reactions to it. The anxiety and panic developed. I had no idea the toll this disease was about to take on me.
Chronic pain, pressure migraines that felt like my head was going to explode, chest pains so severe I was rushed to the hospital multiple times, dizziness, loss of appetite, chronic fatigue, loss of concentration and the ability to use my brain like I had my entire life before. I was naive to the fact that I would need to leave my job. I was resistant to moving back home, which occurred for over seven months, and I still spend half my time back there.
I started to become discouraged with the medical field, the lack of knowledge my physicians possessed and their utter disregard for my health.
I was beyond frustrated that I could no longer drive or live my life as I had before for 28 years.
I was sad.
I didn’t know how many ambulance rides, ER visits, blood tests, X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, heart monitors, spinal taps and so, so much more were in my immediate future.
I was scared every day.
I still am scared some days.
I still have a hard time believing it took almost 40 doctors to narrow down a diagnosis we had been thinking since the beginning.
I can’t believe the last year of my life in my late 20s was spent in doctors’ offices and hospital rooms and not at work or on vacations or even just at a bar with friends.
I can’t believe my old life is gone.
But that’s what this disease did – it took my life away, the one I worked for years to create. But it’s given me as much as it’s taken away.
Because I’m still here.
I have my diagnosis.
I am on my treatment plan.
I am doing a little bit better than I was on this day last year, and that’s all I wanted from day one: progress and answers.
I know my life is different now and it’s still hard to accept sometimes, but I know I’ll get through this.
I know I’ll be able to ride my bike again, I know I will be able to go swim in the ocean again, I know I’ll be able to have a beer with my friends again because I’m determined to. This disease has taken so much from me, but I refuse to let it take over.
I have the will and determination to get through this, I have the most amazing support of family and friends and I have finally found a doctor who will do anything to help me get better.
I share my story for a number of reasons. I share it so you can all see the effects of Lyme disease and hopefully prevent someone from going through what I continue to go through, I share it so someone else in my shoes knows they aren’t alone and I share it for me. To remind myself how far I have come and the resilience that all humans posses in themselves.
There is still a long road to recovery ahead of me, but I am on my way.
Thank you to all who have supported me and continue to do so. I know I never would have made it through this year without you.
So if you ever thought you knew me, if you haven’t been with me on this journey, you know me no longer. I’m different, I’m wiser, I’m stronger.
We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.
Thinkstock photo via berdsigns.