Have you ever lost something you love? A job, your car, your significant other, etc? If you have you know how hard it is to have something you love be taken away, having no control of it. With Lyme I've lost things I have loved, except I've lost them not just once, but multiple times.
I had to quit my dream of getting a degree in what I love. But, I didn't just have to physically leave California (and the school) behind, I later had to all together quit even online classes because the Lyme had taken my brain power, my memory, and my ability to comprehend things properly.
I had to give up my independence. But, I didn't just give it up when I moved home for treatment, I gave it up years ago when the Lyme made me a hostage in my own body. It dictated what I could & couldn't do, it made me cancel plans, miss work, and rely on people around me to bring me food (or else I wouldn't have eaten). Oh I lost my independence long ago once, and I lost it again when I had to throw in the towel & get help from my parents.
I lost a lot of other things along the way. I've lost friends, my ability to drive properly, ability to eat 90% of the foods I love... The list could go on & on. Each loss was hard, and no easier the first or fifth time.
Most recently I suffered my greatest loss.. And that was seeing a glimpse of my life coming back, and then watching it get ripped away.
This past January I finally reached a point in my treatment where I felt like myself again. It was the first improvement I saw in all my symptoms, and I was overjoyed. I remembered what it felt like to spend time out of bed & not be exhausted in 10 minutes, I had meals out of bed for the first time in a long while, and overall I saw a light at the end of the tunnel. We quickly made plans to begin to drive again, and begin aggressive PT for my muscular atrophy. I was ready to start working toward all the things I missed. I worked my butt off for this feeling, after months on end of grueling treatment this was a hard fought battle.
What I didn't know then is that a storm was coming that no one could stop. A storm that would take all my hard work & wipe it all clean. The storm would begin with getting C. difficile, an incredibly painful & stubborn intestinal infection. I had to immediately stop Lyme treatment cold turkey to take care of it. And right then what I didn't know was that would be the biggest downfall of my journey yet.
The c diff lingered... Boy did it take it's sweet time to go away. During those months I fought hard, and my immune system was put to the test. What I didn't know though, was that now was when the Lyme bacteria would make a strong comeback. With a weak immune system & no treatment to kill it, the conditions were perfect. And when it came back it knocked me off my feet tenfold.
The last few weeks have been its own kind of hell. I didn't know I could feel this sick again, I managed to forget just how hellacious it is when Lyme is invading your every cell & you are helpless to stop it. I watched this disease take away the life I was chasing yet again... Stolen from my grips. Here I am, starting over. Again.
Now I find myself hooked up to an IV machine, fighting again to start this process over. But I won't let this disease take my happiness this time, I won't let it win. You can take my health, but you can't take my zest for life, and my will to fight.
If I learned anything from this experience it's that you can't let Lyme disease get an inch of space. You can't back down ever until you are damn well certain that its gone. Before this I thought when I was 75% better I would move back to Louisville & finish up there while getting back to my busy life & it would be no big deal. This was a rude awakening that I can't do that. I must be 110% better before I even consider straining myself. I can't let this disease take away my hard work ever again, and I won't give up until I am in a full remission.
May is Lyme Disease Awareness month, and I am doing my part to promote awareness because I never want anyone to lose anything to this disease. Awareness & prevention are key. I wish I knew then what I knew now. I want to make people aware that ticks aren't just up north, they are everywhere. And not only that, but they all can carry a host of co-infections, not just Lyme disease. If I could catch it in my small town in Kentucky, then so can you.
Thank you for reading this incredibly long post & thank you to everyone who is constantly praying for my recovery.