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.

Monday, August 17, 2009

What it feels like to fight Lyme

It was just one of those dance shows -- you know the ones… with all the contestants competing each week for some big prize. Yet this time, it was different.

One couple performed a dance that showed the woman trying to break free from the man who was not allowing her to get away. Every time she wrenched herself away from him, one of his hands would appear on another spot, like sticky taffy that wraps even more tightly the more you struggle. Every time she broke away even a little, he would appear – again and again, grabbing her back, pushing her down, forcing his hold on her…
In desperation, she finally reaches one hand up, fingers stretching toward the sky, aching to let just one hand reach the freedom she so desperately longs for... when his hand closes around her arm like a vise, dragging it back down, as she struggles so hard that her arm is shaking, tears streaming down her face.

Even as I write this, I cannot stop the tears from sliding down my cheeks.

My reaction was so strong that it really confused me at first.
I don’t dance. I don’t even particularly care about the show or the dancers… yet watching this part of this one performance hit me so hard with such grief, such compassion that it took my breath away. It hit me like a punch and I did not see it coming.

I sat there, with the TV paused on that spot with her hand reaching up and his hand closed around her arm, dragging her down. Finally it came to me… that battle is how I see Lyme Disease. It is the war that I am waging every day to free myself from the bacteria that has grabbed hold inside. I remember how it felt to fight and try to free myself, exhausting myself in the process. Like getting caught in a rip tide at the ocean… you cannot force it to let you go. You sacrifice all your own energy and STILL lose against a much stronger force.
Oh I remember what it felt like as more and more symptoms overwhelmed my system, my body, my brain. I remember tears… of grief… of frustration… of futility…
and of fear that I would never escape the grip of a force that was so much stronger than me.

I look back with sadness when I remember those times but then I unpaused the TV and breathed a huge sigh of relief… I don’t feel that way anymore.

It isn’t because I have given up. Oh no – I have not given up. Far from it.
I have just learned that there are better, more powerful ways to spend my energy – ways that will take me further along this path I am on. Just as you learn to surrender yourself to the rip tide and trust that it will spit you out on the shore further down the beach, I surrendered to this path, this process of getting well.
Yeah, it sucks… and yet…
… each day I see one more thing that is a little bit better, a little stronger, a little more stable.
It sucks a little less.
It all counts – nothing is too small to celebrate when you are fighting a war.

I have already put many parts of this fight behind me... I don’t know when it will ALL be done but I know that I am on my way and surrounded by amazing doctors and friends and family who support me one day at a time. That, my friend, makes all the difference. It allows the tears to come and then to pass as the storm blows through and I am ready to face the next challenge with grace and dignity and strength.

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