Raw Spewage

Updates from the battlefield ... fighting and winning against Lyme disease. Lyme bacteria rarely travels alone, by the way... so not only am I infected with Lyme bacteria but it brought along friends Babesia and Bartonella. It's one big keg party in here. But guess what? The party is OVER, boys. I am hammering you with IV meds and you are making me so ill as you fight back... yeah, you SUCK. But my meds are bigger and better and kicking your little bug asses to the curb. I win. =)

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Location: Palo Alto, California, United States

Writing has always been the best way for me to communicate my thoughts. And since my thoughts spew forth as raw, scattered, and random musings... the term "Raw Spewage" seemed quite appropriate.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Lyme: Why should I listen to you?

So... it occurred to me that there is no reason why anyone should even bother to read this blog. They do not know anything about me -- why should they listen? I could be some crackpot who is being dramatic... who has never had a day of pain in her life.
You see, that is exactly why I will give you the reasons why I even took the time to write this at all -- I am someone who can describe some of the most painful stuff to deal with like:
  • Kidney stones. I can describe them in detail... that is because I have passed 2 of them. The pain of that is as bad as childbirth -- worse in some ways because at the end, you do not get a baby, just a piece of jagged coral for your work.
  • I had a baby and the very next day had surgery to get my gallbladder out because I had stones while I was pregnant. That was miserable.
  • I have had Endometriosis since I was in high school and have had 12 surgeries to get that crap cut out.
My doctors told me that what I do every day to get up and make it through is "nothing short of heroic". My endo doctor told me he has the highest respect and admiration for how I have dealt with this mess. My best friend from high school undertook some of the most challenging training out there when he was an Airborne Ranger and later when he joined the FBI. He said that thinking of me got him through it... seeing how I dealt with pain and gritted my teeth and made it through is something he never forgets and it helps him to do the tough stuff.

So how is Lyme compared to all that?
It is worse. Because there is no finite end point and, more terrifying, the medication does NOT make your feel better. In every other health crisis, medication was my friend... it helped the pain, it helped the symptoms. In every other health crisis, there was a clear point that I could hold onto and know that once i got THERE, things would be better... like after I peed out the stone or after the surgery was over and I healed or after the baby came out.
Lyme is not even close to being that way. Not even close.

Lyme bacteria and its "friends" (the associated bacteria and viruses it brings along to the party) are alive. Things that are alive have an intense desire to stay alive and so they fight back when they are attacked. This is just their nature -- they are just doing what bacteria does. It's not personal. But make no mistake: it S U C K S. Why? Because they pull out all the stops to get you to lay off and stop the medication. Your symptoms get worse. Your body gets so fatigued that you cannot get off the couch and feed yourself. And since every person is different, there is no set timeframe for how long it will take to "get to the other side".

Well how bad can the symptoms be? I mean... how BAD can it possibly be?
Worse than anything else I have ever been through. And now you understand that is saying something. I cannot do it in this post but I will post it next -- a detailed list of what symptoms I have experienced. Things come and go and switch sides and get worse and ease up... but I will put them all down. I think I have put up bits and pieces of what I am going through but I will be complete about it in this list. I do not like thinking about it. I live it every day so writing it down is not a good place for me to be... but maybe, just maybe it will give comfort to someone else in this mess. I think if even one person finds this and reads it and goes away knowing that there is someone else out there who is dealing with this too ... well if that gives even the smallest bit of comfort ... then it was worth the time to write it.

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