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5 Good Things That Happened to Me Because of My Lyme Disease

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Living with Lyme disease for more than seven years has been challenging. Hospitalizations, putting school on hold, medical bills and an uncertain path that has been twisting and turning for years has become my new normal.

But when I look back on my hard times, I can also find so much good from the past and present that wouldn’t have happened to me if I didn’t have Lyme disease. 

1. I met some of my best friends. 

The “Lyme friend” I’ve known the longest is Jess. We went to middle school and high school together and became friends before we both knew we had Lyme. 

Then Kyra and I clicked the first time we talked, and it’s been two and a half years of friendship. We’re both 19 and have about a two-week birthday gap separating us.

Next comes along Megan, also 19, Abi, who is 17, Abby, 21, and Ethel, 19. Those are the the people I keep the most contact with.

Without Lyme disease, I wouldn’t have met these people, many of whom I consider my best friends. It feels like we’ve known each other forever. I can’t imagine them out of my life. 

2. Without Lyme Disease, I wouldn’t have been inspired by my Lyme literate physician’s assistant to become a PA myself. 

I was set on becoming a dietician until I realized how much Lyme disease and tick-borne diseases interested me, how much I liked learning about diseases and how much I wanted to help people who are just like me.

My Lyme literate physician’s assistant has taught me so much, and I’ve also met so many amazing doctors who I now see, believe me and help me. I can’t imagine my life without my primary care doctor, naturopath, physician’s assistant and neurologist, to name a few. 

3. I would have never created a YouTube channel, focusing on Lyme disease and chronic illness. 

The first videos I ever posted on YouTube were of Dr. Richard Horowitz speaking at a Lyme conference and my school science project on Lyme disease. Since then, it has also become a vlogging channel and place for awareness and tips for living with Lyme disease or any chronic illness. Making these videos has given me a hobby since I had to stop doing ballet, and I really enjoy making them. 

4. I would have never created my Facebook page, Fight Lyme for Life

This is an amazing platform for me as I spread awareness through YouTube videos, my own videos, my own posts and updates about my treatment and life living with Lyme. I’ve learned to open up, sharing the realities of Lyme and the hardships I’ve faced and am facing.

This also helps people who follow the page know what I’m up to and learn more about the disease. I never knew I would become such an advocate, doing Lyme Walks, fundraisers and making t-shirts for Lyme disease.

5. And the biggest thing that would have never happened? Getting a service dog. 

He comes home in April 2017. I never knew a lab-dane mix would be a part of my family. I can’t wait to deepen the bond between my service dog and myself and all the amazing things we’re going to do together.

That’s only 5 things! There are many more! So I guess thank you, Lyme disease. You’re good for something. 

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Originally published: December 29, 2016
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