© Illustration by Life in Lyme Light.

How has Lyme Disease affected your life? What inspires you?

When you get a disease, it is as if you got initiated into a world of misfit toys. You get a membership card that has no expiration date. Friends may visit but you no longer belong in their world. This land of misfit toys is filled with doctors, needles, and medicine. I experienced this land as filled with physical pain and suffering. While in the real-world friends fled my life like roaches when a light is turned on in a dark room.

An orthopedic surgeon tested me for Lyme Disease because my ankle stayed swollen after a hiking accident. I had numerous medical problems (brain fog, memory loss, and heart surgery) before the diagnosis but no indication that Lyme could be the source of the problems.

Lyme Disease took over my life. I don’t remember the tick bite, but I clearly understood there was a war inside my body already underway. The first shot was fired with the act of taking antibiotics. As the bacteria was being killed the level of pain ensued. My joints swelled and the simple act of walking was replaced with the sensation of stepping on shards of glass. Crawling became the least painful mode of moving. The desire for pleasure vanished. Eating, drinking, and talking became a chore. The water from the shower was replaced by the feeling of nails entering my body. Sounds and bright lights became the enemy. This was a level of suffering that welcomed death. As this agony drew me further and further down the rabbit hole.

It took 2.5 years of working with a Lyme doctor. Biofilm protocol, months and months of antibiotics and IV Vitamin C to kill all of the bacteria. I thought that after I killed all the bacteria my life would go back to normal. I would just pick up where I had left off. The real work had just started. I had changed and for better or worse I needed to fall in love with who I had become. I had to repair my brain from the damage of the disease, and it was not easy. I already had an MST and I was back at the community college taking a basic computer class. It was humbling. I was 5-6 steps behind everyone, and I just had to be okay with it. It took almost 6 full years of work, but my brain function has returned to normal.

I don’t wish this illness on my worst enemy, but I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything. There is this deep compassion, kindness, and sincerity that I have that was born from surrendering over and over each day. It isn’t something that can be purchased or given. It is from making a decision each day to find love and grace.

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